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December, 2011

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#fiestagram

A few moments ago we emailed our overall competition winner with the fantastic news that one of his images, submitted via Instagram and captioned with our #Fiestagram hashtag, has won him a brand new Ford Fiesta.

Considering artistic interpretation, photographic skill and originality, our esteemed panel of judges (including our own discerning Blue Hive staff) managed to whittle down over 16,000 images to find this deserving winner.

Stepping into this forthright creative community was not without its risks. For example, would there be an aggrieved sense of a brand encroaching into their territory? Well, we’re delighted to report that we’ve been overwhelmed by the strength of positive feeling and the self-moderating community actually silenced a couple of naysayers themselves.

Each new theme was met with genuine excitement and there were sincere congratulations to each of the six winners, some of whom couldn’t contain their joy: “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees yes yes yes yes yeeeeees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!” was @Daveystarr’s heartfelt response to discovering that he’d won our #Hidden challenge and the prize of a new Canon SLR camera.

Both the standard and volume of entries we received was amazing. And moderation was easy because we simply didn’t receive the raft of pornographic images we were steeling ourselves for!

The moderated photos appeared in the Facebook gallery, relevant to the particular weekly challenge, and once each theme had closed the Fiestagram team speedily created a shortlist, dispatched it to the judges, created a Facebook album for public perusal then announced the winner within 48 hours. As well as their prize, each winner was sent a congratulatory letter from the Fiestagram team, further elevating their sense of achievement (as well as demonstrating the team’s gratitude). As just one winner put it, “The letter that came with it was really great too. It made me feel really extra proud.”

So after seven weeks of hard work, fun and inspiration, we at the Fiestagram team are a little sad to see this exhilarating campaign come to an end. And there’s one other small problem; our Community Manager now has to work out what to do with his first weekend off in two months. Ideas on a postcard to…

Dec

12

2011

Who’s made our gift list this year…?

Merry Christmas from Blue Hive

Last year, we gave you Merry Doodle. But with the economic climate being what it is and charity donations down significantly as a result, it seems appropriate to try and redress the balance. So instead of spending money creating a card this year, we’re keeping it simple, and donating that cash to four charities close to our hearts:

Alzheimer’s Society provides over 2,000 services across the country to people affected by dementia, including support and befriending services to help partners and families cope with the demands of caring.

CRY works with the Department of Health and others to develop high quality cardiac services for young people and families.

Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centres provide emotional support and complementary therapies for people affected by cancer. The charity has also enabled more than 2000 patients to participate in pioneering clinical drug trials.

Mudchute City Farm is a unique living resource providing free access to a range of farm animals for children of all ages in one of London’s most deprived areas.

As well as our donation to these charities, our Blue Hive Giving initiative ran throughout the year, with Cakes for Quakes for the New Zealand earthquake, clothes sales (of clothes used as props on shoots) to support the Japanese earthquake, participation in the Many Ogilvy Hands project as well as a sterling moustache-growing effort from the Blue Hive Bristles for Movember.

Finally, on behalf of every one at Blue Hive: seasons greetings!

Dec

7

2011

One Man and his Dog, Fenton

One sunny Tuesday in November, a Labrador named Fenton (originally thought to be Benton) threw caution to the wind, unleashed the courage of a lion and stampeded a herd of wild deer across Richmond Park in London. Filmed on a mobile phone by a 13-year old boy, the 47-second video clip has since become an instant global hit.

You can’t help but chuckle at Fenton’s behaviour and his master’s frustration as he chases his dog across the parkland shouting; “Fenton…Fenton……oh Jesus Christ Fenton!”

With over 600,000 hits on YouTube to date the story of this lovable Labrador also became the highest British trending topic on Twitter, even leading to its own dedicated fan page.

Obviously, the trend of sharing experiences of comical or unusual animal antics is well established. And our social networks are awash with virals and blogs showing off our cute and entertaining cats, dogs, hamsters, ferrets… What’s fascinating, however, is that as well as providing a platform to share thoughts and experiences, social media has heightened our desire to express and develop our own creativity too. For example, a whole series of Fenton spoofs quickly hit the airwaves, including the infamous ‘Jesus Christ in Jurassic Park’ video.

This spoof has already gained as many viewings on You Tube as the original Fenton clip, demonstrating the equilibrium between interactivity and creativity in the world of social media.

