25 November, 2008

Sharpie Love - a tale of mutual affection

Speaking of brands using social networks (not to beat a dead horse), Sharpie's PR manager got in touch with another group in our class about the prototype Flickr group and blog they had created for the presentation, which caused an unintended buzz in these social networks. The PR manager was very interested in what they had done, and has now offered them all positions as guest bloggers on the official site, launched a few weeks ago.

Seems that some brands are ripe for social media conquests, and draw users to them like a magnet, where others have to try harder. Does this all seem like one big popularity contest sometimes?

Kodak Moments: Have they disappeared?

In my technology in marketing class this semester, we've been discussing social media and how companies can use this new platform to build their brands and relationships with consumers. My group did a breast cancer awareness plan for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure football game/fundraiser back in October, and a social media plan for the Kodak brand last week.

Our big idea for Kodak was to revitalize the brand by building on the "spontaneous" factor of a Kodak Moment. Our viral marketing would center around a "Make this Your Moment" contest encouraging uploads to the online photo-sharing service. Video clips of faceless characters in humorous situations would be propagated around the web to drive traffic to the contest site.

Here's the PowerPoint we presented to the class (some weird buggy things happened while uploading online, though):

Kodak Moments: Social Media / Rebranding Proposal for an Old Favorite

Social Media Plan for Kodak by Jared Fink, Justin Goh, Sean McCulley, & Amy Pospiech Our Goal Today • Discuss the Kodak brand and discuss how it is currently perceived in the minds of consumers • Re-introduce the “Kodak Moment” • Discuss challenges and opportunities in leveraging this brand equity • Reveal the proposed Kodak Moments Social Media Campaign Background: The idea of a “Kodak moment” dates back to 1888, when George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of consumers. Our social media plan will revitalize this idea of an unexpected moment captured by an amateur photographer on film, using a buzz marketing campaign urging users to “Make this Your Kodak Moment.” What is Kodak now? • Kodak is known for its ease-of-use. With its Kodak EasyShare camera and PerfectTouch photo processing, it is aimed at the novice or busy individual. Even the essence of a “Kodak moment” is captured by this quick, even spontaneous theme. Brand Model: Old A Kodak Moment is… • An event for which you or someone wished someone nearby had a camera to take a picture. “When we went to the zoo Amanda fell into the gorilla cage. It was such a Kodak moment!” by kalley treay Jul 3, 2007 • A rare, one time, moment that is captured by a picture, or should have been captured by a picture. “Aww!.. They look soo happy sitting there by the lake! That's definetly a kodak moment!” by LiL' LAdY Nov 3, 2006 • Said when something funny happens Creative Consulting Current Web Presence: Snapshot • “Leading online digital photo developing service” • Secure and easy way to view, store and share photos with friends and family • Free editing and creative tools and specialty photo products • Similar to all other online tools Current Web Presence: A Thousand Words Blog • “What’s a picture worth?” • Off-brand, too general • Recent posts include topics as varied as pumpkin carving (incl. hardware tips), a flower photography class, and the end of a NASCAR sponsorship • Should be kept internal Current Web Presence: PluggedIn Blog • “A blog about Kodak products and customers” • Niche market (tech-y consumer) with a general description – needs better targeting • According to Technorati, the blog is ranked 150,646 and has an authority of 43 (in other words, 43 other sites have linked to it) Snapshot: Current Web Presence • Podcasts Twitter Facebook Youtube Flickr Delicious Professional Perceptual Map Cluttered Streamlined Amateur Moments Kodak Moments’ Target Audience • Those who remember the magic of the unexpected, spontaneous Kodak moment • Those old enough to appreciate the idea that life is fleeting, and have little time to preserve their moments through competitor’s cluttered, complicated websites • Those who appreciate a tactile experience like flipping through a photo album Brand Model: New Proposed Web 2.0 Presence Contest Details: “Make this Your Kodak • In order to create a buzz throughout our target market we are promoting a contest using short video clips • These clips will be distributed throughout the web on social networking sites • The winner of the contest will win a vacation tour of Italy were they can make of hilarious as well as special Kodak Moments Make this Your moment Online Ad Placement Mobile Marketing Make this Your moment Conclusion • Through the use of various social media channels, we will reinvent the Kodak brand image with Kodak Moments. • KodakMoments.com will touch the hearts and souls of the target market when they relive passionate still shots in a warming virtual atmosphere. • KodakMoments.com will simplify the online photo experience. Thank you

Ironically, Kodak had another agency come up with a similar idea about a month ago: Make Me Super. This site was created by an ad agency called EVB, owned by Omnicom Group. In reality, their idea is remarkably similar to the "Elf Yourself" OfficeMax campaign, and a lot like the earlier yearbookyourself site which inspired this series of Facebook photos (and our own project):

However, the Make Me Super project seems to lack that defining brand mark. That thing which makes Kodak, Kodak. Where have all the moments gone?

