Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DRAFTFCBlog: Draftfcb’s Institute of Decision Making: Tapping into what really MATTERS to Consumers

Posted by Soraya Eltomey, Corporate Communications Associate, Draftfcb

Draftfcb today announced the launch of its Institute of Decision Making. What’s this all about exactly? Well it has to do with understanding the instinctual triggers that influence consumer decisions and applying that expertise to attract new business and build better brand value for clients.

To find out more about what’s to come from this global group and its academic partners at Stanford and Berkeley, check out the video below from the Institute’s director, Draftfcb San Francisco Director of Strategic Planning Matthew Willcox.

Please click here to continue reading and view video: DRAFTFCBlog

Six Pixels of Separation: First Things First

Strategy before tactics.

"What are we doing on Blogs, Facebook and YouTube?" is the wrong question to ask (so don't let those boardroom discussions get too heated). The better question is: "why?" "Why should we be on Blogs, Facebook and YouTube?" As I've said before, asking "why?" forces a brand to look at the business objectives and strategy first. "What?" is simply a tactic (which should always follow from the strategy). It's the same as when initial brand planning sessions immediately diverge into conversations about the color of the logo or what the business cards should look like. We will (hopefully) all agree that the strategy needs to drive the tactics.

But before you get to the strategy, ask yourself this...

What are we really great at creating? Social Media isn't one kind of media channel. It's many different type of media that can be interacted with, created and collaborated on in many different ways. If you have a solid strategy that aligns everything to being on Twitter (let's just say), you then have to find someone within the organization that will not only understand Twitter (what it is, how it works, etc...) but they will have to be good (err... great!) at publishing small bursts of content, frequently and engaging with others within the Twitter community. As obvious as that may sound, I've seen many strategies relegated to the bottom drawer of the Chief Marketing Officer's filing cabinet because there was nobody within the organization who had the passion and skills to be the content creator and see the initiative through.

Remember: being great at Marketing means being great at Publishing.

Yes, you can still use broadcast media to drive a message through, but when you start to connect with Social Media and the many new communications and marketing platforms, you are a publisher, and the best publishers live and breathe the content they are sharing. So, if it turns out that the strategy deck calls for YouTube but there is nobody with a passion for online video, you're going to struggle (unless you can bring in the right resources). To make Social Media work - in a very authentic way - you need to sit down, review your team and figure out what you're good at creating, publishing and talking about.

There's some good news.

Again, Social Media isn't just one media. It's many media channels. You can create content in text, audio, video and images. You can create short pieces of content (think Twitter or posting pictures to Flickr) or you can create an ongoing Podcast series (in audio or video). Spend those initial first moments before diving into the strategy to really figure out what type of content you would be best at producing. That line of thought might help move the strategy along, and it will also ensure that there is someone (or many people) within the organization that not only see this as part of their day-to-day job, but enjoy the process of creating it and engaging within it.

Take the time to really figure out what you're good at before chasing after the latest shiny social media object.

Six Pixels of Separation - Marketing and Communications Insights - By Mitch Joel at Twist Image

360 Digital Influence Blog: Its all about location. But will there be a winner?

Since everyone is talking about location let’s extend the conversation Sophia started in her post “Geo-Location Is Truly Everywhere“.

It seems we at interesting point in time in location based content. One one hand you have the early pioneers of this new land Foursquare and Gowalla (I will leave Mytown on its own because of the amazing gaming experience) who are consistently gaining new users. But what happens to Foursquare and the likes when people start tapping into the API for Twitters geo location data and when Facebook checkin gains critical mass ?

On one hand the openness of API’s means all platforms can technically benefit because there is more geo tagged content. For example if Foursquare pulled in places data which was actually tagged via a tweet it would only enhance the experience consumers have while trying to oust their others as the “Mayor”.

The flip side is that the critical mass of Twitter and Facebook could mean doom for the little guys.Kind of like when the big box retailer moves into to small town America.

The advantage I see Facebook having in this space is the amount of behavioral data it collects both implicit and explicitly. This could translate into highly targeted content and very relevant offers. If there was a way to opt in for specials or useful content delivered to my mobile device from my favorite brands I would do it. The challenge with the current models is that they are only location based and not preference. This may feel like spam to some.

Assuming the start ups can extend their platforms and keep a fun gaming experience with a proper balance of rewards extending beyond a badge there is plenty of shelf space available.

Only time will tell how this will shake out but either way location based content and marketing has made great progress. It is proving to be a unique way for brands to engage and reward their most loyal customers with special offers based on frequency or prospective customers who happen to be “nearby”.

How do you think this will play out? Will there be a “winner” or Will everyone win because of broader adoption? 360 Digital Influence Blog

Conversation Agent: Social Media Metrics (book review)

In thinking about metrics, it seems to me that the difficulty is not so much in measuring -- there's plenty you can measure online. So much, in fact, that the conversation needs to be about what to measure, and why. Why is especially important.

Measurement has become more important for marketers in recent years, especially with the increased fragmentation of media.

With digital media, once you know your objective and goals, your strategy can have measurement built right into it -- from the get go.

How do you optimize the myriad ways you could execute a program?

In his book about Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment (Amazon affiliate link), Jim Sterne talks about:

* identifying goals -- what do you want to accomplish?
* reaching your audience -- how do you get attention?
* identifying influence -- is it just about follower count?
* recognizing sentiment -- can this be automated?
* triggering action -- are you noteworthy?
* hearing the conversation -- are you on top of searches, reviews, likes?
* driving business outcomes -- are you getting results?
* convincing your colleagues -- do you need help with buy-in?
* seeing the future -- will customers truly run the show?


The biggest opportunity for companies still resides with listening. The best place to start with that is by determining what your goal is: do you intend to track brand mentions, are you looking to identify market risks and opportunities, how about improving your campaign while in market.

Other ideas are measuring customer satisfaction beyond the net promoter score, responding to customer inquiries and gain a better understanding of customers so you can anticipate their wants and needs.


Listen, if you were just able to aggregate all of the combined information from what all your employees hear in their separate functions, you'd be able to make true headway in insight to action.

However, listening online is a bit more complicated -- you need to filter out the information that is not important to your business rules. To get to insights you also need fact-based analysis.

The biggest contribution you can have from listening is gaining an understanding of the impact of your participation on business results.

Measuring the effects of what you're doing in social media marketing is the only way to know what you're going to do next. Just like in all other kinds of marketing. Things like purchase intent and actual purchase need to be part of the conversation.

To leverage the integration of social with other channels and off line experiences and get results, you need to figure out a way to attribute the contribution of each tactic in social (and that of the other media, BTW).


This book gives you a comprehensive look at measurement in social media and the issues/considerations associated with it. Who should read it? If you're an individual or an agency still grappling with how to create a baseline, figure out what needs measuring, and want examples of how other organizations have done it, pick up a copy.


What would you like to see next in the field of measurement and metrics? Conversation Agent

brand dna: 30 years of Apple

brand dna

Simon Mainwaring: Top ten reasons social media should not (and will not) kill traditional advertising.

I spent the week at the Cannes International Advertising Festival and came away greatly encouraged. Not only did the Festival team (led by Terry Savage and Philip Thomas) do an amazing job but I was impressed by how well the event captured the latest expression of the marketing world. With all the excitement (and, yes, hype) around social media, one might expect this bastion of traditional advertising to take a defensive posture and shun social media, or at least to be a little out of touch. The opposite was true. Not only did the work and seminars fully embrace the potential of social media, but agencies and clients demonstrated real engagement with the marriage of the two. So I thought I’d use my experience of this year’s Festival as a way to explain why traditional advertising is more relevant than ever.

1. IT’S ABOUT THE IDEA: Whether it’s an uber traditional ad spot like Nike’s World Cup spot, ‘Write the Future’, or the Cyber Grand Prix-winning Nike Chalkbot, the fact remains that it’s the idea that determines success with consumers and at the show. Social media expands the reach of great content, but ideas determine reach into hearts and minds. As such, veteran idea generators like ad agencies are very important.

2. FIRST PRINCIPLES, NEW MEDIA: Irrespective of your marketing speciality – whether it be traditional, digital, or social media – the timeless fundamentals of effective advertising apply. Work needs to be simple, emotional and consistent. As such the hard won lessons of traditional advertising agencies are more relevant than ever. They just need to be applied to all media including social media.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA IS IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF: I did not see a single piece of work celebrated at Cannes simply because it was social media. The power of social media is only unleashed when an emotional connection is made that motivates someone to share something using social tools. Brands at the Festival demonstrated a clear understanding of this and a due respect for agencies as architects of community.

