Advertise or Publish for Brand Awareness?

It’s always interesting to see research confirm something that your gut says is real. Ad blindness is a very real concern for marketers and it is forcing more creativity to get brands in front of the right people at the right time for THEIR right reason. A report from eMarketer shows that Internet users are more likely to act on brand mentions when reading about it in content form rather than advertising form. Not a shock but still good to know rather than suspect. Here’s some info about what is working and what is not.


Advertising like banners may be losing some appeal because there is just too much of it. Online it is difficult to find major sites that aren’t littered with ads in all shapes and sizes and everywhere on the screen. Even those sites that do things ‘tastefully’ can feel pushy after a long day of being pelted with messages.

The Butler Did It (At Least in the UK) has welcomed back a familiar face across the pond as reported by Search Engine Land.ask logo Jeeves the regal butler of Ask Jeeves fame is back and he has some real depth this time. Well, he is a 3D character now so that’s as far as the depth thing goes.

The Internet’s most well known servant is appearing on the UK Ask home page and will there to assist.

The character will offer searchers additional search options, interact with the searcher on their query and more. When I asked for more specifics, Ask’s reply was, “you will want to wait and see.”

The first question ol’ Jeeves is answering is why he is back. Here’s what he had to say. Of course, he didn’t ‘speak’ unless asked which means he still has his manners.

Crowdsourcing is Hot Now, But Will Participation Fatigue Set In?

It seems that crowdsourcing is fast becoming the "next big thing." Whether you call it "social answers," "help engines" or something else, there’s a growing trend of asking those in your network to help you out with advice. Heck, there’s even a new search engine being built around the concept!

I spotted two interesting uses of crowdsourcing over the last 24 hours. First, AdWeek writer Marian Salzman decided that an article on how Dominos could repair its damaged reputation would be best constructed if the she tapped into the wisdom of the crowds. She sent out requests to numerous places and ended-up with some concrete reputation management advice.

I’ve personally been quiet about the Dominos saga–I’ve simply been too busy–but it was easy for me to add my 2-cents to the list of great advice:

Digg Decides to Ditch Microsoft & Build Its Own Ad Sales Team

It appears that Digg has decided to dump Microsoft as its ad inventory provider and is instead planning to build its own ad sales force.

The deal was originally announced back in July 2007 and was supposed to last 3-years. Now ClickZ is reporting that the partnership will end one year early:

But beginning in July, Digg will be solely responsible for all custom ad deals and a significant portion of its own Interactive Advertising Bureau standard ad inventory.

The partnership initially was supposed to last until summer 2010, but the two always had an understanding that Digg would at some point step up to rep the bulk of its own ads, according to Mike Maser, Digg chief revenue and strategy officer. He said the company’s internal sales efforts will focus on custom, non-IAB inventory combined with standardized banner ads.

Pizza Hut ‘Twinternship’ Available

While it may look like some kind of prank and serves to continue the “twitterification” of the English language,pizza-hut-logo Pizza Hut is hiring a ‘Twintern’ for the summer. The New York Times reported it and just to make sure I went to the Pizza Hut homepage and sure enough there it was. With the summer job market being one of the worst in recent history at least some college student can get some job experience putting 140 characters or less to work for the Hut.

Of course, it appears as if there is no pay (there is a pay check, see comments below) and you will need to relocate to Dallas on your own dime if you get the gig but what better resume builder these days. In addition, this may be one of the few times that parents can say that the new 140 character culture can pay benefits. The description is as follows:

Polls Are Open for Vote at Facebook

As we discussed a little while back, Facebook is going for the democratic (not the party) approach of putting the proposed changes to their terms of service to a vote. The polls opened yesterday and thefacebook-logo idea is that with the users of Facebook ‘making the call’ there can no longer be an uproar over Facebook making changes unilaterally.

On the Facebook blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg outlines the new policy with the crux of it being

You will have two options on the ballot, as shown below: 1) the new Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which incorporate feedback from users and experts received during the 30-day comment period, or 2) the current Terms of Use, which were developed by Facebook and did not go through an outside comment period.

Google Desperately Trying to Make YouTube Profitable

I’m pretty sure that if it were not for its enormous size and price tag, Google would have shutdown YouTube along with all the other services that couldn’t turn a profit for the search giant. As it stands, Google has so much invested in the video sharing service that to fail would likely wipe at least a dollar from its share price.

So, it’s not surprising that Google has announced yet another business model for YouTube, this time it’s hoping a combination of new shows and movies, combined with new Google TV Ads Online, will inject something into its bottom line.