Homegrown marketing fail of the year goes to…Coopers Brewery

Unless you have been living under a rock I’m sure you would have heard this year’s most controversial beer and bible scandal.

If so, here’s whats news.

Coopers brewery in late March copped a bit of flack over a viral video produced with the Bible society in which saw two MPs debate the ‘heavy’ topic of same-sex marriage with a light beer.

Yes, you heard right. A couple of blokes, beers and a bible caused a media frenzy.

Surprised? Here’s more details.

To mark the Bible Society of Australia’s 200th birthday Coopers brewery created a social media strategy aiming to reach “more Australians with God’s word” and of course a beer. The brewery concocted a special batch of light beer which publicised the society’s logo and a bible verse on the packaging. In efforts to deliver consumers spiritual guidance with their ‘coldies’.

However the froth…i mean plot thickens. Without consent from Coopers brewery the Bible society uploaded an associating video series called Keeping it Light, where they hosted “some light conversations on the heaviest topics”.

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Source: Keeping It Light Video

Staring gay Victorian MP Tim Wilson and conservative Christian MP Andrew Hastie, the six minute video mainly contained lingering product promotional shots of beer congratulating the bicentennial landmark.

Scrutinised for pushing political messages, Coopers called for the video to be removed amid consumer backlash and national pub boycotts.

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Source: Twitter #boycottcoopers 

“I’ve been a Coopers drinker for years, blissfully unaware of their political views…no longer,” consumers commented on social media.

Quickly releasing a statement amid damage control, Coopers replied by saying it “never intended to make light of such an important issue and would never and did not approve the making or release of The Bible Society video debate.

“Coopers Brewery is and has always been supportive of diversity and encourages individualism,” Director Melanie Cooper said.

Since the video was release the social media hashtag #BoycottCoopers still trends online. A minority of pubs within Melbourne also still refuse to place the brand back on tap adding further to Coopers bad luck and on-going “nightmare marketing campaign”. (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011)

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Source: Google Images (Pubs standing ground on marriage equality debate)

So what are your thoughts? Will you ever crave another Coopers stubby again? Seriously though do you think Coopers apologised quick enough to ease the extent of the online backlash?

Privacy backlash leaves Facebook in hot water

Data mining has become a chore to the technology savvy user, challenging to sustain their interest let alone outrage. Being a consumer in the modern world means constantly clicking against our better judgement and insight. We go to bed anxious about surveillance lurking within our social media feeds however awaken mindlessly checking our pages, scrolling, liking, ‘heart-ing’ our followers and friends posts.

However earlier this month, The Australian threw a spanner in the works uncovering something that felt like a breach in the social contract. Leaking a confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million young users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability.

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Source: Google Images (Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg)

Alarmingly this highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost” through monitoring user posts, photos, interactions and internet activity. Further analysing when teens felt “worthless”, “insecure”, stressed”, “defeated”, “anxious” and like a “failure”.

From using sophisticated algorithms to identify and exploit Australian youths it can be seen that this was a breach of the Australian Code of Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children guidelines raising questions of Facebook’s ethics. The code which defines a child as a person 14 years or younger, states a “child must obtain a parent or guardian’s express consent prior to engaging in any activity that will result in the collection or disclosure of…personal information”.

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Source: Google Images (teen using Facebook)

With the revelations casting a new light on how Facebook harvest and uses our data the brand’s spokesperson said in reply to The Australian’s exposé “We have opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight. We will undertake disciplinary and the processes as appropriate”.

However with previous allegations of Facebook using consumer data as a weapon against innocent users I am doubtful of change. Therefore joining the conversation to place more pressure and scrutiny on the media mogul’s actions.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

InstaSHAM: social media influencers hurting our health?

Just as Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat have influencers that litter our social media feeds so too does medicine.

Chronic diseases occupy an online world of memes, hashtags such as #hospitalglam, and people who provide medical insights to follower communities that too feel voiceless. As a result pharmaceutical companies are hiring these patient influencers to reach and connect with audience groups and of course sell them medicine.

Similar to mainstream #fitspo and wellness bloggers, patient influencers attract business via the size of their online following particularly how many blog subscribers and impressions they have made. From health-start ups, market research companies, brand strategy agencies with pharmaceutical clients a sub-category of the medical industry has made a lucrative business. Bringing in people who actually live with diseases to publicise their products.

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Source: Karolyn Gehrig’s Instagram

However the medical field has been spammed with skepticism. Promoter or patient? Practitioners are concerned bloggers are blurring the line between sponsored content and real life by leveraging consumer trust.

“When it comes to health care the stakes are a lot higher than choosing the right juice cleanse.

“In some sense, influencers in health care aren’t any different from those in fashion or food blogging; they all have conflicts of interest,” says Jeff Belkora, a health policy researcher at the University of California.

Patients offering valuable insight and experiences of different treatments provides social media users an outlet to voice their concerns and overcome stigmas that accompany chronic diseases. However transparency is key, with practitioners calling for ill social media users to not follow blindly and carefully consider their options first.

“The risks of poor health advice is real. In Australia, we have seen mothers who have starved their children pretty much to death following crackpot theories put forward by the unqualified”, says Caroline Overington, The Australian editor discussing ‘wellness gurus’ paleo Pete Evans and Belle Gibson.

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Source: Google Images

So what are your thoughts? Should ill patients be hired to influence certain online communities with  sponsored products? If so and things go sour, should the social media influencer be liable?

Millennials and chatbots: futuristic Sci-Fi movie or how brands should be using AI?

It is the year of the chatbot. With popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) flourishing, bots are now responding to customer queries, helping users find products and even troubleshooting customer service issues. Inevitably the digital experience is evolving and millennials are at the fore-front, pressuring brands to stay ahead of the curve.

I know what you think, chatbots seem a little sci-fi waiting to conquer to world? Don’t worry just quiz a Gen-Xer about AI and you will see the excitement in their eyes and undoubtably hear a Netflix anecdote. According to predictive marketing company Rocket Fuel, 66% of millennials acknowledge the benefits of brands using AI to help inform and direct their buying decisions.

The Consumer Perceptions of AI Survey found that 80% of 25 to 34 year-olds understand why brands desire to be able to target them with personalised ads and promotions.

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Source: Rocket Fuel Infographic

“This is especially true for millennials, who are aware of the value exchange that takes place – they provide brands with personal data and expect to see their information used in ways that provides them with tangible benefits.

“Being able to engage with millennials in a personalised way is the next frontier as brands seek to maintain and increase relevancy in the digital age”, says Rocket Fuel’s Country Manager, Mailee Creacy.

Need a bit more clarity? I know tech-talk can be confusing!

So let’s use the example of the messaging platform, Slack. A website that I have been using recently which does far more robust communicational actions then just chatting, this partly due to it’s bots.

Overrun with bots, Slack has implemented algorithms to automate tasks that traditionally would have been performed by humans. The program uses AI technology to “make work better, easier and more productive”. Ranging from the obvious – bots for translating text and posting photos, it can be seen why millennials are such big fans… they save so much time increasing productivity!

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So what more do millennials want from chatbot technology and AI? Maybe a Slackbot that could coordinate lunch orders? Let me know below!

Forgotten Mother’s Day? PornHub is here with a helping hand

No longer will Mother’s Day be a g-rated family occasion…well thats what Adult entertainment site, PornHub believe according to their latest promotion.

“If you still don’t know what to get your mum this year PornHub has the solution, ‘Mommy’s Special Glasses’ because she is not just the woman who gave you life, she is a women in her own right with her own desires. A virtual reality (VR) experience that will let her explore new horizons and sensations”, the advert controversially suggests.

The gift which aesthetically looks similar to Google Cardboard folds out from a traditional Mother’s Day greeting card into a functional VR headset enabling a 360-degree pornography viewing experience.

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Source: PornHub ‘Mommy’s Special Glasses’ Video
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Source: PornHub

Before we investigate further a definition of VR is needed for those who are new to the world of digital marketing. Virtual reality is the more outward-looking cousin to augmented reality and is set to transform the online world. Significant differences are noted between the two technologies however they do also share many features. VR can simply be defined as immersive technology which allows the user into a virtual world via a headset that largely isolates you from the real world.

Still think this is just another marketing gimmick?

