Google wins big with AdMob ruling

Despite the growing rivalry between Google and Apple, the FTC approval of Google’s AdMob purchase proves the tech giants are indispensable to each other on at least one effort– circumventing antitrust scrutiny. Despite tough talk from members of the FTC in recent months, the commission cited Apple’s recent purchase of Quattro Wireless as proof that Google’s purchase will not harm competition in the growing online ad marketplace.

With mobile phones outnumbering computers by more than 4 to 1 and smart phones upping their IQ and prevalence by the day, mobile marketing is poised to hold huge financial rewards in the coming years. The Admob platform, which was launched in 2006, operates much like’s Google’s existing Content Network– allowing companies to syndicate ads to a large network of mobile publishers. AdMob has already served a host of major clients including Ford, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble and fits seamlessly into the Google world, giving existing clients another major weapon to utilize in ad campaigns. Continue reading “Google wins big with AdMob ruling”

Five most promising location based campaigns

Propelled by location based technology, mobile advertising is taking leaps forward right now. Projections from Juniper Research anticipate location based mobile marketing will jump to a whopping $12 billion dollars by 2014. Meanwhile, in the past four months the number of location based campaigns pushing the bounds of mobile advertising has grown exponentially. With Facebook’s anticipated release of a place-based functionality and the near hysteria surrounding Foursquare, opportunities continue to grow. Scale is the primary qualifier when it comes to mobile, but it’s not an excuse to avoid experimenting with the channel. Now is the time to gain learnings–from relevant ways to reach a highly targeted audience, to gathering insights and data on your customers.

Here are five promising executions:

Continue reading “Five most promising location based campaigns”

From cash to credit to cellphones

Last year the Lab spent some time researching the future of credit card payment systems. Our findings convinced us that peer to peer payments and alternative payment platforms would eventually reign. While sites like PayPal and eBay had paved the way, we wanted more flexibility and ease in making purchases. For example, a few months back I filled out the online form for PayPal, but I still haven’t verified the bank account PayPal made a two cent deposit into several days after I signed up (to confirm the account for security reasons). Consumers want the exchange of dollars to be safe, but they also want it to be instant and easy. Really, really easy. That’s why we were excited about the then secret platform code-named “Squirrel” from Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey.

Now, Squirrel has been unveiled as Square. As the company tells it, the platform came out of a real need that was not being met: “In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint.” Continue reading “From cash to credit to cellphones”

Prophesee: Engaging consumers online

PropheSee: New ways to engage consumers online After nearly three years managing the social media and healthcare practices at the Lab, Raquel Krouse recently joined the Initiative Media team as SVP, Director for Prophesee social solutions, the agency’s social media unit. We sat down to talk about her new role, and how Prophesee aims to give brands better ways to listen and engage consumers online.

Q: You’ve done exciting work in social media over the past few years; how does Prophesee fit into the social media narrative?

A: When talking about developing a social media strategy, I’ve always stressed listening as an essential first step.  But it’s really about active listening. Prophesee not only provides solutions to monitor online chatter, but also provides the services to help brands understand and effectively act upon online buzz.

Q: What’s different about Prophesee, and why now? Continue reading “Prophesee: Engaging consumers online”

Four brilliant augmented reality campaigns

Four brilliant augmented reality campaigns (MIT's sixth sense project)Augmented reality (AR) may sound like something that you get to do in a dark basement with a William Gibson novel and a pair of virtual reality goggles. But the true promise of augmented reality will integrate the digital world into our offline world, and ultimately transform mundane experiences into meaningful, holistic ones. Imagine walking into a supermarket and seeing all of the nutritional and pricing information projected into thin air, or overlaid onto products; touching a logo on a box of cereal would trigger a digital reaction and enable you to use your fingers to scroll through information or content right on the cereal box.

We’re not there yet, but we’re closer than you think.

In the next nine months, mobile applications will make tremendous leaps toward integrating augmented reality into our lives. Today, there are multiple image recognition applications like SnapTell or Barnes & Noble’s Bookstore app that trigger a reaction when you take a picture of an object, logo, or barcode. Instead of pushing you to content on a website, these apps will increasingly pull in information that will be overlaid onto products via the screen’s camera function. Wikitude is an example of an application already doing this — simply hold up your phone and it will tell you what places of interest, restaurants, and shops are in your vicinity, based on the direction you are facing. Overlaying the data onto products (and people!) will be a natural evolution. Pattie Maes of MIT’s Sixth Sense Project describes it as “seamless, easy access to information” using our bodies to navigate the content in intuitive, natural ways. Continue reading “Four brilliant augmented reality campaigns”

2010 will be a transformative year for technology

IPG Emerging Media Lab's 2010 Trends We believe 2010 will be a transformative year for technology that will likely impact the consumer experience dramatically for the next decade. Not since 1999 have consumers, techies, and marketers had so many reasons to celebrate. That was the year we began to see unprecedented broadband growth, the year the first mobile data network hit (in Japan), and we saw Google take its first steps (founded just four months before start of 1999 – VC funding came in 1999), not to mention the introduction of P2P (with the founding of Napster).

2010 promises to be even more explosive: The products and solutions coming to market in 2010 will impact the way we interact with our mobile, PC, and content devices for years to come.  Here are seven reasons to believe: Continue reading “2010 will be a transformative year for technology”

3D hits critical mass…at least in our minds

Future of 3D at CESStill high off the heels of watching Avatar, we at the Lab are eager to see some of the 3D products to be featured this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yes, everyone knows Avatar probably changed the future of filmmaking (with a good old fashion love story to boot). James Cameron’s dedication to pushing the bounds of filmmaking have paid off with over a billion dollars in revenue since the film opened on December 18th. And filmmakers and audiences will thank the director for years to come.

Now that Cameron proved it is possible in theaters, it’s time to see what is 3D’s future on the small screen, and in digital out of home. At CES this week, we’ll be checking out all the latest in 3D solutions for televisions. Meanwhile, Next3DTV has unveiled its broadband 3D service launching in Q1 of 2010. For consumers with the dough to spend on upgrading to a 3D set, Next3D TV will deliver all 3D content all the time. Even ESPN has announced a new 3D sports network set to kickoff with the first FIFA World Cup match in June. The push to 3D is moving faster than we expected. Still, as CNET blogger John Falcone, notes there are three challenges for the future of 3D on the small screen.  Continue reading “3D hits critical mass…at least in our minds”

Best of ’09: Facebook’s creepy friend suggestions

Best blogs of 2009 From our 2009 best-of the IPG Lab blog series:

Recently, I began to notice that Facebook’s friend suggestions were increasingly accurate, and increasingly far-fetched.

At first, it seemed innocent enough. My husband’s aunt appeared on my “Suggestions/Add as a Friend” sidebar. While I like Patty and was happy to friend her, I thought it was strange given 1) I’ve never uploaded my email list to Facebook, or given it permission to do so, 2) I’m not connected to any of my husband’s family or friends on any social network, and my husband has refused to join any social network except for one, and there he uses a fake identity and is not connected to anyone remotely connected to his aunt 3) My privacy settings are tight and in theory, I can’t be found if you’re not my friend.

At first I thought, well, we do share the same last name, so I figured perhaps Facebook was suggesting her for that reason. Over the next few days though, I began to mull this logic. Facebook had never suggested a friend based on last name before, and how would Facebook know which person with that last name to suggest? And what about people with the last name “Smith” – that wouldn’t be very effective.

Then, it happened again. This time, Facebook suggested my mother’s former boss. Read more. 

Best of ’09: Yoostar is Guitar Hero for movies

Best blogs of 2009 From our 2009 best-of the IPG Lab blog series (update, Yoostar is now for sale in stores and makes a great holiday gift!):

What if you could star in famous movies, without ever leaving your home? That is what Yoostar Entertainment Group hopes to deliver to consumers with their recently unveiled Yoostar product. Using green screen technology, the system allows users to star in their favorite movie scenes along with famous actors (and their friends)–then share their performances with friends.

I got an exclusive demo  and was impressed with the concept:  A small red and black camera device (its ingenius design makes it look a bit like Wall-E), a 6’x6′ piece of green screen fabric, and a software disc that allows for recording onto PC and Macs.  The Yoostar system comes with about 12 clips, and each month users can add to their collection of clips (for a nominal price), choosing from Yoostar’s library such movies as “The Godfather,” “Psycho” and more recent flicks, too.  Using Yoostar’s prototype camera, I got the opportunity to play Barbara Stanwyk ‘s femme-fatal character in “Double Indemnity and Grace Kelly’s role in “High Noon.” Don’t try to be a hero. You don’t have to be a hero, not for me!

Are FTC’s blogger rules unfair?

Are FTC's blogger rules fair?As a journalist in a former life, and as a blogger in this current incarnation, I’ve watched with growing fascination the push and pull happening with bloggers, brands, and now the FTC. I’ve fought my colleagues on the use of the phrase, “citizen journalists” despite my respect for and commitment to the art of citizen bloggery. I have trouble shaking the idea that was drilled into me that someone without formal training and critical investigative skills could be called a journalist.

That said, as a member of a team that believes passionately in social media and the power of online “uberfluents”–as well as being the individual responsible for a team of writers at the Lab, I also recognize the powerful role that bloggers have in shaping our media universe. Continue reading “Are FTC’s blogger rules unfair?”