Digital Hollywood, considered the premier entertainment and technology conference in the U.S., is blowing media minds this week in Santa Monica. PCA’s The Hot Sheet attended several hot panels, including one discussing “Advertising Accountability.” Speakers representing today’s biggest electronic advertising platforms – online banner ads, social media, “linear TV” (including cable and satellite), radio (and digital radio), online games – pondered the business conundrum: How does one best measure digital media advertising? Among the insights and questions:
Social media offers the cheapest advertising, but is the toughest to quantify. Its bloggers and commenters are highly influential in their “pull” to consumers. Social media is also the most “disruptive” to other media because it is least susceptible to control.
Behavioral targeting media – banner ads that zero-in on people’s online activity – can generate a consumer backlash. For example, someone searching for cancer cures online may not want to be served ads that remind them of their cancer.
There is value in “social currency.” What customers are saying about a product or service online, even if negative, holds potential power. Therefore, boost your customer-service and integrate it into Facebook and Twitter.
What is worth more: a blog post or a banner ad? Consistent metrics remain elusive.
There is no substitute for good “creative.” Compelling advertising is good in any medium. But agencies will always feel the tension between research, account and creative departments.
The digital divide: Most ad dollars still go to traditional, “linear” media. But a tipping point is coming, when younger, more tech-friendly demographics will dominate audiences. When that happens digital spending will zoom up.
Speakers included William A. Lederer, Kantar Video; Eric Forst, Visible Technologies; Mark Yesayian, MEC Interaction; Charlie Rahilly, Clear Channel Radio; Craig Mcdonald, Covario; Scott Ferris, Microsoft Advertising; Kenneth Papagan, Rentrak Corporation; Patrick Hayes, GSMG Global.
Whether it was genuine backtracking or an elaborate P.R. ruse, we may never know. But Gap has quickly junked its new logo after what it calls an “outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.” Cliff Kuang at Fast Company design blog has tracked the logo flap from the start. (Fast Company also brought attention to Tropicana’s bad orange juice carton design, which The Hot Sheet noted at the time.) He says, “You gotta wonder: Are rebrandings — whether bold and visionary or downright terrible — impossible in the age of Twitter and Facebook? Will companies know when an outcry isn’t pointing to a terrible design, but rather just people refusing to embrace change?” But you also gotta wonder whether some of the outrage came from designers sore about how Gap commissioned the new logo. The company used the reviled “crowd-sourcing” method, in which designs are solicited at large… for free. No member of the design community – hurting for work like everyone else these days – would appreciate a logo created that way. Such practices drive down artists’ fees even further, especially when pursued by major corporations.
Dennis Hopper’s art will always be overshadowed by his films. That only makes his art that much more intriguing. Dennis Hopper Double Standard at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary reveals an artist fully engaged with the aesthetics and issues of his time, although not directly propelling them. The time in question is from the early 1960s through very recently. (Hopper died May 29 of this year.) The largest share of work here are his photographs. They document not only Hollywood and rock music (images of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones with a sitar, and a young, bikini’d Jane Fonda are among those that are iconic and compelling), but the kinetic Los Angeles art scene and major social issues. These include the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March, and the 1967 Sunset Strip curfew riots, which Hopper documented tellingly. Unfortunately, MOCA stacked the hundreds of photos in 20-foot-high towers, making it impossible to get close to some of the best. Why not put the Geffen Contemporary’s cavernous spaces to better use and Read More
From Arch Daily comes these photos of a home for the Modern Stone-Age family. “What do you think of this crazy stone house tucked into the Fafe Mountains in Portugal? Constructed between two giant stones and linked with a concrete mix, the house is rumored to be inspired by the popular American Flintstones cartoon. Although quite unusual, the prehistoric-looking residence does feature some traditional components such as windows, a front door, and even a shingled roof. As you might expect, the house’s design attracts thousands of tourists each year.”
The tiny atoll of Midway is one-third the way between Hawaii and Tokyo. But even here, 2,000 miles from the nearest continent, the ongoing, rapid destruction of the ocean is distressingly obvious. Just look – if you can stomach it – at the photos Midway albatross chicks by Chris Jordan. He can describe them better than we can (from his website):
“These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking. To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries.”
