Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Facebook IPO

The Facts Behind the Sale

On the cusp of Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO), we take a look at just what’s on offer, and what that might mean for the social media giant’s more than one billion users.

Listed as a public company, Facebook is hoping to raise $5 billion from the sale of around 421 million shares, an ambitious goal which if achieved, would land them on the shortlist of largest IPOs of all time.

Next to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 28.4% majority share, the sale would see nearly 18% of the company become public, valuing it at around $100 billion and placing fourth on the list of the world’s biggest companies behind Apple, Google and McDonald’s.

Analysts have been quick to warn against investing, citing the notoriously volatile performance of .COMs on the share market, but there has been significant public interest in the shares which are set to debut on the market later this week.

A cause for concern for some is the last minute release of a further 84 million shares by early backers last week including PayPal founder Peter Thiel who increased his initial release from 7.7 million to 16.8 million.

Not everyone is selling though, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom will be watching the IPO closely following the sale of his App to Facebook earlier in the year for $1 billion, much of which it was later revealed came in the form of Facebook stock.

What It Means for Users

For Facebook’s 845 million active users who generate an average 2.7 billion daily likes and comments, the move to public company might see some unwelcome changes in daily functionality.

By law, when a company goes public they are obligated to continue creating increased value for their stakeholders, and while Facebook’s value has grown exponentially year to year, it has yet to keep up with the demands of a large public stakeholder base.

So far advertising has proven their single greatest source of revenue, bringing in $3.7 billion last year alone, but while user numbers continue to grow, reports show overall advertising revenue from the last six months is down.

While it’s safe to say advertising revenue is unlikely to dry up any time soon, there are concerns from users that options to minimise advertising on your page will disappear in the fight for advertising real estate to keep its value.

In an initial step, Facebook has announced the introduction of advertising on their mobile platform, currently an ad free space. Whether this is enough to combat the dip in ad space value however remains to be seen.

Facebook Timeline – Maximising Business Potential

Having introduced their new timeline format to business pages just over a month ago in a soft launch, Facebook has now officially made the switch to all pages in a mandatory update. Similar to the new format for personal profiles, the timeline for pages offers a host of new features and ditches a few of the old, in some cases dividing opinion. To help point the way, WhiteRhino’s web developer and resident wizard Jason sat down to give us the rundown on the pros and cons of the social media giant’s latest facelift, providing a few useful hints along the way on how to optimise the benefits for social savvy businesses.

As with previous Facebook revamps, improvements in functionality, accessibility and user interactivity have been driving factors in the redesign. To this means, several major changes including the introduction of the cover photo (banner image) and larger photo display have been introduced.

“The cover photo is one of the biggest benefits to businesses as that banner space provides much bigger promo capacity than previously available,” says Jason. In addition, the ability to highlight specific stories allows businesses to control what gets priority on their page, pointing visitors to important news and positive feedback over other news.

The improved accessibility of the data and analysis information is also a major bonus for businesses wanting to track customer engagement through their page. The analysis tool is much more akin to that of a blog, says Jason, adding that “while it’s not much different to before in terms of actual tools, it’s much easier to find and use now, saving time and effort when collecting this data.”

Next the newly introduced capacity to direct message (DM) business pages serves to further encourage customer feedback and interactivity between consumers and businesses. In terms of using social media as a tool for genuine feedback and interaction says Jason, this is a big step but one that requires proper handling. “It’s important to acknowledge messages from clients or consumers, whether positive or negative as it can both cut down formal correspondences to help lines and encourage more genial resolutions to potential problems.

Businesses and consumers alike however should be aware of the cons of the new design as there are potential pitfalls for both parties. “The loss of the conversation tracking or wall-to-wall feature is a big one,” says Jason, highlighting how it is now virtually impossible to track interactions between two parties chronologically anymore. This means all wall-to-wall conversation history has been virtually eradicated so there is no paper trail to track interactions that have taken place publicly.

As well as this, apps (e.g. pages like forms or booking info etc.) have now been limited on the home page, making them harder to find and access and in some cases reducing the functionality of the page for some business interactions. Posts in the no longer static timeline design are also now subject to moving around the page, meaning posts not highlighted (including negative comments or feedback) are quickly lost. It’s also now harder to follow a page’s interactions as events are categorised under ‘Activity’ and ‘Likes’ boxes rather than chronologically. This is not necessarily a bad thing for businesses but consumers should be aware of this when posting complaints or feedback.

“Basically, businesses will need to adapt their approach to using Facebook as a tool,” says Jason of the update, recommending all businesses take the time to learn their way around the new features and design, familiarising themselves to avoid unnecessary gaffes and improve the usability of their page.

The Briefing Handbook

A few handy tips and guides for writing a creative brief, to make the job easier and the results better…

Basic Details
This seems like a no-brainer but make sure you start every brief with the basic details necessary to proceed. Contact details, the job and its deadline should not be hard to find so make sure this info is up-front and accurate.

Overview
The overview should include the requirements of the job, the context in which it exists, relevant background information (briefly) and the timeline.

Background & Material
It’s important to put jobs in the context of past campaigns, so here is the spot to provide relevant past material. Any carry-over content that remains relevant should also be provided as well as new content, brand guidelines and other information. If the job involves any kind of co-branding, sponsorship or partnership, make sure all relevant background and style and branding specifications for ALL parties are provided.

Target Audience
Who are you trying to reach? What is the demographic, the purpose in communicating with them? What is their relationship to the client? It is useful to supply some detail about the background, likely views and values and density of the target audience.

The Core Message
This is the purpose of your job or campaign, summarised in a sentence. It can also include the call to action if there is one.

