The Rapid Rise (and Fall?) of Controversial Theory That Lab Accident Caused Flu Outbreak

first_imgA retired plant virologist from Australia has caused an international ruckus by proposing that a vaccine-manufacturing accident may have created the virus driving the current swine flu outbreak. Many leading influenza researchers immediately dismissed the theory out of hand or flat-out refused to speak about it. “Oh, come on, forget about this,” said virologist Peter Palese of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. But influenza scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—who similarly have deep skepticism about the thesis—have been forced to examine the evidence and publicly discuss what to many is a far-fetched idea. Adrian Gibbs, who worked at the Australian National University in Canberra for 39 years before hanging up his lab coat in 2005, came up with this hypothesis, and although his specialty is potato viruses, he’s no stranger to flu genetics or controversy: He earlier published studies in Science and Nature questioning the supposed bird origin of the strain behind the 1918 influenza epidemic.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)As Gibbs explained to ScienceInsider, the latest outbreak led him to scour the public databases and compare the genes of the recently discovered A (H1N1) virus—which is a mix of swine, avian, and human influenzas—with its closest ancestors. He confirmed, as others have reported, that six of the eight genes appear to have come from North America and two others came from Eurasia, which suggested to him that there were two parental viruses that had “reassorted” (fluspeak for combined). Gibbs, who still lives in Canberra, then took this seemingly innocuous insight into a realm that made the eyes of influenza experts go wide. Gibbs says he discovered that the virus’s eight genes had evolved at a much more rapid pace than expected. Basically, he calculated this by looking at the known mutation rates of influenza viruses and comparing the changes in the new strain with the changes in its closest relatives. “It’s clear that all eight genes have speeded up for the last 7 years,” says Gibbs. “That struck me as really, really strange.” He could imagine how one parental strain might do this. “But how in the heck do two viruses do it?” he asks. Perusing Google, Gibbs found a possible explanation. “I bumped into an advertisement for an influenza vaccine for pigs that contained three different viruses,” he says. The vaccine was supposed to contain killed versions of the virus, but what if there had been a lab accident and some had survived? Specifically, both human and pig vaccine manufacturers use eggs to grow the viruses, and Gibbs notes that studies have shown that this odd avian environment can accelerate their evolution. If these viruses were not properly killed, they could have reassorted in a pig and created the new H1N1 strain. “Not killing off the virus could explain the whole thing very neatly, but it’s only one of several possibilities,” Gibbs says.When Gibbs phoned someone whom he would only describe as a WHO friend who was “in the thick of it,” he says there was silence on the other end of the line. The friend agreed to read and circulate a paper Gibbs had written, which Gibbs sent on 8 May. The story soon leaked to the press, and the paper quickly made its way to others leading the effort against the swine flu outbreak, including the chief of CDC’s influenza division, Nancy Cox. “The premise that the rate of evolution of the individual genes in this virus is faster than normal is wrong,” says Cox, who has done many studies of influenza evolution. Cox says that Gibbs chose the wrong old viruses to calculate how much change had occurred. In effect, he had improperly calibrated his clock, she says. “He gets an artificially faster rate of evolution,” says Cox. “So there’s no need to postulate an alternative host, whether it be eggs or the other natural hosts.”Cox stresses that CDC has an open mind about possible origins of the virus, and as part of its own routine analysis had looked for evidence of lab contamination or error. “We had done all of those basic analyses very early on and had no indication that there was an unnatural origin for these viruses,” says Cox. And she notes that CDC puts the viral sequences in public databases so that investigators such as Gibbs can do alternative analyses. “This is what scientific inquiry is all about,” she says. “And when someone indicates that the origin might not have been natural, it’s important for us to go back and look at that methodology to understand why this research got the results it got.”The bottom line is that Cox, Palese, and others say there’s no need to invoke a complicated theory for H1N1’s origin. “Our level of understanding of influenza viruses and the way they evolve and reassort in nature is such that postulating this is an enormous stretch, because we know that Mother Nature is so creative and provides so many different gene reassortants,” says Cox.Gibbs says he doesn’t mind the criticism of his idea, and he has submitted his paper to an open-access journal so it can receive a proper airing. “Scientists are trained to be iconoclasts, not to believe what they’re told,” he says. “And they don’t believe until they’ve really had a good go at it.”last_img read more

Moto E (Gen 2) 4G now available with special 4G offers on Flipkart

first_imgMoto E (Gen 2) 4G will now be available on Flipkart with additional bundled 4G data offers. This is a result of a collaboration between Flipkart and Airtel. The device will also be available as part of an ‘exchange offer’, under which consumers can get a discount of up to Rs 1,500 on the smartphone. Aside from this, Airtel will also be giving a 4G -ready SIM with double data on 4G networks, for the period of first six months. It is also doing the same with double 3G data, but for two months. Also, upon purchasing the device, users will get a free gift voucher worth Rs 500.The Moto E (Gen 2) 4G is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC alongside 1GB RAM and sports a 4.5-inch qHD 540 x 960 pixel display.Other features include 5MP rear camera, and a VGA front camera, 8GB internal storage, expandable upto 32GB via microSd card, and 2,390mAh battery. The smartphone will run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out-of-the-box. When it comes to connectivity, the device has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0LE, GPS/A-GPS, GLONASS, FM radio, and Micro-USB.last_img read more

Failing parachutes to mid-air collisions: 8 times sky diving adventures went frighteningly wrong

first_imgA 53-year old Malleswara Rao fell to his death from a height of 60 feet on Sunday, in a shocking parasailing accident in Coimbatore.According to reports, Rao’s hip harness malfunctioned, after which he held on to the parachute for nearly a minute before the fatal fall. Officials investigating the accident revealed that the club that conducted the activity had not obtained permission from the Airport Authority of India and also didn’t consider the windy climate.Skydiving “is a risky sport, with risks that can be easily mitigated. You’re jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and falling. You’re depending upon your equipment and training to deploy your parachute at an appropriate time so that your descent is controllable, and at a survivable rate. That isn’t terribly hard to do,” writes skydiver David Phillips on a Quora thread.For many people though, air adventures have not always ended well. Over the years, many people have lost lives while skydiving and paragliding. Some have been luckier and gotten away with broken bones and some others have even been rescued mid-air.Take a look at some bizarre incidents:1. Mid-air collisionIn 1969, two men died in a skydiving exercise gone awry in New Jersey. Kay Komae and John McGuire jumped off an aircraft at 7000 feet with two others with the intention of linking up and then riding their chutes to the ground, but they ended up colliding at about 160 kmph.After the jump, McGuire’s chute opened and decelerated him while Komae was still in free fall, causing Komae to slam into him. “The collision sent Komae spinning away to plummet 3,000 feet to his death. His skull was fractured and he died at the scene. McGuire apparently knocked unconscious by the impact, made a hard landing under his chute,” read a report in the Reading Eagle.advertisementThe article in Reading Eagle. (via Various cases of collisions between two skydivers have been reported in recent years as well.2. The big jumpIn July this year, Damien Leroy, a professional American kiteboarder and paraglider, took a leap of faith from 150 feet after his glider malfunctioned. Though his decision to jump has been debated, LeRoy miraculously survived with fractured back, femur, pelvis and three ribs and a punctured lung.”After coming out of a maneuver, my steering lines became twisted, and I could no longer control my glider. Since it looked like I was going into the water, I decided to unfasten myself from the harness. Unfortunately, as soon I was out of the harness, the glider started turning towards the beach. I wasnt sure if I would even hit the water if I jumped, but I knew there was a chance that my glider could hit someone if I let go. Instead, I opted to hang on until I was past the beach and over the road. Once clear of the road, my options were limited and the longer I waited, the more speed I gained. When I saw an opportunity, right or wrong, I jumped, putting myself in Gods hands,” LeRoy explained on Facebook.3. 15 broken bones and perfect landing61-year-old John Milner had just taken off when his paraglider failed and crashed into a 300-foot-high sea cliff in England’s Devon in February this year. His wife watched in horror, assuming the worst and not knowing that despite breaking 15 bones Milner was in full control.The crash broke seven ribs and two vertebrae, cracked Milner’s shoulder blade and shattered his pelvis in five places, but the former army officer not only regained control but also managed a smooth landing on the beach.”I remember thinking as I flew down that this had better be the best landing of my life. Actually it was,” Milner told The Telegraph.4. Rescue attempt gone horribly wrongBack in 2013, a newly-wed Indian woman died in a horrifying parasailing accident off the coast of Pattaya.Due to bad, 36-year-old Shilpi Agarwal and her parasail fell into the water. Her speedboat driver turned the boat around in an effort to save her, but caused the parachute lines to come in contact with the outboard motor. This pulled Agarwal head-firt into the rotating blades of the speedboat’s outboard motor.According to a report by Daily Bhaskar, she was unrecognisable after the horrible accident but was identified by her husband.5. Deadly windsIn 2007, a sudden gust of wind proved deadly for a 10-year-old British boy parasailing with his family in Dubai. Shortly after he took off, the wind suddenly increased from 22 kmph to 93 kmph, violently swaying young Tony Loyden’s parasail.advertisementHis assistant boat driver started to bring the parasail down and it was 10 to 20 metres from the boat, when the rope suddenly snapped and blew Loyden onto the roof of a mosque, said a Telegraph report. Suffering severe head injuries, he died later in hospital.6. Plane crashIn 2005, cinematographer Albert “Gus” Wing III, an avid skydiver struck the wing of the plane he had jumped from, shortly after opening his parachute. Both his legs were severed at the knees in the accident that occurred over an airport in central Florida.He was taken to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries. Fourteen other skydivers were in the air at the time of the accident, according to an AP report.7. The forgotten parachuteIn 1988, 35-year-old Ivan Lester McGuire fell 10,500 feet to his death apparently after he forgot to wear a parachute in the excitement to film other sky divers. “It kind of appears he reached for his parachute and didn’t have one,” an officer told the Orlando Observer.McGuire was a veteran of more than 800 jumps and wanted to be the best sky-diving photographer in the country. He had jumped two times previously, that very day. He was filming an instructor and a first-time student as they skydived from above 10,500 feet. He was carrying a heavy VHS deck and recording equipment in a backpack, at the time of the accident.McGuire allegedly forgot the parachute on his second jump of the day as well. This was the footage he shot (The camera recorded the initial plummets, but cut out before the actual impact):8. Goodbye, prosthetic legA disabled municipal road worker’s prosthetic limb fell off midair while he was skydiving near New York. “I looked down, and it was gone. I have no idea when it came off,” 47-year-old Scott Listemann told Daily News in 2008.”How many people do you know who lost the same leg twice?” said Scott Listemann with a chuckle. He even posted “lost” signs near the spot where he was skydiving, but the $12,000 leg was never found.last_img read more

