Friday, October 26, 2012

Support Media, Branded Entertainment and Social Media Colide

The term support media is used to describe a wide variety of ways that marketers can reach a target audience.  Often, support media is used to supplement broadcast and print media by increasing impressions or reaching target audiences that are hard to reach with more traditional media.  Outdoor advertising - including billboards, and branded entertainment are two of the categories found in support media that I want to talk about today.

Billboards - we all see them.  They are geographic-targeting at its best.  As local newspaper and radio consumption falls, billboards still offer marketers a local audience.  Women's marketing Inc.'s website,, not only showcases billboards, but has extensive examples of other out-of-home media encompassing everything from transit advertising to aerials.  They highlight their work on the Yellow Tail wines billboard campaign that utilized color and spectaculars as the means to gain consumer attention.  In 2011 in Canada, Yellow Tail ran a series of interactive projection and digital billboards that encouraged consumer engagement and content creation.  The Blue Blots blog also highlighted some creative billboards.

Branded entertainment includes product placement, branded integration and advertainment.  Product placement occurs when a brand is placed in any entertainment media including tv shows, movies, music videos and video games.  Typically product placement is paid or barter for by the brand company, but sometimes it is a happy shout-out from the creators to a favorite brand.  A recent example of the later was The Bark's mention on NCIS: Los Angeles that the magazine didn't know about until the show aired.

The new James Bond film, Skyfall, has extensive product placement and co-branding.  This isn't new territory for Bond films, as products from watches to cars to liquor have featured prominently in the films through out the decades.  The Business Insider has a great article complete with videos (the page takes a bit to load - so be patient) about the evolution of product placement in the films.  Heineken's deal with 007 is worth $45 million (a good chunk of the production budget and most likely how fans are getting a new Bond film given the financial crisis of several of the firms involved), and includes TV commercials, product placement in the films, in store point-of-purchase displays (see a photograph of one from our local Kroger), YouTube and Facebook experience.

Also included in branded entertainment is advertainment.  Mike Weise at Forbes wrote a good article last year about the evolution of branded entertainment.  He suggested that the revival of this type of promotion started with BMW's The Hire films. They starred Clive Owen as a James Bondish character and highlighted the performance of BMW within the context of a short film plot. Recognizable directors (Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie) and actors (Madonna, Gary Owen, Marilyn Manson) participated in the films. BMW took the films down when they changed ad campaigns and agencies. You can watch them on YouTube - because someone ripped them for us :) - abmwfan.  One of my favorites is Hostage directed by John Woo.  You may remember we've watched one before in another panopto.

Some current examples of advertainment include the websites of Crayola and Doritos. These two brands have integrated their advertainment into their IMC.

Direct Marketing is another part of the promotion mix that extensively utilizes integration. Let's take a look at Empire Today. In their commercials, they integrate tv advertising with a direct marketing component (call -1-800-588-2300).  Once you call the 1-800 number they will connect you with a sales person to learn more about their products in your home. It's easy to measure success of direct marketing by the number of responses you receive from a particular direct marketing effort. 

Super Bowl commercials true impact extends beyond broadcast during the game on TV.  Many people will watch the commercials on-line again after the game.  At over $2 million dollars for a 30-second spot, the true value is in how much are you talked about after the game. Is your commercial mentioned in social media and linked?  The internet provides a way for advertisers to get potentially exponential bang-for-their buck.  GoDaddy does a particularly good job of integrating its commercial creation process into its blogs and website.  For a commentary on how Steve Jobs and Apple changed Super Bowl advertising, read this FoxNews article.

"How the Internet is Changing Advertising" by Epipheo Studios.

There were many importance changes between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.  In Web 1.0 we were consumers of information that companies put on the web, but by the time Web 2.0 came around, we were no longer passive informations receivers.  Collaboration and creation are the forces behind Web 2.0 and consumers new interactions with brands.  Let's return to the Doritos' website and look at their 'Crash the Super Bowl' campaign.  Here consumers are asked to create ads for Doritos - and this isn't their first time with this concept.  

Doritos has a YouTube site that integrates its Crash the Super Bowl campaign into its YouTube channel.  YouTube offers marketers a place for consumers to see commercial advertisements as well as how-to videos and behind-the-scenes content.  Zyrtec used YouTube as a channel for its Parks Unleashed campaign. The campaign included games and contests.  Kia has also run a consumer created content promotion through YouTube.

Collaboration and consumer creation of content isn't always a bed of roses for a company.  When something goes wrong into today's social media driven world, it can go viral very quickly.  Tamara discussed how Delta's baggage charges of returning soldiers quickly went viral.  Here's the original YouTube video:

11Alive reported on the incident, and AirTran used it as a way to get good publicity by its policy.  The link has several videos connected to the article and how social media effected the spread of the news.

I'll leave you with a video about social media and how it is changing our world - marketing and otherwise:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chapter 7-Objective time

Chapter 7 is concerned with objectives and how we measure advertising and promotions effectiveness.  Objectives help keep a promotional campaign focused to help with planning and decision making.  Marketing objectives are established which helps to set your IMC objectives which are developed into objectives for each portion of the promotion mix.  Sales and communication objectives are established from these.  All objectives should be specific, measurable, quantifiable, realistic and attainable.

Sales objectives are good to use when the primary goal of a promotional activity is to increase sales or produce a quantifiable result that is easily traced.  Sales objectives are often sought after by management because of the quantified results tied to the bottom-line, but they aren’t always appropriate.  Several problems are associated with using sales objectives.  The promotion of a brand does not happen in isolation and particularly with advertising’s effectiveness can happen over a long period of time.  This is related to the carry-over effect and can be very important to the long-term strategy.  Sales can also be influenced by a variety of environmental factors including technology, the general economic climate, competition as well as the production quality and price.

