By Benjamin Haslem
Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been dealing with a crisis over the taste of its milk products for a number of months.
Consumers had been returning the company's products en masse, complaining about a "funny taste" and issues with the milk going off before the expiration date stamped on containers.
Despite hiring consultants, replacing equipment, firing staff and a invoving a dairy scientist, the problem
continued. This was serious issue for the brand.
Once the issue was solved, CEO Jeff Kleinpeter posted a message on YouTube explaining the problem and the
By Benjamin Haslem
In a further insight into how rapidly the social media landscape is changing, Mashable reports a study has found 77 per cent of US college students are using Snapchat daily.
Snapchat is a smart phone and tablet app that lets users take photos and record videos, add text and drawings and send them to a controlled list of recipients.
Their creations - known as Snaps - only appear on screen for between one to 10 seconds before being deleted.
The study also included information that hints at the app's value to marketers, with about half of those surveyed saying they would open a snap from a brand they they did not know.
Nearly seven in ten said they would add a brand as a friend if they already followed it on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms.
Snapchat is yet to generate any revenue but its founders - Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy - have already turned down an offer to sell for US$3b cash from Facebook and US$4b from Google.
A number of brands are already using Snapchat to market their products, including Taco Bell, Honda, the New Orleans Saints, Rebecca Mincoff and MTV UK.
It would be interesting to know how many people are using Snapchat in Australia.
The Snapchat data was collected by Sumpto, a New York-based marketing company that identifies college students who are influential on social media and connects them with brands.
It should be stressed that most respondents to this survey had to sign up to Sumpto, so the sample is likely skewed toward early adopters.
Coca Cola's 60-second commercial aired during Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII broadcast is, you would think, to most casual observers, beautiful.
The #AmericaIsBeautiful video is a celebration of the USA's rich cultural melting pot and spectacular and diverse landscape.
But it seems not everyone in the US agrees.
The advertisement begins with a female voice singing the US patriotic song America The Beautiful as a cowboy on a white steed emerges from a wilderness pine forest. Cut to a view across a lake to snow capped mountains, more pine forests in the middle ground, and you start getting the sense this ad wants to tap into viewers' patriotism.
A quick shot of the cowboy rubbing his ride's nose seems to confirm this. So far, no products in site (unless they're selling white horses).
Then things change. We're confronted with a tight shot of a woman's face in a cinema as she blows a pink ball of bubble gum. As American as apple pie.
But the singer has changed. And so has the language. It's not English! It's Spanish. From this point each line of the song is delivered in a different language, popping back into English at one point before climaxing with "from sea to shining sea" in English.
Coke has copped a blizzard of criticism in the States since the ad was aired. Most of it is simply too racist to repeat here but needless to say the soft drink giant has been called to task for messing with such an iconic American song.
The Tweet below is a good representation of the type of response Coke elicited. Public Shaming has a gallery of responses.
As I wrote about recently, using patriotic icons in a marketing campaign is a high-risk endeavour, especially if you're going to tamper with them. It risks a major PR disaster. It seems in the US, that risk is multiplied significantly.
Coca-Cola should have done a risk analysis on this. Maybe they tried it on focus groups and no one complained. Perhaps the Twitter trolls only represent less than one per cent of viewers and more than that will be won over to or stay with Coke.
Or maybe Coke should have played it safe.
Either way, they're getting a lot of publicity and all for the wrong reasons.
(Interestingly, the ad also includes two gay men ice skating with their daughter, though that seems to have been missed by the critics. LGBT media advocacy organisation, GLADD, said it was the first Super Bowl as to feature a gay family and called it a "step forward for the advertising industry".)
By Isabelle Walker
Very rarely do we see an ingenious marketing strategy, intertwined with genuine good will, which restores faith in both humanity and reinforces the ability of successful corporations to act with unadulterated generosity.
Canadian Airline WestJet’s new marketing campaign has gone viral with a nuanced approach to online advertising.
The five and a half minute video – long by viral video standards in the age of the 6 second ‘Vine’ – captivates viewers from start to finish in the feel-good campaign of the festive season.
The clip shows a large decorated Christmas present displaying an interactive St Nick (complete with hidden cameras and - unbeknownst to the travellers - communication to a control room) where travellers scan their boarding passes. St Nick asked travellers what their dream Christmas present would be. Little did the jetsetters know their every wish was being recorded and purchased by the WestJet “elves”, ready to be presented once travellers reach the baggage claim at the end of their journey.
Despite purchasing customers everything from socks and underwear to a snowboard and a flat-screen TV, this was not an expensive campaign as WestJet easily recouped the cost by being smart enough to come-up with a concept that would go going viral and therefore avoided paid advertising. This ‘giving’ approach has undoubtedly improved WestJet’s consumer perception and I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in its bottom-line.
Perhaps this marketing strategy makes a point that human kindness and generosity can be the making of great business and advertising, rather than cut-throat business decisions and unfettered greed.
By Benjamin Haslem
Belle Beth Cooper at Buffer via fastcompany.com has some interesting facts on social media use.
Here are ten (commentary mine):
1. THE FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC ON TWITTER IS THE 55–64 YEAR AGE BRACKET.
No it's not just the kids. So when you're thinking your comms strategy, don't exclude Twitter or other social media channels because your stakeholders are older.
2. 189 MILLION OF FACEBOOK’S USERS ARE "MOBILE ONLY"
It amazes me how many websites aren't geared for smart phones and tablets. I was browsing a high-profile bookstore's website on my iPhone last night and was shocked when it didn't render for mobile. Not to mention they don't have an app. If you're using Facebook to drive traffic to your content, make sure your website renders on mobile, like ours does.
3. YOUTUBE REACHES MORE U.S. ADULTS AGED 18–34 THAN ANY CABLE NETWORK
It's true there are many more videos on YouTube than there are cable or pay TV channels but your comms strategy has to at least consider video, considering the size of the user base.
4. EVERY SECOND TWO NEW MEMBERS JOIN LINKEDIN
For a professional services company like Wells Haslem, talking to other professionals is essential. And remember, by joining LinkedIn Groups relevant to your product and service, you can start conversations or link to content that will drive traffic to your website and/or build your company brand and profile (see #6 below).
5. SOCIAL MEDIA HAS OVERTAKEN P%$N AS THE NO. 1 ACTIVITY ON THE WEB
I couldn't possibly comment.
6. LINKEDIN HAS A LOWER PERCENTAGE OF ACTIVE USERS THAN PINTEREST, GOOGLE+, TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
When someone invites me to connect on LinkedIn or accepts my invitation, I often ask them to meet F2F. It's amazing how many (especially those who contacted me) don't respond. Do people simply connect to boost their connections or are they serious about using LinkedIn as a networking and marketing tool?
7. NINETY-THREE PER CENT OF MARKETERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
What are the other seven per cent doing?!
8. TWENTY-FIVE PER CENT OF SMARTPHONE OWNERS AGED 18–44 SAY THEY CAN'T RECALL THE LAST TIME THEIR SMARTPHONE WASN'T NEXT TO THEM
A quarter of smartphone users are connected to the web virtually all the time.
9. EVEN THOUGH 62 PER CENT OF MARKETERS BLOG OR PLAN TO BLOG IN 2013, ONLY NINE PER CENT OF US MARKETING COMPANIES EMPLOY A FULL-TIME BLOGGER
Do you need a full-time blogger? Surely your marketing team can find time to post every day or so?
10. A QUARTER OF FACEBOOK USERS DON'T BOTHER WITH PRIVACY SETTINGS
Belle Beth Cooper has some of her insights HERE
Wells Haslem has helped its client, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, produce a short video documenting the Church's amazing efforts feeding hundreds of firefighters working on the devastating bushfires that ravaged parts of New South Wales, Australia, recently.
Over seven days 350 volunteers from the Church served up to 1600 meals per day.
Thousands of firefighters, other emergency personnel, council workers and media were served 24 hours a day.
The Church's Rapid Relief Team (RRT) supplied 99,000 litres of bulk water.
In the first four days, half of the food and drinks were delivered by the RRT directly to the frontline.
Donations of food and drinks were received from Coles, Woolworths, Joe’s Meats, local butchers, bakeries & Penrith Party Hire.
Hinchinbrook Public School donated a cool room of food and drinks.
The video was shot mostly by Church members. Wells Haslem CEO Benjamin Haslem then worked with video producer, Phil Donnison, to pull the footage together in the video above.
Click through to the Church's YouTube channel and see other videos Ben and Phil helped produced for the Church.
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?