Posts Tagged ‘WVU’

Do You Agree With the Judges?

October 29, 2014

DVRs, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go have all made tuning into our favorite TV shows on our own time and without commercial interruptions much easier. Our favorite half-hour sitcoms are now 20 minutes and we can watch a half-hour show and an hour long show in just 60 minutes. Why sit through commercials when you can get 10-20 minutes of your life back?

Is there anything that can be done to draw viewers back to watching their favorite shows in real time? It looks like there is. A guilty pleasure TV show of mine recently introduced live polling and voting during their 12th season. Project Runway utilized second-screen interactivity to urge fans to watch the show in real time and vote for their favorite designers, ask audience members if they agree with the judges, and determine who fans thought had the strongest or the weakest design.

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Many shows, including Project Runway, have tapped into second-screen interactivity by encouraging viewers to use hashtags specifically for the show, vote for contests, and select activities or challenges that would be featured on the show. America’s Next Top Model has a (not very well defined) social media score from viewers that impacts a contest’s chance of winning the contest. Chopped has special episodes in which participants have to create dishes from basket ingredients selected by show viewers, and Bones has a fan of the week that is determined via social media.

What makes me wonder about the live polling is what impact it has on the show overall. Live polling allows the producers to see what people are thinking as they watch the show. Do they like a specific designer? What would happen to the viewership if the judgers sent a specific designer home? If you’re familiar with the show you know that host Tim Gunn has a “save” in which he can bring back an eliminated designer. Live polling is a great tool to use in attempting to make decisions based on audience reactions.

What do you think? Would you base scripting decisions off of audience feelings, or do you think you would move forward with the show as planned? What else would you do what that audience information?

WiFi Advertising

October 15, 2014

During a recent vacation we encountered an unwanted interruption in the McDonald’s drive-through. Our navigation was interrupted by a McDonald’s ad. Luckily we were at the drive-through and we were not at risk of getting lost, but this wasn’t the first time this has happened. My friend said that he often has troubles with his phone automatically connecting to business WiFi and prompting ads that interrupt the use of his phone even after he set his phone to not automatically connect to WiFi.  Simplying driving by business downtown has interrupted his navigation and displayed annoying ads for different products and services.

With the phones settings aside, is it acceptable to automatically disrupt what the user is doing in order to display ads from a business that supplies free WiFi?  The business is paying for the use of WiFi, so why not? When you check into a hotel, you have to visit a page on the hotel web site in order to agree to terms and conditions before logging onto the internet.  Is this different? I would argue yes, because driving by a location that offers free WiFi is enough to prompt an ad.  With cell phones, navigation, and other distractions, drivers need to focus on paying attention and not backing out of ads from local business while they’re worrying about where to turn.

So, how do you entice people to visit your business and take advantage of the WiFi (and other wonderful products and services)? Oddly enough, McDonald’s also had a very interesting way to solve this problem.

McDonld’s has also used WiFi to entice nearby wireless users to stop by and use their WiFi. Brilliant Ads shared the photo below on Twitter. The difference here being that the customer was seeking out the use of WiFi and were encouraged to visit as they tried to connect.

 

I think the second ad campaign is an interesting and unique way to advertise the fact that McDonald’s offers free WiFi and the campaign encourages customers to visit a McDonald’s.  I think it also matches the image McDonald’s is trying to create.  I remember walking into our local McDonald’s a few years ago and seeing a rage of newspapers offered, updating seating and colors, TV screens showing news stations, and a cozy fireplace instead of outdated booths and ketchup stains.  I’m not sure the new restaurant image fits with their food image, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The second tactic brings people into the store who are seeking out their services. If driving by and connecting to WiFi is all it takes to disrupt navigation or other cell phone function, shouldn’t businesses be more conscientiousness about this? In my opinion, it only makes the user more irritated and potentially less likely to use their services in the future.

What do you think? Have you found these ads to ever be useful? Are there differences between opt-in and auto-generated ads?

