Monthly Archives: July 2010

Media: Magazine update

Ad Spending Update

As the U.S. economy continues to see “green-shoots,” this same trend is happening among the magazine industry. According to Media Industry Newsletter, monthly magazines saw total ad pages grow 7.9 percent in June and 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same periods last year. Although these are modest increases, this marks the first quarter of positive growth after nine consecutive quarters of drops. 

Early indicators show that Q3 will continue this trend, as July paging is up and the all-important September fall fashion issues are seeing growth as well. Although there has been positive news recently, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, print ad spending in U.S. consumer magazines is set to decline again in 2010, 2011 and 2012 before finally rebounding in 2013 and 2014. I guess only time will tell.

Industry Updates

Over the last three months, there have been many changes to the magazine space, including Gourmet’s revival , rate base cuts to Meredith’s Ladies’ Home Journal and Traditional Home , USPS announced a potential rate hike of 8 percent  and new publications in the works from Condé Nast. Magazine publishers continue to explore the emerging digital space and have embraced not only the iPad, but are also planning to sell subscriptions on Facebook

Innovation

Finally, the following are some new innovative programs/opportunities in the print space:

Bon Appétit, Kraft Create Corner Takeover Ads

New Belgium Fat Tire Ale “Inserts’” Fans In Print Ad

Us Weekly” Rents Runway

Additional Articles: 

Ad Spending

Monthly Mags Ad Pages Up 5% For Q2 

Magazine is well red – Celebrity glossy OK! racks up $175M in losses

Glimmer of Hope as Monthlies See Ad Pages Heat Up in July

September Fashion Mags on the Upswing

‘Glamour’ Improves September Ad Pages 57%

Magazine Ad Pages Rise in 2Q, Food, Sports Spike

Magazine Print Ad Revenue Will Ebb Until 2013, Outlook Says 

Industry Updates

Magazines’ Pitch to Marketers: Our Ads Will Work — We Promise

New Yorker Plans One Price for Access Across Digital Platforms

Magazines to Sell Subscriptions Within Facebook’s News Feed

25% of Subs Come from Web

Meredith Acquires Mobile Marketer Hyperfactory

Magazine Shutdowns Slow Drastically

Social Marketing News 7/27/10

It’s baaaaaack! After a three month hiatus, I’m so very glad to be blogging again and bringing you my weekly Social Media News.

Facebook has announced that it has officially reached 500 million active, registered users. That’s roughly the total population of the European Union. To celebrate, Facebook has launched its own app called Facebook Stories.  Facebook is inviting everyone to share their own personal Facebook story with the world, aiming to capture hundreds of thousands of personal experiences, lessons learned, reunions and revelations. Read more about it here on The Facebook Blog.

Filmmakers are working on a Facebook story of a different kind: a full-length feature film called The Social Network. Mashable rounded up what the founders think of the flick, reporting that Mark Zuckerberg had shared some negative comments about the movie at the recent D8 Conference.

The big news on the Twitter front is a possible new feature called Tweet Media. Twitter hasn’t released any notices about the feature, but a mysterious new privacy setting found by some users has caused speculation. It is suspected that by opting in to Tweet Media, users will be able to post and view photos and videos within the Twitter stream. The addition of multimedia within Twitter will force advertisers to change their Twitter content strategies in a big way.

Ford made news this week by revealing the new 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook, before revealing it anywhere else. The Ford Explorer Facebook page, sporting over 50,000 fans, includes tons of multimedia content surrounding the Explorer, including a sweepstakes. Check it out at www.facebook.com/FordExplorer.

iPhone users rejoiced with news this week that the U.S. Copyright Office has made iPhone jailbreaking legal. What this means is that tech-savvy iPhone users can legally hack their phones to buy and use apps that are not sold within Apple’s iTunes App Store. Users should note that though jailbreaking is now legal, performing such a hack will void your Apple warranty. Also, jailbreaking is not the same as unlocking the iPhone, which is a hack to allow the iPhone to work with other carriers outside of AT&T.

