Walking Dead Ad Next to Funeral Parlor: Brilliant or Oops?

AMC’s series “The Walking Dead” is making quite a splash in the UK but for all the wrong reasons. A billboard, advertising the zombie-themed series appeared next to a funeral home and people are not happy.

(Photo: North News)

A ClearChannel spokesman said that it was an “unfortunate juxtaposition.” He apologized and said the sign would be removed. The funeralcare owner expressed his displeasure saying that when the space was leased, he was assured that nothing “inappropriate” would be featured there.

It’s unlikely that anyone at ClearChannel made the connection between the sign placement and the next-door neighbor. If they did, then it was a person with a wicked sense of humor who signed off on it. Or maybe it was an advertising genius. Obviously, the people who put up the sign weren’t concerned or maybe they simply didn’t walk around to the other side of the building.

As Twitter Slips, Potential Competitors Close In

It’s no secret that Twitter has more registered users than actual users. There are stats that say that almost half of the accounts are no longer active. Stats that show how 90% of the Tweets come from 25% of the people and that Twitter’s growth has begun to level off. Add to that, all the internal squabbling and a recent move to block third-party developers and Twitter’s star isn’t shining quite as bright as it used to.

Why? And what now? Fortune has the “why” covered. They’ve just published an extensive article that looks at the history of the company and the roadblocks they’ve faced. If you want all the gory details, it’s a good read.

Here’s what caught my eye;

Under 1 Percent of Web Visits Comes from Social Media

What are you hoping to gain out of your social media efforts? If it’s a rise in traffic to your website, you better come up with a new plan.

According to a new report from ForeSee Results, fewer than 1% of website visits came directly from a social media URL.

Their report also says that 18% of site visitors reported being influenced by social media, which would mean that 17% of those folks visited the site in some way other than clicking on a social media link. This plays into the idea that social media is best used for brand awareness, but still, 18% isn’t that great.

Rise in Mobile Spurs Growth in Search Marketing

When asked which trend has had the biggest impact on search marketing, 40% of business surveyed said it was the rise in mobile internet usage. Following closely behind that was the personalization of search results and behavioral targeting.

New tools aplenty, and yet 95% of the search marketing dollars are still being spent with our old friend Adwords. The Bing / Yahoo combo got 70% of the vote and a respectable 47% of respondents said they run PPC campaigns on Facebook.

The info comes from the new State of Search Marketing Report 2011, which is produced by Econsultancy. The results indicate a rise in social media marketing to the point where it’s nearly equal to that of paid search (74% vs 79%). Facebook usage alone has risen from 73% to 84% (that’s general Facebook for marketing, not just PPC).

The Majority Rules: QR Codes Are Memorable

If you believe the results of a recent survey by MGH, QR codes are making an impact on mobile users. Their new study says that “72% of smartphone users would be likely to recall an ad featuring a QR code.”

Nice results, but I’m not sure they asked the right question. It’s kind of like asking, “if you saw a pink elephant walk down the street, would you remember?” Okay, so QR codes aren’t as obvious as a pink elephant, but they do stand out because they’re new and perplexing. As we’ve discussed before, a QR code means nothing to the observer. They must interact with the code in order to see what it’s all about and how many people do that? Of the 65% of smartphone users who said they’ve seen a QR code, less than half have actually used one.

Email Subscribers ‘Can’t Wait’ to Open Deal Newsletters

I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters and there are several that I would greatly miss if I stopped receiving them. But I can’t think of one missive that I receive on a regular basis that I would say I “can’t wait” to open.

This is not the case with your average bargain shopper. According to a report compiled by eMarketer, more than half the people who subscribe to deal newsletters are excited to get them to the point where they “can’t wait” to see what’s inside.

I love shopping. I love deals, but really? Part of me wants to suggest that these people need a hobby, but the marketing part of me says, yippee! This is great news. And it gets better. Remember the concept of deal fatigue? Guess it’s not happening. . . yet.

Amazon to Offer Ad-Supported Kindle at Discounted Price

There are ads on my TV, my mobile phone and on the screen at the movies. Now Amazon wants to take over my e-reading experience as well. They swear the ads won’t actually butt in just as I reach a cliffhanger moment. And I do have to agree to it. Actually, I have to buy in to it, as the ad-sponsored Kindle is a product all its own.

Amazon calls it Kindle with Special Offers, a name which was obviously crafted to make the reader feel like they’re getting something good out of the deal. Instead of showing the usual Kindle book-themed screensaver, the new edition will show a full-page ad. Black and white, only. Remember, Kindle doesn’t do color. What’s even sillier is the Kindle Ad-Mash up which asks users to vote on their preferred ads and only “screensavers with the most preferred votes qualify to become sponsored screensavers.”