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Best practices, training and innovations in Digital Strategy.

Cross Platform Marketing in Children’s Media

April 17, 2013 – 3:07 pm
Danny Klein
 

A Blueliner client in the business of children’s media recently engaged in a series of meetings with Dreamworks Animation regarding one of his feature film screenplays. Dreamworks’ interest was simple and straightforward: is this story marketable, and does it have “cross platform” appeal? From the beginning of the presentation process, story meetings actually included the Dreamworks marketing staff. In fact, story editors there concurrently serve as marketing executives. Simply put, story development is intertwined with product development on all levels – it’s as if the company serves as an animation production house as well as an interactive marketing agency.

The staff’s key question, not surprisingly, was whether or not the story and characters could be marketed across the board: video games, digital games, mobile games, music recordings, television, books, dissertations, toys, etc.  The story would also have to play for boys and girls. Research included the movie’s title — whether it was simple enough for kids to say, and could exploit search engine optimization. Ultimatlely, what Dreamworks has found in recent years is that funny furry animals have proven to spawn more merchandise than other products (think “Shrek”). And thus, they were on the hunt for a “funny furry animal” project that would translate into the aforementioned platforms for cross platform marketing.

Today’s children’s media executives know that cross platform marketing, or transmarketing, is nothing new. We all remember the days of our “Star Wars” or “Strawberry Shortcake” lunch boxes, Darth Vader masks, and Luke Skywalker figures. (Dare I forget my Star Wars pillow and blanket). Only nowadays, there are more platforms than ever, and they are always changing, always growing. So how do these companies keep up?

Ken Faier, president of Nerd Corps, executive producer of “SlugTerra”, and presenter at the “Creating Brands in the New Digital Age” panel, concurred that when his company evaluates any new property (storyline, or show), they always evaluate what media will be used to advertise to that demographic, and of course the potential for retail products associated with the brand. Lori Camm, a Senior Content Producer and programmer for BBC Children, asks, “Is the core of transmedia just marketing? Or is it getting to a good story?” She suspects it’s a bit of both. “If you’ve got a good story and good characters, the kids will go to where they are.” Ville Lepisto, animation producer with Rovio, the company that produced the surprise hit “Angry Birds”, sees the cross-platform strategy as basically telling the same story over and over again, with different media.

“Angry Birds” used Tumblr as their key media content hub, and had a live Google hangout leading up to the release. Keeping their focus on the fans and delivering different content at the same time on different media platforms, where their fans would be, launched the property successfully with games, toys and other associated merchandise. Note that more platforms means that products associated with a brand can be launched at the same time.  This differs from past marketing strategies, in which products were launched in cautious phases.
Another effect of today’s digital media is that children are receiving so many messages online, via social media, all the time. When movies and television were the key marketing platforms, products generally hit movies first and then became television series (so as to hedge the television investment). Or, if a television show proved to be successful, it then became a movie (ie. Hannah Montana, The Simpsons, etc). But then kids had time to process what it is they were watching. With omnipresent social media, products must be launched at once in order to leave an imprint. Especially when the consumers are children and parents. Today there are Facebook groups and blogs that generate more viewership than expensive, high-risk television programs.

The lesson, which extends well beyond children’s media clients – to create properties that can be launched on a variety of platforms, and preferably at the same time (or close to it). The days of 6-12 month brand “roll outs” are  long gone!

 

 

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Marketing for children or children for marketing?

September 14, 2012 – 4:12 pm
Cristiana
 

Marketing and advertising for children has already been more challenging and complex. It is always related to emotional impact both for children and parents and more (very much more) psychology. The reason is simple: children are seeing things that they wish (toys, chocolate bars/cakes, clothing, etc). The next step is relatively easy: they start putting pressure on their parents to purchase the respective “new asset” that is going to be forgotten one week later when something new, more trendy comes up on the market. Moreover, children (even if they are less than 5), they are aware that for instance, they cannot socialize properly with other children if they have an old-dated toy or if they do not go to a specific movie (usually this kind of movie is watched in groups with parents). So, again everything is very strong related to “outside”; if parents believe their children are very young so there is no need for huge expenses, they should think twice. The problem is related to the fact that your child can be rejected from a group, because other children would not accept to socialize with someone who does not have the latest “gadgets” in terms of toys.

