Thursday, 10 May 2012

Censored in the UK - The Pirate Bay


Despite never being found guilty of a crime in the UK, the Pirate Bay has been blocked by ISPs after High Court orders for alleged copyright infringement.- despite not being for sale of hire.

This will undoubtedly by subject to a long legal review, this is basically an injunction made on shakey ground, but for now the UK has joined China in restriction of the internet.

Except, it's a little bit easier to get around!

The New Science of Viral Ads

(From Harvard Business School)
Thales Teixeira
is an assistant professor in the Marketing Unit. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in statistics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Before joining HBS, Professor Teixeira was an independent quantitative marketing consultant to technology and financial services companies, among them Microsoft, HP, and Prudential.

Thales has produced a video and report to show off his modern technique to the 'Science.'  It is quite intense and may be approached by some skepticism inside the industry, it still makes a good read.  He's a good writer, but a very boring speaker.  I just about managed to stay awake through his video. 


The articles a good read, to give you a taste of what to expect before reading, I've quoted a passaged below.

"Several techniques derived from new technology can help advertisers attain this. In our research, two colleagues and I use infrared eye-tracking scanners to determine exactly what people are looking at when they watch video ads."

The comments are pretty good too


How not to do Viral on a budget

StumbleUpon Chrysler are now trending in social media and have made a Vredefort crater sized impact on global social media networks and news outlets.  It's a difficult time for Detroit, and money is tight, especially for a company that asked for $39 Billion in aid (they only got some of that) from the US taxpayer.

So how does Chrysler return the favour by showing their commitment to the taxpayer?  You may think they are frugal and put in hard work towards spreading their brand, or deliver value for money marketing to build sales to other countries to bring money into the US.  That would be the responsible thing to do when playing with other peoples money.

Chrysler had other ideas - sponsoring the NFL championship (that doesn't come cheap), developing a complex 2 minute advert filmed across multiple locations in New Orleans and LA (not exactly Chryslers back yard) and starring Clint Eastwood.

The advertisement itself has drawn criticsm for its alleged backing of Barack Obama and his reelection campaign. 

So, if you want to make it big on the net, your options can be, as Toyota did - give away two cars (aprox $32, 000 USD), or you can do what government bailed out Chrysler did and spend as much as possible in as little time as possible for an advert that is of dubious credibility and is going to be shown once, and rely on people to spread it for you.  (Which is exactly what I'm doing, but for all the wrong reasons).

Enjoy, you paid for it.


Despite all of this, Chrysler can't even do the decency of throwing some long term weight behind the process by making a decent facebook page

Irresponsible, naive, lazy.  That's about all I can say to Chrysler - and  I want my money back, I love Clint Eastwood, but I want to see starring in, writing and producing decent movies, not this garbage.

Vidal Sassoon remembered on social media

StumbleUpon Cockney born hair dresser - "a rock star, an artist, [and] a craftsman who 'changed the world with a pair of scissors." Vidal Sassoon, CBE has died aged 84 in his LA home after a long fight with leukaemia.

There has been a massive, inspirational response to the child of Eastern European immigrants, born in Hammersmith who turned into a legend, carving the way to stardom with nothing more than a pair of scissors and the spirit to fight for what he believed was right.  That spirit was encompassed by his joining the 43 group, a Jewish veterans' underground organisation at only 17 years old.  Despite not being a verteran (or old enough tobe one) he campaigned to break up Oswald Moseleys blackshirts immediately after World War II.   He went on to join the forerunner of the Israeli Defence Force, the Hagenah in 1948.

 Sassoon returned to London, to train in Mayfair as a hairdresser.  He opened his first salon in 1954, and the rest, as they say, is history.  He revolutionised hair styles, and fashion through geometric cuts and the reliance on the hairs natural shine.

Sassoon started the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism in 1982, which researched information about antisemitism using a non-political ideology.

RIP Vidal Sassoon. You are forever fabulous. 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

He later went on to be involved in more charities, the Boys Club of America and the Performing Arts Council in LA,  he supported these through his eponymously named Vidal Sassoon Foundation.

Most recently, Sassoon has helped out in the aid effort after Hurricane Katrina and has set up training academies in England, the US and Canada - with plans in progress for China and Germany.

Sad to hear of passing of Vidal Sassoon - he was a lifelong anti-fascist who fought Mosely’s far-right in the East End 1 hour ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Monday, 7 May 2012

Scientology: The Scary side of Social Media Marketing

StumbleUpon I have some bad news for you all... Whilst it is generally becoming accepted that Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation are essential - even the Scientologists are jumping on to the bandwagon.

With their neural reprogramming, mass scale theft and manipulation, and some quite deceptive practices for their religion in general the 'Church' (read: Convicted Fraudsters) of Scientology are now trying to cash in on the SMM and SEO requirements of business by running a Social Media Convention.


By the way - when Social Media Marketing involves 'clearing the planet' for spaceships, I'm a little bit concerned.  Scientologists 'clean up' what they can online as soon as it leaks to the general public, so this link will probably outlast the embedded video.

I've got an insider source in the Church, which is how I got this information... but whilst we're at it I think it's also worth posting the 'bible' of scientology - and sorry L Ron Hubbard and Tom Cruise, but I'm claiming an exemption under17 U.S.C. § 107 to any copyright.  And if you don't like that, you can swivel.

And just to scare you even more.... Scientologists have launched their own version of facebook, where the 'Theta's' can talk to each other over the internet.... I thought they were meant to be able to talk to each other and create and destroy universes with their mind, why do they need this?

"Theta Line was created to unite the Scientologists community on the network. The purpose of Theta Line is to raise ARC among Scientologists from all over the world by providing them means of communication and helpful information."

Communication is apparantly the most important part of the triangle, for a cult that doesn't allow it's members to contact their families, and carries out forced labour with people who try to escape...  communication isn't about spreading knowledge but making sure nobody is out of line.

Scary stuff.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Social Media Awards Toyota Ireland – Yaris “Sweetspot” Facebook Campaign

Continuing the countdown of firms nominated for the Social Media Awards 2012 - I'd like to talk about Toyota Ireland, for their Yaris campaign..

  • Social Media Effectiveness
So how did they do it?  Very simply, they ran a traditional marketing give away, and made sure it was publicised heavily on facebook.  Social Media can be very cheap, Toyota ensured this was anything but, but the responses speak for themselves.

From Toyota-

Just test drive Yaris, Auris Hybrid, or 2012 Avensis for a chance to win

All three cars to be won over four days: November 24 - 27

Christmas is going to come early for three very lucky people from November 24 to 27, when Toyota Ireland will give away a brand new Yaris, Auris Hybrid, and new look 2012 Avensis during their ‘See It. Drive It. Win It.’ promotion. Over the course of the four days anyone who visits Toyota dealerships around the country and test drives either the all new Yaris, Auris Hybrid, or 2012 Avensis models will be in the running to win the car they test drive and drive away from their local Toyota dealership very happy.

To avail of a test drive and be in with a chance to win a brand new 2012 Toyota model, all you have to do is get down to your local Toyota dealership and test drive one the exciting 2012 models. Each driver will then be put into a draw where three names will be chosen at random.

The ‘See It. Drive It. Win It.’ weekend will also see one lucky visitor to a Toyota dealer win €5,000 in cash as part of the culmination of Toyota’s Find the Sweet Spot competition on its Facebook page which has seen its number of fans grow to over 24,000.

Commenting on the announcement, David Shannon, managing director of Toyota Ireland said: “We are very proud of the new Toyota models which bring even greater levels of specification and technology to the Yaris, Auris and Avensis ranges. Not only will the ‘See It. Drive It. Win It.’ weekend provide a great opportunity for current and potential new Toyota drivers to experience the vehicles first hand, but the chance to win one of the three models provides an undeniable incentive to show up at any Toyota dealership around the country from November 24 through 27.”

 Further information about the Yaris, Auris Hybrid, and Avensis as well as details on how you can win one of these vehicles can be found on

Toyota ensured that everything they did in the real world was then made to look sexy and posted on their facebook page.  They took advantage of the facebook timeline changes to make the company seem active and fun, and despite it clearly being commercial - customers loved it and before no time the campaign was dominating Irish consumers facebook profiles.

Well done Toyota, sometimes - the simpler is indeed the better.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Archived: Reddit IAmA session

StumbleUpon I am about to offer some free advice for an hour or so on social media marketing on Reddit

This post has been archived - you can read the discussion here

Social Media Awards 2012 - STAR

StumbleUpon Starting a countdown of firms in the Social Media Awards 2012 - I'd like to talk about STAR Translation Service, who have used a multiple of networks for their social media campaign.

