Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Before Your Next Presentation

Take a look at one or more of these. listed their top 10 presentations ever. Influx Insights favors Dick Hardt's, and I must agree he proves that powerpoint doesn't have to be typical or boring. Just thought I'd pass along for inspiration. The link may be ancient by blog standards, but the speeches are timeless.

Yes, I know that was cheesy. But does that make it "Crumbelievable?"

Thanks to The Long Tail for reminding me about the solid Colbert report last week on the fragmentation of media.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

T-Minus 3 Days

Looks like drafting season's not done after all. A new type of fantasy league is changing the game and targeting the other gender. And they'll get to know Kevin better than I ever will Larry Johnson.

The fee is $9.95 to play for a full 7-week season. Start by picking 3 husbands based on the "husband's profiles and your women's intuition." On Sunday ("Game Day"), the 20 husband's responses to the week's domestic scenario are revealed and scored by the "Official Panel" will score each husband's response and tell you why the husband received his score. Keep your same husbands or pick a new 3 each week of play as you learn more about each husband by their responses to each scenario.

Disclaimer: While "The Official Panel will also tell us ladies the 'Healthy Relationship' response for the domestic scenario to help us out with our relationship situations," "this web site and its content is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist."

End on happy note. You can win this:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Trend: User-Created: YouTube Updates

Could YouTube be the MTV of our kids' generation?

"More and more viewers want to cook as well as dine, which makes the TV story of the year the story of a website: YouTube," the Associated Press reports. The AP adds that – though YouTube is less than a year old – it plays more than 100 million videos a day, and 65,000 new ones get uploaded to it each day (I've also read that its costs are $1 million/month to provide this service).

Some of this "channel's" fare (c'mon, like you don't know) is funny, some sleazy, some completely inane, some just mundane, some favorite broadcast TV clips recycled by fans, but this range of possibilities and no-rules environment is part of the appeal. And there is no denying YouTube's popularity.

To compete with Yahoo Music, YouTube is "talking with record labels to post thousands of music videos online,"Reuters reports . Newsday in New York recently ran an in-depth report on the YouTube phenomenon.

via NetFamilyNews

Trend: User-Created: Uth TV

Teens watch a lot of TV, but they don’t usually get to make TV shows. “Your typical teen can’t walk into UPN and say ‘I wanna do a TV show,’” says Carl Rosendahl, CEO of Uth TV, a burgeoning broadcast outlet for teens and youth. “You need adults in the mix to make those deals happen, to get distribution. But the difference between us and other adults is we let the youth produce the content.”

Rosendahl, a veteran filmmaker and video production specialist, started Uth TV to give teens and youth a chance to get on the air. He recognizes that they need to be heard, but he’s not about to tell them how they should voice their opinions. Instead, he lets teens tell their own tales. Uth TV debuted on UPN in the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 2005 with two TV shows, “Elements” and “Speak On It.” Both were produced — from filming to broadcast — by a team of teens using Power Mac G5s and Final Cut Pro at studios in San Mateo and Oakland, California.

“It’s completely run and produced by youth,” says Eric Eng, a producer for “Elements.” “They’re our shows. We came up with the ideas, created their styles and made them our own. Uth TV is really an outlet for youth to show off their talents.” The producers, editors and directors at Uth TV have used those talents to fuse raw video footage, music, digital stills and voice tracks into energetic, sometimes frantic, creations.

In 1980, Rosendahl founded Pacific Data Images (PDI), a movie effects shop and film production company. During the next 20 years, Rosendahl and his company produced more than 700 commercials and crafted visual effects for more than 70 films. PDI later teamed up with DreamWorks SKG to make the animated smash hits “Antz” and “Shrek.”

After years in production, Rosendahl was ready to explore new horizons. “I really wanted to get back into the content side in a really meaningful way, do something with a little bit of social relevance,” he says. “I was looking at a lot of things that teens are creating and I was really impressed with the quality and the voice. But with teens, I really believe that they don’t have enough of an opportunity to get their work seen. The outlet channels are just too few and far between. It’s important to create those channels, to give them a voice that can be heard by a mass audience.”

Rosendahl set up a studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. He equipped it with Power Mac G5s loaded with Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects. “Most of the students I talked to were fluent with Final Cut Pro,” he says. “We looked at all the non-linear video editing solutions and Final Cut was simply the best. It’s almost the de facto standard for video editing now. The responsiveness in playback is really nice and the whole general pipeline between applications like Final Cut Pro, Motion and Adobe After Effects works very well.”

With a top-notch studio set up, Rosendahl gathered his production crews from local high schools and video workshops, hired a producer to guide his new editors and turned his team loose.

Read more here

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Trend: Information Aesthestics Update

We've posted before about a delightful trend of graphic artists and engineers and programmers re-mapping our information world in engaging graphical forms here, here
and here.

Some updates this week:

Map of global takeover of McDs and Starbucks, analysis of the world's transportation methods, waterworlds , arms around the world, government red tape.

News stories are highlighted at Mapped Up, and a balloon appears with a headline; clicking on the balloon sends you to the source of the story.

Newsmap is an impressive news headline visualization software. The visualization includes horizontal, color coded bands for categories and larger font sizes to indicate the number of related stories. This treatment not only illustrates the hottest topics of the moment, it also reveals underlying patterns in news reporting.

Trend: User-Created: Forever Branded Part Deux

Jim Dozier (nicknamed “Doz”) was so enamored with the idea of a film about deadly reptiles loose on a commercial airliner that he had its logo prominently tattooed on his left bicep - before he’d even seen the movie! Read his 15-minutes of fame interview on Best Week Ever.

AKI COMMENT: The funniest part is homies' Wookie-state of hair on his arm (which clearly had to get shaved to clear some space for this tattoo. I love America...sigh.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Inbox of Immaturity

Here are a few for Friday:

You got served ...some chicken noodle soup.
Denis Leary baseball/Mel Gibson commentator/hater.
Scott Van Pelt ...from Sportscenter, you Brits.
Not violent ...but scary.
A classic ...wounded seal.

Bonus: Bel Biv Devo Video ...better than K-Fed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Trend: User-Created: "We Got MuthaFuckin' SNAKES!" Redux

Hype On A Plane?

According to NY Times, Snakes on a Plane,” the wildly hyped high-concept movie, turned out to be a Web-only phenomenon this weekend, as that horror-comedy starring Samuel L. Jackson took in just $15.2 million at the box office in its opening days.

“We’re a little disappointed,” said David Tuckerman, president for theatrical distribution for New Line. “There were a lot of inflated expectations on this picture, with the Internet buzz. But it basically performed like a normal horror movie.”

Projections within Hollywood and on Internet movie sites had predicted that the film might take in anywhere from $20 million to more than $30 million on its opening weekend.

“We see that Internet interest in a movie doesn’t necessarily translate to good box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, a company that tracks the box office. “To some, the marketing was more exciting than the movie. Everyone was talking about the movie. But you have to convert that talk into moviegoing, otherwise it’s just talk.”

But the film was still the No. 1 draw at the box office over the weekend when including $1.4 million from the Thursday-night screenings. “Talladega Nights” ranked second, drawing an estimated $14.1 million in its third weekend in theaters, for a total of $114.7 million. “World Trade Center” followed, taking in $10.8 million, and has sold $45 million in tickets since opening on Aug. 9. Another new release, a young-adult comedy from Universal titled “Accepted,” took in an estimated $10.1 million.

Many films have been given a strong presence on the Internet to build anticipation, but “Snakes on a Plane,” a relatively low-budget movie at $32 million with a decidedly B-level vibe, took the practice to a new level. Fans who visited the official Web site could enter a telephone number to send people a call from Mr. Jackson urging them to see what he suggested could be the best movie in history.

The filmmakers even reshot some scenes at bloggers’ suggestion to make the movie harder-edged, with more rough language and violence to give it an R rating. They also added a signature line for Mr. Jackson, the now classic "We Got Muthaf*%kin' SNAKES!"

In addition to these efforts, New Line conducted a more traditional marketing campaign, spending upward of $20 million on movie prints and on advertising, including television. The studio declined to screen the film for critics before the opening.

But all this effort, it seemed, yielded no more results than the conventional methods used by Hollywood for decades.

At New Line executives were still chewing over the results of their rollicking Internet experiment. “We’ll make money with this picture, it’s just more disappointing because of all the inflated expectations,” Mr. Tuckerman said. “Now we have to sit back and figure out how to take the lessons from it.”

Trend: User-Created: Citi on YouTube

NY Times declares that we "Agencies Are Watching as Ads Go Online". By that they note the runaway popularity of certain campaigns that get posted online and have gotten re-mixed (positively) by viewers and fans who take painstaking efforts to contribute their own versions of commercial campaigns (uh, for free). They cite Vonage and Mentos/Diet Coke as the phenomenons du jour (but don't forget our own saga of Sony Bravia consumer passion).

As NYT asserts, I too, have been spying YouTube and Google Video for user-created submissions to our Citi Identity Theft Solutions campaigns. While some are clever, and admittedly some not, you still gotta give it up that folks are scripting, shooting (retaking), editing (many with our real end tags chopped on) and sending friends spoofs of a credit card message. Some of the better picks below...

I am trying to crudely tally the total average viewings of the User-Mades (i count 15,000+ so far, still counting and trying to gather all of them, perhaps 25 so far - this is hardly a science, folks) as well as the User-Posteds of our own original spots (considerably higher viewings, but that, too will take a sec to sort thru)...standby on the stats soon(ish).

Very funny

Ryanair's homepage. Good enough for me to break my post drought.

via Consumerist

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Politics 2.0

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has recently announced Campaigns Wikia, an effort to bring political discourse to the masses using the humble wiki as the platform.

According to his Mission Statement:

“Blog and wiki authors are now inventing a new era of media, and it is my belief that this new media is going to invent a new era of politics. If broadcast media brought us broadcast politics, then participatory media will bring us participatory politics.”

“[It is] a new Wikia website aimed at being a central meeting ground for people on all sides of the political spectrum who think that it is time for politics to become more participatory, and more intelligent.”

“This website, Campaigns Wikia, has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites.”

“Together, we will start to work on educating and engaging the political campaigns about how to stop being broadcast politicians, and how to start being community and participatory politicians.”

Stay tuned...

Trend: User-Created: Street Use

Despite all our grand planning and strategic intents, it is intriguing how you simply can't calculate the street level use of our products. Consider the impacts that some kids in 1970s NYC had on the world, simply by taking two busted turntables and scratching out a beat - hardly the intention of all the R&D labs and global strategists.

This site features the ways in which people modify and re-create technology. A collection of personal modifications, folk innovations, street customization, ad hoc alterations, wear-patterns, home-made versions and indigenous ingenuity. In short -- stuff as it is actually used, and not how its creators planned on it being used.

As William Gibson said, "The street finds its own uses for things."

Unsupervised Online Teens & Other Myths

There are a lot of smart parents (and online teens) out there, research is showing.

The former are clearly transferring their parenting skills and policies into cyberspace, and the latter – teenagers – seem to be fine with that. "More than 70% of the adolescents said they'd feel comfortable having their parents look at their MySpace page," a recent survey of MySpacers and their parents in Los Angeles found (see No. 2 below).

In this just-released study by Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, we find it's simply not true that kids "run rampant on the Internet" unsupervised by clueless parents, as so many have somehow come to believe. The reality is….

Only 26% of teen computer users "work and surf unsupervised, the survey found. Among those who reported restrictions nearly two-thirds said they lived with a ban on downloading music, movies and/or mature content"; nearly 60% can't surf or IM while doing homework; more than 80% aren't allowed to visit social-networking sites "and/or were not allowed to IM with certain people"; 45% have time limits on their computer use and "a similar proportion said they could use the computer only under supervision or in a shared family location." 31% of 12-to-17-year-olds say "their parents check their social-networking sites … and what is put on personal sites."

As for teen social networking overall, you might find this figure surprisingly low, given all the media coverage: The survey found that 29% maintain a MySpace profile; 46% said "yes" to "I go on MySpace or other social-networking sites" (54% said "no").

Despite what fear monger shows like NBC Dateline would have us to believe (cuz it's not nearly as sensational perhaps as visions of kids running wild and pervy online), kids are rather productive and forging a new internet paradigm that should be giving us far different fears - of being left behind.

Check out this podcast reportcourtesy of Jet Set Show for insight (and links) into what some kids are doing with blogs and podcasting.

Also see
Smashcast Labs
Teen Podcasters Network

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trend: Conscious Consumption: (Product)RED

We have been tracking PRODUCT (RED) for some time here, here, here and here. have gotten a preview (well aren't they special) of Gap's PRODUCT (RED), which launches in October. The clothing and accessories will be co-branded, and 50% of all profits from the sales of (RED) items will be given to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the benefactor of funds (and media attention) of the PRODUCT (RED) movement.

