While most social networks struggle to sell advertising due to lack of proper segmentation and totally irrelevant content for advertisers, LinkedIn has so much demand that they decided to launch their own ad network. LinkedIn claims 27 million registered users, according to comScore, 5.2 million from the U.S. visited the site in July (8.7 million worldwide).
It was announced yesterday that CandyStand.com, Wrigley’s premier gaming site, would be sold to a new third party. Candystand.com has long been hailed as a trend setter in branded entertainment sites boasting well over 5M unique visitors per month with hundred of high quality Flash games.
The new entity, Funktank, is a sister company to famed boutique digital shop WDDG who has been producing great award winning work in the digital space longer then most of us have been thinking about it. Although the purchase of Candystand is interesting and apparently a sensible business move it raises a bigger question for boutique digital shops that hang in that gray area that is appealing to companies looking to buy them. They’re not big enough to get the multiples they want and so the deals just don’t make sense, but if you’re producing high quality work, and have been giving away your great ideas for years, why not just focus your talent inward and take over a successful web property?
I think this was a bold and brave move for James Baker (CEO of both companies) and the success of this project might very well change the “exit plan” of many small digital shops around the world.
I’ve seen two really first class uses of YouTube as a marketing tool recently and I thought you might enjoy seeing them as well. The first ad is for the new “Wario Land: Shake It” title on the Wii. The video which shows game play and the associated Wii hand motions also slowly starts to shake the entire YouTube page to pieces sending text and content flying. I’ve seen concepts like this before, but by being the first on YouTube it came on as totally unexpected which made it memorable and interesting.
The second ad for Samsung Instinct telephone. It uses some of the new functionality in YouTube to link between multiple videos. The series of videos are presented in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style with amusing and racy content that is not only entertaining but demonstrates functionality on the phone successfully. Make sure you watch the video to the end to view the additional functionality.
My congrats to the agencies behind both ads. In fact if you see this blog post and you worked on one of these send me an email. I’d love to take you out for a drink in recognition of your original thinking.
A friend tipped me off to this great post on Josh Spear’s blog on “Cat Cafes” in Tokyo, Japan. Essentially you can go to to a cafe and rent a cat to play with for an hour. As Josh points out – this is really indicative of how unique their fast paced culture is. Althought I don’t see this as outside the realm of possability in a major cities like New York or London.
Check it out: