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Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Jun17

Twitter vs Facebook – battle of the UX

Twitter and Facebook have been battling it out for years to win and retain users. This is becoming even more of a struggle as other social sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, which host strong visual content, are growing much quicker and are much more popular. Constant updates and new features help to keep users interested and make the experience as seamless as possible, and both social channels have promised exactly that with their newest upgrades.

Welcome (finally) video autoplay on Twitter. I don’t know about you guys, but this really makes me happy. Like really, really happy.

Gone are the days of having to tap, tap, tap to view a video. Native videos, Vines and Gifs (ERMAHGERD!!!!) will now being to play automatically – helping to keep track of what is being shared instantly. So, once you tap the video, the sound will turn on and the video will play in expanded view. You can also turn the video to landscape mode, where the sound will autoplay and the video will expand to fill the screen. Amazeballs!

You can even change the settings on how you would prefer the video to play. If you liked the old way of doing things you can revert to click-to-play, otherwise you could choose to simply have the videos autoplay only when connected to wifi. Twitter has been super clever and even included an autoplay opt out when you have low bandwidth or somewhere sunning yourself where there’s high data rates so performance isn’t affected and you don’t get charged out your backside to view.

For advertisers this is the big ticket to more social love. It’s a mega improvement to how branded rich media content will be displayed and interacted with. Videos will appear in a larger, more media-friendly format in timelines. During a test run, Twitter found that people engaged with this new video format at a much higher rate, and brands have also seen improved performance in terms of cost-per-views, which is lower, and increased video recall by fans.

Twitter has started rolling out this update to everyone as of yesterday afternoon on Twitter for iOS and twitter.com. As usual, Android users have to wait a little longer. Soz!

Now, over to Facebook, who has launched another partner app to help improve image sharing with friends. Hold on, isn’t that what Instagram and WhatsApp is for? Well, Moments promises a quick way to exchange photos with friends through syncing photos with the app and with friends. It groups photos on your phone based on when they were taken. It even uses facial recognition technology to identify which friends are in them easily – no more tagging! Can I get a hell yeah?!

Unfortunately, the app is only currently available in the US, but it will be rolled out to other countries soon. If you can’t wait, here’s a short clip that Facebook has put together to show how it works:

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by Kalli Soteriou

May29

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 29th May – Maggi’s just doesn’t get Twitter and is it Pimm’s O’Clock yet?

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Sun’s out (well it isn’t here today!) and the tennis season has started, which means one thing and one thing only. It’s Pimm’s O’Clock! Or is it? Well, Diageo – Pimm’s manufacturer and distributer – has launched a weather-activated summer campaign. Yeah, it baffled me to begin with, but it’s simplicity at its best. When temperatures reach at least 21 degrees, out-of-home ads are triggered to display a Pimm’s bottle and a jug of the famous fruit cocktail with the strapline ‘Best Served with Sunglasses’, letting people know it’s time to grab a jug and bask in the sun.

Weather permitting, the ads will run in London and Birmingham on 12 Ocean’s Outdoor’s screens from Thursdays to Sundays during peak times for commuters.

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Joanna Segesser, senior brand manager for Pimm’s at Diageo said: “Consumer research has shown us that our media is not only more effective but also more efficient if it is linked to sunny weather. We are therefore really excited that for the first time digital out of home technology is allowing us to target consumers at just the right temperature when we know they are most responsive to our messaging.” 

Fails 

Nestle has been in the firing line this week after rumours spread that some of it’s products contain MSG. Maggi’s clumsy damage control attempt riled Twitter fans even more and it was if the brand had no clue how to use social media at all! Automated responses coupled with heavy text files to ‘clarify the situation’ felt like a bit of a cop out and didn’t really address the issue.

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Don’t brands ever learn? After the recent Thomas Cook scandal, when faced with a serious or potentially brand-damaging issue, MAN UP! There’s nothing worse than when a consumer interacts with a brand and they get a robotic response. People expect a human reply, after all we are the ones controlling the content! And while we’re at it, sharing a PDF? Really, a PDF? I love reading PDFs on my phone….said no one, ever. But even more so, food hygiene and safety are huge concerns within the FMCG industry, so to handle the complaints so blasé seems like they’ve completely underestimated the problem.

