In this week's Times Magazine, Clive Thompson (or @pomeranian99 on Twitter) described in his "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You" article how "incessant online contact" encouraged by tools like Facebook's Newsfeed and microblogging platforms like Twitter, has created "ambient awareness." Whether we tweet in 140 or less, post on each other's wall or upload photos, videos or Utterz, we're creating and curating a public record of who we are, what we like, dislike, what sparks our interests and what we care about.
This article left my head buzzing with the implications of this new "ambient awareness" and in particular, what it means for brands.
When wandering through the aisle of any given grocery store, it's fairly easy to be overcome by the 6 billion types of cereal, 26 versions of Triscuits, 152 brands of potato chips and enough different kinds of ice cream to make one's head explode from brain freeze. So it is with welcome relief Masterfoods' Revels is keeping its flavors to a minimum.
Sapient, who, it seems, hasn't been in the news since the digital boom of 1999, is out with a sponsored study of chief marketing officers which resulted in the creation of a "top ten list for agencies of the future." At the risk of boring you with the details of a study that offers no new insight, here's the list:
1. Greater knowledge of the digital space. (Seriously? That's a stunner!)
2. More use of "pull interactions." (Oh yes they did. They created a new buzzword for social media)
3. Leverage virtual communities. (Apparently, none of the surveyed CMO lived through the Second Life debacle)
4. Agency executives using the technology they are recommending. (It would certainly be nice but, in most cases, it's never gonna happen. By definition, most senior management is disconnected from reality.)
- Bill Clinton received a warm...and appropriate...welcome message from a local Denver strip club during the Democratic National Convention.
- Want to quit your job in style" Check out Droga5's Quit in Style site they created for the YoungGuns Award.
- Pingdom examined traffic for ten social media sites over the last year. Digg still tops the list but the piece points to some interesting trends.
- Agency GCI Group and game developer Launchfire Interactive have created several online games to help promote the Dell Latitude E-Family line of computers.
- Damn Receipt aims to achieve brand love by hooking up people and brands. The site allows people to upload a copy of a shopping receipt. Marketers can visit the site and pay the person.
Social media analytics company Collective Intellect tracked eight Beijing Olympic sponsors between August 2 and August 13 to determine the amount of social media brand lift the sponsors achieved. Tracking blogs, social networks, forums and other "online conversations," Three brands saw significant increases in activity. CI found a 51 percent increase for McDonald's, a 141 percent increase or Visa and a 17 percent increase for Coke. The increases represent in-context association between Olympic-focuses content and the brand.
It's about time.This sort-of-but-not-really recession has had everyone talking for, well, years, it seems. Today, we have some meat on the subject. And it isn't tasty. The Association of National Advertisers has released a study citing 53 percent of surveyed marketing executives expect their ad budgets to be reduced withing the next six months and 87 percent are already identifying cutbacks.
Areas cited for cuts are media (69 percent), travel (63 percent), production (63 percent) and new work (61 percent). Of those already planning cutbacks, 50 percent expect a ten percent reduction, 27 percent expect an 11-20 percent reduction and ten percent expect cuts or more than 30 percent.
Brandchannel's Brandcameo, which conducts product placement in film studies, found Ford appeared in 57.7% of number one films from 2007 to 2008. This year, Ford won its third brandcameo Award for Overall Product Placement for its consistent presence.
From the study, Brandchannel's panel selected the following winners in an online poll:
Most Mouthwatering, placement most likely to prompt an immediate purchase: Louis Vuitton in Sex and the City
Perfect Fit, best chemistry between a brand and a film: Manolo Blahnik and Sex and the City
If you're into reports then you've heard of MarketingSherpa. If you've bought their reports, you know they're good. If you sometimes can't get approval from your management to buy the reports, you may be in luck. For the next three days, MarketingSherpa is offering a 30 percent discount on all reports.
Why? The company is moving to bigger office space and, well, perhaps they just felt like being nice. Here's some of their most recent reports:
- B-to-B Lead Generation Handbook
- 2008 Landing Page Handbook
- 2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide
- 2008 The Online Advertising Handbook + Benchmarks
- 2008 Email Marketing Benchmark Guide
Yes, Adrants does get a percentage of the sale but I've read some of these reports and they are excellent. If you want to call this an advertorial, feel free to do so. I just think it's something nice we can do for you.
And by "understanding," that is to say "We'll buy your ad space, you write us up nice and pretty."
A funner statistic: one in five senior-level marketers admit their organizations have purchased advertising in exchange for an online news story, likely even favorable. These figures are up slightly from last year (17 percent versus this year's 19 percent), when five percent admitted to either paying editors or giving them gifts in exchange for upbeat coverage. It's all here, sugar booger.
And just so you know? Yeah, presents, particularly of a monetary or vice-oriented variety, work a lot better than lengthy pitches that start with "I am such a fan!" Products work too. That's what's called "market research."*
Image credit: Delightful Deliveries, which has yet to surprise us with gift-wrapped gratitude in exchange for pushing its logo in this piece.
You gotta love skinny models. They wear clothes well, improve sales, make other women feel bad. The best part? They don't eat. Think of the savings!
A survey of 194 female college students, aged 18-24, found women feel uglier after seeing thin models. They are also more likely to buy products held in a gamine's claw than from ads with "regular-size models." (Here's a secret: none of us enjoy being characterized as "regular." It's like being called "homely" -- a big fat fucking slap in the face.)
Seeing thin models also made women less likely to accept a snack pack of Oreo cookies offered as a thank-you for their participation in the study. Well, no shit.
You know what a woman does want to do after seeing all those runway waifs? (Second to shopping, that is.) Drink. A lot. And that's why we're so keen on Gawker's coverage of the same survey. It's right next to a banner ad for Sobieski vodka. That's targeting to win!