Category: bk Opinions

09 Jun 2016

Taking the ‘Insta’ Out of Instagram

Instagram’sInstagram Not So Insta Anymore not so “instant” any more. Soon, if not already, your Instagram newsfeed will become scrambled – out of chronological order – based on your interactions on the photo-sharing platform.

As announced in March, starting soon, the posts you see will be determined by Instagram’s new algorithm, which takes into account which users you’ve Liked, Shared or Commented on.

Some Instagrammers are up in arms, even before the feature gets its wide release. Users have become accustomed to scrolling through a literal timeline, liking, sharing and commenting along the way, to the first image they recognize from their last session, thus knowing that they’ve seen all the posts from the people they follow.

Brands, worried that their organic posts will no longer be seen by users who don’t scroll down far enough, have encouraged users to turn on notifications. That’s a clunky solution because nobody wants to get a notification every time a brand posts something.

To wit: In the ramp up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I got caught up in the frenzy and turned on notifications for posts from the official Star Wars Instagram account. That didn’t last long. I was soon being driven crazy by alerts (especially since they show up on my watch), reaching a crescendo on the night of the red carpet premier. This is sort of a big deal because it’s me. And Star Wars. There’s no greater love between human and brand than between me and Star Wars.

So, no – the solution is not to turn on alerts so you don’t miss a brand’s Insta post. Instagram’s numbers show that posts in newsfeeds that have the algorithm turned on have seen higher engagements. But, of course, those users are being served posts from other users with whom they’ve already had interactions, or tend to interact with more. Which is  the way this is supposed to work.

This change means that Instagram is no longer the even playing field it used to be. I’ll no longer see posts from Star Wars and Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco keyboardist and amateur photographer) alongside that guy who I’ve forgotten why I followed ages ago. His (very) occasional gems will be buried further down.

Facebook and Twitter have already long ago implemented similar algorithms to serve up content that those platforms think you want to see. The lesson we learned from those changes is the lesson we will have to learn from Instagram’s change:

Content Matters

Develop better content for the platform and you’ll have more interactions on your post. Then you’ll be served up higher in followers’ newsfeeds. This applies to individuals who want the ego boost of more likes and shares, but it more importantly applies to brands who need to up their game to stay relevant to their followers.

It also means (and who couldn’t see this coming?) paid advertising will be more and more important to brands wanting to get noticed on Instagram. Facebook, Instagram’s owner, already makes it super easy to launch a standalone ad or one that’s part of a Facebook campaign (you have to set up your Instagram campaign using Facebook anyway). Now that your post runs the risk of being pushed further down a user’s timeline, paying to push it to them when they open the app is the best way to guarantee your post is seen.

What does this mean to you as a brand? Develop the best, most engaging content you can, post consistently and budget for paid social advertising. If you need help with any of those three prongs, bloomfield knoble (bloomfieldknoble on Instagram) is always here to help.

Oh, and by all means, follow jeffcarrington on Instagram, and turn on alerts for my account.


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

 

27 May 2016
brd-moody-graphic

Twitter Character Count: Much A-Twitter About Nothing?

Wiser words were never said.
Wiser words were never said.

Make no mistake, Twitter is my favorite social network. Facebook feels like a guilty pleasure (why am I stalking friends while they’re on vacation?). LinkedIn is, frankly, a snooze. And I’m not enough of a shutterbug to get a lot of use out of Instagram or Snapchat. Twitter is just more … useful.

I get news, traffic, jokes, updates from organizations I’m involved with and little glimpses into (but not full-on photo essays on) the lives of friends. I find it’s the first place I go for breaking news nationally or locally. I’m just more likely to find what’s really going on, in real time, on Twitter than from a news outlet. When a temblor hits Irving, the first place I look to is my “Irving Earthquake” search term newsfeed to see if it was really a quake and verify the magnitude.

So you’d think I’d be more excited about the changes coming to the character limit than I am.

To catch you up – in a recent blog, Twitter announced the following:

“In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters. Here’s what will change:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
  • Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the “.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.”

The big news here is the fact that attachments like images, videos, GIFs, polls and quote tweets no longer count as 24 characters. This is all well and good, and I’m happy to have the additional real estate to compose my thoughts. It seems more straightforward than trying to do math when planning to insert an image or video (ask anyone – nothing causes a dark cloud to creep over my face more than math).

But it’s not a game changer. I think individuals trying to compose a clever thought or update will get the most use out of the extra characters. But for companies who have been building their audience and engagement and adhering to best practices, this should have little impact.

Basically it boils down to brevity. The goal has always been to keep Tweets as short as possible. According to Twitter’s own research (via Buddy Media) Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate, so why would you want to go longer? Just because you have the extra space isn’t a reason to make your Tweets longer.

This change will only be a boon to the longwinded individual user who can now use the full 140 characters and still share the cat GIF they found on Reddit.

As they’ve done in the past with changes to the platform, Twitter may release a corresponding paid promotional feature that takes advantage of the new character count. That will certainly be something that bloomfield knoble will be watching out for, to consider for brands doing paid advertising. For now though, don’t look for brands to start telling you to buy their product or service using 24 additional characters.

 


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

29 Apr 2016

About Snapchat – It’s Not Just Sexting Anymore

Snapchat_Logo

At this point, who hasn’t heard of Snapchat? The popular photo-sharing app has become so ubiquitous that it can even advertise itself without saying a word. If you’re over 30, while you’ve heard of it, you probably don’t completely understand it.

I’m over 30 too, and I don’t blame you. If you’ve tried to use it, you know the user interface begs for a seasoned user to give you a lesson. Think teens at a lunchtable or in the library showing each other how it works and what a swipe or icon means. As adults with careers, we tend to figure things out on our own, not huddled over our iPhones with friends.

This definitely isn’t the cool-kids table, but gather ‘round and get a Snapchat briefing for the over-30 crowd.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a photo and video sharing mobile app. It launched in 2011 and because of the feature that deletes photos from the recipient’s phone after up to 10 seconds, it became infamous as a sexting app for teens. Today, that stigma is gone – photos can be accessed longer via the Story feature and the company has made moves to attract brands, further “maturing” its image.

Usage

200 million users

Over 100 million daily users

800 million photos and videos shared every day

Six in 10 people age 13 – 35 use Snapchat

12% of daily users are age 35 – 54

Usage in all age groups is growing

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 2.11.42 PM
An example of Snapchat’s customization features. You can also write or draw on photos.

Photo and Video Sharing

Snapchat’s core functionality is sharing content immediately, with the ability to add captions, emojis, frames or “lenses” directly to the image. Its differentiator is that the photos disappear from the recipient’s device after up to 10 seconds (the sender determines the length of time).

Stories

Another feature is the SnapChat Story, which was added after the app caught on. Users can select the option for a photo to be moved to their “Story,” which allows their followers to view that image alongside all their story images – for the next 24 hours.

The Story feature is the primary way brands engage with Snapchat. It’s also the primary way I’ve found to enjoy the app. I don’t have much reason to post pictures for my friends that only last 10 seconds. Unless they’re of my dog, of course.

Discover

The Discover home screen.
The Discover home screen.

Snapchat highlights 20 content publishers in their Discover section. Hand-selected by Snapchat (making a spot in the Discover section highly coveted), these brands are able to post content that users can scroll through – images with headlines/captions and the ability to swipe up for more to the story. These are not advertisements, but rather news/lifestyle posts.

Examples: CNN posts news images and headlines with the rest of the story in the swipe below. Food Network posts videos and images of food with the recipe below.

I’ve used this feature the most, and gotten the most enjoyment out of it. I love my friends, but the latest news from Syria trumps their latest picture with a racooon face lens or showing off a cookie shaped like a Wookiee. (I loved those, Sam, but c’mon – Syria.)

How Does Snapchat Make Money?

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 2.01.08 PM
Snapchat sponsored lenses

Sponsored Lenses – This feature allows users to take a picture or video of themselves and add different animated, branded filters to the shot. 20th Century Fox was the first, allowing animated selfie features with Peanuts characters to promote “The Peanuts Movie” last Fall.

User Base Reach – Snapchat also charges between $450,000 and $750,000 per post for a brand to reach the app’s entire user base. Peak days like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are priced at the upper end of that spectrum, while normal days can vary.

