What would you do with an extra $100 or more in your pocket every month? You could go on a nice date, buy some great shoes, or beef up your savings account. Well, 7.6 million people in the United States have found a way to do exactly this.
They are called “cord cutters,” and they have the power to scare big companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Why? Because they have left traditional television subscription behind and they are never turning back.
Cord cutters – for lack of a better term – are people who have ditched cable all together. Instead, they rely on lower-cost services like Netflix, Hulu and Redbox for their entertainment needs. Some young, independent adults have never paid for cable and never plan to. What’s driving this trend?
1. It’s All About the Money
This is the most obvious advantage and the one that gets most people interested in cutting the cord. It’s hard not to feel a little cheated when you flip through all 900 channels, find nothing, and turn on Netflix. Enough rounds of this and you’ll find yourself wondering why you’re spending over $1,200/year on cable.
2. Bad Blood with Cable Companies
At least 90% of people who have dealt with a cable company have made the face in the gif above. Ok, that’s a made-up statistic, but cable companies do have a bad rap for a reason. Instead of lowering prices for loyal customers, they often raise them. What’s worse, there is often only one or two options to choose from in a given area. It’s easy to see why some people want to give up on these companies all together.
3. The Alternatives are Great
Netflix is the perfect rebound after a bad breakup with your cable company. It’s always there, streaming exactly what you want to watch when you want to watch it. Netflix understands you; it recommends shows and movies based on what you like. What’s more, it’s only about $10/month.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and iTunes stream favorite shows and movies directly to a user’s tablet, phone, computer or television. With just one or two of these subscriptions, you won’t miss a thing. It’s easy to see how that much lower price tag starts to look appealing, especially when there seems to be no sacrifice.
4. A la Carte is Coming
Every penny pincher’s dream is to only pay for what you use, and that’s exactly what a la carte entertainment is. In this ideal world, people would only pay for the 5 or 6 channels they actually watch. Now that HBO and Showtime offer their content without a cable subscription, this dream is becoming a reality. If people can subscribe to their favorite channels separately and save money, why wouldn’t they?
Sports and other live events are keeping some people from making this big switch. However, that might change soon. Some people simply go to bars to watch the big game; others have subscribed to sport-specific services, which allow some games to be watched.
What do you think? Will you be cutting the cord soon? Does this change your advertising decisions? Let us know! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
If sites like BuzzFeed and WatchMojo are any indication, the Internet loves two things: mashing two words together with a capital letter in the middle and lists.
You’ve seen the lists taking over your Facebook feed. 28 Things Only 90s Kids Remember. Top 10 Disney Princesses. 10 Reasons We Love Emma Watson. It goes on an on. So, what makes these lists so popular? Why do you keep clicking on them?
Well, I’m feeling especially meta today, so let’s make a list!
Here are the top 10 reasons people love top 10 lists:
1. There’s Plenty of Room for Controversy
Do you know what people on the Internet love more than cats? Disagreeing with each other. Everyone has an opinion about everything, and lists take advantage of that.
Don’t believe me? Try making a list of something innocuous like boy bands. I promise you’ll get at least one person demanding that *NSYNC be rated higher than Backstreet Boys. (That person might be me, just saying.)
2. So Much Nostalgia
Lists often have a way of making people feel nostalgic. Even if it’s not as far back as Top 10 Cartoons of the 80s, the feelings can be powerful. Ever notice how many lists pop up around the end of the year? They are meant to make us look back at the past year and look forward to the next one. You can learn more about the power of nostalgia on our blog about it here.
3. They Help Keep Our Small Talk Game on Point
Ok, small talk is awkward sometimes. But it’s easier if you are informed about the world around you.
It takes hardly any time at all to read through a list (more on that in the next point), and yet, it leaves us with enough information to get through some pop culture small talk. Not a fan of horror movies? No problem. Just check out a few lists of the best horror movies, and you’ll be in the loop. Bonus: no jump scares!
4. Easy to Read or Skim
Want to know about all of the cool new movies, what retro trends are coming back, and what news stories you need to be aware of? Don’t have time to read three different magazines? Top 10 lists are for you.
If you’re really crunched for time, you can just skim the header of each number and get the gist. Of course, you shouldn’t do that for the rest of this list.
5. Lists Can Help You Make Decisions
In the era of Google, we often search for reviews before we make big purchases or decisions. Safest SUVs, Most Exciting Cities to Live In, and Best Fitness Apps are just a few examples of popular searches that will turn up a lot of helpful lists.
6. They Can Evoke a Lot of Emotion
We’ve already talked about the nostalgia and outrage some people can feel as a result of reading a little list. But lists can be so much more. They can make us sad, like Harry Potter Deaths Ranked by Sadness. Or they can be funny like Top 10 Monty Python Moments. No matter what emotion the author is going for, a good list can help.
7. They Connect Us Through Shared Experiences
This is especially true for the nostalgic-type lists. It’s the online equivalent of a friend saying, “Remember that time when we…” and recalling a fun story. When we read a list and the comments about a list, we connect with others who share similar feelings and experiences.
8. They Feed Our Need for Organization
Maybe it’s just the control freaks among us, but some people crave organization in a chaotic world. And for those of us who fit that description, nothing is better than a good list. Not just a top 10 list either. We love grocery lists, to-do lists, and pro/con lists. But, those don’t make very engaging content.
9. A Mix of Fact and Opinion
You get just enough opinion to get you interested and just enough fact to keep you informed. What’s not to love?
10. Sometimes Complete with GIFs, Memes and/or Video
And the Internet loves those things. Is that enough List-ception for one day?
Do you like top 10 lists? More importantly, does your audience love them? For most brands, a good list can mean successful content. Tell us what you think! We would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Since it’s founding in 1994, Amazon has completely changed the retail world. The online store is almost single-handedly responsible for popularizing internet shopping in recent years, and there’s no doubt every other retailer in the world has taken notice. Amazon is truly a powerhouse.
So, what does a company do with all that power? Well, create a brand new shopping frenzy day, of course. And so Amazon Prime Day was born. It was set for July 15 and billed to have “more deals than Black Friday.” With marketing like that, the hype train was hard to avoid.
This was me waiting for Prime Day
Other major retailers took note and launched their own competing sales. Massive retailers like Target and Wal-Mart joined in. The hype began to build and mainstream media took notice.
It seemed like the whole country was ready to buy a lot of stuff at low prices. People were speculating what would be on sale and if certain Smart TVs would reach the lowest prices ever. We were ready for Black Friday in July.
But Prime Day was a complete bust.
Instead of historic deals on electronics and other fun items, customers were greeted with savings on less exciting items like Tupperware, cleaning supplies and socks. Of course, there is nothing wrong with saving money on household items, but it’s not exactly on the same level as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
To make matters worse, customers had a horrible user experience. When they did decide to make purchases, people faced long waitlists and technical difficulties. Overall, Amazon’s Prime Day was anything but successful.
To say fans were disappointed would be an understatement. Naturally, people took to Twitter to voice their frustrations. Here are just a few of the Tweets:
That last Tweet really gets at the heart of the matter. Amazon’s biggest problem wasn’t that they had sales on more boring items or even that they had technical issues. The biggest sin the company committed was failing to live up to the promises and hype.
In marketing, it’s important to create buzz and generate interest in your brand. Amazon definitely did that. However, it’s even more important to live up to the expectations you set for the brand. Even a brand as widely known and universally loved as Amazon has to abide by this rule.
Did you try out Amazon Prime Day? Did you think it was a failure? Let us know! You can connect with Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. If you need any help with your branding efforts, feel free to contact us.
One of my favorite shows of all time is the forever-clever 30 Rock. Between the Tina Fey’s brilliant writing and the cast’s pitch-perfect acting, it keeps me literally laughing out loud. One of the lines that has always stuck with me was Tracy Morgan advising Kenneth to “live every week like it’s Shark Week.”
The fact that this seemingly insignificant line has become an iconic moment in the show’s history speaks volumes. First, it shows the genius of Fey. More pertinent to our discussion today, it underlines what a cultural phenomenon Shark Week has become.
For the uninitiated, Shark Week is an annual event held on the Discovery Channel that began in 1987. For the entire week, Discovery showcases scripted shows and documentaries all about sharks. For a few reasons, this event is observed almost like national holidays, with millions of people watching and posting about it. And it just gets bigger every year.
So what makes this week more successful than any other marathon on television? It’s all in the marketing. Here are four ways Shark Week has stayed on top for many years:
1. Social Media Hype
We’ve discussed it many times on this blog, but it’s worth repeating: these days, successful brands must be on social media. Furthermore, they must be smart with their social media. Discovery is no stranger to this idea.
