Check out this spoof video from Project GramGram, which comes with some great tips for connecting with your dear old grandma—including using a fictitious new service that lets you send social media posts via snail mail, so you can update her instantly, "in three to five days."
My favorite: Alternative options like, "the phone app, available on most mobile devices."
Apparently it's all the work of some Brigham Young University students. Which means their muse was, most likely, a certain somebody who wasn't going to hear any more about their excuses for not staying connected.
If this is the result, we hope they tell her thank you for us.
For consumers, Facebook's new Reactions feature is a fun way to go beyond the Like button, enabling them to express their feelings about posts with one of six icons: The Like or thumbs up icon; the Love or heart icon—and now, a choice of four emoji faces: HaHa or laughing; shock or surprise; sadness—and anger. (See Jimmy Fallon's take on the pros and cons in the YouTube clip above.)
There are even expansion packs that replace the official icons with images from Pokemon, Deadpool, Adventure Time—and even Donald Trump.
Reactions: HaHa—or Anything But?
While consumers may give Reactions a thumbs up, some brands may feel their relationship with Facebook has just become more ... complicated. After all, instead of just Liking a brand's post, consumers are now free to express emotions some marketers may not exactly heart.
In fact, early buzz indicates some marketers may have their own facial expressions (or hand gestures) for Reactions.
But is that the right away to react?
In a radio interview the other morning on the Blasingame Show on Forbes Radio, I talk about Reactions and what they may mean for marketers: the good, the bad—and the ugly.
(Note: It sounds like there were some technical difficulties, so audio quality is not the best)
Turns out all the crazy rumors were true: Social media marketing is more than just Facebook, YouTube & Twitter these days.
For all the buzz we’d hear over the years about how this or that social platform is sure to be a boon for marketers (…remember Google+?...) talk usually just circled back to Facebook, Twitter and maybe throw in a YouTube video and a vine and call it a day.
Not in 2015 – at least not all the time.
With certain audiences (read: millennials) Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat and others helped marketers seriously hit their marks.
A look at some of our favorite social media campaigns from the year that was, not necessarily in any order:
GoPro is obviously a brand built on content – it is, after all, its raison d'etre. Who doesn’t love those extreme sports shots of people doing acrobatics as they skydive or ski or jump trashcans in the driveway on their bikes? But even in 2015, we can’t escape online cat videos—and in the case of this Instagram (and YouTube) campaign, you wouldn’t want to. Meet Didga, an Australian cat that skateboards—incredibly well. That said, there's a family nearby that has a dog—a little bulldog named Henny—that skateboards all over the place, and even has her own YouTube channel. I'm not sure she's quite Didga's level yet. But who knows: Maybe she'll have her own GoPro video series one day.
My wife could seriously be a talent scout for any genre in the music industry—I can’t tell you how many times she has discovered bands and said “these guys are going to be huge in a couple of years" and been spot on. Unlike my wife, many music aficionados like to claim bragging rights for being the first to find hot acts. Which makes Spotify’s #FoundThemFirst social campaign so compelling. Last summer, the online music streaming service rolled out a "Found Them First" microsite that lets users see which musicians the system knows they heard before they became megawatt sensations. They can then build and share a playlist built on their discoveries—and Spotify will offer them a new playlist with other new acts they might like as well.
I've never been that into Groupon, but I have to admit this campaign was, er, ballsy. In April, Groupon posted a Facebook photo of plastic banana containers, as if they were packaged goods, and responded to everybody who posted a suggestive joke. I have no idea if the bunkers sold well, but it’s still fun. And at over 45,000 shares, apparently others also saw the appeal. Pardon the pun.
Taco Bell and millennials are made for each other. So Snapchat must be the perfect platform for both, right? Well if this little initiative is any indication, the answer is an emphatic (thumb’s up). Taco Bell hired two twentysomethings to essentially set up a “Stories” studio/”news room” where they could create and collaborate with super fans on fun real-time and more thought-out content (including a lot of UGC). And while we haven’t seen any sales figures for platform promotions, we still have to imagine this channel can’t hurt with this QSR’s most devote customers.
Let’s try to get a little control over our Emoji, folks. Yes, Oxford named this emoji as its 2015 Word of the Year. Not the word “emoji,” mind you. Literally this symbol—“tears of joy” is the Word of the year. And as if by magic, Durex has a new hashtag campaign that might just inspire you to use that emoji – or even better, one that helps young people talk about safe sex. As it happens, Durex research shows that 50% of 18-25 year-olds use emoji when discussing sex. So for World AIDS Day December 1, Durex is asking for help encouraging the Emoji masters who create the official icons to create a condom Emoji.
Worth it: This series of online videos for Hefty Easy Grip plastic cups turns conventions on head with stereotypical moms who speak fluent over-the-top teen that had had fans going cray. One installment, #Turnt (shown at top), has been viewed 2.6 million times on YouTube alone, #WorthIt, 2.1 million times. Who knew suburban moms could have so much street cred?
This UK-based consumer insurance cooperative was putting on the hits this year with NostalgiaFM, which allows users to enter the year they first past their driver’s test for a playlist of #1 songs from that month and year. Over 15,000 people used the app on its first day. And in its first five days, the effort generated 200,000 engagements on Twitter and Facebook, and a huge amount of traffic to the company’s website.
What’s not to love about the World Wild Life Fund’s “Last Selfie” promotion with Snapchat, which takes advantage of the fleeting, transient nature of Snapchat communications with short ads that show just how quickly an endangered species can be wiped off the planet. Powerful, and perfect for the platform. In just its first week, consumers posted 40,000 tweets about the initiatives to 120 million timelines. And in just three days, WWF reached its fundraising target for the entire month.
These shoes were made for helping: TOMS built its brand on donating a pair of shoes to needy children for every pair sold. This summer, whenever someone posted an Instagram photo of their bare feet using the hashtag, TOMS would give away a pair of shoes to someone in need—no purchase necessary—to the tune of 296,243 pairs.
It’s the biggest buzzword in marketing today—but also the most over-hyped.
Indeed, for all the promise of “content marketing,” it’s not as easy as it seems. In a recent poll, a full 43% of B2B marketers, for instance, cite content marketing as an effective tactic for lead generation. But 43% also say it's also one of the most difficult.
It's also not always as effective as you might believe. According to eMarketer, developing the right content for the right audience is a major factor in why content marketing efforts fail to get desired results.
Indeed, despite today’s emphasis on all things digital, 84% of marketers develop old-school print brochures as #1 in their lead generation efforts.
Not that that's bad. Print does have a place as a delivery mechanism for some forms of content marketing—if anything, it's gained more cache in the digital age. But it's just one of many.
SO WHAT'S WORKING?
In this recent appearance on the The Jim Blasingame Show, I attempt to demystify content marketing.
Some of the other top content forms will obvious to you, others maybe less so. Either way, any conversation with Jim means you’re going to have some fun along the way.
Of course, since Jim’s show is targeted to SMBs, our conversation is focused more on marketers who hope to gain traction in the marketplace without big-brand budgets.
But as you'll hear, whether it's big brand or small, one thing is clear: For all the time and money spent developing content to draw in prospects, a growing number of marketers are realizing they most overcome one cold, hard fact: Nobody anywhere is waiting around for your content.
This audio Q&A might help you find new ways to change that.
In truth, I would characterize this all as "real-time social media marketing," as real-time marketing has evolved to become more associated with real-time, personalized marketing-to-sales conversion on websites. Think personalized offers displayed to the right person at the right time as part of a retail website experience.
That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about marketing efforts to break through the clutter with highly-relevant social media marketing (and advertising) tied to real-time events in hopes of generating brand moments that get shared and gain widespread attention. The video above is a great summary of some of the most positive elements of Oreo's initiatives.
Of course, there are some who are more than skeptical over the ROI of such efforts—witness this recent piece from Content Strategist. And yes, given the infrastructure some brands deploy for it, real-time marketing may not make a lot of sense.
But for smaller brands, it may be a different story.
While I normally work within the world of larger brands, the Jim Blasingame show has me on from time to time to translate trends in world into possible opportunities for his audience, which is primarily SMBs.
In the conclusion of this recent interview, we'll talk about how for local businesses, newsjacking could make for a low-cost, low-bandwidth proposition that lets these companies demonstrate they are active members of their communities and dialed into the things that matter to their customers.
And they can do it in a way that larger brands will never be able to emulate.
Can someone who has never worked in advertising really cover it?
Or is it even better that way?
In the conclusion of my recent "exit interview" with legendary New York Times ad industry columnist Stuart Elliott, we discuss what it was like to cover such a idiosyncratic industry without much first-hand experience in the business.
