Gillette Is 'Stayin' Alive' With Viral Effort

Gillette may be moving toward more viral marketing approaches to promote its razors. The P&G unit has green-lighted a month-long program, "The Walk of Gillette," that will run through mid-May. Via BBDO, New York, the program drives consumers to sign up for a chance to win a free Fusion Razor with a video on various social media sites featuring the Gillette Champions -- athletes Roger Federer, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods acting like '70s disco maniacs. The video hearkens back to the opening sequence of "Saturday Night Fever" and the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive."
The 60-second video is running at, YouTube and other channels, as well as during the 17 home Yankee games over the next month. And to date, the video has scored about half a million views between and YouTube in less than two weeks. more 

Opera Reports Explosive Mobile Web Growth Worldwide

If you need any more proof of how fast the mobile web is growing, just look at the latest numbers coming out of Opera today. The company is reporting a 157% increase in usage of their Opera Mini web browser from March 2008 to March 2009. And the mobile web isn't just booming here in the Western world - it's also experiencing rapid growth in places like Latin America and Nigeria, too.

As of last month, more than 23 million mobile web surfers used Opera Mini to surf more than 8.6 billion pages in March, which equates to 148 million megabytes of data sent to handsets worldwide. Since Opera Mini compresses data before sending, that number actually represents 1.4 petabytes (PB) of uncompressed data. Data traffic is up 319%, year-over-year, and page views have increased by 255%.  more 

Google Building New Google News?

Eric Schmidt says that in about six months, Google will roll out a system that will bring high-quality news content to users without them actively looking for it. Under this latest iteration of advanced search, users will be automatically served the kind of news that interests them just by calling up Google's page. The latest algorithms apply ever more sophisticated filtering – based on search words, user choices, purchases, a whole host of cues – to determine what the reader is looking for without knowing they're looking for it.


And on this basis, Google believes it will be able to sell premium ads against premium content. The first two news organizations to get this treatment, Schmidt said, will be the New York Times and the Washington Post.  more

Study: Twitter Audience Does Not Have A Return Policy

Twitter's audience is exploding. Now if only they could get people to stick around.

Over 60 percent of people who sign up to use the popular (and tremendously discussed) micro-blogging platform do not return to using it the following month, according to new data released by Nielsen Online. In other words, Twitter currently has just a 40 percent retention rate, up from just 30 percent in previous months--indicating an "I don't get it factor" among new users that is reminiscent of the similarly-over hyped Second Life from a few years ago.

Nielsen found that Twitter's unique user base doubled in March. But most newbies aren't coming back. "People are signing up in droves," wrote  David Martin, vp, primary research, Nielsen Online in a blog posting on Tuesday (Apr. 28). "But despite the hockey-stick growth chart, Twitter faces an uphill battle in making sure these flocks of new users are enticed to return to the nest." more

Google Introduces Digg Style Social Voting Feature “What's Popular”

The latest gadget from Google is called "What's Popular?", a new Digg style social voting platform that can give iGoogle home page users a service similar to those offered by StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Mixx, and may signal that Google has lost any interest in acquiring Digg.

The gadget is very easy to use, and enables most of them functions not only in iGoogle but also on your PC using Google Desktop and in Gmail as a labs plugin. more

Microsoft keeps tabs in a crisis

Microsoft has launched a trial product to connect users to the people and places they care about especially when crisis hits. The company said the main inspiration for Vine came from Hurricane Katrina. The product is designed to keep family and friends in touch when other communications fail or falter. more 

Kingfisher Airlines (India) is tweeting

Kingfisher Airlines has joined the bandwagon to carry out conversation with its target audience. It has created a presence on Twitter, a social networking and micro-blogging website, at more

Online Ad Effectiveness Depends on Time of Day

While TV advertising has always been structured around times and dates, digital marketers are just waking up to the possibilities of how time targeting in the digital space can maximize the effectiveness of their messages.

A study by the U.K. Internet Advertising Bureau with Lightspeed Research found that online consumers of all ages believe they are more likely to pay attention to ads from the early evening onward. Younger audiences in particular showed more interest in commercial messages as the day progressed, while older age groups had distinct peaks in attention between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. more 

Apple Touts 1 Billionth Download

Apple hit the 1 billion download mark on apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company celebrated the milestone Friday with large leaderboard and banner ads on the home pages of major Web publishers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The creative shows a stream of app icons pouring into an iPhone from one ad unit to the other, similar to the tandem ads Apple has used previously in its Mac v. PC campaign online.


