December 08, 2005
How I love this “open source web 2.0” world.
November 17, 2005
This kind of design and innovation that is so strongly based on human observation and use of both anthropology and ethnography is really inspiring.
October 31, 2005
In my opinion it’s the perfect case for what a modern marketing campaign should contain for several reasons (sorry for the almost fan-like argumentation):
First and foremost it’s allegedly a great product (this review gives it 5 out of 5 stars and call’s it “a rich and powerful image”).
The client/agency/production company relation seems to have been profoundly collaborative build on trust and playfulness according to interviews with the director Nicolai Fuglsig and the Fallon creative Juan Cabral (I can’t find the link to the article)
There is clever pre-launch strategy with this “behind the scenes” web-site and a massive viral distribution of the content
It is sticky and highly infectious communication and works in both traditional and non-traditional media. First it hit the big blogs in the ad community, and more importantly is has created consumer buzz and transcended into popular culture as here with pictures on Flickr.
There is even a bit of the so-called open source creativity or co-creativity here (where the Sony has wisely been inviting everybody to take photos and film from the shoot in modern junction with the rules of “creative commons”)
And then the campaign messaging itself (obviously we have only seen the Online and TV stuff yet – I hope it is also going to include other intelligent media solutions – maybe a version of the film for video podcasting) it has a tonality of honesty and authenticity and (it is even done without tricks or computer graphics).
It’s build equally on strong insights on the product and into the consumers and their quest for imagination and almost infantile playfulness when it comes to technology.
It’s not building a formulaic brand concept but is rather embracing the magical complexity of colours. It has nuance and depth and leaves something behind for one’s own imaginary perception. It’s simply great communication that works as Velcro.
See the different versions of the film here.
October 18, 2005
It’s just a thought on the rise of the portable video/content devises. Weather the winner in this game is going to be the new iPod, the PSP, The 3G mobile phones, PDA’s, Sony MP3’s, iRiver or whoever is not that important.
The thing is video content is going to be in your pocket from now on.
Video content is going to be sold relatively cheap (Disney already sells through iTunes and MTV has just bought iFilm). But I’m just wondering whether content should be the same in every medium. It seems that what is created for the TV/Internet sphere is just scaled down when is goes down to the small screens. Maybe future music videos, ads, sitcoms and even movies should be done in different versions – one that’s works in the “old” media and one for this new genre. The introduction of the iPod is a good example where they have cleverly used a concert close-up of Bono instead of some traditional video where you could hardly see anything.
Now he has gone solo and is playing much smaller venues, which is great if you happen to catch one of his shows. I did last week, and his songs from the so far three solo albums are great. He has lots of great little quirky pop songs. His accompanying band mates “The Jicks” is a great back-up for his imaginary guitar sound.
September 30, 2005
A new article from Xtreme Information poses the question whether the almighty Google are merely the public servants on the information highway or the result of innovative marketing spin. I think they are both – but most of all I think they are the masters of product innovation.
Their word-of mouth and consumer led approach to marketing is without a doubt the most impressive marketing (and business) case in years. I’m looking for more functionality like this:
September 28, 2005
The recent female targeted campaigns from Dove and Nike have - with their quest for expanding the beauty ideal - proven successful in both media coverage and supposedly in ROI.
Now there is a whole book out by Martha Barletta Martha with key female marketing strategies (there is seven of them where the first one is equivalent to the Dove/Nike one)…thanks to The Hidden Persuader.
Better real than ideal:
"Female gender culture is all about finding something in common with others to build bonds, not aspiring to an ideal to set oneself apart."
Beware of talking about women's unique needs:
"The problem with this approach is that women don't want to feel different. They want to feel taken seriously. The risk with the women's unique needs approach is that, unless it is subtle and respectful, women feel stalked, not wooed."
User focus trumps product focus:
"For example, with cars, computers and consumer electronics (all categories where women make the majority of the purchases, incidentally), while a man may be mesmerized by the specs of high-tech widgets and gadgets, a woman is captivated by the person using the product."
"Not only that, but helping someone else, which isn't mission-critical for most men, is second nature for women."
Make the world a better place:
"She thinks you should be helping others as well. Numerous studies show women are more motivated than men by the goal of giving back"
Immersion instead of Topline:
"Whereas men 'see' more clearly when key information is extracted and ?extraneous details? discarded, women better absorb information when it's presented in context."
