The sweet ingredient to viral success…

Like dalmation

Viral content – the holy grail of web curios – is a digital communicator’s dream. So, you can imagine the resounding Rule 5 glee when a puppy cake picture we shared on our client’s Facebook page hit the sharing sweet-spot this week.

With a collective 48,525 shares and a staggering 147,194 likes (and counting) – this innocent sleeping Dalmatian pup added an overwhelming 3,000+ fans to the Renshaw Baking Facebook page over the course of the May bank holiday.

As a part of the wider communications strategy for the brand, one of the key objectives of R5’s social media programme is to encourage the Renshaw social community to share with us their cake decorating projects and photos.

As you’d expect, the user generated content we typically share generates higher levels of engagement than straight, brand-owned content – ‘Dimples’ the Dalmatian however, set a new record for what gets our fans talking.

A quick peep at the brand’s Facebook insights shows that sharing the picture made a significant impact on the page with the total reach rocketing up over 11,000% on the previous week’s communications. Added to that was an increase of almost 60,000% in the number of people talking about the page and a 50% rise in the number of friends of fans the page now has links to.

Timed well to hit the mood of the nation ready to pack their desks up for the long weekend, the domino effect of this shareable pup (lemon flavoured and covered with Renshaw Ready to Roll Icing) also inundated cake-decorator Trish Clarke with orders for bespoke doggie cakes.

Proof is in the pudding (sorry!) that when it comes to the internet – animals and food really are the key ingredients to viral success.

BBC Future Media Event Part 2: The first ‘safe’ social network?


The first installment of our two-part blog on last week’s BBC Future Media Event looked at the developing technology of Perceptive Media and what this might hold for the communications industry. In this second follow-up blog, we look at two key areas of interest arising from discussions with the CBBC and Digital Sport teams, starting with the launch of what the Beeb is calling the first ‘safe, real-world’ social network…

CBBC launches the first ‘safe’ social network for children

Children under the age of five have never known a world without the iPhone and so naturally demand that their technology is slick, quick and ahead of the times.  The CBBC website hosts around 1,700 games and is available on a host of different devices. In a move that breaks ground in the online social space, it is soon to launch what it is calling the first ‘real world’, safe social network for kids. Allowing children to connect with their friends online in a space named ‘Vs’, the new CBBC hosted network ensures that children trade user names in the playground rather than digitally, so it’s completely transparent as to whom they are connecting with. The development has not only benefited children and their parents; investing locally, the Beeb has awarded independent developer contracts for a number of its upcoming digital projects in pitch processes that include over 300 agencies. An example of which is Manchester-based Young , responsible for developing the new Cbeebies ‘Music Mash-Up’ game-app.

BBC Sport: Mobile browsers first

The success story of the night came from the digital sport team. Ten million people per day watched the 2012 Olympics on the BBC Sport website, which typically receives 6 million hits per day. Seven-hundred thousand people watched Bradley Wiggins race for gold on their mobile and athletes and journalists utilised the ground-breaking live stream technology to watch team mates compete while keeping abreast of all events.

Head of the sports team, Chris Condron, explained the importance of first optimising the site’s mobile browser, which receives more traffic than the Apple and Android sport apps combined. A device’s market share is the key factor in building the critical mass that warrants a bespoke app development, bringing to light the need for a fully optimised mobile browser on all devices. This is especially significant when you consider 2014’s packed sporting calendar, including World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

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Google Glass Rule 5

Google Recruits First Users for Project Glass

Google Glass image

Google has today announced that it is looking for ‘Explorers’ to test the first versions of the futuristic Glass product.  Founder Sergey Brin was spotted testing the product on a New York subway in January.

  “We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass.” They are inviting hopefuls to use Google+ or Twitter to say what they would do if they were given the chance to be one of the first users of Glass using the hashtag #ifihadglass.

 Applicants need to be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S.  The deadline for applications is February 27th and ‘Explorers’ will need to shell out $1500 plus tax for the ground-breaking eye-wear.

Along with the announcement Google has released a video that gives a good idea of the Glass experience and how integrated it will be with other Google products including search, Google Hangouts and no doubt Google+.    You will be able to call up flight information whilst at the airport take pictures and video of what you see just using voice commands and make video calls all from the headset.