The evolution of America’s Internet activity

Nielsen released new statistics this week on Americans’ online behavior that confirms the growing dominance of social networking while illuminating strong differences in computer and mobile activity. This data gives powerful insight into patterns in consumer behavior and how advertisers fit into that equation.

According to the report, social networking now accounts for 22.7% of total U.S. Internet time, an impressive growth from its 15.8% share in 2009. Online gaming also moved into the number two spot at 10.2%, overtaking E-mail which had the steepest decline in share– retreating from 11.5% to 8.3%. Other emerging categories include Videos/Movies, while those like Portals and Entertainment seem to be waning.

In stark contrast, Nielsen’s survey indicates that E-Mail is still the dominant online activity for mobile, accounting for over 40% of time. Portals came in second for, followed by social networking at a close third. The biggest mobile growth sectors are Music and Videos/Movies (20% growth each year over year), while News/Current Events and Sports each dropped precipitously. Continue reading “The evolution of America’s Internet activity”

Meet the next generation of retail shopping

As reported this week in, IPG Media Lab along with our parent company, Mediabrands is joining forces with AOL to create the next generation of retail shopping tools. Our hope is to make it easier for shoppers to get the information they need to make smart choices while harnessing the best of traditional retail advertising with the latest in online and social media technology.

We want not only to build a better, smarter experience for consumer, but a more effective advertising vehicle for retailers themselves. With average circulation of larger newspapers on the decline (down nearly 8.7% according to an Audit Bureau of Circulations study) the media has spent much time wringing its hands over the future of print. What we don’t talk about is what that might mean for retail advertisers. Retailers have spent billions of dollars over the years teaching shoppers to look in the Sunday newspaper for the latest news about what’s on sale in their city. Retailers have relied on print because it has a focused immediacy that online can’t provide; it promotes timely sales, serves as a metaphor for the retail season and even educates sales people. Television, radio, and even banner ads have never been able to make up the difference from a low-tech free standing insert or full page ad in the daily and Sunday papers. As a result, for decades, very little has changed in the regular weekly newspaper insert, or the coupon mailers that go to American homes each week. Continue reading “Meet the next generation of retail shopping”

“TV of Tomorrow” gains traction

TV of tomorrow fast approaching (iStock) Last week Tracy Swedlow’s  annual “TV of Tomorrow” Conference was held in San Francisco where the “who’s who” of Interactive television gathered to discuss the future of television from broadcast to broadband including tru2way and TV Anywhere.

In past years’ conferences, you would have found the the few, the proud, the clinically-depressed-die-hards of advanced television platforms, geekgirls like myself , who have been trying for years to advance the cause of TV with social features, commerce solutions and true targeting capabilities.  And in the past, the legacy systems of the US cable infrastructure, the limitations of satellite’s two-way capabilities and the lack of scale in broadband hindered advancement in the space.  But this year, the conference came into its own as the industry showed market growth in a number of ongoing initiatives.   There is movement happening, money being spent and real players involved in the marketplace.

To set the stage for what’s happening in the interactive video space, here are some relevant statistics:

57% of Americans use their TV and PC simultaneously at least 1x a month (Nielsen)
20% of all tv viewers are simultaneously on their pc or mobile device (MRG)
78% of Teens and Tweens are online while watching tv and 66% are sending text messages while watching tv (ypulse/Pangea)

Of all the solutions bubbling up, here are a few that marketers can immediately take advantage of to leverage the power of video to accomplish a number of marketing goals:  Continue reading ““TV of Tomorrow” gains traction”

Report: Recession changes everything

Recession is Game Changer for Consumer Behavior (Initiative)A new report by Initiative finds that shifts in the economic climate have created permanent shifts in consumer behavior. The report “Game Changer” provides marketers with insight on how brands can take advantage of changing values in their products and messaging.  Some of the key findings included:

-Massive decline in trust of “establishment”  (Further proof of what we’ve known for awhile, that consumers are trusting each other and online communities more than ever)

-Qualities such as “reliable,” “open” and “honest” are now valued more than “well-known” or “established”

-The Internet has become an “essential form of technology” for 75 percent of consumers surveyed, with mobile in second at 56 percent (interesting here was the 40 percent who said they are most likely to maintain spending on the Internet compared with other forms of technology and communication)  Continue reading “Report: Recession changes everything”

IPG unveils digital ad network

Mediabrands (parent company to the Lab) unveiled its latest project, Cadreon: a new, proprietary digital ad network. While Cadreon aims to capture a greater share of client business, the new network will also enable purchasing of advertising across platfroms–from video to digital out of home, to social networks.

At the Lab, this has us jumping up and down for joy. Because while online display advertising is an important part of the equation, tapping into the larger ecosystem–social, mobile, DOOH–remains a challenge for agencies and brands alike.

Continue reading “IPG unveils digital ad network”

Tweeting for the Man: A Twitter Strategy Guide

twitterbird (DryIcons)Twitter has exploded over the past two years. In March, the site doubled its unique users to reach 9.3 million. In terms of Google searches, Twitter has become more popular than Britney Spears, and is just about even with Barack Obama. The micro-blogging site has gone mainstream. Many of us have started our own Twitter accounts, our moms and uncles and co-workers and parent companies are all on it. (Which has some asking if its star has already begun to fade).

It doesn’t matter if Twitter has gone from geeky to hip and back to geeky just because everyone is doing it; what matters is how we use it, how it evolves, and what role it can play in connecting us to each other, our clients, and consumers. Continue reading “Tweeting for the Man: A Twitter Strategy Guide”

Recession marketing gets obnoxious

iStockThings are taking a turn for the worse.  No, I’m not talking about the economy; I’m talking about the marketing about the economy.

As is often the case, it starts with a good thing.  In this case, it was the brilliant Hyundai Assurance program (kudos to IPG’s Initative folks for that one).  A great idea, the program really spoke to the concerns that the country was having at the time.  It decreased the risk in buying one of the key big ticket items.  Many other car companies followed suit.  And until now, this was all a good thing.

Now Virgin Mobile is bringing the concept to wireless companies with their “Pink Slip Protection” offering.  Continue reading “Recession marketing gets obnoxious”

Six hot media trends in 2009

IPG Emerging Media Lab's 2009 Digital TrendsEach year the IPG Emerging Media Lab issues its picks for the top trends in emerging media. Particularly for marketers, its an easy, painless way to get a finger on the pulse of a constantly changing landscape.

How we come to these trends is a journey in and of itself. There are endless brainstorms, weeks of handwringing, then drafts and more drafts. Ultimately, what emerges is a brain trust of sorts–one that comes out of spending a lot of time with new media, and an eye to the future…but not too-distant future, or we couldn’t call them 2009 trends.

You can download a copy of the IPG Emerging Media Lab’s 2009 Digital Trends, or check out this abridged rundown…cause this is where we’re placing our bets and putting our energy this year:

Continue reading “Six hot media trends in 2009”


BejeweledPopcap, the casual game maker with hits such as Bejeweled or Peggle, seems to be everywhere.  This appearance is actually not an illusion.  They really are everywhere.  Originally, I was just going to mention the news that Popcap has made a deal with Sony to syndicate five of their titles to the Playstation Network on the PS3 for $9.99 each.

Then another article caught my eye.  Apparently, Popcap had been pushing their retail presence over 2008, and while the larger PC gaming retail sales were down 14 percent, Popcap’s retail sales were up 85 percent. Continue reading “Casu-core?”