Creating Viral Campaigns With Twibbon



On behalf of the American Red Cross, I’ve been using Twibbon for the first time to rally support for a series of blood drives that will (hopefully) set new records and cumulatively collect over 1003 units of blood – one more than Theo, from Buffalo, NY, needed to save his life in March of 2011.

If you haven’t used (or heard of) Twibbon before, it’s a social platform that allows individuals to show their support for specific organizations, causes and points of view.


For example, check out this Twibbon for Special Needs, or this one for the Boston Red Sox.

There are a number of features that Twibbon offers that we in the world of digital marketing need to know about:

  • The actual “Twibbon” is a mark that is laid on top of supporter’s profile pictures on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  • Give users multiple Facebook Cover Photos to choose from for their own profiles.
  • Direct visitors to your campaign page to any website you want – use this link space to boost attendance, donations or sales.
  • Create copy for Tweets and Facebook posts for individuals to publish on their profiles when they support your campaign.

I think my favorite part of using Twibbon was the design support we received by upgrading to a Pro account. For a one-time fee of $99, the Twibbon team provided our Campaign Header, Twibbon image, and Facebook Cover Photos – and they did so surprisingly quickly.

This tool is under-utilized and there’s a lot of room for organizations to leverage it to create viral campaigns that result in brand visibility and consumer action. Think about some of these possible uses of Twibbon:

  • Colleges could invite incoming freshman to use Twibbon during orientation to be able to quickly recognize each other as part of the same class.
  • Professional organizations, like the PRSA or AMA could invite members to use their Twibbon to display their loyalty to the group and encourage others to join.
  • An organization with a strong brand, like Starbucks, could use Twibbon to let their brand ambassadors show off their love for Starbucks coffee!

How do you think Twibbon could help your organization?

Constitutive Rhetoric to Recruit Faith

Palm SundayWhile enjoying a particularly meaningful church service on this Palm Sunday, I had a bright moment of clarity that presented itself to me in almost tangible form. I did not see God, though. On the contrary, my realization is one that the pastor who was speaking and my parents would be a bit less thrilled with (though my Rhetoric professors at school would be pretty happy with me).

Speaking in generalities – something that I’ll admit can’t be done by someone trying to actually convince someone else of any kind of factual truth – the churches that I have always attended use inclusion and exclusion in their dialogue. Religious messages are often based on assumption that essentially works to recruit individuals to join the faith.

Example: these are all actual quotes copied from this morning’s service, given by Pastor Tom Stroup at Brockport Free Methodist Church. In bold are the portions of the sentences that were left in the sermon notes as blank lines, intended for the audience to fill in.

  • “Sometimes I think God has forgotten about me BUT God never forgets me!”
  • “Even when it seems life is hopeless, hope is what I have in Christ!”
  • “Caiphas would Kill Jesus to save Israel from Rome, BUT Jesus died to save us from our own sinfulness.

It’s subtle, but do you see what they did, there?

Churches frequently use words like I, WE, and US to formulate an in-group and out-group. The in-group are those that believe in God, have hope in Christ, etc. The out-group, obviously, are those that do not. If you had attended church this morning at BFMC, you never had the chance to decide which of those groups you belonged to. They actually decided for you. Even more – you wrote the words on the blanks, participating in the process.

It’s a fallacy of assumption, and it works.

Let’s brainstorm a few individuals who could have been in the pews this morning.

  • A child too young to completely understand religion, too young to have made any of his or her own decisions in regard to what he or she believes in.
  • A recovering alcoholic who was urged to pick a church and find God by a friend of his that goes to his Alcoholics Anonymous classes.
  • An atheist who believes in seeing both sides of an issue and therefore attends different churches from time to time.

Would we consider any of those individuals to be part of the in-group? I would not.

This is the point in the blog post at which I need to give readers notice of two things:

  1. Though it may seem like I am writing in a tone of disapproval of this inclusive language and rhetorical technique, that is not true.
  2. This is a Marketing blog. Occasionally, I am inspired to write things that are more religious, political, or cultural in nature, and when I do I usually have them posted on Trova101 (Thanks, Mark Trova!). This one, though, is here on Millennial’s Marketing. That’s because there is some marketing insight quickly approaching.

Not to take any sanctity out of religion, but… by engaging in this practice, churches are only  tapping into widely used marketing techniques.

In the fields of persuasion, like advertising and public relations, marketers are selling something. It might be an ideology, a product, a service, a human-being, or a cause, but they are selling something just the same. When you tell someone something about them-self, it is only a matter of time until they begin to believe it and use it to construct their own identity. I believe that participation in the message itself only accelerates that process, which can be seen in this morning’s church example. The equivalent, in marketing rather than religion, are social media channels.

Don DraperDon Draper once famously said, “People want to be told what to do so badly that they will listen to anyone.” Is your church and religion as a whole led by an incredibly faithful individual, or an expert marketer?

Probably both.



Starbucks and Crown Royal face America’s issues head-on

Today at work, I was lucky enough to notice two eye-catching stories on Twitter. Both involve a national brand using some outstide-the-box marketing strategies.

And, both campaigns make me love the brands even more.

Starbucks July 4 Indivisible Coffee

Starbucks is giving away free coffee on July 4 to unite the nation.

Crown Royal - Safe Rides Home

Crown Royal sponsors a program called Safe Rides Home

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Down with the King! … And the rest of the company.

I have to be honest for a second. Burger King’s entire strategy when it comes to marketing  has always really bothered me. It seems like this company repeatedly makes very questionable decisions.


Remember this thing?

Burger King used this King mascot from 2003 to 2011, and it was featured in plenty of ads.

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Social Media Playbook: M&M’s

** This is the second part of a series. Click here to read the first part!                                “Social media Playbook: Jim Beam.”

It’s not a secret that businesses and brands are using social media sites as a new way to market their products and services to customers. Some, however, clearly do it better than others. My goal in my Social Media Playbook series is to identify some of the best (and some of the worst) users of the social environment and explain what makes their presence so progressive and opportunistic (or tragic and disgusting).

I recently stumbled upon a few of M&M’s social spaces, and I knew right away that I would have to write about the brand. Twitter, YouTube and even Pandora are all utilized by the popular candy, but I want to start with the Facebook page – the hub of the social scene.

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Inspired, Integrated Ideas are Only the Beginning

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take a tour of Dixon Schwabl with about 8 of my classmates. The full-service advertising, public relations and digital media agency is well known in the Rochester area for its extensive, wide variety of clients and projects.

Dixon is also well known for its consistent place on lists of best places to work in America. After spending some time inside the agency’s walls, it’s not hard to see why.

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The Power of Pinning

Okay, so at this point you have definitely heard of Pinterest. Well, I hope, anyway. I mean, I just don’t know where you’ve been recently if you haven’t.

Like most new social media platforms, I was reluctant to try it at first. In fact, I’ll admit that I only relented and signed up after it was made necessary for me to do so, via an internship application. However, once again like most new social media platforms, I instantly found the value of Pinterest, and if you choose to keep reading, it might make a little more sense to you as well.

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Social Media Playbook: Jim Beam

It’s no secret that young adults in America are drinking more liquor than beer these days. As a college student myself, I see many more of my friends getting excited about a new flavor of Pinnacle Vodka than a new spring variety pack of beer. The trend has plenty of possible explanations, but I think one of them could definitely be a more engaging online presence by certain brands.

Jim Beam would be considered by some the pride of Kentucky. It’s bourbon-whiskey… Which isn’t exactly the softest, easiest to drink beverage. In other words, not exactly something that a lot of younger individuals, especially females, would enjoy drinking. However, the brand’s new Black Cherry flavor might change the perception that we have of the brand. What’s better is the brand’s social media. I am predicting that they will soon enjoy more of the young-adult market… Myself included!

Spend some time on Jim Beam’s Facebook page. If you’re anything like me, it’s going to make you believe that you’re a fan of whiskey. Here’s how they do it!

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Social Revolution: Part 2 – Sports

Is it just me, or is the world we live in changing at a mind-blowing pace? Call me crazy, but I honestly think that we’re in the midst of what will one day be widely known as the Social Revolution. My parents will never understand it, but for us Millennials, it’s gotten to the point that we want to be social in every daily activity we engage in.

This is the second part of a series of posts I am going to write about things we do on a daily basis that are quickly becoming more social than ever before! (Read the first part of the series)

Social Sports

I know I’m a little late, and you’ve already read at least thirty of them, so I’m going to spare you the classic “Superbowl commercial recap” blog post that we’re all used to seeing annually. I am, however, going to talk about a trend that continued in a big way during the Superbowl this year.

Additionally, a professional Lacrosse team went somewhere that no other professional team in North America has gone on Sunday. Did you hear about it yet?

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The Hyundai Equus is a new vehicle released just recently from the Hyundai Motor Company. That doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary, but what if I told you that it was a luxury car? In fact, what if I told you that the price tag on it could be as high as $67,000?

Wait, you mean you didn’t expect such a high value from a Hyundai?

You aren’t alone. The interesting move has a few people scratching their heads and wondering how much potential the Equus can be. I’ll be bold enough to publish my prediction on the world wide web right now: I disagree with Hyundai’s strategy, and I don’t think this car has a very bright future.

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