Pepsi always seems to play the big numbers in their promos. A few years back, they had a lottery for 1 billion dollars with a monkey doing the final draw (so I heard).
Now they started a cooperation with Amazon to offer 1 billion songs in 2008. The details of the promo will be announced during the superbowl. That should be interesting, especially since after the superbowl, there isn’t even a whole year left to give away these mp3s. It means that they will have to give a way more than 3,000,000 songs per day (roughly calculated for 300 days).
Considering the fact that iTunes sold 1.5 billion songs in the last few years, this truly is a big number. And it should resultin in an inflation of the mp3 market, lowering the value of digital songs in general. Don’t you think?
Andrew Keen is a well known critic of the whole Web 2.0 user generated („communistic“) cult of the amateur that is shaping our media consumption („prosumption“) these days.
Now, on Ad Week, he contributed an Op Ed about Web 2.0 being the death of advertising. It is quite a rant, you’ll be amazed:
Web 2.0 is, in truth, the very worst piece of news for the advertising industry since the birth of mass media. In the short term, the Web 2.0 hysteria marks the end of the golden age of advertising; in the long term, it might even mark the end of advertising itself.
At first I thought he must be joking. And then I looked up his name on Wikipedia – finding out that he must be serious about these things.
Don’t get me wrong – the new media production and consumption setup has changed (and will continue to change) and has had an effect on the advertising business. But instead of complaining about it, we should look at the possibilities and opportunities of the new landscape.
Many of the new technology enabled trends are somewhat user friendly, if not at least user-centric. So why should we not adopt and keep them? Really, there is no time for complaining. It’s a no brainer, that (mostly) bad advertising was first to adopt the new setup. Now we should try to figure out how to continuously create good advertising given the new circumstances.
Let’s not sit there like the music industry (as Andrew Keen writes):
Evidence of the crisis of mass media is depressingly ubiquitous. The recorded music business is in free-fall, the tragic victim of mass digital kleptomania.
There are alternative ways to sell music, Steve Jobs proved it with iTunes. A much more user centric model. Might not yield as high a margin as selling CDs in heavy jewel cases transported across the globe, but that’s the way it goes. Horse carriages were out of fashion at some point, too. Musicians like Madonna and Radiohead seem to get it.
The next couple of quotes are amazing:
What Web 2.0 is doing, compounded by the online consumer’s shrinking attention span and his or her hostility towards the „inauthenticity“ of commercial messages, is radically deflating the value of advertising. […]
As the scarcity of mainstream media is replaced by the abundance of Web 2.0’s user-generated content, advertising itself is being painfully commoditized. […]
No new technologyâ€”neither the false dawn of mobile, nor the holy grail of personalized, targeted advertisingâ€”is going to save the advertising business now. No, the truth is that advertising can only be saved if we can re-create media scarcity. That means less user-generated content and more professionally created information and entertainment, less technology and more creativity. The advertising community desperately needs more gatekeepers, more professional creative authorities, more so-called media „elites“ who will curate, filter and organize content. That’s the way to re-establish the value of the message. It’s the one commercial antidote to Web 2.0’s radically destructive cultural democracy.
It almost sounds like advertising is a form of art worth protecting for its own good.
Instead, the value of the message should come from relevance, in terms of content, targeting and timing – and of course the creative idea! (This, by the way, has always been the case. But not all advertising in the past has had good content, targeting or timing. Nevermind a creative idea.) A valuable message should still resonate, even when surrounded by a cacophony of user generated clutter.
Only now it is not so easy to spread bad advertising any longer, because the audience has more choices and more control.
What do you think people have thought about bad advertising in the last 50 years? Yes, they fast forwarded, or got a new drink from the fridge, or switched the channel. Or cursed at the TV. Or flicked over to the next page. Bad advertising always existed, and yes, it has always been a pain.
Good advertising, however, has (almost) always found the attention of the audience. And it still does. It has even become a lot easier for the audience to seek and find the content of those campaigns that they’re really interested in. At any time of the day. And it has become much easier to share good advertising, forwarding the content, (clips, emails, site URLs) to their friends.
While Web 2.0 has made it much more difficult for traditional advertising mechanism to work or break through the increasing clutter, there is also a lot of opportunity, new ways for attracting and involving users. Sometimes even beyond what traditional advertising mechanisms are capable of delivering.
Apple’s handling of the iPhone price issue raises many questions about what Apple can get away with unscathed.
A recent PcWorld article is asking whether Apple is the new Microsoft. Will Apple be the new bully on the IT playground?
Don’t look now, but the role of the industry’s biggest bully is increasingly played by Apple, not Microsoft. Here’s a look at how Apple has shoved Microsoft aside as the company with the worst reputation as a monopolist, copycat and a bully.
Here is the best statement:
iTunes for Windows‘ popularity isn’t driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPods.
That is sooo true!
Of course Apple is far away from being a monopoly, unlike Microsoft is or at least was. But the monopolistic behaviour is similar.
Amazing, but considering the fact that the Apple brand is almost religiously embraced by its fans to an extent that could make the catholic church jealous, we can clearly see what makes Apple so successful:
While Microsoft always focused on either purchasing small(er) software shops to extend their portfolio or to dictate terms on their partners, Apple focused on marketing. Hey, it also worked for Nike in their battle against Adidas.
It all comes down to a simple rule: People don’t purchase products. People buy ideas, dreams or beliefs. And Apple sells exactly this. Apparently, they were rareley the first to launch certain types of products
Off the Record, a German advertising blog, pointed me to a site called MarketingApple by Steve Chazin, uncovering the secrets to Apple-style-marketing.
There you can find a PDF with „the five secrets of Apple Marketing„:
1. Don’t sell products. People buy what other people have.
2. Never be first to Market. Make something good greater.
3. Empower early adopters. Help your customer help you.
4. Make your message memorable. Boil the story down to its syrupy goodness.
5. Go one step futher. Surprise and delight your customers.
So there will be two good reasons for continuing to watch Apple: the fascinating products and how the fascination is nurtured by Apple Marketing.
Here is a good summary of the latest coup of Prince, the artist formerly known as a symbol. He just released his new album by attaching it to a newspaper in the UK. Meaning: everyone who bought the paper, also bought the CD. That should instantly catapult him into the top 10 charts. He did so before, by giving CDs to everyone who visited his concerts.
The music industry, of course doesn’t like this. But hey – do we like what the music industry does? Charging us for the inefficient logistics of carrying heavy plastic disks to a store near us, when all we want is to download a song via iTunes right in front of us?
There is an interesting article at the Times Online about the new book „the cult of the amateur“ by Andrew Keen. A cry out against the crowdism of web 2.0 and how it is killing our culture. How user generated content on wikipedia, blogs, youtube, et al results in the crippling of traditional, quality content producing industries.
I don’t agree. I think quality will still prevail. The problem with some of these „quality content producers“ was simply the fact that it wasn’t really good quality. The value for money isn’t right. So it is better to watch much worse content from users for free rather than paying anything for only mediocre content.
I think this whole trend will only result in a market shake out. Providers of really good content will always be able to charge money. They will always enjoy large appreciation. But those providing contents with little added value (e.g. newspapers simply copying news from a press service or TV stations showing low quality TV series) will face a decrease in acceptance.
They also state the example of how the interent has resulted in big problems for the music industry. This I don’t agree with at all. The biggest problem of the music industry is the fact that they have not adapted quick enough. There is lots of potential to leverage the net. Apple with iTunes has proven that there is lots of opportunities!
The internet is making standard market mechanisms more efficient, that’s all.