Sunday, November 14, 2010
So now, my days seem too short to fit everything in.
One of the things that I find most difficult is fitting in time to be inspired. It sounds ridiculous that one should seek out inspiration but to stretch my thinking this is what I need to do.
I read a multitude of blogs, I look at what our competitors are up to and more than anything else, I bounce ideas off those around me including my fiance Matt.
Matt is A-for-Awesome - the polar opposite of me but a waelth of creativity and fun. He inspires me by thinking in an unrestricted way. He helps me solve problems everyday and his thughts - whilst some days are way too far out for my clients, help me to create new work and solve problems in my client's briefs.
Everyday brings something new and that's what I love about my job.
My partner, Tristan Burrell & I won the competition! It was the start of big things for me. After returning to Australia I was asked to be a guest speaker at a number of events, was named in the top 40 under 40 list by Australia's leading trade publication and threw myself into working on a range of clients at UM.
I will admit that my first few months with UM were difficult. I had come from a less traditional agency where the view on responding to briefs was; 'the more creative the better'. At UM I needed to learn to balance investment opportunities with creative thinking. These difficulties were also what made me love working for UM. The people around me; Henry Tajer, Nathan Brown and Chris Okeefe worked with me to help me find the best balance. They gave me opportunities to shine including leading the pitch for $11 million account Panasonic which we subsequently won.
These same people have put the same faith in me to step up to a strategic leadership role and I have recently relocated to Melbourne as Director of Communicaions & Strategy for the Melbourne office. Given my relative inexperience (8 years) compared to others in the market, this demonstrates the belief that the company has in me and also my committment to succeed and drive execllence in everything that I do.
With this move came a transition off some of my existing clients. I was pleasantly suprised to recieve a number of emails thanking me for my contribution to their business. Nothing is more flattering than being recognised for your efforts by your clients.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I do know that there exists a cult-like group of people who go because they actually enjoy it..... I hear that most members of this cult enjoy frequenting mazes with hundreds of other cult members in their spare time.
Now despite the lack of enjoyment that I get from the Ikea real-life experience I can't help but love what they do from an engagement perspective.
Some time ago I wrote about this here awesome use of transit media in Japan and now, just a few days after my traumatic real-life experience I have come across another reason to admire Ikea's work.
Its called mykea and is a community of artists that have got together and found a way to personalise Ikea furniture. The standardisation of Ikea products globally makes this project work. It is basically a massive online plasterfunhouse but the community of artists, similar to those on threadless, ensure that you don't fuck up your furniture and end up with a piece looking like a big pile of poo.
Artists can join the community, submit their designs and average joes can come along and customise their Ikea purchases.
The major limitation is coming from the furniture giant themselves. You cannot buy Ikea products online!!!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Since I am now officially a resident of the southern state I've decided to record my observations about the differences between the cities.
This is NOT a ploy to start a Sydney V Melbourne debate (afterall I am a lover of both). It is more to demonstrate that without immersing oneself in a market, it is difficult to truly understand the nuances and as such make sound media buying decisions.
So onto my first observation.
Melbournians wait at the traffic lights.
I have garnered a number of strange looks on the street since last Tuesday when I started working in Melbourne and I'm pretty sure that its not the result of having my skirt tucked into my undies.
Its because at a set of traffic lights, where the little green and red men reside, I generally just wait for a break in traffic and scoot across the road.
Locals however don't. They stand and wait politely.
Jaywalking it seems, is a no-no.
The implications on media
Aside from this being the 'right' thing to do and also taking me back to Berlin where jaywalking is a fineable offence and thus never done, it also made me realise that outdoor, particularly transit outdoor, has much greater value here in Melbourne than in Sydney.
Dwell times are longer because people actually stop and look around rather than whip their head from side to side like a teenage shoplifter about to be caught.
In addition, the trams, whilst a faster mode of transport than buses due to less congestion, actually seem to run a bit slower or maybe its that they drive in a straight line. Either way, the advertising on them is much clearer and easier to read that that on a moving bus. Yet another point to increase the value of outdoor in this market.
So that's it fro observation #1.... await with baited breath (which actually is a disgusting term and I think would smell quite fishy) for installation #2 of The Tale of Two Cities.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The executions here are aimed at people who like to speed things up.
Skate-Trolley is A-for-Awesome!
Hat-tip to Content Kids.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
For those that are into fashion this site (polyvore.com) will push you buttons.
Basically, it takes fashion inspiration, catalogues, creativity and e-commerce and mashes it altogether.
With basic drag and drop technology you can create your own mood boards - a dream for any aspiring fashionista or mag-hag.
Whilst the fashion space may not appeal to you, the applications for this type of technology are huge. I can see it working for music, automotive, luxury brands... anything really that has some aspirational appeal.
From a media point of view, its a pretty useful tool for creating a mood board or archetype when you don't have time to trawl through various sites for different pictures.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Coincidentally, this time of travel marked four years since we had met and fallen in love (in fact revisit the meeting here). Now whilst many people have said to me "you must have known" I can't stress enough how much of a suprise it was when Matt asked me to marry him on the 14th of July.
Here's the story....
When we first met I had ben travelling alone for about 5 months. I had visited paris and 100% hated it. I thought it was a smelly, grey and unfriendly city. having recounted this experience to Matt he insisted that I join him there so he could show me the true beauty of the city. I accepted the invite and not only changed my opinion of Paris but also fell in love.
Part of the romance occurred when we stumbled upon and incredible room at the Avenir Hotel Montmarte. Room 39 has the most magical view with three balconies; the first framing the Scare Couer, the second showing the breadth of the city and the third framing the Eiffel Tower.
We've stayed here everytime that we've been to Paris since.
So on the day of our anniversary Matt suggested that we have a nice breakfast together then meet up with the rest of his family who were also visiting Paris. I agreed. On the moring Matt woke up and brought me a cup of tea in bed (exactly what I love) then asked me to have a shower and get ready. For those who don't know, Matt hates to be late. He is constantly rushing me out the door and to my dismay, we are constantly arriving at events before the start time. So even on this day when we had no appointments he was hovering around trying to rush me. I told him as much and asked him to stop stressing me out!!!
When I'd finished with the 'fluffing' Matt asked me to stand on the balcony where he was going to take a photo of us all dressed up. I went out to the balcony and Matt said "Oh look, dad & Louise are up at the Scare Couer waving".... I turned around and indeed they were waving but also holding an enormous sign that said "WILL YOU MARRY ME?". I read it out loud not quite comprehending until I turned back around and saw matt on on knee holding the most incredible engagement ring that I have ever seen.
From then, it turned into a bit of an emotional fireworks dispaly with both of us a bit lost for words, crying, shaking all of the above.
After a few photos we headed up to the Scare Couer for more photos with the sign close up (amid screaming American tourists.... people said things like "oh, my god, this has totally made my holiday...." - hello, I was being proposed to, not them!!!)
We spent the rest of the day celebrating with family and friends.
On top of that there are lots of people we need to thank....
- Both of our families for keeping this enormous secret. I had no idea and if it weren't for all of your crafty work it wouldn't have been such a suprise.
- Mum, Dad, Jo & Kane for saying yes when matt asked if he could marry me
- Ken, Bernadette, Mrs H, Louise, Amanda & Shrek for organising the sign and celebrating with us.
- Louise & her skydiving buddies for making the sign.
- Henry, Chris, Trav for arranging an additional week's holiday so that Matt could propose on our special day.
- Lyndelle, I hear you've been an unwavering rock for matt with his nerves and in the ring selection and making process - thank you.
- Miss Sal and Jen Leonard for your sneaky arrangement of the fake itineraries and ensuring we got there and back safely.
- Ara for hiding the ring and keeping it safe in Cannes.
At this point we've made no plans but are just so appreciative of everyone's heartfelt messages and will let you know as soon as possible dates for celebrations!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Yesterday I attended 'A Contagious Conversation' with Richard Pinder, Paul Kemp-Robertson and Jess Greenwood. It was one of the highlights of the festival so far. The guys spoke about the importance of creating tangible value and gave some great examples of creating conversation.
Durex Play – From protection to pleasure
Needed a fundamental shift in position.
High brand loyalty of 16-24yrs but as they got older they had no need for the brand anymore. So they created a whole new range of products that were all about pleasure.
They commissioned a survey all about sex and sexual behaviour. They wanted to liberate sexuality and make I mainstream – ie sit next to cosmetics on the supermarket shelf.
Women helped design products for women.
A zero base to $43million revenue in the first 4 years.
The case study from contagious.
Ways to change the conversation
Ways to change the conversation
- Ignite the conversation
- Own the conversation
- Confront the conversation
- Subvert the conversation
Ignite the conversation
Pepsi refresh project.
A consumer generated project that allowed Pepsi to create its own voice. People voted for funding against different community projects. The campaign prioritised engagement over reach and understood the brand rather than just sat there aware of it.
VW – the fun theory
They wanted to be less automotive and more about change and the great things in life. It was about changing the conversation around their brand from
Throw rubbish in the bin because its fun – noise was activated when the rubbish was put in the bin and 72kg of rubbish were collected on day 1 compared to 42kg in a nearby bin.
The outcome – fun can change behaviour for the better.
Check out the reel here.
Lurpak – Bake Club
Insight: British people do not cook at home like they used to
Pride never came out of a ready meal.
A communal cook off where people cook the same thing at the sme time and interact online about it.
Own the conversation
Advertisers felt they could own the conversation by yelling at people over and over again. The real way to own the conversation is to involve people in it.
Gatorade – Replay. No small games.
Gatorade flipped the tables and went for the cult of the amateur.
Insight: Everyone’s got one of those games where something went wrong.
Idea: Rivalry is scaleable. Provide what every athlete hopes for, a second chance.
Replayed old highschool football game to decide the real winner. Original coaches, cheerleaders, band members were there. Gatorade designed a training program strating 2 months out and the journey was recorded and broadcast throughout.
10K tickets sold out in 90mins.
No major injuries, broken bones or torn muscles – the ultimate product demonstration.
Hollywood has shown interest in creating a film out of the concept and the TV show will run again next year.
The no media engagement metric – without media, would people still choose to engage with your content. Gatorade took a product demonstration and turned it into a Hollywood movie.
Dulux – Let’s Colour – Own the concept
They wanted to own the concept of colour but take it a lot further. It was about transforming the look and feel of impoverished communities with different coloured paints.
A team of cultural bloggers followed the project and used the web as a global tv set.
Nike/Livestrong – Chalkbot – post-digital thinking
People chalk messages on the side of the road during the tour de france to send messages of support to the cyclists.
Nike arranged for messages via twitter, sms or yellow.com told the chalkbot to spray the message on the road. It then took a photo and sent a message back to the messenger with gps coordinates so that they could see it.
It changed something digital into something physical whih makes it much more emotional and real. The way people react to something changes once it becomes physical/tangible.
Confront the conversation
Domino’s – Pizza Turnaround – Transparent Takeway
Negativity around the brand heightened when a video of employees being disgusting went viral.
700k views on pizzaturnaround.com
80,000 more fans on facebook (1 fan = $3 of earned media)
Same store traffic increased by 14%
Marmite – The Marmarati
You either love it or you hate it. They realised they couldn’t get the haters to buy it but they could get the lovers to buy loads of it.
They used the top 20% of the lovers on facebook to become part of a marmite secret society and then use them to launch a limited edition product.
Subvert the conversation
Uniqlo – Lucky Switch – Digital hijack
You need to be brave and you need to do something that gives back to people.
They took banners – the most common and ubiquitous digital advertising platform and made them interesting and useful. They created a never seen before banner ad campaign. I don't know the technical details but basically you downloaded a plugin that was activated when you licked on a uniqlo banner. It then replaced all other advertising with uniqlo ads. The motivation to do this was essentially a treasure hunt/promotion where people could win items of clothing.
Essentially, it turned the banner ad into a piece of content that people wanted to interact with. Clicking on the banner didn't take you away from the site it just added value to the site you were on.
