I read a post today on mumbrella that demonstrated another move in the right direction for marketers everywhere….

For as long as I’ve been a part of the marketing world, via study or employment,  It’s always been preached to me that CEO’s and CFO’s have a tendency to be less marketing focused for the simple fact that they can’t look at a piece of paper and see quite clearly the return on investment on marketing spend. Justification of our very existence as marketers has become more and more important as we fight other business units for a piece of the company dollar every financial year. Sadly, with far less capable artillery, the fight is never an easy one, with our sales and financial counterparts easily trumping us with their graphs and results tables that can demonstrate down to the dollar how spend has influenced sales.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of extremely effective measurement tools available to marketers these days, making the demonstration of our worth a far easier one.  Therefore I was pleasantly surprised today to read that Neilson has been appointed as the preferred supplier by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)  for their ‘Online Ratings System’. This will no doubt be a welcome addition to marketers everywhere as the offering provides “publishers, marketers, media planners and buyers with an online audience measurement system comparable to other media”.

Peter Cornelius, Managing Director of Media at Neilsen said “hybrid system provides people-based, not browser-based measurement comparisons and a platform for true cross media measurement with other channels and devices including mobile devices”

Having the ability to compare apples for apples when it comes to all media channels will be a welcome inclusion for all marketers and will assist in growing the on-line advertising market with the greater ability to justify spend in the area. Here’s to hoping all those CEO’s and CFO’s are as excited about this new tool!!




Given this project is all about running a successful blog, I thought I would share with you my favourite blog and why I think its so successful.

Hands down winner for me is the Red Carpet Fashion Awards (RCFA). This is a fantastic blog comes out daily at 5pm Melbourne time and profiles all the celebrity fashion sightings overnight from London and the US. Named as one of the best fashion blogs of all time by US Time Magazine, its a fantastic must read for all who like their fashion and celebrity news. Founded and managed by Catherine Kallon, a UK based blogger who found herself one day in a well paid PA role and the next made redundant, Kallon now runs one of the most successful fashion blogs going round – and given the topic of the blog, its no doubt very lucrative as fashion brands search for credible ways to communicate with fashion lovers.

Red Carpet Fashion Awards founder, Catherine Kallon

The blog profiles all celebrity sitings from red carpet appearances to street side fashion, television appearances and best dressed of the week segments amoung others. RCFA allows followers to get involved with the site, with the ability to vote on ‘Who wore it best’ and ‘Best dressed of the week’ . Additionally, as any blog should have, RCFA has extremely active followers with a huge number of comments coming through each day.

There are a few reasons why I think this blog is so successful (as no doubt there are hundreds of other fashion and celebrity blogs that have no where near the same sort of following). Firstly, the blog has serious credibility. Along with Time Magazine rating it as one of the all time best fashion blogs, the mecca of all things fashion, Vogue Magazine, also sings the praises of the blog – rating it the best fashion blog on the market. 

Secondly, RCFA is current – in the US and UK, fashion lovers sit down with their morning coffee to see all the celeb sitings of the previous day – and the fashion trends emerging on them.

Lastly, Kallon’s blog has a mix of fact and opinion – providing a level of education and free thinking for followers.

Maybe there’s also a little bit of jealously among blog readers of Kallon’s success – don’t we all wish we got front row seats to New York Fashion Week because of our fabulous blogs?!!


An article seen today on mumbrella  highlighted the lack of regulations used by on-line journalists. Professor Julian Disney, Chair of the Australian Press Council has stated that journalists publishing articles on-line need to boost their standards to be in-line with print and other media standards.

In my opinion, the lack of ‘responsibility’ taken on-line by journalists may well have something to do with the fact that everyone who has access to the internet has the ability to publish something for the world to see, hence somehow taking the onus off journalists who in this media format, are far from the only people who can consider themselves ‘journalists’.

In addition to journalists and bloggers needing to take a bigger responsibility for their own publishings, Disney argues that not only should journalists and media bodies take responsibility for their own posts, but should also be regulating the comments and posts made by members of the public BEFORE they are posted to the public. Historically, if something un-true, derogatory or offensive has been posted in response to a journalists article, they have been removed or corrected after the post has been made public…therefore being available forever to others online, even if corrected.

Disney has urged all serious bloggers or on-line only publishers to also join the Australian Press Council to encourage a more streamlined standard or code of conduct for the on-line world.

The other side of the argument is that an on-line code of conduct or regulation will in turn become a censorship of sorts. Personally, I feel that more frame work around regulations for bloggers is a requirement that can be implemented well and without stifling the voice of the online world.

Problems seen as a reaction to the News of the World scandal have damaged the credibility of the Press Complaints Commission (theUKequivalent of the Australian Press Council) and have made the APC take more notice of the role they need to play in the regulation of online media.

This topic is only one of a number of issues facing the ethics of the on-line world as we see technology progress faster than most can keep up.


This week, Nike launched a fantastic on-line campaign, teaming up with Michael J Fox to raise money for research to fight Parkinson’s Disease through the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 This promotion, launched on line (via videos on You Tube) and run completely on-line is a fantastic look at how charities can be creative in the search for funds via the power of the internet.

Nike has produced 1500 ‘Back to the Future’ shoes that are an exact replica of the fictional version from the movie of the same name. With heaps of whiz bang features, the shoes were sure to sell any which way they were on offer however through the on-line auction process (on e-bay) pairs of the shoes have sold anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000 with hundreds of pairs already sold. To date, the highest successful bidder is British rapper, Tinie Tempah, reportedly paying US$37,500!!

