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The Medium is The Message.

Social Media Fails.

Its no secret that everybody and their grandmother uses social media, and in turn that means everybody and their grandmother is effecting brands. Every time someone shares a link, or posts something on Twitter about a brand it is effecting it - positively or negatively. When somebody on your Facebook posts a song or video or link and you have respect for and admire their opinions, you will most likely check out the song/video/link and have a biased opinion on the posted item before the new window even opens - whether its good or bad. A good example of this was Sunday night. The Super Bowl half-time show feature Madonna and a various number of well-known artists that are popular at the moment. My first impression was “is this the theatrical version of The Lion King?” and a few people I spoke to a few minutes later had the same reaction. However, all sorts of celebrities and people I am linked to via social media were raving about how great her performance was. This made me reconsider my harsh automatic thoughts - I mean shes over 50, has an amazing body, and her dancing wasn’t as great at it usually is, but she was in six inch heels. Suddenly, I didn’t think it was the most awful performance and I no longer have a negative reaction when people talk about the half-time show. 

When it comes to brands and products online, many companies attempt to get people talking about their brand, and this does not always work in their favour. A few weeks ago McDonalds tried to get stories about their company trending - but instead of people talking about how much they enjoyed the new coffee at McDonalds, or the delicious Big Mac they just enjoyed, people were writing about their McDonalds horror stories. This shows that often times, consumers do not like being told what to write about, and companies should refrain from encouraging social media users to talk about brands, and just provide positive resources for consumers to share.

The challenge with social media marketing for all brands, companies and organizations is that there will always be someone online with an opposite or negative opinion. There will always be someone who wishes to argue with what is posted positively about the brand/company/organization, sometimes just for the sake of arguing. However, if the opinions are false and not what most people agree with, the positive opinions will outweigh the negative and push down the negative results. 

Guerilla Marketing

Personally, I think guerilla marketing is a great form of advertising, and making a point. When its done properly, it can be genius. Although a main advantage of guerilla marketing is standing out and making a point, there is also a major disadvantage that can occur. A disadvantage that can arise from guerilla marketing is scaring the consumer away, or annoying them. If a project is not done properly it can backfire on a company. 

Two example of guerilla marketing that I found online that are very simple include a “Quit Smoking”, and a “Kit Kat” campaign; both used outdoor items (bench and garbage cans). The “Quit Smoking” campaign had two garbage cans that are used for cigarettes, painted as eyeballs and the campaign says “smoking causes blindness”, and the smoker throws their cigarette butts into the retinas of the eye balls. The “Kit Kat” campaign is a simple bench at a bus stop that is painted as a peeled Kit Kat. Both of these are very simple, yet creative and eye-catching. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/liveu4/2290892350/

I think guerilla marketing is especially effective when used to raise awareness (for example quit smoking, poverty etc.). Shocking guerilla marketing is the type that goes viral, and allows us in Canada to see the campaigns done in Germany and other areas of the world. 

I truly think guerilla marketing will become more popular, especially with the new generation of online advertising. If one wishes to advertise outdoors, skipping billboards and transit advertising is the best idea. Guerilla marketing is the way to catch someone’s eye and stay top of mind in as many consumer minds as possible. This is especially true is one’s great guerilla marketing campaign goes viral - which is very possible. Personally, I can spend a countless amount of time looking at creative guerilla marketing campaigns online, and if a company has a large budget they should really invest in a fun and interesting guerilla marketing campaign. 

Here is another really cool campaign done by MTV back in 2008 to raise awareness for global warming (like I said, I tend to really like guerilla marketing that is done to raise awareness)

http://directdaily.blogspot.com/2008/11/mtv-switch-global-warming-whats-all.html

If you successfully complete a truly good guerilla marketing campaign, people will stop and take pictures with it.

http://blog.guerrillacomm.com/2009/07/what-mess.html

Big Thanks To Apple

Last week in our “Trends and Issues in Advertising” class we had a discussion about brand utilities and different apps and products that companies/brands create. In the past few years, Apple has brought the brand of “Apps” to a new level of popularity. With the high use of Applications on Apple products such as iPhones, iPods, and iPads, society has become dependant on apps for many things in their everyday life. There really is an App for everything - for example; paying for Starbucks, checking the weather, and social media sites on the go. I’m one of those people who refuse to get an iPhone because texting is such a crucial part of my daily routine that I can’t be bothered to attempt typing on the iPhone screen all day. I have a Blackberry and am very optimistic about it, even when RIM’s services had issues in the summer, I was annoyed and missed BBM but I wasn’t complaining nearly as much as most of my friends, and it definitely didn’t prompt me to go out and buy an iPhone. With that being said, I do wish I had an iPhone when my friends are all playing “Words with Friends” (a scrabble game), on their phones and I am forced to send them words only when I’m on Facebook. If I had an iPhone I would be more of an App user. On my Blackberry I have only a few apps (including BBM). I have an NHL app that provides information on upcoming games, Twitter, WhatsApp, and the WeatherNetwork. The only Apps I use on a daily basis are the WeatherNetwork, Twitter and of course, Blackberry Messenger. 

This may sound a little materialistic, but we’re talking about Apps. A company I would like to see get an App (that I can use on my Blackberry) is Victoria Secret. My online shopping addiction usually revolves around buying swimsuits, shirts etc. from Victoria Secret, and because of this, they e-mail me on a daily basis. Sometimes these emails do lead me to buy items. There is currently a Victoria Secret app for Apple products, however it only gives you pictures, behind-the-scenes looks and information about photoshoot destinations etc. it doesn’t touch on what I’m interested in - sales, new products, and promotions! Although, its probably better if they don’t get an App like that, not sure if my Visa card can handle it.  

Advertisers’ New BFF: Social Media

It is no secret that for years advertisers’ have been targeting certain demographics for specific products (age, gender, location). With the new wave of social media, everyone (and their grandmother) is online and sharing their thoughts, interests, and views with the world. Companies can now target their products towards a persons’ psychographics just as easily as targeting someone by gender and age. It makes much more sense to target consumers by psychographics than demographics, and now social media sites like Facebook are making it a piece of cake for advertisers. 

An example of psychographic advertising that just occurred on a Facebook friend of mine’s page (yes Kaitey, this popped up on my homepage 5 minutes ago and I creeped it xo love ya). My friend (Kaitey), is an avid horseback rider and “Likes” many horse-related pages. On the side of her Facebook an advertisement for “JellyPantz, the no-chafe underwear for women who ride”. Now, Kaitey obviously doesn’t have this issue, but according to her social media profile she is a woman who rides, therefore she was targeted by “JellyPantz”. In the past, companies like this (if they had enough money) would only have the option of advertising in Horseback Riding magazines, since their demographic of (most likely middle-aged women) is too broad to advertise to without psychographics. Although this particular advertisement did not reach Kaitey as their target audience, other horse-related products and companies have successfully reached her through the use of social media, and advertising using psychographics. 

It is clear by this example, and countless others, that the psychographics on social media pages such as Facebook are changing the way advertisers target consumers. Therefore, social media is definitely a positive change in online behaviour for advertising, and should be considered every advertisers’ new BFF.

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I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

- Walt Disney