Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Funny Twitter Spoof

When you're the hottest current social media app as is the case with Twitter, people are going to make fun of you. Case in point...the video below from called "Twitter in Real Life". It's actually pretty funny. While watching it, I thought about how different the online world versus the real world are. I wouldn't yell my status updates out at my co-workers or random people on the street, yet in a sense in the online world on Twitter, that is what is happening. Of course we all have our own thoughts about Twitter and its usefulness. No matter what your opinion is, I hope you enjoy the video.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Japanese High Blood Pressure Tea Spot

Got high blood pressure? No problem...just drink the new Japanese tea featured in this commercial. Oh yah, the spot is pretty funny too. Even if you don't speak Japanese (which I don't), you'll understand it as the dialogue has subtitles.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Heineken Spot - Wish You Were There!

Okay, we've all been in the car with friends on the way home from the bar after a couple drinks singing! The new Heineken spot shows that exact scenario. I just watched it. It gave me that nostalgic, wish I was there kind of feeling. Probably the best part is the music...old-school Biz-Markie...oh yah and the cabbie singing along! Heineken is a fun brand with great advertising! Check it out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Harris Data Shows About Half of Americans Use Popular Social Media Sites

Doesn't everyone today use the Internet and social media tools to communicate?! The answer is no...not even close. Just the other day while visiting my parents, my father clearly stated his lack of understanding or interest in the Internet and social media. I think this is partly a product of his age, profession, stubbornness and lack of understanding.  This struck me. How could someone living in today's world be so disconnected from the very tools that help keep me connected to the outside world? Apparently my father is not alone. The latest Harris Interactive poll supports my father's position. The results were as follows:
  • 51% of Americans do not currently use social media. 
  • 49% of Americans use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. 
  • 48% have  either a MySpace or Facebook account though only 16% say they update daily.
  • 5% say they are using Twitter
The data varies depending on who is using the media:
  • 75% of 18-34-year-olds have a MySpace or Facebook
  • 24% of 55+ have an account
I guess I have to avoid being myopic and assuming that because I am using social media and many of my friends and colleagues are that the whole world is. Although I think we will see the percentage continue to increase over time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Land Rover Uses Twitter for New Ad Campaign

Land Rover recently launched a new ad campaign...but it's not your average everyday media being used. The new campaign was launched largely through the use of Twitter (yes Twitter) and out-of-home items like taxi TVs and outdoor boards.

The campaign is an effort to try and build online conversation regarding the release of the new Land Rovers at the New York Auto Show.  According to AdAge, Twittad (a social media network) was tapped by direct marketing agency Wunderman to help with the launch.

To see details about the campaign on Twitter, search the hashtag #LRNY (think of a hashtag as a keyword for Twitter).  

Many companies are trying to incorporate Twitter into their online marketing efforts. This is a good example of how Land Rover has done that. I think we'll be seeing and hearing much more about advertising on Twitter over the next 6-12 months.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter Brand Keeps Growing

For those of you who think there is not a market for marketing on the infamous Twitter...

I could go on and on and write a long, boring post on why you should be learning and using Twitter to market your brand and/or yourself. Fortunately, I think the image here speaks volumes. Twitter is so big that the fail whale is becoming more of an icon everyday. Whether you like or use Twitter, you've got to admit that it has brand power.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brand Beginnings

Ever Wonder where the names of some of our favorite brands came from? Below is a short list of popular companies and details about how their names came to be.

Wendy's - Melinda Thomas of Dublin, OH (near Columbus) was nicknamed Wendy growing up. When her father Dave Thomas started his hamburger chain he chose his daughter's nickname. At that time she was eight years old.

Coca-Cola - John Pemberton, an Atlanta, Georgia pharmacist created the original soft drink. His bookkeeper Frank Robinson named the beverage according to its two main ingredients, which were coca from coca leaves and kola from kola nuts.

Apple - Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak named their computer company after a record label they both liked.

Honda - The popular auto company was named after its founder Soichiro Honda when he started the company after WWII...however at that time Honda was a motorcycle company only. It was not until Honda entered the U.S. in the 1960s that it started manufacturing automobiles. 

Mickey Mouse - Back when Walt Disney was first starting out in his art career he had developed the classic concept for Mickey Mouse. The original name he wanted was Mortimer Mouse but his wife Lillian convinced him to use Mickey instead. In 1928 when Mickey debuted in his first film, a star was born.

Banana Republic - The safari-inspired attire that began in 1978 and has grown into a luxury career brand as well as an upscale casual retailer today derived its name from an uncomplimentary term used to describe an unstable Latin American country.

There are so many good examples. You may see similar posts in the future. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nielsen Data for March 2009 Shows Growth in Search & Video Marketing

The latest Nielsen data for search and video show continued growth in online use for research and entertainment. It's hard to imagine that just ten years ago the Internet was still a baby. 

