Could Twitter Become the “Must-Buy” Ad Platform of the Future?

Could Twitter become the “must-buy” ad platform of the future? It’s not going to happen next week, but The New York Times says that Twitter is gearing up in hopes of becoming more than a fast blip on the radar. Many feel that the act of promoting Dick Costolo from COO to CEO is a sign of things to come. The article also notes that Twitter has a group of employees working on advertising instead of just one. But interest in becoming a sought after ad platform isn’t enough to make it so.

NYT quotes Ian Schafter of Deep Focus as saying;

“Agencies are uneducated, brands are uneducated and to a certain extent, Twitter is uneducated. There are no best practices. There are just hunches about what will work.”

TNS Puts Results of Huge Digital Life Research Project Online

If you like stats and graphics, you’ll go positively mad over a new website by custom research agency TNS. The website is called and it’s a public repository for the massive amounts of data collected in regard to consumer’s online behavior and attitudes.

The study covers 48,804 people from 46 countries, ranging in age from 16 to 60 and TNS claims they’ve discovered “major changes in online behavior.” They probably have but it will take you awhile to find it if you try to dig it out yourself. To help you, TNS has turned all the facts and figures into pretty graphics and it’s impressive.

When you visit you’ll find a “taster” sampler of data that delivers a lot more than your average appetizer. Right away you can choose from several small pdf presentations including a look at the six lifestyle segments and the drivers of online behavior.

CNN Says Shared News Leads to Advertising Engagement

CNN has a nifty new study they call POWNAR which stands for “power of news and recommendation.” For the study they tracked the sharing of news through social networks and they also used eye-tracking and biometrics to study engagement. Told you it was nifty.

First, they took a look at the kinds of news stories that were being shared by the 2300 participants in the study. What they found was that people shared stories in order to “impart knowledge,” which is kind of a given, isn’t it? Only 19% of shared stories were considered breaking news. The 65% majority was ongoing stories with what CNN called “quirky” stories making up the rest. But it’s not crime or politics that is lighting up the virtual airwaves. It’s science, technology, human interest and money-related new stories. Technology is a given seeing as that’s the vehicle we’re using to drive this herd in the first place but I was a little surprised by the others. They also mention “visually spectacular” news, which I take to mean things like fires, floods, snowstorms and UFO’s in the skies around China.

Old McDonalds Had a Farm

FarmVille now has its own McDonalds. Sing along with me, “Old McDonalds had a farm, EE-I-EE-I Oy!”

It’s a one day only promotion that will probably lead to a long term ad deal, but where’s the hype in that? Today only, Facebook fans can stop by the McDonalds’ farm to help plant tomatoes and mustard seeds. (Mustard seeds?) When you play, you get rewarded with a  FarmVille McCafe Consumable, “a valuable item (virtual good) that makes game-play easier. The McCafe Consumable delivers energy to players to move about their farms at twice the speed.”

How hysterical is it that overly-caffeinated coffee is the prize on FarmVille. Like they couldn’t have taken this opportunity to promote healthy eating by offering a fresh salad as a reward?

Says Manny Anekal, Global Director of Brand Advertising at Zynga;

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Everyone knows green is good and I’m not just talking about the kind you stuff in your wallet. Green is a marketing buzzword that tells your customers that you’re hip, you’re concerned and you’re doing something about it.

Now before you start typing “eco-friendly” on your weekly newsletter, you better take a look at the new guidelines proposed by the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commission is concerned that agencies aren’t taking this environmental stuff seriously so they’re cracking the whip.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz had this to say:

“In recent years, businesses have increasingly used ‘green’ marketing to capture consumers’ attention. But what companies think green claims mean and what consumers really understand are sometimes two different things.”

Forrester Reports on Cutting Through the Social Media Clutter

Imagine you’re at party with 800 people and you need to tell one specific person that you found her cell phone on the bar. Everyone is talking, music is playing, people keep moving around and so even if you spot the girl you’re looking for, by the time you make your way through the crowd, she’s already moved on. You could try shouting at her from across the room, but you’re not likely to get through. Maybe pass her a note by handing it off to someone six degrees style and hoping it will get to her eventually? Or you could just stand there and maybe she’ll come looking for you.

Facebook Announces New Groups Feature

I talked and Facebook listened. How amazing is that? Just the other day I was saying that I had a link I wanted to share but I didn’t want to spam my whole list of Facebook friends when only a few of them would be interested.

Today, I wake up and find that Facebook has solved this problem for me. They have a new version of Groups that allows me (and you and anyone else who wants to) to create a group, invite friends and only post messages to the people in that group.

I know what you’re saying, hey, Cynthia, couldn’t I do that before with the friend labeling system? Well, yes, you could but it was a pain in the neck, wasn’t it? Not at all user friendly but this system is easy-peasy. It’s so easy that it’s already causing a problem.