Friday

Happy Holiday's Ya'll

To all our sweet readers, we hope that you have a wicked Holiday and enjoy the time off work. It's been a great year for us here at Adjoke - hundreds of posts, a ton of comments and suggestions and a growing base of readers who are always helpful in offering ideas for future posts.

Our hope in 2009 is to continue growing our readership, feature more Blogs from around the ad world and, of course, show you what's cool out there (and what really, really sucks).

From PJC and I, keep on reading and have a great Holiday.

(Oh, and if you want to get us anything, add us to your RSS feed in 2009 - and tell two friends to do the same!)

Tuesday

My Favorite Reads of 2008 [Another List]

In 2008, I made a resolution to read more. A lot more. 12 months, 30 novels and about 1,000 articles later, I feel more up to speed and interested (in everything) than I have before. Here is a short list of my favorites (warning: some are pretty random):

10. Click by Bill Tancer - interested in the world of Search? A must read (and a quick one) about how to use search data to influence your future decisions. Some cool stats and a great guide to understanding the digital world.

9. Whose Your City by Richard Florida - what's the most important decision you will ever have to make in your life? According to Florida, it's where you live. Want to understand the future of cities and how they directly impact your life? Check it out.

8. Tribes by Seth Godin - I like Godin. Like his blog and his stuff and this was a decent read (and if you have read anything before you can finish it in about 2 hours).

7. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan - want to read the book that is mandatory for CP+B creatives? If you want to understand the creative mind, process and struggle (and laugh while doing it), pick it up.

6. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright - Not ad related but important. Wright interviews thousands of people to understand the history of Al Qaeda and puts together a game-changing story about how 9/11 came to be. Mind blowing and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

5. Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff - I had the pleasure of hearing Bernoff speak in Toronto a few months ago and although a lot of the examples in Groundswell are very well known, the book does a good job at classifying digital behaviour in order to help ground strategy. Plus, almost every client has read it (well...any client that thinks digital is important)

4. Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres - I truly believe that data will drive the majority of our decisions in the years to come. This novel is about using data to be more accurate in your predictions and decisions (and has some mind blowing examples).

3. The Futurist by James P. Othemer - I don't read a lot of fiction but when I was given this as a gift (thanks Crowe) and found out that Othemer is a copywriter I thought I'd give it a try. 3 days of obsessive reading later and I was finished (and super satisfied).

2. Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman - the future of the world (if we have one) is green. This is the definitive plan on how we get there.

1. Wired - I'm a huge fan of Wired (and just got a subscription...finally). I think I'm most excited when I find the issue on my desk or grab one from my local store. If you love digital, if you are passionate about the space and want to learn more, read this magazine every month. Cover to cover.



Read every article, even if it seems - at first - like it's a topic that doesn't interest you (who knew that I would love reading about genetic sequences?). I'm a firm believer that if you want to be good at digital, you should learn from the best. And the writers, staff and stories found in this publication are all at the top of their game.

What about you? What were your favorite reads of 2008?

The Only Conference You Should go to in 2009


We all want (need) to learn more. About anything - especially why people buy, how brands influence them and - most importantly - how we can help our clients in the upcoming year.

But how do we have any time to learn extra? We spend all of it shipping ads, meeting delivery dates, pleading with creatives to make the logo bigger, sending clients status reports, booking meetings and managing our bosses. We don't have time to read about what's going on out there, who is doing what, what the latest creative is or the hottest social network. It's too busy. We already have enough to think about.

What's the most common way people think they can learn more? Go to a conference. Listen to some speakers and report back to the agency what happened.

The problem with conferences? They're frigging expensive. And they are a tough sell. Specifically if you've only been in the industry for a few years. Management doesn't want you taking time away from clients, they don't want to allocate budget against travel, delegate fee's, food, etc when you could be working. If you're lucky, you might find one in your city and be able to go but travel somewhere? Out of the question.

So what's the one thing you can do in 2009 to learn, get excited and transform your year?

Tell your agency to buy an associate membership to the 2009 TED conference (Feb 3-7). New this year, TED is opening up their conference to the world via a video cast. You can attend the conference in one of your own conference rooms with up to 10 other people from your agency. See the top speakers, understand what's new in the world and get inspired for the new year.

After the conference is over, TED will send you the box DVD set of every speech, their favorite books and CD's of the year and all information on future conferences.

How much will this cost you? $995.

This year, I'm doing it. For the last three years, I can't count the number of TED talks that have inspired me. Made me think about how things are changing or what I could be doing more of.

Don't go to AdTech. Don't go to some random "Social Networking" conference. Stay at your own agency and inspire people around you with a week of talks about the world. I know, I know it's not advertising specific. But it's life-specific and if you want to succeed in anything, it's well worth your time.

UPDATE: TED just released the 2009 speaker line-up. Some highlights? Well Bill Gates and Seth Godin will be presenting on the first day...among many others. Check them all out here.

Contagious Best of 2008

There are a lot of lists out there right now. Some good, some bad and others that you can pretty much ignore. Here's one I wouldn't.

Contagious Magazine has put together a great deck on the "Best of" work of 2008. The deck showcases the best technology, campaigns, websites, innovations and people of the year. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and learn something new from around the world, take a moment and read through it over the break.

More posts are on their way...just finishing up the 'real' work before the holiday begins.

Check it out right here.

Thursday

Mini Cooper AR Ad. Best Print Ad of 2008.

This is the coolest print ad of 2008. If you disagree I will fight you.

MINI has used augmented reality (AR) technology to create a truly interactive media piece out of a 2-dimensional magazine ad.

Using AR tracking technology, as you hold the ad up to your computer’s webcam, you’ll see a 3-D model of a MINI Cabrio convertible that moves as you turn the sheet of paper around. SWEET SHIT.

[not me in the pic]

All you need is a copy of the ad, a webcam, and a web browser (sorry, Internet Explorer/ActiveX only) to view the 3-D AR effect.

The ad appeared recently in three German automotive magazines: Auto, Motor und Sport, Werben & Verkaufen and Autobilde.

Interested to see how it works?
Print out a PDF of the ad and head on over to the MINI augmented reality web site to have a look. Trust me it is really cool.

The race to be #2 is on......

via MediaPost via ARTweets]Via technabob

Facebook Connect: Implications

Found a great presentation from Razorfish about the future of portable social graphs and the data use implications for brand sites. Facebook Connect is starting to become more common across sites in the web and I think that the applications of it could be fascinating. Don't know what I'm talking about?

Check out the presentation here:

Wednesday

Fear causes conservative thinking



An interesting presentation about inspiring play, to inspire ideas.

Does your company inspire play? If so how? Does it help with idea creation? Or do you find your ideas become the best when you hide away from each other and return with your thoughts?

Tuesday

Digital is the aim

From the London Telegraph...

It is the aim of Publicis to make 25pc of revenue from online advertising by 2010. The group has also been working secretly with Google on advertising strategy, with a an update due in January.

"It has to do with better targeted advertising, making it more sophisticated," he says. "We will advertise to people through their habits. Analytics and targeting online will be key in the future." There was scepticism when the Google deal was first announced, as observers saw Publicis sleeping with the enemy that threatens traditional revenues.

I am interested to see what the "update due in January" is? What do you think the update will be. Will Publicis be offering clients access to Google Ad Labs, or Media Labs products? Or will reduced fees be offered for testing and case studies?

See the full article here.



AKQA Happy Holiday's

Some agencies spend a lot of time creating Holiday greetings that can't be ignored. What I like about this one is that it's a simple video, cool idea and great execution. Found on Adverblog, I'm sure this is going to be one of many Agency Holiday "ideas" over the next couple of weeks.



Why would an agency spend time, money and resources against something like this? It doesn't have anything tied to it. It's not for a client. And it's using creative time when they could be focused on something else.

That being said, it says something when you can create a video that goes viral just for the sake of spreading some Holiday cheer. And I'm sure the long-term return of this for the agency will have massive (revenue) benefits.

Monday

Time Magazines favourite TV ads of 2008

#1


I forgot that I wanted to post this spot. Recently voted Time Magazines favourite TV ad of 2008. Well done Publicis Seattle.

#2 FedEx - Horror


#3 Nike - Fate


#4 Microsoft - Im a PC

#5 AT&T - Scorsese

#6 Old Spice - TV Doctor

#7 Visa - Dead last

#8 Obama - Infomercial

#9 Gutar Hero - Dream Band


#10 You will only know if you click

Are you as surprised as me with a few selections. Time seems to have a hard-on for celebrities in TV spots.

AdJoke will be sharing plenty of our own "The best and worst of 2008" lists between now and New Years.

Designing Obama's Logo

Part I


Part II


The adaptability of the logo amazes me.

"WE WANT VIRAL!" screams Pizza Hut

Another client screams for viral video and guess what, agencies happily oblidge. This new video from Pizza Hut did get 100,000 views in just over a weekend, however I've got to say that the positioning doesn't really work for me:

"Pizza Hut is so good we want to throw it in the face of small town Pizza shops all around the US. Who cares about the recession! Go corporate or die!"

Wouldn't this execution have been way better if the guy went into a Papa John's or Domino's? I mean, why the hell would you have gone into a mom and pop shop to have done something like this?

I don't know about you, but I bet the original concept was about 100x stronger than the execution.

Sunday

WTF of the week - Remi Kart

I hope the running from the cops part is real.

Friday

The Best Viral Videos of 2008

Simply amazing. I love it. Just watch. This video just made my day.

Zuji Helps You Save...

I love when advertising goes beyond basic messages. The new travel site, Zuji, gives people ways to travel cheaply and take (much needed) holiday's. Rather than create an easily ignored campaign that focus on them being "the greatest resource in travel" or "the cheapest way to get away" propositions, they did something different.

They made beans.

Thousands of cans of beans.

And they sold them. For ten cents a can.

Zuji understood that people need to save money in order to even consider going on a vacation. You don't start searching without the financial comfort of knowing that you're actually going to be able to afford to go somewhere in the first place.

Zuji wanted to help people save money for their trips. So they created a common item cheaper than the rest and sold it in their stores.



This video has less than 2,500 views but I hope that it catches on (especially in our idea-driven industry). This isn't the first time we've seen a brand create a new product to help their overall perceptions, but it's a great example of thinking different and developing work that can't be missed.

Thanks to Adverblog for the link.

Thursday

RBC goes cartoons, TD Bankorth goes....Puppets?

RBC worldwide has launched spots filled with globetrotting cartoon Dad's, Bowler hat bankers and more.

Not to be outdown by RBC, TD Banknorth has gone to paper-clipping puppets of Regis & Kelly, like the kind I made in Grade 4 to announce the merger of TD and Commerce.

Don't use cartoons or puppets to talk to me about my finances. My savings and investments are real and matter to me.



Then the puppets magically morphed into the real Regis & Kelly. Oh but wait, it is a campaign because they both include therapists.


Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Before everyone jumps on me and says "What about the Blue Water project spot from RBC", I will say yes I like it. Its great, but the execution makes sense for the message.

Google Canada - What Do We Search?

A collegue of mine (who is a Doctor...not like a real one but a P.H.D) sent me this article about Google Searches in Canada. For the past few years, Google has released its Zeitgeist report (German for "Spirit of the Times") to help show current web trends and provide insights into what people are searching.

This is the first time they've included Canada and it's interesting to see what Canadians have been searching for the past year. The top search? "Facebook". At number 2 and 3 are "YouTube" and "Lyrics" respectively.

The article also provide a list of the most searched political parties in Canada (Green Party, Liberal, Conservative, NDP then Bloc) and the top celeberities (Britney Spears, Jessica Alba and Heath Ledger coming in the top spots).

Search is a critical component to developing effective communications plans and I think many marketers simply think of it as an afterthought. ("Great, now that we've got the TV spots nailed, let's buy some search words!") Some of the best books I've read this year (Click and Super Crunchers) are solely about using data (and search data) to create campaigns that resonate and stick.

