Google captures the spirit of ‘search’ in its new Zeitgeist video

There is no greater moment in advertising than that in which the spirit of a brand is linked to the spirit of humanity.

Since 2010, Google has provided a snapshot of the world's most important events through its Zeitgeist video. From our biggest achievements to our most perilous catastrophes, it reflects what touched us and shaped us during the course of 365 days.

This year's top trends can be found on their website under an array of categories - people, events, consumer electronics, hashtags, etc. - all of which result in a memorable and beautiful video. (see below)

Google Zeitgeist 2013

Google Zeitgeist - United States: 

Google Zeitgeist - France:

Google Zeitgeist - Japan:

Google Zeitgeist- Germany:


Previous years:

"Google Zeitgeist 2010: A Year in Review." 

"Google Zeitgeist 2011: How the World Searched." 

"Google Zeitgeist 2012: The World's Biggest Moments."

The Spree of the Season: Black Friday 2013

 Santo Domingo

For this marketer, the chance to experience Black Friday in the flesh is always welcome. It's different, it's fun and it's a great way of witnessing how brands fight it out in the retail battlefield. I mean, what could be a more perfect preamble for the Christmas season?  So just like last year, equipped with my camera and my two cousins, we hit the streets of Miami for a reprise of an unforgettable - and crowded - shopping spree. 

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent approximately $59 billion during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2012, with an estimated 247 million people who visited stores and websites. As people flocked brick-and-mortar stores, the online platforms exploded. This year was no different.

In 2013, while in-store sales dropped by 2.7%, online sales increased by 15% and 21% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, respectively. This led many retailers to target mobile and tablets shoppers more than ever before. According to Ron Josey, "This is the first holiday season when mobile is having its mark on overall retail sales. The online frenzy has couriers with higher shipping volumes., with an expected 420 million packages, a 10% increase from last year." The age of online shopping is at an all-time high.

So how did brands compensate? Simple, they started with discounts a lot sooner. By sooner, I mean days -  even weeks - in advance. This substitution effect made us ask ourselves: "Why should I spend the day being shoved, when I can enjoy my discounts beforehand without the masses? Or better yet - in the comfort of my own home?" Is this all still worth the hassle? As Rafi Mohammed from the Harvard Business Reviews points out, retailers are stuck with the "discounting prisoner's dilemma." 

CNN conducted a survey in which they asked people if considered Black Friday to be  worth it, and the result was a resounding "No" by  54%, and comments such as "Online shopping is the way to go" by  37%. True, web deals were hard to beat, but isn't Black Friday supposed to be about the shopping experience? Could online platforms give us that same taste of the holiday season? Is this effort from our part as marketers, to be ahead of the game, to beat the time, eventually killing the purpose of it all in the first place?

On another note, according to the folks of Kenshoo, ad performance was in an all time high. Retailers generated up to 15 times more revenue from Facebook ads on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and saw a growth on its Return on Ad Spend by 93%. But what is really interesting is how Black Friday and Cyber Monday generated triple the average number of conversions with clients.

Will this be an interesting phenomenon to study through the course of the following years? You bet. As far as I can tell, Black Friday is a festivity unlike any other, whose dynamics are transforming before our very eyes. It will be intriguing to see what the next twelve months will bring.

 Check out my pictures from this year's Black Friday:

"Getting ready for the mayhem." Walmart, 4:00pm

Getting ready for the mayhem. - Walmart, 4:00pm


50% off

50% off - Michael Kors, 9:00pm


All together now



Get in line

Getting in line at 11:00pm



$9.96 - Walmart



The Red Sea - Apple


The best buy?

Best Buy

Meanwhile, in Santo Domingo, my sister snapped this picture of one cute little shopper:

Early adopter

Ms. Panasonic


"How Thanksgiving lost its Mojo", Rafi Mohammed. Harvard Business Review.

"Cyber Monday Sales at Record as Amazon, eBay win Shoppers", Danielle Kucera. Bloomberg Technology.

"Poll: Do you think Black Friday is worth it?", CNN Money. 

"Infographic: How well did Facebook ads perform during Black Friday, Cyber Monday?", Justin Lafferty. Inside Facebook.

Success stories from the 2013 National Congress of Digital Marketing

Held in the Chapultepec Cultural Forum of Mexico City, this year's National Congress of Digital Marketing  gathered hundreds of marketing professionals, students, agencies and all those who are somehow involved in this exciting discipline. 

Industry's prominent speakers shared their opinions, advices, best practices and case studies in order to illustrate a varied, complete and interesting range of cutting-edge issues that can not be ignored by marketers and brands in the modern business environment.

Here are some succesfully performed international campaigns that were shared by the speakers, as good examples and inspiration for our daily work in the world of digital marketing.


Starbucks: Tweet a Coffee

Burger King: Whopper Sacrifice

Xbox: Kinect Effect

Look at this Instagram: Nickelback Parody

Big Data for Smarter Customer Experience

Volkswagen search engine ad: Like a boss

Recife: Immortal Fans

Oreo: 100th birthday

 Betty White's  SNL monologue on Facebook


National Congress of Digital Marketing, Mexico: DAY 2

Congreso Nacional de Marketing Digital

How to use and monitor social networking to grow our business

Alex Perez. Coordinator of Digital Strategy and Transmedia, Televisa

We need to change the perception brands have about social media. Not everything is traffic, follows or likes. We need to take a step forward - from social to share to social to convert.

Key points for effective monitoring:

  • Know the user’s needs.
  • Know the mentions and impact of the brand.
  • Know the feeling of these mentions, and what causes them.
  • Know what topics our brand evolves.
  • Interpret the message of the audience.
  • Perform an effective crisis management.
  • Locate the influencers.
  • Monitor the community manager.

What can we achieve with effective monitoring?

  • Know a brand's reach.
  • Build brand awareness.
  • React faster.
  • Detect insights.

Effective monitoring of Social Media can improve brand’s digital offer. It allows us to create valuable content to the user. It's necessary to hit the consumer at least seven times before converting him into a customer.

Key points for Social Media Intelligence:

  • Planning.
  • Research and monitoring.
  • Analysis.
  • Decision-making and innovation.

Brands should be able to transform their own business and anticipate the needs of the user.

Big Data: the new player of marketing

Mario Nissan, CIO, Flock

The world is being digitized. Soon everything will be connected to the Internet.

The four V's of big data:

  • Volume
  • Variety
  • Velocity
  • Veracity

All of them build on a 5th: Value.

How Flock makes Big data:

  • Attracting consumers.
  • Digitalising touch points.
  • Concentrating all the information in one big database.
  • Analysing correlations.

This allows for you to perform business intelligence, marketing and innovation. (IPO: Input - Processing - Output)

Key points for the implementation of big data:

  • Having focused objectives.
  • Start with the output. Technology is never the idea.
  • No one size fits all. Customize!
  • Integrate people, processes and tools.

 Big data enables setting the development of more intimate and personal experiences for consumers.

"Big data is watching the planet develop a nervous system".

Metrics for evaluating a digital strategy

Jack Ades, Director of Operations, Gross Und Klein

  • In Mexico there are 45.1 million Internet users.
  • 7.9 million have internet connection.
  • The average daily connection time is 5 hours.
  • Connection from smartphones doubled in 2012.
  • The probability to sell to someone who follows you on social media is 67%

Key points for an effective measurement:

  • Define the objectives - inform, sell or capture users.
  • Identify the metrics according to the objectives: likes, follows, shares, comments, payments, subscriptions, sales, etc.
  • Choose your KPI's: conversion rate, click through rate, cost per action, etc.
  • Choose your tools: Analytics.
  • Constantly evaluate and correct.

“The objective defines the metrics. Choose wisely.”

