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SoundCloud Ads Are Making (Sound)Waves

SoundCloud Advertising

Image courtesy of soundcloud.com

SoundCloud is a social media platform that specializes in the distribution of music. Musicians around the world can create a profile and upload their music, which others can listen to, comment on, and even download if the musician permits it. Musicians love SoundCloud because it allows them to get their music out to the general public without needing to go through a big distributor. After all, if people don’t know your music, you can’t expect to make any money. SoundCloud is also unique because the social media platform is a popular hub for musicians to interact with one another.
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How to Instabrand on Instagram

Instagram analytics example

Image courtesy of instagram.com.

Like any other website or application, once there is enough foot traffic, marketers will find ways to profit off of the captive audience. What would make Instagram any different? Nothing. Advertisers have been creating paid advertisements for a while now, but with very little ability to analyze the results. Fortunately, Instagram is now giving advertisers instant access to data on how their posts are doing. And yes, this means paid and unpaid posts.

Why is this so important?
Not all brands see Instagram as a way to advertise to social media users, in part, because the website and application was not set up for more conventional advertising tactics. With these new features, advertisers will now be able to see more detailed information, including which time of day is best for their post. Now that advertisers can see a report of their success, or lack thereof, they can choose to make adjustments to optimize their messages to users.
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Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Worthy of Criticism?

Bill Gates Ice Bucket Challenge

Bill Gates doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

More likely than not, you have seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spreading like wildfire across social media and news outlets. The Challenge is a prime example of how something can go viral online. It seems everyone is doing the Challenge, from A-list celebrities to your next-door neighbor, and the action is getting a lot of attention. With any widespread action, there is bound to be criticism, and there is no shortage of Ice Bucket Challenge criticism. It may seem insane for individuals to criticize a fundraising campaign. However, the best opportunity for evolvement is to recognize areas for improvement. In this instance, we can use the example of the Ice Bucket Challenge to recognize areas for improvement so that similar techniques may be applied to marketing and branding on social media.
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The Sweet “Share a Coke” Campaign Turns Sour

Coke bottle with blurred text

Image courtesy of designtaxi.com

If you have walked down the soda aisle at your local store in the past few months, you have probably noticed the new campaign that Coca-Cola has been running. Their campaign, which we discussed in a previous blog post, offers customers the opportunity to find names of their friends and family on Coke bottles and cans. Here is one of Coke’s commercials to launch the campaign.
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Commercials Gone Wrong

McDonald's Big Mac on an Olympic Podium

Image courtesy of youtube.com.

Commercials can bring in the big bucks when done properly, and cost major bucks when done improperly. When they are produced with a lack of preparation, research, or logic, they can damage a company’s brand image. Here are some commercials that hurt sales, brand image, or were a complete waste of marketing budget.

McDonald’s: The Giveaway Gold Medal Finalist

During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, McDonald’s ran a promotion offering customers free items based on the U.S. teams’ performance. When customers would eat at McDonald’s, they would peel a sticker which would name a random Olympic event off the side of their food boxes and drinks . If the United States medaled in that event, consumers would win free food depending on the medal. For gold, silver, and bronze, consumers would will a Big Mac, French Fries, and a Coke respectively.
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Is Product Placement here to stay?

Mike Myers holding Pizza Hut Pizza

Pizza Hut Product Placement in Wayne’s World. Image courtesy of stargroup1.com.

Advertisements have always been the lifeblood of television. Did you know that Soap Operas got their name because they were funded by Proctor & Gamble? Their commercials (generally a soap product) funded the shows. Television commercials became more prominent and aggressive as the years passed. However, Tivo and other DVR devices changed the game by allowing us to record shows and watch them at our convenience. Streaming devices like Netflix made this even worse for advertisers because the streamed entertainment contained no ads at all. Because of the technological changes throughout the past decade, advertisers needed to find creative ways push products. Enter the emergence of widespread product placement.
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Bacon Branding

Bacon shaped like a heart

Bacon! Image courtesy of lulesfood.blogspot.com.

Warning to all non-animal eaters, the following is filled with tasty bacon content. Everything is better with bacon, even branding. Is this odd to you? It shouldn’t be. Bacon has been trending for the past few years. We (meat-eaters) have always loved the taste of Bacon, but this new trend has caused bacon to raise to superstar status.  In fact, bacon prices have even risen because of its increase in pop-culture popularity.

We are seeing a result of this popularity in a variety of settings. For example, our hometown of San Diego is about to host two major bacon events in the same weekend. The first is the International Bacon Film Festival, which is held on August 29, 2014, on the famous USS Midway Museum. This event is just what it sounds like, films focusing around bacon are submitted, then played on the day of the event for judging. Sound crazy? The videos are actually very interesting. Here is the winner from last year’s Film Fest. We present to you: Portrait of a Bacon Enthusiast by Michael Cameneti.
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4 Ways to Design UX to Master Big Data Apps

Big Data App UX

Image courtesy of business2community.com

Big data is a big deal. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, is contributing to the monumental amount of data being collected every second of every day. From your daily step count to your social media activity, anything related to an Internet-connected app is collecting data. Although this may seem like a scary thought, users have come to accept their role in big data, and most are embracing the benefits of massive data collection, especially in the workplace.

The user’s experience with an application that is responsible for presenting and collecting big data needs to be streamlined to maximize usability. This is where designers come in. All of the information in the world is useless if users cannot access and understand it. As big data exponentially grows, the proliferation of big data applications will boom over the next five to ten years. Designers are posed with the goliath task of designing big data apps that provide users the best possible experience.
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Branding Blunders: The Third

Moving GIF

Image courtesy of giphy.com

It’s time for another round of Branding Blunders. Let’s take a look at some more major mistakes made by others. What better way (and more entertaining way) to learn, than to learn from other’s mistakes?

Burger King
Do you know what ingredients go into your burger? Customers in Mayfield Heights, Ohio sure didn’t. The photo above was found on 4chan, a popular, but often nefarious, social website. Which raises the question: Were Burger King executives really browsing 4chan? We can learn a few things from this branding blunder. First, any employee can harm your brand,so choose wisely.
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Rookie Social Media Mistakes

Cartoon of Facebook and Twitter Mascots getting arrested

Twitter bird and Facebook…book. Image courtesy of socialmappmedia.com

Everyone and their mother knows that Social Media is the new “it-girl” when it comes to online marketing. Social Media marketing has become ever so popular because it allows companies to express their branding message through an atypical medium that can offer high reward for little expense. Unfortunately, many brands are making marketing mistakes on Facebook. Here are a few examples of what to do, and what not to do when venturing down the potentially lucrative path of Social Media marketing.
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