Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Post Office's Gift Wrapping Tips on Vine

A great set of seasonal Vines, perfect for the 6 second format:





Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

XBox ads in GoggleBox and Fresh Meat on Channel4

This December these ads have been appearing in GoggleBox and in Fresh Meat, both on Channel 4, to show how you can use the XBox One as a media console.  I think it's a very good bit of placement - although I think it must have been pretty close to the boundaries of what is legal, given that people appearing in shows aren't meant to appear in ads near to the shows.

Via Thinkbox

Nokia's Robotic Photos in Turkey

Crowdsourced Robotic Photography from Carat Turkey on Vimeo.

Colleagues in Turkey have done a very neat thing for our client Nokia.  To promote the 41 megapixel camera in the Lumia 1020, they have set up a phone on a robotic arm in Istanbul, and let Facebook fans take photos.  7,000 photos were taken in the first week alone.

It's quite hard to follow the instructions as it's all in Turkish, but you can have a play with it here

& see examples of the photos in the video at the top.

Nice work!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Facebook's 'Donate' Button

Facebook has launched a 'Donate' button that charities can put on their pages, so that people can donate without leaving Facebook.  Facebook isn't taking any commission from this.

I think this is great, and ties in well with my 'Frictionless Payments' trend in my new presentation

Full details here

Casey Neistat's film for the Walter Mitty movie

Love this:  To help promote the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the film company gave YouTube star and film maker Casey Neistat $25,000 to make a video on the theme of 'living your dreams'.  But... he just spent the money on going to the Philippines and helping the people in need.

I think it's great, and it's another example of films making promotion videos that aren't just clips of the film - see also this for Carrie.

Full disclosure - 20th Century Fox is one of my agency's clients

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Trends for 2014

As in previous years, I've produced trends to help us think about how the worlds of technology and media will change over the next few years.
There are lots of things happening, and we hope we have chosen some the most interesting
This year we look at:
Smart Devices
Push Notifications
Bluetooth Beacons
Frictionless Payments
Location & Local
Actionable Intelligence
Borrowed Formats

Beyonce announces her new album on Instagram

Like this, with the caption 'Surprise!'

& here is some more info - 32 tracks on iTunes for £12.99, of which 17 are videos  You can't buy individual tracks, just the whole package, which is pretty smart.

She's also uploaded 30" teasers of all the videos to YouTube - and they seem to be very effective in taking down the full length versions that people are uploading (i.e. I can't find any).  I think this will be seen as the 'Blue'print for future high profile album releases

Update - it seems to have worked - she's broken the iTunes sales record with over 800,000 copies sold in 3 days (Yes, I think that's quite low too, when you remember that Oasis's Be Here Now sold 350,000 physical copies in the UK alone on the first day of release)

The first campaign on Instagram Direct

Instagram Direct was launched yesterday.  It allows people to send direct messages within Instagram.  It's potentially very spammy - you can send messages to anyone, not just people that you follow (Harry Styles must be getting hundreds of thousands of pictures today, for example).

Within hours Gap used it for a promotional campaign, essentially using it as a mechanism for people to enter a competition.

They posted this picture:

With the caption:

"Join our #WIWT @Instagram Direct challenge: first 15 people to comment below will get a message from us to participate!"

They then sent these first 15 commenters this message:

So presumably now some lucky Gap followers have won a nice tablet case.  Full details over at Fasionista

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Old Spice's #GentleManHunt

Old Spice brings Isiah Mustafa to the UK, for a #GentleManHunt, including some personal appearances, all backed up on Twitter and Facebook

& also on Instagram

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Burger King YouTube Pre-rolls

Good work from BK - 64 different YouTube pre-rolls that related to the videos about to be watched, talking directly to the viewer and acknowledging that many people hate the pre-rolls

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Book Thief 'Trailer' on SoundCloud

A nice piece of work by Fox.  It's audio only, but easily shareable.

