Archive for February, 2010

ChatRoulette: Craze or Continuing?

Posted in Social Media Marketing with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I wrote a post about FourSquare, so I figure ChatRoulette needs a mention as well. ChatRoulette is a site that connects you with random webcams all over the world. Like actual Roulette, it is a gamble because you never know who is going to appear on your screen when you hit the “next” button. Unlike FourSquare (which hasn’t been creepy for me yet), the little experience I have had with ChatRoulette has, in fact, proven to be creepy. Like most unregulated video sites, you are sure to stumble upon something sexual when you hit the “next” button.

However the site is still intriguing despite the weird and creepy factor. It brings back the element of surprise and who you are and your whereabouts remain completely anonymous.  People use it out of boredom, for the shock factor and for a sense of voyeurism. You almost get a thrill out of peering into a stranger’s life through your computer.  The site has gained significant popularity since its launch and it seems to be the thing that everyone is talking about at the moment. So what does that mean? That marketers want to be there of course.

The thing about ChatRoulette is that it is live, so it isn’t the same as making a Youtube video and having it going viral. There have been some notable ChatRoulette conversations that have gone viral on YouTube though. (I would post them on here, but like the majority of ChatRoulette, they are search for them at your own risk). The two that I have seen were for and Comfortwipe. The one for featured a man dressed as a giant penis dancing and holding up a sign that read The Comfortwipe one just showed a Comfortwipe infomercial type video on loop and all of the live viewer reactions.

While there is potential for marketers to do something eye-catching for their product on live streaming webcam, it seems like and Comfortwipe have filled this niche. It is possible for companies to create some type experiential campaign where they go on and do something eye-catching but it almost doesn’t seem worth it because you are only hitting one viewer at a time and you never know what type of demographic you are going to get.

In my opinion, Chatroulette is a place where you go and you see a stranger on a webcam, feel a little awkward and curious then go about your daily business. I think it is just a craze that people are curious about because it is new. It encourages interaction but in my opinion, is not the next big thing for marketers.

A Movie About Chatroulette


General® Original Snus Promotion

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

There isn’t usually too much that goes on promotion-wise up here in the lovely state of Vermont. I usually have to work all summer long in Boston to be able to sustain myself. However I did recently get booked for General® Snus. The promotion will run for two months and is targeting “ski-towns” all over the U.S. The target is tobacco using males ages 25-35 who prefer premium brands and seek out new experiences.

General® Snus is a Swedish brand that “harnessed the Swedish spirit into a brand and product tailor-made for the journey”. The brand is trying to actively inspire people worldwide to bolster their own personal journey and, of course, enjoy General® Snus whilst doing so.  General® claims to represent liberation, sophistication, authenticity and power.

What better way to target this market than by sampling in ski towns? After all, skiing has been an integral part of Sweden’s pursuit for centuries.

Watch for  more blog posts and pictures from the General® Snus promotion in coming weeks!

Foursquare: Creepy or Compelling?

Posted in Social Media Marketing with tags , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I have been trying out Foursquare ( , the location-based social network that lets you earn points and unlock badges by “checking in” to the places you go. I decided to try it because of the marketing potential I was told it may have.  I was a huge skeptic at first; I did NOT want people knowing where I was.  However, Foursquare has hit it dead on. I mean, at first you immediately think you’re making it easier for stalkers and burglars and the like…but then, you start to realize that you DO want people to know where you are. You want to verify to everyone that you do in fact have a life, and an adventurous and social life at that.  It almost becomes a popularity contest, just like Myspace and Facebook were. People thought those were creepy too, but look how popular they got. It’s a game, it encourages interaction and helps you feel important.

The thing about Foursquare is that it does in fact have enormous potential for marketers. For one, it is word of mouth advertising at its finest, you can leave comments on the places that you have visited and comment on the food you ordered, what you liked, what you didn’t like etc. This is clearly great for the restaurant industry, but also good for any brand that uses any type of event marketing. Why? ..because it creates buzz. Foursquare makes it easy to display the exact address of where someone is and gives them the ability to tell their “friends” what is going on at the place they just checked in to.

There is also potential for location-based offers, such as a freebie if you check in somewhere using foursquare. Also, there is potential for loyalty rewards. There is also the potential of branded badges by companies. This is huge, Foursquare will become an interactive game that directly connects people to brands. A unique user experience for sure. Some companies who have already integrated the badge feature are Apple, Harvard and Intel. How many more will follow and create a unique user experience? How big will Foursquare get?


