Curator News Feed: July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day from all of us at Curator! We celebrated a little early by putting together our own Star-Spangled Spotify playlist, and proceeded to blast it in the office earlier this week to really rev up our creative American spirits. It's a little eclectic to say the least, but then again so are we. Bonus points if you can guess who submitted what. Perhaps you'll enjoy our links of the week while simultaneously giving our playlist a spin. Happy Friday!

Neil Diamond

Happy 25th Birthday to Nike's 'Just Do It,' the Last Great Advertising Slogan, Adweek. It's not only our country's birthday this week, but Nike is about as American as you can get, so I'd say it's fine to celebrate both together. What's really interesting about this article is how Dan Wieden came up with this famous slogan—watch the second video, people.  – Maria

The 30 Most Creative Social Media Marketers, Business Insider. We've all seen a lot of these viral social media campaigns, some have even been past links of the week, like the Lowes vines. This is a great look at the powerhouse folks coming up with them. I love the diversity in their thinking and looking at the kinds of approaches they take based on the brands. I think my favorites from this list have to be Allstate's Mayhem and Oreo. What are yours? – Chelsey

'Normal' Barbie By Nickolay Lamm Shows Us What Mattel Dolls Might Look Like If Based On Actual Women, Huffington Post. What would Barbie look like if she were based on the average American woman? Artist Nickolay Lamm used the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman to create a 3D model. The comparison is really jarring, and makes me wonder whether publicity like this will negatively impact the brand, or whether Mattel's iconic doll is so beloved by brand loyalists that it won't do much damage. What do you think?  – Noelle

The Dieline Awards 2012 WinnersThe Dieline. I wanted to share the Dieline packaging awards from 2012 as the 2013 winners will soon be announced. So, here's some creative inspiration for the day (and some pretty amazing branding). – Kendra

Photo Credit: Stranger & Stranger

Photo credit: Stranger & Stranger

Former Groupon CEO's new album aims to impart ‘business wisdom’PR Daily. So many things about this album, entitled "Hardly Workin,'" intrigue me. I kind of love the fact that ousted former CEO and Founder Andrew Mason is putting himself out there in such a big way. And, no, it's not a joke. But it gets better: he plans to drop business lessons in with his beats, aimed at educating millennials entering the workforce. There's no way I'm not going to at least take a listen. – Megan

Teens aren’t abandoning social. They’re just using the word correctly, Medium. A friend shared this link on Facebook, one of my most frequently used social networks. The piece explores results of a recent study from Piper-Jaffray that asked teens to share “their most important social networks.” According to the study, some of the older, established networks like Facebook and YouTube are experiencing a dip in significance among teens. The writer, Cliff Watson, digs into what’s really going on as teens move on to newer services like Snapchat or Kik. The entire piece is a great read, but here’s the sentence I keep mulling over in my head – “Kids aren’t leaving social networks. They’re redefining the word ‘social.’ Rather, they’re actually using the word with the intent of its original meaning: making contact with other human beings.” – Ann Marie

Vine update for iOS adds redesigned camera, 'revining,' and channelsThe Verge. With Instagram video on its heels, the Vine app moved quick with their recent iOS update! I've made a personal goal to improve my video skills and this update makes it easy. My favorite feature? The ghost button where a light shadow of your previous clip is shown so you can line your next shot up perfectly! With clever updates at this rate I might keep my Instagram video very limited. Well played, Vine. – Brooke

How to Use Google+ to Expand Your Business Influence, Social Media Examiner. Why Google+? If you're thinking that the "more active users than Twitter" claim sounds a little fishy, you're right, but it's still worth your time. For one thing, it's becoming more and more baked-in to search, meaning pages with more followers will be ranked higher in organic Google searches. For another, people are probably already there talking about you, meaning you should be there to respond. Last but not least, some of those people are people who aren't on the other networks you frequent, and engaging with them means a positive gain in your overall social footprint. Once you've gotten started and filled out your profile a bit, check out this link for how to optimize. — Paul

The Curator News Feed: May 10, 2013

Could someone really go a year without Internet? Did you know that Disney Princesses parallel women in PR? What are brands doing to leverage this Mother’s Day? These are just a few of the questions that are answered by our favorite articles from the week. See them all here in our latest link roundup!

