Gap Deal Blitz’s Groupon Servers

Last week, Groupon members got a great deal, $50 worth of clothing at The Gap for only $25. More than 440,000 subscribers took advantage of the deal and they did it so quickly, they temporarily stalled the servers at the popular new deal site.

Part of the reason for the huge influx was that it wasn’t just Groupon members who were clicking. Shortly after the deal was announced, the news spread over thousands of mommy blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. I came across more than twenty mentions of the deal during my usual travels around the web and it looks like I was one of the rare few who resisted. Still, I’d venture to say that Groupon got a lot of new signups that day.

Local Online Ad Spending Continues to Rise

Local online ad spending is climbing faster than expected with sales reaching a number in 2011 that was originally predicted for 2012.

According to a study by Borrell Associates, which was reported on by PaidContent, online ad spending is likely to rise 18% next year rising to $16.1 billion dollars. Ad spending overall is expected to hit $51.9 billion which equals a 14% growth.

This is a nice leap over this year’s spending which is likely to rise less than 2% from last year. Borrell says this upswing is coming mostly from the rise in targeted advertising to local audiences and “everything involving social media.”

None of this is surprising given that “local” is the magic word of late. Everyday the marketing news is filled with stories about new mobile apps, websites and social media sites that are helping business target the customers in their neighborhood.

IKEA Turns Consumer Behavior into Viral Marketing

Have you ever played hide-and-seek at IKEA? I have, though not intentionally. The stores are set up in these funky little mazes that make it very easy to lose a husband or a child while shopping, so it’s no wonder that people have taken to playing the game there on purpose. This week, the idea rose to new heights when a person in Australia set up a Facebook event announcing a “massive” game at their local store. Since then, almost 4,000 people have signed up and the news has gone viral.

Smart Company Australia quoted the local IKEA spokesperson as saying that they weren’t behind anything that might endanger shoppers, but they weren’t going to go so far as to ban the game.

Does Your Landing Page Say Trust Me?

Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners and bestselling author of Landing Page Optimization says there are “Four Pillars Of Trust” that you need in order to make your landing pages convert. At a recent marketing conference covered by Top Rank, Ash emphasized the fact that the winner is not always the guy with the zippiest website. Trust is about people and that’s the link that binds together his four pillars.

Let’s take a look:

1. Appearance

Mafia Wars Marketing Stunt Angers City DA

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has made Zynga Game Network an offer they better not refuse.

As part of a marketing stunt for Mafia Wars, dozens of fake $25,000 bills were glued to the sidewalks around San Francisco. It was probably a hoot watching people bend down and try to pick them up but the Department of Public Works isn’t laughing. They say they had to steam clean the sidewalks costing them time and money. . . really money, not that phony stuff. The total cost is still being figured, said a spokesperson to SFGate, but you can bet it’s going to be high enough to prove that crime don’t pay.

Bang! Pow! Could Digital Comic Books Pack Advertising Punch?

Charles Atlas can make you a man! Sea Monkeys live, work and play in an undersea kingdom. Scare your friends with a life-sized Frankenstein Monster or get your own set of 100 army men for only a buck. In the past, comic book advertising was a lot like a circus sideshow. Lots of hype, lots of promise, but mostly a scam. These days, comic book advertising is the realm of the entertainment companies as they use the latest releases to hawk new movies, video games and music but still comic books themselves are pretty old school.

Cleaner, Easier, I Dig the New Digg

There was a time when a story on the front page of Digg was the holy grail for any web publisher. But in more recent months, the average Joe has moved on from the once and powerful bookmarking site because of the monopoly caused by power players in the game. Then Facebook and Twitter rose in favor and it looked like Digg had met its match. Until now.

Digg is rising up from the ashes with a new version that emphasizes social connections and sharing and de-emphasizes the importance of hitting the front page. Will it help them regain their former glory? I’ve had a look around and it’s a good start.