Camp Okutta Part Two

The Camp Okutta campaign Ty commented on previously (see below) has been getting a lot of attention through-out Canada and I will not be suprised if it becomes internationally recognized similar to the Dove Evolution campaign. The creative is working, the message is really hitting home here in Canada.

Enraged Canadians who thought the posters were actually advertising a real camp have been tearing down the campaign around Toronto and almost all major media outlets have covered the story. Here is a link to a thorough article from CBC.

As quoted in the CBC article James Topham, War Child's director of marketing reinforces that this outrage and reaction to the campaign only help to reinforce the message; proving that the campaign is an undeniable success.

"The message of the advertising is that we would never stand for it over here, so we should not stand for it over there either," he said.

Topham said that he was a little surprised to hear that people were tearing down the posters, but said that it proved their message hit home.

"If people were ripping them down, it shows that such a camp would be outrageous in Canada," he said. "And yet these camps exist all over the world."
Well done John St.

Ad Quote of the Day

Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people."
- Morris Hite

3D - Without the cool glasses...

Philips has annouced the release of a new technology that allows marketers to create 3D ads that can be viewed without those awesome red and blue glasses.

The technology, called "3D WOWzone," is essentially a specially made plasma TV (132 inches).

"Brands need to be distinctive in their communications and marketeers need to use innovative tools that match their brand identity," says CEO of Philips 3D solutions Jos Swillens.

There has been no information (yet) around the costs of such a device but it would be great to check out a Philips store just to see how great the experience actually is. While I'd love to see a ad in 3D, thinking about William Shatner pushing his latest Fiber / Insurance product makes me quiver.


What the Orkut?

Who's the Google of social networking sites? The obvious answer may seem to be Facebook, given its rapid growth, successful cooperation with application developers, and ever-smarter ad targeting. But by some measures, the real answer is even more obvious: Google itself.

This week, Google is drawing attention to its often-ignored social networking site,, with a redesign intended to prettify the site's Spartan look. And attention is deserved: Despite its low profile in the U.S., Orkut now draws 38.2 billion page views a month worldwide, 7.8 billion more than Facebook, according to comScore Media Metrix.

In Brazil, where Facebook and MySpace are virtually unknown, Orkut has become a smash hit, with 15.6 billion page views monthly, by the count of Nielsen/Net Ratings. That kind of popularity doesn't just dwarf Facebook's Brazilian traffic, which is practically nil; it's also nearly 10 billion more monthly page views than Facebook draws from Americans.

But a bigger question than the cause of Orkut's popularity is the site's potential for profit. Facebook will earn more than $100 million this year, according to one of the site's investors, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners. And with the right advertisers, Orkut's Brazilians and other foreign users could also be a significant source of revenue, argues Greg Sterling, a consultant with Sterling Market Research. "If you've got the ad coverage, an international user is as valuable as anyone," he says.

In fact, Google's foreign advertising coverage has been spreading. The company's revenues from sources outside the U.S. and Britain, earned almost entirely from selling targeted ads, amounted to $1.24 billion last quarter, nearly twice the number from just a year ago. That brings the percentage of Google's foreign revenue to 60.8%, up from 46.7% last year.

While that spending might make Orkut an unlikely "heavy-weight" of social networking, as blogger Michael Arrington recently wrote, the site will need to gain a much larger U.S. audience to compete long-term with networks like MySpace and Facebook. MySpace still leads the social networking market by a large margin, and Facebook tripled its audience.

iPod Extinction date - Sept. 5, 2007

The invitations arrived this morning; the anticipation begins now.

Apple has invited the press to a "special event" next week in San Francisco. And as usual, Apple won't say what it plans to announce. Or much of anything.

The invitation, titled "The beat goes on," includes an image of a man, in silhouette, dancing with an iPod on the cover of an album displayed in the style of Apple's "Cover Flow" feature, which allows users to flip through their music on their iPhones or desktop computers.

