June 19, 2007No Comments

ON: Verizon’s Action Hero

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Verizon knows what audiences like, themselves. The Action Hero site dives deep with the 15MB of fame theory by allowing visitors to
embed their faces into a slick summer blockbuster-style CGI action
sequence. I imagine that sort of curiosity
and vanity were part of what motivated the 11,000+ visitors to create and post movies on this site. (vanity was my push... i looked hot with a ripped super jock body!)

In the Action Hero site, Verizon addresses a factor often
neglected when creating good user generated content platforms. Users
expect something back. The process of creating my character and
determining my action sequence seemed a fair exchange for seeing
myself in the scene. The process was intuitive, clear and designed with the lowest common denominator in mind.

Customizable options and freakishly well done graphic
renderings made me into an action hero.
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In all my years in the "pushing the envelope" game...I did have a "How did they do that?"  moment when I watched a reasonably
accurate CGI replica of myself strut around the crisply-cut scenes.

Like most popcorn computer animated flicks, the movie itself is fun to look at and browsing the gallery was an
oddly addictive experiment in people watching.

I suspect this site will succeed at making Verizon's link to tying the
entertainment experience in with the product benefits as well as will dazzle their core target. The technology
behind it feels like magic and will certainly position the
brand as one that knows its what it takes to impress its consumer.

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As I watched the 100MB file creep onto my desktop, it
occurred to me that if I did not already have broadband, I would
certainly need it then. Well done RGA & Verizon.

See the site at http://actionhero.verizon.com/

ON: Verizon’s Action Hero via @jpenabickley

March 28, 20073 Comments

ON:Lonely Planet TV

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Yet another video beta.  Enter Lonely Planet TV. Focusing on consumer travel this new travel video channel, packed with stuff shot all over the world by Lonely Planet TV and independent travelers like you.

ON:Lonely Planet TV via @jpenabickley

January 31, 2007No Comments

ON: Nike’s The Second Coming Mashup

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For a marketing trend to be legit, Nike jumps on board and makes it legit, letting everybody else make mistakes before it swoops in with its gigantor marketing team and victorious hear-me-roar worldview.

To illustrate, they improved on Dove's decent but docile Real Beauty campaign, not just representing imperfections but embracing them with manic ferocity, even writing little manifestos about the merits of thunder thighs - which would be crazy-lame if done by anybody else but Nike.

So it's apt that they call their take on consumer-generated ads "The Second Coming”.
And instead of begging for whatever you can pull out of your tushi  (a method yielding only ironic or lackluster <http://tinyurl.com/lvok7> results), they've wrapped an iron fist around the potential outcomes.

With footage featuring all-stars like Bryant, LeBron and Nash, users can manipulate the order of the clips and choose a version of a hand-picked theme song, The Second Coming by Juelz Santana and Just Blaze.

Stringent much? Hell yes. Nike's careful about the brand appropriation beast. While such controls get frowns from zealous consumer-is-king marketers, the swoosh goddess didn't become an ideology powerhouse for nothing.

Users can download their mash-ups or disseminate them on mobile phones.
No promises of ad spots here. This is less a consumer-generated ad thing and more an interactivity-with-the-brand thing. And these days, we like that somebody has the discipline to hold fast to their position.

Visit this site - http://www.nikemashup.com/

ON: Nike’s The Second Coming Mashup via @jpenabickley

December 21, 2006No Comments

ON: Starbucks

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When reading through the Starbuck Gossip blog what you find is that if read enough and you’ll notice that consumers wonder about things we’d never think that they’d wonder about. Like all consumer generated content, many of the comments are more telling than the initial posting.

ON: Starbucks via @jpenabickley

December 18, 20062 Comments

ON: Drive Sales by Directing Searchers to Forums

By now it's something every marketer knows: That smaller -- albeit
powerful -- group of brand fans can have an exponentially greater
influence. But what many don't know is how to use search and social
media to turn up the volume on these people.  Search is built on forums.  You have to have a strategy that says: 'Let's
make sure the opinions of these people are heard.'"