Sales objectives are most appropriate when using promotional activities like sales promotions or direct marketing.  Any promotion where you are trying to generate a sale or response.  Let’s take a look at this progressive commercial.

There are several aspects of this advertisements which makes it a good choice for a sales objective. You can measure the increase in request for the snapshot, number of calls to the 1-800-progressive and to  There's a definite call to action in the commercial - to hook-up snapshot to your car.  Where's the problem?  A consumer may see this commercial and days later check out progressive after seeing a banner ad with Flo on a website that reminds them of their initial interest in snapshot.

Let’s take a look at BMW Films - a classic web-based, advertising campaign.  BMW wanted to establish itself in its future target market’s mind - so they wanted to appeal to 18-50 year-old men in this campaign.  This large age range includes a younger target that they wanted to build the BMW brand over time to be the brand they would buy when they had achieved success.  Before the BMW Films were discontinued, they also released comic books specifically targeting this younger demographic.  Sales objectives would be inappropriate for this campaign, but communication objectives would be a great fit.  You can measure the increase in brand awareness among the younger demographic as well as attitude toward the brand and future purchase intention across the demographic groups.

Communication objectives are best when your goal is to increase brand knowledge or awareness, interest, favorable attitudes or create a brand image in the mind of the consumer.  Immediate response is not expected and instead a long-term strategy of creating favorable predispositions related to your brand.  You do need to establish who you are communicating too (target market!).  Let's take a look at Lancomé's latest perfume ad with Julia Roberts.

This main objective of this ad is to establish awareness of the new perfume from Lancomé.  In order for a consumer to consider a brand for purchase it has to be in their awareness set.  Advertisements that focus on awareness do just that.  A good objective would a % of awareness within their primary target market. Don't forget good objectives are concrete and connected to a measurable task that has a  well-defined audience and specifies a time period for evaluation.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Consumer Behavior - in a nutshell

Chapter 4 of MKTG 4650 (Advertising and Promotion) tries to cram an entire course in a chapter... so in an effort to hit the high points, I've put together a prezi and panopto for my class.

The big problem when doing summary chapters about fields of study is what do you leave out - what do you keep, and the same was true for me trying to decide on the highlights for a 20 minute video/podcast.  For me that meant focusing on key concepts that are crucial in advertising and promotion.  The first of these is problem recognition and motivation.  Problem recognition is where the consumer decision making process starts - and if as advertisers we don't understand the start we have little hope of satisfying a consumer in the end.

Next, I talk about Motivation and drag out Maslow's hierarchy of needs - one of my favorite things.  I really think it is a simple way to understand the needs behind consumer purchases that we can use in creating advertising and promotional media.  We take a look at some flyers/ads created to encourage vaccinations.  The CDC's Vaccination campaign for 2012 has some great source material for you.  The Media Relations PDF download on the linked page has great examples of media deliverables for a campaign.  The Social Media Toolkit pdf can be found on the Web and E-tools page.  It also has some great information and examples.  Both are these are examples of how to educate multiple people across many offices about how to interact with the media and public using advertising and promotional tools.  We'll be revisiting both of these pdfs in the future as we cover different topics.

When we look at ads for the class - it is a good idea to start asking yourself four things:

  • Who is the Target Market?
  • What positioning strategy is being used?
  • What is the Motivation that is being appealed to in the ad for the consumer?
  • Is the ad effective in communicating with their target market? (in other words - critique it!)
Information search is a key part of the decision making process for consumers.  In today's technology driven society, information is at our fingertips.  With the increase use of smartphones, consumers can easily look up reviews on the internet to find out more information about a product.  Also, with the use if QRC codes (those codes you can scan) a brand can tell a consumer more about its product.  If anything, consumers are overloaded with information and learning when to say 'Stop, I can make a decision' can be difficult.  

The Sony "blogger" camera we first bought
You can ask my husband about my information overload while trying to decide on a video camera for us.  We purchased a cheap one at TigerDirect on a whim for our then upcoming trip to Ireland.  TigerDirect has a brick-and-mortar outlet on the way to his parents' house in Elberton, GA.  We frequently stop there to stretch our legs and get our tech geek on.  After we got back on the road, I was about to open our impulse video camera purchase when I thought - wait - I know nothing about this except the marketing information that was at the store.  Out comes my iPhone and I start doing google, Amazon and BestBuy searches for consumer and independent news reviews.  Ends up, the camera we bought had several flaws (can't add memory being the biggest).  I then search the internet and TigerDirect's website for different options.  On the way back home, we stopped at TigerDirect to return our first purchase and get a different video camera.  We ended up spending more (sadface!), but I was much happier and satisfied with our purchase.  It worked great on our trip and it not only takes video but pretty decent digital photos too!
The Toshiba 1080P we kept

Millenium Media releases reports quarterly about the use of smartphones and tablet devices.  Smartphones have deeply penetrated the mobile market as have tablets.  Ladies - good news for us - we make up about 45% (and climbing) of the tablet market now.  This means more apps/ads/etc.. targeted to women on tablets coming soon.  Social media is one of the big things we can access on our smartphones with ease and several studies have shown that consumers consult social media before making purchases.  With smartphones, the ability to do that is at our fingertips in the store.  If I'd been smart, I would've posted on Facebook or Twitter about looking for video camera suggestions.  I found a cool graphic illustrating social media using Maslow's hierarchy - I just had to share it.

At the top of Maslow's pyramid is self-actualization.  This is when you start to be motivated by making the world a better place - and understanding your place in and effect on the world. is one of my favorite sites and advertising campaigns.  They focus on communicating to their target market that good exists in the world and you can make a difference.  They also work at breaking stereotypes.  Two of my favorite ads are about a purse 'snatcher' and a prom queen.  Take a look at their site to see behind the scenes footage and more great ads.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Starting Up - 4650 takes flight

The semester has finished it's first full week of classes, and believe it or not, I'm still trying to get access to all the websites and services that I need.  My netid/email was changed - and it has been amazing to find the places where I do and do not have access.  Hopefully, everything is turned on now and there will be no more surprises!

