You Need to Go on a Digital Diet

Heading into last November, with 5,000+ emails in my inbox, and lots of projects in my queue (as a result of a successful year and great prospects for a banner year in 2012) I decided to go on a ‘Digital Diet.’ I’m happy to report that I’m still living and breathing and more successful and happy than I was last fall.

Taking a 30,000 feet look (digital media intervention) at all of the media channels I was engaged in such as my client work, objectives and goals (professional, personal and my happiness index), I started to purge a ton of digital media from my diet that was making me ill, constipated, lethargic, chubby and slow.

I worked hard to ‘detox my inbox’ by purging select eNewsletters, and various marketing blogs from my diet as well as some people I followed (at least tried to)  on Twitter because I found there to be too much noise on my channel and I was missing out on some real good stuff. Yes, I ‘fired’ some Twitter folks I was following who were following me – a little tough love was needed. There are several more digital things I stopped gorging myself with and one big thing I dropped was Blog posting to my own BrandMill site and decided to simply ‘listen and observe’ for a few months.

Silly me. I thought the clever term “Digital Diet” was all mine for awhile until I discovered – as I often do – that I’m not all that smart and that there already was an excellent book on how to take a Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg which will help you – it sure has helped me.

Read the book – it’s a  good one that offers a 4-step plan to break your digital addiction and give you more balance in your life.

I feel a lot lighter now and am much more happy.

And, while I’m happily back to Blogging (it helps attract new business), I plan to schedule a quarterly Digital Diet and complete Digital Fasts from time to time to keep my head and my pipes clean.

Try it you’ll like it!

P.S.: Have a little fun and compute your Virtual Weight Index (VMI) by clicking here.

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Target’s Super Black Friday Ad Campaign

Kudos to Target and its Ad Agency Weiden + Kennedy for their spot on Black Friday advertising campaign featuring this overly excited and anxious shopping FANatic.

And, file this effort in my “Darn I Wish I Did This Ad Campaign” folder.

Target is using 5 spots from last year (why not – who says an old great campaign can’t be re-engaged?) combined with another 30 online.  And, he talent casting, honest copy, imagery, sound and smart campaign integration (see all 35 videos) off and online is simply brilliant and off the charts.

It’s a great example of how ad campaigns should be run. Read Adweek’s take on it here.

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Super Bowl Ads Are a Waste of Money

As a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I certainly was disappointed with my team losing Super Bowl XLV.

However, I was more disgusted as a marketing professional when I viewed the number of lousy television commercials. What a waste of money, time and space.

When you consider the average Super Bowl commercial placement cost over $2 million and another high six figures to produce the spot (net about a $3 million investment per spot) do you really think that the majority of these so-called top brand marketers effectively took advantage of the highest rated Super Bowl ever?

Talk about opportunity lost!

Nielsen reported that Super Bowl XLV was the most viewed television show in history with a record breaking audience of 162.9 million viewers!  And, for the life of me, I cannot understand how some of these ads were approved to run.

Where’s the exciting new news? Where’s the compelling reason to buy? Where’s the interesting campaign launch? Where’s the accountability? Where’s another ETrade Baby Campaign for other products?

For me, I don’t buy into the argument about the “view buzz” metrics on YouTube. If brands think that “bigger is always better” and marketing is all about awareness and buzz, they’re way off track.

You want the awareness and buzz about your product or service to be about people having conversations such as, “Hey, did you try X? It sounds like an awesome product…let’s check it out!” I’d bet there weren’t many (if any) conversations like this happening during the big game.

Hey, I could put a dead body in the window of a restaurant and drive buzz and awareness, but I don’t think you’d want to eat there!

I can’t recall one ad that has or will influence me to inquire about, buy or refer their product. Not a one…can you?

And, if I hear one more person say that an ad is ‘cute’ or ‘funny’ without remembering the brand name I swear I’m going to choke on my Terrible Towel…much like my beloved Steelers did!

P.S.: Having said all I want to say about the total lack of accountability, campaignability and creativity (I subscribe to the old adage…’it’s only creative if it sells’) in this year’s Super Bowl commercials, I am looking forward to seeing where the Chrysler 200 heads with it’s Imported from Detroit effort. I am interested and hopeful it helps drive them business. It seems like an interesting platform to work from. But, what do I know, it ranked low on USA Today’s Ad Meter. Go figure.

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Guilty on All Three Counts

NERD ALERT!

This chart shows that nearly 30% of U.S. consumers use their cell phones and/or computers at the same time they watch TV.

And, I have to say that I’m guilty on all three counts and possibly four, because I can hold a conversation at the same time – at least I think so – but, don’t ask my wife!

The integration of marketing messages across platforms is becoming more critical by the minute – as well as the ability for Brand’s to create clear, easy to understand and remarkably meaningful communications.

Keep this chart in mind the next time you try to pack 60 seconds of vanilla milkshake copy into a 30 second television commercial!

