Thursday, June 30, 2011

the best time to tweet

We answer today's burning questions.
When is the best time to tweet?
Some interesting stats in the Twitter section of this chart by Social Media Graphics.

The biggest spike of retweet action - 6% - occurs around 5pm every day, optimum tweet rate is between 1-4 tweets-per-hour and the greatest Twitter CTR spikes at mid-day and 6pm.

As we know, statistics rarely tell the whole story.

In reality the answer is somewhat more fundamental.

The best time to tweet is when you have something interesting to say.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

how to have a viral video hit?

We were commissioned by the Melbourne International Film Festival to make some short promotional films in the run up to the 60th annual Festival, which kicks off on 21st July.

One of the films The Potato Peelers has been a bit of a runaway 'viral' success going from zero to nearly 300,000 views in less than 48 hours.

The Potato Peelers takes the mickey out of the (wrong) notion held by some cinephiles that Eastern European films, in this instance Polish, are a bit grim.

How to have a viral video hit?
Sadly, there's no silver bullet I can impart.
Despite opinions to the contrary I would stand by the view that it is nigh on impossible to strategise for a viral hit.

You can, however, have brilliant writing (thanks to our own Nick Kelly) and beautifully crafted execution.

And looking at the You Tube stats and comments reveals that the the Poles themselves have a fantastic self depreciating humour - on a par with Scotland - as the bulk of the views and comments have come from Poland itself.

Viral, as an effect, being subject to the natural selection of interesting.

Over thinking it, leads to only one thing...mamy przejebane.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

shot by both sides

In the quest for enlightenment extremes of self-indulgence on the one side and self-mortification on the other are not advised by the Buddha. Thus the recommendation, as described by the Noble Eightfold Path, is often called the Middle Way.

Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

Notice there's no specific mention of Right Facebooking and Right Tweeting (though these are covered as subsections of all of the above).

For the new marketing provocateur this, however, presents another problem.
Being the scourge of both extreme traditionalists, and also the extreme inhabitants of the social media echo-chamber means one has to beware of being shot by both sides.

What's so funny 'bout Simplicity of Purpose and Coherent Actions (sic)?
Channels take care of themselves.

I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed...

what makes you unique?

Jerry Garcia on strategy.

'We did not merely want to be the best of the best,we
wanted to be the only ones who do what we do”


I'm unashamedly re-posting an entire paragraph from the recent McKinsey report on The Perils of Bad Strategy, as it's the most incisive comment on the prevailing mediocrity I've read in recent weeks, and further testament to the Law of Marketing Inequality.

'A final hallmark of mediocrity and bad strategy is superficial abstraction—a flurry of fluff—designed to mask the absence of thought. Fluff is a restatement of the obvious, combined with a generous sprinkling of buzzwords that masquerade as expertise. Here is a quote from a major retail bank’s internal strategy memoranda: “Our fundamental strategy is one of customer-centric intermediation.” Intermediation means that the company accepts deposits and then lends out the money. In other words, it is a bank. The buzzphrase “customer centric” could mean that the bank competes by offering better terms and service, but an examination of its policies does not reveal any distinction in this regard. The phrase “customer-centric intermediation” is pure fluff. Remove the fluff and you learn that the bank’s fundamental strategy is being a bank'.

Simplicity of purpose over scared insights, indeed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

you are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge

Straight outta adland crazy motherf*cker named Eaon P,
From the gang called Plannaz With Attitude,
When I'm called off, I got blogged off,
Squeeze the twitter and strategies are hauled off,
You too boy, if ya tweet with me,
The suits are gonna hafta come and google me,
Off yo ass that's how I'm goin out,
For the punk creatives that's showin out,
Clients start to mumble, they wanna rumble,
Mix em and cook em in a pot like Tumblr,
Goin off on a agile planner like that,
With a deck that's pointed at yo ass,
So give it up media,
Ain't no tellin when I'm down for a YouTube,
Here's a strategy to keep ya dancin’,
With a klout rank like Chris Brogan,

New Buyer Journey is the tool,
Don't make me act the social media fool,
You can go branded content, no maybe,
I'm knockin suits out tha box, daily,
Yo weekly, monthly and yearly,
Until them dumb motherf*ckers see clearly,
That I'm down with the capital R-O-I,
You can't Google+ with me,
So when I'm in your business unit, you better duck,
Cos Eaon P is agile as f*ck,
As I tweet, believe I'm data,
But when I come back, boy, I'm comin straight outta Melbourne...

