Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Blog Home

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

See Our New Work Up On Reindeer Website

You can take a look right here: Reindeer

We would love to talk to you, so email us at

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Reindeer Creed From One Of The Greats

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dear Brands...People Are Starving For Stories

Instead of trying to find the new new thing. instead of to trying to change people, perhaps more time can be spent what is worked since the dawn of time.

In the new media world, we are guilt of taking things that are niche, fringe and unproven to our clients just to show how edgy and shiney we are. The worst thing of all, they are usually geeky things like Twitter and Blogging that we and are friends use when most of their target market do not live in the interactive marketing world. Sure, the people who use things could *spark* ideas but that is hardly a big platform idea.

We need to very often step out of downtown New York and Silicon Vallery (they are fringe mindsets) and spend more time where the rest of world lives.

The reality is more new ideas fail than succeed. As mentioned in a previous post, if Hotmail can die, so can Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. By definition, whatever is cool right now, will not be cool very soon. The cool crowd talking up those things pride themselves being on the new new thing all time - so you will notice they have a pattern of dropping and picking up.

So it takes me back to ideas, stories and characters. Start there. Don't start with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Weak stories, weak characters and weak premise are still all of those things when you put them on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace... and blog about it.

The reality is this. People are putting their brand content in the easiest places for people to access in your home. But people still commute to a movie theatre and pay $11 just for the hope of seeing a good story told well with memorable characters. Do the brands that are trying to sell them listen ? No.

For an example of the use of story and character to engage people. Really pay attention to the story line in this Kelly Clarkson video. (Because you are reading a blog, you are put in the box as a hater. Try and break out of that of being someone who is aware of what the masses want.)

This video has had 20 million plus views. So by a real qualification, it is popular.

Because Of You

Dear Brands..

It does not matter how good looking you make your product in a commercial. Your "commercial" is a product pitch that we will not be forwarding to friends no matter what social network you upload it to. We want you to tell us a story first and only once that is done FIRST, then we will pay attention to you and your product.

Sarah The Consumer

So, the question should not be "Is this ad on brand?" it should be "Is this truly on consumer?". Then once we have their hearts and minds, what can they do for us. That is the new value exchange of the marketing world people and brands live in. 

Troy Benton

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lucky Holiday Buck Off

Looking for some Holiday themed, user generated fun and games? Lucky Brand Jeans have incorporated some cheer into their latest promotion, the Lucky Holiday Buck Off.

Users can upload a picture of themselves (or their friends) on to the face of a little elf through a flash interface. The objective is to use the keyboard to buck yourself off the green nosed Rudolph, and try to score one of the coupons for up to 30% off.

Here's a screen shot of me trying to buck former house minority leader Tom DeLay. Eat snowbank, Velvet Hammer!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Facebook: Looking Forward

Hotmail... Remember that ? Wow. 400 million active users down to obscurity. How is that achieved ? Hotmail then, was far bigger than Facebook is now. You travel outside the 3 coasts of New York, LA and Chicago and Facebook is not the "go to" that Hotmail was. I guess it just proves that because you are catching on like wild fire and growing huge numbers, does not necessarily guarantee you will be around forever. As they say, whatever is "cool" now is the butt of everyone's jokes in years to come.

The problem that companies like Facebook face in the future is that the low barrier to entry they enjoy now - the web, easy sign up etc - becomes the threat a competitor poses in the future. So, the strategy is that once someone is "in", you do everything you can to increase the reasons for them not to "go".

Facebook are doing this in two ways:

- Increasing social ties
The thinking is that the more social ties you have - friends - the more Facebook will become as critical as your cell phone for staying in contact with people.

- Increasing share of your "digital life"
The idea is that the more "content" you have hosted on Facebook, the more reason you have to stay with them because the effort of uploading it all elsewhere becomes too big. So, they become your digital scrapbook of memories that you start becoming attached to and protective of.

In the past, we have shown ourselves to be a fickle lot. We have all been guilty of abandoning virtual homes before and we will all do it again. If Facebook is betting on social ties and the hosting of content as being the reason we will stay forever, I would be holding off putting any of your 401k there when they IPO.

I think, however, the future of Facebook could be a much more uncool, unsexy route. They have built an incredible application platform that makes it easy for users to connect to various sources of information and services. If Facebook could see where people spend a lot of their money - ie wireless bills, cable, energy etc - and become the easier way to pay, add and manage those bills, Facebook could finally become something they would like to be which is...

