Archive for the ‘Facebook’ tag
And that’s a wrap!!
Huge shout out to the totally tireless, amazing MKTG and Team Epic team effort out in San Francisco in pulling off no less than dozens of truly awesome activations.
In case you missed it, we’ve kept our social feeds active with content from the week including our very own video content series called “Theo on the Street” that we’ve posted to our brand new YouTube Channel as well as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Check it out below!
Theo on the Street: NFL Experience
A team from MKTG INC recently traveled to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The festival is the annual mecca for the global marketing communications industry, with the most powerful brands, media outlets, agencies of all kinds (advertising, PR, experiential, digital, technology, data, social, mobile, creative, and many many others) – approximately 15,000 people, flocking to Cannes to network, to visit brand experiences, to close major deals, to learn, to meet a lot of people, and in many cases take home some hardware.
Sure, the setting is seriously glorious, but it is honestly a beast of a week. Think Sundance or CES…at the beach…in the South of France, in the summer. You are running, watching a panel on a rooftop in 85 degree heat, then running into a freezing cold conference room and back again, and grabbing food along the way, usually until sundown when things slow up a bit.
Luckily, my friend Julie Thompson, a 16-year Cannes Lions veteran, wrote this hugely insightful article for Adweek, that I used as gospel to make sure I made the most of my four days in Cannes. Even with Julie’s help, I still overbooked myself, but not complaining.
Between the client and press meetings at our home base, the Dentsu Aegis Beach House, panels, Q&As, creative showcases, press sit-downs, more panels from Adweek, Medialink, digiday, LinkedIn and visits to Google Beach, Facebook’s Hacker Square, and my favorite stop, The Girls Lounge, I averaged 22,000 steps a day according to my trusty companion, my FitBit.
Anyway, rather than yarn on, I figured I’d share with you some photos I snapped along the way:
Today, RFID technology is so much more than an IPass or a race-timer. The technology has changed the way big corporations such as Wal-Mart handle their supply chain management, the way retail stores prevent shoplifting, and the way experiential marketers make use of their spaces. Here are a few ways events are utilizing RFID technology to improve experiences:
Tomorrowland Music Festival:
This Belgium music festival took to the wristband trend over the traditional admission ticket. When guests received their wristbands in the mail they could register their band to connect with their Facebook page. During the course of the two-weekend event, if any two guests pressed the button on their wristband at the same time while they were close to one another, the other person’s Facebook info would be shared via email. Every day that the guest attended the festival, they received an email of all the people they met that day.
Taste of Toronto:
The Taste of Toronto used RFID a little differently than just an admission ticket. They said goodbye to the dated ticket method for paying for food and drinks and instead provided each attendee with an RFID card. The guests could load money on the card and use it to pay for all food and drinks at the event. At the end of the day, if there was money left over on the card it was donated to Second Harvest Food Rescue.
C2MTL, the Commerce and Creativity conference in Montreal, used UHF tags (similar to RFID but functions from as far away as 30 feet) to help staff the event. The tags were on each badge of the guests and the chandeliers were UHF-enabled to receive information from the guests’ badges. Producers knew when people entered the building and passed security successfully, and they also knew when to add extra staff to popular food stations.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival:
Bonnaroo draws thousands of guests to Tennessee each June. Guests registered their RFID wristbands online before attending the event, and in Bonnaroo’s partnering with Microsoft, linked them with a Microsoft OneDrive account. Every time the guest visited a photobooth or viewed a performance, they could scan their RFID band and have photos sent and saved to their account.
Checkout more smart uses of RFID in the BizBash article “6 Events Using R.F.I.D. Technology to Improve the Guest Experience.”
There comes a time where photos of pancakes during Saturday brunch, random selfies in the park or outrageous political rants become too much handle on your social networks. It’s part of the reason why you un-friend someone on Facebook (in many instances on their birthdays), unfollow them on Twitter or block them on Snapchat. Simply put, it’s noisy and irrelevant.
Though we all crave constant interpersonal connectivity, many find that connection-based social networks and apps leave with you a tremendous rolodex of contacts and robust streams of content, but have shortcomings when trying to share with the people you really care about.
Matthew Bryan Beck, a NYC-based journalist and advertising strategist, exposes a timely topic of what he thinks is the future of social media: mobile tribes.
Just as tribes define membership by ‘different groups, movements, cultures or ideologies,’ we “band together in subpopulations of shared interests, tastes, demographics and marketplaces.” We, along with traditional tribes, then mobilize by choosing and controlling with whom we connect, communicate and share on a regular basis.
Brands and corporations – like consumers – seek to remain in control of how they engage their audiences. Where a Facebook ad spend or a Twitter buy may fall short in breaking through the noise, marketers invest in new platforms to camp out where their mobile consumer tribes roam. Though that’s much easier said than done. Beck asserts, “the age of the mega platform is over.” Consumers have become nomadic in their social-media sharing, app usage and content consumption, leveraging multiple platforms and devices simultaneously to tap into each of their disparate ecosystems.
At Bonfyre, we believe we align well with this trend. Each “bonfyre” is like it’s own ecosystem – an exclusive social network enabling brands to better engage their audiences with targeted, real-time consumer engagement around events and groups of people. The level of control is two-fold: participants “opt in” to the bonfyre – typically through a link, QR code or location-based invites – while the brand decides who’s invited, the content participants can receive and the manner in which they can share (“read-only” chat, moderation, etc.).
Ultimately, marketers should deploy an arsenal of apps, social media sites and experiences to better reach their tribes. There’s always a good story to tell, sometimes it’s just about camping out and listening in.
Seeking a mobile solution for your brand, client or organization? Contact us to learn more.
Frank Bruni wrote an interesting piece in the New York Times about what Princeton prof. Daniel Rodgers calls the “Age of Fracture.”
The idea is, as our knowledge has gotten more specialized, there is less common ground that draws us together. Everyone is taking in content with their own customized feeds. Even at Princeton, in a room full of geniuses, the average teacher struggles to find common cultural references.
In the mid-70’s, America’s top rated show, All in the Family, drew 23% of all Americans. That means that almost 1 in 4 Americans were reacting to the same thing at the exact same time. Today, America’s top-rated show, NCIS, draws 1/16th of all Americans (7%), including those who DVR it.
Sure, there are a few cultural events (like the Super Bowl) that draw up to 35% of us, but on a regular basis, there is no MASS AUDIENCE anymore. Everything is going niche and finding a very specific following. Some of us are watching HBO and Netflix Original Series, some are watching cable and network series, and some of us simply watch videos through our social feeds.
The same is true of social networks.
Parents and brands joined Facebook, so influencers switched to Instagram. Then they moved to Instagram, so influencers migrated to Snapchat. Fred Wilson, the legendary investor who wisely invested in Twitter, Tumblr, Zynga, Etsy & Kickstarter, recently commented on this on a fascinating profile in Business Insider.
On Instagram, he says:
“A lot of the stuff that was on Instagram has now moved to Snapchat. It doesn’t mean that people are not using Instagram, but if I go back and look at my Instagram feed a year ago versus today, there’s a lot of people who were in my Instagram feed a year ago who aren’t there today. They’ve been replaced by brands.
So now my Instagram feed is full of things like the New York Knicks and restaurants posting amazing photos of food. The young Facebook user base who left Facebook to go to Instagram has now seemingly moved mostly to Snapchat and my generation (baby boomers) plus brands are what’s on Instagram now.”
So…what is the NEXT BIG Social network once all the brands and parents get to Snapchat? Maybe nothing! In an era of niches, there’s no next big network that has attained critical mass. Instead, there are a bunch of small communities forming that cater to specific interests with very devout followings. Here are a few of the communities that are developing:
There are communities for Musicians: 40 million musicians share their music with 200,000 listeners;
Communities for Students: a network of 34.2 MM students and teachers around the world that is dedicated to helping everyone become more educated;
…and even communities for Storytellers: 25 million people around the world writing and reading 40 million stories.
The landscape has changed, but there are still a lot of great ways to reach an audience. In fact, brands may have an easier job targeting their core consumers because these communities have done such a good job of singling out very specific demographics.
If you follow the news in tech, finance or pretty much anything else on the Internet chances are you’ve heard a relatively new term being batted around: bitcoin. While not actually that new, the term burst into the national consciousness in 2013 and so far in 2014 has been trending alongside the polar vortex, MH370 and various Russian antics. Here is a quick 101 on what you need to know and what you can expect from the amorphous alt-currency world this year and beyond.
So bitcoin. What is it?
Simply put, ‘bitcoin’ is a peer-to-peer digital currency. It is made up of a web-based line of code “mined” from an increasingly difficult to solve mathematical riddle — that’s how it maintains its scarcity and therefore its value. Bitcoin was invented by an anonymous hacker and because no federal government or central bank controls it, the currency changes hands anonymously and crosses borders easily. Naturally, it was quickly adopted as a black market currency. Today though, bitcoin is an increasingly legitimate and rapidly changing ecosystem of technologies, exchanges, VCs, vendors and customers.
What’s the difference between bitcoin and Bitcoin?
Great question! bitcoin (lowercase b) refers to the currency itself, while Bitcoin (capital B) is the largest, most well-known service used to buy, sell, exchange and retain bitcoins (lowercase b) via digital “wallets.”
This sounds awesome, I want to go buy some right now.
Not so fast. Because it’s backed strictly by the market (rather than gold, a central bank or an agency like the FDIC), the currency is notoriously volatile, giving many would-be investors pause. Just this year the exchange rate has fluctuated anywhere between $80 and $1,200. Compounding the issue is susceptibility to security flaws: the late Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest exchange, recently collapsed due to hacker meddling and mismanagement. So buyer beware.
Yeah, pump the brakes.
So how will it affect me?
Bitcoin ATMs are already popping up in major cities, and the currency has even begun to creep into many mainstream vendors, including Home Depot, CVS and Amazon. The Sacramento Kings recently became the first professional sports franchise to accept the currency, and one has to assume the forthcoming Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco will soon be on board as well. Bitcoin also bodes well for any brand with an interest in e-commerce; continued innovation of payment systems is rapidly reducing precious time spent at the point of sale. If you’re a believer, you can use bitcoin for most of your day-to-day purchases right now.
But why would I want to?
Fair question; and the truth is, many people will not. Right now bitcoin is most attractive as an investment opportunity- a way to make a quick buck betting on the wild swings back and forth. But as things stabilize many see virtual currency as the way forward for payment systems. Picture this: you are in your seat at a Kings game, and want some nachos. Soon you will be able to place the order from your smartphone and have it brought to you without ever exchanging cash or a credit card, even in the nosebleeds.
I already do that with Uber!
Yes you do- but you pay with a standard credit card. While you see no difference, bitcoin vendors like Bitpay are charging flat fees to merchants, rather than the standard credit card percentage. Lower fees mean higher margins for merchants, which means the roster of bitcoin-friendly businesses will continue to grow.
Ok, fair enough. What’s next?
Tough to say. Mt. Gox was a major black eye for supporters, but the momentum is tough to deny. Even NASCAR is getting in on the action; Bitcoin competitor Dogecoin (yes, that doge) has signed on as an official sponsor and will be featured this spring at Talladega on Josh Wise’s no. 98 Ford.
Long story short, the bitcoin world will look very different 5 years or even 1 year from now, but whatever it looks like it’s definitely not going anywhere. Though it has some major detractors (Warren Buffet and essentially every federal government in the world, to name a few) and flaws, enthusiasm is only building and savvy techies like Marc Andreessen, the Winklevoss twins and others with a vested interest are going to make sure it succeeds. When is anyone’s guess, but bitcoin will become a major player for consumers, marketers and brands alike.
Our friends at Bonfyre teamed up with the St. Louis Cardinals for their 2014 Cardinals CARE Winter Warm-Up. The three-day fan-centric event provided fun photo opportunities and introduced a new way for fans to connect with Cardinals players, coaches and media.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the St. Louis Cardinals to enhance the fan experience around such an amazing community event like the Winter Warm-Up,” said Mark Sawyier, CEO of Bonfyre. Fans had access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos, fun contests and more.
Our St. Louis-based technology partner complemented the Cardinals’ complete social media coverage of the three-day long event on official club platforms like Twitter (@Cardinals), Facebook (Facebook.com/Cardinals) and Instagram (@Cardinals). The experienced-based social platform allowed fans to share content while automatically creating a digital memory of the experience.
Read the original press release here: http://goo.gl/YadYxG
In an effort to boost sales amongst millennial diners, McDonald’s has begun testing a mobile app in 1,000 locations. Beneath the golden arches, customers in pilot markets open up their “McD” app featuring mobile-exclusive offers such as buy-one-get-one breakfast sandwiches or a $1 McChicken sandwich.
With the global proliferation of smartphone usage and app downloads, brands like McDonald’s are taking advantage of these trends to drive both revenue and customer loyalty. Some have likened McDonald’s to a glorified Groupon; others may dub it a branded, localized, social-commerce tool. Whichever way you lean, the hope is that millennials will eat it up.
The deal-based mobile app is part of the recognition that McDonald’s and other brands share: digital and mobile accessibility are “increasingly critical in the U.S,” Sara Senatore, a New York-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Consumers are downloading and using apps at quite a clip, and we believe that brands will continue to build and launch mobile apps to boost sales, drive advocacy around rewards and enhance engagement through social sharing.
Aligning with these trends, at Bonfyre we’ve created a platform that focuses on “narrowcasting.” Brands create invite-only, ad hoc social networks called “bonfyres” focused around events, groups of people or influencers where participants can chat and share photos, captions and more. Instead of shouting to millions of Facebook likes or sifting through #mentions to reach a mass audience, Bonfyre fosters relevant two-way communication and sharing between specific audiences and a brand to cater the message and the consumer experience. Over the past year, we’ve helped brands like Budweiser, Express Scripts, an NFL team and MKTG INC leverage mobile technology around their unique events and communities. Through the narrow lens, our clients can better understand and measure how their audience interacts, to what messages they respond, the content they love and more.
As McDonald’s deploys McD to lure millennials, the company’s marketers will gain tremendous intelligence on how their consumers behave and how they leverage digital/mobile tech: what items they redeem most frequently, at what times, and hopefully drive additional sales via the app and market- or store-specific insights. Marketers might call that ROI. Millennials would call it the entire value menu.
Photo Credit: hearblack.com
Once upon a time, like ten years ago, email was everything. Before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, friends would forward baby photos, wedding announcements and jokes about menopause (those were emails from my mother).
In 2007, Nora Ephron wrote a column on “The Six Stages of Email” for The New York Times. “I just got email! I can’t believe it! It’s so great!” the essay began. It ends with “Call me.”
Email is the subject line of the conversation between artist Miranda July and Buzzfeed creator Jonah Peretti on a T Magazine blog. “E-mail has returned to being more intimate,” says Peretti, “where you might be IMing or messaging or texting with your friend, but when you want to send something that is longer and more meaningful, you use e-mail. I think it’s becoming increasingly important for personal relationships.” (Hear that marketers? Email is practically a love note.)
Miranda July’s latest art project We Think Alone sends subscribers (100,000 so far) an email every Monday from the in-box of one of 20 people July has brought together, like Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst and Kareem Abdul-Jabber. For July, reading other people’s emails is a revelation. As she told T, “I’m always like, ‘Oh – so that’s how other people behave in the world.’ You know?”
Photo Credit: news.cnet.com
Taking advantage of the ever-competitive nature of the fitness landscape, Nike+’s latest FuelBand app update will allow users the chance to leverage Facebook to demonstrate their fitness to their social network once and for all (read: time to talk some smack). For the first time, the FuelBand app will give its users the option to tag friends and post pictures from their workouts, overlay Fuel scores and Nike logos onto these photos and, most importantly, display their activity on a customizable leaderboard with friends.
These most recent developments for the FuelBand app certainly demonstrate Nike’s recognition of Facebook’s developer-friendly features for fitness apps that were introduced earlier this year. Furthermore, the added features serve to reinforce the growing trend amongst fitness-related technology of individuals sharing their progress with their respective circle of friends. What, you may ask, could be better than amassing a personal best 7,000 Fuel points on a summertime Saturday? How about sharing that score with your more “athletic” younger brother and sparking a whole new family rivalry?
While some may scoff at this sort of public humble-bragging, many in the industry believe that this social hook ultimately holds people more accountable to their fitness goals and influences them to work out more than they normally would otherwise. And while Facebook may not necessarily be concerned with having its user base remain fit, the company certainly won’t complain about the increased content and activity taking place on its site. Seems like a win-win-win situation for Nike, Facebook, and FuelBand users alike.
Written by: Willie Rudman