Archive for June, 2012

5 Simple and Successful Retail Strategies

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Nike Bowery StadiumPhoto credit: dmnews.com

Brands, listen up! Are you trying to figure out how to maximize consumer retail experiences? Look no further–MKTG INC’s Charlie Horsey gives five “Sweet Summer Retail Strategies” in Direct Marketing News’ Direct by Design Blog that will ensure the success of your retail (and summer vacation, too!).

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 18th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

15 Seconds of Fame

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Screen Shot 2012-06-14 at 9.11.17 AMPhoto Credit: Viddy.com

Marketers continue to discover how consumer social media sites and services benefit brand communication and amplification. It is almost impossible to think about not “Liking” your favorite brand on Facebook or following a celebrity on Twitter.  While Facebook and Twitter are staples in the digital marketer’s toolkit, additional apps and networks are emerging as contenders. One of these is Instagram, which, in less than two years, has added more than 40 million users worldwide with 58 photos uploaded every second.

What makes apps like Instagram so popular is the ability to engage with the photos either through commenting or liking. In fact, every second users perform 575 likes and 81 comments. The increased engagement factor has made brands take notice and develop their own Instagram strategy. Photos and video are an easy way to share snapshots of a brands culture and livelihood. For example, Tiffany & Co. is giving fans a behind scenes look at how their jewelry is made including the tools, techniques, and people involved. Inside access is key for encouraging fans to come back, week after week.

While online photo sharing isn’t new, the elements of mobile and social are reintroducing photo and video services as hot new brand tactics. It is natural that video is the next to get a makeover…

Viddy, the Instagram of video is considered to be the next breakout star. With over 27 million unique users and Mark Zuckerberg as a registered user, the app is making video fun and social. Users capture video and add one-click filters and effects before sharing with friends through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube. The app lets users discover content by including a view of trending, popular and new videos.

Much like Instagram, Viddy currently has a library of effects, which it calls Production Packs, and includes music that is automatically added to the video during the upload process. Future enhancements include the opportunity for celebrities, movie studios and music artists to create premium production packs for consumers to purchase.

What makes the app creative is the 15-second limit. By forcing users to select only the best 15 seconds, you don’t have to worry about sitting through a five-minute video on your mobile device. Brands have an opportunity to create informal videos that can tease a new product or event and share among their loyal social media followers.

Whether it is a behind-the-scene video or a short customer testimonial, video is engaging and traditionally has a higher click-through rate. The sky is the limit in how brands can leverage their original mobile videos, in addition to encouraging their customers create their own.

One piece of advice for brands exploring photo and video strategies is – remember that consumers want an inside scoop. They feel a sense of brand pride when they receive a video walkthrough of a new office or the first glimpse of new product packaging.

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Written by Admin
Admin

June 14th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Printing Instagram

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Coastermatic-525x351

Photo credit: PSFK.com

It seemed that for the longest time, the idea of printing photographs was a thing of the past. Once everything went digital, people snapped photos quickly and haphazardly because there’s no cost involved to enjoy the photos. Digital photos could live on multiple devices while prints became expensive and clumsy (not to mention difficult to share with your 1,000+ Facebook friends). But the recent popularity of Instagram has led to the birth of companies like Printstagram & Coastermatic, who are providing an opportunity to print these artsy photos on a variety of mediums (posters, stickers, books, t-shirts and even coasters).

We’ve already talked about how to implement Instagram at events, but these companies add a whole new element to the user experience. People love to customize everything and this provides the ability to do that in a permanent way that can live way beyond the event. Additionally, these could be given as gifts that help further extend the reach of a brand via social diffusion.

If nothing else, this is a great Father’s Day gift idea. You definitely have some making up to do after last year…

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Written by Peter McCutcheon
Peter McCutcheon

June 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am

NIKE Football + USC’s Camp Kiffin

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Camp KiffinPhoto Credit: On Site Retail

The first three days of Nike Football + USC’s Camp Kiffin proved a great success. The Kicking Camp, OL/DL Camp and Skills Camp brought in numerous young athletes over the weekend – all looking to leave their mark amongst the impressive roster of USC Coaches .  The Athlete Village included a digital photo booth, product trialing, retail and  DJ booth. Athletes and parents were very excited to see Nike retail onsite and with product at such a good price point, retail became the highlight of the weekend.

