Scattered Brilliance

From my brain to paper (or pixels as the case may be)

Archive for marketing

More on the Dunk Contest

I am fascinated with the YouTube promotion of the dunk contest, as previously covered here and here.  But I wanted to pull in a little more context.

Rudy Gay’s initial video has been viewed over 1,600,000 times in the past two weeks generating over 2,200 comments and nearly 200 video responses posting dunks that he should try out.

Now that’s viral marketing the way it should be done in the interactive space.  The NBA, Sprite, and YouTube combined to deliver a campaign that captivated an audience and built a platform for interaction that has tremendous opportunity for payoff during NBA All Star weekend.

Well done.


H&R Block YouTube campaign gone bad.

When the marketing team at H&R Block put this campaign together, I don’t think they envisioned having to leave a comment like this in the comments of that same campaign;

“Hey there YouTubers. I’m the director of online marketing for H&R Block’s digital tax solutions. I appreciate your comments about transparency and I want to let you know that I couldn’t agree more. I thought we were pretty overt about making it clear that Truman was our creation and not a real person. The thought that anyone might think we were trying to pull one over on you makes me ill. Not the intention at all. So if you feel we led you astray, I sincerely apologize.
Truman is just our way of acknowledging that no one really wants to think about taxes and that we really have to go out on a limb to get anyone to pay attention to a (not very sexy) subject that could actually have a big impact on your pocket book.
Thanks for your Comments!

Wow, reading that again three thoughts cross my mind.

(1) The campaign missed the mark. The more you watch the fictional Truman, the more you actually like him. But the first impression I got was confusion over who Truman was and why he was talking to me on YouTube. I figured it out pretty quickly, but I immediately wrote him off.

(2) I feel terrible for “A” over at H&R Block. They clearly put creative effort, thought, and resources against this campaign. This response clearly wasn’t what they expected. Talk about having to eat crow.

(3) I give “A” a tremendous amount of credit for stepping up and joining the conversation around this campaign. I would encourage them to post a video response and to find a way to capitalize on the humor that lies underneath their character Truman.

New “conversational marketing” is a tricky space. I think the lines of content and advertising is often close to being crossed. I also think that the audience within many of the new media and social networking worlds are much more fickle and cynical towards advertising. If it doesn’t add value or if it’s “lame”, you run into situations like this.

It’s interesting. If this campaign ran on TV, would H&R Block have ever known if their character was resonating or not? If “Dude, your getting a Dell Steven” was a YouTube creation would he have been similarly dismissed as a “gay capitalist creation?

We are in a new world of marketing. One that is transparent both ways. Marketers must be transparent to consumers, because consumers won’t pull any punches with their views back.

Monday Morning Reader

Each Monday morning, I’ll share with you what’s rolling through the weekend remnants of my Google Reader subscriptions.  From TV, to sports, to tech…I’ve got alot of random feeds that point me in different directions to start the week.

David Churbuck references an article from that talks about marketing during a recession.

5. Shift media spending to accountable media. Not because they necessarily perform better, but because investment in them can be justified in terms of return on investment. A heavy bias toward accountable spending is the best way to protect marketing budgets from profit-starved CFOs.

David points to a likely rise in email and search marketing as they are the pinnacle of accountability.  But I still wonder, is that the short sighted?  I understand the attraction to the items that are likely to push out positive ROI metrics, but does that mean they are truly accountable?  What is the opportunity cost against plucking off the bottom of the funnel?  Would those customers have reached you anyway?  I constantly struggle with the balance of proving your marketing spend by marketing in the places that you know will return a positive metric vs. marketing in the place that will have the most impact on your short/mid/long term bottom line.

Search is fairly bullet proof at this point.  But having to pony up money to buy branded search terms where a large percentage of ROI comes from just to push people down the funnel in a direction they would have likely taken anyway still irks me.  But I understand it.

Email marketing however, I don’t neccessarily find effective.  It’s direct response, and managing campaigns against your installed base of customers is a must.  But prospecting using 3rd party or rental lists is a tactic I just don’t get.

As it turns out, I’ve asked myself these questions for almost 8 years now.  The sad thing is I don’t know that I have any better answers today than I did then, and that people are still asking the same questions as I did then.  The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Brock for Broglio lists the 101 best fantasy baseball team names.  I may have to revert back to “The Wright Stuff” or branch out to “” this season.  I still love the name the “Funky Cold Mussinas”.  Just brilliant.

CelticsBlog reacts to the Celtics recent 5-5 stretch with a blueprint for slowing down the C’s.  Hot shooting seems to be the #1 culprit to at least 3 of the recent 5 Celtics’ losses.  That shot yesterday by Turkolou was incredible.

John Battelle shows us a fun Google trick.  Ever try and find information about Chuck Norris?

fake chuck

Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.”

Absolutely brilliant.

One more thing that boggled my mind this morning before I start doing peer reviews; check out this article from on the Wii hacking of Johnny Chung Lee.   I doubt I can do this justice and need to think more on the topic before expounding on my own.  But watch this to get a feel for the awesomeness.