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Yahoo Breaks New Ad Ground with Social Slider and Living Ads

Yahoo has launched two new ad services designed to engage consumers in a more meaningful and fun way.

First is the Social Sentiment Slider. The slider is a sponsored poll that is attached to a piece of content on Yahoo’s site.

Here’s what it looks like:

We can’t see the article, but presumably it’s a news feature about the rise in luxury item sales, or something along those lines. People move the slider to express their opinion, the percentages change and then they can post that opinion directly to Facebook.

There’s no doubt that social engagement will help brand awareness, but there’s also a potential pitfall. The ad sponsor doesn’t get to choose the slider question, Yahoo does. In the above case, it can be disconcerting to see a high percentage to the negative side (Status) when you’re promoting a luxury car right underneath.

More Than Half of App Downloaders Do It For Free

You have a mobile phone, right? How many apps are on it? How many did you use today? How many did you pay for?

If you’re typical, each answer should be a smaller number than the one before it.

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says that we’ve crossed the halfway point for mobile phone app usage. A full 50% of all adult cell phone owners have apps. That’s double where we were only two years ago.

But even with the rise in usage, the demographic remains the same. App users are younger, more educated, upwardly mobile urban or suburbanite. Adding tablets into the mix hasn’t changed that at all. The only real difference is that women have nearly caught up to men in regard to app downloads.

Marketing Execs Say Local is Critical to Success

The internet may be the great global equalizer, but big brands are going local in order to make shopping more personal. Earlier this month, Walmart set up Facebook pages dedicated to each of their stores and Sears is offering local ads online.

A new report from CMO Council says this is just a small sample of what we’ll be seeing in the future. 86% of the marketers they surveyed said they’re actively looking for a better way to localize their efforts. 49% said that localization was essential to business growth.

In the past, local advertising meant the Yellow Pages, but not so much anymore. Local deal networks such as Groupon also came in at the bottom of the list.

Q3 MobileMix: iPad Impressions Up 456 Percent

It’s time for another Millennial Media MobileMix report. This time it’s all about Q3 of 2011 and again, I give thumbs up to the cover art. They slay me every time.

It all begins with the smartphone. Ownership is up 7% over last quarter, 37% year-over-year. And since every other commercial on TV is about the iPhone, you probably think they’re leading the way for impressions, but they’re not.

Android still takes the top spot with 56% of all smartphone impressions. The MobileMix says this is due to largely to the fact that Android technology is being used by a variety of manufacturers, and more importantly, being offered at a wider variety of price points.

What iOS 5 Means for Marketers

This past weekend, I took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone and iPad2 to iOS 5. I should have waited for Halloween, as it was a frightening, nightmarish experience but when it was over, I had treats galore!

iOS 5 is a huge update with more than 200 new features. After only a week, it was estimated that 1 in 3 eligible customers had the download and you can bet it will be 2 out of 3 very soon. This is good news for you, because iOS 5 has several features that are great for online marketers.

AOL Radio: Can Less Equal More?

AOL Radio relaunched today with new features, easier navigation, and 50% less commercials.

Bloomberg reports that AOL is cutting back to 3 minutes of commercials per hour. If they were previously running 6 minutes per hour, it’s no wonder they had trouble keeping listeners tuned in.

AOL Radio’s General Manager Lisa Namerow says that too many ads was the most common complaint among listeners. Not surprising, as we’ve learned that consumers have very different feelings about ads in different formats.

For example, TV watchers tolerate, and sometimes even enjoy, the commercials that run during their favorite shows. But surveys have shown that people don’t like seeing ads when they watch those same shows online. Maybe it’s simply a case of not knowing how to complain when it’s a TV or radio ad. With online, it’s easy to hit that contact us button and grouse.

TV and Tablets: Let the Multitasking Begin

Remember when TV commercial breaks were used to grab a snack from the kitchen? Now, people are using commercial breaks to look up coupons for snacks, chat with friends and check their email. It’s not enough that we multitask all day long at work, but now, thanks to tablets and smartphones, we’re doing it during our leisure hours, too.

New numbers from Nielsen show that 42% of tablet owners use the device daily while watching TV. 40% of smartphone owners reported the same with up to 24% saying they did it at least a few times a week.

What are they doing on those devices? Mostly checking email, but social networking was also popular with women. Men were more likely to check sports scores and 46% simply took their browser for a spin to see what’s what.