Oreo Twist Dublin

You have probably noticed the Oreo ads recently. It is Oreo’s first advertising forray into the Irish market where they are putting the Oreo Twist on Dublin Landmarks and events. There are a total of 16 ads in the series, with the 16th being an event or place chosen by a reader of the TheJournal.ie.  The event ones, like the one below for the Bram Stoker Festival almost look like Oreo are sponsoring the events, when in fact they aren’t, they are just putting an Oreo twist on it.


The ads in the series (a selection of them are below) are all consistent in look and feel and simplicity. There is no mistaking they are from Oreo and as a way to launch the brand above the line in Ireland it feels like a good move.

Of course this is an extension of the hugely successful, Cannes Lions Cyber Grand Prix winning “Daily Twist” campaign which marked OREO’s centenary and made the cream-stuffed sandwich a social-media behemoth with incredible real-time culture jacking. There is a nice case study video which I have put at the end of this post for you.

Sadly this isn’t a sign of a new advertiser entering the market, the opportunity for Oreo is the result of PHD winning €150,000 of media space in JC Decaux’s “Fame – The Agency Edition” competition. I guess what it does go to show is the effectiveness of outdoor.

The work was done by Draftfcb London.


I just hope this means we will start to get some of the decent size packs of Oreos in the irish market now!



Is Ryanairs’ Twitter strategy right?

So Ryanair has joined twitter and while I don’t claim to know their strategy they have set thir stall out pretty early. Launching the account they made it clear that they are not there to listen to complaints – essentially saying they have too many customers, and to the more cynical of us they are possibly saying they have too many complaints!

So Ryanair is on twitter for one reason (it seems) and that’s to sell us stuff!

And while there is nothing wrong with that as such, I would always suggest to brands that twitter should be about doing more than that. Customer care is a place a lot of service brands tend to go but there is more you can do.

A great example, bizarrely, is the Irish police Garda twitter account. They have shown fantastic personality and sense of humour on twitter

O2 in the UK had this funny “Ghetto Slang Exchange” recently


Here is another one from the USA between IHop and Simon Dumenco (seen on adage)


So Ryanair are clearly recognising that twitter is a channel they canno longer ignore, good news for twitter advocates as it shows the power of the platform, and I imagine we will see a lot more promoted tweets from them.

But is that enough?

In my view its not, so I hope Ryanair plan to do more, maybe get us behind the scenes at the airline and show us they actually can be likeable (even if they don’t really want to hear about your complaints!). This early tweet suggests they might be ready to have some fun, lets hope so

Twitter’s new “Conversations” feature

More Twitter news!!

Twitter have unveiled a new Conversations feature.  A vertical blue line that  that connects conversations. Up to now Tweets appeared in a reverse chronological order. To follow deeper threads, Twitter includes a clickable link to instantly  “view replies.”  The advantage of this move, according to Brian Solis is around the longevity of tweets, he says

“If the lifespan of a Tweet meme is minutes, conversations theoretically would introduce longevity into the mix thus keeping people engaged in micro conversations within the greater real-time conversation.”


It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook

In case you missed it yesterday. Facebook are making it easier to run promotions! Straight from the Facebook for business page
We’ve updated our Pages Terms in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook. Here’s what Page administrators need to know:
We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps
Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:
  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.
Accurate tagging is required in promotions
In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:
  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
We hope these updates will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions. For more information regarding the changes to our promotions policies, check out our downloadable Promotion Guidelines, which include FAQs and best practices for running promotions through Facebook.

Is Content Marketing part of your mix?

Marketing Directors are searching for that something that will help them measure things in a more scientific way, but don’t want data for data’s sake,  they want something that will actually start to shift the needle for business growth but that is clearly linked to ROI.  A big ask, but something the digital space is really starting to live up to, especially with the increased emphasis on content marketing.

There is a danger of getting distracted by the shiny ball and I don’t for one second subscribe to the view that content marketing is going to kill advertising. But it is certainly changing the landscape significantly. The funnel has become more complicated now and we all know how savvy consumers are these days. It’s no longer possible to put lipstick on bad business. As agencies we need to help our clients to do more and move people from being strangers to customers and ultimately promoters of their products.

Content marketing is an incredible tool in your armoury. It is not a shallow advertisement, a blatant self-promotion or an attempt to trick readers. It is about great content that is interesting and engaging. Content that people want to share with a friend, or that makes them feel differently about a brand. Many brands are engaged in a race to the bottom and competing on price, but this isn’t a strategy for the long term, it doesn’t make people feel anything, you are just something on their functional list of “to-dos”.

It is brining relationship marketing into the connected world and offers relevant scientific data that allows you to make informed decisions on.  The days of people saying that “50% of my advertising works, I’m just not sure which 50%” is over. Even the biggest of companies can and should now act like lean star-up’s, testing and tweaking and amplifying what is working to drive better leads and convert more sales.

Shiny Ball warning again. There is of course a danger of getting distracted by a creative shiny ball. As Patrick Collister, a creative director for over 25 years and now at Google says “Within some digital agencies, people tend to think platforms are a substitute for ideas, but you need both. Technology drives creativity, but it doesn’t lead it”.

These are interesting times and I certainly believe that a content marketing strategy should be forming a part of your companies digital strategy.

The Genius ‘Sugarpova’ Stunt

SugarpovaYesterday social media, sports and news sites were buzzing with the news that Maria Sharapova was planning to legally change her name to Sugarpova for The US Open tournament. The Sugarpova story reminds me of the time Louis Walsh made up a story about his boyband boyzone being involved in a plane crash in Australia. It never happened!! But it made the front pages.

This was a genius piece of marketing/pr/content generation – call it what you will. It was practically free (bar the agencies hourly fee to come up with the idea and seed the news). It was all over the place and the brand awareness shot through the roof – globally.

I am sure distributors all across the globe are going to find it a lot easier to get the product in prime positions with retailers clammering to satisfy a demand and need that up to two days ago people didnt even know they had. Last year she sold 1.8 million bags of the sweets you can be sure that figure will double or treble off the back of this stunt.

Clearly this woman and her team get the new rules of media and created a story that people just couldn’t ignore, even if they wanted to. Sometimes less really is more

Cue tennis pun – Advantage Sharapova!

Digital Reports to read

Adverblog is a great resource and posted these three must reads which I thought I would share here, enjoy:

we often work in uncharted territory and therefore spend much time thinking about the big question “What’s Next?”. Where and how do we spend our future creative efforts? For the benefit of brands, clients and agencies alike, we better get that one right. Read up on these three reports: Razorfish’s Outlook, Reactive’s Perspectives and VJ-Isobar’s FYI – and make the right calls for the future.

Facebook introduces hashtags

FB#Facebook announced on Wednesday that it was going to introduce clickable hashtags for users. You will often see hashtags in peoples posts on Facebook, where they are posting the same thing to Facebook and Twitter, outside of that its become part of the vernacular, yes people actually use the word “hashtag” in their speech!

So Facebook are doing what Facebook do well and looking at what their users are doing and rolling out a feature, with users being able to click on the hashtagged words from the search bar and view a feed on that topic. Users will also be able to click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Mashable that “This is a layer on top of what Facebook is already offering. If marketers are already using hashtags as part of their marketing on other sites, they will be able to use those same hashtags within Facebook and drive engagement within the Facebook environment.”

It seems that Facebook is trying to steal back some of the second screen action that has been pretty much twitter territory. In a post on their Blog Greg Lindley, Facebook product manager said “. “During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook — roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night,”

The company said that hashtags were the first of several new features that will be introduced to highlight discussions about events on Facebook. The company is rolling out hashtags to roughly 20 per cent of its users, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.


What does it all mean for you?

Well the introduction of the hashtag on Facebook will change how people use the platform and engage with eachother, content and to a degree brands.

