Laying the #socialsmackdown @wearesocial

Social Smackdown

We Are Social is a great agency I reckon, so whilst in London on secondment at the minute, I made a jaunt to Farringdon to join its 4th meet, which is branded #socialsmackdown (sadly not much chat on the #).

An 0815 start but it still attracted the likes of McDonald’s, Primark and MTV to attend. No public sector other than Met Police who unfortunately I didn’t get to chat to. The format of the session was 3 x 10 minute talks and Q&A with Beats by Dre, Panasonic and Nokia.

Beats‘ talk covered its campaign to sell the speaker product, Pills, positioned as the polar opposite to its head/earphone products. Positioning was loud and brash and I loved it.

Beats by Dre product positioning

The most impressive takeaway though, was the 1 hour turnaround Beats and its agencies worked to, to create responsive content. Using a WhatsApp group chat to collaborate, things got spotted, created and approved very swiftly.

Beats by Dre 1 hour turnaround

A neat way of working with almost Batphone-like comms between everyone at once, rather than getting lost in emails. Something the BBC are trialling too.

They talked a bit about a selfie Kim Kardashian posted which was trending in the US, still going across Asia and starting to take off in the UK.

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A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Beats’ execution was posted that morning, within the hour of being suggested as a piece of responsive content.


(A bit harsh, but bang on for the brand, and if you will post stuff like that, Kim…) Social fits really well for a brand like Dre. It doesn’t have to try hard, it just has to be on the money with what it does. Interestingly it was the only brand to say how much sales it could attribute to its social activity.

Panasonic talked about its Why DSLR campaign which looks to position its mirrorless technology as a better alternative to DSLR.

It turns out there’s a lot of 3rd party content around the subject so Panasonic’s site aggregated it on its unbranded site with ‘DSLR RIP?’ running on Google Adwords. Whether the content is 100% balanced and impartial I don’t know. With the site in place, Panasonic did a lot of listening for DSLR chatter and responded 1:1 with links to the evidence.

This feels more like a slow burn brand building exercise and unusually (for Panasonic, apparently) the brief didn’t have sales targets but rather keyword and sentiment tracking, to show how the brand was becoming more front of mind. The challenge still remains at point of sale in store, where typically the sales staff are photographers themselves and loyal to Canon and Nikon. Something I (in a previous life) had to contend with on Samsung where at retail, Sony was the brand of choice.

Nokia‘s talk focused on their effort to create responsive comms, piggybacking on trending topics of the day. Like Alex Furguson’s retirement…

…and the iPhone 5c launch which directly competed with Nokia’s own USP of brightly coloured phones…

When asked about objectives and how they evaluate, the speaker confirmed for this responsive work, she had ‘share’ targets, broken out across channels, so a branding / share of voice metric.

So all in all, a really good hour or so. Best takeaway for me was the agile way Beats gets its content together. We’ve done a bit of that at ONS, but nothing with stats in it because of the lengthy sign off and brand position.

One thing I’m not sure about today though, was the title of the session, as it wasn’t really a ‘smackdown’. It’d be interesting to have some sort of voting component or battle: Nokia making one point, Beats responding with one better, Panasonic chipping in too. I’ll see if I can sort it with Dave so we can use the dispatch box.


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