Category Archives: Social Media

Oh, the Wonders (and Limitations) of Periscope

We’re mad about technology at DGC, always casting an eye toward how to use new platforms to tell our clients’ stories. Right now, our obsession is Periscope, the Twitter app that enables users to live-stream content directly to your followers on Twitter.

CNN, The Weather Channel and Coca-Cola are among the myriad entities taking advantage of Periscope and its closest competitor, Meerkat, to offer viewers behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive access and content that makes you feel as if you’re truly part of the story.  Live-stream technology makes our jobs as communicators so much more interesting and offers us a platform to engage more deeply with our clients and audiences.

Some of the ways we can take advantage of these new platforms:

  • Broadcast your news: If appropriate, find a way to live-stream your next big announcement to a global audience on Twitter. Forego the press release and use Periscope to break news in a more engaging, conversational format.
  • Bring your audience in: Use Periscope to share content, engage with a live-audience and start a dialogue with them.
  • Intimate access: A live-stream is a great way for your C-level executive to connect with an audience.

Beware, however, that you don’t livestream owned content lest you draw the quizzical wrath of business titans like New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

Super Bowl XLIV Preview: The Biggest Event of the Year

This year, the high holy day of American sports falls on Feb. 1, with kick off set for 6:30 p.m., ET as the Seattle Seahawks face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

An estimated television audience of 112 million will include a significant number of non-sports fans who are most interested in the commercials, for which NBC sold air time at a record $4.5 million per 30-second spot.

Here at DGC, we revel in all of it: The game, the parties, the commercials, the half-time show, the real-time marketing moments, social media, the second screen, the entire omni-channel experience and, of course, the PR opportunities that abound.

DGC staffers want all of our clients to win, but some have taken sides regarding the two teams that will actually play the game. Click on the video to find who they’re rooting for and why.

DGC Roundtable: Taylor Swift Versus Spotify

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our fall intern, Jamie Kurke.

It’s no secret that Taylor Swift has been the hottest artist on the planet (and DGC favorite) since she released her smash single “Shake It Off” near the end of the summer. Between the highly anticipated new album, upcoming tour, and overall Taylor-mania, she’s run an effective launch strategy to keep herself in the news — and this time it has nothing to do with ex-boyfriends.

The big headline of the week was Taylor’s abrupt decision to pull her entire music catalog from Spotify, one of the popular streaming services. There’s been several theories and reactions for why, but nothing definite from her camp.

With that in mind, our question this week was:

After Taylor Swift pulled her entire music catalog from Spotify, what are the implications for the industry – from Spotify’s response, Taylor’s reputation, and the future of digital music distribution?

Erin Donahue Tice, Vice President, Group Account Director

taylor-swift-jkl-2014-billboard-650-01Taylor can do no wrong, especially when it comes to knowing her own personal brand, and how to connect with her fans. She’s a savvy marketer with strong PR inclinations, and her choice to pull her entire catalogue from Spotify is only causing more intrigue and excitement around her new album, which will in turn drum up sales. Much like Beyonce’s decision to release her new album last year on itunes without any pre-publicity, Taylor is at a level in her career where she can do what she wants, on her own terms. There are a multitude of ways to get music in the hands of consumers these days, and by omitting her songs from Spotify, Taylor isn’t hurting her career; if anything, she’s breeding more “Swifties” who love her sense of honesty and integrity, and will pay whatever it costs to hear her tunes.

Sara Ajemian, Account Director

Taylor’s not the first to buck the trend and make her own rules (hello, Beyoncé). Removing her music catalog off of Spotify will have no negative impact on her career. Clearly she’s doing something right: 1989 went instantly platinum. I think more artists are going to follow in her footsteps, but only if they can afford to.

Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive

This comes down to an art versus distribution conversation which is anything but apples to apples.  Music is an art form, and digital distribution platforms like Spotify have devalued that art but provided it on a grander scale. It’s a debate that has valid arguments on both sides. In this case, Taylor has to do what’s best for her. It’s not going to hurt her or Spotify. She’s one of the few artists who can rise above it. For digital distribution’s sake, I do hope there is a conversation on fair pay for artists who spend their time developing the music we love. In the meantime, Taylor’s just gonna shake.

Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator

I think that Taylor Swift pulling all of her albums from Spotify could have interesting implications for the music industry. However, I don’t think that it’s the end of the world for Spotify.  I think Spotify means different things to artists on different levels.  For an artist not as well-known as Taylor, Spotify could be an opportunity to get their name out there and get exposure to people they may not initially be able to reach.  It will be interesting to see what implications Taylor Swift’s decision has as new albums from bigger acts come out and to see whether or not more artists follow suit.

Jamie Kurke, Intern

My visceral reaction of this whole situation is how brazen it is on TSwift’s part. Spotify is, in my mind at least, in the top tier of music streaming services and it seems to be a huge snuff on her part to declare that she doesn’t need or want them. Furthermore, I’m sure there are plenty of enraged fans out there that now have to choose between their go-to music app and their favorite It-Girl. That said, however, it could prove to work marketing wonders for Taylor. She’s always been vocal about her independence and makes a big deal about having gained fame all on her own; this is certainly a power move that pushes out that message even further. Hopefully, her fans will remain loyal and respect her choice, Spotify will continue to be respectful and graceful about their loss, and balance can remain intact in the music biz.

ARF Re:Think 2014 Looks to Rethink Consumer Engagement, Ideas, and Skills

Monday kicks off the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual Re:Think Conference, which brings together leaders from brand marketers, media/tech companies, research organizations, academics, and new-age analysts.

Scheduled speakers include Soledad O’Brien, CEO Starfish Media Group; Keith Reinhard, Chairman, DDB; and Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Market Solutions, Facebook Inc. The conference will feature more than 50 studies from 100 high-profile presenters. More than2,500 attendees have registered for conference at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Click here to see more on the papers.

This year’s Re:Think theme is  “Inspire Intelligent Growth.” Each day of the 4-day conference has a different focus. Rethinking consumer engagement is the theme on Monday, March 24; “rethinking” ideas dominates the March 25 agenda;  and March 26 is about rethinking skills.

The conference will also recognize recipients of the ARF David Ogilvy Awards (honoring the creative use of research) and the Great Mind Awards (which celebrate individuals who contribute to excellence and advancement of advertising research). On March 26, aspiring advertising professionals can speak with industry veterans about how to make their mark on the industry.

Follow along with the exciting insights here on The Hit Board as well as on Twitter with #ARFRETHINK2014.

From Across the Pond – DGC Welcomes Eulogy’s ‘Rising Star’ to New York

Last week, DGC welcomed Jax Potter, Account Manager at Onlinefire, the social arm of our London-based sister agency, Eulogy. Jax was her agency’s recipient of the second annual intra-agency Rising Star program, in which staffers compete for the chance to to spend a week at the other’s shop.

Last year, DGC welcomed Eulogy’s Antonia Harrison who filled us in on how PR is handled over in the U.K. This year, Jax shared social media best practices with us through a presentation that provided insight throughout about content marketing in social media on behalf of consumer-facing brands. Jax also attended New York’s Social Media Week.

We touched base with Jax toward the beginning of her trip to get to know her better as well as see how she was enjoying her time in the Big Apple:

From dinners, happy hours and “Wino Friday” with our team, to Top of the Rock and the Statue of Liberty, Jax had a busy week seeing the sights and trying out all the delicious food that New York’s international cuisines can offer.

And speaking of food, DGC hosted its first-ever Olympics-themed potluck lunch – where participants brought in food from their favorite competing country. We had quite the spread of everything from ratatouille, to grape leaves, to a special Australian dessert called Pavlova.

Click here to check out all the pics from the fun-filled week!

Keeping Up with the Olympics, but Not in Real Time

Let me be honest. I’ve watched less than 30 minutes of the Olympics. And I know I’m not alone. An informal poll I took of friends and family shows that roughly half are in the same boat as me and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Nielsen reported 20.8 million viewers on the evening of Feb. 12 – a 29 percent drop from the comparable night during Vancouver 2010.

While viewership is down, however, everyone seems to be talking about the Olympics – Germany’s attire at the Opening Ceremonies; the Russian Police Choir totally nailing Daft Punk; some guy named iPod winning gold with a trick called the YOLO flip. So where’s the disconnect between interest in the games and actually watching them?