The Ballpark Pup

September 22, 2014

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park.  I was thrilled to be back and a little sad that it could possibly be my last game of the season. (I only made it to two games this year, but grad classes will do that!)  As I finished up the tailgate and headed for the stadium, I noticed a white furry creature had joined the parade of Famous Racing Sausages headed through the parking lot.  I was surprised to see Hank, The Ballpark Pup, marching alongside Chorizo through a field of tailgaters.

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The Ballpark Pup

In case you’ve missed it, the Milwaukee Brewers have added another mascot to their mix.  Hank, The Ballpark Pup, first entered the lives of the Milwaukee Brewers at Spring Training this past year.  Hank was a stray dog who wandered onto the field and befriended the team while they were in Arizona.  Now Hank is a fully signed member of the Milwaukee Brewers, complete with the first Majestic Athletic authentic canine jersey.

There is no question that fans and Wisconsinites love Hank.  He has overwhelmingly won hearts all over Milwaukee including the Milwaukee Brewers players and coaching staff.  He does live with a family, but “belongs to the city of Milwaukee.”

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Mixing It Up

The Milwaukee Brewers have no shortage of mascots running around Miller Park.  There are five racing sausages (occasionally mini-sausages as well), Bernie the Brewer (his lady-friend stops by from time-to-time), and now Hank.  The marketing and PR challenge of managing that can be exhausting.  Not only do you manage the appearance schedules for the players, you have to add seven mascots to the mix as well.  Merchandising and appearances have been very lucrative for the Milwaukee Brewers, but is it possible to do too much?  Marketing and PR professionals for sports teams need to be concerned with players lives on and off the field (The NFL has learned that the hard way this week), the storyline of the team and mascots, and the overall fan experience.

There are not many organizations that can say their loyal customers tattoo logos and team symbols on their bodies.  With that loyalty comes great responsibility to the fan base.  Adding a new mascot to a mix that has been with the Milwaukee Brewers since the early 90′s has advantages and disadvantages.  While a shiny new mascot brings in a new crowd (especially animal lovers) and freshens up the stadium experience, it can leave die-hard fans feeling like adding another mascot is a cheap trick to increase attendance.

 

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Why Hank Works

I believe the benefits of sharing the Hank story outweigh the disadvantages.  The story of Hank has resonated with people all over the country and the Brewers are doing great things with that attention.

Hank now has his own bobble-head, promotional products, mascot suit, children’s book, t-shirts, and more.  Twenty percent of these sales benefit the Wisconsin Humane Society.  In a pre-game ceremony on Sept. 13, the Wisconsin Humane Society was presented a check for $130,000 from the Brewers Community Foundation from merchandise sales and other donations.  Yes, it’s advantageous for the Brewers because in only the first three months of the baseball season the team sold more than 12,500 K-9 jerseys. (How do you think baseball stars Ryan Braun and Johnathan Lucroy feel about being outsold by a pup?)  But, this partnership is also great because it raises awareness for homeless animals in addition to the Wisconsin Humane Society.

The Milwaukee Brewers have paid close attention to Hank’s endorsements and appearances.  They want to focus his engagements on events that benefit a charitable cause or the fans.  The Brewers executives want to make sure he’s not exploited and put his health and well-being before appearances.  While some could argue that having a dog endorse anything involving baseball could be exploitation, this amazing story happened to the Brewers and Hank’s life is better because of it.  Sure, he won’t be around forever and they may eventually retire his mascot suit, but it will forever go down in Brewers history as a significant and life-changing event for all parties involved.

What are your thoughts? How many is too many mascots? Have the Brewers added one too many?

Visualize the Results

September 3, 2014

In my last post I talked about a few changes we’ve made to our IMC plans in order to help with staff buy-in and evaluation.  One of the things we’ve recently finalized was an infograph showing the results of our marketing plans.  As I mentioned in that post, we stopped calling the goals “marketing goals” because we wanted to reinforce that this was a combined effort between the departments and the marketing department.  We learned that “marketing” was the responsibility of the marketing department, and we wanted a way to better illustrate how these are business goals that marketing helps accomplish.

