Blog-o-kvetch

A blog about new media and it’s role in IMC.

Responsibility

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Last week in my IMC class we discussed marketing short films. I decided to type ‘marketing short films’ into YouTube to see what would come up.

I discovered that Ad Age has its own YouTube channel and it presents 3-minute videos on what’s going on in the advertising industry. The video back on August 21 mentioned how insurer Liberty Mutual has gone into the short film business. You may be familiar with its “responsibility” ads. These ads feature random acts of kindness.

Liberty Mutual has launched a Web site called the “Responsibility Project,” where films explore “what it means to do the right thing.” The site features a number of videos from a host of contributors. A blog discusses issues in the news regarding responsibility, such as Octomom Nadya Suleman. Readers can also submit “personal stories of responsibility.”

Does this site help Liberty Mutual with its marketing? I think it does. It definitely cements its association with taking responsibility and its slogan, “Responsibility. What’s your Policy?” I do wish Liberty Mutual did more to market this site, however. I hadn’t heard about it before I went to YouTube. Perhaps the company could feature it at the end of its TV ads.

Liberty Mutual’s commercials are featured prominently on its homepage and you can watch an archive of past commercials here. That’s where you can find a link to the Responsibility Project.

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Written by fsk50a

May 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm

The Feds, the pigs and social media

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Today my husband and I picked up a Washington Post as we left D.C. (we were visiting family in the area all last week). On the front page of the Style section, no less, is a story about how the U.S. government has been communicating to the public about the swine flu outbreak.

Not surprisingly, in the age of Obama, the government has taken to online media to spread its message. The CDC, the Post reports, is using a Twitter feed at CDC Emergency. The head of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and the CDC, meanwhile, held a live question-and-answer “town hall” live on cdc.gov and hhs.gov. Viewers could send questions to hhstudio@hhs.gov.

The CDC has also set up a YouTube channel called CDC StreamingHealth with videos and information about swine flu. Here’s one of the videos playing there now, about the symptoms:

Do you think the government is doing a good job?

Written by fsk50a

May 1, 2009 at 12:22 am

It’s all about the O

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Poor Washington Nationals. Not only are they the heirs of the Montreal Expos, but they annually, well, suck.

Now a little bit of marketing schadenfreude has hit: in the form of misspelled uniforms. Majestic Athletic of Easton, Maryland, which makes uniforms for Major League Baseball, sent the Nationals jerseys that read: Natinals.

natinals
Luckily, Majestic was quick to repair the error. The company apologized and gave the team all new jerseys.

Unfortunately, the Natinels weren’t much better than the Nationals: they still sucked, losing to the Marlins 3-2 in extra innings last Friday.

Written by fsk50a

April 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Look before you leap

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I saw this referenced on my friend Charles Apple’s blog and felt the need to comment.

The Telegraph, a newspaper in the UK, decided to experiment with posting twitter messages to its homepage about the British budget. Unfortunately, smart-aleck Twitter users caught on to the fact that anything with a #budget hashtag would be posted. It quickly descended into chaos, as this image shows:
0904telegraphtwitterfall2
Oops! The Guardian and other competitors of the Telegraph, seized on the bad publicity. The entire incident ended up making the Telegraph look technologically inept, and the newspaper ended up taking the twitter feed down. A spokeswoman, however, told Brand Republic: “We will definitely use Twitterfall like this again, just as we used it so successfully during the G20 summit. It is one of the pitfalls of social media.”

Telegraph, meet Twitter Fail Whale.
twitter_fail_whale

Written by fsk50a

April 22, 2009 at 1:10 am

Pinstripes are for posers

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yankeessuck1
I hate the Yankees.

I will say it again.

I HATE THE YANKEES.

I am a passionate sports fan. My father had no sons; he had me and my sister. When I was just an infant, he gave me a soccer ball. I grew up at his knee watching the Masters, Wimbledon, the ’86 World Series (young and naive, I cheered for…the Mets *SOB*).

Baseball has always been my sport of choice. At 6, I went to my first Angels game. They were the team of choice for me until 1994, when the player’s strike turned me off of America’s pasttime for about 8 years.

I came back in 2002, after moving to Maine. There, I fell in love with the greatest team on Earth: The Boston Red Sox.

Yes, I love the Boston Red Sox. I loved them when they were loveable losers. I love them now that Jason Varitek is 37 going on 64, and Big Papi is aching. Whenever a player leaves on their own volition or parts in a bad way, they become “dead to me.” If they go to the dreaded Yankees, they basically no longer exist.

Tonight, I was overjoyed to see the Yankees, who have built a brand new stadium that Ruth most certainly did NOT build, lose to the Cleveland Indians in spectacular fashion. Final score? 25-7.

This is the team that in the off-season dumped MILLIONS on C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixiera… only to become L.O.S.E.R.S.

Anyway, yeah, it is only April. Still, though, I am so happy tonight. I bet that the new stadium was built on a direct passageway to hell. Ha ha ha ha. Guess that Ortiz jersey that some construction worker buried in the cement DID have an effect after all!

Another great thing? The Yankees are having trouble selling seats at this gargantuan new stadium, despite making tickets available online. I guess sometimes new media doesn’t help if you A) Stink and B) Have too much supply!

Written by fsk50a

April 19, 2009 at 2:40 am

Dominos needs a bailout

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Youtube has the potential of creating sensations (see Susan Boyle, the current contestant on Britain’s Got Talent) But it also has the potential of damaging a brand.

A viral video taped at a North Carolina Domino’s Pizza restaurant where workers were featured putting ingredients up their nose and then putting them on pizzas to be delivered has caused a PR nightmare for the company.

The president of Dominos, Patrick Doyle, had to tape a message apologizing and discussing the company’s commitment to food safety.

The workers at the Dominos have been fired, charged with food tampering, and the restaurant was closed and completely sanitized. Complaints from customers have filtered in claiming the food made them ill.

See coverage of the crisis here

A clip from the story:

“As Domino’s is realizing, social media has the reach and speed to turn tiny incidents into marketing crises. In November, Motrin posted an ad suggesting that carrying babies in slings was a painful new fad. Unhappy mothers posted Twitter complaints about it, and bloggers followed; within days, Motrin had removed the ad and apologized. On Monday, Amazon.com apologized for a “ham-fisted” error after Twitter members complained that the sales rankings for gay and lesbian books seemed to have disappeared — and, since Amazon took more than a day to respond, the social-media world criticized it for being uncommunicative.”

How can a company respond to such viral marketing nightmares? That’s a great question that the marketing industry is going to have to debate.

Written by fsk50a

April 17, 2009 at 3:19 am

Earn your stripes

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We’ve been talking this week in my new media class about marketing to kids online. No sooner had I finished my posts than I stumbled upon a page on ESPN sponsored by the Reduced Sugar version of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
tony-the-tiger

So is this site…er….grrrrrreat?

A little about the site, which you can see here. Luke, a 17-year-old “Earn your Stripes” reporter from Chicago, is featured heavily along with Karl Ravech, an ESPN anchor. Articles about sports are written by ESPN kids reporters. There are also games you can play called “Hit the Slopes,” “Skateboard Styler,” and “Playing the Field” as well as downloadable IM icons and desktop wallpapers.

A video currently on the site features Luke and Karl talking about baseball and the meaning of courage. The two also answer a question submitted from the site. It looks like the show is done once a month.

Although the Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar cereal is promoted prominently, there doesn’t seem to be a link to information about the product. That might be a good or bad thing. Kids might be tempted to research the product since it sponsors this ESPN site. It’s great that at least this cereal is more healthy for kids…it’s still sugary, however. According to the Associated Press, “experts who reviewed the lower-sugar versions of six major brands of sweetened cereals…found they have no significant nutritional advantages over their full-sugar counterparts.”

“You’re supposed to think it’s healthy,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University and author of a book critical of the food industry’s influence on public health. “This is about marketing. It is about nothing else. It is not about kids’ health.”

So is it a good idea for ESPN to be partnering with Frosted Flakes on a sports site for kids? Probably not from ESPN’s perspective. ESPN wants to empower kids to get interested and involved in sports, and eating sugary cereals is likely to stunt growth and further the obesity epidemic. Shredded wheat or Cheerios would probably be a better brand to partner with. Alas, they aren’t made by Kelloggs.

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April 11, 2009 at 11:31 pm