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Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

How to Stand Out

Imagine being an HR representative. You are in charge of hiring and with unemployment rising, you’re flooded with applications. This past March, a high school janitorial position received a total of 700 applications. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Typically, advertising is known for eye-catching, creative applicants. For instance, a newly minted BA bought a wallet, put his resume on business cards and gave it to the ad agency secretary to “return” to the creative director. The creative director was confused for a moment when he opened the wallet and found a resume. While the creative director might only consider a few — if any — portolios that come across their desk, the intern was hired immediately. He stood out. The resume below captures that same creative spirit. This is Sean McNally’s (an artist and animator) resume: Consumers experience something similar to your HR rep: they see hundreds of brands every day. Even those that struggle to stand out are “just typical” ads.  So how do...

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Posted by on Nov 23, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

The Downside to Google’s Product Release Model

With every new product, Google first opens it to a small group of developers to work out the kinks. Then the product is handed off to a small group of influencers who generate buzz and the final step is a broad audience release. This model worked with such online staples as Gmail and Docs. Mainly because both web services could work cross platform — you could send and receive e-mails to and from your Gmail account to other services and Docs could work with Microsoft Office. Google engineers asked: why should Google Wave be any different? Collaboration and single party platform. Google Wave is powered by collaboration and does not work with other platforms. The product is only as interesting as the amount of people you have to share it with. So those with only a handful of invitations you might be able to chat with a few of buddies — not with everyone you might want to Wave with. Google failed to see the problem with their traditional...

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

Best of Us Challenge

The Best of Us Challenge is a competition to create some buzz for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It’s not your standard competition, however. It’s all about the b-sports like hula hooping. And to top it off, you’re being challenged by Olympians. Michael Phelps will challenge you to speed putting, professional snowboarder Lindsay Jacobells will challenge you to a hula hooping contest and the list goes on. And not only can you post your performance, you can create different challenges. Those contestants that come out on top get a chance to go to the Winter Olympics. This contest works on many levels to engage users that other promotional campaigns could take note from: Have Fun: Start with a fun concept. If you’re constantly thinking about how to make your product or service buzzworthy, you’re going to talk about the product or service, not the fun. Be Relevant: It wouldn’t make sense for the Winter Olympics to have mural painting contest. Though it might spark some fantastic user-generated art, it...

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

Ninjas and Rewarding Creativity

The other day, I passed a man with a sign that read, “Wife and Family Kidnapped by Ninjas. Need Money for Kung Fu Lessons.” Call me Scrooge, but I normally don’t give money to homeless people. Partly because I hardly ever carry change (and I have trust issues with my credit card) and if I do have change, how could I only give it to one person and not the other 3 people that ask? But for this guy, I could certainly spare a couple of quarters. If he was just asking for change, I’d keep my money. But I had to reward him for his creativity. The same principle applies to advertising. The typical message is, “could you give us your money because we have a better product?” Thank you for asking, but I’ll keep my change. You’re no better than the guy just simply asking for money because… what, he’s worth it? Inject some creativity into your message. It could be as simple as, “No dogs. No...

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Posted by on Nov 1, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

Alarm Clock and Understanding Your Audience

For my last birthday, I received an alarm clock with an iPod / iPhone dock so I could listen to music in the apartment (a CD player is as useful as an 8-track at this point). It had several great features including a play list alarm so I could wake up to my favorite song. It was what I wanted and so consequently, I stowed the other alarm. In the move from Rochester to Philadelphia, I started using the other alarm clock — as the iPod clock was in storage. When I finally unpacked in Philadelphia, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to use the iPod alarm clock. Then I realized the iPod alarm clock didn’t have the interface I needed in an alarm clock. The old alarm clock had the information I needed. When the alarm was set, I could see the time. Ok, so it’s not 7:00pm. I couldn’t tell when the alarm was set with the iPod alarm clock. Therefore, had I taken a...

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

Personifying your Audience

Think about some of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Roadrunner, etc. What do they all have in common? The cartoonists personified animals and even inanimate objects (think Spongebob) to make fun characters children grow up with. All of us have a favorite cartoon character we loved as a kid. We could identify with them. Our parents bought us the stuffed animals, countless plastic toys and video games. We have an emotional connection to these characters. Marketers can use the same principles that connected us with our favorite cartoons to better understand their target audience. Consider an organic soap company that wanted to target socially conscious Gen Yers. You could personify your demographic and psychographic by calling her Lili. Then you have to do some character-building. You can start macro with, where does she shop? What are her favorite brands? Is she single? And you can even project what she’s going to do: After she graduates, does she want to get married and...

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