Books, hahaha! Streaming video? Whatever. But wine, the blood of Bacchus, harbinger of groping and maybe more? Now that’s what we’re talking about, Amazon—get dirt cheap bottles of wino sent straight to your door, you lush.
Starting today, anyone in California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia can get up to six bottles in one order, with a shipping cost of just $10. You’ve got your reds, your sparklings, and you bet your silky bottom you can chug a rosé from Bezos, too. All in all, Amazon’s now selling over a thousand kinds of wine. Some are just nine bucks.
You’ll have to get an adult to sign for your shipment at the door, and you can’t get bubbly sent to an Amazon Locker yet—it’s almost as if the company foresaw the interest of underage kids—but if you’re a teen living in an apartment building with a doorman or front desk that signs for all packages, prepare to be swimming in gallons and gallons of cheap wine. Thhsahnk youk,, intnernet! [Amazon]
There’s little doubt Sony’s monstrous 84-inch 4k TV will be a high resolution atom bomb of a TV. There’s also no doubt it costs $25,000, about as much as an actual atom bomb. Hisense is selling a 4k unit for under $6,000. Do the math.
Major, major caveat: Hisense’s XT880 is 50 inches, whereas Sony’s 4k offering is 84. Thirty four inches is a lot of inches, and could account for the price disparity—and maybe preclude as huge a rift between Hisense’s as-of-yet-not-priced 65-inch 4k set and Sony’s closest equivalent.
Second major caveat: 4k might not make sense at 50 inches. If you’re sitting far enough away, odds are you probably can’t notice the pixels in your 1080p television. But for those in smaller spaces, where the screen door effect pops up, Hisense will give you a (relatively) cheap way to never, ever notice pixels again, thanks to the fact that the company manufactures its own panel straight outta China, cutting out middle men. And indeed, smushing my face right up against the panel yielded not a single discernable pixel. There was some flicker at certain angles, and what looked like compression artifacts along image edges, but that could just as well be attributed to the source material.
We’ll see more from Hisense at CES, but in the mean time, don’t panic: there might actually be a way for you to afford the next great leap in HDTV.
Today’s high-resolution displays mean we don’t see pixelated images that often anymore. And let’s face it, once the colored pencil enters your life, you rarely pick up a crayon ever again. Except for nostalgia’s sake, which these pixelated crayons have in spades.
For $15 you get a set of six multi-colored crayons which can be used for drawing technicolor rainbows when dragged across a page. Or, if you happen to have a shred of artistic talent, these colored cacophonies can also be used to quickly add shading and depth to an image bound for the fridge door. Just move that important grocery list out of the way, your spose won’t mind.
The internet is starting to realize something unsettling: our iPhones send information about the people we know to private servers, often without our permission. Some offending apps are fixing themselves. Some aren’t. But the underlying problem is much bigger.
Apple allows any app to access your address book at any time—it’s built into the iPhone’s core software. The idea is to make using these apps more seamless and magical, in that you won’t have dialog boxes popping up in your face all the time, the way Apple zealously guards your location permissions at an OS level—because fewer clicks mean a more graceful experience, right? Maybe, but the consequence is privacy shivved and consent nullified. Your phone makes decisions about what’s okay to share with a company, whose motivation is, ultimately, making money, without consulting you first.
Once you peel back that pretty skin of your phone and observe the software at work—we used a proxy application called Charles—watching the data that jumps between your phone and a remote server is plain. A little too plain. What can we see?
As Paul Haddad, the developer behind the popular Twitter client TapBot pointed out to me, some of App Store’s shiniest celebrities are among those that beam away your contact list in order to make hooking up with other friends who use the app smoother. From Haddad’s own findings:
Foursquare (Email, Phone Numbers no warning)
Path (Pretty much everything after warning)
Instagram (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Facebook (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Twitter for iOS (Email, Phone Numbers, warning)
Voxer (Email, First, Last, Phone numbers, warning)
Foursquare and Instagram have both recently updated to provide a much clearer warning of what you’re about to share. Which every single app should follow, providing clear warnings before they touch your contacts. But plenty of apps aren’t so generous. “A lot of other popular social networking apps send some data,” says Haddad, “mostly names, emails, phone numbers.” Instapaper, for example, transmits your address book’s email listings when you ask it to “search contacts” to connect with other friends using the app. The app never makes it clear that my data (shown up top) is leaving the phone—and once it’s out of your hands and in Instagram’s, all you can do is trust that it’ll be handled responsibly. You know, like not be stored permanently without your knowledge.
