Around the Net in Brand Marketing

Heineken Aligns Web And TV
Heineken is looking to make more original content for online channels and more long-form digital programming. Ron Amram, Heineken’s senior media director said most of the brand’s advertising remained focused on TV, but added: “What we’re trying to do now is have a secondary line of communication, one that’s more targeted.” – Read the whole story…
Mozilla Delays Blocking Cookies
Mozilla has postponed activating the third-party blocking feature on its latest browser, Firefox 22, according to an update on its developer page. The Mozilla Foundation, makers of the Firefox Web browser, had said it planned to block third-party advertising cookies by default on the new version. Apple’s Safari browser already blocks third-party cookies. The ANA and other ad groups have said the blocking plan is “a dangerous and highly disturbing development.” – Read the whole story…
Fiat May Move HQ To U.S.
Detroit Bureau
With Fiat SpA hoping to wrap up its takeover of Chrysler LLC sometime this year, the maker appears to be thinking over what could be an equally significant step, the possible move of its corporate headquarters from Italy to the U.S. Sources say Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the company is giving serious thought to basing the merged automaker out Chrysler’s sprawling campus in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. – Read the whole story…
Kroger Defends Ditching Double Coupons
Supermarket News
Kroger’s CFO said the grocery chain’s double coupons in several markets was “a very expensive reward proposition that a very small number of [our] customers actually engage in.” Speaking at BMO Capital’s Farm to Market conference, Michael Schlotman said eliminating double coupons has helped the company invest in lower everyday prices that benefitted a larger group of shoppers than the chain’s heavy coupon shoppers. – Read the whole story…
The Next Martha Stewart
San Francisco Chronicle
Brit Morin may be the next — or at the least a digital — Martha Stewart. Formerly of Apple and Google, Morin has a Pinterest-like, venture-backed startup, Brit & Co. that aligns with the “maker movement.” It shows you how to make or where to find everything you see. It features recipes, creative decorations, and even technology to wear, like the Pebble watch. At the link, a video interview with Morin from Chronicle content partner Business Insider on her new startup. – Read the whole story…
Are Facebook’s ‘Likes’ Free Speech?
In a court room in Virginia, Facebook’s lawyers are busy arguing that the social network’s “Like” feature needs to be recognised with free-speech protection under the US Constitution. The case stems from when one Danny Carter, a former Hampton jailer, claimed he was fired after he posted a picture of his boss’s opponent in the sheriff’s race on his Facebook page. The implications go way beyond the local sheriff’s office. – Read the whole story…

Instagram To Users: You’re All Unpaid (But Cherished) Interns Now

InstagramUnderstanding that “free” interactive services have to extract some marketing value from their users is one thing. But Instagram’s bizarre interaction yesterday with its community of users-cum-content providers is a case study, by turns, in hubris, tone-deafness, poor communications skills, a breakdown in social media etiquette and just bad manners. And within a day it transformed into a real-time mea culpa.

As much of the digerati already know, Instagram announced at its company blog a change in Terms of Service that seemed to bluntly state that the company had the right to use your images in advertising. To be clear, there is nothing especially clear about how in fact Instagram plans to do this. In part, the controversy was rife with speculation. But Instagram started it with a stark declaration of corporate over personal rights.

“Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here.”

I still don’t quite get whether the second part of that last sentence actually has bearing on images you post that might get used in a promotion. Are privacy choices respected by the ad policy?

But the part that really seemed to hack people off involved the breadth of the data that could be shared with an advertiser and the clear declaration that users had no claim on the value of images they themselves had created.

“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

First and foremost — never, ever send users into a privacy policy and TOC with no explanation. The original dumbass blog post at Instagram simply says: “We know these documents are a little dry, but they’re very important. Please take a moment to read through them so you keep feeling comfortable sharing your beautiful photos on Instagram.”

Worse, the most controversial aspects of the TOC were not even addressed in the blog post’s rundown of “key updates.” It feels like misdirection.

How does this affect celebrity Instagram users? Can their images be used however the company wants?

