Month: January 2012

4. #McFail

Social Media has come to play such a large role in branding and advertising, every company wants to get in on tweeting and creating hashtags. When done correctly, social media campaigns can have a major impact on consumers.

However, this is not the case for McDonalds. After launching their Twitter campaign, they expected many of their adoring fans to come flooding in with tweets reminiscing with memories of their first Big Mac. Instead, they were bombarded with horror stories from customers who had less than pleasant dining experiences at the fast food establishment. The hashtag, #McdStories is now tainted with the bitter taste of raw beef patties and infested Fish Fillets.

Here are some examples of the graphic and disgusting tweets:

 

Yikes.

McDonalds has show us that sometimes social media is NOT always the best answer. Their premature campaign was developed to generate good feelings about the restaurant, but in turn left many people tweeting about never eating there again.

Note to self: make sure your brand has a good reputation before starting a campaign on a public forum.

3. Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Stephen Colbert is arguably one of the funniest comedians on television today. His portrayal of a conservative, right wing political expert has kept his show relevant and has even put him in the running for the President of the United States of South Carolina. Let’s rewind a bit.

With the 2012 presidential election fast approaching, the Republican GOP race has continued to become more competitive than ever between the candidates. Super Political Action Committees, or Super PACs, are responsible for raising unlimited amounts of money from corporations, individuals and other groups. They then use that money to develop and air political advertisements attacking various candidates and portraying a respective candidate in a positive light. However, the Super PACs are restricted from coordinating with their endorsed candidates.

Naturally, these Super PACs have caused quite a stir in the Republican GOP race. An example of a Super PAC advertisement is this one, funded by Restore Our Future, the group supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

Now let’s get back to the fun stuff. In June 2011, Colbert’s very own Super PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” was approved by the FEC. In August, his first advertisement was released, urging Iowans write in “Rick Parry” instead of voting for conservative candidate Rick Perry. On January 12, Colbert announced his candidacy for President of the United States of South Carolina, making him ineligible to run his Super PAC any longer. So, of course, he handed it over to fellow Comedy Central comedian Jon Stewart and renamed it “The Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC”. The following advertisements were then released in South Carolina, encouraging voters to not to vote for Mitt Romney in one and endorsing Herman Cain in another (it was too late for Colbert to add his name to the ballot, so Cain would have to do).

Although Colbert lost out to basically every other candidate in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, these Super PAC advertisements that mock candidates as well as the entire ridiculous notion of Super PACs are genius advertisements. Their dry and inadvertent humor reveal downfalls of the political system without directly pointing fingers. As I am sure the other candidates and heads of various Super PAC teams don’t appreciate Colbert’s mockery, I know I sure got a good laugh out of them.

2. There’s an App For That

Ever since upgrading to the iPhone 4s last month, I have been madly downloading new apps at every opportune moment. One of the first apps I acquired was Instagram, a popular photo sharing app that allows you to add funky effects to your photos and post them on a newsfeed for all your followers to enjoy.

According to Advertising Age, major companies are flocking to Instagram to create a “more personal connection with their customers” as well as visually market their product or message. Companies with the largest followers include Starbucks and Red Bull. More recently Barrack Obama’s re-election campaign and Nike have joined the Instagram movement.

Combining major social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram allow companies to better relate and communicate with their customers as seeing a visual triggers a sense of familiarity with the company. Also, customers may begin feeling closer with the company after seeing behind the scenes images of their favorite drink or clothing company. Advances and growing popularity in social media, especially on mobile devices make it easier for companies to connect with their customers.

Images from Nike and Starbucks’ Instagram accounts.

1. Moments

After experiencing my first class as a Creative Strategist In-Training last week, I felt many different emotions. Excited. Intimidated. But mostly, inspired. I thought immediately back to a video titled “Moments” made by the filmmaking team Everynone we watched in my Gateway class last year. The short film always resonated with me because it is simple and understated, yet each moment is executed and filmed so powerfully. Actions we do every day without even thinking twice can be raw, passionate moments. It reminds me that a story does not always have to be complex. Simplicity equals significance. Enjoy!