Google is making mobile advertising better for you

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


Have you ever been super engaged with a game when all of a sudden, you find your browser opening and you’re being redirected to the app store? This is known as the “fat finger problem.”

Well, earlier today, Google presented users with a solution called “confirmed clicks.” Google found that  “most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad unit, likely when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content.” The introduction of confirmed clicks means that all in-app banner ads on your smartphone now have to be confirmed before redirecting you, to make sure you did not accidentally click on it. Google’s product manager for display ads, Allen Huang, explained that when users click on the outer border of the ad, they would now be prompted to verify that they actually wanted to learn more and visit the site.

This is good for Google, Google analytics and advertising partners since the click through rates for these apps are usually exaggerated. Huang believes that this addition will benefit “users, advertisers, publishers and the mobile ecosystem overall.” I know I for one will be able to play Words with Friends in peace now (since I mostly download free games with tons of ads).

Google is making another very wise move in the business and advertising world today. A little after midnight on Wednesday, Google released its Google Maps app in the iOS app store and is already climbing to the top of the free apps category. Google will capitalize on the app to generate revenue by including local ad listings in the app. As we all know, good advertising is reaching the right person, with the right message, at the right time and place. Ads are rendered irrelevant when the merchant is physically inaccessible to the prospective consumer. These local ads will be able to reach consumers when they are within proximity to a local business and can give in to impulsive purchasing behavior. Google will have access to the local businesses users are searching for and target the ads better. A better ad experience will increase ad’s message reception.

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What to look for in the multicultural marketing?

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I cannot stop nodding when I read this article(link below). As a Chinese, I do feel the rapid growth of Chinese-speaking population in the U.S.A. Even a Japanese journalist astonished by the large amount of Chinese people in Boston compared to several years ago. Therefore, it is essential to have a more sophisticated approach to this multicultural marketing.

I was very surprised the first time I heard a Chinese song in a Japanese Commercial (link 1). Music is always a good stimulate to consumers. I did found myself pay more attention to this particular brand than others. I heard more Chinese songs in Japanese commercials after that. However, those commercials do not impress me anymore. Some brands even left me a negative feeling because the song they chose does not match the brand at all.

I can tell that marketers are trying to attract the multicultural market. Sadly, their approach always ends up putting a Chinese man/woman in the commercial or just let them speak Chinese (Link 2).

Let consumers think “That’s me!” is a goal in most of the commercials. This goal should not be changed when targeting different cultures. A good commercial should involve cultural experience instead of just inserting the language they are familiar with.  Think about questions like how do they live? What do they value? Only in this way can marketers touch the bottom of their heart.

Link 1:

Link 2:


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The Power of Digital Publishing

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

A tweet said that three inches flooding on the floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) picked up enough attention on the day of Sandy, which reported by CNN and The Weather Channel finally. However, ironically, the tweet turned out to be a rumor at last.

I watched the CNN clip on You Tube (link below). The news anchor spoke as clearly and undoubtedly as usual, “according to the national service to broadcast media, there were three feet of water on the trading floor on wall street…… Erin (news reporter) has spent a lot of time on that floor.” Screen changed to Erin, and she began to explain how awful the situation would be. Unexpectedly, NYSE told CNB moments later that this report was not true.

Besides blaming CNN that they didn’t confirm the credibility of this information, we have to admit that social media has become a new and convenient source to gain information to us, especially when breaking news happen. I still remember that just a simple tweet saved a Japanese women’s life; I have also seen many famous people apologized for their non-sensible tweet in public. This is the power of on-line publishing. Though sometimes it is sloppy and more susceptible than traditional media (this does not apply to Chinese media), it is more speedy and flexible. No matter someone posts false news intentionally or not, he/she will be corrected by the public in a very short time.

Digital publishing, especially social media has turned out to be an incredible power in China considering Chinese political situation. Different from the U.S.A., many Chinese people are more willing to believe the social media than traditional media, because it represents the “real” voice coming from the public. I have seen many government officials got punished because their behaviors exposed and “shared” online.

Digital publishing continues demonstrating its power in this society. 

CNN clip:

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Why Korean cultural can rock the world now?

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I Love watching ads, especially those tech ads with numerous creativity and fun.

A week ago, when I came across “The 10 Most Watched Tech Ads of 2012” rated by Ad Week (link below), I could not believe it is not apple and Google, but Korean brand Samsung and LG dominates the list. Six out ten are coming from them! How scary that is!

I still remember the first time I watched Samsung’s Smart TV ad (link below), I felt the same surprise Apple’s ads used to give me. I will not forget when knowing the exist of Samsung Galaxy Note, I almost shouted out “Yes, that is the exactly cell phone I want!” I will not forget the case I learnt in class saying that Hyundai selected as No.1 Asian brand in customer service satisfaction in 2010.

From Korean drama, BB cream, K pop stars to Samsung, Gangnam Style, there is no doubt that Korea is a super pop culture all over the world. Korea is the 2nd Asian country becomes worldwide popular after Japan.

Why can Korea achieve such a huge success?

