Tag Archives: Social Media

Digital agencies teaming up with start ups

I am sure you have already noticed:  digital creative agency work heavily overlaps with start ups. I am hardly the first to notice that talent, ideas, formats and processes are very similar in nature. It’s no wonder some talented staff leave agencies to pursue their start up ideas. Murat Mutlu has delivered a great rant on it here. Similarly, whole agencies team up with venture capital to pursue start up ventures. R/GA’s Connected Devices Accelerator comes to mind. Check out the crowd in this new YouTube content called ‘That Start Up Show’ (you can read my review here). You’d be hard pressed to tell the people apart: agency geezers or start up folk?

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Photo by Heisenberg Media under CC

Or look at the photo above: is it a group of start ups or a digital agency? Click through to Heisenberg Media and you will find out. So in many ways there is little difference. The reason we are still somewhat different is how agencies deal with a variety of industries & clients rather than one target market or one vertical. And most importantly, we differ in the way ‘our businesses work’. We agencies handle risk and reward a lot different from start ups. More often than not, we agencies would love to follow up, evolve, optimise and perfect our ideas for apps and services. Yet the budget often isn’t there for those last hard yards. On the side of the start ups people must often re-adjust their ideas and pivot the whole entreprise. And still their genius might hit a wall. Or the money might run out. Or the market might not react at all.

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Photo by Heisenberg Media under CC

Despite those differences, I thought there is so much to be gained from getting closer to the start up world. I investigated our own Reactive agency & start up relationship further. And as part of our constant Research and Development, Reactive has started a relationship with Telstra’s incubator program Muru-D.

muru

Through them we got to know a Sydney start up called ISSUE. Their venture is a browser-based authoring tool that creates mobile/tablet ready magazines with e-commerce and affiliate marketing, all built in. Or as they would call it: “Mobile magazines with shoppable stories”.

Issue application site

Last week Reactive Sydney turned into a little film set, hosting the ISSUE crew shooting a demo reel with us. Reactive is acting as their partner agency in this video (with yours truly among the amazing cast). The final video (see below)  features fashion & design bloggers Lisa Hamilton from See Want Shop and Terri Winter, founder of Top3 by Design. They worked together with us to create an amazing interior design and fashion mag – and we had a blast being part of it.

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We will post this ISSUE hype video once it’s finalised. In the meantime you can check out the elaborate set and suave actors in these ‘Behind the scenes’ shots:

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Australian Open Social Shack

One of Melbourne’s prime sporting events, the ‘Australian Open’ is closing on a great two weeks of tennis with their finals. Stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Li Na battled on the courts, and their fans are constantly connecting with them and amongst each other via social media, especially with the help of Twitter and the official hashtag #AusOpen.

Here’s Reactive’s Australian Open Social Shack, which is all about bringing fans and players together through social media. Check out Twitter’s global blog post on the project here.

hash check in inside2 inside outside

Below outlines each of the concepts displayed across the screens:

Tug of War – Fans could engage with the display by hashtagging their favourite player to influence the game of tug of war. Two players go head-to-head and only win by having the higher number of hashtags associated to them. Each player had multiple hashtags associated to their profile to ensure  variations of their name, e.g. #teamwilliams were captured.

Social Cheer – This idea uses live data from IBM to display graphical social ‘cheer’ throughout a match. Player vs. player would be set up for live matches and based on the social chatter for each player the graph would grow or decline. The intelligence of IBM’s data was also used by pulling through content on fastest serves, longest rally and other stats.

Social Leaderboard – This application uses multi-screen takeovers and runs through a series of leader boards based on players social media accounts.  Tracking the most followed players, who tweets and instagrams the most.

Player Profiles – Fans can see an animated feed of players which displayed all their social media accounts.

KIA’s Greatest Fan – Built upon the user journey through the Social Shack, the first two screen are displaying a feed of photos taken in the KIA media booth. Once having their photo taken the fans would move through to the Social Shack where they could view their photo on the big screen and then engage with the above  concepts.

Lastly, a giant check-in button helps track the number of visitors to the Social Shack. An iPad app  ticked over every time its button was pressed. The 3D #AUSOPEN sign, commissioned by Tennis Australia, sits out the front of the Social Shack and is a perfect and very popular photo opportunity.

Splendour in the Grass and on YouTube

This Sunday afternoon from 4pm onwards Splendour in The Grass will be running as a free live stream in the masthead on YouTube’s homepage as well as on Virgin Mobile’s channel. This is a first for paid media in our region so everyone here at Mojo is properly chuffed about getting this up.

