Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paid seeding example - Pizza Hut

Earlier this year there was a lot of discussion about 'paid blogging 'on the marketing blogs

Recently I've come across an excellent example of paid promotion on blogs that's done correctly.

A current campaign for Pizza Hut on a number of UK parenting blogs takes the theme 'free activities' and gets the bloggers to write about what they did over the summer with their kids for free, while mentioning the Pizza Hut Kids Go Free promotion.

Examples -

The People's Republic of South Devon

Blogging with Dr P

Fab Mums


Breastfeeding Mums

I really like this because it's clearly listed in all cases as a sponsored post, so it's very open and above board, the bloggers have been given a genuine reason to write, the subject matter is relevant to the blogs, and it's also perfect for the target audience.

As far as I can work out this was done through eBuzzing, but if you know different let me know!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Look-Up Augmented Reality Space Invaders game

When was the last time you saw someone play like this? from Soulbit7 on Vimeo.

Made by Soulbit7, and available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. More here

Well worth 59p of your money at the iTunes app store!

See also this concept from June 2009 - pretty much the same idea, but with real objects as smart bombs:

Monday, September 27, 2010

CNN promote healthy eating through Foursquare

This is an excellent little promotion.

As a follow up (possibly) to this summer's World Cup promo, CNN has created a special service to promote healthy eating and farmers' markets around the world.

Check in at a farmers' market - over 10,000 are covered around the world apparently - and you get access to special offers at the market, in some cases.

Watch the video:

Full info at the Foursquare blog, plus at the CNN Eatocracy site

How to run a Groupon promotion

Groupon is a local, social, couponing company.  Groupon members join a local email list, then get sent two offers per day, local to them.  The offers can only be bought for 24 hours, and are generally limited to one or two per buyer.  Offers only go live when a certain minimum number of people buy, but in the vast majority of cases they seem to sell very well.  Users are encouraged to share the offers on social sites, to encourage friends to buy as well.  The idea isn't unique to Groupon, as it's been done in China for a few years, but Groupon are making the most headway in the West.

Groupon is one of those companies that have got big pretty quietly.  Groupon now boasts over 13 million members, growing at a million a week, so it's far larger than Foursquare, but with much less publicity.

I joined the London email list when it launched, and since then have bought a couple of the vouchers.

It works very well.  Some merchants say they regret using it (this being the most high profile example) but in far more cases the merchants seem to be delighted.

(The highest profile success was this promotion for Gap - showing that large companies can use it too - which sold 440,000, generating $11m in revenue, split between Gap and Groupon)

Groupon have also used merchants to create tutorial videos to show how to get the best out of the service:

The main bits of advice I'd give to someone doing this would be:

1 - Decide what you want out of it, and be sure you know why you are doing it

2 - Structure the deal to these aims - if you want people to sample what you do, skew the offer towards a sample

3 - Structure the financials to what you can afford to do as a promotion

4 - Set up a measurement framework so that you can count coupon redemptions etc

5 - Limit the level of coupons available, and set an expiry date

6 - Be ready for when people come in to redeem - offer the best customer service, and try to up-sell

7 - Similarly be very clear on ts and cs - don't allow more than one coupon per offer, be very rigid on expiry dates etc

8 - Offer another loyalty offer when people are at your location - e.g. buy 4, get one free

9 - Measure the effect, based on redemption, uptake of other offers, customer response and so on

10 - Go to 1, and repeat.

As a customer there are a few things that they can do to improve - for example I don't want to receive teeth whitening offers - but this is definitely a new media and social media success story.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Foursquare checkins visualised on Weeplaces

This is pretty clever - Weeplaces take my Foursquare checkins and turn them into a film:

Dan Calladine's Checkins by

I rarely venture out of Zone 1&2, it seems.

& Please don't stalk me - I'm really not worth stalking!

See also - my checkins visualised on a heatmap.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Visa & McDonalds give you $5 for checking in on Brightkite

This is another example of brands using the location based 'checkin' as a promotion mechanism.

If you visit McDonalds in the US & checkin with Brightkite you get the 'Easy' badge.  Checkin 5 times and you get to level 2, which gives you a $5 off voucher in McDonalds if you pay with Visa.  It's limited to the first 500 users who qualify.  Limiting offers is pretty normal with these sorts of deals; you need to be able to prevent it getting out of hand.

More at the Brightkite blog.

I'm looking forward to the day when these offers start to become common in the UK too!

Update - McDonalds have shared data from a recent promo with Foursquare - 33% uplift in footfall for a $1,000 investment

Gorillaz help launch IE9

Partnerships in music are all the rage it seems!

Yesterday I wrote about the multiple partnerships that Weezer had done to promote their new album, including naming it after the clothing company Hurley.

Now Gorillaz have done a deal with Microsoft to help promote the new IE9.

You can see Gorillaz prominently on this page Beauty of the Web.

& Gorillaz even have a button on their site promoting the new browser, plus this film, available on a stand-alone site, or on YouTube.

"It's like a wizard's portal!"

(I've only seen it in Chrome; it may look even better on IE9)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weezer's partnership blitz

Weezer's new album Hurley came out yesterday, and they seem to have pulled pretty much every trick in the book to promote it.

For example:

Micro-celebries - they're appearing in the videos of over 10 YouTube celebries, including Hot For Words (below) in a stunt previously pulled by Carls Jr.  Full list for Weezer here.

Partnerships - there are several of these.

The main one is with the clothing company Hurley, who have had the album named after them (a first, as far as I know), and created a special range of clothes to celebrate the band.  Tied to this, Weezer have parterned with the store Pacsun to sell the clothes, plus the album was on sale through Pacsun a day early.

They have also partnered with Axe (Lynx in the UK) to arrange a series of secret gigs.  You need to add Axe on Facebook or twitter to find out the dates, locations, and how to get tickets.  Here's the tweet that tells you how to get tickets:

Go 2 Amoeba Music (WSunset/Cahuenga) at 6pm &find dude outside in black AXE top for tix 2the 9/21 Weezer @AXE Music OneNightOnly show! – JWA

They have partnered with Amazon - enter the code PICKDEAL when you checkout at Amazon MP3 (US only) and get a discount on the album

& finally they've partnered with the Jackass team - the video (below) for the new single doubles as a promo for the new film Jackass 3D.

It'll be interesting to see how the album sells, and also whether the fans accept this pretty merciless level of selling themselves

A Better Twitter

Last night, without warning, twitter started to roll out a new version of the site - as they put it in their blog 'a better twitter'.

I haven't got it yet - it's only available to a few users in the US so far - but from the description and video they have made it a lot more engaging and 'rich' than before.  It looks more like one of the apps like Tweetdeck, and can suck in other media like pictures and videos, in the way that Flipboard does.

These are the enhancements:

"New design. The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll -- you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.
Media. Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.
Related content. When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.
Mini profiles. Click a username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets."

While I don't think that there was anything wrong with the existing twitter, this will make it far more like Facebook, and far more accessible to more people.  Twitter always was an acquired taste - it took me more than a year to acquire it after I signed up - but this will speed their growth over the 200 million and beyond.

It will bring more people back to the site and away from the apps.  It will also make it far more influential, and open to brands and advertising, although I certainly don't expect twitter to adopt standard ad units like banners.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Starbucks Doubleshot Show on Spotify

I've written about Playdio, the radio shows on Spotify service before; now Spotify are doing it themselves and creating shows for advertisers.

For example here's the show for Starbucks, presented by George Lamb and Marc Hughes, featuring double shots (geddit) in the form of two tracks by the same album, or two artists who've been in two different bands (today the choice is between Eric Clapton and Paul Weller).

The show is on daily, for the next 4 weeks.

Show 1 is here; show 2 is here.

Very good!

DJ Shadow and Shop-Placing

Shop-Placing is the opposite of shoplifting - you put things into shops rather than take them out.

Banksy did it in 2006 with his version of Paris Hilton's album, and now DJ Shadow has done it to promote his new music.  He's been placing place vinyl 7" records with tracks on in cult record shops near to where he'll be playing gigs.

""The idea is 'shop-placing; it's the opposite of shoplifting. You go into a store, and leave your record in the racks to be discovered later. It's not about being cute, it's about passing the music along in the most unobtrusive way possible. No hype, no shouting, no shot-in-the-void online campaign. Just, ‘Here you go…I’m glad you found it, and I hope you enjoy it.’ I’d rather give away free vinyl than a download, because to me, downloads are so impersonal and soulless.”"

More at PlaygroundMag

It also reminds me of last week's Nike stunt.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Doing a Faithless"

There's a great interview in yesterday's Financial Times Magazine with Brian Message, one of Radiohead's managers, and part of the music company ATC Management, who help bands to make money in the digital age.

Everyone knows about "doing a Radiohead" and it was pretty much a one-off stunt; "doing a Faithless" would probably be appropriate for more bands:

"The Dance is Faithless’s first post-Sony album. Although Faithless didn’t copy In Rainbows’ honesty-box payment scheme, Radiohead’s example was fundamental to the band’s decision not to seek another record deal. “I remember thinking, we’re not as big as Radiohead but we’re big enough to do what they’ve done. We have a big enough fanbase, we can tour places, we sell enough records that we can really control our own destiny.”

Indeed, Armstrong estimates the band will earn more from The Dance than any of their earlier albums. At a major label, a top act gets about 40 per cent of the price of each album in royalties and publishing rights (after repaying their advance). This time around, Faithless get everything bar the retailers’ cut.

In the UK, The Dance is being sold exclusively for a year by iTunes and Tesco. Fiat paid for their latest single’s video and have named a limited run of cars after the song. Music snobs deride Tesco CD purchasers as mindless consumers reaching automatically for the nearest Susan Boyle; a Fiat midrange saloon is a long way from hipsville. Armstrong, however, is unrepentant. “I never want to compromise the music, but once it’s made I want everyone to hear it, because obviously I think it’s brilliant. I’ve always had that philosophy: use every opportunity to get your music to people.”"

Here's the Fiat ad:

One of their other bands is the much newer Band of Skulls.  Check out their website for examples of the sorts of things they're doing to promote them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Coke Machine Fairy - Coca Cola's Foursquare treasure hunt in Australia

This is a very clever use of Foursquare by Coca Cola in Australia.

Building on the idea of the Happiness Machine, the Coke Machine Fairy is placing special 'winning' bottles of Coke around Sydney.

The 'Fairy' checks into a venue, announces it on Foursquare and twitter, and then the first person to get to the Coke machine and find the bottle gets the prize.  In face they've set up the Coke machines as entities in twitter, which is very smart.  See one here.

Here's an example:  Yesterday a bottle was dropped off near Chinatown at 6.27pm. It was found by 6.31.  Quick work!  The prize was a $300 voucher at General Pants.  Here's the winner:

Excellent stuff.  You can really see this creating a buzz.  Yes, it does 'borrow' massively from the Jimmy Choo campaign, but there shouldn't be any shame in that.  Great campaigns (& Jimmy Choo had a great campaign) will always inspire others.

Destroyer Burrito - Nike with twitter, Facebook Places and a food truck

This is a brilliant and innovative use of multiple technologies:

Nike created a special treat for their fans in Portland.  They tweeted a message to followers of Nike Sportswear to go to the Koi Fusion food truck near to Portland University, check in using Facebook Places, and request a Destroyer Burrito from the truck.

Wrapped in the usual burrito foil was...  a free Nike jacket.  It doesn't say, but I'm assuming it was free. 

I love this because it's clever, it's simple, it's controllable (only a certain number of items to give away), and it's the first use (I think) of the phenomenon of food trucks in America as a distribution channel.  It's also the first (I think) use of Facebook Places for marketing.  Finally, it uses passwords (Destroyer Burrito) in real life, which I think has huge potential.  Hmmm. 

More info here:

Google Instant with Tom Lehrer

Brilliant ugc to illustrate how Google Instant works.

Dare I say it's far better than Google's own version?

Also - Billy Joel version

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Coca-Cola Happiness Machine (UK)

This is a follow up to the original video from January, this time at a London University.

Like the original, it's excellent.  (Students go mad for free stuff!)

It begs the question: How many other 'social' or viral campaigns have transferred well across countries, with different or altered executions?  Most of the really famous ones (all of them?) seem to just to be aimed at one country.

Axe/Lynx is one that does seems to do it well.  The main theme is always the same, but localised to different markets.

Interactive ad for John Lewis

Spotted today on the re-launched Telegraph Fashion site:

Very good!

Who Killed Deon?

A new set of videos on YouTube & Facebook from the Metropolitan Police, promoting the concept of 'Joint Enterprise':

"Joint Enterprise means that if your presence, knowledge or actions lead to a serious crime such as murder you too could be charged with murder.
You don’t have to pull the trigger or stab somebody to be charged with murder. It could be supplying the weapon or driving the killer to the crime scene knowing that something bad is going to happen.
Always think about company - who you’re with and what their intentions are, the choices you make and the consequences of not making the right decision."

Watch the first video, then watch the individual stories of each of the main players.  Can you guess who killed Deon?  & who's getting charged with murder?

(In fact you can only watch the individual videos on Facebook...)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Interactive game on Spotify for Hurts' debut album

This is an innovative use of Spotify:  Manchester duo Hurts have created a 'choose your own adventure' audio book, read by Anna Friel, to promote their debut album Happiness.

Start here.  At the end of each segment (2 minutes or so) choose the route you want to follow, and search for the next installment using the 4 digit codes - for example l7w9.

Each of the endings of the story features a different track from the album.

More info here.

Tweet about Uniqlo #LuckyCounter and get a discount

This is excellent:  Uniqlo have a new promotion in the UK to celebrate the re-launch of their website. 

Their promo page features 10 products.  Click on any product and you get re-directed to a page letting you tweet about it.  The more tweets the product gets, the more the price drops. Your followers see something like this:

This is part of a growing trend of reciprocity.  Ask your consumers to raide your profile and give them a reward for doing so.  The Paul A Young Foursquare discount that I wrote about last week is a much less direct example.

With many, many thanks to Neville Doyle for the tip!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Paul A Young's Foursquare offer

I discovered this one yesterday as I was walking through Camden Passage, near Angel in London.

When you check into the chocolate shop Paul A Young on Foursquare you get a free truffle (price £2.00).  No conditions, no quibbles, just very straightforward.  Of course once you're in there you feel honour bound to buy something else (I did anyway), and so it works well in getting you into the shop.  The offer is also valid at the other branch, in the Royal Exchange.

If people start to exploit it they can turn it off.  In the meantime go there and claim your free chocolate!

A hunter kisses a bear, A hunter dances with a bear...

Tipp-Ex have produced one of the best YouTube stunts I've seen.

A relatively standard video NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear! shows a hunter surprised by a bear at his campsite.  He then picks up a gun, and you can choose whether he shoots the bear or not, using YouTube annotations.

In the course of the next video, whichever option you choose, the hunter then hijacks the video, reaches across to the Tipp-Ex ad next to the video, and blocks out the word 'shoots'.

You can now type in your own word, and get a completely new video showing that situation, for example:

A hunter kisses a bear

A hunter dances with a bear

A hunter eats a bear

...& so on.  It's fun to try to find new ones. Try your own here

(Deep linking to videos not possible - you need to type the words in yourself)

Really, really well done.  It's a knowing update of Subservient Chicken, but using better technology.  It shows the value of YouTube.  As with recent stunts for Old Spice and The Expendables, there's no other site on the internet that this would work on, based on the reach and the capabilities.
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