Liquid Cocaine.

liquid_cocaineHow does that sound? Good, bad? What about if this product was being promoted to teenagers as a target market? Would your ideas change then? What about Speed in a Can? Does that sound any better? 

Honestly, I never really think that marketing can or does cross an ethical boundary. However this product certainly did as well as the fact that their overall goal was to appeal to teens. Obviously we know it’s not literally cocaine or speed but the simple fact that these marketing “geniuses” wanted to appeal to teens by using those words seems unethical in and of itself. Their idea behind it was to promote the product as an alternative energy drink or weight loss assistant. But, what about the kids they market to? Do kids truly have the ability to understand that the name of the drink is not okay? And furthermore, what kind of jerks would try to make cocaine (no matter how the word is used) a normal okay kind of word or item? It makes no sense to me. And the best part is the quote that the spokesperson used to explain their reasoning. Check out the video…and wait for the quote. It’s worth it. 

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Getting your buzz on.

What exactly is buzz marketing?

Simply put. It’s marketing that works via word of mouth. It’s depending on the consumers or uses of your product (or company) to promote it for you. buzzorbustIt’s unleashing your product to the world while depending on others to love it just as much as you do, if not more, and promote it to their friends, family, co-workers, enemies and just about anyone else in between. 

And how does one get the ball rolling on buzz marketing? Well, there are many ways to do this from mavens to connectors and just about anyone in between. Mavens would be people like you and me who just go out and start talking. Connectors would be those with, well connections. oprahs-favorite-thingsPeople like Oprah who promote their favorite things on TV shows.

A great example of buzz marketing.

A great example of buzz marketing.



The real question. Does buzz marketing work? Yes and no. It obviously works. I’m sure you have had your parents say “you must try this” and then you run out and buy it. But in the same sense I’m sure those same parents have said “you must try this” and you don’t make the effort to go out and buy it because it’s just their opinion. Buzz marketing works, but then again it doesn’t. Plus, it’s not paid marketing so there is no real effort put into it–so obviously a company shouldn’t rely on buzz marketing for any huge revenues. However, buzz marketing is highly effective where negative marketing is concerned. You can almost bet money that if someone doesn’t like a product, they are going to pass that word on.

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Let me see that pretty face.

Let’s face it, as a whole people are intrigued by other people. If they weren’t then I’d imagine we wouldn’t have reality shows, talk shows, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter. In fact, if people weren’t fascinated by others then there would be no point in having organizations, groups, sports or the like because at the core of it…we are all just there to get to know others and have interaction with those who have the same interests. 


So, why wouldn’t marketers want to get in the mix? Why would or should, we sit back and let the general public’s fascination with others pass by us? The answer…we shouldn’t! We should jump on the band wagon as well and the way to do it is with Video Podcasts

The ever popular podcasts have now grown into something beyond what they were originally thought to be. Now, you can see someone demonstrating how to cook a cake, take a picture, create a website, promote a product, or just live their normal every day lives. And, if people want to watch it, then I say companies should take full advantage of that. But, keep in mind that this is a very personal form of marketing. It’s more like a one-on-one marketing tool. It’s something that should be used cohesively and in conjunction with a larger marketing mix. It’s not something that should be used lightly or as a marketing plan in its entirety. 

In my humble opinion, video podcasts are most effective as an informational tool. For example, Betty Crocker could use video podcasts to demonstrate recipes. 


Chevy could use them to show simple how-to’s on fixing cars. Samsung could inform consumers on the difference between their product and another.




No matter what the basis of a video podcast is, people are going to watch. Why? Because, well. We want to see others and we are intrigued by others–from what they look like, to how they talk,to what they wear and even what knowledge they possess that we don’t. Trust me. 


They’ll watch, they can’t help it.

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How do minorities figure into the world of Internet Marketing?


I don’t personally think that Internet Marketing is based around the 40 year old, white business man. Nor do I think it’s based around the 16 year old private school student. I’m just not that naive. But what I do wonder is how do minorities play into the Internet Marketing world? 

Obviously, with commercials, ads, radio and even outdoor advertising, appealing to minorities is deliberate and done on purpose. It’s also done with minimal analytics and only a fraction of the investigation that it takes to reach minorities on the Internet. Which brings me to my next point, minority based websites. They are out there. 