Formula One waits for Mercedes’ driver announcement

first_imgThe time for talking is fast approaching as Mercedes start a new year with Formula One waiting for a big announcement about who is going to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg alongside Lewis Hamilton.The team made clear before the Christmas break that they would have nothing to say before the full return to work on Tuesday.There is evidence, however, to suggest the decision is all but made. (Also read: Mercedes to wait until 2017 on Nico Rosberg replacement)According to the website, Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas was at the Mercedes factory at Brackley before Christmas to meet team engineers and try out the cockpit of the 2017 car.Bottas has raced for Mercedes-powered Williams since his Formula One debut in 2013 and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, a former Williams shareholder, has also been involved with the 27-year-old’s management team. (Also read: Nico Rosberg stuns Formula One with retirement bombshell)The Finn is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Rosberg, who quit unexpectedly last month only five days after winning his first title, but other elements may need to slide into place before a deal can be announced.One would be for Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa to agree to abandon his announced retirement and return to Williams as Bottas’s replacement.Claire Williams, deputy principal of the team founded by her father, indicated last month that Williams would be open to Bottas leaving if “an experienced, credible alternative was available” – such as the 35-year-old Massa.Pascal Wehrlein, the 22-year-old Mercedes reserve driver who might have expected to take Rosberg’s place but lacks experience, is another piece of the jigsaw.advertisementThe young German raced for tail-enders Manor last year, scoring the only point for a financially-challenged team whose future remains uncertain, but is expected to join Ferrari-engined Sauber alongside Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson.Wolff, in his final words to the team before the break, gave no clues but emphasised that Mercedes’ best interests would always come first.”Our position in the spotlight puts every decision taken and every word spoken under an intense microscope,” said the Austrian. “They are debated passionately among our fans and interpreted by the media.”But there has been enough talking, now. This is the period for calm and considered reflection, to savour our achievements and prepare for the next campaign.”With testing due to start in Spain late next month, ahead of the opening race in Australia on March 26, the factories are now entering their busiest period. The time for reflection is coming to an end.last_img read more

IPL 2017: Dwayne Bravo’s injury big concern for Gujarat Lions ahead of auction

first_imgSuresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions are praying hard for their star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo’s speedy recovery as they prepare for the Indian Premier League player auction scheduled in Bangalore on Monday.Bravo suffered hamstring injury in December last year during the Big Bash League in Australia. He underwent surgery last month and is still on the road to recovery. (IPL 2017 auction: Focus on Ishant Sharma and Afghanistan players )”We are keeping our fingers crossed. Bravo may not be available for the full season. I am in constant touch with him as he is undergoing the final phase of rehab in Miami,” Keshav Bansal, owner of Gujarat Lions, told India Today a day before the auction.With his extremely effective death bowling, Bravo played a big role in taking Gujarat Lions to the playoffs in their very first season in 2016. He took 17 wickets from 15 matches and along with Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and fellow West Indian Dwayne Smith, provided a perfect mix of Indian talent and foreign experience to his franchise.With over Rs 14 crore in their balance purse, Gujarat Lions are hoping to go into the auction with the main aim of strengthening their bowling line-up. The team has already released star South African pacer Dale Steyn this season.”That’s an area we are looking at in particular,” says Bansal. “Everyone knows that spinners have a big role to play in the IPL. I have a few names in my mind which I would not like to reveal right now. The team management will take the final call.”advertisementThe teams can have a maximum of 27 players, including nine overseas players.Gujarat have brought in former India player Mohammad Kaif as a deputy to head coach Brad Hodge this season.”We have always believed in honing Indian talent not just when it comes to selecting players but also the coaching staff. Kaif is a big plus to our team. We are looking forward to see him make a valuable contribution,” said Bansal.last_img read more

360i News: 360i CMO Abbey Klaassen for Ad Age: Why Too Much Ad Tech at Cannes Actually Fuels Creativity’s Future

first_imgAs reported by Ad Age here:Over the years, I’ve heard many a creative lament the rise of the digital media and ad-tech companies at Cannes. I’m no creative but I’ve, too, bemoaned how all the new technology-branded cabanas block the sea view and logos of data companies cover up the facades of the grand hotels.What used to be a bastion for creative directors and producers to talk about their craft and celebrate ideas has also become a global hub for the ad-tech world to tout their targeting, optimization and attribution tools. And yet, it’s still pretty rare for the two to intersect. The creatives have their Cannes and the media/tech people have theirs.But just as great advertising tends to result from tapping into a critical tension, this juxtaposition of Cannes’ creative heritage and its technology influx is giving rise to a new era of redefined creativity and it’s starting to show in pockets of the work.As I walked through the Palais looking at the shortlisted campaigns, some of the most interesting executions were cleverly exploiting a particular digital-media platform’s nuances or limitations, or building on an ad-tech platform.Just a few of the examples:“Geico’s Forest.” A fantastic example of how a great creative idea pushes against the perceived limitations of a digital platform, in this case a pre-roll media buy with no “skip” button. Because people typically get angry when they can’t skip the ad, Geico (with Martin Agency and Horizon Media) decided to skip it for them, fast-forwarding through what is a pretty funny film (Gold-winning funny, in fact).Lowe’s “In-a-Snap.” I loved how this nifty little campaign let people digitally take part in DIY projects by using the swiping/tapping interface of Snapchat Stories. A quick swipe here to saw a board or a tap there to hammer a nail and you’d move on to the next step in the project. I loved the creative thinking about how to incorporate the interface of a digital platform into the ad experience.Westpac “Chopper Appeal.” This Media Lion-winning campaign from DDB in New Zealand flighted a Facebook video ad to digitally reinforce the important work of a helicopter rescue team that saves people in crisis. A woman in need of rescue shows up in users’ feeds; if they scroll by the ad without “helping” her, they’d continue to be targeted with additional videos showing the same woman, her situation growing increasingly dire. Only once they stopped ignoring the video and took action could they “save” her.Canon “Photo Coach.” Real-time data APIs informed digital billboards to display photo tips that helped people take the perfect picture based on that specific moment — taking into account the weather, lighting, traffic and other elements. The idea came to life when 360i creatives repurposed technology the agency originally created for optimizing auction-based keyword bids in real-time. Lion-winning creativity built on top of search advertising technology.Today’s creatives benefit from a deep understanding of what ad technology and digital-media platforms can do. This learning expands their canvases and palettes beyond time-based and size-based boxes to also include data feeds, gestural interfaces and sequential, people-based targeting that’s creating new types of interactions and storytelling.Of course it goes without saying (or should, at least) that in all this convergence of creative and technology, fundamentals remain the same. No fancy ad-tech integration will move the needle if the strategy is off or if it’s not part of a big idea. But leveraging the nuances of ad technology to craft messages that are thumb-stoppers and head turners is the future of creativity and media in action.It’s about working together using all the digital tools available, which requires bringing a curious and inquisitive approach to the changing ad-tech and media-platform world. And who knows, maybe next year even stopping by one of those beachside cabanas.last_img read more

