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Posts Tagged ‘eBay’

Google Has Become eBay’s Panda in the Butt

google-panda-ebay-and-hackers_2-1

As a copywriter, PR professional, and overall Class-A nerd, I love Google.

Why? If you understand the ‘Google Zoo’ — Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird — then you would know about the many changes Google has made to the search algorithms. In fact, the Internet guardian has practically declared war on Black Hat hackers and other ne’er-do-wells living in Mom’s basement with the latest version of Alienware.

NEWS FLASH: Google is making us better writers. Of course, in the process, they are so angering brands who spam the Internet. Latest on its ess-list is eBay. Not good.

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Arby’s Spent $44K on Pharrell’s Silly Hat (for Charity)

In a little stunt that almost got lost in the Oscars noise as everyone and his mother (literally) shared Ellen’s selfie, Arby’s decided to buy the brown, oversized fedora that won Pharrell so much attention on Grammy night for a $44,100 steal via eBay. You know, the Vivienne Westwood one that he supposedly bought in tribute to late producer Malcolm McLaren and his 1982 classic “Buffalo Gals.”

The one that looked exactly like the black hat he wore at the Oscars last night.

As if the guy didn’t already get enough attention…

Some details after the jump.

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Patagonia Claims to Sacrifice Profits for Social Responsibility

Crunchy.Granola clothing brand Patagonia‘s success tells the tale of a company that turned corporate social responsibility into big profits, but now they’ve launched a campaign called “The Responsible Economy“ designed to convince anyone who’ll listen that they care more about the former than the latter.

Oh, really?

The ad on the left appeared in The New York Times during Fashion Week, and it’s just the latest step in Patagonia’s ongoing drive to define itself as the very antithesis of what it really is—a big, popular company that recently celebrated its 40th year spent selling pricey outdoor wear.

The point of this ad was to highlight a new initiative that fits within the larger campaign by giving customers store credit to trade in old clothes before the company “reconditions” them and sells them as used or “worn ware.”

Here’s proof they’re not messing around:

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(Most) Brands Avoid PR Fails on MLK ‘Dream Day’

In an honestly surprising turn of events, we’re glad to report that the vast majority of brands avoided any serious embarrassments related to yesterday’s 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

For the most part, they did it by staying vague. But we can learn from the exception in this case—and our friends in the blog world have collectively named this Golf Channel message the day’s worst:

This tweet is wrongheaded for several reasons, the most blatant being that golf has long been “a famously segregated sport“, especially during Martin Luther King Jr.‘s era. (Yes, Obama plays a lot, but these are different times.) Still, that’s not the biggest problem.

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(Alleged) New Apple iPhone Offers Old-School Pawn Shop Trade-in Deal

It’s hard for the public not to roll its eyes at yet another Apple iPhone upgrade. The juggernaut brand is a PR master of that intersection between human desire and technological promise–a netherworld that offers the chance for elevated social status in the nerd universe of early adopters.

Throughout the years we’ve witnessed long lines of techie geeks, hipsters and wannabes sleeping in tents during sleet storms all for guaranteed access to the latest upgrade, even if the revamped version isn’t that different than the device currently buzzing in the pockets of their skinny jeans.

For outsiders, the upgrade game is wearisome and annoying because after a while it begins to feel less like a capitalistic scheme and more like a corporate scam. Seriously, does Apple expect everyone to simply hand over their current device in exchange for the latest version? Who has that kind of money, and time? Well, apparently, lots of people do. And Apple wants them in their stores. Read more

Hempfest Doritos Get PR Buzz from eBay Exposure

Readers of this blog are familiar with the Seattle Police Department’s excellent PR initiative to protect and serve the public by reaching out to stoners during the 2013 Hempfest celebration. The event was held after the passage of I-502, a law which made it legal to possess up to one ounce of pot in Washington.

Most of the public thought the story of how the police handed out free bags of Doritos that promoted acceptable stoner behavior to Hempfest participants would have simply had a good laugh and then fallen asleep in a bathtub with yesterday’s news. But this branding party just won’t die.

