Archive for the ‘Social networking’ Category

From smoothies to cat herding

September 15, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted so here’s a small collection of random things that have caught my eye recently.

1. Innocent was originally called Fast Tractor. Who knew?  Not me until David Taylor’s blog revealed it. Here’s what the label looked like:


You can see how they got there: getting the fruit from field to bottle super-fast blah blah. But so much weaker than Innocent, which has emotional meaning as well as rational, feels like a ‘big idea’ with tons of breadth and presumably works better internationally.

So next time you are working on a positioning, ask yourself whether you’ve got a Fast Tractor or an Innocent? 

2. There’s been a lot of stuff in the media lately about how the ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ world of the internet, Twitter, Facebook and all is reducing our attention spans and making our brains less capable of concentrating for long amounts of time on seriously productive creative endeavour.

Well they say for every trend there’s a counter trend and here are examples: Slate (online magazine) have been commissioning some really long pieces and finding they get millions of page views and the editor of the New York Times magazine says it’s their longest pieces that get the most traffic.

3. Mother have made their first ad for Ikea in which they release 100 cats around the Wembley store and film what happens.

It’s rather nice (in that post-modern ‘long film that doesn’t feel like an ad’ way) and is already going gangbusters on the YouTube/viral circuit.  I assume the brief was something about making Ikea merchandise more emotionally desirable and resonant of cosy homes, not just renting your first flat. The ad does a decent job of that but has its work cut out if it’s going to override memories of the horror of the stores and the disappointing reality of the products. 

 The ‘making of’ video has had 4x as many views as the actual ad and is inspiring parodies such as this very funny one:

Nice ads but do they work?

June 21, 2010

I’ve had a very interesting month judging entries for the IPA Effectiveness Awards. The IPA is the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising but the awards now actively encourage entries about communications in a broader sense, and this batch included brands doing all sorts of integrated things both with more traditional and newer media. But one thing was pretty consistent: the use of TV and the fact that major effects didn’t tend to kick in until TV was deployed.

The process has really renewed my faith in the business benefits of commununications: most of the papers did a very robust job of demonstrating not only that the communications budget was paid back by incremental profit generated, sometimes many times over.

One slight disappointment was the lack of specific evidence relating to the effectiveness of digital and online activities, which is a bit puzzling given the relative ease of getting at least basic information. As an example I’ve just come across the relaunched Viral Video Chart, which “ranks viral videos and branded content worldwide based on the amount of times content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter and in the blogosphere”.

It’s worth a look: you can look at the UK vs. global, in the last 24 hours, week, month or year and by platform.  Vaguely interesting that while Nike’s ‘Write the future’ World Cup viral is by far the most popular viral ad in the  the world in the last 7 days (shared 27k times) it only comes in at number 20 of all viral videos shared, because it’s music and comedy videos that really get the numbers – e.g. the video for Shakira’s World Cup song was shared 339k times in the last week. Even a Brazilian toddler dancing the samba was shared a lot more than one of the most talked-about ads of recent times.  

Facebook divorces

March 30, 2010

In the US this month Facebook visits overtook Google visits for the first time.  I find that mindblowing: that there is more demand for social networking than for finding stuff.  I guess our desire to feel connected and socially important has always driven much of our behaviour, and now Facebook provides a single focal hub for those needs.

On a related note, Wired magazine this month says 19.8% of UK divorce petitions cite Facebook as a factor (based on a sample of 5000 divorces).   I did wonder why (my spouse spends more time on Facebook than with me? my spouse found his new lover via Facebook?  my spouse doesn’t feel the need for a relationship now he has Facebook?).  At any rate it puts another spin on that quest for ‘connections’.