Internationalisation of the Web, part II

Came across an interesting page this morning:

BlogPulse Top Blogs

In the top 10 most linked to blogs, the top 8 are all Japanese. Bring on Google Translate and Babelfish, the conversation of the Internet is shifting from English.

Unfortunately just as their is a difference between Translation and Localisation, simply translating the pages doesn’t exactly tell you what’s going on.


Dynamic Advertising

Great to see dynamic advertising getting more attention.

Scott Karp on Publishing 2.0 has a set of great posts including one that covers David Kenny’s profile in the New York Times.

What I question is the need for offshore adaption work when we are talking about a world where all media is digital and thus all media is served. As Digitas’ own GM example shows, the changes are generally a headline or product shot — not full production of a new ad.

The key point here is that you don’t need to do 4000 variants of an add if you have a 4000 types of people to talk to — that’s how variants are managed in the traditional DM world. Today if you make one ad and choose 4 backgrounds based on geography, create 10 headlines based on the customers intentions (say recent online behaviour), 10 product offers based on current producer ownership and 10 calls to action type of buyer, you have 4000 “different ads.” But it is really only one ad with a copy deck and image library. This logic has been used on websites for years built with dynamic content to get a more relevant experience and the cost isn’t in creating the sets of 10 copy lines, it is the strategy and tonality of the overall communication, and getting the systems to a place where we can do this.

Great piece of PR by Digitas and Publicis nonetheless.

Article – Microsite Mania


Published: August 06, 2007

Microsite Mania – Stop the Madness!

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It is official, all agencies are now digital agencies and brands are under siege… John Baker, Managing Partner at OgilvyOne, speaks out.

Advertising agencies are building brand experiences, sales promotions houses do games to drive in-store trial, PR agencies are building blogger outreach toolkits and DM agencies launch campaign microsites driving name acquisition and conversion to sales. The message has been heard — everyone realises digital marketing is important and everyone is proposing a microsite as part of their work.

The problem is that websites are persistent.

After the campaign has grown old and both the clients and the agencies moved on, the microsite remains. The flash animations play even if the promotion has long ago closed. The copy is served up even if the headline has nothing to do with the current campaign running. The webservers don’t know the online advertising impressions were all used up months ago and people aren’t clicking through as part of a “consistent campaign experience.” Someone asks them to display their message and they do.


Financial Services Advertising Online

If you ever questioned whether people use online tools in their financial services decisions, here is quite an impressive data point:  Financial Services are the biggest advertisers according to Neilsen NetRatings.

NetRatings Impressions by Industry Jul 07

While it is a pretty conclusive statistic at 39% of all impressions and twice the next industry, it would be interesting to see if the figure isn’t increased because financial services are heavy users of pay per lead or affiliate advertising programmes.  These provide a big multiple of impressions for each dollar spent.  It is interesting to note that all of the top are likely to have a good amount of affiliate deals and barter deals.

Internationalisation of the Web

Predominently working in anglo-saxon countries you can get lazy into thinking all of these anglo-american companies — media companies, advertisers, producers — are the only players in their industries. 

For years the Internet was in English and the top 3 sites remain Google, Yahoo and MSN on a lot of rankings like Alexa Global Top 500, Quantcast (for the US), and Comscore which shows the strength these companies have online.

Of course some of that large volume to the American sites is also global traffic just to put a spin on it. As MarketingVox pointed out in a posting from last November that 70% of traffic to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and CNET was from non-US users. For a “domestic site” like Google 79.8% of unique users and 89.1% of pageviews are from non-US users. The stats are from Comscore World Metrix.

But what is more interesting is the rise of global sites — particularly the Asian sites like and If anyone questions whether the Chinese are online, take a look at the current Alexa Movers and Shakers list and see that 6 of the top 20 sites with highest growth or contraction are Chinese. Or which community sites are most successful like Hi-5 in Portugal and Spain, Orkut in Brazil or of course CyWorld in Korea.

