How social can help in the era of #TVEverywhere

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How people are watching and engaging with broadcast TV content is changing dramatically in the USA. Surprise, surprise, It’s no longer linear. It’s no longer scheduled. It’s no longer exclusively in front of a TV screen. “TV Everywhere” is becoming mainstream. It’s the latest buzzword for viewing broadcast shows from channels you subscribe to on your satellite network or devices. TV apps like HBO Go, Watch ESPN, CNBC, and cable companies offering their own branded apps like Comcast’s Xfinity TV Go. 1 in 5 American households are watching TV Everywhere content and it’s growing significantly faster than other online video sources like YouTube, Hulu or Daily Motion according to Adobe’s Digital Index.

Closer to home, the Australian TV networks and telco’s no doubt have picked up on this new revenue stream as Foxtel Go is our best example of this model, but how are they driving engagement around their content?

Several American TV networks are re-imagining the second screen experience and experimenting with new ways for people to participate with social elements when the person is already on their phone/tablet. Here are 5 recent innovative American examples:

1. High quality, bold, branded content:
To promote the second season of the Showtime series “Masters of Sex”, the network hired filmmaker Tatia Pilieva (“The Kiss” creator whose video for clothing line Wren earned 86m views) to create a video clip on YouTube titled “Undress Me,”. Seeding innovative teasers on YouTube is proving to be an effective strategy to generate interest in ‘tune-into’ events.

2. Tease Exclusive bonus content and Insider Info in real time:

As an official sponsor of Pretty Little Liars, Audi Snapchatted exclusive bonus content from the ABC Family program and the show’s stars in real time. SnapChat and Instagram are Millennial mediums of choice and need to be considered in delivering ‘first to view’ content.

3. Experiment with social platform features to build plot suspense

Hulu is the first brand to test sponsored posts on Whisper, an app that lets users post anonymous messages about their deepest secrets, biggest regrets, and strangest desires. For their new series Deadbeat, about a New York resident who helps ghosts take care of their nasty unfinished business they’re posting prompts, i.e.:. “Describe the worst fight you’ve ever gotten into with a rival” to pique interest in the show. A great example of matching a show’s narrative with a social platform’s unique context.

4. Contextually relevant media partnerships:

To promote the release of its new series “Satisfaction,” a show that deals with modern marriages, USA Network teamed up with Vice Media and HowAboutWe – a dating site – to start a cultural dialogue around the subjects of today’s relationships with the thought–provoking question: #AreYouSatisfied? among the very people who might be pondering this question and thus be interested in the show.

5. Use characters to “meet” new fans:

To plug Season 4, The Walking Dead, a Zombie show in New Zealand, TVNZ deployed female models to engage with over 500 guys on Tinder, and as their ‘relationships’ deepened, photos and responses slowly deteriorated, leaving little more than incoherent zombies who rattled off the launch date. Mindy Kaling (star of Fox’s The Mindy Project) also surprises viewers on Tinder, a clever way to attract potential new viewers with matching interests.

If TV Everywhere trend continues it’s global growth, brands like Foxtel Go should be experimenting with innovative social ideas to drive engagement and advocacy around their shows.

Forget what you know about luxury marketing

A little bit blingy???

A little bit blingy???

I was recently asked by Marketing Magazine Australia to write about the new codes of luxury marketing. Here’s my viewpoint on how luxury brands need to think about engaging the neo luxury consumer.

How do you be exclusive, sell the dream, retain the magic and mystique, craft the message in an area of transparency, open access and democratic sharing? These are the fundamental issues facing luxury marketers today.

The next generation of younger multi-channel luxury consumers are rising in influence, seeking demonstrations of discernment rather than badges of bling. Luxury is no longer about outward displays of wealth, it’s a state of mind, with self-fulfillment trumping traditional status symbols. Here are my emerging codes of luxury marketing worth thinking about:

  1. Provocation over poise

Whilst superlative storytelling has always been the bread and butter to create desire for luxury goods, brands now need to look to new more provocative brand archetype to cut through and engage. Jaguar’s latest ‘Villains’ #GoodToBeBad campaign has successfully positioned Jaguar as an alternative Anti Hero in a stuffy luxury car world.

  1. Timely beats timeless

Luxury brands need to think about how they are offering cultural value in real time. Thomas Pink in the UK recently launched their ’90 minute service delivery in London’ to fix dressing woes. 

  1. Making exclusive inclusive

More than ever, people want to help craft the narrative of a luxury brand. Brands need to think about hey they involve people in interactive stories at all stages of the product and marketing process. Burberry’s famous Art of the Trench project and Mont Blanc’s Beauty of a Second are best practice here.