4. BRAND CUSTOMERS: Clients made up almost 15% of the 8000 attendees this year according to Ad Age, and this demonstrates a recognition of two facts. One is that consumers are now reaching out directly to brands through social media, and, secondly, that brands are looking to ad agencies for guidance in how to respond. As such the client/agency dynamic is as critical as ever. In fact Terry Savage, Festival Chairman, also said he is 90% sure there will be a prize for effectiveness next year in which clients will play some role.

5. ‘GOOD’ BUSINESS: So much work demonstrated that brands and agencies realize that consumers want a better world, not just better widgets. This a new thing. Campaigns like the Millions, UNICEF Tapwater and Earth hour receiving titanium awards in recent years. What’s more this year the Festival introduced the first Grand Prix for Good indicating a further appreciation of the positive role that advertising can and must play.

6. SILO BLURRING: This year clearly demonstrated the ability of traditional ad agencies to fill new roles. For instance, Interactive Agency of the Year was Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, and Direct Agency of the Year was Abbott Mead Vickers in London. As traditional ad agencies migrate their focus and talent into emerging areas, their creative prowess will come to bear on the marketing.

7. PURPOSE AS PROFIT: One of the things I stressed in my seminar was that the future of profit is purpose. This is based on the recognition that the universal values that inform purposeful work make brands innately sharable and therefore potentially profitable. Across the board work demonstrated a recognition that consumers want to see their brands changing the world for the better. A great demonstration of this was done by the Festival itself when Jeff Goodby, Ben Stiller and Yahoo, enlisted the entire audience to raise money for Stillerstong that is building schools in Haiti.

8. TECH = SAVVY: As someone who attended last year, I was struck by how tech savvy everyone suddenly became. Eyes were permanently glued to iPhones and Blackberries, laptops served as sun reflectors and there was amble wi-fi and power throughout the Palais (which is not always the case even at tech conferences). As such the Festival did a great job of reflecting the impact of technology discussed in so many of the seminars.

9. TRIUMPH OF YOUTH: Each year the Festival does an amazing job of filling its hall with the future of the industry. It would be easy for an expensive Festival such as this to become stocked with veteran ad types (like me!) but this year I felt more old and out numbersed than ever. This is partly due to the Young Lions Zone and new efforts this year through Cannes Connect to put attendees in touch with each other and their communities.

10. THE FUTURE IS HERE: Each year the Festival does a great job of securing the thought leaders from areas that are re-shaping the industry. This year it was Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. The Debussy Room was packed to the rafters with two others rooms outside full of people as well. Beyond the understandable fascination around such successful entrepreneurs, the industry is clearly listening to those shaping their future on a daily basis.

With that said, there is still ground to be gained. I was surprised how few people were tweeting out from laptops during the seminars (if that’s any indication of the audience’s personal engagement with their own social communities). Plus I believe the private sector (represented by brands and ad agencies at forums like Cannes) can play an even more powerful role in shaping the future of marketing and society at large. No doubt next year will demonstrate an even fuller embrace of this potential in which brands, ad agencies and consumers co-create the stories that move people, sell products and change our world for the better.

How do you think traditional advertising agencies are doing? Are they sufficiently embracing social media?
If you liked the post, please tweet, Digg or Stumble it. Thanks! Simon Mainwaring

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning Read more:

Good morning! Here's the news you need to end June:

* iPhone is said to be coming to Verizon in January. If true, one analyst thinks it equals 12 million new iPhone sales, or $7 billion in revenue next year, as well as an additional $3.00 EPS.

* Sony is recalling 500,000 Vaio laptops
because they run too hot and melt the laptop.

* YouTube is going to offer skippable ads to users. If an ad is skipped, then advertisers don't get charged.

* MapQuest got a make-over. New logo, new look.

* Foursquare raised $20 million at a $95 million valuation.

* Hulu made its subscription service available to a select audience. $10 per month for more shows and access on the iPad/iPhone and other gadgets.

* Yahoo promoted Erin McPherson from biz dev at Yahoo Media to "original programming chief." She'll be in charge of ramping Yahoo's content strategy.

* Remember Chatroulette? Well, Salon is saying it's dead, which probably means its going to flourish once again.

* Twitpic is threatening legal action against Posterous, because Posterous is offering to put all your TwitPics on Posterous.

* was down for hours yesterday. It's back now, but so far it gave no details on what went wrong.

Read more: Business Insider

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Business Insider: Check Out The 27 Brands That Will Dominate The Future

A good brand is a tremendous advantage for a company, but its potential is difficult to forecast.

According to a new study done by Credit Suisse, efficient branding
is a vital indicator for investors. They came up with 27 brands that will be big in the next years. Among them are well-known brands like Apple or Facebook, but the study shows that many of these brands are from Asia or the Middle-East.

Pay attention.

Read more: Business Insider

Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association: Another Reason for Business to Embrace Social Media

Breaking down organizational silos in favour of organization-wide collaboration was a predominant theme at CMA’s Social Media Conference last week. Presenters emphasized the significant value proposition of this more holistic approach to management – with the caveat that a full implementation of such a dramatic new policy will prove difficult.

“I think they’ll always be silos,” said David Armano, Senior Vice-President Digital at Edelman, in his keynote address. But you have to make the silos more permeable, he said. Several speakers provided useful examples of how to break down the barriers created by fragmentation. Jeff Gluck, Senior Manager, Marketing Communication and Web with MTS
Allstream, discussed the company’s Idea Factory initiative. The project saw the development of an intranet-based social media tool where employees in all departments could submit ideas to better the company. The response to the project, Gluck said, was very positive. Similar initiatives have been undertaken by myriad organizations – even the United States government operates a similar program though the Department of Homeland Security.

Another illustration of breaking down silos was provided by presenters from Research In Motion. Becky Young and Michelle Kostya are RIM’s Social Media Marketing Manager and Community Manager respectively. While they both leverage social media for the benefit of the organization, they are responsible for separate departments, which have unique areas of focus.

However, they make considerable effort to foster collaboration between their individual segments, particularly with respect to social media. Kostya says within RIM there are councils that have weekly calls to discuss social media policy, ensuring coordination across departments. This helps ensure customers get a consistent approach from Blackberry support teams providing user assistance through social media channels. “When consumers are online (using social media) they don’t expect to hear from one department or the other,” said Kostya. “They just want to hear from the company.”

Additionally, Kostya works out of a Young’s office once a week. This would be a frightening proposition for many - but it surely helps RIM’s Community Manager gain valuable insight into the operations of her colleague’s department.

A full transition of an organization’s structure from one of isolation to complete collaboration will face considerable challenges moving forward. But the introduction of social media tools into the marketing mix has helped to clearly demonstrate the benefits of a more holistic approach to company operations. If marketers continue to discuss and promote these benefits as they relate to profitability, senior managers will undoubtedly be galvanized in support of the destruction of organizational silos. Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association by Jordan Sandler at CMA

OgilvyWW: (video)Well deserved Gold in Cannes for Ogilvy Johannesburg for a new way of looking at AIDS

Collective Conversation Feed: How do you measure PR?

While most of the worlds attention has been turned toward Cannes and the festival of advertising there♣, the faceless men and women of the PR industry have been busy trying to work out standard measurements to track and value what it is we do.

5 measurement companies, two hundred delegates from PR and the aforementioned measurement companies flew into Barcelona to nut out the specifics. It was the second time the global group had come together and while i’m not aware of what they came up with last time, the outcome of this meeting wasn’t a standardised measure. They did however come up with seven nifty principles that they could all agree with.

1. Measurement and goal setting are fundamental for any PR programmes
2. Media measurement requires quantity and quality – clip cuts are generally meaningless
3. AVEs do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity; they measure the cost of media space
4. Social media can and should be measured
5. Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results
6. Business results can and should be measured where possible
7. Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement

The over all shift that these principles describe are an increasing desire to dissociate the world of PR from the world of advertising. The value of media has fallen sharply this year, right around the world, so I’d agree that AVE’s (Advertising Value Equivalents) doesn’t make much sense. Also, allowing for some measure of quality of coverage, and quality of effect seems like a great direction to be headed in.

I’m a little disappointed that the group felt that social media was unique enough to single out for a principle. Any interaction online has almost infinite measurability when compared to some of the traditional media platforms. The continuing exclusion of digital at the highest levels of the industry seems unbelievably out of place to me. We could learn a lot from the media planners and their language of channel neutrality. There is a tendency to chuckle it up at ad agencies who leap into the production process of a 30 second spot, while we think nothing at all of reusing the coverage target slide from the latest presentation on the server. All agencies need to play a part of moving PR thinking towards true online/offline integration. Its worth it for our clients and the job enjoyment of our staff.

