This month's Hall of Flame goes to Charlie Todd. As a struggling performer in New York City Charlie had no stage, so he decided to use the entire city as his own personal platform for everyone to enjoy and founded ‘Improv Everywhere.’

Dedicated to creating chaos and joy in New York City: producing, directing, performing, and documenting the group’s work for over twelve years. The Improv Everywhere team now has over 100 missions under their belts involving tens of thousands of undercover agents, this team is unstoppable. They’re responsible for many pranks including seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride to name a few!

My personal favourite is ‘The High Five’ escalator!

Check all of them out here as Todd talks about his daring and innovative work:



This month we are awarding the Hall of Flame award to Martin Stead, Marketing Director at EDF Energy. EDF Energy set upon a quest to find love… from their customers, and Martin Stead was cast in the role of Cupid. 'We want our customers to be able to love their energy company at last,' he proclaims.

Martin Stead was one of the brilliant minds behind the incredibly successful, high profile ‘Feel Better Energy’ campaign; featuring the dancing brand character Zingy, the campaign proved an instant hit. Since its original release there have been many variations on the advert featuring the loveable Zingy.

'Love is a really big word, but I think if you do the right thing and tangible stuff that is in the customer's interest, yes, you can be loved,' Stead says.

Mission accomplished!



EDF Energy Advert featuring Zingy, ‘Feel Better Energy:’


The Growth of the Smartphone in the UK


Vine Video App: to change marketing as we know it?

Twitter, one of the most successful social media platforms, has bought into the new app, Vine, with the view to build an even stronger social experience. Adding new depths to the concept of virally sharing and following, Vine is the personal and visually interactive version of Twitter.

 It allows the user to film 6-second video clips, capturing moods, situations and environments. Micro blogging brands like Vine and Twitter have contributed considerably to the development of the trend of smartphone marketing which, despite how widely used and popular mobile Internet has become, is only something other brands are starting to take advantage of.

Did you know that half of all online local searches are done by smartphones? That 86% of mobile Internet users are using their smartphones while watching TV with 1 in 3 people giving up television rather than their smartphone? Consumers are more reliant on their smartphone than ever before, with mobile Internet usage predicted to overtake desktop Internet usage by 2014. However, as a smartphone user you may not be surprised, 85%-90% of webpages are still not mobile-friendly.

Around for a year already, Vine is starting to spread across some brands as a way of personally portraying the identity to their consumers. Vine allows a quick response within an easy reach; it is just an pre-cursor to what is going to be mass marketing via smartphones. Vine could take viral advertising to new levels in terms of teaser campaigns and is truly representative of our viral age. It has the potential to escalate word of mouth marketing and could become essential to any SEO marketing strategy. In terms of content, there is nothing more original than a brand’s own Vine video clip. It is proof that creativity and innovation never wears thin and it will challenge brands to be more inspiring, artistic and experimental.

At Zeno we have been evaluating the app to see how creative we can be in 6 seconds. It is indeed difficult to portray something meaningful or represent a message in such a short time. This makes the successful Vine videos that much more clever and that could earn some traction for any brand that creates a truly innovative video. We look forward to the reign of the Vine app in the near future. But in the meantime check out our experiments below…




Preparing for Google's Panda Update

Yes everyone, the next Google Panda update is possibly this weekend. Don’t panic, Zeno is here to help you straighten out your Search Engine Optimisation headaches. For those of you who have their SEO up and running, or for those of you who are just getting started, here are a few pointers to help you refresh your system…

So, what’s a Google Panda update then? 

Google’s Head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, first launched Google Panda and hitting websites on 24th February 2011 and since then, there have been 23 updates. Panda aims to put a stop to websites with low quality or poor content. These are also known as “thin sites”. This results in legitimate websites having a higher ranking in the SERPs (search engine results page) and the thin sites having a lower ranking or being removed. Panda updates are great for the websites who put in the regular work and have consistently reliable sources.

This doesn’t mean everyone is safe, it just means that for the websites who believe they already have a high quality score the update will be less weighted towards them. Here are the five key areas of concern:

1. Purchased links

2. Low quality content

3. Duplication of webpages to target keywords

4. Excessive advert proportion

5. Empty pages

Some of these issues are purely accidental, whereas others are the result of pointless expenditure (typically points 1 & 3). Nobody likes a cheat and neither does Google. Purchasing links or doubling your number of web pages to optimise your keywords are no longer worthwhile. Throwing money at what used to be quick gains is no longer the answer and certainly not the long-term solution. It doesn’t always buy quality and will no longer give the results desired for high-ranking SERPs.

The other issues to address can be laid at the feet of poor design, bad keyword choices or simply a lack of regular website check-ups and content updates. These can be addressed easily:

Look into your visits-per-page; are they low due to the number of web pages? If they are, try replacing your low quality content with more relevant, higher quality content or redirect the page altogether.

Excessive adverts on web pages will usually drive visitors away. Adverts should compliment the content not completely override it. If your webpage suffers from broken links or empty pages, you need to have regular check-ups. Remember building a website is an on-going task.

No website is perfect, but at Zeno we believe that our honesty and integrity is reflected in our ethics as a marketing company. We want to provide a high quality score for our clients through to our content. Taking shortcuts or cheating the system is something we do not advise.

The original article found on HubSpot has further in-depth information, along with some interesting visual displays if you’re still feeling a bit confused. The article also has insightful comments from fellow webmasters and bloggers, explaining their opinion on Panda updates.