Shocking demonstration of influencer marketing from Volkswagen UK


We’ve all heard of influencer marketing, right? You find out who the key influencers are within your target market and use them as a vehicle to get to the people you are aiming at. Great in theory, but not many companies are really doing it right (if they are attempting it at all!).

To begin with, you need to understand the difference between an influencer and a brand advocate, as was expertly described by Aaron Lee recently in his iStrategy blog post. Whilst I don’t agree with his overall point that the brand advocate is ‘always’ more valuable (I think that really depends on how you interact with them – as per the Volkswagen example I will discuss later), his infographic does illustrate how each could be used, and where the strengths are in building on these relationships:

Influencers versus AdvocatesIn my experience, the real difference lies in how you choose to engage them. Writing a piece on how great your company or your product is and then farming out to the influencer – no matter how relevant their audience is – is not the best way to execute what could be a very valuable ongoing relationship. You need to work with them, understand their motivations and plans for the future. In the case of bloggers, what are their future plans for content and growth? What are they motivated by? Is it about volume of content, or about the quality and relevance? Just how influential are they really – are they interacting with their audience and really helping to steer people towards a solution?

In most cases influencers will be crying out for help with regards creating brilliant and relevant content – it’s not an easy thing to generate on a regular basis – and if you take the time to understand them and find out how you could fit in with their plans in a mutually beneficial way, you will end up with a much more effective influencer marketing strategy.

Having said all that, Volkswagen have just done something completely different with an influencer, but which I also think is great…… 🙂

In the UK it seems that around 500k  people have accidents every year due to applying make-up whilst driving. Yes. It’s true – there are that many people desperate enough to top up their foundation and lipstick that they will do so whilst driving and therefore put themselves and others lives at risk! As part of their social responsibility charter (and no doubt secondary brand message around their own vehicle safety levels!) Volkswagen looked to where people who are most interested in make-up tips go – YouTube.

Working with NikkiTutorials, a young woman who has been offering video make-up tips for several years and has built up quite a following,  they filmed this great video which really brings the message home:

This is going to hit people who would not actively select a ‘warning video’ – arguably, just the people they needed to get the message to. Creating a video for their own YouTube channel just could not have done this.

Now, with my ‘Global Marketing’ hat on – think about how you could roll this type of strategy out internationally? Not an easy task!

Advertisements

This weeks digital campaign chatter #15


Some great campaigns from KLM, Perrier and Ballantines this week – all including user participation and interaction in interesting ways…..

1. KLM – Tile & Inspire

This week saw the completion of the latest global digital campaign by Dutch airline KLM. The Tile & Inspire campaign, which has been running since April, ties in with the ‘Journey’s of Inspiration’ brand message launched in 2008, and encourages participants to have a more ‘active’ role in their journey by becoming part of the planes decor!

Using a campaign micro-site and a Facebook app, the user was able to create an image of themselves in the style of a traditional Dutch Delft tile. This could then be shared with their social networks, replace their profile picture on Facebook, and be submitted to KLM to potentially be chosen as one of the 4000 tiles which would eventually decorate a Boeing 777-200.

120,000 tiles were created during the campaign in 154 countries, with 77,000 submitted for a place on the plane.

I am a fan of KLM’s approach to digital marketing, and loved their social ‘surprise’ experiment last year which saw them running after customers at Schipol airport who had tweeted whilst waiting to board one of their flights so they could give them a gift which matched their ‘personality’ (after checking out their twitter history big-brother-style).

Whilst checking out this campaign I was once again reminded of how BRILLIANT their social media team are. Just check out the fantastic responses to customer queries on their Facebook page for a great example of how one should be managed. Afterall, branding isn’t just about how things look, but more about the overall experience a person has when dealing with your company or organisation. More and more people are starting to use social media as a form of customer-service-queries-platform, and you need the right team to deal with this who understand EVERYTHING about your company, its products and its brand values.

2. Perrier – Le Club

Le Club by Perrier, is reportedly the first YouTube video campaign which evolves depending on how many people have viewed it.

