Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Katy Perry: Wide Awake to the Importance of Facebook

Just a quick note today on the social implications of Katy Perry's new music video - Wide Awake (above).

Upon watching the video, you mighty be surprised by the lack of suggestive gesticulation, and potentially disappointed by the departure from her normal music video attire.  However what can be admired in this video is the understanding of the importance of her social media presence, and resultant promotion of it.

Whilst just about every celeb under the sun has a Facebook page, it's generally the more dedicated of fans that like.  Whilst this in some cases amounts to vast numbers, this is not the case for all - poor ol' Jim Davidson and his 1,886 likes.
Now Katy's 43m page likes would suggest she's the more bountiful in likes than most already.  But the video's acknowledgment of how much Facebook resonates with her target audience allows her to not only reach those already connected, but demonstrate to those unconnected viewers the content benefits connecting with her.

This not only results in a Katy Perry brand push to both current and lapsed fans, but the content of the video causes intrigue to this new audience and encourages a page visit.  This ultimately results in both a promotion of her latest catchy tune, but also a subtle yet measurable social media push.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Value of a #Creative

Recently I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of creative which has a #tag somewhere in its midst; such as:

The typical copywriter’s justification for such an insert is that it “adds a social element to the campaign”.  However I would broadly contend this. 

The inherent nature of the #tag inevitably adds a “social element” to a campaign.  However unless the #tag leads to a conversation or something more than a singular tweet/post, it can be argued that any such action is not truly social.

Additionally, a tenuous link between the #tag and product/service offered – as with the example above - doesn’t indicate any value exchange that may occur in return for the consumer’s social action.  This, alongside the fact that consumers are typically exposed to such creative in internet bereft tube stations, and consequently meant to remember to respond to these randomly placed #tags, vastly decreases the volume of responses[1].

It could even be said that incorrect use of #tags can actively hinder a campaign; as whilst many consumers are now using Twitter, far more aren’t.  So using language that is foreign and potentially confusing to a consumer, is not only is a cardinal creative sin, but may alienate the target audience and devalue the authority of the brand to the consumer.


The moral of this rant is that whilst users may treat #tags as throwaway signatures of irony, an affiliation to group or topic, etc, advertisers can’t. 

In the absence of something particularly entertaining or interesting that consumers will actively want to mention, #tags should only be used in copy as part of a wider consumer experience, with clearly defined objectives.  There needs to be back end content (ideally alluded to in the creative) to incite participation and facilitate a positive brand experience for the user.  

Though this isn’t a walk in the park, inter-agency collaboration at the point of the initial communications brief can ensure that all sections of the campaign ultimately come together to deliver a meaningful journey and experience for the consumer[2].  Without it, the often confusing or disjointed journey (if there is one) that consumers are taken will result in a user journey the consumer will not so willingly embark upon again.

[1] This example has only received 7 tweets in the last 7 days
[2] A simple example would be:  A drive to sign x number people up for a charity run through Facebook.  Some creative running cross media shows an asset of theirs e.g. Paula Radcliffe signed up, suggesting people #runwithPaula on y date.  On Twitter, search for the #tag are links for training tips and stories on who you’re helping if you sign up to facebook via the link, where you can find additional content (though also being encourage to sign up for the run - where you get a goody bag or something).  This would entice people into starting the user journey, and at each stage encouraging them to go further to the point at which they've signed up, whilst being able to measure the volume and nature of each social interaction to the point of achieving the KPI of signing up.