Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Media is like having a baby...

I wonder how many brands realize the constant attention you need to give to your website, blog, twitter or facebook presence. Your brand is your child now. It is constantly evolving, needing daily attention by web masters, back end providers, site architects, and a small army of digital geeks to keep it current and up and running. Depending on what your product or service is it also needs constant monitoring for consumer response. And if you are an established brand you also need creative art direction and copywriting to make sure the brand stays on track visually and verbally. And tweek tweek tweek daily. This army isn't free. And although blogging may be a freebie depending on where you set your site or Twittering may be cheap from the standpoint of the deliverable, nothing else is. Where you come up in a search engine, where you want to pop up in a pull also has a price tag. Maintaining a website, getting hits and click throughs all cost. And there is as much dreck out there to wade through as there was traditionally. So is it the best choice? I dunno. That's where a great planner and a lot of thought and research must be in place before you try anything like going viral with a u-tube video, which also costs money to put together and the chances of going viral are like winning a lottery. And the days of pulling up the info you want and not being in your face with ads is gone too. Heck, every time I go to CNN or my newspaper, popups and other unwanted garbage interferes with articles I want to read. Very annoying. So although there is a lot of pressure on brands to have a digital presence, it needs a lot of planning and I think it is a tactical choice far more than a creative one. That being said, it is not going away and like early tv it is still in its very early stages. But to think it isn't going to cost you or the comparative cost compared to traditional venues is far cheaper, I would argue that just isn't so. It is a bigger tool box for sure. And certainly opens up opportunities that didn't exist before, but like all new things it needs to be tempered with the old tried and true to make a complete picture for a brand.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The GOOD.

http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=140610

Tim Williams has a great article about agency risks that is a must read. It drove home for me the notion that agencies are really at a turning point. The old model is done for. And even though some of his observations aren't quite on the mark, overall he is right. It brings into question everything about traditional agency contributions to a clients bottom line. And he points out that new media like websites and blogs and such are like organisms...they don't go away. Once created they must be maintained and updated constantly, and how do you get fairly compensated for that? Also, the roles of not just media and creative but account service are radically changed.

The BAD.

http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=140591

On the other side of the spectrum is Coke's disastrous attempt at "social marketing" which is such an obvious gimmick. Talk about a swing and a miss. This whole notion of sending twenty somethings out to "find happiness" in the world is absurd. Coke is desperate. And all I have to say about this ridiculous misadventure is whoever sold Coke on this stunt truly can sell dead horses to the mounted police and I would like to know his/her secret to selling success. Undoubtedly it is costly, stupid, way off brand gimmicks like this that surely will net Coke nothing but a bad taste in its mouth about ad agencies. Ultimately and perhaps rightly so, the agency will be fingered as being the bad guys for selling Coke on this hair brained scheme. The whole notion of sending 3 kids around the world to find happiness and to social media it back home to me is decadent at best given the economy and quite frankly: who cares.

The UGLY

http://www.marketingmag.ca/english/news/marketer/article.jsp?content=20091118_144701_7296

Science World is trying their hand at a UTube video they are hoping will go viral by their agency REthink.
They have a bunch of grandma types licking vanilla ice cream cones in semi-soft porn-esque suggestive styles which quite honestly makes me rethink Grandma. It's message is that vanilla turns old boys on...now that is just a little bit too much information for me and turns me totally off. But I am not grandpa.
Does it make Science World a compelling show to watch? Not sure. I think I would have waited and done a series of videos with some other subjects so if the vanilla/old boy/ sexy grandma thing wasn't my cup of tea, I could get turned on to Science World for another insight.

Friday, November 6, 2009

FREE the best 4 letter F- word

Everyone that reads this has to go to the website for these two guys that are doing tv ads for small local, and I mean local, businesses.

http://www.ilovelocalcommercials.com/

Rhett and Link are out to outdo us in offering anybody who wants a tv ad to get in touch with them and they will come to wherever you are and make a tv spot for you.

