Admittedly I’ve never had much use for the GAP, other than the fact it inspired some of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits (“Lay off me I’m starving”). But its newly designed logo seems to be leaving branding experts and fans alike starving for a bit more.
The views on the music video start to trend, the book starts to get talked about. Who notices? People who notice things that are trending.
There can be no doubt that social marketing has been the hot topic for the last few years, but many marketers still have reservations about seriously investing in the space. Whilst many of the reasons for such reticence can be quickly brushed off (it’s just for kids, it’s a fad, etc…) some deserve more attention. One such reason, which continually crops us, is the issue of measuring the effectiveness of social, and understanding how to make real use of it. There has been some great attempts to try to overcome such reservations recently, including the IAB’s measurement framework, and Nielsen’s Facebook work, but still such concerns persist. It’s for this reason that a bunch of enthusiastic people set-up MeasurementCamp, an informal, open-source event, which was recently relaunched in London. I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the first of the new MeasurementCamp series, and thought that I would share the topics discussed.
Old Spice has made history, dominating YouTube last week with 8 of the 11 most-watched videos on Friday and racking up tens of millions of views. Its "Smell Like a Man" campaign, in which its spokesmodel quickly shot mostly unscripted and hilariously funny replies to nearly 200 online inquiries (including some from famous people). It prompted numerous copycat videos and got covered by just about every news outlet in America. Now what?
The Cannes Film Grand Prix-winning Old Spice campaign has evolved over the last 24 hours to dominate discussion in social media, in what is sure to become the ‘case study du jour’ for the foreseeable future. Yesterday, however, the marketing campaign took a different turn and really got ‘social media right’. It’s been updated and sees Isaiah Mustafa respond directly to YouTube comments, Tweets, Yahoo! Answers and blog posts about him in 117 publicly available, timely and pesonalised video messages. So what are the results? It’s still early to tell, but a few things are apparent.
Sure, trust is part of the relationship, and authority, and all that good stuff. You'll be chasing the popular kids (even those who demur) until the cows come home if you keep thinking that influence is about you. It's not. And you don't need the following of a celebrity to build something of significance. What you need is to identify areas of relevancy among your customers and prospects, build community, and allow others to amplify your influence -- as you meet their needs. Identify, build, allow -- no voodoo or pixie dust here.
Once, TV was the symbolic water-cooler that drove consumer conversations. It still is. But the tube is being upstaged by the web, which now nearly matches it in terms of influence on conversations, according to a new study from Yahoo and Keller Fay Group. Keller Fay has taken the air out of the online buzz balloon for years with survey research finding that most discussion about brands still happen face-to-face, and are influenced far more by traditional media than what happens online. But that is changing.
World Cup sponsors are tussling in a virtual battlefield to be the social-media marketing star of the global soccer championship beginning today in Johannesburg. But the early "winner" in buzz is Nike, neither a World Cup sponsor nor partner of the sport's governing body, FIFA. Social-media monitoring firm Meltwater Buzz looked at online buzz May 24 through Thursday for 11 top sponsors, partners and other key marketers and found outsider Nike had 26% vs. 20% for Adidas, a FIFA partner, and 11% for Sony, also a partner.
It's not enough to just chase after new statistics for social media to ensure today's brands soar in this increasingly digital environment. Regardless of their product, CMOs must become obsessed with three kinds of data to make sure any social media campaign contributes to the company's profitability.
The statistic is the modern equivalent of water cooler conversation, and is measured by the number of online interactions posted and read about a given show. Moreover, other shows with substantial online buzz did not have commensurate Nielsen ratings. Only four of the 10 shows in the social media ranking were also in the top 10 for ratings.
Ultimately, consumers decide what a brand means to them and how brands become a part of their lives. Elevating a brand to iconic status requires not only a great product, but the advocacy of our most loyal consumers. In addition to making the physical product available at the appropriate places, marketers must make the brand a critical part of their core fans' culture. It is important to study and to become a valuable part of that culture.
It's not news that sporting events have become increasingly branded over the years. We've come to expect a bombardment of advertisements and sponsorships at auto racing events and basketball, football, and baseball games--sports that are now modern-day billboards for advertisers like Nike, Fila, Budweiser, McDonald's, UPS, MasterCard, and Sprint, to name just a few.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the next keyword wet dream for the online industry buzz word bingo enthusiasts. As social media becomes more ingrained in commercial planning and the excitement fades into practical solutions, it’s inevitable that the new kid on the block will start to make headlines. I think AR is an exciting development. However, behind the pomp that surrounds another buzz word, is there a commercial model that could make AR a practical tool in the e-commerce armoury?
