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January 29 2009

Don’t You Love Google Relationships that Benefit You?

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If you stay current with Google updates, you know that last year Google ventured into the world of traditional advertising. This gave online ad agencies the opportunity to buy media space online for print, radio and TV without going down the traditional media buying route. Google recently cancelled their print offering, however, this hasn’t stopped them from branching out into the world of traditional advertising and making it available online. In fact, their recent agreement with SpotMixer proves that they aren’t gun-shy about delving into a realm of media that is unfamiliar to them.  

When Google first started offering the options of creating TV campaigns through an AdWords account, they would refer advertisers to video specialists; if they didn’t already have their own commercial to upload or to mail in via tape. Now, SpotMixer, and Google TV Ads have collaboratively put their heads together to create a tool that allows advertisers to easily create video ads which can be delivered via Google TV Ads.

 This tool allows a user to create video with their own audio from a radio ad, high quality photography and video footage. If you don’t have any of the above, Google has free photos, music and videos that you can choose from, along with provided templates.  The video ad creation tool is the same concept as the Google display ad builder and makes it cost effective for marketers to place their clients into the world of TV media. No longer do agencies have to pay high costs for outsourcing the production of a TV spot only to pass that bill on to the client along with media buy expenses.  It’s a great tool for online ad agencies that have clients with tight advertising budgets.

Limited advertising budgets used to hinder clients from exploring new media arenas, but not anymore. For online ad agencies that have clients who have wanted to try video ads; now is a great time to start. The video creation tool takes existing text ad copy that’s running for a search engine marketing campaign and makes it into a tailored video within the users AdWords account.  Keep in mind that Google allows you to download your finished video, so you’re not just limited to TV ads.  This is great for clients who have wanted to promote a video on YouTube or on their company website.  A client can save time and money by utilizing in house videos and photography for their video instead of paying money for a video shoot.

This is a great benefit for internet ad agencies that are well versed in the world of Google AdWords. It gives them the opportunity, along with the client to produce a marketing message that is consistent across all lines of media. Think about it- a search engine marketing campaign, radio, and online videos and TV ads all under one advertising roof, with one consistent marketing message. 

I am very excited about the relationship that Google has forged with SpotMixer. I believe it will give online ad agencies more deliverables to offer to their clients at a fraction of the cost of a traditional ad agency. As a team member of an interactive agency, I look forward to more Google relationships that will benefit the company I work for and our clients.

January 8 2009

A Sign of the Times

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In the last year many search engine marketers and researchers have commented that advertising dollars and people will steadily increase and migrate toward the internet despite the current economic recession.  Some have been skeptical and slow to believe. However, if President-elect Obama is any indication; the internet migration will happen more quickly than we all expected, despite the present economy. President-elect Obama used and continues to use different online avenues such as display ads, mass e-mails, and YouTube to get his agenda and his message to the people. 

During the election, I have to admit I was a little surprised to see an Obama display ad as I checked the internet for articles about the economy. I went to Yahoo.com and he was there. I went to AOL.com and he was there. Even when I was doing online research for my clients I kept seeing display ads with one common theme. The display ads had a simple call to action and took users to a website where they could register to vote. It was simple, but apparently it was effective. Most of the display ad placements I saw were above the fold and were all huge sizes such as 336 X 280 and 160 X 600. I wasn’t even looking for Obama and he seemed to be popping up on the different sites that I was on and even showed up when I checked my e-mails.

Obama utilized mass e-mail advertising very effectively. According to Stephen Greer, Director of e-mail and online fundraising for the Obama campaign, Obama’s e-mail efforts began in May 2007. People were encouraged to sign-up for e-mail updates at several sites online and during different events. E-mails lists were compiled by state and not only were supporters encouraged to sign-up themselves, but also to forward a sign-up invite to their friends; this way more people could be reached; excellent viral marketing.

President-elect Obama continued to use the internet to further his reach by using YouTube.  In December he discussed his economic plans via a YouTube video and he posts his weekly addresses to the nation on his YouTube channel.  His YouTube channel also includes playlists of events and announcements, such as key regulatory appointments, a discussion board, and an area for supporters to subscribe to his channel. 

It’s a sign of the times when the president-elect and his team are so internet savvy. Back in the 1930’s no one thought that television would become the main media source and if you’re thinking the same with respect to the internet, I think you’re sadly mistaken.  The internet migration is here and evolving rapidly. I suggest getting on board.

December 11 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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In the beginning years of the internet the only option for internet marketing were text ads, with limited character space, which gave little room for expressing a message. Today, businesses have a myriad of options from banner ads, to rich media ads and becoming even more prevalent, video ads. This is definitely a plus in a world where a picture is worth a thousand words.

Let’s talk about banner ads. Banner ads come in many different forms and sizes. They can be jpegs, gifs and for the truly advanced they can be done in flash, which is a form of rich media. A static jpeg or gif banner ad allows a business to include more detailed information about their business and/or product and present it to a potential consumer. A perfect example would be one of our convention center clients. When they were advertising for an upcoming convention it was quite a task to fit the date, location, call to action and a price offer in a text ad, while making it eye catchy. However, static banner ads came to the rescue. We created banner ads that included all the above and made it eye catchy. The client received more response from the banner ads than the text ads that were created for them. The next step up after a static jpeg or gif banner ad is a flash ad.

Flash banner ads allow consumers to interact with them. A couple examples would be mini animated videos with a call to action at the end, as well as ads that request information and give a result. An example of the mini animated video would be an ad that we created for an orthodontist client.  The client is offering a discount on children’s braces during the Christmas season. A 30 second flash ad was created showing a snowman with crooked teeth; we added some “sparkle” to his holiday and magically he received straight teeth with braces.  The end of the animation offers a discount on braces.

Another example of flash banners is an ad that I came across with my colleagues. Dunkin Donuts has an ad that asks you to put in your zip code. Upon receipt of your zip code the ad tells you the breakfast deal at the nearest Dunkin Donuts, along with an image of a delicious bagel and a hot cup of coffee for only $0.99. This ad was very effective, seeing that my co-workers wanted to go for a walk to the Dunkin Donuts across the street.

Another way to grab a consumer’s attention is through video ads. A business can place video ads on their site or they can advertise on a website like YouTube. According to Wikipedia, YouTube “is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips.”  One side note, if you’re going to advertise on YouTube you ought to be creative. According to Google, regular ads don’t cut through the clutter because people are looking to be entertained.

Now that you know a picture is worth a thousand words and a good investment, go experiment.

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