Friday, November 30, 2007

The Most Exclusive Social Networks

Excerpt from Business Week:

As Facebook and MySpace continue to welcome a wider and wider array of members, some people are turning to more discriminating social sites...Take a peek inside 11 of the most exclusive online communities to find out who is part of the new in crowd—and what they're doing behind closed doors.

Study: Charities use social media more than businesses

November 28, 2007 (Computerworld) -- The country's largest charities are outpacing the business world in their use of Web 2.0 technologies like blogs and podcasts, according to preliminary survey results released by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

The survey of 76 of the largest U.S. charities found that 75% are using some form of social media, including blogs, podcasts, message boards, social networking sites, video blogging and wikis. More than 41% of the charities surveyed are using online video, and more than a third of the charities are blogging.

Almost half (46%) reported that social media is a very important part of their fundraising strategy, according to the preliminary report, called "Blogging for the Hearts of Donors: Largest U.S. Charities Use Social Media." Those surveyed include representatives from well known charities like the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, Habitat for Humanity International and Easter Seals.

While 34% of the charities reported that they are using blogs, previous research by the university has shown that only 8% of companies in the Fortune 500 and 19% in the Inc. 500 are blogging, according to the preliminary research results. The university plans to release the full results of the survey next year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I have a new contact on LinkedIn- Hillary Clinton.

As some of you know, the Democratic presidential candidates have created profiles on LinkedIn. I see that Obama and Clinton are there. I sent both of them an invitation to see if they would respond and to my chagrin, I heard back from Hillary today! Can Romney be far behind?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NEWSALERT: Teenagers abandon email.

Very interesting article in Slate on how teenagers are increasingly abandoning email.


"Let's think about this from a teenager's perspective. First, you'd never send an e-mail to 200 friends saying, "It's Friday and I'm ready to party!!!" But with a Twitter tweet or a Facebook status update, you can broadcast such a message to all of your buddies without seeming like a total dweeb. Need to make your party plans for Friday night? You'd be a fool to send an e-mail and twiddle your thumbs waiting for responses; it's speedier to exchange IMs with your friends. If you then need to tell those friends how awesome they are for joining you, post a message on their Facebook or MySpace page so the world can see. And mobile phones take instant—and constant—contact into a whole other realm. You can argue with your girlfriend all night without having to leave the party. Then, the next morning, you can change your Facebook relationship status to "single." And there you have it—a whole weekend of social drama lived and publicized without a single e-mail."

Fake iPhone from China!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Friday!

Let the craziness begin!

Amazon Kindle: Hands-on first impressions

Could Kindle be on your shopping list this holiday season? Amazon thinks so. News about this device came out last weekend. But do you think consumers will be happy with a black and white screen in the era of iPod and iPhone? will they mind carrying multiple gadgets with them wherever they go or will they prefer to consolidate and stick with one item only?


CNET News 19/Nov/2007

The slow drip of rumors and leaks about the Amazon Kindle e-book reader exploded into a full-blown flood over the weekend, once it was revealed as this week's Newsweek cover story. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos filled in all of the remaining blanks (or most of them, anyway) at this morning's New York press conference that officially introduced the product to the world. Some relevant details, finally confirmed:

* Measurements: The Kindle weighs 10.3 ounces and is about the size of a trade paperback book. It's both taller and thicker than the Sony Reader.

* Connectivity: The Kindle connects to the Web via the "Amazon Whispernet," a free high-speed cellular wireless network (Sprint EVDO). Books and other content are available for direct download, without the need for connecting to a PC (though a USB port does provide PC connectivity for transferring files). The Kindle's internal memory can store up to 200 books, and it's expandable via an SD slot (which can also be used to load additional media).

* Books: Once you're online via EVDO, electronic books are available directly from Amazon for up to $10--just click on the title you want, and it's downloaded (and you're charged) in about a minute's time. Amazon is currently offering more than 90,000 titles, including 90 percent of the current New York Times bestsellers. The first chapter of most books can be previewed on the Kindle for free. Amazon keeps track of your purchases, so you can delete the file on the Kindle (to make space for more content) and then download it again later for no additional charge.

* Newspapers and magazines: The Kindle can also be used to subscribe to a variety of periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Le Monde, and Forbes. Newspaper subscriptions are $6 to $15 a month, and magazines are $1.25 to $3.49. Dailies are automatically delivered to the Kindle overnight, and each periodical includes a free two-week trial. (There appears to be no discount for existing subscribers of these periodicals.)

* Blogs: The Kindle also offers more than 300 blogs, including Slashdot, The Onion, BoingBoing, and Techcrunch--but these are customized Kindle versions that cost at least $1 a month. Moreover, unlike your RSS feeds, you can't add your favorite blog--if it's not on Amazon's list, you can't subscribe to it.

* Web browsing: The Kindle can also browse the Web at large (it has its own QWERTY keyboard directly below the screen), but--unlike the Kindle-ized premium content listed above--most standard Web pages are something of a disaster. The CNET home page, for instance, was rendered as 18 separate pages. Likewise, don't expect support for any plug-ins such as Flash.

* Notation and bookmarks: You can bookmark key passages of what you're reading, and (using the keyboard), make, edit, and export notes. The Kindle also saves your place when reading anything, so you can always pick up where you left off.

* Price and availability: The Kindle reader is now available from for $400.

CNET got one of the first review samples, and we've gotten a chance to put it through its paces. What do we think so far? Here's a quick and dirty appraisal, based on just a couple of hours of use:

The Good: Excellent high-contrast screen does a great job of simulating a printed page; large library of tens of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via Amazon's familiar online store; built-in "Whispernet" data network--no PC needed; built-in keyboard for notes; SD card expansion slot; long battery life.

The Bad: Design is ergonomic, but not very elegant; pricing for nearly all the content seems too high, especially considering the periodicals and blogs are available for free online; black-and-white screen is fine for books, but less impressive for periodicals and Web content; lacks a true Web browser; included cover is clumsy and poorly designed; yet another dedicated device you'll need to lug around with you.

The Bottom Line: With its built-in wireless capabilities and PC-free operation, Amazon's Kindle is a promising evolution of the electronic book (and newspaper, and magazine)--but overpriced content could be its Achilles' heel.

In other words, the Kindle is a very promising gadget that offers the potential to revolutionize how we read books and periodicals--but I just don't see myself buying one (and I read about two books a month). But again, that's a very preliminary evaluation. The full review is coming soon. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about the Kindle's capabilities. And, of course, your opinions: is the Kindle the next must-have gadget, or is there a dealbreaker or two that keeps it from missing the mark? And how many of you are just holding out for the iTunes Bookstore on your iPhone or iPod Touch? Or would prefer to spend your $400 on an Asus EEE PC instead?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Funny Heineken Commercial.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Interview with David Morrison, President/Founder,

I had a chance to interview David A. Morrison, President/Founder, TwentySomething Inc.. His firm specializes in helping marketers create targeted campaigns for the twenty-something segment. If you like his answers, go buy his book (“Marketing to the Campus Crowd”, Kaplan/Dearborn, hardcover, ISBN 07931-8600-5).

Here are ten questions for you-

1) How are today's "twentysomethings” different?

Today’s twentysomethings are completely unique from preceding generations as they exist at the epicenter of profound, unprecedented, accelerated change. Emerging technologies, worker mobility (and the “free agent” mentality), social networking, time compression, the portable ‘Net, and an enhanced awareness of the larger world are all collectively shaping a New Consumer. From a marketer’s perspective, young adults represent an incredibly savvy, demanding, and challenging customer base that represents both high reward as well as unquestionable risk. This coveted, yet elusive, group can just as easily make a brand as it can break one. Twentysomethings are exerting tremendous purchasing power; simultaneously, they are influencing buying decisions and brand attitudes across all other demographic groups (from tweens to grandparents). This is one key reason why our firm focuses on the larger market of 15-34 year olds.

