Should Your Next Ad Be Funny Or Bash Your Competitor?

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You don't require a TV to see a commercial these days. Thanks to the Internet, commercials can now be e-mailed, shared on Facebook and tweeted about - all potentially resulting in millions of additional views.

To receive more views and a lasting impression, companies are competing in this advertising arms race. Two tactics have risen to the top.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-22-13    
Topic: Opinion



7 Ways to Improve Your Ad Agency's Efficiency

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Nothing loses an agency client faster than inefficient process and the frustration it causes. Not even Cannes-winning work can keep a client if the agency can't manage the relationship properly. Earlier, we wrote about the impact of industry consolidation and how it has affected the ability of the acquired agency and its holding company siblings to work smoothly and efficiently.

Here are seven tips you can put to use right now to ensure your agency is serving your clients swiftly, effectively and efficiently - like the proverbial well-oiled machine.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-21-13    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Tools



Why Every One of Your Clients Needs to See 'Gravity' in 3D

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You know you've made a staggeringly good film when the commercial director sitting in the audience sits slack jawed for almost the entirety of the thing.

That's Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron's 91-minute space blockbuster that everyone in the ad business needs to see, like, right now.

Like any good director, I've experienced hundreds of films in cinema, but as I sat in the 3D IMAX theatre, I struggled for a way to accurately and fully describe Gravity. "Spectacle" didn't quite cover the exceptional narrative tension. "Experience" just sounded understated.

In the end, I landed on "3D Cinematic Symphony."

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by Steve Hall    Oct-17-13    
Topic: Opinion



Why Marketers Shouldn't Panic About Email Filters - At Least Not Yet

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Email filtering is a hot topic right now. And it's not hard to understand why. We spend more time reading and sending emails than we do at almost anything else. How much time? The average person spends a mindboggling 28% of work time reading and responding to emails. No wonder we always feel like we can't get enough done.

The latest big headline comes from The New York Times, which recently ran an article about retailers who are freaking out about Gmail's new folder for promotional emails. The new feature automatically filters most branded emails into a separate folder but also places a "Promotions" tab atop the main in-box so that the quarantined emails are only a click away.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-15-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Research



Does Big Data Ruin Creativity?

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The term "big data" has become quite prevalent in the marketing world lately. In a previous Central Desktop article, I examined the notion of big data and how it pertains to how brands and agencies work today. We started with a simple definition of big data.

In our marketing world, big data describes the plethora of information we have accumulated through the monitoring of consumers as they browse, socialize, search and purchase online. Every time a person visits a website, a cookie is dropped within their browser. Every time a person responds to a call-to-action from a landing page, data from the form they filled out is captured.

That's just a small example of big data's makeup. Dan Zarrella, HubSpot's social media scientist, told me a little bit more about the kinds of data that are important to marketers and agencies - and how marketers and agencies should be using that data.

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by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-13    
Topic: Opinion



Is Influencer Marketing Dead? What Will Replace It?

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There's been a lot of talk about social media influence and its role in the new consumer decision journey. Big brands are not only buying into the concept of leveraging people with influence, but are spending serious money. From Polaroid actually hiring Lady Gaga to a study showing that the majority of marketers are allocating budget to influencer marketing, it's clear that companies are keen on figuring out how to leverage "influencers."

But what many brand marketers don't realize is that influence doesn't matter unless the influencer is willing to endorse your brand and its products. Jay-Z won't promote your phone charger unless you pay him (a lot) and bloggers are starting to demand the same.

Moreover, brands don't trust social scoring tools anymore, as they only measure potential influence.

So what's a brand to do?

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by Steve Hall    Oct- 1-13    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Social



3 Ways to Make Content Marketing Meaningful

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Over the last few years, much of the marketing world has turned to content marketing: the idea that the best way to engage with audiences and raise your visibility is to share robust, usually educational content for free. This content takes many forms - blogs, videos, podcasts, books (and particularly ebooks, given their ease of distribution), material on social media, and more. Basically, anywhere and any way that folks learn.

Recent studies have, time and time again, shown the the same thing: content marketing works. It works in large part because there's a hunger for substance in marketing - for folks to talk to one another, teaching and sharing knowledge, rather than talking past one another with fluffy pitches. But as the research has shown, it's not just a feel-good strategy, but a serious driver of growth. So how do you go about implementing it for your own organization?

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by Steve Hall    Sep-26-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Publishing, Research



The Pros And Cons of Prankvertising

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Prankvertising, an advertising strategy that makes its point by tricking, scaring, or "pranking" an unsuspecting person or audience, seems to be the hot thing in advertising these days. It's riding on a push from marketers who believe that content creation is the best way to get and keep a brand in front of consumers online. They may be right about content creation, but when does a prank go from good advertising to a bad joke?

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by Steve Hall    Sep-24-13    
Topic: Guerilla, Opinion



4 Tips For Dealing With Difficult Clients

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In my years as an agency media director and account director, I worked with many different personality types - including one long-term client who, for many years, wouldn't respect me or my work. One day he angered me so much I screamed at him for five minutes straight, telling him I knew exactly what the hell I was doing and he should shut up and listen to what I have to say.

While I certainly don't recommend letting your anger get the best of you or screaming at your clients, in this particular case my years of attempting to placate, coddle and generally bend over for this particular client never worked. It wasn't until I stood up to him with the same forceful authority he always commanded that he respected me. And from that point on, our relationship was wonderful.

Read the rest on the Central Desktop blog.

by Steve Hall    Sep-13-13    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion



Why Kenneth Cole's Syria Tweet Was Smart Marketing

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You've heard the old adage "any publicity is good publicity," right? When marketers are on the receiving end of "any publicity," that usually means bad publicity. And it's usually not intentional. Oh, sure, there are marketers like GoDaddy and others who play the "banned ad" PR card by claiming a network banned their commercial from the Super Bowl when, in fact, the brand never had any intentions of running the submitted version. But for the most part, marketers avoid bad publicity like the plague.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-11-13    
Topic: Opinion










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