Creativity in Public Relations » Random Parts of Life http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 8 Examples of “Win Great Stuff” Efforts To Drive Twitter Followers http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/01/8-examples-of-win-great-stuff-efforts-to-drive-twitter-followers/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/01/8-examples-of-win-great-stuff-efforts-to-drive-twitter-followers/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:12:04 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=637 Getting followers on Twitter for brands is an obvious new way to engage and entertain people (and of course raise awareness of products they sell).  I’ve been watching a new trend over the past few months of brands using a new “tweet to win” tactic to motivate and encourage people to follow them on Twitter in exchange for the chance to win some big and small things – an easy way to build an active and current database, with people “opting-in” to actually hear from these brands.  This isn’t for every brand (although I’m totally waiting for BMW or Mercedes to giveaway a car – you know it’s coming) but for some it can work very well.  Here are 8 of some recent favourites – great to check out to see if this could work for you.

  • twtFM – Yesterday this new twitter app launched a way to win a new iPod Touch complete with Colbie Calliat’s new album (Breakthrough) and tickets to an upcoming show by checking them out and tweeting about it.  With twtFM you can stream your favourite music using Last.fm mashed up with Twitter (worth check out)
  • Moonfruit – these guys who create do-it-yourself website building tools are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and doing it in style giving away 10 new MacBook Pro’s, one each day for 10 days.  All you have to do is tweet using #moonfruit and a creative message and follow Moontweet on Twitter to see if you’ve won – nice!  Still a few more days to win.
  • SquareSpace – also celebrating an anniversary (their 5th) with a Twitter giveaway is Square Space, makers of great software to create beautiful websites.  They are giving away 30 new Apple iPhone 3GS, one each day for 30 days – anyone who sends a tweet with #squarespace is entered to win and of course you need to follow them on Twitter to see if you win.   One more week to win.
  • Mr. Tweet – One of my favourite ways to find people via Twitter, Mr. Tweet, has regular giveaways of books and flash drives, T-shirts and more fun.  You can obviously follow Mr. Tweet on Twitter and/or check out the Mr. Tweet blog to see what the latest giveaway.  (Also, when you visit the blog scroll down to see the “live traffic feed” and you’ll see yourself visiting from your home town in the sidebar – nice added fun.
  • The Pro Designer – an easy one from these guys, you simply make a comment on their website and you are automatically entered to win a one-of-a-kind Twitter T-shirt.  And of course you need to follow them on their blog and via Twitter, so a nice casual way to attract some new followers.
  • Buddy TV – this one was from a few months back, but simply offered fans a chance to win a new Sony Blu-Ray Disc player by following them on Twitter and tweeting a specific message about the competition – plain and simple.
  • Twitter Power – another one from a few months ago but a great example of an author who hosted a live show via UStream to talk about his new book, giving away bookstore gift certificates every hour he was broadcasting via Twitter when people tweeted a simple tweet about him, his book and the competition.  Another one that was simple and to the point.
  • Mashable – one of the goliaths of Twitter really understands how to do “tweet and win” contests right – as evident by a book giveaway they recently did.  To win people simply had to tweet a fun Twitter tip to @mashable with #twittertip included in the tweet.  The most original, funny or creative tips, as judged by Mashable, won one of 5 books.   And a few weeks ago did a similar contest to win passes to the “140 Characters Conference in NYC  (people won by simply tweeting why the wanted to attend, using the @mashable and the #140conf in their tweet).
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4 Reasons Why I Now “Get” The Possibilities of Augmented Reality http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/30/4-reasons-why-i-now-%e2%80%9cget%e2%80%9d-the-possibilities-of-augmented-reality/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/30/4-reasons-why-i-now-%e2%80%9cget%e2%80%9d-the-possibilities-of-augmented-reality/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2009 00:41:01 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=635 I love new technology advances and what it does to your brain – stopping you in your tracks and having something you see every day in front of you become something totally different.  I’ve been watching the new world of “augmented reality” (AR) and have been waiting for the “A-HA” moment – not from the musical group from the 80’s introducing a new augmented reality music video (although it could happen) but to see the technology in action and to see how I’d have fun with it or how it would basically make life easier or better.  Over the past few weeks a few great examples have made their way into my world and now my brain can’t stop thinking of how to use AR in some campaign coming up.  To stop you from scratching your head on the AR scene I thought I’d share them with you (and recommend to keep an eye on this interesting area:

Layar. This is the world’s first mobile Augmented Reality browser (and only works on an Android mobile operating system and I think probably on the new iPhone 3GS) showing real time digital information on top of reality, reality in this case the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phones camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, jobs, healthcare providers and ATMs. The first country to launch Layar is The Netherlands and yes, it rocks.  Watch the video here (it’s awesome).

