JULY 2014


When a comedy album topped the charts, a dad and his kids got pulled off a plane for tweeting and soccer dominated the US social buzz, our first reaction was, "Wow, that's weird." Digging a bit deeper, we found some method in all this weirdness.

Here's a Social/Guerrilla Marketing Campaign Everyone Will Copy

Unable to convince his record label to spend big on his latest album, Weird Al Yankovic took matters into his own hands; orchestrating what undoubtedly will be recognized as THE marketing campaign of the year. Starting with a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything") chat, he rolled out 3 parody videos (Pharrell's Happy song transformed into Tacky) in partnership with 3 comedy sites, followed that with another AMA and then 5 more videos. One of his songs sourced content from a Reddit thread and another featured corporate buzzwords and was supported by "native" advertising on 8 days, 8 videos, +3 million views and Weird Al has the first #1 comedy album since 1963! Nothing Tacky about them apples, Al!

Here's a Social Customer Service Story That No One Should Copy

One of the advantages of having elite status with an airline is that you get to board early. So thought Duff Watson as he tried to board a Southwest plane with his two kids in tow. The gate agent thought otherwise since the kids did not share his elite status and an argument ensued. Watson told the agent he deserved better and would complain on Twitter, which is exactly what he did. Shortly thereafter, he and his kids were ushered off the plane and told they couldn't re-board until the "threatening" tweet, which referenced the "rude" gate agent by name, was deleted! Southwest's corporate team later apologized, even offering up $150 in flight coupons but not before the story broke and a chagrined Watson promised never to fly Southwest again. The moral of this flighty tale is clear – make sure all your employees know what they can and can't do related to social media.

Here's a Global Phenomenon That Can't Be Copied

First, let's start with the math. During the 32-days of World Cup, Facebook counted as many as 350 million users engaged with the event while Twitter reported over 670 million tweets discussing the quadrennial tourney. ESPN reported that they had 18.2 million viewers for the US v Portugal game, huge numbers for any sporting event, other than the Superbowl. What's interesting about all of this is what it says about the changing demographics of America. The indifference of Baby Boomers to soccer was irrelevant and overwhelmed by the positive response of Millennials and Hispanics. Ratings peaked in college towns and Univision accounted for over 35% of all the US viewership. For marketers, the implications are anything but weird. It's time to kick old habits and embrace a new generation of multicultural futbol-loving consumers.

Speaking of a brave new world...

Brave: A start-up called Quirkie Kids is encouraging boys to wear pink via social media.

Braver: Google+ will now allow registrants to use pseudonyms which means now you really won't know who they heck is using that network.

Bravest: Applebee's turned over its Instagram account to its customers (aka "fantographers") in the hopes that they can make their food look better than their in-house team.

As always, let us know if you are in need of some brave ideas.