Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the wilderness downtown

Well, this is just about the coolest thing on the interwebs just now.

It's an interactive, personalisable music video by Arcade Fire.

Utilising images from Google Street View, the video explodes over multiple Chrome browser windows, the personalisation occurs as you can feature the house you grew up in as part of the video, and send a postcard to your younger self with some advice from the older, wiser you.

Plays to rule #1 of viral club.
Connect with fans, first.
They share it because they are in it.

Go and play http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

appointment to tweet

'Appointment to view' was a term used back in the day - before the introduction of devices like the pvr caused major disruption - to describe the experience of tv viewers who tuned in to programmmes broadcast at scheduled times.

Major spectacle-based advertising like the Super Bowl spots in the US and more recently stuff like Cadbury's Gorilla in the UK - which 'premiered' in the break of the Big Brother finale a couple of years back - also played to that notion.

With that in mind i'd like to suggest a new term into the marketers lexicon, with a nod to how the real-time back-channel commentary afforded by twitter (and the #hashtag) has emerged as an unlikely saviour of the live tv spectacle, as exemplified by recent transmediafication of political elections around the globe, things like the X-Factor and the unfathomable popularity of Masterchef, here in Australia.

- Enhancing the ‘scheduled’ viewing experience making it more entertaining to watch ‘live’
- Making it interactive and social on a many-to-many basis
- Connecting fans with other fans

Appointment to view shall henceforth be known as 'Appointment to Tweet'.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

slo mo

There's a long history of epic, beautifully crafted 'made from beer' ads for Carlton Draught at Clemenger BBDO, where I now work.

From 'the Big Ad' to 'Flashbeer'and many in between.

This new one, Slo Mo, is no exception.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LOLcats revisited

Sometime ago I speculated on the earliest known incarnation of the LOLcats meme, tracing it potentially back to 19th century Hampshire.

That speculation remains speculative, however all at Boat International Headquarters are grateful to Pierce from onlineeducation.org for alerting us to this infographic detailing the 'known' story.

value again

The story goes that one day, as Socrates was philosophising about one thing or another, an acquaintance approached him and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

Socrates: stopped the acquaintance and asked him to pass his message through the Triple Filter Test.

The three filters being:

1. Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
2. Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?

3. Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?

The fella was flummoxed as he could not back up the message with any of the 3 criteria and trotted off bewildered.

And Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife.

This story retold from Jonathan MacDonald's excellent blog.

It made me recall the theory of value I posted about some time ago.

The components of tangible value being:

1. Beauty
2. Gain
3. Good

Notice that truth is not present in this triangulation.
For Socrates too, there was probably no value for him in knowing the truth about what his wife and Diogenes were up to.

There was a story I heard about a doctor with a pregnant Muslim woman patient. She asked for a line to say she was not pregnant when the truth was, she was.
The reality was that the woman faced being potentially murdered to preserve the 'honour of the family'.
The doctor took the view that the value of life was more important than the value of 'truth', and issued the note.

From an advertising perspective (that's what this blog is supposed to be about, after all) though the triple filter test is a good rule of thumb.

Truth - is the message being transmitted actually true and transparent? Or is it at least a 'true lie' - a story we are happy to tell ourselves?

Good - Is the world a better place for knowing or acting upon this thing?

Useful? - How does our product/service/message enrich the experience of the customer and make them want to share it?

Kinda thing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

the biters

No real reason for posting this other than it's Monday and it's the official NGOTB tune of the week.

Reminds me of pre-punk glitter/bovver boys like The Jook, Milk'n'Cookies (ask your dad/grandad), The Boys and maybe Hammersmith Gorillas with a dash of punchy power-pop melody and almost (gasp!) Cheap Trick hookiness.

The kids are alright.

trending on facebook

Booshaka reputedly measures which topics are trending on Facebook in semi-realtime.


There’s about a dozen categories, including 'brands'.

When I last looked it was Hyundai and Ferrari top 2 trending brands.

The Hyundai trending article is a free car givaway promotion.
The Ferrari item is Ferrari Corse Clienti, a Ferrari Racing Day event in Budapest.

Which kinda tells it’s own story from a gimmick vs true fan-dom point of view...

Friday, August 13, 2010

smells like rockin' robin

Firm fave, Mark Vidler aka Go Home Productions is back with a new EP.

'Rockin' in San Francisco' contains three new tracks, including 'Smells Like Rockin' Robin', an outrageous Nirvana/Jackson 5 combination.
Ludicrous conceptually but somehow really works.

Get the full EP at gohomeproductions.co.uk

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ghost town

'This town is coming like a ghost town'

So said the Specials in '79 and so it goes with the continued fascination with amassing hundreds of 'fans' to branded facebook pages where nothing ever happens.

The Facebook ghost towns.

Wikipedia's description of the ghost town goes along the lines of:

'Factors leading to abandonment of towns include depleted natural resources..roads bypassing or no longer accessing the town...economic activity shifting elsewhere, human intervention such as highway re-routing, and nuclear disasters (such as Chernobyl).'

Nuclear disasters aside all of the above apply to these desolate online spaces.

The avatars are there, for sure. A small glimmer of recognition that human life once inhabited these spaces for one brief 'like' moment.

In the absence of anything to DO, these settlers moved on.

What's the value of a Facebook fan?

Nothing, until you make it valuable.

Facebook fandom in an unactualised state is simply a low level permission asset, a bunch of people who don't particularly mind being spammed or opportunists happy to recieve free product.

Like most cases of shiny object syndrome, it's a case of technology for technologies sake.

Give it purpose, some meaning and a shared goal. Give those fans something to DO.
A reason to be connected to the brand, and to each other then theres the chance for all that potential fandom to be realised.

Better still, is find the community that already exists, that already has purpose and already has a goal. Find them and help them get to where they want to be by being useful.

So, how do we get people to engage with [our brand]?
How about, how does [our brand] engage with people?

'Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang as the music played inna de boomtown...'

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

the macintosh way

The influence of Guy Kawasaki has been apparent through these pages for a long time. Alongside Seth, Tom Peters and intermittent bursts of Malcolm McLaren pretty much all of the notes in this blog have been touched by the output of those minds in some way.

This week I've been fortunate enough to receive, from Guy, the working manuscript of his forthcoming book, Enchantment, to both read and fiddle with.

That's newsworthy in itself, I can't reveal any of the content at the moment but suffice to say it's dynamite, and his legend status has only increased for me.

In other news, Guy's first book, The Macintosh Way is now available online for free, some 20 years after it was first published.

On perusal I was struck by two nuggets in the early chapters.
Remember, this is 1990, as Guy describes the Macintosh way with regard to marketing.

Evangelism is sales done right. It is the sharing of your
dream with the marketplace and the making of history with
your customer. Evangelism is the purest form of sales. A
Macintosh Way company doesn't sell; it evangelizes.

Giving information and support to [fans] is word-of-mouth
advertising done right. [fans] are a medium
like print or television, but you can't buy them. You have to
earn them.

As every planning deck in recent months seems to include the obligatory paid-owned-earned slide and every tom, dick and social media expert illuminates us with the notion of co-creating with customers as the way forward, it's worth noting that these are not new ideas - or social media ideas - but plain and simple business sense ideas, that have been around, if you knew where to look, for longer than you might first imagine.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

geek stationery

In the same manner that many iphone and ipad apps have an interface that mimics 'analogue', it also comes to pass that analogue interfaces should mimic their digital cousins.

So it goes with the Notepod notebooks. Yer actual paper notebook that looks like an ipad, ideal for for sketching out those proto app ideas.