Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let Me Be The Judge Of That!

If you are anything like me when it comes to watching sports, you most likely yell at the television and scold an athlete for not making that goal, home run, tackle, hole-in-one...well, you get my drift. But who am I to criticize a professional athlete when I am sitting on the couch eating an unhealthy amount of oh-so-good sea salt and vinegar chips?

I like to feel knowledgable. I like to pretend that my words are valuable and sense no one of professional athletic expertise is around to put me in my place, I proceed to coach the players on television. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

For NBA fans who are passionate about basketball, this year's annual All-Star Weekend was one of the best yet! For the first time, fans were the sole dunk contest judges via Twitter, SMS and website-based voting, according to Sam Laird from Mashable.
Big kudos to the NBA for wisely using social media to interact with fans in a strategic fashion. Although social media is a major tool in marketing, public relations and advertising, the strategy behind the use of social media sites is what makes or breaks a plan. The number of "likes" on Facebook is not a substantial measurement of success/awareness. The NBA's strategy of an interactive approach to reaching fans through social media will possibly become the influencer for other professional sporting associations in terms of connecting with fans.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Live, Can You Help Me?

One of my secretly long-lived dreams is to work on Saturday Night Live (SNL). A fan for years, I have been slightly disappointed with the show's recent seasons. Unfortunately, the show does not consume the spark that it used to have but I still watch it because of the brand. SNL has aired on television every year since 1975! It's a classic. Even Ben and Jerry's ice cream company came out with a new flavor called Schweddy Balls, named after a SNL skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy. http://brandchannel.com/home/post/2011/09/07/Ben-Jerrys-Schweddy-Balls.aspx

I recently finished former SNL writer/cast member, Tina Fey's book Bossypants. In her book, she talks about the hectic-fun-stressful-memorable environment when working for SNL. One of the highlights of her career was portraying Sarah Palin, who was running for Republican Vice President at the time. During one of the late-night episodes, Palin was featured in one of the sketches. You would wonder why someone like Palin who got mocked so frequently on the show would want to show her face around the writers and crew  after all the things they said about her.

The answer: publicity. This is the reason for every SNL host. They are usually coming out with a movie or they are "what's hot" in the tabloids. Not only is SNL helping the celebrity promote his or her movie/brand and in some cases giving the host an opportunity to clear the air over public scandals, SNL is also crossing fingers hoping that ratings will go up based on the choice of host. It is all strategic.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Use Tweets To Help You, Not Hurt You

Christine Erickson from Mashable Entertainment wrote about hip-hop artist Chris Brown's recent activity on Twitter and his unwisely use of the social media tool in her article, "Chris Brown Isn't Dead, But His Twitter Handle Almost Is." She asked readers, "If you were Chris Brown's publicist, how would you handle the situation?"

After Brown performed at this year's Grammys, Twitter users were sparking a controversy mentioning the performer in a not-so-positive light starting trending topics such as #wifebeater. To make matters worse, "Brown responded to the hate with a strongly worded tweet," says Erickson. If you are interested in the artist's exact responses and for more information on the story visit this link: http://mashable.com/2012/02/15/rip-chris-brown/

Celebrities are a form of brands. Their uses of social media is to promote themselves and what they have to offer. Unfortunately, when responses like Brown's are created with no thought to potential consequences, the public loses trust in that brand or in this case, celebrity.

If I were Chris Brown's publicist, I would start reacting immediately and write a statement of apology. What would you do?


Baby Wins!

According to USA TODAY, Doritos takes the win for this year's best Super Bowl commercial. USA TODAY/Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter started the competition online, marking the first time for consumers to pick the winner versus the traditional voting made by preselected panelists. Voting began after each of the 55 commercials aired on which advertisers spent up to a record $3.5 million for each 30-second slot.  

The record-breaking price for this year's ads sparked quite a controversy. The public began questioning if "Super Bowl commercials are really worth that amount of money?" If you search for that question on the Internet you will discover numerous amounts of articles and blogs ranging in all opinions. USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz, Laura Petrecca, and Gary Strauss responded to this topic stating, "For the Super Bowl's 38 national advertisers, this was also the Social Bowl. Never mind that they spent upwards of $230 million on just the TV advertising time. The purpose of most of the spots was to drive consumers to share the spots with friends, buzz about them and the brand and then try to find out more about the product."

