What industry consistently frustrates people to no end? It’s an easy answer: airlines.
That’s why the movie ‘Up in the Air’ has been an absolute blessing for American Airlines. First, the company did not pay for product placement in the movie. They simply helped with the filming of the movie (filming space in terminals and and planes), in return for some really positive PR, says the New York Times.
Much of the film takes place in airports or on planes, with Mr. Clooney swiping his frequent flier card at American Airlines kiosks, interacting with its flight attendants and ticket agents, and luxuriating in its Admirals Club lounges.
On top of that, the movie actually shows Clooney having a positive experience with the airlines, from check-in to boarding the plane (maybe this movie should be listed in the “fiction” category). Could this have turned out any better for AA?
Since this movie may be the only positive thing that happened to AA in 2009, the airline has taken full advantage by marketing the movie in every way possible. They have shown trailers everywhere, including AA.com, during flights, etc., and even held a press screening during a flight.
For a movie that didn’t cost AA (for product placement and/or sponsorship), this is a sure win.
The past two days we have looked at 2009′s Best of YouTube and Best of Facebook, and today we’re taking a dive into the social network that had everyone tweeting. In 2009 Twitter went from a social network that was catching on to one of the most visited and talked about Web sites, impacting our lives in ways that we never imagined. The following tweets and trends were some of the most significant developments involving Twitter in 2009, influencing mainstream media and the multimedia world that we live in today.
RaceTalk’s Best of Twitter 2009
1. Michael Jackson’s Death: The news that Michael Jackson had died almost took down Twitter completely. In fact, over 30 percent of tweets were on this topic at one point, and the news of his death was first reported over – take a guess – Twitter. Of course, this also brought out the worst in Twitter, as many users would sign in only to find the fail whale smiling at them.
2. Plane landing in the Hudson: The first report of a US Airways plane landing in the Hudson River wasn’t by CNN, NBC or any other television station – it was on Twitter. Passenger Janis Krums sent out a TwitPic just minutes after the plane came to its water landing, which was heavily circulated on the Web and was the first photo of the incident.
3. Twitter Goes Green: In support of democracy during the 2009 Iranian election, many Twitter users began shading their profile pictures green. This became one of the largest trending topics of the year, and #iranelection was the second most used hash tag of the year (the first was #musicmonday, not #swineflu)
4. Marriage Proposals and Giving Birth: A marriage proposal over Twitter may not be romantic, but it was very unique. In 2009 Twitter saw its first public marriage proposal, and once the first one occurred, others followed as well (honestly, this seems like asking someone on a date through a note in middle school). Following engagements, Twitter became involved in giving birth, as Sara Morishige Williams (wife of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams) tweeted her way through labor.
Yesterday RaceTalk presented you with “The Best of YouTube” as the first of three posts on the most memorable and entertaining social media moments in 2009. Today’s post brings you gems from your favorite social network and mine, Facebook.
RaceTalk’s Best of Facebook 2009:
1) You Like This: In 2009 Facebook added a new feature that allowed users to give a thumbs up beneath a new post rather than writing a comment. This way, you can show your approval or agreement without having to come up with a single, witty word to say. This addition also sparked a movement for a “dislike” button.
2) The Whopper Sacrifice:Which do you value more – your Facebook friends or a free Whopper? Burger King asked Facebook users to give up ten of their “friends” in exchange for free grub. Brutal? Yes. Delicious? Yes.
3) The Facebook Updating Groom:We knew it would only be a matter of time until people starting sharing news about major life events on social networks in real time. No, I mean major. Did we think a man would pause his wedding ceremony to change his Facebook status to “married”? That’s a little extreme, even for us.
Check back tomorrow as we close out the week with RaceTalk’s “Best of Twitter.”
As 2009 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at some of the memorable social media moments during the year. This is the first in a series of three posts that will look back at a few of the most entertaining and groundbreaking occurrences on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter this year.
RaceTalk’s Best of YouTube in 2009
1. The Wedding Dance Video: This was so popular that “The Office” did a spoof on it during their wedding episode when Jim and Pam got married.
2. United Breaks Guitars: After watching baggage people break his guitar while loading it onto the plane, this musician made a music video when United refused to play him for the damage.
3. Kayne West is a Jackass: First Kayne West decided to jump on stage and interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, then President Obama called him a jackass. Both media clips made it to YouTube, where they were viewed by the masses.
4. Baby Dancing to Beyonce: This entertaining video was a hit on YouTube, quickly attracting more than 6 million views.
This morning while driving into work I was listening to the radio and the DJ announced in his morning news wrap up that McDonald’s will now be offering free Wi-Fi in all of its locations.
Normally when a popular destination announces a new, convenient service, I feel overjoyed. However, this announcement left me . . . puzzled.
If the typical McDonald’s customer is one who relishes in the low priced dollar menu, is this same customer likely to own and carry a laptop?
Doesn’t a significant amount of McDonald’s business come from the drive-through?
Aren’t most McDonald’s locations on the highway where people zip in and out with no desire to stop?
Would you ever consider conducting a business meeting at a McDonald’s?
This morning on Mashable.com, blogger Brenna Ehrlich explained, “So why the switch to free Wi-Fi? Well, McDonald’s is hoping to become a hang-out spot of the coffee shop variety — it also plans to start selling frappes and smoothies mid-2010. And given the fact that coffee chains like Starbucks charge customers to surf while they sip, the idea doesn’t seem all that pie-in-the-sky.”
While I applaud McDonald’s for joining the technological revolution and trying to bring further convenience to their customers, they seem to be offering a service to a demographic that is likely uninterested.
I don’t know about you, but free or not, I have zero intention of plugging in my laptop beneath the golden arches.
