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Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?

Adidas have launched a new pair of football boots, and with them, a campaign graced by none of the world’s best footballers. Seriously. Adidas sponsor the World Cup 2014 winning side and they don’t include any of them? Instead they bring back Suárez despite having distanced themselves from him due to his ferocious appetite for Italian. Continue reading “Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?”

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.

Source: Mail Online

 

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.

Source: Mail Online

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.

Agile marketing

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.

  1. 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

    Source: Econsultancy
  2. 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

    Source: Wikipedia

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
  • Snapchat’s USP of being able to send images to friends that disappear from the ether after looking at them, um, disappeared this week, when the company was forced to admit that images as well as other information like usernames and locations were being saved indefinitely. Also, Snapchat’s non-apology really is quite something: rather than apologising and fix the problem, they’ve ‘improved the wording of their privacy policy’
  • 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).

And finally

Rap shirts for white people

How to choose the right social media platform; Who won the #TubeStrike and this week’s bits and bytes

Been a while since my last update – holidays and life got in the way, but I did finish the London Marathon. It didn’t go to plan, but I managed to cross the line regardless. An absolutely brilliant day with seemingly all of London out to support the runners.

What social media platform should I use?

In what can only be labelled as shameless self-promotion, I wanted to point out a panel discussion I recently took part in about how to navigate the maze of social media platforms and choose the right one for your needs (there’s also a nifty Storify of some of the Tweets from the discussion if you don’t fancy reading the whole summary).

Hosted by @CorpCommsMag and @PreciseTweets at the London Museum, the panel also featured the significant talents of @AlexPearmain, @thebeaverhousen and @steeleworld

Continue reading “How to choose the right social media platform; Who won the #TubeStrike and this week’s bits and bytes”

Twitter biogs, TV ratings, storms; and this week’s bits and bytes

Quiz time: How many Sainsbury’s basics blurbs can you match up with the product they describe? As you’d expect, Lee, Sainsbury’s basics brand manager, scored a perfect 10/10. I scored a respectable 7/10. More of a by Sainsbury’s shopper, me (HT @G3Bowden).

Not enough?

How about testing your knowledge of Ikea and black metal bands in this brilliant (and genuinely hard) ‘Ikea or Death‘ quiz (HT @a_little_wine).

The future of journalism: Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, gave the AN Smith lecture in Melbourne this week. Her speech about journalism in the age of the open web is an absolute must read. And no, there isn’t a TL;DR version of this one.

Remember Mr Cake? You know, the chap that resigned from his job at the Stansted Border Force via a ‘resignation cake‘ in order to pursue his passion for baking and cake decorating. Well, he did go on to launch his own business and now he’s up for a Smarta 100 award for Best us of Marketing. Go on. You know you want to vote for him.

The Twitter bio – a postmodern art form: The key to Twitter is all about compressing your thought, insight or story into 140 characters. It’s a skill that – much like everything else – you learn through practice. The more you tweet, the better you get. But what many people don’t spend as much time on is their 160 character Twitter biography – along with the profile photo and background, the bit that let’s people know what you’re all about.

The New York Times takes a look at the art of the Twitter bio, from @HillaryClinton “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” to @TomHanks‘ “I’m that actor in some of the movies you liked and some you didn’t. Sometimes I’m in pretty good shape, other times I’m not. Hey, you gotta live, you know?” – the article looks at pitfalls and cliches to avoid.

While we’re on short form content, here’s a great slideshare by @GinnyRedish about writing for the small screen. It’s well and good to think about responsive design for websites – but what does that mean for content?

Twitter is not real life (well, TV): An interesting bit of data published by Twitter and Nielsen this week shows that the most popular shows in terms of TV ratings and the amount of Tweets they generated do not correlate at all. as the Wall Street Journal points out, it shows that Twitter’s user base “has a very different makeup than the mass-market TV-viewing audience that marketers spend tens of billions of dollars each year to reach. Twitter’s 49.2 million U.S. users generally skew younger and are disproportionately in cities, for example, according to marketers and media analysts.” The full report is out on Monday.

Social is the new coffee-break: Many brands and companies have moved chunks of their budget from traditional marketing channels to digital and social channels. Nothing new there. At the same time, many corporate networks block access to the same social network. The schizophrenic relationship between a select group of individuals who have access to social and are creating beautiful content and social campaigns and with those who don’t have access from their work computer has always struck me as particularly bizarre. Why put all that effort into building a social media following around your brand if you won’t allow your own people to look at it?

