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.

12/31/2008

12/29/2008

Their people are smarter than ours

Not because they said Apple was right but simply because I would never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever (okay you get the point) expect our own advertising regulatory body to say something like this:
"We considered that people would understand [the ad] to mean viruses that infected Windows based PCs would not infect Macs and that Macs were less likely to be infected by viruses than those PCs; not that Macs would never be infected by viruses and did not require virus protection. ... We concluded therefore that the ad was not irresponsible or likely to mislead." Not after I personally have heard such abnormities (invented word, I know) like "the ad tells people to buy this products and this is against the law", "the ad targets kids because it has kids in it", "the ad speaks about the product in a warm way" ...

full story here

Flickr-ing


For a while now, I have been toying with a different way of browsing the Internet. I don't read my feeds, I don't google, instead I flickr...I simply search different words on flickr and see what comes up and from there I move on to actual bits of information. I find that people place on flickr not only visual aids for written text but also actual replacements for text, collages of information, screen crops of interesting trivia.
For instance, searching for "facebook" gives you a lot of profiles, but also a lot of information about app overload, anti-facebook philosophies, facebook weirdness, etc etc. Try it. You may find it more inspiring than regular browsing.

Three memories

I am trying to not put in the context of what is happening today, or everyday for that matter. That is why I only took pics of one and will maybe post it here later. but so far, from this holiday I take away with me:
- walking home from a dinner and looking at my block of flats with its over 200 windows and seeing just ONE window lit up with xmas lights (last year it was blinding, filled with the gaudiest of garlands and decorations)
- an oversized Bugs Bunny doll ( probably as tall as I am, and I'm 6'1) sitting in a seat on the Underground. I saw it going to and later that evening saw it coming back from a friend's place, always in the same seat, like it was waiting for someone
- a chimney sweep, with a huge black hat and red shoes hitchhiking from Deva to somewhere.
:-)

12/28/2008

The age of free - today LITERATURE

I just came across this interesting new website called dailylit.com. It's basically a site that serves you installments of the books you choose by e-mail or rss. I have subscribed to get stuff via e-mail and I am currently reading Lawrence Lessing's Free Culture. I have browsed their library which is not extensive but for those who have been unable to go through the classics of world lit and some of the best known modernists, it's not too bad. Some of the books are free, some are subject to a fee but overall seems like a brilliant idea.

will keep you posted

12/26/2008

Enterprise IT and its demise

This is Lee Bryant talking about the best way to use IT within corporations. Interesting take on how IT within corporations (as opposed to what people use when they are at home) is limiting staff's creativity and performance. Unfortunately the code for the player is broken so i cannot embed it here but you can watch it on the reboot site here. Start watching about minute 12, bit too theoretical till then (basically about different ways of encoding progress)
Also some more talks by the guy on the same topic here (including one with a case study)

12/25/2008

Update to previous

While checking out the reboot copenhagen website here, I can accross a wiki style "free" forum where someone tellingly filled in FREE (FROM) THOUGHT - free FROM thought... LOL

what freaks me out about Facebook


is not the intesity with which it has caught on, nor the intensity with which people use it for a variety of reasons, from "uploading" pics to saying yes and sending off the weirdest of apps. Mind you, these are people I would never have pegged for "the type" - I mean, like me, addictive and unable to defocus from wanting to know if someone commented on my status or what new stuff my "friends" have up there. These are people who have a life outside Internet, who travel, have not developped "Internet humps" [ in case you are not familiar with the term, this is a slight curvature of the upper body caused by overusing your laptop while sitting upright in bed or on the sofa]. So, as I said, the fact that even "normal" people have begun to "share" more with Facebook is really no problem for me - it seems normal. What freaks me out though is the sheer corectness with which Facebook chronicles people's intimate lives via their status updates.
"x xulescu is no longer listed as single" "m mulescu has changed her status to in a relationship" "d dinulescu is now listed as in a relationship and it's complicated". While twitter, as I was writing a while back, requires some introspection to unravel the signs of intimacy, Facebook is, as its name becons, a face value book of private lives. A quick run through my homepage today and I realized that a couple of my friends have gotten back together, a couple broken up, some of them had actually been dating each other.
I love Internet, I think it is a great tool for keeping in touch, linking, finding out useful stuff or simply whiling away time, but sometimes the load of data about other people's lives, combinated with a natural inquisitive nature, is simply overwhelming. and sometimes irrelevant. and sometimes tiresome.
pic via

A culture of "eye to eye"


I have been spending these past couple of days trying to catch up with the books that have been piling up around my flat and lay there unread.

By coincidence most of the titles I had with me were by American authors, Levison, Underhill, Hopkins, so after a while, as I was starting to feel somewehat uneasy reading, I realized there is something particularly annoying/exciting about American marketing books: they are always addressed to YOU - YOU, the person reading them, you, the unadulterated holder of the book, the one whose eyes are facing the page right now. And they always, and I mean always, assume you bought the book because you want to make money.

This I find a disturbing/wonderful quality of American marketing: the directness and lack of any self rightous nuance about the goals of it all. Nobody writes to propose theories, everybody writes to make money or to let other people know that exact way to make money themselves. It is very much like telesales or advertorials and, come to think of it, it may be the reason this formerly great economy was doing so well: sheer, poignant drive to make money, by pig-headedly and without any doubts following a goal.

I read Levison's 50 reasons to do advertising and can find at least 10 which are exactly the same thing worded differently and this does not diminish the strength with which this person-to-person, eye-to-eye writing persuades that he knows what he's writing about.
I wish we had not lost this strength of conviction because I know this is what made great managers like the one we read about. Maybe, with the crisis, we'll see less dilly dally with "the perfect" brand propositions and more decisive money making attitudes :-)

picture via

12/22/2008

Holiday drive

By general vote this was the heavy rotation tune of the drive to my parents' home for a snowy Xmas :-)

12/20/2008

This is a website


it's no joke... it really is; Live here. Pointed out by Victor Kapra as part of a worst websites of 2008 :-)

12/18/2008

"falling"

Last night, in between runs to the office to check on progress, I had a pretty nice round of drinks with some old friends. And I got clarity on something I had been wondering about for a while.
The backstory is this, I have been noticing people being very aggressive lately starting from taxi drivers who are completely rude and hysterical and finishing with bank clerks whose lack of politeness is abhorring. Now, this would not be out of the ordinary for Romania but it is getting clinically obvious.

