Monday, August 15, 2011

DQ please stop

If you have a TV or listen to the radio, then you have heard or seen commercials like this.  It is unfortunate that Dairy Queen feels that it can effectively advertise with a poor knock off of the Old Spice commercial.  I know that it is hard to re-brand a company, but to re-brand as a follower, a +1 of another companies idea is not the way to go.  Just another example of a company spending a lot of money to try to be trendy or hip and coming out looking foolish for copying an original idea that worked.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Terrible Advertising

Here is a commercial that I was much better having not seen, thanks to my room mate for this.  Applebees put out this terrible commercial to promote its new during lunch time offer.  I am not sure what is so special that they brag about being able to deliver microwaved food in less than 15 minutes, but they have found the most annoying way to do it.  The song, while very annoying, does at least convey its message about the deal, but the visuals are terrible.  I would be adding Applebees to my list of places I do not frequent until this campaign goes away, but I long ago refused to eat at Applebees, so I have no consumer threat to bring to bare against them.

Look forward to next week for a large post on radio advertising, with a look as some local, (to Cleveland) national and internet radio advertisements. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In the social sphere, you must be aware of what is going on.

With many people talking about the recent ruling in the Casey Anthony case, somehow the social sphere watcher at Entenmanns saw the slew of #notguilty on twitter, but did not understand what they were for. Jumping onto the #notguilty band wagon, Entenmanns asked "Who's #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!" which is not terrible, but caused a bit of a stir with those who were following them. 

Once the mistake was realized they deleted the tweet and issued an apology. I do not think that this will greatly effect the company, a small mark that will be forgotten, but it is a lesson to everyone about awareness.  The biggest question that this raises is how does a person tasked with running the social media for a company not keep track of not just what, but why people are talking about or using something.  If your job deals in social media, staying current is one of the most basic things that you have to do, and I think Entenmanns will be on top of this in the future.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Advertising failure

Day to day, everyone sees or hears a ton of advertising, and while much of it is inane, some is effective, every once in a while someone comes along that is just horrid. This Kia Ad is one of the worst things I have seen in a while. It makes me wonder, is there and oversight in their ad department. Perhaps Kia feels that they can compete against white windowless vans in the now highly competitive "pedophile" market segment. As part of the promotion, Kia throws in a $100 Sam's Club gift card for the purchase of candy (thereby making it free candy).

I understand that companies want new ways to reach people, to find ways to make an ad come to the top or all the things a person sees or hears in a day, I am just not sure that any brand wants to become a synonymous with having to inform your neighbors in accordance with Meagan's Law.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Marketing Twitter

The best way to connect with customers is when they are in need of a product or service, and today social media can provide that.  As I have said before, I work for doing marketing and advertising, so far the most effective use of social media that I have found is twitter.  Textbookly is a price comparison engine, we compare textbook prices on multiple sites to give our users the lowest price for new, used and rental textbooks. Thanks to social media, during times when textbooks are being sold, we can see the direct thoughts of people, for twitter we use TweetDeck to look for what people are saying about textbooks and other key search terms.  From their we can directly talk with them, inform through tweets, either a specific price comparison or that our service can be used to save money.  This is highly effective for us, by talking directly to the person we see not only a high rate of visits, but also a very high conversion rate.  I will warn others against using bots, I tried to automate the entire thing, but the results where poor, having a person on both sides of a social media conversation is key.  On a side note, I recorded the special beer podcast last night, and I hope to get it up as soon as possible.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ohio Craft Brewery Pack

I was able to get my hands on the Ohio Craft Brewery Pack, which was supposed to be released October 2010.  I will be releasing a Podcast with El Goro from Talk Without Rhythm where we will sit down and drink and discuss the various beers from this pack.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Next Big Thing

Social Media is alive and well, but where is it going next?  This is a tough question, but as a marketer I am putting my vote into geosocial networking.  With dedicated products like foursquare and more traditional social media sites getting involved (Facebook) with the optional location tag, Geo is the next big thing.

