“Don’t act like you’re not impressed.” -Ron Burgundy

For the last few months, Will Ferrell fully immersed himself in his character, Ron Burgundy, and traveled all over the country to appear in Dodge advertisements, anchor local newscasts, conduct interviews on ESPN, commentate Canadian curling, appear on Conan, and even hold a press conference at Emerson College. If you didn’t see Burgundy’s stunts, then you read about them, heard friends talking about them, or learned about them on the news. It seems nearly everyone in North America was aware that  “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” was scheduled to be released on December 18, 2013.

In an age when consumers fast forward through commercials, scroll past banner ads and click through popups, some good PR and a little creativity can go a long way. Director of the film, Adam McKay, estimates the campaign is worth at least $20 million in free publicity, according to Entertainment Weekly. However, while the campaign meant everything for awareness, it didn’t necessarily produce the results you’d expect. The sequel’s three-day weekend total of $26.8 million pales in comparison to the original’s $28 million in 2004. Additionally, the new film’s five-day total of $40 million is still less than the original’s $46 million, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps the low numbers are a result of a poor product. The New York Times writes: “‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ is in danger of being overshadowed by its own marketing campaign.”  When searching “Anchorman 2” on Twitter, the suggested searches are: “Anchorman 2 quotes” and “Anchorman 2 terrible.” If your product is “terrible” consumers aren’t going to buy it, regardless of how well it’s marketed, advertised and promoted.

twitter-anchorman

Others believe that the campaign pushed too hard and consumers grew weary of Burgundy before the film was even released. The Week published an article that discusses “How nonstop marketing killed my buzz for Anchorman 2” and suggests that Ron Burgundy was not an ideal character to lend himself to discuss real news stories. But as a professional marketer who’s always trying to gain exposure for clients, I can’t imagine saying “okay, I think that’s enough coverage” and letting up. John Greenstein, chief marketing officer at Paramount, led the campaign and said, “My job as a marketer is to want as much of the right exposure as possible because we believe in this movie so much and we believe in this character and we believe in these filmmakers.”

If you ask me, Greenstein did his job. He generated buzz about the sequel and gave people something to talk about. Although ticket sales weren’t impressive, the Anchorman 2 marketing campaign did wonders for awareness and blazed a trail for creative movie marketing. Still, the film will be in theatres for another few weeks and ticket sales could fare better in the long run – or perhaps movie rentals and DVD purchases will prove more promising. It’ll be interesting to see if and how movie marketers use some of the same tactics from this campaign in the future.

What did you think of the Anchorman 2 marketing campaign? Did you go see the film? What would you have done differently if you were promoting the movie?

Brigid Gorham

 

2014 Social Media Trends: Part 5 of 5

If you’ve been following our blog for the last few weeks, you know we’re making predictions for 2014 social media trends. In part one we discussed the power of visual imagery on social media, then moved on to the growth of Twitter for part two. Social media’s move to mobile was our third trend, and last week we explained why you should keep an eye on video in 2014.

Now, for our fifth and final prediction, we think that more brands will partner with social media influencers next year. Working with influencers helps brands extend reach, promote events, introduce new products and services, and improve overall brand perception. Influencers create content for a fan base they’re very familiar with and therefore generally have high levels of engagement. It’s been proven that people trust recommendations from friends and even strangers more than they trust advertisements. One way brands can tap into this and gain trust is through social media influencers. Consumers trust influencers since they’re regular people who share their personal, honest thoughts and opinions with the public and probably share some of the same values as their followers. This makes them reliable sources for consumers – and very useful tools for brands.

Though brands can partner with influencers through many social media outlets, we’ve highlighted a few successful campaigns from 2013 on platforms we think will be most important next year.

Vine

A recent article in Fast Company states “most marketing today isn’t done on Vine, but that may be changing.” Users who have become “Vine famous” have hundreds of thousands – even millions – of followers who like, comment and reVine their videos to extend reach even further. One ‘Vine famous” user, Logan Paul, has more than 1.5 million followers and says he uses Vine “to draw people in with pure personality and lead them to his other social profiles.” By learning from users like Logan Paul, or by partnering with them, brands can tap into a friendly community that loves to share.