There's also a link to a ticket page.

iBeacon Examples

We're going to start seeing iBeacons - Apple's way of communicating with phones in physical locations - in lots of places.  I'll update this post with examples as I see them.

Shopkick's trail at Macy's

More about Shopkick at Macy's

Update - this has now been extended, as of September 2014

Free access to premium magazines when in a specific location, like a bar

"Exact Editions, a London based digital publishing startup, has begun implementing Apple's iBeacon microlocation receivers to deliver location-based access to iOS Newsstand publications, reports TechCrunch. The iBeacon receivers are used as a part of the company's “ByPlace“ service, which can trigger location specific publications and other content once an iPhone or iPad is nearby. 
In the first implementation of the program, patrons of Bar Kick in Shoreditch, UK can access soccer magazine "When Saturday Comes" and style magazine "Dazed & Confused" free of charge while at the bar, with the apps reverting to regular subscription status once out of range of Bar Kick's iBeacons."

More about this implementation here

Apple is using them to guide people around their 254 US Apple stores

"GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you're inside, whether it's to pick up an order, upgrade to a new iPhone or shop for a pair of headphones.
On Friday, Apple Inc. will begin using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages about products, events and other information — tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given Apple permission to track you.
Using the iBeacon feature, the app will notify you if the computer you ordered is ready to be picked up, for example. Show a clerk your screen with the order number, and the clerk will get it for you. Walking by an iPhone table? You may get a message asking if you want to upgrade, check your upgrade availability and see if you can get money for trading in your old phone."

More about this implementation here

A demo of mobile payment, enabled by iBeacon in Turkey

“iBeacon technology which is developped with Apple licence has three components. First, iBeacon emulators placed at the stores. Second, Apple’s iOS7 operating system compatible mobile wallet application. And last, the entegration between iBeacon and the iPhone4S and later models. iPhone4S and later models mean 200 million handhelds in the world. iBeacon sends various personalized notifications to these handhelds ranging from greetings to promotional information. For example, when the system realizes a user entering the store, it greets them with notifications like “Welcome!”; other personalized notifications aiming to simplify user’s life follow. One of the most significant features of iBeacon technology is enabling mobile payments. We tested the first mobile payment with iBeacon in Turkey and Europe at Lavazza Cafe located in Vodafone Turkey and it was successful. We are proud to inform you on this achievement.”

More about this implementation here

A Scavenger Hunt at CES 2014

CES 2014 in Las Vegas in January will feature an iBeacon Scavenger Hunt.  It works with the official CES app, and delegates will be guided to various parts of the venue.  Those who visit all of the spots, as tracked by the iBeacons, can win prizes:

"Attendees at the 2014 CES who download the CES Mobile App on iOS or Android devices will be encouraged to explore all areas of the show through the scavenger hunt and will collect badges for each iBeacon they encounter. Specific scavenger hunt instructions are included in the CES App. The first three verified players who collect all of the available badges will be rewarded with a special prize from CES, available for pick-up in the Press Room at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), South Hall Connector, Room S229, during normal operating hours. A limited number of prizes will be available for others who complete the hunt throughout the week."

Not quite sure how this will work with Android devices!  More about this implementation here

inMarket's integration with its app, in Safeway and Giant Eagle Grocery Stores in the US

"The company, which offers a number of shopping and retail apps, is equipping several Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery store entrances with the tiny beacons in an effort to increase interaction between retailers and shoppers with smartphones. The initial launch is limited to various locations in San Francisco, Seattle, and Cleveland, and inMarket plans to expand to other markets and retailers as its campaign continues.
With inMarket’s approach, the iBeacon experience is the same across various retailers as the beacons interface with inMarket’s coupon and reward apps rather than apps specific to the store like in the Apple Store’s case."

