Archives For Advertising

kindle-special-offers

Apparently I’m not the only one unimpressed by Amazon’s “dead author” Kindle screensavers. Yeah, I know I could hack my Kindle to display other images (like these)… but there’s nothing specific I’d like to view and do appreciate the random “playlist” approach. Which is why I voluntarily turned on Amazon’s “Special Offers.”

Opting into advertising pre-purchase saves one $30 – $40 off Kindle hardware. But, assuming you already have hardware, you can toggle Special offers on or off. Folks with subsidized hardware will have to pay the differential to remove advertisements, displayed as the screensaver and via a banner at the bottom of the home screen, while those who paid full retail can toggle ads on/off at will via their Amazon Kindle management webpage (as shown above). That was news to me and, for the moment, I’ve decided to run the ads for some visual variety.

kindle-ad

roku-hd1

Just last month we reported that a new “Roku HD” SKU had hit the FCC, and today I found it nestled amongst the Roku 2 XD and XS models at Walmart. As the lowest priced Roku to grace store shelves ($60), I’m sure casual shoppers on a budget seeking to fulfill their Netflix or Pandora needs will be quite satisfied with the 720p streamer. However, folks in the know may be slightly baffled with Roku’s branding… as they’re simultaniously pitching this new “Roku HD” at the same time they’re offering the similar “Roku 2 HD” online… for the same price. Not to mention, by my count, the Roku 2 is actually fourth generation hardware. And, so, perhaps this labeling change up suggests Roku will be following in Apple’s footsteps by dropping the numerical suffix.

As we wrote last month:

the new HD (model 2500) seems more akin to the LT (model 2400) than the 2 HD (model 3000). The most obvious visible changes are a return to three distinct composite inputs – something folks are more familiar than the single 3.5mm adapter they’ve been using lately. Further, the base of the new Roku 2 HD is purple. One potential cost saving measure includes doing away with the microSD slot, which is used to store additional channels and game data, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they’ve similarly dropped Bluetooth, utilized by their gaming remote.

Save Some Money On Roku

Dave Zatz —  March 26, 2012

roku2-sale

In the market for a Roku streaming box? If so, you’ve got a few deals to choose from today… At the high end, the “flagship” Roku 2 XS is 20% off as Amazon’s Deal of the Day. Instead of $99.99, you’ll only be paying $79.99. Beyond providing access to a variety of “channels” including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Pandora this model also features a Wii-esque motion control remote that enables gaming — think Angry Birds. Possibly more practical is the inclusion of USB and Ethernet jacks that its lower end brethren lack. If, by chance, Amazon sells out or you miss this opportunity, Best Buy is offering the same model for a slightly lesser $10 discount — clocking in at $89.99.

If these features don’t appeal or the Roku 2 XS is still more than you’re prepared to invest in a streamer, Woot is offering two different prior generation Roku boxes for $49.99. However, I’d urge folks to consider the similarly priced Roku LT instead – it may cap out at 720p, versus the 1080p found on several other Roku models, yet that higher definition streaming content is hard to come by. More importantly, this model features Roku’s current hardware and software platform. Meaning it’s more likely to see updates and new features… including Netflix captions and BBC iPlayer.

roku-display2

In other Roku sales and marketing news, it appears they’ve recently invested in a Best Buy endcap (pics below). It’ll be a reasonably attractive and informative advertisement once Best Buy powers on the TV, removes those “do not inventory” stickers from the streamers, and come up with a better way to secure the remotes to the display.

As we’re all well aware, Apple introduced the “new” iPad yesterday. And, while I’m still not quite sold on the tablet form factor, I did place a pre-order. Primarily due the iPad 3’s integrated voice dictation capabilities and much heralded “retina” display — likely featuring more pixels than anything else in our homes. Although, I do wonder how long it’ll take app developers to maximize its potential.

During the marketing spiel Apple made several fascinating and dramatic proclamations. I’m not prepared to classify any as dubious, but it looks as if some could be comparing apples & oranges. For example, I was initially stunned when they said, “This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3.” Yet, after thinking about it, the factoid isn’t so surprising… and what exactly does it mean?

Other interesting points to ponder: Nvidia has taken  issue with the characterization of their competing chipset, utilized by some Android devices, and what exactly is a PCContinue Reading…

Free VOD is where it’s at. According to Comcast, 70% of the nearly half a billion video streams that subscribers watch on demand comes from the free section of its VOD library. And, leaving subscription fees aside, Comcast thinks that content should be bringing in cash. So get ready for more ads with Comcast VOD, and, quite likely, with every other cable operator.

At a Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News event yesterday, several cable and programmer folks got together to talk about “advanced” advertising. The term covers everything from interactive ads, to dynamic ad insertion, to cross-platform campaigns, but there was significant focus yesterday on VOD commercials. That’s because a cableco consortium known as Canoe recently ditched efforts to create a national platform for selling interactive ads, and instead decided to spend all of its resources on video on demand. (Canoe laid off 80% of its staff in the process too. Ouch.) With all of the flexibility on the web, the cable industry has been fighting to catch up in the advertising revenue game. Operators have all this premium, time-shiftable content, and yet with little ability rotate new ads in an out of on-demand programming, they’ve felt hamstrung. In 2012, they’re finally ready to do whatever it takes to change that. Continue Reading…

Last night, while watching live TV (*gasp*), I inadvertently caught the commercial above. And what was I thinking? As “the new Ultrabook [was] inspired by Intel”… not Apple’s Macbook Air. It’s a cute ad and Windows users also deserve both better style and substance in their computing hardware. Further, Microsoft’s hardware partners would prefer higher margins than their dying netbook initiatives provided. But let’s keep it real. This sleek design originated at Apple. Ultimately, what’s most interesting about the advert is the collaboration between Best Buy, Microsoft, and Intel (who owns the “Ultrabook” trademark and powers these devices) attempting to communicate as a single entity.

A Tale of Two Kindles

Dave Zatz —  November 17, 2011

While watching TV last night, I caught what may be Amazon’s second Kindle Fire commercial. As I’m fairly well acquainted with the 7″ Playbook tablet, what struck me was the amount of reflection and glare from the LCD. Which is perhaps somewhat ironic given Amazon’s earlier e-Ink Kindle spot that took a shot at the iPad by pointing out its “Easy to read even in bright sunlight.” Of course, glare is not unique to Amazon LCDs… although there seems to be much less shown in Apple’s promotional videos (versus Real Life™) and Barnes & Noble attempts to reduce its impact on the Nook Color/Tablet utilizing some sort of coating for “minimal reflection & glare.” Ah well, if Verizon can retreat from their Land of Misfit toys commercial after releasing the iPhone, we’ll cut Amazon some slack for eradicating this prior YouTube entry.