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December 2006

Posts from November 2006



The new Kickers campaign is encouraging young things to go do something.

They've put together a web pledger, a bit like 43 Things, and will be projecting pledges onto buildings in London and Manchester to inspire people to actually follow through.

So if you want to "win a nobel prize" [does it matter what in?] or "marry the tiny" [?] as current pledgers have committed to, head over and proclaim your intention to the world.

The Pledger

Family Music and the Burden of Choice


In a world of infinite possibilities, how do you know where to begin?

Choice paralysis has been well documented in the supermarket - too much choice and people overload and don't buy anything at all.

In the content world, one of the new roles for media brands is as editors of this infinite body of distraction.

And with the explosion of music now available to us, increasingly we need similar editors to save us time and filter out the dross.

Fortunately, my mate Ben has a very learned ear and is now willing to use it for our benefit.

So check out Family Music - tell them what you like and they will serve up the freshest musical treats, warm and straight to your door. On CDs and that.

And if your stuck for a Christmas present idea for the audiophile in your family, they are running a gift subscription service.

Viral Value


I like this.

I've been sent it a few times and I'm pretty sure I'll get it again. So that's viral then.

But why is it viral?

Because it's giving everyone something - 40% off wine seems like a good reason to send this to friends, or put it here:  Download threshers_coupon.pdf

So Threshers get their name all over the internet and drive traffic instore during a key sales period [when shoppers increasingly turn to supermarkets to buy their booze], with no media cost, indeed with no promotion at all except the value the communication is delivering, and the social value of sharing it.

Hugh has posted it over on Gaping Void, and if any blogger knows what's happening with the wine world it's him, so I'm confident that it's real.

He's also linked to a handy Threshers store locator.  Thanks Hugh!

UPDATE: This has been picked up by the BBC - apparently Threshers are "slightly concerned about the popularity of the offer".  According to some guy this is an example of viral marketing. 

Modern Day Robin Hood

A couple of guys from Sheffield caused something of a ruckus when they gave away $4000 in New York, to encourage people to be nicer to each other.

Free hugs were good but I'm not sure about free money - seems to bring the worst out in people, which is the opposite of what they were hoping for.

Still, it definitely got them some attention. PR stunts aren't dead it would seem.

But their masterplans are yet to be revealed.

Global Orgasm


Attempting to bring about world peace via synchronised orgasms all over the world, The Global Orgasm project needs you. I hope you will all show your support on December 22nd.

When brands attempt to fabricate grass roots movements it's called astroturfing.

But why couldn't they do it for real? Actually believe in, stand for and support something, rather than spending all that effort trying to fake it.

To paraphrase the Counting Crows, we all need something to believe in.

Post of the Month - Nomination

Over on Russell's blog, a piece I wrote on TIGS that put forward an idea called transmedia planning has been nominated for Post of the Month, which is very nice. It's an idea that seems to have struck a chord with some people, and you can't ask for much more than that.

So go and check out the poll and the other nominees, including Jason, who wrote a follow up piece on transmedia planning, and a bunch of other great posts.

And then vote with a click.

Smart TV

At the IAB Engage conference yesterday, James Murdoch described his vision for a converged Sky and announced the launch of Smart TV sometime next year.

Smart TV is a system that turns the Sky Plus box into a local ad server. A partition on the hard drive is reserved for advertiser content. Sky already knows your name and address. Using behavioural targeting across their platforms they will be able to tell what you are in the market for.

Been watching a lot of kids programmes for the first time? Looks like you've just had an addition to the family - might well be time for a bigger car; browsing for holidays online using Sky Broadband? Looks like you could be open to an offer on a cruise.

So, having modelled you individually, when you sit down to watch Lost, the Sky Plus box will serve you ads individually, specifically based on this information, in the breaks.

Welcome to the age of TV as a direct medium, almost exactly as we've discussed it before - the online model transferred to television.

Except in the model we were talking about, you would register your preferences. With Sky, they'll be watching what you watch, recording what you look for online, and then serving you ads individually.

The question becomes, how much private information are you willing to give up in return for more relevant advertising?

PS. You can read more from the conference on the now obligatory conference blog.