All Articles Tagged "marketing"
People love to add slashes to their titles, conveying they are double and triple threats. Nowadays it can get a little gratuitous, reflecting ego more than experience. That’s not the case with Eunice Kindred. She’s a true renaissance woman bringing her love for art, music, and dance into her creative expression. She’s an artist, a DJ, a choreographer, and a dance instructor, on top of holding down a full-time position as an art director for a major advertising agency in New York City.
That may sound like a heavy load. But Kindred finds every aspect of her life enriches another. “It’s good to have all these influences because I never know what I can pull from to come up with an idea,” she says. “Being involved with so many different things gives me a richer background to pull from… Managing all of it can be a challenge, but I do what I love.”
Raising And Rebuilding An Artist
Kindred has been a multifaceted creative for as long as she can remember. Blame her father’s boom box blasting in the delivery room. When people outside of her family expressed concern that little Eunice should focus on one thing, her parents always encouraged her to pursue what she loved, whatever it was.
She found appreciation for her paintings early on, selling pieces for over $1000 as a high school student before attending Harvard University’s Visual and Environmental Studies program. After college she pursued graphic design professionally, only recently deciding to dive back into the art world. But New York galleries weren’t so anxious to welcome her into the fold.
“They saw me as a new artist when in reality I’ve been painting for so many years,” she said. “It was kind of like starting from scratch, but it was humbling to have to know all the stuff I had to change to be successful. Finding galleries to accept my work and even the process of pitching [my work] was new to me.”
Nick Cannon seems to have his hands in everything—in front of the camera, behind the camera, in retail, on the radio. And now the AdColor Board of Directors has named Cannon as the 2013 AdColor All-Star.
Cannon will receive the honor at the upcoming AdColor Awards and Industry Conference on September 21. Other former AdColor All-Stars Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Russell Simmons, Cristina Saralegui, Queen Latifah, George Lopez, and Boris Kodjoe will be on hand.
The AdColor All-Star Award goes to creative professionals of multicultural backgrounds, who, a press release explains, “have mastered all aspects of the media, creative, digital and traditional advertising disciplines.” AdColor is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, and public relations industries.
According to AdColor, Cannon is their pick this year because he “embodies the ‘Rise Up. Reach Back,’ mission of AdColor.”
This year Cannon returned for the fifth season as host of NBC’s America’s Got Talent and he serves as the chairman of Nickelodeon’s TeenNick television network as well as hosts his own nationally syndicated Top 40 weekend countdown radio show called “Cannon’s Countdown” with CBS Radio. Cannon also runs the multimedia company NCredible Entertainment, which produces TV and film projects. The company also has a product division that introduced the NCredible branded headphones last year in conjunction with Monster and expects 2013 sales to exceed $30 million.
And Cannon inked a multi-year, multi-million first-look production deal with NBC Networks to develop scripted and unscripted programs for the network earlier this year. His new sketch comedy show, Incredible Crew, premiered on Cartoon Network and has out-performed American Idol in all key kids demos.
Along wth Cannon, AdColor will honor 21 individuals and companies.
In life, it all starts with a plan. Having a guided course of action can take you quite far in life as you hone in on your goals, track accomplishments and focus your efforts to stay on track. Without one, you may find yourself wasting precious time or not making the type of progress you wish to see.
If you are a business owner, you definitely need to have plans in place to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. You might hear fellow industry professionals talk about the almighty business plan that some need before approaching lending sources, or even opening up shop. There is, however, another plan worth a mention.
Have you heard of a marketing plan? Do you know how to make one? Should you find yourself a bit clueless on the subject matter, here are some tips to help you out.
There’s a new Kool-Aid Man in town. The cherry red, smiley faced pitcher that’s been bursting through walls since 1954 is going to be computer-generated from now on. It was previously a person in a foam suit. Kool-Aid has been around for 94 years, according to Quartz.
Sales of Kool-Aid have slipped in recent years with the launch of other drink additions like MiO and Dasani Drops. However, Kool-Aid remains popular among minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, The New York Times said back in 2011.
“In 2012, the brand’s U.S. sales were down 5 percent to $338 million, according to the market researcher Euromonitor International. That was following a 4 percent drop the previous year,” Crain’s Chicago Business reports.
According to the company’s senior brand manager, Erica Rendall, the makeover is meant to give the character a better-defined personality and make him more relatable. Not sure that a digital pitcher of Kool-Aid could ever be more “relatable,” but OK.
Besides his wall crushing and the tagline “Oh yeah!,” the character may be best known for his antics on Family Guy. Feel free to check it out below while we wait for the new commercial to launch.
