Thoughts on Campaign Hashtags


Being on Twitter since 2007, i had the chance to watch the birth of the hashtag, with Chris Messina proposing to use the “pound” sign for grouping related information, along with Stowe Boyd’s later efforts with microsyntax.

Hashtags mutated as users started to use them to add context on their updates, closer to a folksonomy practice than their initial purpose. Later adopted by Instagram and Facebook, they became a part of Internet culture, so it was a matter of time until advertising started to exploit them and, as usually, not having the slightest clue what they are or how to use them properly.

I will now stop paying attention to my driving just to tweet my accident with this hashtag ...
“I will now let go of the wheel and tweet my crash with this hashtag”

From campaigns that use them just to look cooler to poorly chosen hashtags, it’s the age of #Hashtagploitation.



Dove and the selfie made woman

Dove applies their “Real Beauty” filter to the selfie concept, inviting young girls and their mothers to publish their honest selfies at and discuss it with #beautyis

The new campaign is based on the 8 minute documentary Selfie where director  Cynthia Wade reveals “how we have the power to redefine what is beautiful in all of us”.

Lee Clow’s Beard

Once upon a time, a Twitter account was born, with almost daily musings on advertising and facial topiary. Then, a book happened. And an app. And even legendary ad man Lee Clow spoke about it.

Oh, just follow the damn thing:

We do it for the happiness

Last August, Coke shared a glimpse of their creative agenda, toward content excellence. Have a look at part 1 and part 2, if not for the visual mapping.

Besides the marketing lingo, there’s one part that interested me the most: Liquid Content, or how content can be apart but share the same molecular brand DNA. Liquid content assumes the brand acts as a catalyst for play and takes risks in a culture of creativity.
On the same presentation, Coke shared their 70/20/10 principles of Liquid Content, where 70% of investiment is dedicated to low risk content, 20% to innovation and 10% to high risk / prepare to fail content.

No surprise then that Coke is launching simple initiatives such as Falling Dominoes, with a Coke Bottle on a digital Rube Goldberg animation.

The site was revealed as part of exclusive “liquid content” for Coke’s Facebook page, with a new riddle revealing a new microsite every day, such as

One of the best examples i’ve seen that fully understands the importance of exclusive content on Facebook (specially on the new Timeline).

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
ECDs: Eric Quennoy, Mark Bernath
Creatives: Daniel Maxwell, Nacho Guijarro, Ivan Cash
Digital production: Random, Amsterdam

Inspiration (and a Smile) changes everything

Vanessa from DDB Brasil just sent me an example of Digital Out, Interactive In.

Brastemp, a Brazilian electronics brand shows how you can be interactive with radio. The campaign was so successful that it was replicated in Portugal by a couple of radios.

The spot, that aired simultaneously in 11 major radio stations in the capital city, suggested: “Right now, millions of people at their cars, listening to the radio. All serious, sleepy, until an inspiration changes everything. We invite you to smile to the driver next to you. If he heard it, he’ll smile back …. See? Inspiration changes everything and life becomes just likeee… a Brastemp. “

Are you attending SWITCH Conference?

If you’re curious what conference I’m talking about, start by visiting . Too busy? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a 2 day event bringing together passionate people with different backgrounds to discuss and share ideas about innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology.

Ricardo Sousa and his talented young team rolls out the 2011 edition in Oporto (Portugal), the next 16th and 17th of April, and yours truly was kindly invited to speak a few minutes on the subject of advertising, fire and jogging. Now that you’re curious, are you attending SWITCH Conference? If yes, give me a nudge as i’d really love to chat with you. Not networking. Hate that word. See ya in a few days then. Go buy your ticket, now.

Young people are old school

The glittering lure of targeting hipsters.

Economics and demographics tell us that young people are no longer a terribly attractive target for most marketers. Over 75% of the wealth of the country is in the hands of people over 50. And yet our advertising and marketing strategies today, if anything, are more focused on youth and youth culture.

via The Ad Contrarian: Culture Lag.