Archive for the 'advertising' Category

18
Feb
08

AKQA makes Fast Company’s Top 50 most innovative companies

AgencySpy reports AKQA is 48th most innovative company globally, with Google in pole position followed by Apple.

From the website:

#48 AKQA
Most interactive-ad shops master either the creative or the technical; AKQA is expert at both. Whether building a Pixar-quality interactive online universe for Coke’s breathtaking “Happiness Factory” campaign (below), or masterminding a multimedia “alternate reality game” for Microsoft’s Halo 3, the digital powerhouse doesn’t just dream up mind-bending ideas, it actually writes the code that brings them to life. Which is why, after five consecutive years of profitability, AKQA is one of the most dangerous global forces in the ad industry. While ad holding companies and tech firms spent billions in 2007 to snap up digital shops, AKQA fended them off, opting instead for a $250 million investment from private-equity firm General Atlantic. In the meantime, the 700-person agency boosted revenues 39% to $100 million and added new clients such as Unilever, DoubleClick, and Cadbury Schweppes — on top of existing accounts with Nike and McDonald’s.

Fast company blog

More about AKQA can be found here.

20
Jul
07

trust, word of mouth and the conversation

As Jeremiah Owyang notes:
“Facebook is a closed garden with one-way doors.
This means that data comes in, but it’s not coming out – yet.”

The Inside Facebook blog suggests that Google is not relevant to Facebook since it has it’s own news and feed ranking indexes and systems, its own search tool and its own social network to find information:

“Future information finding systems will evolve to use data from your social network, yielding results based upon your trusted peers” – Inside Facebook, NFO (News Feed Optimization) is the new SEO.

This concept of ‘trust’ is tied to identity and also to the belief that word of mouth advice between friends, families and colleagues is by far the strongest form of marketing around – crucially, it also flies in the face of Google’s current search algorithm which is based on popularity, not accuracy or trust.

If search evolves, will we rely on personal social network features (what do my friends think and recommend) over search? Will we evolve to smaller network based searches?

In many ways, this is what Mahalo was trying to overcome, the problem with that is that I don’t know (and therefore don’t trust) the editors creating the Mahalo data. This is why so many thought leaders are already thinking about their Facebook strategy.

Although Google continues to evolve it’s AI to build better search tools, trust continues to be the leading factor in finding information. Google’s search results have much to be desired: popular is not the same as correct.

The future of search will contain human elements in addition to algorithms.

20
Jul
07

social media strategy: starting the conversation

Capture the Conversation
Capture the Conversation is a great dource of information and tutorials on setting up and maintaining various Internet social media and search visibility tools such as Digg, NewsGator, Google Reader. The copany won a Gold Peak award in the Social Media category in this year’s American Marketing Awards.

Have a dig around, there’s an enormous amount of info…I found loads of it really useful, particularly in terms of getting started, subscribing to feeds and joining the conversations that are being started.

05
Jul
07

Nokia at the iPhone launch, New York

A Nokia employee went to the iPhone line the morning of the launch and filmed this on his Nokia:

This is a brilliant example of how to take part in a competitor’s launch and stay relevant, with the effect that they become part of the story.

05
Jul
07

The Branded Application…another take

There’s a brilliant observation written by Mac Randall of Interactive Cognition concerning the success of Nike+ at Cannes the other week.

He describes the site as a ‘Branded Application’, a product. But what is a Branded Application?

“Traditional campaigns focus on entertainment to deliver a message,” writes Teknision, ” while Branded Applications provide a valuable service in order to deliver an emotional connection with a brand.”

So, Branded Applications offer valuable services which provide an emotional connection to a brand. Essentially, you’re providing something useful to your audience and at the same time you’re offering them opportunities to purchase some of your brand’s products.

As Mac goes onto say, “Brands that choose this path will be dramatically set apart from those that are still intent on interrupting the consumer wherever they are. Finding clever ways to yell “buy more” is a trite form of communication and is hopefully cruising towards its demise.

Branded Applications pick up where most websites fall short. The branded application is much deeper than a flashy microsite because there is an opportunity to excel where other experiences fall short. Applications like Nike + take the power of the web, the idea of community, the growing ability to build tools online, and run with it (yes, that horrible pun intended). The experience is sleek, useful, engaging, and most importantly begs to be revisited time and time again.”

Whilst I don’t agree with the last sentence – I actually find the site cumbersome to use for the most part – I do agree with the value it offers.

Nike Plus
I’m interested in seeing the Nike+ application evolve for a different reason to Teknision. I would question how much elastic limit the Nike+ application has for more value to be bolted on to it. Applications by their very nature do one thing well. I believe Nike and RG/A are in danger of dilluting the value of the Nike+ product they’ve created by extending its functionality rather than taking what they’ve built and making it more stable, more reliable and a more solid product overall.

Rather than bolting additional functionality onto the Nike+ application, making it more unwieldy, light-weight applications which do one thing well and interconnect via an platform-like API – much like a suite of themed applications – would be better. Unfortunately, design implimentations like that only occur when you’re not working to the same timeframe as your marketing calender but instead for the benefit of your consumers and the long term.

05
Jul
07

The death of the brand proposition and the rise of the brand story

Currently, at the heart of all brand planning lies the single-minded brand proposition. This is, by necessity, a highly focused and concentrated concept expressed in very few words (sometimes only one word). Its primacy as a planning tool derives from the fact that you need this level of focus to make an ad and ads have been the principal communications tool for most brands. However, we all know the world is changing away from advertising and the type of one-way, didactic advertising we’re used to.

Consumers want more engagement and conversation and the new media channels that are opening up also require this in order to operate successfully within them. The brand proposition is a singularly unhelpful tool as the basis for conversation or richer forms of consumer engagement. If a brand were to walk into a room of metaphorical consumers and, with a look of determination, say “Just Do It’, she would be classified as socially dysfunctional and avoided at all costs.

What a brand needs in order to be successful at a party full of consumers, is a story. Stories are richer and deeper than brand propositions and extend backwards into a brand’s category and history and also forwards into the functional reality of product delivery. It will essentially be the brand’s claim to trust and authority.

05
Jul
07

Conversations are now the kingdom

The old Packaged Goods Media (PGM) model, driven by compaines such as BBC, ITV and Sky, has evolved towards the new Conversational Media (CM) model driven by MySpace, GoogleTube and Facebook. WhilstContent is King, Conversations have now become the kingdom. Continue reading ‘Conversations are now the kingdom’