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Grammy Award Winning Band Touring the US with Tons of Downtime? There's an App for that'?¦

I know I'm not alone in thinking the iPad is for the most part, pretty pointless. Is it an e-reader, a gaming device or an iPod for old people with bad eyesight? I'm head over heels in love with everything my iPhone and iPod Touch have to offer, and one of the things I adore the most is their portability. My purse is literally overflowing at all times, and I can't imagine adding a 1.5 pound 9.56'? x 7.47'? x .5'? device to the mix. When I need a bigger screen or yearn for a keyboard, I turn to my MacBook Pro. However, when Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn told NME Magazine last month that his band was poised to release the first album ever recorded on an iPad, I was intrigued. 'I've made it on an iPad ' I hope I'll be making the first record on an iPad,'? he said. 'I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it, so I've made a completely different kind of record.'? I'm not familiar with the countless music production applications out there, or their capabilities, but I can't help but wonder if 'completely different'? will translate to 'awful sound quality.'? I'm skeptical, but my Bose headphones and I are ready to be proven wrong. The Gorillaz album, titled 'The Fall'?, will be released as a free download for fan club members on Christmas day, and is expected to be distributed through traditional music channels in 2011. Fans are excited to hear new music from the band, whose last album was released in March 2010, and typically average 4-5 years between projects. Now, I'm sure there are millions of bands in basements across America who are ready to dispute the fact that the Gorillaz album will be the first produced on an iPad, but it will likely be the first to get any global attention. The idea that the iPad can be used for creation, not just consumption, excites me. If the device  helps busy musicians that might not be fortunate enough to have a mobile recording studio on their tour bus deliver new content to their fans, then I'm all for it. Music has played a huge role in Apple's TV advertising, and has offered several artists (including the Gorillaz in 2005) a career boost over the years.  Despite a recent Microsoft endorsement deal by the Gorillaz, Albarn is hyping the iPad and its capabilities, and Apple would be smart to take advantage. I'm predicting a 2011 iPad commercial that features a new Gorillaz song from their album created on an actual iPad. I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that? Sources: http://nme.com, http://gorillaz.com, http://www.twitter.com/gorillazband

Grammy Award Winning Band Touring the US with Tons of Downtime? There's an App for that'?¦

I know I'm not alone in thinking the iPad is for the most part, pretty pointless. Is it an e-reader, a gaming device or an iPod for old people with bad eyesight? I'm head over heels in love with everything my iPhone and iPod Touch have to offer, and one of the things I adore the most is their portability. My purse is literally overflowing at all times, and I can't imagine adding a 1.5 pound 9.56'? x 7.47'? x .5'? device to the mix. When I need a bigger screen or yearn for a keyboard, I turn to my MacBook Pro. However, when Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn told NME Magazine last month that his band was poised to release the first album ever recorded on an iPad, I was intrigued. 'I've made it on an iPad ' I hope I'll be making the first record on an iPad,'? he said. 'I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it, so I've made a completely different kind of record.'? I'm not familiar with the countless music production applications out there, or their capabilities, but I can't help but wonder if 'completely different'? will translate to 'awful sound quality.'? I'm skeptical, but my Bose headphones and I are ready to be proven wrong. The Gorillaz album, titled 'The Fall'?, will be released as a free download for fan club members on Christmas day, and is expected to be distributed through traditional music channels in 2011. Fans are excited to hear new music from the band, whose last album was released in March 2010, and typically average 4-5 years between projects. Now, I'm sure there are millions of bands in basements across America who are ready to dispute the fact that the Gorillaz album will be the first produced on an iPad, but it will likely be the first to get any global attention. The idea that the iPad can be used for creation, not just consumption, excites me. If the device  helps busy musicians that might not be fortunate enough to have a mobile recording studio on their tour bus deliver new content to their fans, then I'm all for it. Music has played a huge role in Apple's TV advertising, and has offered several artists (including the Gorillaz in 2005) a career boost over the years.  Despite a recent Microsoft endorsement deal by the Gorillaz, Albarn is hyping the iPad and its capabilities, and Apple would be smart to take advantage. I'm predicting a 2011 iPad commercial that features a new Gorillaz song from their album created on an actual iPad. I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that? Sources: http://nme.com, http://gorillaz.com, http://www.twitter.com/gorillazband

