• Listening, Learning And Tweaking The Messages
    Amaranth is gaining traction as a highly nutritious grain -- due to the very deliberate way Puente a la Salud Comunitaria (Bridge to Community Health) has crafted and tweaked the "pseudo cereal"'s story.
  • Providing The Backbone For Crowdfunding Campaigns
    Like many an inventor and entrepreneur over the years, Dan Ikoyan probably could have cajoled friends and maxed out a few credit cards to raise the $50,000 he says he needs to take his TruPosture "smart shirt" to market over the next 24 weeks. Instead, he made a very conscious decision to raise funds through a crowdfunding campaign that launched on Indiegogo this Wednesday.
  • Compelling Pitches Need No Algorithm
    OK, I get it. Programmatic ads are becoming "more human, seamless, efficient, and easy to digest," as Millward Brown predicted they would. There's no stopping the algorithms. But there's still a lot of life yet in that most effective form of storytelling: the clever product demonstration, which predates W.C. Fields pitching a cure for hoarseness by several millennia.
  • Old Stories Wrought New
    Despite the headlines, content marketing is not only about megabrands diverting advertising dollars into six- or seven-figure branded-content budgets. It's not all about big publishers rolling out branded-content studios, either. Nor was it invented yesterday.
  • They'd Like To Teach The World To Tweet In Perfect Harmony
    Can you think of any commercial content that has enjoyed as long an infectious run - in multiple iterations - as Coca-Coca's 1971 "Hilltop"? The original spot was most recently revived in the final scene of the final episode of "Mad Men." Coca-Cola jumped on the free exposure, of course. Nearly 5,000 "likes" were registered on its mention on Facebook. But when you're living by the hashtag, you're just as easily bashed by the hashtag. A "diss video" that that turns the "Hilltop" spot on its iconic head has been circulating for a couple of months: The Center for Science ...
  • Disney Takes Unboxing To Another Dimension
    I was introduced to the concept of unboxing about a year ago by my favorite 3-year-old, who seemed to enjoy jerry-rigged YouTube videos that featured an array of everyday people opening up packages of toy Octonauts as much as she was enthralled by the actual scripted adventures of Captain Barnacles Bear and his crew on Disney Junior. I've noticed Lili has been less interested in unboxing videos since she turned four, however. So I figured the whole "cottage" industry of people commenting on the stuff they've unwrapped--sometimes concocting ad-hoc stories involving the figurines and their vehicles or habitats, sometimes not-was ...
  • What Agencies Need To Do To Stay In The Game
    Michael Farmer, who has been consulting for advertising agencies for 25 years, sees the industry trapped between "fee-cutting clients and profit-hungry owners." Farmer lays out the details of how agencies have steadily fallen from the height they held 40 years ago and lays out a compelling argument for how they can best regain relevance and appropriate remuneration in a new book, "Madison Avenue Manslaughter." It will be available in September; I read an advance copy. At a time when some marketers question whether they need a traditional advertising agency at all to achieve their objectives, I posed a few questions ...
  • 'Doing' Content For A Cause
    Steve Butcher, the CEO of Seattle-based global ticket vendor Brown Paper Tickets, says he's had "a lot of love and respect for traditional marketing" dating to when he discovered Adweek magazine at his first job when he was 14. Not that his company does any.Instead, what Brown Paper Tickets does - and has since its inception in 2000 - is do things that aim to make a difference. "As we were growing the company, we decided that instead of putting money into marketing, and normal stuff like that, we were going to put it in the service level," Butcher says.
  • Keeping Up With The Millennials
    Susan Murphy figures she's been doing content marketing since she was graduated from Marquette University with a degree in journalism 30 years ago and landed a job as an assistant account executive at Edelman Public Relations. Still, sitting in meetings lately with younger, tech-savvy associates, she has been wondering if everything has been moving faster than her ability to keep up through hands-on osmosis.
  • It's Worth A Laugh, Bro
    Want to engage potential customers with content marketing? Humor helps, along with having a product that evokes passion - one way or the other - in the target consumer. Or, barring that, you need the talent to create a roiling controversy out of any material that happens to be at hand.
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