Tags: American Idol, Coke, crowdsourcing, interactive marketing
Now you can, even if your voice is reminiscent of a dying cat.
We all know that Coca-Cola is a proud sponsor of American Idol. Since season 1, Paula, Randy and Simon have guzzled their beverages from those delightful red cups. Let’s be honest, though- they’re getting a little old. This past week, Ryan Seacrest announced that American Idol viewers can log on to My Coke Rewards to design their own version of the Red Coke Cup.
In addition to designing your own Coke cup, you can vote on others’ designs. One of the cups featured on the website will eventually be the Judges’ next cup.
Coke’s use of crowdsourcing is extremely fitting. The entire premise of American Idol is that the decision of the next big pop star lies in the hands of the viewers. Each week, millions of people text or call in their votes for their favorite singers…so why not let the fans decide what the judges should drink out of? It really is a phenomenal idea, since Coke already knows that AI fans enjoy interactivity and will get involved.
I wrote a post about crowdsourcing last month, and at the time I wasn’t sure how I felt about the practice. I have to say that, depending on the situation, crowdsourcing can be a great way for consumers to 1) interact with a brand, 2) “make their mark,” and 3) feel as though their opinion/voice/creativity matters. It truly is a win-win situation.
UPDATE: As of March 5, 2009 the Nielsen IAG Product Placement Activity Report shows that Coca Cola has the largest amount of product placement occurances on television (58) between Feb. 2 – March 1, 2009. The top show with instances of product placement? You guessed it.
Tags: forrester report, google, google spider, no-follow, sponsored blogs
Today, a report by Forrester Research was released which discussed the use of paid blogs as a marketing tool. (If you have a spare $800 laying around, you can read the entire report!) A few weeks ago in class, we discussed the concept of corporate blogs and sponsored blogs and we came to the census that those blogs which are overly enthusiastic about a company or product are completely see-through. In order to establish a respectable sponsored blog, the blogger must give their unfiltered opinion of the product, whether good or bad.
Although it is always interesting to see news that relates to a class topic, the reason I was intrigued by the new Forrester Report is because it has received much criticism from Google. Ad Age says the report leaves out and important aspect of paid blogs- the “no follow” rule. Google requires any paid blog to be tagged “no follow” so the Google spider won’t count that post towards a site’s search ranking on Google. In short, Google does not want companies to be able to “purchase” posts in order to increase their search rankings.
This was an entirely new concept to me. I was not aware of the “no follow” rule, but it makes perfect sense to me. AS Google strives to become the most relevant search engine in the world, they must set rules which allows them to gather the most unbiased information possible. In other words, the wealthiest companies cannot buy out their smaller competitors on search engines. This makes for a level playing field on the business end while providing the most relevant information to the consumer.
Tags: product launch, starbucks, twitter, via
On February 17th, I loaded up my TweetDeck thinking it would be like any other day on Twitter. Some inappropriate jokes, some celebrity gossip, maybe even some pictures of a photographer otter. But, no, it was not like any other day.
Starbucks announces on Twitter that it’s now offering INSTANT COFFEE in my state. Ok, ok, maybe it’s not as earth-shattering as the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation but still, this is a big step for Starbucks. My interest in the Starbucks tweet was not that they were announcing the brand, because there were emails and press releases that also went out. What I was very interested in was how Starbucks used their Twitter account throughout the day to answer consumers’ questions, offer free samples, and share pictures of the Via events.
Starbucks understands the power of social media, especially instantaneous sites such as Twitter. Those companies who are auto-following everyone who won’t block them, sending out 1-way advertising messages are NOT using Twitter to their advantage. In fact, they are becoming the new age spammers. But Starbucks has a solid understanding of the power social media in a marketer’s hands: it is the ultimate customer relationship tool. Use it wisely to answer questions, create buzz and involve customers with your brand and you’ll hit a home run.
Oh, and by the way- I ordered my free sample of Via. I’ll let you know how it is =)
Tags: crisis communication, mommy bloggers, monitoring blogs, motrin, twitter
Were you on Twitter the day the music died for Motrin? In November 2008, Motrin posted an online ad on their website, chronicling the phenomenon of “baby wearing.” Using one of those little kangaroo pouches no doubt puts some strain on a mother’s back and neck, so what’s the problem?
The last line in the ad: “so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.” So….mom’s look crazy with their baby sling on? Not such a good idea, Motrin- don’t, I repeat: DON’T piss off the mommy market.
What ensued afterward was an all out uprising of mommies all over the Internet. Within hours, the most tweeted subject was #motrinmoms. Videos of outraged moms appeared on YouTube. Bloggers asked followers to boycott the brand. Did I mention this all occurred within a few hours?
When the ad agency who created the video ad was questioned, they admitted they didn’t know much about Twitter. Essentially, they had no idea that the brand they represented was being torn to shreds by the public, simply because they were not in tune with technology.
A Word to the Wise: Know Your Audience!
Motrin obviously knew that Moms are part of their target audience. What they didn’t know was that Moms have become ever-present on the Internet as of late. They blog about their children, they connect with other mommies on Twitter, and they start groups on social networking sites. Motrin made a tremendous mistake by not knowing this- they were not able to be prepared for what happened.
The Internet has dramatically changed the world of public relations, and more specifically crisis communications. The Web has given everyday people a platform to speak their opinion, find like-minded people, and wage an all-out war against companies. This doesn’t mean that all companies need to be terrified of Web 2.0. It simply means they need to be aware, and prepared.
Understand that the blogosphere and the world of social networking allows information to be exchanged instantaneously and to many people at once. Re-tweeting, posting to Digg, and linking in a blog can spread information faster than a, um, “cold” in a college dorm. Google Alerts and RSS feeds add to the speed at which news travels on the Web.
Bottom line: technology continues to evolve, and if marketers and public relations practicioners do not get on board, they’ll be left in dust wondering what in the world just hit them.
Tags: collaboration, crowdsourcing, web 2.0
Need a website designed? Want a new logo? Not sure who you want to work with?
Put the job out for bid on 99designs.com!
99designs utilizes the latest R&D method available: crowdsourcing. According to Wikipedia, “crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call.” In laymen’s terms: it’s allowing the public to help a company in research, development and product design.
Companies like 99designs take full advantage of the concept that the world is flat by allowing people all over the world to connect and collaborate. Coordinating with people all over the globe means that the most creative ideas can finally come together in one place: the Internet.
But how do the creatives feel about the ability to collaborate like this?
99designs, founded by some SitePoint guys, uses inane web 2.0 vernacular (“crowdsourcing”), deceivingly open-armed design (“oh look, it’s a paper airplane icon! tee-hee!”), and the thin veil of “contests” to come across as a legit alternative to traditional business practices.
According to this post by Kevin Potts on graphicPush, 99designs is the anti-christ who steals the blood, sweat and tears from real graphic designers for a measly $200. His argument is valid: sites like 99designs cheapens the art of graphic design for everyone. The designs submitted are based on a creative brief created by the client, but the designer never has the chance to meet the client, learn about the business, and get a feel for the company’s brand.
As we’re learning in the IMC Program, cohesiveness in a brand is imperitive. So maybe these sites ARE the anti-christ? Or maybe they’re a great alternative for a start-up company without much expendible cash? The jury is still out.
What are your thoughts on crowdsourcing design work? Is it the next big thing, or is it destined to strip the world of talent as Potts argues?