Happy Hunger Games

It’s no surprise that the Hunger Games film took top spot at the box office this weekend.  Lionsgate projects the film broke $155 million in its opening weekend, a record for the studio, for a non-sequel, for March, and the 3rd-best weekend of all time. So who and what advertising strategy is to thank for this amazing showing? A start-up – thismoment.com.

It’s hard to believe a start-up could be behind the campaign and success of The Hunger Games, but it’s true.  TM or thismoment.com started their social media program back in June 2011.  They tapped YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to begin promoting the film through colorful, engaging videos about the characters.  They also used youth-oriented sites like MTV and MTV’s Facebook page to engage kids and get them talking and starting a conversation about the film.  Fans were/are encouraged to submit videos regarding their love for the movie, which then gets friends of friends excited and the social movement grows.  TM’s social media strategy paid off and allowed the Hunger Games to have their fans do most of their social marketing for them.  It’s quite a success story for a film that had an $80 million production budget, and a $45 million marketing budget (which is small compared the the $100 million normally spend on blockbuster films).

Additionally, here are a few marketing tactics that are also attributed to the Hunger Games success:

  • 18.1 million views on Capitol TV’s YouTube Channel
  • 8 million views of the premiere trailer within the first 24 hours of the iTunes release
  • Over 2.9 million people have liked The Hunger Games official Facebook page. Fans are up 215% since the beginning of the year, according to data compiled from The Hunger Games Movie page.
  • 800,000 people have created personalized digital ID cards saying they live in the film’s futuristic world, Panem
  • 379,673 and counting follow @TheHungerGames on Twitter (3/26/12)
  • 80,000 free posters handed out
  • 3,000 billboards and bus shelters
  • 50 websites took part in a ticket giveaway
  • 100: The number of puzzle pieces a promotional poster was broken into as a PR stunt. Fans had to find all of the puzzle pieces, scattered among 100 different sites, before uploading a final picture of the completed jigsaw
  • 12 shades of nail polish sold by China Glaze were aptly named for the film
  • 8 trailers and TV spots

Did you see the movie? What did our Rox readers think of the film and its marketing and social marketing?

Happy Hunger Games Everyone!

What’s In A Verb?

2012 is the year that marketers and advertisers must begin to trade in adjectives and adverbs.  Since most campaign content is being filtered through social networks, we need to know what our consumers do with the content, rather than what they say about it.  Facebook’s “like” and “share” functions are just two social verbs frequently used by consumers, while Yahoo now has a “read” feature that is showing up on people’s news feeds.  Experts believe that “buy” and “watched” are the next two additions to the social verb list.

Although it seems like a strange tactic, Buddy Media CEO, Michael Lazerow, believes that sites who add the optional Facebook share capability can increase traffic to their page by 12.98%.  The Guardian, for example, has already embraced verbs and has seen 1 million additional monthly views with their new Facebook Page.  Yahoo, as mentioned above, has also found verbs helpful and now has expanded it’s relationship with Facebook to 26 more sites.

Verb campaigns will be a big necessity in 2012, so AdAge has suggested 3 helpful strategies to consider when thinking about how your company can utilize them.

  1. Build Verb Hooks Everywhere – Data proves that people want to share.  Whether it’s an online poll, a news article they found interesting, or a contest that they’ve entered, people want their social networks to be involved.  If marketers can “adopt the verb structure and API’s into their assets, they are more likely to surface through Facebook’s algorithms.”
  2. Consider the Lens of Friends – People see the web differently, and it’s extremely important for executives to know this.  Execs must think hard about their audiences, their core group as well as the majority outliers, because knowing who you are marketing to and how they can and will interpret your message, will help guide your verbs.
  3. Prioritize Media That Thinks in Verbs – Media buys are becoming increasingly important, especially in the verb world.  Make sure you are partnering with media companies that have started to use verbs, so that you can easily add social functionality into basic banner ads, as well as rich-media.

For more information, go to: http://adage.com/article/steve-rubel/marketers-verbs-face-irrelevance/232080/Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

New Years Resolution Apps

Another year is here and with it comes another round of New Years resolutions.  Don’t despair, 2012’s resolutions are sure to stick, and if you need some help, there are 8 apps whose goal it is to keep you on track.

