After that settles in for the few of you who didn’t know, it should be noted that the purchase of Pringles brings to light an important issue facing many iconic brands in this modern era of marketing. As Bruce Horovitz of USA Today recently pointed out, Pringles is struggling (think about it, when was the last time you bought a tube?). How do brands continue to succeed, when the marketing methods used in the past that made them so successful in the first place are either antiquated or irrelevant?
Pringles achieved significant success employing traditional marketing methods such as a catchy slogan (“Once you pop the fun don’t stop!”) and commercials which highlighted the snack’s lack of grease compared to normal potato chips. While today’s definition of “health food” is still not very strict, brands can no longer tout the nutritional benefits of being “less greasy than a mass-marketed potato chip.” Even the once-beloved Julius Pringles (more commonly known as the owner of the fifth most famous mustache in history behind Super Mario, Catfish Hunter, this guy, and Ron Swanson) is now seen as a possible detractor to younger audiences, as is pointed out by Horowitz. Does the mustache need to go?
What do you think are the remedies to Pringles’ ailments? Should the brand focus on revamping itself via social media? Should they change the packaging? Should a new recipe include more nutritional ingredients? Is the world prepared to say goodbye to Julius as we know him? Let us know what you think!
I’ve done my best over the past several weeks to block out all of the royal wedding hoopla, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job. In fact, I didn’t even know the royal wedding was tomorrow until someone informed me they will be watching it tomorrow morning (EDT).
Regardless my my ignorance, this wedding is receiving a lot of attention, and businesses are trying to capitalize. While some attempts are a bit lame (i.e.: cardboard cutouts), T-Mobile did an absolutely brilliant job of capturing attention with a hilarious spoof of the popular JK Wedding Entrance Dance, which was also imitated on The Office.
This kind of marketing is so smart and creative, and reminds me of what Old Spice did last July. In case you haven’t seen the video, it’s embedded below.
On the other side of things, one of our long-time bloggers, Molly Galler, is moving on after two and a half years of blogging. While you won’t be able to read her social media analysis anymore, you can still follow her pop culture musings on her personal blog, Pop. Shop. Bop.
And in honor of this post’s title, here is a video for your entertainment:
Over the past week (and most recently yesterday), both Facebook and Google have announced that they have set up deal offers and will soon be launching their platforms in select cities (mostly on the west coast).
Google’s deal launch comes after a failed attempt to acquire Groupon, and Facebook had already added limited deals into its mobile check-ins which launched back in November 2010 and had been more similar to Foursquare then a daily deal site.
Even though Google and Facebook have hundreds of millions of users, it remains to be seen if they can successfully market their deals to regional/local audiences, something that daily deal companies Groupon, LivingSocial and BuyWithMe have successfully done.
Google and Facebook won’t be the first national Internet company to launch a daily deal. AOL launched wow.com, which is available in select cities around the US, and also features national deals. However, it’s never caught on like some of the others have.
While Facebook and Google have better access to users then AOL, their ability to successfully localize the deals and get the best merchants will be critical to their success. Of course, they could always team with current regional deal sites and publicize their offerings to a larger audience.
Will you check out the deals that Facebook and Google offer to your city?
All businesses, large and small, want to see evidence that their activity on social media is worthwhile. Even though Facebook provides some data on user engagement, a new monitoring and measurement company called ContentAide recently launched, which provides business with information on content that attracts and retains loyal Facebook fans. The founder of ContentAide, Cody Barbierri (also a former colleague) answered a few questions about what makes ContentAide so valuable for businesses and PR folks.
RaceTalk: Why did you decide to create ContentAide?
Cody Barbierri: As a social media strategist, I was constantly helping companies get started and implement various campaigns on Facebook. The major issue wasn’t setting up the page or running a promotional campaign, but rather the day to day posting of content through status updates. The companies literally didn’t know what to post and I often times had to have phone conversations or emails about the issue. We also created editorial calendars to map our updates, but those tend to be difficult as companies, consumers and trends change often.
With ContentAide, a business, whether small or large, can on a daily basis see the content that got the most engagement from the prior day. With this information, they can determine what style, format, topic and content type should be posted to get engagement from their communities.
It’s also a great way to keep track of specific brands. If you’re an agency, you can create daily reports for each client, which will include a section to keep track of competitors and their top posts. If something is working for a competitor, then it will probably work for your client.
RaceTalk: It seems like there is a lack of tools to help businesses with Facebook, while there is a surplus of platforms for Twitter. Did this factor into your decision to found the company?
CB: Exactly, there are very few tools. The most prominent at this time seem to be ones that help run contents or promotions. However, those are only good for a short time period and often times the consumer will “unlike” the page. So creating good content is important to keep those consumers, turn them into customers and get a ROI on social media efforts.
While there are tools for Twitter, we will be in the near future including the platform. However, it is a different type of social network, which means a different type of content. We need to make sure our algorithm works properly for Twitter.