Should You Use It?

Snapchat still appeals primarily to a younger audience, but as with Facebook and Twitter, the trend is that older users are logging on.

The benefit to posting on Snapchat is the immediacy and connectivity. Because content is gone in 24 hours, users tend to be more attentive and engaged with Snapchat content than other platforms.

From a personal standpoint, even for a 30+ user, there are some interesting and fun ways to use it. I have a lot of young friends, and I make a living working with social media apps and promotions, so I have a really good reason to use it. But if you don’t know anyone else on it, there’s not much point from a personal use perspective unless you want to be on the vanguard of your group of over-30 friends.

If you’re looking for the next platform to leverage your brand, you definitely need to look at who your target audience is and how you want to communicate with them. Large brands from McDonald’s to General Electric to Sour Patch Kids have been active users with interesting campaigns using Snapchat’s unique features and young-skewing audience. A financial services company is probably wasting their time – for now. But give it a few years and you just might need to know how to engage Snapchat users because that’s where your target audience will be.

As we like to say around here at bloomfield knoble, fish where the fish are. The best reason to adopt a new social platform is because your target audience is already there. But don’t waste your efforts in a pond that doesn’t have the fish you want.

And that’s the bell. Put your phones up. See you in class.

 


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

14 Jan 2016

The bk ‘We Care’ Campaign Launches for 2016

The Special Olympics is bk's longest running We Care program.
The Special Olympics is bk’s longest running We Care program.

I know, I know. The year just ended and you were barraged with social media messages about holiday charitable support from seemingly every company in the U.S. Holiday charitable support now seems as ubiquitous to the holiday season as “Holiday Sales Events” (kill me).

At that time of year we, bloomfield knoble (bk), may appear to be callous or indifferent to charitable support. The fact is, we provide support year-round. So by December we are wrapping up our 12-months of work and readying for the new year of support. Like everything, we kind of over achieve. It’s in our nature.

If you are not familiar, the bk “We Care” program consists of our choosing 12 charitable organizations each January. We provide financial support to all of them in January, then we spotlight one each month of the year to provide pro bono social media support or hands-on volunteerism by the bk staff. Most of the organizations have been supported by bk for years. However, we do try to add in new worthy causes each year. For instance, this month, we are spotlighting the Special Olympics of Texas. This is the 18th year we have provided support to the Special Olympics. It was the original organization we chose when we founded this agency and we hold that group very close to our hearts.

Last year I finally made the effort to explain why we let you know that we support charities. Here is that blog Why bk is Telling You We Support Charities. Therefore, I won’t go into that again. But I do reiterate that providing support for organizations year-round is better than checking it off a list once each winter.

It is wonderful that people think of charitable efforts during the holiday season. But making a difference means committing to some heavy lifting all year long. Since we focus on several human/civil rights organizations and environmental groups, we know they need support every day in any way they can get it. Therefore, we encourage our peers and colleagues in the industry to adopt this approach. It is actually less effort and more meaningful than just writing a check at the end of the year.

Further, while there is nothing wrong with supporting one group at the end of the year, we would urge you to consider sharing the wealth and expanding your support.

As an agency, we have found that our focusing each month on a different cause or group allows us to include every one in the office. Some people may not be much of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) supporter (I am, however). However, they may really be into pandas, so the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gets them more involved and jazzed to support that month.

bk Partner Chris Weatherley's We Care organization of choice is the Coastal Conservation Association.
bk Partner Chris Weatherley’s We Care organization of choice is the Coastal Conservation Association.

It’s about inclusiveness and maximizing the impact we make. Just because our creative director/agency partner, Chris Weatherley, is really into the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), doesn’t mean that Thomas Thompson, our lead strategist is. In fact, I think Thom prefers the Electronics Take Back Coalition to any outdoor activity we might support.

The point I am making is that in order to make an impact we have to get people involved. As a top advertising agency based in Dallas, TX, we simply applied the same tactics to our internal charitable support as we do to client advertising planning campaigns – reach people where and when they are most interested. Limiting one’s reach to one group minimizes interest with your potential participants. As with any marketing effort, we activate the target audience through compelling content that drives them to take an action. It’s advertising 101, really.

