onechocolate loves… the view from the US

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

#1 #IllRideWithYou

I'llridewithyou

After the tragic events in Sydney this week, it’s heart-warming to see social media be a cause for good as Australians banded together to support Australian Muslims and immigrants against any possible backlash following the siege. It started when one woman on a train removed her hijab (possibly out of fear), and the lady next to her encouraged her to put it back because she would accompany her.

#2 Enhance, enhance, enhance  

facebook logo

Facebook recently announced that the company will be auto-enhancing photos that are uploaded via its iOS application. While it will also soon launch on Android, it’s nice to know that we’re no longer restricted to the dimly lit, crummy photos so many of us take on our first try. So get to enhancing!

#3 Filters for all

Instagram filters

For the first time in 2 years, Instagram has added five new filters to its service. As more people continue to share their stories and experiences across social channels, it’s clear that there’s still a great deal of competition among the top names. Given Facebook’s new auto-enhance feature, it’s nice to see that the more these social channels improve their platforms, the more their audiences benefit. 

#4 15 Digital Trends to Watch in 2015

Trends to watch 2015

This week, PR News released its thoughts on the 15 digital trends to watch in 2015. The top three on the list: Near-field communications, Internet of Things and Wearables. All of these sound like strong possibilities for the coming year, and we’re excited to see where we land come December 2015.

#5 ‘Culture’

Cultur

Merriam-Webster has named “culture” as the 2014 Word of the Year. According to PR Daily, “The word was chosen based upon its high search rankings on the dictionary’s website, which gets around 100 million page views every month.” The Oxford dictionary, on the other hand, named “vape” (referring to the smoke produced by an electronic cigarette) as the Word of the Year 2014. It’s nice to see we’ve moved passed ‘selfie’!

#6 The Sony hack

 Sony Pictures

 

It’s not something to love, but following the hack of Sony, it’s frightening to see what people can do to large corporations from so far away. The U.S. is now saying that North Korea is responsible, and there are even some industry leaders who think the media was wrong to report all of the gory details of the breach. Could it have been prevented with stronger firewalls and data encryption? Perhaps not naming files “Usernames&Passwords” is one place to start. It will be interesting to see how other organizations react to similar breaches in the coming years.

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn – just in case you missed it! 

Weekly social scoop

#1 LinkedIn redesigns its home page

By CBR

  • LinkedIn has announced that it will be redesigning its homepage in an effort to improve user experience
  • The changes will include a dashboard where users will be able to see how many people have viewed their profile and a ‘Keep in Touch’ box, which will enable users to comment on posts, while also suggesting people to connect with

#2 Facebook quietly dumps Bing

By Tech Crunch

  • It appears that Facebook will be developing its own search tool, after it quietly parted ways with Bing this weekend
  • Facebook has reportedly been developing its own search tool for a long time in an effort to give users the ability to filter through old comments and other information from friends

#3 Could Facebook be getting a dislike button?

By BBC News

  • During a recent Q&A session, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said that Facebook is thinking about adding a “dislike” button, to allow users to dislike others’ posts
  • Zuckerberg said that it had been one of the most requested features the social network has received, but that they are trying to find a way to make sure it does not become a way to demean people’s posts
  • According to Facebook, 4.5 billion “likes” are generated every day

#4 Facebook wants to help you stop drunk posting

By Independent

  • Have you ever posted a picture whilst drunk and woke up cringing the next morning? Well, Facebook is considering inventing a tool which would prevent this happening
  • Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research department chief Yann LeCun explained to Wired that the “artificial assistant” would say “Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?”

#5 G+ allows users to choose infinite gender options

By TIME

  • Google+ is following in the footsteps of Facebook to allow users to choose any word they like to describe their sexuality
  • The new Google+ options will be “Male”, “Female”, “Decline to state” and “Custom”. If “Custom” is chosen, a field will appear where users can choose whichever word they like

#6 YouTube testing out GIF maker

By IT Pro Portal

  • YouTube has opened up a new beta programme which lets users transform lengthy videos into six second length clips
  • YouTube has also included a caption option to allow users to create humorous memes
  • Anyone interested in participating in the beta phase is invited to put forward how they will use the GIF maker and the options are “create GIFs to promote my channel”, “allow fans to interact with my videos” or “Other”

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onechocolate loves… the view from Germany

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Munich office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 And so this is Christmas…

We are at that time of year again, where we can hardly breathe for Christmas campaigns. Although we love getting into the festive spirit, it’s increasingly hard for brands to stand out from the crowd. However, EDEKA, the leading German supermarket corporation, has released a brilliantly different video which shows cashiers playing Jingle Bells on their scanners, much to the delight of the unsuspecting customers. We love this feel good clip, which has also been picked up by a radio station, Antenne Bayern, to get companies to mimic the supermarket by creating their own Jingle Bells tune – with car sellers honking horns or employees from a fiscal authority stamping.

#2 Grumpy Cat

Grumpy cat

Yes it is true – the grumpiest of all cats has made it; from funny pictures on Facebook, to memes on imgur and reddit, to her own merchandising products, fan pages, two books(!) and even a TV movie. One could say grumpy cat has become too mainstream and now uses her beloved grumpiness just to make money and sell cat food. But who wouldn’t take the money? There are estimations that grumpy cat has earned 100 million dollars so far – although its owner said the number is inaccurate. We wonder if grumpy cat smiles a little when she´s thinking about out-earning Hollywood stars, including leading ladies Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz.

#3 Who says German politicians are humorless?

Environmental protection and sustainability are always hot topics in Germany. New videos to promote these vital issues have recently been released by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment – and we’re enjoying its new tongue-in-cheek approach. In one of the clips, a daughter gets home and catches her parents ‘in flagrante’ in the living room. With both parties pretty embarrassed, she turns off the light and leaves. The voiceover tells her ‘thank you’, for turning off the light and being ‘green’. In another clip, the husband gets attacked by zombies, while his wife just closes the window – and the voiceover again thanks her for protecting the environment.

#4 Zombie fever

Zombie

Also on the subject of zombies, we love the branded content campaign created by two German movies students at Filmakademie. In the interactive online game, the player has to help the protagonist who has been bitten by zombies by completing various challenges. The player is able to change the plot of the story depending on how well they play. The game provides a very different brand experience and is a great example of good storytelling. Try it out!

#5 Looking back on 2014 – with Facebook

Facebook

The end of the year brings the inevitable onslaught of countdowns of the most popular trends for 2014; on TV channels, radio stations and, of course, Facebook. It’s not too hard for Facebook to decide which trends and topics shaped 2014; they just have to look into their data pool, to see which topics and events had the deepest impact on the 1.3 billion Facebook users. From the ice bucket challenge to the World Cup – what was the most popular this year? Have a look for yourself and explore the trends 2014.

#6 Instagram works – even in Germany

Instagram

Although Instagram passed the ‘new kid on the block’ status some time ago, there are still many brands in Germany that are skeptical about the value Instagram can bring to their communications strategy. Our suggestion is to focus on the growing number of up-and-coming young instagrammers on the site who are becoming increasingly influential and making a living through their beautiful pictures. One of our favorites is Michael Schulz, who is based in Berlin – which is also the main topic of his photos. His account is a great example of how Instagram can help build brands through influencer relations – even in Germany.

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Weekly social scoop

Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube – just in case you missed it! 

#1 Most of ‘dark social’ comes from Facebook

By NDTV

  • ‘Dark social’, a term coined by Alexis C. Madrigal, refers to traffic on social networks which is untraceable and is usually due to users sharing content via an online chat or email rather than through social platforms
  • Chartbeat, the web analyst company, has found that most dark social comes from Facebook. Thus, many firms may well be misinterpreting the amount of traffic on their social platforms, particularly Facebook

#2 Add personality to your LinkedIn profile

By Entrepreneur

  • Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is now allowing its non-Premium users to customise their profile background image
  • The news is sure to be welcomed by companies as the update will enable them to inject personality through an attention-grabbing picture that captures the essence of the brand

#3 Google+ users can now pin updates

By Tech Crunch

  • Following in Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook’s footsteps, Google+ will now let users pin posts to their timelines
  • The development will help users to personalise their profiles and increase engagement with key activities, such as polls or important news announcements

#4 Slingshot 2.0

By Digital Trends

  • Facebook’s answer to Snapchat, Slingshot – which was launched in June – received a frosty reception from users and was removed in August
  • However, Slingshot 2.0 has been unveiled and developers have labelled it “simpler, cleaner, and more fun” than the previous version

#5 YouTube invests in its vlogging stars

By The Drum

  • With the YouTube vlogging phenomenon going into overdrive in recent months, Vessel has made attempts to poach the top talent by offering deals to the vloggers who give their videos exclusively to Vessel
  • However, YouTube has hit back by offering bonuses to the stars in exchange for multi-year contracts

#6 Facebook tax avoidance

By Guardian

  • Days after George Osborne promised a ‘Google Tax’ crackdown – aimed at US-based corporations who avoid paying tax to the UK – Facebook announced it had only paid €2.3m (£1.8m) of tax on almost €3bn (£2.37bn) of advert sales
  • Margaret Hodge, the chair of the influential Commons public accounts committee said: “It seems that Facebook, like Starbucks, which this week admitted it will pay no corporation tax in the UK for the next three years, is still refusing to listen to the voice of public opinion.”

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Paris office have selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR & digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 Movember

Movember

As November comes to an end, we had to take our hats off to the men who have been participating in Movember. In case you’re not familiar with the phrase, each year during November men are encouraged to grow their moustache to raise funds for medical research to fight prostate and testicular cancer. And it’s working; with 4 million participants having raised 409 million Euros so far to support 800 programs in 21 countries, the initiative is a huge success. Even French cats are getting in on the act! 

#2 Monoprix over the rainbow

Monoprix, a leading French retail chain, is promising to brighten up your day through the world’s first rainbow-generating billboard. The smart billboard waited for the sun’s rays to shine and then sprayed recycled water to generate the rainbow. The billboard was actually installed over three days in April 2014 on la Villette esplanade, in Paris North-East, but Monoprix waited for the grey November days to unveil the video.

#3 Paris from a bird’s-eye-view

Ever wondered what Paris looks like from a bird’s-eye-view? Well, now you can find out! Victor, a white-tailed eagle, was released from the Eiffel Town with a mini-cam strapped to his back. Check out the video to see him glide over the Trocadero and then plunge at 180 km/h to the ground. The film, shot by French falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers, is one of a series of eagle-eye views. There are also spectacular videos of Victor’s journeys in London from City Hall, St Paul’s cathedral and the Olympic park’s Orbit ‘sculpture’.

#4 #StopFryTheft

If, like us, you hate people stealing food off your plate, then you need to download McDonalds’ new app, Fry Defender. The app addresses the issue of fry theft or ‘frime’ by turning your phone into a frime fighting machine. The app takes the thief’s photo and publishes it on social networks using the hashtag #StopFryTheft. Ingenious! 

#5 Challenge VVF

The holiday resort brand, VVF, has launched an original social campaign, running until the 12th December, which allows its Facebook fans to challenge the VVF teams. Each time a Facebook fan sends a challenge to the VVF employees the flashing lights installed in the premises will light up and the first of the employees to push the buzzer wins. We love this fun campaign as its objective is not to just boost its number of Facebook fans, but also to strengthen internal cohesion.

#6 Midpic

Midpic

This week, we spotted a cool new dating app, Midpic, which allows users to share half a selfie with others nearby. Once the half selfies have been exchanged, you can decide whether to accept or decline the picture. If accepted, you will then be able to see the other half of the photo. The app is available to download now in English and French for both iOs and Android.

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