That’s true, except I’m pretty sure it’s not

Microsoft says display ads perform better than search ads. I’m fairly certain that the balance of power has shifted to the point where search ads have a higher click rate – and more to the point brings in a higher quality of user to the advertised site. But Microsoft needs to push this narrative to strengthen their own position, which is more heavily weighted to display than to search, where Google and then Yahoo dominate, though the latter also has more display power.

A brief moment in the sun

Todd McCarthy on why, for a couple weeks in September, professional movie critics mattered once again.

What McCarthy doesn’t get around to mentioning, though, is that the definition of “professional critic” has changed in a way that can’t really be undone. He seems to be talking about journalists who work for a major media publication. But what about Karina? She’s a critic but she writes for SpoutBlog. What about the dozens of other writers whose primary outlet is a dynamically updated self-published website? They’re critics – they have large audiences, they’re being accredited like traditional media critics and their opinions certainly matter.

McCarthy is right to an extent – the festival season is when traditional movie critics come back to the forefront as they bring attention to worthwhile new films appearing at Telluride, Toronto and elsewhere. But it’s the buzz around the movies that rings throughout the rest of the online world, powered by the self-publishing writers, that sustains them.

Unfortunately many of the films that don’t receive the buzz breakthrough will linger on the festival circuit without finding a buyer and have to explore other options. The slowdown in the film-buying market is coming after a year or so of stories about the glut of films in the pipeline and the problems those movies are having finding an audience.

Missing the cross

It’s great that people feel comfortable and sociable at megachurches, but they’re sort of missing the point. You can be sociable at a coffee house. But the role of Christian churches is to preach the truth of Christ crucified for our sins. If that’s missing then people’s belief is more or less empty, turning to a figure that’s more well-intentioned good guy and not someone who saves us from being dead in our sin were it not for his intervention and sacrifce.

New trade group brings together marketing execs

There’s a new trade group of entertainment marketing professionals that’s been started: The Association of Entertainment Marketing Agencies.

The group consists of two dozen specialty marketing/ad/publicity shops that offer advertising and marketing services to movie studios and TV networks. One of the main objectives of the group will be a set of creative standards for material that’s produced.

AEMA is the second such trade group, coming after the Entertainment Resources and Marketing Association, which began in 1991.

DVD Review: The Foot Fist Way

Let me start off by saying this: The Foot Fist Way is a lot funnier than its marketing campaign made it out to be.

The primary source of the comedy in the movie comes from the fact that no one is acting like they’re in a comedy. Everyone plays it completely straight and the performances actually have more in common with a drama than anything else. In fact it would only take a small tweak to everyone’s take on their characters to turn this into that potential drama. That means no one is over-playing how ridiculous their characters are but instead let the humor naturally flow from the ridiculous situations they find themselves in.

Danny McBride stars as the head of a Tae Kwon Do studio who fancies himself as some sort of noble master. His ego is completely outsized to what he actually does. All the insane goings on inside the studio, whether its his interactions with his students or something happening in his personal life, are completely deflated by the occasional shots of the exterior, which positions the studio in the middle of a bland, generic strip-mall.

The movie follows McBride’s character through some tumultuous times in his life. He’s having problems with his way-too-hot-for-him wife and finds himself pursuing a chance to meet his professional idol, a meeting that winds up not turning out how he expected it to on a number of levels. It’s never out and out funny in an obvious way, but the humor comes unexpectedly and, in most case, awkwardly as you watch a collection of relative idiots bumble their way through their lives trying to be bigger than they really are.