What does this mean for companies though, can it be leveraged to create discussion or engage customers? The answer is yes, mostly, like any other social media there will be companies that can use this and will, there will also be companies that should not look into this growing trend.  What do I mean, well it is location based, so if you are a location based business, or your product/service is or is relevant at a specific place then it is time to jump on board. 

Stores, I believe can take the biggest advantage of this by offering deals or specials to people when they are nearby.  If a person has gone to a coffee shop and checked in there, then the next time they are in the area of that coffee shop then the shop can send them a message through the application welcoming them to come on in, with a discount or promo offer.  Also, the shop can offer a customer who has just checked in the ability to send there friends an invite to meet them at the shop, and include a discount to them all if two people show up that were invited.  This same fictional coffee shop could also see that there are people who check in at other coffee shops in different cities near by, and can send them a "I know we are not your normal coffee, but come in and give us a try" with a savings attached.

Manufacturers like Pepsi can also use Geosocial to send coupons or promos when a person is in some place with a high temperature, or if they check in at a convenient store, the direct relevance along with a small incentive makes this a very viable use and I imagine would show to be very effective for a low cost.

Only time will tell if my predictions are true, but with 30% of Americans already owning smart-phones so we will see a lot more relevant advertising over Geosocial Media.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Orleans

Creating a personal website takes a lot of work these days, so much of my creative time is going to that.  Though fear not, when I do have my personal website up and running I will keep this blog opperational and imbed the RSS feed onto my website.

On Sunday I returned from a trip to New Orleans for the AMA Collegiate Conference where me and my team took third place in the case competition sponsored by Nintendo.  At the conference I attended 4 seminars, the good, the bad, the ugly and the who paid you to be here (fist full of dollars).

The Good:  Nintendo's promotion manager gave a presentation on different promotional events that Nintendo has done, their impact and how they show success.  He also talked about the way Nintendo thinks and how that impacts what they do, this included a red ocean/ blue ocean analogy.

The Bad:  I am to blame for seeing this lecture, called mental toughness.  I thought it was going to deal with the aggressive nature of marketing, no it was a motivational speaker.  This man was convinced that by thinking good thoughts, fairy dust and sunshine and past success you can win at everything.

The Ugly:  A marketer, and now producer of the show White Noise gave a short lecture on what she was doing.  While this was not bad, she did have a solid plan, and her talk was derailed by people asking her about working with Whoopi Goldberg.  She talked about leveraging new ideas to advertise and when she was not pitching the show to us, it was informative but not very much.  *On a side note I do want to see this show (and did before I heard her talk about it), I hope it comes through Cleveland.

Fist Full of Dollars:  The class was called "Internet Marketing Strategies" and was put on by a recruiter from Enterprise rent-a-car.  I was excited by this, as E-marketing is one of my developed specialties.  For the entire 45 minutes this recruiter proceeded to give bad, misleading and downright wrong information about subjects like pay per click advertising, Google Adwords and Analytics.  When she was asked questions that she did not know an answer to she just made up an answer and then moved on, it was terrible.

Moving on from the conference I made sure to enjoy my time in New Orleans. After presenting to Nintendo, our entire group went to Pat O'Briens for their famous hurricane and some gator bites.  On Thursday night I went to a few little clubs to relax and listen to Jazz.  Friday morning I woke up early and went for a run, with proper planning, my run led me to Cafe Du Monde which is a must to anyone who travels to the Big Easy.  The last time I was in New Orleans I did the full experience, coffee with chicory and beignets, this time I went with just an order of beignets for myself.  This faux french pastry is wonderful, light friend and then murdered in powdered sugar, not the best for you health wise, but if you are traveling then you have to live a little.  Friday night started with a bit of disappointment, Deanies which last year was great, it was however poor service and low quality food compared to other seafood I had.  After this was my fated journey to Bourbon Street.  If my blog where about stupid people, I would follow with an in depth description of what I witnessed that night, because it is not I will sum it up with New Orleans cops are useless, and people should not use drinking to justify acting stupid.  I spent Saturday walking about, sampling some food from the street party that was going on in the French Quarter and going to the airport hotel to let me get to my morning flight on time.

*A side note, most cab drivers in New Orleans feign nice, but will rip you off. If you go to New Orleans call Earl at 832-884-5684, he is part of a limo service that has better rates, more options and is a much higher class of service then a standard cab.

Because I was so close, I choose to drink only Abita products, and I was able to get my hands on a few pints of Andygator which always makes me happy.  This high gravity beer has a very smooth, hoppy taste, and I recommend anyone who can get it try it, you won't be disappointed.  The other Abita brew that I was happy to get, and ship a few home, was Restoration, a pale and all American beer.

As a last point, This Ad Age Article talks about how Facebook advertising works, which includes a part talking about how you don't sell on Facebook, you build brand awareness and equity, something I have been saying for some time, its good to see CEOs of E-marketing firms and me think along the same levels.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Some good beers

As I originally promised, my blog also is about beer and traveling, I have been neglecting those but I plan on rectifying this.

World Wide Stout: This beer has a lot going for it, and it is all good.  In general I am not much of a stout man, but my good friend Ben brought a six pack back from P.A. (Ohio liquor laws are archaic so this cannot be sold in here due to its 18.0% ABV).  This was my Super Bowl beer; I opened it before the middle of the 2nd quarter and finished it near the 2 minute warning at the end of the game. To call this complex may be misleading; it would be more accurate to refer to it as taste confusion, but not in a bad way.  Each sip starts as one thing and morphs as it crosses your tongue.  The flavor also changes as the temperature does, ideally you should drink this bear after it has warmed up for 30 minutes, cool but not cold.

Conway's Irish Ale:  My roommate Ian (check out his podcast for movie reviews) loves this beer, as we feel that beer is communal, it means I have been drinking a decent amount of it.  This is a very good, yet simple beer, not a lot of complexity but a very smooth and balanced tasting red ale.  Of late I have been very disillusioned with Great Lakes Brewery, the normal run of beer that they make keep dropping in quality, I am not sure if this is because of yeast degradation or if it is due to the larger and larger quantities that they are producing. Either way the quality of their non-seasonal beers is falling which is sad, this company's beer started me on the path to better beers.  It is also worth noting that last year's Christmas Ale was a pale comparison to previous years, and had little hope of standing against Thirsty Dog's 12 Dogs of Christmas, but I digress.  For the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, my fridge will be filled with Conways and of course Guinness.

Strawberry Harvest:  I will be the first to grab a pitchfork and torch against fruity beer, Abita's strawberry harvest, despite the name is not very fruity.  This company out of Louisiana also makes Andygator which I had when I was in New Orleans last year and loved it.  Their Strawberry ale has a very light taste, with a good, but light flavor followed by an afterthought of strawberry.  While this is not a heavy beer, I am looking forward to warmer days in Ohio to enjoy this outside.  I have been hounding my local beer store for more Abita products in hopes that they get more than just Purple Haze which I assume is only sold around here due to it being a liberal college town and the correlation with another common substance that is consumed liberally in college towns. It is a start however, with two beers from Abita; it is only a matter of time before I can write about enjoying Andygator in the state of Ohio.

If anyone has recommendations to what other beers I should try, please give me suggestions.  I am still a good beer novice, and I want to get better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Groupon and the Superbowl

While I know I am a bit late to this train, the Ohio National Guard takes precedent over writing in my blog. 

I heard about Groupon about two months prior to Google's offer to buy them, while I have not bought anything from the company I am very interested in how they work and can be used by companies.  When I saw Groupon's Superbowl commercial I was a bit shocked, making fun of saving whales and the rain forest is one thing, but to poke light at the cultural genocide of an occupied people is completely different.  I am by no means the most politically correct person, but even I was a bit disturbed by this miscalculation in advertising.  I posted in my twitter a link to CNN/tech which was about Groupon ending its current advertising campaign, trying to explain that it was to generate awareness, it did not seem to be well received.  Lucky for Groupon, the general memory of people in this age is not far reaching, and I doubt that Groupon will take any hit from this PR issue.

