Tag Archives: Facebook

Pepsi Launches Social Media Vending Machine: “Give Us Your Money… And Your Friend’s Contact Information!”

May 13th, 2011 by Sandi Moxley

In the constantly changing landscapes of social media, there’s a constant ebb and flow of brave people trying out whacky ideas in order to best capitalize on massive audiences. Sometimes you wonder if we’ve seen it all. Well, we haven’t.

Last week Pepsi unveiled their social vending machine, probably coming soon to a high school campus near you. In an attempt to get ‘em while they’re young, Pepsi vending machines now offer the option to “gift” a soda to a friend. Just enter in your friend’s name and mobile number, along with a personalized video message recorded by the vending machine, and voila! Your friend will receive a text message notifying them of your thirst quenching generosity, along with instructions on how and where to redeem the soda. When the gifted soda is redeemed, the previously recorded video message plays back on the screen. Pretty nifty.

An additional function of this new age vending machine is the “Random Acts of Refreshment” function, or in plain terms, the “send-a-free-soda-and-some-encouraging-words-to-a-stranger” function. Pepsi is creatively selling their product as a way to interact with one another, using “Be Social” as the tagline for this campaign. Not to mention, Pepsi is not-so-covertly obtaining massive leads by collecting personal data from everyone who wants to participate, including the sender and the receiver.

Will this vending machine blaze a new social media trail? …Or become one of the many social media blunders of the past, like these unfortunate brave souls:

  • The popular television drama House M.D. wrote Dr. Kutner off the show via suicide, then the Network built an alter/memorial on their website for fans to mourn together. Obviously many fans found this blatant capitalization of social media on the topic of suicide a tad insensitive.
  • Quizno’s received so much public backlash for their 2009 viral video campaign, that they now officially deny any affiliation to that video. C’mon, what kind of attention did they expect “2 Girls, 1 Sandwich” would receive?

Personally, I think this social vending concept is smart, fun, and creative. Creativity is a crucial part of making your social media campaign stand out.  Rest assured, we put a lot of elbow grease into finding the right ways to make social media work for our clients.

Tags: Facebook, ionic blog, marketing, marketing campaigns, social, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

A Trill a Minute: Fun Facts for the Digital Mind

February 22nd, 2011 by Jim Burns

2010 was a “banner” year as U.S. Internet users eyeballed 4.9 trillion “display” advertisements. Conspiracy theorists might be interested to know that the Federal Government’s debt load increased by a similar $4.8 trillion. Coincidence?

Out of those 4.9 trillion display ads a little over a trillion of them were served up on Facebook, making them the first online publisher to pass the 1 trillion mark! Here were the top 2010 online publishers for ‘ads displayed.’

In other fun facts for the digital mind did you know that 20% of email sent by retailers is now opened on a mobile device?

Speaking of retailers, the Monday after Thanksgiving 2010 saw online retail sales top $1 billion for the first time ($1.028 billion according to comScore).

In fact, online retailers sold $142.491 billion worth of merchandise in 2010, up from $129.797 in 2009. A lot of that might be attributed to the fact that 84% of Internet users made at least 1 online purchase in the 4th Quarter of 2010. In 2009, only 69% of users made at least one retail purchase.

With business like this to help, the U.S economy has again reached its 2007 levels. To get back to those levels, we saw:

The Federal Funds Rate go from 4.5% to 0%

The federal government’s balance Sheet expand by more than $1.5 trillion

The printing of M2 money supply of around 1 trillion dollars

The expansion of federal government debt of 4.8 trillion dollars

Instead of the Digital or Information Age perhaps we should refer to our time as Trillionigital Age? For us marketers maybe we need to be thinking in the CPZ range – Cost per Zillions!


James P. Burns  |  Email Marketing Manager





A Bubble in Complacency By John Mauldin | January 29, 2011

Tags: Facebook, fun facts, online advertising

Facebook’s Instant Personalization: It’s good to be recognized.

February 18th, 2011 by William Chamberlain

When you go in to your favorite restaurant, it’s nice to have the host recognize you, and the waiter know your favorite dishes, allergies, and your kid’s names.

What about when you go to Bing? Is it equally as nice to get a personalized experience when you search? And last time you tuned in to the internet music station Pandora.com, was it helpful that they knew that you liked Justin Bieber and lived in Rancho Cucamonga, so they could let you know about his latest tour dates? It was pretty coincidental how the ads that Pandora ran between songs seemed to be geared towards recently engaged guys in their late 20′s to early 30′s who love California wine and fancy themselves social media nerds.

Thanks to Facebook’s Instant Personalization, many websites already know a lot more about you than you may think. They connect with your Facebook automatically. You have the ability to opt out, but most sites don’t make that option glaringly obvious.

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re sketched out, intrigued, and are throwing the words “Big Brother” around a lot.