Tweet Media

Twitter Begins Testing Inline Photos And Videos On Its Website - TechCrunch

5 Big Questions About Twitter’s Move to Multimedia - RWW

Twitter to Show Photos and Videos in the Stream [UPDATED] - Mashable

Social Media: Strategy

Bearhug Brings a Social Approach to Customer Service Management - Mashable

How to be the Life of the Social Media Party - ProBlogger

Old Spice Campaign Smells Like a Sales Success, Too - BrandWeek

5 Reasons Why Ford Continues to Kick Butt - ClickZ

Social Media: Consumer Electronics

Flipboard Launches as the iPad’s Social Media Magazine - Mashable

Amazon Customers Now Order $1 Billion of Products Per Year via Mobile - Mashable

Federal Government Rules in Favor of iPhone “Jailbreaking” - DMW

Jailbreaking iPhone apps is now legal - CNNMoney

Social Media: Location-Based

Inside Street Food’s Social Media Revolution [VIDEO] - Mashable

Brightkite Takes Branded Badges to the Next Level - Mashable

Go On Your Own “Eat Pray Love” Journey With SCVNGR - Mashable

Foursquare Reaches 100 Million Checkins - Mashable

Digital Advertising

Majority of Consumers Use Social Networks to Inform Buying Decisions, Says Study - RWW

Ford Makes New Friends The Right Way, Revealing Explorer On Facebook - MediaPost

Kelley Blue Book Goes Social For Stickers – MediaPost

Twitter Sees Sizable Ad Business - MediaPost

Internet Trends

Why QR Codes Are Poised to Hit the Mainstream - Mashable

YouTube Looks to Compete in Music Discovery - Mashable

StumbleUpon: The Silent Social Media Success Story - RWW

Ask Launches Social Network To Link Search With Answers - MediaPost

Rachelle Maisner is an Interactive Producer for R&R Partners, and writes about social media at FiveFeetOfDynamite.com.

Kos and Effect

There has been a little bit of a to-do in light of the shocking admission by the progressive blog Daily Kos that the last year and a half of polls they have released were, you know, fraudulent . Conservative blogs predictably gloated and analysis abounds as to what went wrong and what this all means. To my mind, here is the question that I think everyone should be considering: Is it time the media stops treating these ‘horserace” poll results as actual news? I believe it is. Further, I believe our addiction to the horserace distracts from what should really matter in an election and gives legitimate research a bad name.

Maybe this story resonates with me because of how strongly I believe in solid research. Polling is a vital strategic tool when utilized correctly, and I am certainly not against polling political races. My issue is with these snapshot in time polls published in the paper, sometimes with super-sketchy sample sizes, complete with conclusive sounding statements from the pollster, which are then reported mindlessly by the media as fact.

Do these polls get it right from time to time? Sure. After all, a stopped watch is right twice a day. Is there a high level of accuracy when all of these polls are averaged and outliers are weaned out, ala Nate Silver? You betcha. Continue reading »

Office politics

Nobody likes getting caught up in office politics. But keeping your office caught up in politics is a good thing, especially when a big part of what you do involves government and political affairs.

R&R Partners has an office in Washington and our foundation is in government affairs work, so along with our agency’s Twitter feed (@rrpartners), we have launched a new Twitter stream specifically to talk about everything in the political realm — regardless of whether you lean left or right, bleed red or blue, or watch Fox News or MSNBC, Bill Maher or Glenn Beck – whatever your political views, follow us at @rrpartnersgov and keep up with all things politics.

We will be live tweeting from two political blogger conferences in Las Vegas over the next few days as part of our kickoff, one progressive and one conservative. We’ll also be live tweeting from a political consultant regional strategy conference in Sacramento, and obviously, we’ll have lots coming from our crew on Capitol Hill. Follow us and spread the word.

Tapping into the LGBT audience

Slowly but surely, marketers, brands, products and media are tapping into the LGBT audience. Some are more aggressive than others, and others are more direct than some. Either way, 2009 proved that a significant number of those running the show regarding marketing for their company or clients have realized that this might be an important audience that needs a little bit of attention. Last year, the ad spend against the LGBT audience hit a record, while overall consumer magazine spending plummeted 17.5 percent. Coincidence? Maybe. Economy? Probably. Check out more here.

The following chart shows that the LGBT population doesn’t fall far from the general DMA population – this audience is exactly where you want them – just waiting to be reached.

At a Glance: Cities with the Highest LGBT Population

Rank City LGBT Population Pct. of Population Pride Month
1. New York City 272,493 6% June
2. Los Angeles 154,270 5.6% June
3. Chicago 114,449 5.7% June
4. San Francisco 94,234 15.4% June
5. Phoenix 63,222 6.4% April
6. Houston 61,976 4.4% June
7. San Diego 61,945 6.8% July
8. Dallas 58,743 7% September
9. Seattle 57,993 12.9% June
10. Boston 50,540 12.9% June
11. Philadelphia 43,320 4.2% June
12. Atlanta 39,085 12.8% October
13. San Jose 37,260 5.8% August

Monday Inspiration

Cool stuff from around the web.

Solar Fun

Bring home the prehistoric bacon

Interactive Twitter-Based Murals in the U.S. Promote Canada:

Ladies like a guy with facial hair. Or not…Or yes.

Big Bang Big Boom

Creatives doing what creatives do best

Creatives writing books and more books

Everyone (especially ad people) should have digital presence

Book Sculptures

Space Invaders Scavenger Hunt

Vintage Kids Art

Visualize your thinking

And a BIG stunt from Ad Goodness as well:

Fantastic business card

Paint it white

This is stupid. But I love it. 

Web Prank Tries to Send Justin Bieber to North Korea. I wish it wasn’t a prank.

A Big Rat’s Dream

Recently, a rat chewed through a couple of wires behind my television set. I lost my sound to the receiver. I was able to catch that rat and get my revenge, but it reminded me of how much I hate the wires. We get closer every day to the end of wires, dishes, cables, television tethers that keep us pulling out the set and figuring out the inputs and outputs. It is not fun.

Today, I felt like the end was really in site with the new Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus is the subscription service of formerly free Hulu. With the new wireless television sets, Hulu Plus, Roku, Netflix and a host of others will allow us to watch TV without much more than a plug. We can rent movies, watch television shows, buy movies, listen to books and cruise the net all at the same time. Not only that, I can also watch Hulu on my computer, iPhone or iPad.

Right now, I’m paying for cable, which is more than $150 a month. Hulu Plus and Roku together would run $20 a month unless you want to rent Amazon movies, which are $4 to $5 each. Eventually, everyone will figure out that it’s better to turn on a TV and have everything you need as long as you have a wireless connection. It’s cheaper, cooler, easier and just plain smarter. And someday, the channels you now get with DIRECTV or Cable will come without a DIRECTV guy or cable guy. It will all be in the TV and available through your wireless connection. Add wireless stereo receivers and speakers all in one big bundle and you never have to worry about wires again.

Maybe some of us will still keep paying for cable and satellite. We’ll just add Hulu Plus, Roku, Sony’s system and anything else that will give us enough options to make our couch time roll by in pixilated bliss. And we’ll watch a giant split-screen with a Netflix movie on one side, football on the other and a Hulu’d Office episode in the middle. If we’re lucky, we’ll see about five minutes of each since we’ll be trying to watch YouTube videos from the computers on our laps and make FaceTime calls from our iPhones at the same time.

If a hundred channels weren’t enough, why would 2,000 channels do it? It’s like the Gillette 5 Blade Razor. Three blades were good. Four blades were great. But if I only had one more blade, then I could be sure I was getting the best shave. Well, until they have six blades, that is. And seven, if I had seven blades.

If that’s the way it’s going to be, it’s just more for the rats to chew on. I long for the day when they have nothing but the plug and that small piece of cheese I leave on the sticky trap to gnaw at.

