Archive for the ‘[Marketing & Advertising]’ Category

10 Strategic Tips For Creating Your Website.


A website is an important component to the success of your business.  Today’s consumer is a much smarter shopper, especially with the introduction of the social media networks.  When researching a product or company the first place a shopper likely turns to, is their web.  Your website gives you an official and legitimate voice that the social media networks often times lack.   There also is an air of suspicion when a company doesn’t have a presence online and a company website gives your business instant credibility.  Here are 10 tips for creating a functional website.  If you already have a website established, you may even want to rethink about enhancing it.

1.  Set some goals.  Before you get started, think about what you’d like to achieve with your website.  Drive sales?  Create an information hub for visitors?  Have some goals in mind which help set the tone for developing your website.  It also helps you provide clear direction of where you want to go and the features you will need to include.

2.  Identify your target audience.  This is easier said then done.  Sometimes you’ll want to please everyone under the sun. However, if you’re able to segment your audience this will determine how you structure your website.  Working in the marketing industry, I’ve seen this mistake happen many times before.  A company complicates their website with too many things that a user doesn’t need.  It’s a strategic mistake that could have easily been remedied with understanding the people who will be viewing and using your website.

3.  Consider your brand.  Your brand should also play a big part in developing your website.  The look and feel of your site should reflect your brand.  If your brand is lively and fun, then those elements should also live on your website.  Things like colors, imagery and tone should also be taken into consideration.

4.  Add a touch of professionalism.  Invest in the time to create a functional and professional looking website.  Sometimes all it takes to make an impression is one look at the aesthetics.  Have you ever heard about a product and went to their website which was poorly constructed and looked cheap?  Did it make you think twice about purchasing anything from that company because the way the site looked?

5.  Make navigation simple.  Why complicated things for users?  You want users to easily navigate through your website to reach their and your end-goal.  The more complicated you make things and the more steps you include, the less likely users will complete your processes.  Is your website responsive to mobile devices as well?

6.  Content is king.  You’ve heard this before.  I can’t stress enough how important this is.  You want users to keep coming back to your site which means you need to refresh your content and make it interesting for them.  Let’s say you go to a website and you see a picture.  Now let’s say you go back every day for a week and you only see the same picture.  Would you keep going back to the site?  Or would you keep coming back knowing that the picture changes daily?

7.  Build an e-mail database.  As a marketer I am always looking for ways to extend the conversation and keep current and potential customers informed of my products and services.  Building a database of users who are allowing you to email them these updates is one way to do this.  It also increases the functional value of your website – Not only is it there to market and push product but now you are also using it as a forward-thinking sales tool and another means of drawing traffic back to your site.

8.  Connect to your social networks and other relevant links.  I like doing this for several reasons.  First, it aids in building your social community.  This creates more consumer touch points for you.  This also reversely since someone on social media may not be actively seeking out your website but if you are part of the conversation, users have a landing point to purchase or get more information.   Second, it shows that you’re ready to engage with consumers who now have other avenues to communicate with you.  Lastly, it helps with your website’s SEO.

9.  Speaking of SEO…Optimize your site.  The more you mind this area the higher your website’s ranking will be for organic searches.  There are many ways to improve upon your SEO and if you want to drive traffic to your website then you’ll want to consider this when creating and maintaining your website.

10.  Set up analytics.  I prefer Google Analytics since it’s very user-friendly.  GA aids in pinpointing your audience(s) and gives you insight on how to manage your website.  Analytics will tell you such things as how long someone has stayed on a particular page in your website, where your traffic is coming from, demographic data and much more.  It’s a helpful tool in maximizing the efficiency of your website.


5 Ways to Combat Negative Reviews on Yelp.


Love it or hate it, Yelp and its reviews will be around for a while. As a business, for every positive review you can pat yourself on the back for, you’ll agonize ten times as much for each negative post. Negative reviews affect your business’ overall Yelp rating and this is the first thing users see associated to your company’s Yelp listing. As an avid Yelp user, I know firsthand that how customers perceive you, can influence a purchasing decision among new customers and even existing ones.


Picture this, you’re with a bunch of friends looking for a place to eat after the movies. You whip out your phone and pull up your Yelp app to take a look for nearby restaurants. You find a couple suggestions that you run by them and the first thing they ask…well how many stars did those places get? In other words, they are already programmed to screen out those listings with weaker ratings and reviews. It happens all too often to the frustration of many businesses since it’s not something they can easily control. But unless something drastic happens, Yelp is here for the long haul and it’s up to businesses to embrace it and make the most of it. Here are 5 ways to combat negative reviews on Yelp:

1. Take ownership. It’s important to“claim this business.” By doing so, you’ll be able to respond to those who have given you a weak review in a public forum so that future users can see you’re working to fix the problem.


