Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Yahoo Ad Format - 3D Catalogue

Anyone spotted one of these in the wild yet?

Transform Your Patch

Transform Your Patch is a new initiative by Britvic and Pepsi & the charity Groundwork to transform some areas of the UK.  It's going to work a bit like Pepsi's Refresh Everything in the US - people vote for their local areas.  The aim is to transform local public spaces like parks, playgrounds, 5-a-side pitches and skate parks.

Anyone buying one of the featured drinks is contributing towards the regeneration fund; funds are awarded based on the number of votes each project gets.

The UK's been split into different regions, to give everyone a local site to vote for.

It's a potentially great bit of CSR by Britvic.  Get involved here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Things I Love - Sunday 26th February

These amazing patterns in the snow - there's a full set of pictures here.  Very creative!

Pinboard, the bookmarking service.  I've persisted with Delicious for a long time, and stayed with it out of loyalty after the changes last year, but enough is enough.  It kept getting slower, they didn't listen to feedback (the GetSatisfaction board was cancelled), and so I took the plunge and moved everything to Pinboard.  It took less time to transition than I feared (about 20 minutes, plus some tidying up of tags).  The guys who bought Delicious thought they were buying something with the potential of Pinterest (how sick must they be feeling now?) but goodbye.  Classic example of how to buy and ruin a service.

This video of ten things Noel Gallagher loves and hates.  Contains swearing.

Everyone's passing around the new CassetteBoy 'News' clip, but also check out this Billy Connolly one from a couple of years ago.

Boqueria, the new Spanish restaurant in Acre Lane SW2.  I've been twice now, and it's been excellent both times.  Sit at the bar, or in the restaurant room at the back.  Super-friendly.  Approx £20 per head.  Go!

Two great Kickstarter examples

I've seen two really inspiring Kickstarter crowdfunding examples recently, both of which raided over one million dollars.  It's extraordinary (& inspiring) to think that so much money can be raised for what are essentially fun projects.

The first is Double Fine Adventure, a plan for a gaming studio to make a new game.  They're going through Kickstarter as an alternative to venture capital.  You can see why - they get the money, but don't need to give so much of the company back.  Plus, the Kickstarter investors can get involved in the creative process.  So far $2,214,778 has been raised from 65,000 backers.

The second is The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive.  The Order of the Stick is an out of print comic; the money raised will fund a reprint or one or more of the books.  Funding has now finished, and $1,254,120 was raised, from 15,000 backers.

What was very creative about both was the rewards for the different levels of investment - for example Order.. has multiple levels, going up by as little as one dollar, giving a bit more each time.

There's a great comment about how this is working on Metafilter:

"It's interesting that Kickstarter is turning into a preorder system for traditional forms of media, with the funding goals set so low that it will almost surely get funded.
Interesting because it gives us real data about how much money these media really need in order to exist.
Interesting once creators see that this is a solution to all the angst about piracy and copyright. If you can make the money you need up front, you can forget about DRM and just give your product away for free, let it be advertising for your next Kickstarter."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Abraham Lincoln - What I Actually Do

A neat bit of work by Fox (a client) in the US, to promote the new film Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter

They turned this round pretty quickly after noticing the 'What I Actually Do' pictures flying around the web last week.

Very clever, and totally in tune with my 'Hijacks' trend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paid Owned Earned by Nick Burcher

Nick Burcher, head of Social Media & Digital Innovation at ZenithOptimedia Worldwide (& a friend) has published his first book, Paid Owned Earned.  It looks at the development of digital marketing through the concept of:

Paid - media you pay for, for example advertising and search
Owned - media that is owned by brands, for example their sites and presence in social channels
Earned - what other people say about you, voluntarily, for example in passing along virals, or making product recommendations.

It's a great idea for a book - and hopefully it'll become a set text for marketing in 2012.  There's also a dedicated blog to support it, and provide new examples; this is the sort of book that's potentially out of date before it's published!

You can buy it here.  If you need any more convincing, here's an extract:

Paid Owned Earned by Nick Burcher

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Things I Love - Sunday 19th February

This amazing video of freestyle bike tricks on a vintage ladies bike

Chicago Mixtape is a weekly free download of the best Chicago bands playing live in the city that week.  Brilliant, simple concept - and the music's mostly very good.  Each mixtape expires after a week, so the bands are only giving their music away for a limited time.  More about the history of the project here.  Great idea for a radio show too.  Subscribe for free tracks like this, from Grandkids!

