Verizon sure isn’t letting up with their new anti-AT&T ad campaign. Likewise, AT&T isn’t letting up with their legal threats. AT&T’s latest strategy swung into action on Wednesday night when they asked the federal court in Atlanta to order the ads pulled from the airwaves.
The ads (which we’ve discussedbefore) compare AT&T 3G coverage with that of Verizon. AT&T claims that the maps used in the ads are misleading because they do not show AT&T’s 2.5G EDGE network, instead displaying empty spaces. In a statement AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said, “If customers think they can't make calls in the vast majority of the country ... that could do us irreparable harm."
The newest ad is holiday themed, borrowing from the story of the “Island of Misfit Toys”. Poor iPhone is a misfit because it is cursed with an inferior network… how sad. Big Red hopes the holiday season will be a good one for their new line of smartphones. Is that wishful thinking?
AdMob was started in 2006 by Omar Hamoui, and has grown into a major player in mobile advertising. Google points out that the mobile world is becoming as increasingly important part of our daily lives. As such, Google would like to advertise to us in that part of our lives.
Google said in a blog post that app developers will enjoy better monetization of their content because of this deal. They also promise advertisers a more engaged audience. Finally, Google says we can all enjoy the benefits of better mobile ads delivering more useful information, because who doesn’t like ads?
It’s suspicious ad placement any way you slice it. If you do a Google search for “download Windows 7” you’ll probably see an ad for switching to Mac. If you search for “buy Windows 7”, you get no such thing. The ad will show up in the “Sponsored Links” section at the top or the right side. If the search is repeated, several different versions of the ad will appear.
The theory goes that if someone wants to download Windows illegally, they might consult Google. Maybe if they don't consider Windows worth paying for, maybe they would pay for a Mac. Could it be that Apple is targeting Windows pirates? It’s not like software pirates have a reputation for buying things. Do people that intend to pirate Windows even search for “download Windows 7” anyway? Are they just after people who don’t know any better? If you have any possible explanation for this, let us know in the comments.
Microsoft's Bing and JiWire have a proposition for you. Free WiFi in exchange for using Bing. Interested? The promotion would give users free Internet access at participating hotspots if they do just one search with Bing. In conjunction with JiWire’s advertising network, Microsoft will be extending the offer to various hotels and airports.
The campaign was started in September at several thousand locations. It managed to attract between 30 and 40 percent of visitors to the hotspots. This is extremely high, as most ads only get interaction from 0.1 to 0.2 percent of people. Microsoft reportedly plans to continue with the promotion, which is a part of JiWire’s Ads for Access campaign. The campaign allows companies to give customers something in exchange for their time. This can be taking a survey, watching a video ad, or (in this case) using the Bing search engine.
The next time you’re in an airport, keep an eye out for these ads. It could get you free access courtesy of a certain Redmond software giant.
Facebook is the king of social networking with more users than any other web 2.0 site. With all those users, it’s also an attractive place for scammers that want access to lots of eyeballs. After a few embarrassments, Facebook is promising to take a stronger stance against deceptive advertising.
Facebook has gotten a bit of a black eye in the press lately after some companies using the platform were accused of scamming users. These scams often come in the form of special offers and surveys within games. Facebook’s Nick Giano wrote in a blog post that the site was aware of the problem and was actively working on it.
Users of the site also encountered a rise in stimulus scam ads earlier in the year; Facebook notes that they were quickly removed from the site. Hopefully this new wave of scams can be dealt with in the same manner. Facebook claims that over 100 developer applications have already been removed or “brought into compliance" so far. Have you noticed any fishy behavior on Facebook?
What the deuce? Microsoft, who earlier this month seemed stoked to sponsor Fox's upcoming "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" has now decided to pull out of the deal. Under the original agreement, the variety show was to integrate Windows 7 into its routine, including shorts featuring the cartoon cast of Family Guy. But after viewing a taping of the comedy show, Microsoft got cold feet and walked away citing content concerns.
"We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show, it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," said a Microsoft spokeswoman. "We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane, and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas."
