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.


Saturday mood

Twitter - what is

Recently much ado about nothing concerning Twitter. Why one does it/ Would you give it up/Are you loving or hating it?
Two twitter conferences being planned, there is twitter hate [when you abuse unknown people on theT because you simply do not like their tweets although you follow them], twitter envy [where you don't get why people don't follow you], twitter confusion [where you are not sure how and how often to use twitter], twitter addiction [where every second of your waking time is spent thinking about what happens on twitter], twitter challenges [ where Ashton Kutcher wants to beat CNN, and Bobby wants to beat Manafu], twitter PR, twitter anti-PR, etc
So what's the deal with this twitter anyway? Three things:

1. community
2. social network

3. expression

If you recall, Twitter [yes, I will waver between spelling it with small or large caps T] started out with the question "what are your loved ones doing now?". So, initially, it was thought of as a community updater, you add your loved ones, make a group and keep each other informed on what happens. It was the instant messenger version of Yahoo Groups.

Later, people found that following loved ones was actually crap, because let's face it, loved ones are usually around so no need to read your mon's tweets about baking. But, relying on the age long principle of "nosiness" - wanting to get into everybody's business - they found that they could follow other people they were interested in [ which explains why Ashton beat CNN - not a lot of people are really interested in news]. From here the social network effect - which made it possible for a larger community to form, based not on family or relationship ties but on the sole argument of "Twitter usage" - you add people because they, like you, use Twitter and you are interested in what they do here.

Third, Twitter retains, [and Thank God for that] the quintessence of individual expression: it allows you to blurt out your thoughts without the weight of responsibility of a blog or, even worse, of a written document. That is why it ranks top among the microblogging tools: because it enables people to produce and follow content.

LATER EDIT: I also want to pitch to you one extra idea: BIOGRAPHY. When you are a Twitter user and update often, the app literally develops an online biography of what you think and do (unlike blogs which are more about what you think, or should be). This biography helps other followers assess their interest in you and also may influence things as varied as your job (because employers can look up your twitter account and check it) and personal life (please refer to my article on Twitter dating :-))

So, when you use twitter, think of the above and try to figure out how much of each you are doing. Ideally, you should be doing a bit of all, but, if you don't want to become a "social neworking slut" you should make sure 2 is evenly balanced out by 3 and 1 :-)

image thanks to


In the ever-growing category of "writing about things that get me pissed off" today I though I might add to the general knowldge of the world by settling an age-long dispute with a definite reply.
Ever since people have made videos there has been left over footage which is often funny and usable as additional video content. With online media going gaga over video content, people have started releasing the videos per se plus additional footage showing how the video was made.
These are called MAKING OF...
yes people loving making of's. They are not Making OFF, because to make OFF means you run away, to hasten in another direction.
So next time you try to impress your client, try releasing a making OF instead of a Making OFF and make sure you spell it right in your ppt presentation


High performance for online media

I am not doing well these days. I have a constant cold, I overwork my people because it's the effing recession and we need to deliver our figures for the Americans and that makes me feel guilty, my planner-dog-to-be is still sick and I cannot take it home, so you see I do get somewhat pissed off every morning. Reading Zoso and Dragos Manac does not help either. They are mostly pissed off these days too.
So, being pissed off, I need to complain about something and today is online media and especially the few ones which reported about the Effies, and did it last year too and the year before.
I was not in the awards, I have not been doing planning for almost 8 months now but I would have still liked to know what happened. Two hours into the awards last night and NOTHING. Twitter was dead, websites were dead, I searched and searched and searched and eventually used the oldest form of communication: speech on a mobile. I called.
In the age of communication, of speed information, of the 'staying connected everywhere' all online media outlets I would have resorted to were probably too busy brushing elbows with the cool creative people than writing a coherent tweet or short info about who won. This morning the earliest info was about 8 hours late.
Now I cannot wait to read about the "opinions" online media has on what happened. Because surely, they MUST know what it takes to write a decent brief and to put in a decent campaign. Last year they had a field day with some adv people rioting against the results. This year I am sure they will find an angle to make a little scandal out of it.
When you're an advertising agency, winning and Effie is proof of performance. When you're a journalist, informing your readers about what they want to know is proof of performance. So great job Effie winners (published here a dozen hours later) and no congrats for y'all online journalists specializing in adv because you were too lazy to do your job. And yeah, that includes the wonderful smark which made me log in to read the info I was after this morning.