Lip Sync-Off with John Krasinski, YouTube. From this day forward, I will just close my eyes on Friday and let John Krasinski take me away... – Shawn

I'm still here: back online after a year without the Internet. The Verge. Most of us couldn't imagine being without the Internet for a full week, maybe only a day. Paul Miller just got back online on May 1, after abstaining from the Internet for an entire year. If I summarized his thoughts in these couple of sentences, I would ruin it for you. There's lessons about the Internet, but more importantly how we function as people. This one is definitely worth your time.  – Maria

Five Simple Rules, and Additional Tips to Make Yourself into a True Travel Warrior. LinkedIn. Whether you're traveling internationally or not, for business or pleasure, Paypal's President David Marcus has some pretty worthy advice on how to make traveling efficient and the time you have before, during and after a trip feel like you never skipped a beat. – Maria

Taking The Long View: Social Media's Real ROI, WTIA Community Blog. If you do any kind of social media analysis or SEO work in your job, you (hopefully) know that Ian Lurie is one of the brightest, clearest voices in that space. Here's the thesis of his latest post, which you should read immediately and not save for later: "If you’re measuring every dime spent on social media and expecting a clear ROI, you’re doing it wrong. Social media doesn’t generate near-term ROI. It fixes rattles and makes people happy. By doing that, it helps you secure long-term ROI." Seriously, if you were only to ever read one blog post about social media, this would be a great post to pick. – Paul

The End of Traditional Ad Agencies, Harvard Business Review Blog. A Vespa dealer in Lexington, Kentucky, came up with the concept of "No Cages" for the Harley Davidson campaign and a guy from Tukwila came up with the concept for Stereotypical Harley — both through a crowd sourced effort from Victors & Spoils. We're obviously believers in curation here and this concept digs deep into the theory. I was really intrigued by this article and had good conversations with our team. Lots to ponder with this one. If you're the CMO on the client side does it matter where the spark of the idea came from? The agency will still have to bring it to life and make it strategically smart. Part of me likes this a lot for the right brand. What do you think? – Scott

Microsoft Buying Nook Reported $1B Deal Would Escalate Amazon Rivalry, GeekWire. I own a Kindle. My wife does, too. My mom owns a Nook. And we have an subscription for audiobooks. Needless to say, we like the printed (and sometimes spoken) word. As such, all this who’s  buying whom in the world of digital books is interesting to us…and may just impact our next purchase decision. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out from a marketing perspective, as well, and how both Nook and Kindle customers will react. – Dan

Seizing the Crown: Disney Princess PR Parallels, SmartyRants blog at I'm not entirely sure I fit the Princess mold, but am amused that we're now comparing our careers in PR to the plights of our favorite Disney leading ladies. Any of my fellow Curators willing to share who they best identify with? – Jennifer

Why Floundering Abercrombie Should Reconsider Snubbing The Full-Figure Set, Forbes. Here's a how-to on alienating consumers. Ironic that the very segment of the population that this brand is shunning from its stores, could in fact help boost its market share if the brand embraced it. – Noelle

My Mom Always Said…, Pinterest. Leading up to the 2012 London Olympic Games, Procter & Gamble released this touching “Best Job” video as part of its global “Thank you, Mom” campaign. As the brand shared, they’re in the business of helping mom, so this video celebrated moms around the world who have given so much. Last week, perfectly timed for Mother’s Day, the brand began asking for great pieces of motherly advice from the Thank You Mom, by P&G Facebook page and Twitter handle. I played along and contributed my own mom’s advice, and there was some nice engagement through the week via Twitter. Yesterday, they revealed a Pinterest board full of clever graphic posters of the real-mom advice that people shared with P&G. I love how the brand invited engagement across several channels where I connect with friends and family and created an opportunity for me to celebrate my own mom. Nice work, P&G.  – Ann Marie