With today's technology providing us with products like TiVo and DVR, many viewers can now fast forward through commercials, and you can bet that most do.  But on the day of the Super Bowl, my theory is most viewers watch mainly for the creative ads and take their bathroom breaks during the game (that is, of course, assuming your favorite team is not playing). In marketing, wise advice is to market to those who are listening. Those who are willing to listen to you are the ones who will tell their friends and family; therefore, growing brand recognition. $3.5 million is a great chunk of cash but for a Super Bowl commercial, I say it's worth it.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Help me, help you

On one of my past blogs, a fellow blogger asked me, "What are your views are on using celebrities for building brand recognition; do you think it's played an effective role in getting even more of a consumer base?"

While I personally believe that celebrities are great "tools" for building brand recognition, celebrities can also direct certain audiences against a brand.  One of my favorite celebrities today is Ellen Degeneres. To me, Ellen is a sincerely generous, kind and downright likable human being. She recently became the new spokesperson for JC Penney. However, because of her sexual orientation, a conservative group called One Million Moms is bashing the department store for choosing Degeneres as the face of the brand. Despite your own personal opinion on this subject, we have to remember there are various diverse target audiences in this world with different views and morals. Perhaps having Degeneres as the new spokesperson will cause JC Penney to lose some groups of customers; on the other hand, perhaps JC Penney will gain a new group of customers.

It all comes down to company morals. According to Us Weekly, JC Penney's CEO Ron Johnson stated "Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share."

Here is a clip of Degeneres addressing the issue on her show:


To read more about Ellen Degeneres partnering with JC Penney go to: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/ellen-degeneres-jc-penney-ceo-address-jc-penney-controversy-201292

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Reality of Entertainment PR

I read an article today posted by Lorra M. Brown from Ragan's PR Daily. The article is about the not-so-glamorous industry of entertainment and fashion public relations. This is not news to me. From the beginning of my PR sequence in school, teachers have informed me that event-planning and entertainment PR is exhausting. "Be ready to have multiple backup plans," they always say. I believe their advice.
To represent something or someone is a big deal! That is quite a load of responsibility to be carrying over one's shoulders; therefore, people have to appreciate the amount of work public relation practitioners accomplish.

In my blog I have talked about entertainment used as a marketing and advertising tool. As far as fashion shows, you always see celebrities sitting in the front row watching models walk down the runway wearing the marvelous creations of top designers. The relationship between celebrities and fashion designers is an important step to market a designer's art of clothes. Viewers tune into red carpet pre-shows before popular award ceremonies to watch "who is wearing who." The line "who are you wearing," means a dress is more than a dress, it is a name. Ah, the beauty of branding.

Take a look at Brown's article to learn what really goes down in fashion and entertainment PR: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/10701.aspx


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrity Faces On All The Right Places

One of my favorite shows on television right now is ABC's Modern Family. If you have not seen it already--watch it. The Golden Globe Award winning show is witty and the entire cast play off of each other swimmingly. Did I mention Ty Burrell (actor who plays Phil Dunphy on the show) graduated from the University of Oregon?  Go Ducks!

Another main star of the hit show is Colombian actress, Sofia Vergara. Vergara plays Gloria Pritchett, a strong-headed woman with a voluptuous figure and remarkable beauty that comes with a very thick Columbian accent. Her humor and loving personality has captured audiences and big brands as well.

One of the bigger brands she is representing for is the new Diet Pepsi TV campaign. According to the "Celebrity Brands" blog, Vergara uses her "wit and charm to dance her way past a cast of suitors in a sultry Miami nightclub to get to a refreshing can of Diet Pepsi." With the popularity of Modern Family helping Vergara become a recognizable and appealing actress, PepsiCo was smart to use her as the face of the new Diet Pepsi.

Check this blog to find more marketing campaigns that Vergara is associated with: http://www.celebritybrands.net/tv/sofia-vergara-goes-on-a…-diet-pepsi/