All posts by socialsweetspot

Attack Of The Drones

Attack of Drones

The tech drama that is hitting the media currently is that of the drone invasion. According to FAA statistics in this year there have been over 700 incidents where pilots have reported seeing drones flying near airports – that is triple the number from last year. Yet even though the media’s focus is on the threat of drones to air travel, it is also showing concern about whether government regulations will ever be able to catch up to the super fast pace of evolving technology.

Until around June of 2011 drones were confined mostly to war zones, but even the critics recognized the value of using unmanned aircraft in the commercial and civilian zones. The FAA started considering new rules and training staffers to adjust to unmanned aircraft in the US airspace. It was thought at that time (just 4 years ago) that drones would be mostly used for jobs too dull, dirty or dangerous for humans or as super efficient emergency response vehicles. But governmental regulations and lawsuits ruled over civilians that tried to force the change from war zone to home zone. The reality we know today is that the real driving force behind the legalization of drones for civilian use came when Amazon wanted delivery privileges and approached several governments around the world to accommodate their commercial foresight. However USA FAA regulators came down hard on Amazon’s Prime Air Delivery Service so in December of 2014, Amazon said they would move operations elsewhere to get the regulatory support they needed to move forward with their business model. Amazon stated that it was increasingly concerned that unless substantial progress was quickly made in opening up the skies in the United States, the nation would be at risk of losing its position at the center of innovation for the USA technological revolution, and with it the key jobs and economic benefits that come with it. Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President for global policy said, “Without approval testing in the United States, Amazon will be forced to continue expanding the Prime Air R&D footprint abroad”.

Even with the big threats made to the FAA by Amazon, in July of 2015 Flirtey, an Australian startup, became the first company in the USA (not Amazon) to legally use a drone for delivery of medical supplies to a rural health clinic in Virginia. The Federal Aviation Administration approved Flirtey to make the delivery as part of a joint venture called “Let’s Fly Wisely” between NASA, Virginia Tech University, several healthcare organizations in Virginia, and Flirtey, among others.

It wasn’t until September of 2015 (yes, just one month ago) that Amazon was given the “go-ahead” and announced that their Prime Air Drone Delivery project will be operational in three to five years. When fully operational, Prime Air will enable an order to be placed online and delivered safely to the customer’s doorstep in 30 minutes by radio controlled flying drones. In the world of Internet ordering, Prime Air Drone Delivery will surpass any shipping and delivery option ever known.

The arrival of next day air delivery was monumental – having an item delivered in 30 minutes is mind-blowing.

Amazon has made huge progress with this drone delivery project and recently asked the government for special permission to be exempt from the laws that restrict commercial drone use in order to further their development. The timing is ironic as news starts to “fly” about the attack of the illegal drones that end up on the President’s front lawn and in the paths of Airliners. One wonders if the FAA is pushing the media so that they can back-step on promises made to commercial users of drones like Amazon.

Whatever your thoughts (or lack of them) on the use of drones for commercial or civilian use, now is a pivotal point in IoT technological history and one can only hope that “perfect choices” will be made by the FAA. (Perfection being a laughable word used in connection with any legal decision coming down from our government.)

We can still hope that progress will continue moving forward, and that those novel and voyeuristic “James Bond” fliers of drones will be intelligent in their use…

…and not ruin it for the rest of us.

When Digital Technology Was Fresh

when Tech Was Fresh

Let’s go on a journey back in time. Not far back, but far enough to when digital technology was fresh and new; added fun and functionality to our lives; and for the most part held visions of something exciting with endless possibilities – A time when concerns about invasion of privacy were non-existent.

I would liken the first time most of us engaged in the world of digital technology (via game console, computer, or mobile phone) to sitting down to enjoy a glass of fresh lemonade.

Lemonade has been trending for centuries. It has never grown old and most people like it as much today as the first time they had it. Even though society has gone through many ups and downs regarding the “value” of lemonade, it has always maintained a subtle mystery of desire to those who thirst. The only downfall for the connoisseurs of classic lemonade is it’s evolution from farm fresh to corporate controlled – in other words, the inclusion of additives and preservatives that supposedly improve taste and lengthen the “freshness” – yet mostly hand over control to the corporations to extend their profits.

Digital technology has trended in much the same way (except much more quickly). Currently IoT, or The Internet of Things, is taking a commanding lead in the digital technology sphere. IoT includes anything that has its base ties to a “device” that “connects to the online world”. This most obviously includes smart phones & computers and less understood – other devices bought in the last ten years that are digitally run – from your TV and video games, to your washing machine and toaster. The connivance of all of this digitally controlled technology is fabulous and most of us couldn’t even think of living our lives without it. But why does this newfound freedom of efficiency seem to be tangled up with an underlying feeling of loss?

