It's time to vote! The finalists have been chosen for this year's iMedia Agency Awards, an industry awards show that honors agencies advancing digital marketing. Below are two campaigns we really loved.
"What is Working: Small Businesses" (Media Kitchen)
The Huffington Post and Goldman Sachs developed a new sponsored section to provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed in a tough economy. The section, "What is Working: Small Businesses," features original content authored by Goldman Sachs from teaching business skills to participants of its 10,000 Small Businesses program. Additional content comes from the program's partners and graduates, thought leaders, news articles, and other independent contributors. The sponsored section aims to inspire, educate, and inform small business owners while also sharing great stories of entrepreneurship in the US.
Samsung's “Life’s A Photo. Take It.”(Starcom Media Vest)
For the launch of the Samsung GALAXY Camera, Samsung asked 32 photographers to show why their city was the most photogenic in the world. Photos were uploaded to a bottomless Tumblr page connected to Instagram and other social media networks where fans could vote for their favorites. The city with the most likes won a massive party in the photographers’ honor. The Tumblr campaign earned over 1 million clicks and the videos received 1.3 million YouTube views. After eight weeks of submissions, voters chose Berlin as the winner.
It's great to see talented and innovative marketers putting amazing work out there! Don't forget to head over to the iMedia website to cast your votes!
From a promo piece on a tight schedule to a viral YouTube music video and full track released on iTunes
6:00 a.m. in Central Park. Several dozen professional dancers and over a hundred extras are practicing. There are people on bicycles and performers on pogo sticks. A crew with seven cameras, a fleet of GoPros, a dolly, and a crane are setting up.
Cue the music. People are dancing around the fountain in coordinated formations reminiscent of a Busby Berkeley production. Director William Heins and Derek Mitchell, famed choreographer to Usher and Alicia Keyes, closely watch the elaborate production. Definition 6 Creative Director Jamie Manalio directs the secondary cameras, joined by the agency’s Managing Director Rob Ortiz and Expert-in-Resident Frank Radice.
It's not a commercial or sequel to The Great Gatsby. It's a promo for Wendy Williams. “The one requirement? It needs to feel big -- as big as Wendy's presence and personality -- because it is a big year for her,” explains Ortiz. “The Wendy Williams Show is entering its fifth season with great ratings. Her contract’s been renewed for another three years. She’s starring in Chicago on Broadway. She’s on tour for her latest book, Ask Wendy. It’s a big year.”
The Challenge: Make It Big
Definition 6 was asked to take the short opening theme song from her show and extend it into a hip club remix with a choreographed dance. Sound designer Dan O'Sullivan recomposed it, giving it that DJ Tiesto feel. “Wendy and her team loved it!” exclaims Ortiz. “They loved it so much we made a 3:05 version that will be released on iTunes and, come September, will be the new opening theme for the fifth season of The Wendy Williams Show.”
The Result: Capture Her Spirit, Capture Her Fans
“We knew the remix and the music video approach, shot in Central Park with hundreds of dancers, would totally capture the spirit of Wendy,” explains Radice.
Not only did it capture the spirit of Wendy, it captured the attention of her fans. The music video went viral across social channels with more than 111,000 views on YouTube and, in just the first weekend, it received 34 million impressions on Twitter as fans posted about and retweeted it.
Definition 6 Takes It Beyond Promo Work
Due to Wendy's very limited schedule, we had barely a day for her to rehearse with the choreographer and just a few hours to film. To meet a quick delivery date, Definition 6 had two people dedicated just to taking notes during filming of over twenty hours of footage. It took three days to lay down a cut and there were almost no revisions on the behind the scenes and longer versions. Definition 6 delivered on time, on budget, and with a wealth of extra footage earmarked for Wendy’s popular YouTube channel, Facebook page with over a million fans, and other social channels.
Though this is the second year in a row Definition 6 has worked on the Wendy Williams image campaign with the Debmar-Mercury team, this is by far the biggest project we have done for them--specifically because it extended beyond promo work into several other areas of our expertise including the music video, 30, 20, 15, and 10 sec spots, new theme song, images, mixing, editing, social media activation, and snippets for YouTube and Wendy’s various social media channels. Finally, Editor John Gill ensured brand continuity with the work Definition 6 did previously for the season four campaign. As Radice says, "At Def6, we get it done!" And that is exactly what we did for the season five launch of The Wendy Williams Show.
Last night, our Director of Unified Communications Jeremy Porter participated on a panel put on by the Social Media Club (moderated by Social Media Club Chair Brian Rudolph) with Adam Rucker of Southwest Airlines and Jim Dudukovich of Coca-Cola that was "All About Content." Porter, Rucker, and Dudukovich discussed strategies for sharing content on social channels, tools that brands are using to measure success, as well as legal and customer service issues that arise when interacting with customers online.
The event brought together a good number of marketing professionals looking to learn more about social media and content marketing, and took place on the 'Southwest' branded porch of Park Tavern in Atlanta.
The panelists discussed balancing planned versus spontaneous social content, and advised brands to "use a consistent pace of content for what will keep your audience satisfied." Another hot topic on the panel was understanding real-time marketing. Jeremy Porter offered advice to brands hoping to jump on the real-time bandwagon: "Don't just look at the trending topics--think about your brand and the stories you can tell around it." Struggling to think of a good story to tell? "Think about fun dates in history that may inspire fun content for your brand." With real-time marketing putting more pressure on brands to be there in the moment with their customers, "Big brands' ability to succeed at real-time marketing is a monumental shift."
Adam Rucker of Southwest Airlines told attendees about his team in charge of managing and sharing content, including a team dedicated to handling customer service issues that arise on Twitter and other social channels. Rucker said "I hate the term 'social media expert.' Social media is still very new. There are no experts yet." Seeing as the audience was filled with people hoping to learn more about social media marketing, we'd have to say we agree!
The bigger and more well-known the brand is, the larger the following they will have on social. When brands have huge followings online, it gets more difficult to manage voice of brand without running into potential legal issues. Jim Dudukovich of Coca-Cola offered some insight on how to work successfully with legal including creating social media guidelines and decision trees for social media managers to follow. Dudukovich suggested that companies "Arm all of [their] employees with facts so they can correctly answer questions about [their] business,' and Porter mentioned that "More companies need a checklist that allows them to post without legal permission." No brand wants to get into legal trouble on social, but it's worth the extra effort to create guidelines and checklists if it will avoid having to go through legal for every single social posting.
Closing comments and answered questions on the panel offered general advice about social media, and Dudukovich offered some winning advice: "The first step in social is listening. Find out what people care about and then step in."
The rush to get home is something that every commuter is familiar with, and I for one, think of it as my daily exercise, mainly because of all the people I have to dodge, all the standing I have to do on every form of transport I encounter, and all the complaining I have to do about it afterwards. So, whilst everyone else in London is enjoying the never-ending heat wave, I have some reservations. Hot weather and London’s public transport system seems to turn even the most rational and logical mind into a crazed animal with fourteen flailing limbs and rather smelly armpits. I have come to the conclusion, therefore, that the ability to make good decisions is left at the office door at 6 o’clock, and waits there patiently for you to return like a small dog left whimpering outside a supermarket.
The Decision Making Process is a huge part of working life, whether you’re doing it on your own or with others, those decisions need to be made. The people around you right now, they make decisions all the time. They might even be doing it right now – look closely, see if you can spot their decision making face, everyone has one. Don’t stare, that’s rude. Now they’re trying to decide why you’re staring at them.
You can reduce the Decision Making Process (or DMP if you’re one of those peeps that like to abbrev. everythin’) into 5 simple steps: Situation, Options, Choose, Act, Evaluate. We do this subconsciously, it’s completely engrained in us to weigh the options before us before we act, and so we can do it in a split second, but not after 6pm. Apparently.
Think of the Situation, you’re walking onto the platform to get the tube home. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of millions of people. All of you want to get on that train, which, by the way, is already packed. What are your options? Well, you can either attempt to get on the train, or wait for the next one, which will arrive approximately 24 seconds after this one. Choose. Simple Enough, I’m getting on that train, says every commuter on that platform. Act: Push and shove forward (whilst somehow allowing others off the train at the same time) until you get on that train being very careful not to pull the emergency alarm that has somehow ended up under your arm, and with your face buried in some other commuter’s armpit. You’re now stuck like this for your entire journey while more commuters squeeze themselves in, and probably get their heads stuck in the doors.
Evaluate: You’re stuck, sweaty, unhappy. But hey, you got on THAT train, which coincidentally happens to be going in the wrong direction. Go you.
Imagine if you approached your working environment in the same way, and by not weighing up your options for longer than a second, you resign yourself to having to follow through with a judgement made in error by a desire to get somewhere faster. If we all behaved in the office the way we behave on the tube, no decisions would ever really be made because somewhere along that line, we’d realise we’d got on the wrong train and just have to do it all again. Moral of the story? Don’t be a commuter at work. Take your time with your decisions, work with people, not against them, and try your hardest to make sure you get on the right train.
Extra moral of the story. Don’t be a commuter on the Tube either, no one likes it.
