The Financial Times is giving power to the people, well, to City types who visit its website at least. It's launching a new forums feature on its financial blog, Alphaville. The feature, called the Long Room, enables financial professionals to establish their own debates, comment on existing conversations and upload documents, video and images to the site. No doubt the current financial meltdown will turn up the temperature on those discussions.
Argumental on Dave
There's no doubting that UKTV's "home of witty banter" has been a success since its relaunch last year, but now Dave is upping the ante with an original panel show commission that wouldn't look out of place on BBC2. The format, which sees two competing teams putting opposite sides of an argument (in stand-up comedy routine style), worked really well for the first show, which featured the talents of Dara OBriain and Marcus Brigstocke. John Sergeant is a bit of an offbeat choice as its host, but works in an odd, old uncle sort of a way.
Guinness ads on Football Weekly
We're big fans of The Guardian's weekly football podcast (more often than not it even comes out twice a week with an "extra" edition), but we've been surprised that it hasn't commanded greater commercial backing from advertisers. Guinness is now running ads on the podcast linked to its current film promotion and we think it achieves real standout alongside strong editorial product, which is presented by the football pundit James Richardson, backed by various Guardian football writers.
IPC Media acquired this free games website back in June and has been working on a new look for it since then. The results are excellent and include a redesigned homepage, quicker page loads and an improved search mechanism for finding games. More importantly, the new site comes complete with new ad formats, including greater use of online video while users pause games. We now have a serious excuse for playing Racehorse Tycoon and Jumpers for Goalposts at work.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
Quantum of Solace overkill
We're quite partial to a bit of Bond and can't wait to see the Quantum of Solace film but surely the brand clutter around being associated with the world's favourite spy has gone too far? Television ad breaks packed with Bond are taking a bit of the exclusivity and gloss off this great launch, as are the ponderous press competition tie-ups with the likes of Barclaycard. We know product placement and the associated advertising around it is exciting, but advertisers should be wary of overkill.