This morning Gizmodo reported that Cisco has “axed the Flip cam.” The Flip video camera has been a great companion to many a PR professional at trade shows, conferences, industry events and for one-on-one Q&As. A moment of silence, please.
Jenna Wortham, a tech reporter for the New York Times, reacted via her Twitter account @jennydeluxe:
She is absolutely right. The “Swiss army-like smartphones” she is describing are going to become a one-stop shop for all your content creation needs. I am going to toss tablets into that ring too – the iPad 2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the like. What will be next, the death of the digital camera?
In a salute to the absolute supremacy of smartphones, I dedicate this song:
What do you think, readers? What device will disappear next?
This morning the Wall Street Journalreported that the New York City Ballet plans to enforce a social media policy for all employees – administrative and artistic – to regulate how they use social media channels.
The ballet has a refined reputation and recently 24 year old, ballet dancer Devin Alberda (@dalberda) has been tweeting his work frustrations, much to the ballet company’s dismay. The Wall Street Journal article describes:
“Plenty of professional ballet dancers have Twitter accounts, parting the curtain on a long-cloistered world with details on their backstage warm-up process or what they’re snacking on during intermission. But some, such as Mr. Alberda, go a step further, posting the kind of workday gripes or jokes dancers might say to each other but that are rarely aired publicly. The company now is negotiating a social-media policy as part of contract talks with the dancers’ union, the American Guild of Musical Artists.”
The ballet’s executive director, Katherine Brown, said in a statement to the Journal: “Because social media usage has dramatically increased and will continue to do so, like many organizations the company is exploring the development of social media guidelines for all artistic and administrative employees with respect to their professional lives.”
If this policy is approved, the New York City Ballet would be the first major performing arts company to enforce such guidelines. The Boston Ballet is also looking into a social media policy for it’s company.
RaceTalk has frequently covered employee Twitter disasters (search our posts by “tweet #fail” to read all the previous posts on the topic) and Devin Alberda’s tweets are just another example of why every company should add social media guidelines to their employee handbook, regardless of industry. As social media channels, particularly Twitter and Facebook, continue to bleed into employees’ professional lives, these types of parameters are necessary.
Last Sunday during the broadcast of the Academy Awards I couldn’t help but notice several commercials for the group buying service, LivingSocial. I found this interesting as Groupon, one of LivingSocial’s largest competitors, put major ad spent behind a series of Super Bowl commercials that wound up offending viewers and arguably damaging the brand’s reputation (you can read RaceTalk’s commentary here). I would have thought, given this blunder, LivingSocial and other group buying services would shy away from television advertising and focus on other mediums.
I was also intrigued that LivingSocial decided to advertise during the Oscars, a broadcast targeted almost exclusively to women. Does LivingSocial see their core demographic as mostly female?
In addition to the Oscars advertising, LivingSocial launched a deal yesterday for discounted movie tickets via Fandango. PC Mag reported that by 3:30pm the site had sold 609,000 Fandango offers. The deal was so successful, LivingSocial has extended it through the end of the day today.
PC Mag also reported that LivingSocial currently holds the record for the biggest online coupon deal with their Amazon.com offer, which sold 1,378,938 vouchers.
This is the week LivingSocial decided to put their stake in the group buying ground, and they are camped out right in front of one of America’s favorite places: the movie theater.
Are these kinds of ads and offers enough to inch them ahead of Groupon? What do you think?
For the past two weeks, infamous Hollywood playboy Charlie Sheen has been dominating headlines with his, how can I put this discreetly . . . “questionable” behavior. Given the recent developments in his personal life, his professional career hangs in the balance.
Rather than make a gesture of goodwill, Sheen has taken to the airwaves first in a radio interview on the Alex Jones show, followed by a television interview with ABC’s 20/20 and an appearance on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN, pleading his case to the public.
Out of these interviews have come some incredible sound bites. In fact, an entire website (www.livethesheendream.com) was created on which you click on Charlie Sheen’s head and a new sound bite appears beneath his face with every click.
How else can a person capitalize on great sound bites? Gee, how about via a wildly popular, real-time social media platform designed for mini updates, say in . . . 140 characters?
That’s right folks, after extreme public demand, Charlie Sheen has joined Twitter to broadcast his pearls of wisdom to the entire world wide web. You can follow him @CharlieSheen. You can also join in the Sheen-related conversation by using popular related hashtags, such as #winning, #winner or #chooseyourvice.
Last night Elizabeth Holmes, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, tweeted:
As I write this post, his follower tally is currently at 760,746.
Thought Sheen has lost his role on “Two and a Half Men” and his publicist, he sure knows how to take lemons and make lemonade. In fact, he’s set up his stand on the best block in the neighborhood: Twitter.
This morning during my commute I was listening to @MattyShow (Kiss 108′s morning show, Matty in the Morning) and DJ Matt Siegel was asking his staff why all of these businesses are paying big bucks for Super Bowl ads and giving it all away the week before the broadcast?
Siegel makes a great point. Why are all of these corporate giants paying millions of dollars for a 30 or 60 second spot and not waiting for a big reveal during the game? Not only are they not waiting, they are actively promoting their commericals now, the week before.
This pre-game promotion was confirmed to me this morning when I saw an article in my Twitter feed from Elaine Wong at Forbes called “The Super Bowl Ads You Can’t Miss.” Really? Two full days in advance?
“For decades, most Super Bowl advertisers followed a simple rule: Keep commercials under wraps until the moment they go on the air. But social media like Faceboo, Twitter and YouTube have ushered in a new era, and marketers are doing what was once unthinkable. In addition to offering sneak peeks of their spots and revealing contents of the commercials, many, like the vacation rental company HomeAway, are going the full Monty and sharing the entire ads in advance.”
I was discussing this with my RaceTalk colleague, Ben Haber, who echoed Elliot’s analysis, “You aren’t paying millions for the air time during the game. You’re paying millions to drive people to your social media channels and engage with your brand.”
Personally, I have always liked the mystery of having to wait until the game to see the commercials that score these highly coveted spots. While I understand wanting to maximize the investment and heighten the curiosity, I find it disappointing that these companies aren’t honoring the sanctity of the Super Bowl element of surprise.
What do you think? If you worked for a company who paid for a Super Bowl ad would you reveal and market it before the game?
Every PR/Marketing person dreams of being the genius mind behind a successful viral video. In 2011 content creation is king and producing an entertaining and informative video to raise brand awareness is a high priority for any PR/Marketing team.
Enter this superb infographic posted by Mashable. Seriously, superb. There are several valuable statistics illustrated here covering everything from the length of the video to the best sites to promote it on. Check it out:
- Videos that clock in at 15 seconds get circulated 37% more than longer clips
- People share video on Facebook 218% more than via email and Twitter combined
- Women account for 57% of social video views
The internet has been a buzz the last few days with the news of Starbucks’ logo change. Other than the fact that most people have a hard time accepting change in general, what is all the fuss about?
I’ll tell you. It takes brands years to establish strong, passionate brand awareness and loyalty. Starbucks has one of the most recognizable logos, a status that many other companies aspire to. It feels like a slap in the face to those aspirational companies to watch Starbucks just flip a switch and say, “We’re more than coffee, so we’re taking the company name off our logo. Done deal.” After all the hard work to establish Starbucks as the premium coffee experience, why change it? Or as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
In a Financial Times article, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We’ve allowed [the siren] to come out of the circle in a way that gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee.”
The Financial Times article goes on to say, “The other advantage of a word-free logo is that is translates more easily across digital media and overseas. Starbucks, like many companies, is now targeting a global audience with a wide range of written languages.”
Now that makes sense. Why not lead with, “We’re removing the company name to make our logo universal across the globe.” That statement seems to be buried in all the media coverage.
In a Technorati post yesterday, Paul Kiser commented, “The controversy will serve to create free publicity resulting in increased revenue.” A bizarrely true observation.
What do you think? Does the Starbucks logo change align with their corporate goals to be more than just coffee and take their experience seamlessly across the globe?
Its no secret that the group buying market is on fire right now. Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, CoupMe and dozens more are all competing to be your go-to spot for local discounts.
It seems however that group buying has now reached a new level of ubiquity and popularity as today a woman was proposed to via a custom Groupon!
As with every Groupon, the offer includes a price to buy, the time left to purchase the deal, a photo and of course a description of the offer. This particular deal reads:
“In May of 2006, Greg and Dana’s relationship began as casual movie nights transformed into record-setting make-out sessions. Greg and Dana, or Grana, have happily coexisted since that time. Soon, they will be cohabitating; they are closing on a house, despite having polar opposite careers. Dana is a theatrical artiste, earning a living as an NFL cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, a fact that has forced Greg to endure brutal onslaughts of high-fives. Greg, a cold, logical engineer, plies his trade as a computer man—one of the 150 Americans allowed to use computers.
With a simple answer of “yes,” Dana B. gets to spend the rest of her life with Groupon-approved Stand-up Guy Greg H., who vows to always eat the disgusting bacon from her plate while giving her his tender, delicious mushrooms. A lifetime with Greg H. also comes with such perks as an always-willing concert partner, at least a dozen movie nights over the course of the fiscal year, IT support, and a continued willingness to pretend to enjoy theater.”
What do you think? Does group buying scream “marry me”?
One of my favorite Twitter friends, Annie Colbert, recently posted an awesome infographic on the state of the blog economy in 2010 (view the full infographic here). The image is bursting with insightful information about who blogs, why they write, how they promote their posts and how much cash they earn for doing so.
Among the more surprising stats: 65% of bloggers write as a hobby, while only 1% of bloggers write for a corporate blog or as their full time profession. Given the rise of corporate blogs this year, that number seems low.
The most shocking number was in regards to revenue. Self employed bloggers, on average, earn $122,222 in annual revenue from advertising on their blog! Chew on that.
“The Foursquare integration has two key components. First, Gowalla now lets you broadcast your check ins on not only its app, but Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook Places and Foursquare as well. Gowalla even lets you earn Foursquare badges and Facebook Deals through the iPhone app. As an added bonus, Gowalla also pulls in Foursquare Tips whenever you check in.”
This begs the question, why not just use Foursquare? Parr goes on to explain his theory on Foursquare’s reaction:
“Gowalla did not work with Foursquare on this integration; it was all done through the API. That leaves the real possibility that Foursquare could throw a big wrench into Gowalla’s plans by blocking its rival’s use of the API. The threat posed by Gowalla 3 is real; that alone could force Foursquare’s hand in the name of competition. It would also create a firestorm of controversy.”
In order to succeed in the market, Gowalla will have to differentiate itself from Foursquare and other mobile check in applications (like Facebook Places), encouraging the user to exclusively check in with their application.
Perhaps, Gowalla feels this integration will allow users to broadcast one check in across multiple apps, with just one touch to the Gowalla mobile app. If that’s the Gowalla game plan, it’s pure genius.