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Adventures in Marketing

STUDY: How Effective Is Sponsored Content? Not Very!

CONTENT!!

Probably not a sponsored story

Every agency with its head on straight began creating or facilitating the creation of content some time ago, and quite a few brands and publications have followed suit. Today The Washington Post added a former PR/journalist to its roster to manage a growing content production house.

Yet few can agree on what a successful piece of sponsored content looks like or on best practices for enhancing and measuring its effectiveness.

Expect the debate to continue with the help of some challenging research.

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Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Get hands-on content marketing training in our brand new boot camp, Content Marketing 101! Starting September 8, digital marketing and content experts will teach you the tips and tricks for creating, distributing and measuring the success of your brand's content. Sign up before August 15 and get $50 OFF registration. Register now! 

Apocalypse Watch: The Weather Channel’s New Reality Show Fat Guys in the Woods

UJA-Federation's 2014 Digital Media Award CelebrationPaging Jim Cantore and Sam Champion: Please pick up the white courtesy phone. America has a question for you, “Is this the end of the world as we know it?” 

Typically, one could go to The Weather Channel for local reports, airline backups, and the occasional meteorological quip from any generic host. Some joke about “it’s hail out there” or something that would cause one to groan — if they were paying attention.

Then, Jim Cantore (bald guy on the left) became a thing of legend. He wanted to be the guy in the eye of the storm. That followed Sam Champion (always pretty guy on the right) leaving his post at GMA and getting his own show at The Weather Channel.

Then, capitalism. And that’s when it got really good.

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What Would Madea Do? Sue Someone in Jesus’ Name.

madea jesusJanie Tinklenberg, 47, a youth pastor from Holland, Mich., wanted to make Jesus a central part of her student’s lives by asking one salient question in Bible study. Another idea would be to brand that query somehow — pencils, pens, notepads — and then it hit her: beaded bracelets.

So, in 1989 she approached a local marketing firm about developing a brand and “W.W.J.D.” was born. However, not protected. By the time Tinklenberg decided to call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it was determined that the logo was already so popular, it would remain public domain. (Source: Salon.)

Fast forward to 2014: two people decided to earn some extra dough and sued for the trademark of the ecumenical acronym. And this guy won because that’s what Jesus would do, right?

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T.G.I. Fridays Pushes the Boundaries of Reality with ‘Endless Appetizers’

TGI F

These aren’t “endless” unless you’re discussing their shelf life.

The greatest sociological experiment of our time has begun–and it involves lots of appetizers.

One could discuss the marketing/brand identification strategy behind T.G.I. Fridays‘ decision to give all comers as many appetizers as they can stuff into their mouths this summer for the low price of $10. One could ask whether this attempt to woo cheap eaters is really all about the drinks they’ll justify with that two-digit total. One might even ask why Guy Fieri was not somehow involved.

But we just finished a super-long weekend, so this morning we’ll let USA Today (nice placement!) do the analysis for us…

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Q&A: How Can Brands Best Market to Millennials?

PHONES!

Q: what’s the hot gossip on Millennials, marketing and social media? A: OMG, like, where do we start?

Two weeks ago we followed two The New York Times reports on social media influencer trends by discussing the strategy behind such strategies with Eric Dahan, CEO of influencer marketing company Instabrand.

This week brought a Gallup study claiming that paid social media ads just aren’t worth the money (to the “told you so” delight of many in advertising).

How, then, does one capture the invaluable attention of that key Millennial demographic? We recently spoke to Dave Hawley, VP of marketing at “advocate marketing solution” provider SocialChorus, to get his take.

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Purell and TNT Team Up to Terrify Subway Riders into Cleanliness

the-last-ship-hed-2014

Ever get on a subway without your hand sanitizer and — upon realizing your terrible error — felt certain you would inevitably contract a virus that would make you patient zero in an apocalyptic pandemic? Well, if you’re one of the few who haven’t had a thought like that, this new campaign for Purell and Michael Bay‘s new post-apocalyptic TV drama will enlighten you.

New York commuters have been greeted at the Grand Central Terminal this week by an eye-catching hand-sanitizing station that boldly states, “1 virus. 6 billion dead. Don’t be next,” urging folks to clean up lest they meet a similar fate to the fictional billions who die in Bay’s new TNT show “The Last Ship.” The series will focus on a U.S. Navy destroyer fighting to save what’s left of humanity. We imagine there will also be plenty of explosions and slow-motion action scenes (it’s Michael Bay after all).

Of course, New Yorkers are no strangers to over-the-top marketing tactics — just this year alone they’ve been chased by a raging bear in search of yogurt and attacked by a demon baby in a runaway stroller, so maybe germs are the least of their worries.

Aaron Paul TV Ad Accidentally Turns On Xbox Ones, Annoys the Hell Out of People

One of the coolest things about the Xbox One is arguably its Kinect voice command feature, so of course Microsoft would want to highlight this capability in its new ads — but apparently the demonstration is working a little too well.

The new spot features Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” using his Xbox One in all its voice command glory, but when Paul tells his console to turn itself on, he’s accidentally turning on consoles in living rooms everywhere. Xbox One owners have taken to Twitter to share their surprise, amusement, and, at times, sputtering frustration.

 

Intentional? Probably not. Interesting? Definitely. Mike Cannon of Tech Times brings up an eerie thought: if an ad can do this by mistake, how long until marketers start doing it on purpose? Read more

22 Brands That Celebrated Their Dads on #FathersDay

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Father’s Day: a yearly meeting of greeting cards, ties, and more ties.

And yet, on this day devoted to the Old Man in your life, the social teams behind a few brands we follow got a little creative–just like their dads always said they should. Let’s check out a few of the posts we encountered after the jump.

Oh, and thanks, Dad.

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What Happens When Mean Girls Handle Maternity Clothing

baby fat shirtLadies of PR, ever heard of Destination Maternity? This is the parent company of A Pea in a Pod.

When my fair lady was with child, I noted this place while surfing the Web for certain clothing. You know? Cute pregger jeans, dresses that do not resemble a Moo Moo, and fashionable threads that do not showcase anything resembling cankles.

This is a place with a nice reputation and always pleasant in the eye of public perception. Marketing has never been edgy. Advertising is not considered abrasive. Until now

After the jump see the most offensive shirt to give a pregnant woman. Ever.

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Adventures in Marketing: Dothraki Language Course Is a Real Thing

Living Language Dothraki_ A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones(Paperback) Book | HBO ShopHave you ever wanted to ask out the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen, but were held back only by the language barrier? Never fear: Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones is here.

A mouthful of a name? Sure. But so are most of the names in the book series and show. The new guide to Dothraki, compiled by acclaimed language and culture consultant David J. Peterson, features over 500 words and phrases, some of which were made up exclusively for the course, and will cover everything from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation and cultural notes.

Three versions of the system (the basic package, the expanded online course, and one with a companion mobile app) will be available for your educational needs on October 7th, but all three are currently available for pre-order — because the marketers are no dummies, and likely wanted to ensure the promo was announced while the current season of the show was going strong. Read more

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