Bits and Bytes

Thoughts on digital, running rambles and photos



Sainsbury’s Christmas, pilot name shenanigans, how to use Hashtags and this week’s bits and bytes

Christmas in July: Yup, hottest days of the year and the @SainsburysPR team spends them in a beautifully made up basement in Covent Garden to show off Sainsbury’s gorgeous Christmas collection, from fantastic festive food and drink to classy home and clothing ranges and even floral!

Our Twitter Wall was back, encouraging the assembled press and bloggers to tweet their impressions using #SainsburysChristmas. In turn we posted photos and tasty Vines (shot and directed by our very own @a_little_wine) to show off the crimbo collection that will be coming to a store near you this Christmas.

Of course, we were all well chuffed when The Daily Telegraph’s Steve Hawkes tweeted his approval. Bring on Christmas!

Sum Ting Wong: Not long ago, an Asiana Airlines flight crash landed in San Francisco. In one of those ‘I can’t believe this actually happened’ moments, KTVU, a local news station, announced that the pilots of the Asiana flight had been named:

  • Sum Ting Wong
  • Wi Tu Lo
  • Ho Lee Fuk
  • Bang Ding Ow

I kid you not.

Soon after – and unsurprisingly – KTVU issued an on air apology, saying that the names were “not accurate, despite a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesperson confirming them”.

Who was this spokesperson? This from the NTSB website

Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.

The summer intern has since been fired, but I’d suggest the NTSB revisit their crisis comms procedures. Something is clearly not quite right there…

Above the cloud advertising: Staying with air travel for a bit longer – Ryanair has decided that sticking ads on every conceivable surface inside their planes and annoying passengers with ads blasted at full-volume on the PA system isn’t enough. After all, the whole outside area of the plane is still pretty much blank! It’ll only cost you £20,000 a year to get your creative on a Ryanair’s plane, for example the tips of the wings and the main body of the plane. Doubt BA or Easyjet will take them up on it.

Source: Business Insider

Facebook fangate: You know the bit you get on some Facebook brand pages where you have to “like” the page first before you can see the content? That’s a fangate. With Real Life Connect you can now set up a real-life fangate that uses RFID technology to identify your Facebook fans as and when they come into your stores and reward them with real life perks. The example in the clip below of showering customers with confetti and kisses is somewhat cheeseball, but you get the idea (HT @mike_mcgrail).

A nifty way then of breaking down those barriers between your Facebook and bricks and mortar stores. Although the key will be to come up with an in-store/real-life perk for the customer (discounts, free stuff, or even just the recognition) that balance with a benefit for the retailer (increased loyalty, personal connections).

The link between off and online will need to be seamless and automatic. Even with something as simple as Foursquare mayorships, which provide much the same mechanic and opportunites as Real Life Connect’s RFID approach, this approach to rewarding loyalty have found little pick up. Not once have I been rewarded for being the Mayor of a cafe or restaurant – and I’ve looked!

Combine this with existing loyalty schemes or apps however, and you might be on to something!

Tweet and thou shall be saved: In terms of rewarding fans for following a brand on Twitter, the Vatican may be on to the ultimate incentive – absolving Catholics of their sins. The Pope this week announced that anyone who follows his World Youth Day service on TV, radio or via Twitter will receive plenary indulgences.

When bylines go wrong: The heat might be getting to the subs at the Sunday Mirror. They carried a nib about a bridge funding scandal; and where you’d usually find the name of the journo that had written the piece, there was a rather colourful snippet of a sentence (HT @tabloidtroll).

How to use hashtags on Twitter: A great little 2-minute-guide to how you should use hashtags on Twitter by @garyvee. Instead of trying to make your own hashtags trend (as Gary notes, only The Bieber has that kind of power, infuriatingly), you’ll be much better off listening to what is already popular and then adding to those conversations and trends where you have the authority/content/right to play.

Videos of the week: Johannesburg Zoo were keen to get in on the social media action, but rather than hire a social media team, they decided to promote from within. Their resident honey badger “BG” got the gig (HT Alex Crouch).

A spectacular ad for Johnnie Walker starring none other than martial arts über-legend Bruce Lee. It took nine months to produce, with every shot, every detail was painstakingly assembled, animated and rendered through CGI. As the director puts it – a sculpture in a different medium (HT @KaiFischer).

A great little clip from Arsenal Football Club from the pre-season tour through Vietnam (not signing anyone or winning any titles, don’t be silly). A fan runs alongside the team coach for a good five miles, the bus finally stops and he climbs aboard. Dream come true (HT @stangreenan).

The Superhumans are back. No pressure.

And finally: Desk safari (HT @AndrewDumont).

4SQ is back, we have a new Pope and this week’s bits and bytes

Digital UK: We are Social have pulled together a very useful state of the digital nation from the 2013 UK Digital Future in Focus report published by comScore. Loved the tweetable highlights:

  • As of December 2012, we’re at over 50% mobile penetration in all EU countries
  • We spend 37 hours a month online in the UK – more than any other country
  • Online shopping reaches 9 out of 10 UK Internet users
  • 1 in 5 of us use their mobile to shop

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 20.41.18

Foursquare is about maps and data – not badges and mayorships: I’ve not been the biggest fan of the location based social network Foursquare – seems like I’ve missed the point! Founder Dennis Crowley was at SXSW this week to talk about the future of location and the shift from social network to utility. I’ve only been able to read the @JeremyWaite‘s Storify of the talk, but that has provided some fascinating insight. For example, using Foursquare data, you could see what people in New York were up to during Hurricane Sandy or you can map all the checkins on Foursquare across the entire globe over the last three months – there’s 500 million of them, so you have a pretty robust dataset. Go on, zoom in to London. You can clearly identify roads, even Hyde Park and Heathrow are easily identifiable. As for data, think about it like this: Foursquare can tell you who the most influential customers (on social media) are that visit your stores.

The thing I’m taking away from the talk though is this pithy summary of what Foursquare is: Foursquare is a local search engine. It was about the merit system – something I don’t think really ever caught on – In 2009. Today they’re are phasing out the gamification and focusing on local data, maps and recommendations.

Just to finish on SXSW, the guys at Edelman Digital published a handful of their SXSW observations from the annual gathering. A good, quick overview.

Habemus Papam Franciscum: Gotta hand it to the Catholics, they sure know how to run a press event. For three days the world’s media watched a chimney and compared many old men who they knew little about. Meanwhile, millions of people had the their fingers and pope puns ready to tweet. Finally, when white smoke did billow from the chimney, seven million tweets welcomed Pope Francis and his first tweet has already been retweeted over 80,000 times – my particular favourite tweet was from a guy wasn’t too chuffed with the announcement.

While we’re on the topic, a cheeky look at what PR folks can learn from the Vatican and the 10 social media business commandments. As cheesy as it sounds, these are actually quite good!

Facebook is no longer cool: Last week I talked about Facebook, their new Newsfeed design and what will chance. This week Buzzfeed added to a growing list of articles from a variety of publications that talk about how Facebook is slowly losing it’s cool. Essentially, Buzzfeed argues that Facebook has been so focused on creating an environment conducive to apps, it has left users and their personal needs by the wayside.

You are what you like: Facebook users are unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs – using only public “like” updates, according to a study of online privacy by Cambridge University.

‘Liked’ hospitals have a lower mortality rate: A new study published in The American Journal of Medical Quality points analyzed the 30-day mortality rates across 40 New York hospitals and cross-referenced their Facebook page like. They found that the more ‘likes’ a hospital had, the lower its mortality rates.

Booze brands on social: Trade mag The Drinks Business has a great summary of the top 10 alcohol brands that are ruling social media, how they rank and what they’re up to (HT @a_little_wine).

Videos of the week: During this year’s London Fashion Week, Topshop partnered with Google+ to provide an immersive experience for fans. More about how they did it on Diffusion.

A phone call in the middle of the night: your best friend is in trouble. Would you go out and help him? Carlsberg tests some friendships.

And finallyInstagramed art on plates (don’t worry, no hipsters in sight).

Twitter is for PR, giftastic Jennifer Lawrence and this week’s bits and bytes

Sainsbury’s Twitter faves: Here are my favourite tweets about Sainsbury’s from February 2013. You’ll see some amazing Red Nose Day cookie creations, Goktastic reviews for collection 6 and lots of love for Lulu Guinness’ Red Nose Day totes. And, of course, a few customers declaring their undying love for our cookies. 

Twitter for PR, Facebook for branding: Sir Martin Sorrell, the WPP Group chief executive, spoke to the Harvard Business Review about everything from where we are with the advertising business, to social media and emerging technology like Google Glass. He also said some interesting things about Twitter and why it’s a PR medium and Facebook and how that is a branding medium.

I get myself in deep doo-doo when I say this, but Facebook to my mind is not an advertising medium. It is a branding medium. So if I can get you to say something nice about WPP or me or one of our companies on Facebook to your wife, your friends, or whoever, that’s good. But it’s a long-term mechanism. Compare that with Google. Say you’re searching for a car: We know that up to 90% of car purchases in the U.S. are search-influenced. Depending on where you are in the purchase cycle, that number one ranking on Google seems more important than a Facebook “like.” This doesn’t deny the potency of Facebook. But it has to be seen in the context of a long continuum of brand building.

I’m going to get myself shot again. I think it’s a PR medium. Again, it’s very effective word of mouth. If you look at the Olympics in London, the big winner was Twitter. It wasn’t Facebook. It wasn’t even Google. We did analyses of the Twitter feeds every day, and it’s very, very potent. But—and this is the old fart speaking—I think because it’s limited in terms of number of characters, it reduces communication to superficialities and lacks depth.

The fail trail: This great infographic from social media monitoring firm SDL illustrates really well some recent case studies of how Nestle, Dominos and United dealt with their respective social media crises.

Social media magic: Two things you need to fulfil to have a chance at creating a successful social media campaign are the need to be loved and the need to be heard.

Oscars! The Internet fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence for being so darned down-to-earth and genuinely lovely – and heck, if you can recover from falling up the stairs of the stage to collect your award for best actress that gracefully, then you deserve all the adulation you can get. My theory though: Jennifer Lawrence is just animated-gif fodder.


AAANYWAY. In terms of predicting winners, turns out that social media beat Google. Looking at the top categories (film, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress) Google got 4/6 and social media got 5/6 right.

Pope wiped: So the Pope finally said his goodbyes this week and the holy social media quickly changed the name on the Papal Twitter account to ‘Vacant Seat’, and wiped Benedict’s tweets. No chance for Ratzi to walk away and do the disgruntled former employee thing with the 1.6 million followers. But what about all those (well, 39) tweets Pope Benedict? Worry not digital Catholics, all of his have been archived on the Vatican’s news site and you can read all of them in nine different languages.

Source: @Pontifex

I want to be a cop: When looking for inspiration for clever web design that puts people and their stories at the foreground I immediately think of Coca Cola and their new(ish) site. Seriously. Google ‘corporate website story telling’ and whole first page is nothing but links to articles about Coke’s page. So when @davidjstocks emailed me a link to the Milwaukee Police’s website, I was a bit surprised. But within about 5 minutes I was looking for how to become a US citizen and sign up to join the men and women in blue. The site uses some of the slickest combination of parallax scrolling and floating navigation I have ever seen alongside gripping photography and a fantastic arrangement of infographic type visuals to convey the PDs story. Well worth a visit.

Source: Milwaukee Police

On Twitter? Don’t break the law: An overview of some court cases that suggest that ordinary social media users need to have a grasp of media law to make sure they stay out of trouble (HT @a_little_wine)

Videos of the week: Samsung are working with Tim Burton on a new flick about the ‘Unicorn Apocalypse’;

Nike combined GPS data, maps and Facebook to drive their ‘Run Like Me’ campaign (it’s from Nike Japan, so it’s especially mental);

and Heineken conduct probably the best intern interview process I have ever seen!

And finally: Ever been to Starbucks and they totally mess up your name when they write it on your cup? You’ll love this (HT @stangreenan).

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