December 19, 2010

Week of tweets #22

After 6 weeks working in Shanghai I’ve barely managed to keep tweeting while my blogging has been very thin on the ground. Well, these regular updates from my life on Twitter hopefully make up for my silence.

iCandy – Dentsu London’s light extrusion 3D text demo now available to everyone as an iPad app…

  • This amazing project by Dentsu and Berg has been featured on my blog before. Now anyone with lots of patience and time on their hands can make incredible 3D writing appear in the air. Just don’t ask why. It’s cool.

Very smart… RT @tomgooday: RT @blogilvydotnl .WWF a .pdf that cannot be printed great idea!

  • This won’t catch on unfortunately but I love the thinking behind it. A future award winner to be sure.

Brighten your Monday with GE’s Ecomagination YouTube extravaganza –

  • The agency behind GE’s campaign have dome some amazing work. The song might be a little annoying but the execution is spot on…

What the fail whale designer did next – cool murals from Yiying Lu

  • No doubt she was paid peanuts for her design that is seen by millions – but she rode that fail whale to international stardom. Read the full story here.

How times have changed… RT @mariegoupry: A Day in the Life of Social Media

Amazing 360 degree video for Doritos Late Night Flavours –

  • Incredible music video that allows you to change to viewpoint of an immersive world featuring singer Professor Green. The link with the product is a little week but great branded entertainment.

Ooh la la! French iAd for Perrier featuring Dita van Teese – via @brunoclement

OK GO launches a GPS Art Project If only their songs were as interesting as their videos.

  • As Daan (one of my old colleagues) summed up, “Maybe they’re a viral ad agency in disguise :-)”

and finally – something non-digital to mark the season…

The true spirit of Christmas today – beautifully captured in Pot Noodle ad from AKQA

You have to be English to get the full irony. But sweet anyway. Merry Christmas everyone!

September 29, 2010

iAd on iPad = Awesome

AKQA have created an iPad takeover for VISA that pushes the limit of html5. From a simple ad unit Visa are able to deliver a rich brand experience that demonstrates the product benefit in a really tangible way. Can’t wait to see more of this kind of work. It breathes a whole new life into the poor old banner. See a video demo here.

June 9, 2010

Best of Bastholm

Well, the rumours were true. Lars Bastholm, Chief Digital Creative Officer of Ogilvy North American has been appointed overall Chief Creative Officer. You can read the full story on Adweek here but essentially it’s an amazing move for an agency like Ogilvy, putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to the importance of digital.

Visual by Diego Zambrano

To mark this occasion (and to do a little hero worshipping) I am starting a series profiling some of the industry’s great digital creatives… starting with Lars.

I met Lars back in 2001 when we were both judges at the Cannes Cyber Lions. He came across as quietly spoken, intelligent and extremely likeable. Not something you could say for all the jury members. By 2001 Lars already had a number of Cannes Lions under his belt from his years at Framfab. Projects like Nike Women and Nike Freestyle really were ahead of their time in terms of production values and technical innovation.

After winning 3 Cannes Grand Prix and many other awards, in 2004 Lars left Framfab to set up the New York office of AKQA. His work included pitching for and winning accounts like Coke, Smirnoff and Motorola globally. He continued to lead projects for Nike including innovative mobile apps like Nike PhotoID.


Here is a video interview from Lars while at AKQA. His comments from 2007 showed how digital advertising/marketing would evolve in the coming years. AKQA were already doing a lot of the things many brands are only today starting to explore. This interview (also from 2007) for the FWA gives us further insight into his thinking….

Where could Lars go from here? The surprise came when it was announced that he would join Ogilvy New York. Not only were Ogilvy looking to hire a true digital leader but they were impressed with his approach to brand communication no matter what the medium. For example, here are 6 tips from Lars about mastering the art of social storytelling and inviting consumers into the conversation:

  • Look at any marketing effort as the beginning of a conversation.
  • Closely monitor the conversation and be ready to respond to consumers.
  • Provide consumers with tools that help them carry on the conversation for you.
  • Leave room for consumers to interact. Make sure your creative universe is big enough that there are unexplored areas.
  • The conversation is over when the consumers say it is, not when the media plan (or the budget) says it is.
  • Listen and learn from the feedback loop.

Asked why he chose to join Ogilvy Lars said:

“It is becoming obvious that marketing shouldn’t live in silos. Consumers don’t distinguish between what’s in which channel, when they shape their perception of a brand. Nor should they,” said Lars Bastholm. “My reason for joining Ogilvy is to get a seat at the table with clients who make the 360 degree brand decisions and to work on the campaigns that will help define what integrated, multi-channel advertising can look like in the future.”

    Not long after joining Ogilvy, Lars was the Cannes Cyber Lions jury president. In this video he explains why the Grand Prix winners deserved their awards.

    If you follow Lars on Twitter you’ll discover a few things about the man. He loves food and was recently in a BBQ coma during the SXSW conference. He’s always on the move and he can be found anywhere from Puerto Rica to Copenhagen. He’s a real film buff and has a movie review website he runs with a friend called Thursdays Without Zada.

