Social Media: The new Junk Food battleground

Every brand with any know how has a Twitter account and Facebook page now. Generally it is used to engage and communicate with users. This is all very positive and nice but what about the negative side? I recently came across an article that talked about how junk food brands are now moving to social media as a way to avoid the marketing restrictions on TV for young children. This is a great alternative for the marketer but what about the kids?

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Australia has struggled with childhood obesity for quite some time now as kids spend more time indoors on devices and watching TV. Experts determined that the over load of junk food marketing during child friendly programs was not helping the situation so applied restrictions to this to help reduce the risk of obesity. Looking around I’m not 100% sure if that worked but a restriction is a restriction so marketers must abide and they have for the most part. The rise of social media has changed this all though.

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As Facebook’s feature advance, Brands are now able to leverage the platform by having quizzes, vouchers and games that are targeted at children, increasing their engagement. Some sites even allow kids to make purchases over their Facebook pages. These engagement activities are all unrestricted and commonly post 2 or more times a day. To me this is a great concern, Social media is becoming more popular than TV so this only increases a child’s exposure to junk food and combined with the obsession of video games, what will this mean for health and our future? I think that this can only spell bad news for kids and adults but what do you think? And should restrictions be placed on junk food advertising on social media?



A Day made of Glass: Is this our future?

‘A Day made of Glass’ is a video released by Corning in 2011 that depicts their vision of how their technology will affect life and shape our world in the future. If you haven’t seen it have a quick look below.

I remember being in awe of this video when I first saw it a couple of years ago. At the time I was a design student so this fascinated me in terms of how it was really a step into the future and how it would assist in the way I designed. It is now three years on, no longer a design student but a marketing student and I see this video in a very different light.

This is the reality of our future, no longer an ‘if’ but a ‘when’, and as marketers this technology gives us even more opportunities (and more screens) to sell to customers¬†and try to engage them. As you can see if the video it can change all aspects of our lives and digital marketing will be able to infiltrate every single aspect as well. As a marketer this should excite me because of these opportunities and the chance for more people to see my work but to be honest, this future scares me. To infiltrate every part of our lives with marketing will be an overload, can you imagine waking up and seeing toothpaste ads on your mirror? or as you cook to see ads for your local shopping centre? This would be an overload of advertising to me that will alienate customers but also remove the emotional connection to brands through over exposure.


The idea of a life seen through glass scares me not only for the loss of personal connection and overexposure to brands but also the appreciation of life without technology. Maybe its just me though…would technology like this scare you or can you not wait for it to begin? What do you think the future of advertising will look like once this begins? Let me know. ūüôā

Here is a sequel to the first video if you are interested in seeing what else this technology could do for us.


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The Power of Social Media: U2 and Apple Edition

By now, we’ve all heard about the U2 and Apple debacle but for those who haven’t here is a quick update: Apple committed a reported $100 million dollars to distribute U2’s new album to all Apple devices as a part of the promotional strategy for the iPhone 6. This was done automatically done and to begin with there was no way to remove the album from the device.

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Backlash has ensued and Apple’s marketing strategy for the iPhone 6 has been questionable, many including me questioning what was the point of ‘gifting’ the music of a band that is becoming increasingly irrelevant (if you happen to have any idea do comment and enlighten me :)). But what has really interested me about this whole event was how social media got Apple to listen, something unimaginable from the almighty company.

There was some pretty intense backlash in the week following the release of the ‘Songs of Innocence’ album across all forms of social media. Many questioned the security of their devices if Apple were simply able to upload music on to it, some felt that their freedom of choice was taken away (a tad dramatic but still) but point is people were angry and annoyed and voiced it. Previous to this Apple had experienced some backlash by fans because of changes made to their iWork software but the difference between these two is the PR and uproar. The larger the fuss the more is done and in this case, a way to get rid of U2. Within a week of the release of the album there was an official way to get rid of it from Apple. Apple listened and delivered exactly what its customers wanted and it mitigated a problematic situation.

When issues like this happen it makes me question, what did we do before social media? Write a letter to head office or give a customer service line a call? Social media has really made a difference here, making it so much easier to let customers know what you think and also creating a ‘safety in number approach’ with customers more willing to speak up with others to support them. An immediate response can be delivered to customers, also allowing companies to mitigate problems and nip them in the bud.

