Category Archives: social media

My fibroid history and targeted advertising

Arghh! You are saying. (exactly how do you pronounce arghh?) Do we really need to know about her friggin’ fibroid history? Do we really care about the dirty little details of her aging reproductive tract?

Actually, no you don’t. But apparently facebook did because they saw it fit to target me with this ad for a fibroid clinical trial.

Do I have fibroids? Not anymore because I had those babies yanked out about 4 years ago with my uterus if you really must know. (oh jeez, is there no end to this level of discomfort?) Good news: I can wear white pants whenever I want. I digress.

The question is, did facebook’s magic algorithm figure to target me with a fibroid trial because of my age, or because fibroids have been mentioned more than once on this very blog? (this blog is listed in networked blogs on facebook)

One will never really know the answer to that or the other mind-boggling questions of the universe. But it is safe to say either one or both of those could have gotten that ad on my page.

The reason I have chosen to share all this with you now is that it comes at such a timely juncture in our online lives; in a week where facebook’s ‘invasion’ of our privacy has been questioned ad nauseum. Users are in an uproar about how much of their profile information will be shared.

Well, the reality is kiddies, the info is out there for the taking. Not just on facebook, but all over the web. This article by Micheal Bush in Ad Age illustrates quite well how a digital profile can be gathered without much effort. Public information, as they say. Creepy, on some level but really who cares?

What are we afraid of? Well, me? I am not afraid of a whole hell of a lot. I don’t want to have my identity stolen and I don’t want to be stalked by creeps in real life. I agree with Micheal Bush, I don’t think that is the goal of marketers. Their goal is to reach their target market; the very people that are most likely to be their customers. To me, that’s not so terrible. Because if I had a facebook ad for string bikinis on my page I would only become depressed that my fibroid/uterus free body has no business squeezing into one. Or if you would be more mundane, I would not like to see ads for diapers.

I am both too old and thankfully too young to be buying any kind of diapers real soon.

Do you get where I am going with this? Does the fact that I have been in the business of marketing brands for the past (never mind how many) years taint my opinion? Maybe. Does my love (read obsession) for social media further color my feeling about this? Hell yeh.

Personally, I sort of think it is worth it to give up a little false sense of privacy to have the access to this kind of information. On a serious note, when I was trying to decide what to do about those damn fibroids, I would have welcomed the information that ad was offering me. (instead of torturing poor Dr. Judy for weeks about what I should do. Thanks again Jude, I will never forget your patience, I owe you a drink)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under blogging, facebook, facebook ads, health, humor, social media, trends

Vote for Mel

I am always checking out the latest cause-related campaigns because they tie together my passion for marketing, promotion, social media, design and a worthy cause. One of the best things about the social web is the way those involved have embraced social good and incorporated it into some really fantastic promotions. One only needs to take a peek at what Pepsi has up its sleeve instead of the gazillion dollar Super Bowl ads this year.

Today I received an email from Zazzle promoting a photo contest with a fundraising component supporting Spay Day 2010.

Who better to enter this contest than our dear sweet Mel – the ultimate good sport. I entered the photo below because although there have been many featured on this blog in the past, this is my all time fave. She is a great model.

Below is a preview of a page where you can vote for my girl and make a donation to a local organization, The Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove. Here is a link to the page as well. If you feel so inclined, make a donation to a worthy cause. She has 30 votes already!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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When Twitter is Down

So it happened tonight. To the dismay of those of us who use it as drug of choice/best time suck of all time the world’s most sophisticated social media types, twitter was so down that we were not even getting that cute little fail whale graphic. How did I find out? On Facebook, of course. The other place where online junkies get their fix favorite network of choice.

My guess was that since the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going on right now all the geekiest of geeks most sophisticated technology types were jamming twitter and causing it to sporadically fail.

I did a quick Google search to find out what was up and came across my new favorite site. It is called whentwitterisdown.com and every time you refresh the screen you get a new message. It is kind of like web 2.0s version of the magic 8 ball with an attitude.

Here are some of my faves:

I love the last one. And for the record, I don’t have a cat!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, communities, conversations, current events, humor, searches, social media, technology

No more shaving?!

Nope, didn’t make this one up. This baby is a screen grab right off my Facebook page. One of those creepy targeted ads towards women over 50. Or should I say, bearded women over 50. Hold onto your hats kiddies, I am up for a good rant on this one.

C’mon American Laser Centers! Are you friggin’ kidding me!

I mean, do you really think that a woman with shaving cream on her face is going to attract the likes of me and my kind? Honestly, we wax. And we laser after weighing the consequences of lifelong hair removal from certain parts of our bodies. Many do have to do a little touch up above the lip (I am thankful to say I do not). But um, facial hair to the point of having a beard?! Did you think maybe a shot of some long legs or a perhaps a hint of the bikini line might get us a little more attracted to your service than to show a woman…

SHAVING HER DAMN FACE!

