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AOL Instant Messenger RIP

9 Oct

After 20 years on the market, AOL will discontinue AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) as of December 15, 2017. To that, we  say, AOL Instant Messenger RIP. Rest in Peace.

AOL Instant Messenger RIP. After 20 years, AIM is being shut down on December 15, 2017. There is too much newer technology for it to compete successfully.

Why is AIM being eliminated? One big reason is the growth of chat and other messaging services. As a result, AIM is obsolete. Today, many companies also offer online chat for shoppers.  For example, see this post. Using Live Chat Software to Enhance the Online Experience.

 

The Hey Day of AIM

In looking back at 1997, keep these factors in mind. The Internet was in its infancy. E-mail was emerging. There was no chat software. People connected with modems, not through broadband. The opportunity for the new service of “instant messaging” was enormous. Enter AIM.

As Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch:

“Initially, the chat experience was built into AOL desktop. AIM launched as a standalone app in 1997. Its iconic Away Messages were the ancestor to modern tweets and status updates. It battled for supremacy with ICQ and messengers from Yahoo and Microsoft MSN.”

And these are Scott Neuman’s observations for NPR:

“For many of us, AIM conjures up memories of dial-up modems, the sound of a ‘handshake’, and the phrase ‘You’ve Got Mail.’ ‘AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,’ says Michael Albers, of  Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon that bought AOL.”

At its peak in 2001, AIM attracted 100 million subscribers. In 2017 terms, that number may seem small. Think Facebook. But in 2001, this figure was huge. And as late as 2006, AIM accounted for a 52 percent market share for instant messaging market in the United States.

Nostalgic? Watch this YouTube video.

 

 

AOL Instant Messenger RIP

In sum, Neuman notes:

“Eventually text messaging, Google’s GChat, and Facebook took over. At the same time, AIM never fully figured out the shift to mobile. That led to AOL’s fall from grace, going from being valued at $224 billion in today’s money to $4.4 billion when sold to Verizon in 2015. For context on the business AOL let slip away, WhatsApp sold that same year to Facebook for more than $19 billion.”

How low has AIM fallen? As Rani Molli reports for Recode“As of August 2017, AIM had about 500,000 unique monthly visitors in the U.S., according to data from measurement company comScore. That doesn’t tell us exactly how many users AIM has, but it gives us a good idea of its audience.”

 

 

Revitalizing Toyota Camry’s Image

14 Sep

The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling non-pickup truck brand in the United States for several years. Nonetheless, the brand’s image has been been rather “vanilla.” It’s trying now to change that.

As Edmunds reported:

“Toyota pulled the wraps off the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Though sedan sales have lost ground to crossovers in recent years, any manufacturer would be thrilled to offer a vehicle in its lineup that could emulate the Camry’s perennially robust sales performance. So, yes, the debut of new Camry is a big deal.”

“With that said, the Camry has a reputation of being plain vanilla (we’ll only point out that vanilla is far and away the most popular flavor of ice cream). The 2018 model apparently aims to reverse that perception. The SE and XSE trim levels represent what is easily the boldest Camry yet, with a hint of rear fender bulge, well-considered proportions, and a confident face. Entry-level LE and XLE models are more subdued, save for an imposing grille. Sure, the new Camry’s various creases on the hood and the flanks are a bit fussy, but the new car’s attitude is undeniable.”

“Beyond the striking new styling, Toyota promises that the new car is significantly more driver-focused, offering superior driving dynamics. Engineers point to its lower roof and seating position, both of which drop an inch compared to the current model to help lower its center of gravity. A 1.5-inch-lower hoodline is said to improve outward visibility in the bargain, so it won’t feel as if you’re sitting in bathtub.”

 

 

In addition to revamping the Camry for 2018, Toyota is updating its advertising strategy on social media and for TV — including the use of emojis.

Acording to E.J. Schultz, writing for Advertising Age:

“Twitter introduced emoji targeting last year, allowing advertisers to steer ads to people that have recently tweeted emojis or engaged with other emoji-laden tweets to determine a person’s interests and mood. Toyota’s campaign shows a huge array of videos featuring Camry drivers with emojis as heads. For instance, a person who recently tweeted a smiley face icon could be targeted with a promoted tweet. The campaign also includes more traditional elements, like TV ads. The spots pair music with music-like sounds coming from the Camry, such as an engine revving.”

 

 

 

 

ESPN: Hopping on the Taylor Swift Bandwagon

1 Sep

Taylor Swift caused a social media sensation when she released her controversial new music video “Look What You Made Me Do.” At just one site, there were 112 million views in the first four days after the full video’s release.
 
 

 

Marketers have quickly chimed in with videos related to the song. For example, ESPN has been running a commercial promoting tomorrow night’s big Alabama-Florida State football game. Interestingly, as of the time of this post, the video of the ad has only garnered 23,000 views at YouTube.

 

 

A Clever Ad: Coke and Recycling

17 Aug

In Great Britain, Coca-Cola has been running an entertaining and clever commercial to encourage recycling. Below are two videos: one that shows the commercial itself and another that describes the making of the ad.

As reported by Alexandra Jardine for Advertising Age:

“Coca-Cola Great Britain is encouraging people to think more about recycling with an animated film, portraying a love story between a plastic Coke and Fanta bottle, that is crafted entirely out of recyclable packaging. The set for ‘Love Story,’ by Ogilvy & Mather Berlin, was created by Berlin-based duo Cris Wiegandt and Lacy Barry who used more than 1,500 Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater, and Honest bottles and cans during production. In the story, the two plastic bottles banter about their romance, and how they kept giving another a ‘second chance’ after being recycled again and again.”

 

 

 

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