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:


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.

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 $$$

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

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!

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)

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A renters market

Stumbled across this little beauty the other day.... RENTOID... the person to person renting market.

I realise we are currently discovering a new frugal culture but sensible can be ticked off here as I probably can't park a private jet in my back yard and there's only the odd occasion I really feel I need a pair of ornamental testicles worn over my jeans so it all seems very sensible to head to Rentoid.

Jokes aside, there's probably a few good reasons why this could work well in this current market:

  1. A bit of extra cash if you have gear you don't need to use daily
  2. A handy place to go if you are looking for something and don't need it permanently
  3. In their own blurb, is a small bonus for mother earth as you could be helping to prevent another 'thing' being made that might just sit in the storage cupboard
My favourite listing is this one:

Rent and altered state of consciousness

Get a group of friends together to a maximum of 8 and I'll come to your place and guide you through a group breathwork session (you will breath in a special way until your state of consciousness changes and you experience an acid trip without the acid).

Can design save the newspaper?

Short and sweet TED presentation from a Polish designer who was inspired by Cirque du Soleil to reinvent a number of newspapers in Eastern Europe. Yes, does add more creativity to the look of the newspaper but importantly circulations have shot up.

A couple of good lessons to be learnt
1. Inspiration comes from far and wide (we all need to unshackle the blinkers)
2. Working in silos continues to create just that... team work wins the day once again