Friday, July 29, 2011

Creative Excellence Fridays - Top virals for July 29, 2011

What does it take to become a top viral and 10 million hits?
Apparently, a group of africans, one chimpanzee, and an AK47.

This next viral is brilliant. It was designed to create impressions for Neuro Sports drink. 3 million impressions later, mission accomplished.

And finally.. a more traditional, straight up, special effects rich 30 second spot for the fashion conscious dude

What's it going to take to create a top viralled video? The rules are changing all the time. Planned spontaneity (see Neuro) seems to be more the trend. Eventually people will start to feel the sell and this formula will grow cold.

For now, it's a growing trend. Jackass meets the wedding proposal.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old Spicey experience

We attempted to watch the online "event" on Wed at noon on Old Spice's Youtube channel. There was nothing. We waited. Crickets. Still more nothing.

Then, the comments started from other frustrated visitors. The funniest one being the one I saw yesterday morning.

"Look at your comment. Back to mine. Back to yours NOW BACK TO MINE. Sadly, it isn't mind. But if you stopped trolling and started posting legitmiate crap it could LOOK like mine. Look down, back up, where are you? You're scrolling through comments, finding the ones that your comment could look like. Back at mine, what is it? It's a highly effective counter-troll. Look again, MY COMMENT NOW HAS MANY THUMBS UP. Anything is possible when you copy and paste."

We were disappointed at the "lack of experience" for this Web Event. However, numbers are showing the hype has paid off and the videos are posting as a top viral for the week.

Verdict? The prehype paid off. The real time event? A big disappointment.

Will I buy Old Spice? This was the after shave I bought for my grandfather when i was 10. It will take more than Fabio to confuse me this is "Giorgio".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to get 216 percent more interaction on your Facebook page

Adding friends/fans to your Facebook page is a lot like life; we'd like more, but we battle over quality verses quantity.

Below is an excellent article by Jeff Bullas posted on He makes some very valid points.
Here's the article - or click on the hotlink above to see it on the site of origin.

Brain surgery takes many years to perfect. Most of the people that require it are thankful that the surgeon has to pursue a rigorous course of learning.

Just imagine the problems that would occur if you were able to obtain the right to operate by filling in a survey on the back of a cereal packet. It would not create a more intelligent nation but I am sure the lawyers would be happy.

Obtaining more interaction is not brain surgery

A survey by Momentus Media discovered a fact that is not brain surgery and increases your interaction rate by 216 percent on your Facebook page.

The company analyzed 49,266 Facebook page posts to compare interaction rates for posts containing:

  • “Like” calls to action
  • “Comment” calls to action
  • No calls to action

The results revealed something that’s essential but often not done by many marketing professionals. It was that a “call to action” will increase your chances of interaction over not asking at all.

The survey also observed that only 1.3 percent of status updates analyzed even had a call to action.

Why the correct call to action is important

The results for no call to action as being the most likely to elicit very little interaction was not surprising but what was surprising was that asking for a “like” increased your chances by 216 percent over asking people to “comment.”

Here are the results for average interaction rates for the three types of updates:

  • “Like” calls to action received 0.38 percent interaction
  • “Comment” calls to action received 0.14 percent interaction
  • No calls to action received 0.11 percent interaction

So just by using a “better” word in the call to action more doubles interaction rates.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s good to know what works and what doesn’t. I am going to ask people more often to “like” me, are you?

Jeff Bullas is a digital media coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. He blogs at, where a version of this article originally ran.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Old Spice creates online event

The Old Spice commercials from last year were some of the most viralled on the internet. Now the marketing think tank from Old Spice are attempting to keep the hype going. They have recruited 80's pop culture icon Fabio to "try out" for the role of the new Old Spice guy. But the current one is not going without a fight.

Old Spice has used traditional online and offline media to drive the hype towards heavy hits on their website to watch the duel play out. It's a very creative way to generate large traffic, impressions and positive brand experience.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Whole Earth Heirs- Paul Ford from the NYTimes on Social Media

"The shortcomings of social media would not bother me awfully if I did not suspect that Facebook friendship and Twitter chatter are displacing real rapport and real conversation, just as Gutenberg's device displaced remembering."

This was a statement by outgoing NY Times executive editor Bill Keller. This quote was included in a recent Times article by Paul Ford.

If you're struggling with the whole social media transition, give this article a read.

Here is a small passage

"And how do the Whole Earth heirs of Silicon Valley stand today compared to their financially bereft Epiphonatorian counterparts? Apple couldn't get much bigger without selling oil, while the media industry has been reduced to dime-size buttons that show up on iPhone screens. Google regularly announces initiatives to "save" the newspaper and book industries — like a modern-day hunter who proclaims himself a conservationist. And Facebook, having already swallowed up enormous chunks of discretionary media consumption time, has its old-school media counterparts chasing after "Likes" as if they were cocaine being dispensed in a lab rat's cage."
Paul Ford from the Times

Another article that spins off this and the California Ideology is here The Technium

Both are good reads.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creative Excellence Fridays - commercials with a potty mouth

It's become a trend lately to create commercials with perceived cursing. The cursing is muted by noises or interruptions. It can be a very effective technique if done cleverly. Societal standards have become much more accepting of "blue-ish" commercials.

Norton 360 released a series of commercials recently that are outstanding.
And yes, how many times have you wondered, "are you a fackwagger?".

Budweiser has done a lot of brilliant commercials over the years, but this one makes me smile no matter how many times I watch it.

I'm normally not a big fan of 15 second television commercials unless they are re-affirming messaging established in a 30. But hats off to the editing team that put this one together.

Finally, the Orbit Institute with a british feel to inspire the release of their stylish new packaging. What..the.. Frank?

These spots definitely put the spotlight on the editors this week. We hope you enjoyed them.
As always, keep those comments and suggestions coming and thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kardashian clone gets Old Navy in hot water

We've heard a lot (perhaps too much) about the Kardashians and their various exploits on and off the television.
Now it turns out Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy for as much as $20 million because the star of its latest ad campaign supposedly bears too much of a likeness to her.

See for yourself. It sets a nasty legal precedent. If Kardashian wore unique fashion items that would directly be attributed to her own personal sense of style, she might have a case. But I'm not sure one person can take legal credit for the visual similarities of an entire population.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Facebook vs Google round 2

We have been following the new social kid on the block daily to see what they're pulling out of their magic bag of tricks to combat Facebook.

Just to bring you up to speed, in the early stages Google released a series beta testing sites to select beta testers , to test out the newest platform in Google’s social media arsenal. So far, all the reviews have been very favourable and this is obviously a well thought out execution.

Facebook, not to take this threat lying down has countered with two new features, video chat and group chat through a recent relationship with Skype. We thought the recent Microsoft acquisition of Skype might dampen that alliance, but it appears Microsoft has found more than one way to make money.

Facebook tech is burning the midnight oil to find ways to meet the challenge. We'll keep an eye on it for you. For more on this, check out this link. The Economic Times

Monday, July 18, 2011

Big brother is not only watching, but listening while you watch TV

You had to know it was coming. A smartphone app is out that listens to the shows you watch, and suggests products, services, sites you may want to patronize as a result of your interest in a particular show.

The app serves up links, coupons or music downloads corresponding to what it hears on the tv through smartphone microphones.

In recent months, logos for music-identifying service Shazam have popped up in Procter & Gamble, Honda or American Express commercials. Progressive Insurance, Starbucks and Paramount have also linked to mobile content through Shazam tags in their commercials or web videos. The ads prompt viewers to launch Shazam with the company's logo or a call-out, and if they do, the app brings up links their websites, discounts or other goodies.

You can't blame advertisers. With PVR's and people skimming past their commercials, they need to find another way to create awareness and link people with appropriate products and services.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creative Excellence Fridays - International smiles

It's summer, and the livin' is easy. And so is the Creative Excellence Friday blog this week. I found a series of international commercials, all back to back; so all you have to do is pour yourself a cold beverage, press play, and enjoy.

Now wasn't that easy? The Japanese Panda commercial is bizarre.
It goes to show you, a particular type of humour in Japan, or Britain may not read as easily in Arkansas. Thankfully those peculiarities keep all of us ad practitioners working. You can't template a universality of humour. At least not yet, and hopefully our geographic uniqueness will be appreciated for generations to come.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Googles +1

Google has launched their +1 campaign to help people optimize their results. It is also the root of their launch to become a new social media player.

Because Google is still the king of the search hill, we don't really have a choice. When they dangle the chance at besting your competitors in the rankings, you jump at it.