Charmin – sit or squat – public services
They wanted to subvert the conversation about going to the toilet. If parents are out and about with kids, kids give no warning at all, they just look for the nearest toilet.
Sit or Squat App. Essentially a toilet locator using gps tracking and consumer reviewed star ratings.
1600 downloads prior to the partnership and afterwards a 1million.
Love Jozi – Luv Jozi – Problem/Solution
This is an example of what happens when you focus on the problem not on the spend.
No awareness issues – everyone in the know knew about jozi but what about the other people that couldn’t afford jozi.
They faked their own brand. Sold them in flea markets, street vendors & distributed to more ‘mainstream’ wearers.
The fakes were then faked.
After two years of running the campaign, they brand revealed that they were behind the fakes.
Luv Jozi now makes up 75% of the brands revenue and they successfully made a cheaper derivative of the brand without cheapening the brand.
Check out more at www.publiciscontagiousconversations.com
Monday, June 21, 2010
A few stats & facts
- In the US $1 in every $4 spent in entertainment is on games.
- Consumers see value in entertainment, spending 100+ hours per week. Think parents interacting and teaching their kids via video games.
- 75% of Apple’s app revenue comes from gaming. Mobile is the fastest growing area.
- 43% of gamers are women and a third of gamers are parents.
EA Sports “experiences that unite the emotions of sport”. The closest you can get to being one of your heroes is participating in an electronic game as your hero. E.g. Being Tiger Woods and winning the Ryder Cup (coming out next year).
For FIFA 2011, player images will be photo-like. EA have also created personalities in the players. So players on screen will start to play just like they do in real life e.g. a shorter player might have greater speed/acceleration and when the players interact, they will respond like they would in real life.
Time spent on the FIFA platform is 36 million game sessions = 217 million minutes = 414 years (as an aside Tristan hates these numbers… “they don’t mean anything he says”, I agree…. The gamer is engaged in the ‘experience’ not the brand in the background.)
How EA is selling in-game advertising onto brands
EA = Experience Affinity
- Top entertainment
- Relevant reach
- Engaged audiences
- Integration expertise
It seems most brands (Dr Pepper, Unilever, Doritos) all use the platform as a means for giving consumers access to exclusive content or a deeper engagement/more positive experience than they would get through purchasing the product alone. It is a means for adding value to an audience who has common interests in the advertising brand and gaming.
The case of Renault & SIMs
Renault is overcoming the challenge of ‘young people not buying new cars’ by integrating into SIMs. They’ve experienced 250,000 downloads of Twizy ZE to date and over 8,000 comments about the partnership on European blogs etc. It is teaching gamers (and younger generations) about electric cars as well as improves the user’s SIMs experience.
Renault has used the integration to learn a lot about their customers and build their database. They say that being pushed out of their comfort zone has helped them learn how to sell better and recognize bigger opportunities.
EA games now has a partnership with Nielsen allowing brands to measure interactions and purchase lift in households exposed to interactive advertising.
The measurement will be comparable to other channels and will plug into people meter-style facility.
Still not convinced. Its all very interesting and certainly ticks the boxes on reaching a very passionate audience but at the end of the day, its still just a very passionate, segment of the entire potential population.
This is a channel that needs to be considered right from the outset and at the point of content and creative development.
Ogilvy One ran the search for the world’s greatest salesperson.
The seminar opened with a statement “you can create saleability without creating sales”.
Its not enough to create desire & brand attraction on its own unless it translates into action. Take the environment for example, there is a clear gap between the lives people want to live in theory, and the lives they live in practise.
A good sales pitch requires change of mind and actual behavioural change.
We saw a live context between the three finalists in the search. They were to sell a Motorola Phone…. (I think it’s a bit of a problem that post all three pitches I still can’t tell you the name of the product). Irrespective, here’s my short wrap up….
Felt polished and businesslike. She was wearing a suit and red shoes which gave me something to remember her by! Her pitch was well rehearsed but seemed to lack a little personality.
Judges comments: “I want to start with you” was nicer than focusing on ‘me’.
