A Future for Facebook?

At a lunch with friends the other week, the discussion turned to everyone’s most addictive pastime--social media.  And no discussion of social media can go by without some mention of Facebook.  Everyone discussed how old they were when they created an account, and how often they post.  It turns out, in a sample size of about ten people in their twenties, most created a Facebook account in eighth or ninth grade, and most don’t post very often at all.  Most had an Instagram, but don’t post there that often either.

 

But when you compare these results to a slightly younger cohort, things get interesting.  My younger sister is 19, and has a very different relationship with Facebook.  To her, Facebook seems like a vestige of the past.  She uses Facebook to keep tabs on friends she already has and maintains her page by updating her profile and cover photos.  She writes birthday notes on friends’ walls, but that’s about it in the way of Facebook content creation.  Rather, she posts often on Instagram.  This trend is not encouraging for the once unparalleled social media giant.  How is it that my sister who is only a few years younger than me experiences Facebook in such a different way?  How and when did Instagram begin taking over the market?  Is Facebook doomed to MySpace status?

The timeline is like this: MySpace was created in 2003, Facebook was created in 2004 and ultimately completely wiped out MySpace, and Instagram was only created a few years ago, in 2010, but already has 700 million users.  Facebook’s most common age demographic is ages 25 to 34, at 29.7% users, and Instagram’s most common age demographic is teenagers ages 13 to 17, with 23% of girls and 17% of boys on the app.  Right now, kids in this age range, 13-17, are primarily posting on Instagram, and perhaps streaming their photos to Facebook as an afterthought.  I’m always intrigued when I see these photos on Facebook that are streamed from Instagram.  I can’t imagine this is ideal for Facebook--it doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to maintain a website’s content.

It’s hard to say where Facebook will be in a few years.  But judging from MySpace/Facebook, and Facebook and Instagram’s primary age demographics, it seems to me like Instagram is taking the upper hand.  Better start thinking of clever captions.

By: Ilana Weinberger

How to Stand Out in Food Delivery Service Ads

It seems like nobody cooks anymore.  There are ads for food delivery services left and right; you almost can’t leave your apartment without seeing one.  So how do you stand out in such a vast market?  Here’s a look into five different food delivery services and the similar and different strategies they use:

1) Seamless
With about 234,000 orders placed per day, Seamless is currently top of the market in food delivery services.  The uniquely bright colors and clever one-liners draw attention, and customers.

2) GrubHub

GrubHub’s ads use a more pastel color palette than Seamless, and depict meticulously arranged food.  Their ads focus on the simplicity of the process of ordering food online, instead of using Seamless’ bandwagon technique (i.e., implying that all New Yorkers use Seamless.)

3) Uber Eats

Uber Eats’ ad campaign idea was uniquely simple--just use the layout of the app to depict the route that your potential deliverer could use to bring you food.  The campaign utilizes neutral colors and an unobtrusive font.  The result is straightforward and to the point.  

4) Caviar

Caviar’s campaign could use some angling.  Right now, their ads say things like, “Love great food?  Try Caviar!”  A little too simple.  Perhaps Caviar could take a lesson in angling from Seamless.

5) Eat 24:

Okay, let’s talk about Eat 24’s ad campaign for a second.  I’m shocked that I’ve only come across the ads recently.  The ads that they launched are shockingly sexual, all contributing to the idea that they are “the food delivery service for sexy geniuses.”  This is an interesting approach to food marketing, though the more traditional techniques utilized by Seamless and BGrubHub seem to be more effective, judging by daily users.

It’s tough to think of unique approaches in such a crowded market, and interesting to consider how the competition is handling the challenge.    

By: Ilana Weinberger

5 Ways to a Wonderful Website

It is becoming increasingly important to keep a good digital presence in today's society. Here are some ways to make sure your website stands out from the crowd. 

1) Creative Colors

Once you choose the color scheme that fits best for your website, make sure to create a color "hierarchy" that allows the online audience to see and understand what texts should stand out more than others. 

 

2) Mobility on Mobile

When creating the layout, design, and even logo, make sure to think about how it will look on a mobile device or smartphone. Consumers are increasingly searching companies and websites on their phones, it is important to make sure your impression is good there. 

