Milk It. How a British Dairy Rap Video Garnered 1.5 Million Views

A dairy milk rap video has taken the UK by storm, garnering 1.5 million views since it’s X-Factor time-slot debut.  The brilliant brave ad is a cleverly penned rap video about an organic dairy, containing all the head-bopping and swagger of the real thing. The video was directed by a real-life LA-based music video artist, promotes Yeo Valley, a farm located in the West Country of the UK. Backed by a catchy ditty, the rap  features hydraulic tractors, “Daisy” the cow and  former Britain’s Next Top Model winner Alexandra Evans.

After its debut during the X-Factor, a digital battlecry for MORE on social networks and Twitter prompted the powers-that-be to put the track up on iTunes where it’s garnered 81 reviews. Rumor has it this could catapult the song into the  coveted #1 slot this Christmas.

Yeo Valley’s social media footprint is remarkable (it’s a dairy, remember?), with an active Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (ahem, YeoTube) channel and interactive website.

Social media is reaching new territories and industries (including some of the oldest in mankind), demonstrating it’s truly an organic (pun, sorry) and ever-evolving medium.

For those of you looking for a best-in-class use of social media, consider your local dairy.

Brit Is World’s Fastest Texter. Or. Get Ready to Feel Old and Slow.

I’m not sure whether or not this PR stunt was planned, but it seems a young woman in the UK is soon to be dubbed the world’s fastest texter and the people at Samsung have been quick to muster around their SWYPE keypad.

An impromptu challenge while shopping with her boyfriend near Manchester, UK had 27-year old Melissa Thompson text:

“the razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human”

Try it. You’ll soon feel like a neanderthal trying to text using a tomato. Ms. Thompson did it in just 25.94 seconds.

Europe trails only Asia in SMS usage and the US isn’t far behind. We’re talking billions of messages sent each month which is why Brits may knock out the rest of the competition. And the growth of mobile in the hands of parents and grandparents will only underline the need for easier, (read: arthritic-free) texting solutions. SWYPE may be onto something.

Will SWYPE kill QWERTY? Will consumers soon groan at having to pick up their fingers while typing the way we  criticize multi-touch keypads? Pressing a keypad three times to yield a single letter? I mean, REALLY.

Full story here.

Barclay’s Cycle Hire Given Legs With Social Media

Just a week after launch, 20,000 eager Londoners have decided to give “Boris’ Bikes” a peddle.  Like any major public-facing initiative, the first 48-hours didn’t escape hiccups or questions of concern (helmets anyone?) but a week out, the majority of the Zone 1’s and 2’s are quite happy to give it a go.

It’s predicted we’re well on our way to 30,000 early adopters, but what’s really going to give this program er…legs will be it’s low-no barrier for entry (membership fees aside) but physical ease of use. Nobody wants to shell out 40 quid to clunk to work on a bike from the Cold War.

Recognizing the opportunity necessity for online compatibility, the Boris camp have been hard at work leveraging @mayoroflondon and @barclayscycle to promote links and information using an easy to remember #cyclehire hashtag. They’ve also promoted opensourcing of TFL data so that developers like Android’s Little Fluffy Toys can (already have) build smart phone widgets.

And while social media can’t physically help you fix a sudden flat tire or dart in and out of the crazy No. 7 to Russell Square, it just might help you get there on time and in one piece.

Follow the journey of one bike here.

Stephen Fry: 1, Mankind: 0

I giggle and clap when the offline waltzes with the online, but practically turn to gelatinous  when it involves none other than the alabaster-tanned, sex-pot genius, Mr. Stephen Fry.

While Down Under promoting his autobiography, The Fry Chronicles, rumors have been rampant in Thames-land that Mr. Fry will nix his traditional book tour plans in place of multiple readings that are video-taped and prompted by his weapon of choice – Twitter.

Per The Evening Standard:

“Instead, for three nights only, he will sit sedately at the Royal Festival Hall and two other venues and read selected nuggets from his book under the gaze of video cameras. A live satellite link-up will then beam Fry to 60 cinemas where, the producers hope, up to 12,000 more fans will slap down a credit card in exchange for a non-ringside seat.”

Stephen is one of the most followed individuals on Twitter with his agog 1.6 million (that’s MILLION) followers. He also blogs, writes, acts, even can’t avoid some drama.

He’s like Madonna wrapped up in a ham sandwich.

He’s bound to sell millions of copies of his book after the readings, not to mention reap the rewards of the jovial McSwipes of just as many credit cards. Those who don’t make it to a virtual reading will no doubt Google his name, catapulting it to SEO superspace.

So how does the host of QI do it? Well, he IS a genius.

Full story here:

Politics 2.0. Politicians Compete For Twitter Followers

Living in England, I do find myself missing my NPR. Tonight I had a rare moment to sit back and relax and an interesting story about American politicians leveraging social media caught my attention.

Did you know the GOP and the Democrats are going neck-and-neck encouraging representatives to get on Twitter? It’s not that surprising that the Blues are embracing social media, with President Obama as the lead example in connecting millions and with right-hand man David Ploeffe a household name. But, the GOP? Seriously?

This got me thinking and further prompted me to visit the GOP web site. They’ve got blogs, a social network, video and what looks like a steady stream of content so they more than deserve a passing grade. But it all stops there. The content is nothing more than a steady stream of spoofs and mock-u-mentary style mud-slinging. It takes up most of the home page and places news and updates at the sides. Really?

A rule of thumb in digital media is that anything you do MUST enhance the user’s experience. If getting a few chuckles is their goal, then they’re right on track.

Meanwhile the Democrats have promised a Twitter bird trophy to the constituent who generates the most followers. I say any engagement via Twitter is a good thing as it opens up one more channel. However, it must REMAIN open.

On this side of the pond, check out Tweetminster an excellent resource for all things politics and public affairs, including the increased number of politicians on Twitter — no doubt by the Clegg/Cameron digital face-off earlier last month.

Are You Participating In Foursquare Day on April 16?

This Friday (April 16), more than 100 cities around the globe will participate in Foursquare Day, a day where “mayors” will surely be un-seated, unique badges awarded and swarms of iPhone-clad digiratis will flock to public places and do only God knows what.

From PC World: “Check-in at more places, and at the same place more frequently, than other users to generate the highest amount of points in your area and earn special badges for specific kinds of check-ins. For example, a user who checks into 20 different pizza places can earn the coveted “Pizzaiolo” badge, or the “Swarm” badge for checking into a Foursquare venue with at least 50 other users.”

Will you participate? C’mon. You know you want that “Pizzialo” badge. Although, college frats may have dibs on that. Also, what LA? not participating? #shockedbummedsad

For the working bit, check out the nifty list of participating businesses and sponsors:
Smart People List #1
Smart People List #2

Full piece here.

Facebook Fairytales Share Real Stories

Being in the trenches of MAR/COMS, it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back from the branded CPMs and recognize the incredible things happening in ordinary lives — made possible by ordinary people — thanks to the power of social networks.

I was pleasantly reminded of this when reading an interview with Facebook Fairytales author Emily Einhorn Liebert. Liebert’s book is stacked full of 25 heartwarming (some tragic) stories of amazing reunions, love stories, adoptions that have been made possible thanks to Facebook.

You can learn more about Leibert and her book, Facebook Fairytales in her own group. Why do I get the feeling we’ll see her on Oprah?

The next time you’re wrapped up in the latest political dust-up, celebrity scandal or international crisis, it might do you good to pick up a copy.