January 31, 2008

Seen This?

Filed under: Culture,Current Events,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 2:26 pm

The Wall Street Journal is going social, as reported by Brandweek:

“Using SeenThis?, built by the social networking technology developer Loomia, members of Facebook, and eventually various other social networks will be able to receive notifications on what Journal content their friends are reading or sharing – while logged into those sites or visiting WSJ.com. Those users will then be able to check out those articles themselves for free (without having to leave their networking site of choice), and share them with others. For example, a user might receive a notice of the top five articles read by members who attend his or her college.”

Advertising Makes Bad News Worse

Filed under: Advertising,Business — Emily Reeves @ 2:15 pm

Reported in Brandweek:

What should a company do when negative news is being reported about the company? “One school of thought is that maintaining or increasing advertising during such a time will drown out the bad news. The alternative–pulling advertising–seems pretty risky. Nevertheless, a new study that ran in December’s Journal of Advertising Research suggests that’s exactly what you should do while the bad news runs its course…It found that advertising has an amplifying effect: When the news is good, advertising helps. When it’s bad, advertising makes things worse.”

Tom Green – The Channel

Filed under: Culture,Technology — Emily Reeves @ 1:43 pm

Tom Green, the comedian who has had a few television talk shows already, has launched an Internet-based talk show.  Here is what the site says about it:

“Tom Green Live is a LIVE Internet-based talk show featuring celebrity guests, hosted by comedian Tom Green, from his living room…yes, his actual living room. The show is LIVE at TomGreen.com, The Channel, from 8pm-9pm Monday through Friday. Although technically it’s a talk show, it’s really much more than that. Tom Green Live is non-political, and because The Channel is completely independent, pretty much anything goes! With a combination of A-List celebrity guests, a global audience, and Tom’s signature brand of comedy, Tom Green Live is unlike anything you’ve seen before! Tom takes calls over the phone, along with Skype video calls from viewers from locations as varied as the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Estonia, and Argentina, not to mention several others! The mission is simple, to make you laugh, and to make you, the viewers, an integral part of the show by harnessing the power of the National Internet, something no other show can offer, sounds cool right? Check it out right here by clicking on the “Tom Green Live” tab on the player, oh, and make sure you tell a friend!”

Think about the growth potential of a channel like this if he were to get paid advertising.

January 30, 2008

Green Building Craze

Filed under: Current Events — Emily Reeves @ 12:59 pm

It is hard to pick up a publication these days without there being some story on the “green movement.” New construction is one way in which companies can join the green movement and it turns out, old buildings can be green too. In Sunday’s New York Times, there was an article on how existing buildings can be “greened”: “As more companies look to reduce waste, along with the carbon imprint, they find that their buildings are one of their most immediate opportunities. For their efforts, they typically get a healthier, cleaner work environment, improved efficiency and lower operating costs, all of which can help attract tenants and employees. A 2006 Green Building Council study found that by retrofitting buildings, owners can save 90 cents a square foot annually, on average, in energy and other costs and earn back their investment in 2 to 2 1/2 years.”  With continued high-profile coverage of the opportunities, surely more companies will start implementing efforts to reduce their strain on the environment.

The green movement continues to gain momentum in Arkansas as well.  Not only do we have the Clinton Library and Heifer International leading the way with commercial buildings, but there are also a growing number of “green” residential developments planned in Arkansas, as reported in our Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week.  Arkansas is more progressive than people think:

  • Woodglen Park will be a 35-home solar subdivision in Little Rock.
  • CityGrove Townhomes and Rockwater Village in North Little Rock will focus on ensuring that homes are built near public transportation and other amenities.

Arkansas is really stepping up as a leader in green building!

January 29, 2008

The Technological Future

Filed under: Technology,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 4:32 pm

The Wall Street Journal had a great article in yesterday’s edition with predictions about the ways in which technology will change our shopping behaviors, learning tools and entertainment methods.  It is a long article, but I encourage you to read it if you have the time.  Here are some highlights from the intro to give you a little taste:

  • Televisions that project 3-D images into the middle of the living room.
  • Appliances that “talk” to us through email alerts.
  • Commuters will still carry newspapers to work, but will likely download them to a pocket-sized computer that can also show TV news broadcasts.
  • Shoppers will still be greeted at Wal-Mart, but a computer may be the one saying hello–and reminding them of what they bought on their last visit.
  • Friends will still send each other birth and wedding announcements, but the process will be virtually automated, thanks to alerts on social-networking sites.

I love future predictions!  Enjoy.

January 28, 2008

Elf Yourself Successful?

Filed under: Advertising,Marketing,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 4:16 pm

You betcha. At least according the Ad Age. Here are the stats on the ElfYourself viral campaign by OfficeMax:

  • 26.4 million people, nearly 1 in 10 Americans visited the site.
  • 2,614 years–if you were to add up all the time people spent on the site this year.
  • 123 million elves created this year; compared to 11 million last year.
  • 508%–the site’s market share growth over the course of November/December.
  • 16%–the site’s active reach in December (i.e., how many of the 165 million active internet users that month made a visit).

The question is, did this fun campaign help the OfficeMax brand? The answer is, yes:

  • Of the 20 most common search terms in the four weeks of December, six of them included the words “Office Max,” indicating that brand awareness had carried through.

According to Bob Thacker, senior VP-marketing and advertising at OfficeMax: “We were looking to build the brand, warm up our image. We weren’t looking for sales. We are third-place players in our industry, so we are trying to differentiate ourselves through humor and humanization.”

What can other brands learn from this? Provided by Ad Age, here are some viral marketing tips:

  • Make it Personal.
  • Don’t Discount Older Audiences. (40% of all visitors to ElfYourself were 55 or older.)
  • Offer Fun.

MySpace To Post Super Bowl Commercials

Filed under: Advertising,Current Events — Emily Reeves @ 3:53 pm

“MySpace…is posting all of the commercials broadcast during the game on a special section of the social-networking site at no extra charge to those advertisers.  Google’s YouTube, Time Warner’s AOL and Yahoo are doing the same for their commercial polls.  Hosting these sites build viewer traffic, which then allows them to sell more paid advertising.” — The Wall Street Journal

Wellness Trend

Filed under: Business — Emily Reeves @ 3:43 pm

With the rising costs of healthcare and fewer companies covering insurance costs, consumers are increasingly interested in wellness information. Staying well, means staying away from doctors, which means saving money. Healthcare-associated brands are recognizing this need for health and wellness information and they are finding ways to become the consumer resource for this information. The newest “brand” to jump on this bandwagon is the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Wall Street Journal today reported that “the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which spends about $40 million a year on health programs and cancer research, is teaming up with Web-site operator Demand Media Inc. to launch a health-and-wellness We site funded by advertising. The site, called ‘livestrong.com,’ is expected to go live this year.”

The Armstrong Foundation “felt that launching a for-profit site would increase awareness about the foundation and promote its core mission of helping people with cancer…Like Mr. Armstrong’s foundation, more philanthropies are linking up with for-profit companies to raise cash and elevate their profiles.”

“The Armstrong Foundation says it will work with Demand Media to build a Web destination for people who want to count calories, track workouts or connect with other people trying to keep fit. Mr. Armstrong, now retired from competitive cycling but still an avid athlete, will contribute content to the site.”