Tools like Google Trends for Search are immensly helpful in understanding seasonal trends in search as well as understading how your target searching for something. There are fantastic, free tools out there that people just don't use when planning campaigns or thinking about their target.




Wednesday

Another bailout Joke

Found on Boing Boing

Think Your Going to get Fired?

No matter what industry you're in, you can't avoid the fact that the global economy is in a recession. You also can't help but imagine what 2009 is going to be like, what your clients are going to want (need) you to do, and - most importantly - if you'll have a job in twelve months.

Mashable's as put together a great top 10 list of things to do to help increase your personal brand in the workplace. One of my favorites:

"It’s really easy to brand yourself an innocent observer. The problem is that consumers aren’t sharing any value with the world, while producers are building value in themselves and getting their ideas noticed. Try and start a podcast series or write a blog about what you love. Something you’re really passionate about, whether it be work or play. People will begin to notice and be drawn to your brand. Being a producer is much more rewarding, and it causes your network to flourish, thus positioning your brand for career success."

Tuesday

The Agency Life

We had some good news today - won a major pitch that a lot of the agency has been working on over the past 4 months. It was tough, challenging, inspiring and worth it. And not necessarily because we won.

It's funny how pitches work. The thrill of working with a team for nights on end, building work that is free from restrictions and daily client feedback. Doing what you think is best and presenting it with confidence.

Then you wait. And wait. And hope.

Sometimes things work out. Other times, you just wonder what the other agency did that was so much better - especially when you thought you did everything that was possible.

Northern Planner wrote a great post about why losing feels so much worse than winning. I agree. To those pitching right now, good luck. To those that just got some bad news, here's to figuring out what to alter in the future.

More on Obama and Technology

Forbes.com has posted an article in which they asked some "silicon valley thinkers" (whatever in the hell that means) what they learned from Obama's campaign. Not groundbreaking answers but worth a read.

I am excited to see what the worlds largest communication budget does now that technology and social media turns it on.

The very presidential looking Change.gov is a great start, but will it continue?

Monday

Go Miniman Go!



Even though this site launched in August, it's sweet - especially for Lego nerds. Not only can you create your own Miniman, you can watch a ton of cool stop-motion Lego video's created by passionate lego people around the world.

I'm not sure about the metrics on this website, but it's simple to use and great for someone whose a lego nerd. Not that I was ever a lego nerd and loved going to Legoland...

Sunday

Christmas = books. Need your help.

I celebrate Christmas, and every year my Christmas list usually contains a half dozen or so books.

This year my list has:
  1. The Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Grown Up Digital - Don Tapscott
  3. Crowdsourcing - Jeff Howe
  4. The Cool Factor - Del Breckenfeld
  5. Brand Digital - Allen P. Adamson
What is on your list? Have you read any of these titles and think I should re-think?

Or if you are one of the authors send me a copy and I would be happy to post a review ;)

Better Than Free - Your Guide to the Future

Remember Kevin Kelly? We posted about his fabulous TED talk a few months ago and I've been obsessed with his blog ever since. Kevin is a futurist | web expert | blogger | idea man and one of the smartest people out there when it comes to thinking about what's next.

He's written a short piece called Better Than Free and I urge anyone who works in digital or is interested in the space to download it (free) and read it.

Essentially, it describes what it's like to work in a world of free content and goes into 8 ways that groups will make money in the years to come off of it. The internet, he writes, is one giant copy machine. Anything that's posted on the web can be taken, copied and passed on with little consequence.

As a result, we've got to find new ways to add value and create desire for users to pay for specific things. I won't get too deep in the hopes that you read the article but if you want to say anything smart for the next year, I'd take five minutes out of your day.

Don't give presents. Give Experiences.

Check out this commercial for Red Balloon Experiences.



I just browsed through the site and it is full of some pretty amazing experiences. If you have been considering starting a bucket list, click here for ideas.

He who knows, Knows. Isenbeck Beer.

Just finishing a couple of posts then I am off to register for ballet classes.



Thanks Ad broad for the find.

Thursday

The Links - Pauls edition

  1. The nastiest cult - Blackberry user. Read Why this is true.
  2. Try to please everyone and you please no one. Use this visual to explain that statement to morons.
  3. EVERYTHING IS AMAZING. Nobody is happy. Watch this. You'll laugh, you'll re-think everything. Seriously this is good TV.
  4. Target & GAP launch iPhone apps just in time for the holidays. Read more here.
  5. Sean Avery is an idiot. Don't waste your time watching this.
  6. New Macbook commercial. Macbook has gone green.

Obama and New Media

A lot has been written about the Obama campaign being the greatest political campaign of all time. He raised more money than anyone (over $600 million US), dominated in the polls and created brand enthausists like nobody else.

A few days ago, one of his lead new media communication strategists - Rahaf Harfoush - gave a talk to the Rotman School of Business on the power of new media. For web 2.0 natives, the presetation might seem a bit basic but the strategies behind it are solid and proven.

My favorite tidbits:

- "4 days before the election, 3 million calls were made using the Obama Neighbor to Neighbor application"
- "639 million raised (in comparrison to McCain's $360)"
- "Half of all New Media Campaigns fail - find the sweet spot [and develop a good strategy to win]"



Thanks to Nick for the reference and link.

Whoppervirgins.com

13 planes. 2 Dog Sleds. 1 Helicopter. A bunch of whoppers. A bunch of virgins.

In 3 days, 12 hours 40 minutes and 17 seconds from when I grabbed this screenshot the results of the taste test will be revealed.

CP+B and Burger King have gone to remote areas of Thailand, Iceland and Romania to ask people what they think about the Whopper and which they prefer; the whopper or the Big Mac.

I can't wait to see the footage on whoppervirgins.com

Thanks Dr. Steck for sharing.

Wednesday

Drink more water.



Remember. Drink a ton of water and, for God's sake, stay hydrated.

I Wish I Made This Spot

Could this be my new favorite spot of 2008? Quite possibly.

I wasn't sure what this was for prior to watching it and I'm not going to spoil it for you but the tone, examples and track (from Babel) make this a highly emotional piece. The quality of the shots is superb, acting great and the historical choices couldn't be better.

