Bits and Bytes

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digital dualism

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





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.


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.


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 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).

Eurovision unites Europe; McDonald’s Quality Scouts and this week’s bits and bytes

Eurovision unites Europe: Twitter reacts

I watched the Eurovision last night. Accidentally. I’d never planned on doing it. I was at a friend’s place, celebrating his birthday with some fellow Germans (yes, there was much potato salad, see point 24 for why that is) and some Aussies and suddenly the telly was tuned to BBC1.

It is the epitome of car-crash-television and we all had great fun in poking fun at the songs, get-ups and, of course, buxom ladies from Poland seductively churning butter and doing the laundry.

Continue reading “Eurovision unites Europe; McDonald’s Quality Scouts and this week’s bits and bytes”

Digital dualism and this week’s bits and bytes


It’s not often that a study in a journal on ethics gets much attention outside of academia, but if your study finds that PR professionals are in fact guiding the ethical decision making in organisations, that’s a different ballgame. In fact, when properly understood and practiced PR is ethical by its very nature.

Another week, another social media meltdown. After HMV it was Applebees’ turn in the US to go up in flames in front of the eyes of the world, in real time. A long post by RL Stollat on his blog, it goes through the timeline of how it kicked off and all the mistakes that the Applebees social media team were making in excruciating detail.

Who doesn’t love to hate corporate jargon? We all do. And I’d argue we’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Econsultancy has pulled together a list of horrors where, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’d be able to refrain from slapping some sense into the speaker. I mean, ‘phablet’? Really? Apparently this is such a problem in PR, that digital agency Twelve Thirty Eight have created the ‘Buzz Saw App’: a web-based tool that strips out all the jargon, providing you with the total number of buzzwords used and a percentage score.

I have nothing but love for Lego. They just get this social thing. Just in case you didn’t think they were awesome enough already, to celebrate their 55th anniversary, they came up with a series of 55 minimalist posters of nursery rhymes, stories and pop culture references — all in glorious Lego! See how many you can get right – this is not just your average, boring ‘like-bait’.

It’s social media philosophy time – hooray!

Two articles by @nathanjurgenson caught my attention this week. The first is about the phenomena of digital dualism, where he argues that the scale of how people see their interactions with digital extends from one extreme – strong augmented reality, where they see as digital and reality being the same thing – to the other – strong digital dualism, where digital and reality are kept strictly separate. Confused? Read his post and take the digital dualism test (personally, I feel most comfortable at the mild augmented reality end).

The second, is a follow-up piece to the digital/reality scale and the consequence of more and more people living in total augmented reality. Instead of watching your favourite band play your favourite song, you’re filming in on your smartphone to be posted later on YouTube. Instead of enjoying the view from the peak of that mountain you’ve just climbed, you’re taking a photo to share with your followers on Instagram. Instead of having a good old chat with a friend, you’re tweeting that great one liner you just came up with. Nathan argues that like photography before it, social media changes the way we perceive the world. Have you ever asked yourself: “Holy crap, this thing I’m doing/I’ve seen/I’ve heard/I’ve read would look great on my [insert social media profile of choice]? He writes: “social media users have become always aware of the present as something we can post online that will be consumed by others”. Or, asked in the form of a question: Are we more concerned by our own social media history, that we forget to enjoy the moment?

The aptly named Creativity Online recently posted a collection of 10 projects from 2012 that expertly combine creativity with technology – while keeping the customer front of mind. The list includes some great examples from retail, my personal favourites would be Red Tomato’s Pizza Fridge Magnet button. The button is given to the only the best customers and programmed with their favourite order – all they need to do is press it and their order is delivered.

Then there’s Hellmann’s Recipe Receipt, where customers in Brazil who bought Hellmann’s mayo at a participating supermarket would get a recipe using Hellmann’s and the other items they’d bought printed on their receipt (HT @cdceniza).

In this week’s videos of the week, the new Mercedes CLK will make you want to make a pact with the devil to get it and all the sexiness that comes with it – but watch the clip before you sign away your soul. Also, my apologies for not already including this last week, but I just had to include it.

Microsoft launched this clever Internet Explorer ad for all the children of the ’90s. The snappy wristband thingies? The 56k dial up modem? The chunky yellow water-proof Walkman? And the pinnacle of awesome, the Supersoaker? I loved them all. Will the clip make me switch to Internet Explorer and turn my back on Chrome? Who knows…

And finally: the best think you’ll read this week (besides this email, of course): Simon Rich’s fantastic short story ‘Sell Out’ from the New Yorker (HT @TomParker81). So good, I immediately bought Simon’s book afterwards.

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