Friday, December 20, 2013

Turkish Airlines Kobe v Messi selfie shootout

I've flown Turkish Airlines several times between the Middle East (e.g., Dubai) and the US (i.e., Chicago), and they're simply not a well-known carrier in the US.  But this video commercial is a really good one at rectifying that.  It pairs American basketball star Kobe Bryant with Argentine soccer star (`footballer) Lionel Messi.

It's clever, contemporary, and cosmopolitan:
  • A `selfie is now a common term to refer to self-portraits.  Credit social media for encouraging people to take their own pictures, often with others in the same shot.  
  • A shootout is a sports concept that many of us can relate to.  In soccer, it's called penalty shots, in order to decide the winner, after teams play to a draw.  In hockey, it's called a shootout.
  • Finally, it takes Bryant and Messi to cool destinations that Turkish Airlines flies to, so the locale of this delightful game of oneupsmanship matters a great deal.     

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ray-Ban ad draws on quaint and pretty

A promotional ad for Ray-Ban sunglasses, that draws on quaint and pretty, patient and nurturing, and ultimately on reversal and playful.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beyoncé taps the power of social media

You see, the power of social media, for vast hordes of us small business owners, brand managers, or community leaders, is more latent than manifest.  It's something to nurture over time, be patient with, and regularly work at.  

In this light, it is very difficult to replicate what Beyoncé just did, that is, in eschewing traditional album launches and being wildly successful at it (rf. Beyoncé Rejects Tradition for Social Media’s Power).  Obviously it helps to be a star to begin with, but at some point she was an unknown but she and her backers worked at her act, her brand, and her marketing.

What lessons can we draw from her move?
  • Buck convention.  Question the people who say `It's how things are done around here!  Then, do it differently.
  • Tap convention.  It may sound like I'm contradicting myself, but that's because the article - Beyoncé herself - fools us into believing it was all, or mostly, social media.  You can count on her to do the usual touring, TV spots, and radio play.    
  • Make it multimedia.  Music is so much more than just music (i.e., sound).  It's visual, it's technical, it's emotional.    
  • Take a pulse.  It is impossible to know everything or to script everything.  But keeping your eyes an ears open and keeping tabs on what's going on around you, your target market, media and technology developments position you to do what Beyoncé just did.
Sometimes it's easy to attribute any successful effort to the very things you did leading up to that success.  In reality, so many more things are at play, which are out of our hands.  So besides the four points above, I'd say it's a lot of hoping, praying, and seeing how it all turns out. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Practical tips for business blogging

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Writing great blogs for your business is one of the most valuable marketing techniques you will find, yet it is often forgotten. In fact, small businesses who consistently blog receive 126 percent more leads than those who do not and benefit from 55 percent more visitors to their web pages. However, just writing any old blog isn't enough -- if you're not producing fresh, dynamic and interesting content, you may be sending the wrong message about your brand.
Reference: The 20 Golden Rules of Business Blogging.  

Have at it.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

IKEA cats show us how home feels

Three years ago, an IKEA creative team released 100 cats in its Wembley store in the UK, just to see what would happen.  They couldn't control what the cats did, but I'd say it was this very fact that ultimately made this promo ad a wonderful, brilliant idea.  Everybody on social media seems to love a cat, and cats left to their own device are cute and cuddly, funny and finicky.  All that the team did was to be prepared to capture whatever they could on camera, then spend a good deal of time editing the footage into a one-minute video.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Got social media? Participate yourself!

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If you would like proof that those who are charged with leadership are often not all that aware of what it is they are helping to lead, just take a look at the latest board of director appointee for Twitter (Marjorie Scardino) and her Twitter ‘presence’ as of last night.
Reference:  New Twitter Board Member Has Used Twitter - Once.

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I wouldn't go so far as to conclude that Scardino isn't aware of what she's helping to lead.  That may or may not be the case.  Still I would say that it's a poor showing to be a monitor and an adviser to a major company and not use its high profile product.

At the end of the day, it's a matter of choice for any director or executive.  But if you're a business owner, and you have staff handling your day-to-day social media, do not follow Scardino's example: Get involved, get active, participate yourself!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Waterford Patch blogs focus on local businesses

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The five reasons that Erin Quinlan lists in her article - Hey, Small Business Owner: Why Aren't You Blogging on Patch? - for why business owners ought to blog are clear and straightforward:
  1. Improve search engine optimization (SEO)
  2. Build subject matter authority
  3. Connect the dots among your social media and websites
  4. Generate more website visits
  5. Take advantage of free blogging platforms
But curiously what Quinlan doesn't address is a unique feature of Waterford Patch: namely, its community focus:
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you. 
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation. 
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch? 
  • Keep up with news and events
  • Check out photos and videos from around town
  • Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
  • Participate in discussions
  • Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
  • Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Give it a try.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

AT&T ads keep it simple, funny and cute

AT&T keeps it simple: More is better than less, and now is better than later.  Even better is better than worse.  And these kids are the cutest ev.ver.

You can cook up your own promo video with a dash of simplicity, a pinch of funny, and a dollop of cute.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Social media has huge influence on online sales

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The title of the article in Mashable - Social Media Drove Just 1% of Black Friday Online Sales - is misleading and irresponsible, I'd say.  Editors either didn't know enough about how to interpret a scientific study, by IBM in this case, or, if it did, it purposely chose a controversial title to generate more copy.
"I would essentially describe it as being flat year-over-year, no dramatic change," Jay Henderson, strategy director at IBM Smarter Commerce, told Mashable in a recent interview. While these findings may frustrate some marketers who poured resources into social media campaigns, Henderson is quick to note that social networks do have a "huge indirect influence" on shopping decisions by building brand and product awareness.
For one, the metrics for determining buying behavior are constrained by (a) the limited tracking ability of online behavior and in-store purchases, and (b) of course privacy laws around tracking of personal information.  For another, even if tracking were better and open access were available, (c) determining the causal relationships among social media activity, brand and product awareness, and buying behavior are challenging indeed.  Not impossible, but not so easily set up or demonstrated.

In any event, evidence of just 1% direct sales impact does not mean social media had little influence on online sales.  Better metrics may in fact bear out what Henderson himself pointed out about the huge influence of social media.   

Please feel free to contact me at, if you'd like to better determine social media influence and better clarify those causal relationships.  I can help you figure it out and set it up.