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February 2011

Offer Fan-Gated Contests & Offers on Facebook With Offerpop!


Social media marketing software company Offerpop unveiled a new set of Facebook applications in January, including Tug of War, Photo Contest, and Exclusive. These tools are all focused on giving users the ability to share content, comment on a product, or share opinions through polls.

Tug of War: Allows for interactive games and two-way polls where users choose a “side” by commenting under their choice. The vote gets posted for other participants and their friends to see.

Photo Contest: Fans can share, review and vote on photo (again by commenting). It’s designed more for fan-sourcing content, talent searches and giveaways.

Exclusive: Gives marketers the chance o share fan-gated offers or content, or enable private sales for fans – all in a tab on their company’s fan page. When a user clicks “Like” they can unlock the offer!

And two new apps!

Fan Faves: Allows marketers to set up and run contests where fans vote for their favorite photo and/or YouTube videos from a list that they curate. Like other Offerpop apps, the campaign can be fan-gated and you can tie in products details or offers.

Sign Up: Makes it easy to set up a custom registration form that fans fill out and submit. Ideal for running sweepstakes, contest or giveaways where you want to capture user information, get more leads and email opt-ins. Reports include a downloadable excel spreadsheet with all form submission data.

One company that saw results using Offerpop with the first use of the Photo Contest app after launch, was Huddle for Haiti – a Canadian Football League Players, Association (CFLPA), WestJet and Oxfam Canada sponsored initiative that drives awareness and support for Haiti relief.

Huddle for Haiti organizers set up a Facebook fan page to act as the “hub” information that would inform audiences about their journey, drive awareness about the continuous need for aide, and engage people to share in the spirit of good will,” said organizer Tammy Robert.

The Huddle for Haiti team was looking for a new social marketing tool to engage and grow their Facebook fan base, and draw attention to the cause via a themed contest. Powered by Offerpop, the Get in the Huddle photo contest allowed fans to share their volunteer stories and photos, and then vote for their favorite entries simply by commenting. The contest was fan-gated, something that was important to the organizers and has helped to increase Huddle for Haiti’s fan numbers. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, the fan base doubled, and within just four days the photo contest had generated over 1,000 votes from fans, and helped to boost traffic to the Huddle for Haiti page by 120%!

Do you have news to share, a social media tip, or exclusive scoop on a new website launch? Send us your information and/or press release to be considered!

Do We Have To Go Back To The Future For Good Customer Service?


… by Judy Helfand

A little background:
Right out of the gate I admit I have never seen any part of the Back to the Future trilogy. Not one. If you asked me a Trivial Pursuit question about this series I would not know the answer, except that I do know the main character was played by Michael J. Fox. But it was not until last evening that I learned the name of the main character: Marty McFly! If any of you are wondering why I missed this trilogy here you go: From 1985 – 1990 I was raising two little boys, serving as a Vice President for a major New England bank and (with my husband) owning and operating a country inn, focusing on providing good customer service to build repeat business. More importantly, I don’t care for science fiction!

Now let’s talk about Super Bowl:

Did you watch the Super Bowl? Did you follow or participate in tweeting #brandbowl or #superbowl? I watched for the “show”: I like to hear our National Anthem, I like the Honor Guard, I like watching the commercials, and usually half-time offers memorable performances. I don’t live in an NFL city and the last Super Bowl team I really rooted for was my hometown San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. But today I want to talk about one of the commercials from Super Bowl XLV.

Can you guess which one? If you picked CarMax’s Back to the Future parody, then you are correct. But you know what? I think I might be one of a small minority that didn’t even realize this ad was a take-off of the Back to the Future’s Marty McFly character. Watch it here.

Do you know Good Customer Service when you see it?

When I watched this CarMax’s ad I didn’t think about Marty McFly (but of course, I didn’t even know about Marty McFly) I thought about what life was like when my own father owned a Service Station from 1955-1963. I thought about the first blog post I wrote in August 2007 SMO – The Old Fashioned Way. You see the keyword is Service. These were not just filling stations or gas stations, they were Service Stations. You felt comfortable when you pulled in, someone was going to help you with gas, air, water, oil, directions, a cold drink, clean your windows and provide a clean bathroom. You had your favorite service stations and the attendant probably knew your name.