Ever the entrepreneur, Russell Simmons is launching a digital marketing, entertainment, and tech company called Narrative. The company will add to his empire, which still includes Def Jam Records and Phat Farm.
Simmons is launching with his longtime business partner Tricia Clarke-Stone. Both are clear that this isn’t a marketing agency that will be creating ads. “We believe we have a level of expertise that’s really rooted in creating immersive brand experiences across platforms,” Clarke-Stone told Ad Age.
“We think our future is working for agencies, not working around them,” Simmons added. The magazine says the company is starting with nine employees but plans to have as many as 20 by year-end, most of them in New York.
The company already has two clients — Global Grind, which is run by the two, and Boost Mobile, which is running a program with Global Grind. That site has already created campaigns for companies like Tide and Toyota. Narrative will also have access to the All Def Digital YouTube channel that will be launching soon.
Are you just dying to get your hands on the BlackBerry 10? Well, you can do so virtually. According to TechCruch, just direct your mobile browser to blackberry.com/glimpse and you can be among the first to get a gander at the new BlackBerry 10.
Of course, the in-browser experience isn’t like having the real product in hand, but it is a demo of BB10′s user interactions and popular features. “It works well, guiding the user through all the swiping and sliding that is BlackBerry 10,” reviews the site. you’ll be able to try out some of the “features” in a heavily scripted preview of the operating system. According to the Wall Street Journal since it is formatted for your smartphone, you can check out the messaging hub, switching applications and time-shifting photos. You should be able to get a “real” feel for the phone.
The signs seem positive for the upcoming smartphone. TechCrunch calls the BlackBerry 10 “a fantastic take on a mobile OS.”
With BlackBerry needing to boost sales, this unique in-browser might be part of the ad campaign revealed by Forbes.
WSJ reports that Blackberry claims it has shipped about a million Z10 smartphones, which start at $199 (putting it in the same price range as the iPhone 5 and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 4). And about three quarters of those units have sold through, with 55 percent coming from platforms other than BlackBerry.
In other BlackBerry news, the company is officially pulling canceling its BBM Music service on June 2, though the email admits the date is “subject to change, reports TechCrunch. The music service never really seemed to fly BBM Music was first launched in 2011 and for $4.99 a month users could download 50 tracks of their own, but in order to expand that library of tunes users had to invite their BBM contacts to join the service as well, explains the site.
Lastly some good news for the struggling smartphone company. According to the New York Post, BlackBerry has struck a two-season marketing deal with the NY Nets’ home the Barclays Center. “The deal is valued at $1 million to $5 million, according to an industry source who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” reports the newspaper. BlackBerry and its new Z10 phone will in turn get prominent ad placement throughout the arena — plus its own customer “experiential” area and a suite-level lounge, according to Mike Zavodsky, the Nets vice president of new corporate marketing.
Will this increased emphasis on marketing yield business results?
Social Media Advisor Cheryl Contee Shares Says African Americans Must See Themselves As Digital Creators
Cheryl Contee, a co-founder of Fission Strategy, works with nonprofit organizations and foundations to improve their digital outreach: blogging, tweeting, Facebook, and more. Contee describes the company as “specializing in social media for social good,” and was founded in 2008. She works with organizations like the One Campaign, Define American, Amnesty International, and Zynga.org.
In addition to her work as co-founder of the Jack and Jill Politics blog, she is active in the digital space, on Twitter, and moderated a recent Social Media Week Panel on multicultural mobile consumers.
MadameNoire spoke to Contee about her work with nonprofits, trends in social media, and how the black community is active on social media and mobile devices.
MadameNoire: Why did you decide to start Fission Strategy? Why is it important to get nonprofits to use technology to their full advantage?
Cheryl Contee: I co-founded Fission as a business, as a for-profit, which would keep us focused and structured on innovation, to provide specialized, tailored services for nonprofits and foundations. Nonprofits don’t always have the same budgets, but certainly they have an advantage in this new arena, where individuals are so empowered through social media and can use their voices, use their networks, and use their technological savvy to inspire others around a given cause. They aren’t selling laptops or soap or football tickets, but they are selling ideas and inspiration.
MN: What are some nonprofit organizations that you work with, and what are they doing in social?
CC: Moms Rising is doing an incredible job. They do tweet chats with the White House, and they have an incredible passionate and engaged membership. During the election, we worked with OurTime, which works with young people, and we were able to get voter registration widgets on the Facebook pages of folks like Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Will.i.am, Jess Alba, Eva Longoria, and Trey Songz. We also worked with Tumblr to have the same online voter registration widget. Overall, that ended up driving more than 300,000 registrations, which is the kind of difference-maker that we try to achieve.