So follow us through social media  and support our “We Care” campaign throughout this year. Take note as we implement our social media editorial calendar and support a different organization each month by highlighting the volunteerism in our office, as well as general support of the organizations’ own outreach and awareness efforts.

Then, why not join bk and change up your support format from a holiday theme to a dedicated annual effort? We could all use your help.

Thank you for your support – Eric J Hirschhorn, partner, the bloomfield knoble Advertising Agency


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

13 Nov 2015
Google Cardboard

Behold Google Cardboard

I struggled to find time to write this blog  – not because I’m too busy at work, but because I’ve been too busy playing with Google Cardboard.

I had heard about Google Cardboard, but I’ve been more interested in Oculus Rift and similar devices and hadn’t given it much thought. Then, much to my surprise, I received a pair (set, maybe? not sure what the accepted term is just yet) courtesy of the New York Times. The pair (that’s what I’m going with) came with my subscription courtesy of GE in Sunday’s paper. Although I was surprised it was included with the paper, the box was clearly marked, so I was quickly aware of what it was. It was in its own packaging and it only took a few minutes to unfold (assemble). An instruction card directed me to download the NY Times virtual reality app (the URL is also printed on the side of the cardboard). The VR app installed quickly and then I was instructed to put my iPhone into the cardboard and enjoy.

Now, just in case you’ve never heard about it, Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google for use with a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone. It is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and VR applications.

GoogleCardboard
Jeff exploring VR with Google Cardboard

Here is my takeaway both personally and professionally. Personally, totally dig it. The device itself is, indeed, cardboard, but feels quite sturdy. I’ve used mine quite a bit and while I am generally careful with it, haven’t had any issues with it at all. I didn’t have any concerns about inserting my phone – it feels like it’s held securely – and although I need glasses to see up close, the screen seems in focus. I’m familiar with VR (I’ve written about it before), but hadn’t experienced it via my phone. The VR itself was excellent, but I recognized pretty quickly that this is because of the content. The NY Times had excellent content – both in subject matter and production – available the day I downloaded it. Their app focuses on news stories delivered via immersive video and audio. They brilliantly had a wide range of subjects which enabled me to both watch content that was relevant to me, but also waste time just checking out the different options. I also used it to view an ad – just to continue enjoying the experience.

This wasn’t just my take either – my family all found it cool as did people here at bloomfield knoble.

I think what the NY Times did was an excellent promotional use and one that could be repeated across brands and platforms, with the following challenges:

  • It worked because it was delivered to me. If I had to fill out a form or pay for it, I probably wouldn’t have messed with it. I think it’s an excellent promotional handout or direct mail device.
  • It was new to me, so I downloaded the app to play with it, but I’m not motivated to download a bunch of other apps to use it. This is actually really good news for the NY Times, because they made me loyal to their app – so anytime I want to show it off or mess around with it, I use their app.
  • It’s all about the content. The NY Times content is excellent and also being freshened. If this came with 1 piece of content, I would have tossed it once I got bored. If this were to be used for promotional purposes, it would either have to be a one-off (which is fine sometimes), or it will have to be supported by ongoing content (also fine sometimes).
  • It’s still just cardboard. I’m being pretty careful with it now, but because I have no economic value associated with it, I am going to put it in a drawer and it will get damaged or broken. It’s like the cheap pair of sunglasses – you toss those around, but are careful with the pair that cost you money.
  • I’m not trained (yet… maybe never). I’m just not sure that I need to get my news via VR. I think that this is more of a content issue, because I might train myself to check the app regularly if it’s something that is experienced much better in VR – like the Royals victory parade, for example. That would be cool. If I know once a week or so that there will be something that is entertaining – I’ll start using it more. For now, just getting news stories, no matter how well done, doesn’t motivate me to regularly check the app.

Now, having said all that, it’s still a job really well done. More than half the battle is getting people to engage with a promotion – in whatever form – and the fact that I took time to assemble the unit, download the app, use the app and then share the experience is the very definition of a successful marketing campaign. And while it sits unused on my desk, it is still on my desk and the app is on my phone.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

21 May 2015
Chicken farmers are under the thumb of an evil poetry empire.

For Too Many Farmers, American Serfdom Is Alive and Well

Chicken farmers are under the thumb of an evil poultry empire.

