Ferris Bueller was right, "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We all need to take time to stop and look around.
This is a blog about brands, technology, ads and ideas that I find interesting and would like to share.
Reminded me of Jon Steel's "Got Milk?" strategy and the insight that he identified which was that the interesting story about milk was not actually the product itself, but the food that goes perfectly together with it (the cookies, the PBJ sandwich etc) The creative approach for that campaign was the dramatization of that gastronomic experience ... without milk.
The Lurpak campaign works in a similar way. I am less interested in the butter story per se, but am very interested in the meal story. It made me think about my own cooking and purchase behaviour as I do spend a fortune at our local organic butchers William Rose and organic fishmongers Moxtons but tend to buy the cheapest own label butter.
I really think that it is a great campaign - smart copywriting, clean and simple design and an excellent experience on the website- recipes that actually tempt you to cook them, smart forum debtaes and functionality (with funny avatars) and TV ads that are worth watching.
Faris and Doug have written far more eloquently than me about the Facebook phenomena that is spreading through professional London (and I am sure elsewhere) as we speak. Friends who I would never in a million years have imagined that would join anything like this are signing up in droves.
There was an interesting post on TechCrunch today about about the fact that Facebook is setting itself up to be the anti MySpace. As MySpace clamps down on non-sanctioned widgets and applications (forgetting that actually one of the huge drivers of MySpace uptake was YouTube and the ability to incorporate content quicky and easily into a page), Facebook is doing the opposite and opening up its core functions to all outside developers. It is really providing unprecidented access.
I posted the question on the Facebook Plannersphere a week or so ago whether MySpace was now well and truly dead or at least about to die a death.
While I know that MySpace still provides a great platform for music sharing, I wonder does anyone really still use MySpace? And if so, why?
And finally, was it a huge waste of Murdoch's money?
When I was gathering my thoughts together for Campaign on UGC (or as Charles Frith called it "participatory media") one of the ideas that people like Nicola talked about is the way in which people love participating and creating by messing with ads. There are so many examples of brands who decide to out-source their advertising to the consumer (Doritos and Lucozade being two recent ones), the lure is the appeal of huge amounts of prize money or as in Doritos case, the chance to have your ad aired at the Superbowl. But you go to YouTube and the site is rammed with UGC spoof ads. No chance of becoming rich or famous from them, but some of them are so good...
Thanks to the cheeky monkey at FishnChimps, this Nissan one is a favourite at the moment:
I like the way that some companies are using video and YouTube as a channel to distribute content. I often think that stats and facts are often easier to digest in video form rather than on a word document or powerpoint slide.
This video had some great stats and facts - did you know that 89% of the world's porn is produced in the US? Did you know that 25% of all search engine queries are porn? 70% of all porn downloaded happens in the working week Monday-Friday 9am-5pm?
PSFK is a great online resource full of trends, ideas and inspiration from around the world. They recently had a NYC conference which NY buddies tell me was fantastic. They are in town next week for the London leg of their "world tour"
The line-up is fresher than other conferences, which can just turn into company sales pitches. I'm especially excited about We Make Money Not Art talking about what happens when designers mess with technology, Poke are a great creative agency so I think that Iain will be controversial and inspirational, Anomaly are the most interesting agency in the States at the moment and Johnny Vulkan has one of the best names in advertising, and I (finally) get to meet Beeker in person as opposed to online.
Calling on the Blogosphere: I am in the middle of writing an article for Campaign, it's on UGC and Social Networking. I think that I've got some illuminating examples of "the good, the bad, the ugly" (doritos, lucozade, 300, skins, nike) but I wondered in the spirit of collective intelligence, if there were any examples that you had seen and felt stood out.
In return this is my favourite quote about brands and Social Networking, found on Wonderland Blog:
MySpacehas turned into a massive zit full of marketing pus. Most teens don't mind advertising but when things look more like spam than advertising, you're in deep shit. Every PR organization and marketing arm is leeching onto MySpace like a blood thirsty vampire.Problem is that vampires kill their prey. I'm very worried about how over-advertising will kill even the coolest social hangouts
UPDATE: Thank you for all the thoughts here, it has been a great debate to be a part of. When I sent stuff through to Campaign last week there was a bit of a gulp, as they did not expect me to get back to them with so much stuff. We'll have to see how they use it...
