Conveyor Systems

February 14, 2011

Integrated Materials Handling Solutions
SDI integrates standard and customized software conveyor systems as part of an overall solution. SDI uses bulk purchasing power to source conveyors directly from OEM manufacturers at deeply discounted prices.  Using SDI’s creativity coupled with in house services, savings are passed directly to the customer which results in a cost effective solution unrivalled by the OEM conveyor manufacturer.
SDI integrates standard and customized software conveyor systems as part of an overall solution. SDI uses bulk purchasing power to source conveyors directly from OEM manufacturers at deeply discounted prices.  Using SDI’s creativity coupled with in house services, savings are passed directly to the customer which results in a cost effective solution unrivalled by the OEM conveyor manufacturer.
SDI integrates standard and customized software conveyor systems as part of an overall solution. SDI uses bulk purchasing power to source conveyors directly from OEM manufacturers at deeply discounted prices.  Using SDI’s creativity coupled with in house services, savings are passed directly to the customer which results in a cost effective solution unrivalled by the OEM conveyor manufacturer.
To speak with an engineering consultant immediately,
please call (818) 890-6002 or email us at info@sdiindustries.com
(818) 890-6002

Morgan Stanley’s Meeker Sees Online Ad Boom

Dot-com “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker will tell today’s Web 2.0 Summit that Internet advertising will reach $50 billion and mobile commerce will outpace traditional e-commerce

By Olga Kharif

(Bloomberg) — Mary Meeker will predict a $50 billion online advertising boom in an address at the annual Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco today. The Morgan Stanley analyst will say as well that mobile commerce may gain market share faster than traditional online retailing.

Meeker, 51, is back in demand. She was called “Queen of the Net” by Barron’s in 1998, only to see her star dim as technology stocks plunged and regulators said securities firms used biased research to lure banking business. These days, investors are scouring her research anew for would-be Web winners.

“We are trying to invest in the kinds of companies she’ll mention in her reports,” investor Marc Andreessen said in an interview.

Andreessen’s venture firm, Andreessen Horowitz LLC, has bought stakes in Meeker-favored companies including Skype Technologies SA and Zynga Game Network Inc.

“She is becoming Mary Meeker 2.0,” said Bing Gordon, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Gordon said Meeker’s research helped persuade his firm to “do more mobile, bigger and faster.” In March, Kleiner Perkins said it will double its iFund to $200 million. The investment pool backs startups that create applications for Apple Inc.’s handheld devices, such as the iPhone and the iPad.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.

Meeker gained renown in the 1990s for predictions on Internet growth and her bullish calls on Web companies, including EBay Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and America Online Inc.

Tech Bust

Then came the dot-com bust in 2000. The Nasdaq lost 78 percent of its value in less than three years. In 2001, Fortune published a story titled, “Where Mary Meeker Went Wrong.” In 2003, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Morgan Stanley and other financial services firms of skewed analysis, the companies settled for $1.4 billion.

Meeker fared better than analysts such as Henry Blodget, formerly of Merrill Lynch & Co., who was fined and banned for life from the securities industry; the SEC didn’t accuse Meeker of wrongdoing. Still, then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who led the probe by state and federal authorities, said Morgan Stanley failed to supervise its analysts, including Meeker, and said the company inadequately managed conflicts of interest between its research and investment-banking divisions.

“She may have a second act, which is never an easy thing to do on Wall Street,” said Tom Taulli, an independent researcher on initial public offerings. “But she is going to have to prove herself. And it’s very difficult: You are associated with that brand.”

Digging for Data

Meeker says the brickbats flung her way haven’t altered the way she carries out research. She said Morgan Stanley’s “The Internet Report” in 1995 contended that most companies fail.

“To be a successful analyst, one has to dig deep for data,” Meeker said in an interview. The report “was thoughtful about the growth of the Internet, yet cautious about investments.”

Meeker, a managing director who leads Morgan Stanley’s technology research, spends much of her time these days thinking about the Web in the iPhone age. In 2012, smartphone shipments will exceed those of personal computers, she contends.

“It’s the fastest-ramping technology transformation the world has ever seen,” Meeker said. “I’ve been of the view for years that the mobile Internet was the next big thing.”

U.S. consumers spend 28 percent of their media time online, yet only 13 percent of ad spending goes to the Internet. That creates a $50 billion online advertising “global opportunity,” according to a draft of Meeker’s Web 2.0 presentation.

