Harlem Shake and Planking

A new social trend has appears. It is called Harlem Shake. Basically, it starts with one person dancing in a repetitive way for about 15seconds in a crowded or none-crowded place, after which a crowd of people joins original dancer. At this point everyone is dressed in a costume or even dance half-naked.

This is social trend therefore of interest to Marketing. The demographic of the trend is about 20-30 year old, usually studying at university.

The interesting part about this trend is that it is socially incorrect and economically unprofitable. People doing this shake may get bragging right later on but that’s about it.

Still, people are doing it and companies should be aware of this trend, as if your companies demographic that of harlem shake people, you may consider doing a shake in your marketing campaign.

This trend comes out sometimes after another similar trends, one of which is called Planking. Planking required a people to lie on their belly, face down, in an odd place.

planking fail

Planking is an old trend, and this sort of trends tend to pass very fast, when people “saw it all” or think it is now to silly or even if a new trend substitutes the old trend.

As refereed previously, marketers can use this trend and some companies did. For example, South Park made an episode about this sort of trends (season 16, episode 3). Wikipedia has also an article about planking (press here to see the article).

Once again we see that social trends are unpredictable, but marketers should take advantage of these trends when they appear.

Advertising vs. Publicity vs. Promotions vs. Sales vs. Pattern Advertising

VersusHere is an interesting fact for you. Generally when it comes to Advertising and Publicity, people think it is the same thing. Promotions is sometimes but more rarely confused with the previous two concepts. Sales are considered the be very similar to Advertising. Pattern Advertising is an easy concept, but known by very few.

So I am here to tell you that all these concepts are similar, in a way, but also different. Lets remove the confusion:

Advertising – Also called “paid or unearned marketing”, is when a company pays for promoting itself in a non-personal way.

Publicity – Also called “earned marketing“, is when someone else, but the company, promotes the brand and/or its products (e.g., word of mouth). The company does not pay for publicity. The message can be both good and bad.

Although the Publicity is unpaid, Public Relationship department is responsible for understanding and changing the public perception about the brand and fostering goodwill.

Promotion  Related to monetary and non-monetary discounts given by companies, in order for clients to buy more products.

Sales – Different from Advertising in a way that promotion is done in a personal way.

Pattern Advertising – when it comes to advertising in different places (e.g., countries), managers have to make decision whether to standardize their marketing activities, making advertising the same in these two or more places, or to adopt them to the local needs, whereby every country has its own advertisement. Pattern advertising is somewhere between 100% standardization and 100% adaptation, whereby the “draft”, standardized version is produced and marketers adopt specific elements of the ad to their own market’s needs.

12 Controversial Ads from the Past

Ethics change, so do the societies, so do the ads. We are living in a “developed” society, or so we think. In 10-20 years what we take today as allowed and welcomed will be incorrect on so many levels.

Selling alcohol, cigarets and guns was once a honest way of living, but today it is not allowed. The opposite is also true. Talking about science was not allowed for many centuries, but now it is hard to avoid in everyday conversations. Who knows what legal or ethical restrictions will emerge in the future? Today anyone can change opinion of millions with few words or presses of the button.

However, today we are not going to talk about the future, rather about the past. We are going to look at some old ads, which could offend some viewers and start riots and demonstrations if shown in incorrect context, but I am doing it from a fun and educational level, so hopefully no one will sue me. Enjoy:

1. Tipalet – with cigaret seduction.

Controversial ad cigarets

2. Toothache drops – made of cocaine

Controversial ad cocaine

3. Rats – An Asian person is eating a mouse… yeh…

Controversial ad enthnicity

4. Decron – Carpets


5. Lysol – Concentrated germ killer for women

Controversial ad germs

6. Lucky Strike – Healthy cigarets for good looking people.

Controversial ad cigarets

7. Vitamin donuts – eat what you like and stay healthy

Controversial ad healthy donuts

8. Wheaties – Japanese trap for American soldiers

Controversial ad breakfast

9. Chase ans Sanborn coffee – drink it without telling others

Controversial ad coffee

10. Lane Bryant – Discounts on cloth

Controversial ad cloth

11. Humble – Energy provider

Controversial ad glacier

12. Perfect Christmas gift – Gun

Controversial ad guns

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8 Awesome Alternative Search Engines

We all know or use Google, Yandex, or Bing. However, there are many alternative search engines that are not as famous but nice to know, specially if you are looking for alternative sources of information. Here is my top 8:

8) duckduckgo logoDuckDuckGo – This is a Search Engine said not to record users information and therefore provide free from behavioral filters search result, improving relevance (see why it is important here).

