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British Airways

Little Saino’s Stories, BA looks up, an ode to the selfie and this week’s bits and bytes

Little Stories, Big Difference: Often it’s little things that make a big difference. At Saino’s, those little things are often what customers don’t see, so we thought the best people to tell these stories would be our colleagues. Together with our Internal Comms and product teams, we worked with @SAS_Creative and @Green_Lions to create over twenty microfilms: all speaking to the value of values and all featuring our own colleagues. The first ten of these films are live now on our corporate site.

From reducing packaging, to homing bees, and tracing the origin of our bread – I really do think that these films go a long way in bringing our values and sustainability commitments to life in a customer friendly and playful way.

Meerkat moment: At this week’s Marketing huddle, @PoppyShute talked about the Coca Cola ‘Small Worlds Machine’ campaign. Poppy was kind enough to write a quick summary of Coke’s campaign:

This award winning online video campaign communicated the optimistic and feel-good message that what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart, and the result was an incredibly touching video that went viral on You Tube, with 2.4 million views to date. In March this year, Coca Cola set out to connect the people of India and Pakistan – communities only several hundred miles apart, but separated by decades of political tension and mutual hostility. Using state of the art, touch screen vending machines that acted as ‘live communication portals’ in Lahore (Pakistan) and New Delhi (India), they invited consumers to put their differences aside, complete an interactive task togehter, and share a simple moment of connection over a coke.

This is a great demonstration of a company using new technology to great effect, being locally relevant, and building brand values much bigger than just their product. Brace yourself to feel a bit teary.

#LookUp: A digital screen, live flight information and a wee clip of a nipper pointing up at the sky. Three rather simple elements that @British_Airways have brilliantly combined to deliver ever-changing billboards under the flight paths around Heathrow Airport. Such a powerful idea – after all, who hasn’t sat there looking at planes flying overhead and asked themselves the question: “I wonder where they’re going” (HT @G3Bowden).

Word of the year: “Selfie” has been named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. The official definition:

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary

The self-portrait has always been a part of art, Van Gogh created many self-portraits in the 1800s (he loved that straw hat) and when photography was invented, the obligatory mirror photo wasn’t too far behind (if Kubrick does it, it’s gotta be OK). Fast forward to today, and you’ve got Jon Snow Vining about the news

I’m sure that anybody with a camera has taken a self-portrait. Either with a front facing camera on a smartphone or the classic out-stretched-arm-click-and-hope snapshot. The Telegraph’s claim that ‘no man should ever be caught taking a selfie‘ is utterly daft and ignores years of art history.

Gratuitous use of one of my self-portraits in conjunction with some of the greats. I have no shame.

Perhaps it’s to do with the word ‘self-portrait’ bringing with it a certain level of artistic expectation. A selfie on the other hand feels more of the moment, more fleeting. The Oxford dictionary notes in its definition that a selfie is typically taken with a phone or webcam – by that logic, a photo taken with a proper camera is a ‘self-portrait’, not a selfie. Phew).

I suspect however that the problem with selfies is not so much their existence, but more about that most horrible of poses, the “duck-face” and those people that keep posting a new profile photo to Facebook every five minutes.

But then there’s a new horror on the horizon: The Sparrow Face.

A couple of guys a trend doesn’t make: Stalking the rich is a simple hobby nowadays with social media platforms allowing you instant access to celebs and their lives. The Mail has picked up on a “trend” where rich Arab who accessorise their obligatory super cars, powerboats and mansions with lions and cheetahs – photos of which are then posted to Instagram. Now, the images are no less bonkers and animal rights activists are bound to be up in arms about this, but what I love about this story is that The Mail shows a whole page of photos from two of these rich Arabs (HT @HelenRI).

http://instagram.com/p/cbTVRzgFwp/

View this post on Instagram

Simba ♥ ♥ #lion

A post shared by Humaid Abdulla Albuqaish (@humaidalbuqaish) on

Clever Hobbitses: Those chaps at Google have put out another one of their Google Experiments – a must see for any Tolkien and The Hobbit fans out there. An interactive map of Middle Earth, featuring characters and locations from the upcoming ‘The Desolation of Smaug. A taste in the video below (epic soundtrack included) and this way to Middle Earth (seems to work fine on Safari too).

