The 2nd Annual Big Gamey’s: My Awards for Super Bowl Commercials. Again.

big_gameyWelcome back to the Big Gameys – where the awards are made up and the points don’t matter. For the 2nd year of my awards, I’ve got some repeat categories mixed in with some new ones. Let’s do this.

Oreo Lights Out Award: Totino’s Live Tweeting the Super Bowl…a Day Early

The real time social media engagement inaugurated by this award’s namesake is now common place. It’s harder to have that breakthrough tweet, vine, snap with everyone doing it now (link to monster). So Totino’s delivered their realtime campaign before anyone else could, on the day before the game. The ridiculously #sparts mocking campaign was pretty clever, my only knock was that (gross generalization warning) mostly sports mind males eat Totino’s products, so coming across as not knowing football seems a little off brand. But still, it was unique.

Runner Up: Monster “Congratulations Seattle!

What the Heck Just Happened? Award: Nationwide “Make Safe Happen”

So much has been said already about where they went astray. It wasn’t the message, it was the messenger. We can debate how altruistic Nationwide’s intentions where (Hint: this backlash didn’t surprise them). What they could have done was made a PSA that was a little less sales pitchy or even a little less morbid. Adding a tagline to dead kids is just bad.

Runners Up: Loctite “#WinAtGlue

Troll Award: Chevy “Blackout”

Some may have missed it as it aired right before kickoff, but this was one of the rare ones that tried to sell something – Wi-Fi in a truck. So in a way it is a troll on two counts. Actually trying to sell something during the Super Bowl and making people think their cable just went our right before the game. It was timely, clever and tried to sell me something.

Runner Up: Budweiser bidding other brands keywords on twitter

Bourne Identity Crisis Award: Nationwide

They went from Mindy Kaling being invisible to that dead kid one. It doesn’t get much more polar opposite than that. The Mindy commercial was ok, but was completely overshadowed by the dead kid one.  Mindy’s ad hence became a waste which is unfortunate because it was the only one that delivered the brand message.

The Budweiser Puppy Overrated Award: Budweiser “Lost Dog”

The Budweiser puppy wins 2nd year in a row – first repeat award so I named it after him/her.  The cute, cuddly canine wins this year for the same reasons as last, so I’ll just copy what I said last year:

“I know why people like this commercial – the warm fuzzies. I get that Budweiser was telling a ‘buds’ story utilizing their iconic Clydesdales. But the horse took a back seat to the dog (as cute as it may have been). The ad is receiving attention for reasons other than the product or the brand. In contrast, last year’s [2013] ad featuring the Clydesdale and its trainer told a similar story, but with more brand-centric warm fuzzies.”

Tried Too Hard to be Cool Award: Nissan “With Dad”

Cool this year were emotions and dads. Nissan went heavy on both and whiffed. The commercial had a breakneck pace which made the story hard to get. Only thing help me grasp the story was the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” playing in the background- which as several have pointed out, may not have been the best choice.

Runner Up: Toyota

Newcastle Best Campaign by a Non-Super Bowl Advertiser Award: Newcastle “Band of Brands”

Once again this award’s namesake created an elaborate marketing campaign around the Super Bowl without being an official advertiser. Last year’s target was the hype and epic quality of Super Bowl ads. This year, the target was more specific – Doritos popular “Crash the Super Bowl” ad crowdsourcing campaign. For the “Band of Brands,” the beer brand used Aubrey Plaza to pitch the idea of several brands pulling their money to create an ad with all of them in it. A total of 37 took Newcastle up on their offer. The idea and Plaza both fit Newcastle’s “No Bollucks” brand. See the whole campaign at www.newcastlebandofbrands.com.

Runners up: Totino’s

Best Laugh Award: Snickers “The Brady Bunch”

Not as many to choose from this year’s somber bowl. Snickers took their popular “you’re not you when you’re hungry” ads up a notch with Danny Trejo as Marsha Brady. It was weird, but probably accurate. They then topped it off with a Steve Buscemi as Jan zinger.

Runner up: Fiat “Blue Pill

Haters Gonna Hate Award: GoDaddy “Working”

GoDaddy had to scramble after its original ad had been pulled, and as many critics pointed out, it showed. In a vacuum, it’s a great ad. It empathizes with a key target audience – those small business owners, working when others are partying. While it was a little underwhelming for the spectacle of the Super Bowl, it is still a great ad.

