January 4, 2013 § Leave a Comment
This is the start of a full post or a WIP if you will… I will likely never get around to writing a full post so consider this my simple top three wishlist of things I want from Facebook this year. As a consumer and a marketer I spend way too much time on Facebook and my love/hate is way more love than hate. I just want it to be a better* experience. So here they are…
1. Facebook to finally implement a way to search walls /posts (if I can’t go back and find the article I know I saw someone post, someone will make it easier…)
2. Figure out iframes (or an alternative) on mobile devices… you mandated iframes, you don’t give brands a way to post different posts to mobile or desktop sites (or target only desktop sites), you have preferred vendors that make a lot of money building tabs, you want brands to share content and build experiences on Facebook. Any person or brand or small business should be able to post a link in an email, tweet, status to drive deep into Facebook and/or a tab without having to caveat it with the awesome language of “if you are viewing this on a mobile device, you can’t. You will be redirected to our Facebook wall with no mention of the fact the content isn’t accessible and you will not get the content you wanted, enter the contest you thought you were entering and in turn think poorly of the person or brand. And the person or community manager will spend time and resources answering questions from confused and pissed off fans”
3. For brands, stop using Facebook status posts to tease a link. Cropped, blurry photos and a “click to see who said it” is terrible. Facebook is a place to engage in content and have conversations not a cheap linking strategy (Cambio / AOL, you’re the worst offender).
Maybe I will get around to writing a full post, what other wishlist items am I missing?
*my definition of better is subjective but I encourage you to challenge me, I am confident my definition of better will stand up in this case.
November 2, 2012 § 1 Comment
I posted a very long status on Facebook. I am also going to post it here. This page needed some love anyway.
My soapbox. My opinions. My breaking every unwritten Facebook rule. My ‘read at your own risk’ disclaimer.
Please vote. Early vote. Vote on Tuesday. It’s your right. When you are voting, please consider all of the issues and go with what you believe. Know there are two supreme court justices possibly chosen. Know in Mitt’s own words, his economic solution (for whatever that is) conveniently won’t see it’s fullest potential for 10 years (and in his best case scenario he won’t be held accountable)… with that in mind, please vote. No matter who you vote for, vote.
If you are a woman, know a woman, have a mom, daughter, sister, girlfriend or wife. Consider them and their rights for equality, the future you believe they deserve. If you make less than $250K a year or know someone who does or know someone that has been down on their luck and deserves a fair shot at getting back on their feet, if you can’t borrow money from your parents. Consider them. If you are old, plan on getting old, have watched someone try to get health care. Know someone with a preexisting condition or have witnessed anyone get sick and then sicker because they can’t afford healthcare. Remember the helpless feelings you witnessed or felt. If you know a solider, were a solider, are a solider, appreciate those that serve and have served, consider them and how you want them treated when they are in battle and when they return home. If you are gay, know someone who is gay or just believe that everyone deserves the same rights financially and in love, consider them. If you aren’t Catholic, know someone who has different religious beliefs or are a Christian that believes in religious freedom and different opinions, consider what happens when mutual respect is displayed. If you are an immigrant, know an immigrant, could be profiled as an immigrant, know someone who could be profiled, consider them. If you care about the climate, want to be able swim in the ocean, desire to provide a clean future for the next generation, consider the facts. If you believe the government and states should help after natural disasters. If you believe in equality, democracy and life outside your own world, if you have empathy and love thy neighbor, if you believe future generations need to be exposed to different beliefs, races, religions and ideas to counterbalance the fear that has become an acceptable alternative to common sense and empathy– vote for the one you believe provides this. Consider all of these things and weigh them against an improving economy and improving job market and then vote. It is your right and your choice. I just hope you vote with the facts and your heart.
Be on the correct side of history. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. And be thankful this only happens every four years.
July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
Have you heard? Women’s World Cup is going on in Germany.
Every four years this happens. And every 4 years it is exciting, beautiful and most importantly it’s talked about. It’s not the Superbowl, it’s not LeBron, hell, it’s not even draft week… I am not naive, I get that women’s sports will never get the same level of commitment in media support and ad dollars. But there are pockets in which they should. We see it in the Olympics and I can’t think of a reason we don’t see more activity every 4 years around women’s soccer.
No one should be surprised about the excitement and hype around the women’s world cup. Wambach, Solo and Rapinoe may have replaced Mia, Brandi and Julie but the punchline is still the same- women’s US national team unites soccer fans and welcomes bandwagon fans every 4 years. And in a world of brands trying to connect and have conversations with fans, women’s world cup seems like an easy one.
