Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Beer on Board

Whenever I have the delight of using the train network I am always surprised at the number of businessmen that are drinking a solitary can of beer on the train. This might not sound that bizarre but there is something about seeing a man in a suit board, sit down, open his suitcase, take out a single can of stella and start drinking it creates a few questions for me.

Where did he buy one can of beer from? Did he pack it in his case in the morning? Is the can not warm having sat in his case all day?

This led me thinking to affinity marketing opportunitities. Please bear with me.

I believe that there are now three free papers available in the London area, the Metro, the LondonLite and the LondonPaper. These papers all rely on advertising to fund their print and overheads and one assumes a profit. Now how about offering a free can of cold beer if you have tokens from all five papers throughout the week?

I'm sure it's not just me - see how many you see?

Inflated YouTube Advertising

I heard today that to advertise a video on the YouTube homepage for one day will set you back a cool £30K. Whilst it is not for me to question the mighty Google when it comes to business practice on the web, this struck me as a little over-priced. Here's why:

I believe that attitudes to YouTube have changed in the past 12 months. in the early days, you could simply log in to Youtube and view something interesting or amusing relatively easily. In effect YouTube had the ability alter the way people use the web to a lean backward interaction.

However, YouTube has progressed from being a media channel to a video search engine. People are looking for something specific for a reason. They do not want to be interupted by advertising. They want to lean forward and interact.

I also believe that YouTube is increasingly full of spam. Whilst I am sure that there are efforts to minimise this the fact remains that it is far simpler for the average user to upload a video, than to create their own website. This creates a plethora of meaningless content that the search facility is not yet adept enough to filter.

Another aspect to the spam is the comments area. Although comments may be moderated, they are frequently populated by insults, innuendo and obscenities. This is not an ethical playground for the youth of today to be frequenting let alone for respectable brand owners to be promoting their latest product.

YouTube need to tackle these problems before they can effectively penetrate the online advertising market. When they offer a clean spam free environment where advertising is targeted to the users that are leaning back to interact, I may consider spending the sums of money they are quoting. Until then, I feel our money is better spent elsewhere.