The 2010 US Census: Going Viral Saved Them $85 Million

I’ve never been more excited for a US Census…EVER! They’re doing a perfect job of marketing to our generation. This television ad is part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s national advertising campaign to boost mail participation rates in the once-a-decade population count. For every percentage point increase in the 2010 Census mail-back participation rate, the Census Bureau saves about $85 million in follow-up costs with households that failed to return their forms. The advertising campaign represents the most extensive and diverse outreach campaign in U.S. history, with advertisements appearing in 28 languages

The 2010 census is the most ambitious count ever of the nation’s population. Did you know that a census is required every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution’s Article 1, Section 2? I didn’t, (but that doesn’t say much)!

What Peaked My Interest?

I was still a bit weary and un-interested, but at this point, I not only felt obligated…I was actually excited! And then I got this letter…

…I couldn’t help but think “Woah, I’m actually excited to fill out this census!” Can’t speak for anyone else, but assume other people felt the same way.

Use of The Internet/Viral Campaign

The commercials went viral and their web-presence was growing, but how effective was it overall? Their YouTube campaign (Youtube.com/user/uscensusbureau) was helpful, though their channel has only received 100,000 views. That’s less than “David After Dentist” which has over 54,000,000+ views on that 1 video alone. It doesn’t imply anything about our country, but for something this important, I feel they should have had more views. STILL…they deserve credit for Blogging, Tweeting, Newsletters and more. They’ve done everything possible to reach us and make us interested, now it’s time to do our part…

For more information, visit 2010.census.gov.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 22, 2010

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Lady Gaga Goes Super-Viral (Good News For Diet Coke, Virgin and Wonder Bread)

Lady Gaga Goes Super-Viral…

According to Viral Video Chart: It was Discovered 12 Mar 2010, have been 15,683,005 views, 3,910 blog posts (+ this one),  and 9,588 tweets. All of that in a matter of 3 DAYS!!! It seems to be slowing down. (Slowing down in this case is going from Super-Viral to simply Viral, which by any standard, is still amazing!)

Gaga Will Sell Your Product!

Want your product noticed? Have Lady Gaga promote it and I guarantee you’ll see results! This 10 minute video plugs at least 10 separate brands: Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Polaroid, Wonder Bread and more…! And not only that…SHE MAKES THEM SEXY! Next time I see Wonder Bread, I’m going to think of this video and Gaga 1/2 naked with star patches for a bra. “The corporatisation of pop seems to have reached a different order of magnitude with Telephone, and I can’t help thinking it fundamentally alters the relationship between pop star and fan.” (Guardian – UK)

Is Lady Gaga Too Sexy For TV?

Despite the prison fights, lesbian kissing, 90% nudity and mass murders, according to CBS-News, “the video for the Lady Gaga-Beyonce collaboration “Telephone” has not been banned by the music television channel, despite previous reports that they would not air the clip.” The rumors that it wouldn’t be on MTV resulted from a “segment that aired on CNN on Sunday in which reporters Fredricka Whitfield and Jacqui Jeras discuss the video — which at press time has been viewed more than 14 million times on YouTube since its release late Thursday — and say that MTV had banned the clip.” (MTV.com) There is no proof of this on the CNN site, but you can find the original clip on MediaIte.com.

In Conclusion:

I would encourage all pop-stars to try and take their videos Super-Viral, but leave the product placement at home. Otherwise, the future of music will be one giant glorified set of commercials. There needs to be a distinction set now, before that ‘fine-line’ is broken. Now stop reading this article and watch the video if you haven’t already: Lady Gaga – Telephone Music Video Premiere

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

YouTube’s BAD ADVERTISING: Take Revenge And Click Away!

So here I am on YouTube…trying to watch an Awesome Drum Solo by Dave Weckl…and this Ad pops up out of nowhere. Now it would have been okay if it was for a pair of drum-sticks, maybe a Dave Weckl CD. BUT NO! Instead, I get an Ad for “Plenty of Singles Over 40”. And as the mother-cherry on top of it all…THERE’S A SPELLING ERROR!! I quote: “Met Older More Sincere Singles“. Either they’re speaking in past-tense or someone over at MatureSingles is about to get fired.

Take Revenge On Bad Ads: CLICK AWAY!!

So now what? You see a bad ad, you post about it on your blog…what’s next? I’ve seen countless blogs continue talking about bad advertising, but none take a stand. I’m sorry, but I can’t let them get away with this. I CALL ON YOU…THE PEOPLE….TO GO TO THAT YOUTUBE VIDEO AND CLICK THAT AD!!! That’s right…CLICK IT! Here’s the link: Dave Weckl Drum Solo w/ Bad Advertising. They can’t get mad at me…I’m promoting their ad 😉 They should be thanking me.

For those of you who are confused, let me explain how this works: Those ad’s you see on YouTube are being paid for by the advertiser. Every time you click that ad, they have to pay Google. Well, if they pay Google for clicks, yet nobody is signing up for their site, the logical decision will be to take down that ad and try somewhere else.