Something we need, not just something we want.

A great clear morning in New York by the way. Love this city. Goal of the day is to drink more water.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wall Street Mobile Reader - Best Mobile Application I Have Ever Used

I have been looking at ways to get my blackberry inserted into my brain so I don't have to keep carrying it around. Oh, and I would be able to check it at the dinner table without anyone knowing.

Anyway, while I am still using it, apart from email, the best application I have used on it is the Wall Street Mobile Reader. Why can't all companies have an application like that ? Amazingly simple, light touch, easy download and global market driving news in an instant.

You really get the feeling that a journalist has just hit publish and it instantly appears on your phone.

Guys, can we figure out how its built next week and build it ourselves ?

Check it.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gauging Whether Auto's Will Declare Bankruptcy Thru Watching Share Price Level

From my Bberry: TB

When one cannot possibly know all the variables, is it sill gambling ? Because at least with gambling, you can see all the odds that are against you - in roulette, you can see the 36 (37 when those sketchy tables have 0 and 00) numbers against the one number you may have chosen.

However, when putting money into the stock market, there is no way you can know - unless you are like most astute investors and getting inside information or are privy to one on one meetings with the CEO's (how that is legal is beyond me) - all the variables that are effecting that company. You could be thinking a company is performing well due to strong management and as that thought travels through your mind, management might be having a huge fall out behind closed doors or about to reveal massive accounting errors.

BUT, the first ones company news will effect are the people who are most financially biased to make a quick buck from it - and that is brokers.

Remember, brokers make money on commissions so the volatility is making them squillions at the moment. They make just as much money on a wild downward spiral as they do on an upswing.

So, my point is, the people who have the best chance of sniffing out what is going on in the future of auto are the brokers. They would have insiders on speed dial. I have been following it quite closely and here is my two cents worth that you can follow day to day.

My belief is that GM (ticker: gm) at 3.20 and Ford (ticker: f) at 1.30 are the breakeven share prices - ie the market undecided which way the bailout/bankruptcy talks will go. Any uptick above those prices are an indication someone has heard something.

Happy watching
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twitter Is A Peak Into The Collective Consciousness Of The Early Adopters

Twitter makes all their data - the messages that people share with followers via 140 character messages or tweets - available via an API. That means developers can "pull" those messages into applications that they have built. Here are two visual feasts that use that protocol. You will literally feel your mind and eyes working together to process what is going on in front of you:

We Feel Fine




Monday, November 24, 2008

This is My Milwaukee

The concept of using viral video for covert message dissemination is something that's been on my mind a lot lately. It was very fitting that I would stumble upon This Is My Milwaukee while I was browsing an image board over the weekend.

It wasn't long before the conversation had spread to Digg, MetaFilter, Something Awful, pretty much every website for their target demographic. They had obviously done something right. It was intriguing, bizarre, off-brand, and funny. But what was it for?

I would suggest taking a moment right now to watch the video below:

It's obviously positioning a video game for future release, right? Aside from the obvious, there were a lot of details that brought up further questions. First of all, it was filmed in Manhattan. Intentional or budgetary? Second, the fennel bulb. It was definitely a recurring character. Planted in the grass, showed up on the kids drawings, appeared in the Work segment, and a few other places. Third, The Rabbit Hole. Right now it’s kind of shallow. The Rabbit Hole, of course, refers to the potential to get lost in a story, led down the hole by a series of links, like the White Rabbit leading Alice. Before you know it, you’re in Wonderland, and have no idea how you got there. This is My Milwaukee has a rather shallow Rabbit Hole. Is there a second phase of information coming? Where is it leading us?

Anyway, it’s making the rounds and getting coverage. It’s well received and it has a high pass along rate. Pretty much what you could hope for in a viral campaign.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Reindeer Library

Troy has been on a great Amazon kick lately, ordering some new additions to the rapidly growing Reindeer Library:

The New Influencers

Word of Mouth Marketing



Secrets of Social Media Marketing

Hand Job, a catalog of type

Since many of us will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holidays, Rachel has suggested assigning book report homework. I know I'll be looking forward to cracking a few of these in the near future. I just have to decide which one I'm calling dibs on first!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The End Of A Yahoo Gossip Girl Episode

A few months back, a public smackdown (that was not too unlike the one's we have seen between Serena and Blair) went down between Steve Ballmer from Microsoft and Jerry Yang from Yahoo. We posted about it here: "Microsoft Man And Boy Yahoo"

You could not pick up a newspaper without Yahoo and Microsoft's name coupled up and smattered all over the paper. Watching it from the outside, I could see a beat down of mammoth proportions coming. However, perhaps it was the billions Jerry Yang had made from starting Yahoo, that did not allow him to see the same thing.

