Entries Tagged as 'media'

is your company’s brand being destroyed by social networking?


Some thoughts for your day…

Can Kodak rise from the ashes because of a discussion on a bulletin board?

If you’re following someone on Twitter who advises that they really like a product, are you more likely to buy it?

Does a blog post now make a bigger impression than a full page ad in the New York Times?

Every business owner is a marketer and thereby a brand guardian and promoter. Whether you are an accountant, a day care owner, a sign maker or a voice over talent, you either own or manage a brand through which a product or service is delivered.

In the good old days (which were only a few years ago) a radio campaign, a direct mail campaign, a series of print ads or a spot run on TV could help you gain brand recognition (depending on your audience and marketing budget…this is all broad brush stroke stuff here folks, not enough time for minute detail).

But as you may have realized or read, the tools of social media (or the practice of social networking) have thrown into a marketer’s mix such microscopic audience groups that knowing what it could mean to your brand is a bit unnerving.

There is reason to believe, therefore, that social networks could be killing branding as we all know it and practice it. And that, I’m guessing, is something you can understand could directly impact how you market your business, no matter the size.

In the Harvard Business Review, there’s a very engaging article (at least it was to me) about the impact social networks are having on branding. I encourage you to read it and then daydream.

Think about how you might need to change your current marketing planning, your messaging or your presence in the world of social networking. But be proactive as well as reactive. The sound you hear on your business door is opportunity…and it’s knocking.

And while many of you may have trouble attending logistically, I encourage any who can to check out Mitch Joel’s upcoming full day seminars on Social Media Marketing presented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada.

this is the logo for super bowl 43

Super Bowl 43 logo_all rights acknowledged

My congratulations to little Brian McGuire of Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade art class in Ottumwa, Iowa who was chosen among all the 3rd grade school art students in the country as the winner of this logo design contest.

Brian wins a pair of tickets to the tailgate party for Super Bowl 43 (at the Hy Vee Arena in Des Moines, not Tampa where the actual game will be played) and a Super Bowl 43 baseball cap.

The comments above are, of course, a joke.

I’d like to say so is the logo but no, that’s the real logo unveiled tonight by NBC.

Please keep this blog post away from any professional graphic artists or even….anyone with the ability to draw a straight line. Artists are very sensitive people and somebody got paid to design that…thing!

Upon further review, this design sucks worst of all.

the hypocrisy of tabloid media and why the shame is ours

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie Heath Ledger has ever been in and if so I don’t remember it. The truth is most movies don’t get my attention any more. Going to a movie theatre isn’t a pleasant experience between high movie prices, teenagers running amok and young parents bringing babies and toddlers out with them because they spent their babysitter money on popcorn.

So I would say I was more surprised than saddened to hear of the actor’s death a few weeks ago. Sorry certainly that he left behind a daughter who now won’t know her father and a family who mourns their tragic loss.

His death did generate some portion of outrage from me though, in what was initially an unexpected way but upon further review shouldn’t have been so unexpected.

The tabloid media, in this case Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, paid what I believe was hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain video of Ledger’s past drug use. The faux-news shows teased (hyped) their exclusive content for some of their future broadcasts. It was content born of the sadly dysfunctional marriage between the portable electronic devices and some people’s soulless devotion to either making a quick buck or garnering their 15 seconds of fame no matter how they do it.

Paparazzi trying to videotape or photograph celebrities doing mundane or illicit things, it really doesn’t matter which, are selling to broadcast and print outlets feeding a public’s insatiable appetite. That doesn’t make it right.

Such video could not be considered news as it was understood the actor was a drug user who had sought treatment so obviously he used drugs…do we need to see something he’d admitted doing? Further his death was not related to drug use. Above all else: why would any of this be any of our business anyway?! The purpose of the video – for both the seller and the buyer – was to titillate and destroy.

Then, out of the oddest circumstances, the video was not aired. Certain high profile celebrities threatened the shows by saying they wouldn’t be seen on them or provide them access. I’m not sure which is more pathetic – that the shows would be so scared by such a threat or that celebrities could actually have any power by virtue of their participation on these programs.

And shall I even broach the saga of Britney Spears? In what has become clear via mainstream media accounts portraying a woman suffering from some kind of mental illness, her problems are terribly personal and none of anyone else’s damn business! While I don’t own any of her music I’m am certainly well versed in the drama that is her life. Yet I’m not actively searching for that information. That fact is simply ridiculous.

If there was some smaller degree of mental instability within her, I’ve no doubt that it was dangerously exacerbated by the war like media coverage of her every move. The real insanity here are the hundreds of media swarming this singer whether she went for coffee or to dinner.

What is the point to the madness of these two stories? Why do the media need to show videos of dead actors doing drugs and of a young mother whose grasp on reality is currently faltering?

Sadly, the answer is because there is an audience.

Multiple these two stories by one thousand and you’ll not come close to the number of similar celebrity stories covered each day around the world. Paparazzi trying to videotape or photograph celebrities doing mundane or illicit things, it really doesn’t matter which, are selling to broadcast and print outlets feeding a public’s insatiable appetite.

That doesn’t make it right. If it were you or someone in your family, would you really want to be treated in this way?

The only way to gleefully kill celebrity journalism (as it likes to be inaccurately named) is to eliminate the audience. Are we globally strong enough to universally endure a 12 step program to overcome this celebrity addiction? Can we even try? It starts with one person…you.

Here’s how you can start to beat your addiction….

• Stay away from celebrity web sites like TMZ and Perez Hilton, filled with content from video and still photo parasites
• Turn off the TV when Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition or the like come on. And don’t ever watch Entertainment Television, VH1 or MTV….these networks are chock full of gossipy programming
• Do not subscribe to or even pick up to look at in the check out line magazines like People, US, National Enquirer, OK or any other celebrity rags

No one would produce this crap if there weren’t an audience hungry to absorb it.

Start with small steps and add more with time until the issue of celebrity and the coverage of same has a rightfully much smaller place in our collective consciousness, until we learn to save glorification for deities and until we realize we should never measure our value, worth or lot in life against a computer enhanced image of celebrities who really have no true understanding of how they got so successful in the first place.

vote for your voice choices


1.11.08 5:00 p.m. ET – – VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.

We have been blessed with some terrific voice over talents willing to share their abilities with us on our unofficial, unsanctioned and possibly unholy quest for a new announcer for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Of course, if NBC takes my original advice and gets Michael Douglas back into the voice over booth with proper vocal direction, he’ll surely nail it the second time and we’ll all be back selling pencils on the street corner.

But for now, we vote! And here are the rules that I may change or amend to suit my fancy at any particular time (as my parents used to say) “just because!”

Rule 1 – Please listen to all the voices here (its a faster loading page now for more enjoyable listening). Not just because it’s polite but because as maybe the one person who has heard all of them, especially from names I was not initially familiar with, I don’t want you to miss the joy that I’ve had of discovering some new talent.

Rule 2 – You may not vote for me. There are so many reasons why this rule makes sense:
• It would be bad form to be voted best on my own blog
• The appearance of my vocal talent being somehow considered superior to my peers within my blog would be gauche
• This avoids me suffering the embarrassment of either losing or not being voted for at all (OK, now you know the truth, deal with it)

Rule 3 – You may not vote for yourself

Rule 4 – Please vote only once. If you have so much time on your hands that you can vote more than once, you’ve got business or family problems that require your immediate attention.

Rule 5 – Please order your choices as best or first (1st), gooder or second (2nd) and good or third (3rd). I will tabulate all the scores and announce the final top three finishers, with prizes to be determined by how reasonable or ungodly high my Christmas bills turn out to be.

Rule 6 – Voting takes place right here in THIS blog post within the comments section below only. It’s up to you if you want to be anonymous or not but I’m only giving you three choices so your friends shouldn’t hold it against you if you don’t vote for them. If they do, get new friends.

Go vote and tell all your friends, the polls are open!

P.S. If you haven’t already SUBSCRIBED to this blog, hit the orange subscribe button at the top of the blog. If you need to get a blog reader, this is the FREE and easy one I use.

MXL USB 008_Large Gold Diaphragm USB Condenser Mic
P.P.S. 12/30/07 – This evening I received a call from a voice over friend of mine who is watching the voting here with great interest and enjoyment. He said he wanted to make it even more interesting and asked if he could donate a prize. I said that wasn’t really necessary but he cut me off and shut my mouth when he said the prize was a MXL 008 Large Gold Diaphragm USB Condenser Microphone. He wants to remain anonymous (what a character!) So this prize will be included to one of the top three vote getters. What a gracious and unexpected donation, thank you!

If you are a voice talent in this voice-off, right about now would be the time I’d start contacting friends, family and anyone who owes you a favor to LEGITIMATELY place their votes. The voting will be open for at least another week.

bad choice

NBC News Logo_All Copyrights Acknowledged

Monday evening NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams debuted its new announcer for the show’s open.

They teased in blogs how they were going to debut the new voice (a voice well known to many) to replace the recorded voice of Howard Reig who had retired two years ago.

I watched with eager anticipation the Nightly News open, remembering with fondness how blown away I was by the use of Walter Cronkite’s voice when Katie Couric took over the CBS Evening News…that was so brilliant and subtle, it was perfect.

NBC News’ choice – Michael Douglas.

My response – What the…?

I have no idea, not one clue as to why somebody at NBC News would think Michael Douglas would be considered the perfect voice to introduce the network’s flagship broadcast. He sounded dull, lacking authority, bad. I didn’t immediately recognize the voice when I heard it so where’s the celebrity value in that?

Mind you, as an actor, producer and director Michael Douglas is an impressive professional. And as a voice over in some commercials, he has sounded great. He is very talented!

But for the open of NBC Nightly News, he sounds terrible. I’m not the only one who didn’t like the choice either.


Is that “New York” he tried to say? Nooz?! Didn’t anybody ask for a re-take? Who directed the session?

Make no mistake, I am not gunning for the job, I’m not bitter that Steve Capus over at NBC News didn’t call me for the recording. But this news operation has had so few mis-steps amongst anchors changes, budget cuts, merging of its cable new operations, new sets etc., that this stupid choice (in my opinion) for an announcer sticks out like a sore thumb.

So let me take a quick vote…don’t vote for yourself and don’t vote for me but tell me who you think would have made a tremendous choice for the announce job at Nightly. I can think of three or four voices right off the bat. But let’s discuss this (oh and you can tell me how wrong I am to not like the Douglas choice too).

P.S. Wow, look at the comments on the NBC Nightly News blog. The Douglas choice is a bomb…and this is the guy Brian Williams wanted as his announcer?! Ooops!!!!

P.P.S. Oh man! The digs continue with competitors making some hay at NBC’s expense…

knock knock, facebook

Google_Logo_trademark acknowledged

The elephant in the room just subtly kicked off their own social network.

If it smells like competition and looks like competition, Facebook this is your new competition.

Open your Google Reader, click manage my subscriptions and click the tab marked “Friends”.