Tag Archives: real-time
March was a big month for real-time marketing and for me professionally. Brands went nuts about a black and blue or white and gold dress. TopGear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was sacked. Zayn left One Direction. And I launched a new consultancy TBC and have committed to blogging more regularly about brands attempting to be more relevant with their content.
To kick things off, I’ve partnered with my incredibly smart friend Jessica Hagy to provide you with original infographics related to trending topics that brands are currently newsjacking:
Jessica captures this tragic moment perfectly for me. I wish brands were as clever. Fortunately, supermarket Lidl UK captured Zayn quitting the band in a way that made me smile with this tweet:
This response from Lidl was quick and clever. It was related to what they do. It featured a relevant product. It got global media coverage and 20K retweets. There were a few other brands that scored well on my BALLSY rating. By BALLSY, I mean Brave, Actionable, Long-term, Likeable, Surprising and You-centric:
As I do more BALLSY workshops with brands and collaborate with awesome folk like Jessica Hagy (check out her new Art of War Visualized book here), I am hopeful that more brands will create real-time content strategies and write them down and post them all over their newsroom/war-room/board room with screens/command centres. There are more brands out there who are willing to take risks and fail faster.
After we get my favourite newsjacking moment out of the way (April Fool’s Day is TODAY), let’s go back to trying to help people. Let’s create useful AND entertaining real-time content.
If you see anything BALLSY — either reactive or planned – please tweet it to me at @jonburkhart. (This is a cut-down from a longer post from my Medium blog. Follow all my posts (newsjacking and otherwise) here.
I’ve been studying this trend of real-time marketing for almost five years. I’ve seen insurance companies and pet foods attempt to opportunistic hijacking tactics for the #RoyalBaby. I’ve seen chewing gum brands asking Luis Suarez to not ‘chew soccer players” after he bit (not chewed) an Italian.
Last night’s humiliation of Brazil made me feel a bit sick. So sick that I think it may be better for me to throw in the towel and join the dark side. So here you go — 3 Tips On How To Be A Brand Troll
Commit to your first thoughts.
Twist marketing catch-phrases to back you up. “Always be shipping” comes to mind. Done is better than good or even coherent.
Don’t spend any time getting to know your audience.
When it comes to doing things in real-time, you really must think of yourself first. Crafting messages that connect emotionally with fans will only take more time. At all costs, do not do something that your fans would expect from you. Be sure that you newsjack any event that is getting a lot of traction. This is not about being relevant to your audience. It’s about being quick. First one out the gate wins. Always.
Only think in tweets.
Don’t even think about doing something interactive and fun like the Suarez bottle opener and game. Or a simple 10 second film (screengrab above) where a cocktail glass is obliterated by a massive German pint.
Shoe-horn your product into the post.
If you’ve got some stock shots lying around, then use them. If you can photoshop your product into them in any way, shape or form, do it. It will help with brand recall and shift a load of goods. That’s what it’s about anyway. Social selling. Get that product in — hopefully in an unnatural way — and make sure you’re agency punslingers are at the ready. Also try to invent silly words like punslingers and then overexplain them (cross between gunslinger + pun) to further insult your audience.
Forget that you’re human.
This is the most important factor of all. It’s all about not forgetting your human not just a marketing machine. It’s about making stuff that creates an emotional connection with your audience. I Or maybe we should just give up.
There’s a new book coming out in August and I’ve written a chapter in it about this topic, but don’t bother reading it. I also do workshops on the matter but you really should ignore this second attempt at blatant self-promotion because it’s easier to just keep trolling. If you learn anything from me, you’ll only have to go sell it in to your CEO and then that may require some organisational changes. Now, this is getting a bit complicated. I thought you just wanted an easy life, right. Fine, may the quickest troll win.
Thanks to Digiday & Adnews for doing round-ups (including examples abov) in the middle of the night while I went to bed crying thinking that my real-time mission and career was a total failure before I woke up with an evil plan.
(This post originally posted yesterday on my new favourite platform Medium. It’s here.)
I had another tantrum when Suarez bit Chellini in the World Cup last week. I started researching it and then got fed up with brands jumping on the band wagon. Many had no link at all to football or food. It was similar to the Royal Baby situation for me. It wouldn’t have been hard to do something fun and interactive over night INSTEAD of creating a week joke about biting to flog your dracula outfits, right? While Grant beat me to a post about 4 of the tweets that you could argue were perfectly appropriate, I would add this Bud Light one to his list:
This wasn’t sheer genius. It was just a quick win. It made me smile. It involved the product which is tough to do but always good if you can as these brands are actually trying to sell stuff. Or did we forget that with all this inane opportunistic brand hijacking?
Now I move to Newsjacking 2.0. Instead of tweets about the bite, I want the creative folk in agencies to get to 3D printing and iBeaconing and product designing. I want them to make films and music videos and games. All within hours of the news trigger. This means sacrificing sleep but it could make you famous. I’ll even applaud a quick bit of real-time promotional swag creation. Here, let me tell you a story of how this could work for me. Let’s say I’m in a late afternoon meeting with one of my clients BBC or a potential new client ITV (broadcasters of the World Cup in England). It’s the day after the Suarez bite. We’re talking about doing a real-time content workshop together perhaps. They say, “would you like a beer?” Of course, I accept their offer then I pull out a BBC or ITV branded bottle opener:
(I didn’t create this item. I’m just using it as an example. Someone did and it’s selling now on eBay more than a week later for £6). Now this gets me excited. I bet BBC or ITV would sign me up then and there. No, it gets better. They ask me to come back tomorrow with a proposal. I get excited. Why? Because an hour after the bite occurred, I had briefed a games developer to make this game:
I will be in the Android store less than 30 hours after the incident which means I can show them that in my breakfast meeting the next day. When you’re ready to move on past silly “let’s shoe-horn our brand” into a badly photoshopped visual, call me or any of the people who made Soccer Bite and that bottle opener thingy.
Have you seen anything interesting related to the World Cup that qualifies as Newsjacking 2.0? Something that really surprised you with a “how did they make that so quickly?” or something that you’d really want to buy on eBay or in the iOs or Android store? Ideally, these interactive clever bits will create an emotional connection with you. They won’t just be crappy gimmicks. Think long and hard about this. I sure have. Better still, just line up your developers and promo swag makers and get them ready. When you call, they’ll need to be quick off the mark. NOTE: Keep in mind that the game and bottle opener were available over a week after the event and they’re still getting press. The quicker the better, obviously.
Thanks to Ben Shaw for being quick off the mark re tweeting about the Suarez game and Nico Tuppen for finding the bottle opener.
I just returned on Saturday from an epic 24-hour newsjackathon in Amsterdam where I led a workshop on the future of newsjacking. After a delay at the airport, I rushed home and was greeted at the door not by my lovely wife but by Phil Neville the rookie pundit. As his first effort at colour commentating, it was very poor. 445 people complained to the BBC about it and loads of losers tweeted him saying they wanted to kill him and/or hope he got cancer. (These idiots used the wrong handle and actually threatened a radiator salesman in Ipswich who has since offered to swap jobs with Neville the pundit.) I was already annoyed because I was late and the craft beer still needed 10 minutes in the freezer. My wife and I sat down and nervously watched my 2nd team wishing we could turn the sound down. I suffered through it thinking Phil was a bit boring. Unfortunately, Balotelli struck the eventual winner and all of England decided to turn their venom away from the pitch and onto the punditry box.
Here are the Top 6 efforts by individuals and brands to comfort the pain of losing despite ‘cute little boy” Raheem Sterling (wife’s words) and the ever-dangerous Daniel Sturridge looking really strong throughout. Come on England, do better on Thursday (in the match, in the picking of your scape goat and in the hopefully more fun and interactive newsjacking).
Award for Best Use of Photoshop From A Very Boring Brand To Make Me Smile (A Little):
Well played Chemist Direct. Invented a fake product similar to my fave Banancin didn’t you? For some reason, I don’t expect the healthcare/pharma sector to win newsjackathons but watch this space. I am leading workshops for pharma and am holding out a lot of hope despite the pages of regulations and compliance issues to wade through.
Award for Best Re-Use of Neville’s Saturday Night Snorefest Audio
Simple bit of droll voice over makes this little film very funny.Well done comedian and Huff Po blogger Michael Spicer.
Award For Best Neville Slam Using An Iconic British TV Programme:
Satirical site BBC Sporf has a steady stream of fun stuff on their Twitter feed. This comparison of Neville to boring vicar Father Fitzgerald from Father Ted has been retweeted more than 1.5K times, more than any other photo related to this snoozefest.
Joint Award For Best Tweet From A Public Service That Obviously Had A Lot Of Time On Their Hands Not Fighting Crime For Two Hours:
One of my favourite newsjacking moments of last year was from the Seattle Police when they passed out Doritos at the Hemp Fest. Well, two English police forces were busy tweeting during the match. I think these are decent efforts. I hope to see more from the public sector in the coming weeks. Law enforcement is tough. The lighter touch is a masterstroke in helping change perception in this arena.
