This could be a major ‘game changer’ – for mobile, for social, for wi-fi and for you!


Facebook may have just entered a new space… or at least made their footprint a bit more heavy on the digital, mobile and social landscape.

Apparently they are experimenting with Geolocation “check-ins” that will enable a user to access free Wi-Fi.

The massive Facebook user base, plus the mash-up of social, mobile and wireless combined together – can truly shift (once again) the way we all communicate, work, share, live. It is already happening which only adds to the adoption rate of this concept.

You may be aware, there has been a substantial movement to make wi-fi free and available to all and this dates back to 2008.

Threre also has been an massive growth in the quantity of mobile devices that have already changed the way we live.  Add in a dash of the social media growth and we have the recipe for digital disruption of everything. 

Bandwidth still tends to be an issue or at the very least a ‘friction point’ for a positive user experience. 

Equipped with an iPad, I ‘check in’ at a local retailer shop and I’m in.

I was involved in a start-up company that developed a local social network based on the Ning platform and in-turn we launched a local area wireless mesh network based on the Meraki Free The Net concept launched a few years back. It can work and the time might be right.

Facebook/Wi-Fi – Check out the full article at LATIMES.

Why I’m sharing my personal email from @BarackObama. #BO

This is not a political post – it is a social media post. My email from President Obama – and others are shared below. Read on for the details.

Politicians (or better yet – their political campaigns) are showing us some great case studies on social media.

Social Media overload is something that can be debated for sure. And as social media grows at different rates for different people at various geographic locations and cultures around the globe, the depth and pervasiveness of it is relevant.

Having said that, I am seeing a shift in the social aspect of social media.  I have shared before that this may be the time that Warhol was speaking of – everyone’s 15 minutes of fame may be happing now – because it can and everyone seemingly wants their time.

I have also stated that I believe social media is as perfect an oxymoron as JumboShrimp.  Social by it’s very nature is human interaction. Conversely, media by it’s nature is primarily about broadcasting.

Social media then, in its best form finds the balance – right? The social woven eloquently within the media. The nuance of retweets, comments, likes, digital conversations, texts and even face to face, event based, word-of-mouth all wound up into the media – the broadcasting of the overall (long-term) marketing efforts intended.

But the social aspect may be losing.
I saw this ad inviting little ol me to have dinner with the President and just had to click.  I wanted to see where it took me. And that started the inspiration for this post.

I then recieved emails from Barack, Michelle, VP Joe, John Kerry, David Axelrod, and a host of others.

Click on an ad, and you’re in their sights!  They use the term “Friend”, they sign-off with just a first name, the seemingly personal invite to a birthday party, dinner? Sometimes 3-4 emails in one day – do you buy this anymore? And I’ll say it again – I’m not making a political statement… it is a social media observation – I am getting at here.

A campaign is media but it is not social. Some will buy into it, they likely would have bought into it anyway.

When the media turns social – now THAT is when it can have influence.

You see – I think social media worked liked this 4-5 years ago really well, in fact it worked well for the presidential race back then. There was still a newness to the social media space. But since that time, TwitterFacebook, and all of the others have exploded in terms of use – and now those using and more importantly consuming are smarter or perhaps more cynical and jaded than they once were.

Sure, the campaign is probably working, but this along with the use of social media in the Olympics shows a sign that the social may be lost to the media in some of the grand-scale (campaigns).

Now I will contradict myself. As horrific and tragic as some of the news has been in the middle east the past year or so, social media has had and continues to have a massive role in that process. Which speaks to the point that when there is a common thread among a large population, social media can unite quicker than anything we have ever seen before.

See multi-page PDF of screen grabs showing some of the emails received over the past 45 days.
Social Media? – The social is still primary before the media. We need to all remember that. Social media is a tool that can be effective if/when used properly.



@medium introduces me to @BeyondMeat


Have read about and now just signed up for @medium.

If you’re not familiar yet, you might be very soon.

A new social publishing tool “brought to you by” – well it’s Obvious. 🙂

While poking around a bit in the semi-launched service I was immediately inspired by the user experience, simplicity and beauty of both.

The name medium – is about seeking a niche between the 140 character world of twitter or the quick Facebook post space — and the personal branding of full-time long-form blogging.

Am interested to learn more how the positive feedback will work.

If I understand it, a reader/viewer can provide positive feedback to a post that is within a particular “collection”. The more positive feedback a post gets, the higher that it will rise and therefore – be more prominently displayed/presented on the screen(page). Makes sense.

The collections will be interesting too. Here are some details as @medium describes:

“Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into “collections,” which are defined by a theme and a template. (For example, this post is in the About Medium collection with a simple article template.)

We believe that good design supports the purpose (not just the appeal) of content, so Medium is diverse in look and feel—ranging from different types of articles to images to, eventually, much more.

Collections are sometimes closed (like this one) but optionally open to contributions. For example, here’s an open collection of crazy stories. Here’s one of nostalgic photos.

Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.

Together, the contributions of many add up to create compelling and useful experiences. You may be inspired to post one time or several times a day—either way is okay. If you’re more ambitious, you might create a collection of your own.

Can’t help to read between the lines that they have big far-reaching plans based on what they’ve learned.

Check it out
Stay tuned.

And if @medium would like to include me in their beta-testing friends & family plan. I’m interested.

Co-Branding Entertainment

Co-Branding Entertainment
Personal brands, Co-brands and Corporate brands
In a select number of industries, personal brands far outweigh the corporate brand they represent.

Let me explain. If I ask you who Eric Schmidt is, you probably wouldn’t know who I am speaking of, nor would I expect you to. But if I ask you if you ever heard of Google, you would laugh at me. The interesting thing here is that Eric Schmidt happens to be the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Google. See his details here.  To market Google using the personal brand of Erick Schmidt may not make sense, but that isn’t always the case.

For instance, if I ask you who Tom Hanks is, you immediately know who I am speaking of. How about what film studio Tom Hanks works with most often, you wouldn’t know and it probably wouldn’t matter to you. We all seek forms of entertainment for a variety of reasons, one of them happens to be the personal brand factor and if you like Tom Hanks you might be more interested in a movie that he is in.

One of the most successful industries that have used personal brands is professional sports. Sports figure?s personal brands have been used to a great degree in the marketing of what normally would be a larger corporate brand. Just take a look at the co-branding with athletes that Nike does. Remember the days of Michael Jordan and Nike? You may not love golf, but you may love watching Tiger Woods and Nike knows this. 

The entertainment industry has an incredible opportunity to utilize influential personal brands when launching a film or TV show into the market and they are not fully embracing this form of media. Generally speaking, (the industry) sends an actor or actress onto the talk-show circuit, sends out press releases to the trades, produces advertising campaigns, and most of the time it all works quite well.

Yet, traditional media costs can be extremely expensive and often entertainment entities spend tens of millions of dollars to tease a project they are working on prior to it?s release. They do this so that when they open a film or when a new fall TV show begins, they?re hopeful to have a built in audience already interested in their content. But the media landscape is evolving and the entertainment industry should too. Often for film and TV, new media is done as an add-on, an after-thought or sometimes forgotten all together.

If Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg are working on a project together and they both Tweet about their experiences during the shooting of the project, wouldn’t there be a built in audience for the film project? Of course there would be. What if the Cohen brothers had some dialogue with their fan base prior to the launch of a new film? How about Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David sharing insights of a new sit-com they are working on? Can’t you see Drew Barrymore garnering a following for an upcoming film… she is authentic and so is new media. Do you see where I am going here?

When a personal brand can speak on behalf of the business brand and have a wide-reaching marketing impact, it is common sense to utilize these opportunities. Unfortunately, it seems that the


of damaging a specific entertainment brand has outweighed the incredible upside that could be gained from personal brand participation

When considering the down-side of co-branding one might think about the worst case scenario. Not just the wrong message being broadcast and damaging a brand’s image but perhaps more serious liability issues could arise. So I dug a little deeper, and have done a bit of research in the healthcare sector, where I thought liability might be an issue, and it is. But those that appear to be embracing the co-brand concept are far out in front of the rest and some co-branding is being utilized for the benefit of all involved. See

With a strategic plan in place prior to a project initiation, the entertainment content creators could (and should) determine who best represents that particular project as ambassadors and have them communicate on behalf of that project.

Let’s look at some of the individual brands at the top of the Twitterverse. Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres, Britney Spears, Oprah Wingrey, John Mayer and Ryan Seacrest are all in the top 10 based on their number of followers. Interesting that they are all in some form of entertainment.

With nearly 3 million followers, Ashton Kutcher has a powerful marketing tool available to him, it is social media marketing. By simply communicating to his social media audience, he and the project he represents have a HUGE potential influence factor on the overall marketing of the creative content being delivered. Once again it should be stressed all of this can not be done casually or in a vacuum but rather done so in a proper tone, coordinating with a smart campaign, with long-term strategic goals.


Prior to working in film and television advertising, I worked for the Warner Music group launching new music acts in to the market. Let’s be clear, I don’t want to over-simplify things, but with some careful planning and coordinated efforts, John Mayer could actually announce the release of a new album from his mobile device, and that scares a lot of people!  I am not saying to abandon any of the methods that are proven, on the contrary. Rather I suggest that the entertainment industry consider the power of new media in the entertainment space and consider it in the early strategy planning stages of a campaign.

The term co-branding is truly taking on a new meaning these days. In fact, I am currently beta-testing Co-Tweet (which is a platform that helps companies reach and engage customers using Twitter)  This tool and others allow me to test out the ideal situation, where a full 360? marketing platform can be considered including traditional and new media, PR, events, grassroots, public relations, and all other resources to reach out to a target audience.

The influential personal brands out there that coordinate with strategic marketing partners who understand the landscape, will have a greater potential to extend their reach exponentially. I look forward to further discussions and welcome your thoughts.
John Ayers

@johnayers is co-founder of GravityTen, a Los Angeles based Brand Development and Campaign Strategy company with expertise in the entertainment industry and other sectors.

Thanks for insight goes to the following.

Steve Rubel on the power of personal brands.

Fortune 100 ceo’s and the brand

Dan Schawbel
#entsm #entmrktg

Sports Brand Review

Guy Kawasaki at Alltop

#entsm #entmrktg entertainment movie film studios television networks personal branding co-branding twitter facebook social media marketing networking strategy creative content warner bros. paramount sony walt disney dreamworks lionsgate tnt abc nbc cbs fox tbs hbo mtv starz focus features universal weinstein united artists

Are You a Visual Thinker?

How do we learn? How do we best communicate or share our ideas?

 As a visual thinker, I tend to pull out a paper and pencil in most conversations and start to draw a graphic representation of what is being discussed. Some people look at me like I’m crazy and others look at me and say, “Thanks, now I get what we are talking about.”

 When I saw mashable’s post this morning ( 6 Gorgeous Twitter Visualizations – ) it made me remember a long-standing observation of mine, that (generally speaking) people can be broken into two categories, visual and non-visual thinkers.


Working in advertising it has been a joy to present creative to the visual thinkers in the room. Presenting a campaign to non-visual thinkers tends to be a different meeting. The dialogue starts and evolves differently, often arriving at the same conclusion as visually based discussions.
Then I saw a visual Steven Rubel shared yesterday via or via steve at


And just this morning I found this image via


Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a friend of mine who just finished his book The Gort Cloud. The Gort Cloud is a vast, largely invisible and growing ‘community’ that sieves, measures and exchanges information on green products and services. A great visual video here.
I love the Twitter visuals (as noted above) and wanted to give a plug to common craft. I don’t know them and am not getting any kick backs, but they sure have a fun style of simple teaching that is accessible and yes it is a VISUAL approach to a lot of subjects. visit