Traditional media in the digital age: the new paradigm

Jessie Cervantes, Artistic director, MVS Radio Mexico

  • 17% of internet users in Mexico have a blog and 9 out 10 have a profile on social networks.
  • Companies have changed their spirit. They are becoming service providers more than product suppliers.
  • There are 120 million mobile lines in Mexico.
  • We are moving from a monologue to a dialogue.
  • Television has evolved into SmartTV, however it doesn't have our full attention anymore.
  • Credibility is a key factor to work on Internet.
  • 1 out of 4 internet users in Mexico uses Netflix. In the United States it represents 30% of the traffic peek.
  • Traditional media needs to learn soon that the future of media is moving somewhere else. 

Children’s Digital Experience: a challenge for brands (panel)

Guillermo Pérezbolde, VP, Mexican Internet Association

  • 7.5 million kids in Mexico are on Facebook.
  • In 2013 63% of kids use smartphones vs. 41% in 2011.
  • 70% of children between 6 and 9 years old are on social media and 51% of parents don't supervise its use; 35% only ask and 14% check what they do.
  • Kids prefer the use of Internet (65%) vs. Television (31%) and only 1% considers it an educational tool.
  • Internet is something completely normal for kids. They have been born and are growing with the new technologies.
  • Brands must have ethical criteria when designing and planning their campaigns.
  • Children should be exposed to internet in a responsible manner, with appropriate content rather than restrict it.
  • Brands should educate parents about what happens online. 

Case study: Impact of social networks on the airlines

Ernesto Nava and Lara, VP Digital Marketing, Aeromexico

Aeromexico has had several important events during this year, including a crisis because of pilot and flight attendant strikes in June, an event for which they performed a containment plan involving social networks as the official communication media.

Customers used these platforms to ask about possible delays and cancellations. Thanks to a rapid response, attention and clear communication with them, Aeromexico successfully fought this mishap.

Another event was the arrival of the B787 Dreamliner to Mexico, an event relevant for being the most advanced commercial aircraft.

They developed a communication campaign based solely on social networks: real -time coverage, Facebook and YouTube streaming, and coverage of press conferences. All of this focused on the features and benefits of the aircraft.

A third event was related to the storm “Manuel” that hit Acapulco, where the airline was an active food and passengers free carrier, positioning itself as a socially responsible brand and having better acceptance among its users. Again, social networks were used as main communication media.

National Congress of Digital Marketing, Mexico: DAY 1

Congreso Nacional de Marketing Digital

The mobile user experience, a challenge for brands and businesses

Luis Arvizu. Director, Yahoo! Mexico.

  • The evolution of mobile devices has increased from text to graphics and hence to touch pads.
  • Nowadays, we have ten times more devices than a decade ago.
  • Changes in technology cause transformation in our communication. Initially, devices consisted of a bilateral voice-based communication, entering then texting. However, at present, devices are used not only for collective consumption of content, but for its production as well.
  • It is estimated that next year more people will be connected to the Internet through their devices than through computers.
  • Mexican users begin to do the same things that American users do, a year later. Businesses apply it years later.
  • People have an increasingly close relationship with their mobile devices. Six out of ten people sleep with their mobile phone in bed.
  • Wearable technologies such as Google Glass exemplify the integration of technologies and devices that now form part of what people wear.

When clients speak, but companies do not listen in social media

Christine Suta, Founder and CEO of Tequila Garage - Digital Marketing Agency

  • Social networks have empowered customers. Companies must serve them and woo them publicly and blatantly.
  • Using social media to communicate with companies has grown 30%.
  • Only 36% of people who complain or express dissatisfaction with some brand are answered.
  • The fastest path for brands to learning in social media is to analyze successes and failures. Capitalizing experiences.

What happens when companies do not respond to their customers on social media channels?

    • They lose the ability to create a connection.
    • It damages their reputation.
    • They lose visibility or its negative visibility increases.
    • Customers and leads abandon the brand.
    • It affects employee's motivation.
    • They lose sales and future possibilities.

There are two things highly viral in social media: good content and bad experiences.

What happens when brands are active and respond to their customers on social media?

