Foursquare U

Back before texting and tweeting, students on college campuses relied on announcement boards and gossip floating in the student center to find the popular hang out spots or know about the latest buzz. Today, news about and around campus is instant. Most major universities have embraced social media over the past decade and are using it to reach college students in a unique way. But how can universities gain access to real-time social trends on campus? Welcome to the new and evolving world of geosocial networks.
Geosocial or “location-based” social networks are on the rise, with the forerunner being foursquare, a mobile app launched in 2009 that allows users to “check-in” to various locations and share where they are and what they are doing with their friends. Access to real-time location data from foursquare allows marketers and businesses to know what locations are “trending” as well as the demographics of users checking-in to their establishment. With the growing momentum of foursquare, universities are hopping onto the “check-in” train and recognizing foursquare on campus.
Why should universities be interested in foursquare? For starters, foursquare currently has 15 million users and over 1.5 billion check-ins worldwide, with a growth rate of 3400% in 2010. Chances are that your business or venue is already on foursquare and users have probably checked in and maybe even left some tips. Information that users enter when creating a venue may be incorrect, but universities that claim their venues can add appropriate information to academic buildings to ensure the best overall experience for faculty, students, and guest.
Universities are beginning to recognize the potential value of information gathered using geosocial networks. What does 4pm look like on campus? Is the library packed? Are students working out? Applications like foursquare can also attract visitors on campus by offering “check-in” deals (ex. 10% off a shirt when you check-in to the campus bookstore), creating a self guided mobile tour of academic venues, and leaving historic information or helpful tips for different locations.

Most importantly, foursquare is free advertising (for now). Not only that, but it can be interactive and rewarding for users, perhaps by giving away free university gear for going to the library, attending a campus event, or staying healthy at the gym. The possibilities for university marketing are endless.

By: Hunter Wilson, Josh Vester, Ashley Oliver, Molly Jacques

Oh Red, How I Love Too

There are many legends and stories explaining the history of Valentine’s Day and St. Valentine, but one thing remains the same; Valentine’s Day is a holiday where lovers express their affection for one another.  Every year marketers use the same tactics to attract their love struck consumers into the arms of their products. Valentine’s Day advertisements are flooded with hearts, flowers, and of course the colors of love: red and pink. Red and pink symbolize passion and tranquility and are considered the most romantic colors. However, the appeal of generic pink candy and red roses will eventually run its course. So it’s time to spice it up and show your love that you put some real effort into this Valentine’s Day.

M&M’s are promoting their brand this Valentine’s Day season by offering a sweet alternative to help consumers express their feelings to their loved ones.  The commercial features “Red,” the helpless romantic candy bite, who cannot respond to the love of his life with the three words, “I-Love-You.”  M&M’s understands that it is not always easy to express your feelings. With that in mind they are here to make it easier with personalized M&M’s. Popular messages include “Be mine,” “You make me melt”, “You Had Me at Hello” and “I Love You.” M&M’s also features a prepackaged Valentine’s Day blend with an assortment of colors, sayings and symbols. If that won’t cut it the Romance Bundle may be for you. It comes complete with a teddy bear and three bags of personalized M&M’s wrapped up in a gift box.  Remember, personalization shows that you took time out of your glamorous day to care!

Through this strategic marketing plan, M&M’s enhances their brand by making it convenient for their consumers to spice up Valentine’s Day. M&M’s are one of the few companies that offer personalized messages on their candy products. This allows the company to stand out against the assortment of chocolaty competitors. Keep in mind that personalized candies aren’t just for Valentine’s Day, but also for any of life’s sweet moments.

-Kelsey Bendig, Andrea Blanton, Brooke Keller, Brian Burch

Have a Sexy Valentine’s Day, Gorgeous!

A week from today, one of the most commercialized and superficial holidays will occur: Valentine’s Day. For those of you who are one half of a couple, Valentine’s Day is all about making your significant other happy, whether it involves showering him/her with gifts, making dinner reservations, or planning exuberant and normally unnecessarily expensive dates.

