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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

Teens on social, the myth of the digital native, how we shop and this week’s bits and bytes

Facebook had a mixed week: While it beat analysts expectations by reporting $2 billion in revenue, the news that led coverage was the fact that young teens are using the site less. The following slide from The Huffington Post makes for worrying reading for Facebook. The amount of teens rating the social network as important has dropped from 42% to 23% – but not to worry too much: Instagram is up from 12% to 23%. Also, it’d really be interesting to know what that ‘Other’ category is made up of.

Mind you – if the Giraffe profile pic game is so popular on Facebook that it merits an article in the Telegraph, I’m not surprised teens aren’t too impressed anymore (HT @a_little_wine).

I jest – but while Instagram is growing in importance for teens, it still isn’t as important as Facebook. Perhaps then, there are different forces at play here?

Generation Analog and the Myth of the Digital Native: An fascinating article on Mobile Youth takes an ethnographic look at human interaction, arguing that an online interaction will never be able to pass on as much unspoken or unwritten information as a face-to-face interaction.

“Offline is the moment of truth. When it comes to the jugular issues of trust and emotion, you can’t cheat the offline world.”

The piece goes on to talk about how our mobiles are the perfect link between our online and offline lives – perhaps an explanation of why platforms such as Instagram, Vine or Snapseed are growing in importance. They provide a quick, simple and always on method of capturing our experiences with friends.

“Mobile phones are a proxy, a surrogate for our times; mobile phones are the tools that can help maintain but not improve our social networks. What youth really want from technology is emotion and connectivity to support the offline world.”

Or, to put that differently:

“Take offline out of the equation and all that online stuff becomes meaningless.”

A top read that I do encourage you to spend some time on!

What’s Google+ up to then? Well, according to this recent blog post it looks like they’re no longer going after the social networking market. Instead, the play seems to be one of media management and enhancement with some nifty new image editing tools.

They’ve integrated the excellent Snapseed mobile platform, which in turn has just added an excellent HDR photo filter that will bring much more depth to your shots and the ‘Auto Awesome’ features look like they will allow you to pull of very impressive photo manipulations in just a few clicks.

For example – going from this…

… to this – all on Google+

Twitter overloads on images: Twitter too, has updated their platform and mobile apps in an attempt to make it more image (read: marketer) friendly – providing you use Twitter’s image platform. Flickr doesn’t seem to display automatically nor does Instagram (but that’s no surprise) – it’s supposed to pull in Vines automatically, but I haven’t seen any yet. What it means: more space in feeds to get your message across (after all, an image is worth a little more than seven Tweets), but probably also more time waiting for images to load, likely for images they don’t care about.

Also new with the update are permanent shortcuts to reply, retweet, fave and to the Twitter menu – giving the feed and even more cluttered look. And on the mobile app, you do end up seeing less content on the screen, which is annoying.

How We Shop, Live and Look: According to research commissioned by John Lewis, Brits shop all day long via the web and what they buy is increasingly influenced by news and entertainment events they see on screen. Some interesting facts that caught my eye:

  • Sales of food mixers jumped 62% during the Great British Bake Off
  • Online searches for trainers spiked during Andy Murray’s triumphant run at Wimbledon
  • Prime-time for online shopping is in the evening, 5-11pm
  • Board games are set to be a hit this Christmas, with sales already up 17% on last year

Think you’ve got your finger on the pulse? Try The Telegraph’s quiz based on John Lewis research (also: kudos to the PR bods at John Lewis for wall-to-wall coverage this week on this story).

Videos of the week: A gory clip by – oh, you know what, I won’t say – featuring a lot guts, blood, a healthy dose of eyeballs. Perfectly timed to launch on Halloween (HT @CharlieJHSmith.

Starbucks’ Tweet-a-coffee let’s you buy a friend on Twitter a coffee.

Want to live in Berlin for free for a year? No worries. All Lufthansa needs you to do is change your name to Klaus-Heidi (the Berliner accent in the clip is atrocious, but it’s a clever campaign idea).

And finallyTim Minchin’s nine brilliant life lessons.

Social media 101, digital trends, Computerphile and this week’s bits and bytes

Social media 101: The Guardian is really getting into this social media marketing thing. They’ve launched a dedicated section on their website dedicated to the topic. A great resource if you’re starting out in social or just want to stay abreast of the latest developments without things getting too geeky.

As a brief selection, there’s a piece on how Twitter has become the marketing platform where people answer back, why you should think mobile when thinking social media and tips on how to manage reputation on social media.

And while we’re on the basics of social – an actually useful ‘how to do social media‘ post by @mycleveragency.

