Google Takes DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion

Shar VanBoskirk

I'll admit.  I had my money on Microsoft taking DC as a technology solution to their ad serving need.  And I think if the deal were only about technology, Microsoft would have made a solid suitor.  But DoubleClick brings Google much more than an ad serving solution.  What's my take on this deal?

*Google wins.  We've been watching Yahoo! and MSN chase Google since paid search marketing exploded as a marketing channel and major revenue source for the three portals.  This deal ends the race.  With its DoubleClick purchase Google extends its capabilities into online display advertising and completes its set of online services.

*Its not about the technology.  Google already had ad serving.  This deal gives Google access to publishers outside of its current AdSense network and to behavioral data that will help them with ad targeting.

*Now Google can move offline.  I agree with Charlene Li on this one.  With the online space locked up, Google can focus on maturing its current offline efforts and on defining its next moves into traditional channels.

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Is "Lost" class teaching students to avoid ads?

Shar VanBoskirk

WBUR, Boston's NPR news station ran a story this past Tuesday about a new Tufts University class studying the phenomenon of ABC's hit series Lost.  The class -- "The Future is Lost: The TV Series as Cultural Phenomenon" -- is part of Tuft's Experimental College, an undergraduate forum focused on pioneering innovations in education and faculty/student collaboration within the Arts and Sciences (which in addition to the "Lost" class also offers courses like: "Sabermetrics: The Objective Analysis of Baseball," "Ethical Leadership in Business," "Obesity and Children" and "Television in the Age of YouTube,").  The Lost course meets every Tuesday and Thursday evening this semester and is taught by a current Tufts Senior.

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Boston's Recent Marketing Prank Turned Terrorist Scare

Shar VanBoskirk

No doubt many of you are already well aware of the ad-campaign-turned-terrorist-scare that rocked us in the city of Boston on January 30.  I'm a little behind the 8-ball in writing up my thoughts about it.  But since it is still coming up -- both in our team conversations here, and out in the world at large -- I thought it would be worth talking about, even a few weeks after the fact.

The redux of what happened:

In an attempt to promote its Cartoon Network show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," Turner Broadcasting positioned LED displays of one of the show's characters around significant city structures, including bridges and i-93, Boston's central artery. (See images of the devices here).

The question we've been debating internally, is: Was this good marketing?

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Google's Interest in Adscape Brings Credibility To Game Marketing

Shar VanBoskirk

There has been a lot of buzz this week about Google buying Adscape Media, a San Francisco-based company specializing in in-game ad placements.

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Does Inside Sales Belong In Marketing?

Laura Ramos

Happy New Year, everyone! Jeff reminds me that I made a resolution to blog more, so let me post a short one to start off and ask a question:

Does your inside sales/ telesales organization report up to the head of Sales or the head of Marketing?

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What's so interesting about AOL's bid for TradeDoubler?

Shar VanBoskirk

This past Tuesday, AOL put in a 6.3 billion kronor (about $900 million) bid for Swedish ad network TradeDoubler.  Although TradeDoubler's board voted to accept the bid, one of its largest share holders rejected the bid as undervalued.  The take among the investment community is that this is AOL's attempt to expand advertising revenues now that it has moved away from its subscription-based business model.  While I think this is certainly true, I find a few other angles of the potential acquisition more interesting:

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Consumers As Media: How Far Will This Go?

Shar VanBoskirk

AdAge just announced Gino Bona, a sales exec out of Portsmouth, NH as the winner of the NFL's "create your own Super Bowl commercial" contest.  And the NFL is not the only sponsor of viewer-created commercials.  Chevy and Frito-Lay sponsored similar contests for their own Super Bowl spots.

Then last week the news broke about the entrepreneurial "J.P" who was seeking corporate sponsors to pay him to propose to his girlfriend during a Super Bowl commercial.  The notion of using consumers to create ads isn't new and clearly consumers are actively creating their own media.  But these last few stories got me to thinking:  What happens now that not only are consumers creating media, but consumer actually are media?  Reality TV is huge.  And I would bet most of us have some fairly close connection with someone who has been on a reality TV show (my ex-boyfriend was fraternity brothers with the guy who "won" ABC's second season of "The Bachelorette."). 

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Better Late Than Never: Five Things You Didn't Know About Christine Overby

Christine Overby

Thanks for the tag, Pete! The more of these that I read, the longer I put this off. How can my life compete with knife fights in Moracco and killer golf handicaps (just kidding Julie and Laura)?!?!

But in the spirit of good fun, here are 5 facts about me:

1. I have unusually long arms. Did you know that most people have a "wingspan" -- the distance between your middle fingertips with your arms outstretched -- that's roughly equivalent to their height? Well, if I were as tall as my wingspan long, then I would be over 6' (I'm 5'8").  This is an endless source of amusement for friends, especially when I wear sleeveless shirts. One calls me Stretch Armstrong. [Sigh.]

2. I have a nerdy obsession with food writing. Not cookbooks and restaurant reviews, but hard core stuff from Harold McGee, MFK Fisher, and Brillat-Savarin. I also like to make a mess in the kitchen, but don't ask me to replicate dishes since I never measure and always second-guess recipe ingredients (the analyst in me, I guess).

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Blog Tag Continues: Five Things You May Not Know About Laura Ramos

Laura Ramos

So it looks like Peter Kim and Eric Kintz have innocently conspired to whittle away at the precious little time standing between me and a long end-of-the-quarter winter's break. While some corporations may frown on an employee spending a few minutes to join a game of corporate blogging, I suspect the outcome will be both a little surprising and beneficial to the bloggers who decide to play. The Internet has truly made the world a much smaller place, as I believe this blog tag game will show.  Here's my contribution, 5 things about me that some of you may not have suspected:

1) I was born in Japan, but am not a Japanese citizen.  (My dad was in the US Navy for 23 years.)

2) During college summers, I worked onboard Navy ships in San Diego for the Naval Sea Support Center (See a common theme here?)

3) Everyone in my immediate family plays golf.  While my handicap is too embarrassingly high to mention (my 9-year-old daughter occassionally hits the ball farther than I do,) my 14-year-old son's handicap is around 12 and my husband's is a 9. As further proof of our golf insantity: over the summer, we had an artificial putting green installed in our backyard.

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Anti-Social Computing?

Shar VanBoskirk

We’ve been talking a lot in our research about the importance of “Humanizing the Digital Experience” – that is, using ever more and more prevalent digital channels to extend the personal connection marketers have to their customers.  And yet, I feel like most marketers actually need to focus on humanizing the human experience first.  In fact, I would argue that advances in technology are actually limiting the inter-personal interactions we have with human representations of a given brand.  Let me explain what I mean.

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