December 30, 2009

Digital in 2010

Everyone is busy making their predictions for digital trends in 2010. Mostly what we all know already. I’m interested in what will surprise us in 2010. Will it be tablet computers changing how we consume digital media at home? In the meantime here is a look ahead from the guys at Soap Sydney. As always, with their unique perspective…

December 22, 2009

Week of Tweets #4

This will probably be the last Week of Tweets this year as I won’t be tweeting much during the holidays. So let’s start with…


An omnivorous Google is coming. Interview with Marissa Meyer on the Telegraph UK –

  • Reading how Google sees the future of search is a little scary and exciting at the same time. Definitely worth reading.

It’s a time for giving! RT @oliviarz: get @sethgodin‘s new free ebook “what matters now”

  • Seth Godin writes a lot. Maybe too much. But this free download is one of the best articles he’s put together in a while.

Brilliant RT @mrdoob: Massive blog post: Making of Starbucks Love Project –

  • You may not have heard of Mr Doob but he is one of the most amazing Flash developers around. His blog post on his recent work for Starbucks is great reading.


Now this looks interesting – Exclusive: Ex-MySpace Execs Launch Gravity Into Private Beta.

  • After the hype and come down of Google Wave it’s interesting to see something that shows a lot more potential.

Put a smile on your face… RT @Steffan1: Comic genius from Goodby (thank you Adrants)

  • Nice to see an agency poke fun at itself 🙂

Good read RT @simonmainwaring: RT @ConversationAge“Marketing in 2010” Great post.

  • Some things to think about for the year ahead…

Bravo RT @brainpicker: The Decade in Culture – my latest piece for @GOOD. A ton of work to write, but also a ton of fun.

  • Let’s end on this one. Has it been a good decade or one to forget? You decide.
December 17, 2009

Reading the future with Mag+

London’s BERG and Bonier R&D have been designing the future of digital publishing. The video presents a compelling vision of the digital magazines. You can read the full article on the PSFK blog.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

December 14, 2009

Week of Tweets #3

Here we are again. Start of the week and looking back at the best of my tweets from the past week. Well, I say “mine” but since I retweet a lot the credit has to go to the people I follow…

RT @saman325: The 10 Most Innovative Viral Ads of 2009

  • Although many people would like the word “viral” to disappear it still continues to catch the attention of the masses. Check out the whole selection on Mashable.

10 Tips for Viral Marketers From a Military Propaganda Manual – via Adverlab blog

  • Sorry, that “viral” word again. But I thought that a the tips in this military rumor manual dated 1943 really did ring true today.

When real world objects get connected to the Internet… Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009 –

  • It wasn’t long ago that being online meant sitting at an uncomfortable desk listening to a squealing modem as it connected to the web. Soon everything will be connected to the web wherever you are…

Very handy… RT @belindaang: 5 fantastic digital branding campaigns from 2009 ~

Interesting review of 3 online campaigns –

  • Levi’s leveraged a broad range of new media types to drive additional credibility and impact
  • Dos Equis was able to extend the experience to dedicated fans via Facebook
  • “The Office” maintained a level of authenticity by mimicking consumers’ own social behaviors

Flutter: The New Twitter – funny Slate video if you haven’t seen it already

  • This is been around a while but I just came across it. Made me smile…

Must read RT @RGA: Contagious mag’s ‘Most Contagious 2009’: (thx @conradlisco)

  • If you only have time to read one thing this week then read this.

It had to happen! RT @ericphu: When captcha’s go bad – Coke insults customers with random code

  • FIZZY drinks giant Coca-Cola has apologised after its website produced a security code that read: “U F * * K R”.
December 11, 2009

How to build great (digital) campaigns

under-constructionChapter 5 in David Ogilvy’s book, Confessions of an Advertising Man (the inspiration behind this blog), talks about the discipline needed to create truly successful campaigns. He believed that good advertising “sells the product without drawing attention to itself. It should rivet the reader’s attention on the product”. It should never say “what a clever advertisement”.

How does this apply to today’s world of digital media? Many “viral” campaigns are all about being clever while the product is almost invisible. Ogilvy was all about results and was obsessed with the performance-driven disciplines of mail-order, retail and consumer research. He talked about data years before it became part of the fabric of everyday life.

Ogilvy wrote his recipe for advertising campaigns that made “the cash register ring”. Let’s see how his “eleven commandments” work today:

1 – What you say is more important than how you say it.

“The content of the advertising, not its form” makes someone buy your product according to Ogilvy. In the world of print or TV advertising this may be more true than in the area of digital where brand experience is becoming more important. Form and content become blurred.

A great example is the Doritos Hotel 626 where the product makes way for an entertaining, branded experience that probably does more for the product than a site telling you about the way it’s made.

2 – Unless your campaign is built around a great idea, it will flop.

The face of advertising may be changing with new agencies springing up that offer new models and ways of thinking… but there is one thing that will never change. The power of the idea. Technology can support a great idea but not replace it. Campaigns built on a gimmick won’t have the legs to last very long.

Build your campaign around a bad idea (hello Windows 7 party) and you might end up with the wrong kind of publicity.

3 – Give the facts.

Here digital comes into it’s own. Where space was limited in print ads or 30 seconds on TV could only contain so much information, the internet allows people to dig as deep as they choose. Check out the Dove US website. With different levels of information and opportunities to engage, it really allows you to experience the brand philosophy and products in a tangible way.

4 – You cannot bore people into buying.

Ogilvy wrote that “the average family is now exposed to more than 1500 advertisements a day”. Imagine what that figure must be like today? It’s harder than ever to cut through the clutter and get the attention of your potential customer. Some of the best digital campaigns of the past year are definitely not boring. They even merit their own “making of”.

5 – Be well mannered, but don’t clown.

David’s comments are a definite throwback to the Madmen era of good manners and etiquette. Today “clowning” around online seems to be a required feature of most campaigns. What would Mr. Ogilvy think of it all? Even footballers are happy to be silly in this new campaign for the Fifa 10 game.

6 – Make your advertisements contemporary.

This is surely not what Ogilvy had in mind but being contemporary online means tapping into all the current digital trends. From crowdsourcing to social networking – the Public Polo campaign by Achtung captures the spirit of now.

7 – Committees can criticize advertisement, but they cannot write them.

A single-minded vision cannot be delivered by a group of people making decisions. The best online campaigns have clearly had a very brave client that is confident in a great idea.

Someone at McCann Erickson Israel came up with this original idea and the client went with it. Maybe because it also cost so little.

8 – If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling.

In advertising history there have been many campaigns that have continued for years, constantly being updated but with one strong concept. The Louis Vuitton Journeys campaign is a great example of a good idea that travels far – and works equally well on and offline.


9 – Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your own family to read.

The Burger King Subservient Chicken was a great idea that didn’t offend anyone. But have they gone too far with the Shower Cam? Trust the British to risk offending consumers with a site where each morning a shower babe “shakes her bits to the hits at 9:30 a.m. every morning”. All to promote the BK breakfast.

10 – The image and the brand.

The internet throws up a big problem. How do you control all that is being said about your brand? Even if you have a consistent advertising and marketing message with a strong, identifiable style… someone somewhere online will upset the apple cart by trashing your carefully constructed image. This might be through an angry blog complaining about customer service or via someone mashing up your ads on YouTube.

11 – Don’t be a copycat.

Sorry to mention you again Microsoft but this was too late too lame…

December 8, 2009

It’s a Google world

What’s happening over at Google? They seem to release new products and innovations on an hourly basis. The “fade in” homepage didn’t get much buzz but real time search has… Read more about it here.

Then under the radar Google launch an Android app that is quite amazing. Put on your Google goggles (unless you have an iPhone).

Not content with dominating the digital world Google now wants to be everywhere in the physical world too with Favorite Places. Very clever initiative…

Let’s see what they come up with tomorrow…

Week of Tweets #2

Another week another flood of useful information streaming through Twitter. You could spend your whole time monitoring what’s being tweeted. These people who follow thousands of people – how do they do it? Well here are the best of the tweets I made week beginning Nov 30th…

Nice RT @tomgooday: RT @adreviews The Sun’s highly entertaining parody of Apple’s ads captures just the right tone

  • The Sun is a horrible British newspaper but with this video they made tries to hit back at the digitalisation of media. Reminds me of a campaign I developed for Parker pens a few years ago where I said it was the original handheld device.