Digital rant over, measurement means being able to crow our success and learn from our failures. It’s about delivering a considered and comprehensive ROI to the client, one that hopefully starts by communicating effort, perhaps through quality and reach. Quality and reach probably don’t represent return in many business, and when we make the jump from Comms Manager to CEO, that bottom line looms large. Demonstrating effect on sales, and the development of an engaged and re-contactable audience are key.

Interestingly, the winners at Cannes in the PR Lions section exhibited this type of breadth. Many of them fell back on AVE’s to communicate quality and reach, but since most were ad agencies that is hardly surprising. Secondly, they subscribed a group of advocates who drove their campaigns transmedia. Finally, they all could document (or at least suppose) a significant change in consumer behaviour, the most successful in increases of sales.

Media buyers have been weighting channels on their influence and value for years. By developing a channel neutral weighting system we could potentailly have one system across both new and old forms. It might be as simple as reach (potential reach/actual reach) x quality (the value of the channel itself) x influence (the likelihood of a channel generating news, content or action). Then again, it might not.

This wasn’t meant to be an attempt to define the measures for the industry. I believe that the PR industry has a tremendous advantage in our existing skill sets in building campaigns that earn media. We have, for some time now, told stories that capture the minds of influencer’s and get retold in their voices. I believe that the changes in terms of social media have massively increased the number of people who can act as an influencer, and I’ll accept that just because everyone can, doesn’t mean everyone does.

In developing a system of measurement for the industry, let’s not lose sight of the things we do extremely well, and try to find a way to measure those.

♣ Well, ok. It was probably only me watching Cannes...Collective Conversation Feed by Ben Shipley

brandflakesforbreakfast: the creative brief: necessary, or waste of paper?

So much has changed in the industry of creative agencies that it might lead you to wonder if the creative brief, an age-old document invented by someone older than Moses still has a place in the creative business.

Do we need such a document? Are they helpful, or do they get in the way?

This is the question that Jasmin Cheng of Twist Image seeks to answer. She's put together an absolutely brilliant presentation that examines this challenge.

Disclosure: I might have been swayed to say this is absolutely brilliant because I'm quoted throughout the presentation, and generally the things that I say are perceived as brilliance when I hear them.

After you read my quote on slide 6, I am convinced that you too will see the glorious shiny light...brandflakesforbreakfast

WPP Reading Room: Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands

Welcome to this Kantar Retail analysis of the Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands

This report helps illuminate the radical changes reshaping retail as shoppers, chastened by the recession and empowered with technology, think differently about what and how they purchase. Here are just three of many critical considerations:

First, brand is a prerequisite of retail success. How retailers build their brands impacts all aspects of their business. Brand is key to effective merchandising. It converts private label from a margin-building tactic to a strategic symbol of brand equity. Brand alone secures an enduring place in the mind of the consumer. It is fundamental to the supplier-retailer relationship.

Second, retailers own the conversation with shoppers. Through their loyalty programs and daily interactions with shoppers, retailers have the most authentic and perpetually updated understanding of the shopper. This knowledge is critical to suppliers who need to engage with their retailer customers to actively participate in the conversation.

Third, retail is becoming even more competitive. In developing markets, retailers face tough competition both from traditional outlets and the modern trade. In saturated "post-modern" markets, hyper competition for share of wallet has replaced expanding square footage as the engine of growth. Suppliers play a critical role in helping retailers succeed amid the local competitive forces.

This report elaborates on these considerations and many others. It provides the ingredients needed in order to thrive in this new retail environment: the best data, original insights and compelling ideas that will drive our businesses forward.

Kantar Retail is pleased to provide this report. We believe that it will help you think differently about your business, its challenges and opportunities.


Wayne Levings
CEO Kantar Retail

Download the full report (pdf, 4MB)
WPP Reading Room

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning (GOOG, DELL, MSFT, VZ, EBAY, AMZN)

Good morning, here's the news:

* Google is in more trouble with the Chinese government. China doesn't want Google automatically redirecting Chinese users to the unfiltered results served up from China in Hong Kong.

* Google is hard at work on a Facebook killer called "Google Me" according to Facebook's ex-CTO.

* Tesla priced its IPO shares at $17, raising around $226 million.

* Dell is being sued for faulty computers
, and the NYT uses it to "explain the decline of one of America’s most celebrated and admired companies."

* Microsoft's Windows 8 plans were leaked to the web. Microsoft plans an app store, tablet computers, facial recognition technology, faster computers and much more.

* Verizon cuts the price of the Microsoft Kin after one month.

* Insiders on why PayPal produced so many entrepreneurs.

* Foursquare has another big business deal, getting window sticks at Whole Foods that tell customers to "check-in."

* AT&T says it has improved service in New York.

* Jeff Bezos tries to downplay the iPad, saying it is totally different from the Kindle.

Read more: Business Insider

Monday, June 28, 2010

ESCAPOLOGY (the escape pod's blog): The New World Champions of Advertising

“Why do so many TV ads suck? Seriously!” – Norm Bilow, Managing Director, The Escape Pod. Just minutes ago.

Norm said that as he watched the new Cannes Grand Prix winning Old Spice ad from Wieden and Kennedy. This is that ad. It’s sheer perfection. Watch it and see. There isn’t a wasted millisecond. It’s pure old school hard sell wrapped up in genius execution. Solid gold.

If I wore a hat, i would be doffing it in appreciation. Not every Cannes Grand Prix winning ad is a great ad. This one is. Bravo!

Go on, watch it again. You know you want to...ESCAPOLOGY (the escape pod's blog)

Media Decoder: Interpublic Acquires Agency to Strengthen London Operations of Lowe

The Interpublic Group of Companies is again taking steps to bolster the operations of a major office of its Lowe & Partners Worldwide agency.

Interpublic said on Monday that it had reached an agreement to acquire Delaney Lund Knox Warren from the Creston Group for about $40 million (27 million pounds) in cash. Delaney Lund Knox Warren, which was founded in 2000 and is based in London, is to be merged with the London office of Lowe to form DLKW Lowe.

The deal is subject to approval of Creston shareholders, who are to vote on the agreement on July 13.

The merged office will be led by the senior managers of Delaney Lund Knox Warren, who will have a minority ownership stake in DLKW Lowe.

Lowe, which has its headquarters in London, is the smallest of the three major agency networks owned by Interpublic, trailing McCann Erickson and DraftFCB. Interpublic has recently been seeking ways to strengthen what it calls the “hub market” offices of Lowe.

In October, Interpublic merged the United States operations of Lowe into the New York office of Deutsch in a realignment that placed Deutsch under the Lowe umbrella and erased the Lowe name per se from the American market. Deutsch, which Interpublic bought in 2000, also assumed responsibility for the Canadian operations of Lowe.

Interpublic has also made deals to improve Lowe’s status and standing in Brazil and India.

The top managers of Delaney Lund Knox Warren who will lead DLKW Lowe are Greg Delaney, Tom Knox and Richard Warren. They will report to the leaders of Lowe & Partners Worldwide: Tony Wright, chairman, and Michael Wall, chief executive.

The two executives who had been leading the Lowe London office — Robert Marsh, who oversees the office’s important Unilever account, and Rebecca Morgan, chief strategic officer — will stay on, reporting to Messrs. Delaney, Knox and Warren.

DLKW Lowe will have 253 employees, 167 from Delaney Lund Knox Warren and 86 from the Lowe London office. The merged office is to retain all the clients from both sides, which in addition to Unilever include General Motors.

In 2006, the Lowe London office suffered a blow when it lost a major client, Tesco, along with senior managers who included the Lowe & Partners founder, Frank Lowe. They left to form a rival agency in London, called Red Brick Road.

Last year, trade publications reported, the Lowe London office lost two large clients, the Peperami food brand sold by Unilever and a department store, John Lewis.

A cautionary note to the deal is that in the last 15 years, Interpublic tried many times to beef up Lowe in the United States through mergers.

In some instances, Interpublic acquired smaller agencies and merged them into the Lowe American operations; they included Scali, McCabe, Sloves and Goldsmith/Jeffrey.

In other instances, Interpublic merged agencies it already owned with Lowe, among them Ammirati & Puris Lintas and Bozell.

