Tag Archive | "advertising"

College Hunks

Review: The Pitch Season 2 – Episode 1

College Hunks

So, AMC’s advertising reality show kicked off with College Hunks Hauling Junk. And the two agencies competing were from very different backgrounds. One specializes in the less than glamorous (but very well paid) arena of political advertising. You know, the “don’t vote for him because he’s a scumbag” kind of ads. The other agency, they were much more traditional, and better suited for an account like College Hunks. But The Pitch rarely goes as planned. Did the political pros beat up the traditional team? Read the full review here.

Source: About.com


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Posted in BusinessComments Off

Facebook to Boost Mobile Shopping?

Facebook got a lot of publicity last week for what it described as a “very small test” of a new payment system designed to simplify shopping on mobile phones.

The mobile payment system would store credit card information so users could buy stuff faster, using fewer clicks, rather than have to type in their name and credit card number on the small keyboard of a phone.

While it was initially reported as a competitor to Facebook’s current payments partner, eBay’s PayPal, Facebook clarified that its new system is designed to help, not compete with PayPal. That’s because Facebook wouldn’t actually be processing payments, it would still use whatever payment processor each shopping app employs, such as PayPal or Braintree.

TechCrunch speculated that a key goal for Facebook is to increase its mobile advertising revenue by collecting more granular data on which ads lead to actual sales. Read more.

Source: About.com


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Posted in Mobile & WirelessComments Off

Question mark paint

Questions Asked. Questions Answered.

Question mark paint

The virtual mailbag of the Advertising channel gets filled with interesting questions, and I rummage through to find commonalties. Then, I’ll write an article that, hopefully, answers the common questions in one go. Here are some of the most popular questions of the last few months, and the answers I gave. Enjoy.

Source: About.com


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Posted in BusinessComments Off

Twitter is Testing a New Trending TV Feature in Its iOS App

Television is big on Twitter. If you follow enough people, tweets about any popular TV show series or award show is bound to show up in your stream. To take advantage of this, Twitter is reportedly starting to a test out a new trending television feature in users’ timelines — at least in its mobile apps to start.

According to TechCrunch, which first received the tip last night from one user who noticed it on their Twitter timeline, the new feature looks a lot like the existing Twitter cards we already see in Twitter’s mobile apps. By the looks of some of the screenshots that were taken by the user who first noticed it appear in his iOS app, you can actually swipe left and right to browse a selection of promoted shows. Choosing any show will pull up additional information about it, along with related tweets.

  • Tools for participating in Twitter hashtag chats

To make joining in the conversation a bit easier, Twitter apparently inserts the related hashtag for the show automatically when you tap the compose icon to type in a new tweet. Subtle features like this should serve as good encouragement for people to get more involved on Twitter while watching TV, and it’ll most likely open up new doors for Twitter in terms of big advertising opportunities as well.

Keep an eye out on your Twitter mobile app for this one. So far, nobody has reported seeing any of these new trending TV features on the desktop version of their Twitter accounts.

Photo © Getty Images

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Source: About.com


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Posted in NetworkingComments Off

Are Sales Tax Holidays Good for Business?

July and August are sales tax holiday season in the state tax world. Kay Bell at Don’t Mess with Taxes reminds us that 12 states have sales tax holidays this weekend.

Sales tax holidays are a period of a few days when consumers can buy specific products in a state without paying state sales taxes. Typical products are school supplies, computers, clothing, disaster preparedness supplies, and energy saving appliances. Retail business get the benefit of advertising for these events but must deal with the issues of figuring out which products get taxes and the limits.

Do these days of no-sales-tax on purchases benefit consumers? businesses? states? The Tax Foundation says sales taxes might be a great marketing gimmick but they do little for any of the stakeholders.

No-sales-tax days might seem to benefit retailers, but they cost companies in increased accounting (some products are not taxed, while others are) and reporting to state tax agencies. Many states hold these holidays during prime back-to-school buying time, when consumers are already planning to buy, so do these marketing gimmicks really attract more buyers? Or do they just force people to buy during one weekend as opposed to another?

