Category Archives: advertising

Shredding The Cord

Ah, my once-beloved Dish Network account – the thing I once thought I could never do without; the budget monster that consumed $100 per month, month after month, year after year. I agonized for months over the idea of simply killing it before finally pulling the plug.

It’s been the better part of a year since I put the budget-busting beast to rest and cancelled the account. Dish Network itself seemed to want to throw up as many roadblocks as possible to get me to change my mind. They wanted the LNB module off of my roof, in addition to the two receivers. I had 30 days to send the units back in the packing boxes they sent or they would make me pay full price for them.

I was able to talk the guy out of forcing me to climb up on my roof to retrieve the LNB, and I was able to get the two receivers sent back to them within the 30 days of cancellation. However, somehow they had in their billing system I had three receivers, not two. They sent return packaging for three units. I spent time on the phone with them to make sure this discrepancy was resolved, and they assured me it was.

Ooops, not so fast! A month or two later I got a letter from them stating I still owed them for a receiver and they intended to hit my bank account for the amount. A phone call to them resolved the issue and I haven’t heard a peep from them since.

How has life been without all of those channels? $ome part of me hate$ to admit it, but I haven’t missed it at all. I’ve got an Intel Mac Mini set up as a DVR for local over-the-air HD broadcasts, as well as a Netflix account and several other Internet-connected set top box viewing solutions.


A very large percentage of TV programming is marketing presented as content. Much of what passes for entertainment depicts multitudes of dysfunctional drama queens assaulting and insulting the people around them. The more dysfunctional they are, the more likely it is the marketing messages will seep into the mesmerized minds of the audience. Even if one isn’t watching commercials, product placement and even behavior placement abounds. Viewers are being programmed to buy certain products, as well as behave in certain ways.

Think you can’t do without cable or satellite TV? Think again. I was paying $1,200 dollars a year for Dish Network. Multiply that by just 5 years and that’s a whopping $6,000 dollars for the privilege of being shaped and influenced by marketing messages so I would spend even more money.

Let’s go one step further. For many people TV is an addiction. These people are crack dealers in disguise. How else could it be that they can continue to raise their prices and people continue to pay ever more?

Let’s be honest. The vast majority of cable TV programming is less than worthless. Could that $6,000 dollars been better spent on higher-quality programming? Of course it could.

Fulton eCoupled Does Wireless Power

Dave Baarman presents Fulton eCoupled Wireless Power ( They have systems for wirelessly powering things such as cell phones and even systems using conductive ink for “smart packaging” that actually lights up the packaging when placed on a special conductive grocery store shelf. You are going to be blown away by where this is headed. Listen to the full interview and post commentary to get some insights into where ecoupled charging and what symbol to look for when you are purchasing electronics.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Whistler Blackcomb – XXS

I love these tilt-shift films which make everything appear in miniature and some of you will recall Sam O’Hare’s “The Sandpit” from earlier in the year. This new film was produced for Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada by Mike Douglas of Switchback Entertainment and it continues the fun. Music is “Passed Out” by White Apple Tree.

Whistler Blackcomb – XXS from Switchback Entertainment on Vimeo.

Vitrue Top 100 Social Brands

Every year Vitrue announces the top 100 social brands to show which ones are grabbing mindshare.  It does this by analysing online conversations across social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, photo and video sharing sites. Basically it captures what people are talking about on-line.

It’s a pretty good bellwether for the movers and shakers and unsurprisingly, consumer electronics come out very well.Of the total 100 companies listed, 30% are consumer electronics, followed by fashion and retail with 20%. Transportation finishes the podium places with 17%.

Of course, entry in the list is no guarantee of success. I would imagine that a brand getting lots of bad publicity could score highly as well.

But if you want to know what the Top 10 brands are….

1.    iPhone
2.    Blackberry
3.    Disney
4.    Android
5.    iPad
6.    Sony
7.    Apple
8.    MTV
9.    Coca-Cola
10. Samsung

One thing you’ll probably notice is that brands don’t always directly relate to companies.  Apple manages to get three times into the top 10 with Apple, iPhone and iPad. iPod “only” managed to get to number 15.  Another thing I noticed was that the social networks themselves didn’t seem to qualify – there’s no Twitter or Facebook – and I can only assume that this is part of the Vitrue’s algorithm.

