How Mondelez is Creating Value by Hacking their Corporation

Originally posted on Expion’s Blog

When we think about the word hacker, it often raises concerns about being violated. Cell phone hacks, credit card hacks, illegal invasions of privacy.

But at Expion’s Social Summit in Raleigh B. Bonin Bough, Vice President of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz International, suggested a second definition, hackers as experts of programmatically solving problems.

Many big organizations have been slow to adapt at the speed of digital. Bough highlighted companies like Dropbox, Square and Pinterest who have all achieved valuations in excess of $2B in a short period of time. Conversely, companies like Levi’s and Radioshack have comparatively plateaued in terms of growth in a similar time.

For Bough, this hits home personally. He referenced a study Bain conducted that stated by 2020 every single consumer package good sold in a grocery store will be connected to the internet. As a company that sells more than 8 billion products per month, it’s feasible that Mondelēz could become one of the world’s largest technology companies.

But to Bough, Mondelēz wasn’t prepared for this change. How could big organizations like his reinvent career opportunities and team structures to prepare for this new generation of created value?

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Federal Student Aid Makes Fun of Poor People on Twitter

So FAFSA used a meme from the movie Bridesmaids in a tweet basically saying if you’re poor make sure you fill out our FAFSA form!

I’m just going to leave this here…come on FAFSA! Talk about a lack of empathy for your customer.

Here’s the thing, not everyone who completes a FAFSA is poor. But even if they were…federal student aid is supposed to help get you to college and have a better life, not make light of economic hardships.

Looks like FAFSA may want to look into putting their social marketing on deferment for a few months until they figure out their situation. fafsa poor tweet

This may be one of those times where they thought they were trying to be “cool” and talk to the hip young kids through Memes…but I doubt it.

When we find out the backstory from journalists who (hopefully) tear FAFSA apart in their articles, I’d imagine we find comparisons to the recent NYPD social media backlash a few weeks ago.

This is now two government organizations in just a few months who have experienced serious social fails because of poor planning and judgement.

When will brands (especially extremely volatile ones) learn that some things are better left off of Twitter.

This is just plain stupid.

By the way, in unrelated news the star of this meme is actress Kristen Wiig, who made $12 million in 2012 and can probably afford the loans on at least one degree.

The Home Depot apologizes after offensive monkey tweet

The Home Depot is apologizing to their Twitter followers today after this untimely tweet and photo made headlines for its insensitivity.

The tweet in question shows a picture of a man in a monkey mask sitting between two black men and asked followers “which drummer isn’t like the others?”

home depot monkey tweet

If you notice other similar posts, The Home Depot often has their bucket drummers dressed up in different costumes, as the bucket is the centerpiece of their marketing efforts around the College Football season.

While profusely apologizing to their followers who tweeted, they also posted this apology noting both the agency and employee were fired.

In 2008, Lebron James made headlines when his cover in Vogue Magazine came under fire for positioning him in a “King Kong-esque” scene with Gisele.

Instagram’s New Ads give Michael Kors a lift

After last month’s demonstration of what Instagram ads would look with Levi’s, Michael Kors became the first brand to actually post an Instagram ad this week, featuring a luxury watch amidst a table of macarons.

Nitrogram, an analytics platform for Instagram, took a closer look at this first sponsored post and analyzed the key metrics behind their first  including engagement and estimated reach.

I cover some of their findings in this post on Social Fresh.

michaelkors-ad-likes michaelkors-ad-followers-gained

Uber and GE team up for DeLorean rides #BrilliantMachines

uber ge delorean
Photo by @KateScisel

For this weekend only, Uber has partnered with GE to bring DeLoreans to the streets of San Francisco.

GE’s Brilliant Machines campaign uses real-world examples to demonstrate how GE’s advanced hardware and analytical software can revolutionize the way cities are powered. In other words, the GE gas turbines in your DeLorean might predict and meet an entire city’s power needs someday.

How to snag a free ride:

  • Open the Uber app anytime on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Supply will be very limited, but if your timing is right, you’ll see the DeLorean option
  • Maximum of 15 minutes per trip and one person per vehicle

Walmart Facebook Slip

walmart facebook post

Looks like somebody in Walmart’s social media team won’t be having too much fun this Sunday morning after a rather blunt outburst of: “What the Fuck was Facebook thinking??” was left up on the page for about five minutes before the retail giant pulled it down.

It was in all caps too…you know they were mad.

Sony PlayStation Launches PS4 Native Ads at E3 Powered By Livefyre

In the gaming world, E3 is hailed as one of the most important industry events of the year. The week is jam-packed with product reveals, presentations from influencers, demos and more.

