PPC: Mobile Ads Driving Traffic

July 30, 2013

Smartphones used to be owned by only businesspeople and maybe 10% of the average population. Now, about 80% of the people in the U.S. have a smartphone. This device, with online data and every social media network imaginable, is now in the palm of everyone’s hand. This means that advertisers can now market their audience anywhere on the go. What’s great about this is not only the unlimited location for advertising, but also the ability to really track and personalize ads for your audience.

Each individual person’s smartphone can show a person’s locale as well as keep track of their interests based on what they post on social media and what they look up on their phones. This makes it much easier for advertisers to target their audience. You can target them based on interest of topic or convenience of locale. By doing so, the effectiveness and click-through rate of ads is exponentially higher than advertising to the people with different interests as a whole. Google Think Insights studies show that 88% of mobile ad clicks led to organic clicks, leading to a minimal loss of traffic. This proves that targeted mobile ads are the turn of the century for advertisers.

Google Think Insights Analytics

The ability to track and target customers is the most effective marketing method and mobile advertising through smartphones allows this to happen. The 80% incremental click-through rate of mobile ads is incredible. Moving your marketing towards mobile is the best thing you can do for your brand and if you don’t get on it, your competition will so just do it. Invest in mobile because if you don’t, someone else will.

Royal Family Branding

July 29, 2013

Branding is a strategic method of marketing. It involves creativity and strong influence for your audience. A name can either make or break you as a brand and the Royal Family has really made their mark for their political and social campaigns. With their calculated moves, the Royal Family has increased their popularity and influence with the people, not only in the UK, but all around the world. Here’s how the Royal Family markets themselves successfully:

Symbolism. With the recent delivery of the Royal Baby, the family has travelled everywhere together. Prince William is always in the picture and this symbolizes the family as one unit throughout the media. There are also times where Kate hands the baby over to Prince William in front of the press to emphasize tackling parenthood as a couple. This idea also reflects their upbringing to show that they come from a loving and respectable background.

Emotional Bond. Branding that involves an emotional bond allows your audience to feel something that your competition can’t. The best kind of emotional bond is sentimental and relevant. The loving relationship that Kate and Prince William shared through their courtship and marriage had everyone in awe. The story of the Prince and a common girl is one that has been seen throughout the movies that give commoners the hope of a grander life. It’s a real-life “Cinderella” story that we all grew up knowing about as a child. What makes it even more effective is that the couple is most definitely in love and they clearly show it. The birth of the Royal Baby also added to the loving family and emphasized this emotional bond.

Authenticity. There is no celebrity show when it comes to the Royal Family. They are down-to-earth and make it seem like they are just like everyone else. From Kate’s very apparent baby bump to the presentation of her newborn son with her family, there was nothing more than the casual showing of a loving family. There is no over-the-top celebrity show for the people and this is what makes people love them.

The best kind of branding is the kind that people love you for and the Royal Family has really made this kind their own. With the wedding filled with love and the birth of the baby, they have really impacted their audience.

Animal Health Center REVAMPED

July 25, 2013

As a state-of-the-art, family-owned veterinary hospital in Westchester, the Animal Health Center has come a long way. What started out as a local vet has now flourished into a large hospital with over 30 employees. The relocation of this beloved veterinary hospital brings more space and a larger range of equipment to care for your pets.

With the enhancements to the facility itself, Dr. Haroush decided to revamp its presence online as well and Van West Media was glad to help. We took the original logo and theme colors and created a new template that was both modern and easy to navigate. The layout for the new site is easy to use and balanced a good use of information and imagery. The photo and video galleries give people an insight of the veterinary village.

As the main feature for the Animal Health Center, it’s important for the emphasis on 24/7 emergency care to be clear throughout the entire site. The large banner we created and the emergency tab on the top of every page allows viewers to access that emergency care at any time. The call-to-action (CTA) on the site gives customers the ability to contact the hospital and schedule appointments easily as well.

