Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or thrill the world?



(Thrill the World, San Francisco)

Trick or Thrill?

Earlier this year, Michael Jackson released Thriller 25, a 25th Anniversary reissue of the world's best selling album Thriller. Maybe Jackson needed to increase album sales to refinance Neverland Ranch, but this week his album inspired Thrill The World, the world's largest reenactment of the Thriller dance.

A few days ago, over 4,000 fans from ten different countries participated in Thrill the World, which broke the existing Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous participants of Thriller. From discussions on national radio shows to Thriller dance videos featured on ESPN, Thrill the World created substantial free PR for Jackson and the commemorative album.

The abundance of free press highlights the importance of adding planned shock to future marketing campaigns. News outlets are constantly searching for timely stories that are unique and unprecedented. Thrill the World's timely occurrence during the week of Halloween and it's attempt to break a world record, created an event that was worth discussing and sharing.

In our participatory culture, marketing campaigns that encourage interaction and shockingly inspire diverse audiences will be the successful campaigns of tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

5 More Friends



The creators of 5 Friends just released another film highlighting the importance of voting. Unlike the original 5 Friends PSA that did not feature unknown people, the new PSA combines everyday civilians with A-list celebrities. The combination creates awareness for voter registration while reiterating the importance of civic responsibility.




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Add History


(Apple Computer's Think Different Commercial)


"History teaches everything including the future."
-Lamartine


When you are creating your next marketing campaign, don't be afraid to incorporate historical elements to resonate with your target audience. Incorporating a familiar reference increases likability and engagement in the promoted product or service. Although the historical figure's achievements may directly relate to your product or service, consumers will identify their revered accomplishments with your brand.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Faces


(John Furrier by Tiner)


(Darren Rowse by Tiner)


(Amanda Congdon by Tiner)



Tweet Tweet

Is Twitter a viable social media?

Today, Simon Dumenco of Ad Age Magazine critiques Twitter, a micro blogging site. In "Twitter, R.I.P.? Or Is There Gold Buried in Them Thar Tweets?," Dumenco criticizes the website for not having a revenue plan and accuses journalists of tweeting inappropriate media events.

According to Dumenco,

"lot of media people have been drinking the Twitter Kool-Aid. ... I'm seeing a lot of really smart writers and thinkers devoting way too much time to Twittering -- and to me it's akin to convincing yourself that constant gum chewing is as good as preparing, or consuming, a gourmet meal. Either way, though, I continue to maintain that Twitter is, for the most part, an unnecessary distraction in an already information-overloaded age."

Dumenco highlights a Rocky Mountain News journalist's coverage of a child's funeral on Twitter as the main defense to his argument. With over 3 million unique visitors to Twitter last month, is this the best example Dumenco could find? If you are searching for a bad stalk of corn in a large field, there is no doubt you will find at least one exposed kernel.

Although covering a funeral may be unsuitable for a micro blogging site, Dumenco neglects the established reporters who use Twitter as a legitimate platform to report and connect with people affected by the news. From CNN's Rick Sanchez reaching out to people affected by Hurricane Ike and providing live updates of relief efforts to The New York Times streaming election updates, established new sources use Twitter to effectively reach out and interact with the general public.

In Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital, Robert Putnam addresses the decline of "social capital" since 1950. He highlights ways in which "Americans have disengaged from political involvement including decreased voter turnout, public meeting attendance, serving on committees and working with political parties." Although real life interactions are less common, Twitter has replaced the town hall with the constant stream of public sentiment. Instead of Bowling Alone, Americans are now Twittering together and interacting an array of topics from the presidential election to debating local propositions.

Furthermore Dumenco, critiques Twitter's nonexistent revenue model. Although Twitter is currently not generating a revenue stream, it's only a matter of time. Since last year, Twitter's traffic has increased over 500% and is on track to average 4 million unique monthly visitors by the end of the year.


(10/28/08 Compete Screenshot of Twitter's Traffic)

Without a single banner advertisement streamed across Twitter, it's only a matter of time before one is displayed. If Perez Hilton can earn $54,000 a day by displaying banner advertisements to his 1.5 monthly unique visitors, how much money will Twitter earn with its current user base?

From a marketing perspective, Twitter continues to be a valuable entity to brands. Unlike other social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace that encourage interaction when a user updates a profile with new information, Twitter encourages regular interaction through constantly streaming updates. Brands are able to establish advocates as Twitteers are more inclinded to click promoted links and burnout is less common as users expect regular updates or tweets.




Monday, October 27, 2008

Market Like A Rock Star


(gh4 Commercial)

The weekend is over, but that doesn't mean we have to stop rockin' out.

