Vol 1, #19, July 21, 2009
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July 21, 2009


Absolut Vodka launches mobile drink app
Open Text releases FirstCalss Mobile
Service offers insight into digital out-of-home campaigns
Webtrends Marketing Warehouse now available
Anti-spam group surveys consumer email behaviour
Latest security patches from McAfee
Volunteer Canada launches social networking tool
Aeroplan's eStore celebrates award wins
FUSE Marketing kicks of Q3 with staffing changes
New branding marks 10th anniversary for Suite 66
Online trading drives growth of discount brokerage firms

Absolut Vodka launches mobile drink app

Currently available as a free app for iPhone and iPodTouch users, Drinkspiration by ABSOLUT is a sophisticated new drink application combining the latest mobile technology with GPS, Twitter and Facebook. Drinkspiration by ABSOLUT, released by Absolute Vodka, is an interactive encyclopaedia of recipes that helps you find and share personalized drink recommendations based on spirit, taste, weather, time of day, bar vibe, sound volume, real-time drink trends and much more. A version created for Google Android will be unveiled at the Android Market later this summer.

“Have you ever found yourself in a bar without really knowing what to order? With Drinkspiration by ABSOLUT you'll never have this problem again. Drinkspiration is your best friend in the bar, giving you guidance, personalized recommendations and an all-encompassing gateway to the drink universe, right in the palm of your hand,” says Fredrick Tallroth, Senior Manager Interactive Marketing at The Absolut Company.

The Drinkspiration application features hundreds of vividly illustrated drink recipes to satisfy every drink preference. The user can browse recipes or get personalized and insightful drink recommendations based on personal taste, location or occasion. It also lets users share their location and real-time drink choices through Facebook and Twitter. Combined with GPS capabilities, a status update generated by the application could be “John is having a Bloody Mary in Buenos Aires”.

The mobile application also gives seamless integration with absolutdrinks.com. Sign up for an account and the drinks ordered in your mobile app automatically creates top lists in your profile. From absolutdrinks.com you can also download live personal top list badges to embed on your blog or homepage, always updated with your favorite drinks.

Finally, the application gives you a glimpse of the international nightlife scene. In the World Section you see what drinks are ordered in real time across the globe and the application automatically collects and highlights global drink trends and top lists - all made possible by GPS technology.

“We wanted to create the first interactive spirits application of its kind, combining top-of-the line mobile technology with social media interaction and user generated content,” says Tallroth.

Users are required to declare that they are of legal drinking age to access the application and may only share Drinkspiration by ABSOLUT content with others who are above legal drinking age. Top of Page

Open Text releases FirstClass Mobile

Open Text announced that FirstClass Mobile is now available as a free download from the App Store. FirstClass Mobile brings a broad range of rich features to the iPhone and iPod touch giving users access to their messaging and collaborative services from virtually anywhere.

“The FirstClass Mobile App reflects our focus on meeting the increasing demand for powerful mobile solutions from our customers,” says John Myers, Vice President and General Manager of Open Text's Communications Solutions Group. “With the FirstClass Mobile App we're able to give iPhone and iPod touch users a powerful communications solution that delivers a true mobile collaboration experience.”

Using FirstClass Mobile users can securely login to any FirstClass server from their iPhone or iPod touch to access items on their FirstClass Desktop including email, bookmarks and content from shared collaborative spaces. The FirstClass Mobile App takes advantage of revolutionary iPhone and iPod touch capabilities for playing and sharing sound and video files, and displaying and sending photos. In addition, customers using FirstClass Unified Communications can play voicemail messages (in MP3 format) from their mailbox on the device. iPhone users can also access their FirstClass calendars and contacts via the ActiveSync(R) support built in to FirstClass Sync Services.

The FirstClass Mobile App includes support for multiple languages, including US English, Canadian English, UK English, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese. Top of Page

Service offers insight into digital out-of-home campaigns

ADCENTRICITY, North America's largest aggregator for digital out-of-home (DOOH) media, announced that Verizon Wireless was the first advertising client to utilize Research Lite, a new extended service that includes pre-packaged and customized research studies to measure digital out-of-home campaigns in any North American market. With this turn-key solution, advertisers can take advantage of narrow focus campaign research around the medium and use it to gain deeper insight on the efficacy of the initiative or to evaluate campaign ROI, creative efficacy, consumer brand effect and sales impact.

Through a limited exclusive agreement with Peoplecount, a research firm and supplier of audited out-of-home circulation data, ADCENTRICITY can now offer comprehensive campaign insight for digital out-of-home through a research component that can be included within a campaign to gain a better understanding of a brand's individual initiative. This innovation is the first available packaged solution of its kind and will allow brands and agencies to easily and affordably (starting at $4,200) obtain detailed insight with defined criteria that are in-line with campaign objectives, including:

  • Demographics
  • Awareness/Notice
  • Acceptance
  • Advertising recall (aided/un-aided)
  • Sales uplift
  • Brand awareness
  • Top of mind awareness
  • Purchase intent

“Research and ROI metrics are an essential element in any medium to garner widespread market adoption, especially in emerging mediums such as digital out-of-home,” says Rob Gorrie, CEO of ADCENTRICITY. “By offering an affordable service, we provide a certain level of accountability to the medium and an ROI solution that has traditionally been a challenge for advertisers to activate measures. We believe Research Lite will be a key service in driving the medium forward and getting brands comfortable with leveraging the true capabilities of DOOH in their campaigns.”

Digital out-of-home media through research studies has been proven to be a very effective advertising vehicle for both brand advertising and retail efforts. A recent campaign actioned by ADCENTRICITY for Samsung (wireless) resulted in a 49 per cent increase in un-aided brand awareness. Other research has shown up to a 107 per cent increase in same store annual carbonated soft drink sales due to digital out-of-home advertising, 55 per cent brand recall and 90 per cent positive impact on shopping experiences. Top of Page

WebTrends Marketing Warehouse now available

Webtrends has announced the availability of the Webtrends Marketing Warehouse On Premise product. Webtrends Marketing Warehouse serves as a storage and analysis hub for all customer data allowing a company's marketing, analysts and business intelligence developers to work together in the ultimate pursuit to mine understanding and insight from numbers to drive action. Marketing Warehouse On Premise also integrates seamlessly with traditional enterprise data warehouses to provide a tailored solution that meets enterprise-wide business needs.

The new Webtrends Marketing Warehouse allows customers to:

  • Enrich all customer data with segmentation and score information
  • Gain valuable insight through data analysis of segments and visitor behavior
  • Easy integration with an existing customer's enterprise data warehouse and marketing applications such as email and CRM, to help drive action across individuals

“Webtrends Marketing Warehouse is unique to the marketplace as it provides insight into individual visitor behaviors over time to drive more effective marketing efforts. This in turn drives revenue,” says Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, vice president, marketing, Webtrends. “We are seeing strong adoption of Marketing Warehouse across industries that collect sensitive information and require deep control of that data, such as financial services, insurance and healthcare.”

When used as a data hub, Marketing Warehouse provides the data capture, enrichment and integration capabilities of the data mart, along with unparalleled data analysis and warehousing capabilities. Built-in tools and add-on components result in the ability to analyze and segment online data through:

Webtrends Explore. This built-in data exploration tool lets you drill into a specific customer segment by campaign, content, product and conversion event to get a better understanding of customer preferences.

Webtrends Score. The industry's only patented solution for quantifying visitor behavior lets you precisely segment and target your most valuable customers.

From an organization's marketers to data analysts, all rely on the data generated by website visitors and customers to make actionable business decisions and the data warehouse needs to serve them and their divergent needs. Top of Page

Anti-spam group surveys consumer email behaviour

Everyone asks, “who would be so reckless as to click on this junk?” but almost a third of consumers admitted to responding to a message they suspected might be spam, according to a survey released today by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). Also alarming, about 80 per cent of users doubted their computers were at risk of ever being infected with a ‘bot,’ which is a covertly planted virus capable of sending spam or causing other damage without the owner's knowledge.

The results indicate a lack of awareness among consumers since industry reports indicate bots are responsible for generating much of today’s illegitimate email. MAAWG commissioned the study, “A Look at Consumers' Awareness of Email Security and Practices,” to gauge users' understanding of messaging threats and to identify how best to work with users in removing bots and viruses from infected systems. The report is based on 800 interviews with computer users in the United States and Canada who said they were not ‘security experts’ and who used email addresses that were not managed by a professional IT department.

