Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google Chrome Ads Bring The Internet To Life

I wanted to share a couple of these "the web is what you make of it" ads that Google has been releasing for Chrome lately because they are, quite simply, some of the best advertisements I've ever seen.


The ads work because they tell a story to the viewer. They identify what people value in real life, and show how the Internet can help them take the next step. The ads don't cause people to retreat from technology, but rather be intrigued and encouraged by it. They show the endless possibilities that a tool like the Internet provides, and how it can connect people across time and space.

Chrome also shows just how easily it can be done. They bring the Internet to life in a profound way with these ads. This kind of advertisement is what many brands only wish they could produce. I'm not being sold a product here. I'm being educated on the benefits of that product. And that's valuable stuff. If there were something to buy here, I would be sold.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sound Bytes For Everyone Listening To You

In today's world, everyone is connected. Everyone is sharing with one another online and is encouraged to do so. The tools we use to connect with others socially have shrunk our world more than ever, so we can share our thoughts and be inspired by the thoughts of others without ever having been in the same room.

All of this is pretty exciting, pretty exhausting, and sometimes even pretty frustrating. For instance, when someone is speaking at an event, they are no longer speaking only to those in attendance. They are really speaking to the audience...and EVERYONE the audience knows. I don't mean 'knows' like I 'know' my family and friends. I mean every person that an audience member interacts with online. Their Facebook friends, their Twitter followers, everyone in their Google + circles. That's a lot of eyes and ears.

So, how do you affect the quality of your remarks to broaden their online value? Well, for one, make your speech 'share friendly'. Offer sound bytes to your audience every once in a while - stuff they can easily digest and then share with their network - that delivers the main message in a compelling and memorable way.

Some may argue that this is the right way to go about a presentation in the first place. Maybe. But, it is imperative to use this technique to encourage the 'right kind' of sharing across social networks. Not only is everyone listening, but they don't have much time to listen. So, you have to catch the eye, slow them down, and provide information which they value and wish to pass along themselves.

The best way I can think of to practice this vital technique? Type up a Tweet yourself. Stay under the character limit, give room for opinions in the retweet, and still get your message across. Can you do it?


Sunday, September 4, 2011

QR Codes at the Zoo

I took a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo again today. My wife, daughter, and I have been going regularly since my mom bought us season passes. The zoo an ideal place for showing a kid some cool things, and wearing them the heck out in the process!

I'm sure you may have seen these QR Codes popping up more and more around your city lately. If you're not familiar, the black & white maze-looking image in the lower right of the picture is a code that can be scanned with the bar code reader app on your smart phone. Scanning can reveal a web address, a store coupon, or most anything else. QR codes are now being used to add to the users experience by giving additional information, uncovering an exclusive deal, and taking an offline experience online in some way.

I snapped this picture today to show how the Cincinnati Zoo is using QR Codes to enhance the experience of their visitors and encourage education on, and donations to, a specific cause. This one here is for the solar panels that line the roofs over the zoo's parking lot. The panels shade the vehicles while producing valuable energy used by the zoo and others in the city. Scanning the QR code will tell you more about the project, and the corporation that heads it up.

Inside the zoo I saw several of these QR Codes at animal exhibits (no more pictures because we got rained out). They not only offered more information about the given animal and its habitat, but resources on how to contribute to protecting both. This is a great way to market the good that zoos do for our environment and encourage others to get involved. The code makes it easy, and also targets those that are interested in learning more rather than just posted for people to ignore.

It's the engagement provided by the code that can make the effort successful. Who else has experience with QR Codes? Where have you seen them? Are you using them for your business? Is this a good way to engage people?