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Research from Yahoo and ComScore underscores how valuable doing so can
be. Brand advocates of auto marketers, for example, influence 52% more
people than none advocates. The reason why they should is simple math. Of about 144
million internet adults, about 13.5 million purchased a vehicle in the
last six months. About 5.1 million of those were advocates who, on
average, talked to about 20 people each about the purchase, for a total
of 105 million people. About 8.3 million of those car buyers were
nonadvocates, who talked to eight people about the purchase, for a
total of 69 million people who heard about it.

The research pinned some digital traits on these influencers: They
conduct about 25% more online searches, they have wider online social
circles, are 119% more likely to use instant messenger and 40% more
likely to use podcasts. And about half have written about their
purchases online.

They're also more than twice as likely as nonadvocates to lead to
sales. About 718,000 friends purchased cars recommended by the 5.1
million advocate car buyers while 502,000 people purchased cars
recommended by the 8.3 million nonadvocate car buyers. And perhaps
surprisingly, advocates are more likely to talk about positive
experiences they've had with brands than nonadvocates are.

Don't fear spontaneity
B
rands
should be less afraid of all the spontaneous chatter about their
products going on throughout the internet because it's actually more
positive than most marketers might assume. For example, a search on
Flickr for Pringles reveals hundreds of pictures showing the brand in
an innocuous -- and often creative -- light. People find a much bigger upside than they were aware of [when it comes to online brand chatter].

Examples of how advertisers are using those influencers through
social-media programs such as the Honda Element MySpace program, a
Nikon-sponsored Flickr gallery and a deal between CompUSA and
Bazaarvoice, a company that helps retailers add consumer reviews to
their sites.

Pattern changes
CompUSA, for example, bought the keywords Sony-plus-review and sent
searchers not to the Sony section of the CompUSA site but to the Sony
user-review section of the site. Doing so sent sale conversions soaring
60% and each purchaser was spending 50% more than the ones coming
through the official Sony section of the CompUSA site. Thanks to the internet, purchasing patterns have been irrevocably
changed and now we're showing word of mouth has been irrevocably
changed.

Don't try too hard
If a marketer screws up in the
social-media space by, say, selling too hard or obviously or trying to
censor negative comments, the repercussions can be more severe.
There's a stronger impact when you do it wrong in social
media than when you mess up in a TV commercial because it's
more personal. Imagine, if I threw a dinner party and then
tried to sell you Tupperware afterward. You'd never come back.

ON: Drive Sales by Directing Searchers to Forums via @jpenabickley

December 17, 2006No Comments

ON: Contest Invites Women to Submit 30-second Spots for New Cream Oil Body Wash

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Unilever's Dove is joining the growing ranks of brands enlisting
consumers to do the work their ad agencies once did. It's asking "real
women" to create TV ads to run during the Academy Awards on ABC Feb.
25.

In an e-mail today to members of its online relationship-marketing
program, Dove began seeking entries for a 30-second ad to promote a new
product, Dove Cream Oil Body Wash.

The e-mail directs people to DoveCreamOil.com, a site hosted on Time
Warner's AOL, which provides online tools, artwork, photos and music
for creating ads, and also allows consumers to upload their own files.
"You don't need any special skills or experience," the e-mail says. 
Actress Sara Ramirez is also touting the program on tonight's "Access Hollywood."

Three finalists will win trips to a private Academy Awards viewing
party in Los Angeles, and the winning spot will run during the Academy
Awards broadcast. The contest is open only to women and, of course,
only to amateurs.

WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, handles creative for the
brand, and MindShare, New York, handles media. Independent Edelman
Worldwide, New York, handles public relations.

ON: Contest Invites Women to Submit 30-second Spots for New Cream Oil Body Wash via @jpenabickley

October 24, 2006No Comments

ON: Consumer Generated Content

Even when you do not what the consumers interaction, you get it.  I was in the subway last night and was admiring the Bob Dylan special poster and noticed that two consumers had begun a handwritten chain of comments on Mr. Dylan’s music and his contribution to American culture.

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It just goes to show you that consumers think that have the right to
create, comment and propagate their thinking on your campaign, brand or
promotion.

Graffiti or consumer generated comments?

ON: Consumer Generated Content via @jpenabickley
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