BizVoice Ad BOGO for Small Businesses

Everyone loves a good bargain; and we’ve got one for you, but it’s a limited-time offer and expires after next Friday, May 25.

As part of our Small Business Showcase, organizations with 50 or fewer employees can take advantage of the buy one, get one free quarter-page advertising special for the two BizVoice® summer issues. The quarter-page investment (just $1,020) includes the print and digital versions of both issues.

“While the number of businesses advertising in BizVoice continues to grow each year, we want to make sure companies of all sizes have the ability to reach our influential audiences,” states Tim Brewer, BizVoice Advertising Director. “Helping businesses grow has been at the core of the Indiana Chamber’s mission throughout its history.”

To take advantage of this offer, contact Brewer – tbrewer@indianachamber.com, (317) 496-0704 – by Friday, May 25. The July/August issue ad will be invoiced in July for $1,020, and the September/October issue is free.

Connect your small business with the Indiana Chamber audience!

Big Winners in the Super Bowl Commercial Game

CommercialsDid you see Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. dancing to the routine from “Dirty Dancing” last night during the Super Bowl’s commercial lineup? Granted, I did not watch the Super Bowl in its entirety, so I missed several of the commercials – but that one might have been my favorite.

I also enjoyed the marketing gusto behind the “It’s a Tide Ad” commercial. Did you have a favorite?

While the actual football game was exciting, the commercials were a mixed bag, with a few bright spots among some duds, per usual.

Forbes has a listing of the top commercial spots, as determined by a new startup that uses opt-in technology to measure actual eyes on the screen and viewer reactions:

TVision’s ranking system uses a score of 100 as a baseline, so numbers higher than 100 represent better than average performance. Here are the top 10 spots that got attention from viewers in the moment when they aired last night during the game. Note how different this list is from the spots that resonated most on social media or in earned media views online.

  1. Bud Light – Bud Knight – 130.8 
  2. E*Trade – This is Getting Old – 123.6
  3. Mountain Dew/Doritos – Doritos Blaze vs Mountain Dew Ice – 116.9
  4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout –  Mission: Impossible – Fallout – 114.2
  5. Avocados from Mexico – #GuacWorld – 113.7
  6. NFL – Touchdown Celebration – 112.4
  7. M&Ms – Human – 112.1
  8. Tide – It’s a Tide Ad –  111.1
  9. Netflix: The Cloverfield Paradox   – The Cloverfield Paradox – 110.9
  10. Amazon – Alexa Loses Her voice – 110.7

TVision also tracks a metric called the Smile Index, using data the observes the facial expressions of its opt-in panel to identify positive emotional responses. So which ads lit up the room? According to the data, it was…

  1. Bud Light –  120.2 on the Smile Index
  2. Avocados from Mexico –  118.8
  3. M&Ms –  117.8
  4. Netflix – Cloverfield – 117.2
  5. E*Trade – 115.2

Trying to Attract the Tourists

Unique tourism campaigns are nothing new. Governing magazine recently highlighted several:

As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s exactly what South Dakota did with a new tourism approach a few years ago.

After hearing from focus groups across the country that the Dakotas were nothing more than a “barren wasteland,” the state tourism agency came up with a unique campaign angle: At least we’re not Mars, an actual barren wasteland.

The voiceover in a TV ad says: “Mars. The air: not breathable. The surface: cold and barren. … South Dakota. Progressive. Productive. And abundant in oxygen. Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?”

Their efforts may have paid off: The state has had a record number of tourists in the past two years. 

Instagram on the Road

Last year, Minnesota decided to tackle the perception that the state is just a cold, snowy place by bringing its attractions to you. Really.

Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state’s tourism committee, created traveling photo booths featuring two of the state’s main attractions: the First Avenue music club, which was featured in the 1984 Prince movie Purple Rain, and scenes of the Minnesota outdoors.

The state set up the booths in cities across the country, ranging from Denver to Chicago to Kansas City, and modeled them after Instagram to encourage people to share their photos on social media.

The Prince booth came complete with a fog machine, purple lighting and a drum kit, while the other booth featured a canoe and a machine that generated morning mist and bird calls.

Come Get an Operation

San Diego doesn’t need to do much to convince people to visit: It has legendary beaches, a world-famous zoo and plenty of sunshine. Even so, the city is now betting it can convince tourists to get that elective surgery they’ve always wanted in between getting a tan or frolicking on the beach.

In 2017, city leaders launched DestinationCare San Diego, a public-private partnership to get more tourists to think of San Diego as a place to get medical care — and recover afterwards. The city hopes to compete with world-renowned medical destinations like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota or the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

The city does have a strong medical sector. It’s home to the University of California health systems and Rady Children’s Hospital, which is ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the country.

Emojis Here, Emojis There, Emojis Everywhere … Even in Business?

I was recently working from home when my six-year-old wandered over to the computer to see what I was doing (and to see if she could worm her way into the chair to play games).

“Are you writing an email?” she asked me.

I told her I was posting to our company Facebook page. She doesn’t understand what that means yet, but I knew what her next question would be (and I was right): “Are you going to put an emoji on it?”

I tried to explain what “professional setting” meant. She got bored and walked away.

She knows little of the internet and social media, but she knows email and she knows emojis. And who can blame her? Emojis are fun to use in text messages and emails to your family and friends.

Ironically, a few hours later this article from Forbes caught my eye, “How Emojis Have Made Their Way Into Business :-)”.

Read the full article for a bit of emoji history, but this section was what stuck with me:

Ad technology companies like Emogi and Snaps are at the forefront of using emoji marketing to prove measurable ROI. When IKEA wanted to be top of mind as people discussed shopping for college, they worked with Emogi to create and send custom IKEA stickers to consumers who expressed interest for the brand, talked about going back to school, or used positive emojis.

The campaign was a success: People actively engaged with IKEA’s custom stickers more than 25,000 times and included the custom stickers in college conversations more often than traditional school-related emojis.

Messaging marketing platform Snaps also helps brands manage and measure their emoji and sticker ad campaigns by tracking how emoji usage increases campaign shares and views. “We can show it drives scale and real ROI and that the media buy has been effective,” Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps told Digiday, “A low six-figure investment can deliver millions in media value.”

Emoji ROI? I wouldn’t personally put a lot of stock in using emojis in your everyday business correspondence, but as a social media manager I have indeed used emojis on sporadic, appropriate occasions (mostly on Instagram). I’ll have to keep an eye out for emoji ROI in the future.

(Insert winky face here.)

Winky face emoji businessman

Who’s Spending the Most to Get Your Attention?

Biggest advertisers in America (ranked by annual dollars spent), according to 2013 Kantar Group report:

  1. AT&T: $1.59 billion
  2. Verizon: $1.43 billion
  3. Chevrolet: $958 million
  4. McDonald’s: $957 million
  5. GEICO: $921 million
  6. Toyota: $879 million
  7. Ford: $857 million
  8. T-Mobile: $773 million
  9. Macy’s: $762 million
  10. Wal-Mart: $690 million

Study: Starbucks is Top (or ‘Trenta’) Dog on Social Engagement

There are many ways to measure brand engagement on social media. But according to a study from PhaseOne Communications, Starbucks has parlayed its approach into becoming the most highly regarded when it comes to engagement with customers. Ragan.com reports on how:

"The very public nature of social media taps into consumers’ public persona—the idealized version of themselves that they want to present to others," the report states. "This can be quite different from their private selves—those aspects of themselves that, while true, are not for public broadcast."

Of more than 20 brands PhaseOne studied, Starbucks ranked highest in social media engagement. "Starbucks becomes the embodiment of their consumers’ idealized selves, seeking experiences uniquely their own," a press release from the firm states.

Social media messages that appeal to the private self tend not to work, the report finds. But those that enable a customer to say something appealing about him- or herself, something that builds the customer’s online image, drive engagement. Brand statements that give customers that opportunity should drive communication strategies, the report’s authors contend.

The ‘me’ statement

Each brand needs something the report’s authors call a "me statement," a way of articulating how the brand and its customers’ public images can become intertwined.

"Brands don’t just happen upon a ‘me statement,’" says Lisa Allard, co-author of the report and PhaseOne’s vice president of special services. "It takes a lot of work."

To arrive at the statement, brands need to identify who their consumers are and what they want, in terms of creating public personae. Then they have to pinpoint the bridge between that desire and how the brand can help them achieve it.

For example, Starbucks has a "me statement" along the lines of giving consumers a way to "pursue experiences that are uniquely me." On Facebook, the company uses that "me statement" to engage customers by asking them to talk about their coffee preferences or personal stories.

McDonald’s, another company ranked highly in the report, has a statement that deals with consumer savvy. Audi’s message focuses on a high-end, modern lifestyle.

Terry Villines, PhaseOne’s senior vice president of analysis and also a co-author, says brands should generally stick to one, broad "me statement" for all its messages.

"When a brand tries to stand for too many things in consumers’ minds, they end up standing for nothing," he says. Brands can have different messages for different products, perhaps, but the core message should remain consistent.

Allard acknowledges audiences aren’t monolithic, however. That’s why brands have to present messages tied to their "me statements" in different ways, "tied in a creative envelope."

Canada to Misleading Marketers: Get That Junk Ote-a Here!

I like Canada, and not just because of the walleye fishing. The people are really dang nice. Turns out, they may also have higher standards of decorum than us, too. (Considering the popularity of "Jersey Shore" in America, this shouldn’t exactly blow you away.) PR Daily comments on a Vancouver Sun/PostMedia article:

Note to companies operating in Canada or thinking of expanding north of the 49 parallel: Do like momma told you, and tell the truth.

A whopping 89 percent of Canucks are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to stop buying a product if advertising around it is untruthful, according to a new poll by the Gandalf Group on behalf of the Canadian Advertising Standards Council.

The study noted that 57 percent of Canadians report having followed through on this promise. Conversely, according to the survey, only 36 percent of Americans claim to have stopped buying a product because of untruthful advertising.

Canadians are also a moderately cynical bunch regarding advertising, only 50 percent said they found most ads to be truthful, a figure that drops dramatically when it comes to political ads.

Microsoft Hopes to Help You Avoid the Nosy “Gmail Man”

After touting Google+ last week on this blog, it’s only fair that I also mention Microsoft’s efforts in its new Office 365 email program. According to PR Daily, the video below was shown by Microsoft at its annual global sales conference. Actually makes a pretty important point about personal privacy: