Measuring Ad Success in Eight Days or Less

measuringTapeThe recession has either changed the way advertisers do business or has forced us to reevaluate the ways in which we do business. The focus has shifted to the effectiveness and efficiency of an ad campaign rather than stressing the  campaign or ad variables such as reach and effective frequency.

If you work in a media department, then measuring effectiveness and efficiency is something you’ve likely done for years with little to no fanfare from the client side. Well, the climate’s changed, and clients are concerned more than ever — with good reason — that their ads and campaigns meet efficient, effective, and measurable goals. Their priority is to connect with the target audience in a manner that’s more in-tune with a reduced budget. Clients are are requiring or searching for agencies capable of providing campaigns that work harder and smarter.

In addition, advertisers (namely P&G and Coca Cola), have instituted Value Based Compensation (VBC)  arrangements made up of a pay-for-performance (P4P) layout that can be attained in addition to a base fee.

TV.PicThe Nielsen Company has just announced that a new software product, Rapid Campaign Evaluation (RCE), a fast and inexpensive means to review ad performance in just over a week. Due to the costs incurred when an ad or campaign is launched, RCE will give agencies information quickly so as to allow them to respond in an appropriate manner.

Richard Reeves, associate director of Consumer Research Services at the Nielsen Company, notes an agency not only will have the ability to evaluate their own endeavors but the ability to evaluate their competitor’s as well.

Whenever a new commercial is executed,” Reeves says, “there is always that element of anticipation about how it will perform in the ‘real world.’ If it’s a competitor’s ad — you are usually left worrying about the damage it will do to your brand.”

RCE was designed and tested in Australia to measure the strength (or weakness) of TV spots. How many people saw or heard the ads or whether the audience was able to determine the advertiser and the take-away message will provide advertisers with almost “real-time” data they can then use to readjust their tactics such as:

  • An ad that performed strongly may provide justification to increase spend.
  • An ad with mediocre results could be re-edited to clarify the brand message and increase brand cues, or it could be taken back into qualitative research for fine tuning.
  • An ad can be created or ad spend can be increased if RCE showed strong effectiveness measures for a competitor’s ad.

In just over a week, agencies will be able to view data in order to evaluate effectiveness or lack thereof, ensuring clients get the biggest bang for their buck.

While advertising “gurus” have bandied back and forth as to the fairness or plausibility of the VBC model, companies, such as Coca Cola, have already put it into action. In truth, it’s the most equitable payment arrangement; agencies require media vendors to prove their performance. Why shouldn’t clients require the same from their agencies?

Nielsen’s new software is just another step in the ongoing evolution of the industry.

Jeff Louis has over ten years of brand-building, media strategy, and new business experience. His passion is writing, while his strong suit seems to be sarcasm.  You can follow Jeff on Twitter or become a fan on

White House Attacks Fox News

WhiteHouseSealIt must be slow in the Capital these days; it seems that although our world is going crazy, the president and his staff have taken time out to wage a media attack on Fox News, making the rounds on all the Sunday morning talk shows, with one glaring exception: Fox. The gloves were certainly off as Obama’s team struck back at Fox News accusing the network of opinionated reporting. Some of the quotes from the barrage include:

Fox is “not really a news station,” said David Axelrod.

Fox, said Rahm Emmanuel, “is is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective.”
They also urged the other networks not to treat Fox News as a news station because the White House certainly did not think of Fox as news-oriented. A week ago, communications director Anita Dunn opened the White House offensive on Fox on a Sunday show: “Let’s not pretend they’re a news organization like CNN is.”  She then stated that Fox was the communications arm for the Republican Party.

President Obama

The troubling part of this whole scenario: Our government is attacking one of our news outlets, thereby risking one of the freedoms America was founded upon: freedom of the press. (No, it’s not freedom of the press as long as we like what you are saying.)

The cable news networks are highly competitive, and Fox is not only the second highest- watched cable TV network, but it carries 9 of the top 10 cable news shows as of Q1 of 2009. Despite the heavy competition, the White House’s attack has actually begun to backfire.

Helen Thomas, the senior White House reporter in Washington (serving from JFK to
Interim Communications Director Dunnpresent) warned the Obama administration: “Stay out of these fights,”  and Washington Post’s blog stated: Where the White House has gone way overboard is in its decision to treat Fox as an outright enemy and to go public with the assault.

Some have even called the attack “Nixonian” in nature. However, the White House has an out. If the strategy fails, Anita Dunn can be tucked away easily, as she is expected to leave the administration by the end of the year.

fox news logoWhile Fox has not attacked Obama directly, they’ve unloaded on his aides, especially Dunn. Her statement naming Mao Tse Tung as one of her favorite politicians did not help nor did her speech explaining the censorship-like control exercised during the election. If team Obama felt they couldn’t control the message, or the press, they would use YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook to communicate.

While America thought that the Obama Campaign was tech-savvy, it was really just an exercise in message management.

Jeff Louis has over ten years of brand-building, media strategy, and new business experience. His passion is writing and his strong suit is sarcasm.  You can follow Jeff on Twitter or become a fan on

Boobs in the Media: Walking a Fine Line

IMG_2305Life just keeps getting weirder and weirder. One day, boobs are good; the next, they’re banned in Britain on billboards for their portrayal of headlamps. Britain is the last place you would think the girls would be put away. Britain is (in)famous for its portrayal of plunging-cleavage shots on TV shows such as “Benny Hill” and “Ab Fab” (”Absolutely Fabulous”), but is also the same country that  publishes topless women weekly in newspapers, notably,  The Sun’s “Page 3 Girls,” and  the  Daily Star’s “Babes”

While both of the papers are entertainment and celebrity gossip-type tabloids, they’re given huge amounts of leeway with topless models. However, other nude or semi-nude ads seem to spark controversy: Last month,  American Apparel ran a print ad that took readers through unzipping a Flex Fleece Hoodie. The model eventually gets to point where a portion of her nipple is exposed. The ad ran in Vice Magazine, caused public outcry, and was banned subsequently.

Whether right or wrong (and I have no stance on British standards in advertising), the only difference I detect between the topless shots in the papers versus the questionable billboard is that the billboard is free while the papers require payment or subscription.


What’s all the hoopla about with this billboard campaign? It’s not any more or less, racy than a Victoria’s Secret ad or outdoor display.

Understandably, there are regulations to ensure no young minds are corrupted by breasts and marketers’ efforts to use breasts to sell stuff, and we’re well aware of the fact that sexually based ads and campaigns sell. This leads to the dilemma of morality and advertising, which is way too big to cover here.

However, my question is this: Whether used to sell headlamps in Britain or promote men’s awareness of breast cancer in North America, is it a fair advertising practice to approve or deny an ad based on the intent of the advertiser?

Rethink Breast Cancer’s spot, “Save the Boobs,” (below) follows a voluptuous woman in a bikini as she bounces her way through a swimming area.

Does this commercial merit approval based on the fact it supports a cause that could save a life, whereas the banned billboards are for headlights? Not using your headlights while driving could kill you, so don’t headlights save lives, too?

I would argue that if society’s intent is save the youth from corruption, both ads should be banned.

Here is where it gets weird: The headlight ad seems to succeed in purpose where the breast cancer spot fails. Why? Inciting controversy was the whole idea behind the cancer spot; stir people up, get them to react, get the spot on the news, and thereby raise awareness. Besides receiving accolades as being a great PSA by every 16-year-old with an Internet connection, it made but a ripple. The billboard got banned. Go figure.

Jeff Louis has ten years of brand-building, media strategy, and new business experience. His passion is writing and his strong suit is sarcasm. You can follow Jeff on Twitter or become a fan on

New Color Palette Engages Product Differentiation

JDSU_00032[1].sized copyMany of you may have read Jack Trout’s book, Differentiate or Die, published in 2000, which is based on the premise that survival, from a business perspective, is ensuring you are distinguished from your competitors. As the book’s title suggests, it’s either that or face eventual death. When competition is heavy and there are numerous, indistinguishable products, one must separate from similar competitors. It’s vital.

One of the best methods to become number one is to establish your own category, a category in which you are the sole occupant, making you first by default.

Creating your own category requires innovation, so in order to differentiate, one must originate.

Origination seems to be the strategy behind color-shifting paint, developed by JDSU and announced publicly yesterday. JDSU (NASDAQ: JDSU) is a technical company immersed in a lot of technical stuff, ranging from commercial lasers to optical testing and measurement equipment. For our purposes, they also make “decorative applications” or really cool paint.

The titanium-based paint, or ChromaFlair® Titanium Series, uses “unique, multi-layer flakes” that change color when viewed from various angles. Inspired by a gem’s ability to shift and shimmer, the two pigments currently available are based on “blue.”

“JDSU created Emerald and Aquamarine pigments specifically because shades of blue continue to be an extremely popular color choice for enhancing products across a variety of markets worldwide.”

The paint offers otherwise boring products the opportunity to break free from hum-drum competitors or the ability to stand out in a field of me-too products.

Coincidentally, this is exactly what I need to for my job search.

Jeff Louis has over ten years of brand-building, media strategy, and new business experience. His passion is writing and his strong suit is sarcasm.  You can follow Jeff on Twitter or become a fan on

Olympic Bid Split Chicago, Local Agency

2016_olympic_logo2In case you were unaware, the competition for the 2016 Olympics host city’s been won and the waiting is over.

It was a controversial ride, but in the end, Chicago got knocked out immediately and Rio de Janiero was bestowed the honor, marking the first time a South American country’s been chosen to host an Olympic Games. The news is bittersweet in Chicago; the city was split 54% For, 46% Against according to recent polls. The city’s debt, added traffic on over-burdened streets, and additional taxes were main contention points that kept Chicagoans from supporting the bid. Plus the knowledge that recent host’s were still paying off Olympic-sized debt.

Skepticism rose to National levels last week when President Barack Obama, and wife Michelle, agreed to attend the final stage of the Olympic pitch in Oslow, adding their political weight to a field filled with political, and royal, notables: A King and Queen (Madrid), Prime Minister (Tokyo), and another President (Rio).

chicagoansforrio2016Competition between Rio and Chicago was especially fierce, and accusations of unfair play were voiced by both sides: One of the larger controversies a website Chicagoans for Rio 2016. The Chicago Olympic Bid team accused Rio of setting up the site (makes sense), but it turned out that it was an inside job…really inside.

Meanwhile, a Chicagoan named Kevin Lynch is confessing that he’s the man behind the cheeky, the Web site that’s been anonymously trashing Chicago’s prospects in the past couple of weeks.

Okay, so he was from Chicago. No biggie. The real impact of the story is that Kevin Lynch is one of the top creative execs at Energy BBDO’s Proximity Unit. Energy BBDO, and owner Omnicom, were both in support of Chicago’s bid for the games, providing creative services as part of their endorsement. Plus, there’s the fact that Energy BBDO’s largest client, Wrigley (Wrigley Field, Wrigley Gum, etc), supported the city’s bid.

Which led to “Drama, drama, drama”! Energy BBDO released a statement to Ad Age last week:

“I want to be clear: The agency is and has been fully behind the Chicago 2016 bid,” said Energy BBDO CEO Tonise Paul. “Our clients are aware of our position and understand the situation. The individual acted on his own accord without the agency’s knowledge.”

Kevin Lynch, the “instigator” of the controversy, said he had stopped supporting the Olympic bid for Chicago when Mayor Daley’s statements that Chicagoans wouldn’t be taxed for the games were reversed. (Chicago already carries the heaviest sales tax in the Nation at 10.25%.)

Now that the host city’s been decided, it will be at least a week to discover what becomes of Mr. Lynch…

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

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.

Crème de la Crap: The Tracy Awards for Worst Advertising

TheTracyAwardsJust how many advertising messages are we exposed to on a daily basis? In Data Smog, author David Skenk writes that the average American’s exposure to advertising has grown from “560 daily advertising messages in 1971. By 1997, that number had increased to over 3,000 per day.”

While the figures are controversial due to the definition of the word “advertising,” even 200 hundred messages a day is more than we’ll remember. Be thankful for that, because most of them are crap that shouldn’t have made it past the concept stage.

While the number of victims stricken by “Crapvertising” is unknown, there is a place where those who have fallen prey can expose the offender(s): The Tracy Awards.  Based on the premise that advertisers produce a lot of  ”bad ads,” the First Annual Tracy Awards are accepting submissions for the Worst in Advertising 2009. Its call to action:

“There’s a lot of bad advertising out there. Let’s make fun of it.”

Noted as the first competition of its kind, The Tracy’s provide those exposed to terrible advertising an opportunity “strike back” at advertisers who produce crap. The press release goes on to explain:

Every ad we receive will be judged. Harshly. And if it’s bad enough, it will win a Tracy, which will be sent to the people responsible for creating the abomination in the first place. Plus, all ads that win Tracy’s will be nationally publicized as the Worst Advertising of 2009.

crowell_logoThe Tracy Awards were conceived by Salt Lake City ad agency Crowell Advertising and are named for agency founder, Tracy Crowell.

Take a few minutes to view the crap or submit some. If you are like me, making fun of others’ work will make the day so much better.

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.

Tequila and Timberlake: The Perfect Combination

timberlSWEATERJustin Timberlake is not one to let the grass grow under his feet. An extremely popular solo artist, he’s also launched several “brand extensions” of himself that have been well received by critics, fans, and the public. His first new venture was Tennman Records, which began in 2007. Then, in February of 2009, he and best friend Trace Ayala announced William Rast, a clothing line that “is an extension of you.” Unlike most new designer lines, William Rast not only gained notice, but also received praise from the fashionistas.

901His latest venture? 901 Silver Tequila.

901 Silver is either named in tribute to the area code in which Timberlake grew up (Memphis) or for “that moment when your evening ends but your night is just beginning.” However, more than the Timberlake name is attracting attention. The tequila has been reviewed favorably by those who know tequila. According to the NY Daily News:

Timberlake’s new tequila, called 901, passed the sip test – and then some – among three New York tequila aficionados with very discerning tastes.

What makes 901 Silver Tequila unique is the method they chose to kickoff the first major promotion. Known as 901at901on901, and translated to 9/01, at 9:01, on, it’s an invite to the public to creatively craft  ”The Big Idea” to aid the launch of this relatively new brand. The winner will become Executive Vice President of Big Ideas for 901 Silver Tequila.

To the victor go the spoils, which include the lengthy job title, a trip to Vegas (round-trip airfare for two, hotel stay and, of course, two tickets to the Justin and Friends concert), VIP access to all parties, $25,000 in “bonus” money, plus the chance to show off his or her creative skills among an elite group of people.

According to Kevin Ruder, President of 901 Silver (Timberlake is CEO):

We like to incorporate consumer feedback as part of our normal business practice at 901 Silver. We’ve turned that premise into a contest.

The following video outlines the challenge:

The contest ends on November 30th and the winner will be chosen by a panel of experts on December 4, 2009.

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.

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.

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

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.

Cellufun: First Ever Mobile PSA

CellufunLogoAs technological capabilities expand, so do ideas…or vice versa. In either case, we seem to witness ideas that break the “traditional mold” on a regular basis. Cellufun, a mobile social gaming community, is launching the first Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign over a mobile, or cellular, network. It is an idea that breaks conceptual boundaries.

Known as “The World’s Mobile Playground, Cellufun is teaming with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and will feature in-game advertising as well as user-donation opportunities to the two charities via their mobile phone.

Cellufun is a virtual world where people are able to meet, play games, and shop…all via cellular phone. Available on any phone with a data plan, consumers are able to access Cellufun globally. Cellufun partners with diverse mobile operators and media companies to deliver entertainment and mobile marketing solutions.

Cellufun mobile clients will be able to purchase Superman Tags for their online avatars; profits from the tags will go to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

“We think this is a fantastic opportunity to extend our presence into the mobile space,” said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “This is a unique chance to be part of a robust online community where people can show their support for our real-world efforts by purchasing an item in their favorite virtual world.”

There are currently 7 million-plus users of Cellufun, spending an average 7 hours per month connecting with friends, playing games, and shopping for virtual products. On average an active user will be on Cellufun nearly 7 hours each month, which equates to more than 220 million monthly impressions.

ASPCA_logoThe ASPCA ads will be featured in “pet games and activities,” with a company-estimated value of $10,000 per month in free advertising.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Cellufun for this unique campaign” said Jo Sullivan, Executive Vice President of External Affairs for the ASPCA. “By bringing the ASPCA straight to the mobile devices of millions of users, we will be able to dramatically increase awareness of our mission and the vital work we do every day to save animals’ lives.”


By introducing the world’s first mobile PSA campaign, Cellufun hopes to raise awareness and secure donations from its users for worthwhile charitable endeavors. With a large user base, the company hopes to help non-profits reach a wider audience by bringing them into the mobile medium.

“Cellufun’s social games—such as Mobile Pet Online and Cellufun Farming—provide not only entertainment, but the perfect venue for raising social awareness by partnering with leading charities and non-profits,” said Neil Edwards, chief executive officer of Cellufun.

The company plans to expand the first-ever mobile PSA campaign to include other charities in the near future.

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, writer and blogger can be reached by leaving a comment or on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Brands and Products So Smelly They’re Priceless

smelly-armpitsApproximately 80% of a corporate, or brand, identity is defined by either sight or sound. Yet, out of the five senses, these are but two. Although debatable, smell may be our most powerful sense (others argue that it’s sight). Without smell, our sense of taste is diminished because smell and taste combine to define flavor. Smell is invaluable for detecting danger such as a fire, or easing into a state of calm such as aromatherapy.

