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
Hey, who says social networking is only for 20-somethings? Not Lamato Network which claims to be aimed at people 32-54. In a series of "real world" promotional videos, created by Tribal DDB Toronto, online social networking features such as poking, friending, networking, sharing photos, notifications, giving a hug and more. Sound stupid? It is but don't worry because it's not real. The whole thing is a promotion for Mott's Clamato Ceaser, some kind of Canadian cocktail made from tomato juice, clam juice and vodka. Sound gross? It probably is. But Canadians must like it.
Speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' Integrated Marketing Conference, Joe Jaffe calls out five brands for abusing or not taking advantage of the increasingly social nature of media or, to paraphrase his new book, Not Joining the Conversation. From Sony's fake PSP blog to the fight between T-Mobile and Engadget over the color Magenta to Target's refusal to engage with a blogger who took issue with one of the brand's billboards which showed a woman on Target's target.
- Technorati has launched its blog ad network.
- In April, Facebook caught up to MySpace and is now reaching 115 million people each month according to Comscore. It's not like we didn't see this coming years ago. Though MySpace still beats Facebook in the U.S. with 72 million monthly uniques as compared to Facebook's 36 million.
- Ew...just ew.
- Cyber Lions and Design Lions Cannes shortlists have been announced.
So like yea. Angela and I have been on Twitter forever and we love it. We find news. We find insight. We share ideas. We offer opinion. We discuss advertising stuff. We find out who's saying what at conference before anyone else does. And we hang with the AdWeek crew. (We'd happily hang with the Ad Age crew if they were actually on Twitter.)
So follow us. Yes, follow us and find out just what the hell Angela and I do all day long. Angela's at @luckthelady and I'm at @stevehall.
Oh, and if you just want Adrants headlines via Twitter, follow @adrants.