Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guitar & Cookery lessons on Google Plus

The hangouts seem to be the part of Google+ that is getting the most traction for innovative use.  Most recent - Guitar lessons, and cookery lessons

Guitar lessons have an illustrious history on YouTube; Google+ Hangouts make them much more interactive.

Also - Cookery lessons anyone..?   By Lee Allison

Earlier - Whisky tasting on Google+

Friday, July 29, 2011

Isaiah beats Fabio Mano a Mano

After a few days of YouTube challenges, Isaiah Mustafa has beaten Fabio's challenge, and remains the Old Spice Guy:

I've been a bit unsure about this campaign.  It's been fun, but not that great.  I think the problem is that Fabio has no cultural meaning for me.  I'd heard of him (though Howard Stern), but I could never get that interested in him as a spokesman for Old Spice.

(I'm finding it hard to think of a British equivalent.  Maybe Tom Jones?  Not cheesy enough?)

Isaiah Mustafa works so well because he was an unknown beforehand.  Incidentally, the original Old Spice ads were surely inspired by this sequence from Orson Welles' film F For Fake:

I'd love to see the original Old Spice brief: "Can we find a really cool guy who sounds like Orson Welles..?"

F For Fake is a great (if unusual) film.  You really should buy it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Next Generation Media - July 2011

This is my latest quarterly presentation, looking back at key events, examples, and stats from the last 3 months in digital media.  It's getting increasingly hard to condense it down!

Have a look:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whyte & Mackay's Whisky tasting on Google+

I love how people are finding interesting things to do on Google+.  The latest initiative I've seen is from Richard Paterson (aka The Nose) at the distiller Whyte & Mackay, who is going to do two whisky tastings as part of a Hangout (video conference call).

From their website:

"Who fancies a dram with me? As I mentioned the other day I'm on Google+ and one of the features on there is being able have a group video chat with other people, so I was thinking why not get together, have a dram and talk whisky?

So here's what's being proposed. We'll do one or two video hangouts on August 15 and 16 at around 7pm UK time.

Now, I'm told that Google isn't allowing brands and businesses onto Google+ yet so to avoid accusations that we're doing this to push just one brand, we'll do drams from across the ranges:

Whyte & Mackay 13 year old
Whyte & Mackay 19 year old
Jura Superstition
Jura Prophecy
Dalmore 15 year old
Here's how you can take part:

Leave your details below - name, email, country you are from and Google+ address
State if you can do either night or have a preference
We'll then get in touch to send you samples of all the drinks - seems only fair - and get ready for a drink on the night.

Now, we're going to restrict these first two events to people in the UK and mainland Europe. If they prove popular, we'll try and roll events out for whisky fans in other continents.

So who fancies a dram then?"

So far quite a few people have signed up - more than the 20-30 permitted in two sessions.  It looks like it's going to be a fun event.

When I showed this to a few colleagues one pointed out that it's a very small scale event - by definition only 20-30 people can take part.  However I think they'll get a lot more kudos from being innovative enough and agile (dread word!) enough to make this happen.

Lots of brands do small scale stunts like this - for example Kirin are opening a pop up restaurant in a few weeks time - and the benefit comes from a mix of making a small amount of people very enthusiastic, to others hearing about it.  It's good PR, and for the price of a few samples of whisky surely it's well worth it.

With Foursquare & Twitter some of the best things done by brands have been totally unofficial; wonder if the same will be true for Google+

Full story - NMA

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Axe / Lynx 'Google Map' ad

A very clever ad from Lynx (Axe), using Google Maps, continuing their 'Angels Will Fall' theme.  the ad appears as a standard rectangle ad:

Put in your postcode, and watch...

Served through MediaMind.

See it here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

BrewDog's online share offering

Scottish Microbrewery BrewDog are doing a much more ambitious form of crowdfunding.  They are attempting to raid over £2m through selling shares in the company online.  The minimum purchase is 4 shares (for £95) and the money will go towards opening more bars, and building a new brewery.

As well as the chance of capital gains, investors will get a discount on the beer they buy in BrewDog bars, and from the website.

Equity for Punks 2011 from BrewDog on Vimeo.

I've been hearing more and more about BrewDog recently.  As you can see from the video they present themselves very well (I'm sure they hate the word 'market'), they understand the power of a good story and a stunt (and if you're looking for an alcohol brand with the same potential cachet as Innocent look no further.  Over £500,000 has been invested in 2 days.

See the prospectus here, and see you at the bar in Camden later this year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Toronto is Trending

Toronto is Trending is a site created to promote Toronto to tourists.  It aggregates tweets, checkins and offers relating to the city, on a map, or on a variety of video videos.

You can select categories (e.g. Nightlife) and also see the top trending topics for the week.  You can also see how many people have checked into different venues, which is very useful for assessing different areas.

It's really clever, and allows you to see the city through the eyes of the locals, which is just what you want to do when you're planning a trip.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spotify launches in the US

With this lovely ad.  Very well done!

Now the hard work starts, I think...

See the US site here

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Experia Hot Shots x Dirty Sanchez

A very nice video, capturing the highlights from when Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sorana Cirstea, two up and coming tennis players, blasted paint-soaked tennis balls at two of the Dirty Sanchez team.

Sony Ericsson are sponsoring 6 young women tennis players on the WTA Tour, and they've done this well, echoing the colours in the famous Bravia ads.

See more on Facebook here, here and here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Watch Doctor Who on Facebook with Facebook Credits

You can now watch selected Doctor Who stories on Facebook, paying with Facebook Credits.  I think this is the first time this has been done in the UK.

Go to the page here, then choose which story you want to watch.  Each of the 4 episodes costs 15 credits (approx £1).

Can I recommend City of Death?  It was written by Douglas Adams, stars Tom Baker, centres on the Mona Lisa, and has a cameo from John Cleese in the final episode.  What more do you want?

Full info here

(I nearly called the post 'Watch doctor who on Facebook for Facebook Credits, but i though that looked like Facebook would pay you.  That might happen at some point, but at the moment you have to pay them)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Diplo previews new songs on is the hot new music site.  People enter, then choose between different themed rooms where people are playing through playlists.  They can chat on-screen while the music plays, and can express how much they like or dislike what's currently being played.

I spent a few minutes on the site a couple of weeks ago.  Since then it's been limited to the US (there are lots of potential legal problems...) but it's attracting a huge amount of hype and love.  Friends in the US are raving about it on Facebook.

Lase week the DJ Diplo went on as a DJ, and played 3 new tracks, and generated lots of buzz in the process;  you can read about it here and here.

I've written before about why brands should get involved with new technologies, even if they're very niche, and it may pay off for Diplo.  It's a lot easier to do as an individual than a brand of course, but I have a feeling will create quite a few headlines this year.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Advanced GCE Media Studies - Critical Perspectives in Media

I caught up with an old colleague last night.  He now works at OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations), one of the UK's main examining bodies.

He told me that some past Media Studies papers were online, so I thought I'd take a look.

From June 2010, here are two essay questions from the section Media in the Online Age.  The exam is for 18 year olds, and they'd be expected to spend an hour on one of these essays, if they chose to answer one.  (Candidates had to answer two short questions worth 25 points each, and one long question, worth 50 points, in two hours.  There were 12 essay questions in total.)

- "For media audiences, the internet has changed everything"  Discuss

- Explain the extent to which online media exist alongside older methods of distribution in 2010

How do you think you'd do?

The full paper is here.

Update - after I posted this, my friend sent me a couple of examples of coursework by students, published on blogs.

The Vixens - a music video project

LiveWire - a student's magazine

Both excellent!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The first campaign on Google Plus

Israeli agency pH Creative is claiming that they have done the first creative campaign on Google+

It's not consumer-focussed (see the comments to my post on the first consumer brand on Google+), but it is pretty clever, albeit a bit spammy.  In fact, it's more a campaign *using* Google+ as a reward mechanism than actually on Google+, but let's move on... 

According to TNW:

"pH saw the hugely increasing demand for Google+ invitations, and the company had heard about a workaround that would allow you to invite people by tagging them in a photo. So pH went to work creating an image that was nothing more than an invitation, then tagging anyone in the marketing industry who dropped them an email requesting to be invited."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Nexus Contraptions

Nexus Contraptions is a game in YouTube to promote the Nexus S phone.  Move obstacles around the screen to create a path for the apps to travel in, before they get to your phone.  It's very good.

For some reason sites like Techcrunch are citing Rube Goldberg as an inspiration.  Surely it's much closer to Bubble Ball..?

Play here

Ford - The first consumer brand on Google Plus

Ford has just appeared on the new social network, Google Plus, making it (as far as I know) the first consumer brand to use the site.  See their page here.

So far it's pretty mundane - one competition, some 'travel survival tips'.  With only about 150 'Fans' or 'Followers'  (we need to find a new word).

Overall I really like Goolke Plus.  It's clean, and it makes sense to differentiate people that you know.  I'm not sure it'll command lots of my time, but it's an interesting addition to the landscape.

Being a Google product, you know that it'll get a lot more comprehensive over time.

PS - other corporate entities on Google+ include Mashable and the British agency Made by Many

Monday, July 04, 2011

Re-selling The King of Limbs

Radiohead's album The King of Limbs launched in February, but now the second part of the project has begun.  The band has started to sell re-mixes of the tracks, at a rate of 2 remixes every two weeks, on vinyl through selected record shops, and as downloads through the King of Limbs site.

"More 12" remixes will be released every couple of weeks over the summer until we run out of remixes... or summer."

You can listen to the first two in this embeddable widget.

It seems like a good strategy.  Initial sales will have paid for the album, and now these releases will sustain interest (& get payment; the 12 inch singles cost £11.99 each) from the die-hard fans.
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