Recently I had a doctor’s appointment and often as office appointments go, I had to sit and wait a bit. I engaged with my mobile devices for several minutes and then was drawn to the colorful magazines lined up on the wall. Suddenly a warm flashback washed over me, and I entered a time warp back to my childhood. A time when one of the only exciting parts of going to the doctor’s office was having the opportunity to flip through what seemed like an endless variety of “unpurchased” colorful magazines that we didn’t have access to elsewhere. It was curiously stimulating having the freedom to flip through hundreds of gorgeous photos in high-fashion magazines and take-in the most recent VIP chatter of every gossip magazine and version of “People” available. Yet as I reminisce on it now, the purveying feeling was one of freedom – freedom to ethically dive into someone else’s world without anyone recording I was there.

With our current IoT technology we have been given the freedom to take the world with us everywhere we go. We also have access to world breaking news and trends with the click of a button. However with that gain, has also come loss. We no longer have the freedom to explore our own interests anonymously. With our access to unlimited information has come corporate control – where each click/flip sends “valuable statistics” about us back to the corporate gatekeepers’ of boundless information.

Freedom is a driving force in human nature. The very premise behind the evolution of all technology is one of freeing people from tasks that were previously limiting, time-consuming, and confining. This makes it all the more interesting that while reading magazines and reminiscing in that doctor’s office, I recognized I felt relief in knowing that for a moment again my every move was not being captured.

Digital technology has forever, permanently changed our world. There is no going back. But as with fresh lemonade, you can demand that the corporations offer you the organic version, free of the corporate controls of additives and preservatives. I hope we will always have that choice when it comes to our technologically advancing world.

I assure you, I could not go a day without my daily dose of tech driven information. But I will always reminisce on the “freedom to dream, without being seen” of those unconnected days gone by.

The Internet’s Evolution to Authenticity; SEO vs Content Marketing

authenticity PERIOD

 

The word on the “industry” street is that authentic people, and authentic writing, have finally come into vogue. According to Ad Age Magazine, companies (and recruiters alike) have learned from their past experiences in digital marketing and are quickly realizing that the long-lasting Google-loving key to getting noticed and appreciated online, is through original, creative, authentic writing.

 

In other words –

BS and “cheesy” sales tactics are out for the online world.

(it is still up for debate in the real-world)

 

Firstly, I would have to recognize and thank Google for this evolution. The online god’s adamant desire to win the search engine “game” over those trying to prove their skill at out-smarting Google’s search algorithms, has been admirable. If we break down this online under-world battle, and take a look at the path that was taken to get us to where we are today, we can see that with every unethical push from the black-hat (AND white-hat) SEO “experts”, came the shove back from Google. This brilliant battle of wits has brought us out of the cheesy used-car-salesman tactic of filling a website with an intellectually worthless splattering of words, to a recognition that quality ultimately wins over quantity.

 

Currently the demand is for companies to find writers who are intelligent, tech-savvy, creative communicators of their products and services. [I will admit, not an easy task] Original humor is also a huge plus. These days online, if you want to go “cheap”, and use either “stock” words or articles or third world writers that have English as something far from their first language, your website and social posts are gonna turn off, not only Google’s search algorithm, but also those searching the internet for the best solution to their desire or need.

 

Secondly, I would like to offer a warm “thank you” to all the spammers, phishers, catfish, and hackers out-there. It has been a brutal and sacrificial learning curve for most of the users of the online world these last several years. Some are still being fooled but overall, I think most people have realized how incredibly easy it is to be “taken” online – by email, bogus websites, viruses, and everything in-between. With that education however, has come a true desire for people to seek out that which is authentic, and to have a strong aversion to that which has even the slightest scent of BS.

 

As much as we all would like to believe ourselves to be high-brow classy connoisseurs of the finer things in life, most of us are drawn to what makes us feel most grounded and comfortable. The way we feel with our trusted friends and family. As the online world grows to mega-world proportions, we, as consumers and social-seekers, are organizing our personal online experience into smaller “trusted” neighborhoods where we feel accepted, comfortable, and safe. That means that brands that seek our patronage are being forced to be authentic about how they represent themselves so as to fit into their consumers’ neighborhoods. Gone are the days where corporations could manipulate the consumer to buy what they wanted them to buy. Back are the days where the consumer is seeking out the trusted neighborhood brand to buy from; brands that they and their friends see as part of their identity. Gone are the days where a corporate or Hollywood imposed “petri dish” façade is forced down the consumers’ throats to be seen as socially acceptable.

