Ellen DeGeneres Steals the Oscars and All Follow Suit

Ellen DeGeneres Selfie

I don’t have to tell my loyal readers by now, but Ellen DeGeneres stole the Oscar spotlight with the most famous selfie of all time (to date). In case you missed it, and unless you have been living under a rock, you haven’t, take a look at the stars who took part above.

So sad Angelina Jolie got blocked.

Nevertheless, the social actions that followed prove that real-time marketing is here to stay.

Before she took the picture, Ellen said she wanted to make a splash on Twitter and boy did she ever. The selfie become the most retweeted image ever, surpassing Barack Obama’s hug with his wife after he won the reelection in 2012. Besides Ellen, you better believe Twitter, which reportedly crashed for 20 minutes, got a big boost from the stunt.

The point I want to make is how easily all of America and the world listened to Ellen. She said she wanted to make this the most popular selfie ever and she did. People jumped online and joined the conversation. They wanted to feel a part of the action. They wanted to show off to their friends that they could retweet one of the most popular images of all time (sadly). They did this because Ellen said so.

I think this stunt shows why so many brands can’t afford to ignore real-time marketing. When a celebrity makes a statement on the biggest stage, EVERYONE LISTENS. Many brands tried to jump in on the action, but failed. However, you will notice every brand and their mother making an attempt, a far cry from the Super Bowl two years ago when Oreo crashed the real-time marketing scene.

All in all, the fact that people didn’t hesitate before retweeting Ellen’s selfie shows that real-time marketing is staying and will be a key player for years to come.


Journalists Can Flourish Anywhere


One industry that will never be hurt by a depression or flourish by good times is writing. Every company needs writers. Every hotel needs writers. Every restaurant needs writers. Every institution needs writers. Given the rise in content marketing and the value of it ($44 Billion), people are started to realize it.

As I was reading 5 Tips for Copywriters who Want to Stay Relevant in Digiday, I kept thinking to myself, “I learned that in J-school.” At U of I, we learned how to how to write in the short- and long-form, how to alter our tones and write from every which side of the picture. No matter what angle you look at it, we learned how to write it.

After school, I did my best to make it in the newspaper industry. After all, my dream was and still is to be the beat writer for the Chicago Bulls. Sadly, this dream was put on hold due to the poor state of the newspaper and the fact that I didn’t want to live at home forever.

I moved into the online medium because it is profitable, but more importantly, because I knew I could. I knew the Journalism school at U of I taught me how to write in whatever medium was out there.

I have friends who graduated from J-school who are now writing for major sports broadcasts, the fashion industry or Groupon. I have others who are still chasing the newspaper dream. Thanks to the lessons instilled in me as I pursued a journalism career, I have the ability to flourish in whatever industry or medium out there.

Journalism is a major well chosen.

Any Company Can Create Amazing Content

Safety Tips

There are marketers out there who say they work for boring brands and no matter what they do, people will not want to talk about their business. Well, it is time to MAN UP.

You think a blender is interesting or talkable? Most people would say no. Well, the 11 million people who have watched the below video would disagree.

Companies all over the world are creating engaging infographics, thoughtful blog posts and amazing YouTube videos. I am not talking about companies like ESPN, Oreo or NBC, but everyday brands the average consumer would never think of.

Two great examples recently came from the airline industry. Take a look at Delta’s and Virgin America’s new safety videos.

I realize these airlines may have some of the biggest marketing budgets out there, but they still chose to think out of the box and create these very engaging and talkable safety videos. I can almost guarantee every flyer who saw those videos went back home and mentioned it to their family and friends.

That, my friends, is great content marketing at work.

Super Bowl XLVIII Conclusions: Seahawks and Esurance Win Big


Well my friends, I was nearly correct on all my predictions for Super Bowl XLVIII. Like many, I was rooting for Peyton Manning, but sadly, the dominant defense that is the Seattle Seahawks was too much to handle. The game was completely finished after Percy Harvin’s kickoff return in the 3rd quarter. This game was certainly not one for the ages.

On the marketing side of the field (see what I did there), as I predicted, not many brands shined like Oreo did last year. J.C. Penny tried to create a clever stunt with shady Tweeting to promote their new mittens, but more of the joke was on them. Pretending that you’re drunk does not work when so many major brands have actually been caught at the wheel (or phone, tablet, computer etc.).

