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Archive for March, 2010

Using Twitter to Enhance Experiential Campaigns

March 31st, 2010   By   Filed Under: Everyone

If you haven’t already embraced digital to enhance and extend your brand’s offline experiential and promotional marketing campaigns, you may feel as if the world is passing you by.

However, it’s never too late to get started, and begin harnessing the added firepower that digital activation can deliver for your events happening in the real world, in real time.While there are a myriad of digital channels for you to consider, we believe Twitter is the single-most effective and dynamic social media engine for promoting events and generating consumer dialog around experiential marketing campaigns. One of our favorite examples of using Twitter for a consumer experiential program is the Taco Bell Truck (Link), which shares info on where it will be traveling to give out free tacos, fun trivia and news about all things tacos.

Here are some basic steps on how you can use Twitter to take your experiential marketing campaigns to the next level:

Drive the Conversation – Set up a Twitter account and commit to a regular stream of tweets (posts) about your program, and generate a simple hashtag (#) that you include on every post. Make sure to add value for your followers by providing them with interesting info about your brand and relevant offers, and encourage feedback. For larger experiential campaigns, we recommend setting up a Twitter stream that is specific to your program and separate from any general brand or company Twitter stream you may have in place. This allows followers to self-select to specifically follow updates on your events – and you can still promote this separate stream by selectively re-tweeting your posts within your other brand accounts.

We’re currently utilizing this tactic for our client Coca-Cola via the @WorldCupTrophy Twitter feed, which is being utilized to start conversations with soccer fans around the world and generate excitement about the Coca-Cola-sponsored World Cup Trophy Tour event in Houston in May.

Follow Too – Brands that just broadcast one-way information fail in effectively deploying Twitter, so be sure to listen to your followers and take time to monitor what they are tweeting about. In addition, search on your brand and other relevant terms to find conversations from users who might be interested to attend your events and follow your info. Join their conversations, directly respond to those who ask you questions and thank those to re-tweet your content.

Cross-Promote – Promote your Twitter stream via all of your other communication channels, including email, website and other social media sites like Facebook. In addition, post your account address and hashtag at your events, and offer incentives for consumers to continue following after they have attended your experience such as trivia contests, Twitter-only discounts for your products, etc.

Follow Through – Don’t think of Twitter as just a way to promote your experiential programs before they happen, also be sure to tweet during your events. Tweet photos and video of the activities, and also tweet out thanks to followers who show up. This will encourage more interaction, and allow you to gain feedback about your events in real time. It also allows followers who are not physically present to still share in the experience (further enhancements of tweet photos and video can include posting longer video clips on YouTube or even live streaming the action on sites like Ustream).

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Of course, this works both ways, as social media can be utilized to drive event participation as well. We recently executed an experiential campaign for PayPal in New York, Chicago and San Francisco called the PayPal Tweet Hunt (Click here to view photos). Consumers were encouraged to follow PayPal’s @PayPalShopping Twitter account, which made them eligible to participate in the Tweet Hunt and win prizes such as flights, jewelry, gadgets and gift cards.

Listen – After you have started the conversation on Twitter, be sure to follow where it goes. There are many listening tools that allow you to track followers, retweets of your posts and direct mentions of your Twitter account name or related hashtags. All of these metrics can be measured and tracked, and can be used to build a scorecard for how your Twitter activity drives additional connections with consumers around your events.

One of the advantages to Twitter is that it is extremely easy to get started. Plus, it’s free.

We’ve even given you a head start. Just follow these simple suggestions to begin extending your brand’s offline experiential and promotional marketing campaigns into social media.

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library), Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape

March 29th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Although this video is from 2008, we love the passion that Gary has about doing what you love. We’re not saying it’s that easy, but we find him very inspirational.

Heineken Italy Activation

March 17th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Uncategorized

Experiential marketing is an ever changing beast, one that becomes ever more compelling as the proposition is enhanced through the integration of digital, sponsorship and PR. No longer is experiential marketing hamstrung by the supposed lack of reach or the inability to successfully measure response and traction with consumers.

An excellent example of the success that can be achieved by clever integration can be seen with Heinekens Italy Activation…Enjoy.

Phil for Haiti!

