March 29, 2011

Bring home the bacon in 2011

Following my Christmas day post of weird gifts that included Squirrel feet earrings, decapitated teddy lamps and foetus shaped cookies ( click here to see that 25th December 2010 post), here is my Spring 2011 Top 5 odd gift list :

5, Bacon Wallet – For those that think that pigs are so money, what better way to bring home the bacon than a tasteful wallet. I don’t think it  comes in scented versions yet, but who knows.

4, Bacon bandages – Continuing the pork gift theme, why not cover that nasty knee wound with a nice bit of streaky. Every one knows that salty, bacon fat keeps nasty infections at bay.

3, Handerpants – For those of you wanting to keep your extremeties toasty in winter, warm them with these fantastic, stylish handerpants – after all, you don’t want to be caught going ‘hand commando,’do you?

2, Finger Tentacles – Be the envy of your friends, by instantly transforming your digits into sea-life (well at least one that has possibly lost 3 tentacles in a boat propellor accident) with these ‘must have’ finger tentacles.’ Guaranteed to break the ice at parties when shaking hands with the host.

1, Oil painting of a Squirrel in underpants – Fed up of seeing naked squirrels constantly running across your lawn – we can’t do anything about them unfortunately but at least you can have more modest rodents inside your home, by hanging this beautiful one of a kind oil painting of a squirrel in underpants.I know where you can get some nice squirrel feet earrings too, actually!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Useless but amusing | 2 comments - read them or leave a reply

March 25, 2011

Bye, bye traditional CV, hello 2011 CV!!!

I just love what this guy did by using a QR code to deliver his video CV message  - it combines the real word with the virtual world.

The prospective employer receives a hard copy of the candidate’s face by email (or real mail) with an explanation of what to do on the back of the sheet.

He/she then takes a photo of the QR code located on the photo, and places the iphone in the allocated space on the face photo to see what the mouth has to say !! Genius. Click on image below to see it work.

In times when new positions are hard to come by, what better way to breakthrough the ‘advertising candidate clutter’ and get noticed by a potential employer?

It reminds me of the other highly innovative way that a creative ad guy in U.S found a job via an SEM campaign by buying keywords of the names of his prospective future employers at other ad agencies. His insight was that senior people often type their own names in Google to see what search results appear about themselves.

In his case, he was right, because he got a job based on his online CV being seen by a future employer typing his own name in Google and consequently seeing the guy’s self promotional text link ad, that clicked to his online CV! I think it cost him less than $10 in keywords to land the job.

Looks like no-one’s targeting me via SEM, asking for a job at the moment, but then I don’t type my name in Google…..very often!! Hehe.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

March 24, 2011

‘Color’ – the new photo-centric social network

I just got a heads up that a new start up called Color launches tomorrow, 24th March 2011, as a Twitter style app that is likely to explode onto the social media scene in US and Europe. The next Facebook or Twitter perhaps. Here is their logo.

Some key points about the color App are:

  • It has been built by engineers from Google, Linkedin and Facebook  - sounds like a good pedigree
  • They bought the Color.com URL for $350 000
  • It is a unique photo sharing app for smart phones (but is unlike any of the numerous others on the market!)

  • Every photo and video taken is stored in the cloud and can be seen instantly by anyone nearby – since the images are stored in the cloud, there are no memory issues
  • Every photo or video is immediately considered public, as with Twitter
  • You can choose to either take photos or videos of a place, or simply consume those taken by others currently in your vicinity!
  • Visual thumbnails grow darker or lighter depending of your level of connection with others in your network

Remember today the following stats in its Twitter account. Click below to access @color :

When I started writing this post, there were 3 tweets and 117 followers – a very exciting day. Who knows, we could be part of online history  - ‘Where were you when color launched!!’

For further details, click here:

http://bit.ly/colorphotoapp

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Nerdy But Nice, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

March 23, 2011

Look at your man, now back to my blog!

Without wanting to be another blogger posting links to the most successful viral campaign of 2010 by Old Spice, I want to discuss 3 specific learnings that I wanted to share about the approach that their ad agency, Wieden Kennedy, took for this terrific campaign, as well as their results.

Click on pic below to see the original video content that started it off.

1, Incredible Creative Idea

The first thing that Wieden Kennedy did right – they came up with a highly original, entertaining creative idea (with genius casting) that was launched to perfection mainly via TRADITIONAL media channels (Note that this part of the campaign is largely PAID MEDIA and lots of it via TV and Web etc etc!)

This is why corporations need to have access to incredible creative talent to find that ‘buzz worthy’ idea that people will want to share.

If you do not have anything worth talking about for your product or service, you have zero possibility of creating viral media (FYI – wiktionary definition of viral media = media that is passed from person to person.)

It is no different in the non digital real world –  I am not going to talk to my work colleague about an ad or a piece of video at the water cooler, if it doesn’t stand out from the clutter or interest me.

The same applies to a Facebook fan page – it’s probably the greatest social media myth that if you create a Facebook Fan page, then consumers will like it and share it. WRONG (at least, if you have no entertaining or useful content strategy to provide the consumer.)

The real world analogy that I find best explains this empty Facebook Fan page syndrome is having a dinner party, and once your guests have arrived and sat down around the dinner table, you realize that you have forgotten to provide any food, drink or music for them. They are going to leave very quickly and not return! (Even the dog looks disappointed in the pic below!)

2, Micro-content

Look at your man, back to Micro-content.

After the initial Paid Media phase to create awareness for this fantastic creative concept, the Response phase began, whereby Wieden Kennedy identified 186 key, influential, North American Bloggers such as Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg, Perez Hilton etc etc and created 186 tailor made videos that mentioned the bloggers’names specifically in the videos.

These videos were Old Spice’s replies to the bloggers’ tweets about the Old Spice campaign.

In my opinion, advertising is going to become more like this going forward, with smaller, more frequent pieces of video content produced that are more tailor made and less generic in nature.

It is likely to become a lot more fragmented and complicated, and communications between brands and consumers are likely to become more like political campaigns, by reacting to situations in real time based on qualitative and quantitative data.

As an example of how a Canadian competitor, Axe, reacted to Old Spice’s campaign by producing a tailor made billboard , check this out!

Look up, back to me!

3, The campaign results

This campaign allegedly generated an incredible 1,4 billion impressions of visibility in the various media channels; in fact, I would imagine that the actual number is significantly higher than this now.

I noticed that web traffic to Old Spice had gone up 300%. Now 300% sounds like a lot, but honestly, for a site that probably had very low levels of traffic prior to this campaign due to the nature of the site, a 300%  increase vs. a very low level of pre campaign traffic, is actually insignificant if you compare it against the other incredible campaign metrics achieved.

It demonstrates that advertisers can have huge online and offline success from a branding and offline sale perspective, without dramatically increasing traffic to a corporate web site  - Sales increased massively and Old Spice became the number 1 body wash for men. Net takeaway – Let’s not always get hung up on clickthrough rates and driving traffic to sites as online success benchmarks.

Summary

  • Viral Campaigns need an incredible creative idea or utility to be successful – if not, you have nothing.
  • Viral campaigns need to be kick started with Paid Media to create awareness (as a general rule.) If the idea resonates, you can feed it and it may snowball if done well, and if you’re lucky! Difficult to predict the ‘stickiness’ of the big idea.
  • Viral campaigns needs a planned strategy to create and maintain momentum.
  • The majority of Viral or Social Media campaigns are not 100% free – they are a mixture of :
  1. Paid media (buying ads to kick it off and maintain visibility)
  2. Earned media (people sharing the idea)
  3. Paid content (Tailor made, high quality by advertiser) and
  4. Earned content (lower quality, consumer generated)

Viral campaigns should not always be measured by an increase in traffic to a corporate web site – a campaign can still be very successful via increased activity of views in Youtube or Vimeo channels, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other less know social channels etc etc, and of course online and offline sales

By the way, I’m not on a horse….I’m on  a chair!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | 5 comments - read them or leave a reply

March 22, 2011

The social media curve

When it comes to communicating via social media channels, corporations have existing internal realities and procedures that go beyond the marketing department such as legal (and I completely understand this reality from the corporate side to reduce their perceived ‘risk’), but this clashes directly with the notion of innovative, free flowing, fast spreading viral communications.

David Armano has produced a great visual that explains this phenomenon perfectly, with the result that innovative ‘viral’ campaigns are often a highly diluted version of the original idea simply because of these existing, lengthy, internal procedures and processes.

Perhaps shorter, alternative internal procedures need to be implemented occasionally to accomodate these types of ‘viral projects – just as we find in a financial portfolio, the elements that have a perceived higher ‘risk’ are likely to generate an even greater reward.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | 2 comments - read them or leave a reply

March 21, 2011

A smart move for Facebook on less than smart phones

It appears that Facebook has just acquired an Israeli company called Snaptu, an app developer for ‘non smart’ phones, for approx $70 million (it’s first acquisition outside of the US.) The deal is likely to be made official in the next few weeks.

Snaptu says that 95% of the global mobile phone market comprises ‘non smart’ or ‘feature’ phones and so it is believed that this deal should enable Facebook to become a lot more social among a much larger group of phone users.

The new app is an enhancement to Facebook Zero, an existing product for lower end phones, that is believed to be compatible with 2 500 phone models. Click on SNAPTU home page below for further info about their products.

It is still unclear what the other longer term reasons are for this Snaptu acquisition, but in the short term, they’re smart for increasing the Facebook social reach on less than smart phones, that’s for sure.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

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