Friday, December 11, 2009

Are you lurking here?

Recently I have found myself in conversations with various folks working in the communications industry chatting about how they working on campaigns to get people to be more personally involved with their brand and or marketing campaigns... post a note on their blog or website, shaping a radio station playlist, uploading photos as part of a promotion, following a brand on twitter, join a facebook group in the name of a brand etc etc

All good stuff in this rather modern age of consumption and online socialisation, but the big question looms large - how far will people go in the name of social type involvement with a brand? Naturally the first consideration is about how much they like or possibly even love a particular brand... I am a little loathe to spend time with people that either I don't like very much or don't have much in common with. (no big surprise there!)

But what has been really niggling me is how to work out the potential level of involvement. Not all people are the same... some people are loud and opinionated, some are silent types and keep their opinions to themselves, some people like to make their own path in life, some prefer to follow the crowd. So how do these things vary when comparing behaviour in the analogue world to the digital world?



There are a few good theories on the debate...They aren't shiny new by any means but nonetheless, worth sharing. 90-9-1 is a good rule of thumb simply stating that some people participate more than others. researcher Jakob Neilsen calls this participation inequality. The theory goes that:


  • 1% of the online community are CREATORS of content, happy to start things from scratch like websites, blogs and networks

  • 9 % of the online community are comfortable as being EDITORS and chipping in or adding to ideas, forums and posting comments

  • 90% of the online community are more comfortable LURKING, reading or observing than having to make a contribution.

Forrester have also developed what they are calling a 'social technographicss framework that poses a different set of participation statistics around populations based on their data which is based on a way of looking at this area. Check out their 2009 tool to get a breakdown based on a few demo inputs




So in getting back to the question, asuming you havea good idea to start with, you can apply a framework like Forresters and get a rough idea of the number of participants you can expect.

I quite like the recommendation from http://www.90-9-1.com/ around ways to make participation easier which I have stolen below... this is the abreviated version so check out the site for the full lowdown.

  1. Make contributing easy for everyone.

  2. Encourageediting over creating - blank pages are scary.

  3. Reward participants.

  4. Go easy on the rewards, but certainly bake them into the process of participation.

  5. Identify both power users and up and coming users.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

which learning style are you?

A sharp little video from a bunch of interesting ethnographic research folks called Point Forward.

I like their simple framework for referencing 4 basic learning styles across the innovation process.

Key question is whether we are very good at ensuring we have the 4 different learning styles in our organisaton to help us move through the innovation process.

Innovation as a Learning Process from Roger Shealy on Vimeo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

iZine for the iPhone

I remember when Ezines were all the rage... not sure if this is still what people call online magazines but this is a beautiful example of an Izine... yup, magazine for your iPhone.
Check out the video...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

unfriend-ly

It was back in January that Burger King kicked off their whopper sacrifice campaign rallying whopper lovers to drop 10 friends on Facebook for a free burger.

This week the New Oxford American Dictionary named its word of the year as UNFRIEND.

Blimey, who would have thought we would find ourselves with so many friends through our myriad of networks we'd have to start scaling back on them!




Yesterday I noticed on Linkedin that my network update referenced one of my contacts as reaching 300 connections which is known as the Double Dunbar! This refers to Robin Dunbar an anthropologist who proposed that we are only able to maintain a network of 150 connections before things start to break down... you know, you find it too hard to catch up and stay in touch in any meaningful way. So my Linkedin contact has double the amount of people in their network they can 'properly' maintain a relationship with.... Question is what constitutes a maintaining a relationship in a Linkedin context or any context for that matter? How many people in our network are like 'rainy day' contacts... ? Is there a point where we simply need to sacrifice quantity for quality?

Recently I have also been UNFRIENDING myself from the abundance of e-newsletters I seem to have oversubscribed to as well. in an average day, I seem to find myself on the receiving end of somewhere in the vicinity of 30 daily newsletter updates (and that is just on my work email). Assuming I spent an average of 5 minutes having a read of these, that would be 2.5 hours in my day! I know I am not alone here either as just this week I have had this conversation with a few friends who are all claiming the same need - to unsubscribe from their over abundance of emails updates, UNFRIEND the ones that just don't make the cut anymore and reclaim their day.


There has been a lot of discussion from thinkers like Tim Ferris (the 4 hour week) where he has 17 posts on email detox as well as a video of the celebrity tech blogger Robert Scoble talking about how he gets throgh 622 RSS feeds as well as tens of thousands of emails!



Make unfriending your friend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A few thoughts on innovation

thanks to Tim from Dynamic Horizons for this thought provoking number.

All I want for Christmas is a Playstation EyePet

Speaking of reality, or lack of it. I’ve been babbling on about augmented reality finding its way to our shores (or NOT finding its way). Well, guess what… IT’S HERE AND IT’S BRILLIANT!

Introducing the Playstation EyePet. I stumbled upon this on YouTube, but I hear from a secret source that this is launching here in only two weeks!!

Tickle him and he laughs, poke him and he jumps, roll him a ball and he chases it. EyePet is a responsive virtual pet that reacts to your every move, providing entertainment and fun for the whole family.

First, you bring your little virtual pet to life – explained to you by a scientist, who also explains how to set up your Playstation Eye camera. Then the PlayStation Eye camera watches your interactions in front of your TV and relays that image onto your screen where the EyePet itself lives. This allows you to then interact with the pet as if it were scampering around the table or floor space in front of you.

This little augmented reality critter reacts to your movement, interacting with you, as if you’d just brought him home from the pet shop (or zoo…)

All of this is made possible by the power of PS3 which has enabled EyePet’s developers to create incredible graphics and animation. Not only is he cute, but he’s smart too.

Go Playstation. And to all you parents out there, start saving, Christmas is only around the corner… Check it out...

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fun Theory

Even car manufacturers can leverage fun.

The Fun Theory, is the latest campaign by Volkswagen via ad agency DDB Stockholm.
It's not just about proving consumers with fun, but provides them fun in exchange for socially responsible actions. This reward has seen a marked increase in people caring out the action.

Check out the video's of a set of subway stairs transformed into a walking piano and a ‘never-ending’ bin that manage to change people’s typical behaviour for the better.





The latest one is the series has just been uploaded - check is out


And all of this with barely a reference to Volkswagen.

