April 17, 2009

50 years of Cannes Lions

ninYou can now view 50 years of Cannes Lions winners on their site. Check out the video for the Nine Inch Nails Year Zero alternate reality game that won a Grand Prix in 2008.

There is so much to inspire in the Cannes site. If you have not seen it already have a look at the Uniqlock video too.

Thanks Cannes Lions for making this public.

On the subject of Nine Inch Nails check out their new iPhone app which proves once more how forward thinking they are about digital brand building.

April 16, 2009

Viral can be bad for you.

In the past couple of days there have been several viral sensations. Some good and some bad – especially for Domino Pizza who will be in damage control mode for months after two employees posted videos on YouTube where they added their own ingredients to the food. Meanwhile Susan Boyle, a plain-looking woman from Scotland tapped into the emotional void of a nation by singing her heart out on Britain’s Got Talent. At the last count she had over 11 million views of her video. On his blog Giles Rhys Jones talks about how “viral agencies are the new ad agencies”.

His example of the Samsung LED sheep shows that you can capture a lot of attention in a short space of time. Will those viewers go out and buy a Samsung TV? Or will they just click to the next video of some idiots farting on a sandwich? When viral viewing can have a measurable result on sales then we can declare the end of traditional agencies. In the meantime agencies just need to stay on top of the trend but not throw out the baby with the bath water. Mmm, that sounds like another viral video.

Read the blog post from Giles >

April 15, 2009

A site within a site

In an interesting (but totally logical) trend some companies are trying to avoid producing far too many individual microsites – but are bringing these sites back home. Cisco have dedicated this blog entry to explain how they have “adopted a strategy of looking at the whole experience a visitor will have on the site during the session”. By developing a microsite within their main site they are able to create, as they go on to say, “an integrated experience as they’re reading, watching, and navigating”.


At the bottom of the blog post you will see a video from web analysts SiteIQ which explains the benefits of this approach.

Click here to read the story.

April 9, 2009

Print meets web

image1OK, so Mini did the first augmented reality print ad. But if you can’t be first be better. Paul, one of Ogilvy Amsterdam’s Flash gurus, developed a demo that (unlike Mini) worked on all platforms without any special plugins and allowed the user to drive a 3D model Ford. The advertising team of Darre and Piebe saw the demo and immediately sold the idea to the client. Yesterday it ran in the local Metro newspaper and coincides perfectly with the Amsterdam Car Show. Download a PDF of the ad, print it, make sure you have a webcam then head over to the special website.

Get the PDF > ka-webcam.pdf

Debunking Social Media Myths

Interesting article in Business Week that debunks 6 social media myths…

1. Social media is cheap, if not free.

2. Anyone can do it.

3. You can make a big splash in a short time.

4. You can do it all in-house.

5. If you do something great, people will find it.

6. You can’t measure social media marketing results.

Article written by B.L. Ochman, president of whatsnextonline.com

Read it here >

April 8, 2009

The circle of (second) life

The obituaries are already being written for virtual world Second Life. There was a time (not that long ago) when there was as much hype about it as there is today about Twitter and Facebook. Less than 2 years ago ad agencies were buying specialist shops who focused on marketing within these virtual experiences. Unless these brands want to market to perverts and the socially disabled then Second Life seems to have been a poor investment.

So should this be a warning about today’s obsession with social media? I think it all depends on the brand. Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” on Facebook was a very clever use of social media and the target audience was in the right place at the right time. Less than 24o thousand sacrifices were made. Or should that be “an amazing 233,906 friendships were sacrificed”? I’m sure Burger King saw it as a huge success. But how many brands are trying to be social when probably it is totally wrong for their target? Social is the new viral. Clients want to be part of the digital trend. It is up to agencies to give smart advice and not get carried away too.

April 7, 2009

Digital Mad Men


The surprise TV hit of the moment is a show set in the world of advertising of the early 60s. Mad Men follows the exploits of the high flying ad men of Madison Avenue when sexism was politically correct, everyone smoked and a glass of whiskey was vital to coming up with the next big campaign. Fast forward 40 years and today’s digital ad agency looks a lot different… or does it?

Today agencies (digital and traditional) are very much male domains. This is a shame because a few more females would certainly tip the odour balance. In terms of the look of today’s Digital Mad Men you can swap the sharp 60s suits for creative facial hair, piercings and painfully hip t-shirts. Let’s not forget the bare feet in thongs and the obligatory tattoo. In fact, most digital agencies look, at first glance, to be populated by teenagers until you realise that the blue haired guy who just rushed past you on a scooter is probably in his late 30s.

Swap the whiskey for red bull and the sexist banter for hard-to-fathom tech talk and you have the makings of a new TV series. Add a foosball table, some loud yet ironically kitsch music in the background and you have a show that should be really popular around 2049. Everyone can laugh at the quaint idea of websites as they watch the show on the Googlesphere via their psychic interface.

By the way – take a look at the Digital Mad Men spoof on YouTube made by Brand Digital… Click here

April 4, 2009

First confession

David Ogilvy was a true pioneer in the advertising business. He came from a research background which gave him a unique perspective on how people think – using the power of direct marketing to grow brands and get real results. If he were still around today I’m sure he’d be first in line to use digital media to reach people in totally new (and personal) ways. For many years I admired the Ogilvy network having first crossed paths in 1996 when I was working at possibly the first internet agency in Hong Kong – The Web Connection. I said to myself that one day I would like to work for them. I even bought a red digital clock at Habitat that I thought would look good on my future desk. Now I work for Ogilvy and after all these years working in the digital space thought it was a good time to write about my experiences… past and present. In hommage to Mr Ogilvy and his original Confessions of an Advertising Man I am starting my own version. Digital of course.