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by Kalli Soteriou

May21

Add friends on Snapchat easier with ‘Snapcodes’

Have you noticed something different about your Snapchat ghost? Well, Snapchat has introduced a QR-type scanner to make finding and adding friends even easier. While in the app, users take a photo of a friend or favourite brands ghost, which features a unique ‘code’, then simply tap the screen to add!

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Millions of Snapchatters worldwide have been taking advantage of the new feature, so this month, the app has made it even easier to share and personalise unique Snapcodes by offering downloadable vector files and branding guidelines. They can be found on Snapchat’s website.

To get you started, here’s our top three favourite brands on Snapchat:

Taco Bell:

We LOVE Taco Bell…well, tacos. We also love its social media. The brand is one of a only a few to fully embrace the platform and use it successfully to build an engaged audience. By using the app to exclusively reintroduce its very popular Beefy Crush Burrito, Taco Bell cemented its relationship with current consumers, while appealing to a new customer base by using an innovative channel. Hoorah!

The brand took its Snapchat escapades one step further this year and launched a fun and interactive Valentine’s Day campaign, offering TB-themed pun-tastic virtual greeting cards.

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With the help of TB, users could then personalise the e-cards to send to their nearest and dearest. Cool, huh?

Michael Kors:

Now, you might not have thought a brand like MK would use Snapchat. Are millennials its target audience? Judging by its prices, probably not. Does Snapchat exude luxury? Hmm, we’re not sure it does. But the proof is in the pudding. MK has been going all out on social media and is actually one of the only luxury fashion brands that truly gets what social’s all about.

Following this year’s New York Fashion Week, the brand announced its presence on Snapchat. It used the app’s ‘stories’ feature to release an array of exclusive, behind-the-scenes content, and funnily enough, the reason behind moving to this new, interactive platform was in fact to engage with a younger audience. They may not be their target audience now, but by catching the attention of its next generation consumers, on a channel they love, MK was able to start building relationships for future fruition. Smart move!

GrubHub:

This is a great example of using influencers to help you gain traction with your content and also build brand credibility. The online ordering takeaway service used Snapchat’s ‘stories’ feature also, but instead shared a sequence of divine photos that lead users to vouchers and promotion codes. In tandem, the brand welcomed Snapchat artist Michael Platco to help boost its campaign through a ‘snap a food doodle’ competition, while sharing some fun and engaging content.

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Happy snapping!

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by Kalli Soteriou

May19

Social media plays a key role in promoting road safety

We all know just how powerful social media can be. It has the ability of spreading a message, positive or not, in a matter of seconds. But what about when we consider sensitive or serious messages? Is it a good medium to use to address these issues, or is it just opening the flood gates to abuse even when a brand or organisation means well? This morning, I’ve read two news items about how organisations in the UK and USA have used advertising and social media to help promote the importance of road safety. One, I assume, will be received well by the public. However, the other has already suffered huge backlash as opposers take to the social-sphere to rant their concerns. Let’s delve a little deeper.

The Isle of Man’s Constabulary has today launched this year’s TT road safety campaign, which will see social media take the lead in helping to deliver key messages during the festival. Using its Twitter feed, @tweetbeatIOM, the organisation will provide a mixture of up-to-date information about road safety and traffic updates using #SafeSummerRidingIOM, #ShareTheRoadIOM and #IOMTT. The campaign builds on its poster campaign from previous years which aims to reduce the number of accidents that occur during the festival. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this one and see how it pans out.

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Now, when it comes to billboard advertising we have seen a few hiccups. Firstly there was the Hell Pizza angora coated billboard which was launched to promote the New Zealand company’s Easter special. We can all be sure that one didn’t go down to well with animal right activists.

