Tag Archives: advertising

Man Candy (Because Chocolate is just SO femme)

wpid-bsrigp4cmaavltf.jpgSo, Men’s Pocky is a thing.

If you haven’t tried Pocky: it’s a really awesome chocolate-and-cracker treat from Japan.

However, it’s also apparently a very complicated candy, because I didn’t realize this – and I’m guessing you didn’t, either – but apparently, of all the flavors of Pocky that have ever been invented in the history of Pocky are…wait for it…POISON TO MEN.

But wait! Fear no more, dudes – now you can actually try this magical candy without fear of death. Because this Pocky? This is MEN’S Pocky.

(That sound you hear is me slamming my forehead against the wall. Really, Pocky-manufacturers? MEN’S CHOCOLATE? Because dark chocolate is just WAY TOO GIRLY for men to buy on their own?)

So what happens if a group of people, mixed in their genders, sit down to play girls’ monopoly while eating boys’ Pocky? Do worlds collide? Does the multiverse implode?

Also, sidenote: What does it say about Pocky’s feelings towards men that the flavor designated appropriate for them is the bitter chocolate?

4 Ways To Screw Brands & Influence Metrics

I just learned something big, folks, and I want to share it with you. Because we’re friends, and because I think it’s hilarious.

Twitter users have long seen the advertisements that pop up in our streams. Framed as “Promoted” or “sponsored” tweets, these can be anything from Walmart touting their friendly business practices to BP talking about what a good job they’ve done cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill to Seaworld protesting the documentary Blackfish. They can also include political messages, ads from mom & pop stores and more.

It turns out that the brands only pay to pollute your stream when you engage with their message:


promoted tweets only cost money if you click, favorite, retweet or reply

As someone who generally clicks “dismiss” when obnoxious advertisers force their paid tweets into my sightlines, I now realize I’ve been going about this all wrong. The key isn’t to wipe the brand off my timeline, it’s to engage with the brand so I cost it some money.

Now, every time you engage with a brand, you run the risk of spreading their message, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each method of engagement:

1. Retweet

I think this one is a bad idea. It sends the offending brand message out into your timeline, subjecting your followers to their message and potentially making it look like you want more people to be aware of the ad they’re pushing out. Since they don’t pay unless your followers then interact with the message, it gives them some degree of free advertising, depending on how far your tweets reach and what kind of user you are. For social influencers, this can amount to giving a fair amount of free advertising. If you want to run ads for other companies on your feed, that’s fine, but at least go to a site that’s going to pay you for your tweets, and see if you can get money from brands directly.

2. Favorite

This is one of the least obnoxious ways of engaging with the message. Click the star below the tweet, and voila, you’ve just cost a huge corporation some money! Sure, it may only be a few cents (or a few fractions of a cent), but every little bit helps!

3. Reply

This is my favorite tactic, especially when I’m in a bad mood. For example, every time I see a paid tweet from Seaworld denigrating Blackfish as propaganda, I write back asking why, if the facts in the documentary aren’t true, Seaworld hasn’t yet sued the filmmakers for libel. Sometimes I even put a period in front of the tweet so that, while it’s still a reply, my followers can see me engaging in this way with the brand. Good for as many hours of fun as the Seaworld social media team has to give!

4. Follow

I’m not entirely clear on how this works: do you have to follow the brand for a given amount of time? If you follow, unfollow and re-follow, do they have to pay twice? Obviously one doesn’t want corporate doublespeak filling up one’s timeline, but if I get an offensive promoted tweet from the NRA or a right-wing conservative PAC, I don’t mind following them for a minute or two, then unfollowing them, if it means using up some of the Koch brothers’ money.

Now, I’m not going to go as far as to advocate the creation of sock-puppet accounts solely for the use of trolling major brands and costing them money, but if you’re interested in throwing a monkey wrench into the metrics these companies are using to suck up your time and attention, it might be worth a laugh to futz around every now and again with the four metrics mentioned above.

And of course, the follow-up question is…do the same rules apply on Facebook?



HE GOT MY EYEBALLS! Effective Targeted Marketing Online

This morning, I re-downloaded RedditIsFun for my latest replacement phone.

After installing and activating it, a message popped up: the developer, “just one guy,” had built in a pop-up that offered the user a choice of whether to allow a single ad per post at the top of each screen. In the pop-up, the user is also informed that the ad option can be toggled on and off at any point in time.

This came hot on the heels of a conversation about how Twitter has started pushing ads from streams its users don’t follow into their twitter streams. On Twitter, my response is to block the twitter account of the corporation that’s paid Twitter to impinge on my eyespace.

With RedditIsFun, I clicked “okay.”

I don’t normally subject myself to ads, because the average American already sees thousands per day – and living in Manhattan, I’d guess my daily average is compensating for the other tail on the bell curve – but here, I agreed. If the ads are obnoxious, I’ll turn them off. If not – if the developer of RedditIsFun is selling his adspace smartly – then I’ve now agreed to see what he’s schilling as a way to help subsidize my use of his program.

So rather than being met with annoyance, his advertisers might actually find themselves making sales to an interested member of their target market.

Smart sale of adspace means I don’t want:

– Ads that demean women.

– Ads that condescend to their viewers.

– The same ad over and over again. (Yes, Hulu, I’m talking to you.)

I do want:

– Ads for products and services that actually interest me

When an advertiser hits the sweet spot and finds their targeted marketing, their ad dollars can be incredibly productive. Last week, I attended the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue at Rockaway Beach off the back of my Klout score; I connected with like-minded individuals, did some good for the environment, drank free (and tasty) Barefoot Cuvee, and both tweeted and blogged about the event. Win-win-win-win-win. So I’ll buy into a targeted ad scheme that results in advertisers subsidizing an app that gives access to one of the most useful websites currently out there.

So there you go, indie developer. You got my eyeballs. What are you going to do with them?