Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nokia N96 Bruce Lee Edition: Damn I Love Nunchucks

I know that I'm late on posting this, but I'm still doing it because I'm a Nokia fan and this is just too cool to pass up.

Ok, so the video is awesome and you can absolutely see why it went viral. You have an old school Bruce Lee against what looks like the Chinese Olympic Ping Pong team from the 74 Olympics. Bruce Lee + Nunchucks + Ping Pong = Viral Video.

It turns out that this video was put out by Nokia to showcase the video capabilities of their N96 phone. I thought it was strange that I wasn't seeing anything linking this to the Nokia home site, but later found out that it was also showcasing an actual Bruce Lee Edition of the N96 only released in Hong Kong. I'll take one please!

Whatever it's's appreciated and fun.

Oh, and if your wondering how to get one of these phones, it's going to be tough in America and the $750 pricetag to get an unlocked N96 may scare even the biggest tech nerd away.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Heart Smashing $#!&!

I love Sarah.

Sarah is the owner and operator of Sarah's Smash Shack. A charming little retail spot in San Diego that survive of 100% pure experience.

So here's the pitch for this: Day got you down, feel like unwinding or releasing some of that frustration that has built up during the week? Has your company just accomplished a HUGE project and there is a lot of pent up anger still lingering? Just gone through a bad breakup, been fired from your job, or just feel like breaking stuff? Come to Sarah's Smash Shack. Walk in, pick out stuff you want to smash, suit up, and smash that stuff on a huge steel wall! Bring in your own MP3 and you can even smash things rocking to Metallica or Celine Deon.

Yep, that's it. A store where you break things. Like I said, it's 100% pure experience, and that's why I'm using her business for this blog entry.

I found this store on a Cherryflava blog entry a while back. By the way, I am absolutely a Cherryflava fiend and if you don't have them on your so now.

I have no idea how this will do as a business. Hell, Sarah could be closed for business by now, I have no idea how profitable running this shop and selling dime store ceramic and glass to people is. What I do know is that Sarah could be a hell of a marketer. She understands how important human experience is. She also understands how viral human experience is. When it's good and you have found something that speaks to people, it spreads like a California wildfire.

So here's what us as marketers can learn from Sarah.

1. Human Experience is simple- We humans are pretty smart monkeys, but every last one of our motors run on the same emotional fuel. Of course this is nothing new to marketers/advertising, but its something that most experience marketers can't seem to grasp. At the base of your campaign, stop and figure out what emotion you want the consumer to feel and make sure that line draws directly to how you want people to feel about your brand.

2. Human Experience is contagious- Yep, the world is made up of a ton of different stories that people tell other people all day long. The larger impact you can make on someone's day, the longer it will stay in their head and the more people they're bound to tell. Since blogging and social networks have virtually broken down the walls of sharing, the game has been changed. Now, make sure the experience has enough of an impact and see your message carried through the winds of the internet all over the globe.

3. Humans need to tell your story. You're not human- We would rather the human experience gets shared by the people that experience it. You really don't count, because your a sneaky marketer. umm...let me break this down. Go ahead and tell your perfect story to your boss in a cute powerpoint recap. It's ok, we all have to. At least you'll keep your job and may even move up the ladder...However, if you care about the impact to your market and you want push your message and this experience as far as it can go, you'll want it to come from the horse's mouth. I'm not saying you can't help seed it, but the more naturally your message comes across, the more relevant your brand becomes.

4. It's ok to stack the deck- If you want your message and your experience marketing to take off, it's ok to stack the deck. It's not ok to lie, but it is ok to make sure the people that you want to experience your campaign the most do. It's ok to invite bloggers, press, local connectors, athletes, city officials, etc. However, we don't need to make it obvious. Humans love mystery, make the invitation part of the experience.

The bottom line is that the human experience has been fueling our decisions for a long time and it's been hardwired into our mind. the internet isn't going to make new rules for this, it's just going to cover it in rocket fuel and hand out matches.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Burger King Loses Their Wallet on This One.

You're out for your lunch break and you're walking downtown to grab a quick bite. Your eye catches a dropped wallet in the middle of the street. Depending on your moral standing you either hit the jackpot or you have an opportunity to save the day. A few people are walking by and checking it out, but you end up being the one to finally pick it up. What you find is a bit unexpected.

I've caught a few blogs (HERE, HERE, & HERE) in the last few days bringing focus on a new guerrilla marketing campaign that Burger King has put out in some major cities like Chicago and Orlando. (We never get any love out here in KC.)

The breakdown here is that Burger King is dropping 5000 of their King Wallets all over major cities. The contents include an actual ID of The King himself, a map of local Burger Kings, a joke receipt for pinky rings and most importantly a gift card as well as up to $100 in actual cash. Nice!

This is going to get lots of buzz. After finding the first blog covering this, I noticed that the blogger was giving Burger King a ton of praise being a bit ass kissy and I'll admit, it took me back. My response was a snarky and precise, "So the hell what?" What did they do that was new? This is just text book street marketing right?

After sleeping on it, I figured out what my major malfunction was. I was basically pissed because I didn't think of it first. That tends to happen in our business. We understand the guts of how this marketing works and when we see an old trick, our first instinct is to shrug and roll our eyes. Truth is, itt isn't new. It is text book guerrilla. That's ok and that's why it's working, but their is something else going on.

Bloggers are putting giant speakers on word of mouth and that is what fuels guerrilla.

5 years ago it would have gone down a lot differently. Burger King would have dropped the wallets and the PR dept. would have been chunking out press releases, hoping for a hit on the nightly news or in a local paper or magazine. Marketers would have been happy w/ whatever press they got, and the rest of buzz would have been assumed, but you would never know if your wallets went out to the homeless or to connectors.

Today they can drop the wallets and their PR dept sits back and lets bloggers do their work for them. It's just odds working themselves out. With so many people blogging now, the chance of a blogger picking up a wallet or someone they're close to is pretty damn good, as proven by this stunt. We can see it now in real time. How badass is that?

A few blogs are written, someone tosses one of those blogs to and bingo, you got yourself some major coverage! In less than a day, the wallets story has gotten almost 2000 hits on Digg. That puts it on the main pageand that means it's going to hit mainstream.

Bravo Burger King. I dig your style and you've brought faith back into the future of marketing in the tall grass. You weren't innovative, but you were effective. Hell, I'm still pissed I didn't do it myself.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Swedes Know how to Get You Buzz'd...

I found this on Ads of the World today.

Sweden based Agency Le Bureau sent out these bouqets of hemp to promote the show "Weeds" coming to Stockholm. Even though smoking this stuff would just give you a headache, it's still a very fun and rememberable way to get the word out.

Advertising Agency: Le Bureau, Stockholm, Sweden
Art Directors / Copywriters: Jonas Wittenmark, Tobias Carlson
Released: October 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Help Me Wolf Blitzer, You're Holograms are Dope!

Oh CNN, where do you get those wonderful toys?

So I'm putting this entry into the non-traditional marketing bucket as well as brand building. However, a bit of me is just writing this because of the child like glee I experienced watching the elections on CNN not only to see who would win Pennsylvania, but when the newest real time visual tech trick would occur (aka Star Wars moments).

If you thought that 2008 election's one trick pony in this category would be the multitouch technology, where we saw political specialists playing on their big monitors like some new Wii game craze. You and I would have been extremely wrong.

Seems like CNN had a couple of more tricks up their sleeve last night that they were saving for the historic occasion of the 2008 Presidential election. The two that I'm reffering to is the 3D modeling of the Capitol and the seats in the House and Senate as well as the Hologram Interviews that we saw speratically throughout the night.

