Archives

comment 0

10 Marketing Lessons I’ve learned from Europe’s Mistakes

TikTok ads are a relatively new addition to the platform. They mark TikTok’s entry into the ad space as a direct competitor to Snapchat and Instagram. Overall, TikTok ads are quite similar to other paid social media ads, but they do have some quirks that marketers should be aware of.

There are five types of ads you need to be aware of:

  • In-Feed Ads
  • Brand Takeovers
  • TopViews
  • Branded Hashtag Challenges
  • Branded Effects

Now, before we get into the differences between each of these, it’s important to note that paid TikTok ads are more expensive than ads on most other social media platforms. While you can run a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign with an investment of just $20, the minimum cost to run an ad campaign with TikTok for Business is $500. 

As a result, TikTok ads are out of reach for many small businesses. However, if you have a larger budget they can be a useful addition to your strategy. 

In-Feed Ads

TikTok’s in-feed ads are analogous to the ads you see between Instagram stories. When a user is flipping through their feed, one of these ads will show up eventually. 

One of the best features of in-feed ads is that you can make them pretty much indistinguishable from regular content if you want to. However, you also have the ability to add multiple CTAs and upload videos with intricate motion graphics if that suits your strategy better. Overall, they allow for a lot of creativity. 

Brand takeover ads appear immediately when users open the TikTok app. As you can imagine, these ads are extremely pricey (think tens of thousands of dollars), but they can reach very large chunks of TikTok’s user base immediately upon startup, check this

Brand takeover ads appear immediately when users open the TikTok app. As you can imagine, these ads are extremely pricey (think tens of thousands of dollars), but they can reach very large chunks of TikTok’s user base immediately upon startup. 

TikTok users will only ever see one brand takeover ad per day, so it’s a good way to build brand awareness by eliminating competition for a period of time. However, the high cost is prohibitive for many businesses. Check this site if you want to see more

TikTok users will only ever see one brand takeover ad per day, so it’s a good way to build brand awareness by eliminating competition for a period of time. However, the high cost is prohibitive for many businesses.

A One-Night Stand Opened My Eyes About The Amanda Knox Case

amanda knox

Source: CNN.com

On a useless evening of October I start going through the titles that Netflix has chosen for me.

Movie posters line-dancing under my thumb while machine-learning algorithms hit me with coming of age movies, teenage dramas and cooking shows making a display of recipes I will never be able to replicate.

Then a pair of piercing, spiking, puncturing blue eyes suddenly halts the swipe. Everyone who lived in Italy in the late 2000s has encountered Amanda Knox’s stare and can allegedly testify to the story it tells.

Read More

Jennings, Elizabeth – A Fashion Blog from The Americans

I did not think the “blogger’s block” was a thing until it hit me, heavily, around six months ago.

All of a sudden, the mundane happenings that had always been my muse were failing to inspire me. I was metaphorically shooting blanks.

Since I’m still out of ideas but the show must go on, this week I’m putting in the driver’s seat my beautiful and talented friend Elizabeth Jennings (Liz).

Liz is the epitome of the woman who has it all: career (she’s part-time travel agent, part-time nurse), family (married to Philip and mother of Paige and Henry) and in the little free time she has, she manages to pursue creative projects like keeping the Soviet Union together or disposing bodies.

Given that she also possesses an exquisite and transformative sense of style, I asked her to put together some outfits to express the eclectic, multi-layered shades of her personality. You can buy outfits online with a coupon from Raise. Take it away Liz!

 Outfit #1

Outfit #2

Outfit #3

I stole this look from a university professor I saw on the internet.

Ok, it was actually a girl *playing* a professor in a  video LOL. I had to pause the video quickly because, as much as I have an eye for detail, she did not wear clothes for very long.

This is my outfit of choice for when I attend Meetup.com gatherings with business people.

What do YOU wear when you want them to “smell money and success” instead of that discounted perfume  you bought from a barefoot woman on the streets of Minsk in 1985?

Tell me in the comments!

elizabeth the americans sexy teacher disguise

Outfit#4

Outfit #5

Outfit #6

This is me on the day I told my coiffeur I wanted to look like Baby from Dirty Dancing and it turned out like a Bichon Frise deceased on my skull .

I was like: “Dimitry, FFS, I wanna be supportive of Mother Russia but I’m not one of your eastern pop singers who probably get their perm done in prison”.

To lift myself up I got a McFlurry on my way home :P :P

How do YOU cope with a bad hair day? Tell me in the comments!

elizabeth the americans bad perm disguise

Outfit #7

Outfit #8

Outfit #9

This is the outfit I wore in the music video of “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift.

A few weeks earlier, a guy saw me on the street while I was beating the crap out of two enemies of the cause and he was like “Badass! Wanna take part in a video?”.

