Storytelling Lessons from Snoop Dogg

No one raps a story like the legendary Snoop Dogg. His infamous and chronic ( if you will) career is built on the concept of storytelling. As discussed in previous posts, the strategy of brand storytelling is imperative.   No matter if the author is a rapper or a company, telling a story is what captures people’s attention and provokes emotional attachment.  In Snoop’s case, who is a brand himself has acquired thousands upon thousands of loyal fans.    It’s no surprise the rapper proves to be a stellar storyteller via social media too.  Lets be honest there’s not too much that the Dogg can’t do. 

 1. Doggystyle

Think of it as..

The promotion of something like the song “La La La” can be thought of as being built around a story. It has a beginning, which is the build up; previews, contests, giveaways etc. Then the main event is the release of the song. Lastly, the ending is the feedback from people who might  might be provoked to write their own story.  How you tell the story and what it is  about is up to you. 

2. Game Don’t Wait


Snoop Dogg is a very active Tweeter, sometimes updating every 30 minutes .  Not to mention, he has 9 million followers.  He also has a new logo, which he uses both on his Twitter and Facebook. The new logo correlates with the release of his new song “La La La” from the forthcoming album Reincarnated. Being consistent when it comes to using social media is helpful in building a community.  Once you set the precedent of how many times you tweet or the number of photos you upload or the use of your logo followers start to become familiar and often start expecting that.  This expectation is not a bad thing it is evidence of brand loyalty.


2. The Next Episode 

That deserves Documentation

Snoop is a pro at documenting excerpts of his life via Instagram or Viddy.  He gives his fans just enough information  keep them thirsty and begging for more. Like this less than a minute Viddy video where he is dropping beats with a fellow rapper.  Snoop is all about being himself allowing fans to get to know him on a deeper level.  Using a new mode of technology like Viddy promotes you and the new platform , as well as sends the message you are on top of you game and active in the social media world.


3 The Doggfather


One monetizing component of the Snoop Dogg story is his “Snoops Market Page”, which is strategically linked to his Facebook. Everything Snoop is easily accessible on his Facebook page. By taking the extra time to hyperlink something or writing a more detailed description really makes the difference for fans.  Many notice this and appreciate it.  Not to mention it also ties the story of your brand full circle.


That is so Viral?

It’s that time again to announce what content has been going viral these past few days. The web enables a large range of content to go viral. For instance, people have been fanatically viewing everything from space footage to a Flo Rida music video. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what and how a story is told via video or written content.

1. Flo Rida -Whistle
Flo Rida is not a newbie to being viral material, but his music video brings up an interesting point. His music video “Whistle” went viral for a while, then its stats dipped, now only recently in the past few days has it increased again.

Description: Published May 24,2012 Total: 42,541,952 views, last 24 hours 72,390 shares
Sometimes going viral is influenced by other forces that become part of the storytelling process and benefit it. In this case the release of his Cd WILD ONES on July 3rd and the constant playing of the song on the radio greatly impacted the music video’s views. As discussed earlier timing is a significant attribute to going viral as well as components that accompany the published content.

2. View from the ISS at Night

This video is extremely unique. It is a photo compilation of space taken aboard the ISS paired with music.

Description: Published July 16, 2012, 1.3 mill views, 7,933 likes, 242 comments
Not everyday does something space related go viral. Mostly because it isn’t the easiest content in the universe to acquire. This video is starting to go viral because it is very different from other content, most of which is humor related. “View from ISS at Night” proves that presenting something that is uncommon and relative to an audience will do well. The song that accompanies the video, is easily accessible via an iTunes link under the video. This doesn’t just help with the song going viral, but also promotes more exposure to the video.

3. Michelle Jenneke Dancing Sexy as Hell at Junior World Championships in Barcelona 2012
Michelle Jenneke was captured in the peak of her excitement before running a race. In looking at the 11 million views it has obtained, it seems her excitement is contagious.

Description: Published July 18, 2012, 11,390,053 views, 28,677 likes
Capturing that certain moment may just spread like wild fire. This video takes the simple concept of a female athlete expressing excitement about competing, adding odd music, some editing and turned it into a viral success. Sometimes the simplest things in life turn out to be the most relatable and appealing to people.

4. 20 “Bad Guys” And The Actors Who Portrayed Them
Remember all those actors that played the “bad guys” that we secretly wanted to be like. Well they were portraying real criminals believe it or not.

Description: Published July 21, 2012, 47,102 views
These pictures present reality v. film. Comparisons like these are often attractive because viewers are interested in knowing if the actor really was an accurate representation of the real person. Visual comparisons are often popular because they are easy to comprehend and share.

The story of the 2012 Summer Olympics told in a new Way

Experiencing the Olympics 5 decades ago was significantly different from what it is today. Today we have altered the rules, added a few more categories, sport different jerseys, but the largest difference is the explosion of social media.  You don’t need to go back 50 years, to get a sense of how social media has changed  the Olympic game’s experience .  Imagine it is the year 1996 and you are attending the summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia and you aren’t tweeting that your all time favorite swimmer just finished first in the 200 Medley relay.  Doesn’t it  seem like a piece of the experience is missing?

Going Viral like never before  gathered estimates for what the social media usage will be during upcoming Summer Olympic Games.  They did this by conducting a survey asking people questions like “How often do you plan to interact with social media during the Olympics?”.  According to the survey it is estimated that  77% of people will be posting Olympic related content on Facebook , 31% on twitter, and 28% on YouTube.   Also according to the survey  it is foreseen that 53% of the sharing will be cheering on the athletes and 21% will be about results and medal ceremonies. The media conglomerate, NBC noticed these statistics and seized the opportunity to build upon it.

The Olympics and Mobile go hand in hand

NBC has made a deal with the Olympics and guess what it? It involves apps.  It is called the NBC Olympics App and NBC Olympics “Live Extra” App. which is available on iPhone and iPad. It will stream live the events via the apps and the NBC website.  The app has made it possible  to watch the Olympics live without delayed events for the first time on mobile devices and the web.  NBC capitalized on the idea that the Olympics are all about history unfolding and  in turn created an environment for  the Olympic story to be a part of everyones life 24/7.  NBC has done this by focusing on making every aspect of the Olympics from the athletes to the Olympic gear as interactive and engaging as possible. With polls, mad libs, a box to type in your zip code to find athletes in your hometown, easy to share videos, live tweet stats  it is a story being updated every second.  Even the sponsors have integrated their brands into the storytelling.  For instance, VISA has a display ad (with their logo visible) that connects to a Facebook to create a cheer for an athlete page.  This is the first Olympics where the connection and bond between the athletes thousands of miles away from their home town fans is stronger than ever thanks to the technique of storytelling. visible via Facebook 

To make sure the story is spread to its maximum potential a special Facebook sharing option is available.  It is called “Social Sharing on”, which allows for everything you read or watch on to automatically be updated to your Facebook timeline.  This eliminates the trouble of clicking ‘share’ or ‘like’.  Helping the pieces of the story go viral almost almost by default.

Nike indirectly participating in the Games via Twitter

Nike may not be sponsoring the Olympics this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get their story told.  There strategy involves promoted tweets accompanied by the brand logo and links.  This is all apart of Jordan’s #riseabove marketing campaign.  During the live games Nike will tweet updates hoping to promote excitement and retweets, ultimately gaining new followers to be a part of their brand story.

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media: What’s the discussion all about?

Time is of the essence when it comes to advertising your content.  Getting discovered and going viral is everyone’s top priority.  In turn, creating a competitive environment. On top of  that the immense, plethora of media channels to choose from makes the possibility of making a noticable presence overwhelming. The easiest way to look at media is to break it up into 3 categories: Paid media, Earned media, and Owned media. Using this categorial approach allows companies to more efficiently advertise their content.  


Paid Media:  A media owner is paid by the brand to promote their message.  Examples of this type of media are display ads, sponsorships, paid searches, promoted tweeters tv comercials, etc. This is the least organic approach and people tend to judge it as less credible.  The other negatives to Paid is that consumers are becoming less and less effected by things like banner ads.  They don’t want to be talked at anymore they rather offer their attention in exchange for useful content.  On the other hand, is useful when it comes to getting in touch immediately with niches and the advertiser has a large amount of control.

Owned Media: is a channel a Company/brand creates and owns.   They can either fully or partially own the channel.  For instance, a company fully owns their website, but partially owns their Facebook page.  This allows for brand extension and expansion on the web, but requires patience to gain attention.  The reason for this is it takes time to find someone creative to create the brand’s content and also to find a responsive audience.  Brand storytelling is a large portion of why owned media work. Once these two elements are found the brand advertising becomes much easier and authentic. This approach has more credibility because it is coming directly from the source, at the same time that can defer some consumers.

Earned Media: the term stems from the PR field.  It is known as the most organic approach because the Company/Brand does NOT pay money for attention.  Attention is “earned” by people naturally sharing.  They find the brand’s content interesting so they tweet it or write about in their blog. Earned is all about interaction and engagement. The only negative is that the advertiser doesn’t have a large amount of control and at times can be difficult to measure. In contrast, it involves all levels of influencers from Sara sitting at home commenting or a blog post to Justin Bieber retweeting your brand’s link.  These type of interactions are the main force behind things going viral.  This approach has the highest credibility.

Work well Together 

Usually what happens is more or less a domino effect.  Paid is needed to get Owned going and then Earned is needed to sustain traffic  and lower costs.  When all three are utilized they are able to fuel each other allowing to for advertising optimization.  Sometimes Owned and Earned take over and Paid is no longer needed saving money.

What’s on the Viral Radar this Week?

What’s going viral? Well thats an easy question to answer. Between the approaching Olympic games and obnoxious pop songs people have much to discuss.  This week it is safe to say it is all about building excitement for upcoming events and the creation of parodies. 


The brand DC shoes is no longer only selling shoes.  The brand has branched out into sporting events like surfing and auto racing.  In this video they highlight their auto racing by creating a short film of driver  Ken Block rapidly maneuvering his way through the infamous city of San Francisco.

Description: Published July 9, 2012  in last 3 days 12,617,237 views 

The DC brand logo is shown in almost every shot.  Making it very obvious who the short film is promoting.  The location of this piece of content is an influential variable to why it has gone viral.  San Francisco is not only an extremely hilly city making it perfect for an auto race, but everyone is familiar with it it.  Think about if this race was set in Dresden, Ohio.  It would be a little bit less epic.  Agree? Location often matters.


Only 15 days until the 2012 Summer Olympics commence. P&G a major sponsor of the international event is vigorously spreading the word and stirring emotions in every way possible.

  Description: Published Jul 10, 2012 in last 2 days  434,405 views 

One word KIDS.   People love them.  This campaign directly touches the emotions of anyone who has children or any relationship with one.   In this case, P&G was selectively targeting moms.   With the line at the end “To their Moms, they’ll always be kids” theres no debate who P & G is targeting.  The Olympics by default is an emotionally charged event and they aligned with that theme.   Understanding your target audience and building on them as much as possible is key.   It is always important to remember that you can’t please every single person, but you can please someone.  P & G passionately targeted mothers and in doing so attracted others as well.

3. Sesame Street: Share It Maybe

This  parody is NOT new to our viral list. The popularity of the song “Call Me Maybe” does not seem to be burning out any time soon. Whether you like it or not…..

Description: Published July 10 in last 2 days 3,233,409 views 

Sesame Street saw an opportunity and jumped on it.   It was as simple as changing the lyrics and riding the original song’s  viral wave. Altering  the lyrics to fit a specific theme is often a witty technique that viewers like.  Viewers appreciate the effort and the absurdity.

4. Apps Are Ruining My Life

Lets be honest, Jenna Marbles’ middle name is viral. Jenna is one of those content creators that viewers can’t get enough of.  It doesn’t matter if she is talking about her dog or apps she has us under her marbelous spell.

Published: Jul 11, 2012  in 1 day 763,299 views 

by JennaMarbles

Jenna has successfully created a name for herself on YouTube.   She has the talent of making people laugh and speechless. She does this by selecting extremely relevant topics to talk about. Everyone has played with an app or at least heard about them.  The other reason why she captivates people’s attention is she is herself.  She doesn’t try to recite a script or act.  She just speaks her mind and expresses how she feels.   

5. That Gotye Song

Not another parody. Well we promise this one is hilarious, you have to watch the entire video to get the full effect.

Published: July 11th in 1 day 527,352 views 

This video was cheap and relatively easy to produce.  Two guys in a car….passionately singing Gotye “Somebody I used to Know” is a recipe for viral content.  It is exciting to think that the idea you and your buddies thought up last Saturday can be a hit if executed at the right time.  This video was released at time where most everyone is feeling similarly about this song.  Radio stations devoutly play it about 10 times every hour.  Most agree it is getting old, but are too embarrassed to admit that they still love it.  If this was released 3 months earlier it probably wouldn’t have gotten the attention it’s getting now.     

What makes being Native so much better?

In with the new out with the old is what many advertisers and marketers are saying about banner ads.  The fresh approach quickly taking over is native ads.

You may or may not initially be aware when you come in contact with a native ad.  They are inconspicuous compared to the bright and interruptive banner ads.

Lets first evaluate their visual differences then we’ll discuss the difference in logistics.

Banner Ad vs. Native Ad. (Pinterest)

Where they are  found 

It is dubbed “native” advertising because it is not an interruption.  Instead the ad is organically targeted to a relevant audience in the form of useful content.  In other words, the ad looks and reads like it is native to the site/platform, not a pesky intruder.  This type of advertising is utilized on “Closed” and “Open” platforms.  An example of native advertising on a “Closed” platform is when someone builds a profile within the platform.  From within the borders of  that platform they promote their content. The closed borders begin to dissolve with things like widgets that recommend what to read to viewers on other platforms appear.  This brings us to “Open”  platforms which is when a content creator’s content is transitive among other platforms.  Virurl would be an example of an “open” platform.  Virurl presents pieces of content on a platform and users are incentivized to share it among various social media platforms making it “open”.

Content Promotion 

The basis of native advertising is content promotion.  This works because it aligns with the business models and missions of content creation and sharing sites like Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  In addition to sufficing the human experience.

The three integrated components that make up a native advertisement:

Visually Integrated- Often this is seen on “Open” platforms. Ex: a youtube video on embedded in a blog post

Choices- People don’t like to be told what to do, they like choices.  To click or not to click, that is the question?

Content-Actually offers insight via humorous, fascinating, useful,odd, etc. content

Storytelling Prevails

Whoever said storytelling is only used for bedtime?  It is the impactful strategy that corporations and companies of the like depend on to sell their products, services, and messages to the world. Chipotle the fast food restaurant has recently demonstrated the power of storytelling by winning the Cannes Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions Festival’s first branded content and entertainment contest. The 2 minute “Back to the Start” campaign in conjunction with Chipotle’s Cultivate Foundation gained exposure via online, TV, and movie theatres. Mr. Savar one of the contest’s judges commented, “The story is core.”  When a brand has a solid story and an innovative way to tell it people actually want to watch and listen.

Chipotle- Back to the Start- Cultivate A Better World

Description:  6,593,605 views, Published: August 25, 2011 Awarded: Cannes Grand Prix

Savar expresses one the reasons the video won was because, “It was about an emotional connection with an audience.” The components of this video campaign include a relevant topic of sustainable farming and healthy eating, combined with #1 Hit song by Willie Nelson-Coldplay’s The Scientist, and quality animation.  The “Back to the Start” video actually made Willie Nelson’s cover a #1 hit by encouraging viewers to download the song, with proceeds donated to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.  This played as the engagement factor, as well as monetization for the foundation.

Bottom line

Storytelling is pertinent in provoking emotions.  Often times having an intriguing story to tell, accompanied by compelling audio features, engagement components, and creativity will do just that.  The Cannes Lion’s festival decided to include branded content and entertainment into the contest because it obvious that it is the new, effective way to get the word out about a brand.

Staying Current: What’s been going Viral lately?

It’s very probable that you have seen or at least heard of some of the things on our viral list.  Every day new things are discovered and shared across the internet turning them into viral frenzies.  Who knows maybe you will see yourself on this list one day.

It begins with…..

1. Mario Balotelli Flexing in Rage

If you are following the European Championship it would have been difficult to miss Balotelli’s pose that got him a yellow card in the Spain vs. Italy soccer game.

Description: June 28th, 4 days later: scattered all over the web.

Spontaneity or rage are always classic.  When someone captures someone or something doing an action  that was not expected viewers eat it up, especially when the person is emotionally charged.

2. Craigslist Joe-Official Trailer

Craigslist has become the go to place when looking to buy those last minute soccer tickets or purchase furniture.  One man took the use of the online classified advertisement platform to a new level and decided to see if he could survive only off of Craigslist.

Description: Published June 29th: in last 3 days 56,360 views

This documentary has received a fair amount of views because it revolves around a topic and service most everyone is familiar with. In addition, his creative choice to take the conventional use of Craigslist and make it into a survival test captivated people’s interest.

3. I wouldn’t call it Overly attached. 

Lip Syncing to pop songs never gets old.  Well, only if they are created with the special touch.

Description: Published June 30th: in last 2 days 1,247,613 views

This video is going viral because there is a compilation of pop songs.  If there was just one it might have grown old much faster.  Plus it’s the girl from next door. Viewers like to see people doing funny things that could be their friends or siblings.

4. First Look at Naomi Watts’ Princess Diana Makeover

Princess Diana is not new to a going viral list, but this time it involves a look a like.

Description: Published July 2nd twitter and facebook shares are growing as you read this

This news release doesn’t just involve the legendary Princess Diana, it includes a famous actress, Naomi Watts as well, making it viral by default.   Also keywords in titles drive attention.  In this case, “First look”, everybody wants to be the first one to know.

5. 4th of July Everything!

It’s America’s 263th Birthday Wednesday and people are always looking for new ways to celebrate or fascinating definitions of what America means to them.


What Patriotic outfit to wear?

4th of the July Entertaining Ideas

Description: Published as early as June 13th and until the holiday ends….

Holidays often inspire viral content.  They prove to be the best time to share ideas that correlate to the holiday.  It can be broad too.  Under the umbrella of Independence Day,  there are the sub categories of colors, patriotism, Uncle Sam, fireworks, independence from mother country……..   the list goes on presenting the perfect opportunity to launch your content.