Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Times Outdoor/Print


(Apologies to puzzled woman wondering what I would do with this photo)

Being an Ad-Geek I constantly take in marketing messages I see around me. Whether I absorb them is another matter.

The Times have out done themselves with their latest Outdoor/Print Campaign.

About a fortnight ago I noticed some very high quality photography on the Tube. It was beautifully done and just involved random objects or scenes on a black background. It had a real Iconic impact and try as I might I couldn't find a call to action or strapline on adjacent or surrounding ad positions. Just more Iconic photography.



Yesterday was the beginning of a new week and it seems the final phase of the Times subliminal campaign. As the Iconic Photography of the fortnight before finally came accompanied by some branding as below...





This was undoubtedly a clever campaign. But was it effective? Sure, it struck a chord with me. But I'm far from the Times Demographic. Would their readers or type of readers even care or appreciate it? and furthermore, would it convert to sales in the long run? Surely that is the long term goal of every advertising campaign...?

Monday, 29 September 2008

New and Imposed...

I have about 150 friends on Facebook of which I 'Know' close to 100...the rest who can tell???

Anyway, from this amount, I have noticed more than enough status updates recently slating the 'New and IMPOSED' Facebook.

Having broken this fundamental social rule of "Dont stop users doing what THEY want to do..." I wondered had facebook gone a step too far?

This article claims to have spotted a sizeable trend in users bowing out of FB all together.

Some interesting stats and nice visuals.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Wario Shake Changes the face of YouTube seeding forever...


I have just come accross the following campaign for the new Wario 'Shake' on WII.

I have no idea how this is done but when I find out I will update. Im pretty early on this so had to post it!

I'm no creative expert but this is the most genius use of webspace I have seen so far. So cutting edge I cant begin to say...

Follow and enjoy...

CLICK ME Wario Shake on Youtube

Source





Diesel XXX MY Favourite Viral of 2008
(View with caution)


I toyed with posting this for a while... I got it today and I think its going to be cult.

Everyones going to have their opinion. Some are going to think this is in poor taste. Others are going to see this as a shrewd peice of marketing. Note the subtle brand references throughout.

I keep saying it every time I see lame or obvious viral attempts. If you want us to watch, give us value through branded content. It cant shout too loudly and it cant be so cheesey that I see straight through to the sales message.

This viral doesnt pretend to be something its not. The creators are just trying to make me laugh. They succeeded.

They are subtle. They leave breadcrumbs...




...This has a positive effect...

They make me laugh/entertain me so I want to know who is responsible and what this is about. Furthermore I want to tell my friends. Also, me being an Ad-Geek I get a kick out of spotting the marketing message and showing it to my friends. (LOOK OUT FOR THE DATE) ;P

So, am I wrong? is this merely a cheap laugh? Could "anyone do that" ? Or is it much cleverer than that? my feeling is the latter...

This got me thinking about virals again. Breadcrumbs...

Top 10 Secrets of the Marketing Process


From Seth Godin Marketing Genius.

This was posted 2 years ago so I know im late, but since I just discovered it I had to post it.

I love point 5 and 6.



1. Don’t run out of money. It always takes longer and costs more than you expect to spread your idea. You can budget for it or you can fail.

2. You won’t get it right the first time. Your campaign will need to be reinvented, adjusted or scrapped. Count on it.

3. Convenient choices are not often the best choices. Just because an agency, an asset or a bizdev deal are easy to do doesn’t mean that they are your best choice.

4. Irrational, strongly held beliefs of close advisors should be ignored. It doesn’t matter if they don’t like your logo.

5. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea. If you’re sure you’re right, you probably aren’t.

6. Focusing obsessively on one niche, one feature and one market is almost always a better idea than trying to satisfy everyone.

7. At some point, you’re either going to have to stick to your convictions or do what the market tells you. It’s hard to do both.

8. Compromise in marketing is almost always a bad idea. Extreme A could work. Extreme B could work. The average of A and B will almost never work.

9. Test, measure and optimize. Figure out what's working and do it more.

10. Read and learn. There are a million clues, case studies, books and proven tactics out there. You can't profitably ignore them until you know them, and you don't have the time or the money to make the same mistake someone else made last week. It's cheaper and faster to read about it than it is to do it.

