Let us start off by saying that we often love the promotions and advertisements that JetBlue makes on behalf of their brand. Until the recent announcement (read yesterday’s Brands blog) of Virgin America’s new seat-to-seat offering where you can send a fellow flyer a libation, snack or meal along with a friendly text, JetBlue always seemed to us like a airline that was modern and fun from its snack choices including Terra Blue Chips to the individual television for every flyer. Even its website is humorous with a login section for True Blue members called “Hi” and an area to purchase tickets titled “Buy.”
What we are not so sure about, however, is how and why JetBlue decided to weigh in via Twitter and Facebook on NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out, according to an article on yesterday’s Ad Age. Jet Blue thanked Collins, 34, for his action and tweeted “today we are all on the same team.”
Few can argue that Collins’ personal revelation was a brave and courageous act. The Washington Wizard’s center is the first person in American team sports history to come out as homosexual while still an active, professional player. What we are unsure about is why Jet Blue, who does not sponsor Collins or has not had a prior, public stance supporting gay rights, has decided to contribute to this discussion? Is it a ploy by the airline to jump onto a social cause bandwagon or is it a genuine sentiment of good will toward Collins and the gay community?
Collins’ sports sponsor Nike appropriately commented on the Wizard’s action. Nike publicly acknowledged Collins’ courage and that they were proud to have him as a Nike athlete, according to Ad Age. They further added that the sneaker company believes in an even playing field where an athlete’s sexual orientation isn’t even a consideration. Absolut Vodka, which has previously championed causes such as legalizing gay marriage, also came out via Twitter in support of Collins. Both the sentiments of Nike and Absolut seem appropriate in light of their previous relationship with the athlete (Nike) and social cause (Absolut).
There has been discussion on social media whether JetBlue’s actions in this matter was well intentioned or not. Certainly the airline stands behind its decision to praise Collins digitally and stated it has the “utmost respect” for any individual that is true to his or herself. We’d like to give the brand here the benefit of the doubt and believe it just wants to praise the act of a courageous man. So let’s set cynicism aside temporarily and instead commend Jet Blue on lending support to a person who likely wrestled with this decision to speak candidly about his sexuality for quite sometime.
In a prime example of how a brand should engage its followers on social media in real time, Kit-Kat quickly and intelligently challenged Oreo to a tic-tac-toe game when a self-proclaimed chocolate lover named LauraEllen tweeted that she likes chocolate so much that she was following both @Oreo and @Kit-Kat on Twitter.
Kit-Kat made the first move on the tic-tac-toe board by taking center spot and making an X out of two of its iconic chocolate covered wafers. Oreo adeptly responded by eating most of the X and kindly tweeting the following: Sorry, @kitkat we couldn’t resist.
Kudos to Kit-Kat for being on the ball and responding quickly to @Laura_ellenxx’s posting and to Oreo for replying to Kit-Kat in real time. Double Stuff honors to Oreo for simply being the classiest sandwich cookie in praising its competitor in the chocolate arena.
The French brand, or in this case, the government, has officially bid adieu to the word ‘hashtag’ from all future official documents, according to an article on the Huffington Post. Instead of ‘hashtag’, the government will instead be using the term ‘mot-diese’. This change stemmed from a French commission’s decision to “seek to enrich the language by finding French alternatives for anglicisms,” the HuffPo reports. French citizens can still use ‘hashtag’ in social media exchanges. The government, however, will encourage the use of the new word, which actually translates to the term ‘sharp-word.’
The word switch was triggered by a push to preserve the French language online and in social media, where English words remain more popular. In 2012, linguists met in Quebec for a conference on how technology is allowing many originally English words to be pushed into the French language and culture.
Many French Twitter users quickly took to cyberspace upon learning about the change to point out to the government that ‘diese’ “denotes the sharp sign (♯), rather than the right-leaning hashtag symbol (#),” according to the piece. Some critics online even panned the new word as “awful” and “much less stylish.” And in a country known globally for its sense of style, that may be considered to be the ultimate faux pas.