We can only hope local companies like, and hold there own. As Elizabeth Van Couvering is pointing out in her Ph.D. Thesis at LSE, as media consumption shifts online if all of the providers of portal content (like Yahoo) and Search results (like Google) use an anglo-american approach, it could have a dramatic impact on the information people actually see.

Did the world change with the MTV generation. Wait until the Google generation hits its stride and we will really find out.

Go Digital – go digital?

If you are targeting teens it isn’t too much of a surprise to see 70% of spending going online.  But other clients are doing blanket statements about “no TV, no Print” — only interactive marketing efforts.    Not tracking reach and frequency, but buzz and engagement.

Nice to see but always makes you nervous.  The press is reporting the YouTube guys managed to make $1 billion in 18 months.  Random people with backgrounds in accountancy are back to pitching their favourite internet ideas like movies — “Its Linked In meets GeoCities.  Should have Facebook virality and Google revenues.”  Really.    Old time Wall Street brokers used to say you knew it was the top of the market when doormen starting giving you stock tips.  Is this the revolution here at last, or the top of the market?

HP Targets Teens With ‘Mind Control’
July 25, 2007
By Brian Morrissey

NEW YORK Hewlett-Packard is launching a back-to-school campaign with a twist: 70 percent of the spending will support online efforts.The shift reverses HP’s ’06 back-to-school spending strategy, when the company earmarked 70 percent of the media outlay for traditional channels. The company is making the change largely because it has broadened its target audience this year from parents buying computers to include teenagers who often drive purchase decisions.

Advertisings death is greatly exaggerated

Jeffrey Rayport is a HBS professor and was a board member of Organic back in 1999-2000. He has been both active in the industry and influential.

No question as he states here that there is a “Marketing Confidence Gap” as we call it Ogilvy — basically that interactive media is under weighted in media plans. The difference between 6% and 30% is too great.

But has it been proven that it needs to be 1:1?

Print has historically be a higher percentage of budgets then its media consumption time. Is that simply because it works — or is because it is easy to buy and do creative for? Are the big 4 dominant because they work or is it because they are the easiest to buy and run?

Advertising is not an efficient market and as long as interactive marketing wraps itself in complexity it will be held back.



Advertising’s death is greatly exaggerated

Commentary: But marketers are losing touch with customers

By Jeffrey F. Rayport

Last Update: 12:10 AM ET Jun 8, 2007

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — No one could have missed the mad rush in recent weeks among advertising and technology players in their high-stakes game of musical chairs over online advertising assets.

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Widgets are widgets?

Can’t say that it is true — but who knows?  Perhaps I’ll be suprised.

 Just because I couldn’t resist the fact it was published by Mr. Steve Bowbrick.  The man who did Internet before people did Internet.  A definition of Widget:

Some Recent Work

Creatives coming in to interview always talk about “their book” or “their portfolio” — and can talk for 5 minutes or 5 hours on each piece.  They take pride and seeing as this is a big part of what we sell, they should.  I’ve always thought account people and strategist should maintain a book as well.  Even useless overhead locked off on executive row or in the ivory tower should has their personal projects.  Everyone at an agency needs to be attached to and proud of the work.

Here are a couple of campaigns I’ve been involved in at Ogilvy that I like and why.

Brand Republic Redesign
In my first week at Ogilvy I was handed a folder by Annette King as part of her transition notes – Haymarket’s brand republic was looking for an agency to help redesign their magazines / content portal. Great opportunity and high profile project.   After proving we were the right agency and working through that we couldn’t do the job for free, we kicked off a classic front-end site redesign with strategy, IA, design and functional specification for the Haymarket team to build.

I love the project because we were able to get a lot of community features integrated into the content of the site, got to redesign the brandmark, and came up with some fun interface ideas to allow quick browsing of content.

Brand Republic – Before

Brand Republic – After

Castrol Index

This Castrol Index site came about as Castrol realized they were spending a big sum on the Euro 2008 sponsorship and wanted to make more of it then supplying banners at the events.

The part we did the most work on was the overall site design, homepage control and the teamsheet.  Great use of flash and an early nod to the ipod album finder interface that has run rampent across the web.