I wonder if there is not some big learning's in this for charities & governments?

Sort of related is a TED video by Rory Sutherland

He talks about how advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. He's point is that changing the perceived value is as powerful as changing the real value.
He is very entertaining & funny (adding some perceived value), but also has some real value in his content. Worth sparing the 10 mins to check it out here: http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_sutherland_life_lessons_from_an_ad_man.html

Sunday, October 18, 2009

be natural

Something seems to be in the air in Europe as the French and Germans and Americans are keeping things real for women in magazines.
It may have been a few years since Dove's campaign for Real Beauty but there seems to be some real momentum gathering behind this trend around authenticity.

In France, there are calls by the government to include warnings on any ad, labels or posters where women have been airbrushed. The campaign is being headed up by Valerie Boyer, a conservative parlimentarian who rightly points out how airbrushed images only create a false reality for women to aspire to. We'll be watching like hawks to see how and if this story develops.

In Germany, the most popular womens magazine there, Brigitte is banning models from appearing. They are now opting for 'real women' only to appear in the magazine from 2010. This is such a huge move for a magazine but it is responding to complaints from a proportion of its 700k readers. The magazine is a familiar diet of fitness, lifestyle, recipes and sex (of course), which is apparently read by a slightly more upwardly mobile gal.


The editor in chief, Andreas Lebert of Brigitte says that "Today's models weigh around 23% less than normal women".
This year American title Glamour also published an image of a plus size model without airbrushing her. It even sounds rediculous to have to be so excited about such a break through!

Is this a hint that women will no longer be fed a diet of unachievable images to aspire to? let's wait and see before we pop the champas.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The more than small change session in Melbourne

This time last week we were packing down the signs and breathing a sigh of relief that our second Think Fresh 09 speaker event went off without any major hick ups.

We had three more interesting speakers this time round.

We kicked off with Kate Kendall the online editor for Marketingmag.com.au.
She spoke about Social Media - fad or here to stay?
She shared this video as an opener, which we have had great number of requests for a copy of.

She went on to share some great social media tools and examples of the good (Dell who has earned $3M in revenue from Twitter), the bad & the ugly of brands in the social media space.

One of her key tips was that integration with other media is the key to social media’s success. She also added that brands need to decide for themselves if & how they can use it, do their research (copy & improve), and should look to consumers not the experts to guide them through the social space.

Those interested in chatting more about social media with those in the know, checkout http://twitter.com/socialmelb, on Fridays, 8am @ Mr Tulk, where you can catch Kate Kendal and sometimes us from Melbourne strategy team.

Next up was Toby Dewar, McDonald's National Media & Sponsorship Manager.

He talked us through the transformation of the Macca's business with a very successful ending.
They sent themselves some pretty impressive goal in 2002 for the Australian business;
  1. Fix the food
  2. Get relevant
  3. Become Australia's favourite brand

While number 3 is still a work in process, but there have been improvements in leaps & bounds that have made not only a difference to the bottom line, but has seen them confident in the inheritance they will leave for the future managers of the business.

We finished up with Kate Gunby, OMD Insights Director. Kate presented the findings from our latest research - Future Shapers. The research is a deep dive into the issues organisations are wrestling with to future proof themselves against the constantly changing business environments.

The GFC (no surprise there) was a one the Big Issues business leaders are facing, but accountability, media fragmentation & increased number of communications stakeholders were the longer term concerns.

Another key outtake was in the area of marketing budgets, with most expecting to invest the same YOY, and more looking to increase than decrease.

In terms of channels, more funds are going to be allocated to explore the areas of Online, Mobile and DM at the expensive of Sponsorships and Print.

While this event spells the end of the Think Fresh Festival for 2009, Think Fresh is all about stimulating the conversation, so it is only the beginning....the future really is coming...lets embrace change and be part of it.....it's over to you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Competing for the Future

I just stumbled across a post by Vijay Govindarajan, who is an academic who blogs on business strategy & innovation.

I thought it was interesting to share in light of a our Think Fresh theme.

He includes a framework for strategic thinking, with focus on competiting for the future instead of competiting for the present.

Worth a look.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting Fresh with OMD Clients










  • Last Friday, as part of the Think Fresh, we invited 3 of our clients to talk to OMD about the future of their business and the challenges they’re facing.
    The session was a great and feedback from OMD staff has called for more of it!
  • We kicked off the panel with Leigh Miles, Category Manager of Spreads at Fonterra. Leigh gave us a very entertaining look at the Dairy Category.

Leigh talked to the importance of staying in touch with bigger consumer trends with the example of how butter was the bad guy of spreads in the 90’s but a shift in health trends where consumers want to know what’s in their food has seen a return to butter as the natural alternative to margarine.

  • Leigh also discussed the growth of private label brands in our supermarkets as a major challenge for the Fonterra business. He believes that there are two advantages that brands have over private label that need to be leveraged to stop consumers going to the dark side:
    1. The ability to invest in marketing a brand
    2. Putting resource into innovation

Next up, Nikki Clarkson, National Marketing Director at Austereo told us about their future challenges and what they’re doing to future proof the business.

  • Austereo is facing challenges not too dissimilar from ours when it comes to how we use technology for communications and remain relevant. With the old adage, Content is King, Nikki’s challenge for the future is how Austereo maintains the distribution of content effectively across any channel in which radio can be heard or viewed.

  • To future proof the business Nikki talked about nurturing current talent and always being on the hunt for the next big thing. They have dedicated talent hunters hanging out in comedy clubs, scouring talent shows, attending comedy festivals and listening to tonnes of demo tapes to stay in touch with who could be the next Hamish and Andy.

Finally, Cratis from Open Universities Australia gave us a brilliant overview of how their business has grown in recent years and talked his big challenges:


  • Finding more of the right distribution partners such as MyCareer and Seek are key to growing their business
  • Cracking the creative challenge around getting the tone right for a busy adult audience and improving the overall customer experience is crucial to their ongoing success

We hope to make the client panel an ongoing program at OMD so look out for more of it in the near future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Forecasters session in Melbourne



Sheesh - there was so much great stuff to soak up it has taken me a few days to digest and report it back on this hot little date last week.

About 85 of our nearest and dearest joined us for this session, thank god we had enough savoury muffins to go around.