Side note: Foursquare is reinforcement of how important honesty is, with your brand or in life in general. You can’t get away with any deceiving these days!

The Vermont Brewers Association

Posted in Experiential Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

This weekend I had the pleasure of partaking in the Vermont Brewery Challenge. After an excellent day of skiing, we all agreed to help a fellow friend and classmate out with his beer blog by visiting some breweries with him (What great friends we are!). I mean seriously, a day of skiing and Vermont breweries? What a tough day!

At the first place we went to we were given the Vermont Brewery Official Passport:
The goal is to hit all 17 breweries to win the grand prize: A Collectors Set of VT Beer Gear, which is given out at the Vermont Brewers Festival.

The program is run by the Vermont Brewers Association, and the purpose of this organization is “promoting professional craft brewing in Vermont”. Well, I must say they are doing superb job at doing this. The passport challenge is so effective because it is fun, challenging yet do-able, and it doesn’t feel like marketing.  Marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing is the best kind! Also, it is very low-cost for the breweries. The only cost is the cost of printing the passports, and the swag that you win. Most alcohol promotions give this kind of swag out for free, without even having the consumer buy their product! So why do people purchase all this beer just to get a stamp so that they can win swag that they can get for free from some other beer company without doing anything?.. Because it’s a challenge, and they feel that they have worked hard for the swag.. and they will cherish and show off their hard-earned branded swag! Very effective indeed.
So effective that they have all of us participating in the challenge!

Marketing is Like Dating (Part 2)

Posted in General Marketing with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

So, you go out into the world being authentic, inviting, and enjoyable and suddenly a unique personal connection is established. Now what?

Well for some people, they want to see a return, and they want to see it immediately. You know, those people that go out on one date and then all of a sudden are all “Oh my God, I’m in love! We are now going to hang out every single day and live happily ever after!”  Or in the case of a brand, they suddenly expect a multi-million dollar success overnight.

Well, the brutal reality of it all is that things don’t happen like that. Some things just take time; both branding and dating are a few of these things.

Social networking is one main way a company builds a relationship between their brand and its fan base. If you want a social networking effort to last, you have to think of it in the long-term and realize there are stages to the development. You can’t just go friending or following every single person, and expecting them to be loyal to your brand immediately. That is just like going on a first date, laying everything about you out on the table and then expecting that person to immediately be exclusive. Putting too much pressure on the quick success could end up pushing your loyal followers away.

A person enters any sort of relationship with his or her own perspectives, wants and agendas. Nurture your fan base and they will stick around and begin to appreciate you. No need to rush things.

Pressuring your fans might yield quick rewards, but it will burn out just as quickly. There isn’t much rooted in immediate success of a social media campaign. It has to grow organically, or else it will fizzle out like an impulsive love affair.

Andes Beer launches a Teletransporter Machine

Posted in Experiential Marketing with tags , , , , on February 4, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

An Argentinian campaign for Andes Beer launches a “teletransporter machine” where club-goers can make phone calls and make it sound like they are somewhere other than in the club. The target? Men who want their girlfriends to believe that they aren’t out partying.

Funny idea. I wonder how many silly men took it seriously!

via Adverblog

Marketing is like Dating

Posted in General Marketing with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

Most people do not get a date by walking up to someone and throwing an overused pickup line at them. The same goes for marketing, you can’t achieve success by throwing the same message out at the masses. This does not create a relationship.

The experience is what is more engaging than any other form of communication. The experience is the message.

Think about it this way, you go out to a bar and see many attractive, date-able people. Does this mean you walk up to each one of them and start throwing pickup lines at them? No, these attractive people are most likely used to this and write you off as “pathetic”.  The key is to draw these people to you. How is this achieved? Well, people subconsciously need to trust you first and know that you are not trying to take advantage of them. The best way to do this is by looking inviting by smiling, laughing, being authentic, enjoying yourself and not looking like you are on a desperate mission to get something. People will then be attracted to you because you seem fun, honest, trustworthy. People will then approach you, it will be their own decision and they won’t do it because they are on a mission themselves; they will do it because you seem like you can enhance their life with your happiness.

The same goes for brands. A unique personal connection is the best way to gain success. If your marketing doesn’t earn trust and isn’t honest then you lose. Be bold, throw yourself out there in the world and stay true to yourself!