We all see our fair share of content throughout the week but the Weekly Win is where the Daum Weigle team will sift through the madness and highlight some of the best content of the week. Check back each Friday to see a few of our favorite tweets, articles, photos and more.
May 11, 2012
Does This Ad Influence Our “Tanorexic” Tendencies?
Swedish retailer, H&M, came under fire this week for a series of ads meant to highlight their new summer swimwear collection. The ad, featuring a lovely Brazilian model wearing a tiny bikini was criticized not for being inappropriate, but for her incredibly tan skin. The Swedish Cancer Society criticized the ads saying they would influence young people to tan more, which would contribute to the already high skin cancer rate there. Check out the ad:
In the end, H&M issued an apology and vowed to revisit their marketing approach for future ads.
Sometimes, the folks behind marketing campaigns just cant win. H&M’s reasoning for the super tan model was to showcase the bright bathing suit colors. I’m amused because this is hot on the heels of story about another incredibly tan woman who came under fire for allegedly taking her daughter a tanning salon. It reminds me that while airbrushed billboards often have a powerful influence on our young, so can reality…
April 27, 2012
The Internet is going to the dogs — literally.
There’s a new beta service in New York (other cities likely to follow soon) that allows dog owners to find playmates for their pets. Known as MatchPuppy, the new service allows you to enter your pet’s photo, name, size, age, gender, energy level and favorite parks on a website. Then, we assume, the MatchPuppy matchmakers do their work to create a balanced playgroup. The pet parents are provided a choice of times and parks and told how many other dogs are already planning to attend – we’re guessing the owners are also invited.
You can even check out details on little Dita Von Dog, Powsimodo, Pucca Valeria, Iodzia or even larger Ganymede. (What’s up with these names?)
However, we don’t think dogs are all that particular — at least ours are willing to sniff and be sniffed by just about any other canine. And one park is just about as good as any other. MatchPuppy is an interesting concept, but we wonder if it isn’t really just a dating service for lonely dog owners.
But, at least this shows that when it comes to the Internet, be willing to be creative and take a chance with a new concept. Maybe something for pet turtles?
March 16, 2012
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, our Weekly Win comes courtesy of McDonald’s latest social marketing campaign. ‘Mickey D’s’ has again opened their arms to the Twitterverse to ask the ‘tweeple’ of the world to post photos of themselves “shamrocking,” (dancing a festive Irish jig with McDonald’s “Shamrock Shake” in-hand) on Twitter.
So why is McDonald’s at it again following their disastrous #McDStoriescampaign? The answer: Hope of achieving successful viral marketing glory.
A successful viral trend like “planking” or “Tebowing,” can be a marketing gold mine, and we’re glad to see McDonald’s get back into the viral marketing game – but we can’t help but wonder, will #shamrocking blast off? Or burst into flames upon launch?
From what we’ve seen so far, they’re off to a much stronger start and here’s why: the #McDStories campaign left too much room for interpretation (hashtag-jacking and trolling), but this time around McDonald’s has gotten a bit more specific with #shamrocking – asking people to do a simple act – dance with shake in hand and post a picture.
We think #shamrocking stands a chance as a viral campaign, and there are definite benefits to crowdsourcing (namely that it’s free), but we also think the jury’s still out on whether McDonald’s second swing at crowdsourcing will be a homerun.
What do you think? Is a second round of crowdsourcing worth the risk for a company like McDonald’s or will it be a #shamrockshame?
February 17, 2012
This past week, Qantas Airlines petitioned Twitter to remove a confusing (fake) account and Twitter actually obliged. Why, you ask?
It turns out you can have all the parody accounts you want but you have to be clear about it. The fake account, @QantasPR, was self-described as “the non-official official broadcast channel for Australia’s national airline.”
Unfortunately for Qantas though, shutting down one parody account has brought more bad PR and social media backlash than any single account could have managed. Twitter users are now up in arms about the move and people are posting in force about Qantas’ major social media failure.
So next time Qantas or any other major corporation wants to shut down a little negative PR, they might want to think twice.
And lastly, be on the lookout for some social media staff positions with Qantas. We have a feeling that there will be a few openings in the near future after all these online failures.
February 3, 2012
In honor of the biggest marketing and public relations day for certain companies this Sunday, we’re posting a couple of our favorite Super Bowl commercials from years past. Do you remember these? What is your favorite?
January 13, 2012
Sometimes the best public relations pitch is as simple as physical proof.
That’s what the team from G-Form decided when attempting to sell its new protective sleeve for the iPad.
Forget PR gurus. Forget clever strategies. This team broke through the clutter in the simplest of ways.
To show consumers why their product was a leader in the industry, G-Form produced a clear, consumer-friendly video where they launched their product into space so they could prove to everyone that it could handle the worst fall possible.
And it worked. The protective sleeve held up just as promised and the public relations strategy was a hit. The video already has over 3 million views after just one week.
This should be a lesson to all public relations professionals out there. Sometimes simple is better than complex.
And if you ever find yourself hanging out in the earth’s upper atmosphere when your iPad starts to slip out of your hands, don’t worry as long as you have the G-Form Extreme Edge.
January 6, 2011
For a niche fitness center called Equinox, a slice of sex appeal with plenty of shock is the name of the game. But it seems like their latest advertising campaign went a little too far.
Fitness enthusiasts and current clients are up in arms about a series of ad campaign images that showcase models in provocative positions that attempt to bridge the gap between life experiences and fitness benefits. Now don’t be confused, the sexual nature of the ads is not being called into question, it’s the body type of the models that has stirred up the controversy.
The problem here is that even for a high-end gym like Equinox, most of its clients still care about actual fitness. Something that most of the featured models seem to avoid by the appearance of their paper-thin, non-musclar physiques.
It’s a simple concept – play to your base. And judging by the backlash caused by the ads, Equinox missed the mark on this one. Let’s just hope that next time they decide to photograph two women arm wrestling amid a sea of desserts, they get models who have actually lifted a weight before.
In the world of bad PR, this one doesn’t need much explanation.
If you haven’t already seen it, FedEx is in a world of trouble after one of its drivers delivered a package in a very unique way.
Sure, we’re all for efficiency and speed delivery but this is where we draw the line. We’ll take our new computer monitors at our doorstep, thank you very much.
We’re guessing he was in a bit of a rush. Regardless, FedEx is now facing backlash from every angle. And if you are UPS or DHL, this viral video could not have come at a better time. Who will you be choosing to send your gifts this holiday season?
Friday, December 16, 2011
It’s a story that has just started to make the rounds. Christian Bale, the man we all know as our masked crusader Batman, is making the news again for a high-tension encounter while traveling abroad. Only this time, it isn’t his fault. Surprised?
China is now scrambling to manage a PR disaster that began after video was released of Bale being forcefully removed while attempting to visit a Chinese civil rights activist.
Not a big shocker that China’s government is involved in such an act against freedom but this time they may have messed with the wrong man.
China has been attempting to expand their film industry and its recent $100 million investment in the movie “The Flowers of War” starring Bale, was its ticket to success. Unfortunately for the country, we don’t think that even the best PR professionals will be able to help it out of this jam.
It is never a good idea to get into an altercation with a celebrity that has as much clout as Batman.
Be on the lookout for China’s response to this story but don’t be surprised if you see more people in Hollywood shy away from involving themselves with the Chinese film industry.
Friday, December 9, 2011
It’s another case of celebrity social media failure in this week’s Weekly Win.
Alec Baldwin, famous for his antics on 30 Rock, recently found the spotlight after a brief run-in with American Airlines. The actor was kicked off of his flight after arguing with crew members over his playing of the game Words With Friends.
But instead of handling the situation calmly, he blows the story up into a million confusing pieces. Baldwin proceeded to use Twitter to vent his frustrations. Then he decided it was a good idea to encourage his followers to unfollow him. Then he deactivated his influential account. Huh?
We’re just as lost as you all. Why would anyone with over 600,000 Twitter followers throw all that away because of an airline temper tantrum?
Now, Baldwin joins the long list of celebrities who have failed when it comes to social media.
* The real winner here is Words with Friends, the Scrabble spin-off smartphone app. The game received a full news cycle worth of advertising for free from an actor that normally pulls in hundred of thousands of dollars for each sponsorship.
Friday, December 2, 2011
We won’t lie to you, this Friday’s Weekly Win is strange. Norwegian-based Bjørg Jewellery created a short film titled ‘Heresy’. This particular short is beautifully done and has a haunting quality about it. Why so strange? Well…it shows a woman being burned alive at the stake…in a jewelry commercial. For years, brand recognition has taken on many forms with the ultimate goal of creeping into our spongy consumer heads. Everything from annoying repetition, shock value, to subliminal messages has flashed before our eyes.
They do it through our emotions, by making us happy, sad, angry, or by simply making us think. I think Bjørg Jewellery had the right idea on their thought- provoking material of choice, but the intended product showcase was completely undetectable. The target audience is women and this company is showing one burning at the stake. Were they romanticizing history? One thing for certain is that they received reactions from every angle across the board.
