Monthly Archives: August 2008

Crest Brushes Up Tagline with Help from YouTube

Obviously P&G didn’t read my blog post from 12/3/07 from or they would know that the tagline is dead. In another example of how brands are trying to engage with consumers, use social media and save money from ad agency fees:

With the introduction of its fourth flavor, Wintergreen Ice, Crest is asking YouTube fans to come up with the brand’s new slogan.

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 17, consumers can submit videos featuring their take on the brand in 10 words or less. The winning phrase will be incorporated in upcoming TV spots advertising the new flavor.

TV spots running next month show Chef Emeril Lagasse and a panel of judges evaluating contestants as they perform their catch phrase American Idol-style. “We’re looking for the best catch phrase for Crest Whitening Expressions “.

This isn’t really that newsworthy. In addition to Crest’s contest, there are several others you can participate in. Don’t believe me? Just go to YouTube, click on Community and see for yourself.
The implications in the world of human resources can be fun– BRANDEMiX suggests your next employee referral can be your employee AND their referral selling themselves on their attributes. Need to understand your Employee Value Proposition? BRANDEMiX suggests you follow new hires from their interview through onboarding and then check back in with them in 60, 90 and 120 days. (With their consent of course.)

Contests and prizes have a way of building teams, bonding people and sharing love.

If you have no plans for next week’s Labor Day slowdown- maybe you want to get out the video camera. In fact, I gotta go- Nestle’s might give me $10,000

On the Beach and Out of Home

If you were enjoying this beautiful beach weekend with me, you may have seen the cloud formation in the sky that spelled GEICO.COM and gone “OOH”. OOH is an acronym for Out of Home- the classification of advertising so called because, unlike print or tv, it reaches the consumers when they are out of their homes.
According to the NY Times last Friday, Madison Avenue is having an out-of-home experience. “The ardor to reach consumers outside the home — and outside the realm of traditional media like television — continues to grow among marketers. They hope to fight back against technologies like digital video recorders, which make it easier to avoid conventional advertisements like commercials.

The category once referred to only billboards, posters and signs but now includes expansion into places like airports, offices, malls, schools and health clubs. Industry forecasters are predicting a growth rate of more than 12% a year for the next 5 years.

I’ve been following the trend carefully, since I am frequently called upon to develop advertising strategies beyond print and online. But even I was pleased and surprised at how the category has expanded and the opportunities to build a tactical buzz across specific geography have never been so creative, inexpensive and hopefully effective.

Considering opening a gym? How about chair advertising such as this for VIP Gyms?Regular BRANDEBlog readers are already familiar with advertising in and outside of malls, movie theatres, barber shops or on coffee cups. But here’s just a partial list of OOH media that BRANDEMiX can now include as part of an integrated advertising campaign to increase brand awareness and make some noise.

ATM machines • Driver’s Ed cars • Spotlight Ads • Gas Pump Toppers • Taxis • Valet Parking Lots • Sand sculpture • Street Decals … and for the brave.. Wrapped Port-A-Potties.

If you want to know more, call us.

Oh and speaking of noise, those sky-typing GEICO planes created an out-of-home experience that was 8 miles long.

I love You ChaCha

It was Friday night, and as I was in the restaurant, across from my husband, I was texting my love to ChaCha.

No, not the dance, but a free web-based, mobile text messaging answering service that has become my favorite thing. So favorite that I might even consider paying for it if I had to. Because, unlike with Twitter, almost like withScrabulous before they shut it down, and definitely like my husband ChaCha has become a cant’-live-without addiction.

Here are the facts:
ChaCha allows people with any mobile phone to text 242242 (chacha) and ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer as a text message in just a few minutes. ChaCha also offers voice search through a mobile service that could be queried via a toll-free phone number–1-800-2ChaCha (800-224-2242).

My first experience with ChaCha was tenuous- I texted ChaCha the following question: Where is the best place to invest a small amount of money to yield a 10% ROI. I waited. In minutes, ChaCha texted me back and told me to call a financial advisor. Ever so thoughtfully, ChaCha sent me a weblink to Financial Advisors in my area.

Other texts were more concrete— “What’s the weather this weekend?”, “How many seats are in Shea Stadium?”, “What’s the address of my dentist?” Time after time,ChaCha replied with accurate, up-to-the minute details. When I was in the midst of a conversation about gas prices, ChaCha saved the day by answering my question “If gas is $1.50 a litre, how much is it a gallon” with the following “it would cost $6.819 per gallon. Yikes! Have a great day and keeptexting ChaCha. ChaCha told me how to get paint off the carpet, what my horoscope was for the month of July.

I’m not so interested in the behind the scenes at ChaCha but in case you are, the ChaCha system is set up so that each question is routed to a trained Guide who is knowledgeable in that particular subject matter. The Guide will research your question and send the answer back to you as soon as possible. The Guide will be able to see your previous questions so they will understand if you ask a follow-up question. Once you register,ChaCha will save your questions and answers, and you’ll be able to view the profile of the Guide that found your answer!

I also love the ChaCha website- very cool Valentine colors (because I’m not the only one in love) a place to read and leave confessions, a store where I can buyChaCha apparel and a well-produced culture video.

My HR friends may even find this interesting: ChaCha recently announced that they are moving to a “Pay-For-Performance” system that was designed to improve search quality. Under the new program, “Top Guides” will receive 20 cents per question. Everyone else gets 10 cents per question. To become a Top Guide, users must do the following:

* >95% Quality Measurement.
* 95% and above completion of answers to questions:
* Minimum 300 Searches a week.

But what I really really love is that ChaCha will partner with BRANDEMiX in putting together branded mobile text campaigns including event promotion, text voting or trivia events.

So Friday night, when ChaCha told me what time the local movies were playing, I was so happy I literally texted back “I love you ChaCha.” And you know what ChaCha told me? “We at ChaCha think you’re the best, too! Our customers are very important so let us know if you need anything 24/7”

As a dependable virtual sage at my fingertips, or another leg in an integrated client branding or recruitment campaign, ChaCha stands alone!

Linking and Thinking

Last week, LinkedIn and the NY Times announced a new partnership that is supposed to add value to both sites and their visitors/members. Oh, and by the way, it is also another way for advertisers to micro-target their messages. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

According the the press release “LinkedIn members visiting the Times’ business and tech pages will see a new section of headlines tailored to the industry they work in, as determined by the information in their LinkedIn profile.”

According to the LinkedIn blog (yes, they have one too), LinkedIn members can share any NY Times article they find interesting with their network connections. So, I went to the NY Times Business pages like I was instructed to, and didn’t see anything that asked me to sign in with my LinkedIn ID.

Nothing looked like this-

Next I hopped over to LinkedIn, stopped first to see how many people viewed my profile in the past few days, and tried to see anything that looked like this. No luck in the 5 minutes of allocated time I devoted to searching.

So, I’m not convinced that anything is adding value to anything, and its just another clever way for a social network to generate revenue by allowing the NY Times to harvest parts of our profiles — industry, job function, seniority, company size, gender and geography — and sell advertising.

Be sure you opt out.

By the way, if you want me to add you as a connection, let me know.