My 4650 class is going to get four videos quickly catching us up for the semester.  I thought I would summarize the first two here - and have a bit longer post on Chapters 3 & 4.

Chapter 1 introduces us to the idea of IMC - integrated marketing communications - where we tie together all the aspects of advertising and promotion that help develop a brand in a consumer's mind.  Advertising is one part of this picture - but so is Public Relations & Publicity, Internet/Interactive, Sales Promotion, Direct Marketing, and Personal Selling.  

The driving force behind IMC is the idea of 'one look, one voice' at every touchpoint with the consumer.  Starbucks has a great example of this in their Refreshers campaign that ran during the Summer Olympics.  The colors used in their IMC campaign for Refreshers is the same regardless of the medium that is being used.  McDonald's is another example that we can look at for creating brand identity and one look, one voice.

In Chapter 2, we take a look at how we can segment our markets as well as how we can position our brand/product in the consumer's mind.  Take a look at the prezi to get a better feel for the chapter.

Now, for Chapter 3, where we take a look into the world of Advertising Agencies.  I wanted to look at a few of the big agencies, but also a smaller non-traditional agency and a local B2B agency.

Leo Burnett Worldwide, a 77-year-old agency, is our first stop.  Leo Burnett stresses their culture that started with their founder - Leo Burnett.  You will often see big black pencils on their site which Burnett was known for - the big idea.  By the way, Burnett is the gentleman who brought us The Marlboro Man. 

They developed the ads Kellogg's ran talking about celebrating the start of an athlete's career.  Here's a behind-the-scenes look:

Another exciting thing at Leo Burnett is their idea of the social shopper - we'll take another look at this in Chapter 4, when we talk about Consumer Behavior.  You'll need to scroll up and down on the image to see all the social shopper types.

Social Shopping Archetypes from Leo Burnett Worldwide

Next we look at Ogilvy and Mather ad agency. David Oglivy started this agency about the same time as Leo Burnett.  If you have ever watched the TV show Mad Men, you have seen a dramatization of the time in which Burnett and Ogilvy were blazing trails in advertising.    His book - Ogilvy on Advertising - is one of the main reasons I fell in love of advertising and marketing. Their website is an interesting one and starts off with "Why choose Oglivy and Mather" - this takes you to a video Miles Young the current CEO and President talking about the foundation and culture of the company.  Oglivy believed in research and being creative - but he would have said it wasn't creative if it didn't bring results.

Saatchi and Saatchi is the last full-service worldwide agency we will take a look at.  Here you can see their point of differentiation as being the 'lovemarks company.'  A lovemark is "a product, service or entity that inspires Loyalty Beyond Reason."

These agencies may very well compete against each other for clients if an account goes up 'for review.' This means the brand/product company is looking for a new agency to develop their next campaign.  There is a variety of reasons for a brand deciding it needs a new agency from bad results from its current agency to conflicts with personnel and changes in personnel.  Barkley US, an employee owned agency, explains on their website: 
"When the review is over and you start a relationship with a new agency, what you get is people. Week in, week out. Their ideas. Their experiences. Their ability to listen. Their resolve. In the end, your new agency is not going to solve your problems. Its people are.  We believe we've got the best people in the business."
Barkley is stressing the idea that it is people that work together.  In many agencies it is the account executive who is the go-between the client and the agency.  Communication, patience and organizational skills are important for people who fill this roll.  While you are on the Barkley website, take a chance to click on the "Good" video in their header.  It will tell you a little bit more about them, and how they differentiate themselves - by being an ad agency that wants to do go.  

Lastly, let's take a trip to downtown Atlanta and look at the local ModoModo agency.  KSU graduate, Jennifer Beech, works at ModoModo - matter-of-fact - she did her internship there while she was a senior and has yet to leave.  Jennifer will hopefully be one of our speakers at KMA this semester.  (If you haven't already heard, KMA - the Kennesaw Marketing Association - is the student marketing organization at KSU.  I'm the faculty advisor and you can find out more on our website!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Culture - it actually changes

I'm teaching Consumer Behavior this summer and yesterday we talked about culture.  The University of Minnesota defines culture in its research of language acquisition as "the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization."  I like this definition of culture because if focuses on the fact that we learn it through socialization - culture is a way of understanding our surroundings or society.  It is a reflection of the beliefs, values, knowledge, art, etc... of a society.  Through culture we establish norms (expected behavior) and sanctions (how we are punished when we break the norms).

Advertisements, imho, are a great barometer of a society's culture and how it is changing.  By looking at mass-marketed or main-stream products and media vehicles we can get a sense of what are the norms.  If we study advertisements over a period of time, we can see shifts and changes in culture/norms based on the images/copy, etc... that are used.  Notice that I said main stream products and media.  Every society has sub-cultures as a part of it, and those sub-cultures have different norms - some of which may be in direct conflict with the majority/society Culture.  You can look to publications that target very specific subcultures to see these differences.

Times have changed drastically from when my grandmother who was born in 1902 and divorced by the time the 1940s rolled around was in her youth.  A divorced female was looked upon much differently by society in 1940 than she would be today in 2012.  Today, we most likely don't think differently of a person if they say they are divorced, but in the 1940s it was scandalous.  You can see the same changes with single-mothers and stay-at-home-dads.  The images of both of these in advertising has become acceptable, part of our media and part of our culture.  The sanctions have been removed (in the greater culture, there are still sub-cultures that would have sanctions in place).

I often tell my students that I remember standing in WalMart staring at a pop display for Budweiser.  I would show you a picture from my smartphone - but this was in pre-camera-phone days, so I don't have one, but I can't forget what it depicted - a white man dancing with a black woman.  This was a mainstream retailer that markets to the masses and a display for the 'American" of me it indicated as sure as anything that mainstream culture had changed, and that acceptance of interracial couples was going to increasingly become more prevalent.  I also knew that more couples in ads and in media would be interracial - reflecting what was already happening in our society.  Culture had finally caught up with reality and many of the norms/sanctions had changed.

