Droid Unwraped

October 31, 2009

Checkout the Verizon True iPhone Killer

 

 

I hear cash registers ringing at Verizon this Christmas! 🙂

 

 

“Forum Farming”

October 27, 2009

“Forum Farming” A Buzz Building Tactic

In addition to the Blogging the about emerging media for the length of the last nine weeks, I developed, tested and implemented a Buzz building tactic. After much consideration of the nature of my posts and deliberating on who would truly be interested in reading such material I decided to take a guerilla type approach to cultivating viewers, a cultivation a coin as “Forum Farming”

 

The premise of the tactic is simple. Find news worthy articles with similar material to my posts, and submit my blogs URL in the articles forum section.

 

In order to find those articles used keywords and phrases that the Google Alerts program would make me aware of.

 

 

“Forum Farming” Example:

Post: LIVESTRONG.org and Twitter

 

Google Alerts Phrases: Lance Armstrong, Livestrong.org, Lance, etc

 

Google Alerts Results: NYVelocity.com, CyclingNews.com, Velonews

 

Article Posted on: NYVelocity.com on October 19th, 2009

 

Tagline Post Within the Forum Field w/ Blog URL: “See how Lance uses Twitter”

 

Tactic Result: 139 Viewers on October 21st, 2009

 

 

 

 

Though these results are great, it is not the usually results from this tactic. Because Lance Armstrong is such a iconic character in popular and sporting culture, viewers seem to seek out any news about him. Therefore the 139 page views are indicative of the traditions tactic results.

 

A more realistic result from the “Forum Farming” tactic would be a average around 20 viewers per execution.

MIT’s GAYDAR Project

October 26, 2009

Nope.  I’m not making this one up.

The people with big craniums/ triple doctorates / while maintaining their virginity at MIT have struck research gold.  The researchers Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree developed a wonderful piece of software that can examine Facebook users by looking over Flicker photo images, chats, and searches to find out their sexual orientation.

Out of 947 Facebook profiles the software examined it found 10 gay men, each of which confirm the software findings.  None of the men had state on their orientation in their profile.

The software goes beyond just sexual orientation. The program finds connections to each profile and examines general and specific Facebook affiliations (groups/ music/politics) therefore being able to determine if someone might be a terrorist or or even worse… a car salesman.

If you are looking for a great read on “Project Gaydar” check out Boston Globe’s article on it:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/09/20/project_gaydar_an_mit_experiment_raises_new_questions_about_online_privacy/?page=1

Google Maps. 2 Strikes, One Ball.

October 26, 2009

As a big Google product fan, I sometimes find myself giving them too much credit.

As of recently I have been on the road for work more and living in a unfamiliar places. During this time I have been really relying on my Google G1 / Google Maps GPS program to get me around. However the last three times have had some mixed results:

Trip One: Google maps took me to a location in 3 miles up the road from the set location. A gas station. Not the right location, but bought some gummy worms.

Trip Two: My wife and kids took a day trip to a apple orchard in NC. We follow the Google maps direction to a “T” and end on a dirt on gravel road.  Which we follow until the road is impassable. Thankfully my wife and kids found the misdirection as a little adventure. At least the kids did.

Trip Three: Now after two strikes I start losing trust in Google Maps. After getting off the plane, I begin to pad my directions from the area locals. This time however the Google Maps correct results.

Maybe Google Maps is playing some kind of sadistic Silicon Valley joke on me.

Get me lost… then get me there… get me lost… get me there…lost…lost… there.

DAMN YOU GOOGLE MAPS, AND YOUR LOVE GAMES!

One more time and I’m leave you for TOM-TOM or Garmin!

I’m kidding. I love the scenery.

What is so addictive to the G1 Smartphone and Google Maps is that you can look up where you want to go on your computer, shoot it to your G1 via your Gmail account, pull up the location on your phone, and route directions from your current location using GPS. It’s awesome… If it worked all the time… Which it doesn’t.

Check It Out:

Nobody’s Perfect

What? Coke and Women Don’t Mix? (Actually Pepsi)

October 23, 2009

Sorry Kids.

Pepsi has pulled it’s iPhone application advertising it’s energy drink Amp.

“Amp Up Before Your Score”, the only iPhone application offering support to pubescent losers, was removed after much criticism in media reports and general complaints.

When I first read this story,  I started wondering, “Who the Hell in the corporate office Okayed this thing?”

Did the Amp marketing meeting go like this?

(Fade In)

Tom: Aug! I’m hung over…What do got for Amp this month?

Bob: How about a iPhone App that teaches dorks about how to pick up women.

