OoH: Prius Flowers, Digital Driver

Toyota plants big Prius flowerscapes next to California freeways
The 2010 Toyota Prius is being promoted with flowers—up to 180,000 of them, to be exact. The automaker is creating nine “harmony floralscapes.” The first, which used 20,000 flowers, was unveiled this week alongside the Pasadena Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. Greenroad Media has found a way to recreate images using its “Living Pixel” technology and living flowers. In this case, what looks to be an orange Prius sits within a sun, using 60 feet of flowers. The floralscapes are required to be non-commercial in nature, so the designs are meant to capture the essence of Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.‘s “Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine” campaign for the Prius. Seven floralscapes, in a number of different designs, will be planted in L.A. Two will pop up in San Francisco. Only organic and reusable materials were used for the project, as well as non-potable water and solar electricity.

prius flower

Toyota devoted a chunk of its marketing budget for the 2010 Prius to experiments with non-traditional ways of using traditional media. The resulting programs have been more art installation with environmental and interconnectivity than “Buy Prius Now.”
Veronis Suhler Stevenson has become the latest to forecast a comparatively brisk future for out-of-home media, and for that much of the credit goes to digital. The increase in digital billboards, video advertising networks (VANs) and alternative ambient advertising, which is included in digital estimates, has driven much of the growth of the OOH industry the past few years, and it will continue to do so at least through 2013. The media investment banking firm forecasts that out-of-home ad revenue will post a 4.9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013, compared to a 3.3 percent decline for traditional advertising.
digital ooh billboard
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US Adults Spend Eight Hours A Day In Front Of A Screen

Adults Spend 8 Hours a Day in Front of a Screen, Study Finds
The average American adult is exposed to various screens — TV, personal computers, cell phones, video games, GPS units and more — for about 8.5 hours every day, according to a Nielsen-backed study conducted by Ball State University‘s Center for Media Design. The study followed 350 test subjects and tracked their viewing instead of using the traditional method of allowing subjects to report on their media consumption. Adults ages 45 to 54 spend on average one hour per day more with screens than others. Overall, Americans are exposed to just more than five hours of live TV per day compared with 15 minutes of DVR playback and 2.4 minutes of computer video.

multiscreen

Among other finds:

— computer video consumption tends to be quite small with an average time of just over two minutes a day.

— Adults spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day with with the number rising to 26 minutes a day among those aged 18-24

— Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens

— Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devices with the highest usage — 43 minutes a day — among the 18-24 age group

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Atlantis Discovered on Google Maps?

‘Atlantis’ spotted on ocean floor off Africa on Googlemaps: Google spoilsports deny it.
Google today claimed the criss-crossing lines visible in the Google map sof the Atlantic were – not as some claim, the fabled lost city of Atlantis – but sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor. But the internet giant said “blank spots” within the lines could not be explained. A spokeswoman said: “Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. “The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.” Undeterred, Aeronautical Engineer Bernie Bamford, 38, of Chester, said: “It looks like an aerial map of Milton Keynes. It must be man-made.”

atlantis

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Recession: Digital Dodges Bullet, Trash & Bathroom Tissue Doesn’t

Digital Marketplace: Q1 Not a ‘Nuclear Winter’
So far, the first months of 2009 aren’t looking as dire as once predicted for the online advertising market, according to buyers and sellers. However, many report that business has slowed down, resulting in intensifying pressure on pricing, particularly in the ad networks space. But the abysmal first quarter that many anticipated—one in which shell-shocked clients either delayed all decision making or went into full budget-slashing mode—hasn’t happened, said many industry insiders.
post-apocalypse-new-york
As the economy goes, so too does our trash and as people tighten their belts and spend fewer dollars, they’re also reusing more and throwing out less. The LA Times reports on some telling statistics in cities across California: Over the last six months, operators at Puente Hills Landfill [in Los Angeles], among the nation’s largest, have noted a 30% decrease in tonnage from neighboring municipalities. The dump used to close at noon because it would reach its daily tonnage limit; now it stays open all day without hitting that mark. San Francisco is disposing of less in landfills than it has in 30 years. In San Diego, disposal rates at the Miramar Landfill are on track to bring in the lowest total in 15 years.
trash-art

