— blending the mix

March, 2009 Monthly archive

I was introduced to Roo’s name a few weeks ago at a meeting and headed on over to his blog and found this little gem:

What you see above is a thermal printer which prints out tweets – what a genius idea!

And it got me thinking…with so much content being created on the web, the depth of engagement is sometimes limited – but imagine if we could create something online that would have some value offline – a downloadable voucher perhaps or something which we could meet and discuss…got forbid…a Social Object??

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So as most people who read this blog will know, Skittles launched a home page takeover today and seemed to cause quite a stir amongst the only people who were really talking about it, the social media crowd.


The little widget in the top sits on other pages too:

…you get the picture…

I can’t criticise Skittles for the innovation of what they have done, but I do seriosuly question the reason for doing something it. What possible value can doing something like this create?

I’d love to be proven wrong, and there is some underlying genius to this but all I can see is that this is notrhing more than social media spam – an attempt to get publicity for the sake of it. Dirty data capture at its worst, or an SEO link-building campaign to kill all others…after all 582,000 members of the facebook group can’t be sooooo bad can it?? 

However, if you look at the conversations about the campaign, the majority of conversations are talking about the innovation and delivery of the campaign – NOT the product itself and why I might buy Skittles over M&M’s for example.

Accepted, good social media doesn’t sell to people, people buy from companies using social media because they have a closer relationship with that company, but

when the vehicle of delivery is talked about more than the product itself, what value is there in doing what they have?

A friend argued that the whole activity has got people talking and that in achieving this, he is more likely to buy skittles…and whilst I agree with his point, does this not take us back to the mass, impersonal audience tools of the mid-90’s…the online version of junk mail so-to-speak? Get in front of someone and they will buy.

The cool cats at Dutch agency Modernista do an identical thing (Skittles…sure this is all your idea??) but the delivery of this kind of feature is core to what they do – innovation is an important differentiator for them. But Skittles? Come on.

So, unless someone involved with this comes out and explains the motives behind it, I’ll hold back judgement on this (not perhaps that you care nayway) as a cheap attempt to get publicity and assign Skittles to the files of “social media innovation” in every good social media presentations….

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