International Update

Apparently, we Americans aren’t the only ones still leery about the recovering economy, but our Canadian neighbors are seeing the silver lining.  According to Royal Bank of Canada’s Consumer Outlook Index, 67% of Canadians believe the overall outlook for the economy is good – up from 54% the last quarter.  On the flip side, only 55% said they expect Canada’s economy to improve over the next year – down by two points from March.

From an advertising standpoint, international advertisers are stepping up their creativity.  From beer advertisers to BlackBerry, Sun Chips to Dentyne gum, innovation abounds.  Here are just a few examples, read more at the links below.

Finally, unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last two months, you know that the World Cup has taken center stage around the world.  While soccer is still growing in popularity in the US, it’s interesting to know how other countries around the world react to the World Cup.  In Brazil, the country practically shuts down – businesses and schools are closed and elective surgery put off so people can be in front of a TV.  But no country seems to take their love further than South Korea – Home Plus, a retailer, is reporting a 168% increase n sales of adult diapers.

Monday Inspiration

Here is some interesting stuff from last week that will make you laugh, cry, scream, and think. Enjoy.

Inception inspired ad for Shaun White Skateboarding.  Really well done.

GE’s incredible interactive program centers on hospitals first then more.  This is what other brands should shoot for.

If Adidas made a camera this should be it.

Some great outdoor work.  And fun too.

Little Melting Men make a point about global warming.

Frank Miller goes Gucci.

Groupon kills it with Gap.  Is this the new way?  For now it seems, it is.

Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop is genius.  Here is some of his work, also genius.

This seems like a waste of money to me.  Lady Java.  Not a ton of imagination.

Flash mobs want you to boycott Target.  I didn’t think Target could do any wrong.  But they can.

Zubi.  A site that you must see.

I think Joaquin Phoenix’s movie will be great.  Or at least different.  

Puma glorifies the lifestyle athlete.

Chat Roulette is scary anyways.  Now even more scary.  

A great website to explore.  Watch out for oil.

Rolling Stone thanks the big fat record execs.  Long live rock and roll.

Avoiding the idea generation trap.  Good advice.

My interview on whohub.  It doesn’t make me special — you can have one too.  Let me know.  I will read it.

See you next time.

Digital meets the great outdoors

In a time when it seems like new media vehicles present themselves every day, it’s time to give some respect to the elders in the space. Outdoor advertising is the oldest form of advertising, but it too is changing its look and offering. More and more, consumers are seeing digital outdoor boards throughout their everyday lives. It may be in the form of a billboard on the side of a highway, a screen at the grocery store check-out or even in the elevator on your way to a meeting. But like any other advertising medium, it’s not only about location but also the message.

While planning for the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open PGA tournament, we were asked to find ways to explain to the Las Vegas market that we had a solid field of top-tier players while reminding them to come out and buy tickets. We showcased the field online, made a few call-outs in print but the icing on the cake was our digital out-of-home campaign. We worked with Clear Channel Outdoor and the PGA Tour to connect the online data feeds from the PGA website to Clear Channel’s database. This connection allowed us to show a live leaderboard from the tournament throughout the digital boards utilized throughout the Las Vegas valley for our campaign. Every time our message displayed on-board, it theoretically could have been different. On Wednesday, before the tournament started, they held a celebrity pro-am. Throughout the Pro-Am, we used the same functionality, allowing consumers in the market to start getting excited about the event and everything it has to offer.

This is one simple example of creating a custom execution within an existing medium. It is important to understand the functionality of mediums and the technology that powers them. It may provide you insight into thoughts and ideas that the vendor may not have considered, creating yet another “first-ever” execution in this “old” medium or elsewhere. Moving forward, what will R&R Partners’ next out-of-the-box outdoor execution be? Is the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority going to utilize live Twitter feeds showcasing consumer thoughts on Vegas in our feeder markets (these can be filtered of course)? I challenge any and all who read this to take your next idea or campaign to the next level. Whether you plan and buy media, or help create content for us to place, bring an idea to the table that will help our clients win in ways that we imagined!

Reno 411

Follow the R&R Government Affairs Twitter feed today (@rrpartnersgov) as we tweet live from the grand opening of the Whittemore Peterson Institute, at the Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno.  The entire Nevada congressional delegation will be there. Fun begins at 2:30 p.m.  PDT.