This excellent Pinterest board of agency rhyming slang.  Margaret Thatcher = Data Capture, Bill Nighy = API, Danny Dyer = Media Buyer etc.  Manages to be a million times funnier than Channel 4's terrible Mad Bad Ad Show.  Yes, I know it's just for us agency folk, and MBAS is a mass market TV show, but seriously C4, it shouldn't be that hard to make a good, funny programme about advertising.  You read so much about media and communications in newspapers, people all have favourite ads... give us an intelligent show (e.g. a British Gruen Transfer) instead of this.

This picture, showing that cats can even improve sleeveface

& the trailer for the new series of Mad Men

Friday, February 17, 2012

What you can tell from shopping data

It's rare (& a bit naive) for a retailer to be so open about what they can deduce from mining customer data.  This story is from Forbes, about how Target benefit from shopper analysis:

"As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

One Target employee I spoke to provided a hypothetical example. Take a fictional Target shopper named Jenny Ward, who is 23, lives in Atlanta and in March bought cocoa-butter lotion, a purse large enough to double as a diaper bag, zinc and magnesium supplements and a bright blue rug. There’s, say, an 87 percent chance that she’s pregnant and that her delivery date is sometime in late August."

He then shared a non-hypothetical example of an angry father coming into a store:

“My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”

The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again.

On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Belgium Brewing show how to market locally on Facebook

A great case study of local promotion on Facebook

It's successful too - see some stats here. They estimate that their Facebook fans spend over $50m a year on New Belgium beer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brands and Pinterest

Pinterest is now officially The Next Big Thing.  I'm getting about 5 follows a day, and about 10 re-pins.  (follow me here, if you want; this is probably my best board)

It's been fun watching it develop since I first wrote about it in December 2010.  Now it has over 10m registered users, and still has a very strong female bias.  It's a bit strange that something that really doesn't work for mobile - in terms of the pinning at least - should be the new, new thing, but it works very well on the desktop.

Brands are starting to use it - before Christmas I wrote about how Lands' End were using it for a competition, and now publishers are also getting in on the action.

From my experience most people use it as a bookmarking, scrap book service (see below), but brands are using it as a sharing service.  Since people are there looking for visual inspiration, supply them with yours, in an easy to use way.  It's easier to re-pin than pin (slightly), so brands are putting their own content up on Pinterest for people to find easily, rather than search for on their brand pages.

For example here's the Wall Street Journal's collection of Fashion Week pictures

& here's Newsweek's collection of Fashion Week photos

Props too for this collection from Newsweek:  Rick Santorum's Sweater Vests  This shows another part of Pinterest - use it to establish your credentials and taste.  It's good to know that Newsweek have spotted this about Rick Santorum!

Other examples:


The US Army - includes boards like Chow, Homecoming and Humanitarian Relief

London restaurant chain Canteen


Time Magazine - includes photography & classic covers

Travel Channel

Gap - Includes current collections, and 'Denim Icons'


British brewer Saint

The publisher Quadrille Books

Universal Pictures - including individual boards for films like Do The Right Thing

A very good use by a pet adoption agency

Cath Kidston

With thanks to this 'Ultimate Guide' presentation by Michael Litman

What I think is really clever about Pinterest is that it works really well as a scrap book, and that's something that the internet desperately needed.  Yes, you've got Delicious, and Pinboard, but they are primarily for geeks (myself included).  Pinterest is aiming at the mass market, and seems to be succeeding.  But it's a complementary service. It's not going to kill anything else off, it's letting people save what they see online.  How did it take so long for this idea to take off?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Things I Love - Sunday 12th February

The rap battle Blizzard Vs. Mark Grist:  A former teacher and a 17 year old battle it out.  The action starts about 2 minutes in, and goes on for about 10 minutes, and it's excellent.  I see big things for 'Monty Gristo', a performance poet; apparently the video has led to a lot of interesting offers, and he's going to be spending this week having meetings.  A slot on 10 O'Clock Live?  It couldn't make it worse...

Moby's Architecture blog (yes, really).  Moby writes passionately about his city, and argues that in LA it's harder to find the good stuff because it's much better hidden away than in, say, London or Paris.  It's making me want to go to LA for the first time ever.  All those castles!  & you can hike, apparently.

I also love this post about a random yellow bungalow, that clearly explains why so many artists are moving to LA - it's so cheap, and it's 75 degrees in February.

This set of dog pictures is amazing - probably too strange to buy and frame, but stunning on the screen.

The Chewbacca Defence, a concept invented by South Park.  Essentially you confuse the jury with random facts and arguments, and it helps people to get acquitted...

& finally, this set of pictures of Blue Ivy Carter, posted by the family on an official Tumblr helloblueivycarter.tumblr.com.  The Beckhams posted a twitpic of Harper Seven; I think this will be what more celebs do in the future.  Great pr for Tumblr too, in that they didn't put it on a dot-com.  That's one cute baby!

