Monday, 28 September 2009

Excellent Axe Print to Mobile to Outdoor...Day and Night

I came across this campaign from Axe last night and being the Ad geek that I am I had to log it here.

The picture says a thousand words really but the idea is that when you see the print ad you are intrigued enough to want to complete the ad on the page.

The call to action is simple: "To complete this ad send AXE to 2345 after 9pm" upon which you are sent the remaining pieces of the puzzle...

There has been a bit of buzz around the fact that this Ad is not revealing enough and is almost an anticlimax of sorts possibly frustrating the audience?

To me, thats missing the point, here are a number of reasons I love this ad...(Im sure I am only scratching the surface here)

  • The print ad has now become somewhat accountable via mobile
  • The ad has opened the opportunity for data collection and re-targeting
  • The engaged user has invited the brand into the most personal digital space they have in their posession (I give kudos to any brand who can do this successfully)
  • The concept is 'on-brand' ie. the user can only engage at night (Day and Night campaign)
  • The campaign has the 'cool factor' in that its innovative and clever enough to create a buzz - something that has clearly happened online

I also found this shot of AXE's outdoor endeavours for the Day and Night Campaign...

Again, great stuff.

To me this is an inspirational campaign and has already given me ideas for my clients which I would develop from this. Big kudos to Lowe Ginko the agency responsible.

Update: Lowe Ginko site seems to be down at the time of posting

When advertising goes too far... DVLA, Castrol and Outdoor

When I initially heard about this I genuinely thought it was pretty genius.

Oil is pretty boring and lets face it anything innovative or clever usually gets my vote.

So I did have to catch myself on a little bit when I considered the full implications of this campaign and think about this more as a battle of Innovation vs Ethics. Just because you can do it doesnt mean you should.

Sometimes I feel the public can be a little over-sensitive about the data protection issue. For instance I never really understood the Fear Factor that Phorm raised within people. Maybe its because I'm pretty familiar with how behavioural targeting actually works but I just didnt get what the problem was. But thats for another day... In terms of this campaign however, its pretty obvious what the problem is here: its the sale of public data without their permission.

So unfortunately for me... Innovation 0 Ethics 1

Full Story here

I like this...

(Via Coolhunting)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Cool Digital Outdoor (Nikon)

Im a bit late... but had to blog it.

The red carpet is an amazing touch. We dont see enough of this in London for my liking. Could it be due to London Transport restrictions?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Louis Vuitton campaigns hailed as 'Digital Genius'

Anyone who knows me will remember I am a huge Louis Vuitton fan. For me it is the height of luxury meeting design and I am fortunate enough to own a couple of pieces.

What I like about LV is that they are not afraid to try new things. For one of the oldest most established fashion houses in the world that has got to be respected. (See QR code above)

So I wasnt too suprised to hear that New York Universitys Stern School of business hailed the brand as Digital Genius...

Im not sure some of these other luxury brands will be use to being defined as 'average' and 'feeble' but in the Luxury Vertical it seems some brands dabble while others just 'GET' Digital.

Download the full report here

See some excellent Louis Vuitton Digital Strategy here

All comments welcome.

Augmented Reality on Iphone... Bionic Eye

Whilst reading this article from Revolution I couldnt help but admire the business model of this iPhone App Bionic Eye.

The app is charged at £0.59p and will surely fly for the sake of the cool factor... but I imagine that the brands on this app will have to pay to be included (if they havent already).

Win win... I think I will download it later.

Also interesting to think... could we call this virtual out door?????? :)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Jay-Z Guerrilla Marketing SoHo London Blueprint 3

These flags were cable tied to every corner lamp post in SoHo on Monday just gone by...
To the average person its a pretty obscure symbol but I happened to recognise it from the new JayZ album art. (Launch day)

This is my dilemma... If you are a fan, or you're familiar with album launch. Then does it really matter? You are going to buy the album or at least check it out on spotify anyway? right?
Alternatively, its so obscure... that if you are not a fan I imagine you wouldn't know what to make of it anyway???
That said. I liked it. But then again I have the album. So a waste of money??

Innovative? or Marketing Fail?
What do you think?

