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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Move over football, there’s a new Super Bowl spectator sport: Ad Tweets

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

I attended four Super Bowl parties last Sunday; one was physical and three were virtual parties. Along with thousands of other Twitter users, my party check list included assorted chips, beverages, savory treats and hashtags. According to New Media Strategies, there were 49,000 posts on Twitter that referenced Super Bowl advertising.  From kick off through Monday morning, we all commented on the TV spots using 140 characters or less and tagged these comments with either #SuperAds09, #SB43Ads or #Superbowlads so that we could track the conversation.

The hashtag #SuperAds09  was introduced by  media critic Steve Hall and tweets also streamed live on Steve’s site Adrants . Edward Boches, Mullen’s chief creative officer, and his team introduced #SB43Ads and also streamed it from a separate site entitled “Trash Talk from Section Twitter.” Prior to Sunday, Boches told the Boston Globe  that in participating in the Twitter experiment on Super Bowl ads, “We’re looking to use a new medium to comment on an old medium.”

Lisa Hickey, creative strategist, joined Steve and Edward to explore how pre-game advertising exposure online and real-time reactions to Super Bowl television advertising may begin to change the nature of  the “Water Cooler” chatter and how consumers interact with brands.

Is this Twitter Super Bowl party idea an example of online community, just an event or a little of both?

@stevehall:. “I think it’s a little of both. You have TV event with an online event and with the tools you have to interact online, Twitter makes it a gigantic group chat.”

@lisahickey: “To me, it’s highlighting the way Social Media will evolve in the coming months and years. I was sitting in a room with my real-life friends and family watching the game. At the same time, I’m connected with hundreds of Twitter friends. A commercial plays. I get instant feedback from people in the room. I process that, add my own thoughts and broadcast it to the Twitter world. My family then shouts out ‘What did everyone say? Did they like that?’Advertisers would be smart to realize that their commercials can be an event as well as a message.”

@edwardboches: “Things moved pretty fast. I think it was less of a community and more of an experience, like going to a rock concert. You’re sharing the same thing in an interactive way so you’re sort of feeling connected.”

Will real time group interaction change people’s perception of the advertising messages or judgment of creative?  (I’m thinking of the group think you often see in focus groups — peer pressure to agree or disagree)@stevehall: “Well, with Twitter, I think there is enough physical detachment that people feel they can be more truthful.”@lisahickey: “I looked for the effect of peer pressure, but didn’t see it. Everything was happening much too quickly – and that’s a direct factor of Twitter itself. In that sense, I think the feedback was perhaps more real and honest than what you might find in focus groups.”

@edwardboches:  “No, there is enough difference of opinion that you can always find something that validates your point of view.”

Many of the Super Bowl spots had been online for at least a week prior to game. Does this help brands or take away the suspense or interest in creative?  Will some feel they’ve seen it all so it will seem like a big “so what?”    

@stevehall “As a critic, I had seen about one-third of the spots ahead of time, so there were still spots I had not seen. In fact, a few of them I missed during the game and watched them later at AdAge.com.  I don’t think your average person would have seen much before the game. Most people out side of media don’t seek this out in advance.”

@lisahickey: “This year, I found there to be an enormous amount of pre-game chatter. And I found it interesting how many companies released their ads to the public before the game. In the ultimate irony, you would often have to watch a commercial before you could see the commercial you were looking for. Advertisers, take note: the ads I liked the best, and talked about the most were the ones I hadn’t seen ahead of time.”

@edwardboches:  “I almost prefer not seeing them before hand. The majority of people don’t see them ahead of time.  It’s mainly those of us in the business.”

What was your overall Twitter Super Bowl Experience like?   Anything surprise, amuse or impress you? @lisahickey: “I loved participating with so many people in real time. At first it was actually quite stressful. My kids (in the room with me), let me know in know uncertain terms that they didn’t like my attention being divided between them and the rest of the world. And it was all happening so fast; it was really hard keeping up.”@edwardboches:  What I thought was very interesting was the momentum we created only by sending out a few tweets, emails and invites to the #sb43ads and our site stream. It seemed like within days we had thousands of followers.  So an individual can create this attention but the key is you have to create something that people want to participate in.”

Anything stand out for you in terms of TV spots demonstrating interesting integration with social media platforms?  Or Tweets providing link to that integration?

@stevehall:  “I didn’t notice anything specifically integrated within the spots themselves. In fact, someone at the (physical) party I attended had said, ‘If the brands had put their twitter ID on the spots they might have had instant followers.”

@edwardboches:  “Watching all the spots made me realize that television is getting old.” 

Which brands did you notice participating within the tweet chat? Anyone demonstrating that they are using the medium to really listen to the consumer?

@stevehall: Definitely SoBe (@sobeworld) was very active. They got involved with Twitter prior to the game and during the game they seemed pretty engaged.  I noticed E-trade showed up on Twitter after the game started and they were on for a bit afterward.  I didn’t notice anyone else.

@lisahickey: “I felt like SoBe was really trying to listen, where e-Trade was more intent on just broadcasting. No brands really got involved with the conversation while it was happening. That is one of the fascinating things about this medium that I have been tweeting a lot about recently. How can you participate in rapid-fire, real time dialogue without getting yourself in trouble as a brand? Is it possible?”

How did the experience affect your participation in watching the game itself?

@stevehall: “Well it was multi-tasking and hard to react quickly to everything real time.  When you critique ads, it is hard enough to pay attention to the game itself, but now you have tweeting and reviewing ads and oh, yeah, there is a game too.”

@lisahickey:  “I thought one of the funniest things someone said was ‘I’m trying to concentrate on the commercials, but a football game keeps breaking out.’  It was a little hard going back and forth, especially at first. But, my overall experience was great. In my observations, this is the way the world is evolving: Moments where individuals have short, discreet, focused activity followed by moments of connection with the entire world.”

Final thoughts?

@lisahickey: “For me, the biggest thing is: what’s next? For example, next year, a commercial might show in the first half without an ending. People could vote in real time, and in the second half the ending voted for could air. That’s just one idea… there are so many amazing things that can be done with this media. I, for one, can’t wait to participate.”

@edwardboches: “Well, the Super Bowl was a fast moving event. But in thinking of everyday use of Twitter, I’m struck with how collaborative the users are. People encourage the sharing of ideas and attribute ideas to others. It’s really a pretty positive experience.”

Please join us in the conversation on Twitter: @edwardboches, @stevehall, @lisahickey,@sarahmontague 

Sarah Montague, an AMA Boston blogger is a brand strategist and marketing communications professional that has directed integrated marketing programs for diverse, emerging and high-growth national and global companies. Sarah’s first advertising agency experience at Arnold Worldwide included working on the Digital Equipment Corporation account where she was part of the world’s largest global email system. Sarah remembers the time everyone asked her, “What’s an email?” and is fascinated with how technology continues to shape new ways to connect with the constituents that matter most. Join in the conversation with Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmontague

How an Organization is Using Social Media to Increase Awareness and Significantly Impact Lives

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

On-line networks are filled with information about social media and how companies are using it as a way to increase brand awareness and form closer, more meaningful relationships with their customers.  However, the skepticism among B2B marketers remains.  You can Google dozens of blog comments and articles where marketers still don’t associate social marketing with bottom line results.  Marketers are demanding more quantitative data on social marketing.  As a B2B marketer, I am continuously looking for examples of how social media has created an impact, whether financially or socially, and have provided one for my January post.I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow marketer Danny Brown about social media and how he’s using it to get the word out on his latest project www.12for12K.org, a charity organization that focuses on helping 12 charities, a different one each month, for 12 months.  January’s charity, War Child, provides relief for children of war torn countries like Gaza and Afghanistan. 

Q.     What sparked your desire to start the 12for12K initiative, what it is, and why use social media to do it?

A.      I’ve been involved with charities for a while. I don’t know when it was that the idea for 12for12k came to me – maybe it was an epiphany? I guess it started as “What can I do for 12 months?” and then the numbers came – 12 months, 12 charities, 1200 people, $10 per person per charity, $12,000 per charity.Once the idea was in place, I knew social media was the way to go. The outreach you have on places like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the connections that you make and that they make in return, made social media an obvious channel for the 12for12k project. The first week has been slow as people come back from the holidays, but we have some big plans for promotional pushes over the next couple of weeks.

Q.   With all the mixed press out there about social media (i.e., it’s a fad, doesn’t deliver ROI, etc.).  Describe two ways you think social media will endure the test of time and provide value for organizations.

