Monday, 22 November 2010

Nike for LeBron: Rise

This has undertones of that Earl Woods Nike commercial...they really do a fantastic job of taking hype and giving us a counterpoint as something to think about

In this new LeBron James ad “Rise”. Nike nods to Miami Vice; playing up his actions vs the expectations people may have of him.

Given the media circus of an ESPN special I personally find it remarkable that King James can play the victim in this skit but this is sure to keep Nike real and sell more hi tops in the process. 5 stars.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I love it when you find music in your library that had lapsed off your playlist but find again and realise your runs, your travels and your nightcaps are a lot better for these tunes.

I hit the bargrooves compilations (@bargroovesuk) really great for running but then I recently resynched my iPod and ended up downloading 11 podcasts that are essentially 30 minute mixes of each release by DJ Miss Divine who is just phenomenally seamless through the set

Part Miami winter, part london lounge and a heavy slice of ibiza through august - if you are either a runner in need of a 30 min torch session, looking for that perfect post club set that is laid back enough to help you come down at the end of the night but simultaneously glamourous enough to help your after party slide until the sun comes up these downloads should not be missed

Get them all after the jump

You can thank me later...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Bargrooves Podcasts

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Conference Room Hell

Maybe I am jaded by sitting in dull windowless conference and meeting rooms but I am really starting to get to the point where I think we should be reimagining how we think about conferences and off sites

We were thinking of rebooting our relationship with one of our clients and we wanted to go to a venue that inspired us to think differently particularly with regard to communications and how social media is impacting their business.....then we started to talk to our finance people - I guess our meeting will occur here

We have got to change this. Seriously.

I personally work with two fantastic PAs who consistently do a fantastic job at conferences, everything is incredible but we certainly let them down consistently too.

The typical approach for an off-site meeting is to pick a city then ask the PA to ring up a few hotels and ask about their space and then book some rooms for the team. Most hotels have conference rooms, so we can get a good deal if we do it in a single call. It also means that when people wake up with a hangover they can drag themselves to the elevator and roll into the room.

I have a problem with hotel conference spaces...believe me, I have seen enough. Typically they are designed to be generic, and beige. Four beige walls, a beige carpet a strip light and a projector. They can easily fit our meeting in between a sales conference for water purifiers and a wedding reception

I am going to ask H to find the best location in Lisbon for a conference and then find us somewhere to sleep. I think with that brief we won't end up here

Secondly, I found that conference rooms are quite cheap for the day but why is equipment so expensive? A projector is $250, a flip chart is $50, pens are $20.... and then there's lunch at $80 per head.

Feels like the model is upside down, if we really need to create ideas for our clients or our own business that will inspire and delight we should start thinking of the 'space' to be an important tool in that process

See you at the christening

Monday, 15 November 2010

Listen Up

I spend a lot of time with clients talking about how their brand can best engage in a dialogue with their customers on a day to day basis. Of course the way we 'do' marketing has changed; data changed it.

The availability of information and how that information spreads creates speed on one hand; bad customer service can be shared quickly with the use of twitter and the like. But also that data also demands that we listen to what our customers are saying and react to it. If I am sitting in an airport and I get pissed off with the flight delay, the lack of information or that they dont even give us a glass of water I expect an apology and some miles within an hour of my tweet. When they do I get excited and it somehow feels ok that i am least they care
All the clients I work with understand that marketing is less archery and more ping-pong and so they are embarking on getting a 'listening tool'. You have to get a listening tool, right? And social is big...and confusing! So it just feels neglegent these days if you haven't signed up for one

Working with a number of clients and seeing all the major playors up close this is what i've learnt: maybe if you think i missed something or completely misunderstood the point maybe i'll learn something too! Feel free @arvindzz....

- What's the point? Do any of our consumers really care about our brand enough to say anything? Maybe you should get a free trial for a month, choose some keywords and get them to provide some insights. Yes, insights - not a canned report

- Secondly I love infographics. if you read this regularly you know that i a sucker for a cool chart. However I personally think we can't be seduced on charts alone. A pig is still a pig no matter if it shops at Sephora. Any thing that doesn't make it easier to understand than the information being in a table is more problematic than helpful. Always ask yourself 'how am I going to act on this information?'

- Thirdly (yeah yeah ok, perhaps it should have been first) - what are you trying to achieve? I think that competitive analysis is different from monitoring ongoing to help develop conversations with your customers. Also if you want insights, make sure you get them...see above

- What do you need? The world of the internet is even two people in their garage are global. But filtering and languages are always a minefield.... Then their are demographics and sentiment. Is that sentiment done automatically or by human intervention. This drives the cost

- Oh and talking about cost how do you compare apples with apples? A license? A cost per keyword? A cost per campaign or by the volume of mentions? How much is charged for insights?

My big caveat here is that the whole area of social listening is young and undeveloped...but important. So this is merely my opinion - I am sure that this post doesn't go deep enough any of these real time is it etc? All of these things are crucial when selecting a partner, however these are my headlines to get started

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tiens-toi prĂȘt !