What do you think though? Did social media make a difference in this case or was it a case that we didn’t give this marketing campaign enough time to make a difference? Or even better, any theories on why Apple did this at all?! ūüôā

Also….for a bit of a laugh

In case you still need to get rid of the U2 album:

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Are Instagram Ads all that bad?

As we have all heard by now Instagram has gone the way of Facebook in Australia, restarting the never ending debate on¬†whether paid advertising is spoiling social media. I think that Facebook has taken advertising too far as a platform, spoiling a users experience with too many advertisements with little to no relevance at all to what we as users want. It is now a question of how Instagram will avoid this and the perils of ‘burning out’ as a platform.

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Personally, I use my Instagram account to post food photos and to follow fashion and fellow foodies but the overarching purpose of Instagram is to share photos, more often that not beautiful ones. I’m a big believer that based on this Instagram will be able to successfully integrate advertising in a seamless way. Its been done in the US to little disagreement, an example being a Michael Kors ad. It garnered 36,000 likes and 200 negative comments due to relevance. 300 is a big number but so is 36,000. It shows Instagram is relatively accurate on their target audience and who this appeals to. To me, a relevant ad can only help me and expose me to more and as long as I’m not spammed and its not something totally ridiculous I’m open to it because we have to be realistic, to keep Instagram we have to be open to their methods of money making.

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^ Beautiful, Definitely an ad that I’m up for. ūüėÄ

Instagram have stated “Since introducing ads last November, we‚Äôve worked with a handful of top brands to draw creative inspiration from the community and create ads that were engaging and felt natural in people‚Äôs feeds,‚ÄĚ. I feel as long as this can premise can be maintained and as they say it is “natural” it should be substantially effect our instagramming experience, it may even provide us with a little more eye candy ūüėČ

Comment: Let me know if you disagree, Should Instagram be introducing advertisments? Will it turn you off Instagram?


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Hello to Ello: What does it mean for Digital Marketing?

Over the past year I’ve heard many people including myself say that Facebook is on a downhill trend much like other social media platforms have experienced in the past (*cough* Myspace *cough*). It might not be a rapid change, but from this¬†we might be saying hello to Ello in the near future. Ello is a new social media platform that has taken off in the past month and is being referred to as ‘anti-Facebook’. The founders of Ello are determined to keep the site ad free and will not allow¬†data to be¬†collected and sold to brands. This sounds like a great alternative to the ad saturated Facebook but what does it really mean for advertising?

Ello lives by the following manifesto:

“Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way‚ĶWe believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate‚ÄĒbut a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”

This manifesto is extremely attractive to users as Ello is gaining 30,000 new users per hour. It is also largely anonymous with users being able to use any name and information to set up their profile. Marketers must not only be concerned about their ability to advertise but what this means for their customers. Customers are becoming so disillusioned and mistrustful of brands and their methods that they are turning to these anonymous and arguably insecure platforms to avoid them, erasing their digital footprint.


It is my belief that online marketers need to now stand up and take responsibility for their actions and find more meaningful and transparent ways to market to customers.  Being bombarded by ads or by catchy jingles isnt enough these days as customers wise up to their actions. It is now that brands need to start earning the trust of their customers through social media, before social media platforms such as Ello can dominate.

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Are you suffering from Manesia?

Foxtel and A&E channel earlier this year released a campaign called ‘Manesia’ that aimed to increased the viewership of the channel. This is by far the most inventive¬†ad campaign I have¬†seen recently and it sure has captured my attention. This was developed to specifically target men and move the focus of program advertising from females to males.

The premise is based on Manesia as a disease, the campaign being delivered in three stages: symptoms, diagnosis and prescription.


A&E developed a series of Youtube videos detailing the cause and effects of Manesia and exhibits of what they looked like. This was accompanied with a radio and Facebook campaign promoting manly acts and getting back to ‘being a man’ such as learning how to change a tyre again or how to BBQ.


There was a traditional marketing campaign to promote the diagnosis of Manesia using merchandise and confronting print media to highlight the effect of the disease. The smartest part of this campaign was the integration of a Manesia Quiz into their Facebook page for men to test whether they were suffering from it, also allowing them to share it with friends over Facebook and Twitter.


This is when the campaign came full circle and said the only sure was to watch A&E – a channel focused on male dominated shows like Storage Wars. The message was delivered by stereotypical manly men across Facebook and traditional media.