    But above all he loves digital. Nothing is impossible, nothing ever good enough and no idea too big. Lars, I can’t wait to see what you will do at Ogilvy.

    May 28, 2010

    And the CLIO goes to…

    The award season keeps on rolling. The CLIOs were announced this week and some nice projects scored gold. Let’s take a look at some…

    The World’s Biggest Signpost – Nokia. Farfar, Stockholm

    I love interactivity on a massive scale. This project combines mobile, location-based services, social and more. A worthy winner.

    Virtual Box Simulator – United States Postal Service. AKQA, Washington.

    We see so many pointless ways to use augmented reality it’s great to see a useful tool being recognised for taking an interesting technique and applying some smart thinking.

    Magical X-mas Cards – The Swedish Post. Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe.

    I had not seen this project until now. Great ideal beautifully executed. Another example of digital and physical coming together in a creative new way.

    Twelpforce – Best Buy. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder.

    Using Twitter to give customers access to support from real people. CP+B took this idea and built a whole campaign around it.
    Take a look at all the winners here. It’s interesting that HBO Imagine can win a gold at the One Show but only a bronze at the CLIOs. Go figure.

    March 8, 2010

    Something strange in adland – episode 1

    upside-down-houseYou know there’s something strange in adland when…

    You don’t needs ads.

    An iPhone app for VW is downloaded four million times generating an “80% increase in leads, test drive and quote requests without a print ad, banner or broadcast spot in sight”. AKQA have a track record for zigging instead of zagging. See the video case study here >

    You don’t need agencies.

    Clients like Doritos now ask consumers to create their ad campaigns (only they don’t know that advertising folks are the ones submitting the best ideas!)

    tunickIn this New York Times article Stuart Elliot writes “BE afraid, Madison Avenue. Be very afraid”. He mentions various campaigns where “consumers” developed the ideas. But on the flipside, this blog post from ADLAB reveals a different story.

    You don’t need a budget.

    One agency got a year’s worth of media for only $500 by taking advantage of people with poor eyesight. See the story from McCann Erickson Israel…

    You don’t need TV.

    The 2009 Cannes Film Grand Prix goes to an interactive movie you can only see on the internet. Watch the DDB case study video…

    Keep your eyes open – the strangeness isn’t over yet.

    July 31, 2009

    Tech guys take centre stage

    fiat-eco-driveRecently we’ve been seeing some very interesting examples of brand communication based on smart technology ideas. I’ve already mentioned the award winning Fiat Eco:Drive by AKQA in previous postings. In his recent blog post, “10 things to do for digital agencies”, Jerome Courtial suggests that we bring technology out of the technology department. He explains how the Fiat idea came from technologists who found the data and just thought it’d be cool to do something with it. And then got helped by planners and creatives to make it what it is now. Jerome also links to an interesting blog post from earlier this year entitled “creative technologists in brand advertising” where Scott Brinker says that “the elevation of technology talent in the agency world represents a tremendous opportunity for agencies — who need to address the disruptive innovation of online advertising with bold changes — as well as opening new career paths for technical professionals, especially those who blend engineering disciplines with creative and marketing business savvy. Marketing and computer science together in the spotlight”.

    Take a look at the Chalkbot that accompanied Lance Armstrong during his recent Tour de France. Again, a group of technology guys come up with a brilliant idea that becomes part of a bigger marketing campaign. It’s a tradition in the Tour De France is for fans to write messages of encouragement on the road in chalk for the riders as they go by. Nike took the innovative idea of the Chalkbot making it possible so that anybody in the world can submit a message and have it written on the road. IAn internet-connected chalk tool that will etch people’s messages that have been submitted via Twitter or the website. Bannerblog describes it as “a great merging of the digital and physical worlds. Or a bridge between the two perhaps. It’s also a great example of how good digital ideas are light enough to travel around social networks, rather than the meat of it being based in a microsite”.

    gubbeThere are other interesting examples too such as the Absolut Machines project by Teenage Engineering. Launched in 2008 this live installation allowed online visitors to control a choir of robots. While this was more artistic than commercial it showed how technology-led creativity can produce something truly memorable. So bring the technology guys out of the basement. They may smell differently and communicate is a strange language but they might just provide the spark for your next big campaign idea.

    July 2, 2009

    Future Lions roar

    futurelionFuture Lions began in 2005 to “give students a chance to shake up the advertising world at Cannes”. AKQA were sponsoring the event this year and recently published the winners’ work on the special Facebook site.

    It’s a great initiative giving students a chance to show their work to the world’s leading agencies. The challenge was to develop an idea for advertising a global brand in a way that would not have been possible five years ago. This meant that many of the concepts involved mobile apps, social networks and other technologies that have become mainstream in the last few years.

    My personal favourite is the work of Hallvard Fjeldbraaten and Morten Halvorsen for skateboard brand Element. By geo-tagging the locations of their stunts, and uploading the evidence, skateboarders are allowed to claim  and own the places where they made history. Others can challenge them and do more daring stunts (no doubt breaking bones in the process). Their idea really tapped into the mindset of the target.

    Below is a video of their entry.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Now somebody give them a job.