Stunning effort by Nikon

Nikon’s latest campaign to promote its new D80 has proven the power of social media for marketers.

NikonRather than opting for the traditional marketing route, Nikon chose to engage the creme-de-la-creme of today’s creative photographers to help out. Nikon selected a group of passionate, heavy flickr users who already use Nikon cameras, sent them their new D80 to try it out. The results are stunning, as Nikon can proudly exclaim. You can see them here.

This is a terrific way to create positive word of mouth about a new product. The social nature of flickr means that buzz about this promotion has spread like wildfire.

All of a sudden, thousands of flickr users have a positive encounter with the Nikon brand, from someone they have a relationship with. Nikon also chose some of the images taken to use in a 3-page spread ad to support the campaign.

Clever stuff. A big tip of the sombrero to Nikon for this one.

The business of karma

The most simple definition of Karma, about a third of the way down the wikipedia page, is that 'if you do good things, good things will happen to you – if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you'. It originates from Eastern philosophies but is something that we westerners have taken on board too.

I am a firm believer that karma happens in life. I also believe karma exists in business.

Nike got the karma it deserved through infamous e-mail exchange it had with a customer who requested the word "sweatshop" on a pair of customisable sneakers. More recently, Chevy Tahoe landed itself in a bucket full of Karma.

Now that marketing messages are firmly in the hands of the public, with consumer generated content all the rage, karma has become inescapable.
Of course, not all business Karma is bad Karma. US retailer Whole Foods' clean energy decision is good Karma. American Apparel's ethical business model is also good karma. Companies like these will win in the end.

Karma isn't track-able. It isn't scalable and it isn't measurable. It doesn't guarantee a strong ROI. It doesn't ensure overnight profit or market share gains. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be integral to your business.

Make sure you remember good karma in your business strategy. Not just as an add-on, but as a cornerstone of what you do.

Firefox Flicks

The winners of Firefox flicks have been announced. Firefox flicks was Mozilla's competition to get its passionate users spread the word about Firefox. Mozilla kicked this competition off by issuing a creative brief. Then they stepped back to let Firefox evangelists do the rest. Nearly 300 entries submitted.

Why, you ask, is this campaign is so much better than the infamous Chevy Tahoe campaign?

For starters, Firefox is a great product. There's nothing bad about it. It doesn't make the roads more dangerous and it doesn't average 20 miles per gallon. When you launch a better browser during an era of internet explosion, people will take notice. And so Mozilla were tapped into how people would respond. They knew that their customer base were loyal. You either love Firefox, or you've never heard of it.

On the other hand, opinions about Tahoes (and all SUVs) are far more polarising. When you launch an environmentally disastrous car in an era of environmental meltdown, expect a bit of flack.

Secondly, Firefox flicks handed 100% of the creative control over to their fanbase. Chevy kept a tighter grip on the reins. The results speak for themselves.

Finally, Mozilla have said that they will use the winning entries in their marketing activities. I'm not sure that Chevy will do the same.

(via Media Talks)

Firefox is top 10

Steve Rubel has posted today about Firefox making in the top 10 of Brandchannel.com's most influential brands.

Could this be the best example of Customer Evangelism ever? I mean, how many other brands do you know of that have customers so loyal that they get gotten together to buy double page ads in major newspapers?

Firefox is a great browser. But it's more than that – and to many Firefox is like a religion. Check out the community love over at http://www.spreadfirefox.com/. It's classic underdog strategy, and proof that the rules of marketing aren't quite the same as they used to be.

(Here's the ad, by the way): firefox.jpg

Heavy on the Chevy

Wow – It seems that the negative publicity for GM's Chevy Tahoe CGM campaign is spreading like wildfire.

Check out heavyonthechevy, an impressive new site dedicated to hosting the ads that are being pulled down from the original site. Why not create your own?

Welcome to the new world, GM. It's a harsh place for the irresponsible and unauthentic.

Citizen Marketing done right by Moleskine fans

The brilliant Across the Sound podcast this week featured three "New marketing" wizzkids, Joseph Jaffe, Jackie Huba and Pete Blackshaw. It has made me think about examples of real, authentic Citizen marketing. The Chevy Tahoe campaign, subject of my previous post, certainly isn't. Sure, it's CGM, or Consumer Generated Media. But at the end of the day, true Citizen Marketing is when the consumer takes their own initiative to spread the word about a product they love. Not the other way aroundmoleskine.jpg.

One real, authentic example of a brand where the customer does all the work is Moleskine. The legendary brand of notebooks has a huge following from people in and out of the art and literature world. On-line you can find fanatical blogs flickr photosets, Squidoo and Myspace pages, all created by uber-loyal Moleskine customers. They have even created their own project where artists collaborate by sending notebooks to each other across the world, adding their own artwork as they do so.

As far as I can tell, Moleskine themselves have nothing to do with creating any of this. Except, of course, for selling a product that people love. At the end of the day, that's what guarantees you of great word of mouth.

Chevy drive themselves into a wall

General Motors' SUV brand Chevy Tahoe recently launched a Consumer Generated Campaign, and it's backfiring.suv.jpg

The campaign allows you to create and customise your own ad about this new gas-guzzling, environmentally ludicrious SUV. Which is exactly what people are doing.

Blogs like Total Tactics give some great examples where people have created their own versions to reflect the environmental issues associated with buying an SUV. It's culture jamming at its best – and I think it's hysterical that GM paid for every cent of it.

As you can imagine, the folks over at GM are frantically censoring these entries, pulling down submissions as quickly as they're going up. And once you start doing that, you really are driving yourself into a brick wall.

If your brand is ethical, authentic, responsible and loved by your customers, that's great. You have nothing to worry about. Your loyal customers will spread your goodness like wildfire. But if your brand isn't exactly the nicest kid in the yard, people will spoof your ads, hijack your logo, and give you the negative publicity that you probably deserve.