The beginning of February marks the time when store fronts become clad with hearts, cupid cutouts, and pink and red streamers.  Around this same time, we begin to see an increasing number of men lurking around lingerie stores, especially Victoria’s Secret – and for good reason.  Victoria’s Secret has a dramatic increase in sales during the season of romance. With their sexy print ads in magazines, their silky almost-obscene commercials, and their free “Lacie Pantie” giveaway, what man in their right mind would avoid giving their girlfriend/wife the gift of sexiness?

In their 2012 Valentine’s Day campaign, Victoria’s Secret Angels clad in pink and red barely-there bras and panties have advertised to their customers that with the gift of anything from their line of lingerie, their Valentine’s Day celebrations will be fabulous. In their sneak peek to their photo shoot, the Angels prance around in their under garments, smiling, laughing, and selling the ideas of sex and playfulness. In interviews, the girls claim that any man could win their hearts on Valentine’s Day by picking out something from the Victoria’s Secret shelves. One even says that if a man chooses something that he likes, it will give plenty of hints to his significant other.

Not only does this campaign appeal to male shoppers, but it also appeals to women. The Victoria’s Secret Angels encourage their customers to feel sexy, and by offering specials, free panties, and coupons during this season, women will certainly be able to feel like Angels.

So whether you are shopping for a significant other or are planning on spoiling yourself with brand new sexy lingerie, Victoria’s Secret will certainly be the place to shop this romantic season.  And don’t forget to have a sexy Valentine’s Day, Gorgeous!

Love always, Christina Stevenson, Mollie Berthold, Dorothy Conley, & Laura Simmons

Will The Force Be With You?

      It’s Super Bowl season and we, as viewers, are ready for the stream of entertaining advertisements that keep us occupied between breaks. I’m sure everyone remembers last years buzz worthy Star Wars inspired Volkswagen commercial. How can one not be enamored with a little boy in a movie quality Darth Vader suit that genuinely startles himself by using “the force” to turn on his dad’s new Volkswagen? Beyond all the cuteness, the commercial relays the push-to-start feature that the affordable (and apparently fun) German car has to offer.
     To top its success from the last Super Bowl, Volkswagen has returned with yet another Star Wars inspired ad and the entertainment factor is undeniable. Yet what do barking dogs and Star Wars really have to do with the German automobile company?
     Advertisers take full advantage of the hype surrounding the Super Bowl to create innovative, touching, and entertaining commercials. Companies will pay extraordinary amounts of money to ensure that their commercial is seen by the millions of viewers watching the game. After all, this one time of the year advertisers can assume that almost every single American is tuning in. What company wouldn’t want their product showcased at this time? It’s like a black Friday Christmas sale for advertisers. These companies want to bring attention to their product in anyway possible, even if that means their product isn’t even mentioned until the last three seconds.
     In the Volkswagen ad, the viewer is unaware of the association between Volkswagen and Star Wars until the very end. This proved to be a very strategic move on VW’s part. Last year, companies were able to monitor which commercials made the biggest impact on viewers via Twitter, FaceBook and other popular social platforms. They measured the ad’s success by the number of times it was mentioned in the digital realm and were able to realize what struck a chord with the vast audience. What once seemed to be a hail marry concept of integrating marketing, advertising, and social media, is now an easy field goal for the IMC commercial championship. Volkswagen is betting that we will remember how fond we were of last year’s Star Wars theme and associate those same feelings with their brand this year as well. You can’t go wrong with puppies and kids, right?
-Alexis Kapczynski, Kacy Cox, Sara Kaloudis, Josh Bowman

The Race to be First

Reporting any new information to the public can be risky, especially when it is a headlining topic.  As any social media expert, one should always make sure that the information they are providing the public is 100% accurate.  Any false information can put you and your company’s reputation at risk.

With overwhelming attention surrounding the football program at Penn State, every tweet, wall post and blog comment brings more and more Internet traffic to the school and community.  In a society that completely thrives and relies on Internet access, acquiring information has never been easier or faster.  Along with the ability to supply millions with information via Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, comes the responsibility to maintain an ethical mindset when sharing information.

Joe Paterno, the recently released Penn State head football coach who served for 42 years, passed away at 9:25 am this past Sunday. On Saturday night, several hours before Paterno’s death, Onward State, a student-run news organization, reported through a tweet that the community icon had passed. The Onward State managing editor, Devon Edwards claims the tweet was based on an email hoax and has since resigned.