 

Thirdly, I would have to thank the World Wide Web for the imposed information overload on all existence AND the hyped-up fast-changing world of technology. The creation of this current culture of immediate information and answers, and extremely intriguing tech creations happening daily, has lead society to be quickly and easily bored. That means that communications about a brand must be original, intelligent, and intriguing yet easily understood or relatable. To do it all in 140 characters, is genius.

 

In conclusion, I, as a life-long original thinker and authenticity seeker, feel a huge relief in knowing that my writing talents can be appreciated without being “corporately cleansed”…and that if and when I use the low-brow concept of BS…that readers, corporate and consumer alike…will accept and possibly even embrace my love of the “real”.

 

 

 

…Because If You Are Not on Twitter Hashtagging During the Super Bowl …Well…

You’re an Idiot.

And I mean that in the most motivational way…

Because if you haven’t considered posting to Twitter during the Super Bowl with one or all of the following Hashtags:

#SuperBowl

#SB49

#SuperBowlXLIX‪

you are missing out on one of the most incredible opportunities on the planet to reach outrageous numbers of people for free…

FREE!

 

Super Bowl Twitter Hashtags

 

AND CHECK THIS ->

Following the 2013 Super Bowl, Twitter’s blog

stated that there were 24.1 million Tweets

about the game and halftime show 

(this leaves aside the ads, which also heavily

favored the platform during the game).

 

BUT HERE’S THE BIG MESSAGE ->

When those who can afford to promote their brand on TV during such a prolific event have to pay upwards of 4.5 million dollars for 30 seconds to do so, and yet you can just spend some of your “time” using a hashtag via your brand’s Twitter account (and potentially reach even more people than those actually watching the TV) – You have to agree, missing that opportunity is amongst one of the most unintelligent business moves you’re going to ever make.

 

BUT YOU MAY BE THINKING ->

Twitter ONLY has 255 Million active users vs Facebooks’ 1.28 Billion?

 

YET THERE’S A VERY BIG POINT EVERYONE IS MISSING WHEN THEY CONSIDER THESE STATS-> 

Facebook is a CLOSED platform whereas Twitter is OPEN. In other words, people do not even need to be a USER of Twitter (aka have an account) to read your posts on Twitter. They do on Facebook. That means that even though the official user number on Twitter is 255 Million, billions can still go read what is being posted, without even being signed onto Twitter. Comprende?

 

HOT POINT ->

Even more importantly, people do not have to even follow your account on Twitter, to see what you are posting using a Hashtag. All they have to do is follow the Hashtag. Get it? So using the [Hashtag] #SuperBowl during the Super Bowl puts you and your brand in front of potentially billions of people, many of whom can’t even WATCH the actual Super Bowl on TV (aka those on the other side of the planet).

 

ANOTHER HOT POINT ->

…and did I mention all of this is for FREE. Ok, point made.

 

THE CATCH ->

Now you know there has got to be some catch to all this “wonderful-ness”. And you are right, sort-of. With the mass numbers of people posting during the Super Bowl and using the above-mentioned Hashtags, you can imagine that Twitter will siphon out some of those posts. Yours may or may not be one of them. It is also easy for your post to get lost in the sheer masses, but if you make it poignant, creative, intelligent, or appropriately humorous, you raise your odds substantially. You are playing in one of the biggest brand lotteries in the world…for free…are you really going to consider NOT playing?

 

ANOTHER CATCH ->

Time is ticking on this idea…especially the “free” part. As I write, and as the 49th Super Bowl is being played, I can only imagine that the ability to do what I have just told you to do is actively being evaluated for it’s monetary value. In the end, everything is ALWAYS about how to make money for the promotional super power, in this case…The Super Bowl.

Heck, it ain’t called SUPER for nothing.

Social Marketing 101 – Case Study @Uber_Sydney – DONT RAISE PRICES DURING A HOSTAGE SITUATION

I check the news every night, day, and morning on Twitter (yes, in that order).

You may know why, and if you don’t, you should…

it’s because Twitter is a blazing fast information path.

 

For business these days, being on top of what is going on around the world, and the potential of breaking world news impacting your business reputation in all ways, is ESSENTIAL. It has become Social Marketing 101, and perhaps #1 on that list of 101, is for big business to employ a REAL person to monitor BREAKING WORLD NEWS on Twitter… 24/7.

 

This morning’s news is a perfect example of why –

Case Study @Uber_Sydney and the Hostage situation –

Sydney, Dec 15, 2014

 

As I write, it is currently hitting midnight in Sydney Australia. When I woke, I found out about the hostage situation through this post on Twitter:

CNN Hostage report 1

The next post I read was this:

KTLA Uber post

I responded with:

Bad Business Uber

To which Uber Sydney responded:

Uber response

During the time BEFORE Uber responded to my Tweet, I had already posted the following to my Linkedin and my several Twitter accounts:

#WhatNOTtodo

And then I saw the Uber response and decided to sit down and write this article…

BECAUSE there is no better teacher than reality.

