Monthly Archives May 2012

Summer Movies 2012: New Highs in Viral Marketing

batman and prometheus viral marketing

Viral and social media marketing are commonplace for pretty much everything now, but have become essential for summer movies. Whether it’s a Facebook presence or a sly viral campaign, getting people excited about your movie now happens in the digital space more than any other. Here are two movies with the most creative viral campaigns of the summer.

Prometheus

prometheus viral campaign

There’s been a steady release of Prometheus (the maybe it is, maybe it isn’t Alien prequel by director Ridley Scott) trailers that have been whetting the appetites of sci-fi nerds everywhere. Yet the marketing team has done a lot more. There’s the fun Facebook app, “Discovering Prometheus,” which allows you to click on floating orbs, added each week, that contain new info such as images, character bios and more. There’s the unprecedented Prometheus Viral campaign, featuring online-only videos with major characters and special effects. But nothing is perhaps better than Ridley Scott’s short film introducing major Prometheus/Alien character, Peter Weyland, that debuted/took place (in 2023) at the TED Conference. It’s art, it’s social commentary and it’s also a nifty piece of movie marketing. Brilliant.

The Dark Knight Rises

batman viral marketing campaignThe Dark Knight Rises has taken another path in getting people excited (as if they weren’t enough already): audience participation. In a really fun campaign, Warner Brothers announced a new trailer on TheDarkKnightRises.com, but to see it, fans needed to help the Gotham City Police Department in tracking down the Caped Crusader. (Remember, at the end of The Dark Knight, Batman is on the run from the police.)  It started with an arrest warrant posted online, and then fans were asked to track down bat-signal graffiti from all over the world. Warner provided the addresses, and the fans found them (perhaps unsurprisingly, they did so pretty quickly). Deceptively simple, but engaging.

batman viral campaignAbove: One of the first graffiti finds by Twitter user @Yashasmitta.

The “Gave It A Good Try” Award Goes To:

Men In Black III

The Men In Black saga has been gone a long time, but with its conspiracy/secret-aliens-among-us themes, it’s kind of perfect for today’s viral and social trends. And that’s exactly the route its marketing has taken. A YouTube account under the name Bugeyes126 popped up, in which a kid (Bugeyes) discusses his conspiracy theories about government agents in black suits and the aliens they track. It never really caught on (there are 45 (!) videos under the account, with most only getting a couple hundred views), and probably for a couple of reasons: the kid seems like he’s acting, which kinda spoils the fun, and there’s not enough of an incentive to really invest any time with the videos. Could’ve been fun. Maybe next time.

Top 3 Things We Learned at Tech Munch

The Tech Munch conference hit the streets of New York and shared insights from both the bloggers and brands on how to work together and how to succeed in the social media space. Here are the top 3 things we’ve learned from Tech Munch.

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the Tech Munch conference in New York, where food bloggers, writers, editors, foodies and brands unite to learn about the ins and outs of food in the social media space. (And get to enjoy good food and check out a cooking demo or two. Perks!)

The relationship between food and social media is getting stronger and bigger than ever before. We previously wrote about the growing trend of food trucks and how they utilize Twitter to build their voice and communicate directly with their consumers. With events such as Tech Munch show how the two are becoming more and more intertwined.

At Tech Munch, panelists including Food Network, Bake Space (founder and organizer of the conference), Martha Stewart Living, J.M. Hirsch of The Associated Press and more stopped by to talk directly with bloggers about best practices, trends and how to survive in the social media age.

Above: A cooking demo with Alejandra Ramos of Always Order Dessert…and the delicious results.

With a whole day of discussions, there are 3 key things we’ve learned:

PSA for Marketing Executives reaching out to Bloggers

This was a topic that was brought up multiple times: Get to know your bloggers. All you have to do is read their blog since they typically share their personal experiences and latest finds.  NEVER start an email with “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Miss or Sir,” because they will immediately hit the delete button or – even worse – the SPAM button. Make sure you have an understanding of what they are writing about, and approach them with your product accordingly. If you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask; they are human after all. The more personal you are in the approach, the easier it will be to form a relationship for potential partnerships.

