Marketing, Advertising and Social Media News With Attitude by Steve Hall
Updated: 1 hour 59 min ago
To hype up and coming Chinese luxury brand Qeelin, ad agency Fred & Farid pulled the wool over the eyes of millions of Chinese buy tricking them into thinking the mythological creature, the Qilin, actually existed.
The agency photoshopped a puppet baby Qilin into ancient Chinese photos as well as into a video. They then released the photos and video to influential social media types on the Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat.
In less than 24 hours, as if ushering lemmings off a cliff, the stunt became the hot topic on Weibo with 30,000 reposts and 15,000 comments.
After four days -- and 35 million views -- during which internet sleuths unearthed un-altered versions of the ancient photos, it was revealed Qeelin was behind the hysteria. Yet another example of how any of us can be led off a cliff and think nothing of it.
Oh how we've wanted to write a headline like that for so long. OK, maybe not. But it did get you to click on the headline, right? And, really, clicking is what this is all about. Today, Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors has given us reason to believe that, once again, clicking on a banner is a good thing. A very, very good thing.
Miraculously, the agency was able to get Mother Teresa, Ghandi and Jesus Christ all in the same room at the same time. Three people who have gone to great lengths to save lives and well, all of mankind. Who else could possibly earn a seat at this table? A banner clicker, that's who.
In three well-crafted videos, we learn the importance of clicking on a banner. In this case, to help UNICEF deliver life saving products to those in need. See? Who says a banner clicker isn't as heroic as Mother Teresa, Ghandi or Jesus Christ?
In reaction to five proposed logos for Canada's 150th birthday, Canadian Designer Ibraheem Youssef, who was appalled at the quality of the proposed logo, took it upon himself to rally other Canadian designers to come up with something better.
To showcase the work, Youssef launched The150Logo to rally support and plead the country not to go down the path of mediocrity.
We're pretty sure anyone who looks at the official proposed logos versus those highlighted on The150Logo will clearly see how bad the official ones are and how much better Youssef's are.
See Youssef's collection of logos here.
Rampant commercialism. Black Friday. Idiots fighting over TV sets at Walmart. Is anyone sick of the disgustingly selfish focus on commercialism? Barton F. Graf 9000's Jerry Graf and TDA_Boulder's Jonathan Schoenberg are. The two men who ran into each other at a recent industry event decided to do something about it.
The two agencies have launched Bawx, a site on which, well, you can buy boxes. But with a twist. The boxes are both toys for children and a means of raising money for children's charities Blue Sky Bridge in Boulder and Charley Davidson Fund in Boston.
As explained on the site, "Consumerism is a bit out of control these days. Kids would much rather spend time with their friends and parents and a Bawx, than the latest technology. Ok, that is a complete lie, but maybe if they did have a Bawx they would spend more time with people, and a bit less time with pixels."
It's an admirable effort. All box manufacturing costs will be born by the two agencies and all proceeds will be donated to the charities. A range of boxes are available from $24.99 to $499.99. But, all the boxes are the same. It's up to the buyer to decide how much they want to donate.
It's really "The perfect holiday gift for the 2 - 61?2 year old who would rather play with the box than what's inside."
Intermodal transportation. Perhaps you've heard of it. More likely, you haven't. But you know exactly what it is. It's a shipping system that uses those big containers you see at various seaports that make their way from ship to shore to truck to train carrying contents that, ultimately, end up in your home. Like washing machines, jeans, beverages, light bulbs, refrigerators, computers and basically, well, most everything.
It's called intermodal because the same container can be placed on a truck, a ship or a train. It's a great way, and the main way, most everything makes its way around the world. It's both mundane and really cool at the same time. Mundane in the sense that who really cares how my sweater travels from some factory in China to my closet in New York. Then again, just how the hell does my seater get from China to my closet without falling into the ocean or ending up ion the side of the highway?
Barbarian Group has given life to this "boring" mode of transportation for GE touting the brand's trip optimizer system which helps all those containers move smoothly across the globe.
Working with British rocker Rueben Wu who captured organic terminal sounds at the CSX Intermodal Terminal in North Baltimore, the agency deftly crafted a branded video that's actually interesting to watch...and listen to.
Pitching is part of an advertising agency's DNA; it's often mandatory if an agency wants to acquire new business. With the average length of the client relationship diminishing from eight years in 1997 to only three years today, pitching is occurring more frequently
However, according to a Provoke Insights study, approximately half (47%) of advertising professionals surveyed by Provoke Insights say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching.