Trust is all we’ve got, and that’s not good. “Once the data is out of your device there’s no way to tell what happens to it,” explains Haddad. Companies might do the decent thing and delete your data immediately. Like Foursquare, which says it doesn’t store your data at all after matching your friends, and never has. Twitter keeps your address book data for 18 months “to make it easy for you and your contacts to discover each other on Twitter after you’ve signed up,” but can delete the data at any time with a link at the bottom of this page. Or a company might do the Path thing, storing that information indefinitely until they’re publicly shamed into doing otherwise. Or worse.
We need a solution, and goodwill on the part of app devs is going to cut it. All the ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? dialog boxes in the world won’t absolve Apple’s decision to hand out our address books on a pearly platter. iOS is the biggest threat to iOS—and nothing short of a major revision to the way Apple allows apps to run through your contacts should be acceptable. But is that even enough? Maybe not.
Jay Freeman, developer behind the massively popular jailbroken-iPhone program Cydia, doesn’t think Apple’s hand is enough to definitively state who gets your address book, and when:
“Neither Apple nor the application developer is in a good position to decide that ahead of time, and due to this neither Apple’s model of ‘any app can access the address book, no app can access your recent calls’, nor Google’s method of ‘developer claims they need X, take it or leave it’ is sufficient.”
Freeman’s solution? Cydia’s “one-off modifications to the underlying operating system” that we deal in, nicely transfers this control back to the user.” In other words, we can’t trust Apple or the people that make apps—so let’s just trust ourselves to control how iOS works.
Freeman left us with one, final, disquieting note. Shrewd devs and others with the knowhow have been able to dig through app traffic to find out of they’re shoveling around your address book. But there’s no easy way to do this—and if a dev really wants to sneak your data through the door, there’s technically nothing we can do to stop him: “There are tons of complex tricks that can be used to smuggle both information in network traffic and computation itself.” It’s a problem fundamental to computer science—once the data’s in a dev’s hands, he can conjure it away, too small to be noticed by App Store oversight in churning sea of other apps.
Unless Apple keeps him from getting that information in the first place by letting us all make informed decisions with our phone and the private life poured into it. Your move, iOS.
Reality appears to have finally arrived at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest marketer, whose $10 billion annual ad budget has hurt the company’s margins.
P&G said it would lay off 1,600 staffers, including marketers, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. More interestingly, CEO Robert McDonald finally seems to have woken up to the fact that he cannot keep increasing P&G’s ad budget forever, regardless of what happens to its sales.
He told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of P&G’s ad budget.
This is coming from the man who increased P&G’s adspend by a staggering 24 percent over the two years through October 2011, even though sales rose only 6 percent in the same period.
Note that P&G’s revenues were up 4 percent to $22 billion in the quarter but the company’s costs for sales, general and administrative work were flat.
P&G’s staggering ad budget has become a bit of an issue among analysts. On the call, McDonald and his crew were asked about ad costs three different times! . McDonald eventually said:
As we’ve said historically, the 9% to 11% range [for advertising as a percentage of sales] has been what we have spent. Actually, I believe that over time, we will see the increase in the cost of advertising moderate. There are just so many different media available today and we’re quickly moving more and more of our businesses into digital. And in that space, there are lots of different avenues available.
In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that the return on investment of the advertising, when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient. One example is our Old Spice campaign, where we had 1.8 billion free impressions and there are many other examples I can cite from all over the world. So while there may be pressure on advertising, particularly in the United States, for example, during the year of a presidential election, there are mitigating factors like the plethora of media available.
P&G’s Old Spice campaign is a textbook example of what the entire company should be doing. The problem is that the entire company isn’t doing it. Check out Mr. Clean’s Twitter stream, for instance. Oh, right—he doesn’t have one.
McDonald’s recent discovery that digital media is free comes after the long-delayed launch of Tide Pods, now scheduled for a month from now but with only a limited supply. It was originally planned for July 2011. The ad budget for that campaign is estimated at $150 million and will come from agency Saatchi & Saatchi.
The problem is that while P&G has struggled to get a single U.S. pod out the factory door, several of its competitors have already launched competing laundry pod products.
- WANT MORE? Check out Business Insider’s new Advertising news channel.
- Deutsche Bank: More Layoffs Planned at MDC Partners’ Ad Agencies
- Here Are The Ads You Will See On Super Bowl Sunday
- YES! David Lynch Premieres Second Strange Commercial For His Coffee Company
this is on Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets in New York City.
In thinking about retail … this helps illustrate the tremendous challenges they face.
- online switching costs are pretty much zero — just type another URL; these two stores are physically touching — just walk next door
- they carry much of the same inventory from plasma TVs to computers to home stereo equipment to software, CDs, DVDs, etc.
- they both sell Apple iPods; consumers have already decided to buy an iPod for Christmas (for some reason), which store do they walk into? what differentiates the store with the blue awning from the one with silver letters? they both have “black friday” discounts but the price ended up to be about $1 from each other; both have geeks on staff, one called Geek Squad and the other Fire Dog
- and then there’s Amazon.com which is tax free and offers free 2nd day shipping.
THIS is a challenging marketing problem for retailers such as the ones pictured!
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
- drag2share: The Most Famous Brand Each State Has Produced
- Marketing Costs Normalized to CPM Basis for Comparison
- Coke vs Pepsi vs Dr Pepper
- Netflix vs Blockbuster - Perfect example of an industry replaced by a more efficient version of itself
- Vapor4 May Be the First Bumper Worthy of the iPhone 4
- drag2share: The Most Pinned Brand On Pinterest Doesn't Even Use A Pinterest Account [THE BRIEF]
- Retailers Still Striving For A Single View Of The Customer Across Channels
- Global Spending on Entertainment and Media Shifting Away From Physical Content
- The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing(tm) - Digital String Theory
- #SESNY: Toward a Performance Mindset for All Advertising
- Tips for Marketers Selecting a Digital Agency
- Context Is Not King or Queen; It's Just Necessary
- 2013 New Year's Digital Marketing Resolutions
- The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Online Campaign Ratings and eGRPs
- Why You Should Banish the Net Promoter Score Immediately
- Digital Strategy To-MAY-to vs. To-MAH-to
- The Agency-Client Relationship is Forever Changed
- Targeting vs. Privacy - Who Will Win?
- Digital + Traditional = Unified Marketing
- June 2013 (60)
- May 2013 (87)
- April 2013 (70)
- March 2013 (114)
- February 2013 (89)
- January 2013 (136)
- December 2012 (96)
- November 2012 (130)
- October 2012 (147)
- September 2012 (94)
- August 2012 (92)
- July 2012 (112)
- June 2012 (71)
- May 2012 (82)
- April 2012 (80)
- March 2012 (122)
- February 2012 (114)
- January 2012 (129)
- December 2011 (60)
- November 2011 (54)
- October 2011 (29)
- September 2011 (17)
- August 2011 (30)
- July 2011 (18)
- June 2011 (19)
- May 2011 (23)
- April 2011 (23)
- March 2011 (52)
- February 2011 (69)
- January 2011 (108)
- December 2010 (82)
- November 2010 (67)
- October 2010 (68)
- September 2010 (44)
- August 2010 (101)
- July 2010 (61)
- June 2010 (28)
- May 2010 (28)
- April 2010 (26)
- March 2010 (33)
- February 2010 (21)
- January 2010 (12)
- December 2009 (4)
- November 2009 (2)
- October 2009 (14)
- September 2009 (6)
- August 2009 (19)
- July 2009 (34)
- June 2009 (11)
- May 2009 (4)
- April 2009 (6)
- March 2009 (13)
- February 2009 (32)
- January 2009 (25)
- December 2008 (1)
- October 2008 (1)
- June 2008 (1)
- November 2007 (1)