April 9, 2014

Ads Worth Spreading

TED announced their annual list of Ads Worth Spreading to “recognize innovation, ingenuity, and intelligence in advertising”. You might have seen them all before but if not check them out here.

Below is one of my favorites. Hard-hitting stuff from New Zealand.

November 14, 2010

Week (or a month rather) of tweets #20

OK, I have a good excuse for not updating my blog with the best of my recent tweets. I did move to China which to be honest does sound as bad as “the dog ate my homework”. It does give me a lot of tweets to choose from so hopefully this summary will be a good one…

Wow RT @brainpicker: A highly unusual yet utterly inspirational move – #TED awards annual $100K prize to street artist JR http://is.gd/g9hjG

  • Yes, this isn’t very digital but it really is inspired me to see how someone can use his creative skills to say something meaningful.

Clever idea… NYTimes: Ads That Let You Check In at Your Favorite Billboard http://nyti.ms/bIGZLM

  • We are seeing more and more examples of physical and digital coming together whether it’s Facebook or Foursquare appearing on billboards. Ultimately it’s all about one seamless user experience.

Art for the app generation… RT @intersphere: Augmented reality artwork invades the MOMA in NYC

  • Yes they look stupid but it is art after all.

Great article…RT @thisismolotov: Turning Branded Contests Into Branded Content http://bit.ly/9f3vjr

  • Some really great examples in this blog post from Mitch Joel. He says “Social Media does many cool and interesting things when it comes to content, but it’s also an incredible driver for contests. This often forgotten medium is in desperate need of rejuvenation, and all of the moving parts are now available through both online and mobile channels to make it happen”. As someone who started his career doing promotional campaigns I love to see examples of branded contests that really engage people online, via mobile etc.

Game on… RT @GaryPHayes: Urban Gaming – Augmented Reality Style « The Future Digital Life

More Muji magic with a range of iPad apps – check them out – http://bit.ly/a1XrLo via @chloalo

  • When a brand like Muji applies its design philosophy to a range of branded apps for the iPad you can only expect something wonderful. Click here to see the whole range.

Media surfaces: Incidental Media… Fascinating ideas from Dentsu & Berg. http://bit.ly/9xhWUM

  • This is “the first of two video sketches illustrating some of the ideas and principles behind Dentsu London’s communications strategy Making Future Magic”

Cool! RT @edwardboches: The art of social media: Goodby, Silverstein idea for the Dali Museum in St. Petersburghttp://bit.ly/9ZUaKi

  • Some amazing examples of how museums and galleries are harnessing “new media” to attract people to visit more and to deliver a fresh experience. Just love the Hipstamatic Dali concept.

Incredible project – check the making of… RT @nickburcher: Ralph Lauren 4D Projection London, New Bond Streethttp://bit.ly/bO4uMO

  • We are seeing more and more 3D projection mapping projects these days from buildings to cars and shoes. But this making-of video shows how ambitious and complex some of these projects are becoming. Amazing result too.

and just to end with a smile…. or a grimace:

Finally, something more annoying than mime artists 🙂 Watch out for another T-Mobile flash mob http://youtu.be/NB3NPNM4xgo

September 1, 2010

How to rise to the top of the tree

The book that inspired this blog, David Ogilvy’s “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, has a chapter dedicated to helping people rise to the top. He talks about being ambitious (but not so aggressive that your fellow workers destroy you), being informed about the business you’re working on and putting in long hours. In the 21st century, especially in the digital domain, things have not changed so much. If you have been in the business for a while stop reading now. If you are just starting then this is for you…

David urged people to recognise opportunities. It can be difficult when so many new developments in the digital space appear on a weekly basis. Some opportunities turn into dead ends but if you don’t take risks you will never get anywhere. He also said that failure is required which means that everyone will know about it thanks to Twitter and YouTube.  Take Chatroulette. Several brands saw an opportunity and grabbed it. It was a perfect platform to promote this movie:


Another of Ogilvy’s tips for success was knowing how to make good presentations. We all hate Powerpoint but can’t seem to escape it. Even if your presentation is for a digital project why present it on a screen? Get tactile, engage in role play and a little theatre. Learn from the people who present with passion and intelligence. You can sell an idea purely with words. Just check out a few TED videos and you’ll soon see that Powerpoint is not required. And if you do need slides use them as a creative talking point…

David said don’t discuss your client’s business in elevators. Today it’s easier than ever to let slip agency or client secrets that should be kept to yourself. Be careful what you blog and tweet about. Don’t post project updates on Facebook and don’t complain about your boss.

Ogilvy recommended having a hobby – advertising. He believed that you had to live and breathe the business to succeed. He encouraged people to write articles, become an authority. It’s even easier today with the internet. So get a blog going even if you think you don’t have time. You need a voice if you want people to notice you. I took his advice myself and became Digitaladman and haven’t looked back:)

Iain Tait of Weiden + Kennedy has some good advice on his blog about getting the job that you really want.

His advice is mostly aimed at planners but it remains valid for any kind of position in an agency that focuses on digital.

Get yourself a portfolio that shows what you’ve been working on to create a talking point during your interview. Make sure that it’s not full of errors so get others to check it first and give valuable feedback.

Be honest and clear about your role on the projects you talk about. (this is me interjecting – I once interviewed someone who showed a very high profile project so I asked what they did on it… because it was my project from a previous agency. They had simply added a button to the site).

