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Twitter Thinks BeachMint Would Make An Interesting Acquisition

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-thinks-beachmint-would-make-an-interesting-acquisition-2012-2


BeachmintJosh Berman Diego BerdakinTwitter’s corporate development director Mike Brown told a panel at Vator Splash that BeachMint, a service that lets customers buy products picked by celebrities, would be an interesting one for Twitter to buy next. 

Brown said that while celebrities make Twitter what it is, the celebrities are not paid to produce content.

“We are lucky they share content and say crazy things,” Brown said, because they make Twitter interesting to read.

Right now, celebrities tweet for free because of the exposure they get in real-time. They also get paid by brands to endorse products in various venues — including on Twitter.

Brown’s comments suggest that the company is at least thinking about getting more directly involved in those kinds of transactions.

Brown made his comments after ScaleVP’s Sharon Wienbar talked at length about Beachmint, an investment her firm made early on. For the celebrity connection to work, it has to feel authentic for social commerce.

See also: Facebook Reorg May Pave The Way For More Acquisitions

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Groupon Deal Strands Customers In Vegas [Social Networks]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5844103/groupon-deal-strands-customers-in-las-vegas

Groupon Deal Strands Customers In VegasSeveral Internet bargain hunters wanting to visit Vegas on the cheap found out the hard way that some deals are just too good to be true.

Several Groupon and Voice Daily Deals Users users bought round-trip bus tickets from Southern California to Las Vegas for $45. The price was great, but the trip was a mini disaster due to the negligence of LUX Ground Transportation, the bus company that provided the deal.

The problems started right at the beginning with many buses arriving hours later than scheduled or, sometimes, not showing up at all. When the buses did arrive, they brought their passengers safely to Las Vegas, but never returned to bring them home. Oops.

All’s well that ends well, though. A shuttle from another company was called in to rescue these abandoned passengers. And Groupon eventually canceled the deal and refunded customer’s money. LUX didn’t fare as well. It appears the company was operating without a business license and has shuttered its doors now that the world’s eyes are upon it. [MSNBC]


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Made-Up Word Advertising — “Retina Display” — is how Apple Launches New Products

A made-up word “retina display” had every major blog and news outlet scrambling to help explain what it was. Nearly 1.1 Million search results in 19 hours. It was covered on every evening news; look closely at the thousands of related news articles, etc.  And all the major, powerful sites like Gizmodo, MacRumors, Engadget, etc. covered the event.  Similarly 1.2 million search results on the “one more thing” feature — video calling on the iPhone called FaceTime. All entirely free primetime coverage — talk about the tens of millions of impressions achieved with NO media cost — they can definitely used the money saved to ensure Steve Job’s next keynote will have sufficient WiFi bandwidth for all those live blogging the event.

Look at the following graph of relative search volume. The spike in search volume for All-You-Can-Jet (in red) is about 4X higher than the orange line (Footlongs). And the blue line for “retina display”  is 8X. Consider the cost of the paid TV media campaign supporting Subway’s Footlongs compared to the cost savings of the social media launch of JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet Pass and the no cost media for Apple.

Of course, not all companies will achieve the same mass coverage, but the techniques for product launches can be the same. Footlongs is an expensive paid media campaign by Subway and note how low the orange line is compared to the TWO no-cost launches.

And one more graph that shows Drobo plus 2 social media success stories — Groupon and FourSquare that even blow away Apple’s retina display — all for FREE.

Other notable examples of using made-up word advertising include JetBlue’s All-you-Can-Jet Pass and Subway’s Footlongs. Further details about JetBlue’s launch of the All-You-Can-Jet Pass is here – http://go-digital.net/blog/2009/08/jetblue-all-you-can-jet-pass/

Earlier unfiltered results on Google within 10 hours of launch — there are 3.9 Million results which will be de-duped overnight.

Day 1 Stats – page 1 position 3 in 44.6 million results

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 Branding, integrated marketing 1 Comment

The Damning Data [Nexus One]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/BrVXM_LnhYs/the-nexus-ones-3g-problem-pt-ii-the-damning-data

Google’s Nexus One support forums have been flooded with anecdotes about the phone’s poor 3G connectivity, so one user decided to follow up with some reasonably scientific tests. The conclusion? The Nexus One is kind of terrible at basic cellphonery!