Best Rip-off of Another Super Bowl Advertiser Award:  Esurance

I liked the concept even though Snickers sorta has done the same thing for awhile now and did it in the Super Bowl. In a vacuum, it’s a great concept that makes a more logical point than the original. It also had pretty good star power. Sorta like Snickers.

Lost in Translation Award: Toyota

It’s hard to translate incredible feats of determined amputees to a car brand. Sorry, can’t do it. The people are inspirational. The shiny new Camry that they drive is not.

Warm Fuzzies Award: Always “Like a Girl”

Unusually large crop of ads this year that made you feel all kinds of feels. Dads. Puppies. Overcoming disabilities. Dead kids. As a dad of a daughter, “Like a Girl” takes the cake. Sure I’m biased, but everyone has different emotional triggers (puppy’s just don’t do it for me). The message is powerfully delivered and made me a little uncomfortable in a good way. Despite my feelings, it still falls into the doesn’t-really-sell-anything trap, but the cause is a natural fit (I don’t think you can get a much more feminine brand).

Best of Show: Mophie “All-Powerless”

It didn’t really strike me at first, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. I had never heard of the brand before, so that helped its cause here. It captures that feeling – as trivial as it may seem – that everyone gets when their phone dies. THE WORLD IS ENDING. It then introduces its product as a solution to a problem, which as I have said before, is a rarity in the Super Bowl.

Like I said before, my Super Bowl viewing was limited so tell me what I missed.

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Stop Whining about Facebook and Google Changes…Follow Their Lead Instead

Stop Whining about Facebook and Google Changes

Several weeks ago two internet superpowers – Facebook and Google – made changes to their user experience that made users happy and marketers cringe. The changes were indirectly directed at “marketing” tactics common to their services and part of both companies’ quest to bring more value to their users.

Marketers like myself wax poetic about delivering great products and customer experiences to build a strong brand. But heaven forbid Google or Facebook do the same thing and affect our marketing toolbox. It’s easy to get frustrated, but by taking a look at why these changes were made, we’ll understand and change-proof our marketing efforts. First let’s take a closer look at the changes.

Facebook’s Like-Gate

Facebook effectively killed the “Like-gate” – a practice where the brand forces a visitor to “Like” their brand page before they can access its content. It was a way to drive up Like numbers for a page and open up distribution for future content. From Facebook’s perspective (and mine after some thought), it created an unnecessary barrier for the Facebook user, negatively affecting their experience.

The reason marketers loved the like-gate is that those slightly cooked-up “like” numbers made it easy to look good on paper. Furthermore, often these like-gates were contests for prizes for liking the page, which begs the question, were the users “liking” the brand or the contest? Facebook wants a more honest approach from brands in order to deliver a more organic experience to its users.

Gmail Unsubscribe

Google stirred the pot by adding an “Unsubscribe” button to the top of emails in Gmail. Having an unsubscribe link in the email is a best practice and any good marketer has one in any promotional email, newsletters, etc. Those good marketers also bury those links in the fine print at the very bottom of the email. Gmail now moves that link right to the top.

While this change was met with seemingly less angst, the concern is obvious – subscriber numbers could go down. In realty though, if users click this unsubscribe button, they were already lost. Those emails were going unread and probably getting really annoying. Google just helped make that loss more official. While subscriber numbers may go down, open and click rate would theoretically increase with a more engaged list.

Watch and Learn

Google and Facebook are keeping marketers honest – honest in their numbers and interpretations of those numbers. Both companies want to deliver the best experience and content to their users. While these platforms will continue to evolve, that underlying principle will always be constant. By keeping that in mind, these and future changes can be counteracted and even rendered moot.

Google and Facebook are focused on making a product that users continually engage with. As technology changes, so do consumers’ needs and expectations. Staying on top of industry trends, addressing future needs and throwing in a little original innovation keeps users using the their platforms. That list applies to any product or service wanting to stay connected with their users, customers, fans, etc.

Google and Facebook are content delivery platforms designed to provide users with the best possible content. What is the best possible content? That depends on the audience, but it should be some combination of original, informative, entertaining and valuable. A consistent stream of quality content will drive anyone to click, like or subscribe more so than adding marketing-based walls and mildly questionable tactics.

In a convenient twist, all of these changes are made to boost Google’s and Facebook’s user and engagement numbers. They gather vast amounts of data that help them serve those marketers looking promote their brands. By gathering more honest data they are able to provide better value to marketers and watch the price of Google and Facebook stock go up.

The formula is simple. Focus on delivering an experience and content that users love and the number will go up. That is how you beat the change. Focus on what Google and Facebook are focusing on and the next time they make headlines for changes in their platforms, you won’t even blink.

 

photo credit: Jeremy Hiebert via flickr cc

Have You Put a Pool in Your Football Stadium Yet?

TFootball Splashhe Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League are in the midst of renovating their home stadium, EverBank Field. This renovation features the standard stadium upgrades like gigantic scoreboard screens, but it also includes one peculiar one: replacing 9,500 seats with a party deck featuring two swimming pools with cabanas. That’s right, swimming pools in a National Football League stadium.

Pools and other recreational amenities are not uncommon in minor league baseball stadiums across the country. Those teams are looking to create an experience to attract passive fans and the uninterested to come to games. So why would a team in arguably the most popular sport in the country need to resort to a gimmick like this?

Therein lies the marketing lesson.

Not All Markets are the Same

Many times renovations like this include adding seats for more tickets and revenue. This makes sense, as tickets to NFL games are typically a hot commodity and most games are sold out. The game itself is the attraction. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for the Jaguars, who have had to place tarps over thousands of seats in order to “sell out” games and avoid local TV blackouts. Here’s a quick assessment of the Jaguars’ situation:

  • Demographics – Of the 32 NFL teams, Jacksonville has the 4th smallest metropolitan area and the second highest population turnover rate in the country.
  • Lack of interest – The team has made the playoffs only twice since 2000 and has had just as many winning seasons in that time span. Losing seasons plague attendance of many NFL teams, but the effect is exponential when factoring in these other circumstances.
  • Lack of loyalty – The Jaguars are still a relatively young franchise in just their 20th season of existence. Most teams have existed for 50-80 years and have generations of loyal fans.

A stark contrast to the Jaguars’ plight is the Green Bay Packers, who play in the smallest metropolitan area in the NFL (and the other three major sports leagues). However, the Packers’ unique ownership structure has nurtured a profound connection with their hometown. The Packers have a storied history as one of the NFL’s founding franchises, including the most NFL championships (13) and numerous legendary coaches and players. All this leads to a diehard fans base that spans generations, packs the stadium every Sunday and would find pools in Lambeau Field sacrilegious (and really, really cold).

Jags stadium

Image: Jacksonville Jaguars

Adjusting the Experience

Jaguars fans were not going to help the team maximize their profitability as a football franchise. The organization saw that the standard fan experience of just enjoying the game was no longer cutting it in the Jacksonville market. Thousands of empty and tarped seats leave a lot of revenue on the table. The Jaguars needed a new approach to bring people, or more importantly, revenue into the stadium each Sunday.

“We’re targeting businesses who want to entertain some of their clients or even their own employees,” said Chad Johnson, the team’s senior vice president of sales in this ESPN article. “What we’ve built here you can’t get anywhere else.”

The team had to appeal to the people of Jacksonville, particularly the high earners and business leaders who weren’t necessarily Jaguars fans. The pools provide a unique and more lucrative fan experience for the team. I don’t know the math, but I’m guessing the projected revenue generated by these cabanas would be more than regular seats would bring in if they were full. It’s definitely more than empty seats.

While the pool is the biggest splash of the renovated stadium experience, there are other things that are being implemented to attract more than just Jaguars fans to the games. The team will broadcast NFL RedZone – the league’s exclusive, real-time highlights program – during games. Rather than focusing solely on the action on the field the team is providing a better experience for the casual fan. Fantasy football’s popularity may make this a standard practice in stadiums, so the Jaguars may be way ahead of the game day experience curve here.

With a small and unreliable pool of fans, Jacksonville is relying on those who are looking for a unique experience and not necessarily wanting to see a football game. With this party-like mindset, football is secondary to the experience. To compare, having a luxury suite at a Packers game (comparable to the pool package in Jacksonville) is a unique experience because of football. The game makes the experience, rather than the backdrop.

Playing to Win

With increasingly connected consumers who have everything available at their fingertips, owning your niche is important. Like any good marketer, you have to know what your audience wants, because they can and will get it somewhere. Larger corporations have used their consumer data to anticipate needs and deliver useful experiences. Consumers are used to being heard and expect a personalized or at the very least a local experience.

Just as the Jaguars are counting on a uniquely Jacksonville experience rather than a typical NFL game experience, your niche is looking for a uniquely “me” experience rather than an “everyone” experience. Find that niche, make them love you, and turn all of those connected consumers into an advantage as they communicate their experience with those looking for a similar one.

Competitors, fellow franchisees or nearby locations may all sell the same thing, but customers for the same product don’t always want or expect the same experience. A more granular understanding of your target markets will tell you if and where you need a standard game day experience or if you should shake it up with some swimming pools. Sure it may seem sacrilegious to the traditionalist in your industry, but you’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for the ones that pay your bills.

Dads Having Their Day in Advertising

Dads Having Their Day in AdvertisingThe typical American family is anything but typical these days and advertising is finally reflecting that. Brands are being lauded, and rightfully so, for their inclusion of more diverse family dynamics in their ads. While more drastic changes to the two white heterosexual parent households stereotype are grabbing attention, one family role is benefiting from these changes.

The capable dad.

Dads have long been the foil of mighty mom – the household managing, career-oriented and nurturing superwoman. Whether bumbling around the house, being gross or just plain lazy, dads just made life miserable for moms. But, thank goodness for product XYZ that made it easier for her to deal with this disaster.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the portrayal of super moms, because they are super without having a bumbling or disinterested dad. However, advertisers have mere seconds to connect emotional with their audience and deliver their message, so gross exaggeration and stereotypes are a necessary evil at times. Household products were the worst offenders, but dads are now being wooed by those very brands that once ridiculed them.

For too long advertisers relied on the ideal nuclear family of generations’ past – mom the homemaker, dad the breadwinner and the 2.5 kids. With more awareness of other family structures – single parents, breadwinning moms, stay at home dads, gay parents, interracial couples, advertisers are catching up with the changes in the family dynamic.

With an economy that demands both parents work and more women careers and motherhood, this generation of moms and dads are teaming up more on household chores and parenting. The idea of the bumbling male of the house doesn’t resonate with moms anymore. They wouldn’t trust that bumbling guy with grocery shopping, cleaning the house and watching the kids.

As a result, dads are also more involved in household shopping, which used to be dominated by the mom, hence the unflattering portrayals. Take a look at the numbers from a 2011 Yahoo! study on dad’s responsibilities in the house:

  • 51% are responsible for grocery shopping
  • 41% are responsible for the laundry
  • 40% are responsible for the house cleaning
  • 39% are responsible for the cooking
  • 60% for CPG products
  • 55% for personal care products
  • 54% for home goods
  • 43% for child and baby products

I was unable to find numbers from years past to compare, but it’s a safe bet that they would be smaller.

Speaking of numbers, one daddy blogger tracked what he called Dad-Bias in 140 commercials from 2013 that featured dads. He gave 60% of those commercials a good or mostly good rating compared to 20% bad and mostly bad with the remain 20% receiving a neutral rating. Not bad.

This may not the biggest stereotyping sin that advertising has perpetrated. The more favorable view of fathers may not the most heralded change in the portrayal of today’s families. But for this dad and son of a very capable dad, it is a welcome change.

To close, here a few of the better portrayals of fatherhood in advertising.

This Tide ad epitomizes this shift with dad doing a “mom” job well –

Transition into fatherhood

Dad the protector

Dad teaching important life lessons

One of the most accurate portrayals of mom and dad –

(Full disclosure: I have been a dad for 7 awesome months and after doing my share of diapers, bottles, baths and sleepless nights, I may be a little more sensitive to the portrayal of dads. Case in point: some of those ads above now make me man-cry. A little.)

Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ is a Magnificent Example of Recycling Content

Disney's ‘Maleficent’ is a Magnificent Example of Recycling Content

Photo: Disney

Some stories may be timeless, but telling them the same way over and over again gets old. Disney’s latest box office hit, Maleficent, is a retelling of the classic story, and equally classic Disney movie, Sleeping Beauty. The twist is that this story is told from the point of view of Maleficent, the title character and villain of the original Sleeping Beauty movie.

Most of us have heard the story and seen the movie. Disney (probably) has squeezed every last drop of profitability out of that story through home video/DVD sales, merchandising, etc. Disney took a film and property it has owned for decades, repurposed it and created a brand new property to generate revenue from.

Not only is the new movie doing well (Maleficent earned $170 million worldwide on its opening weekend), but it has opened up new lines of merchandise and future home movie sales. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the original Sleeping Beauty property received a revenue boost too. It is a magnificent example of recycling content.