Damn, that shit was dope.

Friday, June 24, 2011

friday diptych: oscar wilde on mediocrity

Doing what you believe is right or doing the thing that will be popular are markedly different.
For a start, the popular thing has already been done many times, that's why it's popular.

And popular ideas are only popular until the new popular thing comes along.
And that's now, popularly, about every five minutes.

Unpopular ideas touch a nerve, they are controversial, go against the grain, they zag.
In fact, unpopularity of an idea is often directly proportionate to it's interestingness.

The problem with doing what's popular, is that nearly everyone else is doing it too.

As it's Friday have an Oscar Wilde diptych for your powerpoints:

'Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered... be popular one must be a mediocrity.'

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It was great to see Scotland lift a trophy in Europe this week.
The 'Bruzil' campaign for Irn Bru picked up a Gold Lion at Cannes in the Media category.

See all the project elements over here.

Obviously I'm biased, but there's real lessons here about:
- The power of cultural significance in ideas that really connect.
- Estabishing your authentic core story and staying true to it.

Or how having a purpose idea allows a fizzy drink to represent a nation's hopes and dreams (a bit).

Congratulation to The Leith Agency and PHD North.

Filed under Never Mind The Proposition.

return of the mach

Machiavellianism is the term that psychologists use to describe the act of deceiving and manipulating other people for one's personal gain.  It's also one of the three personality traits referred to as the dark triad, alongside narcissism and psychopathy.

Unfortunately, working in advertising I wouldn't know anything about that.

I was also pretty sure until recently that Niccolò Machiavelli, was a midfielder for Inter Milan.

Minor personality defects aside the Mac did have a cute repertoire of one-liners, this one being of particular interest to the innovationista:

'He who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things'

That's probably a bit brutal, but testament to the difficulty in effecting necessary and timely change where, on the surface of things, nothing appears to need changing, and in fact everything looks pretty good.

The apparent total flop of the Blackberry Playbook (and it's implications) being case in point.
RIM could have cleaned up years ago but for whatever reason some people chose to snooze, and ultimately, it looks like they are going to lose.

inspired by a timely tweet from @erinyasgar

eaon's law of marketing inequality part 2 : xbox NUads #dumbdumb

This here is one of those strange paradoxical anomalies, if there are such things, that arise from time to time.

It's the latest advertising 'innovation' from Xbox Live Advertising - voice and gesture based interactive ads. They call it NUads (ka-chow) - that means Natural User Interface Ads.

Potentially interesting technology described with extraordinary and excruciatingly DUMB examples that lack any understanding of why and how people share content or are likely to interact with each other and/or brands.

I stopped counting the number of 'this is really cool' mentions after the first minute.
Sorry mate, its not cool at all.

I'll leave you with a piece of one of the (almost universally scathing over numerous pages) comments left on YouTube from the Xbox Live fans...

'Wow, I can not believe I will be able to consume ads in such a unique way. I'm so glad I am paying the 50 dollars a year to receive an ad powered online service. Statistically we would like more ads!!!!'

See also Eaon's Law of Marketing Inequality

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

how to be interesting

Take a tip from Patti Smith.

'I haven't really changed at all since I was 11. I still dress the same. I still have the same manners of study. Like when I was a kid, I wanted to write a poem about Simon Bolivar. I went to the library and read everything I could. I wrote copious notes. I had 40 pages of notes just to write a small poem. So my process hasn't changed much.'

To be interesting, be interested.

Thanks The99Percent.

ka-ciao #cars2

My integration into the Melbourne media glitterati took a step further at the weekend as we attended the local premiere of Cars 2.

It was a tentative experimental manouvre, the first ever visit to the cinema for my wee boy - he's two and a half - so it could have gone either way.

He's a big fan of McQueen, Mater and co so if there was an opportunity to test his attention span, this was it. You'll be relieved to know that the morning passed without incident, even the potential trauma of 3-D glasses didn't prove to be any situation.

While the first Cars movie has a balance of high octane action and the 'human' story that evolves in the interactions of the characters, this one goes full-on power action from the get-go.
Story-wise it's a kind of James Bond meets Cannonball Run meets An Inconvenient Truth.

Mogul Sir Miles Axlerod (a Land Rover voiced by Eddie Izzard) looks to prove the his revolutionary clean fuel invention Allinol as a viable gas substitute by inviting the top race cars from the various genres to compete in three races in Paris, Italy and Japan.

