Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Nice Touch

I was walking past Evans Cycles just on Rathbone St yesterday and I noticed a nice gesture - they had placed a track pump outside the shop chained to the heavy signage so that any passing cyclist in need of a bit of air could stop by and use ther pump. Not only does this probably save the staff in the shop a considerable amounbt of time not being asked for a pump, its a great gesture and you would hope that people will remember it and frequent the shop with their patronage. Anyway, I just liked the thoughtful nature of it and will keep a look out for other similar gestures - I once saw a pub that had a mobile phone charging station complete with about 6 different chargers again it shows a certain affinity with the customers.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A world without Advertising?

The 'Credit Crunch' appears to be having an effect on cross track and outdoor. I've seen the same posters at Warren St Tube station now for almost 6 months - some advertising TV programs that have long since come and gone. Now things seem to have got really bad as for the last 10 days Warren St Tube billboards have looked like this.

I never thought it but I prefer the world with advertising than without it.

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Twitter Experiment

I personally can't think of anything less interesting than Twitter, the minutiae of someone's life is not that interesting, do I care if Stephen Fry was stuck in a lift, do I care if some idiot twitters about the town a big client is located in and gets in trouble - no.

However, I do think there is a role for the right application of Twitter for a brand - not necessarily the brand taking part although this is possible if its done correctly.

More from a monitoring and research perspective. So it doesn't surprise me at all to see today an incredibly talented and clever guy like my old colleague Ashley Friedlein and his crew of Uber experts at E-consultancy have come up with something really interesting called the Twitter experiment.

They have written some code using the open api of twitter to publish live on their home page all twitter references to e-consultancy. It's great I'll be sending a copy to all of my clients and I wonder if any will be brave enough to try the same thing on their sites about themselves...go on I dare you.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Nostalgic connections

This map showing cables running over the world in 1906 really shows Britain at the hub of the world - the empire and the special relationship.

Funny looking at something like this today it reminds you of a social network and how technology and connections have been hand in hand for many years - maybe there is a new type of social anthropology and technology discipline that people will be learning about in a few years.

Anyway its retro and cool.

Cool Ice sculpture - NPD

I love this - low tech promotion of hi tech stuff - cool ice sculpture

Where's the pot of gold?

This photo is awesome but it made me a little bit sad, they say never meet your hero's, and far to often in life expectations are set far higher than the reality.

New product launches are on my mind today as we have been meeting a potential client about a new product launch. We strongly believe that in this new idea economy its not just what you say online but how your brand behaves that matters and never is this more important than with a new product or service.

Communications have to work hard to cut through but there is a fine line to tread in terms of over promising and under delivering. Consumer expectations are high and they are set in parallel industries and brands from far flung corners of the world. When something is new or never seen before it captures imagination but if you aren't careful you can shoot yourself in the foot.

Anyway enough of that I'm sure this product will be gold, but we just have to be careful if we win it not to over promise to the customer, and the client.

How many times did they swear in the Sopranos?

Probably a lot I'd say, and most other people would probably agree.

NJ gangsters probably have an propensity to swear a lot especially fictional ones. You would have thought that might be enough for most people but someone has taken a lot of time to put every single swear word together in a video in chronological order as they appeared in the series.

Fuck seems to be the word of choice with a smattering of shit, and the odd c word - but can you guess how long the video is - bearing in mind there were 6 series and 6 episodes per series - 36 hours of footage: 27 minutes that is just over 1% of the series devoted to prophanity.

Some how the little boy inside me still thinks this is funny - why I'm not sure.

Domestic Violence - You can make a difference

I was asked to share this piece of work on domestic violence from one of our sister agencies in Canada - Fjord.

Not only is it a very important cause, but it’s also a great example and use of interactivity. The piece is very powerful, strong and with a simple design at the same time. I really like the physical metaphor, and the way the story unfolds with the users interaction.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Getting Video out of You Tube

I read something a month or two back about You Tube making it easier to get videos out of the site, I expect this is horribly out of date post but I found this service called KeepVid through a colleague and thought it worth mentioning if any of you ever need it.

It's probably a spin off from the fact that they have launched a iPhone service and therefore have to save out the videos as mp4 format anyway.

So its a nice example to show how some progress sometimes leads to exponential progress - not only serving the iphone but making it easier for everyone else who wants to show a youtube video in a ppt presentation for example - I like it that is good karma.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Computer Tan

Hats off (but sun tan lotion on) to McCann for this sweet campaign. I saw a digital cross track poster showing the trailer this morning at Oxford Circus tube station and I wrote the url down as it was clearly intriguing and a spoof.

Watch it and go to the site

What a great campaign nicely executed and with a serious message - I didn't know what it was for but it was interesting and I just had to wait to the end to see. Clearly a good cause, and an equally good campaign.

I'm sure there will be an iphone app, and I like the integration of the webcam functionality which more and more people are using in campaigns to capture real consumer reaction, and participation.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Augmented reality ATM locator

This brilliant initiative has already been blogged to death but I'm putting it up so I have a record of it to show clients. It is for the Dutch bank ING, and its a brilliant combination of consumer insight and technology.

How many times are you somewhere even in the town you live in and need to find the nearest cash machine or ATM - if you aren't careful you end up in a dodgy newsagent or garage being charged £2 for the pleasure.

Now with extra geek factor points this uses the camera phone and gps and a software compass to direct you in to the nearest ING bank operated ATM

Introducing the Green & Black McVitie Biscuit Burger

Just for fun we've been inventing new snacks to keep us going in the office.

This is a nice healthy number using Green & Blacks dark chocolate and the ever present dark chocolate digestive.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Q) Do you know who this man is?

If you do you might be exactly the type of person we are looking for to join the team.

A) Jakob Nielsen - and we are looking to hire a junior/mid level IA with 2-3 years experience. If you are interested in a permanent position give us a call or email contact details from www.spikeuk.com

Bringing the Proposition to life - literally!

I often think in straight lines and find it hard to 'zig' when everyone else 'zags'. So I've had many thoughts on bringing propositions to life in a literal fashion, sometimes they are good ideas sometimes contrived and terrible ideas (mostly the latter). Anyway it was nice to see someone very simply bring to life their brand proposiiton on line.

Kitkat have done a really lovely simple and clever website - the first worldwide site where nothing happens - yes nothing at all, to very nicely bring to life or not the Take a break' brand promise. I like it even more because it gives me a legitimate reason to plug pre-loaders and mention the online archive of preloaders at pretty loaded - well worth a look.

The pre-loader on the 'Kit Kat' site works brilliantly - illustrating the daily grind, and its a definite case of if the preloader wasn't there the site would lack something.