 

So the lesson here? “Automated” may not always be better than human control?

NO

(but a definite yes…as a secondary consideration)

The lesson here is that if Uber Sydney had not had REAL people watching their social media, aka Twitter, in REAL-TIME at MIDNIGHT in Sydney, they would never have been given the excellent opportunity to catch the blazing fast Twitter PR negative that was about to go viral on them around the world

(and probably still will)

AND turn it around into a social media PR positive by immediately correcting the situation and offering FREE rides to counteract their “automated system’s” fatal un-human-ated PR blunder of upping pricing during a Hostage situation in Sydney.

 

To summarize:

 

Social Media Marketing 101 – Crisis Situation

  1. Social media has made marketing to the world easier than ever before
  2. A crisis situation happens in real-time and the world is made aware in near real-time thanks to social media platforms like Twitter
  3. Automated systems do not have the ability to adjust for necessary empathy and compassion under such crisis circumstances
  4. Lack of empathy by corporations in a crisis situation is a MAJOR PR BLUNDER and will be announced to the entire world via Twitter at blazing fast speeds
  5. Adjusting for PR blunders, such as offering FREE rides to counter-act a hike in ride pricing because of automated surge demand response, is an EXCELLENT PR OPPURTUNITY
  6. Even though technology and Twitter have brought the world to its knees in speed and efficiency, NOTHING will replace the need for an appropriate LIVE human generated empathy response to a real-time, real-world crisis, redirecting negative PR into positive PR on social media.

 Hostage Uber string

Why We All Can Be, and Need to Be, a Social Superman

YOUR FACE HERE

Superman is powerful. Superman is intelligent. Superman is successful.

Superman is attractive. Superman is famous…for all the right reasons.

Superman is our ideal.

 

BUT

 

Have you considered that

Superman is honest; Superman is just; Superman is loyal; Superman is giving,

Superman is caring, kind, and compassionate?

 

In the original episode, when Superman comes to earth, He explains:

“Superbeings on Krypton were

designed to represent the human race at its ultimate peak of perfect development.”

 

And here’s the thing…

If we are not living up to our ideal,

while STRONGLY encouraging those around us to do the same…

then we are not living up to the full POWER of our POTENTIAL as the human race.

And we are ripping off ourselves, and the future of our planet and race.

It is your CHOICE to live as a Social Superman or a Social Superbully.

And with that choice you choose to allow life to flourish,

OR you choose omnicide…aka suicide.

 YOUR FACE HERE

 

The power of positive thinking is a good thing. And truly, it shouldn’t be put on a leash. However, when any ideal moves into the position of addiction? Then it is time to re-configure our priorities; especially as a society.

 

TIP: Thoughts (and “prayers”) do not equal action.

 

I have seen the positive thinking phenomenon literally go from being a person who shines bright and shares positive “energy” to those that bulldoze others out of their life so as not to “dirty their personal karma” as they are in hot pursuit of the holy grail of opportunity and success. Too often this means that those suffering from a serious issue, are left to face, not only the issue by themselves, but the shunning of those that believe “they who suffer” are living with the “Black Plague” of the soul.

 

The consequence of this “karma addiction” is leading to a society that no longer sees the need to “help one’s neighbor, friend, or family member” but rather chooses to shut-down their peripheral emotional vision and gain their “positive giver image” through an emotionally-detached, karma-safe 3rd party charity.

 

Here’s the problem with that thinking – the desire to keep a clean positive karma radius is creating a devastated localized society around you. And that isn’t good for anybody.

Addiction

Now back to Superman. Here’s a guy who truly has some strong positive karma; perhaps the MOST positive karma achievable. Yet, he’s a guy who flies high and drops everything to help the most needy form of life RIGHT below him. You don’t see Superman flying to the other side of the planet when there is a major issue going on right next door to the Daily Planet where Clark Kent works. Superman never turns away from a human that is suffering of “negative karma”; Superman always focuses squarely on the issue and becomes determined to correct it. In the process, Superman offers those suffering the most awesome gift – freedom from a spiraling out-of-control negative life-force…and a return to the possibility of a positive life flow. I’d say Superman has got his priorities straight, with a healthy regard for his local community; And it does seem that Superman’s biggest priority is to take out the comic world’s Supervillians, aka bullies, of all sorts.

 

With the inception of the internet, our real world expanded into an unruly off-reality online universe – where suddenly laws, ethics, morals no longer exert boundaries. And worse yet, the façade for traveling this universe, can be 100% anonymous by choice – allowing each individual to easily live a completely double life – Superman facade in the real; anonymous Supervillian online. The result is the rise of the Social Superbully – super-gossip, slanderer, privacy-invader, stalker, hacker, thief, porn-addict, child sex trafficker, terrorist, and on and on.