The long and winding road for renewable energy

The future of renewable energy may very well hang in the balance of tax breaks, as a grid-locked Congress struggles to extend tax benefits that encourage renewable energy development.

Financing remains the biggest challenge for renewable developers. The tax equity market all but dried up after the 2008 financial crisis. A lack of private capital flowing into clean energy development, coupled with an economy struggling to recover and uncertain long-term energy policy, has the ability to cripple the industry, or at the very least, stop many of the large-scale energy companies from developing. Without quick action, many in the industry fear for their survival.

ARRA funding, known in Washington as “stimulus money,” is getting ready to close out many of the renewable energy tax benefits at the end of this year. American clean energy jobs are a real stake in the current congressional debate. It’s all about jobs and who can claim the most credit in November for creating those jobs. However, fighting over how to pay for programs and finding a piece of legislation that can actually pass, has members of Congress frustrated and scratching their heads for a solution.

This could be very bad news for Nevada, commonly referred to as the Saudi Arabia of Sun. Not only could it affect solar in our state, but wind energy also is just as vulnerable. Both the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) have teamed together to lobby Congress on behalf of these vital tax breaks. R&R Partners represents the largest thermal solar company in the United States, BrightSource Energy, who has been actively engaged in the debate. Nevada is lucky to have a unified congressional delegation that works very hard on behalf of the renewable energy industry. But they alone cannot do it all.

We need to get to a place in Washington where things start working again. Partisan gridlock is literally killing us as a nation. If the recent oil spill has taught us anything, we as a country need to stop gambling with our energy future. We live in a world that is dependent on fossil fuels and we must make the necessary changes in our energy policy to include all forms of energy, especially renewable energy, into a comprehensive mix that is balanced and fair to all developers. This will play out nationally once the Senate takes up an Energy Bill, which is expected to happen between now and the August congressional recess. It’s now or never for renewable energy tax breaks, so stay tuned for a long, hot, frustrating summer in D.C. politics.

Mind Your Own Business

Everybody’s in the business of advertising, even those that you’d never think of. I mean, California Sen. Curren Price introduced a bill to look into the feasibility of digital advertising on license plates. They hope to close the gap on a $19 million deficit…. It’s true. Check it out here.

Can you imagine, you’re driving down the street and you see an ad for the new plant snuggie. It’s coming people. Trust me. Can’t you see you at your next company holiday party, 20 people show up with a tree snuggie … and you’re the outsider ’cause you don’t have one yet.

Digital, you can’t get away from it … it’s like that awful leftover dinner that haunts you all night long. It overtakes everything. We have digital Web, digital outdoor, digital television, digital radio, you name it, and the average consumer can probably tell you more about it than the “experts.” Heck, a 13-year-old could probably tell you more about it.

And not only is digital becoming more important to state budgets, but it’s also becoming more important in the business world. Since 1996, Internet usage over specialized business publications has jumped from 22 percent to more than 76 percent. That’s a lot, folks. And it doesn’t stop there. The Internet is used at a higher percentage than tradeshow, conventions and even sales people and, it’s the number one resource for trade business professionals.

So what does that mean? Well, just about 50 percent of all business professionals who visited a website made a purchase. And it means that while trade publications and business associates are still important, the Internet is here to stay, and not just for playing games on your Facebook account.

Oh, and good luck California, happy and safe driving.

Tuesday Inspiration

Wonderful stuff from around the web.

BP the board game.

Fantastic art made of books. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A friend will do anything for you, but it will cost extra.

NYTimes: You Say God Is Dead? There’s an App for That.

Design a Swatch and win a trip.

Adaptive Path’s Creative Culture Blueprint:

Mountain Dew can design contest.

Incredible site with a number of cool artist’s sketchbooks. Explore.

Sick, wonderful, and on your local grocery shelf.

Flickr Sensation.

The New High Life.

Write the Future. Here. Or Here.

Booze house.

“My Friends Are Cooler Than Your Friends” Contest.

Animation Fascination.