At Sainsbury’s HQ, the team came up with yolk free eggs, we had a good giggle mocking up the packaging and our social media team conjured up a nifty little graphic about the benefits of such eggs. Continue reading “My April Fools’ round-up and a closer look at live streaming in journalism and customer service”
John Oliver explains Net Neutrality…
Veteran Daily Show and Senior Britishness Correspondent John Oliver has made a name for himself in the US during his time on Jon Stewart’s (more or less) daily comedy news show.
Oliver recently landed his own weekly show on HBO called ‘Last Week Tonight‘, essentially The Daily Show, but longer and without studio guests.
In a recent episode, Oliver produced the best summary of Net Neutrality I have seen. Period. From how and why it came about, to what it actually means, how ridiculous and wrong it is and – here’s where it get’s interesting – to what people can actually do to stop cable companies and ISPs from ‘fixing a system that isn’t broken’.
Utterly brilliant and this week’s must watch clip:
Not only is Oliver’s summary bang on, but his call to action to “Internet commenters, monsters and trolls” is likely to have been the cause of the FCC’s website going down, as he directs viewers to unleash their vitriol on the FCC which is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until July 15 (or, as it’s called in FCC Doublespeak: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet).
… or why I get my news from satirical news media
It is bizarre when a comedy news show such as Last Week Tonight does a better job of explaining what’s going on in the world that ‘traditional’ media.
In fact, a study found that another Daily Show alumni, Stephen Colbert, did a better job of teaching viewers about the role of money in US politics on his satirical news show than the actual news. The University of Pennsylvania found that viewers of ‘The Colbert Report’ were more informed about campaign financing than viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (OK, no surprise at the last one).
Now, I tried finding a clip of Colbert apologising to his viewers about actually informing them about the news. What I found instead is a clip of Hapless CNN Anchor and Marginally Less Hapless Media Pundit ‘analysing’ how Colbert does a better job of what CNN and news outlets should be doing.
My favourite part is when Hapless CNN Anchor says: “[Colbert] has this certain je ne said quoi, if you will, right, but, but, but, they dedicate, like, chunks of time on that show to something such as [campaign financing] and he pulls it off!”
Later in that same clip, Hapless CNN Anchor goes on to concede, that of course a 24 hour news channel like CNN is at a disadvantage, because Colbert has an audience that keeps coming back and a room full of writers who helps him write the jokes!
The mind boggles not only at how oblivious Hapless CNN Anchor is to the words that are coming out of her mouth, that this actually aired on CNN, but that the clip below is hosted on CNN’s YouTube channel!
The CIA goes social
The @CIA joined Twitter and Facebook this week. Looking past the fact that they’ve had a presence on Flickr and Youtube for a while and, let’s face it, have been following all of us for longer than that, it seems they’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about the appropriate tone of voice on social, especially Twitter.
According to the CIA’s website, their new accounts will be used to share “the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook“.
Let’s have a look then, shall we?
It’s generated well over 250k retweets an a wave of public support and praise for an organisation that in recent time has had its fair share of cock-ups.
Despite the brilliance of poking fun at the Glomar Response and thereby harking back to (arguably) the golden days of spying during the Cold War, I really was very surprised at the almost exclusively positive reaction to the tweet.
Well, except for WikiLeaks.
And Gawker – their reaction is perhaps more eloquently put, by Vice.
I find the reaction, especially to the Tweet, immensely disconcerting. Almost as if that cheeky message somehow absolves the CIA from all the other controversies surrounding the Agency. Just have a look at their Twitter bio:
Far less cuddly and cute now. We get shit done. That sure gives their first Tweet a slightly more sinister edge.
Over on the CIA’s Facebook, the reaction to Big Brother getting on board has been a little more tempered – both in terms of numbers but also fan-girling. This will be due in part to the nature of Facebook being more of a closed network but also down to the more serious tone in their first posts about the anniversary of D-Day.
Still, the reaction on Facebook is much more in line with the cynical tone that I’ have expected on Twitter:
Still, spy-hats off to the spooks for a genius PR move – I’m looking forward to more unclassified content and a peek under that trench coat.
Sainsbury’s Food Rescue
We waste 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK. That translates as a loss of £60 per month for the average family.
Searches for recipes using leftovers have surged by 1/3 compared to last year, with 2/3 of those searches made via mobile devices.
This is why Sainsbury’s and Google have launched Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. The tool gives people practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of the fridge or cupboard.
Food Rescue will also provide some insight into what food the UK saves and how that differs across the country:
- the most rescued ingredient is a potato
- 176 Feed Rescue recipes have been made since launch
- £1.30 aAverage saving per recipe
Bits and bytes
- Whole Foods uses an internal photo sharing community where staff shares images from stores to glean insight into which displays work well without giving away a competitive advantage
- Google now treats brand mentions as links. They’re not like ‘express links, things you can click that will take you some place else, but rather ‘implied links’. Which means that every brand mention is now a link to your website. Or, more succinctly as this marvellous info graphic from MC Saatchi puts it: PR = SEO
- Twitter is in trouble: losing users, inactive accounts, too much noise. It has lost more than half its market value, a staggering USD18 billion, since late December. Here’s how Twitter can avoid becoming irrelevant
- Bit of ad-porn? Cannes Lions 2014 top 100 contenders, compiled by Per Pedersen, Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey
Videos of the week
Mexican retailer Coppel teams up with world freestyle champion @seanfreestyle to play a little prank on some unsuspecting kids.
On the slightly less skilled front, we have Zidane, Bale and Moura smashing up Beckham’s house while looking street in their Adidas gear.
