Friday, March 28, 2008

What Cuss Words Bring the Table

I love curse words. I love them so much that speaking appropriately around my future child scares the shit out of me. But can curse words make better advertising?

Here's an example a car insurance company trying to cut through the clutter. They are probably reaching out to young men to get attention. Well they got mine, I didn't know that with a good credit score and education I can get car insurance at better rates. Fucking sweet!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I love this movie

And the fact I can do this

Long Live the Internet Music Marketplace (and Talkies)

Today I read a Times article, a TechCrunch post, and A VC's blog post about musicians their ability (or lack thereof) to monetize their content.

The VC blog post sums NYTimes article and Arrington. It's here:

A VC: Moving The Goalposts

I love music, I love bands, and I've treked far and wide to see musicians play and I've never stolen a song in my life.

That said, I don't care about musians getting paid. Not even a little. Business models change. I worry alot more about the American auto workers than musicians. There's a lot more of those guys, and if I can reconscile my dogmatic belief in the free market with screwing those guys over (as hard as it is), than musicians aren't a blip on the radar.

When movies became "talkies" the stars of American cinema that couldn't be compelling past their pretty face were out. This is no different. Tomorrow's musicians that can't make a living off of live touring, one to one outreach with fans, and merchandising are out. And that will lead to better music in very much the same way sound led to better movies.

What does that mean. More musicians touring and fighting harder for each fans. We'll probably see better talent in smaller clubs more frequently. Bands will put more effort in building a community out of their fan base and inspiring enough love amongst fans to get them to shell out real coin for collectables. Those making music to get laid and cash in will quit faster. Success in music will be more about the road than the destination, those giving it go in this marketplace will be pre-qualified when the end game isn't as rosy.

Yes, there will be less bloated rock stars selected by a king maker radio or studio exec's. And yes, there may be less money in it for artists. Maybe this new model will push some very solid bands to an unsustainable income, and they'll be lost forever. We will gain far more bands than we will lose with the democratization of audience access. I've spoken with some GREAT bands, that aren't rich by any standard. They've made their piece with it, they can get by. Its a shame, but its rock and roll and they like it. Maybe that's what makes them great.

Market forces inspire plenty of creativity. The great ones will find a way to get a good number of people to love them. Maybe that won't bring in enough money to "make it rain" but enough to keep doing what you love, and the great ones will still have it pretty good. Trust me.


So let's see how easy it is to embed a playlist on my blog. Good music can be found here:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Colorwar 2008

This is pretty bad ass.

Colorwar 2008

Simple, unique, familiar. Maybe it could've been executed a little slicker without having to go to Flickr but there's alot to like here. Especially for students of the art of RoShamBo.

If this was an entrance to a contest that would be finished in front of national audience for prizes, I'd totally watch.

The RoShamBo Open. Love it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One to Grow On... For Marketers

Here's an example of how a brand develops a personal relationship with its target. It is not MASS marketing, its smaller and more targeted and can create a deeper connection than standard advertising.

Jason Calcannis founded Silicon Alley Reporter, and Weblogs and is kind of geek famous. He blogs regularly, and updates his twitter a couple times a day and I track him as do 12,000 other people (a number that’s growing rapidly day over day) He’s a bit of a pompous jerk, but very smart. I track him because his ideas and thinking are useful to me professionally and he’s a wise ass and I’m curious to see which significant tech power player he’s going to pick a fight with next. Tonight he organized what he called Dim Sum 2.0 where he invited tech entrepreneurs, marketers, programmers, and writers to get together for Dim Sum at a place in China Town tonight to talk technology. The invite was extended through his blog and twitter feed. I would’ve been there but I’m in LA.

Around east coast dinner time in my twitter feed I saw this from Calcannis:

I'm streaming live right now, come chat!

1 minute ago from web

At his link he ran around with a video enabled cell phone and filmed the event. He kibitzed with other tech geeks while 500 people chatted live, and he spoke to them and shared their comments with other geeks.

For most people the content sucks, but they're not Jason Calcannis fans and they have little or no interest in him or what he’s talking about. But I do. When he tells people from ValleyWag to fuck off, that’s entertaining to me because I know the back story. When he talks to the founder of Trender about when they met in 1995, and saw the Mosaic browser, and believed in the internet when no one else did, that was cool b/c guys like that are pioneers to me. Take the nerdness out of it. Everyone has things they care about like this and our brands can draft off them.

I don’t think Qik or Twitter or a Blog is any more answer to communications challenges than Dim Sum is. It’s the frequent contact that’s always fresh, its inclusion of the audience with the brand, it’s the real-time interaction, and its niche content that matches a target audience. A blog and twitter and Dim Sum are tools to help you communicate more frequently with those that are interested and give your customers what they want.

You don’t need a twitter strategy we need an engagement strategy (knowing about the tools how they are used just opens up possibilities)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And the meek shall inherit awareness

A great line in otherwise shill filled keynote today by David Carlick (Doubleclick founder/ investor). I could be mad, but he gave me this line to think about (and probably copy and take credit for) so job well done.

He was talking about how much harder it is to truly engage someone than buy a GRP at them. I interpret “harder” as expensive, time consuming and personally risky.

I think as a marketer you need to be honest about this. Each marketer needs to answer the question, “Do I want to impact tons of people a little bit (awareness), or a smaller number of perfect people a lot (engagement)”. If both, what’s more important? How do I spread my scarse resources (i.e. time, money) against these goals? This is going to vary from business to business.

But regardless of business once you make that choice I think there are some consistent best practices about how you allocate funds within the awareness and engagement filters.

Awareness = lots of media, lower investment in creative/ strategy/ and campaign stewardship.
Engagement = Creative/ Strategy/ Stewardship gets a lot more money and the media budget should shrink.

If you stick to an awareness based business model and try to generate engagement you’ll fail quickly. But if you stick with model you know and never fund engagement in a manner and scale that is logical you’ll fail slower.

And the meek shall inherit awareness and weaker brands.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Planting Seeds and Harvesting Crops

A smart guy once told me that advertisers are either planting seeds or harvesting crops. What he meant was advertisers were either generating demand for a product or they were taking existing demand and turning that into money.

When Bob Iger said, "I'm not worried about Google cannabilizing our advertising." I thought of this statement.

Google (all search really) is a fantastic tool for taking existing demand and turning it into money. Disney uses it to take existing demand of its content, harvest the demand into visitors, and sell other advertisers the opportunity to plant seeds. Advertising around (and yes even interrupting) content is a one (of many) tactics used to plant seeds.

Now is interruption the best tactic to do this? No. There are deeper ways to plant seeds w/ people through engagement and CRM. However, the ability to scale the reach of your seed planting is limited compared to interrupting great content. Interruption can go wide but not deep, engagement can go deep but not wide. An advertiser needs all of this. And impactful creative has to be everywhere.

This doesn't mean it will always be the biggest piece of the pie, or detract from the value of generating engagement but if we think interruption is going away completely we are kidding ourselves.

Disney's Iger: No AOL Bid

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friendfeed Makes the World's Collide

A couple former Googlers created this social network aggregator and it bubbled up on Techmeme. I saw a line about "2008's Twitter" so I needed to check it out.

What it does is brings all your social networking venues such as Twitter, Google Reader, Delicious, Facebook, Blogger all together in one stream that you can view and publish.

Problem for me is, I use all of these services quite differently. I'm experimental in Twitter and Blogger. I use Google Reader as a personal link archiving tool. I use Facebook to keep up with real friends. I use Delicious to promote social learning at my company.

By putting all this info in one place it zaps some of the value of each. As a content producer it bothers me. But as a viewer, I think I might enjoy tracking people across different vehicles, I might learn useful things or see a more complete picture.

What can marketers do with this? First they have to make the commitment to be a social marketer, then a diverse social marketer, then an aggregator of their own diverse voices. Is it worth the time and money, that's for you to decide.