Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

What’s my favorite ad of the year? The one that was able to make it.

December 4, 2014

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Well, another year has passed and it’s time to evaluate which ads have been great and in some cases, not-so-great.

In the spirit of being optimistic, I’d like to focus on my absolute favorite advertisement of the year. Ironically, the ad that did it for me was a Super Bowl ad that actually didn’t even play during the Super Bowl. I know, you’re probably thinking-how can an ad get Super Bowl street cred without actually airing during the big game? Yes, some ads are just that good.

Well if you were fortunate enough to see Newcastle Brown Ale’s advertising campaign “If We Made It” starring Anna Kendrick, then you probably understand the value of this ad. And I’m not the only who gets it- the spot happens to be Adweek’s pick for the No. 1 ad campaign of 2014.

For those who haven’t seen it – Newcastle had big plans to buy one of the most coveted advertising positions out there, a 30 second spot during the biggest sporting event of the year. After crunching the numbers however, they suddenly realized that they were missing one minor detail: money. Not exactly a technicality, right? Well Newcastle’s rebound plan was nimble and smart. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a touchdown-right?

Realizing they were short on funds, Newcastle decided to go the self-deprecating route and be open and forthcoming in their ads. “If We Made it” was Newcastle’s way of acknowledging their potential for an amazing commercial- hence the “if we made it” title.

“The whole concept and the meta wormhole that it went down was just too beautiful not to do,” says Quinn Kilbury, who (as Newcastle’s brand director at the time, oversaw the effort). He tells Adweek, “It just felt very clear—‘How could people not talk about this?’ As long as the creative was somewhat reasonable—because the idea is so different and unique and completely contrary to everything else that happens in the Super Bowl.”

Newcastle launched this campaign a few weeks prior to the Super Bowl airing, and it almost went viral immediately.

The campaign generated over 1 billion media impressions! That’s right, 1 billion- and according to Kilbury, the statistic puts him in the same playing field as the advertisers who ponied up millions of dollars for a spot during the actual game. “That’s what the big Super Bowl advertisers do,” says Kilbury. “If you hit a billion you’re happy—like at Pepsi, it means you did your job.”

In my opinion, this humbling and in-your-face approach was genius and provided the results Newcastle was looking for. Because Newcastle didn’t try to compete with competitors like Budweiser on advertising spend, they had to rely on the intellect and creativity to intrigue their audience in a completely different way. The bubbly celebrity appearance by Anna Kendrick didn’t seem to hurt either. Anna currently has a Twitter following of over 3 million and several blockbuster movies- she’s the perfect spokesperson for a beer brand. Check out this edgy girl-next-door breaking barriers by endorsing products, and doing it well.

If you haven’t seen Kendrick’s new Kate Spade ad, you’re missing out! Watch it here:

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If a blog is written in the blogosphere and no one is around to read it- does it still make a sound?

October 15, 2014
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Photo: Sebastien Wiertz

When I started my own book review blog in 2010, I thought it would be easy to attract readers.  But I quickly learned how wrong my assumption was.  Because the blogosphere is a crowded space, writing great content does not guarantee readers will follow.  After learning this lesson, I had to find ways to push out my content so readers would find it, and then become loyal followers.

Readers of this blog might be wondering, with the plethora of blogs out there how do  writers ensure their content stands out from the crowd?   Without readership- many blog messages can get lost in the shuffle and writers lose the opportunity to showcase their work and get their thoughts/opinions/expertise out to target audiences.

Bottom line- a writer can have a great blog with top-quality content, but without readers the blog’s existence is pointless.  This is why blog promotion is so important. At EZG, we’re constantly coaching our clients to promote their blogs since there is good, quality material in them.

For our readers, we’ve provided three easy tips for gaining blog readership:

  1. Make the blog easy to find

This tip may sound like common sense, but it’s surprising how many websites have a hidden blog tab or link. If site visitors are required to search the site to find the blog content, they will usually not continue the search.  By placing the blog front and center on the homepage, the content maintains visibility by being just a simple click away.

  1. Utilize social networks

A blog lives (and gains popularity) on the internet- and what better way to ensure your blog gets the eyeballs you crave? By spreading it on social networks.  When bloggers tap into their social networks, they’re ensuring hundreds (to thousands) of readers are exposed to the link.

We advise bloggers to share the links to their blogs multiple times a day to reach those who may be surfing the social sites at different times.

Bonus tip* Hashtags and @mentions are great tools for potential readers to find and share blog posts and increase the likeliness the blog link is found by readers. Twitter and Facebook are great places to find communities of other bloggers who are ready and willing to share good content!

  1. Reach out to other bloggers

Does your client (or you) follow a popular blog that covers similar subject areas?  We advise our bloggers to reach out and say hello to the other writer! For bloggers, it’s important to expand the reach of the blog by inquiring to other writers if there is an opportunity for cross promotion or guest blogging.  Bloggers, much like journalists, need content and will often welcome guest posts with open arms.  The blogger will also help promote your guest post through their various networks which expands the reach and credibility of the blog.

As a blogger myself, I have found these tips to be extremely helpful in attracting readers. The blogosphere is crowded, but with a little bit of work you can drive traffic to your blog and attract readers who trust your insights and opinions.

Wagging wisdom’s long tail

April 21, 2011

One of my favorite websites is Wikipedia.  I often turn to it when faced with an unfamiliar concept and I’m frequently astounded by the breadth and depth of topics that are covered there.  The other day the featured article – one of Wikipedia’s best, and thus deserving of being highlighted on the homepage – was about a series of pre-World War II battlecruisers the Dutch Navy planned, but never built.

A "plan and profile" of Nevesbu's Project 1047

This blows me away.  A great deal of work and rigorous review process is required before an article reaches featured status.  It must have “prose [that] is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard,” be comprehensive, and thoroughly reference all the appropriate existing literature on the topic.  That’s a pretty tall order, and it makes it all the more impressive when you consider that 1) this was on the English language Wikipedia, not the Dutch language edition, and 2) that these ships were never actually built.

Volunteer editors from all around the globe, for whatever reason, gave their time, energy, and expertise to ensure that the world would forever have a point of reference for a set of partial blueprints residing somewhere in the archives of the Royal Netherlands Navy.  For some this might be the height of esotericism, but I look at it as a prime example of why Wikipedia is the largest and most popular general reference work on the internet.

Wikipedia may be the best known Web 2.0 platform, but it is far from the only.  This very blog, and all blogs, are an integral part of the communications landscape of the 21st century.  A few weeks ago Evan wrote an excellent post about how financial services companies should navigate this brave new world of social media, and later expanded upon it as an article in Financial Advisor magazine.

Across a continent, in Edmonton, Alberta, a social media consultant ran across the article and decided to write about it on his own blog.  Not only did he call a broader audience’s attention to the original work, he then built off of Evan’s framework to provide his own thoughts.  It’s not inconceivable that someone else in Guilder or Florin might pick it up from there, and the discussion will continue.

This, I believe, is one of the best aspects of the tremendous communications tools at our disposal today.  People have been commenting on others’ work since written communication was invented, but unless you had access to the library at Alexandria there was little chance you would ever encounter the written wisdom of someone in the village over, much less someone around the world.

Through tools like blogs and Wikipedia, the entire media world has been turned on its head.  Anyone with an internet connection can now be a publisher, and not just a consumer, of news and information.  Whether your specialty is social media, European navies in the interwar period, or some other arcane topic, there are myriad of platforms to share your knowledge and establish yourself as an expert, or at least a knowledgeable hobbyist.


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