29 June 2009

Rudd Wins The Internets

Here is a disappointing page. It's the top sponsored channels on YouTube sorted by the most amount of subscribers of all time in Australia.

These brands must be paying for this privilege. I've been told they do receive banner ads as part of that package, but that's about it. They're pretty much normal accounts, ones that you or I could register.

But of all the brands who are sinking money into these channels, the most popular channel has just 1,300 subscribers. And it's the Government.

I find it beyond disappointing that's the best we can do, particularly with the budgets they would have been allocated. Where's the ROI on that? Maybe they'd have been better off with a normal, free account.

23 June 2009

You Sir, Are Anonymous

Sorry to beat a dead horse here guys, but let's have a quick chat about posting anonymously.

I honestly don't mind if you do it. I'd prefer if you attached a link to somewhere I could contact you, and if not then even just a name, but I understand some of you just want to post anonymously for the sake of it. I'm sure you've realised by now I actually relish abusive comments. And that's okay, if posting anonymously let's lets you say something you wouldn't normally say otherwise then go nuts.

But please, don't give me personal branding advice if you're going to do it anonymously. That is where I draw the line.

21 June 2009

The Right To Remain Silent

Joseph Jaffe just wrote a post saying every time your brand is mentioned on a blog you need to respond. But he's wrong. And I reckon Adam Ferrier might even be onto something when he said brands should just leave consumers alone.

Just because someone mentions your brand name, it doesn't mean you have to go in and "engage". Just because someone says something about jeans on Twitter, it doesn't mean you have to follow them if you're Levi. And just because someone mentions something remotely related to your product, it doesn't mean you have to comment on my blog.

This is called spam. And if you do it on this blog I have no problem tearing you to shreds.

I'm all for monitoring the social media environment. But when it comes to responding, don't do it all the time. Only do it when you can provide value. If it's relevant, and you can answer a question, point someone in the right direction or even give them something free or discounted, then you may respond.

And if you want to see somebody doing social media response well, the Body Shop is a good place to start. Joseph and Adam, I give you both permission to respond if you please.

19 June 2009

Another Umbrella

A few weeks ago Mumbrella launched their first sister site, Thumbrella. And in what can only be described as extreme procrastination during an exam period, I give you their next launch...

What started as an innocent conversation between myself and Kate Kendall about possible brand extensions, it saw me get home and created this. It quickly turned into a little experiment (and time killer) where I sneakily seeded it on a few blogs under the name of Fake Tim Burrowes. The goal was to determine how long it would take to surface, how much buzz I could create and how long until it appeared on Mumbrella.

Just hours after seeding, a comment appeared on Twitter from one blogger. At this stage just two of the dozen blogs it was seeded on had said something outside of their blog with a couple of others responding with comments. Less than 24 hours after the first seed, Tim posted about it.

It was merely intended as some fun. I don't think it was deceptive or non transparent. Now I must go study (rote learn) for my exam in two hours.

17 June 2009

You Must Be This High To Ride This Blog

The editorial team here at Pigs Don't Fly have been having some serious discussions of late. So serious in fact, one member stated they "could no longer work in such an environment" and as such resigned from the writing team. Another is currently sitting in an emergency ward after one conversation turned physical.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog lately, especially regarding the topic of content, being a joker, sensationalism and starting fires. So I'm sorry peeps if I've been blogging about blogging on this blog a lot lately, but unfortunately there's still a few posts left to write.

I haven't written about my blogging hero in a while, Seth Godin. But in one of his latest posts he suggests doing what you want and what you're passionate about, even if it's at the cost of your audience. I love this concept of "Who?", not "How many?". With that said, I realise some of this controversy does brings in big numbers, but I also realise I'm losing some in the process.

So based on that, let's get something clear; this is my blog. Therefore it goes by my rules. If I want to rant, write a disgustingly rude letter to your brand, be an asshole to you or drop the f bomb; I can. This is my wonderland to express my opinion, and if you don't like it then too bad. This is the internet, I'm sure there's something out there for you to read. Although I must admit I do secretly love when people abusively comment at me. A post on this topic coming soon.

Sometimes I honestly don't want to add value to a conversation. Why can't I just write something for the sake of it? I think I've slowly realised that as I get more passionate about my writing, one of the things I want readers of this blog to get out of it is entertainment. Yes, I would love to be pumping out thought provoking content all the time, but I can't consistently do that. I want my readers to love reading this blog and sometimes that means having fun with what I write and how I write it.

Don't get me wrong, which I know most of you will. I still want credibility and I still want to start conversations and participate in them. But I think sometimes people need to realise there's entertainment behind this content as well which isn't always conversation starting, but fire starting.

14 June 2009

Ted Can't Stand Alone

Perhaps one of my favourite campaigns so far this year is Tooheys Extra Dry's Six Beers of Separation. You couldn't really call it a social media campaign, but they did the standard, "Let's put it up on YouTube and MySpace".

I really really dug this campaign. I almost applied to myself because I thought it was such a great idea, however what really surprised me was the quality of the execution. There's almost a few hours of content up online, and I loved every second of it.

But the problem is, with the exception of the trailer, the most viewed video on the YouTube channel has just over 1,000 views. It's not much, and I'm sure the client will not be happy with this result. I'm almost annoyed that such quality content hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, even with all the print and outdoor ads I've seen around Melbourne.

