Category Archives: Campaigns

Calling All Batman Fans!

If you’re a fan of the Batman, then you’re in for a treat (and possibly the largest hide-and-go-seek game… EVER).

Warner Brothers has released a new viral campaign for “The Dark Knight Rises” and has created a brand new trailer due for a July release. But in order to see the trailer, Batman-fans (or ‘Bat-fans’) need to help the Gotham City police investigation track Batman down through hundreds of graffiti pieces placed strategically around the world. Yes, you read that correctly – the world.

Batman is played as a felon and wanted for a kidnapping, assaulting police officers and being responsible for six deaths. But fans of the previous movie know that Batman is innocent and is only taking the heat from Harvey Dent/Two Face (am I right?). But to the police, Batman is “armed and dangerous.”

These graffiti pieces distributed around the globe are essentially leaks that help to reveal the trailer, one graffiti art work at a time. How? Police officers (aka you), help to unlock trailer frames by Tweeting or sending an email that act ( as “photographic evidence of graffiti related to any movement in support of the vigilante’s return.”

This is a great example of encouraging participation from a fan base on a global level (those metrics are going to be huge!), especially with the help of social media and the incredible power of technology today.

And isn’t this one of the most prized offerings of social networks like Twitter and Facebook? Not only is the entire world in on this mission to achieve a common goal in a clever and entertaining way, but the idea of mobilizing brand evangelists to ‘particpact’ (participate and act) with a brand is now the way of building relationships.

Good news for us – no more sitting on the sidelines. The brand-consumer relationship is thriving under a two-way street, with brands guiding us to unleash our creativity, but also allowing us to take the lead and tell more of our own story, how we want it to be heard. This is participaction at its finest.

May the hunt for the Batman begin!

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Why KONY 2012 Makes a Great Case Study

Imagine you watch a 30 minute video on YouTube and you suddenly become a social activist.

Well, you don’t have to imagine it. This is what happened to millions of people across the globe in less than two weeks.

With one simple click of the mouse, users were introduced and became aware of a story occurring somewhere far off in Africa, about a war lord turning thousands of children into military zombies.

Here’s why this campaign makes for an interesting case study.

A few days after I shared the Invisible Children‘s KONY 2012 video on Facebook and tweeted the news on Twitter, I received an e-mail from Amnesty International (who I subscribed to). The e-mail started off telling me about how although this is the first time the world has heard about Joseph Kony, Amnesty has known about him for years – they just did not have the tools or know-how on how to execute the celebrity attention is he receiving now.

The KONY 2012 video that went viral reached over 80 million hits on YouTube in two weeks time. The utilization of celebrity appeal, charity, a 30-minute film and the power of social media have transformed online engagement to political activism (see below).

How the hell did this happen?!

For one, it’s a great conversation starter; the sheer curiosity factor fuelled massive discussion (we’re talking global here). Some 30-minute video was circling the web about a war lord in Africa and it was a big deal. People would ask, “But who is this guy?” and “Have you seen this?” and share videos with their friends.

This simple curiosity turned into a willingness to not just educate, but investigate what was happening. Who is Joseph Kony? What is he doing and where is he? Why are people talking about him? What is Invisible Children? How are people talking about Kony and the cause? Who is he effecting? When do we act? Can we act? Is he relevant to me, and now? (Covered the five Ws? Check).

And it sure as hell helped to get celebrities involved in the social media realm, tweeting and re-tweeting their concerns and support over the KONY 2012 video. Oh, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are supporting the Invisible Children cause? This is even more share-worthy.

Moreover, The Uganda Speaks campaign first tweeted by Al Jazeera English last Tuesday,is asking people in Uganda to tweet their opinions about Kony 2012. One interesting respondent tweeted, “There is a total disconnect between the invisible children and the community they claim to serve. Why make Kony famous? You cannot make a wrong person famous. Stop Kony, then what?” Exactly. Then what?

If the goal of Invisible Children was to raise awareness about the issue, then the campaign was a success. Not only did they receive positive feedback and support from millions, the charity also received backlash about having ulterior motives and unfair fiscal distribution. But as my graduate professor once said, “As long as they’re talking about you, you’ve got a fighting chance.”

However, if the goal is to arrest KONY by converting a quarter of the globe into Invisible Children’s own army-to-the-rescue and overthrow the political system, then they’ve got a lot of work to do. As Malcolm Gladwell argues, “Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.”

From the launch of the video on March 5th, forward to almost a month later, over 100 million people have now seen the short film. Awareness about Kony and the LRA has increased tenfold and people have shared their thoughts and opinions about it.

All that is left now, is action. It’s great to have an idea, but it doesn’t mean much if there are no plans to execute. As  Madeline Bernstein of Technorati writes, “Knowing is better than not knowing, but clicking is not action.”

And in case you either haven’t seen the video through some social network or haven’t heard people talking about, first I’d like to know where on Earth are you. I’m kidding. But seriously.

Secondly, if you’re interested in watching the 30 minute long video, you can watch it below:

Photo credit:

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Facebook Timeline Ads Show Their Take on Drug-Addiction

Don’t do drugs kids – Facebook will show you where the grass is greener.

McCann Digital Israel, part of the media agency McCann Erickson Worldgroup, has launched a creative social media campaign using Facebook’s timeline for the Israel Anti-Drug Authority.

McCann Israel uses Facebook’s split-screen timeline layout to create a profile for Adam Barak, a fictional character used to demonstrate his life in a year dealing with drug-addiction and a year without.

The campaign utilizes Facebook’s timeline by juxtaposing pictures from a year of life with drugs – including a swollen, sleep-deprived and depressed individual in a toxic relationship and living on the streets – to a year living clean – appearing fresh-faced and happy and enjoying a healthy relationship with his girlfriend.

I think McCann Israel was smart about tapping into an almost superfluous social network and where literally hundreds of millions of users are signing into everyday, although there is the possibility that this campaign could simply get lost in all the information clutter. There is also the possibility that people will simply ‘like’ the campaign, play around with it a little and forget it is there the day after (as is the fate of so many Facebook campaigns).

However, with the ability to “connect” with a fictional character, Adam Barak, and understand his story through drug-addiction and one without, the campaign has the potential of offering individuals a perhaps closer look into both a destructive and successful life. Of course, having a Facebook campaign allows for more interactivity and real-time engagement, thus not only increasing awareness about drug-addiction, but better recall about the topic.

And plus, the ad looks cool.

What do you think of McCann Digital Israel’s Facebook social media campaign on drug-addiction? Is it effective?

Photo credit:

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Perry’s “Oops” Moment An Opportunity?

Wednesday night’s presidential debate definitely encouraged a lot of flack and media backlash, after the Texan-born Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry admitted “he stepped in it” when his mind went blank about the third agency of government he wants to modify: the Department of Energy.

Oops indeed!

But this Texas Republican boy ain’t stopping any time soon. In fact, his marketing team is playing up his television mishap and adding his forgetful moment to their campaign. On Perry’s website, the big question that appears under the navigation bar is What part of the Federal Government would you like to forget about the most? Click here to vote!

Personally, I think it’s somewhat funny that this slight hiccup is now part of his tactics to earn back the respect of supporters, but more importantly, laugh alongside his opponents. I think the right thing to do is be honest about mistakes and laugh at yourself afterwards. From a PR perspective, the more you avoid or lie about something, the bigger it gets. At least these efforts will attempt to downplay what happened at the debate… hopefully.

What do you think about Perry’s television “oops” moment? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Teachings From The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Remember the Old Spice GuyIsaiah Mustafa? Of course you do. The man your man could smell like. He was sitting on a white horse. But where is he sitting now?

I love me some smart and humorous campaigns – I really do. I think most of us do. But what happens when they disappear? I’m sure some of us are still smirking about that perfectly chiselled, half-naked man next to the shower with those witty remarks a few weeks later, but how often? Will we be remembering and smiling about it a year from now?

One aspect about campaigns is that they act as great vehicles to increasing awareness, reach and recall, which can cause spikes to fluctuate in the advertising metrics. They may even increase sales, but if you’re in the business, you should know that there is no direct correlation between advertising and sales (although it does sound like a nice payoff!).

But once the campaign reaches its peak and slowly starts to wind down, people start to forget about the hype. What was once a hit campaign is now under the category of “Oh yeah, remember that guy in that commercial? Whatever happened to him?” You know you are in a pickle when you’re known as that guy (or in advertising’s case, that ad). *Shutters at anonymity*.

Unfortunately, that is the fate for most campaigns. When a campaign is blazing hot for a certain amount of time, the fire slowly starts to calm down and settle; it is later forgotten and inevitably bound to a grave buried underneath the ashes (you follow the metaphor?). Although they act as great attention-grabbers and reminders for a particular issue, product or service, there needs to be a coherent strategy that melts into other aspects of the campaign to maintain a strong presence within the market (and bonus points for being cost-efficient).

On the other hand, depending on how an advertiser’s strategies are implemented, too much in-your-face-ness could cause an overwhelming amount of attention that could make your audience feel downright annoyed.

So, what can marketers and advertisers do (I bet that was your next question, wasn’t it)? They can include both traditional and non-traditional elements (television, magazines, social networks, etc.) that act on a frequent basis, so the mission and call-to-action are always lingering in the back of the audiences’ minds and at appropriate intervals. All channels should carry a coherent message across each of them with a consistent theme.

The use of social media can be an especially effective way (and not just in cost) for campaigns. Let’s go back to Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign. After the famous launch of the legendary Old Spice guy just over a year ago, the campaign has earned more than 30,000,000 million views on YouTube. To keep the momentum going, Wieden + Kennedy created an additional Old Spice Responses campaign, where fans, bloggers, writers, advertisers and celebrities could ask a question to Mr. Mustafa and get a reply.

The Old Spice Response portion of the campaign helped maintain the brand’s presence and personality. After initially fostering a sense of curiosity and amusement on your television (and afterwards, word-of-mouth), an explosion of chatter erupted across all social network channels. Both YouTube and Twitter accounts were sending out responses, giving the Old Spice message a personal feel by handing over the creative wand to audience to create their own story of the brand.

A few public figures, including actress Rose McGowancontributed her own response to the Old Spice brand, embracing a similar character to that of Mustafa and keeping in tune with the brand’s image and personality. Thus not only did the brand attempt to create an extension of itself through a parody, but fans were lending their own efforts in becoming the brand themselves. Talk about advertising influence!

And because of the brand’s popularity and fame, other personalities in the pop culture realm are hopping on the Old Spice bandwagon. Remember Puss ‘n Boots from Shrek? Well, he’s coming out with his own movie and has taken on the bold, strong and confident character of Mustafa himself in his The Cat Haz Swagger advertisement:

The Old Spice campaign was no doubt a brilliant effort in raising awareness to a particular audience about the product and the brand to newcomers (so much so that Mustafa is now known as The Old Spice Guy), increasing brand recall and maintaining a fun and engaging relationship with brand loyalists and supporters.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mustafa is no longer playing the part for the brand, and the campaign’s efforts have died down a little (probably due to the insurmountable response from viewers, and perhaps cost), as what is expected of campaigns and advertisements. Yet something seems to be resonating with this particular brand due to the efforts mentioned here (and perhaps more).

But perhaps that is what we need to accept about campaigns. We do not want to be bombarded with so many messages that it becomes something like hearing nails on a chalkboard every time we see an particular ad. However, there does need to be a follow-up with the message, otherwise you are just leaving your audience hanging, in the dark, and with no one to save them. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call poor brand management. Take it from Mustafa…

Now take it from me.

Now back to Mustafa.

Now back to me. I’m on a horse.

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Movember: Speed Stick’s Mo’ Mishap

It’s eight days into the month of November and I’m starting to see what were once clean-shaven faces (or if you were sporting a slight stubble) now sprouting a manly moustache – some blooming into a full blown Fu Manchu.

Since the Movember movement began in Melbourne, Australia, moustaches have been sprouting across more than 1.1 million faces (both Mo Bros and Mo Sistas… with fake ones of course). Viral campaigns running through Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Holland, Spain, South Africa and Ireland are not only helping to spread hair, but awareness on men’s health, especially prostate cancer.

One Movember social media campaign in particular that caught my eye is Speed Stick‘s attempt at helping men to keeping it cool with moustache mishaps. Speed Stick launched an interactive viral video (titled Mo’ Mishap?) that shows a proud and confident man trimming is his beautifully-grown product of a moustache – until he sneezes and shaves off half of it (I know – a Movember Madness all men dread…).

After watching the gentleman have his OMG-what-the-hell-did-I-do moment, the viewer can select from three choose-your-own-Adventure style endings for how the actor can fix his missing-moustache dilemma: Transplant it, Get Artistic, or Embrace it. All options lead to a yet a still reposed and confident fellow who ain’t afraid of a little moustache misfortune. Speed Stick’s message? What ever you do, Don’t Sweat It: All Protection, Maximum Confidence. 

For every viral video watched, Speed Stick will donate $1 Movember. Their goal? To reach $50,000. And the beauty of not just this campaign but other Movember fundraising efforts is that they can reach a broad community that transcend both geographical and temporal borders. It makes serving the public good a lot easier (and faster at that).

One aspect of the campaign in particular is the use of humour (or humor for my American friends). Sometimes, what makes a great campaign is that it is funny and playful. BUT. Humour has to be appropriated in a way that does not overshadow or belittle the message being delivered. Otherwise, the advertiser’s mission is completely missed and users only remember the joke that was told instead of the brand name.

The more exciting part of this viral video is that the public is part of the story! I want you to re-read that sentence, because there are two valuable things in there that are to be noted. The first is interactivity and engagement with the public. Getting your audience involved in your campaign is a more hands-on approach that allow them to experience the brand and therefore remember it better in the future. Not only will they (hopefully) have a great run in with the product or service, but if their experience was that stellar, they will tell all their friends!

The second point mentioned in that sentence to note is storytelling. Users have the opportunity to interact with the brand while simultaneously have control of the outcome. Sure, the message stays the same, but they now have authority over developing the story. Advertisers hand over the reigns for the audience to partake in the creativity and have their own say in the deliverance. And when the consumer is in control (which we should all know by now, they always are), the happier the customer, the stronger the message and the better advertisers deliver.

And so it ends, with men maintaining their moustaches as an activity that some take great pride in. For some, growing one is as easy as not shaving for an hour, while others are lucky to even wear a five o’clock shadow by the time week three comes around. But for those gentleman who fall under either category (or if you just can’t hold on to your ‘stache due to an accidental shaving incident) Speed Stick’s got you covered, no matter what the mishap.

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Teachings From The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

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Rethink Breast Cancer With Your Man Reminder

What better way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month than with a couple of half-naked hunks? (Answer: there is none).

Crispin Porter + Bogusky Toronto, an advertising agency known for its viral marketing tactics, has come up with a fun and sexy reminder to check your tatas. Their new spin? Rethink Breast Cancer: Your Man Reminder.

This new outreach is an app where a beautiful man (of your choice) appears on your iPhone (coming to Android October 17th) to give frequent reminders for a breast check. Messages like “Lisa, you’re a break for my eyes. Don’t forget to give your breasts some TLC” offer a sexy reminder to touch, look and check yo self.

The app (which can be downloaded for free at iTunes) has the following features:

  • Customize – Update the App to fit your personal liking, with features that let you chose your man, his pose and more.
  • Hot Messages – You’ll love the attention your man gives to you, with messages like “Any guy would be lucky to have you” and “Give your breasts some TLC.”
  • Reminders – Tailor your calendar schedule with settings for weekly, monthly or surprise reminders directed by a sexy man of your choice.
  • Education – The App includes a special “signs and symptoms” tab to hone in on the importance of early detection.
  • Get Checked – Use a variety of scheduling options such as doctors’ appointments and many more.
Even more, Facebook users can also update and share with their friends that they’ve checked out their goods with their Man Reminder from their phone.

This new spin is definitely a step away from the habitual “tatas” and “boobies” talk from past campaigns. Instead of objectifying women, well, now we’re objectifying men (I can see a lot of disgruntled feminist and support group action headed their way). Although this new twist on women’s health watch is pretty damn sexy, I’m sure it will remain too much of a sexist subject for some critics to swallow.

And aren’t we forgetting about the other audience demographic? You know, those who aren’t playing for that team, the ones that swing on the other side of things? Not everyone has the same taste in gender, and I think CP+B may have forgotten about this little detail for their campaign (probably because they were staring at that bear-chested, beautiful man with those rock-hard abs…). Maybe they’ll have another branch of this campaign and feature women?

Whichever way you swing, there is no denying that this is one entertaining campaign. Hell, I don’t even own an iPhone and I might just head over to Apple store to get one! Ok, I’m kidding (and I’m not that desperate either). But to all the women out there, play it safe and check your goods, whether that is with or without really attractive company!

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Apple’s Next [Dance] Move?

I saw this video from a Tweet that read “This Kid is Amazing.” So, me thinking of the next singer to potentially show up on the Ellen Degeneres show (and me being a big fan of Ellen in general), I followed the link on YouTube. The video titled “Apple Store Dance to Super Bass!!” pops up and this kid is boldly shaking his thang to Nicki Minaj‘s “SuperBass” in an Apple store. My first reaction went something like this: “DAMN this kid Trevor has guts! I want a music video in an Apple store!

Sure enough, I looked at the sidebar to see other people have done the same. Random Apple store visitors are entering the store, setting up the video on the in-store Mac computers and recording a dance routine, smack dab in the middle of an unsuspecting crowd… and having a good time. The videos are uploaded onto YouTube for all to see and give viewers a live entertainment from Apple. And let me tell you, it’s quite the dance party and lip-sync.

If Apple is going to be smart about this, they need to get on this in-store live-dancing trend and turn it into a campaign. I think we’ve been hit over the head enough with the idea that the customer is in control of the brand and its message. Creating a campaign based on live videos from customers will help to enhance the Apple brand through a grass roots movement with the love that is being shared in their stores.

It is definitely a move from the classic  television ads with dark silhouettes dancing to up-beat music against bright-colored backgrounds. This time the movement is coming from the customer’s creative noggin, not the advertiser’s. This viral video and WOM distribution through Apple fans is something they can capitalize on, as long as the store employees don’t kick out any of their performers… including this poor kid.

The more marketers and advertisers realize that fans control the brand and that growth comes from the love and appreciation being shared from person to person, the less work it is for them to concoct ideas that may not necessarily work for their audience. It’s not just about catering to the people and embracing user-generated content; it’s about celebrating freedom of speech and emotion through a fun-loving, carefree way through the media, not maintaining control. We need to be heard, you hear me!?

And now, for one of my personal favourites…

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