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via ivysays.comToday, IVY was giving dating advice on twitter and asking people for feedback on her make a move rose giveaway and planning a tweetup dinner.

Yesterday, at the table, we sat arguing for around 20 minutes whether IVY is real or not.

The whole week before, people were passionately interacting with IVY on twitter…

Two weeks ago, Ivy registered to attend a tweetup and blogged about it.

And the truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t care if IVY is real or not. We should be happy that companies have finally understood the language of digital natives and is creating campaigns that resonate and interact with us, as well as the other poor mere mortals. After EXOTICA’s  unexciting Different Christmas campaign, that even failed to point us to the blog on their billboards, Leo Burnett, Exotica’s ad agency,  reviewed all of its mistakes and came up with something with a phenomenal snowball effect. Yes, as I said before my friends, social media marketing is sparking to life in the middle east and you are either with us, or eaten by the competition.

Things to learn from Exotica’s IvySays Project.

1- Give and you shall receive

The IVY we have come to know and love is a giver. She started by giving us dating advise, which though we may not all apply, but we all loved and we felt compelled single people everywhere felt compelled to try out Ivy’s moves and then… Ivy slipped a rose into our hands and made it all the more easier. Think about your clients, think about what they need. And even if you are B2B business, think: Do your they need education, help, comfort, care, empowerment? All of us do, don’t we? Now how can you use all that your expertise to help them, regardless of your product?

2-Engage and you shall be engaged

Before IVY got to her first post, she got a twitter account and after that, she did not just re-tweet her own posts, she replied to people, she talked to them, shared her opinions on outside issues, gave them advice and encouragement. There was no pushing her message or asking for anything for herself. That is why, when IVY asked questions she got enormous feedback, even from those who were in doubt about her true identity. And that is value you will not be able to leverage unless you create a genuine online persona [not to be confused with a retweet bot].

3-Go where they go, do what they do!

Ivy blogged about various creeks and corners in Beirut, be in Kayan, Greedy Goose or Le Grey, and that is what made her connect and resonate with her audience. Ivy did not blog about flowers she blogged about fashion, make-up, glamor, plastic surgery, national pride, chocolate- SUGAR, SPICE and EVERYTHING NICE – and we all like nice things.  Then again, she went to twitter to reach digital natives and, mind you,  she even guest blogged and re-blogged it on her own site. Did IVY ask girls to go to EXOTICA to get the flowers? No, they went out to  the most up and coming place – Gemmayze, Achrafieh and Hamra. The only thing that could’ve been done differently would be  giving out roses all around Lebanon, and not just Beirut.

4-Empower and you shall be empowered

Even if they did not comment, retweet or send emails, thought they actively do, with every dating tip IVY empowered ladies to take actions. Girls, being the gossip machines they are, would discuss it – which means GOING VIRAL offline. And then again with every rose given out to a guy Exotica created a positive sentiment, that is teh first step to along lasting relationship, not with the guy, but with the brand. And come 2011 I expect more girls to send out flowers to beau’s, and now, not because they[roses] are free, but because it makes them feel good. And this is the golden key to any successful brand. And did I mention the publicity, Ivy’s campaign is getting from mainstream media?

5-Going against the current and bringing the currents together

There are two stakeholders in any relationship – MAN & WOMAN. Exotica’s outdoors visuals empowered men, by teasing them with images of women they could have had in 2o09 if only they were brave enough. While Ivy, took a less traditional approach, and she looked to empower women. Mind you, women are not traditionally the ones we think first of when we think about selling flowers, right? But then again, I have seen countless times flowers being delivered to men at our offices from girlfriends, wives or wanna-bes. And then again, think of it, if a girl gives a guy one rose before valentine, and the guy likes the girl, on Valentine he will get her no less than a bouquet and what will his 1st choice be? Certainly EXOTICA. So you see, by bringing people together and spreading love Exotica may actually have record sales on February 14.

Finally,  I want to congratulate Exotica on the Brilliant Initiative and hope that IVY , whoever she is, continues blogging even after February 14, otherwise the digital natives all around, both those who think IVY is Real and Fake, will feel beguiled and disappointed.

Googling I found this song called IVY SAYS, I wonder if it had anything to do with the origin of the campaign.

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If you are not following me on twitter you have missed a lot! We have been going at this for about 2.5 weeks and I am really impressed by the tremendous feedback from all my tw-friends… And now is the moment of Truth!

 

 How did #MYDESK Start?

Well, I was reading this blogpost about “working space image” from one of my favorite bloggers – Penelope Trunk. So basically it says that your desk portrays your image and you should be careful on how you manage you desk space, and what that projects about you. Having a messy desk myself ( even extremely messy at times) , I was disgruntled by that people with neat desks are considered more productive.

I am one of those people who can not manage a tidy desk, i simply can’t work on one, having so many projects I need all my papers to be within reach and combined and mixed for me to start forming the bigger picture. I feel less productive if I have to put the files back every two seconds… Even Penelope’s blogpost provides a counter argument saying “”Messiness is related to creativity because it tends to juxtapose things that don’t normally go together.”

Anyway, I know that its a pretty radical subject so I will not be blabbing about it any further, here is a photo of my desk at its worst! There you have it!

need to say in my defense that i specifically chose a very messy photo to post. (why do we messy people always feel the need to justify ourselves?)

need to say in my defense that i specifically chose a very messy photo to post. (why do we messy people always feel the need to justify ourselves?)

So anyhow, after I read this post, I wanted to know if there are people out there like me. And I Tweeted about the link and asked the question. I did not even to gets pics… and then I did… and everybody started participating and commenting…

 

The Desks

 As I said it went back and forth the pst three weeks, with me encouraging everyone on the network to show us what their desks look like and starting a mini competition. and at one point I wasn’t able to keep up with you guys:)

 

So let’s move the competition here. Comment, tell me what you think ?

 & if I’ve missed your desk, give me the link & I’ll repost it.

 

The “Creatively Organized” (code name for messy, but we do not accept the negative connotation)

(hover over the photo to see whose desk it is)

 @funkyozzi's colleague@manuelwazen@madhattar

@danyawad

nadjakh@ghassanb@ammouni@dashkoun34449368@smaldosari@larazankoul@hazz

The Elegant

hatemdex

@patricksemaan

The playful

@samerjay@noisythinking31608020@sleiman zr

The Zen Like & Minimalistic

 @scdxb@sanatawileh

 

What Normal Desks should look like?

961 nerd@sragheb@shanty2@shanty2@vipwoody@funyozzi@mayazankoul@marienakhle

 

The Musical

@toniyammine

Social Networking Workspace

@samerkaram

The Hig-tech

 

@haythamkhouja

@rtayyem@najinujumi@danymoussa

The Untraditional

@dksfood

@inine

 The Office with the Best View

I couldn’t embed Twitvid so you have to go through the link, but truly this office space needs to be seen http://www.twitvid.com/163C5

@mhallani

& this @mhallani's desk at this amazing office :D Lots of natural light and a beautiful view of the marina!

 

So What does your desk look like ?

* I’ve noticed there’s a new user on twitter Mydeskpicwho got recently created yesterday, just wanted to tell you, that it has nothing to do with me.:)

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