Augmented reality is still mostly a novelty to many. Yet immersive AR has the potential to surpass the user experience of all other media including print, television and even online.20181031_195250

For some, the newness of this medium will wear off, and sophisticated marketers will find better ways to connect and engage with target audiences.

I am a longtime critic of wine labels. There is too much emphasis on the wine-label design and not enough on meeting the utilitarian needs of wine buyers.

Phantom Wine found a way to engage wine buyers with an AR experience tied to the wine label. The AR creates a deeper, more participatory experience. The entire family wanted to try the AR experience with their phones and iPads. Who knew how engaged everyone could be with a simple wine label?

The wine wasn’t too bad either.

For most, an event sponsorship means you will get lost in a sea of logos or a laundry list of names. Having your name slapped on a poster, banner or brochure cover are not enough.20181116_114742

Today, event sponsorships need to be strategized just like a media buy. Sure, some sponorships are just contributions, but it time to optimize your investment. At a minimum you need to negotiate how you will presented as a sponsor of the organization.

I attended the Go Red for Women event in Cedar Rapids and I saw an event sponsor that got all the best flavor for this new era of  sponsorships.  Meth-Wick Community had a prominent position at every place setting. And even though some people ate the sponosorship logo, it was real positive engagement with nearly every person who attended. Best of all you could clearly read the logo and name. No confusion.

An event sponsorship is an investment, so make sure you optimize your sponsorship investment. Treat you sponsorship like a marketing media buy.

It looks like a regular vending machine. But instead of getting chips and candy bars, you give to charities helping the community and around the world.giving machine

While traveling to Gilbert, Arizona for the holidays, I stumbled across The Giving Machine. When I first saw the machine, there was a line of people waiting to make a selection and a contribution.  You can give baby supplies, holiday meals, winter boots, chickens, goats and pajamas.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsor the Giving Machine so that 100% of the money can go to the causes (and charities) people select.

Is it a new fundraising gimmick? Of course it is: It makes giving fun and more like buying a present. And anything that does this much good (in Salt Lake City the machine raising $500,000) can’t be all bad.


I love the concept–it might replace bell ringers–but the true secret is not the machine. It is the people who volunteered to stand at the machine and those who spread out around downtown Gilbert encouraging people to visit the Giving Machine. The sales people made the machine successful. Just like any great idea, if you build it and sell it, they will come.

Sorry for the clickbait headline. However, you will not read this blog if I published it over the next few weeks. After doing more than 9 years of blogging, I know the lowest readership is during the last three weeks of December.Please stand by

Unlike broadcast TV, I’m able to go dark when readership is at its lowest. So enjoy the holidays. If you really want to read some blogs, I have more than 900 in the history. They are each about a minute long. So it will take you 15 hours to read them all.

Happy holidays. See you in 2019.

We’re all amazed as Amazon ventures from online-only to brick-and-mortar stores. Even more surprising is that pop-up shops, the realm once dominated by flashing lighted T-shirts and cell phones, is becoming a prized brand tool. Classic coffee car

Adweek declared pop-up shops a legitimate “experiential brand extension.” Typical pop-up shops were controlled by malls, airports and farmers markets, but now the pop-up store has been disrupted.

You can find pop-ups whenever and wherever people congregate. Large brands are using the new pop-up concept inside of existing stores or at events and attractions. Any brand needing a brand pump-up is finding pop-ups a way to recharge the social media discussion. It also helps brands actively reach out to people who may not be familiar with the brand or see it in their social media feeds.

It’s also a great way to have people engage with your brand in an authentic way, by providing research or involving people in the decision-making process.

You can put up an Instagram booth, but the new age of pop-ups is true street-level marketing that drives branding and experiential, personal marketing.

This is my 9th year of blogging. You would think I would run out of things to say. But just wait …Anniversary invitation design, vector design birthday celebration with colorful geometric pattern

Here’s what’s coming for Year 10:

  • Our digital team tells me that Facebook, Google and other new media are making weekly changes in how we utilize the media.
  • Video digital displays are getting lighter and more flexible. Soon you can wrap a post with a video screen.
  • Miniaturization of video equipment, video displays are disrupting the industry.
  • Digital billboards have not been optimized. Billboard companies still treat them like poster boards.
  • TV shows are going to be everywhere and produced by everyone. Netflix buying a production house is just the start.
  • Clutter is growing.
  • Storytelling is changing.
  • Independent manufacturing sales reps are disappearing.
  • Autonomous cars.
  • Digital stars like WebMD publish traditional magazines.
  • Nonprofits changing to digital orientation.

Yes, there is plenty enough for another year. Stay tuned.

You may or may not know that Google is scoring your websites, landing pages and ads. I’ve written about Google’s Quality Scores and its importance to lower cost and higher engagement. Now there is a new score available for all to see. Google recommendations

In Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords), there is a new tool that scores your ad campaign’s optimization. It grades your ads on a percentage score from 1 to 100. The feature says it is in BETA, but it is now available to most users.

The score is calculated by bid strategy, keywords, targeting and a list of other issues and “trends in the ads ecosystem.” Google then offers recommendations so you can achieve your campaign’s highest score.  You can accept Google’s recommendation and apply the recommendation to your buy. However, not all Google recommendations will completely optimize your buy and ads.  One recommendation that might be shown is “Increase your budget.” Every media outlet would like to offer that recommendation.

The optimization score represents Google’s evaluation of your buy. Google is doing this because it wants your ads to perform at their full potential. This is just one more measure to help enhance your ads in the Google universe.