We used the infograph below as a tool to showcase everything we achieved as an organization.  It was a great way to quickly and visually show the hard work that went into creating, maintaining, and finalizing our integrated marketing communications plans.  The finalization of these plans was a result of a combined effort of students and professional staff.  You’ll notice that, again, we tried to take the emphasis off of marketing, but still have people understand and realize that these goals were achieved as a result of marketing.

The staff appreciated seeing the goals illustrated.  Often, we are so focused internally in our department that we forget the importance of looking at what other departments are doing.  After viewing the infograph, the staff had a much greater understanding of all of the different areas that were were focusing on within our organization.  Again, it was a great way for everyone to easily see all we had accomplished and get departments excited to implement their new plans.

As we continue or efforts this fiscal year we will look at how we can use this as a tool and expand upon it for future use.  Have you tried a similar approach?  What has worked well and what suggestions or recommendations do you have? Care to share an infograph you created?

 

 

Infograph design by Haley Cox.

How to Use Your IMC Skills to Change the World, While Getting the Experience of a Lifetime

September 2, 2014

This is a guest blog post by IMC graduate, Angie McCrone.

After graduating from the IMC master’s program at WVU in December 2013, I was determined to embark on a new adventure. I had spent five years running a nonprofit that helps artists with developmental disabilities sell their work, and although my work was rewarding, I was ready to pursue something on a global scale. I wanted to make a difference in the world of global health.

My reasons for being passionate about global health are pretty intuitive; I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and have several family members in the medical field there. My whole life, I heard people refer to my home as the lost cause of Africa, a place they refer to like it is a county, not a continent. They would explain that there were too many problems, and pouring US dollars into it wouldn’t help.

Fortunately, they were very wrong. The more you learn about global health the more you realize that calculated and researched strategies make big differences! Consider the eradication of polio in India or Botswana’s achievement of bringing HIV transfer from mother to child down to just 4%. These are incredible and measured results of global health initiatives that save millions of lives.

So it is obvious why I have a vested interest in global health, but I would argue that all marketing and communications professionals should care deeply about global health efforts. Communications professionals have the talent and know-how to change the world! More than any other profession, marketers have an incredible ability to change behavior. This is such an incredible skill that the global health field desperately needs. Think of your impact if your communications expertise were used to change risky sexual behavior or drug use in areas with a high HIV prevalence. These actions can be linked directly to lives saved.

Not sure you believe me? Consider the opportunity from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that offers marketers an opportunity to make a difference each year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Their Cannes Chimera Initiative asks marketing and communications agencies (see the video below) to design campaigns that solve global problems.

After realizing my strong desire to be a change-maker, I applied for a Global Health Corps (GHC) fellowship. In April, I was offered an opportunity and adventure of a lifetime, working as a Global Health Corps fellow and Marketing and Development Associate at the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University.

GHC pairs young professionals with global health organizations that are looking for innovative solutions for solving some of the world’s most difficult health challenges. Our class of 128 fellows is placed in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the United States.

GHC fellows come from varied backgrounds and are placed in a wide range of positions and organizations. To help them navigate the new landscape, GHC partners local fellows with an international fellow. As communications professionals, we know how important having a local perspective is to developing genuine communications plans.

Global Health Corps fellows have an incredible opportunity to get valuable experience working in international markets. Since most of the organizations have limited resources, fellows also have a chance to take on large projects that they may not be able to do otherwise. It would be extremely difficult to get this level of real world training at most entry to mid-level positions.

Also, there is no need to have training or global health education to apply to GHC. The paid fellowship includes a two week global health training institute at Yale University, quarterly professional and personal development retreats, and a closing retreat in East Africa.  Fellows can also opt-in to have an advisor in their field of choice, and the GHC alumni and staff are dedicated to our current and future success.

