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October 27, 2016Published by: Janey Spratt

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is just around the corner, so enjoy the last of the normality before the chaos begins. With just 61 days until Christmas, here’s what to expect in social media land.

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October 11, 2016Published by: Janey Spratt

The New Day Job: Internet Creators

Whether you follow fashion or not, it was hard to miss the social media buzz around Milan Fashion Week (MFW) this month. Media publishers, entertainment companies, celebrities, fashion bloggers and influencers were tweeting updates, snapchatting the catwalks and instagramming street styles.

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April 2, 2015Published by: Janey Spratt

The rise of dark brand campaigns


Recently we've been seeing a growing trend in the use of 'dark' marketing and PR campaigns, where brands use private social networks to connect with their audiences. Today, Laura Saggers, the US-based singer-songwriter, is debuting her new single and video on Snapchat. You can view the promo video for the next 24 hours before it vanishes. This kind of marketing goes against the grain, but with the captive audience that can be created with such an approach, it is definitely on the rise, and here are the trends we've been seeing in this space.

1. The rise of brands and talent using Snapchat

As well as Laura Saggers, we’ve been noticing more and more influencers (particularly YouTubers such as Caspar Lee, Tanya Burr and Connor Franta etc.) joining Snapchat to connect with their fans and when we were totting up the social media stats for March’s Battenhall Monthly, we saw that Snapchat has now acquired 100m users. Brands are also beginning to add Snapchat into their content mix and early adopters include; Chiquito, Nars, NBA and Heineken.

2. The rise of brands using messaging apps

We're also noticing the rise of use for private messaging app Whatsapp, who announced this week that they've launched voice calling. This week, Clarks also announced that they'll be launching a 'dark' campaign using the app to add a 'coolness' factor to the brand. There's also some luxury fashion brands such as, Cartier and Diesel are using the app in India to offer a premium and personalised service.

At Battenhall, we use Whatsapp to send out daily news alerts to our subscribers and we use it internally to communicate with each other and our clients everyday, something which is also on the rise across our client base too. As a result, we’re seeing fewer emails and phone calls and for us, it’s a logical way of working.

3. The rise of brands using dating apps

The final trend that’s caught our attention recently (or at least the singles in the office...) is slightly more niche - brands using dating apps for PR and marketing campaigns:

  • Mini and Happn: This Valentine’s Day, dating app Happn ran a competition with Mini offering users the opportunity to match with the Mini profile and win a weekend away for two
  • Ex Machine and Tinder: Movie Ex Machina promoted their movie using Tinder at SXSW this year where users who matched with Ava were soon disappointed to learn that she was in fact a robot
  • Shelter and Tinder: The charity is also using Tinder to try and put an end to the housing crisis where app users can match with ‘Brick 22’ – if you’re lucky enough to match with the lonely brick, it will give you more information about the housing crisis and encourage you to sign their petition.

We're keeping our eyes out for how these private networks are developing but also the different ways that we can experiment and use these networks to engage with brand audiences.

Image credit.

February 20, 2015Published by: Janey Spratt

Google launches ‘KidsTube’ app

_81131384_youtubekidslogoToday, YouTube announced that it will be launching a YouTube Kids app in the US on Monday. This will be a free, Android only app designed specifically for the younger generation and their tastes.

The app will offer family-friendly content under the categories of shows, music, learning and explore - allowing children to browse safely. Kids will be able to search for specific topics; however parents can disable certain ‘nightmare inducing’ searches (think sharks, spiders and dinosaurs!). Parents will also be able to limit the amount of time their child spends on the app.

The news will be reassuring to parents particularly as a recent Telegraph article looking at the history and future of YouTube points out that  "Almost anyone can upload almost anything to YouTube, for free, and be in with a chance of reaching its one billion monthly users – whether they’re activists, terrorists, politicians or pop stars (or just the proud owner of a “mutant giant spider dog”). It has changed our world."

YouTube really has changed our world and in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of YouTubers and YouTube talent. Similarly, 'KidsTube' has the potential to change how the future generation consumes media. We see kids playing on iPads on public transport or in restaurants more and more - it’s alarming how competent some young children are with the various iPhone and iPad functions, learning ‘swipe to unlock’ before learning to walk or talk.

We’re thrilled to see one of the top social networks taking measures to keep kids safe online as well as the impact this might have on children’s entertainment trends. We can’t wait to see how this new app impacts digital trends for generation Z.

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November 26, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

YouTubers: brand endorsement crack down by ASA

maxresdefaultWe recently blogged about the rise of YouTube celebrities and for years now brands have been tapping into their highly engaged audiences through brand endorsements.

The influence of these YouTubers has been picked up by the media this year, uncovering that YouTubers can earn in the region of £100k in return for a day of product endorsement on their channels.

