Archive for the ‘Our thoughts’ Category
Friday, November 29th, 2013
In my past life as an educator, I often encouraged my students to trust in the reassuring aphorism: “there are no stupid questions”. And, in over a decade as an academic, I don’t remember ever finding a student’s question ridiculous. But in the context of social networks, I would have to say my opinion is changing, due to a marked rise in impatience and trolling.
Perhaps the greatest disservice that technology designers have delivered to the modern public is the assumption that all mediated interactions should “just work”; that all our online needs will be met, proactively and intuitively. Users and audiences are so used to getting what they want, that they react with annoyance and even vitriol against brands, technologies and customer service agents when their experiences, devices and services turn (even briefly) sour.
We’ve all been frustrated when a customer experience is less than perfect. But to take to social channels to vent that frustration in the form of time-wasting, aggressive commentary, or rhetorical, sarcastic questions, is an unnecessarily inane aspect of modern communication. As the meme goes, haters gonna hate.
Here at the 1000heads blog we’ve explored the issue of trolling or unedited opinion spreading before, but the recent rise in trolling in social channels (see these examples from the BBC and Telegraph) has created a new challenge for firms trying to engage with audiences in a productive and progressive way.
There are several guides to dealing with trolls (good examples are those by Brandwatch and PR Daily), but the generic advice, “Don’t feed the trolls”, only works if the comments and questions posted are indeed from trolls, not just lazy or frustrated customers. A frustrated customer may ask what appears to be a stupid question, or voice an outrageous and inaccurate statement in the heat of the moment. They may just need to cool off. But they will still need their issue fixed.
For firms, discerning the difference between a troll question and a legitimate customer issue can be difficult. As a rule, companies need to be careful not to assume that all apparently absurd or acerbic comments are the work of trolls. Probably the best way of dealing with these posts is to focus on the first reaction that you are likely to experience when you read such a post. The very first reaction. Not the reaction where you are repulsed and annoyed by the offending comment, but the one that precedes annoyance: usually bewilderment.
If the issue being discussed is treated with surprised concern, then a customer will more than likely share more details of their issue, perhaps turning what appears to be a stupid comment or question into a clearer statement, to which a firm can respond clearly and sympathetically. For a troll, any expression of concern will generally elicit abuse, and can from then on be safely ignored.
Getting commenters to reveal themselves is now a skill, and community managers that can respond appropriately are less likely to put customer relationships at risk.
Just remember, in the age of social media, there are stupid questions. But answering them sensibly can help save a firm’s social reputation.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
On my recent trip to London, I spent a lot of time catching up with friends on a one-to-one basis. I find this useful because I get more time to ask questions, hear about projects, and share my experiences and responses. It’s something you just don’t get enough time to do at parties or at noisy networking events. But it isn’t just useful for friends; it works for business conversations, too. Only in one-to-one or small group meetings is it really possible to be hear and be heard. And only in such environments is it possible to create and to innovate.
Over the past few months I have been tracking blog posts and articles on the importance of conversations. Obviously some are clearly selling services, usually monitoring technologies. But beyond the mere selling there is a consistency that reflects the zeitgeist of our times for authenticity, transparency and improving customer experiences. And probably more importantly, there seems to be a growing body of evidence that there is a correlation between a culture of conversations and innovation, and consequently, competitive advantage.
It is not easy for me to acknowledge publicly that Australia has more of a reputation for innovation than it currently deserves. While we went through a strongly innovative period up to and including the first few years of the 21st century, our innovation capacity has been seriously compromised by rising costs of production and, somewhat perversely, the very solidity of our current economic position. This shift in innovation has been discussed by much better commentators than me, but at a time when the global economic situation is so fragile, Australia needs to take a serious look again at its fostering of innovation. And I think its attitude and failure to foster a culture of conversations may be a good place to start.
In many respects we are the ideal country for adoption and capitalisation of social technologies for business. We have a small population spread over a vast geographical area, so technology-facilitated conversations are a logical solution for overcoming those geographical challenges. Instead, our massively risk averse nation is setting such absurdly restrictive policies on social communications among employees, that open conversations are virtually impossible. Further, there is a low tolerance to dedicating working hours to engaging in conversations on a one-to-one level as I described above. Conversations generally are considered productivity sinks in Australia, rather than safe venues for exploration of innovative tools, techniques, applications and services.
