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Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Google’s 10^100 Project

As Google turns 10 they celebrate with an attempt to make a difference.They have officially announced the launch of the Google Project 10^100, on the Google blog.

Here is what they have to say:

To mark our 10th birthday and celebrate the spirit of our users and the web, we’re launching Project 10^100 (that’s “ten to the hundredth”) a call for ideas that could help as many people as possible, and a program to bring the best of those ideas to life. CNN will be covering this project, including profiles of ideas and the people who submit them from around the world. For a deeper look, follow along at Impact Your World.

During the next three months, the Internet search company will solicit world-changing ideas from anyone, anywhere, no matter the size or scope and will reward the top five ideas with $10 million to see their projects come to life. Google will select the 100 best ideas before having the public vote for the top 20 semifinalists in late January. Five finalists will split the $10 million, which Google will give to them to help get their projects off the ground.

Watch the video:

The categories for entry seem to be primarily humanitarian aid innovations, including things like water solutions for rural villages in developing countries, and solutions for bringing wireless internet to disconnected rural areas.

If you have ideas that you feel can help make a difference to the world, now is your time to act.

John Roach
for National Geographic News

September 12, 2008

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.The first half of the inner tracker barrel for the Compact Muon Spectrometer, an experimental device at the Large Hadron Collider, is seen in an undated image. In addition to solving big mysteries of the universe, the massive atom smasher—which was "turned on" September 10, 2008—may help treat disease, improve the Internet, and open the door to faster-then-light travel, scientists say.
On Wednesday scientists cheered and champagne flowed as the first beam of protons lapped around the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground tunnel at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, was designed to solve big mysteries in science, such as the nature of dark matter and what the universe was like just after the big bang.
The massive machine could also lead to medical and technological advances, some experts argue.
Such potential breakthroughs are often an “ancillary benefit” of big science projects like the LHC, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and author at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Still, Krauss said, these benefits are a misguided way to justify building the atom smasher.
“It’s like trying to argue that manned space missions were useful for Tang,” he said, referring to the powdered drink mix popularized in U.S. households by NASA in the 1960s.
“Our job as scientists is to explain that these esoteric things [such as dark matter] are not completely unrelated to humanity,” he added. “Ultimately, we address the questions of how we got here and what we’re made of.”
Already Providing Benefits
In the months ahead, scientists will use the LHC to ramp up opposing proton beams to nearly light speed and smash particles together, breaking them into smaller components.
Monstrous detectors will pore through the detritus, helping scientists examine the conditions of the very early universe.
The computer network set up to process the mountains of data generated by each collision is already inspiring spin-offs, noted Andy Parker, a professor of high energy physics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, who helped design the grid system.
Parker is also involved with a Cambridge-based company that is using the grid technology, which links together thousands of computers, to better index images on the Internet.
Such a system determines the task to be done, the processing power required, checks for availability, sends the task out, gets it done, and ships it back to the scientist—all while the person sits at a desk.
“I don’t have to do anything to achieve [all] that,” Parker said.
Technologies developed for earlier atom smashers—such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider that booted up in New York in 2000 and the Fermilab Tevatron started in 1987 in Illinois—are today ingrained in mainstream society, Parker noted.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, for example, are common at most major hospitals to make images of the insides of patients’ bodies, often to look for cancerous tumors.
The technique stems from general studies of antimatter and the use of particle detectors, Parker said.
And more medical professionals are turning to proton beams similar to those used in the LHC to blast away tumors deep inside bodies.
“What you can do there is send a beam of protons into the patient, which does essentially no damage at all to the tissues on the way in,” Parker explained.
“All the damage is done at the point where the protons stop. And by tuning the energy of the protons, you can make them stop inside the tumor.”
As scientists working with the LHC learn to better focus and control proton beams, the improvements will likely trickle down to the medical profession, he added.
Faster Than Light
Future spin-offs from the LHC are less certain.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find out,” Parker said.
Though admittedly far-fetched, one sexy idea is that the LHC may find extra dimensions of space/time. If so, the discovery could open the door to technologies that allow people to travel faster than the speed of light.
In a sense, Parker explained, scientists may discover an ability to move chunks of space-time from one place to another through those extra dimensions, effectively bypassing the known laws of physics.
“If you went to the 23rd century and there were people flying around faster than the speed of light, you would say, What is it you found out that enabled you to do this?” Parker said.
“And the answer might be, It all started when we discovered there were these extra dimensions.”
Krauss, of Arizona State University, said that even without such advances, curiosity-driven research is fundamental to maintaining our current standard of living for generations into the future.
“It will help create innovation and enhance the economic future of our children in ways that we don’t know,” he said, adding that the chance to work with machines such as the LHC often attracts students to the sciences.
Krauss added that the big science questions being probed with the LHC are also personally relevant and practical for all members of society.
He explained that just as people are made of stardust, the origins of those particles in stardust stretch back to the beginning of the universe.
“If it all works out, you’ll get a better understanding of what you’re doing here,” he said. “And, to me, that is the greatest benefit of science.”