Valentine's Viral Compendium 2012

Some years you get lots of virals for Valentine's Day; other years you get hardly any.  Here are some examples from 2007, and also from 2008 - sadly I didn't take screen shots back then, and I think all of the links are broken.

This seems to be a 'lots' year, except that they've not called 'virals' this year, and they all link to other things like games on Facebook.

Here are a few:

Durex - Vinyl

Heineken - Serenade

Chanel - Love Letters

Jean Paul Gaultier - L'Art du French Kiss

Craft Mac & Cheese - #VoiceOfLove with Ted Williams

Does he luv me?  An outdoor and mobile campaign for Valentine's day by colleagues at Isobar Mobile and Posterscope.  Visit the site www.doesheluv.me on your PC or phone to play

adidas Neo Luv Song - make a song for that special person

Google's Valentine's Day Doodle

Dove displayed Tweets on large screens in Victoria Station

Samsung - Galaxy Love Note - website

Kirin's Beer Bro-quet - a bouquet for a man

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Car keys control digital posters in Berlin

Excellent work by Mercedes.  Players could control the posters using their car keys.

So clever.  Why ask people to download an app when you can do work at the back end to let them use the car keys that they've already carrying..?

Appear in Graham Coxon's new video

This is a very smart way of involving the fans.  Give them instructions, and then let them be creative around that.

See the instructions:

Then get involved here

Earlier - Coxon asks for local bands to support him

Update - here's the finished video:

Monday, February 06, 2012

OK Go, with Chevrolet

Continuing their brand partnerships.  The car is a Chevy Sonic.

"The new music video from OK Go, made in partnership with Chevrolet. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. A Chevy Sonic was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording. There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they'd play the right note no matter where they were struck. For more information and behind-the-scenes footage, see http://www.LetsDoThis.com and http://www.okgo.net. Many thanks to Chevy for believing in and supporting such an insane and ambitious project, and to Gretsch for providing the guitars."

(A brilliant example of viral branded content, but did it really need 4 months of preparation, and 4 days of shooting..?  This stuff reminds me more and more of the Laurence Olivier / Dustin Hoffman story...)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Things I Love - Friday 3rd February

This collection of Bad Rave Flyers.  An essential resource!

The bizarre photos uploaded by Amazon customers for the Horse Head Mask

The fact that the URL for The Darkness' website is TheActualDarkness.com

& on the subject of The Darkness, Brian May has a very strange & comprehensive user guide for this website:

This very strange 'backward talker' video.

& the fact that prisoners in Vermont managed to get away with putting a picture of a pig (hidden in the cow) on the car decals that they were making for the state Police

National Sweater Day

A very entertaining campaign by WWF and Loblaw in Canada.  The aim is to make people wear their sweaters on 9th February, and turn their heating down, thereby helping the planet.

Go to the site here, and you can book one of the many grannies to call you or a friend on the day.  (Grannies are supposedly the ones who give the sweaters at Christmas time)

A good, actionable campaign!

Air China's Asian Restaurant checkin campaign

This is very simple, but inspired.  To promote Air China in Sweden, the agency arranged a competition with many of the Asian restaurants.

Check in with Air China - Case Movie from Rodolfo on Vimeo.

Check in on Facebook, then the person who gets the most reactions to their checkin over the next week wins a trip to Asia.  It's a very clever use of the checkin mechanism, and it gives a benefit of checking in.  It drove lots of extra traffic to the restaurants too, for free.

Great idea, great case study!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

What Britain Loves

Launched today with a promoted trend on Twitter (which seems to be becoming the default way to launch something) here's the new T-Mobile ad.

Narrated by Harry Hill, with rude words, cats, dogs, a Sinclair C5, a bridal party, a giant cheese, and even Fenton, it seems to have something for everyone.

It's a very British diversion from the gloss of the Super Bowl ads.

A future for local news

Earlier this week I went to a very entertaining Mashup* Event, looking at the interplay between local & social.

(Mashup Event is a regular networking session in London.  Join up here.)

One of the speakers was from Northcliffe Newspapers, who now have over 135 very local news sites in the UK, under the Local People banner.  They mix news with local events, reviews and so on, and are now profitable, taking their income from ad revenue.  For example, here is the site for Nailsea, in Somerset.

It's an interesting model of the future.  If I had time I'd be tempted to set up a local site for my neighbourhood, because it frustrates me that it's so easy (for example) to find out everything about what's happening in technology in Silicon Valley, but at the same time I can't find out why the police have taped off a local street.  There's a big information disconnect!

Northcliffe are now offering franchises for new local areas; they provide training, technology, site templates etc, so franchisees just have to do the work.

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