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Archive for May, 2011

Blogads Gives Back: Ronald McDonald House [Slideshow]

by Nick Faber
Friday, May 27th, 2011

As part of our Blogads Gives Back initiative, we volunteered some time at the Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill. The RMH-CH provides a clean, safe, and healthy place to stay for over 1800 families a year while their children undergo treatment at area hospitals.

Many thinks to Cathy and all of the great staff and volunteers of Ronald McDonald House for helping us contribute to the great and important work they do.

Is Facebook killing online advertising?

by Nick Faber
Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Oil Painting by A. Fudyma-Powers

The Facebook “Like” is having a great year. After pushing the “share” function into oblivion, the ubiquitous verb-turned-noun-turned-baby name has become a coveted honor badge for brands. Why? Quick and easy word of mouth. “Like” a post using Facebook’s social plug-in, your friends see it in their news feed, and more free traffic heads to the post. Same with pages, which also give brands easy access to your own stream. Facebook’s Page Discovery browser let’s you see which pages are most liked by your friends, and which brand wouldn’t want to show up there?

So is all of this “Liking” more valuable than advertising? In AdWeek’s coverage of the eG8, Michael Wolff quoted an exchange between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Publicis head Maurice Levy:

“If you think about advertising, what’s going to be more effective than any advertising you show is something your friend says they like,” says Zuckerberg.

To which Levy, in the business of showing, rushes to say, “I agree that recommendation and endorsement from a friend is sometimes more powerful than the greatest ad.”

Was Levi conceding the point? Probably not. As commenter Mark Rukman points out, word-of-mouth and advertising are old friends:

advertising/marketing/organizations create brands. brands create a short cut for meaning or perception. we hope for meaning, we usually only attain perception. perception in turn influences word of mouth. i don’t see that as long as most rationale c-level decision makers believe in game theory, advertising is going anywhere anytime soon. digital is what the world is becoming, but advertising with every successive new medium, has adapted and grown.

We can’t discount the impact Mark Z’s company has had on the life of brands, but in this case, we tend to agree with Mark R.

Blogads Local: Our Favorite Restaurants

by Nick Faber
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The part of North Carolina we work in is a bit of a foodie utopia. Here in Carrboro, our downtown streets are lined with restaurants serving up everything from French cuisine, to New York-style pastrami, to traditional comfort food. Chapel Hill, a two-minute walk from our office, has many culinary delights of its own, including two 2011 James Beard winners.

In the first of our Blogads Local series, we’ve pick our favorite two restaurants in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

Our Absolute Favorites

It’s only a small coincidence that our favorite restaurants were also honored by the James Beard Foundation earlier this year.

Lantern

As Food & Wine magazine put it, “everyone who comes to Chapel Hill loves Lantern.” Listed by Gourmet as one of the top 50 restaurants in America, this farm-to-table pan-asian restaurant is a Blogads favorite for dinner. Chef Andrea Reusing was recently crowned the Best Chef in the South by the James Beard Foundation. So yeah, it’s really good.

Blogads Recommends:

Dinner: White meat or the other white meat. Check out the Tea-smoked chicken or the pork shank. You can’t go wrong either way.

Dessert: When it’s in season, you must try the basil mint sorbet, served with a home made fortune cookie.

Crook’s Corner

Chef Bill Smith is no stranger to the James Beard Foundation either. In 2009 and 2010, he was a finalist for the Best Chef of the Southeast Award. This year, the Beard Foundation gave the well-loved Crook’s Corner the America’s Classic award for its “timeless appeal” and “quality food that reflects the character of their community.” The seasonal menu boldly explores Southern cuisine, with incredible specialties for every course of your meal.

Blogads Recommends:

Hey, there’s a big pink pig on their sign for a reason. Try the Carolina sampler: pit cooked pulled pork served with hoppin’ John, collard greens and black pepper cornbread.

If it’s still on the menu, check out the honeysuckle sorbet, made from locally harvested honeysuckle plants. Obviously, supplies are limited.
In coming weeks we’ll tell you our favorite spots for vegetarians, great places to have a beer with your meal, and where to eat when you’re in a hurry.

Featured Blogger: Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Summed up by the Green and Clean Mom‘s own tagline, this blog is the prime spot to learn”how being ‘green’ can be sassy, sexy and fun!” As a environmentally conscious mother of two, blogger Sommer Poquette shares her passion and tips with other moms seeking ways to be more Eco-savvy in their lives. In addition to her blog, Sommer stays in touch with her readers via Facebook, and she frequently updates more than 9,000 followers on Twitter.

Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in 2007 when my daughter was four months old. I had no idea what I was doing but I had a vision and went for it! I’ve learned a ton on my own through webinars, books, reading other blogs and attending conferences! It has been fabulous!

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: When I first started blogging, there weren’t too many “green” blogs out there! Now there are hundreds upon hundreds – if not thousands. Green and Clean Mom isn’t about judgement or being just “one shade of green,” but it is meant to be real and inspire, motivate and encourage readers wherever they are in their journey to be more eco-friendly.  I think that sets Green and Clean Mom apart from many blogs.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: They really like what I do, but I had to write a children’s book to explain it! Ha! Ha! At first they did not understand it but after all of these years, they’ve seen my passion and how I’ve turned it into a business  - they are supportive.

Q: Which blogger most inspires you to keep blogging?

A: Oh my! I’m not sure I can answer this question and limit my zillion page list to just one blogger! I attend many blogging conferences and read dozens of blogs and find so much inspiration from amazing women within the community. I think it is the community that inspires me the most, not just one blogger. (more…)

Get more quality views with Blogads video ads

by Nick Faber
Friday, May 20th, 2011

It’s no secret. As Digiday’s Mike Shields points out, this is a boomtime for video ads:

Here’s another indicator that the online video ad market is surging: twice as many video ads were served in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2010.

With our DIY system, you can add video to any Blogad unit by dropping a YouTube or Vimeo URL into our form.

That’s it.

You don’t have to deal with rich media costs, and there isn’t any more production work to do. And unlike other video ads, Blogads can boost your video count.

ClickZ calls the 2012 presidential race the “Video Election,” saying video “is poised to have a greater impact on the 2012 Presidential race than any election before it.”

One political advocacy group bought Blogads on 50 LBAN blogs and received over 3200 new views for their YouTube video.

Video advertising is red hot, so strike now and put your video in front of the influential blog readers of over 3500 blogs.

pADdle Battle: ping-pong tournament for Triangle geeks

by Nick Faber
Friday, May 20th, 2011

We’re getting our ping-pong paddles dusted off over at Blogads HQ and gearing up for pADdle Battle 2011. Triangle-area advertising and new media folks are invited to join us on June 23 at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham’s “D.I.Y. District.” Make some new friends in the industry over local craft beer and friendly table-top competition. The party gets started at 6pm, and the tournament kicks off soon after.

It costs $5 to play, and all proceeds go to the Durham branch of the The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. It’s free to come and hang out. We’ll also be accepting canned goods for the food bank. The tastier, the better.

Think you’ve got game? Sign up now.

Brazil: Home of the outdoor (branded) event

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

This year’s Carnival has come and gone, but according to these clever branding initiatives, there is always something fun going on in the streets of Brazil.

In February, Coca-Cola and Definition6 converted this delivery truck into a mobile Happiness Machine. They hit the streets of Rio, and delivered Coke — I mean, Happiness — to people in the streets of South America’s second-largest city.

When Mu-Mu Milk launched in South Brazil last year, it faced a saturated market that wasn’t exactly clamoring for another “boring and white” beverage. How did they quadruple their market share in four months? They bought the exclusive sponsorship to the CowParade, the world’s largest urban art event.

How do you win friends at the biggest party in South America? You lead them to the beer. In a fun mix of old technology and new, Antartica Beer and AlmapBBDO invented the BEER GPS, so revelers in need could easily find the “BOA.”