"I hate the pitch process," one account professional confessed, under anonymity. "It means working 24-7 and completely wears everyone out." It is not shocking that the industry says unrealistic timelines (66%) and long work hours (65%) are key reasons for such frustration. The demand of pitching is not a new issue; management expects employees to give their sweat and tears.
Yet, can the harried pace of the pitch process be avoided? Surprisingly, employees believe these tiring work conditions can be prevented if better organization and processes were in place. "Very chaotic, no clear direction until the last minute," a media analyst mentioned when recalling his most recent pitch.
Interestingly, those who are happy with their experiences when pitching mention teamwork as a key reason for their satisfaction. "Good collaboration and clear understanding of a common purpose," an account executive indicated as success factors.
Another area of frustration during pitches is having timely access to the appropriate research and data. Forty-four percent of advertising professionals stated that if there were better availability of research and data, pitches would run smoother and more successful. More so those who received data for pitches, 48% mentioned the speed of resources was not quick enough.
An agency has one shot to deliver the right message, so research and insights are imperative. Without them, no matter how innovative the creative is, the pitch could be off base. "Winning creative should be based on research and insights. However, many times it ends up being loosely based on not enough research causing the strategy to end up being lack luster," a strategic planner stated.
Receiving extra support and resources in regards to understanding of the target audience (57%), competitive intelligence (53%) followed by trends analysis (53%), industry intelligence (47%) and social listening (42%) are key areas employees believe the pitch process can be more successful.
This article was written by Provoke Insights Head of Strategy & Research Carly Fink.
The press release for this wonderfully created and produced work, by McCann and Psyop, for Toshiba tells us "it will leave you asking for an encore." Well, perhaps, but not necessarily for the Toshiba Encore which the work promotes.
After watching this "experience" -- in which fractal zoom is employed to place viewers in the the middle of the action using using 3D cameras, symbolic elements and matte painting environments that add depth and dimension to the shots -- you are left with the feeling that technology has let you down. Because, really, does any device give you the glorious experience depicted in this work?
Sadly, here, the formula is backwards. Instead of under promising and over delivering, the work over promises on something that can't possibly deliver on the promise. Yea, yea, yea. We get that the whole thing is a metaphor. But metaphors affect emotion and emotion most certainly comes into play when making a purchase.
And if we can't have this McCann/Psyop-created experience when we use out tablet then we don't want a tablet at all. Then again, that's just us.
So you're up and running with social media for your brand, right? But are you managing it as efficiently and effectively as you could be? A complete social media management dashboard or Social Relationship Platform (SRP) partner provides a unified platform for engaging audiences, activating customers, and driving business results across all social channels.
More than just monitoring, a SRP enables planning, listening, engaging, coordinating, measuring, archiving, and integrating with other business applications. These capabilities are essential to a brand working towards creating an effective social media presence.
Download this Spredfast report, part of the Adrants Whitepaper Series, and learn the 12 ways to evaluate a social relationship platform partner.
From the inlaws to the cooking to the children, there's plenty of things to sort-of enjoy about the Christmas holiday and UK-based Hiscox Insurance wants to make sure we fully appreciate each and every one of them.
Working with The Viral Factory, the insurance brand has created a video entitled The 10 White Lies of Christmas. Witness as a beleaguered husband and father endures the trials and tribulations of the holiday season.
Akin to Dove's Beauty campaign which urges women to be less analytical about their looks, Special K is out with a campaign that aims to "shut down fat talk." Created by Leo Burnett and directed by O Positive's Peyton Wilson, the work witnesses women shopping in a clothing store where the clothing labels contain actual "fat talk" quotes found online.
According to Psychology of Women Quarterly, 93 percent of women engage in fat talk.
For the campaign, Special K has partnered with Tyra Banks. Of her participation, she said, "I know firsthand how much criticizing your body negatively affects self-esteem, but as a role model, I try to maintain a positive attitude and healthy approach to managing my weight. That's why I'm excited to partner with Special K to help empower women to not only feel confident about their bodies, but also to remove those negative thoughts and show them how to employ tips and tricks to make their least liked physical attributes look better."
The campaign includes a FightFatTalk website and a hashtag #FightFatTalk
Over the weekend, Canadian airline WestJet released a video detailing an amazing Christmas promotion. Passengers boarding flights at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and Hamilton's John C. Munro International Airport were given the chance to scan their boarding pass at a kiosk and tell Santa what they's like for Christmas.
While the two flights were in the air en route to Calgary, a team of WestJet employees, who had been monitoring what the passengers had told Santa, rushed out to Best Buy and CrossIron Mall to purchase everything the passengers had asked for.
When the two flights landed in Calgary and the passengers went to baggage claim (we're assuming carry on passengers were somehow informed to go as well...or they just missed out), they experienced a Christmas miracle. The baggage claim area had been transformed into a holiday winter wonderland and presents were delivered along with luggage. And Santa was there as well to greet the passengers as they opened their gifts.
It was very likely the best airport experience any air traveler has ever had. And, perhaps. the best marketing stunt in quite some time. Well played, WestJet.
A video of the stunt is, of course, approaching one million views on YouTube.
This Social Media Pocket Guide (one of the best we've ever seen!) from Spredfast, part of the Adrants whitepaper series, outlines six objectives every brand should have at the core of its social strategy.
The guide helps point companies in the right direction for creating and implementing social media initiatives based on proven success tactics. In this 40-page social media guide, discover:
Download the Pocket Guide Now to ensure you are doing all you can to fully implement social for your brand.
Last week, we took a look at what's hot and what's not in terms of design trends for 2014. Today, we're going to take a look at the top visual design trends for 2014. Just like last week's Hot or Not Design Trends piece, iStock queried creatives from around the world so see where design is headed for 2014.
There are 13 visual design trends to look for next year. They have been compiled on an interactive infographic here and we've also listed them below:
We've watched this video three times and still don't know what we're being sold. We're not quite sure what it is but something must be distracting us from the video's main message.
Apparently, we're not alone. Pretty much every YouTube commenter has no idea what the video's about either.
Attention brands. No disrespect to anyone but be careful who you cast as your spokesperson...and how you dress them. You may not get the results you expected.
If you share our distaste, dislike and, well, utter hatred of tiny little yippy dogs that bark their annoying little heads off overtime the wind blows and an equal hatred for people who treat these tiny little yippy dogs like they're toys to be dressed up like a Barbie doll, then you might not want to watch this Canine Christmas video, part of Nokia's Holiday Realness campaign.
If you do like tiny little yippy dogs -- and grown women who talk like little girls -- then by all means, watch this video which is filled with all the sicky sweetness you'd expect from a group of people who get together each tear to celebrate their love for their tiny little friends.
In September we were introduced to the "world's first tweeting refrigerator from LG. The fridge would tweet a message each time it was opened. Now, a holiday version of the campaign has returned.
M&C Saatchi Stockholm has relaunched the fridge which allows people to tweet a wish to Santa using the hashtag #lgxmasstory. Santa will pick a few wishes and "perform" them through a live-stream camera inside the fridge. You can view a few of the messages here, here and here.
Visual content is being used in a variety of ways to communicate. Large amounts of data are being packaged into easily consumable infographics. Videos are being used to tell dynamic stories. Even consumers, knowingly or not, are in on the visual content creation with sharing pictures of their interaction with products and brands. All of this content needs to be managed in order to be shared and used. Get the most out of your visual content with these 5 tips for managing visual content.
Maintain quality in content and format. Quality content is what captures people's attention and inspires people to share it with others. A stunning photograph of a social issue can say more than a 1,000 word essay would for a non-profit. Images can create an instant emotional connection that resonates with the viewer.
In order for the quality of your content to shine, you must maintain the quality of the file format. That stunning photograph won't look so stunning if you used a lo-res JPEG for the cover of your brochure. Understand the best practices for file formats and file conversions to maintain crisp, clean looking visual content on any medium.
Keep it all together. If you work on a team with multiple visual content creators and multiple people who use those visual content files, central organization is crucial. It keeps your files accessible to the whole team the moment they are added, maintains consistency in content, and prevents time and energy lost to duplicate content creation.
Take advantage of an online storage solution to keep all of your visual content accessible from anywhere. Your sales team can show some new product photography while on the road with a prospect customer and you can share social content even when you aren't at your desk.
Use file naming conventions. An important part of keeping your files organized is using proper naming conventions. Using IMG1490139 for a photograph does not provide any value. Creating clear, descriptive yet concise titles provides valuable information on what the content is. It also helps optimize your content for search. Pair that descriptive title with a naming convention to keep your content uniform to help organization.
Provide visual content guidelines. Not all visual content is to be used the same. Some files should be treated differently than others based on their content and purpose. Make sure you provide guidelines so your visual content is used properly and consistently. This information should be available to all who have access to share and distribute your visual content.
Control access. Obviously, visual content is most effective when seen. But it's important to control access to who can edit, view, download and share what. Unreleased files should remain private until released. Updating files should only be available to those designated to do so.
Create a hierarchical structure that gives users just the amount of access they need and no more. This will guide proper management of your visual content. Also, users won't be afraid to mess things up if they don't have that the level of access to do so.