As any PR or marketing practitioner knows, it’s all in the messaging. Disneyland is not merely an amusement park, but “the happiest place on earth;” Visa is not just a credit card, “it’s everywhere you want to be;” and now thanks to a new ad campaign Nutella is no longer just a delicious, chocolate treat, it’s “what mom’s use to get their kids to eat healthy foods.”
Excuse me? Did I hear that correctly? Nutella is marketing itself as the secret weapon in feeding children a healthy breakfast?
If you haven’t seen this new commercial, the short spot shows a mother describing to what we presume is other mothers, how she gets her children to eat healthy by spreading Nutella on foods they would otherwise push away. The advertisement gives the impression that Nutella is in fact the key ingredient to serving up a nutritious breakfast.
The ad even goes so far as to describe Nutella as a hazelnut spread with a “hint of cocoa.” Have you seen the jar? It’s full of chocolate deliciousness.
By visually positioning the Nutella jar next to pieces of whole wheat bread (repeatedly) and scripting a commercial to highlight the importance of a healthy breakfast, it would be easy for a consumer to ingest this advertisement and walk away with the exciting, new belief that Nutella is in fact a health food, all because of the messaging.
It seems the folks at Nutella have headed Fine’s advice. One clear message (Nutella is healthy), over and over and over again.
Why market Nutella as healthy instead of the decadent spread it really is? Because we have an obesity problem in this country and rather than add to the problem, Nutella wants to showcase itself as part of the solution.
While Opinsky made that comment in a discussion about the importance of messaging for the President, the same holds true for consumer products. How do you become part of a solution to a problem, thereby appearing more valuable? And furthermore, how do you convince consumers that value-add is worth spending money on?
The marketers at Nutella knew that positioning themselves as a dessert product was not going to move the sales needle as well as positioning themselves as part of a healthier America.
The past week has been pretty close to rock bottom for Tiger Woods. While just recently he was seen as the can-do-no-wrong athlete, this sparkling image has left him for good, as reports of numerous mistresses and cheating has filled the television, Internet and social media news waves. So far Tiger has chosen to just release two statements on his website, leaving hungry reporters looking for more. It seems like he could use a little bit of PR advice just about now:
1. Take control of the story: Posting a statement to your website will get a message through, but you don’t say anything specific in the statement. This results in people digging for more information, and creating the story on your own. If you create your own content it will be used. If you were to hold a press conference, that would be the lead picture in stories instead of pictures of your mistresses.
3. Be Honest: No one likes a liar. If you lie, TMZ reporters will continue to sniff out the truth, and based on what we know already, it could get a lot worse for you. If you’re honest people won’t stop looking for more information, but it will slow down. It’s important to realize that damaging news coming from you is much better then damaging news coming from a third party.
3. Apologize: You’re not the first superstar to mess up. Kobe Bryant didn’t just have an affair – he was charged with sexual assault. He apologized during a press conference and now he’s on the top of the world, fresh off a NBA championship. When we found out A-Rod did steroids, he apologized during a press conference, and now he’s fresh off a World Series victory. When it came out that President Clinton had an affair, he apologized (eventually), and now he’s back in the White House (kind of). All three of these people rebounded from their mistakes. The ones who did not? Well, just look at Roger Clemens. Besides, America loves to forgive, and loves a winner.
What does this mean for individuals searching for content via Google?
The company’s senior business product manager Josh Cohen wrote on the Google blog, “If you’re a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you’ve clicked through to more than five articles.”
Graham continues to explain, “That way, the publisher still gets its articles indexed, while at the same time, can charge for reading. The pieces will be labeled as “subscription” in Google News.”
Here at RaceTalk we have extensively covered the print media’s attempt to adapt to the demand for free, online content. In order to stay afloat, many print outlets require a paid subscription to view their content online, such as the Wall Street Journal. This would be taking that concept one step further and blocking web access at the search level. It may also affect where content appears in among search results. Paid subscription search results may get bumped lower down the list.
When individuals searching for content via Google stumble upon one of these “subscription” listings, they will have to start asking themselves, is this worth a click? Am I willing to pay to read this?
While paid subscriptions for online content generates revenue for the parent, print media outlet, it may drive traffic away to free websites instead and cause interested readers to find new sources for their online content.
It also apparently means new, “old blood” in the industry. Bloomberg, who made news two weeks ago by letting go of some of the biggest names on BusinessWeek’s masthead, announced yesterday that Charlie Rose will join the Bloomberg-BusinessWeek family as a regular columnist.
According to the release:
“Each week, Rose will offer insights into and takeaways from those who impact and drive the global business and financial markets.”
As Jay Yarow of BusinessInsider notes, this sounds unsurprisingly similar to Maria Bartiromo’s former column in the magazine. Yarow reported earlier in November (via a tweet by Monica Gagnier) that Norman Pearlstine was killing Bartiromo’s weekly FaceTime column.
Rose officially joined the Bloomberg family in August (he’s taped there since 1994), when he signed a deal to rebroadcast his syndicated PBS show on Bloomberg TV. One wonders if Bloomberg, and specifically Pearlstine, also viewed Rose as a print asset back in August as it gauged its bid for the magazine.
Bloomberg’s acquisition of BusinessWeek officially closed today with Rose’s first column set to appear in the December 21st issue.
Twitter appears to be taking a page from Google’s book, changing their home page look to draw attention to World AIDS day (December 1st). When going to the home page today, users will find that Twitter has focused its attention to turning the micro-social network red and is encouraging users to follow @JoinRED.
This sponsorship from Twitter will surely attract the attention of other organizations looking to expand their online presence and raise awareness (i.e.: cancer, stroke, etc.).
Is it now only a matter of time until Twitter is competing with Google to develop those cool holiday logos?
Note: Google does draw attention to World AIDS Day on its homepage, but not in the dramatic fashion that Twitter does.