Food Bloggers in the Making

Before you start your blog, make sure you have a clear and concise plan and a voice you want to portray to the public. The one piece of advice that holds true is to find your specialty and create a niche. When editors are looking for sources to cover a new trend, they are looking for those that specialize in that specific category. Make yourself stand out and become a brand so that they can come to you as an expert.

Pinterest, Yay or Nay

Pinterest is still on everyone’s lips and is growing rapidly. It allows the user to showcase his or her personality and ideas through imagery, and the perk is that the pins drive traffic back to the original source. Kate Gold, Social Media Director of Food Network, discussed how they share recipes, beautiful food images and even have curated boards from the community that dictate trends, such as comfort foods. Pinterest adds an element to your site and/or blog and allows the user to get a better picture of your personality and voice.  Do you have to be on all platforms to appeal to everyone? No, but get to know your audience and where they are and you can decide from there if it’s the right move for you or your brand.

 

Mobile App Review: Spotify – iPhone, iPad & Android

Welcome to the latest installment of Flightpath’s running series of mobile app reviews, where we explore all different kinds of apps, both paid and free. Today we’re looking at an app for one of the biggest names in online music.

The App: Spotify

The Platform: iPhone, iPad & Android

How Much: Free for trial download; $9.99 monthly subscription fee

The Deal: In the Summer of 2011, the Swedish-born/UK-raised music streaming service, Spotify, had finally made its grand entrance into the US. It served as the ultimate answer for music lovers who craved an “eat-whatever-you-want-whenever-you-want” music diet and alternative for those who wanted streaming music other than Pandora.

Compared to Spotify’s full-featured desktop application, the iPhone app is a stripped-down, bare bones version that still contains all of the essentials needed to stream music to your phone. Unfortunately, there’s one huge catch: You have to be a paid subscriber of Spotify’s premium service ($9.99/month) in order to access its entire streaming library. If you’re not a premium subscriber you can still use the app without access to the library, but it basically acts like the iPhone’s built-in music app, where it plays music stored locally within the device. This review will be based on the app that is using a premium subscription; that’s when most of the good features kick in.

Playing "936" by Peaking Lights

Features: For starters, most of the things you do on your own Spotify account, whether you’re on a PC/Mac or iPhone, gets automatically synced between all devices. This means if you’re adding or sorting your playlists on the desktop version, the changes get reflected when you start up the iPhone app. Or, if a friend at work is making attempts to get you hooked on his/her favorite band and bombarding you with Spotify playlists (“I am now flooding your Spotify inbox with Guided By Voices.”), they will all be sitting there on your iPhone waiting to be played (…or ignored).

What We Think/Like: The app also tracks your listening habits and sends them off to social media platforms like Facebook and Last.fm. Personally, I like this feature because it serves as an online “pulse” that lets my friends and family know that I’m still kicking around:

Hey, have you seen Tyler lately?
No, but it says on Facebook that he’s currently listening to early DJ Shadow.
Oh, that must mean he’s cleaning his apartment right now.

Another great feature is the “Offline” mode, where you can store Spotify playlists directly on the iPhone and listen to it without a wifi or cell phone connection. This is perfect for underground subway commutes, avoiding data overage charges from your phone company, and occasional shuttle trips to distant planets where over-the-air connections are non-existent.

What’s Missing: The “Premium Subscribers Only” restriction is a bit off-putting given that there’s still a lot of features available on the Spotify desktop application that could’ve been enabled on the app for basic/free subscribers.

Third-party apps that you can install on the desktop application (like The Guardian or Last.fm) aren’t available on this mobile app, which severely cuts down on a lot of music discovery on the iPhone (or Android). On top of that, even Spotify’s own “radio” app (not as smart as Pandora, but still okay) was never ported over to the mobile app.