FREE yes, you read right....FREE and it is as you might expect, a no frills production. But they are so bad they are camp. And there is something totally charming about them in their simplicity and homemade style. All this is under the sponsorship of a company called MicroBilt and now SeeBolt their social marketing arm just for small businesses.

Rhett and Link know how to merchandise and have SnoopDog in their corner plus they made a full length movie about finding their 4th grade teacher.

These guys are smart. And if I do a commercial, they will definitely be on my list to contact.

Microbilt helps small businesses with debt collection, credit and pre-screening people for the same.

Anyway this is not a plug for the company just some background on how these two wild and crazy guys got into the adgame sideways so to speak.

And the ads themselves are fun and funny and highly memorable and just a screech.


Monday, November 2, 2009

...a random act of opportunity

U-tube is fast becoming the venue for getting out a video statement quickly. Case in point: the bad parking job an old lady did in some Thornhill fitness parking lot. Once this video went viral it has had about 1.3 million views so far.

http://www.marketingmag.ca/english/news/pr/article.jsp?content=20091030_164721_12032

The P.R. opp for a new car giveaway couldn't have been sweeter for Hyundai thanks to the fast thinking of Bensimon Byrn's digital arm Mighty. And it makes complete sense that Hyundai replace the damaged car (which also was a Hyundai by the way) with this random act of kindness.

Personally, if I were Hyundai, I would have given the other guy whose car also was extensively damaged a new car too. After all, I think in the video, that car was completely trashed...and it would have been an even greater act of kindness because that car was not a Hyundai.

It now becomes a p.r. opp for Mighty with its subsequent blog and who knows maybe they are in negotiations now for a full length movie.

Mighty used the formula:
Yesterday: Idea Today: idea in Action

It really is about ambulance chasing and gambling.

YouTube is inundated with videos 24/7. Most of them are absolute dreck. Rarely does one really capture or show any imagination. And if I had the job to wade through the submissions for appropriateness of content, language etc. etc....well shoot me now.

So when one does catch on, it usually spreads faster than a wildfire.

And I am sure there are others out there who try to analyze on a full time salary basis just what it is that makes one go viral while another does not.

I don't know and I don't think any pundits do either. It is a completely random act of luck!
Akin to winning a lottery.

The trick , like Mighty understands, is to jump on it instantly and own it. And that can only happen when you have an appropriate brand (in this case Hyundai) and a client willing to act as fast as the video went viral.

It truly is about taking advantage of a very very narrow timeframe.

Cudos to Mighty and Hyundai.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kleenex asks you to "choose a mom"


Lets look at the newest effort from Kleenex. http://www.getmommed.com/#/home
It consists of an elaborate gimmick taking you to a website where a number of stereotypical "moms" pitch their lifestyle; asking you to choose which mom you would want to take care of you this cold and flu season. Of course Kleenex is mentioned every other word.
It is so contrived, I hear the client saying: " our research shows" and "we want to target", not moms, but females across all ethnic and lifestyle stereotypes. We have the obligatory black, wasp, oriental, hispanic, italian, hippie, overachiever, southern belle, do it yourselfer, so hip it is unhip mom, etc. etc. All bases are covered.
Each one of these "moms" act out their ethnic stereotype. Not once did I feel the remotest connection. It is so obvious these women are actors. It was insulting listening to this drivel.

Also, the site doesn't load quick enough and you end up waiting for this to buffer. It became far too tedious for me on many levels. The site is overloaded with stereotypical visual stuff....it is over art directed. Because it is cluttered, it is complicated and overdone. So many elements pop or float on you don't know where to begin.

I left this site feeling annoyed. Not just at the lack of technical features not working but annoyed that so much time and effort and money was poured into this site. It all comes off like a bad soap opera. It made me wonder how much is tacked on to the cost of a box of Kleenex to support this kind of fluff.

