Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Google+ doesn't care if you ever come back

The name of the game is data; data mining and data filtration.  Google+ would love to see your time based streams that you so willingly post on Facebook, but frankly, they don't need them. 
Once you post your biographical data to open your initial account, they have what they need to feed it to the pipe and make money.  Google+ is designed to fuel ad targeting, and for that, they simply need you to sign up once.  This enables them to combine the information you entered initially  with your activity on Search, Gmail, Google Maps and all the other Google products to create an accurate identity profile.  And this also is the catalyst behind more relevant ads Google can charge more for simply because they are uber targeted.
Ad targeting. Google+ is designed to power ad targeting, and for that it only needs you to sign up once. This lets it combine the biographical information you initially enter such as age, gender, education, employers, and places you’ve lived with your activity on Search, Gmail, Maps and all its other products to create an accurate identity profile. And this powers targeting of more relevant ads it can charge more for.

However, this too will soon be changing.  According to a recent article in TechCrunch,  biographical data won’t be enough either. Facebook, having successfully determined who over 845 million people are, now wants to know what they do. It wants behavior data, and has created the Open Graph platform to generate and encourage apps that reveal what you do in a structured way it can target ads against.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Movie inspired commercials - Creative Excellence Fridays

The 84th annual Oscars air this Sunday night, so this week... commercials influenced by movies.

First, two directors who produced commercials to promote a product.

Here's a fun spot starring director Wes Anderson for American Express.

Michael Mann joins other main line directors doing commercials with this mock spot for a product that doesn't exist. It features a fictitious hero played by Benicio Del Toro.  The real star, the Mercedes SL500.
By the end of the clip, you're wondering "when can I see Lucky Star?".  Answer.  Never.

And finally, Tony Scott and his BMW commercial mini-movie from 2001.  Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott has a lot of films under his 67 year old belt.  Crimson Tide, True Romance, Top Gun and Unstoppable to name a few.
In 2001 BMW hired some of the hottest directors of the day to create a series a mini movies featuring, but not focussed entirely on BMW automobiles.  Ang Lee and Guy Ritchie took part.  And this is the 10 minute featurette from Scott featuring the almost always brilliant Gary Oldman, Clive Owens and the godfather of soul, James Brown.

Enjoy the Oscars.  And may all your creative be excellent.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Youtube launches over a 100 new channels

Youtube is launching 96 new entertainment channels this year.

Content creators will be providing specialized channels focusing on a variety of areas. Some of the creators are well known celebrities. Tony Hawk has the RIDE Channel with lifestyle, travel, and of course skateboarding. Jay Z Life and Times based on his website. Little Black Dress features, what else, fashion. The Wall Street Journal covers not just finance but travel, wine, food and tech. And even WWE with behind-the-scenes videos giving what is claimed to be unheralded access to WWE superstars. And even a mom channel; Modern Mom, is a lifestyle channel for moms who are dedicated to healthy choices physically and emotionally.

Many say this is the future as we take more control of our entertainment choices choosing what we want, when we want it on our tablets and mobile devices.

Leading the charge on this new Youtube initiative is Danielle Tiedt. She's a former Bing exec and she'll lead the consumer marketing team for YouTube. At Bing she oversaw a budget estimated at more than $118 million in U.S. measured-media spending in 2010, and seems well positioned to lead the Youtube charge.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cat videos - the future of advertising

This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.  At first I thought "The Onion" produced it, it's that well done.   Creative directors and "visionaries" speaking on behalf of the new direction of advertising.  Cat videos.

Too funny

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Real ads - Real scary - Culman Liquidation

There are a lot of people in the naked city, and even more out in the backwoods of the deep south.  This ad comes from Culman Liquidation.  They sell mobile homes.  As the owner Robert Lee (yes Robert Lee) says, "you can buy yer mobil home from me.. or not.  I don't care."

Honesty in Advertising can sometimes be too honest.  See for yourself.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - Beauty and brains

Welcome to Creative Excellence Fridays for Friday February 17, 2012.
Today's theme -- beauty and brains.

And that is more or less the theme of today's commercial from Mercedes Benz.

This commercial was done by a group of students following with the same Mercedes theme.  The approach was admirable, but it should go a long way to showing professionals they are save in their industry.  Note how a well written script falls completely flat with poor casting/performances and poor over all production.

And finally, from the group that brought you Orbitz travel,
this next commercial literally left me speechless.   And it appears to be the same for the patient featured in the ad, but he has a lot to say with his fingers.  A brilliant ad guaranteed to be viralled around.  Kayak Travel.  Search one and done.   I'm sure Joey Smith and Joey Ianno had a difficult time keeping a straight face as they pieced the components together for this ad.  Agency credits go to Barton F. Graf 9000, New York

That's it for this week - Remember, make all your creative, excellent.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skype ads coming to Canada

You knew as soon as Microsoft bought Skype, they'd immediately put plans in motion to monetize it in a superior fashion.
Well the rollout has begun and it's been announced that Skype ads are coming to Canada. I'll admit I've become a big proponent of Skype. It's relatively bug free, with minimal crashing and, best of all, it's free. Unless you want to Skpe to several people at once, or use it to call a conventional landline, in which case it's still very affordable. Now we're going to have to pay the piper by viewing some banner and motion ads. We'll watch with a keen eye and hope the quality and creativity of the ads keeps the product at a superior level. Watching MSN messenger's message wall sometimes leaves me feeling like I've just come out of the Eaton Centre on Christmas eve, with so much messaging. But we'll keep an open eye.

The Marketing release story is here.

Skype’s the limit for Microsoft Advertising, which is now selling advertising on the free version of the VoIP service it acquired last year for US$8.5 billion.

Microsoft began selling Skype advertising in the U.S. late last year, and rolled out the product in several global markets including Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom on Wednesday.

Owen Sagness, vice-president of advertising and online for Microsoft in Toronto, said that Microsoft has already seen “pretty good traction” for the Skype product among retail, consumer electronics and automotive advertisers in the U.S., and expects it be similarly alluring for Canadian advertisers.

Sagness called Skype “a very hot brand” that is “generally a safe environment for marketers to advertise in, and a very rich canvas for them to tell their brand story.”

Canadians are ardent Skype users, spending a total of 161 million hours on the service in January – a 78% increase over the 2011. The average time spent with Skype is 34.5 minutes, a 66% increase over January 2011.

“There’s a lot of engagement, and it’s engagement of a social nature,” said Sagnes. “Skype really allows advertisers to reach people that are highly engaged in a social setting, which is very powerful.”

Microsoft’s goal, said Sagness, is to ultimately get to one billion users a month. “When you start to talk about those types of reach and engagement numbers, it’s a very interesting proposition,” he said. “Advertising is the way we’ve chosen to monetize the free version of Skype.”

The ad units appear on the Skype home page, and include a 300 x 250–pixel unit and a 650 x 170–pixel unit that is expandable to 650 x 340 pixels to show ads that can include audio and video. Microsoft is also testing an “in-call” unit with clients including Walmart.

The product is currently being sold on a daily flat rate.

Sagness said that people 18-24 are 38% more likely to visit Skype than the general public, while adults 25-34 are 15% more likely. Users are also 24% more likely to come from a household with an annual income of more than $100,000. The product also skews slightly male, 53% versus 47%.

How will Canadians react to ads in this venue? Post your thoughts in our comment section.
Originally published by on February 16, 2012

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Public Awareness ad - Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks is better known for her roles in movies like Zak and Miri make a Porno.  However she is also an advocate for women's health issues.  When it comes to heart disease and spotting the signs of a heart attack, this is obviously everyone's issue.

Elizabeth directed this short as well.  On her website you can see, through  QZAL, she is attempting to use her celebrity to influence issues she cares about.
Humour works to move money out of peoples wallets and into worthwhile causes.

Comments?  Suggestions? 

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Real Story behind the Apple Brand

Since the untimely passing of Steve Jobs we've all head a lot about the genious of Jobs. There is not doubt he was iconic and moved mountains with his ambition.

However Former managing partner and creative director of TBWA/Chiat Day, Rob Siltanen writes some revisionist history behind the story. He goes on to say that Jobs was brilliant, there's no doubt about it. But he didn't write the "to the crazy ones" campaign as earlier reported.

It's definitely worth a read, if for no other reason than to get a bit more insight into what made Jobs tick.


Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Standout public awareness commercials - Creative Excellence Fridays

Public awareness campaigns are generally designed to make you do something, or give something or feel something you don't find fun, interesting or remotely desirable. Convincing men to examine themselves for testicular cancer is a sizable task. 

You hear how you should get examined for this cancer or that cancer; and eventually it all becomes whitenoise blocked out by Sports Centre.

Here is a commercial that is so on the mark, it's legendary. No man can look away. Rhian makes a compelling spokesperson.

Another commercial with a surprise twist.

No I didn't see it either.

And finally, a powerful ad from South Africa. Time goes backwards.

A formidable task of influence, and commercials well executed.
That's it for this week. May all your creative be excellent.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - Top Superbowl ads - just my opinion

First of all, I'm more of a commercial fan than a fan of either the Giants or Patriots, but congratulations to Giants fans. I'm in it for the commercials, and the halftime show.
Speaking of halftime, Madonna put on an impressive performance, but on behalf of adults in their early fifties, I think she should hang up the pointed bra while she's still on top (no pun intended).

The commercials were stellar as expected.  But you don't spend 3.5 million dollars for 30 seconds and put just any commercial out there.
Scanning the Superbowl ads from yesterday there were a couple exceptional ones, in my humble opinion. Car ads led the way.

Having been a long time Seinfeld fan, I had to smile at the Acura commercial. Jerry does whatever it takes to be the 1st owner of the new Acura NSX.

And the spot that was teased all week, Mathew Broderick's reprisal of Ferris Bueller also didn't disappoint.

And this one from Doritos. Man's Best Friend.

There were so many exceptional ads yesterday. So here's the recap from the Washington Post.

Superbowl ads

Enjoy - and may all your creative be excellent.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Graffiti artist chooses Facebook shares over cash - WINNER

You have to love moments like these.  A few years back as Facebook was starting out, they hired graffiti artist David Choe to paint some of the Facebook offices.    He had a choice.   Accept a few thousand dollars in cash then, or in lieu of cash, stock.  He went for the stock and when the IPO happens shortly, he'll be worth an estimated 200 million dollars.

Moments like this happen once in a lifetime, if you're lucky.  Kudo's to an artist who made a wise business decision.  As artists, and I believe we all are in some fashion, we often get caught up in the work, and plan poorly on the business side of things.

In this instance, the artist wins.  Congratulations David Choe.   Full background article fromCNN here