The Need for Paid Creativity Will Never Go Away

ideabulbsSometimes we let fear get to us and lose sight of one simple fact: As long as clients need to convince consumers to purchase their products and services, the ad industry will never disappear. Clients need creativity and are willing to pay if you can help them accomplish their goals.

From time to time a new technology comes along that convinces clients they don’t need your creativity anymore, so they cut back or let us go entirely. It’s a cycle that has happened time and time again, from the first shopkeeper who put up a painted sign to attract more business to the latest application of Facebook. Before long, though, everyone adopts the latest technology and the need for fresh creativity to distinguish themselves arises.

What is different this time? Many new technologies and tactics have hit the scene at the same time. It didn’t help that these tactics are often much less expensive than traditional media. Oh,we also hit the worst recession in more than 70 years. When the economy comes back, I think we’re going to see a rush back to creativity. When it does, it’ll do us well to concentrate  more on the message and less on the messenger.

I think we’re already seeing a dire need for creativity. The obligatory Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube page is already old hat (and often a necessity), but it’s not enough without significant creative backing to get interaction. I think marketers are starting to grow weary of the social media snake-oil salesmen. These outlets are important and will never go away, but we’re starting to see it’s just part of a much bigger picture.

Search will also be a permanent marketing fixture from now on, but it’s one thing to show up in a search, and it’s another to be convincing. Once seen as enemies, Google and Madison Ave. are working together to capture display-ad dollars (35% of Internet ad spending last year) and make a more cohesive experience for consumers.  Neilsen is in a relationship with Facebook and are proving to marketers the viability of display ads. The need for creativity is growing.

This industry will never be easy again. There will never be another television advertising business model. The best way to get a consumer to notice your brand will always be a moving target. Dare I say not every client is a candidate for a huge social-media campaign, just as every client doesn’t need a 30-second TV spot. It’s important to learn how to play in these new playgrounds, but we also need to stop trying to be experts in tactics and instead try to be experts in creativity, an unattainable but not unworthy goal.

Josh Fahey is a freelance copywriter with a passion for creating creative and strategic content and communications. Check out his website where you can find his blog, portfolio, and resume.  joshuawfahey@gmail.comor Twitter: @joshfahey

The Future of Entertainment and Advertising

I just finished watching a Twitter reality-show pitch, and I have to say, I’m interested. The reality show, @whoisthebaldguy, has viewers following him on Twitter and making suggestions on what he should do next. It’s a great concept and could be the wave of the future for entertainment, leaving traditional TV in the dust.

Facebook has had some similar shows broadcast, as well. The first made-for-Facebook series, Ashton Kutcher’s KatalystHQ, debuted in February, detailing the day-to-day events happening at Kutcher’s production firm, Katalyst Media.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the show is the traditional integration of products, such as Cheetos and Hot Pockets. According to an article on Real-Time Advertising Week, Kutcher opined that when product placement is done in funny and tasteful ways “people are happy to consume it.”

I can’t help but feel we are getting closer and closer to making a real-life version of The Truman Show.

Both of these new shows could signify the end of television as we know it and put advertising in a whole new, but good, ball game. Where will this lead us? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Megan Green is a freelance propagation planner who has had her work published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or at

Jobs and Accountability for All. Except HR?

HR copyI have been applying to various agencies, consulting firms, digital design houses, and the like, and one of the so-called Human Resources’ policies has moved on my “corporate irritation scale” from irk’d off to pissed off.  For the sake of this writing, I include only the personnel departments at advertising, marketing, online agencies, vendors, and companies as the places I’ve been focusing upon.

When did it become standard for HR Departments to determine  they need not respond to applicants? Doesn’t this seem a bit counterproductive, especially at a time when companies are refocusing their entire efforts on personalizing relationships, speaking to their audiences on a one-to-one basis?

Professional glut

meter-thumb2During the past year, many professionals have been let go, from  C-level executives on down. Thus, there’s been a glut of qualified pros searching. As a professional, when I fill out an application and submit my résumé (usually using Taleo or some other third-party vendor), a cover letter, and samples in a nice package, it’s  indicative I either know your company well and am an “enthusiast,”  or I’ve researched it enough to realize there’s strong potential for both parties to  match on various levels, creating a win-win situation.

Thus, I submit what’s  required when I apply at XYZ. Not two seconds later, I receive an e-mail stating that after review, if my qualifications are a match, I may hear from someone. Otherwise, due to the volume of applicants, I will not hear another word.  First off, this is not only rude, but belittling. I have 11 years experience, and if I qualify, you may contact me? I cut my chops. I have respected your requests, filled out your paper in addition to submitting my own, and you “may” get back to me? It’s at this point I regret applying, job or no job.

A week passes.

Follow-up is key (if you can)

I call the office switchboard. I’m dumped into the HR general voicemail. No once calls back. Knowing I already have no contacts within the organization, I try to figure out if there is another way to get past the wall of silence. I begin to dial the main number with a ploy to speak to the Marketing VP I just looked up on LinkedIn.

While waiting, I wonder what’s transpired. Is the job closed? How many applicants applied? Are they still accepting applications?  Was my résumé submitted correctly? Was there something that screamed out I was wrong for the position? Did I make it to the final first cut, only to be weeded out due to my salary requirements?

I leave a voicemail for the VP. After a couple weeks without contact, I make a note on my spreadsheet that no one ever responded and move on to another opportunity.

Social media

Surprisingly, I see a lot of HR people using social media, especially on LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs. To me, this states that HR departments are versed in basic social-media tenets:

  • Listen.
  • Ask questions.
  • Listen some more.
  • Initiate on-to-one communication.


HR departments use social media to recruit. Why then is it so difficult to get anyone to respond? Why do I have to call the VP of Marketing to get a response, knowing at this point my job hopes have just been shot down?

HR peeps I know say it’s due to the massive amount of résumés they receive, and they’re too busy.I have to say this is a cop out.

Everyone is busy, everyone does more with less, and times are tense. However, most people at a business (with one exception) cannot risk ignoring anyone who contacts them, especially in an industry as fickle as this one.

WWJD, or what would Jeff do? (the solution)

As HR is capable of using social media for recruiting, then why not use social media to keep job posts updated?
It’s efficient, simple, and effective. Set up a blog page with job updates. Send out Twitter updates that a position’s been filled. Write a Facebook App that will cross-reference a job number with a status update. Have a prerecorded job line that applicants can call to learn of any updates.

Problem Solved.

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or follow him on Twitter. As always, thanks for reading.

B-52’s, Headlights, or Jugs: Breast Cancer Org’s Target Men

rib1This post covers two of my favorite topics: Breasts and advertising. When they’re grouped together, it usually means a 30-minute Girls Gone Wild infomercial. However, this post actually covers a couple advertising efforts behind breast cancer awareness, which is nothing to joke about. While humor is used in writing, and can be seen in the TV spots, no disrespect, implied or otherwise, is intended. My prayers go out to all those who have been affected by breast cancer.

All men love breasts. Some love them secretly. Others wear t-shirts that shout out that they are “breast men.” Even men that don’t dig women are drawn to a woman’s chest…not sexually, but out of curiosity. (It’s a cruel society that labels a straight man as a stalker for staring at a woman’s assets for too long while a gay man has free reign to reach right out and grab a woman’s chest in public…)

Listaholic alphabetizes 138 different slang names for breasts, among them; whimwhams, muffins, kawangas, and dinglebobbers. Which proves that when men don’t understand something, they either rename it or make fun of it.

The truth of the matter is that we probably love breasts more than their owners;

We just don’t know why…

Which leads to an obvious question: Why haven’t men been involved in the fight against breast cancer from the beginning? Like a favorite bra, it’s a natural fit; breast-lovers attacking breast cancer. As you’ll read in a couple of seconds, a couple of organizations figured it out.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 500,000 people die every year as a result of breast cancer. It ranks as the second most common form of cancer, and it’s the 5th highest cause of cancer deaths.

The push towards early detection and education of breast cancer began in earnest in 1982, following the death of Susan G. Komen. Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977 and died three years later. Susan’s younger sister, Nancy, was the impetus behind the push; keeping a promise to her sister, she founded The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with the belief that education, early detection, and research would have saved Susan.

Now known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or simply Komen, the foundation has raised over $1.3 billion dollars for cancer research since inception and is the largest cancer charity in the world. On the global level, Komen has but one mission: To end breast cancer forever.

Spurred by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), two separate advertisers have launched PSAs that have expanded their target audience to include men, which is ingenious: Who thinks about breasts more than men?

Yoplait has just released, “Yoplait Pledge.” It makes fun of the fact that nicknames were given to breasts at some point (hmm).

The second awareness spot comes from ReThink Breast Cancer, a Toronto-based organization that addresses the breast cancer concerns of young people affected by the disease. Rethink is a volunteer organization that is “thinking differently” on methods to defeat breast cancer (like getting men involved). The spot (below) is airing in Canada on MTV, and the woman featured is an MTV Host.

It’s obvious that breasts get plenty of attention. It’s breast cancer that we need to focus on.

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or follow him on Twitter. As always, thanks for reading.

Got a Minute? Watch a Movie!

filmMinuteImagine telling an extremely intricate story in a few minutes, something like War and Peace (560,000 words, or approximately 1,400 pages in paperback). Better yet, condense the events of your Labor Day weekend into three tweets on Twitter (420 characters including spaces). Neither of these tasks seem plausible. What about telling an interesting, coherent and compelling story on film in exactly one minute?

The odds don’t sound any better, do they?

To the directors that compete in Filminute: The International One-Minute Film Festival, producing a film that is exactly 60-seconds long is an extraordinary challenge and opportunity to put their best creative, editing and storytelling skills to the test against a global talent pool.

Haven’t heard of it? That’s not too surprising considering that the festival is just eclipsing its third birthday. Although the festival is relatively young, the competition and notoriety have increased exponentially.

CallforentriesA jury (consisting of international superstars from film, art, communication, and literary disciplines) is given the responsibility of judging the entries and awarding The Best Filminute and five commendations. The People’s Choice Award is voted on by a global audience of film fans.

The Filminute festival was the inspiration of Canadian film-maker, John Ketchum, and is now considered one of the largest film festivals in the world when considering audience reach and participation. “We accept fiction, animation, documentary and fan films – the focus being on story,” explains Ketchum. “The best one-minute films will resonate beyond one minute. These are films that we expect to affect viewers the same way any great film would.”

Filmminute 2009 is set to run the entire month of September. If the competition evolves as expected, it will reach more than 94 countries and the Top 25 films will accrue at least 3 million minutes of viewing time.

The jury is required to grade each film using the same standards that would be expected for full-length films, which is a difficult task considering the Top 25 films can be viewed in under 15-minutes. Although this year’s competitors have been determined, 2010 is coming fast. Preparation is key, and judging by this year’s entries, there’s no such thing as “too much time”

Unless, of course, it’s 61-seconds.

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment, follow him on Twitter or check LinkedIn for his profile. As always, thanks for reading.

Is Advertising Anti-Culture?

At a recent speaking engagement, David Simon, the creator of HBO’s “The Wire,” opined that advertising single-handedly wrecked the quality of television. The need to sell products put the onus on show creators to get more people watching, ultimately souring the art of television programming. This brings up an interesting philosophical question: is advertising really anti-culture?

As marketers and advertisers, our gut reaction is to protect our livelihoods and territories with a resounding, “No!” It’s often difficult to turn one’s gaze inward and scrutinize what we do. Yet, when magazines are filled with page after page of advertising that dwarfs content and TV shows are implicitly pushed to become formulaic simply to bring more eyes to the commercials, we might have to ask ourselves if advertising is a symbiotic part of culture or parasitic. I, for one, am not excited by digging through pages of ads just to find the article that caught my attention. I’m no fan of network TV, either, since too many of the shows are vapid retreads. So, I feel like there’s some merit to the idea that advertising has been the antithesis of culture.

This doesn’t mean that advertising has to go away, but perhaps it does need to change. With the power of the Internet and cheaper access to the tools needed to create and publish video and printed content, it may be only a matter of time before people leave TV behind for good. “Better” or “more original” programming online may draw people (and their commercial watching eyes) away from the boob tube. But the Internet provides a more pressing issue: its very size may cause audiences to spread out more and viewers may simply park themselves at the websites for their favorite shows.

Where am I going with all this? I think we can ask ourselves a question that is similar to my initial philosophical quandary but with a push towards action: Have we let ourselves become so bound to traditional methods that we aren’t doing enough searching for spectacular new ways to reach people?

