Monthly Archives: December 2007

Consumer Generated Media Is Influencing Advertisement Creative

Consumer generated media is influencing advertisement creative. In the video attached below AOL used three famous viral video characters to promote their news section; The “don’t taze me bro” student, the crying “leave her alone” Britney fan, and Ms. Teen South Carolina star in this video. All three of these characters became famous by appearing on a video that was distributed online and viewed by millions previous to staring on this commercial.

In todays viral video world anyone can become a star. CGM is not only providing a voice for consumers, it is turning consumers into the new media icons of advertisement creative .

Nice job AOL…… I will definitely take a peek at your news section

Martin Fuchs

CGM analyst/planner



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1st2c CGM Report: Northern Rock – Social Media Becomes People’s Crisis Management Mechanism

No doubt September 13, 2007 will earn itself a moniker. Perhaps it’ll be remembered as the ‘terrifying Thursday’ that saw hundreds of consumers queuing at Northern Rock branches, desperate to withdraw their savings, as Britain’s 5th largest mortgage lender found itself in a liquidity crises. Those six days, in which people queued for hours to get at their savings, have already been likened to the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the collapse of the Weimar Republic, the following summer in 1930’s. Behind the headlines, however, 1st2c ( analysts observed an emerging social phenomenon, facilitated by the networked market reality, that might change the way market crises are handled in the future.

Using its unique Online Strategy Research© tools, 1st2c identified a change in the way social media is now being used by consumers in crisis situations; A change from deference to reference, from reaction to pro-action, from coping to management.

Chronicle of a crisis foretold

1st2c analysts monitored online resonance on the Northern Rock crisis throughout the first 10 days of its unfolding.

When news of Northern Rock’s temporary cash-flow problem broke, thousands of Britons went online.

As indicated by online mind-sharing behavior (see graph) consumers were highly reactive to media coverage – especially about short-term implications and measures taken by the government and BoE (Bank of England).


As the event unfolded one could observe a shift in attention from the immediate issue of mortgages to the more macro scope of savings and the economy as a whole.

However, while using the internet for seeking and sharing of information is not new, the Northern Rock affair generated new levels of depth and sophistication of online peer to peer support.

Perhaps like never before in this type of crises, social media was used by consumers as a collective crises management mechanism.

Social media emerges as the people’s crisis management mechanism

While mass media voiced crisis social media voiced alongside concern also reassurance, proportions and practical advice.

Not only were concerns and questions answered by calculated reasoning, counter factual possibilities, framing of possible scenarios and suggested solutions. Many individuals across the nation and beyond were informing, reassuring and convincing each other that ideas about withdrawing savings from Northern Rock accounts were irrational and short sighted. It was not uncommon to find criticism of “the media” as over-reacting and “sensation-alizing” the situation for commercial reasons while the real picture is much more balanced.

Perhaps even more interesting were the numerous online entries suggesting that the Northern Rock ‘crisis’ might actually present a wise long-term investment opportunity. This is because the bank’s shares are so low and its sound base and the government’s decisive support will eventually put it back on track to recovery and growth.

These insights suggest the emergence of fundamental change in the balance of powers that shape consumer perceptions, attitudes and behavior. While the traditional models of public opinion forming were largely dominated by corporate media, government media and mass media, the networked market gives rise to a challenger to that dominance — the people’s media.

The Northern Rock crisis is a vivid reality check to decision makers. It demonstrates how the networked marketplace shifts from reactive to proactive. Consumers take the media with a grain of salt and don’t wait for or trust corporations and institutions in defining their world view.

In the face of a shake in confidence in financial markets and the development of adverse economic scenarios it may be advisable for decision makers to consider new strategies for managing online social media.

Perhaps the cornerstone for these strategies is the acknowledgment of the increasing engagement power of peer-to-peer communication.

Precisely for this reason, the understanding of the mechanics and dynamics of online consumer-driven influence is a key aspect of 1st2c’s Strategy Research© methodology.

An IMPORTANT message from the public to crisis managers

BoE’s rapid intervention with decisive measures and the clear presentation of these measures to the public through the media invoked reactions reflecting a sense of control and confidence among the general public.

At the same time, online resonance reflected the existence of a strong unmet need in the crisis management equation!

Numerous discussions conveyed the feeling that while the bank side of the equation was very effectively addressed, the public side of it was less so. Many felt that the government and BoE managed the situation “over their heads”, leaving them with only vague authoritative picture of the implications of this event for their personal finances management.

These feelings were further aggravated by the media’s intensive preoccupation with apocalyptic spin-off scenarios such as a downturn in the real-estate market, interest-rate hype, developing recession, etc.

Concerned Britons expressed a need for authoritative guidance on what they should do to secure their assets in the short term, and how they can protect their assets or adjust their financial plans in face of the talked about adverse economic scenarios.

