Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Ever Wonder Where Santa Claus’s Home Is Located?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Ever wonder where Santa Claus’s north pole home is actually located? Well, Rovaniemi, Finland makes a pretty credible case, claiming themselves as the official home to Santa.

Rovaniemi's tourism website - home of Santa Clause

Homepage of Rovaniemi's tourism website featuring Santa Claus

A number of characteristics of our Santa myths (a.k.a. “Father Christmas”) appear to’ve been adopted from Sápmi (a region of Norway, Sweden, Finland and part of Russia often referred to as “Lapland”) and its indigenous people, the Saami. Rovaniemi is well within the Sápmi lands. (more…)

LinkedIn Ad Casts Me As Google Employee

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

LinkedIn’s ads which autopopulate people’s profile information into the ad can be jarring. Here’s one which gave me a shudder — it portrays me as a Googler!

Personalized Ad on LinkedIn

I don’t see myself as an employee of a huge, publicly-traded company since I was with Verizon years ago, so the ad was pretty disturbing to me! I just wasn’t ready to see that! It’s possible that (more…)

Google’s Dracula Logo

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

I can’t resist mentioning Google’s Dracula themed logo today celebrating the 165th birthday of Bram Stoker!

Google Dracula Vampires Logo

Google Logo - Bram Stoker Customized Search Results Page

Sponsored search results associated with Google's Bram Stoker logo. (Click to enlarge.)

The logo presents scenes from Stoker’s Dracula uber-famous vampire book, done up in a woodcut-illustration style very reminiscent of the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley, from the same time period. Dracula was published in 1897.

What may be more significant for search marketers, however, is the special search results page the logo is linked-to, which features Bram Stoker-related books, the Sponsored “shop for” sidebar box and the Wikipedia entry highlights box, along with the usual Universal Search items peppered through the search results listings: news search, author-tagged posts, video and image search results.

This logo and associated search results treatment seems to be specifically designed to help propel featured sponsor ad clicks, as well as to promote Google’s robust search results features.

It calls to question — will Google continue to specifically try to monetize their future Google Doodle logos in a similar fashion?

Whole Foods’ Sponsored Corn Field Maze

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I’ve written a few times about corn field mazes which can be seen using Google Maps – enter the newest “skyvertisement” promoting Whole Foods at P Bar Farms:

Whole Foods corn field maze ad

The Whole Foods corn field maze advertisement

It’s not the first time “crop art” or corn field maze designs have been used to promote a company. (more…)

Amazon’s Daily Deals Is Yet Another Flirtation With Local

Friday, September 16th, 2011

It’s almost, but not quite, shocking to me that Amazon has launched another experiment into local business marketing with the Amazon Local daily deals service. I just got an email promotion for Dallas-Fort Worth area from them this morning:

AmazonLocal Deals

Amazon apparently uses LivingSocial, with which they are an investment partner, to power this service, and it launched a short while ago in June.

There are lots of companies hopping on the daily deals bandwagon, and this has been described as one of many “Groupon killer” competing services out there.

What’s almost shocking to me about it is that Amazon launched an online yellow pages directory some years ago with A9, back in 2005. The product was innovative (the first business directory to provide “Street View” pictures of businesses, perhaps), and those of us at Superpages watched the development with some apprehension. But, they did a very crappy job at SEO (more…)

Internet Company Getting Its Name Into Google Maps

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Quite a few sites have reported on how Shiv Nagar, a village in India, has renamed itself “SnapDeal.com Nagar”, out of gratitude to the company which paid to give them running water. But, I don’t think anyone’s reported on how this is going to give SnapDeal.com a free mapvertisement in Google Maps and Bing Maps.

SnapDeal.com in Google Maps of India
Shiv Nagar, India, renamed itself SnapDeal.com

It appears that this was not intended to be a guerilla marketing tactic, but it is a defacto bit of commercial promotion, and once the town’s name becomes changed on maps it will become “mapvertising”.

As you may recall, I’ve written before about how corporate sponsorships can result in towns getting renamed after companies and products (here and here), and (more…)

NY Artist Molly Dilworth Seeks Fame Through Painting In Google Earth/Maps

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Atlantic reported this past week on how one artist in New York, Molly Dilworth has been working to get her rooftop mural paintings picked up by the satellite imagery so that they may appear in Google Earth and Google Maps.