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Written by Admin
Admin

June 13th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Sharing is Caring

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At the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced integration of Facebook and Twitter into their mobile and desktop operating systems.
Whether it is an fascinating article, a photo of friends, or where you are on a Friday night, Apple is making it easier to share with a click of a button and the swipe of your finger. Did I mention that Siri can help you out?
In addition to full system integration of Facebook and Twitter, Apple also announced that the “Like” button will be making its debut on the App and iTunes Store. Users will also see which friends have liked a particular app, song, movie, or TV show – bringing social influence to one of the most popular digital retailers.
Just when you thought no one would find out that you purchased Justin Bieber’s new song, now your whole social graph knows…

Facebook and Twitter iOSPhoto Credit: Apple.com

At the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced integration of Facebook and Twitter into their mobile and desktop operating systems.

Whether it is an interesting website, a photo of friends, or where you are on a Friday night, Apple is making it easier to share with a click of a button and the swipe of your finger. Did I mention Siri is there to assist!

In addition to full system integration of Facebook and Twitter, Apple also announced that the “Like” button will be making its debut on the App and iTunes Store. Users will also see which friends have liked a particular app, song, movie, or TV show – bringing social influence to one of the most popular digital retailers.

Just when you thought no one would find out that you purchased Justin Bieber’s new song, now your whole social graph knows…

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Written by Admin
Admin

June 12th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

MKTG @ E3

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E3Photo Credit: nintendolife.com

June means many things to many people; end of the school year and beginning of summer freedom, less work and more vacation, longer days and warmer nights.  But when it comes to gamers, June only means one thing… E3.

From June 5th – June 7th, downtown Los Angeles transformed into a gaming mecca where industry insiders and professionals went to experience the future of interactive entertainment.  A reported 45,700 attendees made it out to the convention this year in search of the next big thing, and you bet MKTG INC was there to check it out.

Gaming giants Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony each made some big announcements during their pre-convention conference.  Nintendo followed up on their 2011 E3 announcement of Wii U, the successor console to the hugely popular Wii that incorporates a touch pad controller.  The conference unveiled a 23 title software line-up and visits from top video game publishers and developers.  A separate online conference was held to discuss the latest and greatest in store for the Nintendo 3DS platform coming this year including New Super Mario Bros. 2Scribblenauts Unlimited, and the highly anticipated Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

Everyone expected Microsoft to unleash updates around Halo, their biggest and most successful franchise, but the big shock came when they announced the next big thing on the XBOX horizon…SmartGlass.  SmartGlass will essentially be a collection of apps that can be added to PCs, tablets and smart phones, enabling these devices to be used as a second screen and controller for the XBOX 360.  Additional updates surrounding Kinect and other gaming entertainment features on the XBOX 360 were also revealed during the conference.

Sony had a strong focus on software with the announcement of Beyond: Two Souls, The Last of Us, and Wonderbook: Book of Spells (a Harry Potter inspired game that turns the Move controller into a magic wand).  Far Cry 3, God of War: Ascension, and Assassin’s Creed III were also among the top titles featured in the press conference.  The PS Vita was highlighted by the announcement of plans to make use of its front and back touch screens with the PlayStation 3 console.

Once the clock hit noon on Tuesday, the show floor was flooded with people eager to experience the hardware and software firsthand.  Game developers Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Activision showcased large booths with stunning game trailers and what seemed like endless lines test their new products.  One of the most anticipated software titles of the conference was Watch Dogs, which allowed appointment-only demos of the game in a private room.

Celebs like Danica Patrick and Snoop Dogg were among convention attendees as they promoted new software titles and strolled the convention floor in search of their next favorite game.  There was even an area dedicated to the video game history showcasing the evolution of gaming (Atari anyone?).

Overall it was a successful year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo even though mobile gaming was less prevalent on the show floor as some would hope.  Needless to say, we’ll be back again next year!

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Written by Admin
Admin

June 11th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Judge this by its cover

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AdAge Rodincapas

Design credit: Manuela Bolivar and Alejandra García Miami Ad School, Madrid: Madrid, Spain

At last, here’s a cover you can judge. Ad Age held its 3rd annual contest to design a cover for its Global issue. Check out the winner and vote for your favorite world-class design out of the 19 finalists.

My favorite is the Thinker with a mobile device. I like the fact that he’s sitting instead of walking aimlessly towards me like most mobile zombies.