Andrew Keen pulls together 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office. And what do you know – they all make sense!

  • It’s self-defeating – everyone has a smart phone, so they’re doing it anyway
  • Banning something that excels at undermining traditional hierarchies? Yeah, right.
  • It’s today’s version of the water cooler
  • Multitasking actually makes us more creative
  • Social media makes us more productive because it opens up our minds

Bullet Journal: For the past two weeks I’ve been using a note taking system devised by @rydercarroll called ‘Bullet Journal‘. Described as an analogue note taking system for a digital world, I thought the video was really well done and the system works perfectly to capture all those wee actions and events that make up my disjointed and disruptive day where I get pulled from meeting to tweet to discussion to blog post – all in the same hour.

I’ve moved away entirely from Evernote and my iPad and now only use this ‘old school’ system and I love it. There’s something to be said about that great satisfaction of ticking things off a to do list, but also for the elegance of how the Bullet Journal system also allows you to build specific pages for projects or collections, track events on a day to day or monthly basis. And all you need is a notebook.

The Twitterstorm: Hats off to BuzzFeed UK for pulling together their post on the 29 stages of a Twitterstorm – based on the recent kerfuffle around online retailer Price Hound selling a rather ill advised kids fancy dress costume.

From initial discovery, anger, confusion, boycott, petition, satire, trending on Twitter, the media catching up, politicians getting involved, social media expert analysis to the official apology – all in the space of a few hours – the post takes us through (HT @G3Bowden).

Scarlett Johansson Falling Down: A year ago, Scarlett Johansson was photographed falling down while filming in Glasgow for the sci-fic flick Under the Skin. It’s taken the Internet a year, but the resulting photoshop meme is rather worth the wait. Knowyourmeme looks at how it happened (the meme, not the fall).

Videos of the week: How do you promote a remake of the classic horror flick Carrie? By creating a telekinetic coffee shop surprise and scaring the pants off of some unsuspecting customers – all while amassing over 30 million YouTube views in four days.

Downside – the mobile app that will get you talking to your friends again.

And finally: The Penis Beaker that brought Mumsnet to its knees.

Market like it’s 2013, social ‘blunders’, Facebook competitions and this week’s bits and bytes

Market like it’s 2013: Motormouth, wine merchant and social media superstar @garyvee spoke at the Elevate conference in New York City about how marketers are behaving in 2013 as if it were still 2004. It’s a thought provoking, 20-minute talk that really hammers home the point that just blasting out messages to your subscribers, Adwords, MPUs and direct mail campaigns are about a decade out of date because they no longer earn the attention of people in today’s saturated media landscape.

This really shouldn’t be new to anyone in marketing, PR or social media, but it’ll serve as a good reminder because I am sure we all still tend to err on the broadcast side of how we use social, rather than spending the energy to really listen to what people are saying.

Some bits that stuck with me:

  • Don’t treat social media like another push marketing channel – it is a two-way conversation. Treating it like another broadcast channel doesn’t bring any value what so ever to the end user
  • Twitter should be more about listening and less about talking. It should be about responding to people, about looking for specific keywords that will allow you to tell your story to someone that is interested in your product or industry and bring value to them
  • Make it your mission to “natively storytell” on social platforms
  • Spend your time figuring out how to tell stories on platforms that you don’t think you’re going to use – keep your ears pricked for what Gary says about how Snapchat could be used as a real-time promotional tool that rewards only your most die hard fans
  • Only if you understand why people are on a social platform, will you be able to understand how to bring value to the user, raise awareness for your brand
Understand why people are on a social media platform

Netflix FTW: While we’re on the topic of paradigm shifts (I know, I said it wasn’t news, but I needed a segway), Kevin Spacey convincingly argues that releasing films in cinemas, on-demand and on DVDs at the same time would take a huge bite out of piracy. Queue many overjoyed Game of Thrones fans (the most pirated TV show on the planet because you can’t get it fast enough) who have had to resort to all sorts of shady methods to get their next fix. And no, I’m not over the red wedding.