2. Fix it. After addressing the reviewer, the obvious thing to do when someone posts a negative comment is to fix the problem. For example….a steak dish that doesn’t pair well with brussel sprouts? Perhaps you should think about using onions. The varnish you use for your particular wood products too light? Maybe you should look into a heavier coat. However, it doesn’t make any business sense to throw out all of your wood products because one reviewer thought the varnish coat was too light. But you should at least make the effort to resolve any problems or areas of concern within reason.

3. Flag it. Flag any false reviews. False reviews are not permitted by Yelp and can be flagged for removal. A false review can be a post that is hearsay or even one that is misleading such as telling users that the bikes at a certain shop are of poor quality when the shop actually serves Korean food. See where I’m going with this?


4. Get the most out of Yelp. As a business you can subscribe to an array of tools that can help bring more customers through the door. With each customer or in this case “Yelper,” there creates an opportunity to boost your overall rating. If you don’t want to wait that long to build that audience, you can even partner with Yelp to participate in Yelp events where majority of those attending are active Yelpers. Put on your best showing at these events and watch your overall ratings grow through the volume of patrons.

5. Create a following. Build your reputation through other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If your business can build its community and establish itself within local social groups, active Yelp reviewers are more than likely to go a little easier on their reviews than a non-social establishment.  To put it simply, you don’t want to be talking trash about everyone’s friend.


12 Kick Ass Gift Ideas for Father’s Day.


Sunday June 16 (2013) marks Father’s Day and if you didn’t already know that, you better get a move on so you can get your dad some kick ass toy for his special day.

1.  NEMO Helio Pressure Shower.

helioLiving in Hawaii, your dad more than likely either   a.) loves to surf    b.) dive or   c.) hang out anywhere there’s sand and water.  Some of the best beaches for surfing and diving have no shower access.  This is where the Helio Pressure Shower comes in handy.  You can buy it at REI online.  (Photo VIA.)

2.  Solar Phone Charger.

solar chargerYour dad may not be on the phone as often as you but he’s still Facebooking and Instagraming despite what he’s telling you.  Buy it here.  (Photo VIA.)

3.  The backyard hammock.

hammockThere are days when your dad just needs some alone time at home and what better way to give him a place to laze at home in the shade with the dog…. away from the madness that goes on inside the house.  Lucky for you, The Hammock Company has a Father’s Day sale.  (Photo VIA.)

4.  A bad ass T-shirt.

unicornSure when he’s working he has to wear his nice slacks and button downs but he still has a sense of wanting his freedom and sense of humor.  If you’re dad is #boss like mine, he’ll appreciate a good shirt like the one you see above.  Check more out at, Red Bubble or PalmerCash.  (Photo VIA.)

5.  Bacon Brownies.

Bacon brownieYes you heard me right. It’s the best of both worlds.  Bacon.  Brownie. It can’t get any simpler and more awesome than that.  Make your own or grab some from The Baconery Store.  (Photo VIA.)

6.  Detachable iPhone lenses.

iphone lensBy now your dad has probably upgraded to a smartphone.  It’s more than likely an iPhone.  You’ve already witnessed his amateur attempt at photography.  It started with pictures of you….then he started getting all “hipster” with food shots.  Now he’s taking photos of pretty much everything that deserves to be photoed.  Try picking him up an iPhone lens so he can spend even more time taking photos of you.  Mashable features 10 Detachable iPhone Lenses for Mobile Photographers. (Photo VIA.)

7.  Fire Sense Stainless Steel Notebook Charcoal Grill.

notebook grillGive pops a break.  When the family BBQ’s somewhere other then home, you know he’s the one lugging around the grill.  Why not make it easy on him and pick up the Notebook Grill from  Cooks like a beast but compact and easy to carry like a notebook.  (Photo VIA.)

8.  GoPro HERO3.

GoProNeed I say more? If you haven’t heard of GoPro you seriously must live under a rock.  But for those of you who have been living under a rock, just check out some of the footage this little gem pulls in.  Buy yours at GoPro.  (Photo VIA.)

