Google’s Nexus One: Marketing Lessons

Google’s Nexus One hasn’t fared as well as the company would have hoped, selling only 135,000 units its first 74 days, and now it’s being given away for free to industry reviewers.  Nexus One was a learning experience for the company, not the least of which is how to market a physical product.

“All those iPhone and Droid commercials on TV may seem like ego trips for the Apple and Motorola. But marketing plays a big role in phone sales,” writes Priya Ganapati. “Smartphones are not just for gadget heads, so if handset makers want to reach an audience beyond the early adopters, they have to advertise and sell their product through traditional media channels.”

“Google didn t capitalize on the initial buzz around the first  ‘Googlephone.’ The company never ran a focused marketing campaign that would try to impress on potential customers why the Nexus One was worth considering,” she continued. “The result has been that few potential customers have had a chance to hear why the phone may be special. Google also limited itself by offering the device only on T-Mobile. Last month, it extended it to AT&T, but AT&T customers will not get a subsidy on the device and will have to pay the full price $530 for the unlocked version of the phone.”

Source: Wired

Facebook Open Graph: Reaching For The Stars

Many saw Facebook’s introduction of the like button and all it implied as a prelude to Internet domination. Indeed, no one should doubt the social network’s power; given its 450 million users worldwide, it could ultimately outmaneuver Google in Internet ads.

“This is as massive of a move as we’ve seen on the Internet in a long time,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, a tech platform for brands on Facebook. “For the first time, we have the ability to think about how to optimize these viral loops for brands in much the same way as game developers have.”

It is indicative of a move towards social integration with everything on the web. Twitter is trying something similar with their @Anywhere platform, but Facebook’s size may prove to be the deciding factor.

“It results in Facebook becoming … all-knowing,” said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, who compares Facebook to Skynet, the computer network in The Terminator.

Despite some reservations, the power of using this networked platform cannot be ignored by marketers or site publishers. It lets ESPN know if someone is a Giants fan, and it lets Levi jeans know what demographics prefer what jeans. “We think it’s going to change how people shop online, and make buying jeans more fun, dynamic and engaging,” said Doug Sweeny, vp of brand marketing at Levi’s.

Right now, Facebook’s Open Graph system does not have an ad component; it simply helps build a user base. However, many feel it’s only a matter of time until it become an ad network based upon what users and their friends like, which is much more accurate than anything guessed. “Inventory has become commoditized and cookie cutter,” said Shiv Singh, social media lead at Razorfish. “Now we can tap into the differentiating elements.”

Of course, with sites storing data longer than the previous 24 hours and Facebook stretching farther than it’s ever gone before, privacy issues are a major concern. “They’ve really tested the limits of their boundaries and where they can go,” said Nathaniel Perez, director of social marketing at SapientNitro. “This comes at a time when people’s behavior has evolved. It changes people’s notions of privacy.”

Source: AdWeek {link no longer active}

Prince Of Persia Producer Looks Towards Gaming Convergence

Games are compared to movies by many, and the fidelity and storytelling quality of games makes them increasingly comparable to movies. Indeed, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time producer Jerry Bruckheimer thinks that even further convergence is coming between games and movies; considering how important both movies and games are to young adults, it’s a trend worth paying attention to.

“I really believe in the next 10 years you won t be able to tell the difference between movies and games. Games will be so realistic,” said Bruckheimer. “They are a form of storytelling and we love to tell stories in movies and on television. We are about to actively seek some executives. Hopefully in the next six months we’ll get started.”

Source: HeyUGuys

NHL TV Ad Revenue Up

Five years ago, the NHL canceled its season and saw a significant TV ratings drop off when it did return. Now, however, things appear to be improving with Versus and NBC both saying its ratings are up over 20 and 10 percent, respectively, and that ad sales are doing better than last year and nearly sold out. has also offered more live video to draw in younger audiences, and unique visitors are up a third.

“By creating a digital front door to the league, we have redefined ourselves in the marketplace,” NHL COO John Collins said.

NHL sponsors like Verizon, Enterprise, Anheuser-Busch and Reebok are spending more, and unaffiliated sponsors such as Discover Card, Pizza Hut, Volkswagen, Amway and Subway have also bought time, and perhaps its popularity warrants more attention from gaming and entertainment brands as well.

“There is a good, healthy buzz about the NHL,” said Christine Merrifield, senior vp and director of video investment at MediaVest. “From an advertiser perspective, it’s priced fairly. And being able to combine broadcast and cable buys is good.”

Still, compared to the other major sporting leagues, the NHL doesn’t have the same pull. One wonders how the Stanley Cup playoffs might fare if it didn’t go head to head every year with the NBA playoffs, which attracts a much more diverse audience, both young and old. “The one downside is that it doesn’t have a mass reach that the other major TV sports have,” noted Merrifield.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Social Media Vital For ‘Mass Influencers’

Forrester today introduced a new way of looking at social media from a marketing perspective. They say that so-called Mass Influencers are 16 percent of the U.S. population, but generate 80 percent of the influence impressions.

These Mass Influencers and broken down into two categories, with Mass Connectors that spread brand and service impressions across Twitter and Facebook, and Mass Mavens that create and share content on YouTube, blogs, forums, or ratings and review sites. This is important to consider since in areas like consumer electronics and games, most of these Mass Influencers are young and highly net savy.

Consumer Electronics Mass Influencers are younger, more affluent and more likely to be male than the average U.S. online participant, writes Augie Ray.  This information can be used to target advertising and PR that is more likely to reach the right kind of Mass Influencer for this brand.

Other tips for reaching Consumer Electronics Mass Influencers include reward programs over Twitter, and sponsoring parties where these individuals show off their products. Forrester says their Peer Influence Analysis can help marketers reach their target, which no doubt includes trend-setting prime demographics between 18 and 34 years old.

Source: Forrester

Levi’s ‘Likes’ New Facebook Functions

The new like button from Facebook has heavy potential for marketers, and some ideas are already being realized. Levi’s, for instance, has launched a new system where consumers can customize their interactive shopping experience based on their likes and share favorites with friends.

“While you are browsing and shopping at, you click what you like, and that like gets populated on to your news feed,” Megan O’Connor, Levi’s director of social and digital media. “And then there’s also the friends’ store. It means I can literally go jeans shopping with my sister, who lives in San Diego. We think this is going to revolutionize the way people shop for jeans online.”

“We feel like we’re a unique jeans brand, in that we have people who just love their Levi’s — we’re at an advantage in terms of our passionate fans, she added. This empowers these people to get their megaphones out.”

The company has a young consumer base that adapts well to digital offerings. For example, a Levi’s sponsored music festival generated 780,000 live streams.

Source: MediaPost

Blackberry Bold 9650, Pearl 3G Unveiled

Research In Motion today unveiled their latest phones in the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G. The Bold, which will see support from Sprint, offers a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi. The Pearl will be supported by AT&T and T-Mobile 3G networks and will also feature a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, and Wi-Fi; both are said to have a large, high-resolution screen.

“The new BlackBerry Bold 9650 is an extraordinary smartphone that we think customers will love. Whether at work or at play, the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 offers a truly impressive communications, multimedia and connectivity experience,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry Pearl 3G is unlike any other Smarthphone in the world and we expect a broad range of new and existing customers will be drawn to its powerful features and compact design. Considering the fast growing consumer interest in Smarthphones and the fact that more than three-quarters of the people in the global mobile phone market are still buying handsets with a traditional alphanumeric keypad, we think the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G addresses a substantial market opportunity.”

While the Apple’s iPhone continues to be the dominating force in smartphones, BlackBerry maintains a loyal fanbase and these new models are heavily anticipated.

iPad Sales Move Past 1 Million, Says Estimate

According to research done by Chitika Labs, over one million iPads have been sold in three weeks. The firm computed this by checking to see how many iPads are coming through their advertising network and multiplying it by the total traffic of the Internet.

This survey method of determination would say that the original sell rate of the iPad, which saw a half million sold during the first week, has halved in the following two weeks, though it is still selling at a good clip. If this keeps up, and with iPad launches in other countries yet to come, Apple may yet sell several million iPads in 2010.

Source: ZDNet {link no longer active}