More about this implementation here

Mobile payments are being trialled

"Marble Slab Creamery and Moe’s Southwest Grill will be among retailers who soon will offer mobile payments enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy beacons.
As part of iMobile3′s update of its PassMarket platform, participating retailers will be able to add gift card purchases and mobile payment passes to their existing loyalty and rewards programs. Mobile payments are slowly gaining ground and retailers are looking to replicate successful mobile payment programs, such as the popular Starbucks’ one."

Read more about this implementation here

A WSJ report on iBeacons in Baseball stadiums

Update - 19th February - They're coming in pretty thick & fast now - here are links to the most recent:

New York restaurants testing payments through beacons and the Dash app

Tulip Land (!) theme park in the Netherlands uses iBeacons to provide visitors with extra information

Rubens House in Antwerp uses iBeacons to enhance visitors' experence

iBeacons used to send out information about the Super Bowl advertisers in New York & New Jersey

Headcount app uses beacons to let event organisers see attendance figures

iBeacons used with Swirl in the Alex & Ani stores to target information at shoppers

Weve trials beacons in the UK with the pouch app and Eat sandwich stores

Beacons used to sell seat upgrades at an NBA stadium

Placed has an app that let's people use beacons at home - e.g. to do different things in different rooms

Conde Nast's Epicurious is going to use them to send alerts, in participating retailers

French online seller Vente Privee is rolling them out to 1,500 retail locations

Shopping malls in Australia are using them

Mirai Resu restaurant in Japan is using them in tables

Tesco in the UK is experimenting with them for customer service

The UN is using them in a New York museum to simulate land mines

Brazilian teachers are using them to take attendance records

Beacons were used at the Coachella music festival

Beacons were used at SXSW

BeaconCrawl - A bar crawl-cum-scavenger hunt in New York

Beacons are being integrated into Wales' National Slate Museum in Snowdonia

Beacons facilitated a Faberge Easter Egg Hunt

Beacons are being used at the Tribica Film Festival in New York

Carrefour has a new store in France which uses about 200 beacons for indoor geoloaction to 2m accuracy

Tzukuri sunglasses have beacons built in to help owners find them if misplaced

Virgin Atlantic is using beacons at Heathrow airport

Walgreens Piloting iBeacon at 10 Duane Reed Locations

Waitrose trials iBeacons, 'grazing' areas and juice bars at experimental Swindon store

iBeacons used at Duane Reade pharmacies in New York

'More than 100 stores in Regent Street, London have beacons

Meadowhall near Sheffield is using iBeacons to send out vouchers during a special shopper event
See an example here

iBeacons used at Leinster's RDS stadium in Dublin

Beacons used in conjunction with the Brixton Pound in 'London’s huge Brixton neighborhood'

Beacons are being used in Odeon cinemas in the UK to welcome people to the cinema, and provide special offers

Easyjet is introducing integration with iBeacons in its iOS app

Marriott International is testing beacons as part of its reward programme

Levi's is using them in outdoor ads

Analytics from 100 beacons at Bonnaroo music & arts festival in Tennessee

Start-up SnipSnap is using Beacons to send coupons to shoppers' phones in the US

Bluetooth could be used to help guide the blind around London underground stations

A scavenger hunt in a baseball stadium

Tesco & IPC in the UK - offers for discount magazines

John Lewis (UK) has invested in a Beacon  start-up

Regent Street in London has an iOS app that uses Beacons

Beacons have been installed in Miami Airport

Sky Bet is testing Beacons at Football League grounds

Bookatable used Beacons at the London Restaurant Festival

Case study - American Eagle shoppers who use ShopKick were sent a push notification when they entered the store, saying they'd get 25 points for trying an item on - people who did were twice as likely to buy something than people who didn't

Beacons are being tested to target location-based ads at people riding on buses

Nivea & Coca Cola are using Beacons in Brazil

Facebook is testing Beacons in New York to give users Place Tips

Aftonbladet & Unilever use Beacons for retargeting in Stockholm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ryan Gosling Day at Asos

Today is Ryan Gosling's Birthday, and Asos have created this page in his honour.  It's basically raining Ryan Gosling.

