J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


Target-Neiman tie-in: Does it hit the spot?

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UPDATE 12-09-2012: A visit to a Fairfax, Va., Target yesterday shows Weinswig may be correct about Target’s poor in-store execution. I went into the store with the Target-Neiman collection in mind but not as part of my primary objective. (“Get kitty litter!) Even so, I saw only a single stand-alone piece of in-store signage related to the collection. My visit was lengthy and covered much of the store’s perimeter, but I never encountered the collection. Even worse: I didn’t see any signage that would have directed me to the collection.

BEGIN ORIGINAL POST: Target-Neiman The Wall Street Journal reports the Target-Neiman Marcus holiday tie-in (#Holiday24) is a disappointment, citing slower sales despite high-powered prime-time advertising and the muscle of social media. (Indeed, this writer learned about the partnership via Foursquare and Twitter before seeing any of the ads on television.) The article then goes on to compare the 50-gift cross-collection with the Missoni Madness of 2011.

But are the analysts comparing apples and oranges?

Reps for both retailers say so, noting their partnership was to created for the duration of the holiday season — not just a one-day sale. And to avoid the resells on eBay and other auction sites — a problem with last year’s Missoni promotion — customers are limited to five of each item.

A report by Deborah Weinswig, the Citibank analyst cited in the WSJ report, was quoted in the Dallas Morning News, laying blame on the disappointing sales on poor in-store execution. Weinswig surmised that based on Twitter chatter, all of the first day’s action was online, and the brick-and-mortars’ inventory could certainly be sold online. Reps for Target told the WSJ the placement of the collection in the back of the store was on purpose, designed with the hopes to increase traffic in other areas of the stores.

Whether the collection is red-hot online or in-store, the fact is: It’s cute, it’s affordable, and the partners can celebrate the brand awareness the promotion has created for their brands and the designers.

Check out how Target and Neiman promote the collection on their respective websites. No matter the framework, the collection still works, transcending the retailers’ consumer bases.

(Screencaps by J. Barrineau. Sources: Foursquare, Target.com and NeimanMarcus.com. 2012)

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Volkswagen’s game day commercial: Dog Strikes Back

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

UPDATE: As of 12:20 p.m. Feb. 6, the clip has 5,198,818 views, 19,893 likes, and 697 dislikes.

I don’t know where to begin with this. I can only say that I saw Volkswagen’s extended Super Bowl ad on Twitter, it had a cute dog — and Darth Vader — so I was compelled to post it.

At the time of this writing, this clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,476,473 views, 7,827 likes, and 275 dislikes.

Before I even hit “publish” on this post, the clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,539,513 views, 8,004 likes, and 277 dislikes

When I first saw the ad on YouTube, this was one of the top comments (spelling and grammar are uncorrected):

I wanna know what this had to do with star wars at all.
~ warguy2499,
YouTube member

I know, warguy, I also wondered that. And then later I remembered the “Vader Kid” ad from last year. It seems, too, the other 1,539,512 1,476,472 viewers also seem confused and detached, weighing in with:

So a dog is faster then a VW beetle?
YouTube member

Probably not the “impression” the Volkswagen marketing folks were hoping for. This probably wasn’t the commercial’s goal either:

…the f*** did that come from?!
~ mrbradpainter,
YouTube member

I would have gone with “What the hell?” but I see your point, mrbradpainter. And then we have another viewer who is also unable to summon even a bit of aesthetic distance:

This car is crap, a dog is faster than it!
~ djsta77,
YouTube member

Yeah, djsta77, but the car is CUTE! Some folks really buy into form over function, and we don’t see the dog pass the car.

Even if some viewers are scratching their heads, Volkswagen at least got their attention. And for those who didn’t get the Star Wars tie-in, they probably didn’t see the wildly popular “Vader Kid” ad from last year or “The Bark Side,” the Volkswagen Game Day teaser — which is beyond cute, even if it doesn’t have a sheltie.

At the time of this writing, “The Bark Side,” uploaded on Jan. 18, had 11,005,635 views, 71,851 likes, and 1,300 dislikes.
About the Volkswagen YouTube Channel
(As of Feb. 2, 2012)

Date joined: ?
Subscribers: 26,687
Video views: 83,572,818

RELATED: The VW “The Force” aka “Vader Kid” ad from 2011


As of Feb. 6, 2012, this clip had 50,373,140 views, 195,942 likes, and 3,140 dislikes.



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Steve Jobs: R.I.P. 1955-2011


UPDATE 10-06-2011: I say goodbye — and thanks


Steve Jobs: R.I.P.

UPDATE 7:59 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal story


UPDATE 8:13 p.m.: WSJ interactive timeline of Steve Jobs’ life


UPDATE: #iSad trending on Twitter


UPDATE: Twitter mourns a genius


Not the dumbest use of Twitter ever

Twitter: My other home on the 'NetThe SFGate looks at Obama’s town hall meeting held Wednesday on Twitter. The article says Obama’s latest effort to tap into social and mobile media drew 169,395 tweeted questions on taxes, the budget and education, and gave the president a new in with the public.

From the story:

“Fireside chats were to Roosevelt what social media is to Obama,” said Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, a website on politics and technology.

Meanwhile, FactCheck.org takes a closer look at some of what it calls Obama’s “mis-tweets.”

From the post:

Obama also boasted that the payroll tax cut passed in December “put an extra $1,000 in the pockets of almost every single American.” The president is giving an average for all taxpayers, not a figure for “almost every single American.” The value of the tax cut depends on how much money each American makes. And the working poor ended up paying more as a result of the deal that included the payroll tax cut.

Journalism’s fall — 140 characters at a time

More proof that you don’t put your brand — or reader engagement — in the hands of a child and/or buffoon.

What follows is a valid suggestion from a reader:


Twitter grows up — sort of

Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a great report that looks at Twitter’s expanding adult user base: 13% of adult Internet users are on Twitter! And they’re not just “younger adults.” Check out the jumps for these groups from November 2010 to May 2011.

Also of note: 95% of Twitter users polled own a mobile phone, and 54% of those users access Twitter on their personal device.

Obama, Osama and everyone else

Twitter: My other home on the 'NetJust when I start to doubt social media’s muscle — (which happens when I garden)  — something such as Sunday’s late-night announcement of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden’s death makes me believe again.

I was at work when the speculation started about Obama’s announcement, throwing in my ridiculous two cents, and watched as the news of Osama’s death evolved from 140-character rumors and bronzed soundbites into full-blown confirmed reports — all long before Obama took the lectern.

Today, my Facebook feed, which is usually rife with Sunday night blues, dinner plans and high school reunion pics, is a welcome illustration of democracy: The mostly joyous status updates alternate between pointed-but-restrained praise for Bush’s post-9/11 efforts and nearly arrogant predictions of Obama’s 2012 victory. One or two friends have noted, rightly, that even after Osama’s demise, the United States will still have more enemies, and more than a few are quoting Mark Twain: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” A quick check of that quote shows me that it’s also all over Twitter today. Oh, maddening crowd.

Also on Twitter, there’s more celebrating and, of course, the news of the day: the quick-and-dirty posts that show who’s getting the facts fastest. I’ll have plenty of news to read when I go into work tonight, so until then I’ll enjoy a lighter perspective.

Making use of your space

20110422-044053.jpgSpotted at Reston Town Center in Northern Virginia. The lower right corner of the parking garage elevator door encourages shoppers to link up with the town center on Facebook and Twitter, neither of which seems to be updated on an effective basis.

ABOUT THIS POST: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record retailers’ efforts to “be social.” I also track specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using social media to court customers, which merchants are catching on — and which ones aren’t.

Twitter by the numbers: An eMarketer report

Research firm eMarketer gives us a peek at its new report on Twitter usage, which offers some juicy predictions for marketers.

Among findings shared in the report summary:

  • 14% of all U.S. adult Internet users will be using Twitter in 2013
  • Twitter usage rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group
  • A revised 2012 forecast that says 24.1 million U.S. adult Internet users will be on Twitter. The previous forecast had predicted Twitter would reach 36 million.

The whole report will cost you $695, but the summary itself includes some not-insignificant numbers. It’s definitely worth checking out.