Tom: Cool… But make it edgy. (Sips his bottle water) Make sure they use “Cougar”.

Bob: (Writes “Cougar” on pad) Right. Sounds on target.

(Fade Out)

Really? How does it happen? Was there a budget that had to be spent?

Bud Light Lime

Here is a marketing message from Bud Lite wrapped with in sexual innuendo, but executed well. At 47 seconds it was obviously not made for broadcast TV, possible built with a Viral intent. Check it out:

Reference:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33310411/

Perplexing…Shocking…But the result wanted.

October 20, 2009

Burger King- WhopperVirgins.com

As a brand that has embraced the non-conventional and fairly progressive new media campaigns (Viral, http://www.subservientchicken.com and advertgames for Xbox 360).  Burger King has followed this progression with a documentary styled short film called “Whooper Virgins”. 

The concept behind the short film is to expose people from other cultures (Thailand, Romania, and Greenland) to a hamburger product test. The participants are filmed to see if they would pick “The Whooper” over McDonalds “Big Mac”.

Check it out: (Not responsible for bleeding eyes or spontaneous combustion)


• Ask yourself the question? Was the film entertaining? Why or why not?
I  personally was a little perplexed by the films audacious concept, and was little put off by Burger King’s complete lack to being understanding and respectful for other cultures. 

• Question 2. Did the film more closely resemble a movie or an ad?
The film resembles a anthropological documentary. But it more of a commercialized perversion of the art form. “Whopper Virgin” has all the visual elements of a low budget film with non-paid film subjects, exotic locations, jump cut editing style, low resolution video quality, and a simple soundtrack. All of these elements however do not hide the continual reference to “The Whopper” product.

• Question Number 3. Is the film effective from a marketing standpoint? Why or why not?

Like the films name, I think that the subject matter and execution caters to youth market who might find the participants actions and clothing funny. However, I find it this film is a insult to the documentary art form(film snob), and gives a terrible representation of marketing and consumerism in American.  The crassness of exposing these cultures to the product by shipping in ovens to their little towns almost seemed like a fast food imperialism.

Well I am not the only one who thought this way. ABC News took a shot at the campaign:


As a side note. I gotta say that I’m pretty disappointed that Stacey Peralta (Skateboard legend and film director) had been involved in this film. I guess everyone has their price. 

Reference:

http://www.whoppervirgins.com/

Clan of the Bearville

October 20, 2009

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc: Build-A-Bear.com and Build-A-Bearville.com

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Incorporated’s website Build-A-Bear.com touches all the basic fundamental marketing elements for kid freindly website; large buttons, the primary colors, moving imagery, large easy to read fonts, and simple messages.

The site really pushes product offerings by centering three out of four buttons; “Shop Now”, “Find a Store”, “Party with Us”. The forth button is “Play Games” is dedicated to simple flash games, Build-A-Bear E-Cards, and other creative printables. Each button has a simple directive to sell the company’s products and support it’s brand differential advantage, which is customer designed custom plush animals. 

What really shocked me was the websites initiative to drive visitors, primarily younger visitors, to a secondary site called Build-A-Bearville (www.buildabearville.com). From this site visitors can build a custom avatar character that moves and interacts with other visitors. Build-A-Bear allows the visitor to go into interactive “Safe Chat” environments, play games, build a “Cub Condo”, and go on adventures with your bear. Visitors can earn credits to use to purchase virtual products and services. Build-A-Bearville is full virtual world specifically built for children to play and interact. Specifically children who purchase, play, and interact with Build-A-Bear products.

What’s the hook? In order to become a active participant with the Build-A-Bearville avatar world you have to either enter a code supplied by a store bought bear, or get a activation code from online Build-A-Bear representative. Each visitor also has to submit their date of birth, parents email address, and a password. Obviously this data could be used in monitoring the visitors movements, product likes and dislikes, while keep in touch with the primary visitor’s purchaser (the parents). 

I was stunned by the depth of design of the Build-A-Bearville website, from it’s custom avatar to it’s long list girl pop in a “Pick and Play” jukebox (in Spanish too).

All in the name to reinforce the Build-A-Bear brand.

HAIL THE BEAR! 



Reference:


Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc Official Website. Retrieved September 2, 2009 from Build-A-Bear Web site: http://www.buildabear.com/

Build-A-Bearville Website. Retrieved September 2, 2009 from Build-A-Bearville Web site: http://www.buildabearville.com/

Does Verizon’s Android Dream Of Electric Sheep?

October 20, 2009

Well it was bound to happen, Verizon said “To Hell with It”, bought the ticket and boarded the Google’s Mobile Android OS train.

