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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Seifert’

Op-Ed: Don’t Ask Me How I Feel; You Stopped Caring Years Ago

Ladies and gents, meet Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten, group director of planning at Huge who picks up the baton from Josh Seifert on monthly writing duties. In her debut column on this here site, Alber-Glanstaetten, who’s also worked on the strategy side at Organic and Razorfish during her career, shares her thoughts on Facebook’s new emoticons feature.

I’ve never been a fan of the emoticon. Perhaps it’s generational – or my own form of language snobbery and elitism – but whenever I see grownups using smiley faces in a sentence I just want to issue the common parental command “use your words.” So you can imagine my feelings about the news that Facebook has added emoticons to its arsenal of self-expression.

Not only does it add to the injustices inflicted upon the English language of late, but I believe it actually pushes Facebook further away from its stated intent of connecting people. Over the last few years, Facebook has succeeded in commoditizing our relationships with each other – remember when you used to visit your friends after they had kids rather than leaving it at a Like and a comment on their photo album?

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Op-Ed: Real-Time Marketing Shouldn’t Be Real-Time Spam

Our monthly contributor and Huge client services director, Josh Seifert, returns post-SXSWi to pen this ditty to, as mentioned above, talk real-time marketing in the age of social media. Why bore you with the preamble, though, just read on.

As a marketing professional working in digital, brands like Oreo getting attention in social media is pretty exciting for the shift it represents. As a consumer, the notion that brands en masse should enter social media and begin tweeting, pinning and posting about everyday happenings is more like a dystopian nightmare. Individual brands that have committed themselves to exploring what’s possible in social media, tying it in with broader marketing programs and shifting their approach when necessary can be exciting and creative—the Old Spice YouTube response videos are a great example. Brands that perceive social media as free media with a low barrier to entry may actually be poisonous for everyone else.

A common theme that seems to reverberate from social media professionals advising brands is the need to “be human”  to be successful. Really, this is a polite way to say that every instinct towards managing brands in traditional communications will prove limited and transparent in social media. Basically, brand-controlling memos like this one from Wheat Thins that Stephen Colbert read on air are not human and won’t translate into social media success. What it doesn’t mean, as this short tumblr nicely illustrates, is to generate nonsense content that may be timely, but isn’t actually valuable.

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Op-Ed: The Super Bowl’s Big Brand Wins Aren’t What You Might Think

Our final day of Super Bowl ad-related coverage (we hope) continues with the return of our regular contributor Josh Seifert, now client services director at Huge, who took January off but is back to share his thoughts, on, among other things, how Twitter (along with the Ravens, of course) emerged victorious from Sunday night’s big game.

As a paid member of the advertising industrial complex, it’s my job – like it probably is yours – to pay more attention to Super Bowl advertising than any normal person. This year, because so many ads were available to watch online before the game, I was able to spend more time in the commercial breaks evaluating how much attention they were getting from the people I was watching with who don’t work in advertising. It should come as no surprise that while there’s still curiosity in the advertising sideshow, most people are far less invested in the commercials than we all are.

At a macro level Super Bowl media is powerful, measured to be effective, and drives business performance for many brands advertising. It’s by and large entertaining, even if only to wish that a particular spot could be “unseen.” Best of all, every day people actually do seek to watch some commercials—at least purposefully seeing them — instead of merely regarding advertising as for some sucker easily manipulated out of their purchasing free-will. But, despite all this, the masses weren’t banging down the doors of the nearest store on Monday morning to stock up on pistachios.

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Op-Ed: Technology Is Not Enough – What Marketers Can Learn from ‘The Daily’

As is the n0rm, Huge marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert returns with his monthly submission, this time veering from politics to the much-publicized death of News Corp’s iPad-only trade, The Daily. Here, Seifert offers more of a lesson for marketers instead of a lament, but why put words in his mouth. Take it away, sir.

What’s left to say about The Daily? As everyone knows by now, News Corp. announced plans to shut down its iPad newspaper this week. While media coverage has included speculation about causes like debatable editorial quality and residual fallout from the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal in the U.K., to me the failure is a salutary example of what happens when a company employs technology for technology’s sake. While The Daily may have been an admirable attempt by News Corp. execs to skate to where the puck is going, just because mobile phones and tablet devices are being rapidly adopted by consumers does not mean consumers were ever ready to use them as a replacement for Murdoch newsprint.

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Op-Ed: As Worlds Collide, How Can Advertising and Digital People Coexist?

Huge marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert returns with his monthly contribution to this here site. This time around, our scribe discusses the relationship between advertisers and digital folks as, to use a Costanza-ism, their ‘worlds are colliding!’ Can they understand each other better as the convergence continues? Let our old pal Josh break it down.

As marketing communication becomes increasingly digital—mobile, display advertising, online video, social, digital out of home and in-store, etc.—the future won’t be about digital agencies and traditional agencies, just agencies, each hired for their unique perspectives and skill sets for solving client challenges. This evolution is already making digital marketing the center of competing skill sets—advertising communication versus digital experience design.

