Our 5 Things You Might Have Missed List

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Make sure your seat is in the upright position and that your tray tables have been secured, because this week’s 5 things you might have missed list is ready for take off. Thanks for choosing Air Brandsplat!

1.) Social Media Coverage Of Events Better Than Actual Events: Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards and this week’s Fashion Week in New York by all reports and reviews have both been lackluster. Yet the social media coverage of both events on social media has been entertaining – even hilarious -and rapid fire. The New York Times ran a tweet-by-tweet timeline of the VMAs that ended up being more interesting than the show itself. And style blogs like the one at Nylon are so in the fashion know that you may never have to pick up a magazine again.

2.) JetBlue Is The Melrose Place Of Brands: Two words to describe JetBlue? Dra. Ma. Ever since that flight attendant incident last month, JetBlue has popped up everywhere; it’s more fun to watch than anything currently on the CW. This past week saw Playboy model Tiffany Livingston suffer a mid-air freak out in which her panic attack allegedly caused her to attempt to open the airplane’s door. Yet like any good soap opera heroes, JetBlue survives. The company’s ingenious “All You Can Jet” passes have totally sold out and the brand was even recently rated one of the top airlines for customer service by a national survey. Add to it a smart social media strategy and a lightning-fast PR response team, and we’re totally hooked.

3.) What Ad People can Learn From Teachers: This article from Advertising Age by Marty Orzio is one of our favorite reads this week. Smart and thought-provoking, the piece asks advertisers to think more resourcefully- like educators. It’s a refreshing take on an industry that sometimes needs guidance instead of a pat on the back.

4.) American Idol Turns To MySpace: In a week filled with odd decisions (i.e., paying Jennifer Lopez $12 million) from a brand in decline, American Idol has announced that they will be selecting some contestants using MySpace auditions. True, it is very 4 years ago to partner with MySpace, but when it comes to Idol and PR, we’re always confused”¦ so this seems right on target.

5.) How To Speak Coupon: Turning to the message boards to get the skinny on online coupons but don’t know what they’re talking about? This guide from consumerist gives you all the lingo you need before entering the increasingly popular world of online coupons. Marketers and bargain hunters should be on the same page, and this glossary helps with the translation.

What The New Twitter Could Mean For Marketers

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Unveiled on Tuesday in San Francisco at a press conference before some 100- odd members of the digital and traditional media, Twitter announced its first major site upgrade. Bloggers have already snarked poetically on the crappy projector used during the presentation and mildly poo-pooed the changes with a wave of dismissal politely disguised as “we’ll wait and see.” Twitter fanatics, on the other hand, are jumping up and down already, even though it hasn’t even fully launched. So what exactly is the new Twitter and how does it work?

The main difference the new Twitter has is its fancy-schmancy iPad look and Facebook-type of mechanisms. Easier to navigate, the site now can host videos and photos posted by your friends and followers right on the spot instead of clicking over to multiple links. This is done via Twitter’s new partnerships with YouTube, Flickr, UStream and Justin.tv, with more media hook-ups to be announced. Twitter plans to roll out the new site in increments over the next couple of weeks. Personally, we think it all looks pretty nifty and it signals a crossover into a mega-multimedia platform for the micro-blogging site. Even more exciting is what the Twitter redux could potentially do for marketers.

The gem in this makeover is the site’s new media hosting capabilities. With videos and photos now available for viewing right on a company’s Twitter page, advertisers and marketers will get a better idea as to what their followers are watching. Interactive, Twitter-exclusive videos produced with our clients in mind are now closer to becoming a reality. Photos of our clients’ new products will now be directly embedded in our links as opposed to the clicking over to another site that may or may not work. Another cool feature of the update is the super-easy-to-operate, snazzy layout. We suspect Twitter-phobic clients unsure of integrating the site into their social media marketing plans will warm up to the accessible and stylish new site.

Is Instant Always Better?

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The short answer to the question above is “no.” To support this response, we would like to present the following instant items as evidence: instant coffee, instant oatmeal, instant gratification, Carnation Instant Breakfast. Instant replay notwithstanding, the whole concept of being able to get anything worthwhile within a matter of seconds is a suspicious one indeed. So when Google Instant launched last week to a chorus of opinion, we started to wonder: Is faster really better?