For your content to be most effective, it must be properly managed. What best practices does your organization use to manage visual content?
This guest contribution was written by Nate Holmes of Smartimage.
Stuck in a virtual rut? Can't seem to gain any online traction?
Or did you stick your virtual social-media footprint in your virtual Twitter mouth? It's time for a social-media makeover.
Whether your engagement lags or you have a mess to clean up, here are a few tips and tricks to get that lifeblood transfusion for your social media presence.
Tip 1: Cultivate the Content
If no one reads your drab copy, no one will remember your brand. If no one remembers your brand, no one will buy your products or services. A clean slate is a beautiful thing, even when a campaign has worked in the past. Your revamping needs a voice, and that voice comes with the right words.
Tip: Don't be afraid to look for help. A hired content writer can breathe a little life into the brand you might be a bit too close to see in a fresh new light.
Success story: General Electric. Not known for must-have cutting-edge products, this big brand uses its social media presence to engage consumers, employees and investors in conversation.
Tip 2: Reach out to Bloggers
The food industry leads the way. By turning to popular bloggers, established food brands get an instant facelift through product reviews and sponsored posts. The tell-a-friend method gets a turbo boost when that message is delivered to loyal subscribers and easily shared through their social media channels.
Tip: Host an event for bloggers. Red Lobster sought bloggers to invite for complimentary dinner for them and a guest, giving the blogger an opportunity to write about the food and the dining experience.
Success story: Chuck E. Cheese. This kids' pizza parlor promoted its gluten-free pizza and rewards calendars through 650 influential mom bloggers found by a marketing agency.
Tip 3: Engage
It's fitting that an egg is Twitter's default icon. If you don't give your social-media presence life, it'll give you a well-deserved goose egg in return. Whether it's Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter - or a combination, or something else better suited - you must build your community by becoming part of it.
Tip: Don't just update to sell something. Post updates about valued clients, the home team's big win, or anticipation for spring weather late in winter. Give your brand a personality within your community.
Tip 4: Find your Focus
How does social media fit in your marketing strategy? Identify whether you seek to augment your online presence, draw leads, or establish loyalty among existing customers. Use different social media platforms for each objective, but don't feel as if you need to be everywhere, all at once.
Tip: Don't discount the value of market research via social media. Listen to your customers, and learn who they are, what they say, what they do, and ultimately, what they're looking for.
Success story: Martell Home Builders. This Canadian homebuilder's must-have lists and tips & techniques blog plan attracted homebuyers by encouraging interaction.
Tip 5: Learn From the Peaks and Valleys
With a tracking service such as Buffer or Rival IQ, you can add up favorites and retweets to identify which posts cultivated the most engagement, and the least. What are the common factors? The right hashtags? Pictures? Humorous quotes? How do your followers react to purely promotional posts?
Tip: End your posts with questions, especially those that are just promotional. It's an easy way to encourage engagement, which is what people go to social media for in the first place.
Success story: UPS. This package-delivery company consistently outperforms many businesses with posts that include compelling stories, sharable images, and creative engagement.
One great thing about your social media presence is that it's not forever. You too can overcome a boring campaign or even an embarrassing gaffe. You just have to roll up your sleeves, reach out for a little help, and get back on track.
This article was written by David Preston, husband, father of 2 and freelance writer for a variety of sports, entertainment, and marketing sites. You can reach David via his email.
We can imagine the the amount of head scratching that went on among Clemenger BBDO creatives after being briefed by Carlton on their new beer which is called...Carlton Cold. We're sure it was like, "Say what" Isn't all beer cold? How the hell are we going to differentiate this cold beer from every single other beer brand in the world?"
So what's a creative to do when tasked with marketing a product that's exactly the same as every other product in its category. Well you go for the stupid, the crazy, the weird, the odd. That's what you do. And Clemenger certainly achieved that with these four :15's they created for the brand.
Quirky situations such as a bartender whose fingernails are too long to serve a beer and another who does a bit more than just slide a beer down the bar to a customer are finished off with the in-your-face announcer close, "Colder. Bolder. Fresher."
They're coming out of the woodwork. Or, rather, infesting YouTube with their incredible lameness. Just today, we had this overly long SausageCopter deal. And now we have an even more lame Root Beer Float Drone Project from A&W Root Beer which claims to have been given birth in 2005.
We think it's time for all these spoofs to quietly dismiss themselves to the flashmob archive where they will make friends with prankvertising, assvertising, the Million Dollar Homepage, this guy, this girl, Second Life and Courtney Van Dunk.
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