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Newspapers: Online Ads Up, Print Ads Down

Print advertising continues to slide while online advertising in newspapers is growing consistently. According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) advertising expenditures for newspaper websites increased 21.1%, to $773 million, in the third quarter. That was compared to the third quarter in 2006. It’s a trend that looks promising – this is the 14th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for online newspaper advertising since the NAA started reporting online ad spending in 2004.

While print advertising is still the majority of advertising with newspapers (newspaper website advertising now accounts for 7.1% of total newspaper ad spending), the online spend continues to get bigger. Spending for online ads is still in the millions while print advertising brings in $10.1 billion. And print advertising is down 9% compared with the third quarter of 2006.

Google Maps – Editing Power to the People

Google wants to be sure Google Maps are accurate and detailed. Upkeep on Google Maps would otherwise be a nightmare, so Google’s letting you help. If you see a location that is off (like your own house or a store) you can fix it. After all, you know where you live better than anyone else.

As of today you can log into Google Maps and move the markers so they are in the right place. Unless the business owner or resident has already verified the location. Before you get the bright idea to move your competitor’s storefront to a dead end, know that anyone can report abuse and changes are logged.

Before long Google will let you edit more than just the location. You’ll be able to modify business information or add other details (which Google hasn’t detailed). Google has more features coming, such as:

Online Advertisers – Get Free Advice From Google

The Google AdWords blog had a post today that caught my attention. The AdWords Optimization Team is accepting requests from advertisers who want feedback on their campaigns. Simply fill out a request form and tell Google about your business and advertising goals. It doesn’t say how many campaigns they will do (this isn’t the first time) or for how long, so apply right away.

The Google team will review your website, campaign structure, ad text, and keywords. Here’s the best part – they promise to get back to you within 10 days with your own customized recommendations. Even if you’ve already had the team look at your campaign you can request assistance on another. For now, the service is available for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada, for campaigns in English. If you’re running AdWords go sign up. I wonder if they have a similar service for AdSense.

Microsoft Wants 30% of Search, 40% of Web Ads

Well, if you can’t be #1, then you should probably do like Microsoft and aim for being “one of the top two” (aka #2). Reuters reports that Microsoft is looking to knock one of their competitors (you know, Yahoo and Google) out pretty soon. Microsoft’s President of Platforms and Services Kevin Johnson, speaking at a UBS investor conference, is aiming pretty high in his three- to five-year plan for the company’s web advertising prospects.

Reuters cites Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive, announced in May and completed in August, as evidence of how serious they are about online advertising.

Johnson called Microsoft’s plan for web dominance the “10, 20, 30, 40″ plan. If all goes accordingly:

  1. 10% of all Internet page views will be MSN.com and Windows Live email
  2. 20% of all time online will be spent at Microsoft website
  3. 30% of Internet searches will be performed on Microsoft/Live
  4. 40% of Internet and digital ad dollars will be paid to Microsoft

Trade Shows Go Virtual

Companies like IBM, Cisco, and others are taking their trade shows and conferences virtual. Some, like IBM have used the virtual world Second Life for such events, but virtual trade shows take it a step further. Also, the events are more professional and created for a business environment – there are no actual avatars. However, you can upload a picture, chat with booth representatives, and attend sessions.

Businesses of all sizes are trying out the concept. According to Tradeshow Week magazine, mid-to-large-sized companies spend about $550,000 every year on trade shows.

Online Video Ads: Relatively Less Annoying

At OMMA Video, Dynamic Logic’s Research Director, Kara Manatt, released the results of a study on consumers’ responses to various online advertising, MediaPost reports.

In a survey of a representative cross-section of 950 Americans, participants were asked about their views of various online advertising media. The break down:

  • 55% took a “strongly negative” view of pop-ups and pop-unders.
  • 31% were strongly negative on online video ads. (As MediaPost notes, “That’s an easy win against infamously annoying ad formats.”)
  • 27% took a strongly negative view of “advergames.” (Which, I think, would have been higher had they known what the heck you’re talking about. C’mon, taze the gnome games are less annoying?)
  • 21% were strongly negative on skyscraper ads.
  • 18% had a negative view of banner ads.

How Advertising Works Our Nerves (In a Good Way)

At last, neuroscience is applying itself to understanding how that extremely artificial endeavor — advertising — engages our basic biological instincts.

Two pieces of science news will interest marketers. First, the more we can anthropomorphize products, the better we like them. Second, advertising can take the place of real memory in our beliefs about a product.

It seems that dancing raisins, talking cars and the Geico gekko — but probably not subservient chickens — can actually change consumers’ perceptions and attitudes, according to Pankaj Aggarwal (University of Toronto) and Ann L. McGill (University of Chicago).

This Science Daily story says that we’re more likely to positively evaluate an anthropomorphized item.