By: Joanna McNurlen
Infographic résumés have seen a rise in popularity in the past few years, but not all of them have been stellar. If you’re thinking about submitting a non-traditional résumé, here are some tips that might help you stand out from other applicants:
Have any more infographic résumé advice? Let us know in the comments.
By: Eric Hamblett
Music identification company Shazam is growing their services in the direction of TV fashion identification. If accomplished successfully, Shazam is in position to challenge search engine middlemen and deliver content directly to viewers.
Currently, Shazam works by tagging audio content and informing users of its details. The new TV feature will build on this foundation and also allow users to tag TV shows and discover content. This could include anything from cast biographies, to trivia and even merchandise. By increasing consumer engagement, viewers have the potential to tag a specific show and then be directed to a shop that has merchandise the characters are wearing.
An initial release of this feature will be deployed with the audio-tagging example above, and the company will unveil its image recognition technology when it’s finalized. What’s exciting for Shazam’s move into fashion is it establishes immediate and scalable conversations with TV producers. As for consumers, these new interactive possibilities could be the foundation for an engagement disruption.
Can marketers use Shazam to make commercials more appealing? Will we suffer from even more brand saturation? It will be exciting to see how this technology impacts B2C and B2B relationships.
By: Sarah Roach
There has been only 6 months in between the time that I have gone from an interviewee to an interviewer, and I can honestly tell you that the view from each side of the table is very different. With that being said, I remember how stressful the interview process is and I’d like to offer up a little, candid advice for those of you prepping for interviews.
Dad is sometimes right.
As painful as that is to admit, sometimes dad can give some good business and even general life advice. Anyone that has met me will most likely agree that I have a loud personality and am a bit of a talker- this is especially true when I’m nervous. Before every interview my dad would text me and basically tell me to muzzle my inner-urge to ramble about all my great qualities and experiences, let the interviewer do the talking because that’s when you learn about the company and opportunity at hand. Well, now that I’m interviewing interns and even potential teammates, it turns out dad was right, and I’m not the only nervous talker with a tendency to ramble.
We have your resume and have read it, that’s why we’ve set up this interview. So instead of verbalizing the same thing to us with 15 minutes worth of detail, pick out one aspect of each experience and relate it to the position you’re interviewing for. Tell me what your horrible group project taught you about communication and leadership or how your spot on the marching band taught you to work well within team.
For the love of common sense please read the job description AND Google. After you apply with all of the necessary information, research the agency or company your applying to, the most recent projects and the role of the position you’re applying for. For example, account management in advertising has nothing to do with accounting; even Google can help you out with that.
Make it a conversation.
While we are impressed with your previous experiences and eager to learn more, we need to know that you working here will be beneficial for both parties. So attempt to make the interview a conversation- get to know your interviewer because they ultimately have the power to help. Ask questions about their path to that position, why they like working there and more importantly about how you will be contributing to the company. The more you learn, the more prepared you will be if and when you get to work there.
We all have been in your position at some point and want to help give someone else a chance, so ask questions and let us know you’re interested. You have an opportunity to speak with someone that works there currently and maybe even someone that was in your shoes less than 6 months ago, literally. We are able to tell you about the wacky yet functional office dynamic, our day-to-day roles, client relations, the fact that we have an office dog and wear jeans to work 99% of the time. The experience should be beneficial for all parties involved, so make it a conversation and figure out if that position is the right fit for you and the company.
Be smart about being online.
I’m sure you know this, or have hopefully figured it out by now but yes we “stalk” you online. In the least creepy way possible, potential employers are going to Google you, check out your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other online sources that might throw up a massive red flag about hiring you. While we want to get to know you and know that you’d be fun to work with, we don’t need to see that you practiced your keg stand every night of college or need to see every sketchy selfie from high school. We all have them and most likely love reminiscing about those moments, but just make sure not to cross that fine-line and be careful with what you put out there for potential employers to find.
By: Stephen Feinberg
Since the ‘80s, when computers began to enter everyday life, filmmakers have struggled with how to show the viewer what’s on that little screen.
Screen shot from the mid-80s: boring!
Part of the challenge is technical: computer monitors (and now, tablets and smartphone screens) refresh at a different rate than film or high-def video, so the screen either has to be specially rigged to synch with the movie camera; or green-screened during filming with the computer images added in post-production.