Marketers know very well all these aspects. That is why they are closely working with psychologists to figure out the best way to market different products for the young audience. In her book “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?”, Rebecca A. Clay is citing psychologist Allen D. Kanner, PhD who has been asking his younger clients what they wanted to do when they grew up. The answer used to be “nurse,” “astronaut” or some other occupation with intrinsic appeal.
But today the answer has changed into ” I want to make money.” For Kanner, one explanation for that shift can be found in advertising.

“Advertising is a massive, multi-million dollar project that’s having an enormous impact on child development,” says Kanner, who is also an associate faculty member at a clinical psychology training program called the Wright Institute. “The sheer volume of advertising is growing rapidly and invading new areas of childhood, like our schools.”

According to Kanner, the result is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something he calls “narcissistic wounding” of children.

Besides this, I would use my expertise in Media to add that Marketing is a strong component of manipulation as well. Marketers are using Psychologists to understand children’s social behavior and their parents’ reaction in different circumstances. This has A LOT to do with the product placement and finally with the overall profit of a company.

According to  Betsy Wagner’s book called, `Our class is brought to you today by…advertisers target a captive market: school kids’, US News & World Report, Vol. 118, No. 16 (1995), p. 63; France, op.cit.; Rhoda H. Karpatkin and Anita Holmes, `Making schools ad-free zones’, Educational Leadership, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1995):  “In the US there are over 57 million school age children and teenagers who spend about $100 billion each year of their own and their family’s money on sweets, food, drinks, video and electronic products, toys, games, movies, sports, clothes and shoes.” These statistics show the best the great potential for this market.

A perfect case-study for marketing for children (and the same time, a very  recent one), is Ron Albanese, formerly known as Polka Dot, who had a very nice social/cultural marketing approach for children combined with a lot of rock & roll.

Remember that a couple of lines above I was mentioning about the fabulous cooperation between marketers and psychologists? Well… the lyrics of many songs that Polka Dot is playing are related to “The Robot from Honolulu”, “A Lotta Energy” and “I don’t wanna go to school”. The titles of these songs express exactly the behavior of almost any typical child. Consequently, the songs are enjoyed a lot, because their songs reflect EXACTLY the thoughts of children.

It was a live performance that took place in Hoboken, NJ. The concept was easy: call to action (parents, grandparents and children) united for a light summer evening. Apparently, this should have been all. But it wasn’t. And here is why: in the pause between ‘The robot from Honolulu”  and “Dress to impress” (interpreted by Ron’s daughter) the artist introduced some special thanks to the City’s Hall that… is organizing on the 30th September 2012 the Arts and Music Festival in Hoboken. This time, the event is more destined to parents but to children as well, because Ron will also perform then. In other words, while addressing special thanks (a message that was obviously for parents and grandparents) making a strong mental note about an upcoming event where Polka Dot will be and about a city event that will occur soon. Going deeper, always during events for children marketers introduce messages for parents as well (because it is obvious that children under 5 for example cannot join events by themselves). I went there just to have fun and I enjoyed this performance a lot even if it was not targeted to me. I felt child again and I experienced the children’s joy. They made my day!

However, my journalistic education does not leave me to remain on this perspective, but encourages me to go further and analyze the purpose of the event. Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening, it was a good branding/marketing tool for upcoming events organized by the City Hall and last but not least, an intelligent self-promotion. If I had to describe the event in 1 word it would be impossible because it was a bit of all these. It was not disturbing. I realized the other 2 purposes but I chose to focus on the first one: having fun.

This case study represents a very interesting way to understand that marketing has extended not only to product placement (in this situation even if the “product placement” was not tangible it was efficient through an event) but also to music and consequently to lyrics. There is a bit of manipulation everywhere.

I am not saying this is necessarily bad because at the end of the day it is your own decision if you accept to be manipulated or not. But what I do say is that marketing has extended in places where has never been before: elevator, subway tunnels and even on the sky. Marketing is everywhere and subliminal messages have strongly touched over the years.

The question for marketers still remains: shall we create events for children where parents will come anyway? Or would it be better to create events for parents with sections especially for children because adults will take them anyway?

To digest all this, you definitely need “a lotta energy”!

 

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Women Entrepreneurs #1: Louise Hay – The Entrepreneur of the Mind, Body, & Spirit

August 18, 2012 – 5:13 pm
Cristiana
 

 

Louise Hay

Louise Hay, recently dubbed by the Australian media as the “closest thing to a living saint”  is known world-wide for her role in the self-help movement -  the relationship between the mind, body, and spirit. Her first essay on this topic was published in 1976. 12 years later, that book was translated in over 25 languages and available throughout the world.