Both of these were using the same three-deimensional imaging tech produced by Norway-based Visrt and Israil-based SportVu. They weren't actually holograms at all, but just utilized some very sophisticated as well as expensive hi-def cameras hooked up to a league of computers crunching a ton of real time visual data to give the appearance of a solid object.

You might believe that it's nothing we haven't seen a thousand times on movies since "Jurassic Park". The real jump in technology here is that we were seeing things on live television that usually would be done in post with many days or months of work in the back end.

There's plenty of great geek reading on other posts. I don't think it's my place or this blogs to get into the specifics.

The conversation that I want to have is the one about branding and how CNN's utilization of this tech is their purple cow. It's making them special again, setting themselves apart visually as well as technologically from other news channels.

CNN created the 24 hour cable news product, and that may have been the last time they were remarkable. Since then, others have jumped on board and CNN has sunk farther and deeper into the mediocre.

Hopefully they will be using the 2008 election as a jumping board or basis of a new look and feel for their brand. The news business is a brutally fast and competitive market. Other stations are already nipping at their heels, but I believe they still have this in their corner. CNN needs to claim this as their own and continue jumping to the next level quicker than their competitors can rinse and repeat.

Whatever happens, I know that I'll have a fun time watching it unfold.

So what are your thoughts? Do you see it as a fun new way to experience news or did you find it pointless?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Best $44k Spent in This Year's Election.

I just have a real quick entry I have to make before this election is over. I'm going back to the story involving Obama buying advertising on Electronic Art's "Burnout", or at least the online portion of the game.

The $44k bill was just sent to Obama's campaign for the in-game advertising. Yes $44k!!! For the amount of exposure they got for this, it's one of the best deals of the whole campaign. Every major newspaper, news channel, political blog, etc covered this thing. Hell, they could probably scrounge that up by searching the seats on the campaign bus.

So why did it blow up? Let's not kid ourselves, in-game advertising is nothing new and I would question the impact that this had on the gamers themselves. Even if that impact was there, how many people are playing online burnout right now? Honestly, not many.

The story here is the support of Obama's brand. Obama set out very quickly to be the campaign that grabbed on to new media. He was the first on Twitter and the first to get over 100k followers. His online presence was everywhere and he spread his message throughout the internet with ease.

The reason this worked so well is because it was an easy story for the media to tell that supported the personal brand Obama's campaign had already built for him. It was a very easy bridge to cross for writers and journalists everywhere.

To jump off Jason Bedell's blog on "Three Rules of Viral", the story was simple and it was shareable. The missing link here is that it was on the pulse of what people were thinking at the time. It fit seamlessly into the foundations he had already made for his campaign.

For the $44k spent, it was a very smart bet with very little risk. Do things for your brand that supports the personality that you've already built and you'll be rewarded. Try to jump outside of your personality and watch for the backlash from the community. That's probably why we didn't see McCain ads in World of Warcraft.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama Supporters Know What Viral Means.

I was just checking my email when a new message came up from one of my friends. All it said was, "Joe, you're in this video.", with a link. I'm working from the coffee shop today so I didn't have my sound on, but the video just looked harmless enough. At first I was glad that it wasn't a posted video of anything I might have done last weekend, but as I played the video I realized that it was much worse.

This Joe Cox, whoever he is was going to destroy my SEO on Google!!!

Luckily, after frantically putting my headphones on, I figured out that this was a very smart viral campaign from the Obama side, where they transcribe your friends name into the video and have them be the "one non voter" that cost Obama the election. After it's finished it automatically throws you into an easly filled out form for you to send it on to one of your friends.

simple message, fun execution, and easily shared. I think we have a winner here.

As a side note, by viewing my personal video below, you'll find some unintentional humor utilizing my name and the republican parties reaction to the election. Just look at the headline when Bush makes an appearance.

Monday, October 6, 2008

7-Eleven puts their odds on Obama

7eleven says to hell with the contemparary presidential polls and hopes that they have found a more accurate as well as profitable form of polling a huge sample of Americans...through their coffee sales.

