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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

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

What’s up with NASCAR’s Crash Footage Copyright Scandal?

Full disclosure: we’re not huge NASCAR fans, but we were intrigued by the little PR dustup regarding the most interesting thing to happen to the sport in some time: this pre-Daytona 500 weekend crash, which injured 30 or more bystanders (amazingly, the drivers all walked away).

That’s the league’s official video of the wreck–and it’s apparently the only footage anyone can share without landing in a weird legal limbo.

NASCAR claims that it “owns the rights to all images, sounds and data” from every race–and when some attendees posted clips of the crash on YouTube, the league quickly ordered them removed. YouTube complied…at first. Then things got a little more complicated.

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PETA Drowns Joaquin Phoenix in Rejected Oscars Ad Spot

We’ve been wondering why Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix hasn’t appeared in many films of late, and now we know the answer: PETA drowned him.

The world’s largest animal rights group is no stranger to controversial advertising. In fact, it could be argued that most of its past campaign themes–from models wearing nothing but strategically-placed lettuce leaves to ads likening the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust–were developed with shock value in mind.

Now, PETA is claiming that ABC declined to air its latest spot during the upcoming Oscars telecast because it’s too “political and controversial.” The commercial features Phoenix submerged in water, as his voice-over draws parallels between the pain and fear associated with drowning and the ordeal of fish doomed to suffocate in the air after being caught. We’re willing to bet PETA didn’t actually expect ABC to run its ad, and was counting on the “too controversial” label to garner the attention the group is so good at earning. I mean, we took the bait, didn’t we? (No pun intended).

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CEOs Going Social: An Interview with Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick

How social is your CEO?

Weber Shandwick‘s recently released follow-up to its 2010 study “Socializing Your CEO: From (Un)social to Social” doesn’t contain many earth-shattering revelations or statistics that will inspire double takes. But its findings do provide evidence of a shift toward sociability among CEOs across the business spectrum that will only increase over the next few years.

Also: In the future, many of these executives will spend more time working with internal communications teams or third-party PR firms to maximize the impact of their social activities.

Some key conclusions:

  • 66% of consumers say their perceptions of CEOs affect their impressions of companies and the products these companies sell.
  • Overall usage of social networks among the CEOs of the world’s largest companies barely changed from 2010-12, going from 16% to 18%, but…
  • “Sociability” stats exploded: In 2010, only 38% of CEOs could be described as “social”. In 2012 that number was 66%.

What does this mean? We recently spoke to Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputational strategist at Weber Shandwick, to find out.

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YouTube Introducing Paid Subscription Model

Are you ready to pay to watch “Gangnam Style” for the 41st time? Don’t worry, you won’t have to do that–but you might be looking at the future of paid video content promotion.

Today YouTube announced plans to follow Facebook in the endless quest for revenue by reaching out to “a small group of channel producers” and asking them to develop paid content channels that would cost users $1-$5 per month for access.

This isn’t a new idea: YouTube execs previously floated theoretical plans to acquire low-rated networks that can’t quite succeed on cable. Proposed content options for these channels include the usual “episodic” programs along with live streaming “pay-per-view”-style events and “self-help or financial advice shows”. Calling Suze Orman

This development could be both a massive spam disaster and a great opportunity for PR/marketing pros to push their clients. What better way to corner your target audience than by using a video channel that caters specifically to their niche demographic? (Football fans, sci-fi nerds, lovers of redneck reality shows…the list is could go on forever.)

PR pros: can you imagine clients starting YouTube pay channels or using them as key promo platforms?

Kate Upton Mercedes Ad Inspires Outrage, Gets Lots of Attention

Question: when does a “controversial” ad clip double as a shameless PR stunt? When the team’s strategy anticipates the public outrage and uses it to attract even more attention. Get ready to be shocked: this is a common thing.

When Mercedes-Benz hired experimental bra tester Kate Upton for its Super Bowl spot and leaked a trailer that promised to show her washing the new CLA four-door coup “in slow motion”, we feel like they somehow knew that the Parents Television Council would see it, issue a statement and encourage members of the public to voice their outrage.

Could the Mercedes team be so deliciously crafty? Well, the clip already has more than three million views on YouTube. (You don’t really even need to watch it, by the way. You get the point.)

And now for the incredibly predictable backlash:
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