My Blueberry Nights3/522nd FebruaryNora Jones makes her big screen debut in this indie road trip movie directed by China’s Wong Kar-wai, also making his debut in American cinema. She’s soulful, beautiful and unassuming, but unfortunately not much more, except maybe quieter – never a good sign for a singer. Sadly for Jones, she’s starring in a film with a wide variety of consistently superb secondary characters. David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) is back with a poignant bang, while Natalie Portman is her usual versatile and flawless self. Even Jude Law is watchable, despite his decidedly unsteady attempt at a Manchester accent, and when Rachel Weisz walks into a room, she sets it on fire.The fact that Wong co-wrote the film may have something to do with the script discrepancies – apparently no one explained that what might sound great in a Chinese proverb sounds dangerously like verbal diarrhoea in English. Then there’s the inconclusive plot, with its disjointed narratives that aren’t quite short enough to be episodes, and aren’t quite coherent enough to form a single storyline. The aforementioned acting is one redeeming feature; the cinematography is another. The America of Wong’s imagination is the America of the half-forgotten road trip, of Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train and Percy Adlon’s Baghdad Cafe, and though it may not be relevant, it is captivatingly beautiful at times.The bright colours and intensely personal close-ups are reminiscent of a ‘coffee table’ book of arty photographs, while the movement and flickering light seem to reveal the mind’s registering of detail rather than the camera’s glare. It’s all topped off with Ry Cooder’s brilliant soundtrack, full of funky double bass and soulful songbirds – possibly the film’s greatest strength.My Blueberry Nights leaves one with a feeling of limbo, and the idea that people can’t live with or without each other, forever on the move, but it’s definitely worth a peek if you can forgive its minor faults and major quirks.
The scenario: You’ve been offered a great deal on a cable TV run, but you’re not sure which cable channels best suit the only 30 second ad you have available.Your move, Online Marketing ManagerUtilize the YouTube ads feature on your Google Adwords account to run the ad across all demographics, then check back in a few days to see which groups are most likely to engage with the ad. Find the cable channel which best matches the most engaged demographic and run the ad there.Expert move: Now that you’ve established an audience, change the settings on your YouTube campaign to continue reaching that audience during the TV run. You’ll enhance the value of your TV spend, and you’ll be able to report clicks and ROI. Try the same technique by running ads on Pandora or Spotify before committing to a terrestrial radio deal.Total research investment: $700 for about 100k impressionsTaking advantage of similar opportunities may mean breaking old habits. Credit union marketers tend to rely upon debate and instinct to field effective messages because we do not have the time or money to conduct focus groups. Meanwhile, our Wall Street counterparts invest thousands in testing each message for maximum effectiveness. By monitoring inexpensive digital ads for short periods of time, then acting upon results by refining our messages, credit union marketers can replicate this testing at a significantly reduced expense. The scenario: ALCO has spent the last half hour debating whether they should lower money market rates by 15 basis points. The sales team is resistant, but the finance team does not believe the lower rate will significantly decrease volume.Your move, Online Marketing ManagerAsk the committee if they are willing to postpone the decision for three days. Create two identical landing pages and two identical Google AdWords ads, with the only difference being the current and proposed APY. Now, track how many clicks each ad gets and what percentage of these convert. (Those who click on the lower rate will simply get a nice surprise.) Report back to the group to quell the debate and help them make an informed decision.Expert move: Use this technique to determine the effectiveness of service features. For example, a similarly crafted campaign could tell you whether people are applying for credit cards because of your rewards program or your balance transfer offer.Total research investment: $200 + 2 hours of set-up.The ROI advantages of online advertising are hard to ignore, and many articles have been published on how to be a successful advertiser by diverting funds to this medium.This is not one of those articles.While digital is an effective conversion driver for many organizations, it may not always be the best fit for a given message. The exodus from traditional media and added keyword competition online has left some great deals and impressive returns to be had on TV, radio and print. But don’t cancel your AdWords account just yet. Because of these deals, the real value of an online ad is often in their ability to produce data for use in optimizing traditional media campaigns. An online campaign can be created and deleted in just a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional campaign, so it can serve as a poor-man’s focus group before a larger investment. It can even help with decision making in other areas of business which are largely unrelated to advertising, such as setting rates, as demonstrated in the scenario above.Below are more situations in which online marketing could serve to increase the effectiveness of other projects.The scenario:Your sales team thinks a picture of a monkey in a cowboy outfit riding a border collie is a surefire way to sell your new pet insurance product, but your design team thinks you should roll with a grumpy cat mumbling about government insurance.Your move, Online Marketing ManagerBefore you put one of these disasters on every billboard in town, find out which one is the most attention grabbing on Facebook. After all, why else do you have a Facebook page other than to engage with your members to make them feel like meaningful partners? Simply ask your designer to create the two ads and invite your followers to cast their vote via comment on the page. At the very least, you’ve introduced the product in a memorable way and made members feel involved in a meaningful way. At best, someone will offer an idea that gets you out of the bind altogether.Expert move: Once you’ve established the more popular ad, run it in multiple geographies in AdWords or Facebook to find out which community clicks on the ad most frequently. Put your billboards there.Total research investment: $300 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bradley Blue No matter what Brad were to say about himself in this bio, it would be easy to find the truth about him with a simple google search. This applies to … Details