In early December, Expedia, Inc. held their annual Partner Conference in Las Vegas where the entire travel industry (or at least those who use Expedia properties which is, like, everyone) gathered to learn the latest and greatest about travel strategies and Expedia offerings.
Part of the conference focused on the offerings from the Expedia Media Solutions group which, in essence, is like a giant ad network for any brand interested in reaching travel demographics. Expedia Inc. owns Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Hotwire, Trivago and several others. In other words, it's basically everything except booking.com and Kayak. So, yea, if you're a brand looking to tap anything in the travel space, you'll likely be working with Expedia.
A Christmas print ad for the retailer shows an image of a woman and a man with a very questionable headline between them. The headline reads, "Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking."
You would think after all these years we would have moved past the point were brands make egregious lapses in judgement knowing full well the wrath of social media outrage will rain down upon them like a ton of bricks. But, apparently, no.
A Philippine bank, BDO Unibank has apologized for an ad it ran which made light of environmental issues. In the ad, which carries the headline "Save the environment or save up to see places," a man can be seen holding a sign that reads, "Stop deforestation" behind a woman who is enjoying her travels. The word "or" is placed between the two.
When online "experts" share their "expertise," it is always advisable to observe with some skepticism. While the Internet can be considered the modern bastion of knowledge, opinions, and ideas, it is not completely dependable.
In fact, most of what you can find on the web is unreliable information. Take the case of online marketing as an example. Many online marketing "experts" who preach their supposedly effective strategies embarrass themselves by the failure of their ideas in their own practical application.
The following can be considered the worst mistakes in online marketing in 2014. They represent the biggest misconceptions in marketing being peddled by self-proclaimed marketing experts and even by those who have had some real experience in online marketing.
Pity the poor woman who doesn't live up to Victoria Secret's definition of perfection which probably hovers somewhere around 5'8", 34C-22-34. If you don't come close to those measurements, it appears you should should shop elsewhere.
A new campaign for the brand is touting a line of bras they call Body by Victoria. The ads carry the headline, "The Perfect Body," along with images of, well, women with "perfect" bodies.
Certainly there's an aspect of every advertising campaign which aims to be aspirational, motivational, uplifting in a way that, ideally, cause a person to respond, "I want to be like that. I want to be better. I'll have what she's having. I want to be better. Etc." And a nice motivational kick in the ass is a good thing every once in a while.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine received an email from HSBC Bank informing him that as a platinum cardholder, he was entitled to "fabulous wedding offers." From the banquet, gown and jewelry to photo packages and honeymoon travel, his wedding bases were covered. It might have been nice if he weren't married with two young kids - details that were stated clearly on his HSBC profile.
This is one of many innocent but avoidable blunders we encounter in the digital age. As marketers try to conquer every 'touch point', many risk diluting the personal, human touch of commerce. Despite covering QR codes, email, mobile, social, web, events, webinars, etc. all at once, marketers continue to provide a unichannel experience in a multichannel world.
If you mention the term "affiliate marketing" to some brand marketers they either don't know what you're talking about or they think it's some kind of shady method of generating traffic.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Affiliate marketing, simply put, is the use of third parties (affiliates) to help sell your product or promote your brand. Even better, affiliate marketing is a better way for a brand to pay for advertising. What do I mean by this?
Without admitting the ingredients formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, present in 100 of its baby products, Johnson's Baby, which earlier this year began introducing reformulated products, is out with a delightfully fuzzy, feel good campaign touting the removal of those ingredients.
What's to debate? And why is everyone debating? Just ask yourself this simple question. Even if it were physically possible to do so, do you really think the Navy is going to allow some marketer to modify an aircraft carrier so it can make a stupid ad?
This is advertising we're talking about. Not national security. And last time I checked, the Navy falls into the category of national security, not helping marketers make stupid ads. Though, in this case, the ad is pretty cool!