Entries Tagged as 'google'

a quick lesson in social marketing, social media and voice over

Father and son voice actors Donald and Kiefer Sutherland

People ask me alot about how I succeed in my search engine optimization, why I seem to be alot of places on the web and “how do you do that?”

It involves pixie dust and eye of newt, to be sure 😉 but I think a better example would be a recent experience I had that describes it pretty well.

I subscribe to Google Alerts with a bunch of key words – I want to know what those words uncover on the web for me.

One of those terms is voice over talent (because I is one, ya know).

Reading a day’s post headlines in the Google Alerts, I was directed to the blog for the very popular advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy New York who evidently have the Delta Airlines account. Following its merger with Northwest Airlines, Delta is now the nation’s (or world’s or galaxy’s) biggest airline.

Anyway, the agency has a blog (oooo, is that social media at work? hint) and they did a post about their recent TV spots for Delta. These spots feature the voice over genius of Donald Sutherland.

Damn those Sutherland boys (Donald and Kiefer), I just KNOW that every spot they were picked for, I was the client’s SECOND choice for voice talent. I just know it! You’d think those boys could say no once and a while! 😉

Anyway so I watch the spots and they are magnificent. They are well shot (in black and white no less), well edited, superbly written and the voiceover is as I said genius. You can see them at the end here. I say that not only as a marketing, advertising and voice over professional but also as a frequently flyer and not always on Delta.

So bringing this back to the lesson:

* With a free subscription to Google Alerts to find information that is customized for my likes

* I found a blog post to a major advertising agency’s blog (maybe they could be my client some day – why not?)

* Who produced some amazing TV spots that fill my creative mind with more ideas

* Which also included a wonderful voice over performance that I can also learn from

* And without even any of the parties knowing it (Delta Airlines, Wieden+Kennedy, Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland) I am telling you (and showing you) about their work which now makes it viral.

* If you share this story with even one more person it makes it more viral

And all of it is social.

Any questions?

support really young artists

In spite of my slightly rebellious streak in which I should normally look askance at a mega corporation pretending to do good – I always support this effort because I believe in the opportunity it presents for the young artistic participants.

This year Google is once again hosting their Doodle 4 Google contest, where students at various grade levels create a Google Doodle (a stylized, artistic version of Google’s logo) based on a theme they decide on.

Every year these children and young adults amaze me with their abilities and ideas, especially because I have no talent in this area.

Public voting for regional finalists ends May 25, 2010 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT). The national winner will be announced on May 26, 2010 at an awards ceremony in New York. The national winner’s doodle will appear on Google.com on May 27, 2010.

I always vote and I hope you will too while you take a moment to appreciate the worldly artistic talents of young people.

is there too much noise?


The reason I ask this question is that I just enjoyed a nice three day weekend, pretty much away from the computer. This AM, opening up my Google reader, I see over 900 blog posts and over fifty of them are in the voiceover category.

What is it we think we all have to say? And I include me in there too.

It’s a vicious circle, mind you. You should have a blog to be an active participant in social media (and SEO/SEM) and everybody has the right to share whatever they like. Equally true, we can all subscribe and unsubscribe to any blog at any time (except this blog, you can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave).

With all this content, what are we all contributing to? And how many people are not just reading (Feedburner +) but understanding? Are we communicating or are we just spewing? Because more important to social media than the tool (a blog) is the content…saying something of relevance.

A blog writer has to assume that their posts resonate with someone if they have even one subscriber (and by the way, not for nothing, I mean it when I say thank you for subscribing). But when I think about 900 posts over three days multiplied times content on radio, television, newspaper, Facebook et al multiplied times international content….my head literally spins a bit.

Today I will hit “mark all as read” on my Google Reader very often and likely erase some quality content that I cannot make room for. I must move on.

Am I simply oversubscribed or overwhelmed? Have these thoughts ever occurred to you? How do you deal with all this communication, all this noise? Do you tune in more or totally tune out? Any tricks you care to share?

“the year media died” – way creative!


If your business in any way involves advertising, marketing or social media, this is worth a look.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the plight of media portrayed in this clip, I was very impressed with the time, effort and talent put forth.