I am sorry, last time I went on a girls weekend with my 50-year-old friends I don’t recall any of them whipping out the shaving cream and the razor and going to town on their chinny chin chins. I do remember a few conversations with the word ‘Brazilian’ in it but hey, we are just a bunch of women over 50, what do we know about hair removal? Well, this one does know that the hair removal market sits at around $1.8 billion annually – yes with a B! Thanks Wendy for that little factoid.

Wait, have I mentioned that 50-year-old women tend to be menopausal with erratic behavior patterns and reactions to things that piss them off. Oh right, did not show up in the research.

Oh, you were trying to be funny you say?

NOT.

Just curious, did you do any kind of focus group on that ad? Was there even a woman in the building when you guys did that creative? My friends, this is what we call a big time fail in my book.

So, my dear friends at the American Laser Centers, let’s see what kind of social media monitoring you are doing now that you put that ridiculous ad on my Facebook page. Or shall I say anti-social media? Rule number one, make sure you monitor or you are setting yourselves up for a nightmare. Might I suggest  The Social Studies Group, they can set you up with a nice program. And hey, $3,000 worth of free laser treatments would be a good sort of apology for insulting the hell out of me.

Now, you will have to excuse me, I have to go call the wonderful woman who waxes me and tell her how much I appreciate her sensitivity.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, body image, fashion, humor, marketing, social media, women

Time to Cry Tuesday – One in a Million

A million. That’s a hell of alot.

Of anything.

But members of a Facebook group? Many have tried but few have succeeded. Here are few examples of the success stories:

Barack Obama has 1,073,090.

Stephen T Colbert has 1,171,385.

None of this seems to be an obstacle for Speck Mellencamp. The 14-year-old son of Indiana rock star, John Mellencamp, has created the group 1,000,000 people to join, my dad john mellencamp will quit smoking.

Some will say he is crazy to attempt this. Others will ask why John agreed to it. Still others will wonder whether this is a publicity stunt. (I can assure you, it is not).

In my opinion none of this is relevant. What would be relevant is the fact that a 14-year-old son found a way to get through to his dad that just might work. Speck took the language of his generation and spelled out loud and clear a sentiment that maybe, just maybe, his nicotine-addicted dad just can’t ignore.

“Sure kid, get yourself a million members and then I will quit.”

Hmmm, never underestimate the power of a son’s love for his dad. Or the internet. Or the combination of both.

I LOVE THIS KID!

Why has this hit so close to home for me? First, there is nothing I love more than a parent and child story. And a close second would be a creative way to use social media. That coupled with the fact that the Mellencamps have been the kind of friends to faraway members of our family that we are infinitely thankful for. They have been there for them in person when we could not. And for that we will be forever grateful.

For all of you out there who are skeptics, shame on you. There is nothing more thrilling than a young person who will not take no for an answer.

Speck, you are one in a million, whether you hit your goal or not. You are surely destined for greatness. And John, you are one lucky dad who better get ready to pay up because my money is on the kid.

Now friends, go out there and join the group. Tweet, stumble, digg, kirtsy, carrier pigeon or whatever else you can to help spread the word.

(FYI, as of this writing the group has 5,595 members. It was launched the day after Thanksgiving)
UPDATE 12.1.09 11PM: over 42,000 members and picked up by AP. USA Today, Rolling Stone, Washington Post and going strong!)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.
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Filed under current events, relationships, social media, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Godspeed?

13435_995232923149_6840975_54761025_6594014_n

It may come as a shock to you, but no I did not take this picture in NY. This baby comes to me from cousin Kelly. He said he took it somewhere in Virginia (that would make more sense).

This is quite a vehicle, don’t you think? Screaming religion down the highway is rather odd, quoting all sorts of scriptures and the like.

But tell me, what is an unusalist? Could that be a typo right there on the bumper? Did they mean unusualist? Actually, neither of them is in the dictionary. Can one of my christian friends define this please?

This vehicle gives godspeed a whole new meaning.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Social Media Saturday #BeatCancer

Picture 9

About the program from their website:

#BeatCancer is a social media experiment and movement created by Everywhere, a social media communications and content company based in Atlanta, Georgia. The idea was spawned by Managing Partner, Tamara Knechtel. “We were headed to BlogWold in Las Vegas with a few of our clients, including Jermain Dupri. We new we’d be in a hotbed of major bloggers and twitterers and Don Lemon and I were talking about how the power of social media should be used for more than just marketing products. If Ashton Kutcher could get a million followers, couldn’t we take on a social cause through social media? My business partners who’ve watched as I’ve struggled with cancer suggested we try to beat cancer through social media. Thus #BeatCancer was born.” Knechtel immediately reached out to Rick Calvert, organizer of BlogWorld, and Guinness World Records to see if they could compete to set a record for the distribution of the largest mass message through social media. Both agreed and in no time, others joined in the movement providing sponsorship support.