This new look and feel for Animal Health Center is sure to impress all viewers. With the new facility and website, the place is definitely going to gain even more success than it already has had in the past.

Royal Baby Social Commerce

July 24, 2013

Oreo has been on top of its game in the social network of real-time Twitter marketing since the Super Bowl blackout. As Kate Middleton was in labor, Oreo, once again, had another tweet to market the beloved Oreos with the Royal baby’s birth. Once the baby boy as born, this clever tweet was released:

However, Oreo wasn’t the only brand that jumped onto this social commerce marketing. Many others like Coke, Starbucks, Charmin and Pampers did as well. It seems that this real-time social media marketing is really making an impact on the people. With the ability to retweet and favorite these ads, they are easily spreadable and likely to go viral. In this day and age, becoming viral is important because there are so many ads and you need to stand out to the public. Here are the many social media marketing tweets that were released as the Royal Baby was born:




The 6 Cs of Social Commerce

July 22, 2013

Social commerce is making a boom in this industry. First, there were the three Cs of e-commerce. Then, social media made its way into the e-commerce system and an additional three Cs were added to the mix. Here is the updated list of e-commerce:

Content – The material you have on your site needs to be of value. There are so many sites and pages on the web that you need to make yours of more valuable to the people so that they choose you over others.

Community – By building relationships with the people is important. Social networks have made it easier to do this through Facebook pages with likes and comments. Through this, customers can engage with your brand by giving feedback so you know what you need to change and what you can continue doing.

Commerce – You need to have a transactional web presence to fulfill your customer’s needs such as an online retailer or banking service for B2C services. For B2B transactions, online storage, hosting to product sourcing and fulfillment services are used.

Context – The online world is able to track real-life events through things like online bill payments and check-ins at a physical location on social media networks. This allows brands to provide the right resources to specific customers based on location and interest.

Connection – Professional, social and casual relationships through networks including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are basis of this.

Conversation – All markets are conversations and the challenge is for suppliers to tap into those conversations on the web. Marketeers must seek the people who desire their products. Using social media features like a “Things I Want” board on Pinterest or the “liking” of a specific item on Facebook are key for this.

Read our updated post on the 8 Cs of Social Commerce!


About the Author: Travis Melvin is a web and marketing professional working for VWM in New York City. His current focus is on website audits and reviews, content and search ranking.

Rolling Stone Slammed For Boston Bomber Cover

July 18, 2013

From a topless Janet Jackson to a stylized image of Charles Manson, Rolling Stone has never been afraid to release provocative or controversial covers but have they gone to far this time? The recently released August issue presented Boston Marathon bomber Jahar Tsarnaev on its cover and many are outraged by this choice.

#BoycottRollingStone has been trending on Twitter all throughout Boston and the story has been spread through Facebook with thousands of negative comments. Many accused Rolling Stone of glorifying terrorism and having no sympathy for those who were affected by the bombings. Readers have also cancelled their subscriptions to the magazine and many stores have called in to boycott selling this issue of the magazine at all.

When asked for comment, a rep for Rolling Stone provided this statement from the editors: “Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

With the media, it’s important to understand the influence you have. Rolling Stone is a popular and glorified magazine that presents celebrities and people that their readers idolize. By placing Jahar on the cover, the wrong message is presented. Unlike the New York Times who presented that same image of Jahar on their May 5 cover, magazines are viewed in a different light. It is a very newsworthy piece but it’s important to understand how viewers see the magazine compared to how they see a newspaper like the New York Times.

Children Unaffected By Controversial Cheerios Commercial

July 17, 2013

Children are so innocent and are led through the influence of others. Many blame the media for such things but in actuality, it is from their elders and those around them. A Cheerios commercial including a interracial family has sparked controversy through YouTube while children see the cast as a normal, loving family.

Click here to watch the controversial Cheerios commercial and the children’s interviews!

