Inside our brains we have something called oxytocin. It's a human stimulant of empathy, generosity and trust. We all have it. In particular, moms develop high levels of oxytocin during early motherhood forging tighter bonds between themselves and their baby.
When we interact with people socially our oxytocin levels naturally increase. We feel more generous and trusting and we want that reciprocated. Additionally, the more oxytocin we release the less cortisol and ACTH we harbor, which are stress hormones.
Some recent studies--in their very early stages--are exploring how this hormone is not just released during in-person interaction but also how the brain produces more oxytocin during social web engagement, perhaps up to 13% more. (Article here.)
Leading neuroeconomist, Paul Zak, is in the process of studying oxytocin and the relationship between neuroscience and economics so that will be good to follow...
It's always interesting when we begin applying scientific explanation to the things we're seeing in the world...
If indeed we are scientifically experiencing more empathy, generosity and trust when we are engaged in social networking it means we are more sensitive to expecting it back in return. This goes for people as well as brands. The brands who tap into these feelings receive even more of our support! Conversely, those who anger us risk feeling heightened backlash. That's our oxytocin at work.
A short list this week... Not sure why... However, the three ideas below are simply terrific and worth spending some extra time with. (In between what's happening over at Cannes, of course.)
Million Trees NYC (with eBay) / Desire Engstrom / Million Stories Get rid of the stuff you don't want anymore on eBay, attach a story to it, and half of the profits then go to grow a new tree. As you watch the video the idea is quite dynamic and just keeps on going...
Olympus / Mullen / "Amazing" You get the sense that something extra is going on as you're watching but you're not quite sure what until the end.
Unilever / SapientNitro / Share Happy Revealed this week at Cannes, "Share Happy" is reportedly the world's first smile-activated vending machine... perfect for, what else? Ice cream. And if your smile is big enough, your ice cream is free.
It's interesting to watch what's developing regarding what we'll pay for online and what we won't... We're starting to see that, indeed, premium content can be worth paying for. As is extra functionality for the enthusiast membership base. And we'll see what happens to mass market news services.
Now we're seeing pay for privacy, a natural market result of small groups of friends becoming large groups of loosely affiliated people.
But with that privacy interface also comes some tertiary creative stuff such as group selection, organization, tribe creation and the collectively appreciated (and understood) moment or joke... All of which can make sharing a little more dynamic and, perhaps, even a little more fun.
Worth paying for? Sure, probably to some.
Sometimes it's difficult to articulate word of mouth in a formal context. But this helps... According to a recent post by McKinsey, there are three types of word of mouth: Experiential, Consequential and Intentional.
According to the firm, Consequential is when people respond to a marketing idea and pass it along publicizing a brand. Intentional is when marketers specifically enlist celebrities or endorsements. The former is much more common than the latter as we pass around interesting stuff all the time.
But the most common form of word of mouth (both online and offline) is Experiential. This is someone's direct experience with a product or service, and mostly when that experience deviates from what's expected. McKinsey estimates that between 50 - 80% of word of mouth in any product category is, in fact, Experiential.
50 - 80%... Win the experience, win word of mouth.
Here are some great creative and marketing ideas from the past week... As usual, I'm sure I missed some terrific stuff, but of the ideas I did happen to see, these are worth spending some extra time with...
YEAH / Website. This website is a continuous steam of pictures that are sent in from mobile phones across the world. No explanation or photographer credit or anything else. Just an endless stream of photos. (Not sure if it's edited so prepare yourself.)
Sapporo / Dentsu Canada / Legendary Biru. In this terrific ad the history of Japan is shown in one continuous take with a musical beat that will stay with you all day.
Facebook (sort of) / Nation UK / Like Button Stamp. This is only a concept right now, but if you dig it, keep up with Nation and they'll let you pricing and availability soon.
Guggenheim & YouTube / YouTube Play. If you, or anyone you know, has created an online video worthy of a museum showcase at the Guggenheim, enter the work: they're looking for 25 videos.
Honda / Wieden+Kennedy, London / CR-Z. Beautifully done and I really wished I had first seen this on a TV in between programs versus on a computer.
Havana Club / M&C Saatchi, France / Wedding Bike. Ok, so I love it when just something simple and wonderful exists out there, like this 20 second ad...
Enjoy them all...
There have been several well-shared stories over the past few weeks about the origin and subject matter of material passed through blogs and Twitter. Above is a good data viz on the topic. Best I've seen, actually.
The blog side of the viz seems to make sense and is probably what most everyone expected: fairly well-rounded subject matter sharing with Politics/Government in the lead.
But on the Twitter side... It's amazing how much technology overtakes the crowd. So for those of us who stream technology and other stuff, perhaps we should try to step up our streaming of the other stuff.
Lots of great stuff out there this week. Hard to narrow it down to just a few.
While I'm sure I missed a ton of great stuff, of the creative marketing ideas I did happen to find, the below are really worth spending extra time with...
HBO True Blood / Medialets & PHD / Mobile Trailer. Extremely clever use of product and technology... Hard to imagine not clicking through to experience the whole thing.
MINI / Butler, Shine, Stern / Porsche Challenge. Mini has challenged Porsche to a race that's slated for June 21st.
Adidas / Sid Lee / Star Wars Cantina. Pretty sure this is on everyone's list this week...
Universal Studios / David & Goliath USA / King Kong 3-D Attraction. When you live in LA for many years you see entertainments stunts often, but I can't ever recall one like this...
Ricoh / Solar-Powered Time Square Panel. Last year Ricoh set a goal of reducing its total CO2 emission by 30% by 2020 and then by 87% by 2050. This Times Square panel is a great example of publicly stating and then showing your commitment to the world.
SoBe / Firstborn / Reskin. To draw extra attention to their recent packaging reskin, SoBe invites its fans to reskin themselves on this site.
Skullcandy / Zach Ludlow, Art Director at Skullcandy / Imagine giving these headphones as a gift to someone and it comes in this packaging? The added excitement the recipient would feel. Perhaps that's the way companies who embrace amazing packaging look at their customers everyday.
Billboard Magazine / AlmapBBDO / Billboard Yourself. This interactive billboard allows you to make images of yourself made up of your favorite musicians which are then sent to a community Flickr site.
ESPN / Wieden+Kennedy and AM, Cape Town / FIFA World Cup Posters. 32 original posters that are inspired by artwork found throughout the Africa; one poster for each participating World Cup country.
A girl walks along a beach, throwing starfish back into the sea, when she meets an old man. The man asks the girl why she is throwing starfish into the ocean. She says: 'The sun is up and the tide is going out, if I don't throw them back they will all die.' The old man says, 'But there's a whole beach and it runs on for miles. You can't possibly make a difference.' The girl picks up a starfish and throws it back in the sea. 'It made a difference to that one.'
It was sent to him by the charity, Starfish.