9.  Hibiki 21.

If your dad is a drinking man, he’ll appreciate the taste and quality of a good drink.  Get him a bottle of Hibiki 21.  Unfortunately, you cannot buy this anywhere over-the-counter  in Hawaii at the moment.  That’s how exclusive this is.  You can buy it in Japan, possibly the mainland or if you’re lucky, you might be able to check out the Duty Free in Waikiki.  Hibiki 21 was awarded the 2013 “World’s Best Blended Whiskey” at the World’s Whiskey Awards in London.  This is the 3rd time in 4 years that the drink has been honored.  (Photo VIA.)

10.  BBQ Branding Iron.

Every Dad loves a good steak but why not take it one step further and allow him to give bragging rights with the Norpro BBQ Branding Iron.  Silly right?  …or is it…. (Photo VIA.)

11.  TaylorMade R1 Black Driver.

Your dad golf?  Good, because just in time for Father’s Day the TaylorMade R1 Driver was made available at select retail outlets last Monday (June 10th).  It doesn’t matter how well it plays, cause it just looks so damn cool.  This puppy will only set you back $299.99 which isn’t too shabby at all considering the price of golf driver’s these days. (Photo VIA).

12.  Rip Curl Pipeline World Tide Watch.

Rip curlAllow the one that brought y0u to life (with the help of mom of course) to sport something that’s not only pretty to the eye, but amazingly functional.  This all-purpose watch is perfect for the outdoor man who also wants to look contemporary and modern in today’s business world.  The watch features an all-world tide and moon chart along with many other features.  You can buy it directly off the Rip Curl site or other e-Commerce sites like Amazon.  (Photo VIA.)


New Tiger Woods Nike ad


Gotta give it up to Nike’s ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. They always find a way to suck you into their Nike spots without really hard selling any product. Sure they slap the Nike tagline and logo at the back-end of the spot but how often have you ever seen them do a hard sell?  I think Nike tries to own the category that’s why you always hear the term Nike Golf, Nike Basketball, Nike Soccer, etc. Good for them, they’re doing it right.

This next spot features up-and-coming, #1 in the world ranking golfer Rory Mcilroy and long time Nike Golf veteran Tiger Woods.

Look familiar?  Think back.  Way back to the late 80’s and you’ll probably remember this McDonald’s Basketball commercial featuring Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.  Concept is similar but the execution is different. I still enjoy the humor of it all.

Speaking of basketball, I just had to throw this classic Nike spot in for kicks.  Good stuff.


De Lijn ad campaign (Belgium)


Happy post-vday to all you lovers and bitter singles out there. Hope you survived your night. I mean really people it’s totally a Hallmark Holiday, sorry to spoil the fun but Valentines Day is a business! Trust me….I work in the marketing biz lol…but for all you hopeless romantics out there, I don’t want to be the downer at your party so it’s still the perfect day for you to show your affection to your true love awwwww…..

Anyway, going off tangent here…it’s not often Americans are exposed to advertising from other countries for obvious reasons….language barriers, product availability, etc. there are many reasons.  But just like in the states, you can find a good ad campaign anywhere.

De Lijn, a Belgium bus company, had one of those ad campaigns.  Check them out below.

Why I like them:
Message – It’s smarter to travel in groups.  It’s simple and easy to grasp.  The visual execution of each spot reinforce this message which also makes for higher recall.
Concept – As I mentioned above, each spot plays out a scenario that reinforces the message of groups traveling together.
Visuals –  You can probably get any type of group together in reality, living or non-living, but using the computer animation will also aid in recall. How often do you see commercials on TV targeted towards adults in this fashion? Not much which will make it stand out more.
Variety – Companies like Geico and McDonald’s are very good at this.  They take the same message but make multiple spots that pound away at it.  I’m not sure how long this campaign ran but it helps with over saturation and keeping things fresh when you have a bunch of these in your back pocket.  It will also pro-long the length of your campaign.
Humor – They say humor aids in the memorability and the likeness of particular ads. It’s very subjective but with these ads, I gave them a warm chuckle. They’re kinda cute that way.

My favorite of the 4 is probably the ant version.  Advertising creative however, is like art. Everyone has their own opinion. You may not like these spots at all. What do you think?

Today’s [Like] posts.


Pizza Hut’s $10 Dinner Box Proposal Package.

Fellas…looking to ask your girl to marry you this Valentines Day?  Why not go with the Pizza Hut proposal package?!

The cat with mind games.

Well played Mr. Boots. Well played.

Spotted in the malls (Seoul, Korea)

For what I don’t know…The Avenger promo? But I definitely feel his pain…especially in the morning.

Puppy alert.

What do you get when you mix puppies and The Conan O’Brien show? Pure awesomeness….and speaking of Conan O’Brien, still love that Super Bowl commercial he did the other year.

