Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google's +1 Button

I 'Like' this - lets see how it spreads and takes off.

More info, including screen grabs of the button in the wild here

Google say that the +1 button will be automatically added to search ads over the next few weeks, and after that will be available to place on web pages.

(I'm just off to '+1' all of my clients' search campaigns...)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Touch the screen now!


Via Metafilter

Kraft Mac & Cheese TV ads, with lines from Twitter

This is a really nice bit of work for Kraft in the US:

To promote their Macaroni and Cheese they asked people to tweet about the snack; they promised to turn some of the tweets into TV ads within 24 hours.

Here are two of the ads - it's very well done, although it seems that there has been a bit of shoe-horning to get the tweeted phrases in.  (In the first one the phrase isn't said when the actor is on scree so it could have been voiced over afterwards.)  I don't believe that the sketches were written from scratch, I think they had the ideas, then looked for tweets that could be filled in.

My cynicism aside, this is really creative.

More on the story (& 2 more videos) on Adrants.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nokia Shorts 2011

Nokia Shorts 2011 is a collaboration between Nokia and Vimeo, that my agency (Carat) has helped to set up.

To emphasise the quality of the video you can shoot with a Nokia N8, Nokia are giving film makers the chance to win a budget of $5,000 and two N8s to shoot on.

Nokia Shorts 2011 Trailer from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

There are 3 stages:

1. Pitch
Pitch us a great concept. Put up an innovative idea, a unique approach, or unusual angle: in short, something new. The jury waits to be wowed.
2. Shoot
If your pitch gets picked, we’ll help get your movie made. Eight filmmakers will shoot their short with a $5,000 production budget and 2 Nokia N8s.
3. Win
All films will premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival with the Nokia Shorts 2011 Jury Prize & $10,000 cash going to the best mobile motion picture.

Judges include the Scandinavian film director Jalmari Halander.

I think that this is a great initiative - Vimeo is well known for hosting some really high quality films, and it's a good twist to ask people to pitch ideas for funding, rather than do their own thing with their own money.

Let's hope we get to see some really good entries!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jack Draws Anything

Jack Draws Anything is a very enterprising project by 6 year old Jack Henderson.

Jack's brother Noah has had to spend time in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, and while he was there the hospital looked after Noah, but also Jack and his other brother Toby.  Jack is now trying to raise money (originally £100, now 10,000) by drawing pictures on request.

Ask for a picture here, but first donate money here.

Visit Jack's site here, to see some of the pictures he's drawn already.  For example here are two different pictures that feature Doctor Who.  I'm not allowed to feature any of the pics here (I hope my use of the logo above is ok), as Jack says on his site:

"All pictures belong to me Jack and are copyright © Jack Henderson 2004–2011.
Don’t steal my pictures or else I’ll become a lawyer when I grow up."

Brilliant work.  & no Jack, we'd hate you to have to be a lawyer when you grow up because you're clearly a very talented and enthusiastic artist!

Here's the link to donate again.

Via Metafilter

Update - 25th November - they won the .net Magazine award for Best Social Campaign of the Year!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pixels for Japan

The agency Momentum have created this project to raise money for Japan - Rebuild Japan Pixel by Pixel

Visit the site to buy a pixel; there's a very simple integration with Facebook and Justgiving makes it all very straightforward.  A pixel costs only £2.

I've given (& you should too!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tales of a Fiverr Seller

I discovered Fiverr last year, a few months after it started.  The site is a bit like Etsy for services - people post up what they're willing do to (for $5) and people can then pay them to do that.  Typical gigs include small photoshopping tasks, silly things like taking pictures of animals to promote a business, and also writing.

One my my friends is a very active Fiverr 'seller' - he offers to write slogans for $5.  I asked him if he'd do an interview to share some of his experiences on the site.  (To stay in keeping with Fiverr I asked 5 questions)  Read on!

How did you start with Fiverr?

As someone who had worked extensively in the media, primarily in book publishing, I was keen to keep my skills fresh. In November 2009 I had started writing a blog, called Malapopulisms. A friend who had been mentoring me suggested I consider signing up with Fiverr, to offer the benefit of my experience to a global social network. I completed my first commission for Fiverr in April 2010 and have successfully delivered 80 projects so far: every client to date has posted positive feedback, including around 60 review comments.

What do you offer?