The consequences for this lack of a culture of conversation are serious indeed. As global business becomes more open, more transparent, more customer-focused and more tolerant of failure, Australian business risks being excluded from emergent corporate collaborations, partnerships and ventures, inevitably impacting on its competitive positioning and economic stability. It will be a case of the paradox of risk aversion; the more risk averse you become, the higher the risk to business.
This isn’t mere scaremongering; Australia has a serious problem with its attitude to conversations, and to innovation. There is strong evidence emerging that conversations are not just crucial to business reputation from a marketing perspective, but from the perspective of productivity and innovation. And unless there is a tectonic shift in business understanding of the importance of conversations, then the innovative future of my country looks bleak.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
To survive and flourish in today’s social media landscape, established businesses have had to recalibrate their structures, processes and understanding of media and communications. The scale of change required is an endless spectrum, dependent on the type of organisation, the existing set-up and the people within it. But, needless to say, most businesses have had to change at some level or another.
Working at a specialist social media agency has given me the opportunity to witness and support this change for numerous brands. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many talented people, from all kinds of sectors, who deeply care about the company they work for and its customers, and, although the needs and challenges of each client differ wildly, one thing remains the same: change is hard. Especially when you know that the future will only hold yet more change.
What does that change look like? How do you know when it is appropriate and effective? What do the first steps look like? Re-structuring a business for social disrupts culture, communication and process in numerous ways, but for now, let’s focus on the adoption of branded social presences and community management skills.
Over the recent years, brands have gone to great lengths to ensure that they can successfully manage and grow a community in social media. They have invested a lot of resource and budget into developing their ‘owned social’ strategy, considering how they track and measure success, how they respond to their community in a timely way outside of ‘traditional’ working hours, and how they can continuously engage with their community through daily content creation.
This demands significant effort to get right. Most organisations have needed to find new employees, or even a whole new team, to make it a reality. The skills possessed by the ‘community manager’ or ‘social team’ are a unique mix, requiring a deep understanding of the organisation, alongside knowledge of social platforms, professional writing skills, and, most importantly, the ability to talk to people in a natural and human way.
Of course, agencies of all stripes have observed the emergence of this new requirement and quickly added the appropriate skills to their CVs. To begin with, many brands were keen to embrace the opportunity to outsource their community management needs – it was simply the quickest route forward. However, over time, most have re-designed their business, allocating budgets, creating new teams or even departments, and taking community management in-house.
But many still struggle to identify the value of this new activity stream and to integrate it with the wider business objectives and outcomes. Brands have arrived at a new juncture within this quest to own community management. Platform understanding, good writing skills and the willingness to work outside of ‘traditional working hours’ is no longer enough, as both consumers and colleagues become more demanding of what ‘being social’ really means.
Throughout 2013 we have seen a rise of new platforms, and new features on established platforms, which have led to a whole raft of new skills landing on the ‘check-list’. Creative, design and production capabilities have skyrocketed, especially when it comes to mobile.
Images, Gifs, Vines and videos are now in high demand as essential fuel which allows brands to progress their community management efforts. Text updates, enhanced by the odd low-res asset, will no longer suffice. Rich media assets are now part of a staple content diet needed to realise the ambitions of a solid social or community marketing strategy and to achieve the required KPIs around views, engagements, brand positioning and competitor benchmarking. As I write this, I can see two people from our production department crafting a Vine for one of our clients. The skills, patience and time required for six glorious seconds of stop motion animation are very real indeed.
Led by social technology, brands need to keep pace and acquire the relevant production and communication skills, not just for their existing presences but for the emergent communities that they wish to join. Agencies must also adapt to ensure that their clients can rely on them to cater for these new platforms and their users’ preferences for more digestible, personalised, engaging and accessible content. As we see this inevitable upgrade, we will start to see content production skills that are currently quite novel become a regular feature within both ‘Community Management’ teams and agency service menus.
A truly social approach is never finished, comfortable or entirely fit for purpose. It is essential that organisations design a team and a way of working that is flexible enough to embrace continually emerging new platforms and tools, and to incorporate the relevant skills required to harness them.
Nobody said it was going to be easy. But then nothing really good ever is.
This article was originally published on 12ahead.com
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Do you hesitate to release anything into the public realm until it is exactly right? Do you dread negative feedback online? Do you believe that if you can’t do something properly, it’s better not to do it at all? If that attitude sounds familiar, you may well be suffering from what Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck calls a ‘fixed mindset’.
First published in the States in 2006, Dweck’s book ‘Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential’ has been garnering some serious attention this side of the pond following last year’s UK paperback release. Dweck defines mindsets as “beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities fixed traits, carved in stone? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life?”
People – and organisations – with a fixed mindset, base their worth on a sense of who they ‘are’. They often demonstrate perfectionist traits such as extreme control, risk aversion, the creation of complex processes to stay safe and a reluctance to react quickly – all strategies developed to protect a sacred self. To a business with a fixed mindset, social media appears deeply chaotic, threatening the brand’s carefully constructed identity with its playful irreverence and insatiable hunger for real time, relevant content.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, values ‘becoming’, in which the process of communication is as important as the end result. A growth mindset sees identity as constantly in flux, and develops it through working hard, pushing beyond comfort zones, and failing and learning fast. To a business with a growth mindset, social media is an inspiring sandbox, full of chances to evolve and collaborate.
Traditional marketing channels have always allowed companies to don a mask before they face the world. The very word ‘brand’ implies a ‘carved in stone’ stasis. But if you’re going to try and apply professional production values to every video you upload to YouTube, or issue a three-page list of ‘on brand’ and ‘off brand’ language to be applied to every tweet, there’s a serious mismatch between you mindset and your medium.
A grainy instagram snap of a hot-out-of-the-lab new product, taken by the dev team on a smartphone, is more engaging than a beautifully shot press image. A spontaneous back-and-forth with a customer on a forum is more satisfying, and likely more productive, than a template email. Consumers feel more involved in your brand if you’re willing to show the process behind the product, particularly if you allow them to be part of it, perhaps through crowdsourcing ideas or releasing experimental beta trials. An authentic sense of rawness fascinates consumers – and terrifies fixed-mindset brands.
Perfectionism has its place, of course. Steve Jobs’s exacting ideals helped create iconic products. Industries such as finance, law and pharma have a very real duty to protect their customers, so rigidity has to be built into their DNA. And there’s never any excuse for bad spelling and grammar, or sloppy basics online; it only takes a few seconds to ensure that you have the correct logo on your Vine or the correct link in your tweet.
But there is a difference between upholding high standards and letting them hold you back. Perfectionism is virtually impossible to sustain, and has a tendency to lead to inertia. To participate in social media, which is a petri dish of continual growth, you have to jump in, take risks and improving by doing, not by theorising. If you operate in a closely regulated industry, be honest about your constraints; we’ll respect you all the more for it. But you can likely still find new ways to share content – perhaps by creating advisory videos or infographics illustrating complex issues – that won’t compromise your integrity.
A growth mindset is equally important when it comes to social media monitoring. “If, like those with the growth mindset, you believe you can develop yourself, then you’re open to accurate information about your current abilities, even it it’s unflattering,” Dweck explains. “What’s more, if you’re oriented toward learning, as they are, you need accurate information about your current abilities in order to learn effectively.” Yet too many companies panic at the sight of negative word of mouth, and only see online conversation as successful if it aligns with their desired messages.
A fixed mindset will get snapped in social media. A growth mindset will blossom. You can talk hashtags and content calendars all you like, but if your team’s mindset isn’t right, being social will be a struggle every step of the way.
Watch Dweck do her brilliant thing for the School of Life below.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
The world and its dog know that word of mouth is useful for a series of purposes:
- Brand awareness
- Customer service
- Collaborative problem solving
- Supply chain optimisation
- Identification of network ‘stars’
But while all these purposes are known, it can be particularly difficult to engage businesses (or their representatives) in conversations in social channels which focus on what they do. Companies are willing to react to mentions online and to publish their own opinions and ideas, but they are less likely to seek out conversations in their areas of expertise, and directly respond to existing conversations.
Don’t be the silent partner in business conversations
The reasons for failing to engage should be obvious; businesses are concerned that their involvement in conversations about services or strategies may demonstrate a weakness in their understanding, or that expressions of opinion may be considered defamatory, politically partisan or negligent. Nevertheless, the benefits of engaging with these conversations should outweigh the risks.
Where conversations explore possibilities – strategies, emergent technologies, case study applications, and research questions – there is an opportunity for company representatives to debate perspectives on how those possibilities could manifest for the firm. The conversations that emerge from such a contribution could help facilitate new partnerships, invoke innovation among entrepreneurs and minimise opportunity costs – as is clearly demonstrated in the Maersk case study by McKinsey.
