Friday, July 04, 2008

Belarussian Magic

Until not too long ago Belarussia wasn't an independent state and video over the internet was science fiction. A friend recently shared a video that shows how far we've come. Witness the unique culture of Minsk, Belarus as seen 1.8 million times online.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Steam clean your Microwave

A much cleaner microwaveThis post is only very loosely related to the rest of the content of this blog but I couldn't help sharing it because I'm so pleased with the results. The online sharing of information about making your life more efficient (Lifehacking) is, of course, very e-pisteme .

I've never been a sufficiently conscientious cleaner of my microwave to avoid those hard to clearn, permanently cooked-on splatters of food. Nor have I ever found a way to clean them efficiently. I can't imagine that kitchen cleaner in the microwave is good for your health. This weekend however, an off the cuff comment drew a solution from my fiancee's elephantyne memory. And here it is:

  • Place a bowl of water with lime juice (lemon might work) in the microwave.
  • Run the microwave for several minutes.
  • Wipe the condensation and offending blobs clear with a cloth to reveal a shiny new microwave.

    I can't recommend the solution enough.

  • Friday, July 13, 2007

    HP Digital Integrated Campaign

    In what we're pretty sure is a first for the category in the UK, we recently launched a multimedia campaign for hp which is supported by a mobile website. The campaign is in-market in the UK at the moment and will follow soon in the Netherlands.

    HP has launched some great new products recently that have features that don't fully come to life on a static image. We briefed Blue Star Mobile to put together a mobile site that shows the products in action and gives somes specifications. You can check out the sites on your phone or in your computer browser. The tx1000 is a laptop with a screen that swivels and becomes touch screen. The iPAQ 514 is hp's first 'phone'. Among other cool features it allows you to listen to your email.

    The campaign integrates analogue and digital worlds through SMS response options on the print advertising and billboards. We're also running some mobile banners on Orange World in the UK.

    The number of people who see the site is not likely to be vast. The cost of producing and distributing this kind of content, however, has dropped substantially over the last couple of years and it's now a pretty attractive addition to a conventional campaign.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Facebook Application Tracking

    There's a great site that I've been playing around with called Appaholic which has responded to the boom in applications related to Facebook. Using mysteriously-sourced but nevertheless anecdotally plausible data, the site charts the adoption of applications on Facebook.

    Below is a chart showing the increase in the number of people who have two of the apps that I've added to my Facebook profile.

    Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Why invent new ideas when you can buy them?

    There was an interesting post the other day in a blog that I read occasionnally by a London-based company called Brand Tacticians. It was entitled 'Why buy media when you can earn it?' and argued that investment in media will be increasingly redundant because of free distribution on sites like YouTube. It's not a particularly new concept but it is pretty compelling.

    Why, a marketer might ask, should I buy expensive 'old school' media when good creative will show itself to millions? In fact, very few marketers actually ask this question. Most are realist and understand that there are limitations to how compelling and user friendly they can expect their brand and sites to be. They don't really expect to be able to create the next YouTube or Facebook (MySpace is so Web 1.8) or even the next Lonely Girl 15.

    Hence the title of this post. Why would you risk substantial amounts of budget on an idea that might or might not go viral? That might or might not be relevant to your brand or your business objectives? Why wouldn't you stick to an advertising approach that works consistently and that delivers against your commercial objectives?

    I may be coming across as a bit of a reactionary from a digital media point of view bu that's not the case. It takes an enormous amount of luck and talent to have an idea and an execution that generates 'media' by itself. This is not the kind of talent that creative agencies can deliver 100% of the time and not the kind of luck to bet the farm on.

    There is still a vast amount of quality media that can be bought. As long as this is the case it makes sense the that the majority of a marketer's efforts should be directed this way. Simultaneously, however, they need to be looking forward and experimenting with new channels and, in some cases, pushing their agencies to work harder on new approaches.

    I've been involved a little bit in a project for hp that I think strikes the balance between realism and forward thinking very well. It's due to launch in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to sharing it.

    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Cunning Viral

    I've been sent a viral link to a site promoting the launch of the US serial killer program Dexter in the UK. You can personalise a fictional news reel about a serial killer and their next victim with the name of your friend.