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.


Browsers vs Seekers

I have been thinking lately about reader behaviour online. The thinking comes as a result of more and more people dismissing display advertising and requesting special projects. Now the trick with special projects is that unless you advertise them, they have absolutely no reach (come on let's face it, the Twitter community may be big but it can only do this much and forwarding it to your friends simply does not work) so maybe a solution is to work more coherently on making the display more effective.

The argument goes, however, that ignoring advertising online is much easier and much likely to happen since the advertising is played alongside the thing you are interested in and tends to move and flickr - most of the times pointlessly.

But this is where something interesting happens: when navigating, one can be searching for something specific or simply browsing. I have found that I am most likely to click on banners when I am checking out Facebook, because my commitment to the content there is minimal - I am not particularly keen to read all updates and am just skimming so my degree of openness to advertising content is higher. By contrast, when I read articles in news sites, I seldom, if ever, click on advertising because I am not interested in being moved away from the content I am reading.

So, one challenge maybe, would be for media to identify content with high seeker potential - meaning content that you must read consistently and not leave. This would probably be less likely to yield high CTR but would function well for branding and awareness. On the other hand, high-degree browsing content, meaning content you simply skim to get to something that might interest you, might work to attract more engaging display.
Just a thought.


Nice music for Sunday evening

Part of the global buzz

Thought I'd play my part. Happy Bday MJ and my all time MJ Top 3 :)

3. Because it's the best MJ had ever looked

2. Because I secretly do the dance when I hear it :-)

1. Because I was 12 or 13 and felt I should have been in love when listening to it

Spot the difference

Let's play a game. Spot the difference between:

1. An banner ad for the fastest Ferrari placed underneath an Andrei Plesu interview and a TV commercial for the Happiness Factory ran during a movie about Hiroshima
2. A contextual ad for a loan placed within an article about the suicide of a young loan officer and the celebration fest TVC for a beer placed during the news report about the bus crash with 13 dead
3. A banner which rolls over the text you want to read and a TVC which interrupts the movie you were watching.

Let me tell you, what the difference is: there is no "close" button on the TVCs.



The meaning of advertising

I got this interesting link from Zoso. This artist is mixing corporate slogans and Flickr photography in the avowed intention to prove this point:
"By remixing corporate slogans, I intend to show how the language of advertising is both deeply meaningful, in that it represents real cultural values and desires, and yet utterly meaningless in that these ideas have no relationship to the products being sold."
[Some examples above]
Naturally this sparks some happy grins on the faces of advertising haters because, lo and behold, someone has proved advertising is pointless.
This got me thinking what a vicious circle advertising is in. Companies make products but in order to make money these products are not all that special or all that different. Advertising is meant to make them different. But in order to make them different advertising cannot relate to something in the product (as shown above, economics prevents differentiation). Advertising thus needs to create something beyond the product to make it stand out. This has grown to be called the brand. A brand makes a product different but in order to stand out a brand needs to feed on its own difference and thus becomes ever more separated from the product is was created for. Eventually advertising promotes something which is very special but in very little ways connected to the product. So, QED the artist.
BUT, if advertising stuck to promoting what the product is then there would be only two options: EVERY PRODUCT would need to be very different or there would need to be so much fewer products and economics would suffer. Of course, there is the third option: no advertising.

In reality, advertising is a part of culture just like music videos and the reason it is so, it's because products are NOT so different, the marketplace does NOT work solely through direct to consumer and NOBODY would listen to or look at ads talking solely about the qualities of a product. As human beings, we have an inherent craving for stories and get them from every piece of culture be it movies, music, pictures or advertising. The trick, as with any artefact, is to make it good.

Like these ads

aaaa, blissfully beautiful (b)executions :D from W+K

Like this pattern

Still via Ben (well. from his guest blogger really) but made by Hanna Werning

Books like organisms

This is neat. Found it via Ben and it's a young lady who makes visual renderings of books. Like, for instance, this is On the Road, by Jack Kerouak (she broke the first chapter into segments, sentences, words and color coded everything :))


Creative Internship

Internships are very important when you look at them for what they are. An opportunity. But internships are the easiest way for anyone to screen something else which is equally important: people's attitudes towards opportunities. And this is valid not only for the people having interns but also for the interns themselves.

Opportunities are not occasional. I know the essential definition of an opportunity is something in the way of "an unexpected events which occurs and opens a new path of action which may lead to positive results" BUT one big mistake we make is to wait for opportunities and assume that they will always be "special, unexpected, opening up something wonderful". Opportunities are everything we do. They are not occasional but they are ordinary and how we choose to deal with them transforms them into THE OPPORTUNITY versus just something that happened.

It works pretty much the same with internships and trying to be a creative intern. You walk into an agency and expect them to give you a shot. You look for the opportunity. But all you get thrown at is stupid research, running errands, filling out forms no one wants to fill in, or simply getting ignored. And here is where opportunity radar kicks in: you either choose to be bored, annoyed and irritated at the stupidity of it all OR you choose to see an opportunity in getting coffee.
Malcolm Gladwell makes a point in "Outliers" that there is no such thing as exceptional people but simply people who, when put in the right context, know how to make the most of their talents. Some people are lucky in that they understand they are in the right context. With internships, you are ALWAYS in the right context because you are smack in the middle of where you want to be. So, think that opportunities are everywhere and if you think your OPP radar is a bit off simply try to do something special anytime you are given the chance.


Leftover from holiday

I found these in the internal memory of my camera. Portofino this summer. One place I would definitely like to live in.



A good newspaper failed

I have been away for two weeks and the one thing that caught my attention is the obvious demise and u-turn in the destinies of the daily Cotidianul.

This whole post is very personal and not at all researched (which makes for no actual change from my regular posts :-D) but I feel something needs to be said about the ability of this country of ours to sustain different voices and different points of view.

Cotidianul was a newspaper that in my view acted like The Guardian of England. It sometimes focused on things of lesser national importance but always tried to add fresh points of view or topics to the public agenda. I asked myself countless times if a newspaper was meant to devote full pages to blogging - a national daily, mind you- and always the answer was "no, but it's refreshing to see they do". I always felt they were being silly when they advertised internet conferences with quarter page ads and asked myself who in, say, Brasov cared about these things. Probably nobody and yet is was great to see that public agenda was not restricted to what the president was doing wrong or who had stolen what.

Now the newspaper is failing, out of money and out of readers and new management has been brought in to change it. Make it more like you would expect a national daily to be. And while I am pleased the newspaper is given a chance to survive I cannot help wondering where will we find that other point of view, that other topic and that unexpected book review.
It is depressing to realize that we are a country so poor and so small that we are unable to support one publication attempting to be different. When advertising money ran out, the different one died out. And so we are left with a mass media which is largely the same.
not good
for context read also this from Tolontan
and also this for a different POV from Zoso


The Editors Bucharest or How social media can (maybe) make things happen

These are The Editors.

They come to Bucharest this Sunday and will play what is probably the only non-sponsored concert in the history of concerts in Romania. I hope they do good and I hope people buy out the tickets.

The thing is this, for cool bands to come to a country like ours, you need someone to sponsor part of the costs of the concerts. Otherwise the tickets would cost billions. So you get sponsors like Vodafone or Coke or Orange or Pepsi (I am being equidistant). This is not too much of a bother to people on the tarmac because they only see a bunch of billboards and are handed stupid little flags at the entrance. But truth of the matter is that, because we are only used to paying this much for tickets, we could not handle non -sponsored concerts. That's why what the people who have brought the Editors are doing is bold. They hope to use social media and word of mouth and networking to get the concert to pay for itself.
So, if you think this is something you might want to support do like I did: mention it on your website/blog/twitter and then go and see it.

Tickets here
A funny contest here


Two weeks off - cond

And then we had some drinks and drove to Portofino where the camera broke down....


two weeks off contd

before it was nice, san remo. then we moved on to aix en provence, avignon and the provence hills


Two weeks off

but there is wifi on the lovely terrace of Villa Elisa in Bordighera so ...