Award For Urgent And Slight Genius From A Brand With A Relevant Message:
Nothing irritates me more than brands attaching themselves to a news story that has nothing to do with what they sell or the community associated with said product (See my Royal Baby round-up from last summer for more on this.) Jobsite UK was very quick off the mark with this tweet. It made me smile and gave me a half-second of nostalgia related to speak and spell. And yes, Phil, may be looking for a new job after the World Cup. This is an obvious connection and not entirely original but it worked and it was quick.
Award For Best Photo Of Phil Neville Putting Himself To Sleep With His Own Voice.
No explanation needed. Simple. Effective. Nice jab, Kieron.
BONUS: Award For Most-Understated Text Only Non-Neville Pundit Slam That Proves That They Totally Know Their Audience And Are Often Pitch Perfect With Their Jabs:
Mischievous newsjacking gods Paddy Power ignored the Neville situation and sent a text only slam about Jonathan Pearce’s very strange misunderstanding of the quite straight-forward goal-line technology.
DOUBLE BONUS: Future Award For Simple Interactive Newsjack Of The Phil Neville Situation
I love looking at one cultural trigger like the Neville snoozefest and seeing how brands and individuals choose to react to it with their real-time content. Big brands have set up newsrooms for this, the first truly social World Cup. I think we’re still a bit behind the USA in the UK. I am hopeful though. Here’s a little tip of how I would have approached the Neville situation. I looked at Pinterest (not just for girls, sorry) and found the above image of his Training School app. I would have used that as a template and created a simple interactive site that allowed you to go to the Phil Neville Pundit School. My coder mate would have coded it over night and it would have launched on Sunday morning. Instead, I was recovering from 24 hours of newsjacking in Amsterdam.
If you want to go large with your newsjacking and explore how to use interactive games, iBeacons and connected devices to newsjack the World Cup, let’s talk about the workshops I lead. Also, please tweet me (@jonburkhart) any examples of real-time content you’ve seen and liked/hated using the #newsjacking and #WorldCup2014 hashtags.
I have been re-energized for proper live event newsjacking since that Arby’s “Give us our hat back” Grammy’s tweet that Grant beat me to last week. Of course, live event tweeting is easier than being ready for any sort of news — the sort of thing that I build newsjacking labs in agencies for. However, when done right, it can be glorious. I had very few fist pumps this morning as I read DigiDay’s Real-Time Report Card for all newsjacking attempts. This is the only report you need to read. Well done, Digiday. I agree with your scores.
The JC Penny effort has been ridiculed for being similar to Chipotle and their “fake hack” Twitter stunt. It’s also been called the “drunk tweet.” Since when do you drunk tweet coherent thoughts and decent analogies to baseball scores albeit slightly misspelled? This was a brick in the window that we needed for newsjacking. It was intriguing. It was exactly what the best advertising is. It draws you in. It doesn’t close the loop. It was actually quite magnanimous on a night where brands were doing focussing on each other more than the game which offered very little comedic fodder on the field. JC Penny gave other brands a chance to newsjack their newsjacking and several made a few decent attempts to put the retailer in their place.
However, this would have failed if the punch line had sucked. It didn’t. In fact, it was a nice surprise. Crucially, it opened up a new conversation for another trending topic — the Sochi Winter Olympics. Since 2010, Grant and I have been referring to this sort of newsjack as a double-dip. It’s all about taking two trending topics and trying to weave them into one execution to maximise relevance and SEO.
What to do next: I think you should read Digiday’s report card several times and commit all the C to F scores to memory. It’s hard to get newsjacking right. Even writers for Jimmy Fallon like his sister Gloria don’t get it properly funny in a few minutes. (ASIDE: I think she’s superbly funny. One of her SB tweets: “I wouldn’t want to date anyone dumb enough to catch a grenade. I mean, it’s not a football. You should run from that shit Bruno Mars.”). What we need to learn from all this real-time or right-time marketing is that you need to take loads of “Little Bets“ and have a system of approvals in place on a daily basis to make this really work. This isn’t just about stringing together successes every January to March for “planned spontaneity” events like Grammy’s, Super Bowl and Oscars and then hoping a few famous folk die from April to December so you can keep your RTM string alive. This is a proper commitment. The folks I’m talking to are defining what’s appropriate for their brand from a subject matter point of view and setting up newsjacking labs and processes to make this a reality. When done right, it feels like a huge step toward consumer-centric advertising — to providing something useful and relevant to a huge crowd of folk who would much rather be chatting with their friends on Twitter — unless you’re really really brilliant — like Arby’s and JC Penney. Like this tweet from hilarious Tim Siedell, I’m off to buy mittens and then I might just take them off to eat a French Dip and potato cakes from (Come on, West London, open up a franchise) Arby’s.