Look Down, Back Up… It’s Viral Marketing

Flash back a couple of years and this advertisement was all the rage with 52.7 million views on YouTube to this day. Some people put it’s success down to the fact that it offers something for everyone. For women there was an attractive man spending a full 32 seconds shirtless, for men there were funny one liners that were relatable and glorified masculinity. The real reason for success however, was the creative minds behind the ad at Old Spice HQ.

First, a bit of background on Old Spice. Basically they are an American company that have a range of male grooming products such as deodorant, body wash and “man fresheners”…. Yes that is now apparently a thing.  Their whole image is based on macho masculinity and offering products that have manly packaging and names such as the Odour Blocker, Dirt Destroyer and Sweat Defence.

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Source: http://www.oldspice.com

Look down, Back up, now back to the ad. Old Spice managed to create humorous content that remained consistent with their brand image and values, while being entertaining to both men and women. The main actor in the ad portrayed the ideal state of many men, planting the idea that the use of Old Spice makes you a better man and bridges the gap between a person’s actual state and the ideal. Maintaining this message that Old Spice = Masculinity demonstrated a great integrated marketing approach as the values were kept consistent across past social media and other advertisements. Maintaining consistency across a brand is one of the key factors to the success of a viral campaign (Mangold and Faulds).

Creating an advertisement with the hope of it going viral can be a bit like diving from an 8 metre board. If it is done well the outcome is fantastic, but if the execution is poor it can end in an epic fail. What made this ad so brilliant is that Old Spice provided the perfect platform for consumers to have a discussion about the ad and the products. Social media was buzzing with talk about Old Spice and of course a million memes. The conversation this ad sparked not only created exponential growth for the company and generated a wider reach, but also made the brand more credible as consumers were sharing their experiences of using their products. Old Spice had the perfect amount of control over the campaign to shape discussion without killing the campaign by trying to control it too much (Kaplan & Haenlein).

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Source: memebase.com

Overall, the campaign was a triumph and had a really positive effect on the brand as sales spiked by 106% according to parent company P&G. The combination of great content and a marketing plan that followed the five pieces of advice when spreading a virus by  Kaplan & Haenlein, lead to one of the greatest viral advertising campaigns of all time. Check out an example of how Old Spice followed up the ad campaign by directly interacting with their users, each generating hundreds of thousands of views. All of these videos where made with the original actor and set and maintained the masculinity and message the viral ad projected.


Thanks for reading!
Let me know what other viral campaigns you can think of that succeeded.





The Google Hunger Games

Gaining the number one position in Google search results is a bit like the Hunger Games. You are one of thousands of businesses wanting to seize that number 1 spot when someone searches “Bose audio.” There can only be one winner and competitors are ruthless and willing to do anything to triumph. The difference between the Hunger Games and SEO is that the aim of the game is not merely survival, it is to boost your ranking in Google’s results. Let’s take a look at the game and the tributes…

Source: Cinema Blend

Other than the small minority that still use Yahoo! and Bing (yes these people still exist), most of us use Google to navigate the web. To give you an idea of how many people are utilising Google, according to DMR there are approximately 2.3 million searches per second! This means that it is really important for businesses to find ways to boost their visibility within Google search results. As we all know, the second page of Google doesn’t get much love, so having your website at the top of listings is ideal as browsers can find your business quickly, aiding in information search AND boosting the chances of conversion. Let’s take a look at a few ways this can be done:

Search Engine Optimisation…. chances are that you have heard of it at some stage, but what actually is it? According to Moz, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be defined as using strategies to increase a webpage’s ranking within search engine results. Essentially, the main goal is to make sure your company gets as close to the top of search results to increase the chances of internet users accessing your website. Results are ordered by search engine algorithms. Google uses these to order results based on the frequency of keywords, URL quality and relevance of content and web links.

To give you an idea, here’s an example of a past victor of The Google Hunger Games: Bose. Bose have used SEO techniques to ensure they are the first result on Google, surpassing opponents such as JB Hi Fi and Phillips Audio. This makes it easier for potential customers to navigate to their page.

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So what techniques can be used to outsmart opponents and reach the number 1 spot? According to Sen, there are two main approaches:

lack Hat Approach

This is the approach that attempts to trick Google algorithms to increase the search result rank. This is done through repeating keywords frequently and hiding them to increase the level of relevancy, stuffing metadata full of keywords,         redirecting webpages and creating lots of inbound web links. Think of this approach as the Cato of Hunger Games: deceitful and ultimately ineffective.


fc6bc66eff2ddac9db3aabefc2e5e269White Hat Approach

This is the approach that uses genuine quality content to be organically ranked by the algorithms. Basically the white hat follows desired practice and has relevant metadata and titles, quality links and no hidden content. Google’s algorithms detect that this is a legitimate site and therefore boosts it’s ranking. Think of this approach as the Katniss of Hunger Games: although she had to work for it, Katniss ends up prevailing and     beating everyone else through being genuine and the best in the game. (And she is totally rocking the white hat look).

So what does that mean for digital marketers? Marketers can use genuine webpages to deliver quality content to consumers through the use of Google algorithms OR they can use undesirable tactics to increase the position within results. Generally speaking, the white hat approach is the way to go. We need to remember that marketing is all about value and most websites are another avenue to delivering value to customers, whether that is through reviews, product information or customer service. As such, artificially boosting your website’s ranking could mean that customers do not receive the most relevant content and any potential visit could end in a quick mash of the mouse on the back button to return to the search engine. Another thing to remember is that Google is constantly updating algorithms to work their way around the black hats and provide the most accurate ranking of search results. As such using the black hat technique is not only annoying to users of the search engine, but is also not productive in generating web traffic as the visitors leave quickly and the algorithms change to ignore these negative techniques.

Let me know if you have encountered any websites using the Black Hat Approach to boost their position within search results.





How connected is too connected?

The Internet of Things describes a network of connected devices that collect and exchange data to benefit the user experience. This all sounds really high tech and futuristic, but this is happening right now! Most of us have smartphones and wearable technology such as FitBits and Apple Watches, we are all very much a part of this collection of data. Obviously there are some really clear benefits to the Internet of Things such as improved convenience as a result of home automation, health benefits from the FitBit and overall increased productivity due to smartphones (PEW Research). This is a great way for marketers to gather accurate and real time information, but one question still stands… how connected is TOO connected?

I stumbled across this video on Facebook a while ago which addresses the issue of hackers and security. A group of hackers managed to compromise a gun and control it remotely, this is pretty scary stuff considering how common guns are in the US. The wifi connectivity leaves a massive vulnerability for hackers to exploit. In the video below, the hackers are only using the technology to disable the rifle or to change the target, but if they can do that there is nothing stopping them from remotely launching the rifle and causing all types of issues.


Even devices as innocent as baby monitors are at risk. Hackers are once again able to breach the security of these wifi connected baby monitors to have access to the video and audio. This video would definitely make parents think twice before purchasing wifi baby monitors.


It’s not just wifi guns and baby monitors that are at risk of hacking, hackers can compromise houses with home automation capabilities, smart TV’s, smart cars and the scariest of them all…. toilets. Satis toilets have been hacked in the past, allowing hackers to control flushing, opening and closing the lid, bidet features and air drying. Now that’s scary!

Source: LinkedIn

On the other hand, the Internet of Things streamlines processes and makes connecting and using technology integrate more seamlessly into our daily lives. An example of this is how cars are now commonly equipped with technology to allow communication even when driving. The network that all these connected devices have created is really useful for digital marketers as it allows real time data collection, personalised marketing and faster customer service. Data collection is generally time consuming and expensive, but marketers can collect real time data from devices which can provide invaluable insights into usage (Benady). Marketers can also gather a consumers’ personal information and gather a better understanding of their demographics. In addition, customer service can be sped up dramatically, with live troubleshooting as the data is all easily accessible. And who wouldn’t want better customer service when things break?

Although the internet of things allows workflows to be synchronised and technology to make life easier, there are some significant security concerns and vulnerabilities that can be exploited. For marketers the Internet of Things can lead to huge opportunities for development and creation of value, but as consumers a lack of security is pretty concerning and leaves consumers with the question, how connected is too connected?

Really Ritson?

Mark Ritson, a professor of marketing told The Australian Financial Review , “If any marketer comes to me with a social media marketing budget I know they are an idiot, and poorly trained.” How does this statement make you feel? If you are anything like me, this probably sums it up….

Source: Guardian Liberty Voice

I was pretty shocked to hear this from someone within the marketing field, especially as you would expect someone with Mark’s expertise in the area to understand how important social media is in marketing these days. According to statistic service, Statista, there are well over 2.08 million active users of social media worldwide. What marketer (aside from Mark Ritson obviously) wouldn’t want to tap into such a valuable resource?

Not only does social media have an incredible mount of users to communicate to, but it also allows firms to narrow in on specific segments of the social media population based on their likes and activity (Kaplan). Gone are the days where marketers could simply place an advertisement on TV or radio and sit back to count their dollar bills, consumers now find traditional media to be intrusive. We’ve all been in the situation where we are watching Masterchef grand finale and just as the winner is being announced, you guessed it, they cut to a Coles ad with Curtis Stone frolicking in apple orchards like a twisted scene from Baywatch. No one likes the intrusion and that’s why many consumers are turning away from TV and switching to playback services or Netflix.

Social media allows marketers to not only target the segment of the population that is most likely to purchase their product, but it allows users to receive advertising that actually might interest them. For example, I saw an event from 2XU compression pop up in my Facebook feed, believe it or not, I actually went along too! I 100% would not have gone to that event if it was published on TV or radio, especially as I don’t frequently use either of those mediums any more. The advertisement for the event was targeted toward my feed because I like 2XU’s company page, I fall within their target demographic and I am nearby the event. Traditional media doesn’t allow targeting like this and can mostly act as mass marketing.


An interesting point Ritson brought up was that 63% of people trust TV as oppose to 46% trusting the ads they see on social media. Fair point, but with users on social media increasing and the TV viewing population decreasing due to streaming services, this statistic is definitely changing. Social media marketing is incredibly important, the most successful brands aren’t doing campaigns on social media for shits and giggles. IT IS ACTUALLY WORKING. Marketers not only need to prepare for the future where social media will be the most efficient way to advertise, but they need social media marketing now.



Mobile Marketing: Snapchat and Panicking Cats

How many times a day do you check your phone? The answer is probably a lot. Actually, now I’ve mentioned it you probably will want to check it now! Off you go, I’ll wait….

For most people their smartphone has almost evolved into another limb and has such importance that being without it can cause serious freak-outs. The little mini computer that is situated in most people’s pockets or bags, stores incredible amounts of personal data such as photos, credit cards, banking information and calendars. As mentioned by Kaplan, 90% of American’s own a smartphone.

Source: @onlyindahood

Now almost everyone has one of these personal devices so naturally it can be a really useful tool for marketers to tap into. BUT WAIT, before you get too excited about how much more accessible people through their smart devices, remember to proceed with caution. In mobile marketing you need to strike a balance between being non-invasive and relevant. Especially considering how personal our smartphones are. Customers don’t want to feel like their experience on their phone is being interrupted or that they are being tracked and watched.

Snapchat has successfully used mobile marketing through their lenses to allow users to create their own content. The lens acts by detecting the user’s face and overlaying interactive effects and images. This form of marketing is non-invasive and fun for consumers to use. For example, Snapchat introduced a terminator lens that detected the user’s face and overlaid graphics similar to those in the film. Not only does this promote consumer-generated media (CGM), but it also is not directly identified as advertising. This is a really positive aspect because if there is one way to make a consumer not be receptive to marketing, it is to make your campaign a straight up, boring ad!

Source: Tech Insider

Mobile marketing occurs through a personal device and as such, should be much more personal. Sending advertising to huge amounts of users, whether this is mass marketing or geo-location based IS NOT effective. Marketers need to hone in on potential customers based on likes, frequent places they visit and what their friends are doing. All this makes consumers happy because they are getting useful marketing and not feeling intruded and makes marketers happy because it is more effective.


Oreo vs Calvin Klein – Digital Analytics

Analytics… what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Boring, Mind-numbing or dull? Don’t be scared off by the name because digital analytics are both useful and interesting.

As we all know, simply publishing a website isn’t going to cut it, companies need to deliver engaging content that appeals to customers. Digital analytics can provide a world of useful information such as the most frequently visited pages of a website, engagements, clicks and sign up rates. As a result, companies can get an understanding of what customers wants and needs are – the basis of marketing.

So how is this data actually useful? Companies need to go beyond simply having an online presence (because a static website is just as useful as a phonebook), and actually engaging with customers through interesting content and using analytics to monitor how content is received. Analytic services such as Google Analytics, TalkWalker, Mint Analytics and Omniture measure traffic and analyse customer usage and condense all the data into user-friendly graphs and charts.

Source: Timely NZ

Social media is also a really essential area for analytics. A business can have all the followers in the world, but if followers aren’t engaging with content then the use of social media isn’t adding value to the company. After all, this is the entire purpose of marketing from the standpoint of a business!

Oreo use social media in combination with analytics to run a fantastic social media campaign, which encourages engagement and generates conversation. For example the Oreo Daily twist campaign was all about taking events that occurred on a particular date and putting an “Oreo twist” on them. This real time news approach was a massive success for Oreo and generated a 280% increase in Facebook shares and over doubled the amount of average interactions with posts.


Through the use of analytics, Oreo were able to track consumer responses and gauge success leading to an overall success in the campaign. The company are now well recognised for having exciting content and engaging with consumers.

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TalkWalk analytics showing sentiment towards Oreo around the world

On the other hand, Calvin Klein is an example of a company that needs to use analytics to better understand consumers and increase engagement. The company has no interaction with customers and has a very low enjoyment rate to follower ratio. Calvin Klein have demonstrated a lack of interesting content that interacts with customers, which is likely to be why the engagement rate is so low. Analytics can provide information on consumer preferences, times active on social media and likes per gender, all important factors in gaining engagement and gathering exposure.

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So essentially digital analytics for both website platforms and social media are really important. They provide marketers valuable information about when users are most active, what they want to see and when to post. The information can be used to give a more personalised shopping experience and allow a tailored customer experience.


Social Media 101

twitter-292994_1920Social media has quickly become one of the most useful marketing tools to date, allowing marketers to target advertising, receive feedback from customers and even develop behavioural patterns specific to a person (yes that is a little creepy). With over 50% of the world’s population on Facebook, there is a massive amount of potential for marketers to increase brand exposure and interaction.

Although the booming world of social media is enough to make some marketers weak at the knees with excitement, the dynamic world of social media is still changing. A study conducted by marketing services company, Sensis, has uncovered that social media usage has shifted. The uptake of new users on Facebook has now plateaued and Twitter users are decreasing, while visual sites such as Instagram, Pintrest and Snapchat have increased in popularity. The world of shameless gym selfies, kale instagrams and trout pouts is rapidly increasing in popularity and needs to be tapped in to. No longer is a Facebook page going to cut it, businesses need to span out into other forms of social media to reach a wider audience. So how can companies adapt to these changes in usage? Funny you should ask, here are a few pieces of advice based on Kaplan and Haenlein’s tips from 2010 with a twist to suit the social media environment of 2016.

1. Make sure that the company picks the right types of social media to join. If you run a restaurant, a site such as Twitter may not be the right way to go. Not only is Twitter decreasing in popularity as seen in Sensis’ report, but this type of communication also isn’t maximising the potential of social media. People want pictures of those kick-ass blueberry pancake stacks, not a 140-character description. Utilise the right types of social media to make sure customers have a forum where they can enjoy relevant content and engage with you.

2. Choosing an existing social media vs making your own. Existing social media such as Facebook and Instagram offer a wide range of existing users to interact with. However, some companies may opt to create their own social media forum. In today’s environment utilising an existing and established social media may be more effective as research has indicated people are less likely to join new social media compared to existing social media as 14% of users have shut down social media accounts over the past year.

3. Ensuring activity alignment becomes even more important as more social media sites are utilised. Consistency is key! Content and themes should be carried across all social media to maintain a consistent brand image. Having lots of channels to communicate is great but there needs to be a key goal to reduce confusion and maintain consistency. This is even more important today as there is a call for more social media to be used, especially visual platforms such as Instagram and Pintrest.

4. Create a media plan to integrate all your channels of social media. Don’t forget to incorporate different types of media such as TV and viral trends to generate more interest. For example, Vans cleverly used the publicity generated through the ‘Damn Daniel’ viral videos to promote their shoes by giving Daniel a lifetime supply of Vans and therefore tapping into the publicity that was generated by the video.

5. Make sure everyone can access your social media pages. Don’t have privacy settings or restrictions because let’s face it, people will loose interest no matter how great your brand is. This is the age of instant gratification and when people want to follow an Instagram page or like a Facebook group, they want it now! Also make sure that your content is accessible across all devices and isn’t exclusive to particular users. You need to reach as many people as possible so don’t limit your audience through incompatibility, especially in a multi-platform environment.

6. Once your social media accounts are up and running, make sure you actually use them. Engage with your customers and post regular updates to keep them interested and connected with the brand. Ensuring content is fresh and engaging will maintain following and overall increase likability. Remember it’s called social media!

7. Make sure your content and updates are actually interestcontent-is-king-1132266_640ing. Keep your updates current and encourage engagement. This comes through listening to and interacting with customers. If you find out what they like and what they expect from the brand, this can be incorporated into the social media plan.

8. Take the time to discover the social media you want to enter into and don’t dive straight in. Listening and taking in information are key to correctly using social media.

9. Use casual language. No one wants to follow a Facebook page that sounds like a frequently updated financial report (ughhh), make sure you are conversational and fun when posting and interacting. This helps connect with followers and maintain interest.

10. Remember that your followers aren’t stupid. If you make a mistake, just own up to it and move on! Don’t try to cover up mistakes by blindsiding people, be honest. Trying to cover up a mistake can instantly make people distrust the brand and discourage following. By attempting to cover up a mistake, you are making a bigger issue of what it actually was.
Social media is a really exciting platform for businesses that provides a great opportunity to interact with customers, so log on and get started!



apple-606761_1920Hi Everyone!

Welcome to my blog – BlogMe. This is where I will post everything I’ve discovered in my progression through the Digital Marketing unit at Monash University.

We spend most of our time staring at the little screen that lives in our pocket or the laptop that is almost always within arm’s length. The dependency on mobile phones and other digital technologies have opened up a whole new platform for marketers to use in order to communicate with customers and create value. This is all very exciting but one big question stands, HOW do we create value? Stay posted as we delve into the world of Digital Marketing and discover how to successfully use technology to improve brand presence.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas throughout this blogging experience as I’d love to hear what you think!