There is Minority Owned Website Directory, Empower Women Now (for Asian American Woman), My Black Info, and Hispanic Online.  With so many websites (trust me, there are more) it’s obvious that there is a demand for marketing towards these minorities on the Internet. But how does one market towards a minority on the Internet? How can you guarantee to reach this audience…well with the Internet nothing is an absolute, but by marketing on these minority based sites it may just be easier. 

And, with more and more sites popping up it’s important for marketers to remember to always keep their SEO in the forefront of their minds when planning an Internet Marketing campaign. If marketers want to reach these minorities they must optimize their sites by using a strong SEO program that puts minorities at the top of the importance list…

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Hello & welcome to Second Life I’m January Featherwore.



Yea right. I don’t use SecondLife, but I know there are a ton of people who do. Although not as many as what they likely hoped would use it. But, none the less it is popular and they do have their own audience. 

And, there aren’t just people using SecondLife companies are as well. Why? Well silly, to advertise of course. 



Who knew…not only can one be bombarded by advertisements in real life through commercials, billboards, bus benches, radio ads, theatre, etc. but now one can also be bombarded in their virtual life as well. 

And it doesn’t just stop with advertisements. Oh no. Companies are building their own islands, like Coke and Ford. They are enticing people to hang out at their facilities, stop by for a visit and on some (rare) occasions even conducting interviews on Second Life. Call me a purest, but I think it’s gotten a little out of hand. I can completely understand taking advantage of advertising virtually, and I can equally understand paying for a piece of Internet real estate to get your name out there…but to conduct interviews? Seriously. I think people are taking this social networking online thing a little too far. And some, they rarely even leave their houses. 

Check out this ploy to help those addicted to Second Life found on

Are you addicted to SL? When you walk down the street in RL, do you find yourself trying to right-click people to see their details? Do you walk in RL at all? Do you say out loud things like ‘LOL’ or ‘AFK’? Do you yearn for teleportation? 

Okay, that last one is not necessarily SL-related; I’ve wished for teleportation for decades. But have you found your SL to be more compelling than your RL? And if you do spend the lion’s share of your time in SL, do you feel it to be a problem? Being the misanthrope that I am, this one wasn’t too difficult to answer for myself, though I wouldn’t qualify it as a ‘problem’, necessarily. I can quit anytime I want! But then, that’s what all addicts say, isn’t it?

Did you know there was a Center for Internet Addiction Recovery? When does a hobby become an obsession?

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Mom, we are just sexting.

Seriously? Sexting? I’m pretty sure that not only would my parents be outraged if they even thought I was “sexting” but they would likely have grounded me for about as long as I lived in their house and would absolutely have taken my cell phone away. Although, when I was in high school I couldn’t even have a pager so…a cell phone wasn’t anything my parents worried over. None the less. Sexting?

Apparently it’s a ridiculously absurd new way for kids to communicate (read: ruin their lives). And it’s not a uncommon thing either. My question is to the parents, why aren’t you stalking monitoring your children? And, why is this such a common practice? It’s a FELONY, and parents are not enforcing rules on their children. And according to a survey over 20% of American teens participate in it. 

Why is it that cell phones aren’t just cell phones anymore? Sure, they are great devices that offer amazing things such as the Internet, Google Maps, Stock Quotes and so much more….but kids need to be monitored and children should be watched. Why in the world would parents allow their teenagers to have free reign of their own lives is beyond me. And, why aren’t cell phone companies addressing this? Yes, I realize completely that this is not their battle but a little PR or preemptive marketing would be beneficial. Ya know, beer & liquor commercials talk about the hazards of driving drunk, cigarette companies post their warning labels, so why wouldn’t cell phone companies want to talk about the serious issues of kids sending each other nude pictures? I think it’s time adults took a stand against these teens. It’s time they begin to realize their actions have consequences and if that means that the cell phone companies need to get involved and spend a little bit of their advertising dollars to do so, then so be it. It literally may save a life.

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January did like Facebook

But now she hates it. And apparently so do many others. Why change a good thing? Why change something so often that people get confused each time they log on? Furthermore why change something that you are successfully operating after pleading with users to not leave after the first 2 changes. If your name is Mark Zuckerberg, I’d appreciate an answer. 

Not only is this a bad idea in my humble personal opinion, but it’s a bad idea all together. In the past year, Facebook has it’s site twice. The first was to look and feel more like MySpace and now, it looks and feels more like Twitter (which I’m not a huge fan of). To me, this seems like a disaster. Why would someone change their brand not once, but twice within a year? When honestly, the original product wasn’t so bad to start off with. 

