3 posts categorized "YouTube"

06/19/2009 The Revolution Will Be Tweeted

[This post is from a VPR commentary I gave 6-18-09]

A few days ago I found myself in the middle of the Iranian protest against the re-election of President Ahmadinejad. At least virtually. And the experience has left me with great hope for democracy around the globe.

As almost everyone knows by now, the Iranian people had a presidential election. The incumbent Ahmedinejad, bane of the West, had a big lead until his challenger, Mousavi, caught fire and began to look like a sure winner.

On election, night, however, the government declared Ahmedinejad the winner by a big margin. The opposition cried foul and rose up in protest.

Now keep in mind that this is Iran. Protest is risky, if not life threatening.

Iranelection4 But the Iranians did protest and when the government tried to cut off all conventional means of communications, Iranians found alternative ways to tell their story, this time through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other social media sites.

The first thing I noticed was a topic trending up on Twitter, the phrase IranElection, which I began to follow. Suddenly, I was transported via social media to the University in Teheran, where defiant yet frightened students were sending live Tweets describing how they were under attack. Iranians posted pictures and shaky cell phone videos showing government agents opening fire on public dbemonstrators and it was hard for me not to duck behind my desk.

I listened in as they warned other Iranians as to danger spots, worried about injured friends, and plotted about getting out of one part of the city and into the other. And as I watched, listened and read, I forwarded their stories to people I knew, to show how brave and determined they were.

Soon, all of this began to have an impact here. People started Tweeting that CNN wasn’t reporting this so CNN pumped up its coverage. Twitter itself canceled a planned maintenance last Monday after getting pressure from Iranian and US Tweeters to not shut off the protesters’ main outlet. When the Iranian government shut off Internet access, people around the world set up new servers for the protesters to communicate through.

It has been inspiring to see the democratically deprived people of Iran challenge the ayatollahs’ stranglehold on information and censorship. And thanks to social media, everyone in the world is watching.

Even though a change in government won’t magically turn Iran into a US friendly nation or cause them to give up their regional aspirations, I still I hope the Iranians succeed - if only for the sake of democracy. 

Because I like to think that social media may be doing for today’s democracy what Tom Paine’s printing presses did for Americans in the 1700s: giving people everywhere the power and freedom to challenge those who abuse power. Because this time, the revolution will be tweeted.
01/21/2009 A Good Online Marketing Campaign

Pepsi launched an online marketing campaign this week in time for Obama’s inauguration. The campaign, Refresh Everything, let’s people give messages and well wishes to the new president via online advertising, microsites and social media.


I found this on Yahoo! music. It was a rich media ad that let me send a message to the sites right from the banner itself. I can’t believe we don’t see more of this type of online advertising; it works so much better than the animate billboards we’re all sick of.  I may not have known exactly what I was getting into, but I was able to create and participate in the banner before clicking off of my page. Now that I created my personal message, I had to see what this was about.

You land on the Refresh Everything microsite, filled with video. There’s Eva Longoria in the corner; you have to see what she has to say. The microsite shows the TV ad (great) and has video of a symposium to refresh everything. This site is cool, but  Pepsi goes further on the social media sites.

The YouTube channel has five pages of personal videos. It’s amazing how many kids there are up there. The Tumblr site should have all of the text entries from the online ads, but I can’t find mine. Bummer.

Despite this personal set back, I love what Pepsi is doing here. Engaging online advertising and using social media sites for what they do best: content.

It’s so refreshing to see the online ad space used in this way.  Why, why aren’t other marketers doing more of this? There must be a brain cramp with agencies producing banners.

I just may have to switch from Coke.

12/23/2008 Another YouTube Video Contest

Excedrin just announced the winner of its $15K Speed Challenge on YouTube. The pain relief company dipped its toe into the user generated content world by asking people to create videos about speed. I’m not sure if you got bonus points by adding something about Excedrin, but they did get 200 video entries.

The company said the campaign was a success, based on traffic to the site, according to MediaPost. The winning prize went to Hang Glider. Honestly, though, after looking through some of the videos, I think I’m in need some of that Excedrin myself. Was that the aim of the campaign? Inducing headaches?

It reminded me of a very funny spot I saw on the Onion a few weeks ago. The did a spoof on the same YouTube video contests.  Take a look and enjoy.


I wonder if I’m feeling this negative simply due to the fact that I missed this contest. I mean I HAD a speed video all ready. That $15K is nothing to sneeze at either. So here’s my belated entry: an alpine slide run with my young son down Spruce Peak at Stowe. Just have your Excedrin ready.

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