Top Honors at Cannes Lions–Viral Marketing: Dissected

As the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival drew to a close on June 25, the Film Lions jury announced this year’s winning commercial advertisements. The list is more or less a collection of worldwidecorporate genius–but even more so, a conglomeration of high-quality direction, sharp wit, and brief but compelling story lines.

There’s a lot to be learned from ads like these, especially in a day and age where the competing commercial shorts have been uploaded to sites like YouTube and Vimeo before the winners are even announced. The commercials can go viral and build popularity before ever hitting the television. read more

The Facebook Facial Recognition Debate: Our Take

Facebook stirred new concerns over privacy protection when it rolled out technology that uses facial recognition to identify people in photos on the social networking site.

The technology was designed to help its users easily tag their friends in photos that they upload. Although Facebook only offers “tag suggestions,” it creepily pushes users to tag friends, a feature that privacy advocates say goes over the line.

Facebook does not give users the opportunity to pre-approve tags before they are broadcast over the Web. Instead, it is the user’s responsibility to untag a photo after its been posted. read more

2011’s Web Development Trends

2011 has been a year of emerging and evolving technological trends. In the Web development industry, it’s especially pivotal to keep a close eye on the newest and best tools available. Here are, in my opinion, the top Web development trends of the year thus far:

5. HTML 5 and CSS 3

Even though HTML 5 and CSS 3 are not officially released, most modern browsers use more and more of their features. With the addition of support from Internet Explorer 9 (and even more support coming in IE 10), more sites are starting to use features from HTML 5 to CSS 3. Many new CSS3 properties, such as text-shadow and rounded corders, are used frequently. This has led many designers to accept a fluid outlook on designing for the Web, and they have begun to accept that sites don’t have to look 100 percent the same in every browser. This has put quite a dent in Adobe’s Flash around the Web, with new open-source Audio and Video protocols, and the new < canvas > elements that can handle animations. read more

Build a Valuable Brand With Inbound Marketing

With a brand value of more than $111 billion and a number two spot on BrandZ’s Top 100 Brands list, Google has proven that it doesn’t take advertising to build one of the world’s most valuable brands. How do they do it?Inbound marketing.

The traditional advertising model is broken. And in this case, companies will benefit from shifting fromoutbound to inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing encompasses the traditional forms of advertising in which a marketer pushes a message far and wide, hoping that it finds its way to a target audience and generates returns. This style of marketing is getting outdated and less effective for two reasons: read more

The Bosses of Buzz–Viral Marketing: Dissected

The film industry is one of many takes. It’s an often cutthroat, hit-and-miss game of successes and flops. But with the thick competition and array of available content, it takes some skillful marketing and the generation of buzz for a film to gross big bucks. As such, there’s a lot to learn from Hollywood–for industry bigwigs and small businesses alike. Indeed, Hollywood has been the birthplace of some of the most notable viral marketing successes of late.

The first and perhaps most notable of these successes was the extensive, intricate and widespread viral marketing campaign for Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film “The Dark Knight.” An assortment of multimedia clues prompted an intense scavenger hunt across the globe. The buzz and fan participation created by the campaign undoubtedly contributed to the film’s worldwide gross of over $1 billion. read more

3 Ways Social Media is Changing the Way Consumers Shop

It’s no secret that we live in a world full of people who are extremely busy. Because of this, many consumers have left stores and headed to the Internet. So how do you get consumers to pause long enough to make a purchase? The answer is social shopping: using social media to encourage consumers to buy online. Here are three new ways to use social shopping to boost your brand.

1.  Facebook E-Commerce

A user simply “likes” a product–much like a regular FB page–and is given easy access to learn more, to discuss with other Facebookers, and most importantly, to purchase. Pages offer a shopping link that allows users to browse products. Once the user has selected a product and is ready to purchase, he/she clicks “Buy” and is taken to the retailer’s page to check out. Users can also “like” and “share” their purchases with all of their Facebook friends. read more