I think this is fun, and pointlessly fun, but Ryan is clearly a big deal on the site when you see how many different looks have been created around him and his style.

They are the top result (for me anyway) for the term 'Ryan Gosling get the look'

& Asos' house band (!) also played a song in tribute to him

Durex' ad for Singles Day in China

I'm told that this is genuine - and that the text reads 'Just because you're single... doesn't mean you aren't sexy'

More background on the ad and Singles Day (11/11) here

Singles Day was bigger than ever in China this year, with $5.7bn spent on Alibaba's online stores

Friday, November 08, 2013


A lovely ad for an American Veterans charity Degage Ministries:

Update - nearly 14m views for the video in just over a week.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The first ad on Instagram

Michael Kors was the first brand to advertise on Instagram, with the picture below posted to its own account, as well as to some accounts that weren't followers.

The brand's pictures normally get between 20,000 and 60,000 likes, and this one has had over 200,000 but I'm not sure whether this is due to the increased reach, or the fact that it's the first ad.  (Probably a mix of the two).  There were also far more comments, with some being negative.

This is how it looked as an ad, with a 'Sponsored' note on the top right hand side

Update - it added 33,000 new followers

Friday, November 01, 2013

Tweet a Coffee to a friend

Tweet a Coffee is a new featured offered as a partnership between Twitter and Starbucks in the US.

If you have a Starbucks card you can link it to your Twitter account and very simply send a friend a voucher for $5 credit, by Tweeting @ them.  Full details in the video below, and on this page as advertised by this Tweet:

I think this is Twitter's first foray into payment, and I expect there to be many more, given founder Jack Dorsey's obvious skills and connections in this area.  He owns Square, who has launched Square Cash, which lets you transfer money simply by emailing.  It's pretty much the same thing, but letting you do it by Twitter will make it seem more immediate.

Another thing:  Starbucks accounts for 90% of US mobile payments, according to this report.


I love the 'Peanuts' Instagram account - it's a great way to get the brand in front of a whole new generation.

They post a couple of times a day, with a mix of pictures and video, and have made a big deal of Halloween, as you'd expect.

Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, was recently named as the 3rd highest earning dead celebrity after Micahel Jackson & Elvis.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Campaigns 2013

As Halloween grows larger every year, brands are putting more and more effort into doing things around it.

Here are some examples from this year:

O2 are adding a Halloween element to their 'Be More Cat' campaign

& using today's promoted trend on Twitter to get people to enter a competition by searching #HalloWin to find a secret code (it's 666)





Tide (part of a series - see more by searching for the  #ScaredStainless hashtag - which are also being used on Digital Out Of Home sites)


Marks & Spencer

Pizza Hut

More Vine examples at Unruly and The Realtime Report

Audi on Instagram

Gatorade on Instagram

Domino's are asking people to make a 'Box o Lantern'

See patterns to cut around on their dedicated Pinterest page

Asos are doing a 'Tweet a Scary Selfie' competition on Twitter

Any good ones I've missed?  Tell me in the comments or on Twitter (I'm @dancall)

See last year's examples here

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Great Phone Swap

Nice stunt:  iPhone users at a Swedish festival were allowed to charge their phones for free, but use a Sony Xperia while their phone was charging.  More than that though; the new phone had special offers, and even an Instagram competition where you could win.

A good way to get people to put your product through its paces.

Monday, October 28, 2013

How ads will look on Instagram

Some examples shared already (but not yet seen by me 'in the wild')

All are using existing photos that had high levels of engagement, with a discrete 'sponsored' logo in the top right hand side.

You can see the Instagram advertising page here


(Used earlier here)

adidas hoops

(used earlier here)

Lexus USA

(Used earlier here)

Ben & Jerry's

(Used earlier here)

More examples on Techcrunch here

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Call of Duty trailers on Instagram

These have been appearing for a few weeks:

(Note that they're not new 'Instagram ads' - they're short videos posted to Instagram)




They're not using the full 15 second allowance, and they're clearly not made with a mobile.

