Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

Keeping Abreast of the Buzz in the Biz: My Not-So-Secret Weapons Revealed

Many of these sites have been mentioned on this blog, or even exist in the sidebar, but they are worth repeating. If you want or need to know more about global internet trends, then there are a few fun ways to put your finger on the pulse.

What are people watching? What are people linking to? What are people talking about? Two sites do a very good job of covering this from two different perspectives. ViralVideoChart measures links, Videmeter measures views.

People look for things that interest them. They have a specific intent in mind when they type words into a search engine. This stuff is gold, and both Yahoo and Google have interesting pages to track trends and cultural shifts.
Yahoo! Buzz
Google Zeitgeist

Blogging makes the internet world turn. It is word-of-mouth in a rocketship. Knowing what people are talking about is the key to understanding them and what they really want. These sites are worth their weight in wit.
WTF [Where's The Fire] by Technorati

We only feature movies, music, fashion, ideas, technology, and culture that are on the rise and worth your time. – BuzzFeed

There are a million ad blogs, but the best aggregation I have come accross for one stop shop-talk is the Ad Feed.

There. Now you know a few of my more obvious secret weapons. I’m going to have to dig a bit deeper next time…

The Downside of Brand Participation

How should Sony respond to this? How should Microsoft respond to this?

Cartoon Terror

Mooninite Terrorists

Paranoia elicits insane responses to the most benign events. A guerrilla marketing campaign (for Aqua Teen Hunger Force) goes nuclear, and instead of taking responsibility for over-reacting, the Cartoon Network shells out two million bucks and the city of Boston acts holier-than-thou. I don’t get it. I know we all need to be careful out there, but shouldn’t we focus our attention on the things that are actual clear and present dangers? More people will die in America from eating shitty food, murdering their families, driving drunk, AIDS, poverty… the list is pretty long. And the threat is tangible. Maybe that’s the problem. It’s easier to mobilize people with abstract fear because they never have to take any responsibility for their actions. You’re either with us, or you play with LiteBrite™. It’s that simple.

What is Lenovo?

[splashcast WLZP8744UA]

What is Lenovo? If you don’t already know (and many North Americans don’t) your mind will roll the word Lenovo around on your brain to see what associations are picked up. Enter the “Lenovo Blips”— over 100 short teaser spots (uploaded to YouTube, Yahoo Video, Google Video, and more) featuring random images and music clips meant to capture that feeling of free-association and peek curiosity.

Disclosure: Some of the regular writers for 1% were involved in the creation of these spots.

Starbucks Is Red Again, And We Like It That Way

It’s Red AgainI’ve never been one for cards. I rarely send them. I don’t believe in the extra holidays that have been created by greeting-card companies, like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. But I still bow to the pressure and spend my cold cash on expensive, disposable cards for the people who will punish me the most if they don’t receive them. But if there’s an extra hoop to jump through, like buying stamps and trying to find an address, forget it. That’s why I love the new Starbucks holiday campaign: I can send fantastic customized messages to everyone in my digital address book for free. And it’s easy. And it’s really really fun.

My favourite part is the phone integration. When you get to the personalized card page, you can call a (toll-free?) number and leave a message, answering-machine style. But as you press buttons on your phone, the website you are on updates in real time. The phone message is converted to a digital file, which is then embedded in your card. Not only that, but the sound file goes through some kind of analysis which is parsed by a flash movie and then applied to the lips of the character you choose. So as you hear your own voice in the preview of the card, you can watch a Chinese dragon, or a gingerbread man, or some other character, actually mouth the words.

Starbucks has chosen to listen to these messages, to make sure they are not death threats or abusive, which means each message sent is delayed for up to 48 hours. That’s the only real bummer, especially in this age of instant gratification. But like I mentioned earlier I never send e-cards, and I’ve already sent 3 in the first 10 minutes of interacting with Go check it out. And if you’d like, send a customized card to us at 1% and we’ll post our favourites. (email

Paint It Blak

Coca-Cola Blak

Coca-Cola, scourge of teeth the world over and life-giving elixir to people like me, has a very cool little product called Coca-Cola Blak. My French is awful so, if I’ve deciphered correctly, it’s an extra caffiene hit of Coke and it comes in fantastic packaging options.

More importantly though, the website is beautiful. Kinda meaningless, but we forgive all meaningless things that are beautiful.

This new look of Coke is part of their new global campaign that Weiden+Kennedy has developed and is being rolled out across the world (a campaign which is taking forever to launch).

Link to Blak

ps. link via Graeme, thanks dude.

DVD Extras Now Available on… Books?

See that little green circle on the lower left corner of this book cover? It says “Vintage Special Features”. When you turn the book around, it lists the extras that can be found in this special printed edition:

Including material from Douglas Coupland that was not available in the original book:

  • An essay on Eleanor Rigby
  • Author Q & A
  • An excerpt from his upcoming book
  • And more

This is a very interesting marketing technique, and I would love to know if books with so-called extra features sell better than books without. Do we live in a consumer culture that now expects the added bonus as the competitive norm?

Aside: Douglas Coupland is following up his geek culture hit Microserfs with JPod (coming May 2006!)

Microsoft Redesigns iPod Packaging (parody)

Talking Monkeys – What More Do You Want?

Show your co-workers how you really think about them.

Flipping the Funnel: The Latest (Fre)eBook from Seth Godin

Flipping the FunnelThat marketing guy with the bald head has released a short, free ebook called Flipping the Funnel. His name is Seth Godin, and he’s written a million quirky marketing books including: Unleashing the Idea Virus, Purple Cow, FREE PRIZE INSIDE, and All Marketers are Liers to name a few. Here’s a quick quote to tell you what the 18 pages are about:

Turn strangers into friends.
Turn friends into customers.
And then… do the most important job:
Turn your customers into salespeople.

He talks about and blogging and Flickr and Thai food, and other cool stuff. If you don’t download the PDF and spend 10 minutes reading it, than at least skim this last bit:

I don’t think most marketers have a clue how word of mouth can help them. They think they need to use word of mouth, to manipulate it, to pay for it and put it to work.

I may be in the minority, but I think it’s a lot more organic than that. I think consumers of all kinds are too smart. They’re not going to get fooled into shilling for a company that manipulates them into it. When the megaphone becomes a shortsighted corporate initiative, it’s gotta fail.

The alternative lies in being authentic. In creating products that are genuinely worth talking about. In going out of your way to invest in experiences that people choose to share. Then, yes, by all means, make the tools available. Amplify the happiest fans. But without the kernel of truth, you’ve got nothing but a short-lived packaged-goods campaign.

Download the Free eBook Flipping the Funnel for corporations, politicians, or non-profits.

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