Why Cross Media Planning Matters ' A Focus Group of One

I recently went on a short non business trip to London to see my sister and her new baby sans my teens.  No kids... what to do with all the downtime? I decided that I was going to leave my laptop home and use my iPad, so I downloaded my free Pride and Prejudice, paid for Gladwell's The Outlier and added the Glamour magazine app for the trip. I didn't go totally digital though - I couldn't leave for a flight without my newly arrived business mags as well. During my flight over, I finally had time to catch up on the week's news with The Week and Fortune's 40 under 40 (sadly I didn't make the list). Actually, I'm sure Gladwell will say, it's because most of the ones on the list were all born between 1971-76 and spent 10,000 hours doing something special that gave them their success.  The few others who do not fall in that range were outliers. As expected, with the time difference I was wide awake at 1am London time and nothing to do except watch NCIS on iTV, engage in 'Poke war'? on FB with my teens, texting them on my day's events, and researching online this new interesting mila seed.  This was pretty much my routine the couple nights I was there. I know, I'm in London and really, I'm excited about facebooking and browsing on the iPad?  Yes! And if the iPad had a camera so I could skype with my kids, take pictures or video the new baby I would be even more excited.  And boy do I wish the publishers would stop using flash on their website design and plan for the mobile web browsing experience! I realized on my trip why I continue to support traditional media channels for my clients and why I love digital media. I truly enjoy reading magazines, ripping out articles to save for later, watching my favorite TV shows ' and even abroad I can stay connected with my loved ones anywhere and anytime. Consumers learn to embrace new digital channels without dropping the old comfortable media.  By the way, I never got around to the glamour app, I wonder if I bought the magazine, would I have leafed through it??

This Week's Buzz within the Digital Space

June 14th-18th Apple and Google are at it again. Apple has publicized an addendum to their licensing agreement which bans any ad provider that is affiliated with a mobile hardware or operating system company (most notably, Google's recently acquired Admob) from gathering user data on their platform. Data collection is such a vital component of digital advertising; without it, we are unable to evolve our marketing strategy to adopt to and serve consumer preferences. Although Apple now seems to have an unfair advertising advantage, can we really blame them for not wanting to facilitate and benefit their competitor? This interaction epitomizes the companies' differing strategies: closed versus open. Interest in 3-D technology continues to heighten. From 3-D World Cup coverage to 3-D gaming, digital headlines this past week were swarming with mention of 3-D innovation. Unfortunately, this technology appears to have a fatal flaw. Thinking back to the basics of product diffusion, will our desire to adopt outweigh the complexity of integrating 3-D tech into our lifestyle? Does 3-D offer a significant relative advantage to good ol' fashion 2-D? The possibility for consumer rejection is high'but the potential for adoption could have huge implications for the future of advertising. Three brave advertisers (Sony, Gillette, and Disney-Pixar) are attempting to target these early adopters'while paying a 30-40% premium for a 3-D spot. ESPN's 3-D channel premiered the first ads which were designed specifically for live 3-D programming on June 11th. Their experiment with 3-D ads is just the beginning. The television networks, the cable providers, the hardware producers, the ad producers, and the consumers must all be on board in order for this technology to take off. Consumers love iPad advertisements. The average user's interaction time with an iPad ad is 30 seconds and click-through rates have run between .9% and 1.5% (6x the traditional web benchmark for click-to-expand ads). Currently, we can only speak for the early adopters who are enamored with the device's functionality: including the interactive ads it serves them. But as publishers begin to experiment with the iPad and discover new methods to engage their user (see: Time's already evolving iPad application), mainstream participation could be in sight. Despite this success, similar to what was discovered during the early days of the Internet, an improved method for measuring participation must be established: click-through rates are no longer relevant. A new tool from comScore, for example, tracks what happens after a customer views an ad (do they do a product search? do they visit a B&M store?) by cross-referencing their metrics with offline data. If we continue to measure ad success based soley on CTRs, what will happen when the iPad becomes mainstream? CTRs will seem to deflate while that might not be a true indicator of a decrease in engagement.

