New Survey Shows 15% of Fortune 500 Are Blogging. Some People Unhappy.

FutureTech, Cuil v Google, Coke Tienda

Did Powerpoint Kill Business Communication?

To be honest I have mixed feelings about this. Powerpoint is still my design medium of choice, and has enabled strategy schmucks like me to be “creative” with presentations… that said, some powerpoint presentations are shockers as we all know. Here are some great slides from a pre-Powerpoint 1975 IBM presentation.

IBM Slide

I found this on marktd, who spotted it on the ISO50 blog. There are a bunch more on Square America.

Social Media Gets The Royal Treatment

I only just came across Queen Rania of Jordan’s YouTube channel. The always-hip Queen Rania has a YouTube account and has set out to address some of the misconceptions about the Middle East and specifically Islam. She is also soliciting videos from other YouTubers with questions about the Middle East.

Both Queen Rania and her husband Abdullah II bin Al Hussein (aka King Hussein) evidently very keen on maintaining positive relationships with the West. If you’re not familiar with Queen Rania, take a look at this video.

2009 Marketing Budgets … Good News/ Less Good News

Good news (for us humble new media types, anyway):

More than 75% of senior marketers say they expect spending for new media and online initiatives to increase in the next year despite the tough economy, according to the sixth annual PR Week Marketing Management Survey.

Only 21% of the 252 US chief marketing officers, VPs of marketing and marketing directors and managers say budgets will remain the same, and 4% expect a decrease.

Less Good News (for some agency folk):

Survey participants also overwhelmingly agree that they would be “most likely” to cut from many other disciplines before turning to digital if forced to scale back budgets as a result of poor economic conditions. Advertising is cited as the most likely to be cut (35%), followed by point-of-sale marketing (29%), public relations (16%) and direct marketing (16%).

marketing spend 2009

Says a spokesperson: “Digital is an advisable investment because of the strong, measurable results it can produce and targeted audiences it can reach, and it’s also one of the more economical options. On the other hand, advertising is more expensive and PR more vulnerable because marketers feel it isn’t measurable.”

In a move worthy of Joseph Jaffe … two Travelers use Social Media to make a point

I have seen a growing number of examples of consumers (often frustrated business people) using social media to make a public protest about bad service from airlines and hotels. This slideshow (which I belatedly came across) actually predates Joseph’s “Delta Skelter” by a few years (its from 2001) and I don’t think the protagonists initially used the power of social media to get their point across. That said … its hilarious(!)

“The presentation in question [is] a deliciously snide and witty enumeration of the many ways in which the DoubleTree Houston screwed over a couple of weary business travellers who showed up at their hotel and found their rooms given away.”

Art is …

Unilever’s “Rookie”

I just came across “The Rookie” — a series of short videos sponsored by Unilever, the makers of the deodorant Degree. The videos have the look and feel of “24,” the Fox series, but feature a character called Jason Blaine as said Rookie (rather than Jack Bauer). They lives on their own Fox website, with the obligatory sweepstake and link to the Degree site.  I was interested to know if this was bought off-the-shelf by Unilever/ Mindshare or a true co-creation. It turns out that it was conceived by Mindshare’s Entertainment division and shot by 24’s DP. (Pretty collaborative, then!)

unliever rookie

Interestingly, according to David Lang of MindShare Entertainment, Blaine’s character is “based solely on Degree’s brand positioning.” Degree for Men, which claims to be adrenaline-activated, “protects men who take risks,” its website proclaims. And Blaine is a guy who takes adrenaline-pumping risks aplenty but never sweats through his shirt.

Says Unilever’s deodorant supremo Sam Chadha: “Degree is about embracing challenge and giving men more confidence by equipping them with more power than they need for the one day they do need it, ’24’ is just a perfect fit. It’s one of those ‘Ah-ha!’ moments you get in your career with marketing where everything fits together.”

Hmm. Not so sure about that, but all in all it has to be more interesting than traditional advertising. The 1.4MM site visits it generated doesn’t sound much, but the 5 minute average spent on the site does.

Mindshare also have some figures that show a 22% sales increase and brand score improvements. These can be apparently be attributed to the “Rookie” effort, as it was the only communication in market during the survey period, say Mindshare. Viewers were apparently driven to the web via Rookie teasers in TV, print, online, mobile channels. (This activity might have done some of the “heavy lifting” in terms of audience).

Mindshare need to work on their own copy-writing skills though … “Unilever needed a communication activity that would help grow Degree for Men faster than the antiperspirant/deodorant category, and increase the brand’s relevancy with Men. The partner needed to align with the brand’s consumer insight around risk and reach a broad audience of men.” Groo!
(tags: brandedentertainment rookie unilever)

Agency of the Future, That’s (PC) Entertainment, Meet Now, Visible v Relevant, Traffic Miles