Trident Gum is pioneering Vine influencer partnerships. Trident has 57,912 followers on Vine and partners with “Vine famous” users like Brittany Furlan (4.1 million followers), Jarome Jarre (3.7 million) Nicholas Megalis (3.4 million) and Rudy Mancuso (2.7 million). Once Trident posts the videos, the featured  influencer reVines it to share with their following as well. The Trident brand fits in well with the comedic and slightly strange videos these users already produce.

YouTube

As we mentioned in last week’s blog post, YouTube received more than 167 million unique impressions last month, making it the 4th most visited site in the U.S., and it’s especially popular among teens. While many big brands and musicians are known for having YouTube channels, several video bloggers have gained large followings on YouTube as well.

One brand that successfully partnered with YouTube influencers is Taco Bell. To promote the Fiery Doritos Locos Taco, Taco Bell “enlisted a bunch of influencers it found at this year’s VidCon,” to create video content introducing the new taco, according to AdAge. One of the best-known YouTubers, Freddie Wong, along with Brandon Laatsch, released a video to his 6.3 million subscribers promoting the new locos taco.

Wong and Laatsch spend a great deal of time conversing with and creating content for their fans and therefore have a solid understanding of what they like. This enables them to introduce Taco Bell in a way their followers find interesting.

For brands that aren’t Taco Bell-sized, running a product sampling campaign will help introduce a brand to YouTube influencers. One of our clients, TYLT,  specializes in creating innovative mobile accessories and we often send out review units of their products to YouTubers to review online. Once we come across a YouTube influencer in the tech industry with a substantial following, we review their videos, look at the level of fan engagement and evaluate their on-screen personality before deciding whether or not they’re a good match for the TYLT brand. Reviewers build their fan base by offering their honest opinion on relevant products. This builds trust between the viewer and reviewer, making the content they put out authentic and reliable.


Blogs

Bloggers often cater to a niche audience, which is ideal for marketers. Many blogs focused on music, food, parenting and fashion. One campaign we found interesting is based on a partnership between fashion blogger Aimee Song and the clothing company Piperlime. Aimee’s blog posts garner more than 100 comments on average and she also has large followings on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Piperlime took the suggestions, tips and shortcuts that made Aimee’s blog popular and applied them to their site. They had Aimee create outfits from their offerings and had her highlight some of their trend-specific features. Having an established fashion blogger endorse a well-known brand like Piperlime was mutually beneficial.

Choosing a Partner

Choosing the right social media influencer to partner with is important. While you should always look at the size of an influencer’s following, another key factor to consider how often and many fans engage with them online. Look through past posts, comments and tweets and see how many replies, retweets, comments, etc. it garnered – and make sure they’re positive.

Always remember that this person is acting on behalf of your brand. You should ask yourself: Does this influencer fit with my brand? Do they have the same values? Do they produce quality content? When the ideal match is made, like with Aimee Song and Piperlime, both parties benefit since both fan bases are interested in the content you and your partner are pushing out.

What are some of your favorite partnerships from this past year? Do you plan on partnering with a social media influencer this year? What platforms do you think are most effective for an influencer promotion?

Brigid Gorham

It's Not Goodbye, It's See You Next Semester!

Normally at the end of the semester we publish a blog post thanking our interns for their hard work and wishing them the best in their future endeavors. However, we’re lucky enough to have our two fall interns staying on with us next semester. Over the past few months, we’ve kept them busy writing press releases, pitches, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts and more. Read on to find out what they’ve learned and their advice for being successful interns that employers want to keep around!

Dana Harvey
Dana Harvey

Favorite part about working at BIGfish: My favorite part about working at BIGfish is the hands-on experience and the collaborative nature of the work. As a non-Communications major, I find it extremely helpful to be able to draft press releases, write blog posts, and engage in social media while also getting immediate feedback from the account team. As an intern, I am also able to sit-in on meetings and provide input during brainstorming sessions. At BIGfish, I can tell that my work and ideas are valued and appreciated.