(The original cover art...)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Veet: Goodbye Bush

Great print Ad from Veet (via

I need to start introducing current affairs based digital ads to my clients...

Friday, 21 August 2009

Outdoor/Guerrilla at its finest...Fitness First Rotterdam

I know im late but I loved this.

Folks waiting at the bus stop are faced with the reality of their weight. Literally.

I would have liked to see some Mobile/Bluetooth/GPRS find your nearest gym call to action here.

Brave and genius...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Michael Jacksons Dies... Twitter watches on... my experience

I recieved a text about Michael Jackson having a heart attack. Like everyone else I found it difficult to believe. For the first time I checked Twitter as news of a heart attack broke. I watched rumours grow over about half an hour. Hundreads of tweets appearing every few seconds.

Upon one refresh, within 4 seconds 13,000 tweets had appeared as news of his death broke on

The terms Michael Jackson and cardiac arrest creeped up the trend monitor on the right hand side of the screen until they reached the top of the rankings. Upon which twitter failed to cope.

It was a truely surreal experience to watch a news event as huge as this break in real time.

Its hard to describe how strange it was unless you saw it happen. Im just disappointed it had to be in terms of such bad news. A true music legend has passed on.

Monday, 15 June 2009

KFC Brands.......................................EARTH?

Dont know whether to love or hate this...definately worth a blog post anyway.

Full marks for ingenuity...

Were you hit by the Twitpocalypse? :)

I noticed at the weekend that I couldnt access my Twitterific account via iPhone. I was thinking to myself: "another iPhone related fault" Apparantly not. Apparantly Twitter was hit by what is being dubbed: The Twitpocalypse.

The Twitpocalypse is very much like the Y2K Bug. Commentators predicted that on Friday at

the unique identifier associated with each Tweet would exceed 2,147,483,647. Third party apps would not be able to cope with this number and revert into negative digits causing a Y2K type crash.

Sure enough this appears to be what happened. Quite funny really.

My Twitterific is still down and at some point today I will go off and figure out what I have to do to update it....

Thursday, 28 May 2009

NMK Article Contribution: My thoughts on In Game Advertising...

My quotes from: In-Game Advertising: Not Mass Market….Yet from

Full Aricle here:

Market Reform:
So whose job is it to get organisations marketing via games? John Barton, head of planning at digital marketing agency Steak, believes his peers have a critical role to play in raising the profile of in-game advertising among their client base.

“As it is largely down to agencies to promote emerging technology and communications channels to clients I suspect that this grey area is a contributing factor toward its lack of adoption so far,” he told NMK. “The problem here is that clients still expect digital planning to be rationalised by behaviour and more importantly accurate accountability. Even for what we might term ‘traditional’ digital branding campaigns we are seeing a shift in key performance indicators (KPIs) from principles of simple reach and click-through rates (CTRs) to brand response. With the exception of [virtual world] Second Life, users cannot currently translate their actions within the gaming environment directly into real world.”

The Long Game:
Steak’s Barton believes that in-game advertising is here to stay and could form an important part of the marketing mix to hit certain demographics, but it may take some time to become a mainstream marketing discipline.

“Of course, there is a solid argument to be made in favour of in-game engagement, share of voice and targeting a likely demographic. However, until the issue of behaviour and accurate accountability is tackled either directly or via cross channel strategy, I suspect it will take a while before we see IGA as a regular fixture on digital media plans,” he concluded.

Spotify Mobile Demo - iTunes be afraid?

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Brilliant Campaign for Yahoo! Brilliant

Not sure how to categorize this campaign… Guerrilla, Social, Mobile, Outdoor? I’m thinking all of the above?
I hadn’t heard anything about this in the press and literally ‘Stumbled Across’ the guerrilla placement on the pavement outside the Hospital Club in Covent Garden. (Pic Below)

In terms of an overview, its pretty self explanatory, Yahoo! Have placed ‘Brilliant Spots’ all over London where users can take Photographs from their perspective and MMS them straight into the website 24/7. The ‘brilliant spots’ campaign seems to be a well thought through push for their new site, which at the moment seems to be live in a simple blog format.

Brilliant Spots also makes full use of the flicker mapping API which is synched to guerrilla placements all over London.

