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The Future Of The Fashion Show

The Future Of The Fashion Show

The London Fashion Week, the hottest ticket in town, is normally only experienced by a privileged few. However, it’s 2013 and Topshop has partnered with Google to launch the first interactive live streamed fashion show.

Catwalk fashion show runway london fashion week

Courtesy of Ines Hegedus-Garcia, flickr.com

A customised YouTube feed will allow live-streamed content from the red carpet and behind the scenes. Google+ will host a digital diary fronted by the models and access to stylists behind the scenes. Google Hang Outs will allow people to speak directly with the design team at Topshop HQ. The “Be the Buyer App” will enable users to get tips from buyers on how to put catwalk looks together. HD micro-cameras, worn by the likes of Cara Delevigne, will allow viewers a models eye of the catwalk. The London Oxford Street store will allow shoppers to take photos and upload images to an interactive window display. There will also be a live ‘tweet off’ where followers of @Topshop will be challenged to review the show in 140 characters or less to win VIP tickets to the next show.

Burberry set the trend in 2011 of offering fashion fans access to aspects of the shows that had not been previously available (putting live clips on YouTube and displaying backstage images via Instagram and Twitter) and it is no coincidence that the man leading the innovative runway experience, Topshop CMO Justin Cooke, is the former vice president of global communications at Burberry.

Could this collaboration change the way designers think about catwalk shows forever?! Let us know what you think.

 

The Ad That Stole The Superbowl

After Super Sunday, a lot of what people are talking about is a tweet.

“How Oreo ‘Culture-Jacked’ the Super Bowl” – The Wall Street Journal

On Sunday the power went out at the Superdome whilst the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens battled for the right to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Oreo, as one of the Superbowl Advertisers, were listening to the twitter chatter and seized the opportunity with a spur of the moment tweet.

The tweet went viral… retweeted 10,000 times in one hour, helping them to gain nearly 8,000 followers. Their actual ad the ‘Whisper Fight‘ depicts a Cookie vs. Crème argument with two men in a library. Propelling their Instagram following to over 50,000 whilst clearly demonstrating the power of combining TV and social media marketing.

We believe the success of the tweet was due to the months prior where Oreo cultivated a following through tweeting and posting culturally relevant ads daily as well as the use of real-time advertising during the event. The reaction from the audience has left us wondering whether the tweet had an even greater pay off than Oreo’s actual Super Bowl ad, which cost $3.8 million to create, and marked the launch of their Cookie vs. Crème campaign.

We would love to hear your thoughts.

Social Media Campaigns

It is no understatement to suggest that the Internet, and in particular social media, dominates our daily life. Not an hour can go by where we don’t check Facebook and Twitter to see how our friends are doing or to catch the latest status updates from people you barely know. Surprisingly, bearing in mind how much of our time we dedicate to social media, it seems that too many brands are failing to understand the potential that these sites offer their brand.

Of all the many hours internet users spend updating their Facebook profile, adding to their photo albums and such, only a very tiny 0.5% of that time is spent interacting with the brands they like. This is hardly surprising news. Back in the day, before Facebook became a walking advertising source, I used to ‘like’ the pages of our favourite films, books and sporting teams just to let others know my interests. Now, these pages are used by many brands to target their audience in a generic and uninteresting way. Users will liken these posts to spam and therefore overlook what the brand has to offer.

In short, social media campaigns need to be revamped and taken more seriously. There are several ways in which businesses can utilise social media to their gain. Firstly, they need to adopt a social mindset. Brands need to evaluate their target audience and judge what content will garner the best response. Interaction is key; the more your audience responds to your content, the greater their interest and the more likely your business will spread via word of mouth.

Social media campaigns could prove more lucrative nowadays than conventional and traditional campaigns. However, too little money, time and effort is put into these campaigns. Big input equals big results. The sooner businesses start to look up and see the potential of social media campaigns, the sooner they will begin to notice the difference in their supporter base and public awareness.

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

Back in the day, life was that little bit simpler: You only had one phone number per friend to remember, there was never the threat of ugly pictures of yourself popping up on the Internet (you didn’t have the Internet!) and what’s more a customer complaint stayed between the company and the customer.

Then came along the digital revolution, and the rest is history. Now, if a customer needs to complain they have a choice of soapboxes to stand on. Customers are not only making the business aware of their issues but thanks to the multiple public platforms available to them, they are also broadcasting their complaint to other members of the public. It’s very interesting to see how a company chooses to respond to these very public complaints, in my opinion, it could be exactly what makes them or breaks them.

