We recently heard about Wendy's newest campaign that advertises the return of the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and BBQ Pulled Pork Cheese Fries. Titled "Crack the Masters," the campaign by VML, a full service digital marketing and advertising agency, features a series of online videos that link to one another and transform the consumer’s experience of the advertisement into a game that almost anyone with Internet access can play.
According to Ketchum, the marketing agency that came up with the campaign, “Crack the Masters” sprung out of the realization that pitmasters will do anything to hide any secrets that might give away their own recipes for successful barbecued meat. In acknowledgement of this hurdle, the Wendy's team conducted extensive research by attending BBQ festivals and visiting the best BBQ joints in America. This has proven to be no easy task, however. And now, Wendy’s is asking for your help.
The interactive game follows a "choose your own adventure" format that lets you pick one master out of the three presented in the initial video (sauce, smoke and "hip") from whom you wish to intercept information.
But, that's not all.
Users watch a series of videos that feature some of the nation's master BBQ chefs (or so they appear) and try to pull out some of the "meatiest" secrets by reading each master's ego and personality. This, in effect, helps you decide how to respond to them. If you press a little, you might find out some secrets that go beyond Wendy's products and actually teach you helpful tips on how to make real, good BBQ. For example, you might learn what type of wood works the best for slow-cooking pork shoulder.
When I played the game, I chose to “press a little," and so as a result, I learned that some BBQ masters put coffee in their sauces. Helpful tip! Reminds me of when I learned that some people pour beer and powdered cinnamon into their chili.
To play "Crack the Masters" and learn more about Wendy's and the return of their beloved BBQ products, visit Wendy's official YouTube channel. I'll be pretending to dip my fries in cheese sauce.
This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.
1. Need to “Say Thanks?”
Photo courtesy of AllFacebook
Facebook introduces a new feature called “Say Thanks” that lets users send personalized thank-you video cards to their Facebook friends. Read more…
2. Time For A Twitter Overhaul!
Photo courtesy of MediaBistro
Some of the new improvements coming to Twitter include Instant Timeline, Timeline Highlights, better direct messages, video sharing and news alerts. Read more…
3. Google Announces New YouTube Music Subscription Service
Photo courtesy of Mashable
The service, known as YouTube Music Key, is currently invite-only for a six-month beta test but is expected to be widely available in early 2015. Read more…
4. Pinterest Doubles Its Male User Base
Photo courtesy of SocialTimes
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5. Social Media Killed SEO? #False.
Photo courtesy of MediaBistro
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6. Clickbait Content Shared Less Often Than Non-Clickbait Content
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2. Facebook Tests New Mobile Search Feature for Old Posts
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3. Instagram Is the Most Important Social Network for Teens
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5. YouTube Reaches More 18 to 24 Year Olds Than Any Cable Network
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6. Fortune 500 Companies Focuses On Social Media Over Corporate Blogs
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2. Facebook’s Ad Improvements are Driving Their Revenue Growth
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3. Twitter Lets Advertisers Buy Against Campaign Goals
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4. YouTube Acquires Video-Editing Startup Directr
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5. 13 Year-Old Came Up With an Anti-Cyber-Bullying Tool
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1. Yahoo Set to Launch a YouTube Competitor This Summer
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2. Facebook Makes Explicit/Implicit Third Party App Changes to Edge Rank
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3. Soccer Fans Offered Real-Time World Cup Translation Coverage via Twitter
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4. YouTubers Will Get a Cut of the Ad Revenue For Positing Clips of Nintendo Games
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5. Omnicom Lands a $230 million Mobile Ad Deal with Twitter
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6. Women Poised to Excel in One of Tech's Most Powerful Roles
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Which of the 2014 Super Bowl ads are boom and which are bust? Watch them all and vote for your favorite!
Google I/O 13, Google’s annual developer conference, happened last week, and I had the fortune of following a few great people on Google+ through their experiences at the conference. There was a lot of talk about Glass and the new Google+ format, both of which I have experienced vicariously through a few people on YouTube. The really interesting part about I/O was the overarching theme of what Google is doing.