Having never thought that Google was too slow or that it took too long, the idea of Google Instant seemed a tad unnecessary. Yet here it was. Without warning, the little search engine appeared at first to be scanning our minds and knowing what we were looking for before even we did ourselves. We Google all day long; to be frank, Instant hasn’t really made things easier – but it’s not annoying, either. While many have warned that the new feature will further fuel our collective need to have answers instantly, others have worried that it could be the end of SEO marketing. But perhaps it goes even deeper than that.

An article in Advertising Age this week declared the press release as officially dead (watch for a future blog discussing the annoying trend of declaring this or that as dead simply to get people to link your article). The piece claims that thanks to Twitter, companies and personalities can get their message out much faster than the old-fashioned press release, which traveled aimlessly through dozens of channels without certainty. Duh. But let’s calm down and remember that social media isn’t the end-all and be-all of PR. Like the thinking behind Google Instant, we’re being prompted to believe that if it doesn’t happen at the speed of light, it must suck.

Yes, Twitter has changed the speed of our messages reaching our desired audiences and Google Instant is an ingenious addition to an already invaluable tool. Still, neither of them promises we have to work less to receive results faster. Quality campaigns take time to develop, time to implement and time to catch fire with the public. Less time than 10 years ago? Maybe. But there are now dozens of marketing avenues that are essential, all of which take hours and manpower to properly utilize. Sure, tweeting your latest product requires less than five minutes, there’s still your Facebook page to be updated, your blog that needs to be written, videos to produce and traditional advertising to tend to. The point is lightning-like goodies aside, online marketing and branding still require work. In many ways, they require even more work than a decade ago.

What do you all think? Are we an instant-addicted culture? Has Google Instant changed how you research? And lastly, do you send old-fashioned press releases anymore?

Hot Diggity Dog! Farmer John’s Social Media Plan To End Hunger

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Those of us who live in Los Angeles have, at one time or another, stumbled out of a bar or nightclub and prevented hangovers by devouring a bacon wrapped hot dog sold by street vendors. The Tijuana Dog, as it’s known by Angelinos, long has been a culinary guilty pleasure; now the bacon-covered delight is on a mission to go global. And it’s all thanks to pork purveyor Farmer John’s use of social media to help the hungry in Los Angeles.

Vote Yes on Bacon-wrapped Hot Dog for the Official Hot Dog of L.A. is a clever initiative/marketing campaign spanning all the corners of social media while taking over billboards and radio airwaves. The pitch is simple: Chicago and New York, as well as other big U.S. cities, each have their own signature hot dogs, yet Los Angeles is sadly wienerless. So Farmer John is hoping to push its own goods while achieving official frank status for the City of Angels.

Foodies are invited to visit the website to vote for the bacon-wrapped hot dog. Farmer John has devoted a Facebook page to the cause that houses photos of hot dog rallies and advertisements happening all over Los Angeles. Twitter, LinkedIn, and even an 800 number have been put into place to land L.A. its very own signature hot dog. The push takes on a patriotic feel using faux political seriousness dotted with tongue-in-cheek humor, which is appropriate as the deadline to vote happens to coincide with November 2, Election Day.

But there is a serious side to the seemingly ridiculous campaign. Farmer John is donating one pound of food for every vote received before the deadline to Los Angeles food banks.

We here at Brandsplat applaud Farmer John – and not only because we happen to live by the motto “if you like it, then you shoulda put some bacon on it” – but because it shows creativity, heart and strong social media marketing moxie.

Our 5 Things You Might Have Missed List

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Cuddly, crunchy and even courageous, our weekly list of things you might have missed has something for everyone!

1.) Project Panda: This clever campaign does not, in fact, involve designing fancy outfits for panda bears and making them work the runway. Project Panda is an interactive campaign cooked up by the WWF and Chengdu Panda Base to find “pambassadors”- folks who are passionate about preserving pandas. Pambassadors will get to travel to China and serve as the faces and voices of the project. Videos of hopefuls have been submitted all summer long, and the final six will be chosen at the end of the month based on votes they receive online. Wannabe pambassadors have taken to social media to drum up votes. We think Project Panda is a cool way to get folks excited about wildlife preservation while using the latest in online marketing. Besides, pandas are kind of hip right now.

