Does Your Remote Know That You’re Drunk?

There is a lot of innovation going on in the advertising world, where advancements in the internet and cable TV systems allow potential advertisers to get much more information about the people they are trying to get their products in front of.

This greater knowledge allows an advertiser to buy advertising that is much more likely to be viewed by people that would be influenced to buy their product.

A great example is to do a search for ‘mesothelioma‘ via Google.  If you look on the Google sidebar (on the right) you will notice that most of the spots -which are all paid for- are taken by law firms.

Very few cancers have a well established causal relationship to a specific souce (lung cancer and smoking being one of the others).  Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.  This allows lawyers to sue your previous employer, landlord, etc. for ‘causing’ your cancer by causing you to be exposed to this dangerous (but popular) building substance.  This has become a very lucrative business for lawyers that specialize in meothelioma.

Therefore, if you are searching for ‘mesothelioma’ on Google, you, or someone you care about, is likely a potential client for these law firms.  This has made this word the most valuable search word on the internet.  It is also this targeted advertising capability that makes Google worth ~$100 billion.

So, what is my idea?

Well, how much more would you be willing to pay for advertising space, if you knew for a fact that your customer was intoxicated?

Here is a scenario:  You get home from the bar with a serious case of the munchies, and turn on your TV.  A sensor in the remote detects the alcohol in the air from the breath you are exhaling.  This information sent into the network which has the capability to send specific advertisements to your TV.  Pizza Pizza, who has paid extra for this priviledge, sends an advertisement or email to your TV:

Click ‘order’ to accept this 5 minute offer for a Supreme Meat & Cheese Lover’s Pizza with 6 bottles of water and a package of Tylenol for the low price of $35!!

I think this is the beginning of ‘State-based Marketing’.  😉

SfaUT: Top 5 Posts of ALL Time

Well, actually it has been about 1 and 1/2 years since I started blogging, and I wanted to see if any ‘Unifying Theme’ has popped up.  Also, for anyone who has watched network TV, you eventually get to that episode where the money and/or creativity runs out, and they resort to running a ‘retrospective’ episode of clips cobbled together from previous episodes.  This is the blog post equivalent…

Maybe it is different for other bloggers, but I doubt it: the posts that you really, really like are NOT the ones that get the most hits!  Based on the number of hits, I should create a blog about Rogers or RBC rants, or perhaps a restaurant guide.

SfaUT Top Posts

The top post, which still receives more hits a day than any other post, is a rant about the high data roaming charges that Rogers bills its customers, which I experienced on my trip to Asia earlier this year.  Apparently this is a common experience with a lot of people, which has led to a lot of traffic to my site.  If you type “rogers data extortion” into Google, my post is the top hit (as of today).

Next, in #2 position, is a post I did about Google.  I was watching Google regularly releasing applications that I am sure others were building their entire business case on, and had a thought:  What is happening to the web start-up industry as a result of Google’s deep pockets, and free applications?  This got picked up by a web aggregator called Ycombinator at the time, and has since been changed to ‘Hacker News’.  Of those >1000 reads, about 80% were in a single day, and has since dropped to zero reads a day!

#3, and deservedly so, is my assertion that Singapore Restaurant is the best restaurant in Ottawa, and why.  It shows up on about page 6 of a Google search on Ottawa’s best restaurant, so it must only be really determined people that find it… or they are using some other search tool.  With 662 views, I hope at least a few of those people actually gave it a try, Abba and Foo deserve the business!

#4 was another fee-based rant:  This time the target was RBC Visa and their overlimit fees.  Since I don’t carry balances on credit cards this was actually a sympathetic-rant for a friend I was helping with some financial counselling.  I actually got quite angry on the phone with the RBC representative and accused them of taking advantage of people that were not financially savvy.  Now I wish I had recorded it, it may have made a good audio clip for the blog.

Finally, to maintain my lack of a ‘Unifying Theme’, the last in my Top 5 list is about an observation I made of how similar Klee Irwin and John Waters look… judge for yourself! This was my second post about Klee, who came to my attention in his hilariously funny infomercials on dual-action cleanse.

It appears that I am STILL Searching for a Unifying Theme…

[Insert Catchy Title Here!]

The point of this post is based on something I learned from my weekend post “Rats, My Startup Just Got Googled!”.

That is, perhaps more than ever, the headline is the most valuable part of the story.

With the overwhelming number of blogs, many dealing with the same topic, you have to catch your reader quickly so they will invest time on the rest of your post.

I can’t state this with absolute certainty, because I have no way of knowing why people clicked on my recent post, but I saw an instant jump of interest when I (admittedly accidentally) gave people the impression that I may own a startup that just got acquired, or maybe killed, by Google. There was a pool of internet users that were, for some reason, interested in this topic. It was either that, or the lawyers online thought I was addressing the article to them in particular: Maclean’s – Lawyers Are Rats 😉

My previously most successful article had views in the order of 10’s. With the “Rats” post, I have seen 900 hits in the last two days! It was rated on WordPress as the 7th most popular post of the day, and as high as 3rd (that I saw) on which contributed most of the referrals to my blog (hey thanks!).

So, can you use any title to attract attention? The challenge is to make sure that people don’t feel ripped off when they then take the time to read your post. Did they learn something? Did it make them laugh? Did it point them to other valuable places? If yes, then cool, and you can get away with catchy, but perhaps not relevant, titles.

With newspapers, the headline on the front page could sell the whole paper. This means that a newspaper or even magazine editor could just focus on one key message to get the readers to buy. Or rather, it was the product of the paper’s brand (say “Globe & Mail”) and the headline (“Internet collapses due to Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in HD”) that would impact sales.

On a blog, it is the product of the blogger’s reputation, and the headline. On the “Rats” post I got lucky on the latter, and hopefully increased the prior.

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