  1. Living is more than owning

The era of Experiential Luxury means status and social currency is derived through engaging in unique and rare experiences often powered my immersive technology. Innovative examples include the Mercedes Benz Travel program in China and our Johnnie Walker Blue Label Gallery .

  1. Personalisation over conformity

Luxury consumers are craving hyper personalisation at every touch point, so luxury brands need to think about how their products and experiences are delivering more personal moments for people.

So luxury marketers need to tear up the traditional marketing toolkit, cleverly leveraging the myriad of digital channels and tools at their disposal to demonstrate discernment rather than blast them with bling.

UNICEF Change For Good: Save a life with the power of 5

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Am so proud of our teams work to launch #5Fund – an initiative for UNICEF’s Change for Good partnership with Qantas. To drum up domestic donations here in Australia, we’re honing in on the power of Australia’s most useless coin, the 5 cent piece and dramatising how powerful your loose change can be in saving the lives of kids in need around the world Please share and donate at 5fund.org.au

How to engage the A-D-D Generation with #LifestyleHacking

A recent piece I wrote for Marketing Mag column with the lovely Kat Edwards from KontentedImage

A screenshot from one of our iris Worldwide presentations courtesy of our guru CSO, Sammy Noble.

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Today’s digitally savvy Millenials have been termed the A-D-D generation, constantly flipping and flopping between jobs, digital devices, having attention spans the size of ants and being brand flirts. It’s not surprising given they’re dealing with 60 million Instagram pics being posted daily, 200 hours of YouTube video content uploaded every minute and 30 billion pieces of content shared monthly on Facebook.

Marketers need to understand those born after 1995 have been forced to develop a finely tuned editing and curating skills to process the endless streams of content bombarding their screens. How they absorb information in the networked world has fundamentally changed.

Today’s Millenials live on a diet of quick fix information nuggets where their memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by hashtags, Instagram pics and Snapchat one-liners. When it comes to content they take a quick glance, sort it, and tag it for future reference. Forget multi-taskers. They are super-taskers.

So how can marketers engage the A-D-D generation?

In todays networked, post modern world, the biggest influence on youth patterns of thought and behaviour are their everyday experiences and social milieu. Their participation in the world around them is the key guide for marketers.

So the role of brands today is to ‘hack’ into and become more of an intrinsic and visible participant in the flow of their lifestyles. I call it ‘lifestyle hacking.’ Here are 5 principles for successful lifestyle hacks:

1. Design distinctive and instinctive interactions

Where milliseconds matter, moving beyond bland consistency, marketers need to focus on visceral, interactive and detailed experiences at every encounter creating distinctive and instinctive interactions.

2. Practical magic

Think about turning life’s pain points into little moments of pleasure and delightful discovery. More than digital utility it’s building in lots of sticky details. The Uber app is a great recent example of this.

3. Tribal identity

Baking in meaningful signs of tribal belonging and affiliation with groups of others to help frame their social identity is key. Our MINI UK #notnormal platform moved beyond the metal to celebrate the inventive relationships MINI owners had with their cars.

4. Social currency beyond WOM

Making your brand a unit of social currency, not just your branded content is the new centre ground for marketing. How do you always stay abreast of the zeitgeist and be part of the emerging shift to the collaboration economy? Online thrift shop ThredUp.com is kicking goals here.

5. Immersive connectivity

Millenials crave connectivity and they love 4D immersion. Why else would Facebook buy virtual reality company Oculus Rift? Look for new ways to create brand experiences leveraging accessible virtual reality.

Top 10 #RealTimeMarketing Moments from April Fools Day

Well we’ve had the best of in real time marketing from the SuperBowl,Valentines Day and Oscars; last week brands across the world were at it again on trying to generate cultural conversation around weird and wacky April Fools Day pranks. 