Commercials are of no value if you can’t remember/recognize the product or the name of the company who paid to have them made. Can the shock value, or shall we say “confusion value,” overshadow the product in these cases? Take a look at the video for yourself.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you know that Thanksgiving is fast approaching. This means stuffed bellies and hours spent watching parades and sporting events. And for most of us, minimal work.
Yet the public relations team over at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is using the holiday season to make one very odd request.
They have written a letter to the mayor of a town called Turkey, Texas, to rename the community – Tofurky. According to the letter:
“Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “By changing its name to ‘Tofurky,’ Turkey would send a clear message that delicious, savory mock meat is an easy way to celebrate without causing suffering—and give a bird something to be thankful for.”
Something tells us though that this small town Texas mayor won’t be jumping to grant this request anytime soon. Isn’t there a saying down there that goes, “Don’t mess with Texas”?
Regardless, PETA is once again catching our eyes with their wild PR stunts. And just in time for a little holiday fun.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Hilary Swank, most often known for her numerous big-screen accolades, is now dealing with a media backlash after a major public relations error.
The actress recently collected a six-figure sum of money for visiting Chechnya and making a special-guest appearance at a real estate event for the new city Grozny. Yet that’s not all she did while staying in the country.
Upon arrival, the Chechnya event organizers also asked her if she would attend a birthday party for the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. The same man whose rap sheet includes dozens of human rights abuses of the worst degree.
What’s worse is that Swank appeared to have no idea of his background.
And here is where the major public relations fail enters.
Swank’s representatives were actually aware of the planned birthday party and were warned prior to the trip from numerous human rights organizations. Yet these reps failed to mention to Swank (so she says) that she was entering a country with, to put it nicely, controversial political leaders.
So what does Swank do after a major media backlash ensues upon returning from the trip? Fire her entire staff. Her agents. Her manager. Her public relations team.
We don’t blame her if that’s how it all went down.
Your responsibility to your client, especially as a PR professional, is to protect him/her from any negatives news. It’s as simple as doing 20 minutes of research and providing a background briefing to your client, right.
Well, hindsight is always 20/20. But we can guarantee that Swank’s new staff will have Google and Wikipedia bookmarked on their computers at all times.
Friday, October 28, 2011
This week’s weekly win is brought to you by the latest campaign efforts of ChapStick. They kicked it off by posting a picture meant to show the hardships of people always losing chapstick in random places, and debuted it on Facebook. Unfortunately, it wasn’t well received. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts about managing a brand’s social media page… it’s not easy and strategy is required. What happened next proves our point:
Those who found the photo offensive immediately posted on ChapStick’s page. Instead of dealing with the negative comments, or taking down the picture, they simply deleted every bad comment as they came. This went on until the page was flooded with fans who weren’t only mad about the photo, but also mad that their comments were deleted. Finally, ChapStick issued an apology and took the photo down. But the damage was already done. The point here isn’t that the campaign was bad.
We loved the clever idea: everyone loses their chap stick at one point in life and it’s annoying. It was surprising that a big brand like ChapStick assumed that they could “quiet” their fans’ complaints in a social media space. That’s like putting a piece of duct tape on the mouth of a complainer standing at the customer service counter. Absurd, right? I think it’s safe to say they learned their lesson and we hope they come back swinging better than ever. Probably wouldn’t hurt if they gave away a tube or two to wave the white flag.
Friday, October 21, 2011
This week we are dedicating our Weekly Win to something that is very dear to all our hearts: sugar. Specifically, sugar in the form of ice cream.
Ben & Jerry’s, a popular ice cream choice around our office, has been making headlines recently thanks to their newest flavor creation called “Schweddy Balls,” a tribute that most diehard Saturday Night Live fans can appreciate.
Normally, ice cream lovers applaud the progressive dessert-making duo from the Northeast for always taking risks and playing up to popular culture. But did they go too far with this one?
A national advocacy organization and a few supermarket chains believe so. The limited-edition flavor is being left off the shelves of a number of stores because many customers find the flavor name inappropriate. And no, I don’t think we need to explain why.
But isn’t that the point? Ben & Jerry’s has never shied away from a little controversy when it comes to ice cream (see other flavors: Karamel Sutra and What a Cluster). Fortunately for them, it seems to be working. Despite the backlash, the brand says “Schweddy Balls” is the most popular limited-edition flavor the company has released.
So I guess the old saying still reigns true – “Even bad press is good press.”
