August 18, 2010

How stuff goes viral

Jonah Peretti, the guy behind New York start-up BuzzFeed, put together this presentation on how web content goes viral. According to Jonah the key to success is taking advantage and successful tapping the BWN – that’s the Bored at Work Network. They are the millions and millions of us who sit behind our screens, tweeting, blogging and generally sharing all kinds of stuff we stumble across. While we should be working! via the Wall Blog UK.

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.

  • 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?! 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?
  • 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:

How Nike keep doing it… RT @danpankraz: #nike ‘we don’t do advertising, we do cool stuff’
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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…

December 14, 2009

Week of Tweets #3

Here we are again. Start of the week and looking back at the best of my tweets from the past week. Well, I say “mine” but since I retweet a lot the credit has to go to the people I follow…

RT @saman325: The 10 Most Innovative Viral Ads of 2009

  • Although many people would like the word “viral” to disappear it still continues to catch the attention of the masses. Check out the whole selection on Mashable.

10 Tips for Viral Marketers From a Military Propaganda Manual – via Adverlab blog

  • Sorry, that “viral” word again. But I thought that a the tips in this military rumor manual dated 1943 really did ring true today.

When real world objects get connected to the Internet… Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009 –

  • It wasn’t long ago that being online meant sitting at an uncomfortable desk listening to a squealing modem as it connected to the web. Soon everything will be connected to the web wherever you are…

Very handy… RT @belindaang: 5 fantastic digital branding campaigns from 2009 ~

Interesting review of 3 online campaigns –

  • Levi’s leveraged a broad range of new media types to drive additional credibility and impact
  • Dos Equis was able to extend the experience to dedicated fans via Facebook
  • “The Office” maintained a level of authenticity by mimicking consumers’ own social behaviors

Flutter: The New Twitter – funny Slate video if you haven’t seen it already

  • This is been around a while but I just came across it. Made me smile…

Must read RT @RGA: Contagious mag’s ‘Most Contagious 2009’: (thx @conradlisco)

  • If you only have time to read one thing this week then read this.

It had to happen! RT @ericphu: When captcha’s go bad – Coke insults customers with random code

  • FIZZY drinks giant Coca-Cola has apologised after its website produced a security code that read: “U F * * K R”.
July 27, 2009

The Flame of Fame

30air600We live in the era of fame. Everyone seems to want to be famous. From Octomum to the girl on the bus dressed as Lady Gaga. The internet has amplified this desire and given everyone a chance to make a name for themselves through blogging, tweeting and sharing photos or videos. The Warhol 15 minutes of fame prediction is now a reality.

Needless to say, brands have jumped onto this phenomenon like flees onto a dog. Of course it is the job of agencies to tap into cultural trends but sometimes you wonder if the search for fame is just a little short sighted. Getting a lot of attention in a short space of time may not turn into more sales or loyal customers.

Air New Zealand decided to show their staff naked with their uniforms painted on – since they have nothing to hide. Is this a real differentiation or just an attention-grabbing ploy? No such doubts about their pink flight. What will they come up with next to rack up views of viral videos? Not all attempts to grab eyeballs work out though. Many brands use viral videos for instant fame only for it to fall flat. This blog post gathers a few of the worst recent offenders.

At the same time there are brands that recognise how fickle fame can be and are focusing on utility. Giving the customer something valuable and useful can often be a stronger argument for brand engagement. Fiat’s Eco:Drive or the Nike + platform (interesting article here) show how branded utilities can be the reason why customers choose one brand over another. A new iPhone app for Mastercard is another example of a brand offering a tangible benefit for customers allowing them to bookmark their favourite shops or restaurants then share them with their social network. Great idea (even though I’m annoyed since I proposed the same idea to another card company a year ago). Read about Priceless Picks on this blog post.

I’m not saying that fame is all bad. The biggest brands are famous ones. They just didn’t become famous because they sought fame. They had great products that were marketed to the right people in the right way. Advertising agencies that don’t make their clients famous are not doing their job properly. But an agency that just offers fame and nothing more (like delivering results)? Fame, like any flame, can easily sputter out.

April 16, 2009

Viral can be bad for you.

In the past couple of days there have been several viral sensations. Some good and some bad – especially for Domino Pizza who will be in damage control mode for months after two employees posted videos on YouTube where they added their own ingredients to the food. Meanwhile Susan Boyle, a plain-looking woman from Scotland tapped into the emotional void of a nation by singing her heart out on Britain’s Got Talent. At the last count she had over 11 million views of her video. On his blog Giles Rhys Jones talks about how “viral agencies are the new ad agencies”.

His example of the Samsung LED sheep shows that you can capture a lot of attention in a short space of time. Will those viewers go out and buy a Samsung TV? Or will they just click to the next video of some idiots farting on a sandwich? When viral viewing can have a measurable result on sales then we can declare the end of traditional agencies. In the meantime agencies just need to stay on top of the trend but not throw out the baby with the bath water. Mmm, that sounds like another viral video.

Read the blog post from Giles >