Blog written by the students in Marist College's Media Strategy course. Please note, the views or opinions that may appear in this blog are intended for academic discussion and do not represent the views of Marist College.
In today’s day and age where almost everyone has access to the internet and everyone wants their opinions to be heard, it is inevitable that companies will receive quite a few negative comments and reviews online. Sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor serve as a platform where anyone can rate their experiences with companies, institutes, and more. As we discussed in class, social media is also commonly used as a platform for people to share their opinions and experiences. Marist College itself gets a fair share of negative comments and feedback on their posts, most of which are politely address by other students. Negative comments that are often nonsensical, rude, or simply don’t make sense are so prominent that the internet has coined the term “internet trolls” to describe the people who spend their time writing them.
A ski resort in Utah is no exception to the negative comments of these so-called “trolls.” However, they decided to take their negative comments and reviews and turn them into something beneficial and entertaining to the resort. Using reviews left on Trip Advisor, Facebook, and the resort’s comment cards given to guests to leave feedback, the resort has created a comical ad campaign centered around their negative feedback.
In one advertisement you see a man falling off of his skis and sliding down a mountain with a review left by Greg from Los Angeles. The review reads, “Too advanced: I’d heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!” The ad pokes fun at people like Greg who can’t handle more advanced slopes and are not at the resort to experience the thrill of a challenging ski trip. The resorts Director of Marketing Dave Amirault explains the campaign as a way for them to embrace the uniqueness of Snowbird and to grab the attention of more advanced skiers.
The approach taken by the Snowbird Ski Resort to address their negative comments is very unique and clever. It manages to not only show how ridiculous their negative comments are, but also emphasizes the uniqueness and entertainment of the resort. Anyone could address their negative feedback by responding online or issuing an apology, but creating an entire campaign out of them to highlight the company’s weaknesses and turning them into strengths is incredibly innovative and stays true to Snowbird’s brand.
Videos are an effective way to get your message across. At least 60% of consumers are engaged in watching branded videos on social media everyday. That is a huge percentage and it will only increase as people share these videos on their own social media account.
When reading in the New Rules of Marketing textbook about how videos have so many different positive impacts and messages, I began to think on how right that statement truly is. In the textbook, I thought the “Air New Zealand – Crazy about Rugby – Safety Video” was not only informative but extremely catchy. It showed that videos can be exciting despite what the topic is about. These are the types of videos that grab the audience’s attention. This video attracted thousands of people, not because of the content that was given, but how the video was executed. While this video reached a numerous amount of people, videos in general do not have to be big on viral hits. In the article, “Why Video Marketing is Easier Than You Think,” Jason Hsiao explained, successful videos don’t need to be viral hits, they just need to reach the right customers with the right information.
Another amazing aspect that videos have is it is easy to share them. As social media is only getting more popular, people are more likely to find videos that interest them and watch them. From emailing, posting on websites and blogs, and posting on different social media platforms, videos are easy to access. For instance, the “Air New Zealand – Crazy about Rugby – Safety Video” was on everywhere on social media. I would open one account and find it easily on my newsfeed. That is the beauty of social media; it is a great way to keep up to date with the world of advertising.
Videos have been a popular topic and interest of mine this semester as I have been taking Visual Storytelling and Media Authoring. In my Visual Storytelling class this semester, we have been learning how to make videos in ways that get the message across just as well as writing a creative brief. As a Digital Media major, I find this class useful as I am stronger at visually telling a story rather than writing about it. One of my assignments was to create a “How to Video” on any topic, so I chose “How to Make a Quesadilla.” I thought it was a great way to demonstrate how to create one of my favorite meals in a video format and make it creative. Videos are an exciting way to get your story across and I look forward to making new ones.
With the idea of harnessing the power of the new rules of public relations in mind, I wanted to apply them to the family travel journalists I spoke about in class.
The Bucket List Family is a family of four, soon to be five, whose lives changed when Garrett the father sold his software to Sanpchat for a good amount of money. This is when Garrett and Jess decided to sell all unnecessary positions and set off to discover the world with their two kids, Dorothy and Manilla, one country at a time.
“Focus on buyer personas” (Scott 190)
I don’t necessarily think that the Bucket List family does this, nor do I really think they should. I see it more as a Simon Sinek situation where they are creating this really strong WHY, or belief of making an impact on people. In my opinion, they are not trying to reach anyone except those who choose to be reached. They are doing what they love and people want to believe in what they believe in so they are inspired to try and value things that they do. In this case its Adventure, Culture, and Service, which are represented as, the three paint brush marks in their logo.
“Don’t underestimate social media and the new rules of public relations”(Scott 190)
Clearly, this family truly knows how to harness the complex world of social media. They are on so many different platforms including the popular Twitter, Instagram and of course Snapchat! I remember watching the first video and Garrett talking about how no one would be watching these vlogs, surely he was in for a surprise seeing as they now have 130,000 subscribers on Youtube. I would say that they are experts with this rule; they have mastered the tricks of this trade.
