May 29 2010

Fake BP Public Relations Twitter Account 10 Times More Popular Than the Real Thing

by Andrew DiFiore

Without getting entrenched in the politics of what is undoubtedly one of the worst environmental disasters in US history, the fact that millions of gallons of crude oil is still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico more than a month after the oil rig explosion seems obscenely absurd. People tune in to their news source expecting to hear that the oil leak is at least contained but even now it appears the latest attempt by British Petroleum has failed to have an impact.

It is this absurdity that has given rise to a fake BP Public Relations Twitter account @BPGlobalPR that tweets satirical sentiments like: “Sadly we can no longer certify our oil as Dolphin Safe.”

The account’s owner remains anonymous (for now) though “he” recently had an interview with Brenna Ehrlich of Mashable. At the time of this writing @BPGlobalPR has collected over 84,000 followers since the first tweet on 5/19/10. That’s more than 10 times the followers of BP’s official Twitter account @BP_America which has about 8,100 followers and twice the tweets. It is really no surprise that more people would rather laugh than cry (so to speak). And as every good marketer knows, humor is a powerful memory hook.


Some people may feel that a parody of this kind is in bad taste but apparently BP doesn’t think so given they have not asked Twitter to take down the account (see this AdAge article); a smart move on BP’s part as they have enough to worry about without adding Twitter to the list.

The reason I write this post at all is that both BP and the fake BP make good use of the social network to address their respective audiences. For one it is about damage control and for the other it is about cause awareness (albeit in a droll sort of way not unlike John Stewart).

For the record, sales of the $25 BP Cares T-shirts being promoted on the fake BP Twitter feed actually goes toward the Gulf Restoration Network.

Apr 1 2010

The Best of Free Viral Video Metrics

by Andrew DiFiore

So, you just can’t get enough of the Cadbury’s eyebrow dance? Especially if you live in the UK… maybe not so much since Kraft bought them up.

You love those talking baby commercials from E-Trade? And now that Lindsay Lohan is suing E-Trade for $100 million for besmirching her (first) name with “milk” addiction, you really love them.

And who can resist cute dogs at 1000 FPS?

But before launching your own YouTube sensation, consider only 15% of all video ads actually go viral according to a new study from Millward Brown (this actually sounds pretty good to me considering users now upload over 24 hours of video to YouTube every minute). The marketing research company just announced their Creative Viral Potential (CVP) metric for predicting viral success of video ads (you can view the press release here). After analyzing behavioral data from YouTube for 102 video commercials along with survey-based data, they’ve come up with four essential components to viral success:

  • Awareness Index – a measure of branded engagement that has long been used by advertisers to predict the success of their TV advertising
  • Buzz – which identifies whether an ad is likely to generate pass-along
  • Celebrity – the profile of a celebrity when used in an ad
  • Distinctiveness – a measure of originality

However you prefer to break down viral success, these free online services can help you research, measure, and manage your video campaigns.

  1. YouTube Insight – YouTube’s analytics and reporting product that enables anyone with an account to view detailed statistics about their videos.
  2. Viral Video Chart – offers at-a-glance basic statistics on all videos. Good to see how competing videos compare.
  3. TubeMogul – the first online video analytics and distribution company serving publishers large and small who need independent information about video performance.
  4. Visible Measures – an independent measurement firm for Internet video publishers, advertisers, and viral marketers. Currently offering a free public beta.

I’m sure there are other free video metrics so if you have found something worth sharing, leave a comment.

Feb 13 2010

Girl Scouts Think Outside the Cookie Box

by Andrew DiFiore

Juliette Gordon Low would be proud of her enterprising young ladies for utilizing viral marketing to sell Girl Scout Cookies while promoting a positive message about leadership, community service, and financial responsibility. Cookies have been a lucrative tradition of the Girl Scouts since Low’s day (circa 1917), bringing in about $700 million in sales each year. Using social media to reposition this classic American brand is smart and, quite frankly, it is about time.

The YouTube video What Can A Cookie Do? has already received over 35,000 views since its launch on 1/18/10 and is part of a much bigger re-branding effort that will be kicking into gear this Spring. The message: “Every Cookie Has a Mission: To Help Girls Do Great Things.” Hey, isn’t that what we all want.

The video message is clean, simple, and direct; effectively communicating the Girl Scouts’ new mission statement. But I would be remiss if I didn’t note the irony that less than a year ago 8-year-old Wild Freeborn was banned by the national Girl Scouts association from using YouTube to sell cookies online (who, by the way, had 700 order in the first two weeks).

So, what do you think of the video? Are the Girls Scouts re-branding efforts a step in the right direction?

Jan 14 2010

Red Cross Raises $3,000,000+ in 24 Hours for Haiti

by Andrew DiFiore


The American Red Cross has pledged $10 million in aid for Haiti earthquake relief (as of this morning). Within 24 hours of the disaster the Red Cross raised over $3 million in mobile donations using text message donation provider mGive.

On 1/12/10 Haiti was hit with a devastating 7.0 earthquake (largest on record) about 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince. If you would like to help, you can text “haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate online here.

Jan 12 2010

Twitter 101 for Business

by Andrew DiFiore

Dell Outlet sold over $3 million worth of computers through Twitter!
I would love to see the case study on that one.

Okay, here it is.

In fact, Twitter has just launched Twitter 101 for Business showcasing its own case studies for brands like Dell, JetBlue, Levi, Pepsi, and Naked Pizza. These companies have had (and continue to have) huge success leveraging their brands through the SMS-based channel; using social contests, exclusive coupons, or just plain old-fashion PR.

twitter101As Twitter evolves so do the ways to use it as an effective marketing channel. Thankfully, Twitter keeps an update of Best Practices. If you are new to Twitter then you might want to check out Mashable’s The Twitter Guide Book.