Right now, I believe that we are seeing a change in culture depicted in the advertisements that are appearing in mainstream media and for mass marketed products or brands.  Here's an ad for Macy's that illustrates the shift in motion:

Now, I'll be honest with you.  I read about this advertisement before I ever saw it.  The article said Macy's had come out for gay marriage and this was the advertisement that proved it.  I found the ad - and I stared at it.  I thought I had the wrong one, so I found an article about it with the ad depicted - with the blown-up cake, and finally I got it.  It says a lot about how perception works that I didn't 'get' what was 'gay' about the ad - I saw a wedding cake and in my heterosexual girl universe, I just assumed there was a groom and bride on it and paid it no mind.  I also found out that since 2008, Macy's has actively supported gay marriage in their advertisements in certain sections of the country (think sub-cultures that are accepting of what in the mainstream culture is still sanctioned by many).  Has there been backlash from this ad - absolutely, reported about several groups that were upset at the advertisement.

JCPenney's is also taking a very public stand - and for a company that is trying desperately to re-brand it may be seen as risky or attention grabbing.  First, JCP chose Ellen Degeneres, 54, to be their spokesperson for their rebranding as a price conscious retailer - no sales, no coupons, just plain pricing. Several groups objected to the use of Degeneres as a spokesperson because of her sexual orientation.  The objections grew when the following appeared in their May catalog - focused on Mother's Day:

I thought it was a group of women enjoying themselves - boy was I off base.  It seems if you read the copy you discover that grandma, on the left, is being photographed with her daughter, her daughter's lover and their two kids.  One Million Moms called for a boycott of JCP:  
“It’s obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war,” OMM writes. “JCP will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.”
JCP answered the boycott in their June catalog with the following ad:

Now, here is the big question for all the marketers out there - does JCP's continued use of gay couples indicate a shift in what is culturally accepted by the majority of Americans (the mass market) or is it a publicity stunt?  My guess, for what it is worth, is JCP is trying to appeal to a younger demographic, of which, the majority does not have issues with gay/lesbian couples.  In an email to ABC News, JC Penney spokesman Joseph Thomas said that "In celebration of Father's Day, we're proud that our June book honors men of diverse backgrounds who share the joy of fatherhood."  American culture is amazingly diverse, and what JCP's comment points to is a shift in culture to accepting another form of diversity.
If we continue to see more and more gay/lesbian couples depicted in advertisements and in entertainment media, I believe what we'll be watching is the change from something being sanctioned by a culture to acceptance being the norm for the majority culture and the groups that disagree with this will be sub-cultures - not the majority of the society - and have norms/sanctions that are against this behavior.

There are more examples out there of this cultural shift both in advertisements, Gap's Be One billboard, and entertainment media, DC and Marvel comics introducing gay superheroes and story lines.  It seems, that back in 1992 Marvel introduced Northstar, a Canadian superhero who was gay.  This June he ties the knot with his boyfriend in The Astonishing X-men #51.  The times and culture are changing - before our very eyes.  If you are a marketer, you better pay attention to where your target market's values fall in regard to these changing norms.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Interested in Pinterest: The Basics

I've read a stack of articles on Pinterest and I'm reasonably sure that no one has a good handle on what is going to develop from it or where it is going to find itself at the end of this year. If Google+ has taught us anything, it is that what appears to be the latest and greatest may not be - it could be an illusion or take a much longer time to develop. 

I think Mashable's 12/26/11 article is a good starting place if you are just getting your toe wet in the Pinterest pinning pool (Pinterest: A Beginner's Guide to the Hot New Social Network), but as a Pinner, I have my own take on things. Yes, you should know right now - I am on Pinterest and it's very likely I'm addicted. So what is all the fuss about - it depends on if you are a user or a marketer. Being both - I'll try to share both sides of the coin. 

I found out about Pinterest through the facebook posts of some of my girlfriends. I saw a couple of intriguing photos, and I had to learn more about this pinning craze. The last thing I needed was another social media to keep up with. I love people and interacting - but sometimes, enough is enough. Pass the cat and a good book my way instead (and maybe some coffee as well). I decided to find out more - the marketer in me had to know. Purely research... well, up until about 30 minutes after I got my account. Then the pinner in me was born, marketer be damned. 

For those of you still wondering what the heck is this blonde talking about -let me explain. Pinterest allows you to create boards where you can 'pin' photos that you either upload or link from other sites. Most people group like photos together - for instance I have a food board where I pin receipies and a craft/diy board where I pin projects I only wish I had time to complete. Think of them as design or inspiration boards or even a collection of things you like.

My Craft/DIY board on Pinterest
You can follow people and see their pins, look at their boards, and even 'like' and 'repin' a photo/pin if you want. My Crafty board has 113 followers and I have pinned 48 pins on this board.  This is really where the social aspect comes into play. There isn't a lot of 'wordy' interaction between me and my friends, but there's a fair amount of liking and repinning going on with the occassional comment. My craft board (pictured above) has some ideas from friends, former students and even some random people I have never met collected together.  When I finally get around to making that iPad sleeve - I know exactly where the directions are - on my Crafty Board and I can spot it right away from the photo.

This is exactly what draws me to Pinterest.  I also think it is one of its points of differentiation in the over-saturdated social media market. I get to organize my pinning in a way that I can easily reference them. It takes forever for me to find an article I linked to on FB, but a craft project that I pinned on Pinterest I can easily find, click on and be taken to the site with instructions on how to accomplish the project. Pinterests has my dream home design photos, receipes I want to try, and the 100 home diy projects I have for me and my husband. Needless to say, he is thrilled with my new obsession.  Oh and the next time I need to fold a fitted sheet, I can go to my House Board, click on the fitted sheet pin and be walked through the process.