Playstation (my client) is capitalizing on a new Livefyre native advertising offering and launching the Livefyre E3 Social Hub to capture all the trends, images and conversation straight from the Los Angeles Convention Center. Two of the most popular gaming websites, IGN and Joystiq have integrated the Playstation-sponsored Livefyre E3 Social Hub to feature real-time conversation surrounding the convention.

Read more about this social native ad and the convergence of some of the biggest brands in the gaming industry here.

joystiq e3 playstation social media

Offerpop Capitalizes on Wildfire’s Downfall in New Banner Ads

Looks like Offerpop is wasting no time in responding to the news this week that Google’s Wildfire Department was shutting down the one-off version of their social promotion builder.  I was checking out an article online and noticed this meme-styled banner ad, with Wildfire branding pretty prominently featured as part of the joke.

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 11.04.09 AM

ICYMI – Here’s the official word from Google on the closing of Wildfire’s standalone campaigns.

We want to do all we can to poise our customers for success when they begin using Wildfire. So that we can better focus on doing that, we’ve decided that we’ll be retiring our Basic, Standard, and Premium promotions after June 30th.

There are a lot of ways you can build promotions on Facebook.

I have used Shortstack Labs myself (disclosure: affiliate link) and wrote a review of it on Social Fresh a while ago. I love the easy plug-and-play approach to building promotions with their builder.

Still, many many of my colleagues rave about Offerpop and I agree, I think that Offerpop is extremely powerful and useful for any brand looking to run a great social campaign.

This post is much more about their awesome ad than their software, so I won’t dive into details there.

One last thing…Note that Wildfire is not Livefyre, which is the company I work for. Some people get us confused.

Livefyre’s suite of real-time products are defining a new breed of web and mobile experiences that boost website traffic, increase user engagement and drive revenue.

As the sixth largest network online, Livefyre is powering real-time social experiences for leading brands including American Idol, AOL, Bravo, CBS, Conde Nast, Dow Jones/WSJ, FOX, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Showtime, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

How do I break into Copywriting?

I got an email from a student who just graduated from college asking me how to break into copywriting. It took me a while to get back to him because honestly, I had to think about it for a while. As you know, it’s probably one of the toughest entry-level positions to get into.


Here’s the thing about copywriting…if you’re looking to work in any sort of creative agency, you’re going to need a portfolio. Schools like SU, Texas, or VCU where students take advertising courses as an undergrad have four years where the curriculum basically programs them with a portfolio to leave with. Still others go on to grad school or portfolio school to make a “book” to pitch to agencies.

This is where I got stuck in my career. I thought I wanted to be a copywriter, but I also didn’t have time This is when I discovered the social media side of marketing…basically it was a self-realization that all the stuff  had been doing in the music industry was actually where the entire marketing world was going, so it was an easy transformation.

So am I a copywriter by title? No. Am I a copywriter by job duty? Hell to the yeah, I write more than I ever anticipated.

So below are my four “off the top of the head” suggestions to this student about ways he can break into the copywriting profession.

1. Start blogging, and write often

Copywriting today is not limited to billboard headlines or creative TV scripts, but blog entries, technical manuals, slideshow copy, tweets, Facebook updates and more. Many brands hire people to write this, and you can be that guy. Showcasing that you already know how to write for the web is a big plus, and the better your writing online is, the better you look.

2. Take on freelance work.

When I was in grad school I did a lot of tiny projects that I found off Craigslist or eLance or other sites. This works two ways: first, you’re doing persuasive writing to land yourself a gig, then you’re actually getting to produce a piece for your book. Don’t worry about being paid unless you know it’s something you can absolutely nail 1000% and you honestly have a better idea of what the client knows (and what they don’t know you don’t know).

3. Get an internship and bust your ass.

It could be an ad agency, it could be a small graphics shop, but wherever you go work your ass off and be the best. Being the best at your job is rewarded and the energy needed to get there might be a lot, but no matter if you’re an intern or a CEO it will pay off. Honestly the internship is benefitting you more than the company probably, they’re giving you real-world experience you can put in that portfolio.

4. Create spec work.

Every day online I see articles like “10 Logos Redesigned for the Zombie Apocalypse” or “Nintendo Propaganda Posters.” These artists or writers aren’t getting paid for it, they’re creating because they love to. If you don’t  have any paying work, invent your own. Take your favorite ad campaigns and reimagine them as brand new. Don’t worry if you can’t design, a well-thought campaign premise and series of executions is enough to get you started. Post that work online and people will find it, and then you. For example, I was asked to create a deck about a fake Red Bull event before an interview with them in California. Even though I didn’t get the job, I still worked to create a creative concept, and wanted to be able to get some credit for my thinking.

What do you think?