posted 08.06.2014 by Spawn

Remember when you were a kid and you went into a mild (or possibly deep) depression when summer break ended? Well, while kids may despise this time of year, marketers love it. The back-to-school season is second only to the holidays in terms of consumer spending. And advertisers are spending big bucks on back-to-school keywords to get a piece of the pie. What are some of the most lucrative keywords? Find out here.

posted 07.18.2014 by Spawn

Everyone’s heard the horror stories. A brand kicks off a social media campaign only to be blasted with unexpected, unflattering, and embarrassing feedback from users. This is the inherit risk of social. There is no filter. People say what they want to say.  And there’s nothing you can do about it. And in the case of Airbnb, people said their new logo looked like a certain lady part (they used slightly different words, of course). Remember, social can be your best friend. It can do wonderful things for your brand. Just watch out for the pitfalls. Expect them. Plan for them. Avoid them. Otherwise, you just might end up with a vagina logo dilemma on your hands. And who wants that kind of baggage?

Read more here.

posted 07.03.2014 by Spawn

Brands with a cult-like following all have one thing in common - Their products say something about the people who use them. Wired gave a great example in a recent article: “When you see someone with one of those GoPro Hero 3 cameras strapped to her chest, it’s a signal to the world that she is about to do something awesome.” In other words, GoPros aren’t selling like mad because they’re made out of reinforced, high-grade poly-plated plastic (but that helps). They sell because they say something cool about the people who use them. Moral of the story: Don’t just sell a product. Sell a lifestyle. An experience. Sell something awesome.

Read more in the Wired article here.

posted 06.27.2014 by Spawn

Now marketers can target users on Twitter based on local weather conditions. For example, a sunscreen marketer could buy more ads aimed at cities where sunny weather is forecasted. Or a doggie raincoat marketer could place ads in areas where rain was expected (What? You don’t dress your dog in those?). Obviously, this is a no-brainer for some brands.  But does it make sense for your brand? Could the weather affect your customers’ buying habits? Could aligning your product with the weather get people to see it in a new light? Is it worth the money to target via the weather? Or are you better off saving your money for a rainy day? (Yeah, I said it.)

Read more here.

posted 06.26.2014 by Spawn

“What is an Instant Gram?” said everyone and their mother when Instagram first launched. Well, we’ll tell you what it is now – the new bar for social network engagement.

Instagram’s first advertisers, like Ben and Jerry’s who were carefully selected from within the existing Instagram community, have started indicating success, with ad recall being picture perfect for some brands. How?

Along with being established members of Instagram, the first wave of advertisers produced BEAUTIFUL content. It’s that simple. They were trusted, they knew the rules of the game and they put up pictures that were less advertising and more stunning eye-candy.

Moral of the story: effective advertising doesn’t have to feel like advertising. Check this out to learn more.

posted 06.23.2014 by Spawn

Yahoo! has been pretty aggressive lately trying to compete against tech giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon). There’s been little success to show for it, however. Yet, despite some missed swings, Yahoo hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. Their most recent bid to pick up high definition provider RayV has been called everything from necessary in order to compete with Google (owner of YouTube) to complete B.S.

Will it happen? Will this be the key to unlocking Meyer’s goal of becoming the next tech giant? For Yahoo’s sake, let’s hope so. Tune in here for more.

posted 06.09.2014 by Spawn
Like tons of brands, 3M has embraced social media. Specifically with their flagships Post-it and Scotch Tape. But unlike most brands, they’re knockin’ it out of the park. Why? It’s not because they’re talking about how sticky their tape is, that’s for sure.

It’s because they’re creating a community among Millenials and DIY’ers via social. They closely follow conversations and threads and study data. Then use it to offer things people are actually interested in. Like out-of-the box ideas and project-specific advice. They even helped decorate a couple’s wedding with Post-it notes (turned out way classier than you’d think it would).

Bascially, they met people where they actually use the products – in real life. So instead of following some brand, people felt like they were following someone. If you really want to connect with consumers via social (or any medium) take a page out of 3Ms notes – create something bigger than a product Facebook page. Create a community. 
Read more here
posted 06.02.2014 by Spawn

Google recently released that they plan on expanding their Adwords presence to thermostats, car dashboards, refrigerators and… well pretty much every screen on the planet.

It’s kind of exciting to think what this could mean for the future of advertising. It’s also incredibly terrifying to see that Google is one step closer to taking over world… so many mixed feelings.

For more on Google’s future plans, click here.

posted 05.30.2014 by Spawn

Video being the up and coming medium seems like a convo we’d have back in the ‘50s – while we swilled our scotch, smoked Lucky Strikes and typed away on our fancy new typewriters. But we’re talking web video. Sure, even that has been around for a while, but it’s becoming more popular among users and more useful for advertisers.

