Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

When is an ad not an ad?

November 3, 2008

Social media advertising: an oxymoron? When many marketers learn about social media, they ask themselves either: “How can I get involved with this?” or “How can I advertise here?” Many people think that you should never “advertise” on social media or social networking channels. But others have proven that smart advertising or marketing does work on social avenues.

Enter Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks. Both companies have a new campaign, conducted online, and propogated through social networks such as Facebook, that give away a free sample tomorrow, November 4, U.S. election day, if you provide evidence that you have voted.

In Ben & Jerry’s case, the offer is a free scoop of ice cream between 5 pm and 8 pm. While there is no B&J very near to me, I will make the drive with my son, after voting, to get a scoop. In Starbucks case, there is a free tall brewed coffee, good any time on November 4.

Both Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s are marketing via two important avenues on Facebook simultaneously. The have both used the Sponsored Ad space on Facebook’s new home page, AND, they have both created Facebook events for their one-day specials. With a head start,Ben & Jerry’s currently claims 197,985 people attending (14,601 people have posted a comment on the event wall), while Starbucks has 65,498 people attending (and more than 5,000 posts on the event wall). I’m not sure how much the Facebook ad cost, but the cost for an organization to create a Facebook event is zero.

Facebook itself is doing it’s part to encourage voter turnout by enabling people to “donate” their status to become a message to vote at midnight on Election Day. (So far, 500,653 have done so.)

Facebook initially missed an opportunity, by only allowing three choices in the “get the vote” message. The choices were a.) Obama, b.) McCain, or c.) a write in candidate of your choice. I immediately looked for an option to “vote for the candidate of your choice”, but had to kludge my answer that people should vote “their conscience” which becomes ungrammatical in the different settings in which the answer appears. Facebook has since added a “just get out the vote” option.

Do the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s campaigns count as “advertising” because they are both campaigns that promote doing your civic duty to vote? Can your shop come up with as creative a marketing campaign that is also doing its part to promote the social good?

Free Consulting for FSCC

April 23, 2008

Dunkin' Donuts on TomTom GPSrThe following is an open letter to FSCC, the company coordinating shared branching among credit unions throughout the United States and internationally.

Drop everything you are doing, and run, don’t walk, to get every branch location and ATM into vehicle GPS navigators. Once you have recorded the latitude and longitude coordinates for all 4,000+ locations, make a deal to get it onto TomTom’s web site.

I’m serious. Do nothing else until you get this done. Be where your members are. When your member needs you, most of the time he/she is not sitting down with a laptop, looking up your nearest address. (Speaking of which, FSCC isn’t even providing a tool on its web site to locate the nearest branches TO YOU- just give an alphabetical listing by state. Most states are too big for this to be of real use.) The members who are using shared branching are ON THE ROAD, USING A GPS (if they don’t have a GPS yet, don’t worry, they will shortly.)

So advanced thinkers, like Dunkin Donuts (always known for their innovation, right?), have made all of their locations available for TomTom navigators. That means that not only can I look up the nearest Dunkin Donuts to me, I SEE AN ICON ON THE MAP EVERY TIME I APPROACH ONE. EVERY TIME. AS I AM DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY. Can you see how this is serious coffee temptation? That I see a DD icon every time I get near one?? Holy cow! Pretty soon every national company will be doing this. I hope, for credit unions’ sake, that FSCC/CU Swirl is in the vanguard of this land rush. If they don’t get there soon, they’ll miss out on a big opportunity to leap frog CUs ahead of the game.

Can you imagine how much money credit union members will save on foreign ATM transactions if FSCC can get their shared branching (and ATM network) into vehicle GPS navigators? For that matter, all CU cooperative ATM networks, such as SUM et al., need to get into this game.

I originally wrote this blog entry in December of 2007, but have waited till now publish it because I knew that a photo illustrating this concept would be much more powerful than words alone. With nice weather having returned to New England, I’ve finally snapped a decent photo of this phenomenon.

The amazing thing about having the Dunkin Donuts locations on the GPS is that I can see that there is a Dunkin Donuts nearby on the navigator before I can actually see the real thing out of my car window. Wow. Imagine if that were happening every time anyone with a GPSr passed a CU ATM or branch. Welcome to World 2.0.

If you know someone at FSCC, please direct them to this blog entry. I would love feedback from them on this issue, and hope that they implement this before banks and other ATM networks beat them to it.