Saturday, March 22, 2014

Who Will Win On Jeopardy? Villain Arthur Chu, Or IBM's Watson Super Computer?


Now that the infamous +Jeopardy match between the computer +IBM Watson, and two mere humans (one,the winningest show contestant ever) has been made available on +YouTube (click here to watch), it seems to me that Jeopardy! producers have a big opportunity to capitalize on whatever renewed interest comes from the release.  

We've now seen man vs. machine in a battle of general knowledge. But, how about Villain vs. Machine? It just so happens that a man named Arthur Chu ruffled quite a few feathers in the game show audience with his recent 12-day run on the show. Chu went all over the board when selecting his questions, not settling for the long-used approach of simply choosing a category and going down the column. Some hated him for it. Ha!

So, why not take the opportunity to market another Jeopardy! special event pitting the "evil genius" against the supercomputer? Jeopardy gets another ratings bump, and social trending topic while IBM gets some more attention for the very important real-world problems Watson is being used to help solve - most recently fighting brain cancer.

It's challenging to find the right opportunity to break through the noise and get your brand some attention. That's why we see so many doing lame attempts at "real-time marketing" on Twitter hashtag trends during live events. Marketing a game featuring two contestants still fresh in people's minds can work if the moment is seized in time.

Who would you want to win this showdown if it were to take place? The machine? Or, the man (even if you don't like the way he plays the game)?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How The Simpsons Uniquely Nailed It With Real-Time Marketing This Week



"Mmm...spoiler". 

If you've been wrapped up in HBO's new 8-episode series True Detective these last 7 weeks like me then you know what's going on in this image.

+The Simpsons revealed it on their social media channels this Friday, telling us fans that Homer Simpson is in fact the sought-after "Yellow King" in the show. The series' season finale is Sunday evening, after The Simpsons' time slot on Fox. With show's enormous buzz, why not leverage it to get viewers of your program first? Obviously, Homer's actual yellow body, coupled with some clues from the show makes this one work uniquely to The Simpsons character. Here's the post from their +Google+ page.


The practice of what is often referred to as "newsjacking" by brands is not just about tying any current event to your brand in real-time. Any brand can do that. And, they do. And, come big events like the Super Bowl and the Oscars, it can get pretty annoying and desperate. Success in real-time marketing means being good enough to always pay attention, and recognize when your brand particularly fits with whatever it is that people are already talking about. That's when a brand can stick out. And, this is one good example.

By the way, if you are way into this show, there is a True Detective community on Google+ where we have been discussing the show and sharing articles since it began. This is where I came across the Simpsons post when shared by +Eliazar Ruiz

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Does Your Brand Get A Identity Boost From Related Products?

I was at my local +Walgreens this weekend, and happened by this end-of-aisle display of +Coca-Cola branded merchandise. I noticed that while their actual product is nowhere in site, it is there.

Coke is the quintessential American brand. Its logo and colors so recognizable that people all over the world know what they're getting when they see it. Joy. Happiness. Memories. Life - the good parts, anyway. The branding delivers a feeling.

That's why Coke is able to sell all kinds of other products, like the ones pictured here. Glasses, containers for glasses, trays for glasses, and more. These all bring in extra revenue, but it's more about reinforcing the brand identity whenever possible. Each of these items would function the same way with or without the logo printed on them. But, the logo delivers that feeling even in absence of the taste. And, that's powerful stuff.

So, what's your brand made of? Does it deliver a feeling? Does it cause a reaction? What makes it last in the minds of customers, causing the desire to experience it even in some small way without the chief product itself even present? Answer that, and you can then start building that long-term equity that may one day take your brand from successful to iconic.

Now, take six seconds to enjoy this Vine video from a kid that doesn't give a damn about the rules.