In today's world of non-stop reportage, social journalism, and grab-and-go newsfeeds, brands need to respond to breaking news quickly. Financial firms likely have a vested interest in an economy threatening to fall off a cliff, while a home furnishings company may want a voice around sudden news of housing-market improvements. Traditionally, this type of responsiveness has been the domain of brands’ owned and earned media channels to get a message out quickly.
But the rise in real-time ad buying has created a new opportunity for brands to own their destiny in the face of unpredictable news and events. As a result, there are now paid-media opportunities to add to your marketing arsenal.
For example, let’s say you lead an airline brand and a competitor is under fire for repeated mechanical issues and associated delays. This provides the perfect opportunity to proactively message your own carrier’s investment in the newest fleet of planes, or highlight a positive track-record of on-time arrivals as a counterpoint to your competitor’s negative press. Or, should a massive heatwave suddenly hit the headlines, it’s a natural fit if you market sunscreen, air conditioners or convertibles. There are endless examples of cases in which a brand could benefit from... Read more
"Homeless Hotspots" at SXSW brought up an issue that many well-intentioned campaigns encounter...when your intended conversation goes off-track and causes the need for crisis communications.
You may have heard about the Homeless Hotspots at SXSW Interactive...where an agency armed 13 homeless people in Austin with MiFi devices and T-shirts that read “I’m a 4G hotspot.” Handouts encouraged SXSW attendees to look for the hotspots (er, people) stationed around the city and were encouraged to “Introduce yourself, then log on to their 4G network via your phone or tablet for a quick high-quality connection."
Users of the hot spot connections were asked to donate $2 per 15 minutes of use to their hotspot host who kept 100% of the cash or payment made via PayPal. Each of the individuals was also paid $50/day for a maximum six hour shift. The agency worked with an Austin homeless shelter and said it was all part of an effort to make homeless people more visible and raise awareness of the issue, which was being discussed at SXSW.
Critics contend that rather than empowering and dignifying the homeless people involved, the campaign objectified and demeaned them. Since the project is not a sustainable solution to income for the homeless, and... Read more