Cool Axe ad from France - Jukebox Collective provide the soundtrack for this piece of content that is instantly recognizable

Guaranteed to make you watch at least 3 times

Monday, 8 November 2010

The analytic culture oxymoron

Maybe it's because it's a Monday...but I am in a philosophical mood this morning

Analytics and Culture.....let's go

Culture is about people, its warm and fuzzy and gives visions of country pubs with open fires. Analytics is about data, its clinical and dull with visions of spreadsheets and thick rimmed spectacles...(like mine)

When we talk about putting data at the heart of the organization it must strike fear into most managers; "do we really need another dashboard?" "Actually, forget it, its a cultural thing, there is nothing we can do about it"

Culture is about what the people in a group think, say and do. These are informed by inherent beliefs, expectations and communications. In fact, isn't group culture more determined about how we work together in groups and how those groups interact with other groups? If that's the case, could it be made tangible and even predictable?

When I consider this I quickly get to a point that culture in a business isn't universal - subcultures exist 'sales and marketing', 'IT and finance' and the like.

What does it take for an analytical approach to business to be successful in organisations like this?

Well for one, I certainly feel it has to be HOLISTIC. It has to break down silos and not re-inforce them. So a web analytics dashboard or keyword optimization won't be successful in the long term because it doesn't create widespread adoption. In fact, when all these subcultures come to the table with their own view of the world - that world becomes a more confusing place to be

Secondly, despite the inherent DNA of the analytics community (I feel a fatwa against me coming on)it has to be SIMPLE. As analysts we spend a look time standing back and admiring the sophistication of our work and not how our clients will actually use it.

Finally (using the rule of threes), it has to be about PEOPLE. Analytics brings with it easily dropped terms such as 'optimization'...I dont want to be optimized! I want to continue to show how I add value as a marketer. In that respect as people we bring our own knowledge and experience, these may percolate and stay with us as perceptions, instincts or even biases. As an analyst we need to help people create clarity so they can apply their intelligence and understanding of their culture to create a better business

Now I know a lot of my own clients read this from time to time (or at least visit) so I would say we do a pretty good job of addressing the stuff above. Sure we arent perfect but we'll be even better next week than we are this one...I promise

Friday, 5 November 2010

The true size of Africa

Not much to say about this other than the way we draw maps in a 2D space masks the 3D nature of the this

Happy friday

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The future, no, the end, no, the future of magazines

I love my ipad, yawn. But lets face it, i am on a train journey and i have responded to mails, posted on this blog, read two articles of Interview magazine and completed three levels on Angry Birds Halloween.

I really liked the Interview app for the iPad, it was heavily sponsored (Calvin Klein) but had some incredible fashion photography. Also the way the pages turn is a beautiful thing. But then i started to wonder if i had explored everything in this digital magazine. had i missed an article? How would i know if i had? It all became quite frustrating.

I have downloaded a large number of newspapers and magazine apps and basically all these publishers are doing is slapping their print versions of their publications online... Surely this can be improved upon?

The iPad has been widely touted as the opportunity for publishers and particularly glossy magazines. However is it really the case that readers are ditching magazines because they don't like the print version? Are we all going to start flooding back for a glorified pdf?

Like advertising on the Internet we, as consumers demand interactivity in return for attention, that means video, gaming and social features. My feeling is that the magazine app needs to open up content, not restrict it....almost intelligent search for my life.

Wired does a good job, not only because it's geek quotient is high (although that's appealing), they have truly enhanced their print version and they will continue to innovate...I hope Interview, GQ and Monocle take note.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Narbonne Ave,Lambeth,United Kingdom

Iconic or Cheesey? You decide

If anyone has seen the Banksy film 'Exit through the gift shop' you will have heard of Mr Brainwash. He is a crazy French guy who basically filmed everything. His cousin was a graffiti artist in Paris. In fact, I love Invader's work so much I may post purely about Invader's mosaics sometime soon.

Anyway, Mr Brainwash filmed all the graf royalty over the course of 10 years and ended up doing his own stencils and then spent a bucketload of cash to put on his own exhibition in LA. It is a wonderful story of how he piggybacked the whole scene and hoodwinked the A-list community to buy his work. however, he paid his dues and now he's getting paid

This is kind of obvious but if you are down in New York's Nolita village be sure to swing by Mott St and catch this, it's nicely done even down to the deliberate off kilter effects. So surely Mr Brainwash's work is pure satire....isn't it?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 1 November 2010

Derezzed (Tron Legacy Soundtrack - NTEIBINT Remix)

This is what you get when you get so close to a project. Daft Punk to write the sountrack to Tron Legacy seems like a genius idea and this video amps the whole event up combining the light cycles with some heavy duty Punk Electro

But with this heavily delayed movie slated for general release in December is anyone (particularly the US audiences) ready for 90 minutes of the French muso gods in this angry mood?