onechocolate loves… the view from France

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

#1 Read, work, sleep

Currently, there are more and more projects being established worldwide to promote reading. In France, SNCF, France’s national railway company, has started offering e-books to train passengers. But Brazil’s ‘Ticket Book’ scheme has been taking the concept of the commuter who reads even further. L&PM Editores, the paperback books publisher, has created a collection of ten novels that aren’t just for reading – they also serve as subway tickets. Through an integrated RIFD chip in the cover, users can operate the turnstile by scanning the book as you would your underground card.  The novels are sold at the entrance of the stations, are credited with 10 trips with the ability to recharge on the Ticket Books website. Moreover, the cover shows the Brazilian subway. What a smart way to promote reading – and the subway brand!

#2 Wake up with a sexy man’s voice

Why have a boring bell as an alarm when you could wake up to a sexy man’s voice? Imagine being awoken by a charming, husky, British voice who gently tells you to open your eyes… Thanks to photographer Grace Huang’s ‘The Morning Man Alarm Clock’, now you can. Do note, however, that while the American and French accents are free,  other accents will cost you $0.99 each. Best. Invention. Ever.

#3 Netflix doesn’t like spoilers

What would you do to someone who spoils a show when you’re in the middle of a Netflix binge? Cold shoulder? Permanent shunning? This is the question that Netflix’s latest viral video poses. In this video, the viewer is asked to decide what to do as a man is about to be executed by a gangster. When gangster is about to change his mind, the victim reveals a massive spoiler from season one of Orange Is The New Black. It’s at that moment when the video becomes interactive and gives us a choice: do we want revenge or will we forgive him? The two alternative endings reveal the percentage of people who have voted for death or grace.

#4 COP21: Get your blank sheet talking

one france

At the COP21 event which will soon be held in Paris, NGO One is challenging world leaders to help the poorest countries via a digital campaign. One is fighting against extreme poverty as it invites users to post a picture of them with a blank sheet in their hand on the website. Each photo comes alive once a word is written on each sheet of paper – to emphasise the statement ‘CLIMATE: give priority to the poorest countries.’ The initiative  will be shared on social media via #SolidariteClimat. It is a beautiful and poetic viral initiative to highlight a reality which can sometimes be seen as less glamorous.

#5 Skiing with Club Med

Club med

Club Med has installed a ski resort in a big Parisian train station to give visitors a unique immersive experience: they have installed 8 gondola lifts at 5m high and a ski simulator and chairlift can be viewed through the Oculus Rift or Google cardboard. We love this successful stunt that proves that Club Med remains at the forefront of technology!

#6 Taking the driving test in a Porsche: dream or nightmare?

To promote its ‘Experience’ program and driving courses, Porsche has captured candidates taking their driving test using hidden cameras. Those who expected to obtain their license driving a city car ended up in the bucket seat of a Porsche 911 Carrera with 370 horsepower engine. The examiner, placid and unruffled, plays the game as if it was a bog-standard car. The automatic transmission and rear engine offers a pleasant surprise to the unknowing candidates. A great little stunt to encourage fans to go and test their driving development program!

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat – just in case you missed them…


#1 Facebook will use safety check for more human disasters

By Mashable:

  • Facebook has announced it will use its safety check feature for more human disasters and not just natural disasters, after using it for the first time after feedback from its team in France.
  • Facebook has said more than 4 million people have used the feature this weekend to let their friends and family know they were safe, and 360 million users received notifications that their friends were safe.

#2 Facebook unleashes VR-style 360 videos for ads and iOS

By TechCrunch:

  • Facebook is opening up the VR-style videos to advertisers, so they can offer first “immersive stories”. Brands including AT&T, Corona, Nescafe, Ritz Crackers, Samsung and Walt Disney World have started experimenting with the feature.
  • These videos can be watched by tapping-and-dragging around the screen, or on the Samsung Gear VR for a true virtual reality experience.

#3 Facebook launches ‘Notify’, a real-time news update

By Social Media Today:

  • Facebook has launched its new, Twitter-like news app in the US.
  • The app brings together notifications from different publishers and sends live alerts to users whenever relevant content is posted to Facebook.
  • Users can completely customise their news updates to cover not only specific publishers, but the types of updates they want from each one.

#4 Twitter introduces ‘ScratchReel’ GIFs 

By The Verge:

  • Twitter has revealed a new way to engage with video – the ability to fast forward and rewind animated GIFs shared on its platform.
  • When users move mouse cursors or fingers from left to right on the moving image, they can control the animation.
  • Twitter revealed an example of ScratchReel in action with a GIF of a surfer – you can play with it here.

#5 Facebook tests disappearing messages for Messenger

By Social Times:

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – Facebook has begun testing Snapchat-like disappearing messages for Messenger in France.
  • Users who are part of the test will see an hourglass icon that can be tapped to turn the feature on and off.
  • If enabled, the feature will make messages disappear after an hour.

#6 Snapchat now sells selfie lenses For $1

By TechCrunch:

  • Snapchat recently launched selfie lenses after acquiring Looksery.
  • A new lens is added and an old one removed from the current line-up of seven each day. However, the company has now added around 30 other lenses that you can buy for 99 cents and keep.
  • This forms part of moves to monetise the platform by working on its in-app paid options and advertising structure.

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat – just in case you missed them…


#1 Twitter replaces stars with hearts

By BBC Newsbeat:

  • Twitter has replaced the long-established “Favourites” star with a “Likes” heart.
  • The change is designed to improve engagement on the platform and make it easier for new users to understand how Twitter works.
  • The stars sparked a heated debate among existing users, many of whom pointed out that they will have a different function to Favourites (e.g. it’s hard to “like” a hard-hitting news story you want to bookmark to read later) and accused Twitter of trying to become Facebook.

#2 Pinterest unveils dedicated shopping section

By The Verge:

  • Pinterest is making buyable pins much simpler to find through The Pinterest Shop – a store inside Pinterest composed entirely of buyable pins.
  • It will include “on trend” curated collections of clothing, jewellery and homeware. Individual retailers will also be able to set up shops highlighting their own goods.
  • The Pinterest Shop is available on the iOS and Android apps. Buyable pins aren’t yet available on the web version (as 80% of traffic comes via mobile, there may be a wait for web users).

#3 Facebook earnings rise despite higher costs

By BBC Business:

  • Facebook reported a net income rise of 11% to $891m (£579m) in July to September 2015, compared with $806m in the same period last year.
  • Ad revenue was key to third-quarter performance, growing 45% to $4.3bn (£2.8bn).
  • Facebook reported eight billion video views per day from 500 million people, compared with four billion views in April.

#4 Snapchat triples video traffic in six months

By The Telegraph:

  • Snapchat claims that its video traffic has tripled in six months to reach 6bn daily video views, compared to Facebook’s 8bn daily views.
  • Snapchat has 100m daily active users on mobile alone – significantly less than Facebook’s 1bn daily active users across desktop and mobile – making its viewing figures even more impressive.

#5 Pinterest adds ‘visual search’ tool

By Gizmodo:

  • The new visual search feature allows you to hone in on specific objects within images and find pins related to it.
  • The new feature harnesses deep learning technology, and users can further refine search results by adding a series of keywords to their search.
  • A company spokesman said the feature “optimises on visual similarity, not just duplicates to power Pinners to discover exact results, as well as unexpected results that may be similar in style or pattern or shape.”

#6 Your Facebook Profile Might Be Affecting Your Credit Score

By Social Media Week:

  • Some of the top credit rating companies are now using people’s social media accounts to assess their ability to repay debt, according to a report by the FT.
  • FICO (a credit rating company) is working with credit card companies to use several different methods for deciding what size loans people can handle.
  • Using non-traditional sources like social media allows them to collect information on people who don’t have an in-depth credit history.
  • In the words of one FICO executive: “If you look at how many times a person says ‘wasted’ in their profile, it has some value in predicting whether they’re going to repay their debt.”