Gap's PRODUCT (RED) for Holiday 2006 includes tees, hoodies in cotton and in cashmere, jackets, jeans, bags, belts, caps, scarves, a bracelet, candle and Individuals, a book of celebrity portraits taken over the years by Gap (100% of sales from the book will be donated to the Global Fund). Prices will range from $10 to $350. Some PRODUCT (RED) tees are currently available in the U.K. The full line will be carried in flagship/key stores in the U.S. and U.K. starting in October (limited items in other stores), and will also be available online.


Mommy, What Is a 'Podcast'?

And no, you don't need an iPod to get a podcast. Seeing as this question came up in a project meeting a few days ago, I figured I'd step out of the way and let a ninja explain it to us in the simplest terms. Skip all my powerpoint decks and charts and jargon. "Kyaa!, Kyaa!"

*Don't dis the ninja, Ask A Ninja is one of the most popular podcasts on the net (this clip alone has gotten over a million views on YouTube)! And yes, you actually can access Ask A Ninja's podcasts via iTunes on your iPod, even.

Makes me consider putting on a costume and doing more presentations as Planning Ninja. "Kyaa!, Kyaa!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Everyday Fabulous

"IKEA made 'everyday fabulous' for New Yorkers when it went design-crazy on the city. All in preparation for Design Week earlier this year, natch. Some of the stunts over the five-day period included placing sofas and curtains in bus shelters, putting blankets and picnic baskets with bottled water in parks, placing pillows on the bottom of slides to protect kid's bottoms, framing a missing cat flier, and adding padded park benches to Union Square. My personal favorite--oven mitts were placed on the No. 6 train. 'Good design can make the everyday a little better,' said the tag line. Deutsch created the campaign."

via MediaDailyNews

Fun stuff. I particularly like how they framed the missing cat flier. A great example of innovative media as brilliant creative. And it's all directly on-message. Some simple improvements courtesy of Ikea can change your whole outlook. Well done.

Trend: User-Created: "Truth" Evangelism

Al Gore is developing a training program to teach 1,000 people how to deliver his climate change slideshow (the pivotal feature of his movie An Inconvenient Truth) so that he may spread the message faster.

The first of these training intensives will take place in Nashville towards the end of September, with under 100 people, some of whom will be hand-selected by Gore, others of whom will be chosen by application.

Gore will take the slideshow and pull out anything that's personal, to create a general version...Trainees will learn to do updates themselves, and Gore will also feed updates to them periodically. Once trained, people go back to their communities and give the presentations themselves, and train others in their community to give it.

Funding and scholarships will be made available for applicants who cannot afford the travel expenses. Here is the application.

via WorldChanging

Guilty Pleasure: Wrecked Exotics

Similar to my fetish for gawking at the human wreckage on display on My Super Sweet 16, I get voyeuristic kicks from seeing photos of $180K cars fu*#ed up and smashed.

Check out for ongoing updates of exotic car crash aftermath submitted from across the planet. Very well organized and searchable by auto type or model or predicament.

Fighting the way they know how

Net neutrality is an interesting point of unity between bands of independent internet lovers and the behemoths that they admire/hate.

From, "As telecom legislation wades through the Senate, a small but vocal and well-financed band of Internet giants -- led by Google and Microsoft -- has been pushing for sweeping new Internet regulations that they call ``network neutrality.'' They say that without such regulations, broadband providers will start blocking Internet-based content and that the Internet, as we know it, will end."

And from a "net neutrality" search on our very own Blogger, "hey, I'm an end-user of the internet, and I don't want to pay more than anyone else for enjoying all the things I have always enjoyed; and I definitely don't want my options limited on the content-provider side.... I don't think the average internet user stands to save much, and what they do save is at the cost of their informational freedom."

But all of that is really just a way for me to post about a funny video with a jewel-clad singing 40-something. She sings about net neutrality and encourages visitors to write their senators. Brought to you by local interactive firm (looks like they have a stake, too), space150.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ad Agency Deathwatch: Winterberry Study

A study by the Winterberry Group based on interviews with 70 senior agency executives found that agencies are adapting their services and price structures and are increasingly forced to compete with specialized service providers. In addition, it appears that marketers are increasingly looking to develop internal resources to handle digital channel marketing.

Consumers weaned on the power of the Internet and weary of intrusive media bombardment, expect that relevant product information will be available at their fingertips. Marketers, meanwhile, are confronting new rules of customer engagement as well as enhanced ROI demands from the C-suite, resulting in the ascendance of "below-the-line" promotional channels once thought of as supplementary to the primary branding effort.

Anthony J. Hopp, chairman of the Association of American Advertising Agencies, is quoted as saying "The agencies that will succeed are the ones... that can find the new ways to engage and connect with consumers. If you're not doing that, you're not going to be in business."

This study shows how market and industry trends are driving systemic change across the agency landscape, and concludes:

-The complex demands of the multichannel selling environment require that agencies provide clients with a unified offering spanning both "above the line" and "below the line" marketing channels

-Heightened demand for marketing program accountability is forcing agencies to adapt their service offerings, pricing structures, reporting capabilities and managerial focus*Compressed margin availability, expanded client scrutiny and the emergence of alternative service providers are raising the competitive pressure for agencies of all sizes

-Integrated service providers are seeking to command a greater presence in the agency environment, but struggle to sell their strategic and creative offerings to marketers who associate their brand with other services

-Clients are increasingly leaning on internal strategy and creative capabilities as well as procurement departments to support marketing initiatives and generate leverage in negotiations with external agencies

-The prevalent agency holding company model is poorly equipped to provide the organizational agility and cross-channel service offering that today's marketers demand.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I just couldn't look at that dude's chest anymore. Thus, I figured I'd put this (hotter) piece of celebrity gossip as a placeholder: Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson (Black Crowes singer) are splitting. Yeah, I'm watching the Insider on the WB right now. So what? On a personal note, she couldn't lose me in 10 days even with Celine Dion concerts, love ferns, and hijacked poker games. Bullshit. Not so. Using our book review criteria, I'd give her and the aforementioned movie a "Wow." But I'd rather use Wayne and Garth's scale. Special challenge to creatives on jewelry accounts: Top "Frost Yourself." I dare you.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Forever Branded

Peter McBride can take off his polo shirt and maintain his preppy image. McBride, 22, has a Polo pony tattooed on his chest. The idea came to him as he was waiting in line behind a man at a D.C. tattoo parlor: "I noticed his polo shirt and made my decision." McBride's whimsy notwithstanding, his decision is increasingly common. Gaje Pou, a New York City tattoo artist, says getting inked with designer or corporate logos is "definitely getting more acceptable." Logo requests range from Chanel and Gucci to Windows and PlayStation.

via Newsweek

AKI COMMENT: I'm considering tattooing some Adidas stripes on my feet. That way, I am always properly laced even at the poolside.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Guilty Pleasure: My Super Sweet 16

The bestest TV show ever (this month) has got to be MTV's My Super Sweet 16. Murray has Oprah, I have this.

Oh the excess, the fights, the drama!

The weekly premise documents the absurd planning that real (affluent) teens undertake to have the most awesomest coming out party ever. Whether a Sweet 16, Quinceaneara, Bar Mitzvah or Coming Out, these teen tyrants throw tantrums and fits and essentially get their silliest demands met by gumpy dads and moms who spare no expense to make baby happy. The gumpy parents are always a joy to behold - they are bound helpless to the "needs" of their ingrate offspring.

Check this example, where teen girl throws the ultimate bash for friends, replete with dancers, chariots, snakes, C-list celebrity performers, and the requisite all new BMW present from Dad at the show's closure (in typical episodes, the BMW is that cruel compromise made with Daddy, who is unwilling to be pushed into the preferred Porsche - gotta draw the line somewhere, dammit!).

The interesting detail about most of the episodes is that the kids hail from affluent, but not necessarily "rich" families. While I am certain that the average kid can hardly get this kind of lavish entitlement (though they surely envy it, and some resentments lie in the fact that they are being denied this new American Dream), I buy that probably more kids get this treatment (or comparable lower-budget attentions none-the-less) than ever before. And the show captures interesting insights about the modern enslavement of today's parents to their kids' "happiness" - which creates unhappiness and dissatisfactions. And match these parental excesses up to my "Bankrupt!" series factoids, and the future don't look happy when all these spoiled brats hit the inevitable reality of low-paid independence post-graduation.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Hip-Hop's "Unwelcome Attention": Bubbly Wars Redux

Jay-Z boycotted premium champagne Cristal at his clubs after the brand's owner made some remarks he didn't he moves the fight towards something more meaningful: water.

Jay-Z, president of Def Jam Records, teamed up with the United Nations and MTV on Wednesday to get children involved in the fight against the worldwide water crisis. He cited statistics that 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water and 2.6 billion lack proper sanitation.

