Saturday, February 13, 2010

Boom Time for Social Media

from Mediapost:

Social Media Redux: It's Here To Stay

Last month, I asked "What Matters Now," and many of you responded with a desire to better understand Boomers and their use of social media. Since then, both Continuum Crew and eMarketer have published studies that suggest Boomers are warming up to social media, becoming increasingly a digitally networked generation. This trend provides important opportunities for marketers.

It was almost a year ago when I noticed Boomers experimenting with social networks. At that time, a Pew Internet and American Life Project study found that 20% of online adults 45-54 years old (the "younger" Boomers) and 10% of online adults 55-64 (the "older" Boomers) were participating in social networks. Since then, there has been some debate as to whether Boomers had truly adopted social media. Some argued that Boomers were only experimenting but not hooked. Recent studies, though, suggest otherwise: that Boomers are, in fact, joining and participating in social networks. Deloitte late last year found that 46% of Boomers maintain at least one social networking profile -- up significantly from 2007.

emarkter  chart

They are not only creating these profiles, they are also visiting and interacting on these networks with regularity. According to Pew's more recent study, 85% of younger Boomers and 73% of older Boomers checked into social networking sites at least once a week or more.

And, the social network they are most likely to frequent is Facebook. According to comScore, roughly 60% of social networking Boomers -- 22.6 million -- used Facebook in October 2009; no other social network comes close.

emarkter  chart

Other firms like Continuum Crew, Anderson Analytics and Burst Media found similar trends.

It's not entirely surprising that Facebook is their social network of choice since Boomers view social networks as a way to stay in touch with family and friends. According to Anderson Analytics, 58% of Boomers state that this is the reason they use social networks. This may also explain why Boomer-specific social networks never took off. Boomers need a multi-generational network and thus far only Facebook fits the bill: it offers Boomers access to old friends as well as their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and younger friends.

Most Boomers also learned of a social network from a friend who sent an invite, suggesting that this demographic group is just as open to sharing discoveries as younger groups.

And, if you're thinking, "Well, so what does this have to do with selling a product?," you should know that Boomers who use social networks are twice as likely, according to Anderson Analytics, to purchase products online than those who don't.

Implications for Marketers

  • Include social media in plans to reach Boomers: it is clear that social networks are not a passing phase for Boomers. Like others, they are finding that online social networks enhance their existing relationships.
  • Join them at the networks they already frequent; don't create a separate unique network for them based on their age: Boomers want to connect with their friends and family across generations. They don't want to be segregated by age.
  • Create "share worthy content": Boomers aren't just lurking on social networks, they are sharing and recruiting. Give them content they deem worthy of sharing or a reason to "recruit" others. For instance, the Facebook bra meme drew significant numbers of Boomer women into it; this was not a meme of just younger women. Organizations like Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF and other cause groups are finding tremendous success attracting Boomers as well as younger generations to their causes.
  • Don't be afraid to incorporate video and pictures for Boomers to share: Half of Boomers on social networks have watched videos, uploaded pictures or read someone's blog.
  • Finally, social media shouldn't replace traditional media yet for this age cohort: While Boomers are embracing social networks, they still spend significant amounts of time with traditional media -- television, newspapers and magazines -- more so than younger generations.

Anne Mai Bertelsen is the Founder and President of MAI Strategies, a marketing consulting firm specializing in integrated marketing strategy development and implementation. Her clients include American Express Consumer Card Group, United Nations' Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, and the Radio Advertising Bureau. Prior to starting her own firm, Anne held marketing positions at American Express and the Port Authority of NY & NJ. Reach her here.

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Behind the Scenes of a TV Commercial

Reminds me of an old Spinners tune, Games People Play....

From the Basic Marketing Blog:

How Television Production Companies Handle Clients

Different Goals, Troubled Relationship

I've been involved with a great many TV commercials (client side) over the years. And I am well aware of the wary relationship between the client (representing the company that is paying for a TV commercial), the commercial director and the advertising agency during a shoot. There are several reasons for this awkward threesome:

For almost all video shoots, the advertising agency selects the director and production company (the client is usually not directly involved in this). Because of this hiring process, the commercial director is eager to develop a relationship with advertising agencies (who can increase his billings) but not with the client who is paying everyone's bills.

From the advertising agency perspective, the agency wants to have many choices of directors that they know and trust. They also want to be known as a company that hires "hot" directors.

However, the commercial director and the advertising agency both realize, albeit reluctantly, that the client company is paying the bills. The person writing the check is typically the most important person in any business meeting. This not true on the set of a TV commercial. The client is the necessary evil, the potential party-spoiler, the great unknown. Of course, this adversarial relationship won't be the cover story on any advertising trade magazine, but it is part of the planning of just about every video production. Where do we put the client? How can we contain client input? Here's how it works.

The arrival of the client at the location

Upon arrival, the client is immediately shown to the "craft services" table (the food). At this point he or she is welcomed by the director and the main advertising representative at the commercial shoot. After this brief meeting, a "producer" is attached (glued, stapled) to the side of the client. The role of the "producer" is to keep the client happy and far away from the set. This is usually a charming young female.