So, when O2 services went down last week it was only natural that O2 customers turned to Twitter to vent their frustration. O2’s response? They replied humorously:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

 

Now, this was either very clever of them or very stupid, and I suspect for the first hour everyone was holding their breath. But after responding to hundreds of angry tweets in this manner, others started noticing and joining in the fun.  However, there was still a tiny bit of resentment on the customers’ part

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

The risk paid off, turning their company crisis into a great PR opportunity. The O2 Twitter account soon became a must watch online with the bitter anger the customers held a day before now turning into ‘love’:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

With followers even trying to help them trend for the right reasons, not the hostile signal failing ones:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

You might be wondering how on earth did this work in their favour? And here is my theory, the customers sending in angry messages were expecting to hear back the usual pitch about contacting customer services, which in most peoples experience doesn’t get you anywhere. When O2 replied with the random humorous (but argumentative) messages, it threw people off course; they didn’t know how to respond. We all know what it’s like when you are trying to be angry with someone but they keep making you laugh…you’re not angry for long, are you?

So, there you have it – how to dodge a potentially fatal company crisis with humour. Brilliant.

 

Pinterest-ing

 The social pin-boarding site has only been on the social scene for two years (not even a year yet in the UK), and already it’s taking the digital world by storm – doubling its number of unique visitors to 4 million since January.

In case you’re not familiar with the site, Pinterest is a place to organise and share online images that you may find interesting or inspiring.  Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, these images become known as ‘pins’, which the user can place on customised themed boards.

Some people use the site to share images they find on the web, while others use the site from a more creative perspective. For example, many artists use Pinterest to arrange inspiring images for their work. While bakers may use the social networking site to showcase images of their creative cake collection and interior designers could use it as a platform for different design themes.

Brands, on the other hand, are using it to communicate to their audience through the use of images that best reflect what the brand is currently up to.  An example of a brand that is using Pinterest particularly well is Ikea.

The Swedish furniture store has 15 pin boards, including product ideas and ‘pin it to win it’ competitions hosted weekly – a great way to get people engaged and grow their existing community.

The site uses striking images to represent theme ideas for different rooms.  Some of the images also include price information for each product, so it essentially acts as an extension of its catalogue.

One of its more eye-catching boards for its ‘True Blue’ product range is inspired by Indian Culture, this however, doesn’t seem to be linked to its homepage which could minimise their efforts.

 

‘Appy times ahead for video

I can’t quite believe that it is May already; it seems only yesterday we were rounding up the digital developments of 2011. We’re nearly halfway through 2012 and there have already been significant changes in the digital landscape.

The news that Facebook bought popular photo app Instagram followed suit of social networks in 2012 turning more and more visual. We have had the rise in popularity of virtual pinboard Pinterest, the transition to the more visual Facebook timeline and Twitters new pictorial layout.

But with the world going crazy for sharing and displaying pictures in the most creative way imaginable, where does this leave video?

We already know that videos across the web have the potential to reach thousands, with 48 hours of video a minute being uploaded to YouTube alone.  But if we have learnt anything from the boom in photo sharing, it is that users crave an easy way to make their memories unique and customised. For online video sharing to improve, surely it would have to develop with this new trend.

Well, unbeknown to many, video has been making a discreet comeback in the form of apps that are uncannily similar to its fellow photo counterparts. It seemed to be that Viddy and SocialCam were among the most popular in the App Store (and being a lover of all apps that help customise and share my memories, when I got word of this new movement, I had to give them a go!). So, I spent some time this morning trialling the latest in video sharing apps, to bring you an honest opinion on which one is worth having. You are very welcome.

SocialCam:

SocialCam

This app has just reached its 20 million mark, and upon download, I was pleasantly surprised! There are a number of filters available to use for recording, my personal favourite being ‘Rouge’, which add a professional yet quirky touch to a video instantly.

Initially, I was disappointed that filters could not be added to existing videos but soon discovered that there were many other ways in which these could be edited, such as adding themes, credits and music to them. The process of then uploading these videos to social networks is just as simple, in a similar way to Instagram, you select the networks you wish to share with and it is done in a matter of seconds.

In terms of approaching this app as a new user, it does its best to help you establish a profile, suggesting to you a list of people to follow and enables you to find existing friends easily.