Show some emotion:
"Emotion-based advertising has a powerful pull for women -- people are always involved."
Seth Godin and couple of other marketing and business high-flyers have compiled what they call the PersonalMBA . The concept is simple – you don’t need to take out the time, effort and money the conventional MBA requires. Instead with a well selected list of books and publications you’ll find the knowledge you need. In communication strategy and strategic planning an equivalent would sure have to contain a few classics but also a lot of blogs should be on the selected list.
The ever ongoing discussion whether there is a correlation between inspiring environments and the level of creative thinking is right now rallying at Ernie Schencks blog .
I personally don’t think an interesting agency décor can make up for lack of talent. On the other hand I think the mixture of untraditional offices and gifted people can sometimes get the thinking to places you wouldn’t have been elsewhere.
The other day we had a couple of ducks outside the agency door and we are only 5 minutes away from the centre of Copenhagen. That actually gave a little bit of unexpected inspiration to something we where trying to solve in a whole other ball game. Maybe we should set more briefing sessions in the zoo.
September 08, 2005
Clichés can be useful when you use them properly. Clichés can travel across borders. Clichés can be funny if they are cleverly turned upside down. But I find that the most clever insights and ideas are found out of the boundaries of clichés. There was an article today on BBC online where the writer John Camm has written down some of the clichés he hates in advertising. Funny reading but also a bit depressing since so much communication are actually based around these themes. See for yourself.
1. Men are obsessed with sex but will forego sex in order to watch football or drink beer.
2. Women are locked in a constant battle with their weight/body shape/hairstyle.
3. Career success is entirely based on your ability to impress your boss.
4. Mums are often harassed but NEVER depressed/unable to cope.
5. Any act of male stupidity (e.g. walking across a clean floor in muddy boots, putting the dog in the dishwasher, etc.) will be met with a wry smile, not genuine annoyance/anger.
6. Married men will flirt with other, younger women but NEVER act upon it.
7. Anyone with a scientific career will have a bad haircut and dreadful clothes.
8. If you work for the emergency services, you are a better person than the general population.
9. Elderly relatives NEVER suffer from senile dementia.
10. Scandinavians are, without exception, blonde and beautiful.
11. Women have jobs they never do in real life, e.g. dockworker (who looks like a model).
12. Children will not eat fruit or vegetables. Ever.
13. Both men and women find driving deeply pleasurable, never boring or stressful.
14. Men are inherently lazy/slobbish; women are the reverse.
15. Chocolate, however, will cause women to immediately fall into the languor of the opium eater.
16. High Street bank staff are (A) friends of the customers, and (B) of slightly above-average attractiveness (only if female).
17. Modern men own a cat.
18. Hot beverages have miraculous rejuvenating effects.
19. Professional people have strangely trivial preoccupations, e.g. a female barrister who is morbidly obsessed with finding a healthy snack bar.
20. All women (except stay-at-home housewives) have interesting and enjoyable careers.
21. Any over-the-counter medical product will work instantly and 100% effectively.
22. Children know more than adults.
23. Women never merely hop in and out of the shower, instead preferring to act out some sort of soapy Dance of the Seven Veils.
24. School is a happy experience for all children.
25. Tortilla chips are the most exciting experience any group of young people can experience.
26. Playing bingo is THE number one pastime among 18-25 year old British women.
August 26, 2005
In the brave new world of marketing where everybody’s looking for the next untraditional approach to advertise their product, sometimes the answer comes from unexpected places. In the newest Jamiroquai video “Seven days in June” there is a splendid piece of branded entertainment. The story is simply a slice of life in the best of locations – summer party in the country. It’s all fun fun fun until the crowd identifies a problem at the grill. Where is the ketchup? Problem is solved when a chopper comes along with a net containing “the slow ketchup” and to the crowds big applause jumps it of. Heinz should pay Jay Kay for that stunt, maybe they are.
See the video
August 16, 2005
This is a great site http://postsecret.blogspot.com
It’s filled with people’s anonymous posted secrets displayed nicely on postcards. Here you have various insights to the most defining characteristics of people. Some hilarious, some quite horrifying, and some even rather sad.
