Monthly Archives: February 2011

Audi’s Superbowl Ad

The Story: Audi means progress and they believe in giving back to the “world around us.” Lesser part of the message, but still there, Audi is luxury, new and exciting.

Medium: Television
The commercial during the Superbowl depicted the progress part of the story by saying the old guy whose dad had a mercedes-benz is old school. To be progressive choose the Audi and be set free. The commercial also contained features to be used in two different online programs.

Medium: Youtube
The youtube video is used in the Facebook competition. It also furthers the reach of Audi on this social media website. It has over 1.5 million views and almost two thousand likes and only 70 dislikes (probably mercedes-benz die hards and employees).

Medium: Twitter (
At the end of the commercial they quickly showed a twitter hash tag to be used in an online competition. Twitter users must submit what progress means to them along with a link to the contest page on audi’s website. Other twitter users who re-tweet that user’s post/hash tag are voting for that user. The user with the most mentions will be able to give $25,000 to the charity of their choice. Thus, proving that Audi is about giving back to the world, while of course raising awareness of the brand Audi.

Medium: Facebook (
On Facebook, Audio has launched another program called “The Real Estate Sale.” In which, users are invited to watch the ad and click on luxury items. Each item represents a certain cash value. At the end of the video, your total is figured and and you can submit your score. Everyone who participates in the challenge will be entered to win an Audi sports car experience.

Each medium works for the different part of the story. This campaign was well thought out and takes advantage of all three major players in the social media space: Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Youtube plays the video on Facebook and The Twitter program utilizes the hash tag feature of Twitter to spread the word. The Facebook program utilizes the social game play/competition addiction that has already been leveraged by the likes of Zynga games like Farmville, Cityville and Mafia Wars.

This narrative did not depend upon audience participation. When the audience participates it drives the reach of the companies name online. The narrative would survive with out audience participation. This campaign was all narrative based. They wanted to get across two core beliefs of Audi: Progress and giving back/charity.


Ken and Barbie Transmedia Storytelling Campaign

UPDATE:  Saw the below at Toys’rUs with my daughter yesterday.

You all know that Ken and Barbie, “Were made for each other” as Ken says in Toy Story 3. Their story actually goes back to 1961 when they first met. They met doing a commercial. The story starts to build from there for the next 43 years their relationship blossomed. But on Valentine’s Day 2004, Barbie dumped Ken for Blain®. Poor Ken, what was he to do? But Ken was okay, he was back on the prowl as American’s more eligible bachelor. He hit social media like a storm with new profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Now Ken will fight to win the heart of his one true love. You can follow the excitement on Twitter:  @BarbieStyle and @OfficialKen

By the way, stop by and help a guy out poor Ken only has 32,562 followers, and Barbie has over 1.7 million.

Mattel is using all the elements of storytelling. The message is hey remember Ken, yeah that guy in Toy Story, they are reminding consumers of the great American love story that is Ken and Barbie. The plot is the story of Barbie and Ken and will they get back together again. The conflict is that Barbie dumped Ken and may turn his advances down. The characters we know: Barbie and Ken. The narrative is very successful it is one that all Americans know. It includes consumers in the narrative as consumers get to vote for whether or not Barbie should accept Ken back into her life. Consumers can vote by texting thumbs up or thumbs down to 51684 or they can vote at, then post about it on Twitter or Facebook.

I think this campaign is doing well, it has already increased the number of Twitter followers for Barbie and Ken. Hopefully, Mashable or someone else will follow up and let us know if the sales of Barbie and Ken dolls (or action-figure in Ken’s case) went up, revenue being the only silver bullet. By next week, we should know if Barbie took Ken back or not. If you haven’t already read the article on Mashable I encourage you to do so.


Transmedia Case Study: Dexter

I’m taking this really cool class at UCI, called Transmedia Marketing Through Storytelling.  This is the case study that I found and wrote about for the class. Here is a great youtube video that goes over the whole campaign:

Modernista! a Boston-based creative and communications agency was hired to create an alternative reality game (ARG) for the Showtime television program Dexter. The goal was to increase excitement leading up the the premiere of a new season of Dexter.

It started with mock murder scene at 2010 Comic-Con in San Diego. Then it moved online. Two characters engaged players across two main sites ( and, as well as countless microsites, social media profiles, mobile components, and real-world locations. The outcome of the game was actually determined by player participation, and elements from the ARG appeared in the new season of DEXTER.

The primary medium was two websites that players could become members of. The platforms used consisted of fake websites, blogs, twitter accounts, ustream, audio, youtube videos, flash, foursquare, and even an ebay listing. Modernista! used any media that was appropriate to move the story along, to hide clues, to create suspense, and to entertain.