So how do you inspire businesses to talk? The best and most obvious means is to generate a context for idea exchange. This can be in the form of (real life or streamed) industry events, invited commentary and Q&A. While content creation is involved, it is not specifically focussed on products, but instead enables exploration of issues important to the firm. Inviting industry experts to present their ideas or pose their problems allows for audiences and potential business partners to engage. Crucial to success is the amplification of these events in social channels and the recognition of all contributors to the conversation.
Several commentators have set up rules for engagement in B2B conversations, but few note that the path to success with B2B conversations is realism. Consumer conversations online are powered by reciprocal transparency. Similarly, if a business wants its customers, partners and stakeholders to provide feedback about its services or advocate them on social channels, then it must acknowledge the contributions of others, and be genuinely curious about opportunities for business improvement.
It’s not rocket science, but it may take putting a figurative rocket up corporate communications departments for business conversations to finally take flight.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
The tactic of blogger and influencer engagement in marketing campaigns is now so common that there are agencies springing up to specifically manage this outreach. The currency of attention has generated a whole new industry – one which is challenging traditional marketing approaches to raising awareness. But the effectiveness of influencer engagement in changing consumer behaviour varies wildly. And it’s not just because the market of influencers is becoming crowded. Some of it has to do with a misconception of the means by which influence is established.
Let’s first look at how influence is usually identified. Influencers tend to fit in to one of the following categories:
1. Celebrity status: characterised by recognisability, generally as a result of a strong public profile or participation in mainstream media, public events, or political or commercial success.
2. Local hero: characterised by recognisability as a result of commitment to demographically or ethnographically localised issues, ideas or ventures, often as a result of voluntary work or heroic effort.
3. Expert: characterised by a body of (often academic, but occasionally vocational) work that is widely known amongst the audience of specialist field. Experts can be recognisable, but it’s usually their published record of work which is of greater importance than their personality.
4. Specialist: characterised by a set of experiences and/or body of work collected during a career in a specific subject or field. Specialists are not necessarily known outside their company or division, and they will not necessarily have an extensive body of published materials in their domain.
5. Subject enthusiast: characterised by the development of archives, opinion pieces or other resources about a specific field of interest. Subject enthusiasts devote voluntary effort to their interests and are often not employed in a role that relates to their interests.
It’s important to note that while people coming from each of these categories can be deemed to have influence, the level of influence also varies:
1. Celebrities: create strong awareness among a very large audience, and only have low influence over decision making
2. Local heroes: create strong awareness among a small audience, and have a medium influence over decision making
3. Experts: create medium awareness (often to an informed audience), and have a very strong influence over decision making
4. Specialists: create low awareness to a limited audience, and have a strong influence over decision making
5. Subject enthusiasts: create medium awareness to a small but dedicated audience, and have a strong influence over decision making.
These variations are not widely considered in marketing campaigns partly because it is ‘easier’ to find the celebrities and local heroes than to engage with influencers in other categories, and partly because organisations choose to measure the success of a campaign by the size of an influencer’s audience. But such short-sightedness is dangerous; the influencers with smaller audiences can have a much stronger impact on decision making than those with a large audience and reach.
In terms of word of mouth influence, it is the experts, the specialists and the subject enthusiasts whose opinions and perspectives are most valued, because those perspectives are based on a track record of authentic, quality commentary. Their influence over audience decisions is high precisely because their jobs and the ongoing attention of their audience is dependent on a continuation of that quality commentary.
It is possible for influencers to move from one category to another. A specialist, for instance, can become an expert by publishing widely, and working beyond the scope of their company/industry. And an expert can become a local hero or celebrity if they are given a platform (e.g. political, or a mainstream media programme) to exhibit their understanding. But such transitions require significant personal investment to achieve. And the search for greater audiences won’t always have the desired effect in sustaining influence over behaviour change.
So what does all this mean? From a strategic perspective, the method of blogger and influencer engagement should be considered in terms of the specific goals of the company. High audience and awareness numbers do not necessarily generate behaviour change. And if behaviour change is your goal, then think again about how you are using influencers.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Over the years, research has consistently found that 10% of brand word of mouth occurs online, and 90% happens face to face. Sure, the rapidly growing number of social tools and platforms at our disposal have allowed us to accelerate and amplify our opinions about brands in all sorts of innovative ways, but the basic human behaviour holds firm: real life experiences affect us more strongly, and we like to talk in person about the products and services we love and hate.
