40 Presenters at the SMX Local and Mobile Conference, That’s Quite Impressive

June 14, 2008

Search Engine Land provides the original post.

40 presenters is really impressive for a local search field that is still (arguably) relatively new.

It’s cool to see that the SMX Conference targets ad agencies just as much or even more than search marketers and marketing managers.

It was just a few years ago that there was quite a debate between search marketers and ad agencies. Search marketers offered a cheaper and more of a “pull marketing” alternative to mainstream marketing and advertising, and ad agencies blew search marketing off as a fad or something useless. Now, both large and small agencies hire search marketers on a regular basis to broaden their services.

The SMX conference looks like they’re taking this a step further by offering local search strategies to these agencies. It does make sense. We often hear about the large, national agencies such as Fallon and Campbell Mithun, but there are plenty of small agencies around too that primarily have a local client base.

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GoogleTube, and Viral Video Marketing’s Best

January 26, 2007

Google recently announced that YouTube video results will now appear in the Google Video search index. From an industry perspective, it’s interesting since Google’s acquisition of YouTube gives them another top 5 global brand ranking, according to Reuters.

From a user perspective, it made me curious and decided to do some Google Video searches on local Minnesota companies, media, and music. Are the new video search results relevant? And are entities taking advantage of this by branding? Are users branding for them?

Minneapolis is pretty well-known for its ad agencies, so I wanted to start there. After a little frustration, I did find a collection of work from the Fallon Agency by doing a Fallon Minneapolis video search. Google Video’s algorithm did a pretty decent job by displaying some of their different productions and TV spots.

For viral video marketing, a company called Sleepy Eye Flix came up on searches for different ad agencies. If you click on anything in this post, make sure to view this invitation that was sent to an agency. It’s hilarious, and ingenious.

 This is sweet

The invite is for a January 31 Fearless Filmmakers screening about viral videos. I’m not as privy as many of the attendees, so I’m probably going to go because I want to see their creativity and how their minds tick. Plus, it’s only 9 bucks.

Some companies do submit their own work to Google Video and YouTube, and many videos are submitted by users. Here are some other interesting ones I found:

WCCO – Includes some fun, retro 80’s news segments

City Pages – Looks like they’ve proactively gone after this market a little bit

KTTC – My hometown (Rochester) news source is pretty well represented

Minnesota Orchestra – I was a bit dissapointed as the results weren’t very relevant, but there is a great Beethoven Piano Concerto series listed from the Minnesota Sinfonia. It appears to be submitted by the (then 18 year-old) pianist himself.

Cardinal Sin – I was surprised to see relevant results for this. This Minneapolis band is no longer, but my buddy’s lil’ bro fronted it. I rarely saw them, because apparently I’m old and go to bed early.

Dillinger Four – Well-known Minneapolis punk band. If you are easily offended, by anything at all, do not click to see these video shots. If you do click and are unfamiliar with D4, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Paddy won’t apologize 😉

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Superbowl Commercials, Garmin, GPS, Fallon, and Mobile Search

January 20, 2007

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Twin Cities-based Fallon Agency is going to the Superbowl with Garmin to create an ad spot. Spendy? Sure, but maybe it will work just fine.

Fallon states that the challenge for Garmin is to be recognized as the (personal navigation and mobile GPS) indsutry leaders over their competitors, such as TomTom. I just might be part of their target market. I’ve heard of Garmin before and generally understand what they provide, but will remember TomTom first because their ads are always on TV.

Looking further, you can buy Garmin software for Blackberries and compatible cell phones, combining GPS with mobile search features. Now I want one! I’m a guy and (by default) like playing with maps and gadgets, even when I refuse to admit that I’m lost. 😉

I did find the Garmin blog while reading Jeremy Zawodny’s take and appreciation of it, and am crossing my fingers to win a cool freebee from the Superbowl (I’m assuming) TV shoot because of it.

Yao Ming?

Either they gave it away by forgetting to take out the alt text, or they’re really sneaky.  🙂

Update: A few people beat me to it. No ba-na-na.

Jan. 24 2007 Update: Article regarding Garmin’s Superbowl ad in the Kansas City Star.

Speaking of Superbowl commercials, which one of these five user-generated spots will make the cut?

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User-Generated Local TV Commercials?

October 14, 2006

Doritos and Yahoo Video are now partnering up to offer users the chance to create a Doritos commercial, with the winner getting a TV ad spot during the Superbowl. There are some pretty funny commercials so far and it will undoubtedly turn out to be a really good campaign.

With the ease and popularity of user-generated media, thanks to outlets like Yahoo Video and a particular Google acquisition, this could create a nice opportunity for local businesses. For one, it cuts down production costs. More importantly, it could give businesses a great viral buzz from just one 30-second TV spot.

Auto dealerships could be an example. We’ve all seen the bad local commercials from them. They could be cheesy, highly discounted ads produced from a local station, or cookie-cutter national ads with a quick local blurb at the end. A user-generated contest could develop an effective commercial in return for… well, a new car.

I like new cars.

There are other new-media options out there for local TV commercials such as Spot Runner, which has mixed reviews. My opinion? I’d rather own the ad myself, but it’s better than this bad still shot:

bad still shot

Hat tip to Greg Sterling from Screenwerk and to the SEW Blog.

Using Online Reviews to Help Local Radio Ads

October 9, 2006

A recent Philly.com business article writes on how a new Famous Dave’s franchise owner is using the Web to make his local radio ads more effective. He uses Spot Q, a service provided by Philadelphia radio station B101 that entices the station’s allegiant faithful to listen to ads online and rate them.

He was supplied 6 canned ads by the Minneapolis-based restaurant chain and told to pick one. None of them really stood out or tested all that well, so the station then offered to produce a commercial for him that was more local. It tested better and he gets a better advertising return. The radio station understands this helps their listener retention, too, as they state “bad ads make people go away, just as a bad song” does.

Incorporating this concept helps measure “push” marketing campaigns such as radio ads with “pull” marketing, such as search marketing and using online ratings and reviews. It makes sense. Why not have your actual target audience tell you what they think before they hear it on the radio?

Not to be outdone by greedy independent radio stations, corporate rock giant Clear Channel (by the way, At The Drive-In and Ministry rock. Nickelback does not.)  is said to have a “less-is-more” campaign by serving up shorter, more effective ads. This helps the radio advertiser by cutting a 60 second ad in half, and then being charged more than half for it.

Viral Marketing – Morsekode Agency

October 3, 2006

Too often in the search industry, we forget about viral marketing. Sure there are methods like link baiting and those silly SEO contests, but how often do these benefit actual clients?

In a recent Star Tribune article (subscription required), they write on how Minneapolis-area marketing/advertising/branding agency Morsekode uses viral marketing to generate buzzworthy campaigns. What’s unique about Morsekode is how they combine musical sensibilities and business savviness.

“We are like a recording studio for brands,” said Morse, 39, in his Bloomington offices, where a vocal booth, guitars and other instruments add to the studio vibe.

One successful viral campaign was for software solutions, SAP. They created a rap song about a SAP product and sent it to them by email. 30,000 downloads and a mentioning on Wall Street Journal later, Morsekode is now working on a 6th project with SAP. It shows you what can happen when professionalism meets buzzworthy.

This might actually hit home (literally). Partly because I grew up in a musical family and graduated college with a music degree. Plus I recognize the name and face, and am pretty sure I grew up going to the same church in Rochester (MN) as he and his family (I might have to confirm that).

In the search industry (especially Local Search), there are many viral marketing opportunities out there from consumer-generated content like user reviews, blogs, YouTube, Flickr, just to name a few. Combine this with a lot of creative thought, and an effective viral campaign just might reveal itself.

Minneapolis/St Paul to get ABA Team

September 29, 2006

The American Basketball Association announces that it has added Minneapolis/St. Paul to the league that starts play in November, called the Minnesota Ripknees.

Remember the ABA? If you don’t, shame on you! But, you can thank them for bringing the 3-point shot to today’s game. The ABA re-established for the 2000-2001 season and has been growing ever since.

What does this have to do with Minnesota businesses? Well, the father and son team of Jack and Billy Jurewicz, of the JJJ Group, Inc. and Space150, respectively, are heading the way and are moving quickly. I’m looking forward to the games!

More to come…