Anyone that knows me knows that my dog, Cami, is the most important thing in the world to me. Cami is incredibly smart and super sweet. She’s also very spoiled and thinks that she’s a person. As you can see in the picture below, she’s quite comfortable on the couch. Hence, it was time to get her a dog bed of her own. Of course given her sophisticated tastes, I needed to find a dog bed that matched her lifestyle and worldview: stylish yet eco-friendly. Yes, she’s environmentally conscious as well as quite charitable. But, where to begin??
How many awful commercials do you see where a group of ethnically diverse “friends” is standing around a party having some wooden, unbelievable discussion about the benefits of Product X?
You probably can’t remember because a) there are so many of them and b) they’re all so, so forgettable.
It’s a shame, because even if a company doesn’t have the budget of a Google or a Red Bull, that doesn’t excuse them for not trying. A great commercial script is free.
Story is free.
See, marketing is storytelling at its core. It’s taking a reader or a user or a viewer on a journey—one that identifies a problem in his or her life and offers a helpful solution. Great marketing evokes an emotional response in people and makes them connect with your brand in a profound way. Funneling your traditional ad copy through bargain bin actors isn’t story. It’s not compelling, and it’s not effective.
That said, how many marketers do you think really put in the effort to understand story?
I recently had a very frank conversation with my 18-year-old brother after I came across his Twitter profile for the first time. Maybe this was the overbearing big sister in me taking over, but I felt like it was my personal duty to give him the "social media is big, and it's not going away" speech that my generation has drilled into my head. I was shocked to find out, all via his Twitter feed mind you, that my shy and reserved little brother had become the life of the weekend parties, had developed quite the potty mouth AND, to top it all off, was a week away from getting a tattoo on his back of Super Mario Brothers. (This was the same brother who very recently ran out of our doctor's office waiting room crying and hiding under desks in the hallway to avoid a routine shot.)
I'm not being judgmental here. In fact, I would support any decision of his that he was truly passionate about; however, none of these new "decisions" he was bragging about to the Twitterverse were HIM. I didn’t know where this was coming from, but the bigger problem was that he didn’t understand the consequences of this cool-man identity (slash immature 18-year-old attempt to fit in) that he was putting out there. He didn’t get that he was shaping his reputation with everything he tweeted, no matter how trivial a sentence seemed at the time...it all was a reflection of his person.
This shouldn’t be a newsflash because in my opinion it's very, very old news. So, old newsflash people: the virtual you is you. There is no faking, deceiving, hiding or avoiding it. Whether you’re an avid philosophical poster or you simply upload albums of your family vacays, everything that comes from your profile(s) embodies a form of you: your values, friends, beliefs, affiliations, opinions and experiences. That’s a pretty big deal. Yes, as I’ve found out, it’s hard to convince a social media newbie about the impact of social media before they’ve experienced the positive and negative consequences of their actions and interactions over time. Long story short, I am no Winston Churchill when it comes to speech giving, so my big sister advice went in one ear and out the other.
My brother remained silent on the other end of the line until I was done, said ‘okay’ and we ended the call. I was very pleased with my etiquette EDU session until I logged on to Twitter to see he had been live-tweeting about our conversation the whole time:
"If you have a problem with me, #1 way NOT to fix it is to stalk my Twitter then lecture me about it. #sorrynotsorry"
"Going on 15 minute phone call with my sister...She really just said: 'the virtual you' in reference to Twitter. #sorrynotsorry"
I may not be able to convince my brother of the value of social media etiquette yet, but there's no doubt in my mind that he will learn in due time because he went too far, or didn’t think before typing.
Across the nation, trucks are delivering cases of franks, guys are boning up on pitching rotations and spouses are breathing a collective sigh of dread for the beginning of the most glorious time of the year: baseball season. With 162+ games of slow, smoldering Americana ahead of us, nowhere is the excitement for the return of the boys of summer stronger than it is right here in Atlanta for our beloved Bravos.
Of course, there’s no shortage of Braves caps or Chief Noc-A-Homa shirts at any given time of the year in our office or anywhere around the A, but what about in Gulfport, Mississippi? That’s where my grandparents live, and I remember as a kid watching Braves games at their house with my grandfather, a professed Braves fan.
What about Nashville? Greenville? No other team, with the possible exception of the Red Sox in New England, has dominated a region of the U.S. like the Braves have done in the Southeast. There’s a reason that, despite an average payroll and only one championship to its name, the Atlanta Braves more than any other organization have come to be known as America’s Team, and it has more than a little bit to do with brand integrity.
While versions of retargeting have been around for many years, it seems like 2012 was the year that everyone jumped on the retargeting bandwagon. Clients are clamoring for it and marketers all know it’s an essential component of a digital strategy.
Put simply, retargeting allows you to re-target your audience with custom ads based on their past history on your site or, in some cases, on other sites. So those ads you see that constantly show you the 5 products you just viewed on a site? Those are retargeting ads.