A social media pro w. serious creative energy. Eric creates custom media campaigns and strategies at: http://eSocialMediaShop.com
New #MMDC set-up, check it out w. this pic of @AlbusCavus #Blended from summer 2012 >> http://t.co/nuVjBCVkLK
New #MMDC set-up, check it out w. this pic of @AlbusCavus #Blended from summer 2012 >> http://t.co/iaAZN82bod
It's coming; the next hundie ... @ Bureau of Engraving and Printing http://t.co/KsxfDLIrnn
Check out the work we did on the Simply Gifted Marketplace and Merchant Widget >> http://t.co/rucbpP5T7B // w. @iStrategyLabs
Great conversation w. @Bamuthi @AtlasPACDC kencen; "Believing is urban planning." #rbGb // w.… http://t.co/D6ZEGkOmfU
It was great to work with @DouglasDevDC on their new website redesign! >> http://t.co/6nd82lbOI4 // w. @istrategylabs
Just posted a photo @ Fletcher's Cove http://t.co/Toq1pN3YQR
So close to the new @DouglasDevDC website big reveal! // w. istrategylabs @meganzlock @ Douglas… http://t.co/u7P8wttLDv
@KIBluegrassfest // @HackensawBoys (@ Kingman Island for Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival w/ 33 others) [pic]: http://t.co/5TRUUU8ubB
"A million dollars isn't cool anymore. A billion dollars is cool." @1776DC @eburfield w. @corbett3000 @darienjay100 http://t.co/OV7atFQp9a
Ready for the weekend! ♫ Stomping Grounds - Live Version – Béla Fleck and the Flecktones http://t.co/L7BIA7cW1K #NowPlaying
Content Strategy: Tips for a User-Friendly Web Experience >> http://t.co/GzxSfu8tsW // @iStrategyLabs cc. @halvorson @kissane @kiramarch
Working on an @istrategylabs client brief that includes "hipsters" as a target audience. No offense, target audience.
Grand St. is reinventing the way we buy creative technology. $15 off your first purchase, here >> https://t.co/xwCdkVqk1z via @grandst
Know DC Fashion?? We're working with Filibuster Bourbon and No Kings Collective to add some specialty (and DC local) bourbon cocktails to an amazing event line-up at KNOW FASHION on Oct. 18th! GET TICKETS >> https://secure.scoutmob.com/washington-dc/hand-picked/know-fashion7 months ago
Got your tix to DCWEEK yet!?7 months ago
A few songs to get your week off to a fun start!7 months ago
Happy Friday! Check out a few recent photos from behind the scenes, including a full car-wrap that takes the use of bumper stickers to a whole new level!7 months ago
What's your vision for a better world? A Big Project is asking just that, then crunching the data on your answers and announcing the results this Friday at the UN!! Answer 4 simple questions --> https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/53T32RW8 months ago
We were thrilled to work with ARTLAB+ (Artlab Plus) at Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to boost student participation this year!8 months ago
A few of our favorite songs this week -- Post a YouTube link to one of your favorite songs in the comments, and we'll include it in next week's playlist!8 months ago
Can't stop playing with The Huffington Post's interactive electoral map! What's your prediction? Post a link to your map in the comments:8 months ago
Want to quickly and easily build a great website with no hassle? Try Flavors.me - lots of design and layout options, social media integration, and great user experience!8 months ago
Excited to watch Barack Obama accept the nomination tonight? Here's a sample of how the prez has been depicted on the streets of DC during the first four years:8 months ago
We had a great time working on TEDxWDC to promote the event and DC's creative community! Check out some highlights, including video links to all of the speakers:8 months ago
Barack Obama inspired his way into the White House in 2008 with a message that resonated on the streets of Washington, DC. Since then, depictions of the President have popped up across the nation's capital.
Here's how the Prez has been depicted during the first four years on the streets of the seat of power:
As we all try to finally decide the officially best and worst Super Bowl ads of 2012, there's one clear winner -- and it's Facebook.
Top commercials are now sending us straight to the company's Facebook Page, rather than their website -- for a chance at a Like, and a lasting connection with fans.
Commercials like "Bud Light: Rescue Dog," "General Electric: Building Something," and "Pepsi Max: For Life" completely replaced the typical website mention with a reference to the company's Facebook Page.
The trend is sure to be good for Facebook, as it prepares for its IPO.
By replacing the company's website with its Facebook Page, these brands send a signal that an action-oriented, long-term bridge between online and off-line marketing channels will continue to be critical for marketing success, both on and off the web.
Of the 90 total Super Bowl ads, calls-to-action included referrals to:
- Website: 52 (57 percent)
- None: 21 (23 percent)
- Twitter #Hashtag: 11 (12 percent)
- Facebook Page: 10 (11 percent)
- YouTube Channel: 1 (1 percent)
- Text Message: 1 (1 percent)
Even if Twitter #hashtags edged out prompts to Facebook Pages, the payoff of a new Facebook Like has much greater long-term value than the one-time (or so) use of a #hashtag. New followers would be the Twitter equivalent of a Facebook Like, and none of the ads @mentioned the brand.
