Colgate Broadcasts Facebook ‘Smiles’ to London Tube Stations

colgateWant to see your grinning mug up on a screen while catching the tube in London? For the next several weeks, it could happen. Colgate is running a Britain-based campaign that combines Facebook, out-of-home (OOH) digital displays, consumer-generated photos, goodwill, and smiles.

In an effort created by VML London, the toothpaste brand on June 28 began offering “likers” the chance to upload photos on the brand’s U.K. Facebook page. Such photos can then randomly appear on digital billboards in London, Liverpool, and Birmingham. The effort extends through the end of summer and looks to collect 1 million pictures of people smiling. If that goal is reached, Colgate has pledged £100,000 to Barnardo’s, a longstanding U.K. charity focused on children’s issues.

Participants’ photos will appear on digital signage in the London Underground, as well as via various outdoor displays. OOH marketing providers JCDecaux Transvision and CBS Outdoor are handling distribution for the campaign. It’s part of an integrated branding initiative entailing online banners, radio, and other channels. Collaborating with VML in the overall effort are agencies MEC, Cohn & Wolfe, Grand Visual, Mars, and RKCR/Y&R.

Gemma Brown, account manager at VML London, said OOH digital made sense for Colgate’s social media aims. “Integrating the photos of Facebook users is a good fun incentive for anyone who’s dreamed of starring in their own billboard campaign,” she said.

Kraft Introduces ‘Smile Tagging’

And Kraft wants to see smiling faces on Facebook, too, as well as other sites. Led by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the CPG company’s Macaroni & Cheese brand is utilizing a tool that lets consumers show their affinity for content by tagging it with a photographed smile. They have created a dedicated smile-tagging Page – driven by an app – on Facebook to facilitate the execution.

kraftAn icon on the upper right-hand corner of the Page encourages viewers to “Get the Smile Tagging button” by dragging it to their browser’s bookmarks bar. Once installed, if viewers identify something they like on the web, they can activate the button, which employs the user’s computer’s webcam to take a picture. The photo is then transmitted to the smile tagging app. Users can share the items they find smile-worthy on Facebook and Twitter. If a Facebook friend clicks the smile icon in the newsfeed, the person is taken to the “smiled” (a variation on “liked,” if you will) content.

Perhaps most intriguingly, the smile buttons will appear on content sites like “At this time, our sole partnership is with Cheezburger [Network],” said Carolyn Clark, associate brand manager for Macaroni & Cheese. “We wanted to do some really integrated content with them. And we thought they were the perfect partner to start with. As this unfolds, there might be opportunities for other partners.”

Kraft’s been making a habit out of launching innovation-minded campaigns with the help of CP+B. In March, they created a Twitter contest where users tweeting “mac and cheese” could earn prizes. Later that month, some of the tweets appeared in TV commercials for TBS’s late-night talk shows “Conan” and “Lopez Tonight” for an effort dubbed “Mac & Cheese TV”.

“While we don’t have the data back in for sales [yet],” Clark said, “what we have seen is a much greater increase for engagement…Social media marketing is a not just for talking about your brand. It’s really a way to have that two-way conversation and engage consumers.”

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