I couldn’t answer these questions, and then…it hit me! Glaring at me on the right side of my new Facebook homepage are a ton of ads. I mean, a ton! At least like 12. Ads about Oprah and her fan page on Facebook. Ads about and its fan page. Ads about books and pets and buying a house. This new fancy Facebook has allowed more room for ads. How obvious. I’m not sure why, as a marketing professional, this didn’t hit me first. However, I obviously figured it out. And I’m not sure it’s a great idea. 

There have been post after post about how much people hate the change, how they are tired of Facebook changing once they get use to using the previous version and so on. It seems that while Facebook is trying to keep up, their users have been completely fine with who they were before. They were comfortable with 


the platform and didn’t want it to change. So now, amid the masses of newly unhappy Facebookers I sit– complaining and up

dating my status in hopes that Zukerberg shoves sees it and hears my pleas to change it back. 

January thinks the new Facebook sucks. How’s that for a status?   

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Marketing Campaign Freak Out.

Marketing a product is a normal thing, everyone does it and its obviously an expected practice. This rings true for products, companies, websites and even films.

Last year, prior to the Indie Film Festival a filmmaking company aimed to promote their film “A Beautiful Day” by using YouTube. Their placement of a viral video on YouTube was a great marketing tactic and gained popularity for the movie. However, not everyone was a fan of this viral film tactic….especially if you were in Oklahoma. Instead of generating buzz and building upon that with this film, they instead scared the people of Muskogee, Oklahoma with their tactics. The Tulsa World reported,

A trailer for the film was posted on the video-sharing site YouTube under the headline, “Warning, Muskogee, OK.” The video featured a synthesized voice saying, “People of Muskogee. Open your eyes. April 25th is a day you’ll come to remember.” Along with images of dark forests, it included the message “the end is coming.”

Without context, the video came across as a possible terrorist threat, said Muskogee police spokesman Brad Holt.

Muskogee school officials alerted police to the video after word spread among students. April 25 is prom night for some of the schools, which only heightened concern, Holt added.

Muskogee police contacted the FBI and began investigating with federal agents before determining it was not a threat but a film trailer.

“Meant as a publicity stunt and just went bad,” Holt said. “They didn’t mention anything about a movie. It sounded like a threat.”

While I don’t think that marketing in general is unethical, nor do I think that many marketing tactics are unethical…I’m slightly torn on this. I can completely understand how the people of Muskogee must have felt. Living in Oklahoma, I remember this was in fact a big deal. Yes, the filmmakers only aimed to create a buzz…and in essence they did, just not the kind they wanted.

Marketing is important as is doing what it takes to get your name or product out there, but where is the line drawn? This tactic seems tacky and I can completely understand how this was taken as a threat….what do you think, did this filmmaking company cross any lines?

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Who needs a book?

The Kindle. I don’t personally have one, but apparently they are amazing–so amazing I’m almost thinking about getting one.  The Amazon Kindle is a hardware and a software platform that is used for reading books. The books are downloaded via the Internet and then can be read electronically on the

The cost for the books range from $14-1.99 and are downloaded in seconds, the best part at least for marketing is that these Kindles (the updated version from Feb. 2009) can also access the Internet–thus yet another way to market. But marketers are not the only ones capitalizing on the Kindle. Stephen King saw the Kindle as a great way to get his name out there yet again by writing a novella called UR that is available only to Kindle users. Would it be possible that other authors will find the Kindle as a way to market themselves? I think it’s completely possible.

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Chips Ahoy Mate!

image2809552gJumping on Laffy Taffy, popping Skittles balloons, and using Fruit Loops as a safety raft may sound like new scenes in the next Willy Wonka film. But, it’s not. It’s actually called Advergaming. 

Advergaming is big, especially where kids are concerned. Using items that are colorful, pretty, and fun companies can appeal to kids through games online. It’s not just a game but it’s not solely an advertisement either. Companies have teamed up with gaming sites in order to produce these games that promote both the gaming industry’s goals as well as the food, music, athletic, etc. company’s goals. 

By making these games appeal to young children, advertisers are not only reaching the children of today but the consumers of tomorrow. For example, most of these children can’t drive yet but Toyota sells a car in Whyville and thus builds loyalty even to the youngest of customers.

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