Maersk Group launches Digital Edition of Company Magazine: The Maersk Post
Definition 6 has worked with the Maersk Group, the largest container shipping company in the world, to create an online digital Company Magazine. The quarterly publication will feature stories across the various Maersk businesses and employees around the world. Maersk works with a huge amount of external stakeholders and it is vital that they are kept up to date with all activities across the business. It also allows for interested parties to read more about the workings of The Maersk Group and its vital role in shipping oil and gas. The digital publication not only delivers informative articles on the industry itself, it introduces Maersk employees and gives excellent insight into how the Group’s strategies are executed.
This style of corporate publication is a fast growing space, especially when optimised across all devices. Such transparency will serve to protect a First-class image. A vital marketing tool, it can be an influencing factor that will help a company progress and win new business. A corporate publication strengthens customer loyalty, providing information on the industry itself. It also attracts new customers, getting their attention through clarity and thought-leadership. In turn, a digital magazine can be easily shared and will therefore serve to improve your referrals and exposure across digital media. Finally, a corporate publication strengthens customer relations and staff morale. In presenting company information to employees and customers, your magazine presents a solid business story that you are proud to shout about.
Following the above, a digital publication allows for far more than a physical print version. Not only is access measureable thereby presenting a huge amount of useable data, a digital platform also allows for a more interactive, immersive experience with the use of video. Online platforms also allow for personalisation which will inevitably enhance audience experience with targeted stories and relevant story alerts. An experience can be tailored to a user’s preference in the long-run making the information presented far more relevant and desirable.
The new digital edition of the Maersk Post enriches the user experience with plenty of interactive material, such as videos. The digital magazine also allows for sharing across all social media platforms. Many large companies have a legacy of an internal print publication that still has value but as audiences spend more time online, there are boundless new opportunities to present information digitally. Taking the printed version and adding multimedia extensions using an online platform is a simple way of presenting information online. However, in the longer term, organisations could look to more innovative platforms to enable an even better digital experience.
Journalists need to adapt with the Digital Age. All outlets now have the ability to break stories on their websites 24-7. As workers become multi-skilled, journalists need to stop thinking of themselves as specialists; as only a print or broadcast journalist, but as a multi-skilled reporter with the ability to gather information and tell a story. Having the ability to prioritise and develop new skills is absolutely vital in today's online world.
The latest edition of The Maersk Post discusses its policy on security issues. In 2011, thousands of Egyptians protested against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. As the situation became uncontrollable, the Maersk Group offered employees and their family’s evacuation. Learning by experience, the Group talks about how this shaped their future security strategy.
Definition 6 recently worked with GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) to launch their new website. GLSEN is an organization that works to ensure that LGBT students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Definition 6 has worked with GLSEN on video projects in the past, and GLSEN also had several needs that a new website could address.
It was clear from the start that the important work GLSEN does and their extensive resources needed a website that organized their research and assets for easy access, promoted their positive message, and would engage and appeal to their three key audiences: educators, students, and supporters. The old GLSEN.org had some great content but it was difficult to navigate and failed to reflect either the GLSEN organization or their audience.
In the more than two decades GLSEN has been working to create safe and respectful schools for LGBT students, they have amassed an impressive amount of content. GLSEN is dedicated to making their case through extensive research and they have lots of data to back up their position. On top of that factual foundation, GLSEN is a vibrant organization that views the future with hope and optimism. They know that while there is much still to be done, there has been great progress. GLSEN's new website needed to be a functional portal for all their great content while reflecting the positivity and spirit that is inherent in their organization and their audience. They have an important mission and their website is a vital tool for success.
The new GLSEN.org lays out the site's vast content and education information in an easy to understand format, and engages the three main types of visitors with calls to action about GLSEN's many education resources, fundraising events, and opportunities to get involved and support the organization's mission.
In a serendipitous demonstration of synchronicity, the new site went live the same day the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The site's new features help foster informed conversation and facilitate a discussion about current events, increasing awareness about GLSEN and getting more people involved in their mission. That mission has been influential in creating a safer environment of respect and understanding for LGBT youth. As a gay man, and the uncle of a gay high school student, I can speak first hand to the tremendous work GLSEN is doing, and I am very proud to have played a role in the creation and launch of their website. Visit GLSEN.org to check out the new website and find out how you can get involved!
Working with the BBC is regarded as an honour, not only in the UK but across the globe. Being given the chance to collaborate with the largest broadcaster in the world is any agency's dream, trust me.
Connect Studio is a new approach to ensure innovation across BBC Future Media. Producers, developers, digital agencies and designers including Internal BBC Staff are invited to construct innovative solutions to a brief set by the BBC. In creating an open forum, the hope is to optimise BBC digital media products for the future.
Tony and I decided to attend the Connected Studio in Glasgow. Only an hour on a plane and we were there, at the home of the Commonwealth Games 2014. I could sense impending excitement in the air. Other passengers were overheard discussing their ideas, even sporting jackets with ‘2014 Games’ embroidered on them. The city was evidently buzzing in preparation for next year’s events.
We took our seats in the Lighthouse, there wasn’t a single spare seat in the room. In case you didn’t know, there are 54 member states in the Commonwealth, each represented by a single flag hanging from the ceiling. Four criteria were set out in the brief, all focusing on delivering non-sport Commonwealth-related content from the BBC to audiences. The aim was to improve digital offerings and with it, digital media literacy so audiences are inspired to think about their place in the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth is home to one third of the world’s population. But sadly, most know little about it. The first challenge set out in the brief was to reflect life throughout the Commonwealth and to celebrate the different cultures within it. Another objective was to make audiences across the UK feel part of events happening in Glasgow. The hope is to encourage UK audiences to participate in and share the digital Commonwealth moments during the games. The final objective was to inspire the youth of the Commonwealth and encourage younger audiences to engage with all content.
Bruce Malcolm and Claire White began the day by addressing the crowd and giving us a taste of what the Commonwealth Games meant for the BBC and for Glasgow. They were able to create an air of anticipation and excitement around the games, something that prompted us all to begin thinking creatively as to how we would address the brief. They were followed by other BBC staff, each giving further insight into their specialised genres.
As the ideas began to flow, the room divided into teams. Creative facilitators circulated the room, all offering advice and inspiration. Roaming experts were on hand to listen to ideas and to give honest and valuable feedback. Linda Cockburn talked to the group for half an hour on how to deliver the perfect pitch. She was absolutely excellent, Tony and I both felt incredibly lucky to be given her invaluable advice. One tip I would like to share was to tell a story. Make sure you have a beginning, middle and end. In doing so, your pitch will be clear and concise and will deliver the desired message as efficiently as possible.
We decided to address the Youth of the Commonwealth. There were over thirty pitches at the end of the day. It was such a great experience to listen to so many ideas in one forum, the transparency of all the pitches was really great with each being tweeted on the BBC Connected forum. It is a rare experience to be privy to other pitches; an experience I think was truly valuable. We were able to take away so many great ideas from others. Congratulations to all those that attended.
BBC Connected Studios was an invaluable experience, one that I truly hope to replicate in the future.
Albert Einstein stated that “Information is not knowledge”. I would certainly side with him in this day and age in terms of Big data and how it is interpreted and applied. Do you know that 90% of the data existing in the world today has been created in the past two years alone? Big data is so often talked about, so much so that it is often ignored. A box of business cards, so large in volume one does not know where to start in tackling the information at one's fingertips.
Big Data is now a well-recognised Buzzword in the world of Marketers. But what exactly does it mean? I think the hype has been bigger than the information it provides. It goes without saying that Big Data has the potential to unlock valuable insights but, without the correct application, the amount of data simply adds confusion to a busy working day. How do we convert this valuable information into useable insights?
As a digital Marketing agency, Definition 6 optimises online campaigns and Big data plays a key role in how it is done. I believe that with data available, Marketers should put more emphasis on analytical skills and tool sets. With good use of analytics, we can all respond to the analysis of data with real time decisions based on audience behaviour.
How to get the most out of Big data…
1) Don’t underestimate the importance of the data
Data will drive everything. The premise of digital technology runs from analytics and data creating insights to address consumer needs. Make sure you tell people what you learn from your analysis. The best businesses learn from experience and real-life examples.
2) Decide which data is relevant to you
Huge quantities of data can be intimidating. Marketers often don’t know where to start. Only once you begin to look at the correct points you can begin to understand how to use the information to your advantage. My advice would be to plan, start small and select a specific set to work with.
3) Don’t let numbers scare you
Make use of all available resources, sites and communities. Google Fusion and Many Eyes are both great tools. Perhaps nominate one person to focus on and analyse a particular data set. This will avoid confusion and provide clarity when forming insights based on findings.
4) Be granular in your approach
One mistake people make is in not describing the source of your data. This in turn will drastically affect your credibility. Try not to jump to the final outcome of a finding, consider the steps that were taken to get there before making assumptions from the final figure.
5) Give Data a good reputation
Data is often avoided purely because it is considered boring and irrelevant. Data is not all about spread sheets and numbers, it is in fact useful findings to use in creating and improving excellent products and services. Spread this information and get people loving data.
Keeping these points in mind, I suggest we drop the term ‘Big’. Yes, there is a mass of data but the important thing is how you then convert it into something that is palatable, simple to understand and easy to read and learn from. Start small, focus on a particular subject and use your findings to improve present and future campaigns.
I am, as I have been told many times, in a rather unique situation. By day, I work in Media Relations in the Definition 6 London office. By night, I live in a convent. It’s only temporary, you understand, but it does give everyone in the office a great deal of amusement to call me a ‘Trainee Nun’.
On a daily basis, I communicate with people I have never met in countries I haven’t yet been to, and in the office too, where a mixture of different cultural habits is continually present and discussed. The workings of the NHS compared to the Portuguese healthcare system is a recent example, with the ways that both cultures view this huge organisation being both informative and, at times, downright hilarious. I have learnt, in the short time that I have been working here, the importance of communication in a business setting, the tailoring of pitches and responses to suit the intended audience.
Recently, I have begun to realise how that affects my ‘home’ life on a similar basis. We tailor our responses to all communication, even unconsciously. You wouldn’t swear in front of an elderly relative or small child, but in front of friends, it’s (mostly) perfectly acceptable. We are constantly learning new methods of communication, depending on the people we meet and the ways in which we engage them.
At home, I have had to prevent myself using the phrase ‘Oh my God!’, but in the office or out with friends, it’s perfectly common. Engaging in regular communication with a nun is at the best of times, a pleasant experience, they are continually positive and really rather lovely. It can be, however, rather strenuous if one doesn’t know what to say. The golden rule with nuns: take it slow, frame your conversation with description and nice things, and don’t make too many references to pop culture. They have, however, heard of One Direction. Unfortunately.
When speaking with journalists and broadcasters, the opposite is true: Don’t waffle. Make your point, ask as few questions as possible, be professional. These are busy people, they probably don’t want to discuss your love of knitting, and how beautiful the Houses of Parliament look at dusk.
Communication then, is the most useful tool anyone in our industry has in their arsenal. In fact, communication is the most useful tool in the world’s arsenal. Social media allows us to engage with different cultures on different platforms every day, which is incredible. The more personal touches such as communication via phone and in person, allow us to advance our knowledge of communication as an ever changing medium, to engage with more people with confidence, and to tailor our responses to ensure that your messages are always translated cross-culturally in an appropriate and hopefully beneficial way.
The Oxford English Dictionary today announced that the word “tweet" will be added to their next edition, signalling the fact that the internet is causing fluid changes in our language and that a bird in the internet land is worth two in their book. The jargon behind technology is a funny thing--lag behind and you look like a dinosaur, run too far ahead and you are speaking a language that people need to Google.
The above news got me thinking, because over the past two weeks I have been slowly introducing new technological phrases to my parents after they both bought iPhones on the same day – 4th June 2013. I think it would have been better for everyone involved (Apple, Vodafone, www.headinhands.com) if they had staggered their purchases over a nine month period. I note the day because it will forever be etched onto the wall of my mental prison, alongside the Kennedy Assassination, Arsenal’s signing of Dennis Bergkamp and the day Coca-Cola mixed Coke with Vanilla to create super pop. Sam from Vodafone Customer Services will also never forget that dark hour she truly earned her pay after repeating ‘home screen’ 2,345 times within a two minute window.
The journey on this long and 18 month contractually binding road brought me to the conclusion that the bridge between technology and its application can only be built through inclusive language. Apple does a pretty good job of this but after attending a number of conferences and marketing events I always come away with a feeling that speakers are looking to ‘confuse and befuddle’ rather than ‘entice and include’ by using fenced off language. Of course the super intelligent types at these conferences usually lap up this type of oratory but inevitably this type of language permeates downwards and shapes the message my mum and dad ultimately hear. Perhaps a better approach would be to imagine my mum and dad sitting front and centre in the audience. They ‘get’ the concept and like the technology but they don’t instinctively understand the language.
Anyway, my Mum now has a working iPhone and is up to Level 2 on Facetime and Facebook and has completed Photostream. It pains me to say that my Dad is still a work in process but after 14 days my greatest victory thus far is that he has finally stopped using the back of his iPhone to call the future.
As an aside, I am writing this while attempting to radiate a cutting edge persona by wearing fake Google glasses. They are just two pairs of Ray-band’s sellotaped together with Casio digital watch fronts glued onto both eyes. I think the staff in Starbucks are suitably impressed and may have mistaken me for a celebrity as I am being ushered out of the shop by a five man police escort.
The Oil Industry: Live from Copenhagen to the World with Maersk and the first ever computer game made by an Oil company – Quest for Oil.
“Working with the Definition 6 team on the Quest for Oil launch day really made our story fly within the international media” - Anja Anderson Maersk Group Marketing and Branding
Here’s the big question for Oil companies. How do you solve a long-term recruitment problem facing an industry that is misunderstood and largely closed to the public? The answer from Maersk Group was to create and launch a strategy based video game called Quest for Oil – a game that allows everyone a chance to run their own oil business and learn how the oil industry works for themselves. Perhaps even consider a career in the industry too?