Take a moment out of executing random ads, writing contact reports, booking meetings and remember why you wanted to get into advertising in the first place.

Damn it feels good to be a banker - Wall Street Musical

Bankers and consultants throwing it down.

Oh Snap!

Tuesday

Political Crisis? Get the Ads Out! Now!


We've done a few posts on Canadian ads over the last few months and with the election only being about 7 weeks old, we had a lot of different ads to choose from.

For the last week, the political landscape in Canada has been on fire. Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented his budget package to deal with the recession and after lacking the details and positions hoped by for the opposition, they have formed a coalition and hope to shift the balance of power in the House of Parliament.

This coalition between the opposition parties (the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois) has been met with severe disdain among many Canadians. For others, it's a chance to finally get rid of a hyper-partisan PM and ensure that we have a stable government that can properly deal with the economic situation.

All in all, on Monday there is the potential that Canada will have a new PM, reformatted government and a lot of citizens who are concerned about the leadership change, current economic stimulus package and the future of our nation -

How does this relate to advertising?

Well first off, the Conservatives are - by far - the leading party in Canada when it comes to finances. They have more money, more resources and more cash to spend on advertising than all 3 opposition parties combined. And in times of severe crisis like this, they are spending it. Fast.

They recently launched a radio spot and tonight they launched a new TV spot that we've posted below:



Their message is simple. Stephan Dion (leader of the Liberals) is trying to steal an election result that gave the Conservatives power and the Liberals it's worst defeat since Confederation. The message paints the opposition parties in a way that shows them as power hungry, opponents to democracy and political tacticians who only care about gaining power from Canadians. Layer on the close link to the Quebec Separatist party and you've got a pretty good 30 seconds of hate.

The radio spot follows the same them and I'm sure in the next day or so a similar TV spot will air but will feature the NDP leader Jack Layton at the end with a hyper-socialist message.

Is this advertising effective?

For starters, what is the objective? To raise awareness awareness about the coalition and the potential removal of the Conservatives (without a national election).

Check.

Key message takeaway? "I hate the opposition parties. I hate Dion. What can I do to help the conservatives stop this thing?"

Maybe.

The conservatives have been experts at running negative advertising. They love it and they've based a lot of their campaign tactics on the Rove-Bush tactics of 2000/2004. That being said, I think negative advertising in this case misses the mark.

The reason they are here is because of leadership. And the best way they can sway Canadian favor is to show that their leader is the strongest. Record a message with Harper appealing to Canadians for more time (it's only been 7 weeks). Give him a stage to spread his message and get the word out. Show Canada that he is a diplomat and that he can lead our country out of the economic situation. Tell Canada that this isn't the time to switch political leadership. That it's time to lead.

But instead, he's done what he's always done - gone negative. Gone partisan. Gone mean.

These ads make a point. They have a good message but they go at it the wrong way. Don't scare me. Tell my why - like a normal person - you are the one I should trust, believe in and stand up for.

Who knows what happens on Monday. But whatever the case, there will be more ads and they will be negative. What do you think? Does this sway you or turn you off?

Special thanks to Budman for the video link!

Monday

Ozzy is sure getting around



Ozzy in a WoW commercial. Haven't seen it on air yet. Love how every commercial he is in they make fun of his mumbles and of course he has to swear.

Santa has gone Centro



Do you like? Thoughts? Rate this commercial below.

The worlds most active twitter towns

A snapshot of the most active cities in the world based on twitter posts.

My home, Toronto came in at 14 which is much higher than I would have expected.

See the full list on TwitterLocal.

Thanks to David Armano for sharing the site.

Sunday

Obamash-up



Pure Genius. Props HMatkin. Lets see if he is right. Will Obama never let us down, never gonna run around and desert us?

NY Agency Sex Tape [Seriously?]


Agency Spy recently wrote about a video they received showing two NY digital agency folks having sex in their office pod. Allegedly, the two are pretty senior and the video is making it's way around the web pretty fast.

Asylum just posted an anonymous interview with the guy who shot the video. He was fired about a week after the video went viral and claims that he sent it to two co-workers after he download the file from his mobile to his computer. Less than a week later, it was posted on top sites and HR found him and let him go. When asked how the video got out, he responded:

"I showed a couple of officemates on my phone and everyone was shocked and awed. I downloaded it to my computer and sent it on to two other co-workers and that was all the digital distribution I did and it just went viral from there. And a week later it ended up on Gawker and Mediabistro and then the word got back to me that all the creatives were sending it around. I freaked. I thought it was amazing how something could go viral and end up online so quickly when I had nothing to do with it really. I didn't call Gawker. I didn't e-mail anybody."

The two who were having sex kept their jobs and the video guy got canned.

A colleague of mine always says that ad agencies are just like high school only with cooler people and better clothes. It's stories like this (which are rampant at all shops) that help to reinforce this idea.

Agency hook-up's happen all the time. But they rarely are caught on camera and posted on the web. It wasn't right for this random dude to film this but would he have gotten fired if the act hadn't happened in the first place? Definitely not.

Still, it's a hilarious story for the rest of us and I'm sure the two people at this digital shop won't be there much longer...especially with the amount of embarrassment they are feeling right now.

I feel like this post is missing something...

...oh right. Here is the full video.

Thoughts?

Perfect Push-up. Less than perfect advertising.


Does Perfect Push-up really think that the fact a Navy Seal designed this will make me want to buy this?

Maybe "Used by the US Navy Seals" or something like that. I would trust a US Navy Seal to maybe design a Jail Break, an attack plan, or a gym routine BUT not engineer a piece of equipment.

What does a US Navy Seal know about industrial design, quality assurance, manufacturing or prototype testing?

Also, I think the average person is a little smarter than to think that this one piece of equipment will get you ripped in the absence of a diet, cardio and full body exercises.

The Links

Sorry for the delay on these. Check them out. Interesting few weeks (to say the least) and a lot going on out there. Feel free to send your own as well and we will be sure to post them.