The video production set and the dead dog

It's a joke, but one which is repeated often. The production company puts a "dead dog" on the set, so that the client can make a suggestion that won't ruin the spot. The client tours the set and then says, "I love everything, but could we removed the dead dog? I think it distracts from the visuals".

"Great idea!" Everyone responds. The client has made a suggestion and feels like he's made a contribution. Everyone then prays that that will be the end of it.

They don't really put a dead dog on the set. Most television production companies brace themselves for the stupid client suggestion. The old joke reflects prevailing value of client suggestions.

The client's cave

The client is then shown to a room as far removed from the actual shoot as reasonable and practical. The client is never allowed on the set. They are put in front of a monitor at a distant location so they can see the footage, but are effectively limited in the amount of input they can provide. There is usually some walkie-talkie kind of interface which makes communication purposefully difficult.

The commercial director

The director's goals and the client's goals are different. The client wants to sell product - that's why he's here. The commercial director wants something for his reel. He wants to do something with the client's spot that approaches "art", that demonstrates his skill, and, most importantly, will gain him more business. He also wants to please the advertising agency that hired him. That's it.

Why doesn't he care about the client's success? Even if the spot is wildly successful for the client, there is no assurance that the advertising agency (remember they're the one who hired him) will select his video production company for the next assignment. His goal, for the spot that he is shooting today, is to get his company more business in the future. The route to getting more business is to shoot pretty pictures with lots of new effects that impress other advertising agencies.

The commercial director also realizes that the ad agency doesn't want him to talk with the client, so if the client directly approaches him, he'll get the agency over to join the discussion ASAP. There is very little chance that he will build a separate relationship with the client company during a shoot. As a result, there is little chance for future business from the client.

The advertising agency

The agency representative has two missions during a TV commercial shoot, (1) keep the client happy and (2)limit the input from clients. Typically, they manage those twin tasks by using these magic words in response to every suggested change, "Why, yes, we could do that, it's a great idea - but there will be some costs involved. Maybe an extra day of shooting."

That effectively shuts the client up, and the shoot day is complete.

It's rare that the guy holding the checkbook is handled in this way, but it's all part of a standard video shoot.

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from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Companies Are Leaner

This has been an ongoing factor for many years with continual downsizing and cutbacks. However, the recession forced many companies to scale back even further than they normally would have. This has resulted in an extremely lean workforce.

What does that mean for salespeople?

It means people are stretched even further and busier than ever before. It means it will become even more difficult to connect with decision-makers. It means projects will be put on hold because people will be too busy to implement them. It means you need to find a way to help your customers deal with this.

Make your solutions easier. Assist with the implementation. This also means respecting their time when you meet. If you have sixty minutes allotted for your meeting but you can wrap it up in forty-five, then do so. Your customer will appreciate it and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

Source: Sales consultant/author Kelley Robertson (

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

and we swing from Superbowl to Olympic mode...

by Karlene Lukovitz
The campaign, dubbed "The Spark" in reference to the brand's 2009-updated logo, features hip-hop musician Drake and includes multiple TV spots, online music remixing and movie-creation tools, mobile, outdoor and print elements. In addition, the brand is leveraging its NBA relationship via new efforts such as a new amateur dunking contest, as well as its step-team competition for college students. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
According to the ESPN Sports Poll, conducted by TNS and Electronic Arts, more than a third of sports video game players say they spend as much or more time playing the game than they do following the same sport on television. Among these players, 75% of them said the in-game advertising helped reinforce the company's real world sponsorship. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Procter & Gamble is launching its first-ever corporate marketing campaign and single-largest integrated campaign to date around the Winter Olympics. Besides individual sponsorship programs with 17 of its brands and endorsement deals with nearly as many individual athletes, the company is running two TV spots that are all about Procter & Gamble and its commitment to moms. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Launches are likely to include more toys in the building sets category, which NPD says jumped 23% in sales last year, and arts & crafts, which climbed 7%. Sales of youth electronics fell 17%, and the humble stuffed animal didn't do much better, with sales declining 13%. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The spot debuts Feb. 12 during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and will run in conjunction with other spots in the campaign. In addition to the two weeks of Olympics coverage, the ads will run on two financial networks and play during high-profile sporting events, including professional golf, professional tennis and college basketball tournaments. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Gene Brown, VP marketing, says Suzuki's decision to get more involved in online social media comes as those channels have "reached critical mass in the American psyche and lifestyles. So we feel it's important to make it available if consumers are interested in interacting with our brand this way," he says. "The flip side is, it's an easier way for us to find out about our consumers." ...Read the whole story >>
Yahoo Hopes to Generate Visits At Olympics

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The Power of Music in Marketing


What Good Are the Words to a Song Without the Music?

Despite Trend Toward Verbal Pitches, Visual Hammers Still Rule

In a song, what's more important, the words or the music?

I think most people would agree that the music is more important.

This ad doesn't hammer the words 'an Accord is a compromise' into a  reader's mind.
This ad doesn't hammer the words 'an Accord is a compromise' into a reader's mind.
Take "Moon River," first sung by Audrey Hepburn in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The song itself won an Academy Award for composers Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, one of four won by Mercer.

Later, Andy Williams adopted "Moon River" as his theme song. Here is the first verse.

