jump to navigation

Best digital work this week – June 7th, 2009 June 7, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, digital strategy, social media, technology, Video Games.
Tags: , , , , ,
4 comments

Hi,

This is an ongoing series I’m doing rounding up the most interesting digital work I’ve come across in the past week. Sometimes it won’t necessarily be new, it’s amazing what can slip under the radar. If you find something you think is worth checking out, please leave me a note in the comments!

Cheers,

David

P.S. This post is best enjoyed with some Motown on in the background and a glass of wine/ice-cold beer.

—-

This week has been somewhat of an odd one, I’ve been fixated on augmented reality (henceforth referred to as “AR”) and have thus been scouring the web in search of the latest and greatest while trying to concoct ways to foist it on clients. Aside from just geeking out over it though, I really think there’s an opportunity to tell some interesting stories in ways that have previously eluded marketers. Mini started off with a cute but ultimately shallow AR spot, I like what Ray Ban have done though, upping the stakes ever so slightly and making sure to use the medium to do something others can’t (THE rule of ANY advertising: what can we do here that our friends in other disciplines can’t?).

As has been called out in other places however, not offering the option to “BUY NOW!” is a wasted opportunity.

In the interests of pushing things forward, I also came across a mad genius Russian raising the interactivity stakes, creating an environment virtual characters could interact with and makign it accessbile from your mobile (if your mobile happens to be a Nokia N95).

And I couldn’t bring this up without of course pointing you in the direction of a video I found and lost a long time ago, bless the Japanese for all they have brought us:

Experiential markteters: take this and run with it. Please.

Now, as I am a big proponent of brands getting more into the facilitation of experiences and services in more of a sponsor sort of way, I was a big fan of this new webservice, Supercook. The premise is simple: punch in the ingredients you have lying around and let Supercook display recipes that match what you already have in the pantry.

Dear Heinz,

Why are you not all over this?

Hugs and kisses,

Gillespie.

Moving on, in a great example of transparency, however cultivated I’m sure it is, I had no idea the Obama White House was running its own Flickr photostream. All companies who sell people-powered service please take note: putting a human face on what you do will always, always bring your customers closer to what you do. Next thing you know there’ll be a Get Satisfaction feedback form on the official White House page.

Adding another section to platform cold war going on right now, a game called Spymaster has launched a closed beta. “What is so special about a game being in closed beta?” I hear you ask. Well, not much, except it has been built on and is to be played using Twitter. Mashable have a great round-up of it, and while this shouldn’t be all that surprising given the myriad of web services already available, it’s interetsing to see people extend Twitter’s platform into a realm of sheer entertainment.

Last but not least, I couldn’t help but share this Brazillian site encouraging people to…errm…urinate while in the shower as opposed to the toilet. I can’t say it’s a practice I’ll be indulging in, and while I risk exposing myself for the hypocrit I am by including this site even amidst the lack of meaningful interaction between the site and its visitors beyond obligatory links out to various social networks, the execution is lovely and put a smile on my face.

Really, what more can we ask than that?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Calling Social Media Out November 13, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in philosophy, web 2.0, work/life.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
22 comments

I’ve had enough. I’m done with social media and I’m calling you, you and particularly YOU out on it. I’m nailing it to the wall for the crock that it is. UGC was the first to cop it, social media is next.

I’m looking at what Jules is doing with The Population, my friend Matt‘s work with DP Dialogue, whoever else is out there. Yes, we have the Beersphere tonight, yes I blog, vlog, put music on MySpace, I comment, bookmark with del.icio.us, I use compfight to search Flickr for Creative Commons-licensed imagery, I discover new music via Last.fm and Pandora, and I Twitter. I do all that, and I’m telling you right now social media will be, in the great history of the web, hell in the great history of the next three years (if that long), the 2.0 equivalent of Pets.com.

And here is why.

First, we have to agree on something. You can choose to disagree, and I welcome that, but my stance is this: the web is inherently social. Not for everyone, particularly not for older generations, but from me back to the babies it is inherently, indiscriminately, and unavoidably social.

Next, we have to agree that the web is young. The web is still figuring out what it is, what it wants to be. You know movies? The name comes, need I remind you, from moving pictures. Photos that seemed to come to life, truth 24 times a second. Web 1.0 was moving pictures, we’re now in the Talkies. Imagine if film had stalled when talkies came along and we suddenly found the actors had horrible voices?

That is where we are; social media is “the talkies” of the Internet.

Social media isn’t anything special, it is just the Internet in its current form. All media is social – Julian says this himself. It is a period that will forever be known as a time where it became as easy to create content as it was to consume it. THAT is the important part of what is going on.

Not Web 2.0, not new media, not digital media, not post-media and certainly not social media. If all media is social, media must be inherently social and if we agree the web is inherently social then the Internet is, my friends, just a collection of media (we need to separate that idea from the business of media). We have created a new taxonomy in an attempt to somehow describe the “otherness” of this new space, which is itself not a recent development; we’ve separated movies and TV for years even though they showed us essentially the same thing (like FM radio and Pandora do now). Watching video online is no different, and soon we won’t treat it like it is.

In fact, thank God (or Dawkins for the atheists) we’re rapidly coming back around to a place where we’re not stuck on discussions of platforms and mediums; there will only be one platform where everyone produces and, once again, content will be king. That platform is the Internet, and, dear client folk, if someone comes to you with a digital strategy that does not have a focus on creating 1-to-1 connections in your audience, then run for the hills. But do not be caught up in the myth of social media, that is just the interwebs as we know it.

As Iain Tait said much more succinctly than I, digital is not a thing anymore.

Now, let’s talk about something interesting for a change.

**Update** I got the name of Matt’s social media company wrong as he points out below. Apologies to him and the good people at De Pasquale.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

New businesses reside in the linked economy November 11, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, creativity, intent, strategy, technology, web 2.0.
Tags: , , , , ,
5 comments
Threadless

 

Image via Wikipedia

I spend a lot of time with friends thinking about where tomorrow’s businesses lie, and I’m on the record that great content with good intentions and an open philosophy will be at the heart of the real money-makers in the next decade.

With that in mind, I’ve just read a fascinating post from Mark Ury who is an Experience Architect at Blast Radius. Mark ties together a few loose strands of thinking and comes out with something entirely his own. I particularly love the below principles he borrows from Jeff Jarvis

Can applying “link economy” strategies work for “traditional” companies? Here are Jeff Jarvis’ four principles. And below is a modified version, applied to companies in pursuit of innovation:

1. All companies must be transparent. Your talent base and IP must be exposed and connected. They’re not useable unless they’re linked.

2. The recipient of IP and talent is the party responsible for monetizing them. The more you enable the flow of IP and talent AWAY from you, the more it comes BACK—with greater value and skills to monetize. Just watch how Hollywood operates.

3. A porous organization is the key to efficiency. In other words: do what you do best and link to the rest.

4. There are opportunities to add value atop the IP and talent layer. This is where one can find business opportunities: by managing abundance rather than the old model of managing scarcity. The market needs help finding the good stuff; that curation is a business opportunity.

…which he applies to Threadless during the course of the post…

The result: a business that manages abundance (t-shirt ideas), provides value through transparency (the audience becomes both editor and consumer), and values the flow of IP and talent through them—rather than by them. (Doc Searls calls this kind of value “a shift from “making money with” to “making money because.”)

Great piece. And it contains some links to some other fascinating reads on “the linked economy”. Mark also takes the time to talk about opportunities that exist around monetising the aggregation of information and content, of which Threadless is a prime example (as is Flickr, YouTube, MySpace etc.).

The idea here is this: find the verticles in seemingly well-mined markets, and you will open up doors the rest of us never knew existed.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Minute by minute by minute by minute August 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, industry news, marketing.
Tags: , , ,
9 comments
And now for something completely different...

And now for something completely different...

Marcus’s piece is thought-provoking.

Why?

Because he advocates a joint-venture between company and client over either an agency or doing it in house.

Why?

Because in house has too many political hurdles and an agency doesn’t get deep enough in the business.

Why?

Because there are too many other distractions.

Why?

Because there has to be; it isn’t their job to focus on it, and that is what they require.

I was with a client on Friday who told me, in no uncertain terms, that they didn’t do technology. “We’re just marketers” she said. “We don’t understand that stuff.”

Jesus. H. Christ.

“We’re just marketers” was quote of the week for me, strong contender for quote of the year. Another boffin from an agency I work with had asked aloud what Flickr was, which in itself is maddening. What really frustrated me though was the lines these people were willing to draw around what they did and didn’t do. Apparently being “just a marketer” means you can float through on ignorance and leave “teh interwebs” up to the geeks in the corner.

Can you imagine 50 years ago talking about TV to have someone turn around and say “Oh, I’m just a marketer, I don’t understand that TV stuff”?

The mind boggles. Let’s get it straight: nothing is off the table. Not digital, not analogue, not experiential, not bespoke, not DM, not TVCs, not PR, not ambient, not out of home, not print, not word of mouth, nothing. Marketers who opt for a career with blinkers on will find themselves swept aside in the eternal race for consumer’s hearts and minds. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but you should at least be aware of where everything fits.

And you should also be aware that every waking minute of your day, you are marketing something.

We all are.

Image courtesy of M J M, with thanks to compfight.

And then there were two… February 3, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in industry news.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

I’ve spent the last couple days thinking about what Microsoft’s play for Yahoo really means for the Wide Open Spaces we call the world wide web, it having changed so quickly and constantly. And just as the dust seemed to settle around a landscape where Facebook held everyone’s attention, the most dominant software company we’ve known sweeps in for a hostile takeover on what was the shining light of Web 1.0.

I remember reading Po Bronson’s seminal Web 1.0 text Nudist on the Late Shift and being enthralled with the chapter on Yahoo!. Bronson framed it around the notion of meeting billionaires Jerry Yang and David Filo, neither of whom were yet 35, which in his eyes made the whole thing seem even more surreal. 13 years after Yahoo! was founded it finds itself mired in lay-offs, under-performing products, and perpetually treading water while everything other than Flickr fails to gain traction, and even that has been outdone by Facebook which has become the largest photo-sharing site full stop.

The play revolves around three things; search, email, and advertsing.

Search
Microsoft have long been the distant cousin in this space. Google dominate the landscape; Yahoo! hold a distant but solid second place. Indeed it can be argued they are the only ones who’ve been able to hold some ground against the relentless force that is AdWords. Microsoft have failed to offer up a compelling alternative to Google, and the end result is an increasing loss of market share in search while Yahoo! bail water out faster than the guy next to them. With the need to compete for second place out of the way, both companies can down-size, hone in on strengths, and be confident that nobody else has the market share to make a play for #2. What they do need to worry about is people moving away from a Yahoo! service who had arrived there in the first place because of a distaste for Microsoft.

Email (your inbox)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder and CEO) has spent more time than I care to acknowledge talking about the social graph. Simply put, it is a map of the relationships you have with people. Facebook is supposed to represent that, but Google have already pointed out that the social graph is already well represented by email; what you send and what you receive paint a far more accurate picture of your online interactions than a site coined so loosely as a “social network”; email doesn’t rely on the walled garden mentality, and as such maps a more realistic path for social interactions. If one age old rule of marketing is that the most compelling campaigns are formed around trusted sources, then having a solid understanding of who an individual’s sources are is key.

Microsoft & Yahoo! will have a combined online mail share of somewhere between 4 and 5 hundred million users (depending on whose numbers you use and how you skew the data). The sheer quantity of data available and what they can learn about their users is staggering; the task there though is turning it into something meaningful. Both companies have proud traditions of innovation that have somehow been lost along the way; finding that spirit again is key to taking the fight to Google and Facebook.

Interestingly, the key differentiator between Google’s Gmail and the others is Google fails to offer a paid-for premium service and instead is ad-supported based on key words in the messages you send and receive. You would think a competitor to this product would have to be in the works at at least one of the companies; hopefully these products would be finished and rolled out before any moves were made towards a single super service.

Advertising & the future of online
There have been nervous mutterings recently around Google’s advertising intentions. In September last year they hired Andy Berndt who was President of Olgilvy & Mather in New York, and two weeks ago announced the Publicis Group had been brought on to assist with their creative. While this is a coup for Publicis, people don’t seem to understand that Google have been the dominant force in online advertising ever since the introduction of AdWords; they have been in advertising for years, the traditional media folk just didn’t pick up on it because it didn’t look like the advertising they were used to.

Google’s presence coupled with its now approved purchase of Double Click means it wields an influence not seen since the months before Microsoft began being probed for anti-competitive tactics. People are still so worried about a giant in Redmond that Google was able to quietly go about its business and snap up anything and everything that made its search offering stronger.

Last year Microsoft finally caught up in a public way, purchasing a series of companies to kick-start its advertising play. Yahoo! had also been on a spending spree and now a single entity gets the fruits of those labours. This page shows a period of two years over which acquisitions were made leading up to mid-2007; all the serious plays are around advertising and search, regardless of company. Steve Ballmer would have been fuming that they didn’t land Double Click, the move for aQuantive was a no brainer after that.

If and when this deal goes through, Microsoft will own a handful of also-rans, but in addition to Yahoo!’s mail offering they will also have del.icio.us and Flickr, two of the most prominent and popular Web 2.0 sites. Facebook still lurks out in the ether, its next move known only to a handful of its executives. If anyone stands to gain from this, I think it is them – they can operate in exactly the same fashion that allowed Gogle to become quietly dominant. This move puts the spotlight on someone else, it allows Zuckerberg to spend some time thinking about where he wants the business to go and to focus on executing that vision rather than putting on the media darling suit that doesn’t quite fit.

Google have recently reached a point where they can do whatever they please, when Microsoft reached that spot it rapidly became the least interesting kid on the block. Google need to show they are hungry, that they have the fire and the stamina to win. 2008 is going to be a phenomenal year for online, and that is without even touching the launch of Android, Google’s mobile platform, the 700MHz spectrum bid, or Open Social, its vision for a completely open socially-networked web. Once Microsoft hammer this deal out, it makes for two massive fish in a (thankfully) endless pond. That’s just the kind of environment the Facebooks of the world need, one where they can hide away and get back to what made them great in the first place.

And the wide open spaces just got a little wider…

Web 2.0 – The City January 15, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in web 2.0.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Web 2.0-tropolis

Came across this great image via Maki. The image itself is referenced in a great post on content development and the strategy behind it for your website.

Maki’s blog Dosh Dosh may just be my find of the week!