The other day I sat in on a webinar about using social media data in marketing. The webinar was fascinating – and the accompanying Twitter discussion was even better. Towards the end of the conversation, one of the presenters made the point that marketers need to give customers something in exchange for access to their data. He named a few possible benefits to consumers, but they were all just dressed up forms of personalized advertising. On Twitter, I commented that, “The problem is that the things you get in exchange for giving personal data are custom ads – valuable to the company, not you.” Then I sat back and watched the retweets roll in. Continue reading
I’m home sick. Not the kind of sick that means I get to stay home and watch Law & Order all day. (Alas.) But, the kind of sick that means that I can convince myself that it’s okay to skip going to the gym and that chai somehow counts as dinner… And avoiding making dinner and going to the gym means that I have time for you, my long neglected blog.
My whining is over… on the to world of branding…
Today Jezebel posted this video of a little girl reacting to famous logos.
TL;DR? Dude, it was two and a half minutes long. And guess what, Cher, Cliff’s Notes didn’t write sonnets.
Anyway, the little girl has some great (and classic) little kid reactions. Who didn’t think the McDonalds M was made out of french fries when they were little? And, she’s clearly a little yuppie in the making – recognizing two coffee brands and getting absolutely excited over the Apple logo. Yes, little girl, those are the brands that get me excited, too.
Being five, and presumably at that stage when proving that you know all the letters is very important, it’s interesting that the one letter that she’s didn’t pick out is the D for Disney. She got that it was Disney alright, but not that the logo was a letter. (A future member of the When I found out the Disney “D” WAS a “D”, it blew my mind Facebook Group.)
We did a similar exercise in my Brand Management class the other day, in which the professor flashed logos across the screen and we all had to write down the name of the brand and the first thing it made us think of. It’s a telling experiment – in some ways it reveals brand equity, but in others it’s just a Rorschach test. Does the hate you feel when you see the Wal-Mart logo say more about you or Wal-Mart?
Also, here’s a fact of the day for you: did you know that the term brand comes from cattle branding?
Questions of the day: So, how well did you do? Did you know all the brands? Also, did you know it was a D is Disney?
I once read that you should write for your readers first, search engines second, and your ego third. I try to consider all of these things when writing this blog, but find that they’re often in competition. (I try to include keywords like culture, social media, and bog whenever they fit, but sometimes it’s hard to do it without getting in the way of the narrative style.) Yesterday, I found this on The Awl. Apparently I’m not alone in my battle to balance all three.
Google doesn’t laugh
It doesn’t even titter
It can’t guffaw like Facebook
It won’t split its sides like Twitter
Google doesn’t crack a smile
It won’t respond to mirth
There’s not a single laughing part
Not even Google Earth
Your title might be funny
Forcing chuckles from the chest
But Google sits there stone-faced
Don’t try to brighten someone’s day
Don’t aim for “smart and winning”
Your goal is catching Google’s eye
And Google isn’t grinning
Today in blogs, The Mary Sue has a very interesting post on Gender Marketing in Toys. The article is based on word clouds of the terms most used in commercials for toys marketing to boys and girls, respectively. The word clouds were designed by Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys about Masculinity.
The biggest words in the boy cloud are “battle” and “power”. “Heroes”, “stealth”, “ultimate”, “rides”, and “beat” also make prominent appearances. So, I guess boys are supposed to be heroes by using their ultimate stealthy rides to beat… the bad guys?
The biggest words in the girl cloud are “love”, “fun”, and “magic”. It should probably be noted that “love” is three or four times bigger than any other word. ‘”Girl”, “friendship”, “change”, “babies”, “hair”, “mommy” and “style” are also pretty big. So, girls are supposed to have friendships with girls and change their hairstyle to get ready to be mommies to babies?
I guess it should be noted that the boy cloud includes “friends”, but it’s one of the smallest words featured, the same size as “dump” and “nemesis”… Small words in the girl cloud include “whirling”, “twirling”, and “paisley”.
Interestingly, many of the boy words are verbs or adverbs, and many of the girl words are nouns or adjectives. Boy toys are marketing towards doing and girl toys are marketing towards being.
Obviously, the discussion of gender and children’s marketing gets into some chicken and egg type questions. As The Mary Sue put it “Do kids respond to ads because they’re predisposed that way from birth? Or do they respond to the ads because they are taught to, by ads that have people of their gender responding in the same way?” I’m leaning more towards the latter than the former.