Clicktags? RT @adage: Why Some Brand Taglines are Better Suited for Interactivity:

  • An interesting article by Calle and Pelle Sjoenell that looks at the power of copy and how some tag lines encourage more interaction than others.

Great read RT @ChristianMezofi: Why Digital Swedes Are Moving Away From Advertising. Written by Patrick Gardner –

  • Another good article on AdAge… “That Sweden knows a thing or two about digital advertising isn’t news to most Mad Men these days. At Cannes you can hardly swing a cyber Lion without hitting at least one Swede. If you have a Lion to swing, that is — the Swede will probably be the one holding it in the first place. But the fact Swedes now contribute a surprising share of the world’s most innovative advertising belies a deeper truth, one slowly being revealed by accelerating digitization and continued success. The truth is: Most Swedish digital advertising leaders don’t actually care all that much about advertising”.

‘What is worth fighting for?’ Avatar the Game – great Wired story behind its development –

  • Ever wondered how movie tie-in games are developed? This gives great insight…

Can you do better than these? If so upload yours RT @bannerblog: 2009 Agency & Client Xmas Cards

  • Every agency goes through hell trying to find the right end of year message. Bannerblog are gathering some of the best ones. Great if you have run out of ideas.

RT @LesBenito: 10 Web trends to watch in 2010 –

  • No doubt there will be a few more trends to watch before the end of January. But this is a good place to start…

Truth hurts RT @adamcoomes: Hahaha. Putting a tag cloud on a customer support forum is a bad idea.

  • This made me laugh. Someone thought it would be great to pull out the most common words on a customer forum. Too bad they were so negative.

Great read… The Communications Pro of the Future (2010 Edition) in 4 parts – by John Bell

  • A lot of great thinking distilled into a series of articles. Worth taking the time to read (I know how hard reading anything longer than 140 characters has become)!

It’s great to try new ideas….. or is it? RT @untitledlondon: Tweet Fail

  • Just for laughs…


December 7, 2009

In your Facebook

Forsman & Bodenfors in Sweden came up with a great idea to launch the new IKEA store in Malmo. Using the in-built functionality of photo tagging they set up a Facebook profile for the store manager and invited everyone to tag their names on items in the showroom photos for a chance to win the object. As with any photo on Facebook, as soon as someone tagged themselves, news of this action also appeared on their news feed, growing the campaign across thousands of different profile pages as it was shared between friends.

December 3, 2009

Eurobest 2009 – Interactive

An interesting list of winners at last week’s Eurobest Awards… In the interactive category the Grand Prix went to Happiness Brussels for their Toyota IQ campaign.


They came up with the idea of using the car to draw a new typeface that expressed its unique agility and control. Click here to see the award entry.

There were 6 golds awarded including the amazing Philips Cinema Carrousel site. One of my personal favourites is the Banner Concerts campaign that took two golds. Boondoggle of Belgium was the winning agency. I loved the idea of making real bands play in such confined spaces. Axion, the client, was really able to tap into the mindset of their youth audience with this concept…

Of the six silvers four of them were from Belgium. There must be something in the water. Move over Sweden. One of my favourites was the interactive viral video from Happiness Brussels called Let it Ring, warning about the dangers of using mobile phones while driving. See video below…

Out of the 22 bronze winners the standout for me was the Philips Sensitive Males campaign by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky Europe.


The campaign was to promote Philips NIVEA FOR MEN, a 100% waterproof device with built-in lotion from Nivea. And highlight the campaign site

As part of the campaign they created a live banner event on one of Scandinavias biggest gadget and lifestyle sites. A famous Swedish comedian held an online therapy session, where men could upload their pictures and get help to speak openly about their worries, by borrowing the comedians mouth and let him do the talking.

There a lots of great campaigns to explore on the Eurobest website (not just Interactive!!). Enjoy…

Oh, almost forgot… a special congratulations to my French cousins at Ogilvy France for winning Eurobest Agency of the Year.

case study from stuffcore on Vimeo.