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The World Cup of Memes, Twitter, errr, the USA?

The Cup of Memes

I am recovering from the relentless Brazil v Chile game. A game decided by the woodwork (both times in favour of the hosts), a game that neither team deserved to lose, a game that Spiegel Online reckons was Howard Webb’s application to also referee the final – after all, not many would have the stones to (correctly!) disallow a goal for handball. Also, he’s English.

It’s the Cup of Memes (stolen from the WSJ).

From van Persie’s diving header against Spain, the impenetrable wall of Ochoa, to, of course, Suarez loosing his balance against Italy’s Chiellini and falling on his shoulder. Hurting his teeth. Bless.

The Suarez incident in particular has received the most attention. Partly because it was just so predictable before the first ball was even kicked, but mostly because it provides so much fodder for wordsmiths to sink their teeth in. See what I did there? Yes. Very clever.

Twitter went into pundemonium…

… and finally had a use for a Vine of an Aussie chap imitating a dog attack

But it was brands that really went dental

Then there’s the fabulous Louis Suarez Biting Game by @usvsth3m

suarez biting game

#WorldCup

Twitter has been a key part of the tournament, at least from the perspective of the fans following the games, reacting to goals, incidents and saves.

The chaps at Twitter have kept a close eye on what we’ve been tweeting about during the group phase. Some of the highlights

  • 300 million tweets related to #WorldCup, with the opening game garnering the most Tweets (I suspect that will have been surpassed by last night’s game against Chile)
  • Marcelo’s own goal against Croatia was the most tweeted moment
  • Messi is the most mentioned player
  • The most retweeted Tweet was by @FinallyMario who would have like a kiss on the cheek from the Queen as a thank you to Italy for beating Costa Rica and keeping England’s chances of progressing alive. Italy lost, England went home

USA wins!

To finish off the World Cup round-up, for this week at least, is a look at the love of soccer in the US of A. Sparked by a team that is actually quite good (mostly because they have a German coach and mostly German players) the nation of cheerleaders has finally discovered the beautiful game.

They have the biggest set of travelling fans and after their dramatic win against Ghana in their first game, they coined a catchy new chant: ‘I believe that we will win’. A chant that fans in this pub were giving their all. See if you can spot the moment where Portugal equalises.

Then of course there was much confusion about how a game can end in a draw. Or that you’d advance to the next round after losing. Welcome, finally, to the world’s game, America.

Bits and bytes

  • A collection of the very best 404 pages from across the web. Kinda makes you want to build a broken website
  • There are blogs, Facebook groups and galleries dedicated to images of incorrectly spelt names on Starbucks cups. This exchange between a customer who reckons it’s just Starbucks’ way to get people to post free ads and @Starbucks is an excellent example how matching your counterpart’s sentiment and tone of voice can often lead to social media win
  • Rumour has it that Facebook is building FB@Work – possible competition to Intranets across the corporate Internet that will have in-house IT and Internal Comms teams freaking out over
  • Path doesn’t know it’s dead. Awkward.
  • Gallup reckons consumers don’t give a crap about what brands say on social media. Brands should listen and interact to make them care – two buzzwords and concepts that have been around forever, but seemingly ignored if this research is to be believed

Videos of the week

Remember the viral über-sensation ‘First Kiss‘ from a few months back? A black and white film for fashion company WREN showing strangers kissing for the first time? It spawned a number of parodies – including, this week, a surprisingly tender and lovely version by Max Landis called ‘The Slap’. Initially a parody, Landis also posted a making of clip where he refers to it as an experiment. The slap as a social interaction. Both worth a watch.

I love this mind-bending video for the track Kodama by 20syl.  Minimal electro beeps and bloops that end up in a Dali-esque landscape. Trippy. More on how it was made on Creative Review.

And finally

World Cup players folding their arms because they are cross about things (HT @VictoriaDove).

More from the World Cup, Yo, Twitter does animated gifs

More from the World Cup

What a bonkers tournament it’s been thus far. Everybody’s agreed to ignore the principles of defending and to score as many goals as possible. Makes for great entertainment, but perhaps not so brilliant for the nerves of some fans. Well, except if you support the Dutch. Ugh.

Twitter’s gone big, with a permanent fixture in the feed directing people to matches currently live and actively promoting tweets with score updates.

The BBC and ITV are also both integrating Twitter into their live broadcasts, asking viewers about tactics and subs. ITV wants viewers to share their #goalface (mind you, since England’s premature exist, opportunities for audience participation has taken a back seat).

Some more World Cup bits that caught my eye:

  • Dot Design have pulled together four PR stunts inspired by the tournament – most of which turned out to be rather less brilliant. The list includes Asda’s wearable England Flag, Paddy Power’s Brazilian, and Delta’s ill-advised use of images
  • Nike is doing a better job at creating buzz around the World Cup than the official sponsor Adidas
  • The New York Times has some nifty interactive elements adding a bit more depth to their World Cup coverage. I particularly liked their ‘spot the ball‘ game, where you’re confronted with images from games where the ball has been shopped out. You need to deduce from player sight lines and positions where the ball could be (here’s round 2, and round 3). Their interactive table on who has the best chances to proceed to the next round is also rather clever

Yo

Yo!

Yo?

Yo.

That’s it. That’s all you can do with a new mobile messaging app called Yo. Yo has taken the the concept of a character limit to the extreme. It not only limits you to just two characters, it also limits you to putting the Y first. Then the o.

Yo.

The app was launched on April Fool’s Day, has 50,000 users and those people have sent each other 4 million Yo’s. The app has secured $1.2 million in funding.

As Colbert asks: “Y?”

The makers of the app talk about context. That the meaning of a Yo is dependent on the environment, the time of day, the sender/recipient. Thank you captain obvious.

Techcrunch goes into a bit more depth on this, talking about digital dualism and that for Yo users (YoYos?), apps like Yo, Snapchat, Whisper and Secret are used in the now, as an extra digital layer atop of their real life.

Only that younger generations don’t discern between the two. For them, the Venn Diagram between digital and real is just a circle. The overlap is complete. Or, as Techcrunch so wonderfully puts it:

The brief popularity of Yo is a signal of a larger trend. Software developers are today tasked with a bigger problem than convenience or accessibility or distribution. The line between our physical lives and the lives we lead in our minds, with our thumbs, on a touchscreen, is rapidly fading. Yo may be just a touch too basic (bitch) to last for the long haul, or perhaps Yo is the beginning of a new era in push notifications. But apps that integrate pieces of our real-world lives are just settling in for a long stay.

Brilliantly, Ad Age was quick to react and asked its readers about their Yo strategy, providing some helpful questions:

If a cultural event of any significance occurs, make sure to send a YO from your brand. You won’t be able to explain why you sent it, but consumers will understand.

Genius.

Since receiving funding, Yo has been hacked by three college students. They were able to access telephone numbers and send messages.

Twitter supports gifs, freaks out

This week, Twitter announced it now supports animated gifs, by posting an animated gif. Simple.

And of course, the Internet was all like

Hootsuite pulled together some of their favourite reactions to the announcement.

Cannes Lions

Difficult to miss the fact that the Oscars of advertising happened this week, with many an ad bod descending upon the French Riviera. My Twitter feed was full of selfies on boats and linkbait posing as insight. Still, some good bits did catch my eye:

Bits and bytes

  • Fab post by @jeremywaite about the six key rules set up by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to build a happy company
  • Expect to see this in all future content marketing presentations: the periodic table of content marketing
  • Amazon launches a phone that ales you to buy anything you take a photo of. The Internet isn’t impressed
  • Facebook takes on Snapchat with it’s own ‘messages will self-destruct after reading’ platform Slingshot. The catch: in order to see what your friend is sending you, you have to send them something in return
  • Ikea kicked off a bit of a storm this week when it transpired that they were forcing the wonderful ikeahackers.net to shut down. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and it looks like the site will stay up, perhaps with a new name. What a massive own-goal that would have been!

Videos of the week

French supermarket took a page out of Sainsbury’s playbook and launched their own version of our ‘Love ugly fruit and veg‘ campaign from two years ago called ‘Les fruits et légumes moches’. Great to see other supermarkets share the love.

OK Go have a new single. The single has a video. As is the norm with OK Go, their videos are always spectacular. This effort features a plethora of optical illusions that will leave you brain bamboozled and clicking that replay button. Must watch!

Durex wants footballers to stop faking it.

And finally

@BoringMilner asks @Asda if they have any stores in Brazil as he’s run out of tea bags. Well played Asda, well played (HT @a_little_wine).

Uber massive Black Cab own goal, Google Glass discrimination and the Flying Dutchman

Uber massive Black Cab own goal

On Wednesday, @a_little_wine and I were enjoying our lunch in the glorious London sunshine. At least until a long procession of Black Cabs showed up, honking their horns and clogging up Holborn Circus and the surrounding roads. Fellow road users weren’t impressed, a colleague missed their flight because they were stuck in traffic to Heathrow and cyclists were being smug as cyclists always are.

The following conversation echoed throughout the office all day:

What’s going on with all the cabs?

They’re on strike because of Uber.

They’re on strike because they can’t spell the German word for over?

No. Uber. It’s a mobile app that let’s you book cars to get you around London. It’s really very good and it’s actually quite a lot cheaper than taking a Black Cab.

@tomparker81 and @amyvwilson were too happy to tell us more about something that until that day we’d only heard about in passing. We learnt about  Uber, that it was cheaper than a cab and that it was very easy to use. I learnt that if I sign up using a code, Amy and I would both get £10 off our next ride. I signed up.

Also, as Rory Sutherland so marvellously puts it in (at 42 mins in this clip), human beings hate uncertainty. Uber takes that uncertainty away because you see the car approaching. You know exactly where and when that Uber car is going to show up. There’s no stress. A few taps and your off.

So Uber has many things going for it.

Now. Cabbies (and many other metered taxi drivers around Europe) aren’t complete idiots. They went on strike because they feel that Transport for London should not allow Uber cars to use a meter (which is essentially what the app does) as this is something only Black Cabs are allowed to do. TFL reckons it is something for the courts to decide upon. Unhappy, they decided to make their case heard.

Rather than help the cabbies, the strike has done the exact opposite:

  • it’s generated huge awareness of Uber on all forms of media
  • it’s caused a 850% spike in registrations to Uber
  • it’s pissed off a lot of motorists and people who spent an afternoon stuck in traffic
  • it’s generated more smug cyclists. This is never a good thing

I’m not saying that Cabbies don’t have a point. Rules and regulations for metered cabs should be fair. But as we’ve seen with Polaroid, HMV, Blockbuster, etc – if you ignore the way the customer is going, you’re going to have a bad time.

Google Glass discrimination

The Daily Show reports on the horrible discrimination Google Glass wearers – or Explorers as they prefer to be called – face every day. Harrowing.

The Flying Dutchman

The Internet loves an image based meme. And last night, after van Persie equalised for the Dutch with a glorious diving, looping, deliciously weighted header after a magnificent cross from Blind, the Internet had found new material.

Within hours, the ‘shopped images of RVP began appearing in all kinds of marvellous scenes:

Reuters’ Digital News Report

Reuters’ annual Digital News Report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a survey of over 18,000 online news consumers in the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and Finland.

You can find the full report here, for a TL;DR summary, I give you some bullets:

  • Even though not technically new, mobile its seen as the second disruptive digital revolution creating new links between the audience and news outlets
  • People don’t and don’t want to pay for news but more news outlets are moving to subscription models
  • Although Facebook and Twitter are still the platforms of choice for discovering, sharing and commenting on news events, there are new players entering the game. Also: WhatsApp is a surprising big player in some countries – in India for example it was used to great effect to drive people the polls in the last election
  • Journalists themselves are turning into brands and just (if not more) trusted than the media outlet they work for

Bits and bytes

  • The biggest development in journalism has finally happened: Man bites dog
  • I hesitate to link to anything that bills itself as the ultimate guide to anything, but this guide to mobile social media by Buffer is not only good but also full of practical advice. Kudos!
  • No. A computer did not just beat the Turing Test. We have a bit of time yet until we battle Skynet
  • Scoopshot – the app that let’s you take on photography assignments from The Metro, Evening Standard or the Press Association and sell your work. Even brands such as Finnair are asking passengers to share photos from their flight

Videos of the week

VW in China worked with Ogilvy to create an ad that showed just how dangerous texting and driving can be.  Cinema goers were shown the ad as part of the usual build up of commercials and trailers: a monotonous scene shot from the driver’s perspective of cruising down a country lane, counting on them being bored by the clip. What happens next is very effective – if a bit dramatic.

You’ll have seen this during the first few World Cup games, Nike’s ‘Incredibles’ style animated film about a group of heroic footballers (and Rooney) playing the game of their lives against a team of perfect but predictable footballbots.

Why animate? Well, despite all the playacting on the pitch to get the other guy booked, footballers are actually terrible actors (with the obvious exceptions of Vinnie Jones and Eric Cantona), but also because footballers don’t nearly have enough of a sense of humour to actually agree to take part in this splendid little film.

Remember the Old Spice Guy? Of course you do. Turns out he actually was on a horse.

And finally

Tweets from 1998 (HT @tomparker81)

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

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