Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My turn: 7 things about me

Thanks to Georgie at Adscam, the baton has been handed over and now I must take part in the chain letter of hell and contribute 7 facts about myself. Then I gotta tag 7 other people to do the same....

  1. Want to know a fact? Want to know how I feel right now? Like a loser! Talk about being at the end of the line. How the fuck am I going to find 7 other people to do this thing who haven't already done it?

  2. I was a cute kid. Pretty adorable in fact. My smart ass attitude could let me get away with pretty much anything. On a Club Med trip, when I was about 6, my Dad was playing poker. I would go around the table, talk to all the players, be cute, and then tell my Dad what everyone's cards were. The winnings were pretty good back then. This was before the recession.

  3. Sydney Olympics was pretty damn awesome. Yours truly was one of those people who hold the trays with the medals. Got to see all the really good finals and met some great people- including the IOC head for Bulgaria. Next time I'm in his hood I can drop by, any time. I still have his card.

  4. this went to a cheater.

    Tony and me. Lucky he didn't know I was Jewish. It would have been curtains.

  5. When the chaps at crayon made me go into Second life, I hated it. It was so boring. So lame. Nothing ever happened in there except having to sit on those chairs where you earned money watching other people have cyber sex. AND I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
    My avatar was pretty hot, except my real life legs are hotter than hers. Ask george.

  6. I originally studied I.T. It was one of the most painful things I've ever done. I did get the degree, but still baffled at how I not only passed, but did well. After that I thought copywriting was the way for me to go. I even did Award school. Delusional I was. Then I saw the strategy beacon and haven't looked back since.

  7. I bought a car yesterday. Mazda 2. Gun metal silver. It's a speedy little thing. Needs a name.

  8. I'm cold blooded. When it's cold or moderate I have virtually no circulation, my hands are pretty much always cold and I get chiblains. A remnant of the old country.
    This is all except for when it's excessively hot and I become warm blodded. My toes become bright red that they look like I have terrible sunburn and my hands are swollen from the heat. Great, huh?

Now, I have to tag seven other bloggers who must now be subjected to this.
Good luck and may the force be with you:

1. The White Agency ffffff or Pablo, whichever takes your fancy. Sucked in
2. Virtual Ryf. Enjoy it dood.
3. Mr Tony Thomas from the Population. I dont thinks you've done it.
4. The murder.
5. Peter Griffin. I love family guy, and I'd like you to have a blog and do this.
5b. And because Peter Griffin won't do it, I'm sure Tim Burrowes of Mumbrella will
6. Mr ad wanker. A new blog friend. I don't think you've done it yet either.
7. And Mr Julian Cole of adspace pioneers. It appears you have not done this. I find it hard to believe.

Here are the rules...

  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged.

love youse all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In YouTube Purge, Warner Shutters Own Musicians' Videos

Media Post Blogs: Warner Music Group's month-old licensing dispute with YouTube has spread far beyond company executives. It's now disrupting a host of musicians -- including the label's own artists.

Consider, Death Cab for Cutie embedded YouTube clips of its videos on its own site, but they were taken down as part of the overall Warner purge. One result was that fans who visited the band's official site and tried to view its clips were greeted with the message that the clips had been taken down due to a Warner Music copyright claim.

Back to reality perhaps?
Bloody music labels. Are they even thinking about what they're doing? Tech has changed, the world, people, have moved forward and the fuckers are still trying to grasp on to what they had. This is getting so tired and boring. So tired that this post on a blog called Lohad details that through sampling of content, sales of a Monty Python DVD increased by 23,000%. Twenty three thousand. Not bad for uploading a video.

So what next? How about foster sampling, allow people to try before they buy. Create premium content for purchase. Down size.

The movie industry better work out what they're doing, because they're next on the chopping block, and it really won't be pretty if they act the way music has been acting.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yes, the Super Bowl Is Well Worth $3M a Spot

AdAge: Surely, spending $3 million on a Super Bowl ad in the midst of a crushing economic downturn is a foolish waste when chief marketing officers' jobs are on the line?
On the contrary, it's a bargain.
The Super Bowl presents not just a huge platform with astounding audience numbers where consumers actually lean forward to watch your ad. It also pays surprising ancillary dividends in awareness: reams of press coverage that drive word-of-mouth and stampeding traffic to websites. Most importantly, for the right company, it can establish a relationship with key consumers and sell product.

What is this guy smoking?
Was this guy in a coma for the last few years? Reams of press coverage, my ass. Leaning forward to watch your ad, BS.
I watched the Superbowl for the first time last year. I was excited to see the ad hoopla and talked about fantastic delivery- but you know what, it was shit. Really shit. And those advertisers could have saved a lot more money by going viral. They also could have given back to their loyalists instead of wasting their cash in adland.

The superbowl left a sour taste in my mouth and I know I'm not alone.
George Parker is the most vehement of dissenters. Pinny Cohen was largely disappointed, Futurelab had its 2 cents. A university professor has acknowledged the waste of cash.
Others here, here and here.

It may be a big selling week, but to think an advertiser is creating impact is delusional. Times have changed, people have shifted. It's not economical, nor worthwhile to spend such a large proportion of ad dollars on 30 seconds of ad time. That ad time may flow into viral and site hits, but I don't think the ROI is enough of a draw card. Long term benefits are nil. There is no longevity.

People want excitement and something different from superbowl ads, but everything's been done. Not to mention, nearly all the advertisers from last year are coming back for a repeat which means, same shit, different smell. Great.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clinique TV is below par

About a month ago (10th December to be exact), this site came out- Clinique TV.

I was excited. I was chuffed. An aussie division of a conglomerate had got their act together and had the balls to go 2.0.

Some time has passed and it's been a sufficient amount of time for some development. I've seen some display ads around the place we call the internet and I went back to have a visit. Yes, I gave them a click through rather than type in the URL.

I get to the site and it's exactly the same.

STILL - only 5 how-to videos

STILL - only 2 your-say videos

STILL - only 2 event videos

STILL - only 3 interview videos

and the forums- no updates since mid December.

Well kids, this is NOT the way to run an interactive site. I bet the creators in question had this idea of all the cool shit they could do, without the inclination to have the following in place:

1. A timeline of topics/videos/further content in order for you to keep populating the site.
This is a necessity for a couple of reasons:

  • If you want people to keep coming back, you need to create new content for them to see. No one wants to watch re-peats of the same video unless it's Beyonce's Single ladies.

  • It is a huge misconception to think that consumers will upload content without encouragement from the continuous flow of other uploaded content. People are sheep and enjoy safety in numbers.

2. Do not create Vox Pops

No one cares. They're too structured and they're old school. Marketers/agencies think this is a good content filler, but it's more damaging than useful.
I see there are clinique it girls. There is only video about these girls. I imagine this is the "crew", these girls are the impetus for content creation. Well? Where are the rest of their videos? Why aren't they involved? Why aren't they making new content every few days?

3. All hands on deck.

No one wants to go to a community where no one is going. That's not very fun.

The company itself needs to become the base of the community. Who else knows the most about clinique but those who work on it? Without this base, everything they've worked on will slip into the ether without an eyeball having viewed it.

4. Social/site manager required

You can't make these babies without someone who is continually checking in, talking to people, making sure questions are answered and making sure things are happening in general. It's an ecosystem, but one that needs heavy massaging and direction.

Hopefully there is more coming from Clinique TV, but right now it's shithouse and needs a virtual berocca.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facebook takes down whopper widget

Techcrunch: Burger King, through their insanely creative advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (see their recent Burger King perfume launch), launches a Facebook application that encourages users to remove Facebook friends. Sacrifice ten of them and you got a free Whopper. 233,906 friends were removed by 82,771 people in less than a week.
Facebook is overjoyed, right? What a great example to show the Madison Avenue agencies on how a big brand can get real engagement from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues:
We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, but we also must ensure that applications follow users’ expectations of privacy. This application facilitated activity that ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend. We have reached out to the developer with suggested solutions. In the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to assure the trust users have established on Facebook is maintained.

FB is run by a bunch of fucktards
What's wrong with these idiots?
This is not the time to pull out "we care about our users, let's show them we care" because clearly, I think the users love it!
We're in a hustle and flow era- you go with it, you see how people respond and you adapt. Regulation, rule and condition doesn't fly with the 2.0 actions that are succeeding- openness is key.

Tapping my legal intuition, I don't even think this actually violates a privacy issue- the fact people have opted in to the widget, knowingly knowing that the sacrifice of selected friend will be publicised is no cause for concern.

Why didn't FB wait till someone caused a hoo-haa?

Well good one FB, good one. You really know how to ruin a good thing.

FB this song is for you:

Monday, January 12, 2009

State-Owned TV Goes Commercial-Free in France

AdAge: With Outlook Gloomy for Private Channels, Where Will Ad Dollars Go?-- In a move known in France as "le big bang," prime-time advertising has been dropped from state-owned TV. Commercials will disappear completely from those stations by the end of 2011, essentially erasing some $700 million in ad outlays.

Bang it up Baby!

