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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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?”
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
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
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.
Another update on a Sunday – mainly due to being pre-occupied with Arsenal finally ending its 9-year-wait for silverware. And how brilliant is it to then have them win The Wenger Double of the FA Cup AND Champions League Qualification? The Gunner’s cup truly runneth over…
Right is pink, left is blue
On Wednesday this week, the image above popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. Posted with nothing more than a mysterious smiling emoticon by a good friend who works at Puma, it caught my attention.
Was it a way to help footballers remember which boot goes on which foot? I suspected there was more to it.
The article had some images of Arsenal players Giroud and Flamini wearing mismatched boots, where the left one was blue and the right one was pink.
While an assault on the eyes, it did quite quickly then solve the mystery of why Puma had decided to give its flagship store in London’s Carnaby street a bit of a make-over ahead of the FA Cup Final.
Also embedded in the Mail Online article, the video celebrating the release of Puma’s new evoPower and evoSpeed boots.
Replete with international superstars Fabregas, Reus, Aguero and Balotelli, a rousing speech about believing in yourself as said stars are cheered on their walk through pink and blue coloured smoke – lots of smoke – into a stadium in their new boots, the clip takes a rather different approach than Nike’s action packed #RiskEverything approach that launched last month.
But back to Puma’s effort – the clip ends on the hashtag #StartBelieving – which, when I pulled it up on Twitter, delivered messages by the stars of the film as well as other Puma footballers.
No mean feat to get anybody to stick to the script, not to mention an embargo – no matter if it’s a journo of footballer. So kudos to the Puma marketing team for pulling that off.
To complete my brief look at Puma’s superbly executed, multi-channel launch of their new boots, I’ll finish on Puma’s campaign page where you’re driven to purchase the new boots as well as other Puma kit as well as voice your social media support for the different Puma-kitted players and nations.
Well played, Puma.
A cheeky case study on Econsultancy about how Cancer Research UK went about reacting to the recent #nomakeupselfie to drive a huge increase in text donations caught my eye this week. It talks a bit about how they are set up to make it happen and mentions two rather nifty techniques used in agile software development that help teams deal with change and by enabling them to reprioritise and shift resources quickly and effectively.
Stand up meetings: daily meetings where everyone stands up (no surprise there) and update on what they did yesterday and what they’re doing today. The fact that you’re standing up keeps meetings short and you have a good idea of what people around you have achieved and what they’re working on next
Kanban boards: a just-in-time business process originally from Japan that visualises workflow to show what is coming up, what is in progress, and what is done
The golden age of bullshit
Marvellous talk by @AdContrarian Bob Hoffman positing that everything you’ve heard about advertising in the last decade is baloney. He states quite clearly that he intends to achieve three things: contradict everything you’ve heard about advertising; annoy you; and to leave the listener a little less comfortable and a little more skeptical.
He doesn’t mince his words either. To the people who think that consumers are in love with brands, or who have things like ‘I’m passionate about brands’ in their Twitter profile and actually believe that people on social media are there to talk about their brands, he says: “What? Dude, get a fucking girlfriend.”
So please, take some time out to listen to Bob and his eloquent rant against bullshit and his plea for all of us to return to the facts.
New to Twitter? The lovely @girllostincity has a fabulous guide to Twitter etiquette
To launch their new album “Ghost Stories” Coldplay’s marketing team launched a good old treasure hunt to win some exclusive memorabilia
David Beckham, Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador, made a surprise visit to his old primary school in East London for first time since leaving 30 years ago. He meets the school football team who are off to play at Wembley, joins in at lunch time and catches up with lots of very excited kids.
Crass marketing or genuine gesture? To give labourers in the UAE a few extra minutes of happiness, Coca-Cola created the Hello Happiness Phone Booth — a special phone booth that accepts Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins for a free 3-minute international phone call, helping them connect with their families back home more often.
Viewed in isolation, a heart-warming clip – but knowing even a little about the working conditions of labourers in the UAE and the decision to use them as a marketing hook does look like a ballsy (silly?) move. The campaign has been met with strong criticism in the the comments below the film on Coke’s YouTube and on Twitter (via @richmelton).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.