So now it has played out as we posted.

I think that a few of the punches that Ballmer landed may have actually been knock out lows and perhaps Yahoo may never recover.

Jerry Yang has stepped down and Yahoo whom was offered $33 a share is now down at $11.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heart Google Video Chat

Damn this is good.

Google have released video chat from within the browser. Pretty amazing.

Go here to download. No need to worry if people are using a Mac or PC on the other end.


Point, Shoot and Share Video. Is it finally easy ?

LoveThe Flip . Well I will when I get it. I like rich, high def quality images, but to capture those and then to get it to a point where you can share it has been a hassle. Perhaps The Flip will change all that. I got it because it was high def and has a USB port. Could this be the point, shoot and share toy I have been looking for :) i will report back.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Reindeer Representin In Texas

After being delayed 1.5 hrs, it was time to embrace Texas. Literally.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Internet

Everyone seemed to agree with this when I sent it around in an office e-mail yesterday, so I thought it would be worth sharing. From the blog

The premise is owning the rules of your own internet. Or if you're like us, creating an internet interface that you'd like to share with the world. Ideally, the rules below should apply to every website.

It's a pretty comprehensive set of guidelines. However, I'd like to get rid of rule 13, and add a new one of my own:

13. My internet will work for everyone, from Grandma to Grandson. Intuition is a large part of My internet, and applications should follow an ergonomic and logical architecture.

Have any rules of Your internet that you'd like to share?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mandatory Micro Blogging!

Twitter is now an office institution. At least here at Reindeer.

Follow us at for all the latest developments and gossip! Salacious brand insights, Social Media madness, bold face branding, and commercial capers.

Since I head up the Social Media team here, I have a personal stake in the success of this program. Naturally, I'm looking forward to reading the daily Tweets of my fellow employees, even though I can look across the office and make eye contact with every single one of them. But one of the great things about Twitter is that it's an open conversation. Have some insight or comments? Share them! Interested in our campaigns, successes, and what we learn along the way? Follow us!

There's obviously a trend of moving towards transparency, for both brands and their parent companies. However it only makes sense for us, the marketers proscribing this paradigm shift, to lead by example.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New iGoogle Layout Launched

A new iGoogle layout has been rolled out. Got a little surprise when I opened it this morning. Looks good actually. Will see if it still feels good in a week or so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Drink Reindeer Cider

Most people order digital ideas over our bar...

But due to popular demand, look look... Taking advance orders now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Live Blog On Hulu LIVE Election Converage

Live blog of LIVE Hulu coverage of Election.

Promoted on homepage of

Click on it... opens a video window and you see a 30 sec promo

It kicks in to live coverage....




Clear. No skipping. Clear audio. Sharp.

I have paused... and then pressed play again and it went straight to new live point.

Hulu continues to lead the way in online video delivery. Extremely extremely impressive.

Thank you Hulu and congratulations.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Election Twitter. Addicted.

Ryan showed me a . And now I am addicted.

Go and check out a live feed of consciousness.


From Twitter:

What’s this?
We’re filtering hundreds of Twitter updates per minute to create a new source for gathering public opinion about the presidential election and a new way for you to share your thoughts

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reindeer Launches + Newsletter for Gwyneth Paltrow


There is so much in store and we are excited about where this is going to go. Sign up for the newsletter. Gwyneth is busy writing all the content on her own and there are so many cool things that are going to be released through the site.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ryan Off To Gawker Commenter Meet Up... Gossip Away!!!!

Ryan is our resident social media guru/expert/assassin.

He is promising a full run down from the hater session... oh um, I mean, connected millenialls chit chat :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The G1 Is Coming

Quick backstory... there were all these rumors about a "Google Phone". What it turned out to be, is an operating platform called "Android". The idea is that phone manufacturers can use this as the software on their phones. A company called HTC are making them first and T-Mobile are the first to release them here in the US.

So everyone wants to know if this is the device that can stem the Apple iPhone craze.

