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”
Brandopolis: I came across this spectacular in-depth investigation of content strategy at top brands by @lydialaurenson: this epic, four part report covers everything from content strategy basics, how this obsession with content came about, to the hyper contextual future this trend of ‘all brands are publishers’ is heading towards. Chock full with case studies from some of the world’s biggest brands, I’d rate this as one of the best pieces of writing on digital content strategy I’ve come across.
If nothing else (and for you TL;DR fans) scroll down to the conclusions – best four bullet points you’ll read all year.
GrillMOL: A few weeks ago we welcomed @Ryanair to Twitter. You may recall that I wasn’t to impressed with their second tweet, outlining why they wouldn’t respond to customers: because, gosh darn it, there’s just too many of them.
This week, they decided to go from one extreme to the other: #GrillMOL was the official Hashtag used for a 1 hour 18 minute live Twitter Q&A with Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.
I’ve had a quick look at some Sysomos data and the Q&A session from this week did put up some solid numbers: over 1,800 mentions, generating more than 4 million impressions. Interestingly, 72% of the audience was male – which, going by one of the first Tweets that MOL put out during the Q&A, doesn’t surprise me:
However, the majority of his responses had O’Leary responding honestly and quickly to a number large number of questions ranging from that annoying fanfare when their planes land on time, to their shockingly horrible website – all with a healthy does of self-depricating humour.
They thought it was so successful, they did it again today.
Gifpop! Everyone loves an animated gif. Well, I do. They’re particularly perfect for communicating specific emotions such as apoplectic rage, disgust or joy – often using scenes from films, TV shows or popular YouTube clips. Sites like the brilliant London Grumblr wouldn’t exist without them and online communities such as Reddit, 4Chan or Imgur – heck, the Internet – wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
And no, it’s not just silliness.
Have a look at Zack Dougherty’s beautifully trippy gif art.
Problem of course is that these mesmerising, animated, forever looping, wonderful gifs only exists on digital screens.
Not for long though, as a Kickstarter project by @rachelbinx and @shashashasha that uses lenticular printing to bring gifs to life. Called Gifpop!, the service has already crushed its funding target of $5,000 less than 24 hours of going online – with over 400 backers donating over $15,000 (The Atlantic has more about how it all came about).
Jonathan Perelman from Buzzfeed doesn’t like banner ads: Or, to quote him: “You’re more likely to summit Mount Everest than click on a banner ad.” From the Guardian’s take on Perelman’s speech at the the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2013 – it sounded like many other people in the room agreed with his view that banner ads are (on the way) out.
He goes on to talk about ‘native advertising‘ – that dangerous amalgamation of content and advertising – an area that Buzzfeed excels in and has earned them 85 million unique visitors a month.
Mobile or beer? Amstel, the Dutch Brewery company, has developed a clever little app that rewards you with free beer – if you don’t touch your phone for 8 hours. Called ‘Amstel‘, the app simply tracks how long you haven’t touched your phone.
Fast Company has more on the campaign – meanwhile, the question remains: could you go eight hours without touching your phone? (Or could you just turn it on when you go to bed and wake up to a free Amstel?).
Videos of the week: “Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine?” So begins the interview on Newsnight between Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand and my word is it good. That Brand is one eloquent customer.
Never not, part 2 – a beautiful 50 minute short film by Nike featuring some of the world’s top snowboarders, tricks, flips and a hell of a lot of snow.
A fantastic animation by Blank on Blank of an interview with Kurt Cobain on identity.
And finally: Workw*nkers
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)
#Twitter4Brands: Twitter’s annual update on what’s what with brands and advertising took place yesterday. Some thoughts about it below, although it is by no means an exhaustive summary. Here’s another view from Matt Chapman on Brand Republic.
The fact that Twitter is the second screen shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it should influence how brands use Twitter to talk to their followers. 80% of Twitter activity in the UK is from mobile phones and people are tweeting about what’s happening in the real world.
I’ve talked before about this trend, so I won’t go into much more except to say that the Twitter TV book has been updated with new data.
The big news was about keyword targeting in timelines. And this one is going to be HUGE. Imagine you’re in a foreign country, your flight has been cancelled, you’re stuck and you need a place to crash. You don’t know anyone. You take to Twitter and voice your anger and frustration. You might tweet something along the lines of ‘Flight cancelled. Stuck with nowhere to go and no place to sleep. I need a hotel’. Perhaps throw in a bit of colourful language to round it off. What if there’s a hotel just down the road from you that has bought a keyword targeted tweet (say to the words ‘need’ and ‘hotel’ and that their message will pop up in anybody’s Twitter stream, provided they are within 5km of their hotel and they’ve used those two words in a public message).