Intel today launched its ambitious “Connected Indians” movement at The Taj Palace, New Delhi.

connected indians

Check out www.connectedindians.com!

The Connected Indians movement aims to be the catalyst for delivering the power of the Internet into the hands of a billion Indians. Intel states that its success will hinge on spirited public and private participation.

Over the next few months, Intel will mobilize people, resources & infrastructure to facilitate Internet adoption across India.

Over time, this collaboration will help build partnerships between people, Industries and stakeholders via a complete and connected ecosystem to accelerate the growth of Internet and its benefits to the society.

The Connected Indian web site is an innovation in itself wherein users can click on an interactive map to locate their co-ordinates, and then post their voice for an Internet-enabled India. Not only that, they can utilize the in-built feature to invite more of their friends and peers from their web contact lists to add in more numbers.

There is also an India Speaks section that highlights different areas where Internet is making a huge difference in the way people, processes, industries & services in India are progressing with the power of the Internet.

Intel is following up this movement on-ground with specially-designed “Net Yatras” wherein it will showcase Internet’s benefits to Indians using interactive tools & techniques.

This is one movement that has been designed with a specific cause in mind and Intel promises that for every 10,000 Connected Indians who register, the movement will donate a PC to selected government schools in rural areas.

Now that’s what we call a spirited initiative!

Know more about the movement here.

Join the movement here.

Join the Connected Indians Orkut Community here.

Intel’s partners in this venture include google, HCL, Zenith, Edurite, MAIT, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Acer, Intex, Novatium, Wipro, Asus, CII, e-zone, lenovo, NIIT, Tata Communications, Croma, NASSCOM etc.

It will be interesting to see the kind of products & services Intel will introduce to take this step further & forward. Here’s wishing Intel all the best for the initiative & hoping that more & more brands take such steps towards better propagation and acceptance of technology!

Promotion alone doesn’t work

Of course, we all know that or at least claim to. A nielsen survey below is a good reference point.

052208blackshaw

According to the above data, if you really want to do word-of-mouth marketing well, you’re better off investing your attention on the boring stuff, like product performance, employee training, quality, and especially customer service.

Umm..do I hear dissent brewing…?

****UPDATE****

Guess the brands are listening in!

Product innovation back on the agenda at unilever

By Influx Insights – posted by Ed Cotton

At a time when product performance now trumps marketing spin, Unilever’s Chairman is looking for more product innovation from the giant multinational.

According to an interview in the Times of London.

“Michael Treschow thinks there is not enough “wow” at Unilever.

The Swedish chairman likes inventions, gadgets and new whizz-bang things. He has been in his job for a year and, after a shake-up and streamlining of the top team at the Anglo-Dutch food and soap company, he wants the men in white coats to work faster, creating an assembly line of new products.

The marketing is good, the selling is good, it’s the product line that needs attention, he says. “The single most important thing is that we speed up our innovation machine, which means that we bring more highly appreciated products to the consumer so that they say, ‘Wow, this is really something I would like to have’,” he says.”

Can we now expect increases in R&D spends as packaged goods companies go back in search of product performance and difference?

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  • Talk about guaranteed visibility!

    Prison Break is a popular TV show, and the makers recently ran an interesting campaign to promote it in New Zealand.

    Colenso BBDO, Auckland advertised prison break by placing special bars of soap in public restrooms all over new Zealand. On one side there was a key-imprint, and on the other the shows details.

    Prison_Break_soap1

    Prison_Break_soap2
    Photographer: Stephen Roke
    Creative Director: Steve Cochran
    Copywriter & Art Director team: Jonathan McMahon and Lisa Fedyszyn
    Agency Producer: Jo Kouvaris
    Account Director: Katrina Ingham
    Account Manager: Lucy Pilkington

    About MD

    Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.