Halloween Face-Off

For my last blog post I thought I’d do a bit of face-off between two creative, fun Halloween themed online marketing going around at the moment. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with seasonal marketing as the campaigns I feel often take a hard sell approach for otherwise unwanted items (looking at you annoying Christmas ads). However, the opportunities online that various apps, websites and social media offer have paved the way for some creative and quirky campaigns that are doing some good brand building. 

1. The Cheetos & Google toilet paper bomb

This is an online game/simulation that allows you to type in an address that google maps locates for you and you the Cheetos mascot then toilet paper bombs it for you. It is in the spirit of Halloween, has the brand advertised all over the simulation, and generating active, engaged users.

So go ahead and toilet paper your best friends house, take a screenshot or share on social media and freak them out a little!

https://www.project-tp.com 

2. Tide Vine series

Tide are releasing seven vine videos in the lead up to Halloween. Each will reference various classic horror movies and feature the tagline, ‘Stains better be scared’ and #scaredstainless. To promote the videos they are buying promoted tweets, to help the vines spread. This is a cute initiative, and clever product tie-in. This works similarly to traditional advertising unlike the above example, and therefore also runs the risk of low user engagement.

Check out https://twitter.com/tide for the vine videos
Here is the first one which is my favorite so far: https://vine.co/v/hwVzqF3nUHD

Overall, I think both campaigns work well to raise brand visibility, and get people interacting and talking about the brand, but I guess someone will do some number crunching at the end to see if it was all worth it…
Which do you think is more effective and why? Also- how do you feel about seasonal marketing- necessary, fun, annoying?

 

That’s all from me, Happy Halloween, over and out. 

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How do you feel about second chances?

ImageThe UK charity organization Business in The Community (BITC) has just created an interactive online video for its latest ‘Ban the Box’ campaign. The campaign is calling for a employers to abandon the box on job application forms that asks whether they have been in prison or not. BITC argue that this box allows people who are qualified to be quickly skipped over and not considered for the position because of the box, BITC thinks these people should get a second chance and see banning the box as a means to combat unemployment.

There are clearly valid arguments for and against this cause, but Leo Burnett (hired by BITC to create the ad) have done an excellent job in communicating an emotional message in an engaging way, that leverages the opportunities of the online platform.

The whole concept of the ad is that it mimics the control viewers have to skip ads when they watch videos online, it then applies this to a job interview scenario, where the viewer is the interviewer skipping over an applicant. The viewer can skip the ad whenever they like and a new version will restart, upon skipping again it simply ends. You then, have the opportunity to watch the video in full and see what you were missing out on.

The ad is short, to the point, emotive, and interactive and communicates the message behind the campaign very effectively, better than anything I can think of recently. It is exciting to see organizations using the internet to create innovative campaigns as opposed to just sticking to mass social media campaigns.

Check out the BITC, take a look at the ad, give it a few go’s and let me know what you think. It certainly made me think differently about the issue.
http://www.bitc.org.uk/banthebox

New App generates tailor-made digital marketing strategies

Tiger Pistol is a new app developed in Melbourne that aims to provide small businesses with a means to implement an effective digital marketing strategy, for which many of them do not have the time or funds to do so.

How does it work? The business signs up to the app and provide as much background business information as possible, the app then analyses the social media activity of the most similar types of business and determines what has been effective and what hasn’t. A strategy is then developed for the company, based on this social media analysis. The service can be used for under $50 a month.

 This seems like a great solution to the social media problem that many small businesses have in competing with each other, and the big guys. I suppose using an app such as this runs the risk of becoming too formulaic, and consumers may get too used to them and become uninterested, or struggle to decipher between the activities of one company and another on social platforms. On the other hand though, it is still quite DIY, businesses can add creative input and make unique adjustments to the generated marketing strategy. It will be interesting to see how successful the app becomes. 

Do you think this new app is  a positive or negative for social media marketing?

Check out the tiger pistol website for a more detailed description of the app and all the options it has available:
https://tigerpistol.com

You can also read more about it here:
http://www.marketingmag.com.au/news/crowd-intelligence-platform-automatically-learns-from-other-smes-social-mistakes-45516/

Lipton gets in with the cool kids online for new product launch

Lipton is launching its first Sparkling Ice Tea soft drink and are doing so with a strategic online marketing plan. In order to generate hype for the beverage, Lipton has collaborated with pedestrian.tv (an Australian online pop culture news website/ hub) . Lipton has enlisted pedestrian.tv to ‘test out’ marketing tricks in the real world, to see if they work, and film the results. This is a unique strategy as it is employing the concept of self-reflexivity, whereby they are producing videos that are making fun of marketing tricks, when in fact the video itself is a marketing trick. The collaboration with pedestrian.tv is clever as it is not an overt promotion by pedestrian, but a playful, quirky, off center approach that matches typical pedestrian.tv content, and suits its audience, whom lipton is clearly aiming at. The tag line for the new product, ‘really really ridiculously refreshingly refreshing’ also taps into pop-culture references (uhhhem zoolander) and again, makes the tie-in with pedestrian.tv a good fit.

 The videos feature YouTube ‘sensation’ Adrian Van Oyen (of whom I have not heard of- am I alone on this one?) which is another clever collaboration as it demonstrates they have an understanding of the YouTube platform, how it works, and can tap into his online following.

