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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time for a spring clean?

It is surprising how often you browse around the web and find tired old content from brands who would normally kill (or at least spend a great many £££s) not to be thought of as 'staid'.
It seems like all too often, digital initiatives get kicked off but then not followed through - and the remnants forgotten - and therefore left for all to see, months later.
Because consumers expect digital channels to be dynamic, this can do damage to your image. Similarly, forums without any comments doesn't really give the right impression if you'd like to be viewed as a brand consumers engage with.
So, as spring now seems to finally be approaching - time for a little digital clean-out, to make sure it all works and serves you well? And don't forget to check your mobile activities, as well - the topic of our latest column in New Media Age.

Friday, March 19, 2010

When is a fan not a fan?

So your brand has a Facebook page?? And it has so many thousand fans?? Has to be a good thing right?! Well as today's furore over on Nestle's Facebook page shows - a 'fan' on Facebook is not necessarily a fan and can in fact be the complete opposite! Even when perceptions of a brand run higher, in our experience it is often the case that people become 'fans' only when they are being offered something in return, with little real engagement or interest from either side beyond intial sign up. The number of Facebook 'fans' a brand has is often thrown around today as a metric of engagement and marketing success but it is clear that we are still some way off of measuring the real success of a lot of online engagement. Whilst 'hard figures' may seem like a convenient measure of a brand's success, we need to be paying more attention to the 'quality' of the conversations we're involved with as brands online. Are we engaging with those who have something to say about us online? Do we feel present and responsive? Does it feel like there is a human (and not a 'corporate drone') doing the talking? Looked at from this perspective Nestle's sudden spike in fans takes on a very different meaning! They may be getting engagement but it is mostly of a very negative kind - and unfortunately so far they appear to have been making things worse for themselves!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Better City, Better Life

Shanghai is frantic with activity this week in preparation for the coming Expo 2010 - it seems that every available outdoor space has been devoted to adverts and experiential communicating the Expo theme 'Better City, Better Life'.
Whilst the advertising is perhaps predictably futuristic in feel, some of the experiential has a more down-to-earth touch. In one park we spotted the Expo Volunteer Team iron clothes for Shanghai residents, treating them to a new haircut and providing free a blood pressure checks. And middle-class consumers in the city seem to have genuinely bought into this optimism about what the 6 month long exhibition will bring. In the words of one woman "I think we will have to be more open and more global, the world will come to us and we will share more. I also think there will be more jobs that are interesting as a result"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh what a lovely fit

We often talk about how important it is that branded entertainment propositions really feel right for a brand. You want something that gels with your ethos and makes sense, not just a 'fun thing' which just happens to have your branded sticker on it.
So, while this wasn't released yesterday, it's still worth giving a special cheer to Havana Club's "Havana Cultura" project with Giles Peterson. Credible, great link to Cuba and simply spot on - not to mention that the music's great, too!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Don't miss the flight...

Spotted this week at Hamburg airport : a really nice piece of experiental by Europcar. I particularly like how the pop-up playground includes a 'departures board' so that no matter how engaged and competitive you become with the car racing, hopefully you won't miss that flight!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Smashing bubbles...

Ever think about how easy it is to assume you know what consumers want because you are one yourself? Our latest column in New Media Age talks about how important it is to remember that we all live in our own little bubbles - and we don't know what those leading other lives will think until we've checked with them.