Tag Archives: marketing

Dear Honeyshed – Hate to Say I Told You So, But…

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Well, it’s official – Honeyshed, the QVC for Generation Why, is officially no more.  According to AdWeek the site is shuttering due to a lack of new funding from Publicis.

I was skepticle but willing to wait and see back in March but by November I was feeling even less positive about what was a pretty bad idea given poor execution.

From AdWeek:

At its relaunch in November, Honeyshed projected the site to reach 550,000 visitors a month after launch, 1 million by February and 2 million at the end of 2009.  All told, Honeyshed promised advertisers it would generate 9 million content views in that time.

According to comScore, Honeyshed drew 117,000 visitors in December before trailing off the next month. Griefer said the site drew about 15,000 unique visitors per day after the relaunch, supported by a heavy marketing campaign, but saw those numbers dwindle when it cut back on advertising.

I honestly don’t know who thought this was ever going to be a good idea but it became painfully clear it was doomed to fail when they decided to try and sell a bunch of over-priced and relatively unwanted products to a fickle and savvy audience.

So, farewell Honeyshed.  Few knew you were evert here and maybe that’s for the best.

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Activision Viral Video Outed

Activision, Inc.
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This sort of thing just tickles me: A video was posted to YouTube containing a (pretty obviously fake) news report showing a failed assassination attempt on a Russian scientist. While obviously an attempt at a “viral” video, it was not immediately clear who was behind the scenes.

Well, if they were hoping to remain hidden they’ve failed.  What I love is how one dogged blogger found them:

I attempted to discover who is hosting the site, but all I was able to uncover was that it is hosted by mediatemple (great hosting service, but this tells me nothing). I then did several searches for content from the site: MIR 12, Nikolai  Demichev, etc and was once again unable to turn up anything.

I moved on to MIR 12’s twitter account, and finally got somewhere. The first twitter followers were all from LA. After a few minutes looking at their profiles, and doing a few linkedin, and facebook searches, I realized that the followers were comprised of employees of the LA office of ad agency DDB, and viral video seeding company Feed Co. A quick look at DDB’s site reveals Activision as a client – the most likely client to approve this type of work. Also, Feed Co has collaborated with Activision in the past, and worked on the recent Bike Hero viral, which I covered in an earlier post.

It all lead very cleanly right back to Activision, who is hoping this viral campaign will build buzz for their upcoming game.  The question is whether or not knowing who is behind the video matters in terms of marketing potential.

Oh, here’s the video:

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Will Smart Marketing Campaign Win People Over to the Party?

Wired has a look at a very successful “viral” marketing video campaign for the yet-to-be-released webseries THE PARTY.

In a series of short videos released to YouTube, we meet purported superdelagate Tom Ryan, who pleads with viewers to help him make the difficult Obama/Clinton decision.

“The tremendous response that the fake superdelegate character received illustrates how quickly grassroots supporters in this heated political climate can pick up and transmit information regardless of its accuracy, in what has up until recently been a closely-fought race where every delegate counts.

“We assumed that people online and in the blog communities would watch the videos and realize that we were doing thinly-veiled satire, but that’s not what happened,” says Howard Thomas, a 27-year-old Democratic political consultant  in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the show’s creator and executive producer.”

In this heated political season (is it really a season if it lasts more than a year?) it isn’t suprising that so many people decided the videos were real.  The more interesting question will be whether or not these same viewers will be interested enough to follow the character to the upcoming webseries once they know it is all an act.

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AT&T’s Blue Room – Too Subtle?

I was taken by a post on Adverganza about a site run by AT&T called The Blue Room that features interviews with very big names in music like Madonna and Mariah Carey (ok, I said big, not cool). There is no way to know how many views the site is getting (that I know of) but I certainly haven’t been hearing anything about it…

The videos are syndicated to YouTube but as Adverganza points out:

“…it’s surprising how little play they get on YouTube. It’s not as though the interviews are that fabulous, but as one example, a Mariah Carey video put up a week ago has less than 400 views. I’m not sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear about her creative inspiration, but I was under the impression a few other people were.”

Here’s the question: Are people just not all that interested in yet another interview with these people or is it that AT&T has simple not done enough to promote their promotion.  Promoting a promotion raises all sorts of issues – like what the hell is the point of a promo if you need to advertize it…

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In-show Ads, Products as Stars and Other Tests of Restraint

There’s been lots of talk about the return of live, in-show ads in a number of talk shows including Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno and Ellen Degeneres and now networks like NBC are making it clear that their new slate of webisodes will include a new degree of product integration beyond just simple brand placement.

What will this actually mean?  Well, it depends on how far they go in the name of the sponsor at the cost of the viewer.  It’s not as though modern viewers are used to being bombarded with a constant stream of corporate names and images and if those elements happen to be part of a good plotline with compelling characters people won’t care at all.  However, if the show itself is just a vehicle for the brand or the message than viewers will be turned off from both the show and the sponsors.

A bigger question might be whether or not a brand well-integrated into a show will still have the desired effect of driving sales…

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Olay Proves Simple/Helpful is Online Gold

Most likely due to the fact that my facial skincare regiment consists of a bar of soap in the shower, it probably isn’t surprising that I’d missed the Olay for You website that seems to have struck a cord with their customers.

According to AdAge the site, “attracted more than a million visitors since January, 80% of whom completed an involved question-and-answer process and spent an average of eight minutes on the site.”

Those are some pretty remarkable figures.  I had to check it out for myself.  So, I headed over to the Olay site and discovered a simple, elegant design that combined simple text, pleasant voiceover and a well-guided Q&A about my skin and my skin needs.

Was it revolutionary?  Nope.  But is was quite sort of lovely and did what it said it would do.  A good lesson to others in the field is that you don’t need to be in someones face to make a strong impact.  Offer a real service in a positive atmosphere.

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DotMasters Have a Master Plan

So, I was watching Current TV last night – yes, I’m the one – and caught this “pod” about a loosely associated group of graffiti artists who call themselves the DotMasters.

If you watch the video you won’t get what’s cool until about halfway through.  The art itself is pretty Bansky-esque (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but the way the artists have decided to extend their work is the hook.

The idea is that each place they leave their graffiti they also leave a little plaque with a code.  The first person to text in the code gets a copy of the work for free.  The next person pays $1, and it continues to go up.

It’s art. It’s a game. It’s genius.

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