Talkin' 'bout my generation Create user-targeted display ads with MySpace MyAds

Posted by maggie.hunsucker February 12, 2009 at 8:29 am


Hundreds of millions of users visit social networks every day. Sounds like a good advertising opportunity.

Enter myAds by MySpace. MyAds is a straightforward advertising platform. Create your campaign online, uploading either your existing ad material or using the service’s free templates and browser-based editor. Then, specify your target demographic (gender, age, location, education, or interests) and set your ad budget and duration. It’s a cost-per-click (CPC) model, so you don’t pay for ad views, but you will be charged when your ad is clicked on. Once you campaign is live, MyAds will give you real-time analytics on your ad’s performance.


MyAds isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it is giving advertisers what they want – a simple and clean ad platform on the most popular social networking site. Advertisers can leverage user profile information to craft a targeted campaign, which can be greatest allure to this type of advertising.

Not sure who your target customer is or if they even exist on MySpace? No problem. MyAds gives you the total number of users who meet your criteria - a number that changes in real-time as you whittle down prospects by demographic. So before you purchase, you'll know exactly how many eyes will see your ad.

MyAds uses only what is public profile information (which is actually just enough to create a highly targeted campaign) and offers you the ability to do display ads, whereas Facebook's current ad platform only offers text with a thumbnail.


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  Because, because, because . . . Advertise on targeted Twitter tweets with adCause

Posted by maggie.hunsucker January 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

ad-causeAdvertisers have been waiting in the wings for popular micro-blogging platform Twitter to figure out a monetization strategy.

Enter adCause, the latest contender.   It connects businesses looking to tap into the growing Twitter network with publishers (or as the name suggests, with philanthropic publishers) who are willing to offer up ad space in their tweet stream for a small fee.

Here’s how it works.  Twitter users sign up for the adCause publishing network and give advertisers their best sales pitch – a description about them and their followers, the number of followers they have, ad frequency (e.g. your ad will appear once for every ten tweets I send out), ad duration, and the cost of this campaign.   As an advertiser, you can search through the network and find Twitterers that best suit your needs or target a specific user by their Twitter ID (you’d be surprised how many have name-brand recognition).  This is also a handy feature if you want to run a background check on a Twitter user before investing.

And if you’re the type that likes to haggle, you’ll dig adCause’s built-in best offer feature (similar to Ebay).  Once an agreement is reached, simply enter your ad text (like Adwords, tweets need to be short and sweet) and pay with PayPal.  Publishers have editorial control, so they do retain the right to 86 your ad if it’s inappropriate for their followers.

Publishers who want to throw some, if not all of their profit to a charity can even set-up a charity info section on their adCause profile page, including the charity name and the percentage of their donation. Advertisers may be more inclined to invest in your Twitter identity if they know your values align with their own.

You might want to consider a few other Twitter money-makers where advertisers either bid on notoriety (Big Talker) or the equivalent of billboard space (Rockin Robin).


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  Jive Talk Create, target, and place video ads online with Jivox

Posted by maggie.hunsucker January 6, 2009 at 7:47 am


The idea of local video advertising may evoke images of personal injury lawyers, but there is much more to video these days.

Consider a service like Jivox, which takes ad placement online. Jivox has an easy-to-use video creation and placement interface, and provides a premium publisher network to serve up your ads. You pay only for media spend.

With Jivox, it’s a straightforward, three-step process – create, target, and budget – to put a video ad online. To get started, choose your design elements (like images, video, and music) from the service’s royalty-free stock library. You can also upload custom content, such as a company logo or your existing ad materials. Throw in some ad copy and/or a promotional offer or coupon, and you’re good to go. You can edit all your video ad elements directly in the Jivox system – syncing music and video and setting times for your copy to appear.

The next step in the process is to define your target audience. With Jivox, you can filter publishers by demographic – age, language, gender, etc – or zero-in on specific audience behavior patterns. You can’t pick sites carte blanche, but Jivox will match you with local and relevant websites who meet your target requirements. Jivox has lined up some choice publishers in their networks, including local and national television sites, newspaper sites, and weather-related sites (e.g. CBS Affiliate websites, Media News Group,, as well as local search-related sites (e.g. YellowPages). Once you’ve identified your target, you can set your ad budget. A typical campaign for a small or medium business is $500 a month, but you can go as low as $250 if you are looking to experiment. With Jivox, you pay by video impression (defined as a full video play or play-to-click); a budget of $500/month can expect roughly 30,000 ad veiws.

