Not all charitable events are met with positivity and the recent CEOSleepout has been an example of this – even though it raised over R31 million. Social media sites were buzzing with many saying it was done in bad taste, writes ANDRE STEENEKAMP, CEO of 25AM.
Social media buzz about #CEOSleepout2016—which sees South African CEOS sleep outside in the winter cold to raise funds for charity and create awareness about homelessness—shows that the road to brand reputation hell is often paved with good intentions.
Data extracted from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Studio by online media agency, 25AM, shows that the event attracted twice as many negative social mentions as positive ones, as social media users criticised the CEOs and organisers for being insensitive, publicity-seeking and out-of-touch. The criticism has overshadowed the R31 million the CEOs have raised for charity through the event.
The event generated more than 22,000 mentions on Twitter on the day it was held (28 July 2016), most of them associated with the official hashtag, #CEOSleepout2016. This marks a significant increase over the 4,200 or so conversations about the inaugural CEOSleepout in 2015, when negative comments were heavily outweighed by positive commentary.
Other trending hashtags for the Sleepout included #CEOSleepout, #4leaders4change, and #sympathysleepout. Users critical of the event posted using hashtags such as #sleepforland and #povertyporn. Negative keywords associated with the event on Twitter included “offensive”, “crude”, and “cruel”. Much of the positive commentary came from brands and organisers involved in the event.
Negative mentions started to spike at around 18h00 when protesting students and Economic Freedom Front (EFF) members took their protest about education costs to Nelson Mandela Bridge, where the CEOs were sleeping. This is testimony to the social media savvy of both South African students and the EFF—who have perhaps mastered social media in a way that few brands have.
“Many people suspect that corporate social investment has more to do with seeking publicity than it does with doing good, and they are using social media to make this opinion known,” says Steenekamp. “Brands need to show a great deal of sensitivity in how they handle publicity and messaging for their charitable giving if they want to resonate with people. No brand likes to the subject of social media controversy, but there is a wonderful opportunity to analyse and learn from the conversation.”
CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!
Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER
From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.
Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:
LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home
LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine, debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules, a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation.
Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.
The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft
Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now:
- Hoppy American IPA
- Golden American Pale Ale
- Full-bodied English Stout
- Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
- Dry Czech Pilsner
The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.
“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”
Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.
CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary
At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.
Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.
Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.
“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”
Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops