Social Media Venn Diagram

23 11 2009

George Bernard Shaw famously said, “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.”

Today, would he have Tweeted it, put in on Facebook or MySpace or shared it through Google Reader? Or would he try to monetize this news like Rupert Murdoch?

Image via the Huffington Post who (I think) borrowed it from (I think) its original source at Despair.

Social Media Venn Diagram

How To Create A Facebook App That Won’t Fall On Its Face

11 08 2009

I like Ben and Jerry’s new Facebook app, a lot. It’s smart and fun.

And, it offers some good lessons about how to get a Facebook app right.

1) Don’t Think Too Much

A smart Facebook app does something different, fun and social.  But, it also has to be really easy for the user to understand and use.

Ben and Jerry’s FlipMyText app lets you create upside down messages, effortlessly.  Different, fun, social, easy.

Ben and Jerry's new app turns social media on its head

2) Be True To The Brand

The app is silly and weird for the sake of being weird. cherrygarcia

This app is pitch-perfect for a brand with a rich history of celebrating weirdness with flavors like Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace, and Karamel Sutra.

Ben and Jerry’s has always had a distinctive voice. It’s great to see them have an app that speaks their language.

3) Promote Something Actionable

Flip My Text isn’t a Facebook app for the sake of having a Facebook app. It promotes Ben and Jerry’s Flipped Out Sundaes, which are designed to be tipped upside down before you can eat them.

Weird but true: the app is easier to use than the Sundaes.  There’s at least one website with a tutorial about how to eat one.


4) Leverage Something That Already Works

Flip My Text isn’t new. I think it was really smart for Ben and Jerry’s to find something that already works and leverage it in a new and different way. It’s a good deal for everybody, including Flip My Text.

5) Be Worth Talking About

Getting an upside-down message immediately provokes two questions:
  • How did you do that?
  • Can I do it too?

If you’re thinking about creating a Facebook app, think about taking a scoop from Ben and Jerry’s:

  1. Don’t Think Too Much
  2. Be True To The Brand
  3. Promote Something Actionable
  4. Leverage Something That Already Works
  5. Be Worth Talking About

Colgate Wisp: CPG Viral Video Done Right

28 07 2009

Something idiotic is happening at Colgate headquarters.

They’re approving videos for YouTube that are every bit as moronic and weird as “Keyboard Cat“, yet do a brilliant job of highlighting the features of their new product, Colgate Wisp. This is the best viral video I’ve seen since the Verizon Viral Video.

THIS is how to do viral. It sells hard because it’s not needy.  Colgate is not begging you to love the Wisp. They’re not promising the sun, the moon and the stars. They’re not pretending to be high technology or rocket science. Colgate isn’t even pretending to do serious advertising.

They’re just saying “here it is, and here’s what it does” in an idiotic way. Which happens to be very, very smart.

I’ve Become An Advisor To President Obama. Well, Sort Of.

5 03 2009

The most important brand I work on in both traditional and digital is Just For Men haircolor.

The very first commercial I shot for the brand had Walt “Clyde” Frazier delivering the line “No play for Mr. Gray”.  Eight years later, the commercial with Clyde and Keith Hernandez is still running.

In today’s New York Times, Clyde used the line I wrote to advise President Obama to get rid of his gray hair.


So I guess I’m now an unofficial advisor to the President.  Sort of, anyway. In any case, it’s great PR for a great brand and I couldn’t resist sharing.

P.S.  In addition to being legends, Clyde and Keith are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Getting to meet them and work with them has been one of the most fun parts of my career.

How Lucky Are You? And Why?

27 02 2009

There’s a great piece from Max Kalehoff in today’s MediaPost: “What Are Your Best Interview Questions?

There are a lot of good ideas in there, but one really made me think.


“On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you — and why?

This question has received some attention lately amidst its application at Zappos, a customer-service company praised for its culture.

The question is based on research by psychologist Richard Wiseman, who explored psychological differences between people who consider themselves exceptionally lucky and those who consider themselves unlucky.