RaceTalk: Is there a limit to how many companies you can track under one license?
CB: With one daily report, you can pick your company, it’s competitors and a category (each page has to select what category they fall under).
RaceTalk: Do you think ContentAide is most useful for tracking your own Facebook page or your competitor’s pages?
CB: ContentAide is best for getting a sense of what “works” on Facebook. In addition, it can be useful to see which updates of your own are doing well. As for competitors, it’s always nice to keep them close and being able to see a top update can help a company compete. As an agency, it’s valuable info to convey to a client on a daily basis, especially if they are asking for daily updates.
RaceTalk: How will ContentAide change the ways businesses approach and develop their Facebook page?
CB: For small businesses, it’s a confidence booster to get involved with Facebook. Often times, it’s the idea of not knowing what to post that deters them from gaining value from the social networks.
For social media media professionals, marketers or agencies, it’s a way to not only stay up to date on what consumers want to hear and see on Facebook through status updates, but it’s a way to track your brand or clients activity and help them create better content to be successful.
In the end, it’s the content you create that is going to get customers to be loyal fans. As much as they want promotions and coupons, they also want a connection and that is done through good engagement-based content.
RaceTalk: It seems like the algorithm you use to determine the success of each page is the key to your success. Can you explain what information is considered and why this feature is so important for businesses to understand?
CB: The secret sauce to ContentAide is the algorithm and it’s going to stay just that – a secret. However, what I can tell you is that we take multiple factors into consideration on each page and each status update, including community size and number of likes and comments.
Pages with millions of fans don’t have a hard time generating likes or comments, but that also doesn’t mean the content they are are creating is good or engaging. Rather it’s just noticeable by a larger group. Pages with a much smaller number of fans are going to need to create better content to get engagement, so if they are landing a solid number, then they should be ranked. However, that solid number might not be as much as the Page with millions of people. Our algorithm takes these types of factors into consideration when ranking which content is actually engaging.
RaceTalk: How should PR/marketing/communications agencies use this service?
CB: Agencies responsible for creating and running a clients Facebook account should create a daily report for each. That way the account managers for each client can help to manage and implement good content for their clients, which in turn makes the agency look good.
Even for agencies who might not be in charge of a particular page, being able to talk about what’s engaging on Facebook is a valuable tool. If you’re pitching a new company for their business and Facebook is a topic of interest, ContentAide could give you the means to bring valuable data and insights, including what the competition is doing.
Also, don’t forget about your own internal social media efforts. Agencies compete with each other as well. So having a report for your own agency could be very valuable.
RaceTalk: Are you concerned about Facebook developing their own platform to provide companies with this type of data, or do you not see them sharing this type of information with anyone besides each page’s administrators?
CB: I don’t think it’s in the best interests of Facebook to build out their insights features to include other pages. That could be a deterrent for people and companies to get involved with Facebook. Facebook also doesn’t have our algorithm.
RaceTalk: Do you have plans to expand ContentAide to other social networks and platforms beyond Facebook?
CB: Yes, our next step is Twitter. As I mentioned before, since it’s a different type of social network than Facebook, we need to make sure we are monitoring, qualifying and delivering the right content to our users.
RaceTalk: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
CB: ContentAide is not trying to replace any professional or agency in the social space, but rather is working to be a valuable aide. We want to help companies, professionals and agencies to make more engaging content to help increase customer interaction and loyalty on Facebook.
Also, we have a 15-day free trial for all new users to test the service. After, subscription options are super reasonable ranging from just $20 a month for one daily report to $200 a month for unlimited access.
Have you heard of Adzookie? Unless you’re really into small-market mobile advertising start-ups, you shouldn’t have. Well friends, prepare yourselves to be introduced to the proud owners of one of the most ineffective and polarizing advertising campaigns in recent memory; which, in turn, is also one of the most creative and brilliant public relations campaigns.
Adzookie offers a fairly standard smartphone advertising platform geared towards small businesses,and by taking a look at their website I would say “fairly standard” is just about as accurate of a description of the company you can get.
In late March Adzookie launched their “Paint My House” campaign. The deal works as such: Adzookie will come to your house and repaint every side as a large advertisement for their company (see picture above, which would have caused Grant Wood to stab himself in the eyes with his pitchfork). For as long as the house remains painted, Adzookie will pay your mortgage. Mad Men-style genius? Not quite.
First, let’s examine the rarely-used “house as a billboard” advertising strategy in order to determine its effectiveness. In conclusion, it’s horrible. As an example we’ll take the house pictured above. By its appearance it looks like it is located in suburbia, Anytown-USA; not dissimilar to the area in which I grew up. On an average weekday I would estimate that about 25 different cars drive by that house, and about 80% of them belong to other people that live in the neighborhood. Mathematically that leaves five new people driving by the billboard each day. This number becomes even less when you take into consideration repeat visitors to the road such as friends, nannies, and these guys. Dismissing the increased traffic due to locals who “always knew the Johnsons would do something like this,” what are the chances that you are going to get a person who is driving down that road, who also happens to be a marketing executive, who also happens to be looking for a new mobile advertising platform? That’s a risky ROI when the average American mortgage payment is almost $1,700/month.