The Tax Foundation concludes with this statement: “Despite their political popularity, sales tax holidays are based on poor tax policy and distract policymakers and taxpayers from real, permanent, and economically beneficial tax reform.”

Check the Tax Foundation article for a complete list of 2013 state sales tax holidays.

Read about How to Prepare Your Business for a State Sales Tax Holiday

Source: About.com


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Posted in EconomyComments Off

Old Yellow Pages

The Yellow Pages…Are They Dead Yet?

Old Yellow Pages

By all accounts, they are to the generations under 55 years old. They just take up space, waste paper, and annoy people. But there are some places that still use the big yellow books, and some people who swear by them. And while there’s still an audience (30% of Americans still use them) there is a place for advertising. Read more here.

Source: About.com


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Posted in BusinessComments Off

Zach McGowan Black Sails

San Diego Comic Con 2013 – Did You Go?

Zach McGowan Black Sails

It was hard to walk around there this year without getting crushed. It was my third time at the SDCC, and the busiest yet. To say it was a hotbed of advertising would be an understatement. Here’s a brief overview of the event, and some of the things that stood out.

Source: About.com


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Posted in BusinessComments Off

Bill Would End Door-to-Door Mail Delivery

Does your mail still come to your front door? Do you like getting your mail 6-days a week? Well, both of those services will probably go away should Congress pass the latest bill intended to save the nearly insolvent U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Introduced last week by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Postal Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 2748), would authorize the USPS to end most door-to-door mail delivery and implement the 5-day a week delivery schedule Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe had announced in February, but backed down on in April.

According to the USPS, about 30 million Americans still get their mail delivered directly to their front doors at a yearly cost to the Postal Service of about $353 per address. Delivery to individual curbside mailboxes, where about 50 million people get their mail, costs about $224 a year. Delivery to centralized neighborhood cluster mailboxes costs about $160 per address per year.

Now, ask yourself, how many people these days buy even $160 worth of postage stamps a year? Ah… There’s the problem!

Under Rep. Isssa’s Postal Reform Act, the USPS would convert almost all current residential and business address with front door delivery to either curbside or cluster box delivery over the next nine years.

Exceptions could be allowed for addresses in registered historical districts and in cases where curbside or cluster box delivery would result in “significant physical hardship to a postal patron.” Some postal customers would also be allowed to keep their front door delivery privilege by paying an as-yet unspecified annual fee.

According to Rep. Issa’s office, the USPS would save $4 billion a year by switching to curbside delivery and $6 billion by going to cluster boxes.

The bill would also remove the current no-layoff clause from future postal worker contracts and give the USPS a break on the congressionally -imposed requirement that it prefund its retiree health benefit plan.

Currently, the USPS is required make two payments a year to the U.S. Treasury totaling over $11 billion to prefund its retiree health plan. The USPS defaulted on both of its 2012 payments and is on a sad track to do so again this September.

Issa’s bill would also grant the USPS’ long standing wish to have its annual overpayments to the federal retirement system returned to its own health benefit fund.

“The legislation will create a permanent mechanism that ensures projected surpluses in the Postal Service’s pension system do not go to fund operating losses at the Postal Service, but instead protect other benefits already earned by its employees,” states Rep. Issa’s summary of the bill.

The bill would also allow the USPS to generate additional revenue by selling commercial advertising space on its massive fleet of vehicles and in post offices, and by offering local services, like selling fishing licenses, in post offices. In addition, the bill would ban national and state political committees from using the lower nonprofit postage rate.

Many rural residents will cheer provisions in the bill making it more difficult for the USPS to close their local post offices. Under the bill, the USPS would have to consider a rural community’s access to the Internet, availability of cellular phone service and distance to the next closest post office before closing its post office.

