Posts by Black Star Content Team

Fortune 500 Companies Experiment On The Edge Of Social Media

Posted on Apr 7, 2014

When Absolut Vodka launched its Limited Edition Absolut Unique collection in Argentina, the Pernod Ricard brand took a particularly unique approach: the company turned to WhatsApp. Woonky, the company’s South American advertising agency, planned an exclusive launch party for the drink and made two invitations available to the general public. To win the invitations, users had to talk their way past a virtual bouncer called Sven. The bouncer was given an account on Facebook but users could text him using the app. The idea was to build awareness of the product and develop close communication between the brand and potential buyers. Faced with a doorman who wasn’t going to be easily persuaded, users got creative. They pleaded, they flattered and they attempted to bribe. They edited videos, wrote songs and one person even tried to pretend she was the queen of Holland. The result was a ton of coverage for the new product, 600 new contacts, three days of constant communication with users and more than 1,000 images, videos and audio messages created to persuade Sven to let them in. HashSlush, an online magazine for creatives, called the promotion “the first Whatsapp marketing campaign.” It’s hard to say whether that’s true but the title does suggest a dearth of...

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The Psychology Of Successful Fortune 500 Social Media Images

Posted on Apr 1, 2014

That the pictures posted on Nike’s Facebook page receive thousands of shares each should come as no surprise. With a potential reach of nearly 17 million, the company has a huge audience only a small fraction of which need to see, like or share an image for Nike to have engagement figures in the thousands. What is surprising though is that some images do so much better than others. The image above, for example, was posted on Nike’s timeline in August 2013 and was one of the most successful the company has placed on Facebook. It garnered over 80,000 likes and nearly 6,500 shares. A different image posted at the end of the year showing joggers running towards a beautiful sunset however, generated fewer than 6,500 likes and just over 850 shares. Nike’s Facebook followers prefer shoes to sunsets. Both pictures are colorful, attractive and professionally shot by photographers hired by Nike or its advertising agency. The first contains no slogan or branding message. It focuses on the product and even Nike’s instantly recognizable logo is almost lost on the shoe. The second photo carries a timely quote that followers might want to share with their friends as the new year approaches. The product is barely visible but the...

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Visual Hashtags, Big Brands

Posted on Mar 17, 2014

For more than fifty years, Charles Frost has been the name behind the American Express credit card. The “CF Frost” that appears at the bottom of the cards was an executive at Ogilvy & Mather in the 1960s, a time when “social media” was the newspaper that got passed around the bar during a liquid lunch. Recently though, Charles Frost has made a comeback and he’s shown that when it comes to the latest social media marketing platforms, he’s right up to date. In February 2014, American Express allowed people to track Charles Frost’s activities on Instagram. For two weeks, images tagged with the hashtag #CFFrost showed the cardholder’s activities. American Express’s 34,000 followers saw his platinum card pay for a $600 bill at a New York restaurant, buy first class tickets to Miami for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway and give him access to NY Fashion week. Each of those actions, the total story of Charles Frost’s two weeks, was shown through images and captions, and made discoverable through a hashtag. The idea was to promote a credit card to an audience younger than people old enough to remember the sixties. “We saw this as a unique way to tell our brand story with a different lens and...

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The Content500 Complete Guide To Visual Content For The Fortune 500

Posted on Mar 9, 2014

The Web might not have been around for too long but it already has a clear direction: away from text and towards images. The first blog platforms invited users to write posts of 1,000 words or longer. Facebook’s smaller text field told people to talk less and update more. Twitter cut things down to 140 characters and the rise of Instagram and Pinterest have made clear that people want to stop typing altogether. They want to show not tell, look not read. You can see that trend in the figures. The fastest growing social media platforms over the last few years have all been image-based. Pinterest’s growth between 2011 and 2012 was over 1000 percent. It took less than eighteen months for Instagram to go from start-up to over 100 million users and a valuation of a billion dollars. Two factors have driven that move towards imagery. The first is the nature of the hardware. According to a recent Pew Research Report into the state of the Internet, two-thirds of US adults use their phones to go online, 58 percent do it on a smartphone and a third of cellphone owners say their phones are now their main way of accessing the Web, not a desktop or a laptop....

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The Art — And Imagery — Of Storytelling In Marketing

Posted on Mar 2, 2014

In 2004, Neville Isdell, Coca Cola’s then-CEO and Chairman, declared the giant drinks company “creatively bankrupt.” The company had no creative agenda and no comprehensive global strategy. It didn’t even have an international campaign ready to support the launch of its new Coke Red brand. Looking today at Coca Cola Journey, a website the company launched in 2012 as part of its Content 2020 plan, it’s hard to imagine that the conglomerate ever struggled with ideas or with brand marketing. The site is presented as a magazine with sections on food and culture, business and brands. Articles tell stories of the first African-American woman to appear in the company’s advertising, the employees who create the product, and even Coke-based recipes. In one section, photographer Scott Kelby takes readers behind the scenes of a shoot on board a US aircraft carrier. Nowhere in the story is Coca Cola or any of its products even mentioned. They don’t have to be. By placing the interview in its online magazine, the drinks company is associating itself with a symbol of American power and patriotism. The pictures and the text are telling a story: the story of Coca Cola is the story of America. That strategy of using storytelling to build brands, forge...

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