This very simple and absolutely genius marketing campaign gives coffee drinkers a choice in their coffee cups. You can pick either the blue Obama cup or the red McCain. Obama has taken a pretty healthy lead so far with a 57% to 43% lead over McCain. Of course it's just a fun game in marketing, but their might just me more than meets the eye.

7-Eleven has been doing this coffee poll for the last 2 elections in 2000 and 2004. Both times the election's outcome has reflected the coffee cup votes. Put that together with the size of the sample, according to 7-Eleven they sell over 1 million cups of coffee a day, and 10,000 pots of coffee every hour of the day, every day out of the year, that's a lot of bean counting folks!

Go ahead and go to 7-election site to learn a bit more and check out it out for yourself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

functional uses of perspective art

check out this article on a parking garage that is utilizing the 3D perspective art that was a popular email meme back in the day. this should refresh your memory:)

just ran into it and really liked to see a functional and just plain "cool" use for this. I'm surprised we haven't seen it a bit more often in some outdoor campaigns.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

matchbox puts your ride in their hands

found these pics on

a simple, inexpensive and smart guerrilla marketing technique by our friends at matchbox. i wonder how many pictures people have taken on their cell phones of their own cars on these spots? how many of those do you think you could find on the most popular social network in the country these spots are at?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Royals: Opportunity Lost

As i'm sure you didn't know, Kaufman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals baseball team now currently has the largest HD screen in the world.

They installed this bad boy this year after a multi-million dollar renovation taking place at the stadium.

So why is this local piece of flavor important to my blog?

Having a conversation last night over a couple of beers with Jason Bedell, it hit us in the face pretty quickly. Where the hell was the Royals PR on this? This is the largest HD monitor currently on earth! That's news! That's a big deal(pardon the pun)! This could have been in every tech blog, it would have for sure been picked up on the AP Wire if it were out there in any form.

There's a ton of geeks out there that love this stuff, me included. I heard about it by word of mouth! That's an insult to me and my 1 billion rss feeds streaming in front of my face daily.

It's a missed opportunity. With the right spin applied to this, they could have almost recouped the cost of the damn gigantor monitor with FREE advertising via PR. This isn't you're usual cheesy local PR thing, this is the LARGEST HD SCREENY THING IN THE WORLD!!!

Here's some video from one of my twitter friends Jeffisageek, he was at the home opener this Tuesday.

One thing I've hear that may be a bit of a downer for baseball players everywhere is that with this HD monitor, we all know how fugly these guys really are up close. It might be time to start exfoliating fellas!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Marlboro Lights up Spring Break

It really doesn't get much better than this in the world of non-traditional, subliminal, guerrilla marketing now does it?
I found this at jaffejuice, if he's not on your reader than he needs to be.
I love these marketing ideas. The narrator on the video is wrong. This is not taking advantage of kids at spring break. I seriously doubt it was intended to subliminally get drunken travelers to go buy a pack of smokes (ok maybe it was). However,It doesn't need to work like that, it only needs to be a good story. Just one student shaking their head on the dance floor notices this and it spreads like wildfire through the club, and once it's found it will be a tale that frat boys and coeds from all over will be singing when they get back on campus. It will be shared, and that's a win for anyone.
Of course the guy speaking on the video is full of it when he's speaking about the legal aspects of the lighting trick. I really don't see anyting illegal, but you tell me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Red Bull Cola? FAIL!

it seems that energy drink giant Red Bull will be launching there first product outside the energy drink that made them in the late 90's here in the U.S.
Boy, i gotta tell you, I'm just not seeing what direction they are moving in. With such a strong brand image and attitude, why a cola? Aren't cola's dead? Do they possibly know something that no one else does. doubt it!
I think the Austrians may have their heads way too far up their asses on this one. With such a strong brand, wouldn't you start to think outside the beverage box? Why not take that premium, bad-boy, party, mischievous personality and take it to other products, gear, wearables, something other than a boring soda.
I could be eating crow in a couple of years, but i doubt it. You're a company based on innovation and creativity....this is neither. FAIL!
I am interested in how they utilize their sampling teams. Will they create new street teams in bigger markets with new vehicles? Hopefully they will bring in something new. Everyone and their brother's are using street teams now. How can you set yourself apart, or re-invent the guerrilla team.

