Plaid sent over an envelope loaded with swag (which Heehaw Marketing took a picture of so we wouldn't have to) to remind us the Plaid Nation 2008 West Coast Tour is CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS.
The Plaid van's current location: Vancouver. It'll be creeping its way south toward Los Angeles as the weeks progress.
Now that you know, hit the website -- less of a site, really, than a social media orgy -- and try getting the Plaid crew to pay your ailing agency (or your best friend's engagement-impaired company) a visit. Also check out the Van Cam tab where you can play van voyeur from the driver's seat, or the passenger's seat, or roadside, if that's the way you roll.
Some people are more dedicated than others. Or more stupid, depending upon how you look at it. If all it takes to appear in a McDonald's promotion is to rob one at gun point and then spend 12 year in prison, then Tamien Bain is one smart man.
After having held up a McDonald's in 1994 when he was a teenager 14 years ago, Bain spent 12 years in prison. Now he's among five finalists in a MySpace BigMacChant jingle competition for the Big Mac. While he was in prison, he took a liking to music and now, at 29, he just may see some glory after his 12 years of hard work.
Now that's dedication.
Yesterday at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Room Full of People held the SWAT Summit, a one day conference which covered the topic of social networking. Topics such as metrics, best practices, user engagement and social advertising were covered.
After Room Full of People CEO Christian Perry gave an engaging overview of Obama's brilliant use of social media as compared to McCain's abysmal use, IDC Research Analysts Caroline Dangson gave an overview of people's outlook on social media and their willingness to allow advertisers mine personal information and online social behavior in order to provide more targeted advertising. Perhaps it was the way IDC asked the question but unsurprisingly, a very low percentage of people said they'd be OK with that.
MediaSmith CEO David Smith presented for the first time his Eight Levels of User Engagement, a detailed look at the buzzword du jour "engagement." It was one of those presentation that was so elaborate and so complete that no summary would do it justice. Besides, I can't remember the half of it but don't fret. He's taking it on the road for six months and there will be a book (or a paper).
- Watch as Starbucks, flailing wildly, stumbles into smoothies.
- A company called Sojern has partnered with Delta, United, Continental, Northwest and US Airways to sell ad space on boarding passes printed off the 'net.
- It's another review site. The difference is, Culture Clique aspires to be the only review site you'll ever need or want. Think of it: review the iPhone, The Dark Knight, Twitter and Ana Karenina all from one place.
- Draft FCB is imploding, and its biggest antagonist is covering it with unrestrained gleeee. (Yeah, with four Es.) Well, what did you expect with nonsense like this?
- JWT keeps its hand in with a warm, fuzzy border patrol ad. Oh look, a little bunny girl on a bike.
America isn't the only place where brands use blogs and bloggers for their marketing needs. Recently, in Brazil, Coke introduced a new drink, i9, and partnered with nine prominent Brazilian bloggers to promote the drink. As part of the promotion, coke redesigned the bloggers' pages and gave each of them miniature refrigerators with a bottle of i9 inside.
As predictable as a fake ad getting submitted to Cannes (and winning), negative reaction to the promotion ensued with other bloggers crying foul and the creation of an "I am not a rent a blogger" manifesto, similar to the "ad free" manifesto that circulated American blogs a few years back. The gist of the negative reaction was that providing free product to bloggers would taint their objectivity and, perhaps, cause them to write an overly glowing product review.
Lenovo is maximizing its Summer Olympics sponsorship with a social media rollout dubbed "Voices of the Olympic Games." Rohit Bhargava, SVP of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, described the strategy in a sentence that would give William Faulkner brain freeze:
Use Lenovo products to power athletes sharing their real experiences leading up to and during the Olympic Games directly with fans around the world.
Writing on Tasty Blog Snack, Justin Ezarik comments on Michael Arrington's gloating over convincing half of his Twitter followers to follow him on FriendFeed. Justine also expresses a a long-held belief we've had around here at Adrants that most of this social media, web 2.0 crap is fleeting and mostly invisible to anyone outside the geek club.
Seriously. No one outside the insular geekfest gives a shit or ever will give a shit about Twitter or FriendFeed or which is better than the other. Or why they absolutely MUST use them. Apparently, the geek squad are an incestuous bunch and simply CAN NOT live without their shiny new toys. And that's OK. That's they we are. But they are a minority and always will be.
David Griner of AdFreak fame has convinced his agency, Luckie & Co, to launch The Social Path. It's a clean, uncomplicated and sane place for learning about social media.
The blog went live Sunday. I don't want to gush much, but I spent most of the last half-hour reading the entries. If you're looking for rants or hype-ridden miracles, you will probably be disappointed.
What it will do is simplify topics that have become extremely noisy. And then it will walk you through them while clasping your hand -- not as an "expert," but as a person learning alongside you.
For a sense of what I mean, read his second entry, Five Myths of Social Media. It's a great place to get started.
Yea, yea, yea. I can hear it now. "I need another social media conference like I need diarrhea during a new business pitch!" But this one's different. I'll be there. You'll have the perfect opportunity to hear me make a fool of myself while pretending to know what the hell social media actually is. Thankfully, there will panelists there who do know can help you make use of social media (or whatever the hell you want to call it) for the betterment of your business. More specifically, the conference will focus on the social networking aspect of social media.
In a recent study conducted by product review online TV site, ExpoTV, it was found that, yes, some people do actually want to "have a conversation" with a brand. The study found:
- Consumers not only want to talk to brands, they want to establish a conversation: 55% of consumers want an ongoing dialogue with brands
- Learning about new products in the pipeline is a top priority: Respondents were most anxious to talk to the product design (49%) department, followed by customer support (14%), marketing (14%) and pricing (13%)
- Positive brand experiences can generate word-of-mouth buzz: More than 60% of those polled said they tell 10 or more people about the products they like while a third tell 20 or more people
- Listening leads to loyalty: 89% of respondents would feel more loyal to brands which invited them to participate in a feedback group, and 92 percent of those who have a positive experience communicating with a brand will recommend purchasing a product from that brand to someone they know
- Consumers are open to engaging with the competition: 93 percent of consumers surveyed would be interested or very interested in communicating with competitive brands that expressed interest in their feedback if their first choice is not interested in hearing what they have to say