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Facebook: visits vs active users

by Stephanie Weise in News

GlobalWebIndex has produced an infographic looking at Facebook’s active usage versus visits to the platform.

It shows that visitation rates for Facebook have stayed relatively consistent; in 2013 they were 76%, in 2015 they fell marginally to  73%. However, active usage has shown a steeper decreasing trend, falling from 53% in 2013 to 42% in 2015.

This demonstrates a change in the way that people are using Facebook. As GlobalWebIndex says:

Taking the last eight quarters as an example shows that visitation rates (for Facebook) have been holding largely steady, whereas active usage has been trending downwards. Clearly, people aren’t necessarily leaving Facebook then, they’re just becoming less likely to interact with it in active ways – and hence, are less and less likely to think of themselves as active users, even if they’re still visiting the site.

Brands: time to put on a smiley face?

by Tom Ollerton in News

The Drum recently published this article by me about how brands are using emojis in their marketing. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below. 

As much as I love my mum, I can’t handle her approach to technology. She calls her iPod touch her “phone” and then wonders why she can’t make calls on it. She has a smartphone, but considering the functions she uses, it might as well be a Nokia 6410.

There are some brilliant and fun technologies available that would make her life better but she can’t, or won’t, invest the time it takes to get to grips with them. One of these is the emoji keyboard. Would it revolutionise her life? I doubt it. But without it, she’ll soon be in a tiny minority who will never learn to speak with the world’s first global language.

For me personally, emojis have evolved from something a little cringeworthy to use or receive a year or two ago to something I don’t think twice about sticking into digital conversations today. They date back the late ‘90s, ‘invented’ by Shigetaka Kurita for the purpose of making expressing emotion easier within new methods of communication.

Now, given that there are nearly 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s no wonder that the symbols that make expression easier (and quicker) have flourished. Mitchell Stephens, a professor at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, said recently that “Emojis are doing what the tone of voice did on the telephone and what gestures, tones and facial expressions did in interpersonal communication.”

They’re now everywhere you look. Instagram has reported that the emoji is killing off internet slang, stating earlier this month that nearly half of all comments and captions on Instagram now contain emoji characters. In October 2011, Apple added the emoji keyboard to iOS as an international keyboard. And now, more and more brands have started to find creative ways to use this cartoon imagery within their marketing.

Both Ikea and Footlocker have developed their own emoji sets. Recently, Twitter teamed up with Disney and Lucasfilm to create special Star Wars emojis ahead of the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, generating plenty of Twitter – and press – conversation around the film.

However, many brands would find creating their own emojis problematic unless they own their own publishing platform; the emoji keyboard, which now comes standard on many smartphones, is comprised of various emojis approved by the Unicode Consortium. Working with a partner like Twitter, Kik or WhatsApp is one solution, but of course this will be out of reach of most budgets and influence.

What is perhaps more innovative, and creative, is those making the most of existing emojis to further communication and even drive business value.

Earlier this month, WWF launched #EndangeredEmoji, a campaign which recognised that 17 animal emojis that people use every day depict endangered species. People can donate to the WWF by tweeting one of these emojis, agreeing to donate €0.10 for each one used. And later this week, Domino’s will be allowing US customers to order their pizza from Twitter using the pizza emoji.

So, given that everyone seems to be at it, have we hit ‘peak emoji’? I don’t think so – I feel as though there’s more to come. The emoji itself is evolving: take for example the brilliantly personal Bitmoji that enables you to create your own (scarily accurate) avatar, which can then be used in a variety of situations. Expect more innovations like this.

I’m also excited about the social commerce potential that we’ve seen more of recently from brands like Domino’s and WWF. I expect to see emojis being used in a shorthand way of communicating with brands for this kind of purpose.

Ultimately, emojis are an amusing quirk of modern communication and exist playfully halfway between pictures and words; they’re fun as opposed to representing any kind of meaningful shift in marketing culture. So we won’t be hiring a emoji strategist just yet; instead I’m off to write my mum a letter.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #23

by Nick Mulligan in News

Social media matters to complainers
Social media’s importance is increasing for one of the world’s favourite pastimes: complaining. A survey of over 2,000 people by the Institute of Customer Service found that 12% had used social media to complain, an eightfold increase since January 2014. Another 39% said they’d provided feedback on social and 31% had made pre-sales enquiries.

Pinterest and planning for purchases
Pinterest is for planners. A survey conducted by the network found that its users are 47% more likely to experience a major life event in the next six months and it seems that Pinterest is where they head to plan. Of those who have used Pinterest in the last six months, 96% used it to gather information, 93% to plan for purchases and 87% found that engagement helped them decide what to buy.

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Google includes tweets in mobile search results
Twitter and Google’s integration continues apace, as the latter has announced it is adding tweets to search results on mobile, via the iPhone and Android apps and mobile browsers. Here’s the move illustrated by two screenshots and both company logos, in case you weren’t sure which Google and Twitter we meant.

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Twitter rolls out new desktop search interface
If you like searching for tweets, this is 100% ‘your week’. Not only have you got the Google news above, but Twitter itself has rolled out its new results interface on desktop, with an updated design, increased emphasis on images and advanced filtering capabilities.

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YouTube brings ‘click to shop’ button to pre-rolls
YouTube is adding a ‘click to shop’ button onto pre-roll ads; it’s already seen success in trials. Wayfair’s latest ad campaign, which included the button, led to three times the digital revenue of previous campaigns, while Sephora noted an 80% increase in brand consideration and 54% in brand recall.