Go ahead and check out the article on bev-net.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

B.J. Novak said Cadbury Eggs have gotten smaller! So what did Cadbury say?

Though this post does stray a bit from it's guerilla roots, i am writing about this to show how much the internet can work for or against companies that have never began to believe that it would. Now this is from about a year ago, but I just found it and it's fun to see what the impact was. It's also my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want. It's also a pain in the ass to find anything sexy about easter.

To give you some back story, check out the youtube of B.J. Novak from The Office explain his problem with last years Cadbury Eggs.

(Note that either Cadbury or NBC has taken the clip down from youtube so you'll have to do w/ this link)

In a seemingly random and silly outing of this on Conan Obrien, it caused a mini-storm on the internet. Now the cadbury site has changed it's FAQ, wording the reason behind the size change to a more corporate answer. You can run into the video on all kinds of social sites and sweet innocent cadbury felt a little heat.

This initially got my attention because if felt like a bit of a random pr nightmare and i wanted to investigate more, but the deeper i dug, the more i feel that cadbury didn't make the best out of their situation.

Here's how i see it. They were thrust into the limelight in a very non-positive way, but as we all know, it's all about the follow through. Did they take this opportunity and make that lemonade?

Nope! Cadbury just sat on their ass and did nothing. Here's a couple of reasons why Cadbury should have gotten a new agency.

1. Searching for Cadbury Creme Eggs on google, the Cadbury site (which is lame, but i'm sure cost them an arm and a leg) comes up a very unimpressive 6th. That's just laziness folks! If you don't believe that your brand should strive to make the #1 spot under candy distributors and wikipedia entries than you obviously don't understand interactive marketing and or you don't care. My bet is on the prior.

2. Their site has a loading page and filled with a bunch of games. I know this may seem like a seemingly unimportant observation but haven't we gotten any further since 1997? It's been over a decade folks. Get another agency! The one you got is laughing all the way to the bank.

If you're company is thrust into the public eye like Cadbury was last year, you need a PR team that can spin this baby and use the momentum of the less favorable light to get your brand some new eyeballs! Don't be so proactive that you forget how to react!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fifa Street 3 video mixes soccer w/ Parkour

If your on the coast or in a bigger city, you're probably already familiar with the sport or activity of Parkour. It's kind of a street version of acrobatics or a heritage like sport without the need of a bike, board or motor.

Recently Fifa Street 3 has used a mixture of this and street soccer in a viral video they've released. Pretty impressive stuff, even though we can guess that the soccer ball is cgi in many of the scenes.

It's really got a great mix and looks really at home with soccer, especially if you've ever seen the movie Shaolin Soccer .

I love the campaign and I believe that this Parkour popularity is just starting to take hold. Won't take long before Red Bull will have a street team. They have already started a freestyle almost b-boy group that travels around the country performing known as Reaccion.

Look for more of this to start popping up in different forms.


Ok, so I've done a bit more searching and have found the actual website for this newest Electronic Arts release. Wow they must have broken the bank on the site. It really does a great job of having a game feel, even allowing you to unlock (rather easily) gamebreaker moves. You should give it a go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Look at the big Guerilla on Adidas!

I was really glad I ran into this video the other day. This showcases Adidas AdBOOST. It's a perfect Guerrilla campaign. It's fun, it's functional, and it really speaks to the brand. Check out the video below. It actually reminds me a lot of some Red Bull activations.

I will say, that they could have shot a little better video and I would have still gotten the idea. The tactic itself was the Guerrilla part, the presentation of it can look a bit more slick.

