The Next Generation

“Facebook was just a thing all our parents seemed to have”

This is a quote from a 13 year old girl, Ruby Karp, living in New York City. I stumbled across her option article in The Age about a month ago and thought it was a great insight into the future generation and how they view social media, particularly the shit away from Facebook.

In this option piece Ruby explains that Facebook is losing popularity amongst the next generation of teens as they have other social networks available to them where they can avoid their parents and unwanted advertising.

View the article here.

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What teenager wants to be sharing information and photos of their weekend with their parents?

Facebook is becoming the ‘old’ social media and the next generation doesn’t want to be associated with the current Facebook community, they want their own space.

They want to control and share content without worrying about their parents seeing it.

Facebook is beginning to lose this next generation and it will be a quick transition one the majority switch to something else, as teens are followers and once people start using a another social media others will quickly follow suit.

At the end of the day there’s no point in having Facebook if none of your friends do.

So what does this mean for the future of digital marketing?

Well in my opinion it creates another barrier to connecting with one of the hardest demographics to target, teenagers.

–          They don’t want to listen to anyone

–          They do the opposite of what they are told

–          Their tends change rapidly

–          They actively avoid annoying messages

–          They are extremely competent with technology

–          AND now they aren’t even using mainstream social media anymore, so they have to be targeted in niche social media websites

While teenagers are one of the most profitable and sort after demographics for many brands, finding them and appealing to their interests via advertising is extremely difficult, and is only going to get harder in the future.

Many think social media, particularly Facebook, holds the key to connecting with this younger demographic. However it will become far more complicated once teenagers more away from traditional social media and begin to actively avoid and ignore digital marketing through their own online social networks.

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This calls for far more creative and innovative digital marketing in the future.

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Digital Fail

After hearing a lot about successful digital marketing campaigns such as Coca-Colas ‘Happiness Machine’ and McDonalds new ‘Big Mac Chant Challenge’ I decided to find out a bit more about digital campaigns that failed.

I remember being told a while ago now about Pepsi having to apologise for an iPhone app they released in 2009. The public controversy this piece of digital advertising caused is something worth exploring.

Basically what happened was Pepsi, through their energy drink Amp, released an iPhone app called ‘AMP UP Before You Score’ which was designed to help guys pick up girls. It was an app that contained a list of 24 stereotypical girls and ways for guys to talk to them. The idea behind it is that when a guy is talking to a girl he would open the app and it would give him things to talk about as well as information on current events that would keep her interested in the conversation.

For example if you were talking to a ‘Tree Hugger’ girl the app would give you:

–          Pick up lines for this type of girl

–          Recent news on climate change

–          Recent tweets that where hashtagged #carbonfootprint

–          As well as using the phones GPS to recommended nearby places to take an environmental conscious girl on a date

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Basically everything a guy needs in order to make conversation without it ever becoming awkward.

Watch this video for a brief rundown.

Understandably this app created quite a bit of controversy and eventually Pepsi apologised and removed the app.

However there are still two very different sides to this:

–          Firstly there are those that believe that this app is extremely distasteful and disrespectful to women. It involves stereotyping and the objectification of women which is degrading and therefore people took action.

–          Conversely there are those that say the app was extremely effective in getting Amps target market of young males to interact with the brand beyond the drink itself, the app created a complete and engaging experience for consumers, which is what digital marketing aims to do in the first place. It was argued that advertisers having been selling sex for decades and will continue to do so in the future, so why was this advertising removed?

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Pepsi have been objectifying and stereotyping women in their ads for years without causing the level of controversy this app did. I’m not saying this is right or wrong but I’m curious as to why this app created such uproar that Pepsi had to publicly apologise and remove it.

After years of Pepsi advertising through sex,

what did this particular app do to create such a stir?

The Happiness Machine

This week I decided to explore some campaigns that I thought used digital marketing exceptionally well. One particular campaign that gained my attention was the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine.

Being a University student myself I found it particular easy to relate to this video and the idea behind it.

But let’s look at this a little deeper.

Coca-Cola explained that they had three basic goals with this digital campaign:

–             To grow their activity on digital platforms

–             Engage with the target demographic

–             Send a message that would resonate with the target audience

By meeting these three goals Coke hoped they would be able to create a piece of media that would ‘Go Viral’!

Coke then began brainstorming. By looking at other successful and unsuccessful campaigns they came up with a formula that they believe would be successful for online videos.

The three common themes of effective ‘viral’ videos according to Coke are:

1.     People have to be able to relate to the content and want to share it

2.     The video has to provoke a reaction

3.     The brainstorming process has to be fun, light-hearted and uncontrolled

When these three factors are working together the target audience will be engaged and want to share the content. Therefore creating this viral effect.

Coke then settled on the idea of the Happiness Machine. The video was extremely successful and today, the original video, has over 5.6 million views.

I believe this video was so successful for Coke for a number of reasons:

–             It depicted an image of people sharing ‘happiness’ (consistent brand message)

–             It engaged with the target audience

–             It provoked a positive, light-hearted reaction

–             AND, It was easily shared

Millward Brown was also involved in the development of this video and the idea behind it. Millward Brown did some further research for Coca-Cola on the success of the video and found that it placed in:

the top 1% of all Coca-Cola advertising campaigns ever tested!

So what do you think?

Is there a formula for the perfect ‘Viral Video’ OR will a massive global brand, such as Coca-Cola, always generate large amounts of online traffic and views?

Have a look at the video for yourself and let me know, you would share it?