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Nike's Game On Facebook Campaign: Data, Nike+ and Great Photos.

Nike is so good: - terrific Facebook campaign during the NBA Playoffs

- smart experimentation on Twitter with Promoted Tweets

- innovative personalized shopping engine (which now includes licensed products)

- and that doesn't include Nike+ and their terrific / innovative integrations with Path, Facebook and Twitter

Here is yet another great campaign by Nike. In an effort to promote Nike+ ("the future of sport"), Nike took to Facebook and highlighted a barrage of athletes training and collecting data via Nike+ and/or Nike Fuel. Like most of Nike's social work, it's very visual, fun and unique. It is also on brand and tapping into the personal data / gamification theme. Notably, this was also released the day of the NBA Draft - which is driven by similar data analysis.... and many of those athletes will soon be sponsored by Nike.

On Facebook, Nike does a great job of clustering photos into albums - whereas many brands / pages, highlight individual photos.

Game of Thrones + Facebook

I saw this sponsored post atop my Facebook feed the other day: - 64 Facebook friends like Game of Thrones - 1 of those is Mark Zuckerberg - I had not yet liked Game of Thrones, despite thinking its the single best show on television

It's a reminder that: - Cocial relevance is powerful - Klout as a concept is extra powerful (Mark Zuckerberg as a Game of Thrones fan carries a little more weight!) - Content is still king. Great content will draw large, connected audiences (64 friends are fans - most within a 7 hour window) - Game of Thrones on Facebook has grown rather strongly - adding 100,000 fans / week, 250,000+ likes / day, and improving their reach ratio

Google's Evolving Search Results Pages: PGA, Tiger Woods & US Open as Example

In honor of this week's US Open - and in connection with last week's post on Google's evolving search pages - here are some interesting screen shots related to both.

The first is a results page for the query "PGA". As yo will see, there are only two search results on my visible screen: PGA.com and PGAtour.com (brand URLs). The bulk are algorithmic results (which are very useful): 2012 FedExCup standings and the three most relevant (ie popular) stars (Tiger Woods, Rory McIllroy, Phil Mickelson). Two things worth noting: 1. there are no ad units 2. there is no Google+ integration here. And this is one area that Google+ makes a lot of sense. I should be able to follow each player, learn more, etc. Today, it is entirely informational.

Change the query to one of the player names (in this case "Tiger Woods") and it looks similar: standings, information, news, and the brand link. In fact, only one natural result is above the fold: TigerWoods.com.

Again, two notes: 1. still no Google+ integration. 2. still no ads (high volume query too!) 3. related people include non-golfers: Elin Nordegren and Rachel Uchitel (both interesting and ironic)

Dig in on the right column's bio page and there is a "please report a problem" unit. This is Google's Wikipedia-like effort to control content. For several reasons, it is a very interesting approach: 1. this is such a dramatic change to search results and this unit comes at the expense of ad real estate 2. to fill it with content Google does not entirely trust is bold / scary 3. this information is far more compelling if tied to Google+ - in this setting it looks like no different than a mini-Wikipedia (or Knoll!)

Call Elmo Facetime iPhone App is Simply Genius

A very quick post to highlight the Call Elmo iPhone app because it is absolutely terrific and genius. The application essentially mocks the Facetime experience - but instead of a friend calling, Elmo calls. And once you pick up the call, your face appears in a mini-screen - just like Facetime. It's brilliant in its simplicity... and in the model. The app is $0.99 and comes with a couple Elmo calls and voicemails. But there are dozens of other videos that can purchased within themed packs. It's terrific and you can tell by the smile in the app - kids love it.

There is no reason this couldn't work beyond Elmo and for other formats / audiences. It's too fun not to be popular.

Nike Basketball's Beautiful Facebook Timeline In Time for NBA Playoffs

Just a terrific, creative and well-timed use of the Facebook Timeline by Nike Basketball. Coinciding with the NBA Playoffs - and a handful of new sneakers for top stars like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant - Nike Basketball is releasing a series of basketball rules: "Every EPIC moment has a story. And every story has a lesson. Lesson No. 1: The deeper the bench. The stronger the squad." Each rule is placed atop a basketball poster that ties into the playoffs and relevant players. Two or three rules are posted a day (so far, 38 rules and posters have been loaded). Nike also mixes in other timely promos like a congratulations to Lebron James for his MVP award and this graphic for the evening's Lakers / Thunder game:

It's clever, fun, on brand and highly visual - which means it is highly engaging on Facebook. It is also something that only Nike can do (the talent, the imagery and the production) and something that really can only be done on Facebook and with Facebook Timeline (no offense to Twitter, but this would be neither as effective nor engaging).

Amazon Brings All 7 Harry Potter Books to Kindle Lending Club

This is pretty significant news out of Amazon: all seven Harry Potter books are now available in the Kindle Lending Club. It is the all-time bestselling book series and is a testament to Amazon's willingness to put marketing muscle behind Kindle and the Lending Club. And considering the reach and popularity of the Harry Potter franchise - it is a win for Kindle owners, Harry Potter fans, and Amazon users. It is also worth noting that it is a couple days from Mother's Day and Amazon's merchandising exists (upper right corner) but is far smaller than the Harry Potter announcement or the Amazon Local promotion. I would have assumed that the week would be dedicated to Mother's Day preparation - particularly highlighting one-day shipping, etc.

Porsche + Facebook + Pinterest

So much is great about this: Porsche takes to Facebook to alert fans that the Macan is on Pinterest.... that drives 2,500 likes and 200 shares within 6 hours. That alone is interesting and somewhat ironic. Then go to Pinterest. Despite 10,000s of impressions of their Pinterest post on Facebook (are you following?) there are only 700 followers on Pinterest, 2 pins, and 150 Facebook Likes.

So many potential comments including: - kudos to Porsche for adopting Pinterest - the concept of driving traffic circularly across networks is far from simple - I'm not entirely sure Porsche's Facebook fans understand what Pinterest is - Which might be because Porsche's fans are male (?) or because they Like things without context (?), etc

Grantland, HBO & Kenny Powers Team Up: Great Integrated Marketing

This is a fun, effective example of integrated / co-marketing done right. Grantland is ESPN's new sports and pop-culture media hub (led by Bill Simmons). To simply sum up Grantland: it is a robust blog with great daily content and it is ad-supported - but the ads are premium (1-2 per page and from just a handful of key sponsors).

This is a little different though. Grantland's header usually features key articles... and one of those is currently an article written by "Kenny Powers" (a fictional star of HBO's popular sports show Eastward Bound and Down). - It of course is eye catching: the Grantland audience will recognize Kenny Powers and be interested in the article - It is relevant: the Grantland audience is an HBO / Kenny Powers audience - It's integrated & clever: Kenny Powers wrote something on Grantland? Much more interesting than an 250x250 ad unit - It's timely: the new season starts next week

Amazon Prime Instant Video Catalog Grows

Such is the online video content war: catalogs grow, compete and find their way into the homes / devices of as many eyeballs as possible.... after all, content wants to be seen and ultimately the economics for all are dictated on content being seen by as many eyeballs as possible. It's why I believe that over time libraries will exist and overlap on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, web, app stores, etc. It's inevitable... And here is:- continued proof of that trend - and yet another reason to be bullish on Amazon, Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video

And most importantly: Yo Gabba Gabba is now available with unlimited streaming from Amazon. Attention parents - this alone is reason enough to buy the Kindle Fire!!