Archive for March 2007

No more cable salad

This seems so obvious, yet so helpful:

stecker.jpg

Why haven’t people thought about this earlier – well, probably, because this is the age of endless gadgets with plugs all looking the same…

(found here)

Berliner Currywurst

Ok, I didn’t actually stay until Sunday. I was back Saturday Evening already, since I need to do some work today. Unfortunately, because Berlin is always fascinating, you could spend endless hours walking down the streets in one of the many different parts of the city.

One thing we visited worth mentioning, apart from the huge ADC exhibition, was the most famous currywurst place in Germany (or so they say):

konnopke.jpg

Konnopke’s fast food exists since 1930. 10 years before the McDonalds Brother started their business. But the rest is a matter of Ray Croc injecting business understanding and franchise models, as well as the difference between free market economies and communism (yes, Konnopke is in the former East Berlin).

Somehow, this place has stayed a uique location even though the demand is incredible. On a saturday aound lunchtime, the cue is nearly 20 meters long. And the service is not slow – it took less than one minute to take my order and deliver the currywurst with fries. Usually it takes longer at a regular McDonalds.

I was particularly fascinated by their marketing efforts of selling vouchures. I haven’t seen that at any fast food place like that, yet.

konnopke_crm.jpg

For those who don’t know German: it basically advertises the fact that you can now give fast food vouchures to your friends, colleagues, etc.

One Day, no Internet

As I wrote earlier, it was Internet Shutdownday yesterday. And I decided to take part. When I originally wrote that, I assumed I would be on vacation (sitting on a beach, not thinking about the internet anyway.

However, as it turned out, I wasn’t on vacation, as I had to postpone my vacation by a week. So I will be on vacation next week instead. So it could have been a relatively hard day for me, being an internet junkie. But it wasn’t, since I spent a very nice day in Berlin (more on that later) and got back so late, that I decided to wait until after midnight – German time – for continuing to blog…

So what did I do during Internet Shutdown Day? I was sightseeing around Berlin and I spent almost 5 hours on a train back to Germany.

Was it worth it? If I had purposefully done these things in order to not use the internet, it would not have been worthwile. But I had no choice, so it was easy to not use the Internet.

Nice finding, hey? If you have no choice, then not using the internet can be OK…

Berlin, Berlin …

… we’re going to Berlin.

The German Direct Marketing Awards are being awarded in Berlin tomorrow evening. And we’re on the shortlist…

Since we’re going to the ADC exhibition on Saturday, we’ll be staying until Sunday. So does anyone have a good suggestion for Saturday night in Berlin?

A study about the bloody obvious

Doubleclick apparently just published a study on the effectiveness of video ads. Which is fine, it’s a new ad form that needs to be scrutinized. But the first couple of findings really state the obvious in my opinion:

When it comes to grabbing the attention of Web surfers, advertising distributed via online video handily outpaces static image ads…

Well, of course. Anyone could have guessed that, really.

The second fact they find is equally obvious:

It predicted companies that invest in online video advertising are likely to see significant results.

Wow, what a coincidence. I bet they’re more expensive, too…

I know, I know. You need this kind of study in order to really convince clients (or rather: their bosses) that video ads justify the budget spent on them. But hey, it sounds all the more trivial to me.

Only one thing makes me think:

“It’s a mistake for advertisers to assume that all they should do is take their television ads and move them to the Internet,” he said. “I expect that the most effective video ads are the ones that compel the user to engage with them and initiate the advertising. Our clients are now mixed about whether their ads should play with or without user initiation… I think the best practice is to create the type of advertisements that users are going to request to see and initiate.”

I agree, that you shouldn’t just put your TV spots online. Rather, produce something truly interactive, with links in it. (Which could look like this.)

Also, the videos should wait to be activated. Neither should they start running with full sound right away (consider office situations…). The best I have seen so far were looping video ads without sound, but with a very visible sound “on” button.

Advertising goes social

That is the tagline for Zooopa. Another crowdsourcing platform, this time for making ads. As it says on the homepage:

1. I give you a brand

2. You make and ad

3. You rate the best ones

4. I pay you

In essence: You make lots of ads, watch lots of ads, I pay only one ad.

Nice try.

Yahoo! Pipes – a meshup of feeds

I know I am fairly late with this, but this is absolutely astounding! Yahoo! Pipes let’s users create their own feeds based on any information on the web. Here is an example of a meta-search-feed:

The pipe you’re looking at demonstrates how to use a few of the more powerful modules. In this example a variety of sources are queried with the same term. The results are merged into one feed. Next, all the items are sorted by what was most recently published. Finally any items with identical titles are removed and a new RSS feed is born.

This is how it looks like:

pipes.jpg

Once you have created a pipe, you can subscribe to the feed via the usual suspects – bloglines in my case.

Apparently you can meshup all sorts of types of information. A popular one for example is a mixture of appartments for rent and google maps.

A fascinating example of how “plattforms” and “programming” become less important, because users only meshup what is of interest to them any way. Question is: how can marketers make sure that users still receive marketing messages? (And like receiving them, at the same time – that will be even more important!)

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