RS Components are a great brand to work with, as they are taking their first steps in the world of social media. It has been a really collaborative process and RS have been open to a number of different ideas, styles and executions. This was never more apparent than when we were given the brief for European Health and Safety week.
The challenge laid in creating something that was engaging and fun, without diluting the week’s important message. We ended up creating some vector illustrations that displayed a light-touch reminder of both the brand and the occasion.
PokerStars – MicroMillions Vines
PokerStars is the world’s biggest online poker room and each year they have dozens of exciting events. One of these is the MicroMillons: lots of small buy-in tournaments that have a huge numbers of players and huge prize pools.
We have been working with PokerStars closely on a number of Vines – this one needed to get across the idea of something small growing or turning into something big. See what you think of our money tree.
Benefit – The BeneFactor
Benefit wanted to know which of their products was the most popular this year, so e decided to pit them against each other via a weekly social media poll – something akin to a rather popular Saturday night TV show.
Each week, two of Benefit’s most popular products have been facing off in a public poll, with the most popular advancing in the competition, until there is an eventual winner. We created all the face-off and product shots, as well as working with our production team to create the launch video.
A combination of existing clients (1000heads have been operating in the MEA region for over three years, serviced from London) and huge potential make this the ideal time to augment our already strong international network of round-the-clock support from London, New York, Sydney and Berlin.
Dubai is a thriving international hub of business, commerce, tourism and transport, boasting a population of over 2m and the world’s busiest airport (DXB). The Middle East and Africa are easily reachable so we can better and more closely service clients, backed up by our experienced London MEA team.
And Dubai itself is flourishing, with the benchmark DFM index rising 108% in 2013, and the recent Expo 2020 win further energising this dynamic metropolis.
(The bars, restaurants, beaches and pools aren’t half bad either.)
Social communications are experiencing huge growth across MEA; here are a few (eye-opening) stats:
• It is estimated that between 2012 and 2013 mobile broadband subscriptions grew by nearly half (46%), from 112m to 164M.
• Arabic is currently the 6th most popular language on Twitter, on the cusp of overtaking Portuguese for 5th (which will likely happen in 2014).
• 56 million individuals in MEA are active on Facebook monthly.
• 94% of Middle Eastern social networkers use Facebook.
• 3.8 million MEA twitter accounts tweet 10M times daily, and 73% of them are in Arabic.
• In the Middle East 285 million YouTube videos are viewed daily, and two hours of content are uploaded every minute. This is number two for regional volume globally.
• In 2013 Instagram’s user base grew 23% across MEA, the greatest leap of any platform.
Whether you’re talking about social insights, planning, activation, integration or measurement, our experience means that we’re uniquely placed to help current and future clients maximise the huge potential of social communications in this part of the world.
Personally I’m very excited about putting 1000heads’ 13 years expertise to work.
If you’re interested in finding out more about us and what we can bring to your organisation’s operations in MEA, do drop me an email.
3D printing is just the latest piece of groundbreaking tech to become affordable for the masses. Step up, digital artists.
A new generation of designers is simultaneously using old tools and new media, from traditional pencil sketching to specialist digital apps. They can now realise their work in glorious 3D with just a few mouse clicks; which are, as it happens, just what it takes to use Adobe’s Creative Cloud 3D printing capabilities, made available for the first time in their latest update to Photoshop CC.
Having worked with Adobe since the start of the year on the Digital Marketing side of their business, we were briefed to help increase awareness of the new 3D printing capabilities of Adobe Creative Cloud within the design industry and beyond.
And so the #CreativityForAll campaign was born.
To help show off the capabilities of Adobe Creative Cloud to build, preview and finesse 3D models, as well as adding colour and texture to bring them to life, we hand-picked 25 artists (3D and 2D) and asked them to reimagine the traditional Easter egg. We then had these 3D printed in glorious coloured sandstone and sent them back to the artists to share with their communities.
To showcase these eggs-traordinary (sorry, it had to happen) creations, we also hosted a pop up studio at The Old Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane for three days last week, with Adobe designers demoing the Creative Cloud’s 3D printing capabilities, alongside 3D printers in the process of creating eggs.
To make sure we got further flung creatives involved, we also ran a Twitter competition for the chance of winning a 3D printed egg. The call to action was simple: tweet Adobe explaining what creativity means to you, using the #creativityforall hashtag.
The response? Let’s just say it was… no. No. We have self-control.
Bloomberg show The Pulse called upon 1000heads last week to discuss a story they’d been running about Ferrari’s attempts to shut down a social media community established by one of their most ardent fans, as their lawyers believe it compromises their brand.
Our Insight & Strategy Director Allen Hull appeared on the show to highlight a couple of relevant pieces of research to demonstrate why 1000heads believe brands should support and inspire their fans, rather than try to silence them:
1. The majority of conversation about brands is positive, Keller Fay.
2. People are more likely to take action based on the recommendation of their peers that any other form of media/advertising, Nielsen.
Brands like our client Nokia have long embraced their most devoted fans around world – people like the teams behind NokiaInnovation and MyNokiaBlog. Rather than commence legal action against these passionate advocates of the brand, Nokia have built longstanding relationships with them.
Anyway, watch the video and let us know whether you agree or disagree with our take on the story…
This January, Adobe announced that they were bringing 3D printing capabilities via an update to Photoshop Creative Cloud. This update enables designers to move from 2D to 3D through one simple tool and to easily create ready-to-print files for 3D printing.
Whilst many designers might not have much experience in 3D printing, this tool also provides the opportunity for them to quickly produce prototypes without the need for specialised machinery. It’s early days but it will be exciting to see how designers make use of this new tool and the creations that come out of it.
Tech companies are also starting to involve consumers in designing and printing their own creations. In early 2013 Nokia gave Lumia 820 owners the opportunity to customise and 3D print their own phone cases. They released a 3D development kit containing 3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices. It was so well received by the tech community that Nokia went one step further by creating the world’s first live social 3D printing experience at MWC in Barcelona. Twitter users were asked to tweet using a hashtag and the best tweets were then selected to receive a personalised 3D printed phone case.
The gaming industry is also encouraging its users to personalise and create. Cody Sumter and Jason Boggess in the MIT Media Lab have created a platform Minecraft.Print() for Minecraft fans to convert their favourite character into digital files for 3D printing. One fan has even gone a step further and created his own working 3D printer within Minecraft.
The idea that people can now evolve characters that they love and create their own collectibles is a delightful concept for the gaming industry.
There are barriers to the concept of designing and creating your own however, and the most obvious of these is the cost feasibility of people actually purchasing 3D printers for their homes. Asda is helping tackle this, and has become one of the first retailers to trial a personalised 3D printing experience in-store, allowing customers to design and print mini versions of themselves. After a successful pilot in 2013, the brand is now rolling out a 3D printing tour for 50 stores across the UK.
Tesco also has plans to bring 3D printing experience in- store with perhaps a more practical application; to print spare parts. It’s great to see that supermarkets are starting to recognise the value in providing 3D printing facilities in store, giving customers new opportunities to visit stores before this technology becomes more widely adopted in the home.
We’d love to see more brands using 3D printing, less as a gimmick and more as a way to genuinely involve their customers in product innovation and customisation. We are excited about the potential that retailers have to show the benefits of 3D printing to a truly mainstream audience, familiarising people with this breakthrough technology and driving people into store.
Whenever I’m given a creative brief my first response is to ask ‘Why?’ Sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head, but always with purpose.
Why are we doing this? Why in this medium? Why are we saying what we’re saying? I don’t do it to be difficult. I do it to make things easier.
There’s a great quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening my axe”.
Once you get past the oddity of the US President being timed in a tree-felling challenge – though it would no doubt make great Saturday evening TV – you’re left pondering two things: preparation and efficiency.
1000heads Foursquare vending machine for Nokia
Preparing, organizing and planning is one of the secret weapons I bring to the creative process every day and I urge everyone around me to do the same. It’s preparation – from asking difficult questions to undertaking detailed research; from the hours spent fueling the mind in galleries and dark rooms, to serious contemplation of the issue at hand – that leads to efficiency.
As Einstein later said (probably not while wielding an axe): “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” Preparation leads to efficiency.
So what does that mean for communicating with young people? For me it boils down to knowing what you want to say. You need to be prepared for the conversation you’re entering into.
Whenever you communicate (and whatever audience you’re addressing) it helps to know what you want to say. If you’re communicating with an audience you’re not naturally comfortable with, or one that’s likely to be wary of what you have to say, then you won’t get away with anything less than clarity.
A youth audience – and I’d urge you to think of all people in this way, it’ll make you a happier person – aren’t stupid. Echoing the aesthetics of their heroes and mimicking the tone of their peers won’t fool them into believing something that has no value to them. My plea therefore as a creative, and on behalf of the audiences who have to consume the content brands create for them, is to consider the ‘Why’ before you consider the ‘What’. We can handle the ‘What’ in a number of ways (from ‘very simple, but won’t put anyone off’ to ‘exquisitely inspired’) but without the ‘Why’ we may as well be crafting a corsquinelle. No idea what that means? Exactly.
Effective communication with young people needs to say things that are of value to young people. If you’re not convinced you’ve got something of value, then all the graffiti and txt spk in the world isn’t going to save you.
Even successful products sometimes need a social boost. Benefit’s POREfessional, which launched in 2010, is the UK’s best selling primer – but we wanted to ensure that women across the country weren’t taking their beloved shine-killer for granted. It was a great chance to create a social campaign with produce sales at the heart of experience, making it extremely effective in terms of tracking ROI.
Time for Pore O’clock…
The simple central idea behind this campaign was to position 4pm– a time when women commonly complain about makeup slip after a long work day – as Pore O’Clock, the perfect opportunity to retouch your complexion and lift your spirits with Benefit’s POREfessional.
So how to spread the word?
Benefit already has a great brand identity, full of life, enthusiasm and fun. We made the most of this with a guerrilla marketing technique, whereby a team of SpyGals set out to ambush selected offices around the country, handing out free samples of POREfessional, offering makeovers and generally rejuvenating the workforce at Pore O’Clock. An alarm bell announcing their arrival, pumping music and a group dance routine all ramped up the drama, which we experienced ourselves at 1000heads London HQ (the men in the office seemingly needed a lot more work than us girls!)
With the unexpected mayhem unfolding around them, the people in the chosen offices dived for their phones to capture the experience in photos, videos, tweets and blogs; which led us to …..
The campaign hub
Once we’d stirred up emotions, we needed a place for fans and consumers to engage and interact with the entire Pore O’Clock content. Created by our in-house production team, the PORE O’Clock hub features all the social media content created by Pore O’Clock in a real time feed., and a competition to win a visit from the SpyGals complete with custom makeovers and POREfessional gifts.
The website takeover
However, this had to be a fully integrated campaign. The design team took over Benefit’s main website and stamped it with a prominent Pore O’Clock message. Visitors to the site are encouraged to visit again at 4pm for an exciting SpyGal mission. When a real-time clock featured on the site’s homepage strikes 4, SpyGals descend from above and dust off a board to reveal: a free deluxe sample of POREfessional with any purchase.
Tweet for a free treat
We also created a system whereby users who tweet using the #poreoclock hashtag are automatically tweeted a personalised voucher for a free sample. While excitement and awareness around the product was building fast, a broad base of people were also getting hands-on experience testing out the product.
Watch this space…
To date the campaign has received over 300million impressions. From trending on twitter, to dramatic increases in sales, we have some seriously exciting – and seriously trackable results emerging. We’ll issue a full case study video when the activity has wrapped, but for now it’s clear that Pore O’Clock has struck – and its message continues to chime.
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under” – Edward Snowden
Let’s not beat around the bush: one of the services that 1000heads offers is the tracking of online public conversations to help businesses make better decisions about how to engage their customers, and to optimise business practices. But we only track public conversations; that is, we only track open forums, public posts on social networking sites, and freely accessible blogs. The data we track could technically be tracked by anyone, but the cost of developing the infrastructure to capture all the data, store it, make it searchable and develop insights from it, is simply not economically viable for either an individual, or even a large enterprise. It’s not their core business; it’s ours.
We do this because we feel it’s important to listen to audiences, to converse with them, and to find ways of delivering better customer experiences. We strive to ensure we are working with conversations conducted by adults, and we are deeply conscious of the responsibility placed on us to protect customer data, and to ensure we are only collecting information that is considered to be in the public domain. We respect that not everyone wants to contribute to public conversations, and we are willing to facilitate the exception of any data – even after public sharing – that a user prefers us not to track. We are guided by a clear ethical code, and we have a history of turning down projects which would require us to support brands that have acted in an exploitative fashion.
In other words, we’d like to think the tracking we do is a positive thing both for consumers and for businesses.
The trouble is that the companies that own the networks where social conversations happen online, and the government intelligence agencies like the NSA in the US, are saying very nearly the same thing: it’s all for the good of our customers / the people. The difference is that they are tracking not just public conversations, but also private conversation. And in the case of government intelligence agencies and other network intermediaries, there is the possibility that institutions are demanding access to such data, without the knowledge of the users who have accessed private channels for communication.
I should acknowledge that this mass data collection exercise may all be benign; a learning exercise to help understand how to better facilitate communication, and to protect the community. But it doesn’t feel like it. It feels intrusive. And if the revelations of Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon have taught us anything, it is that data can be used not just to learn and to improve, it can also be used to subordinate and to control.
It’s too simplistic, and indeed dangerous to suggest that all governments and businesses should simply stop listening to commentary online. As citizens and as consumers, we wish to be heard; we want organisations to meet our needs. But we don’t want to lose our autonomy, our integrity and our capacity to choose our own destiny.
Marketing may be about influence but it is not, and should never be, about domination. And data tracking should always be used to inform strategy, not to subjugate.
Every day, along with the rest of our team at 1000heads, I work hard to ensure I think about, learn about and try to improve our data analysis. Careful vigilance is needed to ensure we support not just freedom, but civilisation, progress and quality of life. That’s how seriously we take what we do.
The waters of social data tracking may be murky, but it’s our job to keep the tank clean to achieve transparency. Only then can we be sure we are working for social good.
Shawn Levy’s new film The Internship shows just how weird and competitive the world of internships can be. In a tough job market, internships have an increasingly bad name; is all too easy for firms to exploit young people desperate for a foot in the door and some schemes are little more than unpaid slave labour.
So what does it take to create a truly valuable internship in an agency like 1000heads – and how can prospective interns find the perfect fit?We set up our intern scheme in October 2012. We wanted to do things differently, setting up an ethical paid scheme that would either lead to a permanent role within 1000heads or provide top quality skills enabling our interns to secure a role elsewhere.
What works? Giving each intern a line manager, with clear goals and objectives that are reviewed monthly. Getting past interns to mentor the current intake. Encouraging them to integrate themselves into the agency, providing experience on live accounts across all the sectors of the business. And collating 360 feedback at the end of the scheme, so that even if they don’t secure a role, they know their strengths and areas to develop.
In the past year we have taken on 15 interns and 7 have joined us on a permanent basis. We now receive over 300 applications each quarter for the scheme, which now includes Design, Developer, IT and HR roles. Interested? Get in touch! But first read what three of our interns-turned-full-time-employees have to say about their experiences…
Ben Parsons, Account Executive
Having done a handful of internships before 1000heads, I felt like a veteran traveller of the intern world, but my first day felt like a breath of fresh air compared to previous companies. We were introduced in the Monday morning ritual of Heads Together and then thrown straight into the company.
During your first few weeks you are made to feel at home, getting completely immersed in your team’s work. Working on team with a client as big as Nokia was great and gave me a glimpse into what 1000heads was all about. It was a genuine eye opener and a real learning curve for me in my first month. By the end of my internship, working as part of the Nokia Connects team was a real buzz.
Following my first month I was put into a team that was pitching for a new client. Once again I was treated as an employee, not an intern. Being brought into brainstorming sessions and being given the opportunity to express my thoughts on the direction of the project meant I could really get stuck into living and learning the WOM way.
I discovered 1000heads through my uni careers website and was immediately pulled in by the unique nature of the agency. The 3 month paid contract was a real draw as I have done several unpaid internships; it was great to see a company respecting their interns!
Michael Anton, Word of Mouth Analyst
Getting thrown in the deep end did feel daunting, but after I’d written copy for CBS’s Look for Longer competition, kicked off a research project about how people watch catch-up TV, and brain-stormed ways to crowd source video footage from live music events -all in the first day – I knew my time at 1000heads was going to be anything but boring.
By treating every new intern like a new employee, rather than a new tea-brewer, I instantly felt valued and quickly started learning a ton of brand new skills, which isn’t something that every other intern I know has felt…
Whilst work started off with a little bit of everything, I soon realised that the sort of project I most enjoyed was research-based. A couple of conversations later, I’d been assigned to gather the insights for a whole range of current and potential clients. It was empowering to get trusted with so much as an intern, and just as liberating and exciting to know that I could help steer my own experience in the scheme.
Despite the online focus of some of the work at 1000heads I actually found my way into the internship by using a really old-school technique; I went and met people. That’s not to say that emailing a faultless CV, sprucing up your LinkedIn profile or uploading engaging cover letters isn’t important, but, by meeting our HR Manager in person at a careers fair, and asking our Creative Director some questions after I saw him give a presentation about our Say it with Skype campaign, I really managed to get my foot in the door.
I’d seriously recommend that those interested in WOM and social media do the same and start attending events, talking to people in the know, and, of course, coming to see some of the current ‘heads speaking at events around the country.
Ebru Karatufek, Community Executive
Finding the one is tough. That awkward silence, the sweaty palms, the anxious looks across the table, the nervous wait for them to call. The intern-employee dating scene has really stepped up, and seems to require almost comical reserves of cash, patience and skills. Here are my top tips:
1. No one will love you until you do
Whether you need to buy yourself a crisp new shirt, reread that article from Mashable or note down everyone’s names; do what you need to do to secure your confidence when you walk through the door. Nothing will represent you, your experiences and all your capabilities better than you. Be conscious of your skills and what you have to contribute and don’t be afraid to show them.
2. Make time for each other
To get to really know each other, like really, you simply have to put the time in. Say yes to everything, never moan, never stray. Read around the hot topics they would care about (make a list of bookmarks of relevant websites and read them every morning), contribute your opinions and ideas (you simply have to have an opinion and speak up), and engage with their concerns and dilemmas (be proactive, join conversations, offer an alternative viewpoint). Chocolate tiffin squares for the desk probably won’t hurt either.
3. Make the most of your differences
This is just as important for the employers as it is for the interns. Really listen to the experiences and characteristics that make the person who they are, rather than another potential tea maker. Capitalise on the individual and push them so that they are challenged and valued. Interns are hungry and want to prove themselves, so give them something to really get their teeth stuck into.
One third of consumers will take to social media to vent about bad customer service. Of these, women are twice as likely to take out their frustration online. This shouldn’t come as any surprise: women talk, women talk in great detail to their friends, and women will go out of their way to share a bad experience. This is a particularly thorny issue for the beauty industry. Operating in a space which can be full of confusing jargon and competing claims, beauty brands can come under serious fire if their service doesn’t live up to their hype.
On the other hand, beauty inspires huge volumes of passion and advocacy, and women are eager to shout about the products that really work. 71% of customers will recommend a brand that gives them a ‘quick and effective’ response on social media, so a presence that is helpful, knowledgable and friendly can cement the reputation of a beauty brand.
Liz Earle’s scrupulous approach to customer service is something we have held in high regard since long before we started working with them. From the outset, founders Liz and Kim established clear principles for the company. Their commitment to the highest standards of quality and service goes beyond customers to embrace everyone who works there was well as their associates. In short? Happy workers equals happy customers.
Liz Earle’s focus on fairness and rewarding customer loyalty translates into social media, as the example below demonstrates, incredibly well.
Working with Liz Earle has taught us three golden rules to beauty customer service:
1: Know your product inside out. Confidence inspires confidence.
2: Be genuine. If a product won’t suit a customer’s skin – (translating that to agencies, if a certain campaign idea simply won’t achieve the results your clients are after) – be honest. You’ll almost always end up better off. Trust is more valuable than an unsuitable sale.
3: Be prompt. Social media moves quickly and people won’t wait around for your answer – they’ll find someone who gets back to them straight away. If you’re going to be present on a real-time platform, you have to be prepared to play by the rules.