STAR was recently nominated for the Bord Gáis Energy Social Media Awards 2012. 100 judges took part in the shortlist process. The final list will be announced next week.
STAR's social media work has been nominated in 4 categories:

  • Online PR Campaign (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr…)
  • Blog of a Business 
  • Video/ Video Campaign (Non-Broadcast)
  • Best Business Twitter account – marketing, sales sponsored
The winners will be announced at the grand final ceremony which takes place at the Mansion House in Dublin on May 17th, 2012.

Taking part in this special event and being nominated means a lot to STAR. It recognises the companies hard work over the last 6 months. The company has been very active on a variety of Social networks including its blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel.

STAR was formed in 2001 and has successfully grown organically every year since then. STAR sees 2012 as the year of social media.

"We want to let our customers know that we are always here and ready to help their business to grow worldwide. The social awards competition will be tough since we are up against Jedward in one of them for instance." said Damian Scattergood, Managing Director of STAR Translation.
STAR online presence includes:
About STAR:

Based in Dublin, STAR TS provides translation services in over 45 global languages. It translates documents and websites to enable clients to do more international business every day. With more than 800 people worldwide in the STAR Group, the company helps clients deliver their products to the global marketplace.
Damian Scattergood and Paul Quigley founded STAR-TS in 2001. The entrepreneurs have successfully grown the company to a leading language agency in Ireland in the 10 years they have been in business together.

The shift to Social Business Marketing

Michael Brito has posted this excellent presentation on the shift to 'social business' 
It is an important read for any company that wants to take its internet presence seriously.  Social Media Marketing is one of the most important techniques utilised today in marketing - and it takes time to set up and to dominate.

The question businesses should ask themselves is - can you afford to be a follower instead of a leadr in SMM?

Why social media is key to who wins - London Election

While most polls point to a straight fight between current Mayor of London Boris Johnson and former Mayor Ken Livingstone, floating Facebook and torn Twitter voters could tip the balance of power in the race for City Hall.

The possibilities of social media are being explored in this year's elections (Copyright: Rex)

In the four years since the last 2008 Mayoral campaign, social networking use has exploded across Britain and digital campaigning has been at the heart of much of the fight between the Conservative and Labour candidates this time around.

From Twitter feeds to YouTube videos, interactive maps and Facebook groups, both Boris and Ken have used cyberspace to target younger voters and raise awareness of specific local issues.

The other five London Mayor candidates too have taken to the online world to spread their messages.

But it’s not just the City Hall race that is benefiting from a digital push. Politics in general has recently experienced a resurgence in engagement thanks to tweets and status updates and it's hope this will give local elections - also taking place today - an extra boost.

The Electoral Commission believes technology is now playing a key part in shaping British democracy, reducing apathy among voters and ensuring people sign up to mark their "X".

During the run-up to the local elections, the Electoral Commission has worked with Facebook's Democracy UK page to push people to its website and encouraged users to pass the message on through their wall posts and statuses. (read more)

Blackhat SEO: Dawn McManus changes name to something resembling

StumbleUpon One of the most popular, and terrible concepts involved in blackhat seo is to utilise link spamming webpages.  These can be high or low pagerank, and despite what some will tell you it is never a good idea.

In fact if you put it on, say, a PR7 page then it may well have a more negative effect than a PR2 page.

What is blackhat link-farming/spamming?
Basically, Google is not a company full of idiots.  They develop complicated algorithms so that the best way to publicise your page is through repetitive creation of high quality content. There's a bit more to it than that, but if your site has high quality posts, then it is considered more apt to its content.  This site, for example, lists posts related to SMM.  The more posts it contains over the most time to demonstrate it is a specialist site in the subject, the more it will be recognised as such.

Blackhat SEO 'specialists' try to cheat the system - they'll spam similar posts, repeat keywords (like SMM) excessively in articles and they'll try to build unnatural backlinks.  One way to do it is to buy a page on a high ranking webpage, and fill it constantly with links. 

Google notices this, it sees a long list of links and ranks you lower becauseof it, or will even prevent itself from indexing you, or remove you from a position you may already have.  This is sometimes referred to as 'spamdexing'.

What's this got to do with a middle aged woman in Hartlepool?