What caught my attention in the CarMax ad is that the young Marty didn’t know what to make of all the service he was receiving and he didn’t trust what he was seeing. He was actually frightened. It is a funny little commercial, but the CarMax message is strong ‘At CarMax we believe that Customer Service shouldn’t be a thing of the past!’ That may be, but how many of us are like Marty? Do you know good customer service when you see it?

My father taught me about customer service. I have followed his example over the years with my customers/clients/guests and just yesterday I had a teleconference planned with a potential client. I was to call him at 11:00AM. I did. He answered the phone and after I introduced myself he immediately said: “I can’t believe it, you called me right on time!”

I know we are all pretty adept at tweeting and blogging when we don’t like something a company has done or not done (think Kenneth Cole or GROUPON™). Maybe part of the problem in our current business environment is that even though companies can communicate with potential customers using all the latest ‘tools’, it does not follow that those potential customers have the ability to recognize good customer service even when they see it. What tools do you use both as a provider and as a consumer?

Let me know what you think? Do you know good service when you see it?

Judy Helfand is an owner of Webconsuls, LLC., functioning as a Project Manager. She has worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies in both the banking and insurance industry and she has succesfully owned and operated two small businesses. Judy’s personal blog is Judy’s Op-Ed and she also writes and manages Webconsuls’ Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @judyhelfand.

Overheard on #Blogchat: Can Readers Find You? (@thekrg)


Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This Week’s Theme: Blog Design

During this week’s #blogchat discussion, we talked about everything from blogrolls to whitespace. One of the subjects that came up again and again was what elements to include on your site (especially on the sidebar) and what elements to leave off. Said one tweeter:

thekrg: Social media contacts are a must for me.

Back in December, I compiled the 12 Days of Blogging mostly by clicking from site to site. I visiting blogs from BlogWorld speakers, blogs that respected IM/blogging bloggers recommended, blogs people were promoting on Twitter, and blogs I just thought might be cool. In the end, I included posts from over 100 bloggers. Of those hundred bloggers, I found Twitter information for all but one or two, and I would estimate that at least 95% were active accounts (i.e., used regularly). I’m willing to bet that almost all of these bloggers are also on Twitter, and many are on LinkedIn and other social networking sites as well.

But not everyone made this information easily available. In fact, I’d say that I had to actively hunt for social networking information from about 25% of the bloggers that were included in the ebook.

That’s way too many people who aren’t making it easy enough for readers to find them.

This isn’t about promoting yourself even more or something. I mean, it can be – having more followers on Twitter, more “likes” on Facebook, and so forth…those are definitely good things. But more importantly, this is about recognizing that not everybody wants to contact you in the same way.

I’m a fan of email, for example. I will freely give my Skype information to anyone wanting a chat or phone call as well, and I reply to comments as needed. As much as I’m a fan of email, though, I’m finding it more and more convenient to reach people on Twitter or Facebook. Twitter is nice because it’s a quick and instant way to contact someone with a single question. It’s almost like chatting via an IM platform, but without the need to have an entire conversation. Perfect for someone who is busy. Facebook is another great tool, since it allows you to connect with someone in a more public way if you want, as well as invite them to events or send private messages. LinkedIn is another awesome social network for communication – if I’ve worked with someone in the past, I can send out a recommendation.

If you don’t include your social network information on your site, people can’t do those things. Frankly, sometimes I’m too lazy to open up my email. If I can’t quickly find someone’s Twitter information, I just thing, “meh, maybe I’ll catch them later” unless the question/comment was really pressing.

That’s not a good thing. The buzzword right now is engage, and you can’t do that if you don’t give your readers options for connecting with you. Not everyone likes the same things you do.

Is it a must to have Twitter/Facebook/etc. information on your sidebar? Although I think that’s the most convenience option, I wouldn’t say it’s a must. If you’re going for a minimalist look, you can also put this information at the bottom of your posts, one your About page or on your Contacts page. I recommend having it several places. Just where you want to place it on your blog depends on your niche and overall design.

But make sure you include it somewhere. If you expect to make money from your readers, give them several contact options!

Thanks, @thekrg, for a great tweet!

Oprah: “Know Your Viewer”


This morning, MSNBC was on the television in the background as I was doing some work, and Oprah was one of the guests on Morning Joe. I wasn’t really paying attention to the interview, but I did catch something that she said that made me want to shout, “YES!” She was talking about why she became so successful and why she has been so successful for so long. I didn’t jot it down word for word, but it essentially boiled down to this:

Oprah is her audience. More so than even her produces or other staff members, she is able to put herself in the shoes of her audience members, so she can give them what they want. Above all, if you want to be successful, you have to know your viewer.

Pretty good advice, right? I would go a step farther and say that you have to be your viewer (or, in the case of bloggers, reader). If you wouldn’t read your content, if you find it boring and repetitive, if you are left with feelings of “meh,” why should anyone else care?

For a long time, one of the mistakes I made as a blogger was that I tried to emulate other successful blogs, even though these were blogs that I didn’t necessarily read for whatever reason. I wrote posts that were certainly informative and sometimes even interesting, but they lacked passion and style – and that showed. I wasn’t interested in being a member of my own community, so others weren’t really interested either.

So I took a good look at my blog and thought, “What would I want to read if I came to this blog?” And I started writing that, even though it was personal and goofy and unlike what a lot of the more successful blogs in my niche were doing, I’ve seen more growth since taking this approach in a month than I had in the six months prior combined. I became a member of my audience, and suddenly, I actually had an audience.

I think this can be difficult to do, since what is most relevant in our own lives is…well…our own lives. Sometimes, bloggers tend to get too personal. This is where I think Oprah reigns it in well where other talk show hosts *cough*Tyra-Banks*cough* fail. Oprah does tell her personal story when relevant, but she doesn’t lose site of the point of her show – to help the viewer and guests. She doesn’t just get up on a stage every day and talk about her herself. If you want to do that, have a hobby blog. But on your tech blog or your political blog or your fashion blog, we don’t need to know that your kid is sick and you’re planning on having tuna for lunch. Otherwise, you may be a member of your own audience, but you’ll be the only member!

Still, it pays to take some time to read your own blog and ask yourself this question: “If I didn’t write this, would I be a regular reader?” It’s a hard question to answer sometimes, because we don’t want to admit that the answer is no. Think about how successful Oprah has become, though. She might not be a blogger, but she certainly understands community and building a following. If her biggest piece of advice for success is “become a member of your own audience,” I’m going to take it!

Photo: Alan Light

14 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Blogging Platforms


Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts here.

Want to be a BlogWorld Brilliant Blogger? Scroll to the end to find out how to submit your post for an upcoming edition!

This Week’s Topic: WordPress Vs. Other Blogging Platforms

Although I’ve used other platforms in the past, I’m firmly a WordPress girl. Most of the bloggers out there who are making an income from blogging use WordPress, and in my opinion, it’s really the best way to go if you’re a serious blogger. Others disagree with me, for various reasons. Today, we’ll look at some brilliant comparisons of WordPress and other blogging platforms so that you can make a decision about which tool to use.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Blogging platform of the year 2010: Blogger or WordPress? by Andrew Paul

This is an awesome post if you’re interested in blogging but aren’t yet sure if you want to do it as a business instead of just a hobby. In this post, Andrew compares the free versions of Blogger and WordPress, and although your URL won’t be as pretty, it gives you the chance to start out blogging without paying for your own domain name and hosting. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewpaul123.

WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal by Tim Stiffler-Dean

Tim’s post is an oldie but goodie. He leaves Blogger (as well as Typepad, Squarespace, and some other CMSs) out of the conversation, and focuses on three popular choices for bloggers. Some of the information is outdated at this point, but I think he does an awesome job at giving the pros and cons of each platform. Follow Tim on Twitter @anotherguy. (Hat tip to @JoshuaTitsworth for sending me this link!)

How did WordPress win? by Byrne Reese

While this post specifically compares WordPress to Movable Type, I think it makes a lot of great points that are relevant when comparing WordPress to any other CMS out there. There are a lot of great comments on this post as well, so check it out, and then follow Byrne on Twitter @byrnereese.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Next Week’s Topic: Blogrolls and Link Love

Want your post included? Simple head to Blog Carnival and upload your link. Remember, only posts about this topic will be accepted. If you have another brilliant post, save it for a topic that better fits the post! Submissions will be accepted until February 16, 2011 at noon. Deadline pass already? Head to Blog Carnival and look under “about this edition” to find the current topic!

Facebook Pages Get a Facelift


Facebook started rolling out newly designed Facebook Pages today – making them look like the newly enhanced user profiles. Here’s the rundown of new features:

  • New Layout:
    The old tabbed navigation has been moved to the left and the right hand side showcases the page’s administration plus a section to show how a fan how many of their friends have also liked the page. The “Information” box is now gone (just like it got removed in the profile pages) but you can now incorporate information about your brand at the top of the page under the main title.

