Bing Foots the Bill for Interactive Book Campaign

People love a good treasure hunt, and that’s what Bing is banking on with its interactive marketing campaign for Jay-Z “Decoded.”

The complex ad campaign involves book pages hidden all over both the real world and the virtual one. The object is to use the combined forces of the world’s population to uncover and ‘decode” all of the pages before the book comes out in print on November 16. Random House is publishing the memoir but word is that Bing is paying for the campaign which couldn’t have been cheap.

Here’s how it works. You go online to Decode Jay-Z with Bing and get a clue which pops up over a Bing map. The first clue is this:

“Find your first page in the NYC district where Jay and Leo saw Wale at the Highline.”

Video Chatting Gains Ground, Can Product Placement Be Far Behind?

Almost a fifth of American adults have tried video calling either online or via their cell phones. That’s one of the findings from the first study from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. 17% of adults have made a video or teleconferencing call of some kind, 6% have made them with their cell phone. Since this is the first time they’ve studied video usage, particularly through a cell phone, they don’t have a benchmark, but you don’t need a study to see that video chatting is on the rise.

Mt. Dew Does Facebook Without Facebook

Starting today, Mountain Dew is launching a new Facebook ad campaign designed to drive people to “like” their fan page. What’s new about that? Facebook isn’t involved.

The zesty soda’s new creative will carry a Facebook “like” button that will send an update to the news feed of anyone who clicks on it and show them which of their friends already do the Dew.

The banners were created by Mountain Dew’s ad agency folks and placed on trendy websites such as The Onion, Crave and Funny or Die. According to AdWeek, this is the first time an advertiser has run an ad of this kind but they won’t be the last.

The odd note in the story is this:

Eventbrite Asks How Much is a Facebook Share Worth?

Online ticket seller Eventbrite recently published a study that claims that sharing in social media can be quantified with a dollar amount. They boldly claim that their report, “Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers,” is the “first tangible data to quantify the value and impact of social media in driving eCommerce.” I don’t know if I completely buy either concept, but let’s take a look.

Eventbrite put together a series of tools that allowed them to look at ticket sales of a particular event before and after the event was shared on Facebook, Twitter and by email. What they found was that ticket sales rose proportionally to the number of times the event was shared between friends. Boiling it all down, they figured that Facebook was worth an average of $2.52 per share while Twitter was only worth .43. Email came in second highest at $2.34.

New Digg CEO Says Sorry . . . But Why Did He Have To?

You know the story. Digg changed the site in order to bring it more in line with modern social media. The old school Diggers got mad and threatened to leave. Kevin Rose said, oops, we messed up, then he left and Matt Williams took over as CEO and now he’s trying to dig out from under the mess he’s been handed.

Williams decided that the best way to address the problem was to say hello and I’m sorry.

“As many of you know, the launch of Digg v4 didn’t go smoothly, and we’re deeply sorry that we disappointed our Digg community in the process. Thank you for your patience and your extremely candid feedback — we hear you loud and clear.”

Bing Partners with Facebook for Personalized Search

Search engines are fine if you want to know the capital of Alaska or how to make the perfect omelet, but what if you can’t decide on what movie to see or what book to read? Sure, you could check out the hundreds of reviews found all over the web, but why trust total strangers when you can get advice from your friends instantly on Bing! And by friends, I mean your Facebook pals, many of whom are probably as unknown to you as CullenLuver47 who left a movie review on Amazon.

Bing is the latest program to get bitten by the Facebook bug and you’ll see it in your results when you use the “decision engine” to search. They’ve cleverly tagged it: Bing Social Search: Now it’s personal. Here’s how it works.

Media General Partners with Groupon For Local Deals

Newspaper publisher Media General has teamed up with Groupon in hopes of driving new traffic to their associated newspaper websites. They’ve started with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and have labeled the offering the “Richmond Daily Deal.” Groupon gets a “powered by” in the logo.

The deals work just as the do on the Groupon website with some slight graphical twists and obviously a much more local focus. When you click on the “buy now” link, you’re taken to the main Groupon website where you can sign in with your Groupon account or Facebook login. It’s assumed that the two companies are splitting the profits but there’s no word on who is making out on the higher end of the deal.