November 18, 2011

Weekly Watch 11/18/11

Interactive News

Google to Roll Out AdX in China
Google is preparing to launch its Ad Exchange (AdX) in China, seeking to get buy in from advertisers and top publishers.
This month, Google highlighted its AdX during its Creative Sandbox event in Shanghai, a technology event for marketers.
In addition, Google’s DoubleClick exec has been making the rounds with media agency professionals in the Greater China region to talk about its AdX and demand-side platform Invite Media, ClickZ Asia has learned. When contacted, Google’s PR responded that they have yet to officially launch the ad exchange in the country.

Facebook’s New Advertising Model: You
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t talk much about his company’s advertising business, even when it invents new kinds of ads that could disrupt a chunk of the $500 billion influence industry. So it was up to David Fischer, who left a star career at Google early last year to run Facebook’s advertising business, to make a pilgrimage to Advertising Week, a weeklong annual confab of marketers in New York in October. His goal: to draw big brand marketers whose mainstay ad venue is television onto the world’s largest social network. If your friend Jim has clicked the “Like” button back on Columbia Pictures’ fan page, a line of text will pop into the ad saying “Jim Squires likes Ides of March” alongside his photo. People are twice as likely to remember an ad if their friend is in it, according to the Nielsen Co., and they tend to click on it or share it with friends more often than they do plain-vanilla display ads.

Twitter-Inspired Shopping Site OpenSky Adds Dwell to Celebrity ‘Curators’
OpenSky, the e-commerce site where celebrities including Tom Colicchio and Alicia Silverstone recommend products to consumers who follow them, has added Dwell magazine to its roster of “curators.” OpenSky, which said last month that it had raised $30 million in fresh investment capital, says it has accumulated 750,000 members since its current iteration arrived in April. It previously helped bloggers and others curate stores on their own content sites, but decided that building a single site devoted to shopping would yield more members and sales.

Media News

Conde Nast Becomes Latest Publisher to Unveil Private Ad Exchange
The assault on third-party ad networks continues. Today, Conde Nast, publisher of magazines such as The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, is launching a private ad exchange to sell unsold inventory on its digital properties to a select group of advertisers. The exchange, powered by Admeld, will feature CPM price floors and real-time bidding. “Like any publisher, we’re interested in maximizing the revenue on our inventory,” said Drew Schutte, exec VP and chief integration officer at Conde Nast. “By opening a private exchange, we’re getting all the controls we wanted while providing access to our premium advertisers who commit to Conde Nast in the most significant way.”

The Debut of ‘The Collection’
Today, The New York Times introduces the Collection, a fashion app exclusively for the iPad that brings together in one spot all the fashion coverage offered by Thursday and Sunday Styles, T Magazine, The Moment and The International Herald Tribune. The Collection is a visual playground where you are encouraged to explore the latest in fashion news, from reviews by Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes to Bill Cunningham’s On the Street videos. You can also click on more than 150 designer galleries from the current season. The Collection’s design showcases photo slide shows, blog posts, videos and articles, offering you a graphic entry point to The Times’s daily fashion content. The app is organized into five sections, with the option to view “All” or filter content according to a specific category: News, Trends, Street and Runway.

Numbers Slip for Oprah’s Media Products
Do people miss their daily dose of Oprah? When her talk show went off the air six months ago, Oprah Winfrey thought her fans would turn to the next best thing, her cable TV network, OWN. But it hasn’t worked so far. The fans have spoken (well, in ratings), and they want more of the talk show queen directly speaking to her audience, much the way she did every day for 25 years on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” And it isn’t only OWN that is struggling: Oprah’s magic seems to have slipped a bit across all forms of media, including her magazine. The numbers tell the tale: during the first half of this year, while Winfrey was on the air, ad pages at O, The Oprah Magazine were up 4.1 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau. It’s a different story for life at the magazine in the second half of the year. In September, ad pages fell almost 19 percent compared with the previous year, October paging fell 13 percent and ad paging declined about 8 percent for both the November and December issues, according to Media Industry Newsletter.

Retail News

Luxury Brands Ride the Wave
For the luxury goods sector right now, it’s a man’s world, judging by the recent moves of two of fashion’s largest players. PPR earlier this week completed the acquisition of Italian tailor Brioni, while LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton recently tapped Antoine Arnault to head up the expansion of its men’s luxury footwear specialist Berluti’s product range and store network. The men’s luxury goods market is outperforming women’s in all categories, according to the 10th edition of Bain & Company’s Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, prepared for Fondazione Altagamma. Men’s items now represent 50 percent of the total luxury apparel market versus 48 percent two years ago, according to the report, driven by more tailored clothing in mature markets and the upper casual category in China.

Fashion’s Next Frontier for Social Media
The fashion industry is quickly learning that men and women engage and shop differently in the digital sphere. Brands and retailers such as Coach, Mr Porter, Gilt Man, Ben Minkoff, John Varvatos and Ermenegildo Zegna have spent a lot of time studying the differences between the ways men and women approach fashion, tapping into their male audiences with a host of initiatives they feel will resonate best with their target consumer. Whether ingesting rich editorial content from Net-a-porter’s men’s e-commerce counterpart, Mr Porter; interacting with Coach’s new men’s Facebook page, or tapping into Ben Minkoff’s expertise in gender-specific online shopping habits, one thing is clear: Men are as into fashion as ever, and brands need to find innovative ways to engage the male audience.

The 10 Most Popular Mobile Purchases
Tablets may be good for watching movies or reading books, but it looks like consumers are increasingly using it for something else, too: shopping. According to a study from mobile ad network Jumptap and comScore, 63 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase with their device, as opposed to just 31 percent of mobile owners. That compares to 83 percent of PC owners who have completed a purchase on their laptop or desk computer. Among consumers aged 18 to 34, the gap between PC and tablet shopping is even narrower with 79 percent saying that they’ve made tablet purchases and 89 percent indicating that they’ve used their PC for shopping. Mobile purchasing also skews male. The survey found that 67 percent of men, compared to 55 percent of women, made tablet purchases; 39 percent of men, compared to 23 percent of women, made mobile phone purchases. Jumptap’s study also found that consumers appear to be more willing to use their mobile devices for banking. While just one in eight consumers were willing to access banking, credit card, or other financial information from their mobile device last year, one in six are willing to bank on the go in 2011.

Chinese Tourists on Global Luxury Spending Spree Driving Revenue at U.S. Retailers
In what appears to be a rapidly developing trend, Chinese visitors to the United States are being noticed more for the flash of their newly-bought designer bags than that of their Nikons. Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH) and Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) are just a few the companies in the luxury retail sector that have recently noted how higher revenue at their North American operations has largely been boosted by Chinese shoppers on vacation. In a recent call to Wall Street analysts and investors October 25, Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer of Coach, Inc. noted the increasing revenue in North America was largely due to a “sharp increase of tourists in select stores in travel markets around the country, including Hawaii, Las Vegas, Florida, and of course, New York.”

Travel News

Celebrities Pile On To Social Travel Site Trippy’s $1.75 Million Round
Yesterday we profiled Trippy, J.R. Johnson’s latest travel startup. Trippy is a social travel site. It’s a trip planner that connects to social networks and asks for venue suggestions from friends who have already traveled to the destination. Today, Trippy has announced a $1.75 million seed round of financing co-led by Sequoia Capital and True Ventures. In addition those investors and SV Angel, a number of individuals contributed money including some big-name celebrities. Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg invested alongside fashion designer Rachel Zoe and singer Jason Mraz. We’d say that’s weird, except that celebrity investors aren’t anymore. A few weeks ago Leonardo DiCaprio invested in a startup. Before that it was Justin Bieber. And before that it was Justin Timberlake.

Welcome Celebrity Silhouette
“The newest addition to Celebrity, the Celebrity Silhouette has officially set sail in the United States. She’s the first Celebrity Solstice® Class ship to cruise from Bayonne’s Cape Liberty, NJ, offering vacationers from the northeast an alternative to flying to the Caribbean Islands,” said Thomas DeSimone, Co-Founder & CEO Some of the new stand-out venues on the Celebrity Silhoutte are The Lawn Club Grill, The Porch, The Alcoves, The Art Studio, The Hideaway, and the overall vibrant style that has become standard with the Solstice Class. With specialty dining venues that are in the same category to the best upscale spots on land, and a host of modern, enriching onboard programs, Celebrity Silhouette created an unforgettable ship experience. Once Again.