Friday, May 22, 2009

The Mark P. Tiner Education Foundation

(2009 The Mark P. Tiner Education Foundation Scholarship Presentation)

I'm honored that earlier in the week, I awarded The 2009 Mark P. Tiner Education Foundation Financial Needs Scholarship to a graduating high school senior from La Quinta High School (Westminster, CA). This year, we received over 70 applications for the $1,000 scholarship.

The recipient was selected for her dedicated volunteer work, exceptional academic excellence, and strong desire to pursue her college studies. She will be the first generation to attend college from her family. In addition to the $1,000 scholarship, I awarded the recipient an original photograph of mine.

To learn more about this year's scholarship recipient and my artwork, please read a recent Coastline Pilot article about The Mark P. Tiner Education Foundation.

Thank you again for your support.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Danny MacAskill

Enjoy the acrobatic stunts of Danny MacAskill's Inspired Bikes music video.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Annenberg School For Communication

Enjoy a few photographs from USC's Annenberg School for Communication Graduation Ceremony. I walked for earning a Master of Communication Management Degree, which I officially completed last December.

(Dean Ernest Wilson III)

(Mark Sanchez)

(Professor Ben Lee)

Expression of Joy

BMW's Expression of Joy Website

From Andy Warhol to Roy Lichtenstein, several prominent twenty-first century artists have created unique advertising concepts for BMW. The prominent German automobile manufacture establishes relationships with renowned artists to accelerate its product line in the same gear as fine art. In the past, the aesthetic relationships have allowed the BMW brand to display its automobiles adjacent to works of fine art in modern museums.

Recently, BMW commissioned renowned South African artist Robin Rhode to create a unique fine art painting to help market the 2009 Z4 roadster. With the collaboration of actor Dennis Hopper, Rhode used the Roadster as his paintbrush on a 100 x 200 ft white canvas. As the Roadster spun around the canvas, Rhode controlled the colors and how much paint was applied with a remote control. The finished artwork, which resembles a pseudo Jack Pollock painting can be viewed on BMW's product microsite, Expression of Joy.

In the recent economic recession, where automobile companies use "total confidence" plans to help sell inventory, it is refreshing that BMW uses an innovative art campaign to promote the Z4 Roadster. The visual campaign helps to reinforce BMW's perception of a quality automobile manufacture that is not affected by the downturn of the current economy. As works of fine art traditionally gain in value, so is BMW's brand equity.

Monday, May 11, 2009

OC Marathon

Last weekend, I ran in The OC 1/2 Marathon with 5 thousand other participants. It was an athletically rewarding experience and it taught me a lot about marketing to large groups.

5 Lessons Learned

5) Focus on the top 3-10% of your target audience. Don't focus on the marketing to the top 1% of your consumers base. Their attention is too difficult to maintain, as they are striving towards goals that may not be representative of the entire group.

The top 1% of runners were simply too fast. They ran 5 mile splits, which is an unrealistic goal for most "weekend warriors." The competitors who ran in the top 3-8% finished with 7 minute mile splits. This is still a fast time, but a more realistic goal for athletes to achieve.

The top 1% of your target audience will also be courted by the competition with VIP events, exclusive promotions or free merchandise. Frequently, it's often to difficult to compete for their dollar. If you focus on the top 3-8% of a consumer base, the general public will still aspire for your product and your marketing ROI will be higher.

4) Expect different degrees of "fan" participation. From ringing cow bells to simply observing, each spectator supported The OC Marathon in a unique fashion. Although each fan exhibited a different degree of enthusiasm, each was still engaged in the event.

As you create marketing collateral, remember that your target audience will not react the same. Some will share the advertisement with friends, a few may even frame it, and others may simply glance over it.

3) Tell a story. Everyone had a different reason for running The OC Marathon. I registered as a motivation to stay in shape. Other runners used the event to raise awareness for cancer or to raise money for scholarship funds. Others ran to feel part of the Orange County community. Whatever the reason was, each person felt engaged in the event and left with a finisher's medal to tell the story. The event continued long after it was over.

Are consumers encouraged to share your brand long after they purchase your product? Does your product packaging encourage others to carry it with pride? Do you offer incentives for repetitive purchases?

2) Not all of your brand enthusiasts will be measured. Society likes to take pride in having analytics programs that measure every click and hit to your website or know the general amount of people who watch your television commercial. Nevertheless some people will inevitably slip through the cracks.

For example, I finished the 1/2 marathon in a time of one hour and forty minutes. However, if you search my name, I don't have an official time. Why? because my timing chip did not work. I still ran in the event, but "officially" I didn't.

