Sears - Manage my home

Sears has launched a new site called Manage My home. Seems like a good idea...will it work?

It allows you to regsiter your products purchased from Sears and it helps you track warranties, maintenance, and news about them - including recalls. They have also added video content as well as household maintenance and general tips to enrich the site and potentially make it a destination for their customers and prospects.

I wonder what the adoption rate will be? Maybe it would help if they made all of their warranties virtual, so you didn't get a piece a paper, only a warranty posted to Manage My home. Although this may discourage purchase.

I guess we can just wait and see....


The Future of Web Navigation

We've written about this great TED video before, however it's worth posting again when thinking about the future of navigation on the web.

Right now we're used to traditional ways of navigation on the web - scrolling down a page and clicking on links we're interested in. But in a recent issue of Newsweek, a detailed article talks about how humans best process information - when it is presented to them all at once - the big picture.

Think about it. When you're knee deep in a tough project, what's one of the first things you do? Get into a room, put up all your information, write things on the wall and gather everything you know. It's amazing what solutions can come from looking at a problem when everything about it is surrounding you.

The same idea comes into play with Seadragon navigation from Microsoft. Instead of having multiple pages of content (or thousands for sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, etc), place all the content on one page and allow the user to literally zoom in on what interests them. That way, they can have a perspective of what's around just in case something peaks their interest.

It's a revolutionary way to search and hopefully one that you'll see Microsoft and Google use more of.

Be More Creative - Example 1

This is, by far, the greatest Ebay auction item I have ever come across. As someone who loves to torment their best friends by leaving "hate" messages and engaging in ridiculous pranks, this is amazing. Last I checked the bid is $415US.

See full description below:

You are bidding on a rare chance to traumatize a treasured friend or relative with baffling, mind-numbing, mystery correspondence from abroad.

Here is the arrangement:

I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Poland in a tiny village that has one church with no bell because angry Germans stole it. Aside from vodka, there is not a lot for me to do.

During the course of my holiday I will send three postcards to one person of your choosing.

These postcards will be rant-ravingly insane, yet they will be peppered with unmistakable personal details about the addressee. Details you will provide me.

The postcards will not be coherently signed, leaving your mark confused, guessing wildly, crying out in anguish.

“How do I know this person? And how does he know I had a ferret named Goliath?”

Your beloved friend or relative will try in vain to figure out who it is. Best of all, it can’t possibly be you because you’ll have the perfect alibi: you’re not in Poland. You’re home, wherever that is, doing whatever it is you do when not driving your friends loopy with international prankery.

Your target will rack their brains in the shower. At dinner. During long drives. At work. On the golf course.

“Who did I tell about the time I got fired by a note on my chair?” they’ll ponder, “And where the hell is Szczeczinek?”

But wait, there’s more.

To add to the sheer confusion and genuine discomfort, one missive will be on an original promotional postcard announcing the 1995 television premiere of Central Park West on CBS.

Another will be a postcard celebrating Atlanta’s disastrous hosting of the 1996 summer Olympic games.

Your mark will be at a complete loss, desperate for answers, debating contacting people he or she hasn’t talked to in years.

“I know this will sound weird, but by any chance were you in Eastern Europe ranting about cantaloupe… twelve years ago… right before some show with Mariel Hemingway debuted?”

When you decide to end the torment is completely up to you. If you can, I recommend owning up on 1 April 2008 - giving you nearly half a year of joy and a George Clooney-esque level of prankage. If you can’t hold it in that long, I totally understand.

Ebay item found here and post found on the New Shelton.

My 2nd Puberty

Got forwarded the next rendition of the Philip's "Shave Everywhere" campaign and it's a site called "Second Puberty."

It's a nice follow up to the popular viral campaign and it takes us through a series of steps to identify the signs of your second puberty - nose and ear hair, hairy eyebrows - basically not being able to groom yourself.

What I like about the site isn't just the initial video (which is pretty funny) but the way that the brand houses all of their grooming products under one, core campaign idea.

Brands with a number of different products will sometimes attempt to overly segment based on the individual item. Philips has decided to place all it's key grooming products under one brand idea and the site works much better for it.

Check out the 5 Stages of Puberty below for more info:

Thanks to Jason for the link!


Nash's life is amazing - New NBA spot

I enjoy this spot, maybe because he is my favourite basketball player, maybe because I think he is one of the most genuine celebrities/stars in the world....I could go on. Nash is amazing.

The NBA should start a page where people can upload their own 60-second life story along with a tool that takes your copy and automatically converts it to her voice. Another thought would be to have 12 - 16 year old children create their own in a "Where I see my life going" format and reward the best videos with tickets, gear or camps. It could be a great play for inner city youth - the NBA would just have to get them the tools necessary.

Would you be proud of your 60 second spot?



Once again babies prove they have the uncanny ability to sell us pretty much anything.

The Power of Dreams

New spot for Honda from W+K in London.

Honda has done some amazing spots over the last couple of years and have stayed true to their Power of Dreams campaign. A couple of my favorites includes the evolution of an English race car driver, the human sound spot and - of course - the rip-off but classic launch spot of the campaign featuring the core components of a Honda moving in perfect sequence (only took about 600 takes...).

What I like about this new spot is not only that it's on strategy, but also because it takes a complex problem (the creation of a hybrid car) and makes it simple - just another issue to solve in the playground of life.

Honda takes risks with their brand spots but they are calculated. By choosing a strategy and sticking too it - being innovative in everything that they do - their brand is strong and quite healthy.

Nice work, W+K.

Make It Personal - Team in Training

A good friend of ours recently alerted us to a great organization called Team in Training.

Team in Training helps people train for marathons, triathlons, walks, century (100 mile) bike rides and other endurance events. Once you are a part of the organization, they help you train for your event as long as you set a specific fund raising goal (say $15K).

The funds are all donated to Leukemia & Lymphoma Cancer society and since the foundations inception in 1988, Team in Training has helped to raise over $850 million towards the cause.

What I really like about the site is how easy it is for members to create their own page and track their fund raising goals. Our friend, Graham, has his own page here and you can see how well it allows you to donate, see who else is donated and how much is left to reach his goal.

It also allows you to post you own videos (like the one below) and update content whenever you want to let your base know how the training is going.

It's a great group and it's nice to see fund raising organizations take a different spin on it. By enabling people to pursue their own goals (running a marathon) and encouraging them to raise money, the cause becomes much more personal for their support network.

I'm much more likely to support Graham (a friend) than a random mail out or call from the Cancer society.

Good, simple ideas to get the word out (in a cheap way) and enable your support network to spread the message for you.