Category Archives: Social Media

Media Spotlight: Vice President, Megan Olson

MWcolor-42Editor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Vice President, Megan Olson

How long have you been working in media/advertising?: I started working for a Media Buying firm during my Senior year of College and they hired me full-time after I graduated. From there, I worked as a Media Director at a full service agency, then went to a bigger full service agency, and now I’m at Media Works! About 15 years, all in all.

Can you describe a day in your life at Media Works?: The best part about working for Media Works is that most every day is different! Some days, I come in and work on a project for an existing client, while other days I get to work on a New Business project. Sometimes I have internal meetings and sometimes I have meetings out of the office. And, there are days when I have to do a ton of paperwork, yet other days I’m knee-deep in a PPT for a presentation. It’s nice to have that kind of variety, but at the end of the day, my job is to oversee my accounts and make sure our clients are happy!

What are some of the challenges of your position?: Time – there’s never enough time! Also, I think it’s tough to make every client I work with feel like they are the ONLY client I work with.

What’s your all-time favorite ad campaign? What made it special?: My husband and I were both graphic design/art majors, so we are always moved by a good, visually appealing ad campaign. For that reason, I’d have to say that my favorite current campaign is the Sherwin Williams paint commercials that uses animated paint chips and the slogan “Where will color take you?” If we are watching something on TV and the spot comes on, we always stop to appreciate it, and even rewind it if we’re DVR-ing through the pod.

Can you name a recent campaign/commercial that you would’ve done differently? WWMWD?: I harken back to Terrell Suggs’ early days as a Baltimore Raven, when he was promoting Price Busters with his famous line, “That’s Whazzup!” The graphics were bad, the copy was bad, and were it not for T. Sizzle and his ridiculous tagline, I might look upon Price Busters as a place to buy furniture. Instead, it made me laugh at the brand and wonder how much they paid him to be in the spots. Sometimes, using a local sports celebrity is not the best way to sell product. Stick with what you’re good at – selling your product – and try to find unique ways of doing it.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?: Work your way up. Start as an intern or an assistant and learn the ropes. Volunteer to take on any task and do it well. When a project comes up, ask to work on it. Learn from those around you and always ask questions. And remember that at the end of the day, we’re in advertising…it’s supposed to be fun!

What’s something that no one knows about you?:  One of my most prized possessions is an autographed bank receipt with Cal Ripken Jr.’s signature on it. So, when I see him in Atwater’s next door, it makes me swoon inside. J


Brands Use Snapchat as an Innovative Marketing Tool

It seems Snapchat is no longer for funny selfies sent between friends.  Snapchat, the popular photo and video sharing app for mobile, has become a phenomenon among teenagers and adults alike. Why all the hype?  It is faster than sending multi-media messages via text and you can choose how many friends you send it to and for how long. The best part of the app? After the time is up, the picture disappears, unless the receiver screenshots it, in which Snapchat will notify you.

So with over 350 million snaps sent every day between users, it was only a short amount of time before brands jumped on the bandwagon. I first heard of brands using Snapchat in a Vocus blog post discussing a frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles, a clothing e-tailer Karmaloop, and Taco Bell all taking part in using Snapchat for marketing purposes. With a majority of brands using Twitter and Facebook to reach consumers, Snapchat may be the way for brands to stand out in the crowded market place.

Another brand using Snapchat, which I discovered on my own Instagram timeline, is the makeup brand NARS. The brand posted an image with the caption “Follow @NARSissist on Snapchat to peep the upcoming NARS Guy Bourdin collection at 12PM EST today!” Over 1,500 Instagram users liked the photo, and went to Snapchat to add the brand. The brand showed a 3-second video of the new collection, generating buzz on other social media sites. There has been no further Snapchats from the brand, but with such success, I’m sure users will be getting another Snap soon.

For brands looking to use Snapchat as a marketing tool, sending out coupons, introducing new products and posting images to generate buzz are all smart tactics. You’ve only got up to 10 seconds to make an impression, so use it wisely.

With brands showing interest in the photo and video sharing app, will Snapchat begin selling advertisements? Or will brands want to stick to the more personal use of Snapchat? With the announcement that Instagram will begin ads, who knows what is next for Snapchat.



Too Soon for Holiday Ads?

With 96 days ‘til Christmas, most consumers are just coming out of the Back to School shopping season, and contemplating which costume to wear for Halloween. The thought of Thanksgiving turkey might be lingering in the back of our minds, but is anyone really thinking about Christmas yet?

K-Mart is banking on it. In fact, they rolled out their first Holiday ad on Sept. 8th promoting their lay-away program with a “Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you” message:

So when is it too early to advertise for the Holidays? Is it when the National Media picks up the story and weighs in, a la Today host Hoda Kotb? Is it when Facebook fans post negative comments:


Kmart isn’t the only one launching a Holiday campaign when temperatures are still in the 90’s. Walmart started promoting its layaway program a few days later. And, Target is expected to hit the market with its Holiday spots in early October.

Retailers believe getting a jump on the Holiday season will increase sales. And, with so many uncertainties with the economy, they’re willing to take the risk.

So, what do you think?

Is it too early to see Holiday advertising?

Download the Voto app to weigh in:


How To: Create a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

People all over the world are spending more and more time on Facebook and other social media platforms. Being what I would call “the company Facebook expert”, I have decided to show my Facebook passion by sharing some insight with you. Knowing that each brand has different goals, let’s keep this very generic and start with the basics. Set aside your Facebook page for now and let’s just say you are a brand and you want your ads to show in the follow main placements.


There are many different types of Facebook ads, including your typical display ads as well as the popular ‘social ads’ that let you interact with the content. The display ads we are all very familiar with are the Right-hand side ads. The mobile and desktop News Feed ads are the more engaging ads and are fairly new.

The following tips are questions you need to ask yourself in order to create a successful Facebook ad campaign:

1. Who is your audience?

This is important because we want the ads served to people interested in your brand and therefore likely to click on your ad. You should know your audience for any type of advertisement. Fortunately, Facebook has many different demographics in order to help you reach your target. You can target based on geography, gender, age, birthday, education level, marital status, any hobbies, languages, and the list goes on. With Facebook you can really dig deep and get super specific in order to reach the right customer at the right time.

2. Is your image eye-catching?

Choose eye-catching, high quality, colorful images!  You will only have a few impressions to reach your target so make it count the first time. Stay away from the color blue because it blends with Facebook’s colors. Images with people in them seem to do very well. A good first impression always works.

3. Does your ad copy include a strong Call-to-Action?

You have caught the eye of the user with your flashy image so now what do you want them to do? In most cases we want them to CLICK on the ad, LIKE the ad or both. Make sure in your copy you express what they need to do in order to get more information about the ad. The most common CTA that I use is a “click here”, “apply now”, or “learn more” phrase. Or even better “Click here to apply now”.

Start with these three basic questions first in order to figure out which type of Facebook ad is necessary for your campaign.  Also keep in mind the goals of your campaign. Do you want more pages likes, new users, app installs, or just branded awareness? Lastly, make sure you start with multiple ads and test them to see which work the best. Play around with different ad combinations, images and placements and you’ll have yourself a great campaign in no time!

Top 5 Brands Effectively Using Vine

Twitter’s popular Vine app announced this week that it will now be available on Android operating systems. This newly poplar 6-second looping video application began back in January on Apple iOS and I can attest based on my own experience with a 12-year old son that it’s the hottest new form of social media today. Consumers looking to target teens (and parents of teens) should keep their eye on The Vine.

Similar to Instagram, this app allows users to create a series of short video clips with their friends. As more and more adults become social media gurus, the teen generation has migrated away from the traditional Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’s of the world and find them no longer “cool”. According to a new study  called The Pew Internet and American Life‘s new study, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy,”  teens “have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama,’.

Like Twitter celebrities are catching on with The Vine and you can follow top celebrity videos on The Vine from Snoop Dog, Soulja Boy, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, and even Jimmy Fallon and Tyra Banks!

Some brands adopted The Vine early on; Wheat Thins, GE and candy brand Red Vines have all run Promoted Tweets with Vine videos. Also reported in Mobile Marketer,  Dunkin’ Donuts, recently launched a contest on the Vine requesting fans to take a post a video of how their iced coffee puts “a spring in their step.” The advent of the 6-second video is making :60 second, :30 second and even :15 second commercials units of the dark ages.

Here’s a great infographic that explains Vine put together by Media Bistro. Click on the image below to read in detail:

Vine pic

Creative Uses of the 6-Second Video on The Vine by Top Brands:

1) Doritos – Frito-Lay brand used the official Mariachi Doritos band they performed a mystery tune to get brand fans to play along.

2) Taco Bell – promoted their new Cool Ranch Dorito Taco.

3) Lowe’s – used the video to show how to fix a striped screw with a rubber band (wow I just learned something really cool!)

4) Bacardi – offered a 6-second drink recipe

5) Urban Outfitters teamed with Converse to get Chuck-lovers to submit 6-second video diaries of their adventures with these popular shoes. The best #yourchucks entries won prizes such as free sneakers or a trip to San Francisco.

In May The Vine was No. 1 on the Apple App Store with over 13 million users.  The question remains of its longevity, however considering the appeal to the teen generation its popularity is likely to be short lived as trends wear quickly. Only time will tell and as a media specialist this is why our jobs are so much more difficult today. The consumer media vehicles are so diverse and constantly changing. By the time I figure this out I’m sure there will be something new.

Media Spotlight: Kass Burrowes, Social Media Relations Manager

12426_586402464704259_65505331_nEditor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Social Media Relations Manager, Kass Burrowes

How long have you been working in media/ advertising?

I’ve been working in advertising for about 3 years. I started as an intern at an agency and fell in love with the culture and fast pace of the media industry.

What are some of the challenges of your position?

For me the biggest challenge with working in social media is trying to stay abreast on all of the tools and technology available. There’s new platforms and sites being released every week and often times we’re tempted to play with all the new toys, but and as a digital marketer it’s my responsibility to research these options and decide which is the best fit for our clients.

What’s your all-time favorite ad campaign? What made it special?

I’ve always been fascinated by automotive advertising so most of my favorite campaigns are for car companies. Over the past couple of years I’ve really enjoyed seeing Cadillac transform from a stale brand into a product coveted by people of all ages. More recently I’ve fallen in love with the Mad Med inspired Lincoln commercials that run during the show. Often time’s sponsorships can seem forced, but as a fan of the show I really appreciate them taking the time to make the ads appear seamless with the show.

Can you name a recent campaign that you would’ve done differently?

For me there aren’t too many campaigns that I would’ve done differently, but I do feel that there are some brands that need a reality check. As a social media addict it frustrates me when I see brands avoiding social media integration into their spots. We’re seeing more brands include their Twitter and Facebook handles into their commercials to help drive traffic. Forbes reported that 75% of brands integrated social into their ads. Obviously I’m a little partial because I work in the industry, but I really do see value in driving your customers to the social space.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?

My advice to any young professional looking to get into advertising would be to hustle. These days there are so many people looking to get into advertising/social media that you have to find a way to make yourself stick out from the crowd. Whether it’s finding a creative way to represent yourself in your resumé or simply working double time to land an interview, or working unpaid as an intern, you have to work hard to get the job you want. That’s the first part. The second part is working just as hard to keep your job and make an impact. For me it was never just about getting a job in advertising. I felt I had good ideas and I wanted the opportunity to share them and see them implemented. As a result I did whatever it took to get my feet in the door so that I could prove myself and I’ve been here ever since.

Shazam: Taking QR Codes to the Next Level

Shazam has been a popular app for smartphone users for several years now, but recently I have noticed the Shazam icon pop up in several television commercials. When the Shazam logo appears in the corner of the screen, viewers can use their smartphone to be redirected to the advertiser’s site for more information. This is very similar to the way advertisers have been able to take advantage of QR code technology. Since we live in a multi-screen world, this seems like a very convenient way to deliver more advertising content to potential consumers, but I have often wondered, are these means successful or does every advertiser have one just because every other advertiser does?

From the perspective of someone working in the advertising field, this seems like a simple and inexpensive way to deliver more content to potential consumers. But off the clock, I have never seen an advertisement and felt the need to pull out my smart phone, open Shazam/QR Reader, scan the audio/code and view more content. I am more of an “I’ll Google that when I get home” kind of guy. So does this sort of coding produce higher volumes of traffic?

Research from the 4A’s suggests that 1 in 3 smartphone or tablet users have scanned a QR code at least once and a study done by comScore Inc shows that QR codes perform best in newspapers and magazines. I have often wondered if people simply scan these codes because they are simply marveled by the technology or if they genuinely interested in engaging with the brand. A case study I was able to find on Shazam’s website gave the following statistics:

  • Brand interaction – 68% of people who tagged the ad went on to further engage with the brand.
  • Word of Mouth / Social Activity – 55% of people who tagged the ad talked about the brand with others.
  • Bookmarking for later use – 55% of the people who used Shazam to tag the ad cited that one of the reasons they did so was to save it for later.

So it looks like coded messaging has proven to be a successful means of generating more branding opportunities. I feel that the key to a successful coding campaign would be to get the ad in front of the right people. If advertisers are getting their coded message in front of the right people, there would be a higher chance that they would choose to participate.