Category Archives: Marketing News

McDonald’s Australia – User Generated Film


McDonald’s Australia recently launched  an aggressive user generated content play, putting their fans in the directors chair to create a crowd sourced short-film about fries!  The community gets to  direct key elements of the story arc which McDonald’s then goes out and films. The series will culminate in a mini-blockbuster which may be the world’s largest crowd-directed short-film

New episodes in the series are released every few days. Details and episodes so far can be seen at :

McDonald’s is always great at branding:  Whenever my 3 year olds sees the Golden Arches she screams “M is for French Fries”.


KitKat: Take a Break with the World’s First Massaging Billboard

KitKat launched an awesome out of home advertising campaign in Colombia that aligns really well with their tagline “Take a Break”.  The company setup billboards that invited people to take a break by leaning on them for a massage.

In addition to the the natural foot traffic at the transit shelters where they installed their billboards, KitKat also leveraged Twitter to generate awareness and engagement: People tweeting with keywords that showed they were stressed or needed a break were replied to with the location of their massaging billboards.

Overall it’s an elegant way to engage the public while giving people a tangible benefit for interacting with the brand.

Taking out of home to a new level: 3D Projection Mapping campaign by Samsung

Digital signage is far more engaging than ubiquitous static billboards, but the latest in HD projection technology puts today’s digital signage to shame:  3D projection mapping is a technology that allows a  series  of HD Video projectors to take over the surface of a building, wall or road in a high foot traffic area and then  create a powerful visual experience. The following is a sample of 3D projection mapping campaign by Samsung  in Europe:

I’d love to see this used by a major brand in Canada.  Imagine taking over a building surface at an event like the Canada Day fireworks …. it would be a chance to make a terrific brand play and would be uber-powerful considering most Canadians have never seen anything like it.

I’ve always had an interest in how out-of-home advertising will evolve beyond plain outdoor billboards with the evolution of technology.  I was lucky enough to work on some cool digital signage campaigns a few years ago and had the opportunity to do some custom creative for the contoured screen at Dundas Square in Toronto,  mostly by adapting flash content that had been created for campaign and product launch microsites and repurposing for the screens. By comparison, 3D projection mapping is a lot more involved but the results can be stunning!

Social Media: Is it giving my Company any ROI?

A recent survey by Mashable found that 84% of companies running social media programs don’t measure return on investment (ROI). A lot of brands both big and small are starting to leverage social media, but how do you measure the impact that social media is having either on sales or in brand lift? Assessing social media ROI is fairly hard due to the nature of the medium but it is not impossible.

Key Performance Indicators

At the launch of any social media campaign, you need to define some key performance indicators which are your measures of success. If you are putting in X dollars into a social media campaign what do you want to achieve? i.e. If you are going to setup a Facebook fan page for your service or product and then purchase some Facebook ads to drive to it,  how many fans do you expect to get in return?  Is  5$ per fan a reasonable amount for your brand or is it simply to expensive?

Some KPIs anyone running a social media program should monitor are as follows:

  • Which social media tactics are reaching the most people and in turn producing the most traffic (twitter, blog, forum, etc)?
  • Which  tactics are  driving the most engaged visitors (most time on site, most page views etc.) and the most high value tasks on site?
  • Are your efforts attracting the right people? (measure with surveys, monitor user engagement on site).
  • Based on you social media efforts, are you seeing any brand lift, positive comments in the blogosphere or increased intent to buy?
  • Use  a social media monitoring tool like Radian6 to monitor increases in mentions of your brand
  • Use a back link checker to see if the number of hyperlinks to your site / blog / twitter etc. are increasing with time.  Social media can lead to more incoming links helping you increase your organic search ranking.
  • Take a look at branded search volumes that are driving to your site by looking up data in your analytics tool

If your company has not traditionally been part of the online conversation, what are you aiming for? Set some high level goals in terms of how many customer problems you want to address on forums and on Twitter on a weekly basis.   If you have a dedicated Social PR resource set expectations ahead of time.  You need concrete goals and then you need to work towards them. Take a look at how customers are responding to your Social Media PR efforts. Is there positive feedback when you help a customer using Twitter when other channels such as a call center support failed to address the customers issue?

The Bottom Line

In short, measurement is all about the numbers. If there is any way to assign a number to some facet of your social media campaign you need to know that number, take a measurement as a baseline and work to improve it.  You also need to set goals ahead of time and works towards them.  Don’t spend money on a campaign or social PR effort without having defined your success metric and defined some type of budget per high value task.

Ikea – Leveraging Social Media to Push to Retail

Canadian brands are pretty slow to adopt social media marketing, but it looks like they can learn something from Swedish furniture giant Ikea. They recently opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden and decided to launch the store with an innovative push to retail using Facebook.

Their online agency (Forsman and Bodenfors) setup a Facebook profile for the store manager, Gordon Gustavsson. They then uploaded hundreds of images of the new IKEA showroom to the Facebook account. The agency then put out word that the first person to tag their name to a product in the pictures, won it. This is a great case of Social media marketing and synergies between online and retail. A ton of people had Ikea furniture showing up in their facebook feeds and profiles as they tagged the images. Pretty crafty indeed!

The YouTube video below showcases their strategy and success:

Google Expands its Mobile Advertising Reach with AdMob Acquisition

This week, Google announced it’s takeover of AdMob, a leading mobile display ad technology provider, for $750 million in stock. Thats’s big money for a company that was a start-up in 2006! The acquisition will expand Google’s mobile advertising reach which is currently focused on mobile search ads. It will allow the search giant to expand its reach into the mobile banner and in-application ad space. The image below from ripped from Google’s press release site, shows the breakdown of Google’s mobile advertising offerings and how AdMob will fit in:

Mobile Ads

As we see in the graphic above, the only pillar of mobile advertising that is missing for Google is SMS based text ads – an area they are bound to enter by leveraging some type of Local Search meets Google Maps mashup that would allow companies to push their service ads to local searchers.

It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Google to integrate AdMob inventory into their relevancy based content targeting system for ads as well as with their DoubleClick acquisition which allows publishers to buy adspace from publishers on an auction based system.

Lessons from Apple’s Anti-Windows Strategy on Google Adwords

Have you tried a  Google search for Windows 7 recently?  Apple is running ad copy targeted at Windows 7 searchers using Google Adwords.    They have taken thier  head to head Apple vs. Mac strategy and extended it to SEM in a fairly direct manner.

Mac Vs. Windows 7 in SEM

Personally I would go more tongue in cheek to be in line with some of the more agressive Mac Vs. Windows ads that we seen from Apple:

Upgrading to Windows 7 ?
Switch to a Mac and
Save yourself from pain

Search Engine Marketing and Content Targeting are great ways to target searchers and surfers who are part of your target market but are actively evaluating  your competitor’s products .  These surfers are often in-market for your class of product  and are low hanging fruit that you should be actively targeting with your messages.

Your ad copy should call out your strategic advantages and can also play on the pain points of your competitor’s products.   Just remember that in most cases you can bid on your competitors branded terms but Google does not allow you to include those branded terms in your ad copy.  Apple may have gotten away with this due to the fact that people are allowed to bid on “Windows” since restricting it would be undue hardship on unrelated businesses such as home window manufacturers and installers.