In 2012, Darren Burden, the general manager of news and digital publishing for Fairfax, posited, “News you read is different than news you say you read. The former is driven by what you want or need to know and the latter by what you want your friends to think.” While Burden had a point, I believe there’s something more than that going on here.

We’re inundated by interesting content from a multitude of print, broadcast, digital and social channels. We constantly struggle to consume it – and comment on it – in real time. However the benefit of so many channels is a repackaging of the content into memes, snackable videos and short comments – a sort of “content once removed” phenomenon. To riff on Burden’s quote, “News you read is different than news you can talk about. The former is driven by what you actually need to know and the latter by what you can learn from what your friends read.”

Going back to the Olympics, I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything by not paying close attention to the games, or the direct coverage of them, because 50 percent of my friends and family have been. And by extension, their Twitter feeds, Facebook timelines and Tumblrs have been full of photos of door-smashing bobsledders and videos of skiers being taken out by Imperial AT-AT Walkers. So while I didn’t catch the Opening Ceremonies live, I know that Germany may or may not have been making a statement with their uniforms and the Olympic rings may or may not have failed to light (depending on where you watched).

And I know that whatever happens this week, I won’t feel left out if I don’t catch it in real time.

Think Nothing Big Happened at the Super Bowl? Think Again.

Sunday night proved to be a bit of a bore with the Seahawks dominating the entirety of the game. So what kept us watching at DGC? The marketing showdown of course! Here are a few trends that emerged from the biggest night in advertising:

  • Nostalgia trumped glitz: A lot of brands like Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet and Maserati took the sentimental route, opting for feel-good over splashy spots. For example, Microsoft inspired us with a :60 spot narrated by Steve Gleason, a former NFL player with ALS, through the use of eye tracking technology on a tablet. Steve speaks about how technology has the power to “take us places we’ve only dreamed of” as we see images of technology helping a woman hear for the first time, a child run with prosthetic legs and an elderly man losing his eyesight paint.
  • Brands ambush the Super Bowl: Brands that didn’t have TV spots during the big game got creative in how to reach large audiences. Newcastle was a winner, enlisting Anna Kendrick to star in its video “Behind the Scenes of the Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Brown Ale Almost Made.” While on the other end of the spectrum, jcpenney was sending out tweets filled with typos, calling it a stunt to promote its “Go USA” mittens. Other brands certainly had fun in the social conversation – Coors Light chimed in to suggest the department store drink responsibly and Kia offered a designated driver.
  • Light humor reigned: There was far less over the top, slapstick humor during this year’s big game. Outside of the expected Go Daddy ad, brands and advertisers went with lighter humor. Take Volkswagen’s “Wings” spot created by Project: Worldwide agency ARGONAUT where every 100,000 miles, a German engineer received a pair of wings. And in TurboTax’s “Love Hurts,” the brand compared watching the game between two teams that aren’t your own to watching your crush dance the night away at prom with a cool dude that isn’t you. And, on another nostalgic note, DGC client David&Goliath brought us back to The Matrix in its newest spot for Kia.
  • Double spots: Brands like Pistachio and Chevy doubled up on spots during the game. For instance, we got to see Stephen Colbert try to rely on his fame alone to carry the pistachio commercial but unfortunately fell short. In the second spot, the branding is amplified to the point where Colbert cracks his head open to reveal a pistachio inside.

And it didn’t stop there. Denver-based DGC client and Project: Worldwide agency Motive, along with Mekanism, created the Super Bowl Halftime Show for Pepsi. And DGC client Pandora hosted a “Pandora Presents” Event at the Bud Light Hotel in NYC on January 31. The show was headlined by Imagine Dragons, who just came off its well-received Grammy performance and Grammy award win the previous weekend.

We hope you enjoyed game day as much as we did. What was your favorite part?

Ten Seconds Or Less

SnapChat is like The Little Engine That Could. Its rivals pulled out all of the stops to buy it, duplicate it, replace it and eradicate it – yet the network is still popular.

What’s interesting about SnapChat is its perception, which, for lack of a better term, snaps back and forth in terms of good and bad press.  The early days of SnapChat led many to believe it’s purely an app for all kids to “sext.” And every few weeks, there’s some sort of SnapChat privacy story – various articles on how safe those snaps are (or aren’t,) an actual data breach, or how legal the content of snaps may be.  In a post-Snowden world, these types of privacy breaches would be a kiss of death. Yet the network continues to persevere for its users.

