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I’m Back and with a Portfolio!

I would like to apologize for not posting in a while. I have been neck deep in my IMC Capstone. A capstone is kind of like a thesis class. I had to design a $20 million marketing plan for the American Red Cross to attract more blood donors between the ages of 18 and 24. It was a 9 week course, which means it was a very intensive class. I am proud to report that I got an A!! You can see parts of the campaign here in my portfolio! My Portfolio


Now that class is over, I promise I will post here more often. See you soon! 🙂

When PR Goes Bad

If you haven’t heard by now, the news that Facebook launched a secret attack against Google broke late last week. Facebook hired PR agency Burson-Marsteller to run an anti-Google campaign. Two newly hired employees ran the secret operation with involved pitching anti-Google stories to newspapers and urging them to investigate Google’s rumored Social Circle for invading users’ privacy. A claim which I find rather ironic considering Facebook’s spotty past and history of playing fast and loose with users’ privacy. The PR agents offered to help a blogger write a piece slamming Google, with the promise that they would get it published in The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. Instead, the blogger turned the tables and published the email pitching the offer. USA Today picked up the story and the rest is history.

At first, no one knew who was behind the Google attack. It was believed that maybe Apple or Microsoft was the culprit. Burson-Marsteller refused to give the name of their client. Finally, Facebook collapsed under the pressure and admitted to hiring the firm. Facebook says that their launched the campaign because they believe Google is upsetting social networking privacy and resents that they may use Facebook data in its own social networking service.

Google’s rumored Social Circle would let people with a Gmail account see information about their friends and friends of friends. It would also incorporate information from other social networking sites. Facebook claims that Social Circle was “designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users- in a direct and flagrant violation of Google’s agreement with the FTC.”

Burson-Marsteller says that they will not fire the two new hires but will give them extra training and redistribute their code of ethics to all of their employees. The PRSA’s code of ethics lists numerous points but I believe one of the most important is to “work to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession”. Burson-Marsteller did not exactly follow that guideline. The public is already so distrustful of advertising and public relations; they don’t need added reasons to hate us!

Living in a Billboard

Do you need help paying your mortgage? Want to quasi-whore out your home? Adzookie, a free advertising network for mobile devices, is offering to pay your mortgage in return for letting them paint you house with their logo and social media contacts. Here is a mockup of what the house may look like-



The deal is that Adzookie will pay your mortgage for every month your house is paint for a minimum of 3 months. The deal can be extended for up to a year. After the period is over, Adzookie will repaint the house back to its original colors.


The total budget for the campaign is $100,000 which includes painting and repainting. Adzookie is looking to paint about 100 homes and might expand the campaign in the future. Within the first 24 hours, Adzookie received 3,000 applicants. Sadly, almost 90 percent of the applicants had fallen on hard times and are having trouble paying their mortgage.


To apply, go to http://www.adzookie.com/paintmyhouse.php

Charlie Sheen- Paid to tweet ad for his own intern

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about ad.ly and paid celebrity tweets. As I am sure everyone is aware Charlie Sheen has recently been fired and is now tweeting for cash. His first sponsored tweet happened yesterday. It was for internships.com- oddly enough to find his own intern. The tweet read- “I’m looking to hire a #winning INTERN with #TigerBlood. Apply here – http://bit.ly/hykQQF #TigerBloodIntern #internship #ad”
You can see a picture of the tweet below.



In about an hour, the bit.ly link received 127,000 clicks. Once at the internship.com site, an application to be Charlie’s intern appears. It says- “Do you have #TigerBlood? Are you all about #Winning? Can you #PlanBetter than anyone else? If so, we want you on #TeamSheen as our social media #TigerBloodIntern!


This unique internship opportunity will allow a hard-working, self-motivated, creative, resourceful and social media savvy individual to work closely with Charlie Sheen in leveraging his social network. The internship will focus on executing a social media strategy that will build on the success Charlie Sheen has attained in setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Twitter. The #TigerBloodIntern is expected to be proactive, monitor the day-to-day activities on the major social media platforms, prepare for exciting online projects and increase Charlie’s base of followers.