Virtual reality is gaining momentum in real estate, alcohol, automotive and sporting markets, so there is no shock that it has infiltrated into the adult entertainment sphere. According to PornHub’s primary research, VR has become one of their fastest growing entertainment categories. Since the founding 30 VR videos were uploaded in 2016, the collection has grown to include over 2,600 videos which are noted to be viewed over 500,000 times a day. Ironically surging to 900,000 views over holiday periods such as Christmas and Mother’s day.

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Source: PornHub Insights

“Now, our users are not only able to view our content but also be protagonists in the experience and interact with their favourite porn stars”, says PornHub Vice President, Corey Price.

Further linking PornHub’s success and 250% popularity increase to the accessibility of smartphone powered headsets such as Samsung Gear VR and Google’s Daydream.

So on an ending note what do you think will be the next field to benefit from integrating VR technology into their marketing mix?

Bricking News: Lego uploads new child-friendly social network

Danish toymaker, Lego recently has overtaken Ferrari as Brand Finance’s ‘World’s most powerful brand. From physical toys and clothing, to blockbuster movies and theme parks, Lego is determined to build on it’s small yet powerful two-by-four brick empire. The missing piece just may be their ‘LEGO life’ social media application.

Transitioning from toy brick to mobile application LEGO Life is an new social network specifically designed for children aged 13 and younger to engage safely in all things Lego. In other words, it is basically a Lego-themed Instagram with strict commentary restrictions and bulk Lego ads.

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Source: Lego Instagram

Users are encouraged to post pictures of their brick-built masterpieces, follow other builders, and comment on posts with special Lego emoji’s. The application offers building challenges as a way to try and jump-start creativity in kids. Also serving as a centralised place for users to consume Lego marketing content, with product lines such as Star Wars being promoted through videos and pop-up imagery. Moreover social media accounts of famous Lego characters like ‘Lego Batman’ are attached to comment on creations and communicate with consumers.

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Source: LEGO Life

With the application focusing on safety and creativity, head of LEGO Life, Rob Lowe says “we have created something that we feel will inspire kids to build more…not just what is in the building instructions but also what comes from their imagination”.

With further ambitions of LEGO Life to go beyond the social media aspect. It has been envisioned that application will become the central hub for all online services in efforts to boost user numbers and overall brand consistency.

Toymakers have been hit hard from the emergence of smartphones and tablets, as children spend increasingly more time in digital play on such devices. However Lego has cautiously managed to buck that trend. Blending the physical and digital play together appealing to both parents and kids.

So what do you think? Have the used the LEGO Life app? Hit me up with some of your finest masterpieces!

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Source: LegoGenre

A smiley face in the right place can improve your email marketing campaigns

Take a look at your most recent text messages. Are emojis used? Most definitely! Emojis have entered the world of marketing and are trending! From uplifting email subject lines to allowing consumers to easily order Dominos by messaging a pizza emoji. Emojis are everywhere!

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However the real question here is how can digital marketers use emojis effectively in their email campaigns to increase their open rate and audience engagement. Firstly there are a few things to assess before spraying your subject lines with emojis.

  1. Begin with understanding your audience and associating demographics. Ensure that your emojis are aligned with the correct consumers and that they comprehend the meanings of the image.
  2. Avoid creating confusing messages. Too many emojis or the wrong type can create confusion and push back potential consumers rather than pull them in. Emojis are a new marketing tool so align them correctly to your strategy.
  3. Use emojis to encourage engagement. Emojis can be a clever way to draw attention to a call-to-action, amplify emotional triggers or a begin conversation. Placing an emoji in your email’s subject line can also save space and allow your email to stand out from a crowded inbox.
  4. Use emojis to add a personal touch to your email campaign. Emojis can give brands a natural extension of voice and personality. However remember that not all emojis can be used for every scenario. Apply emojis to a criteria of relevance, occurrence, audience understanding, and whether the use of an emoji will improve the conveyance of your message.

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    Source: appboy
  5. Finally understanding the appropriate time and place to use emojis is essential. Certain industries can not freely use emojis due to professionalism and tone so knowing when to exclude the images is key.

 

So with these tips in mind would you consider using emojis in your next email campaign? Let me know below! search.jpg