And perhaps most damning of all, Instagram put its notice that affects all users on the Web site in a company blog, not where it belongs — in the damned app where people use it.

We can argue all day about the fair exchange of value for a free service, and whether Instagram is doing anything different here from its parent company, Facebook. But their way of relating this to users in tone, lack of clarity and method was disrespectful. Instagram deserved the scorn, even if fleeting, it received this week. Finally late yesterday, co-founder Kevin Systrom issued something closer to the explanation that users deserved from the start. See separate story at Mobile Marketing Daily today for details.

It remains to be seen whether real-time screw-ups and apologies ultimately have a positive or negative effect on the image of a mobile service like Instagram. We all understand the modern Internet method of iterating, gathering feedback and reiterating. This applies to product features and Web sites. But does it really apply to core values such as valuing and respecting users?

People Always Shopping, Even If Unaware

Mobile-Shopping-Shutterstock-BThe so-called “purchase funnel” for consumers is no longer linear, and it no longer stops, thanks to social media.

According to a new study from the Advertising Research Foundation, nearly one-third of shoppers said social media influenced their brand preference, either by introducing those consumers to brands they were unfamiliar with or changing their opinion of a brand during the shopping process.

The study also determined that, thanks in part to social media, the purchase process never ends. With constant updates from social networks (including from friends and colleagues who are talking about their own recent purchases in social networks), consumers are constantly shopping, even if they are doing it in a passive manner.

“People have a [predetermined] mental image of the marketplace even if they’re not in it. Even if you’re not a snowboarder, you probably have an image of what the market is like,” Todd Powers, executive vice president, primary research, the Advertising Research Foundation, tells Marketing Daily. “By the time you start that active search, you already have the view of the marketplace. The old image we had was using the funnel. Those stages still exist; they’re not linear anymore.”

While the study, “Digital & Social Media in the Purchase Decision Process,” determined there was no single path to purchase for modern consumers, social media plays a role on every point of the journey. More than a fifth of consumers (22%) agreed with the notion that social media played an important role in their purchase decision.

The study also found that emotion is a very important part of the purchase process, both before and after making a purchase. The study found that posting on social sites, particularly positive comments expressing “joy” doubled after a purchase as people sought assurances that they made a smart buy, Powers says.

“The digital resource of social media provides both information and emotional input,” he says. And social media is one of those things that does both of these things.”

At the same time, the wealth of information available to consumers can sometimes lead to analysis paralysis, where they can’t pull the trigger on a purchase because they want to get as much information as possible. Social media, according to the study, is expanding the range of trust for consumers, with the influencers of a decision growing beyond the family, friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, to blogs, online forums, and other digital sources.

“In today’s world with the ready access to advice and information, consumers have more than they need,” Powers says. “There’s so much information that the big challenge is making sense of it.”

The study, conducted with partners such as GM, Google, Kraft, The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Motorola, Firefly/Millward Brow, comScore, Converseon, Communispace and Y&R, combined surveys with Web-listening and social media content analysis, as well as in-depth interviews, ethnography and information gathering from online communities.

Mobile Shopping from Shutterstock”

Facebook CEO Concedes Missteps, But Says World ‘Underestimating’ Mobile Opportunity

Facebook has had a tough run as a public company, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company remains focused on its biggest opportunity, and that is mobile.

In his first public comments since the IPO in June, Mr. Zuckerberg said while the share price has been “disappointing,” he’s more focused on how the company will be judged in the next five years and that is how well it can fulfill its potential on mobile devices.

“Six months ago, we were in a bad place in mobile,” he said, mostly because the company focused too long on building out its apps for the mobile web, rather than building native versions of the Facebook app for Apple and Android devices.

“There is no doubt we had a bunch of missteps on this,” he said. “But we’ve transitioned now and we are a mobile company.”

“I basically live on my mobile device,” Mr. Zuckerberg said, as if to drive that point home, and added that he composed his oft-quoted founders’ letter in Facebook’s IPO filing, the one that said “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services,” on his mobile phone.

