Archive for October, 2006

You can keep your Margaritas and your executive Irish stouts…

… as well as your pointless yet entertaining TV commercials. Lion Nathan, brewers of the finest beer money can buy has just announced plans to turn away from big expensive TV commercials.

One of the more telling quotes in the article came from Lion’s group marketing director, who said:

… Lion was shifting focus away from big-budget beer commercials into developing consumers relationship with brands.

Call me naive, but isn’t that what all those expensive TVC’s were supposed to be doing? Like what about this little number?

Not sure about drinking Lion Red, but it sure makes me want to stay the hell away from Michael Hurst when he’s had a few.

It’s great to see that many big advertisers are now starting to take their agencies to task on the cost-benefit of TV production*. If we look at beer in particular, some of the best interactive campaigns I’ve seen recently have come from Milwaukee’s Best Light, who continue to push the boundaries of technology and taste with really effective, targeted measures that relate to specific groups of customers. Compare this with the cost and ROI of the old TVC ‘shotgun’ approach, and these guys are laughing all the way to the bank.

Good on you, Lion. Damn, it’s 10am Monday and I now have an overpowering thirst for a Steinlager. Doesn’t normally kick in till 1pm.

*With the notable exception of Ferrit. Particularly ironic, given that that company is essentially in the business of selling online advertising.

Next year’s Nobel Prize a dead cert

This just in (seriously – this is all over the news wires today):

Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University say most men are always thinking of sex.

*duh*

A telling juxtaposition

Two articles posted side-by-side at Drudge this morning:

GOOGLE earnings surge 92%

NY TIMES Profits Plunge 39%

Other interesting revelations this morning include James Packer’s deal to sell 50% of PBL, freeing up approx $9 billion for investing in casino interests throughout Asia, and Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of 7.5% of rival Fairfax. Together these say a lot about the old media barons’ perceptions of future profitability, and the need to diversify while their capital is still worth something.

Personally I think Packer’s right on the money. Owning a casino would have to be the coolest, most lucrative gig there is. Apart from being a license to print money, you’d probably also be able to hit the front of the ‘$1.99 All U Can Eat Lobster’ buffet any time you want, no charge. Sweeeeeet!

One thing you’d have to watch out for though (apart from these geezers) – if you wind up buying a Picasso for a smidge over $US 48 million, and then some years later stitch up a deal to sell it for close to $US 140 million, make sure you don’t slip and put your elbow through it right before the cash is due to change hands.

Get the most out of your PC

Fact: Canola oil is non-conductive of electricity. Fact: Computer cpus routinely operate in the 90-100 degree celcius range. Question: Can you use your computer to make french fries? Answer: Yes!

Universal sues video-sharing websites

Mark Cuban was right on the money. And so it begins…

Universal Music has commenced legal proceedings against video-sharing sites Grouper.com and Bolt.com, claiming copyright infringement.

In separate lawsuits, Universal alleged that Grouper and Bolt had built up traffic by encouraging users to share music videos from its artists without their permission.

Universal had previously reached a settlement with YouTube, who agreed to pay a small licensing fee and revenue share on advertising. Am wondering if Universal’s lawyers are kicking themselves on that one, now that YouTube’s pocket’s have gotten that much deeper.

This really was to be expected, but I can’t see how there can possibly be a solution, or at least the kind of solution Universal seems to be looking for. The Internet was created to circumvent control of and guarantee access to information. This whole participatory era / Web 2.0 thing has brought us to the point that anyone with access to a computer can contribute (for good or bad) something.

Short of setting up a Big Brother-style system of manually vetting each and every file published (ask the lads at Google Video how onerous that is), the only alternative I can see is to establish some kind of mandatory revenue-sharing agreement with content owners who can convince a judge they’re being ripped off.

Oh… ok now I get it.

Ps. While looking for that 1984 clip, I found this little gem. Ridley Scott cashing in on his post-Blade Runner notoriety and reaping $1.5m for the Macintosh launch commercial – played just once, during Superbowl XVIII.

The 80’s were so awesome.

Speaking of TV ads…

… this is awesome. I doubt it was a good investment on Sony’s part (gotta sell a lot of tellies to buy umpteen-thousand gallons of paint), but they sure get my vote for entertainment value.

It’s been a long day and I really don’t feel like once again venting my frustration at how advertisers continue to get ripped off by their ad agencies, conned into pouring money into TV campaigns with no discernible ROI. What I will say is this: If you feel like doing something different. Something innovative. Something that will strike a chord with your customers and help you to make a MEASURABLE impact on your bottom line…

we’d love to hear from you.

Google buys YouTube

This is going to come as a surprise to very few people. Google has confirmed a deal to buy YouTube for $US 1.65b in stock (Google shares being better than money these days).

Since the news broke, Google’s share price has jumped 2% to (a lot), by my calculations netting YouTube shareholders an additional $US 33m. That’s nice I suppose. Put ’em in the pile with the rest in case there’s any mattresses that need stuffing.

Speculation aside, this must have been in the pipeline for a long time as several new content / advertising deals accompanied the announcement. Stay tuned for some seriously cool developments.