Technology That’s Raising “The Bar”

A bar is a place for drinking and having fun and socializing and dancing.
It’s usually not a place you’d expect to find some innovative technology.
Until now.
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We’ve all seen it before.

A group of people sitting together in a pub.  But they’re not looking at each other, and they’re not talking to each other either.

They’re all on their phones.

What are they doing with their lives?

phones

Technology is awesome and everything, don’t get me wrong.  I tweet constantly, and enjoy being able to call my sister in DC while I’m hundreds of miles away in Boston.  But I firmly believe there’s a time and place for everything.  And when you’re out with friends, it’s not the time or the place to check your Facebook newsfeed or make a Vine video.  And sometimes, it prevents you from experiencing things IRL (in real life).

But what’s the solution to the problem of overusing technology?

A small beer brand in Brazil came up with the answer by using… you guessed it, technology!

polar

Polar beer wanted to make drinking beer with friends a social event.  So, they designed a high-tech beer cooler that blocks the signal of cell phones within a 5-foot radius.  That means that no one at the table will get a chance to be on their phones. And without phones, people are more encouraged to interact and laugh and joke and sing and be with their friends.  To live in the moment and enjoy it.

Check out how this innovative technology encouraged other people to ditch their own technology.

This is such a simple idea, and a great way to have people associate Polar beer with sharing fun, loving moments with friends.

Another beer company also decided to bring technology to a bar too!

buddy cup

Budweiser designed the innovative Buddy Cup in 2013 that encouraged people who met in bars to connect with each other on social media.  With the simple clank of two glasses together, strangers who shared awesome conversations would automatically add each other as friends on Facebook and be able to stay connected long after the bar closes for the night.

What’s really unique about both of these ideas is that these brands are both using something common and simple (a beer cooler, or a glass) and making it part of an experience.

They’re not creating high-tech glasses and coolers.  They’re starting a movement that involves connecting with people and living in the moment.  Both of these campaigns are examples of how technology is transforming not only the messages that brands are trying to send to consumers, but also the behavioral changes that brands are trying to create.  Technology isn’t just relevant in billboards and advertisements and online banner ads.  It can be used to start a conversation or create experiences.

Let’s drink to that!

Marketing Memories

“Paul W. Swansen tagged a photo of you.”

paulswenson

Every day, millions of people all over the world see a message like this on Facebook.

And they usually feel some sort of emotion before clicking on that photo.  They might be filled with embarrassment (“please tell me this was not from last night!”) or they might be bursting with excitement (“yes, they finally put that picture up!”), but normally, they’re not confused.

But I bet your would be if you were tagged in a photo at an event you never attended.

thatsyou

Your face is right there in the picture, at a random location you’ve never seen before.  And you’re surrounded by people you’ve never met.  But you have no recollection of ever being there.

What’s going on?!?!?!

Alzheimer Nederland is behind this marketing experience that showed everyday people what it’s like to forget people, moments, events, etc.  In short, what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s Disease.

The organization photoshopped images of people into photographs from “fake” events and had help from other organizations who created photo albums and hosted these fake images on their Facebook page.  Then, they tagged the individual people in the photos to stir up the pot and create a confusing, eye-opening experience.

confusing1 

There was a specific call to action:  spread awareness by letting your friends experience this too.

Those tagged in photos were encouraged to go to the event website and upload their friend’s pictures so they too could be placed in these images and experience the confusion those with Alzheimer’s deal with everyday.

The organization was smart by first tagging Dutch celebrities and social influencers, who really kick started this campaign and helped the cause receive the attention it deserves.

Here’s a video summing up the Facebook campaign:

I’m just fascinated because most organizations like this tend to play the guilt card in their marketing efforts by making individuals feel bad for not helping out (think Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercials). They show people in need, play sad music and try to tug on the heartstrings on the consumers.

Alzheimer Nederland could have done something like this , but instead instead of showing people in need, they’re making the audience feel the need these people have.  It makes them have a stronger connection to the brand, and creates of community of people who can share this experience with others.

