Contrary to my brain, I decided to head to the Toronto iPhone launch this morning to pick myself up a new, 3G 8GB (I know), iPhone.

Doors to the store opened at 8am and after getting a recommendation from someone who lines up for all of these things (Wii, PS3, Dark Knight, etc), I decided to show up just before 5am. When I got there, I counted the number of people in line and figured that I was number 70.

As the hours passed, the line grew to well over 200 people and when the doors opened at 8am, I figured that in about an hour I'd have my new phone. The line started to move as people entered the store but then we noticed something strange - nobody was coming out. 8 people were allowed in at one time but after about 20 people had gone through the line (and left with their iPhones), everything came to a standstill.

The minutes passed and soon enough, it was 11am. At this point I'd missed two morning meetings and had resigned myself to the fact that only 35 people had been signed up and walked out with their iPhones during the entire time the store had been opened. With about 30 people in front of me and no sign of the line moving (at all), my friend and I left vowing to come back on Tuesday when Canada get's their next shipment.

Don't get me wrong - I'm bitter about not writing this from my new phone - however there were some interesting takeaways from the event as a whole:
  • Of the hundreds of people in line, I only saw one woman. Seriously.

  • My guess is that 25% of the first 100 people already had a 1st generation iPhone

  • The media presence was huge - at least 30 reps - including my "linemate" who was a producer for CBC radio

  • 90% of people in line wanted the 16GB

  • There were approximately 120 devices - 40 16gigs, 80 8GB's.

After returing to the office to cries of "Hey, let's see the new phone" and "Wow, I can't believe you went that early," I realized why things had taken so long - Apple's iTunes 7.7 update was down resulting in thousands of devices not being able to be activated.

The problem wasn't limited to Canada either - Gizmodo reported that the shut down had occured on a global scale and carriers - like AT&T - were forced to sell the devices and tell users to activate them at home when Apple corrects the problem.

Here's the thing. This launch hasn't been a secret. We've known for at least 5 weeks about the date and stories have been flowing in daily about the global launch. Couldn't we have forseen this issue?

I don't know. All I do know is that I'm going to have to stare at my Curve for another couple of days. But hey, at least I can make calls on it.

Article with my giant head on CBC
A video of the launch in Toronto
News story about the event
CBC coverage about the plans


The Dangers of Internet Translation

Obviously this company used an online translation program that was unable to translate. The beauty of this mistake is that since the user doesn't have an understanding of English they had no idea they were so wrong...

For more of these beautiful mistakes visit this site.

Found on adrants.


AdJoke's Top 10

We're somewhat obsessed with metrics over here at AdJoke and since our launch in August, we wanted to share our top 10 posts (based on the number of unique hits). Some of them funny, others just well timed, it's a good look at why some people read the blog.
AdJoke's Top 10 Posts:

1. Burger King / Indiana Jones Promotion (May)- for a time, we were the top result on Google after this post. Call it a BK TV error (they launched a heavy TV campaign promoting their online promotion but didn't put the URL on the spot).

2. Gilly Hicks Sells Underwear Naked (January) - it's hard to believe, but people who use the internet like to look at naked people. I know...disgusting. I think the male nerds on Digg helped us get Gilly to #2 all-time.

3. HTC to make the first Android phone (Nov) - Google rumours of their entry into the wireless game have been rampant for the last year - including a full article in the last issue of Wired.

4. Surviellance Camera Screensaver (Nov) - nothing like checking out what's going on around you while you watch your computer screen saver. A big hit among our readers.

5. JC Penny likes Teen Sex (June) - one of our more recent hits (due to the controversy surrounding this spot at Cannes). Nothing like a fake spot to get people talking.

6. PS3's Penis Advertising (May) - TBWA does it again with this gem of a print ad.

7. Mr.T in anything is funny (Dec) - Yes, he is always funny, but when the first lady is sitting on his lap, it adds a new dimension on the hilarious scale.

8. NBA - Where Amazing Happens (Oct) - posted right after the NBA launched their 2008 campiagn. Some good, some bad - sort of like the talent in the NBA.

9. Nike Leave Nothing (Oct) - the combination of football season and this gem from Nike and Michael Mann helped get this spot into our top 10.

10. Old School Ads (Nov) - nothing like a little bit of sexism to drive up our number of hits.

Another Old School Ad

Looks like a dunce cap. The suckers who purchased this product probably wore one of those regularly in grade school.

Common Sense Prevails Again

Media In Canada shared a report with their readers today on what creates the best agency/client working relationship.

The results are shockingly obvious and have me literally laughing at anyone who spent time or money on this. The outcome of the analysis that was based on data from more than 1,400 agency-client relationships and several million individual questions answered through the APRAIS client-agency evaluation system earlier this year is:

"The clients who score highest provide clarity on briefs, approval processes, strategic direction, objectives and direction. Their capabilities are outstanding in terms of experience and professionalism; they exhibit strong knowledge of their business, market and competitors. They value their relationships in terms of trust, respect, cooperation, staff continuity and levels. They are disciplined with timelines, schedules, deadlines and strategic processes. They are supportive of quality in terms of creative output, strategic/media reco's and the best use of agency skills and resources. Finally, they have initiative and are proactive, anticipate needs and consider the needs of others.