Want to read this blog?
Well, you can’t . . . unless you first read these backgrounders and references:
From the Huffington Post
From SustainableAgriculture.com
From the website of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
From Poynter

It is my personal opinion, and not that of the representative bloomfield knoble corporation, that the media revolution started by John Stewart and his Daily Show cohorts has been a boon to American society. It is also my opinion that “watchdog” journalism has been destroyed through a combination of greed, special interests and egoism. Some of my cohorts of readers may be aware that I started my career as a journalist. My truly devoted fans also know that I left that industry in disgust after reading a lead story in the Dallas Morning News. The editorial reporting was so indicative of the Belo Corporation politics that I deemed the industry no longer worthy of my efforts and journalistic moral code.

Therefore, I now get my “in-depth” news from shows like the Daily Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and (previously) from The Colbert Report:(. Yes, I do realize the possible irony and admitted stupidity inherent in that statement. So save your finger wagging for another time when I get on my high horse.

Anyway, what drove me as a journalist was the duty to shine a light into the dark shadows to expose wrong doings. You know, that whole “Watchdog Journalism” thing that is now called “whistle-blowing.” (Jeez, give me a freakin’ break.) Anyway, that is why I like the aforementioned shows. They live to expose – in half hour to 1 hour increments – what they can, when they can, however they can. Furthermore, they do so because it is fun and right. My same motivations as a young journalist.

In particular, I am attracted to stories that expose corporate hegemony and abuses. This happens almost daily, so it is hard to follow up on the many ways corporations seek to exploit humanity. However, I don’t blame the corporations for trying to exploit us. After all, they are the literal representation of the metaphorical scorpion in the Aesop-like tale of the Scorpion and the Fox (or frog, or turtle, or farmer and snake). It is in the nature of a corporation to exploit the masses for gains.

What pisses me off to no end is when our government representatives not only shirk their duties to protect their citizens, but the shirking is done due to graft. Politicians that accept financial reward to betray their electorate have a special, cold place in Hell. Now, add a representative fighting the turn coat representatives and now you have my full interest.

So that brings me to the story John Oliver brought to light on Sunday. This was not the first time the story was reported. In fact, it has been an ongoing issue for years. All he did was use his platform to expose something he knew would make us all feel dirty, since we all love to eat chicken. Here is the gist of the story:

Giant, evil chicken corporations – Perdue, Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms – are turning American farmers into serfs, by and large. They put all the expense on the farmers, control when and how they receive opportunities to raise the chickens, but never allow the farmers to own the chickens. Any complaints or whistleblowing by the farmers results in the evil chicken corporations punishing them by giving them underperforming chickens (see the piece to understand this) or outright stop using them, driving them to bankruptcy. In at least one case, it drove one good farmer to commit suicide.

Of course, the evil chicken corporations first enmesh the farmers into buying expensive equipment by promising large contracts, which the farmers use to go to banks to take out exorbitant loans. Then the evil chicken corporations use that loan against them, threatening to not provide work or lower their numbers if they make any noise or grumble. This leaves these good American farmers at or below the poverty line. Disgusting.

See the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=95&v=X9wHzt6gBgI

Okay, okay. You’re thinking I’m a bleeding liberal. Or worse, you are thinking I am not doing my due diligence as a journalist or an informed citizen and taking time to read the other side of this story, the defense presented by the evil chicken corporations. Why should I? It’s the time of knee jerk reactions and believe whatever you read on the Internet, right? Well, truth is, I am a sucker for John Oliver and his ilk. I believe the show’s staff and their ability to fact check just as I once trusted the NY Times and the Dallas Morning News.

Plus, this is a great opportunity to explain what serfdom was and why it is alive and well in America.

Historians generally concur that Western medieval forms of serfdom were abolished during the 19th century following the Napoleonic invasions in Europe. The last country to have officially abolished it was Russia in 1861. At least, that is what the history books might have us believe, depending on who writes your history.

Here is the actual definition:

Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism. It was a condition of bondage which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.

Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the Lord of the Manor who owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were often required not only to work on the lord’s fields, but also his mines, forests and roads. The manor formed the basic unit of feudal society and the Lord of the Manor and his serfs were bound legally, economically, and socially. Serfs formed the lowest social class of feudal society.

So get on board with us. Look up Representative Marcy Kaptur and let those representatives know what you think of evil chicken corporations abusing American farmers. Or, join the ranks of the chicken f*****g congressmen and look the other way when you buy your chicken. Guilty? Not you, right? You just like chicken.

Illustration by Jeff Carrington


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

 

14 Apr 2015
US pride is not hard to define or find examples of.

bloomfield knoble Leads America

Hyperbole? Shock value headline? Sure. The fact is, though, I mean it. My outlandish headline applies not only to bk, but to numerous other privately-owned U.S. companies ranging from small family restaurants to lawn care services that deliver their goods everyday with PRIDE.

I am sickened by the lack of pride I see on display daily in too many American businesses. You walk into a restaurant and there are dirty tables everywhere and crap all over the floors. Yet the folks that work there are on their phones or just hiding in the kitchen.

Have you walked into a Staples, Target, Best Buy or other major retailer lately? Talk about lack of pride or service. It’s like walking into the place where dreams go to die.

My wife got me thinking about this last Christmas as we returned home from Cabo after a family vacation. It’s our favorite spot to vacation not just because of the beauty, beaches and adventure, but because the people make it near perfect; they take pride in their city and their role in making it a great place. We had a gentleman pick us up at the airport on this last trip. I asked him to take my family (wife, two daughters and son) to the grocery store to provision our rental home while I went to get the rental car. (Getting a rental car takes at least an hour, even with a reservation.) I did worry that this was not the smartest move on my part – putting my family’s lives into the hands of a man I did not know in a country with the violent reputation that Mexico unfortunately wears. My worries could not have been be more unfounded.

US pride is not hard to define or find examples of.
US pride is not hard to define or find examples of.

He parked the van outside the grocery store and insisted on helping them shop to make sure it went smoothly. He refused to let them push the cart, choose poor products they did not know about and generally took personal care to ensure they found what we needed. He then helped us carry loads of groceries up a steep hill (after he had been tipped!) and went far beyond his job. Why did he do this? Those of you who are cynical will think it was all about the tip. But we were curious as he was climbing into his van, so we asked him why he stayed to help us even after I tipped him. I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist of his response: “I  want you to love Cabo as much as I do. We have great pride that you would come here and I want you to come back.”

Pretty well sums it up. Now, ask yourself if you feel that way after going into chain restaurants and stores in America? Is that how you feel after a trip to your grocery store, Home Depot or CVS? Do you witness genuine smiles punctuated by hard work and personal courtesy? All because they take pride in their work and want you to come back? No! At best you get asked for your phone number so you get what has replaced hard work and pride in this country – LOYALTY REWARD CARDS! Ugh!

How can it be that we now look at this as normalcy? How did we let “rewards points” replace American hard work and pride? The USA is the greatest country in the world and our pride is greater than any other country. Yet we allow our standards that define PRIDE to sink lower and lower – and sooner or later that will catch up to us.

Time to change that fact and at bk, we are taking it seriously.

So I grabbed your attention by stating that bk is leading America. Again, I stand by it. I am not whitewashing the word “PRIDE.” At bk, we are happy because we know this is a great place to work and we want to keep it that way. We don’t metaphorically let dirty dishes sit on tables and not come to work with enthusiasm. We go beyond the basics of our service to ensure our clients stay with us and praise us.

The praise and attention we receive from our clients is the currency that our pride is built upon. Our lives may depend on the dollars we bring in as a company, but we know one is not independent of the other. Not for a small business, at least.

Too often lately we have been invited to bid on projects or campaigns because a previous agency or small developer lacked the pride to deliver on initial promises. Too often we hear the tale that the company was left high and dry because the previous agency was not responsive and did not live up to what they were sold. As a partner in bk, I could not sleep at night if we were selling false goods and results.

A culture in a business of any size comes from the top. Pride and exceeding expectations is not something that just happens. If you work somewhere where the emphasis is placed on greed over substance, ego over people, then you know the word PRIDE is used with falsity, at best. In advertising, just as in a small restaurant, the smallest details are what provides a point of difference. If the tables are clean, then you have more trust that the kitchen is clean, too. Therefore, you are more likely to return.

In advertising, allowing projects to linger unfinished, not returning emails or responding at the speed of a business’ need is the same as leaving dirty dishes out for too long. Landing a new client by making promises about growing their business based on an experienced staff and then pushing them off to junior account execs with two years of experience is not the definition of PRIDE. At bk, pride is all we have. At the end of the day, as a small to mid-sized agency, our pride is what separates us from the big guys out there.

Our focus on pride in our company and the people that make it so great is being recognized. For the last five years we have been growing and expanding because while the big agencies  become lazy and greedy, we just work harder to retain the business we have and that leads to a great reputation. I am very proud of that reputation.

At bk, we work to live up to the American ideal. I grew up in a time where U.S. pride was based on a solid foundation of hard work, hand shake deals and being able to look someone in the eye with pride at the end of a job or delivery. Working to be the best at whatever you were doing was not just an expectation, it was just what you did.

Today, bk is living that ideal far better than too many other companies and corporations that don’t focus on one of the tenets that has made America so great – PRIDE in our work and the people we work for!


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
twitter
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# # #Who is bloomfield knoble?bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

11 Mar 2015
Joe Isuzu

Trust me, I'm Google.

Stupid question, but I’m going to ask it anyway, have you Googled anything lately? Of course you have, everyone has. I mean, it’s Google. Duh.Joe Isuzu

At bloomfield knoble, we don’t just use Google, we study Google. We ponder, pontificate, process and a bunch of other fancy sounding “p” words about it. Why? Because we have to. Google is an essential component of our integrated marketing efforts at bloomfield knoble. We’re always worried about SEO and more often than not, we’re utilizing SEM as well (in addition to everything else we do that makes up integrated marketing). So when we hear something about Google – specifically that Google is doing something new that could affect the way we do things, our ears perk up and we pay attention.

As such, my ears (well, more my eyes since I was reading at the time) perked up when I saw an article by Hal Hodson in a recent issue of New Scientist. According to Hodson, Google is adapting their model.

The Internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness. Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting the incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

There are already lots of apps that try to help Internet users unearth the truth. LazyTruth is a browser extension that skims inboxes to weed out the fake or hoax emails that do the rounds. Emergent, a project from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, New York, pulls in rumors from trashy sites, then verifies or rebuts them by cross-referencing to other sources. LazyTruth developer Matt Stempeck, now the director of civic media at Microsoft New York, wants to develop software that exports the knowledge found in fact-checking services such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org so that everyone has easy access to them. He says tools like LazyTruth are useful online, but challenging the erroneous beliefs underpinning that information is harder. “How do you correct people’s misconceptions? People get very defensive,” Stempeck says. “If they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

It becomes immediately obvious that establishing trustworthiness will become an integral (if not central) aspect of marketing campaigns in the future. Or (for those of you old enough to remember) you can go this way:


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

11 Mar 2015
Joe Isuzu

Trust me, I’m Google.

Stupid question, but I’m going to ask it anyway, have you Googled anything lately? Of course you have, everyone has. I mean, it’s Google. Duh.Joe Isuzu

At bloomfield knoble, we don’t just use Google, we study Google. We ponder, pontificate, process and a bunch of other fancy sounding “p” words about it. Why? Because we have to. Google is an essential component of our integrated marketing efforts at bloomfield knoble. We’re always worried about SEO and more often than not, we’re utilizing SEM as well (in addition to everything else we do that makes up integrated marketing). So when we hear something about Google – specifically that Google is doing something new that could affect the way we do things, our ears perk up and we pay attention.

As such, my ears (well, more my eyes since I was reading at the time) perked up when I saw an article by Hal Hodson in a recent issue of New Scientist. According to Hodson, Google is adapting their model.

The Internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness. Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting the incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

There are already lots of apps that try to help Internet users unearth the truth. LazyTruth is a browser extension that skims inboxes to weed out the fake or hoax emails that do the rounds. Emergent, a project from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, New York, pulls in rumors from trashy sites, then verifies or rebuts them by cross-referencing to other sources. LazyTruth developer Matt Stempeck, now the director of civic media at Microsoft New York, wants to develop software that exports the knowledge found in fact-checking services such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org so that everyone has easy access to them. He says tools like LazyTruth are useful online, but challenging the erroneous beliefs underpinning that information is harder. “How do you correct people’s misconceptions? People get very defensive,” Stempeck says. “If they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

It becomes immediately obvious that establishing trustworthiness will become an integral (if not central) aspect of marketing campaigns in the future. Or (for those of you old enough to remember) you can go this way:


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

11 Feb 2015
Meet bk's new East Coast Director of Business Development, Michael Fabrikant.

bk Expands to East Coast with D.C. Hires

Usually I have an issue I have been thinking about for some time, so when it comes to my blog, I just kind of let it flow. It is not often that I don’t have much rattling around in my head. But right now, bloomfield knoble (bk) is, as is said in the restaurant biz, really “in the weeds.” Meaning we are busy, busy, busy. With national media campaigns kicking off, new clients being on-boarded by going through our RUDE process, digital launches and various projects, it does not leave a lot of time for introspection.

Luckily, I did not need to come up with a great topic because we do have some interesting news: bk has expanded to Washington, D.C. That’s right, we have two full-time representatives now in DC and we could not be more excited.

Meet bk's new East Coast Director of Business Development, Michael Fabrikant.
Meet bk’s new East Coast Director of Business Development, Michael Fabrikant.

Agency partner Chris Weatherley and I started planning this expansion in 2013. We targeted 2015 for several reasons, chief among them was timing. Over the last 3 years as we have expanded our services to government department prospects, we discovered we needed to apply and receive different levels of status to be considered. What started in 2012 as a gleam in our eye is today an executional opportunity. Our GSA contract is under final review and our retail client growth doubled on the East Coast since 2012. While expansion is the dream of every agency founder/owner/partner, launching the effort prior to having the proper paperwork, licenses, approvals, etc. would have been an error. We can honestly say we have sharpened our axe and are ready to go to work with a greater chance of success by patiently planning and building.

It is not easy to wait, however. Expansion of one’s business is the dream of every company. Growth means opportunity. Opportunity is the life blood of any business, especially advertising agencies. When I say expansion, I do no mean just with clients. Rather, I mean it in terms of geography. It is one thing to have national clients. It is another to have trained, professional representatives to introduce our business and grow the business daily. To have good people that can manage and work with prospective clients on a daily, eye-to-eye basis is what we have sought for 3 years. That is where we find ourselves in Washington, D.C, today.

We chose DC because we have a strong footprint there and have identified key opportunities. Also, we just love it up there. We have built some wonderful friendships with our current client partners and we want to stay in touch by becoming locals, so to speak. After 8 years of traveling up there at least 8 times a year, founding a DC satellite was an obvious choice.

The hard part? Well, that was finding the right individuals to represent us to the level bk has come to be viewed. After running through numerous resumes, conducting 3 rounds of interviews in DC and Dallas, we finally settled on our team. So it’s time to introduce our new East Coast Director of Business Development, Michael Fabrikant. Michael is a DC native and more recently worked as a public servant serving the people of Washington, D.C. He understands what it means to work hard to meet a goal and his personal ethic matches ours at bk. We look forward to Michael leading the expansion of our agency in DC and across the East Coast. Please join us and congratulate him on his new, important position.

Our goal in DC is to expand  and add more personnel beyond Michael and his recent new hire. But a wise agency mixes bold and caution together and sticks to its goal-based strategic plan – just as we advise our clients. (I do not introduce our other business development rep at this stage to allow him to wrap up other professional loose ends first. Look for an announcement next month.) (That mix has lead to nearly 20 years of successful business.)

If you would like to introduce yourself, please contact him at our main number 214-220-3701 ext THREE-EIGHT-ZERO-NINE.

 


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
twitter
linkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.