10 Sassy Brands on Social Media

Advertisers are beginning to realize that a viral video may be a short-term goal, but it takes an entire successful social campaign to slug a home run.

Remember when the “Wassup?” Budweiser commercial turned into an oft-repeated catchphrase? Today, videos go viral every day. Creating a memorable ad is only half the battle, because customers on the web crave a more social experience.

It’s become practically mandatory for a major brand to maintain its presence on social media, so today’s challenge is how to stand out from the noise.

Customers are attracted to humanized companies, those that show off character and personality. Major corporations are relying on clever marketing strategies, quick wit and the Internet’s viral nature to broadcast their voices. Finally, humor has always been a huge seller for advertising.

SEE ALSO: 10 Hilarious Branded Entertainment Campaigns [VIDEOS]

But ad agencies are getting bolder with their campaigns as the digital and traditional lines continue to blur. Brands are incorporating Internet memes into commercials, and TV characters are playfully bashing the same company they’re endorsing. We’ve seen comedy websites collaborate with major corporations, and more frequently, comedians seem to appear just as frequently as high-profile celebrities.

We’ve gathered 10 of the sassiest brands that are accomplishing bold campaigns with social media. What do you think? Should brands let their hair down or maintain professionalism? Let us know in the comments below.


Comment


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_tacobell.jpg

The fast food chain has some of the wittiest responses to its followers on Twitter, and pretty much to anyone tweeting about tacos.

The brand applauds consumers for eating at Taco Bell. It even references pop culture, like this tweet about Mean Girls. Your Taco Bell tweet could potentially make it to a Times Square billboard.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_dominos.jpg

A brand that relies heavily on delivery, Domino’s has found an ingenious way to get the word out: a scooter that shouts “Domino’s!” and “pizza!”

Domino’s also created a iPad app called Pizza Hero to bring in more hires.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_kraft.jpg

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Kraft let two women in their 80s take over the brand’s social accounts. Using the hashtag #OldBirdsNewTweets, followers joined the conversation as they learned about memes, Internet slang and technology.

Kraft also posted videos of the women discovering concepts like planking.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_oldspice.jpg

Old Spice’s brand has evolved along with its spokespeople over the years, from Isaiah Mustafa to the more recent guy who dumps Heather Graham.

But Old Spice’s odd, super manly tone of voice and mashup of Internet culture has stayed pretty consistent over the years.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_pepsi.jpg

Pepsi teamed up with Funny Or Die for a marketing stunt in which improv comedians impersonated your Facebook persona.

The “Internet Taste Test” required fans to opt in, then based on their profiles, would create a 30-second clip of what they’d act like trying their product.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_playstation.jpg

As Sony’s “vice president” of various fake departments of PlayStation, Kevin Butler has done everything from announce products from “the future” to invade people’s homes, all in the name of the company.

The character is now on Twitter, where he keeps the same humorous persona for more than 122,000 followers.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_newcastle.jpg

The beer company’s most recent ad mantra is “No Bollocks,” which is why its Facebook cover photo features snarky slogans that make fun of overused beer advertising devices.

The brand has even posted billboards that jab at competitors like Stella Artois.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_kswiss.jpg

The shoe company named Danny McBride’s Eastbound and Down character, Kenny Powers, as the new

‘CEO” of K-Swiss. In the hostile takeover, a foul-mouthed Powers (which he’s known for on the show) disses the brand.

The result? More than 3 million views on the video alone. And K-Swiss has continued the campaign, which included Powers’ involvement in Tournaggeddon.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_skittles.jpg

Skittles is known for its oddly funny commercials, and its social media accounts express an equally wild imagination.

From turtles with doorbells to cuddling bananas, the brand’s voice is consistently zany across all accounts. And with 21 million fans on its Facebook page, the approach appears to be working.


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/8121c_pistachios.jpg

The “Get Crackin'” campaign has featured gossip fixtures and Internet memes, such as Honey Badger, the Winklevoss twins and Snooki. The brand responds to followers on Twitter with the same kind of quirkiness, a tone you wouldn’t expect from a nut company.

On Facebook, the brand shares pictures of employees in a giant pistachio suit.

View As One Page »

View As Slideshow »

The fast food chain has some of the wittiest responses to its followers on Twitter, and pretty much to anyone tweeting about tacos.

The brand applauds consumers for eating at Taco Bell. It even references pop culture, like this tweet about Mean Girls. Your Taco Bell tweet could potentially make it to a Times Square billboard.


A brand that relies heavily on delivery, Domino’s has found an ingenious way to get the word out: a scooter that shouts “Domino’s!” and “pizza!”

Domino’s also created a iPad app called Pizza Hero to bring in more hires.


To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Kraft let two women in their 80s take over the brand’s social accounts. Using the hashtag #OldBirdsNewTweets, followers joined the conversation as they learned about memes, Internet slang and technology.

Kraft also posted videos of the women discovering concepts like planking.


Old Spice’s brand has evolved along with its spokespeople over the years, from Isaiah Mustafa to the more recent guy who dumps Heather Graham.