Zugara. Imagine standing in front of your webcam and “holding up” clothes of all colors and designs and styles in front of your body, helping you see what each would look like – all from home.  Then send a photo to your friends simply asking “does my butt look big in this?”  With a new online shopping app from Zugara that brings together the functionality of Augmented Reality and Motion Capture in some incredible fashion fun.  No more embarrassing moments trying on clothes in public.  Check out the fun here.

US Postal Service. You know when you are ready to ship something with an overnight delivery service and not sure if what you are going to ship will fit?  Now, thanks to this cool tool, you can find out in a very fun way.  Check it out here.

Topps 3D Live baseball cards. And my favorite of the new ones thus far, a very cool interactive 3D baseball card augmented reality masterpiece from Topps.  Your baseball card comes to life via AR, creating a cool 3D baseball player and the ability to play a game too.  It’s hard to explain, but easy to watch to see for yourself via the video below.

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Hot, Sexy Lady Underwear Models and Rollercoasters http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/26/hot-sexy-lady-underwear-models-and-rollercoasters/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/26/hot-sexy-lady-underwear-models-and-rollercoasters/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:41:32 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=631 Yes, this headline basically sums up today’s post.  While I’ve written about the viral video sensation sweeping the brand world these days in the pas (from the likes of Trident, Doritos, Samsung, Gillette, Cadburys, etc.) , the one I came across today (thanks to my pal Aden at Digital Buzz) uplifts the fun to a whole new level.

A leading UK underwear brand – Ultimo – has put its best boob forward into the video viral phenomenon, outfitting a dozen hot ladies in a variety of the company’s bras and putting their spill and support factor to the G-Force test found on rollercoasters at Alton Towers Resort.

The video definitely has the funny, entertainment factor in focus with the ladies in their bras bouncing and swirling with every twist, turn and drop of each ride. The editing of the video could have been better – the girls are shown taking off and then arriving a few seconds later on one ride, and then taking off on another and it gets a bit confusing, but the storyline probably wasn’t a big focal point.

The brand connection for the resort comes through naturally but the reference to Ultimo is non-existant except for the description on the YouTube page.  So perhaps this will drive more attendance at the park than sales of the underwear. (I hope people aren’t upset if they come and ladies have their tops on.)

I’m not sure it beats some of my other classics, including the hot girls playing soccer in their bra and panties selling a Samsung TV and the girl band playing in their bra for Vanity Fair but this effort is definitely up there, reinforcing that the “sex sells” dreams/hopes are alive and well in the world of marketing.  Now, take 55 seconds to watch the fun for yourself (no ones watching).

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Old Spice Hands Out The Cash http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/18/old-spice-hands-out-the-cash/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/18/old-spice-hands-out-the-cash/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2009 01:15:51 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=623 Everyone loves cash – plain and simple.  While some promotions have prizes and trips and the like, Old Spice is launching a new campaign that is all about winning cash.  The campaign – Swaggerize Your Wallet – provides actually lots of ways to win cash, depending upon how much work you want to put into it – which I think is fair enough.  The campaign is connected to Old Spice’s deodorant line, Swagger, with body spray, deodorant, body wash and more focused on 18 to 24 year old guys (who obviously love cash like the rest of us).  This effort follows the hilarious “SwaggerizeMe” campaign that made it easy for people to create fake articles to show up all over the Internet to make them look “as awesome as possible.”

The challenges are all a bit out there and right on target for the challenge 18 to 24 year old target who needs the right motivation to do anything – something too hard or too cheesy can backfire.  You can win $500 by making a cake in the shape of the Swagger logo, eating it with friends in a Swagger way, videotaping the whole thing and hoping the judges pick yours as the winner.  You can win $1,500 by throwing a Swagger product by at least 65MPH and capturing the whole thing with a radar gun.  Or you can win $2,500 with the old classic “hold up an Old Spice Swagger sign at a big sporting event and be caught on TV.”

The campaign site will have new challenges posted every week, with 2 weeks normally given for people to send in entries to compete.  You can just imagine the great photos and videos – solid Old Spice Swagger content – that will start showing up on YouTube and Flickr and of course all over people’s Facebook profiles too, showing up their cake or fastball.

This is one of my new favorite campaigns for a bunch of reasons.  The challenges have the right balance of effort and return – making a cake to win $500, a cake you can eat so it’s like someone paying you to eat which you have to do anyway.  And the challenges all sort of feel like some 21 year old just randomly thought them up, none have to be explained twice.  And of course the product is in the center of every challenge, so as far as product/brand integration, it’s hard to miss that.

Only thing that could improve would be some added social media connections.  I was unable to find a Twitter feed for the campaign – which you’d think would be an easy way to remind people of the new challenges happening each week.  And nothing on Facebook or YouTube either, but maybe once the campaign kicks off and has some content these areas will pop up too.  And didn’t see a lot of blogger conversations yet about the campaign, was thinking there would be a bloggers-only competition to get the blogosphere talking about the campaign too.

The campaign kicks off this week so we’ll see how it goes.  The good news is that because the campaign is over multiple weeks with more challenges coming up, there is an easy opportunity for the Old Spice people to get some feedback and keep coming up with new challenges, looking for those that really hit the mark and get people talking, playing and videotaping.  Watch this space.

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Starbucks, Toyota, Dell and Qantas Ask http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/17/starbucks-toyota-dell-and-qantas-ask/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/17/starbucks-toyota-dell-and-qantas-ask/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2009 01:18:45 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=621 Building relationships that last, that’s what brands are focusing on more and more these days as everyone thankfully has realized you can’t just keep selling, selling and selling to people.  Building relationships around value (versus buying) is a totally different way of doing business for a lot of brands.  A few brands are ahead of the game on this front, recently simply asking their customers “what do you think.”  Here are a few examples I’ve been watching lately:

IdeaStorm
.  This is where Dell asks people to join in on some crowd-sourcing of ideas on how Dell’s products or services can be improved.  The site has a great “promote” or “demote” functionality that moves ideas up and down the list on the home page, and a really simple navigation to view, post, vote or see ideas that have been offered by the community.

Why Not.  Toyota asks people to provide any idea, large or small, related to a few specific buckets of discussion (i.e., safety, water, land, air, community and energy).  It’s flash-heavy so takes some time to load but once there it’s a nice site to browse around.  The ability to add ideas is easy, as is the ability to browse other people’s ideas and to share with friends or to add to a personal commitment list.

My Starbucks Idea.  Similar to Dell, Starbucks simply asks fans to share, vote, discuss and see ideas that are all centered on making Starbucks a better place.  The site has great real-time lists of recent ideas and leader boards of people making comments.  The site has a nice explanation of what happens to the ideas once submitted – their team of “Idea Partners” review them and see where they could fit at Starbucks and presents them to decision makers who see how the ideas can be put to work.  Overall, a great “Q&A” for reference too.

All of Aus.  This campaign recently launched from Qantas, asking Australia what they love about Australia and showing all of the comments on a very cool designed site.  The plans are to turn the comments into a newspaper insert and some other yet to be unveiled ideas.  It doesn’t have the same “help us change the world” as the other campaigns but a good example of company trying something new to engage its fans.

Next time you are thinking of “what’s next” take a moment to review these and other similar campaigns, focusing on entertaining, engaging and having a conversation with your target audiences instead of selling, selling, selling.  You’ll have more fun in the process and your fans will start seeing you as a valued part of their world, not just someone who keeps asking for money.

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Salvation Army Free Awareness Campaign http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/16/salvation-army-free-awareness-campaign/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/16/salvation-army-free-awareness-campaign/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2009 01:35:44 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=619 The ongoing financial drama means times are tough for lots of people and companies, including non-profit organisations who rely on public donations to do their great work.  With this in mind some clever people working at the local Salvation Army in Portland in the state of Maine, USA have launched a creative campaign that gets the word out but doesn’t break the bank.

The campaign leverages the signature imagery of the Salvation Army around the world – the well-known shield symbol of the organisation.  Using that as its creative foundation, the organisation reached out to local businesses to secure free blank spaces (anywhere will do) where they can paint or stamp the Salvation Army shield along with a donation message.  Local businesses responded in masses, with store windows, pizza boxes, rocks and even dirt on a back windshield being used to raise awareness and ultimately donations to the charity.