A.    I think the main reason for organizations to get involved and use it is the cost factor. For example, instead of spending $50,000 on a PR campaign, why not spend $5,000 on a coordinated social media PR campaign instead? Use the tools that are available and spread the word that way? Of course, still have some form of traditional PR working alongside it, but nowhere near $50,000 worth.

The other real benefit is the connection social media can offer between businesses and their customers. With the unsure economy and reduced consumer spending, you need to keep your customers – connecting with them via the likes of Twitter and blogging and actually interacting with them will reap its own rewards. I always liken social media ROI to “Risk of Ignoring” – that’s where the value comes in.

Q.  How has social media benefited your own business and how do you measure its value?

A.  From a business point of view, it’s allowed me to get my brand and services in front of people I may have otherwise struggled to (from a logistical point of view). I can have a short bio on Twitter, people know what I do and how I do it, and that’s on view 24/7 to potentially 4 million people. Just the other day I met with a potential new client who found me on Twitter, liked what I was saying and set up a meeting.

Of course, it’s not just Twitter – there’s LinkedIn and FastPitch and many others, as well as using my blog to offer views on something that might help people. As far as measuring its value, it’s a waiting game, and I always advise my clients of this. It won’t be an overnight success; it won’t happen within a few short weeks.

But if you can build solid relationships with people through social media and offer as much of your service as you do promoting it, you’ll build a link that’s hard to break. People will come to you first and that kind of connection and trust is where the real value lies.

Danny Brown is a long-time corporate communications, marketing and promotions professional who has been involved in social media for six years.  He owns PressReleasePR, a boutique agency specializing in search engine optimized press releases and social media PR.   He has guest authored at Web Analytics World , is a blog partner of WebProNews and iEntry, and regular contributor to the  Dad-o-Matic project.

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Anna Barcelos is an AMA member and monthly blog contributor with 15 years of B2B/B2C marketing experience.  She is constantly on the look-out for best practices in both traditional and on-line marketing and likes to share it with fellow marketers through her blog and social media sites like Twitter (@ableo2).  Currently she’s the Director of Marketing & Business Development for a RI-based messaging (email/voice/surveys/SMS/fax) technology company.

Social Networking…LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter…Oh My!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

As a marketers, let’s admit it, we love to network!  OK, so I will speak for myself.  All these networking tools are a whole lot of fun!  For the longest time I have been hearing the buzzword Social Networking and not really placing great emphasis on it.  Of course the social networking epiphany didn’t actually happen for me until after I started receiving phone calls and emails as a result of it.  For about 14 years, my career has primarily revolved around traditional and on-line marketing for B2B and B2C companies.  I have many contacts in the industry but have mainly had dialogues around marketing best practices.  This past summer, my career evolved into more of a business development role, and I can’t say enough about how social networking has helped me to be more successful in forming new relationships and partnerships!  Clearly social networking has gone corporate .  The trend has really increased in the past couple months, which is interesting, because that’s when I began really getting into it.   Here are the three social networks I frequent the most and what I’ve discovered about each one.  I highly recommend you use all of them and more!


Yes, one of the classics.  LinkedIn focuses mainly on business networking, and I have found great connections there.  It is also a great place to keep up with people’s careers.  You’re able to make recommendations and write about the latest projects or business ventures you’re working on.   The profiles resemble resumes, which is great for those seeking employment or finding new business prospects or ventures.


Facebook originated as an ideal place for college students to connect.  Over the past years, however, it has also gone corporate.  Although I couldn’t convince the folks at my company to have a presence on it (hello?), I created a profile and am building connections as a result of it.  Facebook is more personal.  It extends beyond just knowing someone on a professional level.  You’re able to display photos of family and friends as well as events you’ve attended with colleagues and friends.  There are a lot of fun applications you can use to “play” with your friends.  I haven’t really checked those out in great depth yet, but they include things like sending a friend a drink or taking quizzes to see if you’re alike.  There are a lot of ads and applications on Facebook.  It doesn’t hurt to check it out to see if it’s right for your company.


This one is very interesting (and addictive at times).   Twitter is probably one of my favorites because it’s so amazingly simple!  This simple application enables you to post statements (140 characters or less), whether business-related or personal for all to see.  The way Twitter works as a networking tool is you post items, people will “follow” you if they’re interested in what you have to say, and in turn, you can follow them.  You build your network by following and being followed by people.  You can post URLs of your website, blogs or anything you think may be of interest.  If using it for business be sure to have the user name match the company name for consistency.  It gets really fun when you start getting followed.  For me there is this challenge of building my network of followers.  I have read some great posts and met some interesting people on Twitter.  It’s another great place to plug a new product, blog posting or anything else you feel would help your business. 

