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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

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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How Should PR Adapt to Looser Social Media Rules in the Workplace?

We found ourselves fascinated by this great Sunday New York Times piece on an issue of vital importance to PR and HR departments: monitoring employees’ work-related social media activities.

A few companies have received very bad press thanks to conversations that their own employees initiated via social media. We understand why most companies’ policies seek to “discourage comments that paint them in a negative light”– no one likes unflattering attention, and Facebook has the potential to turn insider “water cooler” conversations into public debates.

But the National Labor Relations Board recently complicated the picture by ruling that some employees who were fired for Facebook conversations should be reinstated and that a company’s ability to regulate its team members’ “social” lives should be limited. For example, companies cannot adopt broad policies prohibiting negative comments if said policies “discourage workers from exercising their right to communicate with one another with the aim of improving wages, benefits or working conditions.”

That is very confusing! So what does the shift mean for public relations? Does complaining about work on Facebook or Twitter qualify as “protected speech?

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Nominate Your Clients for the Webby Awards by Friday

The Webby AwardsHave you heard of the Webby Awards? No? Well then: established way back in 1995 when we still used a dial-up modem to access our Prodigy account, the awards were created by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences to honor creative individuals doing great work in the digital field: websites, online ads, videos and all other kinds of content. This year’s deadline for nominations is Friday.

Academy members include Harvey Weinstein, David Bowie and Martha Stewart, and past winners have been as diverse as Björk, YouTube, Stephen Colbert and, for some reason, Jimmy Fallon. Oh and yes, the Webbies were once known as “The Oscars of the Internet.”

This year for the first time, the awards include a suite of social categories to celebrate “the diversity of content, brands and people that use social media as a fundamental component of their identity and communication.”

Sound familiar? If you have a client (or firm) that created a particularly excellent content, marketing, or other social media project this year, it will only take a moment to nominate them. We have a feeling they would appreciate it. But make sure you do it by the deadline this Friday!

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