Tag Archives: Samsung Galaxy

Magna Carta goes platinum? Yeah, I called that.

MCHG_cover

I have been vindicated – VINDICATED I tell you!

I know you’re like, “what’s this fool blabbing about now?”

Bear with me.

Yesterday, Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album, initially released on July 4 exclusively via mobile app, was officially certified platinum.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “so effing what?”

Well I’ll tell you effing what.

Jay Z’s album being certified platinum in less than one week after it was released, and the same day it was available in stores, means the rules are being rewritten.

“What rules?” you ask.

THE rules.

Of music promotion.

Media promotion.

Brand promotion.

You might be thinking, “but Samsung paid $5 million, how is that re-writing the rules?”

And that’s a fair question.

The fact of the matter is that Samsung’s deal with Jay Z, to purchase 1 million copies of Magna Carta and give them away free, made his platinum certification a foregone conclusion.

Magna_Carta app

It also means that his actual sales are going to get a major boost.

It’s been forecast that Magna Carta’s first week sales will eclipse those of his previous best seller, The Blueprint 3.

But the bigger issue is that in embarking on this ambitious app-only pre-release, both Samsung and Jay Z, realized the massive impact (and value) of mobile and social media to their respective brands.

Their initiative effectively leveraged social media and mobile to make the Magna Carta album and the Samsung Galaxy line of phones, two of the most talked, blogged, tweeted and tagged subjects of the past three weeks.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “so why do you feel vindicated, Stephen?”

What does any of this have to do with me?

It’s quite simple really.

The mobile phone is the most ubiquitous personal device ever.

Social media has proven to be the most powerful marketing tool ever.

The music industry is a natural fit for both of these powerful tools.

For years, I’ve been pushing these strategies to folks in the music industry.

Most of the time, I feel like I’m talking to myself.

The responses were always the same.

“No.”

Few could see the utility of an app as a promotional vehicle.

And those who could either lacked the will, power, willpower (not to be confused with “will” or “power”) or money to pull the trigger.

There were no case studies to support it.

No established ROI.

Nuthin’.

And no one was trying to give shit away.

“We’re in business to make money,” they’d say.

To which I’d respond, “how’s that working out for ya?”

In my head.

You can’t say that kind of shit in a meeting when you’re trying to get money.

Well you can…

I digress.

But seriously, it was always an uphill battle, trying to convince the powers that be that I knew what the fuck I was talking about.

Although many of us have foreseen the demise of physical sales, the music industry has been slow to accept this fact.

And subsequently even slower to adopt strategies to bring them in line with the new digital age.

With Jay Z’s highly publicized deal with Samsung, and FunkMaster Flex’s earlier app-exclusive release of his Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself mixtape, you’ve got two powerhouses leading the charge.

And maybe folks will start thinking about how they can use mobile apps and social media to drive engagement and conversion.

I routinely drop jewels like this, but¬†I guess I’m just ahead of my time.

Will my phone start ringing off the hook, with music executives begging me to help them craft their digital strategies?

Probably not.

But they should.

Even if they don’t, I’m cool.

Being right is satisfaction enough.

But any record executives out there within the sound of my blog…call me.

1 Comment

Filed under advocacy, branding, digital advocacy, mobile, social media

Tech Advice: Go with the iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy gives you the cooties

The Samsung Galaxy SIII gives you cooties!

I am the de facto techie in my circles.

Even though I don’t have a technical bone in my body, I stay abreast of the goings-on in the digital tech space, and know a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’.

So I often am asked (and share) my opinion about this, that and the other, when it comes to technology.

Case in point: my 23 year old baby sitter is upgrading her phone.

She’s had a Crackberry Blackberry for two years, and she’s debating between the Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone.

The exchange went something like this:

Me: So do you like your Blackberry?

Her: No. I’m definitely over it.

Me: Well what kind of computer do you have?

Her: A MacBook Pro.

Me: (Incredulous) You’ve got a Mac and you’re thinking about going outside of the family? AND it’s cheaper? What’s wrong with you?

Her: I’m just really digging that big screen.

Me: You realize that both the iPhone and the Galaxy have way bigger screens than that Blackberry right? It’s going to be like pulling a flat screen TV out of your pocket.

Her: I know! And I like that. But with my trade in and upgrade, I can get the iPhone for less.

Me: So I’m not seeing your problem. You own a Mac. The iPhone is cheaper. You’re asking an Apple dude if you should go Apple or Android.

Her: I just like that Galaxy!

Me: So what? You’re just looking for a co-sign so you don’t feel guilty spending more money on a WACK phone? Get out of my house! You’re not welcome anymore!

Now that last part didn’t really happen, but I did go on to extoll the virtues of Apple and the integrated nature of its products.

I also lambasted Android and the ‘buggy’ nature of products running that OS.

But in fairness to Samsung, I told her that it was a good device, with favorable ratings, and lots of features.

I also talked about it’s large form factor, and how it’s size approached that of smaller tablet devices, making it an excellent device for anyone interested in owning a tablet but not wanting to have two separate devices.

In the final analysis, I told her it was really a personal decision.

Were it my choice, I wouldn’t be pulling a massive phone with a huge screen out of my pocket.

And then I remembered the first time I saw the Samsung Galaxy in the wild.

