Polite, Contextual Targeting

By Matthew McGarry, Copywriter

World Cup 2014. USA vs. Ghana. “No, Jozy, no! No, Clint, no!” we all bellowed in unison as our beloved US forwards grimaced in pain, grasping hamstrings and trying to stop a deluge of blood from pouring out of a probably broken nose. My inner dialogue unfolds—“Ah, what are we gonna do?! We’re f… Hey wait, is that the Band Aid logo politely coming into view on the ad boards? Man, Band-Aid brand bandages sure do a great job at tending injuries, especially the ones with blood. I think I need to make a stop on the way home and pick up a box in case I get a stray cleat to the face…

Was this injury/ad-cue a graceful coincidence after both US injuries, or graceful targeting? After all, the same ad placement did run a few more times throughout the match, sans additional injuries. Whatever it was, it had me, and I didn’t feel as violated as I do when Big Brother aggressively invades my browsing space with an item I was privately viewing 20 minutes prior. Perhaps it was the urgency of the situation—these athletes desperately needed medical attention, and when I saw Band-Aid, I was comforted. Let’s face it, browsing sandals on the web is not urgent, so when I am force-fed sandals, I get miffed. But what if targeted web marketing had the same elegance as the compassionate Band-Aid experience I had during the match? We all know popups could never accomplish this, and the more advertisers know about us and our current situations, the more skeptical and paranoid we become (thanks, NSA!). So what’s the line between caring or creepy? Will we ever feel a genuine empathy from our digital ad experiences in which we’re happy that brands know what we want at that moment? Let’s put on a fresh Band-Aid and ponder.

E-commerce Link : The Second Screen

Vani Oza, User Experience expert, writes for Target Marketing Magazine about demystifying the second screen and a few considerations when designing these experiences. Read the full article

SXSW: Designing for the Fringe

The majority of discussions at SXSW Interactive 2014 focused on concepts, ideas and apps for the everyman. But Evan Carroll and Virginia Ingram’s open-conversation topic Fringe Design: Tackling Disability and Death posed an interesting question. Could true innovation and game change come by focusing on the fringe groups?

Cameron Friedlander, Executive Director, Creative Technology North America, recaps the discussion for iMedia.

The Secrets Behind Addictive Storytelling

Secrets Behind Addictive Storytelling
By Sarah Whalen, Creative Director
Reposted from our coverage of SXSW on www.wundermanReports.com

While this talk did not share the magic recipe for creating addictive content, it did offer some interesting points on the psychology of sharing.

People share content for one of two reasons:

  • To participate in a community
  • To build their personal brand

The idea of community is one that has come up in nearly every talk I’ve attended at SXSW. As developing and growing relationships is an inherent part of human nature, sharing content that interests us with other people who too may find it interesting, seems only natural.

What I struggle with is sharing content that builds your personal brand. Not because I don’t see the value in it, but because it may not be authentic. We are invited to create the best version of ourselves through social. Jonathan Perelman, the GM & SVP of Buzzfeed, spoke about the high rate at which people share hard hitting news articles before reading them—projecting a version of themselves that may not be entirely accurate. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it seems to go against the primary reason for sharing—participating in a community of truly like-minded people.

So as content creators, it only seems right to create for the community driven consumers, and those concerned with their personal image, can hop on if it’s right for their brand.

Social Goes Visual


Post by Brian Mitchinson, SVP Marketing

Sight gags, eye candy, and baby pics have transformed the use and design of all our screen spaces. Do new formats change the rules for brands?

Even newspapers look like websites now. It’s a sea change—as social platforms mature and a second wave of platforms reaches maturity, even printed materials have evolved from text hooks to visual hooks. Pictures and videos are the new baseline, and often the main feature. Not to mention that beautiful point of synthesis so beloved by so many: the animated GIF.

Facebook’s image-centric timeline and Twitter’s increasingly seamless integration of photo and video, as well as Twitter’s Card format to attach media experiences to tweets, means that the cool kids—and the cool brands—exist as media grids. And then of course there’s Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, all three of which have earned their place in more and more brand marketing toolkits—and all three of which are about beautiful pictures.

The changes won’t stop here, as Twitter is still planning on doing more with “Twitter Cards” that display more information within a specific Tweet.

Community manager 1.0 was a lone writer fresh out of college announcing sale events in 140 characters or less. If that was done, social media was ‘done’. The visual era warrants dollars, predictable budgets, and resources to create not only quips and quotes, but inspiration boards, scrollable galleries. It’s media muralism. Brand associations are inked with music, video, and photography. We are no longer simply two-sentence writers and complaint-handlers. We are museums, galleries, and curators. Are you with us?

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