Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hulu is super COOL-u

An evil plot to destroy the world. Enjoy.

I did. Thank you.

pS > blogger peeps! I owe you lots of information, a ton has been going on in the agency lately and I'd love to update you all about it. lots of learning happening on my part. :) It's all good. I thank you Miami Ad School for inspiring me to be diligent, effective and creative.

Stay tuned, but until then

plan on plannaz

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Portland, Oregon

Thought I'd share with you my response to "why is Portland the best city in the U.S.?"

It's the perfect size, WITH public transportation AND bike lanes, so you can change up your commuting style if you want. Portland has great music scene (rivals Austin's), great coffee, great food, and the most microbreweries per capita of any city in the U.S. There are hippies in Portland, but most travel south to Eugene (my second favorite city in Oregon), Portland is more filled with industrial hipsters, artists, musicians, and there's a tiny section of town that's similar to an 'Uptown' in any town. Portland has great shopping, lots of boutiques (I can think of one major shopping mall/center in city limits), lots of good second hands good (CDs, clothes, furniture, books) and no sales tax anywhere. The Willamette river runs through the middle of downtown and there are plenty of hiking trails in Forest Park that's just above the city. If you want to see the ocean or go snowboarding, both activities are only 90 minutes to the West or East. The people are smart, conscientious, and conversational. Keep Oregon green is our slogan. It is. :)

Portland rules.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

creative briefs

Some things I've learned in my first year:
  1. do not always happen
  2. should be part of a larger conversation/should never be a hand off
  3. help the creatives identify what the strategy means to who
  4. sometimes are just "the form to fill out"
  5. sometimes they're not brief
  6. media peeps will be the most interested in demographics
  7. creative guidelines are more of a "must do" than a general direction
  8. the client will always want to see their name in the single most persuasive
  9. using direct quotes from consumers helps get the language right
My insight today was point number 3 - that they help give color to why the strategy works for our target audience. I always though the brief was just a one-sheeter with power-packed, inspirational language that would help focus the creative output, but to hear that creatives are identifying with the strategy from it, make me happy.

Maybe this is a "duh" point to make, but it was validating to hear and helps to support this planning document even more. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

doing some reading

just a small round-up of "news" from Mediaweek:, which targets males 12-24, is now MTV Networks' largest online property with over 11 million monthly uniques.
Could the next evolution of MTV being a gaming space?
Entertainment brands like movie studios and game publishers seek higher impact ad placements, which casual games can offer better than most content sites.
Is this saying that doing advertising in the form of games is high-impact placement or that placing ads on casual gaming sites is high-impact? not very good writing.
New Character Project by celebrates interesting, dazzling, and distinctive people from all walks of life, who make this country extraordinary.
Sounds cool, but this sounds like it could be a great TV show - maybe one of the only good TV shows on TV these days (do people seriously watch good TV somewhere? let me know). Anyway, I checked out the website and this also seems like it would be a good project to benefit a nonprofit, but...again, doesn't look like USA is coming through on this. Hmmm. I bet they aren't even on Twitter. OH, I was wrong; check this out! :P
Peter Daboll says: "Smart marketers will use this economic lull as an opportunity to stop, listen and learn how to communicate with consumers instead of spinning their wheels."
You should read this awesome case study about Bank of America and their Twitter account; it's about how brands can be providing exceptionally personal customer-service for FREE using Twitter. Yes, really.

47% of U.S. homes upgraded to HDTVs, up from 34% in 2007 but...why? "TV" isn't getting any better.

Ok, done reading now. Thanks for letting me share.

What is Twitter?

I was asked this today by a creative. Instead of acting smugly "in the know," I tried to explain Tweets, Tweeps, and the service in general. Here's what came out:

It's considered a microblogging service, but you don't have to put up a whole post or anything, just a short message with 140 characters or less.
So, it's like a blog?
No, it's more of a feed. You have followers and you follow people, and depending the content of your Tweets and vice versa, it's a news feed more or less of cool stuff you might be into.
So, what do I write about?
Anything you want, it's mostly about what's going to be of most interest to your followers and what you like to read. There are many types of "feeds." Mine is about cool advertising, thinking news because those are the kind of people I follow. But if you wanted to know about mundane time at which someone's getting their coffee in the morning or hitting their afternoon slump, those kinds of Tweets are out there to know about.
I do Facebook, that's about it.
Well, Facebook - and its new "facelift" - is a lot like Twitter, where you see other people's updates in real time...

The conversation changed turns and we were then setting up a context mapping session in which I will reference Twitter and Facebook and review sites. At least he won't be blindsighted when I bring up Tweets, but the issue (and game for planners) will come when we bring to life how social media is changing people's consumption of media in general.

I think it's a matter of asking the right questions so that we include social media in the conversation. This was in fact the very topic of a planner I feel privileged to work with, Planning for conversations by Christopher Owens at the AAAA Planning Conference 2008. Conversations are powerful, conversations can happen anywhere, and brands, products and companies must be conversational. Ok. But how do we make this happen?

The standard questions on a brief don't take into account the interaction that can happen with a brand. Should this piece of paper be changing to include a social space? If we were to answer the question "what's my brand's share factor?" What would we say? If were to "guide" the conversation, where would we take it? What do we want people to talk about? Or rather, what are they talking about and how can we participate?

things to think about.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

hats off to Skittles

I am dazzled (If Skittled were an adjective, I'd use it) by the new Skittles site, yesterday and today. Yesterday it was - the Twitter page; today it's - the Facebook page. The change has been credited to spam/vulgarity (one and the same in my marketing book), and I think this says more about us as humans than it does about the brand.

I think people will take advantage of any chance to publicize themselves; "oh what? is publishing anything related to skittles in real time? Oh shit, I better type something so I get my 5 seconds of fame." - seriously? Oh yeah, it's America, the country of democracy and 15 minutes of fame. What happens when we place control in the hands of media hungry, socially-active consumers? Not decency in this time of good, but foul language and foul play. Gross.

I commend Skittles for going out on a limb, where most clients are scared to not have a TV ad, Skittles said we're doing social media all the way. They took a risk, and we've made them pay. As a young advertiser and social media advocate, I'm not happy with my fellow Twitterers. We abused the medium and teased a brand for having some balls.

Like this post says:
No one knows all the rules apart from the fact that the rules change every time you want to play. Trying to play it safe is the riskiest play of all right now.
So here's to Skittles, my hat's off to you for taking a risk; you've been the bravest, aside from Modernista (but they're an agency so they don't count), in terms of thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing yourself and interacting with your customers. High five!

Not to mention, that Farmers came to our agency the other day and left bags of Skittles on all of the tables, little did they know that just days later, I would be eating them still (they were huge bags) and happy to be part of a very brand-worthy social conversation. pretty cool.