The man your man could smell like, and what he did to the marketing world

You’ve probably heard of the hype around Old Spice and its genius campaign.

Here’s a run down of it if you haven’t:

Its changed entirely the way people see social networking and has created opportunities for brands to create a unique interaction and close bond with their audience. With a lot of success reaching its target audience online and making a good impression on the marketing biz, did Old Spice succeed in its objective; increasing sales?

“The answer is a Social Media and Inbound Marketing yes, according to Nielsen.  According to them, sales of Old Spice Body Wash—the line touted in the Wieden + Kennedy-created campaign—rose 11 percent over the past 12 months and since the effort broke in February, sales seem to be gaining momentum.  Over the past three months, sales jumped 55 percent and in the past month, they rose 107 percent, also per Nielsen. The success of their social media inbound marketing campaign has seen Old Spice become the No. 1 brand of body wash and anti-perspirant/deodorant in both sales and volume with growth in the high single/double digits according to P&G rep Michael Norton.” says Patrick Murphy over at the Silicon Cloud

Eric Bleist blogged about the Old Spice campaign:

To me, this campaign was really eye-opening. It signifies two major trends happening in the new media world right now:

1) A business-driven convergence of popular social media platforms.

Think back to 2009. Which two emerging trends went crazy that year? Twitter usage was the biggest upward trend. The other was online video, which, with the help of Hulu, took huge strides.

2) Advertising taking some control over social media

The Old Spice campaign was organized by Weiden + Kennedy, and it was an aggressive move from the advertising firm. Having graduated from Boston University with a PR degree, I’ve been told PR departments should control social media. Now, I’m being exposed to some different points of view. While I still think PR skills (notice I didn’t say “firms”) are best to handle day-to-day “conversation management,” I’m seeing advertising disciplines (again) taking the lead in creating social media campaigns.

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Web trends of 2010

2010 has been a big year for the web and has definitely set up 2011 to be interesting. Over at ReadWriteWeb, they’re analyzing the year 2010 and all of its accomplishments in web technology as well as things to look for in 2011. Here’s their sum up of their full report which you can find in their article:

Mobile: Key trends to watch in 2011 include: New versions of Android will challenge Apple’s software with a focus on music and other cloud-based features. Apple will likely release a new iPhone and OS in the middle of 2011 as well and go in the same direction. Can Windows 7 carve out a niche for itself? Will other tablets besides the iPad become popular?

Internet of Things: While more and more people world- wide are becoming Internet users, their number is dwarfed by networked objects. An estimated 35 billion devices are now connected to the Internet. Major developments this year include: July: News breaks that IPv4 running out of addresses, in part because of increasing networking of objects. August: Intel cites securing the Internet of Things as part of its rationale for buying McAfee.

Location-Based Social Networks: The focus in 2010 was strongly on location-based social networks. While this trend will continue in 2011, we will also see even more location-enhanced services that use the user’s location to provide more relevant search results and local information.

Real-Time Web: Real-time entertainment dominates web traffic globally, constituting 43% of all Internet traffic. Major developments this year include: January: Massive earthquake in Haiti; reactions and responses – from seismologists, from the media, and from international relief agencies – rely on real-time technologies. June: The World Cup becomes the most popular Web event ever.

Structured Data: Structured Data is an important component of the Semantic Web, the way in which we understand meanings and connections between meanings on the Web. Trends to watch in 2011 include: Semantic mark-up will be more widely implemented by businesses, publishers, governments. Even though RDFa is known for being difficult to implement, more datasets will be made available in general, whether or not they comply with standardization efforts.

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Viewing habits tied to life stages

Do you ever think about how those growing up watching television are going to be when they grow up? Are they going to look back and appreciate the technology of today? More importantly, how often are they going to be viewing television? The youth of today seem to be ones that watch television constantly, but the more and more, they are watching it online, on their phones, on their laptops, ipads..etc. The medium of television  and its consumption by the youth of today is going down.

“A recently released Nielsen study provided a bit of a surprise with regard to young people’s media habits: viewing habits are tied to life stages and do not appear to be generational. Young people are more tech savvy and heavy users of smart phones and laptops for video viewing, the study said. The unexpected result, however, was the evidence that young peoples’ viewing changes as they age. The fact that the 12-to-24 age group doesn’t make traditional TV viewing a priority is due to several reasons, says the report, such as how busy this demographic is with school and out-of-the-home activities. But Nielsen senior vice president of consumer insights Dounia Turrill believes that as teens and young people age and settle down, they will watch more TV. Her evidence is buttressed in part by previous generations, which were tracked as watching low levels of TV in youth and then watching more as they grew older.” from Broadcast Engineering

Teenagers are always on the move and always need things to be at a high pace. So sitting down and watching television isn’t in their best interest. I find that in this age gap, you want to be part of the hustle and bustle of the world. Things are always changing  and unstable at that stage. And since the internet has brought it to you at your fingertips (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube..etc.) you can keep in touch with what is going on quicker than on television. Time to relax isn’t in their schedules. Unless it’s a lazy sunday or it’s raining outside. But as they age, they’ll get used to the fast-paced world and settle down more with their lives and have a cup of tea once in a while and appreciate life. At this stage, they’ll most likely turn on the television with a loved one and just relax.

For the article from Broadcast Engineering:

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MuchMusic wants MuchLessMusic

It’s been awhile since MTV showed music videos because they’ve changed their strateegy to showing reality television or ‘lifestyle’ shows. And now CTV wants to do the same. They want to show less music on their popular channel, MuchMusic. They want to show more ‘lifestyle’ programs such as ‘A Date With…’ and ‘Discovered’ (formerly Disbanded) to connect with audiences again since their profits have been dropping. Obviously taking a note from MTV, this formula has proven to be succesful. However, the CRTC rejected their offer. Susan Krashinsky explains:

The media company suffered a setback in that effort on Thursday, as the federal broadcast regulator denied its application to cut in half the number of music videos it shows on its specialty channel MuchMusic.

But Brad Schwartz, the senior vice-president and general manager of the Much MTV Group, said the company will continue to push its request to cut down on the channel’s music videos from 50 per cent of its schedule to 25 per cent.

“It will, 100 per cent, be revisited” when CTV goes before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for the licence renewals of the stations it owns in the new year, Mr. Schwartz said.

MuchMusic is suffering from the YouTube effect. While many content owners fight to keep their TV shows from being posted on the popular site illegally, music videos are freely available all over the Internet. And the record companies that own them are making it easier for users to turn off the TV and Google for Gaga instead.

Music video website is owned by two of the largest record labels – Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment – and has deals to show content from other labels such as EMI Music. The site sells advertising on the content, and makes the videos available on YouTube and other websites through a Vevo-branded embedded video player.

“We don’t even get video premieres any more. The record labels premiere all their music videos on Vevo,” Mr. Schwartz said.

However, other companies – including Rogers Communications Inc. – filed documents with the regulator objecting to CTV’s application. Like most specialty channels aside from news and mainstream sports, MuchMusic benefits from “genre protection,” which prevents other specialty channels from launching in Canada that would directly compete with existing services.

MTV Canada (which is also owned by CTV) is permitted to exist here, for example, because it focuses on lifestyle programming, which is not in direct competition with the bulk of MuchMusic’s music-focused content.

“Allowing MuchMusic to significantly broaden its nature of service in such a way that it can transition into a young adult/lifestyle service calls into question the continued relevance of the original rationale for granting genre protection and limiting direct competition,” Rogers vice-president of regulatory affairs Susan Wheeler wrote in a submission to the CRTC in June.

In its denial of CTV’s request on Thursday, the regulator agreed with this reasoning, but also suggested that the licence renewal hearing would be the proper environment to discuss the issue.