Viddy:

Viddy

Viddy is a step ahead of SocialCam on the user front with an estimated 25 million monthly active users. However, out of the two, this was my least favourite. Unlike SocialCam only three filters are available, with a choice to purchase more and only supports short videos. An existing video of mine that was 22 seconds, long for example, was too long to be edited. As well as limited video time and filters, the music choice was also restricted. However, a positive attribute to this app was the ability to add filters to your existing videos – allowing those who have a large video library to customise their old memories as well as new ones.

As with SocialCam, Viddy is a video-sharing network that gives you the opportunity to create and personalise your profile, find people to follow and befriend those with existing profiles. Videos, once edited were easy to upload to social networks, and the app was easily synced with your online profiles.

I think there is definitely a large space for these apps in the smartphone market, and whichever one is touted as the new video Instagram, certainly has a bright future ahead.

If you have stumbled upon any video sharing apps to shout about, let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear about them

This must be… genius

If ever there was a brand which had mastered the art of utilising multiple digital platforms to market itself in the eyes of consumers, Heineken is that very brand.

First came ‘The Serenade’, Heineken’s app designed to provide us with a quirky platform to secure a date for Valentine’s Day, and then came an innovative Facebook campaign, which encouraged designers worldwide to create a limited edition bottle in celebration of Heineken’s 140th birthday. This is a brand which is forever on the hunt for new ways to market itself, to make a statement and ultimately to encourage consumer buy-in.

But Heineken goes beyond those channels used by even some of the world’s most savvy household names to create its own opportunities, tapping into the news agenda and latching onto major global events to reach wider audiences.

In previous years, during the Olympic Games, Heineken has made a name for itself by bringing its ‘This must be Holland’ concept to the relevant hosting regions, on a bigger and more creative scale each time.

This year is to be no different, as Heineken provides us with a virtual taste of just how London’s Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally to most of us) will be transformed into the iconic Holland Heineken House during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The brand has designed and released a virtual tour, which gives consumers a glimpse of how the ‘This must be Holland’ design concept will fuse classic Britain with the spirit of Holland. Beginning with a CGI of Alexandra Palace glowing in orange, with the Dutch flag flying over the Palm Court entrance, the virtual tour takes viewers inside the venue and into an arena, Olympic Club, athletics area and Great Hall, which then becomes the medal ceremony. This is set to be one unforgettable, suitably orange, venue!

Heineken’s global activation manager, Hans Erik Tuijt, believes this Holland Heineken House will be the most memorable house yet. Well, if the finished product is anywhere near as impressive as the virtual model, then we’d expect it to attract above and beyond the 100,000 visitors anticipated during the Games.

Here, consumers have been given an opportunity to engage with a campaign before it has been brought to life and, as a result, we are given more chance to share the content far and wide…..just as Heineken had intended us to.

See below to view the virtual tour of Holland Heineken House London 2012:

Kraft Macaroni’s brilliant ‘likeapella’

I can never help but smile and click ‘like’ whenever I come across a selfless campaign by a brand that shows them giving something back to their fan-base.

One campaign that I came across last week, which was no exception to this rule, was the recent Likapella video released by Kraft Macaroni, with the purpose of individually thanking 4,600 of their online fans.

In case you missed the story and have no idea who or what I am talking about, Kraft Dinner, known as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in America, are a popular and inexpensive convenience food, better known in the USA and Canada. At the end of April this year a post was sent out on the Kraft Facebook Page urging fans to ‘like’ the Facebook post, as they “never know what could happen”.

Two days later – low and behold – a video called Likeapella appeared on the Kraft Facebook wall showing Kraft reciprocating the ‘likes’ of the 4,600 fans that had responded to the post.

Within Likeapella, a barbershop quintet perform a song that individually thanks the 4,600 fans that responded to the original post, name-checking many mid-song and pointing to a scroll containing the remaining fan names.

A fantastic and very shareable piece of content that adds personality to the brand and drives fans to its social feeds as they lie in wait for the next stunt to go off – Note: Yes I am now a fan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and yes, I would indeed very much like to have my name sung aloud by a chorus of men in yellow waistcoats and bowties.

You can view the video here:

A couple of other brands that have seen the benefit of thanking their online fan base would be Porsche and Heineken.

You might remember at the beginning of last year when Porsche celebrated reaching 1 million fans on their Facebook page by putting all 1 million fan names on a specially customised 911 GT3R Hybrid car, which now sits in the Porsche museum. However, did you know that when the car manufacturer reached the 2 million mark, they printed the names of all 2 million fans on a Cayman S? You can view the video here: https://2m.porsche.com/

Pretty impressive, right!

