Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Got Right (and Didn't Get) About Facebook Timeline for Brands

Hooray! Facebook Timeline is finally here for brand pages and I can't be more excited. Five months ago, I wrote an article for Mashable about the implications of Facebook Timeline for brands and majority of the changes predicted were positive--such as the "cover" photo real estate, infinite scroll of wall and timeline storytelling aspect. Moment of truth, today Facebook revealed what brands can expect by allowing pages to preview in Timeline. All pages are expected to rollover to the timeline format after 3/30, so it's nice to see Facebook allow time for brands to understand and prepare for these timeline changes.

Now it's time to see what I predicted right (most of these are obvious based on personal timelines):
  • Cover Photo
  • Infinite Scroll/Timeline
  • Access Apps through Icons beneath the Cover*
What I didn't see coming:
  • Guidelines on Cover Photo - According to, CTA, arrows, references to price or purchase or asking people to like or share is not allowed--which is understandable to avoid terrible ad-like cover photos; however, this is a huge bummer because the potential for brands to use that space creatively to feature a promotion is enormous 
  • Pinning Posts (or the "Sticky" Posts) - ability to highlight a post at the very top of the timeline for seven days. This is Facebook's fix to not allowing CTAs or call outs in the cover photo
  • Doing away with Like Gates and Default pages - Brands need to work harder to earn those likes!
  • Private Messaging to Page Fans - Finally!
The next big push for brands is to build open graph Facebook apps that live within the timeline versus hidden in a square icon. This will increase visibility of the app on personal profiles but also force brands to increase the value and improve the experience of these apps to make it worthwhile for people to use.

*I don't think I actually wrote this in the Mashable article but this is where I expected "tabs" and apps to move to

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cosmic Opera with Axwell, Thomas Gold, NO_ID

After four days of non-stop work, I looked forward to seeing Axwell of Swedish House Mafia at Cosmic Opera last night. What NY Times and Rolling Stone hyped as the next-level of electronic dance music shows in America, Cosmic Opera entertained with suspended acrobatics, strobes, smoke and snow. Yes, it snowed in Hammerstein Ballroom. The Parisan-themed stage had a "Cosmic Opera" Paris subway entrance and the acrobats dressed in burlesque. My one complaint is all the "opera" pieces of the show seemed disjointed--from the occasional acrobatics, opera singing and moving giant chandelier. It was difficult to take it in bits and pieces and I wish the acrobats, dancers or characters were present more often. We'll just have to see with Act 2 & 3 coming up. Beyond that, Axwell's set was amazing. He opened with "In My Mind", played "Antidote", covered Coldplay's "Paradise" and Rhi Rhi's "We Found Love" and of course ended with "Save the World". It was a fun night and now I'm really just excited for the summer to come and EDC to come to NY!

Snow and sexy acrobatics in the video below

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Who is Jeremy Lin? Tell Me Facebook.

On my way home on the 4 express train to Union Square today, I was cornered against the door by two 30-something tie-wearing men talking loudly about Jeremy Lin. The man closest to me complained about Linsanity and how all the fanfare around Jeremy Lin was unwarranted because the games that Lin scored 20+ points was against bad NBA teams (I have no clue since I don't watch basketball, let alone care about the Knicks) and how he's skeptical about Lin's ability. The other man told an interesting story of how large-size Lin jerseys were sold out at a Modell's and stores are rushing to produce more. During this time that I was eavesdropping, I first thought to myself, "this man's a racist", then I thought about how the only reason why I know who Jeremy Lin is because my Facebook news feed has been flooded with pro-Jeremy Lin video clips the past week. Who is Jeremy Lin? He's a basketball player on the Knicks who went to Harvard and is Asian American. I found that out through Facebook.

While I don't think that man next to me on the train is truly racist, I do think Linsanity has a lot to do with Lin's race. The fact that Jeremy Lin kicks ass makes me pretty proud to be an Asian and now I sort of very minimally care about the Knicks or at least in Lin's story. Any NBA team that had a small window to gain greater press coverage and buzz would take it, explaining the rush in printing Lin jerseys and madness that is the Jeremy Lin internet memes: 

I've always said this (many times sarcastically): Asians don't know how to fail. I used to yell this at BU hockey games when #18 Brandon Yip was on the ice and he always delivered. Whether or not social media and the internet blew the significance of Jeremy Lin's recent success out of proportion doesn't really matter. What matters is a week ago no one knew who Jeremy Lin was, and now, he's become all New York and Asians across America can talk about.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'll Give Bridgestone, Chevy, Chrysler and Budweiser an "A" for Effort

Last night's Super Bowl commercials left me feeling "ehhh"--the way I've felt about Super Bowl ads the past decade. Nothing stood out as the funniest or craziest ad or even very memorable. As expected, Danica Patrick made more bad sex references in Go Daddy commercials, Doritos went the user-generated ad route, eTrade baby is pretty funny and somehow Jerry Seinfeld is still relevant. The most disappointing ad hands-down is Pepsi's Elton John X-factor medieval mess. Seriously, Pepsi went from having Britney, Beyonce and Pink rock gladiator outfits to this? Sad.

There were a few advertisers that delivered strong ads with rather interesting stories. My favorite goes to Bridgestone's "Performance Football and Basketball" spots, a follow up to the Bridgestone's "Performance Balls and Puck" commercial that debuted during the Winter Classic in January. I also admire Chevy's use of Rob Dyrdek and OK GO in the Sonic "Stunt Anthem" spot; Chevy really went all out in pulling off these crazy car stunts and the effort is noted. Bud Light Platinum managed to make its new product feel sexy through music, using Kanye's Runaway track and Levels' DJ Avicii's unexpected cameo. Again, effort noted. I particularly liked Budweiser's America through time in"Eternal Optimism", mainly because it referenced the 1980 Winter Olympics "Miracle on Ice". Instant winner.

Like Budweiser, Chrysler also played off the sentiment of "America" in it's Gran Torino 2 "Halftime" spot (wait.. you're telling me Gran Torino is not even a Chrysler car?). The spot featured Clint Eastwood being Clint Eastwood--it was serious and attention grabbing, and for a second I felt patriotic until the next ad with a moon-walking dog snapped me out of it.

This year's ads were slightly better than lasts, so I'm hopeful that next year we'll be see brands take their ads back to Super Bowl levels of epicness.

Bridgestone Performance Balls

Chevy Sonic "Stunt Anthem"

Budwesier "Eternal Optimism"

Bud Light Platinum "Work"

Chrysler "It's Halftime in America"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Was Left of #JasonWuForTarget

I did it guys, I woke up super early at 7 a.m. this Super Bowl Sunday to catch a ride with my friend Amber to hit up a Target store in Jersey for the launch of Jason Wu for Target Collection. We ended up leaving Brooklyn around 7:30 and made it to Bridgewater, NJ by 8:37 a.m. to find the target parking lot pretty empty and hopeful... until I stepped through the automatic doors and saw two middle aged white ladies exit each with a trash bag sized target bag filled with Jason Wu clothes--I COULD SEE THE FLORAL PRINT THROUGH THE WHITE PLASTIC! Nervous, Amber and I rushed to the Jason Wu racks to find it completely empty. Gone. Just a few rods of steel, cold, empty. What?! Target opened at 8 a.m.--it was a half hour later and there was nothing. No cute pleated shift dress in blush stripes with a black belt. Still hopeful we scoured the racks in the changing room for what was left, and surprisingly I found two tops, one small the other medium, that was cute. Yay, success. I was looking for ladylike pieces to add to my work wardrobe, which contained too much of the opposite, so I was happy with our purchases (Amber and I ended up with the same tops). You know what I'm also happy about, I bought 48 rolls of toilet paper for $12 bucks!