And I had to share.

I was on the PATH train headed back to NJ.

The train was packed, as is typical for after work.

I found myself standing next to over a smaller Asiany man, who pulled out his phone just as we started to pull away from the station.

I watched him swipe a geometric pattern across a series of dots to unlock his phone, navigate to his calendar, pull up a date and begin typing.

G-E-T B-L-O-O-D D-R-A-W-N

Wow.

What a responsible fellow.

Donating his blood…wait…still typing…

F-O-R H-E-P B

Hepatitis B! WTF!

Let me switch cars right quick and get away from this dirty mutha…

Shut yo mouth!

I’m just talking ’bout Hep B y’all!

Anywhoooo…

After that cautionary tale, I sent her off, hoping I had assisted her in deciding which phone to ultimately choose.

I felt good…and like I needed a shower…

But, hey! If you’re looking for assistance or advice, and it involves technology, feel free to drop me a line.

Perhaps I can help you avoid the cooties too!

2 Comments

Filed under digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, opinion, social media, technology

Super Bowl XLVI: Social Media FAIL!!

The Super Bowl commercials integration of social media=FAIL.

This weekend, I, like most, watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots to become the Super Bowl XLVI Champions.

But unlike most, who were likely concerned with the outcome of the game, I was watching to see how the advertisers, who had forked over a pretty penny, integrated social media in their ads.

With ads going for up to $3 million dollars for a 30 second spot, I figured that advertisers would go the extra mile to make sure that their ads got all the traction they could.

At a minimum, I figured most (if not all) the advertisers would add websites, Facebook URLs or Twitter handles into their ads.

But I fully expected that at least one or two advertisers would realize the tremendous potential in social media, and do something more exciting.

To me, that meant leveraging social media, and integrating text messaging, QR codes, SnapTags, etc., in interesting and innovative ways.

So it was with rapt attention, that I waited for each time out, 2 minute warning, quarter and tv time out.

I sat through over 75 different commercials (excluding pre-show, post-show and half-time), and I was saddened…saddened by what I saw.

Not only were the commercials…ho hum, but they completely missed their mark from a social media perspective.

The most “innovative” use of social media (and I use innovative so loosely as to have absolutely no meaning in this context) was by the NFL itself.

Their NFL Fantasy promotion gave viewers the chance to win a million dollars.

Viewers could either text NFL to 69635 or visit the NLF Fantasy website to register for the contest.

Beyond that, advertisers brought nothing exciting (from a social media perspective) at all.

There were a collection of advertisers that used hashtags.

Hashtags are the # symbol, used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet.

It was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages and used widely to track a particular topic in Twitter.

  • Audi’s #solongvampires played on the brightness of the Audi’s headlights.
  • Bud Light’s #makeitplatinum highlighted the new platinum Budweiser beer.
  • Best Buy’s #betterway hashtag alluded to the depth of their mobile phone offering.
  • H&M used #beckhamfromh.m in it’s ad with David Bekham, sporting their new trunks.

Spectacular! NOT!

Some of the more “progressive” (again, I use the term loosely) advertisers, added their Facebook pages to their ads.

  • Disney’s The Lorax
  • Marvel Comic’s The Avengers
  • Cars.com
  • Bud Light’s spots (LMFAO and Here We Go)
  • Pepsi Max
  • MetLife
  • NBC
  • Samsung Galaxy

Amazing! NOT!

A few advertisers also listed their websites, including:

  • Godaddy (.co and .com)
  • Taxact.com
  • Chevy (letsdothis.com)
  • Teleflora.com, Cars.com
  • Prudential (dayonestories.com)
  • Honda (leaplist.honda.com and cr-v.honda.com)
  • BMW (tristatebmw.com)
  • GE Works (ge.win.com)
  • Hyundai (hyundai.com)
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • Cadillac ATS
  • NBC’s new show Awake (isheawake.com)

Inspired! NOT!

GoDaddy was the one advertiser who used a QR Code in their commercial.

But for a 30 second ad, I didn’t think it was the best execution.

When the commercial came on, and I saw the QR Code, I immediately tried to open my iPhone, launch the QR code scanner, move to the tv and scan the image.

But by the time I had completed all those steps, the code was gone and they were on to the next commercial.

One interesting thing I noted, was that a few advertisers with music in their commercials, had the Shazam logo in the corner.

Shazam is the app that helps you find out the title of a song you’re listening to.

Shazam...sucks!

By letting the Shazam app ‘listen’ to several seconds of a song, it searches it’s database and (if the song exists in it’s database) tells you the title and artist.

Ads from both Cars.com and Toyota had the Shazam logo.

My previous experiences with Shazam have been so underwhelming, that I no longer have the app on my iPhone.

So I didn’t determine whether the Shazam integration worked for either of these brands.

And since it would have (presumably) led the viewer to the underlying song in the commercials, I’m not sure what value the advertisers would have derived from it’s integration.

Anyway, nothing from my wish list came to be.

My disappointment is palpable.

I guess we’ll have to wait another year before we see whether advertisers ‘get it’ and utilize their 30 seconds a little more effectively.

If you want to see all the commercials that aired yesterday, AdAge has a great compilation of them here.

But don’t blame me if you’re bored.

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, digital advocacy, opinion, rant, social media