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Posts from December 2006

On the 12th day of Christmas

This morning I received an email from the brilliantly named Jelly Helm at W&K. [It had better be a real person or I shall feel silly.]

The W&K 12 scheme is recruiting again. The 12 scheme is one of the cooler training programmes in advertising - they pick 12 people from different backgrounds and hothouse them for a year, giving them live briefs and generally making them shiny.

Last year you had to find one of 12 books hidden somewhere in the USA to get in. I'm serious. Like a combination of book crossing and the masquerade. For jobs. This year they just want you to make them want to meet you. Or something.

Applications are required by 1/12/07/. Best of luck. Let me know how you get on.

Ps - Look out for the paper robot on the website. He's cute.

The man behind the blog


Asi, Doug and Dino have tagged me,  so I had better step up.  I'm it.

Blog tag is a bit different to normal tag - it means I have to share 5 personal things about me and then pass it on to 5 other bloggers.

As Asi said, cute in a geeky kind of way.

So here are five things you don't need to know about me.

  1. I was an altar boy. I refused to get confirmed though as even at the age of 13 I could understand the value of prophylaxis. And no, the priest never touched me.
  2. I love jungle. I may be one of the few left that does, but it still rocks my world. Syncopation is the only way to fly. If you've not heard any broken beat madness for a while go here and listen to tarantula. Maybe I'll convert a few of you.
  3. I like looking stupid. I'm with Adam Ant on this: ridicule is nothing to be scared of. See above for incontrovertible proof.
  4. I like to sport a moustache. It's funny. See number 3 and above. Although I don't have one at the moment.
  5. I love to juggle. It's probably the damn hippy in me but there you go. Or maybe it's because it rhymes with jungle. I really like juggling to jungle.

Right then. I now nominate the following - no obligation to play of course but it's more fun when you do...I'm going to address the male / female imbalance so I have exactly 2.5 girls here [Diablogue has Sean and Michelle - not that Michelle is a half a girl - you get what I mean]:

Northern Planner






Santacon is an international celebration of Christmas. Everyone dresses up as Santa and rampages around cities spreading goodwill and generally having a whale of a time.

It was great. We started in Camden around midday and then made our way slowly into town [getting the tube with hundreds of Santas was awesome], landing in Trafalger Square to sing carols and play with the police [in a nice way].

People kept asking what it was in aid of [beyond the obvious that it's nearly Christmas!].

People think you need a reason for everything.

Ho Ho Ho!

Henry Jenkins on Transmedia Planning


This is pretty exciting.

Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture from whence I stole the idea for transmedia planning, has been posting about it!

Unsurprisingly, he has some very interesting things to say about the idea and how it has developed, and how the transmedia / brand discourse has grown from the gaps in his text - itself an iteration of transmedia branding:

Will transmedia branding make a lasting contribution to contemporary marketing theory? It's too early to say. As an author, I am delighted to see some of my ideas are generating such discussion. As someone interested in marketing my own intellectual property, these discussions are themselves a kind of transmedia branding: after all, the more people talk about my book, the more people are likely to buy it. I don't have to control the conversation tobenefit from their interest in my product. The key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do. In that regard, the book may have had greater impact on the discussions of branding because I didn't fill in all of the links between branding and transmedia entertainment, leaving the blogosphere something to puzzle through together.

I think he's hit on something really interesting about how ideas propogate that I've been mulling over but not yet articulated. Not controlling the conversation, letting ideas develop outside of your brand guidelines as it were, seems to be essential if we want them to grow.

Ideas that can be modified spread better - every conversation about transmedia planning develops the idea further but the totality of all conversations becomes what transmedia planning is.

It's like releasing brand communication under a creative commons license - allowing the ideas to be modified and built upon as long as they are attributed, which ensures the brand still receives the benefit but acknowledges the part that consumers play in constructing it.

As Henry puts it:

The key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do.

How Transmedia Storytelling Begat Transmedia Planning... (Part One)

How Transmedia Storytelling Begat Transmedia Planning... (Part Two)


How long before this guy gets picked up by Partizan and is making music videos?

Also see Amateur, his previous stop frame masterwork.

There will come a time when the means of production are entirely democratised, when the only barrier to creating something will be having the idea and inclination.

The question becomes - what's the role of agencies in a world where everyone can create beautiful content? What's the role of branded content or ads?

If Mr Heath is right, and messaging in advertising is essentially irrelevant, why not just slap a logo on to a highly emotive user generated film?


Over on Fimoculous there's a great list of the top blogs of 2006 that you (maybe) aren't reading. I love the breadth of this, ranging from Metafilter to Marmaduke Explained, but the number one deserves special mention.

Indexed, from which the lovely diagram above comes, is a "minor form of genius", to steal words from the write up, and one that's sure to pluck at the triangle venn heart strings of any planner.



At the Webbys Night last night there was some good chat to be had and some great people to see talking.

I was really pleased to see the Rather Good Joel Veitch talking about the democratisation of creativity facilitated by the intermenet. He also unveiled his latest kitten cartoon - he's done a version of the 12 days of Christmas for Tommy's baby charity featuring The Hoff and innumerable other cultural luminaries - go check it out and pass it on: it's funny and you'll be a better person.

[If you've never seen one of the kitten cartoons go here immediately.]

Reg from the mega blog We-Make-Money-Not-Art was also there talking about New Media Artists - people who take technology, throw away the rule book and use it for something it was never intended to do, often to comment on the culture that created it. Like the Tripwire - a mobile phone enabled surveillance coconut that automatically calls to complain about noise'd best go have a look.

The Paradox of Planning


The account planner is the voice of the consumer within an agency - that ever elusive man on the Clapham omnibus

BUT when I walk down one of tunnels in the underground, my head swings back and forth looking from ad to ad, to see what's out there, to see if I can work out the thinking behind them. When I read a newspaper, I look at the ads.   

Real people don't.

Try it for yourself - next time you are on the underground, see if anyone even glances at those ads in the tunnels.

The longer you work as a planner, the less like an average 'consumer' you are, which is probably worth bearing in mind when giving them a voice.