According to Variety.com, jokes about deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene, and incest turned out to be too much for Microsoft. The skittish software giant did at first send out several notes expressing concern over the show's content, but in the end decided it was better to just part ways.
The show, however, has not been canceled but it's unclear who will step in to take Microsoft's place.
You and I might call it spam, but small businesses who promote their products on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter call it smart advertising. No matter what you call it, don't expect those product plugs to go away any time soon. In an online survey, Internet2Go found that 45 percent of some 2,400 small business respondents with fewer than 100 employees said they use social networking tools to push their services or wares.
"For these guys, costs was a big factor," said Greg Sterling, an analyst for Internet2Go. "They either need to hire a dedicated person or need more resources and don't have it.
We're talking really small businesses here, as most of the respondents -- 8 out of 10 -- had four or fewer employees and annual marketing budgets less than $5,000. Nearly half of all respondents said they spend less than $1,000 on advertising and marketing, so it makes sense they would flock to Facebook and other essentially free venues.
"We are going to see more and more of this behavior from other small businesses because it's free and you don't have to have expertise to set up these pages," Sterling said.
Yahoo was able to report positive numbers to the tune of $186m so far this year compared to the disappointing $54m they reported this time last year. While those numbers seem promising, sales fell about 12% this year with revenue down to $1.58b.
They can report these numbers because thye slashed more than 2,000 jobs during the past year, freeing some of their overhead costs. Further, they deployed some large service changes, such as welcoming the use of rivals onto its portal, and upgrading and enhancing its web search tools. They also initiated a $100m global advertising campaign for its portal and advertising services.
Most likely, Microsoft is happiest to hear this positive growth as they signed a deal in July to utilize Yahoo’s advertising sales in exchange for Microsoft’s search services. The Federal Trade Commission is still finalizing the deal.
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, held the company’s third quarter conference call today and has some things to say about Android. According to Schmidt, “Android adoption is about to explode.” There are 12 official Android phones in production now, and the pace of Android handset releases is rapidly increasing. Additionally, mobile searches are up over 30 percent over last quarter.
The Android platform is aimed at getting these mobile search numbers up. By producing a free and open-source OS for manufacturers to use, they’ve almost guaranteed wide adoption. Google hasn’t mentioned how much of their overall revenue comes from mobile, but they have said they expect it to be a big source of growth in the coming years.
While Google may be acting coy, analysts have estimated that 70% of mobile advertizing will be based on search. Clearly, it is in Google’s best interest that we all get an Android powered phone in our hands so they can sell us stuff. You may have already bought the phone, but they want to sell you other stuff.
Let's for a moment put aside the recent Snow Leopard debacle involving lost data due to a bug in the OS. And while we're overlooking things, we might as well disregard the multitude of positive reactions Windows 7 has received, which is still nearly a week away from being released. None of it matters, because Apple plans to continue its relentless advertising assault against Windows-based PCs.
According to BusinessWeek, Apple is prepared for the Windows 7 launch with a series of "Get a Mac" ads that will air at the same time. Whereas some of the criticisms coming from the Apple camp might have been justified during Vista's forgettable reign, what could the rival OS maker possibly have to say about Windows 7?
"It will likely make the case that Macs are less susceptible to viruses and are best suited to its popular iPods and iPhones. And look for it to poke fun at Microsoft making XP owners go through an arduous process to upgrade to Windows 7 -- one that includes backing up all their files to an external drive, reformatting their PC, and then reinstalling all of their old programs, assuming they still have the CDs," BusinessWeek wrote.
It's an interesting tactic, but we're not so sure Apple's message will resonate as loudly as it did when Vista made it all too easy to go on the offensive. Think about it for a moment - is a somewhat bothersome upgrade process for XP owners really enough to sway consumers over to OS X? Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP for Worldwide Product Marketing believes it is.
"Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out," Schiller stated. "If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?"
We'd answer that one ourselves, but that would be no fun. Instead, we'll hit the jump to see what you have to say on the matter.