Just a few updates from this week!

  • After articles highlighting Taco Bell’s mysterious meat went live, Taco Bell fans were livid by the news and online to voice their opinions. Though the product contains 88% beef, the company lists their beef as “seasoned beef,” making the other 12% questionable ingredients. In an effort to quell the Taco Bell media crisis, the PR team at Taco Bell has gone to the web, replying  via Twitter, Facebook, and even creating a YouTube video featuring the CEO of the company.
  • Wondering what that TV show is that’s on right now? Now you can find out with a touch of a button. The IntoNow app, available on Apple products, “listens” to what you’re watching on TV or the Internet. In just a few seconds, the app identifies if the content is airing live or if it’s a rebroadcast or a syndicate. It also provides show info and access to IMDb, iTunes, and Netflix. Think Shazam for TV. Never be left out of the dark again…
  • Unless you’ve been alone in a cave for the past week, you’ll be fully aware of what has been happening in Egypt. Just as a recap, in efforts to calm down the anti-government protests, the Egyptian government has shut off access to various social media sites and to the Internet. To help Egyptians out, Google, Twitter, and SayNow have teamed up to allow people to access Twitter via voicemail. With three numbers to call, users can call in and their voicemail will post a link on their Twitter page. As of now, minimal Internet access has been granted, yet social media sites such as Facebook.com and Twitter.com are still inaccessible.
  • Did you pick up (or scroll through) the new iPad publication, The Daily on Wednesday? After eagerly waiting for the online publication, Rupert Murdoch announced The Daily’s release, with a bet that consumers are willing to pay for news via the Internet. Readers will pay 99 cents a week for the app that offers general news, entertainment, gossip, and sports. Will you pay for The Daily?
  • It looks like consumer-generated content is gaining popularity. Coca-Cola revealed 15 finalists in its Brand App Challenge, which asked developers to create mobile apps for Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, and Diet Coke. A winner for each brand will be announced on February 14-17 in Barcelona at the GSMA Mobile World Congress and given a $10,000 prize. Though ads have been created by customers before, the idea of making apps is a new marketing concept.
  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the toy company Mattel Inc., launched a digital marketing campaign featuring the most famous couple, Barbie and Ken. Here’s some back story: Back on Valentine’s Day 2004, Barbie and Ken broke up and led separate (toy) lives. This Valentine’s Day, Mattel hopes to help Ken win over Barbie with the help of consumer participation. On BarbieandKen.com, users can vote whether Barbie should “take Ken back” or not. A web series for the search of the “Genuine Ken” is another component in this campaign. They really do think of everything, don’t they?
  • Never fear, Thunder Snow 2011 survivors, according to Punxsutawney Phil, we will have our long-awaited spring soon enough. His rival, Staten Island Chuck, agrees.

With the Super Bowl coming up, our minds are whirling with ideas for social media campaigns. We leave you with Volkswagen’s Super Bowl XLV ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0. Enjoy!