December 11, 2008
We’ve made a decision to stop publishing on Marktd. Despite making changes to focus on the creative/marketing ideas sister site of PSFK.com, we are still unhappy with the quantity and quality of the site.
Marktd started life as a subscription site called IF! which offered ideas to marketers about how to promote their products in a fresh, modern way. It was fairly successful and we got a good number of people pay the $25 subscription - but we felt that the subscription stopped it being read by a large group of people. A few months back we decided to stop the subscription and relaunch the site as Marktd. Since then interest in the site hasn’t really picked up. I would suggest that this is because of a number of reasons:
* We just aren’t that interesting in marketing and advertising. Personally it’s been 7 years since I had a full time job in advertising and the longer time goes on, the less interest I have in the field. Combine that apathy with the fact that only one or two of the regular writing team have ever worked in advertising.
* Many of our readers who work in marketing and advertising don’t seem to be that interested in only reading about marketing and advertising.
* When we do find exceptional marketing ideas that we are interested in, they tend to end up on PSFK.com anyway.
* We launched Marktd because IF! just wasn’t good enough. We’re closing Marktd because the site just didn’t meet our standards.
Maybe one day we’ll think about relaunching it - maybe with a sponsoring partner. From today, the Marktd email newsletter and RSS will change to PSFK content. We’re hoping that the existing Marktd readers will get even better creative ideas content as a result.
November 25, 2008
Screens are everywhere—in bars, taxis, movie theaters, living rooms, city streets, in your hand, in front of you right now—and it’s making media increasingly fragmented. Yesterday we talked about how the ad business is being affected by this proliferation of media channels. “We have a story we want to tell, and we use different media channels and different touch points to tell it. We have to rely on the consumer to pull the story together,” said Robert Rasmussen.
However, the mark of a good campaign is not just narrative cohesion between these channels, but truly connecting them in an interactive, engaging way. A new campaign from AT&T taking a big step towards this.
To help promote new quick messaging phones, AT&T has launched AT&T Text Jumbli. Kind of like a digital version of Boggle, players text in words they can make out of letters floating around the screen. The massive multiplayer casual game can be played across multiple platforms–a Facebook app, TVs at thousands of bars and restaurants, movie screens during previews, and even on a billboard in Times Square—and everyone sees the same screen. They are giving away hundreds of Pantech Slate phones to top scorers.
As we (especially advertisers) lament the lack of our shared screen–the TV–perhaps we can look forward to more to collective, shared, engaging experiences like these. Experiences that can happen from anywhere, whether you’re in the middle of New York City or a basement in Duluth.
Check out the AT&T Text Jumbli Facebook page to play
(note: you need to become a fan in order to get yer prizes)
November 21, 2008
The Economist did something interesting in Philadelphia, USA recently. They branded pizza boxes that went out from 20 pizzerias in the city with global statistics of food consumption - like the amount of wheat consumption or cheese imports. Apparently, most of the pizzerias were near universities or colleges, so they had the aim of getting young people interested in the magazine. From Cool Hunting:
While undoubtedly a promotion for the British newsmagazine, the pizza boxes represent a creative, through-provoking method of essentially force-feeding information. Perhaps it’s a subject matter slightly heavier than the average pizza consumer is expecting. Do we need to know that 96.8 percent of American mushroom imports come from Canada? Probably not, but it’s definitely food for thought.
November 20, 2008
A while back, we wrote a short post about the Engaging Ideas Card Pack and mentioned, “We haven’t gotten our hands on the full set, but it looks like a neat package for a broad range of ideas.” Well, now (thanks to Rob Fox) we’ve gotten our grubs on the entire pack and sifted through the stack of colorful cards.
The first impression is that they look like a deck of large novelty sized playing cards printed on thick stock cardboard. The front side of each card is an image meant to invoke the message or activity presented on the back. For the most part, the full card formatted images are stellar, ranging from iconic art and expressive photography down to some painfully low resolution and pixelated images. However, given the goals of the cards to engage employees through practical exercises, this is a rather minor point.
The 52-card deck (not including two jokers) is meant to stimulate positive discussion through identification of business goals and ideals. The cards are divided into three general categories: Discover, Design and Deliver. In this hierarchy of inspiration the cards build on each other by slowly introducing more complex activities, interspersed with straightforward tips.
