Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yes we should

3. What determines if a company or brand should use social media?

Every company or brand should start to take advantage of the benefits of social media. In a year or two this probably won’t even be a question.

Asked by Kevin Dunne of Joe Rospars, a man instrumental in getting Obama elected. And pointed out by Paul Dervan.

Thank you Paul.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ireland's most wanted intern

You have about as much chance of winning the lottery as you do of winning the lottery, but here's one that's well worth a punt. Michael Caine-circa-'67 lookalike Damien Mulley, in his soon-to-be-complete mission to know absofuckinglutely everything, is offering his services/knowledge/charm/nice line in tasteful ties* to companies who want an amazingly thorough, hyper-fast grounding in social media, online marketing and all things of netty things. Apart from curtains.

Let me assure you now, you could very possibly do worse, but on no account could you do better, than have this man around for a while to bring you up to speed. Why not ask him? It could be you.

Check it all out here.

* There is no small print disclaimer here. He has absolutely lovely ties. I'm sure he'll wear some for you if you're lucky enough to nab him. Definitely, I'd say.

Monday, March 23, 2009

YouTube, Lauren Luke and lessons in brand building.

Mrs The Other Half doesn't dare to lecture me on the finer points of makeup. She knows she will end up embarrassed and all her girlfriends will titter at her. That's because I learn my maquillage savoir faire from Lauren Luke.

You don't know Lauren Luke? Shut up already girlfriend you so have to know Lauren Luke or like you are the lamest whatever everrr.

I can't keep that nonsense up. You won't find a more ordinary lass in all of Newcastle than Lauren Luke. And she has an instantly charming appeal. Oh, and about 30 million views for her practical eye make-up demos on YouTube. She now posts under the brand of Panacea81. She also has started a column in the Guardian's Saturday Weekend mag. Because she gives a whole lot of people what they actually want. In the process she builds her brand (entirely by default, but study and learn nonetheless) and YouTube meanwhile keep up with the Facebooks and Bebos of the world in advertising stakes. Everyone's a winner!

This is for all of you who have emailed me wondering how you can get that Leona Lewis Bleeding Heart by Lauren Luke luke, but most especially for my dear, dear friend Stomping Bear of Flatbush, who needs it more than most. Enjoy it by crikey fuck, you worthless monkeys.

To those of you who think this entire post casts aspersions on my virilie manliness while simultaneously saying sweet fa about brands really and revealing me as lightweight and lazy, shut up already. I am coming over so right now to ladder your hose and drop your Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic 30ml Spritzer down the toilet, bitch.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh, so YOU hate the new Facebook too!

People ought to save themselves a box of oxygen (I checked, it's an official unit of O2 measurement) by just accepting that change will happen. When you hear that old chestnut about change being the only constant, they mean Get over the fact that your Facebook page is different and you didn't do it/want it/request it.

It's ALL changing, ALL the time. And Facebook are not going to sit around waiting for Twitter to figure out how to steal all their customers just because you're comfortable with your homepage. It's just business. I know this to be true cos I read it at Mashable.

Sure, you could already buy ads on Facebook to promote your Page. But now, the incentive to do so is far greater, because each Fan you gain can be marketed to for free via the Facebook homepage feed. Even if it costs $5-10 to acquire a Fan (PPC ads seem to run about 50 cents for Pages, assume 5-10 percent conversion), it seems like a small price to pay to have lifetime access to engage that user. We’re already seeing Twitter users take out ads to gain more followers – this trend is likely to accelerate on Facebook too.

Suddenly, Facebook’s homepage re-design makes a lot more sense, not just from a “copy Twitter because it’s so hot!” perspective, but from the “let’s make a ton of money” angle too.

All about the heuros, hombres y mujeres. All about the heuros. The great divide between social media and corporate media. A lot of people who will want to be saying 'I knew the internet when you could have a conversation, maan. When it wasn't all this commercial crap, maan.' Uh huh. And blogging was just like, y'know, you and me and our buddy Sean and what we got up to when Electric Picnic rolled around and what a laugh it was and here's the pix up on photobucket oh we were wild!

I'm almost crying here at how this corporate monster just bit by bit logoed up the beautiful dreamscape of Web 2.0. Except I'm not naive enough to think it's ever about anything other than money. Not ultimately. No matter how lofty the ideals of some early adopters might be. Muhhhnnneeeyyyyy.

Change. The only constant. Watch Twitter change this year. (They weren't just given $75 million for a paint job.) Watch more ad agencies go 'Oh, NOW I get Facebook pages. Jeez, let's DO some of them!' Watch the paint dry faster than ever before. But do it from the bandwagon rather than the side of the track. Just saying.

Twitter for normals

Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't sneer at green beer

Here's the thing. I have no idea who Karlson NaKryshi is. I won't know next week. I didn't know last week. That won't bother him one iota. He's just developed an annoying (to me) Green Beer application for Facebook that's just been used by 1.4 million Facebookers. He truly doesn't care who I am because wherever he is right now, he's on a green beer high. Here's what they say about his topical little application:

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by sending your friends a Green Beer. Get the most beers, and win $50 towards the purchase of your favorite 12 pack or anything else you want! Tell your friends and have fun! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

How many of your clients would've liked to reach a million and a half fb profiles with their brand? Did you think of telling them they could? There are a ton of people RIGHT NOW, on Twitter and in Ireland, who are developing smart, meaningful apps - and stupid, fun ones like Green Beer - and who can work with you to intuitively develop brand extensions for your clients. People like Contrast, who annoyingly even look cool. They're well known because of a piece of software they developed to let you know who just stopped following you on Twitter. Yeah, I know, why would anyone want to know who hates them- sorry, did you just ask me what this Twitter thing is?

Oh dear. This is gonna be a long night.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A web of indifference

If you think you know about feminine hygiene, but you're trusting to now-and-then care, your married happiness is probably in the pisser. Your doctor may have pointed that out.

I don't have time to go through all this now, but click on the pic for vital, relevant information. It is the only sort of information I hold any truck with, frankly.

There is also a parallel to be drawn between the 'web of indifference' in which your agency may currently be enmeshed, and this sterling work for Lysol from Fielden Groper in 1957. I am arsed if I can take the time to tease it out right now. Can I leave it with you?

Just time for two plugs, neither concerned with advertising. Watch Office Space because it's worth it, and unbelievably now ten years old. And tune in to Newstalk this Saturday at 11.30 when they launch The Emergency, their brand new satire show for the fun times we live in. One may have had a small hand in there somewhere. I'm out. Normal service will resume when etc etc.

I'm most grateful for the above advert to Lisa the supernetworker, fundraiser, special needs blogger and very clued-in cyberdoll. Cheers, clued-in cyberdoll.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday's Adlinks

Why it's smart to advertise during a recession. From Adrants. Pass it on to the c-word.

An' I'll tell ya who else is enjoyin' this recession: my friends Mr Smith and Mr Wesson.

Red Bull's Red Bulletin magazine of the paper kind (see what they did?) is being launched in April. A quiet and restful backwater no doubt, where mayfly dance and ducks paddle gentl- Speedboat! SPEEDBOAT!!!

The AdAge Digital Conference is on in NY this April. Unilever's top marketing person will be there, as will the senior representatives from Pizza Hut, Delta Airlines and Facebo- wait a minute, is that the Tim Kring, the guy who made Heroes? Ohmigod I am such a fan! I can NOT believe this it is so cool etc etc.

James Cridland
reviews strategic radio ad value. UK regional, but relevant. Thanks D Mulley.

What your week's been waiting for: Vanilla Ice says sorry.

Happy Monday peeps. Do please allow Jon Stoort, in 140 characters or less, to fill your Twitter knowledge gap.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Copywriting: it's not the same on tinterland y'knows

No caption needed on this photo.

Hey there Copywriter gal/uy!

I saw how you slaved over that wicked triple entendre pun. And how you honed those eighty words of radio against your mental whetstone, deep into the Stygian night, until they were as unto a scimitar so rare as to be almost invisible, capable of effortlessly cutting through the clutter (ClicheMate!) and slicing into the very brains of the traffic jam chumps.

Your agonisingly chosen and utterly unrandom vowel/consonant selection.

Your preciouss.

Your babies.

And so with brokeny bits of scalpel you stabbed the voodoo chile what you made of the art director because he/she/it could not see the glorious symmetry of YOUR vision, the... the... the numpty! And always those wheedling, nasally, not-looking-you-in-the-eye, pusillanimous words like acid, leaching your very soul: can you make it shorter. Not even a question mark from the punctuation-dodging missing link!

Will nobody tell them stop? Does nobody care?

Er, yes, actually. Nobody cares. And what's more, my Mont Blanc-wielding smith at the forge of cool, it's all becoming fast redundant anyway with this web thing everyone's talking about these days. Get over yourself. You were hired to sell shit, remember?

If you want to be a doomed artist, I recommend a copywriting variant of this one-way ticket found on the desk of the eternally effervescent Assistant to The Brand Manager. An assistant not to be trifled with, unless there be sherry in him. Oops, there I go punning again, like a bad Xerox of a poor copywriter! And with the screamers too!!!

And as if it wasn't enough to be getting assaulted by gen txt, u now hav gen tinterland to consider too. Google Adwords don't clap much at clever headlines at all. SEO has its own internal logic, a little bit different from McManus's Shoe Stores, Main St, Cavan and their delightful radio ads from the mid eighties. The same graceful wit need no longer apply. As a sharp lesson in common sense, I can heartily recommend anything at all from the queen of active inspiration, Sabrina Dent, but this post on Facebook pages is a good starter for us advertisey types.

I must give thanks to my twittwerpals at Irish International for bringing this lovely post to my attention. Ten Writing Tips for Web Designers from the Webdesigner Depot. If the title is making the skin on your back want to crawl off then I suggest that it is perhaps you, Mr/Ms Writer, who have the problem, not them. And by 'them' I mean of course those people who at least have, in this present climate (ClicheMate!), fucking jobs.

Web writers. The world needs 'em. Think about it.

  • Do not copy the print brochure!
  • Keyword optimise for search engines!
  • Avoid landing pages!
These, my dear and erudite copywriting fellows, are the new pearls of Shakespearean pith. The freshest tablet downloaded from the Holy Mount. The rules, m'lud, and rules is what must be followed if we is to survibe in this grizzly new frontier. (Survibe was a typo btw, but fuck it, I kinda like it enough to allow it to stay. If you don't dig it, mis-type it out on ya own damn blog and then correct it.)

To sum up, it's bad but it's not all bad. So lighten up there, Simone de Beauvoir. At least you can still write, right? And not everyone can, right? Whereas, in the new frontier, absolutely every fucker can art direct. ;)

Ah God the Humanity! There are caps Everywhere!

Skittles wrasslin' with Twits

Skittles webspace update here at Brand Republic. Are Skittles struggling with Twitter's open-ended personality, or milking it for all the colours of the rainbow? I dunno.

Thanks to Christian Hughes for drawing my attention to it. Via Twitter haha.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Websites: yours v Skittles

Fragmentation: it needn't affect the overall taste.
Pic thanks to Dirty Bunny.

Skittles has gone the next step. They've pretty much done away with their 'own' website and just harnessed themselves into a Facebook page.

Kind of.

If you go looking at their pics page, it's hosted on Flickr. Their videos? A link to a Skittles page on - you guessed it - Youtube. Click on the Chatter link and you're straight to their Twitter page. Even the links to product information bring you to Wikipedia.

They've put themselves in a very interesting place: totally visible at the centre of a very public web of communications.

It's awesome, it's obvious and it's a brave step for Mars nonetheless, embracing as it does the underlying ethos of 'social' in the term social media. There are almost 600, 000 fans on the Facebook page alone. Ten more people commented on the Skittles Twitter page in the time it took me to type this paragraph. Ok, I'm not the fastest typist, but you still have to be a bit impressed, right? Right?

Yes you do. Because Skittles are allowing unflattering comment too. Look at the top of the thread above. 'wtf is with the skittles???!!! i HATE skittles!!!!' Even antisocial has a social element in it, something not lost even on the once notoriously reclusive Mars family. So at the risk of repeating myself again for the 400th time this month, watch how brands are using social media to leverage consumer opinions. People said Bring Back Wispa was a once off, and maybe it was. Here's another in Skittles. Who's next? It could be you, or one of your clients' brands. Why not, exactly? Why not?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday's adlinks

See that speck? That's a car. There's a tinier speck beside it. That's you. The tower is made up of single US dollar bills. Or notes, as we would call them. You'd need another tower, and then another 150 billion to reach the US bailout package's magic number of $780 bn. It's a funny old recession. See how they grew the scale at HOK.

Media agencies? Digital agencies? PR companies? Just who should a client turn to when they want big presence in social media? Media buying and the traditional push can still be hugely important. Advertising Age reports.

Advertising on your mobile is more of a reality than ever, although it's far from perfect yet. Reuters, reporting from the recent World Mobile Fair in Barcelona.

LinkedIn becomes ever more popular in these times given the current state of the economy with the situation out there and in the present climate.

We can't be too far off pilot porn with Ryanair surely? Bloggers are idiots and liars and O'Leary is ready to charge you for having a dump. Oh, and you can now advertise on their website too. It'll cast a slightly indiglo halo on your lovely brandname. And you'll probably be charged for using too big a pointsize in the headline. And do you want to be associated with the world's most cloyingly friendly airline anyway? If it means hits, course you do!

No, your mum likes it. Social media age profiles are climbing steadily in the US. Which ultimately means that your mum will soon be poking you again and saying again 'Clean up this profile page, it's a disgrace.'

A cautionary tale regarding the power of what you write online from Seth Godin. It is important for all of us to know what we're doing in webland. Verbum scriptum manet, as Snake Murphy ensured we understood back in the Eighties. I'm glad he did.