The survey data creates a picture of users familiar with general email-based threats but not necessarily as alert or cautious as they should be to proactively protect themselves against spam, online fraud and other email-related hazards. There also is no general consensus among consumers as to how network operators and industry vendors should interact with customers when addressing these issues.

“Spamming has morphed from an isolated hacker playing with some code into a well-developed underground economy that feeds off reputable users’ machines to avoid detection. Consumers shouldn’t be afraid to use email, but they need to be computer smart and learn how to avoid these problems” says MAAWG Chair Michael O'Reirdan.

About two-thirds of the consumers surveyed considered themselves ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ knowledgeable in Internet security. While most consumers use anti-virus software and over half said they never click on suspected spam, the survey also found that 21 per cent take no action to prevent abusive messages from entering their inbox. A majority of consumers, 63 per cent, would allow their network operator or anti-virus vendor to remotely access their computer to remove detected bots.

This is the first consumer survey commissioned by MAAWG, which is the largest global trade association tackling messaging abuse. Bots are one of the fastest growing email security issues. Top of Page

Latest security patches from McAfee

Last Tuesday Microsoft released six security bulletins that cover a total of nine vulnerabilities. Two of the bulletins address vulnerabilities that are already been exploited in cyberattacks. These are the fixes for Microsoft's DirectShow streaming media technology (MS09-028) and the Microsoft Video ActiveX Control (MS09-032).

“Despite today’s fixes, Windows users continue to under attack. McAfee Avert Labs has recently seen new attacks that exploit the unpatched Office Web Components vulnerability,” says Dave Marcus, McAfee Avert Labs director of security research and communications. “The attacks involve booby trapped web sites that load malicious code onto a vulnerable computer. The compromised PCs are commandeered and join a botnet, a network of hijacked computers.”

Of the six bulletins, three are rated critical by Microsoft, the company's highest risk rating. Three are deemed important, one notch lower on Microsoft's severity scale, and one is tagged moderate risk.

Many of the vulnerabilities addressed by the fixes could be exploited if a Windows user simply visits a malicious Web site or opens a rigged Office document, favorite attack methods among cybercriminals.

“Today's Microsoft patches once again underline the risk of using the Internet unprotected,” says Marcus. “Criminals today rely on the web and e-mail to deliver malicious software.”

Top of Page

Volunteer Canada launches social networking tool

Volunteer Canada is launching an online mechanism that will bring together Canada's nonprofits and businesses to explore and further promote the practice of employer-supported volunteerism.

Entitled the Centre for Excellence in Corporate Community Involvement, businesses and non-profits from across the country are joining the nationwide membership of Volunteer Canada in an effort to better communicate and work together in partnership as they exchange ideas, best practices, tools and resources. This process will be facilitated by an innovative social networking tool hosted at corporatevolunteering.ca.

“This online tool will build upon a solid foundation of corporations that have already engaged their employees to give back to their communities,” says Ruth MacKenzie, president of Volunteer Canada. “Through partnership and communication, we will ensure that this engagement meets the needs of non-profit organizations across the country.” Top of Page

Aeroplan's eStore celebrates award wins

In addition to celebrating its first anniversary this month, Aeroplan’s eStore has received the runner up award for Best New Publisher of the Year as part of the Golden Link Awards competition by LinkShare, a leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Search Marketing, Lead Generation and Affiliate Marketing.

The runner up award by LinkShare comes right on the heels of another major award in outstanding sales performance when the eStore achieved the status of “CJ Performer” from the Commission Junction affiliate network earlier this year.

Launched in June 2008, the eStore offers Aeroplan Members an opportunity to EARN Aeroplan Miles by shopping online through the Aeroplan eStore. The eStore features over 160 retailers such as Apple Store Canada, Chapters.Indigo, Dell Canada & Land’s End as well car and hotel partners such as Avis, Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Marriott. Members can find special offers on a weekly basis from over 12 different product categories.

Shopping online through Aeroplan eStore can earn members up to three Aeroplan Miles for every $1 spent (depending on the retailer offer); even double that if they pay with one of the Aeroplan affiliated financial cards. For example, a member can earn 1,400 Aeroplan Miles purchasing an Apple MacBook Pro laptop and if they use their Aeroplan affiliated credit card, they would earn an additional mile per every dollar spent (that’s a total of 2,800 Miles).