Are you as amazed as me. Honestly, if everyone in the business (agency or client) wasn't aware of this they have bigger problems than maintaining a good agency/client relationship.

What a waste of time this report was.

Suicide Prevention

I can't wait to see how angry suicide prevention groups get from this spot. To be honest, I was a bit surprised that Heineken went this far but it is a good insight. That being said, I doubt "Fuck it" and this spot will ever go to air in real-TV life.

Found on AdRants


Canadian Online Spend Announced

Marketing Magazine announced the Canadian digital spend for 2007. Some highlights:
  • Canadian online ad revenues reached over $1.2 billion last year (an increase of 38%)
  • Search continues to represent the biggest part of the pie with revenue $478 million
  • Display ads are number 2 at $432 million (who even looks at them?)
  • Auto spent the largest chunk of their annual budgets (16%) with Financial (11%) and Technology (10%) coming in the top 3
What does this mean? A lot.

Search, for most clients in Canada, is still lagging behind in terms of their overall priorities. How many clients have you worked with who spend the majority of their timing thinking about search vs. campaign creative? Although the spend is getting there, we are still a long way behind the US.

Online spend will continue to grow but instead of pouring dollars into the media, Marketers will demand more from their agencies - especially in terms of campaign optimization and reporting.

To that point, I'll leave you with a quote from a co-worker (in regards to the importance of optimization):

"The campaign you start with should never be the one you end with."

Wow. A Decent Telco Spot.

I know, I know, the Verizon "Can you hear me now?" spots have been played, but I enjoy the direction of this spot. It's hard to be unique in the telco space especially when the plans are essentially the same, device innovations are marginal and the majority of customers hate all service providers.

Still - this spot tries to be a bit different from the norm (even though they fall into the "Can you hear me now?" trap at the end.

HP - Touch

Finally, Minority Report computing is here. Another nicely executed spot from Goodby.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber


BMW - Still Defining Innovation

Remember this wicked BWM spot?

The brand has now gone even further with their Innovation strategy and created a BWM museum in Munich. The museum houses a number of BMW concepts and installations that will blow your mind.

My two favorites - the concept car GINA with a mallable shell and the floating balls. Both videos are posted below and well worth checking out.

Just another example of how a brand can move beyond traditional media. If you promise your consumers something (ie. That you're brand defines the murky territory of innovation), then you have to live into it - not just say it.

Read more about the museum here.

Floating Kinetic Sculpture

GINA Light Vision Model


Fire Your Creative Director

This looks like shitty spec work from an upcoming creative team, but if it's not, let's be sure to think long and hard about giving this team another brief. Ever.

From adrants.

Hoax Tampax Commercial - video powered by Metacafe

Just Watch [Not Ad Related]

The largest wave ever surfed and recorded on video. Amazing. If only someone had sponsored it.

Another Absolut POS

My hatred continues for Absolut.

Creative: "Let's do a low-key viral video. We will get a big star ( love him right now), shoot it in a studio, make it look brutal and create a fake microsite for people to actually get the Kayne tablets.

Client: I love YouTube. Make me a viral video.

Creative: I shall.

Young Account Person: But doesn't something have to become viral...we can't just make it right? It has to be good enough to be passed on.

Account Director: You're fired.

Sellout walks! Found here.

CMO Fact:

"49% of CMOs polled said they intended to put their accounts in review this year."

We work in a service industry. And, based on this AdAge statistic, half our clients aren't very happy with what they're getting.

How Would You Choose an Agency?

Would you put out a comprehensive RFP to a select group of the top 10 agencies you've heard of? An RFP that is so strict, it only reads more like a high school homework assignment than a creative opportunity? With timelines that force agency folk to work for 2 weeks straight just to exceed you're expectations?

Or would you just send over a "trial" brief to see how agencies think and, more importantly, what they create?

In an article from AdAge today, author Avi Dan provides marketers a list of things to think about during the agency selection process. A couple of tips that resonated:
  • Determine the agencies turnover rate - especially among young people; what is the culture like? Are AC's and AE's staying or are they making the jump minutes after they've been promoted?
  • A Cast of Thousands cannot make a good decision - selecting an agency shouldn't be by committee (should anything be?). Gather the CMO and a few key people and make the choice.
  • Don't select an agency based on reputation - sure they did a few hot ads this year, but how many clients have they won in the last 5? More importantly, how many did they lose?
Whatever you do, be smart about the decision. Shifting agencies (now common after 3 years) can result in huge amounts of downtime as your new team gets ramped up, takes the time to understand your business and brand challenges. On the other hand, it might be nice to try something new - especially if the creative product is lacking.