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Is social media the new advertising?

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I was reading with interest about a programme that Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam have been rolling out for Coca-Cola. In essence a riddle is asked on the Facebook page for Coca-Cola and people are taken to a micro-site with a scene featuring Coca-Cola and answers to the puzzle.

The production values I was curious to know what this was looking to achieve, it looked like a very expensive way of doing community engagement and I am not sure what the ROI would be? It will be interesting to see if this builds into a larger word-of-mouth marketing campaign. The micro-sites themselves reminded me very much of a brand advertising campaign, pleasant to look at, but once you’ve visited them you don’t really have an incentive to go back.

More information

Creative Review – Coca-Cola’s Facebook Riddles

Archived from the posts that I used to write for PR Week.

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I like: Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011

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Some handy slide fodder from Burson-Marsteller. It was interesting that Asian companies have gone to micro-blogs and social networks. I am not surprised as a blog needs nurturing, also you can do a lot more in 140 Chinese characters than you can do in the English language.

Unsurprisingly South Korea led the pack, partly due to the vibrant local eco-system there with the likes of Kakao Talk, LINE and mature platforms like CyWorld.

One thing I did notice which I thought was a nice touch: B-M state that the research is released under a Creative Commons licence. A small thing that demonstrates digital awareness, especially when the industry is full of proprietary methodologies and the like.

The slides are on Slideware which may not be available to all readers.

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Oprah Time: All is social by Graham Brown | 书评:全部是社会所

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I’ve known All Is Social author Graham for a number of years. We first met when he ran MobileYouth selling marketing research to mobile operators, focused on the youth market. All is social is a mix: Graham’s own journey as an observer of Japanese society during his time as a JET scheme member and onwards with his experience in market research to date and a treatise on the interactions of consumers and brands. He considers that this all has an essential social component which makes a lot of sense.

Graham puts out marketing, the idea of branding on its head. Instead brand comes from consumer’s use for the brand, or what we describe as ‘intent and context’ at Ruder Finn. He thinks that innovation is in the use rather than the design. I’d be less inclined to completely believe this, when I think about how iconic design and engineering can make a difference:

  • Dieter Rams work at Braun, which was part of the German economic miracle and has echoed down into many Apple products
  • Christian Lindholm’s work at Nokia on smartphone user experience: S60
  • The industrial of design of Sony from the 1960s through the 1990s
  • Henry Ford and the Model T
  • The user experience of Twitter and Google

But anthropological co-creation can make a real difference. Whilst Graham’s writing focuses on young people, I think that it the principles fit consumers in general. Check it out Kindle.