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What This Year’s Oscars SNAFU Can Teach Us About Marketing

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM


Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the fiasco that took place at the Oscars. In what is being called “the greatest flub in Academy Awards telecast history,” best film was accidentally awarded to “La La Land.”

Eventually the producers of the show recognized the flub and re-awarded the Oscar to the film “Moonlight,” but not before La La Land’s producers had already given some teary acceptance speeches.

Talk about awkward.

While Warren Beatty and the accountants at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the firm that has overseen the Academy's ballot-counting process for 83 years, continue to point the fingers at one another, the rest of us can learn a thing or two about marketing from the awards fiasco.

1. Check and Double Check Before Launching Your Campaign

It goes without saying that before those envelopes get sealed, the names on the card inside had better be checked, rechecked and rechecked once more before awards night.

Before you launch your campaign, you had also better check, recheck and recheck once more to make sure you have done the following:

  • Chosen the right target audience – you can’t create a relevant and effective message unless and until you know exactly who you are creating it for.
  • Developed a strong ad – Is your headline attention-grabbing? Are you using the right visuals? Is your ad copy crowded or can the ad breathe? Does the ad create desire? Is everything spelled correctly? Do you include a phone number or URL so you can be contacted? Is there a call-to-action?
  • Selected the right channels – You know your target audience and have developed a strong, relevant message. Now how will you deliver it? Social media? Print? Direct mail? TV or radio spot? Make sure you know how your audience likes to consume information and how/when they are most receptive to it.

2. Ask for Help

Apparently, a redundant card had been included in the “BEST FILM” envelope. The card announced Emma Stone as the winner for “BEST LEAD ACTRESS” in La La Land. Emma had, in fact, won moments earlier in the “BEST ACTRESS” category. When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, presenters of the “BEST FILM” award, saw the card, they were confused, made an assumption (making an ass out of everyone) and simply read the name of the film on the card “La La Land.”

What they should have done is ask for help from the producers of the show. Yes, there would have been an awkward pause, but that awkwardness would have been minimal. As it turned out. A large number of people experienced unnecessary confusion and heartache they didn’t need to experience.

Why put yourself through unnecessary frustration by developing and launching a marketing campaign entirely alone? If your budget allows, it’s always best to seek the guidance of a professional media buyer, who can help you plan your campaign and get the best deals when it comes time to negotiate contracts.

3. Adjust Quickly if Necessary

Why did it take the producers of the Academy Awards so freaking long to recognize a mistake had been made? 10 or 15 whole minutes went by, people from “Team La La” had already begun giving their speeches, emotionally thanking everyone and no doubt debating in their minds whether the award should live prominently on their fireplace mantel or causally on a shelf in their office. This viewer feels the mistake should have been caught much quicker. If it had, there would have been less emotional and psychological bloodshed.

Beyond planning and negotiating on your behalf, a media buyer is responsible for garnering insights and making necessary adjustments that will help optimize your campaign. If your budget doesn’t allow you to use a media buyer, then you will be responsible for setting up a tracking system. How will you know if your campaign has been effective or not? Before you launch you must select the metrics you will use to track your campaign. Those metrics can be anything like page views, phone calls, newsletter signups, click-through rate, and of course, sales.


While the viewing public can get a kick out of an awards show faux pas, there is nothing funny about sinking time and money into advertising campaigns that simply don’t deliver. Let’s all learn something from this year’s Oscar flub and ensure all of our campaigns are always legitimate winners. .cede)��@� $

Topics: content marketing

Power Your Retail Business With Content Marketing via Vine

Posted by Scott Olson on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 02:21 PM

Stores and online retail heavily rely on social media to promote sales, gain new customers and show off new merchandise. Reaching out on Facebook and Twitter is ideal because the costs are nearly non-existent for significant returns. Now stores have a new way to engage an audience with Vine.

By now, you're probably familiar with Vine, a mobile app that records six seconds of video and shares it to a social feed similar to Twitter. Most of Vine's base consists of amateur users making funny videos to share with friends, but now with the new editing and draft features, businesses and retail companies are using Vine to create a whole new level of marketing.

How It's Done

Photos via Apple App Store

Vine videos are usually short clips stitched together to create the final six-second product. Originally,you could tap the screen to create dozens of separate shots or hold it down for just one take, but once the video is finished there is no editing. What you shot was what you got. But now, Vine has been updated with two new features, editing and drafts. Drafts lets you save up to 10 Vines at once and editing enables rearranging of clips.

It will take a few attempts at first, but don't be discouraged. Making the perfect Vine is just like anything else — it takes practice. There's no better place to draw inspiration than companies already on Vine. Here's a stop-go video from JC Penney promoting in-store deals:

How It's Shared

A great benefit to sharing videos on Vine is it's directly tied to Twitter and Facebook (Twitter actually owns Vine). You don't need to build a new following with your Vine account. The existing base on other social networks will see your videos without ever using Vine in the first place. On the other end, following a variety of brands on Vine is a great way to gain a sense of what methods work best for engaging audiences with this new social network. Follow companies like Lowe's, Urban Outfitters and Gap to see different videos other businesses are coming up with.

How It Helps

Once you have a grip on how Vine works and feel comfortable creating videos, there are several ways to make it work best for your retail store.

Intuit, which offers accounting and payroll solutions for small businesses, suggests using Vines as "mini ads" to market your company. It is a cost-effective and lucrative way to reach an online audience. According to Intuit's blog post, "when it comes to digital advertising, people tend to prefer brevity." Highlight your workplace culture, various products and services or encourage video participation from customers.

A great way to include followers in your videos is to interact with your audience via your account.

This Vine from Diabetes UK acknowledges a follower who donated to its cause. Videos like these are a good way to go above and beyond a simple thank you email because it give public recognition to donors.

The idea behind Vine is just like any other social network — to engage an audience — but here you have the opportunity to show instead of tell. Vine is another example of a place for advertisers to reach consumers digitally. If you're looking for tips on local digital advertising, check out our eBook titled 'The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising.'

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising



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Topics: digital advertising, social media, digital publishing, social media engagement, content marketing

What if Newspaper Publishers Adopted Content Marketing?

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 @ 01:20 PM

Content marketing and custom content seem to be all the rage. As a marketer, I’ve adoptednewspaper publishers could use content marketing to turn their businesses around content marketing and believe in its ability to woo prospects and bring them down a path to better understanding and knowledge of our company. If you’re reading this blog right now you’re being subjected to content marketing. Want to know a secret? The toughest part of content marketing is coming up with all the content.

Not everyone considers themselves a writer and people in general aren’t very good at writing. We don’t like to know or follow the rules and we have a tendency to write how we speak, which is not a good thing. But guess who has a stable of really good writers at their disposal? It shouldn’t be that hard, just guess. You got it: newspapers and newspaper websites. Both of these groups have on staff any number of professionally trained writers whose skills could be used to build their business.

While the preference for these journalists might be to follow a beat, break an amazing story on white collar crime and the latest version of Madoff, or tell a heartwarming story of life off the grid for a woman and her dog, their skills could be put to use to help the company stabilize their finances, and potentially get them pointed back toward the $50 billion mark as an industry.

newspaper publishers could look at this inforgraphic on content marketing for proof that it works and could work for newspaper publishersIf you’re wondering how, I’m going to tell you. Story after story on content marketing talks about the value of reaching consumers with content they want and how consumers actually find relevant content valuable. That makes sense, since as a 30-something-father-of-two living an active lifestyle I’m much more likely to purchase a bike trailer for my daughter than an $80,000 sports car. Ads for sports cars – I’m not paying attention to them.

According to this infographic from Wishpond, 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing. Those are good stats for any company trying to get in touch with consumers and drive them to action, even if that action is to not discontinue their subscription.

Want another stat newspaper publishers should be interested in? According to the infographic, 58% of consumers trust editorial content. Guess what newspaper publishers have a lot of? Editorial content. Now, if newspaper publishers can find a way to take their writers, who are masters at creating content, and carve out some time by putting Madoff on the shelf, the publishers could maximize their resources by getting marketing material created, the writers could broaden their portfolio and skill set by getting out of the journalistic funnel for a bit, and the publication could turn some of those resources into new revenue.

That sounds like a win-win-win for the newspaper publisher, the writer and the publication. Content marketing isn’t a quick fix and won’t produce results overnight. However, as mentioned in the beginning the toughest part is often creating the content. Newspaper publishers and staff journalists are experts at that, given it’s their job. The key will be putting it together in a way that makes sense for the consumer, and segmenting their targets to be sure the right content is getting in the hands of the right audience. The batch and blast method is long-gone. That might be the hardest part for newspaper publishers who are used to producing content that’s consumable by everyone. But if newspaper publishers can do it effectively and efficiently, the likelihood of their business stabilizing, and potentially heading back up the scale remains high.

If you want to learn more about reaching the affluent and educated audience, download our white paper on the value of this audience.

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Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Hiking Trail designed by Garrett Dash Nelson from The Noun Project

Topics: newspaper publishers, content marketing