5 Blogs You Might Have Missed

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5 Blogs You Might Have Missed
2010, thanks for the memories. We’ll miss you- or not. But we certainly will remember you. It’s been a memorable year here at the Brandsplat blog too. With iPhones that barely worked, PR fails that didn’t work at all, and Twitter marketing campaigns that worked overtime, we always had something to talk about. So with a twist on our weekly list, here’s five Brandsplat blogs from 2010 that you might have missed.

1.) The Arts and Social Media Romance: This makes our list not because it was one of our most retweeted blogs (which it was) but because of the inspiring ways arts and culture organizations are using social media. After researching this piece, we had fun following theater companies and museums around the company on sites like Facebook and Twitter to see how they were using the platforms to bring in new art lovers.

2.) Increasing Our Good Online Marketing Karma: We wrote this blog to remind ourselves to play nicer in the digital sandbox and to return to good behavior that would make our second grade teachers proud. It makes the list because we’re still not perfect so we need it as a reminder.

3.)The Survival of Magazines, Set to a Disco Beat: This blog is list-worthy just because it’s the only one we wrote in 2010 that had it’s own soundtrack. While we are not entirely sure what the future of magazines is we do know that classic disco will always survive.

4.) 5 Brands with Digital Chutzpah: This blog makes the list because we we’re happy to applaud smaller cooler brands for their amazing online presence. Plus each of the five brands employs cool techniques any business can use.

5.) All About the Haul, Y’all: This blog makes our list only because when we wrote it back in March we were convinced that haul videos on YouTube were on their way out and a flash in the pan. We were wrong. Haul, it appears is here to stay. Forever 21, JC Penny, and American Eagle each launched haul-tinged campaigns over the fall. And there are two haul video-style television shows currently in production.

New Year’s Resolutions for Social Media Marketing

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New Year

We”™ve come to that point in the holiday season where people magically go from being festive and jolly to being remorseful and hell-bent on changing their ways. While we think the whole resolution process is usually one of self-mutilation rather than self-realization, there isn”™t anything wrong with making a list of priorities and things we”™d like to improve. Social media marketing can always use updating and innovation, so we think it”™s an excellent place to start making revolutionary resolutions.

Unfollow, Defriend, Purge: Think of this as the “cleaning house” resolution. The new year is a fabulous opportunity to get rid of Twitter friends who don”™t follow you back, dead e-mail addresses on your newsletter mailing list and Facebook friends you don”™t really know. The social media purge is important so you can effectively speak to your audience without sifting through dead-end friends. The purge should be done regularly and, once you get in the habit, it doesn”™t take terribly long.

Vow to Try Something New: Never done a geolocation event? Been scared to dip your toe in the LinkedIn pool? Have a great idea for an app? Well, 2011 is the year to try all the new social media techniques you”™ve been dying to integrate. The great thing about social media marketing is that it is relatively low-risk – so why not just go for it? Besides, you”™ll never know if you don”™t try.

Elevate Your Content: Now that you”™re sparkly clean and trying new things, our last resolution challenges you to upgrade your social media content. We blather on and on about our website and blog content being of the highest quality, but what of our social media marketing content? Shouldn”™t our tweets and Facebook updates be of the same stellar quality as the rest of our branding? In short, stop making your social media content an after-thought.

Now it is your turn, readers. Tell us what marketing resolutions you have for 2011!

5 Great Viral Video Campaigns from 2010 (that didn’t have the Old Spice Guy)

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5 Great Viral Video Campaigns from 2010 (that didn

Twenty-ten undoubtedly will go down in the marketing history books as The Year of the Old Spice Guy. And rightfully so. Isaiah Mustafa”™s video racked up an impressive 24.2 million views on YouTube. In general, though, 2010 was the year that viral video and advertising merged to create highly-watched and -forwarded spots. The genre was taken to the next level this year and we would like to give applause to five other brands that did viral video marketing flawlessly.

  1. The Tipp-Ex Hunter and Bear– Hands down, the best, most creative and innovative online video campaign this year came from a product not even available in the states. Choosing what the hunter and bear did next became an at-work pastime this year and the video garnered millions of YouTube hits worldwide.
  2. KIA Hamsters– Who doesn”™t love hamsters and hip-hop? Tapping into our collective affinity for both, the KIA Soul commercial, which was a hit on television as well, deserves recognition for being so darn entertaining. We”™re not alone in loving the furry little gangsters. The spot found nearly 4 million fans.
  3. Nerf– Teaming up with the folks at Funny or Die, Nerf created a series of mini-movies that were flat out hilarious and branding perfection. Instead of just targeting the products”™ obvious youth audience, Nerf skewed the videos towards 30-something guys and the result was brilliant.
  4. Gucci Guilty– Did this perfume ad reinvent the wheel? Heck, no”¦ and that is what makes it remarkable. The mini-film shot by director Frank Miller and starring Evan-Rachel Wood and Chris Evans used its star power to bring in 300k-plus viewers. Not Old Spice numbers by a long shot, but not at all shabby for a perfume commercial. Plus, Miller deserves props for making cosmetics comic book cool.
  5. Ford- Ford blew our mind simply because of its giant video output. The car company has dozens of YouTube channels and has inadvertently created its own network. Like the brand”™s social media marketing, Ford”™s online video campaigns are smart, brilliantly-marketed and relentless.

Quick Social Media Marketing Tricks

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Quick Social Media Marketing Tricks

Don’t believe the hype. Social media marketing need not be an arduous or painstaking process. We at Brandsplat have whipped up a list of fast social media marketing tricks that even the busiest budding entrepreneur can implement without hiring an army of assistants.

1.) Give it Away Now: Hosting product or service giveaways on your Facebook page or via Twitter is kind of a no-brainer that requires not a lot of time. Use your respective social media pages to promote your contest, to hold your contest and to publicize the winner of your contest. Speed trivia, which awards the first correct respondent with free goodies from your business, is one of the simplest social media contests to throw. Giveaways like these encourage creativity on your part and involvement on your audience’s part. Create clever questions, post them and wait for your fans to battle for the free swag. You and clients both win big.

2.) Be Good Johnny: Partnering with your favorite cause or non-profit is the ultimate warm and fuzzy social media coup, jam-packed with goodwill and good business. Using your page to promote causes close to your heart doesn’t take tons of effort. Sponsoring events and different fund-raisers with non-profits is a snap online. Tweet the dates of your fundraisers to followers while posting the details and photos of the event on Facebook.

3.) Slow and Steady Wins the Race: A social media presence takes time to build; it won’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it needs to take all of your time and become a source of day-long stress. We at Brandsplat find that to begin with, an hour to 90 minutes a day spent on social media marketing can, over time, transform a brand’s social media presence. The best part of it is that the bulk of your social media marketing can be done in advance or while you’re working on something else (like catching up on episodes of True Blood or munching on dinner).

Primarily, we should all remember the “social” aspect of social media marketing. This should be fun. If you find social media marketing strategies that you’re currently using to be time-consuming and far from fun, ditch them. Because if you’re not enjoying it, then chances are your clients aren’t, either.

5 Things You Might Have Missed

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It is, they tell us, the most wonderful time of the year. If that is indeed true, we have no idea why you’re sitting in front of your laptop. But because we care, here, just as reliable as Santa himself, is our weekly list of five things you might have missed list!

  1. A Very Snoop Christmas: Nothing says “happy holidays” like Snoop Dogg – and Pepsi seems to know that. Pepsi Max tapped the Gin and Juice sipper to tell his version of the Christmas Story. It’s the kind of viral silliness and online branding we’ve come to expect from Pepsi over the past year and Snoop does it just right.
  2. Tito Jackson. Period.: This commercial went viral this week and after one viewing, you will surely see why. Imagine, a political ad featuring a catchy R&B song with the politician’s name sprinkled throughout! I mean, they rhyme “Tito Jackson” with “man of action!” What’s not to love?
  3. Edgy isn’t always the answer: We’ve seen lots of brands and nonprofits this year cling to subversive or controversial campaigns hoping to generate headlines. Many times, however, it comes off as phony. Take this “edgy” campaign from the American Red Cross, for example. WhyshouldIgive.org is a faux apathetic website in the vein of WhatTheFuckHasObamaDoneSoFar.com. Only problem is that with the Red Cross, the whole in-your-face thing just seems fake.
  4. Knitted Toyota Cozies: As part of its Prius Projects campaign, Toyota enlisted the help of renowned knitter and artist Magda Sayeg to knit a giant, snuggly cozy for the car. The result is super-cute, DIY goodness! It’s another creative move from a brand on the rebound.

5. You: Yes, you. You’re probably low on quality personal time and feeling a little crazy. So sneak away from the family with a mug of hot cocoa and have some “you” time. After all, we think you’re pretty awesome. Thanks for reading us all year and happy holidays!

Tweeting with Substance?

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tweeting with substance

It would be easy to laugh at the idea of using Twitter for something significant; after all, the majority of highly-publicized news stories involving the social media giant are pretty ridiculous. Just yesterday, Kelly Osbourne defended Miley Cyrus on Twitter, Leanne Rimes tweeted photos of herself in a sexy Santa outfit and athletes trash talked each other some more using Twitter. And yet 2010 has witnessed the little bird doing some pretty remarkable things, too. The first Tweet from space, Twitter being used to predict the stock market and Tweets that give a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of politics were just a few of the feats we saw accomplished by tweets. We happen to believe it doesn’t have to be one way or the other: all fluff or all serious stuff. We think Twitter campaigns can be both thoughtful and a good time.

We’ve been following authors like Margret Atwood and Susan Orlean on Twitter. One of the tweet tips we’ve picked up from both of these ladies is creating a lighthearted story via Twitter. Atwood often regales readers with tales of Canadian wilderness adventures as well as opinions on art and popular culture. Orlean, who has become something of a Twitter goddess, tweets with regularity and humor, creating a dialogue between herself and her followers. (Leave it to best-selling authors to give great tweet.)

It has inspired us to inject this fluidity and storytelling into our own tweets. We can give our followers the silly inside scoop on our business while promoting our latest products and services. Tweets can transcend blatant commercials with snappy back-and-forth conversations. We also like the idea of using themed tweets on certain days – especially great if your business offers a variety of products. For example, a favorite L.A. eatery holds a Burrito Monday wherein tweets are filled with tantalizing menu details and discounts for Twitter followers. And although we’re personally exhausted by tweeted quotes and affirmations, followers love them and the occasional inspirational quote doesn’t pollute the Twittersphere.

But let’s hear from you kids: How do you use Twitter in a way that readers respond to? Which tweeps do you follow who take Twitter to a new level? And lastly, is substance really possible on Twitter? Chirp off in the comments section below!

Don’t Bogart the Inspiration: Creativity Should be Shared

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Don

We are told in countless commercials featuring smiling people wrapped in festive attire that we are currently in a season for sharing. The belligerent motorists who steamroll us in the mall parking lots, however, convey an entirely different message altogether. Still, the idea of sharing – although sometimes rare or a bit abstract – is a good one. This is especially true for creative professionals. So often we live in solitary bubbles surrounded by only our own “brilliance,” chugging dedicatedly toward deadlines. Naturally, our engines run out of steam occasionally and the great ideas dry up or get recycled. And then what? We usually panic and yell at someone or beat our heads against an innocent laptop. But really, when it comes to staying inspired, maybe the answer lies within that simple concept of sharing.

Working on a variety of copywriting projects, particularly at this time of year, I tend to get stuck. My brains tells me there cannot possibly be anything original left inside of my mind and that I should just turn on reality TV and take a self-pity nap. As I baked and decorated cookies with my niece the other day, I realized what”™s been missing from my creative diet this whole time: collaboration. We weren”™t designing major feats of creative genius, but we did consult with one another regarding frosting choice, sprinkle application and the like. We cheered on one other”™s ideas and suggested ideas to make the projects better.

Likewise, the best artists who achieve longevity are those who lean on others in their field to help stay inspired. The Impressionists (who organized art shows together) and musicians like Prince (who plays anonymously on other musicians”™ records just for the experience) demonstrate the power of sharing their creative power in hopes of enriching their own artistic lives – and all by participating in something bigger than themselves.

This is not to say that I”™m the Matisse of cookie decorating, but I do feel like the New Year is a good time to collaborate and grow artistically. I”™m inspired to start that writing group I”™ve been threatening to form, I”™m taking on non-profit clients just for the experience and I”™ve made a commitment to visit more museums and see more theater. Sharing creativity with others and allowing myself to be inspired by my colleagues can only bring great things to my clients.

So let”™s hear it: How do you, dear readers, plan on staying inspired in 2011?

Gap Bounces Back With Project Reindeer

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Gap Bounces Back With Project Reindeer

In the world of online and social media marketing, one creative and highly-praised move can erase all of your previous blunders. Take The Gap, for example. Just two months ago, the company was slaughtered, skewered and smoked on social media sites for their new logo. The reaction to the bland logo was as if the company had just announced they would start murdering little old ladies in their store windows. The company called the famously-butchered logo “a more contemporary, modern expression.” Facebookers were not having it, and they took to the company’s page to express their hatred for the logo. Gap buckled and changed back to the old one. Logo-gate seemed like it was the undoing for a company that had seen a steady slump in sales over the past decade.

But this was all before Project Reindeer.

Project Reindeer is the latest social media campaign by The Gap, and judging by the reaction it’s been getting, all is forgiven. The campaign gives a group of sassy reindeer control over what discounts Gap shoppers can receive every day leading up until Christmas. Reindeer Chloe, for example, won the deal of the day yesterday, so social media followers of Project Reindeer received any accessory at Gap for $5 bucks. The success of the project relies heavily on Twitter hashtags crafted for each of the reindeer while the Gap Facebook page announces the reindeer of the day.

It’s certainly a clever idea, even though like most Gap social media contests and specials, it is a little confusing and exhausting. Our take: By the time you’ve finished reading all of the layers of a Gap social media special, you could have printed off a coupon and driven to the store. In fact, shopaholics were ruffled earlier this year due to a confusing Facebook pages promotion. And while the company scored huge with Groupon, many complained that campaign was difficult to locate.


Not that the glitches matter much. We like seeing beleaguered brands take a fall and then re-emerge victorious. So Gap fits that bill nicely. Also, Gap should be applauded for taking risks and for trying every avenue social media has to offer.