This is awesome! "TV-viewing figures were up more than 10% across all channels, from 27 million to 30 million"

The French analysts are worried that the ad spend will disappear and the GFC/tightening of belts will impact further on the ad-drop. But it isn't about that- it's about consumer experience, making better programming that's more engaging. Less The Big Bang Theory (absolute drivel and shit), and really Le Big Bang style content.

And advertisers, if you're really worried, invest your marketing budgets in the creation of your own programs! The creation of an engaging 12 episode series will have longevity like you could never have imagined.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Favourite stories of last week

Adweek: BK Asks Facebookers To Sacrifice Friends For Whoppers
It's a common problem to all avid Facebook users, says Adweek's Brian Morrissey: "You look at your friend list and wonder who these people are." Well, Burger King wants to help you do something about it.

The fast-food chain has come out with a new application that rewards people with a coupon for a free Whopper for anyone willing to cut 10 friends from their friend list. Each time a friend is axed, the app sends a notice to the ex-friend via Facebook's news feed explaining that the user thought a free Whopper was worth more than their friendship. The app then adds a box to the user's profile pages charting their progress towards a free Whopper using the line: "Who will be the next to go?"

The Whopper Sacrifice campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky of "Subservient Chicken" fame. "We thought there could be some fun there, removing some of these people who are friends (but) not necessarily) best friends," said Jeff Benjamin, executive interactive creative director at Crispin, who has 736 friends on Facebook. "It's asking the question of which love is bigger, your love for your friends or your love for the Whopper," he said.

Why it good- they found a modern insight that can work with the modern folk
People, most people, have friends on Facebook that they don't want to be friends with. In the initial need to plump up your friend list, you end up adding doofs and douches that you wouldn't otherwise give the time of day. Then there is the anguish of leaving someone in facebook purgatory. Personally, I have 55 people in the purgatory. I deny them because I don't want them requesting the friendship again (as someone did 5 times in succession after I rejected the request 5 times) and I believe if I haven't spoken to you in 3+ years, there is a reason, and we won't be resuming the relationship.

To then send the erroneously added friends a message saying they've been sacrificed is gold- a glorious way to leave the relationship. Sorry to all those losers who thought they now had friends and are about to lose them all.
So thanks BK for offering a "get out of gaol free card" solution to the problem.

In bullet form:

The insight to germinate the idea
People bitch about their random facebook friends and the friends they'd love to get rid of, but feel they can't

Helping users through a functional application of that insight
Create an application which removes those friends in such an obvious manner, that the embarrassment is alleviated through the wanting of said whopper

Benefit to brand
Facebook social graph will help the brand awareness and profile- as the majority of Facebook users agree with the insight, the take up will be high and traverse across the network. Biggest reason that this works is that users relate to brands who don't take themselves seriously and subscribe to the unrestrained and easy going attitudes of today. e.g Justin Timberlake as a brand, he is more respected because he pokes fun at himself, versus that of Tom Cruise- BIG LOSER. And coke who banned the mentos thing (bad) and that kid who made an iTouch ad and apple picked it up and used it (good).

Notes and warnings
This baby is now done. The goose is cooked. Any brand which tries to emulate an action derived from the same insight will fry.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's time for some flag-staking: Social Media, where we're at

We'll, you can say that social media is quite established these days. We've all been dabbling and experimenting, and now I feel like we're at the point where we really know what's what. We know the correct methods and applications to perform an appropriate social media shakedown.

1. Harnessing social media parallels the era when companies jumped on the website bandwagon
Back in the hey-day, the 90s, companies scrambled to create one-dimensional information-based websites. It was a necessity and a way for consumers to get the information they required straight from the source. As a company, if you didn't have it, you were fucked- it's a constant that consumers can continually tap in and out of.
Social media is the evolution of this concept- it needs to be a constant, and companies need to be available, in a more dynamic fashion.

2. Consumers know how to cha-cha
Consumers view the internet as a seamless experience. They know how to access stuff, they know what marketing is and can smell it a mile away. One thing they don't care for are campaign timelines. Life is a constant flow and when they're interested in your company, you should be around and be conversant.

3. Social media isn't just about being "available"
As a company, if you're considering a social media strategy, it's important not to consider "let's be on the FB, let's be on Twitter, let's make a retarded island in Second Life" and so on and so forth. Those assets will have limits. By that I mean only a certain number of people will be interested in those things from the get go, even with the inclusion of support traffic drivers. Without a natural fit and reason to be, potential new users will have no way of finding an in to begin with.

4. Identify where you intersect in the social graph
The social graph is great- it demonstrates how everyone is connected to everyone else in some shape or form. However, without that one person (or few people) who is the glue between 2 groups, the whole thing falls apart. My point is that these links across the social graph are tenuous and I believe quite weak. Many marketers think they just need to enter into the social graph and their message will spread across the groups. Not the case my friend. A company needs to immerse themselves in the middle of the correct group/s within the social graph to be effective. Then, be a part of this group, be continually involved and give reason to the group to trust and believe in the representative, not only as a marketer, but also as an individual.

5. Cherry picking is the hot new term for '09.
Tools and social media options are prolific. Choosing the right ones can be tough. Not only do we need to identify the right groups that fit a brand's values, but we need to identify the right tools according to need states.
And forget about making the same tool/tactic for each community- these communities tend to operate differently within social media. Consider stay at home mothers versus car enthusiasts for example. They both have completely different ways of connecting online. If this is only gut instinct, imagine what the data will say?

6. People don't live in a vacuum.
People, human beings, participate in both the virtual and real world. This means, translate any social media activity within both realms- i.e. any digital activity needs to have some inspiration from the real and then help take that digital outside the boundaries of binary.

I think this is it for now. I do believe it is quite an accurate assessment. I shall be adding more points as the brain digests.

Apple's Tiered Pricing-DRM Swap Could Sink Record Labels

GigaOm: Most pundits agree that Apple's announcements at this year's Macworld were underwhelming, to say the least. However, GigaOm's Om Malik says there was one announcement that stood out: The news of DRM-free sales from all major music labels at variable prices through iTunes. Now, the world's largest online music store will start selling songs for 69 cents, 99 cents or $1.29 a pop.

Who cares about this? Digital rights management watchers certainly do, but what about the average consumer? Malik points out that Apple has such a stranglehold on the digital music market that most are happy to buy songs from Apple regardless of what format the songs come in, as long as they can be played on an iPod.

The more important part of the news--at least from a recording industry point of view, Malik says--is variable pricing. After resisting the pleas of the music industry for years, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has finally agreed to variable pricing; it looks like Apple has offered that in exchange for DRM-free music. However, this could prove to be a double-edged sword for the labels. While they hope to sell the bulk of their hits for $1.29, "the reality could be very different," Malik says, adding that, "they could easily wind up conditioning the market to expect even lower prices for most of the music they buy, apart from the mega-hits."

This IS EXACTLY what the fuckers need.

Two fellas, Mr Gerd Leonhard and Dave Kusek, wrote a book called The Future of Music. It mentions how music should be available in tiers like drinking water is- you go all the way from the poor/average quality of tap water into high quality premium product a la San Pellegrino- yummy, that stuff is like velvet when it goes down.

These guys, they were on to something. The die hard music fans would purchase the creme de la creme and the not so interested would sample and if they were keen, go on to buy. Having this type of model is a step in the right direction for the music labels. As with all things with the IT, there is a way to crack the DRM and people will continue to do that. But, a lot of people won't and they will purchase the DRM free.So bravo Apple to you too- for finally agreeing to this.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out. The entertainment industry is a huge part of society these days and as internet speeds get faster, movie downloads/music downloads will become more and more prolific. People will be able to download content almost instantaneously, then watch on the content on a big HDTV in the next second. Meaning, the next big target after the record labels is going to be the production houses and right now, I don't know how they're going to formulate an effective online plan which gives them the same returns that they've seen in the past.

Oh, bless

An indicator to the precociousness of kids today

German Kids try to elope to Africa

Cutest bloody thing I've ever seen- and so funny.

Love that they were spotted not by the fact that they were 3 little kids in a train station, but because they were dragging a pink lilo around the station.
Love even more that they get the kids to re-enact the elopement in the news story.

I would also like to go to africa, then unpack, then get married, then take a little holiday. Fun stuff.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

uh-uh, no way

This is fucking horrid:

Semantic Web startup AdaptiveBlue on Tuesday is launching a new service, called Glue, that connects people around everyday things, including books, movies and music through a wide range of Web sites, including Amazon,, Netflix, Yahoo! Finance, and Citysearch.
"When we get together with our friends, we don't talk about URLs, we talk about things--about books, movies, wine, etc.," adds Burnham. "With this release, AdaptiveBlue is making it possible for people to come together around the things that mean something to them, not just the pages they visit."

This is stalking. This is removing normal social behaviours (e.g. real life conversations) from society. I don't want someone to know what I looked at online- if I wanted them to know I'd tell them, to THEIR FACE!

It isn't a pleasant feeling to know that someone is always watching, always knowing what you're doing behind the scenes. Sometimes it's nice to do something on your own, and it's always freaky to hear when someone knows that you did something/were somewhere without you knowing.
Things are getting too open and it's making many people uncomfortable.

My prediction on this is that users will hate it, but the marketers will lap it up due to the oh-so-wonderful social graph and the ability to use people as marketing spruikers.