It’s been a top twitter trend for weeks, the amazing win over Brazil hit the cover of almost every newspaper across the country, 3.89 Million people tuned in to watch the pass from Rapinoe to Wambach, and ESPN has a mobile truck traveling across Germany bringing great live coverage. No one should be surprised that there were standing ovations in baseball diamonds across the country when the final score was announced. No one should be surprised that the game is aired live in times square. You can be a little surprised they won an ESPY (as it was the late entry 2 days before the award show)… but only a little.
The athletes are accessible- they run camps for young players, they stay after and sign autographs, they play in leagues in the US and across Europe, they tweet, and have facebook profile- they do everything short of knocking on your door and introducing themselves. They are fit (they beat Brazil because they were better conditioned), they are humble, they are role models.
The the usual suspects continue to set the bar high and the three that deserve a big thumbs up for the level of commitment are:
1. ESPN- Across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNw it’s been great. Big Blue is fun and welcoming. Commentary has been superior. Old players from multiple countries providing perspective.
2. NIKE - NIKE has always placed value on women’s sports. they support athletes 365 days a year and have committed energy to a dedicated campaign for this year’s team… Pressure Makes Us. (here, here and here)
With the good comes the bad (or opportunities if you will). A few places that leave room for improvement… Rogaine sponsored the semi-final match. I would love to see the brief that made this an effective investment. And for the brands that are re-purposing ads that kind of relate to women’s soccer… ads they made with US men national players, ads with soccer balls in them… it’s better than running a football ad, but not much. There are categories, industries and product lines that can connect better and create more value for their investment.
So brands, agencies and fans. Stop waiting four years to be reminded how powerful these three weeks can be. Stop second-guessing if there will be enough buzz. Stop doing the bare-minimum to be associated. Create something meaningful for a passionate fan base with a team that captures the hearts of a nation for 3 weeks every four years. It will be worth it. (and there are plenty of ways to extend it beyond those three weeks, but I’ll leave that for another day).
I will now step down from my soapbox and get ready to cheer on the US this Sunday.
April 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Hello, my name is Erin and I’m a Twitter douchebag. I’m glad to finally get that off my chest. I don’t like it, but when I break it down I am not sure how to avoid it. Don’t nod your head in judgment, odds are you are a Twitter DB too.
To determine if you are you need to answer this seemingly simple question: Who are you tweeting for? In the chart below, I break it down to three main (and most popular) options – 1) Friends 2) Industry Peers and 3) Yourself. You may think the answer is easy, but before you lock in your final answer, look at your last 20 tweets, I bet it is not that black & white. If you are like me, you live in a chaotic gray area when it comes to your digital persona. Especially in the advertising and marketing industry, the notion of professional and personal separation doesn’t exist. Sure, you can keep some things separate, but it’s not easy. You are expected to fan, follow and like your company’s clients (and their competitors), you have your own interests, you post and share at all hours of the day (and night), you have opinions about what is going on in the world around you. And before you know it, there it is, all on the same screen, your personal interests right there next to that article about paid, earned and owned media. You can’t be more than one without being a DB. Now really, where do you fall on the chart?
Now, ask yourself this question: What are you willing to give up based on your choices? Are you willing to create a strategy for your personal brand on Twitter? Choose your target audience? Determine if followers, @s and RTs are reason you are there? and stick to it? Play a few scenarios out: You convince your friends to start using twitter, but those that don’t get or care what you do for work get annoyed when you start posting the latest article on how brand managers debate content creation on the latest panel. Or you make a coveted “Smart Industry Peeps” list by someone you admire (virtually). Only to be removed from that list or unfollowed once you post 5 comments about how you can’t believe that the girl you went to high school with is still working at the bar in your hometown. Or, even better, you post a politically charged link mocking George Bush and Sarah Palin.
It’s true, like brands that are getting into social (see how I brought it back around to work?), I can’t please everyone, and short of creating two Twitter accounts, I will be unfollowed and it hurts a little. Personally, I try to separate super political polarizing opinions in different blogs, make it pretty clear that my Facebook page is more personal interests and stream of everything (and friend at your own risk), my twitter account is a place for everything to coexist. Both blogs send links to my Twitter account, I like the Red Wings after I share the latest infographic about how twitter employees use twitter. Because of that, I will cross that line. It may be too many tweets in a short period of time, it may be too many tweets that aren’t industry related and/or funny enough. And, because I enjoy knowing who I have pushed too far, I will continue to use QWITTER. A service that sends me a weekly email telling me who has unfollowed me the last tweet I sent before it happened.
So I own it, I know my personal and professional versions of me are more similar than different and I thank the followers who can see through the noise and hopefully find something I say useful/entertaining once in a while and/or ignore me without officially unfollowing me. Because I really don’t have the energy or time to build another twitter account. Oh, and you can follow me @schmogel.
