Category Archives: marketing

Puppettime: LeBron vs Kobe

My buddy Luke Armour and a few of his FH Cleveland counterparts know the Lebron “chalk” routine well. There’s even a rumor that a certain someone is quick to bust it out at the office cafeteria from time to time. Although, I’ve yet to see the promised video of this re-enactment, this Nike commercial fills the void (somewhat). Oh and it just happens to be one of the most viewed ads online at the moment.

Original Chalk:


Social Media = Two Way Communication…

The bulk of my days consist of brainstorming ideas for clients on how they can use social media to engage their consumers. Those brainstorms then turn into proposals, some of which get passed through, while others fall by the wayside. Though it can be a pretty frustrating job, ideation without promise of creation, there’s a certain level of satisfaction that comes from having pretty candid conversations with clients about how to or in some cases how not to engage with social media. The one piece of advice that I can’t stress enough is – don’t half ass it – of course, put in a more gentler way. 

Consumers aren’t stupid. For years they’ve been bombarded with one size fits all messages that are pushed their way in traditional mediums, but today they know exactly how to tune them out. Better yet, they know how to get the ear of brands, which was unheard of quite a few years back. If you’re going to play in the “social media” world, whether you’re a major consumer brand or an indie musician, there needs to be a level of authenticity. 

Yes, at the end of the day, there are marketing objectives behind using social media tools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be honest. Don’t just let your customers or fans (in the case of musicians) hear your voice or be privy to “exclusive” content – but be aware of the conversation going on around you or in most cases about you. It’s simply not enough to just read comments or blast out twitter messages to the masses. So what if you have a myspace page, facebook page, or even a YouTube channel. You may gain a few followers here or there, but how are you sustaining that following? 

By using social media but not engaging in two-way conversations with your followers you’re stating two things:

1) their opinions don’t matter

2) you’re jumping on the bandwagon.

Consumer brands, with the help of public relations and marketing professionals, are realizing that they can’t just play in the social media space just to be there. They realize it’s not all fun and games, that the online space can quickly become a very unsociable place. However, if done properly, they can reach consumers in ways never before possible and create unique user experiences that have powerful, long lasting effects. Same goes for musicians, especially indie musicians who are at a distinct advantage over major label artists since they are in complete control of their content and in essence their brand. So, are you using social media the way it was intended?

March Madness + Guitar Hero…

It’s no secret I’m a March Madness junkie — I also happen to be a big fan of Guitar Hero. While, the original commerical re-enacting the scene from “Risky Business” featuring Arod and Michael Phelps was absolutely creepy — I’d say Guitar Hero’s ad firm hit the nail on the head with this one.

Yup, it features 4 of college basketball’s greatest coaches (at least the ones that can still slide across a floor without breaking a hip). So, check out Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Bob Knight’s ode to “Risky Business.”

The only problem is Metallica’s presenence – FAIL. I’m still mad at them for Napster.

RT: Jimmy Eat World Gets Social

My buddy Luke Armour has written an amazing guest post at The Round Table about Jimmy Eat World integrating social media with their music to engage music fans. Here’s a taste…

A while ago I “became a fan” of Jimmy Eat World on Facebook, which, for many fan sites means absolutely nothing. But Jimmy Eat World actually uses it. The most recent updates focused on the 10th anniversary celebration of their classic album Clarity. For 10 one-time-only shows beginning February 23 in New York City and concluding March 7 in the band’s native Arizona, they played the album in its entirety. What a great way to point out to new fans that you have older stuff worth paying attention to. And the buzz was great, the shows sold out right quick.

Once I realized they were actually talking to me, the fan, it wasn’t long before I started paying attention to them elsewhere. I started following them on Twitter, which, again, for many Twitter accounts means absolutely nothing – except maybe knowing what Jim had for breakfast [yawn]. But this was entertaining, interesting and – as it turns out -informative. I saw this tweet one day:

catch @jimmyeatworld clarity rehearsal live on @ustream this thursday at 1:30 az time

…. be sure to read the rest of the post at The Round Table.

5 Words for Friday…

The five words that are tossed around relentlessly in my profession that I’ve grown to hate, yet am forced to integrate (just missed the cut) into my vocab on a daily basis. Really, there’s nothing revolting about these words/phrases rather it all comes down to the context in which they are used.

1. Leverage – this is hoity-toity marketing speak for “use”. Why can’t we just say use anymore?

2. Assets – can we be more vague? What are our assets? Most days this consists of news, video, and/or images. I know – annoying right?

3. Loop – Most commonly used as a verb: “I’ll loop you in,” which loosely translates to “I don’t feel like doing this work, so I’ll be sure to pass it off to you in front of others so you can’t decline.”

4. Case Study – Everything is considered a case study – but rarely is any thing a TRUE case study. However, I’ve affectionately come to refer to the dreaded case study as – CS.

5. Thanks so much – Most commonly used as a reply to the “I’ll loop you in” comment. It’s drenched in sarcasm and dripping with disdain, but still seems civil in tone, unless your recipient is wise to you.

Dentyne: “Make Face Time…”

It’s rare that I fall for a tv commercial – so when it does, I feel like I need to share it. Last night I was flipping through the channels when I settled on a random station to basically leave on in the background while I downloaded music to my iPod. Then I heard this jolly little tune, “Summer Day” by Coconut Records, followed by a voice-over saying “The Original Instant Message.” I was intrigued – had to see where this was going.

Then the commercial cuts to a shot of guy and girl that kiss quickly. Mr. voice-over returns and declares “Voicemail” while two guys jump into a lake and the camera pans to two girls sharing a secret. Then we see a room full of twenty-somethings chatting/sitting in a room where Mr. voice-over states “Chatroom Full.” Seriously, I was hooked.

Jump to a shot of a bunch of guys playing soccer. One guy scores a goal and subsequently celebrates with his teammates as Mr. voice-over (aka my new best friend) says “Friend Request: Accepted.”

Then it concludes with the sell: “Dentyne, Make Face Time.”

Wow. Really, I’m not one for commercials, but just the fact that they were capable of taking current online trends and integrated them into a commercial that wasn’t overly branded or pushing product at me is exactly what sold me. Now, can I say I’ll honestly go out and buy Dentyne gum as a result? No (sorry, sales team!), but this commercial will stick with me, especially as someone who spends long hours behind emails, social networking sites, profiles, etc for a living.

The message is simple – log off, disconnect, and spend time interacting in the physical world. Let there be physical, tangible experiences in life while not simply relying on technology to express feelings or experience moments. It’s not preachy either. Simple stating – make time for others.

So, I’m ready for some face time — are you?