2. Todd a great ‘boy next door’ presence but I was a little disappointed in the delivery. Again, its seemed a little mundane. A small slip up mid pitch but he recovered admirably.
He’s opening line “If you were to design a smartphone what would you want? Speed.” I thought this was clever as it is an appealing angle that transcends various audiences.
Todd used humour up front to pull me in and then used the features of the phone to show how the phone worked.
Judges comments: good call to action – I’ve got more to tell you but come and see me later.
Eric had me from the start. He was entertaining, gimmicky and told a story rather than ‘sold’ a phone.
He made me smile which meant he was memorable and he forced me to be engaged by throwing things (free t-shirts I think) at me.
Judges comments: A single idea through a character - mobility
My vote was for Eric but Todd won the challenge. He then closed out the seminar with a really clean and charismatic speech so maybe I just got distracted by his nerves during the pitch because I ended liking the guy!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
A BIG thanks to Briar for bringing this to my attention.
It is a brilliant little app built to plug into firefox. Basically...
* 1 - Go to Shaved Bieber
* 2 - Download or bookmark
* 3 - Enjoy Bieber-free browsing!
It's funny because well... there is an audience who wants to escape Bieber Fever BUT it is clever because to my knowledge, there are no brands using this type of functionality yet.
I think that there is a great opportunity to think about 'browser' apps rather than just the traditional (I can't believe I'm saying that) i-phone app. The greatest opportunity would be to add utility in terms of consumption filtering but you could also create some entertainment value.
Imagine an app that highlighted all the rude words on a page or even combinations of words to make funny sentences. It could completely change the user experience of written content consumption.
Does anyone know why brands haven't broadly entered into this space?
What opportunities can you see for thsi type of filtering application?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Yesterday afternoon something funny happened. I retweeted a message that one of my 'real life' friends had tweeted.
The tweet said something along the lines of "this guy is awesome & looking for a job in SEO".I sent it onto another friend who I knew was recruiting for an SEO job.
It didn't take long for the original friend to start poking fun at the fact that I hadn't clicked on his link to see that he was in fact, recommending Rick Astley for the job....
Ha. Ha. Ha. The joke is on me. However, in light of this personal experience and yesterday's fake BP twitter account, it got me thinking about what trust means and how it operates differently between the on and offline worlds.
There are some people in my life (ie grandparents) who wouldn't trust the internet for a second. There's no way that they'd make purchases online or believe that once they pressed 'send', an email would safely arrive at its destination. These are also the same people whose words of advice to me as a child were 'don't believe everything you read'.
So, it raises the question 'why do I seem to trust the internet and what I read on it, more so than traditional broadcast media?'
And, I think its due to the personal factor. I have a higher degree of trust in those that I interract with online and whom I also know in real life BUT, these lines are easily blurred.
Take twitter for example, I have started following people (and trust the links that they post plus, I value their opinions) but simply because they are part of the network of other people that I trust.
Its somewhat of a viscious circle.
Having now experienced an unharmful yet eye-opening breach of trust online by an offline friend, I'll be aiming to limit my levels of trust. I don't expect this to be easy though given that I expect people to trust what I endorse or post online. I guess its just about being more thorough & having what would be akin to street-sense when navigating the web.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I've been inspired by the wonderful Mark Pollard who manages to clearly articulate most of his arguments (here's an example).
I find myself struggling to demonstrate the volume of thinking that goes into an end product without putting a whole heap of physical evidence on the table. This is possibly due to an element of immaturity and a desire to prove my worth.
Irrespective, what I've learnt from Mark is that a clear articualtion that people just 'get' is much more powerful than a detail laden document that demonstrates one's 'smarts'.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I just stumbled across this awesome execution from Jay Jays (thanks bannerblog).
Jay Jays, whilst primarily a retail brand have found a creative way to engage with their consumers whilst communicating the core benefit of their offering "inexpensive wearable fashion".
The brand have mashed up music, dance and fashion (and they tell you this when you jump on their site) to provide an entertaining, interactive catalogue.
I do have a few questions for them though.
