Friday, September 24, 2010

Will departure of NBC/U and CNN chiefs hasten digital diversification?

Will the departures of NBC/U chief Jeff Zucker and CNN's U.S. president Jonathan Klein hasten digital changes affecting how news and entertainment are created, distributed and monetized? See today's reporting on Marketwatch.

Disney's new fan-generated website engages and empowers brand advocates

Disney's fan-generated website extends its social reach  
Disney went live yesterday with, its new social-centric website for showcasing photos, video, and other content generated by fans and park guests. Associated Press reports that the website will leverage the booming use of  mobile devices equipped with photo/video sharing. Disney Park visitors will be encouraged to post images to the fan-driven site as well as their own social networks like Facebook.  The website is featured in Disney's new TV campaign "Let the Memories Begin," produced with multimedia content from fans. 

Related Post - September 8, 2010 
Disney's transmedia push to satisfy content hungry, tech-savvy kids
It’s no surprise Disney is moving quickly into transmedia marketing.  Brand Disney is all about creativity and storytelling, after all, plus a huge chunk of its fan base consists of young digital and social media natives. Worth reading on  Brandon Gutman's Q&A with Paul Yanover, EVP & Managing Director of Disney Online.  Yanover talks about the company's push to develop new and innovative ways to create content across multiple platforms, especially mobile devices like  iPod touch and Nintendo DS. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

iTV, tablets, smartphones: why consumers are ready for multi-media marketing

What is it about commercial breaks that evoke such negativity among TV viewers?  My guess is that it's not so much the commercial breaks, but rather the irritating nature of commercials themselves. Could it be that the web-savvy public has outgrown advertising's modus operandi of cramming dull, convoluted USPs into forced-fed 30 and 15-second blips? 


In AdWeek, Jacquie Corbelli, CEO of BrightLine iTV Marketing Specialists, opined it's time for marketers to embrace multi-platform campaigns that bridge traditional advertising and digital/social media. She cites Unilever’s success with "The Rookie," a webisode series created for Degree deodorant by Mindshare Performance/ Entertainment with 20th Century Fox's hit show "24." By combining web, mobile and iTV  the campaign achieved average engagement times of more than seven minutes -- 14 times that of a traditional 30-second TV spot. This media strategy worked, boosting Degree sales 22 percent over a three-month period - making it the fastest-growing brand in its category. 

Understandably, most marketers have been slow to experiment with digital integration. But with ultra-smartphones, tablet computers, interactive/ iTV, and social/digital media all becoming mainstream, the pressing question is, "if not now, when?"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Immersive Technology & Marketing: From Mobile Apps to "Virtual Cocoons"

About 20 years ago people got really excited about Virtual Reality. In concept, games and entertainment that could immerse users in a rich interactive experience seemed promising. However, due to its high cost and clunky equipment VR never gained mainstream use. At least not yet. Last year a team of British scientists from the Universities of York and Warwick unveiled an ambitious project called “Towards Real Virtuality" aimed at taking VR to a remarkable next level - capable of simultaneously and realistically stimulating all five senses - touch, sound, feel, taste and smell. Included in the project is development of a “Virtual Cocoon” – a user module equipped with a special headset and wired with sensory-producing electronics and computing capabilities. 

Any VR device capable of simulating all five senses has huge potential from a marketing communications standpoint. It's easy to imagine how Virtual Cocoons might be deployed in experiential campaigns to promote everything from food, fashion and home furnishings, to real estate, exotic travel, luxury cars and interactive entertainment. Alas, the V-coon is still very much a work in progress as researchers try to reduce its prohibitive cost

In the meantime the here-and-now technology for ad and PR folk to explore is Augmented Reality. While AR can't come close to the all-sensory experience of "Virtual Cocooning," it still offers plenty in terms of creative interactivity and broad user appeal.  Watch tech reporter Adam Balkin's story on NY1 TV about three cheap, quasi-immersive games now available to Apple iphone users. Also worth reading is this blog post by Steve Mann, founder and CEO of AbleBrains, with commentary and a video demo of the new AR app called Wikitude.   
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