However, there was one brand that made the biggest noise of the night. It even occurred after the Super Bowl really ended.

Esurance decided to save $1.5 Million by buying the first commercial after the Super Bowl. They are running a simple Twitter sweepstakes using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30. The winner actually gets that $1.5 Million. Since the announcement, their Twitter account has grown from 8,900 to over 226,000 as of Monday night.

While I love the idea of a sweepstakes and getting people to talk about you, I have a hard time believing all these fans, many of whom will undoubtedly unfollow Esurance as soon as the sweepstakes is over, are worth that kind of money.

When I was working at WOMMA, so many members always talked about true and genuine advocacy. On the other hand, others said good marketing can always be bought. I tend to side with the former and I believe this sweepstakes will prove my point.

Tell me how all those Twitter followers will translate into at least $1.5 Million. Even if it does, you think Esurance will report the ROI? I doubt it, but more likely than not, it won’t meet their high expectations.

Super Bowl Predictions: Game and Marketing

Super Bowl XLVIII

Tonight, the biggest sporting event of the year will take place in New York. The Denver Broncos will take on the Seattle Seahawks in what is supposed to be one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. Personally, I am rooting for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, as I am sure most people are, but like many sports, defense reigns supreme. Therefore, I believe the Seahawks will take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Another prediction I would like to make deals with real-time marketing. As anyone in the industry will remember, it was a year ago that Oreo sent out that famous dunk in the dark Tweet. When it came to marketing, the whole world changed.


If you ask experienced marketers, they will all say that real-time marketing has been in play for years. I beg to differ. With the advances of social media and listening technology, nothing like that was ever in place.

Brands are now expected to be online 24/7, ready to take advantage of any opportunity they can get. Clearly, the Super Bowl, with over 100 million people watching, is a BIG opportunity.

I expect to see many brands try to send out a viral Tweet like Oreo did last year. However, no matter how creative Bud Light, BMW or Dominos gets, no social action will have a larger impact than Oreo’s a year ago.

Nonetheless, I am excited to see them all try.

What are your predictions?

The Worst Stay in School Campaign

Stay in School 2

Sometimes, and I do believe marketers will be the first to admit it, but we fuck up. Whether it is a misspelling on a front page press release or a dumb Tweet that everyone ended up seeing, marketers clearly have their fair share of WTF moments.

The latest came from the Learn for Life for Foundation when they created perhaps the worst Stay in School campaign children have ever seen. Take a look at the short video below (1:45).

First off, the entire first half of the video seems like a paradise. Whatever 13-18-year-old that saw ithe first half of the video was probably asking themselves “why have I been wasting my time in school?” Then, of course, we see the big bang (pun intended) when the slackers start to get blown up because they are hanging out on an explosive testing site. Seriously, how outlandish can you get it?

What the fuck Learn for Life?

Our Obsession with Cats Shows Facebook is Not Your Cash Cow


Facebook is not a platform to sell your services or products and this point could not have been made clearer than with a recent photo I decided shared on WOMMA’s Facebook page last week. In case you missed it, look above.

One week later, this image has garnered 107 shares and 87 likes. This one image was the most viral and engaging post I have ever shared, paid or organic. With all these platforms giving preferential treatment to the big advertisers, that shows something.

In the end, this is why I tell everyone and their mother that the social media giant is not made for selling your product. Consumers share and interact on Facebook so they can either feel part of the crowd or because they want to show off to their friends. That is why this image generated over 100 shares. Those 107 people wanted to be the one person in their group who could say they found the next viral image. To put it likely, they wanted to show off.

And who could blame them? With the rise of Grumpy Cat (if you haven’t heard of him, just check out any SXSW recap and he will undoubtedly be mentioned) and numerous other cat videos, why not connect our obsession for being socially connected with this feline?

Compare this post to any other WOMMA post related to the blog, an event, or even thoughtful images that link back to the blog and the engagement doesn’t even compare.

People do not go on Facebook to see what brands they like are doing to make money. Consumers go on Facebook to see what their friends and family are doing. If they happen to see something posted by a brand that would resonate well with their group of friends, they will share it.

So the next time you decide to share a link to your event page, think again.