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And then there was this billboard fail. Need I say anymore?
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But the Colorado Department of Transportation is already getting backlash for a seemingly innocent billboard campaign. To promote seatbelt safety, the CDOT put up billboards with partial information to tease out its messages, featuring phrases like, “Life or Death”, “Brain Damage” and “Windshield Ejection”. Yesterday afternoon, a seatbelt was added, covering up the second word of each phrase with the strapline, “Buckle Up. Seatbelt Enforcement Is On.”
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Over the weekend, before the seatbelt was added, the CDOT posted a picture of the advertising on its Facebook page, asking its audience to keep an eye out and what they thought about it. Hello open flood gates. Within minutes there was an uproar. People seemed to think that instead of investing in this poor advertising, the CDOT should have spent the money on repairing the roads and potholes – which cause accidents! Others questioned the use of billboards all together when it comes to road safety, stating that they’d rather keep their eyes on the road – fair point.

 

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the CDOT got it wrong, as the billboard has sparked conversation and debate, pushing its message out further. And as a channel, where better to promote road safety? Talk about knowing where your audience is. But I guess what is key here is that when approaching a sensitive subject such as road safety, it’s important to consider 1) Can the message be misconstrued in any way? 2) If it can, how will you deal with ay negativity? and 3) Will this do more social ‘good’ than ‘bad’?
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by Kalli Soteriou

Jan08

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 8th January – Charlie Hebdo solidarity & One Blackfriars

Welcome to Thursday! Here are today’s Likes and Fails.

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A show of online and real life solidarity has shown that there are good people out there. #JeSuisCharlie has been trending on Twitter for quite some time, following the news of a massacre in Paris, which took the life of 12 people, most of which who worked for the political satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. People began to show their solidarity by posting images of the words ‘Je Suis Charlie’ along with the hashtag, as well as cartoonists using the tag to post their own illustrations about the event. There were many cartoons which also expressed solidarity and that they and their cartoons would not be silenced by the threat of terror.

Obviously the attack in Paris yesterday and sadly a subsequent attack today which killed a female police officer are horrific and should in no way be in a ‘like section’ of an article but I thought I should make it clear that I am in fact ‘liking’ and praising the show of compassion and solidarity of those around the world who have shared their thoughts and prayers following the attacks.

It has also been announced that Charlie Hebdo will be released as usual next Wednesday and that 1 million copies will produced in an act of defiance and to prove that ‘stupidity will not win’. The usual circulation for the magazine is around 45,000.

Fails

One Blackfriars. The name of the new block of apartments in London. The property group involved with the development of the apartments has released a trailer (sadly now removed) with the most ridiculous viewpoint of London and the people they imagine to live within their luxury apartment block. The advert somehow manages to be racist, sexist, elitist all at once, probably along with some other lists as well, and I’m not even exaggerating. The video shows a young attractive white couple on their way to some boutique shops in London, this is all happening under a cheesy male voice over which is possibly one of the cringiest things I’ve ever heard, it almost sounds like a parody of itself.

The advert was quickly noticed by sarcastic Twitterers, and many began making jokes about the advert and the view counter was heading up and up, unfortunately in the course of writing this, the video was stolen from us and our mocking will have to continue without the beautiful video for insight. I will never forget the dulcet tones of that voiceover, the beautiful background music, the one dimensional view of London, the seedy undertones and the suggestion that women only like to go shopping in select boutiques whilst their man pays.

Hurrah! I’ve found some GIFs from this piece of art. Check them out at the Business Insider.

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by Helen Stirling

Dec12

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 12th December – Rag Time Gals and Orange Wednesday is over

Good day! It’s Likes and Fails time, with the newest Rag Time Gals video and news about the prolific Orange Wednesdays.

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The ragtime gals are back! Everyone rejoice!

Jimmy Fallon has done it again. He’s roped in another celeb to take part in a barber shop sing a long with the Rag Time Gals, and this time it’s Steve Carell. The song this time is Sexual Healing, originally sung by Marvin Gaye. All you really need to do here is watch it. Enjoy!

Fails

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Orange Wednesday’s are to be a thing of the past. In February the ever popular deal of Orange Wednesdays, which helps us bypass the very high rising rates of the cinema. The deal has been running for years now where users of the mobile network could text the word film, to 241, and receive a code which allows you to get two cinema tickets for the price of two. The joy of all the young and awkward teenagers going on their first dates on a Wednesday to the local multiplex is now going to be a thing of the past. Though I’m sure a fair few of you aren’t upset about that.

