Summarized from Ad Age and their reporting from last week’s Digital Conference. Unilever’s CMO, Simon Clift had some interesting and bold things to say about Social Media and its role in the success or failure of Brand Building. As Ad Age states, he ‘Throws Down the Social Media Gauntlet’ and warns those brands that don’t recognize and adapt to constantaly changing role of digital media are in danger of extinction through ‘accelerated natural selection‘. He makes a great point. Survival of the fittest (or most adaptable) – Darwinism in marketing.
“Brands aren’t simply brands anymore. They are the center of a maelstrom of social and political dialogue made possible by digital media.”
He’s right. He went on to discuss how brands are becoming ‘conversation factors‘ and the ‘conversation is no longer one way or 30 seconds.‘ In effect evangelizing an open dialogue model – truly cracking the brand disccusion wide open and letting the consumer share in the building, or eroding, of that brand through their social voice.
As a postscript to the article, Ad Age outlines their “New Rules” to maintain pace in this ever changing digital world. 5 great points that I’ve summarized quickly, you can find the full list on their site.
Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them.
You can’t hide the corporation behind the brand anymore, or even fully separate the two.
PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager.
Cause marketing isn’t about philanthropy, it’s about “enlightened self-interest”
Social media is not a strategy. You need to understand it, and you’ll need to deploy it as a tactic.
I am finding more and more that when I watch TV, I actually watch the commercials – whether I’ve DVR’d the show or not. If I am zipping through what I’ve recorded, I still pay attention, and if something catches my eye, I stop, rewind and watch. That happened last night. I found the newest Gatorade spot, featuring Tiger Woods, very interesting. Upon first blush, I really thought it was a Nike commercial (other than a very small mention of ’Gatorade’ Tiger on the voiceover) - notice the Nike logo on the front of Tiger’s hat, the Nike logo on the ball, and the TW logo (his sub-brand within Nike Golf) on the back of his hat. Next you see a Nike visor on the next animated character. It’s not until 30 seconds in that you see any visual glimmer that this is a Gatorade spot, and it’s very subtle - a logo on a sign… Only at the end do you get the full pitch from Gatorade on their ‘Focus’ offering.
Interesting tactic – leverage the halo of the Nike brand (down to Tiger’s famous Nike Golf spot) and the overall Tiger ‘brand offering’ to give lift to your product. Final note – you go to Gatorade’s site, and there is no mention Tiger under the ‘Athletes‘ section – only under the Focus Product Line. Intentional? Probably – if there is one person that’s excellent at protecting their ‘personal’ brand – it’s Tiger.
I’ve been a fan of the Graffiti application for a long time – I should be, I’ve sponsored several technology enablements such as Embed, Replay, and Performance through my role @ Intel. This is a great application and I often marvel at the amazing artwork that comes from using the simplest of tools (basically a 3 tool version of paint). I’ve been lucky to work closely with Mark Kantor, the founder of the Graffiti application. Today on Facebook, he posted a piece that is the convergence of two of my passions – technology and running….this is my favorite Graffiti yet. I am using the ‘Embed’ feature to place this on my blog from Facebook. Click the > in the middle of the image to take advantage of the ‘Replay’ capability.
Apple does it again – setting the bar that will be very difficult to for others to meet as they close in on their 1 Billionth (not sure if that’s a word) download. Rarely can you turn on the TV without seeing an iPod or iPhone commercial, and typically the spot shows off some great app to make your life easier – often generating the ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ emotion in me. The most astonishing part…the App Store has only been up for about 9 months – talk about rapid adoption. Hats off Apple – another job well done.
Being an employee for nearly 10 years, this makes me proud. The competitor in me wants us higher on the list. Why #6 on the Fast Company 50, but only #33 on BW? And this was after Atom and NetBooks changed the game! Full article on BusinessWeek.com.
“Literally out of nowhere, the little micro-blogging platform that constrains your messaging to 140 characters or less, is, according to Compete.com, this very month passing the august NYTimes.com, as measured by numbers of unique visitors.”
”….that little bird is fluttering right past The Times on the web’s list of top sites, and you might say, leaving the old business modelers wondering, “What exactly was that thing that just blew by us, anyway?A bird, a plane, or…”
It’s Finals time. Not in the NBA – in Fantasy Basketball. I’m not in them (no surprise there – I never seem to be, despite my best efforts) but that doesn’t stop me from following them ardently. What is interesting this year in the NBA is the rapid adoption of Twitter by some top names in the league. Shaq, Baron Davis, and Paul Pierce. My favorite – Charlie Villenueva. He’s probably one of the most prolific NBA players on Twitter…with his most publicized ’tweet‘ coming at halftime of a recent game against the Celtics.
What I find intriguing about this is that it gives unprecedented access to our sports heroes. Shaq and Paul Pierce routinely give out tickets to games via the micro-blogging service. With Shaq, it’s the first person to find him in the NBA city he’s playing in and touching him after he tweets. He recently visited my hometown, Portland, and put the tweet out for tickets against the Trail Blazers. It took 4 minutes for someone to find him and win the tickets. His response to his followers? “100 people n the prtland area just came for tickets wow portland twitterers r niiiiiice“…
I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out my current opponent, who is not ashamed of using the power of Twitter to gain an edge in his matchup. Fab Fish – this one’s for you…. way to game the system.
Somone has gone to a lot of work to find and verify accuracy of sports figures on Twitter, which they list in a spreadsheet for the public to see. Who will you follow?
I’ve often said that if I could get SportsCenter and the plethora of sports I watch through my PC, I’d ditch my paid TV subscription. From what I can see – we are getting closer and closer to that. Last year we saw NBC broadcast their Sunday night games with the option of several different camera angles that allows you, the fan, to customize your viewing experience. Major League Baseball has come up with much the same play, however they have added features that make the offering even more compelling – like the ability to ‘overlay their favorite radio broadcasters onto the television feed‘ which harkins back to the days when families sat around the radio and ‘visualized’ the scene as Vin Scully would bring the game to life by his colorful commentary.
Perhaps the most engaging thing to come out of Sports and the Web is the social aspect. I follow Adam Ostrow of Mashable on Twitter and notice that he is as avid a sports fan as I am…. in a recent article, he posed the question “Can Social Media Get You to Watch the NBA Playoffs?“ He goes on to outline the massive social media campaign Turner Sports is launching in hopes of reversing the declineof ratings in the NBA’s postseason. Smart. The league and its broadcasters are embracing you, the viewer, with more access than you’ve ever had before. It’s made me a more engaged fan – will it do the same for you?