But the real obstacle, particularly with showing text, is the storytelling aspect. The usual solution is to show a character looking at the screen and reacting, then cutting to a close-up POV shot so the audience knows what the character is looking at—very cumbersome. It also leaves the filmmaker with the choice of showing a real screen (indecipherable) or a comically simplified screen display in order to register visually.
Overly simplified website display: “Single White Female”1992.
These same issues plague commercial directors tasked with selling smart phones and tablets. Because 30 seconds doesn’t leave much time, directors usually dispense with the POV screen shot and instead concentrate on showing users reacting ecstatically to whatever text, email or Facebook update is on their screen.
The folks who made Netflix’s “House of Cards” series have come up with a more elegant solution. Furtive texting between a powerful Congressman and an ambitious young reporter is a key sub-plot driver. It’s handled by showing the text messages superimposed on the action, eliminating the cutaways and tedious screen shots and letting us focus on the characters.
Scene from “House of Cards,” 2013.
This approach assumes two things: 1) the viewer recognizes, from the context and the formatting, that these are text messages; and 2) that the viewer can process both on-screen action and text simultaneously. Five years ago, these points may have been debatable. Not anymore. But not every tech advertiser has gotten the message. Here’s a brand new Blackberry spot:
Blackberry z10 launch spot, 2013.
Compared to the “House of Cards” technique, this feels very “You’ve Got Mail” to me. Which is not what Blackberry, or any other tech brand, needs right now.
By: Joanna McNurlen
In the 1985 bestseller White Noise, author Don DeLillo describes a tourist site known as “the most photographed barn in America.” Multiple signs populate the highway leading up to the barn, trumpeting the upcoming landmark. Before incoming tourists see the barn, they encounter the site’s gift shop as well as exiting tourists who have recently visited the barn. As DeLillo’s character Murray says, “No one sees the barn … once [people] see signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn.” The barn has become a pure simulacrum.
This is what memes are: content that has been imitated and shared to the point of distortion beyond recognition. Philosopher Jean Baudrillard (yes, this is going to be one of “those” blog posts) argues that there exist four stages of distortion when an original image is imitated:
Let’s look at this phenomenon in the context of the “Overly Attached Girlfriend” meme. The path to simulacrum begins with Laina Morris, a reasonably normal 20-year-old woman who serves as the original image.
Many who viewed the “Overly Attached Boyfriend” knew that it referred to “Overly Attached Girlfriend”, but few knew of the latter’s origin as a Justin Bieber parody, let alone of Laina Morris, the girl behind the meme. The meme itself became the reality with which people became familiar, bearing no resemblance to the original image of Miss Morris herself.
To apply this concept of advertising, let’s look at the original image of MasterCard.
MasterCard’s devolution into meme shows how virality can remove all but the faintest associations to the original product. This is why advertisers have to be careful when they seek to create something “viral”: popularity inspires imitation, which distorts an image. Minor distortion still allows an imitation to be tied to the original image. However, significant distortion can mar the image or brand so that the advertiser’s initial intent is obscured beyond recognition. This reinforces an advertiser’s need to carefully monitor its campaigns so that the original message is never lost on a consumer.
By: Jessica Chen
Queen Bey is simply unstoppable! As of March 21, H&M has confirmed that Beyonce is now the face of H&M’s summer ad campaign, and H&M is sponsoring Beyonce’s “Mrs. Carter” tour. Beyonce’s personal style guided her input into the designs of the line, which includes perfect bodycon dresses, flowing sundresses, and fringed bikinis. The clothing will be available in May both in stores and online. Print and billboard ads of “Beyonce as Mrs. Carter in H&M” will promote that women can be strong, vulnerable, sensual, maternal, fun, and flirtatious.
Why did H&M choose Beyonce? According to branding expert and Zimmerman Advertising Chief Marketing Officer Cliff Courtney, “In terms of pure wattage, Beyonce has got more juice—[H&M’s] lucky to get her. If you need more pizzazz on your image, Beyonce is the way to go.” But is Beyonce really as influential as we think?
From a $50 million deal with Pepsi to work for L’oreal, Emporio Armani, and Vizio, just to name a few, the #32 gal on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women list is everywhere. Add all of this on top of her music career and fashion brand, House of Dereon. Her presence is strong—-think of the Super Bowl, the Presidential Inauguration, and even her own HBO documentary special.
