jump to navigation

Best interactive work this week May 29, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, technology.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Continuing the regular look at the best sites, banners and indescribables that came across my desk this week. If you see something (or better yet, make something!) worth checking out, please leave a comment and I’ll come check it out.

There’s something about the work out there at the moment that makes me want to leap out of my 9th – soon to be 11th – floor window. There is tedious, self-absorbed work from Mercedez Benz, Intel, Bank of America, it goes on. The BofA site, The Morris Code, it particularly disappointing as it comes courtesy of Organic, who really should know better. We’re seeing the continued proliferation of TV commercials doubling as micro-sites, engaged in unhealthy, endless bouts of flashturbation. And for what? For limited, one-time value that disappears the second the media buy is over. Don’t get me wrong, the production values on those sites are off the charts, but I think that’s part of the problem – all of these sites are driving a message down the throat of the visitor instead of finding a way to engage and interact.

I finally arrived with great pleasure and enthusiasm on Magnetic North’s site, which had at least taken the time to consider what one might like to do on the web. Light on the flash, heavy on the interaction, you can scribble on their home page, which reveals their work beneath it. View a campaign, if you like it click just once to see similar projects, a mix of finished products, sketches and demos. When are people going to learn brands can be tinkerers too? The best stuff is rarely shiny and never perfect.

magneticNorth - an interactive design company

The best banner execution I saw this week was for Prius. Saatchi in the US executed it but hats off to the media buyer, it no doubt took a lot of work to get it off the ground. Banner Blog has a QuickTime clip of it in action, honourable mention also to a Tourism Victoria spot from Publicis Mojo, which doesn’t seem to be working properly on BB but I get the sense there’s something pretty cute going on.

From the Much More Important Than Advertising Dept.: I missed this announcement from Google saying they were extending their dalliance with Open ID. As I wrote earlier this week at AVC, I want a single point of identification in my web access, not several logins for hundreds of silos. Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

But the coolest thing I saw this week, hands down, was some new work out of Boffswana, which is staffed by a friend or two in Melbourne. Look at the below video and marvel.

Augmented Reality: Releas3D Standalone Version. from Boffswana on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Let me see you do that switch-a-roo May 29, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, technology.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

This week: Microsoft unveiled a new search engine, and Google unveiled a new approach to email. This is akin to Cadbury launching softdrink and Coca-Cola creating chocolate bars.

Microsoft’s Bing

Google’s Wave

Ok maybe not that drastic, as Microsoft and Google already play in each other’s spaces, what I find interesting is each company’s desire to innovate in the other’s space, potentially at the expense of the things that got them to where they are.

I have a number of clients at Microsoft and I like to think I challenge them regularly to try and build new markets as opposed to steal other people’s; if Google is going down the same path then that disappoints me greatly. What I do find interesting about the above scenario though is Google’s new email idea, called Wave, doesn’t seem to have monetisation built into it beyond advertising, whereas Microsoft are obviously making a big bet on increasing search revenue via Bing, their new search engine.

Google’s play seems to be closer to an idea where everything is contained in a single space, a move I like, away from distinct destinations. Much like Facebook, they’re seeking a single dashboard from which they can control a user’s experience. Microsoft meanwhile are chasing a better mouse trap. It could potentially be a more lucrative mouse trap, but I don’t think it aligns with where user bahviour is going.

And as we all know now, disruption is never about a better mouse trap.

Go see Tim O’Reilly for more on Wave.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saddle up your horses, we got a trail to blaze May 27, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, technology.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Over at Mashable I caught site of a service called RT2Buy (from company Twitpay) which is hooked into Twitter and PayPal, allowing purchasing and money transfer over the space of 140 characters. In exposing platform upon which people could build services early on, Twitter made a very savvy move which puts it head to head with the likes of Facebook, Microsoft etc. in more ways than one.

While people continue to duke it out at a site level, I’m super-bullish on the browser-as-platform. Instead of waiting for traffic to reach a site before it is meaningful, the experience remains with you regardless of where you travel to online.

I commented over at AVC acknowledging the barrier to entry that exists for browser extensions, and said perhaps application developers for Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will find interesting ways to extend the experience into the browser.

My thinking is a popular game on Facebook could potentially be extended into the browser and played when not actually on the site. Yes it is the long way around, but I think the fix will arrive via a combination of it being relatively easy to do AND having it heavily incentivised. Games, photo-sharings apps etc. already with a large audience on Facebook seem to be like the most direct path at this point.

This ties back to my whole thing about seeking out great digital work that is uniquely digital; that is to say, taking advantage of the things you can do with digital platforms that you can’t do with any other. There are ways we can open the browsing experience up that will appeal to a mass audience.

Whoever figures that one out is going to have a handle on a wide open space that leapfrogs everyone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Image courtesy of Eduardo Amorim with thanks to

Digital ash in a digital urn May 15, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, digital strategy, marketing, Viral.
1 comment so far

So I wanted to find a site that compiled the best work in digital over the past week. It seems there are a bunch of niche sites doing this well but nobody covering the entireity of the space the way Best Ads On TV bring you…well…you get the idea. A couple categories are obvious: best site, best banner execution – however I’m keen to track down the best applications, be they in Facebook, in the browser, Adobe Air, whatever. I sould take the time to note that a pretty piece of Flash that could be a TV commercial (or, in a lot of cases, IS a TV commercial does not count). Leveraging my previous thoughts ojn the subject, I’m looking for executions that couldn’t have been done in any other medium.

If somebody knows of a site that exists doing exactly what I’m after, please let me know, as there’s lots of other thigns I could do with my time. On the assumption they don’t however…

This week’s best site is…The FWA’s 50 Millionth visitor takeover.

  • Because: It lives by that most important principle of bringing people togetehr and giving them something to do. Instantly leveraging its own community, the execution with Facebook Connect extends the community into the personal profiles of each person who takes part, making it instantly viral. Drawing a baseline at common interests and going from there, it plays to the narcissist in each of us by allowing a profile picture on a highly trafficked website and offers opportunities to connect. Brilliant execution.

This week’s best banner execution is…Apple (struggling to find this to link to, so I’ve included an image and a link to a previous Apple banner which is different but still quite cool).iLife Mac Banner

  • Because: Each time I think they’ve taken the idea of PC vs. Mac to the end of the road, they find a corner to take. The content will be familiar but I like the use of space the best – yes lots of people have done this and pused the space better, but this got shared around with friends due to it being enjoyable to watch, not because it was clever. It’s almost sponsored content in a way, Apple making me smile for 30 seconds a day. Microsoft, what have you done for me lately?

This week’s best app is…Skype.

  • Because: Apps, particularly on Facebook appear faster than anybody can document them. I didn’t manage to get hold of my Mum last week for Mother’s Day, so in making good on that, arranging a trip in July to see U2 in Ireland, and generally being a bit easier to get hold of, Skype running through Facebook has it for me.

So next week I’ll think about this a little more. I wanted to dive into it today as I’m a big believer in digital requiring more of a willingness to figure it out on the fly. If you have things you find during the course of the week please shoot them through. For those, like me, in Canada today, have a great long weekend!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I could never take the place of your man May 11, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, conversation, strategy.
Tags: , , , ,

When I made games, every now and then I’d see a project underway where all the code was written by a single individual. That individual would invariably write it in such a fashion that it was only decipherable by them. This became an issue when the project got sufficiently far along that there wasn’t time to re-write the core code (it became, in other words, “too big to fail”. Har har). The company would then be in an interesting position – they could fire the programmer and lose the work, they could assign someone else to work along side the programmer who would no doubt have the most miserable job in the whole building deciphering and documenting the spaghetti or they could…? I don’t know.

I was thinking about this as I reviewed the top 100 brands on Twitter. Upon investigation there should be a massive asterisk which leads you to “In April. Over a few days.” – but this is not the point. The list itself is a collection of the usual suspects, and where possible their Twitter name is included and linked to.

What I find interesting here is at #21 Ford appears. Not just Ford though – Ford’s social media evangelist, Scott Monty. Nowhere else on this list does an individual appear alongside a company listing, in fact nowhere else does an individual appear at all.

Is Ford or Scott Monty doing well here?

Is Ford or Scott Monty doing well here?

We can assume, at some point, Scott won’t work for Ford. This creates an interesting dillemma wherein an individual not tied to the company potentially takes the good will built up with them when they leave. We’ve seen this previously with community managers, but it has for the most part remained within the confines of tech companies. Less risky strategies have been seen from the likes of Southwest Airlines where they encourage their employees to blog and engage in social media, but do a good job of tying it under a single site.

Personally, I’m a big fan of putting a human face on this sort of initiative, in fact I don’t think it works without it. It will be interesting to see however how it plays out once Scott no longer calls Ford home.

I really believe you can’t pay someone to engage, you can only reward them for it. In this case, the reward is a job.

But this is why you can’t just pull in the new recruit from the marketing team to take up the mantle. If they don’t already engage, they’re not going to do it because of a paycheque, not in a way that resonates.

Because that can’t be bought.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]