All this while Greenpeace is after them for the clear cutting they are doing in Canada's ancient Boreal Forest. Which is another post all together really. But just off the top, I would think Kleenex marketing group would be very aware of this and want to rethink their position in consumerland.

The ad for the forest being saved (pictured) and bringing our attention to it is far more compelling and important to me than a site that mocks moms and ethnically stereotypes us still. It is condescending and completely irrelevant given our global situation.

It just shows me how blind Kleenex is.

Kleenex needs to rethink their place in the Green movement and eliminate this online garbage.

I like a fun website. I like it when the interaction is clever, well thought out and brings a real message that makes me feel good about a brand and spending some time with it. It is always about what is in it for me.

Who has time I ask you and who goes hunting or stays on these horrible sites other than an adgal curious about an article in Ad Age?

Makes me cry....pass me a hanky please.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A great little spot from Kaiser Permanente

Every once in awhile a tv spot or print ad or website is a perfect gem. It does all the right stuff.
It is engaging, well paced, well thought out, well written and art directed and most of all, has an idea that is emotionally evocative that adds to the essence of the idea, not shock value for shock value sake or a corny knee slapper or a gimmick but genuinely touches your heart and makes you think about a product or service differently.
Which brings me to the newest tv spot for Kaiser Permanente. This is a simple, lovely, flawlessly executed tv spot. It begins with the classic Claire D'Loon piano concerto while the camera takes us through an amazing urban/forested environment and until the super at the end you have no idea what it is about. It is wonderful and soothing without being cloying. It makes you yearn for such an emerald place and to wonder if it could ever be....cudos Campbell Ewald LA



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What are these agencies thinking???or are they???


Within the last two weeks I have read about two different categories: one was for Toyota the other for Mr. Sub, who created ads that have landed them in hot water.
Toyota created a character that was a psychopath who was targeted to Toyota owners. In this one case, he was sending harassing emails to a female Toyota owner and it scared her to death...mainly because she didn't know it was a "joke" and she was being "prankster-ed". This harassment continued evidently to the point where she couldn't sleep and when she did it was with a weapon next to her because this "character" said he was coming over to her house. She is now suing Toyota. And rightly so.

Now I see a campaign from Mr. Sub in Canada where in one scenario it is a wedding day and the groom needs to see his bride. He knocks on the bedroom door, opens it and finds his bride and his dad passionately kissing. Next commercial: large large family sitting at dinner table, father announces he is gay. 3rd commercial, wife in kitchen doing dishes, man enters dressed as some kind of s&m/burglar-esque type person, taps her on shoulder and she hits him over the head with a frying pan. This is not only an old corny bit, but the guy looks like a version of the hamburglar from 1980's McDonalds days in an s&m outfit...really awful and borders on the macabre.

http://www.marketingmag.ca/english/news/accounts/article.jsp?content=20091005_175305_7272

Of course this has brought about a backlash from the gay and lesbian groups to say the least.

Now I ask you: what has any of this got to do with Mr. Sub? What is the relevance? What has creating a psycho-menacing character who goes online and into social media to scare and harass customers got to do with advancing a positive image of Toyota? Especially when they land in court because of this crazy prank.

And I have to wonder: what is in the water folks? Have we become so desperate, so bereft of any real creative thinking that this is the new norm? And the biggest shocker, even more shocking than the cheese shock value these brands have created is; these "ideas" were sold to clients at some point well before the executions. Clients have a chance to see these things evolve and get produced and give their blessing and money to support them...

We are in serious trouble here as an industry if this is considered creative or anything remotely advantageous to furthering a brand.

But maybe I am the one completely out of step. After all, I am the one out of a job.

Perhaps the idea is to generate any kind of response because according to the old adage from p.r. folks, negative response is better than no response. If that was the conscious intent of the teams that created this dreck then I am out of the loop. And I cannot imagine even the greenest, lowest on the ladder client, buying into this rationale for representing their brand.