  1. 21Habit– This app is $21 BUT it makes you earn the money back, with $1 each day for 21 days that you keep your resolution. It’s completely on the honor system but will get you in the habit of tracking and monitoring your progress.
  2. Livifi is a very robust smartphone app.  You can keep track of more than 40 goals at one time.  The app allows for long-term progress reviews as well as adjustments as needed.  It also provides recommendations for how to accomplish your goals.
  3. Strava is an app for solo athletes or those who like to train and share their results with friends and the sporting community.  When you bring your smartphone (with GPS) on your runs, bike rides, etc the app will sync your stats into the Strava website while also allowing you to share via social networking sites.
  4. Health Month is an app that’s still in beta, but it’s a game that aims to help users accomplish their goals by creating rules.  The site rewards you with “life points” for sticking to your rules for that month but each time you don’t follow those rules you lose your life points.
  5. Mind Bloom is an app and website where users create a tree by filling in their goals and personal information.  The tree will then blossom and turn green depending on the direction your life is going.
  6. FitID is a fitness app that incorporates the trend of “social fitness.”  In addition to sharing your workout information with your social networks, this app helps you search for cool new workouts, diets and friends who may be waiting for you at the gym.
  7. Stickk is a website where you put up money upfront and then have to earn it back by sticking with your goals.  Hey, who better to motivate you than yourself and your money?
  8. GymPact is an app that that helps you bribe yourself to go to the gym.  This app has you set a dollar amount and a specific number number of times you want to hit the gym each week.  Then by checking in you retain your money, but when you don’t make it, GymPact deducts money from your account.

Good Luck Rox readers! We know you can make those goals and stick with them! Let us know if you use any of these apps and have great experiences with them!

Unique, Affordable, Personalized Gifts

Admittedly, most of us are a bit strapped for cash this holiday season.  Instead of going out and buying the nicest, newest or best, many of us are opting for homemade gifts.  Below are 10 unique, affordable and personalized gifts that might be good for anyone of your friends, family or loved ones that you can’t quite figure out what to get them.

1. Family Photo Book – Ofoto and Snapfish are two well known and highly used sites for printing pictures, calendars and photo books, but Blurb and Lulu are two excellent alternatives.

2. Make Your Own Candy – Yes, we’ve all received Aunt Ida’s famous fruitcake for years, but making your own candy is different.  AllRecipes.com has a great collections of easy to make candy recipes that will not only show your friends and family you care but also provide them with a sweet and delicious treat.  Add custom, printable labels from My Own Labels, and you’ve got a gift that will make everyone smile.

3. Personalize a Jelly Bean Mix – For all you Jelly Belly lovers, their new website MyJellyBelly.com allows you to create a personalized Jelly Belly gift, perfect for anyy occasion.

4. Create a Cookbook – A friend of mine got a personalized Tastebook cookbook for her bridal shower, what an amazing gift. Not only does this cookbook have recipes that are meaningful to you, but you can add photos and a custom cover.

5. Personalize a Shirt – I love Cafepress and have used it for several gifts (babyshowers, etc). but Spreadshirt is another great website that allows you to create a one-of-a-kind piece with your own images and text.

6. Develop Your Own Energy Bar or Shake – Do you have a health nut friend who can’t find anything healthy they like at Jamba Juice?  Then YouBar might be a great alternative.  The Build-A-Bar page allows people to design their own product down to the details like High protein, low carb or gluten free.  The site also automatically adds us the nutrition facts as you add ingredients.

7. Create Your Own Calendar – Believe it or not, family members love this gift and now Flickr makes creating a custom calendar extremely easy.

8. Make Your Own Lego Set – Have young kids or even a dorky husband/boyfriend? LEGO has launched a DesignByMe website that offers a way for you to create your own LEGO designs that are professionally manufactured and boxed for a gift.  You can even design the box too!

9. Custom M&M’s My M&M’s lets you put anything, picture, logo, text on to your personal batch of M&M’s.

10. Create Your Own Brand of Cereal – For all of the cereal and granola junkies in your life, [me]&goji, MixMyGranola, and MojaMix allow you to create you own customized cereal or granola mixes.   And as a bonus, [me]&goji allows you to customize the box too!

Hopefully these gifts have given our Rox readers a unique alternative to the gift card (although those are great! don’t get me wrong), but if you are looking for something a little more personal, try a gift from the list above.  If you do, let us know! We would love to hear about how the process and the end product came out!

8 Lessons from AdAge’s Technology Conference

There were more than 300 attendees at the AdAge Creativity and Technology conference, who were treated to speeches from agency creatives, technologists, writers and heads of design.  Below are eight ideas to takeaway from the conference:Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

  • Curation is key – Choice is not always healthy.  Companies need to utilize their expertise to give consumers a smaller set of options, which in turn manages expectations.  With fewer choices, consumers are less likely to feel they could have gotten a better deal if they continued to shop around.
  • Re-imagine digital as product development – Fiat’s Eco: Drive, “the web-based tool that turned data into recommendations for consumers to save money and reduce their carbon footprint,” won best in show at One Show Interactive this year because its interactive efforts grew beyond a microsite.  The website provides consumers value indefinitely, creating a product not just a brand.
  • Sit close to technologists – Technologists are now ad agencies best tool.  They should be invited to creative meetings early on in the process to accurately show what can be done in the web development arena.
  • Making technology easy, isn’t – The challenge is making the highly technical into an intuitive consumer experience.  The consumer experience is what matters at the end, not necessarily how much skill when into building the product or website.
  • Look beyond short-burn ROI – Building a brand’s personality takes time, and agencies should take the opportunity to create a platform with staying power.
  • Learn how to design data – Creatives need to become versed in how to design data that this easily understandable for consumers.
  • Content will soon be tagged to the real world – Real-time and real-world applications started as just a cool way to interact but have now turned into a staple of the technology industry and agencies need to familiarize themselves with the technology.
  • Think outside the box – With the introduction of smartphones, agencies have the potential to re-imagine what can be done for a brand.  With the ability to take pictures of barcodes from your phone, there is a whole world of possibilities that opens up.

For  the full article on the conference, go to: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=140678

You can also check out a play-by-play from the event, go to: #crcat on Twitter

Green Shopping

The holiday season is upon us and consumers will receive  more catalogs, direct mail and coupons in the next few weeks, then they do the rest of the year.  If you are into going green, check out CatalogChoice.org.  The website allows you to sign up for electronic catalogs instead of being inundated with paper ones.   When you visit CatalogChoice.org you can enter your customer data from the address labels of the catalogs you receive and either sign up for an iCatalog or cancel the delivery altogether.

Catalog Choice is a non-profit based in Berkeley.  For more information as well as to sign up and start reducing your paper and unwanted mail, go to: CatalogChoice.org


Word Of Mouth Spending Grows to $1.5B

Spending behind word-of-mouth advertising rose 14.2% in 2008.  Food and drink brands were the biggest spenders, accounting for 30% of all w-o-m spending.  Word-of-mouth advertising includes buzz, influencers, community and viral marketing.

PQ Media forecasts that w-o-m spending will increase by another 10.2% this year, even with the recession taking place.  PQ Media also believes that total spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.5% between 2008 and 2013.

Most of the w-o-m spend was spent researching consumers via online communities like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.  These channels saw a growth of 26.6%, bringing the marketing dollars to $119 million.  By far the most money with $832 million, was dedicated to w-o-m strategy and consulting.  Agencies that specialize in w-o-m grew 18.7% to $197 million.

Getting w-o-m right is tricky, it can either make or break a brand or a campaign launch.  It is not surprising to see that w-o-m consulting agencies have grown as many traditional advertising agencies haven’t had the time or resources to put together an in-depth study on their online, social networking target audience.

For more information on this study, go to: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090729005726&newsLang=en

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Be Extended/Increased

The new home buyer tax credit was so successful that lawmakers and businesses are trying to get it extended past its fall deadline.  The same lobbyists are also trying to get it raised from $8,000 to $15,000.  According the the National Association of Realtors, first-time homebuyers make up 40% of home purchases.  There are several proposals out to Congress, including:

•A Senate bill to expand the tax credit to $15,000 for any home buyer regardless of income was introduced this month by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. It is co-sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

•A House bill to keep the $8,000 credit in place until June 2010 and expand it to all home buyers was introduced last month by Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas. It also would provide a $3,000 credit to homeowners who refinance.

•Another bill in the House, introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, would extend the credit to all home buyers through 2010.

Though The White House would not comment, you can read more about the bills at: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-06-22-homebuyer-credit-may-be-extended_N.htm

Free Root Beer Floats at O.C. Sonics

Participating Sonic Drive-Ins are thanking customers with Free Float Night on Wednesday, June 3.

Specifically, restaurants are giving away 10-oz. Root Beer Floats from 8 p.m. until midnight.  The chain, which has two restaurants in Orange County, expects to hand out more than 3.5 million Root Beer Floats, according to QSR Magazine.

The Sonics in Anaheim and Mission Viejo are participating  in the giveaway.

  • Anaheim Sonic is at 1632 N. Lemon Street. Phone: (714) 992-4500.
  • The Mission Viejo Sonic is at 25502 Jeronimo Road. Phone: 949-472-4690.

Chick-fil-A in O.C. offering free food all week

Six Orange County Chick-fil-As are giving away free food to diners each day this week, starting today with an 8-count chicken nugget dish.

The “Snack Attack” promotion is good from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day at restaurants in Orange, Irvine (2), Tustin, La Habra and Santa Ana.  A Cerritos Chick-fil-A is also participating in the freebie snack week.

No purchase is necessary.

Here’s the lineup of foods being offered each day:

Monday: 8-piece Nuggets

Tuesday: Waffle Potato Fries

Wednesday: Small Soft Serve Ice Cream

Thursday: Chick-n-Strips (3-count)

Friday: Fudge Brownie