Friday, June 30, 2006

Not Playing Fair

Seth Godin comments on how easy it is to not play fair in the online environment - link. And on a similar note, Pink Air raises the question of what would you do if subliminal advertising was legal - link. One of my favourite film quotes is by Jeff Goldblum's character, Ian Malcolm, in Jurassic Park: "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should”. Honesty has got to be the only route. Someone will find you out at some point and your house of cards will come tumbling down.

Good Ads Add Value

Post from Seth Godin about how having relevant ads can enhance a viewers impression of the site. Sounds counter-intuitive doesn't it? - link

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

BBC Archive Footage

There's been talk on Boing Boing a few times about the BBC releasing it's footage as an online archive. This seems to be a step in the right direction - a resource to find images and footage - a bit like Getty Images / iStockphoto but also incorporating video - link

From The Rediculous To The Sublime

My last post showed a shocking bit of interactive work from Mercedes-Benz which seemed to convey none of the right values about the cars. Here is some really engaging work simply at the other end of the spectrum, all about the company's attitude to how they make their product - link. There are some comments about it on the website of the agency that produced it, including some blog links that reference the site - link

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pomposity Sucks

I found this banner ad on The Times website. Eugh. I feel dirty having just read it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Spoof of Agency / Client Life

Biting satire about the wonderful relationships and people in the marketing world. This video is the full length (12 mins) version - link

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Meek's Time Has Come

No real revelations here in this post about how the internet is changing our lives - empowering the small fry - but it provides a useful summary. I'm posting it mainly because I like the biblical reference point! link

More Doom & Gloom for Agencies

A thought from a blog I've just come across - Pink Air. This is essentially about customer generated content. One key thought is that with all this quality stuff being produced by customers, agencies could be in trouble - link

At the moment, I've only seen decent customer generated content for quite exceptional products and brands - ones that inspire customers to give a damn (I give you FireFox Flicks). So perhaps the role for the future agency will be about desparately trying to flog the "also rans". Hugh MacLeod observed a while ago that there are two basic survival choices - to be the cheapest or the best. There'll be plenty of work for agencies for a few years yet whilst the middle ground remains.

Making Extraordinary Ordinary

Observation from Seth Godin. By going beyond the call of duty it is pretty easy to delight customers. However, not if customers are expecting to be delighted. The out of this world quickly becomes run of the mill - always under-promise and over-deliver - link

What is Cool?

Another from Russell Davies, the results of a competition to define cool - link

Big Ideas

Lovely post from Russell Davies about those elusive Big Ideas of advertising. Most interesting point for me is this, referring to the likes of "Just Do It":

"Because these things aren’t really Big Ideas, they’re just huge buckets to contain a whole bunch of small ideas."

Beautiful. Link

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fighting Urban Spam

Russell Davies hates Urban Spam: shouty marketing drivel that invades your life, providing no benefit at all - spam for the offline world. Russell describes it as "the last desperate interruptive marketing arms race". I have a good deal of sympathy for his viewpoint. This link will take you to his latest post. This links to the category of posts on the subject. Urban Spam is only going to get worse as we are bombarded by advertisers who thought that they should because they could. Wrong! Hopefully Russell's campaign will fuel an almighty customer back-lash.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Righting the wrongs

It has long been my firm belief that it is not necessarily the mistakes that are important, but how you recover from them. To err is human. So is to forgive. Customers know that you will make mistakes. Products will fail, customer service can go awry, Murphy's law happens. However, they will forgive you if you make up properly. Say sorry. Put your hands up and confess your sins. It'll make you a lot more credible that pretending nothing went wrong. Here's a splendid example that I found on Russell Davies' blog - it's a product recall notice from Asda - link

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fantastic Optical Illusion

One of the finest I've ever seen - link

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why I Love Boing Boing

If you're not a reader of Boing Boing, you should be. A "Directory of Wonderful Things" should never be ignored. This link is one of the reasons why I think it's fab. An obscure way to make some political ripples in the US is posted, shared for everyone to enjoy - link

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Three Thoughts For The Day

Seth Godin has talked before about how human generated search such as can be much more powerful than Google for really powerful content. Here's a powerful comment to suggest that companies should be doing a lot more about it - link

Jennifer Rice looks at the launch of Google's spreadsheet project, comparing their market entry strategy to the Japanese car manufacturers. Microsoft beware! - link

And a blog I found via Russell Davies makes a tremendous point about companies not thinking about customers' total experience - for example with incompatibility between different / upgraded models with a product range - something that Apple have got spot-on - link

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Say it again, Sam

It struck me the other day whilst working on a new brief that "consistent" (considered a good thing) is not very far along a spectrum from "repetitive" (normally a bad thing). Have a view on where your advertising is working along this (fine) line.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gaymers make, err, what exactly?

Here's some recent outdoor advertising from Gaymer's. That lovely ice cold drink. Young, attractive ladies drinking it in a trendy bar. Just the sort of thing you may like to associate with in these 'hot' summer months. But what is it? The bottle looks like a beer bottle. Fortunately, from having grown up in the South-West of England, I know it's a cider. Cider has had a bit of a rennaissance recently with Magner's, but they are hugely proud to announce what they make. Gaymer's seem to have forgotten.

Simplicity & Complexity

One of the strands of thinking I'm finding most interesting at the moment is the shift from the old linearity of pavlovian-esque advertising to a more complex model based on associative networks. Russell Davies has some thoughts on addressing complexity in this video post - link

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Spelling With Flickr

Here's a good bit of web 2.0 fun....spelling with Flickr images. Before t'interweb enabled people to share stuff simply because they could none of this would have been possible or remotely interesting - link