 

With the inception of social media, our “local community” expanded around the world and so did access to our personal domain for every Social Superbully imaginable; with the inception of social media, came the explosion of unbridled bullies and unrestrained bullying by potentially 100% anonymous stalkers. And worse yet, these Superbullies, also have access to OUR CHILDREN’S personal domain – with our children’s social awareness being the equivalent of social kryptonite.

 

With the rise of both the internet and social media, EVERY CHOICE by ANY online user AROUND THE WORLD has become the SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY of ALL. Therefore, it is our duty, as a civil society, to become Social Supermen – Whereby each of us must monitor ourselves, our social neighborhoods, and EVERY child’s social neighborhood – reminding and influencing EACH individual in our “local community” to do right by society…and each other.

 

Being a Social Superman is vital to the advancement, and survival, of the human race. Superman is the quintessential superhero, and one of the reasons is because of his dynamic and abundant powers. How can we translate Superman’s superpowers into a beginning strategy for us as Social Supermen?

 

Super-Social-Strength

It takes strength to stand up for what is right and perhaps sacrifice surface desires for truth, respect, and justice. Even with Superman’s super-body-strength, when he takes a hit, it still hurts. Yet, Superman doesn’t back down even when faced with kryptonite; It may weaken him but it always seems to strengthen his resolve.

 

Super-Social-Intelligence

It has been our destiny as human beings to evolve into intelligent, thinking, advanced creatures. Yet, with the inception of the internet and social media, it seems that we have fallen “back-word” allowing our lower functioning instinctual drives to take over logical rational thought and a desire to reach higher ideals and superior potential. A Social Superman is smarter than a Social Superbully. Most Superbullies are narcissists and believe they can outsmart everyone but that swings in the Social Superman’s favor. That may mean you will need to organize a crowd of like-minded Social Supermen and become a dominant force online OR “speak softly, and carry a big stick”. The point is that you, as a rational, thinking, caring Social Superman ARE ALREADY SUPERIOR to the instinct driven animal that is the Social Superbully.

 

Super-Social-Senses

As humans, we have evolved. We have the ability to embrace our 6th senses.

In other words…Think out-side-the-box and TRUST YOUR GUT.

If “something” is telling you to BEWARE…

If something sounds bad…

If something feels bad…

…IT IS BAD.

Listen, feel, TRUST yourself, evaluate proper action, and ACTIVATE proper response.

 

Super-Social-Durability

We have come into a NEW AGE. We have “ARRIVED” in the age of stunning technology which grants us opportunities to thrive as never before possible. This is the age of high-functioning technology that has LITERALLY given us the ability to BECOME SUPERMAN using bionic limbs, eyes, and brains. At some point these technological advancements will out-perform our own flesh making us super-naturally durable beings.

But with these advancements we have the higher calling of protecting our humanity as well. Superman would not be our ideal without his super-sense of compassion, caring, and kindness. These very traits lift Superman to a place far superior to the Supervillians / Superbullies he continually triumphs over. With the arrival of this NEW AGE…our lives of privacy, innocence and bliss are gone…even for our youngest children. We must teach them that Super-Social-Durability means overcoming the cruel voice and actions of all-types of Superbullies; it means you survive to see yourself, and other Social Supermen, triumph over them all.

 

Super-Social-Voice

With the inception of the internet and social media, your voice can be heard around the world. One no longer needs to rely on the “media” to be heard. Make it your duty to use all that is at your fingertips for the good of all society.

 

Super-Social-Speed

With the inception of the internet and social media, information flies at the speed of light. Social Superbullies understood the power of online speed for their destructive purposes (ex. computer viruses) faster than Social Supermen have embraced it for good. BUT Social Supermen are coming back strong with such campaigns on Twitter like #YesAllWomen and #NoMore. Follow, learn, and ACTIVATE your own.

 

TIP: Do you want to achieve NATIONAL media attention in less than ONE MINUTE? Try this – Have a Twitter account; Pick a powerful, easy to remember Hashtag; Contact 250 [Social Supermen] Twitter accounts; Request that ALL 250 Twitter accounts use your hashtag at the SAME EXACT TIME on the SAME DAY (for example, 6:01pm on Sunday night); Your hashtag WILL TREND and WILL GET national media’s attention.

 

Super-Social-Flight

With these truths it is your social duty to take action.

Humans were never created to sleep, we were created to soar.

