Tick Yes Blog

Tag - the message

Subtitled satire

Online content comedians have been at it again – and this time Australian retailers are in their sights
Following on from our comment yesterday that at least the recent Click Frenzy debacle has given rise to some entertainingly piss-taking social media content, here’s the best of the lot.
This YouTube vid is a truly inspired work of satire. And, like all good satire, it contains more than a grain of truth – namely that Australian retailers’ use of e-tail lags far behind that of the rest of the world.

The danger now is that, as a result of the Click Frenzy fallout, more Australian retailers will be convinced that there is no place for them in the online arena. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. E-tail represents the future, but it has to be handled properly if it is to be successful.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Multimedia megaphone

Social media shames Aussie racists – and gives others a chance to speak out against discrimination
Over the past 24 hours, the world’s media has been ablaze with the story of an act of racism on a public bus that has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth – and done immense harm to Australia’s international reputation. The shocking tirade of a man, a woman who appeared to be his partner and other passengers on the bus abusing a French woman – whose only crime had been to sing in her native tongue – was caught on camera by several passengers, most notably Melbourne comedian Mike Nayna.
Nayna proceeded to cut together a narrated video of the outburst to be shared on YouTube. Naturally, it has gone viral, with over a million views at time of writing:

The most shocking element of the video isn’t the language, or the unprovoked nature of the attack, or even the fact that the two charming ringleaders had children with them – it’s the realisation that this kind of racially fuelled violent rage lies under the surface in our so-called civilised society.
Nayna’s video references the fact that as a ‘brown’ man he has suffered racism in Aussie society. He also mentions that all of his ethnic friends have ‘a story or two to tell’.
The power of this social media video is that it gives voice to those stories, with hard evidence that can’t be refuted by politicians’ Kumbaya rhetoric.
The fact is that it is all too easy for white Australians to buy into the idea that Australia operates on an ‘everyone gets a fair go’ mentality. Public attacks such as this are far less common than the insidious, regular racism and discrimination that many ethnic groups suffer. A quick survey of the Tick Yes office revealed that every one of the ethnic staff members had suffered racism and discrimination in this country. Regularly.
The element of social shaming in this video, while satisfying, is not the most important part of it. Like Nayna says: ‘Racism is a thing in this country. Let’s not pretend it’s not.’ Social media has an important role to play in raising awareness of that by giving people a chance to speak out to a mass audience – and, hopefully, helping end discrimination.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

From Frenzy to failure

Why a content marketing campaign is only as good as the technology behind it
Poor Click Frenzy. Billed as Australia’s answer to the US’s Cyber Monday and hyped as the saviour of the Australian retail industry (by embracing the possibilities of e-tail), it was meant to be launched with a bang at 7pm last night. Instead, ‘the sale that stops the nation’ failed miserably due to serious technical issues that caused the site to go into meltdown, meaning would-be shoppers were only able to log on three hours into the planned 24-hour period.
Organisers had assured everyone that the site could cope with the traffic, but clearly that wasn’t the case. And, coming on the heels of similar problems for David Jones (which had eschewed Click Frenzy in favour of launching its own online sale extravaganza), it simply served to reinforce the impression that Australian retail is lagging behind the rest of the world because it has not yet got to grips with the Internet.
As Steve Ogden-Barned, a retail industry fellow at Deakin University told the Sydney Morning Herald, last night’s events were ‘an embarrassment’ for Aussie retailers ‘who treated online shopping as an afterthought’:
‘They say they are worried about losing sales offshore but many of the bigger players have never really taken this channel seriously… this just proves it.’
A soon-to-be released White Paper from Tick Yes addresses those very issues – and explains how retailers can use social media and online content to turn things around. And in the meantime, at least last night’s debacle has created some entertaining tweets and memes about the transition from #clickfrenzy to #clickfail…

 

 

 

