This morning, I came across this interesting case from 13 years ago, of using social media against a big business, even before social media was so popular.

Casey Neistat called the Apple service line in 2003 to complain that his iPod, only 18 months old, had an issue with the battery which didn’t hold a charge. He was told it was cheaper to just go out and buy a new one.  Understandably upset, Casey went out and spray-painted across iPod advertising in Manhattan.  This video was viewed over 6 million times in the first month, 3 years before YouTube was even launched.

Apple responded not long afterwards with a battery replacement option.

Ironically though, I am currently charging my iPhone 5, which has terrible battery life, and a battery replacement costs a fortune.

You can read the rest of the story over on Wikipedia, which also tells you more about Casey, who has since become a popular “YouTuber” and has used social media in many many clever ways.

The more I research about him, the more interesting I find his work….I was just thinking about what make him so successful, and a big part of it is taking risks.  Personally, I would never be game to spraypaint in a city, or for that matter, use music in a video I didn’t officially have the rights to….but he has managed to bend rules and get away with it for many years, and do it well.  He acknowledges that himself – in his very own Playboy spread!  (and no, that’s not what you’re thinking but still worth a look!)

Check out his YouTube channel here

And Facebook page here

He was in Amsterdam yesterday, which is how I discovered him in the first place when a friend posted about it.

Ha, how funny, just as I was writing that, another friend tagged me on Facebook – I didn’t realise he was at TheNextWeb conference, which I got to attend last year but not this, so sad to miss out ! Maybe next year.  It’s illegal wakeboard on Amsterdam canals, but The Next Web and Casey Niestat together realised the viral potential of this – again finding a way to bend rules and do it well!  Click on the image to see the video.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 09.17.00

So, over 13 years, going from using social media to complain about a business, to now, businesses want to work WITH him – and he is an excellent case study of using social media well.

Another thing I find interesting, is how and where people first hear about “social media stars” such as him.  Did you know about Casey Niestat before you read this post?  If not, do you remember when and where you first came across him?  Love to hear in a comment below.

Renee