Monday, November 27, 2006

A Superbowl Commercial Marriage Proposal - And How We Can Help Make It Happen

I ran across the most interesting blog a little while back, - there is this blogger – ‘JP’ who is attempting to raise money via his blog in order to buy a 30 second commercial spot during next year’s Superbowl on February 4th. He doesn’t stop there, if by chance he goes over in his fund raising efforts or is picked up by an existing Superbowl advertiser – anything beyond his goal or 100% of the money raised not used for the commercial – will go to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital - one of the top rated children’s hospitals in the nation. While at first I thought “Wow, that’s really neat, I hope this guy makes it and pulls it off”, I began to mull over the possibilities and how I would promote this because granted, this is an amazingly large project and in order for him to be successful, he would have to raise $2.5 million or generate enough buzz in both the blogosphere as well as through traditional channels.

Well, it worked for Alex Tews and his Million Dollar Homepage idea, he ended up raising $1,037,000.00 by selling pixels on his homepage creating such a buzz that traditional advertisers jumped into the fray and he ended up auctioning the final few pixels off on eBay. Then there was Kyle MacDonald and his One Red Paperclip blog where he aspired to ‘trade up’ to see what he might be able to get and he ended up doing a series of 14 trades culminated with him receiving as a final trade - a house in Canada.

So, I contacted ‘JP’ as he calls himself on his blog in order to protect his anonymity so that his girlfriend doesn’t find out his intentions and sent him a marketing plan that utilized every resource that I had learned over the past several years doing Internet marketing for a lot of very large web properties using techniques ranging from search engine optimization to Pay Per Click marketing to social media optimization to buzz marketing to traditional media advertising.

JP jumped at the idea, especially because part of my plan was to use this as a case study much like Jennifer Laycock’s very interesting study for the promotion of where she attempted to see how much she could raise for breastfeeding awareness. I realize that I can’t do this alone but perhaps with a little help from my friends, I can help make JP’s dream a reality. I think that this would be an incredible case study to show Madison Avenue and traditional broadcast media the power of the search marketing community – after all this is the Superbowl and to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a search marketer who has undertaken promoting a project on a scale like this in a timeframe that this would require.

So my first thought was to determine if this kid is marketable – I mean, not to sound harsh, but to rally America behind JP, I needed to make sure that advertisers would jump on this as if JP were the next Jarrod from Subway, plus I wanted to be able to quell any critics, including the few posting ‘Is this a scam?’. I asked JP if he’d meet with me and I literally jumped the next available flight when we were both available (to an undisclosed location in America) so that we could meet and talk face to face. Once I got to my hotel, I shot JP a note and we arranged to meet in the hotel lobby. When JP arrived I sighed a collective sigh of relief – this kid was perfect! Traditional Baseball cap wearing, football jersey wearing, middle of the road average Joe so to speak and very marketable and a great personality to boot! Not only that but when he showed me pictures of his girlfriend she was as cute as a button! Ok, we had our story, now we had to kick start our plan.

So here I am calling out to my fellow search and Internet marketers to help make this incredibly difficult project a reality and of course by contributing, also helping a worthy cause – the Vanderbilt Children’s hospital. I’ll be showing progress on any marketer that wants to contribute whether it be funds, links, mentions, press releases whatever. JP has agreed to place a roster of those helping to get the word out on his site and I’ll include all efforts in a journal both mentioned online as well as in a final document – maybe an ebook on how we collectively did a project this large. On last year’s Superbowl, Doritos received 400 million impressions from their commercial. I’m guessing that those of us who contribute and are listed will get an enormous amount of impressions based on this years 90 million viewership projections.

Let’s get started.