The expectation for support and guidance was only partially met by peer advice as the expressed need was addressed to authoritative bodies such as the government and BoE.

As difficult as it is to provide long-term advice in a dynamic situation it is noteworthy that the need expressed was psychological as much as it was practical. Online discussions conveyed a strong need for attention and a demonstration of care by authorities for the public first, and only then expectations for guidelines in an apparently still developing situation.

It may well be that the networked market reality that enables immediate support and advice from peers, also changes the expectations from crisis managers in institutions and corporations…

1st2c in a nutshell

1st2c ( is the home of Online Strategizing Research© – the most comprehensive data-to-strategy methodology available for the networked market. Strategizing Research©’s insight and opportunity driven orientation creates a vivid picture of mindsets and behaviors of the networked marketplace and adds new dimensions to both online and offline strategies.

1st2c works with Fortune 500 companies on adding new dimensions to overall marketing strategy and on monitoring and engaging the networked market.


Ofer Friedman
Chief Research and Client Officer

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1st2c CGM Report: The Michael Vick Case Study

When the publications linking Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick with alleged illegal dog fighting exploded in the media it wasn’t much of a surprise that, in the age of players standing out as culture heroes and role models, the issue will have negative implications for Vick’s reputation.

But the big question for sports industry crisis management professionals was to what extent this will have collateral effects on his team and the National Football League as a whole!

1ST2C, an online CGM research and consulting company and home of Online Strategizing Research©, looked at this case study as an opportunity to better understand the dynamics of crisis detection and crisis management in the networked market reality.

1st2c analysts followed up on online resonance across Internet’s communities on the affair before, during and after the strom’s eye.

Volume of Mind-Sharing Posts on “Key Players”

in The Michael Vick Dog Fighting Affaire


Consumer mind sharing activity points very clearly at a highly alert and responsive broad fan base.

Mind-sharing volumes surging far beyond “regular” levels are a clear indication of an “Alert situation” in 1st2c methodology, especially as higher-than-normal levels maintained over a week-long period. However, level of resonance gradually decreased after the first days indicating the loss of crisis momentum (for reasons subject to a different analysis).

As for the issue of “collateral damage” to Atlanta Falcons and the NFL.

Interestingly, while the NFL was “dragged” into the public discussion Atlanta Falcons were much less a “side to the issue” in terms of volume of talk “shadowing” that of Michael Vick’s.

Analyzing mind-sharing on the issue revealed a critical insight on consumer psychology (or rather fan psychology).

It appears that involved fans were separating between “personal moral” and “sports moral”. While the episode stirred controversy on the personal moral level it was not perceived as indicative of the team’s culture of sportsmanship. Actually, the Atlanta Falcons were perceived as victims of the situation rather than having anything to do with its facilitation. This psychological “framing” of the situation not only shielded the Falcons from snowballing popular resentment but also encouraged their fan core to “spring to their defense”.

As for the NFL, it’s visibility was associated with it’s proactive management of the situation and the affair’s overall development (like Nike’s endorsement suspension). Like in the case of the Falcons, the NFL too was not “held blame” for the happenings.

As for Nike’s part, that’s a subject to different analysis.

Crisis management insights




1st2c will continue to monitor the market and provide insights for better understanding and engagement of the networked market©.

1st2c in a nutshell

1st2c was established in late 2004 as a full service Consumer Media research and strategy powerhouse by internet and brand strategy veterans with extensive international experience.

1st2c is a forerunner of the Online Strategizing Research©. This strategic planning driven research provides vivid market pictures, in-depth understanding of market dynamics and seamless transfer of insights and opportunities to actionables.

1st2c works with Fortune 500 companies on adding new dimensions to overall marketing strategy and on monitoring and engaging the networked market.



Ofer Friedman

Chief Research & Client Officer


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Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD Case Study: Online mind sharing tell the consumer side of “the stalemate” story


Consumer generated media (CGM) is providing marketing professionals tools to better understand consumer mindset and behavior. I have attached below a case study conducted by our senior research officer Ofer Friedman and myself, in which CGM analysis is used to understand consumer behavior and mindset in regards to the high definition format war between blu-ray and hd-dvd.

Martin Fuchs

1st2c market analyst/planner

It happens once in decades. A new digital storage format is introduced, taking consumer entertainment to a whole new level of audio-visual experience. A new format ends up changing how information and entertainment are produced, played and stored, and that is a big odds game with huge business implications.

