Is BP Just Trying To Buy Its Reputation Back With Advertising?

Because it is our nature to do such things, most of the world has moved on from the anger or whatever was experienced during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil mess in the Gulf of Mexico. There are still pockets of activism but the mainstream has started to flush that story out of its faulty and extremely short-termed memory and is moving on to something that is deemed more current and important like maybe politics (Oh, please God help us!).

In the wake of this waning uproar it looks like BP is working hard to put its reputation back together and a big part of that is the amount of advertising spend they have put into the stream.

The Wall Street Journal reports

Ping: Another Social Network …. Woo-Hoo!

Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced Apple’s foray into the world of social networks with the iTunes centric Ping service. Maybe I am experiencing some social network fatigue, but despite this probably being a good idea, I am not sure just how people will jump in even if the “water is fine”.

The picture below hits the highlights of the service in that now familiar Apple announcement / press event look.

TechCrunch reports

It’s like “Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” Jobs says. “But it’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter,” Jobs is quick to note — “it’s a social network all about music.” And guess what? It has 160 million users in 23 countries built in right away (Apple will presumably be opening it up to other iTunes users later). And it’s available on your iPhone and iPod touch — right in the iTunes Store.

Yes, Virginia, There Are Men Using Facebook

Texting may be the most popular mode of communication between men, but for men under forty, Facebook beats out phone, Twitter and even email.

The result comes from “The Great Male Survey,” a study conducted by Ipsos OTX for AskMen.com. eMarketer boiled the responses down into a nice chart that shows Facebook gaining on texting as you move from young teens up to the 20 somethings. By thirty, Facebook becomes just as important as texting and incredibly, that old fashioned thing called the telephone becomes an even more important tool for communication. Imagine that.

Even though most of the men in the survey didn’t choose Facebook as their main means of communication, an average of 69% of all the men who responded said they do log on to the site regularly. The 20-24 age range comes in on top with 78% of men using Facebook and as you can imagine, it drops off dramatically after 50.

Google Maps Launches Brand Logo Test in US

If you search Google Maps right now, you’ll see little gray generic icons beside the names of businesses to denote their field. Dollar signs for banks, fork and spoon for an eatery, a tiny shopping bag for stores and something that looks like a snail shell for art galleries. (??)

In the quest to make every single pixel count, Google is going to change some of those generic icons to tiny logos for popular brands. According to a report by Brandweek, Google has been testing the idea in Australia and now it’s opening it up to US users. Bank of America, HSBC, Target and Public Storage are the first icons you’ll see on your maps. Right now, Google says they are only offering the option to large brand names with multiple locations and they aren’t sure if it’s a feature that will stick.

Study: 83% of ALL Holiday Shoppers Influenced by Reviews

ChannelAdvisors’ 2010 Consumer Shopping Habits Survey is out just in time for the holiday season. The free report provides valuable insights for anyone in the ecommerce, B2C space.

So, what jumped out at me?

Well, it wasn’t so much that 59% of those surveyed start their gift search at a search engine–with 28% heading straight to a marketplace such as eBay or Amazon–but what did intrigue me were the starts on just how inconsequential brand recognition is.

A surprising 67% said they would purchase an identical product from an unknown website if the retailer offered a better value. Better value? What do they mean by that?

Well, it appears low pricing and free shipping trump all:

No Surprise Here: Millenials Cherish Mobile Devices

There is one thing about research and statistics. No matter how obvious the findings there is still that moment of relief that comes from some form of validation of even the most obvious conclusions. eMarketer has highlighted a study done by the Pew Research Center from May of this year that verifies what many would see as obvious. More Millennials value their mobile phones than those quite a bit older than them.

Of course, this comparison is between two extremes and it would be nice to know how the rest of the world between the ages of 30-64 viewed these things right?

The next chart seems a little more telling in that when you look at the population as a whole regarding the importance of a mobile device. It is high but it’s far from the top of the list.

Facebook Takes Aim at Target Customers with Credits Card

Be careful how you read that headline. This is not an announcement of a Facebook credit card. This is about the new ‘credits’ card that Facebook will be selling in Target stores, starting this Sunday, for the upcoming holiday season. I guess the semi-confusing terminology makes sense though since Facebook is never clear about much of anything these days other than its intent to drain everyone’s wallets.

Anyway, USAToday reports

Facebook is coming to a Target store near you.

The social-network giant is getting into the gift card business, starting Sunday, with Facebook Credits cards.

The new Facebook gift cards will be available in values of $15, $25 and $50 at all of Target’s 1,750 retail stores and at Target.com. Two or three more national retailers will start selling the cards in coming months.