May 7, 2012

Facebook ‘Likes’ on hangers

C & A are currently trying to influence offline sales in their Brazil stores by showing real time Facebook likes on the hangars of various pieces of clothing.

Online shopping by its very nature is usually simply based on a product photo that obviously doesn’t allow you to feel it or try it on.

They are hoping that peer credibility via real time Facebook likes of their products will influence offline sales since people are likely to at least try on or investigate those clothes hangars with high levels of Likes – it is human nature since most people feel reassured by peer approval.


I love the insight and the strategy – no idea if it has been successful so far.

Great idea but not sure if it’s one I’d hang my hat on… or my Facebook Likes !

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

March 20, 2012

Pinterest: 2 lesser known facts

I’m sure most of you aware of the Internet’s latest star site, Pinterest, which now has approx 13 million site visitors a month.

It is on everyone’s lips at the moment.

Here are some key facts (that you may know) :

  • Fastest site is history to reach 10 million users (faster than Google, Facebook and Twitter.)
  • 80% of activity on site is repinning (at equivalent time in Twitter’s evolution, 1.4% of tweets were retweeted.)
  • Pinterest already drives more referral traffic to websites than: YouTube, Linkedin and Google+ (and it it is still only available by invitation only.)

But here are 2 important facts that you may not know.

I have personally been experimenting with Pinterest to better understand the do’s and dont’s and to see what works and what doesn’t. And so far this is what I have found.

  1. Don’t pin several images in the same Pinterest category in the same hour

In order to avoid spam images being posted, Pinterest only posts one pin publicly per hour per category on your boards. The consequence is that if you are looking for lots of repins and you pin say 3 images in a short period of time, only the first image will be publicly displayed on Pinterest. You will notice that this will be the only image of the 3 you posted that will get repins.

Consequence: if you have numerous strong images that you want to use to maximize your repins, spread them out in terms of when you pin them per board eg no more than 1 per hour.

Here are some personal examples of similar images I had pinned in a short period of time where the first image got significant repins and the second similar image didn’t.



2. Pinterest Users from U.S and UK are very different

In a recent Google Doubleclick Ad Planner Traffic Stats Survey, significant differences were identified between US and UK Pinterest Users :

  • 12 million users in US vs. 200 000 users in UK
  • 3% of U.S Pinterest users are in highest tax bracket vs. 29% in UK
  • 83% of US Pinterest Users are women in US vs. only 44% women in UK

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues when Pinterest in U.K becomes more mainstream.






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

February 23, 2012

Car fuelled by social media…literally!

Amazing social media initiative from Brazil soft drinks brand, Guarana Antarctica, that involves fuelling a car on a journey from Sao Paolo to a party in Salvador, using social media interactions.

What? How does it work?

A Facebook ‘like’ counts for 10 meters of distance travelled in the car and a Facebook ‘comment’ for 20 metres! In order to verify the actual number of metres travelled per interaction, a tablet in the car shows the interactions in real time. (They have currently done 556 000 metres!)

If they don’t get enough interactions for the daily miles required, a system that connects the app to the vehicle ignition will prevent the car from continuing!!

Great way to fuel a real world activity using social media…quite literally ..fuelling !





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

January 5, 2012

Buzzwords and Bullsh#t

The Ad industry is at the beginning of an explosive revolution, not seen since the start of the industrial revolution where processes, technology, innovation all changed so dramatically that the way that business was done and information & products were distributed, were transformed forever.

In 2012, there are lots of similarities to that epoch.

Like our predecessors, we are also continually looking for innovative ways to evolve away from existing paradigms that have existed since the first days of advertising with regards to:

  • technology
  • measurability
  • processes,
  • procedures,
  • skill-sets perceived by the industry to be valuable,
  • different ways to distribute messages and products,
  • changing role of the consumer  and 
  • participative nature of the consumer in creating and distributing the brand message etc.

The earliest days (and we are still in the early days!) of internet as a medium, were very crude, very raw, and very non strategic in many cases, and when it evolved from the ‘push’ of web 1.0 information to the multi directional, participative communication of web 2.0 and beyond, many of those original online pioneer publishers fell by the wayside.

Many made millions and continue to make millions, but many others simply went out of business because of the rapid change. The strongest have survived…for now.

And I think to a lesser degree, that this is going to happen with those claiming to be ‘social media experts‘ in our industry.

We are currently  in a phase where there are thousands of individuals/companies/organizations claiming to have the required skill-sets to exploit these ‘social media ‘channels for brands but at the moment, our industry is simply reacting to ‘Buzzwords and Bullshit’ (a term that I think would make a great album title by the way!) and many ‘experts’ are being hired based on very little or no substance, and lots of hot air.

In many instances, he who shouts the loudest, is getting the Lion’s share (in the short term.)

But in the same way that the Phoenix rose from the ashes in Greek and Roman mythology, and in the way that healthy green tree chutes eventually grow back after a forest fire, in my opinion, this is what we shall experience in the coming years with regards to the 2 magic catch all words – ‘social media.’

Out of the carnage, the strongest will survive and the best social media people to help brands will remain.

My belief is that with data being the driver behind everything in the future in terms of communications/marketing/advertising and even creativity, it is the concrete numbers that will define which ‘experts’ in social media are truly ‘the experts’ in the long term.

An additional important point to mention is that social media is currently treated by many companies as a separate medium that is mutually exclusive from all other media.

However, realistically Social Media is becoming more and more integrated into traditional media channels –  Google predicted in 2010 that 75% of all online display ads shall be social in nature by 2015.

Any company that is able to seamlessly integrate ‘social functionality’ into their corporate culture and their brand communications, and have the numbers to back it up, will be the winners. Consequently, a knowledge of the workings of other mainstream media such as TV, radio, out of home as well as new media platforms, will certainly be an asset.

Example – I believe that in the future, Video content across all media could and should regularly be used to simply kick off an engaging brand initiative to the masses, and that the internet can then take it to another level in terms of a greater depth of engagement, sharing and use of social channels. A knowledge of only online social media will not be enough in such a scenario to maximize the brand benefit.

And don’t forget, that there will be a time soon when the term ‘social media’ will no longer exist because most communication will inherently contain a social element.

So all I’m ultimately saying to brands is, please be careful in 2012 of ‘B and B !!!’

What do you guys think?










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

November 23, 2011

Top 5 weirdest Facebook Pages

In what may well become a regular feature on Robservations, I thought you’d like to see my random Top 5 bizarre Facebook pages . Click on each one to check them out :


#5. Only join If your name starts with A, C, D, F, H, I, J, K, L , M, N

  • >1,3 million page likes


#4. I hate getting texts that only say ”k”

  •  >4,57 million page likes


#3. Saying ”I dunno” when I can’t be bothered to explain something

  • 1,8 million page likes



#2 Saving a file as ‘dyjjyggffj’ because I’m too lazy to write a proper name

  • >3,2 million likes


#1. The guy who discovered milk – what was he doing to that cow?

  • 1,49 million page likes


Moral of this top 5?

Facebook allows you to reach out to a huge number of internet, smart phone and tablet users about ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING! Often, the more out of the box and more abstract, the better to really gain traction.

As I mentioned, this could become a regular feature, I think !! There are some amusing/crazy people out there!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Top 5-10 lists, Useless but amusing | 1 comment - read it or leave a reply

November 17, 2011

Social Networks: Real World Analogies

I wrote an article on the U.S site, social media today, about social search a few months ago and included within it, were some real world equivalents of several major Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+1.

Since I received positive feedback with regards to these real world examples, I thought I would devote a short post simply to this…so here goes..

  • Facebook is the neighbourhood bar

– where we hang out with our friends and acquaintances, see familiar faces, and awkwardly interact with strangers

  • Twitter is the town square

– where we engage with people of common interests and shared experiences, some of whom we know and most of whom we don’t

  • Google is like the town’s main train Station

– We’re all there for the same purpose, (but here’s the key,) we’re just passing through on our way to different destinations. The social interactions in a train station are minimal, at best; even if you see a friend, you’re probably only going to say a quick hello, since you’re specifically heading for your train.

So a Google +1 post is like leaving a post It note on the bench at the main train station – it has little reference, there is no consequence for me to leave the note and it may or may not be seen by my friends. For this last reason, I don’t see a long term future in Google +1 as a personal online social network.

Any thoughts?


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


Stay in touch

design by vclever