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

Moishe’s Moving Makes Moving “Sexy”

moishes moving madness

…ok, well maybe not “sexy” in the traditional sense, but in terms of social media marketing, this company is getting it right.  I’ve invited Moishe’s Moving to explain their sexy *new* strategy and why it’s working!


Moishe’s Moving Goes Social

By Itamar Kestenbaum, Marketing & PR Manager at Moishe’s Moving Systems

There are many reasons why Moishe’s Moving Systems is not only a household name in the Northeast, but is synonymous with moving in New York City. However, in entering a new era of social media, Moishe’s has encountered new and interesting challenges.

Social media advertising has proved to work well for retail giants such as Starbucks, JetBlue and the infamous #moonfruit Twitter extravaganza.

The reasons for their successes are as follows:

  • Starbucks’ customers’ “life-spans” are extremely long. Their patrons are almost daily consumers of their products.
  • JetBlue’s branding is consistently strong with its sexy new approach to flying.
  • #moonfruit clearly brands itself through Twitter – thanks to the hashtag in front of it.

However, the moving industry is a different marketing animal with the average customer life-span being approximately two weeks. And, the moving industry does not or will ever possess a sleek or sexy image.

Moishe’s predicament was, “Can social media work for a moving company?”

The answer: Yes!

In an effort to create a fully integrated and effective social media campaign, Moishe’s has launched a contest that will increase interaction with their customers. “M4: Moishe’s Moving Movie Madness,” is a month-long contest in which Moishe’s customers can film their move in progress and submit a video to Moishe’s Facebook page (facebook.com/moishesmoving). The winner of the competition will get a full refund of his/her move. Moishe’s has integrated the contest into its marketing platform by publicizing it on Twitter (twitter.com/moishesmoving), mentioning it in our blogs and with an extensive PR campaign.

Moishe’s believes this competition will not only bring out our client base’s creativity, but will also create a “buzz.” “This is a fun project, and we truly hope that our customers will jump on this great opportunity to win a free move,” said Eugene Lemay, CEO of Moishe’s Moving Systems. “Our goal with this competition is to further expose our brand to a younger demographic and to enjoy a viral effect by urging our participants to ask their friends and family to vote for their videos, thus introducing our brand to a slew of potential new customers.”

Already, as a result of the contest Moishe’s sales figures have gone up. Indeed, many of Moishe’s customers have already expressed interest in participating when the time comes for their moves. Moishe’s has also observed that just under 50% of visitors to Moishes.com having clicked onto the contest page.

M4 is not Moishe’s first foray into social marketing. In fact, in the past 2 years, Moishe’s has been dabbling in various social marketing platforms. Recently, Moishe’s enjoyed success with a YouTube campaign that creatively showed the lighter side of the brand. Moishe’s also has plans for further experimentation on Twitter and Facebook in the coming months.

Posted under Jewish Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 5, 2009

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eCommerce On Saturday: What Should Jews Do?

bhphotovideo500

B&H Photo and Video, one of the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States closes their doors to observe the Jewish day of rest. Simply put, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

I first heard about this in Webtribution.com’s article “E-Commerce: Religion Versus Revenue“. The author of the blog, Kieran Hawe, was on the hunt for a camera this past Saturday and came across the following message:

Please note that B&H does not process web orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening!

Kudos to B&H for religious observance, but what about the 100’s of other Jewish eCommerce sites that happen to keep their online stores open on weekends. I decided to do a little research of my own… I am quoting sensitive opinions so please, read this with an open mind…

Jewish Weekends 101: What is Allowed On ‘Shabbat’?

Shabbat (Hebrew: shabbat; Yiddish, shabbos; “rest” or “cessation”) is the day of rest in Judaism and lasts from sundown Friday until Saturday night. About a month ago, someone posted the following question on TheYeshivaWorld.com: “Does anyone know what’s a Jew to do about selling via an e-commerce website on Shabbat?” Overall, the response remained consistent. “The website can be available for browsing, but NO buying,” but this was no a universally shared opinion.

On the other hand, Nicholas Zamiska, previously a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, provides an opposing opinion. He published an article on Hashkafah.com in which he concluded that “Technically speaking, the vendor’s monetary acquisition, happens on a weekday so there is no issue”  (Rabbi Heinemenn). Web sites don’t process transactions on Saturdays…no money changes hands, so the sites should be able to remain open.

These are simply 2 different opinions. It all boils down to the companies choice and the ability to rationalize “religion vs. revenue” when a company could potentially be missing out on millions of dollars.

What Is There To Lose?

Some websites simply can’t give up selling on Jewish holidays. “One of my hottest business days was on Rosh Hashana,” says Rabbi Mayer Pasternak, creator of JewishMusic.com. Considering it’s one of the most important holidays of the Jewish year, this wasn’t an easy decision for him. “I felt a twinge of guilt, coming back and there were a couple hundred orders.” (Hashkafah.com) But that’s simply not the case with B&H Photo and Video. Owned by Herman Schreiber, an observant Jew, they decided to close both their store and website purchases on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Of the 1,500+ employees, Jews and non-Jews both support this decision. Richard Spiess, 34, a salesman at B&H for 2 1/2 years, said there are some advantages to being non-Jewish in such a heavily Jewish environment. “We get a lot of nice holidays off,” he said. (Post-Gazette.com) The employees may be happy about this, but this is still a huge loss for the company.

I had the chance to speak to one of their employees earlier today. Joshua Grashin, a Search Engine Marketing Optimizer at B&H for the past 2 years also agress that “it’s great to have holidays off”, but adds that he believes Herman’s decision actually improves the companies image in the public eye. “At first I thought that is must hurt them in some way becuse they’re literally closed for a 7th of the week which can add up over the course of a year. But the more people I talk to, the more I realize its something that people universally respect. People are fine with it because they still know they’re getting the best service. They respect their religious decision to close, to the point that they view B&H as a respectable company –  a company that has ideals! And any company that has ideals will directly relate to the business as a whole.”

To get an idea of what they’re missing out on, B&H serves over 11,000 customers daily, while a considerable amount of the company business comes from their website (sales, affiliate ads, etc.)  “The amount of money lost during the 24 hour +/- time period of Shabbat is significant, however it is obvious the owners of the business could care less about the lost revenue and focus more on their core religious beliefs and principals,” says Kieran Hawe, Co-Founder of Hawe Digital and  previously Sr. Director of Online of Online Marketing at Folica.com. This does wonders for their repuation. In fact,  Sergey Brin, President and co-founder of Google, said that B&H “happens to be my favorite camera equipment store.” (Google Q3 Earnings Call Transcript) Whether he relates to their ideals or not, there’s no doubt that this is a decision everyone respects.

In Coclusion

It’s apparent there are two strong opposing opinions. Based on Nicholas’s article, you can remain open without worrying about fiscal transactions occuring on Shabbat. On the other, you can maintain a stricter approach. Simply shut down and in return, come off as a business built on strong convictions and values. The choice is ultimately yours to make.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Jewish Marketing, Online Marketing