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Bits and Bytes

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bitsandbytes

Je suis Charlie – and yes, I do feel a bit silly writing about the digital bits and bytes this week

No words come close to the horror and sadness the events in France this week. I don’t have an explanation for it. However, I do think that what the team at Charlie Hebdo and other satirists around the world do is important. They hold up a mirror to ourselves and force us to look at us from a different perspective. As horrible as the events this week in France were, it is heartening and inspiring to see how the French and international community reacted to these acts of terrorism.

From the marches of solidarity, to people holding up pens and the now ubiquitous ‘Je suis Charlie’ posters – to the millions of Tweets voicing their support and condemnation.

Here are some that really struck me – because they fought back with humour, wit and determination: Continue reading “Je suis Charlie – and yes, I do feel a bit silly writing about the digital bits and bytes this week”

Vine – a missed opportunity for the Premier League?

Missed opportunity for the Premier League?

After a fabulous footballing summer for German Arsenal fans, the Premier League finally started up this weekend. The Gooners squeaked past Crystal Palace on a sunny Saturday. Marvellous.

And after a World Cup where Twitter really came into its own, dedicating entire sections of its service to updating users about live games, reporting on the Tweets per minute from key incidents and the usual banter, you’d think that the FA might pick up on the popularity of sharing instant reactions to games – especially when instant reactions often also mean the instant replay of that cracking goal, or that ridiculous decision, or Santi getting sprayed in the face by the ref who can’t quite get the vanishing spray to work. Continue reading “Vine – a missed opportunity for the Premier League?”

The World Cup of Memes, Twitter, errr, the USA?

The Cup of Memes

I am recovering from the relentless Brazil v Chile game. A game decided by the woodwork (both times in favour of the hosts), a game that neither team deserved to lose, a game that Spiegel Online reckons was Howard Webb’s application to also referee the final – after all, not many would have the stones to (correctly!) disallow a goal for handball. Also, he’s English.

It’s the Cup of Memes (stolen from the WSJ).

From van Persie’s diving header against Spain, the impenetrable wall of Ochoa, to, of course, Suarez loosing his balance against Italy’s Chiellini and falling on his shoulder. Hurting his teeth. Bless.

The Suarez incident in particular has received the most attention. Partly because it was just so predictable before the first ball was even kicked, but mostly because it provides so much fodder for wordsmiths to sink their teeth in. See what I did there? Yes. Very clever.

Twitter went into pundemonium…

… and finally had a use for a Vine of an Aussie chap imitating a dog attack

But it was brands that really went dental

Then there’s the fabulous Louis Suarez Biting Game by @usvsth3m

suarez biting game

#WorldCup

Twitter has been a key part of the tournament, at least from the perspective of the fans following the games, reacting to goals, incidents and saves.

The chaps at Twitter have kept a close eye on what we’ve been tweeting about during the group phase. Some of the highlights

  • 300 million tweets related to #WorldCup, with the opening game garnering the most Tweets (I suspect that will have been surpassed by last night’s game against Chile)
  • Marcelo’s own goal against Croatia was the most tweeted moment
  • Messi is the most mentioned player
  • The most retweeted Tweet was by @FinallyMario who would have like a kiss on the cheek from the Queen as a thank you to Italy for beating Costa Rica and keeping England’s chances of progressing alive. Italy lost, England went home

USA wins!

To finish off the World Cup round-up, for this week at least, is a look at the love of soccer in the US of A. Sparked by a team that is actually quite good (mostly because they have a German coach and mostly German players) the nation of cheerleaders has finally discovered the beautiful game.

They have the biggest set of travelling fans and after their dramatic win against Ghana in their first game, they coined a catchy new chant: ‘I believe that we will win’. A chant that fans in this pub were giving their all. See if you can spot the moment where Portugal equalises.

Then of course there was much confusion about how a game can end in a draw. Or that you’d advance to the next round after losing. Welcome, finally, to the world’s game, America.

Bits and bytes

  • A collection of the very best 404 pages from across the web. Kinda makes you want to build a broken website
  • There are blogs, Facebook groups and galleries dedicated to images of incorrectly spelt names on Starbucks cups. This exchange between a customer who reckons it’s just Starbucks’ way to get people to post free ads and @Starbucks is an excellent example how matching your counterpart’s sentiment and tone of voice can often lead to social media win
  • Rumour has it that Facebook is building FB@Work – possible competition to Intranets across the corporate Internet that will have in-house IT and Internal Comms teams freaking out over
  • Path doesn’t know it’s dead. Awkward.
  • Gallup reckons consumers don’t give a crap about what brands say on social media. Brands should listen and interact to make them care – two buzzwords and concepts that have been around forever, but seemingly ignored if this research is to be believed

Videos of the week

Remember the viral über-sensation ‘First Kiss‘ from a few months back? A black and white film for fashion company WREN showing strangers kissing for the first time? It spawned a number of parodies – including, this week, a surprisingly tender and lovely version by Max Landis called ‘The Slap’. Initially a parody, Landis also posted a making of clip where he refers to it as an experiment. The slap as a social interaction. Both worth a watch.

I love this mind-bending video for the track Kodama by 20syl.  Minimal electro beeps and bloops that end up in a Dali-esque landscape. Trippy. More on how it was made on Creative Review.

And finally

World Cup players folding their arms because they are cross about things (HT @VictoriaDove).

More from the World Cup, Yo, Twitter does animated gifs

More from the World Cup

What a bonkers tournament it’s been thus far. Everybody’s agreed to ignore the principles of defending and to score as many goals as possible. Makes for great entertainment, but perhaps not so brilliant for the nerves of some fans. Well, except if you support the Dutch. Ugh.

Twitter’s gone big, with a permanent fixture in the feed directing people to matches currently live and actively promoting tweets with score updates.

The BBC and ITV are also both integrating Twitter into their live broadcasts, asking viewers about tactics and subs. ITV wants viewers to share their #goalface (mind you, since England’s premature exist, opportunities for audience participation has taken a back seat).

Some more World Cup bits that caught my eye:

  • Dot Design have pulled together four PR stunts inspired by the tournament – most of which turned out to be rather less brilliant. The list includes Asda’s wearable England Flag, Paddy Power’s Brazilian, and Delta’s ill-advised use of images
  • Nike is doing a better job at creating buzz around the World Cup than the official sponsor Adidas
  • The New York Times has some nifty interactive elements adding a bit more depth to their World Cup coverage. I particularly liked their ‘spot the ball‘ game, where you’re confronted with images from games where the ball has been shopped out. You need to deduce from player sight lines and positions where the ball could be (here’s round 2, and round 3). Their interactive table on who has the best chances to proceed to the next round is also rather clever

Yo

Yo!

Yo?

Yo.

That’s it. That’s all you can do with a new mobile messaging app called Yo. Yo has taken the the concept of a character limit to the extreme. It not only limits you to just two characters, it also limits you to putting the Y first. Then the o.

Yo.

The app was launched on April Fool’s Day, has 50,000 users and those people have sent each other 4 million Yo’s. The app has secured $1.2 million in funding.

As Colbert asks: “Y?”

The makers of the app talk about context. That the meaning of a Yo is dependent on the environment, the time of day, the sender/recipient. Thank you captain obvious.

Techcrunch goes into a bit more depth on this, talking about digital dualism and that for Yo users (YoYos?), apps like Yo, Snapchat, Whisper and Secret are used in the now, as an extra digital layer atop of their real life.

Only that younger generations don’t discern between the two. For them, the Venn Diagram between digital and real is just a circle. The overlap is complete. Or, as Techcrunch so wonderfully puts it:

The brief popularity of Yo is a signal of a larger trend. Software developers are today tasked with a bigger problem than convenience or accessibility or distribution. The line between our physical lives and the lives we lead in our minds, with our thumbs, on a touchscreen, is rapidly fading. Yo may be just a touch too basic (bitch) to last for the long haul, or perhaps Yo is the beginning of a new era in push notifications. But apps that integrate pieces of our real-world lives are just settling in for a long stay.

