Following along…24/7

Do you care to watch them...24/7?

Do you care to watch them...24/7?

Remember the premise of what was arguably the grandaddy of all reality TV shows? “This is the true story… of seven strangers… picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…The Real World.”

New web reality series If I Can Dream (from American Idol creator Simon Fuller), which launched on Tuesday, March 2, takes that premise even further. It follows five aspiring artists live 24/7 on ificandream.com and in a weekly recap on Hulu.Read full post...

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A better way to manage your business’s Twitter feed

Creating a new way to Twitter for your business.

Creating a new way to Twitter for your business.

The “Contributors” feature from your friends at Twitter, currently in beta testing, will enable your company to have multiple contributors to its Twitter feed. Each Tweet will include the writer’s byline. In addition, “Contributors” promises two different levels of access: Enhanced and Partial.

Enhanced Access will allow contributors to view the account dashboard and it may include data and analytics about your Twitter feed, followers, etc. Partial Access allows them to write Tweets but not see the entire dashboard. Other business-specific features are in development as Twitter makes a concerted effort to address business needs. How will this change the Twitter game? Watch and see for yourself.

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Unplug (and unwind) this holiday season

Take a break for the holidays!

Take a break for the holidays!

The holiday season may seem a little less jolly for some of us this year. Stress levels are high and there are plenty of reasons to feel a bit like a scrooge — lousy economy, job pressures, family needs, etc. It doesn’t help that we’re constantly receiving or sending electronic communications every minute of every day — emails, text messages, blogs, Twitter and Facebook, to name a few.

It’s a good time to remember to take a break. Unplug — and unwind — this holiday season. Here are some tips:

Get out. Take a walk. Take your children to the park.
Reconnect. Visit a friend. Call someone you haven’t seen for years.
Be a kid again. Grab a board game. Play tag or hide and seek with your children.
Be creative. Draw or paint a picture. Learn how to knit. Take up scrapbooking.
Be old-fashioned. Write a poem, a love letter or a thank-you note.
Learn something. Read a book, newspaper or magazine.
Give back. Donate food or clothing to those in need. Volunteer at a local nonprofit.
Test your culinary skills. Bake, grill, sauté, roast. Try a new recipe.
Dance to the music. Put on your favorite CD. Play an instrument. Go to a concert.

But most of all, enjoy yourself. And reconnect with family and friends. Happy holidays!

Got social media?

Social Media Strategy and Success Stories

Social Media Strategy and Success Stories

About to plan your social media marketing strategy? Wondering about the return you’ll get on your investment? Check out Socialnomics: Social Media ROI. This short video showcases success stories, plus some interesting facts. For example:

  • More than 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook; about a third of these are small businesses.
  • A Wetpaint/Altimeter Study found that companies that are heavily into social media blow away their peers in both revenues and profits. The study also found that companies using social media the most increased sales by 18%, while companies with the least social activity saw sales decline 6%.
  • Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter.
  • eBay found that participants in online communities spend 54% more money.

What’s your social media strategy?

Tweet your way into Saks’ window display

Twitter updates...brought to you by Saks Fifth Avenue and Microsoft.

Twitter updates...brought to you by Saks Fifth Avenue and Microsoft.

As part of its legendary holiday display, Saks Fifth Avenue has partnered with Microsoft to put video screens, hooked up to computers, in its windows. The screens will display real-time tweets. When people use the #holidaywindows hash-tag on Twitter, their beaming tweets about Windows 7 (and their holiday wishes) will pop up in the Saks display. Hard-core Apple fans reportedly have tried to hijack the Twitter feed by writing anti-Microsoft tweets. But they aren’t getting through to the public. According to Microsoft, most negative tweets are being filtered out automatically. Plus, the company says, there’s a human backup.

Tweet now and see if you can reach New York’s holiday shoppers!

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Vote for us!

Cast your vote for the AB&C blog.

Cast your vote for the AB&C blog.

Fuel Lines is a blog for ad agency new business, and every month it features the best ad agency blog. Each month’s winner is featured on Fuel Lines throughout the following month and is included in the voting for ad agency blog of the year. So click here and vote for AB&C’s blog as the best for October — and spread the word!

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Engineering demand

Creating demand for Paranormal Activity.

Creating demand for Paranormal Activity.

Have you heard about Paranormal Activity, the low-budget horror movie that has been terrifying audiences over the past few weeks? It was reportedly produced for $15,000! But the very strategic marketing paid off as well as a multimillion-dollar campaign.

First came very scary trailers, followed by updated trailers with footage of terrified moviegoers at a sneak preview of the film. This was followed by a limited release in a handful of college towns around the country.

Then came the really clever part: what appeared to be a grassroots campaign to get the movie distributed nationwide. By teasing us, the filmmakers created a public demand for the movie. They drove us — both in commercials and online — to eventful.com, where we could demand that the movie open in our hometown theaters. The site had a real-time running tally of votes and bragged that Paranormal Activity is the first movie to ever be “demanded” by “we the people.” We could also show friends and associates that we supported the “movement” by spreading the word via Twitter, Facebook, a MySpace widget or links in emails.

The best part? It worked — whether or not they ever needed the votes to obtain a national release. How’s that for creating artificial demand? I wonder how future marketing campaigns will incorporate Paranormal Activity’s grassroots web marketing.

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The Social Media Revolution

Social media is here to stay.

Social media is here to stay.

It’s all the buzz. Social media has exploded. It’s everywhere. Some might say there is a revolution going on. Have you seen the YouTube video about this very topic? It has some very interesting statistics, such as:

  • By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers.
  • 96% of them have joined a social network.
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
  • Facebook added 200 million users in less than 9 months.
  • 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.

Check it out for yourself.

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Down the social media rabbit hole with “Alice in Wonderland”

Get ready for the new "Alice in Wonderland."

Get ready for the new "Alice in Wonderland."

Johnny Depp is the Mad Hatter. Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are the White and Red Queens, respectively. It’s Tim Burton’s take on “Alice in Wonderland,” and it promises to be over the top. Set for release in March of next year, the movie is already being very cleverly promoted using social media.

On Facebook, you can sign up to be a “loyal subject” of the Red Queen or the White Queen or a “disloyal subject” of the Mad Hatter. And the benefit for becoming a fan? The group that is the largest by 7 p.m. on July 24 will win the chance to see an exclusive new trailer from the movie before anyone else.Read full post...

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Let Alice.com help with your household shopping

Alice.com can help with your household shopping.

Alice.com can help with your household shopping.

Would you like a website that would guarantee you never run out of toilet paper? If so, then Alice.com is for you. It’s a new website that sells consumer packaged good (batteries, soap, shampoo, coffee, toilet paper and other common household items) directly to consumers. The site also has planning and budgeting features, smart reminders and coupons (which should give grocery stores a run for their money).

Alice even provides recommendations based on who lives in your household. For example, if you live in a household with all girls, you clearly won’t have to buy men’s essentials. And you can set a time for a reorder reminder. This way, you never accidentally run out.

There is a ton of selection, with thousands of options and brands to choose from, and prices that are close to Walmart’s or Costco’s (without having to pay for gas to get to and from the store). And the best part — shipping is completely free.

Alice.com also has benefits to the consumer good manufacturers. They can access consumer information about who is buying their products (thanks to selling through Alice versus a traditional store). The site also offers a variety of programs including coupons, loyalty programs, product trials and sampling, customer surveys, and category sponsorship opportunities. But is it enticing enough for you to make the switch to online shopping for your household needs? Check it out for yourself.