pepsi

How can marketers avoid controversial campaigns?

In these polarising times we live in, controversy never seems to be too far away. From day-to-day politics to the world of sport, it appears we have an attraction to things that cause a bit of a stir.

Often, these controversial topics can be a marketer’s best friend acting as link bait. After all, if you’re trying to get people talking about your brand, you need to give them something to talk about.

Fight Club! Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi social media special

“Cola War, huh! What is it good for?”

Healthy competition and an excuse to write this article on the ongoing battle for our caffeinated hearts and sugar-addled minds between the two giants of fizzy beverage.

I’m sure Edwin Starr would’ve come up with something snappier, but he’s not employed here.

The battleground has changed since the 1980s. We no longer look to the highway billboards, the ads in National Enquirer or the million-dollar Bill Cosby endorsements on MTV to witness the blows each corporation delivered to its aluminium coated opponent. 

Now the war is fought across a vastly different field. One that couldn’t possibly have been predicted 30 years ago when our sole interests lay in watching Michael J Fox climbing over cars in the rain. 

We imagined future battles taking place on the moon, or via a Virtual Reality headset or at least a vaguely futuristic looking air-hockey table.  We were wrong.

Social media is the modern day arena where all the most catastrophic shots are fired (we now call them tweets). It’s also where loyal troops are enlisted (we now call them Facebook friends) and collateral damage is a sad yet necessary outcome (we call it Google+).

So let’s see how these mighty warriors are squaring up to one other in the 21st Century and how much attention they are paying to the rules of engagement.

15 of the best branded Vines from July 2014

Let’s all pretend we’re not halfway into August already and instead rewind back to the last few days of July with its less inclement weather, rabid excitement for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the promise of an ‘on-time’ round-up of the best branded Vines of the month.

Here’s our genuine excuse for its tardiness. I was on honeymoon and David Moth forgot to do it in my absence.  

Hmmm… sometimes you can be transparent merely by omission. Anyway, on with the compact cavalcade of content!

Why the phrase ‘augmented reality’ should be retired

I’m going to nail my colours to the mast. I think augmented reality (AR) technology is already big and can be massive.

The only thing is, I don’t think its best use is in augmenting reality, per se.

Where AR apps have a big future is the creation of a ‘physical world domain’. That’s a phrase used by Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar. It essentially means using objects as the physical keys to information or rewards online.

Blippar signed up with Pepsi and Coca Cola recently and this feels like a game changer. With QR codes failing to be implemented properly in many cases (with bad placement, instructions, URLs, or landing pages), the company could be well-placed to own the discovery and reward space.

FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) feels like a proving ground for this technology (and all reports of the number of scans are good, so far), with immense numbers of units providing marketing real estate to rival any other ‘channel’.

So why might it be so powerful as a tag or key, but not as augmenter?

World Cup 2014: what should we expect from brands?

The World Cup, along with the Olympics, comes by once every four years and is therefore a good assay of changing media habits and technology.

Twitter users have doubled since the last World Cup in 2010. Live TV streaming is available from all the main broadcasters and the user experience of laptop and tablet TV-streaming continues to improve.

Mobile has been the main driver of social media consumption and increasing demand for real-time content. Additionally, user generated content is easier than ever to gather, as new devices and new users become more adept and involved online.

So, what should marketers expect to come out of Brazil and World Cup 2014? In this post I’m going to take a look at some of the brands involved so far and their efforts, as well as looking at lessons that can be drawn from the London Olympics in 2012.

YouTube reveals sneak previews of the 2014 Super Bowl ads

Its pre-game teaser time, with the YouTube channel Ad Blitz currently showcasing excerpts from some of the major brands’ 2014 Super Bowl adverts.

The Super Bowl itself (number XLVII for anyone counting or able to understand Roman numerals) doesn’t happen till 2 February, but that hasn’t stopped the hype machine from kicking into gear.

Last week I revealed the top 20 Super Bowl ads of all time according to Unruly and discovered that 60% of the most shared ads of all time were launched before Super Bowl Sunday, thereby using word-of-mouth and early publicity to generate extra shares. In fact seven of the top 20 ads used teasers to build hype.

Marketers are clearly learning tactics from major film studios, where big event films can be teased a year or more before their release, even before a single piece of footage has been shot.

How Pepsi uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

In the latest of our posts looking at how major brands use the four main social networks I’ve decided to turn the spotlight on Pepsi.

The drinks brand is forced to play second fiddle to Coca-Cola’s global dominance, and is unlikely to ever match its rival’s huge social following.

However it should still make an interesting case study, particularly with its long list of brand ambassadors. This post follows on from similar blogs looking at brands such as McDonald’s, Nike, Burberry and Walmart.

So without further ado, here is a quick overview of how Pepsi use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+…

How we got to the Relationship Era

Culture is the “stories we tell ourselves about ourselves,” wrote Clifford Geertz in 1973. What the virtuoso anthropologist meant: stories reveal our social reality as much as they shape them.

So what yarns are we telling ourselves about today’s marketing environment, and how do they influence our marketing?

Twitter showdown: Coke vs Pepsi

Today, we’re launching a new weekly Twitter showdown of some of the biggest companies on the web, in your grocery store or on your brain. Today’s competitors are some of the most well known brands on the planet.

Yep. It’s Coca-Cola verses Pepsi. When have we heard that before? But this time, we’re not having a blind taste test. With the help of Visual.ly’s new easy to create infographics, we could easily compare these two drink giants.

First, a little background on what our competitors are doing.