7.11.09

The hand from above



In the latest installation by Chris O'Shea, "unsuspecting pedestrians will be tickled, stretched, flicked or removed entirely in real-time by a  giant deity"
Using the BBC's Big Screens, which are installed in various UK city centres, the Hand From Above playfully transforms passers-by


"The BBC Big Screen is fitted with a CCTV camera, linked into a computer that runs the software then outputs to the screen," explains O'Shea. "The software picks a person based on their proportions and how apart they are from other people, then tracks the blob over time using optical flow. If the giant hand removes, flicks or shrinks a person, firstly it rubs out the person from the live video using the background reference pixels. Then the tracked person is redrawn over the top in relation to what the hand is doing, ie being picked up, or flying out to the left of the screen (not shown in this video). When the hand shrinks a person it redraws them into the video at half scale. When there is too big a crowd it resorts to tickling people, with a random selection."


Sounds by Owen Lloyd
Hand from Above is a joint co-commission between FACT: Foundation for Art & Creative Technology and Liverpool City Council for BBC Big Screen Liverpool and the Live Sites Network. It premiered during the inaugural Abandon Normal Devices Festival from September 23 to 27. It will next be on show at the BBC Big Screen in Cardiff from October 22 to 24.

Social Media|People-based, strategy Vs. Media-based Strategy


How brands should be using social media? The starting point for any business, is ensuring you know what you want to achieve – increased brand awareness, customer retention, a feedback mechanism and so on. “Next, establish who you want to engage – new or existing customers, a certain part of your customer group or more general. Then work out where these people congregate and what will engage them best.” The biggest mistakes companies make, he says, are implementing a tool-based, as opposed to people-based, strategy and simply choosing the best-known communities. “It may be that you just won’t be able to engage people in, for instance, Facebook,” he says, adding that sustained engagement is also key.
Working out why you want to use social media is an important step for any brand getting started in social media. Rather than just jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, or racing into Facebook it’s important to take a step back. Listen to what people are saying already about you in social media. Think about what you want to achieve. Then experiment with a passion and have a clear process for evaluating what has worked. And what hasn’t.
The four steps any brand should do when they are getting started in social media. We will look first at buzz tracking and how you can understand what is being said, where and by whom in social media. We will then look at how you should establish aims for your use of social media (and how you could measure these). Only then will we encourage you to experiment (with a passion). And finally we’ll look at measurement and ROI (and how you will know what’s working and what isn’t).
The aim is to give any brand who is looking to use social media (or indeed to use it better) a framework to work through, some ideas and also a lot of questions and decisions that will need to be made. 

