Bill Gates in 1996

I just came across this quote from the Microsoft man himself. It's amazing to see the amount of foresight this man had into the future (even though banner CTR isn't exactly stellar in this day in age). And also amazing how many people still don't understand the true value of the digital space.

"Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet.... I expect societies will see intense competition-and ample failure as well as success-in all categories of popular content-not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests....

...If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video...

...For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn't working yet, and it may not for some time.... In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information.

A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so.... will liberate publishers to charge small amounts of money, in the hope of attracting wide audiences.


Peer Into a Soul

Full disclosure before this post. This campaign came from my agency and I work with a ton of the great people who helped put it all together. It's been getting a lot of attention in Canada (and around the world) and we couldn't help but post about it. So here it goes.

Recently, Kia launched a series of TV spots and a tease microsite to promote the launch of their new car - the Soul. The spots get your attention immediately. Here's the 60 (there are 3 in total, edited into 15's, 30's and this 60):

My favorite:

And the third:

Pretty good stuff. In the first phase of the campaign, a series of short spots were launched that were just a tease of the main character(s) looking peering into the cars. All the spots ended with was the URL:

On the microsite, users could explore images of the new car and register to be the first to learn more about it (and see the spots before anyone else had).

A number of blogs are picking up the campaign and I suspect that as the TV spots begin to hit airwaves harder, traffic to the site is going to increase dramatically.

What I love about this campaign is that it shows how digital thinking can amplify a traditional tease campaign. As Marketing magazine reported, people watch TV with their laptops. If something peaks their interest, they search it or type in the URL - immediately. Campaigns that know that and can work off that insight will win and be remembered. I suspect Kia will be one of them.

Nice work team.

How To: Create Better Presentations (Part 2)

Found a great post on the Fallon blog tonight called "How to present like Steve Jobs." They provided a link to the video below and the tutorial is great - from slide creation to speaking style, it's worthwhile for anyone to watch who is doing presentations constantly.

The best point? Reherse, reherse, reherse. Don't wing it. You're not good enough.


How to Present Better [Wired]

I've been reading a few books lately on how to create and develop better presentations. One of the best (from a practical, slide-layout perspective) is Presentation Zen. It's a guide that helps you think differently about the power of the slide and the type of story that you are trying to tell. The main message that I've gathered from it so far? Slides support you, they are not there for you to read from.

I'm sick of slides with 100 words on them in 10 point font. It's visual time, baby. And notes.

To that end, I've also been doing a quick search for various presentation posts / blogs to help give me ideas on style, comfort and public speaking. I've copied a great post from Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing) that Wired did in 2008. Some great thoughts:

1. Don't read a speech. Write out bullet points on index cards and practice elaborating extemporaneously on each one. Focus on the transitions. Be sure to number your cards in case you drop them.

2. Videotape yourself practicing the presentation. Note awkward body language, stilted movements, and annoying verbal tics. OK. Now stop doing that.

3. Don't read from PowerPoint slides like they're cue cards. If you must use them, keep the text short (two words and a picture).

4. Don't use the conference's Net connection for your demo. It's embarrassing to stand on stage whining, "Everyone please stop using the Net!" Turn your demo into screenshots or bring an EVDO card for your own high-speed connection.

5. Don't rely on the event's A/V setup, either. To play an audio clip, try holding your mike up to your laptop's speaker.

6. Use your Q&A time wisely. Field the big-picture queries while you're onstage and deal with the minutiae offline.

Some fantastic thoughts. I'm sure most people would hate video taping themselves and watching it. But that's the only way to see what everyone else is looking at. I remember doing this in some communications training a few years ago. It was humbling but very effective (and it made me see that crossing your hands while standing up is extremely weird...). Any good tips to share?

Nice Work, Heineken

PJC posted a spot a few days ago for Heineken's new global campaign - featuring a male's dream walk-in closet full of cold Heineken's.

Advergirl recently posted a follow up that a couple of guys (most likely with the help of a good ad agency), just made. Call it, the ultimate follow up to the global launch spot:

What do you think?


Account Service Tip

While reading "The Art of Client Service" by Robert Solomon, I came across a great tip (#19):

"I didn't understand my job was to improve the work not approve it."

Suits exist to help sell creative work and be the client voice within the agency. Don't ever forget that your role is to help create the best work in the world - not tear it apart.

The trailer I never watched

After what feels like a lifetime I finally saw the move Slumdog Millionaire. The trailer that is currently the second most viewed ad on YouTube in the past 30 days with 999 post (I will be 1000 if I am quick enough) and around 3.2 Million views was sent to me about 10 times and I refused to watch it. Why? Because trailers spoil movies.

After seeing the movie I watched the trailer and I am completely happy with my decision. This trailer would have ruined the movie.

Trailers should pique interest, allow movie-goers to understand a premise, the style of a movie (horror, drama, porn, etc) and identify if favourite or hated actors are in the movie. Too many trailers these days turn the entire movie into a 60 second long version.

Movie trailer industry please quit doing this. Ok thats my advertising rant for the week.