Dance for me Dufon!

March 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Campaigns, Mobile Marketing | Leave a comment
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Everyone knows that the iPhone has opened doors for new and innovative marketing efforts. With the advent of the App Store, companies have been able to create cool new ways to interact with their customers. One of the newest things to hit the iPhone is an ad that uses the phone’s motion-detecting feature. It’s the newest form of mobile marketing out there, and it’s pretty cool.

Dance for me Dufon!

Dance for me Dufon!

So what trendy company is introducing this new type of advertising? Oh, it’s Dockers. Not exactly the company I would expect to release a tech-savvy ad, as I equate with 45+ year old men. But according to the director of brand marketing, Dockers is trying to align themselves with a younger, edgier crowd. Their new iPhone ad is targeted towards 30-39 year old tech-savvy men, which falls within their new target market.

Dockers decided to use the iPhone as their medium so they could target their audience “when and where he’s open to our message.” According to AdAge,

The placement of the interactive ad in gaming applications makes a strong case for the target consumer to engage with the brand. “He’s in a gaming mode and in the mood to be entertained,” [Dockers director of brand management] said.

The ad features Dufon Smith, a self-proclaimed “freestyle expressionist of dance,” wearing a pair of Dockers khakis. Each time the user shakes the phone, Dufon performs some of his dance moves. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I’ll leave you with a video of Dufon doing his thing. Amazing.

Want to be on American Idol?

March 5, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Campaigns, Web 2.0 Strategies | Leave a comment
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Now you can, even if your voice is reminiscent of a dying cat.

American Idol Judges LOVE Their Coke

American Idol Judges LOVE Their Coke

We all know that Coca-Cola is a proud sponsor of American Idol. Since season 1, Paula, Randy and Simon have guzzled their beverages from those delightful red cups. Let’s be honest, though- they’re getting a little old. This past week, Ryan Seacrest announced that American Idol viewers can log on to My Coke Rewards to design their own version of the Red Coke Cup.

In addition to designing your own Coke cup, you can vote on others’ designs. One of the cups featured on the website will eventually be the Judges’ next cup.

Coke’s use of crowdsourcing is extremely fitting. The entire premise of American Idol is that the decision of the next big pop star lies in the hands of the viewers. Each week, millions of people text or call in their votes for their favorite singers…so why not let the fans decide what the judges should drink out of? It really is a phenomenal idea, since Coke already knows that AI fans enjoy interactivity and will get involved.

Log on to My Coke Rewards and Choose the Next Judges' Cup

Log on to My Coke Rewards and Choose the Next Judges' Cup

I wrote a post about crowdsourcing last month, and at the time I wasn’t sure how I felt about the practice. I have to say that, depending on the situation, crowdsourcing can be a great way for consumers to 1) interact with a brand, 2) “make their mark,” and 3) feel as though their opinion/voice/creativity matters. It truly is a win-win situation.

UPDATE: As of March 5, 2009 the Nielsen IAG Product Placement Activity Report shows that Coca Cola has the largest amount of product placement occurances on television (58) between Feb. 2 – March 1, 2009. The top show with instances of product placement? You guessed it.

“Separate but Equal” Campaigns?

February 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Campaigns | Leave a comment
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Marketing to minorities: ethical or not?

When I first started thinking about it, I had no qualms with a company creating a separate marketing campaign to target minority groups. The “Me Encanta” campaign from McDonalds seemed harmless enough, translating slogans and catch-phrases into Spanish and featuring Hispanic men, women and children in their advertisments. They have a different culture, so why not celebrate that in a McDonald’s campaign?

Well, the problem lies in the fact that when a company creates a campaign around a specific ethic group, they are in a sense segregating them from the rest of Americans. Is it: They’re Hispanic, they have a different culture than White Americans, they need a different campaign designed for them. Or, is it: Let’s celebrate their culture and speak to them in a way that they will appreciate.

I think there is a very fine line drawn here between celebrating and honoring the diversity in our country and furthering the separation of minority groups from the rest of America. Many students in my class have suggested the use of “culturally senstive professionals” to oversee these sort of campaigns to make sure they are not offensive in any way. During a time when the minority populations of America continue to grow at an increasing rate, I think this is an exceptional idea. Having someone on staff that would be able to communicate which ideas perpetuate stereotypes, and which actually speak to the members of the minority communities would be invaluable.

I’m interested to hear your opinions on this topic. What do you think?

How Obama Changed the Face of Campaign Marketing

January 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Campaigns | 3 Comments
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In honor of yesterday’s presidential inauguration, I wanted to take some time to look at the 2008 Presidential campaign. Let’s put aside the issues and political parties, let’s leave Sarah Palin’s perfectly-styled hair alone… let’s talk about the marketing efforts of the Obama camp.

Pioneer of Emerging Media

Rhinestone Obama: Pioneer of Emerging Media

Obama has changed the way presidential campaigns are run. He has connected with the American public in a way not seen (or heard of) since FDR started his fireside chats. But how did he do it?

New Tools to Reach a New Generation

Obama used the iPhone to reach his audience by creating an application which announced news about the campaign and local events. Users could also text their friends through the app to spread Obama's message.

Obama used the iPhone to reach his audience by creating an application which announced news about the campaign and local events. Users could also text their friends through the app to spread Obama's message.

Never before has a presidential candidate texted voters; I’m pretty sure John Kerry didn’t have a Facebook page; and I’m positive that Al Gore was not updating his status on Twitter. But Barack Obama used these tools to his advantage. He understood that the youth vote was becoming ever-important, and the best way to reach this demographic was through emerging media tools. Besides his normal campaigning activities (speeches, television commercials, debates, etc.), Obama integrated the following marketing tools into his campaign:

Obama’s team understands the importance of information, and they understand how quickly this generation expects to receive information. In the age of technology, voters do not want to wait for the daily paper to arrive the following morning to know who was chosen as the candidates’ running mates. Voters don’t even want to wait for the 10 o’clock news. They want the information quickly, and they want it where they can easily access it- online, and on their phones. Obama used this to his advantage when he announced the addition of Joe Biden to the ticket by text message.

Change We Need

As many of you will recall, the 2004 election was gory. Tons of negative ads, limitless finger pointing, false reports

Americans left the door open for Obama's new marketing efforts.

Americans left the door open for Obama's new marketing efforts.

how depressing. With everything else that was going on in 2008, I don’t think Americans wanted a repeat performance. While John McCain continued to use television ads as his main marketing avenue, Obama saw the need (and desire) for change. The overwhelming desire of the American people for something new coupled with all of this new technology opened the door for whoever wanted to step through. Obama took that step, putting him leaps and bounds ahead of McCain as far as marketing is concerned.

It is clear that Obama has completely changed the way presidential campaigns will be handled in the future. Not only will candidates pay closer attention to the youth vote; they will pay close attention to the emerging tools through which they can comminicate to their audience.

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