Advertisers Embrace Consumer-Generated Videos

How do you create TV ads targeted to cynical 18- to 34-year-olds who have tuned out normal commercials? Easy, you ask them to create the videos for you. Not only do you get content that is exactly in tune with their generation, but, buying making it a contest, you can save yourself thousands in production costs.

CNET looks at
a growing number of companies that are embracing viral videos and asking consumers to create the ads.

In the Current TV V-Cam campaign, viewers can enter video for any of seven campaigns and get paid $1,000 if their spot is chosen to run on the network. Toyota wants ads for its new Yaris car, L’Oreal Paris is marketing its High-Intensity-Pigments line of cosmetics and seeking a video testimonial to celebrate “Women of Worth.” Sony is marketing its Handycam and Walkman, as well as looking for general ads that represent its style.

Google Music Store and Television Initiatives

Forbes has word that Google is preparing to launch a music downloading service to rival Apple’s iTunes.

While eWeek keeps on eye on Google’s job postings and notes some new positions for TV-related roles.

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Google Photo Mapping with a GPS Camera

News that Tim Vidas has equipped his digital camera with a GPS unit so he can add images to Google Maps.

Very cool.

Via Gizmodo Scours RSS Feeds for Images

I’m not sure if publishers are going to like or not, but the new image search engine hopes to index millions of thumbnail images collected from RSS feeds, according to CNET.

For example, visitors can click a logo of the New York Times on the Web on to see a collection of the publisher’s latest photos, which are then linked to news stories on the publisher’s Web site. People can also type in the search box, “George Clooney,” to see photos of the Academy Award-winning actor, linked to all the latest stories about him.

It will be interesting to see reaction. Google has already faced a law suit because of its indexing of images. Smaller search engines seem to be an even bigger target for publishers not happy with having their content stored elsewhere.

An Inside Look at Directories

Shimon Sandler has an interesting chat with BOTW‘s Greg Hartnett. Greg outlines what to look for in a directory, the benefits of directory links, the history of BOTW and whether you’ll actually get traffic from a directory.

Could Google Romance Become Reality?

The Motley Fool suggests that the recent Google Romance April Fools joke, could become a reality in the near future. Why?

Online dating is big business. According to comScore Media Matrix, Yahoo! Personals and are the most active sites, drawing 5.3 million and 3.9 million unique monthly visitors, respectively. Because relationship-seekers are also willing to pay for online introductions, the services help diversify the revenue mix. With 99% of its revenues still coming from advertising, Google would be more stupid than Cupid to forgo a shot at a high-margin niche that would help grow its ever-expanding reach.

I beg to differ. Having worked with a company involved in the online dating industry, I can tell you how difficult that space is right now. Just this weekend, the WSJ highlighted the slowdown of online dating with growth for this year dropping from double digits to just 7%.

Click Fraud Scams Revealed

SEOmoz questioned the “click-fruaders” and asked them to share some of the techniques used to get paid by Google and the other search engines.

There is at least one (and may be more) companies out there who don’t care where your links come from. They’ll pay you a flat 2 cents or more per click. You can put a link on images, text designed to get people to click, etc. They’re called “blind links” because the user has no idea where they will be going when they click on them – even if they think they do.