In all cases, the combinations really never gelled, leading to the decision by Interpublic in October to throw in the towel on the Lowe name in the United States and to go forward with the Deutsch name as the North American hub office of Lowe...Media Decoder

DDB Creativity (video): The Meek Have Inherited The Earth: The power and future of social media in the new decade

Social connectivity is the driver behind the greatest leap in human and brand evolution so far this century. Social media is the single greatest agent of change in both the wider world today and specific commercial channels. From the news being reported real-time through Twitter, to brands developing and altering their products based upon social feedback and democratically enabled creativity and utility - the meek have truly begun to inherit the earth.

Bernbach said: “Word of mouth is the most powerful medium of all.”

Trusted conversation, referrals and advocacy are the most powerful purchasing factors in the marketplace, making social media the most important but least defined of the digital channel tiers. Those that get the fundamentals right will be the most powerful brands of the new century.

In this Cannes seminar, delegates learned how to best leverage social media. In addition to drawing on examples from across the industry, TribalDDB highlighted client Hasbro, and delegates heard a leading brand’s beliefs on this new age of social media as well as how those are informing future business and marketing decisions. They also heard about the latest social media practicalities: the way that brands can harness the social power of Joe Public, create marketing mechanics and experiences wherein public opinion is facilitated and incentivized in order to reach a specific campaign goal, and how to best facilitate this social creativity.

Matt Ross, Head of CreativeTribal DDB, London

Brian Solis: The Last Mile: The Socialization of Business

I’m working on developing new ideas and wanted to share them here with you for your review and also to seek your feedback…

Everything begins with a shift in perspective from viewing stakeholders as a separate entity, “us vs. them,” to a singular view of “us ” as this enlivens a new era of community-focused marketing and engagement.

Social media introduces a new problem of sorts, one where the answer is lost in the politics and corresponding burrows of debate as to who owns social media within the organization. As brands venture into social networks, many are unwittingly contributing to the dilution of their brand image, value proposition, and mission amongst a new genre of social customers and influencers. The mission and vision statements of old no longer convey authority or inspire conviction in an era where the audiences to which we are trying to connect now possess audiences of their very own. The ability to connect with someone and inspire them to take meaningful action is in direct competition with the actions of social customers who are intentionally or indirectly building communities around their views and interests.

In my work, I’ve uncovered what I call the Last Mile or Last Kilometer of Social Media, a challenge that will face every business in the attempts to engage with consumers and influencers and impede the cultivation of dedicated and flourishing online communities.

The last mile is a term associated with the cable and internet provider industries, representing the final leg of delivering connectivity from a provider to a customer. It is symbolic of the human connection required to take a service from the connection hub in any given neighborhood to the home of the new customer...please continue reading in full here Brian Solis

CrapHammer: A response to Ara Tremblay - "Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?"

Ara Tremblay asks "Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?"

A friend in the insurance space sent this to me and asked for my opinion. I share my response here.


I hear the argument a lot. And I can relate. I cringe every time the topic of defining social media comes up, for example.

And this is the crux of it. We are not talking about a programming language. Or a change in infrastructure.

We are speaking of a significant societal shift - from organizations leveraging technology to accomplish their goals TO individuals leveraging technology to accomplish THEIR goals.

And their goals are MUNDANE. They are ABSURD. And they are anything BUT rational.

And nothing matters more than what consumers say about us as a brand. Nothing.

The outcome of this shift will require significant investments in technologies, infrastructure and new ways to operate for businesses. Those that see it coming will be the most successful because they will be positioning their firm to take advantage vs. those that question whether anything is changing out there.

Look at companies that are embracing this and driving unheard of profits and growth? Zappos offers its successful minimum wage trainees $2,000 to NOT take the job. Dell empowers its employees to fix problems and does not care where they sit - call center or escalation path.


I can certainly relate to Ara's line of questioning.

There is no end to people just filling time with the latest buzz words.

And my company, like any other agency, has to own up to our role in fueling this type of behavior and conversation.

But this is not a new technology.

This is a shift in who is using technology.

Technology has been democratized.

Just as businesses that fell asleep at the wheel were disintermediated by technology in the 1990's, now businesses face being left behind by the very consumers they "serve."...CrapHammer

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good Morning! Here's the news:

Foursquare is about to close a round of funding at an $80 million valuation, after coming thisclose to selling itself to Facebook.

Kevin Rose of Digg started a big rumor this weekend saying that Google will take another stab at social networking with something called "Google Me".

Elevation Partners has purchased $120 million worth of Facebook shares on the secondary market.

Amazon has updated the Kindle iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch apps to allow more embedded video and audio.

Palm has lost another exec. Lynn Fox, an ex-Apple employee and Palm's VP of Public Relations, decided to leave.

The giant, expensive Plastic Logic Que e-reader, which was supposed to be a Kindle for the business folk is pretty much dead.

After Apple conceded there was an issue with iPhone 4's antenna, Steve Jobs contradicted himself saying there "is no reception issue. Stay tuned." So keep an eye out for what happens next.

Doodle Jump has had over 5 million downloads, which probably makes it the most popular paid iPhone app of all time.

Gadget factory Foxconn has handed over control of its dorms to another company.

Google's Android app market, for all its freedom, is a bit of a mess.

Read more: Business Insider

Friday, June 25, 2010

Part 1 Andy Azula Creative Director at The Martin Agency on The BuzzBubble

As we head into the close of Season #1 we wrap with a trip to The Martin Agency in Richmond Virginia. This trip we got into TWO heads at the Martin Agency. CEO Mike Hughes, and Creative Director Andy Azula.

We got the royal treatment and a personal Tour of the expansive Martin Agency compound from Dean Jarret and Michele Barker.

Voted 2009’s agency of the year by adweek, and once mainly famous for its powerful print advertising, The Martin Agency is now a force in all media… traditional and new, with a particular strength in bringing “not-so-everyday thinking” to the brands they work with.

You’ve seen their work with huge brands like Walmart, NASCAR, and the insanely brilliant Geico Gecko and Caveman Campaigns, not to mention the idea of putting the creative director on screen for their intelligent and engaging UPS spots.

We are fortunate enough to really get to know the agency from two minds: Foundationaly from Mike the patriarch who grew up at the agency, and Andy the Young Gun who landed here after stopping in at a few other top agencies.

It was truly an enjoyable informative journey with them both.

Join me as we climb into the buzzbubble and examine the brains of Mike Hughes and Andy Azula…. Right now.

This week – Part 1 of our Interview with Andy Azula we start with the buzz round and get to know Andy’s brain from the personal side...The BuzzBubble

MDCPartners: NY Times 6/25/10 - MDC Partners' ‘Million-Dollar Challenge’ to Foster Start-Up Agencies.

Please read full story here: NY Times 6/25/10

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning (AAPL, RIMM, YHOO, GOOG, NWS, DIS)

Good morning, enjoy this hot news:

iPhone 4 is out, but there's a weird glitch with the metal band surrounding the phone. If you hold it just so in your left hand, covering certain parts of the antenna, the signal strength drops. Apple is telling people to not hold it like that that, or buy a rubber casing.

Research In Motion reported earnings last night, missing on sales and subscriptions last quarter.

In a demo at Cannes a Microsoft VP says Windows Phone 7 is coming in October.

Hulu's subscription service could be coming next week for a 10,000 early testers. It will cost $9.95 per month for access to more shows on more devices.

Facebook is including its open graph web pages in its search results, opening its most direct assault against Google. The amount of "likes" a page gets determine its search ranking.

Yahoo's VP of search consumer products, Larry Cornett, is leaving.
Playdom has acquired Hive7, a little gaming studio.

USA v. Algeria attracted the largest ever online audience for a game with 1.1 million unique visitors tuning in for 43 minutes on average.

Texas Instruments is releasing the "Blaze" tablet this fall.

Google remotely killed two apps from the Android store that were put in there by a researcher.

Read more: Business Insider

Thursday, June 24, 2010

alexbogusky's posterous: The first Cannes Lion for not advertising at all

We love awards in advertising and awards motivate agency behavior and recommendations. Perhaps it is time for Cannes to have a new award. An award for the most accurate, careful and ethical use of advertising. Not PSA's, but an award for consumer brands that have decided to take into consideration all the potential effects of their marketing and have built a plan that carefully avoids abusing the power of advertising. This would need to be the pinnacle of achievement. So what is nicer than titanium? Unobtainium? Kryptonite? Crystal? I sort of like that. Crystal clear. No blemishes. And here is what I’d like to see entered next year.

Advertising to adults is not without controversy. And although I’m concerned about consuming for consumption’s sake, I am able to see the role advertising plays in moving our economy forward and the benefit to society that can be created. However, when it comes to advertising to children, it’s much more difficult to find any redeeming value created by the activity. In fact, to the contrary, it is easy to see how destructive the process is to most of us.

First, let’s take a few words to get into the brain of a child. As we all know from experience, children are not small grownups. Their brains are fundamentally different, the big difference being that right hemisphere brain development doesn’t really kick in until the age of twelve. This is important because without the right hemisphere involved, all decisions and concepts are very black and white. If you have kids, you’ve experienced this: The child that learns at school that drinking can be dangerous and suddenly thinks that glass of wine is going to kill dad. All things go into a category of good or bad; there are no grey areas for children. And this leaves them fundamentally and developmentally unequipped to deal with advertising in the way an adult can. If you sit with a child and watch TV commercials, you will notice how vigorously effective the messages are. “I want that.” “Can I have that?" “I need that.” These words come out of their mouths with seemingly every message, and they mean it and they believe it and they are defenseless against it. And that is the issue.

So what if we stopped it? What if we decided that advertising to children was something none of would engage in anymore? Perhaps because we legislate it, or perhaps because we just decide to police ourselves. We can get into the how a bit later. But what if we stopped? What would happen? A lot of things would happen and almost all seem to be for the good of society.

Let’s start with mom and dad and the relationship with their kids. Without the messages suggesting to kids that they eat differently than how mom and dad would like them to eat, trips to the grocery store and meals at home would almost certainly contain dramatically less complete and total meltdowns. Imagine a relationship with kids where moms and dads aren’t caving in to the constant pressure their kids apply to get what they want. Helping to create this pressure is why companies advertise to a group of people who have neither jobs nor income. And it is working. More than 10 percent of 12 to 13-year-olds admitted to asking their parents more than 50 times for products they have seen advertised. That fact alone should get every parent to sign a petition. For the potential to have a little quiet time, if nothing else. But the statistics go beyond bugging mom and dad and into a much sadder place. More than half of children surveyed (53%) said that buying certain products makes them feel better about themselves. This is a pattern we all need less of, not more. So a ban on advertising to kids would improve the child-parent dynamic, as well as improve our kids' self-esteem. So far, so good.

But without all this ad-supported revenue there would be much less programming developed and broadcast for children. Whole networks like Nick might cease to exist. Horror of horrors! Children would be forced off the couch and made to think of new ways to entertain themselves. Some of those games might include moving the body. These days they would probably just go online or play video games but at least that takes a bit of interaction. Kids would mourn the demise of the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, but they’d get over it. So I guess I can live with that, too.

But a ban would mean less dollars for the advertising industry. Oh, lord we can’t have that! Well, in my experience this isn’t really what happens. The dollars get moved; they don’t go away. Now, if you specialize in advertising to kids then, yes, your business would be a casualty. My bet is, those people would find their talents put to use in ways they would actually prefer in the end. The advertising industry as a whole doesn’t all agree and in fact, get quite excited, about doing even more adverting to children. Chinese children.

In his book, Kids as Customers, James McNeal estimates that there are about three quarters of a billion children in other industrialized countries: "Letting one's marketing imagination run wild for a moment, if these children spend only half of what U.S. children spend, their market potential would be equal to around $86.5 billion." When this kind of money is involved ethics and morality often become more difficult to measure.

Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Denmark and Belgium all have bans on advertising to children under 12. It is interesting to note that in Sweden, the reason given is the way a child’s brain works, it is “not fair play.” I agree. But even in Europe where bans do exist, the amount of money involved has made progress slow and sometimes nonexistent. A proposed ban in the UK was blocked as recently as ‘08. The actual dollars spent advertising to children is difficult to come by and the figures I’ve been able to find vary, but a little over $15 billion annually is a moderate estimate. It is shocking to realize that is about 250% more than it was as recently as 1992. To me these numbers seem scary.

So, what about the companies that rely on advertising to kids as a way to drive sales? What happens to them? My sense is that they will be fine, too. They’ll probably sell a little less and they’ll probably have to make the products a bit healthier since it will be mom and dad that they’re trying to convince. But they will be fine. In fact, I think they’ll feel better. My old client at Burger King used to talk about pulling all the kids' advertising as a way to garner some positive press and put pressure on McDonald’s to do the same, knowing that it was a much, much bigger part of McDonald’s business. My guess would be they debate this at McDonald’s, too, but I have no way of knowing that. The trouble that arises when ethics and money place pressure in opposite directions is that no company feels it can afford to go first. The loss of competitive advantage would be too much.

Then the question is one of adding a bit more pressure to the ethical side of the scale. I’ve been scratching my head for some potential solutions and it’s a sticky problem, but I’m not completely convinced it is hopeless just because market forces have proven that there is big money to be made by spending billions to influence our innocent and defenseless offspring. The first and most obvious solution is a ban not unlike other developed European nations. Our heavily lobbied politics makes this seem an unlikely scenario, at first glance. Unless the lobbyists were for some reason asked to do the opposite of what we might expect. It is actually beginning to make more sense for fast food lobbyists to actually ask for the ban. They need the publicity that puts them on the right side of these issues and, if legislation is created, it makes a new and even playing field where there is no disadvantage created.

Perhaps our own industry could lobby to stop the behavior. God knows advertising people need the good press.

Another potential bit of leverage might be for ethical and fair use of advertising to become a common way companies are rated. Today we see more and more data made available in the areas of a company's impact on health, sustainability and the ethical treatment of workers and even animals. How about ethical treatment of our most precious resource? Our children. What is your score on fair and ethical use of advertising? This can be measured and quantified and it can become part of the buying decision. Not just for people with children, but for all consumers. Advertisers would reconsider quickly if they noticed that people we’re buying their product as adults because they advertised to kids.

So my hope for the 2011 Cannes Crystal award is some brilliant agency works with their client to pull all the advertising to children and takes home the Cannes Crystal Grand Prix Lion in the inaugural year. And that would be the end of that. Because as soon as you can win an award for it, we ad folk are all over that shit.

Most people in advertising have a list of categories they will and will not work on, and it evolves. My list has evolved and probably will continue to. At the beginning of my career, I wouldn’t work on any pharma. I probably would have worked on tobacco given the opportunity but luckily for me I got the opportunity to work against tobacco and I got one hell of an education in the process. My time working on TRUTH, the youth anti-tobacco campaign, taught me a lot about early brain development and soon I added to my personal list that I wouldn’t do any advertising that targeted kids (defined by most brain scientists as under 12). As we took on the BK account, we politely offered that we could not work on that part of their marketing. And in subsequent years declined multiple invitations to work on the kids business. Once one of our adult spots for Sponge Bob Squarepants (hard to believe, but young adults love Sponge Bob) was repurposed and re-edited by another agency to add toy footage and aired on Nick. I was livid and we got it pulled. The client owns the work, but pulled it out of respect for the relationship. We all work to bring our personal values in line with our professional life and there are shades of grey to these decisions. But shades of grey don’t exist in our society’s decision to allow millions to be spent targeting an audience that is literally and physiologically incapable of protecting and defending themselves from a message probably doesn’t have their very best interest at heart. It’s not a matter of the rightness or wrongness of the products being advertised. That is a grey area. But there are children and there are adults. And the duty of adults in society is to protect it’s children. And that is black and white...alexbogusky's posterous

TAXI - BLOG: Microsoft launch with TAXI

TAXI is behind new online campaigns for Microsoft for the launch of is a new separate Hotmail domain for Canada. The creative exploits the notion that now you can get the email address you really want – like your real name.

TAXI’s insight is based on a simple fact: most people got their first addresses when they were a lot younger, and have evolved since. The banner campaign theme – You’ve changed. So should your email. – encourages users to Update themselves to Banners drive traffic to the microsite, where three characters play out this evolution in video.

The campaign launched June 10 and runs till early July.

Or see those videos on Youtube


Collective Conversation Feed: Cannes Eye TV interviews P&G's Marc Pritchard

As one of the largest marketers in the world, we were delighted to be able to catch up with Procter & Gamble global marketing and brand building officer Marc Pritchard during his hectic Cannes Lions schedule to find out why he thinks the festival is the place for his marketers to be.

Improv Everywhere's Charlie Todd also tells us why the kind of improvisation missions that took place at Cannes are relevant to brand owners..please view video here: Collective Conversation Feed

DRAFTFCBlog: (video): Consumers Accessing Video Content Anytime, Anywhere: The Power of “The Three Screens”

There is no denying it. The video content available via television, the web and mobile devices engages, informs and entertains consumers alike. But what does this all mean for advertisers?

