Monday, November 24, 2008

"Top Shop" Marketing Strategy


Or what if Philip Green owned an ad agency. 


TopShop marketing: watching the market, seeing the fashion, copying the big innovative boys, moving fast, undercutting ands changing tack all the time. 

I guess this is one take on the 20% of the 80/20 rule.

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Will Recession Kill Advertising Innovation?



In the recession marketers can go to 2 extreemes. The bold ones will take the phrase "war breeds innovation" to heart and look to innovation to get them through and put them in a better place longer term. Others will retreat and stick to the channels that currently work for them delivering at least some return in the short term. 

As mentioned in number of posts a healthy 80/20 mix of proven/innovative approaches is needed. I guess the question is will agencies respond with the people, the resource and approach to drive and deliver this. 

In 2000 was at Agency.com working on the JV with Claydon Heeley Jones Mason that spawned Agency Republic when they walked half the company into one room and half into another to do the X-Factor. Globally we lost a huge number of what would be senior digital marketers in that cull and the concern is we might do exactly the same thing again.

I just spotted this diagram on Jmac's Screen: the Virginia Satir Theory of Organisational Change

Pretty similar to Black Swan Theory - in that an unexpected event causes huge chaos, but ultimately improvement, until the next unexpected event does it all over again.

So this current and chaos in the market place will ultimately lead to an improvement in how and what we do,  it is up to agencies and clients whether they want to be leading this or watching from a safe distance, then having to buy their way back in.

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How To Solve A Problem



Click here then hover over the resulting page.

Click here to learn more about the who, why and how.

Sort of John Caswell and the Consulting Periodic Table's bastard son.

From JMAC

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Marketing Trends 2008: How Did We Do?

So over 10,000 of you have read the post on 10 Trends In Digital Advertising for 2008 so I thought I would check to see how we did (‘we’ as this was a remix from most of your blogs). In preparation for this/next year's list a quick review would suggest that last years list wasn't too off the mark. What do you think?

1. The term “digital agency” as a catch all for doing everything digital not matter what the discipline will start to lose relevancy. As PR, brand, direct and design agencies all develop digital skills “digital” will just become a specialism within those disciplines.

9/10 - set to continue at a pace

2. Consequently roster agencies based on channel will become redundant as clients look to task based allocation of accounts, covering disciplines and channels.

6/10 - set to continue as the lines continue to blur

3. We will see more of the likes of Neo being appointed lead media agency, though the focus will shift from the traditional “buying attention” to understanding how purchased media can enhance “earned attention”.

4/10 – traditional media agencies are fighting back by buying up inventive & creative thinkers


4. To this end creative agencies will move from creating TV ads to creating experiences that they film and encourage others to and share. Think Sony Paint ad but designed as an event to participate in rather than just a few people attending the filming of a TV ad.

7/10 - set to continue. See Absolut

5. Whilst digital media agencies will become lead agencies less digital creative agencies will as the watch words shift from viral, widgets and microsites back to defining the big idea, and more people remember that “branded utility” can also mean being entertaining. Digital agencies will continue to creak under the weight of doing everything digital.

6/10 - set to continue though they are starting to build a good network of supplier partners to deliver, see below:

6. That said competitive agency lines will start to break down as partnerships will start to form in unlikely ways as agencies struggle to be masters of all trades and managing digital suppliers will start to replicate how we work with TV directors and production companies though specialist “conductors” with a large black contact books will become some of the most important people in the agency.

8/10 - set to continue as conductors become increasingly important.

7. A new creative dynamic will start to emerge with experience planners, technologists and even third parties become an integral and ongoing part of the development process rather than at either end.

8/10 - set to continue but only really happening in digital agencies rather than traditional based ones


8. Lack of specialist staff will continue to be a concern with more people looking to balance consumer culture with a positive work life balance. Agencies will start to offer individualised remuneration packages based on flexible working hours and locations as well as international and cross discipline opportunities, not just cash.

5/10 - credit crunch has put paid to that

9. Social media will also continue to play a part in advertising life as the power brokers of tomorrow meet across Facebook and twitter rather than/or as well as Soho bars.

9/10 - more, more, more

10. With 80% of the global economy based locally the importance of global reach and local expertise and ability to deliver on the ground will increase.

7/10 - efficiencies still driving large accounts this way

er...10a. The bar bell structure will continue to pervade with the big networks getting bigger and more encompasing, the few middle sized players being squeezed and loads of new and innovative companies like Anomaly, Callcott Marketing and The Ides Of March getting in on the game and taking a part of the IP for their ideas.

8/10 – set to continue with the larger players developing VC type models.

Tags: digital marketing trends agency of the future advertising trends giles rhys jones





8:4:2 Branded Entertainment Defined

...or the half life of branded entertainment. 

8 Channels, 4 levels of brand involvement, 2 ways of marketing integration.

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: rhysjones ogilvy)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Navigation By Paint



Nice find from the chaps at Ogilvy.nl. A first-person painting game by Ian Dallas. It is set in an white/black world. Players can splatter paint to help them find their way around. Dulux or Sony Bravia would be a great brand fits.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cut & Paste Culture


Faris at Interesting New York talking about Recombinant Culture: "The remix is the very nature of digital." William Gibson. Essentially digital, at its core, is all ones and zeros so they get on, they are made to be remixed. 



Other videos here including a nice one from James Cooper of another anomaly talking about setting up Celebrity Ping Pong magazine... whilst playing ping pong.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Behind the Scenes On Obama Election Night

Another great example of opening out and letting go of your brand. This Flickr photo set from the Obama campaign is fascinating.



Friday, November 07, 2008

The Black Swan Agency

I am on the plane back from Customer Futures Exec Council in Johannesburg presenting on the state of the South African digital marketplace. I just been reading  The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbablea book about randomness and uncertainty by epistemologist Nassim Nicholas Taleb. 

I found a nice quote; " almost no discovery, no technologies of note, came from design and planning...focus on maximising tinkering and recognising opportunities when they present themselves... aggressive trial and error"

Great advice for a comms agency and some thing the smaller players and start ups seem to do as a matter of course.  So how do the networks build a Black Swan agency process and way of thinking, avoiding the robotic approach but empowering and respecting the commonsense of the employee.

More Mr. T shaped people for a start, a skill & will cull for another, maybe abit of the floating fiver for another (another post for another day) and a good chunk of innovation and risk marketing. Finish off with lashings of black book conducting.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Check Out My Loaf: The Blogger Bake Off

Breadline Africa's campaign to raise funds to help alleviate poverty in Africa from the boys & girls at Quirk.

With your support, Breadline Africa can convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution. These sustainable community kitchens will not only provide foods such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within these poor communities. Here are the ways to get involved:


Check out my
Pecan, Raison & Honey effort.

500g granary flour
1 tsp yeast
A handful of pecans and sultanas chopped
A couple of tsp of honey
1 tsp salt
2 tsp milk
350ml water
25g butter

 Rory Sutherland, Jonathan Macdonald, Tim Whirledge, Rohit  Bhargava, Amelia TorodeThe KaiserCharles Frith you are all summarily challenged to beat that.

Tags: blogger bake off breadline africa charity giles rhys jones