Related Stories

Does Facebook Know You’re Pregnant?
What It Knows Depends on Whom You Ask: Social Network Says One Thing, Its Advertisers Another
In Pursuit of Revenue, Social Networks Ramp Up Ad Targeting
Facebook Goes the Route of Direct Marketing, While Twitter Plays It Safe With Focus on User Interests

The Facebook founder handled his 30 minutes on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt with the famously prickly founder Michael Arrington with considerable poise compared with his sweaty, stuttering stage appearances of the past. He clearly had an agenda to convey Facebook’s opportunity in mobile devices, and he largely achieved it.

Mr. Zuckerberg conceded some strategic mistakes, though not in how the IPO was handled or whether the stock, down more than 50% from the IPO, impacts the company’s ability to pursue its mission. Facebook shares inched up more than 3% in after-hours trading.

He sees the stock price as an opportunity to bring in new talent, rather than a trigger for talent to leave. “I think it’s actually a good time for people to join and a good time for people to stay and double-down,” he said.

He also parried several questions from Mr. Arrington about the existence of a project to build a phone. “It’s so clearly the wrong strategy for us,” he said. “Let’s say we built a phone. Maybe we could get 10 or 20 million people to use it. It wouldn’t move the needle for us. We want to build a system that is deeply integrated into every device people want to use.”

But he did say that Facebook has a team working on search, which puts it on collision course with arch rival Google, which has spent the past few years attempting to add social signals to search with its G+ social network.

Facebook already gets billion search queries a day “without really trying,” he said, mostly users looking for people or content on Facebook. But Mr. Zuckerberg said the ambition for search is bigger. “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to deliver answers; what sushi restaurants have your friends visited in New York, and liked? These are queries you could do on Facebook that you couldn’t do anywhere else.”

He conceded that the company has been slow on product over the last six months as it reorganizes developer teams to focus on mobile, but he said that the pace would begin to accelerate, including a new Android app.

“People underestimate how well we are doing in mobile,” he said. “We already see that mobile users are more likely to be daily active users than desktop user.”

He also said that that ultimately Facebook will make more money from mobile than from desktop PCs. The company is expected to earn $4.2 billion from advertising this year, mostly targeted at PC users, according to eMarketer, but mobile revenue is expected to grow explosively over the next few years.

“Mobile is a lot closer to TV than desktop,” he said, meaning they have to be full-screen and part of the experience, rather than boxes in the right column as they are on the desktop. “What we’re seeing now with the early mobile ads is they perform better than right-hand column ads on Facebook.”

He said he actually prefers when Facebook is being underestimated, and clearly believes now is one of those times. “It gives us latitude to go out and make big bets and do things that excite and amaze people,” he said.

“Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company in the past,” he said. “People here are fairly used to the press saying good things about us and saying bad things about us.”

Cashie Commerce



Facebook co-founder buys New Republic magazine – Business

(Reuters) – Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook and a former online strategist for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic, the magazine said on Friday.

Hughes, 28, will become publisher and editor-in-chief of the nearly 100-year old magazine which covers American politics.

He is also expected to apply his expertise in digital technology in his new role.

The New Republic currently publishes a daily Web magazine. The New Republic did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction or the exact size of the stake.

Hughes co-founded Facebook in 2004 at Harvard with his then- roommates Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and DustinMoskovitz


Since working on the Obama campaign Hughes founded in 2010, a non-profit site that aimed to help people find ways to help each other. It was later combined with GOOD in 2011, an online content and social engagement platform.

As well as his new role Hughes will continue to invest independently and work with non-profits like the Knight Foundation.

(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Webinar Feb. 23: How to Leverage Social Media to Build Relationships With Journalists

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

PR News Media Relations Webinar
How to Leverage Social Media to Build Relationships With Journalists

Date/Time: Thursday, February 23, 2012 | 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST
$359 Per Location – CDs available for purchase

Register Today

Join PR News on February 23 for this Webinar that will provide the tactics you need to build relationships with key media professionals for your brand or your organization. In addition to showing you how media professionals are using the major social networks, our expert media relations trainers will also show you what kinds of actions are most likely to produce negative reactions and harm your relationships with time-strapped journalists and bloggers.