It remains to be seen whether will develop into a full Web2.0 Incarnation. However assuming the objective was to encourage and exploit the simplicity of interactivity with the site Yahoo have done well to mobilise a nicely integrated strategy. With 272 uploads at the time of writing it will be interesting to see how this will be rolled out in the future and what other channels will be exploited going forward.

Check out

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Lynx Bullet: Social Media Push

Noticed a new Lynx Social Media Project via an MSN Messenger Text Link Prompt.

They usually do this stuff very well re: the 'ManWash' a year or two ago.

Their Digital Agency escapes me right now. Just wanted to post the link before I forgot.

They have over 300 friends so far so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Sidebar: Part of me is still a little shocked at the enthusiasm of myspace users. I dont know anyone on myspace anymore!

This is the rest of the post

Friday, 15 May 2009

Smart Car With Google Maps from Weapon 7

I am late but came accross this campaign from Weapon7 today for SmartCar.

An excellent use of the API.

As with many of the best ideas in the world...

Simple but effective.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Representing Steak at eConsultancy round table - key highlights

Really interesting chat at yesterdays eConsultancy round table on Mobile.

AKQA: Jonathan Hum

Met with AKQA's Jonathan Hum where we spoke about the highly commended Nike ID campaign. Very interesting insights indeed.

Nokia/Point and Click: Duncan Beard

Also met with Duncan Beard from Nokia, he introduced us to his thoughts on mobile adoption across the world pointing out that the less developed countries had leapfrogged traditional technological developments in Internet infrastructure in favour of the mobile. He also spoke about point and find technology. A step in the right direction from similar QR code technology of which I have experience in. I look forward to seeing how this develops going forward.

Orange: Mark-Watts Jones

Mark Watts-Jones of Orange had offered an amazing insight into mobile adoption from a providers perspective. Pointing out a very clear split in how the technology would be adopted by the audience on the horizon.

As he sees it, rather an idea of inevitable mass audience adoption, most likely there will be a growth in users who consume the richer media experience and those who will continue to use mobile in the more basic sense. An idea I would gravitate towards myself until proven otherwise.

My thoughts on Applications VS the evolution and adoption of the mobile web under 'READ MORE'

Applications VS the evolution and adoption of the mobile web: My thoughts

There was also much debate among delegates as to the future of applications vs. the growth and development of the mobile Internet adoption. Would applications one day be made redundant? Were they a flash in the pan?

The consensus seemed to be no. They will always have a purpose. However, their continued evolution and success will be led by their effectiveness in solving problems and connecting (as yet) unconnected touch points.

From an agency perspective I was interested to see that some delegates felt that applications were in some way De-valued by their proven short life span. Siting the prompt deletion of applications as evidence of their long term ineffectiveness.

I and others argue that this is irellevant in terms of a short campaign with clear KPI's. If the app such as VW's polo racing game (Which I personally downloaded recently, completed and have never played again) makes it into the users most personal digital space in the first place, then it has aguably achieved share of voice and served its purpose. This is where I feel the application space shines.

Overall a great day and thought provoking debates.

Thursday, 30 April 2009 "Is that you?"

I love innovation as much as the next guy but should we be worried about this?

When I visited this site via @duncanparry (twitter) I got excited but also a bit worried weirdly. for the first time around Social Media and Privacy.

Perhaps its the strap: "This application is the fastest, most powerful and most accurate facial recognition outside of TV crime dramas".

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Celebrities DO exist on Twitter

I still have my doubts about the true identity of a few... but I just got a tweet from Pete Cashmore of Mashable fame which included a link to this EXCELLENT story about a meeting with @the_real_shaq in real life VIA TWITTER.

This made me smile, very well written:

Jesse and Shaq

Friday, 20 February 2009

The lines between Search and Display blur on Yahoo!

Today I read about Yahoo! introducing Rich media ads within its search listings. Brands to trial it so far include: Pepsi, Pedigree, Staples and Esurance who have reported uplifts in CTR of about 25%.