Mint Launches on iOS 8 with Touch ID

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigation We’re always working closely with others to build on new technologies and platforms to ensure that our Mint community has the best experience managing and understanding their finances. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce support for iOS 8 by bringing Touch ID technology to Mint.Apple users now can more easily and securely authenticate access to the Mint app on-the-go from any device.A person’s fingerprint is the perfect password. Touch ID adds another great layer of mobile security to Mint’s 128-bit encryption and physical security that banks use.With just a touch of the Home button on your iOS 8 enabled device, the Touch ID sensor quickly reads your fingerprint and automatically unlocks your phone, or in this case, access to the Mint app.While users will still have the option to log-in using their passcode, Touch ID provides the ability to quickly and securely access financial information with a single touch.Try Mint with the new iOS 8 and Touch ID now at the App Store.last_img read more

How to Align Sales and Marketing for Results (Not Just Harmony)

first_imgSMarketing is the alignment and connection between sales and marketing. Since Sales and Marketing work closely together in most organizations, it’s often typical for these two revenue generating groups to be in conflict with one another. The typical battle looks like this: Sales complains that Marketing isn’t generating enough quality leads, and Marketing criticizes Sales for not working their leads hard enough. But if you improve SMarketing at your company, you’ll spend less time bickering and more time closing business. This is how you can get the most out of your SMarketing efforts — in harmony and revenue.Promote and Support Sales and Marketing CommunicationThe first step to get Sales and Marketing to collaborate is promoting constant and open communication. Encourage the sales team to give feedback on lead quality each month. This process will help marketers better understand which types of leads are most likely to close so they can generate better quality leads. Just be sure to back this up with data (more on that later).You should also encourage marketers to sit in on sales calls and help close deals when called upon so everyone understands the value of each marketing generated lead. This action will make Sales and Marketing feel like they are fighting the same battle. Everyone in the organization should buy into this notion of alignment; the sales and marketing executives at your company should be meeting regularly to discuss the SMarketing strategy and communicate it to the rest of their teams.Finally, try scheduling a weekly SMarketing meeting to rally sales and marketing and celebrate their efforts as a joint group. Here are some examples of motivating SMarketing topics:SMarketing wins: Be sure to celebrate big wins from both Sales and Marketing like creative upsells, customers you won over a competitor, and company coverage in important publications.New product features: Have your product marketers share new product features with Sales to make them more knowledgeable about the product and stay up to date on the changes you’re making.Lead flow and sales waterfall: Track both teams’ progress month to date, and share the results to ensure you both teams hit their numbers. Learn how to build a lead waterfall graph in this article.Final thought: Close the meeting with a motivating final thought that will keep both teams positive and inspired.Measure and Hold Teams AccountableOnce you get the communication process going between Sales and Marketing, keep it moving in the right direction. In addition to working collaboratively, the teams should be encouraged to discuss any misalignment or frustrations in a constructive manner. One way to keep opinions valid is to make everyone support their claims with data. The tracking and discussion of these two critical data points help keep Sales and Marketing accountable for SMarketing success.Lead flow: Be sure that Marketing is measured on the volume and quality of leads they hand off to sales. The quantity and quality of leads for which Marketing is accountable should grow month over month in order for the business to grow.Percent of leads worked and close rates: The percent of leads worked will measure your sales organization’s productivity related to the leads Marketing provides. Sales should be working leads at a high and steady rate so the marketing team’s hard work isn’t for naught. As Sales works their leads, the close rates from lead to customer should also remain steady. If the worked rates and close rates decline, it may be an indicator of poor lead quality or lack of sufficient team members to handle the lead volume.If Sales thinks the lead flow was light in the past month, give them the numbers from months prior so the discussion is based on data, not feelings. If Marketing thinks Sales isn’t working their leads, get lead data that shows the percentage of leads worked in a given month. All of this data will keep Sales and Marketing data-driven and accountable for their efforts while validating or disproving feelings and opinions.Create a SMarketing AgreementOne of the best ways to hold your Marketing and Sales teams accountable is through a Service Level Agreement (SLA). In an SLA, the level of service is defined and agreed upon by both parties; in this case, the SLA is the agreement that Marketing will deliver a certain number of leads at a certain quality for Sales each month, and that Sales will work a certain number of leads the Marketing generates each month. This SLA can be tracked throughout the month so both Marketing and Sales can track their progress. Once the SLA is in place, Marketing is responsible for delivering and Sales has nothing to complain about if Marketing is meeting or exceeding the SLA goals. Be sure to consider the following when setting up your SLA.When you create the SLA, be sure it’s in terms that are easy for both teams to understand. A points based SLA is typical, but the value of a point may not be understood by the entire team. Think about converting your SLA into dollar values so that it will better resonate with your organization.Consider both the quality and quantity of the leads you deliver in the SLA. Higher quality leads — leads that are more likely to convert or close — should have a higher point or dollar value than low quality leads. Once you’ve established the SLA, allow yourself some time to test it out before promoting it to the larger organization. You may need to make adjustments to your SLA once it’s implemented.Integrate Your Sales and Marketing SoftwareAs mentioned earlier, data can be the “truth glue” that holds your SMarketing efforts together. It keeps both sides honest with one another and solves for any conflict that may arise between the two teams. The best way to generate data between Sales and Marketing is to integrate your sales and marketing software. This integration benefits both sides with valuable data to improve their results. By integrating two systems such as HubSpot and Salesforce, you can see the entire lifecycle of visitor to a customer. With this closed-loop integration, Sales is able to track the online behaviors of their leads to make what would have been a cold call into a warm call. And Marketing can get a better understanding of where their best leads come from, meaning which types of leads will most likely convert into paying customers. Marketing can then better allocate their time and resources to maximize their ROI effectively. How is your SMarketing relationship? What do you do to keep it harmonious, and what problems are you still experiencing?Image credit: dakini Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment Originally published Feb 1, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

20 Awesome Homepage Examples to Inspire Your Next Redesign

first_imgWhy This Homepage Is Awesome:At first glance, you can immediately tell what this website is selling. The well-organized homepage features various items, attractive slides, and price tags.4) Captain DashCaptain Dash is a SaaS platform that produces interactive and visual dashboards to help companies organize data. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This homepage is one of our absolute favorites. The look and feel of the website is brilliantly designed, and the interactive elements (play around with them for yourself!) take this homepage to a whole new level.8) Fit for a FrameFit for a Frame is an ecommerce website selling large-scale, original screen prints. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This is such a simple and very charming design. In addition, the Facebook-enabled sign-up feature reduces friction for visitors who hate completing long registration forms.18) Ryan EdyRyan Edy is a professional photographer.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:As a website for professional photography services, this homepage design plays well into what visitors are looking for. The homepage features a simple navigation on the left and a series of photographs for visitors to enjoy.19) ViddyViddy is a video-sharing app for iPads, iPhones, and Android phones that allows users to post videos of 15 seconds or fewer.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This is another great example of a how a clear call-to-action and a “Sign in With Facebook” button can simplify the registration process and increase the number of users for this app service.20) Grey GooseGrey Goose is a brand of vodka and flavored vodkas that are made using ingredients, a production process, and traditions of the Cognac region of France.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:Presentation is everything. For Grey Goose, it’s about elegant, high-resolution images and a very slick layout. Nothing on this page draws too much attention from the main elements, which feature calls-to-action for recipes and other Grey Goose products.What other homepages do you think are representative of brilliant homepage design? Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The tiled look of this homepage works great for showcasing different areas of the website. Neatly placed social icons make it easy to share, and the “Latest Posts” tab gives viewers access to additional content.6) Sagmeister WalshSagmeister Walsh is a New York City-based design firm.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The use of an overhead image of the firm’s actual office is truly creative. Each element on the floor can be clicked on, and it definitely sets this website apart from other design firms.7) Jacqui Co.Jacqui Co. is a cake and cupcake shop based in Singapore. Topics: Website Redesign Why This Homepage Is Awesome:A great feature of this homepage is that the highlighted items are neatly presented for all to see. You’ll also notice the simple but attractive scrolling slideshow at the top, which helps give visitors additional information without adding clutter.9) Buffalo Wild WingsBuffalo Wild Wings is a chain restaurant, grill, and bar.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This is a great example of a web page that is built with the consistent look and feel of the brand in mind. Colors, design styles, and fonts are all in line with the company brand and image.10) PreziPrezi is a cloud-based (SaaS) presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This example is brilliant because of the video embedded right into the main banner of the homepage. Furthermore, it makes complete sense for a company that enables the creation of gorgeous presentations to be great at presenting its own product. This emphasizes the expertise and credibility of the Prezi brand.11) SilkTrickySilkTricky is a boutique digital agency specializing in interactivity and entertainment.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:This is another great example of how content can be neatly organized into visual tiles. It presents the content in one area of the screen and does not require much scrolling to see more articles.12) Blind BarberThe Blind Barber is a barbershop/lounge concept, with locations in New York and Los Angeles. A few weeks ago, we published a blog article featuring 15 examples of brilliant homepage design. And man was it popular! Not even a full three weeks later, the article has already attracted more than 36,000 views. Now, before you accuse us of getting all cocky on you, you should know the other side to the story.Albeit successful, many of the readers of that post … or at least the ones who like leaving blog comments 😉 … were disappointed in the lack of industry variety in the examples we showcased, since a lot of them featured homepages of software companies. So … what’s a marketer to do? We could either ignore your complaints, or we could follow The Kinks’ lead and “give the people what they want.”Download our full collection of website homepage examples here to inspire your own homepage design.Agreeing that the latter was a much better choice, we pulled together a downloadable collection of 50 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design, which features homepage examples from a variety of industries … not just software. So let’s highlight some of our absolute favorites from this collection here, and talk about what makes them so great so you can get some solid inspiration for your next homepage redesign. And if you’re looking for more examples, you can always download the complete collection here.What Makes a Homepage Design “Brilliant”?Before we dive into the examples, I think it’s worth reviewing the elements of a brilliant homepage design. For reference, we covered the following in greater detail in our first post here, but I think it’s worth a quick refresher. Obviously “brilliant” is largely subjective, but in general, here are some qualities that indicate a brilliant homepage …Clearly answers “Who I am,” “What I do,” and/or “What you (the visitor) can do here.”Resonates with the target audience.Features a compelling value-proposition.Offers great navigation, usability, and mobility. Includes calls-to-action (CTAs) to guide visitors to the next logical step.Is always changing to reflect the needs, problems, and questions of its visitors. (This is why some of the examples featured below and in our downloadable collection may no longer be live!)Has a great overall look and feel. While some of the homepages featured below may not be exemplary of all these elements in one, they were chosen to emphasize specific elements from the list above. If you’re considering doing a homepage redesign, do your research and take a look at other websites for inspiration. In addition to the ones featured below and in our downloadable collection, there is no shortage of great design examples out there. Remember that your goal should be to create an aesthetically pleasing homepage that represents your brand, and also provides your visitors with a user-friendly experience. Take the time to learn about your target audience, and create a truly wonderful experience around their specific needs.20 Awesome Homepage Examples1) Austin BeerworksAustin Beerworks is a craft brewery based in Texas.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The colors and presentation of Austin Beerworks’ products are just so inviting! Its clean, white background coupled with high-resolution product images is likely to make anyone thirsty for an Austin Beerworks beer.2) Oliver RussellOliver Russell is an agency that “builds brands for new ventures and for companies that differentiate through acts of good.” Why This Homepage Is Awesome:In addition to the homepage’s great job of emphasizing the company’s value proposition through video, the colors of this website complement each other perfectly. You’ll also notice the texture of the background that runs with the overall theme of the brand.14) Flint BoutiqueFlint Boutique specializes in designing custom wedding invitations and stationery, wedding favors, etc.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The font and colors play a major role in making this a well-designed homepage. The consistency between the text and graphics and how well they align with the brand also make for a great user experience.15) Luhse TeaLuhse Tea is an online tea company and ecommerce website.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The look and feel of this ecommerce homepage gives the brand a personal characteristic that makes it stand out from competitors.16) Ride for the BrandRide for the Brand is a Fort Worth and Dallas area web design firm.Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The old school look and feel of this homepage is amazing. The custom design elements set it apart from others and the continuous side scrolling aspect makes it an interesting experience for visitors.17) ShopLocketShopLocket is an ecommerce startup that allows anyone to quickly sell goods online, allowing users to forgo paying for ecommerce platforms just to sell a few items. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The mock movie poster is fantastic! Although you can’t really tell what the company does at first, this design makes you want to learn more about the intriguing Captain Dash.5) Scotch & SodaScotch & Soda is a clothing line based in Amsterdam. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:The color and subtle design elements in the background make this web page a great example of attractive visuals that don’t take away from the core content on the page.3) EvelEvel is an ecommerce website selling music and other related merchandise. Why This Homepage Is Awesome:While the load time on this website is a bit on the long side, this website does a great job of presenting the most important aspect of the site on the center of the page. It draws the eyes to the button and attracts visitors to learn more about the Blind Barber, which leads to an ‘About’ page and a featured video.13) JibJib is a boutique design and advertising agency based in Toronto. Originally published Jan 25, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Ready, Set … Go! It’s Time to Lock Down Your Vine Profile URL

first_img Topics: Social Media Video Originally published Dec 19, 2013 11:47:09 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack One of the biggest problems with growing a dedicated following on Vine is that you couldn’t share your profile with other people. The only way people could find and follow you was through a link on an individual vine. I couldn’t share a link of my Vine profile with anyone directly without some serious hacking — which wasn’t exactly easy to do on your phone.Lucky for us, that’s all changing tomorrow, December 20, at 9 a.m. PST. At that moment, Vine will start allowing verified Twitter users on Vine to register for a vanity URL … but it won’t exactly be a rat race.According to an email from Vine, “The Vine team will automatically reserve profile URLs that mirror verified Twitter @usernames. Even though the Vine team will reserve profile usernames, you must still claim the profile URL by registering it.”The rat race will actually take place on Monday, December 23 — that’s when the rest of us lowly, unverified folks can register for custom Vine URLs. And it truly will be a free-for-all: The social network won’t be holding URLs for unverified accounts and once you select your Vine profile URL, you can’t change it, which means some people may just grab any Vine custom URL they can.Vine didn’t indicate what exact time the race will start on Monday, so if your company account isn’t verified or you simply want to unify your personal brand online, you better jump on this quick. How to Secure Your Vine URLOnce you get access to securing your URL, the process is pretty simple.According to the email from Vine, all you have to do is visit, log in to your account, and then you’ll be directed to the form below. Be careful though: You won’t be able to change your URL once you select it. Then … ta-da! You’ll have a Vine URL. It’s pretty simple. What’s not so simple, though, is what you’ll do with that URL once you grab it.Some companies may just grab the custom URL and sit on it while they figure out if Vine is a smart tool to use in their marketing strategy. (If you need help evaluating Vine for your own marketing strategy, check out this free ebook.) Some may just sit on the URL to sit on it — and because it can’t be changed, that could put other companies in a pickle. And some may use this as an excuse to launch more Vine campaigns.Regardless of what you decide to do with Vine, it’s a smart strategy to grab your company’s URL in the off chance that you’ll need it later.  Does your company use Vine? Will you secure your Vine URL tomorrow or Monday? Share your thoughts about this update with us in the comments. Image credit: The Next Web last_img read more

Is My Company Ready for Marketing Automation?

first_imgWait! Don’t sign that marketing automation contract …yet.If you’re a CEO, you may have heard about inbound marketing or marketing automation from your marketing team. They seem excited, but you’re skeptical.A marketing automation tool is a big monthly cost and you already do email marketing. The Marketing VP is suggesting a roll out plan that involves more training for the team and additional FTEs with titles like “Marketing Operations Manager” and “Marketing Analytics Ninja.”Sales isn’t saying they want marketing automation, but they are asking for more information on what leads are doing on your site, at events, and during webinars. Salespeople want to send out 50 or 100 “personalized” emails to their territory. Whatever tool you have now is a deterrent because of the time or expertise involved. And you know how most salespeople operate — they’re focused on money, not database work.Your CFO is running around trying to put revenue forecasts together from CRM opportunity data, conversations with Sales VPs, and your financial system. Sometimes, that forecast is spot on, often it is not. That variability makes conversations with the board difficult.Would marketing automation solve these problems?Possibly, but only if you are ready to take on the challenge.I suggest that unless you have the following pieces in place, you don’t sign a contract for marketing automation today.Your leads come only from client referrals.Your market is 50 firms and maybe 500 people.You have zero to little content to share with prospects.Your website visitors are less than 5,000 uniques/month.You don’t have a large database of leads that opted in to hear from you. (Under 10,000 records).You cannot, or will not, put the time into making the tool a great system.If you want to dig deeper, there are several lessons on marketing automation to examine. Automation is not just a tool; it forces your team to rethink the way they market. When I implemented my first system, I spent six months preparing our CRM and lead lifecycle to take advantage of the power and new methods available to us. And that was on top of a two-year journey to build demand generation. Marketing automation is not an instant cure; it is a process of continual improvement.Inbound Marketing Comes FirstThere are already tons of articles on inbound marketing that explain how to build up a natural online presence in your niche. Inbound marketing is about creating compelling content that demonstrates your expertise to your audience. On the internet, content is like location in real estate. You stake out your position and dominate the SERPs for your chosen space. If you’re starting from zero, organic traffic may take a few months to build up to the point where you have leads making regular requests or sending in their email addresses. But this content — “TOFU” or “top of the funnel” content — helps you build a subscriber base for your funnel by educating them through helpful content. “Okay, great, so once that happens, I’m ready for automation?”Probably not. Your blog may get traffic, but how many people are converting to email contacts? If you are getting 10 or 20 per day, then consider marketing automation. If it’s more like 10 or 20 a month, marketing automation is not for you — not just yet.Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)Now that you have a few people signed up and following you, it’s time to keep them engaged. And not just engrossed with your amazing content — no, now you need them to start considering you as someone who can help them solve their problem. How do you educate them beyond the problem you solve, into how you might be a fit for their company?Content, content, content. Not just any content — deep content. Start sending leads personalized emails with longer form content such as whitepapers, in-depth webinars, and invitations to special events. If you do not have this content yet, start working on it. This process of engaging your MOFU leads is called lead nurturing. Lead nurturing leverages content and sales contacts to help guide the lead to see your firm as a contender for solving a problem. If you find that you have thousands of leads, but few sales, perhaps it is time to re-consider your approach.Approach 1:Sales cherry picks leads from the database by asking Marketing for a list of people from your CRM. Marketing may send over 200 people who match the buyer persona, but Sales calls 50 of them, 10 respond, 5 meet, and 1 buys.Approach 2:Marketing emails deep content to leads that’s related to the content they demonstrate an interest in. When a new industry paper comes out, they send that over to the right buyer personas. If your firm is rated highly or wins an award, a fun infographic is sent out to people who are likely to care. Marketing watches for leads in the target audience that engage: people that open emails, click on links, visit site pages, download papers, or attend events.As the contact becomes more engaged, Marketing sends more focused content, such as demo videos, live demo offers, and consultations. Marketing pushes the engaged leads over to the right salesperson when the lead has taken enough actions to indicate that they are nearer to buying.Sales now calls 50 people who want help, 30 respond, 18 meet, and 7 sales result.Which approach sounds better to you?Marketing automation sees the biggest ROI in the middle and bottom of the funnel, where automated contacts and notes to Sales can speed things along and help you reach more leads with less effort. As many have said, content is fuel for marketing automation.At the same time, a dearth of leads will make marketing automation an expensive tool. So make sure you have a steady lead flow at the top of the funnel to make it worth your while.Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)A number of surveys of B2B buyers confirm that about 60% of the B2B buying process is now entirely online and without the need for a sales rep. If you don’t believe that, think about how you buy a product now. You likely research it online, check a review site, and maybe ask a friend. Once you understand how the product works, technical specs, potential issues, and the pricing model, you call up a sales person (or click “buy”).At the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is when the buyer seeks details such as pricing, technical specs, and social proof. If your website or content offers cannot answer these questions easily, the lead is going to drop you off the short list. Once leads start asking these questions, your marketing team can start providing case studies, reviews, and technical details focused on your solution. The buyer will be receptive because they are closer to making a decision. At this point, the buyer is also more receptive to a phone call from Sales. Marketing can push over these “sales ready” leads with a full history of lead behavior. A salesperson can look at the record, see that Sally is viewing the case study about IBM, and has downloaded technical specs on Solution X-3000. Sally also attended three webinars: Solution X-3000 and Cisco; How to Solve X; and Solution X-3000 Demo.At this point, your marketing team might back off a bit and let Sales share additional content in a personal way until a final decision has been made.This is helpful, but I don’t think my company is ready for marketing automation. What should I do?As CEO, you get to ask the tough questions of your team. Marketing may be clamoring for marketing automation, but you see that the firm is not ready. Rick Burnes recently asked, “Is Marketing Automation Worth the Hassle?” I say yes, but only if you can answer the questions he poses, along with a few of the deeper questions I pose here:1) How is your sales funnel?Ask your team to build a weekly and monthly sales funnel report, describing:Traffic to WebsiteEmail Sign UpsLeads Passed to SalesUnqualified LeadsOpted In LeadsCounts of Leads That Meet Your Buyer PersonasMeetingsOpportunities Open and CreatedOpportunities Closed/Won and Closed LostHaving this data is always a good idea and you can start tracking the ROI of content, website, and lead improvements even before marketing automation. Your Marketing decision maker can then be a great position to demonstrate the lift associated with what he or she is doing.2) What are your existing tools? How are they performing? CRM Health: duplicates, record counts, workflow.Email Platform: Is this syncing to CRM? Are you able to track behaviors easily?Website and Website Design: Is your site set up to take advantage of SEO? Is your website designed to funnel people to content offers? Can marketing easily modify and create offers? Can you test page designs easily?3) Make sure your house is in order before you make big renovations.How are we creating content? Are we creating enough?Ask marketing how many blog posts, papers, webinars, and events they are doing.Build an editorial calendar.What keywords are you ranking for? What do you want to rank for?How often can you create content?Once you understand where your firm is now, you can develop a plan to make the journey to inbound marketing and revenue marketing. Part of that journey will include marketing automation — but only at the right moment.Remember, marketing automation is your opportunity to rethink the way your firm markets by matching your content and process to the new buyer journey. Take the time to understand your current marketing, how your buyer wants to be marketed to, and how you will build a system to make that happen.Think you’re ready to take the next steps with marketing automation? Feel free to relay your thoughts, questions, and/or concerns about automation below. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Marketing Automation Originally published Jan 14, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