My House Board - note the fitted sheet folding photo - click on it and it will take you
to a website that will show you how
Let's return back to the social aspect and why I enjoy Pinterest differently with some of the same friends I follow on Facebook.  I learn entirely different things about them on Pinterest - I learn about what they dream of, what they want to do, what interests them, their hobbies, their inspiration.  It's amazing how a collection of photos on someone's inspiration board will tell you more about them than a dozen of posts on Facebook.  It allows you to see someone in a different way, and perhaps even more clearly than if they were using words.  Every picture tells a story - and every photo is worth a 1,000 words.  Just think how many tweets you have to make to sum up what Pinterest does in one board about who you are.

More to come... up next... Where the Girls are...Pinterest

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My search for the perfect bag...

I have several addictions... obsessions... hobbies... whatever you want to call them!  One of them is most certainly bags & purses.  I think the reason is I can easily find items in this category that fit.  My feet need hard to find wide shoes and I'm a curvy girl with weird short-waistedness going on, so clothes are sometimes a challenge to find as well, but purses - ahhh... those I can find that fit just right... and unfortunately, I find them often!  Add to this my gadget loving -and there is a lethal pay-check stealing love.

I promise to work this around to marketing, eventually, but first I'm going to mention some of the bags that have my interests.  My current obsession deals with finding good everyday bags to carry my iPad or my camera in (and sometimes both).  Here we go with what I've found:

Vera Bradley Laptop Travel Tote
The laptop travel tote by Vera Bradley was irresistible when I saw it in the KSU bookstore.  It has a padded compartment that fits both an iPad or a 17" laptop without being big and bulky.  I ended up purchasing it in the new Camellia print - and I love it!  My one complaint is that the length that allows for a 17" laptop to fit, also allows me to loose stuff and have to go on "take everything out" digging expeditions.  There is also a tablet sleeve at Vera Bradley that I'm considering and I love my tech organizer so much I may get a second one.

Now, for the first marketing bit.  There's a new social media platform in town that is drawing women like mad - Pinterest.  I'm going to talk more about Pinterest in the near future, but the SocialMediaToday blog already wrote a short post on why companies - especially those targeting women - need to figure out this trendy social media now.

Pinterest allows you to 'pin' things you are interested in on a 'board.'  I think of it as an electronic design or inspiration board that you can share with others.  Vera Bradley should be all over this because a lot of women 'pin' fashion items or looks that they like and want to remember.  I wanted to pin the bag I talked about above - but it was no easy feat.  Websites may have to be redesigned to accommodate easy pinning of product photos.  And Vera wants me to pin from her site instead of copying the photo to my computer and posting it.  If I 'pin' from her site - it will link to the bag when someone clicks on it.  Not so much if I have to copy and pin it.  Actually, truth be told, I didn't even bother pinning the bag after fighting with it for a few minutes.  I moved on...

Speaking of moving or more specifically traveling - I have found my dream camera bag thanks to my friend, Nat.  Kelly Moore has designed camera bags that are functional, fun and feminine (she does have some guy bags too).  There are several things about her marketing efforts that I think are smart (and a few I would improve upon), but first - the bags!!

Kelly Moore B-Hobo Bag
Kelly Moore Libby Bag
There are two bags that I really like the design, function and look of that I think fit my needs.  A big reason I was able to narrow it down was how Kelly markets her products on her website.  The B-Hobo bag I want for when I'm out and about shooting.  It's a great bag to hold your gear while your sightseeing or working on a shoot (at least for me).  The Libby is the bag I want to use for travel.  This bag is perfect for a carry on that can hold my camera equipment plus other stuff!  The Libby bag will also hold a 17" laptop and they both have compartments that securely hold an iPad as well.  I did have a bit of sticker-shock when I saw how much they are, but I may have to save my pennies and get me one before the Ireland trip in May.

Now, back to marketing.  Kelly Moore does several things really right in her marketing plan.  Her website is clean and easy to navigate.  She has a link that takes you to a "find your perfect bag" page that helps you locate the bags that fit your needs.  I love this tool and used it to find the Libby bag pictured above.

There is also a link to her blog from the home page.  The blog is fun to look at and very cleanly designed.  First-up you see her monthly contest - where to enter you need to like her on Facebook and/or follow her on Twitter.  A great way to draw more attention to either of those vehicles.  Now, here comes one of my 'needs improvement' sections for her marketing - the blog is (at least at first glance) nothing more than posting winners and information about the latest bags.  I want more than that from her.  I want to read about her photography - how her bag worked for her in this situation and in that.  I want a guest blog from a bag user.  I want more.  And hopefully she'll follow her name and give us Moore.

Just like Vera Bradley, her site is very unfriendly to easily pinning for Pinterest.  I did take the time to copy and pin my favorite bag -but the direct link has been lost.  I hope she finds a way to incorporate photos that can be pinned into her site, because I really want to pin more of them and share them with others.
The aspect of her marketing plan that I love the most is her use of video and the vimeo service.  Vimeo is an alternative video sharing place that is used particularly in the artistic community.  All of Kelly's promotional and tutorial videos are hosted here.

She has one video that is just a commercial for her bags that shows them in action.  Honestly, it's nice, but not inspiring.  I thought the actors/models were off - but that is probably a personal preference thing-because they didn't look like me or any of my photog friends.  The production quality is great and the music nice as well - and this wasn't an expensive shoot - so a very doable marketing tool for a small business.  I would just like to have seen more of the product in action and less of the actors.

Kelly Moore Bag Promo Film 2010 from Joshua Smith on Vimeo.

Here's another promo video from two years ago that features Kelly Moore as one of the actors/models.  I actually like this one much better because I get more of how to use the bags.

