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April 2008

Posts from March 2008

Toronto Bound


I'm coming up to Toronto on Thursday this week [April 3rd] to speak to the friends of the Broadcast Research Council about the FUTURE of media and brands and communication and that.

It's at the Spoke Club - if you fancy coming you can get tickets by emailing Taylor.

Taylor Kormann at the TVB: [email protected]

[Be quick though I think the deadline is today.]

I intend to meet Creativity head on.

I'm staying through Friday so I can explore 'Ronto a bit - so if you have any suggestions of things I should do or fancy grabbing a drink, shout.

Gorilla and the Chocolate Factory


The sequel to Cadbury's Gorilla spot launched today. Trucks is another slice of surreal madness, with a truly awesome soundtrack choice, that's delightful [although it could use a better denouement] and will trigger innumerable arguments as to whether it's as good as the original.

[Sidebar - can a sequel ever be better than the original? Most film geeks would say no, with a couple of contentious exceptions, but in the context of FallonJuan's advertisements the originals set up the conceit, establish a new new thing, so can the follow up ever be as impactful? If this came before Gorilla, would it have been as discussed and popular? Is there anyway to parse this without reference to that which came before?]

The film launches alongside the launch of Glass and a Half Full Productions website and it's just grand.

The lovely people at digital shop HyperHappen have incorporated a bunch of features that capitalise on many of things TIGS is obsessed with.

The interface is an intuitive 3D chocolate factory that hosts the Gorilla; the studio it was filmed in; some of the top Gorilla remixes; a teaser of a build-your-own truck application; an ARG-lite that opens up a password protected vault that holds downloadable clips of Trucks for easy recombinance; and a few films that show the provence of Dairy Milk and its fairly traded supply chain.

Go have a look around.

Yo Bum Rush The Show


I've summoned the spirit of Chuck D and Flavour Flav to encourage you to buy the Age of Conversation today, if you haven't already and were thinking of doing so at some point.

It's gone on sale on Amazon, which will hopefully get it to a wider audience, and so make more money for Variety the Children's Charity, which is a GOOD THING.

Some of the architects [and friends of] the book have organised a bum rush today to push the thing up the Amazon charts in the hope of capitalising on cumulative advantage and, well, selling even more copies, to make more money for Variety.

So go and do it. It's good for you.

And each chapter is only 400 words, making it ideal for reading in the smallest room.

I Believe I Can Fly

[From here]

Comic book superheroes may owe their origins to New York, despite Superman being invented in Ohio, since pretty much all modern comic superhero started out based in New York [or poorly disguised versions thereof, like Gotham City].

But, as photographer Jan Von Holleben captures so beautifully in his series Dreams of Flying, all children think they are superheroes [which one were you?]

[If they're boys. Girls often default to princesses or fairies. Not that they aren't super.]

This really simple photographic device expresses the artifice and the naivete of children playing and that.

I imagine it will get turned into an ad soon enough.

Up, up and away!

[Via the excellent Lost in E Minor]

[UPDATE: guscasas in the comments points out that an agency has already turned them into ads - by putting a tagline and logo at the bottom.]


I've Lost My Backpack


I seem to have lost my lovely Crumpler bag somewhere in New York - anyone seen it?

I miss it.

I worry that its out there somewhere, lonely and confused, with nothing by fragments of my clothing to keep its insides warm.

Admittedly, it's a long shot - but wouldn't it be awesome if it found its way home thanks to the socialmediadistributedinterweb?

I can't wait until they come equipped with GPS trackers.

Likeminded Beersphere for PSFK


Since a bunch of people are coming into town for the PSFK conference on March 27th, we thought this might be an excellent reason to have some kind of likeminded beersphere type thing.

So, in the spirit of hanging out with nice people and becoming intoxicated, Noah and I will be drinking on March 26th and invite you all to join us - regardless of whether you are coming to PSFK or not.

Where: Sweet & Vicious, 5 Spring Street [between Elizabeth and Bowery]
When: Wednesday 26th March 7pm until drunk.

Come all, drink and be merry, for spring is springing and trends are trending.

IM Making a Difference


I just stumbled across this - even though its been running for about a year it doesn't seem to have generated much noise - most of the blog mentions I found about this were MS developer blogs.

Which is a shame - because it is a GOOD THING.

The I'M Initiative from Microsoft donates a percentage of the advertising revenues it brings in from Live Messenger conversations to social cause organisations.

You sign up, choose a cause, and then everytime you start an IM conversation, some money goes to your cause. Thus far the activity has raised >$850k. Change the world or go home indeed

One of the blogs that has picked up on this suggested this was hypocrisy - that it locks users into using bug ridden software to give pennies to charity.

And this is something I hear a lot - cynicism about brands doing socially conscious promotions to build their business on the back of 'consumer' desire to do good.


Of course they are. They are businesses. All they care about is money. That's the function of business - to generate profits.

The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.

It doesn't matter whether or not you think Milton Friedman was right. That's the way businesses operate - their responsibility is to deliver profit for their shareholders.

The only way I've managed to engage senior clients in a corporate social responsibility discussion is by positioning it as a strategic business function that will deliver long term shareholder value.

[Typical response I've had from a CEO to a mention of CSR ideas without the value preamble: "But - we pay loads of taxes. Isn't that enough?"]

In marketing terms it was a strategic point of differentiation and added value - its increasingly becoming a competitive necessity - because we, as a consumer base, are more concerned and willing to move our money to reflect that.

To a degree. As I mentioned before, most ethical consumerism is founded on the idea of Low Impact Ethics - if we all really wanted to change everything we'd, well, change everything.


Some brands that have sprung up since the mass awakening of social consciousness have socially responsible profitability at their core but the mega brands are relics or a less conscious age - they are dinosaurs - perfectly evolved to extract profits from, not help, the world.

Our role is to convince these brands that the best way to make money in the world today is to cater to the growing consumer need for emotional added value in purchases - be it social or ecological - that is reflected in the the brands they buy and the premium they are willing to pay.

Companies that do good need to make more money - then more companies will do good.