NYTimes Co. Reconsiders Online Paid Subscriptions

The New York Times Co. is again considering charging for content on its flagship New York Times website and the sites of its other papers, chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. suggested to shareholders at the company's annual meeting this week.

The company plans to "take a fresh, hard and deep look at various subscription, purchase and micropayment models," he said (via Adweek) - but advertising will remain a key piece of its revenue. "What we believe is that the advertising model we have used at has generated more revenue than the vast majority of other organizations, including some that are much larger than our site." more

The Inexorable March Of Internet TV

Selling broadband connections to the web is the most profitable business for cable companies. They also have better—and cheaper—technology than the phone companies and mobile carriers for doing so. It costs only around $100 a home for the cable companies to upgrade their networks to the latest DOCSIS 3 standard—and that includes providing each customer with a new high-speed modem.

But they are not doing so because they are afraid of the consequences. Cable-television companies make money by selling packages of channels. The average American household pays $700 a year for over 100 channels of cable television but watches no more than 15. Most would welcome the chance to buy only those channels they want to watch, rather than pay for expensive packages of programming they are largely not interested in. more

AOL Launches Online “News Magazine” PoliticsDaily

AOL is adding a twist to old-fashioned political journalism with the launch of its new political news and blog site, The site, which will primarily focus on in-depth political commentary as opposed to breaking news, will only provide original content, from long-form analysis to blog posts on issues in the U.S. political landscape. Led by former New York Times Washington Correspondent, Melinda Henneberger, PoliticsDaily wants to tie the old media's in-depth political analysis with a sustainable digital medium more

Samsung unveils its first Android phone

Samsung released its first handset based on Google's Android platform, the I7500. O2 Germany will launch the phone in June.

The candybar handset will have tri-band 7.2 Mbps HSDPA (in the 900 MHz, 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz bands), WiFi, a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot capable of holding up to an additional 32GB). It also has Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and a 3.5 mm headset jack. The phone does not have a physical keyboard.

Twitter in Kindergarten

A Seattle elementary school is embracing Twitter. A few weeks ago, teachers and administrators at the Meridian School in Wallingford started broadcasting the short, concise 140 character messages on Twitter to talk about everything from ice cream socials to library books to what happened in class that day.

"Right now we are exploring the concept of weight- we are testing how many pennies and paper-clips it will take to sink a boat," wrote first grade teacher Ramiza Saheed in a recent Tweet.


Gmail Introduces In-Browser Viewing Support For PowerPoint And TIFF Files

Consistently striving to improve its services, Google, just a few months back introduced a browser support for viewing PDF files in Gmail, and that has now been improved upon with the ability to view TIFF and PowerPoint (PPT) documents directly from within the Web browser without the need to install any additional software, powered by Google Apps. In order to view these files , Gmail users can now open them up without having to save them to the desktop and without having to buy, install, or wait for specific software to start up. more

Reckitt-Benckiser to Shift $20MM from TV to Web

Reckitt-Benckiser, the U.K.'s fourth-largest advertiser, plans to shift an estimated $20 million in advertising away from TV, investing instead in online advertising. The company, whose brands include Lysol, Clearasil, French's and Mucinex, spent less than $1 million in measured spending online in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, AdAge reports. About 90% of its measured media budget has traditionally been spent on television. more

Google's April fool joke - CADIE

Google today launched CADIE - Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed - Intelligence Entity. According to the announcement.

Research group switches on world's first "artificial intelligence" tasked-array system.

For several years now a small research group has been working on some challenging problems in the areas of neural networking, natural language and autonomous problem-solving. Last fall this group achieved a significant breakthrough: a powerful new technique for solving reinforcement learning problems, resulting in the first functional global-scale neuro-evolutionary learning cluster.

Since then progress has been rapid, and tonight we're pleased to announce that just moments ago, the world's first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity (CADIE) was switched on and began performing some initial functions. It's an exciting moment that we're determined to build upon by coming to understand more fully what CADIE's emergence might mean, for Google and for our users. So although CADIE technology will be rolled out with the caution befitting any advance of this magnitude, in the months to come users can expect to notice her influence on various properties. Earlier today, for instance, CADIE deduced from a quick scan of the visual segment of the social web a set of online design principles from which she derived this intriguing homepage.

These are merely the first steps onto what will doubtless prove a long and difficult road. Considerable bugs remain in CADIE'S programming, and considerable development clearly is called for. But we can't imagine a more important journey for Google to have undertaken.

For more information about CADIE see this monograph, and follow CADIE's progress via her YouTube channel and blog.