Category Archives: Advertising

when it freezes over

Ogilvy are “freezing” the Senate building tonight using projection art from Seeper the art collective. There will be 4 lasers that you can interact with and images of people skiing, climbing etc. down the building. The aim is to draw attention to the latest model S-Max, the people carrier for sporty, male types.

My questions are:-

How many of the target audience work around Senate House? Or is the aim to create an asset that goes on YouTube and can help win awards regardless of the audiencee?

How many of the Visteon pensions action group will be there? (Potentially quite a few when you look on the Facebook group of the 150 people who have said they will be attending)

Would the lasers enable me to hack the climbers/skiers off the tower thus allowing me to fulfill my James Bond villain ambitions?

Sorry if I sound jaded, but to create an event that has any meaning it has to be in the right place with the right message, not just generate some beautiful assets for YouTube that reflect the tv ad campaign. And I’m sure they will be beautiful and fun.

But relevant?

Something new and interesting for Friday

I received a rather interesting comment post, transcript below. They seem genuine and actually if they aren’t I don’t care – I’d rather be a wide-eyed sucker than a cynical and hard bitten old bag (I may be the latter already -discuss)

Here is the post!

“We are Robin of Shoreditch, an anonymous group of creative outlaws looking to take from the rich and give to the poor. In this particular instance, the people of Haiti.

How? Well, we’re not rescue workers. And we’d be no good on a celebrity single. But what we can do is provide creative ideas that can add value to businesses and brands. So we’re providing every one of Brand Z’s Top 100 brands with just such a creative idea. In return, all we’re asking for is 1/10,000,000 (that’s one ten-millionth) of the value of those brands as a fee. Not for us. 100% of that fee will be going to the continued relief efforts in Haiti.

So why should you care? Well, we’d like to ask a little favour. You see, the more people who know about this project, the more pressure will build on the brands to pay their ‘invoices’ and the more money will be sent to Haiti. So we’d really appreciate it if you could put the word out on your blog and send people along to Hopefully that way news of the project will spread so that the brands in question see that it’s in their best interests to pay up.”

They asked me to post a link and I have. I watch with interest.

Get your rouge out

Rouge magazine logo
Rouge magazine logo

P&G continue their long tradition of creating content that speaks to their consumersand it’s great to see.  Content has always been a key element in their communications from product placement in As the World Turns to their new venture in China. And now they have launched some openly owned content online for women in America and Canada.  It’s not massively deep but of course  there are great contests and prizes to be won.  The main drive is possibly to the print magazine that you can subscribe to…

In addition they seem to have ignored the social media opportunities for this magazine – there is no way to post this to any network  on the pages and doesn’t appear to be anything on any other network.

Primarily it’s the principle I like – they appreciate that the channels are there for the taking, that their opportunity consists in delivering an experience of a high quality that is really wanted/desired as opposed to a message that can be screened out. In times of recession low cost – high quality experiences are always going to win out as people seek to entertainment to take themselves away from the low feeling “out there.” (That’s why games and cinema traditionally do well in times like these.)

If 80% of your custom comes from 20% of your customers then they only need to engage some of the people some of the time for this approach to bring dividends.

Non-planning books for planners 2 – The Time Paradox

timeparadox coverContinuing my reviews or recommendations of non-planning books for planners I lay before you the latest one I have just finished for your consideration The Time Paradox. It’s a great popular pyschology book about the way that different people experience or relate to time in different wys, how that influences their behaviours and ultimately impacts on their lives.

When we develop ideas around a core proposition we consider many avenues – how the product is made, heritage, price etc. Of course we look at user characteristics too, but never explicitly at how their relationship to time influences their actions. And yet, we each of us view time through about 6 sets of very particular glasses – present hedonistic, future pessimistic, future optimistic, transcendent. All of these will influence our purchasing behaviour and our relationship to a brand.

So for examples, brands like WKD appeal strongly to the present hedonistic in all of us. Whereas brands like Burberry appeal to an intriguing mix of past positive, present positive and future optimistic. If you know you are targeting a group with a strongly past pessimistic focus how does that change your communications? How does it make your audience view your communications?

