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Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?

Adidas have launched a new pair of football boots, and with them, a campaign graced by none of the world’s best footballers. Seriously. Adidas sponsor the World Cup 2014 winning side and they don’t include any of them? Instead they bring back Suárez despite having distanced themselves from him due to his ferocious appetite for Italian. Continue reading “Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?”

Net Neutrality explained, CIA goes social, Sainsbury’s and Google launch Food Rescue

John Oliver explains Net Neutrality…

Veteran Daily Show and Senior Britishness Correspondent John Oliver has made a name for himself in the US during his time on Jon Stewart’s (more or less) daily comedy news show.

Oliver recently landed his own weekly show on HBO called ‘Last Week Tonight‘, essentially The Daily Show, but longer and without studio guests.

In a recent episode, Oliver produced the best summary of Net Neutrality I have seen. Period. From how and why it came about, to what it actually means, how ridiculous and wrong it is and – here’s where it get’s interesting – to what people can actually do to stop cable companies and ISPs from ‘fixing a system that isn’t broken’.

Utterly brilliant and this week’s must watch clip:

Not only is Oliver’s summary bang on, but his call to action to “Internet commenters, monsters and trolls” is likely to have been the cause of the FCC’s website going down, as he directs viewers to unleash their vitriol on the FCC which is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until July 15 (or, as it’s called in FCC Doublespeak: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet).

… or why I get my news from satirical news media

It is bizarre when a comedy news show such as Last Week Tonight does a better job of explaining what’s going on in the world that ‘traditional’ media.

In fact, a study found that another Daily Show alumni, Stephen Colbert, did a better job of teaching viewers about the role of money in US politics on his satirical news show than the actual news. The University of Pennsylvania found that viewers of ‘The Colbert Report’ were more informed about campaign financing than viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (OK, no surprise at the last one).

Now, I tried finding a clip of Colbert apologising to his viewers about actually informing them about the news. What I found instead is a clip of Hapless CNN Anchor and Marginally Less Hapless Media Pundit ‘analysing’ how Colbert does a better job of what CNN and news outlets should be doing.

My favourite part is when Hapless CNN Anchor says: “[Colbert] has this certain je ne said quoi, if you will, right, but, but, but, they dedicate, like, chunks of time on that show to something such as [campaign financing] and he pulls it off!

Later in that same clip, Hapless CNN Anchor goes on to concede, that of course a 24 hour news channel like CNN is at a disadvantage, because Colbert has an audience that keeps coming back and a room full of writers who helps him write the jokes!

The mind boggles not only at how oblivious Hapless CNN Anchor is to the words that are coming out of her mouth, that this actually aired on CNN, but that the clip below is hosted on CNN’s YouTube channel!

The CIA goes social

The @CIA joined Twitter and Facebook this week. Looking past the fact that they’ve had a presence on Flickr and Youtube for a while and, let’s face it, have been following all of us for longer than that, it seems they’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about the appropriate tone of voice on social, especially Twitter.

According to the CIA’s website, their new accounts will be used to share “the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook“.

Let’s have a look then, shall we?

It’s generated well over 250k retweets an a wave of public support and praise for an organisation that in recent time has had its fair share of cock-ups.

Despite the brilliance of poking fun at the Glomar Response and thereby harking back to (arguably) the golden days of spying during the Cold War, I really was very surprised at the almost exclusively positive reaction to the tweet.

Well, except for WikiLeaks.

And Gawker – their reaction is perhaps more eloquently put, by Vice.

I find the reaction, especially to the Tweet, immensely disconcerting. Almost as if that cheeky message somehow absolves the CIA from all the other controversies surrounding the Agency. Just have a look at their Twitter bio:

5JOHPoGTfq7OxdjlVU97-j8IwPr95buLZQZnPSXPmXM

Far less cuddly and cute now. We get shit done. That sure gives their first Tweet a slightly more sinister edge.

Over on the CIA’s Facebook, the reaction to Big Brother getting on board has been a little more tempered – both in terms of numbers but also fan-girling. This will be due in part to the nature of Facebook being more of a closed network but also down to the more serious tone in their first posts about the anniversary of D-Day.

Still, the reaction on Facebook is much more in line with the cynical tone that I’ have expected on Twitter:

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Still, spy-hats off to the spooks for a genius PR move – I’m looking forward to more unclassified content and a peek under that trench coat.

Sainsbury’s Food Rescue

We waste 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK. That translates as a loss of £60 per month for the average family.