YouTube masthead with Splendour in the Grass

YouTube masthead with Splendour in the Grass

Many people here including our partner agencies and Google have been working hard to make this happen. If you do live in the right region please enjoy the free stream of a pretty good line up consisting of Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs, Cloud Control, Elbow, Vaccines and The Vines.

Even better, if you happen to be mucking around at Splendour itself, or know someone that is and/or have a Twitter or Instagram account, please participate with the hashtags #splendour, #splendourlive or #SITG . All tweets will be picked up and displayed underneath the videostream. And some of the Instagram shots might end up in The Vaccines new crowdsourced music video.

Splendour Live Stream Party

Splendour Live Stream Party

There are also live streaming parties running in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne this Sunday, so come on down to the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi or the Bimbo DeLuxe in Fitzroy from 4pm on Sunday and enjoy the festival atmosphere without the mud!

Old Spice reveal: Fabio challenges Isaiah

It seems like I and a lot of other interweb folk have been truly had – see my last post. In a very clever way W+K and Old Spice are pulling our leg: Fabio, the usurper of the scented throne has been copying the famous Responses with mixed results. But now is throwing down the gauntlet, challenging Mustafah to step up.

Respect to the creatives for reinventing the game and playing with social media in a new way. Because naturally Mustafah accepted the challenge and there will be a showdown.

As you can see from the Mexican wrestling-style announcement, it will be hand to hand combat in the bath (mano a mano in el bano). I am expecting a duel of wits, long flowing hair versus presidential abdomen, taking place in the Internet Arena.  It is about to go down in a good 7 hours (high noon EST in the US). Now ask yourself, who do you want to win ?

Addition:
The rules of this video combat are easy. Go here and by watching, sharing, commenting and tweeting the support-video of either camp you contribute to the outcome. My choice is the incumbent, no surprise there.

Advertising agencies on Facebook: do you practice what you preach?

At Holler we started redirecting all visitors of our company website to our Facebook page. While you can still access our “regular” site (moved to an “On Holiday” address), most visitors stay on the facebook version. Even people without a facebook account (a.k.a. 0.23% of Australia) can see the customised tab we built in FBML. I was recently interviewed by the editors of SHIFT! in Japan on this topic and thought it might be interesting to hear other people’s experience and opinions. Here are a (very few) places and activities I stumbled upon:

International

  • AKQA and Big Spaceship are very popular (in number of fans) and spread lots of case studies, job news, awards and thoughts this way
  • Razorfish/NeueDigitale in Germany (one of my former work places) is very chatty and shares 3rd party links
  • R/GA use it a lot for recruitment and conference & media appearances
  • SapientNitro post work and industry news from any of their many offices

AU / NZ

  • Resn distributes their many award and job news
  • Digital Eskimo and Visual Jazz mostly draw their blog feeds into their  (non vanity URL) pages
  • Bullseye are either heavy on the BBQ or Blackmore’s news
  • Circul8 also redirect their URL and run a similar gamut of posts to Holle
  • Pusher run (against FB guidelines) as a person rather than a page
  • RMG Connect had integrated Facebook Connect on their playful “regular” site (unfortunately now dissolved into the video-laden JWT site)

Surprising is that many international networks don’t seem to do anything on FB or when they do have a page take it to any interesting level. I would like to do a quick survey of AU/NZ agencies on Facebook. Which ones do you value and became a fan of? What are success criteria, do you think you would “buy” fans through FB-ads and promotions? What is the best tonality for clients, talents, employees alike?

Here is my bit about “Holler’s what and why on Facebook”

Holler on FB

Holler on FB

Background:
In my experience agency websites are a one-time affair for users. Even your own clients never return to check up on your latest and greatest work. This leads most agencies to start putting out a newsletter, and it is uncanny how soon those slow down to a trickle and get abandoned. At Razorfish/NeueDigitale I started a podcast which died an unceremonious death after one episode (doesn’t really qualify as a podcast really). The NetX newsletter was dumped after three issues. A newsletter suggests that all content has to be fairly significant and important to the business of the reader. Internal culture and social news hardly feel appropriate – which is strange because creative agencies’ reputation thrives on how much extra-curricular and non-commercial things go on. And it is an important decision factor for talent as well as clients.
Facebook on the other hand is a place where the private and public sphere mix harmoniously, where social and commercial infos can blend in one stream. Holler has been servicing different brands in Facebook for 2 years now and 2 of our staff are full-time content and community managers.

