Archive for the ‘DVDs’ tag
Working with video rental stores in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Domino’s stamped DVDs with heat-sensitive thermal ink and scented varnish. Since DVDs and Blu-Ray players tend to get hot during operation, the discs warm up throughout the movie. By the time the movies ends and you pull the disc out, you’re both seeing an image of pizza on the DVD … and smelling what you could be tasting.
And, in thermal ink, a message invites you to enjoy your next movie with a “hot and delicious” pizza from Domino’s.
Here’s the video:
That’s simply a brilliant marketing campaign. And a very savvy mixture of both high and very standard technology.
While broadband has killed the video rental store in North America and much of Europe, Brazil’s Internet is not quite so robust, according to the marketing agency that created the campaign for Domino’s. So unless you’re wealthy or in a neighborhood with good Internet, chances are, you’re still using DVDs.
DVD rental kiosk service Redbox has extended a distribution deal that will allow the company to continue renting movies from Sony Pictures to customers the same day they hit retail shelves.
Over the past year, many entertainment companies have opted to end similar licensing agreements with rental services like Redbox and Netflix. Most recently, Warner Brothers decided not to renew its deals to rent DVDs, and failed to negotiate a new deal that would force the company to wait 50 to 90 days after they hit retail stores. Of course, Redbox can still offer the new releases earlier, but to do so it has to pay for each DVD at the same price offered to consumers — meaning Redbox’s operational costs rise. (For example, Redbox is doing this for all Warner Brothers new releases.)
Under the deal with Sony Pictures, Redbox also has the option to license Blu-ray movies from Sony through September 2014.
Making its movies available for rental immediately is a smart move for Sony, because it should keep people from pirating movies as an alternative to buying the movies outright at retail price. The licensing agreement is also beneficial to Redbox because it’ll keep customers happy. And with the imminent launch of Redbox and Verizon’s DVD/streaming joint venture, it never hurts to make sure there’s a wide selection of current movie titles to compete against the likes of Netflix.
Via Engadget; Image illustration via Tom Cheredar/VentureBeat
Filed under: media
I have always wondered why a service like this doesn’t already exist. As they grow, children leave in their wake a stockpile of unwanted and outgrown clothing, a treasure trove for other moms. Sometimes, they shoot up so fast that clothing is only worn once or twice before it’s discarded.
Thredup, an online consignment store for kids, was founded on the premise that one parent’s trash is another’s treasure. Today, the Bay Area startup announced it was selling at a rate of $1,000 items a day and is projected to sell 100,000 new or like-new items in the Back-to-School shopping rush at the price range of $1.99 to $39.99.
Back in 2009, the site was initially conceived of as a clothing swap. Parents wanted to buy and sell directly through the site, so the team shifted to an online consignment this spring. The strategy seems to be working, with the company reporting 50 percent month-over-month growth since March.
To help parents sort through an enormous inventory of clothing, the company also announced it would bring on a new executive, John Voris, the former VP of Operations Engineering at Netflix and new board member Andy Rendich, former Chief Service and Operations Officer at Netflix.
“What’s really powerful from a recommendations stand-point, is that we know what items your kids have outgrown and how often kids outgrow clothes,” said Voris, thredUP’s new Chief Operations Officer, in an interview with VentureBeat. ”We can harness that data to serve up powerfully personalized brand, size and style recommendations at just the right time.”
How does it work? Order a Thredup ‘clean out’ bag online and it comes to your door. Fill it with outgrown kids clothing, and put the bag on your doorstep with other outgoing mail. Thredup’s CEO James Reinhart told me that clothing on Thredup sells for anywhere between 40 percent and 80 percent lower than retail prices. To maintain high-quality, the team inspects all clothing, before it can be sold on the site.
The company has raised $8.7 million to date, with the first round led by Trinity Ventures and the second by Redpoint Ventures.
Filed under: VentureBeat
On the Listia site, people can give away things that they don’t want or need anymore. When you give something away, you earn points on the site, which you can then redeem for the goods that offered by other users. Until now, however, what those points actually got you depended on what other users were posting, and all the goods were used (unless, for some reason, you decided to give away something brand new).
With the Rewards Store, users can redeem their points for new goods in categories like DVDs and movies, electronics, and home and garden. Listia says it’s adding a premium rewards category today, with items like roundtrip airfare to anywhere in the US, gas money for a year, a luxury trip to Hawaii, and a Fiat 500. The rewards are supposed to run the gamut from $20 to $16,000 in value.
The company says that “by creating a Rewards Store, we hope to incentivize more people to unlock all the idle value sitting in their closets and homes.” That doesn’t necessarily mean the current model isn’t working — there have supposedly been 5 million items traded to date, and the gross merchandise value of items on the site has grown 400 percent in the last six months. But it doesn’t hurt to give users an even clearer reason to give things away.
When we talk about SEO we are oftentimes talking about SEO for business products. We want to have our content come up during the discovery process that customers and prospective customers go through as often as possible. That can be intensely competitive when you are trying to market and sell things like life insurance or women’s shoes or (insert product here). But what about independent films?
Huh? How did we get here? Well, an email from the Co-founder and President of independent film company One World Studios Ltd., Zack Coffman, started the process. You see Zack gets it and simply notified us here at Marketing Pilgrim that had mentioned us as a top resource in an SEO post he did on the Sundance Institute’s site.
Now, I am not a big indie film guy but I know about Sundance so we started to talk a bit. As a result of his great article and smooth way of getting PR mileage, we ended up with this email interview that helps us see just how important this practice is in the world of independent film making.
MP: Describe life in the world of independent film marketing. Are you always working on shoestring budgets? What are some of the techniques you use to identify your market?
Zack: The indie world is all about shoestrings! We’re firm believers that in order for an indie to survive you have to work within very focused niches. Every impression, every click has to be maximized and grab hold of the viewer’s attention. I find that a well focused film/TV/transmedia property should already have the market identified for you. When we begin developing a property we ask ourselves, “Who is this for?” “Who will enjoy it and rally around it?” It’s much harder with a small budget if you are handed an unfocused property and asked to create a market for it.
MP: How long have you been at the SEO and Internet marketing game? Could you point to a success or two that you might want to show off with?
Zack: I came to the web marketing game by necessity. We had produced a motorcycle movie called “Choppertown” in 2004 with a stack of credit cards and we started our marketing with a simple website and trailer on MySpace. I reverse-engineered Jesse James’ website and learned html code by plopping different pieces into DreamWeaver. Then as it became apparent that we were going to self-release the film, I started researching a thing called “PayPal” and how to take payments for DVDs directly on the site. A buddy told me about “SEO” and it was obvious we needed to integrate our strategy. We ended up selling 20,000 DVDs out of an apartment in West LA and launching an entire brand and distribution company around that film. Now all of our properties both in the motorcycle world and the paranormal world (we just made a Ouija movie) routinely get ranked higher than big-budget studio properties.
MP: As the president of an indie studio do you have staff for these kind of endeavors or is everyone involved in an ‘all hands’ kind of way?
Zack: All hands on deck! Everyone wears a lot of hats, but we have recently been building alliances with other indie studios that excel in closely-aligned areas such as social marketing and theatrical distribution.
MP: What has not worked in the Internet space that surprised you? What has worked that surprised you?
Zack: The idea of online “world building” faded faster than I would have guessed. Things just move so fast these days. I was really into it when Blair Witch created the first sort of quasi-reality ‘net experience and then big studios followed suit with ambitious trans-web strategies like “A.I.” and the like. Even musical artists like Peter Gabriel were experimenting with world-building and it was fascinating. Nowadays everyone is on their phones and multi-tasking so it’s not really possible to get them involved in a brand-new online world unless it’s really got some money behind it and various social and gaming integrations. But the fantastical element seems to have gone away which is a shame because I love that kind of thing!
I’m always amazed how various properties go viral. We like to design many of our trailers and teasers in a viral way and have been quite successful at it, but when the Honey Badger goes crazy online you just sit back and smile. That’s the organic beauty of the ‘net that I love. After a few beers I’m sure to begin waxing poetic about the continued joining of analog and digital, but that’s for another time.
MP: How does social marketing (or social media marketing) fit into your marketing efforts? How do you track conversions? What do you consider to be a conversion in most cases?
Zack: Social marketing is important and various degrees of it play into everything we do. Conversions are the trickiest part of the whole equation and it’s something big companies are always trying to quantify so they can justify continuing spending huge amounts of money on the marketing plans, which I totally understand. The problem is that apart from a direct click-through to purchase scenario, it’s almost impossible to gauge what kind of an impression you’ve made on a viewer until much later. Our motto around here is “Market to the heart, not the head.” If you approach your viewers with intelligence and passion and engage them in something they love, then you can really make a lasting partnership. They can be speeding down the highway, inundated with all manner of huge slick ads appealing to their head, but if they get just a hint of a tiny thing that appeals to their heart and passions personally they will slam on their brakes and support you for many years. Of course you have to deliver or they will feel cheated! That’s the “art” part, right?
MP: Are there things you can do that more traditional marketers may not be able to due to restrictions from corporate etc? Do you see risk taking in marketing as essential to your success?
Zack: That’s the whole reason to stay independent! It’s the freedom of experimentation that keeps it interesting for us. Taking chances is the only way to grow. Sometimes you get in trouble, but as long as you try things with your eyes open it’s always a learning experience that you can apply going forward. We love being small and fast enough to react immediately to any situation. For instance, we have a long-standing policy of sending our motorcycle movies to any service member serving overseas who requests them. When a Marine Staff-Sergeant wrote us asking for a couple films for his guys on the front line we sent them a whole box. Later we got a package in the mail with a hand-written note of thanks and a folded American flag. There was a signed plaque stating that the flag had flown over the base for 24 hours and had been dedicated to us by the entire company. I had to sit down after getting it and still get chills telling the story. If we had been some big company, we may never have had a chance to interact with those guys directly and thank them in our small way for their sacrifices.
MP: How much do online and offline mix and play together in your world?
Zack: There’s no separation any more as far as I’m concerned, especially with the younger crowd. Kids leave class and immediately check their phones for whatever their friends are saying and sharing. People at work check their Facebook and other social networks constantly, even when watching TV. The more you can provide engaging content across all these platforms simultaneously, the more you can engage your fans for life.
MP: What projects do you have coming up and what are you working on to promote them?
Zack: Right now we have our Ouija movie “I Am ZoZo” that is coming out this Halloween. It’s based on a real story involving a demon called ZoZo that has been widely reported on for years as using the Ouija board exclusively as its mode d’emploi. My business partner Scott Di Lalla, who wrote and directed the film, did months of research into the paranormal and shot the film in a unique style that is seriously scary as hell. We’ve been quietly putting out bits of info on the film and it’s slowly building into a demandable property. We’re setting up a ZoZo artwork contest with DeviantArt that should be really exciting.
Also we’re working on setting up a platform and brand integration for our hit online live ghost hunting show that got several million views in just 72 hours when we launched the pilot a couple months ago. Even though we have a long-standing relationship with Dickies that has been wonderful, soliciting brands is not traditionally what I do. So I’m meeting with a lot of interesting new people in the more traditional ad space and examining the potential of having a brand seamlessly integrated into the show and having all those engaged viewers. We partnered with the number one ghost hunting app and can now send updates to several million mobile devices before every show.
Thank you to Zack for giving us a view of SEO and digital marketing as a whole from the indie film perspective. How you do SEO and social is highly dependent on what your market is like. The cookie-cutter approach to SEO and social media is not the way to go and Zack’s approach as it relates to the niche market of indie films shows that. Keep an eye on Zack and his efforts moving forward since he is certainly paying attention to what the SEO community is doing.
Hometown: Dundee, NY Education: UCLA (World Arts & Cultures), Yonsei University Korean Language Institute. Resided in Seoul, Korea from 1992-2000. Professional highlights: Head of Acquisitions, HMJ Films (Korea.) Asian correspondent, Variety. Line-producer and location manager for several Korean films including Korean/Philippine co-production Weekend Warriors. Translator, Korean International Trade Association. Co-founder and President of independent film company One World Studios Ltd.; a feature film production and distribution corporation in Los Angeles.
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PriceGrabber’s 2012 Father’s Day Shopping survey shows smooth sailing ahead for shopping sons, daughters and wives. 70% said they were planning to spend about the same amount they spend on mom, for her special day and for the majority of folks, that’s under $100.
While many consumers will be shopping online, only 2% said they’d be using a mobile device to do it, which is surprisingly low.
How will they decide where to shop? 59% said they’d be influenced by free shipping, 48% wanted to see price cuts and 36% would be swayed by a coupon.
41% of shoppers said they were looking for practical gifts. Around a quarter figured they go with hobby-related items or entertainment such as games, DVDs and music. Only 21% were brave enough to pick out clothing or accessories for dear old dad.
18% of dads are going to be extra happy this year, because they’ll be on the receiving end of a new tablet, smartphone or other electronic item.
Since shoppers are going online to shop, this is prime-time. 30% said they’d be shopping two weeks prior, 28% would wait until the last week. Only 12% expected to wait until the last minute. That’s a misleading stat, since it’s likely that anyone who took the time to fill out this survey is an organized person who has the date boldly marked on their calendar.
Finally, don’t count out the daily deal site. 40% of shoppers said they’d use a deal site such as Groupon or PriceGrabber local to get the most bang for their buck.
Is your online store ready for Father’s Day? Are you?
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The knock on Hollywood is that it’s been slow to adapt in the digital age. Fair or not, it’s worth noting just how revolutionary the last decade has been for Tinseltown.
Movies — even the blockbusters — are now labeled a success or flop based on their opening weekend box office. DVDs, once a huge profit center for studios, have fallen off the map. Still, while consumers clearly love digital distribution, no single platform or model has emerged. In fact, industry insiders still debate whether streaming or downloads are the wave of the future. At the same time, marketing a movie through traditional media has only gotten more expensive because everyday it gets harder to break through the clutter.
Television is also at a crossroads. The networks have seen a steady decline in ratings, while cable channels have matured into household names. Shows that once had a season or more to find an audience now operate in a world where cancelation notices often fly after a few episodes. Only sports and news continue to attract live audiences, but many networks have found that their shows have a long tail on services like Netflix.
Yet for all the chaos, audiences are still passionate about great entertaining content. Social media can move the needle. Good buzz on Facebook can push a movie’s campaign over the top and drive box office. Television viewers use Twitter and the new wave of social TV apps to redefine the viewing experience. Entertainment brands are increasingly turning to these channels to engage directly with consumers, but simply having a dedicated Facebook or Twitter presence is now par for the course. Going above and beyond with social is a key ingredient to marketing entertainment — something these brands do especially well.
- Windows users, what are you using to rip DVDs?
- Any idea how I can automate my Gmail so that I can send my mom a photo of her granddaughter daily?
- I want to run an application at startup on my Ubuntu server but it requires a GUI; how can I launch it at startup and bring it into the foreground when I ssh -x in?
- People who boot into multiple operating systems: How do you manage your boot screen?
- Is there a way to set my iPhone 4S to take videos in a lower resolution?
- Any tips on how I can transfer files 3gb+ from my windows pc to mac?
- I want a fun RPG to play on my iPhone during the bus ride to work. I’m feeling something old school-like, maybe turn based. Can anyone recommend something?
- Is there any way to sync my Facebook contacts with my Google contacts?
- What’s the best way to do a thorough test drive of OSX?
- Is there a way for me to close my Macbook Pro so I can only have the external monitor on without making the Macbook have to go to sleep when close it?
Hoping to save a few bucks from licensing fees, Microsoft says it won’t be including DVD playback support built-in to Windows 8. Instead, you’ll have to purchase the Windows Media Center upgrade, or use third-party DVD software, to enjoy your movie collection.
Writing on the Building Windows 8 blog yesterday, Microsoft’s Windows head Steven Sinofsky explains the move as a way for the company to avoid royalty costs for decoders, which are required for media playback.
“Globally, DVD sales have declined significantly year over year and Blu-ray on PCs is losing momentum as well,” Sinofsky wrote. “Watching broadcast TV on PCs, while incredibly important for some of you, has also declined steadily. These traditional media playback scenarios, optical media and broadcast TV, require a specialized set of decoders (and hardware) that cost a significant amount in royalties.”
Specifically, the news means that Windows Media Player on Windows 8 won’t be able to play DVDs by default, even though Media Player itself will still be a mainstay in all versions of the OS.
While it may sound a bit shocking at first, the move makes sense since Windows 8 will run on a variety of form factors — including tablets and ultrabooks — that don’t have optical drives to play DVDs. It’s a minor inconvenience for consumers who rely on Windows for watching DVDs, but it looks like upgrading to Media Center won’t be too difficult. Sinofsky says the add-on will be available via the “Add features to Windows 8 Control Panel.”
Media Center isn’t the only way to get DVD playback either. There are tons of third-party DVD clients out there, including some which let you view DVDs for free (likely by skipping out on royalty fees), like VLC.
The news will most likely affect college students who practically live off of their computers. But with the ever-increasing rise of legal streaming and downloadable video options, I have a feeling many consumers won’t even need to figure out a DVD playback solution on Windows 8.
Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
When you’re going through your books, clothes, or DVDs to sell the ones you don’t use there are usually items that you’re on the fence about keeping or selling. In those cases you should put those items in a box labelled “Sell by X” where X is a date six months or a year into the future. More »