People long have taken for granted that some categories, such as toilet paper, truly are recession-proof. Turns out that, like many assumptions, is wrong. As a result of the recession, consumers went beyond trading down to cheaper, private-label products and actually bought less toilet paper of any kind. The recession has turned bad enough that people bought less toilet paper — about 5.5% less last quarter in the U.S., according to Kimberly-Clark Corp. Chairman-CEO Tom Falk, who today blamed the economy for disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and a weak forecast for 2009.
toilet-paper
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Digital: OoH, Videovideo

‘Plough’-ing New Terrain
Health care and CPG giant Schering-Plough, in a shift from its usual emphasis on traditional marketing channels, reportedly is planning to spend as much as $10 million on an eight- to 12-week digital out-of-home campaign for sun care, foot care and upper respiratory treatment products. The effort, which reportedly is the largest single buy in the digital OOH category, will encompass 17 networks in nine types of venues, including health clubs, doctors’ offices, malls, golf courses and airports.

digital-out-of-home

Every retailer knows the importance of moving product, but online the idea may be taking on a whole new meaning. According to comScore, the number of online shoppers who watched retail videos grew 40% in a single year.

2009: 9 Reasons, 5 Trends

An article by Todd Malicoat (sp?) on Social Media: What it is and why you need it…
social media landscape

IPG’s 5 Digital Trends
The digital interactive marketplace will continue to take shape and even make strides in 2009. IPG Emerging Media Labs identifies five trend areas to watch next year related to browsers, conversation, transmission, retail and consumer tech.

five

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2008: The “Best Of” Begins …

The end of year retrospectives are pouring in. AdAge have started the ball rolling with a slew of “Best Ofs” … here is my pick of their picks…

I maybe a mainly digital guy these days (hey, who ain’t?) but I still love magazines. Here are Adage’s cover picks for 2008.
2008-magazine-covers

“Nonvideo Ad Efforts”
Ah yes. Who doesn’t love a good “Nonvideo Ad Effort”. Disappointing that Creativity doesn’t know what to call these things … I am finding myself much more “jazzed” (did I say that aloud?) by the so called “non video” efforts than by the spots…

dexter billboard

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Anomaly Leaves Second Life

Yes, I can announce that the Anomaly avatars have left the building … their “Company HQ” in the Tenjin sim has been vacated. Unbeknownst to many (they didn’t talk about it much) Anomaly were actually fairly early adopters of Second Life. They bought a plot (near to PSFK Island, as it ‘appens) back in 2005 I think. If they called themselves an Ad Agency, they could probably claim to be the first to have built an office in this part of the metaverse. I discussed it briefly with Anomaly partner Johnny Vulkan, who by that stage was fairly dismissive of the opportunities the virtual world offered marketers. Their only client to venture in to Second Life was Enviga (against Anomaly’s advice). Enviga eventually built a large green Enviga-drinking robot in Anomaly HQ and left it at that.

anomaly

Purple pundit Piers Fawkes of PSFK (indulge me in my aliteration) was also eventually underwhelmed by Second Life. Anomaly neighbour and virtual pioneer Piers at one stage referred to himself as a “big time property developer” and “marketing consultant” in Second Life. He was quoted some time later as saying that “Second Life [wasn’t] much good for marketers“, presumably something he had learnt from experience. That said, his (rather ramshackle looking, slightly vandalised) virtual island HQ remains.

psfk-second-life

Who else is left? Crayon’s slightly stalinist-looking and underpopulated sim (traffic count: 32) remains. Crayon claimed to be the first agency to launch in Second Life (and indeed, the launch itself was actually held there). To my knowledge Crayon’s only Second Life client engagement was Coke’s Virtual Thirst, an effort which received mixed reviews at best.

crayonville

Leo Burnett at one stage built a giant tree (replete with caged birds and apples) but they have now also departed. Their space was apparently envisioned as a place for international collaboration.

burnett-sl

BBH built a (rather bland looking) office back in 2006 – also claiming to be the “first” – and said office for the moment is still there. It actually looks fairly well maintained, if unevolved and sterile. The only evidence of client involvement is a rather large Levi’s poster.

bbh-second-life

My views on marketing through Second Life? Well, I’d start by saying “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. There seems to be a dichotomy between those who piled in to Second Life without thinking it through particularly well (net result: lots of money spent and little to show) and those who rejected it out of hand (net result: nothing spent and nothing learned).

As with any marketing experience, success depends on objectives. Want to reach a lot of people quickly? Second Life probably isn’t for you. Want to reach and connect with tech-savvy 30-something virtual world enthusiasts (hey, someone might) then it might make sense.

Thoughts?

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