Thursday, December 14, 2006

Could Google bring user-created content into retail stores?

A few months ago I speculated that Google and YouTube could team up to deliver low-cost content to the thousands of digital sign networks out there that can't afford full-time custom content creation. Just yesterday there was an interesting article about automatic video tagging that I blogged about at Digital Signage News, in fact, that added to this speculation.

Today, it seems, would be a good day to add even more fuel to the fire, in the form of two ads about real companies utilizing low-budget content, and another about Google's foray into radio advertising. First is this article from AdvertisingAge about Dove solicing ads from consumers. AdAge notes:

In an e-mail today to members of its online relationship-marketing program, Dove began seeking entries for a 30-second ad to promote a new product, Dove Cream Oil Body Wash.

The e-mail directs people to, a site hosted on Time Warner's AOL, which provides online tools, artwork, photos and music for creating ads, and also allows consumers to upload their own files. "You don't need any special skills or experience," the e-mail says.
The second article is from arch-rival AdWeek, and focuses on Southwest Airlines, who is also asking for user-generated content to incorporate into its TV advertising campaign. Southwest is actually partnering with YouTube to collect 20 user-submitted embarrasing situations to include in its "Wanna Get Away" campaign. And in fact AdWeek notes a few other examples where name-brand CPGs have experimented with user-generated content:
Doritos is currently running a contest with Yahoo that will air a user-submitted video during the Super Bowl. Chevrolet, Sony and Converse are also experimenting with the concept.

A Chevy Tahoe promotion that let consumers create their own executions pointed to the risks of the tactic. Environmentally minded users created several ads lambasting the SUV for its effect on the environment.
And how would a hypothetical GooTube or Tooble get all of this gr
eat content from the Internet to a bunch of in-store displays without a lot of administrator intervention? Well, that's where this last article from ClickZ comes in. Google is finally putting its acquisition of dMarc to good use, and allowing a current pool of 700 radio stations to subscribe to its AdWords-like service for radio. The article states:
Google Audio Ads are sold on a CPM basis through the AdWords platform, and advertisers can target on factors like geographical market and time of day. Reporting functions disclose which stations ran ads and when, and real-time air checks are available, a bit of a novelty for interactive marketers who have grown used to not seeing their non-search executions.
The retail media market is still to immature for Google to put a lot of effort behind it, but it's certainly coming, and with brands getting on board behind user-created content (and the ongoing march of progress over at Google), I'm willing to bet that within a few years there will be little distinction between how Google and others supply Internet, radio, TV and retail media spots and fill out inventory.

One last (and quick) update: No sooner had I published this post than I came across David Polinchock's post about Martin Sorrell's take on Google (he calls them the "frienemy"). Great article, go check it out, and read the other article that he references about Google and ad agencies.

Tags: Google, YouTube, dMarc, digital signage, retail media, out-of-home advertising

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

VNU To Develop In-Store Measurement Service

After creating quite the commotion about it's P.R.I.S.M store media measurement technique, VNU has decided to take the service live, doing what it calls the "lead-market phase" of the new service in early 2007, with full availability later in the year. From the press release:

The new service, which will be developed through a new unit of VNU known as Nielsen In-Store, will measure consumer exposure to a fast-growing and powerful array of in-store marketing vehicles, including television and radio, shelf talkers, digital signage, and other point-of-purchase displays. Collectively, these in-store marketing approaches stand as the sixth largest advertising vehicle in the U.S., at $18.6 billion in spending in 2005.

The new service will also help retailers improve results through better store layouts, category adjacencies and product selection. “The new information we provide for retailers and manufacturers will help them work more effectively to improve the shopping experience for consumers,” said George Wishart, who has been named global managing director of Nielsen In-Store. “We also will provide the advertising, media and retail industries with a new currency standard that can increase the efficiency of the media buying and selling process.”
The same big names featured in the pilot project are endorsing the full-scale system, suggesting that early results were good. Members of the consortium include 3M, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Miller Brewing, Procter & Gamble and The Walt Disney Company, as well as major retailers like Albertsons, Kroger, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

(Cross-posted at the digital signage news blog)

Tags: VNU, P.R.I.S.M, retail media, media measurement, in-store advertising