Aeroplan continually evolves its lineup of accumulation partners that members can earn miles with. For example, members can now earn miles when they enroll in natural gas and electricity contracts with Direct Energy. Depending on the energy products they purchase, members may be entitled to earn anywhere from 2,500 - 10,000 miles upon registering for a multi-year contract. Aeroplan also recently expanded its travel partners with the addition of TAM Airlines of Brazil. Aeroplan Members can accumulate Aeroplan Miles for travel with TAM, bringing the total number of airline partners to 32. Top of Page

FUSE Marketing kicks off Q3 with staffing changes

Toronto-based   FUSE Marketing Group Inc. has hired Stacey Mores as account manager and has announced five significant promotions.  This announcement follows the hire of new group account director, Ken Blakeley, in June.  Blakeley assumed leadership of the agency’s consumer packaged goods/retail team including Tetley and Canadian Tire, both flagship accounts since 2003.  Mores, with her strong retail expertise, complements this significant account group .  Underscoring the agency’s additions and promotions is FUSE’s successful first half of the year.  In January, the firm was named one of the Top 50 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada; recently, it was awarded the CRM business from Mercedes-Benz Canada, and named pro-bono marketing agency for the True Patriot Love business.

Mores joins FUSE with an extensive background in retail consumer goods marketing having worked on key brands including Maple Leaf Foods, Kao Brands, Sarah Lee, Warnaco and Blue Notes.  She will parlay her experience on the agency’s Tetley and True Patriot Love accounts.

“We’re excited to have Stacey join the team and are also pleased to reward the success achieved by Drew, Devon, Sari, Katherine, and Janna by promoting them to more senior roles,” says Stephen Brown, senior vice-president, general manager, FUSE Marketing Group.  “We look forward to driving the brands and businesses entrusted to us by leveraging our team’s insights and our resources.  It’s been a great year-to-date particularly given the market, and we hope to continue the momentum,” he adds.

In addition to the expanding consumer group led by Blakeley, the agency’s retail business is growing.  Drew Campbell, originally starting as a field manager for FUSE’s Nascar experiential program for Canadian Tire, has been promoted to account executive after two years with the agency.  He also works on the SCJ and Filogix businesses. 

Katharine Parkin, who joined the agency’s experiential team in 2007, has been promoted to account executive.  She manages brand activation programs for key accounts including Rogers, Interac, Tetley Canada and Canadian Tire.  Devon Gillis, who joined the agency as an account coordinator two years ago, has been promoted to account manager on the Canadian Tire, SCJ and True North accounts.  Promoted to account manager is Sari Waldman, who joined FUSE in 2006.  Sari works on the Mercedes-Benz Canada, CIBC and Kinark businesses.  

Other areas of the agency have also seen significant achievement.  FUSE veteran, Janna Emes has been promoted from project accounting manager to financial analyst.  She joined the agency five years ago as a coordinator.  Top of Page

New branding marks 10th anniversary for Suite 66

Suite 66 is proud to announce its 10th anniversary in online media sales. In recognition of this achievement Suite 66 has created a new logo and launched a new website.

Over its’ ten year history the company has grown significantly from the early years when it was known as Rydium Inc and operated as an online technology and gaming ad network. Today Suite 66 represents many well known branded sites while still managing a large performance network.

The new logo and website reflect the enhanced capabilities of Suite 66. The company hasexpanded its roster of sites in Canada and the United States to provide advertisers with compelling solutions for their online media campaigns. For both the advertisers we serve and the publishers we represent Suite 66 maintains the highest quality of customer service. As the world of online media evolves and changes, Suite 66 will continue to be in the forefront of these changes to better serve the needs of all its’ customers.

Suite 66 works with a number of notable website publishers including AutomobileMag.com, CasaGuru.com, DigitalHome.ca, FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, InternetAutoGuide.com, Motortrend.com, Politico.com, RachaelRay.com, RecipeZaar.com, SourceForge.net, Stylehive.com, Trucktrend.com and 4kidstv.com. Top of Page

Online trading drives growth of discount brokerages

Discount brokerage firms in Canada have experienced a considerable increase in new customers during the past year, largely due to low rates, new product offerings and efficient online trading, according to the inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Canadian Discount Brokerage Investor Satisfaction Study.

The study finds that advanced internet technology and online trading, which make transactions almost instant and more secure, are helping to draw in these investors. Top of Page