Girl Scout Get Tech Savvy with Selling Cookies

Girl Scout cookies are an 800 billion dollar brand and now they’ve gone digital so you can buy all your Do Si Dos Thin Mints and Samoas online.

Girl Scouts are no longer relying on word of mouth to build buzz for their brand of sumptuous cookies.  They now have a strong presence across social media networks including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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The Girl Scouts currently have 267,000 followers on Facebook with another 43,000 on Twitter.  Their Pinterest and Instagram accounts boast 21,000 followers.

No wonder the Girl Scouts are getting even more tech savvy with selling.

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Now..under the new digital cookie program.  You will be able to order girl scout cookies on your phone via mobile app or through a girl scout personal website.   The girls can either choose to sell their cookies view mobile app or website. They cannot choose both.  Then they create profiles or personalized sites that will allow them to take and fulfill orders.

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The Girl Scouts of America have already been working to join the social media conversation.  Most recently, they released an animated thin mint video do get in on the conversation around Saurez’s World Cup biting incident.   The video shows a Somoa cookie biting into a thin mint.  This video went on to get 1 million Youtube views.

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Girl Scout cookie were originally sold in 1917 to raise money for a girl scout troop in Oklahoma.

On a personal note, I am extremely excited for this.  Nothing like a fresh box of Girl Scout cookies will make my day.  Who cares that each cookie is about a million calories.  I love my thin mints, my Dosi Dos and my Samoas.. And who doesn’t delight in opening a fresh box of Peanut Butter sandwiches or ordering a new box of Caramel Delites.  Most recently I’ve come under the spell of Dolce De Lech.

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Kudos to the Girl Scouts of America for making the buying of Girl Scout cookies easier, while turning Girl scouts onto digital entrepreneurship.

Check out their digital cookie intiative here

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The Power and Popularity of Pinterest

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While it may not be generating as many headlines as Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, after seeing so many innovative campaigns on Pinterest, i thought it would be interesting to look at the enormous potential of Pinterest right now and show how some brands are using Pinterest to promote their businesses.

It’s clear from the statistics that more and more brands are turning to Pinterest and realizing its potential to attract users through its visual search and virtual pinboard.

Pinterest was launched only four years ago in 2010, and since then it has attracted 57.9 million monthly users, mostly women 16-34 years old.   Three quarters of its activity takes place on the mobile phone and the content includes images, of personal likes, similar to a digital scrapbook.

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Among the brands starting to use Pinterest and all of its unique features include Uniqlo, the fast fashion clothing store which has created a Pinterest board with long vertical ads that you scroll down seemlessly.

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Verizon Wireless has recently been using Pinterest to promote its free NFL smartphone Wallpapers in conjunction with their NFL partnership.  They are letting users choose their favorite wallpapers from their favorite NFL teams to then download an NFL smartphone wallpaper directly to their phones.

2014-11-02_21-24-23Jetsetter is a vacation flashsite that asked users to create their ultimate destination pinboard.   And the winner of the contest would also win a free vacation to one of four possible destinations.  That campaign increased its pinboard follower base from 2,000 people to 5,300 people in just a couple of weeks.  Over the course of the campaign 1100 people pinned over 50,000 images trying to earn the get the pinboard with the most followers.

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Nordstrom most recently incorporated most pinned items on their Pinterest board onto their store displays as part of their Pinspiration campaign.

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I wanted to conclude this post with my own experiences using Pinterest. Even though I have a Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Google+ accounts along with many different chat apps like Whatsapp and Line, I actually DO NOT have a Pinterest account.  But I recently helped my mom curate a Pinterest board that “slightly” exploded in popularity.

Because my mom loves to cook and I love technology, when I was home visiting her for the holidays she asked me to help her set up a Pinterest board with all different recipes that she had been collecting in a book over the years.  It took a couple minutes to help her set up an account and before long we had pinned dozens of recipes with her reflections on her virtual Pinterest pinboard.   Most of the time was spent helping her collect her thoughts on each recipe captured by a caption below the list of ingredients.

The most popular post on the Pinterest board came from an idea my mother had to create homemade Peppermint Bark as Christmas gifts.  She had seen these “beautiful peppermint bark chocolates” being sold at William Sonoma and thought they would be easy to make herself.  The recipe was rather simple.  She just melted white chocolate that she bought at the grocery store in a saucepan.  Then she poured the melted white chocolate into a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  She bought a bunch of candy canes, unwrapped them and put them inside a plastic bag.  She then took a rolling pin and crushed the candy canes into little pieces.  She then sprinkled the pieces of candy cane over the melted white chocolate and let cool.  When the chocolate cooled, she broke the ‘peppermint bark’ into rough shapen chunks and wrapped them in decorative boxes.