  • Photos:
    Like the new profiles, Facebook Pages now feature images at the top of the page. It will be interesting to see how creative companies get with this layout.

  • Wall Filters:
    Pages now have the option to show new readers the most interesting posts on the page – instead of the standard posts ‘by page’ or ‘posts by everyone’.

  • Logging in as Your Page:
    This is probably my favorite feature. You can now login to Facebook as your Page – so you can interact with other Facebook members as your page, not your individual self! You don’t have all rights (no ability to post on a user’s wall or comment) but it’s still a great addition.

Want to upgrade your pages today? Head over here to activate the new look!

Do you like the changes? Now that I’m used to the new profiles, I think these are an improvement. I just wish they’d go back and add the custom information at the top of the profiles too!

Social Media Automation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


During the entire month of February, BlogWorld and Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner have come together to bring you Blogging Success Summit 2011, which is like a miniature virtually BlogWorld. When I read over the list of presenters, I separated them into two categories in my head – speakers that I needed to see (ok, “listen to” since it’s virtual) live and those that could wait, where I could just watch the recordings later if I get the chance.

Mari Smith was 100% on my “gotta see it live” list.

For those of you who don’t know Mari, she’s pretty much the queen of Facebook. I’m more of a Twitter girl myself, but as much as I tweet, I don’t know half or even a tenth about Twitter as Mari knows about how to use Facebook if you’re a blogger or marketer. the presentation left my head spinning because of all the awesome information, but one of the strongest take-away messages, in my opinion, was this: Before you automatically update, really think about whether or not it is a good choice.

Whenever someone says automation in regards to social media, we all kind of have this knee-jerk reaction to say, “AH! NO! BAD!” but the truth is that most of us use at least a little automation to help us out. And that can be ok – if 1) it makes sense for the platform and 2) most of what you do is not automated. It’s called social media, not robot media.

Good Social Media Automation

Social media automation can be good if you do it sparingly. Whenever you write a blog post, you have two choices if you want to promote it. First, you can update all of your profiles manually. This takes a lot of time, even if you just concentrate or four or five platforms, but the payoff is that  you can add a personal message with the link. I’m a fan of services like Twitterfeed, to be honest. Instead of having to update manually, it pushes your link out for you. There are Facebook aps that do the same thing (which Mari talked about in her presentation).

I don’t mind them because part of the reason people are following me (and part of the reason I’m following them) is because I like to read what they write. I don’t mind if their blog automatically sends me the link or if they take the time to do it manually. The end result is the same: I get the link I want to read.

There are also services that tweet out random old links from your blog. I know a few people who have it set to tweet these links once or twice while they are sleeping, which I think it a great idea. It keeps you active around the clock for international fans and brings to light some posts that may have slipped through the cracks.

Bad Social Media Automation

Let’s talk about the dark side of social media automation – and yes, as you probably realize, it is really easy to go from Rebel to Empire when it comes to using any type of automation on social media sites. Twitter and Facebook will turn on you pretty quickly.

First, Mari made an excellent point during her presentation that I actually didn’t know. When  you update your Facebook page, whatever you post is given an “Edge Rank.” This is the likelihood that it will show up on the default news feed for your followers. Pictures and videos have a higher edge rank automatically, followed by links and then just regular posts. If you push your links out through an automated service, like the NetworkedBlogs ap, it will have a lower edge rank than posts pushed out manually. She recommends having an automated “blog” tab on your page, but posting to your wall manually.

With Twitter, there is no edge rank of course, but there is fatigue to consider. I know people who promote a new post 10+ times on the day it comes out, as well as several times over the week that follows. These bloggers often post several times every week and also use automation to tweet older posts, so that can translate to 20 or even 30 tweets a day, all pointing back to their own blog.

Often, these bloggers simply argue that “it works.” I have to ask this though – what are you measuring it against? That much automation might help you get a ton of traffic to your website, but if you lose one loyal but fed-up fan for every ten clicks you get, is it really worth it? Could you be growing faster without automation? Could something work better?

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or another social site, I don’t like to see more than three or four automated posts from you every day – and that’s if you are also saying a lot that isn’t automated too. If you have something that you really, really want to promote, start doing it manually. It tells me that your link is important to you when you set beyond automation.

Ugly Social Media Automation

We’ve all seen it: people who go overboard with automation. If you don’t have time for Facebook or Twitter, it is better not to use these sites at all than to give a half-assed automated attempt, at least in my opinion. The face of ugly social media automation can look different from person to person, and you might disagree with me (beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all), but here as some things I can’t stand seeing:

  • Auto-DMs: I think we can all agree that they are annoying, ineffective, and damaging to a tweeter’s reputation
  • Lack of Engaging Posts: If all your Facebook page or Twitter stream does is automatically send out your links, you’re probably just spinning your wheels.
  • Automation through a VA: Virtual assistants (VAs) can be awesome, especially to help you with social media, but it gets a little slimy, in my opinion, when they tweet as you because you’re too busy. It isn’t automation in the traditional sense, but it’s still weird and I don’t like it.

Ok, so what do you think of social media automation on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites? What’s acceptable? What makes your skin crawl?

Ask the Notables: Which Blog Would You Take Over?


Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring a series of “Ask the Notable” questions and answers – featuring some of the most notable talent in the blogging & social media space. This was originally going to be called “Ask the Expert” but due to previous comments, I’ll stick with notable!

These aren’t your typical (dry) questions, instead we’re going for humor and interest. And we consider YOUR answers to be notable too – so jump on in and answer the question with a comment below!

This week’s question … If you could take over any other blog, what one would you choose and why?

The responses (and not everyone responded to every question – so you may see some different people next week!) in alphabetical order:

C.C. Chapman
C.C. Chapman

Would it be inappropriate to say Fleshbot? *laugh*

Seriously though, I’d have different answers for different reasons, but I do think it would be fun to lead the team at sites like First Showings, Manolith or Lifehacker in order to have first access to all the information they do. That would be fun!

Chris Garrett

Hmm … either Problogger or Digital Photography School (because there’s a natural fit with topic and audience, plus they are profitable blogs!)

Jason Falls
Social Media Explorer

Probably The Onion‘s or the Tosh.0 blog. I like being funny but the business world forces me to be much more diplomatic than I prefer.

Jay Baer
Convince & Convert

DeadSpin or WineLibraryTV

Maggie Fox
Social Media Group

The Monkeys You Ordered because it is so incredibly funny and I’d like to pretend that I thought of it!

Zac Johnson

I think it would be fun to run a blog / web sites like ESPN or TMZ. It would be a completely different world than online marketing, and you’d be able to make some amazing contacts and always get hooked up with VIP passes and fun events!

Next Week: Is there anything about your blog design that matches your personality? (fonts, colors, header) and why?

5 Ideas To Fill Your Blog’s Editorial Calendar


… by Michele McGraw

There are days the ideas come fast and furious and other days, it just doesn’t happen. You know you should have an editorial calendar to help you blog consistently, but how do you fill the editorial calendar with ideas?

Blogging about timely subjects will also help your SEO. Here are a few ideas to keep your blog posts consistent and current.

  • Plan ahead for major holidays. We all know when the major holidays are during the year, but how do the holidays affect planning in your niche? If you are a craft blogger, you will need to think about your Valentine’s projects needs in advance of Valentine’s Day.
  • Check for special days in your niche. In addition to the holidays, there are special observance days and there are probably a few that you could celebrate in your niche. If you blog about coin collecting, you wouldn’t want to miss National Penny Day on May 23. MyDailyPlan-It.com lists holidays by day, week and month.
  • Search your niche keywords. Type in a few of the main keywords in your niche and see what shows up in Google, Bing or Yahoo. If nothing triggers ideas, try searching in Delicious, Diigo and StumbleUpon. For more current ideas, search news sites for your keywords.
  • Check book and movie release schedules. The release of new books or movies will often create discussions surrounding the movie or books topic. These topics may be in your niche. Instead of responding to the discussion, create the discussion. You can find release schedules for movies on ComingSoon.net. If you search Amazon for books in your niche and sort by “Publication Date,” you will see future book release dates. (While you are Amazon, look at book titles for ideas too.)
  • Look at your snail mailbox. Your magazines, junk mail and catalogs are a great resource for ideas. Retailers and publishers are always trying to be ahead of the trends and news.

Using the above ideas, you should be able to fill your editorial calendar for the year. Having the editorial calendar does not mean you MUST use that idea on that day, but when you need an idea, you will have it.

Where do you get your ideas?

