Brandsplat Video Report on Shop Local Coupons on Facebook, Levi’s Walk Across America, and Cold Stone Creamery Reputation Management

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This week’s Brandsplat Video report episode covers Shop Local Coupons on Facebook, Levi’s Walk Across America, and Cold Stone Creamery Reputation Management (aka – Enzo gets an email from Cold Stone Creamery!!) Check it out! Or click here for more Brandsplat vids

5 Things You Might Have Missed List- Soft Rock Edition

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It’s time once again to take five, kids. Sit back, turn on some relaxing tunes, and enjoy our weekly harvest of five things they may have sailed by you like a summer breeze.

1.) Lori Culwell on Writers & Social Media: Here’s a must-read for writers who feel slightly trampled by new media and social media. Culwell uses the latest post on her HuffPo blog to help writers embrace social media by putting PR back in their own hands. Culwell tells timid author types to get their hands dirty with social media even when the publishing biz appears to be all out of love.

2.) Tag Your Tune: We tweeted about this earlier, but this new app from Fuse TV harkens back to the old-timey request and dedication love song shows of radio. FB users are invited to use Tag Your Tune to pick from a rotating list of 30 videos every week with a personalized message to a loved one. Aww. Karen Sharp would approve.

3.) Twix Gives Ya A Moment: Cleverly capitalizing on its “Need A Moment?” campaign, Twix has taken to Facebook to give chocolate lovers a moment. With a fun little feature on its Facebook page called Twix Knows, users can get “advice” from Twix on things they need a break from, like their relationship, school or texting. Skewed to the young candy-munching FB crowd, Twix dials in social media to perfection.

4.) Five More Minutes Of YouTube Radness: YouTube announced a new 15-minute video limit, allowing for even more procrastination. Yippee! And being YouTube, they have a “15 Minutes of Fame” contest to promote the feature, giving users a chance to create videos to propel them to temporary stardom by telling the world about themselves (in 15 minutes, of course).

5.) Ad Love: Maybe all these mushy-syrupy feelings stem from yesterday’s news that media companies and small business are bouncing back thanks to the recent recovery in the ad biz. It’s a little premature to roll out the Clinton era spending of yesteryear, but the news sure beats the downer mood of the last two years. More money spent on marketing is news we welcome with open arms.

So that’s what made our list, but what things from this week would you need if you were caught between the moon and New York City? Share the love in the comments below.


Journalism Springs a WikiLeak

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We know by now that journalism is far from dead- even if newspapers are just hanging on by a thread. If anything, journalism has multiplied by user-created stories, old media magnets branching out in new ways and social media turned into a source for news-feeds. With these never ending options, journalism is an ever-changing beast that at times seems out of control. Now more than ever we digest Internet fodder as news while talk shows swerve into political territory.

The blurry lines dividing news and entertainment got even blurrier last week with WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks ended up on the tongues of big-time news anchors and political pundits thanks to its unflinching look inside the Afghanistan war. A hefty, 92,000-page classified U.S. military document wound up on the site, sparking debates about journalism ethics and new media boundaries. The bare bones website is a safe haven for anonymous whistle-blowers; indeed, WikiLeaks has made minor headlines in the past four years with classified military videos and leaked company documents. WikiLeaks gave three major newspapers a sneak peek at the documents before posting them on the site. Within hours, a tornado of publicity was unleashed and a national debate was in full swing. Bloggers say that WikiLeaks is the future of journalism and democracy while others have declared the site as yet another irresponsible byproduct of the Internet age.

The WikiLeaks fury is another sign of growing pains and tug of war between traditional media and online media. Is Internet journalism out of control? Yes – but, then again, it has been so for some time. And wasn’t television the same way in its early days? Whether WikiLeaks has crossed a line or sunk to a new low is kind of beside the point. The real question here is: Is it time for content to be monitored and edited like television? It web content an FCC issue? As traditional journalism continues to morph, eventually we’ll collectively have to figure out what is journalism online and how do we insure that the public is receiving the most accurate information.

