Jonathan Schwartz has already proven the value of his blog, but does that somehow change/increase with his new title? Time will tell how important this new development will really become. I will say that, at the early stages of corporate blogging, being first does not mean being best.
Yeah, cynical instead of impressed. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time over at the Bad Pitch blog?
Flickr Hack du Jour: Flickr Leech Love Flickr but hate paging through the results? Flickr Leech makes it fast, easy and efficient to see brilliant results like this in one view. You’ll enjoy this fun, visual feast.
A weekend of real life inevitably includes marketing experiences worthy of a blog post.
“Every Yard a Billboard” An early morning run included visual distraction from the latest newspaper bag ad. Nearly every driveway I passed told me about Vital Radiance—a new cosmetic aimed at female Baby Boomers.
The ad was served up by The Sunflower Group who sometimes includes samples with their splashy, driveway surprises.
Around Valentine’s Day, all the news that’s fit to print came with a mini Harlequin novel. It was a simple, smart and small way to surprise and delight consumers. While I did not read the “romantic literature,” it was a creative way for two mainstream mediums to team up and remind us of their relevancy.
But like any ad medium, this intrusive tactic can be done well and poorly. Vital Radiance simply offered a brochure, 800 # and URL where folks can get a free sample. This approach seems more like work than it does engaging the consumer. After investing a pretty penny to pull off this Sunday-morning blitz, what’s to keep the brochure from being tossed into the recycling bin along with the bag?
Akeelah Overkill? Jaffe Juice’s recent Akeelah Experience prompted me to put my nearest Starbucks’ barista to the test. After asking her what Akeelah and the Bee is, she quickly noted “it is a movie that Starbucks produced about a spelling bee.” Mercifully, she left it at that.
Unexpected static cling window stickers greeted me at the door with sample spelling bee names. The cup sleeve pushes me the Web site. These were smart, simple and unexpected. Thumbs up. But the whole store was festooned with shades of light green and yellow. Even the promotional signage, seemingly having nothing to do with Akeelah, was a similar shade as was some of the new packaging.
The end result? AKEELAH OVERLOAD!
Jaffe Juice notes that more should have been done to engage the customer, including online spelling competitions and other ways to build, er, buzz for the forthcoming spelling bee flick. I’ll add they should cease and desist on the visual assault. For the first time since I started picking up my low-maintenance, black coffee (Venti), the hip corner hangout felt like an uber-discount store with a melee of signs, all screaming for your attention but instead wind up pushing you to the door in escape.
Bedroom and Way Beyond My wife was reading in bed last night when I came upstairs. The only detail making this noteworthy is that she looked like an extra from Apocalypto. She was testing an Olay Deep Cleansing Clay Face Mask. It was in her Vocalpoint sample pack. I’m pleased to report it did make her face feel even smoother, creating two happy customers.
Using Tremor’s hard-earned insights on word of mouth (WOM) marketing to teens, P&G is asking Mom to spread the word through its new WOM venture, Vocalpoint.
After reading the Advertising Age article I sent her, my wife registered with Vocalpoint (media relations at work.). She just received her welcome package and I’m impressed. Vocalpoint strikes a careful balance using no-frills packaging that is clearly branded to establish credibility. This keeps the focus on the product samples which included Iams, Crest and Pantene Pro-V in this mailing.
But the service extends past P&G's house of brands. Other clients include WD-40, Animal Planet, People’s Choice Awards and ABC. The TV networks get input for their programming through Vocalpoint’s web site. For example ABC’s new show “What About Brian.”
P&G's role as a trusted broker, protecting the consumer while offering an instant WOM network to clients, has proven successful. P&G reports 225,000 teens and 500,000 moms have registered to date.
Mom WOM The success of these programs are due, in part, to four characteristics.
Simplicity: The Tremor and Vocalpoint sites are brief and concise, yet clearly branded as P&G ventures.
Honesty: Vocalpoint’s FAQ is straightforward in stating it expects members to participate in the programs, share opinions and feedback and spread the word about the products to friends. “Members create their own word of mouth marketing campaigns.” Consumer-generated marketing anyone?
Exclusivity: Members get access to items before other consumers and can help improve them before they hit the shelves. This increases their interest in a product and ensures a second wave of buzz once it is fully launched.
Privacy: Privacy quickly becomes a non-issue. Privacy buttons and text disclaimers are constant reminders that personal info will “NEVER be sold to third parties.”
If anything interesting comes up during my wife's membership in the "Mom WOM Army," I'll let you know.
Gmaps Pedometer: Google This handy little Google Map mash-up makes charting your next walk, run or ride pretty simple. It even displays elevation, automatically flags mile markers and can tell you how many calories you’ll burn.
“The new logo reinforces our core slogan, 'We design for results,' " said business development director Michael Perry. Is this guy a relative of Larry Tate? How about a jingle to go with that new logo and slogan? Better still, the online story doesn’t show the new logo, leaving us on the edge of our seats.
What do blue windows have to do with public relations? Well, how do you view news?
When we consider how a client's milestones, products and services might translate into news, do we approach it from a visual perspective? There are some engaging, visualnews experiments that can get you started.
Mainstream media sites should create test lab pages where visitors can play with visual cloud tags and other Web 2.0 toys. Assigning this mash up lounge beta status sets expectations accordingly.
For the rest of us, we can create static news mosaics using this Flickr mosaic tool. Associate at least nine pictures to nine recent news releases or media placements. Load them into the mosaic tool and you can now represent them in one picture. The results won't be as slick as our blue window example, but it will open a door to some new thinking. Check it out.