Here's what else we know: In addition to last month's fresh batch of iMacs, new iPods would explain why Apple guided its current-quarter earnings lower during its latest earnings call citing an upcoming "product transition" (see "Apple Tips Its Hand"). New, potentially pricier parts and shuffling a new product into its stores won't come cheap.

The stake are high. Sales of iPods alone accounted for 29.1% of Apple's sales of $5.4 billion for the quarter ending June 30. And if anything, that understates the iPod's importance. The tiny media players helped Apple crank out $608 million in sales of digital music and accessories. Moreover the halo effect from the hot-selling media players has led to a surge in sales of Apple desktop and laptop computers that has made Apple a player in the computer market once again.

I find it odd that Apple would miss the back-to-school opportunity with a new product. Or are they thinking ahead and wanted to deplete inventory of the iPods during this period and then hit the market with a new product in time for the holiday shopping period?

Either way I can't wait to see what it is. Betweeen this and the google phone there is a lot to look forward to.

Link to article

Update: Engadget has speculated that the potential release is not only around a new wireless iPod, but that iTunes will officially become wireless as well. Wireless iTunes seemed like an inevitable move from Apple considering the huge popularity of the iPhone - but for those who can't afford the huge data rates and hardware costs, why not just download what you want, when you want from your iTunes account?

Miss SC - The Tube Map

In case you weren't able to follow Miss SC's intelligent answer Morning Toast has created this Tube Map to help you understand the logic of her superior intellect.

See HERE if you have been trapped in a bubble the last 3 days or if you recently escaped from the womb.

What would you give for a hacked iPhone?

How about a Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones?

Terry Daidone, the founder of CertiCell, a mobile phone repair company, contacted him and offered to make a trade for the modified iPhone.

"I traded it for a sweet Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones," Hotz posted.

Perhaps, even better, there is even the promise of a paycheck. Hotz said that he'll now also be doing some consulting work for CertiCell.

"This has been a great end to a great summer," Hotz wrote. He left for college on Sunday, Aug. 26.

link -

Google's New Toy

A rumour from an HTC insider claims that Google will be launching their first phone in Q1 2008. Functions include a special version of Google Maps, Gmail, Reader, Window's Mobile 6.0 and all of your standard features. Still - a number of questions remain about the product but when the biggest player on the web decides to do something, people notice.

UPDATE - Seth Godin speculates what capabilities the Google phone will have and suggest that it could be better (and more addictive) than the iPhone.

Nike Jogging: A Brave New World

I recently discovered this Nike Vintage site. The site is packed with videos ("Eating to Win" is a must see), downloads and of course a catalogue of the 2007 vintage line.

I didn't know that the Nike vintage line was so deep? There actually is a big enough product line to have a dedicated retail store. That I would love; a store featuring just Nike Vintage. Or better yet pop-up stores throughout key markets that could be designed to take you back to 1977. I am talking about workers with sweet mustaches, retro cash registers, bunny ears on the TV behind the counter - it would be amazing.

Great Job Nike.


Would you tell your friends?

ABC has launched a new TV show that encourages user generated content. It's a simple concept; submit a video with three words that describe your week. Each week they create a show using the top submissions in prime time.

They've compiled a moving 3 minute video with some of the submissions. Phrases range from "I love me" to more the more emotional "Dad. Died. Depressed." An interesting concept, to say the least, and one that will probably by copied by the other three networks shortly.

But will video's like this one become viral? In the long term, will they help ABC engage with consumers and amplify their voices?