Luckily, this once off broadcast will also be playing on pay television in Australia, which will hopefully satisfy the marketers are Tooheys. But is this is just another example of how social media is unable to stand on its feet by itself? I'd suggest that at least at the moment, social media needs to be integrated with the rest of your strategy if you want traditional type results.

12 June 2009

The Warmth Of The Fire

For those of you who have been following this blog for a couple of months or longer would know I'm a Joker who likes starting fires.

Which is the approach I took in a recent posting in an open letter to the editor of B&T Magazine. Many of your criticised said approach and I think the comments that resulted are probably more interesting than the post itself.

But let's take a look at the outcome...
+ The post received 33 comments, the most I've ever received.
+ My blog received the most hits it's ever had in one day yesterday.
+ My RSS Feed hit an all time high.
+ And perhaps most importantly, B&T made a change with more changes to come.
This is a good outcome, no? Would it have been the same had I'd taken a less controversial approach? Maybe. Maybe not.

I bag the shit out of traditional media all the time. But sometimes the results are amazing. So even if you bag the shit out of the approach I took the other day, stop and think about the outcome, which I believe speaks for itself.

10 June 2009

Who Username Is It Anyway?

I recently hit double digits for the number of times I've donated blood. And I'm only 19. I am very passionate about blood donating. In fact, I probably hate you a little bit if you don't donate regularly.

That's why I'm pimping out World Blood Donor Day and this campaign by Naked Comms...

Full disclosure says I've just finished up an Internship there but that's not why I'm promoting this campaign. What I found interesting was how the video was submitted under the username, sammygee33.

For me, it raised the question of who should be submitting content on YouTube? Should it be under the brand's name? The agency's name? Or perhaps a third party?

Or does it all depend on what will get the most views? If the brand doesn't have an existing channel, for example in this case, is it worth developing a username for World Blood Donor Day? What implications does this have long term?

This is more so one of those posts that just raises heaps of questions that I'd like you to answer. Let's see if we can start a conversation without me being a controversial little shit.

08 June 2009

Pretend I Used A Hilarious Acronym For B&T Here

I think every blogger says to themselves at some point, "I will not use my blog for personal rants about brands that piss me off or do me wrong". But, I also think that every blogger breaks this from time to time. That's what I'm doing today. And so...
Dear Tim Addington,

Hey dude, what's happening? Staying out of trouble and what not?

What is the word for the opposite of an evangelist? Because that's what I am when it comes to anything print. But with that said, I don't mind your magazine. I think you could probably make it a tad cheaper for students like myself, which would definitely increase your subscription numbers because students are always trying to convince themselves they're doing something important and serious about their career like subscribing to industry magazines... but let's save that for another blog post.

I have a couple of problems.

My subscription is about to end and you kindly sent me a letter reminding me to update it. I like that. An email would have sufficed but I don't mind, I understand you were born before 1980. As an existing and loving customer a yearly subscription was going to cost me $175 and $349 for two years. Except I went to the website and the prices are $119 and $229 respectively. That's a fairly substantial difference, no?

I also have a problem with the daily email you send me. Ignoring the fact you pretty much cover everything I've already read on my RSS Feed, Mumbrella and Campaign Brief, you send it in a fucking pdf file. On the rare occasion I actually want to click on an article, I have to download the whole thing. Why aren't you doing these as individual blog posts?

And my third point is about what you're doing on social media. Your Twitter account actually makes me want to break my fingers as I slam the screen of my notebook down on top of them. Also, I've raised these issues a number of times on Twitter and started many angry conversations, yet you've never gotten in touch. Why Tim, why?

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt this time and I've just subscribed for another year. Yes, you're welcome. But maybe you need to buzz me or shoot me through an email some time so we can chat about some of this stuff?

Based on your Twitter performance I imagine you're not monitoring blogs either so I'll send this through to you directly Timmy. You're more than welcome to use this as a letter to the editor. ;]

Zac Martin

05 June 2009

You've Got To Be Kitsching

I was enjoying a coffee the other day with a design student mate of mine who introduced me to what I found to be a very fascinating concept; kitsch design.

Kitsch design, he explained, at its most basic is design that is both useless and almost immediately becomes outdated. Perhaps the most common example is those cheap tacky plastic phone holders. They don't do anything except hold your phone, even though the desk is perfectly capable of that. Further, three months later every mobile phone on the market is too small to sit properly in the holder.

This is kitsch design. Temporary with no real use that just ends up as land fill.

I asked my mate why kitsch design even existed, and interestingly his answer was, "Marketing". The ability to make $2 million in two weeks from cheap crappy mobile phone holders means that kitsch design will always exist.

But in a society where we place such importance on long term vision and sustainability, I hope you're not marketing something kitsch. And if you are, then it's probably worse than marketing ecstasy to children.

03 June 2009

The Moon Landing Conspiracy

Another article of mine in the recent edition of Monash Caulfield's student magazine, Esperanto.

If you're interested, the coupon refers to the page of this article.

01 June 2009

A Tee For Juju

I think perhaps one of the reasons I fell head over heals in love with social media is the ability for something small to go big so easily. It happens every day with video content.

This tee is an awesome example.

Somewhere, somehow it went viral. After the first rather ironic review of the tee on Amazon, it was followed by a flood of others. Currently there are 911 of them, most of which are worth checking out.

But what I love most about this story is how often people criticise social media and how it actually leads to sales and profit. This week alone sales of the Three Wolf Moon tee have increased 2,300%. Booya.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin