Valentine’s Day

The National Retail Federation predicts that Valentine’s Day spending will top $18.6 billion this year, so naturally businesses want to cash in on this holiday with which so many have a love/hate relationship. While the jury’s still out on how much advertisers will spend in total, it will be a hefty sum, especially after factoring in social media campaigns.

Here are a few Valentine-related links that have caught my attention:

I am intrigued by a few of these vintage Valentine’s Day print ads and posters.

Ads of the World provides a fun ‘best of’ compilation.

App developers also want their piece of the holiday revenue pie.

I am obsessed with candy hearts. Learn more about their history here.

And for those who prefer social media as a vehicle to express your love and affection, take note: only 1.7% of people think it is the most romantic way to say ‘I love you.’

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Swipp It, Swipp It Good

So I’ve just started Swipping. Yes, Swipping.

Launched this week, Swipp is a social platform that allows you to find out what the world thinks about anything at any given moment. Kind of like Yelp, Swipp is a rating system that provides you with an opportunity to provide your opinion on anything: from your thoughts about the U.S. Congress to Lady Gaga, from McDonald’s to that new restaurant you tried last week, it’s all fair game on Swipp.

The platform is structured around topics instead of people, however you can easily see what your friends are Swipping. Using the ‘explore’ feature on the dashboard, you can see what topics are trending now all over the world. Even better, and appealing to the data dork in me, you can expand each topic to view if your friends Swipped it, its current Swipp score, lifetime Swipp score, Swipp score by male/female and Swipp score throughout regions of the world.perbandingan smartphone

Once enough people start using it, I can see how Swipp could be another tool marketers use to take a temperature check of their companies’ brand or products across the social web. Right now, it’s just fun.


New Year’s Resolutions

We are just over a week into 2013. Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Statistics tell us that 36 percent of us don’t make it past the first month, 54 percent past six months. With deflating numbers like that, it’s a wonder 45 percent of us even bother making them at all.

New Year’s resolutions have a long history. Some of the earliest known resolutions were made by the Romans as promises to their god, Janus, for whom the month of January had been named. Appropriately, Janus had two faces: one looked back to past for reflection, the other ahead toward the future.

Still, you would think we could break with tradition given our lackluster follow through. For many of us, however, a new year and its possibilities are too irresistible to ignore. A new year represents a blank canvas, a clean slate, an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ attitude that inspires us to do better and be better. Even artists and cultural icons are not immune to the promise a new year brings. The Atlantic compiled some interesting resolutions by notables here. The most popular for 2012 come as no surprise. You can review the usual suspects, in addition to statistics, here.

We hope that 2013 is a good one for you, wherever your resolutions and adventures take you.

New Year's Resolution generator by Monina Velarde

New Year's Resolution generator by Monina Velarde

Happy New Year from the ROX Family

As we look back at 2012 and ahead toward 2013, we hear and see a lot of talk about uncertainty in the economy, politics and foreign affairs, to name a few. Yes, many things do remain uncertain as 2012 comes to a close, however we are also seeing many positive things. Most notably, in our industry, more builders are building and buyers are buying. It is still too early to determine a consistent trend, but it is a good thing for our industry and economy.

With that in mind, we offer a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our clients. They provide us with the distinct privilege of crafting and sharing the stories of their new home communities. Our collective teamwork and passion made 2012 a year we will never forget.

We couldn’t be more excited for what 2013 brings, and we wish you all a healthy and prosperous new year.

Favorite Things, Fall Edition

Happy fall, everyone. I don’t know about you, but the dog days of summer have definitely worn out their welcome around here. Now that the temperatures are blissfully on their way down, I can cozy up to some of my fall loves and must haves.

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte
It’s that time of year again, and I am rarely without a pumpkin latte, pumpkin muffin or pumpkin scone from Starbucks. Sure, the pumpkin spice latte is 380 calories – so you’re basically drinking your breakfast. No time like to present to start putting on that winter coat.

Time to bring out the ever-versatile accessory in a variety of colors. This Stella McCartney beauty is on my wish list.

Color Drives
There’s nothing quite like taking a drive and seeing the fall colors. Travel + Leisure has a nice roundup of some of the country’s best scenic fall motorways.

Red Lipstick
Truly one of the season’s best accessories, a fabulous red lipstick that complements your skin tone is a must. The trick is finding the one that looks best on you. Lancome’s Blazing Red looks great on almost everyone.