  • Brand Mentions – it seems likely that brand mentions will be easier to monitor now, similar to Twitter.  Which means you will have more access to data about your brand  which adds another layer of metrics and numbers to gauge success. You will also be able to engage in real time conversations, so think about needing to be even more always on.
  • Brand Pages – it seems unlikely that Facebook’s move to introduce #’s will threaten brand pages (where brands have spent lots of money)  and it seems more likely that it will enhance brand pages. This is a wait and see one I think.
  • User Generated content – If someone posts a picture of themselves wearing/using a new product and uses the brand hashtag, depending on your legal guidelines that could be a photo your page could use. Facebook and users love images so this will be a way to help generate more image content for brands.
  • Privacy – Facebook will maintain their privacy settings regarding hashtags, and won’t allow users to show up in click-throughs of the hashtag if their settings are set to be shared only with friends
  • Not for mobile – sadly, mobile will be a hashtag free zone as the app doesn’t support the phrase. Hashtags can be used, but there will be no click through to the hashtag feed.
  • Facebook hashtag ads – Facebook say they aren’t offering this yet, but they will.
  • Don’t Hashtag vomit – when brands were getting used to Facebook I coined the phrase Facebook Vomit  to describe how they just spewed on their walls. We have to hope brands don’t start hashtag vomiting now, so if you are a brand owner reading this – please don’t!

The Future of Social Media


I was asked to contribute a piece to the recent edition of the Irish Marketing Journal about the Future of Social Media, here is what I had to say:

What’s the future of Social Media? Really who cares? Our heads will just spin if we keep worrying about the future of social media – because when we ask that question we are really asking – what’s the next Facebook or Twitter? Who Cares!

Do you really think people sit at home, on the bus, or the train, in work or watching TV – wherever – and worry about the future of social media – about the next big thing. No they don’t. They don’t care.

We live in our marketing bubble – we are hyper conscious of channels – we are hyper digitally aware – we get so bogged down in it all that we forget what it’s all about. It’s about people, it’s about experiences, it’s about making lives a little more interesting.

IMJSocialStop thinking about the future of social media and start to think about how and what people are consuming, what they are interested in and how you can enhance that. If you get that right, then you can tweak it for the right social channel.

In his book, Contagious, Jonah Berger says that “Contagious products and ideas are like forest fires. They can’t happen without hundreds, if not thousands, of regular Joes and Janes passing the product or message along. So why did thousands of people transmit these products and ideas?”

So the future (really the now) of social is about shareabiltiy and sharing. It’s about great content, it’s visual, it’s not perfect, it’s relevant, it’s local, it’s mobile, it’s quality but doesn’t have to be perfect (allow it be gritty).

And as Jonah Berger  suggests, it’s not just online, we need to think how we can get offline consumers talking and sharing, because there are just as many, if not more offline conversations.

Social media will continue to be relevant, increasingly so. However it needs to be part of the broader picture and not singled out.  Regardless of where it is headed we need to continue the quest for seamless creative experiences that live beyond analog and beyond digital and do things that excite people so they are willing to share them .

My Free Breakfast


I got a great free breakfast this morning on Grafton Street thanks to Denny. All I had to do (after I realised they were actually there doing the free breakfast) was fill out a questionnaire while eating my breakfast. I was asked by the friendly staff to find the Facebook page on my phone (some free wi-fi would have been a great addition). I had to search for Dennyest1890 (yeh that was the name of the Facebook page). I couldnt find it, but when I searched for Denny the app that I needed popped up. The Facebook app was mobile friendly – so that was a relief – and really easy to use, and for those without facebook or smartphones they had paper and pen surveys to be filled out. I assume the results of the survey will form a press release in the coming weeks.


The whole experience was enjoyable and a nice way to start the 4 day week! As I sat there eating the fantastic Denny sausage, rasher and pudding (may as well give them some credit for decent grub!) – I just wondered about the scale of the whole thing. While I was there about 8 people were eating breakfast, four were tourists, nothing wrong with that, but where is the benefit to the brand & sales with that? It looks like the pop up  can hold about 30, so I worked out they are – at best – going to get 1,900 people through their doors this week. Is that really going to create a lift in sales for them – is that scale?

The costs of renting & kitting out the pop up shop, development of the app, creative and placement of advertising, prizes, PR etc… must be up around €70K (just a guesstimate) if not more. So if we take 70K the cost of each breakfast to Denny is €36. Im pretty sure you can buy a breakfast pack for about a fiver – so I would need to buy at least 7 breakfast packs before Denny see a return on their investment. With nothing encouraging me to purchase post experience, what are the chances I (or anyone else) will do that?

Social Capital

So you probably are thinking – right this isnt all about sales, there is brand building here and social capital will give the brand a lift? Thats a nice thought, but there was nothing encouraging me to share my experience. After I had filled out the Facebook survey there was nothing asking me to post to my wall that I had just had my free breakfast and was in with a chance to win a kitchen. There was no hashtag asking me to tweet a picture of me and my breakfast. I am happy with that kind of trade off and think most people are, so why wasnt it part of the flow of the experience. As it happened I did tweet about my breakfast and there has been no re-tweet (maybe they arent on twitter) and looking at Facebook there are no posts on their wall about the free breakfasts.

Im not saying this is a bad idea, I had a great time this morning, lovely breakfast, nice set up, nice people, easy to use app etc.. But I just wonder what the return for them will be in terms of sales lift or brand lift? Would be interested to hear.


Facebook News Feed Re-Design & You

ImageAnother Facebook redesign is no doubt going to frustrate people, have brands up in arms and probably throw up some privacy debate too. But Facebook has to iterate and if they didn’t recognise how things have changed, in terms of consumption of content, they risk the irrelevancy slide. They clearly do, as Robyn Morris product designer at Facebook says  “The design of News Feed hasn’t changed much since 2006, but the world has,”.

Mark Zuckerberg said at the launch that he wanted Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” And like a newspaper editor, he wants the “front page” of Facebook to be more engaging — in particular on the smaller screens of mobile devices. (NewYorkTimes)

So its on its way. But what does it all mean? Well trawling through a few articles (sources at the bottom of this post) here seem to be some of the highlights:

  1. Facebook Page Posts and Sponsored Stories that contain photo and video will appear 20% larger. This is obviously good for brands, they can leverage higher resolution assets and use more compelling captivating content. (the journal crunch)

  2. The new design also includes some photo page posts being overlaid with a caption or description rather than the text appearing below, suggesting that shorter text on photo updates will be more effective. (the journal crunch)

  3. The new look News Feed “celebrates content” in a way that the last iteration did not. One of the key thrusts of this change is the increased emphasis on the visual experience. “Photos are bigger and more visually compelling,” says global head of brand design Paul Adams. “They have always had higher than average levels of engagement so we know they’re more interesting to people.” (Marketing Week)

  4. For both organic and paid page ‘like’ stories, the image that will be displayed in News Feed will be the brand’s cover photo, giving this more prominence. It is therefore even more important that the photo is representative of the brand. (Marketing Week)

  5. The new Facebook design also means users will be met with the same look and feel on mobile, tablet and web. For example, the left-hand menu will be visible on any Facebook page, while users can quickly move to the top of News Feed when new stories arrive (Marketing Week)

  6. Links shared to the site from other places like Pinterest or Quora  will have bigger blurbs (techCrunch)

  7. News Feed’s introduction of filters or feeds, enabling users to drill down to specific content. For example, users can see news from ‘All Friends’, showing everything their friends are sharing, or ‘Photos’, featuring only photos from friends and the pages users ‘like’ or ‘follow’. (Marketing Week)

This last point seems to be something that could prove problematic of businesses. As TechCrunch point out

“ If users choose to frequent that, they could be free to Like Pages to show off their interests or personalize third-party apps, but not have to see their feed updates.”

There is also some interest to see if video will play a larger role, but it is interesting to hear Facebook’s view on this:
“… with videos, people have to press play so there is a higher level of effort required – it’s more effort than viewing a picture. The reward from watching a video needs to be greater.” Paul Adams says.

It seems that this move by Facebook will have some challenges for brands, but  seem to have welcomed the changes as it seems like it will increase dwell time on Facebook. Users, according to the New York Times, aren’t as happy, with suggestions that Flipboard, already offers a personalized newspaper in which users choose the topics and publications they are interested in.

Like it or not, Facebook is a giant and like all changes Facebook has made, we will all have to get our heads  around them pretty quickly and find ways to make it work!

I just hope it puts a stop to all the Like and Share to win rubbish I see on my news feed all the time!