We Remember…

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Today marks the 13th anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11/2001.  It is difficult to believe so much time has passed.  That so many things have changed.  We saw the best and worst of the human condition on that day and in the aftermath.  We saw feats of great heroism and strength, but we also saw ugliness.  Lines drawn in the sand. Us and them.

In the wake of the attacks, a campaign was developed with the simple message, “I am an American” by Austin-based agency, GSD&M and the Ad Council.  Roy Spence, Chairman and Co-founder of GSD&M tells the story of the campaign’s creation all those years ago.  It remains in my mind one of the best examples of using creativity, inspiration, and ingenuity for good.  Out of the tragedy, so many points of light…

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Many users are outraged at the idea that Twitter might use an algorithm to filter their feeds

This would certainly change the Twitter experience.

Gigaom

A post we published at Gigaom on Thursday morning seems to have triggered a kind of flash fire in the Twitter-sphere. The post referred to some recent comments from CFO Anthony Noto that suggested algorithmic filtering of some kind — similar to what Facebook does — is likely coming to [company]Twitter[/company]. My @ replies feed quickly turned into a maelstrom of disgust at the idea (interrupted by the occasional supportive tweet) and so I’ve collected some of them below, and others in a Storify collection. There’s also a poll so you can tell us what you think.

Just to recap, Noto said at a financial conference on Wednesday — as reported by the Wall Street Journal — that the standard reverse-chronological order of the Twitter was “not the most relevant experience for a user,” since it might mean that relevant or interesting tweets would be missed. Putting that content…

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So you want to be in advertising…

I recently came across a question on Twitter about how to get started in a career in marketing or advertising.  I’m sure we all have our own origin stories and the journeys that brought us to where we are today are as varied as the individuals that experienced them.  So, here are a few general ideas to get you started based on my own foray into the world of marketing and advertising.  Do try these at home, though results may vary.

READ

Everything you can get your hands on.  Stay up to date on trends and thought leaders.  Don’t insulate yourself with only blogs or books on business or marketing.  Read about creativity, science, innovation.  When you are in an industry that runs on inspiration you have to make sure that you are constantly feeding it from many and varied sources.  That said, here are a couple of my favorite blogs:

Seth Godin’s Blog:It should go without saying but Seth Godin is one of the smartest minds out there, period.  I read his blog every day, without fail.  Sometimes it’s both thought- and action-proving.  Others it’s just a nice little nugget, but what you won’t find from this best-selling author of TribeLinchpin,  and Purple Cow to name a few is a watered down or insulated view of the industry.

David Meerman Scott:If you know anything about social media, this name should be on your radar as he literally edits the book series, The New Rules of Social Media.  David is a profound voice in the world of marketing and advertising and is a wealth of information on topics from PR and Social Media to the art of Selling.  And don’t kid yourself.  If you’re in advertising, you’re in sales.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame.  He offers simple and practical advice on business, marketing and the like.

Other places to find inspired content are Wired Magazine and Fast Company.

RESEARCH

Check out what sort of agencies have sprung up in your area.  You’re likely to find everything from boutique specialty shops to gigantic agencies of record with household name clients.  Reach out to them.  Don’t ask for a job, but do ask for some time to come by and see what they do.  Most agencies have an interest in educating and you never know where the networking could lead.

APPLY

If you are affiliated with a college or school, they more than likely have a career center that can help match you with agencies or companies who are looking for interns.  Every internship I had in school was unpaid, but it offered a wealth of experience.  There are some larger shops that do offer paid internships, but expect to start at the bottom and work hard no matter which way it goes.

The world of advertising and marketing is not as glamorous as Hollywood would have you believe, but it is an amazing way to combine business with creativity and get an end product you can be proud of.

Going Viral: Deconstructing the #IceBucketChallenge

Last week, like three million people before him, my husband took part in the ALS #IceBucketChallenge.  Rather than complete the challenge quietly at home and without a lot of fuss, he set a fundraising goal for his co-workers and when it was met, agreed to let one of them dump a bucket of ice and water on his head. 

These simple acts of activism happened again and again across the world with people of all ages and from all walks of life taking part.  At last report, over $100 Million was raised to support the research and eradication of ALS.

It’s a great story.  One we’re all a little proud to be a part of, but as a marketer, the question we should have is “Why?”

In creating this challenge and the associated social media campaign, what did the ALSA get right?

  1. Sense of fun and accountability: It would be easy to ignore the challenge of dumping a bucket of ice on your head if you knew no one would know one way or the other.  With the use of social media outlets such as Twitter and FaceBook to host the evidence, there’s accountability.  And more than that, we keep it going because we like to see our friends do crazy things.
  2. Something we can feel good about: No, college kid who tried to piggy back, we aren’t going to fund your tuition as much as we believe in education.  But to think our dollars and our goodwill are going to a cause that’s worthy and that will benefit the entire human race.  That’s something.
  3. Simple concept:  Take these steps and pass it on.  It’s like a chain letter from the 80s, but oh so much more fun.
  4. Global community: We want to be part of something.  We will opt in to do something when we feel that we belong to the group. We don’t have to have ALS or know someone who does to imagine ourselves in that situation, and it feels good to be included in the group that will help do something about it.

Every marketer dreams of the kind of success this challenge has had when they launch a social media campaign.  The truth is, it’s not that easy to get as worked up about a new pair of running shoes or flavor of toothpaste.  People aren’t going to send your latest corporate video viral because they aren’t interested in what’s in it for you.  They’re not even really interested in what’s in it for them.  But if you find a way to align your company with socially responsible programs for the good of humanity…well, that’s a different story isn’t it?

So, what do you do well?

But more importantly, what good do you do?

 

30 Day Content Challenge

Labor Day is as good a day as any to begin a new challenge.  Whether it turns out to be a labor of love or just laborious is yet to be seen.  This isn’t the first 30 Day Challenge I’ve taken part in, but I am hoping I get more out of it than the creaky knees I got from the 30 Day Squat Challenge.

In his post suggesting the challenge, Joshua Coffy details all the steps one might need to take to make this kind of challenge a success.  Schedules and spreadsheets will have to wait, but I couldn’t let day one pass completely by without putting something out there.

Here goes.