When brands are getting started in social media, they really benefit from understanding who is currently talking about them online, what they are saying, to whom and where. After auditing what your brand footprint currently is, you can begin to make decisions about where you should have a presence, the issues of interest to people in social media and the discussions and debates that your brand can both benefit from and contribute to.
A thorough audit of your current presence in social media (or perhaps just the presence of your brand through customers, fans and others) is the first step for any social media strategy. Whilst Google Alerts provide a useful source for the latest items that are indexed by its search engine, to understand properly what is being discussed by your brand it is worthwhile investing in some detailed buzz tracking.
The best results come from using paid-for services such as Radian6. These conduct and analyse real-time, deep searching into what people are discussing in public forums and social media online that is analysed according to the reach of the posts and discussions and the influence of the people discussing your brand. You can drill-down into your keywords, understand which discussions are prevalent across different social networks and online communities and identify, measure and track your main influencers online.
As with most of our advice, however, a good first step is just to have a go. To do this you need to first establish what your keywords are and then use some tools (paid-for or free) to see what people are saying. Your keyword list is critical here and time should be put into building a list of terms about your brand, organisation, market and customers. Then you are ready to go. And if you don’t want to invest in a thorough, paid-for service right, and you are willing to put in more work and use multiple services, then there are a number of good free tools in the market. Some of these are listed below.
Only when you’ve got a clearer view of what people are saying about your brand and how it is represented online can you start to really develop a strategy to get started in social media.
Some free buzz tracking tools
Earlier this year Econsultancy produced a list of free buzz tracking tools which provides a great starting point for any brand looking to explore what is being said about it in social media. The list republished below:
  1. Addict-o-matic – Allows you to create a custom-made page to display search results.
  2. Bloglines – A web-based personal news aggregator that can be used in place of a desktop client.
  3. Blogpulse – A service of Nielsen BuzzMetrics. It analyzes and reports on daily trends within the blogosphere.
  4. BoardTracker – A useful tool for scanning and tracking within forums.
  5. Commentful – This service watches comments/follow-ups on Blog posts and similar content such as Flickr or Digg.
  6. FriendFeed Search – Scans all FriendFeed activity.
  7. Google Alerts –Daily or real-time alerts emailed to you whenever a specific keyword (chosen by you) is mentioned.
  8. HowSociable? – A simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web.
  9. Icerocket – Searches a variety of online services, including Twitter, blogs, videos and MySpace.
  10. Keotag – Keyword searches across the internet landscape.
  11. MonitorThis – Subscribes you to up to 20 different RSS feeds through one stream.
  12. Samepoint – A conversation search engine.
  13. Surchur – An interactive dashboard covering search engines and most social media sites.
  14. Technorati – Search engine and monitoring tool for user-generated media and blogs
  15. Tinker – Real-time conversations from social media sources such as Twitter and Facebook.
  16. TweetDeck – Not only a great way to manage your Twitter account, but the keyword search means you can see what people are saying about you.
  17. Twitter Search – Twitter’s very own search tool is a great resource. Can be subscribed to as an RSS ffed.
  18. UberVU - Track and engage with user sentiment across the likes of, FriendFeed, Digg, Picasa, Twitter and Flickr.
  19. wikiAlarm – Alerts you to when a Wikipedia entry has been changed.
  20. Yahoo! Sideline – A TweetDeck-esque tool from Yahoo. Monitor, search and engage with the Twittersphere.
Once you have an understanding of what is currently being said about your brand in social media, you will be much better informed about the issues of interest to people, the opinions they have, who your influencers and advocates are and where you can start to engage with people in social media. The next step is to work out what you actually want to achieve.
For too many people, social media is seen first and foremost as a technological solution. People decide they want to ‘implement social media’ and then work out what they want to do with it. This kind of enthusiasm is great and people who want to harness and use social media for your brand should be embraced. However, for any business there is a critical question you need to answer first: “what are you trying to achieve”.
There is much talk about measurement and proving the ROI of social media. One way to ensure that you are able to show the impact that your use of social media has had is to make sure you have clear and measurable aims in the first place. Maybe you want to increase customer loyalty, reduce the cost of your current customer service channels, increase customer satisfaction, get new ideas into your business or reduce the cost of your customer insight spend.  
A clear understanding of what you want to achieve should be the first step for any brand looking to get started in social media. This may be a detailed decision process or it may be simple, but no brand should try something without at least some aims. A simple three-step process for any brand is:
  1. Think about your current business strategy. Consider what would make the biggest difference to your business. Evaluate where you can contribute in the short-, medium- and long-terms.
  2. When you have thought through this you need to evaluate and refine your aims based on what is achievable using social media. Not everything is and not everything should be.
  3. Finally consider each of the aims and objectives you have left and how you can measure the impact you are having. Think about what you should expect from social media, what return you should see and what return you would expect for the investment you are putting into your activities.
This is a simple but effective process. The most important thing is to critically evaluate what you want to achieve as a brand and then work with people with experience of using social media to understand the full and diverse range of things you could do, tools you might use and engagement methods you might employ to contribute to these. This is often an iterative process and will help you to refine what you are looking to achieve and make sure it is realistic and achievable.
At FreshNetworks, we have worked with brands who have started working in social media. They are doing great things and it’s great to see them experimenting. But without having thought through what they are trying to achieve, why and how they will measure it their social media efforts will more likely than not fail. If you are not clear in your mind why you are doing it, you can be sure that your users will not understand what they are supposed to be doing in your social media site.

There are too many stories of brands having tried and failed to use social media effectively. It may have been a disaster or, more usually, just not have had the impact and return on investment for the brand as it might have had. The most effective way to avoid this is to make sure that when you are getting started in social media you have done some effective planning first. Listen to what people are saying about your brand in social media so that you know what people are saying about you and where they are saying it. Then think about what you want to achieve with your social media strategy. Only by doing this will you be able to develop a clear and focused plan and, perhaps most importantly, measure the benefit your social media efforts are having.
Once you’ve got a clear plan it’s time to start thinking about technology and tools that you can use, and most importantly to start experimenting. This is where it gets fun.
When you are working out how to use social media tools, which to experiment with and how there are four main things to think about to help you get going:
  1. Use your buzz tracking to understand where people are talking about you.Compare this with the people you want to engage in social media, those who will help you meet your aims. This will give you an understanding of where the people you want to engage and the conversations you want to join are. This obviously only gives you half the story as you may also want to engage people in a new place or in your own space online.
  2. Decide which of these tools will help you to meet the aims you have set out. If you want to capture potential new customers, for example, using Twitter or Facebook may not be the most useful tool as these will not give you the contact details you probably want. If you want ideas into your business, there may be better ways of doing it than a forum or blog. Think carefully about what you want to achieve and the full range of tools available to you.
  3. Get cracking. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking and planning so far. Now it’s time to just try some things out. One of the benefits of social media is that it can be relatively low cost to experiment. Start small and try a few tools. If you need blog then put one up quickly and invest time in getting it creating content and encouraging and growing engagement. Experiment with a small number of tools and evaluate how effective these are being, switching on more tools over time.
  4. Work hard to get the engagement. Getting the tools up and running are really just the first step. The tough work starts when you start to engage people in social media, whether that’s in Facebook, on Twitter, in blogs, forums and other sites or indeed on your own online community. Engagement is hard and it needs a clear plan and dedication to make it work. The benefit of experimenting and having a go with different tools, and growing your use of social media in a controlled way is that you can see what is working, amend your techniques and try new things. If you have the right measurements in place you will know if you’re reaching your targets and if not you need to evaluate if you are using the right tools and if you are engaging people in the right way.
Once you have tools up and running the final stage for any brand getting started in social media is to make sure you are tracking and measuring your success.

For any brand getting started in social media, the most important thing is to be able to show the impact you are having. To be able to evaluate and assess what is working and what isn’t having the results that you might expect. To show the return on investment that your efforts are having and how this compares to other methods.
There is a lot of talk about social media measurement and it is true that in isolation it is difficult to know where to start. But for businesses with a clear social media strategy, it is actually much easier than many people think. We stressed earlier in this guide to Getting Started in Social Media the importance of thinking about the reasons you are using social media before you jump in to use any tools or to engage people. We talked though a process to define clear and measurablebusiness objectives and aims for your use of social media. It is important that you make these both clear and measurable. Typical objectives that a brand might consider include – acquisition of new customers, retention of existing ones, number of new insights or ideas into the business, or number of customer problems solved. These are just some of the objectives that brands may have for using online communities and social media, and all of them are measurable. At the simplest level they either save money for a brand or they generate revenue.
In the online communities that we manage at FreshNetworks a lot of time is spent defining the objectives and then working out first what metrics should be measured against these, and then monitoring and reporting on these to make sure we understand how the community is performing. It is important to establish a set of metrics that you can measure to assess how you are performing against your aims. In many cases you will want to measure a mix of things for each aim, but overall you should be able to show and prove what impact you are having.
Example: If you want to use social media as an efficient way of resolving customer queries, for example, you probably want to measure the number of unique customer problems you have on the site, the number of problems that are solved by other members of the community. You can then put an equivalent cost that it would have taken to service these queries through other channels and measure the actual reduction in, for example, call centre costs that you witness over time. This is what Dell did, and this is how Dell managed to work out that one member of its customer support community saved them $1m a year in support costs. That’s real ROI.
So the final stage to getting started in social media is to make sure you are ruthless about measuring what you are doing. It’s the only way you will know what works (and what doesn’t) and prove the impact you are having with social media. To do this you need to have clear objectives and these need to be measurable. Then you can measure the actual impact you are having on business aims. The actual benefit your social media strategy is bringing to your brand.



Febreze| " it’s a breath of fresh air"

Febreze: a fabric odour eliminator from P&G operates in a rather unsexy segment. The allure of the fragrance is dramatized in these set of spots.

Dawn| Cleaning up

 

View the current television commerical for Dawn and you’re nothing if not intrigued.Dawn - cleaner?It depicts wild animals caught in oil spills being washed with Dawn dishwashing liquid. The visual images are powerful and the folksy sound track lends the feel of grass-roots activism to the commercial. There is no voice over. Only a few words of explanation appear, including the line “Tough on grease yet gentle.”
A close-up of a Dawn label says “1 bottle = $1 to save wildlife.” The consumer must visit http://www.dawnsaveswildlife.com and enter a product code from the bottle to activate the donation. The brand is committing US$ 500,000 in donations to wildlife causes to give the campaign credibility.

The campaign’s website walks the consumer through the donation process and demonstrates Dawn’s commitment to saving wildlife. There is educational information, some of it surprising: “Dawn dishwashing liquid has been a vital tool to wildlife conservation organizations, with thousands of donated bottles cleansing – and saving – over 75,000 animals in the last 30 years.”
The website includes a lengthy page of wildlife organization partners, and the opportunity to participate in Dawn’s “Everyday Wildlife Champions” Facebook page. Actress Minnie Driver is the campaign spokesperson. The promotion comes full circle with “Special Edition Dawn,” featuring three labels, each with a different photo of wildlife.
While the current campaign brings renewed relevance to an aging product (Dawn came to market in 1973), it may never have happened were it not for a charity’s persistence. The International Bird Rescue Research Center first discovered that Dawn worked on birds caught in oil spills in 1978. But Dawn’s maker, Procter & Gamble, “ignored requests to donate cases of the product, then finally agreed to do so in 1988,” says The New York Times (“Tough on Crude Oil, Soft on Ducklings,” Sept. 24, 2009).
Still, it was the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 that propelled Dawn to the forefront of wildlife conservation. Parent company Procter & Gamble has been active ever since. “Dawn has highlighted wildlife in advertising campaigns intermittently since 2002 but never tried so actively to engage consumers [as with this campaign],” says The Times.
Campaign aside, Dawn is a classic case of Procter & Gamble’s prowess in brand extension. The world’s largest brand marketer, Procter & Gamble began as a family-owned soap and candle company in 1837. Today it markets such well-known brands as Tide (laundry detergent), Crest (toothpaste), and Charmin (toilet tissue).
Procter & Gamble’s brand portfolio typically features an anchor brand with numerous variations added over time to grow the brand into a family of products. Tide, for example, started as a laundry detergent in 1943 and is now a multi-faceted group of products including powders, liquids, stain release boosters, “Tide To Go” pens, and even accessories with the Tide name, such as lint rollers. The rationale is that the consumer who trusts a brand name will buy additional branded products, even paying a premium price for them.
In similar fashion, today’s Dawn is more – much more – than a simple dishwashing liquid. Now there is:
• Dawn Direct Foam, a pump that “turns the liquid into powerful foam”
• Dawn Simple Pleasures, a dishwashing liquid bottle with built-in air freshener
• An entire line of Dawn PLUS products that have added cleaning agents, such as bleach alternative
• Ultra Dawn, a concentrated version of the product
• Dawn Pure Essentials, dishwashing liquid without dye or extra ingredients
• Dawn Botanicals with blended scents
• Dawn Power Dissolver for “the toughest greasy food soils.”

Dawn is the dishwashing liquid market leader, with over 35 percent market share, according to Information Resources. For years, though, Dawn has been in a horse race with second place Palmolive, the dishwashing liquid made by rival Colgate-Palmolive. Palmolive has followed suit with similar brand extensions of its own (Palmolive Antibacterial Soap, Palmolive Dry Skin with Aloe, Palmolive Oxy Plus). That’s why Procter & Gamble continues to innovate with Dawn.
Dawn and Palmolive both may have seen sales slip during the recent economic downturn. To save money, consumers may have turned to less expensive store brands for commodity items such as soaps and dishwashing liquids.
This could be another good reason for the timing of Dawn’s eco-friendly approach. The notion that Dawn helps save the lives of animals just might make a fickle consumer remain loyal to the brand.

Viagra 10 years anniversary




Brand: Viagra
Brand Owner: Pfizer  
Title: The candle
Agency: BDDP & FILS


7 New Skills for a Post-Pandemic Marketer

The impact of Covid-19 has had a significant impact across the board with the marketing and advertising industry in 2020, but there is hope...