Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mobui launches group chat product

Mobui, a mobile application development agency, just launched a very cool product called Mobui Audience Chat. It enables TV viewers to interact with the show they're currently watching by posting opinions, comments or questions in chat rooms via mobile. This could provide opportunities for viewers to get behind-the-scenes info by posing questions to TV hosts or cast and crew. Wouldn't it be fun to have something like this for awards shows (Oscars, Grammys) and sports programming?

The first station that's adopted the product VH1 and it works with shows such as "I Love Money 2." CNET's Download blog also reports that it works with Top Chef, but I didn't hear anything about it!

Source: FierceMobileContent

Purple is supposed to lure me into gaming?

While I am personally not a gamer (unless you count the annual Wii Sports fest with my family during Christmas), I am extremely interested in the gaming space and the latest technology. Portable gaming in particular is introducing new ways for brands to take their content and deliver it to consumers on-the-go.

Sony's PlayStation blog announced on Tuesday that new PSP bundles will be coming this year, including a Hannah Montana PSP Entertainment Pack and a new lilac PSP. Lilac? Is this supposed to sell me on gaming? Make a pink one and then we'll talk. (Of course the "Assassins Creed" bundle comes with a black console.)

In all seriousness, I'm not entirely sure that pop star-themed games and candy-colored controllers will fesult in more female gamers, but it'll be interesting to see how they sell. The Hannah Montana bundle also comes with stickers, in case you need a few more teeny bopper touches.

Source: CNET

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Counting Down... the Top Chef finale! Starts in about 10 minutes. They are touting it as "interactive," but I think SMS polling will really be the extent of it.

I'm rooting for Carla!

Text me when my table's ready!

FINALLY. I've been saying for quite some time now that the whole restaurant pager system is outdated and just plain silly. If we're all walking around with cell phones, why can't you just send me a text?

ReadyPing is a new service for this age-old problem, allowing restaurants to notify their guests by text message when their table is ready. All that's required is an internet connection and a computer. ReadyPing charges a minimal flat monthly fee of $35.

Can't wait to see this in action!

Source: Springwise

Marketers are trying to get me to eat more chips

I wouldn't say I have a sweet tooth. When I'm in the mood to snack, I'm ready for something salty...crunchy...and my weaknesses are Goldfish (Original, not Cheddar) and popcorn. Now, perhaps I'll have a reason to reach for a bag of chips also. Frito-Lay has recently researched women's feelings about snacking and guilt in an effort to produce new packaging, new flavors and even a new ad campaign.

The study found that women are snacking more than men; however, 61% of them tend to reach for drinks, fruits and veggies. Only 14% go for salty foods. Neuromarketing was used in this study, and 100 women kept journals about their lives for two whole weeks. According to the logs, women felt often felt guilty about a variety of things -- ranging from snacking to not seeing their children enough. Frito-Lay hopes to use new packaging and messaging to avoid tripping a woman's guilt during snack time.

I'm not entirely convinved that eating chips will ever feel 100% guilt-free. Even if I reach for a bag of Baked Lays during lunchtime, carrots or apple slices would clearly be the smarter option. But, what fun is snacking without just a little bit of guilt? :)

Source: NYTimes

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nielsen Report: TV Viewing Hits All-Time High

Nielsen reports that the average American now watches more than 151 hours of TV a month - or about five hours a day - marking an all-time high. That number is up 3.6% from the 145 hours watched during the same time period last year.

Time-shifting is playing a huge role as well. About 29% of households have DVRs and the amount of time spent watching time-shifted TV is up 33% from last year.

Mobile and Web TV are helping consumers take TV on the road, adding to the cumulative time spent. Mobile video alone has jumped 9% from the previous quarter, which should rise as phones continue to get more sophisticated. This should eventually open up new marketing opportunities, but brands may be hesitant to allocate too much money toward testing.

Source: MediaBuyerPlanner

weekly media watch - 02.23

Here is my WMW for the week. As you can see, I did another write up of Coraline. Hope you enjoy!


Coraline Finds 50 Lucky Bloggers

What is it?

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Coraline in 3D. For those of you who think it’s a kids’ movie, I assure you there is enough to keep adults entertained. Some parts were downright creepy and the 3D effects really brought the movie to life.

Oh yes—back to advertising. Coraline, created by Laika Studios, is touted as the first stop-motion animation feature to be shot entirely in 3-D. Naturally, lots of props remained after shooting was complete, and their Wieden+Kennedy marketing team decided to do something special with them. They compiled a list of their favorite blogs (among them: NotCot, Pink is the New Blog, boingboing) and asked each blogger if they wanted to receive a “free gift.” 50 unique, whimsical boxes filled with movie props and items were created and sent, and the chosen bloggers immediately rushed off to show of the contents of their boxes. Even the actual handwriting on the address labels reflected the film’s tone and themes. If you have a moment, check out the film’s site – it’s a visually stunning, immersive experience. (Sources:, Future of Ads)

Why is it interesting?

We often chat about “influencing the influencers” and how we can get bloggers to talk about cool products in the digital space. Since Laika Studios is owned by Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike), he pushed W+K to come up with an innovative campaign (check out the Nike Coraline Dunks!). This brilliant idea for Coraline made use of some one-of-a-kind props and put them in the hands of people that have extensive networks of readers. The variety of blogs they came up with was impressive in itself – who knew there were so many knitting blogs?!


AdAge Confirms: Unpaid McFlurries

What is it?

It appears as though we all spoke too soon. AdAge confirmed that McDonald’s didn’t pay for the McFlurry product in the story line. “30 Rock” asked McDonald’s executives in advance if they could use a restaurant for filming purposes and write some products into the story. Since nothing portrayed the company in a bad light, McDonald’s didn’t push back or make any changes. The TV spot that ran during the show was “part of the traditional media buy” and no spots were moved around to be near that episode. (Source: AdAge)

Write-up from last week, in case you need background: There has been, well, a flurry of McFlurry activity online after last night’s 30 Rock episode aired. 2 characters on the show (Elisa and Jack) sat on the couch last night eating McFlurries – and after some discussion about how great the vanilla swirl, candy and cookies go perfectly together, Elisa exclaimed that it is “the world’s greatest dessert.” New York Magazine, Gawker and countless blogs have initiated virtual discussions around the product placement.

Why is it interesting?

Paid or unpaid, last week’s episode sure got bloggers and media sites writing furiously about the issues surrounding product placement. Where should the line be drawn? Are audiences becoming too cynical to accept advertising like this? As I mentioned in last week’s write-up, ad avoidance behavior continues to grow. DVRs make it far too easy to find the content that we really want. I’m sure we are all curious to see how 30 Rock will handle any product placement opportunities in the future…


How to be a Better TJMaxx Shopper

What is it?

Through my normal search and online shopping patterns, I recently stumbled upon TJMaxx’s online community. Called “What’s In,” it is intended to function as a social shopping utility with daily alerts and insider tips. Users can upload photos of Fashion Finds from their local stores and provide details about the department, price and brand. Votes and comments are also recorded, adding to the social functionality of the site. (Source: What’s In)

Why is it interesting?

From what I can recall, TJMaxx hasn’t done much to promote their What’s In site through their print or TV ads – a missed opportunity, since cross-promotion would be an easy way to drive more traffic. While the site could use some tweaking in certain areas (especially with their mapping and voting features), the concept is a great one for discount stores such as this. Allowing the users to hunt for bargains and share them instantly is more compelling than posting a weekly circular online. A mobile version may also work for their customers if they continue to see activity on the site.