Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media

Mister Splashy Pants—need I say more.  A brilliant, yet intriguing name will inspire individuals to find out more about a serious matter—saving humpback whales. Web 2.0 was the reason this name came to be created.

It is actually interesting how a group of marketing individuals can sit around a conference table and try to brainstorming the next big campaign.  Ideas fly back and forth, hours are lost in productivity and really where did it end up going? Nowhere—just a bunch of concept-web scribbles on a dry-erase board.  With the amount of talented and witty individuals in our world, sharing the work is not only free, but it may become more successful to tap into what the web/people have to offer.

In the case of GreenPeace—an activist group to help protect our environment—started a name-a-whale competition, while most of the suggestions that poured in were sophisticated and thoughtful, one had commented they should name the group “Mister Splashy Pants.”  Even though the name was amusing for a serious campaign, it surprisingly received a large amount of positive feedback from Reddit and BoingBoing, which are both social news websites to which users can submit content and is ranked by voters.

Web users have a wealth of knowledge and know exactly how and what they respond to, so why not ask them? As Ohanian discussed in his video, you have to let go, you have to let some of the power be put back into the hands of users.  Be honest, open to change and in the end you’ll most likely wind up on top [of Reddit].

To view the video clip, click here



About Spinto

Where to begin.... I was born and raised in the Burlington, Vermont area. After graduating college at Lyndon State College (wayyy northern Vermont), I moved to Massachusetts to work for a promotional products company. A few years later I relocated to western Massachusetts where I took a job at a community college as their in-house marketing manager. During this time, I decided to open the floodgates and own and operate my own business named Otnip Graphics. Otnip Graphics helps to positively promote business' through innovative marketing strategies and branded design collateral. All while this is going on, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge in marketing to help our college keep a competitive advantage over local colleges, thus I enrolled myself in graduate school at SNHU to achieve my goals. Keeping myself busy and motivated is the only way I know and wouldn't change anything! On a more personal level (because I do have a personal life, I think...) I am getting married next October (Oct. 20) in Vermont. I have been chipping away at the large and small details to complete our wedding plans and hopefully while I accomplish all that I set out to do, I can relax and enjoy the wedding, and yes, the planning too. My hobbies include any kind of crafts/art projects I can get my hands on, watching brain rotting TV, skiing, running and enjoying time with my fiance and our little silky terrier, Pixie Lou.

4 responses »

  1. Like Ohanian said, sometimes it is good to not take yourself so seriously and let a good idea keep generating buzz. Sure, the name was a little far fetched and didn’t give a serious name to a serious problem, but sometimes serious isn’t always good. Companies need to learn to roll with the punches and allow social media to create the media they need. Without “Mr. Splashy Pants” their entire focus could have been dead. Sometimes relying on markets you wouldn’t normally rely on can have a positive impact, much like it did with this campaign.

    • Spinto says:

      I completely agree, give people what they want and in a serious world, sometimes providing people with a witty name will just give them enough satisfaction where they will start to pay attention.

      I think we can all learn a little from Mr. Splashy Pants — still giggle at the name!

  2. Mr. Splashy Pants sounds like a cartoon or something kind of program for children. In fact, I can see this growing or mushrooming into something bigger where the group tries to target children and teach them the importance of saving the whales. As they say, the children of today and the leaders of tomorrow so if you want to cultivate a generation of people who believe in and support saving the whales, this group can target children with a cartoon named after the group itself ‘Mr. Splash Pants.’


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