Friday, August 26, 2011


Jigsaw Puzzle of Me!!!

I just created a jigsaw puzzle of a JPEG pic of me. Check it out!

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Online Monitoring

I just was talking with a friend of mine in public relations. He told me about a new "product" his company was offering to clients who use Social Media. It is an online crisis simulation tool that provides his clients with an instant methodology to counter any negative posts on blogs or well-known SM sites. The biggest fear we hear about from out clients is that they will be slammed online and everyone will see it. Well, now there's a way to handle this almost instantly. We set up a daily monitor and are now going to include a crisis simulation model as well. I'll let you know how we make out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


What's up with the Super Bowl Ads this year?

Every year, I do media interviews on the subject of “Super Bowl Advertising.” This year is no different, except that I have more to talk about than whether the Clydesdales will be back.

For one thing, there is a lot of buzz about whether it’s the Year of the Women or the Year of the Automakers. With the appearance of Kim Kardashian for Skechers and Faith Hill for Teleflora (along with the regulars, Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels, the Go Daddy Girls…and a new one to boot!), people will see more female celebs in Big Game commercials than ever before. More importantly, the new arrivals have been tested to be “crossover girls”, which means that they appeal to women viewers as well as men. I think it will be a big success and set a new trend for future spots.

As for the car makers, GM is back after two years with renewed vigor and sort of admitting that they were wrong to drop out in the first place. But, with the increased amount of advertising from American auto manufacturers, foreign car advertising will also be at an all time high split between cars made by Asian and German automakers.

As for the rest of the pack, look for the regulars to be back, the first-time appearance of Groupon (in the pre-Game show because they were too late to get into the Game) and the Doritos home-made spots. Lest we not forget, that famous beer advertiser will back as usual, taking advantage of their multi-year category exclusivity contract. As for now, let’s hope the Game lives up to the advertising!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Why hire a Corporate Social Strategist?

The world of social media has grown to the point where business is now dramatically getting into these sites for purposes of building “social commerce”. Along with the growth is the rise of a new “C” level executive position called the Corporate Social Strategist. The position is starting to become popular as a result of the fact that so many businesses and corporations have been too slow in getting on board with social media.

The rise of social commerce gives advertisers new opportunities to anticipate, humanize and personalize the customer experience. It takes a selective combination of the right social media outlets, key online linkage and blogging to develop the relationship in an effective and efficient manner.

The future of social commerce is clear. More and more commerce is being promoted online than ever and there appears to be no slowdown in sight. The main reason is that it is so economical and efficient versus traditional media, especially disciplines like direct response or DM/DR!

I think, however, hiring a Corporate Social Strategist may be a good idea but is perhaps a bit premature and expensive as well. We have been providing this kind of social commerce planning and a social media “help desk” on a monthly fee basis that is very affordable for most businesses. Obviously, my answer to the question at the top of this post is “Don’t hire now. Outsource your social commerce planning and monitoring to keep your costs low while figuring out the right ways to use social media to grow your business.”

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Monday, October 11, 2010


Even the best of plans....

I was just about to began my class at Seton Hall's grad school of communications when the phone rang. It was WCBS-TV's Late News Assignment Editor and it was about 6:45 PM when she called. She wanted to know if I could go to their studios "right away" to do a segment on the announcement by Frito-Lay that they were eliminating their biodegradable packaging on five of their six SunChips flavors because consumers felt the bag was too "noisy". I am not kidding. It seems that what they refer to as their compostable bag which is environmentally friendly actually bothered people because it made so much noise when it was crinkled.

I told CBS that I could do the segment, but that I had a class to teach and couldn't go to their studios on West 57th Street in time for them to do the taping and get it edited in time for the Late News that night. When asked if I would be willing to do it from my classroom at 8:00, I naturally said I could. And, that's what happened!

My class got to see the whole interview and now they think of me as a celebrity! More importantly, this issue got a lot of attention, especially from a branding standpoint. It seems some 44,000 folks complained about the noisy bags on Facebook. The company said it was not the Facebook complaints but the great number of calls, letters and e-mails they received that made them decide to take most of those bags off the market. You see, even it you are trying to do a good thing for your brand's image if something like the packaging (which has nothing to do with the main benefit of the product) can create tarnishment, you must protect the brand. The decision was correct and it didn't hurt the company to issue a press release announcing that they will be working on a "quieter bag" to replace the one they have obviously had a lot of problems with from a marketing standpoint. Amazing story, but true nevertheless.

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Monday, August 09, 2010


Social Media & Mobile Marketing Will Merge

I just responded to a media query about how mobile marketing and social media will come together. As many of you know, I am an advertising professor who teaches graduate students at Seton Hall University where most of the media queries come from.

Now to answer the question! It is inevitable that these two forms of marketing will eventually converge. One reason has to do with what I believe will happen to communications in general in the future. I believe that iPads and the wannabe's will replace PCs and cell phones because they are already mobile and offer larger screens. The apps are already in the thousands. Marketers are just starting to learn how to use social media in ways in which a return on the investment can be measured. That is not an easy thing to do right now. It requires using a lot of traditional direct response techniques.

It will be a lot easier to measure interactivity (click throughs, time spent, where the respondent actually received the call, who that person is without having to optin, etc.) when social media is used on a mobile (iPad) basis. It is my opinion, for example, that Coke is getting more measurement from its mobile marketing (Coke Rewards) than it is from social media. That does not mean, however, that social media is not being used to promote the mobile campaign. At the present time, that is precisely the way social media is being used with regard to mobile marketing campaigns from the same company.

When the convergence to iPads takes place, the interaction will be much easier to measure and will provide more forecastable data.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Tiger James?

Tiger Woods is still a top topic of discussion in branding circles. The fact that he has come back to the game of golf with such fanfare and not done particularly well has been attributed to his sore neck. In the process, he also fired his swing coach. Did his coach make his neck hurt? Regardless, from a brand image standpoint, he hasn’t been doing himself or the TW brand (which is worth a reported almost two billion dollars) much good.

The problem is manifold. First, he has no one thank for his tarnished image but himself. That being an addiction that is supposedly curable through rehab is one thing. But who has any idea if he has been or is on the road to being cured? Until its mad known, no one will give him much benefit of the doubt. Second, he has already a one flare up on the course which most golfers know about. It raises the question of how many similar cases there have been in the past which were not made public in order to keep his former pristine image. Last, his base is the golfing audience. He just shouldn’t play until he is fairly confident that he can get to the top of the leader board again.

Jesse James shares the same negative spotlight, but there doesn’t seem to be a cure for him. To treat “America’s Sweetheart” the way he did at the peak of his career will probably forever be unpardonable. What ever brand persona he had that worked for him in the past is all but gone.

Names as brands are obviously fragile. That’s why it is so hard to understand why people like Tiger and Jesse just don’t seem to get it. If the essence of their brands can’t be sustained in a positive way, the loss can be become permanent.

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