The week in review - April 29, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes. 

Why Social Media Fails Businesses          
Brands have to know how to use social media correctly in order for it to yield results.

“Snackable” Content            
Sometimes little “snacks” of content are more effective than long-winded posts since attention spans are so short.
Online Videos are More Effective Than TV Ads           
The audience for online video is soaring, with 58% of the U.S. population streaming, up from 38% five years ago.

Big Brands Want Instagram Ads    
Mark Zuckerburg disagrees with brands, claiming that ads could end up stunting Instagram’s rapid growth. Instagram is currently growing at a faster rate than Facebook did at the same age.

70% of Brand Engagement on Pinterest is User Generated            
This study reveals the opportunity for brands to drive the conversation on visual platforms like Pinterest.

Instagram Adds Tagging         
On Thursday, users can tag people in photos, and browse feeds of photos you and others appear in.

Instagram tagging


Marketing to women that connects, example 12: Kindle or Apple?

Laurie Hix's picture

When the Kindle first debuted, it did so with a memorable campaign that featured a woman and used stop motion to tell a story. The idea was to breakthrough in a creative way, as the product at the time was creative and breakthrough. It was inspired by previous YouTube stop motion viral videos online and inspired more YouTube stop motion videos afterwards. Without going into too much detail on the product benefits, the campaign created a name for the brand with this memorable concept. But now in efforts to keep up with Apple, the new Kindle Fire advertising is being more competitive and more demonstrative—taking a cue from the Apple brand playbook. Now, while the voiceover and copy are emotional in the Kindle Fire spot it is more about how great the product is and how many apps it has. I wish, Kindle would have stayed with a fresh approach and just added some more product benefits without going to the tired “anthem” format. Apple is continuing to do simple television demonstrations with their products in a clever way that seem to resonate with men, women of all ages. And with ads like the one featuring Zoe Deschanel talking to her new bestie, Siri, apple continues to spurn spin offs in the viral world of YouTube like this duet with Siri. So which do you think is the most effective way to engage women with a tech product?  A great concept, great demonstration or a great anthem?

Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.


Healthcare social media review:

Lauren Zuzelski's picture

PatientslikemeA few weeks ago I reviewed Sharecare, a healthcare social media platform that I felt really didn’t deliver any true benefit to its users, let alone serve as a good example of a successful healthcare social media example. But while I was researching, I came across Patientslikeme, which was extremely interesting and unique, and from my introduction, seemed like a much better and successful example of how a healthcare social media platform can really change the world of healthcare. In fact, Forbes notes that the site is "producing some of the most compelling clinical data the healthcare industry has ever seen."

The idea of came from three MIT engineers, who had a family member/friend diagnosed with a rare disease. They were having trouble finding research, data or even a network of people that shared a common diagnosis. With that, they developed a platform that has now grown and into the site PatientsLikeMe. Within the platform people can connect with others that share a similar diagnosis and track/share their own experience. While this may not sound very interesting, the greatest part is the data mining that happens simultaneously with the sharing. Throughout the whole process, the company is very openly gathering the stories and data to help with the future of these specific diseases – sharing it with researchers, pharma companies, providers, non-profits, etc.

My initial reaction to the idea is that of brilliance, but I wanted to test the platform. It was during this test and review that I continued to be Wowed. Below, I have highlighted some of the key areas of the platform for an in-depth review:

Create a profile:
I started with creating a profile, which took less than 5 minutes and instantly gave me a snapshot on my condition, how many within the network had the condition and a breakdown of other age/gender/diagnosis information.

Patientslikeme - Create profile

Part of building your profile included questions about your history with the condition:

Patientslike me - profile questions about your history

Connecting with Patients:
And then after that, I was quickly able to start using the site to my advantage. One of the greatest areas was the "find patients" tab, where you are able to search for patients like you to connect with and to read their stories.

Patientslikeme - connecting with patients

Patientslikeme - Member journals

Treatment information:
Another area that I found extremely beneficial was the “your treatments” tab that allowed me to enter in my personal treatment information and to read about other treatments reported by other patients of my condition. This area is complete with information from patients on how the medicines made them feel, benefits, drawbacks, etc. In addition to being clear and easy to understand, the network is actually large enough to make the data useful.

Patientslikeme - Your treatments

Patientslikeme - Community Treatment Reports

Not only did I find the site and the information relevant, useful and beneficial, it also made me want to share my story, which in the social media world, is the ultimate goal. The more that share their story, the greater the chance of making medical progress and advancements. I am truly impressed with and believe that the site is one of only a select few of healthcare social media sites that understand how to leverage social media, ultimately making a direct change in the healthcare world.


Smells like brand marketing.

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

I expected cigarette smoke, beer and the sickly, sweet tang of girlie cocktails. And, desperation steeped in sweat.

Instead, Las Vegas smelled like rosemary and lavender with a hint of sweet orange. JW Marriott calls it “subtle sophistication,” part of a growing trend in brand marketing that engages multiple senses to influence consumer behavior.  

The last leg in a 10-day trip out west, Las Vegas was our least anticipated destination. We’d hiked through canyons in Utah’s national parks, the Virgin River and climbed thousands of feet along switchbacks, breathing crisp, clean, exhilarating air.

So, when we entered the colossal resort/spa/casino, I held my nose.

My husband detected “subtle sophistication” on the elevator ride to our floor. “Do you smell that?” Sure enough. Rosemary and something sweetish. The not so subtle images of herbs and oranges that peppered the hotel’s marketing materials confirmed the ingredients of its version of branded sophistication.

Called sensory brand marketing, hotel behemoth’s like JW Marriott are among the early pioneers to capitalize on scent, sound, texture, and even taste to enhance the overall consumer experience. Hospitals are also employing scents to improve the patient and visitor satisfaction. The MRI unit at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, for example, is perfumed with an ocean scent and the waiting room on the Savannah Floor smells like grass.

Scent is a particularly powerful influencer because humans are hard-wired to respond emotionally to what they smell. The brain's olfactory bulb, which detects odors, fast-tracks signals to the limbic system, which links emotion to memories. It’s why the scent of popcorn takes us directly to a theater, coconut reminds us of a sun drenched, sandy beach and cigar smoke makes us remember Uncle Bob.

According to the Scent Marketing Institute, 75% of all the emotions we experience daily are prompted by scent.  Positive, congruent scents make shoppers linger a bit longer and help condition them for purchase.

Shoppers at Nike were 80% more likely to purchase in a room perfumed with a floral scent than consumers in an unscented room. What’s more, they were willing to pay more for the same shoes. In another study, slot machine receipts increased by 53% in the scented area of a casino (Brand Sense,  Martin Lindstrom, Free Press ,2005).

With brands competing among some 5,000 ads served daily to consumers, it’s no wonder a third of Fortune 500 companies are considering other channels to our wallets. What does your favorite brand smell like?


The week in review - April 19, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes. 

Creating Viral Tweets
This article is full of tips on how to create content that is forwarded and shared over and over again.

Creating Viral Tweets

Twitter to Add TV
Twitter is close to reaching partnerships with TV networks that would bring more high-quality video content and advertising to the social site.

Mastercard and AmEx Feed Data to Advertisers
Credit Card companies are partnering up with digital advertisers, which makes some question the issue of privacy.

Facebook Will Debut Video Ads This Summer
It's assumed that the videos will auto play and will be presented in a video player that expands beyond the main news-feed real estate to cover the right- and left-hand rails of users' screens on the desktop version of Facebook.

A Facebook Fan is Worth $174
The study compared Facebook fans and non-fans based and their corresponding product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition and brand affinity to arrive at the figure, which is up 28% since 2010.

Instagramming Your Brand
Instagram is easy and engaging, so why wouldn’t you want to use it for your brand or business?

Instagramming Your Brand


Innovative healthcare marketing example #17.

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

What will your last 10 years look like? Using a split screen creative approach, this spot from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada effectively shows two diverse paths. The striking visual contrasts drive the point home that your last 10 years can be healthy and vibrant, or full of illness and hospital care. We see a bicycle tire and a wheelchair tire; a grandchild giving her grandpa a juice box, while a nurse helps the same feeble patient take a sip of his ice water; a vibrant gent confidently adjusting his tie, his counterpart adjusting his breathing tube.

