Do you remember? March 31, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in technology.
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When Firefox 3 launched last year, I said to Scott Drummond “There goes the URL!” and thank God. While it still recognised the cumbersome string of letters aligned for a seemingly ancient protocol, it also now recognised the names of sites. So after closing the tab containing a story on Bit.ly raising $2 million in funding, I decided I wanted to reference it and ponder in some fairly semantical and tangential fashion about these further steps away from URLs. I forgot what site the story was on though, and so just typed in “bit”. Lo and behold:
We’re seeing the same thing on our phones, where we no longer dial numbers, we call people. I don’t know the phone numbers of any of my friends, hedging my bet on always being able to find them in some fashion. Skype takes this one step further with the complete absence of numbers. I can imagine explaining to children one day how you once needed a number to find someone, and having them say back to me “Why didn’t you just call their name?”
In one simple update, amidst what were I’m sure hundreds of more important features, Firefox 3 relegated the URL to history. The phone number is well on its way, and I’m wondering what other staples of life are due for a swift Darwinian exit from our technological lives?
Up where we belong March 30, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in creativity, digital strategy.
Since the demise of social media (in my head) I’ve been struggling to get excited about something again. I was sitting thinking about opportunities for a client this morning, and I was reminded of the enthusiasm I talked about the potential of browsers with. This stems from a beautiful execution last year by Poke London on behalf of Orange called Balloonacy, which purported to be (and who is going to argue) the first Internet balloon race (I just noticed they won an award for it too, as it should be!).
The (thoroughly sexy) idea here is Balloonacy didn’t quite exist anywhere, rather it played out over the pages of people who took part, and, flying left to right over the screen you would land on new web pages when you went off the right-hand side. It was an app that didn’t require Facebook or an iPhone, it was a campaign that didn’t require a media buy. It was in fact an execution that could only have been done online, and there is so little work out there we can really say that about.
I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to get something in the browser off the ground for this client, let’s be honest there’s a barrier to entry, not to mention compatability issues, but in the same way processing is getting faster, the walls around technology are getting lower, which means more people participate, which means we get where we’re going faster than we did before.
As I said over at Socialized when the web was abuzz with Skittles nonsense, we’re all leveraging each other’s work, and getting there together.
I’m a New York City man March 17, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in intent, storytelling.
“I am trying to draw every person in New York.” – Jason Polan.
A few thoughts:
- I love a big, hairy, audacious goal, and this is exactly that
- Faber Castell, Caran D’ache, Canson, etc. should be all over this
- It’s a nice extension of Jason’s own brand as an artist
- This feels like a visualisation of Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
- The trick is going to be in catching the moment rather than the person, the intent rather than the outcome.
Found via Andrew Cafourek’s tumblog. I struggle to think of a better way to pass the time.
I’m a faker March 16, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in branding.
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From the “You know better than to eat those” department.
Wait, what does that say at the bottom?!?
Real chocolate chips? Picked by immigrant-labour hand fresh from the chocolate-chip tree? Flavouring rabbit droppings and mixing them in would make a more natural cookie for God’s sake!
Can you tell it’s Monday?
Intent = stuff white people like March 13, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, intent, philosophy.
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“People have a really good ability to see through you projects on the Internet that are just done to try and make you famous.”
Great quote. This is why I bang on about INTENT!
Watch this Google talk, from Christian Lander, author of brilliant blog Stuff White People Like.
Give me gin & tonic March 13, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in branding, storytelling, work/life.
I’m not a big spirits guy, but I love gin. My favourite, Hendrick’s, is by it’s own admission “Not for everybody.” This little booklet that comes attached to every bottle I adore. It is of course sperfluous to the gin, but extends the brand beyond a drink. You could argue it shouldn’t be about more than the contents of the bottle, but that wouldn’t help explain why Coke’s market cap is valued at only $60 billion in assets, but $120 billion when you take brand into account (thank you The Brand Gap).
I love this because:
- I already dig gin, so I’m predisposed and biased
- It doesn’t take itself seriously, therefore digs into Mr. Ries’ law of candour
- It makes itself a social object, and larger than the drink
- Like the Nike’s and Apples of the world, it loves something above its product, in this case the peculiar, and expresses that in the form of a drink the Wall Street Journal named “Best Gin in the world” in 2003
- The story around the drink makes it tribal and is a clear distinction between those who drink Hendrick’s and those who ask for Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. That connectedness is crucial in this day and age.
I think it’s about G&T time…happy weekend everybody.
Treetop Barbie March 5, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing, philosophy, politics, work/life.
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On the subway this morning I was watching the below TED talk by Nalini Nadkarni on her work as an ecologist, studying life in the canopies of rainforests. It’s a great talk which i recommend you check out, my favourite part though was her institution’s appropriation of every girl’s favourite doll, Barbie.
They buy them from thrift stores and other cheap outlets then hand-sew costumes for them and send them out. They’re also available for purchase which makes me wish I had cousins who were young enough to get one for!
A few thoughts:
- I love the appropriation of a classic symbol, recast with new meaning in this day and age
- Is this brand-jacking? Maybe, but not in a way that casts the original in a bad light
- If I were Mattel I would be all over this. Nalini’s group send a booklet out with each Barbie on the work they do, Mattel could release a whole line of eco-warrior Barbie, created entirely from renewable materials in a series of different guises. Sea-Rescue Barbie, Treetop Barbie…Ivory Coast Barbie? (ouch!)
I’m wondering about other campaigns, brands, products, services, whatever. Major symbols like Barbie that can be given new purpose in an eco-aware age. There’s a lot of chatter right now on how green issues will be cast aside as people just try to hang on to their homes, I’m hoping initiatives like this might manage to keep it front of mind for people.
This post is also a special dedicatuion to Alex White, one of my best friends and a tireless eco-warrior himself. He gets married to an extraodinary woman (hi Fern!) tomorrow, a wedding I am sadly not in Australia for. Mate, I love you to absolute pieces and am sorry I can’t be there to share your special day. I cannot wait to hear about it, watch the videos and catch up when I’m back home at the end of the year.