MN: I saw you moderated a panel during Social Media Week about multicultural mobile consumers. How do you see the African-American community using mobile more or differently than the general market or other demographics?
CC: Certainly, there are lots of different stats on this, but social media use is really heavy for African Americans. Pew Internet had a study out last year that said that something like 25 percent of online African Americans use Twitter and 10 percent use it every day. That’s a real dominance when you think about the millions [of Twitter users]. And that’s at least twice the rate of whites. A lot of people are using Twitter on their mobile device, either through apps or text messaging.
MN: And is it only about using social media on mobile devices, or are text messaging campaigns and mobile advertising still intriguing for nonprofits and corporations as they try to reach multicultural consumers?
CC: Any technology that is accessible via mobile is something that is important.
When you look at mobile advertising, there are some great numbers that came out Nielsen that show that, when you look at mobile ads, minorities are more likely to see them and click on them and to actually consider those. It’s a really useful way to stretch your ad dollars and make the most of your ad dollars.
[Editor's Note: During the Social Media Week Panel, Monica Bannan, VP of product leadership at Nielsen showed stats about mobile advertising. After seeing a social media ad, 18 percent of African-Americans shared that ad, 29 percent "liked" it, and 18 percent went on to purchase the product. This is compared to 13 percent of whites who shared the ad, 24 percent who liked it, and 12 percent who purchased a product.]
MN: Beyond the mobile trend, what else are you seeing with regards to the black community when it comes to social media, and what technologies are you focusing on for the next year or so?
CC: Certainly, we’re working to understand the power of Tumblr and Instagram, which is more integrated into Facebook, and having the notion of photo filters and hashtags attached to photos. We’re paying attention to that trend and the shift in the market. And again, a lot of these trends and innovations are actually driven by a change in consumer behavior around mobile devices. We are really trying to pay attention to that.
What is key for African Americans going forward is to see themselves not just as powerful consumers—African Americans are more likely than some other groups to own smartphones, to use social media, to use advanced internet—but to see themselves going beyond consumers to become creators. That’s the future of careers, the future of our economy and the future of prosperity for our community. We need to take our demonstrated tech savvy to the next level, launch our own companies, and create products that other people find useful.
Want to break into the music industry? Open a new tab in your browser and find your way to your favorite video-sharing site. Millions of people browse YouTube every day, discovering new acts through music videos and live performances. The site’s related videos section makes it the perfect tool for musicians to get their music in front of a receptive audience.
For hip hop artists, YouTube videos have become the new mixtape. The perfect fix for audiences with shrinking attention spans and an industry that favors a hot single to a good album. Savvy musicians are converting video views into new followers, ticket purchasers, and song downloaders.
If there was any doubt about video’s place in the future of the music industry, media research firm Nielsen recently reported YouTube as the number one place teens go to listen to music (64 percent). YouTube isn’t just making performers stars. The digital landscape is ripe with opportunities behind the scenes, for those strategic enough to spot them. Case in point, Simon Cowell just this week launched a YouTube audition channel, The You Generation.
Artists Catch Up With the Times
Established brands have already seen the light, and accept short-form video as the future of marketing. However, independent artists often miss out on basic parts of these marketing initiatives like brand partnerships, advertising dollars, and technical tools that boost their visibility due to a lack of knowledge.
Enter Volume Visual, the recently launched multi-channel network brainchild of digital
entrepreneurs Jabari Johnson and Benoni Tagoe. Both are YouTube veterans: Jabari for his documentary series chronicling music’s hottest rising stars and Benoni as a producer of the hit online series, Awkward Black Girl.
“One of our main goals is helping artists’ channels develop their audience,” Jabari said. “We come from YouTube backgrounds and have a lot of knowledge about the space. At the same time we have a space in L.A. that artists can come and shoot videos for free. We empower the artists with the tools to help them create the visuals on a more frequent basis and help to cut costs.”
Staying Ahead Of The Curve
Think of multi-channel networks (MCNs) as the digital era’s answer to Viacom, affiliating with multiple YouTube channels and undertaking business areas like promotion, funding, and partnerships so creatives can focus on what they do best. Rather than having a few dozen-cable networks under their umbrella, MCNs have thousands of YouTube channels.
The top MCNs rack up views that rival some cable networks, with the most successful companies targeting mainstream music, gaming, and pop culture. Hip hop culture, Volume Visual’s target, is noticeable absent from the mix. The venture highlights a clever strategy for staying ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing business of entertainment: pay attention to what’s shaping the landscape and figure out how to make what works for similar markets work for you.