The company, now owned by EE, has made the decision to cut the promotion after over a decade of free tickets. They say that the orange Wednesday usage has declined and that users’ viewing habits have changed. Some people are suitably outraged at the decision to cut the promotion because of how extortionate the prices are at the cinema these days. But alas it is true, more and more people are choosing to watch films at home via streaming services such as Netflix and on mobile devices.

Let’s hope their next big promotion is as popular as this one, otherwise EE could be losing some custom to rival networks.

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by Helen Stirling

Dec11

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 11th December – Instagram rocking the world & Beard baubles

Here’s today’s Likes and Fails, with a look at some bumper news from Instagram and beard Christmas baubles.. whatever they are.

Likes

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Instagram has hit 300 million monthly users! Just of the back of being named one of the top apps of 2014, the company announced it’s monthly user milestone. Not only that but they also began rolling out verified badges much like on Twitter.

Back in March of this year Instagram announced it’s 200 million milestone, so, with a quick bit of maths, we can see that Instagram has ammassed a massive 100 million more monthly users in just 9 months! The other news of a new badge for verified users, has been rolled out to celebrities, athletes and brands which makes it easier for users to find who they want to follow.

Along with all this new Instagram news is an update telling us that the company has been deactivating many spam accounts and deleting them forever so that they will no longer be included in people’s follower counts.

Fails

Beard Christmas ornaments are now a thing. Yep, you can put baubles in your beard. Check it here. The beard bauvbles were created by two men at an ad agency in the UK. The idea was created when they were thinking up a company Christmas card idea. The baubles are now going a little mad online and everyone seems to want a set of these ornaments for their face! Have a look and see what you think? Personally, I think you can get baubles the same size down poundland and the bobby pins they attach them with too. So save yourself £5 off the £7 retail price and make your own! You’ll probably have to make sure you have a beard frist too.

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by Helen Stirling

Dec01

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 1st December – Ferguson viral photo & selfie competition cancelled

It’s the 1st of December! Time to crack open that advent calendar and celebrate that the season of goodwill and cheer is here. Today we’re going to be looking at the lovely photo from Ferguson that’s going viral and the embarrassing selfie competition.

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A lovely photo of a young boy, Devonte, hugging a policeman in Ferguson is making it’s rounds on the internet. After the unrest and riots in Ferguson, following a court ruling that proclaimed a cop was not guilty of the murder of another young black teenager in the area, it is humbling to see such a picture hitting our screens. The photo, shared by Associated Press, which you can see below, has been seen all over Twitter and on News sites.

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Here is the Story behind the photo as described by Devonte’s mother:

“I noticed Devonte was struggling. Tears. He wouldn’t speak. He was unconsolable. My son has a heart of a gold, compassion beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, yet struggles with living fearlessly when it comes to the police and people that don’t understand the complexity of racism that is prevalent in our society.

He wonders if someday when he no longer wears a Free Hugs sign around his neck, when he’s a full grown black male, if his life is in danger for simply being. I assure you his concerns do not arise from watching too much television, because we don’t have tv.

He draws from his own personal experiences and from the discussions we hold as a family about things/events that are going on in the world. As a mom raising black children, it’s undeniable that these concerns weigh heavy on my heart at times.

People don’t want to talk about racism. People do not want to dig to the root of the issue. It’s so much easier to stick to your belief and avoid engaging in dialogue with someone that you don’t share the same opinion/view/belief with.”

Fails

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A ‘Hot Selfie’ competition on Facebook has been shut down after there was an issue with entrant tampering. In what has been called the most narcissistic Facebook competition users could pay to enter a selfie to the competition in the hopes of winning $10,000. The contestants would have won the competition by gaining the most likes in the duration of the competition.

However, so very sadly, (not really) the competition has had to be cancelled and the contestants refunded. It seems that it was refunded because someone got a little too invested in the competition and as the organisers described it: “Unfortunately, one of our entrants had been contacted and intimidated outside of the Facebook platform.”

So basically someone was bullying a contestant, presumably to get them to pull out of the competition or to intimidate them and make them feel bad about themselves.