Few people can skateboard like Tony Hawk, hit a baseball like Alex Rodriguez, swim like Michael Pelps or dunk like Kobe Bryant, but everyone can rock out to Guitar Hero 4. Instead of highlighting each athlete's talent, Guitar Hero 4's latest commercial juxtaposes celebrity likability with Tom Cruise's classic dance scene from Risky Business.

The film's short 30 second length conveys the point without getting redundant. Since the commercial was posted on YouTube last Friday, it has already received over 750,000 views. The short length keeps the audience engaged and encourages repeat views. 

When you're creating your next marketing material, have fun and don't be afraid to raise the imaginative volume. You can highlight the obvious or you can creatively engage the viewer and market like a rock star.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treactivity

How do you engage loyal consumers?

Do you make them feel exclusive and part of an unique group?

When they are engaged, how do you reward them?

Instead of imitating other marketers and sending a FaceBook or MySpace invitation to promote a Halloween party, Fing, a San Diego independent band, is rewarding their target audience with an exclusive Halloween concert. Throughout this week, fans who click a banner link on their MySpace Page will have the opportunity to RSVP for an exclusive Halloween party. Only select guests who register on the promoted site will be sent the location of Fing's Black Friday Party, which promoters promise to be at a "five-star venue."

As social media users become numb to the saturation of application, group, party and friend invitations, it's important to leverage massclusivity to promote your brand. Target audiences want to feel rewarded for their decision to interact with your company. They want to feel exclusive. They want a unique experience that money can not buy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who are the main users of social media?

Although social media is a valuable entity to engage target audiences in a brand, mainstream appeal is still limited to certain demographics.

According to a 2008 Synovate survey that analyzed 17 markets and polled 13,000 people, 58% respondents did not recognize the term social media. This study polled ages ranging from 18-65, the latter who struggled to recognize popular social networking terms. The regular users of social media are extremely vocal about the advantages of the media, which creates the mystic that more than 58% of users are engaged in the media.

Additionally, a 2006 comScore study reveals that popularity of social media is split between the 18-24 demographic and the 35-54 demographic (see chart below).



Typically, early adapters to social media sites are young millennials or Generation-Y, ranging from 18-29. They regularly visit social media sites and encourage their friends to adopt these networking tools.


(Mark Zuckerberg, FaceBook's Founder, by Tiner)

For example, in 2004 FaceBook was launched as an exclusive site for college students. Registration was exclusively limited to any college student with an .edu email address. Younger audiences yearned for the opportunity to join and officially became engaged in the college social scene when they joined the site. During FaceBook’s second period of expansion, the site opened to high school students. FaceBook’s gradual opening created massclusivity, which increased interest in the site. As demand for mainstream registration grew, the site eventually opened to anyone over the age of thirteen.


(Tom Anderson, MySpace's Founder, by Tiner)

Additionally, Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe strategically leveraged the youth to create interest in MySpace. In the initial years of MySpace, DeWolfe and Anderson encouraged bands with young target audiences to use the site as a platform to connect with their fans. Concertgoers were encouraged to register on MySpace and become official “e-fans” of the band. As popularity in MySpace grew, older generations, businesses and individuals created accounts to promote products and services. Similar to interest in Facebook gradually expanding to older users, interest in MySpace trickled up to older demographics.

Today, early adopters to social networking sites are not limited to young generations. Newer social media sites, like Twitter, are rapidly becoming popular with order demographics. In fact, Twitter’s “largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds, who make up 25.9% of its users.” Additionally, users of virtual world communities, like SecondLife, the Internet’s largest virtual world, tend to be older then initial youthful adapters to social media sites. In fact, the average age of a SecondLife user is 36.

As mainstream interest in social media is divided between two distinct demographics, the 18-25 and 35-44 year-olds, it is crucial to find strategies that will bridge interest in order to maximize interest in your brand.

Friday, October 24, 2008

WassUp 2008


(WassUp in 2000)



(WassUp in 2008)

Regardless of who you are voting for this presidential election, the recent WassUp commercial humorously highlights issues America needs to change. It's a funny mix to the variety of political commercials created this election season. ...Are Budweiser's frogs the next advertising campaign to resurface?


Don't be afraid, if you are not "qualified."

You'll never know when you're big break will happen. 

The secret is to be ready at all times.

Last weekend, Matt Williams, a Texas Tech sophomore, won a month of free rent by kicking a 30-yard field goal during a contest at his school's football game. Although Texas Tech is currently ranked #8 in the country, the team has missed six extra point attempts and half of its field goal attempts. Following the contest, Mike Leach, Texas Tech's football coach, approached Williams and asked him to be the team's extra point kicker. Tomorrow, Williams receives his big break and will kick extra points against #19 Kansas.

If you have a talent, don't be afraid to share it. 
You'll never know who is watching and where it will take you. 


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fortune Cookie Advice


Frequently, the adages received after a Chinese meal often mimic the advice bloggers share. 

To highlight my point, I asked the Twitter community to share some of their favorite fortune cookies messages: 
  • @gsik: "Trust your intuition. The universe is guiding your life."
  • @LisaHoffmann: "He who throws dirt is losing ground."
  • @Tabz: "Flattery will go far tonight."
  • @gadkins1974: "Many people are seeking you for your sound advice"

Similar to how reading a fortune cookie ends a meal with a feeling of promise, blog entries can provide readers with feeling of hope. Bloggers have the responsibility of constantly informing their audience about the latest happenings, trends or events that relate to their blog. Although writing to a global audience is a tireless responsibility, the opportunity allows writers to instigate thought and provide hope beyond the traditional one sentence fortune cookie adage. As the audience grows, opportunities for the author grow and hope is place in both "take home bags."



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Variety




Engaging in the conversation, does not mean sending coupons or constantly encouraging consumers to purchase a product. It means opening a dialogue that is beneficially rewarding for BOTH parties: the consumer and the brand.

Frequently, brands expect that a weekly email blast with discounted products will engage consumers for the long term. Each week, marketers send countless emails offering "exclusive" deals that are only available that week. There are only so many products, clothes and computer products that we can purchase at one time. After a few months or even weeks, we eventually become numb to this strategy. Instead of reading the emails, we delete them.

Although constantly offering coupons may create quick sales, it does not develop a brand's value in the long term. Consumers WANT to feel engaged in a brand. They WANT to feel connected. They WANT to be associated with other consumers who share their same passion.




  • Instead of having one advertising campaign, Apple has three unique campaigns that simultaneously market the brand. From the Apple v. PC commercials to the strong graphic visuals to the user-friendly product tutorials, Apple's variety allows its marketing to constantly reach consumers without being redundant.


Adding variety allows a company to connect with consumers without appearing redundant.


Quick Ideas



  • Consumer satisfaction surveys (make sure to follow up)

  • Tips-of-the week, month or season

  • Behind-the-scene videos of the brand

  • Monthly contests

  • Informative emails about upcoming events (either industry wide or geographically located)

  • Sharing exclusive media (photographs, videos or blog posts from industry insiders)

  • Responding to social networking updates (Twitter posts, FaceBook/MySpace messages)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Faces


(David Reich by Tiner)


(Jason Falls by Tiner)


(Sasha Strauss by Tiner)


(Charlene Li by Tiner)


Is it better to be louder?

"The most common trouble with advertising is that
it tries too hard to impress people."
-James Randolph Adams




One aspect of social media is that it competes with the cacophony of daily marketing messages. On an average day, a person will see 3,000 advertising messages. This exposure does not include other integrated forms of marketing, including word-of-mouth, public relations, product placement and endorsements.

Due to the high volume of marketing messages, consumers are numb to traditional advertising techniques and the ability for a brand to differentiate itself is a challenge.

What's the rule-of-thumb here? Is it better to be louder?
  • Are reggae fans more included to see a concert tour titled "Not Stoned Enough," instead of "Slightly Stoopid's 2008 Fall Tour"?
  • Would Perez Hilton average a million daily page views without highlighting controversy?
  • Are we more enticed to watch political campaigns that challenge leadership qualities?
As we move forward with marketing strategy either for a product, service or our personal brand, it's imperative to feature material that uniquely separates your brand without "trying to hard to impress people."





Friday, October 17, 2008

Bub.blico.us



Earlier this week, my portrait series was
highlighted on Bub.Blicio.us, a social media blog.

Innovative Advertising



From having millions of social networking friends to text messaging supporters with campaign updates, Obama is leading the creative polls.

Now, to remove the hanging chad from the innovative advertising ballot, Obama is running campaign advertisements in XBox360 games.

What's the point? Well marketing firms will argue that it's to create awareness with a 18-25 male audience, but I believe the real value is in the windfall of free PR. From being featured on CNN to covered by countless bloggers and reporters, Obam's unique form of advertising is generating a large return on investment.

Imagine if campaign organizers used print advertisements, instead of the XBox360 advertisements. How many headline stories would that generate?

The real value of advertising is encouraging other people to spread the word about your product, service or brand. When creating campaigns, it's important to add an innovative element that will intrigue viewers and gatekeepers, the individuals who publish stories.

Do you turn your head when you see a Ford or GM driving down the road? I highly doubt it. To be the Maseriti, Ferrari or Lamborghini you need to accelerate past traditional forms of communicating brand value. You need to take risks. You need to be innovative.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2 cool sites.

Short post.

2 cool sites.

1) Hulu offers free full-length movies and television programs with limited commercials. It's a refreshing way to watch your favorite shows.

2) Blip.fm allows users to create free play lists of favorite songs. Think Twitter meets the Itunes library.

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Recycle Content?


(Original Andy Warhol Film)



(Branded Film)



Recycle Content?

It's a strategy that has paid large dividends for the hip hop industry.

With a plethora of YouTube movies, I'm surprised more brands do not edit existing viral films.

It's an experimental idea that may hit a home run.

Surf's Up! Last year, a YouTube user posted an edited Andy Warhol commercial that featured a Quiksilver surfboard (see films above). Although the movie has only received 10 thousand views (to date) and not gone viral (over 1 million views), the editing allowed Quiksilver to creatively market to an established audience, Andy Warhol fans.

Each time a YouTube user searches "Andy Warhol," he or she has a chance of discovering Quiksilver's commercial. The film is naturally discovered and reflective of the user's interests.

I feel the strategy of recycling content can be replicated by an array of companies, especially for newer brands seeking to create awareness and interest. Although the legal ramifications of editing copyrighted film need to be explored, the potential to market to an established voice is significant.




Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hermosa Beach Triathlon

Yesterday
  • 9am USC football tailgate
  • 12:30pm watch USC defeat Arizona State

Today 
  • 5am stretches
  • 6am check-in
  • 7am compete in first triathlon
  • 10:00am awards ceremony
From crossing the finish line to standing on the awards podium for my division, I was excited to complete my first triathlon. I enjoyed competing in the Hermosa Beach Sprint Triathlon and hope you enjoy the pictures.

A special thanks to my loving mom for braving today's early wake-up and capturing some amazing photos!



















Friday, October 10, 2008

Netiquette

What is proper Netiquette = etiquette on the net?

A short list of Do's and Dont's in our digital age.

Do's
  • Do respond to emails. It's frustrating when you send an email and the recipient does not respond. Yes, one word confirmations are okay.
  • Do use recent a picture for your profile avatar. If you can't remember when you took the photograph, it's time to update.
  • Do send an email one day before a meeting to confirm. You'll be surprised how professional you appear.
  • Do include links to sources you use.

Don'ts

  • Remember what happens in Vegas stays there. Don't post outrageous pictures of your friends without their permission.
  • Make people take responsibility for their voice. Don't allow anonymous comments.
  • Would you open your neighbor's mailbox? Don't forward personal emails without the sender's permission.
  • Don't write an email or blog post when you are angry. Cool off and take a walk around the block. You'll be thankful the next day.


Here are a few tips from the microblogging site, Twitter:
  • @Brotodeau: A rule that's grossly ignored: Just because one has anonymity should not absolve them from being polite! ..it goes a long way
  • @laurencook: Whatever you do, don't write in all caps. I hate when people scream at me online.
  • @xrad2: responsive, don't leave people hanging, avoid caps (duh)
  • @DeeDeeDayna: I know this is an old one, but ppl r still doing it ,,, TYPING WITH ALL CAPS , maybe they need a little reminder ;)
  • @mabrugnolo: as a matter of etiquette, responding to every comment would be nice
  • @pluc: Give credit when credit is due
  • @Stevehoward999 : When posting to forums don't use txtng shrtcts unless uthrs do 2 .... or something like that
  • @djpaisley : don't assume people are who they are in the picture, or names like "paisley" are girls... lol




Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Incentives

What makes people visit your website?

As you move forward with your marketing strategy, it's important to focus on the incentives that bring traffic to your website. Yes, an aesthetic layout is cool, but what's the motivation for people to regularly visit your site?

1) Do you offer exclusivity?
  • Initially, Facebook utilized this strategy. Only college students with a .edu address were allowed to register on the site. The site's massclusivity created excitement for younger audiences to join the site, when they received their email account.
  • If you register on The Motley Fool, you receive exclusive access to "members only" investment strategy. Although, I don't know how many people are purchasing stock this week.

2) Do you regularly update?
  • No matter the rigor of his schedule, Seth Godin writes one blog entry a day. Giving a regular incentive for marketing professionals to check his site.
  • Perez Hilton constantly updates his blog with the latest Hollywood gossip. If you miss checking the site for one week, think of all the stories you missed.
  • Chris Brogan frequently writes Tweets on Twitter, making him a recognizable member and enticing followers to click his links.
3) Are you unique?
  • Hulu receives significant free print and online PR for legally offering free full-length movies and television shows with limited commercial interruption. Going green is trendy, but so is offering free quality content.
  • During it's launch 200 Nipples, received buzz in the blogosphere for its innovative concept. Several blogs wrote stories about the site and included links to company website.

4) Do you offer contests?
  • Recently, Ryan Seacrest enticed KISS FM listeners to visit the station's website by offering an all-expense paid wedding. How many brides would pass on that offer?
5) Are you easy to find?
  • Do you include your website on your signature?
  • Do you include links on your social networking profiles?
  • Do you have an RSS feed for your readers?




Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recent Commission


(Newlyweds (C) Tiner)


A HOPEful Wink


(Sarah Palin by Tiner)

Last weekend, I attended a few athletic games. After watching Joe Six-Pack enjoy pregame festivities, I feel I saw an accurate barometer of the American mindset. Yes, humorous times are flowing, literally.

In a time of economic uncertainty, it's refreshing that we can resort to comedians to find refuge from reality. Recently, Tina Fey has received extensive media attention for imitating Sarah Palin. What a maverick! Her hilarious acts have put Saturday Night Live on top of the must watch barometer.

What's equally refreshing to Fey's entertaining antics, is following FakeSarahPalin on Twitter. Her daily tweets, ranging from "Teaching John the wink for tonight's debate. This isn't going well." to "3,857 Followers! That's half the number of constituents I had three years ago!," add fresh tundra air to the current economic situation. In the past 5 weeks, FakeSarahPalin has become one of Twitter's most popular users with over 6,300 followers to date.

As America moves closer to November 4, lets remind ourselves who we really need to guide our country for the next four years. I HOPE we make the right decision.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Innovators


(Brandi Moses by Tiner)


(Rohit Bhargava by Tiner)


(David Ewalt by Tiner)


(Max Kalehoff by Tiner)




Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Endless Summer


(Huntington Beach (C) Tiner)



5-Friends



"...Don't Vote?" Leonardo DiCaprio recently produced 5-Friends, a non-partisan PSA persuading young people to register and vote. From Dustin Hoffman to Ashton Kutcher to Eva Longoria, various celebrities encourage voter registration.

In less than one week the movie has received over one million views, but I feel the PSA misses the mark for its primary target audience. If you are really apathetic and don't care about voting, would you take the time to watch a four minute PSA? No, I bet your attention will fade after 45 seconds. Instead of consolidating all of the celebrities into one long film, I feel DiCaprio should create 2-3 shorter PSAs.

Yes, celebrities can lure the public's attention, but can they reverse apathy?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quality of Content



In an era of quirkiness, it's refreshing that some campaigns still use quality cinematography to capture attention. Last spring, Schweppes released this commercial, which virally spread across the Internet. The film conveyed intrigue and a break from the average pace of life. Similar to the Scheweppes' unique cinematographic qualities, Sony Bravia released this advertisement that challenged the traditional use of film speed and creativity.

It's tempting to create a quirky movie to garner attention for a brand. Although you may receive a large volume of hits in the short term, longevity may be found in quality and uniqueness.





Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Desktop


(Los Angeles (C) Tiner)


"I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic." -Andy Warhol

This month's desktop features a Los Angeles aerial photograph I captured last Spring. As we move into the final months of 2008, I thought it is an appropriate time to focus on buildings of commerce as society looks to resolve the volatile financial situation.


A Double Dribble or Slam Dunk?

The NBA season is only a few bounces away and this year fans will cheer for a newly branded team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yes, Seattle's storied franchise, the Seattle Super Sonics, relocated and also changed their name.

Normally, when a team relocates the name, logo, and colors transfer with the franchise. Following a legal settlement to relocate to Oklahoma City, Clay Bennett, the new team owner, agreed to release the Sonics' naming rights and affiliated marketing material to any future NBA team in the Seattle area.

Did Bennett also release the brand's equity in the process? Although the Sonics have struggled in recent years, the franchise's 40 year history has developed the team into a household name. It will take years to restore the same brand familiarity with the Thunder.

When the Lakers moved from Minneapolis in 1960, the team's name transferred to Los Angeles, which preserved the brand's equity. When a conglomerate acquires a company, the underlying value is the name, icon and familiarity of the brand. As the Thunder roars forward, will Bennett hear value with his decision?