There is a lot of talk in Digital Marketing ‘land’ at the moment about the recent campaign by US Shaving Gel ‘Edge’ where, similar to KLM’s Social Surprise Experiment, they offer random acts of kindness to users of Twitter in order to create a buzz around their brand.

Edge, owned by Energizer Holdings, have created an ‘Anti-Irritation Zone’ campaign (obvious brand tie-in to their product benefits) aimed at helping people with the everyday irritations of life.

In the beginning a small team literally read through thousands of tweets to find any where people mentioned being ticked off about something, and then selected ones which they could help with – such as sending the guy who had run out of cereal enough cereal to last him a very long time, and sending the woman who complained about having Spanish voices in her head a Spanish-English dictionary.

Since September they have sent out over 200 ‘anti-irritation’ gifts and the #soirritating hashtag has now grown into thousands of tweets by people desperate to be chosen (I am #soirritated that my car is not an Aston Martin, and #soirritated that I don’t own a private Caribbean Island).

“One of the top things is really resource commitment, and really understanding that in order to have the frequency and the level of engagement required to talk with people in a meaningful way, it takes time,”

explains Andrew Foote, senior vice president of Edelman Digital.

However, one thing that I find really ‘irritating’ about this whole campaign is their failure to focus on the basics. Their website is TERRIBLE! There is no mention at all of the campaign, and the flash interface is just really….well…irritating! Just goes to show that no matter how great the idea, you’ve got to sort out some basic housekeeping before doing anything else.

What they have done, however, is focus on key websites and blogs to advertise the campaign, and to create a sponsored area on the Funnyordie website where people can upload their own videos allowing them to publicly vent their frustrations. Nothing I could find on YouTube though, which is a little odd?

No denying that they have got a lot of people talking about them – I wonder how well it’s working in the US to sell more of their product and strengthen their brand?

Love is in the air

Whilst it’s not their first app, Virgin Atlantic have recently unveiled their latest creation – Flight Tracker – with a nice little video to launch. They enlisted the help of comedy production company Hoot, working with their agency LBi, to develop an amusing introduction to the app during which Terry (Alex MacQueen from The Inbetweeners and The Thick of It) talks about his love for ‘Rose’ – a plane that he now tracks using the app because he is no longer allowed anywhere near it!

I love the fact that Virgin have taken the creation of this video seriously enough to enlist some real production talent, and if you look at some of the figures the ‘best of 2010’ videos were receiving in my last post, you can see why they should do!

Top 10 viral ads of 2010

There has been so much talk about the Old Spice video ad campaign this year, that it is no surprise to see it in the top slot of the Ad Age Top 10 Viral Ads of 2010. The interactive campaign, which posted cheesy but amusing video responses from their brand ‘hunk’ to consumer questions, gained over 68 million views in total from its launch in July, which is truly spectacular! In fact, the overall figures from this list are amazing in comparison to last year, with a combined figure of over 320 million views in comparison to 196 million for the top 10 in 2009. Is this a sign of the times (how consumers are living their lives more online), or an indication that companies are finally beginning to think more strategically when looking at their Digital Marketing and Online Branding?

1. Old Spice – Responses, launched 12th July 2010, over 68 million views

2. Old Spice – Odor Blocker, launched 31st March 2010, almost 42 million views

3. Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl 2010, launched 5th January 2010, over 36.5 million views

4. Old Spice (again!) – The man your man could smell like, launched 4th Feb 2010, over 36 million views

5. Nike – Write the Future, launched 15th May 2010, over 35 million views

6. DC Shoes – Gymkhana Three, launched 24th August 2010, over 22.5 million views

7. Old Spice – Return of the man your man could smell like, launched 29th June, almost 22.5 million views

8. Pepsi – Oh Africa, launched 27th Feb 2010, over 20 million views

9. Gillette – Perfect length, launched 19th June 2010, over 18.5 million views

10. E-Trade Superbowl 2010, launched 1st Feb 2010, almost 18.5 million views

If you were to ask me which was my favourite out of this list, my honest answer would be that I am not too keen on any of the video’s! There are far more creative video’s out there which in my opinion should have made the top 10. That’s just my personal taste though…..from a campaign point of view, Old Spice are undoubtedly the best. They have taken online video away from simply putting your TV ads on You Tube, and developed something much more interactive and fit for purpose. A well deserved win I reckon!

Absolut Drinkspiration

In a bid to promote their ‘Drinkspiration’ app to consumers during the festive period, Absolut Vodka have decided to adopt the use of QR Codes on a new neck collar for their bottles.  This story caught my attention for 2 reasons: firstly, the use of QR (Quick Response) codes. Now these things have been about for years, and just when you think that nothing is really going to happen with them in Europe, they raise their heads again! I’ve always thought that the idea was great (you simply take a picture of the strange barcode-type image using your smart phone and it will take you straight to a specific URL, in this case to download the app) – it just needed some thought around the right way to use them in integrated campaigns. I think they have done a great job with this one!

Secondly, I like the proactive approach that Absolut are using to  promote their app offline. Far too many brands create an app of some sort and then sit back and expect that their consumers will find it (eventually), with very little promotion.

The Drinkspiration app helps you to decide what drink to order or make based on all sorts of options (even colour and music volume!), tells you how it’s made (just incase your local barman has never heard of it!), share it on Facebook and see what other people are drinking around the World. Quite handy for a Christmas Party lacking fun and inspiration!

Predictions 2011 part 2: Integrated Marketing

There is a lot of talk about Social Media being one of the top marketing ‘trends’ of next year, but in reality, companies are not going to look at this on its own, and it is nothing new!  It is more likely that it will be added into the marketing mix and approached differently.  My prediction is that 2011 will see more people realise that integration and cross-platform campaigns are the key to online digital marketing success.

What does that mean? In reality it means that people have to think more about how their internal marketing teams function to ensure that online, offline, PR and branding all work together from concept stage right through to execution and measurement. They need to make sure that they have platform and technical ‘innovation’ experts on call also, so that they can fully exploit all possibilities and be aware of developing platforms and applications early in the game. Internal communication and cooperation will be more important than ever, which is why larger companies will continue to struggle and small will continue to lead with innovation and creativity (fewer people involved with the decisions and execution!).

Although it doesn’t look at communication within separate teams, a study by Econsultancy in October shows how far most companies are away from the ideal  integrated marketing structure:

With an expected shift in marketing budgets towards more ‘digital’, I expect that people are going to have to think seriously about how this affects team structures and skills, which I think will make the output a lot more interesting!