Friday, August 10, 2007


Great concept -- but not sure what the real value for Verizon is. 
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Introducing Addiction411: Online Tool to Educate the MySpace Generation About Opioid Addiction

Introducing Addiction411: Online Tool to Educate the MySpace Generation About Opioid Addiction

Pharmaceutical company partners with leading Internet community to support people seeking information about dependence on opioid prescription painkillers and heroin

RICHMOND, Va., August 10, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announces the launch of Addiction411, the first-ever MySpace disease information Website developed to educate the public about dependence on opioids. Opioids include commonly prescribed painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone as well as heroin.

Addiction411 offers user-friendly information on:

  • The dangers of misusing opioids and the red flags that may help identify addiction
  • How recreational drug use can lead to addiction
  • An interactive online addiction-identifier questionnaire
  • Opioid addiction treatment options
  • A physician locator to help people seeking office-based treatment for
    opioid dependence
  • Other resources to find information and treatment.

"We are proud to be the first pharmaceutical company to partner with MySpace to provide their members with vital healthcare information," said Shaun Thaxter, president of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., marketers of Suboxone. "Dependence on opioid painkillers and heroin is a major public health crisis, and the rise of MySpace as a leading online community makes it an ideal way to share important information about this hidden epidemic. Our hope is that providing the MySpace generation information on opioid dependence will help prevent them from becoming dependent, or will allow them to find appropriate medical help for themselves, their friends, or their families."

In recent years, young people aged 16-25 have experienced a drastic increase in misuse of opioids, particularly prescription painkillers. Some six million Americans in all age groups, walks of life, and income brackets either misuse opioid painkillers or abuse heroin. Opioid dependence is recognized as a chronic brain disease by the World Health Organization and the National Institute for Drug Abuse.

Addiction411 is the first time that MySpace members will have direct access to information about this increasingly prevalent disease and practical guidance on how to find treatment. In the case of opioid dependence and addiction, many people's reluctance to speak openly about their disease is a huge self-imposed barrier to finding treatment. The endorsement of the MySpace community of Addiction411 can help solve this problem and will serve as a model for future health-related information.

Visit if you or someone you know would like to access Addiction411.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

MTV Blends Show, Viral Campaign for Interactive Experience

MTV Blends Show, Viral Campaign for Interactive Experience

When creating a viral marketing effort for its show "Yo Mamma," MTV wanted a viral effort that would not only stir up awareness for the show, but would also be able to stand on its own two feet. The goal, according to Gaurav Misra, VP of programming for MTV and VH1, was to create something "self-sustaining." Depending on the success of the online effort, content from the viral initiative is set to become an integral part of the T.V. show itself.

The result is an online contest called "Let's Bully." "Yo Mamma" is a reality show that features comedians who compete in trash-talk bouts. The Let's Bully contest mirrors the show's concept, allowing users to upload pictures of themselves or friends and personalize jokes that they can then send via email to their friends.

MTV tapped social marketing agency EVB, San Francisco to head up the personalized aspects of the effort. EVB is known for producing the viral wonder "Elf Yourself" for OfficeMax, which reached more than 11 million people in November 2006. Daniel Stein and Jason Zada of EVB summarized for Adweek four of the viral marketing credos they used in creating the Let's Bully contest:

1.) The experience should be quick and simple with no long introductions or complex websites. Think "less is more."
2.) Users should be treated to something unexpected.
3.) Let people personalize content and make it their own.
4.) Timing matters.

Learn more:

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Big Brands Increasingly Go for Niche Reach

Big Brands Increasingly Go for Niche Reach

Big-name brands are seeing the value in niche reach and advertising on smaller sites, reports AdWeek.

While the sites upon which ads for Levi Strauss, Nestle and others are appearing are small, they mostly belong to larger networks. The buying happens through networks such as Glam and Active Athlete, which partner with niche topic writers to sell ads on the sites.

In the case of Glam, Levi's found a partner willing to work to find a new and hopefully more interesting way to advertise on the sites. The network came up with the "What is your denim identity?" execution, which helps people find the jeans right for them.

Advertisers see niche networks as a way to get in front of a small but passionate audience. Networks also make it easy for advertisers to target niche audiences without unnecessary footwork.

Many such sites, however, lack a sales staff that can work with advertisers on the buying process.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Latest Addition to Baby Center Family: Site for Latino Market

Latest Addition to Baby Center Family: Site for Latino Market

Top Parenting Portal in U.S. Uses Venture to Test Out Mobile Strategy and Develop Ties to Latin America

After expanding around the world, including a China launch in June, the leading U.S. parenting website, BabyCenter, will enter the U.S. Hispanic market in mid-September with BabyCenter en Español. The company will use the Hispanic launch to try out its first mobile strategy.

"Latins really overindex in use and adoption of mobile technology, so this is a great way for us to test it in this market and then take it back to the U.S. (general market) and to the rest of the world, where mobile usage is higher," said BabyCenter Chairman Tina Sharkey.

The test will begin later this month with the launch of a mobile site and outbound text products, which could include timely reminders for things such as immunizations or a mobile program for baby names, useful when expectant parents are out socializing and chatting about possible names.

Wide audience
BabyCenter reaches 78% of online new mothers and pregnant women in the U.S. and has more than 4 million monthly unique visitors, Ms. Sharkey said. Visitors can sign up for weekly e-mails that tell them what to expect during each week of their pregnancies. BabyCenter sends out about 60 million e-mails a month tailored to women at different stages of pregnancy or childrearing, she said.

"As we looked around the world and rated each market, the U.S. Hispanic market, for size, growth and priority with big advertisers, was very obviously up there along with the U.K. and China," said Jon Stross, general manager-international, BabyCenter.

The plan is to use the Spanish-language site as a hub to expand into Latin America next year with localized content for different countries, probably starting with Mexico.

Big sponsors
BabyCenter is owned by Johnson & Johnson, whose baby division is the U.S. Hispanic launch sponsor. In addition to Johnson & Johnson, the site's advertisers include General Motors Corp., JC Penney, Nestlé, State Farm, Target and Unilever, all major advertisers in the Hispanic market.

"It's all about gaining traffic and getting people signed up. Then we'll go to existing advertisers and say, 'Do you want to go into our Spanish-language site?'" Mr. Stross said.

The Spanish-language site will be promoted on the main site and in materials distributed at doctors' offices. Ads for Johnson's baby products will refer consumers to the site for more information, he said.
Mr. Stross said he'll be very happy if BabyCenter en Español gets to 100,000 unique visitors by the end of the year. The company expects a lot of women to go back and forth between the more comprehensive English-language site and new content in Spanish created with Latinas in mind. For instance, an article on caffeine intake covers highly caffeinated café cubano and the yerba mate tea favored by Argentines.

Helping Latina moms
"The average Latina has three kids, has her first child at 23, may not have insurance and has a more extended family," said Isidra Mencos, BabyCenter en Español's editorial director.

She said articles will include how to deal with a doctor who isn't Latino, childcare issues if the caregiver is a family member, and possible lead and mercury content in artisanal dishes often used to cook or serve food.

One encouraging finding, as BabyCenter gets more involved in social networking, is that young Hispanic women like to blog. According to market-research firm Synovate, 12% of Latinas between 18 and 34 are blogging, compared with just 4% of Hispanic men in the same age group.
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An Ad in Which Boy Gets Girl ... or Boy

An Ad in Which Boy Gets Girl ... or Boy

Levi's Targets Gay, Straight Consumers With Alt Endings

Marketers have on occasion created different versions of the same ad targeted toward different audiences -- Sony's Bravia TV being billed as the first TV campaign with spots for men and women earlier this year comes to mind. But even less frequent are those ads geared toward gay and straight audiences. Enter Levi's.

A spot from the jeans maker features a young, attractive male in his second-floor apartment slipping on his Levi's. The motion of yanking up his pants inexplicably causes the street below his apartment to get pulled up as well, crashing through his floor and bringing with it an equally attractive female in a telephone booth. In the end, the guy gets the girl. But if you watch the ad on Logo, MTV's gay cable network in more than 27 million homes, the same guy with the magic jeans is greeted by a fetching blond gentleman, and the two of them run off together in the same manner as their heterosexual counterparts.

While it's not the first time a marketer has pulled a two-for-one for the gay audience -- Orbitz executed a similar feat in 2003 for a pair of ads with marionettes -- the Levi's campaign represents what Logo President Brian Graden said is a first in his network's three-year history. The spots made their debuts on Logo two weeks ago, and will roll out on other lifestyle cable networks later in the season.

Reaching gay community
Having seen previous success with Levi's and its agency Bartle, Bogle & Hegarty last year when the denim outfitter truncated its "Straight Walk" ad for the network, Mr. Graden met with Robert Cameron, the brand's VP-marketing, to see how they could expand their creative relationship in reaching the gay community.

"Levi's has always been a very progressive company in this area with their own team; they're coming from a very credible place," said Mr. Graden, a 10-year MTV vet who also serves as president of the MTV Networks Entertainment group. "We think [speaking to the gay audience specifically] is a smart way for marketers to go. We have research that shows our audience has a much greater affinity for advertisers on Logo that have made a conscious decision to reach them."

Mr. Cameron admits the idea for the dual ads emerged from a tight budget, but later the concept took on greater meaning. "At first it made us parse the thought of, what does that say? We're not spending as much money as we ought to do a dedicated commercial for the gay market. But [then] we thought, if we're going to do an ad for them, they deserve the same production values. ... So doing the same commercial with different endings seemed to us to be a message about absolute equality."

Not expensive
Randy Susan Wagner, chief marketing officer of Orbitz, agrees creative equality doesn't come with a price tag. "You don't need a huge budget to do this; all you need is insight," Ms. Wagner said. Orbitz has filmed multiple versions campaigns such as "Game Show" and "Step-Ahead" in the same to save costs and cater to both communities.

Ms. Wagner also cited a recent Harris Interactive study in which 69% of all gay and lesbian consumers said they're more likely to buy directly from marketers that have a nondiscrimination policy. "It's a win-win. In this case, you get repaid very well, because both gay and lesbian consumers are very loyal to the companies that connect to them."

Gay media took in $276 million in 2006, according to the Gay Press Report, an annual survey conducted Rivendell Marketing and Prime Access. Ads for magazines such as Out and The Advocate comprised a vast majority of ad spend, with $223.3 million in 2006, up 5.2%. Online spending was $27 million while Logo took an estimated $20 million. According to the Gay Press Report, more than 183 Fortune 500 brands were actively spending on the gay market as of 2006, an increase from 150 in 2004.
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Marketers Pull Ads From Facebook

Marketers Pull Ads From Facebook

source: MediaPost

Vodafone, Prudential and the British government's Central Office of Information are among the six marketers who just pulled all ads from social networking site Facebook after realizing that they appeared next to content by the right-wing extremist group British Nationalist Party.

Their ads, like those of other Facebook marketers, appeared on randomly chosen pages, including those with potentially offensive content. While the companies clearly don't want even to be mentioned anywhere in the vicinity of right-wing extremists, they might need to accept this possibility as the cost of maintaining a presence in Web 2.0.

Marketers should know by now that they can't control where their brand name appears on the Web. They can pull all the ads they want from Facebook and other sites, but if bloggers, Facebook users or members of the British Nationalist Party want to post about Vodafone, they're going to.

Yes, having your name mentioned in a user's post is different from buying an ad on that person's page -- which, in the traditional media world, usually means that the marketer is sponsoring that person or his content. But Facebook isn't TV. On social networking sites, ads only facilitate content indirectly, if at all. After all, Facebook was! around long before Vodafone decided to take out ads on the site.

For marketers, this dilemma isn't new. Advertisers who make buys across networks that rely on user-generated content have long complained that their ads might appear next to inappropriate content. In fact, Google two years ago attempted to deal with this issue by giving advertisers in its AdSense network some degree of control over where their ads appear.

But that's a lot easier to do when the network consists of a limited number of publisher sites. In the absence of near-continual monitoring, Facebook, with its millions of users -- all, in effect, publishers -- clearly will face problems in attempting to restrict ads to pages with neutral content.

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SheSpeaks to Unlock WOM of Women

SheSpeaks to Unlock WOM of Women

Women represent just over 50 percent of the US population but account for 80 percent of consumer spending, according to the latest Trendwatching brief, making women top candidates for word-of-mouth marketing.

This is just the kind of knowledge that SheSpeaks plans to leverage.

Like BzzAgent on estrogen, the site invites females to register and try out new products for free in exchange for opinions and reviews. Women fill out a survey to determine what products they'd be interested in sampling.
SheSpeaks' Patricia Mee says the site's 30,000 members are "connectors" with large personal networks who pass along information and generate word-of-mouth.

For marketers, this means the site can not only provide word-of-mouth and on-site product placement, but rich member profile data including demographic and psychographic elements.

Sectors currently benefiting from the power of the woman's roar include packaged goods, publishers, cosmetics, and snack foods among others.

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Avenue A | Razorfish Announces Search Technology to Efficiently Crawl and Diagnose Web Site Performance

Avenue A | Razorfish Announces Search Technology to Efficiently Crawl and Diagnose Web Site Performance
Tool improves a major news site’s search results by 24 percent

SEATTLE - July 31, 2007  - Avenue A | Razorfish (NASDAQ: AQNT), one of the largest interactive services firms in the world, today announced Super-intelligent Link Crawler™ (SiLC), a proprietary tool that crawls within web sites to detect errors such as broken links and “404 Error Messages” that alert users the web page isn’t loading. The tool analyzes why errors occur and can benchmark a web site’s performance against other competing sites. The agency has combined the tool with its search engine optimization (SEO) and web design expertise to improve search rankings and usability for major brands like U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News & World Report ( recently redesigned its web site to grow traffic within its education, health, money and news sections and to improve its search capability within the site. After running SiLC, Avenue A | Razorfish discovered search engines were not ranking many of its web pages because they were viewing pages as duplicate content. For instance, U.S. News & World Report created the main content of a health page article, as well as a ‘printer friendly’ version. The web crawlers were tracking both and consequently not ranking the pages in search engine results. Within two months of the U.S. News & World Report relaunch, organic visits increased by 24 percent compared to the same period in 2006. In addition, organic visits from Google increased by 45 percent compared to 2006.
“Avenue A | Razorfish’s SiLC technology was able to quickly and efficiently identify elements of our site that were impeding us from maximizing our search engine visibility,” said Jennifer Simonds, Director of Online Marketing from U.S. News & World Report. “Previously it was a manual process that would have taken us months to complete. Instead, we were able to see significant increases in search engine performance in less than three months. By following their recommendations around social tagging and optimizing our news feed, traffic substantially increased from these channels by more than 500 percent.”
Commented William Flaiz, vice president, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web Analytics for Avenue A | Razorfish,”SiLC is like a Swiss Army Knife that serves many purposes beyond web crawling. It is different than other web crawlers because it can intelligently process why certain web pages aren’t performing well and integrate with other SEO tools to improve efficiencies not only within a web site, but to other linked Web sites, portals and blogs.”
SiLC joins the growing list of SEO tools from Avenue A | Razorfish, including SEOsource™, the agency’s proprietary SEO technology that provides SEO Engineers with full diagnostics to efficiently measure and determine how well a web site is performing and SEOdirect™, a proprietary feed management technology that optimizes and manages search results within major travel, entertainment, news and real estate web sites. All three SEO tools are available immediately to all Avenue A | Razorfish customers globally. Prices vary based on customization and level of analysis.

About Avenue A | Razorfish

Avenue A | Razorfish is one of the largest interactive marketing and technology services agencies in the world. The company helps industry leaders such as Kraft, Dell, The New York Times and Starwood Hotels use digital channels to acquire and service customers. Avenue A | Razorfish's full suite of digital offerings includes online advertising, Web site design and development, email and search engine marketing, emerging media strategies, and enterprise portal development. Its award-winning client teams have a great understanding of customer needs and provide solutions through distinct business disciplines, which include: analytics, strategy, technology, media, creative design and user experience. An operating unit of Seattle-based aQuantive, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQNT), Avenue A | Razorfish has offices in markets across the United States, and global operations in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Please visit for more information.
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