The test was simple and limited, consisting of one dude, user WV, wandering in and out of his house, recording signal strength as measured in dBm and ASU with Android’s built-in metering app. Assuming the Nexus One is supposed to work like a normal cellphones—that is, it connects to 3G networks when they’re available and EDGE only when they’re not—something’s wrong.

Since the phone is obviously finding and receiving the cellular signals just fine, but not handling them as you’d expect, randomly flipping between the two—and evidently preferring EDGE most of the time—no matter how strong its signal is. This points to a software issue, not a hardware issue. That, and this:

OK. I found “Phone Info” screen through “Any Cut”. This looks like a screen not intended for average users. It clearly has settings that should not be messed with. However, it does have a pull down menu that was set to “WCDMA Preferred”. I changed this to “WCDMA Only”. The phone reset, and never a! gain saw the f’ing “E” on the signal indicator- ALL 3G. After about 1/2 hour of speed tests (150k – 800kbps) and google satellite map downloads (all definitely faster), I switched back to “WCDMA Preferred”. Guess what? After a few minutes, I was back on EDGE, even with a good signal. Switched back to “WCDMA Only”, and 3G it remains.

This doesn’t fully solve the problem, because as WV notes, if you fall out of T-Mobile’s 3G coverage area with EDGE disabled, you’re basically boned. But anyway, yes, this appears to be a software bug. Or, if you’re feeling conspiratorial today, like WV, a software feature:

My concern is whether T-mobile is being sneaky about this and purposefully dumbing down the 3G to Edge to reduce cell frequency congestion and/or their back-end network congestion.

I’m not sure I want to draw that nexus (haw?) quite yet, since the issue was first brought to light by comparing the Nexus One’s 3G/EDGE handling to other T-Mobile 3G Android handsets, and those, despite having the same data-sucking potential as the Google Phone, haven’t been throttled in any way. While Google and T-Mobile say they’re “investigating,” the evidence keeps mounting and the question looms larger: what’s really wrong with the Nexus One’s 3G? [Google Nexus One Support Forums]


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Monday, January 11th, 2010 digital No Comments

Two viral campaigns – one drove sales, the other probably didn’t

Samsung’s extreme sheep LED art video went viral and was definitely passed along as the bit.ly stats show below, but whether it drove sales for Samsung, or whether people even knew what it meant (Samsung makes LED lit LCD TVs), no one will really know.

Whereas JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet Pass also went viral (similar order of magnitude of shares, again by way of the bit.ly stats) and it led straight to the page about the All-You-Can-Jet Pass where users could then go on to buy it.

In the case of Samsung, the video was cool, entertaining, and unexpected and went viral. But the link to sales was tenuous at best. In the case of JetBlue, the product itself went viral and the link to sales was direct.

Hmm…  which had a larger business impact?  you tell me.

samsung-extreme-sheep-LED-art

jetblue-all-you-can-jet

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Friday, September 11th, 2009 digital No Comments

Top Posts Week Ending August 22, 2009.

  • Samsung 52 inch HDTV $9.99 at BestBuy – purchase receipt below (6:21a eastern time August 12, 2009)
  • The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2
  • How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2
  • Facebook advertising metrics and benchmarks
  • Two perfectly executed viral marketing programs in the SAME day – #bestbuy #jetblue #all-you-can-jet
  • The Perfect Babe – Megan Fox (pics)
  • JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet Pass – how viral can be manufactured (easily)
  • social media benchmarks
  • What is Web 3.0? Characteristics of Web 3.0
  • crispin porter bogusky’s beta site
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    Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

    JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet Pass – how viral can be manufactured (easily)

    http://bit.ly/13sF7E

    Enjoy unlimited travel with our All-You-Can-Jet Pass! For just $599* you can take JetBlue anywhere you like, as often as you like, from September 8 to October 8, 2009. Use your All-You-Can-Jet Pass for business, for pleasure, to visit your favorite cities or to meet with a client. You might as well just do it all! With more than 50 cities to choose from, and for just $599, it’s a deal you can’t pass up.

