Driving down the streets of Paris

Adfreak points me to a nice Nokia Advergame. You are the driver of a French Lady who apparently needs to take care of some dubious business in Paris. So you drive her around the beautiful city:

Instead of re-creating the city using computer animation, they shot actual footage on the Ile St. Louis. While you’re driving, you can fool around with Nokia’s car kit by using its GPS features and changing the music.

On the site, it takes ages until the game has loaded…


And the game controls seem a little sluggish – but maybe it’s just my PC.
And it’s well worth it. The  grafics are brilliant, and having lived in Paris for a year, I actually recognised most of the spots.

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Google will distribute videos with adverts

Google has partnered with Sony BMG, Condé Nast and Dow Jones & Company to distribute video content to third party sites. At the same time, these videos will show adverts. Here is a short description how it would work, found on the NY Times Website:

On the financial news site StreetInsider.com, for example, videos from The Wall Street Journal, a Dow Jones property, are running within ads on the site. In one, Emily Friedlander, a Wall Street Journal reporter, narrates a video feature on the TKTS booth in Times Square; Sam Schechner of The Journal speaks about marriage in TV shows; and Jonathan Welsh visits a motorcycle show.

After the three videos, a commercial from Pantene Pro-V, a hair conditioner, appears. In that case, Google shares the ad revenue with StreetInsider.com and Dow Jones.

This is a step of Google to move away from pure text and image based advertising to the segment of big money: TV adverts. And quite possibly, a first test of acceptance since they’re probably still working on all sorts of ways of how to monetise YouTube.

Founded as a text-based search company, Google’s early advertisers were smaller companies and advertisers who bought ads to generate direct sales rather than to build brand recognition.

Large brand advertisers still spend the bulk of their money on television advertising, but Google sees potential for them to spend more online through the use of video ads.

(via here and here)

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Fox starts ad targeting to leverage MySpace profile data

Clickz writes that Fox Interactive Media buys an ad targeting firm to leverage MySpace profile data. And I ask myself: what the heck have they done before? They have, apparently, used some data to optimise for Google ads, but much was not done.

„The driving reason to do it is to make more money selling ads,“ said Barrett.

I’m impressed by their sharpness. Or by Clickz actually publishing that quote?

Till now, the News Corp division has done little to capitalize on the information that, when paired with SDC’s ad optimization technology, will allow for highly-refined audience segmentation and contextual micro-targeting.

So what’s new?

Anyway, apart from that, it is of course the right move. A little late – and it can’t just be due to the fact that they had to go through „a ton“ of potential firms for acquisition.

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Worldwide internet shutdown day

Here is a tough assignment: Shut down your computer for a whole day and become analog, as PSFK pointed out. They quote the official site with this:

Be a part of one of the biggest global experiments ever to take place on the Internet. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people can go without a computer for one whole day, and what will happen if we all participate!

PSFK continues with a few thoughts on what might happen:

A few scenarios come to mind. Emails will go unanswered, and blogs will not be updated. During lunch breaks, people might talk to their co-workers and go for walks outside. One might even buy a newspaper to catch up on the latest.

At home, computer games will wonder what they’ve done to cause their players to ignore them so completely. The echoes of IM bleeps and pings will temporarily cease.

But the underlying questions beneath Shutdown Day are: Are we so addicted and dependent on our computers that we cannot go without them even for a day? How do we relate to the world when computers are not the biggest blips on our radar screens?

I am uncertain if this is really worthwile. The vote currently goes at 17k „I can“ vs 2.6k „I cannot“. Well, of course. This is a Saturday. People won’t be working, and they can easily postpone their few emails to the following Sunday…

But hey. I will participate. I will be on vacation – I will hopefully be doing something fantastically analogue, like reading a book (yes, information printed on dead wood) in the sun (yes, real light, much brighter than anything I am used to)

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Mini (Cooper) Movies

Mini apparently steps into the path of the no longer existing BMWfilms.com by producing its own little clip series. They are a homage to the old starsky&hutch series, as adweek writes, and are directed by Todd Phillips, who directed the movie in 2004. Here is a trailer:

YouTube Preview Image

The website is hammer&coop, where you can find further movies. Three episodes are already online, the other ones follow one each per week.

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Taking a Mazda for an unusual Testdrive

On Nagare Island within Second Life you can now test drive the new Concept-Car Mazda Hakaze. I have tried it of course, but controlling the car is not that easy. As you can see in that screenshot, I wasn’t the only one having difficulties. The one in front of me was no expert either. But it was fun, nevertheless. And I made the „Jump“. Which one? Go find out! (Coordinates are, apparently: Nagare Island 128, 128)

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