The Procrastination Chart - Where are you right now?

Ahhh procrastination. Nothing quite like it to make a day pass by. What are you not doing right now? Doesn't it feel good.Enjoy.

Or if you want to make something happen and quit procrastinating, read this.

From Project Sidewalk

eHarmony Ideas [Seriously]

Don't ask me why, but I've been thinking a bit about eHarmony lately. It could be the relentless TV campaign of people who have finally found one another or a shout out to Super Crunchers but the system that eHarmony uses seems like it could have benefits across multiple industries.

Consider it for a moment. The founder of the site, Dr. Neil Warren, studied couples who had been married for years and were happy with their partner. He developed a system of key relationship attributes (individuals backgrounds, interests, location, family, religion, personality traits, etc) and created a system to link people based on deep, similar traits. His method might not be proven, but based on the stats from eHarmony, he's matched a ton of couples who are happy and now do a ton of testimonials for the site.

For all accounts, the idea that successful relationships can be mapped against an algorithm is an interesting one. That we can just figure out what the formula for a successful relationship is and apply it to two people who have never met. Two minutes and we'll tell you the rest of your life.

OK. Maybe their are some flaws. I'm sure the process doesn't work every time and that people on eHarmony don't always meet their soul mate after they've paid to contact their "matches". But still - a lot of people believe that this works. And for some it has.

My question is, why don't algorithms like eHarmony's exist for other categories?

Take job finding sites like Monster, Career Builder or TalentEgg (run by a friend of mine). Right now, the big ones allow you to post your resumes and search a deep data base of all the jobs that have been posted by corporations. Once you find a few that you're interested in, you just apply right there and hope for an interview.

Couldn't we do a bit better than that? When Seth Godin is writing about how important your job is, someone has to listen, right? Why don't we look at people who are happy with their companies and find out the key attributes that make for a successful employee-company relationship? That way, when I search for a job I'm interested in on one of these sites, I not only know the basics, I know whether I'll be a good fit or not - for the long term.

What about if we translated this into real life and created bars that guaranteed a similar demographic of person? For example, what if you knew that when you went out you were going to a place where everyone shared the same interests, had the same tastes and was compatible? It would make talking to strangers a hell of a lot easier.

That being said, it might get a bit bland as well.

All in all, the idea of an system to guarantee at match (whether it be relationship, job, charity, etc) by comparing key insights and information is interesting. Where else do you think something like this could work?

The Only Place I Want to See an Ad

It's not on television. Not right before a movie. Not in the car listening to the radio during a "Top 100 Rock songs of 1995" break. Not in a newspaper or magazine. Not on the subway or street car. Not on the back of my favorite football team. Not on my Xbox and certainly not on my iPhone. Not on Facebook, LinkedIn or on some of the blogs I read. And certainly not on Adjoke.

So where is the one place I like seeing ads?

At the top of my search results on Google, Yahoo or MSN. Why? Because when I search I'm looking for something. Quite a revelation isn't it? I'm looking for the best place to find out more about the topic I'm interested in, product I'm considering purchasing or question I want to have answered. And an ad works perfectly there - as long as it answers my question.

When I'm on Facebook, creeping on people's photo's, I don't want to click on an ad for "Plastic Surgery in Toronto" or learn more about some random, local real estate agent who has decided to spend $50 on Facebook's pay-per-click ads. I want to talk to my friends, see what's going on in the lives of the people I care about and forget about what I'm going to buy next.

Same goes for on TV and in the movies. I don't want to watch ads for a product, I want to get right to the content I paid to see.

Now, I do understand that changes - such as the emergence of pre-roll video ads on YouTube and other free video sites - help to keep costs free for the user. And I don't think that many people mind watching a 15 second execution prior to the video that their friend forwarded to them.

But I do think that marketers need to be smarter about ad serving - across their entire media plan. They need to recognize that just because the media company is counting an ad on a page as an "impression served" doesn't mean that anyone actually viewed it (but the marketer still paid for it).

Pay-per-click isn't perfect but at least it gives the buyer a result. I've paid for you to go to my site and hopefully it's design, simplicity and creative will make you think about buying my product.

Marketers - especially American ones - are investing more in search. A quick look at AdAges 2007 Search Stat package helps to show that investment in Search is well over 10 billion in the US and growing quickly. Marketers are making sure that anywhere from 30-50% of their digital ad budgets are being invested into paid / organic search results.

That being said, there are a ton of brands (big ones) who just don't get it. And they're falling behind when it comes to being at the top of the results page.

My main point? I don't want to see ads. But I do want to find answers. And if your brand gives me the fastest answer to the question I have, I'll buy it.

Canada Post to use Second Life as a way to sell DM

Canada Post recently launched Bright Idea Lab, a virtual agency headquartered in the online community of Second Life, where over 380,000 Canadians are registered.

"The Bright Idea Lab is a business incubator designed to educate Second Life business owners about direct marketing and offer them free tools to make their businesses more successful," says Stephanie Bullock, director of segment management, direct marketing at Canada Post.

To that end, Canada Post will hold round tables for entrepreneurs in the real world, as well as those on Second Life, at the conference centre in the virtual agency.

Bullock says topics gleaned from Second Life consumers may find their way to the Canada Post website. And while Canada Post's virtual foray is trying to help Second Life entrepreneurs build businesses in that world, she adds, it will also educate business owners in the real world on direct marketing. All the content that is on Second Life is available on Canada Post's website, and the Bright Idea Lab is also a venue for real-life business owners to learn about Canada Post tools such as Direct Marketing Online, which helps create, deliver and track a marketing campaign direct from your desktop.

Why predicting the future is pointless

This cartoon that Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void shared on Twitter this morning was printed in an issue of Popular Mechanics in 1950. Now Popular Mechanics is and I am sure was back then, a fairly well-respected magazine. In the 50 years between when this was created and the year 2000 actually began the world saw a lot of changes and innovation, but I will argue that between now and say 2058 we will see a rate of innovation 3 or 4 times that of the previous 50.

So what am I saying? Well if we were this far off predicting the future 50 years ago when innovation was moving at a slower pace, what is the point in trying today.

I would also like to point out a few humourous observations from the above cartoon.
  1. They never thought that over the next 50 years the role of women might change or their attire.
  2. The ashtray on the table. Come-on if you are predicting waterproof houses why not predict ash less cigarettes?
  3. Isn't that giant drain a little bit of a hazard?


Microsoft Video - The Ultimate Takedown

I was the 177th person to watch it. Lets sit back and see if this takes guess is no.

At the end of the video they promote a site where students can buy Microsoft Office for 91% off.

Ohh and to connect the site to the video they have a mugshot of the kid that gets taken down saying he has been spotted offering the Microsoft Office Ultimate package on campuses for 91% off.


Found on twitter via MorganCoudray.

Check out his blog. Only 15 days old but some good posts already.

Did I just enjoy a Midas TV spot?

The first time I saw this spot on TV I laughed then thought to myself, "Wow, did I really just enjoy watching a Midas TV spot?". Nothing spectacular, but I think every Canadian will get a little chuckle of it.

Thank you to Jane Sample for posting this to YouTube and her blog.

WTF of the week - Broccoli faces

Do you see the faces in the packaging above? Some designer was having fun that day. It kind of reminds me of the whole Ikea Dog penis story.

Here are the scary broccoli faces.
Found on the Consumerists.

The Next 7 Posts

I’ve been thinking a ton about Adjoke lately and had a great discussion with some colleagues last night about how to enhance the quality of the content. We’ve posted a lot; from cool ads to brutal ones, digital trends to viral videos, industry gossip to agency news – the works.

I think that where I’d like to improve is more in the opinion category. Some of my favorite posts have come when PC / myself have provided a perspective on the space and a number of users have commented / debated those thoughts. It’s nice to see a core group of readers who want to engage on some of our ideas and talk about how they could use them for some of their own clients.

What does this mean? Well in the short-term (for my next 7 posts), I’m only going to post opinion pieces related specifically to digital. PC and I have had a done of debates lately on the space and I think we can carry them onto the blog to create some good content.

In the long term, I’ll still be posting about whatever I think is cool but am going to try to ensure that I’ve got a balance of “cool ads” and opinions.

Essentially, I think that the best blogs create unique content that comments on the stories / articles in the industry and puts their own spin on them. They are also focused and create their own niche ideas / readers. Hopefully, people are interested in our perspective and Adjoke keeps on rolling.

Thanks to the group last night who gave me some good thoughts about the blog (specifically YBread) and hope you keep commenting in the near future!


