News Briefs:Google introduced click-to-play video ads in the United States, Canada and Japan. Click-to-play video ads are user-initiated, will run on the AdWords auction model and can be targeted to specific sites or contextually. Both targeting models support a geographical targeting overlay, up to the city level.
Pricing for click-to-play video ads can be either cost-per-impression or cost-per-click. An advertiser simply uploads a video file — up to two minutes long — and ads will automatically appear on sites within the Google content network that allow image ads. There are no hosting or serving fees. Users who want to view the ads press “play” on the control bar at the bottom of the window to start the video.
Advertisers will be able to measure the effectiveness of their video ads by tracking video play-back rates, clickthrough rates to their destination site, as well as how long users interact with the video.
The Sharper Image announced that total company sales for the month ended May 31, 2006 were $33.4 million, a decrease of 27 percent from the previous year. Total store sales were $19.1 million compared to $29.2 million last May, a decrease of 35 percent. Total catalog sales/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) were $9.2 million, a decrease of 9 percent. Internet sales decreased 19 percent to $5 million. Richard Thalheimer, Sharper Image founder and chairman/CEO, said that the company’s principal strategy for reversing the disappointing trend in sales is to accelerate the flow of new products, with 45 new products available for Father’s Day and additional new products between now and the holiday season.
Navicom GPS, which specializes in mobile resource management and GPS tracking, said the direct response television promotion of its GPS tracking system will be handled by the Home Shopping Group (HSG). HSG offers direct response marketing to companies who want to promote their products. Navicom has shipped its first GPS purchase order received from HSG. HSG will warehouse Navicom GPS units to re-sell and direct ship to customers. The direct response commercials promoting Navicom GPS will run on major U.S. television and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC CNN, TNT, TLC and E! Entertainment. In addition, HSG will work with Yahoo Shopping to launch a mass e-mail campaign.
TiVo announced its first advertiser custom application, the Lexus Car Configuration Tool, which will be integrated into a showcase on the TiVo service. The new application will allow TiVo subscribers with a broadband-connected TiVo Series2 DVR to customize the new 2007 Lexus ES 350, learn more about Lexus’ newest model, access an ES 350 photo slideshow, request a dealer contact to schedule a test drive and locate the Lexus dealer closest to their home.
Respond2 CEO Tim O’Leary released his new book, “Warriors Workers Whiners & Weasels: Understanding and Using the Four Personality Traits to Your Advantage.” The book is a guide for professionals to excel in the workplace by understanding and leveraging their own inherent traits and the most common traits of their colleagues. By classifying according to four types — warriors, workers, whiners and weasels (the four W’s) — Mr. O’Leary suggests how to advance within an organization, manage more efficiently, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each personality type. Learn more at www.warriorsandweasels.com.
The author has also launched a blog encouraging visitors to post their most compelling examples of warriors and workers and expose the tales of whiners and weasels at http://blog.warriorsandweasels.com
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