Online business in Romania

Had decided was not going to write anything about Web Clubs last and but-last because, being the moderator, I was not supposed to have an opinion but merely to make sure other people's opinions were heard.
However, I was rather disenchanted with the performance of people present so I spent some time to "simmer" what I had heard and come up with some ideas.

As you may know, WC last and but-last dealt with online + offline, integration and relevance. The major questions were "how do we integrate online in offline" and "is online truly relevant in the big picture of adv?"
Now there's two things that need to be said here:
1. What are some replies to the above questions?
2. How did the people questioned in the panels decide to tackle them?

1. For questions A and B, I think there are some obvious replies, namely:
- Internet is free, fast, intuitive and measurable: therefore it is poised to become one of the major purveyors of content of any kind (witness The Economist which reports that November 2008 was the first month in which more people said they got news from the Net than from any other source). This does not mean that TV will go away, nor radio, nor print, nor OOH. It simply means that, in the medium term, one has to include Internet among the key media to touch consumers and businesses alike.
Does online make a shitload of money in Romania right now? Obviously not, for obvious reasons: we screw up even the basics of online adv - banners, and then hate them, there is not enough inventory to support the money that could be poured into adv, even though we trumpet efficiency, the life span of online adv and online projects is usually to short to enable true measurements, and most importantly EVERYONE is still learning about it, so is skittish about puttin money into it. BUT, the most serious mistake we could ever make is to think online is not relevant because it is currently not making billions.Relevance in this case should be measured in affinitty and growth power and not in current earnings.
On integration, I feel that, measurements and processes aside, one thing needs to lead integration and that is brand. We do communication online, not because online is cool, not because we MUST do online but because brands are kept alive by touchpoint communication - namely communicating anywhere the brand touches the consumer - and as seen above now Internet is touching almost everyone and everywhere. So, integration should be based on two considerations:
- what does online do best in our category? - meaning does it sell, does it do WOM, does it brand
- what does our brand need online? - do we need sales, do we need feedback, do we need awareness, do we need R&D resources etc etc
With this in mind, we must also realize that Internet cannot do BEST all things for all brands. Please do not think you will do awareness with Internet for Coca-Cola. You will probably not do sales either because it is a mass brand, with huge volumes and Internet penetration is now under 15% for above 30yos which are the key targets for CC. So, when integrating one must think on how to, well, integrate - namely dicover which of the objectives are best served by which media and use that accordingly.

So now onto, number 2. How did the online world reply to these two simple questions?
My two cents: poorly. There is a widespread habit with the online world here, it seems, to beat itself up for being young and unprofessional. We brandish about words like "measurements", "research", "efficiency" but are unable to stand up to offline people when they come up with absurd statements like "all people do online is download movies and watch porn". Everyone was ashamed we have no research and everyone complained clients do not get it. We have online in Romania for over 8 years and still we complain that "nothing is being done". And therein is the classical Romanian problem, "nothing IS being done" - the impersonal, the non-committal. Even after the end of WC no one seemed to be willing to stick around to discuss what, if anything, we could do so that we might get our hands on some data and research to support our claims. Clients have been silly for over 8 years but nothing IS being done, we have no definite research or interest in finding out facts about our users but nothing IS being done.
And as for integration, we had one publisher, one media, one client and one agency. They all have projects. They all think it's okay for all to have projects. Nobody thinks about what this does to the brand and nobody is thinking of a clear-cut process to make sure everyting we do is brand centric. It's dog eat dog or, as some suggested, dog help dog and that's that.
to be continued


People do not read ads

This is what Gossage used to say. They read what interests them. and as a corollary I would say that when in a certain frame of mind, topics related to that frame of mind seem to be more and more frequent.
After this, I can across this from Manac. Yet another person I treasure who has made a conscious decision to not give this country another chance...

These days

I am not doing well at all.
and the falling stats of my blog are not helping...

Hate Bucuresti

Only funny if you live here and speak Romanian

Mi-am pierdut cheia de rezerva de la apartament. Ma duc la "Copiem orice tip, model de cheie". Patroana vorbea la telefon. Imi face semn sa-i arat cheia. I-o arat. Imi face semn ca nu copiaza modelul meu de cheie, plec.

Trebuie sa-mi inlocuiesc cauciucurile de iarna cu cele de vara, in sfarsit. Ma car cu cele 4 anvelope la masina, le incarc pe unde pot si ma prezint la cea mai apropiata vulcanizare.

"Da sa stii ca costa 250 de RON, adica doua milioane jumate"
"Nu m-ati inteles, am EU cauciucurile, nu vreau decat sa mi le schimbati"
"Pai da, atata costa decat sa le schimbam"
"Pai de ce asa mult?"
"Pentru ca e SUV"
"Nu e SUV, e crossover"
"Ma rog. Io ti-am zis cat costa. Atata costa la noi".

The rest here (it's better)

via and by

Love Bucuresti

some people do
I try
I like this
Via from


Doing digital the right way

Some common sense from the digital side

"It’s a ‘copy and paste’ world. You are legally required to act like a magpie. You have a god-given duty to plunder the Web for what works and to remix, recombine and reinvent it to be better. I’ve been amazed and horrified recently to hear above-the-line creatives say things like, “Let’s try and create the new Facebook…” or “Maybe we can come up with the next ’social networking’”. Yeah - big ask. Good luck. This relates to Ben’s point 8, “Not invented here…” In our opinion, you should try to use as much as possible of what’s already out there and built, and try to create as little as possible yourself."

from here and here via JohnnyV


And for a bit of Coke


Pepsi global I can (Eu pot) campaign

Pepsi seems to be slowly and sneakily teasing the new identity in Romania as well. I just saw a bunch of print ads with the tagline "I can" - Eu Pot (skater, boxer, etc). The gist of the campaign in Romania seems to the ability of humans to make change and that seems to be part of the new global campaigns Refresh 2009, meant to launch the much publicized new logo and the new Pepsi bottles/cans.

There is some controversy around this campaign and I will only underline a couple of points:

1. New logo has received loads of criticism over being overplayed, silly and looking like a butt crack; the leaked presentation by Arnell Group did nothing to help

2. Many in the US have seen a likening to the Obama Logo but to be honest I fail to see that, if only for the round shape.

3. Many people have seen a piggy back on the Obama slogan, as the new Pepsi commercial (see above) features the Yes You Can and the word Hope as seen in previous Obama commercials. Personally, I think that was the idea - to point out that there is a Pepsi moment in every big moment, that the Pepsi O is part of every important mOment.

That said, I find the idea behind this particular execution just as full of hot air as the Arnell presentation of the logo. I mean, come on Pepsi, I see your point about new generations bringing about change, but to link that with the Obama election is a bit far-fetched. Other than that, the references in the commercial are not too bad and they point to significant moments without the BS-ish connotations.

In Romania, the new communication seems to be teased out very slowly and I cannot wait to see if this is connected to it, although it seems rather obvious that it is since EU POT appears to be written with the Pepsi old type. In the link you will find some of the most important bloggers talking about what they can do.


Internet on mobile, case study

I recently changed my phone to a cuter version (well yes, before being an online person I am a girl and girls like cute things) and it came with a Internet on mobile option, free for two months.

I had previously refrained from getting Internet on my mobile because I think there should be some places where you are not connected and where e-mail cannot reach you. But since it was free, I said what the heck. Plus the guy at the counter did not look like he could understand a principled stand against Internet everywhere.

So as I was cruising a full 3G-city I decided to run a test. I set on my connection on my new phone in the quest for a simple piece of info: the running time of Xmen origins: Wolverine. Meanwhile, with my other phone I tried to get the same info without connecting to the net. As the one phone was painfully "connecting", I tried calling a bunch of friends, got "out of range" signals from most, called 931 to get the number of the Mall where the cinema house was. At this point the other phone had finally connected and was asking me to type in my Internet address. I had to pull over and type and then get the "connecting" screen again. Which left me enough time to call the Mall, talk to the cinema info desk and get the time I needed.

By the time I got to the cinema house my other phone was informing me that I could not view the desired page because I needed Flash player. Sooooo, Internet on mobile 0, other ways - 1

Am I doing something wrong?