Category Archives: Social Media

Crowdsourcing Brand Identity with BrandTags

Jen’s friend Christine alerted us to a fascinating and highly-addictive website called brand tags. The concept is simple: the site shows you a familiar brand logo and you type the single word or short phrase that comes to mind when you see the logo.

The site is a social tagging experiment, and it aggregates all of the phrases for each brand into a tag cloud. (For those unfamiliar with a tag cloud, it’s a way of visually showing the prevalence of a certain tag. The more often a brand phrase is tagged by users, the larger it appears in the cloud.) The site is a side-project of a marketer, and in his blog he reports that he received over 600,000 tags in the first 2 weeks.

NPR: Awesome AND Boring

What first comes to mind when the masses think of NPR?

NPR’s brand tag cloud.
High recognition and a lot of favorable brand attributes, such as “intelligent”, “smart”, “honest”, “good”. We also have some negatives: “boring”, “stodgy”, “old”, “who?”. There are some misperceptions to overcome, such as “liberal”. And let’s not forget “schwetty balls”, the legacy of a very memorable Alec Baldwin SNL skit.

What about Taco Bell’s brand tag cloud?
As khopper said on Twitter:

The largest brand associations with Taco Bell, after CHEAP FAST MEXICAN FOOD appear to be CHIHUAHUA and DIARRHEA – yikes!

Comments? What did the masses say about some of your favorite brands?

‘Get My Vote’ Website Launches

The NPR Digital Media team just went Beta with a new social media site to give individual voters a chance to share their personal views on how a candidate can get their vote.  The site is live here:  The site is open and anyone can join and upload their point of view as audio, video, or text. 

The site is the brainchild of Andy Carvin, one of my NPR coworkers and a well-known evangelist of social media. NPR’s election unit will be covering personal commentaries uploaded onto Get My Vote throughout the rest of our election coverage. Andy gives many more details about the site, its origins, and plans for NPR and PBS member stations on his latest blog post.

NPR will Broadcast/Webcast Live from SXSW 2008

NPR is returning to Austin for South by Southwest 2008, and this time NPR Music be broadcasting and web streaming live music from the event — including R.E.M.’s first appearance at SXSW on March 12. Other performers will include My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, and Yo La Tengo.

NPR Music will also be on-scene conducting interviews, and Bob Boilen of All Songs Considered will be hosting much of the broadcast. Carrie Brownstein will also be participating in a blogger panel at the event.

If you haven’t checked out our new music site that launched in November 2007, it’s an outstanding non-commercial destination to discover new music and artists and listen to live studio sessions and interviews.

More updates and concert schedules will be posted at the NPR SXSW 2008 page.

Facebook’s Silent Revolution with Sponsored Ads

Amid all the outcry over Beacon’s privacy concerns, (like having Facebook tell your wife what she’s getting for Christmas) the simple brilliance of Facebook’s on-site advertising is going unnoticed. Here’s a personal account of how Facebook’s relatively straightforward “sponsored messages” are finally making personalized word-of-mouth a reality.

In addition to banner ads, Facebook now features sponsored advertiser messages in their homepage feed. I rarely look at them, but like all ads you unconsciously take them in with a glance. I decided to click on one that was a new Apple video ad lampooning Vista. Funny and so true. As an XP user who purposely avoided Vista, the message was relevant. It wasn’t going to make me rush out to a Mac store, but I did click the integrated link to post it to my Facebook profile because surely someone else would think it was funny. What followed was a debate with three Facebook friends who were silent Mac advocates. My conversations with them also spurred 2 offline conversations (which I alluded to in a comment posting on that Facebook thread.)

Word-of-mouth on product review sites and bulletin boards is nothing new. Likewise, I could always get a word of mouth reco on any product when I ask someone in my offline (or online network). But this was different because I didn’t intend to start a conversation. I wasn’t seeking an opinion. In this case, the advertiser (Apple) planted the seed and what ensued was an awakening of mac advocates who were people in my closed personal/professional network; these are people I trust far more than any expert on CNET and more than the aggregated opinions of hundreds of reviewers on Amazon. I could also have received this video by email, but it wouldn’t have spurred the same interaction that a small Facebook Thread captured (and preserved) for all of my network to see. Not to mention the analytics that Facebook or Apple could get from this episode.

Here are some guesses at what an advertiser might be allowed to see in the analytics, in order of increasing value.

  • Impressions: number of people who might have seen the ad blurb because it was on their feed page
  • Video Views: Number of started/completed views of the mac commercial
  • Number of forwards to friends
  • Number of adds to profiles
  • Number of viral views (forwarded link views plus views after posting to profile)
  • Number of discussion comments
  • View actual discussion comments (tone/subject of the discussion)

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