This Week’s Brand ‘Bests and Booboos’

My Favourites This Week:

Converse Celebrates 100 years of Chucks

Footwear brand Converse launches its biggest campaign yet on Monday to mark their iconic Chuck Taylor All Star shoes reaching their centennial year.

The “Made By You” campaign highlighted worn Chucks from both famous and “ordinary” fans. Cities worldwide showcased art exhibitions from the likes of Patti Smith and Andy Warhol with customized sneakers transforming into unique works of art.

The campaign cleverly incorporates two influential social strategies: customization and visual storytelling using the #ChuckTaylor hashtag; ultimately creating a ‘social art gallery’.

Happy Birthday Chucks!

British Gas’ #TweetToHeat

British Gas’ latest clever stunt is a campaign to promote Hive - the home kit that allows users to control their heating and hot water remotely.

They created a pop-up shelter which used technology from Visual Voice to process and respond to tweets including the #TweetToHeat hashtag. Waiting passengers who used it saw a response from the Hive Twitter account as the shelter simultaneously heated up.

Using technology to control the energy in your home remotely just fits perfectly with this idea and brings it to life in such a simple, clever and practical way!

And Then There Was The Booboos:

Tinder Makes Older Singles Pay More

In what is no-doubt a bid to be taken more seriously in the growing online-dating scene, Tinder this week launched advanced premium features under the brand name “TinderPlus” including the ability to pay to un-do swipe decisions and to change your location in advance of travelling.

The negative publicity is stemming from the fact that the cost of the new features appears to vary based on how old you are. In America, users under 30 years old will pay $9.99 per month, while those over 30 will pay $19.99 for the same service.

The company explained; “Lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. During our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about TinderPlus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.”

The rationale is logical. I appreciate logic. However as an online dating user myself (to great success!) and now being a 30 year old, I can see how the inclusion of age as a seemingly-negative differentiation factor at price-point may put some users off the brand, particularly women. This isn’t helpful as the brand continues to fight existing pre-conceptions about the app as a serious relationship-finding tool.

Nutella Fall Foul of the Customization Game

Nutella France’s “Say It With Nutella” campaign sparked criticism when a word ban that included words like “Lesbian” and numerous world religions on their online app which was promoted as giving customers the opportunity to personalise jars with a message for their loved ones.

On its decision to blacklist certain words the company said: “…the idea being to use the jar of Nutella as a communication medium to share enthusiasm.”

But as Coca-Cola’s name bottle campaign will tell you, what works for one brand won’t always work for another. Unfortunately, in their efforts to avert a crisis through risk-management, Ferroro’s much-loved chocolate spread brand ended up receiving negative criticism anyway.