- Seth writes about how "just doing your job" isn't good enough.
- Have you heard of the new book coming out called "This book will be famous"? It's written by 7 people and each one has to be famous. It starts by giving it to the most famous person you know and then asking them to write a chapter and do the same.
- Think that the 30 second spot is dead? You're wrong. TV usage has never been higher.
- Think the auto industry is screwed? You know things are bad when brands start pulling out of the Detriot auto show.
- Adidas just launched a global brand channel. Risky business but it could pay off.
- Want to find the perfect holiday gifts for a blogger? Here is the top 10 (hint).
- Even Capital C lead Tony Bennet thinks it's all about the brand experience.
- The world of cellphone's just got a bit smaller. Nokia has stopped selling handsets in Japan.

Why a picture from the worlds tallest structure made me think about brands.

This is a real picture from the worlds tallest structure in Dubai. Yes, it is an amazing photo but lets talk about brands.

Dubai is a major global business centre filled with thousands upon thousands of buildings, but on a day when the cloud rolls in only about 20 remain to be seen from the top.

Now think of the clouds as our current recession, as the most difficult economic times the world has seen since the 1970's. As this recession rolls in, the companies that have failed over the past 30 years to build a strong brand, stand out and create a loyal customer base or community will disappear below the cloud.

I have a set of brands that regardless of economic situation I will refuse to change. I will make sacrifices in other areas of my life to ensure that I can afford to purchase these few brands as I have come to rely on them, love them, trust them and they are a part of my life (John Fluevog shoes, L'oreal Men Expert lotions and shaving cream, BEDO sweaters, Tiffany's presents for Brit, Titleist golf balls, Starbucks coffee, Old Spice Deodorant, Burberry Cologne, and a few others.). All other decisions become based on cost, not a single brand consideration will cross my mind.

This doesn't mean that the brands below the clouds cannot break through and thrive in this economic environment but to do so they have a much more difficult journey ahead. They have a large investment and a lot of work to do to build their brand. This is not a time where I would want to be building a brand, but if they do not find a way there is a chance that once the cloud rolls away they will no longer exist.

The companies that are already above the clouds only need to maintain their brand and community of devoted followers. They are already have a skyscraper, they only need to keep it standing, looking good, and keep the lights on. If they do this they should come out of this economic situation with fewer competitors, a stronger brand and a beautiful view of the dawn of better times.

Lets see who survives. Who do you think is below the clouds and in trouble? What skyscrapers exist in your brand horizon? Please comment below.

Photo originally found on Dean Hunts blog.

Twitter ideas for bands


The Tweet: chrisbrogan RT @brackley: Anyone have info on Twitter use for bands/music? Not in a MySpace way. (Send your answers to @brackley)

I couldn't fit my rely in 140 characters or less so here we go. I took a little bit of time and thought of 11 ways a band could use twitter to connect with fans, build a community, activate the community and show the community that they care.

I hope it helps @brackley.
  1. Twitpic the studio process. Share shots of the band hanging out writing music, laying down the tracks.
  2. Share pics of random pieces of lyrics.
  3. Tweet selected lyrics or choruses of new songs.
  4. Even better tweet a line or two of lyrics. Have your fans following you on twitter @reply with their next line ideas.
  5. Share a link to a song. Ask for fans to recommend song names.
  6. Spill the beans on the set list for upcoming shows 30 minutes before taking stage.
  7. Ask fans to tweet their dream set list for your band.
  8. Ask the fans what they want to be the encore song. Maybe also what song they would love to hear you cover live. The most popular or best responses you play.
  9. Use twitter to source and find opening local bands on a tour.
  10. Ask your fans who you should get to design your new cover.
  11. Do a free show. Send a twitpic or link to site where followers can print that picture to get into shows no line, no cover, etc.
I have got to get back to work. Brant Rackley I hope this helps.

AdJoke readers leave your comments below. Add to the list, criticize mine, whatever...just join the conversation.

Saturday

Discover from Sirius & BBDO.



I give this TV spot pretty high marks for both idea and execution. It will be interesting to see if the 30 second spot can be as effective.The 60 second media dollars can only last so long.

Now, lets look at the entire campaign. It gets a 5. Where is the holistic campaign view? No digital extension, no experiential extension... nothing. The idea is around discovery. Come on make that idea live. They had the money for a 60 second spot, why not find a way to bring that idea to life beyond TV.

For example I have shared 10 thoughts, that I came up with in 10 minutes.

1. Microsite. They are offering a 7-day trial on sirius.ca. Why not create a Pandora-like microsite where sirius recommends channels, based on a quick survey around discovery.

2. OOH. Transit shelters. Stream satellite radio to the select shelters. Allow users to shuffle sirius while they are waiting. Discover what is playing.

3. OOH 2. Transit shelters. Everyone has ear-buds with them. Allow them to plug in and discover what is playing if you don't want to have to pay for speakers in the shelter.

4. Subway, buses, streetcars. Do the idea from above on streetcars, subways or buses.

5. In Cabs. Allow passengers to control, discover, listen.

6. Partner with StumbleUpon to create a Stumble Music Video channel OR better yet a stumble music channel that stumbles upon a random sirius channel and gives them 1 hour of free listening per day (based on IP) for the campaign period.

7. The idea above but done on sirius.ca/discovermusic. Then allow the user to rate the channel, based on rating the site automatically changes the channel if it is below a 4/5.

8. Take good but unknown indie bands and have them rock out from rooftops like U2 did. One banner, a small street team driving people to sirius.ca/discovermusic.

9. Sirius Discover something new challenge. Have a users submit something that they want to Sirius Discover something spokesperson to discover. They then choose one a week and go do it. Video tape it. Post it. Users could submit anything from music related (discover the BigBop on a Friday night), to random challenges like discover chest waxing, discover volunteering at a soup kitchen, discover skydiving, discover 15 minutes in a shark tank, discover rolling in the snow then jumping in a hot tub. Users can also upload their own discoveries.

10. Have Canadians vote on what we think is the greatest Canadian discovery. Velcro, the ski-doo, insulin, Steamwhistle beer, Adjoke.blogspot.com, Jerome Iginla's wrist shot, the electron microscope, etc.

