'Opinions' Category

Jumping to Conclusions on the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by Tom Hespos on August 27th, 2014 at 6:38 am

If you were going to jump to a conclusion that a fundraising meme is stupid, everything about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge would have made that easy.
Outwardly, it seemed ham-handed in its approach to raising money to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  People urged one another to pour buckets of ice water over their heads in order to avoid donating to ALSA.org, and making videos of it seemed to be something that just about everybody online had an urge to do.  When sized up as a strategic marketing tactic, the Challenge appeared to be working against itself.
That wasn't the only thing people disliked about it.  Some didn't like the notion that it seemed to be driven by human narcissism.  Others wondered aloud why people seemed so eager to dump freezing water on their heads when donating seemed to be a more attractive alternative.  Still others wondered whether anybody making the videos had learned anything about ALS - what it is, and what it does to people afflicted with it.
As of this writing, I've not been formally challenged, but I will admit that when I first saw the videos beginning to build viral momentum, my immediate reaction was negative.  In a... Read more

Why Building Your Brand Is All About Sharing Your Values

Posted by Dave Hawley on August 26th, 2014 at 9:01 am

As a brand manager, it is your responsibility to make people of different demographics, geographical locations, and socioeconomic statuses feel like members of one collective whole--your brand tribe.
Brands need values that hold their community together, and as a smart tribe builder, you must show these values through both words and actions.
By identifying the interests and values that your ideal customers share and demonstrating that your brand shares those values through the conversations you start, join, and share, you bring about stability and growth for your brand.
Richard Branson provides a great example of digital tribal leadership. When you go to the Virgin website, instead of finding goods and marketing slogans, you find a regularly updated blog with Branson’s environmental initiatives, startup tips, political commentary, and more. There’s virtually nothing about what Virgin sells--in fact, linking from www.virgin.com to anywhere you can buy stuff is challenging. You get the impression that Branson is trying to save the world rather than convincing you to buy something.
By spreading awareness of Virgin’s values, beliefs, and actions, Branson allows people to identify with Virgin and feel like part of the imagined community.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD
Enter The Dollar Shave Club. Whoever is behind the... Read more

The Coming Age of Content Relations

Posted by Zach Weiner on August 25th, 2014 at 10:00 am

The marketing industry sits on the ledge of a deep precipice at the moment. Over the past decade we have been handed the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, when it comes to the ability to target audiences, captivate them, and create conversations. The digital universe broke down many barriers the corporate world faced in order to directly communicate and it broke them down quick and effectively.
Social media meant the ability to reach out and have a direct dialogue that wasn’t cultivated through expensive creative development. Blogs gave companies the ability to act as publishers themselves and fill audience voids, especially when it came to the long tail and further broadcast their messages via a multitude of novel channels. On the earned side, during the past decade a massive amount of third party blogs went mainstream, meaning that PR pros had an easier job targeting a new breed of journalists that would write about their initiatives. And so both took off running. Every agency turned their clients into publishers and every marketer began to fill our eyes, and ears with a plethora of information.
But in 2014 it’s beginning to hit critical mass. More and more content is going out,... Read more

Why Innovation Isn't Always Positive

Posted by Chris Arens on August 20th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I'm sure most of you have heard that there are two sides to every story, or that for every positive there is a negative. For some of you who enjoy pontificating on paradoxical challenges such as these you might have surmised that our entire world is made up of opposing forces. Think about it a battery has a positive and negative side, volume up (+) volume down (-), temperature (I mean why is Kelvin not just "0" rather than -273.15 degrees?), and even basic numbers have a positive and negative attribute. Lastly, the Earth is controlled by two magnetic fields playing off of each other creating Poles (i.e. polar opposites). So given this dynamic and ever-present relationship with one another, I've come to realize that for everything in our world there is a seemingly positive and negative state - One man's heaven is another's hell!

Recently, I've been studying up on human behavior, and really all of us in the advertising and marketing world should always be brushing up on this subject matter. Through my studies though, I've found that our brains are attuned to creating efficiencies in our everyday lives. It's how we can go from a band of wild... Read more

The loss of loyalty and the birth of premium content experiences

Posted by Richie Hyden on August 20th, 2014 at 10:00 am

The explosive growth in digital video consumption is no surprise, as brands are allocating more of their budget and adapting campaigns targeted toward video. Along with breaking streaming records, the 2014 World Cup showed us how effective creative brand video advertising can be. Nike, who was not the official sponsor, set records with its World Cup branded video campaign, which had nearly 259 million True Reach views. This was 2.5 times that of Adidas, the official World Cup sponsor. Brands will and should adopt similar strategies. But while delivering millions of impressions is great, especially around major international events, most of those do not come close to achieving the reach and frequency of the desired target audience.
Innovation in technology and data science are helping advertisers and publishers navigate through the Rube Goldberg contraption that is the digital video ecosystem, but the question still remains: How do you reach target consumers and cultivate loyalty when your audience is fragmented and scattered?
This is a cross demographic challenge, but it’s especially acute within the Millennial generation. Millennials are leading the race in online and mobile consumption, views per session, short-form consumption and preference of digital over TV. While certainly not a cohort... Read more