This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Monday, April 13, 2009
Nationwide's "I am On Your Side" campaign
We are kicking off our new ad campaign at Nationwide today with three "I am On Your Side" TV spots. This new campaign replaces "Life Comes at You Fast" and focuses on our associates and how they deliver an On Your Side experience for our customers.

These spots were directed by Academy Award winner Errol Morris and feature Nationwiders Jackie Walker, Robyn Hahn, and Terry Medley.

Check out the videos below and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My interview with Alex Vorro from Insurance Networking News
I did an interview a couple of weeks ago with Alex Vorro from INN. He was interested in finding out how insurance companies are using social media, especially Twitter.

I got the print version of the April issue today. You can read the web version here. I've compiled all of the sections I contributed to below:

"Shawn Morton, senior consultant for social media at Nationwide Insurance Co., agrees with Rose, but counters that social networking is by no means replacing any of the traditional channels."

"I've been shocked by how much Twitter has taken off with brands as opposed to other sites that have been around longer," says Shawn Morton, senior consultant for social media at Nationwide Insurance Co. "It has a relatively small user base, but there are hundreds of brands currently participating there. I think it shows there's a commitment to connecting closely, as it's a service about timeliness, relationships, responding and sharing information."

Morton feels that because there's currently so much press about social media, brands that are first to enter the fray get the most attention. He gives the example of H&R Block, which last tax season used Twitter to monitor people discussing their taxes, and would jump in to give advice. While the company was able to benefit a handful of people, the bigger victory was the recognition it gained from the press and industry at large.

"The people who use Twitter tend to be more of the hardcore social media users who talk more about social media, so when they see a brand doing something well, they tend to talk about it," Morton explains.

"The biggest question for insurers is what exactly to do with the mere 140 characters allowed in each Twitter update. Nationwide currently responds when something is posted about them, but are still figuring out what else to do with it. Esurance also is experimenting with the service, trying to refine their audience, and define the proper message."

Read the full article here.
Friday, April 3, 2009
AT&T's new terms outlaw Slingbox & Qik
AT&T has just changed the terms of use for their data plan to outlaw use of your Slingbox and streaming video tools like Qik. According to Gizmodo, who references Public Knowledge, the new terms state:

"This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited."

The only two apps that I use that make a data plan worth paying for are... wait for it... Slingplayer and Qik. So much for my world delivered.

Of course, AT&T will still allow you to receive streaming video that you pay them for. It will be interesting to see how this affects the planned release of Slingplayer for the iPhone (which is an AT&T exclusive).

So does a terms of service change like this give current customers the opportunity to opt out of their contracts? If so, it's time to exit the Deathstar.

[UPDATE:] AT&T has already revised their revised terms of use to remove the language about placeshifting (which would have prohibited Slingbox). The language about "web broadcasting" (which prohibits Qik) is still there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Nationwide to use Twitter to cover NASCAR events
Part of my role at Nationwide is to help other teams within the company leverage social media tools. Our first experiment with that was our coverage of the 2009 State of the Black Union back in February where members of our PR team used Blogger, Twitter and Flickr to provide behind-the-scenes access to the people and events surrouding SOBU.


Starting on April 10, we will be using Twitter and Twitpic to provide real-time, behind-the-scenes access to our NASCAR Nationwide Series races.

We will have members of our NASCAR sponsorship team posting updates and capturing photos from the pre-race press conferences, at a driver Easter egg toss, in the garage area and pretty much anywhere else interesting stuff is taking place.

The great thing about having our sponsorship team doing it, rather than someone on my team, is that they are subject matter experts on NASCAR and they have existing relationships with all of the drivers and teams. I am really looking forward to seeing what they're able to capture.

In order to have this Twitter coverage be a little more interactive, we are also working with some key NASCAR bloggers to solicit feedback from their readers as to what they would like to see. So, for example, if someone requests a shot of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car in the garage, our team in Nashville can capture it and post it on Twitter and Twitpic.

For this first Twitter-ed race, we're going to solicit that wish list in advance. Once we get a couple of races under our belt, we will likely try and respond to requests in real-time. For example, we might post that we'll be in the garage area for the next hour and ask NASCAR fans on Twitter what they'd like to see.

I think this could really end up being a nice supplement to all of the other media coverage that fans consume on race weekend. So check out our Nationwide Twitter feed on April 10-11 to see how this plays out.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.