Archive for the ‘Media’ category

Nice Job GNC

July 10, 2014

It has been a while since I have posted, but today I was inspired by GNC to write.

GNC has launched a new ad campaign called Beat Average.  You can view it here. 

I am impressed with this campaign for 4 reasons:

1. It has tremendous insight into consumer behavior and the reality of how we think and act.  They are truly holding up a mirror to the bulk of the population.

2. They are buying time in very smart ways.  I first saw it this morning as the ad that ran after I had played an on demand exercise video.  I had just worked out and it was almost a reward / pat on the back for me that I was not average today.  They understood me at that moment.  Nicely timed.

3. The ad is very motivating.  It is well written, filmed and edited.

4. They are launching this campaign in the middle of summer.  Usually, we see the “you need to diet and exercise” ads all crammed together in January (post New Year’s resolution) or in May / June at the beginning of swimsuit season.  GNC (who may have actually been late to the party for reasons beyond their control or actually made this a conscious decision) is not competing with all those other ads right now.  So their’s stands out.

Nice job GNC.  I may stroll over and get some Whey Protein Powder just to encourage such smart moves.


Social Media – It isn’t news

September 8, 2011

I attended a presentation last night at the University of Chicago Marketing Round Table.  The presenter, Jonathan Salem Baskin, made some interesting points about social media that I wanted to share.

He recently wrote a book where he traces social media throughout history.  With many major technology innovations in the past, our ability to connect with others has increased.  The social media concept isn’t new (he gave some great examples in history – the telegraph, the radio, the telephone, television, expressways built in the 50’s – all things that allowed us to connect with others in a new way).   Facebook and Twitter were the most recent examples.  And there will be others in the future that we can’t correctly predict now.  Technology innovations will always be developed to help us connect better with others.  In other words, technology change is a constant. 

While I didn’t agree with everything he said, I do think the part of his discussion that was impactful was the reminder that since technology changes will always be there, we should be focused more on the messages we give to our customers and less on the technology

We need purpose driven content – something that is meaningful to our audience. 

We need to consider who we are targeting and how they want to hear from us.  Finding your most receptive audiences and have a conversation with them if it will enhance the relationship.  If not, do not waste their time.

And I would add that if you are delivering a stellar product or service and doing it in a way that provides awesome customer service; your customer will reward you.  Great marketing – social or traditional – cannot make up for a bad product or bad service.


February 22, 2011

Truth is the new black.  Truth is the newest buzzword.  It appears to be something that people have recently discovered (as though they just did some search on google or bing and magically the truth appeared in a search result).  There is a lot of noise about searching for and finding the real truth.

I am sure you have heard that old adage – there are 3 versions of the truth.  Your version, the version of the other person (or people) involved, and the actual truth.

These days, it gets even more complicated.  For every event or issue, there are now so many more voices and opinions, I think the internet has gotten us further away from the actual truth than we have ever been before (and let’s not get started on the whole lack of reality in reality TV – that has really screwed up our concept of truth).    The truth seems to be the version that gets repeated most often, not necessarily the version that is the most accurate or correct.   Or in the case of Yahoo answers, the one that gets the most votes from other people .  Or the most “likes” on Facebok.  So now, instead of having a real truth, we just have the most popular truth.  What kind of truth is that?  And who are all these people who vote on which is the best truth?

The next time you read something where the writer professes to be saying the “truth,” I ask you to consider that what you are reading may not be the entire or most accurate version of the truth.  Even when  a writer is supposedly a journalist writing for a reputable newspaper, you may be getting just one side or version of the truth.

So when you are reading some “facts” on the internet, especially ones that don’t seem quite right to you; stop a moment and think.  Search in your head and your heart and I bet you will find that you already know the truth.

And the Superbowl Ad Winner is….

February 7, 2011

As an alum of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, I am admittedly biased towards their ratings, particularly when it comes to advertising and marketing.  The school is known as “the marketing school.”  So they had better know what they are talking about when it comes to rating Superbowl ads.

My friend Professor Tim Calkins gathers a student group each year to rate the ads.  They use a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN for their ratings.  The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

And their picks?  Volkswagen earned top marks for its “Beetle” and “Star Wars” ads, winning the seventh annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.  Other top-ranked advertisers for 2011 included Chrysler and Doritos, while Lipton Brisk, HomeAway and Hyundai ranked at the bottom of the much-anticipated Review.

You can see the full article and their ratings here.  And I have to say that I agree with most of their ratings.  For years, I have hated the Go Daddy executions and the Kellogg team gave them a D.  And for some reason, I just do not ever get tired of the Etrade baby.  I wonder when people will wear out on that one.  (And check out the Etrade website where you can send your own baby mail – nice viral tie in by the Etrade team). What was your favorite?  Let me know.

New EBook Offering from Amazon – Singles

January 28, 2011

One of my favorite blogging teams, Hubspot, reviewed this announcement from Amazon.  The bottom line: you can now publish mini books on Amazon (20 to 40 page digital documents often published as White Papers by various business experts).

I am repeating the short blog here as I think it is really helpful to any marketer (or just someone who wants to share their thoughts in a more formal way).

