Prism Awards focus on creative excellence.
This year, Green swept the Awards with 19 Winners! More than 500 people cheered as Green execs marched up to the podium over and over again to accept Awards. (click image to read article)
PRISM (Professional Recognition in Sales and Marketing) Awards are presented to marketing and building professionals who have demonstrated design excellence within the entire South Florida region and are judged by a panel of industry experts.
Of the 19 awards, four Gold Awards represented a sweep of the four categories entered by Green in the categories of Marketing and Advertising for Print Campaign, Direct Mail Piece, Digital Media and E-mail Campaign.
Lights Lights Baby!
Vanilla Ice along with Capitol Lighting are teaming up to Make Lives Brighter and Habitat for Humanity benefits. To help those who need a helping hand, you can donate your old lighting to any Capitol Lighting showroom here in South Florida or New Jersey areas to be repurposed in a HFH home or sold at one of their Re-Stores. Donors will receive a 10% discount toward a new purchase as well as a tax deduction from HFH.
Rob Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice star of his own DIY TV show was happy to chip and help for a good cause, by being the spokesperson and doing the public service announcements for Making Lives Brighter. Van Winkle said “Giving back is important to me and this cause is close to my heart. Repurposing is something I do everyday and the fact that Capitol Lighting and Habitat for Humanity is demonstrating what a difference it can make in someone’s life is really outstanding.” This trade in offer ends February 28th, so don’t miss out!
Eric Lebersfeld , President of Capitol Lighting said ” The Capitol Lighting family is honored to be able to support such a worthy cause and truly help to make lives brighter.” You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Capitol Lighting is located at 7301 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida 33487.
by Tim Byrd on PalmBeachlwp.com
Elevation Burger: Elevate your tastebuds with organic beef
For those who love a burger but care about the quality of food they are ingesting, there is a new place to eat a healthy and tasty burger.
Elevation Burger is all about good taste and great quality, as their burgers are made with 100% organic beef.
The restaurant opened its first store in the Southwest Florida area on Jan. 27 and business has been flourishing after the first two weeks.
On Friday, Feb. 10, Elevation Burger fed over 6,000 FGCU students at its free burger day.
Elevation Burger is the only national brand that is USDA — United States Department of Agriculture —certified organic. The meat has no antibiotics, no pesticides, no steroids, no fillers and no hormones.
“We don’t use any processed cheese, we only use a 6-month aged cheddar cheese. We also grind the fresh beef and make the patties every day,” said Bob Douglas, general manager of the Fort Myers store.
For the French fries, the company uses what is called “cowboy potato,” which has less than 5 percent sugar content.
They are cooked in olive oil, which is high in omega-3 and has no cholesterol, no saturated or trans fat.
The store, located in Gulf Coast Town Center, is focused serving the FGCU community and want to provide students with a good environment for students to grab a meal, hang out with friends, study and do school work.
Elevation Burger offers free Wi-Fi and it is open every day until 11 p.m., which is good news for the night birds who are always looking for places to eat after everything closes.
“We are very interested in being a part of FGCU’s fast growing pace and in approaching its students, offering them an affordable way of eating tasty and healthy,” said Sean Rowland, general manager of the upcoming Naples store.
Douglas and Rowland share that the GCTC store is coming up with special deals for FGCU students before the end of February such as “buy one, get one free” and coupons.
The company is also going to implement a weekly deal during particular nights and times so students can “rely” on in order to save money and eat healthy.
The menu offers organic burgers, veggie burgers, vegan burgers, and grilled cheese. The price range is from $3 to $10.
“We are coming out with news products for our menu, and soon we will be adding a line of salads to it,” said Douglas.
Elevation Burger is raffling two Mini Coopers, only for FGCU students. One for a boy and one for a girl. The winners drive the Mini Cooper for one year.
“The winner gets the car for a year, we pay for insurance, and once or twice a month they get to take three of their friends to Germain Arena on events and concerts, and we pick up the tab up to $100,” Douglas said.
To register, students can sign up on the website or scan the barcode on the outside of the car — located in front of the store — from their smart phones.
Elevation Burger opened its very first store in 2005 and currently has 26 stores around the world. This year, the company will open another 30 stores.
Naples will be getting an Elevation Burger store in six to eight weeks, and 18 new stores will be open in the Southwest Florida area in the next 36 months.
Elevation Burger is located in Gulf Coast Town Center, right next to Rita’s and Ale House, and it is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
To sign up to win a car: http://elevationburgermini.com. You can follow Elevation Burger for updates on Twitter: @ElevationSWFL or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elevationburgerftmyers.
Follow Greenad on Twitter @greenad
- Associated Press
It’s Black Friday, and deals are everywhere, from toys to televisions.
But will special deals pull in home buyers? Some home builders hope so. Centerline Homes, a Florida builder, opened at 8 a.m. Friday, promising up to $20,000 in free upgrades on some homes that start in the low $200,000-range. Highland Homes, another Florida company, is offering a similar deal – $7,000 in free upgrades – until 6 p.m.
To be sure, the offers seem unlikely to lead to many deals. Consumers don’t have put much thought into whether a Barbie or flat-screen TV is a wise purchase. But it’s hard to imagine home buyers taking the plunge in this market based on some upgrades, welcome as they might be.
Still, we have to commend the builders’ creativity. What group needs the excitement – and the sales – more? Home builders haven’t seen long lines and people camping out for purchases since the boom, when some even held lotteries because they couldn’t build enough houses. But that ended with the market’s crash. Now, as this sector continues limping through the worst downturn in generations, every sale counts.
Follow Dawn on Twitter @dwotapka
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Calder Girls get the nation talking
Calder Casino takes it off to promote takeout
Does low takeout sell itself? Perhaps. But Calder Casino and Race Course isn’t taking any chances.
A new ad campaign by the Churchill Downs Inc. track promotes exotic wagers with what appear to be exotic dancers. They aren’t actually strippers, but the videos do feature scantily clad females (including a bugler undressing) pointing out Calder’s buffet of exotic wagers, particularly its Pick 5 – “the hottest bet in the country with the lowest takeout.”
The ads appear on Calder’s simulcast feed and at the track – in the grandstand area and simulcast room of the casino. They do not appear on local television.
The campaign was created by Green Advertising based upon the direction of Calder’s marketing department. The idea was to break through the simulcast clutter and grab the attention of the male horseplayer demographic. Have they succeeded?
Click below to watch. To see the entire campaign on YouTube, click here.
Bill Anderson Vice President-Executive Creative Director Best Buy Media Network
Bill Anderson is vice president and executive creative director for Best Buy Media Network, the ad-supported in-store media network of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. He manages Best Buy’s Yellow Tag Productions, the company’s internal creative arm, which creates original video content, ad campaigns and other programming. Anderson works closely with Keith Bryan, senior director of media strategy for the Network, who is responsible for buy- and sell-side media for the consumer electronics retailer across all digital and offline media channels.
Anderson and Bryan spoke with eMarketer Writer/Analyst Tobi Elkin about the role online video plays; why Best Buy chose to implement a media-based business model for its video content and programming rather than going down the syndication route taken by many retailers; and its evolving programming aspirations.
eMarketer: What is Best Buy’s online video strategy?
Bill Anderson: We launched Best Buy Media Network two years ago as an in-store network with original video programming on our TV wall. The goal was to develop a video network that talks to customers in-store and online.
The video content is delivered through Best Buy On, our multichannel network—in-store, online and mobile—and offers our unique point of view on technology. It’s a vehicle for us to educate, entertain and offer original video content, but it’s not a place where we try to sell you something.
“The goal is for people to encounter video content while they’re on BestBuy.com and in the store.”
The goal is for people to encounter video content while they’re on BestBuy.com and in the store. We’ve been building video players into BestBuy.com over the last year and a half. If a customer wants to engage in more video content apart from the specific video that’s relevant to their shopping experience, they can click over and they’ll be within the experience of BestBuyOn.com. At any point, they can click back over and be in their shopping experience.
We didn’t want to create a standalone media site that pretends that it’s not part of the retail experience. The goal from the start was to enrich and enliven our own retail channels with great video content that feels like it’s organically part of the shopping experience.
eMarketer: What are Best Buy’s business goals with respect to online video?
Anderson: When we launched in January 2010, we wanted to offer customers our point of view on the technology and to be a catalyst for the evolution of the Best Buy brand. People don’t give Best Buy credit for having a point of view and a voice.
The second objective was to build a new ad model business for Best Buy. Our retail traffic is an impressive audience in terms of numbers and it’s receptivity to a story. We saw a great opportunity to create content about technology. We also try really hard to make sure that our content—even if it’s about technology—is entertaining. The programming on Best Buy On lives at the intersection of technology and entertainment.
Bryan: First and foremost, our goal is to ensure that our story breaks through on our real estate, where our customers engage with us. We have over a billion visitors to our stores and website every year. While it’s exciting to deploy video elsewhere, the first priority is for video to be catalytic for the brand.
“The business model for Best Buy Media Network isn’t based on video contributing to sales lift and conversion. It’s based upon ad sales.”
The business model for Best Buy Media Network isn’t based on video contributing to sales lift and conversion. It’s based upon ad sales. Obviously, we hope the video programming motivates and inspires consumers with disposable income to buy technology. We are using video content to inspire customers to discover new product categories and decide when the right time is to buy a tablet and/or other kinds of devices.
eMarketer: What types of videos do you offer?
Anderson: We have a series of Tech 101 videos that offer how-tos and tips, and flag product benefits and features. That’s the bread and butter of what we do. We also do “Did you know?”-style videos. We have a series called Tech Translator, which takes a word or phrase and explains it. People who aren’t early adopters are often afraid to admit that they don’t know what something means. For example, we might explain what a megapixel is.
We focus on products because there are always new products. As the Android-based tablets hit the market, we believe there’s probably a year-long series of videos addressing what different manufacturers and Google are doing with the new family of tablets.
eMarketer: What kind of metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of online video in achieving your goals? While you have an ad-based model at the end of the day, all retailers want to drive sales and video can help do that.
“We approach the metrics like a media company, so we’re looking at engagement, duration, time spent, video stops and starts.”
Anderson: We are approaching the metrics like a media company, so we’re looking at engagement, duration, time spent, video stops and starts. We are not currently tracking sales conversion as a result of video views.
eMarketer: Can you explain that?
Anderson: From the beginning, we knew that the expectation would be that video would live in close proximity to a sales lift P&L. We had an instinct that it’s something customers see and smell a mile away. If this was going to be different and consistent with the genuine desire of Best Buy to be helpful and to offer people a sense of choice and a point of view, then we didn’t want to associate ourselves with a sales lift model.
Our research showed that if we could hold true to that concept and develop content that wasn’t shilling, then we would get a ton of credit from our audience. We’ve done a lot of research on it, and have anecdotal support as well.
The first fiscal year is in the books and we were profitable. We’re sticking to our guns. You’ll see pre-roll ads—advertising in-store that is sold adjacent to the video stories on the HD wall and departmental channels. We have a display ad arm of our sales team that’s selling banner and display ads online.
eMarketer: What’s next as you evolve the strategy?
Bryan: We want to make sure our content is discoverable and we want to continue to build our network online. We have plenty of opportunities to monetize. While video content distribution and syndication are important, they’re not a cornerstone of this year’s priorities.
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After plunging by 18.5% in 2009, ad spending on traditional media is on a slow rebound. eMarketer estimates spending was up 2.1% in 2010, to $127.2 billion.
But rather than making a true recovery, spending will seesaw in coming years, hovering under $130 billion through 2015—far from the $165.94 billion recorded in 2007 on the eve of the recent recession.
“As advertiser spending continues to more closely reflect the amount of attention consumers give to individual media, each will fare differently,” said Nicole Perrin, eMarketer senior editor and author of the new report, “Traditional Media: Dollars and Attention Shift to Digital.” “For example, TV and radio are holding on to their audience, and eMarketer forecasts advertising gains for both—unlike for print media.”
TV still takes up more time per day for the average consumer than any other medium. eMarketer estimates adults spend 4 hours, 24 minutes watching TV and offline video daily, vs. 2 hours, 35 minutes online. And TV has kept its share of total daily media time at around 40%. While online video viewing has been on the rise, about 70% of the US adult population still does not watch any full-length television programming on the internet. And those that do tend to prefer traditional TV viewing when possible.
As a mass audience has kept its attention fixed on TV, so have advertisers continued to make it their greatest spending priority. eMarketer estimates TV spending will continue to rise this year after nearly double-digit growth in 2010. The presidential election and Summer Olympics in 2012 will give it a further boost, growing 6.6% to $64.5 billion next year.
Meanwhile, print media and directories will continue to lose money as consumers shift their attention to the web. As newspapers and magazines work out online revenue models, traditional directories face potential obsolescence as they are replaced by search even among older segments of the population.
The Other Social Network
by Paul Gillin
Have you checked out LinkedIn lately? If you thought the world’s largest professional network was little more than a place to post your resume, you owe yourself another visit. LinkedIn is set to eclipse the 100 million member mark sometime this spring, and it is quickly becoming the social network of choice for B2B professionals.
LinkedIn gets none of the buzz of Facebook, and no one’s going to make a movie about it. Its format is austere, it has few third-party applications and it doesn’t support chat, photo libraries or videos. What it does have is lots of members who talk about serious professional issues, and some of its groups are becoming massive in scale. For business pros in industries like communications, manufacturing, retailing, financial services and even construction, LinkedIn groups are becoming vertical social networks in their own right.
This is the ideal B2B environment. There’s very little waste because members are there to seek professional opportunities, ask and answer questions and network with their peers. Spamming isn’t a problem, particularly in the moderated groups, and there’s none of the frat boy histrionics that you find on Facebook. It’s not surprising that in research conducted by B2B magazine last spring, marketers picked LinkedIn as their social network of choice by a substantial margin over Facebook.
LinkedIn has evolved far beyond its roots as a professional networking service. It hosts active groups for finance managers, telecom professionals, people in the construction industry, real estate pros, HR managers, pharmaceutical workers and film professionals. And those are just the ones with more than 40,000 members. If you’re in the hospitality industry, there are nearly 1,000 members in The Hospitality Forum. A group for medical doctors has more than 2,600 members. Stephanie Sammons posted some great tips on Social Media Examiner early this year about how to make the most of LinkedIn groups.
And those groups are busy. Someone asked the Sales Best Practices group a couple of months ago “What is YOUR Best Sales Advice — 20 words or less.” It has 532 responses. A recent discussion in the Cloud Computing, VMware, Virtualization and Enterprise 2.0 Group about whether IT organizations will start discarding their assets has more than 460 responses. Some LinkedIn members answer 300 or more questions every week.
It’s not about the numbers, though. In fact, many LinkedIn groups are kept intentionally small by administrators who want to maintain member quality. Just try to get into CIO Forum. Unless you’re an IT manager, you probably can’t. Facebook is about mass, but LinkedIn is about focus, which is one reason it rocks for B2B.