BBDO...now its your turn. I hope I discover a campaign extension that is integrated across a number of mediums. Make your great TV spot into a Great integrated campaign.

I love this guy. Gary V about passion.



Can you imagine if every company had one, just one Gary V. working in it, fighting for change.

Now lets all go be the Gary V. in our company on Monday. Be vocal, give a shit, fight for what you believe in and if nothing changes. Leave, start your own company, give a shit and then show the company you left how they should have done it.

Found via Perry Belcher

KR Connect


A friend and co-worker recommended that I check out Kevin Roberts (Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi) blog. I've been reading it now for a few weeks (and was ashamed that I didn't know about it sooner). It's a great perspective straight from the top of an agency network.

I don't think we see enough blogging from the top executives across our industry. Some don't want to (it's a bit too personal), others fear the potential of their own writing (who knows what junior PR reporter could pick up and spin) but most simply don't [think they] have the time to blog - there are bigger things to worry about. And in most cases, there are.

But blogging as a top executive makes a difference. A big one.

For starters, it shows clients (current and potential new ones) where you stand. It gives them a personal look at what you believe in outside of the 2 hour final pitch presentation. It proves that you are in the digital space and not afraid to share your opinion, engage others and answer questions from around the world about your company, brand beliefs and ideas.

It also helps your current staff understand what you're thinking about, what you are interested in, what gets you up in the morning and shows them how you want to lead your company. It's a place to share your feelings and show that you are in touch with everyone who works with you. It gives them a chance to comment, share and discuss their own ideas with you. And it's a lot easier (and more comfortable) than booking a meeting in your busy schedule.

Mr. Roberts, writer of the industry hit Lovemarks, writes about everything in his blog. From movies to trends, farewell's to ideas, it's his place to share what he wants. And it makes a difference.

This global CEO could have given a thousand reasons about why he shouldn't start a blog. He's 60, in charge of over 7,000 people across the globe, managing a team in a recession and travelling everywhere.

But he didn't.

He went to Blogger, started an account and got moving. He doesn't publish everyday and misses weeks here and there, but his posts are thoughtful, true and well written.

I don't know how many people in the world read it. I don't know what people at Saatchi think of it. But leaders don't talk about what people should do. They lead by example.

Thursday

Using User Generated Content

Trolling through the CR Top 5 today, I found this new spot from Bernadro's (a children's advocy group in the UK):



Great way to use user-generated content to make your campaign that much more powerful. What I love about this is that they didn't solicit content, they just used what was already out there. Very cool.

Guitar Hero Bike Hero

Here is the latest viral video from Droga5 and Co. It was created to promote Guitar Hero World tour and already has over 1.4 million YouTube views.



I'm pretty mixed on this one. It's a cool idea but gamers are an influential and savvy group and they don't like fake stuff. A quick look at the comment section on the YouTube page shows that people like the idea but others think it's pointless because it's fake.

I feel like with the press around Droga5, anything they put out these days is almost guarenteed to get +1M hits just from the creative PR alone.

Tuesday

Celeb House Party - By Adidas

Trolling through CR Blog today, I came across the new Adidas spot created by Sid Lee in Montreal. It's part of the Celebrate Originality campaign and features a ton of stars like David Beckham, Missy Elliot, Method Man and man others.

CR made a great point about how it's ironic that this house party contains people all wearing the same brand but that they are "celebrating originality." I tend to agree.

Still - the vibe of this spot is cool and I'd like to see where this campaign goes.


Monday

AC/DC ROCKS THE OFFICE

This is cool. A genius application of technology to a brief.

How can you ensure that your video can be seen by all? Company firewalls will block your videos from getting through unless they are in Excel.

Stop Making Ads...Create Great Experiences



While on a train from Bruge to London, I heard an announcement that reminded me of what excellent customer service and communications sounds like.

Our train was scheduled to arrive at 10:19PM. About twenty minutes after we started the journey (it was only about a 2 hour trip), the conductor came on and said the following:

“Ladies and Gentleman. I regret to inform you that there will be a slight delay in our travel time. Due to the fire in the Chunnel in September, repairs have been ongoing and are the cause of this delay. We will be arriving in London at 10:29PM. Please see one of our staff with any questions and sorry again.”

We were going to be delayed by 10 minutes. 10 measly minutes.

The conductor pre-managed us, explained the cause of the problem (and brief history), committed to a new arrival time and apologized – twice.

Contrast this experience with one that I had only a few days earlier:

I’d booked a ticket from Toronto to London with Air Canada – a direct flight. Upon arrival to the airport, I learned that my flight was on time but was now going to make an unscheduled stop in Montreal to pick up more people. It had been undersold and Air Canada didn’t want to go all that way without a full plane.

When asked why my direct flight was now not so direct, the attendant replied that it was policy and I had to deal with it. So I did.

We stopped in Montreal and waited two and a half hours to fill the plane, check new bags, de-ice the wings and get in the air again. Upon arrival in London, I calculated that I’d been sitting on the plane 11 hours straight (original time should have been about 7).

How did Air Canada manage the situation?

They didn’t. They asked me to deal with it. Forgive them. Lied about what time we would be arriving and generally did what most other companies do – instead of giving you the bad news, they just don’t tell you anything.

My perceptions of these two brands? I love Eurostar and passionately hate Air Canada. I’ll do everything I can to ride Eurostar again. It’s reliable, fair, on time and the staff treat you with respect. Air Canada? I’ll spread the word about my bad experience (and many others), encourage everyone I know to look for an alternative and ignore any brand positioning or new ads. Essentially, I’ll be the worst thing a brand could ever ask for – an angry, loud former customer.

Two experiences. One great for a brand, the other, horrible.

Ads can’t save horrible experiences. And they can’t create great ones. Either your product or service works and gives someone a memorable experience, or it doesn’t. Every interaction counts.

PJC mentioned that sometimes he wishes he could tell clients to take their 3 million in media and invest it in customer service. I agree. We can come up with the greatest ad ideas, best brand positioning, tightest strategy and coolest technical innovations ever. But if the experience sucks, so does your brand.

