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closing the loop on social infectiousness May 9, 2008

Posted by nicholas gill in bzz agent, chat threads, conversation, fruitabu, measurement, metrics, viral, word of mouth.
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fruitabu logo

You may remember that I signed up to be a Bzz Agent a while back to understand how they use word of mouth marketing and indeed how I could use it for my clients. After all, you can’t win the raffle without buying a ticket. The Lucozade thing ended up being a bit of a damp squib with what happened with me personally at the time so I never actually got round to doing that so I wanted to give the next campaign a proper go (the Lucozade Caffeine tasted a bit grim to be honest and didn’t seem to affect my pathetic gym performance one bit).

So, another survey later, I got a jiffy bagged stuffed to the brim with Fruitabu samples, discussion guides, money off vouchers and a set of cards to measure the conversation I have with people. It goes like this:

– I talk to someone about Fruitabu, give them a sample, voucher and a chat threads card with unique ID.

– they go off and fill in their survey, I go off and send in my Bzz Report.

So the particpant rather than the instigator also gets to feedback which provides a balance to the conversation rather than one-sided conversation. Interesting to see how this progresses.

Quick round up of the conversations I’ve had (I won’t reproduce the reports I submitted as they are somewhat functional rather than providing any level of entertainment, information or education.

Basically I found it a little forced to start talking about the product and my role as a Bzz Agent. Almost like I was a salesman. Ewww. Anyway, I found it easiest to dump all the samples on my desk rather than introducing it cold. The basic premise of it being an easy way to get part of your 5-a-day was mostly accepted apart from a few who reckoned that if you couldn’t peel an orange or banana you ought to be shot. Fair point, well made. The biggest surprise was the taste of the apple “crisps”. They were flavoured with strawberry juice. A strange taste sensation: apple that tastes like strawberry? And odd juxtaposition of flavours? Especially when you only get the apple flavour after you’ve bolted it down. Tres strange, non?

The other major pushback was that it included a chemical to keep it fresh (I’ve ran out of samples so can’t remember what the actual chemical was – d’oh! details, details). Which kind of goes againt the idea of fruit being fresh and natural.

I still have some coupons if you’re interested (20p off!). If you want to chat to me about it email or IM me on nr_gill@hotmail.com

And if you want to report on this conversation, go to ChatThreads.co.uk and enter conversation ID 2011790703.


inspiration? theft? who cares November 12, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in viral, web 2.0, wonderbra, word of mouth, you tube.
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Glass and a half Vs two cups. c. 2 and a bit million views Vs c. 250,000 and the gorilla wins. Shame…

Thanks to Alex Blonde Man for sending this to me on his filth list.

the bar of expectation October 25, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in diageo, digital advertising, email, social networks, thoughts, word of mouth.
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 diageo drinks portfolio

I got an email today from the good people at Diageo. Just tell us a few things and you could win a load of our drinks and related paraphernalia. Interestingly, I was part of the team that created the first “portfolio” campaign for them back in the day when I worked on the account (so I also know they do deliver goodies to the winners!). So nostalgia drew me in. I clicked. And waited. And waited some more. Approx 3 mins went by. Refresh. Refresh. Site down page eventually pops up.

site down

I suddenly realised that this experience hasn’t happened to me in a while. You used to grudgingly accept that sometimes stuff wouldn’t work because the web was all new fangled ‘n’ that. But not today. I click, something shows up. It works.

My take out from this shows how the expectation level has been raised higher and higher in terms of response times and receiving the right content. Page not found and site down are not tolerated anymore. I guess I won’t be winning as I won’t be trying again later. I also wonder if they’re watching the social media space to get any reactions to this?

BTW, the title wasn’t intended to be a pun but I guess it kind of works.

stuff and things 22.10.07 October 22, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in blog, brand, content, digital advertising, facebook, integration, my stuff, presentations, social networks, star wars, stats, though leadership, thoughts, user generated content, web 2.0, word of mouth.
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O2 facebookherbal essences facebook

Facebook brand tie-ins that are bad get a lot of press. But here are two good examples. Herbal Essences which I found via Advergirl & O2 win a MASSIVE university big party thing. Leigh sums up why they both work very eloquently even though her comments are attributed to the shampoo stuff:

Set up as a group, not a personal account. You’re not a person, why pretend to be one?
Creative focuses on the ‘passion’ elements of the brand
Targeted approach to deliver visit > engage > share behavior (stuff to do when you’re there + a reason to come back)
And, the team invested in solid seeding behavior

Download a Forrester study of business decision makers use of social media in B2B world from the American Business Media.

draw yoda

Kids bored this half-term? Get them to draw Yoda (source: showmescifi)

linked in 1 million

There are now more than 1 million UK members of Linked In. And I can download a badge to add to my profile as I joined before it hit this landmark. So I did. But I’m not so sure why. A million is hardly exclusive. Does it help in anyway? Will it improve my life?

I walked back to Waterloo after a meeting in London Bridge on Friday. It was mighty cold. But took these two shots of London Bridge itself & the big spider thing outside the Tate. Thought you might like them.

london bridgetate spider

return of flogs, this time on fakebook October 12, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in blog, brand, content, digital advertising, facebook, music, netiquette, social networks, thoughts, user generated content, web 2.0, web etiquette, word of mouth.
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nike supersonic

Professor Emmel over at Ewarwoowar spotted something quite amusing on Facebook the other day. Nike have set up a group for their new Supersonic event (run followed by groovy tunes in secret locale). Not much activity so far and then some comments to gee up the group and spread the word. From people at AKQA. Who are Nike’s agency. And then a happy chap added a deliberately provocative comment. Which then has been wiped. Emmel has the only hard evidence.

Of course it’s tempting to promote your own work and seeding is often a vital part of campaigns but generating buzz and talkability has to adhere to the unwritten rules of the web: authenticity, transparency, dialogue. Why not embrace Peter Addison’s comment and have some fun with it? Removing it somewhat goes against the grain of co-creation of content and openness of web 2.0. Especially on Facebook where brands are not natives. Vaguely reminiscent of mentos/coke fun with brands: mentos embraced it and gained credibility and huge brand awareness from it; coke were caught off guard and suffered as a result. Another timely reminder that brands need to tread a fine line in the social media world between engaging and prospering and interfering and having some shots fired at you.

Here’s the before and after Wall:


akqa 2


akqa 1

How would you have dealt with it?

bikinis, nudity & the return of super fred August 30, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, brand, cricket, thoughts, viral, word of mouth.
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6up girls

Saw the first one day international between England & India at the magnificent Rose Bowl on 21.08. A game that had everything including some surprises. In no particular order:

Bikinis (well, had to talk about that first)

Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the ground but in the West stand a group of ladies suddenly stripped off and jiggled about in their seats. This caused more commotion than Cook & Bell’s centuries and had us all scrambling for the zoom on our cameras and fighting for binoculars. My interest was purely marketing oriented (ahem! and yes, Mrs. Gill didn’t fall for that either) as I felt sure this was an organised guerilla marketing stunt. Sure enough, one of the scantily clad ladies turned around and pointed her behind at me (and I’m sure it was just to me, not the thousands of other people) to reveal the logo on her bikini’d behind. Good for 6Up mobile text betting. Bad for the stewards who made them leave their seats. The ECB don’t like unofficial sponsors in the ground. Booo. But hurrah! The intrepid girls must have got back in and did it again during the Indian innings to even more applause. It was mighty cold so they must have been paid handsomely or at least been layered with deep heat. Certainly better crowd entertainment than the drunk bloke near us trying to get everyone to sing “barmy army” and start another Mexican wave. Here’s what the local paper had to say with some terrible cricket puns. And the BBC: “A group of girls in black bikinis have just entertained the crowd by running around the stand on the western side of the Rose Bowl. They were pursued by stewards in a scene reminiscent of a Benny Hill sketch, but all have now disappeared from view.”


naked hawks

A pitch-side ad hoarding caught my attention: nakedhawks.com. Could this be the WAG alternative for cricket to add some spice on top of the sexy Twenty20 format? No! It’s the Hampshire Hawks cricket team getting their kit off for a charity calendar to support Prostate Cancer. Good for them. Wonder what pose Warney will adopt?

Super, super Fred

As Collingwood said, a “near perfect” performance from the England team with Cook, Prior, Bell and KP blatting the ball around and some tremendous bowling from Anderson in particular followed up by Freddie Flintoff grabbing his first wicket on his return from injury. A great cricketing event. But it was bloody cold.

kevin pietersen

andrew flintoffmonty panesar

Brand experience

I like the Rose Bowl and I’m not just saying it as it’s my local venue. Yes, there were queues to get to the park and ride but unlike two years ago they now have ample stewards and buses laid on so it’s not one mad rush to get on the buses to the ground. They even had a nice Hampshire Cricket Club official board the bus before we left to let us know the drill on where to go, what time they left etc. All very helpful. Not much queuing at the ground and as we were in the family section (we took our cricket mad nephew along too), the atmosphere was friendly rather than abusive as it can sometimes get.

NatWest had some good exposure around the ground especially with the pint carriers and the big screens. Sky offered up their radios again where you could listen to Bumble & Co while watching the action live. And we got to see Phil Tuffnell at half time.

phil tuffnell

Getting home was a doddle too. Three things made me think though: 1) the bars closed for an hour after the half time interval. Why? 2) the queues for the gents was HUGE! For once I knew how ladies must feel. Why not put more gents in? 3) Why does it take 10 minutes to get 3 coffees and 1 minute for 3 pints?

agent status | active July 23, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, social networks, thoughts, user generated content, viral, web 2.0, word of mouth.

envelope lucozade

After signing up and what seemed like endless survey filling in, I got asked to join a Bzzz campaign for Lucozade Sport with Caffeine. I filled in (yet another) survey to qualify and will shortly receive a 12-pack in the post (the postman will be delighted) and further instructions. I hope the instructions self-destruct. I will be disappointed if they don’t. So, stand by for news and updates about my first agent campaign. I may be roping some of you in to see if caffeine in a sports drink makes you have palpitations or whether it works.

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