How good is it to be recognized?
So, how much is too much information? We can be selective about what restaurants know about us, but now must we be selective about the information we share on Facebook? This was once easy. Back in the day (like, 2010), you could limit the people you let in to your profile and then not worry about the info you gave out. Not any more. If your best friend Mike knows, Pandora knows too.

What do they know? According to Facebook’s Instant Personalization page, “Public information.” This includes your name, profile picture, gender, networks, and “other information shared with everyone.”

Should we change our lives for Instant Personalization?
With Instant Personalization, is our only choice to become more secretive on Facebook? The information that we entered only months ago for our friends eyes only is now equally available to TripAdvisor, Clicker, Rotten Tomatoes, Docs.com, Yelp, Scribd, and Pandora.

Facebook is a large part of our lives, and we need to learn to change with it.  The best way to live with Facebook’s firm grasp on our personal information is to act on Facebook like you’d act in real life. Remember that a few websites already know everything you put on there, and that number is growing. If you wouldn’t shout it on a crowded street, don’t put it on Facebook.

Once you adapt that new attitude, Instant Personalization could become your friend. Instead of being bothered with ads for nail polish or retirement homes, I am discovering new wine bars in the valley, or being reminded that my favorite new television show (Modern Family) is on tonight. If you set your Facebook profile up right, you will be able to create an online experience based around exactly what you want everyone to know about you before they meet you. That could be pretty cool.

Be sure to leave a comment below. We already know who you are from your Facebook =)


William Chamberlain is the
Social Media Strategist at Ionic Media
Tweet him at @ChamberlainWill

Tags: big brother, Facebook, instant personalization, privacy, Social Media Marketing

Introducing the Open Social Identity

October 20th, 2010 by Art Messal

Arthur Messal, Software Architect at Ionic Media

A true social network is defined by its members, not its medium.  In an effort to improve the effectiveness and success of the widely hyped social components in new (and old) technologies the medium must become less coupled to singular disjoint social networks.  Simply put, having separate logins, data feeds, messaging systems, friends lists, etc, is not effective and causes frustration, requires the user to duplicate efforts, and prevents larger social networks from forming.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, Flickr, and many other websites and companies all offer a similar service – a potential social network, and a portal into that network.  However, there is very little cross network interaction. It takes special tools and setup to simply have a tweet displayed as a status update on Facebook, much less for a comment on a Facebook post about a blog entry to be displayed on the actual blog.  There are many social networks, and little bringing the people in these various networks together.

To solve this problem, I propose the Open Social Identity.  The OSI is your entire social identity: your profile, friend lists, status updates, posts, pictures, messages, events, calenders, etc.  The OSI exists separate from what we currently call a social network.  Instead of defining and storing your identity, current social networks must become social network portals, into your online social life.  Portals will offer different services and features, much like they do currently; however, they must each support the OSI.  Some illustrations to demonstrate the concept.

  • A Facebook status update is intrinsically a status update on LinkedIn, MySpace, and becomes a Tweet.
  • A comment of a picture in Twitter is also viewable as part of the comments for the same picture on Facebook.
  • Adding to your job history on LinkedIn results in a change in your profile on Google Profiles.
  • Comments on a TypePad blog entry are shown with posts of that article on Facebook.
  • An Evite gets added to your iCal, Google Calendar, and is viewable in Facebook, automatically.

Of course, everything is customizable and configurable so that you can control who sees what and where, but regardless, 100% of your Social Identity is in a single place and owned by you.

The OSI represents a standardization of the data models that social networking sites use.  In following articles I will discuss the advantages of this model, and some of the finer details.

As a teaser, consider integration with your mobile phone’s phone book, an address book that you no longer need to manage, using your OSI as a OpenID to login to non-social sites, the ability to monetize your OSI, and more!

Read all of Arthur’s blogs at www.volveblog.com.

Tags: Facebook, Flickr, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, MySpace, Open Social Identity, OSI, social network, technology, twitter

When You Review Your Online Advertising Budget, Remember that . .

October 18th, 2010 by Jim Burns

Americans have access to about 5,500 magazines…but over 1 billion web pages.

In the last 25 years US newspaper circulation has fallen by about 7 million, while in the past five years readers of online newspapers has grown by over 30 million.

In the past year advertising in both newspapers and magazines has declined about 18% and 15% respectively, while online advertising spend has increased by about 9% over the same time. Advertising to mobile devices is up about twice that amount.

Facebook passed the 500 million-member mark this summer. It’s online population, about the size of Brazil and Indonesia combined makes it the world’s third most populous “country.”

Facebook Users share more than 30 billion pieces of information every month.

According to Google Finance, “Facebook runs more banner advertisements than any other Web site (176 billion a quarter) and drives more US visitor traffic to some sites than even Google.”

Twitter, has 130 million registered users – about the population of Japan. Membership grows by over 300,000 per day.

People “tweet” more than one billion times per month and search the site over 800 million times a day.


Plan accordingly!

Tags: advertising, banner advertisments, Facebook, Google, magazines, mobile advertising, newspapers, online advertising, search, Social Media, tweet, twitter

Enjoy The Movie . . . And Leave The Socializing To Us

October 8th, 2010 by Jim Burns

I saw the movie Social Network the other day. Spoiler alert…

According to the movie, a drunk and gifted Harvard student gets dumped by his girlfriend. Ticked off, he hacks into Harvard’s sororities and clubs and downloads pictures of just about every girl on campus. Next, he borrows his buddy’s chess algorithm and sets up a site where the girls can be rated one against the other. After some flack with the dean, a couple of preppy future Olympian rower twins from an exclusive fraternity ask him to build a Harvard only dating site, but don’t invite him into the fraternity. Eureka – Facebook instead.

Take away – Facebook is a dating site started because of class jealousy and desire for revenge against an old girlfriend. Caveat Emptor.

So, now that we know Facebook is about getting girls to go out with you, getting back at those who won’t and giving the proverbial finger to people who think they are better than you – what’s in it for small business?

Well, as you know, every business must have a Facebook page. To not have one is to risk name and reputation, what with 500 million users (more than the entire population of the United States of America) spending hours and hours of their day there. Those people may look for you on FB, and if they don’t find you they will think you very much behind the times. But, as a business what should you be doing once there?

Well, according to a recent study “from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, small-business adoption of social media marketing has plateaued at 24%.” About 82% of them are on FB with a company page posting updates and links to other relative content. Half monitor brand chatter.

The general marketplace is starting to look at Social Media more as a loyalty channel rather than as an acquisition hunting ground. Some small businesses have thus found their expectations not lining up with reality. About 71% thought they would add new customers or increase sales, but only half realized that dream. But why is this so? What is your average small business doing that they are not increasing sales or even garnering customer loyalty?

I picked some random businesses to find out: a local central Eurasian style sandwich shop here in L.A., a tire store somewhere, and an orthodontist in Florida.

As expected, I saw some posts about how good the sandwiches are (agreed!), some NASCAR video along with discounts and specials offered to those who say they saw them on the tire shop “wall,” and finally some family summer photos of the good doctor with links to his new web site.

Aside from the potential discounts, there really was nothing there to keep me coming back for more. Could FB be merely a coupon delivery mechanism? I doubt it, since everybody socializes there in ways never before possible. But small business seems to use FB more as an additional website rather than as a powerful leveraging opportunity.

In the movie (spoiler alert) there was real resistance to monetizing the site because it wasn’t clear what it was aside from something “cool.” Social Media is still defining itself and unless you are well versed in what should be website and what should be Facebook you will be hard pressed to find success.

It takes experts, like the Social team at Ionic Media, who understand how to leverage and enhance your overall web presence. They know that to be a player in Social Media it takes more than throwing a few pictures and specials at a “wall” and hoping something sticks.

Your take away from this blog? Let experts like us handle your Social Media while you relax and enjoy a good movie.

Digital Mind Factory is a Division of Ionic Media LLC



Tags: Blogs, customer loyalty, Facebook, James Burns, Movies, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, The Social Network

Advertising Abilities Extended…

August 12th, 2010 by Lisa Henry

Isn’t it great you don’t have to rely solely on TV or print to advertise anymore?!  After watching Don throw his client out of the door on Madmen’s premiere episode of season 4, I thought, poor Jantzen for not having other advertising options.   If you didn’t see the episode, Don presented a provocative swimwear layout to Jantzen.  A black bar covers the model’s top. “So well built, we can’t show you the second floor,” was the slogan.   Jantzen, a family oriented and conservative company didn’t like the risqué idea, thus making Don so mad he threw them out.   Can you imagine throwing your client out if they don’t like your idea?

Today, there are more opportunities than ever to advertise, anywhere really.  It made me thankful that I work at Ionic Media, in the advertising industry today, because we can be more creative than ever.  There are so many ways to reach the consumer…  iPhones, iPads, Blackberrys, portable TVs, Facebook, Wi-Fi everywhere (even on airplanes now!)!  How much you want to spend or who you want to reach is a good way to start.  You could advertise on TV or why not put the commercials on the web?   Utilize paid search or optimize your current website?  The key is to not depend solely on one element, which will in turn be more efficient and effective.   The trick will be to coordinate all elements to send a consistent message.

Wow, what a relief to advertise today where you truly can run with your imagination.

Lisa Henry
Client Account Manager
Ionic Media

Tags: advertising industry, advertising options, Facebook, Ionic Media, iPads, iPhones, Jantzen, optimize, paid search, TV, website, Wi-Fi