Your Sleeping Beauties

Eventually, marketing content reaches maxes out its value or is just forgotten. Those old blog posts, presentations and other content had a good run, but now they are just sitting around on your website or in your archives. What do you have sleeping that could be woken up and retooled to drive addition inbound traffic?

Like Sleeping Beauty, your old content can be recycled and repurposed to squeeze extra value from it.  This seemingly fresh content is ready to deliver more inbound traffic from new followers who may not have seen it yet or current ones who forgot about it. Don’t worry about repetitiveness. Marketing content has a short shelf life and you are (hopefully) continuing to add to new eyeballs your following.

Recycling content generally takes less time to publish, so it can help cover busy seasons when content creators may have other priorities. This should not replace original content’s place on an editorial calendar, just fill in a gap or supplement your current content marketing efforts. Just use caution as people will soon pick up on laziness and go elsewhere for original thought.

Wake ‘Em Up

Here are few ways that I have woken up sleeping content:

  • Combine a series of blog posts on a particular subject into a white paper
  • Convert a white paper into a webinar
  • Turn an old presentation into a blog post
  • Redistribute individual parts of larger campaigns as stand-alone pieces
  • Republish old blog posts with updated statistics and analysis
  • Publish case studies as blog posts

And finally, here are a few content recycling tips from the pros at the Content Marketing Institute

Content Recycling: A to Z

5 Great Starting Points for a Content Recycling Program

Bonus:
To get the full affect of Disney’s recycling of Sleeping Beauty into Maleficent, here are the trailers for both movies.

 

 

Why Brands are Bummed About Facebook Reach…or Lack Thereof

Why Brands are Bummed About Facebook ReachEveryone should have seen it coming when Facebook went public. Even though “It’s free and always will be,” Facebook was going to have to make money. The clock was ticking.

Brands began seeing the reach of their posts dwindle until Facebook finally said brands will have to pay to be seen. Facebook was gaming its own system to force brands to pay. It seems shady – like “here’s a free one to get you hooked and after that, it’s going to cost you” shady. Many (myself included) who were sold on the premise of free felt like they had been had.

Facebook was supposed to be different.

Facebook and marketers, gurus and other experts promised brands a new way to connect to consumers, customers and fans. People would invite brands into their Newsfeeds, talk about the brand, and share branded content with their friends. This unprecedented level of engagement would challenge the effectiveness of traditional advertising. And, it was mostly free.

Now Facebook has turned into one of those traditional advertising platforms it was supposed to challenge. The obvious culprit is Facebook becoming a public company, but others are pointing to a flawed promise of engagement and disruption. Sure, promoted posts may not look like ads in the traditional sense, but brands are paying to deliver a message in a specific medium. Sounds like a dictionary definition of advertising.

Ads on Facebook and social media aren’t new. Most major platforms have some sort of promoted unit that advertisers can use insert their content into a user’s feed, often to those who do not follow the brand. Facebook is different because it uses an algorithm to determine what each individual user sees in their feed rather than everything from everyone that they like or follow.

Facebook’s priority is its 1.19 billion users, specifically, the data these users create as they interact on the platform. Inhibiting brand content from users so that they see more of what they want, keeps users on the platform and creating data. As a result, Facebook is armed with a data goldmine that is too enticing to ignore, even by those that are miffed about the new price tag.

Time to Eat Our Vegetables

The reality is that brands now have to work harder and spend even more to reach their followers. As Unmarketing author Scott Stratten explains it, we’ve been living in Facebook’s house for free and now the rent is due. (Watch his Facebook rant below). While I have to agree with his point, I still don’t like it.

Facebook has opened a new door in social media advertising. It will be interesting (and probably annoying) to see if other platforms find ways to game their systems. We’ll be bummed, but we should see it coming.

(Careful, contains a few nsfw words)

Pros and Cons of Samsung’s Selfie Stunts

Samsung selfies

It was the selfie seen around the world.

Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie took the internet by storm, setting a record for most retweets. It was one of those great cultural moments shared by nearly everyone thanks to everyone. Then Samsung, whose device was used to capture the moment, claimed that they were behind it.

Several weeks later, President Obama hosted the World Champion Boston Red Sox at the White House. Slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz took a selfie with the President on his Samsung device that grabbed social media’s attention as a special moment. It was later revealed that Ortiz had signed an “social insider” deal with Samsung a few weeks before and again the company again branded a seemingly spontaneous event.

