Think With Google: The Creative Shortlist: Real Time Remixed

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Think with Google


The Creative Shortlist is a series that looks at the trends and themes informing innovative digital campaigns. This month we spotlight campaigns that are leading the next wave of social through more collaborative relationships and an evolved real-time approach.


See what Creative Sandbox campaigns we’re talking about.
This edition’s guest curator is Marvin Chow, global marketing director for Google’s social products.

The holidays. The Oscars. The World Cup. To stay relevant, brands have always taken advantage of big consumer moments such as these. Now that consumers are constantly connected, there are many more moments that matter, and brands can join them in real time. But that’s just the beginning. Getting an audience to engage with your story beyond a mere “like” or a generic retweet is what makes a brand a meme of its own.

Last year’s widely talked about Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl blackout was a wake-up call to traditional marketers. It showed the true value of being nimble, insightful, creative and—above all—first. But as we saw with this year’s Super Bowl, similar efforts without a higher level of engagement and conversation were short lived. Enabling the audience to create the conversation that follows is critical to really capture the moment.

From YouTube to Twitter to Google+, an entire generation is putting its own spin on brands through memes, remixes, hashtags and more. Smart brands are making this part of their marketing strategies. They see their audience as the creators; they’re just the enabler. Nike’s “Phenomenal Shot” campaign during the 2014 FIFA World Cup is a fresh example that exemplifies this thinking. Nike set out to let fans create their own version of winning moments during the tournament. The centerpiece of the campaign was a suite of 3D avatars that fans could “remix” by adding headlines, filters and stickers to create their own digital posters, just moments after something amazing happened during a live game.

Taking conversations further, brands can create ambassadors and foster even more meaningful relationships with consumers. Understanding that your brand is the enabler and the audience is the creator will help you win in the long run. For 20% of the work, they can get 100% of the credit, all in the name of your brand’s story. Taking this approach, you can establish a more fulfilling social media environment for people and for your brand. Everyone wins.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Share your #brandremix thoughts and favorite examples and get the conversation started. Follow us at+CreativeSandbox and @CreativeSandbox for more ideas that blend creativity and technology.

The campaigns we’re featuring this month demonstrate the movement toward user-generated content by empowering people to express themselves through their relationship with a brand:

#1 Nike “Phenomenal Shot”

Memorable sports moments, remixed in real time

#2 Toyota Collaborator

A social shopping tool for designing cars

#3 Two Days Beat

A crowdsourced audiotrack

#4 Target Everyday Runway

A live runway show inspired by everyday tweets

The Ethics of Social Media

By: Monica Helms, Ad2OKC/AAF Oklahoma City Ad Club

“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” — David Ogilvy

At last year’s ADMERICA!, I wrote about ethics and social media. For my first post this year, I was asked to write about both. Given that this is a rather complicated and sometimes sensitive issue, I decided to look to various resources for guidance on how I should frame this. More specifically, I looked at Mashable, Forbes, and even NPR’s Social Media Ethics Handbook. There were probably a few others as well, but let’s face it, I don’t exactly have the best attention span.

The one that caught my attention the most was the Forbes article, which listed five “deadly sins” of social media:

  • unreported endorsements,
  • improper anonymity,
  • compromising consumer privacy,
  • overly enthusiastic employees, and
  • using the online community to get free work.

I don’t know if you’re seeing what I’m seeing, but I think for me, at least four out of the five points in this article could be summed up in the following phrase: Honesty is the best policy. Nobody likes feeling deceived. But what constitutes deception in social media? Is running a contest or sweepstakes to get people to “like” or follow your brand in exchange for some kind of prize unethical? Is outsourcing your social media to a third-party agency or consultant unethical? Is tweeting a vote of optimism in the face of a tragedy unethical?

The answer is that no, it’s not necessarily unethical to do these things. But it can be. As Ogilvy stated above, it’s important to treat your customers the way you would want to be treated. Would you appreciate watching your friends become zombies for a brand if it came with the promise of prizes or giveaways? Would you appreciate it if it was happening to you–especially from a brand you wouldn’t normally care about? Probably not, right

What about outsourcing your social media? I vote that it can be–specifically if you’re not transparent about who the voice is behind the brand. In the social media world, your transparency and honesty is your credibility. The internet is not a place one should tread lightly–nothing you say can be considered private upon posting or gone once erased. I’m sure you can think of plenty of politicians and celebrities who has learned that lesson the hard way.

What about the last one? I’m not going to name any names, but more than one brand took heat for posting insensitively during the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. What about the brands who didn’t simultaneously promote their product with their condolences, or some other faux pas? By that I mean the brands who simply posted thanks to the first responders, or that their hearts were with the city. Was that unethical? I think some of you know exactly how you feel on this one. There’s no grey area for you, and regardless of which side you’re on, I admire that. But if you’re like me, this last one has you squirming in your seat a bit. Is it possible for a brand to send out heartfelt thanks or condolences in the face of a tragedy without necessarily being opportunistic? I don’t know if I have an answer for that.

Follow Monica @mkhelms