Archive | October, 2011


27 Oct


The choice I made was to make the apology seem informal and natural. While I didn’t explicitly say the words “I’m sorry”, I was more focused on letting the viewers know that they are in fact appreciated. Again, I attempted to keep the tone more light; I even tried to make a joke (oh boy :)).  The topic I completely avoided was all of the recent controversy surrounding Netflix. I didn’t even attempt to explain what happened at all, really. My main goal was to get the message across that Netflix is back to normal and that the reason we did it was to appease our valued customers. I wanted the video response to be almost completely opposite from what the real response was. I wanted to be funny, informal, as non-creepy as I can possibly be and not too long.

I would totally re-do this if I had time and money. To be honest, I wouldn’t have done a video response at all unless I had thorough preparations.


Palm-to-face moment. For sure.

27 Oct

This is the ultimate in no-nos. Klout, itself a social media website, is getting some major backlash for its recent changes to the website.

Klout is a website designed to analyze a social media users influence within their own brand upon the social media realm as a whole. Recently, there has been a change in algorithm (or whatever the heck it is they use, because transparency issues are no new concept to Klout) and it has resulted in fairly significant declines in Klout scores. Many social media savvy people monitor Klout on a regular basis to keep in touch with their own personal brand and how effective they are being in their efforts.

Considering how seriously users of Klout’s website are about social media, it should come as no surprise to anyone that this backlash is WIDE spread. Taking to Twitter, Facebook, Digg and any other avenue you can possibly dream of to complete flip out on Klout has been commonplace in the past few days. Upon reading about the issue, there were some interesting comments made from influencers:

“I have all metrics going up: Blog traffic is up, retweets are up, Facebook engagement is up, Followers up — Yet my score dropped 19 points today.” — PamMktgNut.

“I can handle a score change, but you should then also update the history statistics as anyone viewing my graphs will see a massive plummet with no explanation why it’s gone down hill so fast. If I was searching for a job in Social Media right now I’d be concerned.” — Richard Mackney.

“Klout scores are now used for job searches, employment mandates and a number of similar functions. The change impacts the job viability and even the ability for people to apply for certain jobs which have minimum Klout scores based on the prior metrics. Similarly, you have retroactively altered the history of our Klout scores as if they had always been this way, which has created a number of financial and employment hardships already this morning.

“I have clients who used Klout as a metric of their social media advertising success, and you have now made all of those willing to try this look like fools in front of their Boards when they reported the Klout scores along with PeerIndex, Twitter Grader and other related metrics this morning.” — Kalani Kirk Hausman

I think the most shocking part about the changes and what I have learned researching this issue is how much stake your Klout score has in modern-day job hunting. Who knew? I certainly didn’t! I wasn’t even aware of this website until I took this class!

Considering this is a social media site, my best advice to them prior to making these changes would have simple: let it be well-known this is going to take effect soon. Or even better yet, when exactly the changes were happening, why the changes were happening and how they changes were going to affect the user. Using their own website and social media outlets to bring their constituents very up to speed should have been a no-brainer but… didn’t seem to be. People are shocked and outraged and have no qualms about letting the world know.

In the sense of damage control, attempting to have conversations with their biggest complainers is going to be key. They need to listen and they need to respond to individual claims. It doesn’t matter if it is time-consuming (though I am not saying each and every one needs to be addressed-get a trusted adviser to pick and choose the most important to answer), conversation needs to happen and it needs to happen now. Show Klout users you are listening and are adaptable.

Another step that needs to be taken is to straight up let users know how things work and why they work the way they do. As of yesterday, Klout was still mum, and it just made people even more red in the face.

After engaging with consumers and becoming more transparent, make a promise to remain transparent. Make the promise to do it consistently and with fair warning. Don’t do it via creepy video response. Use your social media.

The best advice I have? Stick with your promises after they are made. Easier said than done of course, but ideal.


Project 1- Finding a Social Media Success

27 Oct

All right, first things first. Here is the video that started it all– that which makes everything else in this post relevant. “It took an old, sleepy brand and woke it up, and overnight wove its way into popular culture and showed the power of creativity to ignite a sleeping giant,” said jury President Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide.

For those who are terrified of a zombie apocalypse and have been living in a bunker for a year, this video and subsequent campaign is what is now known the world over as “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like,” if he used Old Spice of course.

It is also widely recognized in the social media realm as being one of, if not the greatest social media campaign of all time.

Let’s paint a little background picture before we delve deep into Old Spice waters. Wieden+Kennedy, the advertising firm credited with the success of the campaign, has its headquarters in Portland, Oregon and is one of the largest independently-owned advertising agencies on the globe. Describing W+K’s clients as big dogs is an understatement. Nike, Converse, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Target, EA Games, ESPN and Microsoft are companies on their short list. We Detroiters even have this ad agency to thank for the incredible Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” ad with Eminem that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl (really, we are much obliged to you W+K, you helped bring us some much-needed good press). I digress. The client I examined was P & G, but specifically Old Spice.

The picture painted of Old Spice pre- “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was much more grim than that of W+K. Competition in men’s body was had grown immensely in recent years. Though Old Spice is a long-respected brand who may be able to take credit for the first-ever marketing of body wash, products like AXE Body Wash for Men were kicking their behind. Old Spice was known as the aftershave scent for old men. W+ K knew the brand needed a makeover and decided to not only appeal to a younger demographic, but to women. Research found that more than half of all body wash purchases were done by women for their significant other, brother or the like.  The decision was made to create commercial directed solely at women and to launch it in a unique way.

The commercial in the link above was launched first online Super Bowl weekend and right after on television. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was a hit. The ads were strategically placed in slots where couples would be watching together and was supplemented by being available on YouTube.  In metrics described from this W+K case study, Old Spice caught 75% of all conversations in their market. Countless news organizations ranging from Ellen and Oprah to NPR, CNN and CBS were talking about Isiah Mustafa-“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” There were also hundreds of spoofs and rip-offs on You Tube, like this one promoting using the library at BYU.

Seeing the gigantic  buzz the commercial generated, W+K saw an opportunity to further capitalize on the success. They wanted to be more engaging than a witty commercial-have a conversation with their potential customers. And the best way to do that? None other than social media. The response campaign was quickly conceived.

In two days Isaiah Mustafa and the  Wieden + Kennedy, Portland creative team of Creative Director Jason Bagley, Digital Strategist Josh Millrod and Interactive Producer Ann-Marie Harbour (all out of the Portland office) recorded more than 186 tailor-made video responses to questions from everyday internet users and celebrities taken from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and more. Mustafa’s wordplay, voice and outrageous props fueled more buzz. Here are a few examples of his responses:

and of course, his final response:

Now for a little bit on the metrics of the response campaign. On the first day of the campaign, the YouTube channel received 5.9 million views. More people watched its videos in 24 hours than those who watched Obama’s presidential victory speech. On its second day, the response videos took up eight of the top 11 videos on YouTube. At the end of the first week, W+K projected the campaign collateral was viewed more than 40 million times. In regards to the brands other social media outlets, Old Spice’s Twitter followers increased by 2700%. Facebook fan interaction went up 800%. Website traffic to Old Spice’s page increased 300%. Old Spice became, at the time, the all-time most viewed branded You Tube channel. In the six months after the response campaigned launched, there were 1.4 billion campaign impressions.  As far as bottom line contributions go, since the campaign launched, Old Spice Body Wash sales went up 27% in the first six months; nine months in up 55%; and in ten months up 107%.

When Jason Bagley was asked how the idea came into fruition about have personal video responses, he said “It was a genius idea that came entirely from the mind of Iain Tait (Global Interactive Creative Director). Eric Baldwin (Art Director), Iain and I were sitting around trying to think of how to capitalize on all the YouTube traffic we knew we’d be getting when the new Old Spice spots launched and Iain threw out the idea of having Isaiah Mustafa in a room for a few days making video responses to people’s YouTube comments. The only credit Baldwin and I can take is that he was looking at our faces when he said it.”

Josh Millrod explained the strategy behind the campaign as such “Typically, seeding strategies depend on activating “influencers” like bloggers, celebs and news outlets. Instead, we focused on activating communities. We knew that Digg Founder Kevin Rose was sick so we made a get-well video for him and posted it on Digg with the title “Get Well, Kevin Rose! Sincerely, The Old Spice Man” to tap into Digg’s passionate community. The video became the top content on Digg yesterday with over 5,000 Diggs. Next, we created a call for comments on Reddit and posted a time-stamped picture of Isaiah saying hi to Reddit. To activate the community, we tapped into their long-standing rivalry with Digg by posting the video we created for Kevin Rose. Submissions started flooding in and we quickly gained the first and second spots on Reddit’s homepage where the pic of Isaiah and the submission thread stayed all day. We also tapped into the large and influential “Anonymous,” which is widely considered the governing body of the Internet. They are generally wary of brands, but we knew that they were fans and the video we created for them got more than 90,000 views in one day and almost 4,000 likes on YouTube and less than 100 dislikes making us the first brand to ever effectively activate this community. Finally, we created videos for traditional influencers who were relevant to these communities and posted the videos on their blogs and @replied to them on Twitter. All of these tactics combined helped us activate large communities and drum up buzz before we even rolled out 10 videos. ” (Interviews taken from

When Digital Strategist Dean McBeth was asked if this campaign was considered a social media success his reply was, “Absolutely.”

The biggest determining factors in concluding the success of this campaign was the impressions made, the amount of web engagement the brand saw (more “Likes” on Facebook, more Twitter followers, etc.) as well as the client reception. Also according to McBeth, the goals of the campaign were, “We want to help young guys navigate the seas of manhood.” Apparently it was their overarching mantra from the beginning. The other, more specific goals of the viral videos campaign, according to McBeth, were to “amplify the second video in this series  and to push that story out there to the world. And second to thank all the consumers that have been apart of this Old Spice story,” said McBeth. The long term goals were also to increase sales and increase them within that younger demographic I mentioned earlier.

The tangible goals set by W+K were fairly effectively met. The Old Spice story was everywhere and consumers felt like they had a personal investment in the brand because of the personal touch via social media W+K advocated. While the long term goal of years down the road is yet to be proven (the campaign was first launched less than a year ago in Feb. 2010), Old Spice certainly saw a sales increase.

When analyzing the campaign to see what further steps W+K could have taken to make it even more of a success, it becomes difficult. The campaign was near perfect in regards to short-term success. The most remarkable part of this campaign in my opinion was tapping into the internet outlets that aren’t the most widely known first (they didn’t set this up via Facebook or even Twitter initially) and using what they knew about those specific communities to win their approval. For example, targeting 4chan (under the guise as anonymous in the video responses) was HUGE. 4chan is practically the definition of the internet and reaching out to that specific community with content it would approve of and embrace was completely genius. I would bet most conservative companies would never want to participate in or seek out a community such as 4chan, but let’s face it-most viral internet sensations ultimately have their point of origin on /b/.  I especially like how they utilized their social media knowledge by making a “Get Well” video for the founder of Digg. True social media success lies in a continued, practical knowledge of the community as a whole. The only way to really understand how to make a successful campaign is to be in touch with the target demographic and to use and understand the social media outlets being used. That is where the true success of this Old Spice campaign lay.

All other aspects of social media came with the success of the video responses. They didn’t have to push “Likes” on Facebook, create a hashtag or anything of the sort- the consumers did this all themselves. He was embraced almost universally.

The one thing I thought of that could have been improved upon (it was difficult because this campaign is considered to be a benchmark) but the brand didn’t necessarily embrace all of the spoofs that were spawned because of the commercial. I think it would have been an even further engagement opportunity to ask consumers to send in their own videos for some sort of contest. Maybe the grand prize could have been being in a video with “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” himself. Maybe even a lifetime supply of Old Spice for ya man. It would have shown how great of a sense of humor the brand has on another level-besides the tongue and cheek humor already evident. With this particular campaign, I doubt “too much engagement” would have been an issue.

