Thanksgiving has passed, and you’ve long finished eating (hopefully.) The madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has faded, and your Christmas shopping is starting to shape up. Make way now for Giving Tuesday!
“Yay! Wait … what the heck is Giving Tuesday?”
Don’t worry, Confused Stock Photo Man, we’re here to educate! Giving Tuesday is a brand new holiday tradition, the roots of which trace back to the good ol’ days of December 2012. Every Tuesday after Thanksgiving, we honor the charities and community service organizations around us, and encourage people to come together and help those in need. We always say that Christmas is about giving, not receiving, and this holds double for Giving Tuesday, which is literally all about giving to others. (more…)
Traditionally, Thanksgiving was an undisputed holiday for just about everybody, save for emergency workers and football players. However, these past few years, many major companies have realized that if they close on Thanksgiving, they don’t make money that day. And if there’s anything a multi-billion dollar conglomerate hates, it’s those horrible minutes and seconds where no extra dollars enter their already-bulging pockets.
“My Gucci slacks have never felt so empty.”
And so, companies like Walmart, Target, and Staples are opening on Thanksgiving, sometimes as early as 6 AM. Even Macy’s, who typically devotes Thanksgiving to parading instead of working, will open on Turkey Day. So if you’re in New York City, you can now spend your morning gawking at giant balloons shaped like Garfield and Buzz Lightyear, and spend the evening buying expensive pants. Just as God intended. (more…)
If I told you that Jean Claude Van Damme and Enya were the stars of the hottest viral video in the world right now, you’d probably tell me to take my acid-washed jeans and go the heck home. But no, there’s no flux capacitor involved here; just an amazing ad for Volvo and Volvo Dynamic Steering.
A week after it was posted to YouTube, ‘Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6)’ is closing in on 43 million views. 267,000 of those people gave it the thumbs up. It was even shared more than 500,000 times in one day. Why? Because it’s entertaining. If you can capture the attention of your audience with content, they usually won’t mind a marketing message as their price to pay.
Just some food for thought. Enjoy your weekend, we gotta split. (sorry)
So you’ve managed to hit the coveted 1,000 friends mark on Facebook, and your Twitter account is humming along nicely. Um, are you forgetting something? Yes you are. It’s called Google+.
Yes, they are still “making that thing,” and while it’s nowhere near as popular as the aforementioned social media giants, Google+ is actually more important in some very business-centric ways. First and foremost, if ranking high in a Google search means anything to you (and we have a hunch it does), you’re gonna wanna play nice with Google+. It’s tightly synced with the rest of Google’s products, like the Google+ Business Page, and let’s face it; Google kinda runs the game right now. We need to play by their rules.
Here are 7 ways to get your company’s Google+ followers within striking distance of your Facebook friends list: (more…)
The job posting was seeking two actors to play conjoined twins at an upcoming tech convention. My friend, Michelle, would play the role of WordPress (a major web design platform), and I would play the role of Media Shower (the company that hired us). By being stitched together, we were supposed to represent how seamlessly the two integrated. Again, it made sense. Kind of. I guess.
Conjoined twins are formed in a slight variation of the process that generates identical twins. The fertilized egg splits into two identical copies and then, depending on who you believe, either doesn’t split all the way or does but then fuses back together. Regardless of which camp you’re in, Michelle and I didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. She’s a foot shorter than me, a few years older, and, oh yeah, a woman.
Meanwhile, our costume wasn’t very convincing either. We were given an XXXL T-shirt to squeeze into, a feather boa to cover the neck hole in our shirt, and a pair of orange hats and sunglasses to help us stand out from the crowd. Trust me, we didn’t need help standing out from the crowd.
In a 150,000-word novel, perhaps no words are more important than the first ones. At its best, a novel’s opening line raises questions, piques interest, and creates intrigue. It hooks the reader completely, and forces them to devour the rest of the story because the first handful of words were so damn good.
“Once upon a time” simply doesn’t cut it anymore, as the following great opening lines prove. If your goal is to keep your reader engrossed to the very end, you’d do well to study what these stories did.
1. “Call Me Ishmael.” – Moby Dick, Herman Melville
This is perhaps the most iconic non-crappy opening line in history. While it doesn’t tell you anything about Captain Ahab and the whale, it still paints an intriguing picture. Who is this guy? What does he have to do with Moby Dick? Why does he want us to call him Ishmael? Perhaps that’s not his actual name? Already we’re hooked, and absolutely nothing has happened.
2. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” — 1984, George Orwell
No clock strikes thirteen, so what’s the deal with this one? With this one line, we already know the world of 1984 is a strange one indeed, so when Orwell introduces Big Brother and Newspeak, they don’t seem terribly out of place. (more…)
“Is it true that the beef you use is washed in ammonia?”
“Does your cola have soap in it?”
No, these chutzpah-packed questions weren’t plucked from an unhinged YouTube comments section; though they easily could’ve been. Instead they came from a McDonald’s-owned website. Yes, for a little over a year now, McDonald’s Canada has been answering all types of queries through its ‘Our Food. Your Questions.’site and publishing the sometimes awkward results.
Wanna know why these things are so addictive? Just ask.
The move to invite customers to ask any question whatsoever about McDonald’s food and get a personalized response has been praised by many advertising experts as a bold, consumer-friendly act of transparent public relations. “We’re proud of the quality behind our menu and passionate about sharing the real facts with Canadians who might be curious about our food,” said John Betts, President and CEO of McDonald’s Canada. “We’ve long been a leader in providing full nutrition information and ingredient listings for everything we serve, but there are still many food myths out there that are completely unfounded and that we aim to set the record straight on.” The initiative was developed by Tribal DDB Toronto. (more…)
Writing content that both entertains and informs readers isn’t easy. It’s not something you can learn in a classroom or read in a book – just ask Ryan Healy.
Healy has been working as a copywriter since 2002, writing everything from e-mails to sales letters to web content for more than 150 clients. “Time and again, Ryan has far exceeded my expectations and crafted copy that makes me want to buy my own products,” writes one of his customers.
The guy knows a thing or two about wordcraft. Here he offers his expert advice on writing to sell. (more…)
Recently, we provided helpful tips on how to stalk editors, get their attention, and secure a cushy guest blogging gig on their website. But now that you have their eye, what’s next? Unless the editor is the type to assign ideas to their bloggers, you’ll have to pitch articles if you want to write. This process is just as important as the actual writing, if not more so. If you pitch poorly, expect a polite rejection at best, and total silence at worst.
And this would be the worst reaction of all.
To increase your chances of getting an article accepted, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Provide a Clear, Easy-To-Understand Title
Let’s say you’re pitching to a gardening blog. Entitling your article “The Great Tomato Famine of Next Month,” while certainly original, is not going to tell the editor anything except that you don’t know how to convey your thoughts. Your title should be straightforward and simple for both editor and reader to grasp. Offer up “How to Grow the Perfect Tomato Plant” instead, and you’ll have a far happier editor on your hands. (more…)
It takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any skill or activity. But you don’t need to spend so much time here at Media Shower as we let you learn from the best in just 10 minutes! Today we’re speaking to Devon Eyer, director of social media for Johnson & Johnson.
Corporate blogging can be a very difficult thing to get right. How do you keep your blog engaging for normal readers, those who work for your company, and for investors? These are some of the questions you need to answer for your content strategy.