 Here are my top 10 real time marketing moments from around the world:

 1. Google Maps Pokemon Challenge

Google Maps goes into recruitment mode with the help of Pokemon to find Pokemon Masters around the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YMD6xELI_k#t=22

2. Headdit: a quirky new way to browse Reddit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqoKxLB8GH8#t=30

3. Dominos Edibox: a world first in snacking innovation

 

(Disclaimer: our Iris London office did this one)Image

4. LELO Dextrus: World’s first vibrator that makes you smart

The left handed orgasm for lovemakers around the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJernQ4gxtA#t=23

 5. Virgin America & NEST’s ‘Total Temperature Control’ give passengers control over their seating temperatures onboard

Sir Richard shows us how to feel a Chicago polar vortex onboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1nzWY3JFJQ

 6. Rent out your desk on AirBrb: some fun from Airbnb

What could be better than earning money while you work?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0MmNM0a_RU

 7. LEGO offered free shipping by Turtle for one day only on Twitter

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8. King’s College Choir in London offered up helium as a solution to replacing high male voices

Nice to see a religious group getting in on the fun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukDAfF0-8q8

 9. SONY launched #SONYPowerFood to power their products via a new voltaic enzyme

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPRYB_PNWlA

 Last but not least, even the French got in on the fun

10. AirFrance introduced inflight selfies via #SelfintheAir camera

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SXSW 2014 Wrap: Shadow marketing, 4D VR, Secret Social, Hacking for Humanity and Intrapreneurs

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SXSW Interactive is over for another year and thousands of marketers, clients, and tech geeks from around the world have had our brains filled with the latest and greatest in technology and human behavior. SXSW has become less about the latest start up tech (i.e: Twitter launching) and more about how marketers can influence behavior today and tomorrow through innovation.

So, here are 5 things I found most interesting at SXSW this year:

1.      Shadow Marketing: Data, security and privacy goes mainstream

As expected there was a big focus on data and privacy as we live in an era of technological transparency and big data in every marketing presentation. Interestingly, keynotes by Julian Assange and whistleblower Ed Snowden were the big attractions of the festival, not the CEO’s of tech companies.  Rather than the tech side of things, the conversations were around the shadows behind the technology and how we can use the immense data stream, tracking info to actually benefit mankind. Let’s call it ‘Shadow marketing’. People are acutely aware of the data being stored about their lives, so marketers need to be transparent about what info they have on people, making them feel secure about it whilst also adding genuine value to their lives, not flogging endless cross sells.

2.      4D Virtual Reality: The future of brand experiences

The big tech hit of SXSW this year was 4D Virtual reality software from Oculus Rift. Whilst, VR is not new, we may be finally coming to the point where marketers can genuinely use it to deliver hyper real brand experiences and interactive stories. HBO created a ‘Game of Thrones’ 4D Exhibit using Oculus Rift to showcase the new series, letting cast member Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) experience the mind blowing reality of it.  Watch it here:

 3.      Ssshhh: Secret social the antidote to the selfie obsessed

Finally, we may be seeing a counter trend against to the selfie-obsessed trend as people become more protective of their digital footprint. Perhaps we’ll be seeing a backlash to the selfie saturated social platforms and a growth in ‘secret social’ apps like Whisper and Secret. Their goal is to bring anonymity back to social. They’re both offering the ability to connect to anyone, anywhere, about anything without the fear of being judged. The big debate was around trolling and the impact that had on the overall welfare on the digiverse. Whisper CEO, Michael Heyward suggested ‘Whisper is the safest place on the web, we have a strict policy here anonymity is used to protect yourself, not hurt others’. Time will tell on this one.

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4.      Hacking for Humanity: emerging markets embracing hacking culture

Last year hacking was a key part of SXSW conversation and this year it popped up again but in a different guise. This year the conversation was around ‘Hacking for Humanity’ – tacking something and rewiring/rebuilding it to push us forward as a species. Interestingly, the best examples of this were not out of the USA or Europe but out of developing markets in Asia. Oxfam’s Pink Phone project in Cambodia was a shining example, whereby rural women were given old mobile phones providing them with access to farming information to help their livelihoods. We’re also seen phone hacking for good, as textbooks are delivered on phones in African nations.

 5.      Intrapreneurs the key to engaging Millennial workers

My favourite keynote was Pete Cashmore from Mashable talking about how to motivate Millennials in his ‘Y bother’ forum. By 2025, 80% of western workforces will be Gen Y, this is relevant for us all. We all know and have heard the discourse around Millennial expectations of management positions within 2 years of leaving uni, well here’s why. Millennials have grown up in a world where the tech has changed at warp speed, this is the real time generation. Social media platforms have democratised virtually every industry, giving everyone an equal voice. The key to maximising Millennial performance in the workforce is to empower them as INTRAPRENEURS – where they can be entrepreneurial within the business, making change in real time within flatter organisations structures.  Millenials have become wired to expect real time feedback. Annual Reviews are dead. Work and play is seen as one, Intrapreneurs want to go hard at both. Which is a great metaphor for the vibe at SXSW – a healthy dose of sucking up knowledge during the day and partying hard at night.

