Category Archives: Word-of-Mouth

Full Colour Intel Ad Looks Awful in Black and White

Intel ad creative that wasn’t quite thought out completely. Yet another example that a big ad budget can buy you lots of ad space, but not a collective brain. Here is an excerpt from the the original post in Fortune:

To promote the speed of its Core 2 Duo Processor, Intel releases a print ad featuring six bare-shouldered black sprinters crouched in their starting positions beneath a white guy dressed for the office. “We made a bad mistake,” says Don MacDonald, the company’s director of global marketing. “I know why and how, but that doesn’t make it better.”

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

BK Takes Whopper off the Menu, Customers Irate

Want to find out how passionate your customers are about your most popular product? Take it off the menu. Welcome to the Burger King ‘Whopper Freakout’. Thanks Lance for sharing this. Another brilliant example of a video gone viral.


Filed under Branding, Business, Comedy, Humor, Internet, Social Media, video, Viral, Word-of-Mouth

PEER 1 ‘Growing Pains’ Viral Series In Production

Growing Pains Episode 3We have just completed filming episodes 2 and 3 of PEER 1’s “Growing Pains” series (episode 1 has reached 50,000+ page views on free video hosting site Viddler). Filming took place last week on location in New York City. We hope to have both episodes ready to go in the next month or so. To see photos from the film shoot, click here.


Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Co-location, Comedy, Hosting, Humor, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, video, Viral, Web 2.0, Word-of-Mouth

Bye, Bye YouTube… Your Time is Up

Some of our staff members at ServerBeach got together to produce a hilarious farewell video to YouTube. YouTube started hosting their site at ServerBeach as a startup and continued on until their last server went offline here November 2007 and moved over to Google’s data centers as a result of being acquired. Check it out.


Filed under Business, data center, Google, Hosting, Humor, Internet, PEER 1, ServerBeach, servers, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, video, Viral, Web 2.0, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Whole Foods Delivers a Whole Experience

Whole Foods LogoI hate shopping for groceries. Hate it. No wonder my fridge is usually half empty. Yesterday, that disdain turned into pleasure as I experienced the Whole Foods in West Vancouver. What I originally planned as a 10 minute in-and-out dash, turned into a full hour of gazing and sampling. The food presentation is exquisite, combined with the pleasant scents of fresh baked goods and ready-made meals tickling the air. The aisles are filled with items I’ve never seen before. Many of the healthy and whole variety that got me reading the packaging with pleasant curiosity. At the checkout counter, the young gent engaged me in a lively conversation which seemed more real than the usual forced “hello” and “thank you” and “goodbye” I’m used too. I applaud businesses that understand the value of turning a usually uneventful task into a memorable customer experience. I’ll be back.


Filed under Branding, Business, Health, marketing, Packaging, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Clever Video Shows Off Healthy Company Culture

My colleague, Lana at PEER 1 shared this with me. I think this is just great! If you can’t see your staff coming together or feeling comfortable enough to do something like this, it’s time to check your culture and get out of the 2oth century and into the new one. This is today’s picture of a healthy work environment. Good on you guys at Connected Ventures, love the song choice. I think recruiting issues are now the least of your concerns.

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Filed under Branding, Business, HR, Humor, Recruting, Small Business Marketing, video, Word-of-Mouth

WestJet Makes Flying Fun Again

WestJet LogoFor the first time that I can recall, I enjoyed my flight. I flew from Vancouver to Toronto yesterday on WestJet. I haven’t flown on WestJet since its early days, but I recall it being fairly pleasant, if not a little basic. But it never really struck enough of a chord with me to fly with them again. Usually I fly with Air Canada (who has somehow managed to find a way to progressively get worse in the face of stiff competition) because I have a points card. I decided to go with WestJet this time because of the departure time available and it was cheaper.

Not expecting much, I was first struck by the difference in their departure gate at YVR. A screening room with lounge chairs to preview upcoming movies, a children’s area anchored by an over-sized cartoonish-looking television, racks of complimentary newspapers, and plenty of seating. After the pre-boarding of children and persons with disabilities, I was expecting the usual “Group 1” being called upon, then “Group 2”, “Group 3”, etc. Does anyone else ever find this annoying? It’s bad enough you’re not in “first-class”, now there’s a class system amongst coach. Maybe I’m just peeved because I always seem to be in the last group. Where’s Sister Rosa?

Instead, the WestJet lady announces over the PA system for all other passengers to please begin boarding now. Single-filed, we all got in without a hitch. When I sat down in my seat, I was excited to see a TV screen looking back at me – my own individual one of the seatback variety. Cool. Never got that on Air Canada or AmericaWest or United Airlines or America Airlines. I’ve gotten use to straining my neck to try and make out the 10-inch washed out screen hanging from the ceiling five rows in front of me. I’m pretty good at it.

Flipped through the channels expecting to see some canned programming, instead I got live Wimbledon quarter finals play on TSN. Very cool, WestJet was broadcasting live television from a Bell ExpressVu satellite. Surely this costs extra? No. Just the movies, which at $5 a pop on a four hour journey is more than reasonable.

After settling in and watching Serena Williams get over-matched by Justine Henin, I started jonesing for a coffee. I didn’t have time to pick up my usual before the flight. The in-flight crew came by with their beverage cart, I asked for a coffee and they gave me cookies with it. And the coffee was actually good. So good, I inspected the cup to see if I could find the culprit: Fratello. Nice.

I was in a groove, and before I knew it, the time had already passed and they were announcing over the PA system that we would be arriving into Toronto 20 minutes early. And then the banter, humour and singing begun. It was such a pleasure to see the staff break away from their usual tired scripts, and entertain their guests. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces in a plane before, particularly before touch-down. From what I can see, WestJet has captured lightening in a bottle. Let’s hope many of the other airlines can find some too.


Filed under Air Canada, Branding, Business, Coffee, Customer Service, marketing, Marketing Research, Public Relations, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, TV, WestJet, Word-of-Mouth

Deck Builders Give a Lesson on How to Sell

When I get really good service, I feel the need to share it because, unfortunately, it seems all too rare.

I’ve been wanting to add a backyard deck to my house for the past two years, but never got around to actually getting it done. During that time, I met with quite a few different builders. Each one would meet with me briefly, then give me a quote that varied considerably from one person to the next, and would base it on either cedar or pressure-treated wood. I’ve had my heart set on cedar from the get go. Love the look of it. But I’m a low-maintenance kind of a guy, and the more I thought about the idea of sanding and staining my deck every spring, the less appealing it looked. I came across a composite material at Home Depot one day that looked like cedar and thought, “That’s it!” Doesn’t look quite as good as the real thing, but would give me what I’m after. Still need to settle on a builder though.

It turns out my colleague’s husband is a carpenter and he, along with his partner, build decks all the time. Arranged a time for them to come over. Expecting a brief meeting and a follow-up quote based on what I wanted, instead the two of them went over all the options available to me, and the pros and cons of each. They informed me that composite material is very expensive, about 2-3 times more than cedar (I actually thought it would be cheaper than cedar). It also has colour variations and still suffers from some weathering issues based on their experience. Cedar looks great, but is high maintenance. Also, most of the cedar being used now in Vancouver isn’t old growth, so it’s soft and dents easily. Pressure-treated wood is the the most affordable, but can flake and crack – I know this first-hand, because my current tiny deck is made of it. After walking through my house, they offered up a fourth option they felt would give me what I’m looking for, and would fit with the design of the house – one that no one prior to them had suggested: building a solid floor deck with slate tiling. It’s very low-maintenance, fits with the interior of the house, and is cost-effective. For the first-time in the process of wanting to add a deck, I felt informed to make a decision that fits my needs. Rather than just telling me what I wanted to hear, they took the time to educate me with the facts, and with no pressure to buy or make a quick decision. This is what effective sales is all about – empower your customer with the information they need to make a purchasing decision they feel confident about. It goes a long ways to getting repeat business and referrals.

I went with the fourth option, the one I never considered before meeting them. Thanks guys.


Filed under Business, Customer Service, marketing, Referrals, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Aggressive Referral Program Pays Big Bucks

PEER 1 logoMy employer PEER 1 offers the biggest cash payout on referrals in the hosting industry. PEER 1 pays up to $2,000 for each referral that signs up for a managed hosting plan with the company. The way it works is simple. When a prospect you refer to PEER 1 either through the online form or over the phone signs a 12-month contract, PEER 1 pays you a one-time cash amount equal to the client’s monthly fee. If their monthly fee is $500, PEER 1 pays you $500. If it’s $1,000, they pay you $1,000, and so on up to $2,000. There is no limit to the number of times you take advantage of the program and you don’t even have to be a current PEER 1 customer to use it. A great way to earn some added bucks. For more details, click here. You can also earn the same dollars through the CashAds program where you can grab some banner ads, place them on your sites, and monitor the traffic and clickthrus through the CashAds portal. Any clickthrus that convert into a sale at PEER 1, you make money.

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Filed under Affiliate Programs, Business, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, PEER 1, Referrals, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Technology, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth