For Second Screen Engagement, Twitter Leads the Pack

Last fall my favorite TV show was American Horror Story. I enjoyed all the twists and turns, but more than that, I loved getting together online with friends and perfect strangers every Wednesday night to see how each episode would unfold and talk about predictions for the rest of the series. 

More and more, people are turning to their laptops and mobile devices as a way to virtually gather ’round the TV set and share an entertainment experience. But for brands deciding where to invest their engagement efforts, there are a multitude of options to consider.


When Promoted Hashtags Are Campaign Killers

This post originally appeared in our April ’13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

No matter how lofty a brand’s goals are when it uses hashtags, there are always individuals ready to use them to drag it into the gutter.

McDonald’s is on its second go-round with promoted hashtags gone awry, this time with #UnwrapWhatsFresh. The hashtag was created to support McDonald’s new Premium McWrap, which features chicken (grilled or crispy) and fresh vegetables served in a warm tortilla. 

The hashtag was promoted on Twitter, but instead of talking about healthy eating, a number of people were tweeting these sweet nothings:


5 Ways Online Communities Drive Offline Behavior

Online social media is essential for any business hoping to gain favor among today’s consumers. An active Facebook page can mean the difference between serious buzz and being ignored. But for all their amazing qualities, do online communities really drive offline behavior? We say yes. There are plenty of innovative techniques for pushing consumers to act outside the digital sphere and providing results. Here are five of our favorite examples, pulled from a variety of areas.


When Political Ads Attack, Everyone Loses

With additional reporting by Adam Uhrynowski.

We’re all familiar with mudslinging in political commercials, debates and speeches. In the recent Iowa caucuses, negative advertising was more apparent than ever. But why do America’s leaders spend so much time pointing out the competition’s flaws and defending their political (and personal) histories rather than promoting themselves? Does it even work? What if brands reverted to this tactic? We’ll answer these questions and more after the jump.


McDonald’s Spreads the Love through Supersized Games

Pinching pennies and still don't think you can afford a burger from the Dollar Menu? Then head to Sweden! McDonald's continues the trend of interactive billboards in Stockholm, entertaining potential customers and rewarding them with free food.
McDonalds Tattoo

Fast Food Gets Brandjacked

A McDonald's tramp stamp? A Popeye's potbelly? Boy, this sounds like some good ol' fashion redneck fun. found four people "dumb enough" to tattoo their favorite fast-food logo on their rather hairy bodies. Kudos to these fast-food, flab four for displaying such powerful brand appreciation for eternity. These are the true Americans—the kind that never turns down a dare.

‘Raising McCain’ Raising Questions

Some of you might not have heard, but John McCain is running for president. He's running what many are calling an "under-the-radar" presidential campaign. The latest from McCain's underground effort is a highly choreographed song/video from country "star" John Rich. Unfortunately, it leaves me with more questions about McCain than answers. Just who is this man?