2) What is the most common misconception about marketing to this segment?

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding the young adult market is that it’s monolithic. Nothing could be further from the truth as this cohort is the most diverse generation in American history. To approach teens and twentysomethings as a homogeneous group is a monumental mistake. Astute marketers recognize the endless sub-segments that exist within this target and carefully craft their efforts accordingly to reach the “lowest hanging fruit” for maximum ROI. Proper execution is a unique blend that’s part science and part art.

3) Is social media (especially Facebook, MySpace) a fad or is it a new way to connect with an audience?

Social media has fundamentally altered the consumer landscape. While the endless ways in which marketers try to leverage this P2P venue may result in a variety of fads, social networking is a natural extension of word-of-mouth which is the strongest driver behind young adult purchasing behavior and brand perceptions. There will always be change within the social media space; however, the enormous impact of this venue on consumer behavior is here to stay.

4) If you have $1 million to target college kids in America, how do you spend it?

There is no boilerplate response due to the intricacies of the competitive landscape. As an experienced consultant, my recommendation would be dictated by a combination of essential factors that must be taken into consideration such as the category, the company, the brand, the target audience, and a variety of other trends and fads occurring in real-time. Only by customizing a response to a particular client can decision making be optimized.

5) Is the youth segment more interested in green issues than the rest of the population?

Yes. Most of today’s 15-34 year olds are far more passionate about environmental responsibility. Unlike the Baby Boomers, today’s youth was raised on the concept of “acting green”; moreover, they have a more vested interest in the earth’s long-term sustainability. However, “thinking green” and “spending green” are by no means automatically interlinked. The majority of 15-34 year olds still don’t necessarily put their money where their mouths are. Looking at the automotive category, for example, most young adults are not driving hybrid cars. Why? Because, despite a genuine concern about the environment, young adult purchasing is still largely being driven (pun intended) by other, more pressing factors such as reliability, value, performance, utility, safety, and style. Despite all of the media hype, green is rarely a viable primary product positioning with the youth market. (At least for now.)

6) I represent a Fortune 100 company and I want to market to this segment. What should I not do?

As I mention at the very beginning of my book, “Marketing to the Campus Crowd” (Kaplan/Dearborn, hardcover, ISBN 07931-8600-5), the first mantra I advise marketers is not to erroneously assume inherent knowledge of the youth/young adult market simply because they were once part of it. This world is vastly different and continues to constantly evolve at warp speed. It’s important for marketers to understand the competitive landscape as well as their customers in the “here and now.”

7) How did September 11 affect the twentysomething segment and how does that affect marketers?

Today’s young adults were most certainly imprinted by the horrific events of 9/11: they were at such impressionable ages at the time. Twentysomethings yearn for brands that they can trust. Brands which betray that trust, or merely raise a hint of suspicion, risk alienating an entire generation. Another trend that we saw after 9/11 is the proliferation of nostalgia as a consumer hot button. The young adults of today yearn for the innocence and simplicity of yesteryear. A “remember when” positioning has the potential to be highly resonant, relevant, and compelling.

8) When I think of twentysomething males on college campuses, I think of "Animal House.” Is this still how it works or is this an outdated stereotype?

Marketers need to be exceptionally wary of stereotypes. While the “Animal House” mentality is most certainly alive and well on college campuses throughout the globe, it would be inaccurate to portray all college students in this light. Two apropos analogies: (1) most Generation Xers were never slackers, and (2) the majority of Baby Boomers were never hippies. It’s always particularly dangerous for marketers to rely on a Hollywood archetype to define their customers.

9) I belong to this segment and I am also a marketing student. What advice do you have for me?

Internships. Internships. Internships. Experience is absolutely paramount in realizing your professional aspirations. In addition, I strongly encourage students to truly take advantage of school resources. Attend marketing department events. Go to the conferences. Hang with the professors and go beyond the classwork. Listen to speakers that come onto campuses. Start a business! And, without question, take advantage of the fact that leading professional trade groups provide student discounts. The American Marketing Association and other industry associations are phenomenal places to expand your learning, gain hands-on experience, and create invaluable contacts.

10) Where is this segment going and what will today's twentysomethings be like in ten years?

That’s a big piece of what my firm, TWENTYSOMETHING Inc., does for a living! Those answers have to be saved for our clients so we can continue to provide them with long-term competitive advantage. But in the spirit of sharing, here’s a freebie: One touch-point that marketers should closely watch is social networking as it moves onto the much-heralded “third screen” and truly goes mobile. Once the wireless web goes mainstream, the world will truly never be the same.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Charlie Rose Wal-Mart Interview

Peter Wilson Talk Summary.

I attended a talk yesterday by Peter Wilson, Engineering Director, Google, Kirkland, WA.

Here are some observations from his talk.

Peter comes off as an uber-nerd. He is more comfortable answering techie questions rather than fielding business-related questions. He even said that he was more a technical person rather than a businessman. He was dressed in what could be described as a Hawaii shirt with ridiculous cowboy boots. Funnily, the audience was what you would expect- typical white-shirt, button down, $75 tie, downtown Seattle crowd. He has not watched TV since 1999.

Peter came to Google via Microsoft and, therefore, symbolizes the fight between the two titans. He obviously sees Google as being better positioned to deal with the coming revolution in software and online services. He sees Microsoft as still being aligned with the old model of selling software in boxes whereas Google is into online services. He also sees Google as an innovative giant while he sees Microsoft being mired in its old ways.

His main point was that the software industry was changing in a big way. The early focus on productivity was giving way to relationships and social networks. He clearly saw leveraging advertising opportunities on social networking sites such as Facebook as one of the major growth vectors of Google.

The audience was very interested in the much-vaunted Google culture. Yes, the food is good. Peter described the culture as chaotic by design. As many as eight people shared an office. Employees were encouraged not just to complain, but to fix problems. Google continually conducted experiments and learned from it. They really viewed themselves as being engaged in iterative development. Interestingly, Google makes it easy for managers to visit other sites and interact with developers. The only price one has to pay is to give a tech talk.

Peter pumped the Open Handset Alliance. He griped about how the mobile industry really worked on closed protocols while the Web had moved to an open API/open standards world.

Other interesting things-

- Hardly anyone uses the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. But, if you take it off, people feel dissatisfied.

- Peter pumped mashups. He seems to love iLike and brought this one up as well.

Overall, I wished the talk had been more substantive. I still got a lot out of it and hope to see more of Peter!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ad pulled after terrapin attack

Do you think Ads cross the line sometimes? If so, where do we draw the line? Please read and let me know!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 08:41 GMT

An online advert showing a tortoise being shot into space has been pulled after it was linked to an incident when a terrapin was tied to a lit firework.

The creature was fired into a garden in Wrexham on Bonfire Night and found by a dog. It suffered a cracked shell, bumped head and a bleeding mouth.

The RSPCA linked the incident with the Virgin Media broadband advert which uses a cartoon tortoise.

The company apologised for any offence and said the advert had been stopped.

The RSPCA had accused Virgin Media of depicting animal cruelty with its cartoon image of a lit firework being used to fire a tortoise into space, ripping off its shell in the process.

A spokesman for the company said the advert was symbolic of a tortoise who wanted to get faster broadband and it did not condone cruelty to animals.

"We have stopped running our online advert, depicting a tortoise with a rocket, and sincerely apologise to anyone this may have offended," added the spokesman.

RSPCA spokesman David Bowles said the terrapin incident was not thought to be a direct copycat of the Virgin Media advert but he believed the two were connected.

He appealed for future advertising to be "thought through more carefully".

The terrapin, believed to be a female, is being cared for at a north Wales specialist reptile centre.

The charity appealed on Friday for help in catching the culprits behind what they described as a "callous and sick" act of cruelty.