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Damage limitation

A new ‘scandal’ involving Prince William shows how important careful online content control is when it comes to brand management
Back in June, we blogged about the perils of online content – and warned that it could seriously ruin your online reputation. Careful brand management has become a necessity in the social media age, but not meticulously checking your Web or social media content before posting it can also have potentially far more serious consequences.
The latest to discover that is one Flight Lieutenant William Wales (aka William Windsor, ‘Wills’, one half of William and Kate, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus and Prince William of Wales). It’s got nothing to do with those intrusive paparazzi pics of his wife changing her bikini, but everything to do with some pictures that appeared on his and Kate’s new website, dukeandduchessofcambridge.org.
Showing a commendable willingness to modernise the royal family by embracing content marketing (by giving an insight into life at Brand William and Kate), photos appeared showing a day in the life of the young prince as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.
Unfortunately for the UK’s Ministry of Defence, those pictures included shots of William relaxing a control room with his RAF colleagues. Nothing wrong in that, you might think, until eagle-eyed viewers spotted that sensitive information, including usernames and passwords, could be seen on the computers in the photos.
Needless to say the photos on the website were quickly changed to pixelate the sensitive details. But as many individuals and companies alike have found to their cost, content that has once appeared online can never really be deleted. Thus, although the RAF has been quick to say the revealed usernames and passwords have been changed, the incident serves as an important reminder that careful online content control is crucial when it comes to brand management.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Instant propaganda

Today’s wars are also being fought through social media content
Propaganda has come a long way in 100 years. Almost a century ago, as the world was heading inexorably towards the Great War (aka ‘the war to end all wars’ and World War I), graphic artists were putting their skills to use by creating inspiring posters that would convince the masses that the cause was not only worthy, but winnable.

By World War II, propaganda was seen as an essential component of the war effort on both sides. Songs were written to maintain morale, more posters were produced and films were made to convince everyone to do their bit…

Fast-forward another 70 years and we see that conflict and war remain far from ended and propaganda remains an integral part of it. The difference, though, is that while propaganda in decades past was carefully planned and took many weeks to produce, these days it is created instantly as social media content.
The current situation in Gaza is a case in point. A historically tense situation moved closer to the brink of another all-out war as a result of tit-for-tat missile and air strikes. One of them, from the Israelis, took place last Thursday and killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari. And, in an escalation of the propaganda war, the Israel Defence Forces live-blogged and tweeted video of the attack, alongside a movie-style poster of al-Jabari with the word ‘eliminated’.
Two hours later, the Israelis retweeted the video of its fatal strike ‘in case you missed it’. It was also posted on YouTube, where it was watched by over 640,000 people before being taken down for violating the site’s terms of service.
Additionally, the Israelis used Facebook and Flickr to promote Operation Pillar of Defence (‘like’ the Facebook material to win an army badge), while Hamas, which has used social media to post videos of its rocket attacks on Israel, tweeted in response to al-Jabari’s death: ‘You opened hell gates on yourselves’.
‘We’re entering a new dimension of warfare,’ defence expert Professor Clive Williams of Macquarie University told the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘I think in the future other countries will do the same thing because they have so many different options these days of putting out the message. All countries want to control the media. It’s the whole point of embedding journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is a lot more effective if you can put a message out to people directly and not be reliant on the media.’
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Sue-gle