Jeremiah Owyang sums it up best in his post about the key trends at I/O:
Google products are being enhanced and interconnected, with no new products added.
Google is virtually replicating planet earth, but “improving” the quality.
Google knows what and who you love as we trade convenience for our data.
It’s all true! Google didn’t make any big product announcements at this year’s I/O—they took care of that with Google Glass a month ago. Instead, they made major improvements to all their products.
Google Maps: It’s now better than ever. The improved Google Maps suggests related places and integrates friend’s social information into your map searches. It has a new interface as well, making the map more prominent on the page. Google also combined Google Earth into the maps so you can get the 3D experience on your browser.
YouTube: A new channel layout was announced a few weeks back and is now becoming official for all users. This update makes content discovery on any channel easier.
Search Improvements: With the implementation of Google+, Google search results now include your social graph results as well. Google uses your data to generate better suggestions across all searches, including Maps, YouTube and Images.
So what are the business implications of these changes? Well, if your business is not on Google+ yet, and you’re not +1’ing your own content, you’re missing out on great SEO advantages. If you have a retail business or a restaurant, don’t forget to also include our business in Maps and promote reviews on the platform. Google is still the reigning search engine, and all that data generated by other Google users will help your search positioning and discoverability.
The future looks bright for Google and Android users alike. The company is using big data in all the right ways to create better a user experience and opportunities for businesses to promote themselves.
Social media has provided brands, regardless of industry or size, the opportunity to connect directly with their community of supporters. The brands that are most successful on social provide relevant, engaging content to their fans, rather than exclusively talking about themselves. Twitter hosts countless customer service interactions, YouTube often showcases internal culture, and blog comment sections allow brands to garner and digest immediate feedback. In each of these instances, the focus is on listening to the customer and turning social media into a two-way conversation, not a highway billboard. While there are many examples to choose from, the health and fitness industry has done an especially great job, using their social channels to listen to their customers and tap into their lifestyles.
Here are a few examples:
ViSalus has turned their Instagram channel into a platform that fans can visit for weight loss motivation and encouragement. They share recipes, boast member before-and-after photos, and showcase the healthy, happy members of their community. They also regularly show off the gym in their corporate office, demonstrating that the ViSalus team is truly committed to health and fitness.
Weight Watchers is doing a great job on Pinterest, a channel that often gets the little-brother treatment. Rather than focusing exclusively on product, they have made an effort to make their pins useful to their customers. By filling their Pinterest page with healthy recipes and motivational boards like “Words to Live By,” the brand is a helpful resource and acts like a loyal friend to their customers. And Weight Watchers didn’t simply set up their page and forget about it; they actively drive traffic to their Pinterest page through their Facebook posts.
Whole Foods consistently does a great job of nurturing brand loyalty and trust. They listen closely to what matters to their community and adjust accordingly. With over 5,000,000 YouTube views, they use the channel as a vehicle for transparency and communication, by directly telling their customers what they're doing and why they’re doing it.
These brands are each making the most of their social channels by creating content that is relevant to their customers’ lifestyles and providing useful services. They successfully demonstrate just how critical transparency, authenticity and connection are for brands today.
Google took full advantage of April Fools this year with almost every major app having a great gag.
First is Google Nose, where search integrates with 15 million “scentabytes.” You can even smell “success!”
Althought Google Nose didn’t offer any real functionality; a personal favorite at Renegade is Google Treasure Maps. Where together we can discover the clues to a great treasure! It actually has a setting that will change your Google Maps to the treasure map mode.
Google+ had an emoticon layer you can add to photos. This actually works! Any photo you own and have uploaded to G+ will have a button where you can click to enable the emoticon.
Google Schmick is an Australian Google Street View app that helps you spruce up your house. Now you can give your house a lick of fresh paint for free on Street View with Google SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit).
Gmail Blue is the great of all inventions! Transform your Gmail inbox into the deepest blues of blues. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to actually be an option.
For those office proficiency geeks, Google launched the “Levity Algorithm” to help make your appointments and documents more exciting! (no iteration of this is really available)
YouTube was by far the best April Fools with the greatest collaboration of pranksters!
Stay tuned tomorrow when Renegade explores pranks from all over the web!