You can hear the entire presentation via a class capture of our group for as long as Temple keeps it up. Hope this isn't any type of privacy violation, haha. As far as I know, this is publicly available content. Anyway, enjoy.

24 November, 2008

Chaos and Convergence

So I don't know if it's because I'm now more aware of this social media craze, or if it actually is growing (at an insanely exponentially ridiculous rate), BUT:

  1. I'm now Tweeting. Follow me?
  2. Facebook has become standard lingo - I'm almost sick of hearing the word, especially in the context of, "let's create a facebook group to get people to love us!" Ho-hum.
  3. I've found so many blogs with interesting content, and even more that rip that content and re-post on their own blogs (with a credit link, of course), and so many tools to "sort through the clutter" that even the tools themselves are starting to add clutter to my life (StumbleUpon, Delicious, TweetDeck, FriendFeed, Google Reader, meta tags) ahhh!
  4. Ideas are being propagated, mashed-up, mish-moshed, re-syndicated, and re-created faster than you can find out where it even came from in the first place.

More on this in the next post.

19 November, 2008

I've Been Published! in an interview about studying abroad.

Well... online, at least. I did an interview with fellow blogger Sasha from the Yankee In a New World blog about my study abroad experience. So my blog has someone linking to it and I feel really special. Go over and check it out!

Update - September 18, 2009: Unfortunately, Sasha is no longer blogging, and her lovely Yankee in a New World blog is not online anymore. I'm sad to see her go but I know her real life is keeping her very busy!

Her blog offers tips for expat living and points to helpful online resources. I left a comment on one of her posts a while back and we started talking and now I know what it feels like to be a part of the blogging community-at-large :-)

And she's such a sweetheart. Leave her a comment and tell her thanks for me!

13 November, 2008

Gilles Tran: 3D Genius

I recently discovered this 3D artist from France named Gilles Tran. I think his art is absolutely amazing from both a technical and artistic perspective. He uses a lot of the software and tools I use to create my own art, so it's truly an inspiration to look at his work. I really don't know anything about him other than what's posted on his website, have never heard of him before, and have no idea if he does this stuff commercially or just for fun (well of course most artists hope to make some sort of money doing what they love, right?), but I felt the need to post about him when I found this incredible statement in his online gallery.

Those of you who know me personally will probably laugh out loud when you see the title...

The 3D model he used is from Daz3D (see ad in my bright pink sidebar), and is a free resource for the 3D community.

The amazing part is, I have seen so much 3D art I'm almost sick of seeing these figures everywhere. But Gilles has managed to make me go "wow" at almost every piece of art in his gallery (or at least once per page). The environments he creates for his characters are stunning, as is the lighting, the composition, the textures, everything. For those who can't appreciate 3D art from a technical perspective, see this rendering of NYC and tell me it doesn't look like a photo:

Then, look at his description of how he made the image.

Okay, now you guys know why I love 3D.

09 November, 2008

International Business Association (IBA): Director of Web Development (and more)...

Check out the work I've been doing lately for Temple's International Business Association... I was appointed webmaster for the semester and have been doing a lot of other oddjobs as well, including research/designs for getting coffee mugs and tee shirts printed with our logo.

The current IBA website is based on an archaic version which was used in the past. The entire site is essentially one graphic, with text overlapping in various places and poor coding. Not to mention the misspelling "Philidelphia" in the footer of every page:

The revamped,browser-friendly website looks like this:

It is updated with a Google Calendar on the "Events" page, a new membership application form, PayPal links for paying member dues, and more.

We're working on a whole new design with green as an accent color to generate the idea of a map or globe. This might change but it's a start. The design uses CSS so it loads quickly in most browsers.

04 November, 2008

Don't Worry

I don't have tonsilitis (I don't think) but I did re-publish an old post by accident so it got sent to anyone with an e-mail subscription even though it was from about a year ago.

But I am sick. So your warm wishes are appreciated. I made myself some delicious chicken-less noodle soup last night (I should start a recipe book for the easiest no-measure college meals ever made) and have been drinking a lot of tea and resting, and I have a doctor's appointment bright and early tomorrow so we can figure out what's wrong with me. It feels like something is wrong with my sinuses, and my body is really achy, but it all started out with a sore throat two days ago. Last week's festivities took a toll on my health. I can't say it wasn't worth it, though.

Pictures to come.

Don't forget to vote. My absentee ballot was express mailed yesterday.

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