Digital Marketing News Weekly Roundup

Obama on RedditObama breaks Reddit, Samsung triumphs over Apple, Facebook EdgeRank Pro Tips, U.S. Open for Nerds, Salespeople Stalk on LinkedIn.

Digital Culture & Communities
President Obama
holds live Q&A with Reddit community via “Ask Me Anything (AMA),” breaking records and crashing the site temporarily. Get the stats from Reddit > or Read the story on CNET >

Digital Platforms & Devices
After $1 billion ruling against Samsung in the U.S., a Japanese court rejects Apple’s patent claim over iPad and iPhone designs. Read the New York Times story >

Digital Creative, Content & Relevancy
Boost your Facebook Edgerank (the news feed relevancy algorithm) through photos, albums, more text, out of network promotion and post targeting. Read the article on Mashable >

IBM U.S. Open iPad App

Digital Analytics & Apps
gives U.S. Open tennis fans the whole enchilada of data, partners with United States Tennis Association (USTA) to deliver cross-device stats and tweets. Read the ZDNet article >

Digital Media & Sales
Emerging social media channels (heh, are they really emerging anymore?) are changing the way digital salespeople peddle their wares. Read the iMedia Connection blog post >

Show & Tell: Just Call Me Steve (Jobs)

Whether you were an Apple hipster or technopleb, the reveal of the iPhone 4 with FaceTime on June 7, 2010 changed the way we viewed mobile communication. Watch the video >

In the palm of his hand, Steve Jobs held a “future” technology, once reserved for the likes of Marty McFly and generations to come: the world’s first real-time video cell phone. Or was it…

Introducing vFōn, the World’s First Real-Time Mobile Video Phone

vFon concept JonBeebe

April 2004 vFōn print ad mockup, complete with a pre-Catwoman Halle Berry as spokesperson and light innuendo.

Digging through my personal digital archives, I stumbled upon this college project from April 2004, which I completed as coursework for “Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs.” Yes, I went back to school a little later than some.

The assignment? Create, design and develop a product or service, then produce a strategic marketing plan to turn your vision into reality.

Having consulted for a number of years prior to attending college, and being known as a “Photoshop Gawd” in online communities, I had a clear advantage over my classmates. While they spent hours drawing stick figures or cutting photos from magazines, I developed my digital prototype and marketing collateral from scratch, using a few images I snagged online and a now prehistoric version of Photoshop.

My product? I developed FaceTime before iPhone existed.  Don’t you just love the dime-sized front-facing camera?

Check out an excerpt from the 2004 strategy document:

With vFōn, you can communicate face-to-face with coworkers, friends, or family.  Take high quality pictures, videos, or simply chat one-on-one, captured by a live-camera.  Whether you are on vacation and want to see a familiar face, or want to demonstrate your latest Elvis impersonation to your Aunt Beulah, vFōn technology can transmit the data in real-time.  The result?  Communication perfected.

It even sounds like an Apple product.  Later in the document, I explore the core target for the product:

The vFōn market primarily consists of young, urban individuals…The vFōn demographic, being technologically savvy and future-forward thinkers, may view the video phone technology as a necessity.  Given the fact that vFōn is the first of its kind, its novelty may appeal to many consumers.  The sleek design, futuristic image, and new technology of vFōn easily separate it from competitors.

While I received an “A” on the assignment, I’ve been sorely tempted to send my friends at Apple an invoice. I’ll waive the usual consulting fees in return for stock options and royalties. Heh.

Check out samples from the project’s final presentation. I hope you enjoy the cringe-worthy print ad write-up. Yeesh.

vFon concept introductionAnatomy of vFon conceptvFon product concept

Stride Gum Launches Mintacular, Now with Long-Lasting Apple Flavor

Mintacular GumStride gum, the brand synonymous with… Erhm… Are they really synonymous with anything in particular? …Stride gum recently launched a satirical campaign, parodying Apple’s iconic approach to advertising. The mockumentary, featuring Olympic gold medalist Sean White, is both hilarious and delicious.

My Take
With Christopher Guest-like charm and nuance, the Mintacular campaign manages to both revere and poke fun at Apple’s almost religious approach to its products and marketing. Better yet, it portrays itself as fun, dry, sarcastic, witty and scrappy. And, for me, that works. If only it were gluten free.

In the hands of digital marketers, Parody and Satire can be tools to rewire consumer thinking and jumpstart brand conversations. See another brand’s fuel tank topped off with high awareness, opinion or consideration? Parody can help you siphon shamelessly.

Read how Stride pre-launched the campaign, and its future plans in The New York Times article >;