Thursday, September 30, 2010

one louder

Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 nuggets for a post-digital web 'strategy'

Conveying five ideas in five minutes is one of those good little excercises in getting on-point in your communications.

I have to do one of those presentations in the next couple of days.

Here's my working 5 nuggets for a web 'strategy'.

Nit-picking and heckling welcome.

Trying to appeal to everyone means it will appeal to no-one.
KNOW which side of the bed you are lying on.
Decide what we are FOR and AGAINST.
Getting messages out is easy, getting people to care is the hard bit.
Without a polarising opinion, you can’t find who’s in and who’s out.

‘How do we build a community around the brand?’
Wrong question.
But we can find existing communities that are aligned with the brand’s worldview and help them get to where they want to go.
If an existing community exists that supports the brand, who have formed and operate under their own steam, this is pure gold. This should be encouraged, empowered and loved.
Not shut down (seriously, this happens)

Every piece of content online has ‘viral’ potential built in.
If it is interesting, of course.
To lock interesting content behind walled gardens or convoluted sign-in procedures is missing the point.
An idea can’t catch on or attract new customers if it doesn’t spread.
This is what the web was built to do.
If it doesn’t spread it’s dead.

So, when is the best time to advertise?
When you have something interesting to talk about.
Product features and benefits are not that interesting.
Stories about how you are making a difference to the world, however, are.

Over 70% of the stuff on the internet was created by people.
Not by brands or even publishers.
No one is sitting around waiting to spectate on your stuff, they are busy making their own.
Remember what Confucious says:
‘ Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I might remember, but INVOLVE ME and I’ll understand’
Give the people a platform to do things together to create their own value.

Monday, September 27, 2010

appointment to tweet part 2

I'd not seen a twitter hashtag used on a tv ad before, so the AFL final on Saturday (which is effectively Australia's Super Bowl) seemed like a good place to experiment with appointment to tweet theory and see if it sparked anything.

We had a 3 minute edit of the Carlton Draught 'Slo mo' spot taking over a complete ad break and re-edited the end frame to include the tag #carltondraught.

While it's nigh on impossible to say whether it was a success or not (and how would that be measured anyway?) there was indeed a brief flurry of tweets during and after the spot, many of which were tweets remarking on the inclusion of the hashtag itself, and certainly enough for us to claim 'trending' status for those 180 seconds.

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

blogger 'outreach' (yawn)

Probably the last thing the world needs is another 'how to pitch bloggers' article, however, for some reason unknown I appear to have found my way onto some list or other and have become the recipient of a stream of requests to blog about stuff.

I'm potentially happy to oblige, however here's the obligatory check list of things to know if you want me to write something about your thing here.

The same rules apply for any other individual or community that you want to promote with.

1. Do I know you?
If the recipient doesn't know you from Adam then they are unlikely to pay much attention to your pitch initially.
There should ideally be some relationship, before you ask any community or individual to talk about your thing.
- Actually read the blogs, tweets, forum or whatever.
- Find out what their interests are.
- Contribute in their space (leave comments, retweet etc.)
Simply, wading in with your pitch, out of the blue, well, it’s not big and it’s not clever.

*For the reference of potential pitchers out there, and to save you a bit of time, my principal interests are: how old punk stuff relates to modern marketing practices, old punk stuff in general, new thinking on the convergence of media, technology and culture and that, and general nuggets from philosophy and mysticism.

2. Be genuinely authentic
The pitch needs to be sculpted to the individual or community as much as possible.
NEVER attempt to pass yourself off as another person or other such sock-puppetery (unbelievably this really happens..)
People’s bullshit detectors are finely tuned, especially online, they smell it a mile off…

3. First impressions count

Your granny was right when she told you ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression’.
If you get no reponse assume that your pitch was ignored, binned or maybe saved for later.
Following up repeatedly with 'did you see my email?' or even (and this happens too) getting angry 'cos there was no repost of your thing, is creepy, spammy and plain stupid. By this time you've blown your chance of getting written about, ever.

4. Stick around
Seeds, once planted, need watering and once they start to grow they need pruning*.
Be ready with more information or answers to potential questions.
Be available to your pitchees, and say thank-you if they do write or repost something.

