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Fancy that!

December 13, 2017 Leave a comment

What with imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and plagiarism being legally dubious, we were delighted/ furious to see that the BBC’s graphics team have obviously started following our social posts for Moskovskaya.

Not massively dissimilar, we reckon. What do you think?

Moskovstakingpart

 

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Feeling social?

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Social media isn’t necessarily right for all brands. Certainly, as my old mate* the Ad Contrarian has loudly proclaimed, many of the claims made on behalf of Facebook and its fellow data thieves a few years ago have turned out to be rather empty.

It transpires that social is a little more like old media than many people once thought. Maybe that’s why it’s taken this long for Breakfast to produce its first (a brief dalliance with the Phone Co-Op aside) fully-formed social campaign, for our favourite vodka, Moskovskaya.

In partnership with hungry upstarts Studio Appetite, we have been producing some ads (there’s no more appropriate term) for two or three months now, and having some fun while doing so.

(You’ll need to follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram or twitter to see the animated bits, links and accompanying text. Sorry.)

Having avoided being too vocal on the merits or otherwise of social media for building brands, I have now progressed from interested observer into an advocate of treating these channels as opportunities. Thye offer brands without big budgets (or even medium-sized budgets) to reach a potentially massive audience with a relatively small spend.

We’re not mistaking our ‘likes’ for customers, or expecting our audience to become evangelists (the world has more than enough of those at the moment). But we are (we think) producing good work for a genuinely distinctive, strong vodka brand. It might take us a while to conquer the world, and we might not achieve domination via social alone.

But we’re in the game. And enjoying it.

*He’s not a mate: I’ve never met him. But I’m pretty sure we’d get on.

Ban Kingsley

June 24, 2015 1 comment

I love football. I am very fond of the work of the artist David Shrigley. I always enjoy mischievous subversion in art, and its inevitable corollary, the Twitter-storm. I am, however, at best ambivalent about mascots.

Which is why, although I’m a day or so late (which in social media terms is a decade), I am thoroughly enjoying the brouhaha surrounding the unveiling of Kingsley, the new mascot at Partick Thistle FC. This is he:

kingsley_3349680b

I caught a glimpse of Kingsley in my Twitter feed yesterday, but other than recoiling slightly, didn’t spend any time following the story. I wish I had. Kingsley has become quite the celebrity during his short life so far, accused of doing everything from making children cry to “bringing shame on the good name of mascots” (according to H’Angus the Monkey, something of a legend among the mascot-aware). Is that a hanging offence?

Mascots traditionally interact most with children (and inebriated adults), but are seen by everyone. Surely the best mascots, like the best children’s films, should appeal to kids on one level but to adults on another (as H’angus the Monkey does to a certain extent).

Usually, those responsible for commissioning mascot design tend to forget this dual audience and default to anodyne, cuddly creatures but Partick have gone to the other extreme and created a mascot who forces people to think after their intial reaction. Admittedly the thought is likely to be “What in God’s name is that?”, but still. And, if upon further research they discover that Kingsley is the creation of David Shrigley, they will either ‘get it’, be inspired to seek out Shrigley’s work, or express irritation and annoyance on Twitter, to the amusement of the first two groups. All reactions are equally valid and add a few stitches to life’s rich tapestry.

Either way, any mascot unveiling that can produce this on a national newspaper website can’t be all bad. (I love the fact that he crumples.)

As for me, I am now pro-Kingsley, for the reasons stated at the beginning of the article. He’s replaced the Tampa Bay Rays’ rarely seen Recycles McGee as my favourite mascot.

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But I’m not sure that David, or Partick Thistle, have quite got it right. Because ultimately, if a mascot does terrify children, one has to assume he is not quite fit for purpose, even if “the sun after it’s been out all night partying” is a fantastic conceit for a furry club emblem.

Unless… the unveiling of Partick Thistle’s new mascot would not normally be a story in Glasgow, let alone worldwide. So if Thistle are trolling us, well done: Kingsley is the best piece of brand awareness marketing I have seen for some while.

 

Online revenge

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment

anonymous

Have you been watching Charlie Brooker’s brilliant but disturbing Black Mirror series? No? You should have been. There’s one episode left of this series – the others are still online – and I can highly recommend them.

