Harvard Gets Lesson about Power of Word of Mouth. . . From Itself

Two Harvard Crimson writers learned a harsh lesson about word of mouth this week — namely that a good story spreads like wildfire. Faster, maybe, in this case.  Alexander J. Ratner and Lillian Yu probably thought they were writing a throw-a-way article when they detailed their recent social field trip to Tufts. It would be a funny, satirical piece about Tufts Barbarians that the Cambridge community would enjoy for a brief period and, then, forget about pleasantly.

Instead, the article detailing Harvard’s crude superiority complex caused a gossip storm that elevated to Gawker levels.

Basically, the authors write about feeling bored at Harvard and wanting to find their ‘true love’ i.e. some fast action at Tufts.  As a Tufts Alum, I could say that their entire premise is bunk, but I’ll refrain as there’s better lessons to be learned here — like that the internet is not a private joke board. People read it — ALOT. And, get steamed about paragraphs like this:

Tufts at first seemed like a perfect fantasy option, ripe with potential and waiting to spring to life. We had a friend who knew about a party—a big one, with frat-ish people doing keg stands all over the place, and thousands of girls just waiting to slay themselves at our feet the moment they first got a peek at our Harvard gear. After all, isn’t this exactly what happened in high school?  But we would brush away the siren fingers that playfully traced out the H’s on our jackets, knowing that on Valentine’s night, we would accept nothing less than true love.

So, while I’m even more perplexed at the authors’ premise of finding a happening party on Valentines Day(a SUNDAY) — I’m even more confused by how they could envision writing this for the real Harvard Newspaper(not their satirical Harvard Lampoon) and not getting lambasted. Publicly.  Not surprisingly,  the article has gotten 74 comments since it was published on Thursday and I’ve had 3 different alums talk to me about it.

Gone are the days of inside online jokes, ya’ll. If you post it, it’s going to get read and passed around. So, don’t be a jerk. Or, you’ll get comments like this:

This amateurish, self-congratulatory crap is what passes for journalism over at Harvard? How embarrassing. Find something better to do with your time than overpay to take ill-advised, poorly planned trips to other schools so you can pretend to know everything about their social scenes after 2 hours of going to the wrong places just so you can compare Harvard favorably to them. Pathetic
— Paul
Or, even this:

A Harvard alum wishes to apologize on behalf of the writers. We’re not all like them. This was painful, sorry to all who chose to read this.



Is Apple Emerging as the Spam Police?

A recent Gartner survey reported that mobile apps, like those sold in Apple’s “App Store,” raked in more than $4.2 billion.  By 2013, revenue is expecting to climb to $29.5 billion, of which 25 percent will be coming from advertising. 

And, yet, Apple just announced that it was updating its Core Location services policy to vastly limit geo-locating apps?

Apple isn’t pulling the plug on all Geo-locator apps.  At first glance, Apple appears to be chiefly concerned with its users’ experience — in that it’s only letting developers apply geo-locating tags if it improves the app itself.  Apps  designed for the sole purpose of targeted advertising are those most likely to be facing rejection, as so reads Apple’s direct warning to developers:

 “If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.”

As for how detrimental this will be for marketers, only time will tell, although early indicators make the announcement appear fairly benign.

Instead of trying to limit legitimate applications, Apple’s policy shift is likely to serve as the first defender against geo-targeted spam (for example, pop-up ads appearing in the middle of unrelated games).  No consumers appreciate spam and geo-targeting spam is a tricky disruption which smart marketers should be steering clear of as a result. As geo-targeted apps are still fairly new to the scene, Apple is likely just laying down the first rules to govern the geo-space, ensuring that consumers continue to feel comfortable using geo-apps. 

However, another possibility does exist – one that would stand to benefit Apple exclusively.  Apple could also be setting the scene to dominate the geo-targeted ad space itself, which it would be poised to do with its recent acquisition of ad platform, Quattro Wireless. Combining user data collected through iTunes and the App store with geo-location technology would be quite a golden Apple opportunity.

Posted via web from The Green Detail

75% of Facebook Moms Are Willing To Be your Product’s Fan – If Asked Nicely

New data suggests that moms are more open to engaging with brands on Facebook than previously thought, as long as the brand is transparent and respectful.

Slightly more than 10% of moms say that they use Facebook to check out companies or products.  Additionally, 16% of mom Facebook users follow more than 10 companies’ fan pages. Three-quarters are fan of at least one brand. Parenting-specific pages were listed as mom-favorites in addition to restaurant, grocery and entertainment pages

However, while Mom may appreciate learning more about her products, she’s not a fan of obnoxious advertising. Some 37% of moms disliked or strongly disliked Facebook ads, citing the ads as either boring, misleading or offensive. Less than 5% of moms reported liking Facebook ads.

Mom survey respondents emphasized their desire for companies to be honest and direct with their promotions and their lack of patience for companies who don’t respect their time.  Special offers exclusive to Facebook and coupons were particularly well received.

The study proves what many marketers already knew — Facebook is a viable platform to reach moms and has terrific potential, but careful and creative strategy is imperative to brand success. If a brand can quickly add value to mom’s day, she’ll become a fan in no time. After all, mom’s a savvy shopper.

Posted via email from The Green Detail Path

Flash Mob Sends Ryan Seacrest some V-day Love

If you need a lil’ V-day pick me-up, check out this new video of a flashmob dancing up a storm in L.A.

It’s clearly heavily choreographed, but is still an amusing site to see, especially if you are like me and missed the couple’s ice skating competition tonight (!). What IS IT about seeing multiple dancers perform the same movement at the same time that’s so visually appealing??

Ah, well. Enjoy!

P.S. If you click on the video, you’ll also be supporting my improv pal, Patrick, who set up this whole sha-bang (for full disclosure)

Posted via web from The Green Detail

Bravo Goes Mobile with Foursquare





“Top Chef” fans are now being rewarded for leaving the couch and checking out real world locations related to the popular show, courtesy of a new brand partnership between cable television network Bravo and the location-based social network, Foursquare.

Foursquare specializes in letting users tag their location and earn badges that correspond with “checking in” at various locations.  Users who check into a location most frequently earn the bragging rights of being that location’s “mayor.”  Adding a gaming twist, mayors often receive unique location-based perks that include special discounts, coupons and freebies.

Tapping into Foursquare’s platform, Bravo will be adding custom locations and offering unique prizes tied to Bravo show locations (where characters live, eat, shop, etc.).  Some of Bravo’s most popular shows, including Real Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Top Chef are all part of the new Foursquare/Bravo collaboration.   

Bravo execs hope to extend viewer engagement beyond the weekly broadcasts of their favorite shows, while incorporating a real-time sharing aspect.  Fans of each show will broadcast their location to friends while adding their own tips at each location they visit. Word of mouth will be driven by both fan love and the unique Bravo prizes.

Foursquare is still growing in popularity, but this novel partnership may prove its worth to marketers who seek new ways to leverage location-based tools for marketing. 

Read more from the New York Times.

Posted via web from The Green Detail