The themes that appeared the most were honing the effectiveness of leadership, identifying core values and honing the business environment to suit the challenges ahead. Here are two sample cards that we think embody the entire project:
21. Distributed Leadership
We tend to think that leadership is something that happens at the top. True, but what is perhaps more true is that acts of leadership happen across and throughout business, day in, day out. Identify these acts of leadership, encourage them and communicate them widely. Doing so helps to demonstrate that all people can offer leadership and will also help acts of leadership to flourish. This exercise also begs an answer to a fundamentally important question necessary to achieve higher levels of engagement: what does your business recognize as leadership?
A success factor for any engagement effort is to discover, design and deliver better ways to connect emotionally with people to inspire their commitment and action. To help accomplish this make “heartstorming” rather than just brainstorming, a core aspect of your business’ problem solving and change practices. Demonstrating difference, “heartstorming” will help to uncover and build stronger emotional connections by focusing groups on questions like:
- I love it when…
- I get a kick out of it when…
- My heart beats faster when…
- I’m energized when…
- It frustrates me when…
- I feel undermined when…
- I’m intimidated when…
- I feel powerless when…
The Engaging Ideas pack is clearly based on solid business research and extensive experience in the corporate environment. Stagnation of ideas is the clear hurdle targeted by the collection and we applaud the stepping-stones proved for those slow to innovate. Overall, the package is a collection of ideas that won’t be revolutionary to those knowledgeable, but gives a beautifully formatted package of ideas to those hoping to give the friendly push to coworkers or employees. Engaging ideas is a careful and successful balance between professional business pursuits and playful corporate connections.
Thanks again to Rob for taking the time and money to ship a sample pack across the pond.
November 7, 2008
Companies are taking a lesson from the old adage that sometimes it’s better to give than to receive. Giveaways, often linked to national events that are themselves already in the public conscious, have begun to generate serious buzz within the online sphere. In fact, the mere mention of one of these limited time offers creates noticeable spikes in the amount of times a participating business’ name is searched and that’s before any free transaction even takes place. Add in the increased foot traffic as potential customers flock to stores in the hopes of getting a sample of the featured product or service and the incentive to buy additional items rises as well. An equation that makes a great deal of sense for these companies considering the amount of “free” marketing they’re receiving for such a small initial outlay.
A sample from Tuesday’s election day tie-ins:
On Google Trends, 10 of Google’s top 100 hot search terms are looking for free election swag. Who’s getting all that traffic?
- “Starbucks free coffee” is the 23rd fastest-rising search term of the day and “starbucks election” is 79.
- “Chick Fil A” is number 6 and “chickfila” is number 58 (they’re giving away free chicken sandwiches)
- “Ben and Jerrys” is number 16 (free ice cream)
- “Krispy Kreme locations” is number 25 (free donuts)
- “Shanes Rib Shack” is number 29 (free meal, but only to first 300 customers at “participating stores”)
- And generally, “free stuff for voting” is 17, “free stuff on election day” is 51, and “freebies for voting” is 66
[via Silicon Alley Insider]
October 31, 2008
Gawker and Gothamist report that New York City is putting their subway advertising program into overdrive. First off are plans to wrap entire subway cars with ads (as graffiti artists did in the early days of the art form). The next public transport-ad scheme involves placing a series of ads inside subway tunnels that will create a rough animation as the car passes by. Also up for grabs are turnstile arms and pretty much any available surface.
Although you would hope that all this surplus cash would mean a reduction in fare (it will cost advertisers $95k a month to do the tunnel animations), I wouldn’t hold my breath. And let’s stay positive about all this. Don’t think of it as more urban spam, think about all these ads as fodder for legions of Poster Boy style artists.
New York City is once again the recipient of more cutting edge advertising technology. The MTA is testing out digital screens that will display ads on the side of city buses. (Hooray! High tech urban spam!) The interesting angle here though, is that the ads will change as the bus moves through different neighborhoods. GPS technology will register when the bus passes into a new area and serve an appropriate ad. Content will also change based on the time of day - think coffee ads in the morning, beer at night.
October 30, 2008
Nothing ruins an outdoor concert or film screening quite like sitting on the grass for hours, hunched over like a barely opened mollusk shell. But with the GreenSeat, sore backs are now a thing of the past. Made from corrugated cardboard, the chair is a cheap, recyclable way to alleviate long episodes of sitting. At this point, it’s been pitched primarily to eco-friendly audiences, but considering that the chair’s construction offers great potential for advertising placement, we can only hope it will be popping up in venues worldwide. The simple all-in-one design incorporates a seat cover and handle and when not in use, lies completely flat. It’s one of those ideas that are so innovative it begs the question, why didn’t we think of that?
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