Surprisingly, second to website references, "no call to action" (no reference an online platform) came in only second. Ads that stood on their own without reference to an online platform tended to reflect iconic brands that were working to deeply connect with personal identity.
20th Century Fox: "Star Wars" The Epic Saga Begins
Budweiser: Eternal Optimism
Chrysler: Halftime in America
With the barrage of online campaigns connected to a company's overall brand strategy, it's interesting to see Facebook continue to emerge as a front-and-center player in helping businesses connect with customers.
*Thanks to Kira Marchenese for contributing to the idea for this post.
Players from Google's display advertising team presented seven predictions on the outlook of display advertising for 2015, as part of Google's "Watch This Space" campaign, to close the program at Advertising Week's IAB Mixx Conference and Expo.
The expected trends were presented by Google Vice President of Product Management, Neal Mohan, and Google's Barry Salzman, Managing Director of Media and Platforms for the Americas.
What are Google's seven predictions for display advertising in 2015?
1. Video: 50% of display ads will include cost-per-view video. The prediction comes with the launch of two new video ad formats on Google's YouTube: an "in-slate format" that allows users to choose video ads to view, and an "in-stream format" that auto-selects video ads and allows users to click out of the ad after a few seconds.
Google captures opt-out data from the latter, in-stream format, to better predict what video ads to display for individual users in the future. Rather than bombarding users with more advertising, this style will allow Google to show fewer ads that have more impact and better value for both users and advertisers, says Mohan.
2. Real-time: 50% of ad buying will happen in real time. Instead of a passive price ceiling or automated bid price, Google sees a trend towards ad buyers bidding on display advertising on the fly.
3. Mobile: The most popular screen will be on-the-go. Google is banking on "media bridging" off-line and online advertising with tools like Google Goggles, says Mohan. To demonstrate, the team showed how a user might go directly to a product web page after snapping a photo of a magazine ad with Goggles.
4. Click: Five metrics will be more important than the click. Video views, engagement, and interaction rates are among the metrics Google thinks may kill the click -- or at least move it down on the list of metrics that are most important to marketers.
5. Social: 75% of ads will be socially enabled. "Social is just going to become an integral part of all display ads," says Salzman. The team showed an example of a display ad for the Watch This Space campaign that pulled live tweets about the presentation from MIXX Expo in real time. "It's kind of this meta-media phenomenon," Salzman says.
6. Rich Media: 50% of brand campaigns will feature rich media. For example, the team previewed a series of ads that change dynamically based on variables like a viewer's zip code -- and the local weather.
7. $50 Billion: Display advertising will be a $50 billion industry. "The golden age of online display advertising is right before us," says Salzman.
Twitter Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo hit the stage at the IAB MIXX Conference and Expo this week for an interview with Advertising Age Editor Abbey Klaassen to talk about Twitter's vision for web advertising and monetization.
Costolo emphasized Twitter's commitment to prioritizing users and the user experience over a desire to quickly generate cash revenue.
"We're very careful about how we roll out our monetization products because we put the user first," says Costolo. He cites the company's "nearly religious belief" in an engaged user base, and that the revenue will "follow from there."
Costolo insists that the day other companies will want to spend millions in advertising on Twitter is just around the corner. "We're growing at just a ridiculous rate" says Costolo, adding "I can tell you right now there's a line out the door to advertise with us."
But for Twitter, Costolo says it's "less about what we can do to monetize, more about what is going to make it a better experience for Twitter users."
Twitter's plan to monetize in advertising centers on its services for promoted tweets, and soon, promoted accounts. Costolo says that promoted accounts will use the same algorithm used for promoted tweets. The features are based partly on Twitter's recent experience rolling out functionality for suggestions of who to follow, which has increased the average followers per account, Costolo reports.
The new features also come alongside the new interface Twitter has rolled out over the past month. As they continue to find more people sharing links, photos, and video on Twitter -- instead of simply text -- Costolo says it's now important for the company to "provide a better way to explore content directly within Twitter."
As for the limited experience with promoted tweets so far, "it's working," says Costolo. He says Twitter will continue to expand the number of advertisers and product areas eligible for promoted tweets, "until we have a robust enough infrastructure for people to self-serve," especially at the local level.
Promoted tweets are priced at a cost per engagement, so advertisers may pay on a combination of clicks and retweets, for example.
How does Twitter decide the length of time given to promoting a single tweet? They measure the resonance of an account's average tweet against the resonance of a promoted tweet from the same account. If the resonance of the promoted tweet falls below the resonance of an average tweet from the same account, the promoted tweet is pulled.
As Twitter continues to grow, the eyes of the business and marketing world are firmly affixed to the company's plan to make money from its services. But for those behind the curtain, it appears the priority continues to be to provide an engaging -- and useful -- service.
As for the cash, says Costolo, "when it happens, it happens."
As the world leader in search display and mobile video, Google was eager to share data on mobile search, location-based marketing, and mobile video -- which is promising for both businesses and Google services like Maps, Ads, and YouTube.
Google's latest find is a 500% growth in mobile search from 2008 to 2010. By 2011, smartphone use is projected to surpass that of today's common feature phone, says Nix. By 2013, Google predicts 50% of all web traffic will be mobile. Nix notes that mobile transactions on PayPal, which is owned by eBay, have increased by 20% in 2010.
Today, Google finds the mobile user demographic is about 53% male to 47% female, and watches an average of three and a half hours of mobile video a week. They predict that the web browser will trump mobile apps as the common mobile access point to the Internet.
"You can develop for mobile now... or later, and play catch-up," says Nix.
How to Go Mobile:
Evaluate your own mobile site. Nix points to brands like Target and FedEx for examples of effective mobile sites -- in contrast to the mobile sites for Sarah Palin and Barack Obama -- as opportunities to improve the mobile user experience.
Plan carefully. "Don't invest any money in anything until you know what the mobile user experience [you want to create] is," says Nix. While most Google tools are free, if a company's budget just to advertise a mobile app was about $10,000 a week in 2009 -- "now, it's ten times that," says Nix. There are 350,000 other apps out there competing for attention.
Keep it simple. "Make the mobile user happy," Nix says. He suggests paring down a mobile site to three functions or less. What features work best on mobile site homepages? "It comes back to... what is it you want people to do? Build from there, and keep it as simple as possible," says Nix.
Think global, mobilize local. Optimize for fast and easy local access to product or service offers. Nix points to location-based functionality like Google Maps combined with Google Ads to offer mobile users the option to access offers quickly and easily.
Google's Mobile Tools. When it's time to make the leap to mobile, Nix points to Google Sites' free mobile landing-page builder, which integrates with Google Maps' API and Google Analytics, as a good place to start.
Video. Many people want to know best practices for mobile video. Today, long-form videos like television episodes dominate the mobile video experience, says Nix -- but he sees a trend towards shorter, YouTube style video watching as it becomes higher quality and more mobile accessible. As for mobile video ads, seven to 15 seconds is now standard, he says.
Visual search. Services like Google Goggles will be key to visual search. Nix contrasts the visual image search style used by services like Google Goggles with QR Codes. The winner is anyone's guess, but Google must be hopeful that visual image search will dominate.
Return On Investment. For businesses, the bottom line is tracking ROI. With nearly free services, data and integration options offered by Google for mobile development, businesses are sure to find utility. From start to finish, Google Search, Maps, Sites, Ads, YouTube, and Analytics make it possible for business to go mobile, and track ROI.
Super Bowl commercials say everything about American culture. Ads tell us a ton about what's up, right now.
This year we had a chance to watch, comment on, and share Super Bowl ads more than ever before. Every 2010 Super Bowl commercial is online, on demand at NFL Fan House, Hulu Ad Zone and the appropriately titled YouTube Ad Blitz.
The aftermath is amazing. It's entertaining to watch marketers clamor to claim the #1 spot. For days after Super Bowl XLIV, the top video on Unruly Media's Viral Video Chart was Google's Parisian Love. The #1 video on NFL Fan House was Doritos: Dog Gets Revenge. Monday the #1 video on NFL Fan House was E-Trade Baby's Jealous Girlfriend. On the same list today E-Trade is no where to be found.
Who's The Best?
By many accounts this year's unlikely (since they rarely advertise at all) #1 Super Bowl commercial was Google's Parisian Love, which AdAge discredits. AdAge makes a good point that different audiences respond differently to different media, and that the Super Bowl crowd is not obsessed with the Internet - so online buzz may not be a real measure of effectiveness here.
AdAge may also miss the point that people are just paying more attention to the internet now.
Sure, the Google spot got great buzz, is ranked #1 by the go-to industry standards, and it drew tons of press and media coverage. But AdAge still asks, Just How Popular Was Google's Super Bowl Ad, Anyway? Maybe the ad was meant to woo its watchers, a crowd on the cusp of greater interest - and seed the idea of Google's incredible usability in the minds of football fans across the country.
Fox Sports did a Top 10. They even did a Worst 10. Of course, they did. One Fox Sports reader wrote back: "I'm tired of having to choose from a list... I want to vote for who I want.. It's a unfair vote.."
Iconic American Culture
Super Bowl commercials are iconic American culture. Some 2010 favorites at eSocialMediaShop, for their cultural cache are ads for Coke and FloTV:
Last week Creativity Online named the Top 20 Super Bowl Ads Ever. Historic Super Bowl commercials remind us of iconic moments immortalized by our favorite brands: Coke's 1979 "Mean" Joe Green locker room confrontation, Apple's 1984 introduction of Macintosh, and of course our friends Bud, Weis, and Er.
Apple's 1984 Macintosh ad is a mesmerizing, direct allusion (and response) to the same fears expressed towards technology in George Orwell's 1984: cultural concerns about the personal impact of technology on identity and self-control.
Coke's 1979 "Mean" Joe Greene commercial is credited as one of the best, most culturally iconic and significant commercials in all of advertising:
"By the late 1970's ... the ghetto became America's most acute social problem. American mass media was filled with panicky stroies of marauding gangs and so-called "welfare mothers." Suburban white Americans feared the imagined threat emanating from the ghetto.
Again, Coke offerred a utopian moment of healing built around a "pause that refreshes." Drinking a Coke now provided a magical salve that symbolically healed the racial divide in American society.
"The confrontation in the dark tunnel conjured up the growing nightmare of the ghetto in the collective imagination of the majority white population: the physically intimidating black man who threatened an innocent white child. But we soon learned Greene's meanness was just an affection, that he was actually a sweet guy who could show real affection for the small white kid. The ad offerred a story of racial healing for a country that couldn't contain it's racial conflict. In this way, Coke again helped the nation momentarily forget its real problems that were then devistating its cities" (Holt. How Brands Become Icons, p.25-26).
The 2010 Message
What's the Super Bowl message this year?
1) There's a recession. 2) We want to be distracted from it. 3) The internet is helping.
Several Super Bowl commercial themes continue to carry the message that we may actually prefer to be distracted from larger, more important social issues. Coke will help us weather the recession. Bud Light is poised to help us survive airplane crashes and global warming.
Even the difference between #1 spots on NFL Fan House vs. the Internet overall is telling: maybe we really prefer slap-stick distractions for Doritos to the suggested ease and implication of planning our entire lives on Google.
Thanks to social media, we can rate and evaluate Super Bowl ads in more ways now than ever. The stats and analysis will reveal about American culture what was once left more to speculation and Big Media Top 10 lists. The commercial message of Super Bowl XLIV says there's a change on the way in how we watch our ads.
We're tired of having to choose from a list. We like what we like, and we want a fair vote.
Graffiti draws a remarkable counterpart to marketing and advertising. Memorable street campaigns take the same creativity, consistency, branding and visibility needed to make marketing work.
Street artists are marketers gone rogue (also a popular theme of the year) - developing and executing creative concepts, many with a specific and often populist tone. Like it or not, the closer you look, the more of a message there is to see in the details of graffiti.
DC represented big in 2009, and themes in our graffiti and street art reflected important, meaningful local issues: problems of homelessness, DC's non-state status, and few (but expanding) outlets for public art. Check out a full photo set of the year in DC graffiti on Flickr.
These are the freshest names and stand out styles in DC graffiti:
Names Up Everywhere:
Top Creative in DC Graffiti:
Fill: REZIST. (Next: JAKE). REZIST's fill-ins are always crazy colorful - and legible. Same with JAKE, who tones down the new school funk and maintains a wild style.
Bomb: CHE. (Next: MOE). A close call but easy to pick. MOE may have more tags up, but CHE is mighty close - with bigger fill-ins and better, riskier, more visible spots. MOE tagged Adams Morgan's mural on DC's non-state status - an ironic, shady move to deface a message the rest of DC's graffiti seems to be all about. Watching CHE and MOE get up this year was like watching the good guy vs. the bad guy - and here, the good guy wins.
Spot: JAKE. (Next: CHE). JAKE is up in the undisputedly best spot in DC - in the middle of the Potomac River on Georgetown's Key Bridge. To hit the spot, JAKE had to either get a boat, or haul gallons of paint and loads of supplies under the bridge span across its huge arcs, starting at several chainlink fences directly next to the US Park Police office. JAKE's piece is one of the most visible in the District, in a place that's the antithesis of graffiti - squeaky clean, picture perfect Georgetown. A huge hassle, if not nearly impossible to remove. It epitomizes graffiti in a clean, simple, colorful piece that carries impressive implications in logistics and location.
Stencil: Park. (Next: 51). Stencil images hit the streets of DC to illuminate two big issues in DC: homelessness and political representation. Amidst the toughest economic time in decades, DC slashed funding to social services that help the homeless. Next, the 51 stencil hit corners and street boxes with a simple, clear, concise message: make DC the 51st state - no matter how our vote tips the political scales.
Poster: DECOY (Next: Peeps). DECOY covered more DC walls than any other poster artist this year with a distinct style that's easy to spot. DECOY was part of an awesome cartoon poster campaign in early December at 14th/T (already removed!) along with the next pick: Peeps. All year, poster Peeps popped up all over the place in DC.
Sticker: Crook. This sticker is iconic of everything about graffiti and Washington DC: free speech, politics, corruption and dissent. The sticker's amazing wit calls attention to the fundamental issues in both graffiti and politics - and common to us all: open access, free speech, expression, opportunity, and equality.
Something missing? Leave a comment and links to pics of your favorite DC graffiti!
Co-organized by Troy Milstead and Julee Wood of PSYMBOLIC and partner Jameson Wallace (known as artist Mason Dixon), MGFest saw it's start in Chicago in 2006 and has spent the last few years touring Boston, Austin, Atlanta, Orlando - and now DC.
Nightly audio/visual arts events focused attention on local DC arts and culture sponsors - including DC Commission on Arts & Humanities' Art Salon, Electric Cabaret at Aqua, Letelier Theatre's Sunday Motion Graphics Screening - and support from 88 and PinkLine Project.
Weekend workshops featured a full spectrum of talent in motion design and animation, digital painting, and an immensely practical lesson in Photoshop for Motion Design from Adobe guru Richard Harrington.
Recent Co-author of Video Made on A Mac and Photoshop for Video, Harrington boats a seemingly endless amount of practical creative knowledge in Photoshop - most of it available in handy PodCast format on his forum at CreativeCow.net, and on his Photoshop for Video Blog.
Sunday's MGFest included a digital painting workshop by Shantell Martin - an internationally touring visual performance artist with an "inside look at the technology and aesthetics of live painting software," whose work appeared later that night in the annual submissions screening.
Sunday night's MGFest official 2009 event screening, sponsored by STASH, a DVD magazine, saw a reel of best work from 2008 and the 2009 selected submissions screening of new creative digital animation, including work by Shepard Fairey in N.A.S.A.'s "Money" video.
For the conference organizers, MGFest is about expanding opportunities for artists and creative professionals. "There are lots of events already in New York and L.A., " said conference co-organizer Jameson Wallace. "Instead of flying everyone to one place, we try to go where the talent is."
Wallace wants to see MGFest travel to cities people may not expect - preferring Portland, San Francisco and Seattle to Los Angeles, he said at the Sunday night screening, during conversation about finding a west-coast city for MGFest.
For now, you can add and find photos of MGFest 2009 in DC and other cities on Flickr (tagged MGFest09), including a photo set of slides from the Sunday night screening.
MGFest is currently scheduling a 2010 tour in Chicago. For more info on MGFest, or to request MGFest visit your city, click http://mgfest.com/.
Under the thematic banner of "Fueling Interactive Advertising's Creative Revolution," the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) convened top talent for NYC's Advertising Week "to articulate their visions for unleashing the full power of digital media."
If it comes as no surprise to industry insiders, presenters at IAB's MIXX Expo confirmed that the vision of advertising's future is now squarely focused on social media.
"Today we need to find an audience, entertain them, and measure them," said Steve Wax of Campfire -- an agency that later won 4 IAB interactive advertising awards. "We have to stop making old things in new places ... we have to stop thinking only [return on investment] and be historic," said Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Digital Officer of TBWA Worldwide.
Three key themes emerged from presenters at MIXX about the new trends in media: Content, Interaction, and Measurement. From obstacles to end products and a five-point bet by AOL's CEO -- here's what some of advertising's top insiders had to say:
Toadstool's Alan Wolk sees six common obstacles to social media success.
1. Luddites: Those who still think social media is a fad.
2. Magpies: People who believe any social media effort will work.
3. Lawyers: Those who require too much process for approving social media content.
4. Hogs: Staff who won't provide cross-departmental content to repackage for the web.
5. Misers: Those who think social media is free.
6. Lousy products: Transparency in social media exposes user dissatisfaction with poor products.
Senior Microsoft VP Yusuf Mehdi offers 5 lessons for success on the social web.
1. Be opportunistic and responsive: Ashton Kutcher beat CNN to a million Twitter followers by seizing the chance to be the first, and actively engaging with his audience.
2. Authenticity: The million dollar home page worked when its purpose was authentic -- to raise money for a student's college tuition. When it was redone to raise money for the student himself, it flopped.
3. Relentlessly measure and optimize metrics: Zappos built its new brand and sold over 400,000,000 pairs of shoes by capitalizing on search marketing that relied on interest in previously established brands to drive sales on the Zappos website.
4. Be social: Starbucks' My Starbucks Idea effectively engages Starbucks' customer community in a direct conversation with the brand.
5. Ads are content: Burger King has seen incredible marketing success by turning content into commercials -- like the Whopper Freak Out videos, and the infamous Whopper Facebook Friend sacrifice.
Proctor & Gamble Digital Business Strategist Lucas Watson has four-part advice on getting great creative content.
1. Have an ideal and an idea: "When advertising is driven by a higher calling -- a higher sense of purpose -- that's consistent with the brand's equity, we get amazing returns in creative," said Watson.
2. Use the land you're given: Context matters. "Ads are viewed in the context that the creative is delivered," Watson says -- not as stand-alone elements.
3. Creativity can come from anywhere: 30,000 submissions from 108 countries were received by Hugo Boss for their new cologne advertising campaign. The winner was an 18 year old from Thailand.
4. Keep it simple: Pringles recent online ad campaign deliberately featured a stripped-down, simple graphic layout to keep the focus of the ad.
Casale Media's Scott Steiner showed the do-s and don't-s of online demographic targeting.
1. Don't use census based demographic targeting. Zip code targeting is an imperfect science, and geographic demographics move too quickly to measure for digital advertising. Plus, it's impractical as it doesn't target sub-groups within geographic areas -- making it impossible to target based on gender, or reach minority groups within a specific location.
2. Don't use offline studies to predict online interest. The time required to process data and apply it to online advertising takes too long given rapid shifts in the online marketplace.
3. Casale's system is "smoothed sight-level demographic intelligence." A rolling 3 month window of a specific website's use statistics gives an accurate view of overall trends in user behavior. The method uses real, up-to-date info unique to a specific website. The data matches actual user behavior, not how users might act.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong sums it up with a five-point bet he's willing to wager the company on.
1. The recession has created large white space for advertising on the web.
2. Users are allowing distribution to become more targeted. Sites like Facebook and Hulu allow users to choose, rate, and even reject on-screen advertising.