You will learn how to promote and develop the social media network of Hollywood’s most trending celebrity.”
Users then have 75 characters to win Charlie’s attention. An intern will be select on March 14th. I’ll keep you up-to-date on this developing story.

Bathroom Mirror Advertising

Airports are no strangers to advertising. Tons of traditional advertising can be seen inside any given airport. A few years ago, Zappos.com even started advertising in security bins.

Now the bathrooms are going to be taken over. Clear Channel Airports has partnered with Mirrus to create bathroom mirror advertisements. The ads are starting to appear at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and are already in sports stadiums in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Soon the ads will be everywhere. Once finished, the O’Hare airport will have 150 40’’ digital advertising mirror displays that feature HD stills and/or videos.


Current advertisers include Pepsi, Geico, Illy Coffee, Microsoft, Pledge, Zappos.com, Spanx, and Dove Men.

The ads are complete with sensors that track in real time which ads are being seen, how many times they are seen, and for how long. Before a consumer walks up to the mirror, the ad takes up the entire mirror. As the consumer approaches the mirror, the ad minimizes to the upper left hand corner.


While some are complaining about the new mirrors, they have been in Japan since 2006 and no one has been harmed. In fact, since you already have to be a Jedi Master to work a public bathroom, the shrinking mirror ads only make sense. To flush a toilet, just move away from the sensor. As you approach the mirror, the ads shrink. To operate the faucet, soap dispenser, and paper towel dispenser simply wave your hand. Now, if someone finally installs automatic doors we could have a completely touch free experience!


Below is a video of a man testing out the new mirrors in a football stadium.





Regardless of whether people hate the ads or love the ads, they get people talking. They create word-of-mouth, which can be more important than the actual ad itself.

No One Paid Me to Write This

While researching my discussion topic this week for viral, buzz, and word of mouth marketing I came upon Ad.ly. They are a social media, celebrity endorsement company. Basically they bridge the gap between celebrities and marketers. They are active on Twitter and Facebook. The concept is very simple. A company tells Ad.ly what celebrity or celebrities they want to mention their product. The proposal is then sent to the selected celebs. They have a set amount of time to accept or deny this offer. If they accept, they craft a tweet or Facebook status update. The company then must approve of the message. If the company approves the message it is sent to the celebrities’ followers by Ad.ly. They must send out four messages over the course of a week, and get paid based on the amount of followers they have. Typically celebrities get $200 – $10,000 per campaign. Ad.ly has run over 22,000 campaigns for many top companies such as Best Buy and Sony.


Ad.ly’s website lists all of their available celebrities, listed in order of amount of followers. The top ten celebrities’ social media pages are-

  • Enrique Iglesias 12,777,393 (Facebook)
  • Chris Brown 8,367,121 (Facebook)
  • 50 Cent 8,254,187 (Facebook)
  • Snoop Dog 6,730,986 (Facebook)
  • Kim Kardashian 6,440,701 (Twitter)
  • Kim Kardashian 4,387,949 (Facebook)
  • 50 Cent 4,076,635 (Twitter)
  • Mariah Carey 3,887,417 (Twitter)
  • Mariah Carey 3,789,191 (Facebook)
  • Paris Hilton 3,466,116 (Twitter)


  • They have also recently released their most influential celebrities of the fourth quarter of 2010. The top four are Lauren Conran, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Snoop Dog.


    If all of these celebrities are sending out sponsored tweets, then why don’t we see more of them? In 2010, Ad.ly sent out 21,000 endorsements via celebrities. There are 21,000 tweets sent in the U.S. every four seconds!! Even though the amount of sponsored tweets is very small in comparison, they are a powerful marketing tool.


    So, here is the big question. How do you know if the tweet you are reading is sponsored or not? Below is an example of Ad.ly sponsored tweet from Jason Mewes about True Blood.




    You can see from the picture that the tweet ends in (Ad by http://Ad.ly) and says that it was sent from the Ad.ly network.


    This isn’t to say that the celebrities tweeting about these products don’t actually like the product. Using the above example, Mewes is a confessed big True Blood fan. So why not get paid to tell people that you are a fan.


    I want to know what you think-




Life in plastic, it’s fantastic


I know that I’m a little late to the party, but Ken and Barbie are back together after seven long years apart. The perfect couple first got together in 1961, and spent 43 great years together before breaking up on Valentines’ Day, 2004. Since this time, Barbie has been spotted dating Blaine, and Ken has been busy staring in Toy Story 3, and Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend (which is exclusive to Hulu).


Apparently, being a big movie star gave Ken the confidence he needed to try to win Barbie back. First Ken took to match.com to see if he could find a new match, but he found that he was a perfect match with Barbie. Who would have guessed! In Ken’s first attempt to get Barbie back he designed special Barbie cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery in NYC and LA. When that didn’t work, he took over the window at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Barbie must have quite a sweet tooth, which is surprising considering she has keep such a nice figure for so long.

Next, Ken turned to Us Weekly, taking out full 2 page ads begging Barbie to come back to him. These ads were coupled with Billboards. Finally, Ken took over the Jumbotron in NYC during Fashion Week. Clearly, he knew Barbie couldn’t pass up Fashion Week. These ads featured copy such as, “Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real!” “Barbie, I want you back!” “Barbie, You’re the only doll for me!”

Ken used social media to win his love back as well. Ken took to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to get Barbie’s attention. Their website, BarbieandKen.com featured a love-o-meter where users could vote on whether Barbie should take Ken back or not. The Love-o-meter ranged from “Don’t even consider it!” to “Ken is your soulmate!” Now that the happy couple is back together their site features a theme song, “Everyone needs a Ken”. Users can also Facebook and Tweet Ken and Barbie congratulations. The Twitter congratulations says, “#BarbieKen are together again! Send you congrats to @BarbieStyle and join the celebration!”


You can keep up with Barbie and Ken’s romance on Twitter by following @BarbieStyle and @OfficialKen their Facebook is facebook.com/officialken and facebook.com/Barbie.

View the video below to see all of Ken’s tactics!



QR Code Examples




By now you have seen at least one QR Code in a magazine, on a billboard, or on a product you purchased. They are everywhere now. QR stands for quick response. Technically, “A Quick Response code is a two-dimensional code that can be scanned by smartphone cameras to automatically pull up text, photos, videos, music, and URLs.” Not so technically, they are pretty cool, or at least let users do pretty cool things! Below are several examples of QR Codes.




Calvin Klein-


This Calvin Klein billboard features a huge red QR Code and says ‘Get it Uncensored’. Scanning the billboard leads to an uncensored 40-second video for CK’s Fall 2010 Jeans X commercial featuring Lara Stone.




New York Department of Sanitation-





I think this is kind of cool (although I’m not sure anyone will get close enough to a garbage truck for it to work). In New York, the Department of Sanitation has placed QR Codes on 2,200 of their garbage trucks. These QR codes lead to a video about how to recycle by Howcast.




Walgreens-




I’m not sure I should talk about this since my fiancé works for a competing pharmacy and doesn’t really care for Walgreens, but hey, it’s a good idea! By downloading the Walgreens Mobile app, you can quickly refill your prescriptions by scanning the QR code on your bottle. I love this. I hate typing in numbers to an automated system to refill my prescriptions. I would much rather just take a picture of my bottle and hit refill. I look for this to become more widespread among pharmacies.




Little Big Planet-




Little Big Planet has a site where users can search for users and levels. One of the features of this site is the QR Codes. Searching for levels on the PS3 can get time consuming. Users can quickly go to this site, search for the level or user, bring up the QR Code and take a picture of it with the PlayStation Eye. This will automatically bring up the level. The picture featured here is for one of my levels, Neon Nights!




There are tons of QR Code readers on the iPhone App store and in the Android Market, many are free. Pick one up and go scan some codes. They lead to some pretty cool stuff. Some of them are even designer codes, like this Louis Vuitton code.



Although sometimes these fancier codes are hard for readers to read.

Kevin Smith- Writer, Director, Social Media Genius

I feel that before you read this post, I should tell you that it covers a subject that I am a huge fanboy (err…fangirl) of- Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith has what I would consider a cult-like following. He began as an indie (of sorts) filmmaker in Red Bank, NJ. His first film was Clerks, which he shot for a mere $27,575 (having to sell his prized comic book collection and max out multiple credit cards to acquire). Clerks was a success and Smith was able to sell the film at Sundance.


While I could go on-and-on about Smith’s body of work, I won’t. I’ll skip it and get to my point. Although, please indulge me long enough to mention that Dogma is not only my favorite movie of his, but my favorite movie- ever. Period, end of discussion.


Now, getting to my point. Smith has directed 9 movies since Clerks. His latest movie is Red State. Red State has a great cast- Michael Parks, Ralph Garman, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Kevin Pollak, etc…This movie seems to be a far cry from his normal foul-mouthed, joke filled movies starring Jay and Silent Bob. Red State is a horror movie loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church. He not only threw his normal movie blueprint out the window, but tossed the normal marketing plan as well.


The movie cost $4,000,000 to make. That is a very low figure for a movie, especially when you look at blockbuster movies such as the $500,000,000 Avatar, or even lower budget movies such as No Country for Old Men ($25,000,000). Basically Smith didn’t want a production company to attach millions of dollars to the film in a marketing effort, when he had to fight for the money to make the movie to begin with. He recently took Red State to the Sundance Film Festival, where production companies believed the movie would be up for an auction type sell. Instead, Smith purchased his own movie for $20. Smith intends to distribute his film through his newly created company, SModcast Pictures.


Smith said, “We believe it’s a pyrrhic victory to simply “buy” an opening weekend by pouring millions of dollars into TV spots, billboards and print ads. As storytellers, why not instead use our creative abilities that resulted in a film in the first place to also creatively SELL that film directly to our public?” Instead Smith is going to “self-distribute our film, Red State, in an admittedly unconventional, yet extremely cost effective, word of mouth/viral campaign.” (The above quotes have been taken from The Red Statements).


And that FINALLY brings me to my point! Kevin Smith has long used the internet to self-promote himself and his endeavors, however in the last year he has taken his use of social media marketing to a new level. In 2007, Smith debuted a weekly podcast (SModcast) that he does with his producer and longtime friend, Scott Mosier. In 2010, Smith created a podcast network that features 9 weekly podcasts as well as intermittent podcasts. One of his podcasts is all about the making of Red State! New podcasts are also being added constantly. But more than anything, Kevin Smith is an avid Twitter user! I follow many celebrities and he seems to be one of the few that “get it”. Twitter is a conversational tool, and he understands that. He doesn’t just post things, he engages in conversations with his fans. In 2009, Smith held an uninterrupted 24 hour Twitter based Q&A! I will admit that I read every single one of his answers.


Smith plans to use his understanding of social media and his built-in cult-like fanbase to marketing Red State without a huge marketing budget that a mainstream studio would have funded. He is engaging in a viral/word-of-mouth campaign that is unlike anything seen in the movie industry. Red State will release to theaters October 19th, but in the meantime Smith is holding special viewings during his Q&A tour throughout March. (I have a ticket to the March 14th showing in Springfield, OH). The sale of tickets to the special screening, along with merchandise sales will help fund the print making for the film to be distributed to more theaters. According to the film’s site, the per-print cost is roughly $2500, so for a 1000 print run, they will need approximately $2.5 million. That is a lot of money to acquire from a word-of-mouth campaign, but I have faith that if anyone can do it, it is him. He just gets social media!


Maybe this blog can help him.

To purchase tickets to the early screenings of Red State visit- http://www.coopersdell.com






Red State Trailer-

Hey, Long Time No See

As I said in my first post, I originally started this blog as part of my emerging media class in the IMC program at WVU. The class is long past, but I have decided to keep the blog going. The subject may not be strictly new and emerging media anymore though. I will blog about anything and everything that interests me- emerging media, social marketing, advertising, public relations, etc… I hope to update this blog at least weekly, so bookmark me and come back often!

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