onechocolate loves… the view from Germany

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

#1 No limes needed

The premium spirits brand Beam Suntory has collaborated with Justin Timberlake to bring out a new range of tequila; Sauza 901. To promote the product launch, a humorous ad campaign has been released featuring none other than Justin Timberlake himself – dressed as a lime! The clip tells the story of how tequila and limes used to have a ‘special partnership’, but limes are now out of business due to Sauza 901; a tequila that is so delicious, you don’t need a lime. Timberlake also stars in a second video , this time as himself, explaining why no limes are needed with Sauza 901, whilst also showcasing other possible uses for limes as sports equipment or pen holders. We love this ad campaign, not only because of the clever celebrity partnership, but also for the entertaining, lighthearted way the brand messaging is communicated. 

#2 The Unique Connection

Sunday May 10th was Mother’s Day in Germany and brands jumped on the national occasion with countless PR and ad campaigns. One which really stood out was Pandora’s. The jewellery brand demonstrated the unique bond between a mother and her child with a small experiment. The children were blindfolded and asked to identify which was their mother through their other senses. The touching advert is a must-watch, beautifully highlighting the message of Mother’s Day.

#3 Traffic lights: signs of love

Vienna traffic lights 

Step aside Paris! The new city of love is Vienna. In preparation for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, which has a huge gay fan base, the city council has set a glowing example for more tolerance and open-mindedness by installing 120 pedestrian crossing lights showing a mix of hetero and homosexual couples. As well as promoting equal rights, the council is also hoping the lights will increase safety by catching the attention of pedestrians.

#4 Smart plants

Samrt plants

Two students from Hamburg recently won the 3rd place prize at the Eclipse Foundation’s  IoT Challenge with a phenomenal promise: no more dead plants! The duo has developed technology that enables plants to assess their surroundings and decide if they need more water or not. The plants are equipped with a sensor that can measure their level of moisture and also communicate this information to other devices. It is even able to send you a tweet to remind you to water your plants. It’s the perfect solution to ensure that you never kill your plants again!

#5 Tips for a digital Father’s Day

Digital father's day

May 14th is Father’s Day in Germany and we love Cloud Computing Insider’s round-up of the best presents to buy your father importantly, dads everywhere will be pleased to know that the boring classics of ties and socks are nowhere to be seen in this list. Instead, innovative tech gadgets such as a thermometer app, a bottle opener which is integrated with your mobile phone and a pillow designed like a tie are just a few of the must-have gifts featured in this creative selection.

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#Oi15: The Top Takeaways…

The world’s leading digital brands including Google, Twitter, YouTube and IBM gathered together at the Online Influencers Conference in Cardiff last week: the social media event of the year. The event also proved highly popular on social media with its hashtag #Oi15 trending on Twitter in a week where the UK General Election dominated.

We explored the social landscape to see what lessons we could take away from the conference. Check out our round-up of key points below:

#1 Leadership is influence

Oi15

Almost all of the speakers and leading panellists at Oi15 stressed that you should always aim to position your business as the leading player in its industry and make sure your messaging follows suit.

Jeremy Waite, one of the leading speakers at the event, emphasised the need to think ahead and move fast if you want to establish your brand as a key influencer in the social sphere. He urged marketers to keep up to date with the latest technological developments, particularly emphasising advancements in mobile and cloud-based technologies. Jeremy also recommended that brands should make better use of editorial content and not to limit themselves to trade channels if they want to achieve a greater share of influence. You can read his full presentation on Slideshare.

#2 Don’t be the nice guy

Don't Be The "Nice Guy" – how a confident tone of voice improves social media engagement from Anthony Leung

Nice is not a personality. Most brands work hard to build a personality and show off their brand values but understandably tend to play it safe on social media. Avoid taking the default position of a ‘nice guy’ – don’t over think your ideas and messaging and don’t be scared to take a few risks when it comes to social media marketing.

One thing is for sure, if you want to stand out in your industry and demonstrate leadership you have to be visible on social media and to be visible you have to take a dynamic and confident approach. A confident tone of voice can increase engagement levels and help your content reach the right people. 