3. Content always trails distribution. Creating good outlets for distribution will attract quality content to follow.
4. Future content brands start now.
5. Content management systems are the new ad systems.
Kutcher made waves on the internets this past April when he beat CNN to a million Twitter followers. Some saw it as a self-centered promotional stunt, and AdAge criticized it as an old broadcasting model of one-talking-to-many in a new, interactive media environment.
But to Kutcher, the Twitter feat -- and Katalyst Media -- were about today's central question in the world of media: who controls media's future?
"There was this tremendous opportunity to show that one person can have the same reach as an entire network," Kutcher said on stage at MIXX.
So he took that idea and started Katalyst, "a studio for social media" that pairs brands like Kellogs with social issues like hunger in America (36 million people go hungry in America every day, he says -- referencing this Kellog's video clip directed by wife Demi Moore) to create new media campaigns with social impact.
Katalyst, said Kutcher, is all about empowering individuals to influence media in a way that's never before been possible. "We're now the creators, producers, broadcasters, and consumers of this content," he said. "It's sort of this unknown frontier ... anytime there's a new landscape where you can reach people, you can be a leader."
"We're turning people who are advocates into people who are advocates for brands they believe in," said Kutcher. "We're building bottom up strategies ... to [combine] the insights of marketers and consumers ... to allow a one-to-one interaction with their favorite brands."
And there's the question: will new media be powered -- at it's core -- by brands and marketers, or by individuals and social groups?
Katalyst is a marketing agency. It's tapped the power of the people to influence important social issues like hunger. It's also empowering people to choose the next television commercial aired by Mountain Dew -- which is kind of cool, but who does it help?
The Katalyst campaigns Kutcher covered at MIXX all combined popular influence with popular brands to create brand-centered media. And to be fair, that's no surprise -- Katalyst is an advertising agency focused on using social media, presenting at one of the best advertising conferences in the country. Advertising's the deal.
But it offers a look at the answer to the of question of who's next in line to control the future of media.
Katalyst's campaigns wouldn't work if we didn't play a part in making them come to life. Marketers and advertisers are well poised to bombard us with messages about what's most important in our lives -- and we're the ones who'll have to decide which ideas will fly.
We control the social media message by how we interact online. Social media is at the center of one of the greatest shifts in the history of how we communicate -- and it's up to everyone to choose how we use it.
"You open yourself up a little bit and you'll take some dings ... but if your intention is right, it works," said Kutcher.
Agencies like Katalyst offer a greater push and extended opportunity for brands to be more socially responsible. And, transparency in social media will help hold brands accountable to their claims.
Katalyst uses the same social media tools available to everyone else. We control how we participate. If we step up to the plate with social media agencies like Katalyst, the future of media may work for everyone.
What do you think? Add a comment below on who you think controls the future of media.
This article is part one of a series on insights in advertising and media from IAB's MIXX Expo at NYC's Advertising Week. Get the rest with automatic updates by clicking your update preference at the top of the article.
Event organizers drew an elite force of digital marketing experts to project "how customer behavior is evolving around technology, [and] explore emerging trends and business models that will shape marketing, PR & advertising in years to come."
The end game in digital marketing trends is all but digital for the social media crew, showcasing digitally driven media campaigns aimed at influencing material personal experience.
Like Jumping. In Art Museums.
Creating a PR campaign for New York's MoMa art museum, TAXI Innovation Director and former CEO of Happy Corp Doug Jaeger teamed up with Allison Reimus of the Jumping In Art Museums blog to shine a spotlight on New York's art culture that jumped off the page for art fans - and the media.
Blending digital and material experience was key to creating the MoMa campaign that crowd sourced stories and photos of art enthusiasts jumping throughout the museum - attracting prominent nightlife photographer Nicky Digital - and a slew of media placements, from the New York Times to the New York Post.
"It's a story about authenticity," says Jaeger. "The media value is
in creating an engaging experience people want to share."
The museum's marketing campaign attracted attention and attendance from a desirable demographic of younger art-goers
that may have skipped the experience otherwise.
For Valeria Maltoni of ConversationAgent.com, the keys to a successful online social media strategy are personal relationships and meaningful conversations.
Follow her on Twitter and you wont get her own personal updates. Instead, Maltoni shares content she thinks will make her micro media outlet an online destination. With over 8,000 Twitter followers, it seems to be working.
She suggests the online places many marketers want to hold brand conversations may not be the digital spaces in which consumers will listen. She recalls a friend's comment, "don't pitch me on Facebook, it's my haven of sanity."
Maltoni says social media conversation needs to be unstructured, transparent, inclusive, authentic, vibrant, and interactive - recommending Katie Paine's work in measuring the impact of online conversations.
"Actions speak louder than advertising," says Garry Schmitt, VP of Experience Planning at Razorfish - suggesting material experience beats web-based space for effective branding efforts.
Barbie's 50th birthday bash by Razorfish is focused on just that - all things material - from lipstick to Las Vegas vacations.
Sure, Barbie (the person, not the product) is facebooking, and tweeting, and blogging - about her top five fave vacation destinations and the products she hearts the most. What was the last book Barbie bought from sponsor Amazon.com? She's reading it poolside, at Palms.
