communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.
Dan and Melania, the future gurus of brand interaction have today been briefed on their assignments. Relevant discoveries to follow.
Many thanks for their utter and unexplainable lack of desire to be reimbursed for allowing us to use them as guinea pigs.
Sometimes it seems blogging has become more of a profession than a pleasure so I guess if you do it as such it should have some performance criteria.
But I think I want to retain my amateur status for a while - somehow it seems more in tune with the whole concept of "in beta"
LATER UPDATE: does template monogamy count as a plus?
For those wondering like me, Iain has some answers here where he discusses the maings of a digital planner.
I find it amazing how closely knit and small the robolgsphere is and how interconnected the players are. Everyone seemed, at some point or the next, to have brushed against the other (or rather bumped against the other).
I had fun and spoke way too much apparently but found that people in Romanian internet are less prepared and in touch with what is being done. Also something that i have noticed ever since i started attending conferences, no one comes prepared. They come to give an opinion and sometimes that is simply not enough.
. ... also the setting was scary because we were on these white chairs on a podium surrounded by people but at some point it felt like some posh tech conference. so rock on Ericsson people :) via
IBM thinks these (mobile advertising, global internet etc) will be the highest spend advertising channels in 2010. Scary huh?
I think it may be a while though with mobile advertising, but I guess with everyone fighting to prove that the phone is man's most priced possession, it makes sense to estimate that it will also be the highest interest channel for ad placement.
download pdf here
Sometimes the best insights come from experiencing the situation yourself. I have a feeling this will be a great brief :(
I was just reading an anecdote about the text all air hostesses give you when the plane has landed. The whole "Please remain in your seats. Do not open overhead compartments as luggage may have shifted etc etc Thank you for choosing us blah blah". I have flown a number of airlines and the text is ALWAYS the same so I assumed it's compulsory. But, dig this, it is not. It's the airline's way to show it cares but because they all do it exactly the same it has become a process and not true care.
I guess that is why I still fondly remember one tube ride in London at rush hour when one conductor, instead of serving us the usual "please allow doors of carriage to close" simply said "look, people, there's another train only seconds behind us. Is a couple of seconds ahead worth having your nose stuffed into someone's armpit?"
I thought it was genius, I laughed and waited for the next train ...
LATER UPDATE: here's another example
still they're fun to know and i wonder if there are Romanian equivalents
The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
unlock your car
If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other “remote” for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).
hidden battery power
If your mobile battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell next time.
to disable a stolen mobile
To check your Mobile phone’s serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: *#06#. A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can’t use it or sell it.
So this article by Malcolm Gladwell was a blessing because it talks about processes exactly like ours when we try to figure out who our progressive consumers are. Also it pinpoints what the flaws are, namely that when you do behavioral profiling you simply cannot be sure your clues will lead to your conclusions in 100% of the cases. I cannot promise you that all your customers will think that red polka dots are cute. It's an assumption I make based on information and that is why I try to gather as much information as possible to make my assumption "statistically stick". Of course that's not certainty either.
But in our case it's just advertising, not murder :-) Thank God.
Malcolm is back to blogging and he has a new book coming out and I really hope it's about profiling.
Jeff Gomez: He was a kid growing up in late 60s/70s in the Manhattan projects, where he felt like an outsider. In order to deal with this, he became involved in Sci-Fi media. Created his own Godzilla content by repurposing mass media imagery found in magazines. As he got older, he began to explore mythology and fantasy worlds, and was floored by the realism of those worlds. He wanted to emulate this, and find a system of rules that allowed him to do that, such as D & D. He needed to find a way to make fantasy worlds accessible to other people in the projects, and he began to get a sense of what the interactive experience was like for non-fans. Started looking to BBSes as places to extend the role-playing worlds. He predicted that there would be this kind of ongoing storyline on TV and these would go back into novels or video games, and low and behold this came to be. He began writing Palladium books, and Valiant comics. They asked him what character to pick to make into a video game. Suggested Turok, the Dinosaur Hunter, who ended up becoming a major property for Acclaim. Later brought Magic: The Gathering to Acclaim's attention. Now heads Starlight Runner Entertainment, which takes intellectual properties and develops fictional world around them.
He speaks here
Via Faris via MIT Future of Entertainment conference this neato (!!!) gimmick called TagMaps powered by Yahoo! Berkley Labs which shows you the map of the world through flickr photos people take of the places you are looking for.
This above is from where I used to live when in London. Nice!
you might get the chance to see the man himself at netcamp. confirmation of his arrival here and details about the conference here. (he is not posted on the site yet which only goes to prove blogs are better at spreading the news)
wohooo, cannot wait to give him my card maybe it becomes the next drawing :-)
I did a presentation a while back about UCG and how to get that and one of the simplest ways was to make your stuff more available to people. Dragos points out an interesting talk at TED about UCG and what it means culturally and how it should, therefore, be regulated. Find the talk here.
I find it interesting that it links in with my story of people trying to prevent pedestrians from forging paths through an alley and it seems to me that his reply to my then question is simply make more paths for them to cross through :-)
Claudiu told us something about his now famous Budai beer and what stayed with me was the simplicity of the fact that they had never planned this to be a viral. They simply did something they thought would be fun.
One other thing that I thought was marvelous was meeting two lovely ladies with an interesting idea/deed. You can find the idea here and while my innate rejection of crowded spaces makes me think that more advertising is not really necessary, only better advertising, I have to say that I can see the win-win in this combination.
One other thing that we were talking about was the need to get to doing instead of simply talking about stuff. I suffer from the realization that the older you get and the higher up the "agency ladder" the less you get to DO things and the more you get to TALK about how to do things. So hearing about people actually doing things was refreshing. Does anyone have anything they really want to DO?
This is the horrid time of the year when companies start sending you those god awful cards and relaxation toys, xmas decorations, wine bottles and xmas cakes. Maybe someone could try these for a change - paper automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre (via Boing Boing)...apparently they're also fun to assemble
Later Update: and wooden ones too :-)
So, feeling generous I think i will not say look, i told you so, but simply direct you to read this pamphlet on coherence and what it means from Richard. Maybe this will clarify some lingering doubts about the much-brandished consistency "as in using the same picture all over the communication".
Thanks maddish for this great cat animation which has seriously lessened my determination to get a dog and not a cat...
maybe we can have a planner cat, planner cat, does whatever planner cat does .... tada da ta dada ....
Specifically I find that in Romania brands have no substance other than what is afforded to them by the communication their mother brands do outside the country and which we circulate via e-mail and blogs. There is little to no insight in brand universe if you rely solely on radio, Internet and OOH. We place too little money on making brand universes real in a tangible way, that is why, for me, non TV user now, a newcomer on the banking market in Romania, Millenium Bank is the most valid of all existing brands since they have placed a huge christmas tree in the middle of Bucharest.
There is a lot of OOH and expecially lighted logos on top of buildings but Heineken is up there with a clinic that fixes rectal problems so it's hard to decide who you like best based on size of logo. Locations where I like to hang out are poorly branded, if at all, and as i get my going-out info from aggregators online I do not see the branded posters. Basically without TV, brands have little to no depth to me in Romania.
Radu was praising the good sense of a labeling strategy by a clothes manufacturer some time ago, and it was only when running into some counter examples of my own that i realized how often we DO pay attention and get annoyed.
These are (forgive pics taken with lousy 1 MP phone camera) two products whose labeling and instruction methods strike me as appalling.
One is a medication prescribed for mild infections and the other is a face cleaning gel. The medication remarkably says, among others, that side effects might include headaches, nausea and PARANOIA WITH SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, while the gel suggests at the end of its 'how to use' that it can just as well function as shaving cream for men. Now, the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear that Yes, thank you, I would like to know in bold, fat letters if taking your pill is going to make me jump off a bridge screaming "they're after me" or if your cleansing gel is going to give me a beard!!
While advertisers were busy talking to them about a better future or, reversed psychology, about how they should not think about that, it seems that people were concerned about one thing: money. Slowly capitalism has crept in.
When you were paying it to the state you felt no desire to interfere because the state was not to be messed with, but since now you are giving it away to come company they had better show you some results.
I find it interesting that even the advertisers' agencies, who are after all just people themselves, failed to note the fact that we were ALL behaving as if private was state owned and no accountability was to be asked of it while all along the consumer was making a clear cut difference and asking for a different kind of rhetoric. Private pension advertising has treated consumers with the same indifference and superiority as if it was state-made. That is why the most frequent reply we to it was "it's plain silly"
Now, one thing I have noticed about advertising in Romania is that it is seldom if ever concerned about the business part of the work. There is no interest in knowing the boring details of the client's business, market share, distribution, all that crap. It's mainly about ideas and creativity. And again I wonder, and I seem to be doing that a lot, how can an industry that was born out of the need to assist business in getting better results survive if it loses interest in what it was, ultimately, supposed to help with?
(thanks M for the really nice description)
Pretty much like the silent struggle of companies to push services and products that people do not like. I mean, no one wants to pay to download stuff unless it's from Radiohead or iTunes and it's decently priced. But still there is the downloads police. No one wants to buy a cheaper phone with a subscription but telecoms force you to subscribe in order to get your iPhone cheaper. I will not buy content from my mobile if it is not truly new and worthy. So, iMode and Live! better buck up.
The question here is: is it worth fighting the natural impulse of consumers or is it more profitable to find a solution that will make both happy? I think Radiohead might have the answer. When will the rest get it?
Had a talk a while back with a smarter man from London who was posing an interesting theory, albeit limited to the field of telecoms. He was saying that there is a challenger type of communication and a leader type of communication. These however, i felt had nothing to do with the actual market share of the company but rather with the company culture. You chose to be a challenger in attitude even as your market share entitled you to act/communicate as the leader.
Challenger communication was all about pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in your category, all about questioning the status quo and conventions. By choosing to be a challenger you pushed your product people to bring out better stuff, to improve existing stuff, to move more and to redefine things as the consumer knew them.
The obvious question was 'why'? Why would you want to be the challenger or act as the challenger when in fact this meant more work rather than more money placed on TV. The answer he seemed to say was simple: progressive consumers followed challengers because they associated the challenger status with better value for money and better brand universe for loyalty displayed (okay, rather fishy paraphrasing there). And progressive consumers were engaged and spent more.
So the 80/20 rules might actually work macro as well. Of 100% consumers you have about 20% who are progressive ones and who make up for 80% of consumption while the remaining 80% use basic services seldom and determine stable but minimal ARPU.
What will you do? Push a bit farther and get the big spenders or stick with the many with tight pockets?
Casinos in LV have found the answer and so has Virgin Airlines.
They would have to be minimally reliable (not run away with the camera), between 14 and 16 and a social being (basically they cannot want to destroy humanity as a life goal)
Those willing to participate will get goodies and the chance to do something good. I don't expect anyone to want to do this for the latter part of the prize but we'll try to make the goodies interesting :-)
drop me a line here bogdana dot butnar at gmail dot com
"The work comes first. And while it served as a great compass for many years, it has become the focus of much discussion and dissent of late. Well, it ain’t the holy writ. If you want to junk it, we can junk it. But here’s what insight the thing is based on. In big agencies, the client/agency relationship is the most sacred thing. The difficulty seems to be that the work then serves the relationship, and everything becomes political. And when things get political, the work suffers. And when the work suffers, the business suffers, then the client agency relationship suffers, and you suffer. In creative boutiques, the ego is supreme. The work is there to enhance personal reputations. If I said the work is wonderful, the work is wonderful. Shut up and sell it. Problem here: again, the work slip is, the client agency relationship goes south. When we say the work comes first, we are saying that things work best when everyone – client and agency alike – are focussed on whether or not this is great damn work. Politics aside. Egos aside."
The new one is fresh and clean and it will work according to some simple rules:
- in English because Russell once suggested that it may be more useful like that
- all opinions and comments reflective EXCLUSIVELY of myself and my thinking and not involving my workplace unless specifically mentioned
- always exactly what I think :) even if it may seem detrimental to the profession, the work community or anything else (after all, I can do whatever I want in the privacy of my own home)
- cuss words are allowed so I will not use f***** when I mean to say fucking
Let's see how this works out