Archive for November, 2009

FWIW: Survey finds ad execs more optimistic

Monday, November 30th, 2009

“[A]d spending sentiment is now improving for every medium tracked, even for some traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and broadcast, which continue to have an overall negative index,” says Media Daily News in a report about a new survey.

Ad executives’ optimism for increased advertising budgets “has risen to its highest point in two years, and is now at pre-recessionary levels,” the report says. “The study, which is based on an index of executives who plan to boost their ad spending over the next 12 months vs. those who plan to decrease it, currently stands at a positive difference of four percentage points, the highest level since the fall of 2007, when the index stood at positive eight percentage points.”

Update: AdAge has a more thorough report.

‘User-friendly’ defined

Monday, November 30th, 2009

We liked The Sun’s explanation of their 40-year-old app, which we found at Fitz & Jen.

Online ad spending down but rebounding

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Third-quarter online ad spending in the U.S. was down 5.4 percent from the same period a year ago, but up 1.7 percent from the second quarter, Online Media Daily says, quoting the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Spending during the first three quarters of 2009 has been roughly flat as the economic downturn keeps digital ad budgets down after recent years of strong gains. While the fourth quarter is expected to bring a seasonal lift, overall online ad revenue is projected to drop for the first time since 2002.”

Hey, does this make it look like I give a damn?

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Bonobos, an e-commerce company that sells men’s pants, is embarking on a marketing campaign based on making men worry about how their rear ends look. Like women do, The New York Times says.

“It’s like a shame campaign,” Andy Dunn, the firm’s co-founder and chief executive, told the newspaper. Bonobos “pants’ distinguishing feature is that they eliminate the sagging bottom of ill-fitting trousers.”

The company will advertise on Web sites for women, including and, and in magazines like OK! “‘Let your man wear the pants this holiday,’ proclaims the ad copy in the internally produced campaign.”  An agency-produced ad in Men’s Journal shows a man in Bonobos pants from the waist down under the headline, “Here’s your chance to tell women, ‘Hey, my eyes are up here.’ ”

Bonobos also makes shirts, and is working on a dress shirt that does not bunch at the waist. The firm is “’crowdsourcing’ the design of the dress shirts using TweetSwell, a program for conducting surveys on Twitter, to figure out what people want.”

Bonobos, which had $1.6 million in revenue last year, only advertised on Facebook in 2007, its first year, The Times says. “Eventually, shoppers on the Bonobos Web site will have a personalized home page based on what they like and their size and body type. Bonobos is also planning marketing campaigns that will include surprising pants customers with a free dress shirt.”

Bonobos offers free shipping both ways and lifetime returns, and encourages people to buy and return several pairs of pants to find the right fit. Consultants are available by phone, e-mail and, soon, video chat to assess fit and give style advice, The Times says.

“Only about 10 percent of men can be classified as fashionistas, said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst at NPD Group, though that is up from 3 percent two decades ago. ‘I can’t tell you how many times I stop a guy in a store and say something doesn’t fit right, and he says, “I don’t care,”‘ Cohen said. ‘So he’s got a big hill to climb.’”

‘Webisodes’ resurrect single-sponsor model

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Web-based “television” series, “also known as ‘webisodes’ … are being created specifically for advertisers, borrowing a strategy from the early days of radio and television when shows like ‘The Kraft Music Hall,’ ‘The Bell Telephone Hour,’ ‘Lux Radio Theater’ and ‘Schlitz Playhouse of Stars’ entertained Americans while selling cheese, phone service, soap and beer,” The New York Times says.

“Among the major brands proclaiming ‘brought to you by …’ online are Maybelline cosmetics, which is sponsoring [Candace] Bushnell’s Web series, ‘The Broadroom,’ available at, and ConAgra Foods, which is sponsoring a daily show, ‘What’s So Funny?,’ on, peddling products like Healthy Choice and Marie Callendar’s.”

“’The market place is shifting and brands have to think of themselves as media companies,’ said David Freeman, general manager at Matter in Los Angeles, a Clorox agency that is part of the Edelman Sports and Entertainment Marketing unit of Edelman.” Clorox’s Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressings sponsors “Garden Party” with Jennie Garth, a production of  NBC Universal Digital Studio, The Times says.