Sunday

Bloggers you will love these cartoons

Check out Noise to Signal. Cartoon commentary from Rob Cottingham.

Here are a couple of his beauties (yes I watched Don Cherry on coachs corner last night).


The links - Pauls edition

  1. Toronto residents trade handguns for digital cameras. 1000 guns & 20,000 rounds of ammunition turned in in one month. Read more.
  2. Twitter search is a great way to test brand sentiment. If you care to hear from early adopters and social media addicts.
  3. Wired talks about 4 interesting things in one article. How biology and technology shape sex and war.
  4. 41 commercials in one music video. Watch it.
  5. Ten ideas that may help shape the face of advertisings future.

Goodnight. Tomorrow I will tear apart Fords online display campaign and media placements.

Publicis to link offline and online advertising

Article found on Research.

Deal with Mobile Discovery allows digital links in offline ads to be created and tracked


US-- Publicis is to provide its advertising clients with tools to link offline advertising to online content, through a partnership with Mobile Discovery.

The mobile marketing technology firm’s platform allows advertisers to include ‘digital return paths’ such as SMS codes and scannable 2D barcodes in print advertisements or outdoor posters, so consumers can immediately seek more information or make a purchase via their mobile phone.

This is done through a web-based system where advertisers can create, track and analyse their integrated campaigns.

“We help advertisers generate online leads through offline media,” said David Miller, CEO of Mobile Discovery.

The deal has been struck through Publicis’ new division VivaKi, which works on investments and partnerships on behalf of the various Publicis assets.

It will be interesting to see how quickly this becomes applied.

Iams Home for the Holidays

Iams wants us to adopt 1 million animals before the holidays. Felicity Huffman has been brought on to make us pay attention.

It is a great cause. I hope they reach their goal. These cute spots from Saatchi & Saatchi won't hurt.

Saturday

Dr. Pepper owes every american 20 oz's



I know it is old news. Apparently the coupons will be available here starting on the 23rd. Good on Dr. Pepper for delivering. Not sure why they would offer it in the first place.

Besides wondering what Dr. Pepper has to do with G'n'R what I want to know is:


  1. How many Americans will visit the site? (total unique visitors)
  2. How many visitors will register and print the coupon?
  3. What is the abandonment rate of the registration form (people hate emails they don't want)
  4. What is the redemption rate?
  5. What is the average basket purchase accompanying the coupon?
  6. Where are the being redeemed? Convenience stores, grocery, gas stations?
  7. What is the increase in Dr. Pepper sales in the following 3 months?
Do you think Dr. Pepper is tracking. The response to this offer could potentially be huge. Ignoring this type of available data would be a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Does our industry deserve an ass kicking?

Ad Age published this article about how the death of Detroit would wallop the advertising world.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler together accounted for 3.3% of 2007 U.S. measured ad spending, which equal $4.6 billion in measured spending.

"The world's top four agency companies -- Omnicom Group, WPP Group, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe -- count on Detroit's Big Three for as much as 6% of revenue.

If one or more of Detroit's carmakers goes away, gets smaller or goes into bankruptcy, "all media companies need to be concerned and there will be an impact on agencies,..."

Now, I'll be the first to say that the North American Auto Industry deserves everything that they are going through right now but thats not the focus of this rant.

Lets focus on the advertising/marketing industry. Do agencies and marketers need to carry some blame for this? Is it our responsibility to speak up and tell our clients if we think their products suck, if we think thier R&D should be focusing on alternative fuels, hybrids and compacts not hummers and F350 supercharged kingcab extended box pick-up trucks. Or do we just keep accepting briefs for companies on the march to the grave.

There have been times that I have thought..."if they just spent this 2.3 million media and production budget on customer service training they would most likely see a larger ROI from retaining existing customers than us pushing a product with no differentiation with the hopes of acquiring customers".

Is that our job? Obviously the agency would loose some revenue BUT would it gain respect, gain a listening ear and maybe redefine their relationship from a advertising agency/client relationship to a relationship as a true business partner.

I am interested in your thoughts.

Friday

Digital Suicide

You might have heard of this story already, but I just read a post on Valleywag about a teenager who committed live suicide on the popular American video site Justin.tv.

Abraham Biggs was an avid Lifecaster on the site (essentially, thousands of people are creating their own life-reality TV shows and posting them to video sites across the web. Their every move, feeling and life experience). On the Wednesday prior to his death, he posted a suicide note to the site, and then took a handful of sleeping pills and sat on his bed (in front of a streaming webcam). Users watched the live video and some thought it was a joke, others edged him on during the entire process.

Nobody called the police or notified authorities.

Hours later, someone found him and the medics / police showed up to try and revive him (again, all shown on the streaming webcam).

Justin.TV CEO Michael Seibel has made no official comment other than to say that any video with "objectionable" content is flagged and remove. Talk about an understatement.

This is tragic. For the family and the people watching the broadcast. However Valleywag did point out that a few users edged him on and should be flagged. It seems that when we are online, we hide behind the veil of a username and might not really think too much about our actions.

As the web grows in strength and user generated content expands exponentially, I expect that the generation of scary, questionable and personal content will come more and more into question. When anyone can broadcast their own story and suicide, the web can become a pretty scary place. There is no way for anyone to stop something like this and hopefully this incident doesn't generate a slew of copies.

Few people talk about the downside of user-generated content. This is it.

Spamalot [almost] Creates Loyalty Beyond Reason


I went to see Spamalot last night in West London and noticed a pretty big opportunity for the show that I doubt they are capitalizing on. First off, some context:

The show has been running for the last few years and has had some big success. Most shows have been sold out in NYC and London, however the credit crunch has hit this city hard and after going to a few shows this week, there are way more empty seats than I could have imagined (about 70-75% full, that's it).

The cool thing about Spamalot is that, near the end of the show, the cast brings up someone from the audience and actually sings a song about them - thanking them really - for being a part of the show. At the end of the song, one of the cast members snaps a pic with a Polaroid with the person on stage with the entire cast, gives them a small trophy and the audience member goes back to their seat. The song is hilarious and it would have been unbelievably embarrising to be the person who got called up - that being said, it's a hell of a story to tell your friends. Especially with picture proof of you on the stage.

