Tag Archives | Advertising

Samsung’s Fake Real People Remind Me of Microsoft’s Real Fake People

AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger has posted a follow-up to my story of Samsung’s “true-life” Galaxy Tab fans who happen to be actors. To put things in perspective, he mentions Lauren, the star of a 2009 Microsoft “real person” ad who also had acting experience. (To be fair to Microsoft, the same ad campaign included other ads with non-thespian real people.) He also goes way back to a 2002 item on Microsoft’s site that seemed to be a true-life story of a Mac user being lured to Windows XP, but was really done by a freelance writer and illustrated with a stock photo.

But my favorite you-can’t-be-serious example of Microsoft marketing–and one which reminds me of the vibe of Samsung’s video–is the 2009 video explaining how to hold a Windows 7 launch party at your home. I don’t think Microsoft intended anyone to believe that its Windows 7 fans were anything but paid performers, but I’m pretty sure that Samsung’s Joan Hess and Joe Kolinski live the same planned community as these people…


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That's Zeldatainment!

What’s that? You say we haven’t celebrated today’s Legend of Zelda anniversary sufficiently yet? Oh, okay, watch this commercial:

(Thanks to Andrew Leal for finding this.)


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Silly Old PC Ads

Yesterday, I visited 410 Townsend, a building in San Francisco’s SOMA district, and was startled to discover that its lobby is festooned with large framed computer advertisements–really old. amusing ones from the 1980s. The building is home to a bevy of tech-related companies: Sony, Playdom, TechCrunch, Yammer, and others. I don’t know whether one of them put these up, or if they’re part of the landlord’s decor, but I loved them…and I snapped bad iPhone photos of three of them to share with you, including a sort of proto-“Think Different” ad in which Ben Franklin endorses the Apple II, a TRS-80 ad with Issac Asimov, and one for Atari’s Stacy (a portable computer that took 12 C cells and drained them in 15 minutes).

They’re after the jump for your enjoyment.

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Groupon Regroups

If you have to explain why your Super Bowl commercials were funny rather than offensive, and say that other Super Bowl ads are more offensive, and detail how your company is a responsible member of society–well, your Super Bowl commercials were probably a bad idea.


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Twitter's Ad Revenues Expected to Triple by 2012

It seems like it was only yesterday that all the analysts were saying that Twitter was doomed because it couldn’t make money. But times have changed: research firm eMarketer says the social networking service could bring in $150 million this year, and $250 million in 2012. Those numbers would be a significant increase over the estimated $45 million in ad revenues this past year.

One  of Twitter’s challenges was figuring out how it to monetize the service without cluttering its users’ timelines with ads. Thus it has gone a different route through “promoted” tweets, which it introduced in April of last year. And while the company hasn’t provided too many details, it looks like it’s seriously considering other money-generating strategies as well.

eMarketer seems to think so too, saying the tripling of ad revenues will have a lot to do with a self-service ad feature that the firm expects to be launched in 2011. Other companies such as Microsoft and Google have built siginficant advertising business, supported in large part by the self-service platforms both companies have built and maintained.

Advertising was something that I think we all knew was eventually going to come to Twitter. A company can grow at Twitter’s astronomical rate only so long without a solid source of revenue. Let’s just hope whatever it decides to do is not disruptive to the user experience.


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More on Make-My-Baby.com

Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan does great legwork on the Make-My-Baby.com story I wrote about earlier today: Facebook says the company isn’t its third largest advertiser (and in fact was never an advertiser), and Bing says it’s terminating its affiliate relationship.


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A Facebook Advertiser That's Bad News

[UPDATE: Facebook says Ad Age had it wrong and Make-My-Baby.com wasn’t a Facebook advertiser at all.]

Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb has a post this morning that left me with a chilling sense of deja vu. It’s about a Facebook advertiser named Make-My-Baby.com–according to an Advertising Age story, Facebook’s third-largest advertiser–which has a silly little site that lets you dress up a baby. The site requires you to install a browser plug-in; the plug-in changes your home page and search engine to Bing. From then on, Microsoft gives the Make-My-Baby people a bounty when you click on a search ad in Bing. (Kirkpatrick is reporting on discoveries made by Google’s Matt Cutts.)

It’s all eerily reminiscent of ugly practices of the early-to-mid-2000s in which advertising companies and their partners used a number of practices to install software that pelted PC users with pop-ups and otherwise fouled up their computers. Here’s a 2005 story we did at PC World on the topic.

For the most part, the companies involved in the earlier round of cheesy PC invasions got what was coming to them. The PCW story discusses DirectRevenue, 180Solutions, and WhenU; the first two companies are out of business, and WhenU’s site now leads to information on how to uninstall its software. I wonder how Facebook and Bing will handle the news of this business partner’s behavior?


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Microsoft: New Slogan, (Slightly) New Logo

Microsoft not only has a new slogan (“Be what’s next.”–an infinite improvement over the insufferable “Your potential. Our passion.”) but has improved the posture of its logo (which dates back to what, the early 90s?).


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