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

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, digital strategy, social media, technology, Video Games.
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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!



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,


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?

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That’s too big to be a space station April 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
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Earlier this year I decided I was going to make myself into a morning person. See I’m really not a morning person, I’m not even a mid-morning person. I only really wake up around 6pm, which explains why I’m up so late, get so little sleep, have a hard time getting out of bed and subsequently ensure I remain “not a morning person.

Garfield doesn't "do" mornings...

It was going to coincide with joining a gym, getting in shape, a bunch of things, as if simply being glad to get out of bed each day wasn’t going to be hard enough. Simply put, the bar was set too high; impossible to achieve based on my world view at the time, and too much to deliver real motivation to change. All it really did was show how little ground I was gaining.

One of my best friends Ian works for a Big 4 accounting firm. He is an endless source of good advice on finance (one would hope so), and has been a really great friend in terms of teaching me about money and setting reasonable financial goals.

Because Ian knew my natural tendencies, he knew I wouldn’t spend less time with friends, in bars, seeing bands, generally living life the way I enjoy it. So while I don’t put as much into my savings each week, what I do put in stays in because it is a measured and achievable goal; when I check the balance of that account I get a sense of having accomplished something rather than being disappointed with myself.

As marketers, we tend to do the same. A client wants the biggest and best of everything; they’re a traditional brick and mortar business, but they want the most innovative social media strategy we can possibly concoct, in fact why don’t we just go create a new start-up with a silly play on words, invent some tech nobody needs with a catchy name so the client can pull off a world first in this space and get kudos if not customers, right? Right. And so very wrong.

We need to be partners, not providers. If a client says they want to talk to their audience but isn’t sure how, don’t tell them they need a Facebook application and a UGC-driven promotion and a new micro-site when you know they don’t (by the by, if you’re not sure what they need, see Forrester’s POST Methodology). If they really want to talk, make them understand what that means. Explain the true nature of corporate transparency, explain what being in that conversation is all about, give them the upshot as well as the potential to take a very public beating. Partner with them, show thought leadership and a willingness to walk the road alongside their efforts.

Most of all set achievable goals, they can start a WordPress blog for free. They can set up a company profile on Get Satisfaction. They can do a wealth of zero dollar marketing exercises that tests the water for them and for the people they answer to. Get that right first; a senior executive’s ego will drive the headline grabbing stuff anyway. Show them genuine value. Or they will eventually show you the door.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get up for a run in 7 hours.