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Google Vs. Bing

June 6, 2011

Will Bing ever fully replace Google’s search capabilities? To me, no. Maybe it’s because I’m fully immersed myself into all the Google’s applications (gmail, docs, calendar) or because Google has been around since I first started using computers. I’m a 100% devotee to Google. However, recently my computer has started to use Bing for some of my searches. (FYI – my computer has a mind of its own.) Since I can’t explain a single thing about how technology or the internet works, I started thinking about the differences in advertising between the two companies. That’s more up my alley of interests!

Over the years, Google has become a common household name. Google is a noun or a verb. “Just google it” is a common phrase to me. People use ‘google’ to mean ‘to look something up online’ even if they plan on using a different search engine. And everyone understands what you mean. Don’t think we can say the same for Bing, yet. “Just Bing it.” – doesn’t have that ring to it.

I decided to look up some ads for each company to see what is their audience. Interestingly (or not so much), I had a difficult time finding advertisements for Google. But when I think about it more, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an ad for Google. While there are ads out there for Google Chrome and other features, I couldn’t find a single ad on Google as a search engine. Has Google become so integrated into our lives that advertising isn’t necessary?

However, when Bing was first launched back in 2009 Microsoft created a large ad campaign. Advertising magazines speculated that the campaign’s total spending was between $80 and $100 million. Their focus was on showing how consumers are dissatisfied with current search engines, namely with Google. Most of their ads have a humorous aspect in order to show Bing’s capabilities as a search engine. Their recent campaign is “Bing Search Overload Syndrome.” Bing is positioning itself as a search engine where you don’t get lost in all the links – Bing claims to be more “personalized.” They want to be known as the “decision engine.” They’ve also partnered with Facebook to show who of your friends have “liked” things to help you better decide. It’s a smart move to integrate a search engine with social media. Think Google will launch something similar with another social media site?

I have to wonder – how effective is Bing’s advertising efforts?  Do you bing or google?

Suggestions!

May 14, 2011

I am officially a college graduate!! Couldn’t be more excited about the future, except not sure when I’m going to get there. I’ve decided to take an easy summer to decompress, but I’m beginning to think that wasn’t the smartest idea. I LOVE to stay busy and active. Too much tv and free time drives me insane. So that’s where I need help!

I’d love some suggestions for ways to improve and update my blog, along with fun things to write about. I already have a list of topics, but now that I have free time I have a feeling I’m going to be working on my blog a lot. Email me (eperry07@gmail.com), tweet me (eperry07) or comment on my blog!

– Liza

Product Placement, Oh My

April 13, 2011

Product placement isn’t a new marketing tool and can be used very effectively, if placed correctly. I am a huge music person, always listing to music and looking for the latest song. But I just realized how prevalent product placement is in songs. It’s crazy just how many names of products pop up in songs, especially in new, pop songs. It can be a great tool if used sparingly, but some songs will focus entirely on song product (Nelly’s Air Force Ones) or name a string of products (Britney Spears’s Hold It Against Me). And these artist net a pretty penny by having product placement in their songs.

I’m slightly bothered with just how prevalent product placement is in songs. I did a quick internet search to find more songs with product placement, and I was shocked. Not sure why I’ve never noticed it before; now it’s practically all I’m looking for in songs. Some songs are greatly at strategically placing a product’s name, but some just blatantly throw in a random product name.

My question to these companies is how can they measure the effectiveness of product placement in a song? How do they know whether listeners are paying attention to the product’s name or not? Companies shell out a lot of money to get their products to get into songs, especially those with big name singers. And artists are very willing to write products into their lyrics. But I don’t see how companies can measure whether the high price of product placement in songs is worth it.

Are Social Media Campaigns Already Obsolete?

March 27, 2011

Recently AdAge posted an awesome article about how ineffective social media campaigns can be. It got me thinking about just how useful social media can be to a campaign. I definitely believe that social media is a great tool for answering consumers’ questions and as a response tool for crisis communication. But social media raises a different kind of communication, more two-way, more user friendly, more intuitive.

Although Burger King wasn’t able to increase their sales, their social media was able to help build brand relationships. We have to remember that other factors can also affect sales numbers. And it’s also tough to say how much of a social media campaign helped a company’s bottom line. I do feel as those social media campaigns are great for generating communication and increasing brand awareness, but these campaigns need to be more innovative if their sole purpose is to increase sales. That type of objective would need a different tactic.