We kicked off with the delectable Risto Sampola, technology blogger at 3aw and Owner of Deeptank, personal technology training. 3 of his top tips:

1. Location based GPS communications are on their way and it won't be long till we are receiving real time communications offering up to the minute offers and communications from brands

2. RFID codes are being integrated into smart phones and will rule out bar codes in the future. Will mean customised comms on mobiles are on their way... by purchase etc!

3. Video is being integrated into static comms like print and outdoor check out http://www.americhip.com/

Next up was Charlie Nelson, futurist and quant confucious:

1. Crucial to understand the past demographic and social trends to recognise patterns on the horizon - Curiosity is king!
2. The wisdom of the masses - better learning from the collective perspective of the masses than listening to a handful of experts. check out James Surowiecki

3. Three potential scenarios for the economy - Goldilocks (not too hot not too cold) / Second Wave (a not so deep but longer laster downtown) / Victims of Success (we get spanked by a stronger recovery and super high inflation rates)


Finally our beloved Leigh Terry, Managing Partner at OMD and digitial whizz kid. He presented the Magnicifent 7 - considerations for 2010

1. Using all assets to invite customers (and non customers) to interact with you

2. using all of your touchpoints to engage ‘beyond the box e.g. http://tiny.cc/JBLOJ

3. Make our comms come a-LIVE e.g. Orange their Glastonbury bull campaign
4. Get participation rather than simply ‘story-telling’? Quests and challenges e.g. British Army

5. Everyone needs to be using search marketing

6. Social Media is more than blogs and tweets - think inside out first... customer experience!
7. Improve the brand experience check out dominos BFD
So... we gorged ourselves on fresh thinking... still digesting it all. Tomorrow we'll be feasting again!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The future of creativity


As we are all focused on Thinking Fresh about the future. I have noticed two recent businesses that are reinventing the value of creativity (as we traditionally deal with it in the marketing business).
A B&T article covered the launch creative-exchange.com which is a site where creative agencies can sell ideas, that their current clients didn't run, to others. Sort of like the Trading Post of creative ideas. I assume there would be a cost advantage to buying someone else's second hand ideas?

There are other things apart from ideas available, including research & music.
As it only launched today it will be interesting to see how big the market is for this type of service.

On the flip side, in the US clients are doing away with the creative agencies all together.

Unilever goes crowdsourcing to spice up Peperami's TV ads "Food giant drops ad agency Lowe after 16 years and puts up a $10,000 prize for creative marketing ideas".

Consumer created ads are nothing new. Doritos (who did it for $12.79) , Southwest Airlines, and Saucony are just a very few examples.

The interesting thing about Unilever's decision is their attitude.
  • They have broken a 16 year relationship: " Unilever said it has no plans to retain a full-time ad agency for the Peperami account in future."

  • And taken Lowe's idea with them: "the (winning) ad has to feature the cheeky Peperami character Animal, created by Lowe London."
The website http://www.ideabounty.com/ that consumers are to submit their Peperami work has cracked many other briefs, though mainly charity clients.

Both creative-exchange.com and http://www.ideabounty.com/ will no doubt open some debate on the ownership of ideas, as well as the value placed on creative ideas & relationships.



Augmented Reality goes mobile

Following up from Jacquie's post on augmented reality there is more (overseas) news on this technology;

The Wall Has Fallen: 3 Augmented Reality Apps Now Live in iPhone App Store

Lifting this technology from the fixed desk and taking it to the streets does feel like a step forward for uses & uptake in this technology.


Closer to home, well close enough for us to claim it (like Pavlova & Pharlap), a NZ company used AR for their Valentine’s Day activity.
Nothing says "I love you" like some Augmented Reality
Here is link to a video & more information
(hat tip to The Newspaper Works for the link)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OMD's future gallery opens up in Melbourne



what better way to see out the end of a Monday than a champagne toast to interesting-ness.

In the last few days our ideation room, AKA The White Room turned into OMD's Future Gallery space and we've invited all our friends and colleagues to come step inside and time travel over the next 2 weeks.
As you can see it was rousing affair full of air kissing and inspiration....

What's going on there:
-There's the Timeline wall (2010 to 2040)showcasing what ideas are becoming extinct and what is about to evolve.
-A bunch of inspiring case studies to warm the cockles and make you wish 'you'd done that'
-Classic quotes to steal and throw into your 'future' presentations
-A video corner to get yourself up to speed on stats, facts, social media, techy comms and case studies
-A digital radio to plough through and check out fly by night stations like Pink Radio (yes, pink the singer)

It's a living breathing space to enjoy, write thoughts down or share a few opinions on the walls.

Come get it whilst it's hot!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seeing the after before


ThinnerView is a new tool that digitally enhances photos of people to show them at their goal weight.


All you need to do is send in your photo and a digital 'artist' will create a custom made image of you at your goal weight. The idea behind it is that you're more likely to lose weight by being able to visualise your goal.

The tool supposedly creates your after photo based on bone structure and build. And as they say all for less than the price of a single dinner out...well its actually $14.99US (about $18 Aussie).

Do you want fries with that? You can also whiten your teeth and have wrinkles and blemishes in your photo removed!

I thought it was pretty handy if you plan to lose weight but don't want to wait to upload your slimmer self on Facebook.
Some gyms in the US are reportedly using the tool as a way to sign more people up for memberships, or are giving it away for free to premium members.

A simple way to sign up people who want to see the 'after' before!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exploiting me exploiting chaos


This is a brilliant example of how to live and breathe the message.

Those clever clogs at Trendhunter have come up with a super community driven marketing idea for their Chief Trend Hunter - Jeremy Gutsche's new book - EXPLOITING CHAOS.


Firstly I'll need to tell you about the clever clogs marketing idea as this will help explain where I fit in...
If you are anything like me, you subscribe to lots of interesting newsletters and yet don't read them very often. Just so happens, I received my regular Trendhunter weekly read and opened this one to discover something a bit intriguing.


There was reference to a soon to be released book EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change and the chance to get hold of the first chapter by becoming part of their 'revolution'. hmmm... what does heck that mean? I aint no revolutionary...

In simple terms, I discovered it meant 2 really easy to do things:

By registering your twitter or blog account with Trendhunter, they would:

1. Send you a special link to share the 1st chapter with your readers (friend get friend idea)
2. Distribute 100,000 views to their launch partner friends based on how many times visitors click on their custom EXPLOITING CHAOS URL… (inspire loads of proactivity from their base)

So, I unashamedly joined up... hey, I wanted to read the first chapter and here's our super special custom link for readers of this blog:



Anyway, I have read the first chapter... a little cynical given the title didn't sound remarkably different from a few recent books I have stumbled across but honestly... this sneak peak was refreshingly inspiring and I am keen to get my grubby mitts on this book when it comes out in all good bookshops.

The book, (well first chapter I read) is littered with gems, historical case studies, quotes and definitions and an Exploiting Chaos Framework.

What I also like is their recognition of changing reading habits so this is a book that addresses this well and can be read in 2 ways:
-The traditional way... cover to cover
-The Exploiting Chaos way... read the headlines and use them to tell the quick and digestible story version.

Check it out... here It won't take long long to plough through it and I'd be surprised if you didn't get one nifty learning from the experience!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reach out & touch me



The keyboard may well become redundant in the face of the growing use of touchscreens within personal computers, according to a new survey by market researcher NPD’s DisplaySearch.
The report estimates that the touchscreen market will almost triple by 2015, from $3.6bn to $9bn.

Touch screen penetration has been rapidly increasing in mobile phones, portable navigation devices, gaming and other applications. Over the next several years, touch screens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications, such as retail, ticketing, point of information and education/training.

Touch screen PC's are available now , but techie bloggers are hanging for the Apple tablet.

The next Windows release - Windows 7 will offer a lot for touchscreen users & help drive uptake.

Will this spell the end of the keyboard and possiblying even typing?

Friday, August 14, 2009

when music meets technology and soft porn

Check out this crazy project...it is a collaboration between Calvin Harris, Sony Music Entertainment, and a bunch called Bare who have invented conductive body ink. In essence you turn humans into circuit board...

If you can speak tech talk... you'll know what this all means:

“Ink-human circuitry” was painted onto the models while two Arduinos were used to provide an analog-to-digital connection with a computer. From there, patching environment Max/MSP translates data to MIDI where the models can then perform by closing circuits with their hands or feet.

Calvin Harris is calling it the Humanthesizer - geddit!





Bare suggest this technology can be used for 'dance, music, computer interfaces, communication and medical devices'


Like the fact this is technology bringing flesh and blood back together... let's face it, mostly technology enables us to do most things whilst avoiding 'face time'

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is augmented reality old news already?


Given the topic “The Future is Now” is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, I was searching for some examples of what’s going on with augmented reality in other markets…(building on Alex’s May AR blog post). I was a tad disappointed to discover that all the examples I found were either a) from other markets or b) been and gone, done and dusted. Did we miss the boat on this one? Or has the boat not arrived yet?

In America, Doritos released a "late night" range of chips, where snackers could experience(via webcam) a 3D "live" performance by artists such as Blink-182. All you had to do was visit doritoslatenight.com and hold up the symbol on the back of the chip bag to your webcam. You then select your favourite artist, and they magically appear right in front of your eyes. It’s great to see marketers thinking “outside the bag” if you know what I mean. It seems the promotion is no longer active, so here's a link to a consumer posted YouTube video (a tad long, but you get the picture) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XFsDZyOW6Y&feature=related

Again, in America, at selected Lego stores, shoppers can see their future creations by holding up lego boxes in front of an interactive kiosk, where via augmented reality a computer screen reflects back the image of that shopper holding up the finished product. It’s a great way to literally get the product in consumers hands –seeing is believing! This has been on the cards for Lego since 2007.

In December 2008 MINI created a print ad that when viewed though a web cam produces a virtual 3D model of their MINI Cabrio convertible on screen. The ad was featured in German automotive magazines.

So what's next and how can we take advantage of all this amazing new technology?

Did you know?

Following on from Rob post about predicting the future I found this video that illustrates the pace of change we are now dealing with.
Did you know?
- There are more text messages sent each day than there are people on the planet.
- The top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 did not even exist in 2004.
- There are 540,000 word in the English language, 5 x as many as in Shakespeare's day.

Watch it, before the pace change makes the data out of date.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is predicting the future easy?

Last night I watched a film called Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage. It's about him getting hold of a list of predictions of all the natural and man made disasters that are going to happen. It starts off as an OK film but half way through it turns out he has to save the world from a huge solar flair. Anyway, don't watch it as it's rubbish.

But it got me thinking about predicting the future, which is timely as our Think Fresh 09 event features 6 futurists and future shapers, from companies such as Microsoft, Google and MCN.

Is predicting the future getting harder or easier? As the pace of technological change quickens, you'd have to think it gets harder to see what will happen. But on the other hand, predicting the future seems to be almost single-mindedly about technology these days which is probably easier to predict than if we were trying to predict turns in international politics. And we have more info and modeling at our fingertips to predict than ever before.

Imagine being alive in 1065 AD and trying to predict the future...you would not have anywhere near enough information, and the pace of technological change would be so slow as to be almost invisible (or at least that's the way we'd see it if we were transported back, but I'm sure there people back then lamenting the introduction of bows and arrows and the decline of jousting as a key skill). The future would be an unknowable blend of religion, politics and intrigue, and the information and power would be in the hands of just a few people. At this time change would have come in quick bursts and then long pauses, e.g. William the Conquerer's invasion in 1066 would probably have been followed by a long period of stability in every day life.

So anyway, change these days is more pervasive and affects all of us more equally, it is brought about by more people, it is probably more knowable as it's more democratic and we certainly have much much more information to base our predictions on.

That's why I reckon predicing the future just might be a bit easier every year!

The children are our future

A great night of useful programming on the ABC this Thursday night.
8pm sees the next episode of Whatever! The Science of Teens.
This week is about teen moods. Other episodes have covered teen risk, binge drinking & sex (able on the ABC website link above or ABC iView). Whatever
Making it an even better night to get an insight into the brains of up & coming consumers, it will be followed by Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood
"Consuming Kids traces the evolution and impact of childhood comericalisation, exposing the youth marketing industry's controversial tactics, and exploring the effect of hyper-consumerism on the actual lived experience of children."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A very 'fresh' approach to poster advertising

Just a quick one as the video speaks for itself.
Not only is it a 'fresh' way of doing a street poster it also (importantly) is a perfect fit for the brand & message.