Twitter history: Quartz have published a great timeline of how Twitter has been described by the New York Times since it was launched in 2007 to present day. A nifty way of looking at how Twitter, but also the NYT’s understanding of Twitter has evolved over time from

“This short-messaging service allows you to ‘micro-blog’ your life in 140 character bursts.”

to

“…which started out as a way to post short bursts of text, is slowly but surely evolving into a media-rich and never-ending stream of information and entertainment that includes short videos, photographs and advertisements”

More proof that Facebook has lost its cool: The news that Facebook is losing younger members and no longer cool is nothing new. These claims have been backed up with data and analysis and I’ve written about them here before. If you still don’t believe it or want further proof then you should check out this splendid post on HuffPo about why the kids don’t like Facebook anymore.

Predictive search: Google Now does it, many other search engines, apps and companies are working on it. A clever set of algorithms look at a whole host of data about your likes and dislikes, behaviours and habits, personal information and what ever else they can get their hands on to give you something that you’ll only realise you wanted afterwards.

The New York Times looks at why some people see this is as the holy grail of marketing and others see it as the death of serendipity and privacy. 

Social media trends: This top notch presentation by @kpcb about social media in 2013 has been online for a few months now and in that time has been viewed over 2.4 million times. It explains brilliantly how mobile plays such a huge part in social and provides gratuitous amounts of stats on social for the next few years (US centric, yes, but still useful).

Some key bits:

  • Facebook and Snapchat are best for sharing photos. Instagram and Flickr are very far away behind
  • Video is still huge and only getting bigger: 100 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute
  • Sound is catching up though: More than 11 hours of music are uploaded on Soundcloud every minute. The next big thing after sound: data
  • Despite all its reported trouble, the big blue social network Facebook is the biggest player, followed by Youtube, Twitter and Google+
  • The countries with the most prolific sharers: Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia. Those more guarded about sharing their lives online: Japan, Germany and Hungary

Computerphile: I’m not sure how I’ve missed this before but let me introduce you to my new favourite Youtube channel. Übergeeks coming together and explaining in simple English some incredibly complex things that we all use every day but don’t really understand. Like browser cookies, email, the world wide web or the clip that got me onto this channel in the first place: How intelligent is artificial intelligence? Proper geekgasm stuff. Love it.

Branded accounts are people too: The wonderful @usvsth3m posted an enjoyable listicle about the woes of managing a branded social media account. Definitely one where other community managers and social media bods will empathise.

For me, my pet peeve is the usual reaction I get when I speak to people outside of marketing/comms about my job: “Hang on. You just browse Facebook and Twitter all day long. Can I have your job?”

Oh. And poorly executed user journeys based on QR codes. But that’s more than a pet peeve. That’s more like a deep rooted hatred.

Videos of the week: Based on the Cannes award winning public service announcement campaign ‘Dumb Ways to Die‘, a version featuring dumb ways to die while playing GTA V (and yes, they are very dumb, but they are so much fun. The GTA V ones. Not the real ones) has popped up on Youtube.

And two related clips, the first of a woman who quits her job with an interpretive dance to Kanye West’s ‘Gone’…

… and the response from the company she left.

And finally: How much does the The Daily Mail hate you

Apple goes colour/biometric, Twitter IPO/future, Phoneblok and this week’s bits and bytes

#JSFishFinger: We have a winner. The honour and a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher for being @SainsburysPR‘s favourite Fish Finger Sandwich was awarded to @DomSoar for his epic fish and chips with homemade mushy peas on thick buttered white bread with tomato and Tartare sauce. We were impressed with Dom’s successful work in bringing together two classic dishes in a most precise fashion. Tasty.

Colourful plastic cases and fingerprint ID: The new Apple phones are here. Charles Arthur reckons that the 5c will be popular, even if it’s not as cheap as many had hoped. The 5s however is the model that the Apple fan boys will be most interested in. A faster processor, a new camera alongside some new photography functions such as ‘burst mode’ and ‘slow motion video’ will appeal to the Instragramers and Viners out there.

The reaction to the new iPhones on social was rather negative as WeAreSocial were quick to point out.  Mentions of the 5c were mostly negative, with 45% of conversations criticising its design and 36% questioning its price. The 5s in turn was mentioned 66% less than its predecessor the iPhone 5 a year go. The Poke has taken a less scientific way of looking at the social response – they’ve just picked some of the funniest Tweets.

The biggest reaction to the new colourful range of iPhone 5c however went to Nokia, who, while Apple’s event was still running, tweeted an image of their range of colourful Lumia handsets and thanked Apple for paying them such a huge compliment by copying their idea.

Apple’s share also took a hit as investors were unimpressed with Apple’s pricing strategy and the lack of a distribution deal in China.