It is shocking that a student organization (which presumably is more focused than professional organizations on performing tasks “by the book”) that is tied to an institution which has been so heavily shrouded in controversy recently, would fail to perform such a basic and necessary task as confirming information, especially when dealing with such an emotionally charged topic as the passing of Joe Paterno. Unfortunately, this is just the latest occurrence in what seems to be an ongoing problem with many forms of media.

Managing Editor of Onward State’s Apology

Will JoePa Rest In Peace?

Anyone who has been tuned into ESPN recently knows that Joe Paterno, “JoePa”, was the football coach at Penn State for 42 years, starting in 1966.  In the wake of a child abuse scandal centered around Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s former assistant coach, Paterno was fired this past November. He was the face of Penn State and his brand was ultimately tarnished due to the scandal. Some are concerned that his tainted brand will overshadow his lifelong legacy. Sadly, Joe Paterno passed away on January 22nd due to his battle with lung cancer making it impossible to mend his stained brand.

The media has been criticized for how they handled the situation regarding Joe Paterno; some even question if the media’s involvement aided in tarnishing his brand. The question is not whether the media has a legal right to report whatever they find newsworthy because the First Amendment guarantees that they do. The issue is how media managers should employ that freedom in their own decisions about what is ethical and professionally responsible. Some may view that the media took their interrogations too far by harassing Paterno at his home and accusing him of allegations before they even knew the whole story.

“The media jumped to the conclusion that Paterno was trying to cover up the scandal when it broke out.  Because his name is so iconic, linking his name to the scandal would attract more viewers on their websites as opposed to Sandusky… more has been written about Joe Paterno’s involvement than Sandusky in the media.” – Chris Moore, Penn State University Senior  

Is it ethical for the media to do whatever it takes to get the story out first even if it damages a man’s reputation beyond repair? On another note, people have a right to know what is going on in today’s world, so is doing whatever it takes to get the news as bad as it seems? Some argue that the media is just doing their job and presenting breaking news to the public. It was already too late for his reputation when the news came out that Paterno had told superiors about the issue in 2002. According to the Penn State Board of Trustees, their reasoning for terminating Paterno was partially based on his failing to uphold a moral responsibility to report allegations made in 2002 against Sandusky to authorities outside the university.

There is no question that Paterno let the victims, their families, and the university down by not pressing the issue with the police after he approached his superiors. In our opinion, Joe Paterno deserves to be remembered for who he was as a coach and as an individual; not as a man who was in over his head dealing with the worst scandal in his university’s history.

Kelsey Bendig, Brian Burch, Brooke Keller, Andrea Blanton

Alaska’s sweetheart or America’s nightmare?

Seeing as today is Presidents Day, where the nation comes together to honor our past great leaders, we see it fitting to look at the latest political figure and “reality superstar”, Sarah Palin.

This self-titled “maverick”, at first branded herself as a strong political influence with ties to family values, motherhood, main street U.S.A, and conservatism. After her failed run as Vice President during the 2008 Presidential election, she has since morphed into a celebrity.

With her daughter partaking in Dancing With the Stars, and herself being the star of TLC’S Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she has been capitalizing on her celebrity status with a book tour, speech engagements, and recently, Fox News contributor. Do politics even play a role in her brand anymore?

While her views haven’t changed about how the government should be run (if she even can even articulate her views without having to beat around the bush), she has basically destroyed her political brand. In several interviews, she has lost her credibility by not being able to answer simple political questions.

Here is an example of her failing to brand herself as a knowledgeable politician.

Below is a video of her dropping the ball in Politics 101.

According to The Huffington Post, her reality show received $1.2 million in tax credits, a third of what it took to film the series. While other series filmed in Alaska do take advantage of the tax credit, Palin’s show profited the most, angering many citizens. With her stance on outrageous government spending, it is odd that she would partake in something that takes advantage of government funding This further harms her political credibility because she is profiting off the government that she previously lead.

So what’s your take on her brand? Will this affect her future in politics, with a possible 2012 Presidential run? Is she still a positive political figure or simply a public nuisance?

-Allison Day, Jessica Berinson, Megan Canny, Melissa Gagliardi, Scott Burgess