Some interesting thoughts from a google blogger here on whether this will actually become a success. GoogleBlog

Here's their explanation video.

The power of Hashtags

A great article from SearchEnglineLand

Hashtags are the world’s chat room. Where else can you hop on the phone or computer and have an instant, passionate conversation about something that shares a hashtag? When it comes to primetime television, current events, or sports events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, hashtags allow anyone with a Twitter account to take part in a universal conversation about a group topic.

Photo Courtesy of

Besides TV shows, news, or sports stories, harnessing the power of hashtags can lead to serious exposure and gains for a business or individual.

For example, Sarah Evans of PR Sarah Evans hosts #journchat, a weekly twitter chat using that hashtag for journalists, PR professionals, and bloggers to discuss topics and questions related to the industry.

This weekly “tweet-up” has helped Sarah Evans become a recognized and respected social media and public relations consultant, named as one of Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter.

Utilizing Evans’ ability to provide a place for journalists, PRs, and bloggers to talk about topics they are passionate about can help businesses create a community for enlightening conversation in the company’s industry.

Larger companies can host tweet-ups with a custom hashtags to answer customer questions. Hashtags not only allow for an easy way for others and those involved to keep track of the conversation, but they also allow more exposure for the hashtag itself—by being included in a user’s tweet, his or her followers will see the hashtag and this may cause them to start participating in the conversation.

Graphic Courtesy of

If the hashtag includes the company’s name, this provides name exposure and recognition.

Additionally, if a user RTs a company’s tweet that includes the hashtag as well, the company is not only getting an @ mention, but their hashtag remains visible.

Clearly, making weekly hashtag tweet-ups part of a company’s overall Twitter strategy can help build community and increase social media brand exposure.

Another way to utilize hashtags is in social media campaigns is when running a promotion or contest. Give Twitter users an entry for every tweet they send that includes the hashtag.

Running a non-profit campaign is also a successful way to raise money for causes the company believes in while also gaining @ mentions:

Whether it is hosting a tweet-up, answering customer questions, running a giveaway, or raising money for a good cause, utilizing hashtags can help businesses keep track of conversations, raise brand awareness, and garner ideas from other Twitter members for new products or ideas.

Photos Courtesy of:, Recruiting Reach and @Wonderwall7 (me on Twitter!)

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Featured | Let's Get Social

About The Author: Kelsey Jones is a social media and search engine marketing manager for VinSolutions in Overland Park, KS, where she helps automotive dealership clients with SMM strategy, SEO and PPC campaign maintenance. She also runs a social media and internet marketing blog, The Social Robot. Follow her on Twitter @wonderwall7. See more articles by Kelsey Jones

Monday, July 11, 2011

Facebook announces video calling

The battle between the two internet behemoth's continues. Facebook announced video calling as a result of their strategic relationship with Skype. Meanwhile Google's Social media product is one step ahead with multi video chatting, the ability to chat with groups as opposed to one on one.

Get more details here Google-Facebook video chat

Friday, July 8, 2011

Creative Excellence Fridays - What makes a top trending viral

When we talk about viral video, some seem to think it's this whole new parallel universe of thought. In reality, video's on the net are no different than the 60 year old television commercial. The objective is the same. Touch someone. Make them want. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them feel...something.

The one obvious advantage the net has over television? The canvas doesn't have clearly defined edges. You can produce to any length you like, so long as you don't stretch it beyond the attention span of the average viewer. Bare in mind the attention span of a 16 year old gamer verses a 72 year old retiree is quite different.

Advantage #2 for the viral video?
Segmenting. You can be a little raunchier, within the limitations of Youtubes guidelines.

And edgy is kind of the point isn't it? You want to put something out there that doesn't denigrate the brand, but generates the buzz and the all important " cool is that", or "I can't believe they just did that." Because it's followed immediately by "I gotta send this around."

The BMW video above was likely inspired by the ground breaking scene from 1968's "Bullit" with Steve McQueen. Proof that everything new, has its' roots somewhere in the past.

Since marketers have no problem using puppies, seniors and babies to move product, let's have one more from the diaper set.

And finally, a longish video (see attention span above) but it's extremely well done. Imagine if the person you are today, could talk to the 16 year old you. What would you say?

