Nobody Puts Facebook in the Corner

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fighter

What with all of this Google, Apple and Twitter news this week it seems like it has been an eternity since we’ve heard a peep out of the bombastic yet reliable Facebook publicity machine. Well, fear not. I was able to dig up the latest in Facebook dirt in the suddenly neglected (yeah right!) social media superstar’s life.

For starters, this spiffy, little study showed that Facebook as well as Twitter both experienced a big bump last year in use on more

Controversial ads aside, the Super Bowl could use a makeover

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barcalounger

The Super Bowl is still five days away but the buzz around banned ads and controversial commercials continues. Last week’s ManCrunch.com ad was axed by CBS amongst cries of homophobia and discrimination. And then there’s the Focus on the Family commercial that features college football star Tim Tebow .  Naturally,  it wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without a totally disgusting misogynistic Godaddy.com that was deemed too hot for TV. The most recent advertising reject is cellphone provider KGB’s raunchy advertisement featuring a man who’s head literally goes up his backside.

All of this hoopla, while it makes for decent headlines, seems to be a cry for attention for a major event that could use a creative overall. The 2009 telecast was down in viewers compared to 2008’s record breaking numbers.  This year’s network CBS won’t likely be stirring up any Janet Jackson-like controversy as aging rockers The Who headline the halftime show. Younger viewers will be wondering “the who?” as older viewers may confuse the band’s more

When Pepsi Abandons Traditional Marketing, It’s Time To Take Notice

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coke-v-pepsi

Pepsi is not only abandoning traditional marketing, it is abandoning a 23 year old tradition of Super Bowl advertising and replacing it with social media marketing. The tens of millions of dollars spent on Super Bowl advertising will certainly buy a lot of social media marketing – the question is, will it be a smart move? I think it will and here’s why.

The Super Bowl is a one dimensional market when it comes to geographic location and that dimension is the US market. Pepsi has a strong presence in the US, so the time is probably right to look at other markets where their presence is not so strong. It is also worth pointing out that they will get plenty of mileage in the US by simply making this announcement.

Geographical regions such as Europe and Asia (particularly China) are huge and Pepsi doesn’t have a large following in these regions. China, in particular, is interesting given the huge penetration made by Coke; this may provide a clue to Pepsi’s thinking. China is also one of the largest users of social media. So if asked how Pepsi could make an impact in China – the answer may be through social media marketing.

There are many other advantages, of course. Television advertising is very much a one shot wonder – even the Super Bowl. It needs to be followed up with newspaper, billboard and in-store marketing. Social media marketing is a long term strategy that will continue to produce results down the road. They will still need the follow-up marketing, however the total cost will be far lower. This means they can repeat the exercise across several geographical regions and still spend less than their current Super Bowl outlay.

Pepsi is not the first to realize the power of social media marketing. Pepsi is probably one of the biggest in terms of dollars spent on TV advertising. What will be interesting to follow is whether or not Coke will respond in a similar way and what sort of influence this will have on other businesses that have been considering social media marketing. When the big boys decide to change the rules of the game, you know it’s time to take notice.

Baby, you make me feel like marketing.

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babydancing

I just came across the freaky-deakiest viral video for Evian water. It’s a YouTube baby thriller that has garnered over 3 million views in a week. But this is no ordinary viral video shot on a mini cam in the basement of some kids house. It’s a slicker-than-slick special effects spot directed by Michael Gracey and Pete Commins of production company Partizan.  According to an Evian press release, the campaign is “Bursting with an infectious energy and love of life, the new ads portray lively, happy babies roller break-dancing to a remix of the hit Rapper’s Delight by hip-hop producer Dan the Automator, connecting consumers to their inner youth.” Wow, it sounds like they pilfered a creative brief to get that quote. The new campaign may be the future of viral video in that it costs big bucks,  has a multi-level marketing effort supporting it and a fresh new tagline. While Evian waxes on and on justifying the use of babies to exemplify youth, let’s be honest, everyone knows that using babies in a commercial is a kick-ass way to get a brand noticed. In fact, Super Bowl commercials are notoriously known as breeding grounds for baby entertainers. There are other things that work for branding as well: wrestling bikini babes, fat guys and monkeys are among the tried and true. But babies are a favorite around the world to be sure. Mix that up with professional content and excellent editing and you got yourself the potential to create the kind of buzz that reverberates all the way to the Himalayas.

TV commercials more persuasive. Banner ads more not.

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thurs7_9

According to a recent Business Wire post a recent survey of 2,521 people was conducted by Adweek Media and Harris Interactive that suggests television ads were more helpful in making purchase decisions than other forms of media like newspapers, radio, search engines and banner ads. What? You mean traditional forms of media are more helpful in making a purchase decision than that newfangled internet all the kids are using? According to this poll, yes. Could this be because people go to their computers for different reasons than they do their televisions? In days of old, people went to their computers for business reasons or to craft a report. It’s been just recently that people have been going to their computers for watching SNL videos, tweeting and playing World Of Warcraft. But we have always gone to our beloved television sets expecting television commercials. Heck, commercials are even part of the draw during the biggest event on television: the Super Bowl. The point is, we expect television to entertain us AND to tell us what a Hemi is so we can be informed when we buy our next car or truck. By contrast, we expect the Internet to be this wonderful place where you can be entertained, informed, inspired, linked-in etc., all whilst not being influenced by advertising. I don’t know about you, but I think ads get in the way on the Internet. They are like small nuisances that pop up and can be easily ignored once you train your eye to do so. And by the way, guess which type of ads pollsters said they ignored most? You guessed it, banner ads.

Digital or traditional marketing? It’s my strategy in a box.

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wed7_8

I just came across an interesting debate between web advertising vs. traditional forms on Search Engine Journal Clients will always want to measure results and pin-point what exactly is driving sales and who exactly is responsible for poor sales. It”™s human nature to dissect and put things in nice, neat little boxes. I mean, look at us: we live in boxes, we drive boxes around and we work in boxes that contain boxes within them that we call cubicles. So it”™s no wonder that we have the urge to put “traditional” advertising in one box and “digital” advertising in another. The problem is that we really don”™t know why traditional forms of advertising (like television commercials and billboards) work, but they do. If they didn”™t work you wouldn”™t see it everywhere you look. The act of putting things in nice neat little boxes extends far beyond analytics in some agencies. For example, if you walk into many of the larger, slower to move agencies you will find the “digitals” separated from the “traditionals” . Some agencies section off cubical space for interactive workers almost like they”™re cattle of a different breed. The opposite is true when you walk into many “digital” shops where they may section off some old-timers that have a background in traditional advertising just in case a client asks for a print ad or billboard. What I don”™t understand is why agencies can”™t make digital part of the everyday repertoire. Why can”™t we all make an effort to understand and utilize mediums like SEO and PPC campaigns just like we need to understand utilize the print, outdoor, radio and Super Bowl commercials. Why can”™t we all just get along?