Social Supermen

Let’s reach for the stars as Social Supermen. Let’s choose to achieve the “ultimate peak of perfect development” defined for humans by the race of Supermen from Krypton; Let’s not chose the depths of destruction defined by the Supervillians…or the Social Superbullies.

The Photobomb vs The Selfie – How to use The Photobomb for Your Brand Marketing

Timing is Everything

In these digital times information moves fast, trends move faster, and boredom is a online marketer’s biggest enemy. As the Selfie trend becomes old news, the Photobomb is holding strong. Why? And how can you use them for brand marketing?

In my 10+ years of online / offline marketing, I have continually found myself using TV as a historical gage for social marketing. Until social media and gaming came along, TV was the medium that created the other “family” that viewers craved. For my analogies between online marketing and TV, I pull from TV’s history as a whole, and rarely focus on the use of TV advertising. The psychology behind proper online marketing is much more similar, I find, to how audiences relate to their favorite TV shows rather than the advertising that is pushed at them; TV shows draw a “following” by appealing to what the viewer wants and likes not what the brand expects and wants them to like. Favorite TV shows stick with us for a lifetime, they define a time period in our lives – Why? – Because they became the extended friends and family that may or may not have been there for us. We don’t remember each episode but we always remember how the show made us feel – liked, accepted, understood, scared, excited, justified, intrigued – but most of all, our favorite TV shows made us feel like we were part of something we could always count on. Like they said on Batman, “SEE YA NEXT WEEK SAME BAT TIME SAME BAT STATION!” – and there we were…

[TIP: Consider programming your Tweeting / Facebook / YouTube / social etc. strategy to a schedule: same topic, same day, same time]

Here’s the thing about the Photobomb vs the Selfie – The Photobomb is the equivalent of America’s Funniest Home Videos, one of the longest running primetime entertainment shows on television. The Selfie is more like that show that didn’t make it past the pilot episode because the creators forgot they had an audience, not a mirror in front of them. In other words, The Photobomb, like AFV, keeps us coming back to take another look because of its twist on what is expected and the satisfaction of recognizing it; Where the Selfie (after one year of constant bombardment by everyone and anyone) is COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE.

This may seem to contradict my initial recommendation of keeping social to a predictable schedule but it is perhaps the truth about Americans – they love controlled observations of the bizarre and weird. This goes way back to the first days of the traveling circus and the circus freaks’ sideshow – Americans were not, and have never been, comfortable walking down the street or living next door to an oddity, but they are more than willing to PAY to STARE at it within a controlled environment.

The Photobomb (and AFV) works much on the same principle. Here are some descriptions of The Photobomb and ways your Brand can incorporate them into it’s marketing:

The ‘Breaking Vanity’

Selfies are vanity; Photobombs are freedom from their insanity. In other words, breaking up someone’s “self love obsession” is offering much needed comic RELIEF in the over-populated world of the insanely vain SELIFIES.

Kim Kardashian

BRANDING…”Win a trip to Hollywood to see one of the World’s Natural Wonders”

The ‘Where’s Waldo’

We all like games as proven by the billion dollar gaming industry. And when a Selfie is taken, and something unexpected and hard to find appears, then the real game begins. Most of us get tired of seeing the same poser over and over, we would rather spend time seeking out the surprise…winning the prize and praise of our intellectual brain.

Where's Waldo

BRANDING…”Find his friend and Uber will pick you for FREE!”

The ‘Classic Crasher’

What can I say, Photobombing is FUN. It seems to bring out the kid in all of us and anything that can make the most conservative or untouchable societal icons break character, will be seen as downright magical in the eyes of the public. Why? Because suddenly, we realize, they are relatable, they like to laugh and have fun just like us. And anything magical that seems attainable…is ALWAYS good marketing – just ask Disney.

Classic Crasher

BRANDING…”Welcome Home. – VisitBritain.com”

The ‘Creative Catch’

There is something absolutely mesmerizing about an accident that becomes beautiful – our mind wants to see it again and again. Im not sure who came up with the first transposition of a creature caught on a human body but now none of us can get enough. I am surprised that Aquariums or Zoos have not already gone down this path for promotions.

Creative Catch

BRANDING…”’The City Aquarium’ where you become one with the sea.”

The ‘History is Made’

When words just cant describe how amazing it was, a photo will. UFO’s, if you think about it, are the original Photobombers. Images of UFO’s go back as far as drawings on cave walls. There is just something about catching proof of what else is going on in the world, that we may have seen, but others need visual PROOF of it to be convinced.

History Made

BRANDING …”See things on ‘The Classic Cruise Ship’ that you will miss if you stay on land.”

The ‘Timing-is-Everything’

When you do catch that completely unexpected Selfie moment, you have basically struck photo gold. How many times have we seen the photo below, and never cease to come up with another way to apply the comedic scenario.

