Monthly Archives: November 2011

Twin Me

The Big Idea

Here is a social networking website I designed with two of my fellow advertising colleagues. We came up with the idea of a pen pal network, where users can be twinned with different users who have the same interests and hobbies but also a question and answer section where users can help assist and give answers that can help others. Like facebook and other popular social networking sites the user uploads a profile by uploading a picture and their information that is then send into the system and then found a matchable twin who you can exchange stories, hobbies, ideas and interests.

The Good Times or the Bad…?

The Drink Aware Campaign – Your Ideas and Concepts

Public service announcements are always a struggle to promote to the viewer’s eye. Especially in advertising non-profit organisations push to try and come up with interesting and fun ways of interacting with people but still aiming to inform people of their messages.

One campaign in particular I focused on was the drink aware campaign created by Ogilvy called “why let the good times go bad?”. The campaign is focused on 18-24 year olds who enjoy drinking but to the extend of a wasteful night stuck with one’s head in a toilet. Drink aware, have created a mobile app (which is available to download now) called Good Times app which “helps you and your mates plan your night, keep the good times good while you’re out and get you all home safely in a cab!” The app is a helpful tool with tips and advice for your big night out.

As a 20-year-old student living with other students who enjoy a night out I feel this app has many interesting and useful tips for students to follow, for example The app itself has a GPS tracking system where you can locate your mates on a night out if you lose them in the crowds and being able to order a taxi for the end of the night is again another useful function to use especially if you have no idea where you are and need some assistance.

However from a personal youth perspective the app has more flaws then benefits. Starting from the main focus of this campaign the target audience is 18-24 year old people, focusing in on university students and people who socialise on a regular basis. This demographic is harder to appeal to due to the high amount of drinking and socials that happen surround this generation, student nights and cheap drinks are a big appeal to young people who earn less income than an older demographic. The campaign could work better if they focus on an older generation, for example a 25-35 target audience who may be worried about their intake of alcohol units.

Focusing on the app’s function of recording, how much the user drinks on a night out, requires the user to type in their drinks selection every time they buy one. On a night out generally students and young people are enjoying their night, drinking and dancing in clubs and bars with their friends and tend less to remember to upload their drinking habits onto their phones and more incline to drink. On top of the fact by the morning most people don’t remember the events of the night let alone the drinks they drank.

Another function of the app is its handy tips and advice that it gives throughout your night or event, but again generally people aren’t

focusing on their phones but the cute girl in the corner or the gorgeous man at the bar. The focus of this audience is the morning after and the effects the handover, this is where the advice is needed and sort after. The app needs to appeal to the demographic but at the right times when the audience are more likely to be using their phones.

Unfortunately the app’s advertisement is less appealing with a Facebook page, which tells the reader to download the app but little information about the app and the campaign and little interaction from users, which only 60 people talking about the campaign and only 505 people “like”ing the page. The page needs a new way of connection with their target audience, for example using more appealing images like the posters advertising and trying to connect with other users who like the page by asking more direct questions.

The campaign itself has a strong advertising sector, focusing on the posters and the reflecting images of what a good night could be or what a bad night is, has been cleverly illustrated through the art direction. The posters need to appeal to the audience and I feel they do this but need to be seen on a wider scale. The aim of the campaign is a good target to focus on, with the contrast of a good night compared to a bad night but unfortunately the campaign idea is less focused on its target audience.

Cancer Research UK

Social Media and Non-Profit

Non-profit organisations; Frank, Think, WWF, all good causes that focus on helping and supporting people and animals in need, but how do they fund these causes and organisations. Advertising of course is a great way of funding these causes through reaching out to others for donations and fundraising. Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity and non-profit organisation dedicated to beating cancer through research. Using different means of fundraising such as charity shops and events such as shine and race for life, all these donations are then used to research and find solutions to the different cancers that effect so many lives.

But how do these organisations use social media to communicate their causes and ask for help. Looking firstly at the Cancer research website itself, there is plenty of information and different ways of helping others by the volunteering, fundraising and donation pages within the website, but to get people to interact with the website, Cancer research uses different social networking tools such as Facebook pages and a Twitter account to help raise awareness of what they are trying to achieve and how others can help. Overall Cancer research uses five main social media tools to connect and communicate with others, Facebook and Twitter are two more well know and frequently used networks where cancer research uses both networks as a way of letting people get the latest news and share opinions and stories, along with photos and videos. Twitter is also used as a way of informing users on the science, health and fundraising news surrounding the research. Cancer Research’s Facebook page has a large audience not just “like”ing the page but also talking about it and with its trafficking the page has over 170,000 likes and over 5,000 people talking about it. Looking at the page itself the responding communication between its users and the organisation is strong too within hours of conversations being posted the organisation responds to comment and questions quickly showing an interested in what people have to say.

Along with these networks, cancer research also has a YouTube channel, where videos from events and campaigns are shared along with the research being investigated. Here users can watch TV commercials and life stories of others affected by cancer and with other 130,000 views and 1,114 subscribers the channel has a high amount of trafficking.