#3 Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Stop Thinking Facts, Start Thinking Emotions – OI15 Conference, 7 May 2015 from John Watton

Marketing is no longer about the big bucks; the old days of throwing money at your problems are very much gone. The latest innovations in the digital/social landscape allow for a personalised and smooth user experience and marketing professionals should be taking advantage of this.

The key is to make sure that you have a coherent marketing strategy which makes use of smart tactics. Think about how to engage your audience and make sure your strategies are focused towards initiating a conversation online rather than interrupting a conversation online. This means taking advantage of the analytics and data available to make sure that your paid media is personalised and targeted to effectively engage your target audience.

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Weekly social scoop

The latest news and developments on Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Meerkat, just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Google+ adds a Pinterest-like section

By Mashable

  • Users will be able to group related posts into a topic-based area
  • Collections will allow users to follow them – similar to Pinterest
  • The feature is available on the web and the Google+ Android app, it will roll out to on iOS “later”

#2 Hootsuite allows users to upload images to Twitter newsfeed

By The Social Media Hat

  • Hootsuite has added a new feature allowing users to embed images in Tweets by using Twitter’s native pic.twitter
  • Previously, images that were uploaded could only be found via ow.ly links and shown when users expanded the post
  • Hootsuite predicts 3x higher engagement with posts due to the new features

#3 Discover tab on Snapchat gets revamped

By The Drum

  • The Discover feature on Snapchat allows users to gain access to content from creators and broadcasters
  • The new update will allow users to annotate and snap branded content
  • It will also serve as a reminder to users of the branded content that is available

#4 Facebook’s internet.org opens up to other websites

By BBC News

  • Other websites and online services will be able to join Facebook’s “free mobile data” Internet.org scheme
  • Subscribers of partner mobile network will be able to use a limited number of online services without having any additional charges
  • Developers who want to join the platform will have to meet three criteria: they cannot be data-intensive, must be able to run on cheaper feature phones and encourage the exploration of the broader internet

#5 Meerkat creates new platform to attract developers

By Developer-tech

  • Meerkat is rivalling Twitter’s Periscope by offering developers an official presence
  • The start-up is creating a dedicated platform and a set of APIs that won’t  be deleted – giving developers peace of mind
  • If developers get on board with Meerkat, the platform’s popularity will increase to truly rival Periscope

#6 Oculus Rift release date is set by Facebook

By The Guardian

  • Facebook’s virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, will be going on sale at the beginning of 2016
  • The headset has been developed initially for gaming, but the technology is being tested  for film-makers, education and occupational therapy

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onechocolate loves: #Election2015 special

So, the results are in. But which brand got your vote for the best newsjacking PR stunts and digital marketing tactics in the run up to the final countdown? Here are the top brand campaigns we loved for putting ‘the party’ back into politics….

#1 Facebook’s pie in the sky

Election - facebook

In the lead up to the election, Facebook created a stunning stunt using The London Eye and its own data. The big eye in the sky, located just opposite Westminster, was turned into a visual representation of what slice of the pie each party had – according to user engagement levels on Facebook. It was updated every day at 9.30pm and was created with the aim of encouraging members of the public to turn up to vote.

#2 Paddy Power’s cheeky stunt

Election - Paddy Power

The cheekiest election stunt has to go to Paddy Power, who sent a branded lorry to the Houses of Parliament, complete with a spokesperson chanting “Sacked in the morning, you’re getting sacked in the morning, sacked in the mooorning, you’re getting sacked in the morning.” The controversial bookmakers predicted that 75 per cent of MPs would be unseated in the 2015 Election and on the morning of results day the actual number stands at 110.

#3 #EducatingJoey

Election - Joey Essex

In this time of pretty heavy politics chat, one person caught our eye for something altogether lighter. Sending twitter into a virtual meltdown, the delightful Joey Essex kept us entertained on Tuesday with his open admission to lack of political knowledge and his mission to learn, over on ITV2. Twitter was buzzing with #EducatingJoey tweets and, while we were certainly amused by his banter with top politicians and the children he met at Westminster, it was fascinating to watch everyone the take time to speak to @JoeyEssex and hopefully lessen his confusion around all things politics. The show certainly caught the eye of the media, too with coverage everywhere from The Independent, Daily Mail and The Telegraph to OK and regional press.