The latest revelation comes from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who have noticed that some YouTubers have been breaking advertising standards. Today, the ASA have ruled that Vloggers must clearly declare when a brand has paid for a product to appear in a video.

YouTubers must now clearly mark ‘advert’, ‘promo’ or add a symbol onto the video or in the title. Simply saying ‘this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of *brand*’ isn’t going to cut it anymore. These changes are to protect the YouTuber's audiences who are often very young in age.

In our experience, we’ve managed relationships between brands and YouTubers where both parties have been keen to endorse the campaign message while making it look as natural and as discreet as possible. So these new rules will be a significant change for YouTubers as they work hard to maintain relationships with their loyal subscribers.

With this standardised approach to YouTuber endorsements being enforced by the ASA, the crucial effect yet to be seen will be the impact on subscriber loyalty and engagement. Does this new ruling change the commercial opportunity for brands and YouTube partnerships?

YouTubers owe their success to their loyal fanbases - they know better than anyone that the right content tailored to the audience has the potential to draw in mass support and engagement. As YouTubers grow their fanbases, commercial opportunities begin to appear and the line between fan loyalty and financial gain can become blurred. If the new ASA ruling jeopardises fan loyalty, we predict YouTubers will simply minimise the volume of product placement on their channels to avoid losing subscribers. It may be that YouTubers move over to brands' owned channels when promoting products in return for payment.

Read more on the changes here.

Image credit.

November 24, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

The social media food porn effect


Today, The Drum announced @Nandosuk as the most engaging brand on Twitter in the UK, coinciding with The Forbes Top 25 restaurants on social media. It got our team thinking, why is it important for food brands to be recognised on social media, ahead of their competitors?

Here’s three reasons why we think it’s important for food brands to be prominent on social media:

1. Top of mind

When you walk into a supermarket or plan to go out for dinner, your decisions are generally based upon what’s top of mind. Food brands need to have a presence on social media so that consumers have fresh, positive brand associations that they remember when they walk into a store or down the high street. It’s all about standing out from the crowd!

2. The food porn effect

Food brands are investing more and more in food porn whether it’s visual imagery, a video or a Vine. The ‘food porn effect’ refers to powerful photos of delicious looking food and the emotion that it sparks among the people you share it with. It taps into a passion for food, how people share pictures of food, take pictures of their meals whether it is in a restaurant or at home, and has the aim of getting a reaction from other people online.

Through their posts food brands aim to generate a sense 'needing' or ‘wanting’ a particular product or meal which, in turn, drives behaviours such as cravings. With creative content and timing, brands can tap into emotions and moods that will increase engagement around the brand, make an emotional connection and ultimately drive sales.

3. Deepening the customer experience

For all brands, social media is a powerful tool for managing the customer experience, interacting with them on a direct and public level.

Food brands need to be listening to what their customers are saying, whether it’s around a particular part of their experience, the service provided, a specific branch or an item on the menu. They can make a direct and personal interactions with customers, deepening their experience and creating positive experiences. Ultimately, creative engagement with customers and positive word of mouth drives social media brand advocates.

oreoIt’s not easy for food brands to be creative on social media as a lot of the time they’ve a small selection of products to talk about. For example, Skittles and Oreo are time and time again recognised for their excellent social media content yet only have one product to talk about.

With so much competition out there, food brands need to have their finger on the pulse, be thinking creatively and act quickly. Speedy, creative content has the power to engage customers, generate emotional connections which drives behaviours.

Photo credit 1, photo credit 2.

November 14, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

Kardashian vs Comet: Did Kim’s bum break the internet?

kim paper cover

Kim Kardashian's bum featured on the front page of Paper's latest issue with the headline 'Break the internet Kim Kardashian'. The cover caused a ruckus on social media - her bum trended on Twitter with blanket media coverage but did Kim's bum break the internet as intended?

We crunched the numbers to see whether Kim's bum broke the internet more than other recent trending news; the Rosetta comet landing, the John Lewis and the Sainsbury's Christmas adverts - here's what we found.

In the below analysis we used Radian 6 to demonstrate the number of mentions around each topic, showing that Kim Kardashian's bum did indeed, metaphorically at least, break the internet:

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 15.41.54

Number of mentions:

  • Kim's bum (light blue line): 1,798,520 mentions
  • Rosetta comet (dark blue line): 1,189,274 mentions
  • John Lewis advert (green line): 395,280 mentions
  • Sainsbury's advert (orange line): 92,777

However, when we take a closer look, we can actually see that the Rosetta comet generated a larger spike in mentions upon breaking (dark blue line):

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 15.48.44

The verdict? Kim's bum didn't literally break the internet however over 1.7 million people were talking about the image and the sheer volume did drown the web. The Rosetta comet generated a bigger spike over a short period, so it all depends when you were online as to whether it's bottoms or comets that you will remember from this week.

Rosetta Landing

Image courtesy of Nasa.