Ninja Marketers Use Short Films as their Secret Weapons

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Understanding the difference between a short film and a traditional commercial is a “must have” tool in the minds of today’s marketers.  Without a deeper understanding of the topic, marketers may miss significant “buzz building” opportunities for their brands.

 Short films are typically less than 45 minutes and are dramas.  They incorporate the age-old art of storytelling. According to the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, the film must have a hero who wants something and takes action but meets conflict, which leads to a climax and then finally a resolution.

 Once there is a common understanding of what a short film entails, it is important to recognize the potential results of a well-executed and integrated short film advertising strategy. Highly successful short films sometimes go viral and increase in popularity through the use of social media at a very rapid pace. 

A good example of this strategy is “Halftime in America” released by Chrysler during the 2012 Super Bowl. This film happens to be a personal favorite of mine. From the music to the artistic elegance of the black and white stills progressing into full color motion, this film inspired me the first time I viewed it.  

In this particular film which is narrated by Clint Eastwood, the drama unfolds with the people of Detroit and Chrysler as the heroes who want to prevail and bring back a thriving automobile manufacturing community.  The conflict is the downturn in the economy and the recent recession.  The resolution is that the heroes continue to fight. Chrysler and the people of Detroit are building cars, and they will win back the American Auto making industry. The actual advertising of Chrysler doesn’t become apparent until the very end of the film with a simple Chrysler logo and the “Imported from Detroit” label.

Just after airing of this film it went viral, and the original version has now been viewed 11,114,378 times on YouTube. Extensive media exposure after its release further reached the masses and accelerated interest. According to a recent article in the New York Times, Chrysler saw a 32 percent increase in domestic retail sales and revenue rose 23 percent in the second quarter of this year.

The best way to further understand this new age marketing technique is to experience some examples for yourself.  Check out the two video links below for further education on the topic.

What marketing short films have inspired you?

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Get to Know the Hippest and Hottest Bluebird in History

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The bluebird is everywhere these days. You can find it on the Internet, installed as an app on all sorts of electronic devices, and placed prominently on a variety of print material. Who would have thought just a few years ago that the little blue Twitter bird would become such a pop icon of the twenty-first century?

If you’d asked me four years ago if Twitter would still be around today, I would have told you absolutely not and that it was probably another fad. Boy was I wrong! Today Twitter boasts 24 million users in the U.S and experienced a 31 % growth during 2011.

My Emerging Media course assignment this week involved researching Twitter and assessing the benefits of buzz building through social media. As a result, I proceeded to take the digital plunge and downloaded the bird so I could set up my “handle.” Now that I am being fed relevant information from my chosen brands , I will admit I should have done this a long time ago.

The lingo of Twitter has always been a little intimidating to me. Fortunately I discovered some great resources and training material on the Twitter website. I was able to navigate easily through the plethora of material, from a glossary of Twitter terminology to a handy search feature.

For those of you who are just getting started, I created my own top five must-know definitions for new Twitter users:

Tweet – A tweet is simply the 140 characters used in your post. You can actually say quite a bit with that, or you can use it to link to a website or blog.

  •  Hashtags – A hashtag is actually a way to categorize messages by typing a # symbol in front of keywords or phrases.
  •  Retweet – A retweet is when you share a post with your followers.
  •  @Replies – This feature is used for an update posted by clicking the Reply button.
  •  Handle – Your Twitter handle is your username and the accompanying URL. For example, Twitter.com/LaVonneBrown.

Are you ready to join the Twitter revolution? Visit the Twitter help center for yourself, where you can find learn more about the basics of Twitter.   Don’t miss out,  start tweeting today!

Beware: What Does Your Digital Personality Convey?

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As the old saying goes…”you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  When was the last time you “Googled” yourself or your company?  This week my IMC class explored the importance of creating a digital identity.  Some of our initial discussions revolved around our own professional online presence which I will admit made me sweat a little at first.   Fortunately, after a few Google searches of my own, I felt reassured my digital personality is on the right track.

In her “Developing POP presentation,” Dr. Dawn Edmiston (2012), encourages viewers to take control of their professional online presence.  If you haven’t already, Edmiston suggests some basic first steps:

1.       Claim Your Domain Name.

2.       Differentiate Yourself.

3.       Use a Professional Photograph of Yourself.

4.       Develop Consistent Profiles on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook

           and Google +.

Once you have established yourself, how will you ensure your digital personality will be found? To help boost your search engine optimization (SEO), Edmiston recommends using a website called brandyourself.com.  This online tool helps you build out your profiles, analyze any links associated with your name, recommends titles and links to boost SEO and assists with monitoring your rankings and alerts.

Mastering your own professional online presence is a great exercise and helps to build your knowledge and skills as a twenty-first century marketing professional.  Take the plunge and Google yourself today!

When the Internet Goes Down…

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The little router box in the basement of my home went dormant this week. A silent hush came over the house and signs of panic appeared on the faces of my two teenage sons. Had it been a planned outage we would have been more prepared. This unfortunate incident resulted from an unintended consequence during a landscaping project in the backyard and we had not planned for such a catastrophic loss of connectivity.

The silence suddenly broke and some possible solutions to the outage were proposed. We could create a digital “hot spot” with our cell phones. Or we could ask the neighbor for the password to their wireless connection which shows up in range of our home. Of course, those were the solutions posed by the teenagers but mom and dad had other ideas. We could go for a walk, read a book and go outside to view the evening sky afterwards.

In an article posted on the Huffington Post earlier this year, author Britney Fitzgerald builds a case for some good old fashioned “plug pulling” by parents to relieve some of the constant exposure to digital devices among teenagers. Fitzgerald provides further insights into a recent survey conducted by Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit advocating media knowledge for both parents and children.

According to the survey, a vast majority of American teens state that social and other digital communications are a daily part of their lives. While teens today are exposed to nearly constant digital stimulus the survey concluded that most teens are fortunately still in overall good emotional health. The survey also state that 43% of the teens who responded would like to disconnect from the internet occasionally.

Fortunately for my children, they had no choice but to disconnect this week. As a family, we realized how much we rely on our digital connections and what  a nice change of pace being “digitally disconnected” could be.  Going forward, I will make a greater effort as a parent to require days where we do not use the Internet.