Microsoft Hits the Right Buttons, But Will We?

Column Five, an agency out of Newport Beach that focuses on visual content strategy and social PR, put together an amazing ad for Microsoft’s much-maligned Internet Explorer – a brand that undoubtedly needs a facelift.

Tugging at the heartstrings of 90s kids like me, ‘Child of the 90s’ is dripping with nostalgia for everything from Lisa Frank and Tamagotchis to half-bowl haircuts and, well, Internet Explorer.

The copy is strong: you grew up, so did we; and its impact is palpable: picked up by Huff Post and a number of outlets, the ad is well on its way to being viral.

But the question still remains:

Will children of the 90s decide it’s time to give IE another shot?

Or will they sit at their Macbooks – as I am – enjoying what is undeniably a great ad on Firefox or Chrome?

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Advertising Week: Big Data: Knowledge vs. Beauty?

Many people think it’s one or the other:

Knowledge vs. Beauty, Science vs. Aesthetics, Analytics vs. Creativity.

But such struggles don’t exist – unless we let them.

Click through to read the rest of my post at Advertising Week.


Advertising Week: Spacing Out: The New York Times Gets Baseball Right

“Readers of The New York Times Sports section were greeted last Thursday with a – basically – blank page. This was in response to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voting zero, zilch, nada players into the hallowed Hall of Fame.”

Nothing like a little bit of controversy to start off the week. Read my thoughts on the New York Times’ take on the latest MLB Hall of Fame decision at Advertising Week HERE!


Clever Creative: Wsh Ewe Wre Ere

As I’m planning my spring break trip to Florida literally as we speak (using Orbitz — oops), this is all too appropriate.

Paired with Expedia, Ogilvy & Mather, London put together an altogether brilliant print campaign consisting of various combinations of three-letter airport codes.

Campaign creators Jon Morgan and Mike Watson told Creative Review:

It all started when we saw a woman walking through Heathrow with the word FUK hanging from her suitcase. Turned out she’d just flown in from Fukuoka in Japan. That got us thinking, ‘maybe there are more’. We trawled through each and every [there are over 9,000 airports with unique codes] one looking for useable words, half-words and ‘almost words’. It’s amazing what the brain pieces together and makes sense of.

This is one of the most cleverly creative campaigns I’ve seen as of late, spot on for the client.
Have a look below:


Bring on the Tweet Seats

No, that’s cheap seats. I’m talking about tweet seats. Wait, what?

The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has begun offering special seats reserved for the social media addict. Likened to smoking lounges of old, the Theater’s External Relations Director Trish Santini told The Verge that the intent was not to cordon off these smartphone users, but rather, encourage deeper interaction with the show.

Other venues, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, New York’s Public Theater, and several Boston venues have launched – or at least toyed with – similar programs.

The idea is to embrace the mobile habits of today’s consumer, rather than discourage them: a move that’s strikingly modern for what some would deem ‘old time’ entertainment (e.g., Opera, the Symphony).

So what does this mean for the rest of entertainment venues?

In my sport marketing class, we talked about a similar situation on many occasions.

Wouldn’t it make sense, wouldn’t it add value if professional teams instituted a section where fantasy players didn’t have to be shy about rooting for a given player because they were on his roster and he was down 3.75 points?

A section like this in sport-specific venues would make even more sense than it does in the theater. Maybe the ticketed fans in that section would have access to wi-fi (or better wi-fi in the cases where stadiums have already implemented). Maybe their interactions with the team on social media would be spotlighted on the jumbotron at given points in the game.

And movie theaters? Another great opportunity, as my new favorite website Good.is points out:

Same premise, broader appeal. I wonder if you could even do a specific smartphone screening from time to time, where everybody in the whole theater knows what they’re getting themselves into. Maybe even project a Twitter feed on the wall next to the movie.

The idea of a social-only screening is so great. Basically a focus group for movie marketers, but on users’ terms.

Many purists might think all of this too much. But look at social tv and the success of platforms like Viggle.

It’s a bit like the outcry when the MLB tried to put ads for Spiderman on the hallowed ground that is the bases. While I’m with you on that one, this just makes sense.

We’ve got to change with the times. Digital and social are the new normal: so why not embrace it in a way that adds value, creates conversation, and encourages engagement?

It just makes sense. I say, bring on the Tweet Seats.


Advertising Week: Stress & Music

What are your plans for after graduation? That grad school application is due in January, better get crackin’! Group projects? Sure, four of those in a week shouldn’t be a big deal. Have you started writing your thesis? Oh, you’re still researching? That’s unfortunate. Any interviews lined up? 

The list goes on.

Luckily for you, I developed a foolproof way to beat December’s doldrums and I’ve decided to share my secret.

Because January brings with it a whole new set of challenges.

The Solo Dance Party 

Click through to read the rest of my post on stress and music: the solo dance party!