The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Activision’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy on YouTube: Target the Content Creators and Curators

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By Fausto Mendez

    Social-media marketing is often perceived as a mysterious and powerful beast, but video game maker Activision doesn’t see it that way. Activision has tamed YouTube for its national and international marketing campaigns, and this is how the company is doing it.

    Though it may seem like YouTube is all about funny animal videos and poorly produced cover songs, the video-centric social network has been a staple in video game culture for about as long as the site’s been around. Passionate gamers know the site for its healthy library of game trailers, homemade walkthroughs (guides), news, commentary, parodies and more. Activision understands this, and the company develops content exclusively for YouTube in order to rouse up passion for new and upcoming games.

    You may be surprised to learn that YouTube viewers watched over double the hours of gaming videos than other types of videos in 2012. In other words, YouTube is one of the industry’s cultural hubs, where gamers of all types and ages unite to enjoy gaming beyond games. As usual, the old saying applies, “go to where your audience is.”

    Ad Age does a great job of breaking down Activision’s entire strategy for YouTube, so I suggest you check out the full article. However, one tactic really stands out. 

Harnessing the Content Creators and Curators

    Prior to major gaming expos, trade shows and premieres, Activision invites some of YouTube’s most popular content creators and curators to real-world presentations, which include the distribution of exclusive information and video assets, such as clips and trailers. Promotional giveaways also play an important role at these events. The YouTube stars are sent home with brag-worthy bags of promotional swag, such as custom shirts, cups, accessories and keychains, which the YouTube stars sometimes give out to their own audiences. As a result, the promotional items are a low-cost and effective way to catalyze buzz about the brand between fans, not just the YouTube stars.

    The exclusive events make it easy for Activision to spread information, hype, trailers and clips on YouTube because the company doesn’t need to directly develop and hold an audience. The content creators and curators have already taken care of that. All Activision has to do is get the right content to the right people, and those “right” people will repackage the content into a form that best suits their audiences. From there, the information will naturally spread throughout Activision’s fan base. Easy, right?

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

3 Smarter Promotional Giveaways for Trade Shows, Expos

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By Fausto Mendez

    At massive trade shows, like CES in Las Vegas, promotional giveaways have morphed into an art form as companies from around the world aim to outdo each other with more effective giveaways, and it’s become clear that the best promotional campaigns are more creative, utilizing a strategic combination of products, messaging and distribution.

    Below, I list three (smarter, more effective) promotional giveaway ideas that can apply to most trade shows. We haven’t seen these ideas out in the real world - not exactly as we present them here - so they might give you the winning edge over the guys at the next both. 

Flash-Drive Bracelet as a Contest Entry

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    We’ve seen wearable flash drives at CES and other press-heavy shows, but they are almost always used to distribute basic information, like brochures and links. These are especially popular with companies that target reporters because they make it easy to deliver press shots, link lists and other important details while allowing the reporter’s attention to stick to whatever’s more important. This is a pretty smart tactic, but you’re limiting the bang per buck if you stop here. 

    Remember that the main goal of most giveaways at any trade show is to act as a billboard for your brand, so you should design your campaign in a way that keeps these bracelets on your targets’ wrists. One way to do that  is to launch a contest around the bracelets.

    As you hand out the bracelets, tell your targets that one of your employees randomly delivers prizes to people that wear the bracelets on the show floor, but you won’t know who or where he is because he’ll be dressed like everyone else.

    Make sure that you have the prize on display at your booth to tempt your audience. Of course, the more valuable the prize, the more likely that people will wear it, so it’s probably better to hand out a few big prizes than many low-quality ones. Still, there may be situations in which your target audience might prefer an inexpensive prize. For example, condoms might be a very popular prize at SXSW.

 Promotional T-Shirts, Tote Bags or Backpacks as Coupons

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     This idea can work for any trade show where you aim to sell to attendees, and all you need to do is print a coupon on your promotional shirts, tote bags or backpacks, preferably next to a very large version of your logo and slogan.