The Fenton saga clearly highlights how everyday circumstances, the comic misfortunes of other people, and simply being in the right place at the right time, can bring almost immediate free entertainment to the masses via a mobile phone and modern technology. Whether you love the clip or hate it, you cannot deny its world-wide impact. Let’s just hope Fenton’s unfortunate owner has a change of luck and doesn’t have to pay a fine for ‘failing to control’ the unruly pup!

Nov

26

2011

Opinion

TAGGED: ,

Digital Academy – brands on Facebook

Digital Academy is a forum designed to inform and inspire. Each fortnight we get together and focus on one area of digital; first looking at the basics and some great case studies from across the marketing spectrum, then debating the finer points and coming up with brand new ideas. And because this is an open forum, everyone in the agency is always welcome to join in.

This week: brands who are stepping up to the mark on Facebook.

Social media (and Facebook in particular), is very different to other media in that users have to choose to interact with a brand in their social space, making interactions on an emotional level. In short, people have to care to connect!

Ultimately any brand seen on Facebook needs to offer a meaningful value exchange. And you’ll certainly know if you do it wrong; feedback is pretty immediate on this channel.

Here are some great examples of brands/organisations who’ve got it right:

US 7th fleet – 16k fans

The US Navy’s 7th fleet is a huge organisation, but it’s one that’s interacting on a very personal level. Yes the content has a niche audience and yes, the whole thing is undoubtedly a big PR exercise, but it’s fascinating stuff nonetheless.

Volkwagen Nederland (fanwagen app) – 24k fans

This lovely little ‘landing experience app’ allows users to ‘softly’ engage with VW by picking a part of either the VW Camper or Beetle then customise it with their name, ultimately seeing that part in a completed virtual vehicle.

Sutton Seeds – 2.5k fans

It may be small, and extremely niche, but use of Facebook in this instance enables extremely personal and hype-local interaction with customers. The company often post quick tips based on the weekend’s weather and the experience is absolutely charming.

Coke (freestyle app) – 49k fans

This is another campaign app within a Facebook page. Again, it’s a very light-touch interaction, allowing users to create their own Coke drink from different Coca Cola brands across the globe, and then share their horrible concoction with their friends!

Aviva (big picture campaign) – 50k fans

Now in its second year (an age in the digital advertising world), this is another engaging campaign app. The app allows users to upload their photo to be projected on a huge wall (there’s one on London’s Southbank), with each projection representing a £2 donation to Save the Children.

Nov

15

2011

Picamo

PicamoIn aid of Movember, the annual moustache-based charity, Blue Hive developed a new iPhone app called Picamo. Choose from thirty realistic looking moustaches, line one up with your iPhone camera, and take a snap. Then share with your mates on Facebook and Twitter, or by email.

Profits from Picamo go to the Movember event, held each year to raise awareness of men’s health issues, especially prostate cancer.

Movember is no longer only for testosterone fuelled males. Picamo means that girlfriends, pets, and even babies can all get involved! Adding face furniture is quick, easy and fun with Picamo.

Download Picamo from the AppStore today!

Picamo works on the iPhone 3G or above as well as the iPod Touch and iPad.

Nov

3

2011

Digital matters: the Internet’s sweeping impact in world affairs

The impact of digital communication in world affairs has been profound; increasing connections between people and the way they live, especially at the intersection of cultures and commerce. And with around two billion people now engaging with digital media (on everything from PCs to tablets, laptops to phones, TVs, radios and cinema screens), creative agencies need to understand the social, economic, and technological dimensions of the Net’s impact as they develop and target their campaigns. They also need to know how best to deliver these campaigns, globally, across an ever growing and continuously evolving range of media.

Driving growth, online

According to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute, the global activity of Internet users accounts for 3.4% of GDP growth in the 13 strongest economic countries around. Almost $8 trillion exchanges hands each year through e-commerce. The Internet drove 21% of GDP growth in the last 5 years in economically mature countries. These are all phenomenal statistics indicating the importance of digital to boost growth in an anxious economic age. In some developed markets, about two-thirds of all businesses have a web presence of some kind, and one third of small/medium size businesses (SMEs) make extensive use of web technologies to drive productivity, market engagement, and prosperity.

The Internet has also transformed the way we organise society and the ways our countries develop and grow. In two decades, the Internet has changed from being a relatively small network resource for researchers and ‘geeks’ to an essential part of daily life for billions. And according to McKinsey, it seems that the Internet is lowering unemployment too, creating 2.6 jobs for every 1 job lost.

The power of invention

Many have compared the creation of the Internet to another communications game changer, the introduction of the Gutenberg press five centuries earlier. But a comparison with the development and commercialisation of electric power may be more appropriate (N. Carr, The big switch: rewiring the world, from Edison to Google, 2009). Among its many other consequences, electricity changed the landscape of cities around the world, allowing elevators that can travel great heights and heralding the dawn of massive skyscrapers. As with electricity, the Internet has transformed the global landscape. The Internet bridges vast distances and has made the world “flatter” (T. Friedman, Hot, Crowded, & Flat, 2008) by allowing instant access to an almost endless stream of information that can be immediately brought into play. Its impact on economic wealth reaches well beyond pure players in the industry. Indeed the brunt of economic contributions derive from established industries that, in the shadow of the Internet, have become more productive, created more jobs, increased standards of living, and contributed to real growth.

As with electricity, the Internet changed every corner of the world, it’s not limited to those countries instrumental in its initial development. As Internet usage spreads to even the most remote communities—where gas-powered generators and satellite links make connection possible—its positive effects grow. No wonder the United Nations Development Goals lists Internet penetration as a key metric in efforts to reduce poverty and encourage rational development.

A change for good

Digital media touches and influences all of us: businesses, individuals, governments, and entrepreneurs. It has made possible new waves of business models and entrepreneurship but has also led to radical innovations for accessing, using, and delivering goods and services. It has transformed industries and governments through innovative approaches. And it’s changed how users think about the way the countries in which they live are governed (as the recent unrest in North Africa and the Middle East demonstrates). Ultimately, the digital industry matters because it fuels economic growth, transforms global politics, and connects people in new and profound ways.

The Net is huge, it’s continually evolving and developing, and it’s changing the world we live in. But knowing why and how these changes matter is key, because it means we can deliver greater innovation, fresher thinking and, ultimately, help our clients benefit from these macro-economic shifts too.

By Deaglan Mac Farland, August 2011.

The sources for the statistics are:

  • The World Bank, 2009; Gartner, 2010; Eurostat, 2010; McKinsey & Company, 2011.
  • Nicholas Carr, The big switch: Rewiring the world, from Edison to Google, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.
  • Thomas Friedman, Hot, Crowded, & Flat, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008.

 

Aug

9

2011

Digital Honey, July 2011

We got musical in Digital Honey this week. And this is your tuneful mix of digital links for your listening pleasure!

Music of the month

Edan Kwan created this enthralling game completely in HTML 5 for the NYC band Ra Ra Riot. Navigate a world of sound with your mouse, collecting the blue dots but avoiding the red ones. We can barely believe this is all built in HTML 5!

Favourite of the blogs

Masterchef Synaesthesia has been hitting the blogs in a big way. So much so that we’ve found ourselves humming it around the office, “…base, base, base, base, buttery biscuit base…” Check out everyone’s favourite foodie duo in this musical mix video.

Tech of the week

Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (of Wilderness Downtown fame) teamed up with the Google Chrome team to build 3 Dreams of Black. This interactive video is built around the music of Danger Mouse, Daniel Luppi, and Norah Jones using Chrome’s WebGL engine to render 3D graphics on the fly.

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

Jul

21

2011

Digital Honey, late June 2011

Digital Honey doesn’t stop, we’re here all summer!

Favourite of the blogs

To help promote their adoption drive, Pedigree created human to canine pairing software called Doggelganger. The Flash site scans your face then searches a global doggy database to match it with your four-legged twin. Find out if you’re a Greyhound or a Labrador. Woof, woof!

Most significant in social

Perrier’s YouTube channel is getting saucy. With every view the channel evolves, adding a new video to build up an increasingly raunchy looking club which is obviously filled with Perrier. A reward for users who take the time to interact, or just a blatant headline grabbing device?

Tech of the week

You can now use an image to start your Google search. Simply drag-and-drop an image into the search bar and Google will analyse it then look for web page results as well as similar images.

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

Jun

27

2011

Digital Honey, June 2011

The sun is starting to shine over our Canary Wharf home, but that doesn’t mean we’re taking a summer break just yet!

Tech of the week

Cats: the Internet loves cats. And so do we! Friskies love cats so much they created an iPad game especially for them. You wouldn’t really trust those claws with your iPad though, would you?

Favourite of the blogs

The Burning House Project really caught our eye. As the introduction says; “If your house was burning, what would you take with you? Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.” It’s a fascinating insight into what contributors hold dear.

Most significant in social

Turkish mobile operator Turkcell ‘played’ with their Internet savvy users. Running an interactive competition through Twitter, they asked users to participate with their tweets to virtually unwrap a prize.