As always, thanks for sharing your comments and links. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Final Cut X getting panned by pros

Apple is generally a very progressive company and is both innovative and trendsetting. However, the new version of Final Cut is abysmal, at least for serious video professionals. It appears they have decided to completely abandon that market and focus on the semi-pro at home.

Here is yet another review trumpeting the anguish of thousands of frustrated Final Cut users.

Final Cut X Review

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Which social sites do people use most for sharing?

Thank you to Amit Agarwal and Digital Inspiration

Which Social Sites Do People Use Most for Sharing Content on the Internet

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Social Bookmarking - 2007

Social Sharing

This graph show how people were sharing web pages in the year 2007. Google Bookmarks and delicious were the two most favorite destinations for bookmarking online content while a large number of Internet users also preferred saving pages into their local bookmarks or favorites.

Social Bookmarking - 2008

social bookmarking sites

Habits changed in 2008 as social networks replaced social bookmarking sites.

Facebook, Digg, MySpace became the most preferred destinations for sharing content while delicious, Google Bookmarks and other "online bookmarking" services took a backseat.

Social Bookmarking - 2009

Most Popular Sharing Sites

Enter 2009. Facebook is now the most popular site for sharing content followed by a distant Twitter. Surprisingly, more people now prefer to bookmark content on Yahoo! Bookmarks and Windows Live Favorites than Google or Delicious which dominated the scene in 2007.

And here the next 10 places where Internet users are posting content with the purpose of bookmarking or for sharing with their social contacts.


The sharing statistics for 2009 are courtesy Pat from AddToAny while the numbers for 2008 and 2007 were provided by ShareThis and AddThis respectively. All these companies provide some very awesome social sharing widgets for both blogs and regular sites.

While the report suggests that more people are using Facebook than email to share content on the Internet, I guess that may not be the case because not everyone feels comfortable sharing their email address with a widget so they probably use their own email client to share links of web pages with friends.

share bookmark report

Monday, July 4, 2011

Slow load times cause high bounce rates

Seems pretty obvious, but many do not keep tabs on the bandwidth and load times of their various social media properties.

At Ontrack we host using our own dedicated server, as too most professional shops. A shared server can often serve up blogs and pages effortlessly. But you want to periodically go on to those servers to test, and ensure the hosts have not "changed the specs" but adding too many clients through the same pipe.

Here are some good rules of thumb to keep in mind courtesty of SmugGecko.

Fixing Load Speed on Blogs
Clean up your plugins:

Im sure you have done this before. Test plugins and forgotten to delete/deactivate them. Sad truth is, most plugins and javascript and css files to you pages. It takes time to load these pages and your site can only call so many at once. The more plugins you have the slower your load times. Dont just deactivate, delete anything you dont use.

Check your buttons:

Blog list buttons can be a great way to get some traffic to your site. They do however normally load an image from a third party server. If that server is down or experiencing high load times, then your image button will take a while to load and possibly slow down you site. Sometimes you can be a little cheaky and edit the code from these buttons. Your normal button code looks like this:

Top Blogs - <a title=Blog Directory">

We can break this down to something alot more server friendly and still keep its functionality:


This code will still work in ranking you on the blog toplist site and it loads alot faster.

Check those widgets:

Sadky widgets can be abother cause of slow load times. For the same reason as buttons; images. Some widgets do use images from third party servers. You can either strip out the code in the widget for the image, which unless you know how to code php + javascript can be tricky. Or you can try and identify the offending widget and remove it. Easiest way to identify the widgets causing issues would be to remove all widgets and see if that helps load time. If yes, then you have a problem widget. You can re-add them one by one to eliminate other widgets. This can be slow going though.

Get Some New Plugins:

Sounds little contradictory I know. However, if your site is very heavily dependent on images then these will really slow things down for you and some parallel HTTP loadng could really help you. In simple terms you can make twice as many HTTP connections and double loading images. It is little more complicated than that:

Parallel Loading System – basically caches images on sub domains allowing multiple connections to call the image faster.

This next plugin is amazing for absolutely any blog and even more so for blogs with huge databases. It caches pretty much your whole site. Making for a massive increase in load times. I really can not praise this plugin enough. I have used in pretty much every site I have. I do have to admit that it can be a little rough to get your head round if you are not very savvy with code and playing with .htaccess and php.ini files. Worth the time though.