Friday, April 12, 2013

If You Missed Our April Newsletter, Here 'tis. Enjoy

Belated Foolin'
While April 1st is long gone, many of the top April Fool's advertising gags are still making the rounds. Following are a few of our favorites.
1. Google Nose
Google is notorious for its April Fool's Day pranks. If you haven't watched the search engine giant's video about its newest technology, Google Nose--a mobile aroma indexing program that delivers scents online--take a break and watch it now.
Interestingly enough, however, technology is indeed moving toward endowing computers with a sense of smell, say experts. Such applications could eventually sniff out explosives or food contaminants, for example. To tell you the truth, we're not looking forward to the age when you can't blame it on the dog anymore.
2. Scope Bacon
We thought we had seen it all when Denny's came out with its Bacon Sunday. Turns out Proctor and Gamble jumped on the Bacon bandwagon too. While the Denny's alternative dessert really is on its menu, we're comfortably certain that Scope Bacon isn't real.
 3. Thin is In
We think this is hysterical. (Okay, maybe the writer of Can't Touch This shouldn't speak for the whole staff.) American Eagle Outfitters has one-upped the Skinny Jeans genre by introducing AEO Skinny SKINNY Jeans. Enjoy.
 4. Automobile Accoutrements
It amazes us how far companies will go to get a corporate video--let alone a spoof like this one--to go viral. The quality is fine enough for any major network, and the expense to produce on par with what a national spot would cost to shoot. Without further ado: HondaHAIR.
 5. Glass Bottom Plane
With all of the antics by Virgin Atlantic's Richard Branson, the luxury carrier's ad about its new glass bottom jet was almost believable. Almost. Okay, upon first read, we swallowed it hook, line and sinker. But it seems like it could really happen, doesn't it?

6. Samsung Eco Tree
Electronics manufacturer Samsung unveiled its revolutionary new Eco Tree, "a smart companion for a richer, sustainable and healthier life." The solar-powered Eco Tree actually produces oxygen. Optional accessories include tire swings, ladders, tents and tree houses."

