Contagious advertising

Create an idea that has sharing at its heart. An idea that’s contagious. That’s what it’s all about, right?

This makes us lot in the ad industry part psychologist. To understand people is to create something that can’t fail to be shared.

I love this video. Anyone for a coffee?

Emoji takeover and the evolution of language? 😳 😁

Emojis…the smiley faced evolution of language?

Some may say it’s dumbing down an already dumbed down form of communication: text messages being abbreviated into a new language that older generations can’t get their head around. Surely we can take just a few seconds more to type how we feel? It’s the lazy bones generation.

I don’t think so. Visual communication is a big thing now that we have mobile phones. Photography (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp) and video (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Periscope, Meerkat, YouTube) help paint pictures worth a 1,000 words a pop.

Emojis are a lightweight, easy-peasy way of achieving this: bringing that all important context to text-based communication. Sometimes emojis just do the job better than words 😧

BETC understand this. That’s why they did this rather splendid take on how emojis are kind of a big thing now.  🍔🍟

What @PeriscopeCo and @Meerkat mean for employer brands

20150401_092704Meerkat is so last week…no sooner had the live stream video mobile app taken SXSW by storm, Periscope pops its head above water with the release from their beta state last Thursday.

So now everyone is getting a bit excited about streaming live video at any time from the comfort of their own phone and Twitter account. I’ve been busy checking out Meerkat since it launched earlier this month. And I’ve been playing around with Periscope since Thursday.

It all reminds me of the fledgling years of Twitter when we were finding out what it could do and got to speak with some really interesting people across the globe.

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I’ve been Meerkating my commutes to work and doing a live desk in the agency. I’ve watched people Periscope their night out in Istanbul and Periscoped my car journey (I wasn’t driving) into London with people from across the world asking me about living in this great city and giving me the thumbs up. I’ve Periscoped conversations with our MD about the subject I’m writing about now, Periscoped from my desk and Periscoped a tour of our fridges (upon request of a viewer).

So what does this mean for employer brands?

It means a lot.

Human Resources (and the like) spend a lot of time and money trying to attract the right people into their organisation. This has typically been done by selling a vacancy or training programme with “No Day Is The Same” content…you know the kind of thing…

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…That photo shoot of employees “acting naturally” in their place of work (nice one Vince Vaughn and his Unfinished Business film promo on the right) or the employee profile video that is more “lights camera action” than a real and authentic view into what it’s like to work in an organisation. Whatever the outputs, this often has an employer brand at the heart.

An employer brand is ultimately a company’s reflection of its employees. It’s the character and culture of the people behind the business. Sounds great. You have an authentic representation of your employees.

But getting that authentic view into an organisation at scale hasn’t been possible until social media hit the big time. The social web gives everyone the opportunity to tell a story. Employer brands need to be owned and lived by their employees, not just end up being a bunch of slides on audience insight, value statements and pretty pictures: This kind of body of work is no doubt important, but it can be in danger of ending up as the proof an organisation “has an employer brand” and not much else.

Meerkat or Periscope….whatever the company that ends up on top (it’s far too early to tell and maybe WhatsApp, Snapchat or Facebook decided to get involved too) it means that live video will have a big impact on social media.

This means that people, and therefore employees, have the power in their pockets to give that authentic view into an organisation. Being able to put a future employee in the shoes of a current employee must surely be employer brand nirvana. And live video streaming has the power to do that: that commute to the office, the walk around the floor, a view of kitchen facilities or an AMA (Ask Me Anything) style discussion with a graduate trainee.

No, it shouldn’t mean that all of a sudden reluctant employees are captured on live video and that confidentiality is ignored.

But it certainly means that anyone involved in the development and activation of an employer brand should consider and experiment with the huge potential that is currently Meerkat and Periscope.

This is another example of the ever shifting and exciting times we’re experiencing in marketing. And it’s important recruitment marketeers experiment with emerging technologies like Meerkat and Periscope. The future of their employer brand may rely on it.

Skype call translations could change the world

Translation software and voice recognition software has been advancing nicely over the years. Google Translate, Siri and Google Voice are making our lives that bit easier.

But Skype’s release of translation functionality over voice calls is taking things to a whole other level.

Being able to talk without language being a barrier is surely going to be a huge win for international relations. The world may just get that bit smaller and wiser when this kind of software becomes maintream. Epic.

It’s Christmas Eve (already!) so it means NORAD are well into their annual tradition: Track Santa. It’s become a bit of a tradition for me and my family now for 4 years (mainly for the young ones, of course).

The story behind the relationship between NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defence Command) and Santa is a cute one. Now they have continued to capture the spirit of Christmas splendidly with social technology.

They have used FacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube and a website getting kids (big and small) into the Christmas spirit and keeping them posted on where Santa’s sleigh is on Christmas Eve. “Santa Cams” are dotted across the globe and allow NORAD to post updates and videos of Santa and his reindeer. This has brought a tradition to life, thanks to the social web.

OK, so NORAD is fortunate to have a link with the big man himself but this is a great example of how they have used technology  to help raise awareness of some great work that so often goes unseen by the public.

So if you (sorry, I mean your kids/grandkids or nephews/nieces) want to Track Santa, this is is a good place to start.

I’m currently tracking the big man while watching mediocre Christmas Eve TV. Happy Christmas! 🙂

Networks: They’re kind of a big deal (#socialnetworks = #socialmedia)

RSA Animate bring talks to life so beautifully. This time for Manuel Lima (Senior UX Designer for Microsoft’s Bing) and his talk about the power of networks and how they can help us understand an increasingly complex world.

Social networks, by their very definition, are powered by connections…networks of people. Without an appreciation of how social networks behave, we don’t understand how organisations are successful, how friendships mean so much, how mutual interests bring people together and how to put the social into social media.

The splendid boffins at the University of Cambridge started a Journal of Network Science as they feel this is an exploding field that needs focus. A worthy cause as we have access to social data now more than ever. And it’s going to make Network Scientists of us all.

Fireside with Lil BUB at Christmas

If you’re without cat and roaring fireplace this Christmas then this video does the Yule-Tide trick. Grab a cuppa (or alcoholic equivalent) and run an hour of snap, crackle and purr from one of the famous felines of YouTube. Lil BUB. Over 800,000 people have done that since Wednesday. It’s must be beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.