Wednesday, 21 November 2007
I totally got swept up in the holidays already, and it’s barely Thanksgiving. This whole Christmsas shopping thing is becoming a bigger, and longer, marketing ploy every year. Now, if I were talking about anything other than advertising campaigns, bigger and longer might be a good thing, but it seems like Christmas comes earlier every year (not a good thing in any situation), convincing us to shop early and spend often. But does that stop me from buying into it? ‘Course not, I just use it as an excuse. But more on that later.
As of (Black) Friday, my absolute favorite holiday, I will officially be in the clear to get in the Chri$tmas spirit and start paying some ad execs’ salaries. However, I couldn’t resist sharing this cool article on fun, funky and functional techie gifts just a little bit early.
I personally would love to see a Swarovski crystal USB memory key under my tree this year. Impractical? Maybe. Pretty? Definitely. And therein lies the marketing genius.
I’m nothing if not girlie. Princess-like at times. And I’ve never pretended otherwise, which I think is why I had a hard time being taken seriously when I first started working at an internet marketing company-the male-dominated office was a microcosm for the entire industry. However, things are changing and more and more girlie-girls are entering the “man’s world” of computers.
Smart technology companies are taking the “pinking” theory one step further and encouraging women to purchase computer accessories and electronics by making them more feminine. Gone are the boring black laptop bags and lost hours at BestBuy; Target, Coach, Apple, Dell and Sony are just a few of the enlightened brands making tech products and accessories more appealing to females.
Some may call it a cheap marketing trick (what other kind is there?); others think it dumbs down or de-professionalizes the industry or work place. I think it stylizes things women need anyway, so what’s the harm? If I have to carry a laptop case anyway, it might as well match my outfit. As long as I’m still doing my job well, why does it matter that my iPod is accessorized with a pink suede case from Coach and my laptop stays safe in a cute polka dot tote?
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Wednesday, 07 November 2007
So a little while ago (like, literally 5 minutes ago) I’m doing my morning Facebook check to see what my friends have been up to in the last 9 hours or so (Greg wants to be my friend, Courtney wants to see the ballet and 12 more of my sorority sisters are attending chapter dinner tonight, if you’re interested), when I had the greatest idea ever: Christmas decorations for Facebook.
There are a few apps that have their own take on this idea, but it’s the standard tree or decorations constrained by a box. It’s the same problem that has plagued developers since Facebook opened up its platform; applications must fit inside a small box on the left or right side of the profile. This has stifled the creativity of many Facebook developers, but I never fully understood how frustrating it was until I realized I could not spread holiday cheer to my Facebook profile.
However, being a very festive person, I persisted in my search, but to no avail. All the Christmas apps were made by outside sources, so they were subject to the same restrictions. The only apps that have the potential to go outside the boundaries of the box are those designed by Facebook itself.
And so I am begging, pleading, suggesting, hinting, challenging Facebook to make a special, limited edition holiday decoration application that will let me string garland and holly and shiny stars around my profile. Or maybe put a huge tree along one side, or a little snow village along the bottom. I want to decorate my profile the way you decorate a house. No one I know puts a candle in one window and calls it festive; you put candles in all the windows, and garland around the trim, and a wreath on the door.
Many people spend as much time on Facebook as they do in their dorm or house or apartment, so why shouldn’t we be able to decorate our online home as we would our real home? Macy’s has a very strong brand identity and image, but they decorate for the holidays. Let Facebook spread some cheer.
I am confident that this would catch on like crazy, so I’m calling on Facebook employees to help me. Leah Pearlman, Andrew Bosworth, Jared Morgenstern, Dave Morin, Joe Hewitt, Randi Zuckerberg. Chris Hughes and of course Mark Zuckerberg to develop a profile decorator for the holidays. Call it an early gift to all those loyal users who so naughtily sneak on Facebook all day at work…and so nicely blog about how Facebook is so much better than MySpace.
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Tuesday, 06 November 2007
Here’s a really cool example of niche and viral marketing at work. Geek Flirt, a new dating site specifically geared towards geeks, is using every type of internet marketing tool to promote itself to scores of self-proclaimed online “geeks” who flock to sites like Digg and Facebook.
Geek Flirt is offering free Geek Flirt lip gloss to new users who sign up now. I joined, since I recently came out as a geek, and the packaging on the gloss is really cute. It’s cherry flavored, which I usually don’t like (I’m a mint girl), but this one doesn’t taste like cough syrup so it’s good.
The GeekFlirter Facebook App (sign in to Facebook to add) and Geek Flirt Lolcat Maker are fun little additions to the site, so even if you don’t find your geek god or goddess, it’s still fun. Check it out, Digg the promotion and get a free GeekGloss that promises to make your dates “end a little bit smoother.”
Oh yeah, and I helped come up with the idea, so if those weren’t enough reasons, do it to support my ego.
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