However, it’s fun to do some comparing….Apple is in at 7, Microsoft is at 31.  There’s a little cluster of cars at 11, 12, 13 with Ford, Mercedes and BMW.  The Xbox at 17 seems to be trumping the Playstation and the Wii at 26 and 28 respectively. Coca-Cola (9) thrashes Pepsi languishing in at 80. Nike’s (24)  not too far away from Adidas (34).

Check it out for yourself at Vitrue’s blog. Where are your favourite brands?

The Best; Then There’s The Rest

One of the classic methods of marketing centers around the idea of bundling; i.e. getting people to pay for lower-quality merchandise by pushing sheer quantity over quality. This strategy isn’t always successful, but when it works it can work brilliantly.

When I was a teenager growing up in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, music was sold via vinyl records. The “hit” songs were played on the radio, thus creating artist familiarity and product demand. Radio stations of the day would sometimes play the “B” side of the record but most often they only played the “hits.” In other words, they weren’t playing the “misses” on the radio.

In a stroke of marketing genius, however, someone somewhere got the idea to bundle the musical misses and missteps on the “B” side of the vinyl records. When 33-RPM records came along, this trend was amplified because there was more room than ever. Make consumers think they were buying not only the artist’s latest hits, but throw that filler material in there too. Sometimes with certain artists the filler material could be brilliant too. However, most of the time it was just filler material.

This strategy mostly worked until digital recording and playback techniques, combined with the Internet, caused massive changes in the way people manufactured, discovered, marketed, and purchased music. For a variety of reasons, today people tend to only want to buy what they consider to be the very best “hits” from services such as iTunes, and there’s little to no market for the “filler” misses.

The same marketing concept has been used via bundling to get people to pay for “filler” cable TV channels. Want a “good” channel such as Discovery, TLC, or History? Sorry sir, that sandwich only comes with pickles, mustard and horse radish – take it or leave it.

What consumers often fail to realize is that substantial portions of their cable TV and/or satellite bills are paid directly to bundled channel providers that they probably never watch. Bundled mediocrity gets rewarded.

Why are you mindlessly paying good money for bundled channels you probably don’t know the names of? Stop rewarding bundled mediocrity. Turn off your cable or satellite subscription. I promise you – your heart won’t suddenly stop beating. The world won’t suddenly come to an end.

Big App Show For Android

Adam Curry is a clever guy. Back in 2004 he was working on the concept of podcasting. Now he is pioneering smartphone apps.

About 6 months ago, Adam Curry came out with a free iPhone application called “The Big App Show.” Each day, day in and day out, Curry records a new video of himself demonstrating an iPhone app.

The Big App Show is now available for Android. The concept is the same, except with the Android app the apps Curry demonstrates are obviously for Android and are available in the Android Marketplace.

The Big App Show is a very witty app that really takes advantage of the power of Android and iPhones. Curry is adding value by demonstrating the apps right on the screen as he talks rather than giving dry descriptions. He puts out a new app video on both the Android and iPhone platforms every day of the year.

Bravo Adam! I think you are on to something!!!

Jim Louderback and I are on Same Page!

Jim Louderback the CEO of Revision3 who I respect a great deal, has made some frank comments in an article on Adage about the Viral Video Advertising space. In his opening statement he makes this assertion.

Online video creators, advertisers and producers have an unhealthy fascination with viral videos, and that obsession is dragging down the entire industry. Why? Because viral videos are, at their core, no better than a fluffernutter white-bread sandwich, delivering little or no value to anyone.