Ogilvy and Mather Paris created 7 wonderful videos (or at least, 7 iterations of the same video) for the mineral water brand, depicting the scene in a trendy nightclub, with each version getting steamer and sweatier. The more views the video gets, the closer to unlocking the next ‘hotter’ version, with the final 7th (and hottest!) version being aired live at a ‘melting’ party in New York. Facebook fans can enter a competition to win tickets to this party, as well as encouraging their friends to visit YouTube and help get nearer to the ‘final take’.

The main Perrier website has been completely taken over by Le Club, driving people straight to YouTube from the landing page and virtually hiding the way into the more traditional content. This is great to see – I am always complaining about campaigns not being fully integrated into all digital assets.

This massive fully integrated campaign is also supported by TV, point-of-sale, print and mobile, and has so far notched up a staggering 5 million video views since launch. Obviously people are very keen to see beautiful people ‘de-robe’ a bit more!

3. Ballantines – Human api

Taking ‘crowdsourcing’ to a whole new level, Ballantines (whiskey) have created some new live events, accessed via Facebook, which enable you to interact, suggest and feedback as the event happens.

The first of these took place on the 16th June and featured a tattooist (Karl) – taking their ‘Leave an impression’ tagline a little too literally! You were able to see everything he was up to in his Parisian tattoo parlour, as he was seeing it, and talk to him (via messaging) along the way. The next in the series will feature an ice sculptor and take place on 30th June at 3pm (GMT).

Nike prioritise Facebook for their latest global campaign


Hats off to Nike for their latest global campaign – Chosen, which recently premiered on Facebook 3 days before TV (says a lot about the shift in priority). Not only do they demonstrate what you can really do with big video budgets – the result is GREAT! – they’ve also shown how to plan ahead effectively in order to get the best out of the content.

Their decision to target certain hard-core ‘extreme’ sports fans, who obviously live and breathe skateboarding/surfing/BMX/snowboarding and couldn’t care less about whats going on with any other sport, meant that they really had to target the content. Although the main ad (below) is a teaser for all sports combined, each area has its own dedicated video and behind-the-scenes video.  A great example of forward thinking and getting the most out of film crews, sets and stars (in this case, people who are awesome at each sport).

The long running competition takes in two seasons – summer and winter – to accommodate the various sports (not gonna get much ski action in the summer!), and calls for ‘crews’ to upload a video of themselves showing ‘their stuff’, in order to win a chance to ‘live like a pro’. Using the platform for what it does best, people can then share and vote for their favourite submissions.

Each prize is targeted to ensure that the take-up will be strong – and I’m sure it will! To be honest, watching some of the example video’s kinda makes me wish I had a crew of my own and the ability to stay on a surfboard for more that a nanosecond!

It’s interesting that the applicants need to select music from a pre-determined list of tracks rather than choose their own? Whether this has anything to do with pre-arranged ‘deals’ or strong brand guidelines, I’m not sure. Still, there are some quite good tunes to select from (in my opinion obviously).

So, to sum up, what’s great about this campaign?:

  • Amazing targeting of content
  • Forward thinking during production stage to get the most out of every content opportunity
  • Separate Facebook pages for each sport area, and in some case country specific ones too
  • Really strong and consistent branding throughout
  • Strong viral element – using Facebook simply (no fancy gadgetry), but for what it does best

This weeks digital campaign chatter #6


Here is my round-up of the most talked about digital campaigns in the last 7 days:

1. Sony Ericsson – Xperia Launch

This week saw the start of Sony Ericsson’s biggest campaign for two years – with an overall spend of around £4million, 40% of which will be spent on digital (up from a previous 25% of budget).

This impressive investment is in honour of the launch of 3 new phones on 1st April – the Xperia Arc, Xperia Neo and the Xperia Play (the long awaited Playstation phone).

The company have worked with their commercial partners, including The Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone and Tesco, to develop a 10-day Facebook campaign in the run up to launch, with an Xperia Play being given away each day.

Nice idea. However, when I clicked through on Day 6 after hearing about the campaign, to find out more about how it worked, all that happened was that I was directed through to an unofficial Sun Twitter account with no idea what I actually had to do!