Brilliantly, Ad Age was quick to react and asked its readers about their Yo strategy, providing some helpful questions:

If a cultural event of any significance occurs, make sure to send a YO from your brand. You won’t be able to explain why you sent it, but consumers will understand.

Genius.

Since receiving funding, Yo has been hacked by three college students. They were able to access telephone numbers and send messages.

Twitter supports gifs, freaks out

This week, Twitter announced it now supports animated gifs, by posting an animated gif. Simple.

And of course, the Internet was all like

Hootsuite pulled together some of their favourite reactions to the announcement.

Cannes Lions

Difficult to miss the fact that the Oscars of advertising happened this week, with many an ad bod descending upon the French Riviera. My Twitter feed was full of selfies on boats and linkbait posing as insight. Still, some good bits did catch my eye:

Bits and bytes

  • Fab post by @jeremywaite about the six key rules set up by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to build a happy company
  • Expect to see this in all future content marketing presentations: the periodic table of content marketing
  • Amazon launches a phone that ales you to buy anything you take a photo of. The Internet isn’t impressed
  • Facebook takes on Snapchat with it’s own ‘messages will self-destruct after reading’ platform Slingshot. The catch: in order to see what your friend is sending you, you have to send them something in return
  • Ikea kicked off a bit of a storm this week when it transpired that they were forcing the wonderful ikeahackers.net to shut down. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and it looks like the site will stay up, perhaps with a new name. What a massive own-goal that would have been!

Videos of the week

French supermarket took a page out of Sainsbury’s playbook and launched their own version of our ‘Love ugly fruit and veg‘ campaign from two years ago called ‘Les fruits et légumes moches’. Great to see other supermarkets share the love.

OK Go have a new single. The single has a video. As is the norm with OK Go, their videos are always spectacular. This effort features a plethora of optical illusions that will leave you brain bamboozled and clicking that replay button. Must watch!

Durex wants footballers to stop faking it.

And finally

@BoringMilner asks @Asda if they have any stores in Brazil as he’s run out of tea bags. Well played Asda, well played (HT @a_little_wine).

Uber massive Black Cab own goal, Google Glass discrimination and the Flying Dutchman

Uber massive Black Cab own goal

On Wednesday, @a_little_wine and I were enjoying our lunch in the glorious London sunshine. At least until a long procession of Black Cabs showed up, honking their horns and clogging up Holborn Circus and the surrounding roads. Fellow road users weren’t impressed, a colleague missed their flight because they were stuck in traffic to Heathrow and cyclists were being smug as cyclists always are.

The following conversation echoed throughout the office all day:

What’s going on with all the cabs?

They’re on strike because of Uber.

They’re on strike because they can’t spell the German word for over?

No. Uber. It’s a mobile app that let’s you book cars to get you around London. It’s really very good and it’s actually quite a lot cheaper than taking a Black Cab.

@tomparker81 and @amyvwilson were too happy to tell us more about something that until that day we’d only heard about in passing. We learnt about  Uber, that it was cheaper than a cab and that it was very easy to use. I learnt that if I sign up using a code, Amy and I would both get £10 off our next ride. I signed up.

Also, as Rory Sutherland so marvellously puts it in (at 42 mins in this clip), human beings hate uncertainty. Uber takes that uncertainty away because you see the car approaching. You know exactly where and when that Uber car is going to show up. There’s no stress. A few taps and your off.

So Uber has many things going for it.

Now. Cabbies (and many other metered taxi drivers around Europe) aren’t complete idiots. They went on strike because they feel that Transport for London should not allow Uber cars to use a meter (which is essentially what the app does) as this is something only Black Cabs are allowed to do. TFL reckons it is something for the courts to decide upon. Unhappy, they decided to make their case heard.

Rather than help the cabbies, the strike has done the exact opposite:

  • it’s generated huge awareness of Uber on all forms of media
  • it’s caused a 850% spike in registrations to Uber
  • it’s pissed off a lot of motorists and people who spent an afternoon stuck in traffic
  • it’s generated more smug cyclists. This is never a good thing

I’m not saying that Cabbies don’t have a point. Rules and regulations for metered cabs should be fair. But as we’ve seen with Polaroid, HMV, Blockbuster, etc – if you ignore the way the customer is going, you’re going to have a bad time.

Google Glass discrimination

The Daily Show reports on the horrible discrimination Google Glass wearers – or Explorers as they prefer to be called – face every day. Harrowing.

The Flying Dutchman

The Internet loves an image based meme. And last night, after van Persie equalised for the Dutch with a glorious diving, looping, deliciously weighted header after a magnificent cross from Blind, the Internet had found new material.

Within hours, the ‘shopped images of RVP began appearing in all kinds of marvellous scenes:

Reuters’ Digital News Report

Reuters’ annual Digital News Report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a survey of over 18,000 online news consumers in the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and Finland.

You can find the full report here, for a TL;DR summary, I give you some bullets:

  • Even though not technically new, mobile its seen as the second disruptive digital revolution creating new links between the audience and news outlets
  • People don’t and don’t want to pay for news but more news outlets are moving to subscription models
  • Although Facebook and Twitter are still the platforms of choice for discovering, sharing and commenting on news events, there are new players entering the game. Also: WhatsApp is a surprising big player in some countries – in India for example it was used to great effect to drive people the polls in the last election
  • Journalists themselves are turning into brands and just (if not more) trusted than the media outlet they work for

Bits and bytes

  • The biggest development in journalism has finally happened: Man bites dog
  • I hesitate to link to anything that bills itself as the ultimate guide to anything, but this guide to mobile social media by Buffer is not only good but also full of practical advice. Kudos!
  • No. A computer did not just beat the Turing Test. We have a bit of time yet until we battle Skynet
  • Scoopshot – the app that let’s you take on photography assignments from The Metro, Evening Standard or the Press Association and sell your work. Even brands such as Finnair are asking passengers to share photos from their flight

Videos of the week

VW in China worked with Ogilvy to create an ad that showed just how dangerous texting and driving can be.  Cinema goers were shown the ad as part of the usual build up of commercials and trailers: a monotonous scene shot from the driver’s perspective of cruising down a country lane, counting on them being bored by the clip. What happens next is very effective – if a bit dramatic.

You’ll have seen this during the first few World Cup games, Nike’s ‘Incredibles’ style animated film about a group of heroic footballers (and Rooney) playing the game of their lives against a team of perfect but predictable footballbots.

Why animate? Well, despite all the playacting on the pitch to get the other guy booked, footballers are actually terrible actors (with the obvious exceptions of Vinnie Jones and Eric Cantona), but also because footballers don’t nearly have enough of a sense of humour to actually agree to take part in this splendid little film.

Remember the Old Spice Guy? Of course you do. Turns out he actually was on a horse.

And finally

Tweets from 1998 (HT @tomparker81)

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:

Yu-Ds7P3NpXEj7pArc2oRrbltB_jhGTb_gHQBzTqggY

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

Huge Presidential Cheesegate and Dominos delivers #pizzaonatrain

You come into my house?

Remember fish puns?

@TeaandCopy sure does and he was unhappy that Dominos weren’t rising to his pizza pun challenge. When it did finally take off, I was glad to see @Sainsburys join in with this cheesy effort:

And yes. I’d like to think that Ciaran looked a little like this anteater when he hit the Tweet button.

Huge presidential Cheesegate

The headline ‘We got a look inside the 45-planning process that goes into creating a single corporate tweet‘ caught my attention this week.

It’s kinda what I do, albeit in a slightly more streamlined efficient way. Reading it, I was perplexed. Was this a clever satire of the social media manager? Or was it really a piece about how digital design and advertising firm Huge goes about ‘doing social’ for brands like President and Audi?

@a_little_wine was quick to point out that, yep, that is a genuine article, no sarcasm, irony or parody intended. Here’s the author, Aaron Taube, confirming that it is in fact a straight report rather than genius satire.

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There are many things that got t’Interwebs giggling about this story, one of them was The Tweet That Took Two Months: at the time of writing, it had zero retweets and two favourites.

(Twitter loves a bit of irony and the Tweet now has achieved a bit more traction. President will be chuffed.)

My summary of this glorious event will never come close to that of @adcontrarian. So sit back, grab that fresh cup of coffee and enjoy his fantastic three-parter:

The thing to remember: not all social media managers are like this. Most of us can sort out a Tweet in, like, a month. Easy.

Pizza on a motherflippin train

Hungry funny man @IAmChrisRamsey found himself on a train to Newcastle with a hankering for pizza. Sadly, East Coast Trains don’t provide pizza on their trains. But, if you have over 270,000 followers on Twitter, standard menus don’t apply.

For a detailed look at how it all went down, Digital Spy have you covered. However, I couldn’t resist sharing these two tweets: Just look at how happy he is!

And of course, HUGE kudos to Dominos for making it happen.

Bits and bytes

Videos of the week

Google’s self-driving car. This was all over the news. In case you missed it, here’s their video showing it off. Me? I’m still waiting for my hoverboard, dammit.

Wall’s new idea cream ad wants politicians to say goodbye to serious. How appropriate…

Coke makes people work together if they want to enjoy their drink by creating a coke bottle that can only be opened by combining it with another coke bottle.

And finally

The Internet in Real-Time

UGC goodness with McDonald’s #MyBurger, Nando’s #Wingroulette and Coke’s #ThisIsAhh

This wins the Internet

Too brilliant for the ‘and finally’ section, so I break with tradition and give you this bit of pure, unadulterated genius. Hats off to the DJ.

Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

Are those Reebok or Nike?

The one with the dodgy banana

A tale of woe, customer service and, finally, redemption and happiness told through the eyes of Sainsbury’s customer @HBChapple and Chris from the @Sainsburys Careline team.

McDonald’s UGC burger

I love a burger. Dirty or posh, van or fancy restaurant. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. It doesn’t matter. A burger sorts me right out and I’ve had a few over the years. They come in all different sizes, combinations and tastes. And it is a very rare occasion indeed, where I come across a bad burger (fries are a different ballgame entirely. So much can go wrong with fries. But that’s for another day).

http://instagram.com/p/oMO4A1nimO/

Now, making your own burger at home is not particularly difficult, but not something that I tend to do very much. But what if you could digitally build your burger, have all your friends vote for it and the one with the most votes gets added to McDonald’s menu?

There you have the simple, yet brilliant premise of McD’s latest #MyBurger campaign.

After careful deliberation, clicking and scrolling, I am proud to give you my BCG Burger: Bacon (because everything with bacon is just better), Cheese (two slices of black pepper cheese to make the beef pop and add some stability to the construction) and Guacamole (equal parts cashing in on the oh-so-trendy Mexican food craze,  and also, guac is just so goooood) burger. Perfected by a generous sprinkling of jalapeño peppers for that extra oomph, rocket to give it even more of a peppery freshness, and held together with a brioche bun and OMG JUST GET ME A BURGER ALREADY.

The BCG now takes it’s place amongst all the other delicious creations, which you can drool over in the gallery section of McDonald’s My Burger site.

As you salivate over sooo much beefy goodness (on that, why the heck can you only make a beef burger?), you also get your fair share of burger stats. And which PR person doesn’t like a survey?!

  • over 46,000 burgers made since the site launched this week
  • over 100,000 votes cast
  • at just 2%, pineapple the nation agrees that pineapple has no place on a burger (or on a pizza for that matter)
  • pickles aren’t much better off, finding their way into only 9% of burgers flipped
  • the must-have ingredient, next to glorious meat of course, turns out to be cheese – layered into over 43,000 burgers coming

Voting for a burger is simple. But what I really love about the voting process is McDonald’s reinvention of the Captcha. Rather than some strange maths question or indecipherable characters to prove that you are, in fact, a hungry human, you are asked to pick two items from McD’s menu by this prompt:

McDonald's captcha

 

A gloriously simple and fun campaign, one that get’s McDonald’s customers actively involved in the brand by creating a burger that could end up in restaurants nationwide. And who doesn’t like sharing something tasty with their friends saying: “Look! I created this! Isn’t it great?”

 

Wingroulette

To celebrate the launch of their delicious new menu item ‘The Wing Roulette’, the clever chaps at Nando’s have come up with a spicy  campaign centred around user generated content.

Customers are encouraged to not only brave the fiery madness that is the selection of 10 chicken wings dipped in peri peri sauce of unknown strength (ranging from the tangy mango and lime to the teeth-melting extra hot) but to then use their napkins and sauce covered fingers to produce some tweetable art along with the hashtag #wingroulette.

Nando’s have also added a Wingroulette companion game to their iPhone app that tells you which of your friends gets to eat which chicken wing (and here I was planning to order the 10 wings for myself…).

To keep the campaign going, Nando’s are relying heavily on the TV guide, creating finger puppet versions of popular shows like Game of Thrones and 24

But they’re also being good social media citizens and sharing the best of the #Wingroulette selfies from customers

There’s many more #Wingroulette finger selfies on Twitter – a lot of people are keen to win their year’s supply of free Nando’s!

Bits and bytes

  • Greg, a security guard for Arcadia sends an email asking his manager to approve holiday. Line manager accidentally forwards Greg’s request to all the company’s 3,500 employees. Hilarity and a trending hashtag #GiveGregtheHoliday is born (HT @CiaranM_). And yes, he finally did get his two days leave approved – and he also donated all the free stuff he received to charity. #GoodGuyGreg
  • The Roman Catholic Church issued its 10 digital commandments this week and they’re actually not that bad (HT @a_little_wine). If you fancy a slightly less preachy, more practical take on keeping The Big Guy virtually happy, you could also choose to follow the Church of England’s 9 digital commandments (1 less than the Catholics. So chill.)
  • Missed out on the London Marathon ballot? No worries, for next year’s race, you’ll be able to run the race in a virtual reality environment: on a treadmill that controls your avatar as it completes the 26.2 mile course

Videos of the week

I’m conflicted about this one. Adweek calls Coke’s latest commercial the first ever TV ad made completely from user generated content, which, as we all know, is complete and utter bollocks. Sainsbury’s did that with Christmas in a Day, thank you very much, next question, you utter muppets. But then again, Adweek also called this the best corporate apology ever posted to Twitter. Damnit. Anyway, just watch the clip.

Dutch drink Vifit either helps you concentrate on studying in the uni library while an attractive blonde does a strip tease or drinking too much of it causes blindness. I suspect the people behind this ad were going for the former.

And finally

Your iPhone’s annoying alarm tune remixed into EDM awesomeness (also, give his Breaking Bad remix a go, um, bitch).

Fish puns, ask Jelly and you shall receive, social news with the NYTimes and this week’s bits and bytes

Fishy goodness: If it’s one thing I’ve learnt during my time in the UK, it’s that Brits love a pun.

Yesterday, @TeaAndCopy tweeted @SainsburysI tried to buy some battered fish from @sainsburys but it didn’t have a bar cod!

David Smith from our social Careline team was quick to respond with this triple whammy: @TeaAndCopy Were there no other packs in the plaice, or was that the sole one on the shelf? Floundering for an explanation! David.

The resulting ‘punversation‘ is a joy to behold and quickly spread via Twitter and onto the HuffPo.

Also, it reminded me of this wonderful ‘Little Story‘ about Sainsbury’s sustainably sourced prawns.

Have a question? Take a photo: If you have a question, somebody out there likely has an answer. Combine that with the fact that most of us have an Internet connected camera in our pocket and you’ve got the premise of the new visual question and answer app Jelly. Jelly allows you to ask and respond to image based questions.

Here’s co-founder and CEO of Jelly, Biz Stone (yup, same dude that helped give us Twitter) who explains it far better than I could. If that’s not enough, there’s more info on Jelly’s blog.

Quick thoughts:

  • The app (at least for iPhone) is still a bit wonky. For example, the only way to switch between Twitter handles at the moment seems to be to delete and re-install the app. Also, it murders your battery life – I suspect this might have to do with the high number of push notifications from the app alerting me to friends in need of answers
  • Jelly works by tapping into your existing connections on Twitter and Facebook – and your connections’ connections – but it keeps all interactions contained within its walls. While they’re likely to open this up in future, it plays to the trend of a) mobile first and worry about the desktop experience later and b) it’s not about getting mass reach or fame, but to help each other out in small-scale yet meaningful interactions
  • Swiping through questions is fun and simple and the wide variety of different questions is astonishing but also confusing. There isn’t a search or sort function and once you’ve dismissed a question, you can’t go back to it
  • There doesn’t seem to be a way to block other Jelly users from asking or responding to questions, nor does the app respect Twitter blocks. Interesting to see how they deal with the inevitable abuse cases and ‘less welcome’ content

Finally, can those social comms bods, please agree to not go for the obvious ‘Would you prefer product a, b or c?’ questions?

Social media news: The team that runs the New York Times’ Twitter feed analysed some of their most successful tweets in 2013 (in terms of click-throughs and retweets), and looked at how they used Twitter to encourage a variety of types of reader engagement with their journalism. @michaelroston, staff editor for social media, sums up their findings and I strongly suggest you give the results your full attention.

For those of the TL;DR mindset (I doubt you’ll have gotten this far, but hey), here’s my take:

  • Managing breaking news is about sharing approved and verified sources. To ensure accuracy, @nytimes will retweet journalists who are directly involvement in events instead of relying un unverified, third party sources
  • They let their journalists break ‘news situations’ – even without links to the NYT: Letting our trusted reporters deliver some news first helps them connect directly with an interested audience, and delivers news in a timely manner without sacrificing our commitment to accuracy 
  • Using social for call-outs for sources
  • Automated tweets are OK (automated in the sense that a new article that’s published to the site is tweeted automatically), but Tweets send via @nytimes performed better when they were written by editors: Twitter is a platform that helps extend The Times’s journalism to an audience that is not always the same as the one that visits our website directly. When we fit our storytelling to the medium, we do the best possible job of connecting with that audience
  • Clearly stated tweets describing the gist of the stories work better than clever headlines

Minimal goodness: A lovely collection of minimal ads that make your brain work just that little bit more to get the point and provide that brief Eureka moment when you get the point. Sent to me by @stangreenan remarking that his favourite was the one for Haribo. I’d have to agree:

Bits and bytes

  • On Vine? Make sure you have your web profile sorted as the six second video app makes the leap from mobile to desktop
  • Don’t know where to go on your next holiday? You could use Sightsmap, a nifty heat map of popular places around the world
  • Why is no-one is outraged about the New York Times redesign (despite the horribly intrusive related story pop-up functionality)? A playful post, but one that will leave anyone who’s ever worked on redesigning a website smiling. Also, you’ll learn what a hamburger is in terms of web design speak (HT @alexcole71)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle will put all its reporters through social media boot camp in an attempt to to arrest circulation decline and remain relevant in the digital age. The two month (!) programme is all about introducing digital metrics and measurement tools. Let’s hope they’re also addressing the required mental shift from print to digital
  • The reason why Netflix walked away from personalisation? The novelty factor: the new and unexpected is what delights customers, not a similar version of what they watched yesterday
  • XKCD provides a brilliant comeback to the question: “Why can’t you just enjoy the view rather than always take photos”

    Source: XKCD

Videos of the week: A case study from Kirby Ferguson, on the back of his excellent 4-part series Everything is a Remix about how creativity resembles remixing. He looks at how when it was launched, the iPhone borrowed from conventions and ideas outside of the smart phone realm to when the recent update of iOS6 was released, it borrowed from ideas within the smart phone realm.

It’s worth taking a look back at the entire series, the first and second films make the point that not only is everything today a remix, creation actually requires influence and that it doesn’t take any expensive tools or even skills to do so (anymore). The third film looks at how innovations truly happen and the fourth finishes on how our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity.

If you fancy a quicker summary of all that goodness, I’d recommend Kirby Ferguson’s TED talk that brings this all together – without the excellent films and animations mind you.

And finally: Movie Code, images of the computer code appearing in TV and films and what they really are.

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