Blog Archives

The Home Depot apologizes after offensive monkey tweet

The Home Depot is apologizing to their Twitter followers today after this untimely tweet and photo made headlines for its insensitivity.

The tweet in question shows a picture of a man in a monkey mask sitting between two black men and asked followers “which drummer isn’t like the others?”

home depot monkey tweet

If you notice other similar posts, The Home Depot often has their bucket drummers dressed up in different costumes, as the bucket is the centerpiece of their marketing efforts around the College Football season.

While profusely apologizing to their followers who tweeted, they also posted this apology noting both the agency and employee were fired.

In 2008, Lebron James made headlines when his cover in Vogue Magazine came under fire for positioning him in a “King Kong-esque” scene with Gisele.

About these ads

Instagram’s New Ads give Michael Kors a lift

After last month’s demonstration of what Instagram ads would look with Levi’s, Michael Kors became the first brand to actually post an Instagram ad this week, featuring a luxury watch amidst a table of macarons.

Nitrogram, an analytics platform for Instagram, took a closer look at this first sponsored post and analyzed the key metrics behind their first  including engagement and estimated reach.

I cover some of their findings in this post on Social Fresh.

michaelkors-ad-likes michaelkors-ad-followers-gained

Uber and GE team up for DeLorean rides #BrilliantMachines

uber ge delorean

Photo by @KateScisel

For this weekend only, Uber has partnered with GE to bring DeLoreans to the streets of San Francisco.

GE’s Brilliant Machines campaign uses real-world examples to demonstrate how GE’s advanced hardware and analytical software can revolutionize the way cities are powered. In other words, the GE gas turbines in your DeLorean might predict and meet an entire city’s power needs someday.

How to snag a free ride:

  • Open the Uber app anytime on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Supply will be very limited, but if your timing is right, you’ll see the DeLorean option
  • Maximum of 15 minutes per trip and one person per vehicle

Walmart Facebook Slip

walmart facebook post

Looks like somebody in Walmart’s social media team won’t be having too much fun this Sunday morning after a rather blunt outburst of: “What the Fuck was Facebook thinking??” was left up on the page for about five minutes before the retail giant pulled it down.

It was in all caps too…you know they were mad.

Sony PlayStation Launches PS4 Native Ads at E3 Powered By Livefyre

In the gaming world, E3 is hailed as one of the most important industry events of the year. The week is jam-packed with product reveals, presentations from influencers, demos and more.

Playstation (my client) is capitalizing on a new Livefyre native advertising offering and launching the Livefyre E3 Social Hub to capture all the trends, images and conversation straight from the Los Angeles Convention Center. Two of the most popular gaming websites, IGN and Joystiq have integrated the Playstation-sponsored Livefyre E3 Social Hub to feature real-time conversation surrounding the convention.

Read more about this social native ad and the convergence of some of the biggest brands in the gaming industry here.

joystiq e3 playstation social media

Offerpop Capitalizes on Wildfire’s Downfall in New Banner Ads

Looks like Offerpop is wasting no time in responding to the news this week that Google’s Wildfire Department was shutting down the one-off version of their social promotion builder.  I was checking out an article online and noticed this meme-styled banner ad, with Wildfire branding pretty prominently featured as part of the joke.

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 11.04.09 AM

ICYMI – Here’s the official word from Google on the closing of Wildfire’s standalone campaigns.

We want to do all we can to poise our customers for success when they begin using Wildfire. So that we can better focus on doing that, we’ve decided that we’ll be retiring our Basic, Standard, and Premium promotions after June 30th.

There are a lot of ways you can build promotions on Facebook.

I have used Shortstack Labs myself (disclosure: affiliate link) and wrote a review of it on Social Fresh a while ago. I love the easy plug-and-play approach to building promotions with their builder.

Still, many many of my colleagues rave about Offerpop and I agree, I think that Offerpop is extremely powerful and useful for any brand looking to run a great social campaign.

