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8 posts from June 2007

Using Mail to Strengthen Email

Restricting your communications with customers to email can be dangerous to the size of your audience. To keep up with everyone, you should provide a benefit for providing a physical mailing address (pocket calendar at Christmas time?), and then you should mail at least twice a year. For broken email addresses, Toyon Books created a fabulous "You Bounced!" postcard. I suspect this type of notice to become an industry best practice. This card is particularly well designed--have a look! (from the VerticalResponse Email Marketing Blog).

Co-opting the Critics?

If you can't silence them, put them on the advisory board! Whether or not this strategy works depends on whether or not McDonald's listens to mothers, not on how many of the mothers see inside McDonald's.

Promo: McDonald's Brings Moms' Voices in the Kitchen Via Blogs. 2007-Jun-22, by Amy Johannes

McDonald’s is using real people to tell its story in hopes that will better resonate with other customers. “We tried to [tell our story] but it’s something not as credible as if it’s coming from customers,” Starmann said. “We know moms listen to other moms and word of mouth is the most incredible source. We think they are great advocates for our quality story.” Experts say McDonald’s PR push to get moms on board is nothing new. The company ran McMoms, a direct marketing program targeting mothers. An online newsletter offered parenting, women’s health and nutrition tips.

Nike Upgrades the Running Experience

Nike+ is a product--a shoe fitted with an iPod plus extra software for recording your run. is the web site where runners can record their routes, times, and talk about their performance, challenges, music, etc. has turned out to be the real innovation for Nike, allowing it to plug into the runners' lifestyle like no other product they've manufactured before. Shouldn't most companies support a user community?

Advertising Age: The Awards Shows Need to Tear Down Silos, but It Won't Happen, 2007-Jun-25, by Jonah Bloom: Nike Plus epitomizes the increasing convergence of ideas and utility. It's a user-friendly product, and it's selling like ice cream on the French Riviera because it enhances the experience of running by allowing runners to measure and compare performances over time and with others. ... Oh, yes, and it's made Nike a content player, a media owner operating the biggest running club in the world via a social network.

Nissan Takes Over Heroes

Nissan will use "Heroes" as ground zero for an integrated effort around its forthcoming crossover, Nissan Rogue. The launch will be the season premiere of "Heroes." It will be sponsored by Nissan, which will "own" the show, so no other marketer will advertise. The Rogue will also be driven by the main character in the premiere. from Mediapost Marketing Daily: Nissan Ties Rogue Campaign to NBC's 'Heroes', 2007-June-22, by Karl Greenberg

My comment: Sponsorship continues to replace advertising as companies look for a way to make a meaningful connection with their audience without interrupting them. Nissan is lucky they can afford to not just hop on the bandwagon but also push every other advertiser off as well. Sometimes I think we may be returning to the arts patronage system that supported artists during the Renaissance.

Using One's Employees to Market

Back when I worked for a traditional advertising agency, we would occasionaly be asked to feature a company's employees in the advertising. This procedure always involved media release forms, affadavits, and copywriting headaches. In the modern world of open-source marketing, some companies have figured it out. At Crutchfield's and at Ford Models, the employees just share the best of themselves.

Digital Media Wire: 500 Things You Can Learn From A Supermodel, 2007-Jun-19, by Rohit Bhargava

They have the personal trainers, they work with the hair stylists and they see the tricks of the makeup artists. In many ways, a model should be the person most qualified to teach you about beauty. This is the brilliant concept behind Ford Models TV, a site run by Ford Models - one of the premier modelling agencies in the world. Through their site, they have created nearly 500 unique videos that are each nearing 100,000 views just over the past year. Do the math and they may very well have quietly been amassing the largest number of views for branded short videos of any company online. ...Particularly interesting is the smart strategy the site has of also distributing their videos through just about every large video sharing site online...

The Good 5 Minutes

Repackaging content is getting to be big business. If you've ever decided to take a nostalgia trip back to some old TV show and been disappointed to realize it's not nearly as funny or spine-tingling as you remembered, slicing-and-dicing old TV shows will make a lot of sense to you. We only remember certain moments, and if Sony and Honda can dig out those moments for us, they will probably do very well.

NY Times: MySpace Mini-Episodes, Courtesy of Honda. 2007-Jun-15, by Stuart Elliott

Honda will be the sole sponsor of what Sony Pictures Television is calling the Minisode Network, which is scheduled to begin next week. Visitors to the MySpace Web site (my will be able to watch episodes of 15 vintage Sony series like “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Facts of Life,” “Fantasy Island” and “Who’s the Boss,” edited from their original lengths of 30 or 60 minutes each to an Internet-friendly 4 to 6 minutes.

Give Your Customers a Job

Figuring out a project that would work for your customers may be challenging, but if you can get them to do something new and fun--imagine the loyalty that engenders!

MediaPost Publications: LG Puts Cell Phone Owners To Work As Music Critics2007-Jun-11, by Karl Greenberg

LG Electronics' Mobilecomm USA, the electronics giant's U.S. mobile phone division, is preparing to launch a program with music-business magazine Billboard Magazine. The effort, "Mobile Beat," lets owners of the company's mobile phones become de facto music journalists posting live commentary to personal blogs on LG and Billboard are letting 30 contestants get a free LG enV camera phone and VIP press passes to concerts, festivals and shows where they live, to be chosen by Billboard. Winners are charged with covering a raft of summer concerts, where they can post photos and reviews to To participate in the contest, entrants must log onto and submit a photo of themselves along with a 100-word statement about why they should be tapped to be a citizen-journalist.