Last night, these couple of friends told me about the "falling apart" syndrome, visible across the country in crisis-stricken Romanians. The poster boy for this new thingie is a man who, a couple of weeks back, walked into a Maseratti showroom on Romania's fanciest avenue, reached for a chair and smashed a Maseratti's front end without a word, then ran into a Honda dealership next door and smashed a bunch of Honda scooters and then ran into a neighbouring bank and tried to smash the windows before he was tackled by the combined bodyguards of the three locations. The guy looked completely normal and decent. Another case is that of a guy who tackled and beat up a bicycle rider and then broke into hysterical crying and apologized.

"falling apart" or "falling down" syndrome seems to affect the people who have naively taken on lots and lots of loans hoping for an ever increasing economy and now find themselves in straightened circumstances. The symptoms are increased aggressiveness, instant irritation, disdain for everything around, rudeness and paranoia.

still think the crisis is not affecting us? look around...

12/09/2008

Romanians are Whopper Virgins

Just read this article, linked by Kit, and still have mixed feelings. So to promote the Whopper, CPB has traveled to lands where locals lips have never tasted the Whopper and made a documentary about Whopper virgins.



This is, for lack of a better description, do-advertising, the kind that sparks controversy and makes you go "wow, those guys are really smart", the kind that you wish you could do because it takes advertising from the realm of couches and "deep thinking" creatives and into the real world.



I loved their previous attempt (up), I thought it was wonderfully powerful but somehow, since we are the "virgins" in this one I feel kindof 'colonialized'... the feeling of being a "weirdo" being shown the ways of the modern world by cool advertising people from the states in their camper shoes and wielding their sharpie pens, makes me wanna...well, not eat a whopper.

....

LATER EDIT: just watched the whole doc on the website. whopper people, if you're reading this I hope you know the agency is pulling your leg. Never in a million years would Romanians on a normal day wear those outfits. not so clean and starched at least. So, while it may be an interesting piece of advertising, it's a shoddy piece of research :-) which kindof defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?

12/06/2008

Me public speaking

I got recorded at NetCamp and posted here. My first conclusion, EVERYONE is right: I do stand with a scary hunchback. Thanks, Zoso.

12/01/2008

My 'public' week

Come by NetCamp and say hello. I am doing a talk with Alex Visa and Adrian Stanescu (Hyperactive and Eyeblaster respectively) sometime in the afternoon.
Since it should be all about efficiency online and Visa and Stanescu are gods of SEM and measuring, I thought I'd rock the boat and speak about the "emotional Internet"
Should be fun :)

Bucharest downtown on Second Life

For about a day, people cared about someone opening a virtual 'Bucharest downtown' in Second Life.
Not much involvement from people mentioning it - even Zoso casually copied and pasted press release I think (BTW to person wondering how pro bono could cost 30k, it means they only had to pay for the land in SL, and did the building pro bono).
Anyway, y'all know I was a bit of a SL fan a while back and, by virtue of that, I have been pondering this Bucharest in SL thingie. Truth be told my first gutt instinct was "what a rubbish, stupid ass idea". But then, I decided to act grown-up and ponder.
So far no conclusion, just some things:
1. Is this a PR stunt? Because it would make sense insofar as they simply wanted to get some exposure. BUT then, it's a bit late since SL is fading fast in Europe mainly because of its sheer lack of "detail+interaction" value which kindof supports no. 2...
2. Is this a branding initiative? In which case, they do not know what branding is and how it's done plus it's rubbish because SL does not allow you to beautify a lot but rather to schematize.
3. Were they trying to present this as a traveller's resource? If so, why SL again. What's wrong with photographs or movies? And if someone decided to visit Bucharest would they do it based on pixellated images of downtown Bucharest? which brings me to
4. Why now? SL has been old news for a while. Most relevant thingies happened about a year ago and since then a lot of people have withdrawn from it.
5. Is this meant to be a gathering place for Romanians in SL? Well, maybe i'm just getting the wrong vibes but not a lot of Romanians are enthralled with SL. Oh, Romanians from other countries, then. But why? It's so much easier to joint a forum and, beleive you me, forums tend not to freeze on you as fast as SL does.

Don't get me wrong, all in all, I think it's a decent idea, only a bit too late, a bit wrongly targeted, a bit with the wrong objectives (the release said something about events...okay, give me more details on that)

My two cents: don't make downtown Bucharest a visiting place (SL will NEVER beat a decent photograph, unless you are really interested in the angles at which streets bend University Circle) make it a place where stuff happens: like Romanian-driven lectures, concerts with Romanian bands, exhibitions, meetings with Romanian VIPs, virtual events, releases, and press stuff. This would maintain traffic and work as a "branding" tool.

Someone please help me reach a conclusion on this one. what do you think?

Things I like


You all know I like chairs and beagles. I also like watches... and this place is an awesome resource for some of the hottest designs and vintage stuff I have ever seen

watchismo.com + me = love :-) so if you plan to order something drop me a line so we can bundle the order :-)

LOL Axl Rose causes disruption in Dr. Pepper sales

Remember the wild rumor that Dr. Pepper was going to give out free cans to ALL Americans if Axl released Chinese Democracy? Well, he did and they did. Only you had to go online for a coupon. Here. Smart heh?
And if you cannot think of five reasons this is smart, then you don't understand marketing.
LATER: courtesy of Victor, this article surfaced. Axl is suing Dr. Pepper for only holding the promo for one day LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

More IDs to be put to death









A while back I was complaining about the financial crisis killing off some really cool identities. Now, rumor has it that GM is planning to kill these three also...
no more cool Hummer design, gone the stately SAAB logo and bye bye to the lovely sounding Pontiac

from here

11/27/2008

Financial crisis is boring Romanians

This is the natural conclusion I have reached reading this and yesterday's print media. The reason being that a lot of newspapers prefer to give print space to a "very important" issue: is Liiceanu using too much cold cream? (for non-ROs, Liiceanu is a philosopher/writer/ public figure). The story is this: he has a new volume out where he writes about his morning routine and confesses he likes to use shower gel, creams and after shave.
THE HORROR!!! I mean, what? A MAN, A PHILOSOPHER uses cream? Unheard of.
So this is what Ro print media wants to write about, calls people up to ask them about and gives FULL pages to. And naturally I am not so much appalled by the news as I am confused by the very poignant dilemma of "should men use creams or not".
So I am making it my week's question, please reply in the sidebar

11/26/2008

Never be offline

I went offline for two days and this is what happened:
- Victor Kapra becomes a consultant and leaves Publimedia
- Bobby sells Monden and Orlando buys it
- Noro leaves Neogen
- Mircea Badea starts a blog

serves me right for trying to get some sleep

11/25/2008

Marketing Arena UPDATE

So I think I may have a neat presentation if not the breakthrough I was hoping for. I was going to ask Ana to come and present with me but I have just checked and it seems that a similar idea was presented by Serban from Headz last year. So, Ana, you're up there with the best since you and Serban got to the same conclusion :-) but I don's think it's such a great idea to do a repeat (irrespective of how much I agree with the idea)
Also, Johnny, they have made bacon flavored chocolate (read it in the newspaper today) so I am guessing bacon icecream is just round the corner.
I will post the presentation tomorrow and I hope people will find it at least sensible
Wish me luck!


