The Apple Watch is here. Kind of. It’s available for pre-order starting at £299 for the smaller Apple Watch Sport and goes up all the way to £13,500 for the Apple Watch Edition.
I pre-ordered mine on the first day possible and was still landed with a delivery window of sometime in June, so that gives me a lot of time to read reviews and worry that I’ve made a mistake and gone for the first iteration of a watch that is slow, needs a phone to do anything interesting and will undoubtedly get better with the following version (according to some of the first reviews I’ve read). Continue reading “Apple Watch: a seamless connection between the digital and real world?”→
Less than 24 hours to go until the London Marathon – no better way to get my mind off the 26.2 miles that lie in wait than write my weekly bits and bytes.
This week I’m looking at the biggest threat to the Internet since the Y2K bug, how banning a journalist from a media dinner is a recipe for disaster, how Costa Coffee did a great job with engaging bloggers (but then forgot to tie that good work back into their social profiles), and the new Twitter profiles that will be coming to a screen near you.
Christmas in a Day: I grew up with Christmas in the tropics, a plastic tree, a Nativity that we assembled every year. On Christmas Eve it’s always mum’s super-special, home-made salmon pate and deviled eggs and other tasty cold cuts before we all rip into our presents (yes, in Germany it’s the Christkind that brings the presents, and as with many things in Germany, the Christkind is efficient and delivers things a day before Santa gets around to homes in the UK).
I’ve had the pleasure of celebrating Christmas with @tomparker81 and his wonderful family – who introduced me to the wonders of a cheeky Baileys (or three) before Christmas lunch. Then there’s my lovely future in-laws who – year after year – look to get the biggest Christmas tree available. Last year, my brother came over to London from Berlin and we celebrated Christmas by watching some festive footie and heading off to the pub for a Christmas lunch.
The point I’m trying to make is that every family has their own tradition and way of celebrating Christmas and that is exactly what Sainsbury’s have highlighted in their stunning new TV campaign for the festive season, the film Christmas in a Day.
From the fantastic kid, to the radiator keys, to Twitter’s new favourite, Spreadsheet Man – these 3:30 minutes are full of laughs, giggles and right at the very end, it takes such an emotional turn that I still well up.
The full length film airs on 29 November on YouTube and who knows, it might become a Christmas tradition in some households across the country. If you can’t wait until then, there are some more trailers on Sainsbury’s Christmas hub and there’s a great blog post by @MarkJGiven on the story behind the campaign and how it came about.
Right, right, right… what about the reaction then?
Monumental would be one way to describe it. I was lucky enough to be invited to AMV’s offices for a little launch party for the trailer’s first airing on ITV – taking up the entire ad break on Coronation Street.
It was brilliant to have a room full of chatty, happily knackered advertising, comms and marketing people from AMV, PHD, Blue Rubicon and Saino’s go quiet when the ad started – only then to hear them gasp, woop and cheer at the immediate and massive reaction to the trailer on Twitter.
A quick look at the Buzzgraph for mentions of “Sainsbury’s Christmas ad” shows that words such as “emotional”, “amazing”, “tears”, “crying”, “lovely” and “cute” are being used in combination with the clip.
“In the manipulative world of modern television – where content is so often subject to the brand police and the political spin doctors – it’s nice to know that the “real life” footage used in Sainsbury’s Christmas in a Daycommercial is just that.”
Proud to be a part of it
Some of the most powerful responses though have come from our own colleagues. Not only is their reaction overwhelmingly positive, but colleagues from around the country are saying how proud they are to be a part of Sainsbury’s. I think it’s a testament to Sainsbury’s Internal Comms team and to all those lucky few who were able to go along to Sainsbury’s annual colleague conference two months ago to be among the first in the company to see the footage and NOT SAY A WORD about it and that the story didn’t leak.
Bloggers – full disclosure: Last week, I wrote about why we work with bloggers at Sainsbury’s. Interesting then to see a post on the ASA’s website reminding bloggers of the advertising guidelines that “any blogger who is paid to write positive reviews or comments about a product or service that they must be up-front with their followers by making clear that it’s advertising.” Turns out the ASA has been receiving feedback from bloggers that some social media and PR companies are “apparently offered them money to advertise on their behalf while encouraging them not to declare that they’re doing so.”
Who’s in trouble when this happens?
“Under the Advertising Code, although the blogger would be named as part of any ASA investigation into misleading advertising, ultimately the buck would stop with the advertiser. If a paid for entry on a blog wasn’t disclosed we would investigate the advertiser and hold them accountable.”
So, be good and encourage the bloggers you work with to clearly note what kind of incentive they received from you.
Custom Timelines: Storify took a deep breath this week when Twitter announced a new feature that allows you to build a Twitter feed by picking certain Tweets. The interface is still very clunky and basic functions like sorting these so called custom timelines chronologically doesn’t yet work (or at least I couldn’t figure out how to do it) and it seems to only work via Tweetdeck – but, it’s a move in the right direction and one that I think will worry Storify (aka the social curator’s tool of choice).
How much does Twitter owe you? Time built a wee calculator that analyses your Twitter handle and determines how much Twitter owes you after their IPO (if you lived in imaginary fairyland then you might have a case – sadly, this is just a silly tool). Apparently I’m owed a meagre $134.
Twitter is a weird and wonderful place: Sometimes, the stars align and people come together and create something wonderful. Even if it was started by @TescoMobile, this is up there with best Twitter thread of the year (and yes, you need to open this link in your browser to appreciate why this is every social media manager’s dream).
Tumbling Tesco: Continuing on with the Tesco theme, this week sees two brilliant Tumblrs about Tesco. First there’s ‘Worst Place on Earth‘, a masterpiece of Comic Sans and ALL CAPS outrage at the horror that is the Tesco Express in Haggerston and then we have the direct opposite, a love letter to the St. Tropez of Tesco Express in North Poole.
New technology: A marvellous list by XKCD of simple answers to questions about how the next big technological development will impact our lives.
Video of the week: Jean Claude van Damme helps Volvo demonstrate the precision steering capabilities on their lorries by pulling off this epic split. And yes, it’s all real.
Tasty blogger relations: At Sainsbury’s, we cultivate a tasty relationship with around 100 food bloggers. Our delicious community is full of food obsessed people who love nothing more than rising to culinary challenges ranging from creating something with our by Sainsbury’s ready rolled puff pastry or sharing their kitchen hero recipes with us.
More often than not, @a_little_wine and I will sit there going through coverage alerts and fight the urge to lick our screens, so scrumptious are the creations from the community.
We refer to them as our food blogger community – but you could also refer to them as brand advocates. Which is why I thought this post about the power of brand ambassadors was a great summary of what these kinds of communities can do for a brand: generate trust, credibility, engagement and impressions – and I’d add a fifth to the mix and that would be high quality content. We regularly share creations from the community with our Twitter followers to inspire them to try a new product or recipe they might otherwise not have come across.
#TwitterIPO: Twitter’s share price went from the initial public offering price of $26 to $45 within minutes after shares were finally made available on the New York Stock Exchange. That means the company went from being worth $18bn to a wee bit over $30bn. CNBC reckons it’s worth exploring Twitter’s business model and prospects and whether “a community of ephemeral messaging” can morph into a serious, profitable venture.
Storify + Twitter: My favourite development of the week (besides Arsenal beating both Liverpool and Dortmund) comes from Storify. The go-to-tool when it comes to curating the web in just a few clicks has just made it easier to then share your digital collages with your followers by allowing a sort of slide show to embedded into Twitter. Extremely nifty and an excellent way to take advantage of Twitter embeds as it effectively allows you to go waaaaay over the 140 character limit in one tweet.
Who better to demonstrate than President Obama himself.
Is Facebook’s walled garden coming down? Facebook and Twitter are coming ever closer in functionality, freely copying features from each other. Facebook adopted Twitter’s hashtags, Twitter adopted Facebook’s way of displaying links. Twitter copied the share button with its retweet button. Twitter also copied the idea of the favourite button from Facebook’s like button. Twitter even copied the idea of an IPO. Sheesh.
The one big remaining difference between the two networks though is that they are at different ends of the public vs private scale: On Facebook users tend to share a lot of personal information with a smaller group of friends, while on Twitter users share very little personal information with pretty much anyone.
That big difference might be changing with Facebook’s announcement this week that it is removing an old setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name.” This will mean that anyone will be able to look up your Facebook profile using your name and see what they already have permission to see. Facebook explicitly states that “removing this setting doesn’t change who can see your photos, status updates or other things you’ve shared.”
I do hope they keep that point of difference alive – I know I will be keeping my eye on Facebook’s privacy settings quite closely when this feature rolls out soon. Inside Facebook has a 5 step guide to protect your Facebook privacy (for what its worth).
The thumbs up gets the axe: Say goodbye to the Facebook thumbs up – the iconic symbol for digital approval is getting the chop, in favour of a more corporate and cold Facebook F. The change will happen over the next few weeks, according to the Facebook developer blog.
Books still relevant to youth shock: In my final year of high school, I received a pager for Christmas. I was well chuffed. No my friends could call my pager and I would see the number and I could call them back. We developed codes. 999 meant call me back immediately. 143 meant I love you. Yes, we spelt out boobs. It was the first portable digital screen in my live and it was awesome.
Fast forward to today and 17% of children in the US under the age 8 use a mobile device at least once a day. This stat comes from a recent Common Sense media study. If anything, I’m surprised (and relieved?) it isn’t higher and that books still play such a big part.
Hang on, I’ll get you some ice for that burn: Pepsi celebrated Halloween last week with some creative depicting a can of Pepsi dressed up as a can of Coke. The line reads: “We wish you a scary Halloween”.
While we’re on burns: Betty Productions ask musician Whitey if they can use his music in a new TV show for free as there is ‘no budget for music’. He, um, declines (HT @tomparker81).
Video of the week: Meet the Footbonaut, a 360-degree-ball machine that fires footballs at players from all angles, requiring them to control and dispatch the balls into the appropriate square. Cutting edge technology currently in use at Borussia Dortmund – but still not as good as having an on-fire Aaron Ramsey in your team.