Seattle’s Best Brunches, Seattle PI. Are you panicking because you didn't make plans for Mother's Day? This article from Seattle PI may just save your skin. – Liz

Twitter Vines Get Shared 4x More Than Online Video, AdWeek. While I have yet to make my first Vine, I’m on it a lot looking at my feed of friends and brands alike. I think it’s an awesome concept and I love how some brands, like Lowes, are using it to showcase products, events, services and culture. I also enjoy the creativity some people are using, like this great compilation of Vines of Ryan Gosling refusing to eat cereal. –  Chelsey

Warby Parker Customer Service, YouTube. Some companies are really known for their customer service on social media. Warby Parker just blew it out of the park though when a customer tweeted he had a crush on the customer service rep he just spoke to over the phone. Most companies would probably ignore it but not Warby Parker. Original tweet here: – Brooke

April Fools’ Day delivers laughs and lessons

Each year, I eagerly anticipate April Fools’ Day. Not because I plan grand pranks or relish in the duping of others, but because it competes for first with the Super Bowl in terms of marketing genius on a fraction of the budget.

Thankfully, this year did not disappoint. No doubt your RSS and social feeds exploded on Monday with some of the best received pranks, along with cheers and jeers from friends and marketing pundits alike.  

For brands, (and their marketers) April Fools’ Day isn’t just about making people laugh; it’s an opportunity to show your brand’s personality. And if your spoof is done well, an opportunity to achieve the ever-coveted distinction of “viral marketer.”

Let’s take a look at what was done well, why it worked, and what we can learn.

Guardian announces 'Guardian Glasses' for the discerning liberal reader

Probably one of my favorites, this fauxnouncment from UK’s Guardian newspaper debuts augmented reality specs that help the wearer see the world through blue colored glasses.

Why it worked: It’s witty, self-deprecating and very timely given the buzz around Google Glass. And like all great British comedies, it relies on brilliant writing rather than a large budget.

What we can learn: Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own expense. By poking fun at their own bias, they endeared themselves to not only their own readers, but to their right-leaning Daily Mail critics as well.    

Bing gives Google users the experience they’re searching for

Only using Bing because it’s your browser’s default? No doubt you’re not alone. On April Fools’ Day, Bing users who searched for Google got what they wanted – the Google experience.   

Why it worked: The fact is, Google is still one of the top search terms on Bing, and no one is more aware of this than Microsoft. By giving these gone-astray Bing users what they want and making them smile, they directly reached their most important audience - Google users. 

What we can learn: You can’t convince someone your product is better than your competitors just by telling them, you need to show them. This gave Google users a reason to stay on Bing to search.    

Vimeo recognizes its calling

Why it worked: There is a simple equation that can be seen throughout the internet that is as profound as the Fibonacci sequence and the Pythagorean theorem combined; Cats + video = internet success. Not only did Vimeo subtly poke at YouTube’s copious number of cat videos, they also managed some brilliantly simply wordplay.  

What we can learn: Don’t be afraid to go beyond brand affinity in your tongue-in-cheek campaigns. Vimoe manage to include a call to action that’s plain-stated, (Your cat videos belong here) and that subtly implies that, in contrast, your cat videos don’t belong on YouTube.

Google goes all out

Google launched a wave of videos announcing their “new products” to the public. From treasure maps to search-by-smell technology, they had something for everyone. My favorite by far, though, was the YouTube winner announcement.

Why it worked: YouTube practically invented viral and its “celebrities” have become as recognizable as the Kardashians. The video features a slew of YouTube stars, which are as fun to spot as A-list actors in cameo roles. 

What we can learn: Sometimes the smallest change can change everything. By simply making the Orwellian assertion that YouTube has always been about finding a winner, it changed the context of every video you’ve watched. Applied to marketing, it showcases the simple truth that you don’t always need a new product or service; sometimes you just need a new use for the existing one.