Kelly Moore Bag - Promo Film from Joshua Smith on Vimeo.
produced by Joshua Smith Films

She could easily combine the promo video with a contest to have consumers share the video in various social media platforms, and possibly she did when they were first released.

When you go to the video page of her site you will see some of her videos for her bags listed, but not all of them.  I would list them all in one place so people could find them.  There were many other videos through out the site on product pages that needed to be here as well.  What I really loved about her marketing was that she included videos of how each bag can be used.  I watched the videos for every bag (I started watching just the B-Hobo bag because I liked the look best, then decided I needed to check them all out to be sure about my choice).  I really got a much better sense of what each bag would hold from the videos.  Awesome way to connect with consumers, help to prevent returns and demo the bags.  I close with the video tutorials for the bags I'm hoping to purchase.

Libby Bag from Kelly Moore Clark on Vimeo.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Presentations & the Land Of Nod

While I was trying to find the land of nod last night, I started thinking about what I should blog about this month.  I need to do a Super Bowl wrap-up -and I promise one is in the works- but it wasn't what had me rolling ideas around in my head at 1AM.  A conversation with a fellow faculty member was keeping my brain spinning when it should've been finding the dream fairy.

Our conversation was about presentation styles and tools.  Now, as you know by now, I'm a gadget-girl.  I love trying new things -and if it is connected to computers and electronics, even better!  My colleague, though tech-savy, used more tried-and-true measures.  Some of our differences are definitely related to the subject matter we teach.  Being a marketing professor has the bonus of creativity being an underlying part of everything we should be doing, which let's my gadget-geek girl run wild when figuring out my presentations.

I'm not going to tell you that every presentation I have done has been great - or even kept people awake.  There are days when I feel like I am the one helping people to the land of nod.  But there are times, when I connect and things sizzle.  The creativity bounces around the room and I know my presentation is having an impact that might actually be remembered later - perhaps when they are finding the land of nod unattainable because they can't stop their mind from spinning about that presentation.  So, here is my take on several different presentation tools out there.

PowerPoint - We all know it, we all use it, frequently with horrible results.  It's the thing "creative" presenters are running from, and one of the most mis-used tools in business and most likely education.  Now, as much as I'm not a fan of Microsoft, I will say there is a lot to like here - and I do use it (though the Mac version).  Where people go wrong is by incorporating walls of text in their presentations.  Remember folks, it's about the highlights.  Less is definitely more with PowerPoint.

I can't say I haven't fallen into the traps of adding too much information or using non-related-cheesey-graphics-for-having-a-picture sake in my PowerPoints.  Right now, I know I need to redesign my Theater PowerPoint for my Entertainment Marketing class - particularly those slides about the average theater goer, where perhaps I went into a bit too much detail on screen.  But we shouldn't throw the baby-or PowerPoint-out with the bathwater.  It can still be effective, and it does have some nice whistles like easily recorded audio, a neat presentation tool for distance learning or corporate presentations.

If you're looking to get some inspiration to spiff-up your PowerPoints, check out Microsoft's free templates.  Nothing says blah faster than a standard, over-used PowerPoint template, and worse, nothing makes you blend in more than when you arrive at presentation day only to discover three other groups'  presentations look exactly the same.

Besides being gamger-girl-gadget-geek, I'm also a Mac girl who drank the kool-aid long, long ago.  I was using Apple, when Apple was far from cool.  The main reason was because I thought like a Mac, not a like PC.  The Apple "Think Different" campaign was all about how I think and how that pairs well with Mac/Apple products.  Apple's presentation software is called Keynote.  Hands-down, I like it better than PowerPoint.  It's cleaner with newer and fresher templates, but it isn't the standard in business, and does have translation problems when you convert into PowerPoint (some of the images you easily dropped in using Pages will disappear when you go to PPT because they aren't supported).  When I want a sleek, clean looking presentation, I use Keynote - especially if I know I can connect my laptop or iPad to the projector.  It's part of the iWork suite of products and there is an app I can use to create presentations on my iPad and even iPhone - so it wins in the portability department as well.  Also, you can open PPT presentations in Keynote and turn Keynote presentations into PPT slides in reverse.  I will admit that even if I create something in Keynote, I will post it in my on-line classrooms in PPT.

Speaking of sharing slides with others, let's take a look at SlideShare.
SlideShare is a portal where you can up-load presentations to the web to be accessed by others.  It's a great place for conference presenters to upload their PPT presentations (do it as a PDF to make it easier on you and others) for attendees to access after the dust has settled and they are trying to remember a key-point or long-forgotten factoid.  What is frequently lost at SlideShare is the commentary - the value-added by the speaker information.  If you are using SlideShare to disseminate your presentation after the presentation itself to your audience, more power to you, but if you are using it as a communication method you will need to think about how to redesign your presentation.  Jon Thomas from the socialFresh blog wrote a post giving some handy tips on creating better SlideShare presentations - take a look if you want more info.

But what is different out there?  What are presentation gadget-geeks talking about around water coolers?  Most likely the answer is Prezi.
I have been using Prezis for over a year now, and I finally have some idea for when they are best used.   I have watched students use them effectively and ineffectively - and I have fallen into the trap of using something new and shiny for no other reason than that it was new and shiny.

When is Prezi effective?  I love to use it when I'm a presenter at a conference.  It's different, keeps attention better, and creates movement that PPT and Keynote just can't.  BUT it has some drawbacks - though YouTube videos and images are easily uploaded and included, arranging things takes more time and consideration of perspective.  Can I create a quick Prezi?  Sure - but it may not be the best Prezi.  Perspective matters here - and if used effectively can make a real impact.  My biggest complaint is that I can't link a url to a word or graphic.  Instead, I have to put the entire url text in the Prezi and click on it.  BLEH and ugly - but I do it because the pluses out-weigh this negative in most circumstances.