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossin' you in style some day
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way
Johnny Mercer, in my opinion, was the best lyricist of the 20th century, but I'm sure those words on a piece of paper, even repeated millions of times, would not have made "Moon River" famous.

It was the music that made the words "Moon River" famous.

Advertising needs visuals in the same way that lyrics need music, if you want to drive your words into the minds of your prospects.

Without a visual hammer, an advertising campaign is almost certain to fail.

Years ago, we were making a new-business presentation, and I could see it wasn't going over very well. Wherever we were going, the prospect wasn't going our way.

Finally he said, "Your advertising is all visually oriented, and today the trend is towards verbally oriented advertising."

He was right. The number of advertisers today that are totally focused on a verbal approach is staggering.

Even a visual medium like TV is often used primarily in a verbal way. Take a recent Ford F-150 commercial. Here is what was used for both the voice-over and, unbelievably, the text on screen:


My guess is that this verbal diarrhea turns off more truck buyers than it turns on. But who am I to complain? If the advertising is so bad, why is the Ford F-Series the largest-selling vehicle in the U.S.? Momentum. Ford's F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the United States for 33 consecutive years.

But just because an advertisement has a visual doesn't turn that visual into a hammer. Most visuals are what we call a "rebus," a picture that stands for a word.

Take a Chevrolet Malibu ad with the headline: "By definition an Accord is a compromise." The picture is a rebus which stands for "Chevrolet Malibu." It doesn't hammer the words "an Accord is a compromise" into a reader's mind.

When developing a marketing strategy, verbally oriented left-brainers spend most of their time trying to find the best words to describe the brand's position. "Honda's Accord is the chief competitor for our Chevy Malibu," goes the thinking, "so let's nail them with the compromise idea."

But those words don't translate into a visual hammer, so they are virtually useless as an advertising concept. Look at the difference between the Malibu ad and what Verizon has been doing recently.

For years, No. 1 Verizon and No. 2 AT&T have been blasting each other with massive amounts of advertising. A typical Verizon slogan: "Switch to America's largest and most reliable 3G network."

For most consumers this slogan was just "we're-the-biggest-and-the-best" advertising puffery. Nor did the slogan lend itself to a visual hammer.

Then last October Verizon launched its "There's a map for that" campaign. Its commercials showed two U.S. maps, one marked "Verizon Wireless," the other marked "AT&T." The caption: "5X more 3G coverage."

Verizon's coverage is almost solid red on a white map. AT&T's coverage is very spotty blue areas on a white map. In other words, with Verizon you get five times as much 3G coverage. That's what I mean by a powerful visual hammer.

You know the campaign is working because of what AT&T is doing in response. Soon after the Verizon campaign was launched, AT&T struck back with "When you compare, there's no comparison" and a new website, Unfortunately, the ads are all words:

"Nation's fastest 3G network."

"Talk and surf the web at the same time."

"Most popular smartphones." (Translation: We've got the iPhone. They don't.)

"Access to over 100,000 apps." (The iPhone again.)

Now who do you suppose is winning the wireless war? My bet would be on Verizon. A visual campaign will always be more persuasive than a verbal campaign.

Tested 72 hours after exposure, people remember only about 10% of information presented orally, according to one study, but 65% of information presented visually.

There's a paradox here. The objective of a marketing campaign is to own a word in the mind. "Driving" in the case of BMW. "Safety" in the case of Volvo. "Change" in the case of Barack Obama. Logical left-brainers are quick to assume that the best way to do that is jump on the word verbally and then to lay out the verbal reasons why -- much like a lawyer's brief.

Hence the AT&T campaign: "When you compare, there's no comparison."

Do words like these mean much to consumers? I think not.

The assumption is that you can say anything, but a picture is proof.

Hence the Verizon campaign: "There's a map for that."

Verizon's coverage maps are powerful visual hammers.
Verizon's coverage maps are powerful visual hammers.
Nothing is as powerful in marketing as a combination of a simple verbal nail ("the real thing") and a powerful visual hammer (the contours of the Coke bottle). You have probably noticed how Coca-Cola is making extensive use of its unique visual in packaging and marketing even though very few contour bottles of Coke are now being sold.

It's not just advertising that is so verbally oriented. What is striking to me is how verbally oriented many company presentations are. It's not uncommon for a corporate executive to stand behind a podium reading a speech on a teleprompter while the same words appear on a huge screen with absolutely no visuals.

I recently saw a 50-slide presentation by a world-renowned management consulting firm on an issue of international importance. The slides contained nothing but words -- some 2,000 words, according to my rough calculations.

Compare that with a presentation by Steve Jobs, everyone's choice as the world's most effective communicator. In June of 2008, Steve Jobs announced the introduction of the iPhone 3G. He used 11 slides to do so, but only one slide contained words. The other 10 slides were photographs.

Look at PowerPoint, the presentation program of choice for most executives. My daughter Laura and I use the program because we think we have no other choice, but the slide masters are totally useless because they are all verbally oriented and our slides are almost all visually oriented, with very few words.

Wherever you're goin', you'll go faster and farther with a visual hammer. What good are the words without the music?

Al Ries is chairman of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm he runs with his daughter and partner Laura.

