Looking back at a great ad campaign

If you spend any time around the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon you would quickly realize what side of the technology divide it stands on currently. Apple computers are everywhere in the SOJC and I am constantly reminded of it because I have a PC and feel like I am one of the few. Despite my preference towards PCs one of my all-time favorite advertising campaigns has to be the ‘Get a Mac’ campaign and Adfreak.com has the entire campaign posted.

Everyone has to have seen at least one of these commercials provided you weren’t living under a rock for the past few years. Since the commercials origination in 2006 there have been 66 different versions filmed and while they have sadly stopped making them (something I didn’t really notice till I saw the post about the campaign) it definitely speaks volumes about what can make a great advertisement.

The commercials are so simple, but still manage to create a relationship with the viewing audience. The overhead for the commercials also have to be insanely low, with rarely more than three people on screen at one time and a fairly set wardrobe it is amazing how successful the advertisements became.

Take that in comparison with this behind the scenes look at the filming of one of the newer Old Spice commercials. Everything about that set looked exceptionally complicated, but both advertisements managed to do their job well.

It is hard to determine what makes a good advertisement because people’s tastes are so diverse. On an earlier blog post I mentioned how segmented markets have become, but despite that certain advertisements will continually catch the consumer’s eyes.

Despite a very minimal difference in age it is interesting to see how the ‘Old Spice Man’ has also spread to be a part of viral media. Hopefully the viral aspect will keep this hilarious campaign going for the four year run ‘Get a Mac’ did ,but even if it doesn’t it is great to be able to look at how even in a few short years the advertising industry has evolved with social media.

 

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Presenting with flair

So I have to give a presentation in class on Tuesday and one thing that is always good to get pumped up before doing something that requires public speaking is to watch TED talks. All the speakers for TED are exceptionally accomplished people, but not all of them are competent speakers. The truly great presentations standout though and one of the best talks I’ve ever seen on the TED page was by Hans Rosling about the third world.

Hans Rosling speaking at TED

While the topic isn’t something that I am deeply interested in or have an expansive knowledge of the way this man presents information is amazing. Most of the time when you get advice on public speaking you hear about how statistics bore your audience, but Hans Rosling presents information in such a way that you are dragged in through his energy. The graphs he shows aren’t aesthetically pleasing to say the least, but great content makes them interesting.

A great public speaker is often someone who is passionate about what they do and when you watch Hans Rosling speak you can tell that he has dedicated his life to these topics. Sadly passion is a hard thing to inspire for every public speaking situation you are put in, but being confident in you claim can be just as good.

Finding the middle ground between something that is eye catching and informative is also a challenge for public speakers. Sometimes it seems that people try so hard to make a presentation fun that they forget what they are doing up there and of course there are the opposites who frantically cram information into every slide. Public speaking is all about finding a good balance between what your audience wants to hear and what they need to hear.

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Twitter-symptoms may vary

So I pretty much failed at a resolution I made to be a better Tweeter, I’m a twidiot I know (I debated trying to fit as many Twitter puns as I could in this post, but wanted to spare my dignity and anyone who unfortunately reads this). So as I’ve been on this journey of social media exploration I’ve definitely seen how effective twitter can be, but I sadly don’t feel compelled to have an active personal account.

In my laborious time trying to get involved in twitter I went through the five stages of grieving and a few clicks on Google later I was brought to Influential Marketing Blog reading an article about his own five stages of accepting Twitter. While my stages of grieving went more along the line of Kubler-Ross’ model I let out a sigh of relief knowing I wasn’t the only person who disliked his or her account at one point or another.

Basically on Influential Marketing Blog’s model I am at a mix of the first two stages. I’ve moved on from pure denial to just disliking my own posts, but I do check my account every so often when I am looking for ways to not blog.

The main thing that interested me was the latter stages because they start talking more about the evolution of professional twittering. Stage three seems like the tipping point because you are finally generating your own content, but conversing and microblogging is where I see Twitter being useful, albeit less fun.

Much of my twitter journey has yet to begin; I personally feel that unless you are really generating your own content you’re essentially stuck in the dumping stage. While there is nothing wrong with the dumping stage I think I am to stubborn to continually push other people’s work on my random collection of followers, but maybe once I find content worth creating I’ll find my voice on Twitter.

 

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Interviews: why being human helps

I feel like there are enough posts between this one and the last time I talked about interviewing to let me post another so here we go. I just finished reading a post on The Hiring Hub about 10 ways to ace an interview and once again tips relate to people being a considerate human being.

