Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Predicting the next 5,000 days of the web

Thursday, August 28, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Without great branding, the world goes on.

I am shocked too.

But I'm one of them. (now)

This little nugget was linked to at the bottom of a Hugh post about living at the "edges".

All Is Vanity
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

An interesting reminder that everything goes on without us.

Something tells me that I am supposed to interpret this passage to mean that we should be mindful of our insignificant role in the world. To remind us that we are one part of something big and grand. bigger than us.

I don't see it that way - This tells me to focus on Vanity.

"All is Vanity"

We don't do what we do because of any of those things in the verse above. We do for Vanity.

We buy for Vanity, express ourselves for Vanity. the very ideal of self is vein.

Is this a problem?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Great Breifs Beget Great Work

I've just returned from Miami where among being treated to one of the greatest vacations of my life, I was able to participate and witness the newest advert that Sony will be blessing us with in the near future.

What I found most interesting was the brief given to Fallon UK by Sony, stating simply to be: Like No Other. The "Like No Other" brief was first manifested in the 2005 bouncing ball extravaganza, followed by an orchestra of exploding paint and in 2007 showcased a bazillion Play-doh bunnies hopping amongst an amazed crowd.

Well, the lasted installment of Like No Other manifested in Miami where a giant bubble machine and a crew of over 150 members helped capture a truly stunning event: Foam City.

I've written a bit about it at iF! with more information to be coming through the next days.

As this blog is about advolution and my mantra is: Fear is the enemy, I would like to point out that this work is the product of a very brave client giving a very creative agency a very brave brief, and more extraodinarily, sticking to it.

Bouncy Balls:

Exploding Paint:

Play-Doh Bunnies:

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Building Better Briefs

Henry Lambert of iF! (PSFK) has just posted this article about brief writing:

The ever provocative and thoughtful Richard Huntington has posted his thoughts on how to approach brief writing. Richard is not a big fan of bureaucratic form filling, and would much rather see the time spent on thinking through the brief rather than writing useless pen portraits.
[The form] is naked because the structure is so spare that it directs one's attention to the quality of the thinking and away from the quality of the form.
And this is how it goes:
1. The role for communications. Look mum, no background. Background is usually an excuse to dump a load of stuff that is not important enough to get in the body of the brief but somehow seems like it might be relevant. My advice is to bin the background and get straight into the effect the activity is intended to create. The role should get to the absolute heart of the problem. And when you have nailed it it is still worth asking yourself 'why' a couple more times simply to get to right to the root of the task.
2. Target audience. This is the stuff about the audience that is absolutely relevant to the task. And don't write it in a "Timothy and Samantha are both aged 24 and like to go out a lot, watch DVDs at home and have a very experimental attitude towards sex" unless you have actually met these people and you aren't just making up some ghastly advertising targeting confection. This sort of trite story is the 21st century equivalent of telling the creative team that the audience are ABC1, Men and Women aged 25-44 - the square root of fuck all use.
3. Proposition. Call it what you will but this is what you are trying to communicate about the brand. Propositions work with the role for communications. The role for communications sets the challenge the work must meet and the proposition is the idea that we want to land about the brand.
4. Support. The stuff that convinces you that the thinking can be supported, will convince the creatives and ultimately will convince the consumer. This is not the repository of all knowable information on earth but the stuff that makes the thinking compelling.
5. Tone. Only if it makes the difference and you can elevate yourself above the cesspit of statements like "businesslike but not formal". On Tango briefs I used to write that if the work wasn't so funny that it made you piss blood then the work wasn't right.
6. Requirements. What do we know we have to do. If it is prescriptive then tell the team what the media agency has already bought. If this is a campaign that can achieve its aims by any means necessary then keep it open.
7. Mandatories. This is not the place on the brief to get creative. It is the place to communicate the stuff that is non-negotiable.
8. Creative starters. Use this to road test your thinking and to open up the ambition of the brief. Ensure that a couple are media starters, and if the requirements are open guide the team about the nature of potential solutions - digital applications, events, promotional ideas - whatever it takes.
It's as boring as hell but that is the point. Minimum time spent designing a funky new creative brief and maximum time spent on the thought or thinking that goes into them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things To Look Forward To:

I stand firmly by my belief that I could have learned more with a library card than with a college education... maybe. Neither here nore there, in the coming days / weeks I will be reviewing the following books:

+ The Dip
+ All Marketers Are Liars

You May Recognize Me From...