Just to save you a bit of time, after you hear the chorus once, you can zip past it cause its the same lyrics and graphics each time.

I’d tell you to enjoy it but some folks who are living this right now may not completely enjoy this as it may cut a bit close to home.

join the happiness by voting here


For at least the second year that I have promoted it, Google again presents its “Doodle 4 Google” contest.

I know.

It’s a corporate “feel good” event that makes a billion dollar company seem more human and I should scoff.

But I love the idea and I love the art and I love that school aged kids show their enormous talents.

It’s nice to get the winning doodle be used as the main Google doodle for an entire day. Its nice that the winner gets a college scholarship and that his/her school gets a technology grant.

But it’s the creativity from young people that makes me happy. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Voting ends on May 18, 2009. Join the happiness by voting by grade here.

a voice over year in review


I was pinged this morning (and I think we all know painful that can be …ba-dum-bump) by David Ciccarelli who, with his wife Stephanie, own Voices.com. David asked if I would review, post and comment on his annual “Report on The Voice Over Industry 2009”.

OK then, a review with some general perspective and information upfront.

• While I am not a fan of the pay-for-play voice over model upon which Voices.com, Voice 123 and others have built their business, I have stated that if I were to choose one service of that ilk it would be Voices.com because even before I knew the Ciccarellis personally, the customer service and responsiveness their Voices.com offered me when I was an early member was better than any competitor.

• This is at least the second if not third year David has done this report and I give him great credit for seeing an opening for information sharing and promotion of his own business and going for it.

• I also give him credit for daring to ask the opinion of a loud mouth putz like me ‘cause he knows I pull no punches on industry issues or in reviews. He and I must ascribe to the same theory that some publicity is better than none at all.

• Over the years I have become friends with David and Stephanie and know them to be honest people whose opinions and talents I respect. Others in their business, not so much.

So enough preamble, on to the meat-

The 23 page report is more PowerPoint than e-book with each slide offering one or two nuggets of information ranging from various market overviews to drilldowns on pertinent business segments.

My likes:
• I like that David’s established an annual tome that summarizes the industry. It adds credibility to the business but to be taken seriously it needs some additional info (see dislikes).

• I have seen “state of the industry reports” or prognostications from Voices.com’s competitors and comparably this is the most credible and informative of all of them at this moment in time.

• Information like $4.05 for the ad word voice over on Google is good to know (a stupidly high price to pay when its competitors who do most of the clicking on such ads but let’s not kill the messenger here)

• I like the format for both conveying information and for its readability.

My dislikes:
• The content has only a few bits of information that I think are new or enlightening to the industry. To become a must read it has to reveal trends and statistics that offer more insight for voice talents and producers. That requires a great deal more research which this document does not have and it shows rather clearly.

• Some topics struck me as grossly self-serving: a report on Social Networks conveniently notes the growth of a Voice.com sponsored group on Facebook and the Time Spent Online chart had Voices.com’s site crushing Voice 123’s statistically and visually while also noting most industry players spend most of their time on Voices.com. This smacks a bit more like a sales presentation than a industry report.

• The salary statistics chart – probably the most important page for both talent and producers – had no quoted sources for the stated figures (which were much too broad) and was only one page (versus three pages on podcasting). This was a big miss.

• The Touch Graph tool wasn’t simplistic enough or easy enough to immediately digest key information (like a good graph should). As just one (possibly self-serving in keeping here with a developing theme) example this graph had the audio’connell web site listed on the web site graph on “voiceovers” and on the same graph an Oxford biography link to Peter O’Connell who I think is a professor or a Bishop but sure ain’t me (no, I do not believe there are any other Peter O’Connell voice overs but me). The graph was gimmicky and not informative.

In summary, I believe that this report reads more like a sophomore’s term paper rather than a senior thesis. What it can, should and I truly hope will be in the future is a report that has a lot more facts in it, much more pertinent data and more information to help talent and producers manage their businesses. It will take much more time and research from Voices.com to make this annual report a widely respected annual state of the industry. Today, the report is not yet there but there is a foundation of a good idea.

We need that “stuff” as well as the promise of what this report could someday be.