Our role? The Definition 6 team was asked to work with Maersk for the launch to help create widespread international media coverage. We did indeed create a lot of coverage, with help from a generous amount of time granted to us by not one but two CEO’s from the Maersk Group.
Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and Jakob Thomasen, CEO of Maersk Oil tried their hand at a Satellite Media Tour to launch their new initiative internationally.
While an SMT is a very new format to Danish and other Scandinavian CEOs, it is proving to be a highly impactful, cost effective, efficient use of a CEO’s time on big news days. Check out our work with LEGO CEO Jørgen V Knudstrup: http://bit.ly/17Lieer
How does it work?
International coverage is achieved on this scale by running two parallel processes. Firstly, our team creates a highly targeted Live Media Plan. CEO interviews are mapped to specific regions and demographics across print, broadcast and online media. It is a structured process that involves careful planning to ensure that everyone involved--from the CEO to the production crew and newsroom--is ready on launch day. Going out live on the day perfectly delivers the desired message, visually, editorially and demographically.
From the launch event we enabled Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and Jakob Thomasen, CEO Maersk Oil to conduct interviews with The BBC, CNBC, Forbes, TheStreet, Fox News Houston, CNBC Arabia, First Business News and Reuters. Be sure to check out the broadcast interviews:
Secondly, we coordinated a targeted multimedia distribution and media relations campaign to thousands of journalists within a broad range of vertical media. The techniques we use at Definition 6 allow us to work across broadcast, online, social and print media ensuring that the content we send to media is in the right format for the journalists needs. You can see the full press kit here: http://bit.ly/11eHWR6.
These two parallel processes allow a multiplier effect. The combined live schedule and distribution of prepared materials creates much more coverage than standalone services; i.e. the sum of the whole is far greater than the individual parts.
Services used: TheNewsmarket.com platform, Our US and European Media teams, Media Centre Platform and our signature SMT.
Media 360 Conference: Marketing insights and highlights from some of the best speakers
Matt Thomson and Tony Towndrow from the London office spent two packed days learning about new trends, branding and thought provoking content. They kindly offered to share their most informative findings with you.
1. Hearing about the launch plans for ‘London Live’, an informative and entertaining TV Channel for residents in the capital. Andrew Mullins was truly inspiring in his delivery and being true Londoners, we were very excited about the prospect.
2. David Amodio showcasing Channel 4’s brilliant new app, giving brands the opportunity to reach an audience in a completely fresh way.
3. Elizabeth Fagan delivering a history of the Boots brand and how they are embracing digital. Elizabeth stated that although Boots had embraced technology to communicate with its customers, it would only chose to use it if it enhanced their customer experience and as well as progressing the business. It is for this reason that they aren’t yet on Twitter. Fagan also exhibited brand excellence with regards to their strict policy on customer data handling and usage.
4. Hearing from Peter Duffy from Easyjet. He made the impossible possible talking about data in a way that didn’t make you yawn!
5. Asad Rehman from Unilever taking his audience back one hundred years to show how ‘branded content’ is not actually a new concept.
6. We loved Benedict Evans mobile deck. As PC sales flatten, Evans predicted three quarters of literate adults will have a smartphone by 2017. He also explained how “mobile and technology” are merging. Good news for technology advanced minds such as ours!
7. And finally, Spencer Berwin’s presentation on the Outdoor research tool ‘Route’. So much to learn from, and should inspire better research in other media disciplines.
Overall Media 360 was a great experience packed full of knowledge about media, content marketing, and technology.
The New York International Auto Show opened its doors this weekend to the public and we were on-site earlier in the week with the Synaptic Digital production crew to support General Motors during the press days. We conducted two satellite media tours for GM, with their spokesperson James Bell speaking to the media about the state of the auto industry and how the new GMC cars are equipped to handle safe pet travel.
It was at the show that we met pet expert Charlotte Reed, who we then invited to our Atlanta office to meet our office dogs at a special Canine & Human happy hour! Be sure to check out the photos on our Facebook page. GM's big reveal came around lunchtime when the press gathered at the North Pavillion to see what's new....and the Camaro Z/28 rolled onto the stage to a big round of cheers and applause. Other hot cars included the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the Cadillac CTS and the Buick Regal.
Kia brought the KIA Soul hamsters with them as well as the whole Marvel crew with a Green Lantern car, Batman car, and Wonder Woman car.
Other auto brands at the show included Bentley, Rolls Royce, VW, Lamborghini, Lexus, Toyota and BMW. You can see some more photos in the slideshow below.