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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – just in case you missed them…


#1 Twitter plateaus in the US

By The Guardian:

  • Twitter again fails to grow in the US for a second quarter
  • Stocks fell by 10 per cent following the news
  • Jack Dorsey promised that Twitter is focusing on becoming more efficient and simplifying its services

#2 Facebook makes all public posts searchable

By The Guardian:

  • A new update to the social networking site means that users can seek out of a specific post from any public profile, regardless of whether the two are connected on the site
  • Any public posts that previously published are now available for anyone to see – and users are advised to check their privacy settings moving forward
  • The change is a move from Facebook to compete with Twitter on live events

#3 RBS leads the Facebook at Work movement

By The Register:

  • The business-friendly version of the social network has been rolled out to RBS’s 100,000 bank employees
  • The accounts are completely separate from personal accounts so they only work within RBS’s firewall
  • This is the first big step for Facebook in the enterprise space, and RBS hopes all of its workforce will be using the site by the end of next year

#4 Emoji treasure hunt for Little Mix fans

By The Drum:

  • Fans of the girl band Little Mix are utilising Instagram for exclusive content
  • Searching for emojis on Instagram unlocks secret accounts for fans to hear sneak peeks of new tracks from the upcoming album

#5 Facebook alters its ‘real name’ policy

By The Telegraph:

  • Following a backlash from advocacy groups, Facebook is rethinking its real name policy on the site
  • Facebook will improve the way users confirm their name and the way accounts are reported
  • The move hopes to make Facebook safer for users from trolls and bullies

#6 Snapchat makes users happy

By Yahoo News:

  • According to a recent study Snapchat, interactions were deemed more enjoyable than any other social media platform
  • The research also found that Snapchat users were less likely to care about how they looked on the messaging platform – possibly because the content isn’t publicly stored online forever

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – just in case you missed them…


#1 Twitter launches new Conversion Lift feature to help advertisers better target their audience
By The Drum:

  • Twitter has unveiled the new advertising analytic feature to measure the success of Promoted Tweets in terms of conversions, through click analysis, app installs or sign-up services
  • The feature will recommend ways for advertisers to accurately target their audience
  • Conversion Lift follows on from the roll out of Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button to retailers, aiming to prove the platform is a good place to advertise

#2 Facebook unveils new shopping features
By The Independent:

  • Facebook has launched a number of new shopping features ahead of the Christmas spending rush to establish itself as a credible e-commerce platform, after research showed nearly half of its users visit the site to actively look for products
  • The site is adding a special buying section to allow people to do their shopping with companies’ Facebook pages (without leaving the app) allowingretailers to pull together different products under one tab in the recently launched ‘Shop’ feature on Pages
  • New Canvas feature aims to combat slow load times on sites not optimised for mobile web

#3 Google tells brands to spend 24% of TV ad budgets on YouTube
By Campaign:

  • Google’s UK MD says brands targeting 16- to 34-year-olds should spend 24 per cent of their TV advertising budget on YouTube
  • Google analysed hundreds of campaigns globally and found that 96 per cent of ads measured resulted in an average lift in recall of 71 per cent
  • Buzzfeed’s CMO said he believed the industry is now at a stage where branded content could be “awesome” enough to compete with non-branded content, and meaningful enough to “add value to people’s lives”

#4 Facebook helps blind users ‘see’ images
By Tech Crunch:

  • Facebook is developing a tool which will help blind and visually impaired users ‘see’ images shared on the platform
  • The company is currently working on an artificial intelligence-based object recognition tool to help blind users get an idea of what’s in all of the photos people share on Facebook
  • The team hopes to release this product by the end of the year to one platform — either web or iOS — and allow people to opt in to experience it

#5 LinkedIn unveils new ‘Referrals’ feature
By Forbes:

  • LinkedIn has unveiled Referrals, an extension of the site aimed at making it easier for employees to recommend their first-degree LinkedIn connections for open positions at their companies, to roll out on 1st November
  • Each firm using the product will have its own “LinkedIn Referrals” site, automatically telling employees which of their first-degree connections are matches for a job and sends a summary of matches to employees via email
  • LinkedIn also previewed a revamped version of its “Recruiter” product, aimed at making it faster and simpler for recruiters to find interested, qualified candidates, with the update to roll out before the end of Q1 2016

#6 Social media survey shows teens still prefer Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter
By The Drum:

  • One third of American teens named Instagram as their primary social network; followed by Twitter (20%) and Snapchat in third-place
  • Facebook managed to claim the primary affection of just 15% of teens, highlighting the social media juggernaut’s fall from grace amongst younger users from highs of 42% in 2012

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