March 10th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Uncategorized

On Sunday the 7th of March 2010, our own Co-founder Phil took part in the Paris Half-Marathon in aid of the Haiti earthquake. Phil sprinted alongside 22,000 fellow runners on a 21,097 kilometre race through the streets of Eastern Paris. The weather was not in his favour unfortunately, with cold, wet and windy conditions.

Despite the set backs, Phil ploughed through, starting at the “Esplanade du Château de Vincennes” and finishing at the same point, with a brilliant time of 1 hour 46 minutes.
With our Account Manager Maddie currently taking part in the Big Cycle Challenge in India, we have been provided with inspiration for us all to get involved in the bigger picture.

Well done Phil!

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Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitism

March 8th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Uncategorized

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The more, the better. That is the fashionable recipe for nurturing new ideas these days. It emphasizes a kind of Internet-era egalitarianism that celebrates the “wisdom of the crowd” and “open innovation.” Assemble all the contributions in the digital suggestion box, we’re told in books and academic research, and the result will be collective intelligence.

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Yet Apple, a creativity factory meticulously built by Steven P. Jobs since he returned to the company in 1997, suggests another innovation formula – one more elitist and individual.

This approach is reflected in the company’s latest potentially game-changing gadget, the iPad tablet, unveiled last week. It may succeed or stumble but it clearly carries the taste and perspective of Mr. Jobs and seems stamped by the company’s earlier marketing motto: Think Different.

Apple represents the “auteur model of innovation,” observes John Kao, a consultant to corporations and governments on innovation. In the auteur model, he said, there is a tight connection between the personality of the project leader and what is created. Movies created by powerful directors, he says, are clear examples, from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” to James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

At Apple, there is a similar link between the ultimate design-team leader, Mr. Jobs, and the products. From computers to smartphones, Apple products are known for being stylish, powerful and pleasing to use. They are edited products that cut through complexity, by consciously leaving things out – not cramming every feature that came into an engineer’s head, an affliction known as “featuritis” that burdens so many technology products.

“A defining quality of Apple has been design restraint,” says Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and consultant in Silicon Valley.

That restraint is evident in Mr. Jobs’s personal taste. His black turtleneck, beltless blue jeans and running shoes are a signature look. In his Palo Alto home years ago, he said that he preferred uncluttered, spare interiors and then explained the elegant craftsmanship of the simple wooden chairs in his living room, made by George Nakashima, the 20th-century furniture designer and father of the American craft movement.

Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”

His is not a product-design philosophy steered by committee or determined by market research. The Jobs formula, say colleagues, relies heavily on tenacity, patience, belief and instinct. He gets deeply involved in hardware and software design choices, which await his personal nod or veto. Mr. Jobs, of course, is one member of a large team at Apple, even if he is the leader. Indeed, he has often described his role as a team leader. In choosing key members of his team, he looks for the multiplier factor of excellence. Truly outstanding designers, engineers and managers, he says, are not just 10 percent, 20 percent or 30 percent better than merely very good ones, but 10 times better. Their contributions, he adds, are the raw material of “aha” products, which make users rethink their notions of, say, a music player or cellphone.

“Real innovation in technology involves a leap ahead, anticipating needs that no one really knew they had and then delivering capabilities that redefine product categories,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “That’s what Steve Jobs has done.”

Timing is essential to make such big steps ahead. Carver Mead, a leading computer scientist at the California Institute of Technology, once said, “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you.”

Mr. Jobs is undeniably a gifted marketer and showman, but he is also a skilled listener to the technology. He calls this “tracking vectors in technology over time,” to judge when an intriguing innovation is ready for the marketplace. Technical progress, affordable pricing and consumer demand all must jell to produce a blockbuster product.

Indeed, Apple designers and engineers have been working on the iPad for years, presenting Mr. Jobs with prototypes periodically. None passed muster, until recently.

The iPad bet could prove a loser for Apple. Some skeptics see it occupying an uncertain ground between an iPod and a notebook computer, and a pricey gadget as well, at $499 to $829. Do recall, though, that when the iPod was introduced in 2001, critics joked that the name was an acronym for “idiots price our devices.” And we know who had the last laugh that time.