Friday, July 31, 2009

can robots take over the world?

And in robot news....

Hans Moravec, pioneer in mobile robot research and founder of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute claims robots are going to take over as the dominant life force on earth. He makes some crazy arsed claims that currently robots have the brain capacity of ants but that by 2040 they will be as intelligent as humans. Check out the interview here.

So... what would this all mean? If we can teach them to do all the jobs we don't want to do (or are too lazy to do), Moravec claims we'll be like slave owners living lives of comfort, health, and boundless plenty and it will all lead to developing life on other planets... ok, is this all sounding like a cross between a techno bible and the musings of a man who likes to smoke some really special stuff indeed or could this be the life of our future generations?

Fast Company printed an interesting reflecting on the issue of Artificial Intelligence last week claiming it is rediculous to consider robots taking over the world just yet. Their perspective is clean cut - Why would we be giving autonomy to computerized systems that lack anything other than simplistic algorithms for decision-making? They use the military and the sharemarket to showcase their interesting perspective.

I also spoke to the smartest techy guy I know (ahem) about Moravec's claims for the year 2040 and he thinks this highly implausible time frame given one of the smartest thing robots are doing today is automating pizza production for Pizza outlets...


But now...here's a feel good story at the end...given Japan has the greatest number of robots, it doesn't sound too far fetched they are now appearing in fashion parades there:



Think Fresh 09


So, we're on the road to Think Fresh 09. Can't believe it has been a year already since the inaugeral Session!
As we head into our second year of Think Fresh. we're excited to see the momentum it has generated amongst our staff, clients and agency partners.
The invites are in now in the post but if you aren't on our list and live in Melbourne or Sydney, drop us a line.... we might be able to squeeze you in!
This year's theme is THE FUTURE IS NOW and the programme line up is bound to teach us all a few things to help us embrace change today.
here's a bit of a spiel on the speaker at this year's events.
  • Charlie Nelson, Futurist at Foreeechange will be talking about the power of foresight.
  • Justin Baird, Head of Innovation at Google. He's going to give the Google perspective on the next 12 months and what it means for us mere mortals.
  • Billy Tucker, Business Development Director, Microsoft Consumer and online is going to be sharing some of the technologies Microsoft are working on.
  • Graham Christie, Partner at Big Mobile is going to be exploring why 2010 is the year we fully embrace mobile as a marketing channel.
  • Rob Leach, Head of MCn Connect will give us the heads up on what clients should be doing about interactive TV in Australia.
  • Risto Sampola, 3AW's Technology blogger will be taking us through the big innovations across the tech industry that are expected to change the way we engage with brands tomorrow.
  • Kate Kendall, Online editor at Marketing Mag will be talking through the thrills, spills and belly aches of social media.
  • Leigh Terry, OMD's Managing Partner and digital whizz kid will be getting the crowd excited about the big media trends on the horizon and letting us all know what we should be doing now.
  • Toby Dewar, McDonald's Nat Media and Sponsorship Manager is going to give us the Maccas story - how to transform a big business and succeed.
  • Kate Gunby, OMD Insights Director is presenting findings from our latest research on the way different organisations are future proofing themselves against a constantly changing business landscape.

To get us all in the mood over the next 4 weeks till kick off... we'll be posting up thoughts and noodlings on the theme THE FUTURE IS NOW...

indeed it is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hell has no fury like a customer scorned

We all know that if you have a bad meal you generally tell more people about that, than if it was a great meal – particularly if the service wasn’t up to scratch.

Recently published Forrester research looked to put some numbers behind how customer experience impacts word of mouth.
It confirms bad news travels faster than good news...
  • Bad news is discussed more frequently. For all industries except retail, consumers discussed bad experiences with more people than they discussed good ones.

And if that is bad news about airlines you tell more people....

  • Airlines face the largest negativity gap. While consumers will tell an average of 5.6 people about a bad experience with an airline, they will only tell 4.4 people about a good one — the largest negative gap across any industry.

Case in point is United Breaks Guitars.

Long story short, a guy flew United Airlines with his band, his guitar ended up broken at the hand of employees, and the airline offered no compensation. He responded by creating a music video about the experience (with two more to come). Now, United is feeling the wrath of citizen journalism, the social web, and the millions of airline travelers who can identify with Dave Carroll’s experience. Would you believe this song is now available on iTunes - music career pending.

You can read the whole story on Carroll’s blog, but this excerpt captures part of the back story behind the video:
“They didn’t deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.”

Interestingly Chris Ayres of The Times Online in the U.K has but a value on this consumer backlash - $180 Million (10% of its market capital).


One of the many comments I seen in response to the video; “Nice to see that someone managed to cost United so dearly. Maybe they'll think next time about the people who really matter...The customers!”

United has now tried to offer payment to Dave Carroll, but he has refused. See his response here.

A lesson learnt for United I think.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

giant steps are what you take...

1969 was a big year.
Led Zep 1 came out, Neil and the gang did their thing on the moon, John and Yoko got to hang out in bed, Easy Rider came out at the movies, The Brady Bunch started and ....blimey what a year it was!
How do I remember all of this?


NY Times have developed a rather impressive interactive timeline for 1969 with video and images to bring the year back to life.

click here to check it out.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

don't shoot the messenger

Incredible animation work from a Korean animator Moo-hyun Jang:

great viewing if you need 10 minutes away from your usual workload!



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Future is Driven by the Power of Dreams

The future occupies the human mind at an amazing capacity. The act of looking forward in time is quintessentially human nature. We are by definition, the only living animal that looks into the future, thus making evolution dominant in our existence... Now, I’m pretty sure my last post was on a similar topic, the future. We are constantly talking about it, trying to plan it; in fact it’s the topic of OMD’s upcoming 2009 Think Fresh events!

It is necessary for us to think about the future, when things are changing so fast, thinking about the present stops being relevant so quickly.

For brands to keep within a successful cycle they need to keep moving and no doubt that’s what one advertiser is quite successfully promoting, oh and fancy that, it just happens to be an auto brand!

Honda has released a series of short documentaries (Dream the Impossible) and I have to say, they got me! These selections of films are beautifully scripted and rather engaging in my opinion.

