Word seems to have made its way around then. Way cool.
Word seems to have made its way around then. Way cool.
Proving that blog comments can be just as invaluable as they are insipid, Chicagoist scribe Kevin Robertson unearthed a potentially nefarious Wal-Mart plot in his hometown. After a certain commenter by the name of “Chatham” began regularly taking issue with Wal-Mart opponents on various Robertson posts about the brand’s attempt to enter the Chicago retail market, the author decided to take a closer look at who this character was.
Robertson traced the URL attached to Chatham’s comments back to a community group called “Our Community, Our Choice”, which seemed to sincerely support a Wal-Mart opening in the area. On the bottom of their site, the group states that it’s “proudly supported by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce”, which Wal-Mart happens to be a member of. Robertson also traced the IP address on Chatham’s comments back to Serafin and Associates, a Chicago consulting firm that Wal-Mart retained to manage its Chicago PR.
After doing a little digging and getting nowhere with Wal-Mart flack, Robertson finally interviewed Chicagoland’s Government Relations Director Michael Mini. While admitting that Serafin was involved in strategy sessions and that “Our Community, Our Choice” was “part of our advocacy effort to gain support”, Mini was basically struggling for words when asked if he knew Serafin’s IP address was being used to comment on blogs. In fact, the guy couldn’t even give a straight answer as to whether or not he was actually from Chicago.
“While Wal-Mart certainly has the right make its case to Chicago, the way they’ve gone about this – creating a fake community group that purports to represent a community’s residents and interests – is sneaky and underhanded. If what they have to offer Chicago is such a great deal, why did they need to go through the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to set up a bogus grassroots group?”
This is all technically speculation since Wal-Mart hasn’t come forth to cop to any such travshamockery, but should we be so shocked if it is 100% true?
Words fail me. “Amazing” like @whatleydude rightly says.
So there you go, I’ve said what I wanted to say for a reasonably long time now, I’m joining Dare. For anyone that knows me, a secret like that is hard to keep. As the ever wise Tom Fishburne shows above, we don’t always know entirely what we’re letting ourselves in for but isn’t that exciting. There’s obviously the fear of the unknown, the change of surroundings and the new people, but leaps of faith have to be taken to move forward, to better myself, to keep me on my toes and to take myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve had a fantastic time with my boss @pbizzle, so this was a tough decision but nonetheless the decision has been made.
Tom describes the image like so:
Most careers are not rung-by-rung linear paths. Instead, they involve a series of flying leaps, not knowing whether those leaps will take you up, down, or sideways. Or if you’ll miss the trapeze altogether. Or if there’s even a net.It takes courage to take each leap. And patience when you’re not headed the direction you’d like.It takes courage to take each leap.Thinking about your career in purely a linear way focuses you on all the wrong things and blinds you to the actual experiences along the way. Worst of all, it can make you risk-adverse.
It’s much easier to stand still and be happy where you are and doing what you’re doing. Hey, I am happy where I am and doing what I’m doing. But i’ve always wanted to be constantly developing, being adaptable, taking risks, moving onwards and upwards and making my own destiny. And I guess you only do that by taking leaps of faith.
Risks sometimes don’t pay off. That’s why they are risks.
‘To expose to a chance of loss or damage; hazard’
Here’s one example: The first ‘proper’ job out of Uni that I took didn’t work out. I naively accepted it while I was still at Uni thinking I was clever not to have to worry about months of job hunting. In hindsight I didn’t give myself the time to appraise whether it was the right thing to do. I had a week time difference from finishing Uni to starting work. Within months of starting I was desperately unhappy and found myself questioning what it was I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. I’d studied a Marketing degree for 4 years at University which lent itself to the job I was in, within the Marketing team of a large retailer, where I was told that jobs didn’t exist to do with social media. I disagreed. When 4 months later I had quit, I wondered if what I’d studied for my degree was completely useless. Of course it wasn’t but at the time I thought differently.
Licking my wounds I moved to London without a job, just before the economy imploded. Everyone asked me what I was smoking. My parents said I needed to stick at it. But I knew it wasn’t right. It didn’t *feel* right. So I trusted my instinct and took a risk. To thrust myself in to uncertainty in the country’s capital. Even though the job didn’t work out, the life lessons it taught me were invaluable and accelerated my thought processes to get me to where I am now, I firmly believe that.
After a short and highly enjoyable stint at Splendid, working with some inspirational people, I joined the fold at Consolidated PR where I’ve been involved with some brilliant projects, which Paul mentions here in the inaugural company blog post over at Thatsgreatand.com
I’ll paraphrase the post:
In the last twelve months we’ve set up our digital and social media stall here in the Covent Garden office, commenced an agency-wide social media education and training programme and started integrating social media activity into project and retained campaigns for clients in both London and Edinburgh. In this short space of time we’ve delivered digital and social media work for a whole range of brands and organisations – MTV, several parts of the Scottish Government, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, learndirect and Mishcon de Reya just to name a few. On top of that we’ve got lots more exciting work on the boil with a number of other clients, and an appetite for more in 2010.
So as is evident, in a year we’ve made great progress.
However, I’ve always held a great curiosity and interest in adland. Paul gave me stick for having a subscription to Campaign magazine. But I always felt at some point I’d move in to it. Don’t ask me why, it was just one of those fate type things I felt would happen. Which leads me wonderfully to my next leap of faith. Dare, the digital agency of the decade.
I’m excited about the new challenge, settling in to the role of Social Media Planner and mixing it up with the web trendies.
Let’s hope it’s an upwards leap on the career trapeze. Wish me luck!
Tags: @pbizzle, Campaign magazine, Career ladder, Consolidated PR, Covent Garden, Dare, Jobs, Paul Borge, risks, Social Media Planner, Splendid Comms, Tom Fishburne, Trapeze act
Posted in Advertising, Digital, Jobs, Planning, Site News, Social Media 17 Comments »
More sterling stuff from the Altimeter Group.
Who says YouTube videos are for the uncultured? YouTube enthusiasts can raise their nose with the best of them with “Without You, Baby, There Ain’t No Us,” the cool, cultured art project by Comenius Roethlisberger and Armir Jahic that took popular video clips and immortalized them in colored-pencil drawings. The exhibit covers hundreds of YouTube frames, among them our favorite and most memorable. For diehards, the prints are apparently for sale.
The social web has created a hyper-word-of-mouth platform that has tipped the balance of power away from brands. As a result, brands are now beginning to realise that engagement is the new communications. In order for a brand to achieve engagement with its stakeholders, it needs to consider the value that their content will deliver, or to frame it from the recipients perspective – what’s in it for me.If the content has high value then not only will the recipient be more likely to engage with it, but they will be more likely to engage in conversation with the brand, compelling them to pass-along the content to their friends because it has social currency.I have identified 5 core types of social currency value; Useful, Entertainment, Monetary, Information and Personal.
Before giving some explanation and examples for each area, it is worth pointing out that they are all channel agnostic, so for example ‘events’ are particularly suited for entertainment. In fact, an event like Barcardi’s B-Live can in itself provide a rich stream of social currency for the digital channel e.g. twitter announcements, flickr photostreams and YouTube channels.1) Useful value is more commonly referred to as brand utilities, so although Nike+ is held up as the ‘daddy’ of brand utilities, there are also a huge numbers of mobile apps that would qualify for this category.2) Entertainment value is more commonly referred to as branded entertainment and it’s interesting to note that typically this is the approach that an ad campaign concept would take. The ultimate proof of social currency is when your content is being remix ed and parodied, as happened with the Cadbury’s gorilla campaign.3) Monetary value is the social equivalent of the conventional sales promotion or PR activity. So it could be a simple voucher like the infamous Threshers’ discount voucher or a competition run in conjunction with an influential blogger.4) Information value, in the form of knowledge and thought leadership, can be produced in various formats e.g. video interviews, slideshare presentations and blog posts (like this one . More superficial forms of information, like gossip and conspiracy, can also be adopted.5) Personal value is a particularly interesting currency, as it often provides social currency that is extremely compelling. The global success of reality TV shows, such as Big Brother, and the talent shows such as Pop Idol and X-Factor demonstrate the importance of fame.As the above Venn diagram suggests, there are opportunities to blend various currencies together and if done correctly, produce in a more potent piece of currency. An example of this would be a game (entertainment) which has a leaderboard (fame).It is possible to capitalise on social currency that has already gained momentum by adopting the concept in your campaign – maybe we should call this meme-riding? T-mobile did this very successfully when they rode the flash-mobbing meme with their ‘Dance’ campaign.Key to successfully producing high-value social currency is setting out with the right mind-set at the planning stage and get the right multi-disciplined team together to work on the social currency idea.
Brilliant venn diagram and equally great write up by Steve Sponder.
Firstly, here’s an interview with Adam Brown, Head of Social Media @ Coca-Cola.
About that social media policy, it’s only 3 pages. It doesn’t have to be 100 pages long and cover every last point under the sun. It should be an addition to existing company policy–you don’t need to start from scratch.
As Coca-Cola introduce their Social Media Policy:
Every day, people discuss, debate and embrace The Coca‐Cola Company and their brands in thousands of online conversations. Coca-Cola recognizes the vital importance of participating in these online conversations and are committed to ensuring that they participate in online social media the right way. These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower the Coca-Cola associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.
Interesting to see are the 10 “Principles for Online Spokespeople” Coca-Cola has created:
- Be Certified in the Social Media Certification Program.
- Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other Company policies.
- Be mindful that you are representing the Company.
- Fully disclose your affiliation with the Company.
- Keep records.
- When in doubt, do not post.
- Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights.
- Be responsible to your work.
- Remember that your local posts can have global significance.
- Know that the Internet is permanent.
All in all Adam Brown has set a nice standard within one of the most loved companies in the world
Download the full policy here: Coca-Cola Online Social Media Principles
Useful deck this.
Evian’s Roller Babies is the runaway commercially branded hit having been watched (at latest count) over 30 million times, making it the 5th most popular YouTube video of 2009, and the most watched commercial/ad/whatever you want to call it.
I forget where it was now but one person made a comment that went something like this..
“Beyond measuring the cute factor, can the client actually measure and attribute a boost in product sales to this effort? If so, I’d love to know how they’re measuring it.”
I liked their thinking. But at the same time I think that’s discounting a lot of the great work that has evidently been put in. So let us postulate a bit more about what made it so successful after you’ve had a look at it yourself if you haven’t already.
If we were to deconstruct the commercial, why has this become the most watched branded ad of 2009 and what is it about it that could be then replicated to anywhere near similar success levels?
Well, it’s a bit of fun isn’t it. You watch it and get that cutesy, fun, smiley and warm feeling. It has a backing track that lends to the fun, remember it did pretty well for Honda aswell in the Cog. (Reacquainted myself with the ‘making of’ here.) But then, in this case, you could just as easily have the backing track with nothing compelling in the forefront so credit where credit is due. I just don’t make enough of a link to Evian from the ad. It doesn’t make me want to go out and buy water, Evian water. Much like I’m not going to go out and buy a Honda tomorrow in fact, even though the financial investment and level of decision making associated to the two are complete polar opposites thus there being more chance of me buying Evian.. (Ok, bad comparison.)
I like the ad purely on the merit of the ad, in fact, I don’t think it sells enough what it is actually linked to. But maybe that was part of the trick. Maybe that’s why it did so well. People will share it as a piece of content because it is so subtly branded more than if Evian was plugged all over the place from start to finish. It loses its value as a piece of content if overly branded.
So the question that is left hanging over my head after thinking about and writing this is should brands now be concentrating less on what they are actually trying to sell and from an online perspective at least, be creating content that is watchable, entertaining and shareable in order to sell more of X. Again I think of the Cog ad. And which brings me back to what the commenter asked at the start of this post. Did Evian sell more water? Did Honda sell more cars? Did this achieve the goals set out from the off? What were the goals? I don’t know actually. On any of the above but it’d be good to find out more though to quench my curiosity.
The online integration is however, pretty fantastic and extends the life far further, another contributing factor to its success. Evidently, this was all very cleverly planned and executed.
It isn’t simply a video that has been put up on YouTube and forgotten about. There’s tonnes of content around the video. Some really brilliant stuff like teasers, interviews, wallpapers, where to listen to and download the music and of course, the obligatory Facebook fan page. This isn’t one of those all too familiar cases when a client thinks that by doing some kind of online video to promote something that it is going to automatically go viral. Yes, the dreaded v word. A sterling effort then.
Tags: Advertising, branded commercial, commercial, evian, feeling, honda, honda cog, most watched, Video, video content, water, youtube
Posted in Advertising, Case Studies, Cool, Social Media, Trends 6 Comments »
Feast your eyes. At least this one doesn’t have that Fatboy Slim backing track.
“You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…The old media paradigm was PAY to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to PLAY to play.”
– Alex Bogusky, Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky
A few key messages:
1. Over 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook and roughly a 1/3 of these are small businesses.
2. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media.
3. Lenovo was able to achieve cost savings by a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers go to community website for answers.
4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube.
5. Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter
6. Obama Social Media Marketing resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising.
7. 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40% because: a) Low Cost Marketing b) Getting Traction c) We Have To Do It
Interesting stuff. Mainly US brand pages, to be expected.
#1 Coca Cola
#4 Victoria’s Secret
I was asked to provide comment on the above article and only noticed that it had gone live after seeing traffic arrive from the post and subsequent PDF of the article (below). The PDF is something quite beautiful, i’m not just saying that. You should check out the recently released final version here..
I’ve omitted the word ‘influencers’ from the original headline because it still bugs me a bit but nonetheless this is a brilliant compilation of so many varying predictions on 2010 in the one place from some of the biggest movers and shakers. I’m merely there to fill up the numbers obviously and being next to Seth Godin has provided many with much amusement. But I’m all for a bit of self-deprecation every now and then. Hat tip to @tim_whirledge for the original heads up.
Everyone that is featured in the presentation is listed below with their @names, making it easy for you to follow as many as you wish.
Major trends that came to the fore out of all the predictions were:
Not much new there then for 2010. Mobile, Location and Privacy would be my three to watch in 2010. Transparency shouldn’t even be there because it should happen without a second thought. But in 2009 we have seen and still in 2010 we’ll continue to see ideas, campaigns and executions which will pretend to be something they’re not / mislead consumers in some way or fake its roots and originality. Sometimes it is purely for the sake of controversy and to get people talking about it but other times you wonder who initially thought it would be a good idea and then how it ever made it in to the public spheres.
In this report, the 2010 Social Media trends are foretasted by:
@petecashmore PETE CASHMORE Founder, CEO Mashable
@armano DAVID ARMANO Senior Partner, Dachis Group Author, Logic and Emotion
@chrisbrogan CHRIS BROGAN President, New Marketing Labs
@peterkim PETER KIM Managing Director, N.America Dachis Group
@seth SETH GODIN, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur & Agent of change
@litmanlive MICHAEL LITMAN Social Media Strategist Consolidated PR
@tamar TAMAR WEINBERG, Community & Marketing Manager, Mashable
@johnbattelle JOHN BATTELLE Founder & Chairman Federated Media
@mariansalzman MARIAN SALZMAN President, N.America Euro PR, Trend Spotter & Author
@mzkagan MARTA KAGAN Managing Director, US Espresso- Brand Infiltration
@danzarrella DAN ZARRELLA Social & Viral Marketing Scientist HubSpot
@emarketer eMARKETER Digital Intelligence
@drewmclellan DREW McLELLAN Founder and Author The Marketing Minute
@idc CAROLINE DANGSON Digital Marketplace Research Analyst IDC
@jasonfalls JASON FALLS Social Media Strategist Social Media Explorer
@charleneli CHARLENE LI Founder Altimeter Group
@gauravonomics GAURAV MISHRA CEO 2020 Social Online
@marc_meyer MARC MEYER Principal Digital Marketing Response Group
@emarketer JEFFREY GARU Senior Analyst eMarketer 2010
@jimmy_wales JIMMY WALES Founder Wikipedia
@alecjross ALEC ROSS Sr Advisor -Innovation State Department
@CraigNewmark CRAIG NEWMARK Founder of Craiglist
@scobleizer ROBERT SCOBLE Technical Evangelist Rackspace
@dmscott DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT Marketing Strategist & Author World Wide Rave
@roncallari RON CALLARI Social Media
@ravit_ustrategy RAVIT LICHTENBERG Founder & Chief Strategist Ustrategy.com
@equalman ERIK QUALMAN Author Socialnomics
@pgillin PAUL GILLIN Writer, Author & Social Media Consultant Principal
@adambroitman ADAM BROITMAN Partner & Ringleader Circ.us
@cbensen CONNIE BENSEN Director of Social Media & Community Strategy Alterian
@mikearauz MIKE ARAUZ Strategist Undercurrent
@nenshad Nenshad Badoliwalla Co-author Driven to Performance
@adamcohen ADAM COHEN Partner Rosetta
@danielwaisberg DANIEL WAISBERG Head of Web Analytics Easynet
@communitygirl ANGELA CONNOR Journalist & Community Strategist
@trendsspotting TALY WEISS CEO and Head of Research TrendsSpotting.com
Tags: 2010, location, measurement, Mobile, predictions, presentation, privacy, ROI, slideshare, Social Media, social media influencers, taly weiss, transparency, trendsspotting
Posted in Cool, Digital, Goodies, Mobile, Social Media, Tech, Trends 7 Comments »
Just what happens to all this endless ‘stuff’ that we produce online after we’re no longer around to enjoy it? It was one of the topics of conversation recently when @faris was over in London and held an impromptu Beersphere. Which got me thinking, what if there was a way to pre-emptively update our Facebook page, our Twitter page, our blog and all the other online destinations we produce content for with a message. What would that message be and would we use it?
A new service which caught my eye is Webwill which prefaces with asking the question “How do you want to live your life online after death?” In one sentence it describes what it sets out to do, I like that. It’s not an easy thing to do. Ironically, it’s in Beta at the moment and on an invite only basis.
A couple of the facts they give in the video is that 1 in every 3 women in Sweden has their own blog and 850m photos are uploaded to Facebook every month. Over 10billion photos a year. What will happen to those photos in 10 years? Will they be as relevant?
It seems to have all come to the fore recently with Facebook recommending you to people you know who have passed away. Then ask the question, how would Facebook have known? These kinda measures need to be put in to place and I think something like Webwill could help to moving in the right direction to do that. It must be harrowing for someone to be recommended to reconnect with a friend or loved one no longer around. Check these posts out, first from Mashable not so long ago documenting ‘How to eliminate “dead friend” suggestions’ and second from Consumerist where Facebook were embroiled in a lengthy battle for this very reason and performed a u-turn on their own policy which states that “it was their policy to keep dead members profile’s in a “memorialized” state.”
Back to this whole notion of why we even have a desire to keep all these different profiles updated. We’re living for the era of now, so consumed in what we’re doing this minute and maybe not taking the time to enjoy the here and now because we’re too busy documenting it. (For when and for who?) Putting up pictures on Flickr, tweeting about it, writing a Facebook status update, telling people we don’t know on a chat room or forum what we’re doing. This is important but all those little artefacts you put up online, stay online, indefinitely. It’s always something people seem to forget about when they engage in sometimes hugely libellous slanging matches online where an apology has to be made public or when emails containing conversations which shouldn’t have happened in print are written. Once it’s down on the online notepad, it’s permanent.
Update – Here’s a video explanation from the founders via Venturebeat
Watch this. Amazing stuff. You’ll be fascinated by some of the facts.