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Social Hollywood: The Beauty Inside

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

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With the emergence of social media marketing has come a very unique segue into the world of filmmaking – the birth of social films. A social film is a new way of story telling using the power of social media. The production of the film is highly interactive, drawing in viewers to participate in the process – whether it be through plot development, script writing or even acting.

Just this August, Intel and Toshiba got together to market the latest Toshiba product – the Protégé Ultrabook – by releasing a social film via Facebook. Coined “The Beauty Inside,” this film is about a guy named Alex who wakes up a different person each morning – man/woman; young/old; lanky/athletic; good-looking/not-so-good-looking. But he is still the same guy inside, and the same owner of the chic Protégé Ultrabook.  Alex loves this facet of his interesting life – no one day is the same. However, when he meets the “love of his life,” everything changes.

Directed by Sundance Film Festival winner, Drake Doremus, “The Beauty Inside” is a series of mini web episodes that is powered by social media and only shown on Facebook. Each week, auditions were held wherein aspiring actors auditioned for the part of Alex by uploading either a video or photo taken using a laptop camera. Doremus and his team would pick videos and photos from the audition tapes and would include it in the next episode. The Beauty Inside Facebook page gave consumers and enthusiasts a rundown of the audition mechanics, a link to watch the episodes, behind-the-scenes snapshots and interviews, and engaging conversations via Alex’s timeline. The six-episode social film has garnered thousands of followers and more than a million views, providing both Intel and Toshiba amazing marketing mileage.

The storyline is so unique and captivating that a lot of viewers were so inspired and motivated to join in on the co-creation of the film, that hundreds of auditions were submitted via Facebook. If you watch the film, you can see how creative the entries were that it makes you realize that people did not just want to be “part” of the film, they were serious about the role they were playing. This just proves the point that consumers want to be heard and they want to be part of the brand conversation. Moreover, producing a short film that had actual consumers and brand enthusiasts as part of the cast also intensified “sharing” mode as the cast quickly broadcasted the film to their own social networks.

Through the course of this semester, we have learned the power of social media engagement. With this tool, brands have become stronger – resonating with their target publics more by creating and maintaining avenues to have conversations with them. Social films are a new and exciting way to do this. Producing a film where viewers get to be part of it takes brand relations to an even higher level, widening the space for interaction and narrowing the gap between the brand and the consumer. The best part? You get to show your brand (product or service) all the time and as many times you want. This venture was so successful that Intel and Toshiba are extending the viewing of the episodes through Facebook.

To learn more about the social film, visit: http://www.thebeautyinsidefilm.com/

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

The Power of Sharing: Social Media in Disasters

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Social media, as we have learned, has become such a huge part of everyday life. It is through multiple social media channels that we are able to build relationships with friends, communities, businesses and brands. This phenomenon has allowed us to satisfy the need to belong, to interact, to share. It is a necessary tool for brands and businesses to use and connect with consumers. While social media has indeed gained popularity in the business and commercial scenes, recent events across the world have proven that this particular medium has more to offer than just connecting people – is a very rich source of information and influence, especially in times of emergencies and disasters.

Last week, Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast, devastating New York, New Jersey and Long Island.  News channels and radio stations broadcasted minute-by-minute updates on the super storm’s progress as it intensified throughout the day; however, these were not the only news sources people were glued to. People around the East Coast were posting photos and videos sharing how Sandy was affecting their towns or cities. Facebook and Twitter were flooded with status updates on Sandy’s progress. YouTube housed a lot of videos showcasing Sandy’s “wrath.” Networks around the world were following the super storm as it went state to state via first-hand information from loved ones and friends. But more than just getting up-to-date information on what was going during the hurricane, what was more important was what happened during Sandy’s aftermath. Social media channels were busier than ever before, broadcasting information regarding towns and cities that had increasing floodwater and no electricity, impassable roads and emergency situations. People were calling out for help through these channels, and subscribers did not hesitate to help out by sharing information and reaching out to disaster relief operations. Social media was bridging those in need and those who could respond – a world of millions of helping hands.

