Advertisers don’t belong on Facebook…

Advertisers don’t belong on Facebook, says Ted McConnell, Digital Guru at P&G.

Social networks may never find the ad dollars they’re hunting for because they don’t really have a right to them.

he continues. A provocative statement made to the Digital Non-Conference, a program by Cincinnati’s Digital Hub Initiative. His feeling is, that most social network activity is rather private in nature:

„I have a reaction to that as a consumer advocate and an advertiser,“ he said. „What in heaven’s name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?“

These private conversations are, well, private. But these ads are just as obtrusive as all the advertising in the pub your spending your time with your friends at. We’re used to having social interactions in surroundings covered with advertising. We just don’t want to be interrupted or bothered by it. Most facebook advertising isn’t interrupting. It’s small banner ads on the side of the screen, which I, quite frankly, rarely notice.

And while we talk about moving into places that are largely made up of consumer generated media, he states:

Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody. So it just seems a bit arrogant. … We hijack their own conversations, their own thoughts and feelings, and try to monetize it.“

True, but I guess most marketers don’t want to buy regular adspace for the very reason that most people will not notice (nor click) it. So, if they could find more interesting, more effective ways to leverage these communities – e.g. by providing something of more added value, they would happily try it. Like the little ad supported postcards you get in most german pubs. They are widely accepted and people look forward to looking at them every time they pass by the little postcard rack on their way to the rest rooms.

These added value things could be, for example, small applications that enrich your social network profile:

He cited Facebook applications as a potentially valuable vehicle for advertisers, one in which they can create an environment that’s favorable for their brands and consumers alike.

Facebook Apps are just one things. Groups, product profiles, etc. are other possibilities. Imagination and social skills are key to finding these new value adders for social networks…

Google using neuroscience research to test overlay video ads.

YouTube still doesn’t seem to deliver sufficient revenue and the video ads on offer still haven’t been picked up by the ad community. In addition to the regular display ads, there are also overlay ads, which cover one third of the video. (Google says they will also be introducing pre- mid- and postroll ads, when they’re launching full length videos.)
However, the overlay ads have not yet been widely accepted, so Google has now undertaken a study:

Teaming up with the neuromarketing firm NeuroFocus and the branding consultancy MediaVest, Google conducted a study in which it measured people’s nervous-system responses – through brain-scanning skull sensors, eye tracking, pupil dilation, and galvanic skin response – as they watched YouTube ads.

There were only 40 participants, whose score for overlay ads was apparently above average:

Specifically, after fielding a study among 40 participants last May, InVideo ads scored above average on a scale of one to 10 for measures like “attention” (8.5), “emotional engagement” (7.3) and “effectiveness” (6.6). According to officials, a 6.6 score is considered strong. (Source)

Yet they worked best when in combination with banners:

The combination of overlays with companion banners also grabbed users‘ attention more than banner ads alone, scoring a 6.6 compared to a 6.3 for just banners. (Source)

I can see that getting in-video ads right will be a huge leverage for YouTube to achieve sufficient revenue. And it’s probably one of the best ways to quickly and substantially increase revenue options on the site.

Yet I would prefer more creative and user relevant options for displaying the messages of my clients…

Another interesting fact is the news about the advanced neuroscience approach Google has taken to evaluate their overlay ads. Only 40 participants, but probably much more data available than you would get from 100 traditional focus groups.

MySpace started „MyAd“ for long tail advertising

All social networks are heavily working on finding ways to earn money through some kind of advertising or marketing.

MySpace, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) social network is already earning close to billion dollars in revenue.

Now they launched a new self serving ad platform. Ads are served on a CPC basis and you have to design them yourself. However, they’re not text ads, they’re display ads, which you can design yourself on the myspace website

The most interesting feature, however, is the targeting options you have. As Techcrunch writes:

The key to MySpace’s ad platform is their hypertargeting technology. Facebook allows targeting as well, although it’s based on interest areas put in by users directly. So if someone says they like books, you can target ads to them based on that. What MySpace does is much different – they build out a profile of each user based on what they do on MySpace over time, with 1,200 different ways to categorize each user. So if you only want to target women who live in California between the ages of 25-30 who like motorcycles, i can. There are 2,842 of them on MySpace.

If that works properly – and if it is accepted by the community to be targeted in that way, it could well be a huge opportunity for myspace to increase advertising revenues!

Doritos lets you fill the internet with stuff you like

At the beginning of the video it says that the agency was asked to create online advertising for Doritos. Sounds like a typical briefing, but the agency instead came up with something completely contradictory: a tool that removes online advertising (and let’s you fill the space with something you like instead).
The idea behind this:

what if the internet was just like a bag of Doritos. Filled only with the stuff you like.

Great idea to achieve awareness on regular media sites without actually pushing ads in your face. Here is the case study video: