What a difference two years makes. In 2009 my colleague Tim Bradshaw wrote about the advertising industry’s early experiments with augmented reality and the FT printed an AR image on its pages to give readers a practical demonstration.
We printed another augmented reality image on Tuesday, and the difference between the two projects has been like moving from black and white silent film to colour television. Read more
Could it finally be time to wave goodbye to passive TV advertising?
A year ago at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, Microsoft demonstrated the first in-game ads to use Kinect, its motion-sensing Xbox 360 controller. It was rudimentary but there was clearly huge potential for advertisers in having a camera, microphone and internet connection plugged into the TV.
This week, back in Cannes, Microsoft took a big step forward to unlocking that potential with “NUads”. Read more
Yahoo executives meeting with investors and analysts on Wednesday did what they could to assuage concerns about the company’s minority investments in China and Japan before moving on to the sunnier topics of a surge in display advertising and the big potential for video. Read more
Yahoo on Wednesday began rolling out improvements to its core search function that produce results–not just links–on popular subjects much faster than before. Read more
Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.
Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more
The FT tried something new today. We took to Twitter to answer questions about one of the day’s bigger news stories in the digital-media world: that the UK’s advertising regulator, the ASA, is extending its rules on accuracy and decency into corporate websites, social networks, blogs and mobile apps.
Seeing as many people already discuss the day’s news on Twitter, we thought it would be an interesting experiment to focus the conversation a little, get the views of people affected by the ASA’s new regime and add some personal perspectives to the coverage in today’s paper.
We tried to examine how successful this attempt to police the web will be; whether it’s realistic for UK-based regulator to reach into such an international medium; how it might affect freedom of speech or the playful nature of social networks, and if you or your company are going to have to scramble to make big changes as a result.
Given the ASA story is partly about Twitter, it seemed an ideal place to start our first #FTchat, which could be tracked on the site using that hashtag.
A few of the contributions after the jump… Read more
Since Apple bought Quattro Wireless last year, it has continued to offer that company’s services placing banner advertisements on smartphones even as it ramped up work on iAds, the fancier iPhone-only marketing with interaction and video.
No more. The former Quattro CEO who is now an Apple VP, Andy Miller, told customers this week that Quattro will stop taking new orders at the end of September and devote all its attention to iAds. Read more
A year after Yahoo and Microsoft finally agreed to combine their search efforts, the result is showing up.
Starting this week, natural searches on Yahoo from the US and Canada will begin being “powered” by Bing, the Microsoft search engine. Paid search results are still on track to be delivered by Microsoft this autumn, Yahoo executives said Tuesday, unless quality issues force a delay past the winter holidays.
Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the relevance should be better, said Yahoo vice president Shashi Seth. Read more
The Cannes Lions International Advertising festival is upon us. Once again, agencies, advertisers and tech companies are vying to out-geek each other, to prove they’re on top of the latest digital trends.
Delegates are welcomed to the Palais des Festivals by a giant “touchwall” – a 12-foot by five-foot screen by WPP unit Schematic, showing seminars, 3D maps and other interactive goodies.
SapientNitro – the digital agency which caused a stir last year by buying a traditional agency and scooping several awards for its “best job in the world” campaign for Tourism Queensland – has unveiled what it claims (and who could say otherwise) is the world’s first smile-activated ice-cream van. The van dishes out Unilever treats from Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s to passers-by in return for a photo of a big grin, which is (inevitably) uploaded to Facebook.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is crowing about its first advertiser to use Kinect, the motion-sensing camera for Xbox 360 that was unveiled at E3 last week. Read more
As Apple founder Steve Jobs was noisily pitching the company’s soon-to-be-launched iAds advertising network last week, Apple was quietly making sure it could block Google and Microsoft from delivering commercials to iPhone and iPad owners.
Google complained that the rule change would be bad for app developers and consumers, while federal antitrust regulators are examining the switch to see if it runs afoul of the law. But experts said Apple is most likely within its rights, however much competitors and developers fret, and the FT’s Lex column agrees. Read more
Today’s edition of the Financial Times features an experiment with an emerging technology which is already winning over geeks and marketeers alike: augmented reality. Read more
A boy lies on his back on a boardroom table in a high-rise office block in Toyko. He pulls out his Nokia, takes a photo of the setting sun – upside down – and sends it to his girlfriend in New York, where dawn is breaking. “Now I know we share the same horizon,” says the voiceover. “My sunset is your sunrise.”
It’s a brilliant Nokia ad – the sort of simple, well-executed idea that agencies charge six-figure sums for. Only this one wasn’t made by an ad agency – it was made by Hiroki Ono, a 23-year-old film student from Yokohama, Japan, who’d never made an ad before. The film, “Feel the globe”, took just two days to make. Read more
Microsoft marketing has an identity crisis. Which means Microsoft doesn’t know how to talk to its customers, and that’s a big issue for the company.
Leave aside issues of desktop vs cloud software, Google vs Live search, and whether Yahoo was worth $33 per share. Instead, let’s look at how the company actually engages the public. Read more