LATER: so I did not win (bohooo) but I had some fun and was not too upset the hole in the flag idea won :-)
here is my presentation and will come back with update later

Marketing Arena
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

11/24/2008

I am an Internet addict

What are the sure signs? Me having an account on every possible thingie that is online? Countless passwords? An uncanny relationship to my Mac which has outlived most of my boyfriends?
Nope.
Try this: I left my flat, on Monday night, at 11 pm, wearing my Uggs with no socks, an old tshirt I would normally not let anyone see me in, and ran 10 minutes through the freezing night to get to the basement of a neighboring block of flats to hang with a guy who's probably 15, wears a ponytail and a System of a Down t-shirt, has one of those see through plastic, wrappable keyboards and about three laptops, and is willingly teaching me how to reconfigure my wireless router in case I "accidentally" misplace my password AGAIN.
yup, I really really need to develop some hobbies...
but anyway, thanks guy with pony tail for giving me my wireless back

Must see presentations


Interesting people make and say interesting things. So, no wonder you find gems of public speaking at a design conference. Watch Gladwell speak about Fleetwood Mac and several other people mix design concepts with communication and sociological projections at the AIGA Design Conference here.
great stuff

Evolution of Apples products


Neat
Via

Elections in Romania

Romania is having its first ever uninominal elections this year - which largely means that you elect people and not parties. As such you'd think it would make the advertising agencies' job easier, because surely it must be easier to promote a person, with ideas, a face and ability to speak than a whole party, with a bunch of nutters who all disagree and which has no ideology whatsoever. Also, it stands to reason that because you have certain candidates in certain areas and not in all, you'd use more direct forms of campaigning and communication.

But , noooo. The ad world in Romania - or whoever does the campaigning these days - thought it would be a brilliant idea to use OOH as main communicator. The first 3-5 problems I see with this
1) I don't know when my area ends and another begins so practically I have no clue who runs where
2) Names are small and faces are big and there are no faces on the ballot sheets.
3) OOH are in color and ballot sheets are black and white
4) OOH have slogans and ballot sheets have names (again)
5) I have never heard of these guys so how am I supposed to vote for them when all they're giving me is big pictures of themselves with slogans.

The concept of canvassing is probably best known by Americans but it should have been a key component of the current campaign. You take one candidate in his specific constituency and make flyers which you then send to the people in THAT constituency. Like that you make sure your message is more specific - because you can address problems in their area as opposed to generic "we'll sort things out" type of stuff. Also, you make sure the person knows for a fact that the candidate is an option in that constituency as opposed to someone you may have accidentally seen on a poster. Plus, in the end a flyer lets you say more and potentially win over silly sods like myself who expect to vote fro someone with an agenda, and not a slogan. Finally, you visit the damned constituency and knock on people's doors and repeat what you put on the flyer....

Poorly done first uninominal....

11/22/2008

Movies (Rourke like never before)

Thanks Iancu for links to the resurrection of Mikey Rourke. This looks like it's going to be pretty awful to watch but might just be the best ever of Rourke and makes sense with Springsteen vocals in the back ...



But I simply love the drawing of this one

The confusion of gradeur

I don't like big ads. I mean I like "small-big" ads, ads where the idea is big or the emotion is big and the execution is small scale. I find that it takes a lot more talent to look closer at things than to take a step back and look at the whole picture, because, after all, saying big things with big things is just too easy.

In Romania, we love big ads, lots of props, lots of make up, lots of extras, huge locations, bird eye views, it gives the illusion that the brand is bigger, for more people. I am trying to figure out why we like to make big ads and all I can come up with is we are a small country no one pays attention to, we have had small houses, small pieces of chocolate, have never occupied other countries, never been an empire.
I look at GB, a former empire and find that they look deeper into the small things to discover the value within. Russell once told us in a training to look for meaning in the product or the things around it. He said that inspiration for the yogurt is usually found in the spoon.

I think that Bravia balls worked because the emotion was huge but it was presented with small balls and maybe that is why the follow-up with the huge explosions and the huge bunnies was less of a hit. That is why i used to like Orange ads, and that is why I love everything Wieden does. That is why there is no Romanian brand that has made me empathize. In a very small country we have brands that try to act too big.

11/21/2008

Discounts for Inspire


The guys at Evensys were kind enough to get me involved in a nice program with discounted fees for Inspire 2009.

So, if you are reading this and want to participate in this year's last important marketing event, you get a discount :-)

Simply write an e-mail to office@evensys.ro with the subject field "Oferta Bogdana" and you will get in for the all exclusive price of 60eur (it's a bargain people :-)

It works on the basis of "first come, first serve" so don't write to me or comment to ask questions :-))))))))). E-mail them with the subject field mentioned and you're in.

11/20/2008

Updates


- have a look at what happened in WebClub last night (only Ro sorry) here
- best video of explanation for Cloud Computing made by colleagues in McCann here
- dropped by eOk party and met up with a bunch of lovely people; also found from Emi that they are looking to develop the site for the long run and no foreseeable date for an exit is planned
- found this lovely pic :-)via

Inspire - starter ideas

So here goes, these are some starter ideas:

1. From lovely, peaceful and living Ana: integrated cross-referenced campaigns between more brands in order to create THE experience for the city, for its people, to create the community feeling in both offline & online.
2. From Mish, obviously pragmatic: multitouch screens on workstations and laptops
3. From even more pragmatic Dan: an IDEA that will "allow hugely popular online tools like facebook, youtube, twitter , myspace or digg to actually make serious money out of their millions of users. which they don't right now. and their investors are beginning to lose patience"
4. From now-sensitive Johnny: "a blending of hyper-local eco-friendly simpletech with the geotargeted global social web as people look inwards (or at least in their own backyards)" OR "bacon flavored ice-cream"

which only goes to show that my readers also, like those of a local newspaper, are smarter than me :-)

Thanks and keep'em coming :-)

11/17/2008

Inspire - help out


Picking up the subject again because I am left with less than 10 days and I have to come up with a genius idea for next year.
So Inspire is a conference managed by Evensys and they have a Marketing Arena where smart people are expected to predict the smart idea of the future.
I'm thinking:
- kindle meets iPod
- reusable one-song mp3s with bluetooth devices all over the city
- public auctions for URLs
- the death of twitter by Facebook status
- the death of microblogging outside social platforms

any other ideas? However, I feel I may be missing the point - I am supposed to think up innovation in marketing. But since I think marketing should be about creating value as opposed to creating tactics, I am somewhat stuck ...
Okay, how about this, I propose a bargain, whoever comes up with a good suggestion for this Arena gets to come with me and present it :-)

photo via (thanks)

11/13/2008

After Marketing 24/7

I had a great time during the first day of Marketing 24/7 especially since it was mainly about direct and permission marketing which is something I have always been intrigued by. I spent some time listening to speakers discuss permission marketing, e=mail marketing, buzz marketing and mobile marketing.