It is thought the firework with the terrapin attached to it was set off on 5 November, but it was not discovered until the following morning, meaning it had lain in a garden of a house on Rutland Road overnight.

RSPCA officer Claire Davies, who collected the terrapin, said she was "completely lost for words" when she discovered what had happened.

"After this terrifying ordeal and lying in a cold garden all night it is a miracle that she survived," she said.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Converging media and interactivity

As the technology continues to be developed the way we view out favorite forms of media, whether it be television, music or games, is rapidly changing. With TiVo and other dvrs becoming more widespread some traditional marketers are starting to get a little scared. They fear that that given the options no one will watch ads placed in television.

While this may be true marketers should not see this new technology as the death to capturing their consumers. While viewers will continue to be more fragmented the effectiveness of ads may be a major potential. TiVo itself is offering solutions to the perceived problem they created by placing interactive tags in programs and telescoping ads to product showcases with the possibility of a new point of purchase directly from your television set when connected to broadband.

TiVo can also give a second by second analysis of how viewers interactions with the programed content. Advertisers can know if their ads are being skipped and what the best way to assure that they wont be next time will be.

Traditionally interactive television has been slow to start because of the fragmented technology's that do not cooperate well together. That is until recently many industry leaders are working together to build cross platform interactivity under the project name canoe.

This is a growing trend that will inevitably lead to an exponential convergence of our media so that at any time we will be able to choose the media we want and marketers will be able to serve us the ads that pertain best to what we are interested in.

Marketing Trends: Green Marketing

As the cost of oil is nearing $100 a barrel, and as science continues to shout global warming more and more markers are taking the hint and going green. While it is still in the early stages we will continue to see more and more marketers turning to take companies green in order to capture consumers. Whether it be fore retailers, manufactured goods or even the food industry marketers are happy to point out whatever Earth friendly benefits they have to offer.

While it is true that use of the word “green” or “natural” has been largely unmanaged and often abused, it should be used as an expression of the provider’s commitment to a better environment and a healthier planet. It can also be measurable; for example, we can measure the impact of an electrical appliance which uses less electricity, paper products which are made of recycled paper, or the impact of using alternative fuels such as ethanol.

From a political perspective, the idea of green marking can be seen in nearly all of the Democratic nominees major points of discussion. Conserving oil and alternative energy is a unilateral political party platform agenda item for the upcoming U.S. presidential election (thanks to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore). All major candidates are eco-friendly at least in rhetoric. Meanwhile, our current president, George Bush, has pleaded with the American public to cut the use of gasoline in his last State of the Union Speech.

While politics place the topic on the table in front of nearly every American citizen, marketers need to make sure that consumers understand the benefits of green products, and maybe more importantly the downside to non-green products.

It is up to us marketers to help the consumer understand the benefits of leaving behind a carbon neutral footprint—cleaner air, less dependency on foreign suppliers of petroleum products, less waste to bury or burn, and a healthier environment for our children and their children.

The spoils earned by the providers who commit now to a greener earth will be the chance for increased sales and profits. The market is ready for this message. Go green or watch your business turn black and go up in smoke.

Organic Food on the Rise??

As everyone may know organic food is getting more and more popular. Although it is supposedly "better" for you it takes its toll on the pockets. Everything that is "organic" must go through several requirments to be certified with this tag. Is it really worth it? How much better is it for you?

Crazy Marketing Stunts

I just came across this article. It's ten crazy marketing stunts that a guy named Al Lautenslager thought of. They are pretty crazy but they just might work.

10 marketing trends to watch for in 2007

Check out this article. Its pretty interesting, it has 10 marketing trends that were supposed to be big for this year.

America crazy about breadbox on wheels called Smart car

While in Europe this summer i noticed everyone was driving these tiny cars called "Smart Cars" And ever since i have been back i have heard the buzz of them bringing the smart car to the united states. Now these cars will be here within the next 2 months. With the growing concern over global warming i think that some might turn to these cars as a way to be more fuel efficient. However im sure that most people are concerned for thier safety in such a small vehicle. I myself know of many other options if you are looking for a alternative fuel vehicle but have never looked into this one. You wont be seeing any advertisiments for this vehicle because the creator says there is no need after all there are 30,000 people in online reservations already. So only time will tell if these futurisitc gas conserving vehicles will be hot or not.

Myspace and facebook war heats up

Breaking now: MySpace, the Web’s largest social network with more than 110 million members, has joined Google’s OpenSocial platform. The New York Times wrote about the effort, designed to counter Facebook, on Tuesday.
The OpenSocial effort is designed to allow third-party developers to create one set of programs that work across many of the Web’s most popular social networks, including LinkedIn, Friendster, Hi5, Bebo, and now MySpace.
Facebook, in contrast, asks developers to create programs for the network in its own proprietary format.

Curing Malaria with Facebook's Help

The New York Times today had an article on Lance Laifer, a hedge fund manager in New Jersey and former Internet entrepreneur, started researching malaria two and a half years ago, a prominent professor with a medical background told him that doctors were not drawn to malaria research because it was a disease of logistics.

Mr. Laifer has inspired people to fast against malaria and to dunk basketballs around the world, using any net available. He recently began a Facebook campaign called “One Million Faces Against Malaria,” trying to show what one million people look like, since at least that many people die every year of malaria. He has also worked with doctors and economists to build health clinics in Africa, create 11 malaria-free zones and develop programs to train child soldiers to become child doctors.

South Africa: Facebook Unveils Targeted AD System

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this week announced the launch of Facebook Ads, an advertising system that lets businesses connect with their target audience, roll out viral social ads, and track social activity on the site.

According to this statement, Facebook Ads now makes it possible for "businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want." Some of the companies already on board include Sony Pictures, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless and BlockBusters.

Essentially, this is a very logical step for Facebook, and one that makes a lot of sense for advertisers. Think about it. Social networking sites have access to an almost unlimited amount of data about users. This includes their interests, friends, demographics, favourite on-site applications and groups, to name just some. Arguably there isn't a better way for advertisers to reach their target audiences with advertising that speaks to users on a very individual basis.

Seems like Facebook has found another great way to turn it's fun social network into an even larger corporate tool. . .

Mozilla Firefox vs. Internet Explorer 7.0

After reading an article discussing the differences between Firefox and Internet Explorer I believe Firefox will soon be the worlds most popular browser. But as of today, the majority of internet users browse with Internet Explorer. Here are the following pros and cons related to the two browsers:

3 Internet Explorer 7.0 CONS

1. It's an ongoing security risk.
-Biggest target for hackers, worlds most popular browser. Vulnerable to more spyware infections
If you are not using Windows XP, Microsoft has abandoned you
All upgrades for Internet Explorer (IE 7.0) require at least Windows XP
Internet Explorer is less configurable than Firefox
Although IE7 now offers a useful collection of add-ons that allow you to customize your browsing experience the number of such add-ons just can't compare to the 1000+ free extensions available for Firefox.

3 Internet Explorer 7.0 PROS

1. Some web sites won't work properly with Firefox
A number of web sites utilize non-standard, proprietary Microsoft features such as ActiveX in order to provide site navigation and other features.
Firefox loads slower than Internet Explorer and takes more memory
Firefox may load web pages faster than IE but the program itself takes longer to load. Much longer, maybe twice as long. Firefox also uses more memory than IE.
Firefox has had its own security problems
Firefox may be safer than IE but it has had its own share of security problems. Indeed since V1 was released there have been more than seven new versions containing security enhancements.

After reading this article and learning more about the details I believe that Firefox will soon be the worlds most popular browser. There is no doubt that Firefox is currently less of a security risk than IE. In particular it is way less liable to Spyware infection. As for the longer program loading time? That doesnt matter to me and I dont think it will matter to others. It only takes longer for the homepage to come up when you double click Firefox; it doesnt mean your internet browsing experience is slower. Firefox actually loads web pages faster that IE.