She is everywhere, and personally, I’ve been Beyonce-d out. It’s Beyonce saturation. Sometimes less is more. If a celebrity endorses every product, credibility is lost. I don’t know if I really find the Beyonce of Pepsi to be as compelling as the Beyonce of H&M, and I’m sure others may feel it vice-versa. Nevertheless, the ads—-and Beyonce—-are gorgeous. Come May, I’m sure we, and H&M, will witness the power of Queen Bey.
By: Joanna McNurlen
Game of Thrones, the popular HBO series that brings George R.R. Martin’s stories of warring medieval families to life in rich (and occasionally nauseating) detail, will return for its third season this Sunday at 9:00 ET on HBO. The amount of advertising leading up to 03.31.13 has been extensive: adragon cast its shadow in one of this year’s best print ads, imposing photos of cast members (complete with warm/cool retouching to hint at this season’s fire and ice themes) dominate the city, and the show’s Facebook page has cranked out new content almost daily.
Perhaps my favorite promotional effort for the series is the Join the Realm official sigil creator. For those who aren’t familiar with the show (or simply lack a knowledge of archaic English), a sigil is a symbol of a noble family’s name – similar to a coat of arms. On the Join the Realm site, users can mix and match colors, patterns, and symbols to create their own Game of Thrones-esque sigils. Launched on Monday, the feature has already become a huge hit, prompting thousands of shared images on Twitter and plenty of parodies.
Unlike traditional, one-sided advertising, the Game of Thrones sigil is an interactive, entertaining tool that puts consumers in control of their advertising experiences. Granted, putting marketing power in the hands of the consumer can prove dangerous (ahem, #McDStories), but such control also provides a sense of ownership, increasing the likelihood that an experience will be shared.
Like AMC’s MadMenYourself before it, HBO’s Join the Realm sigil creator reflects the shift toward engaging, experience-focused marketing in television. As May sweeps season looms closer, it will be interesting to see what other television programs (and other advertisers) create.
By: Eric Hamblett
Music is an emotional force that has the ability to influence brand experiences and ultimately our purchasing decisions. It is not typically included in a pitch portfolio, however has definite positive potential. Think about the music you encounter in your daily life, the songs that wake you up, put you to sleep and make your mind wander.
Enter the world of marketing through playlists. Brands have begun exploring this tactic by engaging with streaming services, the most notable being Spotify, Grooveshark and Pandora. When Spotify first came to the United States, Chevy leveraged its limited access invites by becoming an “exclusive automotive advertising partner” and gave away registration codes. Though this was a national PR push by both firms, success can still be achieved on a smaller budget with a more targeted audience.
Curated playlists seem to be most effective when they accompany a blog post, a product, an event, or a social campaign. Music adds an intangible factor that makes an experience more memorable and interactive.
Let’s take a look at TIME Magazine’s Spotify campaign. The company named “The Protester” as 2011 Person of the Year and to accompany this selection, they created a playlist titled “Protest Songs”. The songs essentially added more of a human context to the words, creating an experience as an extension of original content.
For the 2012 Presidential race, the Obama campaign created a Spotify playlist representative of their energy and promise. Comparing this to TIME’s, both playlists were themed and included 30 songs a piece.
While there may be opportunities for brands to assist with music discovery, current examples show that brands prefer to curate and organize.
Another unique approach for brands is to directly leverage their online community. A brand can host a contestand make a call for submissions to offer a grand prize. Or they can create a “collaborative playlist” and invite members to edit it. Companies may even use this as an internal morale booster, letting office members submit songs they work to or find interesting.
Overall, marketing through playlists is an atypical approach, however, something that can solidify a brand message if accomplished correctly. One thing to remember is that it must seem organic, relevant and exist as an extension of a campaign. While this may be difficult for brands that do not have a clear relationship with music, playlist marketing exposes a welcomed opportunity to deliver a refreshing message.
By: Joanna McNurlen
Maybe it’s because I went to a D3 university, or maybe it’s because I spent college basketball games inside a bulky mascot costume (go bears), but somehow I have never embraced the mania surrounding March Madness. I haven’t avoided it out of ignorance – I understand how brackets and seeds and point spreads all work – basketball just isn’t my particular cup of tea.
On the other hand, I did begin following the This is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament. Yes sir, I created my official Star Wars-themed bracket and made my own prediction as to who will be crowned the most popular character in the galaxy (hint: he shot first). So far I’m eight for eight with my predictions, and I’m anticipating a highly successful season.
Star Wars isn’t the only company to attempt to boost brand involvement by piggybacking on the popularity of the Big Dance. Seamless, the popular online food ordering service, has launched a sweepstakes on its Facebook page to determine its fans’ favorite sandwich (I’m counting on a final showdown between PB&J and the Monte Cristo). Even stodgy NPR isplaying off the tourney’s name, showcasing popular marches on its classical music blog throughout the month of March.
Other promotions range from the creative (“1 for 1 All the Way” discounts at Syracuse retailers to celebrate the school’s number one seed in 2012) to the routine (deals on TVs at amazon.com) to the downright obscure (free pizza with vasectomy at a clinic in Cape Cod). All across the board, brands have embraced the ubiquity of March Madness.
Seasonal promotions like those surrounding March Madness make sense: they link brands to special events and the positive feelings associated with them. These links also reinforce the temporality of a promotion, motivating consumers to engage before the promotion’s end. Plus, a gimmick like tournament brackets gives us advertisers a fun jumping-off point for ideas.
Even the consumers who don’t particularly follow the NCAA likely will get involved in a bracket of sorts simply due to the season’s omnipresence as a marketing vehicle. I will proudly count myself among them: come on, Han Solo.
By: Sarah Roach
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case… the chick or the bunny? It’s that time of year again, when fluffy, multicolored chick and bunny Peeps will be lining the shelves pretty much everywhere you turn.
Growing up, it wasn’t Easter until the Peeps had been successfully exploded in the microwave, stuffed into plastic eggs and hidden throughout the house or simply stuffed in my mouth until not even a single bunny ear could fit. After 60 years of existence, Peeps are still as popular as the day they hatched, which is a truly remarkable feat. Who would have thought that Easter inspired marshmallows could become such a lasting tradition and ultimately a lasting brand?
Although Easter chick and bunny Peeps are the originals, Peeps now hatch from chocolaty egg shells and even have expanded into other holidays that bring fluffy white ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, reindeer or Valentine’s hearts into your home year-round. Not only have the clever minds behind Peeps carried on the traditions; they have created an extensive list of festive and delicious recipes and crafts that use our favorite marshmallow characters.
I may or may not have joined in and made Peeps popcorn last week…which is an ultimate sweet and salty treat, essentially a colorful ball of popcorn held together with former marshmallow chick and bunny Peeps. Besides melting them or simply biting their heads off, I think Peeps are one of the only foods that are acceptable to eat stale… and I’m not entirely sure there’re technically “stale”, but for those of you that have let them get a little on the “stiff” side, you know what I mean.
You’ll have to visit the website to join in the rest of the fun that Peeps provides or visit their Facebook page to see which Peepsonality you are by answering a few questions about your Peeps moments.
I hope each and every one of your Easter baskets and bellies are full of Peeps in the weeks to come!
By: Patrick Lupinski
Facebook unveiled its latest revamp today, making it more consistent across different platforms. The biggest take away is that, overall, it’s a much cleaner and whitespace-friendly design.
Some major changes that you’ll notice:
Brands on Facebook
Facebook’s studies have revealed that engagement with ads in its main news feed is greater than with those that appear on the right-hand side. These ads are absent from its mobile apps entirely.
Promoted posts within the news feed have increased in size on Facebook’s mobile platforms over the last few months. Expect to see this carried over onto the website version, making it easier for users to interact with a brand’s content.
The main takeaway for brands? Immersive promoted content in the form of images and video will always prove to be more engaging.
If you’re as eager as me to try the new news feed, sign up here.
By: Eric Hamblett
AT&T is currently exploring how they can use best practices and learnings from online ad campaigns to create more effective TV targeting tactics. This is kind of a big deal because their technology could create better experiences for viewers while also making TV network’s smarter and more profitable as a result.
Right now TV advertising requires too much human capital to collect ratings and surveys. This information is essential but it relies too heavily on the judgment calls of executives who are often limited by budgets and voluntary participation. In direct contrast, online advertising relies on software to match ads and provide valuable data-driven insights and results. It is more of a formulaic and much more specific process.
Current TV techniques are decades old and ripe for this kind of disruption. AT&T is pushing for real time ad scheduling that calibrates based on specific viewership. Think of Facebook’s targeted campaigns and how much control the campaign manager has over their budget and demographic scope—now apply that to TV.
I am curious how TV networks will react to this technology because the same executives making placement decisions for commercials may see their expertise at risk. AT&T is already testing a product called AdWorks that offers advertisers ways to measure TV campaigns using set-top-box data. Their measurement mechanism is Return on Impressions (ROI) and the next product iteration may have targeted software capabilities.
If online ads can be targeted and provide metrics to their success, why can’t TV advertising? Seems like that’s about to change and that’s exciting!
By: Brent Heindl
American Express wants to woo consumers with T-Commerce. That’s right, T-Commerce. Starting last Monday, AmEx customers who sync their cards via the AmEx Sync Program could start buying items by simply using a hashtag.
The first item available for purchase was a $25 AmEx gift card, which sold for $15 if you tweet #BuyAmexGiftCard25. Other offers to be available for t-purchase include an Amazon Kindle Fire HD and an Xbox 360 4GB console.
How’s it all work? If you want an item and tweet the correct hashtag (and have already registered your card with AmEx Sync), you will receive a verification from @AmexSync containing a confirmation hashtag. You then have 15 minutes to tweet the confirmation hashtag to confirm your purchase, after which the item will be shipped to you within two days for free.
The icing on the cake for AmEx is that with each hashtag tweeted, users are giving a tacit endorsement to the program and, by extension, the AmEx brand.
By: Eric Hamblett
The first human-interacting autonomous robot has been approved by the FDA for use in hospitals. It is made by iRobot, the same company that created the Roomba, and has potential to change the face of healthcare (pun intended). The human sized machine is named RP-VITA and will function as a resource for doctors to remotely interact with patients. With this “telepresence,” doctors can interact with a number of patients through an iPad application, without having to physically troll halls and corridors.
The VITA is packed with state of the art features and powered by high resolution cameras that transmit doctor and patient faces. It integrates digital medical records and can connect to stethoscopes, otoscopes and ultrasounds. This all works to create the highest quality consultation, improving efficiency and decreasing cost.
Even though the robotic technology will optimize hospital experiences, it will be important for patients to understand its usefulness. Critics worry about technology replacing human jobs, and though this appears to be a step in that direction, the VITA is there to help. With live digital records and collaborative consultations, it will be interesting to track what new discoveries are made.
By: Jessica Chen
It’s Friday night and you’re on your way to the East Village to meet some friends at your favorite bar. You’re already late, but you have the worst headache in the world, possibly from the lack of ventilation in the subway station, but more likely from dehydration. On top of that, your stilettos are rubbing the back of your heel and you’re 99% sure a blister has formed. What to do?
Head to a Duane Reade, Walgreens, or CVS and get Help Remedies! They have cleverly combined user-friendly design with convenience. The packaging is beautifully simple, declaring lines such as “Help, I have a Blister” or “Help, I have a Headache” in bright colors against a clean, simple white background. Unlike bottles of Tylenol or boxes of Band-Aids, these easily state and solve the problem you’re facing and are often placed conveniently near the checkout line. The contents of the neat little package are also clearly labeled on the front.
The Help brand has extended to more than just pharmaceutical remedies. Viral videos and performance windows set Help Remedies apart from their competitors. The “Living windows” display included models giving out kisses at Ricky’s storefronts addressing the problem of: “Help, I’ve Never Been Kissed.” “Help, I Want to Save a Life” provided bone marrow donor registry kits. Soon, the D.C. store will have a “Help, I am Insecure” event with a life coach to give out advice and support. Other events such as “Help, I am Lonely” for those seeking a dating platform and “Help, I’m in an Argument with my Spouse” for those that need relationship guidance are also planned.
With innovative strategies such as a pop up pharmacy in D.C, handing out headache remedies at polling stations, and nausea relief at the Republican National Committee, Help Remedies is helping people see there are simple solutions in the oftentimes confusing, undifferentiated health care market. There are so many brands and products, and most consumers are not health experts. And let’s face it, consumers won’t necessarily spend the time to read through all the drug facts in minuscule print to find the active ingredients. Help Remedies streamlines this by using single ingredients in low doses.
Health care products and services need to be easy for consumers to understand and relate to; otherwise Advil will seem no different than Motrin. Differentiation through simplified packaging and user experience has clearly worked for Help Remedies, and if the rest of the health care world wants to stay relevant, it will have to rethink the two as well.