More and more though I am seeing shock shit like these two. And it is disturbing to me. I always thought it was our responsibility to represent a brand in its best light. After all, are we not always trying to "court" our consumer?

I see a world dominated by gamers and ad kiddies who were raised with little finesse. The finer things in life for them is the next XBox. A world of crass sensationalism and hee haw slap your thigh bullying is their norm. Kids spoiled with money and excess.

They are now hacking their way into the new age of communications and if you don't like it then to hell with ya. It's their time and it doesn't matter if things are off the rails. After all, it is the fun and games of it, right?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Culling the Herd

All the articles I am reading have this doom and gloom thread about where the ad industry is going. Is it Dead? What is the new advertising industry? And it makes me wonder, as more and more products are pulling back their budgets (which any hard core advertiser will tell you is the worse thing you can do in a down economy) why these folks can't see that this is not new. We have been in economic slumps before. The economy is like a pendulum and it has its upswings and down.
or
Is this because when the economy goes into a nosedive, which I could see and feel long before it actually did rather than being creative with the budget you do have, it's just easier to bleat and bah and complain because that is what culling the herd is all about.

In this world where new media is all the rage and everyone believes it is the magic bullet, I stay firmly convinced that while there may be a lot of new ways to get a message out there...with all these new and exciting delivery systems I don't see much improvement in the calibre of IDEAS that are being delivered. If everyone clamouring to be heard, it is now overcrowded with screaming drek and hard to find much dross.

And while the new media may give EVERYONE AND THEIR UNCLE a chance to now have a voice, I have to ask .... who is listening?

It is bedlam out there. And everyone is in panic mode trying to be heard in the herd....


Monday, September 28, 2009

Small Agency of the Year

I am glad to finally see the small shops getting recognition for good work. I am sure for every one that submitted work, there were many others just as good that didn't.

I know there is a school of thought that says creative people are too fixated on awards, but let's be honest, the hardware is what agencies are often measured by and so the people that helped create it.
What isn't recognized and should be, are all the people that helped get that work produced. It isn't just the creatives, it takes true team work with account service, planners (if you have one), media people who also can be as creative in suggesting how to get the best effectiveness from the idea and maybe even right down to the cleaners who might be muttering some magical incantation just at the right time as they passed to get the wastebasket into the room and where the brainstorming was taking place and someone overhearing them magically by osmosis adopted their thought as their own. Also production people are key key key in making or breaking an idea.
Heck, if you had to have everyone that touched the work in a direct or indirect way go up on a stage to accept an award, you would need a pretty big stage.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Favorite Agency

I absolutely and totally adore and bow down to Carmichael Lynch Advertising out of Minnesota. Hands down I think they are one of the top agencies in the U.S. today. In their shop the idea is still king. Ideas that fuel passion. Which is a direct quote from their website. Human connections. And to that I say a resounding YES! That approach is what made me want to be in advertising.
It is still all about the BIG IDEA.
The work is original, fresh and not gimmicky. Each campaign has a well thought out and touching reason for being to further your idea of a product or service.
And in every campaign it is such a normal simple premise. A simple human insight brought to our attention in a very memorable, meaningful entertaining way. Yes, entertaining. Something most agencies haven't been doing for years and years. Carmichael Lynch's work is of the calibre you want to see again and again. IMAGINE...actually wanting to see an American ad again.
Somewhere along the way so many agencies don't get it. Or never did get it.
Agencies compromise. Agencies have become order takers for clients rather than leaders and visionaries for their clients. They don't understand what it is they are supposed to be anymore. They are caught up in formulas and proprietary methodologies and new media and all the trappings of nothing; with their fancy powerpoint presentations and corny overdone websites they think that is their "edge", their differentiator. Creative is relegated to the lowest priority in most cases and it shows.
I had one agency principal show me a powerpoint presentation about their "proprietary program" that was so boring I almost went to sleep. But this person had nothing to say outside of that silly presentation. It was absurd. And this was an interview situation. Pathetic.
In my book, Carmichael Lynch is what a true advertising agency is supposed to be.
And what every agency should strive to be.
Check them out: http://www.carmichaellynch.com/#0
Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Article in todays ADAGE

http://adage.com/talentworks/article?article_id=138709

I wrote about this earlier and was advised to remove anything that was negative from my site if I want to ever get a job in the adgame again.