Check out the whole article and decide for yourself:

Bad Customer Service can get you Hammered!

"The Washington Post reports that a little old lady took a hammer to Comcast. Apparently fed up with the lousy service she received from a botched Comcast installation of "triple-play", and a completely humiliating experience at a customer service center, 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces."

Now i can understand being fed up with customer service and not taking your "happy pills" that day, but come on; this is ridiculous. While I'm definitely not a fan of major telecom companies; should it really take a woman wielding a hammer in your office for you to realize that maybe you're not taking care of your customers properly?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and such is the case with the big cable and telecom companies that have small monopolies in certain areas of the country where we don't have much choice other than to sign up for their services. Just because we may be customer # 17766262 doesn't mean we need to be treated as such. If only some of these companies would extend just a little more personal care then maybe we wouldn't mind spending $100.00 + every month on what has become our basic necessities. (cable, internet & phone) On second thought, maybe Mona's on to something.

Check out my marketing blog

Hey Everyone,

I apparently misunderstood the assignment, and made my own marketing blog.  Feel free to check it out.  

-Andrew G.

Guerilla Marketing Hits the Web

Why is guerilla marketing taking over social sites? For two good reasons: the environment and psychology align with guerilla tactics.

Social sites provide a perfect environment for marketers to directly focus ads to individuals. Technology is now available to track consumer purchases over the web and user profiles provide specific demographic information.

Of course, if you don't know that you are seeing an ad it's easier to pay attention. Companies recognize this and are posting their own YouTube videos cleverly disguised as product promotion.

Add Video to QuickList
(see "Guy catches sunglasses with face" from Rayban)

To me this seems like a trend. As with anything in life you either take it or leave it. The more annoyed the public gets with seeing the same tactic over and over the less likely companies will use that technique. What really matters is the effectiveness of the ad. Does the YouTube video from Rayban make you want to buy their glasses subliminally? Who's really being fooled?

What's the Google Phone all about?

Talk about thinking about outside of the box. Google as done it again. The problem with the American cell phone market is that no one is happy with their phones. (iPhone users included) With the big 4 cell phone service providers having a grip on their market that they're not willing with let go the people suffering the most are the customers. People are stuck with phones with different operating systems that don't mix well together, have limited features and some horribkly stupid features that no one will use.

Apple has taken a step in the right direction with the iPhone. Apple did what they do best, give you a slick user interface that was a welcomed breath of fresh air to the cell phone industry. At the last several cell phone trade shows almost no one is talking about the iPhone; the bar has been raised and the competition knows that they can't compete.

The part where Apple screwed up was when they compromised with the portion of the business that they're too small to take care of themselves; the actual cell phone service. When signing up with AT&T, Apple went over to the dark side. All of a sudden you have a handset that is locked to a single carrier and users will be punished for trying to unlock the device itself. What's more is that it has been found out that Apple is making $849.00 per iPhone from AT&T over the life of the two year contract. Now Apple looks just like every other cell phone maker because they've given into the corporate model of milking the customer for all they're worth while being chained to a single provider.

So where is Google going to fix this idea? Well Google did the best thing they could; they DIDN"T develop a phone. Google has announced "Android" which will be their open source platform to be used on upcoming LG, Palm, Nokia, HTC, T-Mobile, Qualcomm & Motorolla handsets. This will help this biggest problem of all; having a mutual platform that will translate well between cell phone makers and cell phone service providers. Now all we have to do is get the service providers to stop these two year agreement death traps.

Product Placement Finds Its Way Into High-End Hotels

There have been so many times that i have stayed at a hotel and loved many things about the room. Well now hotel guests can purchase items they like at discount prices! Hotels across america are teaming up with retailers to provide products to their hotels and there customers either before you can buy them or through catologs and with the use of promotional codes. I think that this is a great idea and a great way for companies to recieve higher sales. Im sure everyone has had a time where they really liked the fixtures in a bathroom or the sweet flat screen that is in your room. Well now you dont need to hunt around to find these products they are right therer for you to purchase!This is good for the consumer but it is great for companys such as Sony to be associated with high end hotels like the Luxor and the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, consumers will think high quality when they hear the name Sony because they were able to sample some of Sonys high end merchandise while staying in high quality hotels.

Why is gold valuable?

An article in today's Los Angeles Times reports that the price of gold has now hit $850 per ounce. This raises an interesting question: Why is gold so valuable?

Economists clearly have a point about supply and demand--$850 is the equilibrium price that results from the dynamics of the market place. That, however, does not explain why this heavy demand came about.

The substantive uses of gold as anything other than an investment in its own right are actually quite limited. Today, there is much more gold around than what is needed for jewelry. Gold, in its pure form, is actually too fragile to be used for jewelry, so an amalgamation with some other metal is needed, thus reducing the actual amount of gold used. There are some industrial uses of gold since it is a "cleaner" conductor than most other metals, but this need, too, is modest. The use of gold for dental fillings is also limited.

The truth of the matter is that most of the World's gold is sitting by idly in bank vaults across the globe.

Seemingly, the only reason why gold takes on such an exorbitant value is a circular one: Gold is valuable because it is valuable. If you have gold to sell, someone will actually pay you the market price. Gold, then, is valuable because we have agreed that it is. For some time, I have been trying to sell my house. I wish that real estate buyers would buy into the logic that my house is valuable because it is. The supply of real estate, relative to its practical use, is much more limited than the supply of gold relative to its practical uses.

For many years, I have been waiting for the day when a large number of consumers will wake up and conclude that Starbuck's is essentially a purveyor of highly overpriced coffee. Sure, there will always be some people who will pay for the convenience and mystique of the place, but I have been wondering for a long time how long the chain will hold much of its selling power. I also tend to wonder if investors one day would wake up and conclude that the actual value underlying gold is contingent on everybody continuing to agree that this commodity is, in reality, valuable.

Shoppers Want More Customer Reviews

Before when purchasing products on line i never really checked out the consumer reviews. Mostly because it was only 2 or 3 diffrent people reviewing these products and it was usually split down the middle in terms of if the product was worth buying or not. After reading this article it seems more important to read them and take into consideration what other consumers are saying. In this article it talks about all of the recalls on toys and safety concerns of food and it really makes sense to read these reviews now. Each consumer is where you are, trying to find the best product possible and any bit of advice can help. Especially when it comes to concerned parents when they are shopping so that they know if the paint on a product they are buying for there child is going to harm them or if something could break off and they could choke. Reviews are also a great way to hear what consumers with the same interest are buying because you never know you could find something you never thought you would buy will be on your next list of things you need.

How Long Can Blogs Keep Their Non-Corporate Image?

Due to the perceived corporate dominance and ratings-only focus of large news outlets, people are turning to their peers on the internet for news. So as more and more viewers go to blogs, more and more marketers will want to reach them there. And that means money for the bloggers. Hits-per-day is essentially the internet’s version of TV ratings. So how long will it be until bloggers make up stories to get hits? And to what extent is it already happening?

Getting paid to be creative!

YouTube is a fairly common household phrase these days, and nerely everyone has participated in the user-generated content craze, so why not earn a little revenue for doing just that. Well Revver has constructed a model that attempts to aid the creative master-minds posting the content in earning revenue for sponership placement at the end of the videos.

The following is the description found on the Revver website:

How does it work?

  • Upload your video.
  • We pair your video with a targeted advertisement.
  • Share your video across the web. The more people see it, the more money you can make.
  • We split the ad revenue with you 50/50.
  • Sharers earn money too! Help spread Revver videos and earn 20% of the ad revenue. The
  • remaining money is split 50/50 between the creator of the video and Revver.
  • We’ve built all sorts of cool and easy sharing tools to help you make your work go viral and
  • earn more money. Share and shared alike. Can you feel the love?

