Will it blend?

I started following this after Seth Godin mentioned it back in November last year. I think it is interesting how advertisers start spending money on totally new ways to market their products. The fact that the advertisers now have their own distribution channel thanks to the internet change their dependency on traditional media to reach out.

They start spending money that never reach the newspapers, magazines, television channels and distributors that have eaten a part of that pie before.

“Will it blend?” is another example of how you can reach out using this new channel. The idea is simple. Blendtec produce high quality blenders but have a relatively unknown brand compared to the competitors. So, they start willitblend.com in addition to heavy distribution on YouTube and Revver and probably a lot of other sites.

The videos are incredibly cheap to produce (compared to full fledged commercials). And they reach out. With a message that says clearly “we make high quality blenders”. And, “we are a cool company”. And what is it? You just have to watch one video to get the point. One of the most popular. “Will it blend? – iPod”. Here it is.


And the numbers? About 3 million views on the iPod video alone on YouTube?. More than 20 000 people subscribing to the commercials from this company on the same site.

Hundreds of thousands of views on Revver. And by the way, on Revver Blendtec earns money every time people click on any of the commercials after the clips. Interesting, earning money off commercials on your own commercials…

And the traffic? Here is Willitblend.com compared to the total traffic of NBC.com for the last six months.

Remember that this is a site dedicated to the commercials for one company. The fact that their traffic is even visible compared to the total traffic of NBC is remarkable.

And do they sell? I don’t have their numbers, but the traffic on their online shop seems to play well along with the traffic of willitblend.com…

I think this is going to be a huge challenge for the media industry. Advertisers are using traditional media because they want to reach out. Traditionally this has been the only way to do this. Now, there are a lot of new ways to reach out. Blendtec and a lot of other companies are already using them.

Related articles:
Commercials gone wild
BMW does cool marketing (again)
Bud.tv about to launch

Will it blend?

Bud.tv about to launch

Bud.tv is an interesting experiment from a large advertiser. Budweiser bypass traditional media and start their own channel with entertainment and commercials. This kind of approach is changing some of the business models of traditional marketing.

The internet gives everyone a distribution channel. You don’t need expensive licenses, satellites or a huge printing press. Of course we’ll see a combination of advertising models, and Bud will obviously use traditional media to attract people to their new channel. From the email I just got from Budweiser:

This is only a preview of killer things to come! Don’t forget, pull up bud.TV when we bare it all right after the big game on Sunday, February 4th!

BMW have also done some cool stuff and in general these experiments will be interesting to follow.

Bud.tv about to launch

Broadcast 2.0

Traditional broadcast is pretty simple. Media companies try to reach as many people as possible through terrestial, satellite and cable. They want to reach people in their own home. All the way into their television of choice. Sony or Samsung. Tube or flat screen. Stereo or mono. Broadcasters try to reach them all.

And, you are free to invite friends over to your home and share the experience. Come over to my place and watch the game on friday!

On the internet the model is slightly different. Broadcasters make their own homes. They call their homes mtv.com, cnn.com and so on. They choose their own players and choose what technology you should use. You don’t have windows media player and internet explorer? Sorry, in our home that’s the key to get in.

So, they try to drive people into their home. Come to us. We rule. We have full control. Don’t you dare choosing your own television. We control the experience. You want to share an experience? Take your friends over to our place.

During the last couple of years people have started making their own homes on the internet. Through their own blog, their page on MySpace, their personalized home page. Their RSS reader. Their own house in Second Life.

Now people want to watch, keep, organize and share media in their own home on the net. They want to share music, video and interesting stories through their page on MySpace or on their blog.

Yes, these people with an advanced home on the net are still a minority. But it’s a very important minority. And people are building. Blogger, WordPress.com, MySpace, Netvibes, Google/ig and all their competitors are growing. Steve Rubel has a very interesting thought about how peoples blogs are becoming start pages.

So, are there any broadcasters out there that understand the power of this shift? Not really. Unless you understand that YouTube has become one of the most important broadcasters out there.

YouTube let people watch, share and organize content in their own home on the net. We suddenly have something that looks like the illustration I used to start this aricle. YouTube as the broadcaster. Blogs and start pages as all the homes.

Of course we’ll see combinations of these models. But it’s important to understand this shift. Because it has serious consequences for the way we measure success.

You can’t measure the success of lonelygirl15 through the traffic on one specific web site. She’s on YouTube. She’s on Revver. And on several web sites. The stuff gets even more difficult when you add Democracy Player, iTunes and BitTorrent to the important places to be.

Pageviews are sooo last century. Unique visitors are slightly better. But for the people that start using all the available distribution methods we’re back to the old model here as well. We have to measure the way we’ve done with radio and television for years. Ask people. Make surveys. Install special measure devices in peoples homes. Make advertising that is easy to judge the effect of. It’s about reach. Not clicks.

The problem is that the advertisers don’t understand this.

Broadcast 2.0

You Tube vs. Boob Tube

Tomorrow there will be an article in the Norwegian newspaper “Dagens Næringsliv”. Written by… me, actually. One of the issues I bring up is the question of how the internet and the fact that advertisers now have their own distribution channel change some business models.

I’ll try to put up an English version of the article here tomorrow. Until then you should all read “You Tube vs. Boob Tube” over at Wired.com:

TV advertising is broken, putting $67 billion up for grabs. Which explains why google spent a billion and change on an online video startup.

Some peoples problems, other peoples possibilities.

You Tube vs. Boob Tube

Lefdal and the iPod Nano revisited

I promised a quick update on this when I had done my presentation for the Consumer Electronics Trade Foundation in Norway.