Some interesting stuff I was left with
- all "something" marketing specialists seem to think that theirs is the ultimate answer to marketing; there were some extreme POVs expressed (Mr Matica's for instance) like "permission marketing is the only form of marketing truly effective these days" "Mobile marketing is the only true answer to direct to consumer";

- most forms of specialized marketing require in depth knowledge of either technology or regulations and it seems that clients are neither willing nor interested in hearing about them; we heard a very interesting presentation from Quo Vabiz on e-mail marketing, which underlines the complexity of a certified e-mail marketing system; however I feel that most clients would be annoyed to have to understand all of that or comply to all that regulation

- so far, no marketing plan has been able to incorporate all these marketing tools. I wonder however if all of them are to be incorporated in the same marketing plan or if they are best suited for different categories of products

The last session of the day was me, Bobby Voicu of Yahoo, Dorin Boerescu of Hyperactive and Sorin Tudor of Project 356 Communication. Myself and Bobby we spoke about communities and how to use them and then we largely diverted into tealking about what we like best, which is blogging. Dorin introduced his new project, votezi.ro, and the video he made to support it (featured in a previous post here).
I thought Sorin did a wonderful job of stopping us from talking too much and about the wrong stuff.

Some live twitter from me on my account here and I should have the presentation up soon although I doubt it makes sense without my notes

All in all a great first day

Photoshop in real life


Cool huh?
Details here

Next year's great marketing ideas


will be presented at this year's Inspire. Inspire is an Evensys event, second edition and it features this neat mini event called Marketing Arena, where people in the world of marcomms come together with some futuristic ideas about what marketing trends might be in the coming year.

To my own distress :-) I will have to come up with a good idea this year and battle a bunch of famous people in advertising and planning. Last year's winner and her idea are presented here so you get a wiff of what MA is all about.

I might try to make this interactive and post some stuff here before actually coming up with the big secretive project so stay tuned :-)

Romanian bloggers on voting

11/12/2008

Sibiu Marketing 24/7

I'll be there speaking about communities and how to use them in marketing your products.
Come by or drop a twitt if you want to meet

Obama+Internet=Love

Obama has appointed a Chief Technology Officer, the first such position in the White House.
How long before major brands realize they too need to have someone managing technologies?

LATER EDIT: to clarify, Obama's man is not a person overseeing servers but rather someone like venturebeat mentions below:

"The CTO’s mandate would be quite different from the Cybersecurity czar appointed under the Bush Administration. Bush’s czar helped defend against cyberattacks. Obama’s CTO, by contrast, would ensure government officials hold open meetings, broadcast live webcasts of those meetings, and use blogging software, wikis and open comments to communicate policies with Americans, according to the plan.
The plan extends Obama’s previous advocacy for more open decision making in government. It’s likely to play well here in Silicon Valley, because much of it relies on technology."

so I think my question stands. :-)

11/09/2008

Global online campaigns

Are finally hitting the online of Romania as well. Today I saw posters for this amazing website/campaign by WK for Nokia in the local Mall.
Neat :-)
And if you become a fan and miss a week, there's a youtube channel with recaps :-) here

My Mac is beeping - follow up

Just in case you guys go through the same situation: I was worrying a while back about some repeated beeping from my Mac. This is what happened so that you all know what to expect.

For about 10 days the Mac (macbook, 80 GB [LATER EDIT] of something as pointed out by lovely reader) was beeping occasionally, short beeps, only one at a time, some 4-5 minutes apart, sound seemed to be coming from upper left hand side of keyboard. No applications were malfunctioning or slowed down. Ten days after the beeping started the Mac simply froze: at the time I was browsing the Net, using iTunes, downloading stuff using a P2P app, using PowerPoint (all of these working perfectly). Following the freeze, I tried to restart it but it failed to connect to the hard drive and only displayed a "?" on the screen. I took it to the service store and found the hard was completely dead and had to be replaced. Could get no explanation from the people there for the death of hard drive.

So, my advice: the minute it starts beeping and you are sure it's not one of the apps, back everything up and call the store to check if they have hard drives in stock.

Political marketing online

The campaign and politics are the news of the blogosphere lately with more and more politicians looking to the web to gain momentum. We have had one mayor connect on Facebook and HI5, blogs by politicians, a video feed from the home of two candidades, a fake political guru and last but not least twittering by the Prime Minister (and more) well commented here.
[as an aside...why would you, the PM, use twitter to let people know where you are geographically???...i mean, come ooooooon]

I've tried to make sense of what is going on and have com to some conclusions:

1. Advisors tell candidates that connections in social networks equal votes: I cannot explain otherwise the propensity of politicians to connect with complete strangers online without knowing of their political colors.

2. Candidates haven't the slightest clue about Internet but think "doing Internet" is cool which equals votes: this is somehow confirmed by the fact that all candidates have rushed to use ALL popular platforms without giving any thought to whether they serve a purpose. For instance, when you have a blog, you'd better have something useful resmbling a platform to put on it.

3. Internet is used not to build communities but to build awareness which, they assume, equals votes: none of these people have bothered to attach a message to their bid for our attention. Like I was writing here, you are expected to make friends with them because they have created a profile. Or add them because they have started twitting.

4. There is a magnificent divide between offline campaigns and online campaigns, even when offline spills into online: this works pretty much like this: you get an ad agency to produce your posters and TVCs and they get a sister digital agency to produce a website which is the offline concept placed on the Internet. At the same time, some other advisors tell you how to blog and twitt and du buzz marketing about some other concept they've come up with. With one month to go and with these being the first uninominal elections in forever, you'd think that instead of transmedia someone would have thought to practice good old coherence.

5. The temporary gimmick is more valued than the long term building of something meaningful: obvious not only in the fact that none of the old campaign websites have been updated or maintained and new ones show up every second.