Today, Seth Godin wrote an excellent article about the way something becomes viral. He uses a Darwin example to illustrate his point:

"If you take one pair of breeding elephants and make some conservative estimates about their fertility, you would have more than 15 million elephants in less than 500 years (if none of them died an early death)"

This example helps to illustrate the ways that something can become truly viral (breeding seems to be the ultimate example). Godin goes on to list the four primary ways that something can become viral (to paraphrase):

1. Your idea gets amplified - by a multi-million dollar budget or some great PR
2. The idea spreads through basic word-of-mouth - one person tells another (or many) and those people tell their friends
3. The idea is truly viral - one person tells 400 and those people tell hundreds of others (think about the power of the bloggers)
4. The idea spreads slowly catches on over a long period of time - very rare these days

Whatever the case may be, everyone is hoping that their idea is the next viral sensation. In reality, the majority of the viral ideas never catch on; they're to contrived, to corporate or just to...well...boring.

Will there be more successful viral campaigns? Of course. That being said, everyone knows what an elephant is. But they only remember the ones that really stand out.

Thanks to BK for the new ABS show and Godin for the great article -

Guns Don't Kill People...

Fantastic spot from the UK - draws you in visually, great track and simple message that resonates, leaving the viewer thinking (and thankful). Nice to watch a simple idea once and awhile really breakthrough. This spot just launched and you can read the debate about whether it encourages or discourages gun use here.

Ponder this.....

Thanks to rm116 and the mind of Banksy for this: back to work you creative and ambitious young people.

Social Networking Cheat Sheets

So getting involved in online social networking has become the latest and greatest "thing to do" for any brand targeting anyone 12 - 24. Just take a look at this years back-to-school efforts on Facebook with brands such as Wal-mart, Target, HP, TD Canada Trust, Dell, Apple, Noxzema and Ford all with a student focused back-to-school sponsored group.

When your client comes to you asking for expertise on how to best utilize the hottest trend here is my hit-list of top websites for education and trends:

1. Social Media Super List - this site lists every social media or social networking site on there is.

2. Social Degree Blog - This blogger almost knows too much about social networking. Amazing content.

Feel free to leave any of your favourite blogs or sites for info in the comments section.


Ad Quote of the Day

"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse."

- Henry Ford

Is it worth doing research? Asking your target what they think about your product, your ad campaign and your idea? In some cases, research gives you an important gut-check - the campaign is to complicated, to annoying or two dry. In others, it can throw you off; respondents only focus on the minor details, clients become scared with mediocre results and - suddenly - you're back to the drawing board.

Some iconic brands - Apple, Nike and Starbucks to note a few - denounce research and choose to pursue their own path. Others like P&G use an almost formulaic code to ensure that every one of their communications resonates with their target.

Is there a truly correct way? Certainly not. But quotes like this from product innovators can make researchers think about the validity of their results.

Thanks to BK for the quote -

Camp Okutta - A Place for Kids

Want to send your kids to summer camp this year? Why not send them to Camp Okutta? They can learn key life skills like firing an AK-47, throwing grenades and navigating mine fields.

Thanks for the link, RJ!

Ad Quote of the Day

"The Death of Advertising? I think that's in the book of Revelation. It's the day when people everywhere become satisfied with their weight, their hair, their skin, their wardrobe, and their aroma."

- Jef I. Richards (1999)


By 2011, 80% of All Internet Users will have Virtual Avatars

An article by Victor Keegan of The Guardian, describes a new report from Gartner (an American IT consulting firm) which states that "80% of all Internet users will have virtual avatars by 2011."

The largest virtual world to date - Second Life - boasts approximately 9.1 million users. For those that don't know, users spend real US dollars to buy land, clothes and other goods to build up their Avatar. In the last number of months, a number of software developers have made over a million dollars selling their virtual developments.

While the Tech world has been talking about Second Life and virtual worlds for the last number of years, it seems that avatars still have a long way to go to breakthrough the mainstream.

That being said, advertisers are taking notice and starting to think about ways to break into these worlds. Harvard recently had an online forum within Second Life to discuss how marketers should advertise to virtual Avatars. It's an interesting read - worth checking out when thinking about what your avatar will look like in the next couple of years.

UPDATE - if you want to check out what Second Life users really look like, click here.