Category Archives: Branding

Thanks for Coming to Celebrate My Birthday! You Can Leave a Check at the Door.

As a child, my favorite birthday party ever was when I turned eight. My mom willingly packed 10 screaming kids into her Ford Windstar and took us to Magic Castle, a renaissance-themed recreational facility in Ohio with trampolines, batting cages, a climbing wall, video games and unlimited pizza; it was an eight-year-old’s paradise.

As an adult, I prefer low-key birthday celebrations, usually with a small group of friends going out for dinner. I tend to follow the philosophy that says it’s the people you are with, not where you are the counts (yes, I think that is a Dave Matthews Band lyric).  So when I read this article about Nick Cannon’s birthday plans, I found it hard to relate.

The New York Post reports, “Nick Cannon is looking to make a killing on his 30th birthday — reps for Mariah Carey‘s husband have sent out a mass e-mail looking for corporate sponsors to pay $25,000 for three tweets from next month’s bicoastal bash.”

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Scoring Big with World Cup Digital Marketing

During Monday’s World Cup match between the Netherlands and Denmark, 36 spectators were removed from the stadium. They weren’t cursing at the referees. They weren’t causing fights. Their crime was wearing orange dresses. The group huddled in the front row of the stadium and the sea of orange grabbed the attention of several cameras during the game. But these weren’t just ordinary dresses. They were supplied by the Dutch brewery, Bavaria, which means they were in direct offense of Fifa’s marketing regulations.

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Hollywood’s Hottest New Couple: HP and SJP

Whether or not you have preordered your ticket for opening weekend of Sex and the City 2, you might be interested to know that a key player in the franchise may be missing: the Apple computer. HP made a huge media buy to publicize its latest line of chic, designer laptops. They are pretty cute, I must admit.

On top of the multiple product placements in the film, HP has launched a full-blown social media campaign to support the promotion. This includes a flashy microsite detailing the ins and outs of the “2010 Spring Laptop Collection,” as well as a Facebook contest with a glamorous weekend in New York as the grand prize. SJP is also the latest star to walk consumers through her PC in the new TV ads.

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Filed under Branding, Celebrity, Facebook, Film, Microsite

Gettin’ Lucky on Facebook

I find it terribly annoying when a brand launches a Facebook page and then doesn’t do a darn thing with it. Particularly for consumer brands, there is not only a huge marketing opportunity for them, but a chance to closely engage with their constituents on a one-to-one level.

I was happy to see that Lucky Magazine has taken Facebook marketing to a new level with the launch of its Facebook Pop Up Shop. In partnership with the Home Shopping Network (HSN), the shopping pub introduced a virtual store for designers like Pade Vavra, Gerard Yosca and F+C.

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Q. What’s more embarrassing that getting caught reading a Playboy?

A. Getting caught reading a Playboy with 3-D glasses.

Today it was announced that the June centerfold for the 57 year-old nudie mag will feature 3-D photography. According to news reports, Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk will appear to be handing the reader a glass of wine. Somehow, but I don’t think the wine glass is what most are looking forward to popping off the page.

The added expense of the 3-D glasses that will appear with the June issue will be absorbed by HBO who is sponsoring the issue to promote its new season of True Blood. Characters from the hyper-sexual vampire soap opera will be featured on the inside of the collector’s glasses. Continue reading

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Top Takeaways from Social Integration: Harmonizing Social Channels into the Marketing, Communications & Service Platform

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Business Development Institute’s social media seminar on social integration in New York City. I had the chance to meet many interesting and intelligent PR/marketing practitioners and listen to several top-notch speakers. I left with a wealth of knowledge and I’d like to share with you a few of the top takeaways that were discussed.

  • Digital Content doubles every 18 months. The amount of data available online in constantly swelling and it is up to marketers to 1) cut through the clutter and determine the areas where their clients already have a voice; 2) identify the white space their clients can “own”; 3) execute innovative social media campaigns that maximize opportunity and reach targeted audiences.
  • There is a paradigm shift already taking place within integrated communications; we need to focus on facilitating meaning Engagement online, rather than garnering the highest number of impressions possible.
  • The Digital Newsroom is no longer just for media. To appease a broader audience, we need to aggregate company and industry news (not just press releases), incorporate multimedia features (podcasts, video, etc.), and repurpose existing content (white pages, bylined articles, etc.) to tell the story that we want to be told.
  • You can’t ignore Negative Commentary online. Consider this: If a consumer walked into a retail store with a complaint, would the customer service representative send them to the back of the line?
  • Social media is much like the lesson we teach children about crossing the street: Stop, Look and Listen before you make a move.
  • Social media tools have enabled a constant Mobility which means that we must be “on call” 24/7. Consumers are constantly looking for more information, more connectivity and more usable content. Before you engage, be sure you are prepared to nurture and maintain the process.

You can check out the event’s hashtag on Twitter for additional insights and takeaways from today’s attendees by searching #BDI.

Do you have any other tips or best practices you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Best Practices, Branding, Facebook, New Room, Social Media, Trend, Twitter, Video, YouTube

Volvo’s Twilight 2.0

OK, I admit it. I love the Twilight books.

OK, I also admit that Robert Pattinson is a beautiful human being.

While many companies have attempted to piggy back off the Twilight frenzy that has now spread far beyond just thirteen year old girls, I believe the recent “What Drives Edward” campaign has managed to demonstrate how social media can expand an organic partnership between two brands.

Product placement has been around for quite a while now, whether or not movie-goers were aware of it or not. In the original Twilight movie, Edward rescued Bella from a gang of over-testosteroned high schoolers while driving in a Volvo XC 60. Recognizing the unexpected hoopla the first movie generated, Volvo was smart to not only renew its brand placement in the upcoming New Moon sequel, which will reach a wide-spread captive audience, but it also incorporated a social media microsite called What Drives Edward, which provides an interactive brand experience for the consumer and a chance to win a new Volvo and tickets to the New Moon premier.

This is a great example of what my colleague Sam Ford calls “Sticky vs. Spreadable” media. “Sticky” refers to marketers’ desire to reach a widespread audience and hold their attention. Whether or not a Twilight fan wants to or not, they will see several shots of the new Volvo XC 60 when they go to the movies later this month to see New Moon. However, “Spreadable” refers to a personal brand experience that is unique to each consumer that encourages them to share the information digitally (like my blogging about the topic ) or by simple word of mouth. In that case, the message reaches a targeted audience that shares the information with other like-minded media consumers, which ultimately results in a more meaningful understanding and interest in the brand.

While What Drives Edward is not the most advanced microsite, nor does it make me more likely to purchase a Volvo in the next 12 months, I can attest that the brand is more top of mind. As a Twilight fan that would otherwise not likely think about Volvo on a regular basis, I’d say the Volvo marketers would consider me a success case.

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