This post is much more about their awesome ad than their software, so I won’t dive into details there.

One last thing…Note that Wildfire is not Livefyre, which is the company I work for. Some people get us confused.

Livefyre’s suite of real-time products are defining a new breed of web and mobile experiences that boost website traffic, increase user engagement and drive revenue.

As the sixth largest network online, Livefyre is powering real-time social experiences for leading brands including American Idol, AOL, Bravo, CBS, Conde Nast, Dow Jones/WSJ, FOX, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Showtime, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

How do I break into Copywriting?

I got an email from a student who just graduated from college asking me how to break into copywriting. It took me a while to get back to him because honestly, I had to think about it for a while. As you know, it’s probably one of the toughest entry-level positions to get into.


Here’s the thing about copywriting…if you’re looking to work in any sort of creative agency, you’re going to need a portfolio. Schools like SU, Texas, or VCU where students take advertising courses as an undergrad have four years where the curriculum basically programs them with a portfolio to leave with. Still others go on to grad school or portfolio school to make a “book” to pitch to agencies.

This is where I got stuck in my career. I thought I wanted to be a copywriter, but I also didn’t have time This is when I discovered the social media side of marketing…basically it was a self-realization that all the stuff  had been doing in the music industry was actually where the entire marketing world was going, so it was an easy transformation.

So am I a copywriter by title? No. Am I a copywriter by job duty? Hell to the yeah, I write more than I ever anticipated.

So below are my four “off the top of the head” suggestions to this student about ways he can break into the copywriting profession.

1. Start blogging, and write often

Copywriting today is not limited to billboard headlines or creative TV scripts, but blog entries, technical manuals, slideshow copy, tweets, Facebook updates and more. Many brands hire people to write this, and you can be that guy. Showcasing that you already know how to write for the web is a big plus, and the better your writing online is, the better you look.

2. Take on freelance work.

When I was in grad school I did a lot of tiny projects that I found off Craigslist or eLance or other sites. This works two ways: first, you’re doing persuasive writing to land yourself a gig, then you’re actually getting to produce a piece for your book. Don’t worry about being paid unless you know it’s something you can absolutely nail 1000% and you honestly have a better idea of what the client knows (and what they don’t know you don’t know).

3. Get an internship and bust your ass.

It could be an ad agency, it could be a small graphics shop, but wherever you go work your ass off and be the best. Being the best at your job is rewarded and the energy needed to get there might be a lot, but no matter if you’re an intern or a CEO it will pay off. Honestly the internship is benefitting you more than the company probably, they’re giving you real-world experience you can put in that portfolio.

4. Create spec work.

Every day online I see articles like “10 Logos Redesigned for the Zombie Apocalypse” or “Nintendo Propaganda Posters.” These artists or writers aren’t getting paid for it, they’re creating because they love to. If you don’t  have any paying work, invent your own. Take your favorite ad campaigns and reimagine them as brand new. Don’t worry if you can’t design, a well-thought campaign premise and series of executions is enough to get you started. Post that work online and people will find it, and then you. For example, I was asked to create a deck about a fake Red Bull event before an interview with them in California. Even though I didn’t get the job, I still worked to create a creative concept, and wanted to be able to get some credit for my thinking.

What do you think?

Are you getting a Promoted Yahoo Story about Same-Sex Marriage on Facebook?

Promoted Yahoo Stories in Facebook Lists?

Have you seen any promoted stories inside the timeline like this before? I found this in my Facebook Jacksonville Smartlist, advertising the Yahoo story about Obama coming out in support of Gay Marriage. This is the first time I’ve seen a story promoted like this on Facebook…regardless of topic.

UPDATE: Found another story on another list. This one a different color and about Twilight stars.

On Ideas Client Catlin Group announces Seaview Survey 2012 with Google

This morning we’re proud to announce that our client the Catlin Group has announced their 2012 Seaview Survey  in collaboration with the University at Queensland and Google. This study will be gathering research on many uncharted portions of the ocean with a slew of brand new equipment.

From the Catlin site:

The Seaview Survey is a major scientific expedition that will include the first comprehensive study to document the composition and health of sections of the Great Barrier Reef across an unprecedented range of depths.

The scientific data gathered by the Catlin Seaview Survey will strengthen the understanding of how climate change and other environmental changes are likely to affect ocean ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef, said the Survey’s science advisor, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland.

Stephen Catlin, Chief Executive of Catlin Group Limited, said:

“Catlin is sponsoring the Catlin Seaview Survey so that experts can obtain the objective scientific data they require to make more reliable conclusions about the impact of climate and environmental changes on our oceans and our planet as a whole. We’re proud to be part of the team leading this pioneering project.

“As an insurer, Catlin offers our clients protection against many types of risks, so it is natural that we should play a leading role in sponsoring research to learn more about the risks of tomorrow.”

Google is collaborating with the Catlin Seaview Survey and is working on a new feature on Panoramio (which links photos to locations), so that the 360-degree panoramic images can be uploaded and made available to millions of people worldwide. Approximately 50,000 panoramas from the Catlin Seaview Survey will eventually be accessible on Google Earth and Google Maps. The project will also have a dedicated YouTube channel and the ability to broadcast Google+ ‘Hangouts’, which allows people to watch live streams of the expedition team from the ocean floor.

Here at On Ideas we’re excited to be supporting such an innovative study to learn how we can better the future for the next generation. It’s an honor to be working with forward thinking clients like Catlin who, with last year’s Arctic Survey and this year’s Seaview Survey, truly demonstrate that ideas fuel the continued success of the world.

You can learn more about the Catlin Seaview Survey here:

Facebook Privacy Changes: What You Need To Know

What happens when the elephant in the room decides to change its stripes? If you haven’t noticed, Facebook has been playing with a lot of features on the site from the chat to grouping news feed posts by interest, and even making the “share with friends” function almost impossible to find.

Fortunately thanks to the backlash online by marketers, and a little competitive kick from Google+, Facebook has rolled out a few new changes designed to help the overall Facebook experience from both individual users’ privacy and access for businesses.

Starting with the user, there are tightened security controls about what can or can’t be posted on your wall without your consent. For those of you with millions photos of yourself tagged in Jordan Sneakers, High Heels, and Stripper photos, you now will be able to reject the tag before it goes up on your wall!

From the official Facebook Blog:

Review tags before they go on your profile
Now you can choose to approve or reject photos and other posts people tag you in before they appear on your profile. To turn this on, go to the Manage How Tags Work section of your privacy settings and turn on Profile Review.

For businesses, you’ll notice now that on many sites, when you want to share a page or an article etc, you have a whole new set of options to share to. You can share to your personal profile, a friend’s wall, in a private message, or even to any of your pages. You also can choose whom you’d like the message to go to. If you’ve been using Facebook groups you’ll have those, but also can even post to geographic region on a page.

Two major Facebook API Platform Policies were also removed from documentation:

FPP IV.4: You must provide users with an easily identifiable “skip” option whenever you present users with an option to use a Facebook social channel.

FPP IV.5: You must not provide users with the option to publish more than one Stream story at a time.

In plain English FPP IV.4 means that before any app was allowed to publish something to your wall it needed your permission. Now you are giving that permission upfront.

IV.5 is a huge #WIN for anyone who manages a page. Now you have the ability to share to a page directly from a 3rd Party site etc. I’ve found this most successful on Youtube lately, as when I just copy and paste links I don’t get the nice preview so fans can play the video within the wall.
From Facebook:

Publishing multiple Stream stories via a single share option can be an effective tool in enabling communication among friends and creating a more natural sharing flow for the user. Examples of positive use cases are enabling users to share gift cards, events, and concert tickets that they have purchased for more than one friend, without requiring the user to click on multiple share options.


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