Friday, October 14, 2011
This week, we’re taking a slightly different angle on our weekly win. Instead of highlighting a notable PR or media gaff (ahem, Blackberry outage), we’re showcasing a recent viral ad that came across our inboxes.
Pro Infirmis, a company committed to raising awareness about people with disabilities, ramped up the creativity to challenge the way we think about disabilities.
Without a doubt, this simple yet impactful ad pulls at the heartstrings of most viewers and does exactly what any brand wants – starts a conversation.
Normally PR and marketing companies are making headlines for sparking chatter in a controversial way but this time its simply for positive messages and extreme creativity.
We applaud the folks over at Pro Infirmis for opening our minds not just socially, but also creatively. And for other brands out there, take notice.
Friday, October 7, 2011
In a story I’m sure most of you have heard something about, Hank Williams Jr. has made quite a mess for himself recently.
The musician, famous for his opening number on Monday Night Football, among other things, has spent the past four days cleaning up his image after some comments he made regarding the current U.S. President. Turns out, comparing a U.S. President to Hitler can create quite a stir.
Now we’re usually not ones to enter into the political fray during our Friday Weekly Win, but we couldn’t pass this one up.
What was Hank Williams Jr. thinking? More so, what was his publicist thinking?
There’s a reason companies like ESPN have written rules, not to mention the commonly held unwritten viewpoint. Sure, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion but just don’t go spouting off any polarizing comments in the public eye. That’s when the PR disasters come in.
Yet the real question is where was the foresight? We want to know where Hank’s publicist was during all of this. Or heck, before it even started! Has he not learned from the countless other celebrities that have put their image at risk by entering into the political arena?
Simple rules: always speak positively; tackle issues that everyone agrees on; lead on issues that benefit the country and community. This list is easy.
Sadly, Hank Williams Jr. and his publicist forgot these lessons and are now paying for it big time.
Gone are the days of “Are you ready for some footballlllll” and Hank’s catchy puns. All we are left with now is another example of fame and politics blending poorly and a new intro format for our favorite Monday television event.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Let’s be honest, thanks to social media and the days of never-ending news cycles, we are all prone to making mistakes here and there. That is why it’s more and more important to know your audience and tailor your messages accordingly. But more often than not, companies are throwing caution to the wind without taking a step back to analyze what they’re doing or saying.
In the most recent installment of this trend, Nikon has been treading water the past couple of days thanks to an innocent post on their Facebook page.
The company wrote:
“A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures! Do any of our facebook fans use any of the NIKKOR lenses? Which is your favorite and what types of situations do you use it for?
Surely, we all recognize that what they intended to convey was the benefit of quality photography equipment. But what the phrasing and tone implied was that photographers don’t make good photos, equipment does.
Here’s where Nikon could have used a little foresight. In an industry where the audience is full of proud, artistic entrepreneurs, Nikkon took a shot directly at the heart of their craft. Bad move!
Now fast forward a couple of days and Nikon has a few thousand angry Facebook comments on their hand and even more disgruntled customers.
What all of us, branding companies or not, need to realize is that our world of marketing and communication is no longer a one-way street. Interactions happen at every level and when companies utilize social media to reach out to customers, they better step back to identify the benefits and pitfalls, or risk more backlash.
Between us though, we’d still like companies to make these mistakes every now and then just so we can have something to laugh about each Friday.
Friday, September 23, 2011
After a horrific week on Wall Street, this past Monday Netflix CEO Reed Hastings emailed millions of Netflix users to, in his words, give an “explanation and some reflections” about the recent price increases for DVD and streaming services. After reading the letter, which can be found on the Netflix blog (http://blog.netflix.com/2011/09/explanation-and-some-reflections.html), we find that there is very little of an apology or explanation of the price increase. Rather than apologizing for the increases themselves, Hastings throws the blame back on the customers for being upset by the way in which Netflix announced these increases.
As if demeaning Netflix customers wasn’t enough, Hastings goes on to announce that Netflix will now only offer streaming videos and it will break off its DVD business into a company named Qwikster, which will offer both DVD and video game rentals. Wasn’t this the same way Netflix announced it would be increasing its prices and in fact what Hastings apologizes for in his letter?
However, what makes this a true weekly win for us is the name Netflix decided to bestow on its break off company. Hastings claims the name Qwikster is meant to represent the speed at which you can rent DVDs or videos games from the site. While the rate at which Qwikster mails out these rentals has yet to be tested, already the process of Qwikster is slowing people down. The CEO writes that users will not only have to create an entirely new account on Qwikster, but they will also have to re-create their DVD queues from scratch, something many customers have pointed out has taken them years to create. It appears the marketing department really didn’t think about this before it went with a name straight out of the 1990’s (Friendster anyone?).