Similar to my time not recording, not every fan who sees your brand will be measured, but their voice will still help market your brand. Expect that 1-3% of brand enthusiasts who see your advertisement to not be "officially" measured.

1) Make every consumer feel like their number one. I finished the run and was immediately handed a finisher's medal. I felt proud. Well, I felt sweaty, but also proud. Why? Because I had a medal that told the story. The medal helped keep the event alive the entire week and encouraged me to share the event with my friends and coworkers.

If you make your target audience feel passionate and engaged in your brand, the consumer experience will last well beyond the shopping experience and help your brand have a consumer for life.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Intel: Sponsors of Tomorrow

Intel's latest commercial, Sponsors of Tomorrow, comically reveals how the perceptions of "celebrity" has dramatically changed in the past ten years. Today, inventors, journalists and company founders rival the popularity of rock stars, actors, and professional athletes. From Evan Willams, founder of Twitter, appearing on Oprah to Peter Cashmore, founder of Mashable, having over 600 hundred thousand Twitter followers to Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom's Shoes, staring in AT&T commercials, the pendulum continues to shift toward professional achievement and away from traditional athletic, musical, or cinematic achievement.

As more individuals strive to achieve the "American Dream" or financial prosperity, brands that highlight self-made success stories will authentically and personally connect with consumers. Viewers can personally relate to the hard working virtues of these "real" stories compared to campaigns that highlight individuals who perform in front of 50,000 fans. Maybe it is the current economic recession or the world's obsession with "reality TV," but real and personal success stories will continue to captivate viewer's attention and engagement for years to come.

Friday, May 8, 2009

BBC HD Surfing Film

From holding a breath for extended periods of time to awkwardly swimming with heavy equipment, the challenges of underwater photography are strenuous and exerting. In the past few years, I have experimented with underwater photography from capturing images at several exotic locations, including Fiji, Kona and Oahu. I enjoy the unique perspective of the images and having a first person encounter with an environment.

Yesterday, I discovered a trailor of BBC's HD documentary, Ocean of Islands. The breathtaking cinematography uses slow motion HD cameras to record a surfer riding a large wave. The unbelievable films moves underwater photography into a new direction and challenges photographers and cinematographers to continually capture new perspectives.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Inbound Link Strategy

"I WANT to be #1 on Google!" - Today's Website Owner

In an era of creating content to be optimized for search engines, it's important to focus on developing an inbound link strategy that will help propagate your website to the top of Google's search results. Yes, having a credible website link to your website is a starting point, but it's only half the battle.

Lets say, for the sake of Cinco De Mayo, you open a Mexican restaurant in your neighborhood. You name the restaurant, El Tiburón, and create a website to market your food to the community.

Now, is your website going to magically appear in local search engine results for "local Mexican food"? No.

Strategically, you invite some food local critics for free appetizers and margaritas with the goal of having them write a favorable review on their website, blog or social media site. You impress them with enchiladas and tacos that would motivate Frida Kahlo to paint a masterpiece.

Olé! Now, you are on the right track.


No. The critics created links to the name of your restaurant, "El Tiburón." For example, one reviewer wrote, "Visit El Tiburón for the best Mexican food in Southern California." It is good that an inbound link was created to your website. However your restaurant lost the SEO benefits, because how many users naturally search for the term "El Tiburón"? And if they do search that term, are they expecting to see website for a Mexican restaurant?

If the reviewer writes "Visit El Tiburón for the best Southern California Mexican food" or "Visit El Tiburón restaurant for the best local Mexican food" then your website is better optimized for search engines. The key terms "Southern California Mexican food" and "El Tiburón restaurant" are linked in on and are more relevant to a user's search habits.

Now, your website will start to position on these key terms and you can celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a full restaurant.

7 Steps for a Successful Inbound Link Strategy:

1) Create a list of key terms your website desires to position on and check to see how your website currently ranks on these terms.

2) Check the search trends of these key terms to find how many users search them on a monthly basis.

3) Create a list of potential blogs and websites that relate to your website and you would want to have your website featured on.

4) Check the page rank of the blogs and websites to determine what sites are best to contact (a page rank of 4 or higher is a good starting point).

5) Invite the website owners for a free product trial or to write a review about your brand on their website.

6) Give them a list of 1-2 key terms that you would like them to link in on, when they write a review about your brand.

7) Monitor your position on the key terms once a month to see the placement in search engine rankings (initially, it can take a few months to gain position on key terms).

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 2009 Desktop

(May 2009 Desktop (1280 x 1600), Waipio Valley (C) Tiner)