Paddy Power Ryder Cup Sky Tweets
Paddy Power Ryder Cup Sky Tweets Planes

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power posted the worlds first ‘sky tweets’ in a guerrilla campaign designed to share messages of support to #TeamEurope golfers who were competing in the 2012 Ryder Cup at the Medina Country Club in Illinois.

The bookmaker hired 5 stunt planes to fly at 10,000ft above the course to tweet up to 60 specially selected messages some in support of the European golfers, while others just taunting their American counterparts.

Some of the tweets, which were visible from more than 20 miles away, included ‘Spirit of Seve’, ‘Rory’s Gonna Getcha’ and ‘Mrs Dufner is Hot’ in reference to the wife of US player Jason Dufner.  Tiger Woods didn’t get away with tweets asking ‘Seen Tiger?’

The cheeky campaign was led by Paddy Power’s own twitter handle (@PaddyPower) and asked followers to use the not-official #GoEurope hashtag.

And who was behind this campaign?  Well, the London-based Taylor Herring PR agency of course [I stand corrected, in fact the concept was ‘invented, managed and delivered by CURB with support from PR agency Taylor Herring.  Thanks to Anthony for the correction! 🙂 ].  Hat tip’s all round for a campaign that used creativity and social media.

Have a look here at Rory McIlroy’s reaction to the tweets in the Sky:


Nokia adverting picture, ‘supposedly taken by the Lumia 920’ but in fact wasn’t!

The unveiling last week of the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 920 handset was supposed to be a good news story occasion for the once dominant Finnish telecom company.  Instead it turned into a case-study of HOW NOT TO launch a smartphone.

Nokia has fallen on hard times since Apple and Google came on the scene with their respective iPhone and Android operating systems.  Last year in 2011 Nokia took the decision and ditched it’s Symbian OS and forged a strategic alliance with Microsoft in the hope that it could re-establish itself as a key player in the smartphone market.  All that was needed was a clean marketing and communications campaign.

Nokia Lumia Advertising Photo shoot with Lighting Equipment ((© johaee (at) via Hacker News)

It all started to go wrong for the Lumia 920 handset after the impressive launch in New York with Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer present when video reportedly shot by the phone’s PureView camera was reportedly faked.  Nokia even withdrew the link for the promo video from it’s YouTube channel (which is below).  Stills that were also supposed to have been taken by the phone’s camera, which claimed to be ‘better  than most digital SLRs’, were outed as having been taken by a DSLR at a photo shoot in Helsinki.  A picture of the shoot even appeared on Hacker News site.

Nokia has invested it’s future with it’s partnership with Microsoft.  The hardware on the device is good.  The promotion and lack of understanding of how the online community is, by the looks of it, lacking.

With so much is riding on a launch it would have been better to keep the campaign simple – focus on the quality of the hardware.  Above all, when planning the promotional campaign don’t fake the quality of the device when there is no need to.  The crowd is smarter than that.

Here is the video. Watch the reflection of the camera crew on the window of the stationed van at 27 seconds – boyfriend taking the view on the Lumia or truck with video camera? Ermmm.

Ipsos Mori Hong Kong - Reporting Live From The Future
Ipsos Mori Hong Kong – Reporting Live From The Future.

PR, communications and advertising professionals have a battle on their hands as audiences become increasingly connected, more demanding and informed, according to research by Ipsos Mori Hong Kong.

In a report released last week, the global research firm sees innovation and creativity as essential skills to bring increasingly disloyal customers onside.

The report, which has a focus on the Asia-Pacific markets, identifies a number of key points that will affect in business in Europe, North and South America, Middle-East and Africa.  These include:

  • Convergence of disciplines – public relations, marketing and advertising
  • Rise of creativity for improved audience building and engagement
  • Increase usage of digital data in campaign development.

Convergence of Disciplines:

Audiences do not care about how brands are presented to them.  Far too often, the planning processes bring together siloed professionals that think of the integrated outreach from a singular point – advertising, marketing, public relations.

As I have argued many times, these disciplines are blending into one with the lead in campaign development being taken by communications professionals that understand the behaviour of audiences and individuals.  This in turn will force organisations to break down the internal barriers to ensure that their propositions are developed to ensure that digital maximises traditional channels.

Importance of Creativity:

Creativity, even in B2B, is becoming a must for brands and companies.  In the report, Ipsos Hong Kong found that , ‘Creative quality accounts for 75% of variance in campaign success‘ and that ‘strong creative can achieve higher recall in-market with less support that weak creative with a higher level of media support.’

Improving the creativity will help position messaging at the front of the audiences decision-making process.

Digital Data:

Social networks and media have gathered together data that empowers not just the audience, but marketeers and communicators.

At numerous conferences and speaking engagements I have stated that today’s PRs have to think in a forensic manner, understanding the audience and planning the delivery of messaging to create a response that will generate engagement.  Everything must be planned and accounted for.  From the concept, to the launch, to the touch points.  It is a journey that needs to be planned by PR, brining together disciplines to ensure that the audience engagement and journey is seamless.

Today though, PRs have data at their disposal.  Data that gives the business decision-makers better insight into audience behaviour.  Data that should rid us of that useless Advertising Value Equivalent.

Audiences are more disloyal than ever before, especially if they perceive that they are treated like the individual next to them.  Social networks makes people into individuals, empowering them to be unique and more demanding.  And it all starts with the listening and learning.

Jack Wilshere | Nike #MakeItCount

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today banned in it’s current form Nike’s #MakeItCount social media campaign.  Launched in January 2012, the campaign used Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to send a tweet namedropping the initiative to their respective followers over six months ago at the launch!

Since January, Nike has taken the social media campaign across marketing disciplines including advertising and have used it’s rosta of athletes to remind consumers of the brand.  It’s become a campaign that’s been truly integrated, reaching across marketing disciplines.

The decision by the ASA, which took 6 months to reach and was the result of a single complaint, highlights how the organisation has entrenched itself in it’s traditional standard.  While it reviews advertising campaigns, in it’s adjudication it has social guidelines for advertising through social networking channels that any communications channels should not just be aware of, but be versed in!

The ASA did say that an indication that it was an advert, such as by having an #ad in the tweet, might have clarified the purpose of the communication.  So there, after 6 months you now know.

See the ruling here.

George Lucas was right, 'The audience IS listening'

Facebook has brought together an audience of incredible numbers.  The social networking giant is today a community of people that keeps on growing, creating for businesses an opportunity to reach out directly to consumers.  But here lies the question, why are businesses still looking like ‘rabbits in the headlights’ and failing to truly engage with audiences that can help many survive during these hard economic times?

Today, Facebook has over 750 million users worldwide.  For many businesses that figure is a fantasy, after all, are we going to engage with so many?  So let’s narrow this figure down into more manageable and relevant numbers.  In the US there are over 154 million ‘active’ users, Indonesia comes in second with 40 million and a 16 per cent penetration rate, while in the UK there are 30 million users reaching half of the population. Malaysia has over 11 million users accounting for nearly 1 in 2 residents, while Singapore has a very active 2.5 million with 54% of people being on Facebook.

And the figures don’t stop there.  Here are some more, more than have of Facebook users access the network each day, half of which do so through their mobile phones.  And those that access Facebook through a smartphone or other mobile device are ‘twice as active as Facebook compared to non-mobile users.’

For many companies and organisations, these numbers are very 2-dimensional.  The audience is there, but the history and culture of 20 century business dictates that for many they still broadcast to them through a given Facebook Page.

Audience engagement is much more than a Facebook Page and the apps and tabs that these Pages have.  It is about, well, engagement.  It is about listening and delivering.  In business it is about meeting needs.  And to meet business needs you needs to re-invent itself, spending time speaking an engaging with your various audiences.

Many companies are focused on the comfort of your own structure.  Safe in the knowledge of how they have always delivered their business.  But what about your audience?  Have they been happy in how they have received your business?

As Facebook show’s us, people today are connected online.  For many they check their network, their community first thing in the morning.  People seek input, advice and support from their community that they have before they have spent money.  Today, people are happy to share bad experience, which shapes many companies brands and reputations.

While engagement is certainly not as cheap as business thinks it is, it creates a much more personal relationship than brands have ever had with it’s audiences.  It creates the loyalty, the holy-grail of business relationships that many aspire for.

Think about it this way, how do you like being talked at?