Originally known simply as “Peak XV,” Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet, offers views from the highest point on earth. In this blog, our leadership team brings you up-to-date and relevant perspectives on industry happenings, what’s in the media and executive insights. Read on, and enjoy the view from the top.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The power of social media

With social media, as with many things, practice makes progress. We are excited to take an important step forward with this blog and website, and I think Karen’s recent Tallahassee Democrat column on social media makes some important points:

Social media is all about sharing, and this can actually lead to (good) results. Yesterday I came across a video from this year’s Andy Awards, which gave an overview of Volkswagen’s “safe happens” campaign. The television ads caused a huge media stir for their depiction of shocking car crashes where the victims, in their trusty Volkswagen, would emerge unharmed thanks to the car’s impressive safety features.

The campaign extended onto the internet, where users could create custom Volkswagen Jettas and crash them into various virtual objects (trees, buildings, UFOs…)—hardly the image car makers are used to giving themselves. The media was outraged, and asked the question: Had Volkswagen gone to far? The dialogue continued, as the ad team struck back with a new ad featuring two women debating the media’s assertion that they had “gone to far”—only to get slammed into by an SUV half-way through their conversation.

Volkswagen’s campaign highlights the importance of integrating social media efforts with traditional advertising and public relations. And amid all the hype, the car maker’s previously desperate sales increased by 20 percent.

Want to know more about social media strategy? Check out Karen’s recent column featured in the Tallahassee Democrat.

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