    About the Pass

    • $599 for a month of unlimited travel, any available seat
      • Domestic taxes and fees included
      • International and Puerto Rico taxes and fees not included
    • On sale through Friday, August 21, 2009, or while supplies last
    • Travel Dates: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 through Thursday, October 8, 2009
    • Each flight must be booked no later than 11:59 p.m. MDT three days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure.
    • Nonrefundable/nontransferable/no name changes permitted
    • Customers who already have a flight booked during the pass travel period can pay the difference to upgrade to the pass by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), prompt 4.
    • Each All-You-Can-Jet Pass is eligible for 35 TrueBlue points. Flights booked on the pass are not available for additional TrueBlue points.

    To purchase an All-You-Can-Jet Pass:

    Call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), option 4. You do not have to be a TrueBlue member at the time of purchase, but a TrueBlue number is required to book all flights.To join TrueBlue, click here; it’s free.

    To book flights with your All-You-Can-Jet Pass:

    • Before calling to reserve your flight, please visit jetblue.com to check availability and select flight times.
    • Call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), prompt 4.
    • Provide your pass number which is your original reservation number.
    • Provide your TrueBlue number.
    • You may only book one flight per city per day; if a violation of this policy is found, JetBlue will honor only the last booking made and cancel the customer’s other bookings from that city on that day.
    • Each flight must be booked no later than 11:59 p.m. MDT three days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure.
    • You can change/cancel flights for no fee with three (3) or more days notice; changes or cancellations to flight bookings made after 11:59 p.m. MDT three days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure will be charged standard JetBlue change/cancel fees.

    To change or cancel All-You-Can-Jet Pass travel:

    • Greater than three (3) days before a flight: $0 change/cancellation fees
    • Less than three (3) days before a flight: JetBlue’s standard change/cancel fees apply

    In the case of a no-show, the customer’s pass will be placed on hold, any reserved pass flights will be canceled, and no new flight segments wil be able to be booked until the customer pays a $100 no-show penalty.

    *Other important restrictions apply. For complete details, please read the Full Terms and Conditions.

    18,000+ clicks in 4 hours

    jetblue-all-you-can-jet

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    Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 digital 1 Comment

    The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2

    originally investigated and reported on Friday July 31, 2009 by Augustine Fou, with Tugce Esener @tesener

    Several friends and colleagues had the same reaction when they found out about this video — that it was at such a high view count already and we were late to the party of finding out.  Then we did some more digging — digital forensics  🙂  And this is a case where a viral hit was indeed successfully manufactured.  There’s something to be learned from all this — how to successfully manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits.

    Related: How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2

    Chris Brown is successfully tapping into the viral halo of a funny video that coincidentally used his song.

    ReadWriteWeb article on how rights owners (Sony, Chris Brown) can make viral profits on other people using their work instead of suing them – http://bit.ly/KA3HI

    The video was real. But promotional activities (possibly/likely paid) created the initial viral effect (led to the tipping point of the viral effect) which then got carried a further by people thinking they were simply late to the party, including myself (e.g. 440k bit.ly clicks and 3k detectable retweets out of the 13M views). The numbers don’t jive.

    The viral halo has added 1 million more views to the video from August 1 – August 2.  (13.1 M to 14.5 M)


    Ten ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN proof points to follow, each with screen shot to illustrate.

    1a. anyone notice that the “Forever” soundtrack is remarkably consistent throughout the video as if it were dubbed or added in after the original footage was shot. The sound is too consistent in volume and loudness to have come from a built-in, on-camera microphone. At the very end of the video, once it cuts back to the couple at the altar the sound quality goes back to the echo-y, tinny sound of an on-camera mic.

    1b. The “TheKHeinz” user on YouTube was registered on July 19, 2009, the day the video was posted. We usually look for clues like this to detect “plants” by PR agencies.  This is an issue of trust — a user “CmdrTaco” on Slashdot has been around the forums for years, made hundreds of posts, and was rated by the community very highly. PR agencies trying to seed stories have to create new user accounts during the PR campaign (recent registration date) and have made no other posts or uploads before (no history).

    thekheinz-user-info-on-youtube

    2. The social intensity detected in all of the top social venues like Technorai, Delicious, Reddit, Digg, etc. indicate there was not enough organic sharing to support a view count of 13 million views in 11 days (updated: 14.6 million today August 2, 2009).

    a) Bit.ly shows only 447k clicks on the shortened URL

    bitly-statistics-on-jkwedding-video

    “At Fortune’s Brainstorm:Tech conference Ashton Kutcher effectively took credit for boosting the views from – in his words – 12,500 views before he tweeted the link – to some 1.2 million views 12 hours later…”

