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Brands going social is born

Welcome to brands going social. The straight up blog about brands that are trying to make it in social media.

Before we dive in through, a bit about me. I’ve been working in brand marketing for over 5 years now, first with GlaxoSmithKline, then with Johnson and Johnson and have worked across the globe in Australia, England, China and my current home, Toronto, Canada. Through my time in the world of big brand management, I’ve seen a lot of teams try and succeed and try and fail with digital and social media and honestly, nobody really knows what they’re doing.  Anyone who says they do, by very nature of saying that – don’t. Because, if they did, they’d know the media landscape is changing far to rapidly to be able to keep track of everything.

So, this blog is all about real reviews of brands that are trying. Trying to navigate through this seemingly impossible environment that is ridiculously ripe with opportunity. I will begin my approach using a rating scale that I often use to evaluate TV, Print and digital creative. This will merely  be used s a starting point and hope to refine the scale to better suit social media as I go. The criteria are as follows:

1. INTRUSION: Is this campaign really going to catch anyone’s attention?

2. MESSAGING: Is there a relevant message attached to the campaign that might actually help the brand accomplish a business objective ? Or is it just plain fluff.

3. BRANDING: At the end of the day, are consumers actually going to connect the campaign to the brand? Do they really care?

From my experience, any solid marketing effort must accomplish all of the above or else it was probably a waste of both time and money.

Look forward to a great ride.



Tweet Beat: World Cup Twitter

I couldn’t help but add a 2nd post after stumbling across Tweet Beat a World Cup Twitter application that allows you to control the flow of information according to specific teams or groups you follow. It even has a speed control!
Now – integrate this into streaming video.

New Media and the World Cup

As corporations continue to attempt to get their head around this idea of new media, it is important to first understand what distinguishes New Media from the Old.

New Media, in general, has come to be described as the amalgamation of a number of different traditional media touch points with the interactive capabilities of computers and digital devices. One of the most important factors to remember is that, a TV show on a really nice, new HD television is NOT new media. It is merely traditional media being transmitted through a more modern, technologically advanced device. Now, if that HD television displayed a show that allowed you to interact with it in some manner – whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or some other sort of on-screen interaction – then we could give it the coveted title of “New Media.”

We are slowly seeing this occur in online video consumption, and was reminded of that today while watching the England vs USA world cup match on has a great online application (on Facebook and Twitter) called Pulse of the Nation that allows users across Canada to vote for their favourite team in the World Cup. This application is placed directly under the viewing panel on the World Cup section of During the half time break, it was interesting that they were actually showing an image of what was occurring live online on the video screen and in their twitter feed. And when I say interesting, I mean a rather sad step in the right direction. This is really a bizarre attempt to mash traditional media with new. Does it not seem ridiculous to anyone else to watch a video of someone else surfing the web, while you’re surfing the web yourself?

EMBRACE new media fully and implement this interactive functionality directly into the programming!! Don’t make me watch you do it and then have to go and find what it was you were showing me. Break all conventional thinking of what TV should be! While traditional TV will still be around for some time, it is really the job of networks and programmers to change the way people think about TV. There is NO reason it should be a one-way conversation anymore. I appreciate the twitter and facebook feeds that are starting to arise and how people are using them to interact with TV programming – but, isn’t it time to integrate it all??

I’ll finish this post off with a prediction from Twitter indicating they expect their traffic to DOUBLE during the World Cup as fans from all over the world express themselves after every goal, save and upset. But what does this mean? Who is listening? What effect does it have? More importantly what effect could it have?

Imagine your tweet combined with the collective tweets of the world actually made some sort of impact? On the flipside from an advertising and brand point of view – this consumer information is priceless beyond belief. Get on it – there is a world of change happening before our eyes.

Definitions to Begin.

Where better to start, than to understand the definition of some key terms I am interested in exploring.

The first of these being:

Technological Convergence: …the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks. This definition can be elaborated on to refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other, synergistically creating new efficiencies

While we are certainly seeing this occur in the method in which we currently consume media, whether it be TV, Print or Online – some key areas we are not seeing it occur is the method in which marketers, especially those born of huge corporations, are promoting the equity of their particular brands. There is a certain amount of static promotion occurring whereby brands will promote digital and TV independently of each other, thus not being truly convergent in nature. In fact this phenomenon could be considered divergent, because a singular marketing/brand idea is being pursued in two different media (the Old: TV and the New: Digital) in completely different ways.

A key question I hope to explore within the pages of this blog is: How can Mega Brand Marketers better embrace the natural convergence of media that is occurring, rather than resisting it and creating a divergent tension?

Next post – we will explore some specific examples of this, as well as further defining the idea of Old and New media.

It Begins. The New Media Convergence conversation!

Day One. For Months now I’ve had ideas bubbling and been meaning to start up an outlet/forum for the many ideas and discussions I have had in relation to New Media Convergence.

This is it. Day One. Welcome to jeffberez.

I hope to take bring myself and anyone who cares on a wild ride through New Media Convergence.