Archive for the ‘Social marketing’ Category

Uh-oh: Hacker hits on Ashley Madison …

July 21, 2015

This may be bigger than the Feds having 20 or 30 million digital personnel files tapped by hackers.

Ashley Madison got hacked and over 37 million customer files have been taken hostage,

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Ashley Madison is a sleazy, Canadian based “online dating and social networking service” that “discretely” hooks up folks who are already in a relationship, i.e. married.

Some background:

The name of the site was created from two popular female names, “Ashley” and “Madison” … the site’s slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The site has been around for about 15 years and gets about 125 million hits each month (pun intended).

Reportedly, 70% of the site’s members are guys … no surprise there.


That’s the back-story … now for the “so what?” …


The Mellow Mushroom mascot is following you … and not just on Twitter

November 19, 2012

Punch line: With its “Follow Me and I’ll Follow You” campaign, pizza chain Mellow Mushroom turns the popular online phrase “following” into a real-life brand action.

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Excerpted from Ad Age’s, “Follow Pizza Chain Mellow Mushroom On Twitter, And It’ll Follow You Back — In Real Life”

Mellow Mushroom is watching you

When you follow brands on Twitter, at best you get a smattering of decent jokes littered across your Tweetdeck timeline, and at worst, you’re bombarded with promotional tweets that practically beg you to unfollow them.

Pizza place Mellow Mushroom does neither. Fitzgerald + Co offers you a little stalker with your Twitter follow with “Follow Me and I’ll Follow You,” a campaign that told people that in return for following the company on Twitter, it would follow you.

The catch? They’d follow you in real life, dressed as Mellow’s stoned-looking mushroom mascot.

The brand stalked 20 Mellow Mushroom followers in a week (with help from the followers’ friends and family), and recorded the whole thing using hidden cameras.

Want to see the result? Watch @acuemma get followed by clicking here.

Edit by JDC

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Old Spice keeps it weird …

November 15, 2012

Punch line: The agency that made Old Spice famous online is keeping it weird in their search for a new social strategist to work on the brand.

Throwing traditional job interviews out the window, Wieden + Kennedy is asking applicants to compete in weird digital challenges, then create a deck outlining the strategy used to complete them.

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Excerpted from’s, “Wieden + Kennedy Seeks Help on Old Spice in Crazy, Epic Job Listing.”


 Wieden + Kennedy’s Old Spice campaign is a hallmark for epic weirdness in advertising.

So, it stands to reason that you’d have to complete some kind of weird, epic quest to join the agency’s Old Spice.

Now, we know the exact parameters of that question.

W+K posted a help-wanted ad on its website seeking a social strategist on the Old Spice account.

Beginning today, the posting says, applicants will have a week to complete “one or more of the challenges listed below” and then create a “case study presentation deck outlining what you did and why it was effective.”

Here are the challenges:

  1. Create the best original Pinterest board dedicated to the sport of inline speed skating
  2. Create and post an original piece of content to Reddit that then receives the most upvotes in a single week
  3. Create and upload to SlideShare an original, in-depth competitive analysis of the Ed Hardy social media ecosystem
  4. Get the most people to friend your mother or your father on Facebook in a single week
  5. Create an original Twitter account and then use it to get the most followers in a week using any verbs you like, but only the following nouns: “BLUEFUDGE,” “HAMMERPANTS” and “GREEK YOGURT.”
  6. Create an original YouTube video that then receives the most plays in a single week using this script verbatim:
    #1: “Wait. What are you doing?”
    #2: “Trust me. This will be fine.”
    #1: “Ok. Go ahead.”
  7. Get recommendations on LinkedIn from at least three other people trying to get this job
  8. Create the most reviewed recipe on in a single week using cottage cheese as an ingredient
  9. Upload the most pictures of your armpit(s) to Instagram during the course of this challenge. The pictures must have your face in them to verify your identity and include the hashtag #mypits
  10. Using Quora, give thought-out, meaningful answers to as many dream catcher-related questions as possible in a single week

As W+K says in the note: “Good luck, cyber warriors.”

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Another Homa Files milestone … Thanks, again!

November 6, 2012

Yesterday, on pre-election Monday, the Homa Files had 25% more visitors than the previous daily high.

Thanks to all of you who are loyal readers and are spreading the word  … you’re why we keep posting.

Romney & Obama wield Mean Girls GIFs, pumpkin bread recipes & Spotify playlists

October 24, 2012

Punch line:In 2012, it is not enough for candidates to shake some hands, kiss a baby or two and run some TV ads. They also need to be posting funny pictures on Tumblr and snarky comments on Twitter.

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Excerpted from The New York Times’, “Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters”


If the presidential campaigns of 2008 were dipping a toe into social media like Facebook and Twitter, their 2012 versions are well into the deep end.

At stake, the campaigns say they believe, are votes from citizens, particularly younger ones, who may not watch television or read the paper but spend plenty of time on the social Web.

The techniques may be relatively new, but they are based on some old-fashioned political principles … “The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to win” .

“It’s about authentic, two-way communication,” said Adam Fetcher, deputy press secretary for the Obama campaign.

