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Branding

10 Lessons in Monetizing Content from Digital Publishers

Gear Patrol Sunglasses Beach TowelGenerating revenues from content is a tricky and even risky business, but it’s also essential for media companies’ long-term viability. While some digital publishers integrated the commerce side from the start, others have been busy catching up. Selected media brands shared their stories from the trenches at the Content to Commerce / C2C Summit in New York on Tuesday, hosted by Skimlinks, a content monetization platform.

Publishers large (Gawker Media) and small (Gear Patrol) dispensed advice ranging from the types of content that drives traffic to different format options and logistics. Interestingly, while Gawker has extended from content to commerce, Gear Patrol has evolved in the opposite direction. (Image above courtesy of Gear Patrol)

Below are 10 key takeaways.

1. Create commercial content that benefits readers:

Gawker’s priority is relevance to readers, and they use various methods to source optimal products, according to Erin Pettigrew, VP of business development. They utilized crowdsourcing and user-generated content when they asked readers for their picks of the best luggage carry-ons. Then they compiled the list and readers voted for the top five. They also feature tech deals on their sites like lifehacker.

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Lincoln Claims That All Those McConaughey Spoofs Are Great for Business

You’re not the only one still trying to figure out what the hell those Matthew McConaughey Lincoln ads were all about.

A few comedians found them odd enough to inspire a parody — and in another version of that endless cliche “all publicity is good publicity”, both marketers at the parent company and salespeople on the ground floor tell Automotive News that the mockery is good for business.

As a reminder, here’s the Ellen Degeneres take on the campaign:

So four million views there. And Conan O’Brien after the jump.

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18 Brands That Got Buzzed for #NationalCoffeeDay

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Coffee: its effect on human productivity may be up for debate, but thanks to the (good/bad) habits of PRs and our friends across the aisle in media, it will remain the hottest beverage on the planet for the foreseeable future.

Today is National Coffee Day, which means “every day” to those who, like us, drink about four cups every 24 hours.

For social media managers, however, it’s another opportunity to promote the buzz around their brands.

Here are a few that we noticed.

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Step Aside, Iron Man: Marvel Revamps Captain Citrus for Florida Orange Growers

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What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…an orange-clad superhero bent on selling you Florida-grown citrus fruit?

That’s right, folks; taking his place in a long line of Marvel superhero legends like Iron Man, Captain America and The X-Men, is Captain Citrus, a collaborative marketing creation intended to help Florida’s citrus growers boost sales.

The original Captain Citrus, a long-outdated mascot for Florida’s orange growers, was more or less an orange wearing a cape. In an effort to bring the spokes-superhero up to date (and borrow some of Marvel’s lately-booming thunder in hopes of offsetting declining demand for products like orange juice) Florida’s orange growers commissioned the famous comic company to redesign the Captain, complete with rippling abs, his own digital comic, and even an animated trailer. Read more

Planning a Rebrand? Tips for Creating the Perfect Logo

135 logo transitionsWith nearly a decade in business under its belt, the 135th Street Agency unveiled a new logo during a private dinner event last week to celebrate honors it received at the 2014 NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards.

During the dinner, creative director Shawndra Diaz told a story about being sidetracked by a hurricane this summer while preparing for her wedding in Puerto Rico. (!!) Inspired by that, you can see, in the center of the new logo, a replica of the swirl that shows up on a meteorological map when a hurricane is developing. Proof that the germ of an idea can come from anywhere.

And in keeping with the geographical theme of the original street sign, the hurricane swirl is surrounded by what resembles the modern map marker.

With their logo revamp complete, we thought we’d gather from them three tips for others who would like to freshen up their brand as well. Those tips are after the jump.

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The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) Refuses To Change Its Name

Most companies named ISIS have been struggling with how to deal with the now toxic moniker. But some, surprisingly are not.

The Institute for Science and International Security, or ISIS, is steadfastly sticking with the name.

“We’re not going to change our name,” David Albright told the National Journal. “We’re going to get through this.” The group looks at global nuclear programs and has a staff of six. Their Twitter handle is @ISISNuclear.

“Its recent work has been largely focused on Iran’s nuclear program, and the group has been looking to get a little extra publicity. But not like this,” writes the National Journal. Ha… yeah.

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Yum Brands’ New Concept Changes Logo Because Texans Hate Communism

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Ever heard of Banh Shop? If North Texas had its way, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity.

Banh is the shiny new toy of Yum Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. In the opinion of the powers-that-be at Yum, the bánh mì sandwich is the next new sub sammich, burrito, or fish taco. In case you aren’t familiar, we’re talking Vietnamese-style sandwiches made of meat or tofu baguettes with various accoutrements.

There’s only one problem: they’re all cooked by Commies!

Look at the picture and see if you can tell why this place freaked North Texans out.

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Radisson ‘Suspends’ Vikings Sponsorship; Will Other Brands Follow?

radissonDespite the “tsunami” of bad press that has begun to touch on NFL sponsors like CoverGirl via the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, we think it safe to say that most of the corporate names backing the world’s most profitable sports league will continue keeping the bench very warm until Roger Goodell does something that goes well beyond the poor management practices he’s displayed so far this year.

However, one brand did make headlines last night by becoming the first to drop its sponsorship: Radisson Resorts will (temporarily) suspend its relationship with the Minnesota Vikings. This move almost reminds us of the team’s decision to (temporarily) suspended running back Adrian Peterson himself when he was charged with abusing his son: the suspension lasted one game, and the team will allow him to continue playing while under indictment.

To answer the second part of our headline, then, the answer is almost certainly “no.”

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10 Brands That Tried to Newsjack the #AppleLive Event

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Different brands used yesterday’s Apple product launch in different ways: Samsung ran sponsored tweets to try and draw attention away from its competitor while Snapchat took the opportunity to ensure that a very unflattering press release received as little attention as possible.

Quite a few brands, however, saw it as an opportunity for some not-quite-real-time marketing to try and break through the 2.4 million tweets about the event.

They entered the social conversation with varying degrees of success (in no particular order).

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What Will Starbucks ‘Express’ Stores Mean for the Brand’s Culture?

I24905278_BG1f you’re addicted to your morning cup of Starbucks but are sick of waiting in long lines of giggling tweens ordering ten-word-long beverages before homeroom, the cafe chain has some good news for you.

In an effort to cater to busy commuters, the company plans to launch smaller, express-style stores with reduced menu items, mobile ordering, and digital payment systems, all with the aim of getting you on your way faster. This move comes as the coffee chain looks to further strengthen its already-successful drive-through stores, which make up about 40% of its US locations and already have a higher sales growth than its stores without drive-through windows.

Starbucks also plans to open at least 100 new stores in the next five years dedicated solely to its Starbucks Reserve small-batch arabica coffee line.

But if you don’t have to wade through a sea of aspiring novelists typing furiously on their iPads or listen to the Dr. Seuss-esque tongue twisters that are the epitome of drink orders, then are you really part of the Starbucks culture?

Well, in a word, yes; you’re just part of the other Starbucks culture. Read more

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