Here are a six ways B2B marketers can leverage LinkedIn for prospecting and promotion:
Ask and Answer. Many of the questions posed within groups and in LinkedIn’s busy Answers section concern requests for expertise. You can subscribe to questions in your domain using an RSS reader, which ensures that you will never miss one that matters to you. If the technical gurus in your organization are intimidated by the prospect of blogging, urge them instead to answer five questions per week. As they grow their profile in the community, people will start seeking them out for business. That’s the reason Vico Software expects its sales reps to become active in construction-related groups in each of their territories. The company expects their reps will have a better chance of getting a lead on new construction opportunities there than by waiting for RFPs to come in.
Choose Open Groups. LinkedIn recently gave group owners the option of making their content public so that all activity from that point on would be visible to search engines. This is a good way to make your groups more visible. Also, if you plan to post regularly to groups in your field or industry, consider choosing open groups so that you get the additional Google love.
Promote in Groups. Cross-post new entries from the company blog or new presentations on SlideShare to appropriate groups of which you’re a member. Summarize your content and ask a question. Use a unique URL so you can track activity. You’ll often be surprised at the volume of response.
Use Company Profiles for Prospecting. LinkedIn has a unique approach to company profiles. They’re organized by the people who work there. Salespeople who are having trouble finding the right contacts in an organization can use these profiles as a virtual back door. LinkedIn shows you who works at the company and whether you have direct or indirect ways of contacting them. You might be able to do the same thing on Facebook, but it’s a lot more difficult.
Find People. One of LinkedIn’s great strengths is the choices it gives you for selecting members. You can filter by title, geography, group membership, company size and even years of experience. Some members reveal remarkably detailed public profiles of themselves. You can use this information to prepare for a meeting, find skills or identify prospects within a region. When I need to recruit speakers for a panel in Atlanta, for example, the first place I go is my LinkedIn contact list because I can so quickly identify prospects in the area.
Use LinkedIn Signal. One of LinkedIn’s little-known gems is Signal, a real-time search engine that’s listed as “Updates” on the search menu. Use it to monitor what people are saying about any topic. You can also filter by connection, date, company and industry. A search for “Chicago Marketing Jobs” returns 20 opportunities posted in the last 72 hours. You can also get updates on people and groups that interest you.
LinkedIn has recently revealed some visually cool and potentially very useful stuff coming out of its labs. Swarm (below) is a different take on tag clouds that builds on recent company and title searches, jobs posted, blog entries and shared articles. InMaps lets you visualize your connection network. It’s still early-stage but shows promise.
What’s your favorite LinkedIn feature? Do you have a success story to share? Post it here.
(Paul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media)
Young Users Hating On Brands
Bad news for brands enamored with the possibility of connecting one on one with each and every consumer through the magic of social media: Young people don’t want to be friends with you.
According to a new report from Forrester Research, just 6 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who use the Web desire to be friends with a brand on Facebook—despite the fact that half of this demographic uses the site.
Among Web-connected 18- to 24-year-olds that figure does double—meaning that 12 percent of that demo is OK with befriending brands—though the vast majority of young adults are not, per Forrester.
Even scarier for brands: Young people don’t want brands’ friendship, and they think brands should go away. “Many brands are looking to social media as a strong digital channel to communicate with these consumers, since it’s where 12- to 17-year-olds are spending so much time,” wrote Jacqueline Anderson, Forrester’s Consumer Insights Analyst, who authored the report. “But research shows that it is important to consider more than just consumers’ propensity to use a specific channel: Almost half of 12- to 17-year-olds don’t think brands should have a presence using social tools at all.”
To arrive at these conclusions, Forrester surveyed 4,681 Americans aged 12-17 on the Web in September of last year.
So what should brands do? According to Forrester’s report, they might be better off being more reactive than proactive, and they should listen. Just 16 percent of young consumers expect brands to use social media to interact with them, and 28 percent expect those brands to listen to what they say on social sites and get back to them.
Regardless of their willingness to interact with brands, nearly three quarters of 12-17 year olds—74 percent—use social networks to talk about products with friends and make recommendations.