You get what you pay for, unless it’s online…

newyorker

I believe the current internet is a great deal for people but pretty lousy  for advertisers.  We get SO MUCH great stuff online and we don’t have to pay much for it at all.  Yet.  “Long Tail” author Chris Anderson has published a book on this subject:  “Free:  The Future of a Radical Price.”  Personally, I don’t believe in free.  So I was glad to see Malcolm Gladwell’s review of the book in The New Yorker.  I think it’s safe to say he’s not all aboard the free train, either.  You can read his review here:  http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2009/07/06/090706crbo_books_gladwell?currentPage=all.

The fascinating, and ironic, thing to me is that you can actually click on this link and read a thoughtful, articulate, well-researched and wonderfully-written piece without having to buy the magazine or even a subscription to The New Yorker online.  I bet you Malcolm didn’t write the piece “for free.”  So, why do we get to read this without paying for it?  Where’s the justice in that?  The invisible hand of economics?  This  sounds like a free lunch, and my Stanford Econ 101 professor assured me there is no such thing as a free lunch.

I believe him.  I think we are in the midst of a reckoning here.  This is a subject I will use this blog to explore.  I welcome your input.

Video sugar helps the medicine go down

dlogic 2009-06-26 11-48-41

http://www.dynamiclogic.com/mailers/doubleclick/

Hard to argue with the notion that video strengthens brand messaging — the radio guys of the ’40s would surely agree (see new study released today by DoubleClick and Dynamic Logic — OK, yes, they may not be exactly dispassionate 3rd parties on the topic, but neither am I).    The key, as they note amdist the chorus of “rich media and video, rich media and video” is knowing what you want.  I’ve had 3-panel banners beat the daylights out of all  kinds of multimedia/richmedia/videomedia/augmentedrealitymedia — but we were focused on click-through/drive to purchase based on a focused feature message.  The closer you get to the money side of the funnel we’re seeing so much of these days, the more “practical” people seem to become.  When they’re just foolin’ around, though, definitely give ’em something to fall in love with!  Like rich media with video…

Launch a banner ad campaign in five minutes and $30

Yahoo! launched a service  (see below) this week that lets anyone quickly create a display banner ad from customizable templates and then buy a targeted media program (think SpotRunner for banner ads).  It’s easy to dismiss this as dreck — junky, nasty, pathetic, awful creative.  Harder to ignore the 0.57% click-through rate (CTR) on 17 million impressions for the highest-performing ad (that touts, unsurprisingly, “AMAZING VALUES!”).  Small/local businesses should appreciate this.  Small/local digital ad agencies, less so.

yahoodisplayads

http://yahoomydisplayads.adready.com/ads/public?industry_id=&q=&order_by=click_rate

Heads Up Display for Life

You may not know where you are or what (or who) is around, but your phone does.  A new application called Layar from SPRXmobile made it into public last week.  Here’s a quick blurb from Engadget explaining what it can do.  This will be big.  The opportunities are endless.

Video: Hands-on with SPRXmobile’s Layar augmented reality browser for Android

We had a chance to go hands-on with Layar, the new augmented reality browser from SPRXmobile. Launched yesterday on Android Market in The Netherlands, we were curious to see how the software, that looked damn-impressive in the promo video, would function in actual use, in this case, from the living room of SPRXmobile’s Maarten Lens-FitzGerald just outside of Amsterdam. Our take? it’s the real-deal, especially for a v1 release. The software looks rock-solid and the initial data layers — ATMs, social joints like cafes and clubs, and job listings — appear fully populated and thus, useful. The ATM and cafe/club layers (or layars) are definitely helpful for serendipitous discovery though we’re still scratching our heads over the job search layar. See, what you’re discovering are jobs you can apply for from that particular employment office, not jobs necessarily available in that specific neighborhood or office building. Next month, Layar will have access to what could be its killer app (or killer data layar) called Funda, the site in The Netherlands for finding places to rent or buy. Of course, you can imagine travel guide companies like Let’s Go and Frommers jumping into this with huge effect as well. And really, it’s content that’s going to make this type of augmented reality software a success. Maarten tells us that more partner announcements are expected this week with expansion into the US, Germany, and UK anticipated later this year on Android devices and on the iPhone 3G S (compass required). Check the interview and demo after the break.

Update: New layers announced including Google local search (that’s a ton of content), Tweets Nearby (exactly what it sounds like), and ANWB (Dutch AAA) coming in July.