Serendipity as Head of Twitter UK @TonyW called it.
Tone of voice was the big topic for the second half of the conference. The key point being that people expect brands to speak in normal language on Twitter, not in some sort of stilted, formal tone. There were many excellent examples, culminating in O2 winning the first ever Flock award for the most outstanding use of Twitter – interestingly, not for how O2 used the various promotional mechanics that Twitter showcased in the first half of the day, but for how they enter into real conversations with their followers. The most famous example of which was how they dealt with enraged customers during a network outage last year. Other excellent examples came from @The_Dolphin_Pub and @Mangal2.
Still not convinced? It’s not just Twitter who are saying that brands should be human on social media.
Finally, Gary Lineker showed up and talked about England going out to Germany at Italia90 on penalties (which I enjoyed very much) as well as the infamous Poogate (which I may actually have enjoyed more)…
… but he was mainly there to talk about how he uses Twitter to promote brand Lineker, Match of the Day as well as how he deals with trolls (Piers Morgan and Joey Barton received a special mention here).
I’ll leave it to @TonyW’s to sum up #Twitter4Brands – in just 5 tweets.
Breaking news: There was a lot of it this week. From the Lion Air flight that skidded off the runway in Bali into the sea, to the Boston Marathon bombing, to the exploding fertiliser factory in Texas. The Boston bombing in particular horrified many. Much has been said about how news travels on social media – and that is how I found out about all of the above: from Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly though, in all three occasions my immediate reaction was to turn on the TV. An almost knee-jerk reaction to confirm these things had actually happened. The fact that the 24 hour news channels in each instance were already on the story was weirdly reassuring, yet the longer I watched them, the more facts were replaced by wild speculation and leading questions about all of our safety. It’s nothing new really, just in a week with some much bad stuff happening, I felt very increasingly angry at the media’s fear mongering.
Interesting then to read that news actually bad for you. Rolf Dobelli argues that news causes disruption, anxiety, shallow thinking – basically that it’s a waste of time. And as I’d like to join his movement of not consuming news, that would make my job pretty darn difficult to do. Dobelli doesn’t think that all journalism is useless: he does concede a special place for investigative journalism, reporting that goes deep and uncovers truth.
Now given my chosen profession, it’ll be difficult for me to just abstain from the news, but it should act as a reminder to turn off the incessant news stream every once in a while before we all lose our minds.
Or – you could immerse yourself entirely and join Guardian Witness. Similar to CNN’s iReport, The Guardian is inviting its readers to register, pick their assignment and provide images, video and copy to cover news events. As I write this, The Guardian is calling for stories about Syrian refugees, photos of sleeping pets and how budget cuts have affected you. A simple – and free – way for the paper to augment its eyes and ears and tap into a willing network of eager freelancers.
The news lifecycle: An interesting look at how mobile has not only influenced how people consume the news, but when they consume it. FT data shows quite clearly how people get up in the morning and read the FT on their phone or tablet first thing and on their commute in to work. As soon as they get to the office, desktop readers of the FT website spike and then slowly drop off during the day. Finally, mobile devices spike for a second time as people start their commute home again. On the weekends, desktop use is low, with spikes coming early in the day from mobile devices.
Why do you see the things you see in your Facebook newsfeed? It’s not as easy as just following somebody or a brand. It depends on four factors: previous engagement, the type of content your interacting with, how popular it is within your network and increasingly, how much negative feedback its received. Here’s a clever little infographic that explains what Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm is and how it works.
Facebook Home: It launched, they made an ad, then another one with Zuck in it (bad idea), and now most people are giving it a 1 out of 5 star rating. Ouch.
Geekgasm: HMV have come out of administration and are under new ownership. To celebrate, they’ve hidden Nipper in the source code of their revamped website. Kudos to HMV for this extremely nerdy Easter egg, although I cannot for the life of me understand why you’d check out the source code of a website (HT @TomParker81)?
Videos of the week: Check out this brilliant ad from K-Mart to advertise their new direct shipping service. Ship the bed!
The dove real beauty campaign continues with real sketches
and with an even better parody.
Bringing Instagram and CSR together: FoodShareFilter is an Instagram-esque photo filter with a purpose. Download it, and the proceeds go to an agricultural program in El Salvador run by Manos Unidas, a major charity. What better way for Hipsters to Instagram the food they eat and make it worth their while?
Viral cake: If you’ve not seen the best viral cake resignation letter ever, you’ve clearly been living under some sort of rock.
And finally: Every Facebook birthday wall, ever.