Archive for Dan Brooks

5 Reasons to Try YouTube Ads & Setup Tips

Posted by Dan Brooks on August 20th, 2012 at 9:26 am

While everyone who posts a video to YouTube holds out hope that their video will go viral, the truth is, the odds are slim of that ever happening. (Unless you specialize in Cute Cat Videos. Then, you’re basically guaranteed 18 bazillion views. That’s a scientific fact.)
The same is true for brands with video content (in a post earlier this summer, we documented the failed Men in Black III YouTube channel). Sometimes, you need to get out there and push. In online advertising, Google search, Facebook and Twitter get most of the press, but if you’re a brand with quality videos that you don’t think are getting the views they deserve, YouTube ads are a viable option. Here are five reasons why, along with some tips on how to optimize your ads.
Reason #1: Setup Is Easy
YouTube is owned by Google, and setting up a YouTube ad campaign is very similar to setting up an AdWords campaign. In fact, YouTube ads have been incorporated into AdWords, and that’s where you’ll create your campaign. The first thing you want to do, if possible, is link your YouTube account with your AdWords account. This gives you more robust analytics for your YouTube ads right... Read more

Progressive Vs. Matt Fisher & Social Media

Posted by Dan Brooks on August 16th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

We’ve talked about this phenomenon before, when it happened to Netflix and other companies, but a new social media revolt that has emerged in the last couple of days is particularly interesting: Progressive Vs. comedian Matt Fisher and Social Media. Fisher wrote a blog post called, “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance To Defend Her Killer In Court,” detailing how his sister, Katie, died in a car accident and the ways Progressive has tried to avoid paying the balance of her policy – such as providing legal assistance for the other motorist during the resulting trial. (This is is something Progressive disputes.) As a result of the post, Progressive was bombarded with social hate mail. It’s hard to blame people for reacting the way they did; it’s an ugly story.
But this whole issue, from the brand side, raises real questions about social media. Should all types of businesses have a social presence? Is there a quantifiable value in having Facebook and Twitter pages? Are you only on Facebook because your competitors are, and is that reason enough? Social has created a new dynamic in customer service and relationships, as things can get very public very fast, and the more damning the... Read more

3 Awesome July 4th/Summer Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Dan Brooks on July 3rd, 2012 at 9:03 am

Around almost every holiday, brands and stores launch marketing campaigns with the goal of promoting sales, generating buzz and reminding the world that, “Hey – we still exist.”
One of the most important marketing tools going today is email, where the stakes are perhaps biggest: brands have to strike the right balance between spammy/informative, fun/cloying, design smart/confusing. If people sign up for your email list, they’re more-or-less willing to at least hear you out, so a poorly constructed email is truly a missed opportunity. Here are some July 4th/summer email campaigns (all clothing related, just to narrow the playing field) that we think are doing it right.

For a clothing retailer without an online store, Uniqlo’s mastery of all things digital (its Pinterest page is awesome, if you haven’t seen it) is all the more impressive. The “Summer Festival” email campaign matches the visual style of Uniqlo’s stores and logo with a clear red and white color scheme, elegant design, and sale items easily laid out. It contains a lot of info – a calendar, product images, even an in-store drum show schedule (!) – but is successful because no single element detracts from any other, and it’s all easy to understand... Read more

4 awesome hockey websites

Posted by Dan Brooks on April 12th, 2012 at 10:51 am

If you’re like me, early and mid-April is among the most exciting times of year to be a sports fan. But it’s not because of the return of baseball; it’s the fact that the NHL playoffs are about to begin, and playoff hockey is awesome.
Just in time for the run for Lord Stanley’s Cup (Ahem. Go Rangers.), we’ve put together a list of four excellent online destinations for hockey coverage. Whether you’re bananas for the sport or just want to dip your toe in the water (or on the ice, zing), these will all help bring you up to speed. Game on!
1. The Puck Podcast

Hosted by Eddie Garcia and Doug Stolhand, The Puck Podcast is both professional-sounding and fun – not something easily accomplished. Eddie and Doug are extremely knowledgeable about everything going on with every team, so you’ll get a chance to learn about franchises in other markets and their third-line wingers you didn’t know existed. They’re opinionated (words are not minced regarding the controversial NHL shootout, or concussions and how the league deals with the questionable hits that cause them) and have great chemistry, with an easy banter. The show features audio highlights and clips and is updated... Read more

5 Digital Discoveries I Made in 2011

Posted by Dan Brooks on January 3rd, 2012 at 10:41 am

This was a big year for me, digitally. (I never thought I would write a sentence like that, but here we are.) In some instances, I found certain digital experiences that have made my life easier and I love; in others, certain digital content has made me realize that I prefer the old ways of doing things. In the end, I think I’m still navigating all the new advances and changes that digital is bringing to my life, just like everyone else is. Here are five big ones for me.
1. Digital Comics -  I am a huge comic book fan. I own north of 200 graphic novels and thousands of single issues, and I’ve worked as a freelance writer covering comic books. (I know, I know. But I’m a slightly cool guy and not entirely socially inept, I swear.) In the last couple of years, comics have been in trouble. Rising prices, declining readership – the usual. Many fans are worried about the future of the business, but there’s hope.
I was dazzled when I saw my first comic on a friend’s iPad. The colors were vibrant, the images sharp, and reading was a breeze. It’s an entirely new experience –... Read more