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Saturday, 29 September 2007


John Dodds

Absolutely - the key is that you are not pursuing a demographic or a market but a collection of people and while (physically or virtually) people have changed location, people, in and of themselves are inherently the same as ever.

This is why Where Are The Joneses puzzles me. It may be that it's the vanguard of a new medium but it seems to me to have generated a lot of interest within the industry while making virtually no impact whatsover in the real world - very few people are aware of it.

Well that's my sense anyway and If I'm correct I would suggest it is because that where the soap operas went to where people were already gathered i.e. around the radio and latterly the TV (both with limited output), Where Are The Joneses has gone to the internet where people clearly are - but they're there in a much more amorphous way and they gather where they gain some value not automatically where you stick your content for their delectation.

I expect to be told I'm being a thick Luddite but it seems almost equivalent to saying we'll create a TV spot and then not worry where and when it plays. Just because media is fragmenting, it doesn't mean you need to focus on fragments.

David Bausola

Hi John and Amelia.

It's interesting to read your thought on the Joneses project - the soap opera connection has been raised a lot recently - verbally in meetings and socially with other planners.

But it's not a useful correlation towards understanding the dynamics of WRTJ. Mainly because the of the licence model - Creative Commons BY-SA - which has broader implications which will be revealed next year.

Part of the 'fragmentation' of an 'audience' involves time shifting - the Tivoisation of TV as an example. Mostly time shifting is acknowledged as a weekly or perhaps monthly operation. WRTJ persists as a 'media cloud' and thus viewers will discover the project in their own time over the forthcoming years. Think how Minder or Fools and Horses maintains it's attraction over the decades - soaps don't. Where are the long tails of Soaps? (Lost in copyright?!)

The trade press (Marketing/Broadcasting) covered the project as if it was a campaign - but there was no product placement - the use of the car (The S MAX) was not pivotal to the plot, but instrumental to the ability of the project's logistics. As a brand centric production, we opened up the interpretation of Ford (of Europe) without a public attack on the brand (re: Tahoe remix campaign). This is because one of the aims of the project is to bring more depth to Ford by participating in culture instead of marketing. The mutuality between brand and society is perhaps the key factor when working within culture. Marketing tends to glamorises the client, and glamour is always fleeting - like a soap opera.

To which it's worth mentioning Kate Modern, which is a soap, with product placement, based inside a controlled media channel - Bebo. The 2 projects are very different but the TV 2.0 nonsense has bracketed the 2 projects together. It's a keen indicator that planners and trade press, on the whole, do not understand the media rights businesses and thus fail to develop client work that does anything more than work within the existing media models. How many planners, including digital specialists really understand the OFCOM 2003 Communications Act or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act enough to be creative with the parameters? KM, as John says, goes to the audience, but also waves product to an unsuspecting audience. Is this cultural? Is this marketing? Is this opportunistic? Is this of value to an audience?

What may be worth considering is "role": software design starts with the user; actually, via UML we refer to a user in the system as an 'actor'. Fromms 'Escape from Freedom' is useful in comprehending participation within society and the needs of a leader - such you find in any open source project including the WRTJ. Throw in some Nicolas Bourriaud (Relational Aesthetics) and you'll see that 2.0ness is as old as the hills. I'm not sure that WRTJ is the 'vanguard of a new medium' because it's a blend of media - or as Faris call it - TransMedia. Actually, it's more like a hack of the TV format business, which I see as the most under used mechanisms in marketing. It's worth looking at GameKillers by Uniliver/BBH/MTV for the Viacom network on that note,

I'll be writing up a post or two this/next month on the'zero influence' blog, explaining some of the insights & strategy behind WRTJ.

David Brain

Great examples . . . I had no idea that was how the Tour de France came about. One difference that means thing cannot in my view "stay the same" is that people can now talk back. In terms of creative product this is a new dimension in that great ideas of the past mostly did not have to continue in dialogue form. Not right for every campaign or every product I concede, but the mechanics to help people talk and share their views have to be part of the idea now.

Charles Frith

But yes. Plus ca change 'n all that


Elegantly put, Amelia. Splendid's Andy Bellass once described marketing 2.0 as marketing 0.1 for similar reasons.
I think it's amusing how easily people can convince themselves that means are actually ends. In one way it's all very simple: Do whatever works. Tough selling that philosophy to clients and using it to run a large agency though.

Katie Streten

Nicely put, great examples too.

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