This book gives no answers to any of that, it simply explains the different perspectives. The paradox? We all experience time at the same rate but view it completely differently. There’s also a great explanation of why intelligent and souful young men become suicide bombers that you shouldn’t miss.

If you are looking for a new perspective  this book will give it to you in spades.

Non-planning books for planners – The Player of Games

I have just spent a happy half in Waterstones buying various books (a book about Malborough for my husband, and The Owl Service by Alan Garner from their 100 years of children’s fiction selection amongst my stash) and it reminded me I have been thinking for ages about creating a category on here about books for planners that are not traditionally about plannning/marketing/business etc. So here is my first recommendation:-

player of games coverThe Player of Games by Iain M Banks

Science fiction is one of my not-so-secret passions and one reason why is the ability of science fiction writers to envision futures long before any trend analyst or futurologist has spotted them blooming. What they are actually doing is picking up on something in the environment and asking “What if…” and then spinning narratives out of that from a greater distance than the trend hunters. Iain M Banks is of course one of the greats and I find this book particularly interesting because it examines a society in which gaming and play are not simply diverting entertainments but the means through which individuals advance, gain political authority and power etc.  It’s really the academic and social importance that gaming is given in his books that I find particularly relevant to Western society at the moment.  A way of looking at our societal development that resonates with current developments and could help us to imagine futures.

Alsoit happens to be my favourite culture novel –  because I just like games.

Digital divas

I went to Reboot Britain this Monday, a conference that was investigating how digital activations can address some of the incredibly difficult issues – social and political – that are approaching us and that are already here. One refreshing aspect of the conference which reflects well on the public sector was the mix of  really interesting speakers. It’s something I’ve noted before that there is often a lack of female speakers at high profile conferences. Though women have as much to say and as much experience in digital environments  as men they are often not up on the podium, so having enjoyed a conference which I think offered a good balance and some excellent female speakers I can’t pass up referring to it! If nothing else to bring these brilliant women to the attention of other conference organisers. Perhaps the title of this post gives that away! (But I’m not going to stop there. I also want to list some other women I would like to hear speak at conferences and who I believe have interesting things to say/contribute. )

But before I do I really need to mention a couple of the excellent sessions not by women! The keynote was given by Jeremy Hunt, the shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, who referenced the need in government in general to think more flexibly about the intersection between online and policy making and also talked about the digital divide, the fact that only 1/3  of our population are actually online. I also enjoyed hearing David Price from Debate Graph explaining how this tool works to enable people to understand and participate in discussions about policy. Finally, there was a great talk by Graeme Duncan from Caspian Learning about how video games, game play and virtual environments can provide amazing learning spaces for kids.

Enough already! What about the Digital Divas?

M T Rainey – started in adland, founded Horsesmouth. Articulate with interesting ideas about female and male self-expressions in digital environments–Horsesmouth

Joanne Jacobs – social media consultant, ex-lecturer, iconoclast and straight-talker, not to mention coder.

Debra Szbeko – making a great case for and business from using media models to help people to understand and engage with difficult policy issues which affect them.

And some others who weren’t at the conference but who I find interesting and think would speak very well about useful stuff:-

Janine Smith – Creative Director at Que Pasa, charming, mobile creative  –

Amelia Torode – blogger, thinker and inspirational planner, Head of Strategy and Innovation at VCCP

Sandrine Plasseraud – Social media native and enthusiast, established blogger

Social media good vs social media bad

Skittles homepage becomes Twitter Feed

skittlesPointless in a bad way.  No one talks about Skittles on Twitter spontaneously, there is no reminiscence value to be had in the product (see Cadbury’s Wispa), there is no driving purpose to the conversations that might drive action (eg bring them back, take them away) it was just an attempt to get on the bandwagon.

Comparethemeerkat’s Alexandr_Orlov on Twitter

merrkatPointless in the best kind of way. Creation of a character, supporting a campaign, allowing the customer to choose to engage in the brand if they want to but also a presence that’s just fun. This isn’t about bandwagoning this is about using social media sensitively and appropriately.