Our Five Things You Might Have Missed List

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From little bitty to totally juvenile, we’ve gathered up 5 advertising, social media and marketing tidbits that might have slipped under your radar this week.

1.) Lanvin for H&M: The European clothier Lanvin made a huge social media splash this week when it released its new collection for H&M. H&M rocked out its website and Facebook page in honor of the collaboration and soon the blogs were ignited with clamoring for must-have items. Like limited lines from Stella McCartney and Viktor &Rolf, Lanvin from H&M looks to be another fantastic phenomenon for the chain – and its social media efforts have definitely helped create excitement.

2.) The Shirt on His Back: I Wear Your Shirt is guerilla marketing with a fashionable and social media twist. The concept is simple: Jason and his employees auction off space on their T-shirts to the highest bidders and then promote the brands on social media. So far Jason and company have garnered big-time ads from Pizza Hut and Nissan.

3.) Your Status Just Got Smaller: Maybe the sheer size of this story made it invisible, but Facebook’s font shrank seemingly overnight. We don’t usually rant in this blog, so we’ll keep it short – hate it. This is just another decision made by Facebook that shows little regard for its users (i.e. old people). Plus, as marketers, we hate seeing our clever copy shrunk down to an unreadable size.

4.) Google Isn’t Your Second Brain: This blog from SEOMoz asks some compelling questions regarding to our collective reliance on Google for everything. Danny Dover argues that real-life discovery and research using our senses will always be more valuable than using a search engine. I’m still not sure”¦ I wonder what Google would tell me.

5.) You & Your Johnson: And now for something mildly inappropriate. We had to snicker at this vintage 1970s ad for Johnson outboard motors. Thanks to Adweek and Boing Boing, this ridiculous ad became our favorite spot to post on Facebook – even if the font was too small and nobody actually noticed.

 

Let the Twitter Games Begin!

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jeep puzzle facebook follow

Although there are folks determined to turn Twitter into some kind of platform to discuss serious issues, the majority of Twitter users and marketers try to keep it light and fun. In fact, sponsored games – those which use Twitter as a channel to stir up good times while promoting their brands – have been on the rise over the last several months.

From scavenger hunts to trivia, businesses are challenging their followers to engage in good, old-fashioned social media silliness. Concert tickets, free airfare from JetBlue, boxing swag from Floyd Mayweather and books have been given away over the last few months to Twitter users who are game enough to play along. Now Jeep has come up with an awesome Twitter-based puzzle that not only challenges game enthusiasts but also puts Twitter fanatics to task against the clock.

Jeep Puzzle invites followers to create a mosaic using profiles from the old version of Twitter. Tweeps who follow Jeep Puzzle are directed to collect profiles that in reality are just puzzle pieces. How users follow the images and in what order determines whether or not they solve the puzzle. Jeep Puzzle players who have solved the puzzle – or think that they have – race against one another to have their puzzles verified by Jeep. Winners are announced via Twitter and other puzzles are released as play continues. Puzzle masters, or those who are the first to complete the mosaics, get all kinds of goodies from Jeep.

There are ten puzzles in all; so far, response to the promotion has been enthusiastic. Jeep Puzzle is a limited time promotion that started at the end of October and ends in a few days. The hashtag #jeeppuzzle has started trending and popping up in news feeds, which is a sign of Twitter marketing success.

The success and innovation of Jeep Puzzle is another example of how the automotive industry has hopped into social media marketing headfirst. Brands like Ford, GM and Jeep now are getting major attention by tuning into social media and in the process creating marketing models any size company can use. And the great thing about social media marketing games is that everybody can play.

Can Blekko Change The Way We Search &Research?

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We’ve seen a lot of search engine innovations in 2010 and we at Brandsplat try to keep on these sorts of things. Last month we applauded the arrival o fsocial searches and we adjusted to the potential seizure causing side effects of Google Instant. After all, we’re as search engine dependent as the rest of the planet. We believe behind every brilliant piece of copy lies a jillion Google searches. So when the Internet started chattering about how a new search engine which promised to eliminate spam from our results, we had to see what the fuss was about.

Blekko like other search engines has an impossibly goofy name, a language of its own, and high hopes of taking a chunk out of the Google Empire. Yet Blekko has garnered mass amounts of PR because of its aspirations to play the search engine game differently. For one thing, Blekko doesn’t rely on algorithms to compile search results but employs tagged pages by users which the search engine then indexes. Blekko has 3 billion web pages indexed which are small potatoes compared to Google’s trillion web pages. Blekko users create slashtags for pages based on things like keywords, categories, or people. Next, Blekko organizes those pages and indexes them. The goal of slashtags is to give users the sites they want without any of the spam. But does the darn thing actually work, you ask?

We took it for a spin and found it to be mildly successful. When searching for Brandsplat, Blekko came up with our homepage as well as links to our video reports. The organization of the results is concise and easy to read without a bunch of irrelevant ads for Acai Berry Diets. Layout-wise, the Blekko aesthetic is a tad clinical and drab, but that is certain to change when more money comes rolling in. Mentions of Brandsplat on other sites were tougher to find and Blekko thus far doesn’t gather any social media mentions. Is it the super-fast mind reading machine of Google? No. But it also isn’t the ad-laden hot mess that is Bing either. What is fascinating about Blekko is the social aspect. Having user created slashtags means small businesses can control where searchers find them. Also, friends can direct one another on the site to searches and tags which they find mutually interesting. Blekko is starting a conversation among Internet users empowering them to design searches without pesky spam. Aside from glitchy budget related issues, Blekko should easily be integrated in our online marketing toolbox.

What say you, readers? Is Blekko a flash-in-the-pan or will it change the way we search forever?

Social Media Fasting: Does the world Listen When You Stop Tweeting?

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On November 1st, a silent movement took place. Aside from a few viral videos and well-thought-out blogs, the campaign commenced without yelling or screaming. People were taking a stand without so much as a sound. And that was the point of Communication Shutdown Day: People around the globe participated in what seems unfathomable – a day without social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No Foursquare. Why on Earth would anybody participate in such a thing and how many people actually did it?

Communication Shutdown Day is the brainchild of an Australian autism organization that enlisted the help of celebrities like television’s Fran Drescher to put the spotlight on the communication challenges children with autism face. Organizers of the event created a special charity app available to folks who donated $5 or more to the cause. In return, donors received a shutdown badge to place over their Facebook and Twitter profiles, integrated their photos into a global mosaic and other cool stuff to let their online friends know that they would be silent November 1st. Money donated went to several global autism organizations. At the writing of this article, hundreds of thousands of donations had been collected as folks from around the planet had tuned into the cause and tuned out of social media for just one day.

College campuses across the country recently have participated in similar experiments which always make the news simply because most of us find it impossible to imagine a life without our social media crutches. In the case of Communication Shutdown Day, however, fundraising was performed by discouraging the use of the very media being employed to promote the event.

Social media fasting for a cause is indeed an intriguing and noble idea and there is no doubting the publicity generated by these events. What remains to be seen, however, is if these social media uprisings actually create awareness for a nonprofit organization and – more importantly – whether they generate much-needed funds.

What do you guys think? Does social media fasting actually work?