The contrasts go on as does the emotionality of this touching spot. A touch of fear factor coaxes you to check out the website to be sure you end up in the left side of the screen category. As the spot says, "It's time to decide."

Great healthcare marketing for a great healthcare cause. Did it make you stop and think?


Dove remembers how to market to women.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

In October, our creative director Laurie Hix mourned the passing of Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign. For seven years, Dove had celebrated women with body fat, freckles, wrinkles, gray hairs, and other “flaws.” In the first two months of the campaign, Dove’s U.S sales increased by 600 percent, illustrating the immense power of brands that know how to market to women.

After that, the company launched a self-esteem saver and continued to redefine beauty. It made many women, including me, very, very happy.

When Dove shifted gears and started producing spots with sassy, skinny women soaping up in the shower, Laurie wrote, “It seemed like all the progress they made just evaporated.”

Well, it seems Dove got the message. If the company was seeking redemption with its new video, it has succeeded in spades. The film instantly went viral, with almost 3.5 million views as I write this. A 6.5-minute version has gotten almost half a million views. And while I’m at it, Dove’s Facebook page has more than 13.7 million likes, which blows competition like Olay’s 1.6 million likes away.

The video portrays women who’ve been partnered with a stranger for reasons unknown to them. After spending some time together, each subject goes into a sunny loft and describes herself to a forensic artist. The artist is separated from the subjects by a screen and draws their images based on the subjects’ descriptions only. Next, the partner describes this same woman to the artist. Then the subjects come and view their two sketches side-by-side. Invariably, the self-described portrait looks heavy, unattractive, and downright melancholy compared with the prettier pictures made with input from the strangers.

As the women view their sad self-images, their faces fall. One of them even cries. I must admit, when I watched it, I teared up, too.

The message at the film’s end, accompanied by quiet piano music, is, You are more beautiful than you think.

I’m excited by Dove’s return to its Real Beauty roots for a couple reasons:

  1. Money Talks
    Such a quick reversal might indicate that Dove’s sales fell when they started using conventionally beautiful models instead of women who were both beautiful and (take your pick) short, flat-chested, overweight, or older.  This shows that a cultural shift has indeed happened. In addition, a powerful branding phenomenon has happened. Dove spent years carefully and even lovingly building a brand around this idea of real beauty. They sent positive messages in both their advertising and their products like the lotion they named Pro-Age instead of Anti-Wrinkle.

    That’s why women felt so connected to the Dove brand—and why they may have stopped buying when the Real Beauty ended.

  2. The Expansion of Advertising
    These videos (you can choose between a 1.5 minute version, a 3-minute one, and a 6.5-minute one) are not commercials. They are films, with a narrative arc, beautiful art direction, and a real emotional impact. (Have any of your Facebook friends shared the video with the comment, “This made me cry?” Several of mine have.)

    Dove isn’t pushing product here. They don’t even mention a product, or the Dove name, other than a brief flash of the logo at the end. Yet the impact on the brand is massive.

This shows me just how powerful it can be to think both outside the box and in long-range terms when you’re molding a brand. If we’re brave, genuine, and give our target audience—women—what they really want, we can achieve big, big things.

When Dove does a more conventional soap sell, as Laurie pointed out, it looks just like its competitors. It’s when the product takes a step back—and lets the beauty of real women shine—that the brand really stands out.

I hope the instant success of this video encourages Dove to stick to its guns—to connect to women in a unique, respectful, and beautifully real way. In short, to make an emotional connection.


The week in review - April 12, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes. 

Vine Launches Hashtags         

Vine hopes to make exploring content easier with the launch of trending hashtags. The new feature allows users to easily see what the community is Vining about.

Vine Launches Hashtags

Brands Buy Real Time Mobile Ads Based on Weather

Twitter and The Weather Channel announced an agreement centered on a new weather-based ad-targeting product. Twitter says that 60% of its audience derives from smartphones—where users will be seeing Promoted Tweets thanks to the TWC deal.

Facebook Home Screen Ads        

“Home” lets consumers enable an ever-changing rotation of visual content from their Facebook friends called "cover feed" on their home and lock screens -- where ads will eventually also go.

More Customer Service Experiences are Being Shared via Social Media  

With regard to wielding their social networks, almost half (45%) of respondents said they share bad customer service experiences via Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms, while 30% reported sharing good customer service experiences via social media.

More Customer Service Experiences are Being Shared via Social Media

Facebook Opens Up Advertising to Very Specific Targets

Over the past year Facebook has been expanding the data that can be used for ad targeting to include non-Facebook information like the sites someone visits outside of Facebook, loyalty program memberships and, more recently, the types of products they buy in a brick-and-mortar store.


A new music lover's space, a new advertising space, the New Myspace.

Maureen Clemons's picture

Justin Timberlake is back, but not just with a new album. He is the biggest supporter and face of a new networking site – the New Myspace. The fresh site is putting itself on the level of Pandora and Spotify and backing away from social networking giants Facebook and Twitter. The New Myspace won’t compete with Facebook anymore; instead it will provide content that can be shared via social media.

New Myspace

The new site is all about music and making connections. Users can connect to and get updates from all their favorite artists. You can even become a number one fan of an artist if you interact with them more than any other user. When connecting to friends, the New Myspace shows your “affinity” or commonalities in music with that person. You can also connect to mixes (playlists other users create), music videos and radios (artist based radios – similar to Pandora.)

New Myspace

It’s also all about being visual. The profile pages allow you to put a very large, high quality cover photo and then as you sideways scroll across, you can see smaller pictures of music, comments and connections. The homepage is also very photo based – giving you the latest news on your connections and the music world.

Other cool features include a large search toolbar that appears no matter where you are on the site and a music player that remains on the bottom of the screen always.

New Myspace

There is no advertising on the site right now, but it will be added over time. What does this mean for marketers in the future? It means connecting to a targeted demographic in a new way. When advertising does come to the site, it won’t be in the same cluttered way as the old site. Options could include pre-roll videos before music videos and branded content (articles, photos, etc.) The advertising would be more integrated in the site and not just a mess of banner ads.

Marketers could target a specific age group with specific interests easily. At first, the New Myspace will definitely skew to a younger demographic, but also might attract the original Myspace users who are a little older. As time goes on, more and more people of all ages will become users. You can narrow down who to target by what music they listen to and what they list as their interests – similar to Facebook.

Pandora advertising is taking off and the New Myspace could follow suit. Do you see yourself joining the New Myspace? Or more importantly, can you see yourself advertising on it?


Great healthcare marketing video.

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

Okay, get “prepped” for this. The Pink Glove Dance goes Colonoscopy. Humor is tricky to carry off, but Dr. Rosenfeld of Simi Valley, California, nails it. This proctologist’s Bowel Prep Shuffle (remix of Pitbull’s Give Me Everything), will have you laughing out loud. Especially if you’ve ever had a colonoscopy. 

Irreverent? No, a brilliant healthcare marketing strategy using humor to break down barriers and lessen patient discomfort in discussing a difficult topic. All the while making the doc seem more like a “real person”.

I will say no more, except you need to watch this. And share in honor of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.


Catch the vibe: Metro Detroit credit union latest to rebrand.

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

While driving to my daughter’s martial arts class this week, a bold, new sign on an old downtown fixture caught my attention: Vibe Credit Union.

The credit union formerly known as Telcom has joined the ranks of the newly rebranded. Like the hundreds of credit unions that preceded Vibe, the credit union shed its namesake for the sake of growth.

Telcom Credit Union dates back to 1936 when it was formed by a group of employees at Michigan Bell Telephone Company in Detroit. At the time, membership was restricted to employees and their families. Today, Vibe Credit Union is open to virtually anyone, thanks to a clever cause marketing relationship with the Salvation Army.

Still, “Telcom” doesn’t exactly translate as “welcome all” in consumer speak. And in a market where consumers are already tripped up over the word “union,” credit unions must take great pains to clear all potential barriers to entry. It’s the same reason T&C Federal Credit Union opted for Genisys, Communications Family assumed Wildfire, Royal Oakland is Our Credit Union, EECU became Michigan Community Credit Union, Metro changed to Extra…

Changing markets and repositioning alone build a credible argument for rebranding. The challenge is to craft a new moniker that fits the bill—ideally a name that maximizes existing brand equity, is progressive, and hasn’t already been claimed (i.e. anything with “Trust,” “Financial,” “Lakes,” “Michigan,” “Lake Michigan,” etc.)

Vibe has covered all three bases, according to the FAQ page on its website. The new name pays homage to its roots, while embracing an increasingly technology-based personal banking environment and altogether different generation of customers. And it’s the first credit union to become Vibe Anything, or Anything Vibe.

The most difficult work is now underway, integrating the credit union’s key attributes to create a brand proposition that resonates with new consumers without alienating its current, loyal base. Is the new brand too irreverent? Too nontraditional? Too disco? Will consumers catch the Vibe or tune it out?

Blog Category: 


Facebook reveals redesigned News Feed.

Kristin Morris's picture

Yesterday I was able to watch the live conference at which Facebook announced that it is revamping the News Feed. Zuckerberg explained that 50% of content in the average user’s News Feed is compiled of photos and videos since the launch of timeline in late 2011. Also important for brands to note, he mentioned that the amount of content from Facebook brand pages appearing in users’ News Feeds has also increased and that 25% of News Feed content is brand content.

Zuckerberg continued on to say that how users are sharing content is changing and that the Facebook News Feed needs to evolve as well. With that he introduced the three major components of the new News Feed that is “designed to reflect the evolving face of the News Feed”:

  • Rich Stories
  • Choice of Feeds
  • Mobile Consistency

Facebook gives you a sneak peek of the new News Feed here.

Rich Stories

Basically the News Feed will focus on stories and will become more visual with larger images that will be front and center. This goes for sharing individual photos as well as photo albums. This also means that articles and attachments will feature a larger image, more prominent title, longer summary and the logo of publisher in corner. 

Before and after image photos in the News Feed

*Before and After shot courtesy of Business Insider

When users check in or tag a place in your status update, the new News Feed will give the place more prominence by including a map and image. And when users post 3rd party content, or post new events, the content will be more visual to reflect the beauty of the images and to align with the visual nature of sites like Pinterest and Instagram. 

Image of links in new News Feed


*Photo from Facebook

Have you ever logged into Facebook and noticed that multiple friends like a story/ link/ etc.? Well now Facebook will make these stories visually prominent in the News Feed, with the profile pictures of your friends who have liked/ shared the content on left-hand side. If you hover over the image you can see what each friend said.

Choice of Feeds

The Facebook team also announced that there will be new options for the New Feed. These options will include:

Image of new News Feed option list

*Photo from Facebook

  • Friend Feed- All of the posts from our friends will be in one place in chronological order.
  • Music Feed – Posts from our favorite musicians, info about concerts happening near us, news about albums that have recently been released and the music that our friends are listening to will show up in this feed.
  • Photos Feed – Every photo that our friends and pages that we follow have posted will appear in this feed.
  • Following Feed – All of the posts from pages and public figures that we follow will appear in one place in chronological order.
  • Most Recent Feed– This feed shows every single action from all of our friends and all of the pages we like.
  • Close Friends Feed – This will stay the same and will feature posts from those we have designated as our close friends.
  • Games Feed – This will stay the same and will feature posts/ updates from the games that we play.

All of the feeds will be sorted in a list by how often we use them, with the most frequently used feeds appearing at the top. 

Interface consistency

Finally, the Facebook interface will be consistent across all screens – desktop, tablet and mobile. The “New Story Bubble” will be making an appearance in the web experience as we currently see it on the tablet and mobile interfaces. This will allow users to jump right to the latest stories. 

Image of Facebook on multiple interfaces

*Photo from Facebook

The new interface will appear on tablets and mobile devices sooner than it will appear on desktops. Facebook is planning to test it amongst a small group of users, work our the kinks and then roll it our to everyone later in the year.

What are your thoughts on the new News Feed? Do you think it will make the Facebook experience better for users?

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