I've been busy. Too shamelessly busy to even update my blog.
In the meantime, since my last post, we've won a few creative awards and some effies for our work. Our agency won social media agency of the year in 2010 and thinkLA's digital agency of the year in 2011.
And we also made this, based on the fact that we listened and joined an existing conversation. I'm presenting this case study tomorrow at an ANA conference in Dallas, TX. Details.
We posted this video to YouTube on May 2nd. Today, May 6th, it has over 550,000 views and climbing by about 10,000 every hour. And since last night apparently we have over 1.7 million views across all platforms!
Two days ago it was averaging an average of 115 tweets per hour and Sienna was the #1 branded channel on YouTube.
This was no fluke. We've had a Sienna Channel up on YouTube for a few months and the TV has been mentioning this. Traditionally advertising for Auto would drive to the brand site with some kind of an experience site.
We thought that was old school thinking.
Why not provide content in places where people are already at?
So instead we created YouTube and Facebook properties and drove people to them. Make no mistake there is a large focus on getting people to the shopping tools on Toyota.com, but what where do you go if you're not quite ready yet to do that configuration on a shopping site? It's all about what content to use in which context and doing this by understanding people's motivations.
Facebook is about conversation, YouTube is about watching videos, especially entertaining ones like those created for the launch of the new Sienna.
Listening to what people were saying on the web we quickly realized that "swagger wagon" was a recurring theme when referencing the spots/videos. It made sense that our next video would focus on what people were already talking about....
The Swagger Wagon music video was very carefully planned to tip it over the edge. Just the right mix of media drive to get it going and seeding in the right places. We've watched it climb by 400,000 views in one day.
The comments have been amazing and we've seen a significant increase on all the other more feature driven videos across the channel.
To date there has been no TV flight of this video, we wanted people on the web to own this and not feel like this was just another TV Ad.
I'm sure there will be a case study soon, which I'll share when possible.
This is awesome!
If you were one of the main sponsors of SXSW Interactive and had the entrance to the conference center dedicated as your engagement area, wouldn't you want to do more than just show cars? (Disclosure: I work on a competitive auto account)
But this all reads too much like a 101 on social media for dummies. The use of QR codes seem like an outdated concept (by about 5 years) at an event that's so focused on innovation. Gowalla badges seem more tactical rather than a longer term approach.
I guess these partnerships were chosen because both are official sponsors of SXSW interactive. How predictable.
When you have some of the brightest technical minds at an event, wouldn't you want to engage them more? What about throwing out a challenge to the community or asking them to help design a feature of the vehicle?
So, just how successful were some of their efforts? Judging by buzz.... somewhat, but not very.
Looking at the attached graphs and taking into consideration SXSW interactive started on the 12th of March (with some people arriving on the 11th), photos on flickr (in pink) grew very little.
Twitter mentions jumped a bit, but it looked like "Prius" mentions jumped way more than "Chevy Volt". Interesting, especially since Prius had no presence at SXSW interactive.
Random screen pulling in Chevy tweets
QR codes on vehicles
Making you work to get more information about the vehicle (soz the focus).
Why would I do this?
The coolest thing they did was to provide power strips inside the conference center. Nothing more pleases geeks than power for their laptops :)
I thought the Pepsi Refresh efforts at SXSW Interactive was really cool.
Here are some photos:
and of course, some free internet
At the other end of the conference center they had a really cool display of what was hot at SXSW. It's a zeitgeist that displays what is hot right now, through Tweets, Foursquare check-ins and Flickr photo uploads.
I love this practical and visual display of real-time data to inform your decision on where to go and what to attend.
Also check out the live site that is displaying this: http://pepsicozeitgeist.com/ . But of course most of the geeks have left, so activity has dropped off significantly.
Although this was merely used as a display, it would be great to turn this into a searchable, navigable mobile application that fulfills a functional role for SXSW attendees.
This is the topic I suggested for DigiDay Social happening today. Since I'm not going to make it to the event, I thought I'd post my thoughts and ideas on my blog. Here's the topic:
"Most agencies and brands now have the Social Media Guru and are building teams around them. But ultimately, social will be a part of everything we do, so is this model of building separate teams sustainable? Meanwhile, different groups are trying to "own" social on behalf of brands. Is it the job of a digital agency? A PR agency? The tech platform provider? The fact is, Social is a new channel of communication and requires expertise in a new discipline and a NEW way of thinking"
1. First off I'd like to propose dropping "media" from Social Media and just calling it Social. Why? So that media people don't get confused thinking that this is just another platform to buy on... it is not. And because we need think more about the behavior and motivations of people, not the platforms like Facebook.
2. Social is not another marketing tactic. What I mean by this is that it's not..."how can we socialize this idea" or "what is the social media component of this campaign". It needs to be part of a new way of thinking about marketing (and of course doing business), not just advertising.
3. ..And because this is a new way of thinking that will eventually be just a common way of thinking, integration is key! I love the way Geoff Livingstone phrases this:
"The siloization of social media within communications departments and their agencies represents a strategic error. Integration is the key. And I’ve said this before when I was a stand-alone social media firm. Every marketing department, every communications function, each practice area, and all teams should have this capability."
That's the theory bit, now for practical implementation.
The Agency Role (communications agency, could be digital, advertising, whatever...) in Social - Own the conversation around initiatives
1. Listen for consumer insights and opportunities to be a part of the conversation.
2. Turn these opportunities into conversation focused initiatives and useful content and tools.
3. Partake in relevant conversations that has to do with initiatives.
4. Measure and analyze.
The Client Role - Own the conversation around the product and brand
1. Listen to consumer conversation and partake in the conversation in a helpful manner.
2. Respond to people who have product issues, questions, and just general comments.
3. Listen for product insights to feed back to the product team.
The Social Media Guru/Agency
1. Help client and agency set up process and workflow to manage the shift from messaging to conversation. Share best practice.
2. Provide industry knowledge and insights on trends and how to leverage them.
Yes, this is over simplification and there is a lot more to it... but we have to look at this as an integrated model where each party has a role to get this thinking through our organizations. Outsourcing these type of efforts is not a sustainable long term approach.
I'll post some examples of work recently completed that demonstrates this, shortly.
Yeah sure, the purchase funnel isn't relevant anymore for reasons as long as my arm.
But if you deal with clients who aren't quite prepared to just accept that the purchase funnel now looks like a dog's breakfast or a person's colon, or a pile of spaghetti trying to find it's way through a medieval maze (ok that last one makes no sense)... then maybe this version will help a little.
If this thinking interests you, also download a presentation Don Longfellow and myself gave at USC in November last year, called Magnetic Content.
A big part of the creative process is currently being driven by our outdated views of different media platforms.
Example TV ads are still being viewed as only 'creating awareness'; websites perform the function of information and shopping; interactive media traditionally only drives website traffic.
Times have changed:
1. media is more fragmented than ever, there are more choices on more platforms than ever
2. the growth of social interactions enabled through technology has led to massive audience participation
3. peer reviews have become critical in the buying decision
4. the consumer is now in charge and has a very loud voice
So in a consumer in charge world, surely the way we use media to market needs to shift too?
Maybe the role of TV is no longer just awareness, but to actually motivate further participation. Maybe OEM websites should include peer reviews, the ability to share through social profiles and enlist friends' opinions.
.. And if the role of media needs to shift, then the way we execute and and measure success also needs to change. As an example, maybe banner ads should either focus on engagement/participation OR sales and NOT try and do both. Measurement should then either measure the one or the other depending on its purpose.
I've tried to capture this thought in the chart below. Traditional views of the media as well as potentially its new roles.
An article in the latest OMMA magazine from Mediapost caught my eye.
It's about how TGIF created a character Woody to drive fans of his Facebook page. Firs 500,000 by September 30th would get a free coupon for a burger.
The agency doing this seems to think this stunt was a huge success, judging by the article. Sure, when you look at the numbers: 976,000+ fans it looks to be doing well. Now I don't know about you, but using a fake character/model as a stunt to promote your brand seems like a very short sighted strategy to me. How sustainable is this?
Looking a little bit deeper on his facebook page the truth reveals itself: lots and lots of angry people that haven't received their coupons. AND most importantly fans joining just to get free stuff. Very little declaration of how much people love TGIF.
It appears that the agency not only felt that they needed to tick the Facebook box, but decided that they also needed to be on Twitter.
Over 1,000 followers and not following anyone??? Seriously is that the way to build a relationship with people?
I hope that creatives don't latch onto this example as a license to create fake characters on Twitter and Facebook.\
In my humble opinion I find that brands that have more transparency and authenticity are far more successful at building long term relationships with customers.
Have a look at Best Buy's page. They've created the ability to search for products inside their fan page. They initially had some media driving to their fan page and they saw an initial boost of over 100,000 fans. But the true growth came when they added the functionality for people to "Get advice" on a product from their friend's network.
They are actively listening, responding and trying to be useful and helpful. Oh and by the way... COD Modern Warfare 2 is awesome!!