As MTV Canada reinvented themselves to show less music videos and more lifestyle shows, it has grown popular with the teen crowd. If the CRTC doesn’t let MuchMusic do the same, it will have to find a way to connect with audiences in a relevant manner Showing music videos on television will not be relevant or interesting to the teen crowd in the near future as they search on Youtube for the newest videos. However, when MTV changed their objective to showing ‘lifestyle’ shows and not music videos, fans of the network were confused, upset and didnt know what to think. But guilty pleasure took over and reality television caught on, and people didn’t mind so much anymore. MuchMusic will sooner or later get their bid because the need for music videos, I believe, is no longer on television but on the internet.

Read more here:

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Facebook turning causes viral

Just last week, I received two opportunities on Facebook to raise awareness of a cause. The first being to raise awareness of breast cancer by putting in my status what I like to drink. Of course, each drink refers to a statement of relationship status. For example, tequila: i’m a single woman, sprite: i’m a woman who can’t find the right man. It was only circulated between women so men had no idea why women were putting random drinks in their status updates. Another one that got notice was raising awareness about child abuse by changing your profile picture to your favourite childhood cartoon. This campaign has gotten into some heat as of lately. Sara Nelson from the Daily Mail reports,

The campaign, which urges the image swap, has swept the social networking site and boasts a group page of nearly 90,000 fans. While many believe the viral originated from the children’s charity the NSPCC, it has denied any involvement, although welcomes the focus on the work it does.
However, disturbingly, rumours are now sweeping the net that the campaign is actually a smokescreen for paedophiles hoping to narrow down which users are children.

No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the campaign. The NSPCC posted the following statement on its Twitter page: ‘Although the NSPCC did not originate the childhood cartoon Facebook campaign, we welcome the attention it has brought to the work we do.’

But one Facebooker asked: ‘How is this gonna help stop child abuse? Sounds like something a paedophile would do!’ 

Blogger Shayne House said: ‘Changing your profile picture does not really support the NSPCC unless it inspires or encourages you or someone else to volunteer or donate, which hopefully it will. Did it inspire you?’

As the mystery continues to swirl – indeed the US National Child Abuse Prevention Month isn’t until April – the enormous scale of influence the campaign is having is being noted across the world.

According to the LA Times, nearly every of the 20 most actively searched terms on Google were to do with ‘old cartoons’ on Saturday morning.

Read more:

It is amazing to see how quickly and how big a campaign like this can get. Most facebook users haven’t informed themselves as to who is behind this cartoon-child abuse campaign. And it’s not like its directly helping the cause. But everyone still does it, either because everyone else is doing it and it makes you look good to others or because they believe in helping this cause and each little step counts. Causes going viral on facebook definitely raise awareness because there have been many occasions where a campaign on facebook has reached the news. But is it just a trend to get noticed or is there actual improvements in the cause being made? Hopefully those who participate in raising awareness via facebook also take the time to read about the subject and get involved.

For those campaigns that are affiliated with an organization that represent the cause, using Facebook is a great way to get youth involved in societal issues. It makes them aware of whats going on in their city and in the world. It’s hard not to notice a viral campaign when all your friends have something associated with it and they are more likely to get involved then and maybe find something they are passionate about.

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Internet addiction rising in teens

“Teenage Internet addiction is on the rise, say several addiction experts in Metro Vancouver. But many teens who have grown up with the technology don’t think spending more than 10 hours a day on the computer is even an issue, let alone an addiction.

Many teens are becoming dependent on the Internet, not just for schoolwork, but to communicate via social networking sites, play video games and watch TV, movies and YouTube videos.

But too much time spent idling on the Internet can have harmful consequences, including missing school, failing grades, disengaging from the community and, in rare cases, violence, according to experts in counselling.

They say that for some, too much time on the Internet may interfere with the ability to build healthy relationships and social skills needed to interact in real life.

Parents, family, friends and teachers are taking notice. Some parents are witnessing significant behavioural changes in their kids, such as becoming disinterested in activities they used to enjoy such as sports, arts and socializing outside the home with friends. Others are so worried they are sending their children into therapy.

