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Old Spice Guy Applies to Emerson College

March 1st, 2011

Recent reports say that Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy, is going to Emerson College to receive his Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications. Apparently, he found this program so remarkable, at a college that is among the elite, that he has decided to ride backwards on his horse into Boston Common to start the educational journey this Fall.

Actually, he didn’t apply to Emerson, but what if he did? What would his application essay look like? The essay prompt is as follows:

Explain your short-term and long-term professional goals. How will an Emerson education assist you in achieving these goals? Reflecting on any relevant work and educational experiences, describe how you would contribute to the program and to the profession.

Mustafa’s response would probably be something like this…

“Greetings Graduate Admissions Committee of Emerson College. I have traveled great distances on the interweb with my platinum encrusted keyboard and mighty hamster powered computer. Through my travels I came upon your campus of learning and knowledge and decided that I must court you, right here, right now.

Do you see these abs? No? Let me send you a mental image of them. Now, understand that each mouth-watering ab represents a Bachelor’s Degree I have earned in the past 150 years I have been alive. Look, from my top left to bottom right, your top right to bottom left, I have a

  • B.S. in Smelling Like A Man
  • B.S in Nighttime Scuba Diving
  • B.A. in Stealthy Cow Tipping
  • B.S. in Inception
  • B.S. in Space Exploration
  • B.A. in Seducing Talking To Women

Clearly I am beyond qualified to sit in your cute little classrooms and discuss scholarly topics with scholars such as myself. My primary short term goal is to spread the manly ways that come so naturally to me and teach the young lads at Emerson College how they could smell like a man, like myself. Your institute of learning teaches many of the brightest minds in a city that has true heart, this is why I choose your school as my starting point. First Emerson College, then Boston, then the East Coast, then the West Coast, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, world smells like man!

As my six abs represent my unique education that you can only dream about, I am forming two more abs to reach a toe curling, heart stopping, romance inducing eight pack. These two new pals of mine must represent only the highest of educational honors! My seventh and eighth abs should be fully formed in three months, that’s two years in your time; the seventh shall represent a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications, and the eighth, a Master of Arts Wildlife Taming While Under Attack. I don’t often voice these words, but, I need you Emerson College, for the ab.

What will I contribute to your program and the industry? Well, just take a look at the attached photo of me in a towel.”

I am positive this essay would have been written on a royal parchment with a Bald Eagle feather pen that uses Octopus ink.

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If you happen to live under a rock and also just learned that GEICO can save you 15% or more on car insurance, then you probably don’t know much about this Old Spice character either. Here are a couple quick reads from Mashable.com to help explain how the Old Spice Guy almost broke the internet last year.

I also encourage you to check out some of the Old Spice Man Internet Responses and enjoy a few good laughs.

I am in no way affiliated with Old Spice, Wieden+Kennedy, or Isaiah Mustafa. I simply wrote a fictional piece under the personality portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa as “The Old Spice Guy”.

Bryan Ricard Random Thoughts, Social Media , , , , ,

Why be Mayor if You Aren’t Treated Like One?

November 18th, 2010

Black Friday: A day where manners, good citizenship, and personal hygiene all take a backseat to the overwhelming desire of the masses to save a few bucks.

I shopped on Black Friday of 2007 and was first in line at the local Target. I arrived 3 hours before the stored opened, 3:00 am, and while I wasn’t the first maniac to arrive, I was the first to exit my car and start a line. Why? Because now I can say I was first in line at Target on Black Friday once.

Whether it’s the economy or the current trend of retailers spreading out deals throughout the year, the deals don’t seem as great as they used to; maybe it’s just me. foursquare mayors.foursquare logo Regardless, this day of Holiday shopping and line ninjas is a perfect opportunity for the big brands to reward their loyal ambassadors. Many businesses have become active in the realm of social media realm and have taken part in rewarding their. However, I haven’t caught wind of any “mayor specials” from any of the big retailers.

New Balance South Florida is just one example of a company understanding location-based marketing. They are taking it a step further this Nov. 26th by changing Black Friday into foursquare Friday; basically a social meetup that entails raffles, New Balance ‘schwag’, and an actual game of foursquare. This is a brilliant idea as it engages their customer base at an off-site location and rewards them while carrying out activities related to their business.

I want something more though! I want to see a flat out DEAL for at least one lucky foursquare mayor. How about we just throw some ideas out here for our mayors:

  • A $100 gift card
  • 30% discount off entire purchase
  • Become first in line upon arrival; don’t have to wait in line for X amount of hours
  • Get the Black Friday discount a week early
  • A Black Friday survival kit (pillow, blanket, candy, energy drink, store map, etc.)

These ideas can be extended as well – reward your top 3 visitors, or direct a promotion to anyone who checks-in to your store that day in the wee hours of the morning. The point is: Smarten up and reward your brand ambassadors – this social engagement will deepen current loyalty and breed more loyalists.

What do you think? As a foursquare mayor, what kind of Black Friday deal or VIP treatment would you like to receive?

Bryan Ricard Marketing, Social Media , , ,

The Chris Brogan Effect

May 30th, 2010

As part of my experience at Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University, I have been putting forth the effort to complete the accompanying homework assignments for each respective teacher. They took the time to share their knowledge on a specific topic, so in return I take the time to put their teachings to work and then link them to it via Twitter.

On May 19th, I completed the 3rd class on Social Media and Building Community taught by Chris Brogan. I did the assigned homework and Tweeted him with the link:

8 minutes later:

My immediate thought was *OH CRAP!* Why “Oh Crap” and not “YES!! WOOHOO!!”? I’ll show you why:

Normally, this would make for a phenomenal morning. Surely, my blog was going to receive a lot of hits from Chris’ tweets. The problem is I wasn’t ready. Sure I have good content in my blog posts, but the current state of my blog is not close to where I want it to be, yet. As soon as I saw Chris’ reply I came here and was scrambling around making tiny changes everywhere in order to make myself more presentable. I even changed my theme for a few minutes, but changed it back to the current theme after realizing I didn’t like it. Mainly, my bio page was out of date. The information displayed on my About Bryan page was from well over a year ago when this started out as more of a personal outlet and not so much a professional, career-building tool. I changed and deleted various parts of that page in order to give a better representation of who I am, what I do, and what I want to do in the future. Here’s what Chris did to my views graph that day:

This brings me to my final two points:

  1. Always be prepared – I was caught a little off guard as I am still in the process of creating my ideal blog/website and by not being 100% ready I may have missed out on potential opportunities. I’ve always believed that good luck comes to those who are ready to embrace it. You may know someone who seems to always catch a break and get awesome opportunities personally or professionally – but chances are they made the necessary preparations to take advantage of such opportunities when they came along.
  2. The Power of Twitter is Undeniable – All I did was send my homework to my teacher and my blog views per day skyrocketed (1800% increase if I did the math right).  It didn’t stop there – one of Chris Brogan’s followers came to my blog, found my post that was directed to a potential internship opportunity and offered me an internship. Crazy right? You never know who’s going to find you! Prepare yourself, expand your network, then recognize and embrace all opportunities!

Thanks Chris!

I believe this would be inbound marketing FTW!

Have you been hit by the Chris Brogan effect? Or has something similar happened to you because of one thing a social media giant did or said? Care to share your story?

Bryan Ricard Blogging, Networking, Social Media , , ,

Inbound Marketing University – Assignment #4

May 25th, 2010

The fourth IMU class was taught by Elyse Tager, a social media strategist and founder of Elymedia. She discussed the various uses and needs of Facebook and LinkedIn for businesses.

Assignment #4: Write a blog article that explains three benefits of creating a Facebook Fan Page and three benefits of creating a LinkedIn Group.
Which would you include in your marketing plan?

For clarity, I’m going to list benefits of a business person within a company creating their own LinkedIn profile, rather than a group for that company itself.

Facebook Fan Page Benefits:

  • Connect: with people (business partners, customers, etc) who are relevant to you and your company and keep them engaged. Engagement leads to conversations, conversation leads to conversion.
  • Metrics: of your fan page that are easy to read. You receive statistics on fan interaction, post quality, click-thru rate, and media consumption. These measurements give you the ability to make the necessary changes in order to increase engagement with your fans.
  • Events: easily set up events for group members and get a simple RSVP list, allow members to invite their friends, allows for discussion, allows for photo/video uploads of event – all great engagement opportunities
  • Ads: Facebook’s ad program is very user-friendly, and very targeted. You can target your audience very specifically for a very low price and then receive an estimated reach of how many people will see, and click, your ad.

LinkedIn Benefits:

  • Answering questions: by providing knowledge to others and displaying your expertise you are helping others while indirectly promoting your company. If you build up a reputation of great, or expert, answers in a specific industry or category, you are likely to gain visitors to your profile, visitors to your company’s group profile, and most importantly – connections.
  • Recommendations: by receiving impressive recommendations from others regarding your work, you are allowing others to promote you and your company to all of LinkedIn (depending on your privacy settings).
  • Shared Connections: after uploading  all your contacts from various databases and creating your network you are able to view shared connections (friends of friends) and even ask for introductions through your current connections. This is one of LinkedIn’s greatest features as it allows you to easily expand your network effectively.

Both of these platforms have their benefits, but which one should you use in your marketing plan? I think it depends on what kind of company you are and in which industry. I view Facebook as a better B2C channel and LinkedIn as the better B2B channel.

Facebook gives companies extreme potential in engaging directly with their fans and the customers who care about them most. It’s also done on a platform that hundreds of millions of people know how to use.

LinkedIn  is much more effective in building your professional contacts that will lead to improved business (eg. partnerships, joint ventures, shared connections, advice/knowledge sharing).

Personally, I’d use both.

Next class:  Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves!

Bryan Ricard Inbound Marketing University, Social Media , , , ,

Inbound Marketing University – Assignment #3

May 19th, 2010

The third class at IMU was taught by a social media giant, Chris Brogan, his blog is ranked 2nd in AdAge’s Power 150 list. This man has a lot of valuable thoughts as I’ve read a lot of what he has said around various areas of the internet. After discussing social media and building community, here’s my homework:

Assignment #3: Create a step-by-step plan for how you could develop a community around your company on a social networking site of your choice.

Chris laid out the basic steps to doing this in his class so this will involve some regurgitation of his words.

  1. Listening – This is the first step, it’s not about me, it’s about them. I suggest reading Chris’ steps to Growing Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes. I need to figure out what others are saying about me, my brand, and determine what it is that they want. If I had the money to spend, I’d invest in Scout Labs which is a tremendous “listening/analyzing” tool for social media.
  2. But where? – I very much doubt there will be any community revolving around me that was created by other people. I don’t have my own company or anything, yet. However, if I did and there was some form of third-party community I would most certainly join. Additionally, I would create my own community (an off-shoot of my main website) to invite them to; I would want to have the control necessary for proper ROI measurements and the ability to implement new community features.
  3. Equip, don’t sell – One of the biggest points I took from this class was this phrase. I’ve understood for a while that you don’t want to just come out selling your stuff, but what’s the best thing to do instead? Provide value to your community members, equip them with something that will be beneficial to them. Example: Provide free resources that help lead them or their company to greater success. (HubSpot). If the community revolved around advertising how could I provide value to them? I could offer them a platform in which their work may receive more views than on their own website, an expert corner where industry experts are encouraged to chime in with tips and advice, or even get them a discounted version of Advertising Age somehow.
  4. Celebrate them – Recognition, recognition, recognition! Everyone loves to be recognized! Although I’m sure there are few exceptions. Regardless, I would be sure that my community provides opportunities for members to be noticed and show off their accomplishments. Let’s say it was an advertising community that had a section for members to upload their own work – I would hold monthly contests where everyone can vote for their favorite ads in specific categories and the winners receive some sort of badge to show off (along with free goodies that are paid for by advertisers).  Even a simple ranking system in the forums where members receive an additional star for X amount of posts is something people enjoy.

Yes there are more steps to the entire process, but these are the most important to me and what I thought was the most valuable information taken from the class. Thanks Chris!

Next class: Successful Business Uses for Facebook and LinkedIn

Bryan Ricard Inbound Marketing University, Social Media , , ,

Hey Mr. Merrow

May 17th, 2010

While still searching for a valuable internship for this summer I came across the Merrow Sewing Machine Company. Admittedly, I have never heard of them before, and if I had, I forgot (considering I’m not part of their target audience this is understandable). However, after reviewing their website and reading some of their blog posts, I have realized how reputable this brand actually is.

In order to be the best it is wise to learn from and work with the best. This is why I have decided to apply to such an influential brand in their respective industry.

Owen and Charlie Merrow – I have put together a list of the top 10 reasons why you should look no further on your intern search:

  • I will get the job done by any means necessary
  • I play well with dogs (Proof: My last internship had two dogs as well and there were no bites or bruises – I’d get along with Sable & Pilot just fine)
  • I am extremely interested in branding and am continuously learning about all aspects of marketing (Proof: This blog, daily check of Ads of the World.com, currently enrolled in Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University)
  • Creative: the most commonly used word  others use in describing me
  • I took 5 years of French in high school (per free translation.com:  Je me souviens de quelque français)
  • I have a strong desire to be the best;  at everything
  • The amount of energy I exude is not the result of energy drinks
  • I have proven I can handle a large amount of responsibility (Proof: Spring 2010 semester included 5 group projects out of 6 courses and I achieved my first 4.0 semester)
  • I have a lot of experience and skill in time management (Proof: Last summer I experienced smooth sailing during two simultaneous internships, working at Panera Bread, two summer courses, and AMA responsibilities)
  • Have you Googled “Merrow” lately? Try it out…look around.

Just so anyone reading this understands, I sent my resume and cover letter to Mr. Owen Merrow tonight and directed them to my blog for further insight into who I am. I’m trying something different, and I hope they like it. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

(Note – if you are not located in RI or MA, #10 on the list will not work for you, but it will for the Merrows) :)

Bryan Ricard Internship, Networking, Social Media , , ,