Art Director's note: the scenes in the fictional Italian seaside home of Luigi and Guido are of particular note - ka-ciao.

Meanwhile British secret agents Finn McMissile (the Bond-esque character - an Aston Martin voiced by Michael Caine) and 'Bond-girl' Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) are chasing down a plot to sabotage the races by the evil Petroleum companies baddies.

In the unravelling, Mater becomes an unlikely secret weapon for the goodies, his and McQueen's friendship is cemented and there's the little twist at the end.

The producers have gone for the more-is-more approach for this one, big big big on spectacle while the little gentle touches that made the first film watchable over and over (parents of young children - you get this) was perhaps lacking slightly.

Still pretty cool though.

End of review - I'm not holding my breath for any calls from Film 2011 or Empire Mag - but, hey, being an A-list blogger, thought-leader and influencer has it's rewards [joking].

Thanks to Mandy from PN.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

larry flynt and anthony weiner

Some sections of the blogosphere (I won't name and shame) marvelled at the opportunist stunt pulled by Larry Flynt - 'entertainment' entrepreneur - in offering the stupid ex-US Congressman Anthony Weiner a 'job' following his resignation,

'After having learned of your sudden and compelled resignation from your Congressional post, I would like to make you an offer of employment at Flynt Management Group, LLC in our internet group. As a Congressman, you are known for your intensity and perseverance. I believe that this attitude, combined with your service in the House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce, will make you a valuable asset to this corporation.'

Ha ha.

Despite amassing what amounts to tons of 'free' media in both the tabloids and other media that should know better, I'm compelled to say, it's in the nature of Flynt's grubby, manipulative, exploitative and dumb business that means the very best he can hope for is spin-off attention from gimmicky publicity stunts.

It may work in practice but doesn't work in theory.

File under 90% is shit.

cannes the cannes #winningwithintegrity

As you all know, I don't get too bothered about award shows, but having said that, if you're in it you might as well win it.

And to win it with a project that has complete integrity and authenticity is even better.

This is why I'm particularly pleased to have been part of this situation we created for NAB in Australia, which has earned the recognition of our peers and snaffled the Grand Prix for PR at the Cannes Advertising festival.

Integrity? Authenticity? I hear you ask.

This is why it won.

Know which side of the bed you are lying on.
Decide what you are FOR and AGAINST.
Stand for something your customers care about.
Find out who's IN and who's OUT.
Have a philosophy first, strategy follows naturally.
Have a mission not simply a proposition
Use each piece of media to do what it does best.
Make media slippy not sticky.
Be informal, entertaining but still serious.
Create situations.
Pick a fight with someone.

There's our Exec CD Ant with the statue last night, with a shout out to the creative teams.

Bring the noise.

Friday, June 17, 2011

filter bubble?

As the proliferation of online content continues to grow and human attention reaches full-up, Google, Facebook et al are tailoring services to try pre-filter content for their users in the interest of relevance and preference.

Are their intentions honorable? We hope so.

But Eli Pariser , a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of a new book The Filter Bubble, argues that we've simply swapped one set of gatekeepers for another.
In the pre-internet age we took what we were given by broadcasters and publishers.
Then the web came along and opened everything up.

But now things like Google's social search, the 'important' tab in gmail, Facebook EdgeRank are the new gatekeepers. Sorting content and providing us with what they think we want.
Eli thinks that we are in danger of being trapped in a 'filter bubble' limiting the chance of discovering new information and points of view.

Worth a look, if you've not seen it.

smells like award-show spirit

Have a look at the Old Spice twitter page.
In 2011 there's been a total of around 30 or so tweets since January 1.
Basically communication pretty much ceased at the end of November, when the mainstream campaign wound up, with only sporadic updates - principally self-pimpage - between January and May.

There's 125,000 followers on there they could have been activating, but didn't bother.

Funnily enough 'engagement' started again in the last five or six weeks - @oldspice started to reply to fans again after an elongated hiatus.

Quel surprise.
Could it be that award shows are coming around again?

I've no problem with Old Spice cleaning up in Advertising categories, it has great writing, great humour and was perfectly executed as a campaign.

But i'm not buying any 'best-use-of-social-media'.

There's also 1.5 million fans on the Facebook page, loads of likes and comments from fans - I dug around for ten minutes or so and failed to find one single repy or response from Old Spice guy.

Fantastic advertising campaign? - Absolutely.
Best use of social? - Nope.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

eaon's law of marketing inequality

Following yesterday's post on Participation Inequality and Sturgeon's Revelation here's the new law.
Eaon's Law of Marketing Inequality.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

participation inequality and sturgeon's revelation

After many years of batting back attacks on the science fiction genre from critics who asserted that ninety percent of Science Fiction was crap, the American science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon concluded that;

To say 90% of science fiction is crap is meaningless, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.

In other words, we must judge all other culture by the same yardstick.
It must therefore be argued that 90% of all film, literature, products, marketing, advertising etc is crap.

This insight became known as Sturgeon’s Revelation.

According to Google, more 'content' is posted online in each day, today, than was created in the entire history of the internet pre-2003.

Yet upwards of 90% will, of course, be crap.
That's a lot of crap.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


What's the most important thing?
Deciding what's important.

With regard to segmentation in any marketing effort the first and most important step is the one most frequently left out.

Your first segmentation is not by demographic or even psychographic.

It's working out those who are likely to be receptive versus those who are not.

This doesn't completely fix the conundrum around '50% of my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which 50%' but it's a start.

Friday, June 10, 2011

systems with soul

This is a great presentation by Andy Whitlock from Poke in London.

In a nutshell he argues that simply broadcasting in social networks is akin to releasing Zombies.

Ideas need to have life and connectedness to have meaning.
He calls this systems with soul.

if the kids are united #connectedness

Every business is a hub surrounded by it's network of customers, partners, suppliers, employees and fans/followers.

That's a given.

There's massive value to be got by connecting those people with each other.
That's another given, however it's one that I'd been finding hard to get across on some occasions.

Until the penny dropped with this equation, the juxtaposition these two laws, and the serendipitous moment of clarity that was revealed unto me when itunes on shuffle threw up Jimmy Pursey and the boys circa 1978.

The two laws.

Metcalfe's Law
was the law of the networked age.
If I have a telephone, a connecting device, it offers me no value until there are other telephones to connect to.
As each new telephone is added to the network the value of the network to me grows.
Think of this like an email list. I can communicate on a one-to-one basis with all the members of the list.
This is quite good but limited.

Reed's Law is the law of the connected age.
If I'm connected to David and also to Mark then thats good (in a network age sense), however if all 3 of us are connected to each other then the value of that connection is exponentially greater.

In fact the more that each node in a network is directly connected to another node, the more valuable the ENTIRE network is to everyone in it.

In simple terms this is why something like Twitter, that is open, is infinitely more valuable as a communication platform than either the Television, the telephone network or an email list.

Because of it's inherent shared value properties.

They say it must have been a strong wind on the day that the sound of Bow Bells wafted down to Hersham in Surrey, but that wind imbued wisdom on the young James Pursey esquire as he scribbled the lyrics to If The Kids are United on the back of a packet of Embassy.

'Just take a look around you
What do you see
Kids with feelings like you and me
Understand him, he'll understand you
For you are him, and he is you'

Connectedness has been the great disruptor.
Connectedness has changed everything.

If the kids are united then we'll never be divided.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

bertrand russell said...

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinise it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it.

If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

Testament to the current fascination with the reputed new dawn of TV advertising, and also why nobody ever got fired for putting a :30 in Masterchef...

coherence trumps consistency

Breaking news suggests that Rovio are set to publish an egg recipe cookbook as part of the evergrowing Angry Birds franchise.

And why not.

Angry Birds is now a bona fide brand with a bona fide story.
Finding the brand story is the hard part, and they have cracked it. So to speak.

Coherence trumps consistency.
Once you have the story nailed it can go anywhere.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

it's up to you

Statement of the day.
Pretty self explanatory.

I guess it's a variation on the famous Henry Ford nugget,
'Whatever you think you can or cannot do. You're right.'

I found this one on I [love] marketing, via bud caddell. Thanks.

Friday, June 03, 2011

do little monsters prefer itunes?

So Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' album debuted at Number 1 in the US and sold 1.1 million units in it's first week of release.

Born This Way also set a one-week record for digital sales.

Around 660,000 of the sales were for the digital format, it's now the eighth best-selling US digital album of all time.

Illuminati puppet discussions aside ;) - what's curious is; that although 440,000 units were sold via Amazon's 99cents promotion the remaining 222,000 digital units were sold elsewhere.
Principally via iTunes - at $11.99 a pop.

It says something about the simplicity and integrity of the seamless iTunes-to-iPod/iPhone experience versus the clunky Amazon music experience that a huge chunk of Little Monsters would still rather pay the full whack.

keep taking the tablets

To be fair I'm not sure what an 'insight' is versus an observation.
Is an insight even a thing? Or is insight an attribute or skill one has the ability to use.