Most valuable lesson learned while working at BIGfish: One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned at BIGfish is that sometimes you must be persistent with a client in order to get them to take advantage of a new trend. When working with different clients, you might find that some are more open to change than others. There’s a delicate balance between advising a client to make appropriate changes without pushing them too hard or too far out of their comfort zone. While working with BIGfish, I have seen and taken part in brainstorming sessions to help clients approach social media, newsletters, website layouts, and more in new, innovative, and engaging ways.

Suggestions to be a successful intern: I believe that in order to be a successful intern, you should show an eagerness and willingness to learn new things. You must also show that you are able to come up with new and creative ideas for the company, as well as for the clients. I think that it is important to be personable. Although everyone is engaged in their different tasks for the day, there are always opportunities to engage in conversation and show your personality.

hannahduffy

Hannah Duffy

 Favorite part about working at BIGfish: BIGfish has given me tons of hands-on experience, which I value greatly in an internship. My assigned work is relevant and important, so it’s satisfying and rewarding to contribute to the team. In particular, I enjoy seeing things I have written posted online, such as blog posts, articles, and tweets. I also appreciate and enjoy the warm office environment at BIGfish; the whole team is friendly, welcoming, and more than willing to answer questions.

Most valuable lesson learned while working at BIGfish: I am ending my semester with a wealth of knowledge and skills that I didn’t have before my internship at BIGfish. One valuable thing I have learned, and continue to learn, is the many layers and intricacies of social media. I am extremely familiar with social media from my own personal use, but I have learned various strategies on how to make the most of social media to promote a brand or business. I more clearly see how significant social media is, and will continue to be, important in the marketing and PR world.

Suggestions to be a successful intern: One of my strongest suggestions would be to take initiative and help wherever you can. Keep an eye out for opportunities to assist outside your assigned work and offer to help out. The team always has a lot to do, so a little help can go a long way. Overall, take advantage of the learning opportunity by asking questions and taking in as much information as possible. Along with asking questions about the job and industry, ask the BIGfish team about their experiences. They all have impressive backgrounds and can share useful advice on college, jobs and life in general!

 

2014 Social Media Trends: Part 4 of 5

This is our fourth installment of Social Media Trends for 2014. We previously explored the importance of visual content, the growing influence of Twitter, and social media’s move to mobile. The next trend that the BIGfish team predicts for 2014 is increased video sharing. Smartphone use is at its peak, and with it people are documenting their lives more than ever. Photo sharing has grown in popularity over the past few years, but until recently the only methods for uploading and sharing video were slow and cumbersome. With the integration of video into Instagram and the popularity of websites and apps like YouTube and Vine, sharing video on social media is now easier than ever before. In fact, video is expected to constitute one third of all Internet traffic by 2015.

Changing Times

Facebook has grown to be an influential network with millions of users around the world. This groundbreaking social media platform enabled users to share every moment of their lives with their close (and not so close) friends by way of wall posts, photos, statuses and more. However, as this article notes, over-sharing on Facebook became overwhelming and people flocked to a new medium: Twitter. Limiting users to express themselves in just 140 characters, Twitter filtered out the chatter that overran Facebook. Soon after, photo sharing apps grew in popularity. Apps like Instagram enabled users to instantaneously edit, filter and share a single photo instead of uploading an entire album. This article notes most teens use different online profiles to express character traits specific to a platform’s community and purpose. Brands must look at the different natures of these platforms, how people use each one to express themselves, and then align their brands accordingly.

While we expect photos to remain central in social media, video has potential to really take off in 2014. Video sharing has already begun to flourish as a result of a steady increase in smartphone ownership. In 2013, an estimated 139 million people were said to own a smartphone. In addition, 2012 saw a 300% increase in mobile video consumption, a trend that is sure to continue to grow in 2014.

Vine

A mobile-only app, Vine has grown to become one of the most popular video sharing apps available. Between June and August of this year, Vine jumped from 13 million to 40 million users. The six-second time limit, along with the early adopters that have since become “Vine Famous,” have promoted a creative and humor filled Vine community. This unique culture pushes brands to be creative when implementing videos through vine. For example, in September 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts aired the first TV-ad made completely from Vine during the pre game show for Monday Night Football on ESPN.