The Facebook campaign is also a reminder to aspiring marketers- you don’t need to be working on Coke or Tide or other major name brands to produce creative, inspiring work. 

This campaign is a prime example of that.  It has inspired participation, lead to the creation of shareable content, and has given people the power to share an experience (not just a picture or a message or a greeting) with someone else digitally.

How Brands Celebrate Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year, when people obsess over roses and chocolates and jewelry.

But brands, on the other hand, focus on likes and views and shares.

Brands are taking advantage of the festive spirit by producing some great content and getting consumers to engage with them online. Here are some great content pieces created for this year’s Valentine’s Day!

Dumb Ways to Die Steals Your Heart

Remember those adorable little creatures from the viral “Dumb Ways to Die” video (I mean, how could you forget them?)  Well, two of them are back for an adorable 30-second-clip that will certainly steal your heart!  Get ready to watch this video over and over (try not to “awww,” I dare you!)

Century 21 Valentine’s Day Poems

Things are getting steamy at Century 21 houses all across the country!  They recently posted Valentine’s Day non-rhyming poems on their Youtube page that are short and sweet (and hilarious!)

Just another example of great, smart work done by Mullen.  Bravo!

Necco Tweet Hearts

Have to give a gift for that special someone (who just so happens to be a social media fanatic)? Why not do it through Twitter?  Necco (the maker of Sweethearts) started a new Twitter page, aptly named Tweethearts, that let’s users tweet messages to be created on sweet hearts.  So cute, right?

GE “Geeky” Valentine Cards!

Flirting has never been geekier with these Geeky Valentine’s cards that GE posted on their Facebook Page!

ge

Check out the whole series here and try them out on any engineers or scientists (guaranteed to make them blush….maybe.)

How are you celebrating you Valentine’s Day?!

Pay With Posts: The Future of Social Currency

Forget paper money and credit cards!

That’s what Marc Jacobs said last weekend when they opened up the doors to the Daisy Perfume Pop Up Shop in New York City. Consumers could leave their wallets behind because the store was accepting a new type of payment.  Customers exchanged posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain in exchange for branded products like perfume, jewelry, and even handbags.

MarcJacobs_PopUp_Tweet-11

The store (on 462 West Broadway) was only open to the public from Friday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb. 9, which fittingly coincided with New York Fashion Week.  The opening event including a stellar guest list, with stars like  Anna Kendrick (Actress, Pitch Perfect), Meghan Markel (Actress, Suits), and Jamie Chung (Actress, Believe), to name a few.

Daisy is one of Marc Jacobs’ most popular lines, and the brand is very active on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out how they promoted the pop-up shop on the streets of NYC.

But, why would a brand give away so much product for free?  Well, by using social currency, the brand is gaining something that is extraordinarily valuable: word of mouth (WOM.)  It’s such a crucial part of maintaining a successful brand that, in fact, 2 out of 3 marketers say it is actually more effective than traditional marketing.  Marc Jacobs could have produced some commercials, put some print advertisements in a magazine, but instead, they created these pop-up shops that improved their social media impressions and garnered media attention from sites like Mashable, Forbes, and more. 

This idea of social currency, however, is not entirely new.

Kellogg’s opened up a Tweet Shop in London back in 2012 during Social Media Week, where consumers exchanged tweets for 100-calorie snacks!  This gave consumers the chance to actually get their hands on the product and encouraged them to share their thoughts on the brand with family and friends.

poptweetshop

But even before that, the book “Oh My God What Happened and What Should I Do” had the idea to start a campaign called “free-for-a-share,”where they gave free downloads to individuals who tweeted about the book.  The idea earned them a CyberLion at Cannes and you can still go to the website to download a free copy of the digital marketing book (only if you tweet about it though!)

freeforashare

So, what is the future of social currency?

While social currency is awesome, don’t expect it to replace actual money.  After all, businesses need to make a profit.

The examples here show that, for brands to try to use social currency to gain social media impression, they need to be well-established with loyal customers and a strong social media/online presence.  The items that are given away need to be small and low-price, yet significant, and should only be available for a tweet for a limited amount of time, in order to spark a sense of exclusivity and urgency.

I expect we’ll see more of these one-time, short-term “free-for-a-share” campaigns from brands in the upcoming years.

Thoughts?

Tweet like a Pro on Super Bowl Sunday

It’s our Grammys, Tony Awards, Oscars and Emmys all rolled into one.

The best of the best prevail, and the entire country watches.

Oh yeah, and some people play football too.

I’m, of course, talking about the Super Bowl.  Ad people across America tune in to see what brands are paying big bucks for those coveted 30-second spots. Each year, more and more people join the online conversation to talk about which commercials they loved, and which ones they hated.

If you’re like me (you take bathroom breaks while the game is on and wait with batted breath until the next ad so you can tweet about it) and you want to actively participate in the social media conversation, then you need a game plan, just like the players on the field. Here, I’ve compiled a guide for tweeting like a pro on Sunday!  You’ll find the best hashtags to follow and other resources so that you can celebrate the Super Bowl like the greatest Mad Men and Mad Women out there!

Let your voice be heard: 

3 Percent Conference Tweet-up  Female creative directors at some of the best advertising agencies in the county will be drinking beer, watching the commercials and live-tweeting their thoughts on the Super Bowl ads this Sunday.  Boston-ers will congregate at Hill Holliday, while San Francisco-ers chill at The Hive.  They’ll discuss both the portrayal of women in the TV spots, and the genuine creativity of the ads!  I’m so excited to see what these ladies have to say about the commercials. You can join in on the conversation too, by following and tweeting with the hashtag #3percentsb.  All the males folks out there can get involved too, with the hashtag #admen.

TweetUp

The lovely ladies at the 3 Percent Conference have also provided us with this nifty scorecard to keep track of the ads!  I’m definitely printing this out for Sunday! Game on!

3percenttweetupscorecard

#AdScrimmageWant to weigh in on the best and the worst of the Super Bowl commercials?!  Watch, tweet and vote for your favorites in Twitter’s Ad Scrimmage!  Voting starts on Sunday as soon as the first commercial airs and ends on Tuesday!  Follow along with the hashtag #AdScrimmage to see what other people think!  Rock the vote!

adscrimmage

#NotBuyingIt– Sick of sexists ads? (I feel ya!)  Call out brands that portray women in a sexist, offensive way using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt. RSVP to the Facebook Event and learn how you can get more involved.

notbuyingit

By the Numbers:

#BrandBowl– So, you like numbers?  Then this idea, originally conceived by Mullen in partnership with Radian6, is totally perfect for you.  #BrandBowl analyzes public reaction to advertisements during the Super Bowl. Boston.com now handles the scoring with Pointslocal by evaluating the chatter on Twitter to determine which brand performed best.  They use this specific formula:

(Positive tweets + Neutral tweets – Negative tweets)/ Total brand tweets.

The brand with the highest score will be crowned the winner of the 2014 #BrandBowl (Volkswagon’s “Game Day” Commercial was last year’s winner)!  The battle is on!  See how brands are doing here.

#Hashtag Bowl– Analysts everywhere, rejoice!  MarketingLand and Hootsuite will be examining how social media is leveraged during the Super Bowl.  They’ll track and tally the social media mentions during Super Bowl commercials and report on pre- and post-game news and analytics.  Check the latest stats here.

hashtagbowl

Additional Resources:

@superbowlad– Check out the latest news in Super Bowl commercials, and take a walk down memory lane to see all your favorite past SuperBowl ads at this website’s archives.

Super-bowl Commercials.org An entire site dedicated to Super Bowl ads.  Need I say more?

Tweetchat– Want to follow some of the hashtags listed above?  This site allows you to show all tweets with a specific hashtag  in a continuous, organized stream.  I used this site all the time, and highly recommend it if you want to follow #3percentsb, #NotBuyingIt, #AdScrimmage, #BrandBowl, or more!

I hope this post helped you to get ready for Sunday?  Who else is excited? I can’t wait to read all your tweets!