Brazil is the Social Media Capital of The World

Surprised? No, I’m not either. But why?

Sao Paulo HDR

Image via Ndecam

This needs some analysis. First off, the numbers are incredible -

  • 65m Facebook users (second largest market for the platform)
  • Brazilians spent 41% more time on Twitter in 2012 vs 2011
  • Facebook dwell time grew 208% (while the rest of the world dropped by 2%)
  • 129.3m online users
  • 21 billion online searches
  • Second largest consumer of YouTube videos (the US is at number one)
  • Top five active user group for Twitter
  • Expected $81 billion of ad spend in 2013

And this is expected to grow even further. Especially as, come 2015, the country will be the recipient of a 100-gb-per-sec internet connection to carry all of that data.

Interestingly, Twitter has chosen São Paulo as its Brazilian base and is in the process of hiring like crazy as I type. Why is this interesting?

Over the past few years São Paulo (and the ad agencies therein) have been producing the stellar kind of creative work that anyone would be proud to put their name against. Everything from the $73,000 bar tab, through to getting your face printed on a Burger King Whopper; it’s actually really quite hard to get through one page of Brandflakes for Breakfast without stumbling upon something awesome from São Paulo.

Innovative, smart, ground-breaking – all of it social, all of it awesome.

But why São Paulo? Well, you could say that culturally Brazil is more open and friendly, and therefore more creative. You could also say that the way of life and perhaps the weather over there inspires creativity and innovation.

Personally, I think there’s something else. Ready?

How about this: outdoor advertising is banned* in São Paulo.

Introducing the ‘Clean City Law‘ -

In 2006, Gilberto Kassab, mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, passed the “Clean City Law.” Citing growing concerns about rampant pollution in his city, Kassab decided enough was enough. But this was no ordinary piece of pollution legislation. Rather than going after car emissions or litterbugs, Kassab went after the billboards. Kassab wanted to crack down on “visual pollution.”

That visual pollution? Outdoor ads. Amazing. And the city has never been happier! Hurrah!

As mentioned, this law came into being during 2006 – the year that some might argue that social media started its way down the long road to success. So now you have a whole bunch of brands with outdoor money to spend elsewhere. Where does it go? Into better creative and, of course, new channels – such as social media.

Today, Brazil is the social media capital of the world. They’re hosting the next Olympics and the next World Cup. São Paulo is an ad-free zone and it drives creativity in all sorts of awesome and inspiring ways.

I might be talking rubbish, but I genuinely believe there’s a connection.


That’s all I got.


*this is not news, I know – but I only found this out this week and I still find it mental

Additional sources: WSJ, The Wall.



1 Comment »

Twitter and the monetization of the second screen

Twitter’s been buying again… 

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 22.32.36 (1)

According to sources, Twitter just bought US-based social TV analytics firm, Bluefin Labs. While the actual number is still an ‘undisclosed figure’, early reports state that this is Twitter’s ‘biggest acquisition to date’.

A few things:

1. This is REALLY interesting

Twitter and TV is clearly going to be HUGE. During the panel I was on at Social TV Conference London recently I remember saying something along the lines of -  ‘Let’s just be honest: second screen engagement is basically Twitter, we shouldn’t kid ourselves about that.’

I was being deliberately forthright but, looking back on it now, I don’t think I could’ve been any more right.

2. Is this is Twitter buying *outside* of their ‘API quadrant’?

Last summer, much was made about Twitter’s changes to their API. However what made it ultimately clear to everyone on what (and what was not) fair game was this one simple chart -


At the time, Twitter made it very clear that they were encouraging developers to no longer create apps that existed in the upper-right quadrant. In fact, they went so far as to call out the guys they thought were doing a great job in the other areas – stand up Klout, Radian6, and Storify.

However, with this acquisition, Twitter are now parking their tanks on the lawns of many many TV analytics firms out there today, and who can blame them?

My point is: Twitter are moving the goal posts again. To wit:

‘You can develop on our API but as soon as there’s serious money to be made… we’ll have our ball back please.’

3. Monetizing the second screen is clearly the next big thing

This is hardly news but, after the massive success of Twitter at the Superbowl this past weekend (earning mentions in 50% of all advertising)… hang on, before we go any further, some fag packet analysis:

  • Superbowl ads cost (for airtime alone) $3.8m per 30seconds
  • $3,800,000 / 30secs = $126,666.66 per second
  • 26 of the (presumed) 52 ads featured during the Superbowl had hashtags appended to them
  • Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that those ads ran those hashtags for 2-3seconds (it’s probably more, so let’s shoot for the top end of that spectrum)
  • 3secs x 26 ads = 78seconds
  • 78 x $126,666.66 = $9,879,999.48

Which means that during Superbowl 2013, Twitter scored just shy of 9.9million dollars of FREE ADVERTISING.


Sorry, where was I?

Oh yes, brands are on the Twitter train (for second screen activity) and the great ones are killing it. How long will it be until others catch on? 5, 4, 3…

4. Bluefin now, Second Sync next? 

From what I can tell, Bluefin are US only. Which is great, and an obvious win for that team (second screening in the US is clearly the most advanced / widely accepted). However the immediate question is: what’s next for the rest of the world’s TV social analytics market?

The smart money would be on the UK’s Second Sync being next. At a recent London Twitter event, #PoweredByTweets, Second Sync data was present in nearly every presentation – and Twitter were happy to say so too. They clearly do the best job, they’ve clearly been anointed as the chosen ones in this particular region, so are they clearly next in line for aquisition? Place your bets now please…

5. Social TV + The Future

It now goes without saying that 2013 really will be the year of Social TV. There’ll be a lot of snake oil salesmen out there and separating the wheat from the chaff will certainly make for interesting viewing indeed.

Bring it on, creatives of 2013, let’s see what you’ve got.



Speaking: Social Success Mic Up

The quote:

“I’m learning to love my new äppärät’s screen, the colorful pulsating mosaic of it, the fact that it knows ever last stinking detail about the world, whereas my books only know the minds of their authors.”

From the book Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart, are the words with which I started my five minute talk at the social success mic up last week.

Social Success Mic Up

[image via Salesforce Marketing Cloud]

The theme for the night? Social Media Predictions for 2013.

Five sets of speakers, five different angles, five minutes each – simple. My pitch?

“Things are moving in 2013, you should know what and you should know where: eyes are moving to second screens, money is moving overseas, social media penetration is moving up the corporate ladder.”

Social media jobs, once banished to the basement of the marketing dept (under  digital lead, under a marketing lead, under a brand lead) are now seated in director postions and even sitting on the board. 2013 will only see this situation improve further.

If the noughties will be remembered for anything, it’ll be for service providers outsourcing customer care to the emerging (read: cheaper) markets. With social as a care channel becoming more and more commonplace, 2013 will see the out-sourcing of this work to those very same markets. After all, what is easier to script: an unknown call with someone who just wants to scream and shout, or a 140 character response?

Finally, eyes are moving in their droves to the second screen. This is not news. And I’ve said as much before. However, when advertisers and media planners realise that people aren’t watching their ads anymore the cry of ‘JUST MAKE BETTER CONTENT’ will soon grow tiresome, and those keen eyes will want to spend their ad money on those very screens that have stolen their eyeballs. Yes of course, that implies an increase in social media ad spend, but that also means a demand for better and more dynamic media opportunities across those platforms.

And that was me, in five minutes.

Other highlights were Bernie Mitchell reminded us all why Podcasting is utterly brilliant; and the really rather infectious Hera Hussain, who spoke quite brilliantly about how her thesis and analyses on the Egyptian revolution provided insights on what actually makes someone influential.


No Comments »

Speaking: Social TV Conference

My slides are up -

However, as per usual, I would whole-heartedly recommend you click through to the presentation’s main slideshare page so that you’re able read the accompanying slide notes (that provide more of an in-depth look at the points I was making along the way).

While you’re there, I would also impress upon you to look at the presentations from Tiffany St James, Mat Locke, and Dan Paton. Dealing with stats, history, and an ace MTV case study respectively.

All in all, Social TV Conference London was a really good event. Second screen entertainment is definitely one of the more nascent areas of the social media industry today and there is some amazing work going on right now.

Why not have a poke around the conference website and see what nuggets you can find…

Your comments, as ever, are welcome.


No Comments »

New Year, New Choices: Speaking

Yes, that’s right: SPEAKING.

The Conversation Prism, by Brian Solis

At the tail end of last year (and after much deliberation; is it poncy, is it not?) I added a ‘Speaking’ tab to my blog. First, to record all the speaking engagements that I am lucky enough to get/give and second, to serve as a way for folk to not only see the way I work, but also get in touch should they wish to book me.

Last year topped out at three different presentations and talks, and given that 2011′s end number was six, I really don’t think this is good enough.

After reviewing last year’s fairly lacklustre efforts I decided that this year, 2013, I’m going to proactively hunt down new speaking opportunities and get back into the swing of things again. The best thing is, my new responsibilities at Ogilvy now allow me the freedom to pursue this goal, which means I can make the time where appropriate. Brilliant.

Saying it is one thing, but doing it is another – a bit like running, really; you just need to put the effort in. Which is why, after only three weeks gone in the year, there are four slots already on the horizon!

The two I can tell you about?

January 22nd
Tomorrow I’m speaking at the SocialTV conference. The speaker line up looks great and, after my post last year about how hard TV-based social media integration is failing, I believe I’m being pitched in to add a bit of realism to the proceedings. I can’t wait!

January 24th
Then on Thursday, I’m one of the speakers at the SalesForce Social Success Mic-Up. This time speaking about social media trends looking forward into 2013. I made some predictions in August last year and for this sessions I’ll be building on those and trying to see what else we can see coming ’round the corner.

Two confirmed, and two under discussion. If the latter come in, I’ve already beaten last year’s score. Perfect.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you set yourself a goal like that.

Who’d a thunk it?



Additional reading: being a better speaker, by Terence Eden



Bowie vs Marketing

This is perfect -

“We live in an age when distraction is everywhere, consumers are multi-screening – and multi-screening is actually an acceptable verb – and the industry assumes that to get what marketing departments call cut-through or mind-share for music you have to bombard people: artists are supposed to be in a constant dialogue with their fans, via Twitter or blogs or Facebook. It’s a timely reminder that mystique is a valuable commodity. You can perhaps give people more by giving them less.”

— Tim Ingham, Editor of Music Week

The above quote is taken from ‘The inside story of how David Bowie made The Next Day‘ which features in today’s Guardian.

Explaining (in quite fantastic detail) how exactly, in an age of cameraphones and gossip websites and social media, Bowie’s album remained under wraps for two whole years before appearing, seemingly out of nowhere, last Tuesday – it is a great read.

Screen Shot 2013-01-12 at 10.52.39

It seems we could all learn a thing or two from Mr Bowie.

No Comments »

the pressure of immediacy

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Mobile phone and the Japanese 2

– Image via cocoarmani

First, I want you to apply the following quote from this Fjord iPad post to all modern smart phones -

It may seem like a small change, but a generation which has instant access, quite literally, at its fingertips, will be a quite different generation to that which did not. We used to consider that someone was erudite if they had spent a number of years accumulating knowledge and expertise which they could deploy at the precise moment which it was required.
Given that this information is all now on hand, people will come to rely more on an ability to recall data from the system. Ability to focus, and knowledge of the best places to look, will become the most important facets to consider. These are fundamental changes.

The key word/sentence I’m going to zero in on this time is ‘the ability to focus‘.

We’re losing it. 

Second, I want you to think of that thing where you’re talking at the pub and someone says: ‘Oh did you see that thing today? Oh my God it was soooo funny! You haven’t seen it? No, I’ll pull it up.’

Not only is it massively anti-social (we’ll come back to that), but also – in the time that it takes you to reach for your phone and start googling for ‘IKEA Monkey’ or whatever, the conversation has undoubtedly moved on and no one is actually that interested come sharing time. Forget it. Move on. Leave it.

It doesn’t matter.

These two notes are what, to my mind at least, drive the ill-perceived pressure of immediacy. As in, just because we can look up just about anything on the glass screens in our pockets doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. The pressure to know something immediately is balderdash. It is fallacy, claptrap, and poppycock. It is a make-believe blanket of self-made suffocation that we have placed upon our own social and professional situations that really has no need to exist at all.

So what do we do? 

  1. At dinner, play the phone stacking game. I have and it works.
  2. At work, create a digital hat stand for meeting rooms.
  3. At your desk, invest in an NFC-enabled on/off mat for your phone.
  4. At the pub, focus on your friends.
  5. At home, unplug your WiFi; break habits.


Two quotes for you -

‘If we learn to disconnect in order to connect with ourselves, the impact will be amazing’
- Arianna Huffington

‘I wish I’d spent more time on the internet’
- Nobody on their deathbed, ever.


Stop. Think. Breathe.

Stay in the moment.

The pressure of immediacy does not exist. 



Social Media Strategy

Here endeth the lesson -


1 Comment »