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Your Focus, Your Package

from Seth Godin today:

The brand, the package, the story and the worldview

Madecasse Madecasse has a lot going for it. It's delicious chocolate. It's made in Africa (the only imported chocolate made on the continent with local beans). The guys who make it are doing good work and are nice as well.

The question I asked them is, "does your packaging do its job?"

I don't think the job of packaging is to please your boss. I think you must please the retailer, but most of all, attract and delight and sell to the browsing, uncommitted new customer.

Let me take you through the reasoning, because I think it applies to your packaging as well.

We start with this: if I've already purchased and liked your product, the packaging isn't nearly as important. I'm talking here about packaging as a sales tool for converting browsers into buyers. (If you're already a buyer, all I need to do is remind you what we look like). If word of mouth or other factors are at work, your package matters a lot less. But for a company this size, in this market, the package matters a lot.

Now, among people who haven't bought, but might, understand that every one of them starts with a worldview. What are the beliefs and expectations and biases they have about the world?

In this case, it's about someone in the market for high end chocolate. If your worldview is, "Hershey's is the best, it reminds me of my childhood," then I'd argue that this $4 bar isn't for you no matter what they do with the package.

Perhaps you believe, "All that matters is how it tastes, and great chocolate looks a certain way,"

or perhaps, "I care about the origin of what I buy,"

or perhaps, "I want something out of the ordinary, unlike anything I've had before,"

or perhaps, "Chocolate is like wine. I am interested in vintages and varietals,"

or maybe, "Chocolate should be fun. Enough with the seriousness."

As you can see, no package can optimize for all of these people. You can compromise your packaging, try to appeal to everyone, muddy your brand promise and hide your story. I think that's sort of what the existing packaging does and I'm not sure it's smart.

Chocolate The alternative is to focus not on ALL the people in the market, but just a few. Winning hands down with 25% is plenty in this market, and perhaps in your market too.

You could figure out how to tell the delicious story, by referencing (copying the style of) other products in other categories that are already seen as delicious, at least by this audience.

You could tell the snobby varietal handmade story, and that's been done many times as well.

Or you could tell a story that is yours and yours alone.

For example, the Madecasse story about made by Africans in Africa is very powerful, at least as powerful as fair trade, if not more (they keep four times as much money in Africa by selling a bar as they would if they just sold beans to other companies).

If that's true, then why not put your workers on the label? Big beautiful pictures that would be an amazing juxtaposition against all the other abstract stuff in the store. Tell me the story of the worker on the back. Make each one different and compelling. Packaging as baseball card. I wouldn't put a word on the front, just the picture. Now I not only eat something that tastes good, but I feel good. You've made it personal. The story on the back is about a real person, living a better life because I took the time to buy her chocolate instead of someone else's. When I share the chocolate, I have something to say. What do you say when you give someone a chocolate bar? This package gives you something to say.

Or be fun and funny. Make the product itself almost a bumper sticker, something worth buying and talking about.

The two elements that must come together are:

  • The story you can confidently tell and
  • the worldview the buyer tells herself
When those align, you win. Happy Valentine's day on Sunday.

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Stop the Madness

from my email:
7 Ways to Stop Chasing Decision Makers by Ari Galper ==============================


You probably know this scenario well: Your main contact at a
company has expressed interest in possibly purchasing your
product or service. You've had the pleasant conversations,
you've heard "Yes, we're definitely interested" and "Yes,
I'm the decision maker," and you're excited about making the
sale happen.

You've put your heart and soul into doing what you're best
at - explaining the benefits of your solution but working
hard not to come across "salesy" or pushy. As far as you're
concerned, you've done everything right. Now you're on the
phone with your contact. You're hoping this will be your
last conversation before they fax the contract through.

Finally you ask, "So, is the agreement ready to be signed?"
There's a silence, and then you hear the disheartening
words: "Oh, I realize that I should really have Mike and
Julie, look at it before I send it over."

Talk about being set up to believe everything was going to
be smooth sailing - now a big wave has overturned the boat
and it's sinking fast! Why didn't he tell you he wasn't the
final decision maker? Why did he lead you on?

Most important, what can you do to stop this from happening

Don't despair! Here are seven ways to end the chasing game
with decision makers.

(To continue reading this article, visit:


About the Author


Ari Galper, founder of Unlock The Game®, makes cold calling
painless and simple. Learn his free cold calling secrets
even the sales gurus don't know. To receive your 10 free
audio mini-lessons, visit

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Wish we had a Denny's in my town...