1. Why launch it AFTER So You Think You Can Dance has finished? Or if it was launched previosuly why haven't I seen it anywhere except on an industry blog?
2. You filmed it in 3D and are driving people in-store to get their glasses - have you harnessed any other 3D-ready platforms like cinema or TV to generate further awareness?
I guess the point here is that it will be a great shame if this little piece of awesomness, like so many other great digital ideas, goes missed by many because the balance between production and distribution budgets is not... well... balanced. There isn't even any SEM against it!
Is there any point doing something great if no-one gets to see it?
Monday, March 22, 2010
I only noticed this because the episodes were running back to back but essentially Episode 1 (probably from the current series) featured Ford and the second featured Mitsubishi. For me, the viewing experience didn’t differ from episode to episode.
It made me realise that while the level of integration was likely deemed excellent by the marketers of each brand, it was probably of little value in terms of its impact on the consumer.
I remember at the time, stating that if the brand doesn’t have a truly unique role to play in-program then this cookie-cutter approach to integration is probably more harmful than of value – I’m guessing it is most damaging in terms of misattribution and differentiation.
Operating with this principle in mind, I wanted to recognise the awesomeness of Steggles current involvement in the NRL. The brand has carved out a sponsorship with the Roosters (funnily enough) but seemingly, not the NRL.
Some smart cookie has come up with a specific role for Steggles to play in their sponsorship which not only adds value to the brand but also to the viewer experience.
“For every point the Sydney Roosters beat their opposition by in the 2010 season, Steggles will donate $1,000 to a Charity Nest, while the Sydney Roosters will also contribute $250 per point.”
I would argue that more so than the brands that have paid for broadcast sponsorships Steggles is cutting through the clutter and emerging as a highly recognised brand. Further, I assume Steggles would not have been able to secure a broadcast sponsorship due to KFC’s involvement – nice one Steggles you’ve trumped the fast food joint in terms of exposure and meaningful involvement.
Steggles’ cause-marketing effort has received ample coverage during the live broadcasts without the regular 4 x 30sec spot content of other advertisers. The ‘Charity Nest’ program has put skin in the game, even for those matches that aren’t highly anticipated. They’ve capped the contribution at $250,000 (although I haven’t heard the commentators talk about this) which means its much cheaper than the rate card NRL sponsorship.
It goes to demonstrate that unique thinking and finding an actual role for the brand as opposed to tacking it onto a pre-existing template is what we should be striving for. I wish I was the one writing the effectiveness award for this idea at the end of the campaign!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The profile in it itself has all you need to know about the agency, but what is really clever is that it demonstrates a willingness to practise what they preach in terms of social media and, also encourages clients and prospective clients to understand this emerging space.
This is not dissimilar to what American agency booneoakley did last year when launching their website as an interactive youtube video.
I think there is something to be said for agencies that use their own 'brand' indentity to tout their skills at promoting the identities of their clients. Not only does it generate positive PR within the industry but also demonstrates confidence in their own abilities.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The 'couple' are new on Twitter and I'm not sure who they are, if they are actually a couple or if they have been planted by an advertiser.
In her bio @needygirlfriend states "I just think this relationship could use more holding." Whilst @aloofboyfriend aptly says "What's up? I'm just chillin'. Whatever."
Irrespective of who they are or where they came from, they are entertaining. It is like working at home with Gossip Girl on the TV (yes, guilty as charged).
What I find interesting about this pair is that if they have NOT been planted by an advertiser it is a brilliant way for a client to jump on board the Twitter bandwagon - by launching a Twitter 'TV' program.
It reminds me a little of the old school radio sitcoms where you were privy to the conversation but not to the body language or appearance of the actors.
The benefit is, that once you have recruited the followers you can speak to them at set times of the day and start to build up a routine. I wonder if this will happen with @aloofboyfriend and @needygirlfriend resulting in 'appointment to watch/hear Tweeting'.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
So - how cool is this?
I found it on Katie Chatfield's blog Get Shouty
It is a poster that requires interaction to complete. The back of the poster is covered with ink which you need to rub on the front side to reveal the image.
I think it gives a new meaning to print as an interactive medium.