The power of social media and information sharing is so great that it really does make a huge difference in connecting people during these disasters. Back in 2009, the Philippines was caught off-guard when, after three days of non-stop monsoon rains, the country’s capital, Manila, was submerged under water. 

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As floodwaters continued rising in different parts of the cities, Filipinos cried for help via social media through their smart phones. Rescue teams were mobilized and sent out to neighborhoods and places that were in dire need of help. With the help of social media where locations of those in need were broadcaster, homeowners were rescued from the rooftops and food and water supplies were distributed to evacuation centers. Filipinos were communicating via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and blogs. These channels were used to report emergency situations, updates on water levels and information on passable roads for rescue teams to take. Moreover, social media was also used to get relief operations going after the rains had stopped. Google maps were used to identify areas that were still in need of rescuing, as well as volunteer centers where donations and relief operations were up and running. The whole country got together and responded quickly to this disaster, showing how powerful the concept of “sharing” is – through social media and getting thousands of Filipinos to give what they had to those in need.

Unfortunately, another series of monsoon rains tested the strength of the Filipino social media community as it left Manila underwater once again in August of this year. Without any time to lose, social media networks busied themselves in passing along important information to government agencies and rescue teams. This time, while the Philippines was not expecting another great flood to happen, the community was well prepared. Relief operations were organized and mobilized smoothly with the help of Twitter hashtags, YouTube “live” reporting and Facebook minute reports.

Until now, different relief operations for Hurricane Sandy are still identifying communities and places that are in need of assistance via social media. These channels are also being utilized to get more communities involved in helping others out whether it be through volunteer work or donations. Moreover, social media is also being used to keep communities posted on these operations’ progress. It just goes to show that social media is such an important tool that can be utilized to respond to disasters that hit different parts of the world. The power of sharing is so immense that it can band people and communities together to respond, act and assist one another in times of difficulty and challenges. 

Check these other articles out: 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/social-media-hurricane-sandy-emergency-planners

http://socialmediaphilippines.com/how-filipinos-communicated-during-typhoon-ondoy/

http://mashable.com/2012/08/07/philippine-floods/#80455Problem-areas

Categories: Uncategorized

Truth-Decay in Social Media

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

How important are online reviews for you? For me, these reviews are very important. As a consumer shopping online, I want to know what other people think of the book I am purchasing, the gadget I am considering investing on, and if the little kitchen and house appliances that I need will not break down in the next six months. As a foodie looking out for a tasty adventure, I want to know if restaurants and cafes will live up to this mission. I look (and consider) reviews because I want more information, and I do not want to regret any purchase in the future.

Online/social media reviews have definitely boosted online brand communities. Review sites like Yelp , Zaggat and even Amazon have definitely created “safe environments” for consumers like you and me to submit reviews about our recent purchases, our favorite (and not-so favorite) restaurants and the like. Online reviews have become a big thing!

Unfortunately, I came across a study on Mashable that states that by 2014, one out 10 online reviews would be fake – commissioned by marketers to boost brand identity and consumer experience. By 2014, the percentage of marketers turning to paid reviews, testimonials and “likes” will spike up to about 10-15%. This study was conducted by tech research company, Gartner.

What does this say about the social media space then? Are we losing that “safe environment” that was created by brand managers and co-consumers as well? Personally, this is quite alarming for me – but at the same time, not entirely shocking. Marketers could go off and do these things as a way to increase brand awareness and brand interest. However, as we have learned from class last week, respect and sincerity are very important in building consumer trust in the online marketing space. Consumers go through these social media reviews because they need more insight into purchases marketed online. If most of the reviews are commissioned by marketers in order to increase sales for the company, then where does that leave the consumer?

I believe that marketers should take a step back and strategize their online marketing plans with the consumer in mind first, the company goals second. It is in building and maintaining that consumer trust that will lead to the achievement of company goals anyway. Without the consumer, there will be no business.

So, how important are online/social media reviews for you? What do you think about this study? Time to talk online marketing.

To read the article: mashable.com/2012/09/20/fake-online-reviews/?fb_ref=slider

Categories: Uncategorized