If you have any more thoughts please do carry on posting them...
Anyway, what was interesting about this exercise for me was looking at the results that my different Social Networks yielded. I asked the same question on my blog, the AccountPlan.Ning group, the Facebook "Plannersphere" group and the Facebook "Don't Tell My Mum I'm in Advertising, She Thinks That I Play The Piano in a Brothel" group and on Twitter.
The blog generated the most comments and also the most thoughtful; then came the Ning group, then the Advertising Facebook group and finally the Planning Facebook group. Oh and Twitter was down due to too many people trying to access it when I was trying to post...
The announcement last week that Innocent were launching a trial of their kids smoothies in McDonald's seems to have provoked moral outrage. Comments on their blog are for the most part vehemently against the move: "if you jump into bed with the enemy, you're going to get screwed', "either you are stupid or you have sold out big time', "You are tarnishing what you stand for as a brand by associating
yourself with a brand that stands for obesity and exploitation. Shame
This is a fascinating brand story for a number of reasons.
Firstly in this era of Radical Transparency, the fact that Innocent are blogging about this and getting into a discussion with their consumers is admirable. It's interesting to see the way in which this debate is moving online - and there is a genuine sense of a debate taking place, with both sides of the argument expressing their opinions lucidly. In a post about the move, Richard one of the co-founders says that they talked to Innocent drinkers who supported the trial, however to be truly Radically Transparent maybe this debate taken place before the trial started rather than after the announcement was made.
The second reason why I think that this is such an important story is to do with environmental ethics. Richard coined the phrase Fast Moving Sustainable Goods to describe the Innocent business model, "we're not perfect but we're trying to do the right thing." Given the fact that a large proportion of the UK kid population do eat at McDonald's, is Innocent simply living up to their FMSG philosophy? If kids are there anyway, surely they should be allowed the choice between ordering a Coke or something like an Innocent Smoothie? Innocent have never said that are a charity, they are in business to make smoothies and to make money. Isn't this just another way of opening up their market and doing a bit of good to UK kids?
Finally I wonder if there is an element of Middle Class snobbery occurring? Innocent being the ultimate warm and friendly, Middle Class brand and McDonald's being the supposed antithesis. Kind of a double standard - after all it's fine for Innocent Smoothies to be stocked in Shell petrol stations, Tescos or Starbucks.
But I admire Innocent for trying (and let's remember it is just a trial) this. It's a great example of Radical Transparency in action.
UPDATE: Email from Richard Reid, co-founder, received on Monday 7th.
Richard at innocent wrote:
Yes, it was a bit of a tough decision, in that we knew we would
get a bit of a kicking from some of our drinkers, but when a company
slated for selling unhealthy food asks to sell food that is good for
people it seemed more irresponsible of us to say no than yes, even
though I knew to some it would come across as the antithesis of
When it comes down to it, we've got to where we are today by
doing what we think is right, rather than by doing what we think sounds
right, if you know what I mean. And this decision was no different.
I also sought the counsel of the MD of Greenpeace, who said that over the last five years mcdonalds
have changed from being their number one enemy to their number one
global partner in reducing deforstation in the amazonian rainforest,
and if McD's wanted to sell healthy food we should definitely engage
with them. A surprising input, and one which was important for us.
Over time we'll find out whether going in was the right
decision or not, but irrespective of how it turns out I'll know we made
the decision for the rightreasons.
Plus we might now get some free cheeseburgers, which was the main factor for going for the trial.
Hope you're well and thanks for your support on the blog
Out by the Thames last night - beautiful sight as 20 canoeists (is that spelt right right??) came silently down the river. My brother the photographer in pic asked them where they came come from, Shadwell they replied. Looking on Google this morning found their site, the Tower Hamlets Canoe Club who explore the Thames together every Tuesday evening. Think that I might have to sign up - what a fantastic way to see the city from a different vantage point.