According to a recent survey, Canadians would pay their moms an average salary of $161,287 a year for all their hard work. When asked what qualities a Mom of the Year should possess, the answers were several -- being loving, compassionate, hard working, fun loving, a mentor, sacrificing and charitable.
Dove has been down this road before. Previously, they ran some ads with chubby ladies in underwear talking about how much they loved their bodies. I found those ads powerfully patronizing, as I find the "Beauty Sketches." It is as though women need to have their emotions managed and protected all the time.
As I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. The message that we constantly receive is that girls are not valuable without beauty. My primary problem with this Dove ad is that it's not really challenging the message -- it just makes us feel like it is. It doesn't really tell us that the definition of beauty is broader than we have been trained to think it is. Don't let your happiness be dependent on something so fickle and cruel and trivial. You should feel beautiful, and Dove was right about one thing: you are more beautiful than you know. But please, please hear me: you are so, so much more than beautiful.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
Today, some people act as though sexism has disappeared. In fact, some seem to think women have advanced so far that feminism can be chucked into the dustbin of history.But if that were the case, why is my young niece bombarded with media images that make those beer babes look as innocent as Minnie Mouse? While artists like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé seem to present empowering messages about how "girls rule the world," in their videos they deliver that message half-naked, through pouting lips while humping the ground or spreading their legs.
It's the time of the year when brands are glued to their social media analytics to try and decipher if the millions of dollars spent for a 30-second spot was extended, enhanced and otherwise optimized by the traction that it may (or may not) have received in the social media space. But, here's the thing: what were the best two ads you remember from last year's Super Bowl? Any idea? Did it roll off the tip of your tongue? Are you currently a valuable customer of theirs?
Baby formula is a big killer in less developed countries, but even where access to health care is good, not breastfeeding increases illness. Yet companies are still allowed to use advertising to convince parents to use their products. Those looking to make a buck from the product have no business "educating" about it.
I was fortunate enough to work for Hunter Madsen, the Yahoo! guru who led the team that developed Behavioural Targeting for the company back in early-to-mid 2005. We were in awe as Hunter explained the mechanics of targeting users within the network, based on where they'd been, what content they consumed, what they searched for.
On the heels of big data grabbing headlines the world over for its role in President Obama's re-election, could 2013 be the year big data makes the big leap into the mainstream, especially business? The task ahead of us is to take the promise of big data and realize it in every department and in every industry. Some surprising pioneers are already leading the way.
A little over a month ago I was invited to a food industry breakfast to offer my comments on how the food industry might help in improving the health of our society. Unfortunately, just three days prior to the event, I was uninvited without the courtesy of an explanation or an apology. So I decided to record my talk and post it online.
Once upon a time, a popular opposition firebrand named Christy Clark stood up in the B.C. Legislature to rip the NDP government for spending tax dollars on shameless, self-promoting advertising. Fast forward 13 years and there was Clark, now B.C. Liberal premier, last week holding court for 90 seconds of taxpayer-funded TV ad time to laud her B.C. Jobs Plan -- even promising that four more weekly installments are on the way.
All too often, marketers of all industries will look at one piece of measurement and decide whether a campaign was successful or not. If sales are up, the campaign worked; if sales didn't move, the campaign flopped. But how can you measure the success of each of the campaign's elements? How can you make sure you're getting the most bang out of each of your marketing bucks?
The presence of 15,000 journalists in Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions was ridiculous but even wackier is the size of "Nation PR." Likely bigger than Newark or its governor, this is an industry of propagandists, bloggers, twitterers, scandal-mongers, pundits, spin doctors, pollsters, journalist-partisans who pen biased op-eds and columns, campaign operatives and dewy-eyed "Monicas" who will do anything for the boss. Nation PR never sleeps and now the fun, for the rest of us, begins as they launch their saturation bombing campaign on US voters to capture victory in November.
In short, everything that you thought the Internet wasn't about in a world of 140 character tweets, Facebook status updates and YouTube viral video sensations. These deep and rich treasure troves of content are also gaining mainstream attention, and it all seems to be drawing more and more energy towards podcasting: a medium that many have already written off.
Even before the Games began, it seemed Bell and Rogers decided to stick with selling cellphones and they aren't interested in the next Olympics (which have gone to CBC). Now, the viewing numbers are excellent of course. But they're no more than a rather dubious measurement of eyes in front of TV sets, computers and various gadgets. They're not indications of satisfaction. Or dissatisfaction. For the record though, here are some things in CTV's evening prime time coverage that certainly could have been done better...
There is a major shift in business focus that is under way. Digital media has forced businesses to change. Dramatically. This is nothing new. What's interesting is that we're seeing two, distinct, breeds of business being born: product-focused businesses, and customer-focused businesses. Which one do you work for?
Facebook is learning that what people like to chat about when they should be working isn't a very effective way to match ads to eyeballs. LinkedIn on the other hand has a very specific type of advertising structure, and one that works very well: job postings. Is there an ad people want to see more than one promising a better career?
What does Facebook sell? You could say advertising. They sell advertising to the tune of several billions of dollars each and every year. If Facebook is a media company, we then have to ask ourselves: What kind of media channel does Facebook provide and how does it compare to those other media channels?
No longer will we have to settle for the environment that someone else has chosen for us. Instead, we can simply switch it up with a mere thought or swipe of a virtual keypad and have it become more suited to our tastes. As the technology becomes more prevalent, major questions begin to form for society about the impact this has.