Also See: No Saturday Mail Plan Snubs Rural America

While Republicans and Democrats have their doubts and differences over details of the Postal Reform Act of 2013, the overall bill has bipartisan support and lawmakers of both parties agree that the Postal Service will not survive unless changes are made now.

In his testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 17, Postmaster General Donahoe state that over the last 18 months, while Congress had considered, but failed to act on postal reform legislation, the Postal Service had reported a net loss of $19 billion.

“Now is the time for bold and sweeping action, which will let us move forward with a solution that will last for years to come, instead of piecemeal efforts that will only bring us back here again, pursuing legislative reform in a few years,” Donahoe told lawmakers. “We need to act now to implement strategies designed not for the Postal Service of today, but for the Postal Service of ten, twenty, and even fifty years into the future.”

Also See:
The Direst Postal Service Warning Ever
Postal Service Just Keeps on Bleeding Green

Source: About.com


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Posted in EconomyComments Off

kim-mitchell.jpg

This Week’s Forgotten Gem of the ’80s – Kim Mitchell – “Go for Soda”

kim-mitchell.jpgFor some reason, it seems like fans of American arena rock and other accessible forms of hard rock popular during the ’80s preferred their music somewhat serious, even overly earnest – and silly only in unintentional ways. Canadian music of the same type during a comparable era often embraced goofy elements with neither irony nor shame. That’s certainly the case with Kim Mitchell, leader of ’70s rock band Max Webster and a solo artist of the ’80s who enjoyed the majority of his success in his homeland. Considering the glut of rock music advertising in the U.S. that employed guitar-based, mainstream rock arrangements (remember the jingles for Juicy Fruit and Mountain Dew during the mid ’80s?), it’s kind of a wonder that Mitchell’s deliriously fun if unabashedly superficial 1984 track “Go for Soda” didn’t gain more traction on rock radio.

After all, the guitars here are lively and primed for maximum endorphine release, and Mitchell’s lyrics draw an almost thoughtful parallel between the general concept of a “thirst for love” and all the reasons the Coca-Cola company might think of to peddle its carbonated, syrup-based beverages. This is a general universe, remember, where the phrase “nobody hurts and nobody cries” fits perfectly into a desire to oversell the potential of a so-called thirst-quencher to create a veritable paradise for all humankind. This song boasts also a powerhouse chorus perfect for the last day of school and pretty much any summer day thereafter – set aside for relatively innocent teenage shenanigans. That’s a nice way of saying there’s certainly nothing dangerous about this music, but that certainly doesn’t mean fun cannot and should not be had by all.

  • Sample or download “Go for Soda” here.
  • Compare prices on Kim Mitchell CDs here.
  • Top Canadian Artists of the ’80s
  • Top Loverboy Songs of the ’80s
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Alert Music
Source: About.com


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Posted in MusicComments Off

Foursquare Looks to Monetize with New Ads Displayed After Check-ins

Next time you check in to a venue using the Foursquare app, you might notice something new. Advertisements have now gone live on Foursquare.

According to a report by AdAge, after you check in to a place, a full-page ad will pop up to display a personalized suggestion that’s relevant to the venue you just checked in at, or even a coupon that you can use at that venue. For example, a user who checks in to a bar might be shown a suggested Captain Morgan cocktail to try, given that Captain Morgan is one of Foursquare’s first big partners to get on board with the new advertising method.

The four year-old startup has about 35 million users, and recently shifted its focus from encouraging users to check-in everywhere instead to using Foursquare as a location discovery tool. But since the excitement of sharing your location with friends has sort of worn off over the past year or two, it will be interesting to see how this type of advertising strategy will perform in the long run.

If ads are only being displayed after check-ins, people need to be actively checking in to venues for this to be worthwhile. Foursquare may be sitting on top of a virtual thrown of worldwide location data that it’s been able to rack up over the years, but the struggle to stay relevant among its users while simultaneously trying to bring in more revenue is often the ultimate challenge almost every startup has to face at one point or another.

Photo © Foursquare

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Source: About.com


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Posted in NetworkingComments Off

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