Tag Archives: marketing

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?



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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?

EA Sports Answers Youtube User…

Working in social media, it’s always exciting to see when major companies really GET the online space. It’s still pretty rare to see. We see some success stories here and there, but still most think they get it, when they actually don’t. While others are too scared to even think about coming out of their comfort zone to take a risk. However, EA Sports is one of the companies leading the charge and are definitely tapped into their audience.

Recently, a Youtube user took a video screen caputer of a “glitch” in the Tiger Woods game from EA Sports showing how the ball could be played by walking over water and swinging as if the pond were dry land. Pretty crazy, right?

The folks at EA Sports got wind of the video and decided to have some fun with it. They produced a video with Tiger walking on water and recreating the shot from the game. Part of my job is monitoring social media sites, blogs, and of course using Google Alerts to keep track of all press (especially negative press). However, many clients aren’t willing (read: ballsy) enough to actually take a potentially negative story and turn it into a positive. EA Sports have done just that!

A situation that could’ve blown up and spread through the internet has now been dismantled and is actually being talked about as a savvy marketing move instead. Not only did EA prevent a potential media disaster, they showed that they are intune with their target audience and are actively paying attention. Blogs and social networks are all a buzz about what they’re now dubbing Tiger’s “Jesus Walk.”  Great job, EA! Now if only other companies would follow your lead. Yup, it’s a risky move, but risks can have rewards.

“Untraceable” Movie Promotion Goes Too Far?…

It’s hard to ignore a sensational advertisement. That’s the point, right? To grab your attention and entice you to dig deeper. It seems the more saturated the media market becomes, the more sensational the headline must be to vie for the consumer’s attention.

But where’s the line between being creative and going too far? And does crossing that line negatively impact results?

This morning while signing on to Myspace I saw an ad for “Untraceable,” a new thriller starring Diane Lane as a cyber-crime investigator tasked with tracking down a serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the internet. Scary, huh?

The plot line alone is enough to sends chills one’s spine, but how about their ad on myspace?

untraceable2.gif

Are you kidding me? It’s a series of 4 thumbnails that read “Come Kill With Me”, “Your Click Could Be Deadly,” “You Are The Murder Weapon,” and “I Am Untraceable.”

Ok, I get it — it’s a horror movie, but this ad seems to go too far in my opinion. Why would you place an ad on a site mainly used by impressionable teenagers that starts out with “Come Kill With Me?”

I understand opening weekend box off numbers are a big deal. These numbers are often reported like sports scores and if a movie doesn’t have a huge opening, it probably isn’t going to do well. (Of course, there are always exceptions…) That’s where the hype machine comes into play.

Studios spend millions on generating buzz for upcoming movies with nifty promotional campaigns. With the entrance of social media into the mainstream, marketers and advertisers have even more tools at their disposal to reach to the consumer.

Generating buzz and creating hype is one thing, but promoting something that starts out with “Come Kill With Me” can’t be a good idea…EVER.

Granted, by me writing about this, the marketers/advertisers succeeded in getting attention, but they lost out on a ticket sale as I will not pay money to see this movie.