August 04, 2005
Last week we held an agency lecture in first aid including instructions on cpr, wounds, burns, broken bones and last but not least stopping fire.
It makes me wonder how smart we are when it comes to guidelines and instructions to something that really matters. It’s not like the guidelines in other aspects of life. Like your 20 different remote controls, software that doesn’t support each other, incomprehensible manuals etc.
The world would be a much easier place to live in if everybody thought of their guidelines and instruction as if it was a matter of life and death.
August 02, 2005
Being a big Kubrick fan and also and an admirer of many of the Taschen books. The Stanley Kubrick Archives is a scoop.
The book is mixture of background articles/interviews/essays with the auteur himself and then great still pictures from the films. (great review from Newsweek)
The book starts of with the ultimate Kubrick aficionado item- an original 70 mm film strip from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Going through the whole book it’s hard not see Kubrick as the best director of all times. Being a conventional coffee-table book at first glance it’s amazing how the book is actually an intelligent and exhaustive, film-by-film analysis.
I especially enjoy the part with A Clockwork Orange. I’ve seen the film more then 20 times over the years dating back to writing my main thesis in high school on the film.
Even seen from an advertising point of view it’s a must read/view on breakthrough art direction and graphic design and from a mere anthropologic view a brain picker into a masters dissection of the human mind in all its many forms.
It’s summertime. Time to catch up on some of the books I have only merely glanced through earlier this year. On the strategy and planning front I finally got through Malcolm Gladwells “Blink” and Bruce Mau’s “Massive Change”. Great reads both of them because their both packed with possible analogies for how the modern world of communication works and how we can work differently as communicators and agency people. There’s a great little review of Blink seen from an advertising point of view over at Russell Davies site
July 04, 2005
Obvious truth some might say. Nevertheless there seem to be a growing number of global assignments that believes in this thinking. The last few days the Brand Republic newsletter has been filled with these stories. We’ve seen Strawberry Frog adding another cross border campaign to its recent string of wins. Both Wieden + Kennedy and Fallon have won a place on the Procter& Gamble roster with the Eukanuba pet food brand and the Gillette brand respectively. Lots of other shops with the same characteristics seem to strive these days – it’s mostly shops that have 4-6 regional offices that cover the world. Shops like BBH, Mother, M&C Saatchi and Red Cell.
And not so strange the most recent start-up’s has been born with the same global ambition. That goes for Anomaly, BMB (The new agency from the notorious Trevor Beattie). Marcel (the new shop by the creative superstars Fred & Farid backed by Publicis) and the newly merged NitroSoul. The future belongs to anti-bureaucratic, multinational oriented, medianeutral fresh thinking agencies – sweet.
July 01, 2005
I though it could be funny to see which ads pops when you Flickr “ads”. Such a search should represent which brands and campaigns really has fans that love them so much they will photograph and post them.
Not so surprising it's a couple of old classics that pops up. The almighty Absolut campaign is well represented. So is “got milk” and the latest pop cultural phenomenon for the iPod (featuring quite a few spoofs as well). Finally Flickr is filled with nostalgic ads from the fifties and sixties – those kind of vintage ads people actually pay large sums for and hang on their walls.
We got a National Board of Health spot Exercise 30 minutes a day short listed in Cannes last weekend so for a while hopes where high that a Lion could be coming our way and stand next to our golden Epica and other fine prizes the campaign has gathered.
But the judges let us down - although a little disappointed we have no grudge against the jury. Next up is documenting the effectiveness of the campaign for the Danish Effies and then we just finished two new campaigns for the client so we will try our luck next year on the sandy beaches of South France.
June 28, 2005
Therefore it’s comforting to see advertisers that actually go after the work and nothing but the work. The talented people at Cliff Freeman and Partners got this statement from chairman and CEO Mark Wattles from Ultimate Electronics after a review.
Cliff Freeman and Partners gets it, understands the mindset of our customer and creates fantastic communications that people remember and respond to.
This is simple but great guiding principles for choosing an ad agency.
June 24, 2005
The Crispin Porter + Bogusky campaign for Mini has finally found its way to Denmark. I’ve heard it’s on tour just like a rock band – kind of cool to think of an ad campaign that has so much impact it gets equipped with gear and tour roadies. The late arrival here in Denmark probably has to do with the fact that we have highest car prizes in the world and the Mini target group therefore is quite small. It’s more affluent executives and less young first time car owners that they are aiming at.