The Classics
There’s something about cooler weather that makes me want pick up one of the classics and settle in for a good afternoon read on a rainy day. This year I am rereading one my favorites, Great Expectations.

What are some of your favorite things for fall?

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Facebook Goes Public – BIG Changes For Users

One of the biggest stories around the world last week was the fact that Facebook became a publicly traded company.  In making this move, there will be a lot of changes that will affect the company, as well as the user’s experience.  Here are a few of the changes below:watch film Spectral now

  • Almost all privacy settings are being switched to “public”
  • Facebook will have to make money, which means more ads
  • Look for Facebook to start acquiring more technologies (Netflix, Spotify, etc) to feed its core business (giving people the power to share).
  • Details of the large acquisitions – including the Instagram deal
  • Less secrets from the company, including Mark Zuckerberg’s annual pay ($1.5 million in 2011)
  • More transparency.  The company will have to report to the federal government agency: the SEC with three reports; one quarterly, one annually and one every three years

For the full story and more details regarding how transparent the company has to be, check out:

And for those of you who are thinking about jumping ship, or moving in a different social media direction, check out this great article on 7 social networks that could replace FB.

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Amazon’s Designer Vision

Amazon knows that it loses hundreds of millions of dollars each year on free shipping and free returns, and to be honest, the company is happy to do it since it keeps customers happy.   To make up some of those lost dollars, the company has decided to enter the high-end clothing business.  The reason for this is, shipping costs are about the same, whether it’s a $10 toy or a $5,000 gown, so why not go after the selling items like the gown with the much higher gross profit dollars per unit.  The company is courting designer brands to work with them and not against them.  They currently work with a few big names including: Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood, Catherine Malandrino, Jack Spade and Tracy Reese.

This past Monday Amazon sponsored and provided a live-stream from the Costume Institute Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the accompanying exhibit as a way to let designers and brands know their additional fashion-focused direction.  What Amazon has that is very desirable to these clients is a deep back pocket.  So if a designer needs models, photographers, nicer packaging, etc to highlight their clothes, Amazon can provide them.  One of the features being tested is an interactive product image, where the model is spinning and posing to show off the clothes.

The company’s success in this market will not be a slam dunk, as they’ve unsuccessfully tried to make a splash in this market before.  But with a bevy of fashion-focused sites (, and MyHabit) they’ve gotten some practice.  For more information, check out the full article at:

Groupon Launches G-Pass & VIP Program

Groupon has grown its business despite the onslaught of daily deal competitors.  A new feature that the site is launching is G-Pass, a line-jumping pass for GrouponLive events.  In a new partnership with LiveNation, G-Pass provides users with seating, ticketing and barcode-scanning info on their vouchers.  This enhancement allows users to skip the line at the box office and head straight into their event.  People previously had to take their Groupon voucher to will call and then exchange them for actual tickets.

Additionally, another perk that Groupon recently rolled-out is a $30-per year VIP program.  This program provides early access to deals and first dibs on reservations.  Finally, the company also introduced 2 other products, Clicky the Value Wheel –a gamification of daily deals — and a Scheduler app designed to help businesses fill out their appointment calendars.

Is this enough for Groupon to stay on-top?

For more information, go to:

Make Money Off Your Social Networks

Wingsplay is a new company that incentivizes people to share marketers ads with their social networks.  In exchange for individuals sharing these ads and creating more buzz and driving sales and engagement for products and brands, Wingsplay will pay the user.  Wingsplay’s creator knows how heavily people rely on their friends, family and social networks for recommendations, so he believes that Wingsplay’s distribution model is the perfect way for brands to increase their reach, while providing a kick-back to regular individuals.  Wingsplay believes that they are not “spamming” social media, but creating a platform to drive more conversations.

Users are allowed to post four videos per week and will earn money per view.  But, Wingsplay doesn’t provide enough financial incentive to just share any video (and risk annoying your friends/followers, etc.).  For example, if users shared Major League Soccer’s promotion video for their April 14th game, they received 21 cents per view.

The site is still in beta and has done most of its testing with television show trailers (from NBC and Oxygen).  Through these beta tests the site has learned that the best use of this distribution model and technology may be for funny, gripping or out there advertisements, since those seem to get shared the most, create the largest buzz and provide the brands with the most engagement.

For more information, check out:

We want to know what our readers think. Is this a good idea? Bad idea? Invasion of your social network?