To best answer this question, I sat down with Draftfcb New York VP, Group Media Director Bhavana Smith...To view video please click here: DRAFTFCBlog

New blog on Adcrowd: The Bees Awards


The Bees Awards was created to grant recognition to the best Social Media communications and marketing practices. You are welcome to submit your work and help your industry share its excellence within the international marketing community.

Bees developed a well coded communication system to make their collective intelligence greater than each individual’s intelligence. Like bees, Social Media is all about collective communication. It takes place everywhere there is user-generated content. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other community-based content are Social Media. This new kind of content and media usage calls for a new communications and marketing expertise. The Bees Awards reward this new expertise.

Our notable jury is composed of some of the most renowned Social Media professionals who will evaluate, with the highest regard, the work that comes in from around the globe. The Awards presentation will take place in San Francisco on November 9, 2010 at 7pm and will be transmitted for free throughout the Web...The Bees Awards

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning (HPQ, MSFT, AAPL, EBAY, MOT, VIA, GOOG)

Good morning!

* iPhone 4 goes on sale in stores today. Expect long lines, and lots of tweets about it. We got ours yesterday. Our snap reaction to it: It's as nice as everyone says. Also, iMovie for iPhone is out, and white iPhone 4s aren't coming until July.

* Viacom lost its $1 billion copyright infringement case against Google and YouTube.

* Hulu is in talks with CBS and Viacom about adding shows when Hulu launches its paid subscription service.

* HP has acquired music streaming service Melodeo for between $30 and $35 million. Presumably it will be used for Palm in the future.

* Cisco announced plans to invest $1 billion in Russia. (Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was touring Silicon Valley yesterday.)

* Windows 7 is selling like hotcakes. Every second Microsoft rings up 7 sales of Windows and 150 million copies have been sold to date.

* eBay acquired Red Laser, a bar code scanning app.

* Twitter added the ability to follow all your friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. Except, it doesn't work at Facebook. Facebook says it's trying to fix that.

* Motorola released the latest Android phone, Droid X. With its big screen the emphasis is on video.

* Apple decided to sue HTC again, over more patents.

Read more: Business Insider

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McCann Erickson New York: Why isn't this plan -- put the US Navy in charge of the BP spill -- in place?

Why isn't this plan -- put the US Navy in charge of the BP spill -- in place? Why? Why? Why? Why? please continue reading here:

RealTimeCannes: Mark Zuckerberg's dream of an open world

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage in a packed auditorium here in Cannes to explain where he sees the world going. It's going to be a lot more open, a lot more connected and a lot more personalized. He believes Facebook, if it executes correctly, can get to 1 billion users worldwide from the 500 million it has today. In an interview with Ad Age executive editor Abbey Klaassen, Zuckerberg said he's banking on people seeing continued benefits to sharing information with each other—and critically, altering their notions of privacy.
The privacy question, to Zuckerberg, involves balancing the need to give people control and maintain openness. He said there's a "natural tension" between the two. Zuckerberg didn't make any grand pronouncements. Instead, clad in a T-shirt rather than his trademark hooded sweatshirt, he explained to the ad world how he sees communications becoming more transparent and more two-way. That applies to advertising, too. Facebook has offered advertisers ads that allow some measure of dialog with users, whether letting them broadcast to their friends that they "like" a brand or through polling and other social features of the site.

The key is that media is getting personalized. "We're going to look back at this and wonder why it wasn't always like that," Zuckerberg said. That's going to upend sectors. Gaming is one area that's seen a big shift, with companies like Zynga stealing a march on incumbent gaming companies by building social games. "The games are designed around the core assumption that you're doing it with your friends," he said.
Regarding the company's future, the 26-year-old Zuckerberg said he doesn't plan on stepping aside for a more seasoned CEO anytime soon. He'll continue to focus on product development, he said, since that's critical to Facebook achieving its mission of leading a more open and connected world...ADWEEK

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning! Here's all that matters in tech:

* Bing continues to introduce cool features. The latest is an upgraded "Entertainment" section that lets you search for your favorite TV shows, movies, and watch some of them right at Bing.

* iPhone 4 reviews went live yesterday. Everyone loves the phone, they just hate AT&T.

* If you want to see an iPhone 4 torn apart, iFixit has done just that.

* Firefox released a new version of its browser which is supposed to protect the browser from Flash caused crashes. The only catch -- it's for Windows and Linux only.

* John Watkinson, a mobile app developer for Larva Labs, estimates Android developers have only been paid $21 million from the Android Market, or 2% of what they make in the Apple App Store.

* Verizon has killed the Droid Eris, the cheaper Droid phone that came out last holiday season.

* EA is having a big sale on its iPhone games, slashing the prices to $1. Go get them while you can.

* Motorola, Verizon, Google and Adobe have a big event planned today in New York. We'll be on hand to cover it. We're expecting the Droid X to be unveiled.

* Zynga gamers are hardcore -- 90% of them play on a daily basis.

* Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook revenue is in the range of $1.1 billion, and he shouldn't have become as obsessed with Twitter as he did.

Read more: Business Insider

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DRAFTFCBlog: The Digital Ad Bubble?

Posted by Andrew Eifler, Media Supervisor, Draftfcb New York

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about the financial bubble/bust of 2008. Most authors I’ve read agree that one of the major forces that led to the meltdown was the creation and sale of exotic financial instruments that were very hard, or in some cases, impossible to value. Similarly, reflecting back on the technology bubble of 1998, one of the driving forces for the crash was people buying and selling stock in companies that had little or no cash flow. Citing both these cases, I think it’s safe to say that there are two telltale signs that indicate an industry is headed for some challenging times:

1. Everyone foresees unlimited growth potential
2. People are buying and selling things (assets/products) without knowing how much they are worth

Now, it’s not my intention to be the person on the street corner heralding the end of the world with a cardboard sign, but I do think it’s important to take a step back every once in a while and see where things are headed. For me – the area of interest is digital advertising.

Advertising, as a category, is tricky – it’s hard to value. Unlike financial instruments, the value of any ad (TV, print, or digital) can vary depending on who buys it and which product is being advertised. There is no underlying “asset” (as there would be with a financial security), but rather, what you pay for is the opportunity for people to see your message with the hope that it will affect their behavior. With a financial security, the discounted value of all future cash flows is the same no matter who owns it, but the intrinsic value of each advertisement can be different for every advertiser.

Additionally, as technology evolves, we now find ourselves in an increasingly fragmented advertising landscape. Advertising opportunities are no longer limited to TV, Print, Radio, and Online Banner Ads, but there are now digital advertising opportunities everywhere. Everyday publishers are thinking up new and untested forms of digital advertising, which they then try to sell to advertisers. Some of the more recent examples are iPhone ads, iPad ads, and social media ads. How could these new advertising products possibly be appraised and accurately priced in alignment with their long term value? It’s nearly impossible! But still, even without knowing how much they are worth, advertisers are buying these new digital ad products and encouraging publishers to continue creating increasingly exotic advertising opportunities.

Looking at the digital ad industry, one could argue that both of the signs are now true – 1) Everyone foresees unlimited growth potential (and publishers are investing heavily to pursue new advertising technology) and 2) people are buying and selling “new media” advertising products with no way of knowing how much they are worth.

I’m not saying that we’re on the precipice of disaster, but I do think it’s important to keep these things in mind – because another thing that all bubbles have in common is that just before the crash, no one sees it coming...DRAFTFCBlog

Profectio: GREY Canada Bring Home First Canadian Gold From Cannes

Cheers and “hi-fives” are going around GREY Canada’s as the agency has brought home what is arguable one of the most coveted awards an agency can be honored with, a Cannes. They won the Direct Lions competition for Dimensional Mailing for its work on behalf of GGRP Sound, a Vancouver-based sound studio.
The campaign caught the attention of numerous judging creative directors, YouTube viewers, bloggers and clients alike.

“Capturing the curiousity and attention of our clients’ audiences is the job of the advertiser,” said Carl Jones, VP and Executive Creative Director, GREY Canada. “Every so often we produce something so incredible that it captures the attention of the world. This is exactly what GREY Vancouver did and we are so incredibly proud of our team’s accomplishment here at Cannes.”

REY Vancouver tasked GREY Vancouver with touting the creativity of the sound studio to its existing and potential client base in North America. Along with creating and launching a new brand identity and a corporate website – – GREY created a direct mail piece.

GREY created a portable player using a single piece of cardboard which folds up into an envelope that includes the record. Using a pencil, the record can be manually played to hear an animated narration of a story titled “A town that found its sound” which describes how a small town discovered music and was never the same again. The story highlights the importance of sounds in everyday life.

Online conversation surrounding the direct mail piece extended to more than 20,000 YouTube views in a week, more than 500 blog mentions – and a jump in GGRP website traffic from 50 page views a week, to more than 70,000. The promotional piece is a keepsake, with creative directors across Canada and the US requesting additional copies...Profectio

Online Marketing Blog: Content Marketing: Definitions of Curation & Context

Companies are realizing the value in “brands as publishers” and are making real commitments to the creation of content in their online marketing mix. It’s no longer enough to provide fundamental features and benefits information about products and services to succeed competitively online. Consumers and of course, business buyers, seek additional information, resources and others to connect with on the topics of interest to them. Some companies choose a pure creation strategy and find it to be a formidable undertaking, especially creating unique and valuable content over a long period of time.

Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content. Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Content curation can provide the best of both.

As I am prone to do with topics of interest, I reached out to a few industry thought leaders to get their take on defining content curation and where it fits within the mix in an online marketing program:

Rebecca Lieb – @lieblink
Vice President, North America at Econsultancy and author of The Truth About Search Engine Optimization

As an editor, journalist and marketer….what a great question!

Content curation, which can be defined as a highly proactive and selective approach to finding, collecting, presenting and displaying digital content around predefined sets of criteria and subject matter, has become essential to marketing, branding, journalism, reporting and social media – often, to mash-ups of all these different and disparate channels.

Content curation can takes many forms: feeds, “channels” (such as on YouTube), it can appear on blogs, or even be the links you upload to social media sites such as Facebook. It can be an online newsroom, a collection of links, an assortment of RSS feeds, or a Twitter list. Whatever form content curation does take, it’s around a topic, or a subject, or even a sensibility that speaks to the knowledge, expertise, taste, refinement, brand message or persona of the person, brand or company that has created the particular channel or source of content.

Why bother? Tons of reasons. It’s a big web out there. More and more, people rely on trusted sources: friends, family, brands, companies, experts, you-name-it, to help keep them informed, educated and even amused. Need proof? Take, one of the web’s most popular blogs whose traffic often exceeds that of This group blog is nothing more (or less), that curated content; items its contributors and often its readers find and share with others.

Channels of content can be as specific as bee keeping equipment, or as amorphous as “what’s cool.” But they all serve multiple purposes, ranging from informing to engaging to entertaining. In an era where marketing is supplanting advertising and storytelling is an ever-more essential part of the marketing message, carefully curated content – well presented – is an immense brand asset, be it to a humble, over-caffeinated individual blogger or a Fortune 100 company.

David Meerman Scott @dmscott
Author, New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Rave

I’ve been working with what I call syndication for 25 years. My first job when I got out of school was a bond trading desk and right after that started working with companies in the financial information space. I worked with Knight Ridder for 6 years and at a company at News Edge for 6 years as president of marketing. News Edge was the first, real serious aggregator of news in the corporate, financial and government spaces. So news syndication, news aggregation has been going on literally for decades.

What is Expedia, for example? It’s an aggregation of airline and hotel feeds that then get aggregated to create content. What’s Google? Google is an aggregation of a whole bunch of content.

I’m a fan of doing that but the challenge is how can you do it in a way that’s interesting. You have to make a decision: Do you let the machines do the aggregation and the selection or do you let humans do the selection. It’s a huge decision, humans or machines.

You also need to think about, how do you create the taxonomy and the folksonomy of how to turn that content into categories? That becomes a really big issue with content curation.

If you’re a big company and trying to do this, and you have a B2B section, a B2C section, 15 products in 25 markets, in 58 countries, what do we do? Do we have 58 feeds for each country, do we have 25 different things for each category? It really becomes a big issue.

I’m a huge fan of content syndication, great stuff. Been going on for decades. But the two challenges for people that want to embark on a strategy like that is A: Humans or Technology and B: What’s the taxonomy or folksonomy to put it together.

Brian Solis – @briansolis
President Future Works and Author of Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web & Co-Author of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

Marketing in general, which can be content marketing, public relations, communications. We have a tendency to try and automate things, to the point of obscurity or mediocrity. There is a value in curation and a value in creation. But when you start to think of things in terms of automation, I think that we’re just feeding the system for the sake of feeding the system.

Now I think there’s value in both and I believe that in order to garner some thought leadership you have to become a thought leader. You can’t do that through aggregating the thoughts and words and ideas of others.
Obviously you (as a company) have something to contribute, something to say, something of value to offer which is mostly likely why you’re most likely in business. I need to hear about that. I need to understand why I should consider you as a partner or whatever it is you’ve created, something I can use, something I couldn’t do before I came into contact with you.

Now in terms of curation, where it gets really interesting is that those thoughts and words and ideas of others can be helpful to establish yourself as a value added resource, as a place or destination for information.

Ann Handley – @marketingprofs
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs and Co-Author of the upcoming book, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

Defined as it applies to online publishing: Content curation is the act of continually identifying, selecting and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other online resources (and by that I mean articles, blog posts, videos, photos, tools, tweets, or whatever) on a specific subject to match the needs of a specific audience.

What role should it play:

All organizations are now publishers — meaning, the company with the most engaging and interesting content is the one who wins. Content curation isn’t necessarily anything new (finding the best stuff to share is what so many of us do on Twitter already, and what bloggers have long done, or what sites like Alltop or Digg have been doing). But recently, it’s getting a little more attention as an emerging field of its own.

It can fit into an organization’s content strategy nicely. How? It’s a way for organizations to further their role as a resource to their audience. Sifting through the mountain of web content and finding the tastiest, choicest bits for your readers is a great way to build trust and authority with them, and to become a valuable resource for them on any particular topic. What’s more, for organizations just getting into publishing online — for those just starting a blog, say, or a microsite — curated content can allow them to ramp up quickly, both from an SEO as well as content perspective.

That said, I have two cautionary pieces of advice:

1. Don’t rely exclusively on automated content curation services to feed your own belly (to fulfill your content needs). I see content services like HiveFire as providing an intelligent stream of curated stuff, but you still need a real, live human editor to pick and choose and order the best stuff for your own audience. Warm-blooded humans still required, in other words.

2. Mix curated content with original content, and don’t rely on the curated stuff alone. Content curating is a perfectly good way to extend the content of your own site, but only “in addition to” and not “instead of” your original content.

Joe Pulizzi – @juntajoe
Founder Junta42 and Content Marketing Institute, Co-Author of Get Content, Get Customers.

Content curation is editing on steroids. In actuality, content curation has been around since the dawn of the publishing industry. The job of the editor was to take the best information from around their industry and present that information in a manner that makes sense to readers.

The web’s first crack at this was content aggregation, or having computers pull the best links and information automatically to make the “reader’s” experience more fulfilling. But as we have learned, search is not perfect. Enter the content curation specialist.

As more content floods through all aspects of the web (as well as print and online), we’ll need more brands stepping up to make sense of what we really should be paying attention to. Content curation is as important in the content marketing toolbox as is creation. We need both…and curation doesn’t work without creation (much like Google trying to save the newspapers because they need great news to survive, but that is for another story). For some brands, curation may be enough. You can’t find the resources to develop the most valuable, most compelling content in your industry? Then just tap into your network that does, and package that content to present you as the trusted industry leader. It’s still a needed service, just a bit different from creation.

Where it will go, no one knows…but I’ve heard from smarter people than me that content curation is the future (even present) of media. I’d rather say curation and creation go together like Macaroni & Cheese…a splendid combination.

Paul Gillin – @pgillin
Consultant. Author of The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing

I define content curation as the process of assembling, summarizing and categorizing and interpreting information from multiple sources in a context that is relevant to a particular audience. I think this discipline will be absolutely essential to content marketing in the future because of changes in the media landscape.

Just a few years ago, audiences were starved for information and the role of media was to create it. Today, we are drowning in information and the emerging role for media is to filter and organize it.
This is being handled accomplished on an ad hoc basis by social news sites like Digg and Sphinn; social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Reddit; news aggregators like Drudge Report; link blogs like Metafilter and Slashdot; friends networks like Twitter and Facebook; and even self-curated RSS aggregations. In fact, much of what goes on in social media is various forms of content curation.

Marketers can build trust with their constituencies by providing focused curation in areas that matter to their constituents. Original content will always have value, but curation is coming to have nearly equal value. The key is to stake out unique topic areas and to become the most trusted source in those areas. You don’t need a lot of money to do this. You just need to know the subject matter very well.