  • 3 min read
  • June 22, 2010

This Week's Buzz within the Digital Space

June 14th-18th Apple and Google are at it again. Apple has publicized an addendum to their licensing agreement which bans any ad provider that is affiliated with a mobile hardware or operating system company (most notably, Google's recently acquired Admob) from gathering user data on their platform. Data collection is such a vital component of digital advertising; without it, we are unable to evolve our marketing strategy to adopt to and serve consumer preferences. Although Apple now seems to have an unfair advertising advantage, can we really blame them for not wanting to facilitate and benefit their competitor? This interaction epitomizes the companies' differing strategies: closed versus open. Interest in 3-D technology continues to heighten. From 3-D World Cup coverage to 3-D gaming, digital headlines this past week were swarming with mention of 3-D innovation. Unfortunately, this technology appears to have a fatal flaw. Thinking back to the basics of product diffusion, will our desire to adopt outweigh the complexity of integrating 3-D tech into our lifestyle? Does 3-D offer a significant relative advantage to good ol' fashion 2-D? The possibility for consumer rejection is high'but the potential for adoption could have huge implications for the future of advertising. Three brave advertisers (Sony, Gillette, and Disney-Pixar) are attempting to target these early adopters'while paying a 30-40% premium for a 3-D spot. ESPN's 3-D channel premiered the first ads which were designed specifically for live 3-D programming on June 11th. Their experiment with 3-D ads is just the beginning. The television networks, the cable providers, the hardware producers, the ad producers, and the consumers must all be on board in order for this technology to take off. Consumers love iPad advertisements. The average user's interaction time with an iPad ad is 30 seconds and click-through rates have run between .9% and 1.5% (6x the traditional web benchmark for click-to-expand ads). Currently, we can only speak for the early adopters who are enamored with the device's functionality: including the interactive ads it serves them. But as publishers begin to experiment with the iPad and discover new methods to engage their user (see: Time's already evolving iPad application), mainstream participation could be in sight. Despite this success, similar to what was discovered during the early days of the Internet, an improved method for measuring participation must be established: click-through rates are no longer relevant. A new tool from comScore, for example, tracks what happens after a customer views an ad (do they do a product search? do they visit a B&M store?) by cross-referencing their metrics with offline data. If we continue to measure ad success based soley on CTRs, what will happen when the iPad becomes mainstream? CTRs will seem to deflate while that might not be a true indicator of a decrease in engagement.

This Week's Buzz within the Digital Space (May 3rd-7th)

The iNews As usual, Apple was a dominant source of news this week. The company announced that they had reached and surpassed their 1M iPads sold milestone'all within a month of their product launch. Now the question, since all the early adopters have adopted, who will be buying their product next month? Apple also released more information about their anticipated iAd platform, a service which will allow brands to engage their consumers on Apple products while also surrendering their creative over to Apple designers. The company reported an entry fee of at least $1M for advertisers who want to be involved when the new platform roles out.  Marketers must weigh the hefty price tag against the positive PR that will surround being an innovative company who advertises on the new technology. Furthermore, these iAds will be built to support HTML5, and so, the Adobe versus Apple saga continues.  Since Steve Jobs' letter last week which sought to explain the company's many reasons for not supporting Adobe Flash on their products, the media has been buzzing about the transition from the Flash platform to more 'open'? alternatives. Online Privacy Outside Cupertino, there's other buzz to be heard. There was much discussion this week on legislation that could significantly impact marketers' use of consumer data online. As the Internet continues to make privacy scarce, lawmakers are attempting to secure users' identifying information'including their IP numbers which facilitate behavioral targeting. This could have implications on how marketers' deliver personalized advertisements. ROFLcon II And digital happenings IRL! The Internet gathered in person last week at MIT for two action-packed days of panels, lectures and keynotes on the ever evolving role of Internet memes and the larger influence of Interent culture in today's world. And of course, there was a little time for chatroulette bingo. What did we learn from two days of rolling-on-the-floor laughing? Internet culture, however loosely defined, is becoming an increasingly powerful influence on the mainstream. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Debate among yourselves within the comments section below, or within the comments on the next cat youtube video that goes viral.

iPad Hype? Or iPad Hyper Speed?