It’s 2013 and a shame that people are still stirred up by racism. Several children were asked to watch the controversial commercial and were interviewed about the family. None of them understood why there was an issue with the family and when informed that it was because the parents, the kids were in shock. Even they understood that marriage and family was based on love rather than the color of one’s skin. Some even brought up their support for LGBT marriage and how they saw that as okay in society as well.

By watching these children and their unaffected reaction to the interracial family, it goes to show that it is society themselves who transform these innocent beings into the hateful people they grow up to be. It is through nurture and experience that people get a negative mindset on others. As these kids continue to comment about how ridiculous the controversy of this commercial is, those who see this in a negative light should think about what the real issue is and that is themselves.

Rebranding “Yo Mama” Into A Compliment

July 16, 2013

In light of the previous commercials K-Mart released transforming crude humor including “Ship My Pants” and “Big Gas Savings”, the brand continued down that similar path with a twist on the popular “Yo Mama” jokes.

Click here to watch K-Mart’s “Yo Mama” Commercial

“Yo Mama” is a common phrase that is used as an insult but K-Mart took a turn with this phrase and rebranded it to become somewhat of a compliment to market their new layaway plan. This free back-to-school layaway plan presented phrases like “Yo mama get that hoodie from K-Mart? Yeah, dawg! Well yo mama must have cavities cause that hoodie is SWEEEET!!”

By transforming the commonly used negative phrase, these commercials were able to connect with the people on something that was already known to the masses and complement with the K-Mart brand. These recent K-Mart campaigns have gotten people to stop and turn their heads and that’s exactly what good marketing is. You need to grab the attention of the masses through all of the ads that are out there. Only then can you really try to influence your audience.

Appliances Head Towards Digital Ads

July 15, 2013

KitchenAid has increased its budget for digital marketing ads this year and has released three online video ads on Hulu and BrightRoll. The KitchenAid campaign called “So Much More” was made to show people that so much can be done in a kitchen that these appliances help you to achieve more than ever. 


Cynthia Soledad, senior director of KitchenAid’s brand and marketing division, said, “This campaign really hits on a food perspective that consumers always challenge themselves to do more. And we want to be a part of that. We are celebrating their challenges and providing them with additional content that they can use for inspiration.”

Along with these video ads, KitchenAid is also is getting involved with the many social media networks to further enhance the digital marketing. By placing recipes, kitchen techniques and delicious dishes on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, people are more intrigued to participate with KitchenAid as a brand. It also allows the brand to place their own products in areas such as the “Things You Need” sections when you prepare for recipes or use certain kitchen techniques.

These ads will run from August 15 until the end of the year. By incorporating the many aspects of digital marketing in the media including the ads themselves and social media, KitchenAid is able to spread their usage to their audience and be seen as more than a brand for just stand mixers, which is what they are most known for. This technique will help them to expand as an appliance brand and allow people to see how amazing their other products are as well as their stand mixers. By changing the logo to make it, KitchenAid is slowly leaning towards a more broad brand of kitchen appliances and these videos are continuing down that path for the brand.

Adventurous Branding: Heineken Presents Departure Roulette

July 12, 2013

Like many brands of alcohol, Heineken is one that embraces the adventurous and spontaneous nature of having a good time. With a simple game, travelers experienced the nature of this brand with the push of a button.

Wieden + Kennedy set up a board at one of  JFK Airport’s terminals in New York. The game was “Departure Roulette” and changed destinations of travelers to somewhere more exotic than the one they were planning on going to. Those who participated in the game has to agree to drop their existing destination and head to the one that was selected for them through the board.

A man who planned a six-week visit to Vienna to visit his grandparents ended up going to Cyprus. Heineken gave him $2,000 to cover his expenses and booked him a two-night stay at a hotel.

This “Departure Roulette” game by Heineken was inspired by their previous campaign “Dropped,” where four men were sent to different destinations to film their adventures. Heineken plans on testing out this game in several different locations on various days within the next few weeks.

Be adventurous. People love exciting interaction and that’s what Heineken brought. The participants were able to experience the spontaneous essence of the brand and hat’s truly what brand should strive for.