As one customer commented on the Netflix blog: Business Darwin Awards, meet Netflix.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sometimes the job of a good PR rep is simply to tell you to “shut up”! That’s exactly what Brad Pitt’s publicist should have done during his interview for this week’s edition of Parade. In a candid moment, the actor not only called his ex-wife, actress Jennifer Aniston, dull but blatantly admitted to drug use, claiming his entire life was “uninteresting” during the early 2000’s. Already feeling the backlash, the actor is now trying to do damage control by claiming his comments about his former wife were misinterpreted and Aniston “is an incredibly giving, loving, and hilarious woman who remains my friend”. Sorry Brad, but we don’t believe you. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new publicist?
Friday, September 9, 2011
Warner Brothers Canada got creative with their marketing for an upcoming film called ‘Contagion’ and it certainly caught the attention of people…and grossed them out. But it’s still a cool concept, and most importantly, it worked. The billboard of bacteria was done by CURB Media. They specialize in media using all natural and sustainable materials. Cool idea huh? Check it out:
Friday, September 1, 2011
This weeks weekly win comes from the retail giant, J.C. Penny. They faced a backlash from the mommy blogosphere and annoyed the very demographic it targets, young girls. J.C. Penny marketed a shirt online with the saying: “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” It was so bad, they had to pull the shirt and issue an apology.
Along with the obvious reactions from all sides of the issue like “Oh it’s just a joke, lighten up.” Or ”How dare you market a shirt that encourages our young daughters to value beauty over brains?”
Well, amid all of that rabble-rousing, one thing stands clear. From a PR brand perspective, J.C. Penny… considered America’s homemade apple pie, wholesome clothing store, really should have thought this one through.
So tell us, what do you think of the shirt? Do you think it’s worse to let your young daughter wear it, or force her brother to do her homework?
Friday, August 26, 2011
Our Weekly Win is more like a Weekly Fail for the parties involved, but it is certainly a good lesson to PR folks who might be getting a little overzealous about wacky stunts.
Last week the clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch released an announcementsaying they were offering reality TV star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from the popular show Jersey Shore, a “substantial amount” of money to stop wearing their clothing; noting that association with Sorrentino could cause significant damage to the brand.
In the past few days the move appears to be doing more harm than good with company stocks falling nine percent. While we have seen many reality TV stars score endorsement deals, this is one of first “pay-not-to-play” deals we’ve seen. Should be interesting to see how this one turns out for A&F (and their PR team.)
"The Situation" rocking his A&F (photo from Splash)
Friday, August 19, 2011
This week Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell walked out of an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. While O’Donnell is just one of many interviewees to storm out while being questioned, it brings to up the idea of walking out for PR purposes. Could a walk out be a smart move for not only O’Donnell, who didn’t want to put herself in the hot seat with questions about gay marriage, but also for Piers Morgan whose show recently had sagging ratings? Or could it be that was she not properly prepared by her PR people to answer the tough questions?
The PR folks over at Conde Nast run a pretty tight ship, especially when it comes to rogue Twitter accounts. The mystery tweeter, sending insider tweets as@CondeElevator decided to button up before losing his/her job, but not before sending out a few gems to set the scene of the notoriously stuffy organization.
Friday, August 5, 2011
It is official- you know planking has hit the popularity “tipping point” when Hef starts to partake. The best part of this was the headline…
“Hugh Hefner: Not Dead, Just Planking”
He's was doing what all the kids are doing these days—planking!
Who says political debates are boring? We got a chuckle from the White House Twitter handle when they “rickrolled” 2.3 million followers during a White House Twitter chat. (A rickroll, of course is when you trick someone into clicking on Rick Astley’s 1987 song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”)
Friday, July 22, 2011
The DW team is a big fan of Old Spice’s social media campaign with the “Old Spice Guy,” using YouTube videos and actor Isaiah Mustafa to interact with the brand’s fans. When we heard about the “New Old Spice Guy Fabio” we just had to tweet. Take a look at his response and if you dare some of his new (hairy) videos.
Friday, July 15, 2011
In lieu of the recent phone hacking scandal by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., we chose this tweet by Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, as our Weekly Win. Thanks for the giggle, Arianna.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Courtesy of Mashable
Google and Facebook prepare to duke it out. Who do you think will win?