Even if you are not in a creative role have an opinion about design, interaction, sound etc. It shows you care about the end product.

Brand yourself by knowing what you stand for and do some detective work about the company you want to join.

You can read the full blog post here.

Once you are in your dream job you need to have a plan for how you’re going to rise to the top. Ultimately it’s about hard work. Ogilvy says in his book “put your shoulder to the wheel, but be careful to pick the right wheel”. Make sure that your personal vision matches the company you work for. Do you share the same values?

Watch the people who have made it to the top. It is so much easier now since most of them are blogging and tweeting. How do they look at the world? Understand their points of view. Read about them in the industry press to get a real picture of what makes them tick. It will teach you a lot about what it takes to be a leader and help you define your own unique style.

If you are starting out in the business then it is a great time. Digital is now a mature discipline and we need people who will define where it goes next. Enjoy the ride.

Update: Interested in being a digital copywriter? This article on Mashable is for you >

August 23, 2010

Gaming can make a better world

Fascinating TED presentation by Jane McGonigal where she explores the use of game mechanics to solve real world problems:

“In the best-designed games, our human experience is optimized: We have important work to do, we’re surrounded by potential collaborators, and we learn quickly and in a low-risk environment. In her work as a game designer, she creates games that use mobile and digital technologies to turn everyday spaces into playing fields, and everyday people into teammates. Her game-world insights can explain — and improve — the way we learn, work, solve problems, and lead our real lives.”

via Game My Brand

June 10, 2010

Devil in the details

Another great TED talk from Rory Sutherland about why the small things matter so much.

April 23, 2010

Week of Tweets #11

It’s time to take a walk down memory lane again and see what’s been most interesting in my Twitter feed in the past week (more like 3 weeks).

Here they come… RT @BBHLabs: Introducing BBH’s Very First iPad App, for Cadillac – a new @BBHLabs post:http://j.mp/a5EwHr

  • Only a few weeks old now and the iPad continues to get a lot of attention. This is one of the first commercial apps for the device – a partnership between Cadillac and Cool Hunting.

Just can’t get enough? RT @inspiredmag: 5 Things Depeche Mode Can Teach You About Effective Online Marketinghttp://bit.ly/bwf1Bm

  • Someone challenged Brian Clark of Copyblogger if he could write an article about online marketing using a pop-music-analogy,featuring Depeche Mode songs. The result is very clever.

Great collection… RT @loopdiloop: 30 Inspirational TED Talks on Design and Creativity http://ow.ly/1vuXg

  • It’s great when someone puts together pages like these that gather together a collection of inspiring videos. Below is the one from novelist Amy Tan.

Don’t wait for permission – RT @loopdiloop: The Delicate Art of Unauthorized Innovation http://ow.ly/1whuD

  • If you’re on Twitter then it is definitely worth following Loopdiloop who always finds great articles… like this one.

Cool… RT @100ftzombie: Iron Man 2: Interactive Trailer!http://is.gd/bq6Xf Get inside this “Iron Man 2” trailer like

  • Forget your traditional movie trailer in a banner – this example shows how far you can take the format…

Great read. RT @inspiredmag: Change, digital transformation and social media: notes from Boulder Digital Workshttp://bit.ly/as1gSQ

  • It’s great when you can feel part of amazing events around the world without even attending. But secretly I’d rather be there 🙁

Very cool! RT @baptistelimb: The Future Happens Now! When Coca Cola meets hollographic illusion: http://bit.ly/cyGqXG

  • I love it when digital and physical come together. Seen something similar at the Samsung boutique here in Amsterdam. But this is cooler.

and finally…

I’ll be there… RT @adland: Augmented Reality Flash mob in Amsterdam Saturday the 24th – join in.http://adland.tv/node/149972 via @Dabitch

  • Will have to find a way to convince my wife to come and see this happening but I hope to witness this first hand. Damn, just remembered that Layar does not work on iPhone 3G – just 3GS. Oh well, I’ll be going along anyway.
February 15, 2010

Map of the future

While everyone is buzzing about social media the world of online maps has not been snoozing. As we can see from this TED video filmed last week, Blaise Aguera y Arcas (an architect at Microsoft Live Labs, architect of Seadragon, and the co-creator of Photosynth) shows how far they are taking Bing maps. I love the integration of geo-tagged Flickr photos and live video (surprised the demo worked – Microsoft don’t have the greatest demo track record). Meanwhile, over at Google, their Labs division continues to innovate with features such as Drag ‘n’ Zoom, Aerial Imagery and Rotatable Maps. Read all about it here on Mashable >

Here’s one last little treat. Google Buzz Mobile is integrated into Google Maps so you can see who is saying what where. Take a look at New York – you’ll soon realise that A: People are not very interesting…. and B: Neither are you if all you do it check what people near you are buzzing about. Go to a museum instead. I hear there are a few in NY 🙂

October 15, 2009

Life lessons from an ad man

While it’s not my intention to make this blog too much about Ogilvy I could not help sharing this video from Rory Sutherland – one of the agency’s true originals. As part of the TED series Rory talks about how “Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself”. According to the TED website he “makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life”.

May 19, 2009

Lead your own tribe

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since 1984 this conference has brought together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. If you don’t know it already you should check out some of the videos where well-known speakers inspire and challenge our thinking. In this video “Seth Godin (pictured) argues that the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so”. 

Check it out >