A bit like 'digital'. Digital is often described as a thing, a noun when of course 'digital' is an adjective.
One can have a digital watch, for instance. Adjective-noun

Although paradoxically one cannot have a digital strategy. But that's another discussion.

Back to insight/observation and a recent chart of the week, this one from Nielsen, and some interesting numbers around the usage of connected devices (ie devices other than PCs or laptops).

No surprises in that Tablet devices skew heavily towards being the second screen with TV and also likely as e-reader type usage in bed.
E-readers index heavily on in-bed usage also.
The smartphone though re-inforces it's credentials as the universal device with it's usage pretty evenly distributed accross all activities.
Each device has a big chunk around 'other', I'm curious about what those other activities might actually be.

One insight/observation might be that technologies change but people don't change that much.

We like to read in bed.
Watching TV is better as a shared experience.
Travel time and hanging around waiting for things is less boring with something to do.
Connected-ness is a basic human need.

These devices are our personal media spaces.
For marketers who want to be in someone's personal media space?
Play + Social + Utility is a good place to start.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

don't allow

The Intel Australia 'Museum of Me' Facebook app may even be the greatest Facebook application in the world but I will never find out.

*click* - [Don't Allow]

Like many Facebook apps they fail to tell prospective users what is going to happen if they join in.

They tell me they will access and use my information, my location, my friends information, my photos and movies and they will post on my wall.

Why and to what end, that I do not know.

If you want permission to access my stuff I need to know what's in it for me.

app of the week: social listing

This is the first in a sporadic series of app of the week. It might not be every week but we'll see how it goes.

This weeks featured app comes to you with a bittersweet tinge as it's very similar to something I'd been scribbling in the back of my notebook, but I've missed the boat. Snooze you lose I suppose .

Social Listing is location-based mobile app that connect local buyers and sellers.
Available for both iPhone and Android Social Listing aims to reinvent local 'classified' ads by helping their users to sell anything, socially, locally and in realtime from their mobile device.

To sell something simply take a photo of the item for sale, fix your price, write a description and post it.
It will pop up in the stream of other Social Listing users, with the option to post out to Facebook and Twitter.

To buy something you contact a seller within the app and arrange to meet.

The app is light on features, pretty simple and looks like it does what it says on the tin.
I've fired it up, there's no users in the Melbourne area at the moment, so I guess that makes me an early adopter.

My bargain $2 facemask pollution defence thing (what are those things actually called?) is the only item for sale in town.

In the spirit of nail it and scale it there's probably a number of enhancements.
There's no categorisation for a start.

Einstein said 'Things should be a simple as possible, but no simpler'.
Social Listing falls slightly on the side of simpler at the moment, but has potential.

As a platform it works for other kinds of classifieds too. Dating and Jobs immediately spring to mind.
Of course, Jason Fried of 37 Signals famously recommended software developers should  'think like a drug dealer'.
Social Listing could be handy if one actually is a drug dealer.

One to keep an eye on.

do we even know the problem we are trying to solve?

In many respects certain principles of marketing remain the same as on day 1.
Finding which touch points have most influence in a buyer journey, and working out how you can interact with a buyer at those points.

The internet has been the big disruptor, throwing up a myriad of touchpoints that never existed in the pre-connected age, and also throwing up a whole conundrum around how to affect those touchpoints when many of them are outwith the control of a brand or advertiser.

Even now the vast majority of marketing spend goes towards generating awareness, getting into that initial consideration set and then tipping sales at the business end through promotions or point of sale activities.

This is in spite of the known fact that the majority of influence happens in other parts of a journey.

Those touch points directly influenced by independent reviews, word of mouth and ergo customer advocacy being cases in point.

These are the things people find as they poke about online doing research and evaluation.

The following questions are three that are worth asking yourself at the outset of any marketing program.

What should we be doing to better affect the WHOLE of a buyers decision journey?

Which touchpoints will be most influential in fixing the problem we want to solve?

Do we even know the problem(s) we are trying to solve?

With that in mind listen to Instagram's Kevin Systrom as he talks about how it's not generating solutions to problems which is the hard, but finding the right problem to solve in the first place. That's probably a big factor in how Instagram have won out in the vast sea of mobile photo applications.

'If you delight people, even just a little bit, with a simple solution, it turns out it goes very far'

Finders fee and thanks to Neil Perkin