At first I was hesitant, since Taylor being a neo-nazi icon kinda conflicts with my political views, but I wanted to get a selfie with Selena Gomez so whatevs.

elizabeth the americans bad blood disguise

Outfit #10

Outfit #11

Outfit #12

Girls, this is the perfect look if you ever want to host a feminist book club. The silver hair screams “old soul book worm” but the hipster glasses give it that special je-ne-sais-quoi to make you look approachable, modern and fun!

Tbh Marx’s Capital was supposed to be our first book but was a little bit long and we decided to turn the book club into a movie night. Sharknado GAVE ME LIFE!!1!

elizabeth disguise the americans

Outfit#13

Outfit #14

Outfit #15

I feel SO badass in this pic! I was headed to the christening of my christian-fundamentalist daughter Paige and I wanted a look that said “I’m proud of you” but also “religion is the opiate of the masses” ROTFLLL.

Too bad you can’t see the Marylin Manson 1997 Tour t-shirt I was wearing under that coat.

elizabeth badass disguise the americans

Outfit #16

Outfit #17

Bonus Track: this is my friend Paige (ok, daughter, but everyone thinks we’re sisters LOL).

She asked me for advice on Halloween and I wanted her to dress up like the female lead in Battleship Potemkin. The costume was kinda too elaborate to make, though, so in the end she decided to go to the party as Harry Potter.

Hahahahahaahaha she’s my biggest disappointment in life.

paige disguise the americans

[Quiz] What Lidl Salad Are You?

Oh, hi there.

Please look at the past three months as the summer break of  a cheesy teen drama. Only difference: instead of living Summer at its fullest like Dawson and Joey, I was busy building a shelter for the upcoming nuclear war (s/o to ma’ boy Kim Jong-un).

Anyway, I’m here because I have a transatlantic flight in less than two weeks and I want this post to be my ultimate legacy in case I end up on the bottom of the ocean.

Take the Quiz and find out who YOUR TRUE SELF is!

Read More

I Tried Cooking And It Was Brutal

Is there anything more rewarding than waking up at the crack of dawn and prepare a nutritious breakfast for the whole family?

me in the kitchen
Hell if I know.

mary berry in the kitchen
Unlike Mary Berry, I’m the person who:

1 – Barges in around dinner time tenderly shouting “Me Want Food” in the ear of his better half.
2- Loots refrigerators when he feels like having a snack, leaving behind a trail of empty peanut butter jars and despair.
3 – Financially sustains Berlin’s delivery food ecosystem, taking it upon himself to be the unrequested face of its brands. Read More

comment 0

The Most Amazing Roller Coaster Photo Ever Taken

I think I found the picture I want on my tombstone.

tombstone

But maybe we should start from the beginning.

FLASHBACK
COUPLE DAYS AGO
SOUTH OF GERMANY

As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, my boyfriend and I recently took a holiday in Switzerland/South of Germany/Black Forest.

We opted for the south of Germany in particular because, apart from its beautiful nature and the fact that drinking beer for breakfast is socially acceptable, there’s a big amusement park there.

For years I’ve been lamenting the fact that Berlin has no proper amusement park, telling everybody how much I loooove roller coasters and adventurous rides (in hindsight, I must have been drunk).

So, Europa Park happened. We got there in the late morning without much preliminary research and found ourselves in front of a big, badass amusement park. The number of attractions exceeded our expectations (you need at least two days if you wanna do everything) and the theme seemed pretty well developed (each area of the park is a European country and its individual attractions are based on something connected to the country).

We decided to start with Iceland because, as  you know if you’ve followed our trip, everything is calm and peaceful there.

Bad idea. Read More

comment 0

How to Write Your Resume: The Funny Guide

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

If you’ve read the previous chapter of this guide, you should have identified the startup job of your dreams and be ready to apply.

If you haven’t found it, it probably means you’re being too picky and are doomed to become a homeless person while waiting to encounter the perfect job title (“Hairstylist at a horse beauty  contest”)
hairstyle

But let’s assume you are ready to go.

Applying at an internet startup is a delicate process that you can’t afford to fuck up. Your whole career depends on this preliminary phase and in this second chapter of my guide I’ll focus on how to put together a spotless Curriculum Vitae.

STEP 1 – LAYOUT

Once upon a time the reign of CVs was ruled by an evil king called European Model. The European Model states that all the information inside a CV shall be divided into two columns and be presented in the most readable (a.k.a. boring) way possible, as if to proudly scream to the world that we all have OCD.

Then the game changed. Recruiters were getting tired of their job life after hours of going through the same, excruciatingly boring and anonymous documents and at the same time internet startups started understanding the value of differentiation and personality. Read More

comment 0

How to Go Through Job Postings: The Funny Guide

I originally wrote this for the awesome Uberlin

 

My mother used to put stuff in boxes. Professionally. She did it for 30 years at the same small-sized suburban Italian company and while the boxes were sent everywhere in the world, she and her career weren’t exactly going places.

My dad, the only male among four siblings, had to drop out of middle school to help his father in the fields. Like many of his peers, he learned to think of work as something related to suffering, sacrifice and blind obedience.

Whenever I tell my parents about company breakfasts, team building events and gamification, they share a very specific look that I’ve come to interpret as “He’s lying to us. He’s squatting an abandoned building and SMUGGLES drugs across countries in order to pay for his groceries”.

But I get that look. I do. Growing up with a blue-collar upbringing made me both conscious of my current luck and weirdly aware of the seemingly absurd sides of the startup life.

This series of posts  is the natural consequence of that.

 

CHAPTER 1: JOB POSTINGS

This is going to sound obvious, but in order to work at a startup you need to either found one or be hired by one. I’m going to focus on the latter ’cause I’m a slacker and I’ve made it my life goal to achieve less and less every day.

If you’re smart you’ve probably created alerts that result in receiving an email every time a desirable position is available, either through Google Alerts or through more specific job oriented platforms like Indeed.de or BerlinStartupJobs.com. What you might not know, though, is that when it comes to job titles startups can be as quirky as the side charatcer of an indie tv series.

shoshanna-girls-hairstyles-bun-w724

The chances your alert will be triggered by the keyword “customer relationship manager” are thinner, for example, than the ones for the keyword “Customer Happiness Ninja”. You know what I mean? Read More

comment 0

I’m on FluxFM – a drinking game

I don’t know how this happened, but on Tuesday 19. May at 10 PM I’ll be on FluxFM (like, the best Internet radio evah) to speak about my 100 Days of German Words project.

The program is called Off the record and is hosted by the lovely and talented Elizabeth Rushe and Charlie Layton.

I’d like to pretend this is not embarrassing news for a second, but life is too short to lie to ourselves.

Deep down I know that if being on the radio is anything like speaking on the phone, we may -Houston – have a problem, ’cause everybody including my mom agrees on the fact that I am a terrible phone partner.

If you decide to listen to the program (it’s a free country, who am I to stop you?) I strongly advise you buy a bottle of something to go with it and take part in the following drinking game.

 

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I generate an awkwardly long silence

DRINK ONE SHOT every time my English is bad

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I sound lost and confused

DRINK ENTIRE BOTTLE if I start crying

At least you won’t be able to see my hair.

comment 1

German Supermarkets: A User’s Guide

This was written by me and featured originally on Uberlin.co.uk

Four years after claiming independence and moving to Berlin, the supermarket still feels like the most iconic place of my adulthood and one of the most fascinating Berlin places to write about. While other bloggers document colourful night scenes and vivid cultural environments, I find myself in a complicated love triangle with Lidl and Rewe, and am now ready to disclose the dynamics of these relationships. My user guide to Berlin supermarkets will lead you through a correct, satisfying and 100% German grocery shopping experience. You can also buy groceries online and use a coupon from https://www.raise.com/coupons/walmart.

Dairy CaseDairy Case by Roey Ahram, on Flickr

CHAPTER 1: “I’M A PFAND MACHINE READY TO RELOAD”

First: Enter your supermarket of choice.

Second: Head towards the Pfand machine.

Any respectable trip to a German supermarket includes a mandatory stop at the Pfand machine, which is usually located before the actual shopping area. Not stopping there would be like going to IKEA without eating meatballs.

Glance at the 75-year-old lady who just beat you to the line by one fraction of a second. Using her last remaining life force, she’s carrying seven plastic bags full of bottles and is now feeding them into the machine.

Very. Slowly.

Consider leaving the line but then change your mind: it would be a drag to go through the whole shopping process with a bag dripping a mix of Club Mate and beer (probably a real cocktail recipe somewhere in Berlin). Also, you could do with freeing up an extra three square metres in your room before your flatmate calls the crew of Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Years pass. The lady lets you know she’s done by smiling at you and saying something incomprehensible, which is probably German for “I’m a rich bitch now. So long, suckers!” Watch her pink-haired body floating away with what was probably hundreds of Euros and a smile of victory on her face.

It’s your turn now.

You only have five bottles, so this shouldn’t take long. Unfortunately for you, after the first bottle has been sucked in, the machine notifies you that the containers placed on the other side of the wall are full. “You need to press the red button”, says the Pfand-bot.

The red button is the last trace of a Germany that wants you to feel in control. Clearly, its only purpose is to give you a false sense of safety, just like the numbers on Lost. Don’t even mind the button and do the only rational thing: cry out for help.

Don’t lose hope: someone will come.

CHAPTER 2: “WE FOUND CAKE IN A HOPELESS PLACE” Read More