Barbie's brand new digital persona has netted Mattel an increase in Barbie sales of 18% - and jump in stock values of 15%, says Schmidt - estimating the product campaign has reached over two billion people worldwide.
Digital word of mouth marketing is the sole focus for Fanscape CEO and co-founder Larry Weintraub.
A recent Fanscape campaign contest for GameStop offered fans of Guitar Hero the chance to appear as a character in the video game itself. Weintraub estimates that 70% of participants in the contest were users that Fanscape reached out to directly.
"I don't see a future with two or three social networks," he says, "it's a future with two or three hundred thousand social networks."
When social media skeptics challenge the new media's value, Valeria Maltoni has her answer. "What was the ROI on the old boys clubs or on the golf course?" she asks. It seems the social spaces of yesterday are being replaced by a new blend of digital pixels and material places.
As marketers continue learning to better balance the potential of social media with the practical aspects of product sales, we'll soon find ourselves jumping in art museums with Barbie to the background music of some dude jamming to Journey on Guitar Hero.
Ready or not - get set to jump in.
Learn more about Media Bistro, events, jobs and more at mediabistro.com.
At her first public appearance in DC since leaving office, former foreign-policy mogul Condi Rice fielded a venerable dream-list of questions yesterday by a group of students at Washington's Jewish Primary Day School.
Courageously championing both democracy and education to the group of 3d - 5th graders, Rice recalled childhood fantasies of being a competitive figure skater, famous concert pianist, or maybe a track star before one student's question went classic: rock.
"What's your favorite music, including your favorite Led Zeppelin song?" the nine-year-old pressed Rice, finally offering DC the Condi moment that until now has all but tortured America by the wait.
"My favorite Led Zeppelin song is actually a song called 'Black Dog' which is uhh ... kind of a 1968 anthem." Rice laughed, continuing "I like all kinds of music. I like Led Zepplin, I like Cream, I like really hard rock."
Condi admitted "...so I like all kinds of music except for Country & Western which, I don't get it, but some people like it."
Unlike many Americans, however, Rice also admitted earlier in the program to remaining "close friends" with George W. Bush.
The former President was not available for comment on Condi's rumored 'Oval Office Mix' or other iPod play-list faves at press time.
Hypothesis: confirmed. Artomatic's 2009 showcase showdown is ready to rock it in style.
Days after City Paper's 2009 BESTof readers choice issue named Artomatic DC's next best arts festival, registration response to this year's event has been incredible.
Over 900 artists + 100 performances are set to exhibit when Artomatic hits Half Street's 55 M St. SE - above the Navy Yard Metro station in DC's Capitol Riverfront - from May 29 - July 5.
Artists, bands + filmmakers can register to exhibit at www.artomatic.org.
"We are at a little over 450 paid registrations and they are coming in at a rate of 5 each minute. This is off the hook," Artomatic Chair George Koch wrote event organizers
two hours into open registration.
The space is awesome. Completely empty, brand new building and ready to showcase in epic fashion. During installation, Artomatic artists will transform nine floors of raw building space into the largest unjuried creative playground around DC.
Read more on the record-breaking event response in Artomatic's social media release and view photos of the event space on DC's Mixed Media District blog.
Presidential politics coursework taught me that right now it's all about identity politics. Has been for a while -- reaching voters with an image that best reflects and represents our self-concept. There's more to it than that, obviously. But not much.
People vote based on personal identity, not on self-interest. People even vote directly against very practical aspects of self-interest on issues like economics and authority.
George W. was able to win the presidency -- twice -- when our middle class rural white community bought into the Bush Doctrine despite his offering little or no financial advantage -- and the disadvantage of losing some ability to control our own lives by institutionalizing the view of a Unitary Executive, with power more concentrated than ever before in our history.
What was gained was only a perceived advantage of economic and social control, by electing a personal icon some thought better represented those goals, and a president we all really wanted to grab a beer with.
The first presidential candidate to figure out how to use television in a political campaign won the election. It was Richard Nixon, in 1968. Before blogs, we could read about this stuff in books -- unless sufficient side commentary was available on television, of course. The Selling of the President 1968 hasn't hit the big screen yet -- but it should. No worries, chances are we'll be able to Netflix it soon enough.
If you're like me and you don't read books, then you definitely dig the prime social networking, creative art, and viral video series that punctuated the 2008 campaign media scene.
Social media doesn't change identity politics -- the consequences of which, as we've seen, can be bad. But they can also be good -- and social media can open new access and add extra transparency to the political process. It can reflect our identity in a more genuine, less manufactured way.
Internet. It's the new television. DIY style.
In 2008, Obama for America hired Facebook co-creator Chris Hughes to help design the social networking structure and new media strategy that would win the general election. "Their use of social networks will guide the way for future campaigns," Hillary Clinton Campaign Internet Director Peter Daou told the New York Times last July.
The campaigns coincided with a nation inspired to create our own celebratory social media content -- from across the country to Washington DC.
Artist Shepard Fairey -- noted for his street work, creative dissidence, and common-ground style -- designed an iconic campaign portrait image that has come to symbolize a new face of progressive change for America.