Search engines like Google are now being legally recognised as publishers – and therefore liable for the content they display
Gone are the days of search engines playing the impartial observer. It seems every man and his dog is now out to sue Google, and with courts finding frequently in favour of the plaintiffs, the world’s biggest publisher is finally being viewed as such in the eyes of the law – and being held to answer for its content.
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald last week, Australian man Michael Trkulja successfully sued Google and Yahoo for defamation because, after being the victim of a shooting in 2004, his name was linked on a number of high-ranking search results to underworld activity.
Specifically, Mr Trkulja’s name was connected with a Melbourne crime website (which no longer exists) and was also linked with Tony Mokbel, an alleged murderer and drug trafficker.
Mr Trkulja also won a similar case against Yahoo earlier this year (in which it was found that Yahoo was measurable by the same standards as any other publisher), with the search engine being ordered to pay him $225,000 in damages. The Supreme Court is yet to pass down a figure for damages in the Trkulja v Google case, but it would be logical to assume the figure could be even higher, given the engine’s wider reach.
Mr Trkulja isn’t the first person to successfully ‘Sue-gle’ (you heard it here first, folks).
As reported on The Message here, Bettina Wulff, the former first lady of Germany, had a rude shock when she discovered that Google’s autocomplete had created an entirely new and scandalous career for her resume. Typing Ms Wulff’s name into Google (which we did at the time of writing) returns the autocomplete suggestions ‘Bettina Wulff prostituierte’ and ‘Bettina Wulff escort’.

We’re also guessing that ‘Bettina Wulff Wallpapers’ isn’t referring to home décor.
Ms Wulff denies that any such profession is hidden in her past and has lodged a lawsuit against Google. For its part, the search giant denies that the autocomplete suggestions were its responsibility, as the site’s algorithm determines autocomplete based on the popularity of previous related searches.
In any case (no pun intended), the German non-prostitute is sure to be highly interested in the outcome of the legal case won by the Australian non-gangster.
As for Google, it may want to take a moment from defending all these lawsuits to have a look at what autocomplete is suggesting about it…

 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Signs of the times

How multimedia content is providing the defining images of this era
From cave paintings to online galleries, art is evolving. Artists are embracing new ways of creating their content and content created for new mediums is being, rightly, seen as art.
Video game art is a case in point. Thanks to technological advances, graphics have come a long way since the days of Pacman. As a result, graphic artists and designers can give free rein to their talents, creating interactive works of art that are not only engaging from a user point of view, but are as indicative of our current era as anything produced during the height of the Renaissance or Impressionist periods.
The artistic merit of this content is also now being recognised in the form of galleries and exhibitions. Video game art has been on display in the UK as part of the London Games Festival and is now set to be auctioned off to raise money for charity.
Featuring a combination of the old (the original concept artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog), the new (designs for Batman: Arkham City) and the yet to be seen (illustrations from the next instalment of the Tomb Raider series), it is proof positive that quality content doesn’t just move with the times, but it defines those times.
Here’s a selection of some of our favourite pieces…

 

 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Celebrities and social media

Where Tick Yes leads, the superstars follow…
What do Russell Brand, Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jack Black, Eddie Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Usher, Pitbull, LMFAO and many, many other celebrities have in common? They have all realised the need to jump on to the social media bandwagon and use an agency to create a coordinated social media strategy on their behalf.
It is a strategy Tick Yes has been employing for its clients for over a decade and now Hollywood is catching on.
By allowing a third-party to tweet or post on their behalf (at times calculated to have the biggest impact), some of the entertainment business’ biggest names – and the studios or record companies or agencies who stand to make a pretty penny from marketing them correctly – are reaping the rewards.
Take Russell Brand, for example. As he told the New York Times, he has turned to social media (or, more specifically, to a carefully tailored social media strategy) to promote his comedy tours and enabling them to sell out ‘without any paid advertising’.
‘It’s a smart way to talk to my fans directly and in a bespoke manner,’ he says.
In social media, followers = customers
Brand is far from alone in (finally) realising the potential of social media and coming to understand that far from simply being an amorphous number, all those tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands or millions) of Twitter followers or Facebook fans may actually want to buy what you’ve got to sell, be it an album, a comedy tour or a movie.
In fact, social media is now directly influencing the product being produced. For example, when Disney decided to use a social media agency to manage its cartoon characters online, it was apparently shocked to discover that the most ‘liked’ character was not Mickey Mouse or Buzz Lightyear, but Dory the forgetful fish from Finding Nemo. The result? Disney is hard at work on a Finding Nemo sequel.
In many ways, this change in attitude has been borne of necessity, with movie attendances in the US at a 20-year low. The Internet has been made the scapegoat, but now the studios and stars alike a realising that the Internet, and particularly social media, could be the saviour.
As the New York Times puts it: ‘If you were wondering how Rihanna was cast in Battleship, it was lost on no one at Universal that she came with 26 million Twitter followers.’
Celebrities (and those who employ them) have always been well aware of their brand value, so it really comes as no surprise that they are adopting the Tick Yes social media marketing strategy of engaging directly (or at least, seeming to engage directly) with their audience and disseminating ‘their’ brand voice across a variety of channels.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 

