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May 2007

Yahoo! Search Marketing Event

Last week I attended a Yahoo! Search Marketing event called Engaging Advocates Through Search and Social Media.

At it, they unveiled study findings (jointly published with comScore Networks) which confirm that influential consumers increasingly use a combination of social media, search, and communication tools like email and instant messaging to research and talk about brands. As a marketer, if you're not tapping these channels, you're missing a valuable audience.

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NBC Upfront in NYC

Yesterday I visited my first advertising upfront - traditionally a time when the national television networks unveil their Fall programming lineup to a slew of eager broadcast ad buyers, but increasingly an event for us digital folks, too.

My coverage of the new media implications on the upfront are posted at the HHblog. Here, I'll share all the fun behind-the-scenes stuff (currently limited to pictures shot with my BlackBerry Pearl; will upload from the Canon when I get home).

Monday's highlights:

  • NBC Upfront presentation hosted by Entertainment President Kevin Riley at Radio City Music Hall
  • Jerry Seinfeld announcing his return to NBC in the animated program, Bee Movie
  • Partying with Tina Fey and the casts of The Office, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Chuck (new), Lipstick Jungle (new: Kim Raver, Brooke Shields, and Lindsay Price. Andrew McCarthy was there, too, but I don't know that he's in the show?), Life (new), Bionic Woman (new), and NFL Sunday Night Football

My full NBC Upfront photoset is/will be available on Flickr, and details on all the new programming is at the NBC Fall Preview site.

Stay tuned...


Felix Restaurant & Bar

I visited a fun French bistro in SoHo last night: Felix Restaurant & Bar.

You would never have guessed it was a Sunday night - the place was packed, with a crowd of revelers spilling out from the open-air windows onto the surrounding sidewalk. Inside, they were playing high energy salsa & samba-like music and people at the bar - including the hostess - were not shy about moving to the beat. GREAT people watching :)

We had to wait a half hour to be seated in the smallish dining room (an extension of the bar, complete with an overspill of dancing patrons), but then we got a cozy table for 4 right on the edge of the action.

We started with Les Escargots - snails in garlic and parsley butter (magnifique!) and a sweet Pinot Blanc. I followed that up with L’Onglet à l’Echalotte - hangar steak with shallots and potato gratin. Both the starter and the entree were deliciously rich, and the portion sizes were perfect. We topped it off with a crisp creme brulee with strawberries.

Although we had a great time, this place is a bit of a circus - if you're looking for a quiet meal, definitely take your business elsewhere. But if you're not in a hurry and don't mind some antics, it can be a fun experience.


WONDER-Full Party

On Saturday night we attended the 9th annual WONDER-Full™ Party: A Tribute To The Wonder of Stevie, which takes place in commemoration of Stevie Wonder’s May 13th birthday weekend.

It has taken place in Japan, Europe, East and the West coasts of the U.S. - this year at The Sugar Factory in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. Once home to the famed Domino Sugar Factory (built ~1857), it's now a 14,000 square foot, multi-level entertainment venue known for showcasing a variety of music, visual arts, and interactive installations by known and up-and-coming artists.

DJs Spinna and Bobbito spun all Stevie Wonder exclusives, including covers, samples and remixes, while the energetic crowd danced and sang along to the lyrics. While Wonder didn't make a personal appearance this year (to my knowledge), he is aware of the annual event and has called in to speak to the crowd live in the past.


Employees Only

Employees_only_2 I'm down in NYC for the media upfronts and had the good fortune to get some shopping and dining in this weekend before all the work begins.

On Saturday I visited a bar in the West Village that is becoming one of my favorites: Employees Only. I actually visited this spot last Fall, and unexpectedly ended up there again on this trip (which is bizarre given the sheer volume of bars in NYC).

Originally intended to be an owner-operated retaurant catering to other folks in the service industry, it was designed to have a speakeasy feel - it's very dark and unassuming, with a minimal signage out front and well-covered frontage (you enter the door to the building but then pass through a curtain to enter the bar area). The bar area is small and casual, but wonderfully decorated to feel like the library in a personal home. Towards the back of the room is the more spacious restaurant, which opens up to a brighter, outdoor garden seating area. Img_igor_2

We sat at the bar, where we enjoyed a few libations prepared by the humorous Igor (pictured here). The cocktail menu at this place is amazing; among them:

  • Fraise Sauvage: Plymouth Gin shaken with Wild Strawberries Tahitian Vanilla & topped off with Mumm Joyesse Demi-Sec Champagne
  • Pimm's Cup: Pimm’s No1 served tall with a blend of Cointreau, Lime Juice and Ginger Soda, garnished with Cucumbers & Fresh Mint
  • Amelia: Russian Standard Vodka & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur shaken with Pureed Blackberries & Fresh Lemon Juice

And there are more. We also had a delicious Serbian Charcuterie Platter of cheeses, meats, roasted red peppers, bread, and a tapenade spread.

The food & conversation were excellent, but the most interesting part of our visit had to be the tarot card reader that sits in the doorway, in front of the velvet curtain that gives way to the bar. Yes, I agreed to have my cards read, and she was eerily spot on. Without divulging too much in this public forum, I'll say that I purposely gave her no indication of my life situation, and she was able to deduce where I'm at in my professional & personal life and make some very interesting observations!

Brush with Fame

Brush with Fame
Rushing down the street on my way to a client meeting, I just literally bumped into Warren Buffet chatting with Bill Gates! (really... That's them walking away over my shoulder...I'll zoom and crop later!)

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