How Competing Brands Can Benefit From Shared Social Campaigns

In a textbook example of "any publicity is good publicity," rival brands that engage in social media banter can each see a boost in their social ROI.

Have you ever thought it strange to see a Lowes open up near a Home Depot? How about a CVS situated just across the street from a Walgreens? Or fast food places clustered together? Jayson Demers over at Inc. explains that the reason rivals set up shop in close proximity to each other is because customers are attracted to locations with more than one store. What seems like it should be a battleground for fierce competition turns out to be a peaceful home where rivals benefit from each other's existence.

Demers explains that shared social media campaigns can work in the same way. When building a company's brand, it's often important to try and add a human element into the mix. Nothing comes off as humanizing quite like silly, witty banter on Twitter or Facebook. Demers uses the example of a recent Twitter "feud" between KFC and Cap'n Crunch (admittedly two non-competing businesses). The two companies mustered considerable buzz by simply poking a little fun at each other online. Something similar happened between social media stalwarts Taco Bell and Old Spice. Their amusing antics led to a lot of good vibes and increased brand visibility.

Demers thinks these strategies would work just as well for companies that compete more directly than those in the examples above. As part of the "humanizing" factor, customers will view a simple social partnership as an example of good sportsmanship and sense of humor. There's strength in numbers online and almost any publicity can be good publicity on Twitter.

Take a look at Demers' full piece (linked below) and tell us what you think.

Read more at Inc.

Photo credit: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)

In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.

Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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