In true stoner creativity, and perhaps laziness, those same bags of Doritos have begun appearing on eBay, and are selling for up to $55 a bag. That’s right. You can buy a bag, of Doritos, from your stoner friends for $55 online. It appears that the police and the public alike believe this unprecedented attempt at outreach to a once a fringe element is a classic PR strategy. And it is. Read more

EBay To Offer Actual Window Shopping On Vacant NYC Storefronts

Starting June 8, people walking down certain streets in New York City will be able to stop, turn and start window shopping.

“Hey,” you’re thinking, “can’t people do that already?” Yeah sure, but it’s not an eBay window! Derp. What does that even mean? It means every gimmick has a chance when it’s artfully done.

EBay is taking over four empty storefronts across downtown Manhattan on which people will be able to purchase any or all of 30 items presented from the new Kate Spade Saturday line. This is happening until July 7.

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eBay Banks on Time to Deliver Online Glory

We live. And then we die.

Time is of the essence.

The public, understandably, hates waiting for anything. We want our food fast, our deliveries now and the transactions in our lives to be instantaneous. Money comes with many benefits, but perhaps the greatest power money holds is that it can save us time. eBay, the once darling and maverick of the Internet, has now entered the time game.

The brand has just launched the eBay Now app where customers can order anything carried by partners such as Best Buy, Macy’s, REI and Target, and have it delivered within an hour. Yes, 60 minutes. The time it takes you to remember you forgot that digital camera with which you were supposed to film your interview with the star of the documentary you’ve been working on for six years. Time changes everything, and eBay is hoping that time with compel customers to pay for convenience.

Saving customers time is a marketing strategy as old as time, and has worked well for every business endeavor from convenience stores to pizza delivery. Anyone in the public who has been to a funeral knows the importance of time, and so we’re guessing eBay Now will be a popular app with consumers—particularly those consumers experiencing a moment of weakness upon discovering they’ve forgotten something important, something they need now.

Is the eBay Now app enough to catapult the brand back into the online superstardom? We’ll have to wait and see as the public decides. But we all have a friend addicted to eBay, and if addicts like one thing, it’s instant gratification.

How Should Brands Respond to Tragedy on Social Media?

Boston!This post was co-written by the author and his wife, Stephanie Coffee

Horrific events that shock and captivate entire nations, superseding all other news—tragedies like the Newtown shooting and last week’s Boston Marathon terror attack—are thankfully rare. And yet, as we all know, social media and the 24/7 cable news cycle have intensified the public’s focus on these national crises and their aftermaths.

Now that the Boston case has been resolved with amazing speed by state and local authorities, we can examine the media response to last week’s events from a PR perspective.

As communications professionals, we know that the public doesn’t just demand (accurate) news as it breaks in times of crisis. They also value reassurances and statements of support from sources they follow on social media—sources that include their favorite brands.

At least one brand has already demonstrated the dangers of an inept response. So what should public entities and the people who manage their accounts do?

What NOT to do: 

  • Don’t tie the event into a promotionEpicurious (which is usually a very good food site) gave us a perfect case study on Monday with its tone-deaf promotional tweet encouraging followers to buy specific Boston-themed products. We won’t go into why it was a terrible idea because that should be painfully obvious. As another example, who can forget Kenneth Cole’s infamous Egypt uprising PR Fail?

The World’s Greatest Brands: 2013 Edition

StarbucksNike Just Do It Welcome back, dear readers! We hope everyone had a great holiday and survived the crazy season in one piece despite hectic travel schedules, extended visits with the in-laws and borderline alcoholism.

The first of the many, many stories we accumulated over the break is an interesting one: a list of 2013’s 27 “World Champions” of the global branding game, brought to us by Citi and Business Insider.

According to Citi, these 27 brands have beaten all others when it comes to creating “significant and enduring business models over the long term”–and we covered quite a few of them in 2012. Our thoughts on some of the winners after the jump:

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