Saturday Design Disaster?

Wow. What is going on here. I don't know what I should be looking at. I don't want to read anything. When this site loads I want to do one thing; leave as quickly as I arrived.

Hitler responds to the iPad announcement

This is hilarious. I laughed, then laughed some more, then I wondered how Steve Jobs and Apple engineers/product development team feel about it.

I wonder if they are already scrambling internally to launch the next generation of the iPad (this one with wings and a moisture lock chamber) in the summer that supports multi-tasking, flash and other requirements of a good product. (Just as a caveat... I don't support the use of Hitler, or the fact that he is becoming somewhat as a popular spoof, but I was entertained).

Dammit and I was hoping that this product launch was going increase revenue by necessitating 3 builds for every site that consider mobile, standard web and tablet UXD. Shit we could have all been rich!

Does this make you think of the Ad Industry?

It's so true about TV news stories. They are formulaic, highly scripted and structured and easily predictable.

The same formula applies to the majority of advertisements we see today. There are, of course, variations. The 'funny ad'. The 'sad ad'. The 'dramatic ad'. The 'sell you stuff ad'. And, my personal favorite, the 'I want a viral internet video ad'.

Formula's are impossible to get away from at times. Why? Because when you see something that works it makes it easier to justify. "It's just like the Apple Think Different spot" you hear yourself saying to the client. Or, "Burger King did this on Facebook and it won at Cannes". Suddenly your evaluating creative ideas based on other work and that leads you down the slippery slope towards failed campaigns.

The tough part is that most people know the formula's off by heart. We're used to them because everyone does them. If you've got a TV budget and you're a client, chances are your brief starts out by using existing work and Frankensteining it together:

"It should be emotive and inspiring like an Apple spot, but funny and irreverent like Skittles work. If you can figure out a way to combine the two, that would be brilliant!"

Everyone should be aware of ad 'formula's' and existing structures. And everyone should think about how breaking them, changing them and mashing them together can lead to better work.

Anyone can follow a script and existing structure. It's safe. It's easy. It's predictable.

Sadly, though, it's been done before.

Thanks to Adam for the link via FB.


Some formula's just work. Bud Light: Clothing Drive

I don't think anyone can watch this and not think...isn't this just like a fresh take on the swear jar? The answer yes and I fully support that.

I do not see an issue with repeating a successful formula in a new way as long as the formula was yours in the first place.

Enjoy, I laughed my ass off.


Axe: Clean your balls

Watch and comment. I don't know what to say.... I kind of laughed, kind of didn't.... regardless the long pause on the hand motion makes it worth while. Enough said.


This year we want people to touch shit in our stores

So I was in the mood to swear in the title. Yes, but I am also a little bewildered.

Our friendly neighourhood stats pusher eMarketer has released some stats that blow my mind. If these are seriously the focus of, and I quote, "Seniors Marketers Worldwide" the world of marketing and advertising is in for one hell of a shitty ride over the next 5 years.

As the saying goes, "statistics are just numbers looking for an argument", and guess what, they found more than an argument.

Well here are the stats:
Are you kidding me? Senior marketers should be concerned with little things like improving brand their brand, reducing churn, increasing retention, driving acquisition .... or how about they should just be concerned with objectives and strategy. Not "engagement" or "time spent".

These measurements would be like a senior marketer saying this year we want people to touch more things in our store. Or, we want people to spend more time in our retail location, or we want people to test drive more of our cars. All of this is bullshit. Wake up and realize that engagement, time spent, CTR's, etc all mean nothing unless they are connected to an experience, born in a strategy and conceived by an objective.

What concerns me most is that these top priorities and metrics are so 2006 and possibly the worst metrics we could consider. Lets look at a few.

  1. Time spent on site: Unless they are tying time spent to "least time spent" then we as consumers and active online users are in trouble. I want to spend as little time on your site as possible. Let me find what I want within 1, 2 or maybe 3 clicks, get the info I want within 15 seconds, forward it to whoever I need to (boss for approval, client for education, friend for a laugh, girlfriend for brownie points, etc), or share it on my twitter, Facebook, Digg or blog. If it takes me longer to have a satisfying experience I will leave and not return. Time spent matters if it is against something real. If it takes 18 seconds to understand a product benefit, or if it takes 45 seconds to watch a demo video, then measure against the completion of a valuable act not total "time spent".

  2. Unique page views: Give me a break. I no longer enter your site through the homepage. I come to your site because of a link I received from a friend, colleague, trusted blog or other news/info source OR because I found the page through Google/Bing/etc. I only want to look at one page in your site, get the info I need then leave. Unique page views is like saying you want someone to try on as many pieces of clothing as possible in your retail store... and you don't. They tie up inventory, staff, change rooms and leave frustrated. You want them to try on one thing, buy it and leave as soon as possible so they can tell all their friends about their new shirt.

  3. Click through rates: Are we still giving a shit about click through rates? How valuable is a CTR if your bounce rate is 65%, and then the other 35% spend 1 minute clicking through 5 pages trying to find something relevant before they give up and leave. How about you try to measure quality of clicks, or valuable (to both brand & consumer) second clicks? If one banner or media placement has a 1% CTR with a 90% bounce rate and another has a 0.35% CTR with a 10% bounce rate what would you be spending your money on?
If you are a "senior marketer" and you care about this please rethink your career choice.

But before I finish this I need to attack the 6th largest priority. This priority is "viral campaigns". Are you f#*%ing kidding me? There is no such thing! A "viral campaign" is simply creative communications. Develop an experience that I want to share, create a video that is entertaining, make me feel something and I may send it on. You don't create "viral campaigns", you create great advertising that gets shared and then reap the rewards. Their priority should be to create advertising that builds their brand by connecting with consumers through the delivery of a valuable experience. That will get shared....Period.

This is not rocket science but apparently to the respondents of the survey it is all a mystery.

The Honda Effect from W+K

I love beautiful brand messages.