Learning from Dove’s Viral Marketing Campaign

A few months ago, Dove launched a hugely successful campaign called “Real Beauty”. The first installment of their viral video series was called “Sketches” which featured women describing their appearances to a police sketch artist. The sketches turned out to be much less attractive than how other people described them to be.

dove

Source: YouTube screenshot

This instantly struck a chord with viewers and the viral video spread fast with more than 114 million views on the Dove YouTube channel. Even with the popularity of the video, responses were mixed. Some found the ads to be empowering, while others claimed that they were playing into beauty stereotypes. However, comments about the video on Dove’s Facebook page suggested that most found the video to be feel-good and inspirational.

Dove’s campaign can be a teaching lesson for digital marketing firms. Companies looking to release some viral marketing genius need to be in touch with who they are trying to sell to. Just as Dove has tried to stay in touch with the attitudes and frustrations that women have the beauty industry in general, companies need to become savvier with the interests of their customers to a more personal level. People are more willing to support companies that go above and beyond simply the money-making motivations, but also make the effort to recognize the problems that their customers have.

Recently Dove released a new video to add to its campaign. “Camera Shy” is a cheery, playful video, but also brings in a more serious question, asking viewers, “When did you stop thinking you were beautiful?” Do you this video have what it takes to achieve the same success as its predecessor?

What Does X Equal?

TEDxDetroit, a local variation of the popular TED conference and talks, took place this past October at the GEM Theatre in downtown Detroit. The day was full of great ideas and great presentations about the great things people are doing to make a difference in their community.

Take Tom Nardone, for example – he’s a pumpkin carving artist, (which is cool in and of itself), but he organized something called the “Mower Gang“, a group of people who get together to mow the grass at Detroit’s abandoned parks and repair some of the equipment, or Andy Diordosi. who saw a huge gap in Detroit’s public transit service. He wanted to fix it, so he founded the Detroit Bus Company to fill in where the SMART system and the People Mover might not reach.

The day was filled with a positive spirit, an overwhelming energy, and optimism for the future of Detroit and Michigan, and this video was made to capture that for you:

Ingenex Digital Marketing was on hand at the event volunteering to do all of the social media agency-type work, but this video was a sort-of collaborative effort. The music was courtesy of one of the day’s performing bands, I Love Lighting Bugs. Photos were courtesy of some fantastic event attendees – Erin O’Neill,  Brandon Ross, Carter Sherline, Derek Mehraban, Jay Singleton, and Robin Maghielse, and the event itself was possible thanks to a major part by Charlie Wolborg, the organizer of TEDxDetroit.

Social Media Creates Buzz About Sandy

People all over the world are learning about the Category 1 Hurricane that hit the East Coast on Monday, October 29th, largely through social media sites. On Twitter, within 24 hours after the storm hit 3.5 million tweets were hashtagged: #sandy.  Also, a Twitter account was specially made for Hurricane Sandy called Sandy; it has all reports from government to news related to it. And on Facebook during the climax of the storm, the top words that were most frequently used were related to this Category 1 storm. YouTube accumulated videos to show people the path of destruction of Sandy on the account, Citizen Tube. YouTube offered, those that had no access to other news outlets, information about the storm as it was happening.  Not only were people made aware of Sandy’s destruction and where its path was going, but the government of New York and the fire department utilized social media to make residents aware of fires and safety issues.

It is interesting how social media is being used during Sandy for a purpose of making different people aware of different news about the storm. For those stuck in the East Coast, social media sites are helping these people stay safe. And people in other parts of the U.S. and world are getting informed about effects of the storm and how their loved ones who may be stuck in Sandy’s path are doing.  It makes me wonder how social media agencies are reacting to Hurricane Sandy.

 

Peter Gabriel Remakes “Sledgehammer”… via Facebook

Peter Gabriel’s video for his hit song “Sledgehammer” came out in 1986, but to this date, MTV says it is the most-played video on the station, and was awarded the #4 slot in their list of “100 Greatest Music Videos of All Time”, in addition to winning tons of other awards and accolades.