by Sarah Mahoney
"Target getting in front of consumers and saying, 'We're thinking about you smartphone users,' is a good move, and one more way for it to position itself as trendy," says Keynote's Ben Rushlo. "We're about to see a new wave of adoption for this technology, reaching out to non-technologically savvy shoppers. At this point, even my parents are talking about getting an iPhone." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Volvo hopes its new Web site, designed for speed and customization based on visitor behavior, attracts people who are looking to get more done at one place and want an emotionally satisfying experience. The site extends the Volvo theme, "There's more to life than a Volvo. That's why you drive one." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
"In the longer run, the move will draw customers into the restaurant, improve public relations, and reacquaint Denny's fans with the chain's offerings," writes's Bruce Watson. "The impact of those trends may be almost immeasurable. It almost makes you wonder why more companies don't give their product away." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
In addition to being a presenting sponsor of televised events (such as the All-Star Jam Session), Haier will have a presence at the event, including a truck equipped with various televisions for people to experience. Throughout the weekend upwards of 150,000 people are expected to interact with the display. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The humorous campaign featuring Goldberg in a series of web videos is intended to build a wider acceptance of the problem, build awareness of K-C's Poise pads, and use humor to diminish the stigma attached. The goal: get people talking about a problem the company says affects one in three women. And, of course, sell Poise. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
Williams will be used in TV, print, in-store and online advertising, including the product's Web site. Cincinnati-based Tide is promoting the new product with an online contest where consumers can design a tennis outfit for tournament play. The winning look will inspire an outfit that Williams will wear at a major tennis tournament in 2010. ...Read the whole story >>
Tresemme Sponsors Fashion Week, Bows FB Group

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Retail Marketing to Gen Y


Retail Customer Experience: Why Generation Y Isn't Buying Your Products

By Christine Carter, owner of Epps Consulting

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.

As a 23-year-old consumer, I can tell you this: my attention is short, my demands are great and my purchases are diverse. I live in a day and age where social media apps, slogan tees and even Nike sneakers can be customized to fit my lifestyle.

Studies vary, but Generation Y is typically considered to be made up of people born between 1979 and 1997. There are 113 million in the U.S. shopping in malls and boutiques 54 times a year, and we have approximately $100 a week in disposable income burning a hole in our pockets.

We tend to live with only one parent, which makes us more open-minded than our predecessors. Conversely, traditional values and parental approval are very important. Our Baby Boomer parents taught us the importance of being socially conscious. Generation Y is also, of course, the most technologically savvy generation yet.

Because our generation responds and adapts rather quickly to social changes, we have emerged from the recession as "Recessionistas," informed shoppers who stick to tight budgets while still managing to stay trendy and cultured. In addition to buying necessities and spending as Recessionistas, we continually strive for goods that express our individuality. In just a decade, we've influenced the production of monogrammed screen tees, colored laptop computers and rhinestone cell phone accessories.

If you're able to keep these strategies in mind when marketing to Generation Y today, you'll secure a lifelong customer in the future as we evolve into mature adults and parents.

1. Appeal to our egos, our parents, AND THEN our senses. Your products and services should appeal to our individuality, but they should also be something we can share with our Baby Boomer parents. Again, brands such as the Gap and Nordstrom have successfully managed to offer products that both generations find appealing. Another reason these brands have been so successful is because their strategic choice of music, lighting, color palette, layout and visual merchandising appeals to Generation Y.

2. Minimize the television ads. We were glued to the tube as kids. We've learned to tune out traditional advertising methods. Convey your funny or emotional messages to Generation Y via guerilla, viral and social media marketing first, then supplement with traditional advertising. Another tip: We love word-of-mouth referrals and celebrity endorsements.

3. Offer a new take on promotions. If your store is at or near a location where we spend the majority of our time (shopping malls, concert arenas, theme parks or movie theatres), incorporate these locations into your promotions. Consider cross-promoting with these venues as well.

If James Cameron's box-office bonanza "Avatar" taught us anything, it's that studying is the first step toward profiteering. Like the Na'vi, for many retailers, Generation Y are aliens that leave them confused. The only thing that's predictable about us is our unpredictability. Our personalities and shopping patterns are so vastly different from what was previously exhibited by Generation X. Sorry, but we turned out to be nothing like our older siblings.

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New Ad Campaigns

After blasting us last week with daily Superbowl updates, Amy is back to her weekly update.

My fav is the dog teeth.

Doggy dentures. Dream jobs. Skittles grow on a tree... connected to a teen. Let's launch!

Diet Coke launched two TV spots promoting its support of healthy heart programs. A great cause to draw awareness to, but soda isn't something I think of when "heart-healthy" comes to mind. A stick figure stands next to a deflated heart in "Fit." The figure does crunches and push-ups until the heart is reinflated. Watch it here. The stick figure must scale to the top of a heart in "Summit." With help from a ladder, success is imminent. See it here. The ads launched last week during "American Idol." Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the ads, produced by Blacklist New York.

"You're not you when you're hungry," according to an ad for Snickers that debuted in the Super Bowl. You're more of a "Golden Girl" or detective from "Barney Miller." Betty White and Abe Vigoda get tackled in "Game," where a spirited game of football is underway. Betty White gets tackled and her potty mouth takes center stage in a huddle. "Mike, you're playing like Betty White out there," says a teammate. "That's not what your girlfriend said," quips White. Once Betty eats a Snickers, she morphs into a young, athletic man. The spot closes with Abe Vigoda getting tackled. Watch the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

If only commuting to work was this fun. Barclaycard launched "Rollercoaster," promoting its contactless technology that enables cardholders to pay for low-valued purchases with a simple card scan. A man pushes the elevator button in his building and a rollercoaster appears. Nice ride. Viewers listen to Boston's "More than a feeling," while the man rides up and down the rollercoaster, bypassing straphangers, rattling apartment furniture and peeping at a woman shaving her legs in the bathtub. The rollercoaster pulls up to our character's favorite breakfast spot, where his meal awaits. His Barclaycard is scanned and he's moving again, and dropped off at his high-rise office, complete with windswept hairdo. The ad launched two weeks ago in London. See it here. BBH London created the ad and The Mill New York provided visual effects.

