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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! 🙂

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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!



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