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

June 11th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

A new way to meet people (minus the awkwardness)

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GrouperPhoto Credit: joingrouper.com

It’s no wonder why people are so reluctant to find true love through online dating websites like match.com and eHarmony; they ask too many questions, take hours to complete, and only give you the chance to interact with one person at a time.

The online dating game is now changing thanks to sites like Grouper and Circl.es where hopeful romantics are matched based on their Facebook profiles and then set-up on a group date along with their pals (genius, right?).  A close friend of mine recently gave Grouper a whirl and while there are a lot of good things she had to say, some of the situations can be… uncomfortable.  Here’s her take:

The Good: Since you are with a group, there’s a lot less pressure for being locked in a conversation with one person the entire time. That being said, the date is much more relaxed and a lot less serious (hello moral support!), so even if the connection isn’t there, you can still have a fun night out with your friends.

The Bad: Since there are 3 guys and 3 girls, there’s a good chance that you and your friend(s) take a liking to the same person.  In this case, just hope no beer muscles or cat claws come out in a fit a jealousy.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad in this situation, so if you are “single and ready to mingle,” definitely give this new way of dating a shot–no pressure!  After all, there are always more fish in the sea…

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 8th, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Nike’s Green Jerseys

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Screen Shot

Screen shot: http://www.youtube.com/user/nikebetterworld

For years, I’ve heard companies claim that their clothing is made out of recycled soda bottles. It’s not that I didn’t believe it, I just didn’t… understand it. Until now. Leave it up to Nike to explain the whole process in an awesome video that shows how their new football soccer jerseys are made of 7 plastic bottles each. Apparently each pair of shorts is made of 6. From Nike Better World:

Reclaimed, discarded plastic bottles are melted down to produce new yarn, which is converted into fabric. This recycling process saves raw materials and reduces energy consumption by an estimated 30% compared to manufacturing virgin polyester. Since 2010, Nike Football has used an estimated 115 million recycled plastic bottles to create its high performance kits. Lined up end to end, that’s enough bottles to stretch halfway around the world

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Written by Peter McCutcheon
Peter McCutcheon

June 7th, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Introducing Airtime: A Chatroulette with Pants

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Photo Credit: Airtime.com

Photo Credit: Airtime.com

If only Chatroulette had a mandatory clothing policy…

Thanks to former Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning that dream is now a reality.  Courtesy of a product-launch yesterday complete with Snoop Dogg, Olivia Munn, Jimmy Fallon, and more (it’s amazing what having Justin Timberlake play you in a movie can do for your street-cred), the duo introduced Airtime, a peer-to-peer- video conferencing service that integrates with Facebook and possesses far tighter restrictions on inappropriate user behavior.

With the service drawing on learnings from existing video sharing sites like Chatroulette, Skype, and even Google+, the comparisons to these platforms are inevitable.  Parker and Fanning cite Airtime’s ability to provide connection to Facebook friends as one of the distinguishing factors from previous platforms, while pointing to numerous flaws with Chatroulette from a lack of restrictions (to prevent inappropriate behavior), to a lack of foundation for interaction as items that have supposedly been corrected with this new interface.

While it’s tempting to give in to the allure of a sexy-new product launch with A-list-ish celebs and two entrepreneurs with major name recognition, there are a few reasons to take a wait-and-see approach.  First of all being that yesterday’s launch was plagued by a number of glitches and a system crash. The second and arguably more important question relates to whether or not the site truly fills a need for the consumer.

Parker and Fanning point to the inappropriate behavior found on Chatroulette as the main reason for it’s decline, and while that’s certainly a legitimate deterrent, I would argue that the novelty would have worn off regardless.

The internet thrives because of anonymity.  From smarmy Youtube commenters to soul-bearing Tumblr sites, people open themselves up to content sharing on the Internet because there are no real-life consequences or judgments as a result of their actions.  That being the case, video chatting serves as a relatively intimate experience for the standard internet user, and one that is typically reserved for connecting with close friends of family.  While Parker and Fanning may boast about the connection to Facebook and the inappropriate behavior it may curb, it also serves to create accountability in a world where there is none.  Also, one quick look at my profile and I realize that I wouldn’t want to video chat with 75% of my so-called friends (no offense guys).  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Parker’s serendipitous goal to bring strangers together  a la Chatroulette still seems like something better suited for real world interaction than for the anonymous Internet crowd.

After all, perhaps there’s a reason that Chatroulette degraded into a community of pants-less deviants; all of the normal people were off meeting people the old fashioned way (drinking).

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 6th, 2012 at 8:29 pm