The game launches on 5th November - I'll update with more videos as they appear.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Asos discount codes on Snapchat

A really nice use of Snapchat - on 4th October Asos sent about 10 different discount codes to their followers.  You had to write the codes down quickly (or - um - take screengrabs like I did) because they disappeared after ten seconds.

Asos are 'asosfashion' on Snapchat - follow them for more

The Paper Kites: Young


The Paper Kites: Young from Oh Yeah Wow on Vimeo.

"7 days to shoot 350+ faces, 10 days to assemble 4000+ photos. Oh Yeah Wow & The Paper Kites present: Young"

Created by Oh Yeah Wow for The Paper Kites

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three examples of brand campaigns on Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is currently going from strength to strength - a new UK office doing great things, 85m monthly uniques globally, and profitable.

Brands have been using it for a while, using their own content channels, rather than using banner ads.

Here are 3 interesting things, in keeping with both brand values and the rest of the content:

Virgin Mobile - 10 movie plots that would have completely changed if they had cell phones

Virgin Mobile - 11 Things No One Wants To See You Instagram - done when Instagram for Android was released

Toyota - The 20 Coolest Hybrid Animals

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Time to f**k with some customers"

There's a new Carrie film coming out apparently...

This has had 35m views in 7 days.  Just part of the trend towards using hidden camera TV formats for ads (see also 'red button in Belgian market square' and lots more)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Uses of Apple iBeacons

iBeacons are (potentially) Apple's secret weapon in the retail war.  They use Bluetooth to communicate from a fixed point to iPhones.

Below are some examples that were demoed by Major League Baseball (MLB) last week, to show how they might work in a sports stadium.

According to the description iBeacons could replace how people are currently using NFC (or not using it), and also augmented reality.

"MLB demonstrated the new technology on Thursday at the New York Mets' Citi Field, showing off several potential applications. Fans who purchase their tickets from MLB could have the tickets' barcode automatically displayed on their device as they approach the gate, for example, alongside a map of their seat location. Those who visit a concession stand might be given a virtual "point card," while fans shopping for merchandise can be served coupons upon entering the team store. 

Since the features can be customized for each team and each ballpark, they can also be used to turn the stadium into a sort of "living museum" — part of Thursday's demonstration had the app play a video about the history of the Mets' iconic home run apple when standing near the statue."

More updates as I find more examples.

Friday, September 27, 2013

McDonalds #MightyWings campaign across different platforms

I'm sure this must have been done before, but the McDonalds #MightyWings campaign is a good example of a campaign running across multiple digital platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

The story is that someone has stolen a box of #MightyWings - but who..?







More on the campaign here

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Here are some examples of stickers used within messaging apps.

Barcelona & Real Madrid have official sticker sets in Line (which apparently has grown to 15m users in Spain)

Path is offering lots of stickers - e.g. these ones for Breaking Bad

Plus NFL stickers, and the new Sony movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Facebook has also launched some, including these for Despicable Me 2, and some more are being added for a Bollywood film.

(In fact since that was out in the summer it shows how late I am to this.  & also, are these any different to the MSN messenger emoticons?)

More background on the rise of Stickers here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jamie Oliver Vs. Kevin Bacon

Lots happening here - a tie up to promote both Jamie's Food Tube YouTube Channel, and EE, who has just signed Jamie to be a spokesman.

I think that the new YouTube channels will be full of cross promotions like this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Was I singing?"

No real innovation, just very well done.

"Was I singing?"

Also, if you pause the video at 20 seconds, and then 33 seconds you'll see who he was dreaming about, and who he was trying to get away from.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tweet-able trailer for We're The Millers

I haven't seen this done before:

A French trailer for We're The Millers on YouTube let's you Tweet directly from YouTube, as an annotation.