How did being one step removed hinder - or help?
As Elliott says goodbye to the Times, we'll get his views on that topic.
And we'll try one last time to get his predictions for what's next in the world of advertising. His response is worth noting even for those of us who do work in this crazy, wonderful industry.
SELFIE in this case stands for "Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine." Though the practical applications for most consumers may be a bit of a head scratcher, I can imagine this kind of technology built into clothing store images similar to those developed by Tom Nicholson at Nicholson NY. This would enable social shopping experiences where users could solicit real-time feedback on whether an outfit is say, "fly" or "forgettaboutit" from their extended social networks.
It's not every day a hair care ad blows you away. This digital signage from Apotek in Sweden senses incoming trains at this Stockholm subway station, and makes the poster model's hair react with dramatic flourish.
3D printing technology has me wondering about what constitutes a "brand" in categories seen for so long now as immune to digital media disruption: Fashion and furniture. First up, news that a company called Electroloom hopes to launch ready-to-wear clothes that you could print from your 3D printer at home. And second, a look at what happens when this technology eventually results in home 3D printers (or even "bays") capable of printing out furniture.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? ... oh wait, it is a plane. Flight 186 from New York, in fact. This effort from OgilvyOne and Storm won the Direct Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival for the effective use of ground-breaking technology matched with a brilliant idea.
And then there's 3D-printed munchies. Oreo's experimental "Oreo Trending Vending Machine" uses 3D printing technology to print out cookies. The initiative comes via a partnership with Twitter that includes "trending flavors" based on trending social conversations, which customers can then select to watch their cookies being built. It sounds like it takes about two minutes - which seems like a long time wait - but hopefully novelty will trump timeliness in this case.
Yes, it's a thing. Oscar Mayer's new "Wake Up & Smell the Bacon" device plugs into your iPhone so that when the alarm goes off, you bask in the smell and sound of sizzling bacon. Fun, effective and cruel, all at the same time.
You have to love the latest installment of Coca-Cola's Happiness Campaign—involving two vending machines on opposite sides of a sports stadium, where you can't get a Coke for yourself. But you can give one to a fan of the opposing team. Genius.
THIS new app integrates digital and physical worlds with handwritten notes you can send via snail mail. Let's face it, it's print and snail mail when you want to send the very best, Hallmark or otherwise. Felt, the company behind this app, understands this - and looks to have delivered a very nice app just in time for this last holiday season. How might your brand use digital to pay off in physical?
I'm digging this vision video from augmented reality player Metaio, which foresees a world where thermal heat scanning wearables enable users turn any surface into an interactive touch screen interface. Think of the implications for communications, and then think further. Gaming, mixed reality movies and shows, layered brand experiences. Entire environments and cross-reality social media, activated and annotated by a simple touch. How can your brand lead the way?
Here's looking at you - in a whole new way. Sephora's Milan store has a new AR mirror that enables shoppers to try on makeup without applying anything. Live AR like this represents a compelling application of AR at retail - empowering the consumer to do what previously would have take a lot of time and tissues to even attempt. The tech, from ModiFace, looks to work quite well. For many other applications, be sure to pick up a copy of my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND.
Called a MirrorBox, this unit from DisplayMapper is billed as the "world's first" projection-mapped display unit for retail. Best of all - it works in daylight. And content updates are managed through a cloud-based interface. Perfect for many lifestyle goods brands.
Without a doubt, digital is the ultimate sandbox. If you can dream it, you can do it. What will your brand do with ad-tech in 2015? And most important of all, how might this kind of ad-tech innovation reshape not just your marketing, but your business model in the decade ahead?
My bud Alex Bogusky tweeted about this yesterday, and I thought it was cool - a new app that integrates digital and physical worlds with handwritten notes you can send via snail mail.
Let's face it, it's print and snail mail when you want to send the very best, Hallmark or otherwise. Felt, the company behind this app, understands this - and looks to have delivered a very nice app for the upcoming holiday season.
Meet the 'Momentcam': A new marketing effort from Huggies Korea that involves two clip-on cameras - one for mom, one for baby - that capture those everyday moments from the perspective of both mother and child. Hard not to love the results.
But this isn't just about video capturing those moments. It's about using those videos to tell the story behind these moments - and associating the brand with something so magical.
How is your brand using technology to connect at an emotional level?