Archive for category Communications

Dumb Ways to Die – Metro Sells Out

Posted by on Friday, 13 June, 2014

Dumb Ways to Die KidneyPicture this. You develop an incredibly successful PSA campaign for a client. Then two years later the client sells the creative to a company in a different industry overseas.

It would never happen.

I’m sure that’s what McCann was thinking until last night, Seattle time.

Metro Trains, the client for Dumb Ways to Die has sold the creative to a Canadian life insurance company. The catch phrase is now ” A dumb way to die is without life insurance”.

I’m sure you’re cursing this as much as I am. It’s a nasty, unethical cash grab.

One thing I had to remind myself was that Metro Trains is a private management company. They’re contracted by the Victorian government in Australia to run their metropolitan train network. Yes, Metro Trains is a for-profit company. Therefore, are we expecting too much for them to pass up the opportunity to make money off a PSA that has topped iTunes charts internationally, won a record number of Gold Lion awards, and launch a few successful mobile game? Oh, and meet its original goal of reducing incidents around trains.

We probably are. After all, Metro Trains exists to make money. Dumb Ways to Die gave them that opportunity.

What will be the result of the Dumb Ways to Die Sell Out?

At the very least agency/client contracts will gain an additional clause prohibiting any on-selling of the work. I’m not privy to McCann’s contract with Metro Trains, but knowing Metro Trains, the sale will be legal. I can also see agencies being less eager to push creativity if their work will be onsold and butchered. Let’s hope I’m wrong on that last count.

I kind of prefer if Metro Trains did sell their kidneys on the internet.

 

 

 

What’s your Passion?

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 January, 2014

What's Your PassionBeing a generalist digital marketer, I get told frequently that I need to specialize. I consider it, but my passions include learning, helping others, and discovering new things. Not conducive to a narrow-focused marketing career. I can say this because I know and understand my passions, but how can you discover what’s your passion?

Luckily, Jag Randhawa has written the Bright Idea Box. It’s a book about employee engagement and innovation that’s being released later this month, and I thoroughly recommend it for anyone leading a team or organization. As well as some great ideas and examples for engagement, Randhawa includes a brilliant exercise for discovering your passions and ambitions. It’s not central to his book, so I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing it here.

Step One – Take a piece of paper and divide the paper into three equal parts using two lines.
Step Two – Name three individuals, dead or alive, whom you admire the most. These individuals do not have to be related to your work. Write down these names in three separate columns on the paper.
Step Three – For each name, in each column, write three or more qualities you admire in these individuals. These should be qualities, not attributes like money, fame, or title.
Step Four – Analyze the overlaps in qualities among these people. Highlight the similarities, including those that might influence or cultivate the related qualities.

The overlapping qualities you highlights are also your own personal qualities. To recognize readily traits in others, you must share a deep interest in those traits. These qualities may not be as developed in you, but recognizing your interest in these qualities is the first step toward developing them.

Right now, you may not be recognized for those qualities or may not have accomplished as much as your idols, but if you follow your passion and develop these qualities, there is no limit to the amazing feats you can accomplish.

Was Dumb Ways to Die A Success?

Posted by on Wednesday, 28 August, 2013

dumb-ways-to-die-billboard

 

 

 

Being from Melbourne, Australia, I keep a cursory eye on Australian campaigns. That, along with my facebook feed being a mix of Australians and Americans meant I was surprised when I first heard of Dumb Ways to Die from a colleague here in Seattle. It’s a train safety campaign for Metro, created by McCann Worldgroup Australia.

 

 

 

 

Even while the campaign’s awards were piling up, nothing appeared in my facebook feed. I started questioning the campaign’s effectiveness. Surely it was more than a catchy jingle.

Last week I was in Melbourne (the home of Metro) and discovered why. The people it resonated with are too young for facebook. An eleven year-old has the app on her iPod and offered to let me play it (it’s not in the US iTunes store). I asked a four year-old which was his favorite character and he quoted the entire line of the character crossing the tracks.

Accompanying the youtube video (above) and game was a picture book, mural walls at major stations encouraging people to take photos with the characters, karaoke screens on station platforms, posters, a paid radio campaign and the song on iTunes internationally. All were driving viewers to pledge to act safe around trains.