Campaign creative as reported by Brand Republic as follows:
  • US office supply company Staples shows a Staples logo next to the text ad.
  • Pepsi's 'Rich Ad in Search' reveals a minute-long viral featuring Bob Dylan, rapper and Bruce Lee.
  • The service also lets users search for products or a store location directly using their post code -- for example Esurance's listing lets users enter their zip codes from the results page for insurance quotes."
My thoughts:
Pricing Model:
My first thought, how to charge for this?
  • CPC: wont work, as people will click randomly our of curiosity and or excitement.

  • CPM: wont work, as its just not practical for search.

  • Tenancy: Yahoo! have opted for a tenancy based pricing model on a monthly basis. Not bad, except this detracts from the accountability of New Media and does not guarantee interaction much less attention. But agencies will undoubtedly pay, if nothing else to be at the forefront of media trends.

For me, the next step for Yahoo! would be to experiment with a Cost per engagement model as introduced by Video Egg. Once users get familiar with the format of course.

As a planner I immediately wonder, where would the budget fall under? Search of Display?

It is technically Display, but in a search environment. I would say at the very least these placements couldn't come out of the search budget. This would surely skew results, particularly with campaigns such as Esurance which have a DR aspect.

This budget surely has to come from the display budget or ideally from a separate budget altogether dedicated solely to experimenting with this format. However, if the only way to implement the creative is via a search booking, budget must also be allocated to search for this. Confusing? sounds like it.

As more details emerge of course it could be that Yahoo! have covered these issues. So for now I can only speculate.

...I really welcome Yahoo! dipping its toe into the unknown. Innovation is what keeps our business interesting and Yahoo! seems to get that. I look forward to feedback from the Yahoo audience once the excitement wears off. Right now 25% click through doesn't mean very much in terms of the formats longevity. Only with time, will we see if rich media search can take its seat in the IAB hall of fame...


Alex Tew, the creater of The Million Dollar Homepage launched Popjam! Today - a comedy based socil media site.

I wish him nothing but the best as I can say it was the MDHP that inspired me to dip my toe into Web Entrepeneurialism all those years ago when I saw him interviewed on Richard and Judy of all places!

I could tell he was destined for big things and I hope Popjam is no exception.


Million Dollar Homepage

Good luck Alex!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Getting deep with Chris Jordan and application to Creative engagement

Recently I have a little more time on my hands than normal. So I've been a little more addicted to Twitter than normal.

I came across a tweet with a link to this presentation from Photographer Chris Jordan.

(I would give credit for the tweet but I have had so many since then that it has disappeared into the console abyss)

It's well worth watching. Basically, Chris uses striking imagery to demonstrate what he calls the problem of "unconscious, collective behaviour". Simply amazing pieces.

Charity Campaigns:
Aside from the obvious shocking statistics, I took a valuable creative lesson in terms of marketing from the presentation.

This is the scenario... I am not easily engaged when it comes to charity. Not because I'm tight with money or ignorant to current affairs but because I think about things too deeply, they bother/depress me. Selfish I know but I admit sometimes I am guilty of brushing things under the carpet so to speak. I suspect I'm not alone.

For instance, I avoid 'charity muggers' on the street like the plague. Part of me resents the whole "I don't want your money, just your time" line. Firstly because I know that's not true and secondly because I would much rather donate of my own accord at a time when I am ready. I think alot of people react this way to charities. So it's not easy for them and I can appreciate the struggle charities face when trying to inform me of the 'bigger picture' when I least expect it.

Although their cause is extremely noble, for me its like 'Real life Spam'. I didn't 'opt in' to that marketing message, therefore it goes into my 'life spam' folder faster you can say "Sorry mate I'm in a hurry".

So what if we don't want to confront the horrors of the world on my way to work? More so in the digital environment what if we are on our way to Hotmail for example, are we in the frame of mind to click through to a charity? Probably not. Does that make us bad people? I don't think so, I do think however that charities have to constantly think of new ways to engage.

In the presentation above, Chris Jordan could have shown a power point of basic photography and stats to emphasise his point. His goal would have been the same, however his impact negligible in comparison. As well as creating beautiful Art, his imagery demonstrates serious issues in a manor that not only cut through our 'not now' mechanism. But in a manor that simply, clearly, relates to his audience.

Dare I go as far as to say he makes serious real world issues entertaining as well as informative? I guess I just did. But isn't that art? He engaged my mind on a deeper level, that's why I'm blogging about this right now and spreading his message?