Beware of who you follow: The Register gleefully pointed out this week that David Cameron’s Twitter account @Number10gov was following a high-class escort agency on the social network. Suspect that the social media manager who runs the Twitter channel received a bit of a bollocking (HT @a_little_wine).

Twitter motors on: They’ve launched a considerable revamp of their mobile app. Interestingly though, they seem to roll out slightly different versions to different groups of users, test which ones work best and then go with the most popular option. Techcrunch has some more on this agile, highly iterative and data-focused platform roll-out strategy.

Twitter this week also rolled out their Alerts feature to the UK. Rachel from @AllThingsIC has a brilliant round-up of what you need to know.

Videos of the week: My favourite film from a series of three that tell the story of Sainsbury’s relationships with some of their suppliers. The Cow Whisperer is about how our Dairy Development Group works with over 300 British dairy farmers to help them look after their cows and secure a long future for their British Farms.

What do you get when you cover The Beastie Boys’ ‘Girls’, construct a colossal machine out of girls’ toys and film it all in the style of ‘OK Go’s ‘Needing/Getting’. Over 6 million views on YouTube in just a few days for an ad by toy company GoldieBlox and perhaps a generation of girls that will grow up to be engineers.

And finally: Histagrams

Airline Twitter shenanigans, iDamp, Lyric Videos and this week’s bits and bytes

Social media insight: Social Media Week was on this week. I didn’t go to any events but I refer to @Garyvee‘s marvellous manifesto that pretty much covers the insight you can hope to garner from these events. Unlike these selections.

BU59bthCAAAyQywBudget Tweets, Part 1: This week, Ryanair Chief Exec Michael O’Leary announced at their AGM that the company would look to reform it’s abrupt culture and things that unnecessarily annoy passengers: “I am very happy to take the blame or responsibility if we have a macho or abrupt culture. Some of that may well be my own personal character deformities.”

Did this new found humility and focus on customer service prompt Europe’s biggest budget Airline to launch their own Twitter account? I don’t know. Their first Tweet was promising, showing some of that don’t-give-a-sh*t tone-of-voice they’re so (in)famous for.

Many RTs and responses followed – along with their second Tweet, a day later.

https://twitter.com/Ryanair/status/379944310029811712

Errr… right chaps.

By that logic, you haven’t quite grasped this whole social media thing and many other companies shouldn’t be on Twitter either. Do have a look at the responses to that Tweet – it’s telling to see what people expect from brands who come to Twitter.

I suspect that Ryanair won’t care too much about it… at least until they find a way for passengers to pay for the privilege of receiving Tweets?

Budget Tweets, Part 2: Meanwhile, Europe’s other budget airline also had a turbulent week on Twitter. EasyJet landed in some hot water when they stopped The Drum’s tech law columnist Mark Leiser from boarding a flight because he’d criticised the airline on Twitter.

The Drum have the whole story, here are the pertinent Tweets from Leiser and Easyjet (HT @TomParker81).

https://twitter.com/mleiser/status/382620916708282368

Tweetliner vs. Dreamliner: Completing the aeronautical Twitter theme this week is a rather nifty retweet competition from @BritishAirways, who pitted a Dreamliner and an Airbus A380 against a flight powered by Tweets tagged with #RaceThePlane. The competition was live for the actual duration of the actual flights (suspect they made sure they’d leave on time) and participants who tweeted using the hashtag had a chance to win free flights.

I’ve no idea how many tweets equate to a mile (the official microsite doesn’t seem to provide that info), but in both cases the Tweetliner beat its real-life competitor. The competition generated around 24,000 mentions of #RaceThePlane; the first flight peaked at a little over 8,000 and the second a week later at around 14,000. Reach, according to Sysomos, was around 132 million impressions generated from about 13,000 Twitter users. Not bad for the world’s first Twitter powered flight!

https://twitter.com/BritishAirways/status/382690657887719424

I share, therefore I am? A hypnotic animation from Simi Cohen about how today’s über-connected society could in fact lead to loneliness – even though the illusion of all our social media friends and followers would have us believe otherwise. 

Lyric videos: Remember, in the olden days, when you bought a CD and popped it in your Discman, and listened to your favourite band’s new album (Def Leppard, baby!), and then read the lyrics as the song was playing in the booklet (Pour Some Sugar On Me. They don’t write ’em like that no more)?

Good times.

Since then, the mp3 has killed the album and all we have are massive playlists of individual songs – and no idea what people are singing about.

The Internet looks to have come to the rescue with ‘Lyrics Videos’ – a bizarre, home-made sub-genre where fans combine the music and lyrics from their favourite song with their own footage. And according to the NYT, this trend is now so popular on Youtube, that artists like Maroon 5 and Katy Perry are producing their own lyric videos – often before their official music video is released to get interest in a new single going.

iDamp: Sad proof this week that some Apple fans aren’t terribly bright, when the online community 4Chan generated nine different fake Apple iOS 7 ads claiming the newly released mobile operating system would make iDevices waterproof

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 18.42.104Chan members took to Twitter to spread the word of this breakthrough new feature and troll Apple fans.

And yes, according to the reports, people actually fell for it!

In other Apple news: turns out the iPhone 5s’ fingerprint scanner was hacked by Chaos Computer Club. So much for that then.

Imgur beats Reddit: While we’re on slightly more left-field online communities, Buzzfeed reports that the image hosting service Imgur (built to support the online community and ‘front page to the Internet’ Reddit, because it didn’t provide its own image hosting service), now has more users than the community it was built to support. Even better: it doesn’t rely on venture capital and is profitable – unlike Reddit.

Correction of the year? From the Evening Standard.

Videos of the week: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show us how using #hashtags in real life will make you sound like a complete and utter tool.

Adobe asks if you really know what your marketing is doing?

And growing London’s skyline (well, tourist attractions and train stations) with geo-tagged Tweets

And finally: Sh*t PR Ideas [hit refresh to see a new one]

Android KitKat, trolling BA, fish finger fun and this week’s bits and bytes

KitKat Android: The clever bods over at Google have launched an update to their Android mobile operating system. And as with previous versions (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean), the new OS is named after a desert: KitKat 4.4.

The entire campaign is a no holds barred parody of Apple – not in itself a new idea, Samsung have done it in the past and Nokia have even parodied the spat between Samsung and Apple – but with this one you can really see that they’ve committed completely to not only shooting their ad in the same style…

… but the copy and product descriptions on the über-slick site built to showcase the future of confectionery is a pitch-perfect piss-take of Apple’s tone of voice and dictionary.

My favourite features of the new KitKat:

  • Works perfectly in portrait or landscape for a panoramic taste experience
  • Maximum breakability is guaranteed due to the refined praline software, crisp waferware and its unique chocolate unibody
  • It comes in 2 mega-bites, 4 mega-bites or a chunky-bite option

and, my favourite

  • Compatible with all liquid accessories

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 21.54.39

How much does this kind of a perfect partnership cost?

Nothing.

“This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC. “The idea was to do something fun and unexpected.”

You’ll be able to buy special packs of KitKat Four-Finger and KitKat Chunky multipacks at Sainsbury’s.

Man buys promoted Tweet to troll British Airways: I’ve been flying regularly all my life and I’m lucky to say that I’ve never had my luggage go missing (writing this, I realise that my next trip is bound to be a disaster). I have however had many a ‘mare with Airline customer service. I’ve tweeted to complain but that tends to result in silence, stock responses or requests to call customer service numbers.

This week, British Airways passenger @HVSVN bought a promoted tweet after the airline had lost his baggage and hadn’t responded to his tweets for seven hours. After some rather snarky, nasty messages – borderline tolling, basically – the first ever promoted customer complaint made its way into the Twitter history books. Also, BA finally responded…

It doesn’t get better.

@HVSVN bought the tweet in the New York City and UK markets Monday night using Twitter’s self-serve ad platform. While he at first didn’t confirm the cost in media interviews, he has since tweeted the final cost and reach of the promoted tweet: 76,000 impressions for $1,000. Time has a bit more info on how @HVSVN went about targeting the tweets to make sure that it reached all the existing followers of British Airways.

Was it worth it?

That’s sooo 2006: The Guardian published their Media 100 list this week, a ranking of the most powerful people in the UK’s media landscape today.

Who came in at No.1?

I did.

Well, technically, so did you. All of us really.

An unbelievably unoriginal idea – after all, I’d already made it onto the cover of Time magazine as Person of the Year way back in 2006.

Source: Time Magazine

Communicating CR: With people demanding greater transparency, authenticity and accountability from companies than ever before, @SimonMainwaring writes that brands are increasingly taking three steps to respond:

  1. Sharing their purpose, core values and mission
  2. Moving sustainability marketing to corporate communications to tell the story of the good work companies are doing in ways that build their business
  3. Working with customers to fulfill the brand’s mission because they understand that “the future of profit is purpose, authentically executed”

New Yahoo logo: Yahoo updated their logo this week, after 30 days of changing the logo on their homepage to a different version. The familiar purple colour and famous exclamation mark remain – the later has been rotated to the right by exactly 9 degrees, which according to Marissa Mayer adds a bit of “whimsy”.

Source: Marissa’s Tumblr

I’m no typography expert so I don’t know if this is a good or a bad logo. But if you’re into that sort of thing, you should definitely give Mayer’s post about the relaunch a go where she ‘geeks’ about all the wee features and ideas behind the new logo. Quite frankly, I would never have picked up on any of them. I’m sure that a hell of a lot of work went into it and I think it looks good. But is it going to make Yahoo relevant to today’s web audience? For Flickr’s sake, I hope so…

Way To Safety: Mobile apps have become a part of life for many people. They help us organise our lives, check our email, find our way around town, figure out when the next tube is due, post updates to our friends, hurl birds at naughty piggies. Increasingly, augmented reality and layers of data are added to make apps even more powerful and helpful – possibly even to a such a degree that they could literally save your life.

Way To Safety is an app currently in development that  would help civilians steer clear of gunfire in urban warfare environments:

“Within 30 seconds after a shot is fired, the application will determine the source location of the shooter, the direction he was aiming at, the type and caliber of the weapon used and the number of bullets fired. This data will be sent to the nearby residents for free and we will also send it to the army, paramedics, press.” 

Terrifying and brilliant at the very same time (HT to Simon French for this one).

Fish finger sarnie challenge: Sainsbury’s new ad featuring by Sainsbury’s Fish Fingers kicked off a bit of a discussion on Twitter this week. Turns out that not everyone would stack the fish fingers like we did!

So, we decided to open it up to the weird and wonderful people of Twitter and asked them to show us how they make a fish finger sandwich. Our favourite photo, video or Vine stands to win a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher.

There’s already some good efforts coming through, some even made without any bread or fish fingers. We’ve had saucy combos, little umbrellas and even the inclusion of cheese, bacon and onions.

So if you fancy a go at the classic fish finger sandwich, tweet a photo or video with #JSFishFinger and you could be in the running for a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher.

Here’s @SainsburysPR‘s humble entry (with huge thanks to @a_little_wine and @TillieSeymour):

Video of the week: LG uses their ultra-realistic TVs to scare the wits out of poor job applicants. Brutal really – after all, they’re all leaving that room no closer to a job.

And finally: What Bale Earns

Batfleck, #SaintsFC, Sugarpova and this week’s bits and bytes

Batfleck: As usual, the Internet exploded overnight as the news broke that Ben Affleck will play the new Batman (oh yes, all the hard-hitting news here my friends). Outrage is the best word that describes the reaction, with many people suggesting better caped crusaders on the #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck hashtag. As is often the case with curating the best of the Internet silliness, Mashable compiled their favourite suggestions for a better Batman than Ben Affleck (HT @stangreenan).

Of course, the obligatory fake Ben ‘Batman’ Affleck account already has 13,000 followers – and 1 tweet.

https://twitter.com/AffleckBatman/statuses/370725672244609026

Brands getting in on the real-time marketing bandwagon included Pizza Express and Vue Cinemas but it’s really the less politically correct reactions from the fans that are worth a browse.

#SaintsFC: Gotta hand it to Southampton FC. Not only do they have Rickie ‘I create spikes in Saino’s Beetroot sales‘ Lambert, they ‘get’ social. After they successful campaign to thank fans for getting them across the 100,000 follower mark they’ve now become the first British football club to permanently display its official hashtag within its stadium seating (HT @tomparker81).

Trolls are here to stay: In a tremendous guest post on Wired, @JamieJBartlett argues that trolling and cyber-bullying have always played a part in web culture, a consequence of anonymity and the freedom to say anything – no matter how offensive. The only difference is that while trolls used to be confined to the dark underbelly of t’Interwebs, the proliferation of social media, ubiquitous broadband access and smart phones have brought world’s morons out from their hidden communities and into the mainstream and public consciousness.

A wonderful excursion into the history of trolling, flame wars, and the explanation for why you should never, ever, read The Comments – Godwins Law: “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches one” – this is a wonderful post that calls for people, especially young people and women, to be better prepared when they ‘go online’.

Social media wins customer support: 80% of customer complaints on social media receive a response within 12 hours, while only 37% of customer complaints on email received a response in the same amount of time. Now, there are a number of questions that I’d like to put to the guys at eDigitalResearch who studied 2,000 consumers, but what should also be pointed out is that the amount of customer complaints coming in via email is likely to be far larger than the amount of social media contacts. Still, it is indicative of the fact that companies are biased towards social media complaints due to their potential to becoming larger and possibly reputationally damaging issues.

Advantage Sharapova: Earlier this week, Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova announced she might change her surname during the US Open to ‘Sugarpova’ to promote her own confectionary range. In the end, the name change would have meant too much paperwork and hassle so it was dropped – ESPN seemed quite miffed at the whole thing, noting Sharapova should concentrate on Tennis, not gimmicks.

Source: Sugarpova

That however, would be missing the point of what I think was a clever way to spread the Sugarpova brand. After all, the story achieved world wide coverage – without Sharapova ever actually doing anything! The number of Tweets mentioning the word “Sugarpova” jumped from 50 to 9,000 in a day – and I’d argue, with all the coverage achieved and me telling you about it now, you have to conclude that the stunt most definitely worked.

Unfortunately for Sharapova: she’s had to pull out of the US Open due to injury.

Brands on Vine: See what brands are up to with Twitter’s 6 second video platform Vine – and keep your eyes peeled for Sainsbury’s latest effort celebrating being the no.1 for British apples and pears.

Hats off also to Aussie Bank NatWest for their superb use of Vine for customer service – quick, six second how-to clips to either explain how to change the settings in online banking, how to recycle an 4 pint milk container into a dust pale or how you can use an empty glass to amplify the sound from your mobile phone.

Embedded posts: Both Twitter and now Facebook are going big on embedded posts. The feature was already available on Twitter for a long time, but they are now displaying related news items alongside the Tweet you chose to embed. For example, @Eunner’s Tweet about the Asiana Airlines crash landing in San Francisco.

The Tweet should shows headlines that are related to the 140-character-message – although it doesn’t seem to like WordPress). As Twitter puts it: “We think this will help more people discover the larger story behind the Tweet, drive clicks to your articles, and help grow your audience on Twitter.”

Never too far behind in copying Twitter, Facebook has also rolled out their embedded post option to all users (something that you’ve been able to do on Twitter for a few years now).

Content marketing vs. content strategy: A great summary of the difference between two entirely different concepts that are often – and incorrectly – use synonymously. 

And while I’m rocking the marketing buzzword bingo – another thought provoking read via the Wall Blog about the rise of the ‘Always on Consumer‘ (this article also contains the beautiful ‘cross-channel’. Oh yes!). The fact that these people are permanently connected across multiple devices means that they require a communications approach that delivers a consistent and seamless narrative which they can enjoy no matter which of their many devices they happen to be brandishing at any particular point in time.

Videos of the week: I admit I cried when I watched this beautiful clip from British Airways from their ‘Visit Mum’ campaign. I can’t say that I have had a similarly long time away from my mum, but I do know what it feels like to come home to her amazing cooking and embrace after a year or so away. Love you, mum!

Clever stuff from Publicis in the Netherlands who installed a barrier in the carpark of one of the country’s most famous clubs that would only let guests leave if they passed a breathalyser test.

And finally: Hot Dog Legs.

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