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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).

Chipotle’s ‘Farmed and Dangerous’, Facebook Paper, Google Lego and this week’s bits and bytes

Farmed and Dangerous: Last year, Chipotle’s quest for “wholesome, sustainable food” saw them develop the Scarecrow Game. The game puts you in the shoes of a scarecrow fighting to foil the evil “Crow Foods” and break its hold on food production and supply.

The game was promoted by a beautifully animated short film, aptly titled ‘The Scarecrow’:

In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.

The Scarecrow raised eyebrows, gained accolades and cemented the chain’s commitment to sustainable sourcing. It achieved wall-to-wall, worldwide coverage, with The Guardian positing that the campaign would set the bar for sustainable advertising and Venture Beat calling it the creation of ‘advergaming‘. Not everyone was impressed though, some critics thought the campaign to be manipulative and others felt the film was just too darn depressing and that it had put them off of eating at Chipotle.

Scarecrow looks to have had the desired effect though, as Chipotle are doubling down on original content with a four-part mini-series on Hulu (the on demand platform that brings together shows from some of the main TV networks in the US).

Called “Farmed and Dangerous“, the series explores “the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture” (HT @stanm).

Farmed and Dangerous

The show premieres on Hulu on February 17 and going by the trailer, they’re not kidding when they say ‘outrageously twisted’: the story centres around a fictional industrial agriculture company ‘Animoil’ that has developed a way to feed cows petroleum-based pellets, called PetroPellets. Cheaper than conventional animal feed, these pellets are completely “organic”, and they’re even available for a number of different livestock (aqua pellets are still in the R&D phase).

They do, however, have one nasty side-effect.

They make the cows explode.

Craziness ensues as the security footage of exploding cattle goes viral and Animoil end up in the midst of a massive PR disaster. Animoil’s CEO Mick Mitcherson is forced into action and tries to regain control over his company’s reputation – while at the same, the audience learns about the dangers of industrial agriculture.

It doesn’t stop there though. Chipotle have created a corporate website for Animoil, where you’ll find the CEO of Animoil Global responding to criticism about the safety of his PetroPellet product (yes, he is also on Twitter @BuckMarshall), as well as some fantastic greenwash in the corporate responsibility section. The site even includes a careers section with some fantastic job opportunities as ‘Astroturf fluffer’ and ‘Interpretive Health and Safety Manager’. Sadly, all the links take you through to a 404 page, but even that is beautifully made.

Chipotle are also connecting their ‘real world’ Twitter account with that of the imaginary CEO Buck Marshall – tweeting a link to an open letter by the CEO ‘to everyone with a mouths‘ in the New York Times.

While I really think the assets created on the back of this campaign are fantastic, I just can’t get the basic premise of exploding cows out of my head: if some people were put off from going to Chipotle after seeing a dystopian, albeit beautifully animated version of the food chain, I wonder how they’re going to react after seeing life-like cows disintegrate in Tarrantino-esque PetroPellet explosions on screen?

I suspect Chipotle is also worried about that effect, because even as it’s had a big hand in Farmed and Dangerous’ development, according to Time Magazine, Chipotle is only referenced once in four episodes, and the chain isn’t mentioned in the opening or closing credits of the show at all.

Also, going by this response to Chipotle’s tweet above, some people might actually think Animoil is real!?

Facebook Paper: It seems Flipboard, Pulse and Medium have had a remarkable effect on Facebook’s thinking as they borrow a lot of the look and feel of those platforms to create what looks like a dramatic and completely beautiful re-imagining of the Facebook mobile interface.

https://vimeo.com/85421325

Facebook Paper is all about story telling and about making content look good – while at the same time keeping the features we’re so used to from Facebook in the foreground. Also, going by the intro film, Facebook has fully committed to mobile:

  • Paper uses the entire screen, with only “like”, “share” and “reply” buttons appearing in the bottom left corner,
  • it also makes full use of the accelerometer, where you’ll need to tilt your phone to see the whole image (as groovy as this is, I do hope there’s a way to switch it off as it could get annoying),
  • and there’s not a flippin desktop, laptop or tablet in sight. Every person in the film is glued to their phone, ignoring their friends. Dystopian future klaxon!

But more than just looks, Facebook Paper is about an entirely new concept that so far hasn’t really applied to the platform: discovering content. As Re/code notes:

The site has a wealth of public content on its network, posted openly by users so that any other Facebook users can see it. But until now, there hasn’t been an easy way for people to find it. Thus, if Facebook can organize that stuff by topic and make it more easily discoverable, it’ll inspire you to comb through it all — and perhaps to pen your own stuff that much more.

Facebook Paper is set to launch in the US app store on Monday, February 3 – I couldn’t find a release date for the UK.

Google Lego: Two years ago Google unveiled an experiment called ‘Build with Chrome’, a virtual Lego tool that let you play with tiny plastic bricks in your browser – that project is now finally open to everyone and it looks amazing. It only works in Chrome, so yore going to have to download that. Then you can happily spend hours building anything your imagination can muster, anywhere in the world, without having to worry about stepping on a brick in your bare feet, discarding two of those flat pieces because they’ve become inseparable over time, or about running out of pieces in a particular colour.

Bits and bytes

  • Coca-Cola were in trouble this week for treating the word ‘gay’ as a swear word on their Facebook page’s “share a Coke” function. Can’t tell if they’ve fixed it or if they’ve taken the whole thing down – I can’t seem to find the virtual personalised can generator app anywhere, so I assume it’s the latter (HT @a_little_wine)
  • A bizarre and terrifying post by Naoki Hiroshima about how he had his Paypal, Domain and  Facebook profile hacked – all in order to get to his extremely valuable Twitter handle @N (HT @a_little_wine)
  • Love Instagram? Love marshmallows? Why not combine the two with boomf, a service that prints your photos onto a marshmallow (HT @a_little_wine)

Videos of the week

The trailer for an inspiring film by Green Lions called Project Wild Thing. The film follows filmmaker and father David Bond as he goes up against the marketing departments of Apple, Disney and Mattel to convince children that nature is so much better than iPads, TV and plastic toys (Disclaimer: @Green_Lions is the production company that, together with @SAS_Creative, have helped us create Sainsbury’s Little Stories, Big Difference films).

Cycling Scotland’s road safety ad – banned because the cyclists featured in the ad don’t wear helmets and ride along in the middle of the flipping’ road. Outrageous. Five people complained to the ASA about this shocking revelation, however they had no problem (or any discernible sense of humour it seems) with cyclists being compared to a horse (HT @a_little_wine).

Super Bowl XLVIII is this Sunday, which means we have a good couple of hours worth of insanely expensive, over the top ads interrupted by footage of strangely padded, HUGE dudes crashing into each other as they chase an egg around a patch of grass for a few seconds at a time to look forward to (not even kidding: an average NFL has more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play). Anyway. Here is Bud Light’s insanely expensive and over the top Super Bowl effort.

And finallyThe ticket barrier on the London Underground that sings along to Blur (HT @VictoriaDove for sharing this and to @RitchAmes for creating this masterpiece)

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

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