Philips Viral Interactive Marketing

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I was with a friend last night discussing the advantages of interactive marketing. There are far too many to name, but I think the ability to be creative is one of the most compelling reasons, followed by the opportunity for viral messaging (peer to peer). One problem some people have is finding trustworthy partners who can produce top quality material. It’s true that the really good people are always busy working on other projects. The key is to engage them ahead of time and not expect a finished product overnight.

I hope to give more insight in future posts, but I wanted to share a great campaign my friend created while working at his former advertising agency. His task was to introduce the Philips Bodygroom shaver to the American market.

His campaign won a ton of creative awards, including:
The One Show Interactive: Gold Award (2007)
Clio Interactive: Gold (2007)
Art Directors Club: Distinctive Merit (2007)
Webby Awards: Webby Award & People’s Voice (2007)
Cannes Cyber Lions: Gold (2006)
The FWA: Site of the Year (2006)
The FWA: Site of the Month (2006)
The FWA: Site of the Day (2006)
Design Interact: Site of the Week (2006)
Advertising Age: Digital Campaign of the Year (2006)

Check it out when you have a chance:
http://shaveeverywhere.com/

And if you want to get in touch with my friend for your interactive marketing needs, let me know. He now works for a highly creative firm that can help make a big impact on your marketing.

Pump your Gas and Google

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Ever find yourself at a gas station looking for directions?   When I was younger, my family pulled into a gas station in the Bronx, New York looking for directions out of the Bronx.   My dad asked the station clerk for directions, and she replied, “fill up your tank and I can help you.”   My dad filled up the tank and went back for the instructions, to which the woman replied “sorry, no hablo English.”

Soon, you won’t have to rely on the gas station service clerks for directions.   According to a CNN article  and the Gilbarco Veeder-Root website, Google has formed a partnership with gas station pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which just introduced their Applause Media System.    Gilbarco’s  pumps will  now include an Internet connection displaying Google’s mapping service on a small screen.

At first, pumpers will be asked to find their location by scrolling through many popular categories, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals selected by the gas station’s owner.   Once a destination is selected, the pump will print out directions.

This is another way Google is becoming involved in the search business.   Some of the other non-traditional search engine searching you can do include:

  • Dialing 1-800-GOOG-411  for free phone number services.
  • Texting “GOOGL” along with a business and city, and Google will send you the address and phone number.
  • Searching using  a Blackberry or other handheld device – Google.mobi

Someone asked me what I thought the % of people who would use the Google  pump maps  vs. in-car GPS systems.   That got me thinking, why doesn’t Google  develop an inexpensive  Google Maps branded GPS system?   Better yet, why not develop an in-car computer system to allow motorists to connect to the Internet using Google’s technologies?

‘Tis The Season – For Online Spending?

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rick-schwartz.jpgEach year before the holidays, domain investors wonder whether the coming season will mark a breakthrough for interactive marketing campaigns. As online media continues to grow and thrive, we continue to wonder why companies still devote so much advertising spend on traditional media (print/tv) when statistics seem to indicate that people are spending more time online than reading the newspaper.

Will this be the year companies devote the appropriate advertising spend for online activities? Rick wonders aloud whether companies will finally “get it” and convert some of their traditional print and television advertising dollars into online spends. My gut says this won’t be the year, but I think things are beginning to change. Interactive marketing is fun, less inhibited, and better able to engage the viewer… I digress, but more on that in a future post!

From Rick’s Blog:

“So will THIS be the online Christmas many have always expected? Will the same sorry folks be marched out to tell you not to spend online? How dangerous it is? Marched out like a political attack machine because they know their days are numbered? These people who are funded by those with most to lose. Is this the year they get it? Can they figure out that Google is approaching $800/share for a reason? That they are the fastest growing, most valuable company in the world for a reason? Can they figure out that the newspapers are not only going down in circulation but in readerehip as well?? Same with other mediums. And talk about “Stickyness”…….Imagine how many MINUTES someone used to read a newspaper or magazine and how many minutes they read now?”

Read the rest of this post here.

Kudos to the USPS for “Getting It!”

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On October 3, I blogged about the United States Postal Service’s campaign to make consumers aware of threats posed by scammers. In that post, I said that the campaign was great, but “the USPS should never have used a .org domain name where the .com is taken. If they needed to have that specific .org, they should have bought the .com for whatever it cost.” Well, as it turns out, the USPS did buy FakeChecks.com the following day. According to the Whois History service, they utilized the services of Sedo on 10/4, and it now shows the USPS as current owners.

Congratulations to the USPS for “getting it” both figuratively, and for litterally getting it, by purchasing the name they needed much more than the previous owner. Now all they need to do is forward that URL to FakeChecks.org, as the .com currently shows a “Welcome to Your New Virtual Private Server!” message.

Not a Smart Start for Yahoo’s Kickstart

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Yahoo recently announced the launch of Kickstart, a new social networking site.    I wanted to check it out, so I navigated to Kickstart.com, and I found a Network Solutions “Coming Soon” landing page.    Curious, I did a Whois search for Kickstart.com, and I learned that Yahoo doesn’t own this name.    It’s owned by a company called Toe-Food Chocolates, and has been owned by them since at least February of 2003.    Yahoo’s Kickstart website is actually located at kickstart.yahoo.com.    

Although this is in line with Yahoo’s other brands (http://finance.yahoo.com as an example), I think this is very shortsighted.    Perhaps Yahoo is looking in to acquiring this great generic name, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to acquire the name before launching the brand?    I can’t even imagine the amount of traffic that has been lost in the last few days. It would probably be better if Kickstart.com was a developed website so visitors would know to look elsewhere. Because of the landing page that is currently on the website, visitors may just assume the site hasn’t launched yet.

Search Bar – “What Can I Serve You?”

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There have been plenty of times where I walked into a bar and asked for a beer that the bar doesn’t stock.    Of course, I ordered a different beer, but for the sake of this post, let’s say that I really wanted a particular kind of beer, and when the bartender informed me that he doesn’t have it, I walked out and went to the bar down the street.

If this scenario happens just once or twice, the lost business probably won’t cost the bar much money.    However, if this is a recurring situation, it would be in the bar’s best interest to begin carrying the requested beers to satisfy the needs of its customers and not miss out on a revenue generating idea.

Likewise on a website, the owner should do his best to provide content that is of interest to his visitors.    Oftentimes if a visitor doesn’t find what he needs, he will use the search bar to locate it.    A savvy website/domain owner will use the search log information to see what his visitors are looking for but can’t seem to find.    He will then make adjustments to his product/content selection to ensure the needs of his visitors are met.    

The lost revenue from one or two visitors may be small, but if you can learn about what your customers want and offer it to them, you are sure to satiate your visitors’ thirst for information.

(Special thanks to Jonathan for reminding me about how important the search bar can be to a domain owner!)

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