This is an old hot potato. It is what everyone in the adgame knows but never says anything about.
It goes without saying that it will never be equitable and we are certainly not the only career where gender makes a difference.

But the real kicker is that agency creative departments have their own culture. And it is fostered by those that are on the inside of that culture. And believe me, you know if you are "in" or "out".

And this culture is supported by the top down, which is management.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

MadMen

I love this show. It is advertising in the golden age. And Peggy Olson is my hero of course. The women are phenomenal this season. Everything about it is great and as an Art Director, everything about it is right. The clothes are fabulous, the sets perfect and the campaigns they are working on are familiar from ad history.
What an exciting time it was to be shaping brands and creating ideas that are still viable today.
A great idea is timeless. The great ads of the 60's could run today and be relevant. And some of the ideas that were fostered then like: You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's would probably be thrown out today because of the repressive "political correctness" obsession everyone is policing everyone else on and everyone has become so afraid of.

Time to lighten up. And brighten up. And sharpen up those brain cells again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

HELP SAVE Reading Rainbow

My daughter grew up on Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton. And next to Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers it is the longest running kids show on Public TV. But it is ending.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112312561

unless some good samaritan will come forward with the money to support it. PLEASE someone, SAVE Reading Rainbow. Our children need this show. It's about the LOVE of books. And that is soooo important. In a time when words are being shortened, ideas are being homogenized and marginalized, now more than ever...we need all the help we can get to further children's IMAGINATIONS.
If you are reading this and know anyone who can help...please contact them to help save this show.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shadow Puppets

http://adage.com/garfield/post?article_id=138605

Ad age's Bob Garfield talks today about a charming spot for shadow puppets in the form of two bunnies. The spot is from Publicis in San Fran (Hal Riney) and it is really sweet...aka "Little Salty" (see previous entry on my blog). But this time Bob is right, this simple, charming little ditty of two shadow puppets dancing across buildings to finally meet is a gimmick, number one and number two; totally vampires any selling message, which is treated as an afterthought with maybe 5 seconds of copy.

And this just makes me shake my head in a cartoon wubbah wubbah way and say: what the heck is going on here? It's no wonder advertising is dying, we don't know how to sell anymore. In actual fact, I haven't seen much breakthrough creative that does sell. It's either so crappy that you rush to hit the change or mute button with its nauseating sham woo pitch or it is so precious that we get caught up in its preciousness and forget who it is for...or in little salty's case, defend the oh so cute culprit.

Even in the height of MadMen, the golden 60's when Doyle and Dane and Bernbach and the Mary Wells of Wells Rich Greene or the Hal Riney's or the Leo Burnetts were hitting them consistently out of the ballpark, these genius ads still had ground rules. And the number one rule is SELL SELL SELL no matter how crass or beneath a creative this may seem, that is the bottom line folks.

So where are these creative folks getting their guidance from one must ask? Well my educated guess is they are being lead by a creative director not much older than themselves with little or no experience. And certainly there is no mentoring going on here.

Back in the Madmen days, the creatives were OLDER. They had some life experience under their belt. It wasn't unusual to see someone over 45 as a copywriter. Today the only one over 45 in an ad agency is either someone who has no real effectual power or the janitor.

And now where DELIVERY SYSTEMS like the web, facebook, twitter et al are considered and valued as being more creative than the creative itself, is it any wonder the creative product is floundering?

And each time a Little Salty or Shadow Puppets comes out and clients see no gain in sales, it is another nail in the coffin for creative being the king and more of a reason for clients to not seek agencies to creatively solve their marketing problems.

