Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Delta Air Lines is letting fans check in and share their flight information with friends by using their new Facebook application- OSM 

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners were tasked with de-dramatizing the somewhat embarrassing, if not plain awkward, moment when "rubber protection" needs to be discussed - Video 

Cadillac is teaming up with Time Warner and CNN to introduce "Business Unusual" -- a social media campaign centered around documentary-style web video’s that feature stories from successful entrepreneurs- Gear Diary  

David Droga (of Droga5 acclaim) was challenged by Esquire to come up with a campaign that would compel consumers to pay for something they would normally get free. Droga approached UNICEF with the Unicef Tap Project - More   

GE, FedEx, and Softlayer all used creative B2B marketing promotions at SXSW that included social media components to get the word out to fans not present at the event - Social Media B2B 

Coke and the biggest experiment in rock history has Maroon 5 opening up their studio for a 24h live streaming event on Facebook to crowdsource, concept, write, record and produce a new song in just 24 hours. Check out the website or video

British Airways latest promotion let’s you ask questions (via SMS) to find out more details about an island - if you guess the location, you could win a 7-night stay on the Caribbean island - Video 

NCAA's new NCAA Vault streams every moment of the past decade's March Madness basketball tournaments. Viewers can freeze a specific play from any game and share the links with friends on Facebook and Twitter- Marketwire 

Do you ever pitch iPad or iPhone Apps to Clients? If so and you need a presentation prototype -check out Rethink Communications helpful (free) Realizer App

Every Friday this spring, The Home Depot is offering their fans Black Friday-type deals on their Facebook page in addition to the in-store sales events- The Home Depot 

Mitchum's 'The Hardest Working _____ in America' Campaign engaged consumers in a genuine conversation and gave them a compelling reason to interact with the brand (especially up against the likes of Old Spice) - More 

Planters' Mr. Peanut is hosting his own "Ultimate NCAA Bracket Challenge" on Facebook where fans can exchange comments with the brand's iconic character- Facebook 

Old Navy is featuring the two top artists on their Facebook page from their BreakoutBand competition that let fans re-record and remix the retailer's latest commercial jingles- BreakoutBand built a rod containing 80 LEDs with a device that measures WiFi signal strength -and with the long exposure photos captured the mapped signal strength- More

The Power of Transmedia Storytelling - telling stories across multiple platforms and formats – Article and Video  

Coca-Cola, Unilever, The Hershey Company, and AT&T are all using social media during March Madness to keep customers engaged- USA TODAY 
Great advertising should really be fun, engaging and reinforce a value-proposition indirectly (without the consumer being acutely aware). Tribal DDB London nails it with this VW website - True Life Costs Website 

As a part of their new consumer engagement campaign, Keds is launching a road tour shoe design contest and encouraging fans to tweet about their participation using the hashtag #KedsHDYD- DMNews 

Kellogg’s shares how they locked down their global social listening strategy- Vimeo 

YouTube's 2010 Top Ten: The Year in Review - Goodbuzz 

Nokia & Seeper combined a high-powered projection installation with dynamic face tracking, custom optical flow and a completely custom and crazy thing called arrow chess - bringing people right into the projection - Video 

Social Media’s Inconvenient Truth  - Understanding what consumers truly value on social media platforms is a critical first step toward building any Social strategy - More 

IFC's ‘Portlandia’ visits (and spoofs) Wieden + Kennedy HQ – Video 

Brands as Social ‘Movements’ – the MINI ‘Space’ Story 

Uniqlo’s Lucky Counter Campaign - The More Tweets, The Lower The Price- More 

Cadbury Creme Egg "Splat the egg" interactive outdoor game makes waiting for a bus much less boring – Outdoor

W+K and Nokia Create Virtual Paint You Can Splatter and Throw - More

NIKE (W+K) launch a new multi-sport brand campaign around the theme "Boom” - celebrating the big hits - More

DIESEL SNEAKERS global campaign features an ass-themed beat box game and a catalog of the collection - More

Fits.Me's Shape-Shifting Robot Lets You Try On Clothes remotely -More

Creative Facebook ‘Places’ Marketing Campaigns – Part 1 and Part 2

Stealthiest recruitment campaign yet? The rockstar’s at Jung von Matt ambush Facebook ‘Places’ - More

Qualcomm’s ‘Catch the Dragon’ Augmented Reality (AR) Experiential Mobile Promo at the Mobile World Congress - Video

Creative’s looking for some cool ideas using RFID-reading USB peripherals? More

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

♔ Mitchum's 'The Hardest Working _____ in America' Campaign

While the deodorant category at large was gaining attention with high profile, humorous campaigns from competitors, particularly the sophomoric Old Spice, the Mitchum brand seemed out of step with the category.  Mitchum needed to maintain its position in retail and regain its relevance with consumers, so a renewed effort was needed to reinvigorate the old-school deodorant brand. 

In a post-recessionary climate, Mitchum's more serious, hard-working brand values could likely be made to resonate with the public as consumer priorities and values had changed with the recession. Hard work was fashionable again, and when this thinking was applied to the deodorant category, Mitchum recognized that an over-reliance on sex appeal and humor was out-of-step with many real life consumer situations. 

Mitchum saw the opportunity to set itself apart from the frivolous marketing approach of competing brands by celebrating the good old-fashioned hard work of everyday American heroes. 

This was Mitchum's first major campaign in five years, and people no longer remembered what Mitchum stood for, so a modern strategy was required that re-introduced Mitchum to the market.

The goal was to engage consumers in a genuine conversation and give them a compelling reason to interact with the brand.  Also, efforts needed to build upon Mitchum's historical brand equity as the hard-working deodorant and link it to individual consumer stories.  The result?  'The Hardest Working _____ in America'

'The Hardest Working _____ in America' was a platform, which recognized the everyday, industrious American worker, while positioning Mitchum as the industrious American worker's antiperspirant. 

Mitchum launched a search for the hardest working Americans and created a branded entertainment campaign that would unite the brand image with the new national mood.

Award-winning filmmakers Bradley Kaplan (director of Rush Hour and Red Dragon) and Albert Maysles (director of the Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter) were brought in to help create a branded entertainment campaign, based on a contest to find the hardest-working person in America. They created short, documentary-style films about the country's unsung heroes, from a cattle rancher in South Dakota to a baker in Brooklyn. 

The films were used to launch the contest and via TV, print, digital and social media, and a dedicated site, Mitchum built awareness and encouraged entrants to create their own short films nominating someone for their hard work. Viewers could vote on the various nominees via YouTube.  The winner received $100,000 and the chance to be featured in a documentary directed by Maysles.

Mitchum then partnered with the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel to air the winner's documentary and maintained engagement up to the October premier of the winner's film with social media dialogue on Twitter and Facebook, and via personalized emails.  The message was also spread to in-store activity and coupon initiatives.

More than 150 submissions, exceeding benchmark by 53% 
More than 3 million contest video views, exceeding target by 21% 
More than 11 million video views of the films/content, exceeding target by 32% 
Over 200 million impressions 
Over 150 million PR impressions 
Mitchum surpassed its goal for contest votes by over 1,300%! 

Voters had chosen Chad Pregracke, founder of non-profit organization Living Lands and Waters, as 'The Hardest Working Person in America'. Chad had removed over 7 million pounds of rubbish from the Mississippi river and so was regarded as the perfect face for the competition. His documentary More than a Paycheck: Mitchum Presents America's Hardest Workers premiered at the Sundance Festival. 

Sales of Mitchum are undisclosed in detail, but reported by the submitting agency to have risen.

The campaign by Creative Artists Agency and Brett Ratner Brands (BRB) was also shortlisted in the 2011 Festival of Media Awards in the 'Best Communication/ Entertainment Platform'.

Monday, 21 March 2011


Understanding what consumers truly value on social media platforms is a critical first step toward building any Social strategy.  Most companies assume consumers are seeking them out to feel connected to their brand, when in fact, consumers are far more interested in obtaining tangible value.  This suggests businesses may be confusing their own desire for increased customer intimacy with consumers’ motivations for engaging. Consumers have strong opinions about social interaction and, despite embracing social media, their willingness to engage with your brand should certainly not be assumed (or taken for granted).

Why do customers seek out a brand via social media?  Statistics reveal that:

  • Despite the astounding escalation of social media adoption, only a very small percentage of consumers engage regularly by responding to posts and creating their own content.
  • Social Media is about friends and family – not brands. More than half of consumers don’t even consider engaging with businesses via social sites. For them, social media and social networking are about personal connections with friends and family.
  • There are significant gaps between what businesses think consumers care about and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with companies. In exchange for their time, endorsement and personal data, consumers expect something tangible. But businesses typically rank getting discounts and purchasing as the least likely reasons consumers interact with them.
  • While many businesses believe social media will increase advocacy, only a small percent of consumers agree, and the majority believe passion for a business or brand is a prerequisite for their social media engagement. Companies therefore need to find creative ways to leverage peer advocacy and tap the power of the trusted social community.

Businesses need to stay focused on extending value.  Social media is ultimately about interacting with others with an expectation of getting something in return. Even if that “something” is intangible, such as a feeling of connectedness or affection, participants are actively, purposefully seeking value. For businesses, the challenge is unlocking what their customers care about and creating social media experiences that deliver that value.

Consumers are willing to interact with businesses if/when they believe it is to their benefit, feel they can trust the company and decide social media is the right channel to use to get the value they seek. That value could be in the form of a coupon or specific information. Engaging with a company via social media may result in a feeling of connectedness for consumers – an emotional, intangible gain – but the wish for intimacy is not what drives most of them.

Organizations need to be aware that less than half their customer base is likely to interact with them in a social media environment. This can fluctuate, of course, depending on the targeted market for a particular industry or type of business. However, regardless of the customer profile, as businesses build their social media strategies, it is important they ask a fundamental question: “Why would people choose to follow us in social media instead of reaching out via traditional channels?”  The answer may be as simple as: “Because our customers congregate on social sites, and it’s how they want to communicate.” 

For a small segment of your constituents, this may be enough of a reason. However, the real opportunity lies in an organization’s ability to attract others who aren’t so inclined to participate. Companies need to make a concerted effort to communicate openly and authentically with these customers, learn what they value and offer benefits that entice them to act.

Businesses should view this as an opportunity to reach out to both new and existing customers. However, it will likely take a targeted, multichannel campaign that rewards customers for using a social option with further incentives to motivate them to actually interact.  

The fact that customers desire to use social sites to transact with businesses should come as welcome news to companies that want to monetize social media.  Consumers are increasingly using social media to gain recommendations, reviews and opinions from friends, family, experts and the collective social community. Once they access this content, the impulse to purchase immediately can be strong and having to switch channels to transact will increasingly feel like an inconvenience.  

Many consumers ask friends for advice before purchasing, and more than a third turn to external sources – either fellow consumers or independent experts – to get information about a product.  Only a small percentage of consumers rely on retailers and manufacturers alone, therefore the power of the social community’s endorsement and influence can be felt each time someone “likes” a company on Facebook or re-tweets a company’s message on Twitter.  Companies can take advantage of this dynamic by designing social media programs with the explicit goal of touching customers emotionally and motivating them to share their experiences with others.

Organizations need to carefully consider how they can create a social media experience that is unique to their brand, offers customer value, and exploits the power of the social community.

To design a framework for a successful social media program that will help reinvent customer relationships, companies need to accept that social media changes the rules, if for no other reason then because it participatory.  Moving forwards Social Media will become the gateway, if not the primary, communications channel to connect with customers.  

Therefore, as companies design their social media programs, they will therefore need to think of their customers holistically and consider their social media interactions in the context of other customer touch points with the company.  Social Media is about enabling engagement with the customer for the mutual benefit of the customer and the business. The traditional model of managing the customer relationship needs to adapt to the reality that the customer is now in control.

The customer experience also needs to be seamless – across social media and all channels.  A Social Media solution should therefore not be devised as an isolated standalone effort, rather it needs to be thoughtfully integrated with other customer-facing initiatives.  Ultimately, companies need to start thinking like a customer.  Instead of asking why your company should engage in social media, ask why a customer would choose to interact with your company in a social platform. Recast social interaction strategies to focus on giving customers the value they seek and the customer intimacy will come. 
If you aren’t sure what customer’s value, ask them - dialogue and participation is what social media is all about. Devise creative ways to capture the customer insight you need with polls, idea jams and challenges. Let customers participate by voting on their favorite ideas or innovations. In fact, getting customers invested in the outcome will help build the advocacy and brand affinity you seek.

Make it quick and easy for customers to transact directly within a social media experience. Businesses, eager to get closer to customers, are building pages on social networking sites, posting videos and mircoblogging; however, if they don’t focus on what the majority of their customers value in social media, they may be missing the boat. In fact, offering tangible value to consumers may be the strongest incentive to attract the 75 percent of Casual Participants who need a good reason to interact.

A “build it and they will come” approach to social media just doesn’t work.  Much more needs to be done if companies want to attract more than the most devoted brand advocates.  Therefore, companies need to develop social commerce campaigns that target a specific customer need with time-sensitive offers or discounts that motivate customers to act. For people to engage and keep coming back, content should be fresh and relevant. Provide incentives for people to share content with friends to capitalize on the viral benefits a community platform offers. With so much to gain, companies need to invest the effort to understand how to break through the noise and offer current and potential customers a reason to reach out to them via social media.

Need some help getting the most from your Social Media platform?  We're here to help. Contact us today or join the discussion on Facebook.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

♔ YouTube 2010 | The Year in Review

YouTube dovetails in into the zeitgeist of the collective content generation and represents a great opportunity to reach consumers who are searching for information about your brand and related topics. 

It’s an extremely powerful direct marketing tool, provided that it is integrated with the website and considered an integral part of your marketing mix.  The platform extends viewers the widest reach of video content, indexes content extremely well with Search Engines (especially as YouTube’s owned by Google), and thereby ensures content to be as viral as possible.  Moreover, YouTube allows for content to be easily be tagged and tied to trending topics, builds community, allows a feedback mechanism, detailed analytics, unparalleled copyright protection, and a dedicated cross-platform 24x7 channel.

Today, YouTube even extends brands an opportunity for a new revenue stream.  Your brand can share in the revenue generated when people watch your video content.  You can even rent pay-per-view streaming videos directly to viewers allowing for very specific content to be bundled and repackaged.  

Video Content
Not surprisingly, YouTube’s most viewed content in 2010 is as viral as it is topical. YouTube’s trending topics are much like those found on Twitter or broader tools like Google Trends (see Dashboard).  The YouTube Trends feature is still not as prominent as it should be but expect to see it more tightly integrated in YouTube’s design in the not too distant future. 

It’s true.  We’re a fickle bunch.  It’s hard sometimes to figure out why things that have no appeal to us, have such incredible appeal to others.  Such is the mystery of life and the double Rainbow.  While there’s no one secret to getting millions of views, YouTube’s platform does at least extend the opportunity to connect media to people in real time. This modern newsreel becomes both the thread of what is happening, and a reminder of what happened.  With that in mind, here follows the most viewed content of 2010 - first in a YouTube Highlight Reel then individually.  Please note that the numbers as indicated are based upon today versus Dec.31st, 2010.