I am sure his frustration, follow the same frustration I have when I talk with media buyers. Most are hung up on a shortsighted strategy of going after viral videos because it has coolness factor. While at the same time 99.9% of the media buyer advertising market is ignoring serial content which as this sites readers, listeners and viewers know are followed by very loyal audiences!  When I meet with media buyers their age tells part of the story, most are under 25 and have had 1-2 years of media sales experience. Sadly most of the media buyers refuse to acknowledge the value of predictable episodic content. Instead they pay $4.00-$6.00 cpm for YouTube Videos. They do not understand that the dedicated audiences, with money to spend on products and services, listen and watch the media shows like we represent that reach 10’s of millions of loyal fans each month.  Jim’s shows at Revision3, and those I represent at RawVoice are ROI Goldmines that most media buyers ignore. Jim hits it home in this comment.

Ten predictable episodic shows that deliver a consistent 100,000 views an episode is far easier to plan for and monetize than a channel that has a one-in-100 chance of catching fire — and a 99-in-100 chance of bombing.

The last comment I am quoting  is something I have been hammering home for the past 6 years, yet most of these media buyers refuse to consider new media in their buying plans. They ignore what new media content can deliver for them. We get lucky once in a while and convert buyers to our side of the fence.  I had a media buyer recently say “wow new media (podcast) advertising is hitting a home run for us” she could hardly believe the ROI numbers. Why do you think our Advertisers have been with us for 6 years? You would think some of these media buyers would clue into what new media is delivering. Jim’s comment ring home here.

Viral videos may be bad for creators and publishers, but they are actually worse for advertisers. Your typical viral video gets passed around, yes, and drives a lot of views. And yes, those can translate into impressions for an advertiser. But as we’ve seen at Revision3, advertising associated with viral videos has only a small fraction of the impact of an ad that runs inside, or alongside, an episodic video program. We’ve seen tremendous results from putting brands next to our long-running episodic programs — those with real communities, high comment-to-view ratios and predictable views.”

In my opinion Media Buyers need to wake the hell up and start spending their clients money in a way that deliver real returns versus throwing spit balls against the wall hoping that they stick. We have millions of listeners / viewers ready to support sponsors of their favorite shows.  Is it not about time that companies wake up and start spending money responsibly. Go over to the article and read his full commentary, it is worthy more discussion in the near future. I am hoping it will wake some of the major brand media buyers up.

If you are a media buyer and want to see what new media can deliver for you, I would be happy to put together a media plan for one, or all of our 6000 shows that will make you a hero at the office!

RawVoice Posts 31 Percent Gain in Quarter 2

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) July 12, 2010

Podcasting industry leader RawVoice has recorded a phenomenal 31 percent increase in revenue for the second quarter of 2010, which ended July 1. The increase reflects new advertising buys on 27 percent more shows within the RawVoice family, including Blubrry and Tech Podcasts Network and other network partners compared to the first quarter.

“Advertisers are confident in us delivering a healthy return on investment,” explains Todd Cochrane, RawVoice CEO and host of Geek News Central. “Advertising with RawVoice enables them to expose their brand to audiences that are consuming media on a variety of devices in the home and on the go.”

Audience growth was fueled by the increased quality and quantity of podcasts available within the RawVoice community — alone has more than 5,500 shows available for advertising — and expanded media accessibility on multiple platforms. “Our strategy of multi-platform distribution is exposing new audiences to our content creators on venues that accommodate their lifestyle needs,” Cochrane said.

Digital media content technology enables viewers and/or listeners to subscribe to, receive and consume their favorite podcasts how they want, when they want on any number of mediums, including the Internet, over-the-top boxes such as Roku, Apple iOS and Google Android-based smart phones.

“Advertisers are accessing exactly the audience that they want,” Cochrane said. “We are the only advertising medium that can guarantee they are reaching their target audiences.” Viewers and listeners in turn gain exposure to great products and services matched to their needs. The end result is that hosts are able to sustain and grow their shows “ultimately resulting in more ad deals for our content creators,” he said.

The RawVoice Generator network services measure a show’s reach through its media statistics platform, helping creators to monetize their shows and guaranteeing that advertisers reach their delivery and branding goals. “We get direct input from content creators on their audiences and we can cross validate that data with listener and viewer survey data,” Cochrane explained. “Without this trifecta of data, we would not be able to execute such large campaigns effectively.”