One feature with the new 5s that does terrify me a little though is ‘Touch ID’, the fingerprint passcode function, where you can teach your new phone up to five fingerprints that will then unlock the phone and even work as a password for purchasing music through iTunes. Apple was quick to confirm that fingerprint data is not stored on any servers and that they will only ever remain on the phone. However, with a phone inherently connected through mobile networks or wifi, I’d think it only a matter of time hackers are stealing your biometric data along with your phone number and any other data stored on your phone.

Also, if your password is compromised – you can change it. But what happens when your fingerprint is compromised? You can’t change that so easily. Boing Boing looks at this paradox of using biometric data for authentication and why it may not be as safe as we like to think it is.

And what the hell does the S and the C stand for anyway? Speed and colour? Or Same and Cheap?

Anyway – what I’m really excited about is iOS 7, the new operating system that launches next week!

Twitter IPO and new features for verified accounts: Twitter has also been busy this week, announcing their long-awaited IPO with a tweet – how else?

Secondary sales of Twitter stock have valued the company at upwards of about $10 billion (that’s 10 Instagrams, fyi), so one thing that is certain is that it will create much excitement over the next few months and a number of millionaires when it finally happens.

That tweet came almost immediately after the IPO tweet, as Twitter moved to announce a new feature for verified accounts (the ones with the blue tick). The new feature will allow the Justin Biebers of the world to filter their interactions: they can chose to see all their @mentions, just the ones from other verified accounts, or those that Twitter deems relevant. The move is meant to encourage Twitter’s most popular users to stay active on the platform – although they might end up just speaking to each other rather than their fans (which in Bieber’s case would be fine by me).

Where will it all go? Well, The New Yorker looks at what Twitter could look like in the future:

  • Twitter will continue its transition from tech to media company
  • What’s coming next is a more graphically intense platform that is led by mobile
  • They will likely match the new iOS 7 operating system with a cleaner look – for example, the menu buttons for home, connect, discover and your profile will disappear in favour of an UI that ancourages users to swipe left and right

Phoneblok: As we all know though, a phone really only lasts a couple of years before it breaks or becomes obsolete. @davehakkens argues that even though it’s often just one part that fails, we throw the whole thing away since it’s nigh on impossible to repair or upgrade. Just thinking of my visits to the Apple Store and I realise that I’ve never actually walked out of there with a repaired or upgraded phone. I’ve always walked out with a brand new handset.

Hakkens has come up with the brilliant concept of the Phoneblok – a fully customisable phone that is made up of little blocks that all fit together – almost like Lego. A quite brilliant idea, the idea is in a conceptual stage at the moment, but going by the support it is getting, I think this might become reality sooner rather than later.

On the Internet, everyone has a friend: A great piece in The Atlantic by @emmaogreen about how the Internet isn’t a place where everyone shouts at each other. Rather, it’s a collection of lots of small places where people are chatting among themselves about topics that they are interested in.

“In other words, anyone can find other people who share her interests, no matter how obscure those interests are. These communities might provide entertainment, but they also provide a place for groups to coordinate and rally offline action. This is especially important because of the low cost of entry – people no longer have to have a printing press and/or a powerful company on their side to find allies and make their voices heard in a public sphere.”

Moving on nicely from what people talk about on the Internet to some research from Ipsos about why people share things on social media. Quite simply, to share interesting (61%), important (43%) and funny things (43%).

Instagram catching up with Twitter: The Hipster’s favourite photo sharing platform has just cracked the 150 million active users mark, bringing it ever closer to the 200 million active Twitter users. What better way to celebrate this milestone that to follow Sainsbury’s on Instagram?

Videos of the week: Guinness have come up with a rather clever way of showing the true meaning of friendship and loyalty – and what it means to share a pint with friends

Extra shows us the cheesiest gum commercial ever

And an ode to Lidl (via @Treebd)

And finally: Happy 15th birthday Google. Here are 15 things about Google you probably didn’t know.

Sharing cool, listicles, an ode to Warsteiner and this week’s bits and bytes

Teenagers want a simple way to share cool stuff: Facebook has not been having a good time lately. An academic study from the University of Michigan has found that people tended to feel worse and less satisfied after using Facebook.

As if that weren’t enough, the article that’s popped up most in my feeds this week has been a piece on Mashable penned by 13-year-old Ruby Karp titled “I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook“.

Bored teenager is bored.

I don’t see this as the death knell for Facebook. Rather more interesting are her statements about how teenagers follow their peers, want what their friends want and prefer simple things.

If that’s true, then the need for complex social interactions and continuous ego-marketing is deemed to be unnecessary and a waste of time by teenagers. Instead, Ruby and her friends prefers to focus on platforms that are relevant to her immediate social circle and allow them to share and curate the stuff they think is cool, new – stuff that their parents aren’t already using or sharing.

Listicles: They’ve been around for ages. On Letterman, in newspapers, the Premier League table. In High Fidelity, Rob spends most of his time compiling them. In Sainsbury’s stores up and down the country, our customers use them to make sure they stick to their budget and don’t forget anything. Hell, this blog is based on the principle of the listicle!

I’m talking of course about the wonderful, powerful and entirely simple list.

We are in The Age Of The Listicle (entire articles based on the the structure of a list). Critics see them as the dumbing down of journalism, as nothing more than link bait and click fodder that generate page impressions to inflate website stats.

Hoever, when you have such perfect executions as this brilliant, entertaining and hilarious effort by Mashable about 15 dating tips from Game of Thrones – you can see why it is that listicles are changing journalism

Fired for taking a photo: Remember a while back when a disgruntled HMV employee live tweeted redundancies in the marketing team? This week saw a similarly painful example of corporate downsizing going viral. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong assembled staff from his hyper local news division Patch (which he founded and brought into AOL) to inform them of impending doom.

During the speech, Armstrong made a point of underlining his view on how leaking information about Patch to the press doesn’t affect him: “I don’t care.”

Moments later, Patch’s creative director Abel Lenz takes out his camera and moves to take a photo for Patch’s Intranet.

Armstrong stops in mid sentence, turns to Lenz and orders him to put the camera down.

Another pause, before Armstrong continues: “Abel, you’re fired. Out!”

Why has everyone from the Indie, Forbes, Daily Mail, Bloomberg to the New York Times covered this story? Because all of it was recorded and uploaded to Soundcloud where over a million people have listened to the moment a guy was fired for taking a photo for the company Intranet.

Armstrong has since issued an apology for the rather crass firing, explaining that Lenz had been warned previously not to make recordings of confidential meetings. Why the whole spiel about not caring about leaks in the first place? Bizarre.

The power of video: A great presentation by @LeslieBradshaw to show why video is the best way to get your message across in today’s time and attention poor environment.

  • With ever smarter phones and portable devices as well as faster data connections, videos are already mobile
  • The moving image grabs our attention and we’re more likely to stick to it. I love the line ‘You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than click on a banner ad’ – it rings true. When was the last time you clicked on an ad?
  • Video bypassess the ‘TL;DR mindset’ – people are scared by long texts are likely to not even attempt reading them. The fact that ‘TL;DR’ is a common web abbreviation for ‘too long; didn’t read’ speaks volumes
  • It seems to always be a video that goes viral (except, of course, if it’s Giraffe Bread…! Imagine if we’d created a video with Lily explaining why we changed the name?)

And while we’re on virulent video: Twitter has published a marvelous piece about how videos go viral, using the examples of “Ryan Gosling doesn’t like cereal”, “Dove’s Real Beauty” and Commander Hadfield’s intergalactic Space Oddity cover.

Why I’ll be drinking Warsteiner from now on: I spent my Wednesday evening watching a rubbish Germany draw 3-3 with Paraguay, and England make hard work of Scotland. Accompanying me were a large stuffed crust Pepperoni Pizza and a bottle of Warsteiner. I felt suitably bloke-ish and decided to tweet this glorious ensemble.

No long after, @Warsteiner_UK responded and retweeted me.

Now. I’ve been doing this social media lark for a good while now, and I know this isn’t hard to do for a company. I suspect that Warsteiner don’t have the biggest market share in the UK (Becks seems to be the German beer of choice here), and a quick look at Sysomos shows that in the last 30 days, 488 tweets from the UK have mentioned Warsteiner – most of those mentions coming from their own account.

Still, I found my choice of beverage validated. I am writing about it here. And you know what, I will be more inclined to keep a look out for Warsteiner the next time I’m at a bar or in the BWS aisle in my local Sainsbury’s (mind you, it also helps that it’s a mighty tasty beer, but that’s another story).

Social media creates many such opportunities for brands and businesses to listen for and respond to the people using their products. I wasn’t looking for a retweet or any other response. I didn’t @ them or # their brand name. But they are quite clearly out there, listening for these types of statements and responding to them. A quick retweet, fave and/or @ response really does go a long way in building a link between a customer and a brand.

Newswires are dead: Google has again updated their algorithm, punishing over-optimised press releases and bad content. Andy Barr from @10Yetis puts it rather splendidly: The murder of PR agencies by Google has been vastly exaggerated

Videos of the week: I’d really be interested to know what women think of the hot, heavy and holy-crap-I-really-shouldn’t-be-looking-at-this-at-work Agent Provocateur ad directed by Penelope Cruz and staring Irina Shayk and Javier Bardem.

