In Skin Ads

Posted February 28, 2011 by admin @ 6:58 pm

Most marketers are familiar with the phrase “in-text advertising,” though the concept of in skin probably doesn’t ring a bell. New Zeland hipster mecca Superette teamed up with regional advertising giant DDB Group in order to generate a provocative promotional campaign. Superette’s pushing short shorts for both men and women, so they decided to make a lasting impression on local fashionistas. (more…)

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Is Advertising a Substitute for Originality?

Posted February 22, 2011 by admin @ 3:48 pm

Marketing experts G. Michael Maddox and Raphael Louis Viton pose a radical theory in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article. They contend that advertising budgets are nothing more than symbolic taxes that companies must pay to compensate for a lack of creativity. This scathing analysis reaches a hyperbolic conclusion, yet their rationale deserves further exploration. (more…)

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Analyzing Video Ads

Posted February 18, 2011 by admin @ 1:28 pm

Video ads are almost as common as banners these days. Almost all of the professional videos on start off with an advertisement, though the promotions are rarely related to the content provided. This reflects the challenge of targeting within music that may appeal to a diverse consumer base. Nevertheless, video marketing is quickly turning into a dominant platform. Its rise in popularity merits further examination into the utility of this phenomenon. FreeWheel’s Video Monetization study delves into the matter and uncovers some surprising insights. (more…)

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JC Penney’s Advertising Scam

Posted February 16, 2011 by admin @ 3:40 pm

black hat SEO

Nearly every company navigates the complex world of search engine marketing, some more successfully than others. Hard fought keyword battles wage by the minute, and have the potential to make or break a business. Even the largest retail chains must contend with thousands of other companies to dominate organic search listings. SEO specialists for hire understand the intricacies of Google’s complex algorithm, but their employers should be mindful of so-called black hat tactics. These underground techniques don’t violate any laws; however, attempting to game the system is considered very bad protocol. Google often punishes offenders by black listing their websites for extended periods of time. While it’s possible to recover from this kind of setback, it certainly doesn’t enhance a site’s reputation.

Just ask JC Penney. The retail giant known for its wholesome Americana image now serves as an example of optimization gone terribly wrong. They’ve been accused of buying thousands of links in an effort to reach the coveted top page rank for terms such as “black dress” and “area rugs.” Link exchanges between reputable websites demonstrate credibility as well as popularity. This is especially true when the two share a common theme or belong to the same commercial industry. Google’s calculations always evaluate link sources, and assume that insiders generally recommend products and services of a high caliber. In essence, Google prefers quality to quantity. At the same time, having a ton of links spread across a wide variety of sources definitely boosts a site’s authority. For this reason, scammers often attempt to distribute links anywhere and everywhere.

JC Penney’s links appear on many relevant spaces, but they’re also turning up in some unlikely places. For instance, their “evening dresses” don’t have a whole lot to do with This along with a host of similar oddities raised a red flag with the folks in Mountain View. The top page ranks have since been banished to dark recesses of Google’s directory. JC Penney disavows any knowledge of its SEO company’s search scheme, though tech experts find this hard to believe. Their case demonstrates the virtues of playing by the rules. Black hat tricks produce short term results. Anyone interested in the long haul should avoid them like the plague.

Filed under: Company Headlines

Social Media Marketing: Are You Doing it Wrong?

Posted February 14, 2011 by admin @ 5:30 pm

Almost every company has a Facebook page, along with a Twitter account, and both are utilized primarily for advertising purposes. In fact, many are directing customers to their Facebook pages instead of their websites. The logic behind that is fairly clear. While web traffic is useful, it’s not going to do much in terms of concrete involvement. Gaining fans on Facebook, along with collecting coveted “likes,” appears to be the goal of the moment. There’s nothing wrong with this model, in theory; however, in practice it leaves a lot to be desired. (more…)

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Posted February 10, 2011 by admin @ 6:07 pm

Almost everyone is aware of the fact that Arianna Huffington sold her online newspaper to corporate giant AOL for a substantial sum (somewhere around $315 million). She’ll be taking over as AOL’s chief editor, and no one’s quite certain as to what will happen to the aggregate news site. The Huffington Post started in 2004 and has since grown a loyal following. (more…)

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The FireFox Solution to the Do-Not-Track Dilemma

Posted February 9, 2011 by admin @ 5:36 pm

Mozilla FireFox is known for being a step ahead of its competition in the seemingly endless browser wars. They’ve been the dominant browser since 2009 when they finally beat out the default choice, Microsoft Internet Explorer. FireFox made huge gains with consumers because it focused on safety and security without compromising speed. (more…)

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Judicial Candidates Advertising on Facebook

Posted February 8, 2011 by admin @ 7:03 pm

facebook campaigns

Basically every state in the union has different rules when it comes to state elections. Things get even more complicated when municipal contests are thrown into the mix. In the battle for public office, perhaps no group of candidates are faced with as many hurdles as those in the judicial realm. Some states don’t have judicial elections at all; their judges are either appointed by the governor, state legislature, or a combination of both. Yet the states that select judges democratically usually don’t allow much campaigning. They may have strict rules regulating the judges’ speech, such as prohibiting them from criticizing their opponents’ rulings. Others don’t ban the practice by statute, but it’s still considered a major taboo in the legal profession to utilize typical campaign rhetoric. Judges in these areas feel tremendous social pressure to stay silent.

Speech isn’t the only thing that’s being constrained in certain judicial elections. A few states require the judges to rely on public funds as a way of leveling the playing field and discouraging fund raising. The theory behind this logic is that campaign contributions might come along with expectations in terms of future legal action. This could potentially foster corruption in the justice system, and no one wants that. But these restrictions really put judicial candidates in a bind. They want to get elected, yet they lack the means to adequately promote themselves.

Some resourceful Wisconsin state Supreme Court candidates discovered a cost-effective platform that lets them connect directly with voters: social networking. The prospective arbiters find that Facebook and Twitter help them reach the younger demographic, which is always an important constituency. Those ages 35 and under are likely to ignore television based advertising and some in this category don’t watch TV in a traditional way at all. The same can be said for the radio, which is an irrelevant medium to many. The candidates also enjoy getting instant feedback on their public appearances from a source other than pundits and journalists. Of course, the only people viewing the content on Twitter and Facebook are already interested in the election. This means the candidates are reaching a niche group as opposed to a random, potentially disinterested audience. Commentators are dismissing this emerging trend by pointing out that Facebook comments or retweets don’t automatically translate into votes. Here’s hoping the people of Wisconsin prove them wrong!

Filed under: Company Headlines

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