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Digital

UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

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I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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Impulse Buying Reaches New Level: Now You Can Add Things to Your Amazon Cart from Twitter

#AmazonCart_ Add it Now. Buy it Later. Shop from within Twitter. - YouTube-1As if the “buy with one click” option wasn’t dangerous enough, now Amazon is allowing customers to add items to their shopping carts via Twitter by using hashtags.

“No more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” says a female voiceover in an ad explaining the new feature (after the jump), and it’s clear from her exasperated tone that such tasks have obviously been the most inconvenient, exhausting, intolelrable parts of consumers’ lives. Finally, our cries for relief have been heard!

Once you link your Amazon to your Twitter account, whenever you see an Amazon product link in a tweet, you can add it to your cart by replying to the tweet with hashtag #AmazonCart. It’s basically another virtual way to make impulse purchasing even easier than grabbing that candy bar at the Target checkout.

Aside from impulse purchases, though, this just seems to us like one of those “improvements” that might actually be less convenient than the traditional process. Read more

STUDY: Mobile Marketing Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

gty_smartphone_ll_130104_wmainThink it’s only Millenials clogging up store isles while pausing to check their smartphones for coupons and better deals on the items they’re about to purchase? Think again.

According to a Thrive Analytics study recently released by the Local Search Association, Baby Boomers and seniors are catching up to their younger counterparts when it comes to actively using their mobile devices throughout the local purchasing process. The data suggests that it may be important for businesses to invest in their mobile presence and marketing in order to attract and retain not just younger customers, but those of all ages.

While 97 percent of Gen Y respondents said they use their smartphones at least sometimes when shopping in-store, 69 percent of seniors and Boomers admitted to doing the same; sure, the younger crowd is still ahead, but the majority of the older crowd is taking part in mobile — that’s pretty huge. Read more

Internet Week New York Is Around the Corner

Internet Week New York 2014 Design Within Reach1 Cropped“People ultimately want homes that work, and they don’t want to think about repairs. In the future, with smart homes and the ‘Internet of Things’, your home will take care of you”. Those comments were made by design specialists during a recent Internet Week New York preview panel. Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development, slated to open starting in 2017, serves as an example of high-tech, low- maintenance homes.

While residential projects like these are farther away on the horizon, Internet Week New York is only a month from now. The weeklong citywide festival showcasing the impact of technology on business, entertainment and culture will take place starting May 19. While 250  events will be held around town, Internet Week HQ is Metropolitan Pavilion, a spacious venue conveniently located in Chelsea.

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SheKnows Needs Original, Timely PR Pitches

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SheKnows.com is a no-nonsense, service-driven site that gets 68 million monthly page views. It’s known for its broad range of content that aims to empower women, making it perfect for PR pros hoping to showcase their clients to a female audience on a constant hunt for everyday solutions.

Lauren Swanson, director of editorial operations, advises that publicists pitch original angles that readers can use. Also, be aware of the editorial calendar and make sure seasonal items are pitched one to two months in advance:

[Swanson] says the website gets plenty of last-minute holiday-related stories, but they don’t typically accept them unless it has “social media mojo.” “We generally ignore pitches that are not relevant or clearly skew toward promoting a product,” she says. “Our bloggers generally curate products based on research and testing, so we are not inclined to pass along PR product pushes unless the product is innovative.”

To hear more about the mag, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: SheKnows.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Creators of ‘SkinneePix’ App That Slims Your Selfies Seem Undeterred by Criticism

600Can incessant positivity and unwavering insistence save a company’s product from rampant, biting criticism? The creators of the new SkinneePix app — which lets you shave 5 to 15 pounds off that selfie you just took  — are doing their damnedest to prove that the answer is “yes.”

The app is the first one released by company Pretty Smart Women, comprised of Phoenix residents Susan Green and Robin J. Phillips. The couple got the idea for the app while on vacation with friends; everyone kept taking selfies, but no one liked how they looked in them.

“It’s not that they hated their body, they just didn’t like how they looked in the picture,” Green told the LA Times. “For as long as anybody can remember, there has always been that thing: the camera adds 10 or 15 pounds to you. That’s why we’re not going over 15 pounds.”

But not everyone is buying the claim that the app has nothing to do with self-hate or the controversial societal norm of digitally manipulating human beings to reach unattainable ideals. Read more

Brand Moves: Audi Snaps Into Action and E*TRADE Scraps the Cheeky Baby

Audi Snapchat Dog Courtesy of HUGEBeing a brand that’s witty, irreverent or challenges convention isn’t so easy, especially since those companies set the bar high and their customers come to expect unique, creative ads and social communications. Two such brands, Audi and E*TRADE, shared their stories at Ad Age’s Digital Conference this week in New York. Audi detailed their use of Snapchat during the Super Bowl game, and E*TRADE discussed their decision to end their popular baby ad campaign.

Audi picks up the pace: “Being a challenger brand gives us an edge”, said Anna Russell, Audi’s general manager of brand marketing. She outlined the car brand’s core messages: they’re “champions of progress”, using LED lighting, they “challenge convention”, particularly with their Quattro system, and they’re a “brand of action” and frequent sports sponsor.

Still, as Aaron Shapiro, CEO of their agency, HUGE, noted, with the Oreo effect, “now every brand is piling on no matter how relevant or not” in real-time marketing during events. He said Audi didn’t want to use a “me-too strategy”. (Plus, they needed to be careful since they were involved in a 2010 Super Bowl campaign controversy).

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More Online Fashion Brands Eyeing Retail Stores as Core to their Business Models

Warby Parker Store UES Window Final“We’re trying to blend both worlds so they complement each other”, said Tim Riley, director of online experience at eyewear brand Warby Parker. He spoke on a panel recently about web-based fashion companies at FIAF (French Institute/Alliance Francaise). Warby Parker is one of a number of fashion brands in the post-startup phase that’s ventured into retail space. Another panelist, Mollie Chen, editorial director of Birchbox, said the beauty products packager is planning to open its first store in SoHo.

Digital-only brands have long been perceived as more cost-effective since they don’t need to pay steep expenses for designing and maintaining posh locales and sales staff. But internet-based companies have found that online-only doesn’t work for all categories. The in-person experience also adds a valuable dimension, forming a holistic customer relationship.

These two brands tested the waters first before investing in retail locations.

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STUDY (and not-so-Breaking-News): Digital Reporting On the Rise

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Yes, behind every online breaking news report is a homeless-looking hipster pushing the buttons.

Everyone, say it with me: “Digital Native News.

ICYMI: This is the future of journalism. Ask any reporter in print, broadcast, or online (obviously, there), and they will tell you the same thing. And although many journalists are unfortunately getting demotions and pink slips in their annual reviews, the Pew Research Center came out with this report about “The Growth in Digital Reporting.”

And the infographic after the jump is worth printing and pasting on your bulletin board.

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Analyze This: The Latest Digital and Consumer Intel from ARF’s RE:THINK Conference

Do Not Disturb Sign Final CroppedComing to terms with issues surrounding big data and digital’s vast terrain seems like running on an endless treadmill. But at ARF’s RE:THINK 2014 conference in New York this week, attendees found some answers to dilemmas like online consumer privacy, what drives contagious content and defining digital metrics. A research survey, mnemonic device and reference guide all contained clues, and below are key takeaways.

Consumers’ reaction to online privacy incursions: Do not disturb.
“The creepy part of privacy invasion is when they get it right”, said Communispace‘s chairman, Diane Hessan. Her firm collaborated with Pew Research Center, conducting research among 50 global communities, to understand tradeoffs between online privacy and personalization.

The key finding: 86% of consumers would stop data tracking if they could. Only 14% would like to receive targeted offers based on purchase or browsing histories. Older consumers are more concerned with privacy, and younger ones are more open to offers. Online users want to avoid invaders like hackers or advertisers, finding targeted ads to be annoying, creepy and intrusive.

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