I put together a timeline to show the extent of the campaign:

Hunterprey is a blog that goes over the whole campaign. Modernista! has the case study on their website.


January 2011


To being the month, I watched parts of the NHL Winter Classic. The next day we left Scottsdale and began the 5 hour drive home. Right after we got home it was back to work and the normal grind. That also meant that we had to do something about our bathtub.

In December, we noticed that there was a hairline fracture beginning. Now that our vacation was over it was time to start looking at our options. We hit all the usual places and began to look at tile and tubs. Late in the month, Samantha, Michelle and I all stayed at my parent’s house in Carlsbad for a week and one day as we waited for the work on our new bathroom to be completed. Each day I or Michelle would drive up to Irvine and watch the workers progress through the project. We had the old tub and shower enclosure removed. When they had that out they put in the new tub and then put tile up the walls. We are really enjoying our new shower and bath.

Quick note on that image of the bathroom, before and after.  I created it using a free online tool called Aviary Phoenix.  Next time you need Photoshop tools, but don’t have access to Photoshop try Aviary, it is free. [update:  is now an app and not a free tool it seems.  Thanks for the heads up Carole.]

I challenged myself to read 60 books this year. Last year my goal was 50, I read 54 books. It’s time to improve on that number and hopefully, I can exceed my goal again.

My Starbucks addiction continues. The Barista at our local Starbucks knows my order before I open my mouth and my Gold card came this month as well.

At work, things are getting exciting. On the 11th our executive team announced that we will begin selling the iPhone in February. Very cool and about time!

I started two social media classes this month. These are my last two classes in the certificate program in Social Media at UCI. I’m taking Social Media Measurement and Evaluation and Transmedia Marketing Through Storytelling. I am enjoying both very much.

Lastly, here is my favorite picture of Samantha from this month.


1 – New Years Day
11 – Eric Lesile’s Birthday
13 – Keith Parrish’s Birthday
16 – Philip Higson’s Birthday
17 – Martin Luther King Day
22 – Anniversary of Michelle and my first kiss


The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss – 2 stars, I wanted to like this book. I really did, but it was just to stale.

Unsolved Mysteries of History: An Eye-Opening Investigation Into the Most Baffling Events of All Time by Paul Aron – 2 stars, this book could not deliver on its promises. It was not eye-opening. It is a rehash of a bunch of histories mysteries that aren’t even very fascinating. Much better mysteries out there to explore. It wasn’t a total waste of time though. I had not heard of all the events it covered, but can’t say I’m better off for reading it.

My Antonia by Willa Cather – 3 stars, an interesting story of foreign families that come to live on the plains of Nebraska. This was a book from my classics list that I’m trying to work through. This book is not for everyone, but if you enjoy you might like this.

Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire by David DeKok – 3 stars, this book was actually really good for what it was. It was just so much information that it was a little overwhelming. This is the author’s second book on the subject. I thought it was a very good story of the town that has a mine burning under it, for almost 50 years now! The fire still burns too! I have a more detailed post on this on the historyonair website.

Spook Country by William Gibson – 2 stars, a good story, but somehow the presentation just wasn’t there for me. The story didn’t seem to flow. There was a lot of movement between the character’s stories and they didn’t flow.

The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stepenie Meyer – 4 stars, Excellent. Very quick, but that didn’t lessen the book. Great to get some more Twilight in.

Star Wars, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back by George Lucas – 5 stars, this was an audio presentation. Excellent! Had some of the original cast’s voices! Will listen to this again!

Empowered by Josh Bernoff – 4 stars, Read this for a class I’m taking on social media at UCI. Great book. Answered most of the questions that Groundswell, Bernoff’s first book created for me. This book was much better than Groundswell in my opinion. More time spent addressing the hard questions and less telling us what our problems were.

Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik – 4 stars, A great reference book, filled with insightful tips. Great way to look at the data. Lots of common metrics explained. Author gives lots of direction on what different kinds of websites should be looking at. Even covers how to track social media campaigns.


Dorian Gray – 0.5 Star, Lowest possible rating for this. It was horrible! Read the book, its better, but not much.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – 0.5 star, perfect example of taking a franchise one step too many. This was really horrible!

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising – 2.5 stars, looking back on this one, the movie was pretty boring. Not sure it deserves this rating. I would not recommend it.

How to Train Your Dragon – 4 stars. Funny movie. Great for the family. Although, I think Samantha was a bit too young for it, because it lost her interest fairly early on.

Eat, Pray, Love – 4 stars. I liked this movie a lot. I think I even liked it better than the book.