The biggest challenge for agencies is that these approaches are rooted in two differing ideologies, currently colliding. Advertising people and digital people tend to be from different—and often hostile—tribes. At best, communicating with one another is like traveling to a foreign country and speaking very loudly and quite slowly in hopes of being understood.

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Op-Ed: What Marketers Can Learn from Amazon, Apple about Creating Exceptional Experiences

Huge marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert returns with his regular monthly contribution to this here site, and on a week when his agency’s been all over our radar (by sheer coincidence, we assure you). Anyhow, with the iPhone 5 reveal still very fresh in everyone’s minds, Seifert discusses how the tech giant and others like Amazon could teach marketers a thing or two about customer experiences.

On Wednesday, Apple announced the iPhone 5 and reminded us all that the leaders and innovators in the digital world don’t really do that much in the way of digital brand advertising. Instead of running campaigns and managing ads, they spend their energy turning what’s possible with technology into something that makes a customer’s experience just a little bit better.

Apple’s brand communications—from integrated ad campaigns, to retail posters, to the language that Apple Geniuses use to troubleshoot customer problems—are all maniacally controlled in the most traditional and exacting manner, to great effect. Digital, and social media in particular, frequently underperforms within this framework and Apple elects not to actively participate. Aside from the obvious industry transformations—music, mobile, publishing—enabled by Apple products and services, the company uses digital to make its retailing and service experiences easier and more convenient for customers. Apple has done this for years with its customer support communities and message boards and, more recently, with a mobile application that lets you check yourself out and pay for your purchase in a retail store all by yourself.
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Op-Ed: Missed Opportunities at the Olympics

HUGE marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert returns with his monthly submission to this here site. This time, our scribe discusses, what else, the Olympics and NBC’s coverage of the event. Without further ado…

Over the past week, there’s been no shortage of conversation about NBC’s Olympic coverage, most notably the lack of live television coverage for high-profile events. Time and AdAge have both pointed out that higher than expected television ratings have actually made the coverage more successful than predicted. This is great news for NBC, but given the company was willing to accept losses of as much as $200 million on their investment to secure the broadcast rights in the name of building their brand, you would be forgiven for assuming that significant attention would be paid to ensuring NBC’s digital experiences enhanced the brand as well.

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Op-Ed: Maybe Abercrombie Should Call Its Agency?

HUGE marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert is back for his monthly contribution to this here site. In his latest entry, Seifert discusses why the viral “Call Me Maybe” redo from fave “bro” brand Abercrombie & Fitch was a “missed opportunity.” The floor’s yours, sir.

In the past four months, since Justin Bieber et al. made this video, dancing to the pop hit “Call Me Maybe,” there’s been no shortage of parody videos, and compilations of everyone else’s parody video. Love or hate the song, it’s wildly popular as are the spoofs on YouTube with millions of views. Every week there seems to be a new parody launching, from the Harvard baseball team—and subsequently every other sports team that travels by van—to Sesame Street. There’s no shortage of people and groups using the popularity of the song to have some fun and get their own few minutes of fame.

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Op-Ed: Let’s Stop Pretending Facebook Ads Benefit Users

HUGE marketing strategist lead Josh Seifert has returned with his monthly contribution to this here site. As the headline suggests, Seifert now weighs in on the value (or lack thereof) of Facebook advertising.  Take it away, sir.

When General Motors announced it would be pulling millions of media dollars from Facebook it highlighted the ongoing tension between advertisers – who want more compelling ad units – and Facebook’s purported defense of the Facebook user experience.

Facebook has always claimed to stand for the user, but a popular Geek & Poke comic captures the cynical reality—if you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold. Moreover, the idea of social ads as a user-centric model is more than a little flawed. One user’s experience as the unwitting Facebook spokesman for a 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant makes this clear.

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Op-Ed: What’s Wrong with Digital Awards

Now that he’s done pontificating about Pinterest for the time being, our regular contributor and HUGE senior marketing strategist Josh Seifert returns in time for awards season. As the headline suggests, our scribe points out how digital has evolved, but digital awards–eh, maybe another story.

With this year’s marketing awards season in full swing, I recently took a closer look at what’s winning awards in digital these days. With full credit to everyone who recently took home a CLIO or a Webby, I have to admit that digital awards have become a bit of a head-scratcher for me. If awards are meant to recognize excellence in the medium, I’m not sure what’s going on.

The Webbys are possibly the highest profile digital awards and, honestly, have done a great job of raising the profile of digital in websites, online film, interactive advertising and mobile, in too many subcategories to count. Each year, I log in to vote in the People’s Voice Awards (usually at someone else’s behest) and, after arbitrarily casting a few votes, quickly become bored and abandon the site. The field is simply too broad, maximizing the number of winners (and entries), at the expense of the overall relevance of the awards.

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