Publicity Stunts Live On in TiVo VCR Funeral – from Engadget

TivofuneralGreat publicity stunt by TiVo – via Engadget

ENGADGET: "TiVo’s VCR funeral – Yup, it was totally a publicity stunt, and yes, we totally fell for it, but dozens of people with VHS tapes in hand hit up TiVo’s VCR funeral at DigitalLife yesterday. Everyone who dropped an old tape in the casket was given a wristband guaranteeing them a free 40-hour TiVo — as long as they signed up for a year of service, that is."

No exactly Lights Jubilee, but still an interesting concept.  And perhaps take some consumer heat off of the recent TIVO DRM deals with big media.

Donaton on Verklin Contradicts Measurable Branding Results Online

Scott Donaton, the editor of Advertising Age just wrote an article gushing over what a visionary leader David Verklin is.

Will someone other than David Verklin please stand up?

I mean, really, is there a single other human being who has been as much of a leader, visionary, a force for change and a voice of optimism industries over the last 15 years? The answer is no, and that’s remarkable, as a statement on Verklin’s talents and as shameful commentary on the leadership vacuum.

So, being a student of leadership and branding both, I wanted to check out Mr. Verklin’s company to see how a visionary’s company presents the brand online. While I have no doubt Mr. Verklin is indeed an amazing visionary leader, I also have no doubt that he has NOT held his people accountable for baseline branding on the web. Why do I say this? Because I can’t find the site in google BY NAME, which to most of us is a completely fair measure of half-hearted-capabilities.

Specifically I wanted to find the Carat America site. I googled it as "Carat America". By brand name no less.
I get a portfolio listing but not one on their site or even a listing for their company.

Then I tried "Carat Verklin"
I get a media week listing but not the company site. Ironically the article is about eyes shifting to media dollars.

After numerous searches and finding the Carat Group site (not Americas but the main group – I realize that) I ran a keyword density analyzer on the site trying to figure out how it was possible that they did not come up at all. First, they have a redirect on the home page which gave even the density analyzer an error. Then I tried the redirected subpage and got this:

Single Words
Occurrence: 4
keyword count density score
carat 1 25.00 1
enter 1 25.00 3
global 1 25.00 3
site 1 25.00 3

That is the complete report. All of it.

BY clicking "services" I got a long URL which at least had some content.
Note that it does not say the word advertising at all and only says "media" once on the page. Television, brand and interactive are also missing.  Who wrote this stuff?

I am glad Mr. Verklin is getting some nice press. But the arrogance of big media assuming everyone will find them, that people will jump through hoops to track them down, smacks of cluetrain type big business arrogance and nothing less than brand foolishness.

Ad Agencies need to hold their people accountable for online branding results, and that includes making sure your site is found in the search engines. To hire creative people who count on you, and to ignore the media landscape, to ignore online branding and then lay everyone off and say "hey, I guess there was a slow down" like so many agencies do, is irresponsible. It is bad for the brand, and definitely bad for the people. It is arrogance and arrogance doesn’t play.

Infosys is talking about branding

Infosys_competitive_image Infosys, the wall street darling of outsourcing is expanding services (or has been) to compete directly with IBM and Accenture for consulting contracts.  This excerpt from the interview with Nandan M. Nilekani is worth noting:

Q. Do you think you will be able to accelerate your consulting services as fast as companies like I.B.M. ramp up their operations in places like India to lower their costs?

A. I think the challenge is fundamentally different. For us it’s about hiring and growth and building a brand; for them it’s about restructuring the work force and I think, frankly, I wouldn’t want to do that job because it’s very painful, whereas this is exciting.

This is part of the great economic circle of cities, global cities in this case, and Nandan is correct that it can’t be stopped.  And that it shouldn’t be stopped from a capitalist perspective. And that it IS all about the BRAND

If a brand like Infosys can deliver the same service, or a better service, at a lower cost it will get back to the consumer in the form of savings that can be spent on other things.  Which is all good as long as the consumer who lost their job at IBM or wherever can innovate and create or find a new job.  I am in favor of this even knowing how hard it is to create a culture of innovation.  Having read Jane Jacobs book The Economy of Cities followed by The World is Flat, it all makes megatrend-economic-sense. 

In fact it makes so much sense that an outsourced provider of tasks would expand to include total consulting offerings that it makes we wonder what the heck the folks at IBM and Accenture were thinking as they built up a future competitor like Infosys?  First you import, then you start exporting the chairs you used to import because you figure out how to make them and it is cheaper to make them locally in a flat world.

Interesting Links at 6:00 AM

Can Branding differentiate? – Lipitor vs Generic – Billion-Dollar Battle Looms

Wal-Mart Wants to Open a Bank – Another PR Problem for the Megachain

Per-Link Valuation of Blogs is Crap

Google Adsense Makes This Guy Happy (but with 105 "employees" the math is tough)