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You've left us really enthused about the whole digital dimension and we're looking forward to developing our plan with your support.
Simon Beardow - Deputy Director, British Council, Vietnam

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Cutting Your Losses

MySpace has been finally been sold and for the miserly sum of $US35 million. That's a huge loss for News Corporation and according to reports, 50% of current staff will be laid off.

The reason for the site's rapid demise appears ot be due to a combination of "poor management, or a need to hit revenue targets once News Corp. took over, or a bottleneck in the technology department, or lack of resources given to their division, or a poor public relations effort, etc." according to Hypervocal's Lee Brenner.

Entertainer Justin Timberlake who has taken a stake in MySpace believes the platform still has the potential to be the place on the Web where “fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.”

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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Sparks, Circles And Hangouts

Say one thing about Google; it never gives up. Faced by increasingly daunting competition from Facebook the Google team has had another go at a social platform - the Google+ Project.

A small number of people are testing the project, but Google says that it "won't be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone."

Unfortunately when registering interest the project so that I could be notified when it came online, all I got was the 404 server error and the image of the dysfunctional robot (at right)!

Google has thus failed to make inroads in social networking front and its most recent intitiative in February of last year - Google Buzz - was a bit of a damp squibb which failed to ignite the online passions.  What Google Buzz did achieve were numerous compaints about privacy which resulted in a reprimand from the US Federal Trade Commission.

So will Google+1 fare any better?

Its most impressive new feature is 'Hangout' which is group video and could potentially be a big competitor for Skype Video.  Google says:

"With Google+ we wanted to make on-screen gatherings fun, fluid and serendipitous, so we created Hangouts. By combining the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you're free, and spend time with your Circles. Face-to-face-to-face"

Apart from this functionality I don't think Facebook will feel seriously threatened by Google +1.

One Reason Google+ Needs To Be A Hit

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Your Window on the World

A recent FT Bowen Craggs survey ranked the top ten corporate web sies in 2011 for web effectiveness.

The company site remains its brand showcase and as the rankings reveal several of the top places were taken by European corporations.

The aim of producing this index is three-fold:

  • To help organisations know where to look for ideas
  • To pick out trends in online communications
  • To allow the companies in the Index and other Bowen Craggs subscribers to see how they are performing against their peers
The benchmarking methodology employed considers two groupings: overall and specific. Specific metrics concentrate on how well the site serves different groups. Within the overall metrics, Construction covers navigation and coherence, Message looks at the visual and content messages the site transmits, while Contact covers both ease of making contact and use of FAQs.

Siemens Web site

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Getting Ready To ROM-ble

A little reverse psychology goes a long way.

McCann Erickson Bucharest have won not one but two Grand Prix Cannes Lions for their work on behalf of their client -  Kandia Dulce's Rom chocolate bars.  Although a small campaign by world standards it became a global star at the awards.

By challenging and tapping into Romanian patriotism the campaign reinvigorated sales of the Rom bar helping it become the #1 chocolate bar of choice within the country.

The company's entry explained their campaign strategy:

Romania’s ROM chocolate bar launched in 1964 with the Romanian flag on its wrapper; had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base. In a category in which success means continuously attracting younger fans, ROM’s nationalistic values were a disadvantage. 

Young Romanians are disillusioned and cynical towards national values, and prefer 'cool' American brands like Snickers - which lead as favourite brand with 19%. 

How could ROM, a chocolate bar bearing the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters with few national values? Our strategy was to trigger a public debate about national values among youngsters and thus gain favorability for ROM brand. 

We challenged youngsters’ national Ego by replacing the Romanian flag on the package with the American one, and announcing it in the mass-media. We fostered and encouraged public debate triggered by the "American take-over".

Social media, realtime TV and dedicated microsites all played key roles in the campaign. The debate reached 67% of Romania's total population and increased ROM's Facebook Fans by 300%.  Brand indicators increased by 124% and it ousted the US candy bar 'Snickers' as the country's favourite.

Consumers created over 10 Facebook causes asking for the old ROM to be brought back with the most popular reaching over 20000 users in one week, more than the cause for building national highways reached in one year!

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