California P.I.

With the falling cost of production and distribution, it was only a matter of time to see the return of the B-movie, this time via the web. Even though their new weekly video is shot in High Def and premiering inside HD entertainment section, Earthflix makes no pretense with California PI. You can see their connection to the past at the end of this first episode with a tribute to Robert Lippert , by Lippert’s son.

Lippert gave us memorable titles from the 40-60′s with movies like Rocketship X-M, Steel Helmet, and the Tall Texan.

Check out the premier episode of California P.I.

It appears Earthflix will be showing old clips from Candid Camera soon as well. Will a new version be far behind?

SXSW, Vloggercon 2006, Valleywag

South by Southwest is coming up in just a few weeks. I will be out there for most of the Interactive and a day or two of the Music fest. There seems to be the rumblings of a few vlogger activities including the TowerPod launch, and an IOTA kick off party with Magneta Lane, The Mutts, The Slip, Dengue Fever, Heavyweight Dub Champion w/ Dr. Israel and special guest. Will keep you posted as it develop!

The location and dates for Vloggercon 2006 have been set! San Francisco, June 10-11, 2006. Limited attendance. This is gonna be huge.

The last few weeks I’ve been enjoying a new blog in the Bay Area: Valleywag. Backed by Nick Denton’s Gawker, Valleywag has grown on me. At first it was the tabloid approach to the personalities of web two dot oh and old skool tech, but today it actually became a relevant news aggregator with these stories that I found relevant: Google buys Measuremap (which I have been using); Exodus from Technorati. Worth subscribing to.

Stickam and 3 Bubbles – Embedded Communications

You may notice a new little box in the upper right corner of my blog*. That’s a flash widget from a company called stickam. The official launch of this new tool will be on the 15th, but I am testing it now. If I have my camera and mic on, you can talk with me directly in this blog! If I am away, you can view current photos I may have uploaded (nothing really yet), or even videos from my vlog.

There is a comment function that will allow the same threaded discussions you would expect from any other blog. Combining this with tools like 3 bubbles, (which allows a rolling chat box on your blog, and we will really see something closer to the next generation communications device where you have both asynchronous and synchronous conversations going on. Adding a layer of privacy and security would make it complete.

Update April 17, 2006: I’ve removed the widget from this post as it appears to have been giving a false virus message to IE users.

Rocketboom eBay Auction

Well it’s over! After an intense 10 day period and over 100 bids, Rocketboom’s eBay auction shot into the atmosphere with a successful $40,000 bid by the appropriately named Starfinder5. Because of their rapidily growing viewership it is hard to project total subscribers by the time the ads are aired in March, but this puts an approximate value of $53-$61 CPM on the show. Congratulations Andrew and Amanda!

SF BIG – San Francisco Bay Area Interactive Group

I am in the Marines Memorial Club for the Bay Area Interactive Group‘s first meeting of 2006. This place is completely Standing Room Only. Perhaps 250+ folks. Google is sponsoring this event with 3 key speakers. David Greenwald heads up the volunteer organization in BIG. There is a User Generated Ad Show this Spring. Contact Brian at Universal McCann. Accepting entries now. Guests tonight:

Sean Connolly, Worldwide Director of Advertising Intel;
Pat Connolly, CMO Williams Sonoma; and
Rich Buchanan VP marketing/CMO Sling Media

Karen Crow, Director of Advertising Sales for Google, kicks it off as the main Sponsor. She starts with what she calls “Google’s Forward Looking Statements on Marketing”. Online marketing is dead – going away as we know it today. Traditional marketing business units majority of $; focus on brand; broad bottom line metrics…

Online marketing (hard to read with the yellow type she has chosen) is a separate division. Focus on website. Tight metrics. Future: Integrated Marketing: Multimedia, cross channel, data integration.

Some stats. 1/3 of IT Professional’s media consumption is online. 72% shoppers saw product first online and then bought it in store. 70% of sales @ Macys were made within 20 miles of a store. Connected targeted audiences. She is showing Google Map search results (something Tom Churchill and I were doing with NVRI in 1995!), also integrated with Google mobile. 3 points in circle: Agency > Analytics > Google

John Durham (Carat) MCs.

Williams Sonoma. $3.5B Sales. 40% is direct catalog and internet. By end of 2006, should be #3 catalog company. 400m catalog mailer represents 1% of US postal volume by weight! 11th largest consumer e-commerce $.

Intel. Comarketing program. Integrated marketing model. End-to-end mix. Partner awareness. Co-op model is moving in that direction.

Sling Media. 3000 brick and mortar stores. He’d rather sell direct. 10% budget is online marketing. Very strong viral component. Person to person sales.

Question:What is the key challenge that you see today?

Intel: Media Fragmentation. “One more conversation on that will kill us all”. Can’t buy reach anymore. More like to spread the word…beyond GRP..increase depth of relationship.

Sling: Target audience most likely to buy. Navic‘s system in cable is an awesome tool. VOD delivery. Rich proceeds to give away two systems to a lucky guy in the front row to demonstrate the power of viral marketing.

Williams Sonoma: Client tracking. Keywords have a greater multiplier in retail: 2-4x offline impact on results. Pat uses KitchenAid in store window example. WS would snatch up keywords to sync with in-store promotion.

Question: How do you define Engagement?

Intel: Awareness (BMW example)

WS: Increase customer loyalty.

Question: How close are you to a “Dashboard“?

Sling: Targeted DMA. Product Registration rate is running 60%.

WS: Know call center volume every hour. Porting data to email.

Question: User Generated Media/Content and uncontrolled messaging of your brand. Response?

Sling: Community space, Blog space. Sling Execs engage in consumer created content Podcasts/Blogs

WS: We are behind in that. Customer surveys. Personal call on failures save 80% of the 4% that are disatisfied.

Intel: Harnessing will just hurt in the long run. Demonstrate value to those communites. That will be a positve result

Question: How much does a (specific) site matter?

WS: Source, yes there is a difference. Lifetime value of a customer is different depending on source.

Question: How are you overlaying fragmented media?

Intel: Not all the needles are moving. Sharing data from co-op marketers.

Sling: We don’t have conflict in brand (product over distributor).

WS: 10% of our costs are advertising. Bottom up plans. Incremental sales.

John asks Sean about Intel/Apple. Its Power Performance rather than Price Performance.

Question: What keeps you up at night?

WS: Prioritizing Order. Resource monies are scarce. What is the best long term investment. $170m digital media budget.

Intel: Evolve partner marketing.. high teens digital budget. Viiv foundation is digital. 80% of total marketing investment is indirect (due to Co-op).

Sling: Fire drill of a small company. Everything has to be done yeseterday. To his Agency: “2 days ago is when it needed to be done”. Interactive spend is about 10% of total budget. Expanding to cable and VOD could be up to 30%.

Question: How do you compete against China?

Intel: We are strongest in the emerging markets: India, China, Russia. As erging markets take the leap from print to viral, strong brand is important. #5 global brand id.

John concludes discussion by noting a friend at Heavy related to him that they received 300k downloads in 5 hours from the 18 unaccepted superbowl ads they posted today.