Friday, December 21, 2012

Facebook New Rules for Business Pages Cover Photos & Ads

Come JANUARY 15, 2013, business' cover photos and News Feed ads will have more restrictions placed on them by Facebook. 

You already can't have any selling language (calls to action or prices) on your cover photo, but now Facebook is taking it one step or two further by LIMITING ALL TEXT ON YOUR COVER PHOTO and NEWS FEED ADS to 20% of the IMAGE AREA. 

Huh? Is it just me or is Facebook sure picky and controlling?

Pages are still allowed to post images with text in them as long as you don't do any paid promotion of those posts. 

Sheesh, Facebook. Really?

What it all boils down to is that Facebook wants to hogtie businesses so they have to spend even more money to "sell" or "promote" themselves in any way. Imagine that.

You can read more about all these new guidelines here.

 But here is an excerpt:  
Ads and sponsored stories that originate from Pages may not contain an image with the following text: 
 i.    price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it on";
ii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page's "About" section; 
iii.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as "Like" or "Share" or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or 
iv.    calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends." 
Ads and sponsored stories for News Feed that originate from Pages may not include images with more than 20% text (effective January 15th, 2013)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The In-store Product Demonstration Gone Too Far?

I'm all for a good product demo in-store, but I think this is a little much. I'm always amazed at the communication misfires by brands. But this one takes the cake. (The Johnny cake)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The New Twitter Logo?

I always love it when people think outside the box. And when the box is a food truck that painted its own Twitter logo icon on the side of said truck to get followers, I am even more excited. Creativity abounds as this BBQ food truck took some leeway, had some fun and made the Twitter logo connect better with the idea of what he markets: Food. Check it out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Best TV spot of 2012?

McCann crafted this wonderful story that engages and pays off for Wider√łe Airlines, called "Grandpa's Magic Trick". Do you think it's a best spot of 2012?

Screen grab from McCann's beautifully shot and crafted spot for  a Norwegian airlines

Worst Tweet of 2012?

What do you think? Is this the worst Tweet snafu of 2012? I'd say it ranks up at the top. When, right after the Aurora, CO, shootings, an online retailer called CELEB BOUTIQUE, tweeted this trending hashtag and related it to their Kim Kardashian inspired dress they call Aurora.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Deceptive Packaging in Bed, Bath & Beyond?

It's often hard for me to separate myself from my advertising identity and mindset. But as I was browsing through big box retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond, something caught my consumer eye: A BAMBOO toilet brush set. Being someone who likes to try to be "greener," and someone who actually did need a new toilet brush set, I zoomed in. The packaging got me in seconds flat.  It said: Highly renewable natural resource. Cool, I thought.

But I began to look further. (To be honest, I almost just grabbed it and went to the checkout. What else did I need to know, right?) And as I take it off the shelf and dig around in the inside of the package, was I surprised. It was just the outside of the holder that was bamboo and it was bamboo glued onto plastic to boot! *sigh* I had nearly been bamboozled, literally.

Ah-ha! PLASTIC inside a bamboo container.

Deceptive? What do you say?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pinterest Adds Business Pages. (Finally)

News on the PINTEREST front for businesses. They are now offering BUSINESS PAGES. Indeed.

Here is the link on Pinterest to start a business page or convert an existing page.

Not much different from personal pages, except you can put in your business' name on the page instead of rigging it like we've had to do. But the news to me is that Pinterest is ON IT and understands the need for commercial opportunity. 

YouTube Offers In-Video Shopping Functionality

Shop right from a YouTube video now. 


YouTube now offers a way to "shop" via videos posted for retail brands. A "muted" box shows up on the video over products that are for purchase. When you rollover with your mouse, it tells you the product and you can click to go straight to page to purchase! Here is an example from a Juicy Couture video.

See that barely visible box around her? You click it to go
directly to the JC website to buy that bikini. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The best content and how marketers can craft it.

Watch this video created in 1944 by psychologists to try to understand people's behavior around a relatively inane animation of a rectangle, 2 triangles and a circle.

What they found was that people created elaborate stories about how the big triangle was mean and trying to break up a love affair between the circle and smaller triangle.

People CRAVE and NEED stories. We weave them into our lives in many ways on a daily basis. Consider how many times you yourself have made up a story around a circumstance that you really didn't know that much about, but you assumed and started creating. Consider all the stories people share on social media channels. WHat do you share on social media personally? Stories grab us. Engage us.

It's human nature.

It's how we assimilate things.

And as marketers YOU must weave your brand story. Capture your essence and share your story over time and through many ways. You'll gain a loyal following if you do it right and you won't have to SELL so hard either. You will attract an audience and keep them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Insanity That Is Social Media

I help clients with their social media needs. Daily. But even I can't keep up. And now I know why thanks to this neat graphic that shows how insane it has all become. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Facebook for Business: 5 Things to Know So You Don't Get Ripped Off

I think WAY TOO MUCH is being made about Facebook for businesses. A lot of people want to make money off businesses by telling them they can change their company overnight with a little content management on Facebook. BS--I'm calling them on it. These people are selling businesses a load of it. And it's causing unrealistic expectations the rest of us are having to deal with.

Facebook can be great for businesses, BUT. Yes, a "but." You can't expect it to be the end-all, be-all for you. There's a lot more to it than just "getting on Facebook." Don't let anyone sell you or tell you otherwise. 

By itself, Facebook CAN'T:

-save your company from going out of business.
-increases sales overnight.
-increase traffic to your website or store.
-create passionate advocates
-make your business magically credible or more well liked

It can't do ANY of these things if, say, your website is atrocious and so driving traffic there is a wasted effort and leads to further credibility problems. It can't make a Check-In Deal successful if you don't tell people via other marketing communications about the deal. It can't make people LOVE your product or service unless it is lovable.