Cartoon content

The Message presents… a brief history of social media
Did you know Facebook was inspired by a note to a young Mark Zuckerberg stuck to a fridge by his mum? Or that Jesus had a Twitter account in which he broke the news of his walking on water way before those Gospel writers got hold of it?
No? Then you badly need to spend the next three minutes and 56 seconds discovering exactly what’s what and who’s who in the world of social media – as seen through the eyes of some cartoon commentators. Incisive, insightful, funny and true, with a cool song to boot!

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Click go the sales

Are Australian retailers finally starting to realise the benefits of e-tail?
A soon-to-be-released White Paper from Tick Yes looks at the ongoing conflict between traditional retailers and online stores (or e-tailers) in Australia. The White Paper discusses the reluctance of many Australian stores to embrace online opportunities and argues that, actually, e-tail should be seen as an opportunity rather than competition.
In a recent survey of 300 retailers across a variety of sectors, including automotive, sports, groceries, health and fashion, 53 per cent said they had no online sales channel.
In addition, the report found that only 57 per cent of retail marketers felt their managers believe online is a priority, 51 per cent of retailers don’t include SEO in their marketing strategy, 54 per cent don’t use Twitter and 47 per cent don’t have a Facebook page (and don’t intend to create one).
That’s a staggering percentage of Australian retailers who are ignoring the possibilities presented by social media and content marketing at a time when, according to the Productivity Commission, one of the main reasons that sector is struggling is because it is lagging behind the rest of the world in the use of the Internet.
Can Click Frenzy create an online marketing stampede?
Slowly, however, it seems some of the country’s biggest retailers are understanding the possibilities e-tail presents. Indeed, many of them are about to take part in an Australian first that will see online prices slashed by up to 90 per cent.
Next Tuesday, 20 November, some of Australia’s leading stores, including Myer, Target, Westfield and Dick Smith will take part in Click Frenzy. From 7pm that night, they (and around 150 other participating shops and brands) will be cutting their online prices from between 15 and 90 per cent for 24 hours.
The initiative is based on a similar US project called Cyber Monday, which has been in operation since 2006. Last year, shoppers spent over $1 billion during Cyber Monday, which is held the Monday after Thanksgiving – a traditionally strong shopping day.
And while Grant Arnott, organiser of the Australian event, is anticipating only a fraction of that (‘we expect it will be tens of millions of dollars’), Click Frenzy is still likely to set a new Australian online sales record.
The e-tail fightback
Importantly, it also gives Australian retailers an opportunity to fight back against overseas competitors and, indeed, to head off international competition before it has the chance to become established: ‘The whole aim is to stimulate activity in the online retail space for the benefit of all Australian retailers whether they are online or multichannel,’ Arnott says. ‘We want to establish this as an annual event before Cyber Monday really takes hold here and give Australian retailers a much needed boost ahead of Christmas.’
The retailers taking part are clearly relishing the opportunity to not only boost sales, but also showcase their online initiatives. ‘The international retailers tend to get a lot of publicity, but there are a lot of Australian retailers doing great things online and this is a good opportunity to let people see that,’ says Sarah Hayden, digital manager for Jeanswest.
Yet for every retailer embracing the online opportunities there are many more who seem to be simply hoping e-tail will go away. Clearly, though, it isn’t going to. And if you can’t beat ’em…

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.