So, the truth is that while everyone swoons over Obama's succesful use of internet, I have yet to find one person to clearly explain what that use meant and how it can be replicated in Romania.
As always, we point fingers at sucess stories abroad and fake them at home.

11/05/2008

Why Obama winning matters

My favorite sysadmin is a man with a huge mustache and a cynical view of life. So today he was displeased by me getting all emotional about Obama winning. In consideration of his sysadmin qualities I thought I might explain why I feel Obama's victory is a good thing.

I am unaware of Obama's specific policies and also feel that despite his great smile he will be unable to fix the world economy. But to me, the US is a country which shapes world politics, whose attitude towards policy and trends influences the rest of the globe. As such, the US cannot be seen to be led by a quasi troglodyte, with impaired speech and a clear inability to understand common sense. "W" was a man whose sheer inner drives I doubted because of his upbringing, because of the way he chose to lead his life until he was president, because of his dogged rsolve to NOT TRY to be a decent president. I am, therefore, convinced that a man whose life has been driven by the willingness to succeed, who's made an effort to present himself in a dignified manner and whose wife looks at him like he's the most amazing man on earth (someone please have a look at Laura Bush when she's around "W") is more likely to project, if not impose, a different kind of vibe. I will not even mention the fact that he is black and what a huge victory this is against prejudice and silliness.

So, to my sysadmin, I am thrilled Obama won. It may not affect us economically, politically or geopolitically, but it sure affects us spiritually to see that CHANGE is possible when enough people see reason and give it a try.

11/02/2008

Best political online stuff :-)

Synchronized campaigning (it's hilarious)



and Palin gets tackled



and more campaign goodies here

and, yes, if I could, I would vote for Obama :-)

10/30/2008

Mac problems HELP

I need help with my Mac. For a couple of days now, sometimes when I use it, it beeps. It's a long, slow beep and it happens every 2 minutes or so for about 10 minutes. I have turned off all apps and taken out the battery chord but it still does it even when it is fully charged. And then it suddenly stops.
I have no idea what to do about this. I have read loads of confessions which sound like people have encountered similar problems but not exactly like this, and have found no apparent solution to the problem.
Anyone HELP?

10/27/2008

APG Romania news

So we had elections, and APG Romania has a new board of directors.
Some new faces, some old faces. The new president is Stefan Chiritescu of BBDO and we have a new Project Director, Elena Ionita from Leo. Costin of IQAds remains as our Communications director and Diana is still the money girl as Treasurer.
I have happily preserved my station as Project Director too (thanks y'all who voted, I felt touched to see that among "the voted" I am the one with most aggregated points :-))
So, here goes nothing: a new year for APG and hopefully more planners' meetings and more cool stuff to do.

10/26/2008

Beautiful loos












Poke are lucky not only because they are smart and fun and successful but also because they have good toilets.
Designed by these guys here (please read the concept idea)

Effects of financial crisis on tech

Just wrote this and I stumble upon the below presentation on TechCrunch.


Sequoia Venture Capital Warning to CEOs - Get more Business Plans

It's called "powerpoint presentation of doom"... This, after witnessing people at WebClub happily ignoring crisis and forecasting growth for www investment. I particularly love the stabbed pig image.

Sunday morning - my London song

I have been thinking back to living in London a lot lately. Mostly because I decided not to move to a new flat and to maybe consider going back to London for a while. And this song is the one that accompanied all my walks and rides to LMU, down Holloway and up into Arsenal, past the shanty shops under bridges and into the quiet park beside the University house.
I miss those days

10/25/2008

Romanian CNA a bit looney

I like almost everything Cap does (they're a local creative shop) and I am friends with some of them. This is just to set the record straight about what follows.

I have recently found that they seem to be the uncanny repeat victims of the local Broadcasting Board commission which has been shutting out commercial after commercial of their work. It started with Unirea (featured below) under the ridiculous claim that it fostered bad labor practices. And now, it seems that their latest Delaco is also under fire. The arguments of the commission are that the commercial sells to kids BECAUSE IT FEATURES KIDS, among others, and it is doing damage by featuring a man that yells at said skids.




Naturally it makes me wonder just how stupid these people can be. What they mean to say is that anytime a commercial features a child it automatically sells to kids? heck, then let's shut down Dero, Lenor, all chocolates. Second, it damages kids because there's a yelling man... hmmm, I seem to recall a commercial which featured a dad zipping up his kid in a mortuary bag, one starring a man dressed as Death, one with people with no limbs... I assume they do not do any damage because kids can tell the difference between a metaphor and real life.
My point? I don't think I have a specific one (as I usually do not) but I think that people who rule over a field as complicated as modern advertising in times of clutter and saturation marketing should not be complete morons.

Effects of financial crisis on creativity

I have been toying around with the idea of making an algorithm which would let me calculate the effects the current financial crisis is going to have on creativity. Of course, since I am a humanities major I could not figure out the maths but I did get to these:
1. As in all crises generic creativity should increase as it is the sole solution to bypass classical patterns
2. But in crises brands retreat to homebase and rely mostly on known patterns and models to reduce risk.
3. Management of brands will be underfunded and (as discussed earlier) first things to go are unplanned/ special projects.
4. BUT unplanned / special projects are usually the result of generic creativity which should increase.
5. So, with generic creativity losing funding, the creators will become disheartened and produce less.
6. The crisis will stifle creativity in connection to brands and fuel it in connection to individuals.
I am not sure what this means exactly, but I think it will generate a lot of bad commercials with loads of happy people and boredom.

Saturday anticipation

10/24/2008

Want to see

definitely



maybe

New camera at work

Bucharest is a warzone ...











10/22/2008

Want to see

Beershpere global

Faris has managed to spawn a global initiative. Local planners will soon be announcing the Romanian chapter of a global initiative called the Beersphere, which sees planners and wannabe planners from all over the world get together for a beer and a planners' chat at the same time all over the participating towns.

Stay tuned for details.

10/21/2008

Pepsi on the rebound


Thanks to an article from Andrei (thanks, dude) I am relieved to find that someone in PepsiCo has realized what a mess they have been making of this brand. Earlier last year when they launched the new platform, still blurrily named in my head as "shake, mix, change, play, something" platform, I was wondering when they would realize that whatever it was they thought they were doing, "it weren't good". Pepsi lost all focus and all challenger attributes in what seemed to me to be a poorly designed platform to meet the needs of the web 2.0 generation. Unfortunately, none of the people working on that platform seemed to be web 2.0.

Now, Pepsi has announced a new logo - the one on the right - (already fondly dubbed "the butt crack") and is shopping around for younger blood than BBDO's (at least according to an AdAge article I read and which I cannot link to as it is on the premium, paid only section of the website :-P)

I am indeed looking fwd to the new campaign. I always thought that someone should play challenger to Coke (because it just seems unfair that they should be that big and powerful) and in the past years (what with W+K doing such a brill job for Coke) Pepsi seemed to have lost all gusto for that.

10/19/2008

Portability

If you're Romanian, you will be able to switch operators without losing your current phone number starting October 21st.
But will you?
Help me find out by taking this one-question survey here

APG Romania

More stuff happening with APG Romania. We met - 'we' being the board and the few members that could make it, in the IAA house last Thursday to listen to the candidates' platform and discuss some issues. Interesting ideas were exchanged and voting - only members, people - is due this coming week.

I am running, yet again, for the position of Project Manager with a clear and easy platform: DO YOUNG RESEARCH, which means literally that we should DO more research, more innovatively, but also stands for my wish to have planners DO more - meaning create content, create valuable knowledge, to guide the new generation - YOUNG - and to promote the use of research everywhere - RESEARCH.
Keep checking the APG Romania website )especially the blog( for updates.

Thing that pisses me off

I have a Ro blog where I post occasionally (well, actually more often than I'd like) about things that piss me off. Today I was going to post this in there but I realized it would make a good post here too.
So, here goes: I HATE digital photo frames. They eat up energy, they make photos look like they're effing getty images and miss out completely on the point of having a photograph of your loved one (which is that you have ONE photo on your desk to look to when you miss them)
aarrrgh, hate them, hate hate hate

DRM

I think DRM is going to be the big legal and philosophical issue of the next 10 years. It involves so much change that needs to be made to the way we understand everything that it is mindboggling.

LATER UPDATE: also relevant because in Ro some agency has decided bloggers linking or featuring youtube content should be charged money for that ...

and this is an interesting little preview movie about just that



thanks as always BB

10/18/2008

iPod Swap follow-up

Since the iPod idea seems to have caught on, some more details: if you wanna swap send me an e-mail at ipodswap@gmail.com with your name, phone number and ipod type. then I will match you up with another swapper.
and also, NO other devices yet please. So unless you have an iPod, you're going to have to sit this one out

10/17/2008

Obama's speech writers

are probably SNL or Daily Show contributors too. I got this courtesy of a tweet from Contagious and it's just so hilarious ...

10/16/2008

Ipod Swap


I have been talking to some of my friends who have iPods and they are complaining that it's hard to open yourself up to new music. You tend to listen to whatever you have on your iPod and sometimes you forget to update it and you listen to the same old stuff over and over again. So I thought I might propose an iPod Swap thingie.

How this works: you send an e-mail to ipodswap@gmail.com saying that you want to swap your iPod for 5 days (working week). We pair you up with someone, you exchange e-mails and meet to swap your iPods. You listen to the other person's music for five days and then you meet to get your iPod back.
Some rules:
- you must tell us if your iPod is customized for Mac or PC
- you must make sure your iPod is NOT set to "automatically sync to iTunes"
- you must have AT LEAST 100 songs on it

So that's pretty much it. If you think this is something fun to do go ahead and write (or post a comment here)

10/13/2008

EMO OUT

I have previously touched upon the idea of subcultures and subgroups and mentioned that I find Romania a country less adapted to the idea and less willing to embrace difference.
I was going to mention then (I think I may have) one commercial produced for a local telecom which features a mockery of the EMO culture. At the time I was taken aback by the narrow-mindedness of the portrayal (especially since you knowingly renounce a significant portion of your demographic by portraying it in a negative way in your advertising). A few weeks later, some more news came to strengthen my fears: apparently, the police force in a large Romanian city has decided to create a special task unit to monitor EMO kids because they are "a danger to themselves and prone to suicide".
yukk and yukk, and more yukk to the TV stations which, a month after they had branded EMO kids deviant and crazy, were poo-pooing the initiative of the Timisoara Police.

New media, new world, new opera

The way I know I am an old person is by watching this video which features 4, supposedly, opera singers doing opera renditions of popular songs. But they are not fat, not sweating, not scary, not carrying scarves...they're actually pretty hot, and they are number 10 or close in the UK album chart.
somehow, however, this whole thing reeks of milli vanilli

10/12/2008

This weekend


was all about driving, grapes, colors, music and AUTUMN. Forgot how glorious it can be. also, the garden state soundtrack may possibly be the best one to drive to in the autumn sun

10/08/2008

Feel good stuff

This week has been devastating (and no , I do not mean the world economy). Had no time to do anything...
these made me feel better tonight (thanks Beeker and bannerblog... and yes I am too tired to link back so just google them, Beeker is a planner from London and bannerblog is a blog about banners, probably from Australia or sth)


Habanera from The Swedish Chef on Vimeo.


Ode To Joy from Beaker on Vimeo.

10/05/2008

Branding Romania reloaded
















or what Romania looks like from outside

Because I have spent my early mornings watching TED conferences I stumbled upon an old project of Jonathan Harris' called Universe. I am afraid you will have to watch this to understand how he gathers his data for this, but what I thought was interesting was that if you tried to find the ~Universe of Romania you stumbled almost exclusively onto football stuff
try it here

Later edit: so the data is from news sources all over the world. all news sources :-)

10/04/2008

Neon signs


Driving back home tonight I realized that downtown Bucharest is invaded by neon signs of completely irrelevant brands. To me, buying a neon sign, downtown is your way of saying "yeah, I earned the right to be here, baby". But downtown Bucharest sports HUGE neon signs of the following (for you non Ro readers these are complete no-names): CLAL, PROCTOLINE, SANYO, EUROMALL, BDO CONTI...
what the hell?

Blogosphere newsroom and google journalism (1)

These are, if I may be so bold as to say, the only two things that really caught my ear during this year's Webstock. While it was an amazing networking opportunity and a good chance to see all the people who make a difference online these days, I still think that because there's loads of doing, nobody stops to think about the "springs" behind some of the things that happen in online these days.

Vlad Petreanu mai have nailed the much discussed issue of bloggers and new media vs journalists and old media with his reference to "newsroom blogosphere". While he was trying to make a point about circulation vs traffic he actually stumbled upon a more interesting concept of how we really read blogs. Because, truth be told, nobody really reads one blog. We read several like we would read a newspaper - to get info about different fields. Our "online newspaper" is actually made of several blogs covering several themes, pretty much like a regular newspaper which devotes pages to different subjects. This concept while making a lot of sense also solves two things:
1. The idea to pay just one blogger to endorse your product works, if that blogger's following and stature equals that of a famed editorialist, someone who offline would represent the voice of a whole newspaper (and online, the voice of a whole group of bloggers)
2. To make a campaign stick, you need to enlist the help of several blog (i.e. pages in online readers' daily digest) - unless you think that offline you'd be able to get noticed by placing just one ad one one page, in one newspaper, for just one time.