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My Nepalese co-fellow, Sudip Bhandari (right) and me at a cocktail party for GHC supporters at Chelsea Piers in NYC

Do you want to contribute to a better world? Are you thinking of joining the movement toward global health equity?  Consider applying for a Global Health Corps fellowship, or working for a global health organization. Even if you’re not willing to dedicate your career to global health, communications volunteers are always needed at nonprofits, and pro-bono work from a marketing firm on a single communications campaign can save millions.

So go on, marketers! Go change the world. Isn’t it great to know you can?

About the author:

Angie McCrone is the Marketing and Development Associate for the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University and a 2014-2015 Global Health Corps fellow. Previously, she managed the marketing and sales of a nonprofit that promotes the creative work of artists with developmental disabilities. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California: Santa Cruz, majoring in studio art and minoring in literature and received her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at West Virginia University.

L: www.linkedin.com/in/angiemccrone/

T: https://twitter.com/AngKMc

Global Health Corps is building a community of change-makers who share the common belief that health is a human right. Their mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.

The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Business School. Launched in 2007 under the guidance of Dr. Jim Y. Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Professor Michael Porter, GHD is a response to the knowledge gap that occurs between medical discovery and clinical application in low resource settings. Their mission is to build a network of professionals dedicated to improving the delivery of value-based health care globally. To join one of their professional virtual communities visit: ghdonline.org

Breaking Down the Tao of Social Media Marketing with Mark Schaefer

August 20, 2014

Two years ago, I was a first year graduate student looking to find a sense of professional purpose. With four classes completed, I decided to make the journey to Morgantown, WV to attend the annual INTEGRATE conference. Any obstacles that stood out in my mind to get there were outweighed by the knowledge I gained when I departed. One presentation, in particular, still stands out in my mind as being a pivotal moment in my journey to finding my professional return on influence.

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WVU Alum, Mark Schaefer took to the stage at INTEGRATE on June 2, 2012  to present key points from his book Return On Influence. With a Klout score of 75, Mark knows more than a thing or two about social media, blogging, and marketing. In addition to his successful Businesses Grow blog, Mark is an accomplished author. His widely popular book The Tao of Twitter has received high praise as being a  #1 Best Selling Book On Twitter.  In the past two years since the book was first released Twitter has drastically changed so much so that Mark revised and expanded The Tao of Twitter. 

If you have not seen Mark’s presentation, I highly suggest watching it before reading the questions and answers presented below.

Mark was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had in regards to what has changed in the Twitterverse, best practices for live tweeting along with the realities of social media marketing.

Return On Influence: The New Realities of Power and Marketing on the Internet

Long: At the WVU INTEGRATE 2012 conference, you highlighted key points from your book Return On Influence. Two years later, have the realities of power and marketing on the internet changed, or have they stayed the same?

Schaefer: I would say that everything I talked about indeed has come true, perhaps even more rapidly than I could have imagined. Big agencies and small are creating influence marketing departments. Being an influencer is becoming increasingly lucrative (even I am starting to make some money in this area!). And new measurement platforms are emerging.

I think the dynamics of acquiring power that I talked about in my book and my speech are the same. Yes. I called that one correctly! : )

Long: For graduate students starting to provide social media consultation services, what advice can you offer?

Schaefer: The biggest mistake I see is the people enter this space without any real marketing experience. Before you go out on your own, get a marketing job and learn about the broad spectrum of activities before focusing on social media. If you are a social media “hammer” and everything is a nail, you would be doing a disservice to both youself and your customers.

I also think an exposure to statistics is a must. You don’t have to be an expert, but increasingly, marketing insight is coming from big data and math. You need to know enough about it to ask the right questions.

If you are going to go out on your own, be prepared to be broke for two years. Build your personal brand through blogging, videos and public speaking.

