Archive for the ‘Bereavement’ Category

Nightclubbing and the end of Google+

February 4, 2019

Google+ is dead

So…Google have thrown their hat at their social media platform, Google+, which they launched in June 2011.

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content

It was clear that the search engine giant wanted a piece of the emerging social media action and they threw all of their expertise, intelligence, resources and weight behind their new platform.

They were able to leverage their colossal Gmail database and gently nudge users onto the platform.

The core idea was “circles” and you could create these unique circles and invite your contacts to join them and you had personal accounts and separate accounts for your business pages. We were all going to have incredibly engaging discussions in our circles, because isn’t that how the world works after all?

For a short while it did seem to have momentum, and every day you would receive a multitude of invitations to connect with other users – with the usual Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) we were all clicking, joining and posting and busy trying to figure out how we could leverage this new thing for our personal and business communications.

For starters it was never very “cool”, it never seemed to be enjoyable, it was clunky and it required effort and wasn’t really solving a problem that the other platforms couldn’t.

From a business point of view the advice was, you had to be on the platform to maximise your ranking on Google – that stick was definitely one worthy of paying attention to, but even that idea didn’t gain momentum.

In Fuzion, we have been providing social media courses since 2000 on the main platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more recently Instagram – not once in that time were we ever asked to run a course on Google+.

If ever asked by a client about the platform, I would advise them to get their activity on the others right first and then get around to Google+ …it never happened.

The conclusion might be that social media was too saturated at this point and Google+ was just too late, but this argument doesn’t hold up when you consider Instagram was launched in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011.

Why did Google+ not work out?

Saturday Night Fever

My Nightclub theory!

Facebook was the new nightclub when it was launched – the cool crew went there, because they were cool, they loved being the first to try out the new place but soon the non-cool crew followed suit and even worse, Aunty Joan and Uncle Bill turned up and tried their moves on the dance floor.

The cool gang moved to club ‘Twitter’ and they had this to themselves but…. guess who followed them there eventually?

Then Instagram was cool and it loved your photos but….guess who showed up, Aunty Joan and Uncle Bill!!

Snapchat was ultra cool and ultra young and the functionality was totally loose and wild and posts disappeared after a while…what??!!

Poor Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who had just spent some of his fortune on Instagram to try to win the cool kids back, realised that the young gang had already moved to the zany Snapchat.

Instead of sulking about the waste of money, he gambled big and just ripped off (even if you could would you just become an unashamed  copycat?) all of the functionality of Snapchat and he bolted it onto Instagram. He did this just in time as Instagram still had a large number of users and before there were mass defections from the platform, it gave them a new, fresh reason for staying with it and after all they had lots of followers already, so it was easier than starting again.

Why not the Google+ nightclub?

So…in the middle of all these nightclubs opening why didn’t Google+ work? I’m sure many heads in Google are scratching about this one!

The people who try something new are the innovators, the leap froggers, they are curious and they explore, those with a thirst for a new experience, something that says something about who they are.

With Google+, they came through the door on opening night, they danced, they tried the cocktails and they even invited their friends but discovered really quickly that it wasn’t very different, they heard all of those tunes before, it wasn’t very cool and to be honest it was a little bit boring!

Will we ever see another social media platform? I definitely think so as there are always the innovators who are thirsty for something new.

Does a giant like Google have the people and culture to be able to produce an innovative social media platform that will be so radically different that people will flock to it?

Would they dare to try again?

Let’s see….

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Social Media Consultancy Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

Social Media after Death!

December 1, 2016

Social Media after death

I spotted a post that a friend of mine had pushed out on Facebook of her and her husband on holidays somewhere.

I hadn’t seen her for years so I innocently posted “I hope the two love birds are doing great – must get together one of these days“.

Another mutual friend sent me a ‘panic‘ message “Delete the post, her husband died last year and she was just posting a memory as it is a year since his death“.

Oh no ….. how did I not know this awful news?

I sent my friend a private message on Facebook apologising for my colossal gaffe and offered my sincere condolences – thankfully she came back to me, was totally understanding and we actually ended up chatting on the phone.

It turns out she was happy to chat about her husband and in a strange way she was glad that someone behaved as if he was still alive..

The Last Will and Testament

I’ve been asked to go on air to chat about a newspaper article that discusses the trend of people leaving very specific instructions in their wills about keeping their social media accounts “alive” once they leave this life (or do they?).

The article claims that according to lawyers one in five people are now leaving specific social media instructions in their wills – I guess if you factor in that not all people in that supposedly older demographic have participated in social media, then it would suggest that most avid users see it as being really important.

People are nominating a social media ‘guardian’ in their wills who have the job of executing their instructions, which according to the survey are quite varied:

  • some are going as far as specifying how often their account should be updated and the type of content they want posted
  • some are requesting that a post goes from their account every single day!
  • some wish that once or twice a year some memories are posted for the person to keep their memory alive
  • the majority just wish for their guardian to reply to comments

More than half of social media users want their Facebook account maintained, which shows us that no one wishes to face the idea of someone hitting that “delete” button.

What is all of this interesting research telling us about social media and about life?

The first big observation is that it tells us that social media users while they can’t stay alive forever they do wish that their ‘digital footprints‘ stay alive…Greg is still here with us!

It also shows us that our social media presence has become our modern day ‘scrap book‘ conveniently collecting the memories that we choose to capture in our lives and this is much too precious to just ‘delete’.

These memories are a precious collection of that person’s life not only for them to enjoy but also their loved ones – maybe we should do a survey asking people if they would like if the social media accounts of their loved ones who have passed away are preserved?

When you look at the very different social media platforms it does put Facebook and possibly Instagram at the top of the charts for collecting ‘memories’ from your life.

Do people who survive me really want to see my rants on Twitter about Donald Trump or Irish Water preserved for eternity? – then again all of this is part of who I am (or was!).

My last observation about this whole cheery topic is that the social media platforms need specific ways of dealing with accounts of users who have passed away.

For example on both Facebook and LinkedIn recently I have seen the platforms suggesting that I might like to ‘be friends’ or ‘connect’ with someone that I know is dead – the last thing that you would want to happen is getting a message from the social media guardian “I’m really sorry, Greg has passed away”. That would be more than awkward.

Facebook do have a process whereby the account of the person who has died is classified as ‘Memorialised‘. It is up to the loved ones to contact Facebook and invoke this process.

This means that friends and family can leave messages and memories abut that person – the word ‘Remembering’ appears before their name on that account – these accounts will not appear in public places such as ‘people you may know’ or ‘birthday reminders’.

I’m guessing that some of those who have been researched about their wills may not want their accounts classified like this?

For me I do believe that the people we love never ever leave us and I would want all of their memories to stay alive so yes, appoint that social media guardian and never delete their accounts.

As for posting on a regular basis – maybe leave that one to the people who are left behind but …everyone to their own!

I feel the sudden urge to take a photo of something nice and post “It’s great to be alive“!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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