The Agency Eco-system

From L+E Flickr

Anatomy of the new creative mind

From L+E flickr

Takeout Sushi? Really?

How hard is it to position Sushi that's delivered to you? Think about it. It's not hard to find a decent Sushi restauarant (at least if your in an urban centre). Service is quick and it's pretty cheap so why would you even consider ordering?

Sure, you might be pressed for time but you could just grab a pick up order from your local place and go from there.

That's where Gin No Sara comes in:

Hilarious spot and great idea. I love how many direct TV spots use the comparrison method when any good consumer knows that they are complete crap. Nice to see a brand make fun of it...

Who knows if it will actually work and sell Sushi but if you want to quickly raise awareness for a brand than this is a fun way to do it!

Honda Does it Again...

Trolling through AdAge's Creativity top spots of the week, I came across this one from Honda.

It's hard to tell one car ad from another these days. They've always got to have shots of the cars moving on an open road, a slick interior, maybe an over-the-top test of strength (think any truck ad ever made) or the simple shot of a car skidding across the desert with a huge cloud of sand behind it.

Whatever the case may be, when a car brand goes outside the norm I remember it.

Honda has continually broken from the car-ad mold and although this spot contains remnants of it, I like the thought about what goes into making a Honda.


The Six Groups of Social Media Behaviour

The book Groundswell by Bernoff and Li has been mentioned by Ty a couple of times on the blog. If you have read the book you will recognize this image:

Essentially it breaks consumers into six groups based on how they participate online. Well how does our population of consumers rank?

A lot of people are questioning the methodology of Forrester's data collection on this one, and I agree. There are previous studies showing that as many as 89% of Canadians have watched an online video in the last 12 months, completely throwing this 43% spectators percentage out the window.

Regardless I like the idea behing the ladder. It is a great way to filter your social media ideas. Who are your customers? Where on the ladder are they? Now make sure that your ideas, apps, tools, sites...whatever the hell you build makes sense. Don't expect them to create a video when all they do is watch them.

Charts found through Brad Mays twitter feed. See the full tweet here.

Guinness Proves it can spend money...again.

Watch Guinness spend more money here.

Simple & makes me want to read the copy.

Harley Davidson introduces the V-Rod Muscle

Harley-Davidson Inc. has hired supermodel Marisa Miller to promote the V-Rod Muscle, a motorcycle aimed at a younger, hipper demographic than Harley’s traditional customer base.

The V-Rod Muscle is a sporty, sleek bike introduced this year. It has a long, low profile inspired by drag racing and an engine that was co-developed with Porsche, the German sports car maker.


Well Played Apple

A nice response to the new, $300 million dollar "I'm A PC" campaign. It was only a matter of time.

The Spectrum of Conversation [and listening].

Sometimes I see these sort of visuals and love them. Other times I hate them. This one I am undecided.

What I like is that it is a great visual for displaying all of the different ways you can engage in online conversation. Become a real web 2.0 evangelist [how disgusting was that sentence].

What I don't like is that they break online conversation into parts. When you do that it doesn't work. To truly deliver upon the "art of conversation" online you need to be involved in quite a few of these. For brands to be taken seriously in this environment they need to live it.

You can't just put up a blog using a platform, then not allow people to spread the word, participate in the conversation and create on their own terms. Those brands will fail, get scared and never return to the world of social media, web 2.0 or whatever you want to call it. I call it the way I choose to engage the internet so that it enriches my life and experiences.

Quotes From Tribes

I follow David Armano [and so should you] on Twitter and he has been posting his favourite quotes from Set Godin's book Tribes. If you read AdJoke regularly you will know we love a good quote and you know we appreciate Seth Godin's contribution to common-sense marketing and advertising.

Here are are my favourites from David Armano's tweets:

"Leaders make a ruckus" - Tribes

"defending mediocrity is exhausting" -Tribes

"The best idea doesn't win. the idea with the most fearless heretic behind it wins" -Tribes

"In every organization, everyone rises to the level at which they become paralyzed by fear" -Tribes


More Interesting Snippets

See the full collection here. I think I have shared most of them on AdJoke, but definitely look through the site.

Great Stuff

I was stumbling tonight and came across a great site with a post about 39 sweet print executions. Check out my favorite three below. A common theme among them? They're simple. Sweet art direction and straightforward ideas.

