Friday, December 19, 2008

A nice, big list of articles to keep you busy over the holidays

Man, it's been a much busier pre-holiday season here at WireSpring than I had expected. Sorry for the infrequent posts.  But I had the best of intentions, honest! To prove it, here are the articles that I've been meaning to write about (or at least comment on) for about the past week and a half or so. All are worth a read if you haven't seen them yet:

ZunaVision Elegantly Inserts Ads Anywhere - Ads in the virtual world are about to become as prevalent as those in the real world, if this little start-up company has anything to say about it (with crazy video demo).

Multiscreen Mad Men - The NYT interviews a couple of Madison Ave execs on the subject of multi-channel advertising, since a lot of us, "now swim through most of their day looking at some kind of screen — screens on their cellphones, on their desks, in their kitchens, everything from digital billboards on the highway and in the back of a cab to the eruption of screens in urban centers."

Outdoor industry urged to promote digital sites - At a conference in London, a debate breaks out over whether the primary goal of the digital billboard set should be to prove the increased value of digital screens (versus static), or prove their overall value to the viewer.

You’re Leaving a Digital Trail. What About Privacy? - Consumer privacy is going to be a hotbutton issue -- maybe the hotbutton issue -- of 2009, and the NYT spends a little time telling you why.

Hologram of French goalkeeper by Adidas
- Adverblog has a great video of an outstanding 3D effect produced for Adidas:

'Recession-Proof' P&G Aims to Renegotiate Media Spending Globally - P&G tries to find the silver lining during these tough times by tackling issues and trying out experiments that might not fly during fatter times.

Shoppers Are Not on a Need-to-Know Basis - " just released, “Half a Dozen Consumer Trends for 2009.” Number 3 on the list is “Feedback 3.0″ which is all about companies getting fully involved in and even initiating online conversations in an effort to better manage their brands. The idea of Feedback 3.0 is that transparency is going to another level. Companies can’t hide anything, so if they can’t beat ‘em, they’ll have to join ‘em."

Jameson Whiskey Texts Targets On N.Y. Streets - It's not quite digital, not quite static. What it is, is a clever and unique way to add immediate relevance through out-of-home advertising.

Store Brands Lift Grocers in Troubled Times - We've talked about the boost to private label brands a lot over at In-Store and Retail Media News. This article is the latest in a long line of 'em.

Pointer Media Network's in-store service uses purchasing patterns to customize promotions - Catalina Marketing's new service is interesting, but will need to focus exclusively on purchasing behavior to avoid stepping on existing FTC price discrimination laws.

Diet Coke Makes Reuters/Times Square History - "The half-hour TV-like music and fashion variety show was the first to be shot in the Thomson Reuters studio and simulcast live in its entirety onto that company's huge video screens as well as onto the web." (video link, since we can't embed 3 Minute Ad Age)

Retail Window Displays Matter - C.B. Whittemore answers some questions about how, when and why store window displays work.

Malls Cause Frustration, Boredom for 80% of Shoppers - A Wharton School study figured out what many men seem to know inherently (though if traffic at the mall near me is any indication, they may be sucking it up to get a little Christmas shopping done right now).

The power of smart copywriting - Such a great, short read. Especially in the context of our best practices for copy writing for digital signage.

Out-of-Home Ad Industry Girds for Dramatic Transition - That's according to Joe Philport, CEO of the industry's Traffic Audit Bureau. In February, the TAB rolls out a revolutionary new currency and value system for the buying and selling of out-of-home ad space.

So, sorry about the long list and lack of commentary. But if you're feeling drawn to the computer during some time off next week, or you have a long flight and nothing to read, you could do worse than to check out a couple of the items above.

Meanwhile, I'll try to get my act back in gear over here, and start posting more regularly and frequently about all of the interesting industry happenings.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

RNIN slashes staff, appoints new CEO, sees shares jump darned near 100%

Granted, when a move of less than $0.50 means your shares have doubled you're still in pretty bad shape, but this at least resets the NASDAQ de-listing clock that had been ticking for RNIN for well over a month now.  Well, it would have been ticking had the NASD not temporarily suspended that rule in light of the fact that a lot companies are trading at historical lows right now.

The firm first reported that they were reducing their head count by 24%, which would leave them with around 90 if my math skills serve me correctly. That's still about 60-70 more than they ought to have given their current revenue levels and publicly-touted prospects by my book, but it's a move in the right direction to be sure.

Then today they announced that James C. (Jim) Granger would be signing on as CEO. He apparently has some skill working with troubled companies, as he's cited as being "responsible for restoring company growth and increasing bottom line profitability [of Toptech Systems, Inc., a provider of software, hardware and data services]" at his last job.

Wireless Ronin can rebound -- they have plenty of cash left in the bank, and haven't been squeamish about cutting staff.  But as I've noted before, they have lot more to do before they can get anywhere near cashflow neutral or (gasp) profitability.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Clever multi-channel ad deals bring Rachel Ray to the supermarket aisle...

... for better of worse, depending on your opinion of the hyper-perky TV personality.  But the deal between CBS Outernet and the "Everyday with Rachel Ray" (described by Mediaweek) is pretty innovative:
Tapping the growing segment of out-of-home media, the perky TV personality’s cooking magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, is giving airtime on flat-screen TVs in supermarkets to print advertisers like Tylenol and Eggo who make a minimum page commitment.


While the clients get what Rachael Ray vp, publisher Anne Balaban called the magazine’s “ruboff” effect, the deals are helping drive pages to the magazine; each sponsor had to commit to three to four pages in-book. That’s no small potatoes at a time when page growth has flattened like a bad soufflĂ© for the once-hot Reader’s Digest Assn. title. After launching three years ago with a rate base of 350,000, the food/lifestyle title soared to a circ topping 1.7 million and notched a 58.3 percent rise in ad pages in 2007. But for ’08, ad page growth has slowed to 3.2 percent, with 741 total pages, per the Mediaweek Monitor. “We’re feeling the pinch like everybody else,” Balaban said.
Magazines have been hit hard by the past year's down economy, with more closing than ever before (which of course didn't stop more from starting up than ever before, but hey, that's entrepreneurship for you, right?). But Everyday is a major publication with substantial backing, so watching them step up and try to reach their subscribers and new potentials right at the point-of-decision

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