Because of Vine’s integration into Twitter, a platform that’s bound to grow next year, we expect more brands to embrace this creative video platform. Not only is Vine itself a great way to engage with consumers, but the videos can make tweets stand out. Vine also puts everyone on a level playing field: everyone has the same tools (a smartphone and Vine app), time limit and a relatively similar video quality, making videos seem especially personal and authentic.

Instagram

After watching users flock to Vine, Instagram introduced its own video capabilities into the app in July 2013. With Instagram’s continued growth, it is no surprise that it expanded into the realm of video. Instagram video gives users 15 seconds to get their message across and videos maintain those famous filters. Unlike Vine, Instagram enables users to upload videos not recorded in-app, meaning brands can enhance and edit external videos before sharing.

Instagram proves useful to the strategic marketer when looking at the app’s extensive growth and success of video (Instagram videos get an average of 24 interactions per 1,000 followers). Instagram provides a great opportunity to have a product or service come to life. For example, this Instagram by Lululemon shows their product in use while also keeping the user engaged in the video. Since Instagram videos are substantially longer than Vine, it’s important to immediately grab a user’s attention and then maintain their interest throughout.

YouTube

According to compete.com, YouTube received more than 167 million unique impressions last month, making it the 4th most visited site in the US. In November, Mashable reported that YouTube overtook Facebook as the most popular site among teens, proving we’re on the cusp of a shift in social media usage. Since it’s so easy to share online video, and since so many people are already spending time on YouTube, it’s a great platform for brands to post their commercials, presentations as well as encourage consumers and vloggers to post testimonials and reviews.

One example of a successful YouTube brand presence is Dior. In addition to posting commercials, Dior  also posts how-to makeup and beauty tutorial videos. By doing this, Dior positions themselves as a knowledgeable resource consumers can turn to, adding value to the overall brand. A testament to their success, Dior boasts more than 90,000 subscribers and this J’adore ‘Le Parfum’ commercial has 1.6 million views.

Video Across Platforms

Following the success of video-only apps and websites like Vine and YouTube, existing social media platforms have adapted to enable video integration. For example, on Facebook, you may scroll down your newsfeed and certain videos will begin playing automatically. In addition, on Twitter, photos and videos have been expanded on your timeline so that users can see a picture or watch a video without having to leave the page. Since the launch of Instagram video, there has been a 37% increase in Instagram shares on Twitter while five tweets per second contain a Vine link. Video integration across all social platforms proves that video is an increasingly popular format with universal appeal.

Tips for Optimal Use

Check out two of our blog posts outlining best and worst practices for Vine and Instagram video creation. This article also has some great tips to help your brand master the use of video.

Smart brands are utilizing video options on social media and running with it. By including interesting and artistic elements, customer-driven content, and behind the scenes exclusives, brands are able to connect to followers in new ways. The goal is to creatively engage with customers and to inspire sharing and conversation between themselves and their customers.

How do you expect video to change through 2014? Have you experienced high levels of engagement on Vine, Instagram or YouTube? What brands do you follow on social video platforms?

Dana Harvey

2014 Social Media Trends: Part 3 of 5

As the new year approaches, BIGfish is looking ahead at what 2014 will bring. So far, we’ve discussed two social media predictions for the new year: the importance of visual content as well as an increased influence of Twitter. For our third social media trend prediction, we’re discussing social media’s move to mobile, so here are some ways social media managers can take advantage of this shift.

Bye Bye Desktop, Hello Smartphone

A recent survey found that 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them. As a result, social media platforms are jumping onto the move to mobile with app versions that give desktops some serious competition. Big names like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly changing to adapt to a smartphone dominated world and paving the way for mobile to become the new go-to access point for social media. As more and more users use their mobile devices to access social media, it’s important for marketers to be aware of the new opportunities mobile apps present.