The craze has even come to allow you to create your own Fairey-style portrait and fully immerse yourself in an identity piece that's shaping our culture. And he hit the streets of DC with campaign charm that takes the day. Thanks, Shepard.
Similar styles popped up during the election, like Warhol-style renderings of Obama -- which is ironic since the famous screen-print portrait series is seen as an attempt to deconstruct pop-culture icons and illustrate their manufactured reality.
And the artistic print that connected our streets to the Internet and back to politics is just a touch of the social media that helped to tip a change.
Months before the Democratic Primary was finally decided between Obama and Hillary Clinton in June, a chorus of musicians came together to produce the Yes We Can video that took off on YouTube. It soon spawned a fitting counterpart clip to balance McCain's campaign message: No, You Can't.
Not to be out shined, viral video reflected our affinity for the leading ladies that came -- or so some hoped -- to represent a new, apparently sexy, vice presidential role. Congrats, Joe.
Salon.com's Live! Nude! Puppies! The Year in Viral Video begins by noting, "among other things, 2008 will be remembered as the year that professionally produced Web video finally trumped amateurs with webcams." Saturday Night Live's Sarah Palin Hillary Clinton skit gets mention, and we'd have been as happy with hockey mom family flick Head of Skate- - or everyone's favorite vice presidential-almost, Paris Hilton. Not to mention Obama Girl.
Social media is all over the new political scene. With print media going down the tube, news sources' flexibility in adapting to a new social media landscape will define the next era of reporting political media. Just a week ago New York Times published a video story of poetic perspectives -- First Words -- from a group of high school students burrowed in the Bronx.
The new www.WhiteHouse.gov hosts the first White House Blog, which links to the first White House YouTube channel. It's awesome.
Slate.com offers great commentary on the use of social media by a new administration, as does TechCrunch -- noting "[o]ne significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it."
What!? We can post comments on legislation...score.
So if identity drives politics and media reflects identity, social media is poised to be the new most influential political force of the next presidential era. Like television, but better. Its good use can offer open access to the largest participatory audience an American president has ever seen. It can pull everyone in to add something -- little by little, of our own -- until we put the pieces of our national identity back together, and get ourselves out of a mess at least eight years in the making.
Bottom line: we've got a brand new funky president.
The Maverick is bringin' it back for us one more time -- way back -- Bible style. John McCain's campaign has released a sequel to an original ad they created a few weeks ago that's been making waves since we first saw it. Maybe you know "The One."
At first, it's a puzzling message. McCain's campaign imagery likens Barack Obama to Moses and portrays his popularity as a religious revival. So far, all of the campaigns' religious rhetoric has been unbelievable - but "The One II" is awful.
Interfaith Alliance has been calling it for months. The candidates' unholy religious rhetoric pulled us through a primary that often seemed more of a race for Pastor-in-Chief than Commander-in-Chief.
Our video on the Top Ten Moments in the Race for Pastor-in-Chief features Obama soliciting prayers that he might help "create a kingdom right here on earth" and McCain claiming he thinks our Constitution established America as a "Christian Nation."
When McCain's campaign released its original "The One" ad comparing Obama to Moses, any notion of its absurdity quickly parted when pundits suggested it portrayed Barack Obama as the Anti-Christ. "An Anti-Christ Obama in McCain Ad?" asked Time Magazine's Amy Sullivan.
When did we enter a political era in which it's acceptable to consider if a candidate's credentials meet supernatural criteria? Are we seriously having a political conversation about the possibilities of biblical manifestation by a presidential candidate?
McCain's ads comparing Obama to the Anti-Christ would make more sense - or at least be less offensive -- if someone were already out there comparing Barack Obama to the messiah himself.
Enter: Barack Obama. Starting in the early primaries, it seems as if Obama's campaign has been portraying him as prophetic. Obama's "Committed Christian" campaign materials appeared in a Salon.com article way back in January. Obama's website now has an entire section about him being a "Committed Christian."
If religious identity politics have taken us to a time when we -- when anyone -- will follow a Christ vs. Anti-Christ candidate comparison to elect our next President, maybe it's time to pause and evaluate our priorities.
Interfaith Alliance's 5 Questions for every political candidate offer you a way to ask your candidates running for every level of political office about their positions on religion and politics - and gives the candidates a chance to tell us just how close to Christ they really want to be.
We want to know from everyone running for office:
* What role will your faith or values play in creating public policy or making appointments?
* What are your views on the boundaries between religion and government?
* What steps will you take to protect the rights of your constituents regardless of faith or belief?
* How will you speak about your beliefs without making them just another political tool?
* How will you balance the principles of your faith and your obligation to defend the Constitution, particularly if the two come into conflict?
This week, connect with Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Welton Gaddy online for his StateofBelief.com DNC Challenge to help watch the role of faith at the Democratic National Convention. Next week, we'll be watching the Republicans.
Being a public figure doesn't mean you have to deny your beliefs. But as religion plays an increasingly prominent role in American politics, preserving the boundary between religion and government is more vital than ever. We can have both.
In a country with more people from more religions than anywhere else in the world, it's time we get back to what strengthens our most vibrant communities -- and stop focusing on who's hell the candidates might send us to if they're elected. Mine, for one, doesn't exist.
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