Retailers dropping the pass online

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Retailers are pouring more money into paid search, but once they get a customer to click through, most don’t know what to do with them.

“[O]f the 66 percent of advertisers that did not connect holiday search ads to targeted landing pages, nearly 13 percent drove traffic to the advertiser’s home page,” Online Media Daily says, quoting a study by CrownPeak. “The remainder misdirected ads to general category pages, or ads that did not integrate the advertising copy. Only 34 percent of holiday-themed search ads analyzed in the study drove traffic to retail landing pages, but few had a call to action.

Half of product-specific advertisements linked either to a canned search or category page, or the retailers’ home page. Some advertisers — primarily content aggregators — directed ads to specific landing pages, which featured advertisements for other providers of the product.”

But at least they’re spending. “U.S. retailers spent 7 percent more on paid search campaigns between October and mid-November 2009 across all major search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo — compared with the same time last year, according to the SearchIgnite Mid Q4 2009 U.S. Search Marketing Report released Monday,” Online Media Daily says.

I know half of my advertising money is wasted, the retailer said, I just don’t know which half.

You’re in good company here

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Thought we’d note that we’ve been noted.

Editor & Publisher picked up on our post last week about The N&O’s Living in Style magazine folding, posting a synopsis on its Web site and in the Fitz & Jen blog.

McClatchy Watch, which we check regularly, has added us to its blogroll. “Go there for good info on the newspaper business and other media, plus developments at the N&O,” it says.

And elsewhere, outdoors writer Danny Bernstein gave our sister blog, This Land, Your Land, a shout-out at Mountain Xpress. This Land, Your Land is a companion to our Carolina Outdoors Guide, a comprehensive directory of federal and state public recreation lands in North Carolina.

Thanks, everybody.

McClatchy offers papers on Kindle

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

McClatchy is offering abridged, advertising-free digital versions of five newspapers – including The News & Observer  and the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina – on the Kindle reader.

The Kindle service is a product of Amazon and offers about 50 periodicals (including The Erotic Picture Blog). Kindle newspapers are free for a two-week trial, and then McClatchy’s papers will be $6.99 a month, according to Editor & Publisher.

The Kindle Edition of The News & Observer contains articles found in the print and online edition, but will not include some images and tables,” the Amazon description says. “Also, some features such as the crossword puzzle, box scores and classifieds are not currently available.

“For your convenience, issues are automatically delivered wirelessly to your Kindle starting at 7:30 a.m. Raleigh local time.” The paper edition shows up at most subscribing homes about 3:30 a.m.

Also available are The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, and the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News. The Kansas City Star, The Miami Herald and others are to be available soon, E&P says.

McClatchy announced the new service on its Facebook page, according to E&P. There’s an “N&O on Kindle” link to Amazon at the top of The N&O’s homepage.

The N&O ranked No. 2,982 in the Kindle Store Monday morning.

Hollywood banks on PR instead of advertising

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Hollywood is feeling the pinch and abandoning “paid media (newspaper ads, television spots and billboards)” in favor of  “armies of publicists generating what they call ‘earned media,’ free coverage in magazines, newspapers, TV outlets and blogs,” The New York Times says.

And, for those folks in publishers’ advertising departments who think positive coverage will generate ad sales, “If the P.R. team for [Disney’s] ABC unit can land an article about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ on the cover of TV Guide, for instance, the network will make certain not to also buy advertising space in that issue to push the show,” The Times report says.

TiVo closes fast-forwarding loophole

Friday, November 20th, 2009

During NFL games this season, TiVo will show advertising  even when viewers fast forward, rewind, pause or delete certain content, Advertising Age reports.

“MillerCoors describes the deal [for additional Coors Light ads] as a complement to its long-running status as the official beer of the NFL, a platform from which it bombards football fans with those fake press-conference ads starring former NFL coaches, rather than as insurance in case those ads get skipped.”

The deal covers every NFL game through the Super Bowl.