The campaign highlights the overall message of the Salvation Army – making every dollar donated go further.  The creative use of blank spaces that don’t cost anything or that are donated provide a perfect place for the organisation to reference the fact that “83 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the people who need it most.”  This is a great example of a campaign that rocks, sending a message and telling a story simply by the way the campaign has been put together.  And now I’m doing my part, providing my own free space for the campaign, and if you too feel inspired, click here to donate to the Salvation Army – an organisation that works.

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Indie Sydney Radio Station Asks Richard Branson For $1M http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/15/indie-sydney-radio-station-asks-richard-branson-for-1m/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/15/indie-sydney-radio-station-asks-richard-branson-for-1m/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2009 22:43:32 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=615 Before the economy drama independent radio stations were already having a tough time, battling not only the mega broadcast radio networks that own multiple stations but also iPods, MySpace music, digital radio and satellite radio, just to name.   But when you throw in reduced advertising dollars it’s easy to see why indie radio stations are hoping to hear a different economic tune soon.

One great indie radio station in Sydney – Fbi – is tackling their financial challenges head on, recently launching a fundraising campaign with one target in mind:  Richard Branson and $1M dollars (or 450,000 British Pounds).  While Sir Richard may not seem like an obvious choice – he’s not Australian and he doesn’t have any connections to independent radio – but he does like one thing . . . publicity.

The campaign – Ask Richard – launched a little over a month ago and works on a simple premise:  get Richard’s attention through some type of publicity stunt or event or something that motivates him to donate $1M to FBi.  If your action/idea/stunt was the catalyst for Richard to hand over some big bucks you get rewarded too – to the tune of $50,000.  (And don’t worry, if Richard donates less based on your idea you still get 5% of whatever he gives.)  The campaign blog site and Twitter activity captures everyone’s amazing ideas and inspires others to do more.

To get Richard’s attention, the station has given its loyal listeners an open playbook – do whatever you think could work to get Richard to write the big check.  And the listeners have responded with a number of amazing ideas, including:

  • Hosting a flash mob wearing Richard masks in front of Sunrise (Australia’s top morning news show) studios when Sir Richard was in town and being interviewed on the show
  • Having a “We Play Til You Pay” all day concert event, inviting people via Twitter and Facebook to be a part of the event
  • Creating a mini viral video game with a Richard character grabbing money off of a tree and giving it to FBi before the tax man comes
  • Launching a Google Ad Words campaign under the assumption that Richard Google’s his own name and will then see the FBi campaign
  • Making T-shirts and posters and having fans wear them and put them up everywhere
  • Translating “Ask Richard” into as many languages as possible

The campaign works on multiple fronts.  First, selecting a high profile target (that would be Richard) and leveraging a known insight that motivates his daily life (that would be publicity).  Next, giving everyone a “do whatever” call to action, not limiting any idea or thought.  And of course the simple visual for the campaign being used on T-shirts, posters and social media banners ties everything together.  A great example of a campaign that knows its audience, keeps the conversation credible and authentic.

Now the finale – Richard Branson called in this morning (15 June) to FBi for a live radio interview from his Necker Island home.  Turns out, as the story goes, that Richard heard about the “Ask Richard” campaign first from an Australian girl who allegedly swam 2 1/2 miles from an island close to Richard’s island, swimming right up to his beach and telling him about the campaign.  (Sounds fishy but let’s go with it.)  Richard said he has asked his teams at Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic and V- Australia to help out FBi – and on-air promised to give a few flights to the UK and LA via his airlines for some lucky winners of the radio station.  The station is starting a “Save FBi” supporter drive campaign and will definitely use these prizes for some great fundraising efforts later this year.  The on-air host for FBi was able to get some money out of Richard – $70 – to become an annual member of FBi.  Richard stated the obvious – they get asked for money all the time and try to channel their funds to their global efforts around climate change and disease control in Africa.  The $70 is not $1,000,000 but no doubt Richard’s Virgin empire will be jumping in to help as much as possible, and hopefully will help keep the FBi radio station on the air for years to come.