While I know there have probably been several times where I have botched one of these tips, it is good to see something as simple as “respond briskly and concisely” made it onto the list. Another example of a tip that is extremely simple yet underappreciated is to thank the interviewer at the end of the interview.

When it comes to the interview process it always seems so rigid, but the second you come face-to-face with an actual person the dynamic shifts. People are social creatures and one of the best ways to “ace” an interview is to be organic. A real human connection can get you further in business then just doing something well, in a market where thousands have the exact same qualifications you do it becomes important to look for what added value you bring to the company.

Fortunately I’ve never had to be the interviewer, but I am sure that people run the gambit when applying for the entry level jobs. So with that in mind I want to thank the millions of interviewees before me and especially the ones that have inspired the countless lists from people hoping to minimalize the amount of unpleasant interviews in the future.

Bonus tip: Smile

 

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How social is social media?

Despite all the success from social media it still seems like a hard sell. In my media sales class whenever social media usage comes up in an advertising plan the main flaw of it comes up to; it’s hard to measure.

While I am not saying that tracking the consumption of social media is difficult, it is just hard to hold numbers up to a social media plan. Ad week published an article last month about the disconnect between agencies and clients.

This is slightly unsettling for the fact that social media is being used to sell everything, but isn’t really selling itself. While newer and better social media options become available to the general public it continues to divide the market. Agencies are ,of course, the more zealous when it comes to supporting social media, but should they be doing what they think is best or what the customer wants?

I personally feel that if you’re paying an agency to do work for your company you should give them the benefit of the doubt, but it is interesting to think of social media as a hard sell. After you do some research you would be quick to find the advantages of using social media and how many businesses could benefit from it, but not everyone is sold yet.

A word cloud from an advertising blog

When you talk with people at the School of Journalism it seems like social media is an explosive topic, but has the fact that social media has been so well integrated into daily life made it lose some of its appeal? When some people advertise all they really want is to see their face on TV (take any local car dealership or furniture store), but people don’t get the same satisfaction for media usage when anyone can do it. Despite all the avid talk of social media’s benefits it is still difficult to recognize its professional perception and I feel that it is being underutilized because if how it is viewed.

Photo credit: DavidErickson via Flikr

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The tweet is mightier than the pen

The more I wander the internet the more I realize social media is slowly eclipsing my life. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s amazing to think of all the applications people have found for it so far. With the tweets that reported what was happening in Egypt to people using Facebook to organize parts of the revolution social media has definitely changed how the world works.

Al Jazeera has realized this and is taking it to the next level with their new show The Stream meant to be aired on their US network. The show is putting social media at the forefront of news reporting, relying on an online community to help make the show. Social media tools like twitter and storify will help drive the conversations and create an open dialogue for people to take part in.

The fact that there is going to be a show based around social media speaks volumes to how far it has come.  While the show hasn’t been put on the air yet, it will definitely be interesting to watch and see how it acclimates with the online community.  This is a great example of when people find an application for social media that stands above the celebrity gossip and other mindless product that is so often put out on the web.

It is also interesting to think about looking at the news from the view of social media because of how much less censorship there is online. While the show will only be half an hour Al Jazeera hopes to have an open dialogue running 24/7. It definitely looks like there are chances that this show could backfire on the producers, but there is also a chance to elevate news media to a new level if the program is nurtured carefully.

 

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Social division

I just got finished reading a post by Brian Solis about behaviorgraphics which are essentially the way to differentiate publics within social media. As I was reading I was thinking two things, the first being the sad acknowledgement of my minute social media presence and the second being how have PR and advertising agencies worked to target these groups.

When you look for the most basic way of targeting a group of consumers it most likely falls to demographics. Demographics are things that people cannot change and while not as directed as other forms they will usually hit their target, for lack of a better way to say it reaching a demographic is like trying to hit the broad side of a barn.

Psychographics are slightly harder, but more useful when you think about selling a targeted product.  Even when you look at psychographics it doesn’t seem that hard to reach your target with all the different options you have to put your message on, but then I read the behaviorgraphics.

The behaviorgraphics post talked about 18 different categories to classify people in and that sounds exceptionally small when you consider how large social media have become over the years. Even then as I read them I was unsure of how a consumer could be reached through these classifications.  For the most part its already been figured out, businesses generate content to create added value for customers that they have a relationship with.  Even with that concept in mind it still seems to be a monstrous task to disseminate what people really want out of corporate social media and as the lines of product and prestige get blurred it will become vital to acknowledge audiences by more than who they are and what they associate with.

edit* Photo credit: Mashable.com via Flikr

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