"I figure that once I stumbled upon that, if the information was out and young people knew that these problems exist while we're having Poland Springs at Cipriani and things like that, that we'll get involved," said the 36-year-old rapper, referring to the high-class restaurant chain.

AKI COMMENT: Nice closure and deflection of attention from something frivolous (how rich punks waste their grape juice) to something important (much of the planet doesn't even have drinkable water). My faith is restored in the higher power of hip hop.

via Associated Press and Agenda

Content: Real or Fake?

Many of you may be familiar with YouTube video sensation Lonelygirl15. For the uninitiated, she's a 15 /16 year old who posts short videos about her life as a homeschooled girl with limited social interaction aside from her movie-editor friend Daniel. A sample:

There are a few holes, like the fact that she's had almost 900,000 views (comparable to the Pulse trailer, paid front-page content) despite - let's be honest - pretty boring content. Then you have the high production values. And, of course, there is the strict parent/perfectly groomed eyebrow combination. (I can only imagine the conversation: "Rules are there for your own good, young lady, and that includes maintaining well-kempt arches!")

Anyway, I want to know two things from you all:
1. Do you think it's real or fake?
2. Does it matter?

In the wake of recent viral campaigns like's Subway pitch and Court TV's "Lost Dog"/That Girl Emily, we've had a few discussions as to whether fake is necessarily bad and if fake trumps message. If fake is the new video blog, will it be long before YouTube content becomes like Letterman's "Ape or Artist"? (The answer, in case you were wondering, is always ape.)

Planners Unite!

Russell Davies is undertaking the task of CATALOGING EVERY PLANNER BLOG in the known universe.

Good for him.

If you plan, and you publish a blog, get on the list here.

Modern Idiocy Reprise:

U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution

A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower...

The study found that over the past 20 years:

The percentage of U.S. adults who accept evolution declined from 45 to 40 percent.
The percentage overtly rejecting evolution declined from 48 to 39 percent, however.
And the percentage of adults who were unsure increased, from 7 to 21 percent.

It seems the Intelligent Design strategy to bamboozle the hell out of everyone is working.

Modern Idiocy:

Some 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington took place, according to a poll published in the Washington Post newspaper.

There is one glimmer of good news:

95 percent of Americans questioned in the poll were able to remember the month and the day of the attacks, according to Wednesday's edition of the newspaper.

Let's, er, get that straight. When asked about when 9/11 happened, 95% of the population managed to know it happened on 9/11. The other 5% it's probably best not to ask about.

Planning lesson for the day: in any mass market quantitative sample, roughly 1 in 3 people are guaranteed to be individuals whose opinion you really shouldn't care about. And 1 in 20 will be officially a total and utter moron.

Media: Old vs. New (via Chartreuse)

Okay, so this guy "Chartreuse" is a little melodramatic, and his blog is kinda out there, but today's poem-like entry caught my eye.

My take is that Old and New Media aren't that diametrically opposed, but I do firmly believe in the bottom-up power of "pull" and it's clear advantage over the top-down intrusion of "push".

The Lesson: Old Advertising had better catch up to New Media before they push themselves right out the door.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Oracle Of Hollywood

My dad just tipped me off about this piece from Monday's BusinessWeek:

"Hollywood film studios increasingly use an online 'prediction market' to help with decisions regarding advertising and promotions. According to BusinessWeek, studio executives monitor one such market - in the form of an online game called the Hollywood Stock Exchange - to glean clues as to the potential box-office appeal of new films and movie stars. In the game, players use $2 million in pretend money to place bets on box-office success. The game predicted that the latest 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sequel would bring in $110.7 million to $138.6 million on opening weekend. The film brought in $135.6 million. BusinessWeek notes that other industries are starting to turn to similar online prediction markets for help with business decisions. (RKS)"

Smart model, seeing as the studios are paying these guys for audience demo information and other more specific research. If, as the article says, "pharmaceutical and technology storage businesses are currently using the service" (um, exactly how?), then which industry will be next?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Trend: Citizen Journalism: CNN Exchange

Following up many of our previous posts about citizen journalism, CNN finally joins Korea's OhmyNews and Current TV by going live with a workable citizen journalism platform!

As reported in AdAge:User-Generated Content Will Be Vetted by CNN Editors

At a time when much of the digital media world's focus is on how to monetize user-generated content, CNN has signed Dell as a major sponsor of its foray into citizen journalism -- iReports and the CNN Exchange program.