Miss McManus has come up with an interesting play on this.
BBC News

 She has changed her name, legally by deed poll, to, *deep breath*

Red Wacky League Antlez Broke the Stereo Neon Tide Bring Back Honesty Coalition Feedback Hand of Aces Keep Going Captain Let's Pretend Lost State of Dance Paper Taxis Lunar Road Up Down Strange All and I Neon Sheep Eve Hornby Faye Bradley AJ Wilde Michael Rice Dion Watts Matthew Appleyard John Ashurst Lauren Swales Zoe Angus Jaspreet Singh Emma Matthews Nicola Brown Leanne Pickering Victoria Davies Rachel Burnside Gil Parker Freya Watson Alisha Watts James Pearson Jacob Sotheran Darley Beth Lowery Jasmine Hewitt Chloe Gibson Molly Farquhar Lewis Murphy Abbie Coulson Nick Davies Harvey Parker Kyran Williamson Michael Anderson Bethany Murray Sophie Hamilton Amy Wilkins Emma Simpson Liam Wales Jacob Bartram Alex Hooks Rebecca Miller Caitlin Miller Sean McCloskey Dominic Parker Abbey Sharpe Elena Larkin Rebecca Simpson Nick Dixon Abbie Farrelly Liam Grieves Casey Smith Liam Downing Ben Wignall Elizabeth Hann Danielle Walker Lauren Glen James Johnson Ben Ervine Kate Burton James Hudson Daniel Mayes Matthew Kitching Josh Bennett Evolution Dreams.

Or Red Dreams for short.

We wish Mrs Dreams every luck with her chartiy Red Dreams whose slogan is rather fittingly 'Confidence through Creativity'.  Now I'm going to sit back and wait to see if this is copied so you get 'Blackhat SMM' experts paying people to change their name to company names without doing so for charity.

I think it's an exceptional one off, and a fantastic idea for a charity.  It would be horrid if it becomes a blackhat tool for ruining one womans creativity, passion and drive all in the name of helping out her community and honouring her son.

Now I wonder whether Mr McManus will walk around quoting Martin Luther King - "I have a Dream"


Gorgeous Louise Mensch hits back at negative SMM

StumbleUpon Louise Mensch has an intelligent way of dealing with negative social media marketing.

The absolutely stunning British politician and author Louise Mensch nee Bagshawe has faced some criticism lately.  Basically, she was proffesional and so refused to put her name to a ridiculous comment that Rupert Murdoch is unfit to lead an international organisation.

Rupert Murdoch runs an international organisation, very succesfully, and there has been no evidence of wrongdoing at the top level.  Still, I'm not saying I like the guy or I'm a fan, just that it's reasonable for a proffesional to insist comments are sourced in fact - especially on a select commitee report.

Louise is a big user of twitter, and with her enemies going for the throat in some quite disgusting ways - Louise has taken a novel approach to highlighting the problem and defeating the bullying.

Louise has favourited her bullies and turned around the negative social media marketing to her advantage.

Now whilst the comments are offensive and childish, a lot of comments seem to be related to Louises body.  I'm not sufe if it is absoloutely demeaning to objectify a politician in such a way, or a compliment.  Personally, I think Louise is a brilliant politician, her chick-lit novels are not something I'd read.  She seems intelligent and friendly, and I believe she's incredibly sexy.  That doesn't detract from her qualities, and I don't believe it is offensive.

So congratulations Louise on an excellent smm strategy, and keeping professional at all times.

BBC News- Ashton Kutcher 'racist' advert dropped

StumbleUpon An online potato chips advert featuring Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has been removed after viewer complaints that it was racist, reports say.  (Read More)

'Bruce Willis's Son' - Ashton Kutcher should be more careful about what he signs up to advertise.  He has not only damaged Popchips social media market value, but his own.  Sometimes it's too easy to see SMM at it's worst.

This picture will come back to haunt him in years to come.

Youtube apologises

StumbleUpon The article on Kate Upton has had some effect already with an apology over banning the provocative piece.

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” a rep from the Google-owned YouTube told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
Maybe perhaps now they can address the continued concern.  Parents are responsible for what their kids see on the internet, not an organisation overeager to censor due to their own prudish opinion.

A petition to Youtube has been launched to let parents be the judge.

State of Social Media Marketing

This blog is all about the state of social media marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) through a cultural view.  This document, by Esteban Contreras, Social Media Manager for Samsung USA is a fantastic run down of the state of the market.  
View more PowerPoint from Esteban Contreras

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Motorola steps up the heat

Microsoft have an injunction
against the order in the US
News from AFP

BERLIN — A German court ruled Wednesday that US Internet giant Microsoft can no longer sell its products locally because it infringes patents held by US communications firm Motorola Mobility.
Microsoft said the ruling covers sales of its computer operating system Windows 7 and the Xbox games console but insisted it would have no practical... (read more)

Junior Seau, 43, leaves behind his footprint on the world

StumbleUpon Junior Seau, formerly of the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots has been found dead, aged 43.

