Posts tagged advertising

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Don’t vote for Jim, and here’s why (he breaks the law)


True to form, this post is VERY Black and White.

I now have proof that Jim Anderton, Christchurch Mayoral Candidate, is breaking the election rules, and all over the place.  And while some may think the rules around advertising and signage and advertising are trivial, Jim has been playing the political game for over 40 years now – he knows the rules and is knowingly breaking them.  (As an aside, he was one of those that supported the draconian measures introduced by the Labour Government – the Electoral Finance Act 2007).   I even found (quite easily) that Jim’s party has broken the rules on this before.

Anyway, here’s the details:


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Now that’s how you do an iPad app for a newspaper NZ Herald (and how not to do it AirNZ!)


The NZ Herald released its iPad app a few weeks back.  And I have to say, it rocks.

They got so much right, where others screw up, such as:

  • Easy to use interface.  It fully uses the iPad and its screen.
  • Formatting is consistent – all articles are in a small box, with categories at the top.  When you click on the story it opens up a window, which starts with a pic then scrolls through page(s) of the text.
  • No premium/free distinction – it’s all just there
  • It’s all FREE (so many get this wrong – I will no longer pay for simple access to info that others provide for free)
  • Even the ads are cool – check out the Merc at at the start – it makes you WANT to watch it

The even get this bit right, and have a YouTube version of their add so people like me can post it:

Another good News iPad app is the USA today App (I think you need a US based iTunes account to install it).  Not QUITE as good as the NZ Herald one – but still free, and easy to navigate.

Where newspapers go wrong

Where MOST newspapers go wrong is they try to bring their old business model online. Their model USED to be write stuff people want to read, mix in some ads and then sell the product to the readers. The online mindset says I want the stuff for free, and if you won’t give it to me I will get it somewhere else, or just download it for free anyway. Their old model had high set up cost (the article writing and production) PLUS a variable cost of production (printing, postage etc).  Their new model has a high(ish) fixed cost (although a lot of it is setting up the template/look) and then an almost zero variable cost (the cost of 10,000 people reading an online version is almost the same as 10 people).  But newspapers keep trying to change for content, where the rationale for doing so (the variable cost of each reader) is no longer there.  They can get HEAPS of readers by getting REAL good content, and as a result of more readers, charge even more for advertising, all while having no extra costs each time someone reads/downloads it.  Simple really, so why do so many Newspapers get this so wrong?  No idea really, I think they are just a dead technology waiting to die, and just don’t get the opportunity that’s there.  I actually think their window is closing here.  Right now they still have lots of customers, they can leavergae off this by marketing their online offering (the free one – like NZ Herald) and build a new business online.   However, as time goes on they will have less and less readers, and their will be more (competitors) alternatives online.  In time the window off opportunity will have closed, and they wont have any leaverage to use.

Another ‘how not to do it’ story

While on the subject of how to do it (or in this case NOT) – I see AIrNZ made their Kiaora Magazine (the one you get on the plane) as an iPhone/iPad app.  Cool I think, novel even.  But where they screwed up is they went and charged for it.  The App is free, but each issue need to be paid for ($NZ 5.29 I think).  What were they thinking? Here’s my thoughts on this:

  • The mag is free when you fly (they say Take me, I am free)
  • The cost of putting it online in any form has a (moderately high) fixed cost only (no variable cost for each copy, unlike printed copies)
  • The mag is full of advertising
  • I think few people will pay for the app
  • They COULD have had a premium for advertising coz of increased readers, but instead will unlikely even get back their fixed cost investment
  • They could have even had online only adds, targeting say technology or higher end travel (these people have more disposable money)
  • Such a lost opportunity for AirNZ
  • They will probably pull the plug in a year or less saying “not enough readers”

Looks like I am not alone here, most people think the fee from AIrNZ is a joke.

Black and White Version: Some people get how to use new technology, some don’t.  Well done NZ Herald, silly billy AirNZ.

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Funny French McDonalds ad and the parody reply


Here’s a very progressive ad from McDonald’s in France.  IMHO it’s not only progressive, but also kinda cute (sweet even) in a very cool way.

I have read several FaceBook posts saying that the CE of McD’s in America has come out (no pun intended) and said this type of advertising has no place in a family restaurant.  However I can find no other references to this online, and the Wikipedia article on McDonald’s adverting just mentions the French ad.