As a tribute to “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” let’s enjoy one last commercial with him.

mobile apps….and I don’t even have a smart phone.

22 Oct

The title is the truth. I own no smart phone, iPod or anything of the like. When I rented the iPad for class, it was complete unchartered territory. I actually just downloaded my first app aside from Pandora last week when we downloaded Instagram. That particular download started a mini-frenzy of app exploration. I downloaded apps from the New York Times, Cosmo, Self, The Weather Channel and Bank of America.

I will be the very first to admit that I am wholly inexperienced in the whiles of mobile apps and therefore use them for the simplest of purposes. I am slowly but surely becoming more acquainted and/or literate in such technology. As a hopeful PR professional, I have got to be more comfortable being in the swing of things (or at least not such a purist. I do in fact plan on purchasing a smart phone upon graduation :))   The only apps I use on a regular basis are as follows: Pandora, New York Times and Bank of America.

Pandora and Bank of America do what I need them to. Play my music stations and allow me to make transfers respectively. The Pandora app does however sometimes just fail to work which is frustrating. I’ve had to completely reboot my iPad twice just for the music to play. Existing Pandora users are definitely the target market for this app. It isn’t social at all-there isn’t a real option to share within the app. One of the unique traits to the app is the consistent biography of the artist playing. On the actual website, the info varies a bit more. Other than that, the two (the app and the website) are fairly similar. This app certainly does the trick without any useless frills. I would say monetized it is indeed.

The Bank of America app has the same practicality notion of the Pandora app. It leaves the user of the app with a fair sense of security because it has the exact same pass code steps as the actual website. Transfers, account status and all other on-the-go essentials are easy to use and obviously highly accessible. Bank of America is attempting to retain their customers by making banking with them as easy as can be. This app is certainly not social, as it an incredibly private matter-in no way should it be social. Can you imagine the option to post “I just transferred $1500 to my checking account” on Facebook?

My biggest critique of an app lies with The New York Times. While I believe that this app is the best of all print apps (comparing it to magazine apps, etc.), it was frustrating to use. It runs on a time frame-after a certain amount of browsing or clicking around on the app, it prompts the user to purchase a subscription for a fee. I could just use Safari to open the paper up on the web and not have to worry about it. It also doesn’t seem to have normal iPad capabilities (unless the very distinct possibility of me using it incorrectly) like being able to zoom in on pictures and the like.  The Times isn’t monetizing the app as it should. As much of the paper is available on the greater Web should be available on the app.

The easier and simpler a mobile app is, the more beneficial it becomes to the brand identity attempting to utilize it.

Scavenger hunts aren’t just for the kiddies anymore!

20 Oct

I was thinking a great brand to use the SCVNGR app would really benefit a museum. If the results are easily shared on social media, it would encourage users to share and promote their success in the scavenger hunt with their social network. Exposure on participant’s individual social media sites will ideally lead to a wide range of people becoming aware of the museum as a whole, what sort of exhibits and other attractions are offered at the museum. Incentives available throughout the task would be beneficial as well.

As a case study I’ll use The Henry Ford. (Museum and Greenfield Village)

For starters, several different scavenger hunts could be created to have a holiday theme. The Henry Ford puts on events for each holiday season: Halloween, Holiday Nights, as well as several unique events all summer long.

Here are some potential general challenges:

-Find the seat Rosa Parks refused to get out of in her bus and take a picture in it.
-Count the original Thomas Edison light bulbs in the Sarah Jordan Boarding House.
-FInd out the seasonal dish at the Eagle Tavern.
-How many “Dymaxion Houses” exist?
-What is the name of a movie playing in the nickelodeon?
-Which U.S. president practiced law in a courthouse in Greenfield Village?
Example of a themed scavenger hunt challenge:
-Take a picture with each of the Santa’s from around the world
-Take a video of you learning the Texas Two Step during Ragtime Street Fair

Types of incentives would could include discounts at the IMAX concession stand, free Model T cookie, half off admission on your next visit or some other incentive of that nature if all tasks are completed.