Michele McGraw (@ScrappinMichele), a work-at-home mother of 4, can be found blogging about technology and digital scrapbooking at Scraps of My Geek Life

Image from Microsoft Image.

A Lesson In Branding and Buzz: Darth Vader Versus Groupon


The Super Bowl is more about branding than football these days. Not that I’m complaining – I laughed about the little Darth Vader kid just like the rest of you. I’m more of a Puppy Bowl girl than an NFL fan.

After the game is over, football fans go to sleep off the pizza/wing/beer binge and marketers start talking about the commercials. In fact, people everywhere are still talking about the commercials a few days later. The conversation seems to boil down to two points:

  1. Let’s talk about the funniest commercials, especially the little Darth Vader kid.
  2. Groupon’s commercials were horrendous.

Heck, I’m talking about those two points too. What was memorable? Who hurt their brand most?

But another question I think we need to ask is this: What will the end result be?

The entire point of a commercial is to raise awareness for your brand, hopefully in the positive light, so that you sell more. Funny commercials are usually memorable, so the Super Bowl is filled with them, but those aren’t the only kinds of commercials that can raise awareness for your brand. One campaign that sticks in my mind, for example, is Droid. (I didn’t see any Droid commercials during the Super Bowl, I just mean in general). They had a whole slew of weird alien/robot commercials last year that weren’t funny in the least, but they were certainly memorable. So commercials don’t have to be funny to be good.

Why, then, is there a push to make Super Bowl commercials funny? Because afterward, there are always ten billion people writing about and talking about which ones were funniest. You want your commercial to be part of those conversations so that it lives beyond its air time.

Except I wonder if that really matters. I’m starting to believe marketers need to think about branding and buzz a little differently.

Earlier today, I read an interesting post from Lawton Chiles called The Ugly Truth Behind the Darth Vader Superbowl Commercial (hat tip to @elijahryoung for tweeting the link). In this post, Lawton writes,

See how millions of folks are searching for the Darth Vader kid Superbowl commercial? Pretty nifty right? Seems like a lot of people are searching for that SPECIFIC video.

So, they watch the video, laugh, and then, move on. The fact is, I could not even remember what car company they were advertising. I’m sure 95% of the other folks looking for the commercial were in the same boat as me. I’m sure you were too, right?

What a great point. Does the Darth Vader commercial make you want to go out and buy that specific car? In actuality, no one is searching for that make and model of Volkswagen at all – and what did that commercial do to tell us about the car? It has a push-button start? Lots of cars have that these days. What in that commercial positively changed how I think of the Volkswagen brand? What in that commercial convinced me that I should buy this car over other cars I might be considering? At the end of the day, no one buys a car because the company had a funny commercial.

And as far as awareness goes? I’m more aware of that little kid, but I’m not really talking about Volkswagen. Like Lawton said, most people don’t even remember what car company was showcased in the commercial.

Not that brands shouldn’t have funny commercials. They can sometimes work. Doritos, for example, had some funny commercials that I think worked well to promote their brand. But we saw the same problem last year with Old Spice. While the Old Spice guy was hilarious and got a lot of buzz, sales for their Red Zone products – what he was actually promoting – actually fell.

I also saw an interesting tweet that I thought needed to be part of this conversation.

BobbyRettew: No offense…but those out there fussing bout Groupon Ad last night…they achieve their goal: Awareness. You are talking about #Groupon

Groupon offended me more than once during the Super Bowl, but Bobby is right – people are not only talking about the commercials, like with the Darth Vader kid, but they are actually talking about Groupon. Tons of brand awareness for that company. Even my mom, who is not an Internet person in the least, called me to ask what Groupon is exactly (she knew it had something to do with deals, and my mom can’t resist a coupon) and if she should sign up.

Of course, the flip side to this is that a lot of people are really upset with the Groupon ads, so they didn’t exactly raise brand awareness in a positive light. I think it will be interesting to see stats from the week after the Super Bowl for this company, but I predict that even with all the negativity and people boycotting, they’ll still have a spike in new users. Over time, those commercials might have a more damaging effect on their brand. Only time will tell I guess.

So the main question here, I think, is this: Who did a better job with branding and creating buzz? Volkswagen, a company with a commercial that has gone viral and is one of the highest-rated of the Super Bowl, but that created little brand or product awareness? Or Groupon, a company that pissed off a lot of people, but created tons of brand and product awareness?

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