The key to cementing a place in the future of entertainment industry may lie in creating your dream job, rather than applying for it. Technology is changing the landscape of countless industries. Odds are embracing those changes will help you anticipate trends before the old guard catches on.
“I always say that it’s never smart to bet against technology,” says Jabari. “Technology is not only at the forefront of this industry, but our culture. Finding ways to have technology interact with the normal human experience – that’s always going to win.”
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Trojan has a come up with a unique promotion this Valentine’s Day, a day when, according to Nielsen, prophylactics sell best.
Part of Trojan’s National C*ndom Month promotion, the brand will put special Trojan cabs on New York City streets on Valentine’s Day and the following day, February 15, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the cab ride, a Trojan representative will administer sex quizzes, kind of like Cash Cab meets Glamour magazine. The ride will be free, as long as the passenger travels within a designated area.
The company is hoping this year’s campaign goes better than last year’s, when in August, Trojan gave out adult toys from hot-dog-style carts. The program was temporarily suspended by the city for lack of necessary permits, prompting a front-page New York Post story with the classic headline “Buzz Kill,” reports Ad Age. This year, they’ve taken all the appropriate precautions. Appropriately.
Do you think this is a good idea?
Maybe People Need to Lighten Up? Experts Talk About Offensive Advertising, and How Companies Can Avoid It
Volkswagen was the latest company to step into a pile of controversy over an ad that some considered racist. In the ad, which ran during last night’s Super Bowl though some suspected it wouldn’t, a white man walks around his office speaking in a Jamaican accent, encouraging people to “get happy,” as the ad campaign’s motto says.
Many people, including many Jamaicans and other minorities, didn’t actually find the ad offensive.
“Personally, I was not offended. As half Guyanese, I thought it was funny,” Monique Nelson, CEO and chairm
Respect for the audience — the whole audience — is the first necessity for any marketing campaign. But there has to be more as well.
“Whenever companies are working with a concept that is foreign to their core competency, my recommendation is to work with a subject or cultural expert,” Nelson continues. “More research and more diversity on the team may not alleviate all of the issues, but some of them.”
That issue of diversity in the advertising industry is one that continues to impact the finished marketing product, particularly at a time when the consumer is increasingly diverse. Before the Volkswagen issue even reared its head, Ad Age published an op-ed by Lincoln Stephens, the founder and executive director of the Marcus Graham Project. In the article, Stephens gives tips for both aspiring marketers and the marketing industry to increase diversity in the industry. He says it’s something that both sides should work on together, with future staffers being persistent and constantly improving their skills while the execs look beyond family, friends, and assorted acquaintances for new talent.
Claudine Moore, founder of C Moore Media, an international public relations firm, agrees that there needs to be more diversity in the industry. “I have been in the business in America for the last 13 years, and the persistent lack of diversity continues to astound me, especially at senior levels. America is not changING, it has changED, and the industry needs to change too…and quickly,” she told us via email.
At the same time, Moore, a British woman of Jamaican descent who didn’t find the Volkswagen ad offensive, says we ought to be careful about labeling everything “offensive” or “racist.”
“I thought it was light-hearted and humorous, plus the actors accent was really very good,” she wrote. “I think we have to be very careful about what we deem offensive. If everything that pokes a bit of fun is taken as seriously offensive, then humor and creativity will be zapped out of the industry.”
True enough. Many of the ads that ran last night relied heavily on humor, a clever turn of phrase, or an old-fashioned sight gag. But, as Tony Balasandiran, an account supervisor at Flowers Communications Group tells us, it’s most important to understand where an attempt at humor is going to upset an audience you’re trying to reach with your message.
“The key to pushing the envelope with your marketing, without crossing the line, is actually knowing your target audience,” he wrote to us. “Effective marketing relies on the message – verbal or visual – resonating with your intended audience. Knowing means understanding – as in, understanding the cultural nuances of your audience. Without this understanding, brands will continue to find themselves on, hovering over, and inevitably crossing, the line.”
Of course, some companies, like Go Daddy, purposely court controversy as a way to stand out. “Understanding that the media landscape is cluttered and very hard to break through, marketers are taking chances with advertising that many may see as controversial, but that marketers may simply see as disruptive,” UniWorld Group’s Nelson added.
But there is a point where you can push the levels of taste, propriety, or straight up decency so far that you can alienate people. Based on the feedback we’ve been hearing about that lip-smacking Go Daddy ad, they could have done just that last night.