Her incursion into this approach started in New York City, 1970. She had joined meetings at the Church of Religious Science and began training in their ministerial program. Her popularity as a Church speaker increased and this position allowed her to counsel clients and become a full-time employee. This is just the beginning of her amazing story…

Louise used her experiences consulting to create a guide related to the mental causes of physical ailments. This guide represented the basic knowledge level for her successful book “Heal Your Body”. This book in combination with her speaking engagements and workshops on healing ourselves made Louise a world-wide success. Where do her experiences come from you ask? After she had been diagnosed with cancer, she chose to avoid surgeries or drugs. Instead, she created herself  a program based on psychotherapy, nutritional cleaning, visualization and affirmations. 6 months after she started this program, she was completely healed of cancer.

In 1980, she decided to put everything on paper. In what would become her new book, Louise explained how our emotional problems and physical maladies are caused by our beliefs. In the mid ‘80s, Louise started a support group with 6 men diagnosed with AIDS. In less than 3 years, the group’s members increased to 800. It was off these experiences that she penned, “The AIDS Book: Creating a Positive Approach”.

Louise successfully combined spirituality and her interest for health and the cause-effect relationship with our wellness into a business. What began as a small venture in her apartment transformed itself in a multi-million dollar company that has already sold millions of books world-wide. Not only is she a manager/entrepreneur, but she is also an amazing leader. She started the Hay Foundation that supports other organizations dedicated to helping individuals with shelter, hospice, food, counseling those affected by HIV/AIDS, poor women, and more.

Her amazing career has not stopped either. At 81, Louise released her first-ever autobiographical film based on her life and work: “You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie”. Despite her age, she is still lecturing around the world, primarily in Great Britain, Australia and Canada.

We end with the most powerful thoughts of Louise Hay:

1. “I love myself, therefore, I behave in a loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied.”
2.
“I only attract loving people in my world for they are a mirror of what I am.”
3.
“I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the Universe.”
4. “Today is a delightful day. Money comes to me in expected and unexpected ways.”
5. “I lovingly do everything I can to assist my body in maintaining perfect health.”

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Lee Odden’s “Optimizes” SES NY 2012: Part 2

March 26, 2012 – 11:29 pm
Arman Rousta
 

[This is Part 2 of 2 in a review of Lee Odden's Search Engine Strategies NY 2012 Session. Part 1 is available here.]

Picking up on my original post last week, here are a few more slides (from Lee) and observations (from me) on Lee Odden’s SES NY presentation.

[SLIDE 5: SOCIAL SEO KPIs & BUSINESS OUTCOMES]

SEO KPIs, Business Outcomes, Content Marketing

Odden poses an important question to digital marketers and online-focused companies – “What if Google disappeared tomorrow?” followed by a recommendation “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!  Optimize for consumers, experiences and outcomes.”  The Social SEO KPIs slide brings to light the Business Outcomes in order to take some of the focus off obsession with KPIs, which in and of themselves, fluctuate in importance.  Insightful comment of the day from Odden, in my view was “KPIs are just a stepping stone to get what we really want, which are tangible business outcomes.”

[SLIDE 6: TOP 6 CONTENT MARKETING TACTICS: AND HOW TO OPTIMIZE THEM]

content marketing tactics, SEO, blog marketing, ebook
The 2011 Content Marketing Playbook, put out by the Content Marketing Institute, identifies these six tactics [1) Blog, 2) Digital Newsletter, 3) White Paper, 4) Article, 5) eBook and 6) Video] amongst the top ten CM tactics for 2011.  Odden takes us through them, giving some tips on best practices in each area.  There was no one strategy trumps all or correct strategy mix for companies to follow.  eBooks might work well for a particular company or industry, while Videos work better for a different industry.

[SLIDE 7: 30 CONTENT MARKETING TACTICS]

content marketing tactics, PR, Social Media, lee oddenOdden outlines a larger list of 30 Content Marketing Tactics, which are further expanded upon in his blog.  As a marketer who has run campaigns across all of these 30 channels, my personal favorites from this list are – 1) Webinars, 2) Crowdsourcing, 3) Mobile Apps, 4) Videos and 5) Infographics.  We are reminded that regardless of the strategies utilized, keyword strategies and trending social media topics should be at the heart of them.  For example, if you want to get attention for “red widgets”, then interview a bunch of people who are “red widget” experts, and make sure to ask them a lot of questions with the wording “red widgets” as well as related phrases.  Transcribing the interview Q&A will yield a healthy amount of mentions for “red widgets” and related keywords in the text, which provides a major SEO benefit.

[SLIDE 8: CONTENT IDEAS]

content ideas, google alerts, twitter handles, hash tag marketing

Some of the memorable tips in this part of the presentation include:

  • Interview Other Bloggers: Ask one question to many bloggers (so you get a high percentage of responses) or many (10 or so questions) to fewer bloggers.
  • Aggregate Comments: Pull together the best comments from other blogs, and your own blogs; and put them into a fresh post or widget.
  • Use of Hash Tags & Twitter Handles: Put hash tags and twitter @ handles in title tags of blog posts, and watch some cool things happen.

I like #7 as well, and have used that quite successfully for a Blueliner client (Completely Bare, a leading Laser Hair Removal and Spray Tan Spa) who gets a ton of customer inquiries to their blog.  We setup each question to come in as a new blog post, with the question as the title, and answer (from the company) as the body content.  Huge SEO benefits accumulated from this tactic.

CONCLUSION

I like Lee Odden’s presentation style.  He doesn’t mince words or talk a lot of fluff.  It’s straight advice given by a marketing professional who does “walk the talk”.  His own company, like Blueliner, does not spend a penny on advertising – because their inbound marketing strategy is so strong.  I have learned a few things from him over the years, most important of which is the consistency of his efforts in quality, multi-form content creation.  That is a lesson that everyone should take home and meditate deeply on.  Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Pinterest or the next big thing, it will be some type of content aggregator and database, that seeks out high quality content providers.  Will you be one of them?

 

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Lee Odden “Optimizes” SES NY

March 22, 2012 – 8:01 pm
Arman Rousta
 

I have always been a fan of Lee Odden – one of the digital marketing industry’s thought leaders – and got the chance to finally meet him today after watching his talk at SES NY.  Odden strength is in his effective communication and knack for weaving that skill into great content strategy, production and distribution.  He recently authored Optimize, which I hope to win a free copy of by live blogging from the conference (I have been taking notes and pictures throughout the session, which have been going up on Twitter – @blueliner while citing @leeodden with the #sesny hashtag throughout).  Win or not, I plan to read the book because I value what Odden has to offer, and encourage other marketers to do the same.  His message is simple, but the work required behind it is not as easy as it looks.  It requires real dedication, of time and resources, to follow through on an effective Content Marketing strategy.  Luckily, Odden gives us some good tools and a framework to approach Content Marketing, while weaving in SEO and Social Media (notice that 3 of our 7 Pillars are covered).

Here is a quick summary of my notes from today’s one-hour session in a kind of slide show (Odden’s slides, not all of them or in the order they were presented) + commentary (my observations) format:

[SLIDE 1: KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE]

content marketing, target audience

Odden reminds us that Content Marketing is not just about adding more content and pages to your website; but rather about strategically devising content for specific audiences.  It’s common sense, but surprisingly, a lot of businesses don’t spend enough time doing their research and segmentation on the types of customers they have.  Odden instructs that this process should be part of the initial discovery stage of a content marketing strategy.

[SLIDE 2: CREATING CUSTOMER PERSONAS]

personas, lee odden model, content marketing

Once a basic level of research is done on existing CRM and Analytics data, creating Personas – which are essentially profiles of what your target customers look like demographically and behaviorally – is the next step.  These Personas then guide the content, Social and SEO strategies.  Odden got into a lot more detail about this, which I would refer to you to his new Content Marketing book website to learn more about.

[SLIDE 3: HUB & SPOKE MODEL]

hub spoke marketing model, content marketing, blog marketing, odden

Odden utilizes this Hub & Spoke Publishing model to demonstrate all of the various channels through which we can distribute and repurpose our content, as well as that of others.  Some useful tips are recommended, like “Oreo cookie commentary”, where you curate other people’s content with your own twist (kind of like what I’m doing with this blog entry, leveraging Odden’s content – the Oreo filling, but adding my own introduction and perspective around it).  Ultimately, depending on the size of your content team, a realistic checklist and process has to be agreed on, then activated via a manageable Editorial Calendar.

[SLIDE 4: SEO FITS IN EVERYWHERE!]

SEO Content Marketing stagesOdden advises us to “think more holistically about where (and what) you can optimize.”  Most companies have more digital assets (such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, white papers, and images) than they realize.  Identifying those, and building a Digital Assets Management system, so that these nuggets are accessible for various Content Marketing initiatives, is a good step.  This slide also illustrates how pervasive SEO is to the entire life cycle of a customer’s experience with any product or service category.

 

CONCLUSION

I have a bit more to say on this topic, and more slides from Odden’s workshop to share in Part 2 (published on March 26, 2012).  For now, I just wanted to get something out while still at the conference, while it’s fresh.

 

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Drowning in e-mail? You’re not alone.

February 14, 2012 – 7:41 pm
Damjan Dano
 

Another awesome infographic on the topic of e-mail communication, developed by the Boomerang for Gmail tool that helps you schedule an email to be sent later.

The infographic shares insights from 5 million analyzed e-mails and explains that the average e-mail user received 147 messages every day, and spends around 2 hours on e-mail daily. Which is a lot of time!

Many other interesting details worth reading are included in this graphic:

Couple months ago I’ve read an interesting and controversial article in the news about a former French finance minister, now CEO of Atos Origin, one of the largest IT companies in France, who gave it’s employees 18 months to adapt a practice of not communicating via e-mail.

After the deadline, the company will only communicate via phone, IM chat and in person communication.

The decision by the executive Tiery Breton was made after analyzing over 200 company e-mails and concluding that only 10% of the e-mails are valid and useful, while the rest are distraction. They also concluded that employees are spending from 5-20 hrs a week only on e-mails,

What’s your opinion on this topic? It’s certainly an interesting discussion. How do you handle e-mail?

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The Art of Creator’s Block

May 18, 2011 – 3:10 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

I woke up this morning and realized that I have no digital marketing topics.  No mobile marketing can be extrapolated for a larger point.  Interactive media has been deactivated.  The tablet marketplace does exist in another universe portal, but not today.  This week, I’ve been fascinated with the web applications of rich media.  The “hump day” firewall has blocked those ions.  As a lover of video content, I can click on my RSS feed to explore the depths of online technology.  My eyes are closing to it. 

Seesmic, TweetDeck, and Hootsuite are fantastic API platforms to monitor the cyberworlds’ endless action.  Today, however, the refresh button is broken.  I am creating this piece on a personal computer with the wizardry of Microsoft Windows’ business platform.  My office wireless network router is disabled through the MacBook Pro.  The office tech specialist is unavailable. Therefore, the transition to a different device was made.

Creative energy runs across forces which limit the expansion of that boom. Since our experience is bounded by finite physical properties, we must step back at times.  Once we do this, then reflection enters our consciousness. We can assess the value of media content in our lives.  We can measure the emotions building in our thoughts. We can appreciate our digital connections to followers seen and unseen.  We process the chips that generate electric streams in our hardware. Who knows? We may untangle the cords blocking our surge protector.

Then we look at our stack of books, newspapers, and magazines. We tap the dry canvases, paintbrushes, and acrylics in the studio. We flick on the desk lamp and turn open our journals and sketchbooks.  We pull out the manual lenses from our old Minolta.  We dust off the lens with a silk cloth.  We tune our guitars, drums, microphones, and speakers. We turn on the mixing dashboard.  Then it’s time to work for art.

 

 

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Will Etsy Mature?

April 11, 2011 – 5:32 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Etsy is an e-commerce website which has generated a strong lineup of investors for a possible IPO. The website holds inventory of antique craft products. These products are furniture, accessories, and other consumer items.  The founder is a young man, Rob Kalin, whose business ethos mirrors the independent spirit of Fugazi. He detests the corporate business structure and promotes the work of featured craftspeople through the community blog. For those unfamiliar with Etsy, the online marketplace site differentiates itself by using little advertising on a management scale.  They rely on sellers and buyers using communication to reach the general public, in secret or by word-of-mouth.  

Doubts are surfacing whether Etsy can sustain itself without a traditional business structure. Online advertising would pay tremendous dividends if Kalin aligns the company with appropriate partners.  Listing fees would enable the site to build a proper set of meta tags to climb the search engine rankings. You would also take care of the vendors that he claims to fight for every day.  Proper SEO methodology would put sellers in front of consumers who want to buy products from more credible sources.  It would also build communities that can collaborate on geolocal advertising campaigns to raise traffic, not to mention revenue.  Keyword lists can be tailored to the needs of vendors to reach premium eyes.  As mobile marketing ventures into tablets that can load pictures with rich pixellation capability, Kalin must investigate for the benefit of his sellers.  Crafts need to been seen, not heard.

