Economist: special report on internet advertising

Business & entrepreneurship, Internet

The Economist has a special report in this week’s issue (July 8th-14th 2006) called highlighting internet advertising trends. Much of the content will be familiar to webmasters and bloggers, but here are a few interesting tidbits:

  1. The man behind the famous quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half” was named John Wanamaker, who also invented department stores and price tags
  2. Bill Gross, founder of Overture, was the original inventor of the concept behind Google Adwords (e.g. putting relevant advertising next to search results), and it might be noted, “not at all bitter” about Google’s success
  3. Bay area startups such as and are using a model similar to Adwords, creating “pay-per-print” coupons and “pay-per-call” phone numbers, respectively, and also tied to relevant websites and search results.
  4. Branding’s next step might be to infiltrate online gaming, for example, letting players’ characters in role-playing games buy a Nokia cell phone and later upgrade, or a Coke can that imparts new powers if he drinks or uses it.
  5. Internet advertising allows segmentation to be split into ever finer definitions since there are just as many publishers and affiliates out there as advertisers. Moreover, advertisers no longer have to pick and choose flagship products to advertise, but can present the whole gamut of their products in some form or another to the public this way.

To me, the most eye-opening point was the bit about online gaming, just as how the news about Entropia’s ATM network surprised me, too. Not being a gamer myself, I find it impressive how much of a role it’s seen playing in our lives and economy.


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