Rooftop Mural at 547 W 27th St, New York, NY, by Molly Dilworth

Rooftop Mural at 547 W 27th St, New York, NY, by Molly Dilworth. © Gil Blank 2009

The article reports how long the lagtime is between when the satellite and aerial photos in Google Earth are updated, and how she’s found it challenging to make the paintings visible enough to be seen in them. It appears to me that she’s progressively made the images with higher resolutions as she experiments with the medium.

As you may recall, I’ve reported on Earth Art that may appear in Google Maps as well as various attempts people have made to get messages and ads into the satellite pictures. Rooftop ads seem to come and go periodically (more…)

Google Tags: No Website For You!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Google’s phasing out site link option from Tag Ads – just nine months after introducing the Tag ads for Maps and local search, Google has apparently decided to do away with the option to link your Tag directly to your website. One of my contacts sent this screengrab to me showing within Google Places they are now being asked to switch to a different ad type:

Google Tags Phases Out Website Option

If you currently have a Tag Ad linked to your site, I’d guess that you have until the end of whatever time you’ve contracted before you’ll be forced to switch to a different option.

The folks who sent this to me supposed that this was being done in sync with the recent announcement of a new ad type, Google Boost. However, that doesn’t entirely explain why the rapid switcharoo.

Here’s my guess – I think there were two main reasons the website option is being phased out. (more…)

Phone Call Tracking Companies: Your Product Is Poison!

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

It was obvious to me as I covered the BIA/Kelsey DMS 2010 Conference this September that phone call tracking is getting even more buzz now than it was getting four years ago. If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, it’s simple: for ads that appear in different places (such as in phone books, online directories and even search engines, companies will use different phone numbers in order to understand which ads resulted in phone calls in order to assess how effective their advertising campaigns are. To differentiate, your phone number used in your yellow pages book has to be different from what appears in Citysearch or Superpages or wherever. It sounds great, but what most call tracking companies don’t realize is that those of us who are more versed in online marketing will nearly vehemenently recommend against the practice!

In search engine optimization terms, using multiple different phone numbers around the net is much like using all different URLs for the same webpage, without having the URLs redirect properly. This results in a higher likelihood of diluting your ranking factors instead of focusing them, and could make one’s webpage rank poorly in search results. (For more details, see David Mihm’s writeup, “Be Wary Of Call Tracking Numbers In Local Search“.)

Today, Mike Blumenthal proposes another possible solution to the phone call tracking number dilemma in a post about using a new hCard protocol to clearly alert bots about the type of phone number. As Mike mentions, I’d also proposed a similar possibility which I’d called a “Canonical Phone Number Tag” which also was based on hCard Microformat.

Canonical Phone Tag for SEO and Phone Call Tracking Numbers

There are quite a few companies which do call tracking. They include: Marchex, Mongoose Metrics, TeleCapture, CallSource, AT&T Interactive, AdLocality, and probably quite a few more I’m missing.

Let me be clear — all of us local search marketers like improved analytics such as what call tracking provides! However, there’s a very big disconnect between the analytics and the SEO involved. If I have to choose between improving a business’s performance versus getting more detailed analytics of ads, I’m going to choose performance first.

All of us would like to see this clearly resolved in some way. One option would be to generate some new semantic protocol such as via Microformats. Another might be if each and every call-tracking company published mappings of primary business numbers matched to their tracking numbers, and allowed most bots to harvest this info.

“Reality TV” Is Now In Yellow Pages Billboard – Live

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

This is so inverted or reflexive or something that it’s making my mind implode when trying to describe it! The people from “Reality TV” shows (which everyone knows isn’t real at all) Big Brother and Survivor have been placed inside a giant Yellow Pages billboard (which thus is now not really a billboard anymore) and are being pitted against one another. They’ll apparently be assigned tasks to complete via Yellow Pages interfaces on smartphones, YP websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, etc. (Reported on The Ads of the World)

Yellow Pages Reality TV Billboard in Israel

Yellow Pages Reality TV Billboard in Israel

So, let me try to boil this down to the basic concept if I can: this Yellow Pages company — you know, one of those companies working hard to prove they are still relevant in the modern world — therefore, a company trying to survive – is trying to do so by taking “reality” TV stars from shows which involve survival competition games – and having them play their survival-style games inside a billboard — games which apparently will involve challenging them to try to figure out how to use the Yellow Pages products to complete their tasks — all this to prove to real people in the really-real world that YP/IYP products are not only cool, but still useful to use and worthwhile to advertise in. Whew!

This smacks somehow of irony, although I can’t parse if that’s the technically correct term to use in this case. (more…)