Now, Peter Gabriel is remaking it – this time, with the help of Facebook. A tab on Gabriel’s Facebook fan page allows users to choose a scene, upload a video, or vote on existing entries. The idea is rather fascinating, especially given how big this video was (and is, I suppose!).

The contest is called “Grab Your Sledgehammer”, and is being done to celebrate the release of the 25th anniversary edition of Gabriel’s So album.

Personally, I love when artists allow for this kind of fan engagement, much with Ellie Goulding’s G+ Hangout album signing. This not only allows for artists to interact with fans easily, but will also introduce a younger generation of fans to artists like Peter Gabriel (and Genesis, by extension). Plus, it’s fun! It allows your fans to show their creativity and encourages them to interact with an entity or brand. These are the kind of campaigns that social media marketing companies should be striving to build! They’re interactive and fun to do, and people seem to get a lot out of the ability to be creative.

 

Red Bull Stratos Breaks Records, Including A YouTube One

I don’t know if you watched Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking freefall to Earth this weekend, but I did, and what an incredible achievement. If you really didn’t know what happened, he jumped out of a capsule 24 miles above Roswell, NM, broke the sound barrier, and free-fell for 9 minutes before landing on his feet safely in the New Mexico desert. The jump itself is an incredible achievement that broke three world records, but there’s one record he broke that had almost nothing to do with the flight and fall itself: Most Simultaenous YouTube viewers.

The entire event was live-streamed on YouTube, and notably, did not have a television broadcast in the United States. The livestream broke YouTube records, attracting 8 million viewers and a record number of comments. I know I watched live on YouTube.

The magnitude of this event is huge in the world of social media. With this event, it seems like YouTube has been able to completely unseat television. I know my grandparents were glued to their television during the moon landing just as I was glued to YouTube 43 years later. The implication is huge: Our social media sites are starting to replace traditional pathways of consuming media. For instance, I don’t remember the last time I watched anything on cable, but I’ve been watching Modern Family regularly on Hulu+.

I think this means that in the very near future, the advertising firm you see in a show like Mad Men will be completely replaced by social media marketing companies. Magazine ads and TV commercials are being gradually replaced by Tweets and YouTube commercials. It’s been happening gradually and consistently over the past few years, but the realization that Red Bull eschewed a TV broadcast (at least in the US) to go for YouTube exclusivity was a glimpse at a very-near future, and it was astounding.

Ellie Goulding Hosts Album Signing via Google+

I always like finding unconventional uses for social media, and British singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding wins the award for the day: today, she’ll become the first musician to host an album signing in a Google+ hangout.

From what I gather, there will be a form to “gain entry” to the event, and signed albums will be distributed to fans via snail mail. Admittedly, I was never much of a Google+ user, and Google’s effort to de-throne Facebook as the king of social media largely failed and Google+ looks more or less like a ghost town (seriously, when was the last time I logged in? Forever ago?), the “hangout” group video chat feature was one of the better things to come out of it, and I think Ellie has found an extremely creative use for it.

 

Ellie Goulding is no stranger to social media network-based interaction, either. The music video for her song “Anything Can Happen” was made with fan-submitted Instagram photos.

Both the Google+-based hangout and the crowdsourced music video are extremely clever uses of a social media platform, and exactly the kind of fan unconventional, fan-driven interaction that more social media marketing companies should be striving to drive! I’m not personally an Ellie Goulding fan, but much like composer Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, it is something a broad range of people can participate in without having to travel anywhere, and something that people can point to and say “Yeah, I did that. And it was awesome.

Row, row, row your show, gently down the stream

Online video streaming is pretty convenient, wouldn’t you say?

I now stream most of my entertainment online which is why I haven’t been inside a video store in years. A trip to the video store used to be such a routine part of enjoying TV shows and movies. Now, the concept almost seems archaic – driving to the store, browsing the shelves, waiting in line to check out a DVD, having to return a film to the same location, etc. And don’t forget late fees! Oh, those late fees!

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

What had been a successful business model for years began to erode once the concept of online streaming caught on with the public and the amount of available content became extensive. Blockbuster, once the nation’s dominant provider of home video and video game rental services, filed for bankruptcy in 2010. My independent neighborhood video store closed long before that.

I’ve been a Netflix member for a few years now, and I subscribe to their streaming service. I’m fond of documentary programming and they have an extensive selection of shows from National Geographic, Discovery, and History Channel. I’ve also watched several cable TV shows via streaming – “Mad Men,” “Weeds,” “Louie,” etc.

It’s been interesting to observe Netflix’s business model change as a result of streaming. When I first joined, the company primarily handled DVD rentals. Their streaming selection was limited and it was included as a bonus to members. Now, their offerings are vast and feature many newly released mainstream movies. The service now holds real value, and so I can understand why Netflix recently began offering streaming as a separate service.

And then there’s YouTube. I admit that I’ve enjoyed all the top viral videos along with what seems like the rest of the general viewing public – “Chocolate Rain,” “Friday,” “Charlie Bit My Finger,” etc. I’m amazed that a family video of one brother biting another brother can be viewed 484 million times!

I love the controlled chaos of YouTube. It’s like decades of pop culture exploded and landed on the site. YouTube satisfies whatever random thing happens to enter my head at any given time on any given day – a favorite scene from a movie, a song I enjoyed when I was a teen. It’s rare that I can’t find something.

Again, streaming comes down to convenience and accessibility, concepts the digital marketing agency knows well. If the mantra of today’s consumer of news and entertainment is “I want what I want when I want it,” then providers like Netflix and YouTube are happy to oblige.

HOW TO: Watch the 2012 Summer Olympics Online

New this time around for the Olympics is online streaming–where anyone with a computer can log on and watch the Olympics right from their laptop or home computer! This may seem like a minor change, but in fact, it just adds to the increase in communication that the world has experienced since the last summer Olympics in 2008. The entire way the game’s highlight events and key moments have been shared is changed, and much faster at that! The combination of online streaming, twitter, facebook, and youtube has made the Olympics seem much closer to home than they actually are–halfway across the the world in London!

Now that the Olympics have all-around become a more digital and global experience, it seems only appropriate to put together a guide to streaming the Olympics, so that you too can be in the loop with the eventful (no pun intended) Olympic games!

Here are some guidelines to (legally) streaming the games live online or on your phone or tablet!

You need to have Cable!

Most online content in the US is only accessible if you have subscribed to cable or satellite. NBC streaming of the olympics is no exception. The good news? NBC has managed to work with almost all cable and satellite providers out there, so there should be no hitch in getting access!

If you don’t have cable, have no fear! You can always access the highlights on the NBC Olympics YouTube page.

If you’re in the US

In the US, NBC is the official broadcast partner of the Olympics. Therefore, NBC will air the Games on NBC and NBC-owned cable stations as well as stream more content online in real-time than they ever have before. But as usual, there’s a catch. You not only need to be a cable subscriber, but also you need to get MSNBC and CNBC. If you meet this criteria, then all you need to doo is head to NBCOlympics.com/LiveExtra and click on “Click here to get ready”. Then, follow the instructions, and you’ll be set to go!

If you can’t get to a computer, there’s always the option to watch the live streams from your iOS or Android device with the mobile NBC Live Extra app for iOS and Android. The great thing about this app is that you can use a four hour “guest pass” to the Games in case you don’t know the username or password for your cable provider.

If you’re in London

BBC is providing livestreams of the Games via the BBC Sport website and mobile apps. If you’re in the UK, you have access to every sport for up to 24 live HD streams!

BBC also has apps for iOS and Android to watch these livestreams. In addition to the livestreams, BBC will also feature results, news stories, and daily highlights for users to look over when in a hurry.

If you’re in another part of the world

Freecast.com has a streaming and TV guide for olympic coverage in over 150 countries! Also, the IOC has an official Olympic channel on YouTube that will be broadcasting the games live in territories in Asia and Africa that lack broadcast partners. This channel will also offer clips, replays, and highlights of the events.

Turns out that no matter where you are in the world, you too can be a part of this year’s “digital games”!

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer Olympics: Being Reshaped by Social Media

What’s the first thing I did when I found out one of the University of Michigan’s own Samuel Mikulak made the US Olympic gymnastics team? Added him on Facebook of course! The 2012 Olympics are being named by some as the “first social Games”. There’s no doubt that social media drives conversation and newl, and it’s only grown more influential in the past four years. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will likely play an exceptional role in how information is distributed from London, and how the conversation is driven throughout the Games.

So what’s the difference between this year’s games and the summer Olympics before it? Four years–and that’s an eternity in Interntet time! Social media has truly exploded, as well as general web use. In 2008, there were approximately 1.5 billion internet users globally, and that number has swelled to 2.3 billion users this year. That’s one third of the the worlds total population!

For more of an idea on just how and why social media will reshape the Olympics as compared to 2008, we’ll take a look at the top 3 social media networks out there, and see just how much 4 years has changed them.

FACEBOOK

2008: Facebook reached 100 million users, and passed Myspace in popularity (Wow, was 4 years ago really that long ago..?!) The chat feature was also introduced this year, while simultaneously taking over AIM and other chat sites with it’s convenience.

Today: Facebook claims more than 900 million users–that’s a growth of 900% in a mere 4 years! The network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, becomes a global celebrity, while Facebook becomes a publicly traded company.

TWITTER

2008: This was a year of explosive growth, and they finished the year with 6 million users, and 300,000 tweets a day.

Today: The network now has 500 million users, who collectively send more than 400 million tweets every day! News breaks on the network regularly, and it’s a prime marketing channel for many athletes. Likely London 2012 conversation among media and fans will take place on this network as well.

YOUTUBE

2008: By fall of this year, users were uploading 10 hours of video/minute. This site emerged as the “it” site for video sharing, and had been bought by Google in 2006, which just increased it’s popularity. They also launched their mobile site this year.

Today: It’s no doubt that the most memorable Olympic moments will go viral on this network the moment they are aired on television. The company receives over 800 million unique vistis per month, and those visitors watch over 3 billion hours of video per month, while also uploading 72 hours of video/minute. The growth here is truly iconic.

So what?

After looking at the top three social media sites, one may wonder what that has to do with the Summer Olympics. Well-everything! This summer, expect to receive the latest Olympic news not from your favorite TV reporter, but instead from a social media network just as soon as it happens. The moments of this years Olympics will live on as was never possible before thanks to social media.

Who knows what the Summer 2016 Olympics will bring, but for now, enjoy all of the convenience and fun social media has to offer, because it’s events like this where it really matters!

YouTube Helping Nonprofits Do Good

Some of my friends can spend hours on YouTube. They may start on one video about parents stealing their children’s Halloween candy and could end on another video of Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez lip-syncing and dancing with their friends. How they travel from one side of the YouTube world to the other always baffles me. I don’t have this innate skill or the patience to peruse YouTube for hours. I find most of my favorites are the trending videos, band updates, and some Jenna Marbles comedy. I am also subscribed to a few nonprofit organizations on YouTube and knew there was a special search section for nonprofits, but completely underestimated YouTube’s dedication to these organizations.

YouTube recently launched YouTube Next Cause, a program  to help nonprofit organizations do the good that they’re already doing –  but even better.  After an application process, 20 organizations were selected for their commitment to change and their previous use of YouTube as a platform. These chosen few will attend a day long summit in San Francisco on April 2. The summit will serve as an opportunity for consulting and training, all in hopes to make their organization stronger and more effective.

This is a part of a larger program, YouTube’s NextUp Program, aimed to promote talent already on YouTube, not necessarily to find the next big thing. YouTube will invest money in some of its selected partners, in addition to providing them with resources in disciplines like videography and production.

And here I was thinking YouTube was just a place for cute cat videos. Man, was I wrong. So many other social media tools can be used for nonprofits too. It’s so cool to think about the support that one organization can provide for another. That sure seems like an effective way to create change – bonding together and satisfying one group’s set of needs with another’s set of resources. The size, growth, and passion of the communities that can be built amaze me. And all the communities, the change, and the action all start with small stories like the ones spotlighted in YouTube’s Next Cause program.

So much for getting any work done – I know what I’ll be watching while I procrastinate for the rest of the week. Check out these 20 awesome organizations’ videos.