Skittles wants viewers to "harvest the rainbow." Who cares if the "plant" that provides said harvest grows from your son's abdomen. "Mom, do you think after the Skittles harvest, we can call the specialist," asks a teenage son with a Skittles-tree protruding from his stomach. "And I thought we were done with all that silly dreamer talk," responds the mother, after Douglas expresses his dreams of attending college. The spot ends with Mom tickling Douglas, resulting in a Skittles rainstorm that makes Mama proud. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

Before the fiddling beaver, introduced viewers to a burnt-out Boogeyman unable to effectively do his job. The children were better at scaring him than vice versa. One child beats Boogeyman with a baseball bat, the police find him snooping outside a bedroom window and a family dog even sniffs him out. Rather than scare a kid sleeping in the next room, Boogeyman uses the kid's Wi-Fi to search for a new career. Boogeyman is good with numbers and winds up with a desk job as a CPA. See the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

Red Tettemer wants to Sext you up. The agency has been matchmaking single admen and women every Valentine's Day with its iMate online dating site. This year, the game's changed and getting with the times. It's time to Sext. Check out the agency's Web site and choose a male or female companion. The site reads as follows: "Her - Nimble fingers and a whole lot more: 267-271-5566. Him - Sextastic and beautifully bilingual: 267-271-5550." Good luck!

Gold Bond Ultimate wants to simultaneously promote its hand sanitizer moisturizer while freaking out germaphobes. It's a win-win! The Ultimate Hand Scanner is a Web site that allows friends to prank the germaphobe (or slob) in their lives. Once the name of the hypochondriac is added, the prankster gets to answer a handful (pun intended!) of questions about them, like: Where are the person's regular haunts? What type of beauty products do they use? Who are they attracted to? The person is then sent an email prompting them to place their hand to their computer screen for analysis. The answers provided by the prankster are used against the germaphobe. Walrus created the site.

Pedigree launched an amusing TV spot called "Doggy Dentures" to promote Dentastix, a dog treat that reduces a dog's tartar buildup. The ad stars adorable dogs that look sad, almost, as a voiceover explains most dogs have gum disease, often caused by tartar buildup. The voiceover offers an unusual solution: doggy dentures. The sad, downtrodden dogs now sport pearly white creeptastic adult teeth. After flashing some faux pearly whites, a dog snacks on Dentastix, the easier way to keep tartar buildup at bay. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Random iPhone App of the week: Lancome launched an app promoting its Declaring Indigo make-up collection by Aaron de Mey. A touchpad lets users try original colors and different combinations from the new collection, a tribute to Parisian irreverence. Users can create custom looks on their iPhones then save and send them by email. Phonevalley designed the app, created by Digitas and free in the App Store.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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5 Listening Tips

The more you Listen, the more you Sell.


The Art of Listening

Many people believe the ability to speak articulately is an important prerequisite to achievement. But communication is a two-way process, sending and receiving. Disraeli noted, "Nature has given us two ears but only one mouth." Use them proportionately.

Here are several listening tips to help you connect with people:

1. Take the time to listen. Often we are "multitasking" or distracted with our own thoughts, and we only pretend to listen. Take the time concentrate. By being in the moment you can learn and expand your knowledge.

2. Be attentive. Everyone feels his or her words and thoughts are valuable. Whether you agree or not, lack of attention is disrespectful to the individual. If you only hear the words and not understand the context, the meaning will be lost. Focus on the words that are being said as well as the emotions and feelings that are expressed.

3. Listen with an open mind. When you open your mind to the other person's point of view, you have a better chance of understanding what they are trying to say. If you do this for the other person, chances are they will listen to your point of view.

4. Listen for feelings. People tend to repeat those things that are important to them. Listen not only to what they say but how they say it. 85% of effective communication is something other than the words we say. Voices express emotion through pitch, intonation, hesitation, and speed of delivery. Facial, body and non-verbal clues speak volumes.

5. Listen for retention. Have you ever wanted to share a good joke that you heard, but simply couldn't remember anything but the punch line? If you do not consciously convey to your mind the thought that you hear, you will recall little of what is said. As you listen, verbally summarize the highlights occasionally to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to assist your memory.