This tactic - no doubt - helps to drive word-of-mouth for the show. It also creates a person who loves your brand. With two shows a day, six days a week, that's 12 people who you've just given an experience too that they will never forgegt in their lives. All they get out of it is a tiny trophy and single picutre.

Why not do something more?

Why not start a webpage / social network with the information and profile of these people who have been called up to stage? Include their quotes about the show telling people how great it was, show their picture on stage, allow them to create their own T-Shirts and custom Spamalot gear to send to their friends (posters, Album covers, whatever) - essentially, let them build of this experience and spread their message to everyone they know not just their close family and friends. Maybe it could be an exclusive Facebook / MySpace / BeBo group or a Twitter feed that highlights that shows person's name...whatever it is, just build off it.

What I really learned from the show? Create brand enthauists by doing something special for one of your customers. Only one person made it on stage, but everyone felt great to watch it and the person up there felt even better.

What can you do for just 1% of your base? Don't try to do something for everyone - it comes off cheap, mass-driven and fake. But what about rewarding the best customers? Or showing your entire base that they could have the chance to do something special too (as long as they stay loyal).

It seems that the best strategies these days create loyalty beyond reason. Few brands to it because they try to appeal to everyone. But those that can create it, tap into the Holy Grail of brand enthusiasts.

Thursday

Be A Good Person

I feel like I've heard of this viral campaign from BK before (for another brand) but can't remember which one. Essentially, BK is sending random people to the streets in crowded places. They stratigically drop their wallet and when someone picks it up to give back to them they reply,

"Don't worry, it's on the King"

The wallets have a message (posted above) and could have anywhere from $1-1000 in them - straight up cash. 

I like this idea but wonder how heavily BK will be pursuing it in the mass media (and how many wallets they are thinking about actually dropping). I also wonder if they've targeted popular people (celebs, etc) to talk about the experience and film them for web use (like any reality TV "surprise your on camera" show). 

Found via Organic's blog

Scary Times

From Gaping Voids twitter feed:

"A young advertising creative I know had all these interviews line up. EVERY person who was gonna interview him got laid off this month."

http://twitter.com/gapingvoid

Quote of the Day

"The bullet that kills you never hits you between the eyes. It always hits you in the temple. You never see it coming, because you're looking in the wrong direction."

- EDS Futurist Jeff Wacker (quoted by Thomas Friedman in Hot, Flat and Crowded)

I love this quote. It's said here in an environmental context, however I think it can easily be applied to ad people who aren't thinking digital (and who never really want too). We're going to see a lot of dead people on Ad Street in the next few years and I assume, they will be 100% temple shots.

I read this quote while reading Friedman's killer new book on the plane (worst trip ever) to London. This is going to be a slow week for posts (on my end) but I've already seen a ton of great stuff here that I'm going to be blogging all next week - including the first advertising art gallery I've ever been too (which was sweet), some great shows and museums and, of course, Tube advertising.

Tuesday

8 years later...Wassupp.

Not sure how I missed this one. Wassupp...change. True.



We truly did witness something amazing. Very few events have activated an audience, kickstarted creativity and made a nation feel the need to create and be apart of change like the US election.

The market for something to believe in is infinite.

If I had one wish it would sound something like this.

Charter for compassion:
Here is a social media project that is worth your attention and your time.



From the site:

By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you'd like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.

Monday

Surprisingly Good

Paul and I were discussing the latest brand spot from Pfizer (posted below). It's got a huge cinema buy here in Toronto and I was shocked when I first saw this spot (and then learned it was from Pfizer).

What I like about this spot is that it's repositioning the brand to be something more than just a drug company. In the last few years, we've all heard about the tainted drugs, the massive profits that some of these brands have had and the high costs of basic prescription medicine. What this spot does is really say that - in a way - we don't need drugs to be healthy, we can do it own our own.

Obviously there are some shots (cancer patients) that are a bit closer to the product, however I think the track, tone and idea behind this spot put Pfizer in a place well above their competitors.

I don't think that people think about the brands that their drugs come from - they just listen to their doctor and hope that it works. That being said, if I was ever to take a Pfizer-created medication, this spot would make me feel somewhat good about doing so.

TBWA's first Pepsi Brief

Pepsi to TBWA: "We need a response to this in market by next Thursday. Ohh and by the way congratulations."

TBWA catches the Pepsi Spirit

TBWA Chiat Day. Its the agency.

BBDO is no longer Pepsi's lead agency. BBDO had the account for 48 years. That lenght of a relationship is unbelievable. I know of Agency's that brag after keeping accounts for 5 years. Read more on Adweek.

Is Ford next? Will they ever leave Y&R?

Saturday

When will you stop wasting money? Don't forget digital.

In support of Ty's last post I share with you my comment on Idea Drunk, in response to a great post in Wisers latest effort to make the horrible liquor known as whiskey aspirational.

My comment:

...So many marketers do not understand the value of holistic engagement. Engage me with a quality mass campaign, create curiosity, drive behaviour then CAPITALIZE on my attention. Give me something to engage with, make me want to provide you with behaviourial data, allow me to begin a whole new relationship with your brand based on entertainment, the power of discovery, the thrill of satisfied curiosity or simply something new.

When will they wise up?

End comment.

Okay, so I am guessing that you are reading this blog because you work in marketing or advertising. Now answer me this. Why do you allow, support, approve or pitch ideas that are half thought out? Human nature acts mostly because of rational thought, but dreams, splurges, and human nature wants to live in the world created by irrational thought.

Use mass media to communicate an emotional, strategically sound campaign that positions you as unique within the category then drive the compelled consumer online. In this 1 to 1 space you can interact and truly engage. Create an experience unique to the emotional state, to the point in the purchase path they are at, to the curiosities that drove them to visit your URL and provide them with exactly what they need to spread the word, deepen the brand relationship and create ROI.

Am I crazy...do we all not want to do this. Why can't it happen next month or next quarter? What are your thoughts?

Invest in a truly integrated campaign or continue to throw mass media dollars into the outhouse.