June 10, 2005
I just stopped by these new traffic lights where the shifting of the lights is indicated in seconds. It must be the ultimate sign of a world that has been influenced by our impatience behind the computer screen.
Sure we live in a stressful world where everything is getting optimized so it takes less time so we can spend more time on what really matters family, friends and leisure time. But this is really a step towards being aware of time every second of the day – no time to let the mind fly away for a little while in the middle of the traffic jam. Yet most people would probably argue it is quite practical.
May 26, 2005
No news really - Ricky Gervais has some of the best observations of the daily routines in the corporate sphere and life’s absurdities in general. But seeing all of it once again in the original scripts is a truly funny experience.
Burger King sure has used it very directly in its advertising but there most be lot’s of other angles to be drawn from this.
I have always been wondering what it is with retail and animals. It’s like if you run out of ideas use animals. I guess in this case it’s a retail manager that have been mesmerized by lack of sales in his consumer electronics outlet and have thought “what if we give out flyers on the street in front of the store” or even better “what if the flyers are delivered by a Tony the Tiger kind of guy”. Maybe if they’re selling to kids I can understand the craziness.
Or maybe it’s just my own distant memory of working in the Sponsorship department of Carlsberg where everybody from time to time had to dress up as an elephant to get the attention of TV-cameras. I kind of feel with the guy inside Tony the Tiger.
May 09, 2005
Spring is coming to Copenhagen. The car is in the garage and I’m on my bike again. There is no better place to hear what is going on in the real world than outside of the office. This morning the bridge to the part of the city where I work was up and I had 5 minutes of overhearing other people’s discussions. It included opinions about the weather (off course), the new best Thai restaurant, the weekends soccer results, a bands struggle to get their music out and even a discussion about a new TV commercial (yes, there are still a few people out there that notice what we do).
I’ve always found the discipline of creating names one of the very funny processes of advertising. It’s one of the rare chances to create something that will be associated with the product or service forever. Campaigns, communication platforms and taglines come and go but names are here to stay. Even though there is a bit of theoretical advice on the subject it’s always fresh, new and difficult.
The branding theories suggest three basic name categories. There is The Descriptive Name (e.g. Yellow Pages), The Associative Name (e.g. Budget Rent a Car) or The Freestanding Name (Apple) to choose from.
Whatever you might choose there are lots of silly names out there. I especially have a problem with a large amount of the associative names which often is just flat and pretentious superlatives. Adding a word like quality to the category you belong to is not a very inspiring promise for a brand.
May 03, 2005
Ever been sitting in the last minute with a presentation just missing those moodbords that shows let’s say Soviet Icons or German Teenagers.
Well help is out there within seconds with the montage-a-google . Just one of the many new wonders of Google. Constantly new features. Very nice.
April 21, 2005
It seems all tricks are welcome in the battle for the top of mind position amongst the global hipsters and followers.
The new millennium sports apparel brand has to think of all touch points with the target group. The irreverent tone of voice seems to be chosen strategy for most brands and obviously this tone has to be integrated in all the brand communications. The product info tag from Puma above is a good example of this. Lot’s of other brands are thinking into making packaging and active part of the brand message over at Adfreak there is a great post about this topic.
April 08, 2005
Just got Beck’s new album Guero and apart from being another masterpiece from the wonderkid it clearly showed me the future for the record business.
The album comes in a deluxe edition that includes videos, remixes, photos, art, cool visual DVD features from the artist D-Fuse and a 32 page booklet to contain it all.
Off course the future is digital but I think the more full album experience can live on sideways if the artist and record companies create compelling side stuff that makes the experience exiting on more levels and for several of the senses. Then they can sell single songs over iTunes to the not so dedicated fans that are just in the market for a couple of hit songs.
April 01, 2005
We made a little campaign last year for the Danish Board of Health which has been awarded a couple of times in the creative competition circuit and was not least very effective in terms of making the Danish population exercise 30 minutes a day. As a bit of surprise I received a new copy of Lürzer’s Archive and an accompanying DVD. Our spot was in the finest company in between Saatchi’s great NSPCC “The Ventriloquist” spot and W+K’s funny Nike “Hot Dog” spot.
