Japanese Tea Commercial…

Wow…Japanese commercials are always unusual…I have done some of the strangest ones for Japan myself and I am a foreigner. I guess while you are there your perspective changes and you think beyond the boring spots of housewives in the kitchen.

This one the product gets a bit lost in the message but the theme is strong.

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Content Marketing

An ad is a great way to encapsulate information into a tiny bite. Think of it as a appetizer. Done well it leaves the consumer wanting more. I think the main meal is content marketing: creating useful information for prospective buyers.

Content marketing is about providing something useful. A how to video on hanging up a picture sponsored by Black & Decker is content marketing. A blog post about five things we often forget when staying at a hotel sponsored by Priceline.com is content marketing.
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People seem to be more interested if a brand can have a relationship with their brand and teaching the consumer helps build a trust and a bond with more credibility than just a 30 second spot.

Infomercials however aren’t always content marketing. They often are a little too far into the fake-smiles-and-bobbing-head department of gee whiz testimonials. I am talking about useful information presented in a way that makes the receiver of that information feel they have been given a value.

There are many ways to do it for free or cheap. Blogs, video sites, pod casts and social networks are great places to share information and build interest about a product. These can be a great way to measure sentiment, drive awareness, and encourage conversation. Tie this to a marketing funnel and you’ve got the opportunity to convert people who respond to the information into more qualified leads and of course activate sales.

Facebook Tests AD Comments

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This week Facebook is trying out a new ad format that attempts to bring social networking to video placements.

New placements began appearing on the site touting the DreamWorks movie Tropic Thunder. The ads, running on the right side of the page, feature a click-to-play trailer. When users watch the video, they are then presented with a commenting option, similar to those that appear within the site’s News Feed.

I love to comment especially about films so I hope the film companies can take the heat.
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Comments are featured from others in a user’s network. In this way, a user can see what his or her friends think about a movie or product.

A Facebook spokesman said the ads are a test of new formats the site is undertaking following a redesign this month.

Facebook has struggled to craft an ad system that fits its environment, where users often come to exchange information with friends. Banner ads on the site are known to get very low click-through rates, and they often compete with many other items on the page for attention.

The site is not the first to experiment with ad comments. Weblogs tried a system called Focus Ads in 2005 that would display user comments on ad messages.

Facebook’s first attempt at crafting a unique ad system mostly fell flat. Its Beacon program, which beamed certain user activities from advertiser sites, was scaled back due to privacy complaints. The site still runs Social Ads that features endorsements of a user’s network.

The new ad test follows a site redesign that changed ad placements from the left side of the page to the right column. The shift was part of a much larger site redesign that the company says will improve the user experience by making the venue less cluttered and emphasizing feeds from a user’s friend activities.