This week, US researchers Keller Fay have published a new academic whitepaper that, for the first time, much more deeply examines the differences between online and offline brand WOM. The authors collected data on the 697 most talked-about U.S. national brands from 16 categories (e.g., food, media and entertainment, cars, financial services and sports); examined both the comparative percentages of on and offline conversation for each category; and identified a broad set of consumer motivations that drove both online and offline conversation.
Category Distribution of Offline and Online Word of Mouth
Their findings will present some challenging surprises for marketers. For example:
“The purpose and nature of WOM differ between offline conversations and online brand mentions.”
In other words, you cannot assume that the issues and triggers driving your online brand WOM is the same as those driving conversation out in the physical world. brands need different and specific strategies for encouraging online and offline recommendation.
“Brands that are highly differentiated from others (and thus enable consumers to express their uniqueness) have, as expected, more WOM. Notably, this effect is much stronger in the online setting than in offline conversations.”
Translation? If you want people to talk about you in social media, you need to nail your USP, and fast.
“We find that whereas the social and functional drivers are the most important for online WOM, the emotional driver is the most important for offline WOM.”
This begs marketers to be much more sophisticated in how they think about the content and engagement they create. To spread face to face brand mentions, you have to make us feel something powerful. To achieve strong online WOM, you have to provide or facilitate content and ideas that allow people to DO something within their social networks, whether that involves accessing your customer service team more flexibly, or raising their status amongst their peers.
I’d recommend you set aside some time this afternoon to read the whole paper. It provides an inspiring and necessary spur for brands to consider word of mouth as a nuanced, cross-channel discipline that requires a scientific and multi-faceted strategy.
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Germany is two weeks away from the federal election that will determine our chancellor and members of parliament for the next four years.
At the last election, German parties looked to the US in jealousy, trying to figure out how Obama successfully took his campaign online. This year, most have established a decent presence in social media channels. But just because they’re online, that doesn’t mean they’re really engaging with the ones deciding the election – us.
In fact, if the election was decided by Facebook, Merkel would have a hard time gaining enough votes for a seat in the Federal Diet (“Bundestag”), let alone remaining chancellor for another 4 years. Just a couple of weeks ago Merkel described the web as “Neuland” (“uncharted waters”). The seemingly most popular parties (current incumbents CDU and FDP) are often less popular online than the smallest parties.
The Pirate Party’s Facebook community at almost 85,000 fans is almost twice as strong Merkel’s CDU and they are also clearly winning on Twitter with over 119,000 followers. Even the AfD, a right-wing and anti-Euro party that was only founded half a year ago, beats all other established parties with over 65,000 Facebook fans, and it’s the most talked about party on both Twitter and Facebook. Of course, most of this is due to controversial debates that the party’s radical views trigger among supporters and opposition.
The social strategies of the two leading candidates differ wildly. With over 51,000 followers on Twitter, Merkel’s challenger Peer Steinbrück (SPD) is not only partly writing his own Tweets (when he’s not tweeting it’s his team doing the job) he is also leading in terms of overall reach compared to the account Merkel’s CDU has set up (the chancellor doesn’t actually have her own account on Twitter).
But the disproportion between fans of chancellor Merkel and the Pirate Party on Facebook is in no way representative of the outcome of this year’s election. Although generation 45+ is the fastest growing age cohort on Facebook in Germany, at the moment the older generations are still underrepresented online. A huge amount of Merkel’s voters might not even be on Facebook, while the Pirate Party can expect to find almost all of their voters on their Facebook page.
Fast forward to 2017: If the growth of people older than 45 continues to rise we can expect to see a very different picture for the next election online.
Lets’ hope their approach to engagement has improved by then too. Currently almost all German political presences are set up to broadcast information rather than create a dialogue, ignoring their fans’ and followers’ feedback.
The Pirates’ and the Greens’ social success can be partly explained by the fact that they have established various routes for people to take part in discussions and ask questions. One strong example is the Greens’ “3-days-awake” campaign: they offer a livestream from a room where more than 100 party members answer questions submitted online during the three days leading to Election Day – day and night.
