How Content Marketing Can Improve Brands' Online Marketing

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This week's Future of Engagement features David Spark who heads up Spark Media Solutions and contributor to Mashable. Spark kicks off the interview explaining why content creation is so important saying, "content is the currency for social media and search."

Spark also says brands can't "market and PR" their way into content creation and social media. He advises brands that are considering content creation to focus on topics of interest related to the brand in question as opposed to simply publishing product information.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-24-12    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social, Video



Evol8tion Brings Together Madison Avenue and Mountain View

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If you're familiar with Joe Jaffe, author, former agency guy, Jaffe Juice blogger and Crayon founder, then you know the man is passionate and has a lot to say about whatever's on his mind. And he's got quite a lot to say about his new venture, Evol8tion, an "innovation agency" that aims to bring the agencies of Madison Avenue together with the early stage technology startups of Mountain View in order to orchestrate "brand soul mates."

What the hell does that mean? It mean that Joe firmly believes technology does and will play an important role in the future of advertising and that the fusion of creative ideas, story-telling and technology can make anything possible.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-24-12    
Topic: Agencies, Brands



Chevrolet Selects Rote 66 Ad Contest Winner

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So chevrolet, much like Doritos, did the whole consumer-created commercial thing this year for the Super Bowl. Launched in September last year, the contest collected 198 entries which were narrowed to 33 in December. This week, Chevrolet announced the winner; Florham Park, NY resident Zach Borst. Borst will receive $25,000 and his commercial will air during the Super Bowl.

Borst, who looks like he's 30, went with the classic high school graduation scenario whereby parents buy a car for their recent grad. But in this case, it's not a new car that was gifted. It was a fridge for the "kid's" dorm room.

Anyway, it's amusing enough. If you can get over the fact these high school grads look like they're well past the quarter life.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-20-12    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Super Bowl 2012



Agencies Pinterest'd, Latino Ads Awarded, Spies Recruited

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- Michael Glass is out with a Pinterest collection of advertising agency office space. Very cool.

Cultural Strategies is launching "The Social Revolución", the first official SXSWi Latino Awards, Lounge & After Party in 2012. They are actively seeking sponsors and nominees.

- Really, really love the new Volkswagen Golf R? Well, there's an iPad app for that. From AKQA.

- Top Gear is celebrating there approach to 10 million fans on Facebook...by blowing up a caravan when they do.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-19-12    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Guerilla, Industry Events, Mobile/Wireless, Outdoor



Priceline Says Goodbye to William Shatner

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After 14 years, Pricline has decided it's time for a new direction and in a spot that will debut Monday, Shatner's Negotiator character will plunge to his death in a bus after telling a couple to "save yourselves...some money!" Shatner, in the bus, then tumbles off a cliff and dies an explosive death. Shatner's Captain Kirk character died in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations.

Of the decision, Shatner said, "I'm in grief mode. It's not the first time I've had an iconic character die off. It was a great run. If the management says this is the end, this is the end." Better to go out on top then be seen as a hanger on.

The move is part of a planned new direction for Priceline which will have less to do with the site's well known price negotiation feature and more to do with its newer fixed price, discount-booking focused approach. There may even be a spot in this year's Super Bowl.

Shatner will be missed but things change, companies change and that means their ad campaigns have to as well. Can we get a ceremonial "Khaaaaaaaaan!" ?

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-12    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials



Volkswagen Hints at Super Bowl Spot With Barking Dog Chorus

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Ah yes. This year, Volkswagen must find a way to reprise the greatness of The Force which it debuted during last year's Super Bowl. It'll be a hard act to follow but VW wants us all to know their trying really really hard not to let us down.

This Deutsch LA-created teaser, while not indicative of the actual content planned for this year's Super Bowl, is called The Bark Side and hopes to peak interest in what the automotive manufacturer has in store. Here's hoping they don't fall flat.

The teaser points to a microsite on which a full-blown, Star Wars-themed invite urges people to invite all their friends to a virtual Big Game party to be held January 27.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-19-12    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Super Bowl 2012



IBM's Smarter Planet Campaign Focuses on Smarter Analytics

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IBM is out with a new set of Smarter Planet commercials which focus on the company's smarter analytics. The spots touch upon predictive analytics, demand planning and cloud computing. The spots were created by Ogilvy & Mather and the production was handled by Psyop/Smuggler. After watching these ads it seems as if there's nothing IBM can't do.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-18-12    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns



McDonald's Pits Lumberjack Against Farmer in Sandwich Showdown

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This is kind of interesting. A new TBWA Paris-created commercial for McDonald's France pits a lumberjack against a farmer in an increasingly ridiculous competition of skills including bear fighting, field plowing, rock lifting, hay bale pressing and haybine lifting. All to promote two new sandwiches. You guessed it - the McTimber and the McFarmer. Quite amusing actually. Have a look.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-17-12    
Topic: Brands, Commercials



Jack Frost Terrorizes Family in Horror-Themed Adver-Movie

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This seems like a lot of work just to make people aware of the fact you're a company that comers to your home and fixes your furnace, your leaky pipes and all other forms of home tragedy. But, then again, how much fun would a routine, mundane ad be for a company that comes to your home to fix your furnace, your leaky pipes and any other home malady you might have?

So we guess it's all good McCann Erickson and Rubber Republic took it upon themselves to create Who's Going to Stop Jack Frost, a short horror flick that tells the story of a family terrorized by a mysterious Jack Frost. You can view the teaser below and the reveal here January 19.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-17-12    
Topic: Brands, Video



How Brands Can Engage Consumers With Video Syndication

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In this third outing of our video series, Future of Engagement, host Murray Newlands speaks with Alpha Bird Chief Revenue Officer Alex Rowland about how brands can syndicate their content through social platforms and websites via contextual links. Rowland discusses the benefits video can bring to a marketer's goals and the metrics by which such efforts can be quantified.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-16-12    
Topic: Brands, Video










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