Back in August I posted an article on the fact that the Norwegian electronics retailer Lefdal sold iPod Nanos with a hard drive. I wrote the article mainly to show an example of the fact that more and more often there will be discussions about you, your product or your company out there on the net.

This was a short discussion about a typo in an ad. And people linked to it. Right now it’s the number one hit on a search for “kjøpe ipod nano” (buy an ipod nano). Number one of about 270 000 hits.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to join the dinner and the party together with the trade foundation after my presentation. Usually the most sincere and direct feedback is the one given during the evening. However, I got quite a bit of requests for other presentations from people in the audience, so I guess the presentation worked pretty well.

I used the example, and of course I needed to give the people from Lefdal a suggestion of how to react.

I don’t think they have missed a single sale of iPods because of my article. In fact I don’t think they have missed anything at all because of this little rant about a typo. But, they could have gained some cred by simply leaving a quick comment. Something like:

“LOL. Yes, this typo is slightly embarrasing. We make huge amounts of marketing material and do our best to make it accurate. It’s very nice that you appreciate accuracy and correct information. Of course we’ll fix this error for our next release.”

…or something like that. More than 500 people subscribe to this blog. Between 1000 and 2000 unique users stroll around in here every day. About 25% of them Norwegians. Not exactly millions of people, but a pretty valuable target group. I haven’t done any serious research, but I don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that my readers are above average interested in media, equipment and gadgets…

Lefdal and the iPod Nano revisited

Five ways to check a web site

Okay, so this strange web site called eirikso.com has just written something about your company and you have no idea how big this site is. How many people will read this guys rants…?

First, I have to tell you that if someone write something about you on the internet you should never underestimate the potential amount of readers. One example is Vincent Ferrari’s “Insignificant Thoughts“. After posting a taped conversation with an AOL customer representative his thoughts where not so insignificant anymore. The big traffic drivers kicked in and Mr. Ferrari eventually ended up on NBC.

But, you want to do some quick research just to find out if thousands of people will read this stuff immediately or not…

1. Check the website itself

Is the site publishing how many subscribers it has? For this site the circulation is currently between 500 and 600 people.

Then, check the amount of comments. Many comments usually mean a bit of readers, and always mean pretty passionate readers.

Next is to check for any logos from statcounter, sitemeter, shinystat etc… Some sites publish their traffic.

2. Look up traffic data with alexa.com

Not very reliable on small sites, and tend to favour american sites, but will give you an indication of the traffic. In the illustration here the chart shows eirikso.com compared to the biggest financial newspaper in Norway, Dagens Næringsliv. And here’s the link to alexa.com. You simply enter the url in the search form and click “site info” when the results have come up.

3. Always google. Always.

If you search for eirikso in google you get about 50 600 hits. “eirikso” is not a very common english word, so this could be an indication of the fact that people mention this site out there. Also, the Google Page Rank of a site is an indication of how serious google finds it. The page rank is a scale from 0 to 10 where the most important sites have a page rank of 10 and the pretty insignificant ones have 0. Eirikso.com are currently on 5. You can check the page rank of any site here. (Please note that you should always check the site with www in the site-name. Ie. www.eirikso.com and not simply eirikso.com).


4. Use technorati blog tracking

Technorati have had their share of bugs and problems but they are slowly turning into a pretty good tool to find stuff in the blogsphere and to do quick checks on blogs. Technorati’s rank is based on how many blogs that links to the site you are checking. They currently track 57 million blogs. Eirikso.com have a rank of 15 071 right now. Far from the really big blogs, but above average in the crowd of 57 million…

5. Subscribe to the RSS-feed

Not all blogs publish their circulation. If you want a hint then sign up for the RSS feed of the site you want to check in Bloglines or Newsgator Online. They will tell you how many other users that subscribe to this feed in this reader. A very very very inaccurate estimate for the total circulation would be to multiply this number by  something between five and ten…

Feel free to add additional ways to check up on a web site in the comments!

Five ways to check a web site


I stole this headline from Jeff Jarvis. He is talking about Fox News:

FoxNews takes the Bill Clinton interview down from YouTube. Fools. They would be getting a whole new audience. They’d be even more part of the conversation.

I agree. Fools. One thing is that taking it down is a fight that they can’t win.Here is the results for the search “bill clinton fox news” on YouTube right now. And that’s only YouTube. Once it’s out there you can’t stop it.

But Fox is a commercial company. Of course they want to take their content down from YouTube. How on earth are they going to earn money from this distribution channel?

They want people to watch the clip on www.foxnews.com. In their own web-TV. A web TV with some problems:

  • less accessible
  • no discussion
  • not easy to link directly to a clip
  • not possible to include the clip on web pages where people discuss this interview
  • problems with less used browsers and operating systems

After emailing myself the link from the FoxNews player I was able to provide you with the direct link to that clip – FOX News Video: Heated Discussion. Warning: it’s a popup, so the player wil probably be stopped by your popup stopper.

So, people want it on YouTube. They want to discuss it. They want to paste the clip on their blogs and comment on it. So what should Fox do? I actually think that having the clip on YouTube will drive more people to their traditional channels. That they will earn more even if they can’t directly tie an income to the clip on YouTube.

But my suggestion right now would be that Fox take control. It should have been Fox that posted the clip on YouTube in the first place. They should have made their own submission the preferred among the YouTube crowd. By submitting it first. Maybe even before it was aired on traditional channels. They could also have added extra value to their own submission by including clips that was not aired on traditional channels.

YouTube are kind enough to provide Fox with a counter that will show how many people watched the clip on that channel. How about including commercials in the clip they post on YouTube? It shouldn’t be too difficult to price it, given that they have the number of viewers.