YouTube is now the second most used search engine and boasts the highest average time on site and pages per visit. Proof that video generates some crazy high quality engagement. Facebook is seeing a rise in video popularity too. It hasn’t overtaken engagement with photos, but it’s trending that way. Probably why “the Book” has developed new video analytics. Giving advertisers more in-depth info about how users are interacting with their videos on Facebook. Which means effectiveness can be measured like never before.

There’s never been a better time to start making more videos. Except the mid-1900s. But it’s too late to capitalize on that. Unless you have a time machine. In which case, I hope you’re doing something cooler than traveling to the 1950’s to make videos.

Read more.

posted 05.23.2014 by Spawn

Big-time soda slinger Coca-Cola just aired its first TV spot made (almost) entirely out of user generated content (UGC). Other brands, like Doritos, have been doing it for a few years now. And for good reason. UGC makes your advertising job easier (and sometimes cheaper) and it makes your audience feel more involved. Plus, some say it’s more effective than traditional advertising. Because when people hear good things about products/services form other (real) people, they’re more likely to believe it.

UGC isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, however. Most photos/videos will be of lackluster quality. And you can’t dictate what is shot/recorded. You get what you get. Out of 100 user submitted videos/photos, you might be able to use two.

But enough of the negative Nancy stuff. UGC can be great if done right. Try it on social to start with. Ask consumers to send you posts, pics and videos. Post them on your Facebook page.  Share them. Just be weary of asking people to post directly on your page – don’t want someone bashing your brand on your turf – e.g., the NYPD Facebook fiasco (see prior blog post). Yeah, that was bad…

Read more here.

posted 05.20.2014 by Spawn

Now, it’s personal. Shoppers value retail loyalty programs that are individualized and relevant.

40% of consumers say they would welcome more customized programs, and 40% also say that they would switch most of their spend to a retailer that recognized their previous purchases, according to a proprietary survey. As for the types of personalization that shoppers want, the survey found that 61% want personalized discounts; 45% want improved customer service, and 38% want tailored offers.

The one-size-fits-all online shopping experience may be coming to an end. According to a recent Iconoculture report, shoppers want personalization—personalized discounts, tailored offers, customized programs, etc. Some of the big boys, like The North Face and Urban Outfitters, have answered this trend with programs that let users earn points towards free concert-tickets, ski passes and other things that perk consumers’ interest. You might consider doing something similar if you’re looking to boost web sales. Programs like this can set you apart from other online retailers and keep customers coming back for more.

Source: Iconoculture 2014

posted 05.15.2014 by Spawn

Rolex took its sweet time jumping on the social media bandwagon. But they’ve caught up fast. Making their Facebook debut just a year ago, Rolex now has the highest engagement rate in the “prestige category.”  They attribute it to good “social listening” and carefully chosen content – meaning they don’t post random junk every ten minutes. They scour social networks to see what people want to see from the brand. Sure, might be a bit arduous, but it’s paying off big time for this watchmaker. All those looking to connect on a deeper level via social, take note.

Learn more about Rolex’s social media savvy here.

posted 05.12.2014 by Spawn

Facebook just unveiled their new ad network. It connects advertisers with mobile apps developed by independent third parties. To save you a lot of techy mumbo jumbo, that means advertisers can now target consumers on smartphones with uncanny precision. All thanks to Facebook’s giant databank of personal information (they know a lot – maybe even the color of your undies – scary) along with the demo info provided by the apps themselves. If there was ever a time to start advertising via apps, it’s now.


Read more here.

And! A deeper analysis on what it's all about here.

posted 05.07.2014 by Spawn

There’s more vulgarity than ever in advertising these days. Especially online. So, does it work? It all depends on your consumer. If you’re selling Polident to senior citizens, dropping the f-bomb probably won’t go over big. But if you’re speaking to the skater crowd, it might resonate. At least Vans is hoping it will. Their new online series is full of extreme physical comedy and cuss words. The verdict is still out on it’s effectiveness, but we’ll keep you updated. 

Also ... these ads are funny as s%*t.

Here’s our advice: Even if you do decide to take the vulgar road– don’t be dirty just to be dirty. Have a strategy and idea behind it. Without those two things, your ads won’t be effective no matter what you say.

Check out the new Vans ads here.

posted 05.05.2014 by Spawn

Ronald McDonald is getting a makeover. According to a recent press release, the 50-year-old  clown is trading in his yellow jumpsuit for a vest, cargo pants and rugby shirt.  He’ll also be making his debut on Twitter – although he won’t have his own handle. It’s a bold move, that’s for sure.  But like all great brands, McDonald’s knows they have to evolve in order to stay relevant with consumers. Especially in the digital age when so much is changing so quickly. So if your brand is lagging behind, take steps to stay current. Twitter. Facebook. Online videos. Website or logo redesign. Bright yellow cargo pants… OK maybe not that. But you get the idea.   

For more on the McDonald’s makeover, click here.