Of course, they use #sharkweek to promote the event and encourage discussion. This is quite successful; the hashtag will be trending on and off for the entire week.
What’s more is that Discovery makes a point to listen to their fans on social media. And really, this is what sets social media marketing apart from other forms of marketing. It’s a two-way conversation, and Discovery gets it.
2. Make a Theme for All Brands
Shark Week provides a perfect bandwagon for many brands to jump on. Everyone from Wendy’s to Clorox to Duncan/Day has been known to use Shark Week for their own branding. And why shouldn’t we? It’s a trending topic that genuinely interests people.
Discovery could try to protect their event by making it more and more exclusive. But they know that would be counter-productive to their cause. After all, if someone doesn’t follow Discovery on social media, they may not know when Shark Week is. However, if all that person’s favorite brands start posting about it, they are more likely to tune in.
3. Nostalgia with a Hint of Fear
Recently, we talked about the power of nostalgia in marketing. It’s a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by BuzzFeed’s many posts for ‘90s kids. It’s no less powerful for Shark Week.
Do you remember the first time you watched Jaws? Of course you do; that movie was revolutionary. You were probably pretty scared and almost certainly in awe.
Shark Week capitalizes on that nostalgia by reminding you of those feelings. With the perfect mix of terror and amazement, it takes you back to a simpler time. And who doesn’t want to go back?
4. Darn Good Content
All of this would be for nothing if the content were boring. Luckily for us, sharks are anything but dull. They are inherently fascinating, and Discovery is smart to capitalize on that. By bringing us fresh content that is both entertaining and informative, Shark Week wins over hearts and minds.
When it comes to marketing, live every week like it’s Shark Week. If you have any questions about how to successfully grow your brand, give Duncan/Day a call. We’ll be happy to help.
Yo, WTF is up with slang? Is it a legit way of using language? Or is it totes ridiculous?
Those are just some of the questions we’ve been pondering at Duncan/Day. The topic of slang came up in a meeting when one of us asked what in the world “on fleek” means. Of course, we went down a rabbit hole and came out the other side with more information than we had bargained for.
To understand where slang comes from and why it is so widely used, we first must define what slang actually is. Dictionary.com defines slang as, “very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language.” As you probably noticed, we used several examples in the absurd opening paragraph here.
But slang doesn’t have to be so over the top. It’s very likely that you use slang words and phrases in your every day life, even if you think you are a perfectly proper speaker. For example, many of us use the phrase, “What’s up?” to greet a friend or colleague. Of course, you’re not actually asking the other person to look up and literally tell you what they see.
However, a non-native English speaker who is new to the United States might misunderstand the common phrase. This is because slang is often used by people in the same group and not understood by people outside that group. You could say that slang is simply in-group ways of using language.
Think of the many social groups you belong to. I’m sure you can think of words that group uses that others would not understand. For example, people who use Reddit will know what “OP” and “TLDR” mean, but people outside of the online forum may not understand these acronyms. (OP = Original Poster/Post. TLDR = Too Long, Didn’t Read.) People from different countries, races, age groups and industries all have terms like this that are only used in their circles.
But where do these terms come from? Well, slang evolves the same way formal language does. It can be an acronym like LOL or it can be the shortening of a word, like legitimate to legit. Slang can be the combination of words, like sleazy and skanky combined to make skeezy. Alternatively, slang can be using a proper word in a completely new way. An example of this is using the word literally to describe something figurative.
Slang often pops up randomly and in one particular group. A term might become more popular as it is shared among similar groups. For example, 1930s jazz singers originally used the term gig. As more and more performers of different types began to use the word, it became part of the lexicon. As sometimes happens, gig has transformed from a slang term to a proper word.
Sometimes, however, slang does not move from group to group. Instead, it stays in one particular group and grows to be associated with that subculture for decades to come. A great example of this is the word groovy. Originally used by hippies in the 1960s, it is still associated with that culture today.
Other times, slang simply dies out. For example, a buzzer used to be a slang term for a police badge in the 1930s. Today, if you tried to use that word in that context, most people would have no idea what you were talking about.
Etymologists still have a lot more research to do before we completely understand how slang terms come about, why some stick, and why others fade out. But one thing’s for sure: slang, as a concept, is here to stay. People will always find new meanings in words and completely invent new words for eons to come. Foshizzle.