Archives for the month of: January, 2011

Golf has a lot of obstacles to becoming a really popular sport. It's expensive (greens fees, lessons, clubs), courses don't often exist outside of exclusive neighborhoods, the scoring is esoteric, the lingo is strange and, for the most part, the golfers themselves seem to all be moulded from the same boring, vanilla-beige plaster. Not only are they all white guys but they're all boring white guys. 

Tiger Woods solved part of that issue for golf because the combination of being multi-racial and wildly talented made up for his boringness and broadened the viewing audience for golf. Then, um, he did some stuff and became somewhat less popular. 

Since then, it's been tough to figure out who to root for in golf. I always rooted for Tiger myself but now I feel slimy for doing so. Nobody else seems anywhere near as talented and if nobody has a particularly great personality, then why root for a boring loser when you can root for a boring winner? 

Enter Ben Crane

Ben Crane is, apparently, the coolest, funniest dude in sports that I've never really heard of before. It seems that in the vacuum created by Tiger's fall from grace, Ben and his people have launched an initiative to gain some fans for him through the magic of a series of legitimately hilarious videos. Well, he earned at least one fan; I'll give you a hint, his name is my name. Also, I'm him.

Check out Ben's site or YouTube page and try not to fall in love with this guy. Sure, he only has three PGA wins to date and has never finished better than 9th in a major championship, but he's my new favorite player! Go Ben, if your golf skills don't take the world by storm then your viral marketing acumen surely will!



And by “hard,” I mean “hard liquor,” of course. What did you think I meant?

I’m not sure exactly why Ron Jeremy thinks that people are interested in drinking a liquid with his face on it, but here it is, Ron de Jeremy Rum! “Ron” does means “rum” in Spanish, so, maybe the wordplay was just too good to pass up. I’ve seen worse marketing ideas.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’m not big on rum; I feel like this kind of nonsense wouldn’t fly in Scotland. But if the show Entourage can launch an actual tequila, Puff Daddy (excuse me, “Diddy Dirty Money”) and Jay-Z can have competing brands of vodka and Ron Jeremy can put his mustachioed mug on a bottle of rum, then I’ll just stick to Scotch, a-thank you very much! No offense to “The Hedgehog,” of course, I just don’t want him anywhere near my mouth. [Uncrate]

Every football-loving American knows that that the best platform for fantasy football is Yahoo’s. If you disagree and you use’s or’s platform for your fantasy football, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Yahoo’s interface is easier, its iPhone app is better and the pages load faster and without noisy, auto-play ads. In order to use Yahoo’s fantasy football vehicle, though, you have to have a Yahoo ID. Well, that may not be the case next football season.

AllThingsD reports that Yahoo will soon begin to allow users to log in using their Facebook and (gasp!) Google accounts. Gizmodo’s take on the situation is that Yahoo is simply giving up, waving the white flag in a similar manner that MySpace did years ago. Yahoo was long considered one of the biggest, strongest, most important and most relevant Internet companies in the world. It was one of the few companies to survive the Dot-Com Bubble of the late 90s and was still going strong years later. In the past few years, though, Google’s dominance of the search space, Facebook’s dominance of the social space and Microsoft’s annexation of Yahoo’s paid search platform left very little for Yahoo to capitalize on aside from their display network (which has also lost ground to Google’s). The writing has been on the wall for some time and it seems that Yahoo’s best days are officially in the rear-view mirror.

In my opinion, the big news isn’t Yahoo’s retreat; that was a long time coming. It’s not even that Yahoo will allow accounts from its long time nemesis, Google, to log in, even if that does seem extraordinarily strange. The most interesting news is that Facebook logins will be able to be used to access Yahoo properties which will include recreational activities like fantasy football and more compulsory items like Yahoo email. Keep in mind that if you’re using Facebook to log in to anything, that means that Facebook knows who you are while you’re using what you’re logged in to.

Facebook already knows so much about you and, compared to Google, Microsoft and other ad delivery systems, it knows much, much more. Think about it, much fewer people have a Google profile than a Facebook profile; those that have both generally reveal much more about themselves in the latter compared to the former. Of course, it’s easier for Facebook to know who you are if you’re logged in to Facebook. Many of us log out as soon as we’re done but as Facebook accounts become increasingly available as means of logging into other sites (in this case, Yahoo) Facebook’s cache of knowledge becomes more and more valuable. Wpromote’s CEO, Michael Mothner has suggested that with this knowledge, Facebook could engage in display advertising in direct competition with Google. Whereas Google focuses ads based on where you are, Facebook could focus ads based on who you are. Whereas Google might populate clothing ads on a fashion blog or concert ticket ads on a music site, Facebook might know that you posted an update saying that you love the Lakers, and post ads related to Laker tickets and merchandise as a result. 

If Mothner’s theory is correct, then Facebook could very quickly dominate the display advertising landscape. If Facebook ads are better ads and better ads are more valuable, then it’s an easy decision for website owners to choose to run ads powered by Facebook over ads powered by Google. Yahoo’s decision to allow people to log in using their Facebook accounts could be a major step in the direction of display advertising dominance for Facebook. 

So, when you’re deciding on whether to start Rashard Mendenhall or Peyton Hillis next year, don’t be surprised if the ads on the page are eerily similar to things you’ve been thinking about buying… especially if you’ve mentioned it on Facebook!


Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising may be my new favorite website. 

Working in marketing, it's easy to get "too close" to remember that real people act like–go figure–real people! They don't usually say things like, "Wow, who knew you could get 20% your favorite brands at the President's Day Blowout Sale?!" like they do in commercials all the time. Good marketing is good marketing because it's memorable, likable or useful and advertisers (like me) constantly search for universal formulas to achieve that memorability/likeability/usefulness with every type of client. 

Of course, that formula doesn't exist; if it did, advertising would be easy and no product or service would stand out above any others. Still, it's the job of the marketer to seek out better ways to advertise and it's the job of to make fun of those marketers. So far, they're doing a really good job! [popurls]