Month: April 2009

‘That’ product, email spam and a tale of ingenuity

By Dave Haygarth   April 29, 2009  
We all get the emails. The spam filters luckily pick up 99% of the emails that could hit our in boxes advertising 'that' product... beginning with V... that spam filters are taught to bear down upon at even the hint of a "Viag..."For a number of years, the more innovative spammers have played a game of euphemism ... carefully worded double entendres that imply a product to eradicate erectile dysfunction, but never mention any of those rude words that spam filters so easily spot.Like most of us, however, my colleague Dave has to trawl through the spam box from time to time and we occasionally encounter a spam workaround so much that it makes us giggle. One of note was "Make your snake so iron in could pierce a hole in ceiling..." (so hard to picture!)However, our favourite was one that landed in the spam box last weekend... instead of the usual “grow your big sword” type subject line,  we got one that just said:  “we’ve run out of euphemisms today”Simply superb.  It makes you want to open the email it's so good.  Someone clearly fed up with their innovative spamming job, and has a sense of humour!BUT there is a lesson here too - for all you email marketing people - MAKE YOUR HEADLINES SNAPPY so that people WANT TO OPEN THAT EMAIL!!!

2mbps – are we supposed to laugh or cry?

By Dave Haygarth   April 24, 2009  
The government's budget commitments are good material for making people cross - usually more so than they make people happy (but it does happen!).The UK government has signalled its commitment in Tuesday's budget to ensuring everyone in the country has access to broadband speeds of two megabits per second by 2012. Earlier this year Lord Carter set out his interim recommendations for Digital Britain, in which he proposed a Universal Service for broadband.See the latest news on it here...The news articles from 1999 talking about the expectations of 2Mbps are here. It looked realistic then; before youtube, iplayer, and the likes.  What's round the corners waiting to make 2mbps look ridiculous?  Oh hang on.. by 2012, it already will be.  Good inside the box thinking.

Susan Boyle: The Lost Profit

By Dave Haygarth   April 23, 2009  
The fact that YouTube and ITV have been unable to monetize the sensational rise of Susan Boyle is a bit of a blunder.  It shows the archaic ways that business is still done between old and new media.By some estimates, video of Boyle’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent has already asmassed more than 100 million video views on the Web. However, according to The Times,  ITV (who owns the rights to the show) - and YouTube - where most of the views have taken place – have been unable to reach a revenue share deal, meaning no ads have been served, and more than a “million-pound windfall” has been missed.The delay is apparently over advertising formats. ITV wants pre-rolls and YouTube doesn’t. The Times quotes ITV’s online director: “We don’t want to be part of YouTube’s standard terms and conditions, because content like Susan Boyle is unique … I think both sides are being hard-nosed and commercial about it.” YouTube, the article notes, prefers overlay and text ads, which have been increasingly showing up on videos around the site.Time some heads were banged together.  Forget Simon Cowell, this calls for Sir Alan Sugar.