Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Emily Barber

Donate Life America Campaign Pitch

“You never think it will happen to you.” This mindset gives us the courage to take risks, but it can also prevent us from taking action. Organ donation is a tough subject to approach, but what if we changed that? What if audiences of Donate Life knew exactly why organ donation was important and how they could help? Thanks to social media, it is now easier than ever to get a message out. We believe that Donate Life can achieve this by utilizing the existing channels of Twitter and Facebook and expanding its messaging to Snapchat.

Team Donate Life from left — Hannah Bortz, Emily Barber, Kiley Landusky, Ellie Halter

Team Donate Life from left — Hannah Bortz, Emily Barber, Kiley Landusky, Ellie Halter

Audiences of Donate Life span all age groups, but social media would allow for targeting of certain demographics. The combined advantages of each channel – Facebook’s storytelling, Snapchat’s personal touch, and Twitter’s condensed updates and widespread reach – provide the perfect combination for a successful campaign. Donate Life already has proven its success on Facebook and Twitter through storytelling and emotional messaging, but there is always room to improve. A campaign focused on raising the overall awareness of organ donation with an objective of increasing numbers of registered donors would result in better brand recognition, higher engagement and a difference in donor numbers.

If anyone knows how valuable life is, it’s the audiences of Donate Life. This campaign would relay the idea that organ donation is a basic human responsibility. It only takes a minute to register, but that minute can mean years of a healthy life to someone in need.

The 22-year-old whiz kid who runs Apple’s Twitter account shares his social media tips

April 17, 2016 by Kif Leswing

Apple launched its first major customer service social media account, @AppleSupport, earlier this year, and it already has 282,000 Twitter followers. 

One of the main people behind it is 22-year-old Tai Tran. Apple offered him a full-time job running social media before he even graduated. He’s been named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for marketing, and when he accepted a job at Apple, it was covered by Apple blogs

Tai Tran

Tai Tran, the 22-year-old behind Apple’s Twitter image credit: Business Insider

Tran is sharing his social media expertise with undergraduates at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he’s teaching two classes for course credit, and he puts most of his course materials online.

Here are some highlights:

Full article available via Business Insider at http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-tai-tran-on-social-media-marketing-2016-4

Bic Offends Women Everywhere on South Africa’s #WomensDay

By Emily Barber

One would think that companies should know how to avoid being sexist in the 21st century, right? Wrong.

Bic, maker of pens, lighters, razors and more, made a Facebook post for South Africa’s Women’s Day in August 2015 that pretty much did the opposite of empower women. The post, which can be seen below, features a woman dressed in business clothes. Next to her are the words, “Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss.” Excuse me? On a holiday celebrating women, Bic is telling them to think like a man?

Bic ad says, "Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss."

Image courtesy of Daily Mail

Social media users were quick to call Bic out on their mistake. One Facebook comment read, “Why am I expected to look like a child? Why am I expected to see the world through a masculine lens? Why am I expected to ‘think like a man’ but not expected to ‘act like a man’ on my so-called manly thoughts?” Another Twitter user said, “Bic’s creative agency’s brief was ‘insult women in a way they haven’t been insulted already, this Women’s Month.’”

Bic quickly caught wind of the criticism of their post and issued this apology:

“We would like to apologize to all our fans who took offense to our recent Women’s Day Post. We can assure you that we meant it in the most empowering way possible and in no way derogatory towards women. We took the quote from a ‘Women in Business’ blog site. The blog site explains the quote and what its intentions were when it was written. BIC believe in celebrating women and the powerful contribution women make to our society.”

However, this was not taken sincerely, as there was no real apology. Bic simply blamed the blog they stole the quote from as the source of the problem. Social media users continued to voice their opinions, leading to a second apology:

“Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody – that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.”

The overwhelming negative reaction to Bic’s post proves that this was a social fail. Stabilo, a rival of Bic, threw shade by tweeting their own version of the ad:

Stabilo's witty response to Bic's mistake

Image via @STABILOUK

This witty response generated lots of positive responses on Twitter. It encouraged women to be themselves, rather than tell them how to look, act or think. With more consideration, Bic could have easily avoided this debacle. A simple message embracing women would have done much better. I would have changed the copy to, “Here’s to being you.” This celebrates women without excluding anyone or suggesting how a woman should be.


Bic South Africa apologizes for sexist ‘Think like a man Facebook statement posts during its Women’s Day campaign. (2015, August 14). Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/bic-apologizes-sexist-comment-women-day-article-1.2325746

Chou, J. (2015, August 11). This Pen Company Wants Us To “Look Like a Girl…Think Like A Man.” Retrieved from http://www.refinery29.com/2015/08/92187/bic-south-africa-sexist-ad

Davies, C. (2015, August 11). ‘Look like a girl…think like a man’: Bic causes outrage on national women’s day. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/11/look-like-a-girl-think-like-a-man-bic-outrage-south-africa-womens-day

Mitchell, E. (2015, August 11). Bic Apologizes for Womens’ Day ‘Think Like A Man’ Post. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/bic-apologizes-for-womens-day-think-like-a-man-post/117286

Nudd, T. (2015, August 12). Bic Apologizes for Women’s Day Ad That Mostly Just Made Women Furious. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/bic-apologizes-womens-day-ad-mostly-just-made-women-furious-166358

Pooping Unicorn Works Wonders for Squatty Potty

by Emily Barber

Sometimes in marketing, you have to be fearless. When we are bombarded with content 24/7, ordinary ads just don’t stand out. Squatty Potty is a family-owned company that helps customers get the most out of their bathroom experience – literally. They capitalized on the idea of being fearless in October of 2015, when they released this video:

In the video, a unicorn effortlessly poops out ice cream with the help of a Squatty Potty, while his knightly friend narrates the experience. Hard to watch yet hilarious, the video quickly became a social win. At the time this blog was written, the video currently had 16, 456, 491 views on YouTube.

Squatty Potty got its start in November of 2014 when its creators appeared on Shark Tank. Lori Greiner, one of the ‘sharks,’ made a deal with the mother-and-son team that pitched Squatty Potty and got the business off the ground.

Fast-forward just under a year later to the “This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop” campaign. The video was created by ad agency The Harmon Brothers, who have worked on other toilet-related products, such as Poo Pourri. Marketing these kinds of products can pose a challenge, because people don’t typically want to talk about what goes on in the bathroom. The Squatty Potty team needed a way to spread awareness of their product, which has been proven to have real health benefits. An out-of-the-box video was a perfect way to do that.

In just four months, the video had 1 million Facebook shares, online sales of the Squatty Potty increased by more than 600%, and retail saw a 400%+ increase. These numbers alone could prove why this campaign was a social win. The current trend in marketing is to create awesome content that people will pay attention to. This video definitely falls under that category. It got people talking about Squatty Potty and spread the name of the company, giving sales a massive boost in the process.

Another part of Squatty Potty’s success was allowing their voice to shine in both the video and subsequent promotions. This is not a simple task, as the nature of their products requires a unique voice. It’s definitely not easy to approach the subject of going to the bathroom. People barely talk about this with their friends and family, let alone hear it from a company. They found a great balance between silly, informational and entertaining.

To improve and capitalize on the campaign, I believe they could have done more with the unicorn and knight. A large part of Squatty Potty’s mission is to improve the health of their customers. Countless videos could have been made with the pair doing health Q&As, sharing tips for healthy digestion, or explaining more about the product. The original video has only been out for a few months, so Squatty Potty could very well be planning to use them more in the future. They often feature both on their Twitter and Instagram, which ensures the characters’ relevancy.

After first watching Squatty Potty’s video, I’ll admit I was a little grossed out. This is not a typical product, and it’s definitely not your typical form of advertising. But that’s why it works. People were intrigued and wanted to know more about this pooping unicorn and the company that made it. Squatty Potty took a chance with this video, and it most certainly paid off.

Bathroom before-and-after with Squatty Potty

Image courtesy of Squatty Potty


Barbuti, A. (2014, November 14). The Squatty Potty Enters the ‘Shark Tank’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved from http://heavy.com/entertainment/2014/11/squatty-potty-poop-toilet-stool-shark-tank-products-season-6-100th-episode/

Dicker, R. (2015, October 23). Squatty Potty Brothers Find Gold In Unicorn Poop. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brother-find-gold-in-unicorn-poop_us_5629389fe4b0aac0b8fc2d8e

Saxena, J. (2015, November 25). How a viral video of a unicorn is changing the way we poop. Retrieved from http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/squatty-potty-ad-viral/

Stanley, T.L. (2015, October 7). Here’s the Best Ad You’ll See Today With a Unicorn Who Poops Rainbow Soft-Serve. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/heres-best-ad-youll-see-today-unicorn-who-poops-rainbow-soft-serve-167404

Stanley, T.L. (2015, December 10). Squatty Potty’s CEO Ignored Everyone, Made an Insane Video and Boosted Sales 600%. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/squatty-pottys-ceo-ignored-everyone-made-insane-video-and-boosted-sales-600-168526