10 MORE of the Most Remarkable Marketing Campaigns in History

first_imgIf you read this blog, you know you’ll frequently hear us talking about remarkable campaigns that have both inspired and impressed us: from Old Spice going viral with personalized videos, to Elf Yourself entertaining us for yet another holiday season. We’ve even published SlideShare presentations about remarkable campaigns, as you may remember.But quite a few more top-notch marketing campaigns have been executed to near-perfection in the last several years (and decades). Even companies we’d never heard of created remarkable campaigns and took the spotlight.Because there are so many great campaigns that have come and gone (or stuck around, in some cases), we decided that the original 10 just wasn’t enough — so I rounded up 10 more of the most remarkable marketing campaigns in history.Take a look at the original list in this SlideShare, then meet me below for the newest additions to our hall of fame. 10 MORE of the Most Remarkable Campaigns in History1) Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2 PromotionRight before Christmas last year, Anchorman 2 arrived in theaters. But in the months leading up to its premiere, Will Ferrell dressed as Ron Burgundy and traveled around the world promoting the movie. You may have seen him on Conan O’Brien’s show being interviewed as Burgundy, or on Bismarck’s KXMB-TV evening news as a co-anchor, or maybe his day at Emerson College, which named its communications school after the character.What made this campaign remarkable?When a big-budget movie comes out, there is typically a lot of promotion about it. You may see them advertised on billboards and TV and see the release date promoted on social media. However, what Will Ferrell and the Anchorman 2 team did was extraordinary: They took a beloved character and put him with all his quirks into the real world.First, Ferrell and his team had a complete understanding of the persona they were targeting. With that in mind, you saw him show up in the places that his target audience would appear in the most: social, blogs, news sites, and ad spots. He could even be seen taking over websites like Huffington Post to write content or anchoring the news as we see in the video above. The campaign was integrated across multiple channels, fully taking advantage of all of the different places you may find an Anchorman 2 fan.What also makes this campaign unique is the amount of earned media the film was able to garner in addition to its co-marketing partnerships created. In an AdWeek article, Megan Wahtera, Paramount’s SVP of Interactive Marketing said, “Our fans have been creating content and essentially marketing for us. But it’s our job to feed the frenzy.”Whether or not you agree that this campaign was a success, given how much time, resources, effort, and money were poured into it, you have to give it up for Ferrell and Co. for the willingness to try something new and brave.2) California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk?” CampaignAt one point or another, you’ve likely seen at least one “Got Milk?” commercial or ad. Whether it was Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, or some other celeb wearing a milk mustache, it’s hard to flip through a magazine without seeing the famed ad. How exactly did this campaign get going?In the 1990s, the California Milk Processor Board saw that less and less people were drinking milk each year. So, they decided to hire the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners to help solve this problem through a marketing campaign. They targeted current milk drinkers and created an ad for television, radio, and billboards. And yes, the campaign was around milk. There are not a lot of innovative or exciting things you could do with milk. Or so we thought.What made this campaign remarkable?One big reason we consider this campaign a success is the fact that … well … milk is pretty boring. Considering just how popular the ads have become over the years for a product that really can’t be improved or enhanced is pretty (you guessed it) remarkable.Not only were the goals of the campaign met, but they were also far exceeded. Milk consumption in California stopped declining — in fact, it increased by 7% from 1993 to 1994. Milk sales grew by 13.5 million gallons — in other words, by $34 million. Not too shabby.Even though there’ve been other campaigns promoting commodities, the “Got Milk?” campaign is one of the most well-known campaigns in history. In addition to the impressive numbers the campaign produced, the ad continues to live on. Even though it’s over two decades old, you can still find the ads in many print magazines with some of the most popular celebrities.Who would’ve thought that its popularity would continue after all these years?3) WestJet Christmas Miracle VideoAround this past year’s holiday season, WestJet Airlines customers came to the airport for their flight like it was any other day. But when they got to the gate, they saw what looked like a large present with a webcam of Santa inside. Different passengers went up to the gift and told Santa what they wanted for Christmas and then boarded the flight. They didn’t suspect anything.When they got to their destination, they went to baggage claim. Instead of retrieving their bags, gifts came out with all of the presents inside that they had asked for. See it for yourself. What made this campaign remarkable?This campaign was exciting and delightful to all of the WestJet customers to have their wishes granted. Whether they were asking for a plane ticket home for the holidays, a tablet, or new underwear, they got what they wanted — and the company made a big name for itself.In addition to the close to 35 million views the video has on YouTube, WestJet exemplified what every company should strive for: Going above and beyond to delight its customers.4) Apple’s Mac vs. PC CommercialsBeginning in 2006, Apple created a series of commercials featuring two people: one was a Mac and the other a PC. The Mac was a young, handsome man, while the PC was an older man who stumbled on his words. They would simply have a discussion about the different things they could do, with the PC always seeming like he was having trouble keeping up with the Mac. In some commercials, PCs could not communicate with other devices like digital cameras. In others, the PC kept freezing or restarting.What made this campaign remarkable?When you think of the most popular Apple commercial, you may think of Apple’s first commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Believe it or not, their Mac vs. PC commercials ended up being the most successful campaigns for them. They experienced 42% market share growth in the first year as a result of these commercials.What made these campaigns really special was the way they talked about the features that made Macs superior to PCs in a way that was still engaging but extremely informative.They also positioned the Mac as a “cool” product — something that had not been done before. Previously, personal computing was not looked at as cool, but as soon as these commercials aired, the Mac became associated with being cool. All in all, 66 commercials were produced between May 2006 and October 2009, and each one delivered an on-point message that helped bolster Apple’s reputation in a big way.5) Oreo’s Creme vs. Cookie DebateWhen you think of Oreo and Super Bowl 2013, you may think of their popular tweet that gained them a lot of recognition. However, their first Super Bowl commercial sparked a two-month campaign that proved to be highly successful for their social media presence. It all started with this.This commercial sparked the battle — and, more importantly, a conversation about the Oreo brand — between the people who think the cream part of Oreos are better and the people who think the cookie part of Oreos are better. Oreo encouraged people to post pictures of them and Oreos onto Instagram and use the hashtag #cookiethis or #cremethis, depending on which part of the cookie they thought was better.At the end of the campaign, Oreo created a website called (which seems to be down now). But the website gave participants access to entertaining videos and basically told all participants that there was no wrong answer to the cookie vs. creme debate.What made this campaign remarkable?Before the campaign kicked off, Oreo had 2,200 followers on Instagram. About 15 seconds after the Super Bowl ad aired, they had 22,000 followers and continued to gain traction over the next two months.The Super Bowl commercial currently has about 2.6 million views on YouTube. In addition to those incredible figures, Oreo marketers took a topic that everyone could relate to and sparked a debate between the two parties. This “competition” between the #cremethis and #cookiethis participants revived a brand most of us grew up enjoying.6) Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” VideoChipotle needed to do something to promote their Food with Integrity campaign, and with this video, the company certainly found an effective way to do so.This campaign is Chipotle’s commitment to serving the most high-quality food and respecting animals on its menu by not using antibiotics or added hormones. Enter the Chipotle Scarecrow.This video shows animals getting treated poorly before being slaughtered for their meat, and the Scarecrow’s reaction to this type of torture. And of course, the background music — Fiona Apple’s “Pure Imagination” — adds the perfect, somber element to the story.It then shows him going home and getting an idea about how to create a burrito business with vegetables and meat that were not injected with anything remotely harmful. At the end of the video, you see the Scarecrow at a burrito stand with the message “Cultivate a Better World.”What made this campaign remarkable?Since “The Scarecrow” was launched, it’s gotten nearly 12 million views on YouTube, with 6.5 million in the first two weeks. In addition, Chipotle released an iPhone app featuring the Scarecrow that was immediately in the top 15 free iOS applications. After the app was released for four days, it had 250,000 downloads.In addition to the impressive stats, Chipotle’s video was able to carve out a very specific niche in the market that is very hard for some of their other competitors to touch. This campaign helped differentiate the company against other fast-food restaurants by targeting a topic that their audience really cares about.7) Volkswagen’s Think Small AdsIn the 1960s, Volkswagen had quite the dilemma: Everyone wanted luxury sports cars that were fashion statements and magnificent, and they were selling a small car that wasn’t fast or flashy by any means.So what did they do? They were brutally honest about their car and created ads that showed just how small their car was.What made this campaign remarkable?If you opened your newspaper and saw an ad with a ton of whitespace, it would get your attention. After all, the other ads of the time, particularly for cars, featured huge, eye-catching pictures. Volkswagen took a different approach — telling the honest truth about its products — and it worked out in their favor.Why is this remarkable? Simply put: VW used a minimalist approach and maximized its reach (and bottom line). They told the truth — they didn’t try to trick their customers — and their audience appreciated this approach. And we can still see the positive effects of that approach now.8) Dove’s Real Beauty SketchesIt can be hard to keep a marketing campaign alive after so many years. And yet, Dove has seemed to be nothing but successful in this area as evidenced by their Real Beauty Sketches campaign.Dove hired an FBI-trained sketch artist and asked them to draw each of their female volunteers twice. The first time, each woman described herself, and the second time, a random stranger described that woman.The results were unbelievable. The images that were drawn were completely different, which confirms Dove’s statistic that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.What made this campaign remarkable?The different videos showing Dove’s sketches were viewed more than 114 million times. They were also shared 3.74 million times. It was also uploaded in 25 languages and seen in 110 countries. The PR and blogger media impression was over 4 billion.The video also had a huge emotional response from its audience. Dove’s survey data stated that over half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic. People were not only really touched by the videos but also by these staggering statistics.In addition to showcasing these statistics online, Dove took a very simple approach to just do persona marketing. They took a topic that they knew was a sensitive but also popular topic for their customers and created ads based on what their customers think vs. what is actually true. Though it was a simple campaign, it had a huge effect.9) Make-A-Wish’s Day for BatkidMake-A-Wish Foundation made 5-year-old Miles Scott’s dream come true when they turned San Francisco into Gotham City for the day. Miles, dressed as Batman, went around the city, stopping crime with an adult Batman and saving San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal, halting a bank robbery, and greeting excited guests who had come from all over to see Batkid in action. What made this campaign remarkable?To the surprise of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Batkid gained a lot of attention. Pretty soon, people from all over the world were tuning in to watch what Miles was up to, and they even got a Vine from President Obama himself thanking Batkid for protecting the city.There were about 20,000 people who went to City Hall to watch Batkid in action, more than 1.8 billion potential impressions on Twitter, 16,000 Instagram pictures with Batkid, and 23.6 million potential Instagram impressions.But what makes this campaign remarkable is more than just the stats.”Make-a-Wish leveraged their existing volunteer and donor community in San Francisco to attend the event who ended up taking pictures and videos that went viral online,” says Taylor Corrado, Head of Nonprofit Marketing at HubSpot. “Every kid’s dream is to be a superhero for a day. The fact that Make-A-Wish was able to execute this plan was unique. It had never been done before on this scale. The cooperation between the city and the organization as well as the public support really made this a truly outstanding campaign.”10) Nike’s “Just Do It” CampaignIn 1988, Nike hired the ad agency W&K to help them come up with a campaign to refresh the Nike brand and image. They came up with one simple line — a phrase that would someday come to become the essence of the Nike brand.The “Just Do It” campaign kicked off with a video emphasizing the importance of just going out and doing something, even if you don’t want to. Watch the video and you’ll get what I mean.What made this campaign remarkable?Twenty-five years later, this campaign is still going strong. The slogan is one of the most recognized taglines in the world. It’s rare to see a commercial or product from Nike without either their swoosh logo or this slogan. By putting this messaging into everything they do, the company’s been able to emphasize the importance of the meaning behind “Just Do It.”When you think of athletes (Nike’s target audience) and what motivates them, usually it’s the competition and excitement of their sport that comes to mind. “Just Do It” is a simple yet applicable tagline to ignite an athlete’s drive to win. The tagline is also representative of the company and their culture. By reinventing the campaign in 1988 with this slogan, Nike saw an increase in sales over the next decade — from $800 million to $9.2 billion — and turned the Nike band into one of the most easily recognizable worldwide. No small feat.What other marketing campaigns can you think of that are truly remarkable? Originally published Jan 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Campaignscenter_img Don’t forget to share this post! 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How to Attract Talent With a Company Hashtag: 10 Inspiring Examples

first_imgIt’s getting harder and harder for companies to attract and retain the right people. According to the Talent Shortage Survey, 40% of global employers are unable to find the right talent for jobs that need to be done.For this reason, many employers are looking internally to their existing team for support. According to Jobvite, employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate: while only 7% of applicants are via employees, this accounts for 40% of all new successful hires.Intrigued? Let’s take a look at how 10 different companies are using hashtags and social media curation to attract talent.Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.Using Social Media to Attract TalentAccording to Weber Shandwick’s research, 50% of employees post messages, pictures, or videos in social media about their employer often or from time-to-time, whether they are encouraged to do so or not. What’s more, 39% of employees have shared praise or positive comments online about their employer.Source: Weber ShandwickSo whether you are there to listen to what your employees are saying or not, your company is being discussed on the web at this very minute.Is there a way to turn those discussions into beneficial social media context, something that would help your company grow and attract best talent to your brand?Yes. And moreover, many companies are already doing that. Instead of trying to prevent their employees from discussing them on social media, employers are turning their team voices into company social media advocates by encouraging them to freely share their workspace experience.And what’s a better way to make sense of social media noise than a well-branded hashtag? We live in the hashtag-driven society. Hashtags have the power to fuel marketing campaigns, address healthcare issues, and report breaking news. Creating and promoting a company’s brand hashtag can help you achieve many marketing goals. Apart from talent branding, a company-wide hashtag:Promotes your brandBuilds employee loyaltyNurtures employee advocacyBuilds more contentSo let’s take a look at a few companies that are taking advantage of hashtags as a way to attract top talent, keep existing employees happy and engaged, and show off their culture. 10 Examples of Brands Successfully Using Company Hashtags1) CiscoCisco is very vocal about its talent branding efforts blogging about its goals and results. The #WeAreCisco hashtag is popular on Twitter but where it’s really shining is Snapchat. Cisco claims to have had nearly 3 million minutes viewed and a 600% follower increase in the four months since they started the channel.Cisco Talent Brand Social Team manages the account controlling the shared calendar where the employees can sign up for whatever day/topic they would like. There’s not much control over the team because Snapchat is where doing it “your own way” is preferred.Apart from the main #WeAreCisco hashtag, the company introduced the hashtag #CiscoLife to encourage employees to tweet about their workplace experience. Not to mention the campaign it spun up around the hashtag #IChoseCisco where team members were encouraged to post photos and stories about why they chose Cisco.The results were astounding. Cisco grew its Twitter followers by 400% in six months. 2) TargetTarget launched the #TargetVolunteers hashtag on Instagram to share photos of its team’s volunteering efforts.After it launched, Target employees began to use it to highlight company values:The photos shared using the hashtag do a great job of telling a brand story that focuses on teamwork and the company’s commitment to impacting the community. 3) ZapposZappos employee advocacy program is one of the oldest, going all the way back to 2008. In fact, the folks at Zappos used to hold a bi-weekly tweet chat discussing company values using the #InsideZappos hashtag. This effort allowed the company to curate discussions around Zappos careers and highlight team members through interviews.While the tweet chat is no longer active, the #InsideZappos hashtag is still alive being used to broadcast company events:The company is also encouraging the use of another branded hashtag — #ZapposCulture –which employees are actively using on Instagram to share photos of company trips and workplace experiences.4) LinkedInLinkedIn encourages its employees to openly share their job experience on Twitter using the #LinkedInLife hashtag. The hashtag is also very popular on Instagram.And #LinkedInLife is obviously working well: Employees even use it to leave excited reviews on Glassdoor. There’s even an entire post sharing how employees’ personal testimonials curated through the #LinkedInLife hashtag made LinkedIn Leila Uslander’s #1 employer of choice. “Your employees voices are influencing your future talent. Amplifying their voices about what life is like inside your doors will set you apart,” Uslander explained in the post. 5) TripAdvisorTripAdvisor uses Twitter and Instagram to encourage employees to share their company values and grow the global team using the hashtag #GoTripAdvisor.#GoTripAdvisor is also used for employee meetups, as well as on the official blog where employees are invited to share their personal stories.6) StarbucksWhen the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the American Starbucks team launched another hashtag — #SupportJapanPartners — to show support for Starbucks team members in Japan.#SupportJapanPartners soon evolved into a global tradition to connect to teams overseas and spread support, greetings, and encouragement. As a result, the #ToBeAPartner hashtag was born, connecting Starbucks employees all around the world — and #ToBeAPartner social channels have become a mirror of employees’ lives in cities around the worldThe ongoing social effort includes storytelling, photos, and short video vignettes of partners talking about their shared experiences and what it means to be a partner at Starbucks. The hashtag currently boasts an impressive 672,339 posts on Instagram:7) MicrosoftMicrosoft uses the #MicrosoftLife hashtag to curate Microsoft employees’ content, as well as local company meetups to keep an eye on.It’s also used to promote “Microsofties'” stories published on the official blog:8) AdobeThe #AdobeLife hashtag provides an inside look into, well … Adobe life. Adobe employees seem to be highly engaged, especially on Instagram where they share all kinds of content on a daily basis.The #AdobeLife hashtag can even be found on the company blog homepage, where it features a peak into the Adobe Twitterverse. 9) NPRAt NPR, employees share photos and notes highlighting what it’s like to work there using the hashtag #NPRLife. NPR also uses a separate Twitter account — @nprlife — to retweet employees’ tweets and keep them all under one roof.10) DellDell encourages employees to share their working experience using the #IWorkForDell hashtag.Dell employees share everything from their day-to-day working routine, fun facts, and job appreciation on Twitter and Instagram.Over to YouDo you feel inspired? If you’re considering launching your own talent branding hashtag to spread your company values, build brand loyalty and attract new talent, the following tools may be a huge help in getting you started.SlackSlack is a great tool for encouraging internal dialogue and video/photo sharing. By starting a channel dedicated to social sharing, it’ll be easy for employees generate more visibility around their posts containing the hashtag:DrumUpDrumUp is an employee advocacy platform that allows team members to share and re-share each other’s photos on multiple social media channels. Simply add your employees under one umbrella account and let them access company and team members’ shares. With DrumUp Leaderboard it’s easy to setup monthly contests awarding the most active or creative employees tweeting the company hashtag:You can also import your blog feed there to encourage your employees to share and schedule your company updates.YotpoYotpo is a social media curation platform that helps you publicize social media updates to your blog. It’s particularly useful for Instagram.Search your company hashtag inside Yotpo dashboard, pick updates you want to feature on your blog, and publish them to the installed Yotpo widget with one click:CyfeUse Cyfe to archive hashtag results. Just install a new Twitter search widget and set it up to archive your company hashtag. Over time you’ll be able to access the archive or export it to find more active employees or find a quote to feature as an employee testimonial.Do you have any more great examples of how companies use hashtags to attract talent? Please share them in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! Hashtags Topics: Originally published Feb 17, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017last_img read more

US Open: Novak Djokovic thanks fan for motivation after training session confrontation

first_imgWorld No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday halted his warm-up and had a confrontation with a fan at the Flushing Meadows ahead of his 3rd-round match on Friday evening.In a video going viral online, Djokovic can be head saying “Trust me, I will find you” after apparently getting angry at the fan for being interrupted while serving.Novak Djokovic turned up to practice more than an hour later than scheduled time, giving raise to speculations of a withdrawal from US Open with a shoulder injury. Notably, Djokovic struggled due to shoulder issues and called for medical timeout during his second-round win earlier this week.Djokovic though shrugged off his shoulder issue to beat Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and storm into the Round of 16. The only time Djokovic looked bothered during the match came in the first set when he screamed at someone who talked during a point inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.I’m scaredNicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) August 31, 2019Liked the guy, going to buy him a drink: Novak DjokovicNonetheless, Djokovic played down the confrontation with the fan during his training session by saying he “liked the guy” and wanted to “buy him a drink”.When asked in the post-match press conference about the apparent angry outburst, Djokovic said: “[Told I will find him] to have a drink. Liked the guy. I’m going to buy him a drink.Djokovic also said the fan’s comment motivated him but remained tight-lipped about what was spoken during the much-talked-about training session.advertisement”We’ll keep that between us. But he definitely helped me. He doesn’t even know, but he did help me. As I said, I’m not going to talk about it. I think he did me a favour. Even maybe he didn’t want to do me a favour, he did me a favour, big favour.Novak Djokovic, who has been dominant so far in US Open 2019, will face a stiff test in the Round of 16 as he faces former champion Stanislas Wawrinka.Also Read | US Open: Rohan Bopanna-Denis Shapovalov stun 4th seeds, Divij Sharan, Leander Paes oustedAlso Read | US Open 2019: Roger Federer sick and tired of preferential treatment talkAlso See:last_img read more

Mithali Raj becomes India’s highest run-scorer in T-20 format: Other cricketing records by her

first_imgMithali Raj became the highest run scorer on November 11, 2018, for India in T-20 cricket, surpassing Rohit Sharma.She became the highest run-getter while batting for India in the ICC women’s world T20 series, smashing an aggressive half-century against Pakistan on Sunday.Her half-century feat not only created a record but also helped team India to beat their arch-rivals by seven wickets.Player of the Match: @M_Raj03 for her 16th T20I half century#INDvPAK #WT20’s CricZone (@WomensCricZone) November 11, 2018Well done Team India congratulations @M_Raj03 and whole team.. keep going Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 11, 2018Raj now has 2232 runs in the format after 84 matches at an average of 37.20, with the best score of 97. As for Rohit, he has 2207 runs from 87 matches at an average of 33.43, with a career-best of 118.Raj was already ahead of Kohli in the list and was trailing to Rohit by a small margin.Indian skipper Virat Kohli has 2012 runs in 72 innings.Other records made by Mithali RajMithali Raj is applauded as the ‘Tendulkar of Indian Women’s Cricket’ as she is the leading run scorer for India across all the formats i.e. tests, ODIs, and T20Is.”Make your faith bigger than your fears.” #MondayMotivation Raj (@M_Raj03) September 18, 2017Privileged 2 have now become the all time leading run-scorer. Its been an incredible time scoring each & every run for @BCCIWomen #WWC17 Raj (@M_Raj03) July 12, 2017advertisementShe is an Arjuna awardee as well as a Padma Shri awardeeRaj holds the record for the most runs scored by a woman cricketer in ODIs with a tally of 6550 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 51.17She is India’s most successful opener in T20Is with a total of 1,356 runs in 43 matchesShe has also scored the most fifties as an opener for India: 13Raj became the first player in the world to score 6000 plus runs in ODIs in the World Cup tournament 2017Raj led India to their first World Cup final in 2005 and first-ever Test series victory in England in 2006Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana are India’s most prolific opening pair in T20Is. Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana.(Image: M_Raj03)They have scored 835 runs in 26 innings at an average of 33.40 including two century and four half-century standsThe pair’s runs have come at a rate of 6.62 runs per over- a number that has increased to 7.44 in the last yearSince the start of 2018, she has scored 524 runs in 18 matches at an average of 37.42, and a strike rate of 107.81#India fixtures for the T20 #WorldCup #WT20 (@annishasays) November 6, 2018India will face Ireland today at Guyana. They are currently ranked second in the points table next to Australia and in all possibilities, the side will look to book their semi-final berth in the game.Also read | Mithali Raj named one of the most influential women in India by BBCAlso read | Mithali Raj, India’s female Tendulkar, becomes the highest run-scorer in the history of ODI cricket: Facts about the Indian skipperInterested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to education.intoday@gmail.comlast_img read more

2015 Watch Guide: Week 6

first_imgThe college football season is almost half over. That’s crazy. Here are your Week 6 matchups, including a jewel in Morgantown on Saturday night.Weekend Watch Guide — Week 6 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.AdChoices广告last_img read more

Watch: Top Plays from Oklahoma State’s Conference Opener Against Baylor

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The conference slate didn’t open as OSU probably would have liked, but overall the Pokes came out looking sharp and dominated both lines of scrimmage for the majority of the game. Which is promising, especially reflecting back on last season’s matchup with the Bears where OSU was rolled at home.Even with the loss, it’s still fun to re-watch some of the biggest plays from the game on Saturday (even if the highlights end at the beginning of the fourth – for obvious reasons!). Check ’em out:last_img read more

Tre Flowers Throws Shade at Texas for not Recruiting Him

first_imgAs with a lot of players from Texas on Oklahoma State’s roster, Tre Flowers was not recruited by the Texas Longhorns. Coming out of Converse, Texas, Flowers was just a three-star prospect with offers from a number of schools. But none were his in-state school Texas. And after scoring on a blocked extra point on Saturday after a big win, he threw some shade towards Texas in an Instagram post:screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-7-07-31-amSeeing the way Texas’ secondary was gashed down the seam for big plays on Saturday with 392 yards through the air, it’s just salt in the wound for a Texas team reeling defensively. I love it.He also did this..@_Slimm7 goes through the end zone and throws the upside down Hook Em Horns. I approve.— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) October 1, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Hierro lauds ‘committed’ match-winner Diego Costa

first_imgWorld Cup Hierro lauds Spain’s ‘committed’ match-winner Diego Costa Ryan Benson At the Kazan Arena Last updated 1 year ago 08:32 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Diego Costa Isco Spain World Cup Getty Images World Cup Spain Iran v Spain Iran The Atletico Madrid star scored the only goal as La Roja beat Iran, but it was his overall performance as opposed to his goal which pleased his coach. Fernando Hierro reserved special praise for the commitment shown by Spain’s match-winner Diego Costa in their narrow 1-0 triumph over Iran in Kazan on Wednesday.Costa got the only goal of the game in the second half as he charged down a clearance, the ball finding the net via his shin thanks to a stroke of fortune.It was his third goal of the World Cup having previously scored a brace against Portugal on Friday, while he worked tirelessly in attack, making himself a nuisance to the Iran defence. Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move And Hierro saluted the Atletico Madrid star’s display, as Spain battled their way to the slenderest of victories.”Diego is really committed, with three [goals] in two matches,” Hierro told reporters at the Kazan Arena.”But he can do better. He works hard, fights both at the back and front. We ask him to give everything and he is surrounded by people who want him to do everything.”I’m really happy with him, the way he commits, the way he fights. When I talk about my team I talk about the 23.”Tomorrow we get up early, we train and it’s a pleasure to get up in the morning and see they are so committed.”They are here to keep winning and keep fighting. Everybody needs to be ready to jump on the pitch and that’s our commitment, but of course if you have players like mine who are committed, things look brighter.”138 –  Isco made 138 touches against Iran tonight, a record for a Spanish  player in a World Cup  game since 1966. Disco. #WorldCup #IRNESP — OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 20, 2018 Spain’s performance was by no means vintage on Wednesday, as they often struggled to break down their resolute opponents and only won thanks to an extremely fortunate goal.And Hierro – in charge after Julen Lopetegui’s shock sacking – accepted he actually felt happier after the draw with Portugal than after seeing his side beat Iran.”Impressions are something personal, and when I say personal I mean the whole team,” Hierro said.”We got three points, four on the whole, and maybe we were happier against Portugal than today.”It’s just a feeling. You get a flash interview and people say things aren’t working, but we have four points.”Of course we want to be even better, we’re demanding, but every team will suffer. Anyone who wants to win a World Cup will suffer.”It’s true, maybe we were happier after Portugal, but we got three points today.”Spain close out group play against a Morocco side still looking for their first point of the tournament.last_img read more