It almost feels as if search engines will soon serve up coffee or tea along with Me in search results. By Me, I refer to personalization, the social features Google, Bing and Yahoo strive to tie in with search. Those who follow my MediaPost Search Marketing Daily column read about it frequently. The trio steadily continued work on the integration throughout the year, but in early October the pace quickened.
Who wears Converse? Who doesn't? Take a look around, and you'll see everyone from 10-year-old Girl Scouts to 18-year-old punks to 50-year-old advertising agency CCOs rockin' Converse's legendary Chucks. Acknowledging the brand's wide appeal, Converse chief marketing officer Geoff Cottrill says the common denominator among Converse devotees is that they are individualists.
Groupon is the stuff startup dreams are made of. The company's group-buying site offering daily deals has proven wildly popular with consumers and won the admiration of retail experts for the elegant simplicity of its business model. Forbes called two-year-old Groupon the "fastest growing company ever," and its success has spawned a series of me-too competitors. Along with the accolades and imitators have come investment dollars - $173 million to date, with the most recent round giving the company a rumored valuation of more than $1 billion and a series G round ready to push that figure higher.
This summer, Kim Jong Il and the government of North Korea launched a Twitter feed, officially marking the dawn of a media era characterized by satire and surrealism. The North Korean account, uriminzok, ("Our Nation,") has more than 10,000 followers. You can also watch North Korean propaganda films on its YouTube channel, and follow its official page on Facebook.
Growing up with the name Rich Will Wanket, this fairly green Minneapolis real estate agent has heard all kinds of jokes related to, well, self-pleasure. Keeping the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," (almost literally) in mind, Wanket did just that. Not in a Pee Wee Herman fashion, but as a befitting newspaper display ad in The Onion. It took two months to manifest, though, and the print ad went viral when someone scanned and posted it to a blog.
Aaron Shapiro wants to take over the world -- a tall order, sure, but slightly more realistic now that he's been named CEO of Interpublic-backed Huge (he was previously responsible for strategic leadership). Bolstered by top-notch work for Pepsi, Target and JetBlue, the Brooklyn-based digital agency has exploded from 10 to 300 employees since 2005 earning its name.
The new member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) looked sheepish. "Um, I know you ladies don't approve, but I'm thinking of buying a Nook," she said. Some looked puzzled, and a quick tutorial on ebooks ensued. Then Nili Olay, JASNA's New York Metro Region cochair, showed she had her heart in both the 19th and 21st centuries. "Why shouldn't we approve?" she asked. "We want everybody to read as much as they can, any way they can."
Updating a logo is like plastic surgery. Sometimes it makes something old look young again. Other times, not so much. Gap learned this the hard way in October. Ivy Ross, creative director of marketing, said Gap was moving to "a clean look that represents modern America and is aimed at people who enjoy style and technology." As part of that effort, the company quietly changed the familiar blue-box logo on its web site to plain black type on white with a small blue box in the corner. It mimicked the layout changes already used in the brand's advertising.