Saturday, February 08, 2014

Why Are There No Great Digital Campaigns?

Ok so looking around there seems to be very few great campaigns that are actually based on digital insight.

Whoa there! Before you get your digital underwear in a twist; sure many use digital channels to deliver on more traditional insights. But those are in the majority. And there are some truly amazing ones. Pick any cyber Cannes winner.

But what I am after is amazing work that has come from a uniquely digital behaviour. What goes into the brief from a planner rather than what comes out from a creative.

For an example of the difference; BK Subservient Chicken was amazing creative use of digital to drive a benefit; BK Whopper Sacrifice was based on an understanding of how people behave on Facebook.

- The Philips Cannes radio was based on the insight (gathered by social media listening) that mums talked about spying on their kids with the camera baby monitor.

- McDonalds changed the name of their free wifi to advertise their meal deals because they knew people jumped on their wifi from neighbouring restaurants.

- People tweet boring stuff - you know who you are - so Expedia travelled the tweets to different parts of the world to show how travel makes them more interesting.

- People use their Phones as alarm clocks and teenage boys  dream about waking up next to a beautiful women so Axe made the Wake-Up Service

It's a little blurry and plenty cases could be argued either way but there seem to be very few of the latter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Future of Competitive Sport

Sport 2.0, Social Sport, I am seeing a really interesting approach to competitive sport. Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program where workouts posted daily on their site along with instructional videos, tips, stories and allows people to post their comments & results.

The Crossfit Games is an annual event that has regional and global events. For this year they have also launched the crossfit open for everyone. For $5 you can enter the competition and receive a workout every week for 6 weeks. To validate your score you either do it in an affiliated gym or video yourself and post it on the site for it to be moderated by other competitors.

20,000 people have registered.

I got my arse handed to me by their first workout and am currently languishing at around 60% of the field. decided to redo it after i had recovered, beat my score and then realized I hadn't pressed record. Ouch.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Digital Conferences You Should Go To

None. I was asked recently what were good digital advertising conferences to go to. But I actually think most of them are rubbish.

You have the same people saying the same stuff that everyone has been saying for 3 or 4 years. Or even worse new people saying the same stuff as if they invented it. Often professional speakers doing the circuit or people in agencies trying to push their own personal agenda.

Generally it is a bunch of hacked presentations showing really interesting/engaging/disruptive/social (delete as appropriate) work and saying that what we need to do and brand/advertising/social/digital/direct (deleted as appropriate) are the best agency to deliver it.

But that is lazy. It is sodding easy to bash advertising and show examples of cool stuff we should be doing. Very few people actually offer constructive advice on how we need to change our process as well as our product. Global marketing business re-engineering. That's what interests me and I have had a bash at it here.

So don't go to a conference spend 3 hours on, follow the right people on twitter and think & talk alot. Alot, a lot.

But if you do fancy a conference, here is a list one ones my good Ogilvy friend Nicole Yershon recommends. Attend or follow the buzz online.

As you can see most of them are not about advertising but look at music, film, arts, technology and business.

UK Specific
thinking digital - 24-26 May in Sheffield
TED salon events - London 3 times a year
google zeitgeist - May in UK
click - Nov in London
power to the pixel - Nov in London
media pro - Nov in London
sounds digital - Apr in London
the childrens media conference - June in Sheffield
the sheffield doc fest - June in Sheffield
PSFK global events - London & Global
iStrategy - London & Global
likeminds - Nov in Exeter & Lon
b.tween - UK

Global Economic & Political
(that all have digital/tech on their agenda)
World Economic Forum - Jan in Davos
DLD - Jan in Munich
TED - All the time, everywhere
Clinton Global Initiative - Sept in NY

(that all have digital/tech on their agenda)
allen & company sun valley conf - July in Idaho
all things D - June in San Diego)
monaco media forum - Nov in, err, Monaco
berkshire hathaway annual shareholders mtg - May in Omaha
summit series - Apr in USA

Global Digital, Tech & Innovation
techcrunch disrupt - Spet in San Fran
le web - Dec in Paris
the lobby - Sept in Hawaii
fortune brainstorm tech - June in Aspen
sxsw - Mar in Austin
CES - Jan in Vegas
picnic - Sept in Amsterdam
IBC - European CES - Sept in Amsterdam
WEB 2.0 - Nov in San Francisco
miptv - Apr & Oct in Cannes

So I have probably missed afew out and I am sometimes happy to be proved wrong. If someone fancies inviting me to attend or speak, after all I have my personal agenda to pursue and a couple of borrowed decks I can hack together...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Every Agency Needs An Innovation Lab

Safe adventure, investment marketing, risk marketing, measureable innovation. Call it what you will but the more I talk to agencies and clients the more I am convinced that to survive, the first/only rule we reallly need to adhere to is McKinsey's 80/20.

Spend 80% on stuff you know works and 20% on measurable innovation.

As the environment continues to be challenging clients are stripping back budgets and expecting those budgets to work hard. They and their agencies are shying away from doing anything that can't be very closely related to sales or is out of the ordinary. No real issue there but this will over time deliver diminishing returns, sacked clients and bored agencies.

To survive we all need to try new things and develop new ways of reaching our audiences. But it needs to be measurable. If the ideas work they are rolled in to the 80% if not we learn and move on. Rather than try and sell those in on an adhoc basis, fighting for budgets in the weeds, we need to all buy into this at a high level.

It keeps work interesting but most importantly keeps us moving, keeps us evolving...and we get to do stuff like this...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Global Web index Lite

Use the tool embedded below to find out social media stats. Nifty little tool.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Digital Agency Death Knell

So farewell AGENCY.COM, to be broken and absorbed in TBWA and others. As digital ceases to be seen as a channel and becomes a specialism within other disciplines, traditional digital agencies will continue to creak at the sides and break under the weight of trying to do everything digital. They will rapidly have to focus on what it is they actually do. The digital agency roster will die, at least in its current form, and client will pick discipline specific digital agencies. The chart below is 3 years old. Social Media and Mobile agencies take note...

I spent 3 happy years at AGENCY.COM building out their digital advertising unit in the UK and developing some groundbreaking work on BA, oneworld and Heineken. They also had the foresight to allow us to create AgencyRepublic a JV between them and ClaydonHeeleyJonesMason of which I was one of the founding 4.

Interestingly AgencyRepublic is another digital agency fallen on tough times. 5 times winner of best digital agency in the UK it has just lost it's flagship O2 account guessed it a traditional agency with an integrated digital offering, VCCP.

Likewise the more traditional offline agencies will have to rapidly adapt to accomodate this influx of highly creative and very non traditional people and approach. Digital will have to be part of everyone's role and they will quickly have to staff up (and down) to get the right mix of people and fundamentally change how they approach pretty much every part of their business.


Friday, July 02, 2010

re write the future nike spoof

Nike might have won the wc2010 marketing war but I still hate the ad and love the parody above.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

See Through Walls With Wimbledon iPhone App

Live streaming video from centre court, web cam of the taxi cue and augmented reality overlays telling you where the toilets are and how big the queue for the strawberries is. 2010's IBM SEER pushes tech limits.

Caveat: I worked on the original version of this last year.