Though some may argue this campaign is sexist and too traditional I think that it is still highly effective. I don’t know about you but telling a guy that he isn’t manly will only make him wanna try harder, and A&E gives them the answer with the campaign. Humorous, interactive and well structured, this campaign ticks the boxes on how to draw attention and controversy without taking yourself too seriously. What do you think, has it gone too far or is it just right?

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Email Subscriptions: Convenient or Spam?

If you’re anything like me your email inbox looks a little bit like a whos who of online shopping. I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of subscribing for a newsletter or your offers from your favourite store in the hopes of a deal or even to just get the sales rep off your back. Email subscriptions have their benefits of informing you of offers you may be interested in and keeping you up to date with the latest news but how much is too much?

I have recently begun to question the effectiveness of emails as a marketing tool as it is so generic¬†and received in such high volumes (some companies send them 2-3 times a day), making the delete button my friend when I see them. To me the most meaningful ones that I stop to look at have a personal touch, offers that specifically cater to my needs and are received not as often. Having more personalised and less frequent communication with customer lessens the likelihood of customers becoming desensitised by the emails received or alienating the customer base by sheer volume of emails. In a day and age where unsubscribe is an easy option it is important that brands consider when it’s all too much for the customer.

Again, this is just my opinion as a shopping addict who has subscribed to way too much. I’m putting my foot down and hitting the unsubscribe button but how about you? Is email marketing still working for you?

^ My inbox all day, everyday. ūüė¶

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The Power of Silence

It is safe to say that almost everyone these days engages in some sort of social media. Most of the time it can be said what we post is pretty mundane, whether it be pictures of food or what we did on the weekend, but what about its effects?

Not everyone has the same views and expressing our difference of opinion is valuable, encouraging discussion and insight but this has its dangers and brings into question how valuable silence is in this social media age. The protests in Ferguson, Missouri are a prime example of this. Led by the lack of information provided by police, conspiracy theories formed via social media, causing more and more outrage and anger that fuelled the protests.

In one particular case of social media gone mad a journalist live tweeted that he had seen a dead body while in Ferguson, only to retract it hours later when the person was identified as a car crash victim instead. Scenarios like this cause unnecessary concern when all that is needed to avoid it is to think of the consequences.

Social media has created a forum for us to express ourselves in any way we can but is this a case of freedom of expression or is it time for us to think before we tweet?

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How to…Twitter Fail (Southwest Edition)

These days it seems like it’s a must for a brand to have a presence on social media but is it doing more damage than its worth?

In the case of the recent drama at Southwest Airlines it certainly seems so. Customers and their opinions are a brand’s greatest asset to engage new customers so when a passenger decided to publish¬†an unsavoury tweet about a Southwest Agent while boarding a flight the airline¬†decided to take action…by kicking the passenger and his family off the flight until they deleted the tweet.

My initial response was shock because who in their right mind would think this would mitigate the risk to the brand since its well known that once something is on the internet its there for good and what would stop the passenger from doing something even worse once he was home? Because that is exactly what the customer did, he went home and contacted the press, making a bad situation worse.

How Southwest responded to the initial tweet is what did them in, rather than the initial tweet by the customer. This brings into question; How should brands react to public complaints?

Customers are entitled to complain and I believe that brands have a choice to turn that into a positive or negative depending on the actions they take. Social media provides customers with a faceless and public way to complain, offering more honest opinions without the fear of retribution from the brand. Brands are also entitled to protect their brand but how far should they go to do that on social media?

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A Local’s step into the Digital Age

Yesterday I was sitting in a dentist’s chair talking to my dentist about his impending move to a new location. He was indeed trying to distract me from excruciating¬†pain I was about to experience but something he said made me think, he mentioned his newly created website and its importance.

When we speak of ‘digital marketing’ we think of how retailers and the big brands are using tools such as Google Ads, Facebook, websites and Twitter¬†to expand on their business and increase their brand recognition but how about your everyday¬†service provider such as your family GP, a vet…or even a dentist? Their benefits and their features are self explanatory and often we maintain the same doctor for a long time so the need to compete and advertise is unseen, with the odd review or listing in a directory considered satisfactory.

Times are changing though with the rise of online chat, teleconferencing and high mobility work increasing a consumer’s geographical market. As a consumer I didn’t even realise the importance¬†till my dentist explained that using Google and its tools he had discovered a majority of his business came from online. He was and still is¬†benefitting from being the only dentist within 15km to have a fully functioning, modern website that is updated daily…known in the area for having waiting lists for weeks for his services.

The world is changing so is it time for your local GP to step into the digital age and get competitive?

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