Long: With the rise of live event tweeting, what best practices should both presenters and attendees be putting into practice?
Schaefer: For presenters, be sure to include your Twitter handle and the event hashtag on all your slides. Embed tweetable moments [– short key points — on slides to make it easy for the reporters. Don’t go too fast and make your slides available after the event.

For reporters, don’t get so involved in the tweeting that you miss the presentation. Proof read everything before you tweet. Remember that a tweet has the same legal weight as a blog post or other online article so you need to be fair and accurate. If the speaker says something controversial or inflammatory, remember that you might be held legally accountable as the person sending out the tweet.

Long: If you could only follow ten people on Twitter who would make it onto your feed?

Schaefer: If I could only follow 10 people, they would all be my customers. Twitter is an amazing opportunity for marketing insight, and I would not want to miss a thing!

Long: You recently revised your widely popular book The Tao of Twitter. How has Twitter changed in the 2 years since the book was first released? 

Schaefer: So much has changed in the Twitterverse since I wrote the first edition. In fact, I really had to consider whether Twitter is still the hub of human connection it was when I fell in love with it many years ago. Does Twitter still have a heart or is it just another broadcast channel?

Specifically, there have been four powerful new developments driving Twitter:

• Twitter has experienced explosive growth, finding new audiences among younger and older users as well as new fans globally and corporations. Twitter is being used in so many creative new ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago.

• It has matured into a public company with a responsibility to shareholders. This has altered its strategy and how it relates to its customers and fans.

• Twitter has developed innovative advertising programs that are accessible to businesses with nearly any budget. But many businesses don’t understand the unique features of these programs.

• Twitter has become the de facto “second screen” for television, providing the channel of interactivity for live programming. This is a role that is now driving many of its strategies. It has also driven the hashtag (#) into our everyday culture!

Make sure to follow Mark to keep up with his latest endeavors in the social media field.

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Linked In
Twitter

If you have read one of his books, let me know what was the biggest lesson that you were able to realize out in the social media field?

 

Adding a Little Something Extra to the IMC Plan

August 7, 2014

Shortly after I finished the intro. class I began putting together a plan so that departments at work could create marketing plans and start measuring results. I thought it would be a great way to help justify departmental money spent on marketing, help jusitfy the overall budget for the Graphics & Marketing office, and be a great learning experience for the students. It all sounds great, right?

The back-story

I should clarify that the department I’m in works with 10 marketing plans on a yearly basis and that marketing plans stemmed from the branding project, which was a very challenging experience for our staff. I wanted to use the marketing plans as a way to get buy-in and have departments feel like they owned their marketing efforts. The office I’m in did a lot of marketing “on behalf of departments” but not a lot was being done to measure those efforts.

The process was a year in the making. The staff and I spent countless hours teaching and working with departments so they would understand marketing and how to measure it. The roadblock that I ran into (and is one of the most challenging areas for many marketing professionals) was how to get people invested. As I said, countless hours went into education and preparation so the staff felt like these were goals they wanted to achieve, but we were still having trouble with buy-in.

An attempt at buy-in

What I failed to realize is that I continually called the goals “marketing goals.” I had spent years getting departments to use the graphics & marketing office, so “marketing goals” meant “the marketing department.” It was challenging to get ownership and help departments keep track of their goals. I often heard, “Just tell me what you want me to write so we can finish this.”

As a result, we’ve made many changes to the marketing plans.

  1. We don’t call them “marketing goals.” We talk to departments and say that we want to work with them on their departmental goals that marketing helps them achieve. It’s a small change, but it helps them feel ownership of the goals they select. They’re not just thinking about Web site traffic, but sales and attendance numbers.
  2. We’ve added a small chart to the marketing plans that allows departments to keep track of their progress throughout the semester. This way, departments know where they stand and how close they are to achieving their goals. There are four check-in meetings a year and departments will bring their numbers to the meetings with them. Again, a small change, but putting their progress into the plan helped them keep track of everything.   We noticed that spreadsheets were created to monitor the goals, but after the first check in or two they were missing in action. Additionally, they didn’t have to contact us to get progress updates.
  3. This year we’re only updating the plans once. In the first year of implementation there were a lot of changes to the marketing plans (and because I want to make sure they’re pretty, we create them in InDesign, which means only the marketing department can update them). However, with a full year of putting the plans together and a full year of implementation, the plans are designed as fillable .pdf documents that departments will have and be able to update four times a year.

