March 2, 2011

Month of tweets #2

Spring is on its way (supposedly) and it’s that time when I take a look back at some of my favourite tweets of the month.

Feb 1: All in one place… RT @mariegoupry: RT @kevinjosselin[Compilation] 10 Incredible Interactive YouTube Videoshttp://su.pr/1SJp7w

  • This kind of thing is great for internal training (ass kicking) to get people thinking about new ways to use online video.

Feb 8: Beautiful… RT @ScottSeaborn: Creative Review: Mulberry says it with (digital) flowers: http://bit.ly/gZiy2r

  • There were a lot of dull online campaigns for Valentines (like Barbie and Ken) but this one stood out as being something special…

Feb 9: Fascinating article… RT @frogdesign: The Art of Creating Emotional Attachments to Digital Objects http://bit.ly/gRVlk3

Feb 12: When the readers become writers (or the evolution of advertising creative) – great presentation by @edwardboches http://slidesha.re/etrmXn

  • If you don’t follow Edward Boches then you are missing out. He is Chief Innovation Officer (formerly Chief Creative Officer and Chief Social Media Officer) at Mullen. This is just one of his inspiring presentations…
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Feb 15: Like it… RT @ericphu: Another nice, simple campaign for KLM
  • KLM are using the viral video from really well to spread their message. After their Surprise video this one continues to show how good their service is (shame it isn’t true:)

Feb 22: PHD birthday ad invites marketers to up their game – on Brand Republic http://bit.ly/gsJJui

  • OK, kids don’t really talk like this but the thought is very powerful. Are we going to be ready for these spoilt brats when they become consumers with their own monthly paychecks to blow?


Feb 22: Google Zeitgeist: Great Minds of Our Time – great post on Brainpicker… http://bit.ly/h3INF3

  • If you are looking for some inspiration check out these videos featuring people like Lee Clow, Alex Bogusky and Salman Rushdie

Feb 28: Sweet… RT @adenhepburn: Here is a great use for AR – Ford C-Max Augmented Reality Billboards http://bit.ly/hlDl5i


and finally:

Feb 28: This boy will go far… well to SXSW at least. RT @brunoclement: The World’s Greatest Opportunity http://slidesha.re/i1vRdO

  • How do you get other people to pay for your trip to an expensive industry conference. You just need a smart idea.
January 28, 2011

Month of tweets #1

Since moving to China my time on Twitter and here on my blog has dropped considerably. I’m transitioning from my weekly tweets roundup (which was not that regular if we are being honest) to a monthly one. So here is the 1st in my Month of Tweets…

2011 – the year of HTML5?… RT @BenShaw: PSFK » Nike’s New Site Uses HTML5 to Scroll Towards A ‘Better World’ http://ow.ly/3yx62

  • I’ve heard that it doesn’t work on an iPad (I still don’t have one!!!). Interesting all the same.

Cyber stalking is good for business 🙂 RT @ericphu: I love this KLM campaign idea… brilliant.

  • Everyone has probably seen this by now. But if you haven’t then you’ll wish you had this idea.

Angry Birds unplugged? A new board game inspired by the app http://bit.ly/dJEA4a

  • Milking the idea for all it’s got before people get bored…

Clever stuff from Brazil… Gol Airlines: Mobile Controlled Banner Game – on DigitalBuzzBlog http://bit.ly/fR3nR4

  • Few people will have the patience to do this but it doesn’t stop it from being an innovative idea.

Amazing… RT @thaz7: Great read from @fastcompany on the influence of the social networks in China. http://bit.ly/e15BWq

  • Seeing it firsthand is quite something. If you think social media is big then it’s even bigger in China.

Scary? RT @GaryPHayes: The Future According to Schmidt: “Augmented Humanity,” Integrated Into Google | Fast Company http://bit.ly/iiXA3u

  • How far does Google want to get inside our lives? This article might make you a little nervous.

Nice concept… Nike connects global runners via ‘Ekiden’ social contest – http://bit.ly/gjQ90Z

  • When you have such a powerful branded utility platform like Nike Plus there is no end to the ideas you can build upon it. This one from Japan connects runners from all over the world. Great idea from W+K.

As usual I like to end with a smile. This banner concept brings to life the Ikea self-assembly philosophy perfectly.

Sweet idea for Ikea… RT @hardwidge: Ikea: Unbox the Banner 2 on BannerBlog: http://bit.ly/gYmz0E

September 25, 2010

Should advertising be abolished?

So here we are, the final chapter of David Ogilvy’s book “Confessions of an Advertising Man”. The book that inspired this blog finishes with this dramatic question – Should advertising be abolished? Ogilvy quotes Churchill who said “Advertising nourishes the consuming power of men. It sets up before a man the goal of a better home, better clothing, better food for himself and his family”. A rather patronising view but spot on in a post-war era when the economy needed to grow. Yet at the time of writing the book (the early 60s) the debate was raging about the value of advertising.

Fast forward forty years and in the digital world we now live in the debate continues… but today the backlash against advertising comes from consumers who now have personal control to ban advertising themselves. From ad skipping Tivo to pop-up blockers through to spam filters – people have multiple ways to avoid being advertised to. Now we are facing a situation where our audience is no longer captive but rather it is brands that are held hostage by consumers who demand more than being told that they should buy a product to have a better life. Marketers are now forced to find new ways to reach the people who potentially could buy the product. When any negative experiences with a product can be posted online brands are being held accountable more than ever before.

Interestingly David Ogilvy showed in his book how advertising has always been a force for sustaining standards of quality and service. When his agency started advertising KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as “punctual” and “reliable”, their top management told their staff that they had to live up to the promise of their advertising. Today we see campaigns like the Domino Pizza Turnaround that allow consumers a window into their operations and shout their new values from the computer screen. Power to the people.

Ogilvy believed that TV was the most potent advertising medium ever devised but he would pay for the privilege of watching it without “commercial interruptions”. Times have changed but they stay the same. Online people enjoy free media with online news and entertainment content but hate animated ads that cover the page they are looking at. No doubt David Ogilvy would have loved Tivo allowing him to skip all the ads. Online advertisers have learned quickly that consumers will ignore their messages so have developed more engaging ways to attract attention. Branded content rewards people for their time. iAds promise to deliver a richer experience. Advergames entertain you hoping that next time you want to buy a bag of chips that you’ll choose their brand. When you want to launch a new movie a trailer just isn’t enough any more. You need to draw people into the world of the movie through transmedia “experiences”  like the multi-screen campaign that was executed for the Avatar movie across Xbox and MSN.

Ogilvy finishes by saying that advertising should not be abolished (of course) but it must be reformed. No doubt he’d be alarmed and fascinated by the digital world of today where reform is being enforced by consumer behavior. Truth and lies about brands and products are revealed by the verbal few and received by the masses on social networks, blogs and Twitter. Ultimately commerce needs communication. Brands need fans that act rather than just “like” (as pointed out in this article by Simon Mainwaring). Digital spells the end of advertising as we know it. Ads that talk at you are definitely banned. Campaigns that connect with customers in a meaningful way, that bring people together with a common brand affiliation and ultimately result in sales… that’s the kind of advertising that rings in a new way of thinking.

So I come to the end of Ogilvy’s book and as I close it I’m also on the verge of a new chapter myself. At the end of October I leave Ogilvy to take up an exciting new challenge in China where I hope to continue the digital adventure in a market where online and mobile brand communication is still relatively new. I’ll be posting my future confessions of a digital adman from a totally different perspective. It’s going to be a blast.