Why am I not absolutley pumped and engaged in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics?

The Winter Olympics are coming to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2010. I imagine that most of us are aware of this fact but outside of some OK, some good and mostly shit TV spots I am not being engaged by the games.

The winter Olympics is a chance for not just Vancouver but all of Canada to be in the spotlight for the rest of the world. Every airport, hotel chain, car rental service, restaurant and Canadian has a chance to show the world how great our country can be. For those of you who are not Canadian I will use an analogy to tell you how I feel about our Countries current attitude.

I feel like we are a guy who a few years ago proposed. We got really excited, put countless hours into picking the ring, planning the proposal, writing the speech, re-writing the speech, then after 8 ounces of scotch got the nerve up to ask her father that we were sure would say no. To our relief and excitement he said yes, then a few days later so did she.

For months it was all we talked about, showing off the ring, saying the word "fiance" until our single friends got sick and then we started planning the wedding. By we I mean we approved the location and then left it to our future bride and her bridesmaid. Currently we are waiting for an invitation to find out when it is happening and what, if anything we need to do.

In 1988 I was lucky enough to carry to the Olympic torch for a feet as my Mom was carrying it for a Kilometre or two and I have always loved the Winter Olympics more than any other sporting event on a world stage.

About 8 Months from now we will be welcoming the wolrd. Our Atheletes will be challenging the world and all I know is Coke is giving me a chance to carry the flame.

Here are 5 ideas for VANOC to run with:

  1. In the spirit of IdeaStorm challenge Canadians to share ideas about how they think we should share our Canadian Spirit with the world. Ways Canadians think we can make the 2010 games unique.

  2. Crowdsource a Canadian visitors handbook. Have Canadians share their favourite Canadian traditions, meals visitors must try, places they must visit and historical facts and figures that have shaped Canada. Let all of Canada decide what we want the world to know about us.

  3. User-generated tours of Canada and Vancouver. Create a website where Canadians can upload videos where they showcase their town, city or neighbourhood. International travelers may want to extend their stay and see more of Canada. I love the Vancouver Islands, Whistler, Banff and Jasper as much as the next person but there are other cities and places that world may want to know about. Think Drumheller, Kananaskis, Niagara Falls...all of PEI, etc. Let the world get a real understanding of where else they can go while they are in our Country.

  4. Podcast tours of Vancouver. Have users create and upload Podcast tours of Yaletown, Gastown, Granville, Kitsalano and all of the pockets of Vancouver. Let them be beer tours, art tours, architectural tours, etc created by actual residents of Vancouver for free. Proved a map and directions so they can listen as the travel the town.

  5. Thank the world. Our economy (fingers crossed) will get a kick-start, Vancouver will benefit from improved infrastructure and facilities and our nation will have had a chance to showcase the best of our country. In standard Canadian style lets say Thank you bigger, better and more heartfelt than any nation has thanked the world after hosting the games before. Where can unsold t-shirts go (Darfur, Somalia, etc)? Who can use our extra winter jackets and pants, toques and gloves? How can we collect money to help the countries of our world in need? AND most importantly lets ask all of Canada, the visiting athletes and visiting tourists to help us decided where we should direct this help. Lets make the games about more the Vancouver, more than Canada and more than sports. Lets make them about spirit, about a world coming together to showcase sportmanship, friendship and excellence.
Please add your thoughts in the comments section below and for the love of God Vanoc let me get involved.

Microsoft, it's Everybody's Business is Good.

I have meant to talk about these ads for a while because I really like them. I enjoy them on a number of levels and I think that this campaign does what I think all ads do. Build a brand while communicating a message.

Why do I like these ads:

  1. Featured companies. The companies choosen are a great selection of loved brands (Coca Cola, Nestle) and some more unique challenger brands such as Method, Quiksilver, and WestJet. Delivering a Microsoft message to the beat of a surfing CEO is not how the world perceives Microsoft. In my eyes these brands associations help to make the Microsoft brand a little more current and cool to a 14 - 18 year old, while delivering what is essentially a B2B message.

