Posts tagged #focus

Influencers vs. Collectors vs. Shouters

As many of you know by now I'm working hard at becoming a contestant on what [should] be the largest social media entertainment delivery on record: Focus Rally: America. Since that time I've decided to take a forefront position in the campaign by leading the Facebook group and running our team page with my partner Millo Aldea. What I've come to find out in this exercise is that there are three kinds of people that have come to the party.

Influencers: No surprise. They have a directive, goal and a voice. They talk of Autism awareness, Cancer awareness, their faith and others simply the lifestyle they wish to lead. But all of them respectively speak in a voice that is compelling and worth listening to. These are the people that move needles, what they say actually sticks in the minds of consumers creating a moment that places products/services (they talk about) into what is called the "consideration set."

The consideration set has no finality it simply adds, in this case the Ford Focus to the list of cars one might consider purchasing. This is all Ford or any manufacturer could ever ask for. The future of all social media for brands and advertiser is to get to this promised land.



Collectors: These are the people that seem to connect to everyone, have impressive followers in numbers but don't say anything. They post a couple of poorly thought out video clips and then allow ten of their friends to admin their boards because they don't really know what to say but "Like" me!

It's not that they lack passion or intelligence, it's just that social media may be the wrong medium for them to create influence. There folks may very well be better in person. The 'digital voice' is a fickle friend. You've all sent that email to your co-worker/spouse that get's the reply that accuses you of being an ass. Well the same stands true in all digital communications mediums. You in reading this post will digest the content in your own way and leave it (more than likely) in a way I had not presumed. That interaction and response is fundamentally what makes us human.


Shouters: Lastly, we have shouters. These are the people that 'carpet bomb' boards with a posse of people screaming that they're the best but giving zero reason why. The heavy lifting here was done initially by a group of influencers that pushed the snowball of shouters into a fury of "THEY GUNNA' ROCK THIS THING!" and leave most of us with as much brand equity in their race as driving pass an outdoor billboard for 'South Of The Border' for the 700th time at 100 mph.

I think everyone's hearts in the right place just having different levels of presumption on what moves people to be loyal. This is a game that requires a team of at home/work collective in order to win said competition, that being said it's easy to see who you should be aligning yourself with. In the remaining time prior to selection we'll see who gets the final knod. Will it be camera beauties? Geek fodder? Twitter Moguls? We'll just have to wait and see how many licks it takes to get to the center of the lollypop. But I can tell all contestants and followers that 'she/he with the most numbers' will not necessarily win, and that we all judge the quality of the audience before we presume they are gold.

Interesting show concept coming on influencers, give this a look, it's worth the time:

Posted on November 4, 2010 and filed under Advertising, Business, Research, Social Media.

Ford Has A New Focus: RALLY AMERICA

About a week ago, a dear friend and former co-worker, Kelly Fitzpatrick, put me on the path to a new web-based social series called "Focus Rally: America." Ford, along with the creators of "The Amazing Race," are creating a new real-time webisodic adventure. Based on what little information I can gather, here's what we know so far:

  • Ford is the main sponsor
  • The show will take place with the new, loaded 2012 Ford Focus as the hero product
  • The show will play out in real-time online for five weeks
  • It appears that contestants will take on scavenger hunt-like goals
  • Participants will use their social graph in order to collect information to complete tasks
  • The people within the social graph could also win in the end, given their assistance to the participant (prizes seem TBD)
  • The winner of the contest will split a large cash sum with their respective partner and get ten brand new 2012 Ford Focus vehicles to be given away to people that helped the most
  • I'm going to assume that, naturally, the players will be aggressively tweeting, posting, blogging, checking-in, geocaching, video updating and Facebooking all to beat the band
  • The map is posted and it appears to be a full coast-to-coast trip (with your more than occasional caveats, I'm sure)

As a professional advertiser that specializes in interactive and social mediums, I must say with all pun intended: the whole concept gets my motor running. I've been preaching "in-content branding" for five years now and only in the past five years (with the death of the 30 second commercial, thanks to TIVO, DVR and now every new internet TV box) are we truly seeing entertainment companies embrace this, holistically. Extreme Makeover, HGTV and others have been doing it right for some time but to make leap, for most, in prime-time has been critical. What makes this entertainment concept different, though, is it's online and in real-time.

Well, I got a call to go to the casting audition!

So this month, I'll go through the process and cross my fingers and toes and see how it goes. What I like about the concept is many, it pushes the technology, social and wraps it around the Ford brand. This makes Ford look as smart as their new cars are claiming to be. And if they're REALLY smart about it, they will also use the experience to team up with app, mobile and social developers to use all of us as guinea pigs to kick some beta tires while we're at it. I'd love to be on the conceptual team, as well, as it has all the classic lines of part Amazing Race, part ARG, appeals to the gearheads and offers real-time interaction with participants (though admittedly this could also be highly problematic without some moderation). And let's face it finding ten people with valued social graphs will be spectacular for Ford to send and build loyalty driven messaging as they tap into a galvanized audience. It's one thing to say that you're a smart company, but it's another thing to prove you're a smart company. I like this idea and I'm excited about playing a part in it (even if it's simply the casting). And I need you to tell your friends to follow me, their friends to follow me, their pets and their pets friends...pleeeeeeease :D

In the meantime, here's all the stuff online, casting is in full swing so if you're as psyched as I am, you might get invited to the dance, too:

So as they say, "stay tuned," there's more to come as I know it. Life might be a rally but it is a wild ride.