Ebooks Hit the Big Time With Amazon Singles and TEDBooks

Posted by Kipp Bodnar, Wed, Jan 26, 2011 @ 12:15 PM

“For a long time, there have been two types of ebooks. The first is the electronic version of traditional, novel length written works, spanning hundreds of pages. The second type are the 20-40 page digital documents offered by marketers and industry experts that are typically free to download or can be download in exchange for registration information. Today, these two worlds of ebooks are colliding and becoming one. 

Today Amazon, a company that has been pioneering the ebook market with its Kindle device and store, announced a new format of ebook that would now be sold in its store. Amazon is calling this new ebook format Kindle Singles, which are books typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words (fewer than 50 pages). According to Amazon, “each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single idea — well researched, well argued, and well illustrated — to be expressed at its natural length.”

Along with the announcement of Amazon Singles came news about a new type of content from TED. Famous for conferences that feature short presentations from some of the brightest minds on the planet, TED has announced it will begin selling TEDBooks as Kindle Singles for $2.99 each. According to TED curator Chris Anderson, “The success of TEDTalks has demonstrated that millions of people around the world are hungry to absorb new ideas. But not everyone has the time to go out and read an entire book on an interesting subject. TEDBooks fill that gap. Their shorter format allows someone to see an idea fleshed out in a satisfying way — without having to set aside a week of reading time.”

Ebooks Are Now Prime Time

Prior to this announcement, businesses, marketers, and authors have been able to submit their own ebooks to the Kindle store. However, Amazon’s Kindle Singles create a category and a market for a length and type of content that has long been relegated to the dregs of written content. Ebooks, as most of us marketers know them, have lived in a strange in-between world, too long to be read quickly like a blog post, but too short to command the thought and attention of readers looking for more in-depth content.  

Today’s announcement is a sign that digital publishing is slowly changing the publishing world. The flexibility of digital formats and distribution means that it is possible to share and monetize ideas regardless of their length.

Marketing Takeaway

As a marketer, it is important to understand the role of ebooks in your inbound marketing strategy. If part of your strategy is to gain credibility and thought leadership on a topic, then consider publishing your ebooks in Amazon’s Kindle Singles store for added distribution and reach. The bigger takeaway here is that the category of 5,000 to 30,000-word books has been given a boost in credibility. As consumers begin to read these mid-length books, their expectations will be that they can consume this type of content from organizations with which they are planning to do business, regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C.”

MeetUp Perks

January 17, 2011

I just read about a new marketing tool that MeetUp is offering.  I am squeezed for time so I can’t go into too much detail at the moment.  And Hubspot already did a nice job of it in their blog.  So please take a look at their details.

The highlights:  The feature connects groups with local sponsor businesses.  Through the sponsorships, you can offer discounts to targeted groups.  Getting it set up is easy (according to the blog – I haven’t tested it yet).  Set up a sponsor profile.  Come up with an offer or deal.  Limit the deal to groups that might be responsive to your offer (Mom’s, wine tasters, spa lovers, etc).  It costs $5 per group you sponsor for 1 month.

I would encourage you to learn more about this great target marketing opportunity.  If you test it, please let us know how it did for you.

Why isn’t it a Wonderful Life?

December 13, 2010

George BaileyEvery year at Christmas, I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and am reminded of the value of doing good for others and having friends.  I love how when George is in trouble, his friends all gather to help him.  They never question his need – they just trust that George is a good man and he needs their help.   There is a happy ending in the movie.  The hero is rewarded with trust, goodwill and friendship.  And the bad guy doesn’t win.

And every year, I am disappointed to find that real life doesn’t mirror what happens in the movies.  In real life, in 2010, George Bailey would have been roasted at the spit by the media.  They would have sold thousands of papers (and banner ads on websites) splashing headlines that he was stealing from the bank.  They would have said Uncle Billy was in on the scam too.  The media would have camped out in front of his house, broadcasting an ever increasing stream of rumors and allegations.  

Someone would have said George was planning to leave for Jamaica with the harlot Violet and take the money with him. They would torment his wife and children each time they left the house.  Whether George lived in Chicago or the small town of Morris.  They would have hunted him down to find the most tantalizing story angle in an effort to  to get more readers or viewers and more ad dollars.  And every blogger with an interest in banking would have repeated all the false stories they read, spreading the “news” throughout the web.

To make matters worse, George’s friends would turn their backs – believing the lies that were written despite having known George all his life.  They would grab their 10 seconds of fame to say something bad about George in the news – whether they really knew him or not.  They wouldn’t give him a second chance or the benefit of the doubt. And the bad guys would have won, destroying George and his good name.  No singing of Auld Lang Syne in his parlor.  Just the needless destruction of a man who gave of himself unselfishly all his life.

I find myself wishing that real life was so much more like the movies.  Where heroes are rewarded for their efforts and friends stand up for them, even when it is hard to do.  Where the media actually presents both sides of a story instead of just the “sexy” side of an alleged fallen heroes.  Where the bad guys are punished and the good guys win.    I hope some day my wishes come true.