Friday, 27 February 2009

Facebook gives you cancer (Fact?)

I read the best (ie. worst) Daily Mail article recently. They are currenlty peddaling the idea that new evil is social media. The title of this piece of wonder was 'How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer' a double whammy of Daily mail goodness.

In a nutshell the argument is that sites such as Facebook are causing us to spend less time physically with our friends and more time on the web. From a medical point of view Dr Aric Sigman (who may or may not actually be Dr Nick from the Simpsons) believes some genes, including ones involved with our immune systems, act differently according to how much social interaction a person had with others.

Clearly the headline is a red herring, and pointing the finger to a specific site is a big creative embellishment, but I love this article.

1) The article was online - ah sweet irony!
2) The thought from Robin (Rhondda Valley, Wales) on the comments page was genius (if a little disturbing):
'I think the real issue people are forgetting here is that using Facebook MUST be having some effect on house prices?'
3) Finally as a resultof reading this people took it upon themslevs to unleash an unforgiving and cutting response.

God bless the Internet!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The power of now

I've loved this campaign ever since I saw it last November, three months on and I've finally got hold of a widget for it. To me it is a perfect embodiment of what digital advertising is all about...

Creating pieces of accesible content that inspires users and brings a brand's DNA to life.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Does New Media need a different name?

Last night at one of the IPA’s ‘Club 44’ events, Laurence Green spoke about what ideas will thrive in the new media world we live in, what he thinks the new communications model looks like and what this means for agencies. Whilst it was reassuring to hear many of the things we already practice at glue it dawned on me that perhaps new media, just as New Labour before it, is slowly but surely losing its prefix.

Ten years on, consumers and advertisers alike now stare at a much-changed and fast-changing media landscape. We are constantly being told that our industry is slowly adjusting to new conditions: most obviously the emerging dominance of the web and reduced roles for TV and print. But have we not already reached the tipping point?

In Back to the Future 3 (admittedly the worst one) Doc and Marty make a scale model of their latest time bending escape route over Clayton Ravine. If advertising was placed on that model, surely we would now be past the rickety sign exclaiming ‘Point of no return’ and trying to drag the girl (clients?) along for the ride!?

A generation of consumers now exists with no knowledge of life without digital, where brands do rather than say, campaigns can exist and thrive without any traditional media budget and content is king. Creativity by its very nature continues to break or bend the rules that we write for it, I’m just wondering how long the name tag will be kept on its current formation.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Are brands too perfect?

Everyone can benefit from a slice of humble pie now and again, brands included. Clay Shirky makes a great point in his short interview about the focus of agencies on producing everything to the highest quality. The single-minded focus on production excellence ends up being alienating to consumers because it doesn't invite dialog.

This is not to say that a misjudged piece of creative will have the consumer come up to you in their hundreds or thousands and thank you for inspiring them with the latest 'I'm a celebrity, come and brand me'.
But the finished piece of high production work is a statement that isn't looking for answers or questions, it's simply a command. Clay's point here is about how agencies and brands can become more human by looking a little less perfect. This is something 2.0 companies know only too well. The idea of being in a perm-beta state is inviting in itself.

Beautiful data

After recently reading through a lot of old emails in search of something else, I got really distracted by an old post in Ping Mag, which had an interview with Boris Muller. In an attempt to share some other great examples here are some edited highlights:

Gorgeous 3D mapping
You’ll know this one...
Napoleon’s march to Moscow
History flow – visualisations of a topic’s life story on wikipedia
Feltron annual report
TED talk with some great stuff
Loads of lovely ways into Digg data
Dopplr’s raumzeitgeist map
Facebook friend wheel
Live US flight paths
The Wattson – see how much electricity your home is using
Nike Plus
Movie charts