If the ad’s not there…then we’ve done our job and they’ve either run out of money or finally realized: “Placing that ad there was a poor decision!”

Conclusion: If You See A Bad Ad…

If you ever see a poorly placed ad…click it! Make them “pay” for it, literally. Just to show you how serious I am, I just set up a HootSuite account so I can get this blog-post in front of as many eyes as I can. I can’t stand bad advertising and hopefully some of you out there will agree with me.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 4, 2010

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State of The Union Drinking Game: Give it a “shot”!

State Of The Union Drinking Game 2010

I find it amazing that drinking games can be applied to pretty much anything. Buttttt…for all of you binge-drinking enthusiasts out there, here’s a game that can only be played once a year: The State of the Union Address Drinking Game!

Rules

The general rules of this game are no different from any other drinking game. Every time President Obama says a certain word (ie: “change”) or phrase (ie: “make no mistake”), you take a drink/shot. A drink is either a shot or a good gulp from a beer (or cider). All you do is watch the speech and play along. If all goes well, you’ll be unconscious by the time they show the other party’s response. For an extended list of keywords, phrases and rulesa, check out their website or their Facebook Group. This year, President Obama’s State of the Union address is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 9pm (Eastern). It should be broadcast on all major networks and cable news/political netorks. For online coverage, go to http://www.c-span.org/executive/stateoftheunion.asp.

Game History

This drinking game dates back to when George Washington gave the first State of the Union address on January 8, 1790. I’m pretty confident there’s no evidence of that fact, but I’m pretty sure it happened. On the other hand, I do know that is when the State of The Union Address began. As for the drinking game, the website (DrinkingGame.US) says nothing about it’s history. “I’m sure there are other people who have made similar games, but I think most people play by our rules,” Marc Melzer, one of the creators of the State of the Union Drinking Game and now a lawyer, told AFP. (Yes, they were interviewed by the AFP as well as The JDF.)

I decided to do a little research of my own. WhoIs information for the site says the domain was registered in 2004. I decided to contact the owner, Marc Melzer and a few questions myself. “We did it our senior year of college in January 2002, mostly for fun. We were on the campus and thought this was a great idea to distract us from work. We hosted it on a college site and people responded with over 50,000 hits…in 3 days. In 2003, we saw more like 500,000 hits in a matter of a week. We ran into trouble with bandwidth issues. In 2004, it found it’s final home on DrinkingGame.US (how appropriate!). ” (Marc Melzer, Co-Founder of DrinkingGame.US). When I asked him about the other sites that promoted their own versions of this game, he said that there was nothing they could do. It was a matter of an impossible Copyright.

It looks like this game has gained a lot of popularity since 2002. Major web publishers have put out their own articles about this game, and GAVE NO CREDIT TO DRINKINGGAME.US!

  1. Huffington Post
  2. San Francisco Chronicle (which was also published 4 hours later on Huffington Post)
  3. Digg!

(Entertaining) Disclaimers…

And what kind of game would this be if there were warning labels attached to it? After researching the sites that promoted this game, I decided, that instead of posting my own disclaimer, I’d simply post theirs. Enjoy:

DrinkingGame.US:

Please note that we do not now, nor have we ever, encouraged irresponsible use of alcohol. It is important to know your own limits and to act accordingly. We discourage improper use of alcohol.

Mahalo.com:

Disclaimer: This overview of the State of the Union Address Drinking Game, is, given the problem of Binge Drinking on college campuses, a controversial subject. Note that these sites contain adult-oriented content and should all be considered potentially unsafe.

HuffingtonPost:

NOTE: The Huffington Post in no way encourages binge drinking. This is the comedy section. If you actually drank as much as we suggested you would die, so do not do that.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Jewish Marketing, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

Hollywood Is Headed For The Meat Grinder: Mass Revenue Loss!

The End Of Hollywood?

File-sharing put a dent in the music industry, blogs/online publishers is shutting down print publishing and sooner or later, Hollywood will face the same scare. They are “headed for the same meat grinder that has chewed up the recorded music sector and print publishing.” ( Greg Sandoval, CNET.com).  Is this true? Can it be? It makes perfect sense….

I read this shockingly alarming article on CNET and felt it was 100% necessary to re-post and spread the word.


*For the original article, go to CNET.com.


End of the world as Hollywood knows it

To: Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Seth Rogen, Tina Fey, Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, every actor, actress, screenwriter, costumer, best boy, cameraman, set designer, makeup artist, and agent–plus anyone else who makes their living in the film industry.
From: Greg Sandoval, CNET media reporter and film fan.
Re: Your livelihood

October 20, 2009 4:15 AM PDT – Cut your spending. Save your money. Many of the revenue streams that have gushed into your industry for decades, some for nearly a century, are about to dry up. This will likely mean a period of belt tightening like you’ve never seen before.