Pinterest launches animated ad unit
Pinterest is upping its ads offering, with the announcement of new targeting abilities and an animated ad unit. If you want to know more AND kill 44 seconds, the below video is just the ticket.

Spotify adds video clips and audio shows
Spotify announced a set of updates, including video content and audio shows, from news and podcasts to entertainment videos. It also has a set of new partners, including Turner, ABC, BBC, ESPN, NBC, TED, MTV, Vice, Slate, Comedy Central and Fusion.

Marketers and Tinder prove the perfect match
Dating apps and Tinder in particular are proving an increasing opportunity for marketers. Film studio 20th Century Fox is promoting its latest movie, Spy, by setting up advanced screenings in certain US cinemas, which users can RSVP to attend by swiping right on one of four fake Tinder accounts. Similarly, the dating app is offering Zedd’s new album for a discounted price of $3.99 to users who swipe right on the singer.

Kik ads prove successful for K-Swiss
K-Swiss is back and it’s using Kik, the messenger app, as part of its ‘comeback story’. The footwear brand has created a campaign starring Diplo, the DJ, composed of one-minute video ads on Kik, which users can choose to watch in exchange for Kik points. So far, those who have watched an ad are reporting 25 times higher brand awareness, while 55% expressed purchase intent.

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Roadshow Films and We Are Social create ‘Mod Max’
Roadshow Films and We Are Social have partnered with Mighty Car Mods, a set of YouTube influencers, to create a four-part YouTube series in which they build the car from the film Mad Max. Dubbed ‘Mod Max’ (yeah? yeah?) it’s an excellent example of creating a content series around a hook that is guaranteed to interest your target audience.

Ella’s Kitchen creates YouTube channel for parents
Ella’s Kitchen has launched a new YouTube channel aimed at parents who are attempting to move their children onto solid foods. The channel will include hints, tips and recipes, all of which will look to reduce the mess from the process.

ASA pulls Magnum competition from Facebook
A Facebook competition by Magnum, which asked users to ‘share a selfie’ for the chance to win one of 25 dresses by designer Henry Holland, was pulled by the British Advertising Standards Agency after complaints about the quality of the prizes. A spokesman for the ASA said:

We considered that, given the problems reported with the dresses, the disappointment felt by the complainants was not unreasonable and concluded that the prizes had not been awarded as described because they did not match the expectation created by the implications of the marketing and the value stated in the ads had not been substantiated.

Barack Obama gets personal Twitter account
Barack Obama has his own Twitter handle! It’s @POTUS, if you’re wondering. We’re not sure what happens to it after his tenure finishes, but, if he does struggle to find a new gig, we reckon it’s worth a few bob at least.

Pinterest grows, Facebook falls

by Lauren Underwood in News

Pinterest is the fastest growing social network, according to research from GlobalWebIndex. The platform’s active user base grew 97% over the course of 2014, followed by Tumblr, with 94% growth.

The research also showed that of all the social platforms studied, Facebook was the only one experiencing a decline in active users, falling by 8%. While smaller platforms will naturally find it easier to report larger percentage growths, starting from a smaller base, Facebook’s decline will be unwelcome news for the platform.

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We’re The Drum’s Agency of the Year

by Joe Weston in News

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Earlier this month, some of the We Are Social team dusted off our suits and headed over to London’s Marriott Grosvenor Hotel for The Drum Marketing Awards.

We were nominated for Social Media Strategy of the Year for our work with adidas at the 2014 World Cup, as well as the biggest award of the night – Agency of The Year.

We found ourselves sharing a table with some interesting characters, including The Drum’s editor, Stephen Lepitak. We also appeared to be within a pretty lucky crowd, with group after group travelling up to the stage to collect their silverware.

Drinks were flowing and spirits were high, given the success of the table. However, we started to get a little nervous when we realised there were only a couple of awards left and, so far, we were empty handed.

This year’s chair of judges, Hootsuite’s Merinda Peppard, came up to the stage to announce the Chairman’s Award. We were delighted when we heard our name being called, selecting adidas: #allin or nothing, as this year’s stand-out marketing campaign at the awards. Merinda had some good things to say about the work, too:

The sheer focus Adidas put towards social media, proves the channel is now playing with the big boys in terms of both creativity and media planning. Social is now the new front door for brands. First impressions are now on social, overtaking search for a lot of companies.

Next up, the evening’s big prize – Marketing Agency of the Year. We Are Social was up against strong competition, including the likes of Carat, PHD and OMD UK. Then, after a tense few seconds we heard… “and it goes to… We Are Social”. What more can you say but… Boom.

The Drum Marketing Awards celebrate the best campaigns and marketers from all over the UK, so gaining such huge recognition from the judges is a massive result for We Are Social. It also comes off the back of a number of a recent great run of award wins in the last few months alone.

Earlier this year, @brazuca, adidas and We Are Social’s campaign to bring the 2014 World Cup ball to life on Twitter, picked up a Silver in Best Digital-Led Campaign at the prestigious Creative Circle Awards. The campaign also won at the international Shorty Awards, picking up the top award for Best in Sports. Our broader World Cup work for adidas picked up Highly Commended in Real-Time Response, and our Paris team’s campaign Hello Play! for Hello Bank! was Highly Commended in Financial Services.

At the 2015 Webby Awards, two of our campaigns received recognition, with adidas: @brazuca an Official Honouree in both the Social: Celebrity/Fan and Social: Humour categories. Our work for YouTube, #DontPanicButton, was also an Official Honouree in Social: Celebrity/Fan.

All in all, it’s been an incredibly successful start to 2015 and a great effort from the whole agency.