January 29, 2010

iPad hearts Gifs

oclzjWithin minutes of the iPad announcement from Apple, the blogs and Twittersphere lit up with complaints about what it lacked rather than what it offered. No camera, multi-tasking etc. One of the biggest gripes (even from Adobe itself) is the continued lack of support for Flash. The iPad isn’t the ultimate web surfing experience if you don’t have access to all those amazing Flash websites, videos and (dare I say it?) banners.

Of course, with all Flash banners you are expected to provide a gif backup just in case the user has no Flash plugin. Now those poor, neglected gifs will be taking centre stage on the iPad.

felixwalkLet’s take a little walk back in time to the early days of the web when 12k gif banners were all you had to play with. To steal from a blog post by Valerie Potter of Computerworld.com “the venerable GIF89a image format, released by CompuServe in 1989, allowed you to store multiple images in the same file; the images being displayed one after another, like a flipbook. It’s was great format for simple animations. Animated GIFs were immensely popular in the Web’s early years. They were quick to load (which was of paramount importance when most people were using dial-up), often silly and usually lots of fun”. The Dole gif banner at the top was not an example of how gifs usually looked – 928k not being the norm.

coffeeSo here’s the challenge to digital creatives everywhere. Don’t forget the humble gif after spending hours making the coolest Flash banner. Your gif may not be a direct translation of your Flash banner either because it probably won’t work. Think about the limitations of the gif animation and adapt your concept accordingly. Hey, you may even surprise yourself and come up with something like this from Almap BBDO in brazil. Their Coffee Piloa banner was deceptively simple and won a Gold Lions at Cannes. It shows milk continually pouring into a cup of black coffee, but the coffee never changes colour. The message? This is strong coffee.

So maybe the gif is going to have a comeback! Your younger interactive designer may not even have heard of them and will laugh like kids seeing a vinyl record. But sometimes you can do an awful lot with just very little. The only downside? Perhaps only those using the iPad will get to see the result.

January 27, 2010

Start me up

The Neuromarketing blog says that “billboards can be an effective medium, but tend to be very low in viewer engagement. Most outdoor advertising is designed to be viewed in a second or less as motorists whiz by. Here’s an example of how one advertiser turned that idea upside-down to create a fully interactive billboard”. Read the full story here >

Not too sure about the pollution message it is giving out but certainly eye catching.

January 25, 2010

Interactivity unplugged

This CD packaging by design studio Hubero Kororo releases a small quantity of ink inside the cover to create a unique pattern. The music is by Andrea Neumann et Ivan Palacky. Beautiful.

PAPPELTALKS from vizage on Vimeo.

January 22, 2010

Week of Tweets #5

Sorry folks, with the holidays and a massive project in the new year I have been neglecting my weekly summary of the best things I’ve shared on Twitter this past week. So this time I’m going to be picking my favourites from several weeks of tweets…

RT @olliepee: @BBHLabs blogpost “The Coming Age of Augmentation” wins my futurist post of 2009 award http://bit.ly/55QSom

  • Ray Kurzweil is scaring a lot of people with futuristic theories about machines becoming self-aware. This article talks about that and other mind-boggling theories. Perfect inspiration when you are designing banner ads 🙂

Interesting RT @nictinworth: RT @landor_dot_com: Landor’s 2010 trends forecast: social media trends, by Alex Do —http://ow.ly/Q21b

  • What can we expect to see in 2010? Everyone is getting in on the act by making their own predictions. This blog post was quite interesting.

RT @rohitbhargava: Short video of a very cool Intel interactive touch screen cube from the @Intel booth at #CES – see above

  • CES caused a lot of buzz in early January and this installation from Intel got lots of press. Interesting usability nightmare.

RT @modernista: How Social Media and the Web Helped Avatar Make $1 Billion, http://bit.ly/82oAyf

  • So it was a big month for James Cameron and his Avatar. I enjoyed the movie but I don’t see it being a classic piece of cinema. What is interesting is how social media help hype the film into outer space.

Great stuff RT @steverubel: Video: The Future of Social Media – watch below

  • It continues to be the year of social with companies like Pepsi and Coke avoiding traditional media for the likes of Facebook. Steve always has great viewpoints on how brands can do it right.

Great read RT @Tomcallard: No Logo is 10 years old and the fantastic Naomi Klein has written about the branding of Obama. http://ow.ly/XnkL

  • For the 10th anniversary of the book Naomi has released an updated version and this fascinating article is an extract from that edition.

Black turtleneck optional… RT @loic: How to present like Steve Jobs http://ping.fm/Uvpyf

    • Next time you are going to be presenting – get some of the Steve vibe going…

    Finally, I knew I had made a success of Twitter when I found out I was being followed by “The Coolest Couple”, Pat and Lorna.

    patlornaHow did they become the Coolest Couple?

    “There is a reason we are The Coolest Couple and The Coolest Couple on the Planet. By using one of the biggest and largest robotic marketing engines of all time: Google”

    Now that’s what I call confident personal branding! 🙂

    The Virtual Revolution

    This is the introduction to The Virtual Revolution, a four part series airing next week on BBC Two about how the web is changing the world. In the spirit of the program, the production team invited the internet to sound their opinions on the program’s content, format, and title. People interviewed in the documentary includeTim Berners-Lee, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Stephen Fry.

    January 19, 2010

    Signage of the times

    This digital signage concept created by Intel and Frog Design gives us a glimpse of the future of retail display advertising. Shame they take something so exciting and make it sound soooo boring. New presenters please!!

    January 18, 2010

    Ogilvy on Twitter

    Sim Li Fen is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Communication Studies at NTU Singapore. I came across her blog post “What if we apply Ogilvy’s principles on Tweeting?” and thought it was worth sharing. Her tips on “how to write tweets that work” – based on thoughts from Ogilvy on Advertising – include topics like Do your homework, Positioning and What’s the big idea?

    Read it here on Dooodleslove.com >

    Nike True City

    On January 14th, Nike Sportswear released True City, an “iPhone application that provides users with a unique insight into six European cities, making the hidden visible through the knowledge and insight of Nike Insiders—local tastemakers who pride themselves on being at the forefront of things happenings in their cities”. According to Nike “True City is not just another digital guidebook application. Itʼs a powerful combination of premium, geo-tagged content, the latest iPhone technologies, and social media integration—updated in real-time by real people. All with Nikeʼs unmistakable irreverence”.

    I’ve been playing around with it for the past few days and so far find it a little processor-intensive. I like the idea of hand-picked locals recommending the best places to go. How it ties in with sportswear is a bit hard to reconcile. Then again, go into most Nike stores and the majority of people shopping for shoes will be raising a sweat in a nightclub rather than a gym. Looking forward to seeing how the app evolves over time. Maybe geo-location branded apps like these will gain more followers than the likes of Foursquare. Download the app here http://bit.ly/5TeLVM

    January 13, 2010

    CES for advertisers

    lasvegas_sign1At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past week we’ve seen many interesting products that have generated lost of excitement. What will these new devices mean for advertisers and marketers? Any new technology opens up new opportunities to connect brands with consumers. Let’s take a look at a few…

    3D TV – the true goggle box?

    The biggest buzz at this year’s event was 3D. With the massive success of the movie Avatar everyone wants a piece of the 3D pie. Many manufacturers presented 3D TVs and once the technology becomes more widespread we’ll begin seeing 3D advertising too. AdAge have provided some expert opinions about the need to create a 3D ad and suggests that advertisers producing spots for cinema should definitely be looking into the technique. Read the article here >

    No doubt some of the big brands like Coke are already developing 3D ads for cinema screens. Will this 3D craze last? Does the technology add to a movie (or TV show)? Personally, after seeing Avatar in 3D I wished I had seen it in 2D. The colours were muted and the movement become blurred at times. What do you think? Leave your comment.

    Is that an App on your TV?