Another social tool cancer research uses is delicious.com a social bookmarking service which focuses on different subjects and where Cancer Research uses this network to post news and coverage of cancer research science and all the feeds surround the research. A less used social network but all the same a great way of interacting with its users.

Along with these tools, there is a cancer chats forum where users can talk to others affected by cancer and share their experiences and also find information. This again is a great way of creating social awareness and traffic surround cancer research.

And finally cancer research uses a blog to cover the all their up to date research including funding by the charity as well as useful links and resources along with any media coverage being broadcasted over other media platforms such as TV and radio.

Overall Cancer Research has a large social media presence in the social domain, using lots of useful networks to engage and encourage others to visit, donate and participate in their organisation.

Concept of Social Business

Social Business Model and Theories.

Social media is a powerful tool where people can socialise and communicate through a keyboard or mobile. But now businesses seem to have jumped on the band wagon as a way of promoting their brand or product. It seems like an easy and cost-effective way of promoting, seeing as social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs all are free and many people interact with them. But can a business really just set up a page or account and see their profits rise?

Unfortunately this is not always the case. Social media is a crucial way to growth for companies and brand but in order to increase traffic, these businesses need to understand their audiences. It would seem insane to pitch a product such as a pension plan to a 16-year-old, it is important to listen to what your target audience wants and needs. Businesses do not just need a “just do it approach” to social media but a “make a difference” approach that will let the customers know that their business cares what the user has to say. For example if a company sets up a fantastic designed website with a Facebook page and Twitter account or even a blog, and a customer has a complaint about your service or product and uses these platforms to communicate these complaints, it is important to address these concerns as they arise. The hard work isn’t the designing or development of the social media for your company but trying to provide the information needed by your customers. These social media platforms can be seen as a customer service where customer’s complaints and queries can be answered.  The quicker the reply and solution to the problem the happier and more trusting the consumer are of your brand. You need to engage with your audience.

A company who specialises in social business, and provides help for companies that use social media to their advantage, is Sproutsocial,  a social media tool used to help businesses engage with their audiences and “get real value from their social efforts”. Using many different networks such as LinkedIn, foursquare and Gowalla, along with Facebook pages and twitter, this application helps focus in on what and where the companies need to engage more or less with their audience. There is also a mobile app  to help keep up to date with the conversations and help monitor your brand on the go. Sproutsocial see themselves as a social media management tool, which focuses on four components of social media effectiveness; monitoring, engagement, measurement and growth.

It is all very well setting up a Facebook page or a twitter account to promote your services or product but if you stop the development of your company in the social domain there, there is no hope for your company’s growth to increase. The engagement of your audience is crucial to the increase of interaction. For example is you respond to a comment or article about your company’s service or product the development of trust and respect is given which in turn can lead to word or mouth marketing, which in turn leads to more interaction with your company.

Word of Mouth…Good or Bad for business?

Word of Mouth Marketing.

Word of mouth isn’t rocket science, the passing of information from one people to another. In advertising word of mouth marketing is one of the cheaper and almost the most effective way of promoting a product. The average consumer sees over 3,000 advertising message everyday, but within these messages how many can we really see and trust. This is where the power of word of mouth marketing comes into it. In reality who are we going to trust more a brand screaming messages at us every second of the day or an actual person having a conversation with you. The conversation is the most important matter of word of mouth marketing, it helps push the point or in this cause product out to other consumers. It’s a way of sharing thoughts and opinions of what other think of that brand or product, and these recommendations that increase the sales of the product or brand.

“Marketers use publicity techniques as well as viral marketing methods to achieve desired behavioural responses”

The impact of word of mouth marketing needs the following factors to be taken into account, what is being said and the identity of the person sending the message. Firstly what is being said influences the success of the product or brand. The message being said must be positive and address the importance of the product or brand features. The identity of the person must be based the idea of trust, the sender must be believable and know what they are talking about, there is no point lying about a product as this can damage the brand’s image to the consumer which in turn voices negative messages to the public.

In an article written by McKinsey Quarterly in 2010, it is “a primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions” surrounding word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is so strongly linked to advertising and is one of the most valued ways of directly targeting consumers. An average consumers trust people not brands. But one of the most important factors of WOM is the different message being given out.  There are three different types of spreading your message;

positive, neutral, and negative, in technical terms, the promoter the passive and the saboteur. The least powerful of all three is the neutral passive message, without an opinion the message tends to not travel far and not seen as a strong influencing factor. The positive WOM usually results in good branding experience and the message is repeated on and so on the brand levels increase. Unfortunately along with positive messages the negatives also have a long-lasting effect on a brand image.This in turn loses the interest and trust of the consumer.

Word of mouth marketing is a great way of promoting a product through just a trusted mouth. The main target of this marketing technique is the trust of the brand and its consumers and using people as a way of bridging the gap.

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