Joe Morin

Thursday, November 23, 2006

PubCon Las Vegas 2006 Wrap Up

Last week's PubCon Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center was a roaring success with a record setting 2,100+ attendee count. To give an indication of how much of a success I believe that it was and to provide a good basis for comparison, one should know that I spoke at or attended 16 conferences all over the world last year (more international than this year) and I've already hit 17 this year (next months SES Chicago will mark 18 this year for me). So far this year I've hit:

Affiliate Summit - Las Vegas
Search Engine Strategies - New York (speaking engagement)
OMMA West - Hollywood
Webmasters in the Sun - San Diego
PubCon - Boston (speaking engagement)
Search Engine Strategies - Toronto (speaking engagement)
Ad:Tech - San Francisco
Search Engine Watch LIVE - Seattle (speaking engagement)
Search Engine Strategies - London (speaking engagement)
Search Engine Strategies Latino - Miami (speaking engagement)
HostingCon - Las Vegas
Search Engine Strategies - San Jose (speaking engagement)
Casino Affiliate Conference - Las Vegas
Direct Marketing Association - San Francisco
Digital Hollywood - Santa Monica
Ad:Tech - New York
PubCon - Las Vegas (speaking engagement)

Now I may be a little bit biased because I'm one of the conference organizers of PubCon, but taking off my PubCon (tinfoil) hat, I can say that last week's show was without a doubt the best show this year thus far. Some excellent coverage of the event has been posted by Barry Schwartz, Chris Tolles, Greg Jarboe, Andrew Goodman and Matt Cutts.

Lee Odden and Yahoo's own Marc Levin provide coverage of the Search Party of the Year when Yahoo's YPN group rented out Hugh Hefner's Playboy Fantasy Sky Villa - complete with a huge terraced jacuzzi overlooking the Las Vegas skyline and a rotating bed where a playful pillowfight between three beautiful unnamed female search marketers took place. Danny Sullivan even provides some excellent party coverage on his blog detailing the three parties at various suites within the Palms Hotel and Casino thrown by Yahoo, MSN and Greg Boser. Pay no attention to bathtub comments made by Lyndsay Walker on her blog - I have no idea what she's talking about! ;)

All in all, the conference keynotes were superb and informative, I really enjoyed Guy Kawasaki's opening keynote (there's your link Guy!) ;) It was really great seeing Danny Sullivan at his first US PubCon and his keynote was fantastic as usual. The sessions were great, I received a lot of great feedback, the networking was probably the best yet at a conference. The ingenious PubCon Drinking Game put on by Nathaniel Broughton of SEO Thursday was eclipsed only by the creativity of Chris Hooley, whose out of the box thinking won the contest. Check out Rand Fishkin's video interview by Lee Odden (I did my best to make Rand look famous with all of the flashbulb effects - lol)

You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to the next one ;)

See you then!


I think the best coverage of the conference was delivered by the 'J Crew' (Jane and Jeff) of SEOmoz.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone in the blogosphere and my search and Internet marketing brethren a very happy Thanksgiving! Its been a great year thus far and looking forward to finishing off the rest of the year in a little more relaxed state...starting right now....with turkey. ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

WebmasterWorld's PubCon Las Vegas Breaks Attendance Registration Record

Next week's PubCon Internet Marketing Conference by WebmasterWorld at the Las Vegas Convention Center is officially set to be the biggest show in the history of the conference. We officially blew past our largest show numbers in recent history (Las Vegas 2005) about a month ago and the numbers have been rising ever since. With several hundred attendees coming through the registration pages in just the past 24 hours before the online registration sign up goes away (for you procrastinators, I believe that we will keep it open until maybe early tomorrow morning before the staff empties out of the Austin offices and heads out to Vegas).

I think that this show will be similar to Orlando a few years back when the number of attendees surprised everyone at the time - including Brett - who had only planned for a few hundred and more than double expected turned up. Well this show is going to be even more than double those numbers and is shaping up to be the best show ever with a lot of major sponsors, Four fantastic keynotes addressing the ever changing internet marketing marketplace, and of course a lot of great informative sessions, several parties put on at some GREAT locales and of course the whole reason the conference series began - the actual PubCon event on Friday afternoon.

See you guys next week!

PS. How could I forget? There's also the infamous PubCon Drinking Game!!!