Posted by Seth Godin on October 20, 2006



Wednesday, 24 September 2008

App Makes $250k in 2 months

Iphone Developer of Trism makes $250,000 in 2 Months as a "side project"...


From PSFK.COM:

A side project turned into 250K of profit for iPhone puzzle game creator, Steve Demeter. His popular game, Trism, generated the profit over two months even after Apple’s large 30% take of sales and Demeter’s start-up investment of $5,000. While many developers complain about Apple’s seemingly excessive take, he is quite pleased with their management & troubleshooting services…something that will keep him from developing titles for other OS’s like Google’s long-awaited Android (that will be unveiled today).

Google is hoping their open-sourced platform will encourage independent developers like Demeter to create superior, user-friendly applications for a completely fluid & customizable operating system…leaving mobile OS’s like Windows Mobile that is heavily laden with proprietary, bulky and sometimes useless software, behind.


For me, this throws light on the whole Open Source VS Moderated SDKs for Apple and Google (Android) I have a feeling that Android might be too good to be true and that the Open source element may prove problematic in the long-run. Could someone out there produce the first Android Virus? I hope I'm wrong. I would like to see something/someone make Apple stay one step (further) ahead of the game.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The G1 (Google Phone) Is released...

So... Google officially announced the TMobile G1 Today. The first Handset to use Android.

My initial reaction? Ugly.

But does the Inside make up for the Outside?

Well what i've read so far seems to be exciting. The easiest thing in the world would be for me to rehash the various reviews already available online. Kind of lame in my opinion. So I think I will post links to the articles that I have checked out so far and you guys can guess as much as I can from them.

Mashables Overview


Engadgets Coverage (expect this to be updated very quickly)


My opinion? I am a big fan of design both aesthetically and ergonomically. So Naturally I am an I phone user and I love it. That doesn't mean I don't have gripes with it. But maybe I am seduced by Steve Jobs...

However I love how Google are attempting to rock the boat with the G1. They are going for substance over style here and without handling the G1 I cant comment on its ergonomics. I have heard the sweeping motion of the flip Keyboard to be like "butter" which sounds nice in itself.

The big point to take away from this for me is the open source platform of Android. However without stringent regulation could this prove to be a problem? too many chefs ???

On the other hand the inclusion of a level playing field for developers could be huge. Either way, it will be interesting finding out.

The second biggest point for me is the Qwerty Keyboard. The idea of a touch screen has to be the biggest gripe (or fear) i've heard from non I phone users and Crackberry addicts since Apple tackled the Price Issue on the release of Iphone 2.0.

Google will definitely stir interest on this point alone if nothing else.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the G1 is received in the UK and I will be watching closely to see if it goes mainstream or Cult. Furthermore I will be watching to see how this affects the type of Apps that will subsequently be developed for each model....






Saturday, 13 September 2008

Bread and the new Hovis Ad




I just saw the new Back to the future-esque Hovis AD which was launched during x factor.
I must say I thought it made for compelling viewing.

It had a tough act to follow in terms of the last 'BIG' Ad venture in the form of Ridley Scotts "greatest Ad of all time" 'The Bike Ride' which of course is imprinted on our minds as Iconic.

It's around 2-3 minutes long and charts a young boy traveling home from the baker with a loaf of bread (nothing new there).

The format is given a makeover as he runs through a time warp on his way home. Running through various scenes his surroundings change with every corner turned. From ww2 soldiers to mods and punks the time periods and genres get more modern as the ad plays out and the boy arrives home in todays surroundings.

The Ad charts britains last 122 years of History it really was excellently shot and directed. I found myself glued. *edit*I have since found out that the AD is 122 Seconds exactly for each year of history!*

There was something nostalgic and charming about it. For me it was a great example of how to work with a brands core identity in this case being tradition and wholesome British values and revamp it for a modern more cynical audience. I'm extremely cynical and I certainly 'got it'.

I'm wondering can there ever be a place for FMCG brands like Hovis in digital?
Of course there was the Warburtons 'Ask Mr Warburton' campaign which I thought was a nice brand fit and a good attempt at convergence with TV. Would be nice to know how well this went.

Bike Ride: Directed by Ridley Scott.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Plurk! A rival to Twitter - Micro-Blogging


Plurk, A name comprising 'People and Lurk' has been in existance for a while now but it seems I am a Johnny come lately - pardon the pun.

Its basically a Micro Blogging service much like Twitter.

I like the idea of Micro Blogging although I wouldnt be bothered to engage in it myself. I like the idea of small bite size chunks of information rather than large pieces of correspondance. I suppose the voyeur in me or all of us is curious to know what people we are involved with are thinking or doing.

I guess thats why I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook status updates.

I like how Plurk! Display the updates in Timeline format .

Wikipedia says of Plurk:

Plurk's interface shows updates in horizontal form through a scrollable timeline written in AJAX. Users can post new messages with optional 'qualifiers', which are one-word verbs used to represent a thought (ex. "feels", "thinks", "loves", etc.). There are also advanced features such as sending updates only to a subset of your friends, posting updates on events earlier in the day, and sharing images, videos, and other media.[5]

The Plurk.com developers does not yet have an API released to the public, however an unofficial but supported[6] Plurk API is hosted on Google Code.[7]

I will sign up and have a play but i guarantee I wont know anyone this phenomena appeals to no matter how appealing the concept may seem.

plurk.com

The Digital Magazine-Redefined (UPDATED)


Esquire are releasing a new E-Ink Issue for October.

The cover moves like an LCD screen of sorts. It works by charging positive and Negative e-ink particles in different formations to display messages.

This is the future folks...although there have been concerns about how green the technology is...

Video of Technology in action...



UPDATE: I MANAGED TO GET HOLD OF ONE OF THESE FROM AMERICA. BELIEVE THE HYPE. VERY IMPRESSIVE INDEED.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/sep/10/pressandpublishing.digitalmedia
http://www.eink.com/

Google Test In-Video Advertising on You Tube





Just browsing Simon Andrews Blog over at Mindshare and came across this video of Googles Beta in-video advertising program.

Somone had caught it and action and kindly filmed it.

Obviously I would prefer there were no advertising in the middle of my YouTube browsing but i really must say if this is there is one way to go with regard to in video advertising for me this would be it.

Efficient, not very intrusive (well less frustrating than pre-rolls) and even picks up where you left off.

I also noticed that this video was created in 2007. So there must be some reason this has yet to be released. Cold feet Google???

Thursday, 11 September 2008

My Campaigns: Design Icons

Design Icons has been undoubtedly one of my most favorite campaigns to date here at TBG London.

It has certainly been the most innovative.

We were tasked with engaging Harrods with a new audience of younger, design–conscious, London-based opinion formers whose view of Harrods was perhaps rather out-of-date, and encourage them to participate in the Design Icons season of promotional activity.

It combined many of my passions: Innovation, Design, Web 2.0 and Fashion with Vivienne Westwood as a keynote speaker.

I dipped my toe into the world of a 360 campaign and I liked it.

The Design Icons Campaign involved converging, facebook, Youtube and Twitter technology with Mobile in the form of QR Codes.


This for me was a fantastic achievement as we were responsible for making Harrods the first UK retailer to trial QR Code Technology. Although QR codes failed to be readily adapted by the British public and indeed the London Harrods audience, this venture was well received by Mobile enthusiasts at large and was hailed as a great leap not only for the Client but the technology as a whole in the UK.

Responsibilities:

Strategy
Planning/Buying
Campaign Management

Resources:
http://designicons.harrods.com/
http://Facebook Group: Design Icons
http://Myspace.com/designicons
http://Twitter.com/designicons

Media:
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3760049.ece
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=qr+codes+harrods&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Read the full Campaign Summary on the TBG website: http://www.tbglondon.com/work/case-studies/case-study-harrods-design-icons/

My First Post....

So, this is my first blog and blog post!`

In creating it i'm thinking this will be a resource for me more than anything else. Hopefully it will act as a record of my career to date my achievements, thoughts, likes, dislikes and what I've learned along the way. If some one stumbles across it and grows to like it thats even better.

It will center mostly around Digital but I'm thinking I will draw anything that I find inspirational into this one central location.

Thats it for now...

John