In a 24-hour period of time starting Friday, October 16th at 9 am (PDT) and lasting until Saturday, October 17th at 9am (PDT) people all over the internet stratosphere will be asked to send tweets and Facebook status updates and to blog using#BeatCancer in their posts. Ebay/Paypal and MillerCoors Brewing Company will donate a penny ($0.01)* for every Twitter message, Facebook update or blog post that includes the phrase #BeatCancer. All money will be donated to non-profit cancer organizations including SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer), Alex’s Lemonade, Bright Pink, and Spirit Jump. All of the non-profits are 501 (c)(3) organizations and accredited by The American Cancer Society. A listing of all organizations and a live stream of postings can be found at www.beatcancereverywhere.com.

This is, by far, one of my favorite social media programs to date. It was launched today at Blogworld 09. If you remember, I attended Blogworld 08 back when I was an ignorant little driveling blogger and had no idea how cool this world could really be.

If you are a blogger, twitterer or just one of my crazy friends with a Facebook page, you can join this movement by simply clicking on the link above and following the directions on their site.

Here’s to you Tamara Knechtal, for turning your nightmare around and using your craft to change the world, 1 penny at at time. Good luck in breaking the world record.

Again, the Social in Social Media strikes again.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under blogging, charity, companies, health, marketing, social media, social media saturdays, trends, twitter

Social Media Saturday – Facebook Profile Tattoos?

husband-tattoo

Since the whole reason for starting this blog was to learn more about the social media space, I thought it would be fun to start this new series, Social Media Saturdays. I will be taking a look at the pros and cons of social media and of course pointing out the things that amuse me.

For those of you who are not on Facebook, the image to the left is a targeted Facebook ad. And a ridiculous one at that. What targeted means, in lay terms, is that there is some kind of creepy algorithm that aggregates all your profile info – age, marital status, geography, Facebook behavior, professional affiliations and G-d knows what else, perhaps even your bathroom habits. This information is then used to create strategically targeted ads that, in theory, fill your personal needs. (Nothing revolutionary, online ad networks have been doing this for a while. Think Google Ads). Again, in theory, you will be inclined to click on those ads, buy those products and services and the world will be a much better place because you don’t have to see ads for stuff you don’t want.

NOT.

Once again, I will retain my MFTA (Magnet For The Absurd) status with this post. I am guessing that perhaps the sole reason why I saw this ad on my Facebook page was because I am a married woman. (or maybe it is because I have linked to my blog where I have written about tattoos more than once). One would guess that all married women get this one, and all married men get the wife version with Jane on it. But how far does the targeting go? Will my married gay male friends get the John version? Depends upon how evolved the ad network is – both technically and socially. And if I were to get divorced would this ad stop appearing and would it be replaced by a dating service. Probably.

Creepy? Definitely.

Back to the absurdity of the offering. Hey, I love my husband but just as I doubt I would tattoo his name on my ass, I probably wouldn’t do it to my profile either. I wonder if there is an ad for a tattoo removal doctor that follows after you add this to your profile.

This illustrates the level of nonsense that is cluttering the social media networks, most of which is just white noise to the users. You Facebook users out there, for the fun of it, start paying attention to the ads that appear on your profiles and leave the most ridiculous ones in the comments.

This should be interesting.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, communities, social media, social media saturdays, technology

Are Bloggers the new ‘Media’?

callaheadsite

There is much talk about bloggers being viewed, or perhaps narcissistically viewing themselves, as media. Me? I view my self as someone with an off-beat view on everyday life that keeps me entertained and helps me from not going over the edge from the stresses of life. I have long kept my friends entertained this way and started to blog to bring this warped vision to a bigger audience. (friends and family getting bored).

You can only imagine how surprised I was to find a link in my stats that brought me here. For those too lazy or not inclined to click that link, my blog post about CallAhead portable toilets has been featured on their website in the media section! 

This is where I tell Gary about how bloggers get free stuff all the time when they mention people’s products. Hey, CallAhead has a better social media strategy than J&J for Motrin? Yikes, way to go potty guys! Do you guys Twitter? You can find me there @amyz5.

Gary’s response: Great, so what will we get, a free porta san on the front lawn? You couldn’t blog about BMW?