If what ABC News states about sporting injuries is correct then I believe we need to see more investement in sports psychology.

Few in the viral marketing community will forget Junior Seau's contributions to one of the earliest viral marketing videos - the Footprint Man, released in the mid 90s.

Social Media in the London Mayoral Elections

StumbleUpon Guido Fawkes Webpage have picked this one up straight off the bat

Things are getting quite heated and a cultural and religious war has sprawled out over the internet.

Former Labour Mayor and compulsive liar 'Red' Ken Livingstone has never been one to hold his tongue, not for the sake of the peace, truth or peoples sensibilities.  But in stating that he wanted to turn London into a "Beacon of Islam" and stating that Jewish Londoners were 'too rich' to vote for him he has opened up cultural and religious arguments in the field of politics.

Now of course, nobody is trying to blame Muslims here who have not been flocking behind Ken as a result - with some notable extremist exceptions, but those that have been attacked by Ken's perverse method of making a point have rallied against him.

It's a shocking indictment of social involvement for a poltical campaign that the actions you take actually cause positive social media involvement for your competitor, and it just goes to show how important it is to think before you act and get the right message out at the right place and the right time.

There have been times over the past few weeks when Ken Livingstone has looked like he might have a chance of winning, and in a remarkable twist from normality he probably would have done if he had just kept quiet.  If there was a well managed strategy and campaign, and a sensible candidate - the outcome may be very different.

'Invisible' word of mouth marketing

StumbleUpon Brand Autopsy have produced a video explaining invisible marketing

It's an idealistic look at things, and it would be nice if it were the right thing for everyone.  The fact Brand Autopsy have chosen to set out their own marketing in a different way suggests that one size fits all solutions and over-simplifications may not be the best way forward for businesses.

Yes, brands need word of mouth to reflect quality and performance - but without exposure they lack opportunities and may be limited to slow growth depending on how much of a speciality the business is.

All businesses need to invest in a balanced and reasoned marketing strategy looking at what results to achieve, who they want to reach, how they want to do so.

Call of Duty - Black Ops 2


In twelth place

How hard can it be to advertise an installment in a video game franchise with latent demand?  The folks over at Treyarch are leaving nothing to chance with their grandstanding "World Reveal"

Of course, with all the hype, Treyarch want to capitalise on word of mouth - but the prominence of the connect options may be going a bit overboard 

This isn't the only one you see though, there are connect buttons positioned by the 'Watch Now' option, an annoying floating connect bar taking up the side of the screen, and on clicking through to watch the video the connect bar is actually obscuring the video as default... but wait, there's another.  That's five attempts to get us to share to watch a video - which is the same prominence as 'Call of Duty' on the site and more mentioned than 'Black Ops'

Now, I'm tempted to not share due to being bugged so much to do so...

But I thought I'd discuss the embed code. It is the horrible iframe code which doesn't work often and on many sites. I also don't like leaving links to other videos showing once the video has ended.  Following end of video links without the full youtube interface you very quickly descend into the wrong side of Youtube.

Before you know it you've gone from watching something you're interested in to watching weird videos about milk and redbull, that somehow have 3 million + views.

Now if anyone can explain how this video gained prominence, and why linking it from A Huge Centipede Fighting A Snake would make it so succesful - they'd be a rich man and their clients would be happy.  They could also explain to Treyarch why they don't want to be associated with some of youtube - and give Google some advice on sorting their algorithms out! 

Don't expect anything good - you have been warned.

Kate Upton


In fifth place

This really is a hot search, in more ways than one. Sexy sports illustrated glamour model Kate Upton is just too hot for Youtube.

That's a big thumbs up for Kate from us, and the reaction users are showing may be a wake up call to youtube that opinion based moderation can cause huge embarassment!

Celebuzz are among the many media sources to help Kate dominate the net.

The interesting bit is this though, Kate has just managed to break into the outwardly prudeish hearts and minds of Turkey and the Phillipines, with top searching from Izmir, Istanbul and Ankara.

Thank you, Kate, for demonstrating your dance and for highlighting the opinion based moderation. And congratulations to your marketing team for getting this viral so fast.