    The key is to hand out shirts away from your booth and to require the customer to wear the promotional item during purchase in order to redeem the coupon. As a result, attendees will put it on and later walk to your booth to make the purchase. The result is crowds of people wearing your logo and buying your stuff; of course, that’s assuming you have a product that people want. 

 Mugs, Tumblers or Cups for Access to Free Coffee, Alcohol or Water

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    Promotional mugs, tumblers and cups are some of AnyPromo’s hottest sellers, but if you hand someone a free cup, you’re not pushing your campaign to the max if he hides it in his tote bag right away. As a result, your best bet is to offer free drinks to attendees that have your mug, tumbler or cup in hand. 

    Whether you offer caffeinated drinks, alcohol or water depends on your specific situation, but the goal is to create a buzz of “that brand that is giving everyone free drinks if you just use their cups.” Furthermore, you can use the opportunity the catalyze important conversations with individuals that may be interested in your product, brand or cause, and the cup will serve as a friendly, non-intrusive ad after the show. 

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: Vinyl Slap Bracelets for iKon Lounge

By Fausto Mendez

    Our partner AnyPromo.com is a promotional products retailer/supplier, and the company’s graphic artists love to show off their #finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    New Jersey’s iKon Lounge just put in an order for red vinyl slap bracelets, customized with the night club’s famous logo. Though they didn’t share with us how they’re going to use the bracelets, we can imagine several  possibilities, such as tickets to an event, an indicator of membership, a coupon, or a VIP marker.

     These promotional bracelets measure about 9.5” x 1”, and they are available in a variety of colors. They cost about $0.66, depending on the quantity ordered, and the print itself features one color. When you slap these bracelets onto your wrist, they automatically and securely close. They are often used as children’s toys for that reason, but as iKon Lounge illustrates, you are only limited by your creativity. 

    Promotional items like these take advertising to a whole new level because they convert customers to walking billboards for your brand, cause or organization, so take the opportunity to one up your competitors with an out-of-the-box promotional campaign. Need help finding the best promotional giveaway for your specific situation? Don’t worry, our experienced customer care reps are only a call away. 

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: Plastic Handle Bag for KSPR ABC of Springfield, MO

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By Fausto Mendez

    Our partner AnyPromo.com is a promotional products retailer/supplier, and the company’s graphic artists love to show off their finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    We’re honored that ABC affiliate KSPR of Springfield, MO reached out to us this week for a fat stack of plastic handle bags. This inexpensive promotional item is currently item #668032 in our catalog, and they come in a variety of solid colors. The handles feature a fold-over, reinforced, die-cut design, and the front and back faces measure 12” x 15” with a depth of three inches. 

    Promotional handle bags function perfectly as custom gift bags (that hold other promotional giveaways), and they maximize brand awareness at industry events, retail stores, souvenir stores, music festivals, cruises, concerts, hotels, tourist spots and any place or event where members of your audience linger around each other for significant periods of time.

    AnyPromo is the low-price leader and one-stop shop for customized promotional products and personalized promotional products, and with a catalog of over 40,000 products, we guarantee you will find the promotional supplies that you need to launch the most effective promotional campaign - no matter your circumstances or budget.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Honda Leveraged Pinterest to Reach 5 Million Users With Tiny Budget - #MarketingMonday

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By Fausto Mendez

    Every Monday, we analyze a successful marketing campaign, or we assemble a set of tips on a relevant marketing topic to help you boost your business to the next level. This week, we dissect Honda’s very successful #Pintermission campaign.

    Social-media marketing is a tricky landscape to navigate, but some out-of-the-box creativity can go a long way. Big brands know this well, and Honda knows this better than most. In fact, Honda’s #Pintermission campaign reached about five million users, according to Marketing Mag, including 5,000 repins and 2,000 “likes” so far. Overall, Honda measured 16 million impressions when the campaign (which included traditional advertising) was said and done, and that’s not including Facebook and Twitter conversations. But exactly how did Honda leverage Pinterest to such great effect? 

