Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good 'Google Juice'

What comes up when you Google your name? And what does it mean now that you can Google your name?

Find out what 'Google Juice" means in the following video (via Viral Garden):

Maybe "Got Googled?" could be the next version of the Milk Campaign; Goodby want to tackle it? Come on.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

connecting the dots

where do all you go for blog feedback/conversation threads? By this I mean, if you have a blog > where do you go to see who's talking about it? Or who has linked to it? Sites I check/bookmark are:
Looking for some new ideas...

if Einstein blogged

Want to know your Blog's readability level? Go here and find out.

Via How does your Blog stack up against the rest? Thanks Cam!

(look to the right and down for usability purposes, and BTW, I have NO idea how they calculate their answers. I don't feel like a Genius: Did Einstein really ever know how smart he was when he was equating? This is basic stuff that I'm sharing.)

old but new, for me

Truemors is one of those sites that you've probably heard of, somewhere. Maybe you were reading a blog and they mentioned Guy. Who's Guy? Guy Kawasaki used to be the chief evangelist of Apple. Yeah, bite that one off and chew it.

Anyway he's a good guy. I've seen his name mentioned in circles with Bruce Mau via Piers. Truemors believes in something I believe in: the sharing of information. They call it 'the democratization of information' and they have a really good definition of a rumor:
  • from Rumor Psychology:

    “…unverified and instrumentally relevant information statements in circulation that arise in contexts of ambiguity, danger, or potential threat and that function to help people make sense and manage risk.”

But what really got me to write this post, was this:
  • We also acknowledge the pioneering and inspiring work of Fark, Twitter, BoredAt, Digg, PostSecret, PopSugar, and HotOrNot in this field.
These aren't go-by-the-wayside sites, nor are they everyday-Google types. These are innovative, artistic, save them as bookmarks now sites. When I saw this shoutout, I thought Truemors may have a wacky name, but they know how to admire and pay tribute to social movements; and in doing so, they might make one of their own.

to be noted: I have never heard of Fark (it's not news), BoredAt (anonymous thoughts) or HotOrNot (interesting that we can do this) to learn more now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

a little branding history

I saw this sign at the Fort Worth Stockyards last weekend. Cowboys were the first branders:
  • Brands are one of the most interesting tools used by livestock people. Each brand is by necessity different than all the others and often conveys the character of the owner.
  • Choose as simple a brand as possible.
  • Apply the brand properly.
  • Brands have a language all their own. That language, like any other, follows certain rules. The ability to read these symbols is referred to as "callin' the brand."
Hmmm, maybe this makes Cowgirl Planner even the more relevant. And for Planners everywhere, here's to callin' the brand correctly. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wal-Mart as a neighborhood market?

WTF? I saw one of these yesterday in Dallas' Uptown area. Wikipedia had more:
  • Launched in 1998, these "Neighborhood Markets" are a quarter the size of a Supercenter and are meant to woo shoppers in search of a quainter Wal-Mart experience. There are currently 118 of these nationwide.

I think this is a bunch of bologna. It's just a way for "what's wrong with America" to weezel its way into the shop local trend that is sweeping America. Ok, smart business plan WallyWorld but...I am still not buying it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

the definition of new

I was at the gym this morning, lifting some weights thinking about my form and such. I thought about all the variations of simple exercises that trainers and other likeminds have come up with purely for the sake of "something new." This is a thread from my thoughts below, spurred by Scott's comment in semi-support of "the box." In my gym metaphor, the box is traditional, simple exercises.

There is a difference between coming up with something new and using differently what's already available. Miami Ad School taught us each to find our own stride; what makes us unique as a planner; how will we position ourselves as we try to break in to a popular category. And there's much to be said for new ideas and innovation (a planner should have this skill as well) but what's under-rated but just as important is looking at the existing elements and re-arranging them: saying "what about this?"

It is our job to bring something new to the table, but now I'm starting to shift my idea of what new means. It's somewhat easier to dismiss new ideas, those that create something that's never been created before because they're too unique. Ideas that refresh elements that already exist; however, might be easier to digest.

I'm not sure if I have articulated this well enough, so stay tuned for an update. Basically, when you say "new" what do you mean? New way to think? Or is it new, never been created before?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

creating Fansumers

My blogreads this AM started with "PR is useless...when actions create the real story." Real PR = Real WOM if it's 'generated at the roots'. Frontline employees tell the greatest and most authentic stories when it comes to what's really going on with a brand. After spending two years in customer-service, I definitely support deploying more of a brand's budget in creating advocates out of these people. Ben McConnell says "Campaigns are designed. Movements are born." Love it! It's just another notch in the brands-need-to-be-honest belt.

Then I hopped over to Interactive Marketing Trends where I read "Google defined the market as a 'when' and not a 'who'. Demography means little when someone is actively searching for your brand or product." The post is titled "Facebook ad model - the new Google?" While I agree that it's important to be "hanging out" in the consumers environment, I'm not sure how I feel about behavioral targeting. It makes sense, but if we're taking the brand-as-person model as an example: who lets their friends use them? That doesn't feel cool at all.

At Unit Structures, Fred Stutzman says, Project Beacon (as the Facebook app is called) is "trying to turn us all into lifestyle marketers. It might be breaking the user-experience."
My planner ears are perked.

Friday, November 9, 2007

creative intellectual juice

One of AdAge's most emailed stories of the day is It's not about new media, it's about new marketing. I would be curious to know the statistics of the recipients of these emails. It might be fair to guess that the majority is on the client-side; Using the article as leverage to open up the table for conversation about thinking outside the box. The box being one of the many traditional marketing tactics that are now ubiquitous in the mainstream.

Nick Brien, CEO of Universal McCann says the idea of new media is almost irrelevant. My thoughts are when clients ask for something new, they mean to say "something unique." And maybe using this lingo would provide the agency with more creative flexibility. New media = box; something unique = endless possibilities. Add in some planning to give some direction: unique to who, unique where, unique when, and more importantly: what is unique to our target?

Brien supports using media to enhance personality. I like that. It could be thought of in this way: the media department adds personality to the idea, gives it an attitude, gives it a feel, creates a context. I've never thought of personality as context before but it makes perfect sense.

A couple months ago, I posted about planning and its biggest challenge of being up to date. The AdAge article I cited said Today's planning ideas need to stand up to all forms of advertising. Ideas cannot be boxed, should not be boxed. They need to be insightfully strong which will make them inherently unique. But then they're really simple and that's the beautiful thing about the art of planning. It comes down to people and motivations. Brien adds support here: the two greatest motivators are love and fear.

Now go find yourself a thinking partner and get that creative intellectual juice a brewin. Plan on.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"I saw the commercial"

I heard this quote this morning on NPR. It was a story on everyday American citizens getting swept up in candidates' marketing efforts. I think the quote was mentioned in relation to Obama's TV campaign. A woman had seen the commercial and therefore trusted (?) Obama and his message a bit more. Does advertising work? I think so.

My posting reason was not to high five advertising but rather to make note of its simplicity with middle America. It made me think about planning > we're smart people; we've got a good pulse on culture; we have conversations about strategy for pete's sake. But sometimes I think we might forget that the average person "doesn't get it." Advertising is on TV. It's what they see; what they experience unknowingly.

I don't like to admit that advertising does something to people. I like to think of the active consumer. I'd like to give them more credit than mere marketers do. I want to engage them. But... I need to think about this post: It will bring me back to reality. Advertising is a message and middle America gets it. They saw the commercial.

ps: the small print in the picture says: the Simplest solutions are often the cleverest. They are also usually wrong. - I wish the second part would meet Planning. :p