Monthly Archives: May 2015

Warm Search Engine in Iceland


Forget about talking to Siri and all the computer-generated voices and search engines that surround us. Those are impersonal, cold, and devoid of personality. None of these things can be said of Iceland’s new search engine – mostly because it is a real life human who is helping out and answering queries.

The campaign was developed for Iceland’s tourism campaign, and the seven people who are the search engine are all named “Guomundur,” one of Icelanders’ favorite names. All of the Guomundurs offer advice, knowledge, local secrets, and tales of Iceland. The campaign makes heavy use of social media and gives a realistic voice to nation, hopefully encouraging tourism to the land.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of social media in marketing campaigns.
  2. Poll students: What companies and products do they follow on social media? What is intriguing about these companies.
  3. Show the video:

  1. Bring up the Web site:
  2. Have students select a country visit a tourist Web site for the country, and develop ways for the country to better use social media tactics.


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Social Mission – Certified B Corps.


Many companies state that they are socially and environmentally responsible, but it can be difficult for consumers to know that these statements are actively enforced. There has historically been a distinct lack of transparency of about social responsibility. However, this is slowly but surely changing with the adoption by many companies of Certified B Corporations standards.

More than 1,200 companies in 41 countries and 120 industries have become Certified B Corps, voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. In short, these organizations work to be the “best for the world.”

Companies are certified by the non-profit B Lab. For companies to earn the designation, they must score points on a lengthy questionnaire that includes topics such as diversity of executive ranks, pay for the lowest-paid employee, and companywide recycling programs. Notable companies earning the certification include Etsy, Patagonia, Warby Parker, Plum Organics, and Ben & Jerry’s. Check it out – be the change.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of corporate social responsibility. What are essential components?
  2. Before showing the Web site for B Labs, divide students into teams and have them identify companies that they think act in a socially responsible manner. Do they patronize these businesses?
  3. Show the Web site: There are various videos and information on the site.
  4. Have student teams analyze the information. Then, using this information, develop a business plan that meet the certification criteria.

Source: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, other news sources

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Viral Videos – May, 2015


Every week Advertising Age, in conjunction with company Visible Measures, publishes a list of the week’s top performing videos. At the top of the chart is Adidas with its “Take It” campaign, followed by Dove with the latest video in its “Real Beauty” campaign. The weekly chart highlights viral video ads that appear on online video sites. Each ad measures viewership of brand-syndicated video clips as well as social video placements that are driven by viewers around the world. True Reach™ quantifies the total audience that has been exposed to a viral video campaign. There are three key factors for viral video success:

  1. Reaching the tastemakers.
  2. Building a community of participation.
  3. Creating unexpectedness in the video.

Regardless of the type of product or service, the country of origin, or the importance of the message, what matters is reaching the audience in a way the both entertains and informs.

Check out this week’s top videos and discuss what makes them “go viral.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Ad Age’s weekly Viral Video chart:
  2. Have students examine how the ads are measured by Visible Measures.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ad on the top video chart and analyze the ad.
  4. What is unusual?
  5. Who will it interest?
  6. What is the key message?
  7. How effective is the ad at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  8. In teams, have students design a viral video for a product of their choosing. What are the elements that are needed to go viral?

Source: Advertising Age, Visible Measures – weekly update

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