Charlie uses the series to posit some beguiling possibilities for the development of social media and the internet, and to dramatise the impact it might have on our lives. Some of his seemingly more outlandish suggestions are already being brought to life (excuse the play on words) …liveon.com, anyone?

And only the other day, I heard an employer confess that they spent ages researching potential employees on Facebook before they arrived for an interview. Not sure that’s entirely ethical, but it’s hardly surprising.

Every week seems to bring another example of social media’s power, from the stunning YouTube footage of the Russian meteor to Rupert Murdoch’s recent revelation that Page 3 might not, after all, be long for the pages of the Sun.

However, closer to home, we Breakfast-ites were amused by this story:

http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/02/15/agency-takes-down-clients-website-and-replaces-with-a-letter-in-dispute-over-bills

We’re used to seeing companies get called on poor customer service on Twitter and Facebook, but actually using the company’s own website to slag them off for non-payment is taking things one step further. I’ve always loved a good revenge fantasy (remember Michael Douglas’ D-Fens in Falling Down?) and you can imagine the rush the designer got when he put this live…

Stephen Merchant’s backtrack on Twitter

January 16, 2013 1 comment

merhant2

Saw this amusing Twitter coincidence doing the rounds, and decided to take two minutes to check the facts before posting.  The optimist in me wanted @Jimmydan’s tweet to have happened first, but it was three minutes after @StephenMerchant’s tweet, so the cynic in me says it was a lucky joke from a fan – who has time to Tweet in the middle of a shift at Starbucks anyway?

Still, while looking into it I spotted a rather interesting turnaround on the use of Twitter by Stephen Merchant.  As the below shows, in May 2011 Stephen was adamant on his blog he’d never be on Twitter, but clearly something changed his mind – maybe his publicist said it was a good idea.  Quarter of a million followers later he’s probably glad – or maybe he would be if he had 4 million like his mate @rickygervais, who incidentally said he’d be leaving Twitter September last year… strangely at the time he launched his Justsayin app which was supposed to be an audio version of Twitter.

merchant

“People is more important than everything, even grammar” (and the death of TV)

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

If you can spare 28 minutes, this is brilliant – sort of a poor man’s TED talk.  Engaging and funny while making a serious point about the role of the Internet in connecting people and replacing TV.  It does get a bit ranty at some points, is perhaps a little US-focussed for UK readers and perhaps Dan could have talked a little bit more about how the Internet can be a success rather than all the great stuff he’s done over the years with TV…  ah well – take it or leave it.

I guess Facebook trying to monetise what is ostensibly a social gathering is what he’s talking about.  For example, expecting companies to invest in resource to run Facebook pages and then asking them to pay to promote their posts on people’s walls strikes me as regressing to the old model of TV advertising.  And then asking ordinary people to do the same is definitely not following Dan’s “connecting” model.

If you haven’t got time, here’s a quick summary on Pajiba.

Bodyform viral magic

October 17, 2012 1 comment

I remember the fuss when they started showing panty liner absorption demonstrations in TV ads using blue-dyed water – fuss probably generated by hysterical journos at the Daily Male Mail.  It marked the end of ads made up entirely of shots with active women enjoying their periods while cart-wheeling and skydiving.  (Apparently roller-blading girls was never Bodyform, that was a Tampax thing, according to Neil our Creative Director who was responsible for some of the “WHOOOHAH BODYFORM” ads.)

Anyway, some poor chap called Richard Neill decided to take Bodyform to task with a witty rant about their unique style of advertising on their Facebook page.  Let’s just suspend disbelief that he’s a fake profile set up specifically for this or someone paid to post and just enjoy how things turned out.  (BTW Richard you probably want to make your profile private.)

His post:

Their response:

The video:

Of course now we have gratuitous shots of women flashing their knickers so we are clear that Tena Lights incontinence panty liners don’t make it look like you’re carrying an extra Y chromosome should some guy deliberately drop papers on the floor so he can try to sneak a look up your skirt.

Tena ad:

But how do we make the momentous leap of turning the blue water into blood?  Panty liners being used as wound dressings in the battlefield with a “Be all you can be… join the Bodyform army” line.

UPDATE: Turns out this was on page 3 of this morning’s Metro, so it’s not really new news to many people with nothing else to do on the morning’s commute.