Facebook has to be SUPPORTED with other good marketing and branding. It can do a lot, don't get me wrong, but it can't do it all by itself. 

Case in point. 

I had a client who owns a personal training/workout facility. He hired me to manage his FB page and increase followers as well as traffic to his location. He wanted Facebook to drive business to him.

Ok, I said, BUT. How will you support FB efforts, I asked?
What other marketing things will help drive people to the FB page if we do a Check-In Deal, for instance?
Can we get your current website to look more credible and approachable?
Are you prepared to spend some money doing FB ads?
The answer in a nutshell, was NO.

He believed Facebook should do it all. He asked me, what am I paying YOU for? To which I answered: YOU CAN'T HIDE A NUT IN THE DESERT AND EXPECT A SQUIRREL TO FIND IT. And then, if they do find it, it has to be worth the effort it took to locate it.

I realized pretty quickly that this client wasn't going to understand. Even though we had numerous conversations about FB being a single tool in the marketing toolbox, he was flabbergasted that I continued to push his other marketing efforts to support what I was doing on his Facebook page. (And watch for another post on how to be a good Facebook client.)

Lesson learned. We parted ways.

If you are a business who wants to consider Facebook as a marketing tool, then understand these 5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START A FACEBOOK PAGE:

1. It IS just another business tool
2.You need a STRATEGY for Facebook that dovetails with other marketing efforts and business goals (Getting a lot of "Likes" is not a strategy)
3. Not just anyone can manage your Facebook page successfully (ie: your wife, best friend or some "expert" who claims they can).
4. make sure your other marketing and branding is in good shape first (or find someone who can help you get it there).
5. Make sure your business should even have a Facebook page in the first place. (Not every business needs one, regardless of what "they" say.)

Don't get ripped off by the misinformed who say, Well you HAVE to have a Facebook page and when  you do, it'll change your life. Ahem, I beg to differ.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Steve Jobs Said it Right. Intuition is Powerful.

“Intuition is a very powerful thing—more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.” – Steve Jobs

I for one KNOW I have a very strong sense of intuition. I follow my gut and have learned that it is rarely wrong. And when it comes to marketing and creativity in advertising, sometimes I tell clients that I am recommending or not recommending a certain direction because it does or doesn't "feel" right. Sometimes it isn't cut and dried. There are no scientific reasons for why one idea over the other. If the ideas are on target and strategically focused, then I recommend what my gut tells me.

And THIS is why I am good at what I do. Because I listen to that other-wordly sense that too many people have either never allowed themselves to hear or simply ignored.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Going Up? Step Inside the Magic Circle of Outside-the-Box Thinking.

The best thinking I've seen in a long time that's actually INSIDE the box. An elevator box that is.

If we all expand our thinking, we find what has been called "the magic circle" of creativity. Step inside the magical thinking of Remi' Gaillard where he pulls an amazing prank in an elevator.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hey Yoplait, here's the real "skinny" on your miss-the-mark ad

Wow, what is wrong with General Mills and its Yoplait brand? Maybe they see women a bit differently than I do. But wait, I am a woman. I am their target. How are they getting this so wrong?!

What am I ranting so vehemently about? This off-the-mark ad for Yoplait yogurt.

It uses a thin woman lamenting into an open refrigerator about whether or not she can have a piece of cheesecake. Whilst an even thinner woman walks up and grabs a cheesecake-flavored Yoplait. The "fat" one says to the "thin" one, "Wow, you've lost weight."

Why on EARTH didn't they use more "real" models? I'll tell you why. Because advertisers want to represent their brand with beauty...still. And like it or not, they don't think size 10 or greater women are beautiful. They think all of us aspire to be size 4.

I can't tell you how many meetings I've been in with clients where the word, "aspirational" gets used as a reason and rationale for creating ads. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes, like in this case, not so much.

So here's the skinny Yoplait: You should ASPIRE to connect better with your true target market. Real women.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

David Ogilvy's Lesson on How to Be a Better Writer

David Ogilvy, the original "Mad Man"
David Ogilvy was known for his internal memos fostering creativity. The following is one such memo on being a great writer. (He is right.)

The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well. Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.

Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing*. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want.


*Writing That Works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

(Source: The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Art of the Infographic

Some of the best and most engaging communications happen with a simple infographic. And in today's times when everyone has no time, the faster you can share an idea and the more powerfully interesting the look, the better.

There is a definite art to the infographic however. Here are two examples of  infographics-- one that expresses itself fast and easily and one that doesn't.

The CALORIE INTAKE infographic beautifully shows what you're eating and what it takes to burn it off. The colors and the way it is set up works perfectly.

An example of a great infographic

On the other hand, the SALAD vs BIG MAC graphic is a disaster. Not only is it boring graphically, it's wrong. The designer doesn't seem to understand percentages. They vastly over represent what 73.8% is and then compound the problem with the 3-D imagery.

Ick, not only is this infographic bad, the percentages shown are way off visually.

Inaccuracies and bad visualizations will take your infographic down, and fast. Not all designers are talented enough to dash out a great infographic. So make sure you consult a pro when building yours.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marc Jacobs Perfume ad with Dakota Fanning Banned.

Wow, this photo led to Britain banning a perfume ad for the Marc Jacobs line.

Dakota Fanning, 17 years of age, was photographed to look much younger, claim the Brits.

While I think it's just ridiculous, the ad itself should be banned for its tacky, lazy, not-very-subtle sexual innuendo. I mean, a big ol honkin' pink bottle with an open flower on the end of it in her crotch?!
Seriously guys?

Once again, I am embarrassed for my occupation.