What the Advertising Model of Website Profitability Means for Advertising

As the internet becomes the dominant form of media due to it’s flexibility, interactivity and increasing speed, the sky is the limit for websites to obtain ad revenues. And the more money is spent on ads, the better agencies will do. It seems that the subscription model for websites is fading. Piracy is too easy, and people aren’t willing to pay for what they think should be free; after all, they do pay for access to the internet from their ISP. If we can assume no revenues from users for most sites, does that mean that advertising will have to financially support the entire internet? And with the growth of the internet, that will be a staggering number. Will businesses be willing to spend that much on a medium with typically low response rates? I would think so, because other media expenditures will decrease.

Make It Stand Out

As marketers, it’s been pounded into our heads from day one. But how often do we practice what we preach? Think of all the cell phone ads you see that offer the same thing: more minutes, cheaper price, and a better network. And how many banner ads do you see each day that you completely ignore? It’s easy to see from the outside, but the fact remains; someone is running these boring ads. Many people are so close to the problem that they lose sight of the bigger picture. Keeping perspective is key.

Google Takes on Facebook

Since when do these two sites have anything in common?

With both of the company's prime revenue sources being advertising revenue, Facebook and Google are far more alike that you might have thought. So why would a juggernaut like Google be afraid of an up and coming pip-squeak like Facebook? Well the answer lies in Facebook's potential.

Facebook has been stealing away some of the top brass from Google over the last few months. With Google continuously being a company that seems to see the future before we do, this must mean something. By design, Facebook has a great potential to serve up concentrated ads to prospects in ways that Google hasn't been able to yet. With Facebook's customers having already submitted most of the lives and waking moments to their website you're able to analyze this data which can be sold out almost at the rate of J.D. Power's customer satisfaction ratings. This is valuable information about the younger up and coming crowds.

So what can Google do to stop Facebook? They're leveling the playing field. Over the past week, Google has launched what they call "Open Social" which in escence is another social networking site. Now before you roll your eyes, you have to see the power in what Google is producing. With Google representing the 21st century hippies of today they want to make everything open and free; so what do they do? They allow Open Social to be an integration medium between MySpace, Jaiku, Pownce and LinkedIn. Along with being your one stop spot for social networking they're going to include all of the details that have made google so great to begin with such as integrating G-Mail, Google Applications, and Google Search into your social networking sites.

So where does Facebook still have the advantage? Applications; Facebook is the leading customizable social network on the web because of their open forum when it comes to applications used on their pages. Applications are relatively easy to create and integrate into your page and you're able to see what Applications your friends are running on their pages. Google's challenging this by creating an open forum for Applications as well. Now when developers are coming up with their various social networking Applications they're developing for two major platforms, Facebook and now Google's Open Social. The playing field has been leveled, and the ball's in Facebook's court; we'll see what unravels next.

Israel: The New Hotspot

A $15 million dollar campaign kicked-off this weekend to promote Israel as the premier winter vacation hotspot. Marketing efforts included new countries in Europe and Asia that contributed to local tourism. Countries including the US, Germany, England, Russia, France and Holland were also targeted as they provide regular inflow of tourists.

The main focus was on Eilat as a tourist destination. I learned from that Eilat is a modern city with attractive activities. Eilat boasts an exciting nightlife, activities surrounding the ocean and desert. The Winter climate is quite favorable as opposed by the scorching summer temperatures which may reach a high of 103*F.

To ensure that marketing efforts would promote a hotspot created on fact and not hype, the
Moshavim tourist movement created a contract including area hotels, entertainment businesses and restaurants. Participants were asked to sign an agreement to maintain high standards in quality and truthfulness in exchange these businesses would receive promotion from the Moshavim Movement.

Increasing promotion efforts and revamping the city's image are expected to increase tourism from 2.1 million this year to 5 million in 2012. When are you planning your next trip to Israel?

Facebook's pursuit of 'fan-sumers'

Recently facebook has revealed their plan to implement advertisements into their social networking website. Their new advertising technology allows advertisers to build websites on facebook to promote their products, musical bands, or celebrities. Users of facebook can list brands that they are "fans" of. These companys can then pay to have their adverisments of these bands sent to the users friends when they have contact with them through the network. The technology uses a program called "beacon" to trace whether or not the audience of the advertisment follows through to make a purchase.
I think that this is a great idea, but also believe that it will turn people alway from Facebook. How many people do you know who talk about the brands that they purchase, im sure some do, but the majority of the people who use the website are not interested in recommending friends a brands to consider while making their next purchase decision. If anything this idea will just make users pissed off. For the users who go along with marketing a product while socializing with friends please leave me out of the discussion.

McDonalds Advertising: Fair or Bad Parenting

I just got done reading this article on McDonalds and how they spend over $2 billion each year on advertising and how the golden arches are more reconizable then the Christian Cross. Parents are very upset about the advertising because it mostly caters to childeren with all the happy meals and characters that McDonalds uses. They are so upset about this that they sued McDonalds over it. The parents claim that McDonalds is making thier kids fat. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Its not McDonalds that is taking your kids to the drive thru everyday and its not McDonalds who lets your kids play video games and watch TV for many hours a day. These parents need to know that its not McDonalds advertising campiagn that is making thier kids fat, it is the parents that are making the kids fat. The parents need to stop giving their kids everything they want and start giving them the things the need like exercise.

Do Something

There is a new nonprofit organization found online at that is made to reach teens between the ages of 13 and 19. This organization is branded by Doritos, Gamestop, and Del Monte. If you go to this website, type in a charitable idea, and if they like it the organization will fund your idea and you receive a grant of $500. For example, a 15 year old girl in New Jersey posted an idea of taking 24 women and children from a homeless shelter and taking them near her home to her local zoo for the day. So, the organization funded their trip and gave this 15 year old girl $500 dollars for volunteering and reaching out to people in need. I think this is a wonderful opportunity that these brands took to be associated with such a great and positive organization. Do Something endorses the Doritos brand on their website by saying, "Thought the Doritos brand just made chips? No way. The Doritos team believes 100% in the power of young people to speak out and change the world." This helps Doritos immensly considering the bad publicity they have received in the past for being a snack that contributes to child obesity.


Ad, Marketing Execs: Creative Work More Demanding Now

Achieving a successful career is much more complicated than 10 years ago, a new survey suggests. The reason that marketing and advertising careers are becoming more difficult is due to the many different types of medians that can be utilized. Ten years ago marketers did not have the internet that we have today, cell phones, or the world at our fingertips.
"The media environment has become more fragmented, and advertising and marketing executives must be able to use a more tools from social media to branded entertainment to reach target audiences," said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group.
"This is an industry with a constant learning curve, and staying relevant means being adaptable." Ten years ago marketers would have been excited to have more tools, but they have come to relize that the more tools equals the more work, and this work never stops because you are always available.

Click Link for More Info:

The Writers Strike

When the writers strike started last week I don't think many people thought it would last very long or really thought about how their favorite shows might not be running anymore for a long time. I know I just realized that one of my favorite shows, The Office, will only be airing for another week before they run out of new episodes. Well, not only is this strike affecting the audience, but it will also start affecting advertisers. If this strike continues for awhile, TV will be consisting of reality television and a bunch of repeat shows. There are only so many repeats a person can watch, and so much reality television a person can put up with before they just turn the TV off. Eventually the television audience will slowly be decreasing and it will continue to be tougher for media planners to schedule media when the reach and frequency will be declining. I'm know I'm not alone when I say I hope this ends soon.