Since HBO's launch of www.jointherealm.com, a site that allows fans of the popular show Game of Thrones to create their own house sigil, hundreds of thousands of fans have generated their own coat of arms and shared them across social media channels, stirring up excitement for Season 3, which premiered last night. Check out what we created as well as some of our favorite brand and celebrity sigils below and be sure to Join the Realm and create your own family arms at www.jointherealm.com. What are some of your favorites that you've seen this week? What does your house sigil look like? Share it with us in the comments.
How do you FedEx a Panda? No, it’s not one of those unusual Google suggestions and it is not the opening line of a joke. But FedEx does have the answer to the question – put them on a chartered and a panda-decaled aircraft and spread the panda fever around the world. For the latest 3 pairs of pandas that have been relocated from China to Edinburgh, Paris and now Toronto, our team has followed the trail and has captured some amazing footage along the way. The love of pandas has taken over the wires as well with media internationally putting the spotlight on panda conservation efforts (and how undeniably adorable they look).
The latest panda pair, Er Shun (female) and Da Mao (male), arrived in Toronto on March 25 – flying first class with plenty of bamboo to snack on during their 15 hour flight and all the attention of a group of vets and the FedEx team. They were chosen as an excellent genetic match for breeding and Toronto Zoo officials hope that they will be able to add the dwindling world population of pandas.
As the saying goes, "A picture is worth ten thousand words." And in social media, no truer words were spoken. With a plethora of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, the power of visual marketing is abundant. In fact, Facebook has more photos uploaded than Flickr, Instagram and even the Library of Congress. So how can brands harness this power and gain more brand affinity and engagement through visual marketing? The truth is, most marketers are missing the point.
We have a lot of bad habits from our traditional media practices that we hold onto that are really ineffective in this new medium. It seems like mass media, but the rise of social networks and digital media has created an opportunity to create real and meaningful dialogue with our audiences on a one-to-one level through technology. That technology has become ever-present and critical component to everything we do. But while the technology is key to distribution, the story is what matters to the audience. And this is something we must not take lightly. Combine that with the right visuals in photos, videos, infographics, and you're onto something.
So how to you get there? First you have to uncover the underlying motivations of why people share in the first place. To give value and entertainment to others, to provide a sense of who we are, to stay connected and build relationships with others, to create personal involvement and stay connected with others, and to persuade others to care about what we care about.*
*Source: NYTimes Customer Insight Group study
It's the content, in the right context, that will ultimately drive conversation. The intersection of where you (as a brand) can share what you want to say and what they (as your audience) are interested in consuming. Relevance is key to great content. Timing is also extremely important. You must consider how the consumer is bombarded with content and navigate the right communication path to ensure your content gets seen, heard, read and shared.
To address which visual platforms would work best for your brand, it would be best to ask yourself these questions - What are your brand's goals? What are your brand's resources? Where is your brand's audience?
Then you can decide which platforms make the most sense for your brand's content.
Here's the lowdown on the platforms:
Pinterest: Reflects aspirational desire and "want" - intent to purchase with aethesthically beautiful photos. For Brands - huge opportunity to express brand ideals, authenticity and style.
Instagram: It's about art, not ads. Be the brand, not the product. Fuels into other networks so use as an opportunity to cross-promote.
Tumblr: Blogging platform; social network; content distribution platform - use when you are trying to young adults. Most popular with 13-25 year olds. "Facebook is where teens and young adults connect with family and friends - Tumblr is where they connect with like-minded people about topics they care about" - Tim Peter
• Use images that are beautiful/eye-popping/funny/inspirational/emotional/relatable/shareable (that you have rights to) and distribute them across social platforms
• Think about streams: timing of publishing and catching people’s attention
You don’t have to win The Super Bowl to have an excuse to go to Disney World in February, you just have to keep tabs on the Ragan Communications’ Events calendar. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of beautiful, sunny days with a few hundred of the best and brightest minds in communications last week at the 6th Annual Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications Conference at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The conference featured presentations from communications professionals at Disney Parks, The Phoenix Suns, Whole Foods, Google, ESPN, Southwest Airlines, Marvel, Microsoft and Zappos to name a few.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel discussion about how brands can use Pinterest for Storytelling. The panel featured Whole Foods’ Michael Aaron Bepko, Global Online Community Manager; Samantha Hosenkamp, Social Media Director of Ragan Communications, and Kevin Dando, Director of Marketing Communications for PBS.
As a supplement to the ideas I shared during the lively discussion (thanks to everyone that turned out to pack the room during our session), here are 6 tips brands can use to leverage Pinterest for brand storytelling:
1. Incentivize Your Community to Participate - consider sponsoring contests and promotions to reward your community for generating content on the platform. For example, start a "Pin It to Win It" campaign where Pinners - users who pin specific images related to your brand. Everyone that pins within the guidelines of your promotion are entered to win a prize or some recognition for their efforts. Perhaps the winner serves as your Pinterest brand ambassador or gets some more formal role for a period of time (e.g. summer intern for your brand).
2. Tell Your Story Over Time - use a Pinterest board like you would time-lapse photography or a flip book to tell your story. Do you own a pumpkin patch you want people to come to this fall? Start by pinning images of you unpacking the seeds, planting the seeds, watering the seeds, watching the seeds sprout, etc. - tell the story of pictures all the way through families coming out to your pumpkin patch to get their prized selections. You can do this over the course of a long period of time, or you can do it in a day - for example, show images of your upcoming road race starting with setting up the course, runners starting to pile in each hour, people running the race, and the first and last people to cross the finish line. There are endless opportunities for using images over a designated period of time like this.
3. Guess The Picture - ask your audience a trivia question, with an image-based question. For example, guess the destination we're sending one lucky winner too. Take a picture of the event and cut it up into 20 different images. Post different pieces of your image puzzle over the course of the contest and enter all correct guessers into a drawing to win - then pin a picture of the winner receiving their prize.
4. New Product Launches - there's no rule that says you can't use your Pinboards to promote the products or services you sell. When you get in a fresh batch of your latest product, why not pin an image of those products going onto the shelves? Come in and get yours before they're all gone. Feel free to update the board as your limited supply leaves the shelves - you just might drive in-store traffic. You can do the same with sale items, clearance items or event items that you sell online. Show images of your trucks being loaded with product heading out to all your retail stores if you're a wholesaler. Customers buy from you, why not remind them what they buy?
5. It's Okay to Be Fun and Goofy - you don't have to be serious with everything on Pinterest. Consider putting a funny or witty spin on the drab and boring stuff some might perceive about your business. GE does a great job of this with their "Big Ass Machines" board. They show pictures of, well, big ass machines they manufacture. They could have called the board something more descriptive (and boring), but we wouldn't be talking about it. What do you joke about inside the company that people outside your company wouldn't know about? That type of stuff can be gold on Pinterest.
6. Pay It Forward - it's not all about you. Consider sharing content from other brands' boards to generate interest for your own brands. Are you inspired by the products and services other brands post on their boards? Create a board of your inspirations or things you love and share it with your community. Those brands - and the people enjoying your curated content - will reward you by sharing your content. Pay it forward.
BONUS: here's a bonus tip for you… are you looking for clever images to include with your blog posts? Embed an image from your Pinterest board as the visual to complement your next blog post. You'll drive traffic to your Pinterest boards from your blog - but you'll also attract new readers to your blog from Pinterest.
What ideas do you have for telling your brand stories via Pinterest? How can your favorite brands leverage Pinterest to make their content more interesting and engaging? What are you doing on Pinterest that our readers would be interested in? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Want more about Pinterest? Check out these Definition 6 resources:
Detroit has been famous for its fair share of music legends and automotive legacy with cars still firmly defining the city’s identity. The North American International Auto Show which takes place in the Motor City at the beginning of January continues to bring in the crowds from all over the US and the rest of the world. With sales figures on the rise and the US providing most of the orders for new Bentley cars, NAIAS was the perfect place for the company to launch a new high luxury car: the GT Speed Convertible, the fastest 4-seater cabriolet in the world.
Definition 6 was there to support the launch by delivering global broadcast coverage through production and distribution of b-roll, live press conference coverage and live interviews. Our team succeeded in placing 17 satellite and 5 on site interviews in US and international media. CNBC auto industry reporter Phil LeBeau was at the Bentley stand to discuss with Christophe Georges, President and COO of Bentley Motors Americas, the increasing sales figures and how Americans are rewarding themselves again. AFP and DAF also reported on the success story – in English, French and German. And Foxnews.com discovered what a $300,000 car look like.
You can watch a roundup of Bentley’s activities at Detroit here and check out a gallery of photos from the show below.
It may be cold outside but it was HOT in Detroit for the 2013 Detroit Auto Show for the reveal of the new Corvette! Journalists and attendees from around the world gathered earlier this week to preview the release of the 2013 models. Besides the excitement over the Corvette, the Cadillac ATS (our client) won North American Car of the Year.
Here are some pics with journalists and other media reporters pouring over the new Corvette:
The Definition 6 and Synaptic Digital team (including Paul Hernacki, Michael Kogon, Julia, and Chris) even had dinner with Wolfgang Puck!
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