Been thinking quite a bit about the iPad ' two things struck me. Went to a store today, Monday, and all three of the WiFi models were available for purchase.  In fairness, if you run retail, out of stock is not a good outcome as you've missed a sale, but I sure would want to understand what really happened this weekend. The majority of major analysts all increased their respective forecast for iPad sales by almost double across the board ' I assume that's based on earlier opinion polls however those and exit polls have been inaccurate in the past. Trust me, I am not an iPad hater, I have ordered a 3G+Wifi ' more that I embrace the spectacle of the brand. The fact that I ordered the 3G+Wifi model is my second point. If we really did wire up the nation to provide Wifi access ' think the Philadelphia Experiment (not movie) ' you really wouldn't need the two versions. Just struck me that maybe the math works ' would people pay ½ the cost of a 3G plan from AT&T to support free Wifi in their community? Just a thought...

The Coolest 'Pad on Campus

Seton Hill University, a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, is putting a spin on the old practice of students giving teachers apples in hope of better grades. Starting in the fall of 2010, Seton Hill will be giving all full-time students a 13" Apple MacBook laptop and an iPad. Promoted as part of the University's Griffin Technology Advantage Program, the school has stated that "This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools, ensuring that Seton Hill students will be uniquely suited to whatever careers they choose - even those that have not yet been created." Students will have access to these devices for class work and personal use, and will receive a new laptop after two years (which they get to keep upon graduation). What's this mean for marketers? For starters, it's further confirmation that college students are media accessible at almost every waking moment. The 2009 Alloy College Explorer study found that on average college students are collectively spending up to 12 hours interacting with different types of media, usually multi-tasking across their phone, computer, gaming device, etc. The iPad may be the next big step in media convergence - a portable, one-stop media device. At the least, it's a vote of confidence in the iPad's functional benefits. Seton Hill is banking on the fact that the device has real utility for learning / work - possibly a pre-cursor to companies following suit and distributing iPads as a less expensive alternative to laptops. With iPad sales kicking off this weekend, who else do you think will be jumping on the iPad bandwagon? Are you planning on getting one? Who knows, we may all be working off of tablets rather laptops before the class of 2010 graduates.

  • 1 min read
  • March 31, 2010

The Coolest 'Pad on Campus

Seton Hill University, a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, is putting a spin on the old practice of students giving teachers apples in hope of better grades. Starting in the fall of 2010, Seton Hill will be giving all full-time students a 13" Apple MacBook laptop and an iPad. Promoted as part of the University's Griffin Technology Advantage Program, the school has stated that "This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools, ensuring that Seton Hill students will be uniquely suited to whatever careers they choose - even those that have not yet been created." Students will have access to these devices for class work and personal use, and will receive a new laptop after two years (which they get to keep upon graduation). What's this mean for marketers? For starters, it's further confirmation that college students are media accessible at almost every waking moment. The 2009 Alloy College Explorer study found that on average college students are collectively spending up to 12 hours interacting with different types of media, usually multi-tasking across their phone, computer, gaming device, etc. The iPad may be the next big step in media convergence - a portable, one-stop media device. At the least, it's a vote of confidence in the iPad's functional benefits. Seton Hill is banking on the fact that the device has real utility for learning / work - possibly a pre-cursor to companies following suit and distributing iPads as a less expensive alternative to laptops. With iPad sales kicking off this weekend, who else do you think will be jumping on the iPad bandwagon? Are you planning on getting one? Who knows, we may all be working off of tablets rather laptops before the class of 2010 graduates.

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