It’s relatively easy for a brand’s social media presence to get out of control. After all, it costs nothing, or next to nothing to create social media accounts. That, and the temptation is great to start afresh with every campaign or in every division. The result can be a dilution of a brand’s presence or inconsistencies in tone or messaging.
This is just what Reebok found when they recently conducted an audit of its social media accounts. Over the course of two recent social media audits Reebok found a total of over 600 brand related social media accounts. AdAge covered the story, and reported just what Reebok found:
Some local markets were resistant to give up their own accounts in favor of global accounts, but the case was made for streamlining just in time for the 2013 product launches.
After the first audit Reebok streamlined its corporate social presence, cutting it almost in half. The company is now focusing on three Facebook pages, two Twitter accounts and a single YouTube channel.
Though not a brand in the traditional sense of the word, Pope Benedict XVI will begin Tweeting next week under the handle @pontifex. The Latin term means “bridge builder” and the 85 year old pope hopes that this latest embrace of technology will connect with younger Catholics. As an aside, the handle does have meaning but the Vatican also acknowledged that a number of desirable names were already taken.
The announcement was made today and Benedict already has over 183,000 followers on his English account, a week before the account goes live. The Pope plans to Tweet initially in 8 languages. The content will come mostly from his general audiences, homilies and reactions to major world events.
Here are some answers to those questions likely to be front and center:
- The Pope will not follow you back. “He won’t follow anyone for now,” according to a spokesman. He will be followed.”
- The Pope’s Tweets will not be infallible. They will be considered a part of the Church’s body of teaching, “pearls of wisdom.”
- The Pope’s aides will do the actually Tweeting. The Pope will “engage and approve” the content.
- The Vatican will take special precautions to make sure that the Pope’s account is not hacked. All Tweets will come from a single computer in the Church’s Secretariat of State.
The Catholic Church does have a history of embracing technology. From radio and TV to the Internet, the Church has tried to use multiple platforms to advance its message. The Vatican website, started in 2009, is www.pope2you.net. The Vatican news site, started in 2011, is Newsva.va.
To Linfinity and Beyond!
We were able to experience Linsanity the other night at Madison Square Garden as Jeremy Lin (and the rest of the Knicks) served the Hawks. As sweet as it was (at least for Knicks fans), the game was almost beside the point from a branding perspective. It was amazing to see how quickly (or Linstantly) the Knicks have managed to incorporate Lin into their branding. His presence is already integrated into all of the videos shown on the scoreboard and on signage around the stadium. Lin jerseys, sweatshirts and hats were literally flying off the shelves. And everyone was wearing them. And going nuts whenever Lin made a move.
Lin’s presence on the court has also had a dramatic impact on social media. During the week of February 6-14, Jeremy Lin was mentioned 2.6 million times on Twitter. For that week, he outpaced President Obama. Since the start of 2011 the NBA has garnered more mentions than any other sport. In other social media news, Delta is the regular spotter of the Knick’s “Tweet Up” during the game. The contest of the day was to devise a nickname for Steve Novak, the Knicks’ 3-point wizard, who along with Lin, lit up the scoreboard that evening.
Posted in Sports Branding, Twitter, Uncategorized, Videos
Tagged Atlanta Hawks, Delta, Jeremy Lin, Knicks, Linsanity, madison square garden, NBA, Steve Novak, Twitter
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Midem, an international music trade conference that is meeting later this month in Cannes, France, is putting a particularly strong focus on the topic of engaging the public through social media technology tools at this year’s event.
Midem director Bruno Crolot notes how fans are purchasing more music through digital download sites and are able to interact directly with artists through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. According to Midem, six of the top 10 Twitter accounts are owned by musicians. Midem also commented on how YouTube has been a powerful tool in the music industry, with 1/3 of all YouTube videos being music-driven, according to the article.
“Social media is, for me, music business,” says Crolot. We will chalk up the incorrect English grammar due to his French as a first language, but you get his point completely.