AdAge released their Top Ten list of agencies earlier this week. Most of the agencies in this top ten acredit some of their success to “digital” work. I have a feeling that these ideas arent coming from the top down, and if they are it is in order to win awards. I understand this is all part of the game of ad agencies play to see who can pick up the most. I admit shiny objects are quite distracting and make a good argument for being a good agency but there are tons of agencies doing great integrated campaigns that aren’t even in the running for these awards.
My advice is to never look towards these award annuals and top lists. If you are looking at them for what to do chances are you are already lost at sea. The second you lift your head out of the pages you’ll realize you are outdated, you should keep looking forward and go the way that feels best to you instead of surfing the wake behind these battleships.
Here at school we talk alot about the power brands like Target and Apple. Brands that are self-aware and know who their customers are. I think in the years to come we will be talking about the Obama Brand and how it was a powerful tool in his campaign. Unlike Presidents of the past who relied on buttons and posters to share their messages, he went straight to the people with Twitter, Facebook, everything available. Obama did it the right way and knew his “customer.”
Today when I logged into check my bank account I saw a banner telling me my bank is now on Twitter and almost every brand under the sun is on Facebook. The problem with these brands is that they are coming to a place where they dont belong. I have no reason to follow my bank on Twitter and Facebook; what are they offering me in return? I have said it before, and I will say it again, you must offer your customers content in return for them following and caring about you. Twitter and Facebook have become check boxes on the list of places to be present in social media.
The smart thing to do is to use these tools to help the brand communicate, dont wait for the customers to follow you on these networks you need to reach out for them. If someone complains about your brand you need to answer their complaints with these networks.
Sticksel pulled through! After a disastrous timeline error threatened to keep the Dinosaur Killers out of ROFLcon, Sticksel pulled strings hard enough to score us three passes. The squeakiest wheel gets the oil. We’ll be touring some agencies in NYC and blogging from the convention floor, so check back in often.
Time to go live.
Applications like QIK have allowed users to send out live streams from their cameras to the internet so that other people can see whatever they are broadcasting, but people have never been able to watch the feed on their phone. USTREAM a popular live streaming video channel on the internet has developed an app to let users watch live video on their IPhone.
This means live content can now live without the computer or the TV. This means smaller companies now have an opportunity to reach a large number of people without getting the cable company or paying for internet service. Great opportunities here.
I know I have been talking about mobile apps a lot recently, I know there is more to advertising then these apps, but you can not deny the new and powerful platform to reach people.
This one goes out to all the big wigs and people with C’s at the beginning of their title.
Far too often do the people upstairs rely on their underlings to give them all the information they need to make the big decisions. That should never be the case. A smart business man should always have his ear to the ground and be the first to know what is coming up. In the world of advertising people give a lot of lip service to this idea, but almost no one practices it. Instead we are all living in the days before the dot com bubble burst. Madison Ave is a street made of fossils.
“The time for half measures and talk is over.”
The people upstairs need to be the ones out in the mix and start learning everything they can, and listening to everyone that is half their age. They should be at trade shows, conferences and listening to what people are doing out there in the real world and not worry about what wins award shows.
I know I am not the first to say these things and probably will not be last. I have the utmost respect for these people who have been in the industry far longer then I have, but I do fear for them. Consider this a shot across your bow.
If you’re beyond the age of 13 and have spent any time on Sony’s new virtual world, PS3 Home, you were probably bored of doing a robot dance around other characters within three minutes, disgusted by the uninspired branding, or baffled by the lack of things to actually do.
My question is this: WHY? When developers are concepting a new virtual world, their first instinct is to think that it should look exactly like the real world looks. But why? It’s the same logic that caused early web developers to create websites that looked like notebook paper. The real world and digital space aren’t the same; they don’t have the same rules. Instead of mimicking real life, why not create a virtual network that plays to the strengths of an online community?
The limitations of Home are too stifling to ever create a real community with any value. I’d like to see Sony create something that expands upon the pre-existing niche gaming communities on the PS3, and I’m sure marketers wouldn’t mind a little additional segmentation. Or why not an online community with, oh I don’t know, a purpose?
It was a nice attempt but I want to see more. We deserve more because more is possible. I wonder what the average age was of the developers on the Home team?
A creative director from DDB Amplify delivered this line to a class at the VCU Brandcenter on Tuesday. For those who aren’t aware, Amplify is an internal division at DDB NY that started as an interactive branch but is slowly becoming more infused into that agency’s identity as a whole.
This quote should strike a nerve with a lot of people in this industry, because if you’re working at a big agency, there’s a good chance that calling yourselves “integrated” is as much a tactic to convince yourself as your clients. As our speaker said, “digital,” specifically, isn’t some magic voodoo or hocus pocus, it’s not just subservient chicken, it’s not facebook apps, and it’s definitely not putting wacky videos on YouTube.
Having a that digital color on your palette is simply the ability to stay current with what’s possible, figuring out smart things to do with what’s possible, and being fearless enough to do those things.
Amplify is one great example of a small group of digital-minded people who are transforming the way a big old agency works by being passionate, smart, and good.
Yesterday I talked about platforms and how agencies need to be on top of these platforms. Yahoo is throwing yet another platform in our face, Yahoo widgets will now be on your TV. People have tried to combine the Internet and TV in the past but to no avail. This time I’m going to call it, and say this is the way it needs to be done. Some people see this as Yahoo’s ticket to get out of the boring hole they have dug themselves into.
Your thinking “Yay! Stocks and Weather on my TV, big deal.” Well after you get past that and open your eyes, you need to realize the huge opportunity here you have now. You have a way to get at your customers on their TV even better then you could before. Commercials get Tivoed away or people leave the room. Now people will be inviting you to their television set and letting you entertain them. BE PREPARED. Companies are just now getting their act together with IPhone Apps, who knows how long it will take the Dinosaurs to figure out this Yahoo Widget thing. Agencies need to start planning now, do not wait for someone else to do it and see if it works.
For example lets take a channel like Bravo and their hit show ‘Top Chef.’ Top Chef is sponsored by GE Kitchen appliances. You could create a widget for GE that allows users to see the chefs recipe live while they are watching the show and then they can email that recipe to themselves or send a grocery list to their phone of what they will need. That is a quick and somewhat obvious example of what could be done. Take it further, make the people come to you, and please give them something in return.
Wii has recently allowed users to sign online and surf as they please. They are using the Opera web browser for some awful reason, but users are still shelling out the bucks for the internet channel on their Wii. That means people could be visiting your site via their Wii and using their Wiimotes.
Now before all you Flash Junkies go crazy, here is some bad news. The Opera web browser only supports Flash 7, and the Wiimote is more of a mouse with a clicker, so there is no chance of you building the next Mario game. However this should not be an immediate turn off. There are still tons of possibilities for you to build a branded game and let users have an awesome time.
If your market is one that is into video games or interaction go for it. Think of a Bass Pro shooting game that links people to the products they are using. Ok maybe a children’s gun game isn’t a good idea. How about an interactive game for Lunchables or Schmuckers. There are tons of possibilities, that are a lot better then what I just thought of off the top of my head. Hopefully it will at least get you thinking and realize what platforms people are viewing your website from.