Mobile Commerce

Another prediction: Mobile commerce may grab retail spending share “much faster” than traditional e-commerce, she says. That’s because wireless connections enable impulse purchases, and location-based services let merchants deliver coupons and offers to users when they’re most likely to spend.

YouTube Stars Brands Love

November 9, 2010

YouTube Stars Brands Love

Nov 7, 2010

– Brian Morrissey, Adweek

The dirty secret of cable TV is audience numbers are often pitifully small, with many programs drawing under 100,000 viewers. That’s not the case for a select group of YouTube creators.

This cadre of stars is no longer toiling away in Internet obscurity in the hopes of breaking into TV. Instead, they are raking in six-figure ad revenue deals from Google, commanding up to $20,000 a pop for branded videos and even dabbling in merchandising.

First and foremost, the top YouTubers have honed their craft over the past three or four years, building large and loyal audiences. Many of the top stars fall in the general entertainment category, doing offbeat skits. The most successful heavily incorporate audience interaction.
The numbers they draw can be staggering. Comic actor Shane Dawson averages nearly 1.5 million views per day, according to video analytics service TubeMogul, and has racked up 670 million views of his videos over two and a half years. The typical YouTube star will average 250,000 views per video. “On any given night or day or two, the top 10 YouTubers will have more views than any cable channel,” says Walter Sabo, a former ABC radio executive who started an Internet talent agency three years ago called HitViews.

Brands are taking notice. Google distributes more than $100,000 per year to “hundreds” of YouTube stars, according to Tom Pickett, online sales and operations director at YouTube. GE recently tapped 15 YouTubers to make a series of videos for its “Tag Your Green” campaign. In just three weeks, the videos have gotten more than 12 million views.

GE needed to get comfortable with only supplying the YouTubers with a theme and a few points to hit, says Jeffrey Kaufman, vp of strategic programming at Howcast, which organized the campaign. “They’ve been very cool about the fact that we need to loosen up a little bit and allow them to speak in their own voice.”

IJUSTINE

Subs: 917k
All-time views: 196m
Avg per day: 301k

Since she started posting to YouTube in 2006 as iJustine, Justine Ezarik has become a tour de force. Her videoblogging channel has nearly 1 million subscribers, attracting a loyal young audience. She’s done several brand videos that draw equally large audiences. TubeMogul estimates her brand integration views this year alone have generated more than 9 million views. Ezarik is a brand favorite for the gusto she puts in advertiser videos. Unlike some stars who will only include a product in passing, Ezarik goes beyond product placement to make the brand a co-star. Take her video last month for Mattel’s Video Girl Barbie. The three-minute clip shows off the product and directs to a Mattel contest. In a week, the video garnered more than 460,000 views and 2,000 comments.

RHETT & LINK

Subs: 593k
All-time views: 73.7m
Avg per day: 120k

The North Carolina comedy duo Rhett & Link are more than amenable to advertising; they’re students of it. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal created a dozen tongue-in-cheek local spots for their “I Love Local Commercials” project. The effort was done on behalf of Microbilt, a small-business information service. McLaughlin and Neal are veterans of the Web video scene, active on YouTube since June 2006. They built a following via quirky videos that often take the form of music videos. “The Facebook Song,” released three years ago, skewers social networking. It hit a chord, drawing 6.7 million views. Thanks to “I Love Local Commercials” and work for GE, Dentyne and others, Rhett & Link have generated nearly 21 million views on brand videos.

SMOSH

Subs: 1.9m
All-time views: 537m
Avg per day: 1.4m

The comedic duo Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla were early YouTube stars, joining the platform back in 2005. Thanks to its early start, Smosh became the No. 1 YouTube channel by 2007. (It’s now the No. 5 most subscribed of all time.) Smosh can regularly draw more than 1 million views for its short-skit videos with a young male demo increasingly hard to reach through traditional media. One of its most popular videos showed what would happen “if videogames were real.” The sheer size of its network makes Smosh an attractive outlet for advertisers. Smosh’s brand work has included a video for Kraft promoting its Kraft Singles Melt Downs product that drew 1.4 million views. For GE, Smosh created a series of four videos around its green theme that netted a total of 2.5 million views.

