Delta and the Giraffe: Why having a planned, supervised social media approach to major world events is vital

So, the award for the first World Cup social media error goes to: DELTA Airlines. And it is a cracker. The intention was good, celebrate the USA soccer win over Ghana and make Delta seem on the pulse of culture. They even followed a lot of current best practice:

Pursue an agile and real time approach to social. TICK.

Be responsive, get a tweet out as quickly as possible. TICK.

Make it photo based. TICK. 

(Try and) make it sharable. TICK. 

There was no real creativity or surprise to it - the concept? Compare famous US landmark to a famous, generic African animal. Snore. FAIL. 

There was no due diligence, for instance checking which animals are native to Ghana!  It’s actually borderline offensive as it implies Africa is ‘all the same’, which as a continent of 1.1 billion people and some 54 different nations, it clearly is not all the same. FAIL. 

Finally, the Delta Twitter reply to the outcry (which was presumably a hurried, panicked Tweet) had an unfortunate spelling error. Which only flung further fuel on the Twitter fire. FAIL. 

So all in all, they had the right intentions. Which is great. But sadly, they have managed to undermine the Delta brand in social media, make Delta look like another ill-informed USA brand and probably offended a major African nation in the process. 

What’s the lesson here? Be ambitious for social media but have a plan, have a supervision, pre-plan stuff. Do your research. Just like you would for any other form of global marketing communications. 

Lego’s first Vine and Instagram videos featuring Seismo, a shy “mixel” with a penchant for stomping

Vision is combination of a deep dissatisfaction with what is and a clear grasp of what could be

John Stott

Nice visual for Food Chains. 

startupquote:

Don’t let the fear of risk overwhelm you. It may feel like you’re risking a lot when starting a company, but the only truly non-renewable resource is your own time.

- Evan Doll

Great April Fools Joke from upscale food delivery brand, FreshDirect.

They have lots of fancy, provenance type products. Everything is sustainably or thoughtfully made, so this April Fools email is just pretentious enough to be plausible.

BEING CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT IS AN ONGOING MODE, NOT A ONE TIME ACTIVITY

BEING CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT IS AN ONGOING MODE, NOT A ONE TIME ACTIVITY

It has never been more important for brands to appear to be a part of the day-to-day realities of our lives. Being contextually relevant is a brand strategy that the best brands today take seriously and succeed with.

It drives brand affinity and keeps brands top of mind. Its makes us feel that this brand understands me, and what’s going on in the world around me. They are here, now, with us on this journey. 

While deliberately trying to be part of culture is nothing new for brands, doing it relentlessly and with imagination in a multitude of small ways, is.  That is the result of the Internet, media fragmentation, and the huge expansion of multi-channel, multi- device usage behaviors among people. 

360i (my agency) like many others does a great job of helping brands to be current, even to be real time, either way the aim is to help brands be (contextually) relevant.

I think some marketers think this is a one-time thing. But it is not. It’s a new mode. It is a strategy that needs to be committed to and stuck with. And it means test and learns, it means taking smart risks with new platforms, partners and activities.

But when you can get into that mode, it brings huge opportunities to reach new audiences and redefine how brands can engage consumers. And in doing so make even the most everyday brands feel super relevant.

Here’s an example for Miracle Grow doing just that for the start of spring. 

SENSORY FICTION from Felix on Vimeo.

"Sensory fiction": MIT scientists have created a ‘wearable’ book using temperature and lighting to mimic the experiences of a book’s protagonist

"Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating storie. Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images. By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the sensory fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination. These tools can be wielded to create an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader"

Basically books that really make you feel something. I think this could be a very interesting technology for movie theaters, Kindle readers, and for kids books. 

One day, we will look back at Conference calls and say “why did we do that?”

Conference calls are part of my daily routine. Especially with clients and colleagues spread all over the US.

No matter how slick the system, or how organized you are about the whole thing, they are just plain awkward. Even with people you know well. 

This video captures the weirdness of it so well. 

Roll on the day when we have 3D holographic meetings or Elon Musk actually gets to build his Hyperloop. 

The Levitating Dunk: New Vine video from Oreo Cookie

How much force does it take to dunk a cookie? 

Design is a natural human behavior.

The Guardian, 2014

This outdoor ad from the UK caught my eye. Perhaps it’s because I deal with traditional media so infrequently now but I really loved the simplicity and effectiveness of this - no matter who you are, you’ll get this message. 

Love this book cover from thepenguinclassics for a A Clockwork Orange

Hello ‘Instagram Direct’. Goodbye Snapchat.

The idea: all the power of Instagram, but with the ability to share certain moments with a smaller group of people or person. That’s what Instagram Direct is all about. 

Private photo messaging between friends? Sounds familiar? Yes Snapchat is broadly the same idea. My sense is that the genius of Snapchat is actually replicable. And that the millennials who use it are somewhat fickle and will migrate to different platforms if it’s convenient and enough of their friends are using it. Which with Instagram is probably the case.

Instagram is still picking up momentum. Here are some huge numbers to illustrate:  

150 mm active users

16 bn Photos shared

1.2 bn daily ‘likes’ of photos

43% of 18-29 yr olds (with cell phones) use it

18% of 30-49 yr olds (with cell phones) use it

6% of 50+ yr olds (with cell phones) use it

[Source: Pew Research & Time Magazine 2013]

So despite Instagram Direct technically different as a platform to Snapchat- in that it’s not so time bound. It does have huge scale, great UX and has real momentum. 

My sense is that Snapchat should have sold when Facebook offered them $3bn earlier this year

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