You can be creative about anything…

There are a number of things I love about this video. 

It is very smart, well shot, and it’s surprising, entertaining, and memorable.

The other thing is that it’s a really compelling and creative way to demonstrate a pretty mundane (to me) product feature. 

You may argue on the ROI of this video, but then neither of us have any idea of the objectives or the measures of success.

So instead, let’s just enjoy it. 

I first saw this on Thursday and it had 40,000 views, in less than a day that jumped to 8.7 million (and growing).

It’s so good, I even forgive them using Enya for the soundtrack.

My takeaway?

The steering on those Volvo trucks is – thankfully -  magnificent.

Thank goodness for that.

Good marketing is hard but not necessarily expensive

If you ventured out on the internet today there’s probably two things that popped up in your feeds, namely Kony 2012 and the Dollar Shave Club.

I first heard about the Dollar Shave Club through a tweet:

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Well I had to click didn’t I?

Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. 

It’s the combination of a clever business idea and a clever creative marketing execution. It’s  well scripted, well targeted and a great example of effective (and humorous)  storytelling.

The website draws on the same humor:

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Will it be successful? Who knows? Success will depend on a wide range of factors, including the business model.  But over 700,000 views of the launch video is a good start.

Regardless, it’s a good illustration that creativity doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money, and great storytelling that’s relevant to your audience is a winner.

And the answer to the question you’re asking yourself right now?

Yes.

PR reading for the weekend – July 15, 2011

David Reich has a post about a Ragan.com survey that asked what PR people don’t like about PR. Topping the list is ‘cold calling’.  OK I can understand that.  But what was second on the list? What was the second greatest thing that PR people don’t like about PR?  Apparently it’s having their press releases heavily edited. Seriously? We PR folks are precious creatures aren’t we? My first press release was so heavily edited that you actually couldn’t see the original words.  The funny thing is that it was such a disgrace I actually kept it.  When I moved to Seattle I found it when I was packing up my home office.  I scanned it, but nearly twenty years on I still won’t share it, I’d be mortified.

 

Judy Gombita has an interesting interview with Arthur Yann, vice president of Public Relations for the PRSA. When asked about what he finds professionally frustrating he answered:

I recently wrote about one of my biggest frustrations for the PRBreakfastClub blog. And that is, the number of self-proclaimed experts on Twitter and other social media platforms.  I mean who or what qualifies so many opinions? On what basis in fact are many statements made? Do these industry “observers” actually know anything about what it is they’re commenting about? Have they read and do they understand what they’re re-tweeting, given the third-party perception is that they’re endorsing the content?

Now there’s a man after my own heart. Amen.

 

Heather Yaxley has a post that suggests that journalists and PR practitioners should never be friends. I don’t agree. I’ve worked in this business for nearly twenty years and I’m lucky to count a number of journalists – both in Europe and the United States – as friends – all of whom I’ve met through my work. I don’t buy the Tiger analogy (read the post). As a professional there’s a church and state relationship. If there’s mutual respect and professionalism there’s rarely a problem, if you don’t have either then I’d suggest you’re not friends.

On the PR Conversations site, Heather has an interview with the wonderful Richard Bailey who describes the current state of Public Relations as:

It’s exciting. Public relations is universally needed but widely misunderstood and derided. It’s needed more than ever because of the disruptive power of digital communications, yet is also under threat because of the convergence of communications disciplines.

 

 

You may have seen this already, but via the Lois Paul & Partners Beyond the Hype blog the fantastic Jon Stewart take on the News of the World scandal (not sure if this is available outside the U.S.)…. and personally I think Hugh Grant deserves a lot of credit.

 

 

Finally, I enjoyed reading The Atlantic’s “14 Biggest Ideas of the Year” – hat tip to Piaras Kelly.

 

Have a nice weekend…

Quick Tip: Fixing video

OK, this one is off-topic but I thought I’d share. 

I’m sure you are far more clever than I, but last night I shot a video of my daughter with my phone.

