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Last week saw three of the strangest brand tie-ups for a while.
The first was that Nike Starbucks shoe, retailing at $100, the second, a strained Wayne Rooney cameo (see below) in an X-Men adventure (and some blue-faced mascots at a United game), the third, green and red Angry Birds burger buns at McDonald's.
This got me thinking - what are the best brand tie-ups of the past few years?
Entries are now open for this year's Masters of Marketing Awards, presented at the Festival of Marketing in October.
There are many categories but I thought I'd highlight the Programmatic & Performance Marketing award by looking at last year's winner and a few other notable campaigns.
Yesterday was Econsultancy's inaugural Creative Programmatic conference.
I was there, listening intently, and am delighted to bring you 31 of the most thought-provoking opinions expressed on the day.
Comments come from Topman, O2, TUI, The Telegraph, and a variety of tech companies and agencies.
Delighting the consumer is the number one priority for all customer-facing companies.
Right now, consumers have never had more choice, but when there’s an endless array of businesses offering similar products and services, how does any company stand out from the crowd?
By offering a personalised, relevant and completely human relationship that goes far beyond a single ecommerce transaction.
A whole lifetime relationship between a customer and a company can be fostered under the customer experience (CX) banner, but this kind of loyalty can’t exist without first shaping a sustainable consumer-centric culture and delivering them compelling experiences.
Join us at our Festival of Marketing, a two-day celebration of the modern marketing industry held in November, where we have an entire stage devoted to CX so you can learn how successful marketers optimise experiences to increase satisfaction and loyalty.
In the meantime, let's take a look at some other useful case studies.
I've been asking Maciej about the company's use of advanced analytics, how he feels about 'big data', and using analytics for customer retention...
Well, according to a benchmark study from QuBit, O2 offers the best all-round experience of the mobile network operators.
Meanwhile, newly-formed EE has some catching up to do, according to the study, which analyses the sites for five different criteria (find, choose, buy, personalise, and mobile).
I've been looking at the study, and here I've picked out some examples of good and bad practice...
As a major battle begins for UK 4G customers, brands need to be prepared for a rapid increase in mobile customer experience expectations.
O2, the UK subsidiary of Spanish operator Telefonica, is due to launch its 4G service on August 29, finally providing a rival to EE’s market monopoly.
Meanwhile, Vodafone is expected to also launch its 4G service in August and Three is expected to follow suit shortly.
Everyone who uses Twitter, which is presumably 90% of the people reading this, no doubt follows at least one or two comedians or spoof accounts that are there purely for entertainment value.
And it’s this comic element that Twitter’s UK director Bruce Daisley believes brands need to tap into to develop more meaningful conversations with their customers.
At Bite’s Empty13 event, Daisley light-heartedly suggested that the UK is unique in that its citizens love to find humour in the darker side of life – so while we all enjoyed the highs of 2012 such as the Jubilee and the Olympics, we also love to revel in the troughs that lie in between.
He gave the example of two of the most retweeted posts of recent memory. The one that captured the American public’s imagination most was Barack Obama’s touching image celebrating his re-election.
Last week O2’s network crashed for 24 hours, leaving its customers fuming as they were forced to face life without text messages and Facebook mobile.
While O2 subscribers are unlikely to forget the experience in a hurry, those of us who use different mobile operators were treated to a masterclass in PR by the staff operating the company's Twitter account.
Flooded with hundreds of messages, O2’s social team responded courteously to customer queries and justified complaints, while also giving some sharp, funny comebacks to a few abusive individuals.
However, while this was a great way to maintain some humour in an otherwise disastrous situation, some could have viewed it as too close to smug and uncaring at times.
A few weeks ago O2 CEO Ronan Dunne invited a group of press and bloggers to join him at #o2tweetup.
During the session, he asked for input on running his Twitter account, as well as sharing his own thoughts on the role of a senior executive online.
We caught up with him to drill down into a few of these points, and talk about the process of running a CEO's Twitter account.
O2 is continuing to roll out plans to ‘surprise and delight’ customers with another personalised social media campaign for Valentine’s Day.
The mobile operator has created a “digital Love Nest in the Clouds” to deliver Twitter users’ messages via YouTube videos, personally recorded by non-identical twin “O2 Cupids”.
This builds on the success of its #O2Santa stunt over Christmas, in which the company tracked mentions of the hashtag and similarly had a Santa character record people’s requested messages.
We've seen a fresh batch of Twitter 'storms' erupt over the past few weeks that are destined to feature in the presentations of many a social media speaker for the next year.
O2 held it's head high following a data leak, Snickers is being investigated by the ASA and @LAFitness has come out of the week fairly bruised. A good, bad, and ugly you might say.
While many of these, like so many other examples, pass by without long-term damage - some survive and cause reputational problems that could easily have been avoided.
We've gathered together four experts to ask their opinion of the three cases, and provide input on best practice for responding to such situations.