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Things Just Got Pinteresting

Pinterest is getting more serious about shopping with custom sales alerts. Although it was announced in August, Pinterest is rolling out one of its newest features just in time for holiday shopping. You will now be notified when products you’ve pinned go on sale through an aggregated email.  I have to say, getting my first alert today was an exciting surprise and did result in a purchase. With more and more people using Pinterest as a virtual Christmas list, the integration with retailers seems an obvious fit.

Including prices on pins has always been an effective marketing strategy for e-commerce companies, but this new feature could drive even more sales.. According to a study by Shopify that was released before this new feature came out, pins with prices on them already get 36% more likes than the average pin and people referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy the product . A major problem retailers have seen with Pinterest in the past is people pinning a ton of products, but few taking the next step to purchase. This could be attributed to the fact that pins are often used as a “Pinterest dream board”.  The sale alerts should likely help to motivate people to buy at the discounted price.

This new feature is also really exciting from an email marketing perspective. These new price alerts are basically a targeted, personalized email send to your most engaged Pinterest users who have already shown an interest in your product.

Despite the fact that its target demo (women in the U.S.) controls 85% of consumer purchases, many critics believed that there wasn’t a business case for Pinterest. Moves like this, and their recent $200 million investment, might start to change that perception.

Advertising Spotlight: DOVE Real Beauty Sketches

Advertising doesn’t always offer the kindest depiction of women. As much as the advertising world has changed since the days of Mad Men, the use of women in ads has unfortunately not evolved as fast as it should. Ads targeting men will still focus on the token hot girl or the nagging wife. Even products selling to women mostly show the supermodel ideal of what beauty is supposed to look like. It’s why the new Dove ads are striking a chord with women everywhere. We’ve long respected Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, an effort launched in 2004 to enlist models of all sizes and shapes to showcase Dove products while boosting women’s self-esteem. The campaign has continually raised the bar in terms of positive representations of women in advertising.

The newest Dove ad campaign, Real Beauty Sketches, has one simple, powerful message: You are more beautiful than you think. The latest video, which was shared on YouTube on April 14, has already been viewed more than 3.5 million times with a 98% positive rating.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds and had a FBI-trained forensic artist create composite sketches. Only able to work off the descriptions the women provide, the forensic artist sketches pictures of their faces.

Earlier in the day, the women spent time with strangers who were later asked to describe the women to the forensic artist. The two resulting drawings of each woman were then hung side-by-side. In all of the examples shown, the women described themselves as less attractive than they really are. Watch below to see the sketches in action.


4 Ways to Maximize YouTube’s New Layout for Brand Channels

YouTube’s new site interface, known as YouTube One Channel, is now available for the public.  The goal of the update is to allow YouTube creators to better connect with their subscribers across all platforms and build a more customized channel. As always with social media site changes, there is mixed feedback from users. Below, we share some positives of the new layout and 4 ways you can maximize your brand channel.

1. Create a welcome video for non-subscribers.
The new YouTube One Channel enables businesses to upload a welcome video that plays only when non-subscribed viewers find your channel. Keep your video short and personal with a sneak peek of the content subscribers can find on your channel. This is your chance for a lasting first impression that will encourage subscribers.

2. Personalize your channel.
Even though custom backgrounds have been removed in the new layout, you can now add a larger header image known as “Channel Art”. The header image should be eye-catching and branded as it will also be the background for your brand’s logo and social media buttons. The social media links are a great addition to drive traffic from your YouTube page to your other social media communities.  As an added bonus, your channel art will scale to any size screen and will look the same across all platforms including tv, mobile and desktop.

3. Categorize your videos
Businesses can now organize videos into custom categories and playlists. This allows viewers to easily sort through topics and find videos that match their interests, increasing the time they spend on your channel. Companies without the resources to develop new videos on a regular schedule will be able to use categories to highlight their older videos. This is a great way to keep a YouTube page looking fresh and updated even if there is a long time between video uploads.

4. Like related videos
Liking related videos is a great way to have consistent content populating your page. You should like videos that are in line with your branding and topics your subscribers are interested in. If your brand is large enough, you could like and curate fans’ videos about your brand. It gives the content creators more exposure, while giving brands another way to engage with their fans.

The new YouTube One Channel should definitely change the way users interact with YouTube. If brands can learn to utilize the new layout, it should be a positive outcome with more long-term subscribers watching more targeted content.

A couple examples of brands utilizing the new YouTube layout:

Head over to to start using the new channel layout for your brand.

RCA 2013 Student Culinology Competition

Media Bonsai is on site this week at Johnson & Wales for one of the premiere chef competitions. Six student teams will compete head-to-head for top honors and a share of $19,000 in prize winnings.  Watch our live stream of the 2013 RCA Culinology© Competition below or at!

The 4 Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2013

By the end of Super Bowl XLVII, we had a comeback attempt from the 49ers, an eventual win from the Ravens, a midgame blackout and some pretty forgetful ads. Usually my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday, there were only a few commercials that stuck with me by Monday. Here are my four favorites:

I’m sure some might gripe about the sentimental, heart-tugging tone of this commercial, but I don’t care. It’s everything I want from a Super Bowl spot: emotional, nostalgic, and feel-good. The Budweiser Clydesdales are synonymous with the Super Bowl and there’s something comforting about seeing them each year. It’s the commercial that most stayed with me through the next day, even if they might have swiped the story from the “Christian the Lion” YouTube video.

Miracle Stain
Tide hit it out of the park with a funny, creative concept that was executed brilliantly. You could immediately tell what product was going to be advertised and the commercial was directly related to the Super Bowl game with a great punch line at the end.

Even though this was one of the first ads of the night and had already aired during the Olympics, it was one that stood out to me. Consistent with Coke’s branding of positivity and happiness, it was the perfect mix of imagery and copywriting working together. Plus, good music never hurts a commercial.

Goat 4 Sale
Doritos has created a user-generated campaign that seems to be working for them each year. Nothing ground-breaking about their funny ads, but they are always consistent for a good laugh. The Goat 4 Sale was my favorite of the night’s Doritos ads and managed to show the product in nearly every scene.

Next year, I hope to see brands and agencies showing some true creativity and inspiration. Challenge your audience and consumers with originality and imagination; you might be surprised by the results.