30 Inappropriate Sexy Ads.

Wow, some of these would never fly in the US! Check ’em out but just a warning…a few of these, NSFW.

The Best & Worst 2012 Super Bowl Commercials.


Happy New Year everyone! Wow has it been that long since I’ve last blogged?  I guess the last time was in December…but that’s still last year!  Anyway, hope the new year is all treating you well.  One thing most of America looks forward to in the beginning of the year is the Super Bowl.  Whether you’re in it for the game, the get togethers, or both…most households will be exposed to the “big” game.  One thing I personally look forward to as a marketer is the Super Bowl ads.  Due to the costly airtime, the inventory allows for only the largest of advertisers that can afford it, and supposedly, the most creative.  Did you catch some of the ads?  What are your favorites?  What were some of the duds?  In no particular order, here’s my favorites of mine and those that didn’t really work for me.

I had to chuckle at this one because were were all a kid once…the downside of the spot? Can’t really recall who the advertiser was until I looked at the ad again.

The connection between the advertiser and the concept wasn’t as strong as some of their older ads but at least they were consistent.

Was it me or did dogs rule the air this year for the Super Bowl commercials?  Here’s one of a few that I enjoyed.  These Dorito spots are a lot more entertaining and less corny than those Fiesta “Bag” chip spots.

I’ll admit when I first saw this ad I enjoyed it but the more I see it… not so much.  So hopefully they won’t blast this spot out like they did that “Vader” kid.  Reason: I can hear the client saying at the agency planning meeting….”we want our Super Bowl ad to be as funny and over-the-top as last year’s Vader kid ad…and heck that Vader kid got us a lot of attention can we capitalize on the Star Wars component?” They might have been better off just leaving it as the dog getting in shape.  The teaser was just that too…. way to tie in a dog and Star Wars.

I like this spot not because I’m a guy…okay okay, a lot of it because of that but really it’s the simplicity of the spot that I enjoy.  “Give and you shall receive” sign off, Vday flowers. Simple, short, to the point and memorable.  Good job Teleflora, now change that damn name.

I think I would have liked this ad more if it wasn’t tied to a car company versus the city itself but still….overall a good ad that pulls at the heartstrings & psyches up the rest of the country to weather the storm and keep pushing forward during tough times.

Unexpected is always a welcoming thing to have in an advertisement and this one came through. Plus, which guy here wouldn’t want to see John Stamos get head butted by some gal that’s easy on the eyes?

It’s out there. But the soup nazi? Leno? Makes it all worth it. Not to mention this new Acura looks like one bad mother funker.

The Honda CRV Ferris Bueller ad made me feel old. This ad makes me feel young again. Plus it had favorite cartoon characters that bring back great memories….including Voltron!  Pure awesome. Especially because he was also doing this between takes.

Betty friggin’ White. Nuff’ said. I wish we could just skip to the ending an avoid all that minutia before the reveal.

I love chocolate, now.

Alright so this one was probably my favorite ad of all of them even though i said I’m listing these ads in no particular order.  The best part is the end tag where they support rescue dogs.  Cute, cool, and everything in between….also great touch to drive traffic to their FB page.

I can see the client at their ad agency meeting telling them…we wanna see our product tied into football…. but be sure it’s funny….and hey let’s throw in a basketball version too….that’s funny of course.  That’s the problem, tries to be be funny but not so much for me.

Thanks Honda. Way to ruin a classic. I’ll no longer think Ferris Bueller as cool. It could have been a great spot, the only thing you did was remind us that we’re getting old.

Sorry, I know this one was a funny one for a lot of people but….for me personally, I worked on a similar spot and it seemed like it was a rip off of ours….they of course have the bigger budget and the fact that it’s a “national” spot….but still, can you see the similarities between this spot and the version I worked on a few years ago for AIG Hawaii.  Unfortunately because AIG Hawaii is no more, the spot I’m referring to is not available online for you to compare so you’ll just have to take my word for it 😛

Good Lord H&M, what the heck? Don’t you realize this is an American Football game where majority of the viewing audience skews heavily toward men?  So why the hell would you throw in a half naked David Beckham ad in front of them?  I get it…the product is for them but geez couldn’t you have someone like his wife sporting them?  Let me give you a hint.

Thought this spot was a bit silly.  Like they’re trying to be cool but it’s…oh so very forced.  I mean really, what’s the point of taking your car skydiving or doing bungie jumps?  Would you really do that to your new car?  Ya ya, I know it’s more of the essence of what they symbolize rather than literally doing those things but whatever, I guess I’m just not as cool as they are.  I did however, like the music backdrop which to me is a better fit for what the car stands for versus all the other stuff you’re seeing.