Now, what this concept does not solve is the problem of endorsing vs advertising which was much discussed at the Blogging workshop and which I will save for later
[Saturday calling]

10/03/2008

Webstock live 10

Workshop, new media vs old media. Main idea: newspapers will live. Websites keep reinventing themselves and this makes them more attractive.
"google journalism" - a term touched upon several times, refers probably to people posting crap to get indexed. According to a previous speaker, actually links and word of blog are not directly connected to number of posts.
Kapra questions the growth of offline media - based on coupons and awards not on relevant content. Raises the subject of "creating meaning" - quite questionable in itself, if you ask me, since there's plenty of blogs not really creating meaning.

Webstock live 9

Missed part of the conference because of client meeting and trip back but took part in engaging conversation about blog marketing and blogvertising.
Controversial presentation from blog advertising agency claiming they can do campaigns with 100 bloggers writing reviews of products and getting paid from 5 to 200 euros.
Bobby talked about affiliate marketing which kindof is something completely different and looking at payments online and how they are still at a bare minimum in Romania (450k in 2007)

Webstock live 8

Adobe presentation: apps developed to work with Adobe
finetune
(like Pandora but incorporates local stuff - like iTunes music, but seems to be avaiable only to USA residents)
klok (check widget on sidebar)
mooflair videos online and offline
Balsamiq Mock-up (tried to play with this one and they only let you use it for free for 5 (!!!!) minutes on the clock, jesus!)
TweetDeck
(these do not seem to be free also)

Webstock live 7

interim observation: silly things that can happen to you in a conference
1. everyone sees the silly wallpaper featuring you and your sweetheart on vacation
2. everyone hears your silly ringtone made especially for that special someone

Webstock live 6

Bobby, not surprisingly, talks about communities and how blogs can drive communities. He's been doing an experiment with his website recently and presents the findings (this explains the 67 slides) :-)

Webstock live 5

Len did a map of the Romanian blogosphere. Find it here
Interesting algorithms and interesting presentation:
- most blogs updated between 11-14 and 20-22
- number of links is not directly proportional with how often you update it

Webstock live 4

Vlad Petreanu, blogger and reporter for a local media group, talks about the "conflict" between bloggers and offline journalists. There is really no conflict, he says, because journalists are also considered to be the scum of the earth. Small nuance here: journalists may be deemed the scum of the earth BUT by their readers, not by their peers. This is the case with bloggers: they are dissed by their peers, the journalists.
Compares blogging with TV. Blog traffic is irrelevant compared to one rating point. BUT makes point about people reading several blogs a day: so 10k readers/blog x 100 blogs makes for a decent "readership" of blogs. So blogs are reevant.
Concept of "blog newsroom" - several bloggers producing one large online newspaper called the blogosphere and present in your feed reader

Webstock live 3

Catalin Tenita, owner of zelist, Romania's own blogosphere monitoring system (approx. 20k blogs today). zelist monitors everything according to degree of "interest" - how many people linked, how many commented, etc. It also ranks topics according to the interest they got from blogs
Interesting fact (makes me feel better) - not too many comments per blog (108k posts, 180k comments)
Not a lot of blogs creating communities and highest rated blog comments remain those who created offline scandals. Most "community driven" blogs: zoso.ro, arhiblog.ro, adriangeorgescu.ro, cocalari.com, cabral.ro, visurat.ro, piticu.ro, ciutacu.ro, tolo.ro.
the media entities that use blogging as a platform rightly are GSP and cotidianul and more content is generated in the blogosphere than in the press but more comments are made on press articles than blog articles.
good presentation

Webstock live 2

Cabral speaks quite honestly about his blogging experience. Main learning: be yourself not the star. I kindof feel this may have been better suited for a conference of web beginners.
Difference between the offline audience and online audience (not the same kind of love, mostly shit from online until you prove yourself)

Webstock live

results of robloggers survey: most are male and most are well educated. Lots of new blogs from IT and web development. still going strong the marketing community.
blogs still deemed (by bloggers) to be the most credible sources of information. lots of bloggers are twitterers too

9/28/2008

Can't keep up with Internet

I cannot keep up with the amount of posts that my feed reader gathers every day. The simple realization is that if I tried to read all the blogs that I have in my reader I would spend 10 hs straight doing just that, which would leave me literally no time for work or social life (of which, incidentally, I have much less than I'd like). But I have also found that I tend to read loads of stories which basically say the same thing, only with nuances (f.i: lots of posts about Chrome, not a lot with more info or POV)

So I have come up with this wish: can someone please make an app that is called "keep me up". This is one button in the reader which scans the new posts and marks the ones that have similar topics. It also activates a window where "doubled" posts [ those with a subject dealt with in several blogs] are listed and you have the option to read the most recent and revert to older ones IF YOU WANT TO. Essentially this app would mark recurring stories, list the most recent (option: comprehensive) and delete or temporarily hide the rest from the reader list.

If such a button exists, please let me know.

Twitter break-down


When virtual technology meets real materials :-)
via

On politics

I spent a good part of the weekend sleeping, with news TV stations running in the background, which means that I got to "sleep-watch" a CNN TV show featuring no less than 7 former Secretaries of State, the first presidential debate, Jon Stewart's take on the presidential debates and financial crises, our own social democrats' launching the candidates for elections, the counter-party by the liberal democrats in Cluj and subsequent discussions on the topic.

I know now why I cannot take myself seriously when I vote. I usually try to boost my morale by saying that "indifference" is worse than anything and not using your voice is a crime. Truth of the matter is that, having spent a weekend listening to a lot, and not hearing ANYTHING, makes me wonder how we can still hope something decent will come out of this political class that we have to vote for because there is no option.

Facts of the Romanian political launches: everyone spoke about winning elections, no one spoke about fixing some problems, everyone accused the others of messing up and praised themselves for doing the little that was done, former adversaries brown-nosed each other forced by win-motivated alliances, people who, a year ago, were indicted for fraud were named future presidents, people who cannot read were main candidates and people whose wives shamelessly flaunt 30k bags named as country-saviors.

Facts of Romanian media: live commentaries remained fixated on the lackluster performances and rubbish that was being spoken without any recourse to common sense. it may have helped to point out the few simple facts noted above.

No decency. No common sense.

The only simple moment of decency I found, not here, was in a commentary which pointed out that Obama called McCain to ask whether or not they should have a joint position visavis the financial collapse of the US. Somewhere inside that man, something decent moved for a second. I saw no movement on this side of the world this weekend. Next weekend I will drive to my grandad's where the TV does not work.

The Onion TV

I have known the Onion for a long time, having discovered it, I admit, via their smart personals page (BTW, people looking to set up a dating site for people who are NOT brainless teenagers, you might want to check out the Onion Personals). Now, via Fallon, I see they are putting together this great Onion News Network with excellently produced TV shows

a taste :-)


Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat

Things that made my LOL today

My friend Andreea's hysterical laughter at my own tale of a date with a man who liked to wear speedos
this website www.andimapc.com
this website www.thingsididlastnight.com (sorry, a bit rude)
this website www.istheinternetawsome.com

(all thanks to this website, okay apart from my friend Andreea)

9/27/2008

Facebook offline?

Would you throw an offline party to promote Facebook?

Embarrassment trumps media efficiency

A while back I asked the readers of this blog if they would recommend placing ads on OTV to their customers. Not necessarily overwhelmingly, but with a clear majority, they said "no".
OTV, as a mentioned previously, is Romania's trashy crazy/alien TV station which broadcasts mainly from one studio and focuses on "uncovering" dramas, like murders and rapes. However uncanny for a mainstream mind, OTV attracts a huge following, ranking at number five, if a recall correctly, in the GENERAL RANKING of TV stations in Romania.

Now, this made me wonder why my readers, and brands alike, would choose to ignore a station with such obvious reach. The reasons, I believe, are several ranging from rational ones:
- practically, OTV appeals to an audicence believed to have very small incomes
- it is very hard to get ad space because they sell it themselves and nobody wants to bother with direct negotiations
- the ad breaks are random and unmarked
- the shows themselves are random and rating is unclearly and unevenly spread
to irrational ones like "those people are crazy".

Truth of the matter is, however, that there is one reason only that is correct: embarrassment. Marketers and ad people alike feel ashamed to be associated with something they believe deviant. This is very much like Romania (as a friend was remarking to me a while back) to become fixated on what's mainstream and ignore whatever subcultures may appear [everyone will have been appalled by now by the Cosmote commercial featuring a caricature of the EMO movement].
What we are missing is touching a lot of people because we are too priss to be smart enough. Smart enought to find a way to make OTV work for the brands [needless to remind everyone the positive buzz Cap got with these]

My little something

Boing Boing is the God because they let you come across crazy things like this artist who dresses up My Little Pony toys in Hollywood inspired attire.

My favorite:

My little Darth Vader


















My little alien


















My little Princess Leia

Weeks to come

I will be here
webstock
ronewmedia
marketing 24/7

Twitter dating

The life-span of a twitter crush: "you reply to a casual remark from the person you're interested in. He/she checks out your profile an alternately can reply back or ignore you or thank you for your comment. In the first two cases you have a chance still, the "thank you" is a definite "no". You post a second reply and make it flirty. If cases 1 and 2 have occurred then you get a shout back and then intense @xxx and @xxx ensues. This goes on for about a week before the first meeting happens. Then a pause [evaluating after the meet] and then one of two things happens, either conversation continues with less frequency, in which case you know the meet did not go well but ended without sex, or no conversation happens anymore in which case two things, again, may have occurred: the meet went very well and now you're on "phone call" basis with the person or the meeting ended in bad sex and you're embarrassed to talk."

This is a shortened version of a 'Twitter dating guide' intro a friend is putting together after intense observation of Twitter patterns among a closed community (say people in marketing and advertising) :-)

A piece of work I am sure we can all cherish :-D

9/26/2008

9/22/2008

Blogging in danger

Romania has lot of bloggers, a few good ones and a handful of bloggers who piss a lot of people off.

One of them recently pissed off a huge media conglomerate by making a silly - although distasteful - joke, which the media conglomerate itself aired thus creating a huge media scandal. The immediate result of this is that the media group is now on a focused rampage against blogging of all sorts, pushing almost all staff to speak out against blogging. I have seen this in several shows, read it in some editorials.

I am concerned for one reason: the power of mass media far outstrips that of the blogosphere and it is a losing battle. From this confrontation, the few will come out branded as criminals, losers and anti-social dangers. But the few include more than that handful of bloggers who piss everyone off. The few include people who may add substantially to knowledge and thought produced locally.

I think someone, maybe within the media conglomerate, should allow the blogosphere to redeem itself by giving it the chance to respond. Somehow, this strikes me as very similar to branding Romania: we have some good stuff but those who speak about us insist on pointing out the orphans and gypsies. So, how do we go about giving the rest a chance?

My first block in Facebook

I have finally found a use for Facebook. Normally, I dutifully ignore all requests and reply to some messages but tonight I took extreme pleasure in blocking a certain young politician, former Justice Ministry, who tried to add me.
This, I felt, was relevant because the act of blocking was a political response. It made me able to place a political choice.
It also made me think of how important it is for public people to understand how to use social media. Simply building a profile and then randomly adding people - or worse asking your agency to do it - will only annoy people.
Instead think about building content, use Facebook tools to analyse your audience's profiles, build knowledge instead of building data bases for SPAM.

9/20/2008

RoBloggers Survey

I took some time to fill that in today and was happy to find that "planning" as a, well, profession was featured among the categories. :-)

This weekend

9/18/2008

Orange gone bad

I twitted briefly about Orange's new corporate campaign, I am, which is now being run in full blast on Romanian TV and plastered all over Romanian OOH. And I was preparing this post for a while because, briefly: I HATE IT. There is no magic, no fun, no immediate connection. The communication is bland, indiscriminate, boring. The commercials are like corporate presentation movies, featuring expressionless and uninteresting people. The OOH are stupid, uninsightful, lost in the noise. I HATE IT.

This was the emotional part of the post. Now to explain why the hate and the whining: Orange Romania is the one brand that has managed to open our eyes onto a different type of communication since their faithful encounter with W+K London. I had previously not seen consistency and creativity at work for such a long time. Romanian advertising is a lot about bouts of indiscriminate creative, never coherent, because we grow executions not brand platforms. But Orange was different: they made platforms seamlessly, and proved that creativity was possible with slinkies, string, paper, paints, scissors and socks.

And I assume it all stemmed from this



because it says a lot. It says freedom, it says community, it says friends, it says breaking free. It also says telecom: it speaks about restrictions, groups, communication. And it does all of this with 1 fish in a bowl. It's good.

This one



says nothing using all the people in the world.
I HATE IT.