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:

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:

Saturday, June 6, 2009


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!

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