We need to harness this technique more in creative messaging for charities in particular. Indeed any campaign subject that is emotive. I have seen a few television campaigns use it but I fear in the Digital world we are still largely addicted to DR messaging and 'guilty' imagery to drive acquisitions.

From a CPA (donation) perspective I couldn't help wondering if creative similar to Chris' Art were used in conjunction with a donation facility how much money could be have raised for Greenpeace, Cancer UK, Amnesty and others in one campaign? A physical demonstration of the Power of Collective behaviour for good.

Just the 2 cents of an ordinary guy who will never look the same way at a Plastic cup ever again...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Excellent Sponsorship with Absolute Radio

Broadcasting line up backwards for Benjamin Button
Brilliant in so many ways...being this open to creative integration can never be that bad...


Whilst waiting for my train...Ronaldinho and Photocopiers

So anyone who knows me will know that I sometimes blog about things I see as I travel around London.

Being on the Tube, we are regularly exposed to Outdoor advertising. In my opinion, advertising on the Tube holds probably the most captive audience next to Cinema. Therefore to see full motion and digital poster advertising on the tube is fantastic. (I will make a full post on this in the near future)

I mean, why wouldnt I want to watch it? I have nothing better to do while I wait for my train? But being in the industry you could say I take more of a vested interest in the ads I see daily than the ordinary person.

So I came accross this ad from Konica Minolta featuring Ronaldinho. I had enough time to read the ad and think: "What has Ronaldinho possibly got to do with Photocopiers????"
With all due respect to the ads creators, id be curious to know if the brief went something along the lines of: Get their attention (ie.massive picture of a great footballer)and ummmm...figure the rest out later on.

Which they did, click on the picture above to zoom on the strap line. Huh?

Maybe KM is one of his many MANY sponsors? Even if they are, I didn't get it. But maybe I'm missing something... But even if I am and the only reason I have absorbed the message is because 'I like clever ads'. It begs the question: how many small business owners saw the synergy or absorbed the message? (Maybe the ones who are football fans?)

Its just my opinion, but you be the judge...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Cadbury Eyebrows Dance...

This was first premiered during Big Brother. I will wait to see how this is recieved. Its certainly more endearing than 'Cadbury Trucks'. I do love the balloon though ;)

It will be interesting to see how this generates real ROI. WTS

Sunday, 25 January 2009

YouTube Streetfighter - Interactive game (Advertisement)

CLICK HERE: YouTube Streetfighter
(Make sure you select High Quality) ;)

Well it seems there is no end to the creativity of the 'Annotations' function of YouTube.

YouTube Streetfighter is a must see. It's a pretty cool use of the YouTubes flash core.

Its by no means polished, but thats more of a limitation of YouTube than the concepts creativity.

Since the entire game/video is stop motion animated with the very Toys it is advertising, the engaging element wins the battle over a traditional option.

Given the tools available, its an amazing and clever concept. As a Streefighter fan myself I was compelled to have a play. However I feel that this idea will also appeal to fans of quite simply: The 'Cool Factor'.

As a result the 4 Million Plays/Views Since published on the 15th of January 2009 will no doubt soar as the Viral/Cool Factor element takes effect.

For me, this is another example of a campaign that has chosen to embrace the very latest Digital trends over more traditional means with what would appear to be great success.

However for that success the means must justify the end. Streetfighter is just the sort of cult phenomenon that would sit confortably in this sort of campaign.

CLICK HERE: YouTube Streetfighter
(Make sure you select High Quality) ;)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Interview with an AdWare Author

Sherri Davidoff is an independent security consultant based in Missoula, MT. She specializes in penetration testing, forensics, vulnerability assessments and incident response.

She recently interviewed Matt Knox, an Software designer for Direct Revenue. Direct revenue were famous for designing AdWare executed within Programs such as Kazaa.

Since contextual solutions have always been the most successful converting format for almost every campaign I have ever launched I found the interview very interesting reading.

The interview is conducted from a security based perspective rather than an advertising one. However from a Security viewpoint, the sheer potential of the software is nothing less than shocking.

Click Here: Interview with an AdWare Author: