The best of Cyber

Hello Friends,

In the ‘Chef’s Special’ I will share with you delicious recipes on marketing, communication and innovation. My objective is to whet your appetite and sample you some new tastes to inspire you to create your own ones.

Today’s recipe is from a ‘young’ medium – internet. Born into our lives in 1996, a 16 year old teenager. A fast, dynamic, multi-faceted and fun medium.

The best in class examples from this medium are awarded with the ‘Cyber Grand Prix’  in the Cannes Creativity Festival every year. In 2011, we had 3 winners. Let’s check out their ingredients, recipes and the great outcomes!


Like youth, the digital medium is special and has the capability to make its users feel special and cared for. With YouTube and Twitter it allows for custom made experiences.  One day, it could even make the dream of Bob McDonald, Procter & Gamble’s CEO, come true:

‘What I would like to have is a one on one relationship with 7 billion people in the world and be able to customize offerings for those 7 billion people.’ 

Old SpiceThe digital campaign from Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice Shower Gel called ‘Smell Like a Man, Man’ is one of the best examples of this philosophy in execution. You ask questions to the Old Spice celebrity Isaiah Mustafa through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. He replies within a short period of 2.5 days with an entertaining message custom made for you, via the same mediums. In total 186 custom made videos create excitement and buzz leading to breakthrough results. For instance, a consumer, @katjohnson tweets:

‘According to Wiki, when Old Spice was launched it was for women. Are you sure your scents are for men?’  Isaiah replies a day later with a custom made video for Kat through YouTube with Old Spice tongue in cheek humour:

‘Yes it was. But since it caused unstoppable mustache and muscle growth on women, it was decided more suitable for men ’  

Result, a record 65 million YouTube views, 2700% increase in twitter followers and most importantly doubling sales.


Just like youth, digital mediums are hesitant about expensive investments. Thus, leveraging creativity, they find alternative, cheaper solutions. A great example of this is ‘tweet’ as a new form of social currency, replacing the $ and Euro in the digital world. This innovative idea comes from 2 American young guys, Chris and Leif. They write a book called ‘Oh My God What Happened and What Should I do?’, as a marketing guide book for traditional media community to move to the digital era. But no one knows about Chris or Leif or their book. They think of a cheap and fast way of promoting their book and that’s how ‘the pay with a tweet’ social currency is born.

Pay with a tweet

People who have something to sell, just add the ‘Pay with a Tweet’ button to their website and those who want to buy, simply click on it and tweet about the product. They can then download the product in exchange of the value of their social network.

In as short as 6 months, the book gets 170.000 downloads and the website gets 350.000 visits. The book becomes #3 in the bestseller list. The ‘pay with a tweet’ currency is used by 10.000+ different websites, by artists, musicians, authors and companies like Microsoft and Greenpeace and allows for 400.000 people to use the power of their social networks to shop.


We grew up by watching demonstrations on TV. How Ariel removed the stain and the other one left it behind. How the Calgon used washing machine had immaculate heater element whereas the other got lime scale build up. These were all ‘shown’ to us via TV with the objective of ‘convincing’ us that the product works. But in the new digital world, for especially the youth, the road to convincingness lies in creating an ‘experience’.


Lets now look at an example on creating an ‘experience’, which combines the two passion points of youth – music and video and tops it up with our first topic ‘custom made’.  An interactive music video for music group Arcade Fire’s ‘We Used to Wait’ single, to demonstrate the speed of Google Chrome with partnership of Google Chrome and HTML5.

arcadefire02When you enter the website, you are asked to write the address you used to live when you were a kid. Through Google Chrome you immediately see a kid running on the street you have written.  I typed in the street we lived in Atlanta for 4 years and the scenes of this street got integrated real time into the video. Then, you are asked to write a message and this message transforms into birds and starts flying over the real streets while planting blooming trees on the sides of the streets. The real and surreal are all in the same frame. It is surprising and emotional. In a way, a demo was shown to me, but via making me take a role in it, it had turned into an entertaining experience. I was not surprised to learn that in only 1 day, 2 million people had experienced the interactive video like I. As BBC puts it: ‘This is the music video of the future!’.

The internet allows for a wide range of experiences – from custom made viral videos to a button worth millions, to an interactive music video… It is as extraordinary, free and curious as youth…

I hope you bake these recipes as soon as possible

Serfi – Idea Chef


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