It’s been wryly observed that people are tuning in more to comedy shows for news. Well, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is a great example and this segment on “Sponsored Content” is especially pertinent for us communications and media professionals (Video NSFW – language).
Let’s call Sponsored Content what it truly is: monetizing one’s integrity and credibility. It especially becomes a problem when it is deceptive, pervasive and wantonly permissive.
In the words of John Oliver:
“The integrity of local news is crucially important, and there is real harm for everyone if that integrity is damaged.”
On Wednesday earlier this week, I was invited to get into the hot seat for a fireside chat with Tim Sharp, APD’s Regional Head of Social Media at an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) event to discuss Stamping Out Social Wildfires. The conversation was covered by IAB on their website here; and appended below.
When I came across this video on social media, it hit me right in my geeky gamer feels!
This short film, called “Player Two“, was ostensibly based on a true story.
In response to a YouTube video titled “Can Video Games Be a Spiritual Experience?”, one commenter shared the story of how he had lost his father at a young age and reconnected with his ghost via a shared video game.
Here’s the video:
As a marketer and corporate communicator, I cannot help but note that this inadvertently serves as a great ad to the Microsoft Xbox. It’s a powerful, emotional story that does a great job humanizing the brand, video gaming, as well as the technology. Not a bad achievement in just under 2 minutes!
Now, Adweek has published an interview with John Wikstrom – the filmmaker behind “Player Two”. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft – the owner of Xbox – had nothing to do with the video.
This was making its rounds on social media – clearly, as a testament to the viral nature of project.
Suumo is the biggest real estate information agent in Japan. Suumo was looking to build brand leadership when its agency HAKUHODO Kettle Tokyo challenged the company to meet the needs of a very unusual customer – the hermit crab.
The initiative was a collaborative between Suumo and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology to develop the perfect house for hermit crabs; especially since suitable seashells for hermit crab use were dwindling in Japan due to environmental degradation. The resulting solution was not only effective for the brand (increased purchase intention for the brand to 120%), it was also a useful and impactful, environmentally-friendly solution.
The alignment to the brand proposition was perfect – hermit crabs are famous for being the “masters of living,” who keep seeking the comfortable houses throughout their entire lives. Suumo was then poised to provide new comfortable houses for some of the most challenging customers in the world – and even turn them into unwitting brand advocates.
A short version of the case study (in English) can be viewed here:
A more comprehensive video case study (in Japanese, with English subtitles) is available here:
I really love social experiment/guerilla activation campaigns. Given today’s noise and clutter, timely activation activities are often able to tap in to the zeitgeist of the day. From there, they join the conversation – and, if particularly successful, may even “hijack” the conversation in their favor.
This one by JetBlue is really cool – and comes at a time when the US is going into its presidential elections. 150 unsuspecting passengers were given the chance to win free round-trip airfare to one of 20 domestic or international destinations served by the carrier. But … they’d get those travel certificates (worth about $300 each) only if they could decide on a single destination by unanimous vote before their six-hour flight from Boston landed in Phoenix.
So, would they “Reach Across the Aisle” and compromise as needed? Check it out: