"We need to create something viral"

A pretty daunting task for advertisers these days. Where do you start?

For most people, the common response seems to center around video.

"Let's create a cool, low-key video showing [insert target] doing [insert semi-related brand event] in a neat way.

We'll post the video to YouTube, buy some Google keywords and bam - the next Dove Onslaught."

What we tend to forget is the "pass on" factor. Now that the video has been posted and stumbled upon by a few hundred people, what makes it worthy of an email? Why would some random blogger write about it?

More importantly, why would you spend 30 seconds or a minute engaging with it?

On extension of a viral idea is customized messaging that can be sent to your friends.

Remember how cool it was to get a Snakes on a Plane email from Samuel L. Jackson saying your name, career and hobbies? Or how strange it was to get a call from Chris Angel after he accurately predicted your phone number?

This simple application
(that is also on Facebook) creates a customized video of Bob Dylan in one of his most famous music videos. In the video, Dylan has a series of signs that he goes through - each with different messaging. The catch? You simply type in what you want each sign to say and a video is created with Dylan shuffling through your message.

Send it to your friends and show them something neat. Great awareness for Dylan? Certainly.

Allow users to make their message personal. After all, it's a lot more fun to read a message from a friend than from a marketer.

It could be worse...

Interesting AIDS spot from the US. Not overly new, but with World AIDS week coming up in November, we will most certainly see another national AIDS Campaign.

EBAY - shop victoriously

A selection of the new spots for ebay. I think the insight is perfect. You actually do feel like you "won" your purchase when you have a succesful bid on ebay.

The victorious ads in order of my preference:


The Fall of Facebook?

One of the latest posts to the Wired Blog outlines a recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The subject of the interview revolves around three potential ways that Facebook could fail.

Based on some of the other recent social networks (ahem...MySpace), these scenarios could certainly play out:

1) The User Base evaporates - the current 40 million users grow tired of the network and as certain friends leave for other sites, they follow.

2) Weak Business Model - although marketers are seemingly dumping money into sponsored groups and targeted advertisements, the model is murky at best. Without proper expansion / a consistent revenue stream, things could start to go downhill.

3) Growth Stunted While Waiting for Public Sale - with user growth still going strong, is Facebook hurting itself while waiting to sell? Increased funds could help the network expand and increase its core revenue.

With the rapid increase and falls other networks, it might not be long until the Facebook base moves elsewhere to the next great Web toy.

Create Your Own Social Network

For those of you who are tired of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, LinkedIn and all the other social networks out there - try creating your own on Ning.

Instead of sifting through the thousands of new applications, sponsored group pages and random friend requests, why not create your own group with your own criteria?

By signing up on Ning for free, you can set your own terms - create profile pages, set criteria for members and get your network going.

Popular networks include "Ask A Ninja Fans," "INKED," and "Grasshoppers" (a network designed to help others find jobs, life tips, etc).

Try it out. It's easy to use and much less annoying than the larger options.


Dove Onslaught

A decent follow-up to the evolution campaign. What I like the most about the campaign for real beauty is their programs supporting the campaign such as the School for real beauty program, self-esteem fund and discussion boards.

Thanks Snowden.


7 Great Movie Speeches

Wanted to throw together a quick list of some of the best movie speeches out there. Why? No reason - other than to entertain and inspire. Tried to pick a number of different subjects and actors. Feel free to recommend and add.

Next week, we'll put together 7 of the best "real" speeches all-time.

Fantastic speech on the responsibilities of the media.

Hope - Morgan Freeman's greatest speech?

Best Sports Speech ever?

Potentially one of the most memorable moments in film History.

Memorable speech on life.

The Most Beautiful Thing?

Greed is good.


Ad Quote of the Day

"If advertising had a little more respect for the public, the public would have a lot more respect for advertising."

James Randolph Adams

Great Placement?

If Vick is near your pet, you'll probably need to call 1-800-PETMEDS pretty quick.

The Grey Album

In what has become a defining moment for Web 2.0, DJ Danger Mouse 's The Grey Album turned 3 a few weeks ago. The album, a mash-up of The Beatles 1968 White Album and Jay-Z's 2003 Black Album, became a web sensation and one of the top downloaded albums on Napster (when it was in its early stages).

The Grey Album is contagious not only due to its different (and great) sound but because it set off a digital revolution of mash-ups and compilations.

Written about in Wired, Wikinomics and thousands of blogs across the Web, DJ Danger Mouse opened a world of debate about the rights of everyone to take others content and use it for their own creations.

Whatever the case, it's an album that's well worth listening too and an important point in the short history of the web.