Firstly, they consider English as a very important skill since long ago. According to the research, Korea has the highest average level in English among China, Japan and Korea. In order to work at a giant company like Samsung, employees must get a score of over 900 in TOEIC (an English test). However, 750 points is enough in Japan. To have a better communication with fans from other countries, many Korean stars learn English, Japanese, even Chinese before debut.

Secondly, Korean people are willing to create things from a global spot. From Samsung Smart TV to Samsung Galaxy, LG Nexus, Korean companies successfully made products that cater to people all over the world. In contrast to Korea, Japanese brand always take Japanese people as their main target. This gives Japanese companies a huge difficulty cracking the international market, and preventing foreign companies from going into Japanese market in the same time.

Last but not least, Korean people have a wide experience in living and studying abroad. It is not hard to find them in many fields. Better education definitely gives them a better stage to develop.

Though I am not a big Korean culture fan, still thank you for creating so many interesting things to this world, Korea.



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The Power of Yelp

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

A few mornings ago I had CNN on in the background and a few tidbits of conversation caught my attention. The news anchor was interviewing Christopher Dietz, a contractor who is suing a former client for bad reviews on Angie’s List and Yelp.  My initial reaction was to side with the reviewer, free speech and all that. However after hearing more of the story, I felt conflicted.

I manage a boutique on Newbury street in Boston and understand the power of a bad review. In fact, I have even had customers use their reviewing power as a negotiation tactic. Although you can reply to bad reviews on sites like Yelp, often the damage is already done and any counter arguments come across as whiny or disingenuous. Both Yelp and Angie’s list will not mitigate posts. Outside of legal action, there is very little recourse for businesses to get false reviews removed.

BS News legal analyst Jack Ford explained defamation and how it relates to this case. On “CBS This Morning” he said, “Our constitutional right to free speech is not absolute. There are limitations on it. For instance, the classic one, you can’t falsely yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. … Because obviously, you can expose people to damage. What you can do is offer up is your opinion about things. As long as it’s clearly an opinion. Here’s what you can’t do. And this is where you get into defamation. You can’t make a false statement of fact that damages somebody’s reputation. So if I wanted to say, in a situation similar to this, I was just not at all happy with the work that my contractor did. That’s okay. That’s my opinion. But if i say, ‘I was not at all happy with the work that my contractor did, and by the way my contractor is an embezzler’ … or ‘he stole jewelry’ or even make the argument saying, ‘He damaged my house,’ now you’re making a statement of fact. The law also says, truth is an absolute defense. So if somebody did damage your house or somebody is an embezzler, then you’re OK. Even though it damages their reputation, as long as it’s true, it’s OK. The classic thing to remember is [defamation is] a false statement of fact that damages somebody’s reputation, as opposed to opinion.”

Ford added, “The Internet is still kind of the wild west. You know, tradition news organizations, we have editorial processes we follow. Reliable sources, fact checking, even though you have the right to do it, is it the right thing to do? If you’re going online, everybody uses this, goes and does research first before they buy stuff. Make sure you’re doing it in terms of a genuine opinion on your part. Here’s the other thing, don’t try and cloak your statement of fact and say, ‘It’s my … opinion that he damaged my house. It’s my opinion this person is a serial killer.’ Just because you say the word opinion, doesn’t mean it’s no longer a statement of fact. The thing to be careful about a statement of fact that’s false and damages their reputation.”

The rapid evolution of the Internet has left the law struggling to keep up. It has also given consumers a great deal of power over the companies they choose to do business. As more and more people turn to online communities to make purchase decisions the integrity of these reviews will become increasingly important.

Now  for a more even more timely example….

What’s the saying? With great power comes great responsiblity? One online reviewer exercised this power by complaining about Santa on her local mall’s Facebook page over the weekend. She writes:

“Because we did not purchase any photo packages the gentleman mumble something to Santa and when my daughter who is six was going to sit on his lap Santa put his hands together and placed them on his legs so she couldn’t sit on him. Santa was not attentive and brushed her off all because we did not purchase pictures. Why don’t you just put up a sign saying NO PICTURES NO SANTA. My daughter was hurt and I so disappointed. Shame on you!”

Santa was fired this past Monday.



Happy holidays everyone!

For more on both of these stories go to:

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Life Without Cable

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I never enjoyed paying for networks that go unused. I never watch the SYFY channel. Same for TVLand and the Golf Channel. Why should I pay for them. I long for the day when I can pick and choose the networks I am interested in watching and pay a monthly subscription price for just those channels.

Hulu Plus is more economical than cable but I still would like to have the opportunity to pay for just the channels I want. Apple TV gives me the opportunity to rent movies or television shows without driving to RedBox or walking out to my mailbox to retrieve my Netflix rental but it doesn’t offer ESPN or the NFL Network.

The interior digital antenna gives me the local ABC,CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS affiliates to take care of most of my time-based content needs for free in high definition. I would gladly sit through a limited amount of commercials if the advertisements helped me get only content that I choose. Cable providers must innovate and find a way to alter their entertainment offerings before consumers move completely towards internet TV and it is too late. We have content on command, why not content I command?