Copenhagen is the centre of the up-coming launch of the new VW Fox. Pictures of a uniquely build Hotel Fox, Club Fox and Studio Fox has been virally distributed around the world. It’s quite spectacular with its 61 rooms designed by 21 different artists including their free reign to do whatever they want with furniture, carpets and wallpaper. I just drove by and it looks very cool actually.
This is just one of the latest examples of how the automotive industry with its lack of product differentiation and origins from the same basic models are being innovative first and foremost in their marketing mix.
The automotive category holds a dominant position in the world of advertising. Hence it’s natural high involvement amongst its customers the potential is obviously there for marketers to create engaging and involving communication. It all started with a certain Mr. Bernbach shaking it up for VW. Although we still see a lot of dull car ads with the same panning over a ride in Mojave Desert or the hills of South Spain the category as a whole seems increasingly marketing savvy.
First we saw the great mini movies from BMW later followed films and online adventures from Honda (they keep coming with new terrific dramas from “cog” to “grrr” to the latest animated spot for the Honda FR-V), BMW’s Mini, Mercedes, Audi and Volvo. Even less progressive brands like Ford, Toyota have glimpsed and we have even seen a French dancing robot from Citröen. VW are off course on track with strong campaigns including both the latest Gene Kelly going hip hop in the streets and also more unintended and critical with the un-authorized Lee & Dan VW Polo Suicide Ad.
Allegedly the next big thing in automotive marketing circuit is Brand TV and breakthrough branded entertainment. Both Audi and VW (A deal with NBC is reported to be worth $200 million for the network) are supposed to be on its way with television.
What will be next?
March 30, 2005
March 22, 2005
As I grow older I find myself jumping into less and less real challenges on a pure physical level. Challenges seem to more mind based these days give or take a hard soccer match or two.
So when I was asked to go Helicopter Skiing in the Swiss Alps last week my adrenaline started to pump in this nice “I’m aliveeeee” kind of way.
Suddenly I found myself and small group escorted by a single mountaineer on top of a mountain in 3800 hundred meters height. Before us was 3 hours of skiing (and 1 ½ hour of randonee walking up hill) through cliffs, avalanches, glacier cracks and first and foremost powder snow.
I guess the mountain outlook on my computer wallpaper is a bit pathetic but it makes look to forward to the next adrenaline extreme kick.
March 21, 2005
The direct marketing discipline is often described as the most effective medium in terms of correlation between ad budget and sales. Personally I rarely find myself being affected by the mails that lands in my private mailbox.
Then the other day I was somewhat surprised to see that a contact from my bank had written a little poem as an intro to a request about finance for a new car. It was about dreams and discontent with my current life. All good questions asked but probably not something I would discuss with a man I have never met unless he had a psychology degree or something.
March 02, 2005
I just passed by one of those consumer tests on water. Not surprisingly the tap water was almost rated as good as those highly priced designer bottles – off course it have to be said that the Danish ground water is rather clean though.
But it made me think what if the quality of water wasn’t’ just a matter of branding exclusive labels and bottles but also was associated with the more factual brand attributes like mineral containment and stuff.
Water is the human fuel and like cars we can fill ourselves with different qualities for the engine. In a market where everything is developed in terms of origin and bottle design…what if a company only focused on the quality of the water and that was what you paid for like the quality of fuel at a gas station.
February 28, 2005
February 15, 2005
First you find the most perfect fitted brand endorser for your global hip (hop) youth culture brand. You make her co-design it and even sign it with her own name. You open various little teaser shops as a pre-launch to engage the urban inventors and trendsetters that stands first in line in the adoption curve. Then the message gets passed around - a worthy viral phenomenon. The ads look good and especially the logo is bling. It looks like the ideal launch strategy for the Adidas “Respect/Missy Elliot”.
Then a minor detail with occurs with the logo. Her Majesty The Queen Of Denmark and her representatives thinks it’s to the crown exclusively representing Her Majesty. The Danish State threads to sue the Herzogenaurach based global sports supplier and Adidas hereafter takes the Missy line back from the Danish shops. Furthermore The Danish state encourages the other European Monarchies to ban the use of the crown as well.