“Embrace citizen journalists” (Scott 191)
Even as travel journalists they also meet up with other families such as Ellen Fisher another well-known Youtuber. They also give credit to a bunch of other photographers and journalist weather it comes to photos that have inspired Garrett to want to swim in a certain body of water or visit a particular country.
“Clearly and simply articulate what you want people to believe” (Scott 191)
This is the rule where I think that they embody so well. They mention the three objectives like I mentioned earlier.
These three colors and ideas are shown and explained at some point on every platform that they use. Not to mention each video you can see how these three objectives are being achieved.
“Don’t obsess over the competition” (Scott 191)
The only competition I see them, more specifically Garrett, obsess over the competition is when he is playing soccer. I would say they don’t consider anyone competition, but rather people of their community.
“Put your fans first” (Scott 192)
I would say that The Bucket List Family puts family first, which I think is okay in this situation seeing as they are being authentic to their brand image. They definitely do tons for their fans, giving back, attending meetups, giveaways and so much more.
“Don’t interrupt buyer” (Scott 192)
They don’t interrupt or push any purchases on ‘buyers’. It is more like they inspire people to give back and be a better person in general.
“Negativity doesn’t sell well” (Scott 192)
This family couldn’t be any further from negative. Even when flights are canceled, bags are lost and even stolen they still make sure to not only take time to explain to their small children why things like this happen but how to cope with frustration. A lesson a lot of viewers, myself included can learn from.
“Get your customer to talk about you” (Scott 192)
Clearly, they are doing a great job about having customers talk about them because I feel like I use them for in-class examples and just love to talk about them to friends new and old. They really are great at in talking to their fan s on Snapchat when they share fans snaps on their story or even message people back after sending a snap to them.
“Take time for your family” (Scott 192)
Obviously, they are great at this, they sold everything to travel the world with their family. But they also enjoy spending time with extending family and often invite them on some of their trips.
Lastly, Scott talks about sticking to your plan, although The Bucket List family might not have a plan like a company like Apple, they are doing great for themselves and for others with Pin Pals and adventure bands. I am not sure if they are consciously trying to embody the new rules that we are learning about, but I think they are perfectly exemplifying them. They have inspired me to learn the importance of traveling the world and to try and be a better person. Maybe I’ll run into them in May hiking the El Camino de Santiago. I wish that I could talk about each and every aspect of this family that makes me so happy, but all I can say is you should all watch them because they will make you laugh and cry, with tears of joy of course. Can’t wait for baby gee to join them on their journeys.
Marist COM 314
Scott, D. M. (2015). The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 5th Edition. [Chegg]. Retrieved from https://ereader.chegg.com/#/books/9781119070665/
As lovers and users of social media, we must ride the wave with various platforms as they adapt, grow and change with the times and their audience. Today, we ride along with Twitter, and begin to say our goodbyes to Twitter’s signature 140 character limit. In a blog post yesterday, titled, “Giving you more characters to express yourself,” Twitter’s Product Manager and Senior Software Engineer teamed up to give a brief overview of what’s to come, and why.
They explain that in languages like English, French and Spanish, we hit the 140 character limit pretty quickly, and are forced to shorten words, often turning “you” into “u” or “because” into “bc.” In languages with characters, however, such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese, users are able to express much more of their thoughts because a character can often express double the information that a full word (written with letters) can. As a result, Japanese, Korean and Chinese users do not face the same struggle of cramming that most Twitter users face. They provide an example post to show the difference between English, Spanish and Japanese users, and how many characters are used to tweet the same tweet in each language. The difference is a big one.
After extensive research of their platform and its users, Twitter wants to expand the character limit for users, excluding Japanese, Korean and Chinese. As seen below, researchers found that users tweeting in English were frustrated because they always hit the character limit, and were less inclined to tweet, but Japanese users rarely hit the limit and often tweeted more. As a result, giving users 280 characters will give them around the same amount of space that character-based users get to express their thought. It’s basically making the playing field even, and it’s been quite a long time coming. They are currently testing the 280 character limit with a small pool of individual users before making it available to everyone, but it seems to be on its way.