I’m not really sure what the organisers expected with a competition which basically requires that you are self absorbed or have an inflated ego. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here, but I’m not going to spell it out for them…


 

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by Helen Stirling

Nov24

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 24th October – Google Contributor & Monty the Penguin’s impact

Here we are again it’s Monday morning and winter has finally hit. The cold air is drawing in and to keep us warm we have today’s edition of Likes and Fails just for you, with an extra like. Who wants to be miserable eh?

Likes

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Google are trying out a brand new project which would allow users to surf the internet without adverts, but by paying a fee. What happened to free information! I’ve put this in the likes section today because really it’s good to see that Google are trying something new surrounding advertising on the net. The project is called ‘Contributor’ and allows users to pay a monthly fee of $1-$3 to get advert free sites. Google has signed up a handful of websites to test out the option including Mashable, Urban Dictionary, The Onion and popular image hosting website Imgur. The project describes itself as ”an experiment in additional ways to fund the web”. It’s definitely interesting to see if more publishers would sign up to the contributor programme; Google says that they will get a portion of your contribution, and I assume it will be comparable to the amount they would get through advertising. I can only imagine that contributors would sign up if there was a decent amount of publishers signed on, or at least the sites they visit the most because otherwise there would be little benefit for them.

Obviously if you’re internet savvy you will already know of ad blocker, the fantastic chrome app which blocks all adverts from your view, even those you get at the start of YouTube videos, this is a free piece of software but asks for donations to help them keep it running and updated. Though I have recently seen a few sites which have worked their way around a blocker by requesting that you turn it off before you can actually access the site fully. So this new option from Google definitely has my interest piqued.

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 You have probably seen John Lewis’s Christmas advert by now featuring Monty the Penguin and you either love it or hate it. Believe me I’ve heard enough about it. But it’s clear to see how much the popular advert has done for the brand in the run up to Christmas with a staggering 903% increase on their online brand consumption since the advert’s release. The consumption is based upon audience interest and how much a particular concept is viewed across the web on mobile, social, and video channels.

It looks as if the Christmas season has given a well welcomed boost to other large retailers too with House of Fraser seeing a 610% spike since their advert’s release and Debenhams saw a 160% increase.

Monty the penguin has warmed everyone’s heart as overall sentiment for the campaign is 35 per cent positive with only five per cent negative and the rest neutral.

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by Helen Stirling

Nov06

A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 6th November – John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 & Twitter tweaks

Good Afternoon, here are today’s Likes and Fails taken from the world of Social Media.

Likes

Well it’s that time of year again, and I can hardly believe it. It feels too early! This time the John Lewis Christmas advert features an adorable CGI penguin called Monty and his owner/child friend. The advert sees them out and about and prepping for christmas a s well as a quick swim in the park lake, the penguin, not the child. Then one evening they’re watching an old black and white film on TV and Monty realises that true love is missing from his life. He also sees an elderly couple on a bench who share a tender moment and clearly needs a partner in love.

So Christmas morning arrives, (I feel like I’m writing a story here), and the boy covers his penguin friend’s eyes and takes him downstairs to the presents under the tree and there in a box is a female penguin, Mabel, just for Monty. Which if you think about it is a little weird, I mean what if they don’t get on. What if he doesn’t fancy her? Anyway, after they meet, the camera cuts and you realise that really Monty is a beloved toy owned by the boy and that the Christmas present is another penguin toy, possibly a Monty replacement so his parents can wash mank Monty in the washing Machine.

The advert really is great and lovely and cute but it doesn’t half open itself up for ridicule. Maybe that was part of the point, they wanted to be sure that Twitter and Facebook users could crack jokes about it so it was definitely spoken about. Or you know, maybe they just wanted to make it cute.

Fails

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Twitter have been tweaking again, and this time it’s making Twitter more like Facebook. Oh, wait? Have they been doing that already? Yes they have. In yet another step to transform Twitter into Facebook 2.0, Twitter have now moved their ‘What’s happening?’ box to the top of your timeline. The box used to be in the left hand column of your home timeline but now it appears at the top of your feed.

To be honest I’m not all that surprised when Twitter releases a new feature and I’m even less surprised when it makes a change which makes it even more comparable to Facebook. So another day another Facebook I mean Twitter update!

 

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by Helen Stirling