After attending the Ypulse conference in San Francisco earlier this week, we've come to realize a few things about teens, tweens and the marketers who want them in their back pocket. Sometimes it seems like today's marketers are falling into the same potholes our predecessors did: trying to deconstruct cool, relying too heavily on surveys, and forgetting that before we're marketers, we're consumers. We've been consumers all our lives. That experience is our biggest trump card.
Another thing we don't realize is that generations of kids, teens and adults also fall for the same potholes their predecessors did. What we need to remember is, no matter what age we are, we all suffer from a bit of age elitism.
Starbucks Gossip pulls this quote from a BusinessWeek piece: "Once the undisputed king of premium brew, Starbucks is suddenly besieged by tough competitors" - the toughest of which is McDonald's.
McDonald's? That's a far cry from yuppie-ville. Just goes to show that no matter how much care you put into picking the best swatches and prettiest cafe art, in the end you've still got the Golden Arches to reckon with - the dowdy Wal-Mart of fast food.
What, did you think the world was a romantic place?
While it might have been a bit less than imaginative to begin Mad Men focusing so heavily on the impending doom of tobacco marketers, the AMC debut was quite good in our eyes and illustrates things haven't changed since "the good 'ol days." In an early scene talking with his boss about pitching a Jewish department store account and how it would be nice to have someone Jewish in the pitch, series's star Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, offers, "you want me to run down to the deli and grab somebody."
- If you haven't seen it, here's Al Gore's speech he gave at Cannes about climate change about how the advertising industry can effect it. It's in three parts. Here, here and here.
- The Age of Conversation, a book written by 100 marketing bloggers and writers the wordl over, just went on sale today. You can check it all out in this Advertising Age story.
- If you want to read blog posts by celebrities, politicians and business leaders who don't even know they are writing them, head over to News Groper.
- Google has released AdSense for Mobile beta.
Back in the day, people scoffed at the practice of parting with cash to acquire a bottle of water, a product readily available free from any faucet. Now, water, a product which costs its makers next to nothing to produce, is standard fair in convenience and grocery stores the world over.
An alien visiting from another planet might think this paying for water thing is one of the most illogical of all observed human behavior but he would be wrong. Until he observes humans paying $40 for a bottle of Bling H2O marketed by none other than the ubiquitous bare-assed, sex-sells hottie, he won't have a true understanding of how the human race has "evolved" since his last visit.
While our alien might hypothesize anyone marketing a bottle of $40 water must have their head up their ass, the ad will certainly confirm that assumption quite clearly.
Factory Publishing launched a contest for The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore, an online graphic novel with a Matrixy premise that revolves around a United States controlled by - get this - British gamers.
Jonas Moore fans can mash up, remix and otherwise stir the soup of various graphic novel media to create their own music videos.
To demonstrate that all's well on the CGM front, Factory sent us this recent montage put together by an artist called Emeson for his song Maybe We Energise.
The song has its moments and the tame, carefully-selected imagery is occasionally cool, but the whole thing rings too much like an agonizing 20 minutes spent watching a video collage at somebody's wedding: self-indulgent, too long, and uninteresting to non-fans.
The inaugural Miami ad:tech show, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center June 26-27 was a success by my metrics. It was well attended. It offered content not found at other ad:tech conferences and it opened the eyes of many to the burgeoning Latin American and Hispanic marketplaces. While many of the panelists and speakers agreed definitive research on the space is lacking, there is no doubt each demographic group has left its minority status behind and are fast becoming a major influence on the American scene. And "they" isn't even the proper word. After all, there's really no "we" and "they." There's just "us." Americans. The people that live together on this soil, fuel its multi-faceted culture and buy a lot of stuff.
Perhaps to the dismay of college students across the nation, 40 percent of Facebook's audience, following the lifting of membership restrictions in September, is now over the age of 34. It's not like we didn't see this coming since day one. What was once an exclusive social network for 18-22 year olds (or anyone with a .edu address) is now home to the masses. The much older masses according to new figures from comScore.
Since September, membership has jumped 89 percent from 14 million to 26.6 million as of May. Fully 10.4 million members are 35 or older. Though that's a significant shift, the biggest growth came from the 25-34 set which jumped 181 percent and the 12-17 set which jumped 149 percent.
Let's be realistic. Artsy qualities aside, one of the biggest selling-points for European films in the US market are the sex scenes. The hot, steamy, sometimes seamy or wholly improbable sex scenes.
With that in mind, YouTube user EUTube released a montage called Film Lovers Will Love This!, in which a bunch of steamy moments from EU films (well, mainly Amelie) are knitted together to join in one harmonious slogan: "Let's come together."
Supporters call it a celebration of European cinema but British Conservative MEP Chris Heaton-Harris called it a "cobbling-together" of "44 seconds of soft porn" that wastes taxpayers' money and does nothing to solve the European film industry's "image problem."
We figure it's a little lopsided to glean quotes from a British publication when it's the Italians, Spaniards and French doing all the grunt work. After all, where do you find those racy PSAs we love so much? Not at the home of Big Ben.
Like hidden dirty images in family-friendly Disney posters, easter eggs have always been a favorite of designers the world over to express, perhaps a twisted sense of humor or, simply, to just have fun. Now, apparently, Hide This Thing wants to create a community around the practice and even create a common visual easter egg language of sorts. Like a digital flash mob, Hide This Thing hopes to create mass appearances of various objects inside TV commercials, print ads, websites and anything else a creative lays his hands on.
We do wonder though if "making official" easter eggs doesn't detract from exactly what they are supposed to be: crazy one-offs that express something the individual was feeling at the moment of creation. You decide.