The Holy Grail for many marketers is having their big-budget TV spot become a viral hit online, providing millions of dollars worth of free exposure from consumer pass-along. The bad news is the chance of this happening is pretty slim, and even if it does, there's a good chance the spot won't do much to persuade viewers.
I hate the word "buzz," especially when it's being stoked by a calculated PR push, so I'm going to start using a new word, "puzz" (publicity + buzz) to describe that phenomenon. The last couple weeks have seen a lot of puzz about Foursquare, a very interesting, cutting-edge social media application that combines digital, mobile distribution of data with the real-world physical locations of its users. Basically, it's a social network site that tells your friends where you are. This is a very cool idea, bringing online social media -- previously restricted to the infinite, abstract Internet -- into the limited, concrete geography of the real world. The latest Foursquare puzz has it partnering with IGN Entertainment's AskMen.com site, for a deal that will distribute content about local travel and entertainment from the AskMen A. List newsletter to Foursquare users, complementing the highly targeted local social focus of the latter.
On the surface it may appear that Google simply created Buzz as a social network add-on for Gmail. But in reality the Mountain View, Calif. search engine launched the beginning of a hub that could eventually connect to forums, third-party PC and mobile applications, as well as other social sites. Google recognizes the need to allow data and people to seamlessly travel between portals and Web sites. Gmail Buzz users will get a better picture of that soon.
Usually I’m a Google fanboy. I live inside of my Reader, store most everything in Docs, broadcast my location with Latitude, hardly touch those other search engines (or whatever silly name they’re calling themselves today), and I’ve been a Gmail user since 2006. If Google builds it, I try it. But Buzz is threatening my fandom… because Buzz is ruining my experience in the other products – specifically, Gmail and Google Reader.
Google made a whopper of a mistake. There's an old saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". Google's new Buzz service now falls under that probationary truism, as it has become embroiled in a privacy mess. Google officially launched its Google Buzz service -- a social networking-like RSS feed which drew from Picasa, Flikr, Twitter, and Gmail only last week. Many observers worried that the service might suffer similar problems to Facebook, which raised a lot of uproar over privacy changes, and a year ago had to publicly apologize after putting users' purchases off-site (with partners) in their feeds. Not so, said Google. The search giant insisted that it would "do no evil" as its motto goes, and would protect its customers.
Here's what I observed this past week after scanning the reactions of people in my own networks in relation to Google Buzz. People in my own ecosystem seem utterly exhausted by the plethora of networks they manage and the number of people within those networks. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, Instant Messenger... just how many platforms can we participate in?
Google Inc. said it would revamp the setup process for its new social-networking service Buzz, apologizing to users for raising concerns about the privacy of the product. In a blog post Saturday, Google product manager Todd Jackson said Buzz would no longer automatically subscribe users to follow the postings of their close Gmail contacts, a move that had spooked many users into believing Buzz was publicizing their private relationships. Instead, after reviewing users' Gmail contacts, it would only suggest people that users should follow but leave whether to do so up to them.
As soon as Buzz was announced — before I could try it — I tried to intuit its goals and I found profound opportunities. Now that I’ve tried it, reality and opportunity a fer piece apart. It’s awkward. I’d thought that I had wanted Twitter to be threaded but I was wrong; the simplest point quickly passes into an overdose of add-ons. Worse, Google didn’t think through critical issues of privacy — and it only gets worse (via danah boyd). I won’t go as far as Steve Rubel and some others, who instantly declared Buzz DOA; there is the essence of something important here (which I think will come out in mobile more than the web). But there’s no question: Buzz has kinks.
Let's say you'd constituted a drinking game for the aftermath of Tuesday's unveiling of Google Buzz, the odd new mishmash of status messages, geolocation, and social-media aggregation: Take a drink every time some pundit says Google is trying to "kill" Facebook, Twitter, or any number of the "geo" start-ups out there. You'd have been totally blitzed. The cries of "It's a Facebook killer!" and "It's going to kill Twitter!" are tedious, but completely understandable considering that this is one of the first big pushes from Google, which has never been able to get a good grip on social networking, to make inroads in the space. And Buzz is indeed a product that's reactionary as opposed to trailblazing.
Google has entered the social networking play, this time, for real. There’s a lot of market confusion on how they could stack up, so here’s my take. Let’s cut the noise and get to the heart of it with a comparison matrix and analysis based upon my insights talking to these companies in formal settings, observations, as a user, my former research and dealing with the brands trying to reach them.
When Unilever first announced it was launching its new Dove Men + Care line with a commercial during Super Bowl XLIV, industry watchers questioned whether making a costly, 30-second ad buy was the right strategy. It seems the move has paid off for Dove, at least, according to initial ad buzz results. Prior to CBS’ broadcast of the Super Bowl, three of the most popular terms associated with Dove were “soap,” “beauty” and “deodorant.” But in the 24 hours following the game, the Dove spot, via Ogilvy & Mather, started generating terms like “Super Bowl,” “ad” and “men," per Zeta Interactive, a New York City-based digital and interactive marketing agency.
Google and Facebook are on a collision course in the increasingly competitive market for social networking services. On Tuesday, Google introduced a new service called Google Buzz, a way for users of its Gmail service to share updates, photos and videos. The service will compete with sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are capturing an increasing percentage of the time people spend online.
Ads for social advocacy issues planned for the Super Bowl are generating more marketing buzz than traditional brands in the lead up to the game, according to an analysis released today by The Nielsen Company. Ads for the pro-life organization “Focus on the Family” featuring college football star Tim Tebow and gay dating site ManCrunch earned some of the most pre-game buzz for their controversial subject matters.
The ongoing dispute between Verizon Wireless and AT&T over advertised coverage area -- coupled with a new phone for Verizon-- looks to be a buzz benefit for both companies. According to YouGovPolimetrix's BrandIndex, which takes the measure of positive vs. negative talk about a certain brand, buzz for both companies has increased in the two weeks between Nov. 2 and Nov. 19. At the beginning of the period, AT&T's buzz was at about 7.7, while Verizon's was around 21.3. By the end of the time period, AT&T's had risen to 14, while Verizon's had risen to 32.3.
The action figures for James Cameron’s “Avatar” started appearing in stores last month. The movie won’t be out until December, but the toys have their own multimedia selling point: an “augmented reality” feature. This phrase has become one of the pervasive buzz concepts of 2009, and as is often true in such cases, it seems to describe a variety of manifestations from the practical to the pointless to the pie in the sky. Very broadly, augmented reality can be thought of as an inversion of the venerable “virtual reality” buzz concept. Instead of plunging us into a completely digital environment, augmented reality means placing digital things into the regular old world. Those things might be bits of information or renderings of imaginary objects. And they, of course, aren’t really in the real world at all — they just appear to be there if you filter your gaze through the proper screen.
For most retail stores, staying in business for only a few days would be considered a major flop. But a growing number of merchants are opening shops and abruptly shutting them down soon after -- on purpose. These quickie retail operations -- known as pop-ups -- are showing up throughout Southern California and around the nation, filling in the gaps at recession-battered shopping centers for a fraction of the regular rents. Once limited to seasonal shops and dusty liquidation centers, pop-up stores are now being opened by some of the nation's biggest retailers.
How do you compete as an upstart in the cutthroat domestic airline industry when your marketing budget is a fraction of your rivals'? For Porter Gale, VP-marketing at domestic value carrier Virgin America, you make every dollar stretch and use social media and buzz to amplify every marketing event, all the while trying to show that Virgin is the antidote to marginal domestic air travel. In some respects Ms. Gale is a fitting candidate to run a lean, startup airline. With a master's degree in documentary film from Stanford University, she's a filmmaker who has had to figure out how to produce high-quality content on shoestring budgets.
One week ago in our hour-long chat on Twitter #kaizenblog we discussed creating buzz for a good cause. Many of us have been involved with non profits at est once in our careers - either as volunteers, employees, or as contributing members in some capacity. Knowing what we know about the humanness that can be transmitted in social media communications and interactions, it would seem that a good cause would be a perfect fit for them. The ability to help spread information in the interactive space is unmatched in other media. How can we teach more organizations that support good causes create buzz?
Formula 50 is the Vitamin Water flavor co-created by 50 Cent, a top seller, and a personal favorite of yours-truly. As good as the flavor is, sometimes I think I could concoct something just a bit better. Vitamin Water, no strangers to social media marketing, agrees, so their handing over the keys to their flavor creator lab and tapping into the Facebook community for flavor innovation.
For reasons known only to the pop-culture gods, IKEA -- the Swedish retailer of cheap, lingonberry-flavored furniture and other shinola -- has suddenly become a ubiquitous presence in the ether. Example: in August, when the 2010 IKEA catalog came out, people went utterly bonkers because the designers had changed the print font from the familiar Futura to Verdana -- an esoteric difference, to be sure. The story rocketed to No. 2 on CNN.com's most-read list, according to Mona Astra Liss, IKEA's director of public relations. But for the passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the story might have gone to No. 1.
It's not how you think. A Boston research group called the Web Ecology Project has analyzed 12 of the service's most popular users over the course of a 10-day period, in order to understand how influence works on Twitter. The result of the 18-page report (PDF)? It doesn't matter how often you tweet. It matters why you tweet, and the role you play in followers' feeds.
A few years ago, when cheap real estate was scarce, pop-up stores were a major investment for marketers. Now temporary stores have emerged as a perfect solution for cash-strapped brands, commission-hungry brokers and landlords faced with a glut of commercial real-estate space. Brands are using these interim spaces as a means to create buzz, test new concepts or even evaluate a new neighborhood or city. While temporary stores first began popping up with some regularity in 2003, sky-high rents and a lack of available space made them a massive undertaking for brands. Now, in the midst of the recession, the shops are being viewed as a logical, and even inexpensive, marketing tool.
Spend and you will get buzz. That seems to be one takeaway from YouGov's BrandIndex, which compiled daily feedback from thousands of consumers for the first half of the year in order to find out which brands consumers are buzzing about and which brands they're not.
I was delighted to be the email advocate on a panel on “Creating an Environment for Viral Marketing Success,” moderated by entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki last Thursday. It was a virtual complement to the SmartBrief Buzz2009 event, held in Washington DC with more than 80 association executives.
Microsoft is dipping its toes into the hot new area of real-time search. The company said Wednesday that Bing, the search engine it unveiled a month ago, would begin including the latest output of popular Twitter users in its search results.
The coffee wars generated a flurry of advertising in May. McDonald's launched its first McCafe blitz, Dunkin' Donuts made its first concerted doughnut push in more than a decade and Starbucks began its first pure branding campaign. While it's too soon to say what the impact on sales has been, all three marketers saw a major uptick in buzz, as measured by Brand Index.
Faced with consumers cutting back on purchases and stiff competition from McDonald’s McCafe, Starbucks today (Wednesday) launched an ad campaign touting its newly earned accolade in Zagat’s 2009 Fast Food survey: “No. 1 Best Coffee.”
Too many companies are approaching social media as a tool to generate buzz, instead of as a way to connect with their customers.
Apologies to residents of the Lower East Side; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; and other hipster-centric neighborhoods. You are not as cool as you think, at least according to a new study that seeks to measure what it calls “the geography of buzz.”
PepsiCo is harnessing Twitter for a sponsorship of South by Southwest '09 with a "Twitter Visualization" that's designed to showcase all the chatter around the event.
Is the future of marketing about marketing to marketers? Sounds a bit preposterous, but the answer is yes. Put another way, I've discovered the ultimate marketing channel to the consumer, and it is "we." Indeed, we're witnessing the rise of a 6th Estate of power and influence -- the marketing community -- and I'm not talking about what we create, copy-test, place and target, but what we actually say and express. Cultivate us if you can. Avoid us at your peril.
The buzz around social media is usually reserved for hot consumer brands, yet IBM has seized an opportunity to use such marketing tools to tout a "dry" technology product to IT professionals.
A current example of using a giveaway and online chatter to drive restaurant traffic: International House of Pancakes just completed its third annual National Pancake Day on Tuesday, in which it gives away a small stack of pancakes and in return asks customers to consider donating to the Children's Miracle Network or a local charity. IHOP, which has raised nearly $2 million for charities since starting the day in 2006, relied on a dedicated Web site with a "tell a friend" pass-along application, its normal presence on key social networks and some PR to drive awareness and traffic.
Who says you can't buy buzz? In the end, the marketer that bought the most ad time ended up reaping the most chatter among the Twitterers, bloggers and online talkers.
The plot has thickened for Super Bowl ads in 2009. The economy is hurting, skepticism of advertising is in no short supply, and the price is $3 million for a 30-second spot. Go for it? Or run for the hills? Super Bowl spots today need to pass two distinct tests -- one measurable and traditional, and the other based on unique dynamics of cross-platform engagement, most notably buzz and conversation.
A sponsored social networking campaign enlisting the help of six well-known bloggers is yielding big buzz for Kmart and encouraging consumers to give the retailer another look during the critical holiday season.
The 1,500-person round of layoffs at Yahoo began today and, so far, sales and marketing, content, engineering and administration have all been affected, including at Yahoo-acquired companies such as Right Media Exchange and Maven Networks. And the downsizing is all being played out across the blogosphere, in some cases in near real time.