Kalin, as the Inc.com article mentions, is a liberal arts guru by education.  He now trades as a businessman.  The goal of any business is to maximize profit for the benefit of your vendors.  Even Fugazi understood this at the end of the day, creating incendiary music to accredit their business model.  Mavericks have come in and out of time to provide goods and services while remaining true to themselves.  The online marketplace is waiting for someone to challenge eBay. Is Kalin ready for it?

 

 

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Be Young, Find Work, Click on Pepsi Possibilities

April 4, 2011 – 2:38 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Large corporations are looking to engage recent graduates on a level which will bring in new talent.  Unemployment numbers are falling, but many have sent resumes and not gotten a break.  How do human resources cut through the deluge to find candidates that fit into the culture?

Mobile technology is one way to do it.  According to this article from Mobile Marketer, PepsiCo has created a new application for the iPhone called Possibilities.  The purpose, like any application, is to inform and entertain with a strong message.  This one has a forum for live conversation between prospective candidates themselves along with direct interface of management.  You could parallel it with a long screening phase on a virtual level.

The social media features include a link to the job Twitter account (@PepsiCoJobs), online video discussions, and blog pieces. The strategy is an excellent method for applicants to get an approximation of culture in their job research.  I found this last part interesting in which a geolocator can automatically find jobs near the user’s location.  Some could worry about a breach of security firewalls, but toggling is available. Readers who happen to test the application, leave feedback on your thoughts. I’m a Blackberry user, so an application is not yet available. I leave you with a clip to the Pepsi Jobs channel. Flip the tab.

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Weekly Blueliner Newsminer

January 14, 2011 – 5:50 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

We are back with another edition of the Weekly Blueliner Newsminer.  Let us begin.

1.  iPhone Arrives on Verizon Network

We have heard the rumors for quite some time now, and they are now fact.  iPhone is coming to the Verizon network on February 10th, meaning that some of the complaints about AT&T’s crowded network feed.  The interesting caveat is that Apple designed their Verizon phones with the CDMA network rather than the new 4G one.  Could this be a bad precedent for a phone which demands a lot of data services due to its endless application menu? We all know about the value it has brought for web developers, but what about the consumer? Time will tell if Verizon can make the call.

2.  Groupon Prepares For IPO

Groupon is looking to go public in the spring time.  Sometimes the opportunity you do not take is the best move.   If the startup is able to follow through, this bodes well for venture capitalism.  It also bodes well for the economic prognostications of a rebound this year.  When venture capitalists gain credibility with investment firms, it is a beautiful thing.  It also shows that interactive marketing is gaining respect as a sector, with local online communities generating quantifiable value for their services.  Stay tuned to this story.  It could be a huge breakthrough.

3.  Tunisian Revolution Is Hashtagged

This short piece on Tech Crunch is an ironic twist of social media’s ability to cover world trends in real time.   Despite the advent of  broken coverage on world epidemics and their maintenance of fundraising campaigns, social media is still far from the last word in journalism. MSNBC and The New York Times offered scant coverage, despite their users having accounts for both social media firms.   Tunisia has a stronger presence in the Mediterranean region due to its long relationship with its colonial father, France, and is an emerging IT ecosystem.  The late coverage screams with bigger irony than ever.  For more details on this emerging tale, click the headline.

4.  IBM’s Watson Beats Jennings At Jeopardy!

This has circulated the blogosphere all day, and was in the morning papers.  Stanley Kubrick was correct over thirty years ago with his opus 2001: A Space Odyssey.  With birds and fish dying all over the place, this is the cherry on top of your ice cream. IBM’s new data system defeated Jeopardy legend Ken Jennings in a practice match. The contest took place in IBM’s research lab in the Hudson Valley.  As the headline from Reuters mentions, IBM looks to remain at the forefront as a brand that pioneers technological development.  It is unclear which marketing direction the venerable firm will use for Watson, but IBM will let you know soon. They’ll take Watson for it all.

5.  PepsiCo Fills Your Super Bowl Cup For Advertising

Pepsi is ready to stock your table during the Super Bowl with food, snacks, and advertising.  The firm plans to release seven spots with a mix of their brands. As the headline article mentions, the list is not yet confirmed.  Lipton’s Brisk Tea, however, looks like a contender.  The brand has generated strong growth in its partnership with Pepsi as consumers tastes’ have gradually shifted from carbonated beverages into alternatives like water, juice, and of course, iced tea.  They started rolling out a new claymation campaign, which harkens back to the ’90s. Click on new claymation to view it, and look out for Ozzy Osbourne, the Ironman, in the near future.

That’s the Blue news this week. Have a good holiday weekend.

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