MySpace — better with Bacon Salt?

mmmmm-baaaaacon.jpgMySpace rolled out the public test of its MyAds system, a service created for small businesses that want to run banner advertising on the online social network. Designed to take advantage of the personal information that MySpace members provide, it’s geared primarily toward folks whose businesses are small enough that they don’t have things like media buyers. (See the e-mail conversation with our friend at Bacon Salt at the bottom of this entry for an example of what I mean.)

You can read the Reuters story that we ran Sunday night, and then check out these other stories, which wrote up different angles on the service:

BNET’S Steve O’Hear offers directions so easy that even someone evincing signs of my legendary tech illiteracy could make it work:

1. Sign-up on
2. Create a display ad using the MyAds Builder Tool
3. Select a variable ad spend anywhere from $25 to $10,000
4. HyperTarget to customers (based on self-expressed interests available on MySpace profiles, along with age, sex and geographical location)
5. Measure ad performance with MyAds analytics reporting

O’Hear also notes how the program is similar to Google’s AdWords.

Rachel Metz at the AP offers some related background:

The idea of self-service advertising is not new – Google Inc. has been doing so for years with text-based ads through its AdSense platform. But it has generally been more difficult to combine self-service with display ads. While Yahoo Inc. is trying to merge do-it-yourself tactics with display ads through a new advertising platform, its tools for advertisers won’t be available until next year.

Newspaper online advertising slows to crawl

turtle.jpgMore bad news for newspapers. We’ve all gotten used to hearing that circulation is down, print advertising is down, newspapers are cutting staff and the industry is in deep, deep trouble.

The one silver lining to all of this was the online efforts of newspapers, which were supposed to save the industry. Advertising dollars were actually growing at a rapid pace.

That was then, apparently. The New York Times reports today that online advertising growth at newspapers had slowed to a crawl.

Olympics help boost NBC Universal’s profit (Update)


General Electric posted its quarterly earnings this morning — and that means it’s time to think about NBC Universal.

Aided by the Beijing Olympics, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said that NBC Universal’s profit rose 10 percent as the media business “continued to see signs of strength.”

“Cable and films had a solid quarter, and the success of the Beijing Olympics showed the value of the network model,” he said in a statement.

YouTube gets into online shopping

thriller-video.jpgYouTube, which has nailed the science of online video sharing, is now getting into online shopping by partnering with the likes of and iTunes.

The shop links will be just below the YouTube clips and will eventually sell a wide variety of items and merchandise related to the millions of clips on the site including: MP3s, TV shows, movies, concert tickets, books, maybe, even buy the designer sunglasses your favorite star is wearing in a clip. 

So soon you’ll be able to buy the Michael Jackson song playing in the background while watching the hilarious clip of Filipino prisoners doing their reenactment of the ’Thriller’ video. 

Web revenue strong in the good old days, study finds


The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers issued their latest web spending figures, which are helpful if you care about what happened in the first six months of the year.

The trouble is what companies spent on Web banner or search ads in February or April or June suddenly seems almost quaint, if not irrelevant.

Will advertising budgets and plans look any different after a complete restructuring of the financial services sector? After a $700 billion rescue package? After the Dow Jones industrial average sunk below 10,000? Seems very likely.

What to say at times like these?

wallstreet.jpgThe financial crisis is tough on everybody — Madison Avenue copywriters included.

Stuart Elliott of the New York Times looks at how tough it can be to craft an advertising campaign in this climate, particularly if your client is in financial services.

He points to a new campaign by Washington Mutual, which was sold to JP Morgan Chase amid all the upheaval. What do you say to consumers? The creatives working on the campaign went for humor, Elliot writes, deciding on a headline reading “We love Chase,” followed by “And not just because they have a trillion dollars.”

Advertising powerhouse considers advertising

google.jpgCould we soon see a flashy Google advertisement on TV? It’s possible, according to a Wall Street Journal article, which says that the search advertising powerhouse has quietly approached several ad agencies about efforts to promote some products.

The article names agencies Wieden + Kennedy and Taxi as two agencies that have had discussions with Google, which, recall, has relied far more on word of mouth advertsing than most companies its size.

But don’t hold your breath for a massive advertising campaign from Google involving TV, radio, billboards, etc etc. As the article points out:

More talks between Yahoo and AOL? Why not?

yahoo2.jpgHere we go again… It seems that Yahoo’s new board has given the thumbs up to a new round of talks about Time Warner’s AOL, according to a report in the Financial Times

The newspaper says that the board’s move potentially reignites “negotiations for a combination of the two internet businesses that stalled earlier this year.”

According to one person familiar with the company’s thinking, the Yahoo board approved a new round of discussions with AOL, though active deal negotiations are not underway at this stage.

Financial upheaval keeps ad men jumping

wallstreet.jpg The turmoil of Wall Street is keep Madison Avenue’s creative types on their toes.

As the New York Times points out, “The biggest challenge, executives say, is trying to keep up with the stunning economic and financial events and the resulting mood swings, as evidenced by the roller-coaster ride from the despair of Wednesday to the euphoria of Friday. All that makes it difficult to determine how to best persuade shoppers to open their wallets.”

The newspaper reports that New York Life, an insurance company, last week asked their agency, Taxi, to create a new round of ads to play up the company’s reliability in the aftermath of the AIG meltdown.

Is PC the new black? Ask Microsoft

im-a-pc.jpgLook out nerdy-cool Apple guy, the empire is striking back. And it’s got Eva Longoria Parker, Tony Parker, Pharrell Williams and Deepak Chopra on its side.

Microsoft is launching (another) new commercial campaign Thursday night. It takes aim at Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” campaign that has portrayed personal computers running Windows as clunky and uncool.

The commercial starts with a real-life Windows engineer who looks eerily similar to John Hodgman (the comedian who plays the role of “PC” in Apple’s commercials), saying “I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a stereotype.” After that is a montage of celebs and normal folk, saying “I’m a PC.”   Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, along with the aforementioned celebrities, makes an appearance in the ad.