Archive for the ‘viral’ Category

Random notes on online reputation management in 2008

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Everyday, innovative campaigns and tactics emerge from all sides of virtually every issue. At the same time, it’s encouraging to see corporations increasing their level of experimentation in the digital space around the areas of reputation management.

Here’s just a few recent examples of highly visible campaigns designed to both challenge and reinforce the reputations of leading corporations:

  • Few organizations understand how to trigger a response better than PETA… and their latest MTV-style video campaign is no exception. The campaign – including the site itself - is reminiscent of the recent spate of cinematic gorefests - think the Hostel or Saw series – and, as such, primed for the youth segment that it’s attempting to reach. It reinforces the importance of the “extraordinary” idea (and the power of video) to be heard above the ”noise”, while also effectively demonstrating – as any activist campaign should – how to bridge seamlessly between entertainment, education, and engagement.
  • On the other side, Southwest Airlines has recently taken their already impressive ”Nuts About Southwest” social media campaign up a notch and added a slew of new features – including a Flickr group, video blog, and links to their Twitter feed and Facebook group – to further connect with their massive community of fans and advocates (and to directly address emerging issues as they’ve done with their blog in recent months). 
  • Lastly, in the footsteps of Ideastorm and MyStarbucksidea, American Express has launched Cardmembers Voice as a way to solicit ideas on how to improve their products and services, and to strengthen their engagement with cardholders. [update: Amex is an H&K Canada client]

More to follow in the weeks ahead.

Camp Okutta… or is it?

posted by Brendan Hodgson

I am constantly blown away (no pun intended, and you’ll see why) by the online creativity of non-profits who, for the most part, cannot afford the large-scale ad spends of their corporate counterparts.

This is perhaps one of the better examples of an emerging viral campaign I have seen in a long while: one that combines a highly compelling website built around a fictitous summer camp and outrageous (and not in the funny sense) viral video that puts AK-47’s in the hands of children. The organization behind it: War Child Canada. The campaign: the use/abuse of children as combat soldiers in conflicts around the world.

The humour of the video is grotesquely powerful (particularly being a father of young kids myself). and the site tells a real story that leads directly to the call to action. Kudos to the team behind it.

Update: well, it seems the site has also angered many in the Toronto area where posters also accompanied the campaign (clearly this is bigger than even I anticipated).