Don’t axe your chances with the ladies

Attraction. An innate quality that inspires what moves and motivates both men and women. It is why we drive what we drive, wear what we wear and smell the way we choose to smell. And whether you aim to drop jaws or find yourself having to remember where yours is, the appeal of the preferred sex is responsible for most of the decisions you make. Seriously.

Playboy Deodorant’s reinvented brand launches this week with a new look, a new vibe and a lot more appeal. A lead TV Commercial flights later this week and I’m giving you the first look.

And because attraction doesn’t work if it isn’t edgy, there are two viral executions that explain just what we mean when we talk about The Power of Attraction – and what it means if you just don’t have it.

Don’t axe your chances with the ladies.

Use Playboy Deodorant.

The Power of Attraction.

Shall we take a shower?

What could be more refreshing than a brilliant idea?

The talkability of more than 1 500 servings a day is priceless and how this goes viral by handheld devices from the beach – well you can just imagine. Then there’s the added bonus: watching sunkissed bodies get refreshed in the shower.

Complaints? I’d say there were none!

The ultimate refreshment machine by Ogilvy, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Concepts with heart

MetropolitanRepublic puts taste on the fingertips of the visually impaired.

This is exactly how talkability is started and the power it has to take an idea and make it viral. Ironic that you are watching this – all things considered. What you choose to share through social media is the real clincher.

I like. Do you?

Creative Director: Wes Phelan
Art Director: Dale Mullany
Copywriter: Keith Manning
Director: Will Collinson
Music: Loyiso Madinga
Photographer: Mike & Nick
Retoucher: Darren Bell

FCKH8 – The Teachers Can’t Talk

What goes against the laws of nature / where choice fits into the whole melee / what church’s say about the whole thing and even the dialogue approved for teachers in Tennessee… These are just a few of the foolish issues that have inspired the FCKH8 movement, represented by these beyond-kooky viral videos.

Sure, I thought they were a little loud at first too, but the irony of who is saying what is being said should be enough to keep you going. And when you hear of some of things this movement is looking to overturn, you might even consider turning browsing to wardrobe-buying.

I did.

Join the movement.

© Dylan Balkind

Want to know what this is all about?

A Tennessee state Senate committee has passed a bill to make sure teachers don’t mention homosexuality in classes below ninth grade. The “don’t say gay” bill got it passed 6-3 after some legal wrangling, and it now moves to the Senate floor. It states: “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.” Reference.

All in all; “It means they can’t talk about gay issues or sexuality even with students who may be gay or have gay family.”

Barbie is a serial killer

You can’t say this characterisation of camp-Ken is entirely original; Toy Story 3 had his socially ambivalent, nonchalant, self-centredness down to a tee! An astute depiction mind you while stating what we all already knew anyway… wink wink. No matter, it is tempting to see how GREENPEACE have appropriated that character to showcase their plight and leverage awareness for the destruction of the Rain Forests by giant toy manufacturer, Mattel.

More so than just the actual packaging needed, this viral video attempts to highlight the knock-on effect that the disappearance of these forests means, and how mankind will ultimately sacrifice the endangered clouded leopard, Sumatran tigers and Orangutans… though the list is long.

The power of viral is interesting because the PR-spin ultimately does one side of the camp a favour, while creating a horrible headache for the other. It has been reported that the Barbie page on Facebook closed its comments section to their 2 257 662 fans. Seems the audience that loves the plastic blonde is the same as the one that loves the thought of pirdy tigers living unharmed; a tricky conversation to negotiate when they see a clip like this one and start airing their concerns and questions online. It is exactly this element of transparency that organisations can leverage through social networks like Facebook – however in this case, more like run from.

No doubt, Mattel will create their own viral about how Barbie cares and what she is doing to minimise her carbon footprint.

Barbie-schmarbie. There is no appropriate retort Mattel.

Clean up after yourself! End of story.


© Copywriter Dylan Balkind

Annoyingly believable

If you don’t forward this on to thirty seven of your closest friends before the big hand on the clock strikes 19 minutes to, your second uncle twice removed on your step brother’s side of the family will come back from the land he farms sheep on and you will not be sent the crate of champers by Moët. For reals.

This wasn’t made for the sake of it. The viral offers meaning and works for what they are selling. I think the lead’s annoyingly believable performance is flawless – and you wanting to continue watching will have more to do with your sense of humour than it will with your curiosity to see it through. It’s not brand new, but it is novel and it resonates with me because if I get one more drivel-pathetic email warning me of a plague upon all our houses should I not forward it, I will put a cigarette out in my eye.

What’s the worst ball of twaddle you’ve ever been expected to believe from an email?


© Copywriter Dylan Balkind

PR and Social Networking, sitting in a tree…

What do Marc Jacobs, BP, Toyota and Domino’s Pizza – among others – have in common? A soap-opera’s share of PR and Crisis Management drama – and none of them are entirely blameless in each of their situations. Tread carefully with whom you dish your twitter passwords out to, or how you treat your employees; that little website called YouTube is just one place they can flex their unhappiness.

Public Relations is the art of making the consumer see your business as you would like them to see it. Now is the time to believe that Social Networking is PR’s BFF. Well, in a perfect world that would be the case, but in reality, it all depends on whom you have typing your 140-character sentiments up; something Marc Jacobs and his organisation learnt about the hard way recently when they let a young intern loose on their twitter account. Obviously not a happy chappy – and certainly not a fan of big MJ or company CEO, Robert Duffy.

“You have no idea how difficult Robert is … Roberts a tyrant … I don’t have the energy for what is expected … Spelling is hard for me…”. The ‘anonymous intern’ was definitely not having a grand ol time trying to leverage the brand via twitter. It’s a pity because there are hundreds of people who would kill for that job – and they gave it to someone they obviously didn’t respect and who has a problem with spelling. That’s PR blunder #1. Sure, you don’t have to lavish expensive gifts on the petulant child who is in charge of steering your social networking page – but then choose the right candidate to begin with. Somebody that actually wants the job might be a good place to start.

Unhappy employees can no longer be overlooked. If this was 1988, you could just ignore the problem or bury them with double the work load and half the pay, but somewhere between big hair, blue eye shadow and the constantly-online world we now live in, a shift happened that evened out the playing field (to say the least). With your organisation’s reputation very much at stake, the power to go online is something that people have to respect and be very, very careful of. “Anyone with a camera and an internet link can cause a lot of damage,” says the reporter in NBC’s news report on the Domino’s employees who took hygiene care to the dark side – and filmed it for sh*ts and giggles.

The power for something to go viral is immeasurable and what may be funny to two idiots on a random day at work may not be funny to an audience, the collective organisation or the brand’s reputation. If everybody stopped buying Domino’s, the company would have to close its doors and you would have thousands of unemployed people who, for the most part, spend everyday doing an honest day’s work to bring home the pizza. How funny would your video be then, Kristy Hammonds and Michael Setzer?

How companies respond to issues like these is paramount to their survival. Sure, not many of Marc Jacobs’ twitter followers have a personal relationship with him, and – thanks to movies like The Devil Wears Prada or John Galliano’s recent rants – we don’t expect fashion stalwarts to be angelic. Still, there is something to be said for knowing that a revered brand’s CEO has an unnecessary, nasty personality behind closed doors or dangerous, lurking anti-semitic sentiments. Jacobs’ organisation responded to their little twitter-gate with a clean and clear message that all is well and implied they had simply been hacked.

Nothing memorable or particularly impressive, but decent enough. Maybe playing it down is not a bad thing. At least they didn’t pretend it never happened which is more than we can say for those charmers at BP throughout 2010. Their eventual reactions were so bad – “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume,” BP CEO. Err… No reaction would have been better! The whole fiasco proved that, unless you have impermeable business operations that are devoid of any possible error, be sure you have a super-effective crisis management and PR strategy.

Toyota has suffered many blows to their brand and reputation. I’m almost starting to feel sorry for them. When what you are selling is built on safety and reputation, you face a massive problem when you have to admit that those very same elements are in question. It has been a long journey for the motor vehicle giant; one that led to production of this commercial no doubt. Reputation fix? I’m not convinced.

It touches a nerve if you ask me. Too close to what they are still dealing with and, as they say in the business, you can’t rebuild a house in a hurricane. There is no doubt that this is a very pretty commercial, I just think it will be wasted on the audience at this time. They they will scoff at its message and say ‘yeah right’. Moreover, I think it is trying to say a lot without actually committing to anything concrete. So you created this glass body? Show us what happens to it when you drive the car into a wall.

Mending business wounds is a tricky business and one that professionals probably only have to learn about as they walk that unexpected road. One thing the Toyota commercial does highlight for organisations big and small is their need for PR and Crisis Management strategies: We’re all fragile – especially on the inside.

Can viral marketing beat the bullies?

Would you think it ok if boys threw your pencil box from the third floor balcony at school or pushed your head into a locker? Would it be ok if you were hospitalised from a beating based on your sexual orientation? Probably not. But there are horrible, angry people out there and bad things happen to good people.

So? What makes an ok day for you?

What makes an ok day for Casey Heynes is not being beaten up or duct taped to a pole. Who is Casey Heynes? Right now he is the hero of every underdog ever pushed, beaten, ridiculed or taunted. He is the Australian schoolboy who fought back at the cowardly runt who picked on him one time too many.

Because the set-up was malicious from the start, the altercation was filmed (with a different outcome expected no doubt). The video has since gone viral and can be found on YouTube, embedded within online news reports from around the world and featured in interviews with Casey Heynes himself. Here the power of viral marketing is obvious and while teachers and bullies alike are backtracking and preaching innocence and shock, the fact is, it took the explosion of this issue in this boy’s life for the bigger picture to be seen – by a MUCH bigger audience.

It has been shown that when one person has an impactful online experience, he or she will tell 12 more people. This is the dynamic that powers viral marketing. This is the dynamic that makes for fast-track superstars like Lily Allen and Justin Bieber. In this case, it is the dynamic that brought this young man some help – from around the world.

It’s staggering to read worldwide statistics on bullying and the connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide in children and teenagers (according to a new review of studies from 13 countries by the Yale School of Medicine). How this happens is beyond me. We all come from something so beautiful. Still, because of this disease, organisations like the Give a Damn Campaign and the Trevor Project have been formed – with every superstar and figurehead known (including Barack Obama) getting behind them. The message to bullied, lost or suicidal kids out there? It Gets Better.

Singers like P!NK and Taylor Swift (to name just a few) are using their medium to wage war on bullies and celebrate the beauty in being different. So if you’re too school for cool, and you’re treated like a fool, you could choose to let it go… or you can go viral. It’s your channel to use. The world is online. The world is listening.

So now? What makes an ok day for you?

If there is somene out there to whom you now feel you have something to say, get in touch.

It will make your day more than ok.

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