The clever chaps at Paddy Power have decided to sponsor the greatest football team in the history of the game, Farnborough FC. Messi, Pele, Beckenbauer, Lineker… you’ll want to watch this great clip (HT @stangreenan).

And finally: Go to YouTube. Watch a video (for this exercise, may I suggest this one). Pause it during playback. Click anywhere on the page and type “1980”. Enjoy.

Iceclimb, Royal Mail’s poultry apology, your brain going viral and this week’s bits and bytes

Greenpeace Iceclimb: In what was an incredibly literal interpretation of the term PR stunt, six Greenpeace activists scaled London’s Shard building to raise awareness of the negative effects of drilling in the Arctic. The news quickly spread on via Twitter (that’s where I saw that The Shard was trending) and media outlets quickly picked it up. By Thursday evening, #Iceclimb was still in the top trending topics and the Evening Standard had it as their front page with another double spread on pages 6/7 including all the key messaging from the Greenpeace campaign.

Poultry apology: A fascinating exchange between a disgruntled Nando’s customer, Nando’s customer service and the Royal Mail about a Nando’s voucher issued in apology that was (apparently) stolen by the postal service – all playing out on Twitter. The chaps running the Royal Mail account show great courage by rolling with the punches and following Nando’s suggestion of apologising to the customer for losing the voucher – by drawing a chicken.

Read the exchange for yourself (it’s worth it!) – all I wanted to point out here is: how bizarre is it that both the Metro and Poultry World ask permission to use the hand-drawn image of the chicken!?

Twitter Media Blog: I suspect that the Greenpeace activity and possibly even the Royal Mail chicken apology will make an appearance on the new @TwitterMedia blog – a place where Twitter promises to showcase the best uses of Twitter by the media industry, including marketing, advertising and journalism. And what better way to announce it than a quick Vine.

Journos going ever more digital: Broadgate Mainland surveyed financial journos and found that they are increasingly seeing digital popularity as a measure of success – while print is falling in importance. Key bits from the study:

  • Twice as many journalists now use digital means to source stories compared with 2012
  • Three quarters of financial services journalists increasingly rely on press releases and PR generated commentary
  • 87% of journalists prefer to be pitched to by email – phone pitches come in at 8%
  • 45% of journalists said Twitter is their favourite social media outlet for sourcing news (down from 57% last year – the novelty might be wearing off?)

This is your brain on viral: A fascinating post about the Temporo-Parietal Junction – the part of our brain that is most active in deciding what we share on social media. MRI scans showed that the TPJ lights up like a Christmas tree when we start thinking about how and who with to share a story, a video, an image.

Google Glass and retail: Google Glass is coming and while some use it to film bar brawls and the resulting arrest, But what could wearable computing mean for retail? Nothing much going by Econsultancy: Google Glass doesn’t offer any more customisation options than todays’ smartphones.

Meanwhile, over on Marketingland, they look at the privacy debate around Google Glass and how much of it has been driven by hype and fear. An interesting (and long read!), but good if you’ve been worried about the army of bespectacled geeks roaming the world and/or the NSA plugging in directly to your eyeballs.

Your Tour: I’m more of a runner, but even I have to admit that Google’s tribute to the 100th Tour de France is quite nifty. To begin with they had a great Google Doodle and now I’ve come across Your Tour a great site that combines Google maps, Streetview and other nifty gadgets to give you a handle-bar-perspective of some of the most famous sections of this year’s and past year’s Tour. Mashable have pulled together a little video to show what it Your Tour gets you.

Videos of the week: The brilliant @MrMichaelSpicer reckons he doesn’t need Twitter, he has a horse

Honda pays tribute the curiosity of their Honda engineers and some of the most successful innovations from the past 65 years

And just ‘cos it was so good, highlights of Murray’s Wimbledon win set against Biffy Clyro’s Victory Over The Serve

And finally: Go to Vogue.co.uk, enter the Konami code (for you non gamer geeks, that’s up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) and keep hitting A (HT @a_little_wine)

80 social media rules, Google+ is The Matrix and this week’s bits and bytes

@SainsburysPR’s favourite tweets: As ever, at the end of the month at @SainsburysPR, we look back at our favourite Tweets of the month. May was yet another fun month, with a range of Tweets from fashionable ways to wear Sainsbury’s carrier bags, the Sainsbury’s Summer Series to Tweets about products our customers love.

Animated business review: Sainsbury’s published its Annual Report this week and to tell the story of how we performed over the last financial year, we created five quirky stop-frame-animated clips of our five areas of focus and why we believe our values make us different.

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 22.01.49
Source: Sainsbury’s Annual Report 2013

3 Must read posts this week:

  1. Adobe’s head of social media and general good guy @jeremywaite pulled together a rather brilliant list of 80 social media rules. The kind that you can happily print, frame and hang on your wall and follow.
  2. The Guardian’s tech editor @charlesarthur believes that we’ve all been looking at Google+ the wrong way: It’s not a social network like Facebook. Yes, you can follow friends and people and add them to circles and message them and post stuff and comment on things. He reckons that Google is more interested in all the other things you’re doing when you’re logged in to Google, Gmail, Youtube and Google Maps. Because that’s when you’re feeding Google information about your needs, likes and interests and wherabouts as well as movements. In turn, Google learns what you want and delivers that reality to you.
    Arthur compares Google+ to the computer construct of The Matrix films, where humans are kept in suspended animation, plugged into a dream world as their bodies’ BTU power the machines that have taken over the world (man, I love that film).
    Next time you’re searching for something, or looking on a map, or searching on YouTube, you’ll see what Google has decided are the “most relevant” results (and of course the “most relevant” adverts). If you frequent climate change denial sites, a search on “climate change” will turn those up ahead of the sites run by rational scientists. Whatever your leaning, politically, sexually, philosophically, if you let Google+ see it then that will be fed back to you. It’s the classic “filter bubble”.
  3. Rory Sutherland writes in Wired about four psychological theories as to why Amazon enjoys unrivalled success – and his argument for how we go about saving marketing.

Social media assistant: Gary Vaynerchuk, prolific über-blogger and boss of VaynerMedia, has hired someone to shadow him and produce content for dissemination across his social media properties. A full-time social media shadow. The idea is that while Gary is speaking at conferences, discussing social media in meetings or just chatting with people over lunch, there will always be someone to record and publish his thoughts.

My first reaction: “That’s bonkers”. Surely it can’t just be about the amount of content? But then, this:

Vaynerchuk’s broad-based social media push goes back to his belief that “it’s not good enough to just produce long-form content; you have to put out micro-content to drive awareness to it.” He’ll be creating “content native to the platform where the audience is,” which means that he [as captured by his assistant] might take a concept and write a blog post about it for his WordPress site, film a video, create an animated gif for Tumblr, post a quote on Instagram – or all of the above.

I think the point is that you or your organisation has to embed social media infrastructure, processes and training into the way you do business. Only then will your people  be able to produce content that speaks to your customer, tells the corporate story and helps achieve your business goals. For Gary that means socialising his every utterance, for others that could be as basic as making sure that more people at your company are savvy enough to understand what kind of message would play well in the outside world, how to capture it and how to get it out.

Vine now on Android: How else to announce that Twitter’s six second video sharing app Vine is now available for Android phones than through a Vine? The Android version has everything that the 13 million iPhone users already know, as well as a unique to Android function: zoom.

Visualising Tweets: Nifty work from the guys at Twitter who’ve plotted some incredibly accurate maps using nothing but the geographic information from geotagged Tweets. Unsurprisingly, major cities appear as bright spots of heavy Twitter activity, with major roads and even ferry traffic routes clearly visible when you zoom in.

Source: Twitter Office on Flickr

Videos of the week: Last week we had Hahn sort out the problem of spilled beers, this week it’s Burger King at the forefront of fast-food R&D with their Hands Free Whopper technology.

How much is a can of Pepsi? One Facebook Like.

A marvellous new campaign from the community run mobile network Giff Gaff: Don’t be scared.

And finally: Actors laughing between takes.

BVB’s PR masterclass mobbed by Puma, Guardian Coffee and this week’s bits and bytes

BerryLove: Judging by the weather today and last weekend, it looks like Summer might actually be happening after all. The @SainsburysPR team (thank you to @MindyB_ for the art direction!) decided to post our first Vine to celebrate the arrival of British strawberries into our stores. Wooo!

Sing when you’re winning: Dortmund and Bayern played out the first ever Germanic Champions League final last weekend and even though Dortmund lost the game, they clearly won the PR battle. Their Deckchair Tour of London in a big, bright yellow bus was particularly brilliant, placing the chair in strategic locations around the capital (including, of course, the obligatory beach towel).

Source: Borussia Dortmund

Before the game, The Guardian published their excellent interview with Dortmund’s coach, Jürgen Klopp. Even after Bayern were crowned champions of Europe, the indomitable spirit of Klopp shone through in his press conference and the way he summed up the game.

But then came Dortmund’s kit sponsors Puma with probably the world’s worst flash mob: Defeated by the Lederhosen-clad Teutons of Bavaria and on their way back to Germany, the Dortmund squad were greeted at Stansted Airport by a troupe of Puma clad street-stylers (is that what they’re called?), beat-boxing and break-dancing to an audience of utterly nonplussed BVB players.