    Well, unfortunately he used a bit.ly link which provides public analytics on how many people clicked. Most tweets result in immediate traffic, which then tails off immediately after the tweet falls off the first page. In his case, look at the following bit.ly stats URL and click “past month” to see the peak clicks on July 23. All he can actually claim is that his tweet drove a peak of about 100,000 clicks on that day not 1.2 million 🙁

    http://bit.ly/info/Z7vMw

    too bad Ashton. next time you make a BMOC claim, be sure to use a non trackable method, so analytics won’t “out” you so easily.

    august-21-bitly-intensity-update

    after only 3.5 days of retweets the twitter intensity died off to next-to-nothing; if this were a truly viral video, carried forth by real people (and not by paid PR support and paid media) the retweet intensity would remain high. As of August 21, there are over 21M views on the video and the 505k retweets does not show actual organic support for that number.

    ashton-kutcher-promote-viral-video


    b) Twitturly shows only 3 thousand retweets on the YouTube URL itself

    updated-twitturly-stats-for-video

    c) Delicious shows only 447 bookmarks of the video itself

    delicious-bookmarks-jkwedding

    delicious-bookmarks-jkweddingdance

    d) Reddit only shows 673 thumbs up for the video itself

    reddit-results-for-jkweddingvideo

    e) Technorati shows only 277 blog mentions of the video itself — this could be undercounting if blogs used URL shorteners. But if you look at the blog intensity results (below) sorted by blogs with most authority the blogs have very little authority (i.e. influence or size of audience).

    technorati-blog-posts-on-jkwedding

    — these are real indications of interest by real people. The social intensity of the passalong for this video does not substantiate the huge number of views in 11 days.

    What we are seeing now is the additional viral halo, as the momentum is sustained by large media outlets reporting on the story — even Google Blog blogged about it (boasting about the success of YouTube advertising in driving revenues). Of course TechCrunch is right that viral videos can be monetized: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/30/youtube-viral-wedding-videos-are-great-for-advertising/ )


    3. Twitter shows nothing in the top “trending topics” related to this video – indicating few people are actually tweeting about it — if this video is SO viral (13M views in 11 days) then it has GOT to show up on a scan of social intensity. (see screen capture below)

    July 31 (Friday)                 August 2 (Sunday)

    twitter-trending-topics-455pm-july-31-2009August-2-trending-twitter-topics

    4. The original video was posted July 19, 2009. The people from the video appeared on NBC’s Today Show and danced around Rockerfeller Center on July 25th (6 calendar days after posting). Today Show staff may be great at spotting news, but to get all the wedding party from the wedding to re-enact the dance on the Today Show in 6 calendar days — too good to be true?  Hmm…

    today-show-appearance


    5. Out of all the wedding videos on YouTube, how did Chris Brown detect this particular one that used his song. @glenngabe noted that there are song detection mechanisms  – ContentID – which detect the pattern of the copyrighted song and report that to the rights owners. We know there are hundreds, if not thousaands, or really funny wedding home videos — America’s Funniest Videos has been running for years and years on TV showing funny wedding blooper videos that people submitted to them.


    6. ALL TEN of the top viral videos on AdAge’s Viral Video Chart took around 3 – 6 months to achieve full viral effect — not 6 days.  See all 10 videos’ stats, as reported by YouTube at the following link. This video has not shown up at all on the list of Adage viral videos.

    AdAge Top Viral Videos all take 3 – 6 months to reach full viral effect



    7. From @RedW0rm – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success http://bit.ly/9ZUtu


    8. also check the velocity of this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkwedding or this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkweddingdance notice the tweets are not seconds apart but hours apart. Something that achieved 13M views in the 11 days since posting would show far higher velocity or twitter intensity.

    twitter-1-jkwedding

    twitter-1-jkwedding

    9.  For a top-trending topic on twitter, there is usually correspondingly high search volume that is detectable.  At first glance, terms related to this viral video like “jkwedding” or “jk wedding dance” all seem to spike.  But if you put it against even “Corazon Aquino” (one of the top trending topics NOW on Twitter) those JK wedding search volumes are dwarfed.  (see chart below).