Most blogger types are pushed for time (I work for a living doing something else, this blog is principally for my own amusement not a full-time job) and are probably being pitched by loads of others. The easier you make it for them to cover your stuff, the more response you'll potentially get. Likewise wham-bam-thankyou-ma'am is a two way street.

*Real plants need feeding with bullsh*t – that’s where this analogy falls over but roll with me, please

Thanks to Pete for genuinely authentic and for explaining the meaning of Verisimilitude to me, during the production of this note.

Friday, September 10, 2010

don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

There's now way I was ever going to not post this clip.
Dynamite from Google, demonstrating the new Google Instant predictive search feature, which they anticipate will both speed up the delivery and relevance of search results.

In other news, the likes of Steve Rubel, are predicting that Instant could mean the death of SEO.

'Google Instant means no one will see the same web anymore, making optimizing it virtually impossible. Real-time feedback will change and personalize people's search behaviors.'

Like in Jurassic Park, 'life will find a way' but between this, what Google is doing with Priority Inbox - now working on being able to filter which emails you want and which ones you do not want by looking at what you read/respond to and the ones you don’t open or respond to, thus seriously upping the ante on PERMISSION BASED COMMUNICATIONS, and rumours of an itunes rivalling music service launch later this year its all about Google at the moment.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

early failed experiments in behavioural targeting

Alexander the Great, at the time - 335BC - probably the most powerful man in the world was taken to meet the homeless bum anti-philosopher, Diogenes 'the Dog', who could often be found sprawled out on the steps to the Parthenon in Athens.

Standing above him, the great General enquired:

'Is there anything I can do for you?'

'There is', replied Diogenes , 'Stand out of my f*cking sun.'

Monday, September 06, 2010

some product

'Sex Pistols' is the latest in a series of unique frangrances from enfant terrible de parfum Etat Libre D'orange.

Following on from the Garbot and Dietrich inspired 'Jasmin et Cigarette', the what can only be described as spunky 'Secretions Magnifiques' (the label pic explains all) and the admittedly somewhat questionable 'Fat Electrician'

One hopes that this product performs better than other previous Pistols brand extensions that included 'Piss Lemonade', 'Vicious Burgers', 'Rotten Bars' and 'Fatty Jones Chocolates'.

Friday, September 03, 2010

the beat of new york


I found this very cool little movie created by German film production agency Stereoscreen. The movie was made from bits and pieces collected after shooting an ad for Mercedes in New York.

A bit like a what-we-did-on-our-holidays, and an excellent use of a day off in the Apple.

The drummer fella is also a bit of a star.

Gute arbeit.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

the scourge of inane drivel

Someone said to me the other day:
'If you think the web is noisy, just wait 'til it actually gets started...'
Alluding, of course, to the imminent web 3.0, 'internet of things' and all the rest of it.

Someone never told McDonalds - with their Angus Axiom pointless bollocks generator (spam your friends on twitter and facebook, natch) - that, even in it's 2.0 current incarnation, there is still quite enough banal, inane drivel out there in internet-land, thank you very much.

Make it stop, please.

never mind the proposition

Inspired by this presentation by @garethk, in which he notes that 'changing our behaviour changes how we think'.

In other words, whereas traditional advertising operates on a 'think then do' premise, in the post-advertising (mostly) digital space that notion is flipped.

It becomes 'DO then THINK'

In order to 'DO' we need to be inspired rather than targeted.

We'll be inspired by brands who align with things we care about in OUR world.

That's not the world of 'commercial proposition'.

I've also been obsessed with Dan Pink's book 'Drive' lately, in which he notes the 3 primary drivers or motivators of behaviour in the conceptual age.

- the desire to be in control of our own destiny
Mastery - a need to get better at whatever it is we do
Purpose - this is the biggie, the need to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

So this graphic is a nod to Gareth and Dan, it makes a splash in presentations (for those over a certain age at least...)

For more on 'Purpose Ideas', and in particular it's context within the advertising/marketing space, I also recommend the Mark Earls Banana book.