Adding To The Noise

A critical view of new media, new technology and new marketing.

A Dead Guy Is Following Me On Twitter: Signs Social Media Is Taking Over

5 Comments


Signs the Groundswell is here and social media has changed everything forever:

1. A guy (gentleman) dead over 240 years is following me on Twitter for a beer brand from America’s Oldest Brewery.

2. Blending a 2X4 and iPhone can get you 172 million views and increase sales of expensive industrial strength blenders by over a 1,000%. It also got everyone asking, “Will it Blend?”

3. A brand as stogy as Old Spice can get its digital legs and runs a social media marathon to become the #1 body wash brand for men. Now look at me.

4. A viral video can help me get my mini-van driving swagger back, garner over 10 million views and be part of a social media effort that help increase Toyota Sienna sales 17% during a recession after a big recall PR crisis.

5. Dell goes from an onslaught of negative social media attention to embracing it. First by blogging about flaming laptops to now having implemented over 500 different ideas through social media crowdsourcing on it’s ideastorm.

6. The VW Darth ad cost $3.5 million to get 111 million views on the Super Bowl, but has gotten 56 million YouTube views for free in the year after.

7. A fast food company can get nearly 240,000 Friends de-friended on Facebook for a Whopper Sacrifice, sell 2.5 million “Burger King” video games, and get 400 million people tell a subservient chicken what to do.

8. A brand like Pepsi stopped its tradition of Super Bowls and celebrity spending for an altruistic, give money to good causes social media campaign that succeeded. And today they have shifted almost one third of their budget to interactive and social media.

9. An airline cared about a single passenger and his damaged baggage because he made a video that has been seen over 11 million times, helped drop United’s stock price by 180 million. He has now started his own consumer social media company for griping.

10. My cable company cares. Comcast doesn’t make me wait hours on the phone and for a tech to show up late in four hour blocks. They respond to my Tweets within minutes.

What signs of the groundswell have you noticed?

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Author: Keith A. Quesenberry

Marketing Professor with Industry Experience

5 thoughts on “A Dead Guy Is Following Me On Twitter: Signs Social Media Is Taking Over

  1. Very interesting stuff! I especially enjoyed the United Breaks Guitars video.

    A sign of the groundswell that I have noticed would be the enormous success of Halo 3’s launch after its “Believe” campaign that included a monument to the game’s heroes. The game sold $170 million in just a day after being released (http://www.joystiq.com/2007/09/27/halo-3-breaks-records-170-million-in-24hrs/ ).

    • Yes that is a great one. I worked with the guy that composed the music in it. Jay Green from Big Science in Pittsburgh. That campaign took amazing planning.

  2. Quick thought on your VW point. How many of those free impressions on YouTube do you think can be directly linked to the SBowl buzz? I’d say a good portion of them.

    And what about the fact that a year after Pepsi made their decision to drop out of SB and funnel the $ into altruistic social campaigns, they lost their #2 ranking? So now they are not only behind Coke, but also losing out to Diet Coke.

    Didn’t the Whopper sacrifice require each user to drop 10 friends? That means only 24,000 participants. I’ve been pissed over the press they got on that because I was part of a smaller super regional Facebook campaign that had 20k participants and we didn’t do a big PR push to get publicity. But that’s my own crap to deal with I guess!

    Not trying to be contrarian – because I do agree and recognize that social plays a part in today’s marketing mix – but I don’t think it’s quite worthy of all the buzz and attention it gets. It’s still just a tool for executing great ideas that make sense for your brand.

    BTW – hey Keith! Good post. Good blog.

    • Hi Chris!

      All very good points. I guess the big caviate that I forgot to include is that these social media campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum and should always be a part of a larger integrated marketing effort that includes traditional advertising.

      So yes VW got traffic from the Super Bowl buzz but that is the point think of how they leveraged that tradition TV spot. And yes everyone that reads the advertising trade press may be sick of hearing about Chrispin and new media, but they call it creating PR-able advertising ideas.

      Plus so many companies still have their heads in the sand when it come to social media they need to read about these success stories (even if there are too many such stories) because it helps us sell our client on the social efforts we want to do. Yes, Pepsi sales were down after the campaign, but aren’t all full calorie sodas sales down? I wasn’t aware of them dropping below Coke since then.

      I guess I have a soft spot for Pepsi Refresh because instead of making rich media companies richer, they are funding things like the summer reading program at my kid’s elementary school. So let’s put all our marketing tools together and ask the question, “Will it blend?”

  3. All I want to know now is why my pic didn’t load! I wasn’t even sure this uploaded last night – basically I was doing it on my iPad and working within the LinkedIn app. I think my original pad is starting to get overworked by newer, sleaker apps designed to the latest/greatest functionality. But that’s a whole different story.

    Here’s the article about Pepsi (over a year old now, but nonetheless my source to back up last night’s memory!)
    http://adage.com/article/news/pepsi-blinked-fell-diet-coke/149496/

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