    corazon-aquino-search-volume

    10.  Google only reports 366 links to the video and most of them are not even important websites (see Alexa blue bar)

    google-in-links-for-jkwedding-video

    11.  The video itself has no honors and no stats (yet); YouTube stats are conveniently turned off. Other videos have their stats graphs publicly available.

    no-honors-for-jk-wedding-video

    12. see the fine print in the YouTube description — For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/ — why would a normal wedding video ask people to make a donation towards violence prevention? (see screen capture below), the WHOIS record shows the domain jkweddingdance.com was created 29-Jul-09 — today is 31-Jul-09

    Updated: This was circumstantial evidence. A source confirmed that Jill is studying patterns of violence propagation for her PhD. Their choice of charity was their own choice. And the site was set up to help that cause.

    violence-prevention-chris-brown

    whois-jkweddingdance-part1

    whois-jkweddingdance-part2

    Conclusion?  The video itself is real, made by those nice people in the wedding. They may not even realize why or how their wedding video went viral (and the tens of thousands of other wedding videos on YouTube did not). On the Today Show, “The couple told Lauer they were surprised at the video’s popularity” (also see NY Daily News article – http://bit.ly/OA3iG )

    Related articles:

    ReadWriteWeb – Build Profit Not DMCA Suits

    WSJ – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success

    PSFK – Co-opting Viral Hits to Sell More Music

    TechCrunch – YouTube: Viral Wedding Videos Are Great For Advertising

    Huffington Post – Viral Wedding on YouTube Drives Buyers to Chris Brown Music

    ClickZ –http://blog.clickz.com/090805-160921.html

    What Viral Videos Look Like

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    Friday, July 31st, 2009 analytics, viral videos 40 Comments

    Occasions and Holidays Drive Movie Box Office Sales, Not Advertising

    Taking the top box office results for each of 52 weekends from the past 10 complete years (1998 – 2008; Source: IMDB.com) we see consistently that occasions like Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving show increased movie going activity. People have more time during these holidays to go to the movies and Valentines is a date+movie occasion. Also, during the summer, many people go to the movie theatre to escape the heat so there is an overall hump every year during the summer months — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    movie-box-office-2


    People go out during Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving. And they still spend what they planned to spend — 2 tickets for movie — they didn’t buy 2 more tickets and see a second movie on the same date or holiday weekend.  If they had several good movies to choose from (often, they don’t), they would choose to spend the finite dollars on the one movie they really wanted to see. The overall movie spending “pie” did not increase much, if any, year over year.

    1998 $4,055,194,733 n/a

    1999 $4,253,601,768 5%

    2000 $4,496,554,005 6%

    2001 $5,003,433,737 11%

    2002 $5,489,974,199 10%

    2003 $5,581,797,720 2%

    2004 $ 5,697,299,530 2%

    2005 $ 5,524,566,579 -3%

    2006 $ 5,660,826,625 +2%

    2007 $ 5,968,027,963 +5%

    2008 $ 5,887,193,490 -1%

    The chart below shows a red line which is the average of all 10 years. The 10 thin blue lines are the annual lines from1998 – 2008, inclusive and these are plotted as actual dollars. They come out right on top of each other.

    movie-box-office-2-overlay

    Movie advertising, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, has failed to noticeably increase the overall spending year-round or even during specific times. The chart below shows the differentials (difference between an annual line and the 10-yr average line). These all hover closely in the +$50M and -$50M band. The amplitude of the 10-yr average (red line) is larger than $50M in the summer hump — implying that the average change in movie ticket sales due to normal seasonality is larger than the change in amplitude caused by ALL movie advertising combined.

    movie-box-2-differentials

    And the summer “hump” is due to actual demand (people going out to movie theatres, some to escape the heat) not due to advertising. The only effect of advertising is to share-shift from one movie to another — the total spending remains consistent and even seasonal variations are consistent — a “zero-sum game.”


    All-Time USA Box office

    Source: IMDB.com

    Rank Title USA Box Office
    1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
    2. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
    3. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
    4. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
    5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
    6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace(1999) $431,065,444
    7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628
    8. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
    9. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555
    10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003) $377,019,252
    11. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893
    12. The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943
    13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $367,614,540
    14. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
    15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898
    16. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
    17. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303
    18. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
    19. The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001
    20. Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665
    21. Transformers (2007) $318,759,914
    22. Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180
    23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891
    24. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) $317,011,114
    25. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001) $313,837,577

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    Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

    Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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