Perhaps the coolest thing at SXSW, was all the geeky gamers talking about the documentary series  ‘Dumping The Alien: Unearthing The Atari Graveyard’ where filmmakers are going to Area 51 in Mexico to try and find the 3million allegedly buried copies of the Atari Game ET ‘Extra Terrestrial’ – widely known as the worst video game ever. Watch the backstory here.

Another SXSW done, as people in Austin say: Stay Weird.

 

Overheard at SXSW 2014: 30 Interesting & Influential quotes

 

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 Here’s a little piece I put together earlier in the week for B&T, capturing 30 interesting & influential quotes from around the grounds at SXSW covering an array of topics. 

Once again the Twitterverse has gone into a tail spin as we all look to the latest trends and digital innovations coming out of SXSW Interactive festival in Austin Texas.  

There have been hundreds of speeches over the first three days, and I learned from last year’s experience that it’s impossible to visit or track every interesting keynote or speech. So I’ve attempted to capture the most interesting and potentially influential Tweets of the festival so far to give you a sense of what marketers are getting excited about. From 3D trending cookies, automation, the meaning economy, taser drones, wearable tech, girlpower, messy ideas – there’s lots of interesting perspectives flooding the Twitter stream right now.

1.    ‘Chaotic Moons taser drone delivers 80,000 volts of paralyzing power.’ @Mashable

2.     “At the Oreo Trending Vending Lounge we’re connecting trending moments to the Oreo cookie itself in real time and in real life .”  Bonin Bough,  Mondelez

3.    ‘One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice’. Julian Assange

4.    “Brands need to move their social media from always on to always relevant.’ @richardting R/GA

5.     ‘Creativity is not about keeping clean, it’s about getting in trouble’ @jeffreytambor, Actor

6.     ‘The ability of an entrepreneur to be a good storyteller is critical to their company’s success’ @BenHorowitz, Author ‘The Hard thing about Things’

7.    ’30 years ago it took 30 years to build a brand.  Now it can be almost overnight.’ Ben Lerer, Thrillist

8.    ‘Brands are grappling with privacy. They’re figuring out what’s cool vs. what’s creepy and how to not cross that line.’ @AnnMack JWT

9.    ‘Only 6% of CEOs for startups are women. We are taught early on, that being the boss isn’t very attractive. Join in the fight to disrupt the ‘pink aisle.’ Lyndsey Shepard, GirlPower

10. ‘Participation, Exclusivity and Authenticity are the 3 Characteristics of Successful Design.”  @DBonner, Razorfish

11. “People don’t experience technology. They experience products, spaces, usually one at the time.’  @rodrigoATCG, IDEO

12. ‘The shift in wearable tech: from “connected body” to “engaged humans” – start to understand what motivate users.’ Francois Grouiller, Fred & Farid

13. “Self tracking must feed our intuition, not replace it.” Ben Essen, Iris Worldwide

14. ‘We create 838 miles worth of digital content every 10 minutes.’ Mary Snauffer

15. ‘In the automated world, income will go up for people who work with computers and robots, and down for others.’ Eric Schmidt, Google

16. ‘The more autocratic the country, the more online identities the citizens have.’ David Caygill, Iris Worldwide

17.  “The better the tools one uses, the further you can get.” Stephen Wolfram

18. “Your audience now has their own audience. “Sandra Zuckerburg, Facebook

19. “We were ready to take a risk. It worked.”  Dana Brunelli, House of Cards producer

20. “If you can’t post a picture of it, it didn’t happen” Sam Huston, Jumptank

21. “We forget that our writing systems all started as pictures.” Ben Zimmer, vocabulary.com

22. “Fonts exist to add emotional context to written words.” Ben Zimmer, vocabulary.com

23. “Progressive companies are the ones who say: This journey is 1% finished” Maria Giudice, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design

24. “Good ideas are messy.” Maria Giudice, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design

25. “The next frontier is to make asynchronous communication as seamless as real time conversations.” Stephen Kim, Microsoft / Skype

26. “We have a universal need to be in the places and times that we can’t be in.” Stephen Kim, Microsoft / Skype

27. “Persuasive design aligns your desired outcome with the user’s interest.” Matt Dana, Fullscreen

28. ‘Better to be fired than to create something boring.’ Mike Germano, Carrot

29. ‘Our perception of time is altered by how much new and unusual things we’re experiencing.’  Matt Danzico, BBC

30. ‘Best #iBeacon experiences are those that go back to basics and do Marketing as a Service: Push a Service, not a message.’ Mette Stuhr, Carlsberg