The end is coming for DVDs, traditional movie rentals, and yes, much of your cable money will likely disappear.

The news isn’t entirely bad; you still have iTunes and Netflix–places where people spend money to buy or rent movies. You still have Hulu, Crackle.com, and YouTube, which are generating ad revenue by streaming full-length films and TV shows online. But the reality is that the amount of money that these legal operations generate is far less than the returns your industry is used to making. Unless some dramatic technological breakthrough occurs that can defeat file sharing, then you are staring at checkmate. Your business is headed for the same meat grinder that has chewed up the recorded music sector and print publishing. What will come out the other side is still uncertain but will likely be much smaller.

I’m sure many of you will write this off as the apocalyptic rantings of Silicon Valley propeller heads. But I urge you to pay attention to recent events.

Over the past five days I’ve been in Los Angeles talking to entertainment attorneys, studio executives, and some of the tech vendors who do business with the studios. I’ve been covering the sector three years now and I’ve never seen people in the film industry so dejected. DVD sales are falling, the number upcoming film releases is expected to drop. Some big shots have even acknowledged the bleak situation in public. The past weekend, at a conference on the USC campus, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the “business model that formed the motion picture business…is changing profoundly before our eyes.”

Iger warned that studios must make profound changes, “or you will no longer have a business.”

Earlier this month, Francis Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather” said at the Beirut Film Festival that “the cinema as we know it is falling apart.” He also predicted several of the studios would go out of business.

Of course, not all of your industry’s problems were caused by the Web. Hollywood has paid creators handsomely over the years and costs have skyrocketed. Then there’s the problem with Blu-ray. Iger noted that consumers aren’t upgrading their DVD collections with Blu-ray discs to the degree that the industry had hoped.

But if you’re really inclined to wag a finger, there is nothing disrupting your business more than the Internet. The MPAA has worked hard to force file-sharing sites out of business or push them to the Web’s fringes. At first, the studios tried to kill file sharing with lawsuits. Then they hired security firms, such as MediaDefender and MediaSentry, which promised to discourage file sharers by blocking or slowing the sharing process. None of that worked.

Maybe that’s one reason the MPAA overhauled its “antipiracy” operations three weeks ago. CNET reported on Friday that the studios’ trade group decided to change the name of the “antipiracy” unit to “content protection” and fired three leaders, including the MPAA’s general counsel.

And now, snatching a pirated film or TV show doesn’t require knowledge of torrents. There are scores of sites that stream movies and TV shows over the Web and a viewer doesn’t have to actually download the movie to their hard drive. I spoke to someone at the studios last week who said these sites are tougher to fight because they can crop up anywhere and many are based overseas. Often, said the source, “We don’t know where they are.”

“Hulu may be doing immediate harm to elements of your business, but waiting right behind Hulu in the shadows, are things that do so much more harm.”–Eric Garland, Big Champagne CEO

What is happening is that the consumption of unauthorized content appears to be moving out of dorm rooms and into the living rooms of average Americans. Here is what you’re up against:

A 28-year-old woman I’ll call Alexandra (she asked for anonymity) grew up in Missouri, graduated from college, attends church every Sunday, and told me that she watches episodes of the hit cable show “Mad Men” at least twice a week at Surfthechannel.com, a site that hosts links to many unauthorized clips. She gleefully said that visitors can find almost any TV show they want and not pay a dime.

Alexandra said a friend told her about Surfthechannel.com a year or two ago and she watches shows there because she doesn’t want to pay for a cable subscription, or a TV and because it’s so easy.

She explained that she is not a bad person and that “everybody is doing this.” She says one of her professors told her “he and his wife sit at home on the weekends and enjoyed movies they downloaded (illegally) off the Web.”

I ask her if she has tried Hulu, the popular video site created by News Corp. and NBC Universal. The site offers a few feature films and lots of TV shows free to viewers and pays for them by serving ads. She said she had visited Hulu but added that “there’s more of the stuff I want at Surfthechannel.com.”

Alexandra’s statements about Hulu come at a time when the site’s backers are mulling whether to build a pay wall around some of its content. Alexandra and people like her aren’t even accepting Hollywood’s offer of free content because unauthorized sites offer better selection.

What do you think will happen if Hulu begins charging?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that the returns at Hulu are probably much smaller than what the studios are accustomed to getting. There’s also the problem of growing dissatisfaction among the cable operators. How long will they continue to pay big bucks if more of their customers dump their subscriptions in favor of sites such as Hulu? Leaving a business that generated billions for one that makes far less would be hard for anyone.

But the possibility that studio chiefs must consider is what if the money offered by iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix is all that a digitally ravaged media world offers.

Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, a company that tracks file-sharing usage and sells the data to the studios and major record labels said: “Hulu may be doing immediate harm to elements of your business, but waiting right behind Hulu in the shadows, are things that do so much more harm.”

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Tech2.0

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 20, 2009

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