T-Mobile recently released the latest in its series of Flash Mob style adverts – a crowd of more than 500 people, including a human orchestra featuring 20 singers, greeted passengers arriving at Heathrow’s terminal 5. This is the third in the series, with other flashmobs including the dance at Liverpool Street station and the Trafalgur Square sing along, and it begs the questions – are they overdoing the concept?
We all know that broadcasting companies tend to catch on to a popular format, cookery shows, reality TV, home makeover shows, and flog it like a dead horse until we can no longer stand the sight of any of the above. But does digital media allow more room for serialisation and repetition of a theme?
I personally was a huge fan of the Liverpool street flash mob. It captured my imagination, made me smile and hung very closely to the tagline ‘life’s for sharing’. But when I heard about the latest offering, I did start to wonder if T-Mobile were clutching at straws here. The YouTube viewing figures do somewhat speak for themselves with 23,672.246 viewing the original Liverpool Street Station flash mob from January 2009, dropping to 3,497 for the April 2009 sing along in Trafalgar Square and 1,710,620 for the Terminal 5 ‘Welcome home’ advert.
But this does need to be viewed with some context – firstly, the Terminal 5 advert was only released at the end of October, so over 1.5 million views in less than a month is pretty impressive. Secondly, viewing figures are likely to increase – when the first advert was launched using a flash mob on an advert was a pretty new concept, so it was bound to generate initial interest. The figures do highlight however, that the ads still have a dedicated following who enjoy the adverts. And I must confess that once again, when I actually watched the Terminal 5 ad, it did not fail to bring a smile to my fact.
There are, however, some points of distinction that T-Mobile have effectively – each advert has its different twist – one is a dance, one a sing-along and one a human orchestra. This variety maintains interest. I just hope that they keep a close eye on when this interest starts to dwindle and finish on a high…better to be a campaign that people remember fondly than over-do a concept and undo all your hard work.
Often social media campaigns simply consists of a Twitter feed, blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel. And for many companies that is the most appropriate, cost effective and manageable strategy to use. But every now and then a company will introduce a little sprinkle of social media fairy dust to add a magical element to their campaign…below is a look of some of my recent favourites….
Jimmy Choo and Foursquare
Jimmy Choo recently used Foursquare to launch a real-time treasure hunt around London. A pair of Jimmy Choo trainers were placed at fashionable hangouts, marked up on Foursquare, for one lucky winner to claim.
This campaign shows innovative use of one of the lesser used social networking sites in the UK (though Foursquares users is constantly growing…and I wonder if this campaign increased numbers)..but I can’t help but find myself wondering if they might have been better to wait until Facebook’s geo-location networking launches…
Creativity score: 7
Potential impact score: 6
Pringles Outs Social Media Addicts
(Source: Media Week)
The crisp brand heralded as ‘good for sharing’ has launched a website for people to out their over sharing friends. Users are encouraged to name and shame friends who post boring status updates or Tweets – hoping instead to encourage people share things that are ‘really worth sharing, like Pringles’.
The campaign demonstrates integrated messaging and clever tie-in with the ‘sharing’ theme. It is also wonderfully satirises one of the common complaints about social networking, promoting over-sharing by sharing the banal comments more widely – brilliant!
Integration across different social media channels is also very effective, with a bespoke website dedicated to the campaign, ‘oversharers’ tweets retweeted on a Twitter feed and an ‘overshare’ button on Facebook.
Creativity score: 8
Potential impact score: 8
Such Tweet Sorrow
The Royal Shakespeare company used the power of Twitter to try and make Shakespeare accessible to the digital generation. What followed was a re-enactment of Romeo and Juliet, through the medium of Twitter (Juliet had over 5,000 followers). The campaign brilliantly updated a classic and kept many gripped for the duration of the month long storytelling.
The real-time nature of Twitter meant that it was sometimes hard to keep up, but a bespoke website provided a timeline of events for those that missed out.
Overall an effective use of social networking to (hopefully) bring Shakespeare to a new audience…
Creativity Score: 8
Potential Impact Score: 6
T-Mobile – Life is For Sharing Flash Mob
An oldie but a goodie…and not a pure 100% social media campaign, but the Liverpool Street life is for sharing advert perfectly married two phenomonons of the digital generation – flashmobs and social media.
The advert was posted onto YouTube as soon as it was premiered on Channel 4, and has now received 2,693,903 views with the video quickly going viral online.
This showed good integration of the marketing disciplines, which is exactly what is needed for an effective social media campaign, but I would suggest that perhaps more people were interested in the entertainment factor…than who the campaign was actually by.
Creativity Score: 9
Potential impact Score: 8
Do feel free to share any other examples of creative social media campaigns you have seen below!
P.s. some of the above campaigns were kindly pointed out by my colleague Nicky Smith, who also blogs over at ‘Research in the News’ – go check it out for some interesting insight into the use of research in PR….