AOL’s Project Devil Ads Go Mobile

Back in September 2010, AOL announced a new kind of desktop ad system they called Project Devil. Devil ads are mini, branded playgrounds that serve up interactive content in the same places you’d find traditional banner ads.

A Devil ad for Nordstrom’s includes a fashion show video and a store finder. An ad for a movie includes the trailer, the buzz on Twitter and a link to buy tickets. Tour the inside of a car and click to get details on the features. Learn how to bake a cake then create a shopping list right from the app.

AOL says Devil ads have 4x the engagement rate, 3x the engagement time and increase purchase intent by 263%. And now, they’re coming to mobile.

Google+ Celebrates Their First Anniversary with a Tablet App, Event Tool, and More

Google+ is celebrating its first anniversary today and you can feel the electricity in the air. No, really. I mean it. There are folks, (granted, not a lot of them) over on Google+ posting about how this new social network has changed their life. Which leaves me wondering what I’ve missed.

Yesterday, at the Google I/O conference, a spokesperson said that Google+ now has 250 million registered users. They say 150 million of them are 30-day actives, and 50% sign in every day. Those that do sign in spend more than an hour on the site.

Not bad, except I have to wonder about the “sign-in” part. When I’m logged into Gmail, I have Google+ notifiers in the upper tool bar. Does that mean I’m “signed in?” The number I want is how many people actually update their status on a regular basis or even stop by to peruse their feed.

Google Takes to the Sky to Promote Scifi Style Hardware

When you’re presenting a highly-anticipated conference to the entire world, it behooves you to come up with some exciting antics to keep the audience engaged and talking.

I’d say Google succeeded when they hired skydivers, extreme bikers, and a mountain climber to deliver their latest product to the stage. Even more amazing, they followed the progress using Google+ Hangouts. To quote an old TV show title, that’s incredible!

The product was Google Glass, the lightweight, “unobtrusive” pair of glasses that doubles as a webcam and mini-monitor. When you wear them, you can broadcast a first person video of whatever it is you’re doing.

Google Intros New Tablet That Puts Content Front and Center

You know that old saying about content being king? Well, it truly is on Google’s brand new tablet the Nexus 7.

Google introduced the product along with several other key items and online upgrades at the Google I/O conference which is currently running in San Francisco. The conference is aimed at developers and from the beginning you could see that Google is working hard to open up the Android platform in hopes of getting more apps and more innovation.

The other thread running throughout the presentation is the idea of seamlessly moving from one activity to another and if anyone can make that happen, it’s Google.

Pinterest Functionality Significantly Increases Email Open and Click Rates

Social media and email are like brothers. One is flashy and exciting and gets all the attention, while the other gets the job done with little fanfare or praise. I’m guessing you can figure which one is which.

To get the best of both worlds, Experian Marketing Services’ CheetahMail has added the hottest trend in social media to their old school emails and the results are pretty sweet.

Late last year, CheetahMail began adding Pinterest functionality to some of their email campaigns. With one (or a few) clicks, consumers could link products listed in a promotional email directly to their Pinterest pinboards.

In the case of Ballard Designs, an online, home decor store, the returns were significantly higher than previous campaigns without the “Pin It” icon.

Major Brand Labels Facebook ‘Too Big to Ignore’

Before social media, the success of a marketing campaign was generally measured by ROI — how much did we make, versus how much we spend.

But when talking about Facebook, Twitter, or other social media campaigns, that number is rather illusive and sometimes non-existent. This leads us to the discussion of brand awareness versus conversions, which leads me to a great quote from AdAge.

In a recent interview, Erich Marx, Nissan’s director-interactive and social-media marketing said,

“From a pure ROI standpoint, are we selling hundreds of cars through social? No. But social media has to be a responsible part of any media package now. You have to be there. It’s not about ROI, it’s about COI– cost of ignoring. It’s too big to ignore.”

What is the Best Day to Launch a Social Media Campaign? Not the One We’re All Using

According to a new report by Yesmail Interactive, Friday is the most popular deployment day for social media marketing campaigns. Trouble is, Tuesday is the day that brings in the most engagement so a lot of marketers are wasting their time.

The numbers come from Yesmail’s “Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success” report. It’s packed with all kinds of valuable tidbits, but today we’re going to look at the results related to time and day. Why? Because these are the easiest areas to fix.

Yesmail came to their numbers by analyzing the marketing campaigns of top retailers such as The Gap, J Crew, The Limited, and Old Navy.