Online Marketing – Call To Action & User Attention

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 31st, 2008
Mar 31

There was a video I showed on this blog the other week. It involved two basketball teams, and asked you to carefully watch and count the number of times the white team passed the ball. Once it was finished, it then asked if you’d noticed the moon-walking bear in the video.

Moon-walking bear??!!?? Of course I, and several other people I tried this with, had completely missed it. I replayed to video to be sure, and there it was – a moon-walking bear making his way through most of the entire scene.

One of the fundamentals of online design is that users will NOT read, see, or hear everything. And if you focus their attention on something specific, the most obvious things may be missed – even if they’re flashing red neon signs in 72 point text. That’s why when designing online, you should

  1. Repeat your message in several ways (banner, main point, menu item, secondary pages).
  2. Focus on the main message and keep the rest of the presentation simple and non-distracting.
  3. Be creative, be edgy – do something that breaks out from the crowd so the “see” your message.

I’ve known this for website design for a while. But now I realize it applies to copy (text content) as well. A user of Google Search who finds your site in their results, may think you are relevant to the exact words they typed in, even if your site specifically says you are not! A post in Search Marketing Standard blog by Kevin Gold has a great example.

Website Visitors Read Your Copy, Right? Wrong! After optimizing pay-per-click campaigns for the past seven years I now fully believe that visitors clicking from a paid search ad simply don’t read. Further, I question their skimming and scanning comprehension. I theorize that paid search visitors emotionally motivated by relevant ad copy plow into a landing page with tunnel-vision seeking only to take the offer …

The example he gives, is advertising a product on the Extreme Home Makeover show, getting tons of web traffic from it, and having over 25% of the visitors telling them why they should be on the show – it was a product advertisement, it had nothing to do with the show, and stated that fact at every step when these users were filling in their forms!



And another quarter of the respondents were small business owners seeking leads in the home makeover market – from a product advertiser!

Kevin’s summary says it well…

… Strong ad copy is great but watch for what you attract. And never assume that people are ever reading your copy, subheads or even skimming/scanning your page elements. Know your market, analyze and optimize.

Strong emotional ad copy can cause people to focus on just that, and ignore everything else, in any campaign, but with online is especially an issue to consider.

Seiko Shizukuishi Watch Studio

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 30th, 2008
Mar 30

This studio was mentioned in a post last week and a comment from Paul at Fnord, but since then I’ve visited their web site and looked around in more detail, and thought it deserved it’s own post.


This is the location where Seiko use master craftsmen and their apprentices to manufacture their higher-end watches. With the help of micro-tolerance machinery, 20 watchmakers produce approximately 15,000 mechanical Seiko watches every year.


When you click TOUR you get the cute cutaway schematic of the plant layout above.Many of the people icons will show a picture of that area of the plant when you mouse over. Several however show “click”, and for some when you do so (or you click their area in the upper left square), you are rewarded with a scrollable image (semi 3D look) of the room, or a small movie insert, or a full slide show plus of one of the plant’s master craftsmen.




This is the location where the premium Grand Seiko models are made (the oneexception is the Spring Drive models, which are made at a separate facility).


There’s quite a lot more to the site also. I would highly recommend it for anyone who owns or admires current high-end Seiko mechanical watches, or who just likes armchair tours of watch factories. I’d also recommend it to web designers – it’s an extremely interesting multi-media site … not the easiest to quick navigate, but definitely one of the better “explore and find neat stuff” sites I’ve been to for a long time.

Ugly Expensive Watches

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 29th, 2008
Mar 29

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m not a big fan of “busy” and “blinged up” watches. This is one of the other problems I have with many of the models in Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak line, or Hublot’s Big Bang line.

However, I realized I am remiss in mentioning one brand that to me most often epitomizes the “proudly ugly” concept of high-end watches, Ulysse Nardin. As an example, here’s their recently released Maxi Marine Chronograph.


Sure there are Rolex models and variations that can put this to shame, and there are other timepieces with so many gaudy diamonds you can’t see the time. But to me, UN are the one higher-end brand that most consistently create ugly watch models that they are proud of.

I’m sure it’s a personal thing and lots of people like this look. But then again many people like lots of heavy gold chains and big diamond rings when wearing a t-shirt and baggy pants. And both Britney Spears and Tony Soprano have a look that some people want to imitate as well. But…

This sort of watch say many things about you, but to me classy is not one of the words that comes to mind.

Other Recent Releases

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 28th, 2008
Mar 28

Here’s a mix of recent miscellaneous releases I’ve noted but that didn’t rank (for me) a separate post about.

TAG Heuer have released a new limited-edition (6,000 total, so not that limited) hand wound watch, the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1. It’s a re-casing of an existing movement, so nothing too exciting, but I like the looks. The half-moon subsidiary seconds dial, where you read the seconds based on which colored hand is passing by, is interesting but takes a bit to get used to, I still prefer the standard seconds dial arrangement.


As an example of a more traditional sub seconds dial, here is a picture from Ariel Adams of the recently released Bell & Ross Geneva 123 Watch. It still has that “instrument” like look from the large numerals and spare dial, without actually being yet another color variation of their Instrument line. I like this one.

Not that it’s a watch you would ever wear :-) but a new atomic clock has been developed using strontium atoms instead of cesium, allowing it to beat at 430,000,000,000,000 (430 trillion) cycles per second. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology…

… Using an ultra-stable laser to manipulate strontium atoms trapped in a “lattice” made of light, scientists at JILA have demonstrated the capability to produce the most precise “ticks” ever recorded in an optical atomic clock … The new strontium clock is among the best optical atomic clocks described to date in the published literature. It is currently less accurate overall than NIST’s mercury ion (charged atom) clock … <but> produces much stronger signals … the result is a frequency “ruler” with finer hash marks.


Ariel at ablogtoread has also written a couple of posts recently on watch brand Marcello C. It’s not one I had heard of before.

.. Marcello C has solidified itself as one of the top growing German watch makers. The prices are simply unbeatable for the quality. Marcello C’s secret likely has to do with the fact that its appeal has to be with its version of the classics, rather than innovative design. …

I mention the Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris, not for the watch itself, but for the sides of the case. Confused? The watch is technically interesting, with the tourbillon acting as the actual minute hand, but to me is somewhat ugly and certainly not very easy to accurately read the time. What’s interesting are the very detailed images of Paris etched on the sides of the case. Unfortunately the overall look reminds me of a cheap Chinese laser-engraved mass-produced item. It just won’t make my list.


Economist – Personal Privacy CAN Exist With National Security

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 27th, 2008
Mar 27

Past posts have touched on some of the Economist online debate series that are relevant to the world of online advertising. The proposition “Social Networking: does it bring positive change to education?” was answered YES. This was the third debate in a series entitled “Education”.


This initiative has proven both well-received (The American Society of Magazine Editors recently named The Economist Debate Series as a finalist in the “Interactive Feature” category) and popular – and has been continued.

Two of the three topics in the current debate series are finished, here are the results.


The second one was fairly close, obviously there are split feelings about technology having fulfilled it’s promise to simplify our lives.

The vote on the first was overwhelming however – a large online community obviously very strongly accepts that personal privacy IS still viable and feasible while maintaining national security. I think there are a few over-privileged and over-powerful people who would disagree (Bush, Cheney, and similar names come to mind), but then again, power corrupts. Although democracy remains the best alternative of the various government types that have been tried over the ages, it has it’s warts, and these people really show that.

The current debate (third in this series), is the proposition “by intervening to regulate business and financial risks, governments have made things worse.” This debate is not about government intervention in general, just on intervention in risk management, which is a very topical item considering the Bear Stearns situation and the US financing crisis. It’s not as related as past debates to my typical blog topics, but still may be of interest to you. It’s a close debate, currently running slightly to the YES side. Starting today you can read their final arguments, and results will be announced tomorrow, here.


N.O.A. Scyllis – Update

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 26th, 2008
Mar 26

Nicola Andreatta of NOA Watch was kind enough to provide me with some additional images of his Scyllis watch lineup, as part of the ramp-up to presenting this watch as BaselWorld.

There are 3 base colours of the Scyllis 480 SS. You’ve already seen the black dial with partial yellow bezel, referred to as the H2O model, in my earlier posts.


Joining this is the OCEAN model (white with partial blue bezel), and DECOMPRESSION (chocolate black with partial turquoise bezel). I really like the looks of all three … now I want them! :-)



They will be joined at Basel by a rose gold model as well. I have to admit, I like the three stainless steel versions better, but then I’ve never been a fan of gold diver’s watches.


Stay tuned for more updates on N.O.A. once BaselWorld opens.

US Veterans Watchmaking Training Program

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 25th, 2008
Mar 25

After lamenting the state of (actually, the lack of) watchmaking schools here in Canada, and being jealous of the support Rolex was giving to the watchmaking program at Oklahoma State University, I just read Jason Pitsch’s post at Professional Watches talking about another support program. This has a different twist though, and is why I want to mention it.

The War Veterans Watchmaker Initiative, in conjunction with the American Watch Guild, will be launching The Watchmaker and Technician Training Program for Disabled War Veterans and War Veterans …


Whoever was responsible for an initiative like that, thanks and appreciation, from both the position of supporting watchmaking certainly, but more importantly for creating another assistance program for US war veterans (and a useful one at that).

I’ve looked for more information, but can only find the initial post Jason refers to, from February 29th on National Jeweler Network. If anybody has more info, please let me know. (the person mentioned as the program head, Bob Filotei, is the same name as somebody in the management team of the San Diego Padres … I’m guessing it’s not the same person :-) )

Girard-Perregaux new releases

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 24th, 2008
Mar 24

The Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945″Off-Centered hour and minute” (released in advance of the SIHH 2008 show coming 7-12 April this year) has a different look, with 4 dials (time, seconds, date, and power reserve) set in an interesting arrangement.

Definitely a dress watch only (sapphire back held in place by screws, 30m water resistance), I find myself quite liking this latest addition to their 1945 line the more I see it. White gold and enamel dial.


Strangely enough (as I’m usually not a fan of the brand), another GP caught my attention this past month. The Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Pro boasts 1000 meters water resistance. Despite being a serious looking watch, I find the way they’ve designed the dial with it’s sub seconds hand and power reserve to be almost playful, which combined with the roughly textured dial surface elevates this watch beyond the many “me too” models that you can find.


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