MICHELLE PHAN

Subs: 1m
All-time views: 259m
Avg per day: 752k

This past February, Lancome introduced its latest spokesperson. Rather than an actress, it chose a 22-year-old who films cosmetics tutorials from her bedroom. Michelle Phan is the leader of a group of young women creating makeup videos. TubeMogul estimates they collectively average more than 1.2 million views per day. Phan’s tutorials evoke a New Age Bob Ross with soothing music in the background, her soft-spoken narration and text subtitles. In her breakout video, Phan showed how to recreate Lady Gaga’s look. The clip has been viewed more than 14 million times in 10 months. The content is ready-made for product integration, and she’s gone beyond Lancome to run videos for other brands. Phan shot a “Kissable Lips” video for Colgate that features its Wisp disposable toothbrush. It has gotten more than 2.5 million views since it debuted in May.

WHAT THE BUCK?

Subs: 957k
All-time views: 278.4m
Avg per day: 277K

Just over two years ago, Michael Buckley toiled as an admin at Live Nation. His side job making videos riffing on pop culture is now his main gig. The What the Buck? show offers sharp, funny commentary on pop culture, taking aim at celebrities like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. His commentary comes in a breathless rapid-fire style. Buckley’s 2008 video lampooning Hollywood “skanks” like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Cyrus has gotten more than 9.6 million views. The celebrity angle has made What the Buck? popular with entertainment companies. He’s promoted Melissa and Joey for ABC Family, Lie to Me for Fox and Victorious on Nickelodeon. The videos typically take the form of interviews with the stars or commentary with clips. All told, What the Buck? has generated 4.6 million views on branded videos.

via brandweek.com For more information about online video marketing check out Video Army

31. Basecamp: Starts at Free, $24/month for paid. Basecamp allows us to manage our projects from the cloud. We keep track of due dates, video versions, login information and more all in one place. It facilitates internal dialogue as well as discussions, reviews and approvals with our clients. Wufoo Starts at Free, $14.95 for the paid version. Wufoo is a simple form building tool that provides great flexibility. It has helped us automate many processes by standardizing certain steps of our workflow. It also stores all the entries in a database that is easily searchable at a later date. – CJ Bruce – videoarmy.tv

Check out my picks on this Under30CEO post!

Fernando Motolese, a creator of viral videos, recently approached French food giant Danone (known as Dannon in the United States) with an unusual proposition. He had filmed a gross-out humor video about the gastrointestinal effects of Danone’s Activia yogurt, and he intended to release it on the Internet. Would Danone pay him a few pennies each time the video got viewed? If not, Motolese said, he might upload an even more offensive spoof.

“It felt sort of like blackmail,” says Renato Fischer, Danone account executive with the advertising firm Young & Rubicam, who fielded the offer. Even so, Fischer forwarded the proposal to Danone. Best to be friendly, he says: “This guy could do something, anytime and anywhere.”

Think of the 27-year-old Motolese as a guerrilla video producer who ambushes companies in the jungles of the Internet. His production company, Produlz.com, consists of a few computers and a sound room located on a graffiti-scarred street in São Paulo, Brazil. Yet Motolese presents a credible threat: he’s the creator or cocreator of video spoofs that have accumulated more than 17 million views on YouTube.

Motolese is part of a larger phenomenon rewriting the rules of advertising on the Web. Big brands used to simply beam messages through TV screens–it was a one-way communication channel. But now, anyone with a video camera and some talent has the chance to reach millions. And it turns out that many budding producers want to talk about brands–whether or not brands want them to.

While many videos posted online reinforce brand messages, others can prove damaging, especially if they’re made by angry customers or loose-cannon employees. One 2008 study estimated that spoofs and anti-marketing pieces accounted for 1 in 10 “advertisements” on YouTube. “Individuals now have more power and influence than at any time in history,” says Sage Lewis, founder of SageRock, a digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio. “Anytime you allow the consumer to dictate your brand, you have a problem.”

It has also become easier to make money bashing companies online. Take the four-and-a-half-minute music video “United Breaks Guitars,” which went viral last year when a songwriter named David Carroll uploaded it to YouTube after the airline failed to reimburse him for the cost of repairing a guitar damaged by baggage handlers. The video now has more than nine million views, and Carroll, who’s based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, says it led to “the best year financially in my 20-year career” thanks to online album sales, gifts of equipment, and speaking gigs. Some estimates put the damage to United’s brand in the tens of millions.

The phenomenon can be frustrating for companies. While canned corporate videos go unnoticed, those featuring sick humor, sex, or critical messages often turn into media wildfires. “A fight always attracts a crowd,” notes Carroll, who says he carefully planned his video to maximize attention. Caroll’s viral revenge has since become the subject of academic studies on corporate damage control, including a Harvard Business School case study concluding that brands “are no longer in control of the message.”

The power of individuals to shape brand messages is only growing. YouTube now receives as many visitors each day as watch American Idol (about 17 million) and shows more than two billion videos every week, a 50 percent increase over the previous year. Including all sites, advertisers spent $1 billion on Internet video ads in 2009, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Experts say video “brand-jacking” is easy when companies aren’t active online, since a weak video presence allows spoofs and critiques to rank high in search results. Although companies “are getting better at defending themselves,” Lewis says, it’s still the case that “almost anyone can upload a video and have it rank against a brand name.”

Unwanted viral messages carry significant economic hazards. Last year, when Domino’s Pizza faced down a shaky amateur video showing employees tampering with food in disgusting ways, spokesman Tim McIntyre called it “the challenge of the Web world.” He lamented that “any two idiots with a video camera and a dumb idea can damage the reputation of a 50-year-old brand.”

Yet some of the most damaging viral videos to hit the Net have been professional jobs. Remember that fake Volkswagen ad featuring a suicide bombing? Or the 2009 Sprite advertisement that revolved around interracial oral sex? Both were made “on spec” by creative agencies looking to drum up business–and they were so slick that consumers couldn’t be sure they were fakes.

“We did everything we could to make people believe they were real ads without ever actually claiming to have made real ads,” says filmmaker Max Isaacson, who created the humorous Sprite spot to “see how the world would react.” The results surprised even him. After the video ran up 1.5 million views in three days, Isaacson sought to remove it from the Web and issued a public apology to Coca-Cola. He says the experience made him “very cautious about what kind of content I’m creating.”

In São Paulo, Motolese takes a different view: he thinks guerrilla video spoofs are good business. Scanning Twitter for hot topics, he tries to quickly produce videos with punchy music to exploit whatever today’s fad is. And he’s not afraid to go after brands. “Today criticism of products and advertising can be monetized,” he says. “That is definitely part of my business plan.”

So far, his profits are modest. A multimedia campaign targeting phone companies pulls in a few hundred dollars a month through Telephone Freedom, a website that runs ads for low-cost VOIP services. But Motolese has big ambitions. This summer, he played a role in an international cyber prank in which tens of thousands of U.S. Twitter users were tricked into supporting a campaign to save the endangered Galvão bird. Except there is no Galvão bird. It was all a hoax, and now a video by Motolese that fueled the craze was nominated for an MTV Video Award in Brazil.

All this just brings the Brazilian prankster closer to his dreams. “I know what I want in life, says Motolese. “I want to be famous. I want to be a millionaire.”

For brands, such yearnings represent an asymmetrical threat. How can you stay a step ahead of thousands, maybe millions, of would-be video stars living who-knows-where? One approach is to join the fray. This year, Old Spice launched self-parodying ads featuring a bedroom-voiced pitchman touting its toiletries. Then the campaign went viral when “Old Spice Guy,” wearing only a towel, began posting video responses to individual fans and critics on the Internet. The spots have been played more than 142 million times on YouTube, and sales of the company’s body wash have leapt by more than 50 percent.

Some brands are even testing the tricky business of spoofing rivals. Consider a recent hoax advertisement for “cheeseburger smoothies.” The Internet ad, which kept consumers guessing whether it was real, was created by fruit-drink retailer Jamba Juice after McDonald’s launched a competing line of smoothies in July.

That video, with nearly 400,000 views, didn’t go viral by accident. C.J. Bruce, CEO of Video Army, a viral-video marketing agency in Venice, California, says he was hired to make sure the spot got attention; he paid to have it prominently placed on comedy websites. Bruce calls the campaign a “creative way to attack certain fast-food chains” but says that most companies aren’t yet ready to criticize each other, or even to respond to online critics. “Large companies are slow to grab these ideas,” he says. “They tend to want to focus on their own message.”

In the end, Danone also decided to stick to its own marketing plan and declined to pay for Motolese’s Activia video. Despite the attempt at viral-video blackmail, Y&R’s Fischer says he doesn’t think Motolese is a bad person. “The real villain in this story is the Internet,” Fischer says, “because you don’t have control anymore.”