Jordan is currently returning to Midway to film a documentary.
PCA last month launched comprehensive, integrated marketing campaigns for the City of Riverside (California) and St. Mary Medical Center Long Beach, a member of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). Both campaigns employ PCA’s integrated services and include regional print and online advertising programs, as well as innovative social media and public relations strategies.
Read a press release announcing the campaigns’ launch here or click below to learn more about the creative process. Read More
International design firm Cuningham Group Architecture, just announced that its St. Jerome Parish Hall remodeling project has achieved LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). St. Jerome Parish Hall is the first project in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to become LEED® certified. It was certified Silver per the USBGC “New Construction and Major Renovation” Category, Version 2.2. THe Parish made a commitment to create a “green” hall within the remodeling project, and sustainable goals were in place from the outset as Cuningham Group, Stonemark Construction Management and the client collaborated on the design. Features include innovative mechanical system controls; new skylights to boost and equalize ambient lighting in the gym; water-conserving restroom fixtures; new glazing; new lighting and lighting control systems; reused or selected materials with significant recycled content; and better metering of electrical power.
“One of the fundamental tenants of our practice is that we have a responsibility to Read More
The BP oil spill offers dramatic evidence about the true costs of a petroleum-based economy. The $20 billion secured from BP by the Obama administration to cover economic damages will not nearly approach the overall dollars needed to repair this calamity, not to mention the true costs of climate change, all of which are being borne by citizens of the U.S. and the world, not oil companies. These are among the messages of leading environmentalist Bill McKibben in his latest call to organize – via the web – for action to curb carbon emissions, the source of climate change. He notes that the planet needs dramatic action “much faster than the political and economic systems are moving right now.” With the oil industry the most profitable and powerful enterprise in history, all that companies such as BP need to do to prevent being taxed for the true cost of environmental damage is to slow down the political process.
Baby boomers should note this message from McKibben’s new, web-distributed video: “Don’t make your lasting legacy on this planet the destruction of its basic physical integrity. That’s what people will remember the boomers for 100 years from now if we don’t clean up our act really fast.”
Seaside, Florida was hit this week with oil from the BP spill. Seaside is known as the first “new urbanist” community built from the ground-up as a compact, walkable town. (It is designed by famous architects/planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk.) There is some irony in this tragedy: The town is considered by some to be a model for high-density development which discourages dependence on fossil fuels.
There is a deeper controversy, as well. First reports of oil washing up on Seaside’s shores were allegedly met with denial by local officials, including the tourism board, which refused to close the beaches (as documented in these video reports.) Currently, Seaside’s website acknowledges but downplays the problem and its potential damage to beachgoers’ health: “While some of our beaches received oil impacts yesterday, they were quickly cleaned overnight. Most of our beaches have had no impacts and all of our beaches remain open.”
The Huffington Post blog/publication has added an important beat to its roster of local coverage. Transportation writer Joel Epstein is now covering issues related to Transportation Oriented Development (TOD): compact real estate projects at or near transportation hubs (light rail, subway, bus lines) that encourage walkability, discourage driving, help to improve the balance of jobs to housing, and help preserve energy and resources. All you have to do is look at that ghastly BP gusher to see the value in TODs. Epstein’s columns – which also cover Los Angeles’ expanding rail system – appear regularly in the much-read Huffington Post.
Says Epstein on why he chose this topic: “California is changing thanks to natural population growth, resources challenges, congestion and new thinking about the kind of lives Californians want to live. In the future we will see even more TODs built around sensible transportation options.”
Very sensibly on display were the transportation options offered at the June 4 TOD Summit in Hollywood, created by ULI Los Angeles. Epstein covered the event from all angles. This includes the growth of TODs outside of Los Angeles: “Many of the most exciting projects are ones the conference sponsors are building in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere rather than in the United States and more pointedly, Los Angeles.”
Epstein also serves as consultant for the business, labor, environmental and civic coalition Move LA.