Who’s Got Beme Codes?

Beme, the latest social networking app launched by filmaker/vlogger Casey Neistat and ex-Tumblr employee Matt Hackett, has been all the talk since it’s launch earlier this month, or at least the words “have you got an unlock code for Beme?” are. As Neistat puts it, Beme is designed to produce more authentic content and remove the self-consciousness of sharing.

What is it?

The app provides a unique way of filming by utilizing the sensor just above the earpiece, in which, when covered, the app records. This distinct feature is designed to stop users from having to look through the screen and allow them to continue living their lives. The app also doesn’t allow you to preview your content, so you don’t have time to second guess yourself. To “like” a person’s Beme, an additional feature has been developed, in which you take a selfie to allow people to see your reaction to their content.

I’ve personally been using Beme for two weeks now, and while it’s still in it’s earlier stages of development, it shows a lot of potential. Holding a resemblance to Snapchat in it’s ‘watch only once’ video format, the content is a lot more authentic and raw as people are trying to master the new way of filming. The user interface is still rather basic, as you can see in the screenshots below.


What does this mean for marketers?

While no branded function currently exists, Beme provides an interesting way to engage your customers. It will stop companies from over-crafting their content and force real, unedited engagement with their audiences. This may require a new way for working, but brands that could pull it off will really make a big impact. Will you be a first mover in this space?

At the moment, the app requires an unlock code that you need to get from an existing user, even though everyone has the ability to download the app and register their usernames now. So get to it!

If you’re already on Beme follow me @charliemlowe

Size Doesn’t Matter: Small Screens of the Future

We live in an exciting age of expansive connectivity and innovative technologies that provide immersive experiences. But on-the-go and mobile-centric lifestyles demand a shift in the way those experiences are being delivered.

As software gets smaller and we move from applications to apps to widgets, mobile devices are getting smarter about how and when to interact with the user.

In this webinar, we will explore:

  • The intersection of brands and consumers’ mobile lifestyles
  • How contextual and “in the moment” interactions are happening via notifications, widgets and wearables
  • How you can take advantage of streamlined interactions designed for the phone, the watch and screen-less wearables

We are excited to welcome guest presenter Michael Griffith, VP of User Experience and Executive Creative Director at Bottle Rocket. A partner company of Ogilvy & Mather, Bottle Rocket is a leader in mobile technologies transforming the way brands engage with consumers in the mobile space.

View the deck and watch a recording of the webinar below:

Size Doesn’t Matter: Small Screens of the Future & Other Mobile Trends from Social@Ogilvy



Size Doesn’t Matter: Small Screens of the Future from Social@Ogilvy


Google Cardboard and Experiential Communications


Google Cardboard is the newest innovation in virtual reality. We decided to try it out for ourselves, and before we knew it, we were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and then in the streets of Tokyo! All without leaving our New York City office.


What you should know about Google Cardboard

The most recent version of Google Cardboard was introduced in May 2015 at the Google I/O conference and is compatible with most smartphones including iPhone and Android. As of May 29th, 2015 there have been 1–5 million downloads of the app.

Google doesn’t actually make the cardboard viewer product. They give you instructions on how to make it, and you can buy the different parts. You can also buy the cardboard viewer from other vendors such as Amazon for $25.00 or from Google Cardboard’s website for $19.95. The idea is that it is easily accessible for everyone.

Google has put out a virtual reality app that you can use with the cardboard viewer called the Google Cardboard app. Within the app there are four options: Explorer, Exhibit, Urban Hike, and Kaleidoscope. Explorer takes you to different museums. Exhibit allows to view different objects in virtual reality 3D. Urban Hike allows you to explore different cities around the world. Finally, Kaleidoscope is an amped up, 3D version of the traditional kaleidoscope.

There are other virtual reality apps that can be used with the Cardboard. Google has put out Cardboard SDK, which allows programmers to create their own Cardboard compatible VR apps.

Google Cardboard has connected with two other products. The first is Jump, a Google designed virtual reality camera, which is actually made up of 16 GoPro cameras. The second is Tango VR, a Google product in the making. It is the technology that allows a tablet or smart phone to accurately locate the user without GPS or Wi-Fi for this virtual experience.