Admittedly, I don’t have the answer to this one, but I think it’s a damn intriguing question.

Pedro Bonano has a background in Computer Science and Marketing, and has over 10 years experience working for small companies. Find me on

Interview with Founder of Bajibot: Vince Mei Sets Creative Benchmark

bajibot_logoA visit to Bajibot’s website is like going into another world. It is so rich with visuals and 3D animation that it’s almost like a video game… you just keep wanting more. I connected with New Business Director Martin Fernando and he put me in touch with Vince Mei, founder of Bajibot. Due to their hectic schedule, I sent my interview questions to them via email. The response came back in half a day, so thank you Martin and Vince for your time — I know you guys are busy.

Bajibot is a web-design company that specializes in 3D animation. I became interested in Bajibot because of its partner list, which not only consists of other agencies such as TribalDDB, BBDO Atmosphere and Digitas, but also includes clients like Pepsi, Nike, Philips, HSBC, Novartis and the NFL.

I thought, “Holy Crap! Look at the brands supported by this company,” and knew that there was something special hidden just below the surface. Following is an excerpt of our interview:

Tell us a bit about the history behind Bajibot. What is (a) Bajibot?

Bajibot Media was founded by myself and a partner in 2006, we came up with the name Bajibot from our screen names, I am known as the “Bajiking” and my friend’s name was “Dxxbot” so we combined our names and came up with “Baji-Bot”.  My partner friend decided to take advantage of a real nice offer at an agency so I started Bajibot on my own.

Bajibot’s  first project was a huge banner campaign for Nike+ through R/GA, and projects started to roll in.  After a month of working from my apartment my wife kicked me and my assistant out and with a budget of $5,000 I rented a small 100 square foot office near Rockefeller Center, and that was Bajibot’s first official location. For three years we’ve continued to grow, working almost exclusively with global agencies in New York, delivering the best digital content for the web.

What makes Bajibot unique?

Bajibot2-[Compatibility-Mode]Technically speaking we are a web design shop equipped with heavy duty 3D capability.  I studied 3D animation in college but my 10 year career had been in the Interactive field, and so combining these skills created a niche of providing broadcast quality 3D content that works on the web.  By knowing the limitations and possibilities of the web and Flash, our clients value us because we provide smooth integration of our work into their Flash projects.  Our clients often come to us for fresh creative ideas from a 3D perspective to add value to their interactive projects.

We like our clients to think of us as their “in-house” power team instead of an “outsource vendor.” We try to keep our shop at a compact size to maintain direct communication and because of our expertise we have the capacity to take on larger tasks.  We offer a single point of contact with our clients – our producer or myself – so the client’s messages get to our artists fast and clearly.  Plus the advantage of being in NYC is that we are always on call to go to our client’s office for face to face meetings.

We have a super laid back, friendly working environment, and that’s the secret of how we keep our creative juices flowing.  My dog Baji often visits our office and Baji helps to nurture that environment, too.

What is the most outrageous site that you’ve worked on?

There are many, but without a doubt the Intel Rich Media Banner Campaign project from MRM would be at the top of the list.  In just 4 weeks we produced a serious of 6 super rich media ads that feature stunning 3D and interactivity inside those banners, and the special thing about the project was that it was the turning point of Bajibot.  Many thanks to Duncan Mitchell, MRM’s Creative Director, who worked with us on the project and gave us enough trust, creative freedom, and a generous budget!

Advertising has changed a lot over the past year. How has Bajibot changed to meet these challenges?

The advertising industry is definitely changed quite a bit over the past year, primarily in budget.  Clients are asking for more and better work done with less budget.  But Bajibot’s business model has always been designed for this kind of demand.  We’ve always stayed on top of the trends and technology to offer the latest “cool” things to do.  We’ve always kept a reasonable and affordable rate card, and we’ve always been super flexible with time with many examples of “mission-impossible” successes.

How would you describe Bajibot in three words?

Flexibility – Creativity – Execution

Three words that have refined — and continue to refine — the creative products that Bajibot provides its partners. Bajibot exemplifies a shop that’s ahead of the curve, way ahead. View its 2009 media reel and you’ll see what I mean.

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, aspiring writer. Please leave a comment, or reach out to him on Twitter or LinkedIn. As always, thanks for reading.

Rachel Nasvik, Pirates, and Hand Bags (Oh My!)

ThrillofTheChaseIn June, Beyond Madison Avenue ran a post about designer Rachel Nasvik, a New York City designer famous for chic, custom-made handbags, and the “scavenger hunt” in New York city where consumers followed clues published on social media sites to discover where she had hidden 96 of these designer handbags around the city. The campaign was a great success, and displayed a great use of social media as well as a natural knack for getting noticed.

Well, Rachel Nasvik has again taken to the streets, but in an entirely different manner.

New York City (NYC) is known for many things, one of them being a place where consumers can purchase merchandise that has been pirated from well-known designers. Basically, knock-offs sold on the street for nothing that look like the original.

VendorWell Nasvik and team turned the tables on the design pirates by using their fly-by-night grocery carts as a means of promoting original Nasvik designs. In what could be called a second scavenger hunt, Nasvik sent clues to her 1,000+ followers on Twitter, alerting them that the game, once again, was a-foot. This time she was hiding her designer goods amidst the copycats roaming the streets of NYC. The cost for a Nasvik original off the cart was an affordable $10, while down the street at Saks, the same bag brought in $300. This obviously was not going to make Nasvik any money.

Yet, what she lost in terms of dollars was replaced by her gains in public relations, love from her fans, earned media coverage, and a creative use of distribution channels. She has taken social media to a whole new level, interacting with her fan-base personally with a fun and competitive game that was not online, but in the “real” world.

Plus, her brand is now being copied by pirates…meaning that Nasvik’s designs have truly “made it.”

Jeff Louis is a Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. You can reach him on Twittter or LinkedIn. He is always searching for great ideas and new friends.

Burger King’s Angry Burger: A Nerd in Biker Clothing

AngryWhopperBurker King launched it’s Angry Whopper campaign in Canada that includes an interactive website to talk smack to users and fire them up for the rage that they say is inside the sandwich with angry sauce, jalapenos and pepper jack cheese. “Let’s see how full of rage you are,” the sandwich says. You don’t have a webcam to show your ire?  “NO WEBCAM?” the sandwich goads, “You must be pretty angry being stuck in 1997. Do you rollerblade to work everyday?”

You can also send an Angry-Gram ( to let somebody know “they annoy the hell outta you.” Profanity, unbridled anger and insults to rollerbladers and preacher’s wives pack a lot of energy, but the insults hurled by the Angry Burger fall flat because they are, frankly, dorky. Really dorky. “You love yourself so much you would reply to your own personal ad,” and “You are bitchier than a school bus of hormonal cheerleaders.” It gets worse: “Why do you always read my email? It’s like you are working for the FBI.” The throaty, screaming voice should have a much better arsenal than this.

The approach and the technology are fresh and cutting-edge, but the sandwich seriously lacks street cred.

Jennifer Fields is an ad-enthusiast with little patience for the inauthentic.

Vegemite: Kraft’s Relaunch Leads to Top Global Brand Affinity

Vegemite3Sometimes the past is fulfilled with wonderful memories of friends, music, good times and lots of laughter. Or, the past should remain exactly where it is, especially when remembering how you dressed, your bodily piercings, and that mullet with the spiked top that would never go out of style. If you remember the mullet, do you recall these lyrics?

Buying bread from a man in Brussels He was six foot four and full of muscles I said, “Do you speak-a my language?” He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
By: Men At Work, “A Land Down Under

What in the heck is Vegemite, anyway? Until writing this post, I didn’t know, nor care. Then I found out that Vegemite is actually produced by Kraft Foods, and that Kraft has developed a new Vegemite formula and has rolled it out in Australia…

My first thought: “Would this be the next huge marketing FAIL, akin to the New Coke Formula back in 1985?”
Knowing absolutely nothing about the product, I had to do some research. What is Vegemite?

Vegemite is similar to the British product Marmite, which is a tacky paste, brown in color, with a salty “beef broth” or “meaty-like taste.” Marmite is usually spread on toast or biscuits but can also be mixed with hot water to make a drink. Marmite is made out of yeast extract saved after the beer brewing process. During World War I, the flow of Marmite to Australia was interrupted and an Australian cheese company, Fred Walker & Co., commissioned an Aussie scientist to come up with similar replacement.

Vegemite was introduced with great fanfare (including a national naming contest) in 1923. The naming campaign was a big success; the product flopped. Despite various marketing efforts, Vegemite sales remained poor. Kraft purchased Walker & Co. in 1926 (forming the Kraft Walker Cheese Company) and in 1928, changed the name to Parmite, which killed Vegemite’s tiny though hard-won market share. Vegemite never recovered.

vegemite2So, with plenty of Vegemite on-hand, the Kraft Walker Cheese Company started giving it away with Pontiac automobiles and cheese products. Sales responded positively; then, the British medical association proclaimed that Vegemite was a great source of Vitamin B. Sales increased more. By World War II, Vegemite was in 9 of 10 Australian homes, had become part of a soldier’s daily ration kit, and was even carried by Aussie’s traveling abroad due to lack of availability in other countries. Today, Vegemite is one of the most well-known global brands and outsells Marmite in Australia by huge margins.

Kraft tried to extend the brand with a cheese and Vegemite “single,” but failed. However, marketing contests, such as limerick and song competitions, boosted sales. Then, following the war, the baby boom hit and Kraft jumped on Vegemite’s Vitamin B content for infants;

“…baby care expert Sister Mc Donald, said in the Women’s Weekly that “Vegemite is most essential”, further cementing Vegemite’s reputation for nutrition and wholesomeness. Infant Welfare Centres were recommending babies have their quota of Vitamin B1, B2 and Niacin. Vegemite had them all!”

By the 1950’s, Vegemite was to Australia what apple pie is to America, aided in part by consumer-oriented campaigns initiated by J.Walter Thompson.

On July 7, 2009, Kraft released a ’second’ Vegemite. The new Vegemite is a mix of Vegemite and cream cheese, is less salty, spreads much easier, and supposedly tastes better. To coincide with the release of the new recipe, Kraft is running a competition to give the new flavor a name, hearkening back to the competitions that worked 50 years ago. Kraft recently launched a comprehensive marketing campaign to name the new Vegemite, drawing on the successes of past campaigns that involved the public.

In fact, the new campaign mixes both traditional and Social Media, including an interactive website that includes fun facts, the naming contests, and the history of Vegemite. The new Vegemite can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Below is the one of several commercials. This one has been extended to be 48-seconds long:

And, just as in the early days, J. Walter Thompson was chosen for creative expertise. While some wait to see if this brand extension will be a coup or a pile of crap, early research shows that Vegemite has more brand affinity than Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Nike (globally);

The research analysed 1.5 billion posts across 38 languages within social networking sites, blogs, message boards, and online news. The results discovered 479,206 mentions for Vegemite, with brand affinity found more often than any other product globally.

If this was an election, the early results would show that the new Vegemite is a serious contender; however, all the votes haven’t been cast. Based on my research, I believe that the new Vegemite will most certainly take space in Australian kitchens.

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger and aspiring writer. To contact Jeff, leave a comment here, or find him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Converting Leads: President of MarketingAnd Offers Solutions

A scheduled twenty minute interview with MarketingAnd President and CEO, Sammy James, ended up lasting an hour.  This is what happens you speak with an expert and a true believer of innovative tools for online marketing.  As the interview continued, I began to recognize how various online businesses could  benefit from its approach. Thank you, Mr. James, for your extra time and attention.

MarketingAnd is an eclectic mixture of product and service — part software-developer, part consultancy, part provider, and part business partner. It is capable of working within an established agency-client relationship and can also provide its own expertise to clients.

What do they do exactly?

MarketingAnd organically augments the number of business leads a company receives and then increases the conversion rate from lead to sale. The main difference between MarketingAnd and other lead/conversion companies is that MarketingAnd doesn’t broker lists or teach sales tactics. Its strength lies in converting visitors into leads, and leads into sales. Think of cultivating the low-hanging fruit.

Why go out and buy leads when you can simply convert the ones you already have?

Most of the time, consumers are researching due to their lack of knowledge towards specific products or services. For example, if I move from a condominium to a house, I’d have a lawn to care for. My limited knowledge in lawnmowers would lead me to various home improvement websites where I would be known as a prospect, or lead.  This is where MarketingAnd comes in, providing the necessary tools to engage visitors like me one-on-one.