Samsung strategically and creatively capitalized on the selfie trend. It was a bold, clever move to place its devices in the hands of celebrities and leverage personal (or seemingly personal) content to promote the brand. As with any bold move though, there is backlash. For all of the pros, there are cons.

Pro: Owning a moment

With a constant cycle of information and entertainment, creating a moment that causes people to pause and say ‘hey look at that’ is the goal of every social media marketer. Those moments are usually personal in nature and rarely happen with brands attached to them. Samsung created an exception by capitalizing on moments created by celebrities using the company’s devices. The company created cultural significance for themselves, which is necessary in their quest against the cultural icon that is Apple. By utilizing selfies – a cultural phenomenon themselves – the company created instantly relevant and relatable content. With the personal nature of selfies, this content created a stronger personal connection between the celebrity, the audience and Samsung.

Con: Ruining the moment

“Pix or it didn’t happen.” Nowadays, amazing personal moments or encounters are verified on social media by snapping a selfie or just a normal picture. This social proof is taken at face value as authentic. Now that authenticity is somewhat tainted when it comes to brands on social media. Samsung has seemingly hijacked special moments via selfies. People and brands around large events and potential cultural moments will have a heightened awareness for selfie seeking brands. The steps taken will ruin the experience for the average person looking to verify their place in the moment with a selfie. For instance, the White House now seems to be prohibiting people from taking selfies with the President. Sorry Olympians.

Conan's White House Selfie Joke

Pro: A New Level of Celebrity Endorsement

Samsung has been going after Apple’s “it” status for the past couple years by going after Apple fans and head to head comparisons. With the selfies, they are trying to knock the iPhone from its status symbol status by trying to transfer some of that celebrity status to its brand. Plus, celebrities tend to hang around other and sometimes bigger, celebrities who can grab more attention for the brand.

These “social insiders,” armed Samsung devices, documented these moments and provided the company with original and unique content. The selfies provided a level of authenticity to the endorsement with proof that the celebrities actually use the devices. Some may still be skeptical about the authenticity, but everyone knows that Ellen and “Big Papi” weren’t using iPhones.

Con: Celebrities May be Gun Shy with Selfies Now

Usually these guerrilla tactics are used on average people, who, assuming a positive experience, will allow use of their likeness after the fact. But Samsung is using well known celebrities whose likeness is more guarded and in most instances, their paycheck. Their personal brand is now tied to Samsung whether they like it or not. It will be interesting to see what legal issues come from this.

Will unsuspecting celebrities sue Samsung for unauthorized use of their likeness? Athletics could be particular interesting. Say a Nike sponsored athlete takes a selfie with an Adidas sponsored athlete back stage at the ESPY’s and Nike pulls a Samsung. Are there consequences for the Adidas athlete for essentially appearing in a Nike ad? I have a feeling that those who sign these “social insider” contracts will start to include boundaries.

Pro: Better engagement

Samsung was able to insert itself into big events in a very personal way through these selfies. By combining tactics like real-time marketing, product placement, celebrity endorsement and social media they created connections between people, an event and the brand in a way no other brand has before.

Selfies are personal. Spontaneity, imperfections and moments make them that way. Samsung’s use of selfies was in stark contrast to carefully planned and measured photos and posts normally delivered by brands on social media. They were able to add an additional layer of humanity to their social engagement and people responded.

Con: Further Infiltration from Advertisers Into Daily Lives

“Nothing is sacred anymore” is the typical response to an advertising first like this. People are leery of brand engagement on social media and see it as an invasion of seemingly personal space. Samsung’s stunts take that angst a bit further by turning something very personal – the selfie – and cheapening it. Another seemingly spontaneous cool event turned out to be another advertising stunt.

Our devices have become completely integrated with our daily life, new boundaries will be discovered as advertisers look to take advantage. Advertisers have always looked for ways to be seen by their customers and maintain relevance. That will never change despite people’s best efforts. As technology expands and new trends emerge, so will advertisers’ desire to be a part of it. People just won’t like it.

Now What?

People in business and marketing circles will continue to debate the how much of this was spontaneous or manufactured. No one will debate that Samsung touched on something with this tactic. They discovered a new boundary to cross and no one is quite sure what happens next. It’ll be interesting, and a bit messy.