So why Brazil? Is it because they’re hosting a future World Cup and Olympics? Or are Brazillians just really into staging big outdoor events? Marketplace’s Steve Chiotakis asked Weiden + Kennedy’s Andre Gustavo why agencies have their sites set on Brazil. Gustavo’s answer?

The obvious answer is because of the size of the market. Brazil’s got 190 million people living there, so it’s a huge market. Economy is stable, economy is growing, the country’s gaining importance in the world scenario.

If you zoom out of Brazil, and out of the ad industry, you’ll see that the entire continent is teeming with tech. Here’s TNW’s list of 10 South American startups to look out for.

Featured Blogger: Jillian Madison of Damn You AutoCorrect

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Damn You AutoCorrect’s Jillian Madison has positioned herself as a major player in the world of hilarious blogs. In addition to Damn You AutoCorrect, her hysterical sites include Parent Fails, Food Network Humor, Awkward Names, Parents Shouldn’t Text, My Rough Life, Wrong Number Texts and PopHangover, just to name a few.  Each site highlights one distinctive funny theme, and Damn You AutoCorrect focuses on the weird and amusing miscommunication that occurs when someone’s cell phone accidentally auto corrects the spelling of their text messages.

Jillian Madison of Damn You AutoCorrect

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started Pophangover, my flagship pop culture humor website, back in 1999 – and that’s before blogging even existed! Blogging’s come a long way! I had to use static HTML pages and update them constantly, and it was such a time consuming process. I actually started the site as a place to make fun of all the ridiculous things I was observing on TV and in pop culture on a daily basis. Over the past 12 years, the network has expanded to over 12 sites like AwkwardNames.com and WhyDidYouBuyMeThat.com, and I’m adding more every year.

Q: How do you think Damn You AutoCorrect stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: Everyone can relate to it! We all carry cell phones around in our pockets these days. Everyone has either been autocorrected, or knows someone who has. That, and I think the content, is universally funny and relatable by people of all ages. (more…)

Women bloggers <3 online advertising

by Nick Faber
Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Graphic via marketingprofs.com

Advertisers hunting for good social media partners should focus on women.

In a recent survey of 2,480 female bloggers, 90% of the respondents like partnering with brands, as long as they are compensated. Of the 42% of bloggers approached by brands, the most commonly accepted sponsorship types are online reviews, (26%), affiliate program promotions (15%), and direct advertising (13%).

As MarketingProfs.com points out, bloggers value relationships with brands:

Female bloggers have positive opinions about brand-sponsored social media and blog campaigns: 60% say they respect brands that want to interact with bloggers, remarking “campaigns are fun,” often “validate their blogs,” and present “great opportunities to earn revenue.”

A separarte study by Marina Maher reveals that this relationship is mutually beneficial, as Jack Neff of AdvertisingAge writes:

These “Influence-Hers” have considerably larger social networks — both online and offline — totaling on average about 170 people they interact with regularly, compared with 75 for a typical woman, said Marina Maher Managing Director Keith Hughes.

Besides having a larger social circle, they also tend to be more actively engaged with brands. The Influence-Hers are 38% more likely than typical women to “like” brands on Facebook or to provide personal information to brands they like on Facebook. They’re also 105% more likely to post positive experiences and 125% more likely to post negative experiences about brands online.

We’ve had similar findings in our own network, with a strong majority female bloggers eager to team up with brands for fun campaigns. If you’re looking to partner with “Influence-Hers,” check out our Women’s Hive, featuring over 350 of the most influential women on the web.

 

Perez and Ritz Cheese it Up!

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Need a pick-me-up? In a first-of-its-kind homepage takeover, Ritz Crackerfuls have “Cheesed Up”  PerezHilton.com, allowing readers to interact with Perez’s posts in new, odd, cheesy ways.

Think Whitney would look more dignified in glasses? Maybe Lady Gaga should be a Viking? Using the palette beside the posts, readers can drag resizable stickers onto any photo. Like PerezHilton.com, Ritz Crackerfuls is a perfect quick, reenergizing, “cheesy” mid-day pick-me-up.

Even Perez himself, notoriously persnickety, is loving it:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/PerezHilton/status/67963695984160768"]


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