Be Like the Virus
Zynga’s stock price is dropping, so now the San Francisco-based company is attempting to devise creative ways to monetize some of its more popular games. Yesterday we reported that Draw Something is hemorrhaging users, but that hasn’t stopped its new parent company from thrusting more ads upon the once wildly-popular game.
Taking a Tumble
A few weeks ago, Tumblr founder David Karp rather abruptly announced that he was reversing his long-held anti-advertising stance and opening Tumblr Radar up for sponsorship. According to an email from Tumblr communications rep Katherine Barna, the ad shop is officially open for business.
“We’re very excited to announce that Tumblr’s first official Sponsor products are now available to advertisers!” Ms. Barna wrote, directing folks to a new page for potential marketers. “We are constantly delighted by the creative ways that brands use Tumblr, and are confident that the world’s greatest marketers and media companies will use these products to set a new bar for creative advertising on the web.” Mr. Karp seemed a little more contemptuous towards advertisers at the Decoded Fashion conference earlier this week. But, like, in a friendly way, of course!
Apparently Tumblr CEO David Karp has overcome his distaste for ads, because he just announced that advertisers will be able to buy access to the dashboard’s “Tumblr Radar.”
About 45 minutes ago, Rex Sorgatz tweeted the following dispatch from AdAge Digital: “Karp just announced that the Featured spot on the Tumblr dashboard is going up for sale to advertisers.” Business Insider is reporting that the feature will go live as early as May 2.
Reached via email, Mr. Sorgatz provided more detail, telling Betabeat:
Web TV Wars
Depending on where you read the coverage of Hulu’s revenue numbers, the picture of the company looks very different. Read Write Web declares that the company turned in a “pretty big year,” growing 60 percent and “raking” in $420 million in revenue. But as Peter Kafka points out at All Things D, that falls short of the $500 million Hulu CEO Jason Kilar predicted the company would make in several blog posts.
Mr. Kafka attributes the miss to rumors of soft ad sales which have been percolating for a while. Hulu also was on the chopping block for a while, then off again, then back on. And several of its partners, most notably Fox, either took away next day rights for programming or discussed the idea. All that volatility is sure to make it tough for Hulu to sell ads.
New York’s most itterative location based social network likes to pitch itself as the modern day loyalty card, so it makes sense that it would want to offer its users deals and discounts when they check in. But rather than building out an extensive sales force, it has been adding deals from companies like LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi and Groupon.
Now foursquare is partnering with Atlanta based Scoutmob to add another 500 local deals in 13 American cities. “Of all the deal integrations we’ve done, the Scoutmob partnership most closely aligns with our own Specials format, where no payment is required to redeem deals spontaneously” said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development at foursquare.
The Tao of Steve
It looks like Apple is swinging the advertising pendulum in the other direction for the iPad 2. Welcome to a warmer, fuzzier sales pitch than the initial a launch of the iPad where Steve Jobs hyped his device on pretty-much one attribute: THIS HERE TABLET IS A REVOLUTION. TV commercials from the time featured up-tempo bouncy rock songs and MTV quick-cuts of fingers tap, tap, tapping their way to the technological future. That rubbed some users, notably Valleywag’s Ryan Tate the wrong way. What kind of technological revolution doesn’t come with porn–or Flash? Perhaps that’s why Apple has changed its course with the iPad 2.
Borrowing a page from Google’s Dear Sophie Lee series, Apple’s new iPad 2 commercials take a much more domestic approach, emphasizing how the device can be used to make personal connections and bring us closer to our loved ones. “Technology alone is not enough,” says the soothing voice-over over the Hallmark soundtrack. “Faster, thinner, lighter–those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical.” Awww, your grandma’s gonna love this thing.
You Like Me?
In what looks like the logical extension of its recent lobbying efforts in Washington, Facebook is ramping up its PR staff in both New York and California. Influencing politicians? Check! Influencing the media? Give us a minute.
Like its “dream lobbying team” in DC, Facebooks’s new PR hires have a strong background in politics. Sarah Feinberg, a former assistant to President Obama, joined its communications team in Palo Alto where her new boss is none other than Clinton-era White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart. But it looks like Facebook is also looking at the media itself as a potential PR talent pool–Mr. Lockhart worked for NBC in Washington. And Facebook’s newest hire is Jennifer Yuille, who will be based in New York–a former producer for MSNBC and CNN. She left her gig as a producer for Katie Couric at the CBS Evening News last year to join Silicon Valley start-up Polyvore.
All Facebook says, “As the company continues to grow and it faces the usual pressures from competitors, regulators, politicians, and the like, Facebook will need professionals schooled in crisis communications and rapid response to react to a 24/7 news cycle.” But we think there might be another motivating factor.
Beg Borrow and Steal
Ok, we’ll admit it, we’re suckers for a good wreck. It sounds like Myspace, the ailing social network, is having trouble convincing advertisers to sign on for long term deals as its traffic spikes downward.
You know when you see an ad on the Internet somewhere, and it’s just so awesome that you wish you could save it and look at it later?
New York startup AdKeeper has raised $8 million from investors including True Ventures, DCM and Spark Capital to create a “Keep” Read More