3) Wonderful White Space

While you might have a lot you want to tell your customers, make sure to keep white space when designing your website. Think of it as breaths of fresh air, that allow customers to focus on the important content you have decided to share. The less white space you have, the less overall reading comprehension there is (Weinschenck, 2014).

4) Utilize Directional Cues

Directional cues add designs, and a subtle way to get your audience to focus on what is important on your website. These images can attract your online visitors and then lead them to what you want them to read! 

5) Create a Community

Keep the customers coming back and engaging by cultivating an online community with your website. This can be done in numerous ways, by creating links to social media accounts that they can follow, having an online discussion forum, or creating ablog! Customers feel valued when they know you want to hear from them. 

Case Studies of New York-Centric Ads

By the time you arrive at work in the morning, you have already been bombarded with ads.  Simply by walking to and out of the subway, and by being on the subway, you have already seen hundreds of images, logos, and slogans.  You are exposed to more than you realize; just try counting the ads on your commute tomorrow.  I take the 4/5/6 to get to work in the morning, and love paying attention to my morning subway’s ads.  Two of my favorite ad campaigns at the moment include and Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign and StreetEasy’s “Find Your Place” campaign.  This had me thinking about what works about these campaigns.  I realized that they actually have a lot in common—they both target New Yorkers in a way that pokes fun at their ridiculousness.

As a Jersey girl, I immediately noticed the immense differences between New Jersey and New York when I moved here about four years ago.  New Jersians have a reputation of being small-town and nice.  New Yorkers are known for being pretty much the opposite of that.  They have a reputation of being loud and audacious.  These differences made moving a state away feel like moving a world away.  I’ve learned a lot in this crazy city, mostly that you should be confident and try to expect the unexpected.  I’ve learned that New Yorkers are filled with contradictions—they want to go to brunch and yoga but they don’t want to spend money, they want to sleep but they also want to bragplain to their friends about how little they sleep.

        Seamless and StreetEasy understood just how crazy New Yorkers can be when they released their campaigns.  Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign includes tongue-in-cheek one-liners that harness the insanity that is New York dining.  One of my favorites goes, “Nothing ruins a good meal like other New Yorkers.”  The ad includes a graphic of the New York skyline.  The ads’ color schemes are bold, using background colors such as red, yellow, and blue.  All of the graphics are cartoonish, with fonts of all kinds.  The goal is to be fun enough to capture the attention of their target audience, New Yorkers, in an age where information is constantly thrown in consumers’ faces.

 

        StreetEasy also created their campaign around the idea of poking fun at New Yorkers in their “Find Your Place” campaign.  My favorite ad from this campaign reads, “No doorman for me.  I have enough people in my life judging me.”  This is just funny, and also points to the contradictory nature of New Yorkers—they want a doorman, but they also don’t want more people in their lives to judge them.  The ads in this campaign are subtler than Seamless’ ads; they are all different shades of blue, with words all in the same font, and with more subdued graphics.  The ads are unique in their format.  For example, in the doorman ad, the word “doorman” has a check mark next to it, as though you are on StreetEasy’s website and have the option of checking or exing the doorman box.


        Basically, New Yorkers are crazy, and ad creators are checking in to this truism.  I appreciate a good ad, and I’ve learned to love New York, so the combination that is utilized in Seamless and StreetEasy’s clever ads makes me smile.  What a funny city.  I heart NY.

By Ilana Weinberger

The Psychology behind Marketing: How to Influence Consumers and Boost your Social Media Popularity

Human behavior has long been studied and researched. Here are 5 Psychological phenomenons that explain how to influence consumer behavior. 

 

1. Social Proof

Social Proof, also known as the as informational social influence is the effect that describes when people will copy the actions of others in order to follow the "correct" behavior for a given situation. This can easily be translated into customer reviews, when a consumer sees other happy purchasers rating the product 5 starts, they too, will want to buy the good product. 

 

2. Color

Multiple studies have been done to see the influence of color on the decision making behavior of consumers. The Von Restorff effect, also known as the isolation effect, is a phenomenon that predicts that whatever stands out is more likely to be remembered. Over 50% of a consumers buying decision is made on color alone. Make sure that your company logo is unique and has a good color scheme!

 

3. Reciprocity

A study done by Dr. Robert Caldini in 2002 showed that waiters' tips would increase by 3% if customers received an after dinner mint, and by 20% if they have the customers two mints! When delivering the second mind, the waiter would look at the patron and tell them it was specifically for them. 

 

By giving the customers something more personalized, from a note pad with their name to an email, they will feel happy and want to return the sentiment, greatly benefiting your company.

 

 

4. Decoy Effect

The Decoy Effect is a phenomenon where consumers will change their preference between two options when a third, skewed option is dominated. For example, a magazine description describing these three options were given to a consumer:

  • Online subscription: $59
  • Print subscription: $125
  • Online and print subscription: $125

When presented with these options, the third one was chosen majority of the time. The print subscription was placed there as a decoy, to influence consumers to choose the bundle for the supposedly better deal. 

 

5. Scarcity

In social sciences, scarcity can be used to measure consumers behavior. Consumers tend to place a higher value on products that scant versus those that are in high supply. When at a cafe, people tend to choose the cookie that has two left compared to the full container. Plane tickets or clothing will go by faster when you see "Only three left!" 

Best PR Campaigns of 2016

It is easy to say that most people are ready to see 2016 go. It was filled of many ups and downs, and just bizarre moments. Here are some of the top PR campaigns of this past year:

1. Finger Licking Good! Literally. 

In early May, KFC launched their exclusive line of edible nail polish. Yes, nail polish. Not chicken! The chicken flavored nail polish launched in Hong Kong in order to increase excitement about the brand. The stunt gained worldwide attention, and definitely the attention of its customer base.

2. Rich, in Sugar!

In early 2016, Skittles launched a PR campaign that created a "Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop". People in Toronto, CA were encouraged to come into the shop and bargain their unwanted holiday gifts in exchange for skittles. They walked away with sweet currency, and all the items were donated to charity. A win win! 

3. "Like my Addiction"

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It is safe to say that social media is a great way to target a younger audience. That is exactly what the French ad company BETC to help Addict Aide. "Louise.delage" was an Instagram account created, that gained over 50,000 likes on her photos and videos within two months. It was later revealed that upon closer inspection, each photo had this girl drinking alcohol. A creative and impactful way to raise the awareness of addiction. 

4.Simple Selfie

Paramount launched this simple yet effective campaign to increase the publicity of the release of Zoolander 2. The public was encouraged to share post their own version of the famous "Blue Steel Pose". The #BlueSteelSelfie was a great way to create buzz. 

5. Touchable Ink

In an extremely innovative step, Samsung partnered with the Thailand Association of the Blind and a chemistry professor to create one of the first accessible and cheap braille ink. This "Touchable Ink" could be placed into any printer cartridge, heated up with any household device, and the braille would appear! It was a huge step, because braille printers cost thousands of dollars which make it inaccessible to a wide population. While not promoting their products, this campaign helped Samsung gain worldwide support and attention. 

Native Advertising

Native Advertising

In today’s digital landscape, how consumers learn about brands is rapidly changing. Banner and side bar ads on websites don’t garner the attention they used to, and more and more people are using ad blockers to delete them all together. Native advertising has quickly risen as the solution to this problem and is proving to have a better success rate than traditional online ads.

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Snapchat News

Snapchat News

As physical newspapers become something of the past, social apps slowly begin to step in. Millennials are all digital. We do everything entirely from our phones from shopping, to reading a novel and of course finding out the latest news. In the past, twitter has been know as the more traditional digital news site and the go to for reading about trendy topics and other news. However, as social apps continue to evolve so do ways on how millennials read and access the news.

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Biggest Political Campaign Blunders of All Time

Biggest Political Campaign Blunders of All Time

It’s hard to get through a political campaign and election without a hiccup here and there. As we see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go back to back this season, let’s revisit some of the most famous campaign blunders of all time. 

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PokéPR

Admit it, did you see a single ad for Pokémon GO before it was released? Odds are you probably found out about it from a friend who was playing it. While Niantic’s Pokémon GO may have started as an April Fool’s Joke, on July 6th 2016, millions of Americans plugged in to finally experience the popular franchise in the real world (more or less). Recode.net estiamtes the total number of players in the US to be about 9.5 million daily. Additionally the app has already surpassed data usage of other popular apps such as Tinder and Twitter. But, the question is, how can an app with little to no marketing or pr budget get, let alone keep the number one spot for so long? Well there are a few reasons...

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Gold Medals and Zika Virus: The Ins and Outs of Olympics Media

Gold Medals and Zika Virus: The Ins and Outs of Olympics Media

The Olympics are truly a global event. Over 207 countries participated in the Parade of Nations, during the opening ceremony in Rio on August 5th. The International Olympic Committee even decided to compose a team of refugees to bring to light the worldwide refugee crisis. With that being said, coverage of the Olympics is no easy task. There are multiple aspects to the public relations behind the Olympics that the public are quick to pick up and critique.

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Party Progress: The Recent Changes in the US Political Realm

America’s major political parties recently held highly watched, media-friendly conventions; all the while, political history was changing and electoral coalitions were realigning. In Cleveland, the Republicans pointedly critiqued the current administration with scarcely hidden motifs of anxiety and fear. Conversely, the Democrats nostalgically sought to show the appeals of continuity and present a new way forward. In their own ways, both parties continued down their centuries-long trajectory while simultaneously radically diverging from their recent forms.

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Cultural Salvage: My Afternoon at the Diarna Situation Room

Cultural Salvage: My Afternoon at the Diarna Situation Room

No culture ever vanishes completely… vestiges can be found if one looks hard enough. Recently, however, the Islamic State and a plethora of other terrorist organizations in the Middle East have been on a rampage of destroying culture they deem unfit for or contrary to their mission. I was in the hospital last year when ISIS dynamited the ancient temple complex at Palmyra. Needless so say, it did not help to expedite my recovery.

A culture vastly overlooked by many historians and academics alike is the rich Jewish culture that used to flourish throughout cities in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans. Only seventy years ago, there were still thriving Jewish communities in cities across the Muslim world. Some were very shaken, like in Baghdad, some on the precipice of collapse, like Damascus, and some would soon be completely abandoned, like in Alexandria. Instead of abandonment, there's a new problem facing Jewish heritage sites in the Middle East: the merciless destruction of Jewish culture by terrorist organizations.

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Bland Content? Spice it Up!

Look... we all hate the telemarketer who mercilessly calls our home at all times of the day. So why do we write in that same irritating corporate voice, then?

The problem is that most people don't realize that their writing wears their readers out and is mind-numbingly dull. Those who acknowledge that their writing needs work don't know where to find help...

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Recent Thoughts on Women's Rights in the Workplace

 Women’s rights weren’t ever something that crossed my mind growing up: I never felt that being a girl prohibited me from doing anything I wanted to do. My parents let me do any activity I wanted to, from violin lessons, to soccer, to dance, to rock climbing; I thought I had all the freedom in the world...

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Insta-Argument, Snap-Fight: A Battle of the Apps

Insta-Argument, Snap-Fight: A Battle of the Apps

In 2011 the Snapchat app was released to the public and had an amazing reaction - people loved it! Disappearing pictures were a new phenomenon that provided new ways for people to interact ‘face to face.’  The age of texting was slowly coming to an end and Snapchat was officially starting to take the lead...

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Israel: Business Strategies and Manners...

Israel: Business Strategies and Manners...

No one is surprised to hear that the business environments in Israel are rather different than they are here in the states. Jokes can sometimes be cruder, you may have hookah smoke blown in your face, and you haven't lived until the bus driver closes his door on you in the pouring rain because it took you too long to board the bus. My personal favorite, however, is when a taxi driver tells you that your own destination is wrong.

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Les Marais Steakhouse, New York’s only Kosher French Brasserie, Releases New Cookbook

Les Marais Steakhouse, New York’s only Kosher French Brasserie, Releases New Cookbook

Located in Manhattan’s theater district for 21 years, Le Marais remains the only Kosher French brasserie in New York City. Observant Jewish and even non-Jewish clientele have been coming since inception to dine on its French cuisine with North African and Portuguese influences. I personally had never been to the restaurant before, but I had passed it many times over the years. Finally, I was inspired by the cookbook launch to fully immerse myself in this multi-cultural yet very New York, dining experience.

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My Interview with a DNC Delegate

My Interview with a DNC Delegate

Steve Cohn is an NYC lawyer. This year, he ran as a pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton, with approximately 34,000 votes from the 7th Congressional District. Last Friday, I was privileged to be able to interview him, discuss his time at the Convention, and ask his opinion of the upcoming election.

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