His work revealed that people are not born lucky, but, without realizing it, use four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives. They tend to:

- Have an attitude that maximizes chance opportunities;
- Be in touch with and cultivate their intuition;
- Expect good fortunes, which become self-fulfilling prophecies; and
- Thrive on bad fortune by taking control and creating positive outcomes.

According to Wiseman’s Web site, he’s developed techniques that help people increase their good fortune by thinking and behaving more like lucky people. That’s probably a great clinic for any organization, but I’d like to hire lucky people in the first place. I want them on my side!”

At the risk of being preachy, I’d say that too often, we forget how incredibly, insanely, foolishly lucky we are.

For example, if you’re reading this you’re alive, and reasonably healthy. You can see, you’re educated, and are computer-literate. Best of all, you have the unimaginable luxury of being able to think about philosophical issues instead of just survival issues.

There’s a lot of pessimism out there today, and I’m as guilty as the next guy about focusing on what’s wrong. A little optimism wouldn’t hurt.

Here’s a quote I just read that I thought was worth tacking up in my office:

“An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him.” – Zig Ziglar

What are you bringing to your job? Sour grapes? Or tartar sauce?

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks

Literal Music Videos: Head Over Heels

19 02 2009

When was the last time any advertising creative you did online or on TV was as surprising, engaging, funny, or as well-produced as this?

If you’re a fan of Tears For Fears, 80s music or just Funny Or Die videos, you’ll love it. Happy viewing.

40 Inspirational Speeches In 2 Minutes

14 12 2008
Let’s be honest.
We all have an insane amount to get done before 2008 runs out. But we’re all tired. And distracted by the holidays.
An ordinary pep talk won’t do it. What we need right now is a pep talk of fairly epic proportions. How else are we expected to get from here to January 2nd in one piece?
This may help: 40 Inspirational Speeches In 2 Minutes. Enjoy!

Star Trek vs Star Wars: Battle of the Brands

27 11 2008

Star Trek is a brand. Star Wars is a brand, too. (Jar Jar Binks was their “New Coke”. If the brand survived that, it can survive pretty much anything).

Like CPG brands, they compete not just in the market, but for a place in consumers’ minds and hearts. Which one wins? Check out this completely illegal digital mashup video.

I think both brands triumph here. What do you think?

Interactive TV: How Tweet It Is

8 10 2008

I’ve been interested in interactive TV approximately forever. (If you remember QUBE, you know exactly how long forever has been).

My company, Combe, is running our first ever interactive TV campaign for a genuinely great new product for guys called Touch of Gray. We’ve been working with Brightline, who have been a terrific partner for us in every respect: highly recommended.

I can’t offer details about results because they’re confidential, but suffice it to say that I’m very happy with our results. It’s entirely anecdotal, but it was also cool to get this message on Twitter from my friend Brad Waller. Fun to see that this stuff actually works.

Four Ways To Be Astonishing

21 08 2008

Jim Dietzel posted this Victor Wooten performance of “Norwegian Wood” in the FriendFeed Jazz Lovers room today. It was so great I had to share it.

Why is this performance so astonishing?

  1. Surprise – He takes things we thought we knew (a classic Beatles tune, and the electric bass) and reminds us that there are always new creative possibilities.

    What could you do — right now — to reinvent something you’ve been thinking about the same old way?

  2. Solo – Victor plays this entirely on his own. It’s a risk. Will people understand the song right away? How far out can he stretch the melody until he loses us?

    How many of us are hiding behind the rest of our group, because we’re afraid to step out and take a chance on our own?

  3. Soul – Virtuoso technique is obviously a big part of what’s happening here. But it wouldn’t be compelling if we couldn’t feel the emotion underpinning it.

    If your work doesn’t reflect who you really are as a person, it may be technically perfect but it will always feel impersonal and unsatisfying to the people around you.

  4. Smile – I love Victor Wooten’s smile at the end of his solo. He enjoys his work and it shows.

    The Dalai Lama (who isn’t half the bass player Victor Wooten is) says, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”.

    We should all play more. If we did, we’d smile more.


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