Category Archives: Brand

Weekly Round-Up 5/9/11

Social|Local|Mobile –SoLoMo

  • Groupon’s fast ascension to establish and lead the deals space is challenged with the introduction of Facebook Deals and other established incumbent entrants such as Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive.  Where Groupon has to rely on paid acquisition for new email and socialgraph distribution to drive demand and activation, Facebook Deals owns those channels for 600mm worldwide. Hard to compete with “free” or sunk costs. Other Incumbents like Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive can leverage sophisticated email marketing intellectual property and systems along with other forms of communications and relationships built into their existing businesses.
  • Here’s how Facebook’s thinking about deals—something between friends
  • Facebook begins paying users to watch advertisements because of low banner click-through rates.
  • Today, 17% of mobile users are using location-based apps, or 70mm+ of projected 2011 smartphone & tablet users.  Half of these people are concerned about privacy, but can these be mitigated by greater transparency, utility and even value-exchange dynamics we’re seeing from the deals space?

BTW, note how the linked article decries “only 17%” using LBS–it’s amazing that nearly 20% of an enormous installed base are already here and growing. New behaviors and media used to take decades, then years and now months to create. Little perspective.

  • R/GA’s Richard Ting weighs in on the cleverly named “New Social Media Splinternet”—while we’re big fans of Richard’s thinking, we respectfully disagree about holding off on experimentation with emerging platforms or that marketers lost their shirts as some platforms failed to emerge to scale. Ping us if you’d like to see our applied strategies for evaluating emerging media and its fit for your brand, strategy and objectives
  • Social-Loco 2011conference was in town last week. We’ll work on a more comprehensive recap shortly, and in the meantime, here are slides used to frame one of the great panels from the day:

In Other News: Apple

Fitness

  • Make sure to turn it up a notch on your next run.  According to both Medincine & Science in Sports & Exercise and Ultimate Bootcamp, sprinting burns more fat than running longer–fits the theme from fast-spaces to fast companies to leaner start-ups; super performance is built into speed.

Global Social Gaming Overview

On Tuesday April 12 we presented a sweeping overview of Social Gaming from its scope, scale and size in the US to the development of this space around the world. We shared how marketers can engage consumers in the space and wrapped with some informative case studies by Toyota. Some impressions, slides, video and links follow. Continue reading

Super Bowl Ad Round-Ups: PepsiCo

This post was inspired by a poll & roll of PepsiCo TV spots on AdAge (subscription required after a certain date). By curating these ads in one post I’m hoping to keep the content evergreen. Here are AdAge’s picks for best Super Bowl spots from PepsiCo of all time, along with a some light analysis of an arc you can find between the years, spots and various expressions of the brand. Which are your favs? Any missing? Pls respond with comments below:

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Great News About Our Company

We have some great news to share: today we’re announcing joining Schawk, Inc. I’ll try to keep this brief if enthusiasm allows and look forward to answering a lot of the more nuanced, in-depth and personal questions directly.  I’ll share here a little more about our parent company, our reasons for joining and thoughts about what to expect ahead. Continue reading

Change the game with a big event

Pepsi held an event at their corporate headquarters in Purchase, New York on July 27-28. It wasn’t just an “innovation” or “emerging media” event. IMO, it was a game changer other markers should consider. Continue reading

A Fresh Fish Story: Why Digital is Above The Line

Welcome to RedLobster.com

Welcome to RedLobster.com

Sssssssssssshhhhpopsssssssssssss. It’s the sound of flames licking butter and juices dripping from your lobster tail. You can almost feel the warmth of the wood fired grill and smell the wood-fired lobster tail looking through your monitor into Red Lobster. Can digital be as emotional and drive desire and reappraisal better than a TV spot? See for yourself. In this post I’ll point out some of the guided discoveries Red Lobster is earning through the digital channel.

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Twitter Teaches Facebook How To Brand

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

This weekend a Phishing scam erupted around Facebook and Twitter. For those fortunate enough to have not been introduced, Phishing is the act of acquiring someone’s information by misrepresentation as a trusted entity. In this case people received email messages from their friends’ Twitter or Facebook accounts who had been duped by the scam, clicked to a site that looked like your Facebook or Twitter login page and entered their name and passwords. Then all their friends got direct-messaged and solicited and so on. If it got you, don’t feel too badly; even some of the most experienced get scammed sometimes.

Quickly Twitter engineers and operations teams responded to defend their service integrity and community. They also alerted their friends at Facebook about the scam. And they whipped up a quick blog postfor reference/search benefits. Then a new slug of text appeared between the Twitter enter form and a user’s Twitterstream: “HEY!If you get an email masquerading as a DM with a link, it could be Phishing.”

Did they have to go to these lengths for their community? These issues come and go so quickly most people wouldn’t notice. To this point, the message was gone a couple of hours later. And, think about what it takes to make a change on your corporate website. Now consider what it takes to change the User Interface of a webservices application. Nothing changes that doesn’t absolutely have to. So to answer the question above, Twitter clearly felt they needed to do something for their community and brand.

I thought it was interesting that the community was also helping out on Twitter–and therefore in Facebook for those that update their Facebook Status with Twitter–by warning others of the threat. In a way, Twitter can counter viral activity because its citizens wish to keep it pure. In a way, it’s the “diseconomy” or “deviralization” of a person or issue at work. There are those that believe Multi-Level Marketers can better exploit a platform like Twitter, but I disagree. The community will gang up against exploitive behavior faster than it can regenerate.

Protip: If you think something’s not right on Twitter you can also “Follow” @spam to direct-message them with suspicious activities or accounts. They’re great at removing the weeds and debris from their garden and rely on the crowd to help with vigilance.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

Meanwhile, the silence at Facebook was telling. By my count and without altering their current message carriers Facebook could have warned its community in half a dozen intuitive ways. In its socialgraph, inbox, activity notification bar, status feeds, profile alerts and even in its ad space it could have notified users of the emerging issue. Instead, it acted more like a large, traditional institution that either can’t marshall the resources and authorizations to react in real-time or won’t as a matter of policy.

I’d say for this round, Twitter acted more like the Real Brand and served a good lesson in brand-as-service for its larger SocialMedia bretheren. Here’s a good link if you want to take your own precautions against Phish feeding, courtesy of Twitter.

Update: CNET’s Rafe Needleman reports that this Phish situation is ongoing. Seen many tweets requesting to be notified “if you get a DM from me.”

Update: Brittany Spears gets hacked on Twitter by the Physhing scam.

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Ben and Jerry’s Killer Facebook Ad Integration

Facebook Election '08 Application/PageCheck out this page. It’s content right? This is the Election ’08 page on Facebook.

It’s got your voting booth location mash-up powered by Google Maps, some info graphics and even a gift/badge for you to wear your colors–Red or Blue. It showed volumes in real-time as people clicked the “I voted” link on their Facebook profile page after visiting the polls. I tweeted about the page in the morning of election day when 1.1 million people had already been counted and watched the numbers swell each hour until the polls closed. Nearly 5.5 million acted making it one of the highest daily-use apps to date (think about how few YouTube videos get that much play in a single day, let alone month for comparison).

The genius is in the Ben & Jerry’s map/application integration. This is content, but it’s also a delivery mechanism for the advertising sponsorship by Ben & Jerry. Simple. Natural (as in additive and not interruptive). Brilliant.

In this case you were able to find the local Ben & Jerry’s store to get the free icecream cone they were offering for those that voted IRL and in the integrated link you could also send a “vote cone” virtual gift to your friends in Facebook.

For Ben & Jerry’s it’s a win across the board. The association is perfect for a brand that has in its roots social change and political activision. That future analysis will likely attribute SocialMedia and Facebook’s influence on 14mm new young voters heavily skewed to Obama as a determing factor in the race can’t hurt the brand. And the message was party-neutral regardless of the results. These are the kind of brand-fit filters every connection planner should find: Content, Context and mission.

As a campaign tracking mechanism, free cone redemptions will be an easy metric. Virtual gift talleys will also be telling as will traffic to the Election ’08 page. Without a doubt, Buzzmetrics and other influence trackers will be tallying total blog mentions and related viewership. And, I’d love to see the total impressions this campaign earned from the SocialGraph as well. We’ll reach out to Facebook, the brand and related agencies to see if we can get the numbers. And, if you’re related to the brand and know, feel free to share below.

Ben & Jerry’s won big on this campaign–even before all the numbers are in–by hitting the right tone of placement and pitch. I learned about new retail locations in a relevant way. I also didn’t feel like they were selling me. In fact, they were offering a number of value-exchanges I couldn’t get without them entering my social interactions on Facebook. Consider how different this is from the “Market Stall” approach of fast and casual food retail where the strategy based on ad spend (shout louder, sooner and with a better offer than your competitors) dominates their consumer communications. The Market Stall has 90%+ of ad spend concentrated on TV and traditional media in a cluttered, interruptive market place. Ben & Jerry’s essentially opened a new market away from the noise, clutter and lack of relevance of the traditional approach.

Every brand marketer should be asking themselves and their agencies: What’s our occasion(s) that should be so integrated with Facebook? And then buy the date to lock out your competition and outplay them.

Added: was reminded that I previously posted about Lee LeFever’s Common Craft show,  “SocialMedia in Plain English” and it was the metaphor told via Ice Cream retail. Fun conincidence. All our SM Answers Haz Ice Cream.

 

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Radiohead Recognition for Art, Innovation

Radiohead has received a lot of attention and press as a result of their forward-thinking approach to consumer engagement, marketing and sales in the digital channel and age. Last year, the band gave away their music for a limited time with mixed results based on who you heard it from. Clearly these guys aren’t one-hit-wonders in music or in marketing innovation. In a “make tech cool in a popular culture sense” move, Radiohead and Google are partnering on data visualizationas you can see in the House of Cards video below. Data geeks can download the inputs, create their own versions and post to the Radiohead YouTube site. The partnership also includes an iGoogle homepage themeand embeddable gadget for the video. Pretty simple, but effective stuff, especially when backed by the distribution of Google. This video has already earned over 2mm views as of this posting.

How can this approach work for digital marketers in other product categories? Consider the ways innovation can create a halo effect for your brand and seek out those innovations that tie closest to your brand values. Many brands require repositioning or reappraisal, and your marketing message and approach can be as talkable as any singular message crafted. In this case, the marketing is the message.

Share your thoughts or ways you’ve used marketing innovation to earn reconsideration below.

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H&R Block All Over Social Media

Great interview by Rodney at FaceReviews with Amy Worley of H&R Block. Talking about listening, not just distributing content via Social Media tools. Take a good listen yourself–the wind was blowing hard and the info is worth the time.

Learn about @replies, re-tweats and direct messages in Twitter as a signifier of listening for a brand versus just “blasting.” Impressive although I might have edited out the time being spent dispensing tax advice in Second Life. Kind of lost me there but perhaps there could be utility via vid capture or sharing outside of SL.