If Go Daddy has that much money to spend on the talent in their spots they should try and spend some of that money on coming up with better ads conceptually.

They’re just trying too hard.

Bit of a cheap shot here. How many of you actually feel like negative advertising actually works….effectively that is??

So what do you guys think?  What are some of your faves? Which ads did you want to kick out the front door?

Google’s search stories campaign.


Happy Halloween everyone, hope you’re having a great day and prepping for what you’ll be doing on All Hallow’s Eve.  Since I figure everyone out there will be blogging about ghost stories, best costumes and Trick-or-Treats….I figured why not go a little deeper….think about it…when you were thinking about what to wear for Halloween this year….or what creepy ghost stories to share with your friends….where did you turn to?  I’m guessing the Internet….and what did you use to get to where you wanted to go on the Internet?  My money’s on Google.

Sure Google is an indexer and not a content generator….also, it was kinda corny of me to tie in Halloween with Google… but have you seen Google’ new campaign, Search Stories?  It really brings some amazing things out of your average Google searches.  These are extremes but not uncommon.  Think about it…how many times have you used Google in your everyday life especially to arouse your curiosity and quench your thirst for knowledge?  So tonight when you’re out trick-or-treating or telling those ghost stories….just remember where you probably got it from and how you got there 🙂

Google Search Stories: An Introduction.

Brian Kingrey: Perfection.

Zack Matere: Growing Knowledge.

The Tofino Riders: A 1,000 Year-Old-Wave.

Caroline: Supernova 2008ha.

Dave Strenski: New Energy for Detroit.

Erik-Jan Bos: A Letter from an Old Friend.

Big names, foreign ads.


Ever been sitting in your hotel room in a foreign country and see a commercial on your TV with a famous American?  It’s not uncommon…Although I find it strange that foreigners would prefer to put American spokesmodels in their ads over those from their own country.  I guess they best be thanking the powerhouse that is our film industry, which receives audiences worldwide.  The funny thing is you won’t see many A-list actors doing commercials here in the states but overseas, they’re everywhere!

We’re not just talking your Joe Blow B-list actor or actress either, I’m talking big names like the George Clooney’s of movie land….speaking of George Clooney….

It’s a George Clooney Chinese Mercedes ad….here are a few others that I’m pretty sure you may not have seen or heard about.

Yep, Steven Seagal still has pull.  At least in a Daloc home security Netherlands ad.

Even Brad Pitt gets into the action with this Japanese Softbank commercial. The Japanese love Brad Pitt as he’s been in a number of Japanese ads.

Here’s Mrs. Pitt, Angelina Jolie in a Japanese spot for Shiseido.

Even the Gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger gets into the act with this Japanese Cup O’ Noodle spot.

Holy sh*t it’s a Snoop Dogg commercial where he’s dressed like German folk singer Roy Black (I had to Google that one).  Anyone see the connection it is to a mobile ad? – VybeMobile.

Why don’t these guys stay close to home and advertise here?  According to what I’ve been reading online and the greatest source ever….Wikipedia….American actors don’t want to tarnish their “brand” and seem like a sell out but they are okay with going foreign….not only that, foreign talent contracts tend to be more lucrative as well so it’s more worthwhile for them.

Anyway, I leave you with a Conan O’Brien commercial that makes a mockery of this rationale…thank you Bud Light for seeing that.

The secret noodle truck.


Meet Mark Krawczuk, an amazing individual who has dabbled in the realms of technology, design and marketing.  He’s used some of his experience to create an out-of-a-box idea….in a box.  That is….a “secret noodle truck,” a hidden restaurant in a box shaped truck.

The noodle truck was introduced recently at the World Maker Faire New York this past September.  According to the Laughing Squid, Krawczuk created the truck in 2008 for a New York Burning Man decompression party.  The truck became the inspiration for the Lost Horizon Night Market which Krawczuk co-founded with Kevin Balktick in 2009 (and has since spread to San Francisco).

Personally, I wish someone would open a Noodle truck here in Hawaii…actually I’m specifically thinking a Ramen food truck.  There’s actually an Udon food truck on Sheridan street (Yajima-ya Hawaii).

I think the concept of a Ramen food truck would work with the success of all of these food trucks popping up.  I’m dating myself here but a long time ago in the 80’s I do remember something similar except not mobile.  There was an Ezogiku Ramen stand about the size of a VW van somewhere on King Street.  It was so long ago I can’t remember exactly where but my parents would take me there all the time. So….any takers???

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