By now, you are no doubt worn out on us talking about the mobile site our team magicked together for our beloved Mobile Bay. It’s got a GPS, voiced-guided walking tour of downtown, y’all. Alas, we have a few more chest thumps left. Here’s one nice recent accolade the site has earned: The FWA Mobile of the Day Award.
The FWA (Favourite Website Awards) is a UK-based, industry-recognized Internet award program. Established in 2000, FWA is the most visited website award program in the history of the Internet. So Mobile Bay is huge in Europe, which makes sense since our original settlers were from over there and wore puffy shirts.
For the past few weeks, everyone in the advertising and tech community has been buzzing about the newly launched social application (of the moment) Vine. It’s pretty ingenious in that it allows the user to capture six seconds of video using his or her iPhone. Why six seconds? Well, it’s fast enough to avoid slow loading on mobile networks and quick enough to hold your attention.
A week or so before Valentine’s Day, Mashable and USA Today promoted to their substantial Twitter audiences the idea of creating “Valenvine” videos and sharing them via the hashtag “Valenvine.” It sounded like the perfect opportunity to unleash our brand of experimentation on the world.
What if we hijacked that traffic? Could we again demonstrate our agency’s belief that social media is much more effective when an actual creative concept is incorporated into its usage?
So we created Valenvine.com, where visitors could request Valenvine videos for themselves or a loved one from our “in-house Cupid.” Vine (is owned by and) works through Twitter, so all requests came in to Red Square’s Twitter response feed. Once we got a request, our team of producers, writers and PR people crafted the message and posted it to Vine in real time. As we created the videos, they were all aggregated on our Valenvine website. All requests and videos were tagged with #Valenvine, which again was the hashtag promoted by major media outlets for the day.
We started on Wednesday night before Valentine’s Day (in order to practice and build a little steam), and once we began the next morning, things got moving very quickly. After an hour or so, requests started coming in at such a high volume that we couldn’t keep up. By mid-day, a social traffic reporting site noted that our Valenvine site was ranking third behind Mashable and USA Today in terms of Valentine-related traffic. Some of the videos were odd, some were sweet and others were really funny.
By the end of the day (we were exhausted), we had created 178 personalized videos (almost 18 minutes of content), reached approximately 600,000 Twitter users and scored over one million impressions. MediaBistro wrote about “How One Company Used #ValenVines to Win Twitter Today.”
Kind of amazing.
We learned what resources are needed to pull a social stunt, as well as what works and what doesn’t. Our team also found that paid advertising was fruitless in the effort, which illustrates this type of “campaign” is super fast and purely social.
Above all, Valenvine demonstrates that audiences are shifting to digital/social media at a faster rate than most advertisers are adapting. It’s our job to show our clients how to prepare, how to staff and how to communicate and be responsive in a world that demands brilliance 24/7.
Every March, the worlds of music, film and interactive converge on the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals in Austin, Texas. We’ve been making the pilgrimage for the past couple of years, but 2013 is shaping up to be a DEFCON 1 kind of awesome.
Two of our projects have been named finalists in the SXSW Interactive Awards. The competition “uncovers the best new digital work, from mobile and tablet apps to websites and installations, while celebrating those who are building tomorrow’s interactive trends.”
Our rebranding project for The University of Alabama’s business school is nominated in the educational resource category. We’re up against Harvard there, which we enjoy. And our “Secretly Awesome” work for Mobile Bay was picked in the business category, with some pretty stout competition.
Other big names in the show include Lego, Nissan, CNN, Google, Smithsonian, OK Go and NASA. The entire Red Square team is humbled to have work featured alongside these great brands.
We’ll be in Austin for the goings on and will provide you the full hookup on our learnings. That’s a promise. We also promise to send each of you a piece of any trophy we win. We’re sharers like that.
For a company like Alfa Insurance, which is known for its personalized customer service, the benefits of technology can be a tricky thing to communicate. This was our first assignment for the brand.
Specifically, we were tasked with highlighting a number of new digital tools that the company has made available: the Alfa2Go™ mobile app and My Alfa® on its website. These utilities aren’t merely bits of technology meant to automate interaction between Alfa and its customers. Rather, they are an extension of the agent/customer relationship created solely to make it easier for people to connect with Alfa while on the go. In other words, technology doesn’t supplant the relationship, technology supports the relationship. Based on this thinking, we created an animated television spot called “Digital World.”
Have you ever heard of Mobile, Alabama? Maybe you have, maybe not. Ok. Don’t answer that. It’s a 300-year-old city that sits on the Gulf Coast. And it’s our beloved hometown. So when the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau came to us to promote tourism in our area, we started with a couple of simple truths: Our city is pretty awesome, and nobody knows it.
We then packaged this “secretly awesome” brand with fresh design and a focus on helping visitors discover how great our city is. We simplified the user experience on the main website, guiding visitors down two primary paths: an activity finder that helps deliver options for things to do based on the user’s inclination, and Facebook, where all of the fluid, day-to-day content will be populated. For mobile, we pulled out all the stops and built a GPS voice-guided tour of the downtown area. Here’s a quick video overview of the undertaking.
You want to know the real secret? This is where the future of advertising is going to live. Squarely at the intersection of conceptual thinking, content marketing and digital utility. “Secretly Awesome” is not an ad campaign in the traditional sense, at all. Now you’re in on it.