July 28, 2010

Making great online videos

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am gradually going through David Ogilvy’s book “Confessions of an Advertising Man” and giving a 21st century spin to all the various chapters. This time it is all about making good TV commercials.

What would David make of today’s world where people probably spend more time online watching video than they do in front of a TV? In his book he said that “the purpose of a commercial is not to entertain the viewer but to sell to him”. I think he’d love the fact that the recent Old Spice YouTube campaign (apparently) helped double sales. If you look at this report on ZDNet “Video is now the fastest-growing segment of the Internet advertising market. Digital video amounted to $477 million in revenue in the first half of 2009, up 38 per cent from the same time period in 2008, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau”.

David also said that on television “what you show is more important than what you say”.  If that were the case would he have hated the Johnnie Walker Keep Walking online video campaign? We live by new rules it seems.

He had many useful tips for people of his day such as making the product the hero of the commercial. Online there seem to be no rules other than be noticed and talked about. That’s a challenge compared to Ogilvy’s day where he said that the average consumer, “poor dear” was subjected to 900 commercials a month (interestingly the consumer in those days was uniquely female). How many video advertising messages do we see each day? He was spot on when he said they needed a “touch of singularity”.

Ogilvy compared the TV screen to the cinema screen and gave tips for working on the smaller format. Now we have video banners in the middle of cluttered websites. But that might not be the only thing holding online video back from truly taking over. According the Tech Crunch there are still many issues to solve such as lack of standards and problems with distribution. Read the full article here.

Those who have already understood the potential of online video know that it is not just a passive experience. The Barnardos Turnaround video banner campaign included interactivity so the viewer could experience how their help can make a difference. To quote their Cannes award winning entry description “a young girl tells the story of her journey into despair. By clicking and dragging the slider, you can physically turn the entire banner around, and the film then plays in the other direction with a different voice-over, showing the tangible impact Barnardo’s can have in turning a young person’s life around”. Click here to try it.

Another amazing project from the Netherlands used video within social networks and made the viewer part of the action by bringing in their photos, name and more. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, the campaign was “aimed specifically at young citizens to raise awareness about cybercrime in a way that is relevant to them. 85% of Dutch youngsters have a profile on social network Hyves, which they use on a daily basis”. The agency Kong “created a frighteningly realistic ‘ambush’ on Hyves: a tailor-made, personalized action video in which you could trick your friends by sending the Cybermaffia after them. In just 7 days, the campaign was viewed over 5 million times and sent-to-friends over 7 million times, making it the most popular social media viral campaign in the Netherlands ever”.

And finally, online video differs in that you can show some things that would never be allowed on TV (although knowing the French this would have been on primetime:)

It would be great to hear David’s view of online video commercials. Would he be intrigued by the possibilities or just say “if they don’t sell they aren’t creative”.

Aides graffiti from notsobadforfrenchy on Vimeo.

July 27, 2010

iWant an iPad

Been on vacation for most of July so apologies for being so quiet. At my hotel in Greece there were two public PCs connected to the web. Unfortunately they were being hogged by teenagers on Facebook. Mostly kids from the Czech republic. Sitting waiting for them to get bored and let me use the computer I learned a few things. Text speak is the new universal language (forget Esperanto) and photos of teens partying look the same in every culture.

No wifi connection or else I could have connected my iPhone to get online. Or the iPad I don’t have yet. Here are a few reason why I want one more than ever…


A lot of chatter about this one and the potential issues it might face with copyright. But for now it is a great idea for a way to bring social content to life.

Audi Magazine

According to The Next Web blog “the imagery in the app is gorgeous, but of course a lot of that comes down to the print magazine quality car shots. The app also includes text and video that can be expanded to full screen, which runs very smoothly. However, the app isn’t innovative because it’s looks good – it’s innovative in how it stitches the content together”. Read the full review here.

I’m still holding out for the next generation iPad even if the first version isn’t even on sale yet here in the Netherlands. I guess that gives me time to save up my pocket money and for more amazing apps to be developed.

July 8, 2010

Week of Tweets #15

Last update before the holidays. Things have been a little quiet after all the Cannes fuss died down. But there were still a few gems…

RT @glueisobar: Nice campaign for Dulux: have a read of the blog and watch the film in HD on YouTube. http://www.letscolourproject.com

  • It’s been a while since anyone has “Done a Sony” but this campaign by Euro RSCG London does it and more. They are actually making the world a brighter place too.

Inspiring. RT @davidgillespie: Designing the Design Problem – Nice deck from Frog Design’s David Sherwin.

Great thoughts… RT @RobMurrayUK: RT @albionlondon: Albion Blog: How do you make something go viral?! http://bit.ly/bv9Omh by @p6_ndp
  • Good advice including – Launch at exactly the right time, make people want to share it, make it simple to share it and hit the influencers. Read the full article here.
Hilarious rant (with some painful truths) RT @PSFK: George Parker: Should We Can Cannes? http://su.pr/2TcVqH
  • I love it when people get angry. Here is one classic quote about the bean counter in advertising, “Their concern is about how many people can I lay off this week before I collect my performance bonus, stuff it into my numbered bank account beneath the sidewalks of Zurich, and flee the country before the fucking wheels fall off my so-called “Agency of the Future.” An exercise otherwise known as free-market capitalism”.

Another great cover. RT @mattbuchanan fantastic @Newyorker cover. Cute, and then it socks you in the gut: http://bit.ly/djMDEG

How Nike keep doing it… RT @danpankraz: #nike ‘we don’t do advertising, we do cool stuff’ http://bit.ly/2LY7ON
  • Very few brands achieve the same kind of status in the consumer’s mind as Nike. They say it is by “an underlying commitment to their core brand idea, having inspiration and innovation as core values and being part of the customer’s life, infusing the brand into the cultural consciousness” and more…
iLike! RT @PSFK: What An iAd Looks Like http://su.pr/2W9GpL

  • Looks like the iAd is going to be the next big money spinner for Apple. Don’t you wish you’d bought shares before in good old 1999?

Layar killer? Qualcomm unveils augmented reality platform for Google Android phones – at http://bit.ly/9tsF7B

  • You don’t here much about Qualcomm but this could be a good way for them to find a new niche. Until people get bored looking at the world through their phone screens.

Small screen 3D. NYTimes: Did a Speeding Car Just Jump Out of My Cellphone? http://nyti.ms/cFpg3u

  • Meanwhile, mobile phones are going 3D!

and finally…

This may be my last blog post because: Prince: ‘The internet is completely over’. The purple one speaks out… http://bit.ly/aRP1ff

July 5, 2010

Chrome Fastball

Since Google own YouTube they are free to do things nobody has done before.  Check out the Chrome Fastball game that demonstrates how much faster their browser is. And how fast your brain works too.