As Quarter 3 gets under way, Cochrane is confident the advertising and audience growth will continue to the benefit of media creators. “We are continuing to focus on multi-platform distribution for the shows that are part of the network,” he said. “The show producers are reaching millions of people monthly. We want to continue to take the lead in finding ways to help content creators maintain sustainable incomes for their shows.”

About RawVoice Inc.

RawVoice offers media producers an easy, efficient means to get media online and measure audience behavior. The RawVoice Generator is a configurable, customizable, user-friendly media platform that combines the power of podcasting and new media with social networking. The RawVoice Generator lets you push content to portable and home media devices, such as iPhones, Roku and Boxee. RawVoice’s Integrated New Media Statistics analyzes downloadable and streaming media. It’s easy to use, powerful and flexible.

Brands: RawVoice Generator, RawVoice Media Statistics, PowerPress Podcast Plugin,,,,

Will You Survive The Coming Changes?

Get ready for a world where everything is on demand and à la carte. Traditional broadcasting is going to change whether it wants to or not. Marketing will be forced to change in profound ways. As a result, content-making will also go through a major metamorphosis.

Marketing and traditional broadcasting have long had an interesting relationship that has had a potentially detrimental effect on the quality and quantity of available content. Television in particular has long been known as “a vast wasteland.” If one thinks about how this lowest-common-denominator programming can exist, the realization emerges that anxious, aggressive television advertisers have often been willing to sponsor junk programming content to capture passive viewers. In the pre-Internet world of broadcast TV, people would surf channels in order to find what was often the least-boring programming. Also because of the hypnotic potential of this type of TV watching, many viewers were willing to sit in front of virtually any programming without really caring about what they were watching, using TV viewing itself as a sort of nightly drug. Marketing messages get programmed into viewer’s brains, but more importantly using this type of passive TV viewing as a drug has definite detrimental side effects to both the individual, the family unit, and society at large.

After a few months of agonizing, I recently cancelled my Dish Network account. I was already a Netflix customer and was watching more stuff from Netflix than I was from Dish Network, so it has been a remarkably easy transition.

There are differences. One of the differences is that I’m now forced to choose what I want to watch when I want to watch TV. Being forced to choose necessarily forces me to choose something I find personally interesting. The net effect is I’m making a conscious choice of my television influences. Of course, another difference is that streamed Netflix content has no ads.

Hulu.Com offers streaming content with ads, and recently started offering an inexpensive monthly premium streaming content option, which also has the added benefit of vastly expanding the list of devices they will stream to beyond the desktop/laptop computer to include media extenders and cell phones. Like Craig’s List cannibalized the local newspaper ad business, Hulu.Com and similar emerging streaming services are going to further cannibalize the now-breaking and broken broadcast TV model. I say this not to blame Hulu and other services as I believe this push for choice has been well underway for a long time and these emerging streaming services are simply accelerating it.

The ad-supported content will be forced to change because the programming must be appealing-enough to consumers to get them to choose the particular content. Non-ad supported content will continue to have a market but will be forced to appeal just the same to induce consumers to choose that content.

Motorola Sticks It to the iPhone…Again

The Motorola Droid (X in this case) is once again sticking it to the iPhone.  The last time it was Verizon, but now Motorola itself is getting in on the Apple-bashing act.

Remember all of those Verizon ads surrounding the launch of the Droid?  Well, today Motorola themselves took out a full page ad in the New York Times making light of all of the recent bad press surrounding the iPhone’s antenna problems.  You know, the one Steve Jobs called a non-issue?  The one where his advice was “just avoid holding it that way“?

Motorola’s response to that?  In their ad, referring to their antenna, they say “The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like”.

Now, I’m not an iPhone owner, and I am not a hater either, but I love a good jab when I see one.  And, this (Android vs iPhone) is shaping up to be a great battle in which the real winner will be all of us consumers.  Every shot taken gives the other one the incentive to improve.  Competition is good, and when it’s humorous it’s even better.