When I finished I realized that I had shot the video in portrait rather than landscape, which meant when it was posted online you’d have to cock your head to one side to watch it:

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To try and rotate the video I had visions of having to surf through forums, download some specialized software etc.

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Thankfully it was far easier.

It turns out Windows Live Movie Maker (free download) fixes it with one click of the mouse.

Voila!

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For what it’s worth Smile

Smart and funny… recipe for good marketing

You’re faced with an “old” brand (which interestingly – to me at any rate -  was originally created for women in 1937) launched in 1938.  It’s a brand with a lot of baggage, particularly in a world of glossy competitors.

Rather than go the usual route, they took an alternative approach, which certainly appears to be working for them.

February 05, 2010

Funny, smart ads that don’t involved scantily clad females, and still appeal to the target demographic.

But what’s really smart is how they’re embracing social media creating bespoke videos for people who have tweeted or commented on other social media channels about the ads and about the brand.  There are of course some videos made especially for the ‘great’ and the ‘good’ (not to mention Starbucks), but there are even more for people like you and me.

Smart. Very smart.

A reply to Gail Berg’s post on Facebook…

Update:

Interesting piece in AdWeek questioning the commercial return from award winning advertising.  To quote:

For instance, P&G picked up the Film Grand Prix this year for Old Spice’s "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" spot from Wieden + Kennedy. Launched in February, it’s racked up nearly 12.2 million YouTube views. But in the 52 weeks ended June 13, sales of the featured product, Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, have dropped 7 percent, per SymphonyIRI (this excludes those sold at Walmart). P&G execs were not available to comment.

This is very interesting.  On a personal level I would say my perception of the Old Spice brand has moved in a favorable direction. I’d be interested in finding out has the campaign had a positive impact on brand perception.  Of course the bottom line impact is pretty critical, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in the medium term.  As we all know the return on investment remains paramount – and the real measure of success.

Social networks for PR and media, online video, future of news, blog product reviews and web 2.0.. what’s that all about?

Rex Riepe was in touch about the launch of a new social network for PR people and journalists called IvyLee. From the site:

IvyLees seeks to revolutionize the way PR professionals and journalists interact. The site provides a tool-based social network at no cost, an exciting alternative to traditional media tools. Members can distribute and receive news from any industry at their own convenience by sending news releases, pitching story ideas, building media lists, creating association pages, and inviting other users to continue expanding their personal network. University of Central Florida alumni Rex Riepe and Greg Allard established the site in 2008.

It’ll be interesting to see if the poor downtrodden journalists wish to network with their PR colleagues :-)

Douglas Simon of D S Simon Productions Inc was in also touch about a survey they’ve published on “Web Influencers”. You can view a video from Douglas on the survey here (registration required).

Is this the future of news? It’s an interesting post from Mr. Rubel.  It’s certainly interesting and I’m sure is something that the avid online media consumer will like, but the question is: Does this stuff all require too much work by the casual user/consumer? I don’t know, but I’d like to know.

Speaking of the future, is this the product review model of the future? FuelMyBlog is a a little confusing, it’s a kind of social media network for bloggers that also offers the opportunity for registered bloggers to review products. [Via Eoin Kennedy.]

Finally, a very interesting post about Web 2.0 written by Dennis Howlett posted on Chris Brogan’s blog via Peter Himler – if you can follow that. It’s a balanced piece calling for people to start demonstrating real, tangible and most importantly understandable benefits.

I believe the biggest barrier though has come in the use of terms and language that simply don’t resonate with business. In my social psychologist trained mind, the term ’social media,’ a cornerstone of web 2.0, is one of the most egregious abuses of a term I’ve seen since the early days of ERP. After three years of listening to definitions of the term I can guarantee that 99% of the press releases I see are exactly the same as those I would have received 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. They’re still dopey, riddled with double speak and wrung dry of useful content. So where’s the value in all this socmed stuff? Show me how customer service has radically improved as a result of applying web 2.0/social media services? Where are those most forward of technology adopters – banks – in all this? What about the main consulting groups that drive adoption inside big business? Heck, I’ve got them calling me up – so you know it’s got to be bad.