Erik Qualman, @equalman
Author of Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business and MBA Professor at the Hult International Business School

Today, everyone is a potential media outlet. A curator understands their audience and is able to package created content in a digestible manner for them.

Creators need to view curators as distribution points for their content rather than as pirates. Content creators and curators that will thrive in this new world understand the importance of this symbiotic relationship. But is it symbiotic? In the end, almost every person is a little of both (creator & curator). After all, there is no such thing as a new idea and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. These clichés symbolize the irony of the topic being discussed.

Valeria Maltoni – @conversationage
Director of Strategy, Powered, Inc., Conversation Agent

Content curation is one of the keystones in a content marketing strategy. It’s like museum curation — harvesting, researching, tagging, organizing, and sharing — only two-way, because of the digital medium. Thanks to technology it also includes in an out feeds, and moderation and escalation, where necessary.

To maximize its impact, you want to integrate curation within a canvas of brand generated content and promotions in a forum that also highlights the best brand-related content from your own community of fans. The curator monitors conversations for opportunities to align the voice of the brand with the voice of the customer, to engage outside content creators, to highlight the best third party content within the brand’s sharing strategy, and inspire action.

Pawan Deshpande – @TweetsFromPawan
CEO, HiveFire (TopRank Client)

Content curation is the cure for a broken content marketing strategy. Content marketing is about a brand producing valuable content, and prospects being educated with that content. It’s valuable, it works and it’s not going away.

But the only problem is that day by day, it’s less effective as everyone produces more and more content. Brands are increasingly competing to get their content noticed. At the same time, prospects are increasingly spending more time searching for relevant content.

Content curation has emerged as a new and powerful way for marketers to seamlessly sift through the flood of content available to prospects. Like the owner of a high-end art gallery, you have to sift through the information from across the web and “curate” it to ensure that it is relevant to the customer. You will be navigating your prospects through this sea of content by leading them to the most relevant important information.

It’s already happened in the consumer world: Sites like Digg (social curation) which have little or no original content have become key resources for information. Similarly we are seeing leading businesses take a similar approach to become the experts for their respective areas.

Marc Meyer – @marc_meyer
Dir.of Social Media and Search, Principal at DRMG

Content today is not your father’s content… Hell, it’s not even the content from 10 years ago. It’s so much more now. So much so, it should be its own country. Curation for us, is part art and part science. At its core, it has as much to do with maintaining and preserving what has been digitally “created”-as it does in making sure that it lasts longer than a cup of coffee. And that’s the challenge.

Loosely defined, the curation of content is a company’s ability to create and then manifest digital assets that drive and maintain at the least, awareness. Content Curation holistically speaking, refers to a person’s or company’s ability to stay in front of the digital curve by managing those assets across the board.

Its role in a content marketing strategy is primary and cannot be downgraded to a perfunctory responsibility. Curation feeds the beast and thus it contributes greatly to a company’s overall digital strategy.

Have you added a curation component to your content marketing mix? If so, are you doing it manually, automatically or somewhere in between? Online Marketing Blog

brandflakesforbreakfast: this will make you want a tennis racket

If you're getting tired of all the soccer/football hype, then maybe it's time for you to move on to Tennis.

You're totally going to dig this promotion for the Wimbledon tournament by Head. Awesome...brandflakesforbreakfast

nick burcher: Gandalf goes to the World Cup!

Global event + professional content + subversive YouTube users = 'Gandalf Goes To The World Cup!'

This video is all over YouTube and has significantly higher views than much of the official FIFA and brand endorsed event activity. I don't know who created it originally, but 'Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Vuvuzela' is definitely spreading! nick burcher

Collective Conversation Feed - Cannes Eye: Kraft Food & Yahoo! talk Cannes

Cannes Eye TV coverage is coming in thick and fast today. This latest edition reports on the winner of the PR Lions category at last night's awards ceremony, as well as featuring interviews with senior marketers at two of the biggest global brands attending the Cannes Lions, Kraft Food and Yahoo!

Paul Taaffe tells us the story behind Replay by Gatorade which won the big PR prize of the night, then Kraft's SVP of marketing strategy and communications talks about their attendance at Cannes. Finally, Elisa Steele of Yahoo! explains what they are up to, how they're helping brands and also offers her insight into the challenges facing today's marketers.Please watch video interviews here Collective Conversation Feed

Brand Republic Community: Sorrell and Levy upstaged by Hollywood funny man

The Cannes film festival is in May, so why at the end of June, with advertising’s big shots rolling into town, is La Croisette buzzing with news of movie star Ben Stiller?

Talk of the town last night was not of Maurice Levy, Martin Sorrell or Michael Roth, or even Cannes 2010’s ‘Media Person of the Year’ Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, adland is going nuts for the Hollywood actor and comedian.

The 44-year-old Meet the Fockers star is Yahoo's inspired guest panelist this afternoon and his arrival has caught everyone's imagination. I had no idea he was so popular, but it seems he's a certifable international hit, with both men and women alike.

Publicis Groupe's Richard Pinder, the keynote speaker in the session immediate before Stiller's turn, looks set to reap the benefits of a standing-room only auditorium as delegates strategically position themselves. Not that the chief operating officer is not enough of a pull himself of course!

I'm clearly missing something. I thought adland was supposed to be far too cool for such celeb-enthusiam.

One agency exec assured me "Ben is incredibly funny amd is genuine Hollywood royalty". Unfortunately she became suddenly shy when I suggested a name-check in this post, but she did add "the fact that's he's cute doesn't hurt".

He may be more used to starring alongside Robert De Niro, Winoa Ryder and Barbra Streisand, but Stiller's support cast today will be Yahoo chief marketing officer Elisa Steel and Goodby Silverstein & Partners' co chiar Jeff Goodby.

"I don't care as long as he's funny," added my exec, let's hope the There's Something about Mary actor can live up to his billing...Brand Republic Community

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning! Here's the news:

* Super buzzy Q&A site Quora has officially launched. The site was started by two ex-Facebook engineers.

* Another Palm exec is moving on. David Temkin is leaving his post as VP of developer platform to move onto AOL where he will head mobile.

* There's a big e-reader price war going on. After Barnes & Noble cut the price of its 3G Nook to $199, Amazon retaliated by cutting its Kindle price to $189. It's a race to the bottom, and it's unclear if anyone, other than consumers, will win.

* Speaking of Jeff Bezos, he delivered the commencement address at Princeton titled "We are what we choose."

* Adobe Flash is fully launched for Android phones.

* Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will lead a multistate investigation into Google's WiFi data collection screw-up.

* Apple's iOS 4 is out. Ars Technica did a seriously deep dive into it. If you want the quick version, click here for our take.

* As part of Apple's updated OS, it is now collecting the "precise" "real-time geographic location" of users, reports the LAT.

* Social gaming startup Playdom raised $33 million from Disney's Steamboat Ventures, Bessemer, and New World.

* Microsoft is running ads telling people to switch away from Google Docs to Microsoft Office.

Read more: Business Insider

Monday, June 21, 2010

DRAFTFCBlog: Day 2 of Cannes Seminars

Posted by Patricia Marinho, SVP, Account Management, Giovanni + Draftfcb São Paulo

Have to say that yesterday was much better. There were some disappointments, but since we can always learn something new, there were some good lessons from the Go Viral seminar and specially from JWT, who made the best presentation here so far.

Go Viral's chairman Jimmy..... comes to Cannes every year to give a lecture on the state of digital. Since last year he focused on the importante of video as a tool to promote engagement online. He gave a lot of impressive numbers, like 120 million US citizens watched an average of 182 online videos last february. Because of that, several companies like Nokia are starting to look at online video as an strategic tool. For them uploading a video whenever you have a new campaign is not enough anymore. They know that they have to create their own narratives, relating to what matters to the brand. Therefore they now have an editorial team, with weekly meetings, to discuss what is going on and decide what type of new video has to be produced to ignite owned, earned and paid media. We should better get used to cases like de 16 videos produced for the N8 foosball - 2010 case.

Talking about JWT, they came with the notion that "time is the new currency" and that's why we have to make ideias people want to spend time with. That, for them, means creating stories that captivates the consumer. No news, right? The thing is they followed this brief introduction presenting a series of very creative cases that proved their point. Each one of them had something special. The ones the audience likes the most were My First Book Project and Heineken's Beer Gloss campaign. Everything was very consistent and inspiring...DRAFTFCBlog