30 April 2007

What I've learned so far

Here's a snippet from Wikinomics, which I'm reading in order to be more compelling in my daily life.
I've learned that companies need to open up and share. That's basic. But here's 5 points that make it make sense :
-"[Allowing people to get into your company's guts creates] the rapid diffusion of best-practice techniques and standards;
-the stimulation of new technological hybrids and recombinations
-the availablity of 'just in time' expertise and increasingly powerful tools for conducting research;
-faster positve feeback cycles from public knowledge to private enterprise, enabled by more nimble industry-university networks;
-and increasingly horizontal and distributed models of research and innovation, including greater openness of scientific konowledge, tools and networks" (page 156)

People want to be involved with your company's product-- the authors of Wikinomics remind us that:
"there are systems of value other than, or in addition to, money, that are very important to people: connecting with other people, creating an online identity, expressing oneself--and not least, garnering other people's attention." That is, if you want them to volunteer their time to make your product/offering better for all, give them credit, at least. (page 206)

Ill report more findings as I find them.

27 April 2007

Award shows are relevant, dammit! Volume 2

Last night, R/GA took home the top prize, "The Grandy" (and a championship ring) at the International Andy Awards. The winning piece--in the pool with the Skittles TV campaign (TBWA\NY) and the Safe Happens Integrated campaign (CP+B)-- was NikePlus.

This is HUGE people.

The Andy's Jury recognized that this is the next step in advertising--collaboration. I've been preaching it since I started reading Wikinomics--but collaboration and community are where it's at.
R/GA and Nike developed this product together. From the beginning. It's not like Nike delivered some shoes with iPods and said "hey sell this." No, they sat down--agency and client--and built a product around an idea, from the ground up, together. And the results were amazing. As for community, the premise of the whole product was built around community. You upload your runs, and view other runners stats, share routes, have time races, and support of all kinds. From the shoes, to the iPod that tells you how you're doing, to the website and widgets that you use to keep track, to the other users who become your friends supporters, you live with this product. Its compelling content at its finest.

24 April 2007

CGC Parameters: A step forward

I like what I read in AdFreak about Cuervo's new site that creates a video chain of people taking shots of the NightEnder known as tequila. What's compelling about this is the guidelines--start the video getting the bottle from your right offscreen, take the shot, pass it to your left offscreen, keep it under 10 seconds. Its great that the creatives thought of giving direction to make a truly collaborative "shot chain" that syncs itself. When given complete freedom, people will give soooo many varieties of the assignment--which is great, but not for an engaging stretch of time. Also, everyone is going to watch this thing to see themselves, so they have to watch the whole thing. Its a well planned execution. I also think its cool we can see people actually drinking the product, unlike in TV and Print.

16 April 2007

Last Night's News

Saw this car chase. Pretty funny. Not compelling content, but good advertising nonetheless. Thanks to AdFreak for the story.

Second Life is not washed up

They say its losing steam. The problem is that the community doesn't take kindly to transplanted marketing. That is, when a company just puts up billboards in SL and doesn't really offer any incentive for visiting its island--then nobody visits. Btw, this rant is inspired.
One attempt was by Nissan who let Avatars play with remote controlled cars on its island. The problem is that you can't take it with you. Why not? I should be able to keep the remote controlled car and drive it around any other islands. That way, when other avatars see it they can say "hey I want one," and I'll say, go to Nissan island, they're giving em away." Also, every time one of those cars bumps into someone, that's data... the car can report who interacted with it, who is where at what time...but alas this is not the case, it lives on the Nissan island, and no one cares. Marketers can harness Second Life if they stop trying to recreate real world campaigns that don't offer utility. Utility. Look it up.

This might work

So, I watched some Joost this weekend. Some of the shows didn't work, but hey, it's beta. But the programs I did see were high quality video and good production value (storyline, etc.). But who's paying for it? Garnier (shampoo people) are responsible for Fight TV, as far as I can tell. They had a "brought to you by Garnier " CG at the beginning, and then the show started. Now, one problem is that shampoo and fighting don't match, so I wasn't compelled by the sponsorship. And, there was a commercial break in the middle of the show. Only one :30 spot. So I think this might work--it was too short to fast forward through, just long enough for me to get the message. So I think that's how it should go--one sponsor, one commercial--no harm done. Let's just hope that the sponsor to content relationship is a little more understandable in the future, ok Joost?

13 April 2007

Stay Tuned

So I just got an invite from Alex, the Wired Jester, to beta test Joost. I am excited to explore this platform. Check out the ad, its good. I will be sharing my insights shortly. Also, I want to comment on the idea of letting people beta test. I'm sure that's old news. But I'm not usually a person who runs into those types of invites... so there must have been tons out there, and I'll gladly take part in the conversation. Good prelaunch marketing: give people your product. Duh.

11 April 2007

Big Media and Social Media in one? Oh, boy.

Via the MIT Convergance Culture Consortium (Pete, you probably know this site). I found a strong effort by NBC to be cool.
So what they've done is create a platform for fans to talk about NBC's content. Still not to where we should be, according to Tapscott and Williams. But, they get something: that people want to talk about this content, and that NBC should host it. What's missing is the ability to mash up your own The Office highlight reel, or to link your OWN blog to the site (currently only NBC blogs are there). If they want people to get really involved, they have to open up their content more. I think it won't take off. If people have to have a seperate profile that lives only amongst the NBC network, then they won't want to have to fill out another form. Also, Im going to guess (with 99% accuracy) that they will screen posts--effectively dashing any hopes of truly fruitful dialogue between NBC and fans.

09 April 2007

Award Shows are Relevant, dammit.

If your in advertising, you've chimed in at least once about Award Shows and their importance. I think that they are important and here's why. This year's Andy Awards has recognized an important campaign, Pontiac's Motorati in Second Life. So, jurors like Mark Tutssel, Ty Montague, Pete Favat, and Andrew Keller have awarded this campain an Andy for its creativity. So, stay with me. IF these CD's recognize this type of new marketing, they will in turn relay this to their staff. And, as creatives do, those who study the awards annuals see this, they will also recognize it as well. THEN, they would put things like Second Life and social networks and etc, in their arsenal of work to present to clients. Eventually, more clients will buy into this as a viable media, and it will get the necessary funding to expand towards its capability. See how that works? So, love awards shows, because they foster creative growth.

Building the tree of specificity

This site is a case study in grass roots marketing. Explore the site, and come back for my comments.
Ok, you back? So ESPN sucks. If I want to really hear about the Cleveland Browns, I have to wait for ESPN to assign a writer to the Browns and to write some interesting stuff (i.e. never). But I could also refer to this sports network and find the podcasts in my area, created by fans of my team.
So, apply this to a sponsorship stream. If I want to advertise next to Browns content to reach Browns fans today, I have to hope they see my adwords next to the ESPN article. But, reaching those who have actively sought the Browns podcasts on CSN, then I've reached a very engaged and willing audience. Even further, I can reach out to the podcasters themselves and say, hey, I run a pizza shop, let me sponsor your next tailgate party with your listeners. It really is a great business model, and its finally relevant to specific audiences, not just the faceless cold ESPN content monopoly.

So this is TalkShoe. Its a place to participate in Live Podcasts, and to chip away at the old media business model. I like the idea that people can engage in creating podcast content, because dialogue is valuable. Why its compelling: you can find podcasts you would not download, but gladly give a listen to, since its streaming. Also, particularly for sports, it creates an old, but timeless radio talk show format into modern techonology.

It will blend, my friend

Ok, so this guy made a really strong blender. To prove it, he blends shit (iPods, baseballs, whatever). Then he puts the video on his site, willitblend.com. Done. He blogs about it, so that people can suggest items to blend. He posts regularly, to keep people invested. And the whole time, we're being entertained by a blender, and this blender is for sale. Oh, did I mention he's had over 3 million viewers? How much does a media buy with 3million promised impressions cost? Probably a thousand times more than whatever it takes this guy to make this site. Perfect, if you ask me, and you did.

Purina knows pet owners

The team at Purina is tapping into a market of fanatics (as pet owners tend to be) by providing more content. If I had a dog, I would listen to Snouts in Your Town to find out about dog events and places in NYC. If I had a new puppy, I would listen to Complete Puppy care. All podcasts have the Purina logo, but only some are produced by Purina. They looked around and found people who already have the passion and the podcast, and hired them. Its so freaking obvious--this works in tech, advertising, sports, and any other interest that relies on passion to be interesting. This is a good example of how opening dialogue with consumers creates more, richer, relevant content. Compelling content, if you will. And yes, you will. The only problem is the podcasts aren't on the front page, where they should be, but rather found here.

04 April 2007

This will be on TV tomorrow.

So I saw this on YouTube, you will too. Not really compelling conent, per se. But a good social commentary from Alanis. Its unusual to see musicians make fun of eachother in the Weird Al Yankovic style.

I like the orginal better, its more authentically ridiculous.

The original:

Music Video Codes by VideoCure

03 April 2007

Sprint Ambassadors

Whoa, just saw this story about the program from the man, Joseph Jaffe. This is a great freaking idea. Sprint takes people who are customers (who must have some sort of loyalty already) and gives them shit. Here, Sprint says, take this and play with it, just for being you. And if you like, tell others. Simple. Done. I am seriously considering Sprint now, not because of their ads from Chiat, which are great. But because Joseph Jaffe says so. I respect his opinion. His message is more valuable than any broadcast media buy. More companies should use this idea.

Compelled, but not satisfied

The outer cover of this week's Adweek has an ad for Mad Men, a tv show about advertising premiering this summer. The Ad itself is interesting because its relevant to me, and all the readers. The only call to action was AMCTV.com And when I arrived--nothing. I had to search for Mad Men, and when I did I found an emailing list signup. Couldn't they at least write a little paragraph? Im sure that whoever pitched the idea to AMC came up with some sort of synopsis. Im just saying, I should be rewarded for my extra step. Something to recognize my active interest.