Maybe you've heard about it, maybe you haven't. In either case, let me tell you: Stumble Upon is the best thing that happened to the web as a whole since Google, period.

Stumble Upon is a web browser plugin that allows a user to discover webpages and content based on other user's appreciation and rating, a notion that's called a "recommendation system".
It's basically web browsing "a la carte", where each of the webpages on the menu are something you should potentially enjoy.

You browsing is done by random selection inside a category. Say you like football, well, clicking the "Stumble!" button inside the football category will yield you one of the most interesting sites about football available on the net, everytime. Fantastic. But I already had reviewed that awhile ago on AdKrispies.

What's now interesting is SU's "Sponsored Stumblers" program, which seems to have a much more interesting structure than Google AdWords, and better yield. And not without arguments for it:

a) Target the exact audience you want (only qualified viewers come to your site)
b) No clickthrough required (SU pays for every visit to your site, instead of every click on a word)
c) Get feedback from visitors (Stumblers can rate your site in the SU system, possibly making you a destination of choice)

Allan Stern of CenterNetworks has posted an interesting review of SU's Sponsored Stumblers program v.s. Google AdWords. In his final comments he notedly says that"... StumbleUpon is a great alternative to click based traffic in the sense that you get a continuous stream of interested visitors. The traffic is qualified in the sense that the visitors said they were interested in your topic or category. I believe StumbleUpon ads are a better source of visitors than using interstitial ads since the users will be in your desired category."

I'm curious, I'll give it a shot.

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Most people who know me, know that I am a huge fan of the general video game scene.

I recently purchased the excellent Trackmania United (which is all about creating wacky tracks and racing them), and apart from being highly satisfied of my overall experience, I was quite surprised to find local billboard ads for Bell on the racetracks. My reaction was threefold:

a) My gamer brain thought: "Mini ads for Bell. Looky that."

b) My ad industry brain thought: "Bell. The damn beavers again. What an idiotic campaign. I didn't even have time to read the ad, I was racing a high-speed car for pete's sake. Now, what was that billboard showing?? (I had to stop my car in front of the billboard, ruining my lap time) -- It was showing one of the 3D woodchucks saying "Too late. I've won". Too late, you've won what against whom? I don't get it."

c) My analytic brain said "What's the point of placing ads inside a video game, if they're not going to tell me something pertinent or informative, contribute to my gaming experience or give me special advantages inside the game?"

By extending their media placement within games, does Bell really believe that they're effectively engaging dialog with the gamer population? Placing billboard ads inside a video game, with no pertinent message, or anything that actually would call to action towards something that pursues the experience, is to me just another iteration of misemployed traditional media.

There are hundreds of ways to incorporate a brand experience inside a game, adding to the experience. But that's a notion marketers continue to struggle with...

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New Brunswick Parks & Tourism (0)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 by , under , , , ,

You won't see this one coming. From agency LG2 in Montreal, and produced by Quatre Zero Un. The end VO says: "Hot water is in New Brunswick!" (Thanks, Infopresse!)

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Darth Vader Being A Smartass (0)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 by , under

Just thought this was hilarious.

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Chasing Cool? Read further. (0)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 by , under , , ,

If you're looking for something crunchy to sink your reading teeth in, here's Chasing Cool, a witty pop-and-consumer culture branding book that examines corporate America's quest to make its products and services seem 'cool'.

Written by Gene Pressman (former CEO, Creative Director and Head of Merchandising for Barney's New York) and Noah Kerner (former DJ for Jennifer Lopez and current CEO of noise marketing agency), the book "...digs beneath the surface and reveals how emphasizing long-lasting relevance trumps a fleeting preoccupation with what's hot and what's not".

Chasing Cool features an impressive list of over 70 contributors from entertainment, beauty/fashion, sport, media and design industries, with names such as Les Garland & Bob Pittman (founders of MTV), Marc Jacobs, Tiki Barber, Vera Wang, Tony Hawk, Christina Aguilera, Tommy Hilfiger, Scott Bedbury (Nike and Starbucks), Antonio Bertone (Puma), and many more.

From "Cool isn't just a state of mind, a celebrity fad, or an American obsession -- it's a business. In boardrooms across America, product managers are examining vodka bottles and candy bars, tissue boxes and hamburgers, wondering how do we make this thing cool? How do we make this gadget into the iPod of our industry? How do we do what Nike did? How do we get what Target got? How do we infuse that product with that very desirable, nearly unattainable It factor?"

Chasing Cool is out today May 1st, published by Simon&Schuster.

Click here to buy this book on Amazon!

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The Scratchpad (0)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 by , under , , , ,

I just thought this was kinda fun -- and addictive. It's basically a pad on which people can doodle simultaneously. Great fun if you have a Wacom pad, kind of a hassle if you use a mouse. Nevertheless you should try it out. Click here to visit the ScratchPad!

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