Strategy:
Since we can communicate more often about all aspects of agency life in Facebook and because we know how to move in this space, we decided to redirect hollersydney.com.au to our Facebook page. Any visitor is welcome to still check our “regular” site onholiday.hollersydney.com.au

Execution:
We built a customised tab in FBML displaying a little time-lapse film of our studio, 4 pieces of work and a bit of the usual “This is us” copy with a hint at getting in touch or (dare we say it?) “become a fan“. (Note to self, the line”click that Fan button” should say “LIKE” by now).
This is the page that every new (non-fan) visitor of Holler would land on. Updates happen naturally on the Wall, if a post needs more links, space and integrated media we use our customized Tumblr blog.

Results:
Since we switched to a Facebook page the amount of fans and job applications from talent have steadily increased. We can stay in touch with this growing audience on an ad-hoc basis, in a casual tone and without worrying if messages fit a certain category. It is hardly an accurate measurement but we believe that our rating of second hottest digital agency in the region is also a result of more people staying in touch with our work as well as culture.

Addition (29/07/2010):
Geekvertising collated a list of the likes/fans of UK and US agencies split by networks. I reckon it is time to ask the people running these page for a more qualitative analysis, using the amount of interactions per post, photos, intervals of postings and so on. Admittedly, the effects of these pages on the agencies might only be supported by anecdotal evidence (e.g. better qualified applicants).

Save friendships – hyper target your facebook updates

I sometimes I feel like a semi-professional Facebook updater (mostl of the posts for Holler), sometimes I feel like an amateur. I have been posting things that were relevant to some friends and bordering on spam for others. As an expat I find it even more difficult to judge whether both my social circles can find common ground beyond web memes and global politics. And what language should they be written in? What do a former German school mate and a current Australian colleague have in common? I reckon not a whole lot, except knowing me. I suspect many have already hidden me because of lacking relevance to their lives.

But help exists in the shape of limiting the visibility of updates. I had known about the feature but not used it much. So when I stumbled upon Crystal Castles and wanted to share their tour dates (the band is bypassing Down Under as many international acts do) I chose to hyper-target the update. Written in German and only visible to those Berlin-based friends I considered to be into Crystal Castles style of music.

Crystal Castles facebook update

If you want to be this flexible, the posting procedure gets a bit silly (or maybe I have overlooked a more convenient way). See below the two parallel windows that allow selecting relevant names/friends.

Selective updates

But to keep the value of facebook up, I fear I must not only do selective reading but also practice considered sharing. Or else I might get paid out by friends in Pringles latest social content campaign “Help the Oversharers“.

Fallen out of love with Twitter? Well, my industry column has.

On Feb 11 I made the spontaneous (and potentially premature) decision to stop twittering. Or let’s call it taking a serious break to re-evaluate. I joined Twitter during its geeks-only phase in April 2007 with the ground breaking statement “back to the office with Pascal” (what was your First Tweet?). I then let it rest for a year or so before picking it up once there were “enough people like me” on it. I ran several campaigns with it, including a gargantuan stream of more than 1600 tweets for Beck’s beer. And sat on the couch (among other places) staring at TweetDeck on my iPhone, trawling through links and private minutiae. And then I made this abrupt decision…which I promptly announced on Facebook. I couldn’t keep that to myself:
——-
Tim Buesing “just had a thought: how about I stop twittering? Would it even matter?”
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So except for a few automated tweets coming via my linked accounts of blip.fm, slideshare or this blog I have been silent.

  • I don’t really miss it.
  • Nobody has expressed missing me on there (so far).
  • It seems like I wasn’t alone in giving up.
My TweetDeck

My TweetDeck columns

My “Industry” column inside Tweetdeck fell from about 30 active, daily twitterers (out of 65) to about 5 – 10. Events such AIMIA awards or AdTech give it a “real-time info” jolt but it still feels slower. And recent converts like ex-SMH’s TheRealSamNorth got christened at The Digital Citizen meetup and instantly slacked off as well. Admittedly, that’s all very anecdotal evidence. But the people still twittering are mostly senior agency people with a vested interest in keeping the Twitter conversation going.

Is Twitter going 180 degrees back to (social) geekdom? I am happy for you to call me a traitor and prove me wrong with (Australian) stats but does it only work for real-time events and breaking news?