Tag Archives: iPhone

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.

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Sources: http://www.vocus.com/blog/snapchat-marketing/ http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/09/tech/mobile/snapchat-techcrunch-disrupt/index.html http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-image-of-the-week/nars-uses-snapchat-to-release-preview-of-new-collection/

Digital Dads

All eyes are focused on Dads this weekend and there is no shortage of online chatter (including this post) about Digital Dads. I consider myself well connected and previously I may have thought it was a byproduct of the industry I’m in, but it’s good to see that Dads are “ranking” and therefore getting their due from marketers. Adweek article

We work hard, we shop online, we clean the house, we post pictures of our kids on Facebook using Instagram, and yes, we do make major purchasing decisions – jointly of course 😉

There’s a great infographic on Mashable about Digital Dads and our use of technology.

62% of Digital Dads say they’re more tech-savvy than the average 15-year-old.  While my kids aren’t anywhere close to 15, I can see that their proficiency with technology at such an early age is a sign of great things to come. While we may consider ourselves Digital Dads, the generation we’ve created will undoubtedly be more versed in technology than we are and we should do what we can to embrace that.

At the end of every workday, I’m greeted by a wonderful chorus of “Daaaaadddy!” and knee-level hugs, promptly followed with my daughter grabbing my iPhone off the desk in the entry. I turn it over to her since, at four years old, she is adept at searching YouTube for Littlest Pet Shop videos and knows the songs I’ve downloaded for her by the album cover art.  My two-year-old son doesn’t complain: He plays with my old iPhone 3G because it isn’t worth a dime in the marketplace.  I have no problem being without my phone because I stay connected in the evening with my iPad, reading emails or news I couldn’t follow during the day. And, once or twice a week, I catch up with Facebook posts.

However, this weekend is Father’s Day and I’ll need to take back my phone. Saturday, I have to post pictures on Facebook of the kids at Sailabration, and Sunday while I’m on the golf course, I’ll use my golf app to find out EXACTLY how many yards it is to the pin, so I can make my club selection.

How Do YOU Watch TV?

Are you one of the 40% of people watching TV while tweeting, Facebook stalking, surfing the web, checking emails, or downloading new apps on your Smartphone? I am definitely guilty of escaping to my Smartphone and honestly, I can’t help it. I can’t help that I am addicted to my iPhone and keeping up with the latest news, gossip, and apps; it’s incredible what you can do on the new Smartphone’s. If I am watching a show or movie and a commercial break comes on, the first thing I do is pick up my phone. Whether I have a reason of picking up my phone or not, it has become a habit during commercials or programs I’m not really into. Below are stats from Nielsen about what Tablet and Smartphone users are doing while watching TV:

This is something that marketers and advertisers should start thinking about because the numbers will only increase with time. We already know that traditional TV interaction has decreased so the next thing to think about is how to interact with and understand what consumers are doing while watching TV and why. Some companies are already doing this by informing the consumer about their app and checking out their Facebook, Twitter or website. Lots of TV shows broadcast live-tweeting during the show by using #(showtitle) to promote a Twitter discussion during the show.  I use this with some of the reality shows I watch because it’s a good way to engage with other viewers and friends watching the same show. These are probably the two most common types of marketing interaction I have experienced while watching TV.

What’s even crazier is there’s an app (called “Remote”) that is a remote controller and allows you change channels on your TV by using your iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Talk about multitasking! Tweeting, Facebooking, emailing and changing channels with one device in hands at all times? Sign me up!

So next time you sit down to watch TV, are you just watching TV or is the TV a background noise?

iSad over the loss of Steve Jobs: A day in my life and his impact

Media Works along with the rest of world is mourning the loss of Steve Jobs this week.  Many are reflective of the impact he made on our daily lives so I decided to reflect upon my own just to discover how significant his influence has been to me.

I was very resistant to iPhone/iPod technology and just recently gave up my treasured Blackberry and have entered a whole new world of Apple! Knowing what I know now, I could never go back and I could not be more thankful for Steve Jobs and his inventions.

My alarm goes off in the morning (that’s the alarm of my iPhone). After hitting snooze a few times, I grab my iPhone and head out on my morning jog. I take the iPhone to listen to either my iTunes music or stream some new tunes on Pandora. I’m also tracking the time and distance of my run with my Nike sensor calibrated to my iPhone.

I get my kids breakfast and send them off to school and I head to work.  I check my iPhone for emails. I receive a few emails of newspaper ads and TV commercials that need to be trafficked to media vendors, all of these ads were designed by Apple computers. Next, I sit down to work on a media plan and try to figure out what is the best way for my clients to advertise in today’s media fragmented world. With the introduction of the iPods, iPhones and iPads, traditional media has taken a back seat. How do we reach them now, I ponder and research mobile marketing?!

After work and school my kids get home and sit on the couch to watch a movie while I prep dinner. They are watching an old classic, Toy Story, that changed animation forever in 1995, created by Steve Jobs’ company Pixar. My daughter’s 7-year old friend comes over to play and I ask her “Does your mom know you are here?” and she replies, “I will just text her on my iTouch to tell her I’m going to stay awhile and watch the movie”.

My iPhone starts buzzing like a gong and it’s my iPhone calendar telling me it’s time to take my son to soccer practice. We head to practice and my husband calls me on my iPhone in the car to remind me to pick up his dry cleaning on the way home. As I am waiting in the car at practice, in my boredom, I take my iPhone out and check my Facebook newsfeed and maybe even play a game of Words with Friends. Before we leave I check the address of the dry cleaner on my iPhone and we use the iPhone map to direct us to the right place.

We head home for dinner and the computer is beeping in the kitchen. My in-laws are calling via the Face-time app from their iPad. (Pretty impressive for their generation I might add) The kids say hello to their grandparents in another state and we tell them we have to go to finish dinner and homework. After dinner, my daughter goes upstairs to practice her piano and plays along with the song on her iPod.

Steve Jobs’ inventions have touched my daily life in so many ways and the loss of this innovator is tragic. I will use his life as a lesson to teach my children about his forward thinking, visionary approach and what can be possible – the impossible! He created things that we thought only possible on The Jetsons and now they are reality. Who knows what might have been next, I just hope he started working on the iRobot maid because I could really use her!

We’ll miss you Steve!

Verizon iPhone: It’s Official

Back in July 2010 I blogged about the iPhone’s “pesky problem” and whether or not I was going to use my upgrade. After asking friends and family that recently bought the new iphone4 and from reading numerous customer reviews, I decided to go with my gut feeling and indulge! I ended up buying the iPhone 4 in September 2010 and haven’t had a dropped call or experienced any issues with the signal strength- lucky me! I couldn’t be more satisfied and addicted with this phone and all its capabilities; others would disagree.

After more than three and a half years of AT&T having full control of the iPhone, Verizon put an end to the monopoly on January 11, 2011. The iPhone will be available to pre-order on February 3 and generally available on February 10. When AT&T released the iPhone a few years back, many Verizon customers were itching to switch to AT&T solely for the iPhone. What’s going to happen now? Will the unhappy AT&T customers switch back to Verizon? According to ChangeWave, “15% of AT&T subscribers said in December they were likely to change carriers in the next three months” and “among just iPhone owners, 26% were planning to leave AT&T”. (http://tinyurl.com/4trlmeb) Most AT&T customers that want to make the switch are concerned about their family plans and how much it’s going to cost them to terminate their contract with AT&T. From my understanding it’s going to cost anywhere from $175 to $325, depending on when your 2 year agreement is over. As for the price of the device itself, Verizon customers will pay the same as AT&T’s. What it could come down to price wise is Verizon’s monthly service charges and data plans versus AT&T’s. http://tinyurl.com/47o5ymy

Two other areas that consumers could take into consideration are the features, quality and speed of each carrier’s iPhone. The iPhone’s are practically similar except that each phone has a different network. Verizon’s is based on CDMA, which means that Verizon owners will not be able to be on a call and use apps at the same time, like AT&T users are able to do. However, the Verizon iPhone antenna will be a little different from AT&T’s, hoping to prevent dropped calls. As far as speed, AT&T has been promoting that they have a faster network than Verizon but currently both AT&T and Verizon are working on building next generation 4G networks that will both work that same. http://tinyurl.com/6knr7lo

The bottom line is that AT&T no longer has its exclusivity and will have to work harder in order to keep their customers and keep them happy, like myself J

iPhone’s Pesky Problem

Cingular, now AT&T, has been my phone service provider ever since my parents gave me my first Nokia as a high school freshman. Every two years my contract expires and I am eligible for an upgrade.  I cannot wait to get the latest and greatest, technology savvy device. On July 5, 2010 I was eligible for a new cell phone and I have yet to upgrade, which is very unlike me. I have had my eyes on Apple’s iPhone ever since the first version  debuted in 2007 and have been patiently waiting to get my hands on one of my own; more specifically the iPhone 4!

As a firm believer in Consumer Reports, I now question myself whether or not to buy the new iPhone 4.  Even though within the first three days Apple broke their record and sold 1.7 million devices, Consumer Reports recently announced that they can’t recommend the iPhone 4. CR explains “the iPhone 4 finished atop the smartphone ratings, in part because it “sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone,” has excellent battery life, and has an array of other new features. There’s just one pesky problem”. They found when they tested the device there was a flaw in the antenna which results in dropped calls and reception problems. The antenna surrounds the outside of the device and when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left hand side, the signal weakens and possibly can cause your call to be dropped.  Another problem that CR found is that the signal strength was misleading and “mistakenly displays 2 or more bars than it should for a given signal strength”. http://tinyurl.com/2u7vxm6

CR however, did find a solution for those who already bought the iPhone 4.  One solution is to cover up the antenna with a piece of duct tape. Honestly, if I just bought a brand new phone I shouldn’t have this problem; it’s a brand new phone! The only thing I would want on my phone is a cover to protect it. The other solution is indeed to use Apple’s Bumper case on the phone to help the reception. Consumer Reports said, “With the Bumper fitted, we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at which it covers the gap below. The result was a negligible drop in signal strength–so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment.”  http://tinyurl.com/27yyjr9  But how sure can we be that that’s the real problem solver? Apple has not made any comments about this issue but instead says that there is a flawed formula that calculates the number of bars available on the iPhone 4. They are working on a software that iPhone users can download to solve this problem.

Apple is holding a press conference July 16 at 10am in California to address these issues and complaints from consumers around the world. There have not been any reports yet about the outcome of the conference. I am counting on Steve Jobs and Apple engineers to find a real solution to the iPhone 4 because if this problem isn’t fixed in some way shape or form, the chance of me buying the iPhone 4 is not promising. I think I will make my decision once reports from the press conference release to the public. I can always stick with Samsung and get their new smartphone. Decisions, decisions….