Ok, so here’s the thing. If the social media director at BMW is out there scanning blogs I just want to let you know that I am a really loyal customer and I love, love, love, my X3 and the lease is coming up soon. And Gary happens to have a really sweet 325ci convertible that is getting kind of old and we have a kid in college and another one on the way into college so car $ are tight and I would be real happy to blog all the time about your fantastic products because frankly BMW is my life and we could do a thing called extreme vehicle makeover where you drive away my old car and bring me a new one just because I happened to write about a billboard with a funny slogan on it about being #1 at picking up #2…

Alright, so maybe the CallAhead on the front lawn is a little more realistic.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, blogging, carry a camera, education, humor, humor, marketing, news, photography, products, social media, twitter

Moms Say No Mo(trin) & International Baby Wearing Week

nomotrin

Oh boy, is someone’s marketing ass on the line first thing tomorrow AM! Or maybe not… read on. 

It will surely be interesting to see how this one pans out once it hits mainstream media. Please don’t misconstrue this as a post showing my distaste for Motrin. This is more a fascinating case study to me than wishing any ill will to the brand. I have already heard the term ‘motrined’ used as a description for what happened.

For my non-Twittering readers, this will make your head spin around like Linda Blair and ask, ‘is there this huge underworld of information that I don’t know about going on behind my back?’

Um! Well yes, as a matter of fact there is. Wake up people.

If you are not a product manager or marketing/advertising/PR person then this is probably nothing you need to worry about. Unless of course all your friends are twittering behind your back which is unlikely but maybe you ought to sign up and check just in case. 

I posted about Twitter during the election. For those who are tweeters, go get a cup of coffee while i give a quick primer here. Twitter is like instant messaging with the world where you ‘follow’ someone the same way you would ‘friend’ them on Facebook. You can also search topics and follow what others are saying about things that interest you. The most tweeted about things rise to the top of the topic trend. If you market a brand you should surely be monitoring Twitter, if not finding ways to use it constructively.  If you want more info go here. (I am pretty sure my mom just had to go lie down from this, sorry mom ; )

Now, on with the story. Once upon a time, Motrin created an ad with the intent to reach young moms.  This generation of moms is the most target marketed group in history. They are empowered. They use Twitter. They blog. They write reviews. They drive sales. They are honest, loyal consumers who love to share and hopefully their spirit of community will build brand loyalty.

Unless of course you create an ad that is perceived as condescending and insulting to them. Then they will basically cut your balls off. You can see the ad on marketingpilgrim.com. Andy Beal’s fantastic post gives a stunning overview from a marketing perspective with damage control suggestions.

Could there have been a mom on this account? Referring to a baby as a fashion accessory and saying things like ‘supposedly it’s a real bonding experience’ to wear them in a carrier could not come out of the mouth of a young mother. 

Now, let me state that I don’t find this ad so horribly offensive as I find it horribly lame. (then again my youngest is 16 and he could carry me by now – great visual for those who know him).

Here’s the thing; if you are trying to market to young moms, how about a little research. You don’t even need traditional focus groups anymore, you can use the tools that were the demise of this campaign.

Seeing that within 24 hours there were 244,000 hits of outrage and commentary when I searched Google, 232 hits on Technorati, #motrinmoms and #motrin were the top trending topics on Twitter and there is already a Motrin Moms Facebook page, I would say that it would not have taken too much research to find out this ad would piss people off. Hey, this was the Joe the Plumber of the week.

I know this is getting long but bear with me. For I have just read a tweet from Jessica Smith of Jessica Knows informing us that is International Baby Wearing Week. (I kid you not). Could the Motrin team have known this and timed the ad? I am thinking not. If they did, wouldn’t they have jumped on this social media shitstorm in a heartbeat with some damage control? Although Mashable seems to think it was timed.

So, Mr./Ms. Motrin brand manager and your advertising team, shame on you for playing golf or going to the movies or whatever it was that you were doing on Sunday. Not so much for running the ad and thinking you were smart to time it with International Baby Wearing week, 20/20 hindsight is a beautiful thing. It is the non-reaction in realtime that is distressing. Did you (especially your agency) not have any alerts set for mentions of your brand? Especially if you were doing this timing thing. Isn’t this the job of an agency in 2008?  C’mon folks! I am sure at least the agency guys have iphones or crackberries buzzing away in their pockets all day long to make them feel connected. 

Could it be that it wasn’t that the ball dropped on this, but they didn’t even know there was a ball? Good news is that these things tend to spread like wildfire and fade out just as soon as the next thing hits. It will be interesting to see if there are any long-term repercussions.

I don’t know about you but I have a headache from all this. I think I will go take a …

(quick update as of 9:30PM Sunday the Motrin site was just taken down, looks like someone woke up and is on the damage control. Can’t wait to see what the morning brings)

(11PM update (no I don’t sleep much) McNeil’s Consumer Healthcare VP of Marketing, Kathy Widmer sent this email to a mom blogger in response to her feedback on the Motrin site. Hope they get a more comprehensive response up on their site by the AM. And just a tip, if social media bites you in the butt, use it to make some lemonade).

11AM monday update: Mainstream media picks this up here 

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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