onechocolate loves

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 GoDrive

This week, we were excited to hear that Ford has launched its GoDrive car sharing scheme for testing here in London! The initiative allows users to book Ford electric cars that use a pay-as-you-go system, charging customers 17p per minute to hire. Conveniently, users are also able to pay for parking, congestion charge and insurance all through the GoDrive Smartphone app! With electric cars available at 20 locations in London, Ford’s GoDrive could be revolutionary in cutting down emissions and congestion in one of the world’s busiest cities.

#2 Game of balls

blueball

Something every marketer has heard at some point is “sex sells”. For the most part this is true, but what happens when the item for sale isn’t something with monetary value, but a piece of advice or attitude that could save lives? Can sex sell a behaviour? Testicular cancer awareness charity, The Blue Ball Foundation, went on a mission to find out. Working with LA adult film studio Digital Playground, the organisation set to work creating some unique ‘erotic’ content.

In a world-first, those adults tuning into the Game of Thrones season five premier and then tempted to continue the evening with adult-movie, ‘Game of Balls’, found themselves watching a rather saucy public service message. You can watch the censored version for yourself on Vimeo.

Extreme tactics you might think, but if it can save the lives of just a few of the nearly 90% of men that watch adult videos, it’s perhaps the best excuse anyone’s ever had to tune in.

#3 Pancake the duck

pancake

This week, the ‘office life’ story about @PancakeDuck made us all feel all ‘warm and fuzzy’, and pining for a furry friend to keep us all entertained. Just check out this cute waddle. This just reminds us that sometimes you don’t need to go OTT on PR budgets as successful national news stories are sometimes simply the ones that are most human. Needless to say, we’re now looking into a pet robot… donations welcome!

*Photo courtesy of the brother of one of our team members, who works in said Manchester office.

#4 Happy Birthday Pac-Man!

pacman

In the year 1980, the world welcomed Steven Gerrard, Katherine Jenkins and Jenson Button, as well as the biggest arcade game of all time, Pac-Man! This week the addictive game celebrated its 35th birthday and the landmark anniversary is an indicator of how far computer games have come. Some people might remember the buzz around Pac-Man when it was first released, resulting in a franchise of toys, clothes, cereals and even a Saturday morning TV show. Those who were early fans might also remember the song, which made it into the top 10 in the charts. Pac-Man and other arcade games such as Donkey Kong and Space Invaders have proved they are still relevant in the 21st century by appearing in a movie called Pixels, which is set to be released in July. Happy Birthday, Pac-Man, have a few yellow dots on us! You don’t look like you have aged at all.

#5 Snapchat and BuzzFeed IPO

IPO

Snapchat and Buzzfeed have both announced plans to launch an IPO this week. While Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, merely addressed the need to float the company on the stock market, he confirmed that the popular video-messaging service would rather go public than sell to a rival company. There doesn’t appear to be any dates in place for either of these IPOs just yet, but we’ll be keeping an eye out…

#6 I solemnly swear that I am up to no good…

hp

We love a Harry Potter reference at the onechocolate HQ, and this week’s announcement that Harvard computer science and mathematics student, Aran Khanna has recreated the Marauders Map using Facebook Messenger technology, which has got us a little excited. The new app exploits Facebook’s default location settings and allows users to track their friends’ location to within a metre of accuracy. Is it a slightly creepy discovery? Well yes, and a little alarming to say the least.  It raises all sorts of security questions, especially considering a user’s entire past location history can be tracked minute by minute, hour by hour, going back months or even years. But we can’t help but enjoy the connection to Harry’s magical world and it’s got us thinking – what else can we recreate from JK Rowling’s imagination? I know I’d quite like a shiny new Nimbus 2000 for Christmas…

 

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Why smart B2B brands leverage Viadeo and Xing

These days, social networks are an essential part of every marketer’s arsenal. However, as the predominant language of the business world is English, we tend to think in English language terms when devising EMEA brand-building strategies on social media.

But when it comes to winning friends and influencing people, it pays to mind your language.

Take the mighty LinkedIn as an example. For most B2B brands, it’s the primary platform for thought leadership and lead generation. It is now accessible in 24 languages, which is great. Digital marketers are already targeting their local language posts to the correct geographical area, ensuring the right information reaches the right reader in a way that is easily accessible. From our perspective it’s easy to think ‘job done!’

But increasingly we’re wising up to the fact that we can’t rely on LinkedIn alone. Whilst our friends in Continental Europe can see the major benefits of having company pages in their own languages, the reality is that LinkedIn is still widely perceived as an English-language only network. The truth is, marketing messages are likely to go much further and resonate more strongly if people can read them in their native language.

But what if presenting translated content through a global site wasn’t the only option? Anyone who works in an international environment knows that with different cultures comes different expectations, different needs and, most excitingly, different opportunities. What if, instead of simply translating the same content into another language, you could put your content on a platform specifically designed with a different culture in mind?

When you look beyond the English language, there is a treasure trove of localised social and business networks available, all tailor-made to serve the specific needs of their target markets. Almost all European countries had a local professional network five years ago; these days, with the larger companies gobbling up the smaller ones, there are just a few big players vying for business attention in their markets. The modern marketing director should be clued up on local networks to truly engage with local markets.

So which are the ones you need to know about…?

Viadeo

Viadeo

With over 65 million members worldwide, French-founded Viadeo has been around almost as long as LinkedIn. Its multi-local approach has won it popularity worldwide and remains the top PSN (Professional Social Network) in France. It also has a pervasive presence in China, where it has over 25 million members and is known as Tianji. It is well known for its popularity among small businesses, who can easily network on the more low-key service. Another benefit of the network is that, through acquiring many smaller local networks, the site has retained its localised feel.

Xing

Xing logo

Xing is a network primarily used in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and is particularly notable for its system for closed communities called ‘Enterprise Groups’ with their own access paths and interface designs. The platform serves as the infrastructure for corporate groups including IBM, McKinsey and Accenture. Basic functions are free, but by limiting search options to premium users Xing has seen a high percentage of customers buy into the premium service for the clear benefits it brings.

And another to watch out for… 

VKontakte 

VK

While not strictly a PSN, Russian social network VKontakte is one of the few networks to have taken on Facebook as a competitor and survived the fight. If you’re looking to engage consumers or businesses in Eastern Europe or Russia, VKontakte is a good place to start. This Eastern audience is a force to be reckoned with: as of August 2014, VK averaged 34 million users per day, dwarfing Facebook’s 6.5 million for the same region. Like Facebook, page and group functions can be used to increase brand presence and it is extremely easy to upload promotional apps and videos to give your brand a tremendous reach.

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Weekly social scoop

The latest news and developments on Pinterest, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp, YouTube, Spotify and Facebook, just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Tweets will now appear in Google search results

By The Independent

  • The partnership is aimed at bringing real-time news and trends to users even faster than before
  • The development presents the opportunity for brands’ Twitter content to reach a whole new audience, namely those who do not currently have a Twitter account
  • Brands should also note that Tweets with embedded media will increase your chance of getting click-throughs on Google

#2 Pinterest introduces promoted pins

By Mashable

  • Despite its popularity, Pinterest does not make a large profit. In an effort to combat this, the social platform is bringing in ‘Promoted Pins’
  • Video ads will be called ‘Cinematic Pins’ and will have a similar function to Pinterest’s current ad products
  • Promoted Pins will be formatted to blend in with users’ newsfeeds and will be motion-based 

#3 WhatsApp: Businesses could soon send you messages

By The Independent

  • According to Facebook, businesses could soon be allowed to contact WhatsApp users directly through the platform
  • This is an opportunity for the messenger service to increase its profits, having previously avoided bringing in ads and paid-for features

#4 Google links new tool to other social media sites

By The Drum

  • Google is set to sever links between Google+ and its latest photo sharing and storage tool
  • The new service will instead link to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to post photos directly to their other social media profiles
  • Google is expected to debut the tool at its annual software developer’s conference, later this month

#5 Youtube releases new video ad feature

By Mashable

  • ‘TrueView’ video ads will list a selection of the retailer’s products, alongside the ad itself
  • Users will be able to click on the image to be directed to the product on the retailer’s website
  • The new feature allows YouTube to help advertisers to promote their goods and increase the platform’s ad revenue

#6 Spotify introduces new features

By The Guardian

  • Spotify has expanded its offering by adding new features such as podcasts, videos and a more intelligent music service that adapts to the listener’s running pace, activity and habits
  • The streaming service hopes the developments will increase its advantage over rivals such as Apple and YouTube

#7 Facebook faces criticism for Internet.org

By The Guardian

  • Digital rights groups from across the world have accused Facebook of not doing enough to promote net neutrality through Internet.org – its initiative to bring internet access to everyone
  • Facebook has received a letter from some of the world’s largest digital rights groups such 18MillionRising.org, India’s IT for Change and Nigeria’s Paradigm Initiative

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onechocolate loves… the view from the U.S. 

onechocolate’s San Francisco office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events… 

#1 Google and Twitter team up

google

We often look for breaking news or buzz around a TV series’ finale or sporting events in the form of live tweets from individuals before the media even gets a chance to publish. Luckily, you don’t to have to be on Twitter to find real-time tweets anymore, now that Google and Twitter have teamed up to make real-time news and information accessible by displaying tweets in Google’s search bar via its mobile app. So start your searches, but watch out for spoilers!

#2 Cannes you dig IT?

Cannes Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and while many people expect to see the latest movies coming to theaters soon, we’re also seeing a rise in tech and tech companies that attend. Attendees can now look forward to presentations from companies such as Netflix, virtual-reality brand Oculus, as well as Amazon and Vimeo. With so many “cord cutters” today, those who elect not to pay for traditional, subscription television, it’s no wonder that more companies are now courting non-traditional platforms.

#3 Spotify introduces video streaming and podcasts

Spotify

Spotify is going beyond music streaming with a new line-up of features announced this week at a press conference in New York. Expanding its content with a new feature called ‘Spotify Now’, it will soon offer users video streaming and podcasts content through partnerships with MTV, NBC and TED. It also unveiled a new feature that tailors playlists to runners. The update comes ahead of Apple’s music streaming service launch, which will be unveiled next month.

#4 The earliest technology, ever

Stone Tools

Stone tools have been found by researchers digging in Kenya that date back some 3.3 million years, making them the first signs of technology. While scientists originally thought that the genus Homo, which includes modern humans, went back about 2.8 million years, the new finding shows that the date could be pushed back 700,000 years. There is some uncertainty about who the tools actually belong to — they may well belong to a species that we don’t know about yet!

#5 The President joins Twitter

Obama tweet

It only took six years, but the President of the United States has (finally) joined Twitter. While First Lady Michelle is already using the service (@FLOTUS), U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron joined Twitter back in 2012. In his first few tweets, the President discussed his commencement address to the Coast Guard, which addressed climate change and building safer communities through “smart policing”. Welcome, Mr. President!

#6 Graduation season is on

We’re currently in the middle of this year’s graduation season for our nation’s schools and universities, which means there are plenty of scholars and celebrities giving commencement speeches. There were several that caught our eye including an inspiring speech from Apple CEO Tim Cook, a rousing speech from comedian Stephen Colbert, and finally a powerful message from First Lady Michelle Obama. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright also encouraged the students to “be doers, not just hearers”, and reminded students that the future “depends not on the stars or some mysterious forces of history,” but on the decisions they will one day make since they will have to “pick up the baton so often mishandled by the leaders of yesterday and today.”

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Weekly social scoop

The latest news and developments on Facebook, Periscope and YouTube, just in case you missed them… 

Weekly social scoop

#1 Facebook is making it easier to access news articles

By BBC News

  • ‘Instant Articles’ is a new feature on Facebook, which will give news organisations the chance to create interactive content
  • The uploaded content will be faster and easier to read on mobile devices
  • Instant Articles aims to increase traffic through the news organisations’ websites. Facebook is confident that the media outlets will get 100% of the ad revenue they have sold

#2 Periscope can now be used without a Twitter account

By Mashable

  • The live-streaming app from Twitter can now be accessed with a phone number rather than just a Twitter account
  • The development is aimed at growing the app’s footprint beyond Twitter

#3 Facebook tests its own search engine

By The Independent

  • Users may soon be able to find articles to share with their friends through Facebook’s own search engine
  • The update will start to appear on some iOS users’ phones in the near future; there will be an ‘add a link’ option which is where articles can be searched for
  • News organisations could soon use Facebook to host their published content rather than their own pages

#4 Video Ads are most likely to be viewed on YouTube

By The Drum

  • 46% of video ads across the internet will never be viewed by members of the public compared to YouTube, where 9 out of 10 will be viewed
  • To combat this problem, Google recommends that advertisers place video players in a better position on the page
  • Mobiles have the highest number of videos views compared to tablets and desktops

#5 YouTube updates its privacy settings for Android

By International Business Times

  • The new privacy settings permit users to stop new videos from joining their ‘previously watched’ list
  • There is also a new ‘Pause Watch History’ option, which allows the user to prevent recently watched videos being added to their video history
  • The newly updated YouTube app is currently only available for Android

#6 Facebook to launch an eBay rival

By The Drum

  • Members will be allowed to sell items such as festival tickets and appliances
  • The new tool is currently being tested and will start appearing on users’ profiles in the upcoming months

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