And then there’s this fantastically bizarre clip by Polish window maker Drutex featuring Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo and Jakub Blaszczykowski showing students who’s best at keepy uppy only to then find out that great footballers not only have great skills in common, but also great windows. Windows for champions. Seriously. That’s the actual slogan (at least in the German translation).
You come into my house?
Remember fish puns?
@TeaandCopy sure does and he was unhappy that Dominos weren’t rising to his pizza pun challenge. When it did finally take off, I was glad to see @Sainsburys join in with this cheesy effort:
And yes. I’d like to think that Ciaran looked a little like this anteater when he hit the Tweet button.
Huge presidential Cheesegate
The headline ‘We got a look inside the 45-planning process that goes into creating a single corporate tweet‘ caught my attention this week.
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.
(Twitter loves a bit of irony and the Tweet now has achieved a bit more traction. President will be chuffed.)
My summary of this glorious event will never come close to that of @adcontrarian. So sit back, grab that fresh cup of coffee and enjoy his fantastic three-parter:
- The Soon-To-Be-Legendary 45-Day Cheese Tweet
- Cheese Tweet Damage Control
- Cheesegate: It Just Won’t Die
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.
Bits and bytes
- Is HuffPo jealous that the inane stuff celebs tweet gets more retweets and shares than the inane stuff HuffPo tweets? Answers in the comments below
- Stephen Fry thinks he has a doppelgänger thanks to Twitter joke gone viral
- LOL celebrated it’s 25th birthday this week. Aaaand I feel old.
Videos of the week
Google’s self-driving car. This was all over the news. In case you missed it, here’s their video showing it off. Me? I’m still waiting for my hoverboard, dammit.
Wall’s new idea cream ad wants politicians to say goodbye to serious. How appropriate…
Coke makes people work together if they want to enjoy their drink by creating a coke bottle that can only be opened by combining it with another coke bottle.
Start Believing with Puma; Agile marketing; The Golden Age of Bullshit and this week’s bits and bytes
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.
Off to the Google I clicked and landed on a Mail Online article published that same day: Arsenal’s boys look pretty in pink ahead of Hull FA Cup final (not only pretty in Puma pink, Santi’s new boots obviously helped him score this belter and Giroud’s new boots helped him set up Rambo’s glorious winner with this cheeky back heel).
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.
Bits and bytes
- Stanford and Facebook have published a study called ‘Rumor Cascades‘ full of advice for public bodies on how stop the spread of misinformation on Facebook. @HelReynolds wrote a great summary in the Guardian and the full study is available for download via Facebook Publications
- 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
- The crazy shit people search for on Google: from how to hide a body, whether or not Lady Gaga is a man, to people using Google to search for the phrase “how do I use Google”. The mind boggles
Videos of the week
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).
Merry Christmas, happy New Year, bring on 2014.
But first, a very quick look back at the best of 2013 in – what else – a list:
- Yahoo’s annual Year in Review Study
- Top 20 most shared video ads
- Best photos of the year from Reuters
- 50 best apps of 2013 (Android and iPhone)
- The #YearOnTwitter
- Can’t remember what you did in 2013? Facebook does – in its Year in Review
Gattaca isn’t too far away: In a rare interview, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt gives Bloomberg his outlook for 2014 trends in a quick, two-minute film. Some points that struck me:
- Mobile is no longer winning, it has won: people aren’t buying new computers, they are buying tablet devices and smartphones.
- Big data and machine intelligence is everywhere – extending as far as genetics and expected advances in mapping the human genome. Something that will (hopefully) lead to advancements in the fight against cancer and other diseases. Heck, your phone already uses your fingerprint as your password and you’re loading biometric data about your workouts and activities to third part platform, the next step has to be ads and products tailored to your genetic make-up?
- Interesting to note in the clip that Schmidt reflects on the trend that Google missed – social networking. Google won’t make that mistake again, he promises in the clip.
How to lose your job in less than 140 characters: Bit of an older one, but after realising that some of my colleagues had missed it over the Christmas period I thought I’d better include it as a shining example of what not to say on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter).
Buzzfeed pulled together a great summary of the proverbial poop exploding after (now ex) PR director at IAC Justine Sacco tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white.”
Kids, do not try this at home.
Twitter has an Instagram problem: Instagram is growing faster than Twitter (Nielsen is already tracking more mobile users of Instagram than of Twitter) and Instagram users are more active (57% daily visits to see the latest filtered images of food vs. 46% daily visits to Twitter). The problem, according to Pew Research, is that the two are direct rivals as they have the same user base: Both have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites.
The argument goes that as Instagram grows, it will take users away from Twitter, thereby becoming the go-to platform for advertisers to reach an increasingly active audience.
But basing this entire argument on just usage metrics ignores why people are actually on Instagram and Twitter. People have very different goals when they use those platforms (to see and share photos from and with their friends in the former; share and consumer news, banter and the latest buzz on the latter. Brands need to keep this in mind and tailor their messaging to the platform, rather than chosing one over the other.
That said, Twitter for a while now defined itself as the shortest distance between you and your passion. My recent experience of Instagram has shown that this is also quite possible – providing your passion can be explained in image form. And as a runner and trail running, I’ve spent some time finding and following similarly minded people and athletes who post spectacular image from their forays into the wild.
Take ultramarathon legend Scott Jurek – he posts beautiful images from his runs in the high country. Just makes you want to lace up and head out to see how far your legs can take you.
Videos of the year: The Year on Twitter
And the YouTube Rewind: What does 2013 Say?
And finally: Training for the London Marathon at the moment, following other runners on Instagram, Twitter and Strava, I came across Trail Porn. Totally safe for work.