Unique Selling Point
What sets your brand or product apart from the competition? This is the most crucial point to made through your communication as it is what will pull your target audience’s attention.

Creative Direction
The creative direction should include in greater detail the brand style (including for any associated brands), the desired look and feel, the tone of voice and any other brand specific direction to be considered.

 

QR Codes Make Window Shopping a Virtual Reality

We saw it a few months ago with eBay’s Give-A-Toy Christmas store and now major Australian clothing retailer Sportsgirl has taken up the concept of virtual shopping with the launch of a new ‘window shop’. Cashing in on the prime real estate of their prominent shop fronts, pictures of products are accompanied by QR codes for instantaneous purchase straight from shoppers’ phones.

The brand recently transformed its Chapel St store window and the campaign is set to be rolled out nationwide over the next few months. By combining the convenience of online shopping with the advantage of strategically placed 24/7 interactive ads, Sportsgirl’s new digital marketing initiative is at the forefront of the Australian retail landscape. Stay tuned for who will be next to pick up on the high-tech shopping trend…

QR codes make Christmas giving as easy as window shopping.

eBay and Toys for Tots have teamed up to launch an animated shopfront with The GIVE-A-TOY Store. The interactive storefront launched in New York and San Francisco and invites passers-by to window shop ‘for good’.

Passers-by can select the toy they wish to donate simply by scanning the accompanying QR code, making the donation directly from their phone.

Collecting Christmas gift donations for disadvantaged children, the virtual store engages passers-by making it easy and fast to donate while creating a feel-good experience with the animated window. The clever use of QR codes and the digital window adds an exciting new element to traditional shopping and is perhaps a precursor of things to come!

WhiteRhino has a simply good time at MTC!

WhiteRhino ads for our client Simply Energy, Melbourne Theatre Company season sponsor.

Some of our ad work for Simply Energy, MTC season sponsor. Foyer poster and page three programme ads for productions of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’

Thanks to Simply Energy for tickets to the amazing ‘Importance of Being Earnest’, great night!

Adding personality to the brand even in adversity. Clever stuff CarSales

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Very clever redirection on content. Disgruntled because content I had earmarked to view again wasn’t there? – The opposite – divert my attention into humour – I was almost suckered into thinking the brand (Holden maybe) was advertising specifically on 404 errors. Great stuff CarSales.

‘Each too their own…’

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I recently saw a tattoo emblazoned across a bare chest that read ‘Each too their own.’ In ink. PERMANENTLY.

The obvious solution to this is to wear a shirt at all times. Some grammatical disasters are however less easily fixed or covered up.

If you’re a writer, or in any line of work where you get published (and I mean anywhere – emails, social media, web content, corporate literature, ads… employees of the world, ahoy), then that extra ‘o’ is a blunder almost tooo big to fathom.

Overlook a typo on your corporate website and all of a sudden your business is more whiner than winner and expat than expert. It’s a problem.

This is bad and not just because it looks like you didn’t pass primary school English. All of a sudden your carefully thought out work looks hurried and uncared for. Best case – you just look dumb.

The other major problem with mistakes like these is permanence. It might not be inked on but a typo on a towering billboard is as good as. Consider every eye that sees it adds a month to its longevity in the public mind, and published media gone viral tends to adopt an indeterminate lifespan of its own.

Also, internet content is permanent so mistakes published online are too. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother deleting them. You should. At speed. If you’re lucky, your copy errors don’t get too many hits before you get to them, because they are metaphorical blemishes on the rosy face of your business. And they scar.

Consider, if it’s in the ether it’s there forever.

Prevention is better than treatment, so before you publish, send or print ANYTHING that can be cached, stored, copied or forwarded, check it says what you think it does. Then do it again for good measure.

Of course typos and editorial disasters happen to all of us and mistakes often prompt the quickest learning curves, but one bad one should be enough to ensure you never have another.

Make mistakes, learn from them, then never make the same ones again. (Instead, make different ones. Jam the printer, or lose a brief. Pretty soon you’ll learn not to do that again either…)

Spelling and grammar matter, so if you’re the kind of person who bothers to put a shirt on every day because you care what people think (even if you have nothing too hide), then bother to check your copy and show you care about your work. That’s something they’ll remember.

Design across time: MIFF60 Exhibition at State of Design

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Towards the end of the State of Design festival, Jeremy and I wandered into the city for some lunchtime inspiration.

The exhibition we chose to view was  ‘MIFF60: The Graphic Art of the Melbourne International Film Festival’. Whilst a very small exhibition, it was a comprehensive array of design collateral across the 60 years that MIFF has been running. What made this exhibition unique was seeing all these items as a collection, given that they were designed by different designers, studios and agencies over the years.

In the beginning, each year appeared to be a separate entity with a different design treatment each year. With the 1990s and 2000s came a marked difference with a more definite brand identity being developed and rolled out and a greater emphasis on sponsor logo inclusion. This also coincided with a change in the early 2000s when MIFF began using advertising agencies – the programmes became more magazine-like and began to heavily utilise imagery from the films rather than simply developing a branded graphic treatment.

Seeing designs from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s gave an insight into the very different design trends of those era. As the State of Design website put it:

“… from the flat geometric designs of the Saul Bass inspired 1960s, through the psychedelic excursions of the 70s and the neo-pop surrealism of the 80s.”

It was very interesting to see how the brand and collateral has evolved over time and the varying approaches used by the different designers. Seeing a complete collection such as this was fascinating, not just in terms of the MIFF brand, but also in terms of the changing trends evident in design.