“Social media is a natural extension of our massive grass-roots organization.”

Though the returns on such efforts are not easily quantifiable, neither party is taking any chances.

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Obama’s social media barrage …

October 22, 2012

According to AdAge

Obama is out slugging Romney in digital with 93% ‘Share of Voice’ in Online Ads.

The Barack Obama and Mitt Romney camps may be emptying their war chests this month to go head-to-head in TV spots in swing states, but the online battle is a more lopsided affair.

According to research by the analytics company Moat, the Obama campaign had a 93.3% share of voice in terms of display-impression volume in September across the top 20,000 publishers, compared with the Romney campaign’s 6.7%.

Obama had 497 creative executions deployed across the web compared with the Romney camp’s 90.

30% of the Obama ads have a Yahoo Genome tag, which “suggests use of audience and data targeting.”

The top five domains where President Obama’s ads were spotted in that period were,,, and

Romney’s top five were,,, and

The scale and sophistication of the Obama campaign’s digital ad operation should come as no surprise … the campaign opened a “tech field office” in San Francisco last winter that’s staffed largely by volunteers who work around their day jobs.

Romney’s digital director acknowledged that his side is being outspent on digital, but said that they’re trying to win by purchasing efficiently and working with third-party vendors to identify key buckets of voters in swing state.

“If [they] have money to burn … good for them … It’s a spray-and-pray model.”

““Obama had 27 million followers on his Facebook page, we had less than 5 million … But when the ruling came, we saw 27% engagement with our audience while they only got 1.5%.”

The post-mortem to this election will be interesting … both from a political perspective and re: target marketing and digital media.

Obama’s team is clearly at the forefront of using technology to pinpoint people, dope them out psychographically, and get to them through digital means … Romney’s team is pretty “old school”, largely relying on traditional research and methods.

Only complicator is that Obama is spending lots of $$$ on that old school stuff, too … so might be had to sort out which of his marketing techniques are delivering.

And, of course, the product and message matter, too …

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Soc Marketing: Making the Goodwill cool

October 10, 2012

Punch line: Here’s some real social marketing at work … Target’s former creative director has moved to Goodwill, and is launching an entire rebrand of the company’s stores, website, and delivery trucks. 

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Excerpted from’s, “Former Target Creative Director Redesigns Goodwill Thrift Stores.”

The former creative director of Target, Tim Murray, has fully rebranded San Francisco’s Goodwill, the social enterprise organization that helps people back into work.

Murray has redesigned the website, in-store signage and its fleet of trucks, with help from illustrator and designer Craig Frazier.

goodwill-store 2


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First Target, now Facebook … “Sweet, you’re having a baby!”

September 24, 2012

Punch line: Consumers and companies are confused as to how Facebook is using personal information to target individuals and their needs and preferences.  Facebook admits the company’s ability to pin point consumer interests based on online interests, but maintains that status updates are never used to target consumers.  Despite many users sharing everything on social networks, consumers are still fighting for privacy.


Excerpted from’s, “Does Facebook Know You’re Pregnant?  What It Knows Depends on Whom You Ask: Social Network Says One Thing, Its Advertisers Another.”

The pregnancy of 30-year-old Sally was announced to the world through her husband’s Facebook page, after he tagged her in a photograph showing a positive home pregnancy test.

Two months later, while Sally was browsing Facebook, she noticed a Huggies ad.  Sally had never “liked” Huggies or any baby-related posts or pages. Nor had she posted about her pregnancy, so she figured Facebook had connected the dots between her husband’s status update and his relationship with her.

Did Facebook and its client, Huggies, know she was pregnant?

According to Facebook and Huggies parent, Kimberly-Clark, Sally’s browsing experience resulted from blind luck.

The ad was the subject of a two-week test targeting parents of young children, Huggies fans and their friends — as well as a three-day subtest of women ages 18 to 34. 

Facebook, for its part, said it rarely uses the content of status updates as a signal for ad targeting.

But plenty of marketers that target pregnant women believe they’re identifying them, at least in part, by their status updates.

Some marketers say they have been told so by Facebook.

The confusion over what exactly Facebook is doing is indicative not only of the opacity of the social network’s ad-targeting algorithms but also the privacy tightrope it walks, offering marketers the precision they crave while assuaging users that their every utterance isn’t being mined for ad targeting.

Here’s what we know … Marketers can reach pregnant women on Facebook with near-surgical precision, mixing and matching a variety of targets, such as those interested in baby products and people who like children’s music, which taken together produce a high likelihood of hitting the mark. 

But Facebook is careful to note that it doesn’t use the content of status updates to target pregnant women.

Tech-savvy consumers may already assume that their status updates are a key part of the targeting recipe since Facebook’s own “data use policy” states that “key words from your stories” are used to deliver ads. But according to Facebook key words in status updates are used only rarely for real-time targeting. (A hypothetical example is a user who has posted “I could go for some pizza tonight” being served an ad with a coupon from Domino’s Pizza.)

Certainly there’s a gap between what marketers say they are being told and Facebook tells a journalist on the record.

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