Overall: It’s unfortunate that the mobile app cuts back on a few features, especially when you compare it against the desktop app. But the heart and soul of Spotify—the on-demand, unlimited access to a huge and constantly expanding online music library—is still there, and that’s what really matters. If you’re a Premium subscriber, take advantage of this free app right away, and take your library on the road.  If you have a basic/free subscription with Spotify, the app definitely loses it’s shine without all the streaming capability, so you’re probaly better off just sticking with the built-in music app you’ve always been using.

(If you’re not a Spotify subscriber at all, I suggest you give you it a try and overindulge yourself with the infinite choices of music it provides.  Oh, and they have Milli Vanilli on there, in case you’re wondering.)

Grade: B+

New YouTube Changes Present Opportunity for Marketers

Long known as the destination for time killing quick videos of waterskiing squirrels, biting babies and Bieber, YouTube now wants to be thought of as a true alternative to traditional cable. With the controversial changes to YouTube’s homepage firmly in place, users are now encouraged to not just watch the latest viral video, but to subscribe to entire channels. So how can marketers benefit from YouTube’s changes?

YouTube wants to change the way consumers think about YouTube. Long known as the destination for time killing quick videos of waterskiing squirrels, biting babies and Bieber, YouTube now wants to be thought of as a true alternative to traditional cable.

With the controversial changes to YouTube’s homepage firmly in place, users are now encouraged to not just watch the latest viral video, but to subscribe to entire channels. YouTube is also calling on content producers to switch gears and create regularly scheduled content, instead of sensational one-offs.

So how can marketers benefit from YouTube’s changes?

Approach your brand’s YouTube content strategy the same way as  Facebook or Twitter content. In social media marketing, it is well known that regularly scheduled Facebook and Twitter content drives engagement. No brand creates a Facebook page with the intention of creating one or two great posts a year, but many brands do exactly that on YouTube. Now that YouTube is promoting channels instead of single videos, your channel needs regularly scheduled programming.

Choose a schedule and stick to it. Commit to a schedule, whether it is monthly, biweekly or weekly and follow through. Imagine if MadMen was scheduled to air Sunday night and there you are all snuggled down to watch the drama unfold on AMC, only to be presented with an old western movie. How would you feel? When subscribers come to depend on your brand’s content, they will look forward to your next video. If you promise new videos every Wednesday at 6pm, if there is no content up at that time you could be in for negative comments.

Ask for your viewers help. Asking viewers to subscribe and share is an important part of getting your video seen by more people. Make YouTube’s new focus on channel subscriptions, your focus too and your brand will have the best chance of YouTube homepage glory.

Draw Something: The Flightpath Gallery

Draw Something Gallery

Draw Something is one of the most popular apps going, and for good reason. The premise is simple – you’re given something to draw, then your “opponent” has to guess what it is – but it’s a bit more complex beneath the surface. 

Draw Something hits several buttons, and it hits them well: creativity, comedy, and puzzle-solving. You often have to think of inventive ways to convey something – “keychain” is harder than one would think to draw straight away, as is “beiber” – and deciphering an illustration is also challenging if it’s not a commonly used term.

We here at Flightpath regularly partake in Draw Something, and thought we would display a gallery of our work. Some pieces are minimalist, others are more detailed. So take a stroll through this exhibit, critique our work and enjoy the experience.

But please – photography is not allowed.

The Works of Dan Brooks, Digital Marketing Manager

The Works of Denise de Castro, Vice President, Director of Client Services

The Works of Michael Feola, Developer

The Works of Wesley Martin, Interactive Designer

The Works of Michelle Kelarakos, Social Media Strategist

4 Google Analytics Updates You Should Know

As most of us in this industry know, Google is always changing and tinkering with its products, from Gmail to Google+, and, often times, the company doesn’t even bother to tell us when changes have been made. (The nerve of some mega-powerful corporations!)

As a digital marketing manager, a large chunk of my time is centered on navigating and understanding Google Analytics, discovering insights and unearthing important data. Lately, several major changes have popped up in Analytics, which may impact the way we use it, as well as the information within. Here are four changes you should know about.

To read the rest of this post, please head over to iMedia Connection.