Prezis work great when you need to incorporate YouTube videos and images or you are frequently linking to web content.  Last night, I used a Prezi presentation in my Advertising class.  I thought Prezi was more effective because it allowed me to embed the YouTube commercials into my presentation as well as print ads and photos of billboards.  It made my presentation easier than if I had done it in PPT.  Also, the large canvas - everything in the presentation can be seen at once - helped me to organize things easily. If I had been using PPT or Keynote, I would have been switching between different slides and most likely getting frustrated and losing content.

Remember those walls of text that are horrible in PPT?  They are worse in Prezi - don't use them - you'll regret it.  There is also a tendency to use way too much movement in Prezi.  An audience that is queasy and on the verge of losing the lunch they had before your keynote presentation is not a happy audience - so use the movement features judiciously and to make an impact.  Also, don't use their multi-user editing tool amongst users at the same time.  One editor at a time, and your presentation will stay in tact.  If you need to create a presentation using multiple users, try Google Docs.  I've had the best luck with not losing changes with multiple editors working at the same time in Google Docs.  

SlideRocket is another newish presentation method.  I will admit I have not used this one yet, but it is on my radar.  It looks to be sleek and easy-to-use, but I'm not sure about the cost of this one.  Let me know if you've used it or take a look on their website.  Here's an example of a SlideRocket all about being single on Valentine's Day:

Now, that the birds are up tweeting, and my furry kids are in the middle of their mid-morning naps, I think I'll find a cup of coffee and rework on those over-verbose Theater slides.

Monday, January 30, 2012

VW and Company start to tease...

VW last year released their much loved (and watched) Super Bowl commercial - before the Super Bowl!  It generated a lot of buzz, and people actually looked for it during the actual Game itself.  So how do you top this:

It's current count on YouTube is almost 49.5 million views....

This year, they released a teaser for their campaign as a whole, and we weren't let down.  It already has 10+ million views on YouTube and has been linked back and forth across the social stratosphere.

The video ends with "" - which on January 27th opened up for people to create invitations to Super Bowl parties with a Star Wars theme.  Pretty cool - but not what I expected.

There's been a lot of talk this year - VW included - about how to increase commercial viewership (both before, during and after the game) associated with the Super Bowl.  Obviously, VW managed to to create a commercial that spoke to many people on different levels and entertained us.  One prevailing thought is that the teaser or pre-Super Bowl commercial release is the way to go.

Honda used a viral :09 teaser video to peak people's interests:

Speculation was flying around in Social Media comments about what is this for?  Is there a new movie coming out?  Soon, the media broke that it was about Honda's new CRV.  Here's the full length commercial:

Now, we know it isn't about the movie - but taking the movie and turning it into a commercial.  It's funny - it's long - it's nostalgic, but does it connect with their target market?  It at least made me remember it was a CRV - which can be a problem any many humorous commercials - remember it not the product.

Kia is trying to get in on the car teaser ads with this one - which I totally don't understand.  Except for the sex sells thing, of course.

Skechers released it own with a bulldog hurdle jumping dog with cute little sketchers on its feet!  His back legs just look wrong!

And yet another car teaser - Lexus this time:

And lastly, Bridgestone - complete with behind the scene video on their YouTube channel tells us the sports world will never be the same:

And because it was my second favorite of last year - here's Bridgestone's commercial from Super Bowl 2011.  I wish they had continued with the cute animal theme instead of the old athletes theme in the teaser.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do... Zynga

I recently talked about Copyright and Trademark in my Entertainment Marketing classes (you can view my prezi on Copyright here).  One of the examples we went over was Zynga vs. Vostu a Brazilian gaming company.  The law suite was settled out of court, but I found some comparison images I wanted to share.

Looks amazingly the same to me.  The real kicker is in the coding - Zynga's has a mistake that they never fixed for a building that doesn't require a road to be built - Vostu's game has the same 'mistake.'

TechCrunch did a great video showing comparisons between the two games on the same screen.  You can read their article as well as the legal documents - complete with photo comparisons - at the TechCrunch site here.

Today brought additional insight into Zynga's practices when the makers of Tiny Tower, Apple's pick for iOS game of the year, called Zynga out for copying their game.  I read about it first at Tech Crunch and I'm hoping they do another video comparing the two!   SF Weekly did an article about Zynga's practices in September, 2010.  Quotes from former employees as well as examples of Zynga's past game development practices are included and give insight into what is happening with Tiny Tower.

In closing, here's the graphic that Nimblebit, the creators of Tiny Tower, did comparing the two games.  I wonder what Zynga's lawyers would say that put together the Vostu case...'s confusing

In class we had a lot of discussion about what constitutes 'fair use' vs. copyright infringement as well as questions on what can and cannot be copyrighted.  

One student asked if a football team's playbook could be copyrighted.  I did my best to answer at the time - that the actually book itself could potentially be seen as creative and therefore copyrightable.  But what about other teams 'stealing' plays and improving upon them?  Is that copyright infringement?  It would certainly put a damper on football if it was and honestly off the top of my head, I didn't know the answer.  I started searching the web and came across an article at the Freakonomics site. 

What got my attention is their use of the word - innovation, used to describe a 'new to the world' play.  Other teams can then take this innovation, study it and improve upon it.  In comments for the Freakonomics article, someone suggests that the innovation process described above is just that a process and not protected. Copyright protection doesn't extended to  "any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." (Title 17, Chapter 1, 102(b)).  So, I sort of got it right - the playbook itself can be copyrighted, but the plays cannot as they are a processes - at least that's mine and a couple of others best non-lawyer, this isn't legal advice, opinions. 

The questions about fair use mostly centered on the use of music - is it really ok to use 30 seconds of a song?  What about sampling?  The truth is - I swear I read that it was somewhere, but now after googling I'm even more confused.  The answer seems to be - no.  I did find a great site that summarizes some of the copyright infringement cases involving fair use.  Copyright Website has several summaries about lawsuits concerning different entertainment industries.  The 2Live Crew case brought about by their sampling and rewording of Roy Orbison's Oh Pretty Woman is summarized and demonstrates the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Fair Use guidelines.  

I also found Stanford's website on fair use that has articles and videos from a variety of sources.  The EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) also has a good FAQ on fair use.  Lastly, I found a cute and informative site used for primary eduction called CyberBee.  It has an interactive Q&A about copyright and fair use.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have citations, but you can look at their answers here.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

B-schools and the 4 P's of Marketing

For Josh... who asked.

Why Do B-Schools Still Teach The Famed 4P's Of Marketing, When Three Are Dead? 

The headline brings much promise for the blog post I linked above, but the post shows the writers' lack of marketing and business knowledge. I certainly agree with the concept that the four P's are some what out-dated. Depending on how they are presented, they can be like a disco leisure suite, but I also believe they are still relevant in today's ever changing marketing world.

Promotion-in the mentioned blog post is equated with advertising-which is wrong. The P 'promotion' does incorporate advertising but it is so much more. All forms of communication with the consumer is under promotion- and that includes social media and all things Internet. Do we need to include things in promotion that perhaps we have excluded before? Yes! Do we need to talk about social media as more than a fad? Yes! Do we need to realize that promotion for many brands is now a collaborative process with consumers creating promotional content-even without contests? Yes! Do we need to teach more extensively about branding and having clear branding strategies across platforms? Yes! The promotional world is different from it was even ten years ago, and what B-schools teach has to change to match these shifts.

Place - according to this author is dead because more and more commerce is moving on-line. Let me go tell Kroger to start closing their doors, and I better hurry to see my last 3D iMax movie while drinking my venti mocha, non-fat, no whip add toffee nut frap from Starbucks. Seriously? All kidding aside, yes, online commerce is growing and continues to grow. Does this mean that brick and mortar stores are going away? Not in most cases, but what it does mean is the increase in complexity of place can be staggering. Just do a google search about Toys R Us's first online holiday experience, and you'll find out that logistics (part of place) is even more important in our current marketplace. It's what Amazon excels at! In my entertainment marketing class, I teach about "conduit" - the delivery of the product to the consumer, and with the increase of on-line commerce there is another channel to be measured and our product may have to take a different form. So, B-schools have got to adapt and help graduates understand how to connect their product or service with the consumer when, where and in what format the consumer wants (just think how many headaches the music industry could've saved if they had actually done this!).

What's next...Price! The author would have us believe that raw market forces will now take hold because of consumers having more access to information. Now, he does have something here - if you are positioning yourself in the market based on price, then yes- the Internet will force the market price on you, but what if you are positioning based on benefits? You aren't just focused on the raw market price you are adding value which can add dollars to that raw price. Otherwise, no diamond engagement rings would be bought at Tiffany's because they certainly don't let raw market prices determine their's. See the stuff about branding under promotion to understand why setting price is still important, plus there is that cool break-even formula we should all know.

This leaves us with the last P, Product. The article states, "The only way you can increase the value of your brand is by increasing the value of your offering." I totally agree but it is short-sighted to not realize that value comes in many forms- including those delivered by the other P's. I have a friend who uses an on-line co-op to get fresh vegetables. He pays more than he would at a grocery store, but he gets the added value of having them delivered to his door as well as being locally sourced when possible. That's "place" in action and the website that communicates what the co-op offers is part of promotion - as is the Groupon they issued (good old fashion sales promotion done with an on-line twist). I'll let you know what I think of the co-op - I bought the Groupon.

In the end, the four P's still are a good starting point but B-schools have to expand and adapt them to the current marketplace. I would argue for the inclusion of a fifth P, "participation," but maybe it's just the collaboration I talked about under promotion. What I do know is the time when a year-old text book is still up-to-date is gone.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Overboard? Just a little...

I had forgotten about some glorious examples of product placement in soap operas.  Over-the-top doesn't begin to describe these product placements in Days of our Lives (The Hollywood Reporter even wrote about the outrageous placements).  Soap operas have had a bad run lately, with several being canceled after years on the air - but I have to question whether or not this helped Days in their fight to stay on the air.  They did receive a two-year contract renewal, so hopefully this was just a bad mistake they won't repeat.

After you check out the videos, check out the Days of our Lives website - videos, twitter feeds, photos, polls and games - lots of unexpected interactive elements.

And my personal favorite - Frozen chinese food kept behind a bar...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ad Agencies and Collateral Services

Tonight we went over ad agencies and other collateral service firms in my Advertising class.  Below are links to four different full-service advertising agencies.  Take a look around their sites, and see not only how they market different but how they are based on different philosophies:
Leo Burnett – It’s all about the big pencil, the big idea – Mr. Burnett created the idea of inherent drama in ads – something that draws us in and gets our attention.  You will know him best as the creator of the Marlboro cowboy.
David Ogilvy started Ogilvy & Mather.  Mr. Ogilvy believed in uniform branding and creating memorable images.  Notice the differences in this website compared to Burnett’s.  Ogilvy could be seen as one of the first advertisers to get the one look, one voice of IMC.
Saatchi & Saatchi has built their brand around the idea of ‘Lovemarks.’  The CEO wrote a book about Lovemarks – branding and loyalty beyond what we normally think of.  It’s all about consumers emotionally connecting to brands.
Barkley is a different kind of ad agency.  They are employee owned and focus on honesty in what they do.  Watch the video on the homepage about what they stand for.  Is it different than the other agencies you visited? – you bet! 

One of my students suggested looking at XA, the experiential agency, that specializes in event marketing - but not in events in the way you are use to think about them.  Check out their portfolio or the clips they have on the home page - some neat stuff.  I really enjoyed the Covert Affairs on USA promotion they did!
This is the link for the major advertising awards:  Cannes Lion awards -