Another issue I want to raise about social media is how ethical can some posts be, especially on blogs. It’s easy to read a review, think the product is great and go purchase it, but be completely unhappy with the product. Many bloggers receive “free” products, money on the table, etc to write a positive review even on products that they don’t like. And good bloggers are great at not disclosing if they were “paid” to write a particular post. Is that ethical? My gut says no, because those bloggers can’t write an post free of inhibitions. But how can we as consumers police that? It’s a great idea from a public relations standpoint as you get positive mentions from bloggers, but how can it be ethical?

I’d love to hear and read peoples’ thoughts about social media used in pr campaigns. I think when it’s done well and ethical, it can be a great tool to raise brand awareness and strengthen consumer relationships. But there are always two sides!

State Parks and Marketing

March 20, 2011

About a month ago I found a great article that ties in corporate social responsibly with a new marketing method. The article describes how big name companies, like Coca-Cola, North Face, Juicy Juice, are reaching out to provide funding to local and state parks. By teaming up with parks, the brands are able to reach consumers at a very local level in a natural setting. It’s a great way for brands to target consumers who frequent state parks, and the state parks need the funding. The article states that “people make 730 million annual visits to state parks.” Companies have found an ingenous way to tap into the number, all while aligning with an environmental cause. And parks are a great way to reach consumers unobtrusively. Park goers are typically very active and are highly educations, making them a great target audience for brand names.

Corporate social responsibility has become a hot issue among brand names. The more creative a brand can get, the more recognition it’s going to receive. And it all helps solidify the brand name was socially conscious. In the economic downturn, state parks are often faced with budget cuts. State parks then needed a creative way to bring in money. And why not tap into large corporations who are looking to showcase their commitment to providing for communities?

In the end it’s a win-win for both the state park and the company. The companies are able to market themselves to highly active, highly educated people, all with showing their commitment to being socially responsible. And state parks are able to get the funding they need for new playgrounds, better maps, and reforestation efforts.

Celebrities in Ads: Effective?

February 20, 2011

A recent topic among advertisers is just how effective can celebrities be in their clients’ ads. About a month ago I came across this study, and it made me start noticing how celebrities are used in ads. The study found that celebs did little to no help in selling a product. These types of ads tend to focus more on the celeb, than the product. Except, of course, if you own your own t.v. network like Oprah.  And consumers can often get lost in the creative message as they are paying too much attention to the celeb and little attention to the actual point of the ad. The study points out that celebrity ads underperformed more than any of type of ad – not something I would have thought before reading this article.

I get the sense that a lot of advertisers get an idea to use a certain celebrity because of his/her ‘wow’ factor or fan base before they even have the ad’s message developed. Rather, the celeb should be brought into the project once all the messaging and placement concepts have been decided on. Celebs are there to reinforce how a product can be used, not to steal the spotlight from the product at hand.

A few ads with celebrities gone bad:

1.Tiger Woods for Buick Cars – Really?!? Tiger Woods selling a car? Who thought that’d be a good idea?

2. Kobe Bryant for McDonalds – Does he actually eat McDonalds?

3. Lance Armstrong for Radio Shack – I can’t even tell the message of the ad.

Now, not all celeb ads are a bad thing. Some celebrities can help the product, such as Oprah with O.W.N. or Michael Jordan with Gatorade. Celebs need to fit the product so consumers can make that simple connection without losing concentration on the product. Advertisers need to remember the point of the advertisement, the product – not the celebrity!

Update

January 6, 2011

Hey Followers!

Happy New Year to everyone! It’s already been an exciting year, and I’m ready to share my public relations thoughts with everyone more frequently this year.

Please check back frequently as my blog is undergoing a small makeover in the coming days. I hope you’ll like the new look and new perspective. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, I’ll be posting at least one a week! I fell behind in 2010 as the Fall semester became crazy busy, but I have a new found appreciation for my blog. And I’m hoping it will help me land a JOB! More importantly, I read a lot about the pr/marketing industry and want to share my thoughts.

Please email me with any suggestions for posts, new blogs to read, or ways to improve! eperry07@gmail.com

Happy New Year,

Liza