christiewillo

Brand director at Ginger.

Homepage: http://christiewillo.wordpress.com

Another social media boo boo…

Time and time again we see it, people and brands making foolish mistakes with significant repercussions within the world of social media. Nestle famously botched things up for themselves by demanding a fake Kit Kat commercial (produced by Greenpeace) slamming them for their use of Palm Oil, be removed from the web. The video which up until that point was far from a viral success, suddenly went around the globe faster than Greenpeace could have dreamt it to. All thanks to Nestle ruffling feather. The public barrage aimed at Nestles poor handling of the case and sudden attention on their use of Palm Oil did not do them any favours and is now a case study that I personally feel every client should take note of.

One would think that with such a large brand going through such a public PR battle via social channels, some lessons would be learnt.

Apparently not.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole is the latest to thoughtlessly act via a social media platform and surprise surprise, is now watching his brand fall from grace. Kenneth made the very foolish choice to hijiack a hashtag in Twitter to promote his latest collection. Now hashtag hijacking is not rare, but it’s use can not be taken lightly. To do it requires very strategic thinking or it can backfire. Like in this case. See image below:

The Cairo hashtag was being used as a news source to share events from troubled Eygpt. The most insensitive thing about this, is that a significant amount of people are losing their lives due to the unrest. This is no time at all for a brand, representing something as irrelevant as fashion, to hijack a hashtag where concerned users are sharing serious content.

Bad move.

But I will give credit to Kenneth Cole for addressing his stupidity via an apology post. Despite it seeming to be heartfelt, he has opened himself up to an onslaught of criticism. See the comments here.

Surely it’s time that we, as brands (and even individuals – no need to remind us all of Stephanie Rice’s Twitter mishap where she lost her Jaguar sponsorship), learn that as we join online conversations we are involving ourselves in a very transparent and dynamic environment. We must think logically and strategically and above anything else, we must use some common sense.

 

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Monster or mouse?!

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Sony’s new-ish Facebook app – Media Monster Wars (first hit attention August last year). And with Justin Timberlake headlining the experience, naturally I was intrigued.

It’s a really neat example of an integrated social media game that generates a monster from analysing your own Facebook content. Which means the more active you are (the more likes, photos, comments, shares and interaction you have) the more powerful your monster will be. Then off you go to share the app and battle your friends. And if you’re powerful enough, then why not challenge JT himself.

Or so the promo video shows.

Here’s where I insert a #fail. I’ve tried a couple of times now to make a monster. One both occasions the “generating and optimising media monster” part of the process took well over 8-10 minutes, only to stop and start the process again. From the start….

Which leads me to my belief: there’s one key element to developing a great Facebook apps: keep it simple.

Sure there is room to dazzle people with a fabulous user experience, but don’t risk a botched attempt at brand interaction by doing too much; crashing apps only result in one thing – irritation. Not good for any brand.

Especially not in this case for Sony, who no doubt is paying significantly for JT’s appearance. If users can’t get the opportunity to challenge him with our monsters, then where’s the ROI?!

 

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Super-sized thinking

As the world gets smaller, we all get to share more big thinking.

It doesn’t get any bigger than the American Museum of Natural History’s launch of Dinosaurs :IPad.

Released to coincide with the holiday season, the app is something of a new media experiential coup. Extending, as it does, the thrill of discovering the Museum’s collection to a global audience.

Featuring over 1,000 high-res images, the app not only delivers to subscribers fast access to all the facts. It also enables real-time chats with other dinosaur lovers at home or even on an exploratory dig.

The really great thing is, this app doubles as a stunning advertising & PR device for the Museum’s forthcoming “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs” exhibition. Imaginatively created, to focus on a group of dinosaurs that lived for over 140 million years.

Given the popularity of the baby elephants at the Melbourne Zoo, a Jumbo app could be a timely addition in the very near future.

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New Year High Resolution Sports

Sponsor Me has just launched the world’s first action-sports social media site sponsorme.com. The website aims to connect potential young sporting champions of tomorrow with today’s top sponsors.

It appears to be a Win-Win. Adrenalin-junkies are also getting to see the hottest action –sports events live in HD across lots of different viewing platforms. iPad, iPhone, Droid Pad, Samsung Galaxy Pad and Google Pad are all in Sponsor Me’s sights.

Endorsed by stars such as Sunny Garcia and Bruce Irons, live webcasts will cover high profile professional and amateur evenings including surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and motocross.

It’s all going off, with the Premier Online Action-Sports Competition offering $100,00 cash for the best video posting.

Best put turbocharging my Rossignols on my things-to-do list pronto.

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Stocking fillers

It was the night before Christmas and not a mouse was stirring. Don’t you believe it!

Pre-Christmas game releases have had computer mouses and game consoles roaring way into the early hours of the morning. Check out the high-octane line-up:

But can they hold a candle to Super Streetfighter IV?

Beware your milk and cookies Santa. It’s game on out there.


 

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Closing eyes and opening minds

What is social media? Is it tweeting your brand’s retail offers? Managing your branded Facebook page? Sharing company videos on YouTube?

Sure.

But we think it’s much more than that.

We think it’s about involving an audience in your brand message. Exciting their senses; getting them to feel, think AND do something. Taking the brand message from the advertising channel and into their lives.  That is what the ‘social’ part is all about.

As for the ‘media’ bit, well we don’t believe that it’s necessarily confined to social networking platforms either. Instead, we like to look for socially engaging ways to utilise the most effective media channels for each target market.

That’s why we love this cinema campaign by BMW.

BMW have found an impressive way to engage cinema audiences by using an image projection technique that leaves viewers with the BMW logo on their retinas once they close their eyes.  Truly innovative for a cinema spot.

Not only that, the spot has all the tell tales signs of a BMW piece. It’s highly emotive, beautifully shot and taps into all the BMW brand propositions. Even I, as someone who’s never driven a motorbike, felt the adrenalin pump through my veins…. And the takeout – the logo etched in my mind (literally) was just the icing on the cake.

It’s a wonderful example of innovating in traditional media in a way that takes the brand into the lives (or the body in this case) of the audience.

Now who’s up for a test drive?

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Google up for auction

Now that got you.

The global super brand Google has just launched real-time ad auctioning in Australia. Its DoubleClick Ad Exchange gives ad agencies and media buyers the chance to bid for space online across hundreds of high profile publications and entertainment sites.

Apparently this will result in more efficient space allocation. It also means that ad space is sold closer to its real value, rather than at a predetermined average space rate.

The market will no doubt decide who the ultimate winner is.

One thing’s for sure; Google won’t be “going, going gone” any time soon.

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Making a worldwide difference

Recently a new green file format was unveiled – WWF. Simply put, it is a PDF that you can’t print out. By downloading the software, you can convert almost any file to a WWF.

A neat idea, given the huge amounts of paper still being consumed, despite recent efforts to curb paper overuse. Many organisations have adopted a ‘think before you print’ or ‘no email printing’ policies, but those policies don’t definitively stop email printing.

But the real kicker with this idea is the software is a lot more than a resource friendly tool. It’s actually a great example of a brand, creating a movement that could result in significant social change.

Here’s a little history. The WWF software was created by the German branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (aka the WWF). The group’s vision is “To halt and reverse the destruction of our environment”. Much of their work focuses on the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, particularly forests, so the creation of this software is extremely brand relevant.

To produce a tool that can be so easily downloaded is already a great achievement, and to name it after their brand, will provide excellent exposure. Imagine if just one in every 1000 Australians used it, let alone the world. It would have profound results in changing our paper consumption. Which in turn, would assist in reversing the destruction of our environment. An outcome 100% true to the WWF’s brand vision.

Well done WWF. No “Green Washing” here.

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