  2. The visual style. Obviously inspired from the "I met the Walrus" interview video created by Josh Raskin and illustrator James Braithwaite this is not the look and feel one would expect from Microsoft. The visual narrative of the spots helps to effectively deliver the message, while making the spots "cool" and "hip". I also find I focus a lot more on the audio as I listen to see how the visually connect the art direction to the audio.

  3. Talking about ideas, culture and making a difference. Microsoft used to be about powering the machine. These spots flip it so that it looks and sounds like Microsoft's technology and products don't just help the man eliminate jobs, increase reliance on technology but that their technology brings ideas to life, inspires, facilitates collaboration and are a friend to the creative class. Nice.


Onward by Nike

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.

Big thanks to Ricky for this link. Hadn't seen this short before but it's really nice. Love it when brands think outside the product box and create content that is brand-focused (and different).


Great Camera + Amazing Parkour = Good Ad

I'm surprised the video below didn't get more press in Canada. Created for XBOX by the creative director and co-founder of AKQA, this spot uses 1,000 FPS camera's to capture Parkour in it's truest way. The shots are amazing, the talent is crazy (considering the buildings and ledges that they are going off) and the VO is sick.

Have you heard? Twitter is here!!!!!

In case you haven't noticed, the only website being talked about in the world right now is Twitter. When Oprah and Larry King are talking about how to subcribe to their Tweets, you know that the site has gone mainstream. We've been having a number of discussions about the site and although I think it's here to stay, many people have mixed feelings about it.

What seems to be the largest barrier is understanding why people would even use the service. I've heard, from a number of people, that they simply don't care about hearing what people are doing 'right now'. ("I just ate a Big Mac!" or "I feel tired. Should I go to sleep?"). While I agree that the little mundane facts about our lives aren't really for mass consumption, Twitter does have it's advantages.

For starters, it gives you access to people who are not your friends. You can follow celebs, athletes, journalists and politicians to track their every move. You can send them direct messages (not that they'll respond) and feel like they could be your friends. You can't get that type of access on Facebook.

Secondly, Twitter does a great job at connecting people who have like minded interests. For example, there are a number of marketers and advertisers who use the service and it's easy to follow them and see what campaigns are getting a lot of press and what people are currently discussing in the space. LinkedIn and Facebook don't offer this type of opportunity. LinkedIn let's me build my personal network of contacts but I don't really use it to have discussions with people. Facebook is for my friends - the people I've actually met.

One of the best lines I've heard about Facebook and Twitter is this:

"Facebook is the place you go to connect with people you know. Twitter is the place you go to connect with people you wish you knew."

Whether you Tweet or not, you can't deny the ridiculous amount of coverage the site has been getting (see video below, thanks Bud!). I'm looking forward to checking back in about a year to see how things are going.

You can follow me here (if you want to learn about my mundane life).


Honda Shine's with Vimeo

We recently did a post about the new Honda 'Let it Shine' spot. It was another great TV spot from W+K. But what about the integrated campaign? Better yet, how could Honda take this idea and spread it online in meaningful way?

Cue a great media partnership with Vimeo. Honda has created a fantastic page takeover that keeps the spot intact and enhances it in a way that only digital can.

Remember when Nintendo partnered with YouTube for a great page takeover? It was good but I think that this is even better. The media company clearly played a large role in making this happen and I'm impressed that Vimeo was willing to do this. I wonder what the costs were...

How could you make your TV spot shine online?

Via Adverblog.


Armano on the Future...

David Armano posted a new presentation he's giving on the future of advertising tomorrow. As per usual, the design is great - enticing slides combined with excellent examples and ideas.

Although we've heard a lot of these ideas before (traditional model is dying, old CEO's aren't changing enough with the times, departments are isolated and the entire agency process is too production focused), it's always good to see a reminder of what other people are saying. Check it out.