Here are some of my latest articles that have been posted to iF! Check out iF! and get your daily digest of inspiration.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

So Crazy It Just Might Work

I've been mulling over this wacky advolutionary idea for a while now. It's absolutely insane and would not, could not work. But, maybe it could.

Advertising agencies are notorious for having their love / hate relationship with their clients: "Yes, they feed me, but they also turn my soul black and my heart to stone."

Well. WHAT IF... there was a "dream team" of advertising geniuses that happened to assemble themselves together without ego or obstacle? And, WHAT IF, they did something that no agency has done before?

This agency is called Me and the Wildcard.

Me and the Wildcard is an agency that has something every client would clammor for -- but it comes at a price. A wild price.

In order to get the dream team working for your brand, a client would have to agree to the "wildcard clause", being that they could be dense A-holes about most everything except 10% of everything. Yes, 10% of any advertising initiative would be dedicated to the Wildcard. The Wildcard would be one of those ideas that are created that are absolutely brilliant, but a little scary, too. You know, the ideas that the client "appreciates" but kindly abstains from. They are the ideas that would change things.

The Wildcard could be a fun and interactive way to "pump" your client up, too. The Agency could set it up game-show style: door #1, 2, and 3.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Obama's Intergrated Marketing Campaign

Preface: This post is NOT an endorsment.

Barack Obama's politcal campaign is a force. It has spawned spontaneous and unsolicited grassroots efforts. It has attracted big name celebrities. And, it has reached out to a modern era in a modern way. Most importantly, it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously.

This political marketing campaign has evolved in an organic way that mimics the politician's own political style which seems to project: innovation, change and a departure from tradition.

Here are a couple of gems from his campaign thus far.

A catchy tagline.

Barack'n'Roll. (Sure, it's a pun, but it's also smart, catchy and relevant. It almost reminds me of a CPB Mini Ad?)

Great Guerrilla Marketing.

Note: This poster was created by the king of guerrilla street marketing: Shepard Bush or "Obey". As Fallon's blog says

"This as a significant endorsement because street artists, in general, tend to be anti-helping-the-man. They are known for being anti-this and anti-that, but rarely, if ever do we see them promoting a politician, or a presidential candidate for that matter. Not to mention Obey has quite the following. Equally, if not more significant, is that the Obama camp appears to be embracing the endorsement."

User generated Viral Videos.

(Ok, so I am not sold that this proves that Hillary's election as president would result in an Orwellean society, but kudos on the use of the "best ad in history" to prove your point.)

Can we say web 2.0?


Celebrity Endorsements.

So, not only do we have Oprah bringing her powerful "Oprah effect" to the table, but today we find that Maria Shriver, first lady to Republican Govornater and known Mccain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger, endorsing the charming candidate, too.

And these two women are only a sliver of the star power that is lighting this campaign. We've got names like: Clooney, Pitt, Johannson, Caroline Kennedy - daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, Will Smith, Chris Rock, Sidney Poitier and Bradford Marsalis, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Isaiah Washington, Tyra Banks, Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Hill Harper. To name a few.

"Niche" marketing.

So, it's not the most sophisticated niche marketing we've ever seen -- but still.

Unbelievable speach making.

Powerful and consistent messaging.

Change. Change. Change.

And then there's this:

"That shit is hot" - Zack Marker

He's changed the game.

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