Social Media: Facebook Power, Google Me Staff

Who is more powerful: 400-million-user strong Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or the leader of the free world? That was the question posed to Soraya Darabi, #53 on our Most Creative People in Business list, who explained that their power, at least in terms of reach of voice, is not so different. Darabi broke down the access to communication tools that Obama and Zuckerberg hold, comparing the old-age methods of the president (network TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) to Facebook’s reach as a social network.

“Google Me” Social Network Rumors Fueled: It’s Real, Heavily Staffed
7diggsdigg Those rumors about Google’s Facebook-rivaling social network just got a whole lot more interesting. A former Facebook exec has been quizzing contacts inside Google and discovered that it’s all real, with large numbers of Google staff busy on task.

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iAd

Apple unveils iAd
Apple has revealed details of its new mobile advertising platform, allowing advertisers to run campaigns that “combine the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web”, as the company targets delivering one billion ad impressions a day. The platform, called iAd, will be pre-installed in the new iPhone 4.0 operating system, set to be released this summer, and will give advertisers the ability to run full-screen video and interactive ad content without requiring the user to navigate away from an app.

What iAd Won’t Do For Marketers
For online marketers, there is a lot to like about Apple’s mobile ad platform, the iAd: an ad that stays inside the app doesn’t force the consumer to choose between the app or leaving the app to satisfy a passing curiosity about an ad (and guess who usually wins in that scenario).

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Social Media: Adversaries, Ambassadors

Us vs them is one of the oldest, and most powerful marketing ideas. Apple is a quintessential example: from their beginnings they’ve portrayed themselves as the small guy against the big powerful bully. In 1983 it was IBM and more recently its been Microsoft. The company turns customers into evangelists who are more than happy to spread the word about the good fight, but how exactly does it work?


Starbucks Gets Its Business Brewing Again With Social Media ambassadors
Starbucks posted its first U.S. same-store sales gain in two years for the last quarter during a time when the company relied on digital and social-media promotions instead of what had become an annual TV blitz. The chain partnered with Pandora to sponsor holiday playlists, staged a Facebook sing-a-long and leveraged its partnership with Project RED to drive traffic to a dedicated microsite — and its stores, offering a free CD with a $15 purchase.

Photo Credit: Ivan Marquez

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Mobile: VW 2010 GTI

VW 2010 GTI
AKQA San Francisco did a good (if predictable) job avoiding TV spots for the 2010 GTI launch. You have to admire any digital agency that could pull this off – I couldn’t imagine many of the others doing it – even AKQA’s other offices.

They need to buff up their rationale for using the iPhone though – it comes across as tactic first (an iPhone app!) and post-rationalized strategy after. I wonder if the channel choice was a client mandate (in a Volvo S-60ish way) or an agency initiative? They also talk about “80% increases” in enquiries without showing a comparison, which makes it meaningless.

The app/ game itself was made by Aus-based Firemint.

Blah blah blah. All in all a good effort though, but more strategy please.

It’s clever of AKQA to  promote the campaign within FB itself and encourage people to fan their brand through the video clip

Volkswagen ‘launches’ the 2010 GTI on the iPhone with Real Racing GTI game (mobilecrunch.com)
Volkswagen Launches New Car Through iPhone Game [IPhone] (kotaku.com)
Volkswagen Becomes First Auto Manufacturer To Launch a Car Exclusively on a Mobile Device (slumpedoverkeyboarddead.com)
VW 2010 GTI – mobile car launch through the itunes App store (nickburcher.com)
Blue Plate Special: Real Racing GTI For iPhone/Touch (geardiary.com)
Volkswagen launches free version of Real Racing to promote 2010 GTI (tuaw.com)
New VW GTI Launched With iPhone App, Mazda Diesels Could Come To U.S.: Today’s Car News (blogs.thecarconnection.com)

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Future: Magazines, Agencies

Berg have been working with Bonnier R&D exploring the future of digital magazines, and creating Mag+. Bonnier publish Popular Science and many other titles.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Agencies have played such a crucial role in helping companies market their products and services for more than a century. Names like McCann Erickson, Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, and Saatchi & Saatchi (among others) are practically household names. There’s even a massively popular and critically acclaimed television show capturing life in the golden age of legendary agencies on Madison Avenue. Yet the agency model was built during a time when there were only a handful of channels in which they could push one way messages en masse. Does that model still work in a time when nearly a quarter of online US adults now create content online?
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Recession: Unbranded Couch-Potatoism …

Consumers are defecting from iconic CPG brands as they try to save money by purchasing less-expensive store and private-label brands. While this trend is not new, it has become more pervasive since the economic downturn started in December 2007, per eMarketer. In fact, 59 percent of U.S. consumers reported having switched to store brand food and household products over the past six months, according to a May 2009 study by ICOM.


Recession Intensifies ‘Couch Potatoism’ as TV, Internet Converge
Some 26% more Americans chose TV as their favorite type of media than they did last year, according to a new study by Deloitte, which lends credence to the theory that the recession has intensified America’s love for television. The study revealed that more than 70% of respondents ranked TV among their top-three favorite media activities; 34% placed it at the top of the list. TV also snared more than double the numbers of the second most popular media choice, the internet, which came in at 14%, according to MediaBuyerPlanner.

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