Archive for June, 2009

Brand loyalty or fear of change?

Posted by Matt Kapko on June 26th, 2009 at 12:00 am

There's a lot to be said about the fear of change. Barack Obama recently described some people's reluctance to his healthcare plan in these terms: "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't."
It may not have been the most politically savvy move to compare his healthcare proposal to anything having to do with the devil, but he got his point across nonetheless.
That same problem seems to follow Microsoft and its search products, regardless of the changes introduced by the software giant over time.
A usability and consumer preference study by the Catalyst Group concludes that even if Bing proves to be as good as Google, it might not matter because of the strength of Google's brand, TechCrunch reports.
All in all, two-thirds of focus group used by the firm said they mostly preferred Google due to familiarity and that Bing's improvements simply are not enough to make them jump ship.
Microsoft "created something as good as Google and that is not good enough," Catalyst CEO Nick Gould said.
This might help explain why Microsoft is spending $100 million to market Bing to the masses.

Orbitz' Twitter ticket to 10K more followers

Posted by Nanette Marcus on June 26th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Travel company Orbitz jumped on the latest Twitter marketing bandwagon earlier this week when it announced a contest via the microblogging site on Wednesday. The prize? A free round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. The catch? Twitterers had to follow @Orbitz and then retweet a message about the contest.   According to TwitterCounter, Orbitz' followers jumped from 2,809 to 13,853. And although TwitterCounter projects nearly 20,000 followers for Orbitz by tomorrow based on the previous growth spurt, that's doubtful without another contest.   It remains to be seen whether any of the numerous Twitter-tied contests prove to increase engagement (and sales) or if they become flashes in the Twitter pans.          

Is it possible to make meaningful brand connections with Generation Y?

Posted by Zaw Thet on June 26th, 2009 at 12:00 am

It's hard to achieve brand loyalty with any generation, but especially with Millennials. I'm sure that I don't need to make the case for why creating brand loyalists is important, but two essential reasons boil down to: 1) If you create loyalists when they're young, your sales trajectory and pass-along has a longer lifespan; 2) As anyone reading up on modern brand building probably already knows, the power of one passionate consumer combined with spiffy amplification tools (social media) can translate into thousands more customers hearing about your brand based on recommendation.   Still, pervasive noise in our culture makes this much harder to achieve and "experts" tell us we've engendered a highly fickle batch of individuals – drug of choice? Choice. Like every generation in turn,  Gen Y is increasingly distracted. The New York Times, Business Week and New York magazine all devoted articles within the past few weeks to our national attention deficit:  the un-doings caused by multi-tasking in manifest digital forms, and the resulting shift advertisers must take toward leveraging social media influencers. Maybe you don't remember the good old days - when people shopped by brand, and purchase decisions were driven by the long-term brand capital that premium... Read more

Warning: Cannes can make your head hurt

Posted by Dean Donaldson on June 25th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Cannes is still in full swing for some, but I have bailed out. Perhaps it's an age thing, but I simply can't keep the pace with the plethora of Young Lions who have descended upon Cannes this year. Parties aside, is our industry getting younger, or am I just getting older? Maybe both? And that's to say nothing of my memory – I have decided Twitter is my new online notebook. So reading back over my notes, let me summarize my own key take-away's from Cannes 2009 for you:  
The 10,000 foot view of Cannes shows there is a complete blur across the entire media landscape. Digital has well and truly begun to permeate everything. It throws questions on the various categories when Cumminsnitro from Brisbane's 'Tourism Queensland' campaign– The Best Job in the World – takes the Grand Prix sweep stake for Direct, PR & Cyber awards. Where does one discipline end and another begin? Go Viral's Chairman, Jimmy Maymann may well have made the case early on when he suggested the 'median age for TV users are actually now 13 years higher than the general population.' Nigel Morris, CEO, Aegis could not have put it more succinctly when... Read more

Yahoo's new look isn't very new at all

Posted by Matt Kapko on June 25th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I'm no visual expert, but I sure hope Yahoo has bigger plans for its site redesign. The beta for Yahoo's revamped homepage definitely doesn't pack the punch that Yahoo should be going after with its new look and feel.
After languishing and getting beat up by stockholders and the press for this long, I hoped Yahoo would aim for something bigger. Sure the new icons are a little better and the site is cleaner, but it doesn't scream "we're finally ready to take on Google!"
Since the still in beta and Yahoo has reportedly pushed the site's official re-launch back to the fall, there's still time for the online media giant to make that great second impression it so badly needs.
Yahoo's stock prices have gone up slightly since the dismal days of last summer and some confidence seems to be restored, but Yahoo would be wise to use this opportunity to break the mold it has squeezed itself into.
Do a side-by-side comparison of the beta homepage and the current homepage and tell us what you think.