Timing Babies

BRANDING …the possibilities are endless

The ‘Reality Show’

Life happens but usually it happens so fast our real-time brain will blank it out. Photos freeze a moment in time – Photobombs make the unseen seen. There are multiple ways to use this to promote your Brand because nothing says “YOU NEED THIS” quite like reality that was once unseen…

Reality Show

BRANDING …”When life throws you a hardball, call ‘The Lawyer’”

The ‘Creeper’

[NOTE – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR MARKETING YOUR BRAND unless you are a porn site…or Miley Cyrus…]

While sex does sell…there are just some “visuals” that a Brand NEVER wants connected to its image, no matter how edgy your Brand may be…The Creeper Photobomb is one of them…

The Creeper

BRANDING …NO, NO…NEVER appropriate for any Brand.

Then there is always the possibility of…

The ‘Battle-of-the-Brands’

One power Brand Photobombing the other…

GEICO PhotoBomb on AFLAC

BRANDING … AFLAC / GEICO… call me.

The Rise of the Boutique Bridal Show

Carmen Rose W

Time is moving in on your Wedding Day.

You have planned your dream wedding since you were 4. It has evolved with time and you are going to make sure that it will truly represent the essence of you – a creation of every year of your life, and now down to the day.

Your boyfriend took great steps to make the day he proposed to you memorable and all about his love for the one and only…you.

You accepted the ring, it is beautiful, and represents the unique love between you and you’re soon to be husband.

You searched and searched for your wedding dress. All your closest friends and family confirmed…it is perfect and uniquely you.

But now, you still need to pick a venue that will shine with your personality; the perfect DJ or band that will play the songs personal to you and your groom; the cake that is perfect to your tongue and eyes; and all those other unique additions that will leave a permanent impression on all your guests.

 

Your Wedding Day MUST sparkle like you!

 

So where do you go to find all that “uniqueness”? More and more brides are opting for the smaller more intimate specialty, boutique bridal shows to build relationships with the vendors that will represent them on their Wedding Day. The smaller shows offer that personal touch that makes a wedding special. The shows are offered several times a year and held at various venue locations allowing the brides to see if that venue will fit their ideals and express their personality. Vendors are pre-screened to make sure they have good reviews and the smaller shows create an intimate atmosphere making them more conducive to talking with the vendors to establish a rapport and determine compatibility.

Are you starting to catch the boutique bridal vibe? Here is a list of some of the most popular boutique bridal shows on social media (…even in the bridal world – social media DOES matter when you want to be found)

Atlanta – Le Fais do-do

San Diego – The Wedding Divas Bridal Show

Dallas – Soiree Boutique Bridal Shows

Vancouver BC – Bling Boutique Bridal Show

Pittsburgh – Bridal Showcase and Boutique Bridal Show

New York – New York Weddings Event

Denver – Colorado Bridal Show

Savannah, Georgia – Behind the Veil Boutique Bridal Show

St Louis – Boutique Bridal Event

Louisville, Kentucky – Love & Such

Birmingham, Alabama – The SOHO Bridal Show

Marina del Rey – Festival Of The Brides

Portland, Oregon – LUXE Bridal Event

San Francisco & Napa – Luxury Wedding Shows

 

Congratulations to you! – You are special therefore may the bridal shows you attend be as special as you

– and may love abound the closer you move towards your dreams.

The Marketing Power OF Comic-Con

Comic Con Powers Activate

I live in San Diego. I have never attended Comic Con.

I have never considered myself a Trekkie / Trekker nor a Warsies (Star Wars Fan) so years ago, when Comic Con was rising to infamy (and I could have gotten a ticket for a sane price and no real local competition), I thought why bother. But there was always the lurking desire for me to keep an inquisitive eye on the growing sensation that Comic Con has now become.

Comic Con is a marketing phenomenon and here is why – there has never been another entity that has molded Hollywood to them instead of Hollywood bending to it. It is truly a story of David vs Goliath, or um, Superheros vs Reality. But at the same time, there has always been this underlying undeniable feeling that Comic Con’s creators and steadfast supporters, seemingly never cared what Hollywood thought (not true, as the history would show, but certainly they portrayed that sense through the steadfast attendees). And as hackers take over our world, and Comic Con rises to ultimate power, I continually have the 1984 cult classic Hollywood flik streaming through my mind – this is the Revenge of the Nerds.

