Vince Vaughn’s Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Are Free for the Taking

Wikipedia defines stock photography as a supply of photos that are used to fill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. They’re typically licensed for specific uses, with pricing determined by a number of factors, including size of audience and how long the image will be used. Getty Images, Corbis, and Shutterstock are the three largest traditional stock photography agencies, and alternative photo agencies have been cropping up since the 2000s.

Given how popular stock photography has become, it’s not much of a surprise that stock photo cliches have become nearly as ubiquitous as the medium itself. Overused concepts like the target, the cupped hands, the superman (why is this businessman tearing his suit open? No one knows!), the handshake, and the corporate huddle (what’s going to work? Hackneyed teamwork!) are so prevalent there are now a number of blogs parodying themes like “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” and “People Looking Shocked in Front of Computers.”

Boagworld author Paul Boag sternly admonishes against stock photo laziness, pointing out that “We should refuse to use one more photograph of business men shaking hands or ethnically diverse people laughing together,” and “A designer has literally millions of gorgeous images available to them online and should also be capable of producing unique imagery of their own” — but now there’s another option: you can use free, wonderfully cheesy images starring actor Vince Vaughn.

In order to promote the Vince Vaughn movie Unfinished Business, Twentieth Century Fox has teamed up with iStock by Getty Images to create a set of stock photos featuring Vaughn along with co-stars Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco and others. Twelve images are being made available for free download (for editorial use only) over three weeks, and they are predictably hilarious.

Here are a few of our favorites from the set — enjoy!

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Meet the Team Behind Your Influencer Programs

Social media has evolved from a marketing afterthought to an integral marketing strategy; on which 70% of marketers are planning to increase spend this year. In addition, a recent ANA study confirmed native advertising budgets are on the rise for almost two-thirds of marketers. As more brands seek out the power of influencer programs to launch new products, promote seasonal initiatives, and everything in between, Sway Group has expanded our sales group to provide customized solutions for brands.

Our sales team now includes Kristin Chambers, Christina Donnelly, Cheryl Dunn and Emily King. Each day, our National Sales team collaborates with brands to uncover specific social and influencer needs. We work together to identify the goals and pain points brand managers and agency clients face. Then, we match our clients with the right digital influencers to bring their brand messages to life through carefully created authentic stories, all aligning with KPI’s.

Our two newest team members, Christina Donnelly and Cheryl Dunn, join Sway Group with a wealth of solution-based sales experience. Christina, based in Dallas, Texas was most recently with Toni&Guy, where she focused on franchise ownership opportunities and operations. Cheryl, residing in the Greater Los Angeles area, brings a sales background from consumer product companies, Petunia Pickle Bottom and Aveda.

Our recent growth also touched our program offerings this year with the addition of high-level short content outreach on Twitter and focused Pinterest executions. As the platforms evolve with new algorithms, so too do our campaigns. Our Massive Tweet Campaigns and Pinterest Parties generate terrific viral activity, in turn increasing brand awareness and generating long-term impressions by exposing new consumers and engaging current fans.

Marketing spend on social media marketing will continue to rise in 2015

Interested in learning more about influencer programs?

For those based in Chicago, Dallas-Forth Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Diego or San Francisco, we’d love to meet in person to chat about your new initiatives, or simply brainstorm ideas that you can take to your new or prospective clients. Reach out so we can create stories that resonate with your core audience!

Social Media Conference 2015: Connect Your Brand With Influencers

We’re gearing up for another fun day of education and networking at our 2015 social media conference! Bloggy Boot Camp, named by Fast Company as a “must-attend social media event,” is headed to Southern California on Saturday, May 30.

Social Media Conference 2015

Join us in Temecula for our first blogger conference of the year. Our one day, social media event is designed to offer brands the ability to harness a gathering of smart, motivated influencers and ignite a focused conversation. Unlike competitive conferences, our sponsors receive brand incorporation, speaking opportunities and the option to complement visibility with a content marketing program.

Give your brand exposure among connected influencers at our popular social media conference.

Our attendees prefer our format also, as confirmed by a recent poll conducted within our network. A one-on-one setting with informal opportunities for bloggers to connect with brands is most desired. Interested in getting involved? We have many sponsorship options for varying levels of exposure.

Being a sponsor has allowed us to make such deep connections with bloggers. Because of our long-standing relationship, bloggers are coming up to me saying ‘now I go to the store and I look for Mirassou’ or they are tweeting about Mirassou or they are posting on their blog about Mirassou. That’s a homerun for us. That’s exactly what we are looking for.

-Liz Conant, Fleishman Hillard PR for Mirassou Winery

Contact us today for more information on gaining visibility for your brand.

Looking To Attend a Social Media Conference?

Are you a small business owner or blogger interested in attending a social media conference targeted primarily at bloggers? The conference is capped at 125 influencers and tickets are already going fast. We’re proud to say many of our attendees are alumni, supporting the strong networking connection and engagement of our guests.

It’s the conference where the seating is assigned, the environment is warm and welcoming and the education is truly top-notch.

Below is a quick glimpse of sessions already confirmed on the agenda:

  • Building your Audience by Finding Your Voice
  • Work/Life “Balance”- Working Smarter, Not Harder
  • SEO [AKA: How to Make Google Love You]
  • Working with Brands, Sponsored Opportunities and the Business of Blogging
  • Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

The takeaways and support are real. We promise, you won’t regret it. Get your ticket today.

Marketing to Moms in Advance of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is ranked third for consumer spending, following only the winter holiday and back-to-school shopping seasons. In 2015, Americans are poised to exceed last year’s average Mother’s Day spend of $162.94. Now is the time to be thinking about marketing to moms and her gift givers with a timely promotion in advance of the holiday.

Why Marketing to Moms Matters

What do moms want? While most will buy her favorite flowers and a greeting card, many will go a step further with clothing, jewelry or consumer electronics. Personal experience gifts, like a day at the spa and special outings to a restaurant, are also wildly popular.

And don’t forget about Fido! Pet mothers are celebrating the holiday, too.

Mother’s Day is ranked third for consumer spending. Take the extra step to show appreciation for mom and achieve success with outstanding results when marketing to moms

Case Studies That Yield Results

Below are two case studies on marketing to moms from last year’s Mother’s Day campaigns, delivering on awareness and purchase in advance of the holiday. Each one took the extra step to show appreciation for moms and saw success with outstanding results.

  • A greeting card company sought awareness and purchase as Mother’s Day approached. Through a sponsored post campaign and live Twitter party, the campaign garnered more than 33 million impressions. The Twitter party trended in the U.S., while the blog posts achieved an impressive 7% click-through rate to the company’s website.
  • Flowers and Mother’s Day go hand in hand. Sway Group delivered more than 82 million impressions to a flower delivery company with a sponsored post campaign designed to raise awareness and drive engagement. The campaign hashtag trended in the U.S. during the Twitter party, timed to coincide with the company’s promotional event.

Let us help you bring awareness to your brand at this time primed for purchase, with the social network reach to spark conversations and meet your communications goals in time for Mother’s Day.

How to Maximize Your Television Advertising with Complementary Content Marketing

In the days following a nationally televised game, event or award show, conversation in the marketing sector is dominated not only by wins and losses, but the advertising that best captured the country’s attention. With millions of Americans tuned in, a 30-second television spot is a surefire tactic to gain visibility, and is just the tipping point of an integrated marketing campaign.

When it comes to looking through the lens of content marketing, is there a way for a brand to extend their spend on television advertising even more? In a word: yes.

Here are my top two tips for maximizing television advertising efforts by building viral awareness, making the end result an even bigger win for all involved.

How to maximize television advertising with content marketing

Two Secrets For Optimizing Your Television Advertising

1. Expand Your Reach

After the television ad airs, your job as a marketer is just beginning. Post the ad on YouTube and Facebook, display it prominently on your brand homepage and share it through your social media channels. Viewers are already actively engaged on social media during a big game, award show or national event. Give them the tools to share, like and comment with your brand. If you develop a platform for those 30-seconds to live on, you can build an organic presence online.

Example: To quickly and effectively generate significant buzz for a recent holiday commercial, Sway Group engaged 100 Massive Sway influencers to send out one tweet each, during a 24-48 hour period. The campaign garnered more than 16M impressions and an increase of 26% video views.

2. Jump into the Conversation

Research shows brands that engage in real-time conversation on social media receive a huge bump in social response (retweets and favorites) from the audience. Sure, some brands get lucky with a witty remark based on a timely event but by creating branded content in advance and appropriately inserting yourself into the digital conversation, your brand gains exposure and relevance.

Example: Our Massive Sway network hosted a hugely successful 60-minute Twitter party in conjunction with an award show – our Second Screen Solution. By pairing digital influencers with the power of mainstream television, we can drive relevant impressions. The conversation received 17.6M impressions in the hour leading up to the awards show — and a total of 3,721 tweets, 7,231 comments and 115,000 Instagram posts. The campaign ran again the following year and saw even better results: 25.9M impressions.

Sway Group maximizes television advertising with audience engagement through second screen social media

Brands of all sizes (and budgets) can utilize these strategies and join in the nonstop conversation online. Using a unique brand hashtag in conjunction with an event hashtag brings awareness to new consumers at a time and on a platform where they are already actively engaged.

Let’s be honest, with 1.02 million unique people per minute posting to Facebook during Katy Perry’s “Firework” finale, why wouldn’t you want to join that conversation? There are countless ways for a brand to engage. As one example, a weight loss company could share their swimsuit-ready plan when the conversation turns to revealing costumes.

Your newest audience is right in front of you (and their screens). Let’s get you talking with them.