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Million Dollar App Ads

So it’s been a few weeks since Apple announced that they are going to offer advertising space within their applications for both the iPhone and iPad. News has surfaced since that these ads could cost advertisers as much as $1 million! And to be a part of the initial group to use this facility, prices may even exceed $10 million. One might think that with such lofty pricing Apple will allow agencies a certain amount of leeway with their designs and ideas, however Steve Jobs and Co are demanding strict control over what content is published.

From a consumer’s perspective one might argue that the ads themselves will distract from the unique app experience, but the ads are said to operate seamlessly within the apps, and should they be clicked on, one can revisit the app with limited interruption. Moreover, the biggest implication that Apple’s expensive rates will have, will be to lower the costs for customers. Due to the money that Apple and App designers will be receiving from advertisers, prices for the apps themselves will be fairly affordable.

Given the limited creative control and steep costs, it might seem fair to assume that advertisers will be discouraged from testing this new medium. However, general opinion from marketers has actually been positive; and provided their brands are showcased with the right message then this unique platform may prove to be a hit for all concerned parties.

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“Promoted Tweets” to promote fandom or fury?

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

So Twitter after four years have decided to allow brands to pay for, what they are calling, “promoted tweets” in order to help finance the social media giant’s operations. The likes of Virgin America, Red Bull, Best Buy and Starbucks have already signed up to be the first to experiment with this new medium. The idea will be that promoted tweets will appear as a headline tweet in the results page of certain Twitter searches, and eventually ‘relevant’ promoted tweets will be showcased on a user’s timeline. Twitter maintain that these tweets will only stay in view if users interact and respond to them, either by being retweeted or commented on.

This concept was definitely a foreseeable one for Twitter, who are seeking the right business model to turn a profit, but it is possible that this method may cause serious backlash from Twitter followers. For a long time Twitter has provided the consumer with an outlet to vent their frustrations at the big corporations, and it has been a more effective complaints bureau than anyone could imagine. How will these same consumers feel about Twitter when they understand that they are being funded by the same companies they are complaining about?

Moreover, the brands that are paying for promotion run the risk of devaluing their names by simply irritating users with irrelevant and unwanted content. Twitter is a personal place to speak one’s mind, where one follows who they want and can control what they view. Brands will have to be careful that what they are tweeting is not the usual ‘we’re great’ marketing drivel. It will not be accepted, and users will be in the perfect place at that time to make their feelings known.

Twitter must be stringent in allowing only right and proper tweets from established brands; anything less and they’ll definitely hear about it. For now, though, it is unclear how this will pan out, most likely it will go unnoticed and perhaps even strike a positive chord as consumers are pleased with the tailored interactions from their favorite brands – alas, the future is unclear. We’ll just have to watch this advertising space.

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Online Marketing: GaGa Style

March 12, 2010 Leave a comment

So first off, apologies for lowering the tone of this blog with a post regarding ‘the GaGa’, but its her latest music video “Telephone” (over 9 minutes of it!) that has perhaps highlighted a new vehicle for online advertising, albeit a ridiculously flamboyant and overly indulgent one.

The online video contains several ‘hard to miss’ product placements from companies such as Virgin mobile, Wonder bread,, Polaroid and Diet Pepsi. The plot of the video is absurd, and while some of the placed products are in keeping with the song’s theme of telephoning, others are mercilessly crowbarred into scenes with no thought for a coherent storyline.

Alas, I am neither a music nor video critic and this is not the platform from which to begin; needless to say however a half-decent song has been ruined. What can be surmised though is that this is perhaps the first music video to give in entirely to advertising and sacrifice the integrity of its content for a few quick sponsorship deals. The music video itself is twice the length of song and can only be viewed online.

Even before one can access the video, you must sit through 15 seconds of commercial material by other sponsors. All in all the video will be viewed by many, after just one day the video has over 1.5 million views and with a giant billboard ad on Youtube this number will no doubt continue to rise.

As for whether this commercial music video trend will continue online or off, I’m uncertain. While some artists may be swayed by the lure of lucrative endorsements, I believe for the most part artists will maintain their artistic credibility and keep it about the music.

As for Lady GaGa’s future in marketing, who knows! The idiosyncratic artist takes her name from the 1992 Queen classic hit, ‘Radio Ga Ga’ which characterises the feeling of change at the time, when radios were being replaced by televisions and MTV was on the rise. Well, the advent of this video may spell yet another change, as music video makers switch their content to solely target online users and in the process adopt a shamelessly commercial approach that dilutes the content it aimed to showcase in the first place.  Should this be the case, then what can I say….. Radio – someone still loves you.

Note: Im not going to litter the facade of the blog with the video, but check it out here, and I apologize again – it’s so stupid.

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