Archive for January 15th, 2008

Microsoft’s Computerised Shopping Cart

Hi Mike,

Quick question for you…how many times have you written a shopping list, taken it with you to the supermarket and walked around crossing items off as you get them from the shelf…and thought "Wouldn't it be nice if I didn't have to carry this bit of paper and instead could type a shopping list in Word and have it appear on my shopping trolley with a heap of advertising next to it"?

Let me guess…never?

And for this reason Microsoft have invented it…it's a solution that just needs a problem. And Microsoft will profit from the ads while we try and work out what problem they're solving.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart


Video Ads Are Planned for Grocery Carts
Jan 14, 8:00 AM (ET)


SEATTLE (AP) – Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT) is bringing digital advertising to the grocery cart. The software maker spent four years working with Plano, Texas-based MediaCart Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line.

Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company, last year for $6 billion shored up the company's capacity to serve video ads onto these grocery cart screens.

Starting in the second half of 2008, the companies plan to test MediaCart in Wakefern Food Corp.'s ShopRite supermarkets on the East Coast. Customers with a ShopRite loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the MediaCart console, the list will appear. As shoppers scan their items and place them in their cart, the console gives a running price tally and checks items off the shopping list.

The system also uses radio-frequency identification to sense where the shopper's cart is in the store. The RFID data can help ShopRite and food makers understand shopping patterns, and the technology can also be used to send certain advertisements to people at certain points – an ad for 50 cents off Oreos, for example, when a shopper enters the cookie aisle. Microsoft said it is still working on how it will present commercials and coupons.

Microsoft is also working with MediaCart and ShopRite to help advertisers reach potential consumers based on past grocery purchases, which are logged when they swipe their loyalty cards.

"This is not all necessarily about bombarding consumers, about targeting advertising," said Scott Ferris, general manager of Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group. "It's about also making the shopping experience better for the consumer."

Advertisers will get more feedback about which commercials or coupon offers are effective, because customers either buy the products or accept the offers on the spot, or they don't. But Ferris said neither Microsoft nor any advertisers will have access to the personal information consumers provide when they join the supermarket's loyalty card program.

January 15th, 2008 at 10:00pm

Returning To Normal

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you probably would have noticed a decline in the number of posts I have written over the last few weeks. There have been a few reasons for this including my desire to take a few weeks off from regular blogging.

I’m back on deck properly now and things should return to normal over the next few days. I will try to produce a couple episodes of Editorial Echoes per week, although one will be the limit this week, and the weekly poll returns on Sunday.

It seems funny to me that for months the “Create New Post” screen in the WordPress admin section was almost my most visited page on the Internet, and I’ve barely seen it over the last few weeks.

I have also done a tiny bit of housekeeping, removing the Samuel’s Persiflage portion of the sidebar and replacing it with a link to the Samuel’s Persiflage index page. I may place a shorter Editorial Echoes entry on the sidebar.

Also while I think of it, happy birthday to Tim for yesterday.


1 comment January 15th, 2008 at 10:59am

Those Intros

Yesterday during my rundown of the new 2UE schedule I spent three paragraphs talking about program intros. In one of those paragraphs I made my thoughts pretty clear about what I would like to see happen with a few intros:
1. Steve Price to continue using Hunters and Collectors’ “Holy Grail”.
2. It would be interesting to see what intro Tim Webster uses.
3. Stuart Bocking should get his own intro rather than using last year’s summer intro.

The results:
1. Steve Price gets a piece of production music, which is nowhere near as good as the catchy “Holy Grail”.
2. Tim Webster gets the very catchy Van Morrison song “Jackie Wilson Said” (whatever happened to Lawsie’s Cuckoo’s Nest…they should put together a new version of that song called “Timmy Webster Said”).
3. Stuart Bocking keeps using the same intro…I suppose that, seeing as nobody else is using it any more, it is technically his.

2CC also haven’t wasted any time, they already have a promo for “Weekdays on 2CC’ featuring Mike Jeffreys, Steve Price, Tim Webster and Mike Welsh in heavy rotation.

Courtesy of 2UE/Fairfax and 2CC/Capital Radio Network and for the purposes of archiving the beginning of the post-Laws era, here are the various intros and 2CC’s “Weekdays on 2CC” promo. Unless I can find my dodgy recording of the old Steve Price Drive Show intro on my digital notetaker, this will be the last 2UE and 2CC audio I post for a while.
Download MP3

I don’t know whether Steve Price’s 2UE intro and his network intro were both assigned to the network or they decided to double up on the voiceover for the fun of it, but it was like that each hour. Also worth noting is that unlike John Stanley’s show, Tim Webster’s 2UE intro is not being assigned to the network, which makes 2CC’s return from the news much cleaner. 2CC use the same intro for the afternoon show as 2UE except for the local voiceover…the two intros are rarely synchronised so it was always very obvious when John’s 2UE intro had been assigned to the network as the music changed quite oddly when 2CC jumped from their own intro to the network feed.

Both Steve Price and Tim Webster have short intros and don’t seem to have different “start of show” and “return from news” intros. Previously it was common for shows to have a longer intro at the beginning of the show and a shorter one as they returned from the news (although John Laws just played whatever intro he felt like).

Update: Five past ten, and a “More of the Steve Price morning show” intro…looks like tradition isn’t leaving after all. End Update

Stuart Bocking still has the differing intros, and unlike the Steve Price and Tim Webster intros, Stuart’s intro lingers, allowing him to slowly fade it out.

As for 2CC’s weekday promo, a very good job by Production. I should probably thank them for granting one of my Christmas wishes and updating the “open line” promo too.

I’m going to let Steve and Tim settle in for at least the rest of this week before I make further comment on their new shows. I’ve already made a few comments on their first day (although I have to admit that I slept through the last hour or so of Tim Webster’s show and only heard later that he has retained the “chat with the drive show host” segment at 2:55 and John Stanley was on there, I was surprised that 2CC didn’t run their usual “On this day” segment at that time, perhaps they don’t have the pre-recorded goodbyes from Tim Webster yet) and it is only fair that I give them some time to settle in properly before making any more comments.


January 15th, 2008 at 05:32am


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