What @ladygaga can #doforyou

This post discusses the idea that celebrities on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, can help promote and influence your brand.

The Twitter and Facebook universes house millions of users. Most of the users, however, are following their favorite celebrities. Here is the Top 5 Most Followed Celebrities on Twitter and Facebook:

Twitter:

  1. Lady Gaga: 25,299,157 followers
  2. Justin Bieber: 22,874,113 followers
  3. Katy Perry: 20,765,165 followers
  4. Rihanna: 20,122,536 followers
  5. Britney Spears: 17,394,956 followers

Facebook:

  1. Eminem: 54,644,112 likes
  2. Rihanna: 53,402,379 likes
  3. Lady Gaga: 49,225,680 likes
  4. Shakira: 47,947,783 likes
  5. Michael Jackson: 46,650,509 likes

The top four celebs on Twitter have more than 20 million followers and the top five on Facebook each have more than 45 million likes. Those are ridiculously large numbers, even for a social media site. Chris Copeland, a writer for Advertising Age, criticizes the Twitterverse for allowing @ChrisBrown to have more followers than leading brands such as Nike and Disney. While it may be unfortunate, this is the nature of social media and a true testament to the celebrities’ abilities to promote their brand.

My advice to companies like Nike or Disney is to do their best to take advantage of celebrity follower and like numbers because one tweet or post from a celebrity can help reach millions of people instantly.

One idea I think they should consider is to “hire” a top celebrity, relevant to their business, to retweet their information as just ONE celebrity-endorsed retweet can make a significant difference for a company or brand. This idea has made dreams come true for people and I don’t see why we can’t apply the same idea to promoting brands.

And let’s face it, there isn’t much Kim Kardashian won’t do for an extra buck.

*Check out the Radar Online article to see how stars like Britney Spears and Demi Lovato helped a 9-year old boy become a trending topic on Twitter as his last dying wish.

 

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Spice Up Your Life!

Sticking with last week’s discussion on creative web design, I turn to Old Spice as a great example. They have had award winning campaigns since they first launched their new viral ads in 2010. This was the beginning of their brand makeover. The manly and humorous theme is continued throughout their website and social media sites.

Their website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages all focus on their newest campaign with NFL player Greg Jennings. But in the past they have used celebrities like Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews. They encourage the audience to watch their commercials and want you to be involved. When Isaiah Mustafa’s campaign first went viral, they had him personally replying and interacting with consumers on their website and social media. This was just the beginning.

They have taken it a step further. Terry Crews has returned as an “Old Spice man” in a new commercial called Muscle Music. Old Spice has teamed up with Vimeo video streaming site for this interactive campaign. It is a video of Terry Crews creating a song using his pecs, triceps and ab muscles. What takes it to that next level is the Vimeo site includes a keyboard setting. This is where the user can create their own ‘Muscle Music’ by moving different muscles with the keys. This brings interactive websites to a whole new level.

Old Spice has done a great job creating an online brand image. They have made it so their audience wants to watch their commercials and visit their site. I think they have gained audiences by blurring the line between advertising and entertainment.

So visit the website and put a little  ol’ spice in your life! Here is a cheat sheet for the keyboard if you’d like to make your own ‘Muscle Music’.

If you record your music, please share it in my comments for this post.

It’s all just a game…

Gamification is the use of game mechanics such as competition and point systems for non-game applications to elicit a desired action, response, or behavior. It could be as simple as playing “don’t step on the cracks” to pass the time during a boring walk or getting points for filling out surveys. This is an old idea that is gaining prominence in the marketing world because as recent studies have shown it keeps the audience’s attention on the brand or product longer, as well as increases involvement in the brand. Yet despite this recent shift, modes of gamification are still far from done changing because games and game-like applications have expanded into the mobile world, putting them at the fingertips of countless consumers.

The market for gamification is currently thought to be valued around $100 million. Research by M2 states the trend could grow to $2.8 billion by 2016. For this reason it is suggested that companies start implementing gamification sooner than later. Mashable.com says analysts predict that by 2015 more than 50% of organizations will start incorporating game elements into their marketing strategies to attract a larger audience. They also think that gamification sites could grow to be as large as sites like Facebook and Amazon.

Tony Hoskins for Advertising Age says that by 2014, mobile gaming is predicted to reach $1.5 billion in revenues with $1.3 billion of that coming from paid gaming. This mobile, instant access to brand-based games starts relationships between brands and consumers. It creates a beneficially competitive environment, and is essentially risk-free. Even if a consumer loses, they aren’t upset because games are played with the expectation of eventually losing. These traits, combined with the fact that consumers can – and many times want to – replay games after losing increase brand awareness and expand the B2C relationship.

Here are a few examples of current companies utilizing gamification:

In 2009 Volkswagen relied solely on an iPhone-only racing game app to launch their new 2010 GTI by giving away six of the new cars through the app – and the more you played the more likely you were to win a car. There was thought to be some danger in using such a limited audience because even though the app was free, consumers needed incentives to download it. This is where the giveaway came into play. Consumers jumped at a chance to win something free. Competition played a role as well. The app allowed users to compete with one another and that, along with the car giveaway, led to more downloads and greater long-term involvement with the product. VW encouraged users to spread the word of the app virally through word of mouth by giving the app the ability to link messages directly to Twitter or upload game play videos to YouTube. Since it was the first car-giveaway app, it received special media attention and that too helped build brand awareness.

Another great example is Marriott Hotels. According to Forbes.com, they created an online hotel game. In the game, the players juggle the responsibilities of running a hotel kitchen. The users’ abilities range from buying ingredients to make spaghetti to hiring other kitchen staff. The game will eventually expand to other areas of a hotel. This will give users an idea how a hotel is run and managed. Marriott is trying to encourage Millenials- adults ages 18 to 27 to take an interest in hospitality careers. Marriott also plans to extend the app into the mobile world.

Other examples include Foursquare and Facebook. These social networking sites have their own gamification platforms. Everyone has that one Starbucks they always ‘check-in’ to so they can receive a free latte at the end of the month. Or how about posting to your friends’ walls to see if any of them can give you that extra garden tool you need for Farmville. Gaming creates competition and rewarding the winners keeps them playing. Consumer involvement is something every advertiser wants.

Hello classmates!

To start, let’s define emerging media (or new media). As quoted in Lesson 1, Professor Marian Azzaro defined it simply as “the use of digital technology to communicate with a target audience”. This includes use of the Internet, cell phones, video games and tablets, to name a few.

There are many important factors to emerging media; one of those is consumer interaction. Ted Rubin, a staff writer for Mashable.com says consumers want a chance to connect with the brand. That means brands have to “respond promptly to messages, make an effort to thank consumers for sharing content, be human and not take the audience for granted”.

Word-of-mouth may seem like an old concept but when used on social media, it can be the best form of advertising for a brand. They should try to use this to their advantage.

This video gives a look at new media versus traditional media.

As stated in the video, information on new media is spread instantly. There are 1.5 billion people using the Internet so most consumers deal with new media every day. Because of mobile technology, the world is at their finger tips and can access it anytime.

Take a look at this screen shot from the video to get a better idea of the comparisons being made.

It is now more than the standard Facebook page or Twitter profile. Consumers want their opinions to matter and they want to feel involved. If that relationship can be established, brands will be successful on new and emerging media.