Youth Marketing Insights » Social Media http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg Inspiring best in practice youth marketing through sharing of ideas, strategy, trends and conversations about cool stuff Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Don’t Punish Us: grass roots campaign fighting for the rights of our social life http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/11/dont-punish-us/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/11/dont-punish-us/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2009 05:47:58 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/?p=54 Oh the power of peer-to-peer movements…I recently came across one I had to share.

I was out over the weekend at a local watering hole in Sydney, waiting in an absurdly long line to get a drink, when I spotted an unusual donation box of some sort. On it was a photo of a girl holding a giant speech bubble that read “Who Says I Can’t Drink Responsibly”.

A bit of background for non-Australian readers. Last year Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stated he would “scare the living daylights” out of Australian youth by highlighting the real and dangerous effects of binge drinking. The solution proposed was a $53 million national campaign including TV ads, increases in alcohol-related taxes, as well as a host of measures put in place at bars and nightclubs, including a 2AM lock out.

Gasp, horror many night owls screamed in protest!

Stop right here though, this is not a commentary on binge drinking, this is a post to discuss what happens when an “unimaginative” government initiative (as deemed by the Sydney Morning Herald) collides with the empowered millennials of today.

Back to the beginning of my post. The donation box was collecting funds for a campaign called Don’t Punish Us. This is a non-profit, grass-roots movement established to build ground-swell support in favor of retracting the above mentioned pub and venue restrictions. From what I can read those supporting this movement are not suggesting to turn a blind-eye to the issue, but instead question in rather harsh terms the benefits, or lack thereof, of those that were initiated.

So, you might ask, other than lambasting the government on a public forum (what’s new there?) what to date really has Don’t Punish Us achieved?

Well, quite a lot. Already they have 17,000+ registered as part of the petition, and 18,000+ members joined the Facebook cause. At some stage the sheer volume of supporters will force the NSW government to respond.

However it is not just about numbers as we know, it is how this movement has sparked a conversation via the blog platform that highlights the real impact to me. This group has an opinion and they are holding the government accountable to finding the solutions. And of course they all have an opinion, why wouldn’t they? It is their issue, it effects them both the binge-drinking and in terms of the new restrictions. Why is it an after-thought to engage the target audience, especially when you are trying to effect change among them?

As for Don’t Punish Us, I think this is a great “youth” marketing example for several reasons:

- I like the power of grass roots demonstrated here, it is a bottom-through-to-top strategy, it makes people feel involved.

- I like the fact that it is both on and off line, just like social networks.

- I like that while it is a serious issue, the tone is perfect for the audience, it is entertaining and cheeky.

- I like how it is empowering and relevant – keys to youth marketing success.

- Most importantly, I like how it harnesses conversation and dialogue to effect change.

Moral of the story – if you doubt the impact of youth advocacy and/or social media, then I hope this modern-day story of David with his slingshot working to take down Goliath may make you think.

Oh, and thought it would be fun to post a little artistic irony from a friend (check out the box in the background)….

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Ford Fiesta movement calling for “agents”, but are they agents of change? http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/02/24/ford-fiesta-movement/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/02/24/ford-fiesta-movement/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2009 00:11:59 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/?p=41

Love the new Ford Fiesta campaign (www.fiestamovement.com) – the company is giving away 100 free cars to chosen “agents” as part of an ambassador program. To enter people (I’m assuming as they are targeting “millennials” there are restrictions on who can enter but didn’t come across them as of yet) have to submit a short video on their own YouTube channel (great idea as they will have more reach, one of the entrants has a video with 1.2 million views…). As part of the vid they need to share how big their social network is and what it consists of, might as well be upfront in what Ford is asking of them, right? Once they have the car Ford asks that they blog, tweet and share their experiences with friends…

So let me get this straight – I can submit a video, get a FREE car (already hooked), and write about it on Facebook – sold!

I like it for several reasons – it empowers people to leverage their network versus trying to pull everyone onto the Ford site, it is transparent in its intent – hey blog for us and you may get a free car, and the message is simple hence why there are already 1,500+ entries. It might not solve the world’s problems and give Ford a CSR platform, but I think it is clever and fun, all you have to do is check out a few of the videos to get what I mean.

Not just a pretty face, it is also a strategic business move -  according to Sam De La Garza, Ford’s small car marketing manager (in a recent comment on MarketingDaily), “By the time of the Fiesta’s U.S. launch, Millennials will account for 28% of the country’s driving population (a total of 70 million new drivers). The movement gives [Ford] an opportunity to connect with the group before they have established brand loyalty while appealing to their affinity for social networking and technology.”

So the strategy seems solid, the launch has proven to be successful, now I look forward to following the follow-up. How will this campaign in which they are encouraging direct consumer feedback on their product change either marketing or development? I want to see what Ford does with any constructive feedback (ie is this being used for R&D purposes), and how they will use the platform to turn any potential criticisms into positives. Early days but if they can harness these conversational elements inherent in social media marketing, they could nail it.

And just for fun, wanted to share my fav video of those I watched – Ford, Fiesta (can you believe I actually took the time to watch several, but they were amusing, what can I say?)  – definitely give both of these guys one! And I want an invite to the Ford, Fiesta :)

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