Seems unless you are already a fan of the page, there is no obvious way of finding out what you need to do. The instructions for each days competition (they are all different) are posted on their wall (and therefore in your homefeed if you have ‘liked’ the page) every morning, but are not added to the main competition area of the Facebook page. So a latecomer like me will have no idea whatsoever as to what they need to do and what it’s all about unless they do some serious digging. Hopefully their homepage ‘takeover’ of Facebook, YouTube and Gamespot on 31st March with make more sense!

Worth noting also that their Facebook wall does not seem to be that well-managed, with several complaints and questions going unanswered by the company. With over 96k fans to the UK page, they are missing a real opportunity if they don’t start to manage this relationship with their ‘fans’ better soon.

2. G.E – L.O.S.S (Laundered and Orphaned Sock Society)

I am totally loving this US campaign by GE! The concept is genius, and has been pulled together by their agency LBi US really well.

Rather than launch their new line of washing machines and dryers in the usual way (cross-section diagrams explaining how fantastic the spin cycle is, and that type of thing), they decided to take a more light-hearted and round-about approach and instead created a fake advocacy campaign – L.O.S.S (Laundered and Orphaned Sock Society) – complete with dedicated website and presence on both Facebook and Twitter.

The main video is funny and well made and can be seen on the main campaign site as well as on their Facebook page.

The content for the overall campaign has been put together with a really nice mixture of comedy and links through to ‘real’ product information.  Nice transitions which keep true to the overall concept.

They have also created an app on the website which allows you to create a missing poster for your sock:

This poster then acts as a viral tool to spread the campaign message. Interestingly they have taken the decision to host this app on the website as opposed to their Facebook page, even though they do link to it from there. A lot of companies seem to be opting for Facebook apps instead at the moment.

Apparently, they seeded lots of ‘mum bloggers’ with the campaign video initially as well as a fake press release from L.O.S.S. This is a really nice approach and one which paid off for them, giving their campaign a fantastic (and much deserved!) launch.

3. Ikea – Bedroom makeover

In an attempt to tap into the crowdsourcing trend, Ikea Hong Kong have just launched a ‘Bedroom makeover’ competition as an extension to their existing  ‘Happy Inside’ message – highlighting the merits of living an organised life (could do with a bit of that myself!).

To take part in the competition you simply upload a picture of your (untidy and disorganised) bedroom to their Facebook page. Ikea will select 3 from the top 10 most voted for entries who will be invited to a 90 second shopping spree at their store, and ultimately a $10k makeover prize.

Nice to see that the Happy Inside message is threaded through all their digital presence – especially their main website. Overall I think the idea behind the campaign is simple but effective. Shame that they only have around 18k fans to their page. Perhaps they should be working harder on integrating with offline?

If you want to receive this round-up by email, simply sign up to my blog (bottom of page).

Top 100 Social Brands revealed


The list of the top 100 social brands was released this morning. A couple of surprises in the Top 10 – including GiffGaff (who I have never heard of!), Best Buy UK & Blendtec

The top 20:

  1. Dell
  2. Nike Plus
  3. Starbucks
  4. giffgaff
  5. Best Buy UK
  6. Zappos
  7. Innocent
  8. Groupon UK
  9. Blendtec
  10. Converse
  11. Pampers
  12. BBC Radio 1
  13. BBC
  14. ASOS
  15. AVG
  16. Child’s i Foundation
  17. Nokia
  18. Moo
  19. Old Spice
  20. Sony Playstation

For a full list of the 100, and a great review of the survey, check out this article on The Wall.

This weeks digital campaign chatter #2


My pick of the digital campaigns which have been talked about most this week.

1. Calvin Klein – cK One

Calvin Klein have this week begun the unveil on their largest global digital campaign ever. Focused on reviving their 90’s fragrance cK One, the campaign includes a website, Facebook presence, Twitter and other social media, App, offline, and pretty much anything else you can think of!

The plan is to introduce the brand to a new younger demographic, and to expand it into a ‘global lifestyle’ brand which will include underwear and jeans as well as fragrance.

Whilst the main part of the campaign is the ckone.com website, which allows users to explore the brand, products, and even find out more about the cast members featured in the videos, the App they have created for the campaign also allows users to unlock further video and behind the scenes content when they come across the billboards. Nice touch.

You can also truly be a part of the campaign by putting yourself forward to appear in the ‘box’ – the space which is used in their videos, full of pretty people in underwear talking about how wild they are. Think I might give that part a miss, myself….

2. Greenpeace – New Rainbow Warrior

Greenpeace have worked with DDB Paris to create this beautiful online campaign aimed at helping them to raise money and awareness around their replacement for the recently retired Rainbow Warrior ship.

The heart of the campaign lies in the website anewwarrior.greenpeace.org, which starts with a breathtaking video introduction, and allows you to explore the designs for the new vessel with a clever 3D tool. Rather than just donating money, you can look at exactly what needs to be purchased in order to complete the project, and ‘buy’ a particular element, making you feel more involved with the cause and probably more interested in the end result. There is also a live webcam from the German shipyard where the boat is being made, to update you on the progress.

Greenpeace are making good use of their social media communities to spread the word for this campaign, and are using both Facebook and Twitter to enlist the help of others.

3. Dulux – Let’s Colour

Well, it’s been going for almost a year now, but is STILL being talked about. I can understand why too – such a great campaign! Dulux worked with Euro RSCG London to develop their Let’s Colour campaign, which included a team of people travelling the world and helping local communities to change grey and depressing areas, into something more colourful and creative.

The results are amazing! You can really see how they are bringing communities together to work with them, and in the process creating much more inspirational spaces out of areas which were previously dull and run-down. The positive fuel this has added to their branding cannot be denied. They are not the only company to attempt something ‘social’ and community focused like this, but the way in which this campaign was executed was fantastic! The resulting videos from their initial project work are beautiful.

The social aspect of the campaign sees localised Facebook groups, where people from around the world can suggest areas that need the ‘colour treatment’ and vote for each suggested space. Participants of each project were also encouraged to create video diaries which were shown on the blog, as well as to manage dedicated Twitter accounts where they can talk about their experience.

The blog is kept fresh and inspirational in-between projects with regular updates on the use of colour around the World. Today they are sharing some photos of a lady spotted in New York with ‘rainbow’ hair. Fantastic!

4. Unilever – Lynx

Lots of talk on Twitter this week about the latest Lynx campaign – although I wonder if Kelly Brook looking amazing semi-naked and with wings had anything to do with it!

The ‘Even Angels will fall’ campaign, developed with TMW, has been created for the launch of the brands new Excite range and includes a digital game where you have to tempt the angel (Kelly) down from heaven. By doing certain tasks you can unlock different levels of the game, and even receive personal messages from Kelly herself!

You need to ‘like’ the Facebook page in order to play the game, but it’s definitely worth a go!

This weeks digital campaign chatter #1


Which digital campaigns have been talked about most this week?

1. Ken & Barbie Reunite

Still lots of talk about this campaign by Mattel Inc. which was launched a few weeks ago in honour of Kens 50th anniversary. Initially people were asked to vote if Barbie should take Ken back after their split on Valentines Day in 2004. Obviously the answer was ‘yes’, as they seem very much together now on the microsite.

This fantastic digital campaign included Barbie and Ken having their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as profiles on the dating site Match.com! They also used Foursquare, YouTube, the main campaign microsite and a tie in with a US ‘Find the perfect boyfriend’ reality TV show to spread their message.

2. Visit Britain facebook app

VisitBritain has partnered with various travel organisations to launch their ‘Unite the Invite’ campaign, which targets people in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The Facebook app, created by Albion, cleverly ‘splits’ the participants virtual invitation to the UK in half and gives the other half to a different participant, who they then need to find using only a profile picture and the power of their own friendship groups and social networks. Very viral!

3. Jim Bean

To tie in with their TV ad, Jim Bean have launched a digital campaign which reinforces their message of ‘making a bold choice’. Via their Facebook or Twitter communities you can share your own bold decisions with the brand, as well access lots of video content and downloads.