  • They increase sales.
  • They have an increase in potential customers.
  • There is more loyalty and trust.
  • Relationships are cultivated.
  • Obtained and can maintain a good answer.
  • Improved reputation.

Serving customers in social networks is no longer the question. The question is how.

Five best practices for brands social media:

  • Having a professional and trained staff.
  • Social CRM.
  • Constant monitoring and effective response.
  • Processes, rules and functions perfectly designed.
  • Feedback, improvements and synergy.

Social networks are the ultimate communication channel with brands. 

How to design a successful content marketing strategy

Daniela Escalante. Director, Guik - Digital Agency

When creating a strategy:

  • Define personality and tone.
  • Define content type and percentages.
  • Practice absolute honesty.
  • Create content for mobile phones.
  • Generate specialized content.
  • Generate conversation between different platforms.
  • Involve the community in the creation of content.
  • Listen and adjust.

What NOT to do with online content:

  • Automate.
  • Delete conversations.
  • Lie
  • Assume that everyone is interested in your brand.
  • Steal content.

 Are we ready for social media gaming?

Engel Fonseca. SVP Digital Value US Hispanics and Latam. Media Science

We need to create apps as everyday as sending an email. They are the most demanded content. Video games are a playful experience needed to develop our problems capacity to solve problems

Gamer’s neuroscience:

  • Is optimistic - He plays because he thinks he can win, because he likes to solve problems and set goals.

  • Is fast - His mental configuration tends to quick decision making.
  • Is innovative - The speed factor results in a constant search for new things.

Video games:

  • They are the most important content. People seek entertainment.
  • They are not waste of time. They help to develop cognitive skills.
  • They develop optimism.
  • They make us social. Allow interaction between several people, even from a distance.
  • They promote happiness.
  • Not every game is good. We must learn to identify those who do not contribute positive things to our mentality.

Showrooming: new technologies that transform the stores and traditional commerce

Carlos Tapia. Digital Marketing Manager. Draftfcb

  • A consumer is someone who, after seeing thousands of ads on a brand, decides on another at a store.
  • Today's consumer is a consumer of transmedia.
  • Integration is the key to new retail.
  • The consumer is a monster hard to surprise, demanding, informed, unfaithful and crafty.
  • At the end of this year there will be more devices than the world's population.
  • The trend in social media is creating vertical content, i.e.: specialized.
  • In Mexico, 84% of searches for products and services are made from a mobile phone.
  • How can we get a shopper to not be distracted? Innovating.
  • Brands should integrate at least one ecommerce platform.
  • The shopper needs more and more information.
  • The shopper needs to be motivated.
  • Brands must always find solutions.
  • The shopper is great in comparing.

Myths of Online Marketing

Francisco Ceballos. Director, Mercado Libre Mexico

  • Almost 50% of Mexicans are Internet users, and are the youngest in Latin America.
  • 57% have made ​​a purchase or payment online.
  • 97% would do it again.
  • 1% of GDP in Mexico is provided by e-business.
  • Music and movies are the best selling products online in Mexico.

Myth # 1: "Online marketing is different from offline marketing." Practices are the same, they only adapt to the environment.

Myth # 2: "It only impacts people on a computer." Today, people are impacted by a myriad of devices: smartphones, tablets, smart TV, etc...

 Myth # 3: "Internet still has little reach." Currently Internet is growing rapidly gaining place among the mass media.

 Myth # 4: "Brand building is achieved only at the offline environment". You need to do branding in digital media to create communities and brand ambassadors.

 Myth # 5: "We have to measure everything to know if we were successful." We need to analyze the right metrics and the right way. Numbers do not say anything themselves.

Winning case

Andrés Chardí, Brand Manager, McCormick-Grupo Herdez

McCormick is a familiar brand of great tradition in Mexico that has modernized its strategies involving 360° schemes, including digital marketing and the involvement of their distributors. 

It has adapted to digital trends using promotions, web and social media presence, maintaining traditional practices such as TV, radio, and outdoor among others.

Follow us on our social media platforms for an up-to-the-minute update on Day 2 of the National Congress of Digital Marketing!