Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mobile Marketing - better brand awareness than TV ads?

Posting videos, pictures, podcasts, wikis a.o. and then sharing it within a matter of seconds has become today a common real-time activity open to everybody interested in "having a say".

Likewise, I'm refering to marketers, who are facing a brand-new environment of change, so that TV ads, outdoor posters or press tabloids are no longer the only ways to increase brand awareness.

Moreover, what's even more intriguing is the fact that a relevant content, surrounding the standard brand offerings may do the job on its own. So you might not even need to go for traditional "push" methods, by actually "explaining" how facinating your product is and why on earth should your audience choose it over its rivals.

In previous post I've mentioned Levi's viral ad, which though was part of an "intended" campaign, had very few mentionings of the brand itself and yet had gathered over 2 million hits on YouTube.

One of the most successful lager brands in the world - Diageo's Guiness has been running an innovative mobile marketing campaign last year, as part of their sponsorship campaign for the World major Rugby tournment - Hong Kong Sevens' event.

The event was expected to draw 20 000 foreign visitors from around the world. Instead of simply announcing the event on TV and written press, Diageo made its partnership with Ogilvy on launching a useful mobile application created to function as a Mobile Phone Guide, named "The Guiness Passport to Greatness". See below the "YouTube explanation" to its "greatness":

It became the World Guiness Mobile Event, not because Guiness was the major sponsor, but because the content was RELEVANT by: users' needs, time and location. It answered on 3 RELEVANT questiones: How? (to get there), When? (the event begins) and Where is it? (the venue).

Clever application was speaking Cantonese, allowing fans to use their mobiles to discover match schedules, team selections, stadium informations and even a city guide to Hong Kong! It broadcasted key phrases in Cantonese through mobile handsets' loudspeakers to help visitors make themselves understood! See below the featuring screen:

No, it wasn't a local mobile operator offering these facilities as an added value feature, which I'm positive customers would appreciate. It was a sponsoring the event brewery company thinking of its customers, literally speaking.

Wondering how redeeming it was for the company? According to Ogilvy's data, the campaign boosted sales by 30%. Also, over 1000 applications were downloaded on the first week of the ongoing campaign, which was supported by a targeted email blast and PR activity. So again, a blend of online PR and marketing, culminating with mobile marketing dessert, made the content work, because it was:


Beside the fact that this campaign won the 2008 MMA award for "Best use of Mobile Marketing", it had also reinforced my belief that today media is becoming too rich and too fragmented to keep using it traditionally for mass communication. How about you? Got something to say? Join the comments section! Would love to hear and debate.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UK feed: Online Storytelling: Samsung employing Social Video to spread the word for its new HD camera

We all love watching videos, don't we? Nowadays online tools are making it so much easy to use and to share the content we favour with the others. Long-live YouTube?

Well, brands are now on their way to exploring its opportunities and hindrances. That's when viral videos came spread the word, to get in the limelight of public attention and what's next? How does public interest affect the brand itself?

To be honest I can't wait to share my case studies and let you judge their effectiveness on the brand.

In both cases, the companies were the ones to employ creative agencies in order to launch teaser videos related to either the product, or the campaign. So it wasn't the case of an organic content, posted by consumers. And guess what?

In August 2008, Levi's decided to use viral videos as part of its global "Life's unbuttoned campaign" to get heard in 110 countries worldwide. The first video featuring guys jumping into pairs of jeans held aloft by their buddies gathered unexpectedly 3.5 million hits in just a matter of weeks, having already over 5 million views today on YouTube! I let you see it below:

The buzz was spectacular! Moreover, the company decided to attract a wider audience moving the viral video on TV. Levi's figured it out that a rumour today can spread within seconds globally!

Among the reasons for the video success, Erica Archambault, Levi's Head of PR stated that it was : funny, entertaining, having only a slight Levi's brand feeling behind it. She added that "We didn't want to overtly a brand as Levi's. We wanted people to discover it in their own" (cited by Adweek, May, 2008). And if you look on YouTube to see how many public responses were posted, you'd notice the amount of engagement to it.

Some fresh examples? Samsung used an online storytelling trick to help spread the news about its new HD camera (I8910), making it look as a consumer generated content. In fact, it added to it a flavour of mystery and challenge, generating over 1,03 million views for just a couple of months. The whole idea was a make-up trick, letting the viewers guess on "How it was made?".

I'll just give you a link to the actual video, so that you can easily find Samsung's secret unveiled in the next spot called "YouTube HD Camera Trick - Revealed!". I'd have to say it's a true piece of a genius as the simplicity used is astonishing. Ok, now ready to get into a mysterious witchcraft session? Take a look bellow:

By the way, when you get to see the thanking message from Samsung, you'll probably feel the same admiration for the creative idea behind it, so that the upper step would be to spot on "the next Samsung's trick"?...alhough I couldn't see myself in David Copperfield's shoes, but if you would - maybe the next Samsung's quote would be yours?
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

UK feed: All new Jaguar XJ Reveal - on global digital wave

For the first time Jaguar has been using digital platforms in order to make the reveal an "open-door" real-time event for online users interested to watch it live. Even though a main live streaming platform was set up on Jaguar official portal:, also additional platforms became available to take over the broadcast stream and offer an embedded link for all interested websites.

Thus, the reveal was watched live by 15 417 viewers simultaneously, whereas 27 274 views were registered post-reveal on demand up to this moment (Jaguar PR Press Office).

It's quite interesting to notice that the new XJ teaser campaign occuring online, stood up as a bridge for further dialogue with interested users, who continue to turn to the same platforms after the reveal. The main reason appears to be the need of leaving a feedback or a final judgement after the car has dropped its silk cover. Even though it's yet early to make a final statement on public perception, one thing is certain: by launching this model, Jaguar stepped onto a new milestone - the one marked by change.

You now might be anxious to see the event photos, featuring the car and the attending celebrities. Among them you could see: Jay Leno (holding the pre-reveal speech and taking off the silk cover on scheduled 8:15 pm), Elle Macpherson who at her 46 is still looking stunning, charming Baywatch star - David Hasselhoff, Sophie Bextor, a.o. Many thanks to Tim Bishop for offering the photos below:

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Russia Feed: Misteriously disappearing 3-D Sprite posters in Moscow underground

A few weeks earlier, a creative agency in Moscow working on Sprite's new national campaign "Thirst Free!" was witnessing misterious disappearance of their newly crafted posters placed in Moscow underground.
Their design was particularly unusual, emulating the emergency kits - boxes with refrigerated Sprite bottles inside. While trying to portray the real image of the bottle, the designers employed a 3-D technology, which was supposed to help raise "the sensation of thirst "(, 10.07.2009). Instead, the public reaction went far beyond company's expectations. Perhaps, the thirst sensation lead some enthusiasts even further,as posters started to disappear one by one in just no time. Since the remained posters' amount was limited, the authors came up with an innovative solution, addressing the audience in the same places used before. Thus, the new range of black&white posters were announcing the disappearance of the previous one. Even though no poster was yet returned, the message effect was undoubtful.

I invite you to see bellow the creative work done by: "Rodnaya Rechi" agency for Sprite Russia, 2009:

The announcement bellow sais: "Looking for holographic Sprite posters. Last seen here yesterday. Special characeristics: Raises an immense desire of drinking Sprite. If found, please call on the following hotline number.."

That's what I call: a 2-way communication, even though "guilty" audience didn't engage directly with the authors, they definetely influenced the creative change of campaign direction.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

UK feed: British Icon Celebration - Live from Saatchi Gallery!

16.00: Arriving at the Gallery! Noise, many people arround and lots of kids performing in front of the Gallery. Could it be organized on the occasion of a new Jaguar XJ launch? If so, then why would it be the kids to welcome the new generation car model? A few questions and I got it! Hill House Prep School were having a Sports' Day at Duke of Yourks, Chelsea, which is a stadium located right in front of the gallery.
Their celebration might have been the right match for the reveal day of All new Jaguar XJ. I've just captured this and couldn't wait to share. A British icon is being revealed to the world in a spirit of celebration and fun. I'm not being superstitious, but it could be a nice symbol for the reveal event, furthemore when it wasn't made on purpose. I invite you to see below :

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

UK feed: Shaping brands - Old soul in newly crafted body. The launch of All new Jaguar XJ at Saatchi Gallery tomorrow

I visited the gallery last week and though I don't consider myself a specialist in contemporary art, it's always a source for inspiration and creativity. Saatchi Gallery is renowned worldwide for its exquisite taste and interactive approach.
All new Jaguar XJ 2010 will be officially revealed globally tomorrow, 9th July, precisely within this gallery. Since the new range of models proposed by Jaguar (XK, XF and now XJ) are embracing modern looks, according to the latest market tendencies, I am wondering if the selection of the Gallery was a deliberate choise? If so, the new model, called in current campaign "All new Jaguar XJ" could be instantly associated to its "public birthplace" - the modern and coquette Saatchi Gallery.

Just to give an idea of what the Gallery is hosting usually, which obviously shapes its image as well,see bellow the following pictures:

The Exhibition of reference took place between 20 June-5 July, 2009. Among the artists whose works you can see above, are: Alan Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz (1st picture: beneath the fringes of the hulking mass can be seen the feet of nine people supporting the load, as a testimony to the strength and value of the community); Inbai Kim (white-headed fish), and Choi TaeHoon (Skin of Time - the misterious tree), etc.

Luckily, as part of my project on automotive brands I was invited tomorrow at the All new Jaguar XJ reveal event, where I could witness myself the match of brand modern looks to its reveal location. By the way, the last picture of a sitting old man is a puppet!!
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USA feed: Thinking digitally - Online PR Crisis Management. The case of Domino's Pizza

How and why is it important for businesses to engage with the media during a crisis?

Today, when consumer's voice is becoming louder than ever, companies are struggling on the new platform of a so-called "2-way communication". Some of them disregard consumers, remaining silent and therefore generating even more questions. Innevitably, question marks are pushing harder and an answer becomes a "must-do".

Domino's Pizza witnessed earlier this spring a case of communication crisis nobody was ever expecting of. It started online - Youtube and it spread in no time, just because it was an issue of public concern, so that solidarity became one of main drivers.

When you see on the web a video file featuring Domino's Pizza's employees deliberately damaging the food that was presumably going to be sold to a waiting customer, you just become part of it. And guess what? Public reaction was instantaneous, as nobody would like to be in the shoes of that customer. Issues such as: employment procedures at Domino's, quality of served food and delivered service became hot topics on Youtube platform, generating 663 157 views and 6800 comments in just a week-time!

Company reacted within 48 hours from the first video upload. Domino's initial reasoning was that it didn't want to act too hastily and alert more consumers to the situation it was attempting to contain ( It is interesting to mention the fact that the offending video was first posted on, were it was spotted by 2 graduate students at Georgetown University who have identified the location of the offenders using Google map applications. Due to them, Domino’s were alerted about the incident prior to its further viral spread on Youtube.

The story eventually was carried by such outlets as NBC and The New York Times. After 48 hours have passed since Youtube posting, Domino’s decided to take attitude, by posting an official response on same viral channel – Youtube. A 2 minutes speech was offered by Patrick Doyle, President of Domino’s USA.

Thus, the drawing line to this story would be: company's reaction posted exclusively on the same platform where the crisis started, in this case: YouTube. Also, the issues of customer service were always hot topics to consumers, furthemore when today companies are becomming more then ever attentive to what consumers are saying about brands. 'Cause remember? It is consumers who shape the brands and not the "company-mother".
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