 The specially made video’s released on You-Tube included a very funny skit featuring Christopher Lloyd, aka “Doc” Emmett Brown and special message from Michael J Fox promoting the shoes and the cause they’re raising money for. Currently, the two videos have had over 2.3 million views.

 This promotion demonstrates a well thought out campaign that is cost effective relative to the amount of money being raised and awareness achieved. Additionally, from Nike’s perspective, the publicity achieved for the brands ever evolving shoe designs and good will created through the charity partnership is hugely positive.

 In a world that has fast become flooded with charities looking for money and trying to raise awareness, this type of campaign is one that achieves cut through, required limited resources and will raise significant funds for the charity.

 If you’re keen to see how other charities are using the on-line world and social media to hold successful fundraising campaigns, check out this link. My favourite is the ‘Give to the Max Day’ campaign, which raised over $10 million in one day for over 3000 charities through an ‘e-philanthropy’ concept. The campaign very successfully used tools to connect people, groups and causes and allowed a connection between the wealthy and the needy.

 Also, you’ll see my friend Shaq (see last weeks post ‘Athletes engaging in social media) has had a hand in one particularly successful on-line fundraising campaign as customers of Toys ‘R’ Us were encouraged to ‘Join Shaq, Give Back’.

 I would love to hear of any other successful on-line fundraising campaigns you’re aware of!

Athletes engaging in social media

Hi all,

 I hope you enjoyed last weeks post on brands that have successfully integrated social media into their sport sponsorship leverage campaigns. Continuing along the lines of sports focused posts, I thought this week I would review ways that athletes can use social media to build their brand, manage their public persona and communicate effectively with their fans. Social media is obviously a huge platform for athletes, allowing fans to get to know the person behind the sportsman.

 Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) is one athlete leading the way in social media. As reported by Sportsgrid.com, Shaq is hugely popular on Twitter with over 4 million followers. He says using social media is a way that he can not only communicate with his fans but also listen to other people and that it’s a way that he can ‘be on the same level as fans’. One of the key things he said that stood out was ‘The point of it all is not to take any of it too seriously. Have fun with it’. 


While Shaq uses social media as a form of communication because he enjoys it, the simple fact is that he’s been able to build a fantastic online brand outside of his sporting abilities – something that lends itself to additional leverage when looking at his value in terms of commercial endorsements. Shaq’s twitter is such a reliable source for finding new information that when he retired, he simply posted it on Twitter and within minutes, all media had jumped on the story – easily as effective as if he had of held a media conference and also allowing him the privacy to announce it in the way that he chose.

 While Shaq may be a great example of athletes that use social media to better their public persona and engage meaningfully with their fans, there are plenty out there that have fallen prey to the pitfalls of such public platforms. Take for example Stephanie Rice. One ofAustralia’s darlings in the pool, Steph could do no wrong. However, a simple tweet, meant with no malice regarding a homophobic term resulted in a huge public outcry and the loss of a major endorsement deal.

 All athletes and public figures should be using social media as one of their platforms to communicate to the public, because they simply can’t afford not to be. However, clearly there is a right way to do so and a wrong way – something the sports community as a whole should be educating their athletes in. Given Stephanie Rice is relatively young (at 22), guidance around the ramifications of publicly commenting on platforms such as Twitter could have meant the avoidance of a very embarrassing and costly tweet.

I would love to hear of any other athletes that people think are using social media well!


Aligning with certain sport, cultural, charity or entertainment events and programs can be an effective, targeted and sometimes more cost effective method of reaching out to consumers. As part of this, consumer activation has long been a key leverage activity for brands looking to get the most out of their sponsorship properties. However in recent years, sponsorship leveraging has expanded on this, with many brands developing activations that stretch well beyond at the event, into the world of social media.

 Brands have identified the impact activations can have when not only experienced by those participating but shared amongst their friends and beyond. Below are some case studies of some activations that have successfully integrated social media as part of their sponsorship leverage programs.

 The Coca Cola Village

As recently reported on digital buzz, Coca Cola ran a very successful experiential event inIsraelwith the integration of facebook. Across three days, thousands of teens attended the Coca Cola Village, a fun and exciting space with all sorts of entertainment including sporting activities, music and general fun in the sun. All attendees were issued with a wristband which securely contained their facebook login and password details. Once inside, every time they went on to a new activity, they scanned their wristband which instantly updated their status to tell their friends whatever it was they were doing. Additionally, attendees could automatically tag themselves in photos using their wristband.

 The results:

Over 100,000 status updates on facebook – all generated from an event that only had 1950 attendees!

 adidas all in challenge

Early in 2011, adidas launched a huge marketing campaign…adidas is all in. As part of it, they created the adidas all in challenge, which saw six teams of three battle it out to win an amazing prize, including a trip to LA to see Katy Perry and the LA Galaxy. The teams battled across Aussie Rules, skateboarding, basketball, football, dance and art for 60-hours non-stop and accrued the most ‘likes’ on their facebook team profile page to win the grand prize. With three teams remaining at the end of 60 hours, it came down to the number of facebook likes each team had received for their team on the facebook fan page resulting in significant traffic on facebook for the campaign.

 The results:

15,000 facebook ‘likes’ and numerous celebrity tweets from adidas ambassadors.

Dance and art contestants only 5.5 minutes into the 60 hour challenge

 I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on these two activations – did you like it…? Do you think they could have been done better?