The social web isn’t “uncharted waters” – it’s a fact of life. It’s time for democracies worldwide to catch up with the rest of us and tap the full potential of social engagement for politics.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
We live in interesting times. On the one hand, we value free, fast and easy access to content, ideas and perspectives shared by our peers and other individuals or brands we respect. On the other hand, we want to retain our autonomy, our privacy and our liberty. How we balance those twin desires for information access and personal privacy (or even professional/commercial confidence) is one of the great dilemmas of our time.
I suspect many of us are coming up with the wrong answer. A lot of the angst comes down to a fairly profound misunderstanding of the concept of privacy, or at least a misplaced belief that information about how to contact someone can, and in fact should, be concealed.
Let me explain. Privacy, contrary to popular conception, is not about keeping your contact details private. Privacy is about controlling information held about you. Attempting to keep your name, number, email and so forth under wraps is an increasingly pointless exercise. Sure, there are laws preventing companies from giving away your data to third parties, but there are no laws ensuring that it will be kept private by your friends. And with the huge and massively growing number of mobile phones being stolen, as well as the growing number of data leakages by firms, data centres and online networks, the perception that you have control over your contact information is often badly misplaced. After all, it really is frighteningly, and unbelievably easy to find out.
The question we should be asking instead is why we don’t all make our contact details widely available.
I am often asked why I have my mobile phone number on my Twitter profile. People ask me whether I am worried about being phone-stalked by some weirdo, but stalkers can easily be blocked. I can simply choose not to answer calls from people I don’t know, or put my phone on silent when I want to be off-grid.
The reality is that most of the time, for both business and personal purposes, I want to be contactable, and contacted. I’m not alone. The growth and popularity of social networks is evidence that people want to be connected. Despite general perception that the mobile phone is a distinctly personal device, it really doesn’t vary from Facebook messaging, twitter comments or email. SMS is almost indistinguishable from twitter and instant chat. And with increasingly sophisticated call diversion and voice detection systems being offered by carriers and built into devices, the control increasingly rests with the call taker, not the caller.
Nonetheless, both individuals and companies are still profoundly reticent to divulge their contact details – sometimes even to publicise their office addresses. As a word of mouth professional, this attitude baffles me. Yes okay, you might want to filter the information coming through to you, but there are systems and procedures that can do that for you. Why lose a possible connection (sale? partnership? optimisation opportunity?) through hiding your details? Why not let everyone know how to make contact with you so at least you are part of a social economy?
So long as you have the right technologies and processes in place to triage contact, you have more control over your privacy – and perhaps your profitability – than those who elect concealment. And if you really don’t want to be contacted, just turn off your phone.
Our social technology and behaviours have evolved, but our attitudes to ‘contact’ are still stuck in the past. If you’re focusing on the wrong sort of privacy, you could be needlessly holding yourself back.
Friday, September 6th, 2013
A few weeks ago we brought word of a new 1000heads initiative, called #1000smiles. Well, we’re happy to report that the day took place on Friday 9th August, and it was a real pleasure to get everyone together and use our skills in a different way, to have some fun and to bring some Olympic-style cheer to sunny Soho.
This video shows some of the highlights:
#1000smiles, by 1000heads London from 1000heads on Vimeo.
In summary, this is what we did…
Inspired by movements like Pay It Forward and Suspended Coffee, we teamed up with the awesome Flat White amongst others to surprise Soho people with freebies, asking in return that they use the #1000smiles hashtag to pledge a good deed.
Also on Berwick Street was the World’s Smallest Fete – with games and goodies on offer for anyone willing to stop and chat with strangers.
Cards offering free Gelupo ice cream and other local treats were attached to balloons and hidden around our neighbourhood for people to find.
Anyone with a smartphone could join our pop-up silent disco by connecting to fyidisco’s mobile WiFi network.
We built a machine that dispensed hugs, surprises, treats and tunes at the push of a button – asking only that recipients pay it forward and spread some cheer via #1000smiles.
By the end of the day, we really felt like we’d achieved our objectives. We had come together as an agency and strengthened our relationships with amazing partners like Flat White, Gelupo, the Lyric and Angelic Digital.
#1000smiles had generated over 650 mentions online, reaching 1.3 million people – but more importantly, it had brought people together in our local area. Strangers talked, smiled and laughed with each other in a way we hadn’t seen so much since London 2012.
And so the end result, both on and offline, was something that is so integral to our business: conversation.