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June 11, 2007

Google Adwords and Agencies

This could be confined to Australia but there are currently two agencies advertising heavily using Google Ad Words. P3 and Smart. It was actually Smart that caught my eye as I see them everywhere on the marketing blogs I frequent.

Now I understand that if someone searches for "cheap holidays" it's good to have your travel business at the top but I didn't think the same applies here. Although I did hear the story that a brand manager typed in viral marketing and pitched business to the top 5 agencies listed. But anyway back to my point.

Here's a quick check of some agency names and the sponsored links along with them. If your agency doesn't have a sponsored link (TBWA, Ogilvy) then sadly the two agencies don't consider you much competition or might be owned by your parent company?




Publicis Mojo:

M&C Saatchi:

Leo Burnett:

What's funnier is when you search for "smart", P3 pops up in the sponsored links.
Looks like P3 have a higher CPC spend too as they are always above Smart in the listings.


If you search for Lowe a newcomer joins the frey. Brave New World.
Hey BNW you should update your keyword list as you're getting killed by Smart and P3 right now.


However typing in Lowe Hunt will bring Smart back into the game.


The only agency I got a double hit for was Grey Worldwide. So look out Grey they are after you!

Grey Worldwide:

Whoops my searching wasn't precise enough. Searching for Saatchi & Saatchi gives me a triple hit with a recruitment site thrown in. Be warned Saatchi everyone is out to get you.

Saatchi & Saatchi:

I'm not sure the agecies affected even care. But I just found it interesting that these agencies were advertising this way.

I suggest affected agencies regularly Google their name and click the sponsored links. Thus earning money for Google and wasting the rival agencies adwords budget.

I haven't spoken to either agency (not sure they'd answer questions about this) but I'd be interested in how successful this has been for them or if this is also done in other regions.

June 8, 2007

Comment Spam Defence


We've introduced an added field to the banner comment forms in an effort to combat comment spam. For those that don't run a blog of their own we receive 120 spam comments for each real comment. And deleting these is a pain.

So all you need to do extra is type in the number seen in the image above the "post" button.

June 7, 2007

Celebration Dance


The press release explains this better than I can:
"Celebration Dance is where football fever meets Saturday Night Fever. Choose a Socceroos player and make them move. Pull off a star celebration dance routine and hear the crowd roar."

The 3D is a little uncanny valley for me but well animated. I would have also liked an endurance mode but like most people you only have a minute to spare for these things so the short gameplay works I guess.

I actually didn't even know there was an Asian Cup. So hopefully no dodgy Italian type team to steal a victory :)

June 4, 2007

Microsoft buying aQuantive to push Silverlight?

So we're a bit late on posting the news about Microsoft buying aQuantive(Avenue A/Razorfish, Atlas amongst others) however this deal has got me thinking about another side of the story I have yet to see covered by the mainstream press.

Microsoft, is at it's heart a technology company and it thrives on ensuring its technology remains dominant. The technology in this case is Silverlight - Microsoft's answer to Flash, and what some commentators have described as a 'Flash Killer'. My opinion is that any many ways, the purchase of a digital marketing agency like aQuantive is more driven by Microsoft's motivation to cement it's own technology as standard than to directly take on advertising and media agencies.

Consider this,

Microsoft now owns a significant number of pieces for it to play in the online space. It has it's network of content properties (MSN, Hotmail, Messenger etc), media platforms (Xbox, Media Centre, Zune etc) and now a digital marketing company to make it a very dominant force.

When you own that much of the landscape, you can certainly influence the technology standard for the industry. Why wouldn't Microsoft look at this as an opportunity to push it's preferred technology - Sliverlight across the industry? It has the desktop prescence to meet Flash's penetration effectively overnight - just roll out a service pack (either for Windows or IE). With the purchase of aQuantive, MS will also control an an ad-serving company, Atlas, which gives its the necessary system in which to deploy Silverlight as an online advertising format (MS has already started showcasing Silverlight as a technology for online advertising (which to date has been done with Eyeblaster). Put this together with Microsoft's network of content properties such a MSN, Hotmail, Spaces and media platforms such as Xbox, Zune, Media Centre, and you can see just how easily Silverlight could become a dominant format. (not to mention pricing it in such a way that is preferrential towards the use of the Silverlight format).

The only thing that might slow down the uptake of Silverlight, is the lack of agencies and staff trained to use it, nor are we an industry with abundent labor. But then, Microsoft now owns Avenue A/Razorfish "the largest interactive agency in the US" thanks to the aQuantive purchase and additionally the fact that in some markets MSN maintains inhouse production capabilities, such as it's ninepixels unit in Australia where ninemsn is partnership with media company PBL

It's also widely acknowledged that MS has somewhat missed the boat on digital media. It's struggled to get acceptance of its digital music format and Windows Media Player has been pushed aside in favour of Flash Video when it comes to video streaming on the web. So therefore it should come as no suprise then that Silverlight will feature HD quality video format. This time however, Microsoft appear to have learnt the benefits of cross platform

When you put all this together, it certainly makes for a very plausible outcome. Some of you may decry this as a conspiracy theory, I can see it as a definite case of reality in the not to distant future.

Post us your thoughts.

June 2, 2007

Google Buys Feedburner


Google has bought Feedburner. The RSS feed tracking site that tracks over 70,000 blogs. The price is reported to be around $100 million, which is chump change in the recent spate of acquisitions. Seems everyone is cashing in.

More details here.

This is a great move for those who have an adsense account as this will open up RSS feed ads. It also gives Google a great stranglehold on blogged content search.

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