That means Google’s mobile solution has collected the second largest mobile phone service provider along with US’s number 3 (Sprint/Nextel) and 4 (T-Mobile). Which in turn means that more mobile consumers have the opportunity to be exposed to the open-sourced product.

This has to be gratifying for Google as they bask in their hard efforts to dominate the digital world.  Verizon helped in starting their celebration by punching Apple’s iPhone in the nose with a heavy media campaign  titled “Droid Does”.  Check it out:

Congratulations  Google.  Remember, “Don’t Be Evil” with your latest category domination. http://investor.google.com/conduct.html

adidas, and a slam dunk of a mobile campaign

October 18, 2009


With the tough marketing arena of sporting shoes and apparel, German based, Adidas has always had stiff competition against brand names like Nike, Puma, Converse, and Reebok. Competition for this brand market share goes into a majority of sporting verticals types like; soccer, running, tennis and basketball.


In order to maintain and attract this market share, adidas felt that there was a need to engage consumers in the brand outreach with grass roots initatives and associations in order to be perceived as a hip and current consumer brand.


All-Star Mobile Experience Campaign

In 2007 adidas partnered with the NBA (National Basketball Association) to help promote the NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas, Nevada. Within this event initiative, adidas would be opening a new Sport Performance Store location, sell a specific All-Star themed product line, and managing basketball related consumer event.

In order to accomplish their goal of keeping in contact with the consumer during all three initiatives within a dynamic event environment, adidas hired MOVO Mobile, a Neighborhood America company, to create a custom mobile campaign. Adidas hired MOVO so the company could engage and manage the visiting All-Star consumer while on the move while in high energy Las Vegas environment.


In support of accomplishing the mobile initiative, adidas’s agency Isobar put up numerous 2-D graphic advertisements on buildings, taxi cabs and hotel billboards and on their website asking Las Vegas visitors to opt-in to a exclusive adidas mobile campaign. Consumer were asked to text in “Vegas” to a designation 6 digit number to receive announcements during the NBA All Star event. The electronic gifts included adidas branded phone wallpapers and special event information. This mobile experience provides consumers the opportunity to keep up to date on everything adidas has going on throughout Vegas – adidas Store events, athlete appearances, limited edition shoe releases and many other special announcements


Once adidas and Neighborhood America felt the opt-in via text had reached a total saturation goal, they sent out a text to the campaigns participants telling them of a exclusive limited edition All-Star shoe, only being sold at Sport Performance Store location. “Within 30 minutes of sending a text alert promoting the release of a limited edition All-Star shoe, a flash mob of eager consumers formed outside.” (Business Wire, 2007)


By far this campaign shows the power of mobile media if being integrated and optimized in a well thought marketing scenario.


Even with the initiative asking for a consumer to opt-in to be engaged, the consumer felt that adidas’s exclusive offerings outweighed any malaise to their person device or information.

Check out the YouTube video suggested from the good people of Neighborhood American:


References:


MOVO (NA) Retrieved September 28, 2009 from MOVOmobile.com Web site: http://www.movomobile.com


Adidas Press Archive (2009) Retrieved September 28, 2009 from adidas.com website: http://www.press.adidas.com/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-16/94_read-7545/

Honda: Rhymes and Reasons, Gets It Wrong

October 18, 2009

With the economic downturn affecting most industries here in the United States and globally, many companies are searching for new ways to attract new customers. Some companies like Honda Motor Company are taking their search a bit farther by using the Internet to attract niche demographics in areas like; age, lifestyles, and race.

Honda’s goal of these niche marketing endeavors is to strike interest in the selected demographics, convince them that their product is relevant to their needs (age, lifestyle or race), and manicure that relevancy so it can grow into a relationship.

In the first quarter of 2009, post the election of the new American President Barack Obama, Honda Motor Company and Muse Communications took on the endeavor to market Honda’s 2009 Accord to the professional African-American male, with a branded microsite called “Rhymes and Reason”. The idea and basis of the site is to create a convergence of rap music culture, realistic American living verse Hip-Hop “Bling!” living, and how the 2009 Honda Accord fits into that lifestyle.

Muse Communications started “Rhymes and Reason” campaign, by recruiting a two unknown underground spoken-word artist, rapper Mickey Fatz from Bronx, New York, and music mixer DJ Gomez Warren. Both Fatz and Warren, have real life fulltime professional jobs, but both embrace and produce rap music. This embrace of rap culture, while being financially sound professionals is Honda Motor Company’s prevailing message of hope throughout the website, along with images of the 2009 Honda Accord. Basically Honda trying to convey to the website visitor, that the Honda Accord is a car for young hip professional African-American males, and that the car that is a good investment and something to be proud of and admired. The website also tries to implement positive general financial and health suggestions.