It's time to get back to basics. And if I were an agency principal right about now at Publicis I would be phoning my best headhunter to bring back an agency "old salt" who knows the ins and outs of the ad game and can oversee all these babies run amok. And that goes for every other agency on the planet as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Little Salty

http://www.marketingmag.ca/english/creative/featuredcampaign/article.jsp?content=20090819_141352_5392

A soup company in canada has just launched a low sodium line of soups. The 30 sec tv spots feature a little character, a claymation salt shaker called Little Salty. It shows this little fellow outside the house window peering in. It is raining and he is all alone and forgotten. The family is busy eating soup. He bows his head and cries salt. Now this just makes me want to go and find Little Salty and rescue this poor little guy. He is so adorable. And my heart goes out to him. Heck I will give him a reason for being; I will use salt if it restores Little Salty back to cheerfulness. Now maybe my emotional connection to Little Salty is one I totally relate to, because it is how I feel about being on the outside looking in on the ad game. But it also reminds me of when I taught about the development and use of pneumonic devices. And I just passed along the sage wisdom I learned; pneumonic devices should represent the UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION of the product, not make me want to seek out and soothe the antithesis of it...which is what Little Salty presumably represents. Tony the Tiger delivered the famous tagline: They're grrrrrreeaaaattt!!! for Sugar Frosted Flakes cereal.
Snap, Crackle and Pop ... for Rice Krispies still represent the sound of the cereal when you pour milk on it....
the Michelin tire man is fat and looks like a multi-layered marshmallow...which visually represents the ride on the tire....
I think the DDB team needs a refresher course in what to emotionally connect the consumer to because as it stands, to heck with the soup, I want to find Little Salty and give him a place on my table....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For the Love of Newspapers


I love newspapers. I love the smell of the ink on the paper. I love the way the ink rubs off on your fingers. I love the ritual of the read and the turning of the pages. I love the tactility and heft of a newspaper. I love the writing in newspapers, particularly the NY Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe but even the little local newspapers with the corny photos and local reports of summer carnivals and recipes, the sports, the social announcements, and all the bad local advertising
Newspapers are important. They have personalities and definitive tones of voice. Some really are hardwired to the right and some to the left. And you can choose which voice you want to follow and quote the next day in a conversation. They last. What is printed today, stays printed. The only way it can be altered is with a retraction the next day. Newspapers chronicle our history.
Newpapers are a real object. We pack our stuff with newspapers so when we are long gone and someone in the family is rummaging around the attic they can date our last time we handled a plate, a glass, a picture. And the newspaper itself becomes an article worth saving when something we are interested in or a news breaking historical moment is worth treasuring.
Newspapers are our treasure.
Watching them vanish is like watching old friends being laid to rest. We need to keep newpapers alive. And I don't mean the little throw aways that are filled with nothing but vacuous celebrity gossip, news sound bites from wire services and crossword puzzles. Newspapers reflect the opinions and styles of reporters and offer in depth reporting we can never get online. Series articles, political argument, and real investigative reporting happens only in newspapers. And if we didn't have time to read a particular column or article one evening, we can take it up again the next.
Watergate would never have happened if it hadn't been for newspaper reporting. Why from the beginning of political and religious questioning it has always been the broadsheet that has enlightened and informed in a way like no other.
I remember fantastic ads in newspapers. Especially fashion and department store ads.
My very first job before university, was as a layout artist with a department store. They had a person who did nothing but illustrate in pencil and ink the fashions for the week. I would take those high end illustrations and incorporate them into our big full page newspaper ads for the Saturday and Sunday editions. As a student I worked for a small community newspaper, again doing ad paste ups and layouts. The paper had a hot type machine which was ancient then. It used to clank and sputter and the fellow who set the type was as old as the machine itself. The owner /editor used to chew on his cigar stub as he proof read the articles before it went to plate making. All this he did with the type reading backwards. The sound of the rubber mallet hitting the type into place, the high pitch of the press running, shouted orders from pressmen to the inkmen and back, the clanking type setter mixed with the smells of hot lead and ink and paper and cigar smoke has left a rich memory.

I guess I must have gotten the ink in my blood.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Media Pull vs. Old Media Push

People talk about about new media being a delivery system where ads are "pulled" depending on how you do searches online and are associated by your personal interests. So the ads are tailored to your tastes and interests based on data input and are pulled from that source. The key to this, according to tech heads, is the search words you input. There are blogs and articles online and tons of argument and theories about how important or not it is. Somehow, none of this seems very creative to me. It's really all about data. And this data is continually being mined and refined. Think about it; practically every site of inquiry you go on makes a bigger inquiry about you. Data bases are gold mines.

BMW did an out of home campaign in the states a couple of years ago.They setup billboards across key urban areas and when a new BMW owner drove by, the computer chip embedded somewhere in the car key triggered the billboard with the owners name and it instantly became a personalized billboard message. It's the scene from Tom Cruise in Minority Report when he runs through a corridor and backlit ads literally call out to him by name.

I also read an article recently which suggested that even the premise of Minority Report is a possibility now. There is enough information about us, that scientists can predict our behaviour even before we do something. And we so willingly give out our personal information.

A friend of mine in Texas, a real computer head, knows of rogue programs that float in and out and hack unknowingly in cyberspace stealing our personal data. And we are not talking about Banana Republic here. And my friend and I are not conspiracy freaks or necessarily paranoid. Just cautious.

So I guess my point is that while right now we only see the top line of how great it is that the world knows your interests right down to the smallest detail and know where you shop and for what and they know where you like to hang out and where you work and who your friends are and what you did last night, there could be another side to this. A side we haven't seen yet. And like everything, it could be used for good or it could be used for bad.


New media is really all pretty new in the grand scheme of time and place.
But information is power.
And that isn't new.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Twitter or White Noise?????

As an experiment, I joined Twitter. But I didn't post anything nor did I ever go on it. And since then, almost everyday, I get messages saying "So and so is following you on Twitter"...these from people I know in the adgame. I find it highly amusing that so many people are following nothing. And it makes me wonder: where do all these people get all this time to fritter on twitter?

I find it the singularly most overrated site on the Web. And if Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore aren't getting paid or aren't big investors for this site I will eat my hat...not to mention all the out of work copywriters and public relations people that are now finding employment to Twitter for Liz Taylor and everyone else. Plllleeeeeease...how self indulgent is it to think your 140 character count...counts...or means anything to anyone except yourself. Warhol's 15 minutes of fame has just been shattered. And now if you aren't on FaceBook and MySpace and Twitter and LinkedIn...why you are NOBODY. This imbecilic false peer pressure that is implied to all who are not on this grid is outrageous. I tried to find out who owns Twitter. And that is another story altogether. I just couldn't get any real answers to that. Whoever it is has deep pockets and wishes to remain off the grid as far as revealing who he, she or they really are.

As far as branding with Twitter here's how I see it: the challenge becomes - how to harness the position, tone of voice and benefit in 140 characters or less...yes, characters, not words. A tall order for even the most gifted writers. But the big difference, unlike the other new media delivery systems, is the time it takes to get out there. Delivery time is now at warp speed.
Your brand is now condensed and compressed to fit that time frame. And Word of Mouth really becomes real time or less here to a lot more audience. It's simultaneous live broadcasting almost. But the audience isn't contained in a studio, they can be and are anyone and everyone anywhere in the world. So the pressure to get it right the first time is huge and intense. And getting it right also means from the Twitter standpoint, not contrived, not adspeak, not planted or deliberate but spontaneous and real...real meaning Twitter real. So now your brand's tone of voice and the Twitter tone of voice have to marry. And that hybrid has to seem spontaneous and real in 140 characters...maybe we need to try chimps with typewriters...