Richard Dubras, director of Richmond Addiction Services, said for teenagers who are struggling in life, the Internet becomes “a wonderful coping mechanism,” a device they use to numb themselves. For some, the anonymity of cyberspace provides a way for them to be accepted. Although more teens are seeking out therapy, Dubras estimated that 10 per cent of the population is thought to be Internet-addicted while only one per cent are getting therapy. But when it comes to today’s teenagers, the line between what is perceived to be normal Internet usage and addiction is often blurred because they’ve grown up doing everything on computers.”

Read more of the research article here:

If you were to suddenly find yourself without internet, what would you do? Some people would freak-out because it has become a necessity to them. Some would slowly adapt to the new situation and others would be grateful for not having to feel controlled by it anymore.

The reaction to the popularity of the internet is mostly positive. It’s a great way to keep in touch with people, socialize and to research topics. It connects you to the rest of the world instantly and you can look at whatever you want on it. People have a certain freedom on the internet that they take advantage of because they might be shy in reality. It is easier to express themselves through the internet because it is through a screen and no one really knows who you are. You could create an entirely new persona with this attitude. People can get addicted to the internet because of this.

Others, however, are not enjoying this new media age. They don’t like how public everything is on the internet. Or how it is addicting and controls you. They might not enjoy that if you’re not connected, you’re suddenly out of the loop on almost everything. The socialization on the internet is very impersonal compared to face-to-face.

This addiction to the internet is increasing and becoming more serious. 

“The way some people have come to use (the Internet) has created a stir among the mental health community and Internet addiction has become a serious topic of discussion,” Dr. Young said to the BBC News. “Most people agree that the Internet is a productive tool, but research findings document serious negative consequences when it is used in a negative manner.”

Dr. Mark Griffiths adds: “Most Internet addicts are young, socially unskilled men, it’s tragic – these people have the same problems as any other addict.”

This necessity to surf the internet has become a part of society. Technology surrounds us and once you start living a life within the internet (using it as a main socializer) it overwhelms your life and you may lose yourself inside the web.

So if you lost internet connection for one day, how would you react?

Here’s a fun test to see if you’re addicted to the internet:

To checkout the BBC news article:

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The future of consumer behaviour online

“The internet will eventually take on characteristics of corporate media and the marketplace will dominate online behaviour”- Dr. Strangelove.

My professor explained this in class, one day. It brought me to realize that you can see this very change occurring before your eyes. The internet is the only place that they have not grasped yet, how to control us. It is a place for our freedom of expression and we feel like we can do anything on the web. But Corporations are finding new ways to get around this, to control us. Like the television and radio, they have controlled it so that we are consumers of it with their demands. They are trying to regulate it the same way with the internet however, it is a medium that is very difficult to regulate. 

Corporate America is trying to control what we do on the internet and do what they want us to do. An effective way they do this is by placing advertisements strategically. Advertising online is very difficult because it has to catch someone’s eye, but even if it catches their eye, there is a low measure (around 1%) that will actually click through (for example, banner ads). They’re trying to improve their marketing strategies by finding out where we first look on a website. This is called eye-tracking. Every advertisement is placed strategically, and made to catch our eye. Studies have been done of where our eyes first pay attention. In an article in Metro on March 26, 2009, Paul Brent says that “most of us read what’s at the top left of a webpage, and as you move down the page or to the right, we read far less.”

You might notice that on many webpages, the advertisments are at the very top of the page. First, to grab our attention and also control what we see and take time to notice. By noticing their ads, they gain money and insight into consumer behaviour.

Christian Simms, who works with eye-tracking devices at Procter & Gamble, urgers companies ‘to give eye tracking a serious look’.

“What consumers say and what they react to is a very different thing than what they spontaneously react to,” Simms says of eye tracking’s benefits. “We’re interested in what they can tell us without saying it to us.”

With this new data being collected, marketers will be able to understand our  impulse buys and be able to control them better. Not only will this be applied in real stores but online as well.

Check out more on eye tracking:

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