The microsite employs numerous emerging media ventures like; Fatz’s Blog, downloadable MP3’s, photos, YouTube videos, and a “Rhymes and Reason” branded interactivity “Game” component.

Website Architecture and Design Elements

Architecture: The “Rhymes and Reason” microsite is built in a simple ease of operation format. The sites navigation buttons are familiarly placed at the top of the home page giving a clear index. Each button is Flash programmed to turn from purple to electric blue and spin in animation.  Buttons include; Home, Rhymes and Reasons, Blog, Music, Videos, Photos, and Accord.

Design: The site is built in a way to maximize all of it multimedia platforms. The top and center of the page is dedicated to a large video player and an interactive game image. The lower half of the site is dedicated to four categories, New Music, 2009 Accord, Video, and Recent Post.

  • Top Half-The large video player sits two-thirds and prominently to the right of the page. It is a rap video starting with a 2009 Accord backing into a Mickey Fatz’s garage. To the left to the video player is an image of the interactive game that hyperlinks you to the interactive game.
  • Lower Half- The lower half of the home page is broken into three horizontal sections, while having information stack vertically inside each section. The left section has music player with track available to play and below the player is a gallery of images for the 2009 Honda Accord. The center section is a video player of Mickey Fatz recording a song. The far right section is a dedicated to Mr. Fatz Blog postings.

Music: The music is produced specifically for the website. The music section has a small listen area where a visitor can listen and download three Mickey Fatz and DJ Gomez Warren “Rhymes and Reason” tracks.

Images and Video: Both images and rap video production is well produced and edited with quality equipment verses a home video or a mobile phone quality camera. All images and scenes look scripted and planned.

Interactive Game: The interactive game is representation of a city street that has animated characters that hyperlink the visitor to subpages within the site.

Copy: There is very limited amount of written copy executed over the total website. This is also true in the Blog area of the site, which uses more images than text.

Tone: The website’s multimedia driven layout seems to mimic a MySpace page account. The microsite tries to convey African-American terms and phrases while maintaining an underground music feel.

Does “Rhymes and Reasons” work?

Honda Motor Company’s “Rhymes and Reason” website is built correctly, however the websites material and the direction struggle to be convincing. I believe that Honda’s initiative to merge it’s product with a minorities socioeconomic issues is a wrong direction for any major multinational corporation. Trying to accomplish that convergence using one element (in this case rap music) to engage it prospective audience should be seen as shortsighted and patronizing. A minority’s lifestyle and culture should include all the elements (good and bad) of minority’s life, verses Honda Motor Company’s washed out version of how they would like the minority customer to be.

The websites lack of thought to the African-American male is quickly recognizes as Mickey Fatz struggles to rhyme Honda’s positive-living talking points. The professionally cut YouTube videos; “New Start, New Attitude”, “Balance”, and “Time is Money” look staged and lack any real viewing interest. Mr. Fatz’s Blog is more of a homogenized public relations formality than anything of use or substance, with a majority of the Blog posts being images. The interactive Rhymes and Reasons “Game”, has very little playable fun features or need for skill.

I feel that the site itself might be a more of a deterrent than a magnet for new business. As Hip-Hop industry Blogger, Scott Yeti of Woooha.com stated about the site “…I don’t know if the hook there is enough to maintain a strong consumer base that will keep coming back.”

Corporate Websites That Get The Minority Right.

A good example of a website that tries to attract the African-American population in a simple and non-patronizing fashion would be Pantene for Black Hair. The website gives a direct soft tone for the reasons while an African-American female should use the Pantene Hair product lines. The website shows video of attractive non-scripted African-American consumers speaking about their hair, while a stylist gives pointers on hair care and hair wellness.

Pantene’s website stays true to the target audience and speaks to the viewer in a genuine real life manner, verses “Rhymes and Reasons”, which feels over scripted, pushed, and stepping over social issue bounds.

Reference:

Honda Motor Company, Rhymes and Reasons (2009). Retrieved September 6, 2009 from: http://rhymesandreasons.honda.com/

MultiCultClassics.blogspot.com, 6511 Honda Goes Hip Hop (March,6, 2009) Retrieved September 7, 2009 from: http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com/2009/03/6511-honda-goes-hip-hop.html

Proctor and Gamble, Pantene for Black Hair (NA), Retrieved September 7, 2009 from: http://www.pantene.com/en-US/african_american_hair_care_relaxed_and_natural.jspx