Category Archives: Fun

Good People Day


Well, as you may or may not know Gary Vaynerchuk is attempting to make this Good People Day – a day for blogging/twittering/texting/talking/ about GOOD people. There’s no definition it’s just who you think are GOOD people.

For the purposes of this post let’s say my definitions of good are – good writers, good thinkers and flat out good people under the conventional definition of good – their being around challenges me and makes me happy, and you know that they wouldn’t stand up for a homeless druggy. I don’t know all of them personally, and I will link to the writers/thinkers.

Right – now that we have that sorted…

In no particular order or categorisation  – Adam Crowe, Amelia Torode, Mark Earls, Ruth Gledhill, Damian Thompson, Brian Robertson, Pat Kane, Zeroinfluencer, Kiminder Bedi, Kate Orr, Leisa Reichelt, Rev Dorothy Micklethwaite, Alex and Tim Horlock, Jonathan Bartley, Adam Riggins, Helen Thompson

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Unsung hero


Maybe it’s the matter box, maybe it’s a couple of projects we have on the go at work, (probably both) but I think it’s time to big up Nokia game. In the late 90s and early 00s Nokia ran a series of what can realistically be described as ARGs to market new models. Starting before what is probably known as the first ARG The Beast they variously employed television/radio/flat plane ad space as narrative drivers, online gaming, community competitive gaming, mobile content and contact, share dealing environments and teams working together to solve storylines and puzzles for the ultimate prize….no not a new Nokia, a great time!

The last “game” was in 2004 and to be honest it wasn’t great because it was a broadband project ahead of it’s time and I couldn’t even play it on our work network the content was so video heavy. But it did have all the classic

What was so brilliant about it was that the product was so embedded in the experience that it didn’t feel like a marketing exercise where things like The Art of the Heist which Audi did in 2005 for the A3 just felt like it was designed to sell, sell, sell.

This is the kind of content that Nokia are producing now – http://www.the-passenger.com/ – which is fun but…

We need to deliver more genuinely 360 projects as consumers move increasingly off broadcast media and into interactive environments. The medium is the message and in a multi-media environment we need multi-media messaging that actually reflects the type of experience users desire in those media, not simply messaging that tries to continue a broadcast identity in a conversational environment.

I’m not saying anything you don’t already know but you might not know of Nokia Game. You can’t play them any more (boo) but you can find out what made them so great. I advise you to do so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Game

Does it matter?*


So everyone is talking about matter box and I have now had the chance to look inside one in the flesh (and not just through Andy Piper’s blog as I had done until today!) Zeroinfluencer received one and I have first dibs on eating his cereal and PlayDoh, (or is that just cereal…)

Anyway, having poked around inside I can say that it’s cool and fun,  and some of these things are semi-useful (see cereal/ play doh)  but then it’s always cool and fun to receive surprises that are well-packaged and creative friendly which the things in this box mostly are. Just a couple of thoughts then…
Most of the objects in the box are on the creative side of marketing and most therefore have a link back the web which I ideally would be monitored carefully in order to determine the value of the exercise to the client – but there are a couple that have no website attached or have a campaign website attached rather than something bespoke. Sure it will be possible to measure response my matching up date of delivery with traffic on the sites/tools but if I was a client I wouldn’t be as happy with that.

How could this come into its own for brand owners?  This kind of contact would be perfect for experiential marketing projects, anything that is trying to reach a target market “in the know”, because a box of delights like this is the kind of place where you might suspend your every day and possibly engage with for instance ARG-type activities – your mind is already open to the creative and so you engage more carefully. That’s why the soap/crayon box from Nissan is appropriate in this box where it might be ignored in another context. My instinct is that recipients will properly engage with the content of these boxes and almost expect richness – I think that’s why I was disappointed with the Original Source sample. Must try harder.

So these boxes could be a creative person’s dream both from agency side and public side and that makes a client-side dream come true. But it does depend on that creativity. I’m interested to see the next one.

* oh come on that title was a gift!

Planning for Good


I am still not sure if I am a planner, but I did attend the Planning for Good London Massive meet up in The Breakfast Club this morning in Soho. We were looking at a brief presented by UNICEF to all the Planning for Good groups, focused around a campaign later this year. It was really nice to contribute to something, (in however small a way!), that is related to my work and really doing some good. It was also interesting to hear other people’s ideas (Mark Earls, John Grant, Ashley Brown and Lee Henshaw) bounce suggestions around, see where my independent ideas matched and where they diverged and get some fresh thinking.

I believe creative is rarely found embodied in one person, more often than not we function better when we are stimulated by the ideas or questions of others. Could we have had Oasis without the Beatles? The Beatles without skiffle? Skiffle without drinking songs and spirituals?

Creative family trees are of the reasons I have a problem with some of the IP restrictions that are placed on creative ownership and why I feel Creative Commons is such an important development in rights and creative development The development of creative ways to communicate with an audience is no different.

Who knows if UNICEF will like it – although we all did!

If you are interested then check it out here…and join up.

Soho plays


Last night I attended a networking event at insync in 01zeroone, which is the basement of Westminster Kingsway college. They hold free events for industry types from all kinds of media, but with a digital focus.

Last night we were workshopping the key challenges and some solutions for a junta involved in building an ARG for the London Games Festival fringe. It was the fringe that really started me blogging in earnest at about this time last year when I heard Pat Kane talk on his ideas about th eso I has a special place in my heart (elsewhere in the “blogosphere”).

All the usual gaming luminaries were there (eg Dan Hon, Adrian Hon and Paul Bennan) and it was great fun and hopefully I will be getting involved in the labs to fully develop the storyline and gameplay.

The net provides opportunities for multi player games and alternate universes like never before. Team new platforms with old expressions like the work of Punchdrunk Theatre or the kind of games I helped create for the Hide and Seek Pervasive gaming festival back in May and you have a fantastic world that is as large or as small as your engagement with it.

Tim Wright believes that these kinds of games will be the key cultural expression of the 21st Century. I’m inclined to agree.

Get happy with convergence


I love it when content in one media gets so linked into another that you can’t really “do” one without the other. My favourite example of this is Benrik

http://www.benrik.co.uk/content/

It’s a community built around various publications for example This Diary Will Change Your Life – a diary with activities and things to think of posted throughout the year. The book points to the site and the site points to the book and both would be the poorer without the other.

Finding genuinely transmedia projects that don’t just support each other but are completely integrated is rare, but when they work, like this they form a virtuous circle – marketing each other, building brand loyalty, extending life cycles and also extending the creative potential of the brand, for instance Benrik is now releasing a new book which is based on forums within the site where people of different ages discuss what they think they ought to be doing based on that age. eg by the age of 35 I should have already written my great novel….off now to have a coffee and think about that.