Why Coca-cola and Honda succeeded on Facebook while P&G slipped

By , May 30, 2009 1:00 am

Ted McConnell, Procter & Gamble’s head of marketing, has been famous with his exclamation “What in heaven’s name made you think you could monetise the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?”

Meanwhile, Coca-cola enjoys massive fan base on Facebook, and Honda was reported pleased with its campaign.


Was it because Coke is the #1 brand in the world? I don’t think so, because P&G is also one of the top brands. The difference in brand awareness between Coke and P&G products should not account for the large gap between the two pages on Facebook.

Was it because a Honda product was more expensive than a P&G product? I don’t think so. A can of Coke and a bottle of shampoo would differ much.

So what accounts for the difference?

Because it came down to the core value of Facebook: relationships first, and ego second.

Relationship pressure

People go on Facebook to gain benefits from relationships, and respectively reinforce their connections.

A can Coke is not simply a piece of beverage. The can of Coke is enjoyed by people when they hang out with friends, have lunch at McDonald’s. What are these activities but reinforcing relationships.

There is a direct, strong connection their in their behavior.

Meanwhile, a bottle of shampoo might be a little private. People have no need to show off their brands of their convenient goods because, sad but true, it doesn’t make them feel ‘cool’ or accepted.

People show off things to impress their peers on Facebook, that’s why they do with Coke, more than with convenient goods.

(Mild) Ego

A Honda feeds a consumer’s ego. Mostly everywhere, a vehicle is only less important than an apartment in people’s purchasing decision. It is common knowledge that people don’t only buy a car/motorbike, they buy the brand and the culture associated with it. They want something that makes them ‘cool’. A Honda does.

Again, a P&G product, while makes people good, clean, safe, and healthy, has little say in a consumer’s inter-personal interactions.

Sadly, it all comes to the game of perception.

How does it relate to Facebook? Well, as a person shows off his Honda, he feels that his ego is fed. This does not normally occur with showing off something in his private spaces.


There’s nothing and no-one to blame here. And I am proud to say I’m a big fan of P&G. But, as a matter of fact, every real estate has its own norms.

I would still love P&G’s conventional messages, so please don’t let one campaign hinders any further campaign. You’re cool no matter what, in very different spaces.

Yahoo! 360 officially dead & the impact

By , May 29, 2009 11:58 am

Yahoo! 360 is officially announced to be closed on 13 July 2009.

The impact this movement has:


4 million users worldwide and 2 million Vietnamese users lose what they call “home-base”.

Vietnamese bloggers had long equate “blog = Yahoo! 360“. The closure will change that perception.

Where are they moving to

I have noted down my prediction on Kevin’s blog here.

I have personally moved most of my social graph to Facebook.



The global forces: Facebook is climbing Alexa Vietnam rapidly.

Local competitors: good news?


There are two ecosystems in Vietnam on Yahoo! 360: 360themes and LinkHay feed. They will be heavily affected.

How about you? What impact will the closure have on you?

Google Strategic Opportunities in Vietnam, and their observable strategic moves

By , May 25, 2009 7:45 pm

Content-centric social networking: attitude & product positioning

By , May 25, 2009 7:38 pm

Content-centric social network attitude product

How Baomoi can make (more) money

By , May 13, 2009 2:42 pm

How Baomoi can make (more) money apart from offering brand-monitoring services.

  • Get online newspaper firms to outsource to Baomoi for features that Baomoi is strong at
  • Offer new, innovative, customized features to newspapers
  • Provide online-news-specific analytics
  • Create ecosystems around newspapers
  • Move Expand to media, collaborate with other organizations to host news-related events

Each item has its own pros & cons, opportunities & risks.

This list is simply my own fresh thoughts, and I haven’t evaluated them against Baomoi’s strategies, current capabilities and the industry’s growth. Feedbacks are welcome.

Look up the sky, feel it, and call your mother. Telstra on Mother's day 2009

By , May 10, 2009 6:14 pm

The sky above The University of New South Wales, one day before Mother’s Day 2009.

Telstra Mobile Australia Advertising Mother's Day 2009

Telstra Mobile Australia Advertising Mother's Day 2009

Telstra Mobile Australia Advertising Mother's Day 2009

Why quizzes are increasingly being perceived as spam on Facebook newsfeed

By , May 7, 2009 3:19 pm

Why quizzes seem to increase

  1. Platform: Facebook redesigned its newsfeed that allows more contents to be published
  2. Technical ease: Quiz creation platform is available so it’s easy to create new quizzes
  3. Workflow: The applications publish the quiz’s result and users might not really know which step publishes the news onto feeds
  4. Savviness: Some users might not know how newsfeed works

Why quizzes are seen as spam

  1. There’re just too many of them
  2. The change of the newsfeed has moved relationship-centric updates such as relationship status, friend connecting to other friends to the Highlights, allowing content-centric applications to rise to a high percentage on the newsfeed. In sum, the number has increased linearly, but the percentage has increased polynomially.

If you don’t like seeing quizzes flood your newsfeed

Simply use the Hide function by hovering your mouse over a feed item. Please note that you can either hide the application or hide the person.

You can unhide anytime by clicking “Edit Options” on the bottom right corner of your newsfeed.

I personally hide applications, not people. I leave, however, Enneagram and those backed by certain scientific theories.

Is it a wrong move by Facebook?

  1. Facebook earns commissions from applications’ income
  2. Some don’t like the new design, others do
  3. Facebook architecture is flexible, they can change course anytime

How about you? How do you feel about the newsfeed, especially the quizzes and games?

The image from Qantas' epic Commercial

By , May 7, 2009 1:13 pm

Qantas Logo

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/QX5UR2leYHA”][/gv]

The relationship between viral media and RSS and content

By , May 7, 2009 11:52 am

A response to Techcrunch Steve Gillmor’s controversial article Rest in Peace, RSS

Viral media layer

Observations from Facebook's business

By , May 4, 2009 11:55 am

The previous article of mine sketched the architecture of Facebook’s business.

Bloomberg recently detailed how advertising, the main source of income, is done on Facebook.

Generally, some points from a business perspective can be drawn from this:

  1. Facebook turns market research from “push” to “pull”. Facebook users, who respectively are businesses’ consumers, are given the platform and are tempted to share their preferences in lifestyle without being directly asked by market research people.
  2. Lesson: while Sandberg affirmed “You want to target everyone? We can give you that“, more luxury products/services have higher chance to win than convenient goods. The reason is that people (consumers) usually associate themselves with things they believe make them perceived by their connections as connoisseur. Coca cola is a nice exception to this, partly because it is one of the most expensive brands in the world.
  3. Effects of relationship-centric of Facebook
    • Segment the market for businesses. People with similar demographic characteristics can be grouped together. It is more difficult to do so on ego-centric networks like MySpace
    • People are influenced by their friends and families. Marketing techniques using social and psychological influence can be used

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