Honda is a company founded by a dreamer.
We wanted to document our advancement as a company through film to give you a better understanding of the people behind our products.
Please join us as we uncover Honda through the candid approach of the documentary film process


Currently there are three: Mobility 2088, Failure: The Secret to Success and Kick Out the Ladder.

Mobility 2088 talks about the future. What will cars be like in 2088? A beautiful concept as it is hard to project a realistic idea on this, yet it allows viewers to free their mind into the endless possibilities of maybe...


Failure: The Secret to Success is my favourite. A number of innovative individuals and auto related employees/retirees talk about the natural human trait in all of us, failure. Yet when they talk about this topic, you gain a sense of motivation, as expressed, without failure, how would we measure success?

These short doco’s create a sense of inspiration.

The language they use is telling. So a company like Honda has to communicate that it is constantly advancing.

This is a transparent world and the tropes of documentary are being used to create transparency in a very, very controlled way, to dispel the illusion of illusion that is created by the social construct / meaning of 'advertising'.

...Of course we know it is advertising, but is very good at not promoting itself as that.

Check them out:http://dreams.honda.com/#/allstories



Currently showing across cinema screens.

The campaign targets 25-to-49-year-old adults with a youthful spirit, who are comfortable with technology, who value authenticity, and who are drawn to brands they can relate to, connect with, or admire. The Dreams site is being promoted with television spots using footage from the films, along with online media such as unique page takeovers, roadblocks and pre-roll placements, on relevant Web sites that appeal to the target: technology, news and social media

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Creativity and play

A Ted presentation from Tim Brown from Ideo on creativity and play.

Watch when you need a bit of inspiration.... or if you don't have time, upshot is the old thought around kids being uninhibited and therefore more adventurous in their thinking




Tuesday, June 9, 2009

search me

So..... Google own the world of search now, but for how long? Will it be the M$ behemoth to topple the Google behemoth?

So Microsoft have launched BING which is in Beta at the moment and the word on the street is that it is pretty good. But is it going to be good enough to make any kind of dent in Google's share? Wired don't really think so... Steve Wozniak from Apple thinks it has potential.

I also just read that Bing in Chinese can mean biscuit, illness or ice... could be worse i suppose... Remember Mitsubishi's faux pas with the Pajero and it's rather unsavoury translation into spanish... eeek.

From the video, you can see they are trying to get away from the nebulous nature of search and are shifting the reference to a much more tangible outcome... a decision engine... clearly going for the jugular... and why not?







Also have to mention WolframAlpha which I would describe best as a living and breathing encyclopedia type search engine that serves the genuinely curious, brilliantly. it isn't about challenging what Google does as such, this is about being an information source for the information hungry.

WolframAlpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

...I can see how this has the potential to be a brilliant academic knowledge bank to beat all knowledge banks. Test it out on a question you have had bumping around that needs some good stats and facts... see this big daddy in action.

Conversation starter

Me: We went to a social media club gathering on Friday...

You: What exactly happens there?

Me: There were a bunch of social media enthusiasts from all over the place talking about...well... mostly the joys and opportunities with social media over coffee and toast.

You: What kind of people were there?

Me: I didn't get to meet everyone but there was Kate from Marketing Mag, Steven from Small Business Victoria, Trevor from ParkYoung PR, Luke from Knowledge Solutions, the Fake Stephen Conroy was there... a very diverse bunch of folks.

you: so what did you get out of it?

Me: A load of enthusiasm for actually getting my head around the fine world of Twitter in particular (although personally I do quite like it as an info source versus a social space) and some interesting and diverse minds to now hook up with and learn from. Quite refreshing to be meeting people from beyond our usual work domain. Some great tipsters were there but the debate was good and the ideas were plentiful.

You: How often does this happen?

Me: Every Friday at 8am at Mr Tulk at the Melbourne library. I gather they happen in Sydney and Brisbane too

In fact, Trevor, our new pal at ParkYoung posted a neat article on the mashing between traditional media spaces and social spaces... check it out.. great read:
http://www.marketingmag.com.au/blogs/view/special-pr-deal-the-traditional-social-media-combo-1294

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NKOTB

New agency in the US making some very clever noise... love their website... it is all hosted and linked on Youtube.

Their company vision is rather well... visionary... check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGsJHZ_p2ck&annotation_id=annotation_319246&feature=iv

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strategy and Search

We just had a great preso from DGM's head of search Gary Nissim on the strategic role of search.

My favourite case study was about NRMA's Unworry campaign - they launched this without having any search around the term itself, Unworry. So after launch there's a big spike in search for unworry and DGM are there with a rival client to mop up all the searches and turn them into $$ for someone else. Love a bit of ambushing!

I just googled "unhard" to see if they had now sorted it and thank goodness they have. And to my surprise unhard wasn't being bid on by any Viagra type companies!

I also like the case study I've seen recently on the US Government using search to predict disease outbreaks - there is a predictive correlation beteen certain search terms like "flu" and then the spread of those diseases to become mini epidemics. So the Govt can predict where the flu is going to be and act accordingly.

All up, you can now use search for consumer insights, for awareness, for loyalty and retention, for predicting, for tactical campaigns, for competitive ambushing and for measuring the impact of other media, and more - on top of the traditional acquisition strategies.

Anyway I'd say the search session was the most I've learnt in an hour for quite a long time....

One last surprising fact - while Google has 90% market share in Australia, it has nowhere near that in the rest of Asia so it does not dominate in every market.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

is there anybody out there tweeting?

Harvard Business have just conducted a study on Twitter users that brings up some interesting results. They researched a random sample of 300,000 users of Twitter and here's the big findings:

1. 10% of Twitter users make up 90% of the tweets. Compared with other social networking sites, 10% make up only 30% of all production and then there is Wikipedia where 15% of the editors there make up 90% of the content.... so, the upshot on this is that Twitter seems to be be used as more of a one way comms tool than a conversation tool.

2. Big gender diffs on Twitter... Even though women make up 55% of Twitter users. Men are twice as likely to follow a man than a woman and women are 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Are men more interesting tweeters?

3. Among Twitter users, the average lifetime tweets is merely 1.

I was talking to Kate Kendall from Marketing Magazine last week about Twitter, she has over 3000(!) followers which i thought make her incredibly famous on Twitter and she talked about using it as a news aggregator for her favourite sites and bloggers. This made complete sense to me and does go some way to explaining the 3rd point. Rather than having a million explorer windows open to your favourite sites to check their updates, just following these sites on Twitter puts it all in one spot.