Again. This was a good 12 hours after the final whistle. So I have to assume that the marketing bods at Puma knew their team had come out second best but decided to go ahead regardless. I suppose the performers had been paid and everything was ready to go. After all, it can’t be that easy to get permission to do this kind of thing at an Airport.

Unsurprisingly, the video bombed and was shared for all the wrong reasons.

But it gets better.

Two days later and in response to some rather colourful language and malicious glee on Twitter, Puma decided to put out this promoted tweet (fair play to them for engaging with the conversation and not just hiding away):

The Tweet takes you through to a poll on their Facebook page where Puma acknowledge that the best time for a celebratory flashmob is when you have something to celebrate. I suspect they deserve some brownie points for apologising – kind of – but I cannot understand why they went ahead with the flashmob in the first place.

Just to finish off on the Champions League final, here are some facts on the match from Twitter: 4.8 million Tweets with Robben the most mentioned player.

The long tail of the press release: Research from PR Newswire shows that the average life span of a press release is about four months. While findings like this from a company that distributes and hosts press releases should be taken with a pinch of salt, it does also show that good stories and releases will be found by interested readers and remain relevant long after they’ve been published (HT @CorpCommsMag).

#GuardianCoffee: Following in the footsteps of TAZNRC daily and the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe, The Guardian launched their own coffee shop this week. No, really. Aptly named #GuardianCoffee, the café popped up in Shoreditch’s Boxpark and is meant to provide journalists a place to work. The reception’s been mixed: GQ thought it more suited to “those more interested in Instagramming their latte art rather than enjoying a conversation”, while Vice felt “the vibe was sterile and deathly”. The best summary of events though goes to Us vs Th3m (HT @stangreenan).

Still, it’s got nothing on the Czechs and their Newsroom Cafés where local newspapers are produced jointly by editorial staff and guests of the café.

Tumblr launches ads: Yahoo didn’t waste any time in getting ads onto Tumblr, rolling out sponsored posts to their entire platform (they’d already been live for about a year on Tumblr’s mobile app). Somewhat predictably, the reception has been negative with some users quick to post ways to remove the ads from their pages.

Updates to both Twitter and Facebook: Twitter updated its mobile app, refreshing the tweet composer screen, making it easier to tweet images. The new layout also makes it easier to see which account your tweeting from (useful for those people who don’t want to mix their work and private Twitter accounts).

Facebook meanwhile took a leaf out of the Twitter playbook (read: flat out copied) and launched verified pages. They’ve not even bothered to come up with their own symbol – they’ve just gone and used Twitter’s blue tick.

What’s in a ringtone? A good one for the next time you’re down the pub with your friends. Did you know that the sound that Facebook makes when you receive a video call is made up of the notes F, A, C and E (HT @stangreenan)?

Google MotoX: Google have announced plans to build a smartphone that will predict what you’re going to do before you do it. Gyroscopes and other sensors will continuously track the whereabouts and movements of the phone so it will know if you’re walking around your neighbourhood and pulling it out of your trouser pocket or if you sitting in the back of a cab on your way to the airport. Expect to be out of battery by the time you get to work (HT @TreebD).

Videos of the week: A brilliant stunt from Samsung in Zurich to promote the new Galaxy S4 and its ‘smart pause’ function.

You and nine of your mates happen to be in flat, open area and have a hankering for some 5-a-side footie action? Nike’s ‘Mi Pista’ app/campaign has got you covered (HT @stangreenan).

Aussie brewer Hahn is working to put an end to all those beer spillages on dance floors around the world.

And finally: Beardvertising. Yes. This is real.

Commander Hadfield rocks, Capcom’s Internet of you and this week’s bits and bytes

7 future comms trends: Last week @drewb spoke at CIPR Wild Wild Web about the seven future web trends that brands should know about – all with a comms slant.

AP social media guidelines: The Associated Press posted an update to their social media guidelines, looking to balance the need for speed in reporting, warning journalists to avoid spreading unconfirmed rumors through tweets and posts.

