The gun-maker Beretta Defense Technologies ran the above ad in the May 6 edition of USA Today. Kind of tasteless, eh? After thanking Navy SEAL Team Six on a job well done, the ad congratulates Beretta on its own role in keeping the world a safer place:
“Beretta shares a close association with the U.S. military, particularly Navy SEAL Team Six, having intimately collaborated with members of the team during the initial design phase of what would become the venerable M9, the official sidearm of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
It turns out the official sidearm of the Nave SEALs is Sig (Sauer), not a Beretta.
“Months ago, in a secluded warehouse outside of Boston, a crack team of designers from firms Continuum and ai3 assembled a top-secret prototype that would, according to internal data, change the Holiday Inn brand forever. It was an advanced, new kind of ‘environment’ — one where guests could more easily connect. The consultants used 800 slabs of foam core to build it, then spent weeks analyzing foot-traffic patterns. What could this revolutionary, futuristic space possibly be?
“It’s the lobby.
“Actually, there’s a fancier name. Holiday Inn is calling it the ‘Social Hub.’ “
Hmm. Granted I may have aged out of the demo Holiday Inn is going after, and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn in a while. But I do spend a fair amount of time in hotels, and I’m not sure what’s missing is a lobby that’s better suited to mingling with other guests. Then again, I totally don’t get IMGuest either. I guess I’m on the boring end of the traveler spectrum.
“Much the way Revinate helps hotels harness the power of social media, so LocalResponse aims to bring similar capabilities to brands large and small, with a particular eye toward helping them find and thank their most loyal fans with coupons and other special offers.”
The service tracks check-ins across Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, MyTown, Loopt, Whrrl and Brightkite, and then suggests customers that brands or local businesses should prioritize in their outreach. LocalResponse even presents thank-you offers you might want to send those most thank-worthy customers.
I once inadvertently thanked ChasNote’s biggest fan with a free 3-day pass to the Outside Lands music festival. Does that count?
Federated Media has teamed up with Clorox on a metablog for moms that pulls content from top womens and parenting sites such as Dooce, Rookie Moms, Girls Gone Child and Her Bad Mother. The site is powered by Foodbuzz, a curation platform (and community of 4000+ food bloggers) acquired by FM in 2010.
“Federated Media Publishing has launched the first of what it has dubbed ‘DailyBuzzes,’ or sites that will curate content around specific topics with a variety of brand partners. The first site, DailyBuzz Moms, will, not surprisingly, target moms (and some dads) in partnership with The Clorox Company.”
I love the idea of brands investing in marketing projects that also attempt to provide a consumer service. Many will fail, but I appreciate the effort to do something beyond an interruptive product pitch. So I’m rooting for Colorox and FM on this one, but they’ll face at least two obstacles on the road to a big and engaged audience. One, they aren’t the only curators in town. They’re up against hundreds of sites and services that also promise to filter and present a digestible sampling of the day’s best parenting content, including the bloggers they’ve partnered with. Two, they head into that battle — a battle for consumer attention — with a hand tied behind their back. Unlike an independent blogger or a new startup, Clorox has its brand to consider. Earlier this week, tech bloggers achieved record traffic by covering the Bin Laden story. Heather Armstrong at Dooce reached new audiences 2 years ago when her unhappy rant directed at Maytag went viral on Twitter. Will Clorox be open to republishing quality content, even if it’s sometimes controversial? I hope so.
At first blush, I’m a fan. If you like the idea of StumbleUpon, Digg or Twitter, but don’t have the time or patience for all that randomness, it’s a simple way to discover new voices around your favorite topics — in this case, Mom content. And tapping into an existing platform like Foodbuzz (both the technology and the humans) will give Clorox a leg up.
Disclosure: I was part of the founding team at FM and worked there from 2005 to 2009, and I continue to have a crush on the entire Armstrong family, who create Dooce.
“Remember that Toyota ‘Ideas for Good’ ad where that guy with the almost 4 year old in the back seat talks about how the hybrid synergy drive would be awesome for the ‘world’s first self-sustaining amusement park’… Well, in a warehouse in Pittsburgh, they’re DOING it — Toyota teamed up with our favorite Pittsburgh-based engineering crew Deeplocal to build a roller coaster from a 2011 Prius. The team of 5 gutted a Prius, using the engine, wiring harness, batteries, and Hybrid Synergy Drive system in a custom designed and fabricated coaster car”