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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

McDonald’s Canada Wants to Show You Where the Beef Is

Yeah, no.

In case you never watched Dudley Do-Right as a kid, we’ll let you in on a little secret: things are different in Canada. For instance, McDonald’s Ontario recently added the McLobster to its menu. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Why do we mention our great white neighbor to the north? Because Canada has given us Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, at least one member of Arcade Fire, and this week’s best case study in proactive social media PR!

Most food brands take one of two routes when confronted with tough questions about ingredients and product preparation: either change the subject or say nothing at all. Yet the Canadian branch of fast food’s reigning champ decided to do something completely different last year: listen to customers’ questions and give them all the dirt on the ginger clown with the beef-and-cheese addiction.

This isn’t just social media community managers tweeting “We’re sorry for your experience, customer X. Please email us at LikeWeCare@yahoo.com for more info!” McDC promises to answer any consumer’s question—as long as he or she connects on Twitter or Facebook first. Crafty!

So how does this project work?

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PR Win: Cleveland Kidnap Victims Break Silence with ‘Thank You’ Video

Here’s a great video to show your grandmother the next time she asks “What does a PR company do, anyway?”

Last night, Cleveland-based crisis management/media training firm Hennes-Paynter posted this short YouTube video featuring each of the three young women who spent more than a decade in captivity after being abducted by a neighbor in their Ohio suburb. Their dramatic rescue moved millions of Americans, and this clip marks the beginning of the next chapter in their very public saga.

Why did Hennes-Paynter decide to release the video at this point in time?

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Google Taking Heat from State AGs over YouTube Ads for Illicit Products and Practices

Google is being criticized by the attorneys general of Oklahoma and Nebraska for allegedly profiting from ads associated with YouTube videos that promote illicit activities.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent a letter (PDF) to Google general counsel Kent Walker, asking him how much money the company generates from ads related to illegal sales of prescription drugs and counterfeit merchandise, and requesting detailed information as to the steps it is taking to curb the practice.

The letter reads in part: “As we understand the process, video producers are asked prior to posting whether they will allow YouTube to host advertising with the video and, for those who consent, the advertising revenue is shared between the producer and Google. While this practice itself is not troubling, we were disappointed to learn that many such monetized videos posted to YouTube depict or even promote dangerous or illegal activities.”

Specific examples given in the letter include ads for “pharmacies” that promote the illegal sale of drugs like oxycontin and percocet without a prescription, videos providing how-to guidelines for the forging of drivers licenses and passports, and videos promoting the sale of counterfeit merchandise.

“Not only are the activities depicted or promoted in the above-described videos illegal in and of themselves, but in the case of document forgery,” the letter states, “the how-to guide could be instrumental in the commission of other crimes ranging from under-age drinking to acts of terrorism.”

The letter asks that Google respond within 30 days with detailed information about the monetization of such ads, and warns that although both attorneys general hope to work collaboratively with the web giant to find a mutually agreeable solution, they “take these issues very seriously, and are prepared to take appropriate action to safeguard [their] citizens.” Read more

‘The Next Big Thing’: Samsung’s Partnership with Jay-Z Demonstrates Shifting Marketing Rules

By now you’ve likely seen the musical, pseudo-philosophical, and now-viral three-minute video announcing Samsung‘s new partnership with Jay-Z, which first aired during the 2013 NBA Finals Game 5. The deal, which cost Samsung $5 million, allows the first million Galaxy and Note mobile device-users who download the corresponding app to access the rapper’s latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, for free, three days before the record drops on July 4.

At first glance, the $5 million price tag may seem like a major marketing risk, especially considering that promotions like this don’t usually generate a major sales increase due to the fact that most cell phone users are locked into two-year contracts. Factor in the unthinkable possibility that not every Samsung user is also necessarily an avid Jay-Z fan, and one might wonder whether the tech company could possibly see a decent return on its investment.

But if we instead assume that the goal of this collaboration is media attention and visibility for the brand, rather than a spike in sales, the idea suddenly appears like a match made in marketing heaven. Read more

YouTube Announces the End of the World

What? They want us to pay?

Hold on. Breathe. The news is true. YouTube has just (finally) made it official that it will allow content providers to charge viewers access to videos. So, what will this do to the next Harlem Shuffle, the next cat floundering in a paper bag, or the next Justin Bieber musical sensation? Not much, probably.

Most of YouTube will remain free to the public, and the channels that do decide to charge customers will probably be able to do so because they know what their discerning customers want. YouTube is going niche. This means that we can actually choose the content we want to pay for, just as we choose whether or not we want to subscribe via pay walls to our favorite online newspapers and magazines.

Though much of the public still thinks all content should be free, it is slowly coming to the realization that some people actually make a living by creating content, and ultimately consumers will have to make a choice between paying for quality content and not having access to that content at all. This increasing reality has found its way onto YouTube and it doesn’t signify the end of the world for online content. It might, however, signify the demise of cable television. Read more

Kim Jong-Un, Master of Viral Content?

PR pros wouldn’t normally tell clients who want to go viral to “keep it creepy”, but the approach seems to be working for one Kim Jong-Un.

Kim’s PR strategy is actually very similar to that of major blogs: post lots of content on a regular basis and make it as weird and “WTF?” as possible. Most of the very, very few people in North Korea who have Internet access work for Kim’s propaganda department. And while much of the West chuckles at their strange videos and stories about unicorns, this viral content seems to grant a certain legitimacy to an oppressive and genocidal regime. South Korea’s national security director tells The Washington Post that the “headline campaign” is at least partially responsible for a sevenfold increase in news coverage and searches related to North Korea.

Now check out this YouTube page if you enjoy watching insane people do insane things.

The lesson here is really all about creating a story and then newsjacking your own work in order to gain even more attention. Of course, most of the public will be less interested in a product rollout than a mysterious dictatorship’s ongoing attempts to scare everyone’s pants off. Still…

Social Media Doesn’t Kill Productivity After All

Does your company prohibit you from accessing Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube at work? Quite a few do, citing the ability of cute animal videos and status updates to distract employees from the work at hand. But according to the biggest story making the rounds this morning, their concerns may be misplaced. In fact, the study in question suggests that a company’s most “connected” employees may be its most productive!

Don’t get too excited yet — the research, conducted by data analytics firm Evolv, involved approximately 40,000 call center employees whose responsibilities range from sales to customer service, so it didn’t cover the whole business spectrum. But here’s the interesting thing: the employees who counted themselves as members of more than five social networks were also the most valuable! They had, on average, better close ratios for sales and more efficient customer service records based on time per call.

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Coke Clarifies: Social Buzz Complements Long-Term Sales

You’ve probably heard that everyone’s talking about Coca-Cola‘s social media reveal this week. According to the soft drink giant, the fact that more people are discussing its brand on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean that more of them are buying Coke products. But maybe “How many people bought a Coke after retweeting a call to action?” is the wrong question to ask.

In an effort to clarify its points and counter the media’s collective freakout, Coke’s SVP of integrated marketing Wendy Clark wrote a blog post arguing that social does, in fact, play a large role in boosting brand perception and audience engagement–which leads to more sales.

Her point, of course, is that the fact that data can’t directly link the number of comments on a Facebook post to the number of people buying Coke does not diminish the value of said content. This kind of “buzz” is only one part of Coke’s extensive branding/PR puzzle, which uses earned, shared, paid and owned media to encourage the brand’s ultimate goal: driving consumers to buy more soda in the long run.

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Coca-Cola Says Social Media Buzz Does Not Boost Sales

Coca-Cola This week, a Coca-Cola representative made a statement that will create more than a few headaches in marketing, PR and advertising departments around the country. For all the talk of encouraging the conversation online, social media buzz does not appear to translate into short-term revenue gains (at least for Coke). Oh, and print ads are the most effective way for Coke to drive per-impression sales. Surprised?

It’s a very dramatic announcement coming from a company with more than 60 million Facebook fans. But don’t freak out just yet–and don’t start gently lowering clients’ expectations, either. According to AdAge, Coke’s senior manager of marketing strategy Eric Schmidt (no relation) warned his audience at the Advertising Research Foundation‘s Re:Think 2013 conference not to read too much into the bombshell headline.

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Why The Harlem Shake Must Dance Alone

Poor Psy. His meteoric Gangnam Style rise to superstardom is ancient history. Where was he from again?

Pop culture, which has the attention span of a squirrel on amphetamines, is all about the Harlem Shake right now. You know, that YouTube sensation that combines electronic music from Baauer with clips of people gyrating in costumes. It’s addictive and has spawned countless imitators and millions of YouTube views.

PR professionals have a Pavlovian response to anything popular. Understanding the public is what we do. So when a video goes viral unexpectedly we ask ourselves why and berate ourselves from not being able to see it coming. And, of course, we wonder how we can replicate and leverage this level of notoriety for clients. How can we get the goose of YouTube to lay golden eggs at our command? Read more

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