Who knows, maybe Richard will change his mind.  Come on Richard, pay up already.  We’ll call it RFBi – Richard’s FBi – haven’t you always wanted to “own” the FBI?

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MC Hammer Rocks Back On The Scene http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/09/mc-hammer-rocks-back-on-the-scene/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/09/mc-hammer-rocks-back-on-the-scene/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 01:47:39 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=611 A friend of mine in the US just sent me another flash mob video sensation, this one connected to the return of MC Hammer and his new “Hammertime” TV series which launches next week on the Arts & Entertainment channel.  The video was unveiled a few days ago and showcases the world famous hammer pants (you know you wore a pair and had several different styles, be honest).  A group of dancers flash mobs a trendy clothing store in Los Angeles, entertaining the shoppers and proving a reason to capture the fun on video, aiming for a video viral sensation to raise awareness for the new TV show.

Did it work?  Yes (as evident by this blog post).  The flash mob video is obviously creaetd to fuel a pass-around effect, hoping its funny enough for people to want to be the first to share it with their friends.  The subtle URL reference at the end of the video provides the only direct link to figure out why people are flashing mobbing hammer style (note, they TV series link should also be in the YouTube description box so people can jump right to it).  And finally, the TV series site provides an easy and solid promotion, to win tickets to see MC Hammer perform in Vegas (with the grand prize winner getting a phone call from the Hammer personally).  If only everyone who entered received their very own Hammer pants – now that would get the entries flying in.

What a great way to start the week, Hammer style, with the video (feel free to dance along with it).

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Ikea’s Gigantic Messages In Bottles http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/05/ikeas-gigantic-messages-in-bottles/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/05/ikeas-gigantic-messages-in-bottles/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2009 01:15:38 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=609 A short one for a Friday that again showcases the power of creative, visuals to tell a story, engage the imagination, entertain people and motivate them to tell a friend about it.  Today’s case in point:  Ikea with their new store opening in Tampa, Florida.

Connecting to everyone’s awareness of stories growing up of messages placed in bottles from people on deserted islands, hoping the bottles would wash ashore and rescue would be coming soon.  With that in mind, Ikea created giant size bottles containing furtniture from Ikea that look as if they washed up at a pier near Tampa, providing a great visual reminder that the company has opened a new location in the city.  The photos tell the story without any needed explanation – a great example to think about for your next campaign.  (Photos:  MediaPost)

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Dell Swarm – Group Buying Saves Big Bucks http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/02/dell-swarm-group-buying-saves-big-bucks/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/02/dell-swarm-group-buying-saves-big-bucks/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 01:14:00 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=604 All of my Singapore readers are going to love this, and the rest of us can only hope this program comes our way.  A friend of mine (thanks Janice) in Singapore just told me about an exciting new program from Dell that encourages a group of people to all buy a Dell computer at the same time, on the same day, and save big bucks in the process. It’s called Dell Swarm and I think it rocks.

Here’s how it works:  Pick a Dell PC you’d like, join a swarm (with a guarantee the price will be lower than the price found at dell.com), watch as more people join the price of your PC goes down, when 15 people have joined (or 72 hours has been reached) the price is final and you’ve scored with swarm.  It looks like swarms can save $400 off an already discounted started point if the swarm reaches its limit.

Dell makes it easy to invite friends/family to join the swarm for a cheap price by providing a ton of social media examples to get the word out via Twitter, Facebook, Digg or good ol’ fashioned email.   And you can follow Dell Swarm on Twitter and be told when a swarm is about to happen so you can jump in for the fun and the savings.

Bulk buying is nothing new, sites like eSwarm and others have been grouping people together online for a few years now.  And I’ve heard stories from way back in the day when moms would  go into a story to buy all of the baby clothes in one shop for big deals because of the mass buying power.  What’s different about the Dell one is that it’s easy, intuitive and a bit of fun in the process.  You can imagine other companies are watching this Singapore test to see how well it works.  Think of companies that manufacturer mobile phones, TVs, refrigerators, video games and more, all offering a similar digital experience and consumer savings.  Love it!

What can we learn from this campaign?  Easy one is the need to create a site that is easy to use, is packaged appropriately with good content and ensures the process is transparent to all.  I also give the effort big props on making it easy to share swarms with friends/family with a great pop-up box that puts it all in one place.  And of course the overall idea scores on the creative front, providing solid inspiration for others to follow in their swarm steps.

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