Category Archives: advertising

Advertising Reborn?

My son, Sasha Brown, the lead guitarist with The Dirty Birds, the house band Saturday nights at 11 at The Rockwood Music Club in NYC’s SoHo, weighs in on advertising. Like other musicians, he’s out there in a highly competitive marketplace, seeking visibility, credibility and cashability.  Trust me — why would I lie to you? The Dirty Birds are a brilliant 12-piece band, with a thrumming base and drum rhythm section, a brass section, fronted by a talented singer-composer who looks terrific poured into a retro LA Confidential, stretchy red dress singing Aretha and Sly-flavored tunes she’s writen.

So they’re out there competing for what marketers call share of mind — against the other zillion bands. And they bring down the house every Saturday night. The Gen W hepcats on their feet to the sweet thumping soul sounds.

Enough of that.

I recently posted a rant  — what’s new?  — about how it’s not PR that’s dead, it’s advertising — because advertising costs you money for space and time, whereas PR is free, which makes PR a perfect eHarmony mate for the free web.

Sasha ranted back an eloquent I Second That Emotion!, and then he sent along this much longer piece.

And since he has forgotten more about the web than I will ever learn, I’m thinking his rants are so very worthwh

So take it away, Sasha.


So this all got me thinking about “New Advertising” – and it occurred

to me that a new model *has* been taking shape. The cat is out of the
bag, in the sense that companies know that people are ignoring,
blocking, and fast forwarding through things that are clearly
Advertisements. The Old Model of bombarding the general public with
straight ol’ fashioned ads doesn’t seem to have the same level of
effectiveness as it once had. A big part of this is likely because
people are “finding out” about new/cool things through their friends &
relationships on the Web.

Both Google & Facebook are taking a new tack on advertising. They are
both essentially leveraging their role as the hosts of people’s data
to create personalized, relevant ads that are targeted & tailored
directly towards the person seeing the ad. (The internet, as it is
now, presents a particularly ideal scenario for advertising – single
viewer at a time, on a platform that is easily customizable to each
viewer, with results and user responses/habits that are extremely easy
to track.)

Google scans the text of the email that its user is reading, and then
analyzes that text & inserts ads from relevant or related vendors that
have signed up to advertise through Google. If you receive an email
that contains the word “guitar,” for example, Google will insert ads
from music stores alongside your email. Their strategy is that by
displaying ads related to its users’ emails, Gmailers will be more
likely to view and ultimately click the ads. Success, in the lingo of
the online advertiseing world, is measured by “click rate” – the ratio
of the number of times an ad is display versus the number times it is
clicked on.

Facebook has an even more personal approach to targeted online ad. It
culls the profiles if its users for information they’ve entered, and
creates ads around that content. If a user declares in their profile
that they like the movie “Fight Club,” Facebook might display an ad to
Jamie’s friends that says “Jamie likes action movies. Do you like
action movies? “Legal Weapon 8″ comes out on Nov 8th.” Facebook almost
disguises these ads as cute notification memos about your friends, but
they are actually serving as a subtle 21st century advertising

So, these two models of creating “revelant”, or even “social” ads
represent new models of advertising in the internet age. With Google
being as omnipresent as it is, it is no wonder there was so much
clamor about Google’s acquisition of one it’s largest online
advertising rivals, DoubleClick. (The deal was approved, following
approval from the government after an anti-trust investigation). The
merger positions Google at the  forefront of the burgeoning online ad
world — a strategic importance that cannot be understated, givent
that these ads are key to how web site owners, including Google
itself, have started to monetize the internet.
and here’s a link to a study that just came out that you might be
interested in…

“Study on the Interplay Between Search Marketing and Social Media
Social media exposure is correlated with search behavior and
click-through-rate; Introduces the value of media discovery for


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