Social Media Replacing Microsites in Marketing Mix

Last week companies such as: Blockbuster, Chase, Verizon, Crest Whitestrips, Dove Cream Oils, Herbal Essences, Saturn and Coke signed on with to make advertisement sites within the facebook community. Now you can go to sites such as and do things such as, watch videos, listen to music and start discussions all revolving around the popular Coke product Sprite. The page also links you into your social network, which in turn broadcasts to the people in your friends list and shows them your affinity for the brand. Pages are free to advertisers and development costs are lower than the popular microsites in use today. It is like word of mouth/advertising squared!

Click Link for More Info:

Adage interview with CEO of IAC Barry Diller

This article on is an interview with the CEO of IAC, Barry Diller. He is trying to buy AOL right now along with owning a variety of other online sites. They go into a little bit of depth with the differences between Myspace and Facebook. They talk about how Rupert Murdoch calls Myspace a place for self expression while Facebook can be termed as a sort of phonebook. I share Barry Diller's disagreement with this. It's true that Myspace allows you to change the look of your page to fit your creativity, but Facebook has been creating an abundance of applications for people to communicate with other people. These are called "Friendship Applications" and isn't that what the whole social networking opportunity is supposed to be about, networking?

Lebron James Sponorship Income

I was reading this article about the popular Lebron James and the money he makes outside of the NBA. When he was 19 he had sponorship's worth a total of $135 million. He has a deal with Nike for $90 million, a deal with Coke worth $16 million, a deal with Juice batteries for $8 million and with bubbilcious for $5 million. That is a huge amount of money!!! Lebron seems like a great guy and everything but I haven't heard of him putting any of that money to good use. Maybe he has but i sure haven't heard anything about it. If he were to put half of that money into charity's he would probably get even more sponorships. I know its easy for me to say that but I mean come on whats $70 million to Lebron James, some people need it more then he does.

Social Media Replacing Microsites in Marketing Mix

The growth of social media is causing marketers to realize they can’t expect consumers to always seek them out. Marketers are starting to seek out the consumers, marketers are starting to fish where the fish are. They are starting to do this by going to the source of most consumers. Social media sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook also help users share content with friends. So last week, instead of a dedicated microsite, Coke’s Sprite introduced an online destination at the just-launched Facebook Ads.
In this facebook ads users can create your own characters, watch videos, and listen to music. This is a great way for marketers to connect with their customers and seek them out, not the other way around. For marketers this can be quite a challenging task to find their customers and where they are going online. Many other companies are following this new trend.

Click Link for More Info:'s animated commercial 07

I'm sure most of you have seen's relatively new animated commercial? With that guy playing the guitar singing about When I first saw it I though to myself: "What is this? This is kind of ridiculous and annoying." Then I saw the commercial over and over again because it's played constantly on tv. I'm not gonna lie, I now catch myself singing it! haha... It is pretty catchy after you here it so many times. I don't know what's advertisers were thinking with this commercial, maybe something a bit different since you don't see many jingles these days. Anyways, I thought to myself.. is this commercial going to affect me as a consumer? And I thought... If I'm gonna buy something(which about 80% of my purchases are online), I'm going to look on ebay first but I guess I'll check for the hell of it, I mean... I am singing the jingle!
So maybe the commercial worked? I don't know. I never really knew anything about until I visitited the site after seeing the ad. Since then I've visited the site numerous times to look up a few products and prices. Just like the song says, "free shipping" is definitely appealing.
Tell me what you think?

Google and's Advertising Partnership

So I was watching tv and saw that annoying yet catchy annimated commercial. So I decided learn about's advertising approach and I stumbled accross this article: and Google have launched an advertising partnership that delivers Google AdWords advertisements to's customers.

As part of the agreement, Google's targeted, text-based ads appear on's website through the Google AdSense program.

"The partnership between Google and furthers both companies' mission statements, which are customer-centric," stated Neel Grover, president of "By adding Google's targeted ads to, we are giving our customers additional, highly-relevant resources with which to make an informed buying decision."

Google's relevant, targeted ads are now incorporated throughout's website, including top-tier technology pages such as the computers and electronics homepages, as well as the popular entertainment and leisure stores including Books, Music, Sports, DVDs, and others. In addition, customers searching on will receive Google advertisements on the search results pages.

"Google's relevant ads are designed to improve the user experience on, while providing the company with an additional revenue opportunity," said Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of World Wide Sales and Field Operations. "This agreement also adds to the Google Network and extends the reach for Google AdWords advertisers to another quality website."

How will this advertising campaign impact both and Google?

Peyton Manning is an advertising guru....

Peyton Manning is a very smart man. He has capitalized on his celebrity status. People always debate who is the better QB, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. The verdict is still out on that one but i believe that Peyton is the top athlete for advertising purposes. You can't watch a football without seeing 10 commericals by Peyton. He is sponsored by big shots like Sony, Mastercard, Sprint, Direct TV, and many more. Here is a list of his top commericals. Do you think anyone athlete is more sponsored then Peyton???

The Social War

When Myspace and Facebook, YouTube are common references on day –time television, it’s hard to remember just a few short years ago when user-generated content and social networking sites weren’t are preferred forms of communication. And as these sites are embarking upon the great world of advertising, it is even more difficult to believe the slim few who still contest that advertising is a dying art.
So what’s next is the question that should be reigning through our ears. What is next, as Facebook has been declared one of the largest social networking sites of the virtual world, and recently launching a new advertising method by using an approach more closely laced with behavioral targeting to reach it’s users in a relevant yet non evasive way. Users still set their privacy settings and ultimately decide what they wish to view and what if any of their actions are published to their friends and affiliated companies.
A social networking war is in the making, as Facebook dominates the scene. How will Myspace gain ground? By calling upon the help of its buddy Google!
Google is by far one of the preferred search engines, offers countless services to their users, and continues to be on the forefront of Internet technologies, but does this mean that they will aid Myspace in stealing users from Facebook? Or perhaps just aid Myspace in gaining some ground, as so many Social Networking users are multiple account users.

Doonesbury on Laptops in the Classroom!

The link is here.

Five Video Ads from Boeing.

Boeing's Ad Slogan- That's Why We are Here. These ads make for a great classroom discussion on why companies advertise.

Pushing the Business Model

The Internet has obviously affected the way in which we interact with each other, conduct or daily lives and consume products. We have lived through the .com boom and the controversy that the users of the Internet continuously seem to find. From the introduction of Napster in the late 90’s which allowed countless users to download music files for free (via file-sharing models) to the bands themselves offering their albums at the consumers’ specified value. Radiohead recently caught the attention of not only their fans but others who posted countless comments, blogs, and even wrote articles in several publications. The hype generated by the band offering their newest album at a price determined by the fan, is perhaps offsetting the majority of free downloads of the album.
Bands are not the only ones allowing consumers to set prices as Paste magazine is allowing the subscriber to set their price beginning at a dollar for a year’s subscription.

Funny Ad from Microsoft (old, but good).

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices.

A long video (running time 1 hour 34 minutes)on Wal-Mart. Here's the link. The video starts with a speech from Wal-Mart's CEO and then goes to focus on the impact of Wal-Mart on small businesses, employees and communities.

Social Media vs. Company Microsite

From AdWeek. Read the full article here.

Is Social Media Killing the Campaign Microsite? By Brian Morrissey
NOVEMBER 12, 2007 -

Digital advocates often proclaim the imminent death of the 30-second spot, but the interactive industry might now be witnessing the demise of its own version of the commercial: the campaign microsite.

The growth of social media is causing marketers to realize they cannot expect consumers to always seek them out. Web widgets and video-sharing tools make it easy for any user to take content that formerly might have lived only on a brand site with them wherever they go. And social media sites help them share that content with friends.

“We really believe in fishing where the fish are,” said Carol Kruse, vp of global interactive marketing at Coca-Cola. “The old model is to build your own site, then spend media dollars to bring them there.”

The Fit Is Go!