7. Cattle Cam
And last but not least is the Cattle Cam by WholeFoods Market. This ingenious marketing concept involves fitting cattle with point-of-view video cameras to allow beef eaters to see what their beef eats. For us, it smacks a little too close to the kid raising a ribbon-winning steer only to see it trucked off to slaughter. 
The fact that a YouTube search lead to no other links to this video other than the one on the online magazine AdWeek's AdFreak section leads us to contemplate that the concept is quite possibly a joke on us by AdFreak. Either way, and lawsuits aside, the whole thing is just pretty darn cute in our opinion.  
Downtown In Bloom at Downtown at the Gardens
The last weekend of the month, April 27-28, our client Downtown at the Gardens will hold its annual Downtown in Bloom event, extolling the beauty of the great outdoors. Essentially a garden show--but with way more to experience than any garden show we've ever been to--this one-of-a-kind, must-attend affair will feature:
* Display gardens
* A garden market
* Live entertainment
* A kids' zone
* A KOOL 105.5 wine garden
* Contests
* Gifts
* In-store seminars
* A charity garden walk
* And more (but, heck, ain't that enough?)
Not to mention admission is FREE! So come on down to Palm Beach Gardens' own "Main Street," (that's PGA Blvd. to you and me) and attend Downtown in Bloom at Downtown at the Gardens. You can bet we'll be there. 
Dial up for details. 
Quality Living the Davie Way 
In addition to working on Kennedy Homes' new Italian-inspired townhome community in Palm Beach Gardens called Trevi at the Gardens, we're also concentrating on the 50-year-old builder's new Broward County development, Taralyne.
When complete, this enclave of 26 family-sized lots nestled in the laidback town of Davie, Florida, will be home to three luxury floor plans: the three-bedroom 3,050-square foot Solana; the four-bedroom 3,438-square-foot Summerlyne; and the five-bedroom 3,712-square-foot Country Manor.
"Kennedy is a lot more than a bricks-and-sticks builder," says RWA Pres Valerie Staggs. "They're in the business of creating distinctive communities, each with its own unique lifestyle. It's our job to help them convey that concept of belonging to a unique community through the newspaper, direct mail and online advertising that the company is undertaking as well as events in the planning."
For more about Taralyne, see For details about Trevi at the Gardens, dial up
Increase Traffic to Your Website: a 101 Refresher
Every day the importance of your online presense increases. Yet every day the difficulty of distinguishing your online presense from your competitors' increases too. Add to that the bazillions of megabites of unrelated online data standing between you and your customers and you might find yourself on the last page of a Google search every time. So what's a business to do?
Well, firstly, if all this cyber stuff is still newish territory for you, read on for a better, albeit basic, understanding. If you're already well versed in selecting keyword phrases, analyzing metatags and other SEO processes, however, then the following might bore you to tears. (Although the clever writing alone promises to make it well worth your five minutes.) Here goes:
You absolutely have to have a decent website. You could run the most creative Superbowl TV spot in history directing viewers to your website. But if your site is crummy, every one of the 100 million viewers who dial it up during halftime will click to something else faster than a kid with ADHD on a half-pound of M&Ms.
And by "decent website," we mean everything from the look and navigation to how fast it downloads, the quality of information, and those aforementioned keywords, metatags and other SEO stuffs. There are so many avenues to acquiring a snappy and functional website out there, from free do-it-yourself online tools to the sky's-the-limit paid design and programming, that there is no excuse anymore for a business website to be anything less than stellar. Plus, nowadays an attractive, well-functioning site doesn't have to cost a million bucks.
Provide backlinks to your website everywhere you can and as often as you can. A backlink is simply an online post containing your website address somewhere other than your website itself. This is where blogging comes in; press releases; social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+; bookmarking sites; question-answer forums; and lots more.
Most are free and pretty simple to master once you get the hang of it. And big brother Google is out there 24-7 crawling the Internet for new information that winds up on its pages of search results--information that can be about you and that leads folks back to your website. Do you have to contribute to all the available social media types and online forums? No, but the more you do and the more times you do it, generally, the better your results.
We recommend starting with a company Facebook page because chances are you already have a working knowledge of how Facebook works, compliments of your personal page. From there, you can move on to LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and on and on. But don't stop there. Posting to pages hosted by others can be a very effective online marketing technique too. Intelligently conversing with followers of other companies and organizations can entice those browsers over to your website.
One caveat to the concept of "more is better," however: Constantly hammering home messages about the quality of your widget or that it's on sale this week for 99 cents gets boring fast. Worse, it can also turn people off to your product or service. For the most part, people want to be educated with solid non-salesy information, or entertained. The more creative communicators educate, entertain, or both, while subtly selling as well. But that's for another edition of Can't Touch This.
Do your search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) due diligence. Much of optimizing your website in an effort to get it to appear on the first page of results in a Google search (SEO) happens automatically by following 1 and 2 above. 
Can more be done? Most certainly. There's optimizing the text on your website so that it contains the words folks typically search for (keyword phrases), which Google demands; adding lots of photos, which Google loves; and even naming those photos with your keyword phrases, instead of how we typically name them like "Photo 1" or by the date it was taken, etc., which Google isn't at all interested in. 
The list of what the Google spiders that crawl your site love to see on it just goes on and on the deeper you drill. And what Google likes, will get you closer and closer to the front page of her search results.
Up until this point, if you do it all yourself, the cost to do so is only your time. The final ingredient, SEM, will cost you, though. SEM involves paying a company to procure space at the top or down the side of a Google results page where your website listing will reside no matter what the organic results of a search dredge up. That's not to say that if the phrase "ice cream cones" is searched for, your meat packing plant will appear at the top of the page, but you get the picture. Then, every time somebody clicks on your listing, you're charged a fee (aka "pay per click"). 
You also get all kinds of analysis about who's clicking on you, how many pages they're viewing, whether they came to your site organically or via your paid presence, as well as all sorts of innovative tracking and marketing programs. If you're a whiz at SEO, you might not need to undertake an SEM campaign. However, the two combined can only help.
Shameless Plug. At some point, unless you've got the mind of a Stephen Hawking, the patience of Job, and the time on your hands of a prison inmate, you'll likely want to hand off some or all of this to an expert. If and when that day comes, please give us a ring. At Ryan William's Agency, we've got your back. 

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