Within minutes dozens of people were pinning her recipe about peppermint bark onto their own pinterest boards.  And in a short while the recipe was repinned onto 318 other Pinterest boards and got 53 likes.  You can visit her board here!

Great Ad Campaigns That Got in on the Halloween Social Media Conversation

I always like to see what  different brands are doing during the Holidays.  From Instagram, to Twitter, to Facebook and Vine, to Pinterest and most recently Snapchat, brands are getting creative with their Halloween marketing.  Here’s a selection of cool Halloween campaigns.

Last year Oreo created a mashup of popular horror movies and released a Vine.  This year, Oreo celebrated Halloween by releasing a bunch of short movies on Instagram called the “Laboratorium”.  The Oreo brand used animation to create experiments on Oreo cookies creating what they called “nomsters” inspired by popular Halloween monsters.

Disney came out this holiday with a rendition of One Republics hit song featuring celebrated Disney Villians.  Familiar faces like Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Scar and Jafar populated the music video with the caption “Disney Villain-loving teens ask themselves: is Scar the most evil Disney Villain? Watch their version of “Counting Scars,” inspired by OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars.”

The viral youtube video racked over a million views.

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Arby’s this year decided to create #trickormeat offering customers free bacon to their orders if they said trickormeat when they ordered their meals..  This was an interesting way to participate in the social media conversation around Halloween.

If you’re not getting bacon, you’re doing Halloween wrong. #TrickOrMeathttps://t.co/iI7n4qQQw7 — Arby’s (@Arbys) October 28, 2014

The campaign ran actively across twitter with one tweet racking up nearly 3,000 retweets and favorites.

2014-11-02_2-00-56Target went to Instagram for a virtual trick or treat experience.  A fictional neighborhood called Halloween Hills was created. Users got to choose between selecting a “trick” or a “treat”.  Those who selected treats got things like Halloween themed recipes.  Those who chose “tricks” were led to fun do it yourself projects.  The campaign was also put onto Pinterest and ran on its own blog. The campaign racked up 5,000 Likes on Instagram

Sour Patch Kids created a series of videos on Instagram . Each of the 9 second videos were a bunch haunted house themed clips starring the Sour Patch Candies themselves.   The campaign was pushed across all of its social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter to its Instagram page. One of the captions from its Facebook page read

Sour then sweet is SO much cooler than trick-or-treat. Get to my Instagram NOW or you’ll miss the awesomeness!!!
http://bit.ly/1pCKt2A

Perhaps the campaign to get the most attention was SnapChat’s very first ad.  The ginormous social network is currently valued at 10 billion dollars, but so far has served us up NO ADS. Not until Halloween. Snapchat’s first ad was an ad for the film Ouija that hit theaters on Halloween Night, and opened to number one at the box office with an approximate 12 million dollar gross.

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How effective was the media campaign on Snapchat for the film – one can only presume it helped a lot. Speaking from my own first hand experience as a Snapchat user, I immediately noticed the ad, and was immediately aware of the film.  In fact a couple friends mentioned to me that they had seen the trailer for Ouija on Snapchat.  One can only imagine just how many people saw that ad, givem the hundreds of millions of daily Snapchat users.

Well, those were my favorite, but there were many other brands capitalizing on Halloween with cool and creative campaigns, and here are some I’ve chosen as runner ups…in terms of creativity and the ability to get in on the social media conversation around Halloween.

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….those included a cute Capital One Video that ran on Vine and received over 178,000 views.

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… and a bunch of Slim Jim videos inspired by popular horror movies like Saw, Paranormal Activity, and Scream in a search for the most Killer Snack.  Above is a short video they ran on Facebook called the Slim Jim Chainsaw Meatsacre.  That video racked up over 26,000 views and more than 100 likes on Facebook.

… Chobani Yogurt took the prize for least scary Halloween ad –but most adorable — with a Youtube video featuring dogs dressed up in Halloween Costumes eating Chobani yogurt.

PepsiMax took home top prize for the scariest Halloween campaign with a YouTube video that involved Scary Pranks, Clowns and creepy Monster Masks.

Happy Halloween Everyone!!