Having worked professionally as an editor and writer, I decided to offer the following copywriting gig to the Fiverr community: ‘I will copywrite three sample titles, slogans or straplines for $5’. As well as brainstorming the slogans, I write contextual reports to explain my thought process. In practice, I supply more than three slogans, as creative thinking always generates many ideas of different tones and styles

Fiverr clients have often had specific needs beyond the limits of my offer. I have taken on many of these orders and have successfully completed work on a range of tasks, including: copywriting web copy, writing scripts for online videos, researching keywords for generalized SEO optimization, providing business advice and coaching, commenting on web functionality, suggesting marketing and sales ideas, and copyediting and proofreading text.

Describe a typical job

Every client is different: even when I am asked to provide my basic gig offer of three sample slogans, the unique target market demographics for each project influence the tone, style and pitch of my copywriting. Many clients commission me to do more than copywrite slogans

So far, I have had no negative feedback. Some jobs, however, are trickier than others, especially those where clients have given a minimal brief. In my earliest work for the site, I would try to tease out further information from the client by asking detailed questions before starting work on a project. In the last few months, Fiverr has introduced the answering of a formal brief as an integral part of the ordering process. This forces clients to think carefully about the type of work they want sellers to provide and so reduces the chance of disappointment in advance.

The range of copywriting projects I have so far completed include:

compiling key features and benefits for a marketing campaign on behalf of an Australian environmental and developmental charity operating in Tanzania;
scriptwriting video commentary and sample target customer profiles for a business social network;
suggesting a company name, domain name and slogans, as well as developing a marketing plan, for an ecommerce site selling ethically sourced, organic sex-aid products for women;
writing slogans for a Californian website dedicated to cruiser motorbikes, run by professional enthusiasts;
suggesting slogans for a London restaurant owned and run by a TV celebrity chef;
suggesting slogans and business strategy for a South African journalist starting a personal relationship blog.

The variety of projects (of which the above list is a small fraction) and their global reach is a great advertisement for the scope of the world wide web.

What do you like about it and what could be better?

Fiverr caters for three types of seller gigs: frivolous, fun offers that can be easily imitated (e.g. writing advertising message on foreheads in marker pen and taking photographs); people wanting to monetize their hobby (e.g. composing music); and professional creatives wishing to build a credible portfolio of work.

Fiverr is a great way of building a worldwide client list of satisfied customers and of garnering positive reviews that can be quoted as testimonials and recommendations. It is a useful stepping-stone to securing work at commercial rates.

The strength of the site is also its weakness. The payment of five US dollars per project means clients enjoy low risk when commissioning work because expectations can be low. (This doesn’t stop some people from demanding a pound of flesh for their investment.) This means that business wrangling and argument is kept to a minimum. Fiverr is missing a trick, however, as certain gigs are worth far more than five US dollars. The website runs the risk of high churn rates as successful sellers find more lucrative outlets for expressing and monetizing their talents.

It would also be useful to have an ‘out of office’ option to display to potential clients for periods when sellers do not have access to a computer for completing work (e.g. in hospital, on holiday).

What is your medium & long-term goal with the site?

My day job is not creative: despite my skills and experience in the media, I am not currently employed in the sector. Fiverr gives me an opportunity to work on projects that match my career profile and aspirations: it helps to keep my writing and editorial talents relevant and current.

Having successfully completed over 80 Fiverr projects, I am actively looking for opportunities to expand my client list and earnings potential. I have researched and written web copy for a men’s bespoke shirt-making business in London and have lined up the opportunity to revise the web copy for a freelance management consultant in Bedfordshire.

I want to explore the possibility of setting up a freelance business or securing an in-house job scaling up the work I do for Fiverr to a point where I can make a sustainable living from my creativity.

Fascinating answers!  You can get in touch with Chris through the site, or get in touch through me if you have any more extensive projects for him.  He's good!

Update - Chris now has a site to promote his copywriting and ghostwriting - CopyGhosting

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

adidas is all in

This is a new campaign from adidas, one of my agency's clients.

I know I'm biased, but I love it.  The music is "Civilization" from the new album from Justice.

Here's the 2 minute version,

A 30 second cut down around Derrick Rose

& one of the 7 second teasers that broke last week

More info at Creative Review

Free 'sentiment' tool don't work

More and more companies are now tracking social media, to see how they are being discussed on twitter, Facebook, forums, video sites, and so on.  

So far, so good.  However lots of people think that you can automatically assess the sentiment of these conversations.  You can't.

Let's look at the current situation in Japan.  I looked at two tools that focus on twitter, TwitterSentiment and Twittratr.

Currently 67% negative, 33% positive, TwitterSentiment thinks that the following tweets are negative for Japan:

Mourinho on Real not winning CL: "if it doesn't happen that's not a serious problem. A serious problem is what is happening in Japan"

Finding it hard to concentrate at work, while all the horrible disasters are happening in #Japan.

Talked to a homeboy in Japan last night... and is only concern was getting back for soon fried chicken & a blunt. Smh #hoodbooger

Dumping water operation by helicopter was stopped due to high?radiation above the plant... #Japan #quake #nuke

I am still in shock after what has happened in Japan it just seems to be getting worse as each day go`s on wish I could help

& these are positive:

Official propaganda and misinformation from the Prime Minister's office of Japan - now in English! Follow @JPN_PMO

We should see if we can get enough people together to do a charity concert to raise money for #Japan. #JapanCharityConcert

Good to hear they are ok. How are you? My thoughts are with the people in Japan.

Toyota aims to decide today when it can resume production at automotive and parts assembly plants in Japan

Tune in at 6 this morning for the kickoff of the @KOMO phonathon to support Red Cross relief efforts in Japan! #HelpJapan

These ones are negative for Japan:

you're going to japan?! i guess you won't get this til you're back! have fun! 

watching "queen of atlantis", possibly the worst sci-fi film i've ever seen. worse even than the giant starfish movie from japan! 

[world news update] japan economy 'not in bad condition': aso (afp): afp - japan's eco..

is wondering what they are doing on this show in japan were they point at stuff in the newspaper, showing bad grammar maybe? 

talking about moving to japan. why is it so expensive to live there? we decided that @theantialliance is just gonna have to buy us a house.

& these ones are positive:

on weekend america tomorrow: ben folds talks keytar, david rakoff gets scary, flying monkeys, and obama japan. plus: porn. kind of. 

there's the lady in japan who is 120. come on people

top story: the shinto religion at japan blog: a nice quick overview of shinto by maki at japan..

keigo is such bullshit. i can't believe we have to learn that super formal nonsense. japan needs to open up it's tight ass, jeez.

is anyone really surprised that wii music debuted at #1 in japan? i mean it's been the only game released for the console in months

Crazy, and almost totally random, and totally worthless.

With Twittrratr, it seems that the presence of words like 'bad' or 'anti' (even if in a longer word like 'Atlantis' signifies that the tweet is negative.  

These are two free tools, so to a degree you get what you pay for, but I'd challenge any of the paid tools to show me their results.  Deciding whether a mention is positive or negative in this instance is pretty hard.

The only way to measure sentiment correctly is to take a random sample (say 200 mentions) and then go through them manually and work out a percentage positive and percentage negative.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leatha Face

A campaign by Cancer Research UK to warn against the dangers of sunbeds!

Also on Facebook

Let's see how this goes down with the target audience.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ashton Kutcher's Chase game for Nikon at SXSW

Nikon's "The Chase, Powered by Ashton Kutcher" from Nikon SXSW on Vimeo.

Starting tomorrow, if you're at SXSW (which I'm not...) you can play this interactive treasure hunt to win tickets to go to an exclusive Nikon event, and win some free stuff.

To get involved follow AplusK, Nikon USA, Ashton on Facebook, and Nikon USA on Foursquare.  It will use the hashtag #SXSWNikon

It looks like it could be fun, and follow the gaming mechanics of either Jimmy Choo, or VW Fox (see posts on both of these here and here).

Well done by Nikon for getting Ashton Kutcher involved - he's pretty credible within the tech community, having been involved in the VOIP company Ooma, and also investing in Flipboard.

Update - Monday 14th - it looks like it was a bit of a 'Catch Me If You Can' - AK posted the following tweets with pictures; people had to guess where he was, then go there and check in.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gareth Bale vs. Inter Milan

From the match in October 2010

An animation by Richard Swarbrick @RikkiLeaks. The music is available as a royalty free download from:

Who's going to be the first brand to 'be influenced' by this..?

Update - it's Sky Sports, although they did commission the original artist, Richard Swarbrick to make this video of Barcelona vs. Real Madrid for them.

Bid for celebs to follow you for Comic Relief

To raise money for this year's Comic Relief several British celebrities are offering to follow you on twitter, re-tweet you, and mention you, plus some special items.

"The ‘Super-Follow’ means that the celebirty will do ALL of these things...
1.    Follow you on Twitter for 90 days
2.    Retweet one of your tweets 
3.    Send out a tweet including your Twitter @username"

Bidding is through Ebay.  So far Emma Freud has the highest bid at over £1,500, but her offer also includes a walk on part in her partner Richard Curtis' new film.  (Richard Curtis is also available, and will join twitter especially, and follow just you...)

As part of their deals Miranda Hart is also offering a signed script, Nick Frost is offering both a poster of his film Paul, signed by the cast, and a 5 minute phone call, and Christian O'Connell is offering to have you as a guest on his breakfast show.

It's easy to be cynical about Comic Relief, but I really like this.  It's fun, and it's far more involving & engaging for fans than last year's fund raiser where fans had to give money to get celebs to end their twitter silence (which was a bit of a flop, according to Popbitch).

The Telegraph launch their own Groupon

British newspaper The Daily Telegraph has launched its own daily deals; today you can book a 3 course meal at L'Escargot for two for £60, in a programme it's calling 'Selected'

It's a pretty good idea.  It leverages their database, can be tailored to the tastes that they know their readers have, and also extends the whole 'reader offer' idea.

As far as I know this isn't a deal with Groupon, as some newspapers have done in the States, but simply copying the very-easy-to-copy model.

I expect the other papers to follow suit.  The Times already does Times Plus, and The Guardian also have lots of premium services and courses ('Masterclasses') for readers.

Newspapers are great at defining who their readers are.  As a Guardian reader I follow lots of the expected patters in my cultural tastes, (Alexei Sayle once said "You can tell what TV programmes I watch by looking at my furniture") so why not find new ways to sell things to me?

I currently spend about £100 a year on The Guardian (the Saturday edition, 52 times a year), but they'd more out of me by selling me things that they already know that I like, as I argued here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sampling through Facebook

You can now buy a new variant of Heinz Tomato Ketchup through Facebook in the UK.  You need to Like the page, then you can purchase a limited edition bottle of Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup for £1.49.

The process is pretty painful (not being able to use Paypal, having to take all the spaces out of the phone number etc), but I've bought it now 'in the interests of research'.

Update (9th June) - this has clearly worked for Heinz - the variant is now available in my local Sainsbury's:

Elsewhere, Kleenex are allowing American Facebook users to send their friends virtual and actual packets of tissues, and you can even track the spread of the giving across the states.  So far one million packages have been sent.  More info here.

Facebook have told us that (in the UK at least) FMCG is their largest advertising sector, and I think we're going to see A LOT of this sort of thing in the future!

Update - 14th March - my ketchup has arrived!

Update - October 2012 - We Are Social have shared a case study on the Heinz campaign

Looking at old magazines

I love magazines.  Less so than I used to, but I still have lots of old copies of Neon (when it existed), Private Eye, Monocle, Q (when it was good), and Viz (ditto) lying around at home.

It seems that I'm not the only one, and I've recently seen scans of the archives of several magazines online, an activity a bit like putting old performances from shows like The Tube onto video sites (for example...)

Here we have...

Neon, the best British film magazine

Select, a really good document of the 1990s in music

Smash Hits, whcih should need no introduction

& finally, Glamour (UK) have scanned their first issue on Facebook, to help mark their tenth anniversary.

(With the defunct magazines, you wonder who owns the rights, and how hard it would be for a brand to offer to take the archive on)

Twitter game for VW Fox in Brazil

Excellent case study on a location-specific twitter game / campaign for Volkswagen in Sao Paulo.

The Fox is a car aimed at young people, so they organised a treasure hunt to win tickets for the PlanetaTerra festival; the more tweets, the more they revealed about the hidden tickets.

It's a great example of using twitter as a technology and mechanism, rather than a media owner.

Tipping my hat to m'colleague Andy Kinsella

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Peroni Italian film Tumblr

Monica Bellucci in a scene from Malena by Giuseppe Tornatore.  (Source)

Here - a really good use of tumblr by Peroni UK.

Similar to one of my recent favourites, ThisIsNotPorn, rare and unusual celebrity photos.

What is The Clear Pill?

Ads have been appearing for The Clear Pill in British newspapers for the past couple of weeks, and also in this short film, released in December.

Want to know what it's all about?

Visit this site, and input the code Limit2
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