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They want to watch you watch them!

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Privacy is something that many users are fighting to keep some of these days. The more technology advances, the more people have to learn to keep up with it and maintain their privacy and security. Mobile devices have become tools where users can share their location through apps like Foursquare, and share their thoughts through Facebook status updates and tweets. When done carelessly, users can lose control of their security. But at least then they have themselves to blame.

Unlike mobile devices, televisions are usually a one-way communication tool. Viewers do not have to worry about privacy and security. Well they don’t now but that might not be the case in the future.

Verizon recently filed patents for a television set-top box with cameras, motion sensors and microphones like the Xbox Kinect system. Verizon hopes to be able to track viewers movements in a particular room. This “media content presentation system” as Verizon calls it will select ads based on “ambient action” in the room. Meaning commercials will be targeted to the viewer’s activities and moods. Irrelevant messages will no longer overwhelm viewers, instead they will be creped out by how specifically they are being targeted. An example used by Mashable was that a couple could start to get a little closer while watching a movie and suddenly start to get condom commercials.


Verizon is not the only company seeking to capitalize on this technology. In 2008, Comcast filed a similar patent. So has Google, the online advertising giant.

Microsoft also has plans to use its Kinect camera to control who can play it’s games and access video content. The camera can monitor users and restrict underage viewers.


Microsoft filed the patent for “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User” in 2011.  In short, Microsoft wants to be able to make more money off licensed products like movies by having this technology on TV, cell phones, set-top boxes, and other display devices, to monitor things like how many people view the product. If the number of viewers exceeds the number of licensees, then the viewer will be interrupted and asked to purchase more licenses.

This takes the spy camera effect one step further. Not only will viewers have no more privacy since the technology can identify users and change offerings based on their profiles, they will now have to pay for every bit of entertainment they want. The public is highly disturbed by this new trend and growing desperation to earn those marketing dollars by offering the best target segments. I suppose we will have to wait to find out if all these patents are approved and how receptive the public really is to losing their privacy.

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Kids and Boxes

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


It is true. Kids love boxes. Mom could spend the entire day trying to reach the target audience by offering toys that surround them with little success. Toys that were purchased after searching for the best price, the highest review rating and free two day shipping are superseded by the lowly box. Interactive and sticky, tracking the time spent playing with one box reveals the young consumer is engaged and enjoying the site. The features are few (easily repairable parts, recyclable components) and the benefits are many: extended occupation of young minds, fifteen minutes straight of dinner preparation, free daily upgrades and crayon ready exteriors. Endless hours spent climbing in and out while bending and tearing to fit every need creates a loyal, lifelong advocate. The measure of a successful cardboard campaign being whether or not the consumer falls asleep inside their cardboard condo by three o’clock in the afternoon. Learn a lesson from the box: keep it simple and fun.

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December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Pale Blue Light Special


On February 14, 1990, four billion miles away from earth, the space probe Voyager 1 took a picture as it left our solar system. In that image taken by NASA, as seen above, our Earth appeared as a tiny blue dot in the light of a sunbeam. Inspired by this image, the American astronomer Carl Sagan wrote a book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. While surfing the web this past weekend, I came across the excerpt from that book that once again helped put life on Earth into perspective. Sagan writes, “On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives…every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Our planet is inhabited by a mass of human beings that continuously share new discoveries, information and insights with others. Get the attention of your fellow humans and be the blue light special of the day. Use your humanness and your human voice to announce new ideas, and be genuine with your thoughts and feelings. As you broadcast your message to this vast audience, use those channels that can reach everyone, everywhere. Just remember, don’t feed the trolls.

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3 Apps That Let You Text for Free

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


After buying my smartphone, I never pay any months for messaging unlimited plans. Actually I can’t believe that some people are still using paid texting these days, because in reality, there are several great apps available that allow users to text for free.

Many of these apps also offer additional perks like group chat and video. Here are several options that will save you money and offer you more than just your basic text.

KaKao Talk                                                                                                                              KaKao Talk is a free app that lets you call and text anywhere at any time for free. All you need is a phone number. Not only does it support 12 different languages, but it offers fun alternative communication options like funny voice filters during phone calls, animated emoticons, and a walkie-talkie setting. Sending photo and video is also included, as are group chats, and rewards for adding a favorite brand as a friend. Plus, this app is especially popular in South Korea. 

Available on: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Bada, and Windows.

WeChat                                                                                                                                   WeChat not only provides free texting, but includes multimedia features like voice messaging. Using its “shake” feature, you can exchange information like photos and contacts with nearby friends. Users also have access to a “look around” feature that let them see if anyone close by is also on the app. Also, this app is very popular among my Chinese friends. 

Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows phones, and Symbian platforms.

LINE                                                                                                                                                Call and message as much as you want! LINE is a new communication app which allows you to make FREE voice calls and send FREE messages whenever and wherever you are, 24 hours a day! LINE has more than 85 million users worldwide and is used in over 230 countries!

In my opinion, I would recommend LINE to you. In fact, I have those three applications, but LINE is the most stable and never delay messages while using. Go to download for free and enjoy it! 

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