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

Jun

8

2011

It’s our birthday!

Have you heard? It’s our birthday! We turned one year young in May. To celebrate we set off by the coach load to spend a day (and night) beside the seaside in sunny Brighton.

Glad rags on and party bags in hand we prepared to strut our stuff at the lavish Proud Brighton Ballroom. Wining, dining, and dancing until dawn we celebrated being one year older and wiser with style (and a little help from our Proud hosts).

After a well deserved Friday-morning fry-up we made the most of Brighton’s sights. Exploring the Lanes, playing the arcades on the pier, and feasting on seaside fish and chips.

It was a great way mark our first year as a collective, and an even better way to kick off the second. So here’s to many more seaside celebrations to come.

Jun

2

2011

News

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Digital Honey, late May 2011

May was always going to be a long month. But lucky for you, we packed it full of digital goodies to enjoy!

Most significant in social

We like the thought behind the Sunday Times’ Social List. Connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts to see where you rank against other users. But beware; you’ll only see your position against others who have signed up, so don’t get too excited about your place at the top!

Favourite of the blogs

An Ericsson survey showed us that 35 percent of owners use their smartphone before getting out of bed (the most popular activity being accessing Facebook). So do we need our fix of social media first thing, or is it just any excuse for a short lie-in?

Music of the month

This is a supremely clever use of open APIs: BBCify let’s you subscribe to Spotify playlists for any BBC show and they’re even automatically updated with each broadcast. The service plugs together the BBC Programmes API (to get listings of BBC radio and TV shows) with the Spotify Metadata API (to match the listings to tracks). It’s certainly one way to hit Spotify’s 10 hours per month limit!

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

May

31

2011

May’s new joiners

May’s been a busy month and we’ve had a lot of new joiners. So a big Blue Hive “hello and welcome” to: Thomas Ceccaldi, Jonny Bottomley, Hannah Fuller, Rebecca Parsons, Rebecca Hanson, Marialuisa Taverna, Mark Palmieri, Deaglan MacFarland, Lydia Griffin, Claire Milton, Jenny Thwaites, and Angela Challands.

May

24

2011

Digital Honey, May 2011

Our mid-May digital delights are in; this is the best of the office circulars and cool digital doodads.

Best in digital data

Chromaroma is ‘gamifying’ the London transport system using Oyster touch-in data. Sign up and be part of a team trying to capture and hold various stations across the London tube network. Definitely a fun use of open TfL data!

Tech of the week

This clever tech uses the front-facing camera on the iPad2 to track the users head and produce pseudo-3D images on the screen. It’s a great demo, but sadly we don’t think the iPad has enough power to make this work in a real-world application like a game (yet).

Most significant in social

Real birds tweeting on Twitter using a bacon fat keyboard! It’s all over now, but this was lovely to watch during the winter months; the birds tweeted away and got fed at the same time.

Favourite of the blogs

Jose Duarte has hand-crafted these ‘infographics’ in real life and you can even request a kit to make your own. See more on his Flickr account.

Real world infographics

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

May

19

2011

Digital Honey, February 2011

February seems to come around so quickly when you’re busy creating car ads! But the digital goodies never stop, here’s the Digital Honey roundup for this week.

Best in digital data

Mapping the most common surnames in London (from the 2001 Electoral Roll) along with the origins of those names to illustrate the diversity of the capital.
Mapping London surnames

Tech of the week

An interesting student-made concept for WESC; shoes with embedded RFID tags and integration to social networks.

Most significant in social

Marking the 50th anniversary the inauguration of JFK this site is compiling snippets of his inauguration speech as performed by the public. A lovely social mashup.
Our JFK Speech

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

Feb

7

2011

Digital Honey, January 2011

After a long winter hiatus we felt a new style Digital Honey for a new year was in order. Let’s get digital…

Favourite of the blogs

If you fancy a daily dose of fwuffy-bwunny-wabbit action then this is the blog for you. Brighten up your day and your desktop.
Daily Bunny

Best in digital data

There are som surprises in the 2010 AddThis data – email is still huge and the growth of StumbleUpon shares far outpaced Facebook!
AddThis sharing trends in 2010

Most significant in social

KLM’s Social Surprise experiment really impressed us, with thoughtful mixing of social media and real-world goodies for their tweeting passengers.

Got some great digital links to share? Tweet us! @TheBlueHive or use the hashtag #digitalhoney.

Jan

23

2011