Facebook is like …anything under the sun

First when I saw Facebook’s new marketing campaign – “Facebook is like Chairs” the initial impression was, okay I get it- they are a social platform and it is about connected groups and being together. Kinda makes sense.

After the first campaign Facebook did receive public criticism for its content, characters and choice of settings and may be that was the reason, comments on the YouTube video are turned off and we know that’s typically done by  brands/agency (In this case Wieden + Kennedy) when you expect negative reaction pouring in from viewers.

Nevertheless Facebook recently launched the next series of creative based on same things. Now for me the campaign has turned weird.

Check out the latest creative:

Facebook is like ... Pool

The text accompanying the post says, “Swimming pools are filled with people. Some you know. Some you don’t. And every once in a while you see something that maybe you shouldn’t. That’s why swimming pools are a little like Facebook.”

In fact on its own Facebook Page, they have posted more pictures – Trying too hard to connect anything that involves more than two people equivalent of Facebook.

                                   

This is when you lose the key message and let a simple message (Going back to Chairs) sink in and let the audience embrace and relate to it and NOT try too hard.  It is key for any brand to know how hard to push a correlation.

That’s why I now feel Facebook is like …Anything under the Sun. 

Crowd-sourcing- Effective way to engage & excite your fans to create value.

As social media continues to become a main stream channel for marketers, brands are constantly trying to come up with ways to involve their fans in a more meaningful way.

As engagement is the key metrics that all brands active on social media aim to achieve, but engagement is something that only come through relevant conversations initiated between brand and its audience.

One common and effective tactic for marketer has been Crowd-sourcing.   It at once sparks conversations, giving the opportunity to the fans/followers to share their opinion.  The beauty of any such campaign is that – those opinions generated matter.

Brands have been keen on utilizing the feedback/suggestions/ideas/thoughts provided by its online community and turning them in reality.  Brands have been using crowd-sourcing campaigns to various activation objectives ranging from:
1) New product development –   Where the crowd is brought into the product decision process.    

Example: Ice cream brand Baskin Robbins is doing just that. It is asking people to create their own original ice cream flavors using Baskin-Robbins’ virtual flavor creator. Submissions will get evaluated by judges and narrowed down to list of 10 new flavors entries. The 10 short-listed options will be put up for voting by public   The flavor to get the most votes will be sold in Baskin-Robbins shops nationwide in 2013.

Baskin-robbins flavor creator

Baskin-Robbins is not the only brand that has used crowd sourcing for new product development, in the past we have seen examples of Vitamin water (Letting fans decide, the flavor, the bottle, the design and the name) or Frito-Lays’s new campaign “Do us a Flavor”  (Also encouraging its fans to come up with new Flavor – with big prizes to win)

2) Feedback/ Process ImprovementWhere Crowd’s suggestions/feedback is used to improve current process/experiences centered on brand’s value.

Example:  Starbucks – “My Starbucks Idea” Starbucks using http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/for improvingMy Starbucks Idea in-store experience.

The “My Starbucks Idea” campaign is a great example in crowdsourcing feedback on both the brand and product level. The campaign encourages people to submit their comments and ideas on everything related to Starbucks.

It also keeps consumers in the loop on what ideas Starbucks is currently implementing.. At the end of the day, the brand is getting a steady stream of feedback and business ideas while deepening the bond with its customers and evangelists.

3) Community Involvement – Where crowd acts as the key contributor to influence which meaningful cause needs to be supported first and how?

Example:  Pepsi – Refresh Everything (www.refresheverything.com)

Pepsi’s “Refresh” campaign directly didn’t relate to its product or brand idea. Pepsi realized early on that the millennial generation is passionate about supporting good causes and wanted to see the brands they buy from do the same.

Therefore the Pepsi Refresh campaign was anchored around using the $20 million dollars budgeted for marketing and allowed fans to submit ideas and vote for funding to carry out local community projects.  The projects ranged from environment to education.

The above examples surely prove one point that when the conversation is taken more from being a broadcast to a one-to-one dialogue.   That’s when you turn table to your target audience and actively engage them to participate.

Lightbox – Sold to Facebook

Continuing its expansion in all verticals, Facebook recently acquired another Photo Sharing Service (App) called ” Light Box” .

Service users were informed about the news through a blog post from the Founder of Light box.

We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile, especially for the Android and HTML5 platforms, and we’re honored that millions of you have downloaded the Lightbox Photos app and shared your experiences with the Lightbox community.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users.  (Read more)

If you curious about Light Box,  this video below can help you get a quick view.

New Acquisition @ Facebook : Gift-Giving App Karma

Facebook continues its strategy of acquisitions by getting another popular app- Karma under its belt.  The company recently released its updated version on May 8th 2012; is based on the core philosophy of “Social Gifting”.

Karma lets you send a thoughtful gift from anywhere, at anytime.

 

 

The way Karma works is pretty simple, Using the app, you can browse through a virtual storefront to pick out a gift. Karma has partnered with companies including with Hulu, Gund, MoMa and Spotify –- so there’s a pretty decent selection of gifts.  (Mashable)

It seems Social gifting is going to get more focus,  although Karma is not the only player mixing Social & gifting but defiantly integration with Facebook just means more close execution.  Here’s what Karma’s Executives announced through blog about the acquisition.   http://blog.getkarma.com/