Media: Broadcast Update – Spot Radio

Ad Spending Update

  • Spot radio pacing 18% higher in Q3 2010 than Q3 2009
    • July 13%, August 16%, and September jumping 28%
    • Retail – 23.2% increase; auto-39%, telecom-11.3%, consumer products-56.9%
    • 85 of the top 100 markets are pacing ahead of last year
    • An August-October political rush is expected to tighten avails further
       
  • Remainder of 2010 – Projected to Be Busy for Spot Radio
    • Back-to-School
    • Fall Premieres
    • Political
    • Holiday 

Traditional Radio Is Not Dead               

  • Radio reached 91.4% of Americans 12+ this year, up from 90.2% last year
    • 220 million 12+ listeners tuned in to radio each week, or about 93.1% of Americans 12+ (RADAR report)

Country Remains Top Music Format

  • Country radio consists of 2,300 stations across the country
  • Listeners are equally balanced between men and women, and across age groups with equal parts 25-34’s, 35-44’s, and 45-54’s
  • County is more than twice the size of the next music format, adult contemporary

News/Talk is the MOST Popular Format

  • Talk Radio edged past Country as the most popular format in December 2008
  • News/Talk captures nearly half of all Public radio listening and remains the most-listened-to public radio format in the nation, with 12 more stations adopting the format in 2009

Additional Links

http://www.mediabuyerplanner.com/entry/52213/spot-radio-pacing-18-higher-in-q3/

http://www.mediabuyerplanner.com/entry/52644/country-remains-top-music-format/

http://www.radiostreamingnews.com/2010/07/newstalk-remains-most-listened-to.html

Social Marketing News 8/11/10

Here’s your weekly recap of recent Social Media News.

Google Wave waves goodbye. In a blog post last week, Google announced that it will no longer continue to develop Google Wave as a standalone product, citing low user adoption. Instead, Google will utilize some of Wave’s functionality in other projects and maintain some features as open-source code. The ill-fated online collaboration tool was extraordinarily innovative, however many users were at a loss for trying to find practical uses for the technology and how to integrate it into everyday life. This blogger was an early adopter of Wave and an outspoken supporter, however even I found the tool to be worthless when majority of my social contacts were not Wavers themselves. Google Wave had a lot of potential, but with so many existing technologies that allow users to share and collaborate already ingrained into our normal web habits (like email and social networks), there was never a strong enough need for Wave. Further, Wave was not an easy tool to adopt quickly: many users faced a large learning curve in understanding Wave’s functionality, and limited Wave invites at its launch presented a barrier to entry that may have stunted adoption from the onset.


Warm and friendly wins in social. Researchers from Relational Capital Group have studied the science behind making brands more people-friendly and offers strategic insight for social media. Chris Malone writes in a recent Ad Age article about  his team’s psychological study in perception and brand loyalty, and offers three actionable customer service strategies for social media. For more tips on how to connect with your audience in a warm and friendly manner, also check out 5 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Voice from ProBlogger.


MySpace just won’t die. One month after its profile redesign, MySpace is rolling out a new homepage to provide users with more utility and better access to MySpace’s best features. The former social media giant is focused on growing its user network, which includes luring back users that haven’t signed in for years, and specifically targeting 13-34 year olds. The homepage redesign is available to some users in beta, and will be rolling out across all users by August 16. The most important addition to the homepage is the new MySpace Stream, which functions much like the Facebook News Feed providing a feed of friends’ activities, media content, and events. Screenshots are available from Mashable.


Social Media: Strategy

What Are Social Media Good For? Putting a Face to a Brand - AdAge

5 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Voice - ProBlogger

What Facebook Questions Means for Marketers - Ignite

Looking Online to Verify Word-of-Mouth Recommendations - Brandweek

Hot or Not: E-mail Marketing vs. Social-Media Marketing - AdAge

Social Media: Consumer Electronics

RIM’s rumored ‘BlackPad’ tablet due in November? - Yahoo! News

The Dell Streak Shows The CE World How To Be Relevant In An iDevice World - CrunchGear

Social Media: Location-Based Services

HOW TO: Visualize All Your Foursquare Check-ins - Mashable

Facebook’s Foursquare competitor is imminent - cnet

Groupon + Foursquare = GroupTabs, Group Deals for Check-Ins - RWW

Digital Advertising

Google Rolls Location-Based Mobile Display Ads - Brandweek

Facebook, AOL quietly talking online ad hookup - New York Post

Twitter API to Get Ads Inserted, Revenue to be Shared With Developers - RWW

Internet Trends

MySpace to revamp site in aim to simplify - Yahoo! News

MySpace Launches a Revamped User Homepage [EXCLUSIVE] - Mashable

74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour - RWW

Google & Verizon Propose Enforceable Net Neutrality - RWW

RIP Google Wave - Mashable

Twitter Still Grew 109 Percent In June, Fueled By Global Visitors – TechCrunch

Rachelle Maisner is an Interactive Producer for R&R Partners, and writes about social media at FiveFeetOfDynamite.com.