Axe Helps Keep Your Balls Clean!

Axe has officially stepped up their marketing efforts…it’s a whole new ball-game! (…Ignore the pun) Their new slogan: “There’s no nook or cranny that the Axe Detailer can’t reach”.

The best part of this video, a truly touching moment (get your mind out of the gutter)…where they help shine up Mr. Hackerman’s dirty old balls.

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

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

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Bollywood + XMas = “Jingle Bells” on Acid

This is, hands down, the most cracked version of Jingle Bells ever produced. Quoting Huffington Post, “It’s like they took the classic song, soaked it in a tub of LSD, then took a match to it.” Who could come up with such a thing? Well, at the end of the clip, it has the “NICK” (as in Nickelodeon) logo…though as of now, it could have been thrown in there. First Slumdog Millionaire dominates Hollywood, and now XMas! Go India!! What will they think of next?

Posted under Online Marketing, Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on December 21, 2009

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Jewish Organization NCSY Produces #1 Hit On YouTube

For five minutes last Monday, the bread aisle at Gourmet Glatt became an avant-garde musical theatre.

Customers were surprised, to say the least, when 7  students broke into a song and dance routine to the tune of “Be Our Guest,” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. They did it to help drum up online publicity for NCSY’s 18th annual auction. The six dancers are all NCSY alumni.

They seem to have met their goal: the recording was the most-viewed video last week in YouTube’s non-profit category, according to NCSY’s marketing and PR director, Duvi Stahler, who came up with the idea. As of press time Tuesday evening it had been viewed over 9,000 times.

Stahler hit upon the idea of a musical interlude from this year’s top prize: a year’s worth of free groceries from Kosher.com, the online supermarket that operates out of Gourmet Glatt’s Cedarhurst facility.

“The idea was to do something as a grand prize that [people] need, not luxuries, something people have to spend money on,” he explained.

While the number was heavily rehearsed, the recording bears a touch of improv nevertheless. The video shows an elderly woman who insisted on disrupting the performance, pushing through the dancers to get a loaf of bread.
[*Original Article Above Found On The Jewish Star.]

Of Course They Made #1…

What did you expect? Of course this idea worked! According to Duvi Stahler, the concept for this video was inspired by ImprovEverywhere’s “I LOVE LUNCH” prank. Every one of their videos is an immediate success, so by following their guidelines, Duvi was confident this video would work as well.

I have a feeling the inspiration for this video also came from ImprovEverywhere’s “GROCERY STORE MUSICAL” (1 Million+ YouTube views) prank, Published 3 weeks before “Supermarket Takover”. Though Duvi claims originality, it’s not an issue. The point I’m trying to make is that Viral Videos like these work!

In Conclusion…

I guess if you’re a small business or niche organization, and you want to go Viral, just copy ImprovEverywhere. No, seriously…just copy them…Until you can come up with something original, do them a favor and give them credit at the end of the video.

Posted under Online Marketing, Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 19, 2009

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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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Taking your Site from 1 to a Million Users…FOR FREE!

Kevin Rose – The name should be familiar to you, considering he’s the founder of Digg.com. The domain “digg.com” attracted at least 236 million visitors annually by 2008  and has continuously been growing for the past year (Compete.com). The best part is….THEY NEVER EVEN PAID FOR MARKETING! Every technique they used was free and available on the internet.

Top 10 Down & Dirty Ways To Grow Your Web App:

Kevin Rose decided to bear all at the Future of Web Apps conference. Digg’s success is not due to expensive marketing techniques…everything was FREE. They used word-of-mouth and social methods to spread the word. If you want some of these methods, watch the video or simply read the summary below it:

Taking your Site from One to One Million Users by Kevin Rose from Carsonified on Vimeo.

As summarized by HighScalability.com, below you will find some of the secrets behind digg.com and wefollow.com explosive user growth. He covers ten unique strategies that turn passive users into passionate advocates.

1. Ego. Ask does this feature increase the users self-worth or stroke the ego? What emotional and visible awards will a user receive for contributing to your site? Are they gaining reputation, badges, show case what they’ve done in the community? Sites that have done it well:

Twitter.com followers. Followers turns every single celebrity as spokesperson for your service. Celebrities continually pimp your service in the hopes of getting more followers. It’s an amazing self-reinforcing traffic generator. Why do followers work? Twitter communication is one way. It’s simple. Followers don’t have to be approved and there aren’t complicated permission schemes about who can see what. It means something for people to increase their follower account. It becomes a contest to see who can have more. So even spam followers are valuable to users as it helps them win the game.

Digg.com leader boards. Leader Boards show the score for a user activity. In digg it was based on the number of articles submitted. Encourage people to have a competition and do work inside the digg ecosystem. Everyone wants to see their name in lights.

Digg.com highlight users. Users who submitted stories where rewarded by having their name in a larger font and a friending icon put beside their story submission. Users liked this.

2. Simplicity. Simplicity is the key. A lot of people overbuild features. Don’t over build features. Release something and see what users are going to do. Pick 2-3 on your site and do them extremely well. Focus on those 2-3 things. Always ask if there’s anything you take out from a feature. Make it lighter and cleaner and easy to understand and use.

3. Build and Release. Stop thinking you understand your users. You think users will love this or that and you’ll probably be wrong. So don’t spend 6 months building features users may not love or will only use 20% of. Learn from what users actually do on your site. Avoid analysis paralysis, especially as you get larger. Decide, build, release, get feedback, iterate.

4. Hack the Press. There are techniques you can use that will get you more publicity.

Invite only system. Get press by creating an invite only system. Have a limited number of invites and seed them with bloggers.  Get the buzz going. Give each user a limited number of invites (4 or 5). It gets bloggers talking about your service. The main stream press calls and you say you are not ready. This amps the hype cycle. Make new features login-only, accessible only if you log in but make them visible and marked beta on the site. This increases the number of registered users.

Talk to junior bloggers. On Tech Crunch, for example, find the most junior blogger and pitch them. It’s more likely you’ll get covered.

Attend parties for events you can’t afford. You can go to the after parties for events you can’t afford. Figure out who you want to talk to. Follow their twitter accounts and see where they are going.

Have a demo in-hand. People won’t understand your great vision without a demo. Bring an iPhone or laptop to show case the demo. Keep the demo short, 30-60 seconds. Say: Hey, I just need 30 seconds of your time, it’s really cool, and here’s why I think you’ll like it. Slant it towards what they do or why they cover.

5. Connect with your community.

Start a podcast. A big driver in the early days of Digg. Influencers will listen and they are the heart of your ecosystem.

Throw a launch party and yearly and quarterly events. Personally invite influencers and their friends. Just have a party at a bar. Throw them around conferences as people are already there.

Engage and interact with your community.

Don’t visually punish users. Often users don’t understand bad behaviour yet as they think they are just playing they game your system sets up. Walk through the positive behaviours you want to reinforce on the site.

6. Advisors. Have a strong group of advisors. Think about which technical, marketing and other problems you’ll have and seek out people to help you. Give them stock compensation. A strong advisory team helps with VCs.

7. Leverage your user base to spread the world.

FarmVille. tells users when other players have helped them and asks the player to repay the favor. This gets players back into the system by using a social obligation hack. They also require having a certain number of friends before you expand your farm. They give away rare prizes.

Wefollow. Tweets hashtags when people follow someone else. This further publicizes the system. They also ask when a new user hits the system if they wanted to be added to the directory, telling the user that X hundred thousand of your closest friends have already added themselves. This is the number one way they get new users.

8. Provide value for third party sites. Wallstreet Journal, for example, puts FriendFeed, Twitter, etc links on every page because they think it adds value to their site. Is there some way you can provide value like that?

9. Analyze your traffic. Install Google analytics, See where people are entering form. Where they are going. Where they are exiting from and how you can improve those pages.

10. The entire picture. Step back and look at the entire picture. Look at users who are creating quality content. Quality content drives more traffic to your site. Traffic going out of your site encourages other sites to add buttons to your site which encourages more users and more traffic into your site. It’s a circle of life. Look at how your whole eco system is doing.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Online Marketing, Online Video, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Tech2.0, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 8, 2009

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