June 19, 2015

The Weekly Wins: Tweeting Potholes, The First Teen POTUS and Emojis

WRITTEN BY: Nick Kewin

NXNE is in full swing in Toronto, Jazz Fest is kicking off in Vancouver, and the weekend beckons. The slow jams fun begins here with what moved us in digital marketing news this week in our Weekly Wins!

Thanks. Your emoticon really helped me get through a tough time. - The Internets.

1. The battle for the hearts and minds of your home’s devices

The Internet of Things is an ever-expanding concept. You should see our office fan. It’s one microchip away from being self-aware. How long will it take before your home is a fully integrated digital device? In the scheme of things not too long, and the battle for supremacy in the home suite connectivity game is heating up.

As per usual the two warring giants are Apple and Google. Who will be victorious? Which will you employ to trick your crib? Side note, this whole thing is strangely reminiscent of the Ultrahouse 3000.

2. We ❤ Emojis

Like so many social media trends, something that began as a frivolously fun little additive to your social media functions has evolved in to something with real world relevance. Emojis are more than fun: there are even do’s and don’t guides. Emojis have taken on a new life by inspiring real debate about underlying social issues and gaining maturity and respectability by taking on practical applications. Emojis are even discussed as a new way to create passwords. It turns out that there are more potential emoticon sequences for passwords than there are numeric variations, making emoticon passes more difficult to crack. Marketers are getting in on the game too.

Dominoes introduced the emoji delivery method and the world took note. Now brands are racing to introduce the next emoji master stroke. Oh, and the heart emoji was the most used ‘word’ of the year in social media for 2014. So stay tuned: the emoji is set to fully transform the way that we communicate.

3. Hilary, the Tweeting POTUS

If there was anything that was unremarkable about Hilary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign it was her social media presence. While Barack Obama’s team made history by embracing social media, Hilary’s seemed unconcerned with burgeoning media to push the Hilary brand. A poorly maintained Myspace profile was the only social output from camp Hilary back then.

Flash forward to 2015, and Hilary appears to have an engaging presence on every social media platform known to the Western world. Not to mention a hilarious 404 page. Makes perfect sense: the average millennial and younger is more likely to get their campaign news from CNN’s Twitter feed than from their television broadcast. This last point is evidenced by Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, who’s rolling the dice on social media being the catalyst to change in the polls with his new start-up, Brigade.

4. Farming for Social Clout

Clickfarms, operations that create fake social profiles to sell, have popped up all over the developing world. You can buy one thousand Facebook followers for $29.00 or a thousand Twitter followers for $12, or any other type of social media influence you may want for a low, low price. Is it worth it though? After all, what is the point of having followers if they are fake, unengaged followers? And what is social media at all if it isn’t propped up by its basic tenet: that it is a realm for digital engagement, interaction and relationships. Ghost profiles don’t do any of these things. They’re just duplicitous fandom. Clickfarms open up a Pandora’s Box of social media integrity and morality questions.

5. The case of the incredible Tweeting potholes

In an attempt to create a solution to a real life problem using tech, one Panama City advertising agency has created Tweeting potholes. When someone drives over one of the road craters the device that they have placed in the pothole will tweet directly at city hall. Unlike the average bored retiree with a penchant for bending the ear of their city councillor about everything that their tax dollars should be fixing, the robot potholes are tireless. They’ll firebomb city hall with tweets non-stop until the problem is fixed. It opens a world of possibilities: what else about the streets could be fixed using the same tech?

Can you imagine the constant stream of obscenities that the Gardiner Expressway would lob at Toronto’s City Hall? Also, what will the uptight citizen bent on fulfilling their civic duty by complaining to city hall do with their time now that they’ve been rendered obsolete? Only time will tell.