I was disappointed with the Superbowl this year, there was very little social media tie ins.  Besides a few Facebook widgets and seeingone # in reference to twitter, this years commercials could have just as easily been from the 2000 Superbowl in reference to social media pressence.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

IMC, Television to Social Media

I tweeted about this article from AdAge earlier today, but it is worth mentioning with over 200 characters.  The article talks about only super bowl ads and how companies are using them to create buzz for their brand on various social media outlets.  It is a pretty solid idea to help get more value from those multi-million dollar super bowl ads to attach a social media campaign and allow for increased awareness to be generated.  I am looking forward to see how the different aspects play out, from Audi's adding an #Audi at the end to encourage twitter traffic, to Budweiser's pre-super bowl commercials and Facebook fan page to allow people to talk about the theme/plot of the ad.  This will be an interesting time on social media to see how well people respond to campaigns made on other media directing them to social media as a continuation. 

On Budweiser's Facebook page (which I am not a fan of, such a poor excuse for beer, I digress) they have created the ability to use it to invite friends to a party you are having, by doing this through their page, you become a fan and let everyone in the friend circle know that you are a fan of Budweiser.  It is a great idea, and there is also a decent amount of chatter on the page about the upcoming super bowl ad.  So far Budweiser has used social media to generate a large amount of buzz to aid its ad's message during the super bowl, but I will have to wait until after the big game before I can make a final call on how effective they were.  While this year I would like to pretend the super bowl was not happening, it should have been Bears v. Jets, as I grew up around Cleveland any can guess my disposition toward the Steelers, I will be watching it solely for the ads and then watching how social media and the online community respond.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marketing Job

I was just brought on to, we compare textbook prices online.  It is an interesting setup, we don't sell a thing, instead we provide a search engine that compares over 20 online retailers of textbooks, or any books, and shows the cheapest price for new, user or renting the book.  As it is a small, three man now, operation I am in charge of all marketing, advertising and public relations.  This is going to be great, I can team up good traditional marketing and advertising, social media advertising and guerrilla marketing to create a solid IMC plan to help propel us forward. 

I have been doing a lot of research on search engine optimisation, it is interesting how google checks for organic links, and how it will blacklist websites if they seem to be getting links or attention to fast.  Also how much is written about SEO for google and how little is written for other search engines like Bing or yahoo's search.  I understand that google is such a huge part of the search engine market, but to ignore the others which make up almost 25% according to Sure Google's 71% market share is big, but to ignore the rest is just a bad business plan.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marketing, Beer and Traveling

When I got to Fort Huachuca, my first duty station in the U.S. Army, when I was introduced to my new boss who was a soon to be retiring colonial, he asked me who I was.  I responded with "PFC Hutchinson Sir." He then told me he knew my name he wanted to know who I was, what I was passonate about.  I often think about this as I reach different stages of my life, my answer as I get ready to graduate from Kent State University is Marketing, Beer and Traveling.

Marketing is first, after spending the past two years learning what I can about it in school, my appitite for it is only wetted. KSU's Managerial Marketing program includes two client projects, where teams compete doing work for a client, and can then see how it works or does not.  Unfortunatly the client I worked on was all but defunct when the project started. Before we could present them with our findings and recomendations all that was left was an unsupported website.  While it was a blow to not see anything implimented, the mear act of working on it only added to my desire to see what I could do.

Beer, my second passion is a simple one, I greatly enjoy the taste of good beer and how certian beers compliment meals.  Living in a college town I can get some good beers when I go out, but Ohio's draconian alcohol laws prevent me from obtaining many beers including my favorite (Dog Fish Head 120 minute IPA).  My friends half joking and the rest serious call me a beer snob, but whenever I offer them a distractions from the horrid swill they drink, they never turn me down.  I am not sure who first said it, but "life is to short to waste on bad beer and mean women."

Traveling became a part of my life when in 2006 I received orders to report to 1/72d Armor, Camp Casey South Korea.  When I first joined the Army, I had left Ohio 5 times between age 5 and 19, when I completed my 4 years in 2008 I had visited four continents, met some amazing people and seen wonders that my mid-west upbringing could never have prepared me for.  I left the Army because I promised myself that I would go to college, every day my wandlust grows a bit more now.

These are my passions, and they are what I will continue to write, and tweet about, feel free to follow me @MichaelKHutch on twitter.