Benefits for brands

  1. Brands can develop their own apps that are compatible with Google Cardboard. These apps would be an alternative to the traditional IOS and Android apps.
  2. Virtual reality is an expanding market. K Zero stated that the VR market could reach $7 billion by 2018. Brands can use Google Cardboard to become a part of the VR market and the cutting edge. For example, Merrell set up a virtual reality booth at the Sundance movie festival to allow people to virtually hike up a mountain. The movie Interstellar created a VR app to engage potential movie goers. British Columbia also set up a VR experience to promote tourism.
  3. Google Cardboard is allowing more people to access virtual reality and it is an alternative way for brands to expand and increase their reach or targeted audience.
  4. Google Cardboard allows users to understand brands’ products and allows brands to understand their users. Several other car companies such as Ford and Audi have used VR to allow users to virtually experience driving their cars and to give feedback on their driving experiences.
  5. Google Cardboard give brands the chance to capture complete attention, a rarity in today’s world of multi-tasking and constant distractions, such as competing advertising and instant communication. For example, car shopping is difficult, because it is time consuming. Volvo uses the Cardboard for their customers to virtually get inside the vehicles they’re looking at.

Google Cardboard Volvo

Only time will tell the full extent of the impact of virtual reality, but for now Google Cardboard is a major milestone for the VR industry, and an exciting possibility for brands and marketers alike. Here’s to looking towards the future.

Mobilegeddon and Adapting to a Mobile-Centric Consumer Base

A few weeks ago, Mobilegeddon was the cause of much panic. Google’s update to its mobile search algorithm had many worried that the change would affect their website searchability, bringing about lasting effects on their businesses.

Now that the change has taken place and the initial excitement has passed, we took a look at the opportunities the updates present for brands in the longer term.

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Mobilegeddon…or is it? from Social@Ogilvy

What impact, if any, has Mobilegeddon had on your website? Tell us in the comments below.

Read This Before Choosing Meerkat or Periscope

 UPDATED: April 06, 2015

meerkat vs periscope

Last week I went to my first NBA game and discovered a purpose for two things:

  1. A selfie stick
  2. The app I had downloaded but not yet properly used – Meerkat

It was a nail-biter end to the game so I started to stream it live. In a matter of seconds there was a handful of strangers watching the Kings beat the 76ers with me.

NBA game Meerkat tweet

Then, just as I got the hang of Meerkat, Periscope – the Meerkat “killer” – launches. Lots of new streaming opportunity in such a short amount of time. So what exactly do they do, and how can you start using them in your work? Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown.

What do they do?


Meerkat launched in late February and really found its footing during South by Southwest, as attendees started streaming live panels and concerts, and the tech press really hyped the app.

As my fellow Social@Ogilvy contributor Teresa pointed out, the app’s premise is simple: you quickly log in using your Twitter username, describe what you’re seeing, hit “stream”, and your followers are alerted to start watching. You can schedule a stream for a later time, too. After the stream, the video disappears a la Snapchat.


From Tyra Banks to Jimmy Fallon and Aaron Paul, celebrities have been quick to test out Periscope – the Twitter-acquired answer to Meerkat that launched on March 26. The differences in the apps are subtle, but important.

Both apps rely heavily on Twitter, but only Periscope has access to Twitter’s full social graph, which makes discovering streams from people you already follow so much easier. After you’re done streaming, Periscope saves your stream to your phone’s camera roll and to your Periscope profile.

So while celebrities are onboard with Periscope, and many are predicting Meerkat’s demise, it’s likely that one or more live stream apps will continue to build a following in some fashion and it’s worth thinking about how or if to use them in your work. There are so many opportunities.

How can you use them?

