Mobile Users Asked to Pay for NCAA March Madness

When you’ve got something people want, it only makes sense to ask them to pay for it, right? But that logic doesn’t always work when it comes to mobile content.

There are plenty of studies that show people are reluctant to plunk down more than .99 for an app they’ll likely use every day. On the other hand, several newspapers have had luck with mobile, paid subscribers.

Now, CBS and Turner are putting the paywall to the test with NCAA March Madness. Though the FAQ on March Madness Live is extensive, it boils down to this:

  • Games on CBS will run live on their website, free for all.
  • Games on Turner will run free online if you’re an authenticated cable subscriber.

Four Stars for Microsoft’s People Powered Stories Ads

Social advertising is all about using the comments and recommendations of one person to influence the buying habits of another. Facebook does this handily by mentioning which of my friends like the ads that appear in my sidebar. But, to be effective, recommendations don’t have to come from friends.

A recent study by BazaarVoice showed that 51% of the all-important millennial consumers were influenced by the online comments of strangers. So that’s probably why they’ve teamed up with Microsoft Advertising for a new kind of ad they call “People Powered Stories.

The test revolved around the Windows 7 “back to school” campaign. The ads were designed to pull in real review data from college students, then deliver it to other college students as they surfed the web.

Facebook Stores: A Failed Experiment or Worth Another Shot?

Gamestop, Nordstrom, Old Navy, The Gap. All blockbuster retailers who know how to drive customers to spend big bucks and not one of them had success selling on Facebook.

The failure of F-commerce is an interesting conundrum. Facebook is the most visited site in the universe. People also spend money on Facebook to buy virtual items and upgrades for their games. Facebook is also growing faster than anyone else for display advertising, pulling in around $2 billion in revenue last year.

Taking all of those factors into consideration, Facebook stores should be pulling them in like Best Buy on Black Friday. So why don’t Facebook stores work?

Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research told Bloomberg,

7 Out of 10 Children Use the Family Tablet

There’s a new TV commercial with a mom and dad having a spell-talk discussion about whether it’s okay for their child to use their Pantech Element tablet. Dad’s concerned, but mom assures him that it’s okay, because it’s w-a-t-e-rproof.

Then there’s the new Kindle commercial with the sexy woman at the beach. She’s reading on a Kindle and she gets approached by a man who tries to prove his prowess by telling her about his expensive tablet. She instantly cuts him in half stating that her Kindle makes reading easier in the sunlight, and for less than he paid, she also bought a Kindle Fire so her KIDS can watch movies at the beach. Take that, fella.

As these commercials aptly illustrate, tablets aren’t just for grownups anymore.

Facebook Timelines for Brands? Time to Start Thinking Inside the Box

On February 29, Facebook will be conducting their first event made specifically for marketers. At that time, AdAge believes they’ll make a big announcement – Timelines for brand pages.

Don’t panic. It might not be as bad as it sounds.

Last year, David Fischer, Facebook VP of Marketing and Business Partnerships, told AdAge that Timelines for brands wouldn’t be a carbon copy of Timelines for people. The word he used was “consistent”, meaning it would have the same general layout, graphics heavy with an emphasis on activity boxes.

For individuals, these activity  boxes highlight app use such as music on Spotify, additions to Pinterest, movies watched. . . oh, and status updates, too!

For brands, those boxes will likely hold information from the tabs on their brand page. This is a good thing.

Would You Like to Pay by Cash, Credit Card or Twitter?

I received an email this week about a new ebook on the rise of the app. I was interested, so I visited the website and found something I’d never seen before, a “Pay with a Tweet” option.

Click the option, and you get a pre-filled Tweet (which can be altered somewhat) that mentions the product along with a link so others can get in on the deal.

I didn’t Tweet, but I was intrigued enough to look into the company behind the idea and found out that Pay with a Tweet has been around for awhile. “Innovative Thunder” came up with the idea to help promote their own ebook, and now they offer the service free to anyone who wants to use it.

Elections, The Olympics and the End of the World: What’s Next for Social Video

“In February 2011, Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ ad stormed the Superbowl to become
the most shared ad of all time in just six days, jumping from 100,000 to 1,000,000
views in just a few hours.”

That’s the first line of Unruly’s “What’s Next for Social Video Insight Report” and it really explains it all, doesn’t it?

In the past, a clever TV ad might have sparked a round of water-cooler chatter, but now ads are shared, reviewed, parodied and copied within days of release. Ad pitchmen are becoming overnight stars. And heaven forbid you make a misstep (Walking in an”orgy” wonderland) everyone will know about before you can pull the commercial off the air.

TV commercials aren’t the only ones benefiting from the world’s love affair with shareable videos. Anyone can make a splash with a clever idea and a lot of luck.