Archive | October 2011

Collaboration, Animated Beetles and the FTSE 100 of Social Media


The age of collaboration

Modern culture is fuelled by an appetite for consumption but there seems to be shift developing in people’s mind sets. People are starting to realise that ownership is often inefficient – “owners of a power drill will use it for 13 minutes during its life; what they want to own is a hole, not a drill”. Online communities are starting to use the internet to share skills and products and own items in collaboration with others. Websites such as Swaptree, Zipcar and Couchsurfing are an example, along with good old Boris bikes. Brands can help facilitate this new era of sharing by providing sharing platforms and physical events, along with opening up access to their tools and services.

The Bank of Starbucks 

Starbucks have bold ambitions – learning from their involvement in micro-finance initiatives across the globe they are hoping to replicate this model in the US. Howard Schultz is aiming to enable US citizens to lend to small businesses to invest in the economy and create jobs. Starbucks will be the middle man, helping find financial institutions willing to loan to small businesses and Starbucks customers can donate money to the effort when they buy their coffee. Those who donate get a red- white-and-blue wristband with the tag line “Americans Helping Americans.”

Evolutions within the Music Industry

First there was the Bjork ipad album app, now Rihanna too is redefining what an album can be. She has released an interactive Facebook app with her album that lets fans uncover the album content piece by piece as they complete missions, for example fans were asked to submit a certain amount of fake lyrics to earn the lyric sheet for Rihanna’s album. This is an interesting thought – we generally aim to max up the views for our clients and distribute content as widely as possible. Perhaps in some instances we should be looking to increase the desire for content by keeping it exclusive – the success of the campaign can be judged not by total views but the amount of conversations taking place about the content release.



Volkswagen uses AR for Beetle Billboard stunt

Volkswagen in Canada has jumped onto the Augmented Reality bandwagon, however rather than just releasing an app they have combined it with traditional outdoor advertising. The AR animations show the Beetle throwing itself through billboards, jumping off ramps and smashing through bus shelters. This will all be tied together with a digital campaign, running from November 26th.

UK M-commerce Sales to Rise

Over the next decade M-commerce sales (through mobile and tablets) are set to rapidly rise in the UK from £1.3billion today to £19.3billion in 2021, according to Barclays Corporate. Brands in the grocery, electronics and personal care sectors are most likely to benefit. “M-commerce is still a relatively niche channel ..however with little new shop space coming into play, the real growth opportunities lie on the virtual high street”.

Social Media

Varsity bar remove their website and move investment into Facebook

Among the youth audience, Facebook is becoming the first port of call when online – where you search for content and interact with friends and brands. If a brand can build a large enough fan base it poses the question – do you need a website? For a bar chain like Varsity the answer they feel is no. Although this route is not appropriate for all brands it does highlight the importance of ensuring your website incorporates Facebook connect and is not a separate entity.

The Social Business Index ranks the social level of individual businesses, as well as industries – think of this as the FTSE 100.  This should be the first port of call for anybody analysing a brands social media presence.

Google+ to welcome brands

Google+ opened up to everyone a month ago and now has over 40m members (4% of Google’s entire user base so potential room for growth). They claim to “want to do social in a way that is more like real life, where you actually take time to think about how you express your thoughts, your ideas and your likes to other people”. They have announced they are introducing brand pages to the site in the not too distant future and that they have some surprises coming up. Let’s keep our eyes peeled and maybe there is a one pager we write to client with our POV on using the platform.