The better question may be: should you use these apps? As with every new app or platform, the socially savvy brands are already starting to see how they can play along. There’s something about spontaneous streaming from a cell phone that makes Periscope and Meerkat exciting, but also intimidating, for brands. Five things to keep in mind before you jump into the streaming fray:

  1. Be Authentic: this is a biggie. Don’t force a live stream that doesn’t make sense or it will be awkward, a waste of time, or it may present a bad look for your brand. Do you have something notable like an event or announcement happening that your average follower/customer would truly care about? If yes, then pull out your iPhone and give it a shot. If your brand is big on behind-the-scenes content, streaming will be a fantastically authentic activity.
  2. Have Real Conversations: a live stream isn’t just another opportunity to share a scripted brand message – talk to your followers. Consider using a live stream as a real-time sounding board for new ideas. Literally ask questions and give authentic unscripted answers.
  3. Partner with Influencers: you may be working at a small or niche organization that doesn’t have a ready-made following to find you on Periscope or Meerkat. Consider partnering with a person or organization that compliments what you’re trying to do, and has a dedicated following. Maybe you do a joint live stream. Maybe you sponsor an influencer’s personal stream at your brand’s event.
  4. Be Creative: the benefit of a new app or platform is that there are no established rules. Some of the more obvious uses are at events like New York Fashion Week or a big press announcement. Imagine a designer streaming and giving live commentary as their collection is on the runway. Maybe your CEO is about to give a big speech and decides to stream a preview to the announcement. Better yet, why doesn’t the CEO break some news on Meerkat? If you’re thinking about distributing a piece of content on other social media channels, take a second and see if there’s an opportunity to do it via live stream.
  5. Test and Learn: your first live stream may attract five thousand viewers. It may attract no viewers. You might find that people enjoy when you stream video from brainstorms in your conference room or you might find that you only attract viewers when your celebrity spokespeople are hosting the stream. Give it a shot in various formats and track your results to see how they map back to your overall marketing goals.

Selfie Sticks

Oh – the selfie stick. Right. One big downside of these apps is arm strength. Who wants to hold their phone up during a basketball game or a concert or a press conference? Periscope should sell a branded stick through Twitter. I’d buy one.

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Top Line Takeaways for Mobile Live Streaming

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Meerkat vs. Periscope from Social@Ogilvy

Centennials and Young Millennials Flock to Anonymous Social Media: A Briefing on Yik Yak

Over the past few years, we’ve seen anonymous social media slowly gain a foothold among young millennials and older centennials in the United States. As was predicted in our key social media trends for 2015, this will be the year for anonymous social media. And why wouldn’t it?

Last week, Yik Yak made headlines for its use by Liberty University students during Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign announcement. Besides the big news of the campaign announcement, it left many people asking, “Wait, but what is Yik Yak?”. Yik Yak is arguably the hottest social network to take over high school and college campuses, boasting 1.7 million monthly users. Essentially an anonymous virtual bulletin board, those logged into Yik Yak can read the yaks of anyone within a 1.5 radius of them.

Why is it so popular? It taps directly into the growing trend of ephemeral anonymity. We’ve already seen the usage of apps like Snapchat explode due to the allure of its content’s seemingly short shelf-life. Once you add the anonymity factor and mobile, and you have a recipe for success among millennials and centennials.

Learn more about Yik Yak below:

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Yik Yak from Social@Ogilvy

Facebook Businesses on Messenger: All You Need to Know

Facebook messenger-business-F8

Facebook used their F8 developer conference to announce Facebook Businesses on Messenger: a more personal way for brands and consumers to message.

Brands will be able to use Facebook Messenger to connect directly with (opt-in) consumers post-purchase to distribute practical information, provide customer service, and sell more products. The brand messages will appear next to messages from friends; users can receive a notification in the smartphone lockscreen in the same way they receive notifications about messages from friends.

This presents an excellent opportunity to make brands top-of-mind and easily accessible for consumers. Think of it as a way more sexy and effective form of email marketing.


How can Facebook Businesses on Messenger be used?