Sammy James will be the first to tell you that he is a huge advocate of accountability. Thus, it’s no surprise that MarketingAnd’s suite of tools measure, qualify, and quantify. As the company expanded, it partnered with larger institutions (universities, health care companies, automotive dealers) that possessed their own marketing capabilities but didn’t track leads, cost-per-call, cost-per-sale, call volume, or closing ratio. MarketingAnd has the tools to address these issues.

One of these tools is called Form to Phone. In an Internet sales cycle, leads go from extremely hot (ready to buy) to ice cold in a very short time.  Form to Phone helps establish a quicker response time. Here’s how it works:

  1. As soon as a prospect fills out a form and hits the submit button, your phone rings (wherever you are) and you’re given the person’s name and the reason for his or her inquiry.
  2. You press “1″ and are instantly connected to the prospect via the number he or she provided on the form.
  3. You engage the prospect in dialogue – before your competitors even have a chance.

Form to Phone also alleviates what is known as call reluctance. Call reluctance is a phenomenon where a salesperson experiences a heightened level of anxiety or apprehension before calling prospective client.  It could be so overwhelming that it decreases the total number of sales calls made and can render the salesperson useless. Because the sales cycle depends on volume and repetition, every call not made is a potential loss. Form to Phone is effective because it calls the salesperson with a lead. All the salesperson has to do is hit “1.”

Is MarketingAnd successful? According to Mr. James, its client-retention rate is between 90%-95%, and some clients have seen sales increases in the 300% range. If this seems like an appropriate fit to your business, research MarketingAnd first-hand. If you are in the higher-education business, its sister company, Get Starts, specializes in educational system needs.

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger and aspiring writer. To contact Jeff, leave a comment or contact him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Required: One BS Detector

The rapid changes in technology, advertising, and social media have brought along their baggage: jargon, political-correctness, new terminology, “cutesy” names, and phrases that just are not understandable. At least once a week I find it necessary to search for meaning on “new” words. When I spell-check posts or documents, many of the words that I read, or even use, on a regular basis show up with the red squiggle…misspelled. The real fact is that they did not exist when Office 2007 debuted, so the handy-dandy dictionary doesn’t recognize them. Thus, my custom dictionary is growing. Now I have to worry about the fact that if I misspell a simple word, such as bitter, I may end up with Thus, read and re-read everything you write.

Along with these new words, we seem to be using more words to say less, working in keywords along with key points into our blogs, press releases, and online articles. Companies, wanting to look smarter, are actually failing to get their point across due the amount of BS they incorporate with their corporate communications.

And that’s why I use HubSpot’s BS detector, or, as they call it, the Gobbledygook Grader, which grades exactly what you think it does: crap.
The site is very simple to use:

  1. Enter copy into copy block area on Grader site
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Hit the “Grade Content” button

What comes out can be quite disappointing, especially if you think that you’ve written a masterpiece and find out it’s a turd. It’s not a perfect measurement tool, but it does provide a list of the Gobbledygook words, a word cloud so that you can see how many times you’ve overused certain words, as well as a word-counter, sentence counter, and the minimum education necessary to read the document. (Although mainly a PR tool, it’s become rather useful for cover letters, blog posts, and articles.) Realize that if you are grading something other than a brochure or press release, the calculations don’t work out perfectly and the score will be low. However, I use it as a proofing device, so it’s not the score, but what it displays about my writing, or over-writing.


The top ten “worst of the worst” words are, from most-offensive to least: lead generation, robust, flexible, world class, easy to use, scalable, cutting edge, well positioned, market leading, and mission critical. If you’re using these words in your writing endeavors, please stop now.

HubSpot also offers graders for Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Social Personalities, Press Releases, and Web Sites, so it’s simple to gauge where you, or your company, “rank” in the Social Media sphere. To access all of the graders at once, go to HubSpot’s website and click on the Grader link.

As the online space expands, rest assured that the cutting-edge, scalable, mission-critical buzzwords will become a robust and break-through method of delivering market-leading information in a user-friendly method.
(Authors Note: none of the 18 Gobbledygook words included in this post were harmed during writing.)

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger and aspiring writer. To contact Jeff, leave a comment or find him on or

Social Media: 5 Reasons to Love It

social-media-marketingToday somebody asked me why I love social media. There are so many reasons and it’s hard for me to choose only a few. So I did what any other social media savvy individual would do: I posted the question on Facebook, Twitter and other outlets. I was able to use social media to explain why I love social media and I think fellow blogger Jenna McWilliams says it best: “Social media is not a trend, but a fundamental human urge to communicate,” and now we have more ways to do so. So, my top five reasons:

1. 1-800 customer care number? Consider it a thing of the past. Remember the time when we had 1-800 numbers? We’d wait on hold for eternity to finally get connected to someone in another country who was so far from executives that we were sure our complaints or problems would never be heard. Social media has changed that. Now companies have to listen to their customers because unhappy ones can broadcast their displeasure through social media. Also, it’s no longer a one-way conversation. Some companies have jumped onto the social media bandwagon (as they should) and created accounts to ask consumers to help create and improve their brands.  Two most notable examples are Starbucks’ My Starbucks Idea and Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice.

2. Efficiency of reaching consumers. Look at social media this way – imagine all of your customers coming together on a daily basis and talking about topics that pertain to you and your company, thereby spreading even more information about your company and gaining more recognition and consumers. One of my favorite quotes comes from my mentor and good friend, Griffin Farley of 22squared: “Don’t plan for the ones you reach, plan for the ones they reach.”

3. Being connected (this was the most popular answer I received after posting the question). When something happens to ourselves or to someone we know, we share it with others through pictures, comments and tweets.  More importantly, it’s a new way to get news, support, and advice on anything.What better way to educate yourself on advertising and marketing than by following an expert in a specific field? Who knows, it could even get you a job (Tweeter Neal Schafer had it happen to him after he started his blog and web site).

4. Creative campaigns. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if I had a TiVo, all I would record are commercials. I like advertising, but not because I want to learn about the products. I like the  creativity used to showcase a product to consumers. And now with social media, they’re becoming even more creative. Viral videos, Twitter giveaways, Facebook fan pages, etc. I can’t get enough of them. Old school + new school = awesome, consumer-activity-inducing campaigns.

5. The best thing about social media? It is changing the way we think. And with the exponential growth of it, no social media professional can be sure of where these new media will lead. But I can tell you that it’s exciting to see the evolution.

Megan Green is a freelance propagation planner who has had her work published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or at

Google Voice Pre-launch; Forbes Seems “Google-Confused”

090803 NewsweekDespite the fact that Newsweek boldly claimed that the recession was over, it’s really not: On July 31st, Verizon Wireless reported a 21% decline in profits, which, as we all know by now, means massive lay-offs. In this case, 8,000 more employees, the largest lay-off since the GM debacle.  And just to keep things on the up-and-up, Verizon has already cut 8,000 jobs in 2009. It’s my guess that Verizon employees are thinking that the recession lives on…

So, not only must we disseminate information gathered from online sources, it would seem that we must do the same for magazines, newspapers, and TV newscasts; nothing can be taken at face-value.

Which brings me to Forbes and their haphazardly scattered reporting on Google. In the past 10 days, Forbes has printed stories ranging from Google being on top of the SEO game, to comparing Google to newspapers, printing a story titled, “Why Google Won’t Last Forever.” Forbes either does not understand Google’s business plan, or they’re simply pounding out headlines to gain readers. In a single week, they reported the Google demise story and a separate story on how Google Wave and Android will revolutionize telecommunications, e-mail, chat, blogging, archiving and file uploading.

voice-logoBy now, most people have heard of Google Voice, although relatively few know what this new offering will provide. Luckily, I signed up to test Voice, and just received my “approved” email, so I’m not certain what it does either…but I’m eager to find out. Google Voice, formerly known as GrandCentral, was a company that Google acquired in 2007 for just over $50 Million. Despite the nearly two-year wait, the bugs have supposedly been put to rest and the service is ready for beta testing. Below is Google’s video explanation of Google Voice.

Google Voice has a singular main idea: “one phone number for all your phones, for life.” This single phone number will, in essence, combine all your phone numbers, including cellular, office, home, vacation home, etc. To use the service correctly, the phone number provided by Google Voice will be your main phone number. Depending on the party calling, Google Voice will route the call to the appropriate telephone, or even ring all of the phones simultaneously. Thus, calls coming from family members can be set up to ring your mobile and home phone; business calls, depending on how easily you want to be found, can ring both your office and your cellular (or your office, cell, home and vacation number). If your Google Voice number receives a text message, it automatically routes to your cell phone.

Google has also enhanced the original service by adding a transcription service which transfers all of your voice mails into text which users can then append, adding notes or tags for future searching. Voice will also include a friend setting, which routes calls from designated people straight to voicemail, home phone, cell phone, etc. Users can access Google Voice via computer or telephone, and the system tracks all received calls, missed calls, text messages, placed calls, and will even record phone calls. Although not “live” at this time, Google Voice and Gmail will be fully integrated in the future, providing a single source point for all personal and business communications. As an added benefit, if you happen to receive a text message while on your computer, you can simply use the Google Voice interface on your computer to respond.

Google Voice includes a teleconferencing feature for calls of up to 6 people, plus the ability to record the teleconference. International calls can be made at about the same rate that Skype currently offers.

As for costs, with the exception of International calling, the service is very affordable: It’s free.

With Android, Wave, and Voice all nearing release stage, it would seem that Google’s position is where it’s always been…in front of the competition.

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger and aspiring writer. To contact Jeff, leave a comment or find him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

You’re Not on Twitter Yet?

twitterIt’s out there and everyone’s talking about it. It’s been proven to give companies an edge on competition and the ability to form a bond with customers. So why aren’t you involved in social media yet?

As a freelancer in social media, I’ve noticed that there are numerous corporations that are still not involved with Twitter, Facebook, or anything on the Internet beyond a website and an email. This is, in essence, what it would be like when everyone started to advertise on the television when it was first invented and a company simply ignored it and kept to the “old school” ways of handing out fliers to people. Although it is important to respect the more traditional ways of advertising, you must also incorporate the new to properly promote and advertise your company and brand (my fellow Beneath the Brand blogger Jon Leung agrees – check out his post Marketers’ Dilemma: Facebook or Twitter).

The best thing about social media – it’s easy and free. At the moment, I recommend starting with Twitter because, as I’m sure you’ve heard, it’s becoming more and more similar to the dot com boom (i.e. don’t be the last one to figure it out).

Look at Twitter this way: imagine all your customers coming together on a daily basis and talking about topics that pertain to you and your company, thereby spreading even more information about your company and gaining more recognition and consumers.

Let me use a company as an example that I am currently involved with: Dolphin Blue, Inc. Dolphin Blue helps businesses go green through its office supplies. If you thinking of promotion from a networking standpoint, the first thing you would do is to find a group that matches your interests, in this case, any green groups that deals with the ecosystem or world health. You would then attend the group sessions, meet people who have those same interests, and start conversations with them about your company. Twitter is exactly like this, only on a much larger scale.

After creating a Twitter account, log on to and search (#green) for people talking about green issues. “Follow” them, re-tweet things they’ve tweeted that you agree with and *poof,* people will start following you, re-tweeting things you’ve posted, and, most importantly, become aware of your services. And thus, networking and building your business starts on a national level. The more people you meet, the more people who talk about you and your company.

Within four hours of Dolphin Blue publishing its Twitter account, it had six mentions and 26 followers! On day two, those numbers grew to 14 mentions and 93 followers. Imagine how many more people it’ll reach within the next week, month or year.

I think Griffin Farley of 22squared said it best. “Don’t plan for the ones you reach, plan for the ones they reach.” It’s all about who you know, right?

Megan Green is a freelance propagation planner who has had her work published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or at

Stickercards: Simple Change May Change Biz Card Industry

guy K faceAs most know, I’ve been writing about innovation in the face of adversity; our industry’s changing, the economy’s sucking the breath out of  good companies, and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the bubble won’t break until at least 2013. That’s four years of this. Tired of the bad news, we thought that we would task this highly creative industry to either show us your stuff, or keep your mouth shut. Talking the talk is easy. Prove to us, and the industry, that you’ve got the creative mojo and win some free publicity.

It doesn’t have to be “ads” or “campaigns.” It could be your business model, an engaging strategy, how you changed the way you purchase media, social media tactics, recession-proof tactics, or even a small, “Hmm, I wonder…” question that turn into a creative leap. Something like what Guy Kawasaki, owner of Alltop, just engineered.

Alltop gives its clients, prospects, vendors, and friends both business cards and business stickers. However, Guy admits that while he freely gives out cards, he’s reluctant to hand out stickers to promote the brands because they could be used to deface property; plus, he did not want to “burden” others with his branding efforts. And there is always the chance an Alltop sticker might end up plastered on the toilet of a rank rest stop on I-70. Can you say, “negative brand association?”

alltop-fullThen he had an “A-Ha” moment: could the business cards and business stickers be combined? He emailed one of his friends, who happened to own StickerGiant, to find out. He asked this friend, John Fischer, if a business card could be printed on the back of a sticker, and if anyone had done this before. John answered that, yes, it could be done but, no, it had never been requested. So, Guy requested his friend to check into it.

Writing on Open Forum, Guy describes his thought process:

“Psychologically, a stickercard is a powerful concept. By applying the teachings of Robert Cialdini, I hope that it engenders reciprocation and consistency. That is, since you’ve given someone a cool sticker, the person feels like they should reciprocate by sticking it somewhere visible. (Did you donate money to Hare Krishna because one of its followers gave you a flower?) Then, once the stickercard is stuck, the person is more committed to the company, product, or service. That stickercard on laptop is a declaration to the world that they like the what it stands for. To be consistent, they must stick to their positive opinion of your company, product, or service.

picture-2The process, or how the idea comes alive, doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s the idea that matters, and whether or not it works.  At any moment, Guy Kawasaki could have stopped and said, “This is stupid.” Instead, he followed through. His tweet tonight stated that the stickercards was his best idea ever.

His best idea ever… and he’s had a lot of ideas. To take it a step further, the first thing he did with his new “invention” was share to it, which speaks highly of his character. He sent out the tweet and a link. StickerGiant made a video. And the stickercards went from idea to product in a week. Be warned though, StickerGiant charges $500 for 500 cards. At least Guy has character.

If your company has something that makes “the cut,”  send it my way. Until that time, leave a comment… it will raise your social media score.

Jeff Louis: A Strategic Media Planner and Brand Project Manager for both B2B and B2C accounts, he is fascinated by past participles, brands, and innovation. Please contact him on Twtter or LinkedIn.

Digital Television… Buzz to Bust

TVAntenna-194x174Much anticipated, the switch to Digital Television, or DTV, finally took place on June 12, 2009. Despite over 1.5 years of warning, many found themselves with no programmings that fateful day. The original switch date of February 17, 2009 was pushed back due to the “lack of preparedness” of over 10% of US households. The whole effort to switch to DTV, according to the Federal Communications Commission,  began on January 23, 2001.

Eight years of planning, $10 billion dollars invested, and you’re now looking at it. Whew! Glad that’s over. Reminds me of Y2K.

Yet, it’s not really funny. Especially for the 1,700 broadcast stations that spent their money to upgrade to the new TV1 digital equipment, and then to wait patiently for the change. It arrived in February,and then the digital implementation was delayed. It arrived again in June as the cut was finally made.The money invested by the stations was to be recouped via the use of additional signals. Each broadcast station has been given its core channel, which currently carries the signal, along with 5 additional signals that “piggyback” on the original.The additional signals are actually sub-channels, capable of carrying additional programming. For instance, if a viewer wants to watch an “all business, news and weather” version of his or her local NBC affiliate, the station can theoretically satisfy this niche. Geographic areas with high Hispanic indices can have access to Spanish sub-channels.

BusinessWeek reports that there are areas of the country already utilizing DTV’s capabilities, but the others have run into a major stumbling block: the economy.

ION’s Qubo airs cartoon programming for kids while ION Life focuses on health and fitness. NBC offers its local stations a sports channel and just launched a New York City news channel. MGM aims to partner with local stations to offer a movie channel, and entertainment service LATV offers bilingual programming for young Latinos.

Here’s the problem: The cable, satellite, and phone companies are loath to distribute programming that is largely untested and may compete with their own channels. What’s more, the recent switch to digital TV coincides with a punishing recession. Local TV advertising fell 28% in the first quarter from the same period in 2008.

It is not a question of “if” the stations will use the expanded bandwidth, but a question of “when.” There has been speculation that the added sub-channels will be used to send TV programming straight to computers and cell phones, further integrating TV, Online, and Mobile platforms.FTClogo

Either way, it looks as if it may be a while before the dollars flow out of DTV at the same rate they were invested.

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Project Manager, and New Business Account Coordinator. His passion is writing. Reach out and touch him: or

The Friendship Model: Brandon Murphy at 22squared Gives the Down and Dirty

22squaredAdvertising and marketing have taken new directions with the recent integration of social media and consumer advocacy. Agencies have been forced to rethink their ideas and strategies to reach their consumers. One such agency, 22squared, has done just that with the help of its SVP Director of Brand Marketing, Brandon Murphy.

I had the opportunity to catch Mr. Murphy on the phone this past Friday and ask him about the company’s model, The Friendship Model: How to Build Brand Advocacy in a Consumer-Driven World.

“I think that basically it’s an approach for brands to build advocacy. When we first introduced this thing, it was mostly an internal thing, and actually still is. In essence it was an internal way to focus the agency on what marketing was about today, what a person does to make and maintain a friendship, earn enough respect, and I guess enough attractiveness for a consumer to advocate for them like a friend would advocate for a friend,” Murphy said.

Murphy says one of the hardest questions companies face when creating campaigns is the question, “How do we build advocacy?”

“A lot of times it comes down to not what you say but what you do,” he said. “How can we get the customer to interact with us. Your next customer could turn into your next 10 customers. It’s a pretty simple idea.”

Griffin Farley, senior brand planner from 22squared, has a great saying for this: “Don’t plan for the ones you reach, plan for the ones they reach.”

How can this model help an entire agency? I listed those questions and responses below:

Megan Green: For people now looking for work in progressive ad agencies, why is it important for them to know about advocacy, social media and word of mouth?

Brandon Murphy: The simple reason is because that is how brands are growing now. Brands aren’t growing by increased awareness, they are growing with people talking about them…that’s how people are choosing products and what brand to use.

MG: Media Planners are specialists at reach and frequency. Are those still important skills to know when advocacy is the end goal?

BM: I think there is always going to be a critical mass of people you have to reach to keep your brand afloat. You look at our agency, it’s not like we don’t do media plans, it’s just that we’ve changed how we do our media plans and how we engage the customer. For media planners, the one thing is that it is no longer about buying space and just calculating reach or frequency, it’s about getting opportunities for the customer to talk.  Media planning has gotten to get more strategic and inventive to get messages to customers.

MG: When you brief Creative Teams, does the Friendship Model help them get to a better creative deliverable?

BM: The Friendship Model does a few things. First, it gives a sense of direction in work and strategy. We always still do the right things in understanding a customer and how a brand can fit into a customer’s life. The key thing is to think entirely around a problem and all different ways to solve it. Sometimes it’s something really cool or something simple. We’ve looked back and told a client, “it’s not a TV campaign you need, but it’s an associate campaign,” like we told Buffalo Wild Wings and Lincoln Financial. Second, [the model is] something else that makes them work better, it forces you to figure out what the brand’s purpose is. If a brand has a purpose beyond just selling something, as a customer you’re more likely to invest in it.

MG: Has the Friendship Model helped your New Business Team win accounts or peak interest among search consultants? What feedback do you hear from them?

BM: Well the good thing about the Friendship Model is that it really does help filter out clients that are right for you and clients that aren’t right for you. The client typically hates it [the model] or loves it. It’s a nice screener for us and prospective clients. It really puts ourselves out there and we’re really passionate about building advocacy.  Also, search consultants really like it. Search consultants are tasked with bringing agencies that bring in business. With this model we can focus on the things that bring in sales. We can tell them how much they can expect to increase sales given an increase in advocacy or reach of other people. That’s really been super attractive to some consultants.

MG: Does the Friendship Model help Account Service strengthen the relationship with the clients? Do clients value the philosophy?

BM: In two ways. One, it’s kind of a gut check for us. The way we act and the people in our agency – it creates a pretty high road for us to walk in terms of being passionate and doing the right thing. You know, it’s interesting if you think about the relationship between friends, it’s not all nicey-nicey and how can I serve you. It’s real. It gives us a nice path to travel on how we build relationships with clients. Two, it most importantly gives our clients something to circle into. Clients always have business goals, but doing it through a filter of building relationships and advocacy gives the client a way to lead that they hadn’t had before. Most of the Friendship Model is based on what we currently do for our clients. It feeds the development on how to win over customers and act differently than other brands, like Publix Super Markets, Inc.

MG: Finally, as Director of Brand Planning, what skills do you look for when you hire Account Planners that want to work for 22squared?

BM: Planners have to be insatiably curious and really, really good at writing and getting ideas across to people. Those two things are core building blocks for planners. Something else we look at is planners who are always able to take a different look at things than most people. Whenever I hire a planner, I make sure they are not only smart, but smart strategically and creatively. Our planners are much more active in participating in the creative. We look for planners that understand how to engage a customer and not just about bringing a message but about where we engage, how we engage, and the content and value of the brand. Planners are provocateurs by nature. At least we want them to be. We want them to cause people to look at things differently. They need to be the glue that holds people together.

Want more information on The Friendship Model and what it means? Check out this video that 22squared put together, “I Love Blank”, or Brandon’s white papers.

Megan Green is an advertising and marketing professional published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. She specializes in social media and is currently looking for a full-time advertising position. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or at

Branding Conversation: Go Ahead and Butt In

Getting in the middle of a conversation that’s already going on, versus creating a conversation and asking consumers to come in is the key to effective advertising.

Doing the latter is as silly as the following conversation:

Person 1: Hey, did you hear about Michael Jackson?

Person 2: Yeah, I loved him. I already miss him!

Brand: Hey, you over there! Did you know most of insecticides have nerve poison that causes a cockroach to have muscular spasms that make it flip on its back? Without muscular coordination the cockroach cannot right itself and eventually dies in its upside down-position. Wanna buy some bug spray?


But take interactive shop Deca (Digital Entertainment Corp. of America) for example, which inked a sponsorship deal with Target for its Momversation show (above). This content is uniquely relevant to the target audience that the brand fits comfortably into. Plus, it utilizes bloggers that already have influence within market.

Now that’s relevant!

What conversation can your brand butt into today?

Jinean Robinson is a CCIO (Chief Creative Infections Officer) in this industry for 8+ years, specializing in creative strategy and implementation, 360 branding, and brand development. Join her @twitter or her firm Germ, LLC.

Social Media Changing the Face of the English Language

twitterWe all know social media is changing the way we connect with people, but it’s also affecting the way we communicate with each other; that is when we actually speak instead of text, tweet or write on someone’s wall. I have one friend in particular, who tends to use the phrase “O.M.G.” for everything (for those few out there who do not know what that stands for, it’s “Oh my God”) in normal conversations.

At first this didn’t bother me much; however, it’s now affecting more than just my personal online life. Even getting asked out on a date no longer warrants phone calls, or even texts, at the very least. Instead, I receive Facebook messages, instant messages, or e-mails. I’m waiting for the moment I get tweeted for a date.

At one point in time, we actually called someone to speak with them and actually heard their voice. Now, we text. Add abbreviations of texting to our limit of 140 characters on Twitter, and abbreviations are now correct spellings of words. No wonder grammar and spelling are going down the drain.

Consider an abbreviation like “TTYL” (talk to you later) or “LOL” (laugh out loud). Next, look it up on Wikipedia or They are actually listed! And there is a correct way of writing these Internet lingo (granted it’s not AP Style, but that’s only a matter of time until the Associated Press has to put it in the manual). Of course, not all abbreviations are listed in a dictionary, as many are made up, but soon our abbreviations will get longer and more complicated because we can’t post, type or text fast enough.

Realistically, this is how most languages evolve. Have you ever read a King James version of a book? I can’t figure out what it’s saying either without reading it five times and having a dictionary handy. In the future, we could progress to “talking” in abbreviations completely, or even symbols. Tht wuld b crzy @ tmes!

It all boils down to the fact that we want information faster.  Having to wait to type out a word such as “antidisestablishmentarianism” won’t cut it, and ignoring abbreviation use may just keep businesses and personal lives in the dark. So, with that in mind, I leave you with a few of the most popular abbreviations (I’ll start out slow):

APT: apartment

BYOB: bring your own booze

NM: nevermind

FTW: for the win

BLOG: Web log

DVD: digital video disk

WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get

Want more? Standard Word Abbreviations:;

Megan Green is an advertising and marketing professional published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. She specializes in social media and is currently looking for a full-time advertising position. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, or at