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Archive for November, 2011

There is no sense of personal responsibility anymore. Michael Jackson’s doctor was found guilty of leaving him with access to a drug that he injected himself with and died. Where was MJ’s family when this happened? Knowing full well that MJ is an addict, why weren’t they around? Why does the doctor have personal responsibility and not MJ, why is MJ excused just because he is an addict?

Never having been an addict, I don’t understand how hard it is to resist. But if anybody has to be held accountable, I would say it should be MJ and his family more than his doctor. Someone has to be blamed, and the doctor is a scapegoat. MJ is so rich that had the drug not been available through the doctor, he could have easily gotten it elsewhere. While the doctor does share some blame, its disgusting how he is being held liable entirely. I hold MJ responsible for his death, he was the one who injected himself.

Its like the case where 3 kids died due to corporal punishment, and the parents blame a book they read for guiding them to punish their kids severely to the point of death. Don’t these parents have any brains? I am appalled at such parents, its disgusting.

Or the case where a girl was texting on her phone and fell into a manhole, and complained that there was no “caution” sign. Well, how about not texting while walking and seeing where you are going?

There is just no sense of personal responsibility anymore.

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Avon Voices

Avon Voices is an American Idol-like competition where Avon did a talent search all over the world. Finalists were flown in to New York city, given makeovers, and they sang in the Avon Foundation event last week where the winners were chosen – one was among Representatives and one among general public. I was lucky to attend the event, it was amazing. In times like these I feel proud to be a part of Avon. $860 MM has been donated to breast cancer research through Avon Foundation, and during that event alone $2 MM was collected. Fergie, Ashley Greene of Twilight fame, and Natasha Bedingfield were invited. Fergie looked much better on stage than in photos on blogs, Ashley seemed nervous, and I love Natasha. It was such an amazing event!!

I saw Andrea Jung as well, I had half a mind to take a photo with her like some others but didn’t want to seem like a crazed fan or something. Evelina was the general public winner, a young girl from Lithuania who sang the final song beautifully, so much so that I had goose bumps and a guy sitting nearby had tears. Such an amazing voice!

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I have been reading a lot about branded entertainment and content. Branded content is produced by advertisers and could be anything that connects directly with consumers without being a commercial or product-focused – microsites, webisodes, or videos. Burger King’s Subservient Chicken comes to mind. Old Spice videos on YouTube is another one. This type of content offers another platform for users to engage with the brand, be entertained, and connect with the performers. Be it a Gilt placement in Gossip Girl, or a microsite to promote American Express Members Project, orAvon Voices (an American Idol-like competition), all forms of entertainment.

According to Adweek, branded entertainment is expected to grow to $38 B in 2014. In recent times, branded entertainment has taken off in a big way, with major brands spending more money to reach target consumers in a more engaging way. Users are engaging more with content in all forms – videos, blogs, information, forums and communities, reviews, etc. A brand has to engage with the consumer through all these touch-points. P&G is one of the CPG pioneers in the digital space.

There are a few challenges. Not everyone understands digital branded entertainment. Recession has made companies more cautious and dependent on what has worked traditionally, leaving companies with big budgets alone to remain active. Measurement of ROI is a challenge; the goal has to be engagement and branding.

The right mix is to have engaging content and marketing dollars to make it viral.

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