So let’s lob this heady issue over to you, dear readers. Is WikiLeaks the wave of the future or the end of journalism as we know it?

It Pays To Be In On the Joke

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Everybody loves a good parody. So when the irresistibly corny Snuggie infomercials went viral, amateurs and professionals alike lined up to make fun of the goofy blanket with sleeves. Allstar Products Group, makers of the Snuggie as well as other campy products like EmeryCat and Bumpits, however, are laughing all the way to the bank. Snuggie is said to be one of the most successful as-seen-on-TV products of all time. Sales in 2009 were through the roof, all while the spoofs kept sprouting up online.

Now Allstar Products Group has decided to enlist these smart alecs for its next television commercial. The company launched The Snuggie Fan Club website, where aspiring television commercial directors can post their own takes on the now infamous Snuggie commercial. Visitors to the site can vote for their favorite Snuggie parody and the winner receives $5,000, a trip to New York City and a chance to appear in a Snuggie 2011 television commercial. Allstar has enlisted social media and the world of viral video to spread the word about the contest. It’s a pretty hip marketing plan for a company that also sells magic brownie pans.

The folks at Snuggie did a wise thing by embracing the good-natured ribbing. Brands who get in on the joke are able to take the punches while also laughing with their customers. Time and time again, we’ve seen the benefits of lightening up. From politicians on Saturday Night Live to controversial celebrities on commercials, a little good-natured self-effacing acknowledgment goes a long way. Frankly, I think more brands could stand to lighten up. For example, a blunt “Sorry we effed up” ad campaign from BP wouldn’t make things completely better, but it would at least make the company seem less evil.

But what do you guys think? Does being in on the joke translate to sales? What brands could uses a little self-parody? And fess up – have you ever bought anything wacky from TV?


Using RTs for Article Marketing

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If your Twitter feed is anything like mine, it’s populated by dozens of RTs, or re-tweets. If I see a particularly good tweet, I will RT them to my followers and so on and so on. It’s the 21st century version of passing notes in class without the humiliation of getting busted by your scowling 6th grade teacher. Re-tweets are a real gold mine when it comes to article marketing. RTs usually consist of links to articles published elsewhere or tweets published by another Twitter user. Depending on the number of folks who read your RTs, this is potentially a click-and-link jackpot. So what makes an article re-tweetable and how can we use Twitter to help market our own articles?

Scan your favorite blogs and look for how many times it’s been re-tweeted. Timely, newsworthy stories tend garner the most RTs, followed by funny, unique and informative articles that are great reads. Don’t worries if your articles aren’t about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding or the story of the moment. There are other avenues. How-to pieces seem to have everlasting RT life. Web junkies young and old are forever looking for instructions or hints. For example, I wrote a piece in 2008 about tipping at restaurants that still gets comments and RTs. Articles can live forever if the content is well-written and packaged for mass audiences.

However, there is no accounting for taste (ahem). I have written pieces that seem destined for RT fame only to find they’ve only been pimped once or twice during their lonely lifespan online while, other pieces that were frankly a snooze to write have been re-tweeted far beyond my expectations. So were some of the pieces better than others? Did the site they were posted on experience a lull in traffic? Who knows, and better yet, who cares? With article marketing, the publishing has to be constant so if the prior one didn’t catch fire, there’s always another one coming down the pike. Twitter really helps out in this arena. Don’t be shy about re-tweeting your company articles and blogs to your followers. Shameless? Perhaps, but everybody else on Twitter is doing it, too. RTs help market articles to your followers and target audience without any middlemen. In other words: write, re-tweet and repeat.

Article marketing seems to be more fun and less mysterious using RTs and Twitter. Regularly practiced, RTs can open up our business and articles to readers that traditional marketing may have missed. So, Brandsplat readers, tell us the truth: Do you read RTs or do you pass? Any article marketing tips that you’d care to pass on to rest of us? Let’s hear it in the comments section!