Anyway .. here is a reply parody.  Also in French, and rather funny:

Black and White Version: See ads can be gay and funny without being stereotypically negative.

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Google Ads (adsense) – my 1st block


One of the nice features about AdSense by Google is that it allows certain ads to be blocked, either by type, or, in my case below, from a particular domain.

I have just blocked (I don’t want to link to them since that’s really an ad isn’t it?), because, well IMHO opinion it’s a scam site.  Advertising an iPad with an auction closing in 10 seconds for $2.50 may SEEM like an amazing deal, but to me it has all the hallmarks of a scam.  I just read some of their fine print, and it looks like you buy bids (@ 90c each), and then bid on what looks like super cheap stuff.  So they make their money from the BIDS not the sale, so, well yeah – SCAM (IMHO).   So yeah, I either just said some bad stuff about a legit site, or more likely, I just expressed my correct opinion about a scam site, and as a result blocked them from showing on any Google Ads on this blog.

I may not be able to vet each ad that comes from Google, but I will be sure to block the real bad ones that I spot!

PS: Looks like the changes take a few hours, so if you are reading this on Thur 29th July, ignore any ads offering iPads for $2 :-)

Black and White Version: Google AdSense allows for ad blocking – I just blocked my 1st one.  BYE BYE Scammers!

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Advertising (to Google or not to Google).


I've decided to test some Google Ads on this site.

I did this for a couple of reasons, but getting money wasn’t actually one of them.

I am of two minds whether advertising actually enhances the look of a blog or detracts from it.  I personally think a small amount CAN enhance it if done the right way.  I would be interested to hear what others think though, so share your thoughts!

For this blog, I have added a small ad on the right hand col, a banner ad in the footer, and an add every 5 comments (only shows if you are viewing the comments).  Too much?  Too little?

Based on my calculations I should only have to wait 429 years for my 1st $10 cheque from Google.  (Actually I have no idea how long it will take, it’s not amount the money, so I haven’t even worked it out).

I’m also contemplating having one or two non Google ads on the site, permanent ads for companies/products,  But I would CHOOSE those, so they are kinda “I like these .. ” as opposed to “Google says these are OK”.  I think most people get that ads are not endorsed by the site they are on, but maybe blogs are different.  Again comments most welcome!

I can say setting up a Google AdSense account was easy peasy (as most things with Google are).

As an aside, I remember I used to get excited when 10 people read my blog in one day.  And to reach that I had to have made a post (on non post days I often got no, or one hit).  Now I get 100/day even when I don’t post new stuff.  In fact the other day hit 400 on a day I didn’t post anything new.  Hopefully I will look back on these numbers in time like I do now at the “10 a day” thing and smile.  In the meantime I go Woowhooo! when I hit 100 in a day (I told you it would be a while till I got my $10!)

Black and White Version: Ads or no ads?

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Road Safety Ads – how different countries do it


I have seen a few of these now on-line, through blogs, and it’s quite interesting to compare the different approach.

Interestingly a lot have gone away from shock tactic road safety ads of the past, but NZ still seams to use it in all the ads I can find on-line

The new NZ non-shocking ad for don’t use a mobile while driving isn’t on-line yet – once I can find it I will link to it (its simple, but non-shocking).

New Zealand Ads

The old style ad (used up until last year, and still in use on the drink driving message)

Australia’s anti-ginga dont use a mobile while driving ad

and this one (same topic)

and a seatbelt ad

and my fav .. the asian one (well it starts as that!)

UK’s Wear a seatbelt ad (powerful!)

Black and White Version: Appears most road safety ads are creative these days – not sure if they work though (does any advertising of this type?)

Hat-tip: Kiwiblog and

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Owning a colour – it can be done


I was online today looking at stuff (the new FaceBook I think) and saw an ad out of the corner of my eye and thought “Oh, I will see what they are up to”.  But no, it wasn’t them.

You see all I saw was a colour – yellow in this case.  Now without an image you might think “Who advertises that uses yellow”, but with an image (see on the right), if you are into anything gadgetry, you might just recognise it. Sure I kinda cheated, coz you might also get a hint from the font, but the key thing here is if your brand is strong enough a COLOUR is enough to make you think of it.

Some more (better) examples: (more…)

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