Saturday, January 19, 2008


Late last month, when I attend the Convergence Conference roundtable panel on "Video as a Catalyst for Conversation”, the moderator promised that “just like everyone now has a blog strategy, soon you’ll need a video strategy.” The audience shuddered, a clear sign that they had not yet adapted a blog strategy. But the numbers do speak for themselves. In September, more than 9.2 billion videos were viewed online. A staggering 28% of those were seen on YouTube.

Although currently, marketing professionals are spending les than 2.5% of their communications budgets on “conversational marketing”, it is predicted that by 2012, spending on “social media” will surpass traditional marketing.

Here’s why people are starting to pay attention. The chart below, from the Wall Street Journal shows that after viewing a video ad on the Internet, 55% of 501 adults took action.

The hard part now is how to use this knowledge to your advantage. It’s a simple answer: call someone in to help. Aren’t you already doing too much at work. Who has time to think about your video strategy?

A media consultant (I know a great one) can help you

  • Define your audience
  • Plan your distribution using appropriate internal or external partners
  • Add some control to the scary proposition of unleashing this on the world.

No one has all the answers, but emerging as an early embracer (it is too late for that) will help your brand for a very small investment of dollars.

And besides, doesn’t everyone want to be a SuperStar?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Why I Hate Yahoo- Jerry-- Are You Listening?

Why Are These 2 People Smiling?

Tonight the BRANDEMiX website went MIA.
That's right. Gone, kaput.

It was there at lunchtime and erased by dinner.

I called my hosting company, Yahoo right away and was told that my hold time for Customer Service would be less than 30 minutes. It was more like 50 minutes. Yippee. 50 minutes of listening to all the products and services I can enjoy to optimize my website that I can't take advantage of because my website is gone.

When I finally got someone on the phone, she confirmed that indeed, my website is gone. Duh! She went on to promise that the engineers will get right on it and she'll call me back in 30 minutes once my site is back up. She couldn't tell me why it happened and now, 1 hour later, it's still gone and no one has called me back.

So all my keyword clicks, my new business efforts and my branding have gone to waste. It's as if was never there. I've been erased.

My hatred wasn't always so. I used to love Yahoo. When I started BRANDEMiX, Yahoo was there for me, teaching me all about setting up business emails, ftps, subdomains and perl. Yahoo was my silent partner. I even went so far as to write love letters to them, telling them how I would love to work with them on their Internal and Employer branding. They had done so much for me, I wanted to return the favor.

But in the past year, beginning with business email accounts that have continued to go down without cause, no response to the countless customer satisfaction surveys that I have taken time to submit and over-promising and under-delivering again and again, my new year's resolution is to drop them by the end of the year.

This is from their website:

What We Do

Yahoo! powers and delights our communities of users, advertisers, and publishers - all of us united in creating indispensable experiences, and fueled by trust.

I am not powered or delighted. And, since an hour has gone by and there has been no phone call from them, even to say they're still working on the problem, I do not trust them.

Yes, I know that Jerry and Susan, the CEO and President respectively are busy at the CES in Vegas (See article below) trying to drum up more business, but what about my business?

Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang Holds Forth On Mobile

Yahoo is trying to do for mobile devices what it did for the Internet-connected computer a decade ago.

Today during a keynote speech here at CES, Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang made a slew of announcements geared toward attracting eyeballs on cellphones. The biggest news is that the company is opening up its mobile platform to outside programmers so they can develop mini-applications called widgets that can be compatible on a wider range of devices. Yang said these applications will attract more users and help increase advertising revenues. "It's time to get Yahoo yodeling again," Yang said.

And, just because misery loves company, I went to the yahoo finance message board to see what was on there and I found this:
I don't understand why they continue trying 8-Jan-08 08:11 pm

YHOO is last place in the one-legged race. There is no hope for anything positive at this juncture. A slow, steady death spiral is a certainty. It's painful to watch but interesting at the same time. YHOO is a 10K lesson in failure for me, but I know it must be a lot worse for the employees who will be losing their jobs. Good luck to all, these are going to be some of the toughest times America will ever face.

That cheered me up somehow to know I'm not alone. Then I went to check on the Google vs Yahoo stock comparison. Red is Google and Blue is Yahoo. Ha ha.

Sadly, my frustrations with YAHOO parallel the road to employee disengagement- the bigger they are- the harder they fall. I was passionate and had a connection to the brand. My passionate wish is to now see the empire crumble (once I migrate to someplace new.) According to Gallup- this makes me a cave dweller- Actively disengaged and Consistently Against Virtually Everything Yahoo.

Let's Keep Some Cover Letters a Bit More Covered!

Saturday afternoon found me surfing through CraigsList looking through vacation swaps, free stuff and resumes from advertising professionals. I found this diatribe:

Advertising Account Executive“I once had a temp job at an Ad Agency on 57th Street. I was excited about it because I had assumed an ad firm would be full of fun, lively, creative people. Wow, was I ever mistaken. I like working with well read, witty, urbane types but, this place was the dullest warehouse of lost human souls I had ever encountered. An insurance company being sold a policy by another insurance company would of had more life. Anyway, the final straw came when on a cold winter's night I was about to leave and was putting on my winter hat which, for a guy, was rather poofy, I gotta admit.

It was a little transgendery looking thing with flamboyant colors and ultra soft material. As I put it on I turned to a female ad executive who worked there and who I thought I had a bit of a rapport with, and asked; "Is this a man's hat or a woman's?" She looked at me and replied; "Well, when you are wearing it it's a man's hat." To which I fired back without missing a beat;
"Yeah, that's what I tell my wife when I am wearing her panties. When I am wearing your panties, they're man's panties."

Now ya think someone with an active imagination, as is supposedly required by an ad firm, would have known right away that I was joking. But not this woman. She just stared at me with a look of horrified disbelief, and I could almost hear the rusty cogs grinding to a halt in her vacuous head as she struggled to digest the information that I had just laid on her. I could tell she actually thought I had divulged some kind of dark sexual secret to her, and that I was some kind of pervert who wore his wife's panties! Whatta cretin. I hesitated to explain myself, and clarify that I was only joking, but then decided to let her fallow brain have something to nosh on over the weekend. Let her share with her girlfriends the story about the weird temp dude in the office. I left the office whistling

So that's my ad agency experience. If you are an agency that thinks you are unlike the one above, in that you actually do value creativity, as well as integrity and hard work, then hire me and prove it.

was tempted to reply but though I do value hard work, creativity and integrity, I like to be known as the craziest one in BRANDland! So for the moment, we won't be adding to staff.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Problem Solvers wanted

Google apparently is behind this mysterious billboard that presents a nice number theory problem. I love number theory!

Of course, I could have written a program to sift through the digits of e to find the answer to this question, but I’m a pragmatic soul and figure why not just use Google since it’s 3 AM and I’m tired (I know, it’s cheating, but how good Google fault you for using Google?) The answer to this problem is also a website (7427466391) which presents a more challenging problem.

    Congratulations. You've made it to level 2. Go to and enter Bobsyouruncle as the login and the answer to this equation as the password.

        f(1)= 7182818284
        f(2)= 8182845904
        f(3)= 8747135266
        f(4)= 7427466391
        f(5)= __________

Keeping in theme with Google’s love affair for the number e, I soon realized (by looking at this site that displays the first 2 million digits of e) that each of these numbers are consecutive 10 digit sequences of e.

I’ll give you a hint, if you sum the digits of each number (something I typically do to see if the numbers are divisible by 3), you’ll find an interesting result (other than they aren’t divisible by 3). That should lead you to the final answer with a bit of coding.

The final answer takes you to a recruiting page. What an ingenious and clever way to recruit talent, though I suppose by giving away the answer, I’ve defeated the purpose. How naughty!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


BRANDWEEK; December 31, 2007;--Eric Newman

The internet has put word of mouth on steroids!  How “loud” has this category become? W-O-M marketing is projected to hit $1.3 billion this year, up almost 33% from $981 million in 2006, per PQ Media, Stamford, Conn.

And the word is definitely spreading: Spending is expected to triple by 2011.

Two main factors are contributing to its growth: The explosion of communications on the Internet and the acceptance of W-O-M as a separate discipline beyond ads and public relations, according to Paul Rand, vp at the Word of Mouth Marketing Assn., Chicago.

The marketing world “is evolving from ‘interrupt me’ to ‘engage me’ when it comes to consumer interactions,” said Rand. “It is a fundamental shift in the way marketers approach consumers with their message.”

Part of that shift has occurred because of “the latency effect,” said Pete Blackshaw, evp-Nielsen Online Strategic Services, Cincinnati, and one of the founders of WOMMA. (Nielsen Online Strategic Services and Brandweek are divisions of Nielsen Co.)

According to Blackshaw, this is the digital trail consumers are leaving with their product recommendations on e-commerce and social networking sites as well as blogs. “The Internet has put word-of-mouth on steroids, with archived commentary and product reviews that make a big impact,” said Blackshaw. “The fastest growing sources of indexable content in Google’s search engine are first-person testimonials.”

Some industry-watchers are concerned that there could be too much chatter. “[2008] will be a real torture test for W-O-M in the sense of guaranteeing authenticity . . . because [marketers] are looking for a quick hit in a medium that essentially is a long-term strategy,” said Blackshaw. “That can lead to questionable practices.”