    The big screen in your living room continues to make a comeback with internet-connected televisions being another big development. Samsung and LG were just two manufacturers presenting web-enabled TVs. Already we see companies like Yahoo! providing apps designed specifically for the TV screen. Just like with the iPhone, we will soon see branded apps appearing on the bottom of the screen allowing brands to enhance standard 30 second TV spots and inviting consumers to interact. People don’t want to surf ordinary websites from their sofa so apps will provide a simpler way to bring online content and interactivity into the living room. Find out more >

    Perhaps we will see a time when very few people go to what we know as a website. Apps provided bite-sized interaction. In the same way that Twitter is to blogs so apps will be the “websites” for the attention-deficient.

    Future in your hands

    It all started with the success of the Kindle and the rumor that Apple would release a tablet device. Now we see many companies such as HP and Lenovo presenting prototypes of slim devices that read e-books and other media. These could soon become commonplace on coffee tables everywhere. CNET doubts that the technology will take off quickly (read article) but it’s worth keeping these devices on the radar. With 3G connectivity and great portability plus GPS in some cases, advertisers will be able to reach consumers in a relevant and timely way. Want to read the news while waiting for a plane? The duty free shop nearby could alert you to special offers. We’ll see more e-books as branded premiums, especially in the business market. Some say it will save the publishing industry. That’s good news for advertisers too.

    A simple gesture

    Companies like GestureTek are pushing the use of motion sensors to do away with manual input. It opens up amazing possibilities for retail displays where you just wave a hand to interact. Soon everyone can be like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, browsing products with the flick of a finger. Check out this article on NYTimes > Gesture technology will be built into TVs before too long so interacting with branded apps on your TV screen will be even easier. A swipe off the screen could send your favourite brands to your slate for later enjoyment. Just like in Pixars Wall-e, we can just lie back getting fat and just wave our hands.

    The internet has radically changed the advertising world in just 15 years. Will any of these developments do the same? Let’s wait and see.

    January 5, 2010

    Happy Digital New year

    As we end a decade that has seen incredible progress in all things digital many people are speculating what 2010 holds for interactive advertising.

    In AdWeek they looked at the top digital trends for 2010.

    One interesting thought is that the pure digital agency will disappear. Many have clearly seen the need to improve their skills in brand building – one thing that “traditional” agencies have long been experienced at. Meanwhile these traditional agencies have been hiring experienced digital experts taking away the main selling point of pure digital shops. Ultimately the debate comes down to who provides the best ideas to clients. In a world of crowd-sourcing any agency should be worried about the independents who could bypass everyone.

    Social gaming is mentioned by AdWeek as being one thing to watch. With companies like FourSquare providing location-based marketing platforms we are likely to see this take off. This is especially true with the growth in the number of smart mobile devices. It’s one of the reasons why they also suggest that 2010 will finally be the year of mobile.

    Click here to read the full article.

    At AdAge, with the help of Millward Brown, they have also been looking into the crystal ball to predict what 2010 holds for digital.

    They suggest that many new online ad formats will appear in an attempt to capture more eyeballs and clicks. However, many people will be cautious and stick to the most trusted formats such as video banners. On the whole, they say that online video will continue to thrive and will move from art to science thanks to more sophisticated analytics. They do have a word of caution suggesting that “advertisers need to be sure they aren’t using technology just because they can: It will only be effective when it is relevant to the brand or the message”.
    AdAge agree with AdWeek that social (and mobile gaming) will be a hot topic. Twitter and Facebook can now be accessed from an Xbox console while games for the iPhone or other smart phones will “bring gaming to the masses”. GPS-enabled phones open up interesting possibilities and brands will be vying for their share of this new opportunity.

    Click here to read the full article.

    For my own part, I see Google as being (still) the ones to watch in 2010. The release of Google Goggles for Android could open up new possibilities while the potential launch of a Google phone could mean that smart phones get into the hands of a huge number of people. We could see a repeat of what happened when Microsoft took many of Apple’s developments in the mid 80s and allowed the masses into the world of computing.

    The possibilities for advertising and marketing will continue to grow in 2010. As digital trends become the norm, brands will be able to reach people in ways that were not possible before. Messages can be more targeted, relevent and effective.

    Have a happy digital New Year!