2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

search and destroy

Google Won't Reward New TLDs, But Will Punish "Over Optimized" Sites

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2012 03:16 PM

When Matt Cutts speaks, people listen. So when Google’s software engineer and webspam guru recently posted (on his Google+ page, of course) that ICANN's looming dotbrands — the generic (vanity, customized, branded) top level domains or TLDs that are fast approaching — won't boost search engine results, the SEO and domain name worlds sat upright.

Cutts was responding to ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis, who penned an op-ed column that argued: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will,” wrote Kinderis, basing his argument on Google’s ranking algorithms that search for domain name keywords thus enabling business and brands to create commanding "clean name spaces."Continue reading...

social media watch

Chocolate Google+ Pages Notwithstanding, Not Everyone's Enamored of G+

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 16, 2012 10:57 AM

Google+ may inspire such fits of creativity as the chocolate Google+ page that Cadbury UK created (above) to thank its 500,000 G+ followers, but it isn't inspiring all Googlers, past or present.

While disgruntled Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith became a media sensation after he published his resignation letter in the New York Times this week, a former Googler named James Whittaker, who quit in February to return to Microsoft (from whence he came), blasted Google for letting Google+ take over its business focus (and sanity, he argues).

In a personal blog post entitled "Why I left Google," Whittaker wrote that “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus" — for which he blames the company's obsession with Google+.Continue reading...

web watch

Google, Rapped Over Privacy, Reassures Consumers Over Ads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 15, 2012 10:57 AM

Google is continuing its campaign to increase transparency around its targeted advertising and privacy practices.

The latest volley: "How we make ads better," a video that highlights its staffers policing scam advertisers (which didn't help avert the recent Valentine's Day florist AdWords fiasco). The pitch: "Did you know that hundreds of Googlers work around the clock to make sure the ads you see on Google are safe? David Baker, Engineering Director at Google, explains more about our fight against scam ads and our process for keeping you safe."

Google's past around display ad scammers and consumer privacy is a thorny one, to be sure.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

SUV TV: 2013 Ford Escape Stars in NBC Reality TV Series

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 07:04 PM

Ford and NBC have gotten together to launch an unprecedented bit of product placement: a prime-time reality series on network television that is built entirely around a particular product supplied by the brand, in a co-produced show by both parties.

Escape Routes is a six-week show that will air on Saturday nights on NBC and on mun2, NBCUniversal's bicultural network for young Latino-Americans, beginning March 31, with repeats on nbc.com and mun2.com the next day. The mini-series will focus on the adventures of six two-person teams involved in a unique road-trip competition in their 2013 Ford Escape SUVs. Prizes along the way include the red-hot Nike FuelBand. The grand prize: $100,000 plus two all-new Ford Escapes for the winning team.

While acknowledging how P&G and Walmart have collaborated on a made-for-TV family-friendly movies, some of which have run on NBC, Crystal Worthem, Ford's brand content and alliances manager, maintained that Escape Routes is "absolutely groundbreaking." She told brandchannel that "the creative piece of this is centrally launching a product and a brand new, compelling reality show at the same time."Continue reading...

mobile brands

Google Play Looks to Give Apple's iTunes a Run for the Money

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 6, 2012 04:08 PM

Google unveiled Google Play today, rebranding its media and app markets into one place as it seeks to unify social and mobile around games, video, music and other content as part of its "One Google" effort. The pitch for Google Play: "Your favorite entertainment is now all in one place, always accessible on the web and across your Android devices." Learn more in the videos below.Continue reading...

ad watch

Under the Tentpoles: Oscars Boosted Tech Brands; Super Bowl Drove Auto Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2012 05:31 PM

While some automotive advertisers were toting up their marketing gains from ads that they ran during Super Bowl XLVI last month, some tech brands were gaining affirmation of their own strategies for Sunday's appearances in another "tentpole" TV event, the Oscars.

Volkswagen, for example, generated 1.9 billion media impressions through its Super Bowl advertising and associated activities, including 32 million views on YouTube of its much-touted video for the game, including the "Star Wars" canine teaser and its "The Dog Strikes Back" ad for the Volkswagen Beetle (above). That produced a "media-equivalent value" of $62 million compared with the estimated cost of $3.5 million to $4 million for 30 seconds of Super Bowl time.

"That was a strong payback from what was a significant investment in Super Bowl presence," Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning told reporters on Thursday.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple vs. Proview, Google+, Nokia, more

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

Amazon settles suit with college bookstores.

Apple slapped with escalating legal challenge by China's Proview, which wants iPad name globally.

AT&T seeks fees from developers for users' data use.

Bank customers are increasingly switching to avoid fees.

Billabong rejects $906 million bid.

Buddy Media acquires London startup.

Chevrolet declared America's favorite performance brand.

Coca-Cola's Olympic security concerns revealed by Wikileaks.Continue reading...

social media watch

Orkut Takes Google+ to the Party in Red-Hot Brazil

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 21, 2012 02:09 PM

Typically mentioned as the international competitor to Facebook, Orkut, Google’s “also-ran social networking site,” just launched a Google+ badge for users with both accounts – its first integration. “No, it’s not a big deal in terms of the feature itself (oooh, a badge), but it’s an indication of Orkut’s current status in Google’s eyes,” writes TechCrunch.

With 66 million users in Brazil and India, Orkut is alive and (sort of) well, but trailing Facebook substantially and may have missed the moment to level the playing field. In its recent IPO, Facebook said its active user base in Brazil had nearly tripled in 2011, placing it ahead of Google’s Orkut service as the leading social network in the country.

"I can't think of an example where Facebook has grown so quickly," commented Andrew Lipsman, VP of industry analysis at comScore, to Reuters. "It really just skyrocketed." So does that leave Orkut, which introduced many Brazilians to social networking, ditched at the dance?Continue reading...

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