There are many social networking tools and web sites.  The walk-away here is to invest your time wisely on the ones that “give back” – whether personal or professional.  Please, always be yourself because people see through that more than ever today. 

Visit my profiles




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Anna Barcelos has over 14 years of B2B and B2C broad-based marketing experience, both traditional and on-line. She is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for BLI Messaging, a Providence, RI-based email, voice, survey, SMS and fax technologies company.  Anna is currently a member of AMA, MarketingProfs, and SOCAP. She is also a monthly AMA Boston blog contributor.

The Holidays Are Great Opportunities For Reaching Out to Customers

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

“The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.  On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” - David Ogilvy

Halloween and the U.S. Election have passed, it’s time to start thinking about the burst of activity surrounding the holidays. For those in the U.S., it begins now. I was perusing the 75% off display at a local retailer of left-over Halloween decorations and fall harvest motifs when I noticed that the Christmas trees were already on display. I realized that as more and more retailers bend to the will of seasonal shopping instead of being consistent providers of general goods, consumers look to other avenues to find what they need. Unfortunately for me, the mop bucket was not to be found at this store. Apparently, I’m not the type of customer this retail outlet is catering to, the new displays were telling me that.

Whether you’re preparing for that shopping extravanganza that occurs every fall through January or just preparing for next year’s activity, your mind must be focused on your customers and what level of sales you can expect. I know in my industry, the financial services firms are taking a beating, both in the markets and in the press. While this is worrisome the inclination to “hunker down” may be too powerful to resist. The more aggressive competitors see this as an opportunity like no other; this is a time to take market share, build a better brand, and introduce new products and services while the weakest industry players cut back.

Make an assessment of your messaging methods and look for improvements
While most of the world is focusing on the issues and problems of the economy, get your message in front of them, too. Your customers are plugged into their favorite news outlet, and are more receptive to hearing what you have to say - take advantage of the heightened awareness of the new President, faltering economy, and international response to the U.S. elections. Put yourself in their minds and look back at your company’s marketing messages. You may find that your message is off the mark, or worse, there isn’t enough to see.

Traditional Methods Still Work…
It doesn’t take more than a moment to realize that anything that can be purchased can be Googled. As time passes, more and more of your customers are doing the same thing to find you - what does your website and press releases say to them? It’s time to review and update your message to reflect the new economy.

For many years, the Direct Mail/Direct Marketing approach was arguably the best method. With the introduction of email, the cost and timeliness of your DM efforts have improved. However, many companies are simply applying the same concepts to the new platform, not adjusting to the platform. Many firms start with a strategy of creating an email campaign, maybe even a corporate blog, but few are consistent and thorough in utilizing the strategy to its fullest. Many corporate blogs start to wither and die from inactivity. Think about what a stale corporate blog says to your customers. Stick with the strategies long enough to see if they work; if they don’t, kill them quickly.

New Methods for New Customers
It’s natural to think about your current customers, but what about your next customers? Have you reviewed your messages to them? Do they need updating? Are you moving into new areas, both product and service, as well as geographical?

As email and websites have changed your marketing, you need to continuously look for the next movement. Twitter comes to mind as the potential next wave. It’s hard to believe, but Twitter is just two years old! At first glance, it can appear as a toy for the Web 2.0 generation. On the other hand, if Twitter is applied in the appropriate manner, it can be a powerful tool to reach out to new, younger customers, build brand awareness, capture ideas, and even open new opportunities. Try your company in these measurement tools designed just for Twitter: Twist and Tweetlater. There are thousands of tools available to make your messages heard.

What does the “ticket” say on your company?

1. Is your message on target for what your company does?

2. Is it reaching your customers; are you leveraging enough outlets to reach them?

3. Are you doing enough to attract new potential customers; do they see your value to them?

Tell us what you’ve done differently using old tools or new tools to manage your message to your customers?

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Kevin Flavin has almost 20 years experience in the financial services industry. Balancing the first half of his career as a buyer, he has spent the last ten years as a vendor in a range of roles from sales, product management, but always marketing. He is based in the Boston area. He is also a monthly AMA Boston contributor.

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The views and opinions on this blog are solely those of the contributors and do NOT necessarily reflect the official opinions of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association.