Now let’s examine the public relations impact this campaign had on Adzookie. The out of left field nature of the Orange, CA-based company’s plan immediately gained national coverage in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, TIME, and Forbes. CEO Romeo Mendoza had crafted his message perfectly: He and his company were recession-era saviors of those most in need. Oh, and they just happen to also run a mobile advertising company. “We hit a nerve,” he’s quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal article. “I knew people needed help, but I didn’t know so many. That’s kind of sad. We can’t help everyone, but we can help some.” For most of early-April, Adzookie was the most recognized mobile advertising platform in the country. I, as many others, took the time to write about this once-unknown company. Exposure has gone through the roof (which Adzookie doesn’t really care about because they don’t paint your roof).
What will be the result of “Paint My House” on Adzookie’s bottom line? It’s too early to say. They have obviously not gained enough funds to improve their website, and behemoths Google and Apple currently dominate the mobile advertising landscape. However I doubt that you will soon forget about Adzookie, the mobile advertising company that dared to dominate your landscape.
RaceTalk was lucky enough to catch mild-mannered Tom O’Keefe (better known as the legendary @BostonTweet) in between burritos and assorted Boston goings-on and convinced him to chat with us for a spell to talk about his Twitterlebrity status, social media in Boston, and some other Tom Trivia.
Prior to our discussion, we asked the Twitter community to tweet their questions for Tom using the hashtag #AskBostonTweet. We got some great response, and have included the timestamps for each question in the video below. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Mandy Miller (@AmandaMMiller9) for her awesome, patient camera work.
1:30 Do you use other social media platforms?
2:17 How do you pitch @BostonTweet?
3:15 People can win Groupons by retweeting your tweets. If they retweet Groupon’s tweets, can they win you?
3:45 Where will @BostonTweet go from here?
5:15 Will you release a @BostonTweet-branded fragrance, a la Britney Spears and Khloe Kardashian?
5:30 What causes and nonprofits inspire @BostonTweet?
6:50 Are there @BostonTweet counterparts across the country?
7:44 How many tweets could a Boston tweet if a Boston could tweet tweets?
7:58 Aside from “I’m @Bostontweet,” what pickup line generally works best on women in Boston?
8:36 Have Twitter followers ended up crossing over to real life friends and colleagues?
9:50 After you die, will you submit your brain to the MIT Media Lab?
While this is a very positive start for the NYT, it’s possible these numbers were aided thanks to a significant discount offered to readers: 99 cents for a 4-week trial. The normal cost of a 4-week subscription ranges from $15 to $35, and it remains to be seen if the trial users decide to continue subscribing past their initial four week subscription offer.
There are so many ways to watch movies these days. You can watch them on your home television, computer, phone, tablet, or even…go to the movie theater. With so many options and more on the way, I’ve decided to examine some of the most popular movie-watching methods.
If you don’t agree or have another platform you prefer, share your opinion in the comment section.
1. The Movie Theater: 10 years ago the movie theater was the best option for movie watching. It wasn’t too expensive, and it offered the best quality viewing experience. However, today home theater technology is just as good (or better) then theaters, and tickets have become really expensive.
2. Netflix: While it began as a mail-order DVD company, it has quickly adapted to today’s technology and become one of the most popular movie-watching platforms. The opportunity to stream movies from anywhere is a major advantage, and it’s monthly subscription rates are priced very fairly.
3. DVDs: When DVDs first came out they were very popular, but how many people are buying them now that you can stream movies directly from your computer? In either case, watching a DVD from your living room can provide you with very comfortable theater experience, especially if you have big LCD screen and surround sound.
4. Red Box: Red Box is currently my personal favorite, but a big factor is the location of the vending machines. If there is one close by, it’s hard to beat the $1 rental fee. Since I’m only renting 2-3 movies per month, I enjoy not having a flat monthly fee and don’t feel like I have to watch a certain number of movies in order to get my money’s worth. Blockbuster Express is also similar.
5. iTunes: iTunes isn’t the ideal movie watching platform due to its prices. If you’re going to buy a movie, you’re probably better off just getting it on DVD for the same price. However, if you’re on-the-go and want to rent a movie, it provides you with a good option, even though it’s expensive as far as rentals are considered.
6. Amazon: This is a similar option to iTunes, but you’ll be able to play it on different platforms. A lot of this depends on what type of devices you have.
For the first time ever, Google has placed video on its homepage. It comes in the form of a tribute to Charlie Chaplin where the Google logo is usually found.
While Google has long been celebrating holidays, special occasions and anniversaries with unique logos, this is the first time this space has been occupied with video, which could signal big changes for the future in relation to Google’s interaction and multimedia that’s present on its classic crisp homepage.