Twipple: Using Twitter to Ripple Human Kindness

I recently discovered twipple, a movement  that uses Twitter to spread and encourage random acts of kindness.

Here’s a short video about twipple featuring Cunning Creative Director Floyd Hayes. (This is an independent project from Floyd).

I love this idea!

A quick review of the most recent acts posted on their twitter page includes:

95: Give the gift of hard drive space and offer to back up a friends computer!

94: Call I.T support just to ask how they are. (They are people too…)

93: Call in a radio song request for someone sat near you in the office.

What Your Holiday Card Says About Your Brand

‘Ti’s the season to send tidings of comfort and joy.

Many companies engage in the practice of sending holiday greetings (print or increasingly emails) to colleagues, clients, partners and prospects.

But what does your holiday card really say about your brand?

After all, it’s not just a card – it’s a communication vehicle.

And whether you intend it to or not, chances are the greeting you send and even how you send it are communicating more about your brand than you originally intended.

One year, while I was working at Virgin management, we decided to do electronic cards (in line with our desire to do right by the planet when we can) and to re-direct the saved postage as a donation to the Branson School of Economics in South Africa.

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We included a bit of a cheeky message on the front of the card (again on brand) but overall we felt the best way to celebrate the real spirit of the holidays during what was a particularly difficult year for many, was to help others.

I am not saying this is the right solution for everyone.  I’m just illustrating that we spent some time thinking about our messaging and treated the card as a piece of branded communication – which ultimately it is.

Here are two other examples of cards that made a brand impression:

The first was from a friend of mine who runs a PR and Communications company called Fraiche.

Her brand is all about fresh ideas and approaches. Her primary color on her website and marketing materials is a bright and vibrant green – a color which supports her can-do personality and that of her company.

Her holiday card really supported her brand point of view.

You Tube & Customer Service

There’s been lots of talk about social media and the power of a disgruntled few who can get their message out to to the masses through You Tube and other social media.

Check out this video from a Halifax group singing about a bad experience they had on United Airlines.

It received 500,000 views in it’s first 3 days, almost 5 million views to date and over 20,000 comments.

Worth paying attention to.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Is viral complaining an anomaly or the shape of things to come?

Taking it to the Streets


I love New York.

A few days ago I was walking in Soho down Broadway during lunch. The streets were packed with shoppers, and tourists and the atmosphere was almost carnival like.

In the space of one single block there were:

Two Hollister lifeguards” (shirtless, buff young men in orange shorts) standing in front of the store

One drag queen on a treadmill in the window of Ricky’s beauty supply shop

One person with a tray standing out sampling chicken sandwiches in front of Miro sandwich shop.

All of this activity causing consumers to pause, smile, and more than likely enter a few stores they might not have been planning on.

It made me wonder why in these somewhat dire times more brands aren’t going the extra mile to turn the retail shopping experience into well…an experience – and not just a transaction.

The trend towards retail as experience is nothing new. In fact it’s been in full force for a few years. Just duck into the M&M’s store in Times Square and you will see it in all its power and glory.

But lately it feels like a lot of retailers are pulling back from this. No doubt because the economy. But does it really cost that much more to deploy a few people street side (instead of having them hang around in an empty store)?

Maybe.

But I got to believe its worth it.

With the economy in a slump, online retailing so easy, and today’s stores full of “noise” around sales and “drastic reductions” – maybe it’s time to invest in some light-hearted, old-fashioned street entertainment.

Step right in folks and see the bearded lady….or the buff surfer…or the even buffer drag queen.

What have retailers really got to lose by spicing things up?

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Are your favorite brands taking it to the streets?