Source: Experian Simmons DataStream 4.13.10

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The Kids Are Alright Part II

In an earlier post, I reported that it was great to see the Gen Y kids driving the tremendous outpouring of financial support for Haiti relief via texting.

I’m happy to report that the American Red Cross “Text ‘Haiti’ to 90999” campaign has raised $24 million to date. See the DMNews story here.

Think about this campaign for a moment. It has achieved some amazing accomplishments – in a short period of time – since this devastating earthquake hit Haiti just last week on January 12th:

  • $24 million has been raised via $10 individual donations to help the Haitian people – 1/5th of the amount the American Red Cross has raised to date – breaking all records by a huge  margin.  Reference note: After Hurricane Katrina – a mere 4.5 years ago – the ARC only received $120,000 via texting – and Katrina occurred on American soil!
  • The ARC has built a valuable mobile text database for future marketing communications and financial appeal efforts
  • The ARC’s core donor base skews older and texting gave the Gen Y folks an easy, quick and convenient channel to offer their support (marketing lesson – treat different people differently)
  • The campaign execution of  the ARC and its mobile firm partner mGive was flawless – amazing too – considering the fact that they started to work on the texting campaign the evening of the earthquake
  • The viral goodwill spread of the “Text ‘HAITI’ to 90999” campaign in Social Media channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (100K tweets/retweets)

I’m far from being in the Gen Y segment, but I did text a donation to the ARC and will tell you that it was easy for me to participate. As important, I felt comfortable donating because of the supportive and reinforcing messages I saw on TV news and various high profile broadcasts such as the NFL playoffs and the Golden Globes.

Also, after texting the shortcode “HAITI” to 90999, I was asked me to respond “yes” to confirm my donation and then I received a nice comforting thank you too – nice touch.

This overwhelmingly positive experience led me to spread the ARC’s good word and to feel more comfortable using this channel in the future.

Strong brand promise, ease, convenience, simple message and trust are the hallmarks of success for the ARC’s texting campaign and they could be put to good use for your brand’s future success too.

Photo by CollectiveGood.

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The Kids Are Alright

If you think young people these days are inconsiderate, selfish, concerned with only themselves and wear their “pants on the ground“…think again.

Soon after the devastating Haiti earthquake hit, @RedCross tweeted: “You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in #haiti.”

Kudos to the Red Cross marketing folks for being prepared (excellent online disaster newsroom) and recognizing the fundraising opportunity available to them in this terrible time of crisis.

And, much more kudos to the kids that drove this “texting bus” because they’re the ones credited with leading this Red Cross effort which has raised over $10 million for the cause since this record breaking mobile fundraiser was launched last Tuesday.

This is a great example of using technology to build rather than destroy.

Watch text marketing grow from this effort and put in on your list of things to test for your business too!

P.S.: Here is a list of 8 ways you can help Haiti by texting:

  1. Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
  2. Text HAITI to 25383 to donate $5 to International Rescue Committee
  3. Text HAITI to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army in Canada
  4. Text HAITI to 20222 to donate $10 through the Clinton Foundation
  5. Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to The United Way
  6. Text CERF to 90999 to donate $5 to The United Nations Foundation
  7. Text DISASTER to 90999 to donate $10 to Compassion International
  8. Text RELIEF to 30644 (to connect with Catholic Relief Services who will instruct you how to donate money with your credit card)

…the 9th way to help is to pray.

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The Message is the Message

Message
Marshall McLuhan
would be laughed at today if he would be so bold as to say his familiar quote, “the medium is the message.” He'd be laughed at because he'd be flat out wrong!

Today, marketers still think too much about the medium – TV, the internet, email, direct mail etc. – but the medium does not matter if the message is strong, powerful, meaningful and true.

It's the message – YOUR MESSAGE – stupid!

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Newspaper Ad Revenue Loses Nearly $2B

Newspaper
Newspaper ad revenue fell almost $2 billion in the third quarter for a record 18.1% decline, according to new statistics from the Newspaper Association of America.

As you prepare your marketing plan for 2009, you may want to adjust your newspaper ad spend and test their online offering.

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How to Save $3 Million Dollars

Super_bowl_xliii
NBC is telling
advertisers it will cost them $3 million just to get into the game — for 30
seconds
.

Tell them thanks, but no thanks!

Individual slots have sold at $3 million before, it’s
never been the starting point for negotiations.

Anheuser-Busch, has already locked in a rate of about $2 million for
each of its spots and often buys about 10 ads every Super Bowl and purchases ad time
months and years in advance.

And they were just sold to…???

OK, for you SMEs out there, this applies to you too. I’m sure there have been a few "Super Bowls" you’ve bought media in as well.

Well, stop it and simply enjoy the game with your family and friends.

Prove to me where one brand has lifted their sales and/or market share to great heights as a result of buying a spot on the Super Bowl in the last 10-20 years.

Save your time, because you can’t.

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