March 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I love advertising- almost too much. I love figuring out how a brand can fit into an experience vs. around it, or even worse, bastardizing it. I understand and respect the need for old school push advertising to tell people what they need to know (in those cases, I hope the messaging and standalone experience are good). I have also seen how the inability to approach things differently and fall back on old ways can destroy what the people love and engage with.
It is the reason why, I love this story – from TheWeek.com: Irony Alert: Mad Men Delayed until 2012… over advertising dispute.
It’s not just advertising, it cuts deeper. It is a case of integrity of the show/vision/concept hit head-on by the revenue police/turnip squeezers. And in my opinion, very short-sighted turnip squeezers. The big asks, that appear to be the sticking point:
- Remove 2 minutes of show so more ads can be jammed in
- More product placement (they already do quite a bit)
- Cut 2 cast members to keep costs down
Where is a mediator when you need one. There has to be a solution that makes the writers and the (cable) network happy while still offering brands meaningful ways to wide the wave of success Mad Men has. Or it’s a case of old school thinking- convention tells AMC that it’s one of the longest running cable shows out there and the numbers say the run is almost over, now is the time to squeeze as much money as we can, consumer/viewer experience be damned. I hope they figure this out without losing a writer or characters (until the time is right in the story).
My advice to networks (who are still a very important part of experiences and will be until they become too easy to side-step): Stop forcing appointment viewing, stop shoving more noise into the mix, and stop trying to squeeze the life out of everything so early.
(thank you @ghammy for sharing).
March 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
I hate everything (every little thing) about the pretentious, over-priced, self-indulging campaign for Fage yogurt. It actually makes me angry when it comes on. I may stop watching Food Network until the campaign ends. Watch it first, but be warned it may invoke unexpected anger, and then I will explain the 5 reasons I hate it.
Now, simmer down. And see if you agree with my rationale.
1. It is pronounced fa-yeh. As obnoxious as that is, fine, it’s a 50 year old brand that isn’t changing it’s name now. But it’s new to the US. One would think the agency and brand manager would seek a campaign that educated consumers about the brand, the name, the product. How does one know how to pronounce the name? not from the video, not from the missing URL in the video (see #2), and not from conversations they hope to have started- if there are people who like the brand (despite the campaign) and are talking about it, odds are they are pronouncing it incorrectly.
2. A classic case of creative developed by a self-proclaimed visionary stuck in an agency that wishes they were doing something else with their lives (like making movies most people won’t get). It’s 2011 and somehow a brand was convinced to spend a lot of money on a video they were told was visually stunning, broke through the clutter, elevated the brand to a premium level, made yogurt art… whatever load of bullshit they bought, the place in which the client was mislead (and in my opinion the agency failed) was when they convinced the client that you don’t need to make it easy to get more information. Someone lied to the brand/client and told them that people would seek them out after such strong and compelling copy coupled with the visuals. A cow shaking it’s head in milk + the plain manifesto = a consumer jumping online to find out what this amazing commercial is for. The problem, you can barely read the name on the label, there is no URL, no Facebook URL, no way of even knowing that it’s yogurt. Hey, old school creatives- get over yourself, and thinking that adding Facebook, URLs and the like are beneath you. Which brings me to #3
3. It’s Greek Yogurt. Not just yogurt, not sour cream, not ice cream, not anything else that a consumer is forced into guessing. I like Greek yogurt. It is becoming a trend in the US. Why, for the love of everything holy, is Fage wasting money running :60 second spots that don’t mention it is Greek yogurt (or even a yogurt), the reasons why you should care, the benefits of it (there are health and taste benefits), the fact it was born in Athens, where to find it, that it is a 50 year old brand…or at least where you can go to get that information?
4. The copy & casting. I have written before about the importance of casting the right people, in this case it is about casting the right voice. Go to the website (I’ll give you the link, since the video and YouTube page don’t tell you how to get there - FageUSA.com – the site and the Facebook content are so stereotypically created for “the grocery shopping mom with 2.5 kids and/or the single yoga enthusiast.” The plain manifesto (as I am calling it) is read by a man with a tone that enrages me. I don’t know why, but it does. Maybe because it sounds like a Levi’s rip-off and I love that spot. And the copy is unrelatable and misguided. Hey Fage, you are yogurt. You are not changing the world., saving the children or creating a movement to make the world a happier place to live- bring it down a notch.
5. And finally, I hate this because of the :60 second spots, the over-priced video, the campaign the brand manager purchased. It makes me mad when brands spend their money in foolish ways – and furious when agencies convince them to.
Note: When I wrote this, I didn’t know what agency did this campaign, I refused to google it. But I have since googled it. It makes me even more upset. They know better and have done better. [disclaimer: i work in advertising. at an agency. not at the agency that did this campaign.]