The influence of the internet

How will brands change to accommodate this new consumer? One who wants to be heard, expects to be heard and will not get involved with your brand unless they have a chance to be involved in the conversation. Ohh, and have fun HR.

Agencies - Then and Now

Remember the good old days of advertising? The ones that are shown on Mad Men?

I don't. I'm 25 and have no idea what it was like. But I've heard stories. Lot's of them and they usually have some consistent themes:

- Creatives ran the world (and the agencies). Account management was ensuring that your team showed up at a scheduled meeting.
- Budgets were not an issue; you could propose a wacky brand idea, fly around the world to shoot it and return with more party stories than you could imagine (and a decent spot).
- Time wasn't a problem. Deadlines existed, sure, but you had 4-6 months to create a campaign, approve it and push it live. And with only 3 major TV stations and a few papers, execution was pretty frigging simple.
- There was only one ROI metric that mattered - sales. If things were good, relationships were great. There was no research, no "key message takeaway" studies and certainly no focus groups.

What's changed? A lot.

- Budget and time are a big issues no matter which client you work with (typically the standard combination - more executions in less time for less money)
- Creatives are still vital but are now part of the total system - along with strategic planning, production, digital strategy and technology
- Clients expect less flash and more results. Less talk and more sales. They expect agencies to prove it.
- Marketing budgets are more focused to very specific objectives - not "brand building"
- We can no longer look at what worked 10 years ago and fit it to our brand.

Agencies can't cheat as well as they used to. Digital strategies are emerging everyday and if something worked 6 months ago, it might not work tomorrow. Agencies have to be able to adapt and feel comfortable creating campaigns that have never been done. They also have to manage the millions of conversations that are happening about their brands.

Things are different. But I think that in the next 10 years the agency model will be stripped and rebuilt. You'll either be a strategic shop or a production one. The best - of either model - will still make good money. But the average ones that are just getting by won't be around for long.

Ad Quote of the week

The market for something to believe in is infinite.

~Hugh Elliot

Stop Smoking Already

When I came across these ads I thought, "Its been a while since I saw any stop smoking ads that weren't for Nicorette".

The New Pepsi. Will it change anything?

Well Pepsi felt the need for a shake-up. So they have a new logo (see to the right) and $1.2 billion later; a complete packaging, merchandising and marketing overhaul of its soft drinks -- and a reduced reliance on BBDO, the shop that put it on the map nearly 50 years ago.

In trying to rebuild North American carbonated-soft-drink volume that dropped 3%, PepsiCo Chairman-CEO Indra Nooyi said the company will embark on a sweeping revamp of "every aspect of the brand proposition for our key [carbonated-soft-drink] brands: how they look, how they're packaged, how they will be merchandised on the shelves and how they connect with consumers." Leading the push is Dave Burwick, recently tapped as CMO for beverage brands.

Good luck Mr. Burwick. You'll need it.

The Links

- Even video games aren't safe from the failing US economy
- The Obama campaign breaks another record for fund raising in September. With hundreds of millions to spend and growing support, things are looking good for Obama fans.
- The next TED conference? Or just another unworthy competitor.
- Economy troubles? Google doesn't think so. They think it's perfect timing.
- Marketer of the year? Yup, it's Obama.
- Are there any agencies out there that actually use the digital tools they talk about? Banner blog is trying to find out.
- Always find yourself making checklists? Here's a new social site that helps you make your own.
- Facebook is now the number one photo site on the web with over 10 billion photos.
- Ever wanted to create your own digital business card? The one place with all of your social networks, blogs and feeds? Now you can.
- Want to know how to make a better presentation? Godin gives you 9 simple tips.

The best Obama UCG - MC YOGI

Out of the 150 trillion user generated videos created for the Obama campaign this one is my favourite. Why? The production quality is incredible and I believe this is the type of content that could make a difference.

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

I promise this will be my last post on the US Election until the election is over.

Nothing like a couple of fake movie posters to help raise awareness about the Presidential candidates. It's amazing how some simple facts about the candidates (John McCain is old, Obama being new) can be used to create the main stories about their individual brands.


Props to PC for converting our annoyingly long URL to something simple.

It wasn't a complicated task...but it makes a huge difference.

Here's to simplicity.

Convert YouTube videos

Check it out.