Digital Spy’s done a roundup of their favourite reactions to the show and, of course, there’s some interesting chat from the man himself.

#4 Paintball politics

Election - paintball

We are loving UKPaintball’s online game which allows you to move your player around the screen, hide behind obstacles, protect yourself from being shot and shoot your opponents. What makes it extra special, is that your targets are actually various MPs and you get to shoot them down. The company has also run a competition with 500 prizes up for grabs. Within a few hours, the game received almost 2k shares on Facebook and almost 3k on Twitter… We highly recommend trying out the game for yourself, a word of warning however: it is really addictive!

#5 General Election round-up: brands reacts

Eelction - Pizza hut

We particularly love this round-up of brand reactions to the Election from Samantha Edwards at Brand Republic. The article is a great illustration of the way brands leveraged the national event to raise their profile on social media. One of our favourites from the article was Pizza Hut, who created a humours range of pizzas based on the characteristics of each of the main five parties and encourage its audience to get to the Polling Station and then to the LOLLING Station.

#6 E4’s Election Day Shutdown

Election - E4

Finally, we were impressed by E4’s clever tactic designed to galvanise young voters. Britain’s most popular digital channel E4 stopped broadcasting from 7am to 7pm on Election Day in a bid to get Britain’s younger generation off the sofa and into the polling stations. Instead of the usual array of teenage drama series and American sitcoms, viewers tuning into the channel were subjected to a bored technician manning the control room. This is the first time in the UK a major broadcaster has shut down its operations for the day as part of a marketing campaign and the message appears to has resonated: according to initial reports, 58% of young people turned up at the polling station – a 20% increase on 2005’s figures!

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How playing dumb on social can benefit your brand

As many brands on Twitter have learned, at their own cost, if you make a mistake, the Twitterati will pounce on you – sometimes cruelly, sometimes jokingly but always lightning fast!

It’s one of the many reasons people love to use social media and why so many brand social media fails go viral. However, we’ve recently seen a clever spin tactic in the US that could soon become a copycat trend in the UK.  A growing number of brands are manipulating the #epicfail = viral reach phenomenon to their advantage, creating a new type of news-jacking by ‘playing dumb’ on purpose.

Back in February, Monster Jobs hit the headlines when it congratulated the wrong team for winning the Super Bowl, causing uproar on social media.

Monster Jobs tweet

However, upon closer inspection, when the accompanying image was clicked, it was revealed that the ‘mistake’ was actually done on purpose; to promote the fact that Monster Jobs could help a social media manager find a new job. According to Monster, the fake mistake delivered a 1,700% increase in engagement, compared to its average engagements rate for posts on a normal Sunday.

Another example of a brand ‘playing dumb’ is Hostess. The American snack food brand shared a tweet about the opening day of the baseball season with an image etched with ‘touchdown’ in bold letters (purposefully confusing baseball with American Football).

Hostess Snacks tweet

The brand received a barrage of replies ranging from confused, to condescending, to critical, to amused. When Sports Illustrated then tweeted Hostess saying: “Pssssst, @Hostess_Snacks, we think you might be mixing up your sports”, Hostess replied back with another ‘dumbed down’ tweet to poke fun at itself further: “@SInow WHAT?! We’re just excited that Sportsball started again today.” The snack brand achieved the cut-through on social, even though it had to act like an idiot to accomplish this.

Both Monster Jobs and Hostess hijacked key events in the American calendar: the Super Bowl and the start of the baseball season. With social conversation rife around these two key events, using a ‘stupid’ tactic to hijack this conversation and achieve cut-through with their audience worked well in both instances.

Is this really a smart tactic for brands or is it just too risky? ‘Dumb-jacking’ could do more damage than good if the real meaning behind the tweet is too obscure or doesn’t tie back to a brand’s messaging. However, if done well, it’s a great way for a brand to laugh at itself – a key tactic in creating trust with consumers – as well as stand out from other brands that are also hijacking key calendar moments.

The joke must be well thought out, cleverly executed and, most importantly, have some kind of relevance to the brand’s ethos, products or services. Brands should showcase themselves in the context of their expertise in their marketplace in order to hold authority and be seen as credible.

Truth is, you’ve got to be smart to play dumb.

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