The Curator News Feed: February 1, 2013

With lots of talk about the big game this Sunday, it’s no surprise that many of our favorite reads this week are about the highly anticipated Super Bowl ads. But a few other stories caught our attention, including the decline of proper grammar use, a visual history of Lego's and the rising popularity of new social network, Vine.  

3 Ways Advertisers Can Use Vine, hasoffers. Among the 2013 class of rookie social networks, Vine appears to be the first one to break out (though Twitter is its parent company, so, of course). Vine is like a Twitter-for-videos — you shoot little video segments till they total six seconds, the result of which is a GIF-looking mini-movie, and then upload them to an Instagram-looking feed. If this sounds like a mishmash of various social networks and internet memes, well, it kind of is, but that hasn't stopped some users from getting creative with it. Check out the vines at the link from Gap, which shows off a (very) brief history of its advertising, and a Virginia coffee shop, which shows how latte art gets made. – Paul

5 Super Bowl Ads the Enlist Viewer Help, ABC News. With the Seahawks out, I am less excited for the Super Bowl than I was a few weeks ago, however I am still going to tune into the big game for the ads of course! I love reading all of the predictions and seeing the teasers, but this year I’m most looking forward to how brands will use their primetime ad spots to engage their audience. And it appears many already have. Pretty cool. – Chelsey

Most Viral Super Bowl Ads of All Time, Bloomberg Businessweek. The countdown has officially begun – Only two more days till the big game! While I’m still mourning the fact that the Seahawks won’t be playing this Sunday, I am pretty excited to check out which advertisements grace our screens this year. We’ve already seen some previews and teasers pop up from companies like Volkswagen, just adding to the anticipation. This week, Bloomberg Businessweek took us down a walk on memory lane to recap the most viral Super Bowl ads of all time. Personally, I hope the “E*Trade Baby” makes another appearance. What’s your bet on the company that will have the most viral ad this year? Can’t wait to find out! – Annie

Michael C. Moore - VIEWPOINT: Proper grammar ain't a thing like it used to was, Kitsap Sun. I was reading my local paper this weekend and came across this little ditty about the use of proper grammar in today’s digital age. And while it is my job to adapt to the changing landscape and take advantage of communications systems available and used by consumers today (e.g., Twitter), I can’t help but feel a kinship with Mr. Moore and hope that kids do learn and appreciate the importance of grammar in conveying context and meaning. B sure 2 tweet ur thots 2 @danmiller1973 – Dan

How The Usually Dry Annual Report Has Become Brands’ Secret Marketing Weapon, Creativity Online. This article talks about how a lot of companies are realizing that their annual report shouldn’t just contain the dry facts and figures, but that it’s an opportunity to connect with consumers and show the world what they’re all about. I’m sure you’ve heard of, or seen, Warby Parker’s Annual Report that blew up the interwebs the last two years, but there are some other great examples of companies flexing their creative muscles. – Megan

55 Years of the Brick, Facebook. As a father of a two year old in an iPad generation, I find myself working hard to make sure my son explores the world around him away from a screen. From Lincoln Logs to Lego's, building toys were a huge part of my childhood and something I want for Jax as he begins to discover the power of his imagination. Montreal agency "Brad" has created some beautifully inspired posters (55 of them of course) for this iconic brand's 55th anniversary. Brilliant and definitely worth checking out. – Shawn

Matt McInerney Scores With Redeisgned NFL Team Logos, If It's Hip, It's Here. This link celebrates the Superbowl this weekend, but it's not an article about predictions or commercials. This designer from New York gave all the NFL Team logos a modern twist. I'm as much of a retro fan as the next 80s child, but some of these are pretty rad. The Seahawks redesign definitely deserves a look. What's your favorite? – Maria

Samsung Next Big Thing, YouTube. Pass the nachos, please. The BIGGEST day in advertising is upon us. – Ann Marie