Category Archives: blogging

I Think I’m Coming Down with a Viral Inflection eh!

By Jeff Bowman

I ran this last year and got such a reaction, I thought I would rerun again in 2011.

Like many of you, I had serious doubts about the ability of Facebook, YouTube and other social media tools to have a real impact on the way we market products and services to prospective clients.

Boy has my opinion changed.

Not only do these tools impact the way we market, but they have completely changed the way we communicate.

Today your product or service is open to real-time reviews and criticisms.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, a whole new age of product espionage has grown from the ability to sway the masses with a few simple words of negativism.

Ads are cleverly disguised as viral videos, and I would suggest it started years ago when Super Bowl ads, previously viewed by game fans only, were designed specifically for the Internet where millions more viewers could check them out.

Anyone can produce a video, post it online and encourage friends to pass it along. Some become hugely popular with hundreds of thousands of hits worldwide at little or no cost for the exposure.

I was sent a link to a “homemade Canadian Video” produced in two days by a couple of aspiring musicians. It is actually well done, and will certainly result in some degree of fame and notoriety for the singers.  I viewed it this morning, then when I tried to show someone else this afternoon, I could not get on.  When I was finally able to view it at another domain, there was a little note in the corner “Now available on iTunes” A weekend worth of work, some decent online exposure and now iTunes? Unreal.

Another site that does the viral video thing on a much grander scale is www.thefuntheory.com They have a series of very clever videos asking the question “how can you get people to change their behavior?’  The answer, of course, is to add an element of fun. It isn’t until the end of the video that you discover it is an ad for a well-known company. A wolf in sheep’s clothing? No, just a very creative and well planned advertising campaign, which has now hit millions of viewers at a fraction of the cost it would be for traditional media.

The viral age is here, here in a huge way, and I’m enjoying it.  What are some of the best viral videos you have seen?

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Filed under advertising, blogging, Branding, Communications, Facebook, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Online marketing

The Consumer Responsibility Act

By Jeff Bowman

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called “I’m Mad as Hell”, and I had some strong feedback about what marketing is, and what an educated consumer needs to be aware of today.

I did some research over the weekend, and found that there are more government regulations in place today for product labeling, safety testing, contents of instructions and material listings than you can shake a stick at.  Caveat emptor has no meaning to today’s society.  We have become so permissive in this day and age that we  let everybody off the hook for any type of event that transpires due to their neglect of responsibility.

Today, I am calling on Governments of the world to draft and pass into law “The Consumer Responsibility Act”.  This act shall hold innocent all those companies, who clearly label products according to other stringent regulations set out by regulatory agencies, and protects them from the lunacy that transpires when consumers fail to take responsibility for reading, researching and otherwise using the product according to specified instructions. For those troglodytes, who make claims of “I didn’t know”, “but I thought I could”, and the “advertising contained hidden demonic messages”, there will no longer be any leniency by the courts. “Case dismissed on the grounds that this person is a fool!”

Today we have CSA and UL standard testing for all electronics, Canadian Agricultural Products Act, Food inspection agencies and a myriad of other regulatory bodies to ensure that advertising is not misleading, food is safe and all ingredients are fully disclosed, that products are tested again and again for safety, and appropriate warning labels are displayed prominently.

The additional cost to the manufacturers for compliance is enormous. But as they say, if you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot.

I have grown weary of the complaints and frivolous law suits.  When we need to put warning labels on hair dryers not to use in the bathtub, the loogans have taken over the asylum!

I’m the first to admit, I have put an IKEA cabinet together incorrectly because I didn’t follow instructions. Am I to sue them for me not understanding the Pictionary like drawings? Do I have a case against ‘No Frills’ because I forgot to take a bag of frozen groceries from my car one night last summer and they had all become mush by morning.  Where was the label “Warning, contents may thaw if left in summer heat”?

The time has come to take a stand.  Consumers decide what they purchase, advertisements are responsible for making them aware of products available. Parents choose and pay for groceries and can make educated choices about nutrition today. If you want to stand in the bathtub and dry your hair, it’s your choice.  The Consumer Responsibility Act will ensure that people need to be responsible for their decisions and the actions that result.

News flash, “Poverty hits record levels in North America while man awarded $5 million dollars for spilling hot coffee while driving”. By the way, Nutella is a chocolaty treat, electricity and water don’t mix well, and wrestling is, well I’ll just leave that one for your own informed opinion.

Join me in this crusade, send this blog to every politician you know everywhere in the world!

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Filed under advertising, blogging, Communications, Jeff Bowman, Manufacturing, Marketing, Media

Becoming An Influential Blogger!

By Jeff Bowman

I’m back at the blogging desk.  I took a break over Christmas to reflect on my previous year’s sum of mind dump in the blogosphere and to try to figure out if I had any impact at all on anyone who may have read one of my musings on business.

It’s not that I think my posts lacked in detail and significant information, just that the responses were limited and the number of people signing onto the blog was less than astronomical. Most importantly, I didn’t get ranked by eCairn in the top 150 Most Influential Bloggers. Geez.

Many of us are destined to spend our lives in the ‘houseleagues” of whatever it is we choose to do.  Still, many of us may be in the top of our class locally – big fish, small pond.  We dream of the big leagues, the equivalent to being at the top of our game, the best in our professional field, The NHLs, the NBAs, heck even the CFLs of the blogging and business world would be a dream come true.

But alas, as I look over the list of the most influential bloggers of 2010, The A Players, the cream of the information world, I realize that I am not likely to reach the summit.  Those with the platinum keyboard, whose blogs are anticipated daily by throngs of information craving souls much like myself, have ruled the roost for a lifetime, which in the blogosphere is really only a couple of years.

So, I wonder what will it take to knock a Kingpin off their throne, or in my case to be ranked in the top million blogs?

I confirmed that the blog pioneers are still very much current and more popular than ever.

In the eCairn list of Most Influential Bloggers of 2008, it is no surprise to find Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Steve Rubal, Jeremiah Owyang and Brian Solis well placed in the top 8.  Fast Forward to Sept 29th, 2010 and the top 5 in order, are (can you guess?) Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Solis, Social Media Explorer and Seth Godin. Listen,  they deserve to be there every year, they are fantastic and prolific bloggers. They have reputations that they have been building for years.

So, I’m dreaming of the big show, working up through the minor leagues and hoping to have an impact, no matter how minute, on someone’s small business.

I will continue to swing away, and offer comments and advice on the marketing, sales and business of today.  I can always hope there is a scout in the stands.  Hey, Ted Williams got discovered on YouTube! Well, not that Ted Williams.

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Filed under blogging, Communications, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, social media

I Think I’m Coming Down with a Viral Inflection

By Jeff Bowman

Like many of you, I had serious doubts about the ability of Facebook, YouTube and other social media tools to have a real impact on the way we market products and services to prospective clients.

Boy has my opinion changed.

Not only do these tools impact the way we market, but they have completely changed the way we communicate.

Today your product or service is open to real-time reviews and criticisms.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, a whole new age of product espionage has grown from the ability to sway the masses with a few simple words of negativism.

Ads are cleverly disguised as viral videos, and I would suggest it started years ago when Super Bowl ads, previously viewed by game fans only, were designed specifically for the Internet where millions more viewers could check them out.

Anyone can produce a video, post it online and encourage friends to pass it along. Some become hugely popular with hundreds of thousands of hits worldwide at little or no cost for the exposure.

I was sent a link to a “homemade Canadian Video” produced in two days by a couple of aspiring musicians. It is actually well done, and will certainly result in some degree of fame and notoriety for the singers.  I viewed it this morning, then when I tried to show someone else this afternoon, I could not get on.  When I was finally able to view it at another domain, there was a little note in the corner “Now available on iTunes” A weekend worth of work, some decent online exposure and now iTunes? Unreal.

Another site that does the viral video thing on a much grander scale is www.thefuntheory.com They have a series of very clever videos asking the question “how can you get people to change their behavior?’  The answer, of course, is to add an element of fun. It isn’t until the end of the video that you discover it is an ad for a well-known company. A wolf in sheep’s clothing? No, just a very creative and well planned advertising campaign, which has now hit millions of viewers at a fraction of the cost it would be for traditional media.

The viral age is here, here in a huge way, and I’m enjoying it.  What are some of the best viral videos you have seen?

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Filed under advertising, blogging, Branding, Communications, Facebook, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Online marketing

Kevin Smith is “way fat” and media savvy

By Stephen Rhodes

By now, you should not require proof that the world has changed, so witness the bizarre case of Film Director Kevin Smith, who was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being “way fat”. The pilot, it seems, deemed Smith a hazard to the stability of the aircraft.

Smith raised a stink about the incident on  Twitter , saying “I’m way fat. … If you look like me, you may be ejected from Southwest Air.”  Thing is, Smith has 1.5 million Twitter followers.

After a storm of angry online comments, the airline issued a “heartfelt apology” to Smith in a statement on its Web site. Too little, too late it seems.

Smith issued a rebuttal (language warning) and pleaded about moving on. “But, folks? Tomorrow? Let’s Tweet about other stuff, shall we? This is starting to taste mediciney and fruitless.”

Of course, the media wasn’t  quite so willing to let go. Smith brilliantly turned the tables and posted a number of  SModcasts online, allowing traditional media to pick and choose their clip, controlling the message in a unique way.

Brilliant. Original. The future.

Clearly, Southwest doesn’t understand the power of social media. As I said, the world has changed.

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Filed under blogging, Stephen Rhodes, twitter