Here’s a service offering an all-in-one package for targeted video advertising for free. It’s a good time to start learning.

Unlike their TV cousin (or is it uncle?), online video advertising provides the opportunity for direct campaign measurement. Jivox provides an activity report so you can monitor impressions and click-through rates.

If you like the Jivox platform but feel a little uneasy about a cut-and-paste video ad campaign, you can use one of Jivox's preferred design partners to contract our the work (or a friendly digital scientist).


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  Two snaps up Deliver mobile marketing materials via image query with SnapTell

Posted by maggie.hunsucker November 26, 2008 at 12:53 pm

The beauty of online advertising is your product is always a click away. However, if you rely on more traditional ad mediums, like print, television, or billboards, you are at the mercy of short attention spans. A customer may run across your ad while flipping through a magazine, interest piqued, but ultimately, just move on.

That’s where SnapTell might help. Users take a picture of a product or ad with their camera phone, send the image to SnapTell, and within seconds, receive information on the product – and if you’re a participating advertiser – coupons, branded media (like wallpapers or ringtones), promotional contest and prizes, and more. Unlike most mobile marketing, SnapTell is 100% user opt-in, which means users only receive your materials if they want them and more importantly, when they are motivated to use them.

SnapTell utilizes scalable image recognition technology to identify your product from the image. And despite the pitfalls of most camera phones – poor quality, low resolution, weird angles or lighting – the system is quite reliable. SnapTell maintains a large database of product and brand images, which it is able to search upon query. It can even extract text from the user’s image – a useful feature if your product is not registered in the SnapTell database already.

Advertisers can set up a SnapTell campaign though the online interface. Simply “drag and drop” product images into the database, set up the corresponding content delivery, and let Snaptell do the rest. You can even get campaign stats to see how effective your mobile marketing efforts are.

We spoke about the prospect of letting people connect items in the real world with wikipedia entries in The New Dimension - SnapTell is somewhat similar. This is also somewhat similar to using 2D barcodes, much the rage in Japan but only slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. of A.

SnapTell has some innovative partnerships with major magazines like Wired, US Weekly, and Rolling Stone, where the advertisers within the magazine pages can run their own promotional campaigns or be part of larger, magazine-wide contest, such as vacation or iPhone giveaway.


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  Big talker Place ad messages in Twitter tweets with MagPie

Posted by tom klein November 4, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Twitter is a star on the social scene, but few advertisers have been able to capitalize on its success. The trick here- and with all advertising – is finding a way to reach your target audience, without crashing the party.

A service called Magpie may have found the way. MagPie is an unaffiliated Twitter ad network, where Twitter users lease out their “tweets” as advertising vehicles. Here’s how it works- advertisers create a simple text-based message, then bid on keywords associated with their campaign. If we were trying to drum up readership for feed growth! – we know, feed growth! sells itself, but bare with us for the example – we might bid on keywords like “digital marketing” or “social media”. The MagPie network matches Twitter users to our ad, based on the the topics they frequently Twitter on. So someone like Guy Kawasaki would be pay dirt for our campaign, as his Twitter followers number in the thousands.

The highest keyword bidder wins out, and that ad goes out as a tweet from the Twitter user, blending in with their tweet stream. The twitterer decides how frequently ads appear in their tweet stream – 1 ad for every 5 tweets is the default. Payout is based on the number of Twitter followers they have and the “hotness” (a.k.a. popularity) of the topic. Be a MagPie relies on the Twitter users in their network to keep quality control. In other words, don’t over-tweet your followers with ads to get a bigger payout from MagPie. You may lose followers and decrease your worth to advertisers.

MagPie is based in Great Britain, but location of the twitterer and the advertiser is irrelevant. If your currency is not the Euro, PayPal converts it for you.

A few independent services have emerged, like TwittAd and MagPie, but nothing has been officially released or endorsed by Twitter. It will be interesting to see what sticks; Twitter's strategy here may be to let the advertisers figure it all out.


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