Tagged 'social media'

Oreo uses personalized emojis to connect Chinese families

In China, where long working hours can make it difficult for parents to stay connected with their kids, Oreo harnessed emojis to facilitate more family bonding. Using WeChat, China’s popular messaging platform, the Mondelēz brand allowed users to create emoji characters that incorporated photos of themselves or their kids, as well as celebrities. Users could choose from various templates and actions, including animations. Consumers could also project their emojis onto the screens at Oreo bus shelters and print out stickers of their creations.

The emojis proved a hit—more than 99 million were created over the course of the 11-week campaign. While Oreo appears to be the first marketer to let people emojify themselves, brands including Honda and Singapore’s SingTel have done various clever things with these teeny images as communications become much more visually driven. Given their whimsical appeal across generations, emojis were a smart way for Oreo to expand its positioning as a brand that brings parents and kids together, in this case finding a way to drive a mobile connection for absent parents.

With surgery or digital trickery, people prep for social media close-ups

Recently, there has been a lot of talk around a social media-driven “narcissism epidemic” and the global selfies trend. In fact, a study out of the University of Michigan suggests that social media tends to appeal to people seeking to boost their egos by eliciting responses to their curated image. The anxiety that results from the desire to put forward an enviable image is leading to a phenomenon termed the Facebook or FaceTime facelift.

Social-media driven cosmetic procedures were first noted in the U.S. last year, and in March a poll by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery confirmed that “social media is leading consumers to have a more self-critical eye,” pointing to a 31 percent increase in requests for surgery as a result of online photo sharing. Now the phenomenon has been noted in India, with one report observing that more 20- and 30-somethings are signing up for minor procedures.

For consumers who want to refine the way they appear without resorting to medical help, various tools are popping up to help them achieve photo perfection. The iLipo app alters photos to simulate the effects of going under the knife (it’s intended to help users decide whether to pursue surgery), while advanced image-editing apps, like PicMonkey, help users whiten their teeth, slim their waists and brighten their eyes. And Chinese mobile brand Huawei is even integrating such capabilities into smartphone cameras, adding “instant facial beauty support” to remove wrinkles and blend skin tone.

Help Remedies’ flu app gives the sick someone to blame

With U.S. flu levels at epidemic proportions this season, many of the bedridden have been indulging in the natural human tendency to find someone to blame for their misfortune. In response, minimalist drug company Help Remedies has created a Facebook app to help flu sufferers pinpoint which of their inconsiderate friends is the culprit.

Help, I Have the Flu” digs through the user’s social network, looking for keywords such as “sneezing,” “coughing,” “vomiting” and “flu” in status updates, as well as check-ins at drugstores. The app even takes late-night updates into consideration, given that sleep deprivation increases the risk of getting sick. The app then enables users to send a message to their disease-spreading friend and even send some Help medicine. Those who’ve escaped the flu so far can use the app to “find out who among your friends is most likely to give you the flu, and then proceed to avoid them.”

By helping consumers feel empowered while they’re physically vulnerable, this lighthearted app successfully shows that the brand can address the customer’s physical and emotional well-being.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/helpremedies

Kit Kat crafts tongue-in-cheek reprieve from social media commitments

JWT Singapore and Kit Kat recently launched a desktop widget dedicated to helping young adults manage their rising social media obligations. The Social Break app was created in response to findings from a survey they conducted among 19-26-year-olds in China, Singapore and the U.S. that found that maintaining a perfect social media image and presence is making these Millennials increasingly anxious.

Demonstrating clear symptoms of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), half said they feel pressure to be in constant contact on social media, and this burden is intruding into every facet of their lives. More than a third of young Americans visit social media sites when they wake up in the middle of the night; 45 percent of young Singaporeans do so during lectures and class; and 14 percent of young Chinese say they tap away during meetings. In fact, more than half of those surveyed found it too time-consuming to keep up with their social media commitments and concede the time they spend on social networking sites has had a negative impact on their job or studies.

The Kit Kat Social Break widget is designed as a tongue-in-cheek reprieve from all this anxiety. Its settings enable users to automatically “like,” share and tweet activity on their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, freeing them up to embrace the endless possibilities a break has to offer. For more on how brands can work to alleviate FOMO, see our March trend report.

Kleenex sends real-life, real-time TLC to people with the sniffles

Social media allows brands to respond to consumer woes individually and in near-real time, something demonstrated with initiatives like Jell-O sending coupons to sad tweeters whenever more frowny than smiley faces were broadcast on Twitter. A recent Kleenex campaign in Israel picked up on this idea by cheering up people suffering from winter sniffles, but the “Feel Good” campaign aimed to help them feel better in a real (rather than digital) way. After finding 50 Facebook users whose status noted they were sick, Kleenex delivered a kit with items including tissues and a personalized note within a few hours. Every one of the recipients showed appreciation by posting images of the kit to Facebook; Kleenex says total impressions topped 650,000.

As the brand notes in its video about the campaign, the initiative gave Facebook a human touch. For people stuck at home with the flu or a bad cold, well wishes via social media go only so far. Increasingly people appreciate physical, real-life gestures (one reason for the rising popularity of stationery, for example); for a brand that wants to be associated with TLC, making an impact in the physical world as well as reaching consumers in the digital one is a smart move.

Norte Beer’s Photoblocker staves off social media ‘hell’

Most people have had a drunken night (or two) that’s better off shoved under the rug, never to be recounted by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Period. But these days, remnants of less-than-lucid escapades seem to find their way into social news streams—and with Google checks becoming standard procedure among prospective employers and Facebook infidelity serving as a “primary source of evidence in divorce proceedings,” anxiety is stirring around social sharing.

Argentina’s Norte Beer has found a clever way to ensure that “What happens in the club stays in the club” with an amusing innovation: The Norte Photoblocker is a beer cooler that keeps drinkers safe from paparazzi in training. The cooler, which Fast Company reports has been distributed to various bars around Argentina, flashes a bright light when it detects the flash from a photo, making any images unusable. Nearby drinkers can safely party-hardy without fear that the night’s activities will be shared with the universe. In one commercial, Norte Beer comically takes viewers through the aftermath of a brotastic birthday bash, with and without Photoblocker—in the former scenario, one of the flirtatious attendees manages to evade the wrath of his girlfriend.

While today’s diligent partygoers have learned to self-censor (or at least use tools such as Last Night Never Happened to erase evidence), there’s little to protect from that friend who lacks a social sharing filter. This lighthearted idea helps keep Norte’s customers “safe and sound,” as this spot says, and reminds them that the beer is in tune with their world.

Jell-O looks to cheer up the Twitterverse

Jell-O is promising to help cure consumers’ blues with a fun idea that leverages tweets that feature frowny faces. The Kraft brand will use a “Mood Monitor” to compare smiley faces and frowns on Twitter—an exec told Ad Age that when the former represents less than 51 percent, meaning that the national mood is trending down, Jell-O will give pudding “incentives” (likely coupons) to tweeters broadcasting the sad emoticons. But the recipient must first respond with “:D,” which Jell-O is using as a symbol of happy “pudding face,” a theme featured in its current TV campaign. (Jell-O pudding labels also feature a wide smiley face and the line “Frown is a four-letter word.”) Ad Age reports that a similar idea will be implemented on Facebook. It’s an innovative way to expand on the idea of the snack as a way to erase worries and elevate mood, with the brand addressing that mood in real time.