This Week In Social: The Patience Of A Giraffe

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In February, a live feed of an expectant mother giraffe, April, was launched by Animal Adventure Park in New York with sponsor Toys R Us. 

On April 15, all the waiting finally paid off and Twitter cheered her on as she gave birth in front of a captive online audience. The footage of the birth has already had over 14 million views. 

Animal Adventure Park is holding a naming contest for the baby giraffe. Really hoping the internet doesn’t name it Giraffey McGiraffeface. 

Happy early Mother’s Day, April! 


SNL Goes Live Coast To Coast For First Time Ever

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“Saturday Night Live” went live coast-to-coast in for the first time ever, and the ratings came in strong.

The show had SNL alum Jimmy Fallon as host with musical guest Harry Styles. The ratings were the highest they have been since February 11th, when Alec Baldwin hosted.

The live show brought 7.9 million viewers and a 2.3 18-49 rating as reported by Nielsen. Those numbers are up significantly over last week’s show hosted by comedian Louis C.K., which brought in 6.5 million viewers and a 1.7 rating.

There were guest appearances by Alec Baldwin as President Trump and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer dressed up as the Easter Bunny.

Snap Launches World Lens



Snapchat announced a new lens feature, extending the lenses beyond faces.

The new ‘World Lenses’ bring AR elements to any scene you can capture with your camera, placing 3D objects you can interact with. The new feature is available on your front & back camera. Previous lenses, which launched about 18 months ago, only worked on the front camera.

The new lenses will be updated daily, Snap said. The app’s existing lenses — like flower crowns and animal ears — are swapped out regularly, with new filters added to the list and old options disappearing or reappearing over time.

It’s a fun update to Snapchat. The real question: how long before Instagram clones this feature?

“The Power of Pullman” – Method Builds Community on Chicago’s South Side

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For Onnia Harris and her family, the Pullman neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago is home, and home is a special place.

But when local jobs were few and far between, Harris had to travel more than two hours to get to work. That all changed when the method factory came to town.

Today, empowered by the skills she’s gained at her new job at method, Harris trains her coworkers with patience and encouragement. By working in her hometown, Harris is able to positively impact the community where she and her family live. Now, she says, all that’s missing is a superhero cape to match her unstoppable state of mind. 

We’re proud of the work our clients at method are doing in Chicago and proud to help bring the story to life in partnership with Great Big Story. Watch the video here.

Lyft Raises $600 Million. Uber Loses Comms Head.

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Lyft announced a new round of funding at $600 million, putting the rideshare company at a $7.5 billion valuation.

It wasn’t that long ago when people were questioning whether or not Lyft could survive against Uber. The tables have turned at least for the moment. Uber is awash in controversy while Lyft is enjoying some positive momentum

Uber still owns the majority of the rideshare market in the U.S. (>80%), but the controversies keep coming. Just yesterday it was reported Uber’s Head of Communications, Rachel Whetstone, is leaving the company. Kara Swisher reports, “sources close to the matter said that the decision to leave was multi-faceted, including Whetstone’s lack of appetite for even more drama.”

Bill O’Reilly Loses Most Advertisers. On Vacation. Might Not Return.

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Bill O’Reilly and his show, “The O’Reilly Factor”, on Fox News have been the #1 cable news show for close to 20 years. He’s weathered various controversies with Fox by his side over the years.

That all started to change April 1st when the NYTimes published a story (pdf link) reporting on O’Reilly’s numerous sexual harassment allegations over the years and the associated $13 million in settlements provided by Fox.

The NYTimes story sparked activism and brands have followed.

Since the story was published, O’Reilly’s show has lost more than half of his advertisers and almost all of the big brand supporters. 

Oddly enough, as brands flee viewers are flocking to O’Reilly’s show. 3.71 million people tuned into “The O’Reilly Factor” last week, giving him a 12 percent bump from the viewership he attracted the week before, and up a staggering 28 percent from the same week in 2016, Nielsen report.

Last night, O’Reilly announced he was going on vacation, leaving many to speculate could that have been his last show on Fox. “The assumption is that he’ll exit in a non-embarrassing way,” one senior Fox News staffer told New York Magazine.

Here is a good review by BuzzFeed of how the brand retreat affects Fox News.

And if you haven’t seen this internet classic, here’s O’Reilly absolutely losing it on a production assistant. 

This Week In Social: The Best Worst Thing

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Last week, a high school student posed a challenge to a brand: 

Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?

Wendy’s let him know he’d need 18 million Retweets—nevermind that the record for the most Retweets of a tweet is 3.6 million and held by Ellen

However, Carter is edging up on Ellen’s record with 2.6 million Retweets and counting. This has also opened up a can of worms for brands and consumers. Brands usually receive solicitations from fans for free products from Audis to free Netflix, the teen’s highly publicized quest has exponentially increased these tweets met with eye rolls of Community Managers everywhere. 

Feel free to stop by and give poor Carter a RT, but whatever you do please don’t Tweet your favorite brand asking them how many Retweets you need for a free fill-in-the-blank. 

MH Sounds: February 2017

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1 – The Beatles All you need is love. 

2 – Tame Impala Everyone’s favorite Australian psychedelic band.

3 – “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”Duke Ellington 

4 – Belle And Sebastian Everyone’s second favorite Scotish band. (The Proclaimers being everyone’s favorite Scotish band.)

