Monday, 21 September 2009

Genius Tesco Jedi response

This must be one of my favourite PR responses of all time:

The founder of the Jedi religion on earth gets kicked out of Tesco for wearing his hood up. He creates a stink about being persecuted for his beliefs. Tesco's respond as per below:

Tesco said: "He hasn't been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.

"If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they'll miss lots of special offers."

Tesco's could have ignored the problem or reacted heavy handedly, but instead they engaged in the debate in a positive and funny way - without taking the mick.
[Insert appropriate Star Wars related joke here]

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tips on online Word of Mouth campaigns

What with everything converging: social media, PR, advertising etc, I've been running a couple of online word of mouth campaigns recently. I know it's not social media or PR in its purest sense, but I've found there is a lot of common ground. So, I thought I'd share some of the things I've learnt. I apologise in advance if I'm stating the bleedin' obvious,

  1. Follow the WOMA guidelines and social media doctrine: always do full disclosure, be open, honest and transparent.
  2. Recruit ambassadors that are already fans of the brand/product or are have regularly used similar products. People who suddenly become fans or start using products they've never used before, don't appear that authentic.
  3. Ambassadors should only start conversations in communities in which they are already established, in which they are already active. People joining forums and then immediately talking about products they are trying out, tend to be received negatively.
  4. Recruit ambassadors from specific communities that will have an interest in your product and do it in an open way. For example, if you want to generate online WOM for mountain biking products, work with the admin of Bike Radar to recruit active members publicly, so everyone knows what you are doing.
  5. Give products to ambassadors to try for themselves and encourage them to talk about their experiences.
  6. Ask ambassadors to talk about their experiences in a way that is natural to them - suddenly going into marketing speak or 'delivering corporate messages' tends to jar.
I'm sure there are many other things to think about, but I thought I'd share some of the things I've learnt.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Wispa gives away ad space to fans messages

Wispa is doing a cool social media/ad campaign where it is giving away £2m worth of ad space to fans of Wispa. Fans send in their messages, say what location they prefer and the best ones get chosen to go on billboards. The messages can be one liners, poems, photos, whatever you want.

The campaign was kick started by Rolf Harris yesterday with one of his illustrations in Old Street, which IMHO makes it uber cool [the Rolf Harris involvement not the Old Street location].
I think this is a fab example of how a brand is truly engaging with fans, getting them involved in the brand and ultimately rewarding them for being fans.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

New rules for competitions on Facebook Pages

I heard on Friday that Facebook is cracking down on their rules for running competitions on Pages. In essence, you have to run them through a third party app, and you are not allowed to do things like:

  • Fan this Page for a chance to win
  • Upload your photos to win
  • Add a comment to enter prize draw

The wording I got on email from Facebook's representative is :

Promotions may only be administered on Facebook through a third-party application on the Facebook platform. For example, you cannot post a status update through a Page and ask users to comment for a chance to win a prize, nor may you encourage users to fan your Page by entering them into a promotion upon becoming a fan. However, upon receiving permission from us, you may accomplish administer your promotion through a third-party application and may allow that application to exist on a tab on your Facebook Page or on an application canvas Page.

They gave me examples of what is allowed and what isn't. Which is nice.

This isn't.

This is:

They are pretty damn explicit:

The following is the only way Facebook can be mentioned in the rules of the promotion or in any marketing materials promoting the promotion: “You can enter the promotion through the [name of the application] application on the Facebook Platform.”

Another thing that is really worrying is that to run a competition , as well as building a third party application, you now need a letter of indemnity from Facebook. Again, their wording is:

Prior to promoting any promotion on Facebook, you must sign an indemnity letter with us. The indemnity letter must be signed by the actual sponsor of the promotion (most likely, you, the advertiser); an agent may not sign on the sponsor’s behalf. For us to provide this letter to you, you must provide the following information to the Facebook account representative that you work with:

1. Full corporate name of the sponsor of the promotion you are promoting on Facebook or the Facebook platform.
2. Full name of the sponsor’s signor.
3. Physical address of the sponsor and email address where the sponsor will receive the letter.

I reckon this will really demotivate people from running competitions as its too hard, it will take ages, will involve lawyers at clients and ultimately will be too expensive to develop an app every time you want to do a giveaway for, say, free tickets to a gig. I'm guessing this is Facebook's way of driving people to develop lots of apps for their Platform.

IMHO, as a Page admin, it's a right pain in the backside and limits how brands can give something back to fans, encourage new ones to join and generally makes marketing through Facebook a lot damn harder. I think it will also cause marketers to look at other platforms and social networks, that may be easier to deal with.

Overall, this is definitely not a great move.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Kodak uses social media to turn negative into positive

I thought Kodak's move to get twitter users to name its new camera after the existing name was slated was an excellent move.

A review by a tech reporter at a newspaper in the US commented that name of Kodak's new camera was pants [I'm paraphrasing, naturally]. The camera was called the Zi8, so I can see his point. Instead of trying to defend an unmemorable name they opened it up to people online and asked them to come up with a better name. Kodak will reward the best name by taking the originator to the CES show in Vegas, unveiling the new name and making them part of the company's history.

A great example of how being, open, transparent and just behaving like a normal person can transform negative publicity into positive buzz.