In late 2006, Honda decided to take America by storm with its "Fit", using a clever marketing scheme, flashy Asian-inspired ads that portray the compact car (formerly available in Japan and Europe as the "Jazz") as a nimble, fun-to-drive hyper-fuel efficient alternative to the bigger cars being offered by the competition.

Television, online, and print ads featuring an aggressively styled Fit with the phrase "The Fit is Go!", which called attention to the new fun to drive "small-car" trend while announcing its long-awaited presence in the states.

Since these ads started running, sales of the Honda Fit have taken off. Honda has successfully been able to sell thousands of the once feared ultra-small cars.

Credit Card "Bills"

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's opened my mailbox to find what looks like a stack of bills, or maybe even an envelope with a credit card I'd forgotten about ordering only to find that a financial institution such as "CitiBank" has cleverly enclosed a "Blank" credit card in the envelope.

I, like many others quickly tore into the letter only to find myself holding onto (yet almost instantly throwing away) another piece of advertising. I guess it's mission accomplished for CitiBank, I opened their advertisement, and their name got stuck in my head long enough for me to write this down.

Its interesting to see new avenues being taken in old mediums, such as postal service mail, as opposed to good old pop-up ads or spam email.

Pop Companies go viral

With "Diet Coke and Mentos Reaction" quickly becoming a household name, it didn't come as a surprise to me that PepsiCo wanted in on the action, with its "Glowing Mountain Dew" helping boost sales with videos such as this one.

Celebs Extending Their Brand Name to Credit Cards

In the past you may have bought Paris Hilton's perfume or David Beckham's cologne. But would you use a credit card with a celebrity's name on it?

As with any licensed product, there has to be an incentive to buy. The credit card forays include insider peeks into the celebrities’ lives, their tours and music, with rewards like first-in-line pick of tickets, special access and merchandise.

Check Out Brandweek to view the full article.

Maybe it will get you go switch credit card companies.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writers Strike Changing Advertising

After a week of being on strike, Hollywood Screenwriters are beginning to concern television advertisers. The first shows to be affected from the strike include daily talk shows, late night shows, and soap operas. The major concern of advertisers is that the strike will turn viewers toward some other means of entertainment during these periods of reruns. If they loose these veiwers, advertisers will have to find another means of reaching them. If the strike doesnt get resolved soon, their will be extensive damage to the $70 billion television advertising industry.

Companies Going Green

Recently people have begun to realize the impact we and our corporations are having on the environment. Because of this many companies have begun to make their products environmentally friendly by making them more durable, and more energy efficient, and organic. Sales of environmentally friendly products have doubled in the last year to reach 10 billion. Now that company's have begun to realize the trend of consumers, more and more companies have begun to follow in the direction of Green. Wal-Mart for instance has become the largest consumer of organic cotton in the world in hopes of becoming the largest organic food and clothing retailer. I think that this is great for the environment, but think that the main reason why these companies are going green, is to earn more green. If they really cared about the environment why wouldn't they have recycling bins for paper and aluminum-trash in their stores? why would they print in-store brochures on fresh pulp non-recycled paper? and why would they run all of their semi trucks on diesel fuel? Their are many other companies who claim they are for the environment, but in the end for most it just comes down to cold hard profits.

Dell Now and Then

This past July Dell redesigned its Marketing Campaign with a more "trendier" strategy. Some observers skeptically note that Dell's new marketing, while colorful, has "been there, dont that" feel that merely mimics strategies of competitors, particularly Apple's. And no matter how eye-catching Dell's new marketing is, its products, service, and technical support have to measure up. Ad campaigns and spin are only one side of the business, the other side is, can Dell deliver the promises of quality, ease of use, productivity?"

Growing Green

Going "Green" is the new 'thing to do' among companies these days, and they are saturating our televisions letting us know that they are going green.

The most brow-beating effort of late comes from NBC Universal, which is currently in the midst of its "Green Week," where programs, PSAs, news reports and adverts are themed around the environment. Characters on Days of Our Lives are having a green-washed wedding this week. The Today Show talking heads are reporting from the Arctic Circle, Antarctica and the equator. Even the peacock's feathers are shimmering in shades of green.

Does anyone see this marketing campaign as anything more than green-washing? Perhaps the goal is simply general awareness, but a TV channel as social preacher isn't what most people look for in their television (except maybe Fox News). As I've caught bits and pieces of these green stories on the evening news, all it has elicited in me is a 'so what' and an urge to flip the channel.

Facebooks Latest Move

Facebook announced this week that corporations can now create their own Facebook pages for free and can buy banner ads that would appear under feed items, with links that'd take users back to the brands' profiles. The New York Times Co. has already set up pages for its publications (New York Times, Boston Globe, etc.). Facebook users can declare themselves "fans" of a product or brand and spread their thoughts on it to their Facebook pals.

It's an interesting move, really. But as many reports have noted, some marketers will have to do more than simply post content for Facebook members to preach the gospel according to [Insert Brand Name Here]. Coupons? Freebies?

Where will this lead? How will marketers keep their Facebook pages from being overlooked, left alone in a corner of the social media marketplace, as so much unloved (and "unpoked") Internet fodder? With so many more social networking sites popping up, will this potentially pervasive ad targeting drive Facebook members to use other sites instead?

Pontiac advertises on 50 Cent music video

This might be a few months old but its worth mentioning in here. General Motors is collaborating with 50 Cent to feature its to Pontiac G8 GT and G6 GXP. In the video Amusement Park, instead of Lamborghinis and Ferraris being surrounded by scantily clad hot women, it would be the two Pontiac vehicles that would be showcased. The video of amusement is available on this website:

Businesses Crack Down on MyFace

This is an interesting article about a new trend that is emerging within the business world... companies are blocking access to social networking sites. "According to Dean Drako, the president and CEO of Barracuda, the two top reasons cited by companies for blocking access to social-networking sites MySpace and Facebook are security (70 percent) and productivity (52 percent). Other reasons cited by companies for blocking the social networks include bandwidth issues and legal liability.
Four times as many companies -- nearly 25 percent -- block MySpace, while just one in five block employees from accessing both sites. "

What are your opinions of this and what do you think should be changed if you disagree?

Should YouTube Use Censors?

I recently came across an article on about how YouTube is in a heated debate about free speech, censorship, and whether the site is responsible for spotting criminals. The spark that started this debate stems from a recent shooting in Finland. Pekka-Eric Auvinen, the alleged gunman, supposedly posted videos on YouTube hours before the shooting that reveled his plans for the shootings. YouTube took down these videos within hours of the murders.

The question of debate is that while many people believe that's taking down the videos was right others say that YouTube should have allowed the videos to stay on the site for users to gain a better understanding of what happened.

Do you think that YouTube should have kept these videos up for the public or did they do the right thing by taking them down?

Mercedes Benz changes logo, adds sound logo

16 years has past since Mercedes Benz has changed it's logo, and so the German automaker decided that it was time to change the logo of it, which in my own humble opinion was a really nice logo. The old Mercedes Benz logo is of a three-dimensional tri-star logo in which now it has been changed into a flattened one-dimensional tri-star logo.

In addition to that, they also added a sound logo that will be added to all of its broadcast advertisements. The song is explained following the Mercedes Benz press release;
"The Mercedes-Benz sound logo is based on an original recording of an English boys choir from the 1990s. Sound engineers extracted a choir boy's solo vocal from the recording and adapted it for use in the sound logo."
The link for the sound logo is available here: . Honestly speaking, it's really spooky and reminds me of halloween. Well, check it out yourself and tell me what you think.

Beyond the 30 Second Spot

A new survey, released by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research, Inc. found that 78% of advertisers feel that traditional television advertising has become less effective in the past two years. The survey also found that marketers are exploring emerging technologies to help improve their television advertising spend. With new technologies such as Digital Video Recorders (DVR's) and Video On Demand, it is becoming incresingly difficult to capture the audiences attention when watching the Tv. As new and traditional media alternatives compete for a share of the media pie, and marketers look to improve consumer targeting, reduce costs and enhance accountability, television is responding. With technology-based advances in addressability, enhanced television options, Internet convergence and branded entertainment opportunities, television is likely to continue as the dominant part of the marketing mix.

For more please click the link below:

I am out of the office today

While TV channel surfing this morning, I came across this story about buying excuses to skip work. What do you think about this business? I think students may look into using this service to get out of work or a big test.

Click on the title to see the complete article from CNN.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How much Advertising is too Much?

Cool article that mentions some new developments in advertising including Facebook and MySpace which brings up the question when will we finally tell advertisers enough is enough? It seems you can't go anywhere these days without being bombarded constantly by ads. Do you think we'll ever try to convey to advertisers that we've had enough?

Click on the title to this post to view the article.

IBM Predicts Major Change in Advertising

Small article includes a PDF report titled "The End of Advertising as We Know It" in which IBM claims there will be "greater disruption for the advertising industry in the next five years than has occurred over the previous 50."

Click on the title of the post to view the article and link to the PDF report.

Marketing Trend Predictions for '07

Interesting article with some predictions on marketing trends for 2007. The first one about college grads is pretty interesting, but a good read in general. Click on the title of this post to view the article.

Friday, November 9, 2007

25 Free Music Downloads!

I hope that caught your eye because it sure caught mine!

eMusic is the world’s largest retailer of independent music and the world’s second-largest digital music retailer overall, offering more than 2 million tracks from more than 13,000 independent labels spanning every genre of music. A subscription-based service that allows consumers to own, not rent their music, eMusic is the largest service to sell tracks in the popular MP3 format—the only digital music format that is compatible with all digital music devices, including the iPod®. eMusic targets and successfully direct-markets to consumers who are interested in music outside the commercial mainstream, dramatically expanding the sale of catalogue typically known as "the long tail." Since Dimensional Associates acquired eMusic in 2003, the company has more than tripled its subscriber base. (taken from

Not only do you get 25 free downloads just for trying it out BUT it's only $9.99 for 30 songs and $0.33 for any song after that! Beats $0.99 compared to other sites!

The bonus for trying the product got me, I hope you try it as well!!

Graduates Looking For a Job

Being a December graduate, I've just started to get into panic mode about finding a job after graduation. I found to be super helpful. It differs a lot from other job sites like Monster because it only has posting for certain industries which include: Marketing, Advertising, Broadcasting, Public Relations and Publishing. The site allows you to search within each of the industries as well as choose where in the country you want to end up. You also have the capability of searching different locations at the same time. What I noticed and really enjoyed about this site is that it gives you the link to the company's direct website which allows you to further your knowledge of the company as well other positions they have available. I found this site to be very user friendly and I hope you can as well.

Happy Hunting!!

Linked In Linked Me In

I blundered into the social networking site "Linked In" the other day. These sites are popping up like it's 1999. But this one began to turn a profit in early 2006.

When I say that Linked In is a social networking site, I really mean that Linked In is a social networking site. It takes networking and network theory totally seriously; at face value. A Friendster for professionals if you will.

In a sense, YouTube and blogging sites use networks and Word-of-Mouth like processes to generate content. That content attracts viewers and then advertisers. But with Linked In the network is not just a mechanism to create a library of videos and a base of video viewers. Here, the content is the network, that is the whole focus. People can use the site to reconnect with old friends, to look for a job, to find a recommendation for a plumber, or to get themselves recommended.

Many of the network growth mechanisms are well thought out. For example, it lets you upload your email client's contact list of addresses. It will then, if you want, show only those folks who already have a LinkedIn account. From that set you can pick and choose who you are comfortable in inviting to be in your network. That is a nice example of a viral process that lets the user constrain the viral mechanism.

I personally find it very interesting viewing other people's contacts, the list of people at degree 2. And when I do a search, I like sorting on closeness degree.

The navigation is not 100% transparent in my view, but the site is simple enough that it is not a deal killer.

Count me as being Linked In,
Charlie Hofacker

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Subliminal Advertising

It seems marketing are all over the place today. We have advertisements everywhere from the normal billboards, advertisements on the televisions to even on the parking lot strip.

taken from:

With that being said, advertisements are soon creeping into the tv shows and movies as well. This include movies like:
Transformers (2007) - Originally a japanese cartoon series, the movie itself features several car models from General Motors. The movie was used as a publicity stunt to show it's new Chevrolet Camaro concept car

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The Orange County (OC) - Ford motor company and Lexus motors provided vehicles to the show in exchange of free publicity. It featured cars like the Lexus RX330 and SC430 while Ford provided a red hot Mustang GT driven my Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper).

taken from:
It seems that the trend now would be to use subliminal advertising. Subliminal advertising does not outright advertise a brand name but rather cleverly incorporated into the movie or TV series. Automobile companies are especially capitalizing on this and with big automakers like Lexus, Ford and GM being in it, others are soon to follow suit as well

Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien: A Brand Is No Longer 'Ownable'

Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien: A Brand Is No Longer 'Ownable'
By Megan McIlroy Published: November 08, 2007

NEW YORK ( -- To Nick Brien, worldwide CEO of Universal McCann, the notion of new media is almost irrelevant. "When clients say, 'Talk to me about new media,' I say, 'No I am not going to talk to you about new media, I am going to talk to you about new marketing,'" he said.
Mr. Brien said the marketing model has fundamentally changed with emerging media, and if marketers don't progress, they will jeopardize their brands.

Avoiding 'legacy' thinking
"If you are not the leader, you are going to lose your market share opportunity to a new competitor who is not encumbered by legacy mentalities or legacy business models or legacy agency relationships," Mr. Brien said in his keynote address Nov. 6 at the interactive marketing conference Ad Tech in New York.
In this new marketing model -- where media enhances personality -- brands have to become experiences and destinations and consumer insight has to be smarter, Mr. Brien said.
"A brand is ultimately a promise ... it is something that is not ownable by a corporation any more," Mr. Brien said.
Helping consumers generate their own content is one of the smartest ways to embrace the new marketing model, Mr. Brien said, noting that marketers need to become experts in understanding the marriage between traditional aspects of persuasion-based marketing and user-generated influence.
He cited a Yahoo case study, which was shown during the online giant's upfront media-buying event last year, in which more than 200 Shakira fan groups were asked to record impersonations of her song "Hips Don't Lie," which ultimately became the No. 1 downloaded song of the summer.
"It was helped to no end that this was about users participating in brand development. And there was no conventional advertising around," Mr. Brien said.

Innovation and collaboration
The new marketing model also calls for innovation and collaboration among media and creative agencies and brands, Mr. Brien said. He cited a campaign executed by Universal McCann and Interpublic Group of Cos. sibling Lowe for Lynx deodorant in Australia. To target young adult males, the campaign used insight that men find air travel sexy and exciting and then created a campaign that centered around a fake airline. Spots were created to promoted the airline, complete with sexy stewardesses dressed in tight yellow dresses and carrying the line "Lynx Jet -- Get on, Get off." According to Mr. Brien, sales of the deodorant increased within four weeks of the campaign's launch.
"The old notion of integrating and being smart players is an absolute must. ... I don't know whether it's going to go back to full bundling in the way that it was, but the plan will come back together," Mr. Brien said.
He also acknowledged that some marketers are still hesitant about embracing the new marketing model, but that agencies must teach them to love new technology and not fear it. "They always say that the two greatest motivators are love and fear, and I find that many agencies are playing the fear card -- 'The world is collapsing, the sky is falling.' I think it has to be a love thing."
Though the new marketing model may be frightening, it is also an opportunity, Mr. Brien said, "if we have the creative intellectual juice to come up with different approaches.