Despite a familiar litany of woes ranging from high paper prices to loss of classified advertising, newspapers are finding a silver lining in their otherwise cloudy financial reports -- a strong uptick in online advertising sales.
While the boom in Web advertising has reduced the cost of ad creation and distribution for many marketers, traditional TV advertising costs could rise as actors seek additional compensation for commercial work that is distributed online and via mobile devices. Negotiations between actors and agencies are in the works, but some are encouraging clients to produce ads before August of this year, in case there is an actors' strike.
Unilever is introducing its global hair care line Sunsilk to the U.S. market with the aid of a branded entertainment program called "Sunsilk Presents Max and Katie," that will be shown in miniepisodes on TBS, distributed online for mobile devices and shown on in-store monitors. The show is being produced by JWT division JWTwo Entertainment with help from actor-comedian Paul Reiser.
Google is testing a new program that would serve up customized logos and links to ads in lieu of the trademark red placeholders that mark locations on its Google Maps service. The ads will not affect sites that use Google Maps API tools to create a "mashup" site, but there may be more functionality, including chat and click-to-call via Google's mapping and local services.
Rabid television fans are using open source mapping tools to create "mashup" Web sites that identify the real places where their favorite fictional events took place. Dedicated viewers say they are creating the fan sites for "24," "Seinfeld" and others mostly for fun.