Now that’s an ad!

adobe-dictionaryToday I was beginning to think of new names for a different business venture I’m considering. I typically go to dictionary.com then use the thesaurus. Of course I could always go to thesaurus.com but spelling dictionary is just that much easier. Based on Google Trends it would appear I’m not the only one who feels this way. Having been to the site just a day or two ago I was stunned for a moment when I was presented with their new home page. Then I realized it was in fact an ad for Adobe.

dictionary.com vs. thesaurus.com

dictionary.com vs. thesaurus.com

Naturally seeing somethings of this magnitude I clicked the link but was a little disappointed to find it was for CS4 Design Standard – Student Edition. It sucks for someone who’s not a student (like myself) but the point of this post was actually to analyze the placement & ad itself.

The colors and layout of the page are wonderful and consistent with the Adobe brand. It’s consistent throughout the entire process (the landing page on Adobe has it as well) and the use of pulchritudinous in the ad copy was brilliant. I definitely had to type that in to see what it was. Overall the ad was well executed but page design lacked a little common sense. On a 1024×768 screen resolution there’s horizontal scrolling and the ad itself is almost below the fold. It’s interesting though to see this kind of “takeover” on a page that gets well over 100,000 daily unique visitors. I wonder if we’ll see more of this tactic from Adobe and other advertisers in the near future? Who do you think will be next running a takeover page like this?

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A touch of Apache power

Recently I had a client that we had come up with an amazing domain name to help promote his local Extreme Pita franchise. The goal was to attract more schools & businesses as regular catering clients. The domain, we thought was clever and simply was extremepitacatering.com – to the point, and key word rich.

Well unfortunately head office didn’t think so. Honestly, it’s not my fault they didn’t register it in the first place. Apparently the franchisee can utilize the Extreme Pita name in their domain, but not other terms. We’re still not clear on this, but honestly don’t want to hold up additional actions around it either. So since the location is in North East Calgary, the decision was to make it simple and still relevant so we opted for extremepitane.com – in fact it’s even shorter, so good for a Twitter world.

The issue came about though in trying to figure out the fastest, easiest way to get the domains redirected without having to copy over code and not losing any (though minimal) search results. A nice Google search for .htaccess forward domain generated a nice lead on a forum. I read through the results and came up with the following solution.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} extremepitacatering.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://extremepitane.com/$1 [R=301,L]

It was so quick and simple and nice to do. Something I’ve never had the experience of doing on a Windows machine. The pure power of Apache is definitely something I won’t sacrifice for clients. Utilizing the power of mod_rewrite is even better, but that’s for another post. BTW, if you’re hungry, go visit Dan at extremepitane.com and tell him we sent you.

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Text ad serving without scripts

So I’ve just been tasked with developing a quick application to serve some text ads to a third-party website. The catch is that this third-party site has nothing available. No PHP. No CFM. No ASP. No JavaScript allowed. So now what’s a guy to do? Well the search is definitely on. I’ll be developing the application on a platform of PHP & MySQL…this is the easy part. The challenging part now is to serve it and I’m not seeing a lot of viable options.

Option 1: Use an IFRAME. Not my preferred choice but perhaps the only real viable option. The IFRAME can contain a JavaScript snippet to resize the opening as required to accommodate the text, and of course the page will also display the text and style the IFRAME. A challenging implementation, but definitely a solution.

Option 2: Use an image and dynamically create the text ad as an image. The issue with this comes around the fact that the text will not be selectable and more importantly font styles and formats may not match. It violates aspects of CSS.

Option 3: Simply have the client place the text and links on their own to the website and just use an outbound tracking link that will record the hit. No way to track impressions, just outbound clicks. This option just came to me and a hybrid of this option and option 2 might work with creating a transparent 1×1 GIF and having it record the impression. The only issue doing it this way is there is NO control over deployment, expiration or randomization.

Option 4: Screw it. Tell the client there’s no way it will happen!

OK, so those four options (with number 3 coming after 4 in all honesty) are my plausible solutions. What are your thoughts? Oh, and I only have a 24 hour time frame to get this done as well…I knew there was something I forgot to mention! Thanks in advance.

1 Comment | Filed under Code Development, Searches