What I didn't realize is that Adidas has been doing this for a while now. Check out this other activation using a Carnival ride we've all seen a hundred times in an urban and fun way. I like it Adidas! Keep it up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Laser Tagging

I love this video. It demonstrates that with some pretty low tech, you can go out there and paint boobs on various downtown buildings.

Actually, it opens the door to some very intriguing guerrilla marketing possibilities. I would love to get my hands on this for a night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Expectation Economy

Please do me a favor and read this article. Made my head spin a few times.

What happens when your consumers get more educated about your products than you do?
It's going to get ugly for the next few years. A lot of companies and brands that cannot react quick enough are going to be in for some painful experiences. The new, more agile companies won't have it easy either.

If nothing else, there is some killer blogs linked here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Facebook Marketing Bible

I found this link today for 24 ways to market yourself on Facebook. I gotta admit, most of these are worthless and just puking up the same info we've heard over and over, but this one really does get in-depth about a lot of avenues that I haven't been familiar with. It's also has some nice short explanations for Social Ads and Beacon if you want to catch up. I'll be putting this guy on my feeder for sure.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ron Paul WoW March....Not really that exciting.

Here's a little update from the Ron Paul blog I wrote a few days ago.

Below you'll find an almost 7 minute video showing of the in-game march that Ron Paul supporters launched in the World of Warcraft game. This is for sure one of those instances that the idea of this was much more powerful and will get more press than the actual event itself.

If you know one anything about World of Warcraft, you should know that it has over 9 million subscribers around the world. Those are getting into some serious numbers, and this is why these stories always seem to make it not only in the online blogging communities but also the AP.

The truth to this is this: While there is 9 MILLION people now playing this game globally, they are not playing all together. There are hundreds of different servers and each server may have 10,000 players and from that, there may at best a few thousand playing at the same time. So check out the video below in all it's nerdy and somewhat non-spectacular glory and as yourself the question. What made the impact, the sizzle or the steak?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hot Chocolate Street Team of Awesomness!!!

Ok, so it's time to present something to all of you that tells us as marketers that "Street Teams" are not all created equally.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the "street team", concept. Brands and their marketing teams need to just start asking the question, Why are we doing this?
Wow, that sounds like a stupid question, huh?

Well just check out the video below. My thoughts will be better represented after your watch it.

#1-Let's start thinking a bit about chilling out on wrapping cars. What is that a 97 Explorer? I'm not making fun of their budget, but there are other ways to be mobile than wrapping a freaking back door of a normal looking truck. Especially when your marketing towards teens.

#2-I feel that a lot of our jobs as marketers are taken up in making the things we do look like winning activations to our clients, retailers, bottlers, distributers, etc. This isn't really our fault, we feel a need to keep our jobs and to make sure everyone in our world thinks we're doing our job. The question is what impact did this make with our consumers. Isn't it? It would be great if we could spend more time making sure that the ideas we have actually reflect the brands that we represent and tell the right story.

#3- Sorry to be a bit shallow, but who do they have giving out this hot chocolate? The first guy looks like someone's dad and the other two guys in the video look like they spend more time playing WoW than talking to teens. Image counts, especially to this age group. Think about it?

#4- Did you see the size of those sampling cups? Hot chocolate does 2 things. Tastes good and warms people up when they're cold. The 1 squirt of hot chocolate that the kids got was more than likely cool by the time that it hit their lips. It looked cold out there, lets give these kids an actual cup of hot chocolate.

#5- Kids don't talk like that. They were great little sound clips and they for sure would impress a room of 50 year old board members, but come on!!! Again, there is no way anyone talks like that, unless they somehow feel like they'll be on a TV commercial. From my experience, kids don't really give a crap what kind of hot chocolate they drink. So either market to the parents that actually buy this crap or give them another reason to buy your product.

It's obvious that we're entering a time where the fringe marketing of 10 years ago is the traditional marketing of today. Let's step it up and start asking the questions of where to go from here.