See the G1

Check it out and please start some good arguments in our comments section :)

How does it effect your brand ? Email us at

Chrysler Peapod Just Launched on CNBC

We are launching a great site about the peapod today. You will be able to register your interest first.

Charging instead of fueling!!!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Drop Box. Another Step Closer To The "Thin Client" World

Back in the 1970's IBM had the idea of the mainframe. The idea was that everything was stored on central computer and people used machines - ie computers that looked more like just the screen and a keyboard - to access it.

That idea kinda went away went Bill Gates focused on the personal computer.

Now, the internet is here. Now, the cost of memory and computing power is going down. Now, the cost of internet access is going down. So it feels to me that the age of the mainframe is coming back - the difference being that it is not one company on the services/mainframe side... It is hundreds of thousands.

The point of this post is that a lot of things that used to be "on the computer" are now being hosted elsewhere - and you just access them via the internet. The industry calls is ASP's - Application Service Providers.

This is exactly what Drop Box are doing. They are providing the virtual service that can replace what used to be on the computer.

So very soon, perhaps we will have computers that just have screens and keyboards - and nothing actually stored on the computer - music, photos, files etc will all be stored elsewhere and you use the internet to access them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Google Chrome For Mac??? So 2004.

A tip or true sign of a lack of innovation is usually that moment where you see "PC Only" on a download or application.

Google have released their own web browser. It is called Google Chrome.

The PC side of the argument points to the number of Internet Explorers versus users of Safar/Firefox on Mac. However, some on the Mac side would say that a higher number of influencers/early adopters are Mac users.

I am just flabbergasted that a company that has the resources of Google would put out a PC only version of anything.

Apple iTunes Genius Feature - Just What I Wanted!

I noticed that lately I had not had the time to create new playlists and I was getting bored of the old ones. On my computer I only listen to online radio through iTunes Radio (Radio > Pop > Big R Radio * The Mix and Virgin Radio UK if anyone cares).

The new Apple iTunes 8 has just been released for download. The biggest new thing is the Genius feature. When you allow it, Genius reads all of your songs and artists. Then you can select one song and it will build a playlist with related music. If you do not like the one you see, just hit refresh and it will show you another. How cool. So you can get a fresh playlist in about 10 seconds instead o having to go through On The Go.

BUT.. one little downside. Genius has a lot of "recommendations" that push you to buy music from iTunes. It feels like a slippery, upsell. I HATE being upsold more than anything. "Would you like tap water or bottled water?"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain to Obama: Search This!

The power of AdWords isn't lost on the GOP. Amazing to think that a party who have selected a dinosaur as their Presidential Candidate have managed to latch on to a relatively successful way to reach potential undecideds. Search terms "Joe Biden," "Biden and Obama," "Housing Crisis," and "U.S. Economy" have been purchased by the McCain camp in an attempt to inject their version of information into the query results of curious Americans.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many marketing professionals (including me) see this as a missed opportunity for the Obama campaign, who currently have no AdWords leading the conversation.

Many potential voters who identify as undecided demographically skew towards the Obama audience, and are definitely of the age to be considered internet savvy. It seems this AdWords push is directly targeted at trying to sway them to the McCain side. I'd kill to see the click stats on this campaign.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mr. Samsung learns to fish where the fish are

Every now and then, a company will create a plan of attack for social media that manages to actually address the strengths of that medium. Mr. Samsung has learned to fish where the fish are!

Let me fill in some backstory: Samsung and CNET have partnered up to provide assistance and troubleshooting for anyone on the CNET forums who have questions about Samsung’s high def products. They’ve introduced Mr. Samsung, an employee who had been at the forums in an unofficial capacity for about a year before going public, as the official resource for support and comments.

Most companies participating in a market space like Samsung like to pride themselves on their support, often providing 24 hour assitance. But Mr. Samsung takes his services to the venues his customers are already accustomed to hanging out in. This is a key differentiator, and is part of the ‘fish where the fish are’ strategy.

In addition to CNET, Samsung have also been moving forward with other social media strategies; incorporating Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo accessibility into their mobile devices, and developing promotions that incorporate Social Networking in their directives.

It’s becoming increasingly evident that successful marketing campaigns are no longer geared at driving traffic to the brand site, but must live almost entirely as platform agnostic entities. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, YouTube, CNET et al, are not only the new media entities, but also the new town squares. Samsung have been quick to realize (and capitalize off) this.

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