Twerk beats F Bombing – special guest post by @A_Little_Wine: It was the MTV Video Music Awards 2013 on Sunday and as usual, it failed to disappoint. Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke dominated Twitter overshadowing Lady Gaga’s opening performance of her new single, Katy Perry’s closing rendition of her latest hit, Kanye West’s auto-tuned selfie and even Taylor Swift dropping an F bomb live on camera. Miley’s performance beat even Justin Timberlake’s 15 minute epic montage including a reunion with ‘N Sync! Cyrus performed the infamous Twerk complete with giant gyrating teddies and a rather X-rated performance with man-of-the-moment Mr Thicke. You know it’s shocking when even Rhi Rhi looks a bit embarrassed. The ‘most shared’ reaction to Miley’s twerking however, would be that of the Smith family.

According to Nielsen’s SocialGuide the cringe worthy show generated 18.5 million Tweets on the night alone with the show being tweeted about 28 times more than the second most popular televised show across the globe.

Many tweets don’t (necessarily) make a trend: Cision have looked at a number of Twitter trending topics and come to the conclusion that just because something is trending on Twitter that doesn’t mean that many people are talking about it. A number of examples show that there seem to be some other factors in play, that sometimes topics trend long after the peak in mentions was achieved, or that topics trend with only a few hundred mentions (HT @MindyB_).

Traditional media doesn’t get social media shocker: The Daily Telegraph posted an article titled “Five biggest social media blunders of 2013“. Now, I’ve talked to you about my love of a good listicle, and given my day job, I clicked. Spectacularly, The Daily Telegraph goes on to list six social media ‘blunders’, only one of which (Tesco’s “hit the hay” tweet) can really be considered a ‘blunder’.

The other five ‘blunders’ – including the frickin news hook the entire piece was based on – were not blunders (ie. a stupid or careless mistakes), but rather the result of hackers gaining access to Twitter accounts.

I’m surprised they didn’t include the Syrian Electronic Army hacking the New York Times and Twitter this week. After all, they’re literally making up new meanings of words to suit the way they’re abusing. Oh, wait…

So, what is a social media blunder? Liverpool FC have the answer (HT @tomparker81 and @a_little_wine).

Painful Facebook competitions are coming: In a dramatic u-turn, Facebook have announced that you can now run promotions and competitions right there on your brand page. This means that you no longer need to build a special app that houses the competition (that cry of pain you hear is by app developers going out of business), instead you can ask your fans to simply like or comment on a post to join a competition.

There’s no mention of cost to the page owner in the Facebook promotion guidelines, which I find hard to believe as this simple mechanic will be something that brands will want to get into. I suspect it will lead to many branded competitions popping up in your newsfeed (after all, Facebook treats much liked and much commented content within your social graph as being particularly newsworthy) and – who knows – the unfollowing of brands who post too many inane competitions like this one from Condescending Corporate Brand (yes, I know this isn’t a real competition, but if you’re familiar with their collection of painfully poor posts you just know it isn’t far from the truth).

The thin blue Twitter line: Twitter has also decided to update its service – if you’re using their mobile app, you’ll now see that there’s a blue line that connects tweets in a conversation, displaying them immediately after the other.

The majority of Twitter users seem to be OK with this (going by my feed at least), saying that it helps make sense of Twitter’s confusing conversations. But then there’s those that believe by making conversations easier to follow, Twitter is encouraging people to use the service for something other than its essential function, that is following the news rather than conversations between people that may have concluded hours previously.

Videos of the week: The guys at GoPro posted this great clip from Man City’s pre-season tour of the US. What do we learn? Footballers are all about the garishly coloured shoes, it’s all about angles, Hart was pants even in pre-season (but is rather good at baseball), and in the States, a pre-season friendly between Chelsea and Man City is sold out, so dire is the quality of football there.

Climate Name Change propose a new naming system for extreme storms caused by climate change after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.

And finally: A triple dose of Internet awesomeness, because I couldn’t pick just one. I present you Dubstep cat, Daily Express Bingo and What Rhymes With Hug Me.

Twitter trolls and this week’s bits and bytes

Don’t feed the trolls? The big news this week was regarding calls from activist Caroline Criado Perez and others to put Jane Austen on a £10 note. An honour that many agreed was deserved and appropriate. And rightfully, they have received much praise – but also a storm of the most vile and disgusting abuse, rape and death threats via Twitter.

Is it Twitter’s job to police the platform? Yes. Should the police get involved when threats are being made? Absolutely. But as @Euan argues, what about the rest of the Twitter population? More of us should take the often tough decision to stand up and say something when we see others in our circles indulging in unacceptable behaviour.” In the spirit of the age-old mantra for community managers the world over @girllostincity thinks that we’re giving trolls too much attention and should stop feeding them.

Del Harvey on Newsnight

Twitter has been criticised for their slow reaction and for the awkward and desperately defensive appearance on Newsnight of their Head of Trust and Safety, @delbius. It didn’t help that she spoke almost exclusively in corporate bingo phrases, felt it was necessary to outline how long she had been at Twitter in response to the opening question, or that she went on to admit that the “dozens or so” people in her team are essentially playing catch to the “rocket-ship” that Twitter has become.

Critics are calling for many things, one of which is a way for users to report abuse. But is a ‘report this’ button really going to help? @sharonodea argues that it’s likely to create more problems than it solves, as the trolls might treat being reported and banned as a wind-up to be ignored – and confirmation that they are getting attention.

What to do?

Twitter suggests you find the link to the form with which you can report abuse on Twitter on their website – a form that requires you to fill in 11 fields of data and that seems to be largely unknown outside of the US, at least going by the bitly stats on clickthroughs. Definitely needs some simplification here…

However, as @MartinBelam rightly puts it, this isn’t a technology problem – this is a misogyny problem: The abuse directed at woman is a representation of the level of abuse that women are expected to tolerate outside of Twitter as well. It is absolutely right that we should be standing up and saying that this is unacceptable; not just online, but in society in general. We’ll need to work both online and offline to win that battle.

Social media and business continuity: A serious heading for a serious topic – how does social media affect traditional business continuity and crisis communication plans? @stevef2412 notes that the time between an incident taking place and the first tweet about it is about 30 seconds. Depending on the nature of the incident, many more tweets are likely to follow. So what are the critical things an organisation has to get right almost immediately? Read the post to find out.

Hacking your own Twitter: Pretending your account’s been hacked in order to get people talking and increase your followers (what, you think rubbernecking only applies to crashes on the motorway? People love gawking at disasters no matter where they’re happening). Please people: focus on helping, informing and amusing your followers rather than coming up with daft ways of inflating your follower numbers.

Why PR is your best marketing weapon: Not one of the usual posts with top X ways to do Y better. Instead, a helpful and honest piece from @wadhwa about seven ways to get top PR. For those of you who want to TL;DR it – a quick summary below – the rest, I strongly recommend giving it a read.

  • Learn what makes news by – surprise, surprise – consuming news
  • Focus on the needs of the journalist and build relationships
  • Package announcements into a news hook
  • Don’t ignore the small media organisations – they will help build your credibility
  • Make time for journo requests – the first to respond generally get included in a piece
  • Be honest, be yourself and have an opinion

All you ever wanted to know about SEO: A monster deck of 101 slides on the past two decades of search engines (remember Webcrawler?). What we learn is that people figure out how to game Google rankings, they score massive traffic for a short while before Google updates their algorithms and ranking methods and everybody starts looking at ways of gaming the new system. All resulting in where were are today with inbound marketing, where by publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your message becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.

Google Glass is a journalists friend: In my continuing series of possible uses for Google Glass, I’d like to point you to Vice Magazine, which has published a piece about how Google’s wearable computer has helped one of their journalists report from areas of conflict around the world.

Source: Vice

From streaming live video from Glass, accessing files on your home computer through the tiny screen placed in your field of vision while in the field, to tweeting live from rallies through a clever IFTTT recipe – it really is a fascinating look at what remote working could look like in the very near future.

Facebook content will escape the walled garden: Facebook announced this week that it is launching “embedded posts.” Does what it says on the tin: You’ll be able to take any public Facebook post and embed it in any other site that allows embed codes. It’s been rolled out to the Facebook pages of HuffPo, CNN and a handful of others – so keep an eye out for when it rolls out to more platforms and your privacy settings.

All in the same room, but not really: The living room is making a comeback, with more families watching TV at the same time – according to figures releases by Ofcom this week (I can’t embed the interview with a typical family, but it’s well worth a watch to see the difference between the generations).

Source: IBTimes

91% of us watch their main TV screen once a week – up from 88% in 2002. Unsurprisingly though, while we might all be present in the same room, with the one big screen blaring out some vacuous reality show where the latest crop of annoying attention seekers vie for the judges’ affection, we’re not really paying attention to the telly. Instead, multi-tasking is up, with almost one in two of using smartphones or tablets while watching TV and one in four sharing what they’re watching through social media.

Some really interesting stats about how the Great British public consumes the media, however, two stats really stuck with me. The first confirms that tablet devices really aren’t mobile devices (85% of tablet owners keep it at home), while the second just shows that anybody who thinks their website won’t need a touch-screen optimised device should think again (91% of parents said their children use a tablet).

Holiday season and social media: Heading out to some tropical island paradise? The Guardian looks at the pitfalls of annoying all your friends back home with smug photos of deserted beaches, pouty selfies and self-satisfied Hashtags along the lines of #lifeshardbutsomeonesgotodoit. Also, Please do us all a favour and don’t succumb to the ‘legsie’ – if you do, make them look as awesome as this one (HT @a_little_wine).

Shoshone Point, Grand Canyon

And finally: Going through a rebrand to appeal to younger, hipper audiences? Try the Hipster Logo approach

Video on Instagram, hazy marketing, masterful UGC from REI and this week’s bits and bytes

Video on Instagram: Speculation about Instagram launching their own short form video service to counter Twitter’s Vine finally came true this week. You can now photograph and film your latte using Instagram.

(I swear I wrote that before I watched the video – WHERE SOMEBODY VIDEO INSTAGRAMS THEIR LATTE!)

Anyway, the differences between Instagram video and Vine:

  • you can take up to 15 seconds of video (rather than only 7 seconds on Vine)
  • the filters that made Instagram so popular are also available to videos shot with Instagram
  • when you post a video, you can select a particular still from your clip as the hero image

Vine responded by posting some videos of their own, featuring sneak peaks of new features for  revamped video stream categories and draft Vines (yes please!) – at least, that is what Techcrunch believes they are.

Hazy marketing: Remember when real-time marketing went mainstream? You know, when Oreo tweeted about being able to dunk an Oreo cookie in the dark after the lights went out at the Superbowl? And everybody loved it and wrote blog posts about how brilliant it was and how since then anybody working in comms has thought about how they can get their own Oreo moment?

Well, even the masters at Oreo don’t always get it right. You may have seen coverage on the BBC yesterday about the haze in Singapore from the forest fires in Indonesia (much like the ones 16 years ago when I was still in high school in Singapore – only much, much worse). The marketing bods decided that this message to their Singaporean fans would be a good idea.

Source: Oreo

Now, I can’t see the response to the image (the post is only visible to people in Singapore), but personally, I think this is in bad taste and I wouldn’t be surprised if the locals don’t see the funny side.

Bizarrely Adidas posted a similar effort to their Facebook page: offering 152 free gym passes on a day when the Pollutant Standards Index hit 152 at lunchtime.

Source: Adidas

Now, anything between 100-200 is considered to be unhealthy, so encouraging people to head out in that environment isn’t such a smart thing. In fact, on June 20, the PSI peaked at 371, a level of pollution deemed to be hazardous – but they are still posting similar content (although they’re no longer so keen on matching free gym passes to the PSI levels).

Am I getting too paranoid?

High street food chat: Research from Visceral Business and Synthesio found that 10 UK high street brands account for 96% of all social media food conversations. Those brands: Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Subway, Greggs, Nando’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Dominos (HT @DigitalBlonde).

REI Member Stories: Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) make outdoor gear and clothing. Their clientele ranges from skiers, ridiculously inspiring iron-women (like @celia_cole), climbers, trekkers… you get the idea. A great post on PSAMA goes into detail about how REI works closely with their customers to create some stunning user generated content to market their products in intensely engaging clips (HT @jcolman).

Key advice from @Kelly_Ann_Walsh, Digital Equipment Program Manager for REI: “Don’t try to create a new behaviour. Try instead to integrate what your community is already doing.” And some key questions for any company interested in using UGC in their marketing:

  • What is your community doing and how can you leverage it to provide value to your audience?
  • What are your objectives for engagement?
  • How can you leverage current behaviour to create a community or connection?
  • How can you drive continued engagement?
  • Do you have the resources to moderate the content and scale?
  • What are the legal considerations?

Digital publishing ≠ paper publishing: “As we adapt to a world of connected devices, the way we think about our content publishing process and workflow must adapt too.” An excellent piece by @karenmcgrane in the Harvard Business Review.

Good news: “The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED. This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion. But it seems to be catching on.

Would you hire these people? A post entitled ‘The Crazy, Creative Staff Photographs Of Ad Agencies’ and I really couldn’t say it any better. Some of these really are very whacky (HT @tomparker81).

Videos of the week: This Russian commercial for Tampax takes an unexpected turn (HT @KristianWard29)

Russell Brand makes a mokery of MSNBC’s Morning Joe (not too hard, but still, pretty good television)

And finally: Textatrosphe

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.

Flipboard 2.0, collaborative marketing and this week’s bits and bytes

Back from hiking the Grand Canyon – more on the actual hikes in the next few days when I’ve digested the Garmin data. What I found out since coming back: Google has mapped the Canyon and you can enjoy the views from the comfort of your couch. I’d rather enjoy them first hand, but here’s how they did it.

Sainsbury’s on Flipboard: this week, the super-slick content aggregator Flipboard announced their 2.0 version. The big news being that you can now curate your own magazine. Excited to try it out, I quickly put together a Flipboard Magazine about Sainsbury’s. Let me know what you think and if you’re on Flipboard – subscribe! You can find out what’s else is new with Flipboard 2.0 in this video.

Budget screw up: The following is from @tomparker81: During last week’s budget announcement, the Evening Standard tweeted its front page about 20 minutes before the Chancellor had even stood up, thus giving away all of the detail in the Budget. Bit of a screw up really and someone at The Standard has been suspended for it.

Damian McBride, former chief spinner to Gordon Brown, has written a really interesting blog post about it which should be of interest to anyone doing our job. It describes how you brief a paper like the Standard to get them in just about the right place but without enough detail to give too much away.

Paywalls vs. free: The Telegraph and then The Sun announced they’d be moving to a metered model where readers would be able to read 20 articles a month for free before having to pay for access to the online paper. Meanwhile, the DMG Media, presented their latest financials: the MailOnline is set to make £45 million in 2013 and that that figure will reach £100 million in the next three to five years.

Brands can learn from newsrooms: How can a brand keep up conversations that are fresh, relevant and interesting? Our friends at Dare thinks we should learn from the Newsrooms, think like journalists and keep asking those important W-questions.

Bots artificially inflate site stats: brands such as McDonalds and Disney paid millions of dollars a month to show their online ads to websites that had their traffic numbers artifically inflated by automated networks of computers (aka bots). Spider, a London based analytics firm, found that sites such as toothbrushing.net, sodabottle.com and techrockstar.com were showing 20 to 20 million ads in a month – and that these sites were all linked to a network of botscalled Chameleon. Can’t imagine the marketing teams were very happy…

Tracking Facebook: Still on metrics, a quick and sensible guide to what you should be tracking on Facebook.

Remember the Harlem Shake? Only a few weeks ago, the Harlem Shake seemed to be everywhere. It exploded out of nowhere, annoyed the crap out of the Internet for a good two weeks and has since disappeared (if nothing else, please read the ‘What has changed‘ paragraph)

Social chocolate: A case study of how Cadbury does social.

Fashion rules Instagram: a quantitative look at the top 25 brands on Instagram shows quite clearly that fashion brands have embraced the hipsters’ image sharing network of choice. Victoria ‘s Secret (unsurprisingly?) tops the list with over 1.3 million followers. Other fashion staples in the top 25 include Nike, Forever21, Burberry, Top Shop, asos, H&M, Adidas and Gucci. Playboy (surprisingly?) comes in at no.20.

Collaborative marketing: social media, digital, web 2.0 – call it what you want, it is changing the way brands communicate. Simply put, customers want a meaningful conversation and the stage is set for social tech to begin creating real value for companies through deep collaboration with consumers. Fast Company has listed 5 trends driving the shift.

Videos of the week: Remember the flick ‘Catch me if you can’? Spielberg based the film on the true story of Frank Abagnale and in a speech at Adweek, Abagnale talks about how, as a runaway 16-year-old he spent two years defrauding Airlines of 1.3 million dollars, constantly shifting his identity. Without glorifying his actions, he talks about how he did it and how he was caught. After serving time in France, Sweden and the US, the FBI offered him a role in their fraud division. In the Q&A at the end, he provides some fascinating insight into how you can protect your privacy, from when you’re on Facebook to when you’re paying for petrol. Absolute must watch (HT @JoTomlin).

‘Grumpy Cat’ stars in Friskies Youtube campaign.

And finally: a headline and story so chock full of WTF? you just know that it has to be true http://avc.lu/1097xcB (HT @tomparker81).

Happy Easter everyone!

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