When new generations of computer micro-processors are introduced it would typically be two competing products launched almost simultaneously by Intel and AMD. In the micro-processor case consumer choice is relatively easy because both play all programs with little performance differences. By contrast, consumers have always needed to decide between alternative digital storage formats since developers typically secured exclusivity for their format with hardware (player) makers and content producers. In the early 80s it was JVC’s VHS vs Sony’s Betamax. If you had a VHS player you couldn’t play videos that were available in Betamax format and vice versa. This meant that consumers “voted with their wallet” in favor of one of the formats (thus encouraging content producers to channel product variety to that format). Investing in a new player meant risking choice of a player with inferior content variety. That is why new format generations trigger a “format war” as developing companies make every effort to drive decisive consumer patronage of their format.

This time, at the age of high-definition, it’s Sony’s Blu-Ray vs Toshiba’s HD-DVD optical disk format. The “war of high-definition formats” has been waging for almost two years now. Both Sony and Toshiba invested heavily in marketing, sales promotions, and strategic alliances with content providers (such as with movie studios). But as the 2007 holiday season is nearing, the “war of formats” is at what has already been labeled as “the stalemate“.

1st2c has looked into the consumer side of “the stalemate” and discovered that online mind-sharing provides a surprisingly accurate diagnostics of the dynamics of the “war of formats”. 1st2c Online Strategizing Research© discovered a much more cluttered consumer worldview and saw an underlying uncertainty about the future of digital storage as a whole. Emerging market dynamics suggests a need for new models for positioning and marketing of high definition players.
More than “another” war of formats

How consumers react to the two formats? What drives their attention? Why marketing initiatives delivered only short term impact? These questions are being answered by hundreds of thousands of involved consumers engaged in online mind-sharing.

1st2c’s deep web monitor provides visceral understanding of the dynamics of the unfolding “war of formats”.

Table 1: Trendline of Online Resonance on DVD vs “HD-DVD” and “Blu-Ray”

(Last 12 months)


Perhaps the immediate striking insight is embedded in the evident continuous decline in attention to the DVD format as a whole, while at the same time attention to the new Blu-Ray and HD-DVD format is increasing only mildly and inconsistently. In other words, consumer engagement with the whole issue of optical disk format is eroding!

Deep diving into the networked market suggests that consumer choice mindset is not necessarily limited to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Active consumer mindset is far broader in encompassing additional types of solutions to the same core (content consumption and ownership) needs!

From our analysis, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are actually in competition not only with each other (for example, IP-based solutions are gaining popularity also among less techy consumers) and this increases consumers’ perceived risk in choosing either.


Focusing on the “war of formats” between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the state of shoulder to shoulder competition is evident. The striking similarity in trendlines of resonance between the two focal formats is typical to an undecided market. In such situations consumers tend to discuss the respective merits of alternative offerings against any relevant market development.

Old marketing models may need rethinking

There is a deeper layer of insights embedded in online consumer resonance.

Table 2: Critical events Influencing Online Resonance on “HD-DVD” and “Blu-Ray”

(Last 12 months)



Throughout the last period content-based initiatives drove surges in attention but didn’t create decisive attention superiority to the respective format. This is visible for instance with Blockbuster’s alignment with Blu-Ray (June 18), Paramount and DreamWorks alignment with HD-DVD (August 21), and the release of the Transformers movie on HD-DVD (October 16-24).

But something happened to the long standing “stalemate” in November. Online mind-sharing tells the story of a shake up in consumer mindset caused by big retailer competition. In late October Walmart, Circuit City and Amazon lowered the price tag for Toshiba’s HD-A2 HD-DVD player to $198 triggering surges in consumer talk, with notable advantage to HD-DVD.

Immediately thereafter, on November 1st, Walmart and Best Buy announced special sales promotion initiatives that dropped the price to $99. This time consumer resonance on HD-DVD rocketed leaving Blu-Ray far behind. For the first time in (at least) a year “the stalemate” was broken.

Is it the beginning of a momentum or just a short term achievement for HD-DVD? A lot has to do with how marketers play their cards in the holiday season. But chattering consumers did provide a significant insight: So far, price-based leverages delivered better competitive differentiation than content-based leverages, at least in terms of consumer engagement.
The takeaways are clear and powerful.

Significant price cuts drive consumer action. There’s no surprise about that. But when a net active audience is concerned, especially an intensively networking audience, online resonance is both a critical market undercurrents gauge and a powerful influence channel.

What this deep dive into the networked marketplace suggests is examining the merits of “foot in the door” marketing strategies that motivate shift from “shopping” to “impulse” purchase behavior and leveraging them to drive a stalemate breaking mental shift.
1st2c in a nutshell

1st2c is the home of Online Strategizing Research© – the most comprehensive end-to-end methodology available for the networked market. Strategizing Research©‘s is strongly insight and opportunity orientated that creates a vivid picture of mindsets and behaviors of the networked marketplace and adds new dimensions to both online and offline strategies.

1st2c works with Fortune 500 companies on adding new dimensions to overall marketing strategy and on monitoring and engaging the networked market.

Ofer Friedman

Chief Research and Client Officer, 1st2c

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