7) mahalo_logoMahalo – What now is known as “human-powered” search engine, Mahalo is managed by a group of people who decide what page get to be promoted in search engine. Mahalo does not have as big list of results as Google, but offers alternative search results.

6) Twinitor logoTwinitor – With 250 million unique monthly visitors, Twitter is one of the most popular Social Medias on Internet. It is very good source of information specially when it comes to ongoing events or news. Twinitor search Twitter for Twits on chosen keyword (Listorious is another a Twitter search engine).

5) torrentz_eu logoTorrentz – torrents search engines that brings together torrents search results from different torrent search engines, including ThePirateBay, Vertor, Monava, and many other.

Technorati logo4) Technorati – Search engine for blogs, compiling impressive list of 112 million blogs.

Yippy logo3) Yippy (formally known as “Clusty”) – Searches other search engines for you. If concept was not super awesome already, using Yippy you can find rare (“obscure”) content that is harder to find using other engines.

2) youtube_logo_635Youtube – Everyone knows Youtube. It needs no introduction. Most of us use it for entertainment value and forget that it is actually 2nd biggest search engine on the Internet after Google.

1) The internet archive_logoThe Internet Archive – Is a search engine where you can see Internet pages as they used to be in the past. You can see pages back up to 1999.

Fair Trade – is it the right choice?

Fair trade logoFair trade is internationally recognized and leading certificate system, which fights for “sustainability and poverty alleviation”. While this is a noble endeavor we as a consumer might be betting on the wrong horse. Specifically, there might be a better option. Let me explain.

Through Fair Trade label, consumers know that for a small price premium they are paying for their products they are contributing to farmers getting fair wages for the job they are doing.

Fair Trade certificate is definitely working. Market research shows that 60% of world’s consumers believe that their shopping choices are making a positive difference for farmers and workers in developing countries.

On other side, market research also shows that this label creates false expectations. Consumers believe that food with a Fair Trade label has fewer calories and provides more nutritional value than it actually does.

Moreover, by helping farmers to get the fair amount of money, we are only contributing to helping farmers and their families, but we don’t help ourselves. Besides farmers businesses there is no development of our the society as whole. We don’t answer the bigger questions like “saving the planet” or “solving worlds hunger” nor we are improving the quality of food we are getting from the farmers we are helping.

So essentially we have a good model that works very well. Consumers are willing to pay companies extra money as long as this money is put to a good use. However, besides Fair Trade there is no alternative for people to choose where their money will be invested. For new companies, which will offer this option, it will be difficult to compete with Fair Trade as it is an established market leader. Through its network Fare Trade limits possibility for other companies to enter and operate in this market.

The logical solution can be two directional. Either Fare Trade expands its scope of activities or another brand has to offer a different solution. There is definitely market for it.

Do you agree?

10 Best Ted-Talk’s on Marketing

Ted-talk is great! I have seen 100s of Ted-talks and every time I watch one it feels like I’ve learned something new. The interesting part about Ted-talks and “ideas worth spreading” is that topics discussed are all in the different fields of life and there is always something interesting to learn. Moreover, the speakers are usually very respectable and well known people in their respective fields and they are skilled orators. They make you want to listen and make you feel part of the discussion.

Still, there are 1000’s of Ted-talks out there and while they are all great, sometimes they are not related to your field of interest. I this respect I compiled 10 Ted-talks that I most liked on topic of Marketing. They are:

1. Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation — online chatter and spin mean that if you’re relevant, there’s a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it — and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.”

2. Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold

With humor and persistence, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the hidden but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored too. By whom and for how much? He’ll tell you).

3. Joseph Pine: What Consumers Want

Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but “Mass Customization” author Joseph Pine says selling authenticity is tough because, well, there’s no such thing. He talks about a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway.

4. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

5. Seth Godin: The tribes we lead

Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

6. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

“Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …”

7. Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our decisions?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counter-intuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

8. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory

Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.

9. Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

10. Amy Lockwood: Selling condoms in the Congo

HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why? “Reformed marketer” Amy Lockwood offers a surprising answer that upends a traditional model of philanthropy.

Funny and Controversial Advertisment – “Never Say No to Panda”

“Never say no to panda” is a cheese advertisement depicting people saying “no” to Panda cheese and dealing with consequences – panda.

I don’t know what your opinion about this advertising, whether it works and not and whether people will have a good brand attitude after they they see this advertisement.

From what I can see, the advertisement is based on fear appeal, i.e., fear of not using the product, as well as that the message is negatively framed message (consequences of not using the product), to say that making advertisement positively framed is not always the solution (positively framed fear appeal would be for example to be avoid fear by using a product, which is many times the case is tooth pasts preventing caries).

By presenting brand information in the following way company achieves several things: attention, interest and increased processing of information. It does not per se mean that people will have a positive attitude toward the brand. Most FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) are low involving product, meaning that people don’t think to much about them, thus people perceive information on much more superficial level, and require much more positive information (positive feeling from using the product). Negatively framed campaign based on fear is more suitable for high-involvement, “thinking products”, or “necessities”, such as insurance and medical products. Still, there are different types of consumers so, like in recent US presidential elections, different campaigns are needed to reach different target groups. Also there is a problem of clutter, so maybe a different and unexpected campaign will stand out from the crowd.

In the end, only real live products sales will be indicative of campaign success. The rest is our opinion. “Never say no to Panda” – check it out:

20 Top Ad Agencies

Until now we were speaking about Marketing from the perspective of you reader making it. Now, lets look at the opportunity of letting someone else taking over your Marketing needs. More specifically the Ad agencies.

Here is the list of the top 20 agency groups, based on revenue of 2009 and where the their headquarters are located:

1. WWP group (London)
2. Omnicom Group (New York)
3. Interpublic Group of Cos. (New York)
4. Publicis Groupe (Paris)
5. Densu (Tokyo)
6. Aegis Group (London)
7. Havas (Suresnes, France)
8. Hakuhodo DY Holding (Tokyo)
9. MDC Partners (Toronto / New York)
10. Asatsu-DK (Tokyo)
11. Alliance Data Systems (Dallas)
12. Media Consula (Dallas)
13. Microsoft Corp. (IRazorfish; Redmond, WA)
14. Photon Group (Sydney)
15. Carlson Marketing (Minneapolis)
16. Cheil Worldwide (Seoul)
17. IBM Corp. (IBM interactive; Armonk, NY)
18. Sapient Corp. (Sapient Interactive; Cambridge, MA)
19. inVentiv Health (inventive Communications; Westerville, OH)
20. Grupo ABC (ABC group; São Paulo)

Each of these groups is further subdivided into specific firms, that are geographically and technically specialized (e.g., direct marketing, PR, marketing research). This specialization allows firm to better serve specific and local needs of their clients.

An example of firms that are part of Omnicom Group are:

1) Agency.com
2) Alcone Marketing Group
3) Atmosphere BBDO
4) BBDO Deloit
5) BBDO Worldwide
6) Bernard Hodes Group
7) Critical Mass
8) DDB Worldwide Communications
9) Dieste, Harmel Partners
10) Deromus & Co.
11) Element 79 Partners
12) Goodby, Silversteir & Partners
13) Grizzard Communication Group
14) GSD&M
15) Integer Group
16) Ketchum Directory Advertising
17) Marketing Arm
18) Martin/Williams
19) Merkley & Partners
20) OMG Worldwide
21) Oranic
22) PHD
23) Proximity
24) Rapp Collins Worldwide
25) Targetbase
26) TBWA Worldwide
27) Tequila
28) TracyLocke
29) Tribal DDB
30) Zimmerman & Partners

Individually, ad agencies can be ranked too:

1- Dentsu (Dentsu)
2- BBDO Worldwide (Omnicom)
3- MCCann’Erickson Worldwide (Interpublic)
4- DDB Worldwide (Omnicom)
5- TBWA Worldwide (Omnicom)
6- JWT (WWP)
7- Publicis (Publicis)
8- Leo Burnett Worldwide (Publicis)
9- Saatchi & Saatchi (Publicis)
10 – Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (WWP)

(source: Advertising age, 27/04/2009)


See also related posts:

Small vs. Big: Companies Size Matters, but When?
Improve Your Marketing Program – New Tips
Mobile and Social Media MESS
Top 15 Websites
Top 5 Search Engines