Copyright Technology Review 2010.

Check out my quote in this article for MIT Technology Review!

Making the Web safe for branding

By Brian Morrissey

Project-devil-250

As the advertising world descends on Manhattan this week for Advertising Week, the watchword for most is digital. Yet despite the lip service paid that the future of the industry is written in bits and bytes, the Internet after 15-plus years has still not proven itself as a branding medium.
  “We need to concede that going back 15 years, without meaning to or thinking about it, we fundamentally created the medium to be a direct-response medium,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
  The Web wasn’t built by designers but by technologists. That’s led to a layout that, for the most part, is an eyesore—and creates an inhospitable canvas for great creative advertising. AOL, for one, thinks that needs to change.
  Today, at Advertising Week, it is unveiling an ambitious plan to not only change the shape of advertising on its pages but the entire layout of the page. Code-named Project Devil, the nine-month effort has included the input of designers and creative agencies in the hopes of finding a way to break advertising out of its forlorn spot on the sidelines of content, where it’s too often easily ignored.

  “The Web itself needs a new facelift,” said Jeff Levick, president of global advertising and strategy at AOL. “There hasn’t been a fundamental redesign of content or Web pages.”
  Project Devil includes new ad units that blur the line between content and advertising. It calls for agencies to assemble new large units—they take up nearly half of the page—from a variety of advertising assets, including video, maps and social networking updates. Moreover, they provide a big canvas for product “hero shots,” more reminiscent of magazine spreads than the current cramped banner spaces.
  “If we really want to fix brand advertising online, we have to go directly to the creative community,” Levick said. “We have to understand the limitations of today’s unit that drives them crazy.”
  Too often, creativity—the heart of great advertising—has taken a backseat to the never ending quest for more fine-grained targeting. Marketers like targeting, but it’s hardly the stuff of building great brands.
  “[Web advertising] has failed as a rich experience compared to TV,” said Nick Law, North America CCO at R/GA. “We do a lot of banner work here. Almost all of it is about effectiveness. As a creative medium, it doesn’t have the same narrative capabilities as more traditional mediums.”
  Rothenberg believes that, at times, the industry has gotten too obsessed with emphasizing technology at the expense of “aesthetics, beauty and cleverness.”
  The result has been the top creatives in the industry view display advertising as a necessary evil. Instead, they’d rather create across the larger Web, particularly using the sight, sound and motion of video.
  Mark Beeching, CCO of Digitas, believes display ads can be reinvented as “dis-play” units: outlets for creative executions in branded entertainment and utilities.
  For instance, Digitas poured most of its energies and budget for Philadelphia Cream Cheese into a branded entertainment effort with Paula Deen. The banner portion of the campaign was rethought to use the units to distribute the content directly from the unit, rather than “advertise the advertising,” as Beeching calls it.
  “That’s where we started to get bigger and bigger engagement,” he said. “It was a complete shift. It became a very important leg of that campaign.”

Video Views Surge On Newspaper Sites, Advertisers Take Notice

NYT-B

Newspaper Web sites saw a big increase in online video viewing in the second quarter of 2010 — partly due to interest in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Brightcove and TubeMogul, which analyzed viewership on roughly 2,000 news and entertainment Web sites representing 3.4 billion video streams.

This growth was part of a larger uptick in video viewing across the Web, the companies said.

Video viewing on newspaper Web sites soared 65% in the second quarter. For the Web in general, the total number of people viewing online video increased at an average rate of 2.8% per month in 2Q, while the total number of videos viewed jumped 11% — suggesting that online video viewing is increasing in both reach and frequency.

Brightcove and TubeMogul also conducted a survey of brand managers concerning their use of online video as a marketing and advertising platform. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they are planning to spend more on online video over the next year, while 70% said they plan to add mobile video to their marketing strategies in this period.

Turning to objectives, 65% said the primary focus of their online video campaigns is awareness, followed by lead generation at 21% and e-commerce at 12%.

The companies also found that referral traffic to online videos originating from Facebook and Twitter is growing faster than traffic from traditional search engines. In fact, if the current growth rate is maintained, Facebook will surpass Yahoo as an originating source of online video referrals.

What’s more, referrals from Facebook and Twitter tend to be more engaged with the video content once they arrive than traffic from other sources — at least when the destination site is a TV or music entertainment Web site.

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