The sense of smell is so powerful that memories long-past are instantly recalled when a particular odor is encountered.

“A certain smell can invoke the memory of a particularly good time or remind us of a time when we were at our worst. Smells help make up our everyday lives. The wearing of body fragrances is just one of the ways that people present themselves to the world.”

noseDue to its ability to affect us, marketers and advertisers can strategically use a particular scent to build (or reinforce) a company, brand, or product image in the consumer’s mind.

Singapore Airlines, an early-adopter of Scent Marketing, incorporated a single smell into its branding efforts to aid in forming positive consumer associations with the brand. Martin Lindstrom, author of Brand Sense, attributes the addition of this scent to the airline’s marketing arsenal as the defining difference that led Singapore Airlines to rank as one of the “most important brands.” The airline has garnered a 5-Star Rating, won “Passenger’s Choice Airline,” “Airline of the Year” in 2007, Travel & Leisure’s “Best Airline” award in 2008, and the “Top Customer Satisfaction” honors in 2009.

Rolls-Royce-Phantom_Coupe_2009_800x600_wallpaper_01The sense of smell is already so ingrained with certain brands that when that scent is unwittingly altered, consumers take notice. Rolls-Royce consumers, who invest anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000 per car, lost their love for the Rolls-Royce brand in the 1990s, claiming that the newer models did not meet the high-quality found in legacy models. This surprised the automaker; it had not made any significant changes to production methods other than upgrades in safety and technology. Technically, the new cars should have been better than the older models. The automaker invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and, in the end, determined that the differentiating factor was scent. Rolls-Royce then took one of its elite models, a 1965 Silver Cloud, and analyzed the Rolls-Royce smell. The researchers determined that over 800 elements combined to form the fragrance. They duplicated this branded aroma and incorporated it into every new car built from that point forward, indicating the luxury carmaker’s dedication to its brand:

“Today, our brand means more than engineering excellence. It is a standard of quality across all our activities. Our brand guides our actions and behaviors and the way we present ourselves to the world…”

Many other companies also use Scent Marketing. GM, for instance, began adding scent to the leather of its Cadillacs in 2003 (ironically, Cadillac just announced it would be launching a fragrance line to celebrate its 100th birthday with GM… certainly it isn’t using taxpayer bail-out dollars). Sony and Samsung have already instituted scents for their company stores. Also, luxury hotels are investigating various fragrances that will create an emotional connection with their guests.

Lindstrom, in a widely distributed research paper, highlighted that “… 99 percent of all brand communication today is focused on two senses: what we hear and see. In sharp contrast, 75 percent of our emotions are generated by what we in fact smell”.

Although Scent Marketing is not quite accepted as the norm for marketing practices due to the difficulty of measuring ROI, it is beginning to gain respect for its ability to evoke deep feelings between companies and their consumers.

scentmktinstuteThe Scent Marketing Institute provides both companies and individuals “an independent resource for understanding and leveraging the power of scent applications in business and public environments.” The Institute offers everything from newsletters and suggestions for Scent Marketing programs to benchmarking standards and ROI measurement programs.

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

Yodle’s CEO Explains How to Kick Local A$$

YodleFor the first time in nearly a decade, online spending was reported to be 5% lower in Q1 of 2009 than Q1 of 2008. Although losses were not specified by category, it’s clear that online advertising is not recession-proof.

Yet, glimmers of success are still found among gloomy reports and forecasts.

Yodle, an online advertising provider that specializes on small businesses in local markets, has repeatedly shown dramatic increases in year-over-year revenue gains over the past two years.

How dramatic? Try a 300% increase from 2006 to 2007, and 700% from 2007 to 2008. The company started with just nine employees and now boasts over 250. Additionally, Yodle’s client list has jumped from 125 clients in 2006 to well over 5000 accounts managed in 2009.

What is Yodle’s business model for success? As luck would have it, I was able to ask Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle, that exact question (among others).

Court Cunningham (CC): Yodle delivers the strongest return on marketing investment to the small business owner. In 2007, 50% of online users performed searches for local businesses. In 2008, 82% of online users searched locally. Yodle focuses on providing an avenue for small businesses to “get found.” We place our clients’ ads on larger sites, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN, as well as 75 other top-performing local sites, providing small businesses the online accessibility of a larger company.

Beyond Madison Avenue (BMA): When you say “small” business, what size company are you talking about?

CC: A law firm with 100 employees can be considered a small business… but Yodle’s main focus is on businesses with ten or fewer employees. We are targeting the “S” of SMB. Small business owners realize that they need to be online now more than ever, and Yodle can get them there.

BMA: What does Yodle offer a small business that the online Yellow Pages or a local portal does not?

CC: The greatest benefit Yodle provides is more leads and a lower cost-per lead. Second, we accommodate small business owners by getting them online in an effortless (on their part) manner. If a business owner needs help developing a web site, we offer those services. Finally, Yodle provides full transparency and accountability. We supply clients with an online dashboard that records the number of clicks and calls from their ads. This allows them to record the clicks or calls that turn into qualified leads or sales versus those that did not go anywhere.

BMA: Do you focus on certain types of businesses?

CC: Businesses that benefit the most from Yodle are those in which the product or service has a high value. We cater to plumbers, electricians, cleaning services, locksmiths, personal trainers, contractors, construction companies, etc.

BMA: Do you advertise national companies on a local level?

CC: We do have clients that are national franchises, such as ServiceMaster, that advertise their services locally. But, the majority of our clients are small business owners. Yodle has a unique solution for national franchise companies that allows them to manage local ad dollars and national coop dollars through one easy to use product.

BMA: Currently, Yodle is in the Top 40 DMAs (markets). What are your expansion plans? Are you going to increase the number of markets that Yodle covers?

CC: No, our plans for growth are vertical, which will enable us to provide greater depth per market. We’ll also be rolling out new products in the near future that will be beneficial for our clients.

BMA: Would you say that your greatest competitors are Yelp and other “like-minded” sites?

CC: Not really. We use Yelp and City Search to display our client’s ads. Our biggest competitors would be other sites like ours, and the Yellow Pages.

BMA: Please reiterate Yodle’s advantage over these sites…

CC: Yodle will provide small businesses with a high volume of quality leads, complete service and transparency, and higher ROIs than advertising currently being used.

Yodel-ogoYodle is yet another example of a company that thinks progressively and has the ability to succeed while others remain stagnant. Now is the perfect time for small business owners to take advantage of online advertising opportunities to increase their advantage over competitors. Yodle provides local businesses with a simple and affordable way to get new customers and phone calls while establishing an online presence. Click here to find out more about services offered by Yodle, as well as its clients’ success stories.

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

Media Consumption Patterns: Reaching Teens

86653-TeensDid you hear the one about the 15-year-old who decided to run his own study on the media consumption patterns of teenagers? It’s quite the research… er… story… lesson.

Ben Kellogg of Group SJR forwarded me the article after we had spoken about an entirely unrelated subject. To be quite honest, I didn’t jump right on it… my laptop had died, losing files, email contacts, and programs. I just kept resetting the email reminder. Until today.

no-tvMatthew Robson, a 15-year-old intern working for Morgan Stanley, conducted a media study called “How Teenagers Consume Media.” The conclusions caused a bit of an uproar, mainly because one teen does not represent all teens. Yet, it could also be said that the overall observations coincide with many teen media habits. The teens I know, for instance, would rather be online than in front of a television. Either that or doing both… watching TV and surfing the Web, interspersed with texting. Although there is absolutely no statistical backing for a survey of one, we can draw some general inferences from Robson’s writing.

General conclusions for the study include:

  • Most teenagers are not regular listeners to radio, instead opting for online streaming services
  • Most teens watch television, but frequency varies by season. Additionally, now that TV shows are webcasted as well, there’s less worry about missing an episode
  • Teens do not read traditional papers because “they don’t have the time” (I am sure they have the time… it’s just that papers don’t rank highly on the priority list)
  • Console gaming, interestingly, is not of interest to teenagers… and the main factor is cost. Costs for consoles and games are beyond most budgets; however, multi-player, interactive online games are popular
  • The Internet is where teens interact socially, conduct research for school, create videos, IM, and otherwise connect to others… except for Twitter. Matthew states that teens do not use Twitter*
  • Teens love music, but are not paying for it
  • Viral marketing is enjoyed and supported by teens
  • They do not use directories unless it’s online, etc.

*According to the graph below from Sysomos, teens comprise 30% of Twitter users:


This is directly in contrast with Robson’s assessment.

But hey, he is 15 years-old, and while he may be intelligent, his judgment is missing the crucial benefit of time. However, Morgan Stanley should not be lacking in the judgment column… or, in retrospect, maybe that’s exactly what they are missing…

Jeff Louis: Strategic Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, Writer & Blogger. Unlike the all the other blog writers for Talent Zoo, Jeff is cute and nice. Tweet him @jlo0312. Just kidding about the nice part.