Friday, November 17, 2006

Finally some spontaneous undergraduate fervour for new media

In the two years since I started delivering Cybermarketing courses students remain unimpressed in general by the possibilities of the Internet and Connected Communities. This is inspite of the growth of Myspace and Bebo
Finally I have met a student at an undergraduate level who is enthused by the opportunity presented by new media. Here's her blog.
Perhaps the movement towards the adoption of new media at all levels is now gaining momentum.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Speaking Engagements 1 - Crowded House

I’ll send a viral quiz from Virgin music that has the title of this blog as an answer on Monday, but first some thoughts on a speaking engagement from Wednesday.

Four members of the VBMA ( delivered a panel session to a crowded room at the Internet World Conference ( in Earls Court on Wednesday 10th May.


The main themes were the need to integrate the new tools and technologies that can deliver viral marketing and that these initiatives must be integrated into the overall campaigns.


Questions came from the floor and these questions frequently considered viral to consist of bad taste jokes with scantily clad models.  This is an element of viral, but it’s much broader and can relate to niche groups.  As Justin Kirby (a panel member and MD of DMC responded for mass brands that technique can work but for the majority of organisations viral tools and techniques and connected marketing offer a considerable opportunity to reach target markets in a relevant and effective manner.


The other speakers were Russell Goldsmith ( ) who delivered a fascinating piece on webcasting using Nintendo as an example and Andy Whittaker ( who discussed big name FMCG examples where viral was integrated into the direct marketing campaign.


The session had attendees standing in the aisles and the interest and hence opportunity for organisations in this area was very evident.



Thursday, March 16, 2006

It might be a parody but it is distinctive.

This picture links to google video and will play a film allegedly created by Microsoft as a parody of the branding used by Microsoft. I picked up the story via Adrants The folks at Adrants were slightly critical of Microsoft in the piece. I wonder whether this was justified?
Yes, of course Microsoft's branding is not as aesthetically pleasing (if at all) but it is Microsoft's. The clarity of format, style and even the "mandatories" allow the Microsoft products to be clearly identified on the shelf. Buying decisions are made easier by brands and the heritage and associations of the Microsoft name are well known. In many product choices I am sure Microsoft is the salient brand and parody as this might be, beauty is not a requirement for effectiveness.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Threat to National Decency

A call from a reporter returned my attention to this Australian Tourist Board advertisement.
This advertisement was not cleared by the Broadcast Clearance Centre
Blooming heck the word "bloody" was considered too strong for television. I believe that there are standards of behaviour, but this antiquated censorship of a term used as an intensive rather than anything more malicious is plainly ridiculous. Why? Every weekend the Sunday papers contain ruder and more vulgar language but nobody censors the material, and the programme makers would often consider the term quite demure in comparison with the more extreme dialogue regularly used.
Rather a coup for the Australian Tourist Board who will get a much greater bang for their buck with the coverage this will receive in my view.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Best for a while Frog vs. Fly

I subscribe to an email newsletter from Eatmail and sometimes the virals are good, sometimes bad and sometimes downright ugly. This week I received one for VW cars that was in the good category. A well-produced clip that reinforces the brand values of the car brand. I guess some animal lovers might complain but it's not getting close to the Lee & Dan inspired creative from a previous year in terms of shock value.
I guess a Frog's favourite car might be a Beetle

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

His and hers dressing gowns

This parody for Amnesty International was sent via on Friday. It is fabulous parody of shopping television. The tone of voice and the script used by the presenters is spot on in my opinion, that makes me sound like an expert about shopping channels, so I might edit it later!

On a more serious note the difference between the effect caused by such a light-hearted portrayal and a vivid and more violent portrayal of the effects of the arms trade is open to debate. On one hand there is an argument that viewers are " de-sensitised" and not affected by the violent work on the other the argument that the vivid produces results e.g. Barnardo's.
It might be unpleasant but my vote goes to the nastier and darker portrayals, I suspect that across the board whether for drink, drugs or guns these campaigns produce better results.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Agent Provocateur Make Further Use of Viral

Even the PR gurus are using viral techniques to spread the word in a "new" media age where connected marketing is growing.
Yesterday I was sent the following press release and link for the new "teaser" (no irony intended) for Agent Provocateur.


I found your blog earlier and thought of something that might interest
you ..... You may have seen some news around the latest viral campaign
from Agent Provocateur. The company has picked Real as its technology
partner for building and hosting the microsite, around which the
seductive campaign is based. The trailer for an exclusive eight-minute
movie, directed by Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) goes live today.

If you have any questions, or would like further information, please let
me know.



This was accompanied by the following press release.

Agent Provocateur picks Real for new movie-based online campaign

Luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has chosen RealNetworks to
design and host a co-created microsite as part of it's latest online
campaign entitled 'Tied up at the Office'. The campaign centres on a
tantalising eight minute film directed by Mike Figgis (Leaving Las
Vegas, Cold Creek Manor) which promises to seduce the viewer.

The 'Tied up at the Office' trailer is available from today at with exclusive coverage
appearing across many of the international RealGuides, Real's broadband
entertainment portal. Visitors to the site can register to receive an
invitation to view the full-length film which premieres online on 9th

Piers Heaton-Armstrong, European Marketing Director, Real commented,
"Agent Provocateur is a stunning brand to work with. As one of fashion's
leading labels, they have really embraced the digital realm and have had
great success with viral marketing. We are excited to have the RealGuide
and RealPlayer associated with the world famous, stylish brand that is
Agent Provocateur."

I have asked the PR at Axicom to answer some specific questions to build my research information relating to the campaign and others organised by Real. I wonder whether or not the new media battle is gradually gaining ground on the traditional media - perhaps Agent Provocateur would have used Cinema? Is the cost advantage worth the lack of specific knowledge about the reach, frequency, weight and continuity of a media plan? Is it really a database builder in disguise. If it's a bit off both then interactivity in advertising is certainly apparent.

I guess one of the key considerations for all will be when will the tipping point be reached? When the TV channels get totally interactive or when broadband speeds up or perhaps when a total merge of hardware occurs across the audience?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Honda - Yes Again - Choir

Yet again I find myself praising a Honda advertisement. The new advertisement for the Honda Civic using the choir is another creative and emotionally stimulating piece of work from Wieden + Kennedy for Honda.

You can watch the advertisement through the Honda website just click the image below.
This very stimulating advertisement will be supported with a media budget of £3.2 million according to the Media Guardian

Honda are definitely creating some original and interesting work.

The end for TV?

In this blog I often contradict the naysayers who argue that TV advertising is in decline for reasons related to media consumption are exaggerated. This article in The Guardian does indicate that Internet budgets are increasing but still only 4% of the total budget thus supporting my view that the naysayers are premature in their rhetoric - however the article confirms something more concerning.

It confirms that when times are tough companies are slashing advertising budgets. It might look better when publishing the P&L and Balance Sheet at the year end, but surely advertising and marketing spend is an investment in the future of the brand/organisation, it is not a minor expense like coffee for meetings.

These organisations need to get some coffee for the meetings and start smelling it!

Who will tell the customers about your brands if you do not? We might not understand precisely how advertising works, but one thing is for sure it does.