Bing! Google’s done?

bing-logoEver since the launch of Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, I’ve heard nothing but reports that Google is on its way down and is worried about Microsoft’s increasing penetration (from 13.8% of search volume in the US to 16.7% – pre Bing to present). Marketingvox even went so far as to claim that Sergey Brin is ‘rattled’ at Google.

Before we stick a fork in Google, let’s not forget that Microsoft is running a widespread international mass media campaign for Bing, which may account for the 3% rise. Let’s give it six months, post-campaign, and see what happens then. You’ll probably be able to Google the results.

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What it means to be local

How many ad campaigns have you seen where the company in question claims to be ‘local’? And to prove it they say what we all hate to hear. They say: “We’re local.” Then they show a couple of pictures of people who may look like they’re from the area, but could be from any stock photography site.

If you’re going to push the local aspect in a campaign don’t say you’re local – BE LOCAL. Say and do things that would appeal to people who are local. i.e. speak to them in their language. More than that refer to things that only they’d understand.

We just launched a campaign for Vancouver Island Brewery for their Islander Beer. It’s really the Island’s beer (exclusively brewed here, sold here, etc.). But instead of telling consumers that it’s local, so buy it, we created some radio commercials that are meant to prove this beer is just for locals. Have a listen. But if you’re not from here, I don’t expect you to get them. After all, it’s a local thing.

My computer told me to get married

hunchEver wanted to leave an informed decision up to someone or something else? Enter Hunch, the latest web sensation from Caterina Fake (from Flickr fame). Hunch is a web tool that learns about you and your preferences and then delivers you quasi-relevant advice in return. I thought it was just another flaky web initiative until it recommended to me that I drive the car I’m currently driving. Unfortunately, it then recommended that I sell it to buy a wedding ring for my long-term girlfriend.

In any event, it’s fun and ruthlessly easy to use. And while you may not follow its advice, it does pose questions that do make you think more abut who you are and what you do believe in before you make tough decisions. And it’s open to anyone who wants to contribute to it.

So give it a shot. I got a hunch you won’t be disappointed.

Star in your own tourism video

Tourism Victoria - Place Your FaceAfter several months of video sourcing and programming, the Tourism Victoria – Place Your Face campaign has launched. The video allows visitors to the Tourism Victoria web site to upload a picture of themselves and a friend and star in a video postcard, starring themselves participating in a variety of fun activities in Victoria, including whale watching and bungee jumping.

This campaign was put together with the help of FaceInHole in Portugal.

I don’t care what your favorite movie is

transformers_movie_optimus_primeI’m a movie fan – always have been. So I signed up for Cineplex’s Scene Card, which entitles me to discounts on movies and concession items. I use it every time I go to the movies and appreciate the discounts. But what I’m learning in the process is that Cineplex (and by association, Scotiabank) don’t really care what movies I like to watch, and have a long way to go with respect to their CRM.

You’d think that by virtue of the personal information I gave both Cineplex and Scotiabank just to get the Scene Card and the data I give them every time I use my card, they’d be able to tailor offers to me. After all, isn’t that the power of a loyalty program?

It seems it isn’t at Cineplex. The latest offer they sent me was to win a trip to Hollywood if I go and see Transformers 2 or the new G.I Joe movie.

Hey guys, I’m 37, not 12.

But then, you know that already.

If anything, Cineplex should be finding a way to talk to me about The Hangover, which is in line with the genre I generally see (read: good movie). Instead, they figure Michael Bay is more my style, which is like serving hamburgers to an East Indian. So essentially, every time I get an offer from Cineplex, I don’t see the offer much as I see: “Hi Rodger, we don’t care what movies you like. Watch this!”

The worst part is that because Cineplex does such a poor job of targeting, I naturally assume that Scotiabank will do no better.

Perhaps next they’ll send me an application for a student loan.

Co-branding can really suck

minifangsIf you haven’t seen Digital Kitchen’s campaign for True Blood, HBO’s Vampire series, you’re in for a treat. They’ve created a series of mock ads with real companies (who have given up their brand and logo) to promote True Blood. The ads are great, but it begs the question: if you had the opportunity, would you allow your company to be a part of this co-branding venture? I guess it depends on what you stand for.

I’m NIKE – Update

Per my last post on impostors in social media, I just got word that Twitter is now verifying the identity of celebrities using their service. All impostors will have their accounts deleted immediately.

To read the Twitter blog post click here.