Monday, April 21, 2008


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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Advertising in Virtual world

Kids have now become focus of attraction for almost all advertising – starting from Car to loans!
This is not just limited to family products on TV and main media, its escalated its way to virtual world too. There are many gaming sites/communities which attract kids who who spend hours a month playing games and socializing.

Though these may boast of successful experiments with marketing wherein preteens are driving virtual Toyota Scions on sites such as and Gaia Online, and they're wearing the latest digital fashions from DKNY at Nickelodeon also talked about coming plans to run "immersive" ads in its 3D environment for kids ages 7 to 14.

In India, the same is seen by bubblegum and other ads in which kids get so involved that each time my neice pops in a gum, she waits for Boomes to come and take her on a joyride!
In India and abroad, as of now kids gaming is a nascent industry with relatively no standards for advertising and media watchdogs.

With 3D worlds, lines between content and product marketing is blurring and kids start to believe all the fantacies they live in are for real. Such games change the equation for brand marketers because a child's interaction and emotional engagement is so high.
So far, the only regulations protecting kids online are through the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998. The legislation stipulates that sites targeting children under the age of 13 must post a detailed privacy policy and obtain permission from parents to collect any personal information about them. However, COPPA doesn't deal directly with advertising. With innocent minds and emotions at stake, advertisers and brand managers need think - Are kids really ready to live in such in virtual worlds?

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Thursday, September 6, 2007


Brands with a Point of View

How is it that some brands arrive and others remain followers despite marketing and branding efforts? Is it because they have been early entrants or they really have something that differentiates them from others?

Interestingly, most brand that have strong ‘leadership” traits have mastered “outside – in approach”, which means apart from getting the Brand Image right, they have groomed company talent to internalize externally projected high expectations.

Leadership brands have a reputation of possessing exceptional managers with skill set to fulfill customers and stakeholders’ expectations.

For instance Infosys Technologies Ltd. When one interacts with the company, they expect the managers to bring latest technologies to suits best business advantage to the client. Or when one interacts with Accenture, they expect the excellence at all levels.
Leadership gets embedded in the company culture and internally is seen as top-down and externally is seen as bottom-up!



Internet to help preserve local culture and language

With increasing popularity of local languages on net and Broadband allowing the use of rich media –audio and video files, Internet can play an additional role in helping preserving local language and culture.

Rich media formats can capture pronunciation and physical movements associated with the languages in details and document the same. For instance, the Tlingit language of the Inuit people in southeast Alaska has been preserved in an online database used by schoolchildren in Glacier Bay.

More places would be seeing the development of indigenous language projects and databases online Though till now English is world’s lingua franca and with world becoming a global village, there was a threat of English becoming so indispensable in communicating that it would displace other languages.

Though until translation technology is perfected and pervasive, people will have to find other ways to communicate as effectively as they can across cultures, but as Thomas Keller, a member of the Registrars Constituency of ICANN rightly says “The net of the future will very likely evolve more into a big assembly of micro webs serving micro communities and their languages.”

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


MTV’s "Vote for Snoop”… Do we really need SUCH campaigns?

I was shocked to see how MTV is trying to push the case of Australian Visa for Rapper Snoop Dogg (Real name Calvin Broadus). All coz was to co-host the MTV Australian Video Music Awards.

Earlier, he had been denied VISA from UK. There are various reasons for the same, not to forget that he is a member of Los Angeles gang, that has been involved in murder, robberies and drug dealing in the LA area.

If he has been denied entry, let him fight the legal battle and win/loose. Why involved netizens in this? When social media and people stand for a social cause or for things which mean a lot to the society, it’s understandable, but by doing this, I do not think MTV aims to achieve any of these.

For his fans, he can be viewed on TV/internet/MMS.. then why the big rush???

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Saturday, July 7, 2007


Media brand equity lies in audience or experience?

With increasing content distribution and syndication, Media companies will have to decide where their priorities are – in pushing audience to their site by protecting content or pulling them by ensuring a better reading experience and environment.

Both approaches have pros, cons and opportunities linked with them.

Locking content behind registration

The good part of such approach is a surety of captive and loyal audience which visits the sites regularly in search of news and information.

However, incase they are not able to provide “exclusive” information; they might lose the audience to other sites which are distributing same information for free. With content syndication, portals are providing information from various big media groups, hence reducing the need for an individual to go the media site.

Distributed content
This content finds its way to right audience through different means – through portal, RSS feed on the site, other partner network sites.

Drawback is in terms of hit in Ad sales. Since the same content is available on partner sites, it would be difficult to convince advertisers to pay a premium CPM for the site ad units.

However, this can be converted to an advantage by providing an excellent reading environment and experience on the media site. In this ways, content distribution would act as “content promotion” and “pull” audience to visit the media site for a better reading experience.

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Monday, July 2, 2007


Yahoo SmartAds: 360 degree effort is needed

Not just Behaviorally targeted creative : 360 degree effort is needed

Anand, a colleague and friend, told me to checkout the new – SmartAds launched by Yahoo.. and added “Search information for this on Google..!”

SmartAd seems to be an interesting tool for advertisers since it would definitely reduce the spill. It’s always best to target, both contextually and behaviorally.

“Yahoo!’s next generation of online advertising helps you better connect with your audience in a more customized, relevant way. These display ads reach specific users and niche markets based on unique and expressed interests, geography and demographic profiles” – Source Yahoo Advertising center

The only concern which I see here, as an online advertiser, is the volume of search done by my target group on Yahoo as compared to Google. Even for searching the information on Yahoo SmartAds, the recommended engine was Google. I did a comparative search on Yahoo and Google for the same word - yahoo smartads.

The results were:

I agree search results always vary, but as a user, the results which I got from Google were much better and gave me a better understanding.

Though I would like to try and test SmartAds, hope it’s not too much of an experiment.

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