Even though the video went viral and the song shot up the iTunes charts, was the campaign a success? Yes, it was. A 21% reduction in train-related accidents and deaths was recorded on the previous year. Without that result, it doesn’t matter how many radio stations played the song or photos were shared on Instagram, the goals wouldn’t have been met.

Congratulations and well done to Metro and McCann Worldgroup Australia. But, may I please have a plushy of the character who sold his kidneys on the internet? He’s adorable. I’ll send you my address.

Video Case Study
Interview with John Mescall of McCann Worldgroup Australia, the campaign creator

The Impossible Post – Trying to categorize social media platforms

Posted by on Monday, 3 June, 2013

Social Media Audiences Research TableThis post could just as easily been called, “A blog post that takes three minutes to read takes three hours to write.”

This is about yesterday’s post. In summary, it tells how you can’t match social media platforms directly to audiences. If you haven’t read it, check it out.

I started researching and writing that post in March and spent lots of hours on it before posting. It changed focus three times and most of the research was discarded.

I tried matching each platform with a typical user profile. Something like, 30-40 year old mother, college educated, middle income = Pinterest. That one is reasonably accurate, but can’t be done for the other platforms. The platforms are all too general, and different people use them for different purposes.

Lots of stats were collated in the process and it would be a shame not to share. So here’s the base table.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Instagram Google+ LinkedIn
Active Members / Total Members > 1 billion / not disclosed 140 million / 500 million Unknown 108 million blogs Unknown / 80 million+ Unknown / 400 million Unknown / 200 million
Age 18-24 (33%) 25-34 (23%) 23-34 (30%) Under 25 Unknown Unknown 35-44 (26%)
Gender Female (57%) Female (55%) Female (80%) Unknown Unknown Male (68%) – 2011 data Male (65%)
Life Stage Unknown Has kids (55%) Settled, family (50% have kids), buying house late teens/ young adult Unknown Single (42% versus 27% married); Student (20%) Unknown
Education Unknown No college (49%) Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown College (50%)

Lots of the gaps come from generalized data not being released by the companies (ahem, facebook), or the data available being out-of-date or inconclusive. The Pew Research Center does some great work polling users to see their usage. Their research is limited by how they conduct the polls (via telephone), the rules governing polling minors (they decided not to, which skews away from Tumblr), and the size of their sample. For an international study, I don’t feel it can be statistically significant.

Other stats may be out there, but after several fruitless hours I gave up.

References used include:
Wikipedia: Tumblr
The Huffington Post: 100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures from 2012
facebook: Media Room – Key Facts
Linked In Facts and Figures (Infographic)
Pinteresting Enough: Who Uses Pinterest (Infographic)

Thank you to Matt Forsyth, Nicole Gary and Neil Parekh  for your help choosing which platforms and how to position the research.

PS, sorry for the silly-looking table. The site redesign is close and will make it look better.

The impossible question: Which social media platforms should I use?

Posted by on Monday, 3 June, 2013

Social Media apps

When you’re a kid, the big question is, “When’s Christmas?”. As a teen it’s “how can I get <insert name here> to like me?”. As a digital marketer it’s “which social media platforms should I be using?”

The only one with an easy answer is “when’s Christmas?”. But, as a five year old; I know I wasn’t happy with the answer: “in 20 sleeps”.

Choosing which social media platforms isn’t a straight forward process. Sorry. However, it can be done.

Start by looking at your target audience. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they play: facebook, Twitter, instagram, Tumblr? Standard segmenting questions. Ask them directly, if you want. They’ll appreciate the attention and you’ll be getting direct data.

Then play on those platforms. Yes, it’s really that simple.

The days of sell sheets with user base profiles are over. Social media gives us the ultimate personalization. One platform can reach many different demographic and psychographic groups. Each user will make it their own.

Does that mean you need to have a presence on all platforms? No. Find the critical mass for your target and play there. Make it cost and time effective. Remember, you’ll be researching their behavior, crafting content, curating third-party content and conversing directly with your audience. That takes time. It’s not worth all the work customizing all this to different platforms if not enough of your audience play there. That said, test things out. Just be prepared to drop it if it fails. It will and you’ll learn from it.

That’s enough from me. Go profile your audience and get playing. Now!