Archive for February, 2007

What I learned at the HAF Luncheon – QR codes and cell phones, welcome to the future.


QR Codes

Photo courtesy of Leonard Low

At the HAF Luncheon today, Vui Le spoke about Mobile Phone Marketing. Most of the talk was associated with texting scenarios that involve getting users to “opt in” to mobile marketing and then using the mobile marketing as very “niche” one-on-one campaigns. After all, it is an ad that goes straight to you. Probably the biggest concern from the group questions related to privacy and how people get on a list and off of one. You can see leariness in the older crowd that might be less relevant to teenagers or kids.

There was a “golden nugget” in the talk called QR codes. I had never heard of them before, but apparently they are used successfullyl in Asian countries already.

The QR codes are graphic iconic bar codes that are included on marketing in Japan and other Asian countries.

A QR code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are most common in Japan, and are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code in Japan.

With software on your cell phone you can connect directly to that products purchase or gain other information on a product by taking a photo of the QR code with your cell phone. The potentials are huge. This is another arrow pointing to the shortening of the marketing cycle for products. Imagine purchasing products while you walk down the street… or purchasing products on TV with a click of the remote while you are watching a program.

Below is a YouTube video marketing the use of QR codes. Make sure you are like the cool kids and “get it”. Here is a video of how it works:

If you are interested you can see Vui Le’s PowerPoint slides from the HAF luncheon here.

February 21, 2007 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

Get Ready for $3 per Gallon Gasoline this Summer

The last two years have had gasoline spikes that echo the summer’s heat wave pattern. Energy costs rise as usage of fuel escalates. The heat is one reason for spikes in energy costs and consumption.

Jalopnik and the Detriot News have both predicted a climb to $3 gasoline by this summer. So budget for it… and get ready to stay home. Maybe you can go on a virtual trip? Or buy a Hybrid. Many Jalopnik commenters say the U.S. has had it to easy as in places like the U.K. they pay over $7 a gallon for gas now.

I also expect that this summer Toyota will pass the General as the worlds largest auto maker. It seems at least partially due to the fact that Toyota didn’t indulge in the fantasy that huge truck sales and suv sales would continue as strong into the late 2000s. Toyota and Honda are definitely smoking the competition on marketing to fuel economy.

February 20, 2007 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

Barenaked Ladies use YouTubers in their latest video

I wonder if they have read the “Tipping Point“. It seems like a good idea to let connectors and mavans sell your latest video?

February 20, 2007 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

Steve Rubel gives a thumbs up for “Event Reporting” as a measure for online activities.

In this article at Ad Age, Steve Rubel claims that page views fail as a means of measuring website success due to several factors. He offers up three alternatives to replace page views:

  1. Events – Tracking small measuarable activities that happen during your page access and during accesses of new pages. These events could be nearly anything.
  2. Unique Visitors – This measures people to your site… but doesn’t really give you much help with what someone does.
  3. Time Spent – Now that video is such a powerful element on the internet it seems that measuring time is very important to determine what a “piece of content” is worth. Time spent, like the others does have pitfalls.

The conclusion is where I feel most satisfied.  He leans toward events as the best source of measurement.

My companies software, Tendenci,  has been measuring events for “years”. We cosider any “business critical metric” worthy of tracking an “event”. Years of watching events allow you to see content differently than a page view.

One important realization that you can discern easily from events is the “what the hell is this site about” realization. Events allow you to ignore structure and see what users do on the site. In some cases “job board” activities lead the way in event activity. In others, accesses of “news and rss”. From a page view standpoint you might miss the activity level report because you are focused a few popular pages. You could miss the “long-tail” that far outweighs the single page accesses, and goes unnoticed because of the large collection of small accesses is hard to see in page views.

I agree with Steve. Events is the way to go.

We are already past that. The next step, I believe, is determining relationships between events. For example: What is the attendance rate percentage of someone that saves a i-calendar for an event but does not register immediately?  Next, how can you improve the i-calendar file to have more attendance?

We need to continue the iterative process that takes the “technology barriers” and replaces them with “interfaces” that are intuitively giving users what they want. In short, remove the dead ends and optimize the transactions.

February 20, 2007 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Absolutely 82 Bottles to Find?

Search Aboslute

Click this ad to make it bigger and find all 82 bottle shapes. Good Luck.

February 19, 2007 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Apartment Music

February 16, 2007 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

YouTube founder Jawed Karim explains the thought process and the events that led to the development of YouTube.

February 16, 2007 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

University of Texas Lawyers Get an A+ in Brand Damagement

Saw Em OffThe Lawyers of the University of Texas have lost their minds. They are suing Fadi Kalaouze, the operator of Aggieland Outfitters and Inspirations ( a combination of three stores that sell Aggie T-shirts), for the sell of their “SAW ‘EM OFF” T-Shirt Design. The UT lawyers are asking for Fadi Kalaouze and Kalcorp Enterprises to stop sales of “SAW ‘EM OFF!” merchandise and they are asking to recover alleged damages for past sales.