Facebook

As stated by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has become a mobile company, and it expects mobile usage and revenue to surpass that of desktops in the near future. Of Facebook’s billion plus monthly active users, 189 million are “mobile only,” explaining why 41% of advertising revenue comes from mobile ads. Mobile Facebook ads can target specific markets based on demographics, interests, Likes on Facebook and even a relationship status. By using these targeting tools, marketers can tailor the message of an ad to appeal to a specific group. This then increases the chances that users will be interested in the ad, click on it and Like the page.

Another great option for marketers are Facebook’s Mobile Sponsored Stories, which prominently feature friends’ engagement with that page or app, increasing the likelihood that users will trust and click it. Mobile Sponsored Stories generate a click through rate 13 times the rate of Facebook’s desktops ads, creating a big opportunity to generate brand awareness through mobile.

Mobile ads give much room for creativity, but it’s important to remember to design an ad with the mobile user in mind, making sure it looks great on the smaller screen of a smartphone. Also, remember that Facebook ads are most effective when they link back to a page within Facebook, like a profile or event page, depending on the call to action. Use eye-grabbing designs with less text, tailor ads to the specific users’ interests and likes, and feature a strong call to action to increase click through rates. With a little creativity, some research and analytics, mobile Facebook ads will be cost-effective ways to reach new customers in 2014.

 Twitter

Twitter is another social media giant that has seen significant movement to its mobile app, with more than 75% of its 218.3 million monthly active users visiting on mobile devices. Twitter’s Senior VP of engineering said that Twitter has a history of being mobile-first, so “we make sure every place we’re building a product, we’re building it onto mobile devices.” Mobile accounts for 65% of Twitter’s total ad revenue, proving that Twitter’s “most engaged users are generally those who access Twitter via…mobile applications.” Twitter’s primary ad products are promoted accounts, promoted tweets, and promoted trends, which are all relatively easy for advertisers to set up. Like Facebook ads, Twitter ads can target a super specific audience, enabling advertisers to reach their desired group.

The folks at Twitter are making huge investments in mobile, such as their September acquisition of MoPub, the world’s largest mobile ad exchange. MoPub allows Twitter to fundamentally change how mobile ads are purchased, thus Twitter may become the leader in social ads on mobile. With the help of the new ad exchange, advertisers can better target specific users with extreme detail based on tweets, accounts they’re following, websites visited, and more. With new technology on its side, Twitter may become the most targeted mobile ad medium, so keep an eye out for changes in mobile ads and how they can best be integrated into a marketing plan.

Drive Social Sharing with Mobile Apps

As of October 2013, there were one million apps available in the iTunes Store and 60 billion total app store downloads. In one way or another, almost every business is linked to a mobile app; whether it’s checking in at Target on Foursquare or posting a photo of a Starbucks’ latte on Instagram. Businesses can engage mobile users through apps with a call to action, a discount code, or a simple check-in. Always include share buttons at the end of web pages and articles to make it easy and seamless to share via mobile devices. Encouraging visitors of a business to post on social media creates buzz that often feels more authentic and reliable than an ad.

Businesses can offer discounts and promos for using a hashtag, posting a photo, or checking in to encourage visitors to talk about their brand on social media. For example, A New York restaurant owner encourages diners to use a specific hashtag, and says this involvement makes customers “brand ambassador(s) on behalf of the restaurant.” Mobile users love to frequently share via social media, and marketers can use this to their advantage with creative integration of social platforms and their brand.

Mobile Is Here to Stay

As we move into another year dominated by social media and smartphones, BIGfish suggests utilizing mobile migration to your advantage. Social media allows businesses of any size to reach wide or specific audiences with creative ads that foster engagement and create brand awareness. It also offers an opportunity to have some fun and get creative. Give customers something to photograph and suggest they tag you on Instagram. Remind visitors to check in on foursquare. Encourage mobile users to mention you on Twitter by rewarding them with a discount. Whatever you do, don’t overlook the potential of mobile, or you could be left behind in 2014 and the years to come.

What Do You Think?

What has your experience been with ads on social media? Will desktops become obsolete for social media? How else do you think mobile will grow and change next?

Check in next week to find out our next social media prediction for 2014!

Hannah Duffy, Intern