    The campaign specifically advertised the new CR-V, which encourages the concept of enjoying life beyond the walls of home. The CR-V is also targeted at younger adults that are about to settle down, and these young adults grew up with social media. They are accustomed to making plans online, and a good chunk of this demographic are on Pinterest too. Now, here’s the tricky part. How do you reach all of these people with a minuscule budget?

    The name of the game is creativity. If you have it, you can probably be an amazing social-media marketer, and whoever’s working for Honda apparently has it. 

    Honda reached out to Pinterest users with profiles that have massive follower numbers, and a significant chunk of these followers are individuals from the target demographic. The company offered these users $500 each. All they have to do in return is to make or complete one of their pinned images. Honda calls this concept - taking a day off of Pinterest to give life to a pin - a #Pintermission. 

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    Pinterest is a popular place for sharing how-to articles and images of places or activities that people would love to be a part of, so the rest of the campaign was rather easy. Honda created boards for these users to post their #Pintermission photos, and the company also requested that these users create their own dedicated boards for the campaign (with Honda’s Pinterest profile as a collaborator). In addition, Honda also posted and shared custom images that advertised the concept of a “Pintermission”. With the stage set: online discussions, viral shares and “likes” took off. 

    Most importantly, Honda understands that Pinterest is not the best place for marketing many of its other vehicles. The CR-V has a unique target audience. As a result, Honda found those users online, and then, it developed a plan to engage those users with the CR-V as the centerpiece for discussion. That’s the big lesson here: find the customers, understand them and engage them.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

7 Best April Fools 2013 Pranks by Big Brands

By Fausto Mendez

  April Fools has become a big holiday on the Web, and big brands are taking notice. It’s become an easy and effective way to reach out to target audiences with a fun and entertaining message that isn’t always tied back to a real product, but the message’s marketing power is real and effective. Below is our list of the funniest and most effective April Fools pranks of the year. 

    Though April Fools may not directly boost sales for most brands, it certainly increases brand awareness and makes fans out of otherwise oblivious web users. As usual, Google leads the pack with another absurd product launch.

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    This year, Google launched Google Nose Beta, which enables your Android phone to excrete smells the way a speaker broadcasts sounds to the surrounding area. For example, if you find a picture of a lemon on the Web, you would smell it through your phone (without any additional hardware upgrades). It sounds as magical as any other technology that we use today, but it’s far from a real product.

    Though many companies are working on a version of this for TVs and desktop computers, Google’s implementation is absurd because it would require an expensive hardware upgrade. On Google’s end, it also requires a massive database of smells and a way to associate those smells with media on the Web. Perhaps one day, but not today.

    Google-owned YouTube also pulled its own prank this year. Riding on the Web’s frustration with the the recent shut down of some highly-beloved and popular products, such as Labs and Reader, Google announced that it is officially shutting down YouTube. Actually, YouTube was just a massive contest to find the best user-submitted video, and now, the company is ready to select a winner.

    Twitter also joined in the fun with a new tool, though it’s not known for its April shenanigans. The company announced a web-based that allows users to tweet without vowels, enabling them to broadcast significantly longer messages. It’s not much of a prank because it really does work, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter launched an official version of this tool. 

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    Sony launched Animalia, a new electronics line for pets, including tablets and headphones for dogs/cats and speakers for hamsters.

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    Hulu’s prank should appeal to fans of popular TV shows. The company added a variety of new TV shows to its online offering, but there’s one problem. These shows don’t exist! They only exist within other TV shows. For example, you’ll find Itchy & Scratchy episodes from The Simpsons, Inspector Space Time episodes from Community and Mock Trial with J. Reinhold episodes from Arrested Development.

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    Apparently, the US Army is training cats as soldiers. The caption for the below photo reads, “Gino, military working cat, 947th Police Detachment, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), takes his class photo after graduating from the military working cat program.”

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    Rounding out our list, Virgin Atlantic announced a new glass-bottom airplane. If I could choose any one of these pranks to be a real, I’d choose this one. Sure, it would be a bit scary at first - or during emergencies - but it would be damn fun.

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    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

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