Many of us grew up with Twitter. I know I did. It’s interesting, as a media strategist, to see where this will take us and how this will change companies and advertisements we currently see on our feed. Many companies looked to Twitter to send out a quick thought, and used hashtags to get the word around. Now, Twitter will get closer to blogging, rather than micro-blogging. Much more will be able to be said, as I’ve seen many 280-character tweets already. They look like paragraphs. It’s a bit off-putting. I wonder how it will change advertisements, and whether users will want to utilize every last character. The nice thing about sponsored Tweets and following companies was that if I wanted to know what was going on, I’d only have to read a single tweet to get the rundown. I feel like I’ll be much less inclined to follow and read tweets if they look like the block of text I’m seeing, and are paired with a GIF, photo, or video. It gets overwhelming at that point, and I’ll have to do much more scrolling to get through longer tweets. However, I’m interested to see where this will take us and in what ways people and organizations will get creative with this new opportunity. I enjoy seeing the changing media landscape, and even more so, how users adapt to the change. It always takes some getting used t-
Content truly is king. The main reason I follow certain accounts on Instagram, is because I like their content. Their images are visually appealing, their captions are entertaining, and I find it all relatable. I am more likely to engage with brands whose content I enjoy.
L.L. Bean just came out with anadvertisementthat makes me never want to shop anywhere else, and I’m not even planning on camping/fishing/kayaking any time soon. This newspaper ad ran in The New York Times and the copy only appears when brought outside. It’s the kind of content that gets a consumer engaged, and keeps them engaged.
As the article says, the advertisement truly embodies the brand promise. The whole premise of the copy, and the actual ad itself, is to get people outside, no matter what. When viewed inside, words across the page read, “Just bring this outside.” It isn’t until viewers bring the ad into the sunlight that they see phrases like, “Where the days have names like beach, snow, and bluebird,” and my favorite: “Because on the inside, we’re all outsiders. And if it’s outside, we’re all in.” This ad is gorgeous from the use of photochromic ink, to the actual copy itself. It truly encourages us to ‘Be an Outsider.’
This is one of the more creative ads that I have seen recently. It’s content get’s across the brand’s mission, while also giving customers what they want. The very first line of L.L. Bean’s mission statement is, “We believe that the more time you spend outside, the better.” This campaign perfectly perpetuates this belief. It’s clever and clearly represents L.L. Bean, without being so in the customers face. This is the kind of content that people want to see and gets them talking about a brand. I now have much stronger positive feelings towards this brand and will be more likely to think about it when I’m considering buying hiking boots.
When learning all of the acronyms and important key terms these past few weeks, I was having mini-flashbacks to my marketing position I had this summer. One of the coolest parts of my internship was learning about programmatic advertising and media buying. Something different than I’m used to as a typical creative, I was at first more than just a little intimidated. However, I hold strongly the belief that even the most creative thinkers need to have (at minimum) a rudimentary understanding of the technology that directly affects their work. That’s why, when I was sitting doing media calculations and trying to discern the difference between all the key terms (and make sure all of my numbers were in the correct format) I realized I had already had this little epiphany a few months prior.
Understanding how programmatic targets different segments of people for less money than other traditional methods fascinates me. At Benjamin Moore, I was able to present to my bosses how this strategy would positively impact our Color of the Year Advertising Campaign. In order to do so, I needed to understand universe, target audience, views, engagement rates, and more. I also found the importance of data sets and garnering information about one’s target audience (all important to understand when entering the world of advertising).
This article (included below) in particular does a fantastic job at showing the trends of powerhouses such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon in particular of developing programmatic trading desks, and entering into the business of data. I can’t wait to see what type of growth this will result in, and what the impact will be on our subsequent target audiences.
As discussed in “New Rules” and related to our Personal Brand assignment, our social media presence can be a tool and greatly affects our individual brand. Our social media is a way that we can market ourselves to future employers. I found a list of 5 tips to creating a stronger person brand on social media on https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-strategy-personal-branding-tips. The list goes as follows:
Choose 1 to 3 areas of expertise
Keep the same name, profile pic, imagery and look across your social profile.
Post every day to your most valued social profile
Join a chat, group or community to reach out to other
Monitor mentions of your name and respond quickly
I think this concept is great in theory, but I think its important that we don’t let it constrict what we feel is “alright” to post. Obviously things that are illegal or misrepresent us should be avoided, but I don’t see the harm in post things that are funny or light-hearted rather than content that is strictly business. The idea of having 1-3 areas of expertise is somewhat absurd to me. If you looked at my Instagram now the only area of expertise you would find is my ability to eat. Also the belief of consistent content throughout all platforms is really impractical. Social media platforms are different for a reason and I think the content you post of them is unique to the platform you are using. Posting everyday is asking a lot and almost encourages that many of your post will actually be pretty meaningless because you are only posting because you feel like you have to. If you only posted every week, but the posts you make are meaningful, then I believe those are more valuable and more representative of who you are. The last two of the list are actually useful suggestions. Overall, I think your personal social media should reflect who you are, not only as a student/employee, but as a person. If an employer is looking at your social media to gage who you are, they need to be able to see your personality. Companies don’t hire people solely on their ability to do the job. Your personality and compatibility affects their decisions too. Social media is absolutely a tool to brand yourself, but I think being genuine and true to yourself on your social media is essential.