At this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify and engage with influential media professionals on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
  • Know when and how to engage with media pros directly on Twitter
  • Know what is likely to make a media pro “unfollow” you
  • Use your Facebook page as a center of sharable news and content that attracts the media and inspires “likes” and engagement
  • Optimize press releases for social media
  • Build relationships with media pros on LinkedIn and track their career progress and beats
  • Use Facebook and Twitter for crisis communications
  • Optimize your online newsrooms to attract media coverage
  • Monitor online content and safeguard your organization’s reputation
  • Measure the ROI of your media relations efforts

In just 90 minutes you’ll learn smart tips, tools and next practices for managing and improving your media relations initiatives. You’ll walk away with the most effective ways to leverage social media, break through the noise and gain the edge on the competition.

Sign Up Your Team Now

Related Items:

Denny’s Launches National Hispanic Marketing Campaign With ‘Skillet Whisperer’ Video

Cesar Millan el domador de los Sizzling Skillets de Denny's. (PRNewsFoto/Denny's)


World Renowned Dog Expert Cesar Millan Stars in Funny Or Die Video

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Denny’s, America‘s iconic family diner, announced today the launch of its first national online marketing campaign targeting the Hispanic consumer. The Funny Or Die spoof video, titled “Skillet Whisperer,” features famed dog behavioralist and TV personality, Cesar Millan, Star of National Geographic WILD‘s ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,’ taming an unruly Denny’s Sizzlin’ Skillet. The video is produced in both Spanishand English to effectively reach a diverse audience.The comedic “Skillet Whisperer” episode takes place in a Denny’s diner where Millan steps in to help an overwhelmed family who is confronted with an aggressive Western Skillet, from the new “Sizzlin’ Skillets” menu, and teaches the family how to display their dominance to calm the skillet so that it may be eaten and enjoyed in a respectful manner. The video is Millan’s first national restaurant brand partnership and was created to connect with Denny’s growing Hispanic customer base. Also starring in the Spanish version of the video is Millan’s son, Calvin Millan, who plays the son of the family.

“Skillet Whisperer” launches today in Spanish and English versions and is available online at and, respectively.  The branded content video is a further extension of Denny’s “America’s Diner is Always Open” platform, further engaging with the growing Hispanic demographic through a new platform beyond traditional advertising. The videos will also be accessible via, Facebook and other social media platforms.

“Denny’s enjoys strong relationships with our Hispanic guests, which make up the fastest growing demographic at our restaurants and in the U.S. overall,” commented Frances Allen, chief marketing officer of Denny’s Corporation.  “We have regularly introduced innovative new campaigns to engage with our target demographics, so we are truly excited to be launching our first video campaign produced in both English and Spanish, with the goal of making it as authentic as possible for our wide variety of guests.  We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Funny Or Die and to have the opportunity to be the first restaurant brand to partner with Cesar Millan, who did a fantastic job in the video.”

The online video is the first nationwide campaign developed by Denny’s new Hispanic advertising agency, Casanova Pendrill, which worked in partnership with Denny’s lead agency, Gotham.

“The Hispanic community continues to be vitally important to the Denny’s brand and we are excited to continue spreading its ‘always open’ message with the launch of our first campaign on behalf of the company,” explains Ingrid Otero-Smart, president and chief executive officer of Casanova Pendrill. “The partnership with Funny Or Die and Cesar Millan gives Denny’s the chance to speak to Hispanic consumers in a fresh, fun way, and we look forward to increasing engagement within this audience across all media platforms moving forward.”

About Denny’s
Denny’s (Nasdaq: DENN) is America’s Largest full-service family restaurant chain, serving classic American food and every day value 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Based in Spartanburg, S.C., Denny’s currently operates 1,670 franchised, licensed, and Company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guam, Puerto Rico and New Zealand. For more information, including news releases, franchising opportunities and investor relations, visit