Have a look - it should work when embedded too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dunkin Donuts' Vine film Shown as a TV Ad

Last night history (of sorts) was made in the US when Dunkin Donuts showed a 5 second Vine film in place of the usual static image during the Monday Night Football show on ESPN.  Generally brands just show an image for 5 seconds.

The Vine showed a re-creation of action using Dunkin Donut cups as players.

Full info here

Earlier - The movie Stoker made a TV ad out of animated gifs

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Million Second Quiz

The Million Second Quiz premières tonight on NBC.

Where Simon Cowell understood the way things were going 5 years ago (or so) and created 'event' shows that both demanded to be watched live, and also created short clips perfect for YouTube, the Million Second Quiz aims to create something that can be played along on mobile before, after and during the show.

The concept is this:

The quiz runs continually in real time for 1 million seconds, or about 12 days.  There is a nightly live TV show.

Contestants battle to stay in the 'money chair' and win money for $10 each second they can stay there, in a 'winner-stays-on' against other contestants.  (So theoretically if someone stayed in the chair for the full million seconds the prize would be $10m)

Contestants have to answer the question in 5 seconds

It's live, so the questions are potentially written every day

Contestants live in the studio for the entire time, a bit like Big Brother, or Deal or No Deal

The top four players cumulatively are placed on 'Winners Row' and at the end of the quiz these four get to play for an additional $2m.

The interesting bits for me are:

There's an app, which is already live, and millions of games have already been played on it

It's live, with a set cast of contestants, so you can root for your favourite

There are going to be lots of talking points.  You can follow the show on Twitter & Facebook,  & Instagram and they are using hashtags like #MoneyChair and #MSQ
I've called these things wrong before, but let's see how this one plays out.  If it's a success, expect to see it in lots of other countries very soon.

Update - It seems from this review that it's all a bit complicated...

Update - Now that it's over it seems like it didn't work in the ratings, peaking on 5.4m for the finale

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Cornetto Megamix

This makes me want to buy DVDs


See the official Tumblr here

'How-To' Videos

Video is eating the world, as the saying goes.  Video is one of the most popular things that people do online, over 100 hours are uploaded to YouTube every minute (& YouTube is only eight years old), and so on.

Companies are now using short videos as ways of communicating things they would have done in text previously, and completely beyond traditional advertising.  We've seen great examples of this from Lowe's...

& from NatWest...

& I'm sure this will grow.  Look at the sort of content that LifeHacker is now putting up on YouTube -

This one on how to pack a suitcase

& also this life-changing (I'm nearly serious) video on how to eat a chicken wing.

I think that this could soon be a new land-grab; something that the smartest brands will want to own.

Update - this from ASOS

& this from Samsung - not really 'how to' but a long product demo

Oreos have also got some nice ones, for example

'6 Fruits You're Eating Wrong'

Monday, September 02, 2013

Using Twitter for data collection

Twitter have just published a short case study on how you can use their 'cards' (the expandable bit in tweets) for data collection (e.g. collecting people's email addresses).

In the example they cite, it couldn't be easier to give the brand, Rock/Creek your email address.  Just expand the brand's tweet, and then click on the Sign Up Now button, and it sends your email address to them.  It would be just as easy on mobile.  (no***@gm***.com is a shortened version of the email address that I use for my Twitter account.)

This is part of a trend to make things simpler and more seamless for users.  You can also see this in Facebook's decision to let brands host promotions on their own pages, and also the things that will be happening around payment.

Imagine if instead of sending your email address you were sending your payment details, to pay for a specific item, like pair of trainers?

Volvo's Hook

This shows a company president who has a very strong faith in his own products...

Currently getting lots of views!

See also this one from earlier from a company that makes bulletproof glass - even more faith

Dizzie Rascal's Gif Video

This video for I Don't Need A Reason is effectively just a collection of gifs.

Dizzee Rascal | I Don't Need A Reason from DIVISION on Vimeo.

We've already seen this done as an ad for a film - when are the major advertisers going to do it first?

& while we're on the subject, which brand is going to be the first to #Twerk?

Via Metafilter

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Airbnb's 'Hollywood & Vine' competition

Another very creative use of Vine.  Airbnb are going to make a full length movie six seconds at a time, by asking their Twitter followers to make individual segments.

& with this vine:


Update - the finished film:

Personalised Coca Cola Posters

This is a nice stunt from Israel, and a good way to use the 'names' campaign idea

Friday, August 16, 2013

NatWest's Student Tips on Vine

Today British bank NatWest has bought the promoted trend #UniProof on Twitter to promote their studen accounts (yesterday was the day British students received their A Level results, meaning that many now know whether they can go to university or not).

As you can see from these Vines, they're taking the 'Top Tips' approach, also used by Lowe's the US DIY chain - see earlier post here.

It's great that we're now starting to see so many really creative uses of Vine.  I knew it would catch on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"I'm 13 and none of my friends use Facebook"

I've been sent this article from Mashable a couple of times, and I think it's very persuasive - she's a great writer - but...

- Yes, Facebook has become more complex in the past few years, but that's because (I think) it's trying to do all of the top 20 things comScore says people do on the web - mail, messaging, videos, photos, events, music, news, search, and more.

- Facebook has reduced the visibility of games, much to the detriment of people like Zynga, but that may be a deliberate attempt to have fewer younger people (especially people under 13, who have to lie about their age to join, as many kids have done)

- 13 year olds may grow into it, when they and their friends organise more events of their own, get engaged, have families and so on.

- Facebook is probably more interested in 33 year olds than 13 year olds; most 33 year olds I know live their lives on the site.

This is a very good discussion of the article, and also this is something I wrote about social networking 7 years ago, saying that basically the cool kids will always find new bars to go to.

I think Facebook's strength is that they appeal to the mass, not the cool kids.

But they also have the cool kids through their purchase of Instagram.

How videos go viral on Twitter

There's a good piece on the Twitter blog about how 3 videos went viral on their site.

The three they look at are Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal, NASA's Space Oddity, and Bodyform's Real Beauty Sketches.

I think 'Ryan Gosling is the most interesting, because it was on Vine, and so will have been almost entirely spread by Twitter.  It's interesting that it was seeded out to two very popular accounts Best Vines Ever and Vine Loops, and then people re-shared from them - see a video of the spread below:

At the end of the post they produce these 4 conclusions:

"1. Twitter users love video
Tweets containing video have strong engagement rates, with 42% likely to retweet, reply, or mention brand Tweets that contain a fun or interesting video.

2. Videos are easily shareable
Videos integrate seamlessly into a Tweet, and every Tweet is instantly shareable. Make sure you devise a hashtag to organise the conversations around the video campaign and messages.

3. Promoted products amplify your reach
Use Promoted Tweets and Trends to help surface and amplify your message. Combine with interest and keyword targeting to hit the right audience.

4. Get creative with Vine
Vine lets you create six-second looping videos that are instantly shareable on Twitter. And if you really love it you can Re-vine!"

See also these two posts on how things happen on Twitter - momentary massive trends on Jan Moir & Jessie J

Friday, August 09, 2013

Best Vines - a 'Fast Show' for YouTube

I know that there are lots of these videos out there, but this is a great compilation, effectively a Fast Show for YouTube, with more ideas in a minute that almost any other YouTube video, and a very high hit rate.

Via The Next Web

Relaunching Bebo

This video is hilarious.  Whether or not they can relaunch Bebo, this is so much more engaging (I think) than the one Myspace made for their relaunch.

It was made by Rubber Republic who make Bodyform's The Truth video, and you can kind of see the similarities in self deprecating humour.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

General Electric's #6SecondScience Fair on Vine

More and more people and companies are finding fun things to do in six seconds.

The most recent is GE who are holding a Six Second Science Fair - just show them a fun experiment as a Vine, and they will re-tweet the best ones.

Some of the best so far (many done by GE as examples)





The competition closes on the 15th, and I'll try to update this with some of the best

They've also leveraged their Buzzfeed partnership to create this content

(It also ties in well with my 'Education' trend from last year)

End Marmite Neglect

A very clever new campaign, which is also attracting complaints...

One of the issues that lots of FMCG companies have (apparently) is that their products are stuck at the back of the cupboard, unused, and this deals with this in an amusing (though potentially tasteless) way

See more at the main campaign page here & on Facebook

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post

Yesterday Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, paying $250m for the newspaper (but not the building its in, or related companies like Slate).

It's easy to be snarky about this, as some have been, for example this commenter on Metafilter:

"Honestly, I think newspapers have traditionally been vanity projects for wealthy families. It's just new wealthy people owning them, now."

& also to make jokes about 5 star reviews, 'You might also like The Anchorage Daily News' etc.

Without going into my rant about newspapers (short version - they are very good at defining their audiences, and clustering people of similar interests), from the largely positive coverage I think a number of things are interesting.

Given that Bezos has said that changes need to happen:

"There will, of course, be change at The Post over the coming years. That’s essential and would have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there. I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention."

What sort of ways could he bring his expertise to newspapers?

Henry Blodget in Business Insider (which Bezos also has invested in) lists 4 ways in which the business is similar or complimentary to Amazon (to be clear, the investment is from Bezos personally; it's not been bought by Amazon)

1 - Both Amazon and WaPo are in the content production & distribution business

2 - Both have businesses based on subscribers

3 - News attracts lots of eyeballs - these people could then be sold to

4 - Both are in the local delivery business

I've always thought that there was huge potential to do something radical to create a new model for newspapers, or do something to save them as organisations.  Now maybe we have someone with the right skills and ways of thinking to do both.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Acura on Snapchat

This is slightly odd.  Acura sent a Snapchat video of their new NSX Prototype car, revealing the new shape, to the first 100 people who followed them on Snapchat.

Someone managed to get a copy of the video (I'm sure Acura aren't that angry) and posted it on YouTube.

See more here.

I like how people are coming up with unusual ways to use Snapchat!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Katy Perry knows how to sell an album

I think it says lots about comms strategy that Kary Perry is using a physical photogenic object to announce her new album.

Yesterday she tweeted:

People love a retweet!

This is the #PRISM truck, as tweeted by fellow musician & celeb Adam Lambert:

& another sighting, RT-ed by Katy Perry:

Here are some pics on Instagram tagged #PRISM

It's an example of how marketers are using photogenic objects and photo opportunities to get their messages spread, in the age where everyone has a camera in their pocket - see my earlier blog post here about optimising for Instagram, and this one about photo opportunities

Also, compare this with how Lady Gaga announced Born This Way in 2011 - just a picture of herself for others to share

Update - a day later it's getting parodied, which I think adds to it:


Monday, July 29, 2013

Toyota RAV4 x Nat Geo

A good content partnership in the UK to celebrate the 125 years of National Geographic, from my colleagues at Isobar UK.

On the Route125 site Dan & Seb, a father and son, are cataloguing their trip around the UK, and elsewhere you can see lots of links for other things to do for active, adventurous people.

There are also lots of videos on the YouTube channel, for example

Lots to explore - very well done!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Daily Mail's Femail Fashion Finder

The Daily Mail has just added a new and potentially very lucrative feature - the Femail Fashion Finder.

For some stories you can now hover over an icon in the picture, and buy what the person in the photo is wearing.  See an example here.

It shows the original item that the celebrity is wearing, and also offers cheaper versions, although as you can see the cheaper versions often look nothing like the original.

It's really just an online version of the staple 'get this look' feature in magazines, but this makes it much more easy to use.

It's also interesting that the Mail are doing this themselves (although I suspect it's actually through a third party), which I think is part of a larger commerce trend, for example Yelp offering takeaway food deliveries directly.

Build an audience, then think of ways to monetise.
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