Michael Bloomberg

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

A Super Bowl ad costs a lot of money, so you’d think that a presidential re-election campaign would have its optichannel game locked down for one. But news emerged on Jan. 31 that presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg trumped the commander-in-chief’s Super Bowl ad by buying up its related keywords in Google.

Google said it has seen a noticeable increase in activity on its vaunted Web-search in the two weeks since the company began one of the biggest search transformations in its history. People doing Web searches now see a big box of information and photos related to search queries such as sports teams (try typing “San Francisco Giants”), geography (try “Matterhorn”), attractions (try “Matterhorn Bobsleds”), celebrities (try “Pink”), and science (try “Jupiter” or “Einstein”) located prominently on the right of the search results page. Before the change, Google users might have seen relevant search ads, content boxes with information from …

Hurricane Irene menaced the Eastern seaboard, pounding tens of millions of Americans with wind, rain and floods—but largely sparing New York after an unprecedented shutdown of the largest U.S. city ahead of the massive storm. In New Jersey, the ocean surge and rainfall caused severe inland flooding. Gov. Chris Christie said damages there would total at least $1 billion and could reach "tens of billions of dollars." Virginia's governor called the blackout in his state its second-largest ever and warned that electricity might not be restored for a week.

A Democratic female reader in Brooklyn, who is African-American, says she got this mailer from Michael Bloomberg today. It's slightly different than the one Anna Sale of WNYC got her hands on.

According to sources, several dozen candidates have executed what Google calls "blasts" across its content network; in other words, display campaigns that run on thousands of sites at once, yet are hyper-locally-targeted. Though a handful candidates in the recent past have utilized the blast tactic, including Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the level of activity on the Google Display Network has ballooned tenfold versus 2008. Among the candidates ramping up their activity at the last minute are Michigan Representative John Dingell.

Many magazine publishers shifted their direct mail efforts to vouchers a long time ago, much to the chagrin of all the creatives — copywriter, designers, direct marketers, circulation consultants — previously involved. But vouchers worked. They cost much less to produce, and while response went down considerably, overall ROI improved for many.

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