According to Nielsen search data for March 2009:
  • Search was up 16.7% over March of 2008
  • Google owned 64.2% share of search
  • Yahoo Search has gained a little ground (1.7%) on Google for a total of 15.8%
  • MSN ranked third in share of the search market at 10%
According to Nielsen video data for March 2009:
  • Number of video streams in March reached 9.7 billion (up 8.7% over last month)
  • Google-owned YouTube is top-rated with 5.48 billion streams
  • Hulu has the second spot with 348 million
  • Yahoo ranks third followed by Fox Interactive Media, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network.
These numbers are further proof that your brand should be highly engaged in search, video and other types of interactive marketing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Social Media Hurts Domino's & Maybe Others

Okay so the latest example of brand defamation via social media was thrust upon an unknowing Domino's Pizza. Two Domino's employees thought it would be cute and funny to post YouTube videos of them messing with people's food. The videos quickly rose to popularity (over 720K views) and disgusted a lot of people.

Although these actions were merely taken by two idiotic Domino's employees, their actions have harmed the brand and maybe the brands of key competitors such as Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. Of course they were fired but the damage is done. I hear there is talk of Domino's suing the former employees, which I feel is deserved but how do you get money from two obvious losers who work at a low-paying fast food job? 

I see where this is going. Companies are now going to have to add a page to their employment manuals about responsible social media usage. Most people are smart enough to not do things as stupid as these former Domino's employees but the couple of idiots that are the exception can cause a lot of damage.

As consumers, we need to be aware that a) this is not Domino's fault but rather the gross people who chose to record and post the YouTube videos and b) this is not the norm in food prep.  

As marketers, we have to consider how social media is affecting our brands and learn how to better manage the dissemination of content that could be detrimental to our business.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Branding the New Palm Pre

Ready for the next big phone least in the world of non i-phone using business execs? The new Palm Pre, which operates on a 4G network is the latest and greatest. I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade from my Treo 800 to this or wait until my contract expires and switch to the i-phone.  Anyways, check out the cool demo for the Pre. Even if you're an i-phone loyalist, you can agree the Pre looks pretty cool.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Latest Facebook Stats - Why Branding on Facebook is Important

Facebook reached its 200 millionth user last week and continues to grow rapidly - especially among the 26-44 age group within the U.S.  Many of whom are educated professionals and buyers with disposable income. 

Your business can't afford to not at least consider how it can tap into this growing social network. Think of Facebook as an investment in your overall online brand. It's not difficult to get started. It is easy enough that most people or companies can setup their own accounts and pages, but if you're in need of professional help, drop me a line or give me a call or get in touch with another professional who specializes in social media.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What is a Brand?

Often clients and prospects ask me to help them better understand what a brand is or what a brand means. I thought I would take a few moments to define and explain what a brand is and isn't and what is significant about a brand's meaning.

First, let's start by clarifying what a brand is not:
  • It is not a logo
  • It is not a symbol
  • It is not a tagline
  • It is not a font or color scheme
  • It is not what you say it is 
Now, let's work on defining what a brand is:
  • It is in part an identity made up of name, logo, colors, fonts or symbols
  • It may or may not include a tagline or taglines
  • It is a means of differentiating a product, service, person or place from competing products or services
  • It is a collection of perceptions held by consumers and prospects about a product, service, person or place
  • It is an experience associated with a product, service, person or place
A brand has to have a meaningful difference for consumers to understand it and decide whether or not it is a brand they want to buy or a person or place they want to endorse or visit. This meaningful difference has been called a brand position, unique selling proposition, differentiating attribute, etc. It is the perceived difference a consumer or prospect believes about a brand. For example, Volvo's meaningful difference is safety. Federal Express's meaningful difference is overnight delivery. Listerine's meaningful difference is kills germs, President Obama is change we can believe in and so on. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dunkin' Donuts Brand: Simple = Success

I noticed a sign close to where I live this morning that said "coming soon...Dunkin' Donuts". I thought to myself there are already two nearby Dunkin's...why are they building another. Then I thought about it and realized how many new Dunkin Donut stores I have seen spring up over the last year or two. There are several new stores within a 10-15 mile radius of my home.  Talk about a revitalized brand! 

I remember my parents bringing home dozens of donuts from Dunkin' when I was a kid and remember that feeling of carefree bliss I felt when those tasty donuts hit my lips. Then as the population became more health conscious and more interested in luxury brands like Starbucks, old Dunkin' seemed to take a back seat for a while. Yet in a time like present...when Starbucks is closing stores left and right...Dunkin' is opening stores just as fast.

The Dunkin' brand was revitalized a short while back with their "America runs on Dunkin'" campaign and corresponding store makeovers. Dunkin' is positioned as a quality, no-frills American coffee and breakfast brand. I guess at the end of the day, Dunkin's strategy shows us that simple wins over complicated and value wins over over luxury.