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These three tips are small, but have made a difference in our organization. What we are doing is always a work in progress, but each year we make changes and get closer to finding what will work for our organization. In a few weeks we will have an infograph of the goals we’ve achieved and I will share it when it’s ready. If you’re interested in seeing how this was developed for a student union on a college campus, check out the materials on my Web site.

Have you added anything to your marketing plans to keep you on track? What has worked well?

Is being a verb a good thing?

July 28, 2014

Fifteen years ago you couldn’t “google” anything, you used facial tissue and lip balm, you photocopied your paperwork, you put a bandage on your boo boos, and you digitally altered photos to reduce red eye and crop out your exes.  You definitely didn’t use Kleenex and Chapstick, Xerox anything, wear a Band-Aid, and Photoshop your new headshot.

So, when did these products become (what some are calling) verbified or treated as common nouns and is it a good thing?

I want you to think, as a marketer, do you want your company name to become a verb or common noun?  Some think that is the highest honor bestowed on a brand.  Why wouldn’t they? Your company name is so integrated into the social culture that it is synonymous with the product you are selling.  Millions of people say your company name everyday.  Great marketing, right?  Well…it might not be everything it’s cracked up to be.  For example, it pushes a company to be a bit more strategic with their efforts.  Imagine your company is synonymous with a certain product and then you want to expand your product offerings.  You must now decide if you would like to utilize the current brand image of the products you’ve been selling in order to push the new product, or create a new product line under a different name.  When Clorox picked up Hidden Valley they didn’t want their company associated with ranch dressing, so they kept the name Hidden Valley.  Can you imagine the public reaction with an ad campaign selling “New Ranch Dressing by Clorox.” Yikes.

When product names become common nouns or verbs it leads to genericide, which is a nightmare for the legal department.  Essentially, it puts your product name into a position where it no longer has any legal or trademark protection.  Now, the product concept, imaging, and name that you’ve worked so hard to develop has no legal standing.  Trademark expert at Georgetown University, Rebecca Tushnet, said the risk of genericide is so low, the benefits outweigh the risk.  Is that a risk that you are willing to take?

Perhaps one of the most apparent verbified companies is Google.  How do they feel about it?  They might not be in love with the idea of Google becoming synonymous with searching the internet.  According to the New York Times, they have created wording on their policy page that says “Google” is not to be used as a noun or verb, only as a adjective.  They prefer you say “Google Search Engine.”  However, dictionary.com defines Google as “searching the internet for information.” So you can google without using Google.

What do you think?  Is it in a company’s best interest to become a common noun or become verbified?  Is it the highest honor, or a detriment to a company’s brand image?

On a World Stage

July 3, 2014

My siblings and I grew up playing soccer. For us, every weekend was packed with tournaments and practices.  I was probably the least athletically inclined one out of the three of us, but I always found immense joy watching or playing soccer.  For me, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is no different.

The FIFA World Cup is a totally unique experience, especially for Americans. First, the United States is an underdog, which provides a new perspective. Second, with the exception of the Olympics, where else can you find an event that caters to the world’s population? Soccer players leave their club teams behind and compete against team members to honor their country. It is simply an amazing event.

The 2014 World Cup has garnered a great deal of social media popularity, with CNN saying that it is becoming the biggest social media event in history.  So far, 90% of the world has been engaged in these social media conversations.  Soccer superstars have taken to Twitter to promote the event and garner media attention.  Cristiano Ronaldo, the second highest paid athlete in the world, comes in at number one in The Top 15 Social Networking Superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It doesn’t stop with just athletes.  Teams are creating hashtags for individual games so those that cannot watch the event live can be kept update on the action.  The United States Men’s National Team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, wrote fans a “get out of work” note to show support for the USMNT, which has appeared on Facebook and other social sites.  (In my opinion it was well deserved after the comments he made about the team prior to their first game.)  The USMNT is taking a page from the marketing playbook and has gone to great lengths to unite the US fans by telling stores of all 23 USMNT players on their YouTube channel.  So far, the use of  social media has spread far and wide, but the strategies of each platform have (so far) been very thought out.  The graphics and storylines for each area fit the medium, but are always reinforcing the overall message of  “One Nation. One Team”.  I always find it disappointing when you see regurgitated information across multiple platforms that doesn’t fit the language or context of the platform.  So far, IMC plan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup has appeared effective and very well thought out.

Media and social media presence around the World Cup has been amazing, but the World Cup provides unique challenges for marketers.  The first issue lies with the very thing that makes the World Cup so successful.  The World Cup is a world event, which makes advertising space much for valuable.  Additionally, there are no commercial breaks during the halves.  Each half is 45 minutes of continual play, which means there is only ad time before the event, after the event, and during half time.  With the events in Brazil this year, there have been water breaks added to games at the discretion of the referee when it is warmer than 86 degrees F.  The trouble with banking on ad space during this time is that it is not guaranteed.  So, much of the advertising time is eaten up by official sponsors and companies with a budget large enough to get in the game.

Even with limited ad space in the World Cup and a small advertising budget, Puma has figured out how to get attention without sacrificing their entire ad budget.  If you’ve watched the World Cup you may have seen several players with mismatched, surprisingly colored shoes.  Puma has released Tricks – a pair of one pink and one blue shoe.  They’re very noticeable on the feet of several world-level athletes such as Mario Balotelli and Yaya Touré.  The shoes have many advantages, but the largest one being the media attention they’re getting during the World Cup without paying for the ad space.  Viewers can look at the shoes for a minimum of 90 minutes and Puma’s ad budget is saved for advertising after the World Cup, closer to the back-to-school time frame.

The infographic below was released in early June, but provides a great starting point for an analytic look at the World Cup so far.

Offerpop’s World Cup Infographic:

World Cup Infographic

A sporting event at this level has many advantages and disadvantages for marketers.  The world attention placed on the games have provided viewers with a rich and diverse social media and advertising experience without sacrificing the integrity of the sport.  Even if you’re a marketer, but not a soccer fan you can appreciate the experience.

What have been some of your favorite 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament moments on or off the field?

Digital Tales From Two Days at INTEGRATE 2014

June 16, 2014

- Written by Julie Long and Kat Shanahan with artwork by Julie Long

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Pride.  After searching my vocabulary for the word that best described how it felt to be at WVU for the INTEGRATE2014 conference, that’s what I’ve come up with.  Being on campus for the first time and networking with fellow students, professors, and speakers all gave me an overwhelming sense of pride and reaffirmed my decision to get my IMC degree from WVU.  Walking through the gates and into Milan Puskar Stadium for the keynote dinner you almost felt like a celebrity walking the red carpet but instead of an entourage consisting of George Clooney and Meryl Streep, I was in the presence of presenter and Alexia Vanides Teaching Award winner, Joe Barnes, and fellow blogger and conference guru Julie Long (that’s my kind of entourage). –KS

It is rare to find a group of individuals – let alone an academic program – that pushes you to become your best self. I have spent the better part of my career looking for a mentor. It turns out that I all I needed to do was join the WVU IMC program. As a result of becoming a student, I now have an entire community of mentors. Even though the mentors in my community are remote and spread out geographically, I would call upon their advice before reaching out to individuals in my face-to-face network. The main difference between the two groups comes down to the understanding and passion that everyone affiliated with the program has for the IMC field. I never would have thought that an online program would be all this and more…

The “and more…” is in large part attributed to the annual INTEGRATE conference. Unlike other marketing communication conferences where attendees pass like ships in the night, I view the INTEGRATE conference as “the event” that anchors my year. It is not everyday that you are surrounded by the caliber of talent that congregates in Morgantown year after year. It was truly inspiring to meet new faces this year, including Kat, who epitomizes and exemplifies a passionate and dedicated IMC student.

Even though the weekend is jam packed with networking and breakout sessions, the event culminates and hits a crescendo during the reception. — JL

At the reception, the excitement began building as we recapped a great conference and prepared to hear closing remarks from WVU administration and Head of Media Solutions – Tech for Google and WVU IMC professor, Elliott Nix.  It was at this time that  I was able to finally meet all of the fellow students in my current class, connect with speaker Lee Odden, and take just one minute to bask in the final moments of the conference.  Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better we were seated for dinner. –KS

Three years ago, I was a wide-eyed Freshman attending the big event. I knew very few , if any, of the faces or names of anyone sitting around my dinner table. This year, I knew all but two individuals at my table.

With each passing year, I have begun to judge my professional IMC accomplishments against the calendar year of the INTEGRATE conference.  After year one, I forged face-to-face connections with faculty and fellow students and I even started an IMC Pinterest board. After year two, I became a blogger for the program and continued to forge even deeper relationships with fellow IMC’ers. After year three, I became an author for Steamfeed.com, connected with IMC bloggers Kat & Rebecca, joined Twitter, tried out Google Glass, and was accepted into the WVU IMC Classmates Facebook Page (The conference continues throughout the year on social media!) All of these accomplishments, including meeting the large majority of my e-connections, would not have come to fruition if I did not attend INTEGRATE.

The reception affords me time to reflect back and look ahead at my uncharted path. Looking around the room this year, I could not help but soak up the energy emanating from within the walls of the stadium. Sitting down at the table I was able to see first hand how the IMC field is directly being shaped by the program. The momentum of the evening hits a crescendo when the keynote speaker takes the stage. The impending speech is a pivotal turning point in renewing my sense of pride for the program, and my passion for the field of IMC. –JL

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The keynote presentation by Elliott Nix was nothing short of inspiring.  Elliott talked about the importance of tying innovation to business strategy and asking oneself, “Does this solve a problem?”  Having a great idea is one thing, but using that to solve a problem is where you find real innovation.  Elliott said, “Technology isn’t about making things easier, it’s about making lives better.”  Sounds great, right?  But how do you do that?  According to Elliott, you must build a culture of failure and challenge your preconceived notions of what’s popular.  Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

After Elliott’s keynote we sat down with him to ask just a few more questions about innovation.  Elliott said the key to overcoming blocks in innovation is to ask yourself, “What’s the immediate answer, and then what’s the exact opposite?”  What’s the answer that is going to get you fired?  You take the second idea and do what you can to poke holes in it.  If you can’t…that’s the one you should go with.  Elliott also challenged us to think about the problem in a different industry and find out how you can apply that to your industry.

We also asked Elliott what’s in store for those in the IMC program. He said that we should “think bigger,” find new ways of looking at a business/client, and show how you can tackle the narratives of traditional and digital marketing together.  We all know that trying to show the value of IMC and finding companies that support that way of thinking can be challenging.  Elliott recommended finding companies that are “on stage” and have a media presence in the mobile, video, and analytic areas.  Those are the companies that will be more forward thinking.  As you can see, Elliott left us with no shortage of important topics to think about.  Our challenge now is how to use it.  Where are you going to start? –KS

 

We would like to say a monumental thank you to the IMC team and executive team Nicole, Chad, Shelly, Judy, Briana, Rick, Michael, Aaron, Rachel Mort, and Rachel Angry for everything you did to bring INTEGRATE 2014 to fruition.

 


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