Read the full Harvard Business report here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Digi awards

Four OMDers judged the Internet Advertising Bureau awards today and it was a very interesting experience, especially comparing the way it works with the Media Federation Awards. Whilst we are prohibited from commenting on any specific entries or - of course - revealing the winners, I thought there were some good learnings for future digital award entries.

The majority of the entries had at least one significant hole in their story. By that I mean you are looking for a case which had clear challenge, interesting insights, which leads to innovative digital execution and then well evidenced results.

With all awards it is hard to find the perfect case study that has all of the above. But ultimately that kind of all round greatness is what we are searching for.

A couple of areas were the most challenging:

45% of the marks were for results and this was a challenging area as there was no requirement to rule out other factors, so when digital is given as say 27% of spend, and the results are for the campaign as a whole it makes it difficult.

As to having a compelling insight that drove the strategy and execution in surprising directions, there very few of the 40 entries I read that had a good insight. This backs up my long held view that digital strategies in Australia, and probably the world over, have a worrying lack of consumer insight.

One surprise was that Facebook only got mentioned once - every recommendation seems to have Facebook in it these days, but it has not been making it into the final strategies in the last 12 months. Social media was fairly well used though with MySpace and YouTube featuring fairly prominently.

Overall I personally found it a great experience to see all the digital work from agency land in Australia. There was lots of solid work - if few outstandingly brilliant ones. And the focus on business results whilst not being perfect took us a long way further than endless claims of click rates, PIs, UBs and time spent.

Moving forward, strategists have a special role to play in the digital space: the possibilities are so much more varied than with other media that you can't just have digital as a translation of your offline strategy any more, you need to find specific "ways in" to the consumer using the unique properties of digital media.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

futurefeed - but of course...!

Are a regular Facebook status updater or possibly A twit, I mean Twitter-er...?

welcome to Futurefeed... that will 'tell you what your friends are doing before they do it.'

I am hazarding a guess this aint going to be around for very long... can't see why you couldn't tweet or update your Facebook status with things that are about to happen, in fact I am sure people already do this but hey... what's one more device to bore your friends and colleagues with on all the mundane aspects of your life?

Anyway, must dash, I need to put my lunch dishes in the dishwasher everyone - wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Piecing together the puzzle

We're working on how to bring media strategy, creative strategy and content strategy together. It's not easy, but I like to think OMD has a head start on a lot of our competitors due to the success of our branded content division, Fuse, over the last 3 years.

Out of a discussion last week came a couple of thoughts that I quite like. One of them is that the difference between media strategists and content strategists is that media strategists only think about content that exists and how they can find the right content to be in, rather than thinking about creating content to give advertising more impact. In other words, if you can't find the right environment for your brand, make it! That shouldn't be too much of a leap for a media strategist to take.

So, if that was a way to align content strategy and media strategy, what is the way to align content strategy and creative strategy? Well maybe a starting point is in educating our teams and our clients that brands in this day and age don't need to be as single-minded. USPs and "matching luggage integration" campaigns are still here in force, but more brands are opening up to telling different - but not contradictory - stories at the same time.

In this view, the content strategy does not need to be an offshoot of the creative strategy. Most of Fuse's successful content strategies have been quite different to the ATL strategy designed by the creative agency, e.g. V-Raw, Telstra Friends, Nivea Visage.

The truth is that what creative agencies do to make 30" TVCs is often very product focused and interruption based, whereas what content strategists do is the opposite. So, trying to generate a content strategy off the back of a traditional creative strategy just isn't going to wash.

There are still lots of issues to be solved, but by knowing when to try and make strategies match (e.g. content and media), and when they don't need to match (e.g. creative and content), you are freed up to produce great work and great results.

Would be interested in people's comments on this topic...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the up

Check out this article from Mashable which shows the fastest growing social networking sites in the world. In case you felt you had the social media thing down pat, I introduce you to 3 on the rise:

Ning
Bebo
LinkedIn

Interesting that the latter two have been around for ages but have got a second wind, while Ning is new to me (I checked it out and it does not have much Aussie focus yet). In a previous post I predicted the demise of Facebook in about a year's time (aside: we no longer have access at work so my personal usage and interest has declined markedly), and the demise of the term social media as everything digital becomes social. Of course what I mean is that it will be so successful that the boundaries between social-media and non-social-media will disappear so the definition will be redundant.

Off to Ning...

News you can choose

We have been examining the Future of News, and it has led us to some interesting case studies I thought worth sharing. These are sourced from CMD and WARC.



Two key themes emerge in how news providers market themselves: Depth and Speed. Depth is illustrated by case studies from News.com.au and The Daily Telegraph online (UK).



News.com.au's 2006 campaign used the creative tagline "Be Involved" which is around depth of news. But their media strategy was all around the morning commute and touched on live as well as depth. It included LED panels of breaking news in bus shelters, 12 tailored breakfast radio sponsorships, partnership with Street Vision, time-targeted display online linked to live RSS feeds, and interactive outdoor panels. Visitor numbers apparently rose by 30%.









The Daily Telegraph online felt that it always came off second best when big news came out. So as they UK's 2007 budget loomed, they decided to go on the offensive. They created content in multiple media to prepare for their offensive and then spread the content using 100% online media: Search was the foundation of this. But they also used targeted and updated online and a humorous viral campaign featuring a famous comedian.










Speed is illustrated by stern.de (Germany) and Yell (UK).

Stern had a couple in a cinema go into labour and rush out to go and give birth. Just a couple of minutes later, a cinema ad came on showing "Twins born at a cinema in Hamburg" illustrating exactly how fast their news was.










Yell in the UK (which is the UK equivalent of Yellow) showed how to illustrate "Local" by using GPS to localise the ads on digital panels on London buses, so if the bus was in Clapham, the panels talked about Clapham. It would clearly be easy to use similar technology as News.com.au did to illustrate Live using GPS.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mobile Strategy article

Here's a link to my article on mobile in today's Australian.

Since I wrote this I have been looking into mobile some more and one interesting thing is the low numbers using mobile search at this stage - I was quoted a client's campaign which had 4 click throughs in a week. I also spoke to a company who run a BlueTooth network and they have been running 4 years and still finding business challenging.

So my conclusion is that there is still some work to do to get Aussie clients on board. That said we presented BlueTooth, Shortcodes and content partnerships in an FMCG strategy today and the client didn't blink. So, full steam ahead, but be aware of the challenges.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why did the robot cross the road?

This is one to warm the cockles. A New Yorker called Kacie Kinzer builds tweenbots which are basically very low fi cardboard robots with a destination instruction on a flag.

In Kacie's own words:

I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself?

The mission was to see how long it would take the tweenbot to get from various start points and the outcome was heart warmingly interesting; All kinds of people stopped to help this cute little robot on its way... showcasing a beautiful example of crowdsourcing in action.

Humanity at its sweetest.


Mix n match shoes

Check out what's going on in the Telstra team here in Sydney. Chris and Jacqui are doing a social/fashion experiment and have created a blog. Very funny. Maybe we have the next 2 viral superstars in our midst?

Reminds me of the band Kris Kross who wore their clothes backwards.

Augmented reality arrives in Australia...

Over the last few weeks i've been working on not one but two global gaming pitches, which means that i've been looking into some really interesting innovations in digital media.

The latest progression is augmented reality: a QR code-style affair which enables you to view a 3D hologram by simply holding a print ad infront of a webcam.

Here's a video of the augmented reality campaign for new game Assassin's Creed 2 (it launched on Friday in MX) being demo'd by a fan.

OMD's 5 trends for a different world

It’s no secret we’re buckled in for a bit of a tougher ride than we’ve known in the last two decades and it is driving some interesting new trends.

OMD Strategy has been sorting through them and have reconised 5 trends we believe are changing how we choose to consume as well as what we marketers can do to respond to these changes together.

1. Show us the facts Jack
What is this all about?
We are in the midst of a whole lot of change at the moment and for most people, the story is a little gloomy. Consumers are well aware they can’t afford to bury their heads in the sand and in fact there is clearly a renewed hunger for facts and information. We are expecting to see to see spikes across the education sector too.

Application
1. What facts about your brand can you share with consumers?
2. Are there stats you could use to promote the category you play in?
3. Would an educational platform add new meaning to new and current consumers of your brand?

2. Conscious Consumption

What is this all about?
Blind faith has had its day as more consumers are shopping with their eyes wide open. From clothes to cars to groceries; We are reading the nutritional panels, supporting local brands over foreign ones, getting our heads around the environmental credentials and boycotting brands that we don’t feel deserve our hard earned $$$

Application
1 Are you appropriately transparent with consumers when it comes to your brand’s history, ingredients, manufacturing or environmental credentials?
2. What aspects of your brand could you dial up for the new conscious consumer?
3. Is there something about your brand that you need to consider changing in the future to ensure you don’t lose share in your category?

3. Celebrating sensible
What is this all about?
Given consumers are a bit squeezed in the ole wallet department at the moment, they will be keeping their peepers peeled for new ways and means of living la vida frugal. Forget the disposable one hit wonders, sensible means searching out for ways to get the most value out of our purchases

Application
1. How can you package up your brand or product in ways that says good value?
2. Can you demonstrate the longer term value of buying into your brand?
3. Is there a meaningful way to use testimonials to tell the value story around your brand?

4. Measuring Up
What is this all about?
Whilst we bunker down for a few lean times ahead, you can bet your carefully managed budgets on more conversations around how to measure ...everything. Marketers that can show ROI of their marketing expenditures have strong case to hold on to their budget so we expect to see some big wins for all the metrics maestros out there!

Application
1. Do you know which marketing activities provide you with the best returns?
2. Are you making the most of all the free measurement tools out there?
3. Have you had a conversation with your communication partners lately around ways to pool and share stakeholders measurement findings?

5. Necessity is the mother of invention
What is this all about?
Want to see some positives coming out of the economic current trim down?
Whilst businesses are all being asked to do more with less, there’s nothing like tough times to drive our creative spirits towards new and innovative ways of doing business (or even starting a business)

Application
1. Assess all of the assets you have around you and see whether you could be leveraging these harder.
2.Find other brands that have some common ground with yours.
3. Don’t assume it can’t be done, in fact if you can think it, you can probably do it

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I can't decide what to decide

we've all been there; you need to make a decision but seem to lack to ability. Most of the time it isn't remotely important...should I have toast or muesli for breakfast or should I go to the gym or sit on my arse but there's always a load of other more important dilemmas that seem equally tricky... should I apologise for calling my mate a stinky monkey arse or possibly something in the form of whether I should go out for my 3rd cousin twice removed's birthday or go on a super hot date ....sound familar?

Procrastinate no longer people - your new decision making advisor has arrived in the form of Hunch.

Put simply, imagine Hunch is a new friend. Over time, Hunch gets to know you by digesting all the answers you submit to Hunch's endless questions. It gets likened to an extensive personality test that ends up helping you make real decisions.

Hunch was invented by Flickr's founder Caterina Fake and in Hunch's own words 'was started by clever folks who were exploring how machine learning could be used to guide practical decision-making.' This is crowd sourcing made personal

As for advertising... well, indeed you may find yourself referred to a retailer weblink but it does feel like a natural referral and supposedly Hunch don't use advertiser funding to skew their results.

Anyway, I am off to see what Hunch thinks I should eat for lunch...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kmart's Search for a Super Saver

Its not that often that you see the big retailers in Australia doing interesting things with their communications, so when I found this ad for Kmart's search for a Super Saver, I thought it would be worth commenting on.
They're looking for a tightarse basically "...if you're puse strings are tied tighter than your kids shoelaces..."(and who won't be this year?) to blog for Kmart and give other consumers their secrets on shopping and saving and they get $500 in vouchers each month to do it . Not a bad deal if you're the winner....not to mention Kmart, who get cheap talent for their brand for a few months. What I also like about this idea is that their blog can act as a barometer of consumers' thoughts and feelings towards shopping, value and saving that Kmart can begin to tailor their communications around...not to mention a great way to actually launch sales & offers.
There will probably be some interesting commentry from consumers for us to keep an eye on, so here's the link to join the super saver community: http://supersaver.kmart.com.au/join-community.html