Archive for June, 2010

Rising Above The Clutter On The World Stage

June 24th, 2010

Sporting events are one of the largest branding opportunities around.  There is not a more popular sport in the world outside of soccer – it’s truly a global game with an unparalleled fan base. The World Cup takes that to a whole new level.  The brand that is leaving the competition in the dust is not even an official Fifa Partner or World Cup Sponsor, but a company that has winning in it’s very DNA – Nike.  Their campaign, Write The Future, is a prime example of ‘ambush marketing’.  Not an official sponsor, Nike turned to the web for initial distribution of their 3 minute, highly produced spot featuring some of the best ‘Footballers’ in the world.  Greeted with overwhelming praise, this long form advertisement has been deemed by Trevor Edwards (Vice President, Global Brand & Category Management) as “one of the best we’ve ever done.” (courtesy, OregonLive).  The traffic would agree, with the spot having just surpassed 15M views in only two short weeks.  Even Nike CEO, Mark Parker, gave high praise to the campaign:

Our ‘Write the Future’ football campaign is the most complete, innovative and creative project we’ve ever done, and we’ve got more excitement on the ground than anybody else in the game.” (courtesy, MediaPost)

No doubt that Landon Donovan helped extend the fictional narrative into a literal embodiment of the ad with yesterday’s heroic goal in the 91st minute sending the U.S.A. into the knockout round in this year’s Cup.

The campaign goes far beyond the initial video.  As you can see from the graphic above, Nike has invited the fans into the experience – giving them the opportunity to ‘Write The Future’ through social means with the chance to have their headline displayed on one of Johannesburg’s largest skyscrapers (100 will be displayed each night).  What I love about this is that it empowers the fan to be an active part of the campaign and involves them in a meaningful way (very similar to the way we {Intel} included everyday people in our Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign last year).  This is the human face of advertising.  People naturally want to be included in the celebration.  They want to be heard, and they want a participatory voice in their favorite events and with brands they are passionate about.  Hat tip Nike – you’ve created an amazing campaign and you’ve invited your biggest advocates, your customers, to help Write The Future.

Social Media, Sponsorship, Sports ,

Who Says Futbol Isn’t Popular In America?

June 23rd, 2010

Unbelievable Web traffic today around the World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria. Personally, I was sitting in our company cafeteria with about 400 of my closest Intel friends watching the dramatic conclusion to the game – which was capped off with a stunning goal by Landon Donovan in the 91st minute.  Amazing.  The whole room erupted and I think more than a few laptops and smartphones hit the floor in all the excitement.  I immediately hit Facebook and Twitter with the excited exclamation of GOOOOAAALLLL!!! which was commented upon almost instantaneously by my friends on the social graph.  I wasn’t the only one.  According to Mashable, who’s staff was watching the net traffic on Akamai’s Net Usage Index, traffic spiked tremendously soon after Donovan put the ball in the back of the net:

In the minutes following Landon Donovan’s game winning goal in the 91st minute of action (which sent the U.S. to the round of 16), traffic spiked to 11.2 million visitors per minute, which moves the event past the 2008 presidential election as the second highest traffic spike of all-time.

Even their Editor in Chief, Adam Ostrow, called the impact on the social web with this tweet:

that goal is so taking down Twitter …

Pretty impressive…and you can see from the chart below, the English have got nothin’ on us.

Social Media, Sports ,

Everyone Is Playing The Location Game

June 16th, 2010

I am a fairly active user of Foursquare, not so much Gowalla – although I do have it on my phone. We are dipping our toe in the water with location based, mobile programs here at Intel (look out for my post when that program launches) and I definitely see it as a relevant, and important marketing platform for brands now and even more so in the near future. Location based services are in the news every day now and there is case study after case study of how brands are effectively using the various services in their marketing and media campaigns.  Monday, Twitter announced that they are adding ‘Twitter Places‘ to their portfolio of services to give more context to people’s tweets.  This is strictly an ‘opt in‘ component to your stream – if you choose not to pinpoint your exact location. What I like most about this is that Twitter didn’t cut out other players in the location game, like Foursquare and Gowalla – rather, they’ve moved forward with seamlessly integrating those services into their launch activities and opened up their API to allow for developers to integrate this functionality into their applications.

Foursquare and Gowalla integration: Many Foursquare and Gowalla users publish check-ins to Twitter. Location is a key component of these Tweets, so we worked closely with both companies to associate a Twitter Place with Tweets generated by these services. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place, such as “Ritual Roasters,” you will see standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla.

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  Since SXSW 2009, where both Dennis Crowley and Josh Williams introduced their respective services, others have scrambled to catch up to the wave of momentum that has buoyed both companies leading efforts in this space.  Last week Robert Scoble wrote a post on his site that discussed how Foursquare is in danger of losing ground to other companies (he used Yelp as the specific example) who are copying some of the key components of Foursquare’s offering (badging specifically).  Scoble makes a great point when he states that Foursquare will need to continue to innovate, add features, and even suggests they go so far as to buy companies to add to their portfolio to stay ahead of the competition in the geolocation game.

Foursquare has the advantage of being the first service to the game.  They’ve also got the largest user base for this specialty (1M vs. Gowalla’s ~200k).  Where the danger lies is with established properties (like Yelp) that have a loyal following, significantly larger user base, and present an attractive package for acquisition by a larger company that doesn’t currently have a geolocation component (ie Google – and no, Google Latitude or Google Places do not count). If that doesn’t make you go ‘hmmmm’, keep in mind that I haven’t even mentioned Facebook and their 400M+ user base.  You can bet they’re recognizing the geolocation frenzy and soon to do something about it.

Location Based Marketing , , , ,

Online Retail – There’s An App For That…

June 15th, 2010

Apple is the latest retailer to create an app that allows direct purchase from the users mobile device.  It comes at a fortuitous time as their website (and AT&T’s for that matter) are overwhelmed by customers trying to pre-order the latest iPhone as demonstrated by Digg founder, Kevin Rose‘s latest tweet:

sweeeet got my iphone v4 pre-order in, pro tip: use the iphone app “apple store” to order, much faster..

Others online purveyors have taken to mobile commerce with astonishing success – take eBay as a shining example.  In March, they related the following stats to the NYTimes:

Eight million people shop eBay on their iPhones. Mobile commerce generated $600 million in merchandise volume last year, and eBay expects that to increase to $1.5 billion this year.

That’s some serious cash – amazing what putting a mini shopping engine in the palm of a customer’s hand does.

Mobile Marketing , ,

Gooooaaaaal! 2010 World Cup & The Social Web

June 11th, 2010

Arguably, the 2010 World Cup will be the most watched sporting event in history.  What’s unique about this edition of the largest futbol tournament in the world is how it will be activated on the social web.  Try Google’ng ‘World Cup 2010 Social Media‘.  Boom – NINETY EIGHT MILLION results.

I didn’t think that was possible.  This social revolution is not just limited to blogs, message boards, and the random video posted to YouTube.  Quite the contrary – the depth and breadth of how people are sharing – Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Live Streaming – is astounding.  Fifa is getting in on the action, with the latest post on their official Twitter page exclaiming:

People are singing on the streets, fireworks are being set off – a great day for football and South Africa #worldcup

Not only that, we’re in the year of Mobile.  As such, we can expect people to be strolling down the street, driving, or in their next boring staff meeting staring down at their iPhone to see if Wayne Rooney, Landon Donovan, or Ronaldo have placed the ball in the back of the net with a strike from mid-field.

In short, social media has changed how the world watches the most popular sport on the planet.  How will you be tracking your favorite team and players throughout the next month? I’m sure I’ll send a tweet or two with the emphatic #Gooooaaaaal!

Social Media, Sports ,

Weekly Wrap Up – 6.11.10

June 11th, 2010

My top 10 reads for the week.   This is a SMALL sampling of what I come across in my weekly media consumption addiction.  If you’d like to be on my email list, please email me and I will add you.

Ad Age 2010 Women to Watch: Deborah Conrad – AdAge

Behind Foursquare and Gowalla: The great check-in battle – Wired

The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains – Wired

Starbucks clobbers all consumer brands on social media – Venture Beat

A Guide To The Cultural Battle That Is Reshaping The Media Business – paidContent

City of New York Blankets Times Square with Giant QR Codes – Mashable

More Adults than Teens Consume Mobile Video – ReadWriteWeb

Mashable Media Summit 2010 Recap and Complete Videos – Mashable

How to Manage Your News Consumption in the Real-Time Web Era – NYTimes

The iPad: Changing How We Build Business Relationships –  Inc.

Marketing, Social Media

Facebook’s Unofficial Mission Statement

June 4th, 2010

Making the world more open and connected” (via SFWeekly Blog) I guess that pretty much sums up his stance on privacy…

Facebook , ,

We All Want ‘First’

June 3rd, 2010

Goodby did a great ad spot for Sprint’s new ad campaign for the HTC EVO – the FIRST 4G phone.  This is a darn sexy phone that the industry has been clamoring for for some time now. Not only is it a phone, but it acts as a wireless hotspot – with the ability to connect up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices at any given time.  Engadget does a killer review of the phone and the bottom line is – it’s a thoroughly impressive device.  On their site, Sprint describes it as a phone that is as “fast and powerful as most people’s basic DSL and cable wired connections“.  That’s a bold statement – is this truly the phone that becomes people’s ONLY connected device?  I’m not ready to trade in my PC, yet (I do work for Intel!) but I have found myself spending more and more time completing my basic computing tasks (email, web surfing, bill pay) on my mobile device vs. opening up and logging onto my PC.  According to the latest report released by MocoSpace – I am not alone in that behavior.  In the meantime – can I trade in my Nexus One for an EVO?  Please?

Mobile Marketing , ,