A couple of things caught my beady eye this week! This first being an ad from Thomson (package holiday providers) that popped into my Instagram feed…


This is one of the relatively new ad units from Instagram that lets you add multiple images, allowing the user to scroll through them. I’ve been very interested in the roll-out of Instagram ads, and in particular, the users’ reaction to them. Social media users often revolt at ads, they don’t want to be ‘spammed’ or targeted by things that don’t interest them. You can’t have it all for free and not expect ads. End of story.

What I do wonder is the validity of Instagram ads. It’s a platform that works in a very simple way – you post a pic, tag it and people can like or comment. This is a pure branding play, which for the right reasons isn’t a bad things, but hard to measure. One thing that Instagram ads allow the buyer to do is add a clickable CTA (a mini-browser loads within Instagram, as opposed to taking you out of the app), which of course can be measured, but this isn’t a natural action for Instagram users as hyperlinks are not possible outside of ads. I’ll caveat this right now by saying I’ve not ran any IG campaigns to have no data to relate to. Anyway, its perhaps too early to judge the ad model, but I wanted to highlight a common theme I see within IG ad comments…


That revolt that I mentioned earlier was strong in this case. Note one person sticking up for Thomson. A little bit more:


Bad experience in real life spilling over to social. I never once saw Thomson stepping in (a common issue with social media advertising), which was very surprising when we look at the next shot:


The top comment relates to a widely publicised and very sad case of two young children dying from gas poisoning while on holiday. The issue here is that it was a holiday supplied by Thomson’s major competitor, Thomas Cook. Not something you want your brand being wrongfully identified for. They should be responding to this and clearing the issue up without pointing the finger at Thomas Cook, but ensuring the confusion is fixed.

The lesson here?

Don’t leave social media ads out there without monitoring and responding to both positive and negative comments. Further reading on that here.

Now for beer!

Nothing creates an online buzz like free stuff! Will perusing Twitter yesterday I noticed a promotion from Heverlee, the Belgium beer brand. They had a number of cyclists out and about in Edinburgh, delivering their new ‘Witte’ beer to offices. To be in with a chance of refreshment, you had to tweet them…

So I did that, and 30 mins later, a rather nice chap arrived and delivered four beers and a handy bag!

There was a lot of buzz in and around Edinburgh about this activity (see here) and it can certainly be classed as ‘job done’ by Heverlee. Using Twitter to spread the word created a huge amount of interaction and will have gone a long way to creating a great impression of the brand. Simple stuff, but very effective. By the way, it’s still running today!

Have a great weekend…

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