Searches for recipes using leftovers have surged by 1/3 compared to last year, with 2/3 of those searches made via mobile devices.

This is why Sainsbury’s and Google have launched Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. The tool gives people practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of the fridge or cupboard.

Food Rescue will also provide some insight into what food the UK saves and how that differs across the country:

  • the most rescued ingredient is a potato
  • 176 Feed Rescue recipes have been made since launch
  • £1.30 aAverage saving per recipe

Bits and bytes

  • Whole Foods uses an internal photo sharing community where staff shares images from stores to glean insight into which displays work well without giving away a competitive advantage
  • Google now treats brand mentions as links. They’re not like ‘express links, things you can click that will take you some place else, but rather ‘implied links’. Which means that every brand mention is now a link to your website. Or, more succinctly as this marvellous info graphic from MC Saatchi puts it: PR = SEO
  • Twitter is in trouble: losing users, inactive accounts, too much noise. It has lost more than half its market value, a staggering USD18 billion, since late December.  Here’s how Twitter can avoid becoming irrelevant
  • Bit of ad-porn? Cannes Lions 2014 top 100 contenders, compiled by Per Pedersen, Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey

Videos of the week

Mexican retailer Coppel teams up with world freestyle champion @seanfreestyle to play a little prank on some unsuspecting kids.

On the slightly less skilled front, we have Zidane, Bale and Moura smashing up Beckham’s house while looking street in their Adidas gear.

And then there’s this fantastically bizarre clip by Polish window maker Drutex featuring Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo and Jakub Blaszczykowski showing students who’s best at keepy uppy only to then find out that great footballers not only have great skills in common, but also great windows. Windows for champions. Seriously. That’s the actual slogan (at least in the German translation).

And finally

Billy Jean on beer bottles

Christmas in a Day is here, KLM excels at social customer service, pay with a selfie and this week’s bits and bytes

Christmas in a Day: The trailers had racked up over 1 million views on Sainsbury’s YouTube channel by the time I was fortunate enough to attend the premiere at beautiful BAFTA House alongside the film’s director and the many stars of the 47 minute feature made up entirely of user-generated content.

A true roller coaster of emotions, I found myself happily giggling away one moment and simply dissolving into tears the next. A genuinely heartfelt, charming  and entirely authentic look at Christmas in the UK.

Why this shepherd loves Twitter: A marvellous essay by @HerdyShepherd1 about why he loves Twitter. A self-confessed luddite and shepherd in the Lake District, Herdy admits that he never would have thought he’d take to Twitter. It was only after he upgraded to a smartphone with Twitter installed that he succumbed to the little blue bird’s charms.

“I suddenly had a camera and Twitter app in my pocket whilst I worked. And though it took me a while to realize it, I had the tools to connect to thousands of people around the world. I could now defend the old in my own quirky and probably misguided way.”

A charming read and well worth the follow.

How to do a Twitter Q&AEconsultancy looked at seven recent Twitter Q&As by brands that proved to be useful in one way or another. They key points they seem to make about what a brand should consider before agreeing to a Twitter Q&A:

  • Get your other Twitter accounts and platforms to promote the Q&A hashtag
  • Stick to your hashtag – it makes it easier to track questions and also potential reach
  • Don’t invite people to ask you question when you’re having a bad news day
  • Collect questions in advance of the Q&A via the hashtag, Facebook and email
  • Use a service like Storify to curate the Q&A so that you have a record of it for later

Transparent customer service via Twitter: @KLM now provides a live update on how long they expect it’ll be before they respond to queries. You’ll see this information when you make your way to KLM’s customer service centre and also directly on their Twitter profile. Really impressive stuff from a company that’s always pushing the boundaries on social and digital media.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 20.54.07

Pay with a selfie: Last week I shared with you my thoughts on the word selfie making it into the dictionary. The South African retailer Urban Hilton Weiner went a step further to celebrate the new official word and launched a one-day campaign encouraging customers to share a selfie of themselves wearing some of the brand’s clothing in order to in order to contribute to their payment.

The hashtag #UrbanSelfie quickly saw a number of in store customers tweeting, Facebooking and Instagraming their outfits from inside the store’s changing rooms for a chance to win some money.

https://twitter.com/arabellazz/status/404573185934635008

Clever URL shenanigans: I don’t understand a great deal about Eggball other than there’s some sort of World Cup going on, England lost (as usual?) and the All Blacks are both terrifying with their pre-game Haka and also nigh on invincible.

Videos of the week: Ze Germans and Adidas celebrate their new footie kit (whether they’ll actually win anything in Brazil remains to be seen).

You won’t look at Jelly Beans the same way after watching this short film.

I have a feeling that Harvey Nichols’ ‘Sorry, I spent it on myself’ campaign might make secret Santa that little bit less festive (HT @LisaJHarris).

And finally: The brilliantly bizarre Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version) has racked up over 31 million views in two days (HT @a_little_wine)!

Video on Instagram, hazy marketing, masterful UGC from REI and this week’s bits and bytes

Video on Instagram: Speculation about Instagram launching their own short form video service to counter Twitter’s Vine finally came true this week. You can now photograph and film your latte using Instagram.

(I swear I wrote that before I watched the video – WHERE SOMEBODY VIDEO INSTAGRAMS THEIR LATTE!)

Anyway, the differences between Instagram video and Vine:

  • you can take up to 15 seconds of video (rather than only 7 seconds on Vine)
  • the filters that made Instagram so popular are also available to videos shot with Instagram
  • when you post a video, you can select a particular still from your clip as the hero image

Vine responded by posting some videos of their own, featuring sneak peaks of new features for  revamped video stream categories and draft Vines (yes please!) – at least, that is what Techcrunch believes they are.

Hazy marketing: Remember when real-time marketing went mainstream? You know, when Oreo tweeted about being able to dunk an Oreo cookie in the dark after the lights went out at the Superbowl? And everybody loved it and wrote blog posts about how brilliant it was and how since then anybody working in comms has thought about how they can get their own Oreo moment?

Well, even the masters at Oreo don’t always get it right. You may have seen coverage on the BBC yesterday about the haze in Singapore from the forest fires in Indonesia (much like the ones 16 years ago when I was still in high school in Singapore – only much, much worse). The marketing bods decided that this message to their Singaporean fans would be a good idea.

Source: Oreo

Now, I can’t see the response to the image (the post is only visible to people in Singapore), but personally, I think this is in bad taste and I wouldn’t be surprised if the locals don’t see the funny side.

Bizarrely Adidas posted a similar effort to their Facebook page: offering 152 free gym passes on a day when the Pollutant Standards Index hit 152 at lunchtime.

Source: Adidas

Now, anything between 100-200 is considered to be unhealthy, so encouraging people to head out in that environment isn’t such a smart thing. In fact, on June 20, the PSI peaked at 371, a level of pollution deemed to be hazardous – but they are still posting similar content (although they’re no longer so keen on matching free gym passes to the PSI levels).

Am I getting too paranoid?

High street food chat: Research from Visceral Business and Synthesio found that 10 UK high street brands account for 96% of all social media food conversations. Those brands: Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Subway, Greggs, Nando’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Dominos (HT @DigitalBlonde).

REI Member Stories: Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) make outdoor gear and clothing. Their clientele ranges from skiers, ridiculously inspiring iron-women (like @celia_cole), climbers, trekkers… you get the idea. A great post on PSAMA goes into detail about how REI works closely with their customers to create some stunning user generated content to market their products in intensely engaging clips (HT @jcolman).

Key advice from @Kelly_Ann_Walsh, Digital Equipment Program Manager for REI: “Don’t try to create a new behaviour. Try instead to integrate what your community is already doing.” And some key questions for any company interested in using UGC in their marketing:

  • What is your community doing and how can you leverage it to provide value to your audience?
  • What are your objectives for engagement?
  • How can you leverage current behaviour to create a community or connection?
  • How can you drive continued engagement?
  • Do you have the resources to moderate the content and scale?
  • What are the legal considerations?

Digital publishing ≠ paper publishing: “As we adapt to a world of connected devices, the way we think about our content publishing process and workflow must adapt too.” An excellent piece by @karenmcgrane in the Harvard Business Review.

Good news: “The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED. This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion. But it seems to be catching on.

Would you hire these people? A post entitled ‘The Crazy, Creative Staff Photographs Of Ad Agencies’ and I really couldn’t say it any better. Some of these really are very whacky (HT @tomparker81).

Videos of the week: This Russian commercial for Tampax takes an unexpected turn (HT @KristianWard29)

Russell Brand makes a mokery of MSNBC’s Morning Joe (not too hard, but still, pretty good television)

And finally: Textatrosphe

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