Source: Marketing consultant Paul Anovick (

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Just click & read. I have snow to shovel...

by Karlene Lukovitz
The campaign's emphasis on the quality/trust factors of products under the Hormel umbrella -- sans direct references to the "value" message so prevalent in most CPG advertising now -- may speak to an additional underlying strategic goal, points out Michael Stone, president/CEO of The Beanstalk Group brand licensing and consulting agency. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Target was also involved in building a NASCAR team's headquarters and regularly sends its IT staff to work in the racing shop on technology. "It's more than just logos on a hood," said team president Steve Lauletta. "You want to build a relationship with the company from a standpoint that's deeper than media exposure and the exchange of 'you give me these assets and I'll give you money.'" ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
"We've already seen an increase in our Twitter followers, and we'll continue to connect with these consumers after the contest is over through our series of daily tweets, which communicate consumer-friendly Simmons news such as sleep tips, company press coverage and announcements of new online contests," say Tim Oakhill, Simmons' EVP/marketing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"What surprised us most was how many customers say they really wanted to hear about sales and products," Kevin Ertell, VP/retail strategy for ForeSee Results, says. "Yet many retailers aren't doing that -- conventional wisdom is that fans want things like engagement, with polls, or pithy comments or customer services tools. This study found those things are actually far less important." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"Our new strategy going forward is not about using athletes for athletes' sake but to tie into the Olympics and help communicate a message about how, if our club can train Olympic athletes, we can help the average American reach his or her fitness goals," says CMO Tony Wells. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
General Sentiment's Media Value report is composed of brand chatter that is used to determine what the equivalent would be in paid media. "The consumer voice carries with it power that companies could never produce themselves," CEO Greg Artzt says. "In this new age, media value measurement is one of the most valuable means of determining the effectiveness of marketing." ...Read the whole story >>
Lakers' Odom In PowerBar TV Spot

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Superbowl Advertising Wrap Up

Here's another viewpoint:

Tackling the Question of the Best 2010 Super Bowl Ads

Feb. 9, 2010

Thom Villing
Written by:
Thom Villing

On Super Bowl Sunday, it’s tough being in marketing and a sports nut at the same time. Once the game starts, I can never find a good time to go get something to eat or drink or do whatever nature may be calling me to do. If I leave the room during commercial breaks, I might miss one of the year’s iconic TV spots. Conversely, slipping away during the game could cause me to miss a critical play like, say, a surprise onside kick to start the second half. It’s hard I tell you. As hard as picking winners in the greatest game in advertising: the best spots among this year’s crop of clever, creative or corny commercials. But, like thousands of other self-proclaimed pundits, I will gladly share my opinions.

First, we have to define what makes a great Super Bowl commercial. Is it the one the fans like most as monitored by USA Today and countless other observers? Or is it the most effective in terms of making a clear brand statement within the context of a compelling or entertaining commercial? Ultimately I suppose this distinction is in the eye of the beholder. To my occupational eye, the proper focus should be on the side of presenting a strategically focused marketing message in a particularly memorable way.

That’s why one of my favorites was the Google “Parisian Love” spot. It won’t win many votes among the masses because the humor was subtle and there were no mind-boggling special effects. But if anyone has been living in a cave for the last 20 years and didn’t know what a search engine did, this spot was a great illustration presented without words in powerful story-telling fashion.

Speaking of telling stories, when I saw an early clip of the violin-playing beaver, I thought there was no way this could be more than a gimmick - the marriage of a cute animal and special effects that had no relevance to the product. I was wrong. The message was clear. The viewer engagement strong. A dam fine commercial.

Great storytelling was also obvious in the Coke “Sleepwalker” spot. The special effects were impressive on many counts — not the least of which was the way they reinforced the brand message.

I would have to give honorable mentions to the Hyundai “Old Brett Favre” spot, the Bridgestone “Whale of a Tale” and the Snickers “Game” commercial featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda.

The latter spot would probably be on my list of the top pure entertainment spots as well. Although much of Budweiser’s advertising was a letdown from previous years (especially the one with the longhorn steer trying to bond with the Clydesdales), I did enjoy the Bud Light “Bud House” commercial in that it was a big idea executed in a big way.

Two unexpected surprises for me were the truTV “Punxsutawney Polamalu” and the Denny’s “Chicken Warning” commercials. This may be unfair, but I just don’t expect great advertising from Denny’s and this spot was both fun and a good reinforcement of their free breakfast promotion. The truTV spot would probably not be meaningful to anyone who is not a fairly knowledgeable football fan, but I found it to be clever and entertaining.

As always, there was no shortage of disappointments. In keeping with the night’s subplot of aging celebrities (The Who, Brett Favre, Abe Vigoda & Betty White, etc.), the Boost Mobile remake of the Chicago Bear’s Super Bowl Shuffle was weak and irrelevant. Another subplot was “men in underwear” and gave us Careerbuilders “Casual Friday” and Dockers’ “Men Without Pants”. Back to back, no less. Neither was very funny or original.

During our staff meeting this morning, one of our team asked who was tired of GoDaddy’s commercials. I certainly am. The Danica Patrick “sex sells” spots may have created some interest the first year or two, but now they are just plain old. And one more point on this recurring theme of oldness, is anyone else tired of Papa John as hero of his own commercials? I suppose there is something to be said for consistency, but all I see is another CEO in love with seeing himself on television.

These are, of course, my opinions. But coupled with the many other voices out there, a common thread has emerged as to what was good in Super Bowl advertising and what wasn’t. It seems the commercials most commonly viewed as successful were produced by people who recognized the Super Bowl is not your ordinary YAM (young adult male) sporting event. With an estimated 106 million viewers, the audience was substantially more diverse. Advertisers like Snickers and Google recognized the breadth of the audience and crafted their messages accordingly. By contrast, GoDaddy and like-minded marketers were clearly directing their appeal based on a much lower common denominator.

Knowing your target audience is one of the fundamentals of marketing. Failing to heed those fundamentals is a big risk. Sort of like failing to anticipate an onside kick.

If you enjoyed this article or would like to receive your own personal "subscription" to Villing & Company’s News & Views, click here to get free updates by e-mail or RSS.

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We have a Policy for that...

As much as I hate rules, I prefer guidelines, there are some pretty strong reasons to have a Social Media Policy.

This is from Drew:

Examples of social media policies

Posted: 08 Feb 2010 05:35 AM PST

96264836 In corporate America (and probably corporate World), rules get created when people make bad choices. It's how child labor laws came to be and why we now have sexual harassment policies. The few and the stupid are the catalyst to regulation.

Which is why it's not a shock that companies big and small are beginning to institute social media policies. After the Dominos pizza incident and the world famous FedEx tweet -- who can blame business leaders from wanting to protect themselves by setting down some rules?

I've put together a long list of social media policy examples for you to use as you create your own. I'll keep adding to the list as I find new ones, so you might want to bookmark the page. You can view/download them by clicking here.

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After the Networking Event

Do this, (from

If you meet someone at a networking event, make sure you follow up. So many people go to an event only to take a stack of business cards and pile them in a drawer or on their desk. The biggest key in making networking successful for you is following up. Make sure you do so.

Create a follow up process that supports what you say about yourself in your elevator pitch. If you don’t have a follow up process in place for your station or group, get out a piece of paper and map out what it should be. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but should show timing and materials such as brochures that you have to follow up with people. Also, follow up with people in a way that they ask to be communicated with. If someone prefers email, have an email process. Make sure you have note cards matching your brand identity, a signature in your email, and a phone message scripted out… all with the same wording so that your brand is seamless. This will make the follow up process easier.

Create your own system that works best for your style and schedule… especially when you’re not sure how someone would prefer to be contacted. Some folks follow up with people with hand-written notes. If they see something that might find of interest to their new contact, they send it to them. An example of this is a magazine article. If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps sending emails or calling someone is a better option.

Take a day every few months to go through your contact list and just check in with people that you haven’t talked to in a while. Doing this also ensures that you’re keeping the database updated. Many people move around and change positions. The key is you must be genuine in all that you do and follow up in a way that supports who you and your company offer.

It can take weeks, months, or even years to sell someone on your station or group. This is tough when we live in a society of instant gratification. When that person or company has a need, you will be top of mind because you continued to follow up. Or, if they don’t have a need, they may become one of your raving fans that will recommend you in a heartbeat. You also need great contacts that can make recommendations to you when you have a product or service that you need. Keep this in mind when you’re nurturing the relationships you’ve established through networking.

If nothing else, your new contact can become a great friend that provides invaluable feedback. Embrace a relationship for what it is meant to be and cultivate it. You never know when the opportunity will come up for you to work with that person closely. Having that relationship in place ahead of time will go a long way.

-- Lauren L. Darr is President of LOI International, a strategic, visioning marketing firm specializing in the broadcast industry. She has more than twenty years marketing experience with over fifteen of those devoted to broadcast. Lauren has been named as a “Woman to Watch” and as one of the “Women Who RULE” in sales and marketing by the American Women in Radio and Television.

Lauren has a passion for technology that changes out world. She is the author of the anthology book, “The Official LOI International 2010-2012 Media Outlook Book” with a publish date of April 2010 ( In the book, she interviews over twenty experts from all facets of media.

You can reach Lauren at or visit the website at

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Ready to buy some Walmart wine?

by Karlene Lukovitz
"Wine is a highly fragmented category, and we believe that in many cases, consumers are not even aware that they're buying private-label wines -- the wines come in attractive bottles and don't actually bear a retailer's name," says Nielsen's Danny Brager. Some retailers' private-label spirits brands also tend to fly under the consumer's radar; in other cases, consumers simply view store brands as a good value. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Hyundai put its commercials on touch-screen kiosks in dealer showrooms, but not just for consumers. "It's also for the sales force to understand what we are telling customers," says Innocean's Jim Sanfilippo. "In a perfect world, dealers tell consumers the same thing we tell them. Everything we say is relevant to the sales floor; we have a responsibility to do this." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
There was also a high level of interest in branded entertainment and interactive TV in the ANA's survey. Four-fifths of the respondents said branded entertainment will play a bigger role in the future, and 38% plan to spend more on branded entertainment as an alternative to the 30-second commercial. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
According to Andrew Graff, CEO of Allen & Gerritsen, "The ads that were most meaningful were clear in what they were telling consumers what to do but were still entertaining: Revive yourself with a Snickers, get a free breakfast at Denny's and buy a Hyundai that has a 10-year warranty that may or may not outlast Brett Favre's football career." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Donut lovers can channel their imagination and love for donuts for the chance to win $12,000 and have their personal donut creation sold nationwide. This year, JetBlue has signed on to be the official airline of the "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest and will offer free airfare to contest finalists flying out of JetBlue-serviced cities to the bake-off. ...Read the whole story >>
Hess Launches Giveaway For East Coasters

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