Last week, SnapChat’s founders were on the cover of Forbes’ 30 under 30 – among other things, sharing how Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg essentially bullied the founders to sell to him or face extinction through Facebook’s version of the app Poke. As we now know, Poke fizzled and SnapChat thrives.

Now the startup, like many other networks in the space, is looking to monetize through advertising.  Yet the network needs to find a genuine way to make these ads happen, with content that people actually want to see.  HBO, always one of the boundary pushers in new avenues for social advertising, launched a SnapChat account tied to its popular show “Girls.” The extension is perfect for the show, as one can easily imagine the characters attempting to decipher what their potential suitors are implying by snapping emojis of pandas and guns.

While many critics, professional and amateur, are quick to remind everyone that SnapChat’s founders each passed on more than $750 million in Zuckerberg’s buyout offer, the network’s popularity among users is as great as it’s even been.  It goes to show that a brand can overcome bad press and a potentially bad reputation by sticking to the company’s brand and messaging. Yet so far, SnapChat may need to work on its sincerity when accepting its flaws, and there have been more than a few instances recently.  One could chalk up this up to the brashness of Silicon Valley hotheads – call it growing pains. Finding your voice and credibility is not easily done in today’s hyper reactive world – particularly when there can be so much on the line – and minor stories can explode into “national scandals.” That’s not to say every brand can survive bad press; it requires buzz, a dedicated following and a little bit of luck – but it is indeed possible.

We’re looking forward to following SnapChat’s business evolution in the coming weeks and months.

Music Helps Marketers Win Brand Fans

One of the recurring conversations during Advertising Week was the role music plays in marketing programs. Utilizing music in marketing initiatives has helped launch artists’ careers, provided once-in-a lifetime experiences to fans, launched entire festivals sponsored by brands, and more.

That was the focus on a star-studded panel of brand marketers at the “Live for the Applause” panel, sponsored by Live Nation. Moderated by Fast Company’s Tyler Gray, the panel included Paul Chibe, VP Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP Entertainment Marketing, Citi, Chris Holdren, SVP of SPG & Global Web from Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Russell Wallach, President, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship.

Each of those companies market their brands through music. Anheuser-Busch collaborates with Jay Z to create the Made in America Festival, a successful two-day concert covering a range of genres and artists. Citi works with their rewards program to allow fans unique access to concerts, and also utilizes artists like Katy Perry in special events. Starwood rewards their SPG members with intimate concerts held in their hotels as part of their “Hear the Music, See the World” initiative, where members travel around the world to meet and watch their favorite artists perform.

Below, hear from Paul Chibe, Jennifer Breithaupt, and Russell Wallach on the importance of music in their marketing decisions and connecting with passionate fans.

What TV Shows Will You Likely Watch This Fall?

Every fall TV season brings hits and misses – and the crop of new shows this year is no different.

 With the week of premieres on the horizon, Gary Reisman, CEO of brand strategy and content alignment company NewMediaMetrics, sat down with Lynette Rice, West Coast News Editor of Entertainment Weekly and host of “Inside TV” on Sirius XM 105, to reveal top insights and predictions from his company’s 2013 LEAP™ TV Study.

One of the top findings from the study  – the top 10 shows for the fall 2013 TV season that have a high probability for success are:

Rank

New for Fall 2013

Network

1 The Crazy Ones CBS
2 The Michael J. Fox Show NBC
3 Sleepy Hollow Fox
4 Ironside NBC
5 Hostages CBS
6 Almost Human Fox
7 The Blacklist NBC
8 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC
9 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ABC
10 Reign CW

For the past seven years, NMM has made these predictions with more than 80 percent accuracy by measuring consumers’ Emotional Attachment (EA) to show concepts – a nod to how the media industry should assess content with an evaluation at the front end of the production process.

On the EW radio show, Gary talked about the shows most likely to miss the mark with audiences this season and refuted the suggestion that this process could take the creativity out of content creation. Listen to an excerpt from the Sirius interview with Gary here and here.

 

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