The not-so-subtle part is the background advertising that is on the pedestrian.tv website. When u click on the background (often accidentally- much to my frustration) a new window opens up into the … Personally, I think adding this overt plug in on the pedestrian website detracts from the subtlety of the rest of the campaign and loses the effect of people thinking pedestrian is just discussing the product and excited by it, as opposed to it being a commercial tie-in. However, overall, I think Lipton’s approach is interesting, and a good way to reach a specific target market, that will appreciate the approach it has taken.
What do you guys think? Good use of online collaborations? How do you feel about background advertising, effective or annoying?

 

Here is the first video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-AWrrvgxXE

And if you have never been on pedestrian.tv, check it out, it rocks. 

Content Marketing- Is it worth it?

The up and coming trend in the digital marketing world appears to be content marketing. It comes as a result of social media users becoming more passive in their engagement with brands online. Therefore, companies are creating online content such as mini-movies and games that seek to actively engage users and keep them on its pages for longer.

I was just reading about a new example of content marketing for the American car, Infiniti, which is a part of Nissan.  The campaign is called Deja-view and a website has been set up whereby an ad/mini-movie plays and users can interact with it and change what happens. It offers users the chance they have always wanted when watching TV or movies, to change what happens, yelling at the screen is no pointless act here, it will actually change the plot. Pretty cool on first thought. However, the ‘experience’ takes between 15 and 20 minutes and requires the viewer to call a toll-free number, which sets the customized plot into motion, characters from the movie then call back the viewer, and the movie plays out according to viewer reactions. In other words, it requires effort.

On the one hand, it is good to see brands thinking outside of the box and pushing the boundaries of mainstream advertising, and seeking to give us something we actually desire to engage with. However, will people really be willing to dedicate this much of their time towards branded online-mini movies? And if they do, is it going to actually boost sales? I suppose these type of initiatives are about brand building as much as they are about selling, but this particular example is, at the end of the day advertising a new product.
What do you guys think? Worth it or not? ( to help in this weigh up – this campaign has a budget of approximately $2 million)

You can read more about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/media/dont-like-the-video-tell-it-what-to-do-next.html?ref=media

The website that hosts the Deja-View is an American website so the actual movie can’t be seen/experienced but here it is:
http://www.infinitiusa.com/deja-view/browser/all_down.html

Out with Planking, In with Mamming

I’m sure we all remember the craze that was planking, which faded out as it took some rather tragic turns when people took it too far. Well mamming is taking the fun from planking and applying it to a good cause, ‘taking the awkwardness out of mammograms’, as a apart of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People are being encouraged to ‘Put your boobs on stuff’, take photos of it and use the hashtag, mamming. The campaign launched a humorous video on YouTube that shows us all the dos and dont’s of mamming. It also has a clever celebrity hookup with the L-word actress Erin Daniels, starring in the video, whose character in the show died of Breast Cancer. The video went up on YouTube on October 14th and has since garnered 57, 426 views, whilst not a figure that would categorize it into viral status, it is certainly still doing well. A website has been set up to showcase various mamming photos people have hashtagged, and provide more information about the campaign.

I love this campaign, I think it so cleverly employs all the good aspects of social marketing as well as traditional forms of marketing such as celebrity endorsement and ad-making.  It would be good to see the campaign have several stages, and perhaps release some new videos, with, for example, new celebrities demonstrating their favorite mamming spot..

The campaign was created by two women of advertising agency 360i and is a passion project of theirs. It would be great to see companies getting on board with the mamming trend in support of the campaign. For example, a brand such as lululemon that has strong roots in female empowerment and health could post photos of their staff mamming, and get their social media followers to do the same.  This would create good social media engagement for them, stand as a form of social responsibility for the company and of course help the mamming cause help save lives.

See the video below, check out the website, and get #mamming

http://www.thisismamming.com

Let’s Talk About SnapChat

SnapChat, the now massive self-destiructing image/video sharing app, recently introduced the new stories feature, which allows you to post a series of images of videos across a 24 hour period. I haven’t yet tried it out myself, so sorry if my description is a little ambiguous, as I’m not too sure I really get it yet. However, during my struggle to understand this new feature of my beloved SnapChat, an unexpected teacher arrived, Taco Bell.  On the day of the release of the updated SnapChat, Taco Bell created a ‘Story’ comprised of eight images and videos portraying one groups journey to Taco Bell.

I like the idea, and give props to Taco Bell for biting the bullet and being one of the first brands to try this kind of social marketing out. I am very curious to see how far SnapChat marketing will go, and how brands will use it to add value. In order for companies to send SnapChat’s to people, those people must choose to add the companies first, thus, they must provide good reason for people to want to have them on SnapChat, which means creativity becomes pretty important.

I can imagine SnapChat working interestingly though also for things such as competitions or discount codes that could be sent out on SnapChat and screenshotted… What do you guys think? Would you add a brand to your SnapChat feed?

I created a mini pro’s and cons’ list of companies using Snapchat, anything else you think should be added, feel free to comment:

Pros

Cons

Personalized communication– personal Snapchats, get people snapping back, best friends feature

Self destruct feature – may be a waste of efforts

Timely– production and delivery can be fast

Reluctance to accept by audience – Snapchat is quite a personal app, people may be skeptical to include brands on their friends lists

Cost efficient – free app, direct access to customer, cheap production

Notoriety associated with Snapchat—accused of encouraging sexting, seen as risqué which might not be a direction brands want to take

Add brand value—allow brand tones, personality to come through, and get closer to the customer, can demonstrate innovativeness 

 

 

Read more here: http://digiday.com/brands/snapchat-retailers/