Category Archives: Uncategorized

I wasn’t sure quite why everyone seemed to be ranting about the new update but now I know. Neither of my blogs are updating with my delicious links and of course the widget doesn’t really explain why the links I am looking at are interesting. Yawn.

So I have posted them into a widget on the right hand nav for the time being and I guess I will have to draw your attention to them through the blog old-stylee.

If you want to know why I have posted the various links then check out my feed  – or join my network on delicious and hopefully all this will get sorted out soon.

I have a long tail

I quite like it when I become an example of something that every has been banging on about – it gives me faith that opinion can be justified (particularly when there is so much irrelevant spouting off going on – and yes I do include myself in that!). I like evidence and particularly I like to find evidence for theories when I am not looking for it.

I was lying on my bed, student-style, on Friday evening listening to Teenage Fanclub, Songs from Northern Britain and feeling very 1997 when I had a sudden desire to hear Star Sign (very 1992). So I got up and went to and low, when I searched there it was. builds its business model on two things

1) MP3s, not proprietary formats a la itunes and
2) long-tail content

Both of these things make it brilliant and I also find it brilliant that I have just demonstrated to myself the power of long-tail as a business offer.

Right – off to download some Throwing Muses.

Creatives for Good

I was supposed to go to a Planning for Good pro-celeb event last Thursday which I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately a pitch development got in the way – it’s an exciting pitch so that;s kind of ok – but it would have been good to be part of it.

What I liked about this event – in addidtion to the fact that some interesting people would be involved eg Ian Tait, Amelia Torode, Mark Earls, Vicky Moffat, and of course that we would have been “doing some good” – was that there was an enthusiasm for ensuring that digital planning and was represented. What is truly important is that we think properly about 360 planning, not viewing digital as banners, central page ads and matching luggage. Digital platforms have to be considered more carefully than that to deliver content that can really benefit users as much as it benefits clients to get the message out on them.

Also we appear to have hte makings of Creatives for Good – someone to make real the ideas that are being devised in the Planning for Good sessions. Kind of important and I’m sure it will be greeted with enthusiasm!

104.9 The Breakfast Show with Alex Zane

XFM Breakfast Show logoThat title’s not a shameless piece of free marketing for a rather good breakfast show (well, it is but not in the way you think) that’s the name of one former inhabitant of Croydon who has changed his name by deed poll to “104.9(first name) The Breakfast Show (middle name) with Alex Zane(surname)” in an attempt to win £10,000 in their XFM’s Free Marketeers campaign going on at the moment. Brilliant for XFM – it made a very funny segment of the show, it will inevitably get them press exposure they wouldn’t have got otherwise and an expensive marketing team didn’t have to sit around working out what they could achieve with the ten grand. After all, what does ten grand buy you nowadays in exposure? Precious little.

Top marks for the XFM marketing team, I think they just earned their Christmas bonus. Not so sure about 104.9 though…

Anyway, I am doing my small part to help him get more publicity for the show because I think that changing your name for the benefit of a brand – even one you love – is a step further than I would take!

What goes around…

Amelia Torode posted today on her blog about how old ways of communicating with audiences by bringing value over and above seem to be coming back into brand correspondence. It’s a good post and has some great 20th century examples. You should read it.

The discussion that followed between John Dodds and David Bausola led me to thinking about digital projects and their impact models. I am not sure that new models can be measured in old ways, or at least not at this stage of the game when new combinations of digital content with brand dna are emerging all the time. The best example of this is The Beast. It was created by Microsoft to launch AI: Artificial Intelligence. It is considered the first fully mature ARG and is well -known beyond ARG circles. It’s the progenitor of “experiences” such as Volvo’s Pirates of the Carribean treasure hunt. It’s well known, but I bet you don’t know anyone who played it. I don’t even know anyone who played it and I know the writers of it!

I guess it could be described as demonstrating long-tail brand value. The innovation will continue to attach itself to Microsoft and to Stephen Speilberg long after ARGs have become more complex and satisfying experiences than The Beast. 

With experiences such as these, as well as The Joneses you are dealing with an audience that reaches out to find stuff, finds pleasure in the search and is intensely dedicated. Then they are the people who tell other people, the early adopters, the Mavens (as Malcolm Gladwell) described them in his book The Tipping Point. So though they share characteristics with viewersof soap opera, comparing them with massive audiences of passive consumers isn’t right. They bring value in a different way and so the projects have different drivers and different end results.

One interesting thing about The Joneses is that though the project is officially “over” interest continues to grow and people continue to come to the blog and watch the video posts. Because we used distributed, free, social media as the distribution platform Ford will continue to gain value from the project for as long as these free platforms last. That’s quite a return on anyone’s investment.