Heineken decided to take a different approach and instead thanked their fans with hugs:

It’s really refreshing to see big brands giving something back to their communities and making their fans feel included in their campaigns. Hopefully, this is something that we will see more of in the future, greater emphasis on engagement and building a loyal fan-base over obvious sale pitches that will result in an alienated community.

 

Cover image courtesy of: Mike Mozart, flickr.com

Draw Something Fever – The best thing since Slice It

Something that we’re currently obsessed with in the digital department is the new must-have app, Draw Something.

Essentially Pictionary for the Facebook generation, Draw Something sees players challenge their friends to guess an image they have drawn on their mobile. As the image is drawn the guesser is given 12 scrambled letters that once unscrambled reveal the hidden word that is being drawn. The two players alternate roles in turn.

It appears that we are not the only ones addicted to this app, as of March 2012 it was reported that Draw Something was the most played game on Facebook and by the beginning of April, the Draw Something team had secured over 50 million downloads, with 6 billion drawings having been shared with friends!

Despite the digital team still being in the honeymoon stage with the app, it hasn’t escaped my notice that a few grumbles about Draw Something fatigue have popped up across the net over the past few weeks. Most common gripes being recycled words, lost pieces of artwork and not having the correct mobile to download the app (Draw Something is currently only available on iOS or Apple platforms).

Quick to jump on these grievances, OMGPOP, the app’s makers have now released a newer version of the app, which boasts improved features such as the ability to upload photos to Facebook and Twitter – a great way to drive awareness of the app and increase its userbase. Photo libraries, so that users can refer back to their masterpieces, and comment functionality, so that players can use the app to socialise and further engage with content.

With so much hype surrounding the Draw Something at the moment it was only going to be a matter of time before some clever clogs came up with a new use of the app, and that clever clogs was Dutch agency Muse, who have recruited the app to aid them in their recruitment process – you can view a video of the campaign here:

A fantastic campaign by Muse, fun, inventive and topical, a great way of tapping into an applicant’s imaginative side for a creative role– not to mention an ingenious way for Muse to secure a few extra column inches for itself online!

Next time you get a spare minute, be sure to browse some of the best Draw Something images on the Art of Draw Something website.

 

Cover image courtesy of: Larry Jacobsen, flickr.com

Ann Summers take their social media to the next level

Ann Summers have managed to add over 250,000 new Facebook fans in the last three months alone. As a result, the retailer has rocketed 36 places up the Facebook League table since the last study back in December 2011.

So how have they managed it? The answer is high-profile campaigns.

The People’s Panel concept started the social media ball rolling. The campaign searched for 10 women from across the UK who wanted to work with the sexy brand to create a new and unique sex toy – known as ‘The People’s Vibrator’. Chief Executive of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold, said: “We sell more than two million sex toys a year and we know the appetite to create and design a toy that will revolutionize orgasms is absolutely there; it is a great way of giving women exactly what they want. This panel of talented women will be followed by a TV crew on their unique journey and we hope they will deliver a product that will blow our minds.”

The People’s Panel is a great example of a brand becoming aware of its consumers and recognising that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are key to reaching these ‘everyday’ consumers.

Ann Summers integrated a second 3-month campaign to find a new face of the brand for the 2012 Valentines campaign. Lucy Moore beat over 4,000 other entrants and was one of the few curvy girls to take part in the competition. Lucy, who studies criminal justice at the University of Westminster, won with 22 percent of the votes.  The big reveal caused quite a stir online and in national, regional, trade and broadcast media.

In addition, the lingerie brand launched a jaw-dropping campaign right here in Wardour Street. To celebrate National Cleavage day and the launch of their refurbished Wardour Street store, 20+ women marched along Oxford Street in their underwear in front of shocked and delighted onlookers. The march can be viewed here on the Ann Summers YouTube page – note that it’s reached nearly 10,000 views!

CEO of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold, has an impressive 24k Twitter following. She continues to run a Women on Wednesday competition, hash-tagged as the #WOW competition. From 1-3pm every Wednesday, over 200 female entrepreneurs tweet Jacqueline about their business in the hope of a retweet and a #WOW winning badge.

Clever and regular campaigns result in social media success, that much is undebateable but still, a lot of brands are neglecting their social media accounts over periods when social networking activity is at its highest. To improve strategies and to develop their following, retailers need to ensure that they are researching their social media audience and releasing the types of content. Ann Summers are doing this incredibly well at the moment – their social media is obviously in safe hands…