Marketing & Advertising

Kurt Cobain Likes iPad?


VividWireless is right, Kurt Cobain wouldn’t sell out for Apple if he were alive. Posting semi-inflammatory images can produce a lot of shares but I’m unconvinced it is a good idea if you are trying to sell smartphones. The photo is “Dead Rockers, Modern Times” by Butcher Billy, a graphic designer from Curitiba in Brazil.

Social Powerball

Cheap tactics and some legal avoidance helped brands and others gain fans over the recent Powerball buzz.

Prior to one of the biggest Powerball lottery drawings in history, celebrities and brands (Fox11, 95.5 Radio, Larry Fitzgerald, etc.) posted their lottery tickets online and offered to share the winnings if their fans shared the photo. The idea was gold but against many of Facebook’s policies. Imagine the lawsuits and chaos if Larry would have won?

Takeaway: Is gaining Facebook fans by breaking Facebook Terms of Service, where your page could be deleted, worth the possible gains? For my clients I say, no.

And then there are those who abuse the concept. This brute fooled many on Facebook. It is a picture of a fake winning Powerball ticket that is now the most shared photo in Facebook history. Smart people quickly pointed out that the ticket was very fake. The numbers in a Powerball ticket are always in ascending order. The uploader promised a percentage of the winnings for anyone who shared the photo.

Hijack The News


Last night I attended an AZIMA meeting featuring SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin. The topic was SEO, duh. Anyway, he talked about writing about the news. This isn’t a new concept in the least, in fact we content people call it Newsjacking or News hijacking. It really does work, example: Twinkies!

Pizza Hut Debate Fail


One of the best articles I’ve read in a while from USA Today writer Bruce Horovitz on a failed Pizza Hut PR stunt:

Less than one week ago, the pizza chain was on a presidential PR high. It created a stunt to convince attendees at tonight’s Town Hall presidential debate, to ask President Obama and Mitt Romney if they preferred sausage or pepperoni on their pizza. Anyone who posed the question was guaranteed free pizza for life. That’s a free pizza a week for up to 30 years.

But Pizza Hut has changed its tune following negative PR on blogs and in the media. “Some of the attention we received was not positive,” says Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer. “We decided the question was better served online than in the debate itself.”

Oops. Pizza Hut is not the first to have a PR stunt go awry.

—BMW had to apologize this year after an offer to pay for naming rights to a weather system backfired when the system turned into a deep freeze that claimed lives across Europe.

—When rapper MGK performed at a Microsoft store in Orlando, employees urged him to stop when he began destroying laptops .

Now, Pizza Hut is, asking consumers to go online to discuss the pizza topping question – and it’s no longer urging debate-goers to ask the question. PR and brand experts say Pizza Hut created its own PR mess.

“What a stupid idea,” says Peter Madden, CEO of AgileCat, a brand consultancy. “It seems like a thoughtless grab for a little bit of attention.”

Read the full story here.

Processed for Print

Processing a raw photo for print is a nice way of saying applying Photoshop effects. Clearly in the 1920’s they didn’t do that. Read the back story of this photo via Copyranter. Let’s do a little work:

So, I went ahead and applied what I think modern advertising agencies probably would do in this case:

Gate6 is Social

Brilliant copy from Gate6 here in Phoenix. Click the image to see it on Facebook. I couldn’t agree more with their “right time, audience and platform message”. Timing on Facebook is easy, if you know how. Twitter can be harder, check out Social Bro for a great “best time to tweet” metric that exports to Hootsuite.

Creepy Skin Ad

What are they trying to say here? Murder someone for younger skin? When you click on the ad it has nothing to do with putting blood on your face. It is simply a trick. This is from a newspaper site in Orlando. Clicking has been disabled.

Don’t Mess with AMC


AMC just slapped that Oreo out of your chubby fingers. “Not on my watch, ” said their community manager. I think it is pretty freaking awesome, you don’t see brands talk to each other like that unless it is a forced co-branding venture by some ad slag.

A Moive Based on a Classified Ad


Many years ago, a prankster placed the ad above in a local newspaper. Now, “Safety Not Guaranteed” is a movie based on this bizarre classified ad. Since the ad was posted online, a sub-culture grew into a full mythology. I hope Hollywood stays true to the glory of the Internet. The official trailer for the movie is not as epic as the trailer someone made years ago for a fictional movie – all based on this exact ad.

“The original classified ad upon which the film is based first appeared in Backwoods Home Magazine in 1997. It was written as last-minute filler by John Silveira, an employee of the magazine”

Fake Olympic Ad Win


The Olympic Committee has very strict rules on who is allowed to advertise during the London 2012 games. The Drum, an advertising magazine, held a contest for fake ads from brands banned from advertising by the LOCOG. My favorite is a KFC ad, because KFC would do such a tasteless thing.

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