Fadi’s response to UT states that “SAW ‘EM OFF!” is an obvious parody of the UT trademark that could confuse no one seeking to buy products sponsored by and promoting UT, and that UT has waived any right to complain by waiting for almost 10 years.

The University of Stanford describes fair use as:

a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work.

and

A parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known work, by imitating it in a comic way. Judges understand that by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to “conjure up” the original.

Now there is another issue here, one that borders on common sense. The issue involves the notion that the University of Texas is actually damaging it’s own brand by a law suit that involves suing a rival school for a competitve sports T-shirt design that demonstrates a clear change to the logo design for the purpose of parody. It hasn’t yet, but could turn into a PR nightmare for U.T.

Famous rivalry fuels competitive brands: The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Socks. Michigan and Ohio State. Florida and Florida State. Duke and North Carolina. The competition allows them to acheive a reach far beyond the borders of their state or conference. They become famous for it. They get national air time on television, and sell out venues with hard to come by game tickets. The Longhorns and the Aggies are such rivals.

In elementary schools in the state of Texas it is common to by spirit ribbons for your “high school’s football team” blazened with phrases and parodies like “SQUASH THE YELLOWJACKETS” and “TRASH THE TIGERS”. These ribbons are sold and come complete with a parody of the rival school logo.

So what does it look like to the world when one of the largest United States universities sues a T-shirt company for the parody of their logo for rival sports games?

It looks like they are a bunch of weasels.

U.T. and Austin Texas has always had a brand impression to me of being a place for free thinking and an institute for premier education it Texas. How does it make U.T. students and supporters feel to know that their school is suing an Aggie T-shirt company for a funny t-shirt. Don’t let your school create a brand defamation of itself. The UT Lawyers should sue themselves.

BTW, I went to Texas Tech.

February 15, 2007 at 3:24 pm 2 comments

Web 2.0 History of the Internet in a Movie

February 12, 2007 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Tim Wirth and the World is Catching On

Ted Turner and Timothy Wirth

Photo Courtesy of HappyKatie

Ted Turner and Timothy Wirth talked at the Houston World Affairs Council.

The subject was fascinating. The two discussed changes and looking forward to the future of energy and its impact on the environment. The talk was littered with phrases like Peak Oil and Kyoto Treaty. I do rate Tim Wirth as a much more valid speaker on the subject than Ted Turner, as Tim was intimately involved with energy and the United Nations versus Ted’s incredibly important financial contributions.

Global WarmingProbably the”big story” is that pretty much everyone in the world and in the energy industry agrees on the data for global warming. And they agree that something must be done. Now the task boils down to execution. And that is where the train has derailed a little.

The Kyoto protocol has been open for signature since 1997, and not much movement in the lines of regulation for Green House Gasses on a government level has been achieved. In Tim Wirth’s oppinion the failure for movement comes down to countries trying to negotiate what is “fair” for them. Meaning how much “green house gasses” can one country legally release into the air versus another country. Developing countries don’t have the funds or technology as major industrialized countries, so they don’t have the same access or economy to limit. This is where the trouble spot is.

Now, I don’t know much about being a politician, but I do know the answer to the “not fair” question. Fairness is a judgement of your situation versus someone else. Relativity does not work. You can come up with a “relative solution” in your favor to nearly any argument… without actually solving anything.

  1. “Dad, that’s not fair, Dayna gets a cell phone and I don’t?”
  2. “Man, that’s not fair. Joe gets a promotion and I don’t. Joe is a bad person because he does….”
  3. “Jenna’s parents don’t make her clean her own room! Why do I have to?”

When you compare yourself to someone else you can always find a way that you have been “slighted” or are more deserving, etc. Just look at the kids in Taylor high school that drive around in a great car, while I put along in the “hyund” with a dent in the back? I could say it isn’t fair?

Here is the truth: If you always compare yourself to someone else, you can never be happy. Relativity sucks – Unless it is relativity related to your personal best.

I do agree in comparing and rating yourself. I think you should do it every day. You should strive for your personal best every day! I don’t want you to think the opposite of what I am saying either. You should never settle or say that a result is great just because it is your personal best. What if they let me build the space shuttle? My current personal best at “rocket science” is going to get a lot of astronauts on fire. However, I do believe I could learn how to manage the creation of even a space shuttle. It’s just going to take the help of others and a great deal of resources.

So the thought process I am talking about for the energy crisis is a change from “legal driven protective measures on what you should have versus someone else” to a change that says “we can do better, and not just better, we can save the world from inevitable global warming and we can cut emissions radically without spinning wheels (some detractors of Kyoto say that scientific data supports that major changes that would be economically will only result in a minor or almost non-existent result anyways)

The changes in energy will happen. I propose that it will not be taxation by governments ( “legal driven protective measures on what you should have versus someone else”) but instead economic factors that will cause business to innovate ways to excel. (“we can do better”)

The lead element in the change will be the cost of energy that pushes us towards more renewable and clean sources even now. Let’s face it, $3.00 per gallon gas makes driving a “Ford Dually” pretty difficult. Also, the electric bills aren’t getting less expensive. Uggghhhh.

If we all drove a Toyota Prius, like Ted Turner claims he does, then we would make a huge impact on energy. For the first time I am thinking of makeing a move to hybrid. I begin to see an economic benefit, as well as a social one.

So, let’s all get involved. Involvement lead by businesses and the great american self relativity that says I can do better than anyone expects. My personal best has no limits.

If every country “stalemated” in the “Kyoto Protocol” did their best, we would at least be moving in the right direction. Like “Jack Welch” says, “We need a lot less strategy, and a lot more action.”

Rebba’s Toyota Prius

February 9, 2007 at 10:23 pm 2 comments

The Star Awards – Cheerfulness Makes a Difference

Melissa Wilson anchors at Fox 26 in Houston, Texas, and I can’t say that I had really known much about her until I went to the Star Awards put on by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce.

What I would like to tell you about Melissa is that she makes an award show really “click”.

I mean, have you ever been to an awards show where the announcer read off the list of companies and winners for hours while you writhed in your chair? I am not saying that she made it fun, but Melissa’s positive energy has a huge impact on the “awakability” of the show. She was so “peppy”. I was impressed.

So, if you are an awards show planner, I would put Melissa Wilson on the list of “must haves” in order to be successful.

In contrast, the keynote speaker was Judge Robert Eckels, who did a good job at his speech, but was neither exciting nor educaitonal. I prefer my speakers to have a little more data and substance. The good Judge’s speech was more a pat on the back, and less motivating or educating. I, however, am sure that he can be both educational and motivational.

Also, congratulations to the Star Award companies that help sustain and grow business in West Houston.

February 9, 2007 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Lake Charles Ad Federation

Daryl Boyd and Regina ?

I went to Lake Charles yesterday and I talked to the Ad Federation there. They are definitely a great group of people and on organization still on the rebound from Katrina and Rita.

One of the biggest success I heard while I was in Lake Charles, included Daryl Boyd’s story of being blessed with more “raised funds” from their “Big Brothers Big Sisters 2007 Bowl For Kids’ Sake event” than they had raised the previous year prior to the hurricanes. I wish them great succes in this years event. The Louisiana folks are set on bouncing back… even if it has taken a while to rebuild some of the area.

Also, I promised I would link my slides from my talk… so here they are:

https://aaronlong.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/lake-charles.ppt

Thanks Lake Charles Advertising Federation!

Under the I-10 Bridge

February 6, 2007 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

Sleestacks came up in conversation three times today, so…

Land of the Lost was a crazy show created by the kings of crazy, Sid and Marty Kroft.

I also thought that this copyright infringement story from Kroft VS Mcdonanlds was fun (Via http://www.popcultureaddict.com/misc/grimace.htm) :

In the late 1960s, long before McDonaldland existed, acid-driven children’s television producers Sid and Marty Kroft were approached by McDonald’s and their advertising agency Needlham, Harper and Steeles Inc, in creating colourful characters to appear in McDonald’s commercials. The Kroft brothers were still riding high off of their successful children’s program HR Puf’n’stuf, about a magical dragon who was mayor of a living island where the trees and flowers and animals talked. The Kroft brothers agreed to allow McDonald’s to use the Puf’n’stuf characters for McDonald’s advertising and worked out a hefty royalty fee. However, weeks later a phone call from McDonald’s to the Kroft brothers told them that the plans to use the Puf’n’stuf characters had been cancelled. Then, when McDonald’s introduced its McDonaldland commercials in the early seventies even a retarded child could see the blatant rip off of the Kroft Brothers characters in the advertising. The Kroft brothers quickly gathered their lawyers together and sued McDonald’s and Needlham, Harper and Steeles and were awarded $50,000 in copyright infringement.

Whoa the value of a dollar sure has changed. 50K in a settlement against McDonalds? Now you see “sue happy” record companies suing individuals for much more (more than 18,000 piracy lawsuits in federal courts)….

February 2, 2007 at 9:22 pm Leave a comment

Free Speech Online

“We (the court) can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish ‘legitimate‘ from ‘illegitimatenews,” and that the the rumor sites appear “conceptually indistinguishable from publishing a newspaper, and we see no theoretical basis for treating it differently.”


Apple attempted to sue a couple of “citizen journalists” for not disclosing where they got their information
. In a “vote for freedom” and also for “citizen journalism” the court decided that the defendants were just as legetimate as anyone else.

Now if we can get the rest of the media folks to just recognize the power or news created by the “common man”?

February 1, 2007 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

Advertising and the DJ

 In honor of the DJ, here are some tasty media morsels:

LowEndTheory.net has updated the February podcast. It is definitely worth a listen, and if you like it, let Jason know?

Below are some cool DJ ads. I was never cool enough to be a DJ, but I can blog about it.

DJ Tennis

DJ Mechanic

DJ Office

Ads of the world had these cool DJ school ads. I am not sure how going to school to be a DJ works, or why, etc. But I am pretty sure that Darth Vader (below) is one fo the instructors.

Also, here is the link in case you feel like taking an “intro to DJing class”. http://www.tridj.com/

February 1, 2007 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment


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