CNN still holds the power of what will and will not make it on the Exchange page, ensuring Dell won't be placed next to something that's not of quality.

Video, photos, stories
CNN Exchange is the news network's online destination for viewers to submit their own video, photos and stories for potential publication online and on air. The user-generated news reports -- which the network has coined iReports -- will endure the "same extensive vetting process CNN employs for all content that goes on air or online," according to a statement announcing the program.

"User-generated social content is a thing of the future," said Greg D'Alba, exec VP-chief operating officer for ad sales and marketing, CNN Ad Sales. "We just have more affiliates now."

He said the concept wasn't a difficult sell to make to Dell, given that the network still holds power of what will and will not make it on air, ensuring the marketer's ad or message won't be placed next to something that's not of quality. Dell has category exclusivity sponsorship through October and its ads will be found on the CNN Exchange main page and as 30-second pre-roll clips prior to all audience-generated video reports.

60 million video streams monthly
Mr. D'Alba said CNN gets 23 million unique visitors a month and 60 million free video streams a month, up from 30 million six months ago. He wouldn't comment on cost of the ad buy but said, "We give fair value for these opportunities -- it depends on how well it connects [Dell] to their best customer base."

"There's such a strong trend for personalization and telling stories from personalized view," he continued. "Love it or hate it, user-generated content is revolutionizing the news business. ... This is an example of where the ad opportunities are."

AKI COMMENT: I guess I can shut up some of my bitching and whining, now with Lachlan and New York Punk. And best yet, we all get the two great tastes in one: the dynamic alternative POV from citizens, AND the journalistic standards of CNN editors. "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! Mmmm."

Trend: Everyday Fame: Girls Gone Wild

Read the fasinating tale about the explosive growth (no pun intended) of Joe Francis, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire.

One interesting lament from Joe: "The women are changing, and that makes him sad. In the beginning, when 'Girls Gone Wild' cameramen first popped up in clubs, the women who revealed themselves seemed innocent—surprised, even, by their own spontaneity. Now that the brand is so pervasive, the women who participate increasingly appear to be calculating exhibitionists, hoping that an appearance on a video might catapult them to Paris Hilton-like fame."

via Digg/LA Times

Monday, August 07, 2006

Industry: State of the Blogosphere: August'06

Technorati's David Sifry posted the latest quarterly update about the state of the Blogosphere.

*Technorati is now tracking over 50 Million Blogs.
*The Blogosphere is over 100 times bigger than it was just 3 years ago.
*Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size every 200 days, or about once every 6 and a half months.
*From January 2004 until July 2006, the number of blogs that Technorati tracks has continued to double every 5-7 months.
*About 175,000 new weblogs were created each day, which means that on average, there are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day.
*About 8% of new blogs get past Technorati's filters, even if it is only for a few hours or days.
*About 70% of the pings Technorati receives are from known spam sources, but we drop them before we have to send out a spider to go and index the splog.
*Total posting volume of the blogosphere continues to rise, showing about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.
*This is about double the volume of about a year ago.
*The most prevalent times for English-language posting is between the hours of 10AM and 2PM Pacific time, with an additional spike at around 5PM Pacific time

Get the info here

Inbox of Immaturity

Thanks Aki for reminding me of my negligence toward the IOI. For those newcomers to the blog, this is just a list of links that have been forwarded around my group of mid-twenty-something, white-collared-job-having buddies. Plus, the original Billy Madison warning: You will most likely be dumber for having clicked on these links. You will be awarded no points and may God have mercy on your soul. And my very own note: It is meant to entertain and may or may not do so. It is meant to give you an idea of what the audience I so poorly defined above decides to make "viral," (poor word choice given some content) and it may or may not scare/worry/disappoint you. It is what it is.

This is the first time in weeks, so I tried to pick a limited number of my favorites (some of which will hopefully be new to you) and put them in order of least (1) to most offensive (7).

Smirnoff launches a new product Cape Cod-style w/ Tea Partay
But they're not nearly as cool as our man Tak
PSA #1:Drink Responsibly
PSA #2:Get Checked
Reminds me of a Mike Myers and Chris Farley SNL skit, but it's a real Game Show
A short version of the masterpiece that is The Big Lebowski
You can't deny it's fun to say...and repeat Rack 'Em Rack

Bonus Track for the real men: Sexy