Archive for November, 2009

A Whole New World…

Posted in Knowledge with tags on November 16, 2009 by Artform

This past weekend I was talking to a good friend of mine who is reviving a skate company that had been around in the early 2000’s but folded due to normal business circumstances – undercapitalization, lack of resources, increasing competition, etc. I had always liked the brand and I know most people did as well. So when I heard it was coming back I was immediately stoked.

I then asked my friend the million dollar question (in my mind at least), which was, “what are you guys going to be doing for marketing”? He then proceed to tell me that they were going to sponsor a few pros and run a few ads, that was it. Now… working in the skate industry for many years I do understand the importance of pros and print ads. However, I do believe we are entering a new dawn where there are numerous ways to increase a brands presence outside of Print and Pro’s.

It should be noted that this is the exact same strategy that the brand used up until they closed for business close to ten years ago. Does that strategy still work? Will it work again? Are they looking for different results? I think of it like this… the core consumer ten years ago is now in their 20’s and may or may not still be skateboarding. Their new consumer is online and on their phones all day long. Being proactive online is not even an option. It’s also very inexpensive and often free. My suggestion is to build and maintain their online properties first and foremost. Here is a really good article I found on the New York Times about marketing a small business on Facebook.

Here is a bit of outlook… as I write this blog I have my screen split in half with Sesame Street playing on one side and this blog post on the other, 10 seconds ago I was checking twitter updates on my iPhone and yesterday I watched a new skate video that was recently released only online and I am not anywhere near as savvy as the tween market when it comes to the wonderful world of web.

Print and Pros are important yes, and they always will be in this industry, but the times they are a changin’, is your marketing approach changing as well?


Design For Good – Get Creative for African Orphans

Posted in Creative, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 11, 2009 by monskeez

Common Threadz a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has partnered with Action Profiles to create the Design For Good campaign to benefit orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa. Action Profiles will be hosting a design contest with its action sports community to create a new shirt design for Common Threadz’s line of stylish, eco-friendly apparel. The theme of the contest is “hope”. Common Threadz will sell the winning designs, with 100% of funds raised going to the orphans; no funds will be diverted for administration.

“Common Threadz is one of those rare non-profits that is extremely effective in their mission while staying relevant to youth culture,” explains AP Co-Owner Jesse Den Herder. “Action sports athletes are creative by nature and ActionProfiles is a perfect venue to harness it.” Zac Folk, founder of CommonThreadz added, “It’s great to be working with Action Profiles on this project and to witness how the nonprofit and private sector can work together in a win-win fashion. We’re excited to see the designs and hope to make this an annual contest.” AP has also put together an elite team of judges who will be announcing the winning design including:

Monica Staniec – Board member of WIAS (Women in Action Sports) and VP of Marketing at iMa, a marketing and PR agency that targets the actions sports, art, music and fashion markets. Monica is also an active Snowboarder and enjoys surfing.

Luiz Calado – Photographer, writer and award winning editor, Luiz’s work has been published in many US and Brazilian publications including Thrasher, Tribo, SKT, Veja, and Yeah! Magazine. With degrees in Communications and Photojournalism, Luiz blends insight and ingenuity in his reporting, while remaining true to his skateboarding roots.

Wendy Burkman – Co-Founder/producer of the Wanda Show and media personality for Wendy is also a talented singer/songwriter and model.

The Design For Good T-shirt design competition kicks off on Nov. 1st. Submissions are welcome from November through December 23, 2009 and we encourage artists from all over the world to submit their entries. The winner will receive national exposure as an artist/humanitarian, and a generous prize package from our sponsors, including watches, headphones, apparel and much more. Presentations to the winner and commercialization of the T-shirt designs will take place in January. For more info go to: or

DFG pic

About Common Threadz:
Common Threadz is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is working to build and fund sustainable projects that help save orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in Africa and other developing nations. They employ a holistic approach to their programs that aid the children and their caretakers, with an emphasis on education as the building block for sustainable change and the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.

About Action Profiles: is a leading online Action Sports network for riders, quality brands, and worthy causes. Communities include Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Mountain Biking, BMX, Motorcross, Skiing, Kiteboarding, as well as a new Filmer and Photographer network. AP merges cutting edge social media with on site event marketing to create an environment that effectively engages both consumer and brand. AP is owned and operated by riders with award winning talent and proven business chops.

Jesse Den Herder
Co-Owner | CCO
PH: +1 231.590.3583
FX: +1 928.441.3583

“Where’s Waldo?”

Posted in Knowledge with tags , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by akila004

Last night, I attended “Where’s Waldo”, a social media discussion featuring great panelists, experts in the social media craze:

– Jonathan Rosen, Lucky NYIMG_1030

– Cameron Olthius,

– Scott Tilton,

– Emily Goligoski,

– Jonathan Nafarrete,

– Greg Cargill,

The conversation was centered around Influencers online and using them in your social media campaign:

– Who are they?

– How do you find them?

– How do you approach them to talk about what you’re selling?

– How do you measure your success?

– And how do you handle negative feedback from these influencers?

It was one of the best panels I have listened to so far. Everybody had lots of energy, they definitely knew what they were talking about and provided great insights to people that don’t know much about social media.

Here is a quick recap for those who missed it! Let’s get back to the questions above:

– Who are they? Influencers are the people who create compelling content to others. Their feedback shapes others’ opinion on a product, service, and so on.

– How do you find them? This takes time. Use sites such as Google Blog. When looking at potential Influencers, you have to evaluate factors such as number of subscribers, number of followers, friends, and content of whatever social media platform they use (FB, Twitter, Youtube, Blogs, etc.). You also cannot forgot those “Hidden Influencers”, who might not come as Influencers at first because they run a smaller blog or have fewer followers, but actually provides content to quality people that have a larger network of “friends”, “followers”, “subscribers”, etc. Basically they act as connectors to bigger Influencers.

– How do you approach them to talk about what you’re selling? The “pitch” needs to be extremely authentic and personal. You cannot be pushy and expect the Influencer to talk about your product, service, etc. First, do you homework. Go over the Influencer’s blog, content, interests, etc. to capture information that will help you connect with them. So use this information in your pitch, so when the Influencer reads it, first, he is stoked you actually pay attention and care about what he does, and second, you provide him with information that is relevant and compelling to him/her/

– How do you measure your success? The panelists agreed that positive feedback is extremely valuable. BigMETHOD, a social media agency, compares social media campaign success to advertorial and show the added value of positive comments by an Influencer speaking to a large audience of Followers and other Influencers. There are also a large number of tools out there that helps you track your social media campaign results. Google Analytics has been brought a few times as being an essential.

– And how do you handle negative feedback from these influencers? After pitching a blogger, if he ends up talking poorly about your product or service, don’t get mad, write him back thanking him for his feedback and indicating him that you took note of his comments and will do your best at making the necessary changes to improve the product or service. They typically appreciate the open and honest communication and might write something nice about you.

The event was brought by Espree Devora (Owner at ZexSports) and Sabrina Hayat (Graffy, Inc), moderated by Denise Garciano (Social Media Manager at PacSun) and sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Red Bull.

The Time Has Always Been Now…

Posted in Inspirational with tags , , on November 6, 2009 by Artform

When it comes to marketing the time to get started is now (or yesterday depending upon your level of sarcasm). At this time of year most companies are putting the lid on their marketing dollars for the next 12 months. I am often so surprised to see where those dollars go and why? Usually the answer is if its worked in the past, it should work in the future. For some brands the past may be 20, 30, 40 years. I’m sure no one needs to be reminded of the fact that we’re entering into an entirely new day in age where digital reigns supreme. The smart phone keeps getting smarter and we are relying more and more upon it. Anyone that disagrees is living in denial (opinion).

A question I have for you brands out there is – how has your marketing budget grown or shifted to incorporate increasing your presence in the digital space? For many companies out there having a website and a Facebook fan page is about as much time and effort goes into their online marketing. It’s a start but far too little.

I’d venture to say the number one reason few brands dump big dollars into marketing on the digital platforms is because they’re unfamiliar/uneducated on how to go about it, what types of results they should expect, what kinds of budgets should be spent, how to facilitate it and much much more, am I right? Even if this is true, it’s still no excuse not to be pioneering what we all know will be the new frontier in marketing.

Its like the story of the Two Peach Rule – Once a kid discovered a tree in his town that gave the best peaches, but there was only one tree in the town. So the community said every household can only get 2 peaches per week. This way everyone could have some. But the people were industrious and they took the seeds and started planting more and more trees and eventually there was an abundance of peach trees, yet the two peach rule still applied. The children asked why can’t we have more peaches? Peaches are rotting and we’re still only allowed 2 peaches per household per week. The Parents said, “because this is the way is has been for many years”.

My point is start plucking, there’s an abundance out there…