“Nerd” (these days more appropriately labeled “Geek & Freak”) Marketing is a phenomenon I first noticed many years ago when I became an Art Major at my Liberal Arts college so that I could make my way into the world of Advertising. It evolved something like this – where the art geeks went to hide from the establishment was soon where the conservatives would come and invade, and spread word to their friends of this new “cool” place. As soon as the establishment infused their controlled thinking into a place, the geeks evacuated, and went on to find the next freethinking, unique and creatively infused venue; and then the process would repeat itself. At that point in time, the geeks, freaks and nerds were still determined to never sell-out; it was their mantra…their life’s mission. But power, fame and fortune have a funny way of changing people. (cant forget the 1996 juror who came dressed as a Trekkie welding the ideals of the Trek Nation in the Whitewater Case – she was released from the panel when she agreed to be interviewed by the press)

Curses! – fame and fortune triumph AGAIN!

As it is with Comic Con. What starts as an underground movement of those determined to stick to their unconventional ideals evolves into an undeniably fantastic marketing opportunity that the establishment embraces with vigor…And for GOOD REASON. For those of you in business that haven’t broken the Nerd Marketing barrier consider the following –

  • 130,000+ will actually attend Comic Con but millions more will be following it on social, 24/7 from all over the world
  • 1000+ Hollywood professionals will attend the event and that means exposure on a grand scale
  • 180,000,000+ is the estimated economic impact, in dollars, of Comic-Con on the city of San Diego each year
  • 1 billion dollars is the amount made by Samsung off 1 tweet made by Ellen Degeneres using the 2014 Oscar’s hashtag on Twitter that was seen round the world

Comic Con starts this week. One just cant deny the power of the Nerd-Geek-Freak Marketing employed by Comic Con. #ComicCon2014 or #ComicCon are the hashtags to follow or post to on Twitter. May be time to join the Geek Nation.

Comic Con powers activate…

Form of…

…cash flow!

Social Displays at Events – The Billion Dollar Idea

Billion $ Idea

I have been a huge advocate of social displays at events for many years. The benefits of using social displays at your event FAR outweigh the issues.Yet social display technology is still very new technology…so there are issues that need to be considered and addressed.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a social display:

1. There is a BIG misconception out there about social displays. Most believe this is a simple fun idea – IT IS NOT – it is VERY POWERFUL marketing, and should be respected as such.

REMEMBER Ellen at the Oscars taking that iconic Hollywood selfie (think of the TV as the “social display” at your event)? That ONE event tweet brought SAMSUNG a billion dollars in business…YES…a BILLION $$$ worth of BUSINESS.

ONE TWEET=A BILLION DOLLARS. Do I have your attention now?

2. Terminology in Digital Technology is not uniform across all companies – this is a problem because right now, Digital Technology is a “country” where many different countries are coming together and trying to communicate using their own language. This leaves most people involved very confused as to what the others is talking about. [for instance – Twitterwalls, Tweetwalls, Social Media Walls, Social Boards are being most commonly and standardly called – SOCIAL DISPLAYS]

3. Not ALL social display companies are created equal. The natural process of eliminating the wheat from the chaff has not occurred yet with social display companies because of how new the technology is.

The MOST important thing when choosing a social display company is REAL-TIME CUSTOMER SERVICE – if the social display company does not have your event as it’s priority throughout your event, do not use them.

4. Monitoring is an ABSOLUTE. Monitoring should be done by a person that knows the desires of EVERY sponsor, exhibitor, speaker, etc, involved in the event. If this sounds somewhat unrealistic – your right – BUT none the less, it is true.

Best case scenario? Each individual company involved in the event, that cares about it’s brand reputation online and in the real world, should have a person specifically chosen to monitor the hashtag for the event. HUGE benefits will come out of this.

TIP – these days…ALL PR is good PR, it is just about how a brand handles it.

5. Placement of social displays are key. As with real estate, it is location, location, location. I would not take the advice of those attending your event to make this decision for you. Evaluate it yourself. For instance, your speakers may have heard social displays distract from their spotlight. Speakers don’t understand the concept of how to USE social displays to benefit themselves so they perceive that they are fighting with the social display for attention. It isn’t true. Social displays are a huge benefit to them, as well as everyone else at the event, once they are shown how to use them properly.

6. Before you look at having a great social display presentation – BEFORE you consider incorporating a lot of digital technology into your event – consider investing in a reputable “professionally managed” internet connectivity company – they will be the backbone of your entire event.

THINK security and digital overload issues.

7. I could go on, but in truth, if I were an Event Professional, I would hire a digital tech professional who knows all the ins and outs of social display technology and marketing to run your event social display. It is that important.

The BENEFITS of Social Displays at your event are amazing. Event Social Displays will revolutionize marketing…online and in the real-world. However, a solid strategy needs to be laid out for your event social display. To do that, Event Professionals need to understand that although Social Displays may look like a simple fun idea, they are some of the most powerful marketing at your event. Dont let anyone else tell you differently.