Was simplification required to produce the greatest humanitarian viral video ever?
The Kony 2012 campaign might have been slammed by the chattering classes, but it undoubtedly succeeded if you look at it through the marketeer's prism of awareness creation. Millions who never knew who Joseph Kony was before, now do – thanks to #stopkony trending for more than a day on Twitter. Incredibly, a 30 minute (you heard that right) documentary was the catalyst of it all. Content marketing on steroids! It is as Ethan Zuckerman notes, a finely crafted "story of self", tugging at the right emotional heart strings. However, it was also a massive over simplification of the situation in central Africa. Zuckerman asks:
"As someone who believes that the ability to create and share media is an important form of power, the Invisible Children story presents a difficult paradox. If we want people to pay attention to the issues we care about, do we need to oversimplify them? And if we do, do our simplistic framings do more unintentional harm than intentional good?"
The power of the new networked Feminism
An interesting counterpoint to Kony was the grassroots, seemingly leaderless but massive media attack on US shock jock, Rush Limbaugh, leaving him minus 12 advertisers and two radio stations. This was authentic, spontaneous, and the second such example after Komen earlier this year. Prominent feminist organizers told Forbes that the mob justice was led once again by Twitter- and Facebook-savvy women, and it dealt Limbaugh the worst humiliation of his controversial career.
How to bribe your AmEx customers to Tweet
Twitter is launching its second initiative with AmEx. You'll remember that AmEx merchants are the first customers able to use Twitter's self service advertising. Now AmEx is letting its members link a merchant coupon to their cards by tweeting out a hashtag from a retailer. In other words, retailers can offer their customers discounts if their customers are their advertisers. In other news, Twitter is rumoured to be on the cusp of ramping up their brand pages dramatically. Twitter plans to add experiences (a page based app platform), including e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes.
Brands punch through the noise on Pinterest
We've seen Pinterest grow from strength to strength over the past few weeks, and inevitably brands are picking up on the fact. This week two exciting pinterest-based campaigns saw the light. The first, by fashion brand Calypso, sees the brand flying a Pinterest superuser, Christine Martinez, to the Carribean Island of St. Barth, to "live pin" a photo shoot for their 2012 summer look. In the second, Airline BMI has created the world's first "Pinterest lottery". People are challenged to repin up to 6 of 45 images of BMI destinations. Whoever gets the secret combination and order right, wins a pair of return flights to any BMI destination. Simple, but effective. And fresh, because it's Pinterest.
Tweet every Tweet as if it's your last
When über-journalist Andrew Breitbart upped and died in the middle of a very public Twitter Spat last week, everyone was left in awe of what the effect could be of a random tweet suddenly turning into your "Famous last Tweet". Then we discovered this gem of different people's last tweets:
"Elizabeth Taylor's last tweet was almost "Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you." But then she tweeted, "My interview in Bazaar with Kim Kardashian came out!!!" before dying."
So – do think of this every time you tweet, and you should be fine!
Social media is rather compelling
According to a Cisco report, 40 percent of college students and 45 percent of young professionals said they would accept lower paying jobs in exchange for the ability to use social media, mobile devices, and the Internet more freely in the workplace. 'Nuff said.
As we fast approach a time where nearly half the world's population has a powerful computer in their pockets (500 million smartphones were shipped last year), it's worth taking a look at these maps that show the spread of the moveable type printing press in Europe. Note: it took 30 years for the printing press to find its way from Germany to England!
Creative of the Week – Nathalie Miebach
We like a bit of data visualisation here at RAAK HQ, but Nathalie Miebach takes things a step further. Try and follow this: first she collects weather and climate data and turns that into a musical score. That in itself is pretty impressive. But then she uses that data and visualises it into 3D-sculptures or, as she calls it herself, "devices that map meteorological conditions of a specific time and place". Highly conceptual, but some of the results are stunning. BrainPickings has more info.
Posted by Gerrie Smits