I'm fascinated by the way Twitter is portrayed in popular culture. Here are a couple of great videos on the subject. The first is Kevin Spacey trying to explain Twitter to the skeptical David Letterman. The second is a recent piece by the folks at CollegeHumor.
Note the distinct difference in humor. The first goes at Twitter from a social media newbie's perspective - depending on Dave's ignorance of Twitter for its laughs. The second pins its laughs on the audience's deep knowledge of Twitter parlance. Either way, Twitter continues to amaze with it's ability to get people talking about it. It's truly amazing how Twitter has managed to make its way into every nook and cranny of popular culture.
Is it possible that it will soon jump the shark?
As I often say, we are all ripe for parody. No matter what place you occupy in the media and advertising ecosystem - brand side, media sales side, agency side, vendor, social media "guru," or other - there's something below for you. Do note, though, that some of this is definitely NSFW...
Roasting the Latest Social Media Toy: "Twouble with Twitters"
Digging into Media Sales: "The Truth in Ad Sales"
Lampooning the Brand Folks: "Truth in Advertising"
Tough Love for the Media Industry: "Mad Avenue Blues" ... Read more
I've been at the IAB Annual Meeting for the last couple of days listening to the best in the biz talk about the great issues facing all of us in the digital media and marketing ecosystem. Despite the slowing growth in our sector and the abysmal economic climate, there is still a sense of energy, passion and immediacy in the room that I wasn't expecting.
In part, I think this is due to some great leadership on the part of the IAB. Randall and Wenda, the leadership at the IAB, have outlined in a very clear way the core challenges and opportunities for our space. They're thinking big and it seems to me that publishers and marketers are beginning to agree on the challenges, at least, if not how to overcome them.
Wenda opened the conference with a plea for creativity in online advertising saying we must all move beyond the chokehold that metrics, clicks and DR mentality have had on online advertising (riffing on her now-famous "pork-belly" analogy). Via ClickZ:
"Millard also took publishers to task for surrendering their inventory to third-party ad sellers and performance-obsessed agencies that don't have their best interests at heart. She blamed ad networks... Read more
When I'm not in the office I'm usually somewhere in the Sierra Nevada backcountry. My other passion in life, besides media and marketing of course, is mountain climbing and backcountry skiing. This past Sunday, as I was climbing Donner Peak, I noticed the below graffiti artfully placed on an old abandoned railroad tunnel wall. This area, incidentally, is legendary for having been documented in countless ski movies, so it has a ton of street cred with the extreme skier and boarder crowd.
Anyway, as I was pondering this piece of graffiti, the first thing that came to mind was, "Wow, Vans must be doing something right to foster that kind of brand loyalty and preference." Then I thought, "That's just a little too perfect. There must have been some Vans brand guy up here." Then I thought, "I wonder what the effective CPM is on that. A can of paint costs $5. Hmmm." Then I thought, "Maybe this is a new marketing niche. Clorox did some graffiti thing on the Broadway tunnel in San Francisco, right?"
Then I thought, "I need to get out of the office more."
Based on the recent success of some fantastic social and mobile apps, it seems that brand marketers have internalized two key lessons: First, understand the platform. Second, make your marketing useful.
The first example of a flawlessly designed branded social app that caught my attention was Burger King's much-lauded Whopper Sacrifice application. This application came to be through an intimate knowledge of the Facebook platform and a keen insight into a particular pain point of Facebook users (kudos to Crispin, Porter and Bogusky). It understood that first and foremost Facebook is a social network, not a media outlet. By directly leveraging Facebook's network functionality, the application tapped into the nerve-center of the system. And, by addressing a particular pain point of users, Burger King made itself useful while driving an incredible number of product trials. Facebook unfortunately removed the app, but alas.
Now, Kraft has created a marketing vehicle so useful and loved, that consumers will pay to be exposed to it. Let's say that again: consumers will PAY for this marketing vehicle. Kraft beat the first two requirements by a mile: They understand how people use the iPhone and they made their app very useful. But there... Read more