  1. Distribute practical information: receipt delivery, multimedia-rich shipping information, and order updates.
  2. Customer service: this will be a blessing or a nightmare, depending on how top-notch your customer service team is. Facebook has partnered with Zendesk and will use their Zopim chat product to ensure scalable and responsive service via the messaging app. Of course, your company will need the significant human resource, training and financial investment to bring this technology to life. FastCompany predicts the unreliable human element will eventually be replaced with artificial intelligence as the technology becomes better at natural language processing.
  3. Sell, sell, sell: this new functionality puts a big onus on brands to consider the user experience when developing their communication strategies for the channel. There is simultaneously an opportunity for brands to share product news / discounts / special offers AND a risk for brands to bombard the user with too much irrelevant information, thereby driving customers away from engaging on the platform. Brands will need to start softly and test and learn for most effective volume, cadence, and style of communication.


David Marcus, Head of Facebook Messenger, when explaining the new functionality said “we wanted businesses to be first-class citizens, like people.”

Let’s remember that citizenship comes with guiding principles and a responsibility to respect and be considerate of other citizens. Marketers: if you are going to accept this citizenship then make sure you understand, and abide by, the (unwritten) rules.


How do you start?

Facebook Businesses on Messenger is currently only available to retailers Everlane and Zulily. Sign up here to be the first to know when the functionality is available more broadly.


Will you use Facebook Businesses on Messenger?

As a marketer? As a user? What do you think of the announcement? Let me know in the comments below.


Gif courtesy of TechCrunch

Photo credit: messenger.com/business

3 Reasons Meerkat is All the Hype Right Now

What is it?

Meerkat is a live video streaming app that debuted about two weeks ago but really picked up traction thanks to SXSW. It uses your Twitter log-in and once you click “stream”, the app Tweets out a Meerkat URL to your followers of your live filming. Followers can then Tweet at you and it’ll show up in the app.


Why is it so popular?

1. The creators played it smart and released it right before SXSW. They knew their target audience of tech-savvy users would be in attendance. However, many start-ups also release their products during these tech festivals every year but don’t fare so well.

2. Meerkat was able to rise above the noise because it is different from anything on the market – the best apps gain traction when it enhances an experience or adds value. We already know apps that allow instant, real-time sharing (Instagram, Snapchat) is where the younger audience is spending their time. An app like Meerkat allows users to share to their network exactly what they’re doing at that exact time. Once the livestream ends, the URL will become inactive.

3. It’s also helped that Twitter has kicked up a bit of a fuss about allowing Meerkat to access it’s social graph since Twitter is working on releasing video apps of their own. It’s attempted crack-down on Meerkat has only furthered interest in the app.

What marketers should do…

Try it out! Incorporate Meerkat into plans for producing a new form of video content at events, teaser looks behind the scenes, exclusive live access for social audiences, and more.

For inspiration, keep an eye on how early adopters Starbucks, Red Bull, and Jimmy Fallon are using the app.

Top Five Trends from Mobile World Congress 2015

This year’s Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona, Spain and was bigger than ever with 93,000 attendees. MWC is one of the world’s largest mobile events and typically serves as a platform for unveiling new innovation and disruption in the space, and setting trends for the year. #MWC15 was no exception.

Check out the SlideShare on the top five trends from MWC for 2015, and the implications of these trends for brands:

Trend 1: Mobile payments advance and competition heats up

Samsung’s mobile payment service using LoopPay technology was announced with the initial preview of the Galaxy S6 smartphone, and is a game changer for the mobile payments market.

Trend 2: Mobile security is top-of-mind for consumers and tech companies

The mobile space is responding to the flurry of high-profile data thefts and security breaches this year by integrating state-of-the-art biometric security measures into devices.

Trend 3: Internet connectivity expands further into the developing world

Although many of us cannot imagine our lives without the Internet, two-thirds of the world’s population, 4 billion people, lives without Internet access. Google and Facebook are working on initiatives to bring Internet access to the world.

Trend 4: Tech challenges Telecom as companies like Google move into the wireless space

Google announced that it is going to test offering a wireless service within developed markets. Google’s move into the space will utilize Wi-Fi and should prove disruptive for telecom companies.

Trend 5: Wearables and the Internet of Things (#IoT) go mainstream

The premise of the Internet of Things are smarter, connected devices, working together as a network to create efficiencies, make life easier, and save money. Of the entire IoT ecosystem, wearables made a big splash at MWC this year.


Five Trends from Mobile World Congress 2015 from Social@Ogilvy