2.) Nike Destroyer Burrito: Relax. This burrito from Nike won’t make your stomach explode. It’s just a cool geolocation and social media promotion from Nike Sportswear in which those people of Portland, Ore., who are in the know can order the “destroyer burrito” from a taco truck and receive cool Nike swag. Awesome. We’ll take two destroyer burritos, to go.

3.) The Power of Twitter: Japanese journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka’s use of Twitter while being held captive in Afghanistan is a powerful and harrowing tale of survival which illustrates the far-reaching effects of social media. The story is affirmation that Twitter can be used for more than just hourly Kardashian updates.

4.) Absolut’s Triple Shot Of Movies: Always on the cutting edge of social media marketing, Absolut Vodka has made a splash with a trio of original films over the last few months. From a Spike Lee-directed movie about Brooklyn to a behind-the-scenes film of Jay-Z’s life, Absolut launches these exclusive movies via the brand’s Facebook page. Our favorite is the newly-released Lemon Drop, a faux ’70s exploitation film starring Heroes’ Ali Larter in a yellow catsuit kicking butt.

5.) 60 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Influence: This list from Hubspot serves as a touchstone of marketing things to remember. The requisite marketing speak is here, but we love the list for its no-nonsense tips, including #6: Follow Better People and #13: Start Talking To People. Jeanne Hopkins from Hubspot has written a checklist that should be printed, passed on and forwarded.

Okay readers, time to dish about your favorite things this week in the comments section below!

Traditional Magazines Sing “I Will Survive”

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“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’re staying alive, staying alive.”- The Bee Gees

When it comes to the future of magazines, we admit at first we were afraid, we were petrified, but just when we thought it was the last dance for big time magazines and traditional journalism, an eleventh hour remix of the genre has been slapped on the turntables. All right, enough with the disco metaphors. But it’s hard not feeling like boogying after witnessing the incredible magazine metamorphosis that has taken place over the last couple of months.

The easy-to-bash but hard-to-love iPad has played a big part in the resurrection of magazines. Magazines from all of the major publishers have all surfaced on the iPad and have proved to be some of the gadget’s most popular applications. Even Conde Nast’s beloved yet defunct Gourmet magazine had a comeback this summer when it returned as a free app for the tablet. Yet the question remained: Would iPad users pay for magazines?

Enter Zinio. Just this week, digital newsstand operator Zinio offered a game-changer when it took on paid content for The Sporting News and National Geographic apps for iPad. This new subscription model works a lot like the traditional version: Readers can get limited content with the apps for free, buy single issues for 99 cents or plunk down $2.99 a month for the whole enchilada, which receives regular updates and is delivered fresh to your iPad. If Zinio’s plan catches on, the iPad and devices like it look to be the future of subscriptions and daily publication.

Yet the iPad isn’t the only beacon of light for magazines. Social media is helping revive the genre as well. Glamour magazine is looking to rope in “young and posh” readers (translation: not old ladies) with a new promotional and advertising makeover that is heavy on the Facebook and Twitter marketing. Announced yesterday, the magazine’s multi-million-dollar campaign is revamping the publication to speak to a younger set, so naturally Glamour has already launched aggressive moves on all the big social media sites. From 3 voices on Twitter to an interactive Facebook page to turning to fashion bloggers to assist in the Glamour re-deux, the publication is hoping to reinvent itself for a new audience.

Also, trying to turn the beat around is Lucky magazine. The shopaholic bible’s unique multi-media duet with Kellogg’s Special K is nothing short of brilliant. Cereal aficionados are encouraged to swipe their smartphones across Microsoft tag 2D bar codes on boxes of Special K that will launch a video starring Lucky’s editor-in-chief Elise Loehnen talking about figure flattering jeans. Lucky has always shameless promoted shopping so this partnership wisely speaks to its core audience in a way old magazines would have never dreamed of.

Now it’s your turn to hop on our soul train. Do you think magazines have another dance left in them? Shout it out in the comments section below!