Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TAXI - BLOG: Boulder Digital Workshop

from TAXI - BLOG by Cynthia

I was fortunate to attend the Boulder Digital Workshop last week held in Toronto.

Dubbed “Digital Bootcamp”, the workshops covered many topics from digital strategy, the importance of technology and UX in the creative process to how to structure teams. There were deep dives into planning, the mobile space, online video & OOH and social media. These two days were built to illustrate and discuss all the various parts of what the boulder folks describe as the digital ecosystem.

BDW is developed by the University of Colorado at Boulder through the early support of founding partner MDC Partners and with input from Sweden’s Hyper Island and The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA). It was led by leaders from business, creative, and technology disciplines. In Toronto the key presenters were Scott Pringle – director of technology and Joe Corr, senior technical lead from CP&B and Matt Howell from Modernista.

I will write here about the beginning of day two which focused on the emerging technologies affecting Digital OOH and Video, clearly a topic close to my heart! Digital OOH presentation showcased both the passive experience ie projection mapping, ambient work as well as the interactive experience which was the most immersive and engaging work – truly inspiring. Each piece is customized and is a shared experience for those viewing. When it is truly interactive it turns the actions of the viewer into visible results. The times square work with Microsoft and Nike are probably the most well known but my favourite piece presented was the Hard Rock Café touch wall which had viewers able to access a full catalogue of music info and content pieces. The possibilities are endless and this space will only get more and more inventive. Another possibility discussed was helio technology that generates a mist into the air so that you can project against that.

There’s a lot of buzz around the future of video, be it IPTV, Internet TV or aggregate sites like YouTube, Veoh and Hulu. Migrating “traditional” advertising strategies to digital means integrating video into the digital process. David U.K. (Managing Director of Digital Percent and previous general Manager at discussed the creative and production opportunities.

Online video spending will grow 45% over the next year and the new technologies are providing very creative ways to engage with the consumer. The landscape for Digital video spans everything from user generated You tube hits to webisodes to SPUG – semi professional User generated work to real time web shows such as fearless Q&A & Justin TV PCHookupshow. The discussion centered around how a brand can be involved in the space of branded content/entertainment. Many of the examples started from an event. Taking a sponsorship and making it bigger; adding a layer of Social media on top of it and promoting the piece – ie Kokanee crankworx

One of the most entertaining viral pieces showcased was created for Samsung and was hugely successful. It was simply tagged by the advertiser and did so well because it was original, entertaining and not expensive.

Samsung produced the viral video to promote its new LED TV range. The brand came up with an idea to make sure that its new product will be talked about: viral sheep advertising. They simply equipped a flock of sheep with LED lights and filmed them being shepherded on a steep hill in Wales. The “Baaa-Studs” team, including among others a shepherd, a cameraman, and several sheepdogs, did a great job. They made a sheep form different contours on the hill, played LED sheep Pong in the dark and even created the Mona Lisa entirely out of sheep. This got over 3.5 million hits in its first week. It’s about a year old but so entertaining.

See for yourself:

Click here to view the embedded video.

While this viral was highly entertaining the most innovation is being seen in the real time web. Sites such as Ustream and allow consumers to watch and interact with the show live. (in fact Boulders 3 day workshop in Boulder was streamed live on – (wish I had known that!) and they both have online and mobile platforms. Their premise is to stream live, build a community and of course increase revenue opportunities. It is not a one way video delivery platform but is designed to be interactive via comments, chat or uploading their own videos – you can also see who is watching online or on mobile. The system also offers a variety of metrics to see how the audience is engaging.

Another real time web show was created by Microsoft & Justin.TV to create a live talk show called PC Hook up with host Christian Lander , author of “Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions” The show run as a late night talk show format, starting with a monologue from Christian and followed by interviews. Each episode was broadcast live and offers real time interaction with viewers at: The PC Hook Up Show hosted celebrities from the technology, media and entertainment worlds and the first 10 episodes showed interviews with various artists as they described their PC experience. It also allowed viewers to call in or chat and be a part of the show as well as have the chance to win a free PC. It may not be the best show but a great example of reaching consumers online in real time.

The show got 1.5 million view and was supported by a twitter feed. It is high production quality and 10 episodes were made for the cost of 1 TV spot (ok US budget – $600K). It ran for 5 weeks, interviewed 50 guests and created more than 450 minutes of content. Most importantly it created real time dialogue with its viewers. The branded content/entertainment space has much potential for our clients particularly as interactivity becomes more viable.

1 comment:

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