Google’s still got it: Google’s 6th annual developer conference Google I/O is happening right now in San Francisco. The main event of this 3-day-developer-marathon though was Google’s 3.5 hour keynote where they announced a whole host of new features, updates and even some new hardware. Nothing major, rather an interesting mix of new features as well as leveraging and connecting existing products in Google’s massive portfolio. My faves:

  • Google+ saw a redesign adding a new chat that syncs across all platforms and a new focus on image manipulation called ‘Image Awesome‘. No, really. Awesome. The new in-built photo gallery enhances, categorises, styles and retouches your photos. Oh, and it does this automatically.
  • Spotify, Rdio and other music streaming services will have taken note of the terribly named Google Play Music All Access. The service will cost $9.99 a month but doesn’t have an ad-supported version (yet).
  • Google Search will soon receive a makeover in terms of input: you’ll be able to just tell Google in Chrome to search for something by saying “OK, Google“. No keystrokes or clicks required. The walls are growing ears.
  • My favourite new Google feature though is the combination of Google Wallet and Gmail, allowing you to send and receive actual money to people as an email attachment. So simple, so useful.

There’s always money in the banana stand: Netflix are using the infamous banana stand from ‘Arrested Development’ to generate even more buzz around the show’s highly-anticipated return to the online streaming service on 26 May. It’s already made it to Tower Bridge and Leicester square in London!

Huggies’ Tweetpee app: Not sure if this falls into the category of ‘WTAF’ or ‘pure genius’, but Ogilvy Brazil has come up with a sensor/app combo that tells parents when their babies need a diaper change. The sensor attaches to the baby’s diaper and tweets the parent when moisture levels become too high. But, before you just leave your baby pee, Kimberly-Clark confirmed in a statement that the clip-on humidity sensor is intended merely as a concept device and will not be made available for purchase. Back to manually checking those humidity levels.

The history of Typography: Ever wonder what the hell is the difference between serif and sans serif? Why Italics were invented? No? Well, to be honest, neither did I. Still, this animated short provides a great summary of the history of typography from its invention by Gutenberg through the horror that is Comic Sans, to today’s proliferation of different typefaces in word processing software (HT @willio).

BBM on iPhone? In a move that (to me) smacks of desperation, Blackberry have announced plans to make Blackberry Messenger available on iPhone – thereby removing the last reason for actually buying a Blackberry in the first place.

The Internet of things: The idea of a future where your fridge will order another pint of milk before you run out isn’t new. In fact, Wired Magazine’s @billwasik believes the programmable world is already here, writing in his excellent essay that soon we’ll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, even save our lives.

Remember me: Take the ‘Internet of things’ idea a giant leap further into the future and you land smack bang in the world of Capcom’s new sci-fi action/adventure game ‘Remember me‘. Rather than connecting inanimate objects through the web, this futuristic dystopia (think Bladerunner) has society connecting people’s memories, sharing them instantly via the web. The internet of you, as it were.

Source: The Art of the Game

 

To promote the game’s central idea, Capcom partnered with Youtube videographer Devin Supertramp (famous for his clips of attractive people swinging through giant arches) and produced a clip with scenes from Devin’s very own archive of work together with a speech of Antoine Cartier-Wells, the founder the corporation in Remember who has developed the technology to connect people’s minds. Trippy, geeky – I know what’s next after Bioshock!

Here is today: An incredibly simple, yet brilliantly effective and beautiful site to tell the story of the creation of the world, the universe, everything – across all time.

Gran’s cooking: Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti recently finished a 18-month trip around the world during which he completed a wonderful photographic project called ‘Delicatessen with love‘. A homage to grans’ cooking from around the world, the photos show portraits of grandmothers and their signature dish. The outcome is a cookery book of detailed recipes that mix love, photography and travel amongst the many exotic ingredients from Peru to the Philippines.

Source: Gabriele Galimberti

Satellite imagery time-lapse: Last week we had hyperlapse videos created using Google Maps imagery and data – this week I discovered the Google Earth Engine. Using satellite imagery from Landsat, the chaps from Google have put together a number of time-lapses spanning almost two decades from 1984 to 2012 showing everything from lakes drying out, palm-shaped islands popping up off the coast of Dubai, to the deforestation of the Amazon. Amazing and terrifying to see the often devastating effect we humans have on nature – and in such a short time.

As you’d expect from the search engine, you can also Google any other location – I found the Singaporean landgrab particularly impressive. Keep your eye on the South-Western and Eastern tips (Changi Airport) of the island.

Singapore timelapse
Source: Google Earth Engine

Video of the week: It had to be the video of International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield singing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ while orbiting our planet. Hadfield has tweeted throughout his mission, sharing everything from Space Station sounds to stunning images of earth from outer space – but to finish it off with the first ever music video recorded in space? Well played.

Acknowledgement from the original Spaceman

I love that this gloriously ‘tached Astronaut has helped NASA land arguably their biggest PR coup since the moon landing – all by engaging the world through social media with fascinating insight into what life in space is all about, a willingness to have a conversation and a healthy dose of Canadian charm.

Here’s a little ‘best of’ compilation of Hadfield in action.

And finally: Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal (HT @a_little_wine).

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