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Monotasking Vs. Multitasking

18 Oct

In today’s high-tech, immersive society, “multitasking” has become B-I-G.  And many people frown on “monotasking.” But is this good? Can you really text and pay attention to your professor simultaneously? (LOL 🙂 )

According to study after study, no we can’t really multitask well. Here are four examples:

12 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Now!

Multitasking Is Killing Your Brain

Neuroscientists Say Multitasking Literally Drains the Energy Reserves of Your Brain

Why Humans Are Bad at Multitasking


Now consider these observations by Verena von Pfetten (a freelance writer, editor, and consultant with 10 years of digital publishing experience) for the New York Times:

“Stop what you’re doing. Well, keep reading. Just stop everything else that you’re doing. Mute your music. Turn off your television. Put down your sandwich and ignore that text message. While you’re at it, put your phone away entirely. (Unless you’re reading this on your phone. In which case, don’t. But the other rules still apply.) Just read. You are now monotasking.”

“Maybe this doesn’t feel like a big deal. Doing one thing at a time isn’t a new idea. Indeed, multitasking, that bulwark of anemic rĂ©sumĂ©s everywhere, has come under fire in recent years. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that interruptions as brief as two to three seconds — which is to say, less than the amount of time it would take you to toggle from this article to your E-mail and back again — were enough to double the number of errors participants made in an assigned task.”

“Monotasking is a 21st-century term for what your high school English teacher probably just called ‘paying attention.’ As much as people would like to believe otherwise, humans have finite neural resources that are depleted every time we switch between tasks, which, especially for those who work online, can happen upward of 400 times a day, according to a 2016 University of California, Irvine study.”

“The term ‘brain dead’ suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.”


Click the image to read more from von Pfetten.

Art by Andy Rash

Art by Andy Rash


Here Yesterday, Gone (OR Declining Today)

11 Oct

In the early 2000s, a number of new Web and social sites emerged. Despite a lot of hype, many of them did no hit expectations and/or are not as popular today. Here are some examples of the latter.

As reported by Clinton Nguyen for Business Insider:

“Much of the internet in the early 2000s was defined by Web sites that ushered people into a new age of social media and online entertainment. Take Friendster for example — the massively popular site became a household name before MySpace, and then Facebook overtook both of them as the most popular social network. Friendster is no longer in service, but plenty of the sites that defined the early 2000s are still around, albeit in somewhat different forms. Here’s what they’re doing now.”

  • “MySpace was massively popular in the mid-2000s, before Facebook came out. [It is now a shell of its former self in terms of popularity.] Like Facebook, every user had their own wall, where strangers and friends could post comments. The draw was customization.  MySpace has completely changed since then. The company rebranded and relaunched in 2013, with an emphasis on hitting catering to musicians and record labels. Unlike Facebook, users make “connections,” not friends, and radio stations and music videos are given the spotlight on the site.”

  • Live Journal was a haven for adolescent blogging in the late 2000s. The site became popular for having both personal blogs (which could be private or public) and “communities” where users could congregate to discuss their fandoms and pop culture obsessions. Today, the site retains much of the same look, including its popular discussion sections and blog layout. The front page now has a spots for promoted posts, which users can purchase by buying tokens with real money. Most of those spots are now occupied by gossip blogs, like ohnotheydidnt.”

  • “For a while, Xanga was also used as a blogging platform, mostly by high school students, though it faced competition from similar blogging services like LiveJournal and Blogger. It had many of the same features as its competitors: a blogging space, comments section, and a “props” feature (the 2000’s equivalent of a like). Today, user accounts don’t seem to exist on the site, and the homepage displays the development team’s last note, announcing server on Xanga 2.0, though that was posted in February 2015.”

  • “eBaum’s World became popular for posting viral videos, cartoon animations, and celebrity soundboards. People essentially visited the site for the same reason they’d visit other humor/game sites — to watch crudely animated Flash videos and to play with humorous soundbites cut from interviews. Today, the site publishes user-shared photo galleries and posts with embedded YouTube videos to garner traffic. Most of the videos come with one-sentence descriptions and slightly modified headlines, and photo galleries feature images and captions lifted from unattributed sources.”

  • “Ask Jeeves was a popular search engine before Google rose to the top. The site provided basic Web searches, but its real selling point was that users could pose questions in natural language (like, “What’s the weather today?” or “Has MSFT stock risen today?” etc). The service was notable for its butler mascot, Jeeves, but he was phased out in 2006 when the service became Jeeves was brought back to’s UK site for a brief moment in 2009. But today, he’s absent from all of Ask’s search engine sites.”

  • “Before Google became the world’s most popular search engine, AltaVista was a leading search engine of choice. The site featured many of the services Google offers now — Web, image, and video search options. It also featured channels with news about entertainment, travel, and more. But when you visit AltaVista today, you’re redirected to Yahoo Search. The site went through a number of hands before it was consolidated into Yahoo Search.”

Click on the image to read more from Nguyen.


Brands That Millennials Love

4 Oct

As we have noted before, Millennials represent a huge, demanding, and challenging consumer segment for marketers. With that in mind, let’s ask: What brands are doing best among Millennials?

Recently, Moosylvania — a company involved with branding, digital, and experiential (“Digital connectivity has changed the way we interact with one another – people no longer want to consume marketing, they want to participate in brands.”) asked more than 1,5000 Millennials to select their favorite brands. The findings are interesting and some rankings may be surprising!!

