Archive for the ‘Social media strategy’ Category

Stephen Merchant’s backtrack on Twitter

January 16, 2013 1 comment


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.



“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.

Fanboy infographic by comparison site of all brands

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Just how much would it cost to be Tony Stark / Iron Man?

This made a nice read and then I got to the bottom and saw it was put together by  Pretty cool work from their social media agency whoever that is (or do they do it in house?) and sensible for not to over-brand the piece (although I’d have made the logo more difficult to crop off the bottom).  It seems to be going pretty viral so that would appear to be seeding money well spent too.  They’ve done one for Batman too.

A brand getting it right on Twitter

The end of the football season was quite exciting, wasn’t it? Especially if you were a fan of Bishop’s Stortford Athletic Under 12s, who captured the runners-up spot in Royston Crow League’s notoriously hard-to-get-out-of second tier in their final game and achieved promotion to the top division. But I digress…

It was certainly a good weekend for one football fan, who scored with a 16,331/1 25 bet multiple, to a £2 stake. The reason I was aware of this heartwarming act of odds-on favourite backing coming good was that I follow @betfairsports on Twitter, and have done all season.

I am not a Betfair punter (of which more later), but I saw a couple of retweets and began to follow them, and they are the most impressive brand I follow on Twitter. It helps that they Tweet about content-rich subjects such as sport rather than, say, a skincare product or detergent. But if it was that easy duck, as my old Creative Director used to say, everyone would be doing it.

Betfair’s social media team strike a great balance between passing on the best comments from their followers, relevant news about their own markets and general tidbits of interest, while keeping blatant self-promotion to a minimum. And it’s all done with a consistent tone of voice that never patronises or lapses into LOL-speak. This approach, in tandem with their latest TV ads which focus solely on the value they offer punters, strikes me as a well-conceived strategy; horses for courses, you might say.

Betfair have been through some well-publicised boardroom issues, and questions have been asked about how much further they can grow, but if the rest of the business is as well run as their Twitter feed, they’ll be doing ok.

As a result of this joined-up and admirable marketing activity, I shall be setting up a Betfair account soon. Follow them on Twitter for news of my first 16,331/1 multiple.

Pictures of food, sky, sunsets and food

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

It didn’t take Funny or Die long to parody Facebook’s $1b purchase of Instagram.

UPDATE: If this goes down try the source

Dot com bubble burst mark II here we come – I’ll leave it at that.

Still, Facebook are not just sitting on their arses dreaming of pictures of boring stuff trying desperately to be interesting because it’s got a filter on.  No… they’re doing the first mass-streamed movie release in the form or the feature documentary “Marley“.  If all 37 million likes watch it at once, it’s going to break all kinds of records and severly test some internet backbones.  It’s $6.99 on Paypal or credit card, with a portion going to Save the Children.

Which tenuous charity link leads me to a French website’s take on Istagram called Boobstagram designed to raise awareness about breast cancer and early detection (see the Pourquoi? page).  Maybe NTSFW in the UK, depending on whether you work for a cancer charity or in social media when you probably have an excuse.

This one could be big

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I have always had a great memory for faces, and, especially, names. As I get older, this ability is in decline (what isn’t?), but I’m still the go-to guy for my friends who know that if anyone can remember the bloke who was two years below us at school they just bumped into on a bus, it will be me. It’s nice to be good at something, you know? After all, ever since spell-check was invented I have seen the call for my limited natural talents dwindling.

So I shuddered when I read about Highlight. It’s just gone live in the app store. If only someone would invent an app that made it easier to mingle…

Categories: Social media strategy