Thursday, May 27, 2010

it's the real thing

Andy Warhol was a great fan of Coca-Cola.
For him the iconic Coke bottle encapsulated the dream of American Society in the 50s.

'You know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.'

Of course, while Warhol's brand and persona was contrived to be all about surface with no depth (though, everything he said had more depth than he would have us believe) you can't argue with that statement.

The parallels with modern advertising are apparent.

The democratisation of media and message brought about by the spread of social technologies means that it doesn't matter if you are Coca-Cola, me or the bum on the corner, you have the same access to You Tube or Twitter as anyone else.

This is the great leveller.

If you have a great idea, that people want to connect with and share, that people want to spread, then the mechanisms are there for anyone to use.

No amount of money can get you anything better.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A prospective client revealed to me in a discussion recently how a Facebook promotion they had run was an astounding success.

The promotion had managed to gather 10,000+ email addresses of people who expressed an interest in winning a FREE [product X], thus proving that social media marketing really 'works'.

What this marketer seems to have disregarded is that I could have walked up and down Oxford Street for a few hours with a sandwich board saying 'Get a FREE thing' and probably have gathered the same amount of data for a fraction of the cost.

Is there really that much value in collecting thousands of email addresses of opportunists who just want free stuff?

Sadly, this is becoming the benchmark for much 'social media' marketing.

The same old, same old gimmicky stuff trying to capture momentary attention of non-customers in order to pour those eyeballs into the top of the funnel and see what trickles out the other end.

Money and time that could be much better spent offering rewards to ACTUAL customers and convert them from passively loyal potential switchers into fans and evangelists.

Gimmix. Cushions that fart.

Friday, May 14, 2010

jericho hill

Introducing my brother Al's band - Jericho Hill.

They do mostly Johnny Cash numbers dialing up the man in blacks inherent punky-ness.

They are almost constantly gigging around and have landed a slot at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool this summer alongside The New York Dolls, Stiff Little Fingers and Chas out of Chas'n'Dave, amongst others.

Have a listen over here.

He's the one who just spotted a half eaten bag of chips on the floor, slightly out of shot (he wrote that, not me).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

social media in business conference - london May 21st

The Social Media in Business conferences are regular events for those who are interested in how social technologies and practices are changing how businesses communicate with their customers, employees and stakeholders.

The next event takes place on Friday 21st May at the PayPal UK headquarters in Richmond [map]. Just a few minutes leafy stroll from Richmond mainline station.

I'll be doing a talk in the afternoon session, attendees will also hear from Lloyd Davis (of Tuttle fame) and David Cushman (MD of 90:10 Group and author of The Power of the Network) amongst others.

Some tickets are still available from the Social Media in Business site.
I can offer a discount code for readers of this blog to use or share with your friends and associates.

Use the code: smibger for 25% off the ticket price.

If you are there and we've not met face to face come and say hello. Or simply heckle if you prefer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

service information

Tottenham Court Road Tube Station.
HT to @badgergravling @richjm @simoncollister

Monday, May 10, 2010

Age of Conversation 3 - available now

The third Age of Conversation volume is now available to buy.

Featuring contributions from over 170 leading marketing bloggers, including your truly, AoC3 broadly captures the shift of the social media from a set of hypothetical customer loyalty tools to their current place at the top table of marketing and advertising strategic and creative thinking.

I just reviewed my piece - 'It's ALL OUR TURF'- again having not really looked at it since it was written and was surprised at the pointyness and venom unleashed...

'We have been unable to see the truth, because we have been fighting for ten square feet of ground.
OUR DIGITAL SILO, our little piece of turf.
That's CRAP, brothers!
The turf is ours by right, ... because it's ALL OUR TURF.'

Who are the Warriors? Indeed.

Buy Age of Conversation 3 at: Amazon

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Jack the Twitter: Volume One

Sadly absent from the Turner Prize nominations for 2010 is the work of artist Marcus Brown.

In particular, Marcus' most recent creation Jack the T. Witter aka Jack the Twitter (sic) - his most fully formed narrative to date.

For those not familiar with Jack, a brief description.

'He’s been called a demon and a monster. He’s actually a psychotic Twitter stalker who likes Prokofiev and fried liver. If you are on twitter, he might just be following you and if he’s doing that, well, then you just might meet him in a dark, cold back alley of twitter.'

Jack the Twitter is a transmedia-esque narrative that 'tangles itself into the real life stories' of individuals using social networks such as twitter and foursquare to document their places and interactions.

This entanglement is then replayed in Jack's own grisly (to use an apt etymology) narrative which is published using those same real-time update tools, google maps (the darkest alleys of twitter) and Jack's own blog, Jack the Twitter.

Like that other reknowned 'Jack', his principle playgrounds are the east end streets of Ye Olde London Towne, and 'tis the 'prostitutes'of the twitterati whom have fixed his wrath.

'For twitter's whores are naught but bores especially in east London'

Marcus' storytelling uses the internet and it's myriad of tools as his medium, with his subject matter being essentially a critique of society and culture, as played out on the internet, akin to a mash-up of Adorno and Benjamin with a dash of Warholian detachment, the characters, in effect, describe how we are living today.

For the full story, so far, The Jack 'encounters' are now available as a limited edition 'souvenir' edition paperback book and digital download, entitled 'Jack the Twitter: Volume One' from

I strongly advise you to purchase a copy lest Jack follow you out into the streets of London in order to avenge his terrible past and fulfil his prophecy...