5 – Prince “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

Trolls, Engagement and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: 5 Things We Learned at SXSW 2017

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by Jessica Bedussi


Each year, advertisers, brands and technologists flock to SXSW for sessions and parties. In the midst of all the free booze, BBQ and endless amounts of swag are a lot of really smart people with really smart things to say, offering attendees new ways to think about advertising, social media, technology and platforms.


Here are 5 tidbits from SXSW we’re taking home with us:


  • Don’t go after engagement just for engagement’s sake


The days of text-only Facebook posts, forums, and organic reach are long gone in the social media realm. This doesn’t mean authenticity has gone with them. Consumers can and will call out brands pushing inauthentic messaging or grabbing for likes and shares. During, “Contemporary Curation: How Imagery Shapes a Brand,” David Moon of BazaarVoice put it best, “Engagement for engagement’s sake is one of the first flaws in a campaign.” Every post is an opportunity to forge a relationship with a new consumer or create a brand advocate out of a loyal customer. Authenticity and genuineness are essential in both reactive and proactive content.



  • Don’t feed the trolls unless you have something to shut them up


Trolls are anyone who positively or negatively affects the norms of a social community. If you’re a community manager, you are most likely familiar with the effects of trolling. During the “Trolls: To Feed or Not to Feed” panel, Alicia Trost, Communications Manager for Bay Area Rapid Transit shared two questions her team asks when deciding whether or not to engage with trolls:

  • Do we have an answer?
  • Can we add value or offer a resolution?

Shining a spotlight on a troll with a copy/paste answer or wishy-washy response will only feed him or her more. The only way to neutralize a troll is with facts and humanized responses.



  • 65% of consumers watch TV heads down


During “This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Ads,” neuroscientist Dr. Manuel Garcia-Garcia stated 65% of consumers are heads down on mobile devices while watching TV. Second screen extensions and live coverage of televised events can be an essential way to connect with your audience via social. Knowing viewers are often distracted by the second screen can be discouraging for TV advertisers, but there’s a silver lining: it can help them create more commanding TV ads.  Dr. Garcia-Garcia recommends an attention-grabbing sound that snaps users’ attention back to the first screen.



  • Experiential gets attention at festivals


Along with digital activations, brands capitalized on real-world events, and attendees flocked to brand activations throughout the conference. HBO set up elaborate “Escape” games for a variety of its programming. Casper offered bookable napping rooms complete with Casper mattresses and cookies & milk. AMC set up a pop-up Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant to promote “Better Call Saul.” Hulu creeped everyone out with dozens of handmaids roaming downtown Austin to promote “The Handmaid’s Tale.”



  • “Echo chambers” is the new buzzword


Each year has a buzzword or phrase. This year, it was “echo chambers.” It seemed like in nearly every session someone referenced the idea of online bubbles, where our own opinions and ideas are reflected back to us as a result of social media algorithms. While many cited Brexit and Trump’s election as negative effects of this phenomena, others offered solutions to fix the problem. During “Echo Chambers: Healing our Social Media Algorithms,” Claire Woodcock offered Netflix recommendations as a shining example of how to introduce users to different content with similarities. The idea is to find themes in content and then use those themes to position a different viewpoint in a way that is still appealing to users. Overall, it’s clear both media companies and the advertising industry are thinking of ways to burst these bubbles and widen our perspectives.
What did you find surprising/interesting/shocking at #SXSW this year?


This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Ads. How Neuroscience affects Advertising.


by Jessica Bedussi

There’s no better way to entice a group of advertisers than with a “This is your brain on…” joke. This is exactly how I ended up in one of my favorite #SXSW sessions where two neuroscientists, Dr. Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Advertising Research Foundation) & Dr. Aaron Reid (Sentient Science Center), and Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight US, discussed the “non-conscious” decision-making of consumer purchasing behavior.

I scoured through my 8 pages of notes from the session and picked the most jaw-dropping statistics to share.


Only 38 percent of campaigns use creative customized for each platform

It sounds like common sense, but common sense is very often ignored. Dr. Garcia-Garcia shared the results of a Millward Brown study that the neural pathway to great creative is cross platform, with a unified message, and custom execution on each platform.

While cohesive campaign messaging is essential, users consume content differently depending on where they are. The enrapturing effect of a TVC is lost when viewed within the Facebook NewsFeed. In fact, a study showed that the same spot on TV and mobile was 50 percent less emotionally engaging to consumers viewing on mobile.

Each social platform has distinct audiences, capabilities, and community rules. The easiest way to shoot a creative campaign in the foot is to plaster the same creative on every platform with no customization.


95 percent of consumers say ads don’t affect their decisions

LOL. Most of the effects of advertising happen within the subconscious, meaning the everyday consumer believes they’re immune to advertising’s influence. This explains why emotional advertising can be effective.

As Dr. Reid put it, “We don’t want to know how you feel about an ad, we want to know how an ad makes you feel about a brand.”


Long-term memory encoding is the most important factor in predicting purchase intent

Layman’s terms: People are more likely to buy what you’re selling if they can recall your brand long-term.

One of the most crucial ways to do this is to align your brand with your target audience’s core values. It’s simple: People like brands they can relate to.

Above this is a simple reminder: Know your audience.

Individual brains respond to ads differently. Yadav recalled Mountain Dew’s 2016’s Puppy Monkey Baby Super Bowl spot as a prime example. Women overwhelmingly responded negatively to the spot, but males aged 18-35 (the brand’s target audience) loved the commercial and brand.

Neuroscience research is an important and fascinating element of advertising.

TL;DR: Customize creative for each platform, connect emotionally, and know your target audience.