In describing the top five companies in the 2016 Moosylvania study, Mallory Schlossberg and Kate Taylor report the following for Business Insider. [Note: In their article, all 100 companies are described.]:

  1. Apple — “has a fanatical following, and many of its customers are Millennials. The company’s iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks, and Apple Watches are wildly popular. The company has a cultish following.”
  2. Target “owns the intersection of style and affordability. It has been giving its kids’ clothing business a makeover to be more stylish. The company also sells gender-neutral room decor and stopped labeling its toys by gender.”
  3. Nike — “When it comes to active wear — and apparel in general — Nike is the go-to brand. Nike has focused on incorporating top-tier technology into its clothing. It helps that it’s a massive retailer.”
  4. Sony — “is ready for innovation, from robots that can interact with humans to its wildly popular PlayStation.”
  5. Samsung — “Galaxy phones and tablets are extremely popular with Millennials. The brand’s Galaxy S6 smartphone received rave reviews. Tech Insider’s Steve Kovach said that Samsung’s designs have eclipsed those of competitor Apple.” [NOTE: The Moosylvania study and these comments preceded the problems that Samsung is now facing due to product safety issues. It’s unlikely that the firm would be ranked so highly today. Right?]

Click the image to see the top brands for Millennials, from 100 to 1.

Photo by Business Insider / Matt Johnston


Humanizing and Entertaining Ads

28 Sep

HubSpot recently identified 12 enjoyable video marketing campaigns: “What better medium to propel the new wave of humanized marketing than video? It’s one of the most effective media for marketers. Seventy-three percent of respondents in a 2015 Web Video Marketing Council study indicated that video had a positive impact on their marketing results.

Click here to see all of the campaigns cited by HubSpot (and to read why HubSpot selected these campaigns).
Below are videos from HubSpot’s 5 top-rated campaigns.






Great Video Brand Examples on Instagram

21 Sep

Instagram now has 500 million active users, and it is rapid pulling away from Twitter (whose user base has been rather stagnant). Instagram’s popularity has not gone unnoticed by brand marketers who have been posting pictures and videos in great numbers.

Recently, HubSpot wrote about some of the best video examples of brands using Instagram. According to  Lindsay Kolowich:

Remember when Instagram first started allowing users to post videos back in 2013? The first Instagram videos had to be recorded on your phone and could only be up to 15 seconds long. Those were the days that people compared Instagram video to its Twitter-owned counterpart, Vine. Instagram’s come a long way since then, and it’s blown Vine out of the water. Like most of the other popular social networks, the folks at Instagram have made changes to its platform that make it easier for people to post and share videos.”

“In late March 2016, Instagram announced it would start rolling out the ability for Instagram users to upload 60-second videos. For iOS users, it added that users would soon be able to make videos out of multiple clips from their camera rolls. Thanks to these changes, marketers can use the Instagram app to relate with their fans and customers, to communicate their business’ personalities and brand stories, and to express artistic creativity.”

Here are a few of the 17 brands cited by HubSpot. Click on their names to access their Instagram pages. The posts with video have a video camera in the upper right corner:


A Fun Infographic on Scheduling Daily Activities

7 Sep

How do we spend our time during the day? Do we plan these activities in advance? Are we obsessive about sticking to a schedule? Do we succeed in completing our activities every day?

Consider these observations from Jennifer Gueringer, writing for the NetCredit blog:

“From breakfast to bedtime, we are creatures of habit. For those of us with a more settled lifestyle, our schedules remain consistent from day to day for weeks on end. Chances are, though, your routine has taken shape without much forethought — or at least without the kind of scientific insight that can help to maximize energy levels, productivity, and happiness. If this is the case, it could be time to rewrite that schedule with more attention to how the time of day affects your body, your colleagues’ moods, and even the outlook for your dog.”

“If you like to ease yourself into the day, your new regime may take a bit of work. Exercising before breakfast has been shown to help with weight loss — and that doesn’t mean you can shove breakfast back to 11 A.M.! No, breakfast is a dish best served within an hour of waking if you want to kick-start your metabolism. If that’s all a bit of a shock to the system, you may want to check in on Twitter before you leave for work. Studies have shown that’s when the happiest tweets hit the press — a perfect post-workout pick-me-up.

Take a look at NetCredit’s infographic on “The Peak Time of Day for Everything You Do.” [It’s a little — ok, a lot — rigorous for me. 🙂 ]

Courtesy of: NetCredit


Nike’s “Unlimited You” Airs During Olympics Opening Ceremonies

5 Aug

Nike has been widely known as the “Just Do It” advertiser and the world leader of sports apparel and equipment — but soon not in golf equipment.

In the past, it was also an “ambush marketer” (not an official sponsor, but one who tried to appear as one) at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Noel Young reported then that:

“It was one of the most prominent non-sponsors of the Olympics – yet Nike managed to hi-jack the greatest show on earth with an amazing yellow-green neon shoe. The man behind the Volt Shoe was Martin Lotti. The shoe is described in an Ad Age cover story: ‘The beautifully crafted, incandescent kicks that whizzed by on the feet of 400 Olympic athletes, including USA’s Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee, Great Britain’s Mo Farah, and France’s Renaud Lavillenie.'”


For the 2016 Rio Summer Games, Nike is an official sponsor — paying millions of dollars for this privilege.  And to kick off its Olympics advertising, Nike is running the extended-length “Unlimited You” ad shown below during the Opening Ceremonies on August 5.

As Ann-Christine Diaz reports for Advertising Age:

“Nike goes way beyond ‘Just Do It’ in a new spot airing during the Rio Olympics opening ceremony that depicts athletes both unknown and famous in a real-meets-unreal spectacular. The Olympics spot, ‘Unlimited You,’ picks up in the crib of a baby and then onto scenes of athletes struggling on the small stage — an amateur golfer, a young tennis player, a toddler playing basketball in his living room. ‘Star Wars: Force Awakens’ actor Oscar Isaac provides the voice-over, predicting that these folks aren’t going to be newbies forever. ‘All of these athletes are terrible now, but they’ll all do big things one day,’ he says.”



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