But Old Spice’s odd, super manly tone of voice and mashup of Internet culture has stayed pretty consistent over the years.


Pepsi teamed up with Funny Or Die for a marketing stunt in which improv comedians impersonated your Facebook persona.

The “Internet Taste Test” required fans to opt in, then based on their profiles, would create a 30-second clip of what they’d act like trying their product.


As Sony’s “vice president” of various fake departments of PlayStation, Kevin Butler has done everything from announce products from “the future” to invade people’s homes, all in the name of the company.

The character is now on Twitter, where he keeps the same humorous persona for more than 122,000 followers.


The beer company’s most recent ad mantra is “No Bollocks,” which is why its Facebook cover photo features snarky slogans that make fun of overused beer advertising devices.

The brand has even posted billboards that jab at competitors like Stella Artois.


The shoe company named Danny McBride’s Eastbound and Down character, Kenny Powers, as the new

‘CEO” of K-Swiss. In the hostile takeover, a foul-mouthed Powers (which he’s known for on the show) disses the brand.

The result? More than 3 million views on the video alone. And K-Swiss has continued the campaign, which included Powers’ involvement in Tournaggeddon.


Skittles is known for its oddly funny commercials, and its social media accounts express an equally wild imagination.

From turtles with doorbells to cuddling bananas, the brand’s voice is consistently zany across all accounts. And with 21 million fans on its Facebook page, the approach appears to be working.


The “Get Crackin'” campaign has featured gossip fixtures and Internet memes, such as Honey Badger, the Winklevoss twins and Snooki. The brand responds to followers on Twitter with the same kind of quirkiness, a tone you wouldn’t expect from a nut company.

On Facebook, the brand shares pictures of employees in a giant pistachio suit.


4 Hot New Events in Business, Dev, Social Media and PR

From digital advertising conferences to programming hackathons and everything in between, you’ll definitely find a swanky locale to suit your professional and personal interests on Mashable’s new Events Board. Whether you’re an event organizer or an event-goer, our Events Board is an essential resource for helping you build relationships, engage face-to-face and learn about new trends in the business.

Exciting new events are always added to Mashable’s Events Board in a variety of industries, and every week, we round up five freshly-posted events that you should definitely add to your calendar. Keep checking the board for the newest listings of conferences, meetings and expos spicing up the tech scene around the world.


Business: DCM East


Date: 6/19/2012-6/21/2012
Location: New York, New York

Digital Content Monetization East, or DCM East, is a conference that focuses on developing models and strategies for multi-platform digital monetization. Speakers in the conference include executives from Starz, FunnyorDie.com, Lionsgate and HarperCollins. Register before May 4 for an “Early Bird” discount of up to 30% ticket sales.


Dev Design: WebVisions Portland


Date: 5/16/2012 – 5/18/2012
Location: Portland, Oregon

Now in its 12th year, WebVisions Portland will hold lectures, workshops and seminars discussing the future of digital and mobile design. The event also includes many social events, such as film screenings, a “Hackathon for Social Good” and a grown-up pinewood derby. Attendees can purchase event tickets (general admission is $425) or workshops a la carte. Later this year, WebVisions will hold events in Barcelona and Chicago.


PR Marketing: Likeable U Class of 2012: Beyond The Buzz


Date: 5/5/2012
Location: New York, New York

Social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm Likeable will host Likeable U 2012, a day-long seminar series covering many aspects of digital and social media marketing. Keynote speakers include venture capitalist Peter Shankman and Aliza Licht, SVP of communications at DKNY. In addition to seminars and breakout sessions, the conference will culminate in The Likeable Awards 2012, honoring executives and personalities in social media.


Social Media: Glimpse: The Social Discovery Conference


Date: 6/6/2012
Location: San Francisco, California

Industry experts and digital reporters will be speaking at Glimpse: The Social Discovery Conference, which will focus on how users find content through social media platforms. The day-long conference of speeches and moderated panels will also include an evening cocktail reception.”Early Bird” tickets, which discount $100 from the general admission price, will be available April 27.


Want to promote your upcoming event on Mashable’s Events Board? Click here.

B2B CMO’s Decrease Community Management Investment in 2012

Are we reaching the point where B2B marketer’s are understanding that they need to invest in social media and community management so well that they can actually DECREASE areas of investment? If so, that was quick.

If the findings from a new Forrester report titled “B2B Marketers Must Focus On Partnership and Experimentation As 2012 Budgets Rise” are to be believed it’s marketing operations, including analytics that measure marketing success, that are where CMO’s are putting their money. This chart from the report shows where these B2B marketers are aiming their budgets.

The report is fascinating in that it looks at the dangers of taking this kind of data and taking it as the word across all industries. For instance take a look at how pharmaceuticals are looking to invest in their marketing efforts

Pharma, medical device and biotech firms are making significant investment increases in customer community management and product marketing while decreasing those in field enablement, as they use social media to engage end users with their drugs and devices.

Needless to say we always advise serious caution when you look at market research relating to Internet and social media marketing. Blanket statements in a rapidly changing and diverse space like this are dangerous to say the least.

Some other findings from the report include

Partner more closely with sales. Too many marketing organizations are still playing a reactive role to sales. But by focusing the marketing team on deep customer and market expertise, senior marketers can increase their clout with sales management and become equal partners in defining the go-to market strategy, determining together what the sales team really needs, which is usually different from what it asks for.

Embrace a culture of experimentation. Firms such as Kaspersky Lab set aside funds for marketing experimentation and encourage their teams to challenge the status quo. Marketers cannot do the same things over and over and expect different results. Instead, they must experiment with emerging technologies and test new program ideas.

Findings like these are not earth shattering but they serve as real reminders to do some of the basics in marketing and do them well. Work fast but work unafraid. Do it wrong quickly is how one friend puts it.

If you would like to get this full report you will need to become a Forrester customer.

What do you think about this information? Is this what you are seeing in the market place?

In the Age of Pinterest, Google Wants You To Know How To Index Images

First, social media took the art of the conversation and created a way to slice and dice our interactions into 140 character pieces. As social media users have adjusted to this new way of connecting there may be a realization that it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Enter the image. The rumor is that it is worth a thousand words. Video is taking over about of the time spent online. People are busy and, let’s face it, if we can convey an idea with an image and cut out the characters almost completely (aside from trying to SEO the heck out of the opportunity), then why not?

Google is keenly aware of that and a post over at the Webmaster Central blog helps you understand just how to get those images into Google’s index just right so they can be found in searches. Here’s a speck of the information

The images you see in our search results come from publishers of all sizes — bloggers, media outlets, stock photo sites — who have embedded these images in their HTML pages. Google can index image types formatted as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG and WebP, as well as SVG.

But how does Google know that the images are about coffee and not about tea? When our algorithms index images, they look at the textual content on the page the image was found on to learn more about the image. We also look at the page’s title and its body; we might also learn more from the image’s filename, anchor text that points to it, and its “alt text;” we may use computer vision to learn more about the image and may also use the caption provided in the Image Sitemap if that text also exists on the page.

It’s not lost on Google that the game of search could be splintering in front of them and they need to make sure they have people’s minds with regard to their images in traditional search. The worst thing that could happen for Google is that each of the other social outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc develop robust, functional and complete search functions. Google’s ace in the hole is that reality that this is much easier said than done and they know it but that won’t stop these folks from trying.

The post goes on to cover some Q A around images in the search engine. Some examples would be

Q: Should I really submit an Image Sitemap? What are the benefits?
A: Yes! Image Sitemaps help us learn about your new images and may also help us learn what the images are about.

and

Q: We sometimes see the original source of an image ranked lower than other sources; why is this?
A: Keep in mind that we use the textual content of a page when determining the context of an image. For example, if the original source is a page from an image gallery that has very little text, it can happen that a page with more textual context is chosen to be shown in search. If you feel you’ve identified very bad search results for a particular query, feel free to use the feedback link below the search results or to share your example in our Webmaster Help Forum.

Images have traditionally been under-optimized in the world of the text intensive search parameters of Google. We may be at the point in time where the market will dictate how Google does business rather than vice versa. Now, there’s a picture for you.

The Runaway Tow Truck and the Unpredictability of Social Media

The televised high speed pursuit has become an odd form of entertainment for those of us here in Southern California. Five TV networks, all with helicopters, ground units and a team of news anchors narrating every move made by some  driver who thought he could outrun the police. You swear you won’t watch for more than a minute and the next thing you know, two hours have gone by and you’re still glued to the set. Makes you wonder who is crazier, the fleeing motorist or us for watching.

Yesterday, the phenomena took on an even stranger turn when a man in a tow truck led police on a two hour “low speed” pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. It was rush hour, so he hardly ever moved more than a few miles per hour and like a good driver, he stopped for red lights. He also stopped to chat with fans.

Yes. Fans.

Thanks to social media, the tow truck driver became an instant celebrity. Someone created a Twitter for him (@runawaytowtruck) which has since been suspended and a Facebook page. A Howard Stern fan even called into KTLA news and went on live with a very plausible story about how the whole mess started then ended with a blue punchline that had the audio guy scrambling for the cut off switch.

As the pursuit continued, the news reporters were in a constant state of disbelief over the number of people who approached the driver and cheered him on as he passed. All of this made possible by the immediacy of modern media.

It just goes to show how little it takes to start a fire with social media. Remember the snake that escaped from the zoo? The bad thing about social media wildfires, is that they tend to take off when you would rather they didn’t. This is how a small public misstep can turn into mass exodus of customers or clients. If you’re lucky, it all blows over in a day but for some it’s a career-ender.

The takeaway here is that you can’t control social media. You can nudge it and smooth it and ask it to play nice, but in the end, it’s up to the masses.

So here’s hoping that your next social media wildfire is a good one. If it’s not, simply duck, cover and wait it out. I promise you, by tomorrow, someone else will be in the line of fire and you’ll be in the clear.