Previous month:
November 2009
Next month:
January 2010

Posts from December 2009

Paper Birds

Today's selection was brought to my attention by its auteur via a little blog outreach, which is good stuff since the onus is very much to spread your content as far and as wide as you can. 

This is what he says about it:

The theme of the video is about the inspiration that can be found in unlikely places and that in giving back / sharing to the world –  music is created!

A theme that is appropriate for the holiday season!

Indeed it is. Happy New Year Eve Eve. 

Rule of 3

Today's celeb studded Nikon Festival selection for you.

Also a bit of a tip for those of you who are in the running. Audience voting is done by clicking the star ratings - everyone can indicate how they score each film. 

Then, from the Ts&Cs

Limit: Each rater may rate each Finalist Submission one (1) time during the Audience Award Phase. Multiple ratings received from any person or IP address after the first rating will be void and disqualified in Sponsor’s discretion. Finalists are prohibited from obtaining views or ratings by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, without limitation, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Finalists scores will be determined by multiplying the number of valid views the Submission received by the average rating (out of five (5) stars) it received (the score).

So, basically, any individual as identified by IP address can only RATE each film once - but the final score is a function of the average rating and the total number of views.

So if your film is in there - you need to be doing everything you can to get people to rate your film - and watch it as many times as possible - every valid view counts towards your score! 

So get out there and spread your content. 

New York State of Mind

Being today's Nikon Festival entry that I have picked because I'm heading back to London from New York tomorrow.

[More disclosure: the winning films will be picked by judges and audience votes - nothing to do with me guv - I'm just pulling a few out here for your delectation] 

A Day Through Your Lens

Nikon Festival

I usually avoid talking about anything I've been involved in my 'professional' life here on TIGS - it feels weird.

But this thing we're doing is about to hit phase 2 where there's social voting and that I thought I'd mention it in case you haven't seen it. [Disclosure - I was involved in this]


I shall refrain from any exegetical exposition - I shall simply say that Nikon is currently running a film festival called the Nikon Festival, which is designed to harness the newly social nature of short film, and appeal to a participatory culture of budding film makers.

It is a chance for the brand to celebrate the creativity of the audience and is a form of content generation engine - an idea that creates lots of content for the brand - something that I think is crucial in a post scarcity media environment.

The brief was to capture what a day was like through your lens in 140 seconds or less - the 140 obviously echoing the character limit on twitter, because brevity is the soul of twit.


Ashton made us a film of a day in his life and launched the contest with a tweet to his nearly 4 million followers, which was cool.

Anyway, it's been going brilliantly, thanks for asking, we got over 1000 entries and as of tomorrow, you can begin to vote on the finalists [one prize is being awarded by judges, one by audience vote].

So, since it's Christmas and I shan't be be doing any regular posting, I shall instead silently proffer up one of the films for your festive delectation.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas! Or Holidays, or whatever you prefer.

Provocations for 2010

Some Next Big Things

I wrote this thing for the current issue of Strategy Magazine in Canada.

I've written about the problems of prospection before, so I won't labour the caveat except to say that perhaps it's better to think of these as provocations rather than predictions.

  1. Gestures
  2. Banners
  3. The Socialisation of Media
  4. Content
  5. Hyperconnectivity and Transmedia

Something old, some new, mostly borrowed, hardly blue.

You can read the whole thing online or in handy portable document format:

Download 2010 Some Next Big Things - Strategy Mag

[There's a line in section 4 that got a bit distorted in the edit - should read:

So the onus in these spaces that advertisers are paying for has been to communicate what they want to say in a way that is appealing to the audience, but not necessarily to communicate something the audience wants to hear.]

I finish the piece with a transmedia link to this video I posted a while back with some other prognostications about the present.  


What do you think?

Xmas BeerSphere Is Today

View Larger Map

A quick reminder that Xmas BeerSphere NYC is tonight!

I have a bit of a cold so please be gentle with me.

As per the previous post: 7pm, SuperDive [see above] and the first keg is on me as a thank you to you all.

SuperDive says:

Please note that that the maximum number of people in your party will be limited to the number that was confirmed with your reservation. 

All parties must arrive no later than 30 minutes after their reserved time.  Entry will otherwise be subject to availability.

Which means that I can guarantee 30 of you entry as long as you get there by 7.30pm at the latest - after that it depends on how busy SuperDive is.

Sorry about that - I didn't realize they were SuperStrict when I made the booking - so if you are planning to come I recommend coming before 7.30pm.


No Rational Content

No Rational Content

I've been reading a very excellent issue of the Journal of Advertising Research that the lovely Gwen at the ARF sent me. 

It's a special issue that concerns itself with a very important question [for those of us in advertising]:

What do we KNOW about advertising

If this seems to be an obvious question, ask yourself to define clearly what advertising is, and exactly how it works, in all cases. 


It's tricky this business of ours. That's what makes it so interesting. 

[PS> If you don't have some kind of model of how you think advertising and brands and that works - go and think about if for a while , because this is important. 

If you don't have some idea HOW and WHY things WORK, how can you hope to make things that do? 

If you don't have some model in your head about how putting pieces of content into media [without even getting into the more complex world we live in now] can create business value for companies, by which mechanism this process happens, commercially, culturally and psychologically...well you should.

And then you need to recognize that no one model will hold true for everything: 

No single theory or group of theories can explain it all, because advertisements work in such different ways. There is no point in looking for an overall theory.[1]

[1] Nevill Darby, quoted in Advertising Frameworks, Giep Franzen, Brand New Brand Thinking

- which makes things ever trickier...

So maybe go get this issue of the JAR and start there.] 

[That was quite an extended parenthesis wasn't it? This one is much shorter.] 

One of the research papers I really enjoyed was from measurement masters Les Binet [DDB Matrix] and Peter Fields [my measurement mentor]. 

It highlights some of the findings from a meta-analysis they undertook for the IPA in the UK, using the IPA DataBANK, which holds all the winning papers for the IPA Effectiveness Awards [one of the few awards which focuses exclusively on the business results of advertising].

The IPA Effectiveness Awards are recognised by agencies and clients as Adlands most rigorous awards scheme because entrants have to prove to a jury of experienced clients that their communications strategies have worked in hard business terms. These awards are open worldwide to agencies, media owners and advertisers.

The analysis looked at 880 winning papers and tried to draw some general conclusions about what seems to correlate strongly with business success. 

The paper is called: 

Empirical Generalizations about Advertising Campaign Success

You really should read it. 

A couple of points they highlight:

"Campaigns that aim to reduce price sensitivity are more effective than campaigns that aim to increase sales or market share."

"Campaigns that focus on customer acquisition are far more effective than campaigns that focus on loyalty."

[Whilst they don't mention this there is an obvious reason for this - loyalty campaigns are forced to compete with direct experience of the customer, whereas acquisition campaigns are not.] 

"Campaigns that have the stated aim of getting the brand and the marketing talked about are particularly effective."

But probably my favorite bit is the bit I put up top. With the exception of direct response advertising, which seems to work better with rational messages:

"The most effective advertisements of all are those with little or no rational content." Les Binet/Peter Field

I especially love this because it validates something I posited in a previous post: 

"This effect, where commercial grammar overrules social grammar when both are employed is detailed in Predictably Irrational - it further supports Feldwick's view below in the sense that specific product messages would frame communication as commercial and therefore negate the development of social relationship building, or brand preference.

This is probably contentious, but it suggests that if you attempt to employ any rational messaging in brand building communication, you might well be shooting your brand in the foot". From Social Gravity and the Value of Free new emphasis]

So this piece of research, if we hold it to be valid and that, alongside Feldwick's paper, requires those who still hold on to things like Reasons to Believe and USPs to have a good hard think. 

I'm not saying this is the answer or anything, but it does really need thinking about. 

As Mr Feldwick has pointed out, most advertising professionals will intuitively agree, but in practice we find it really hard to accept that this is how things work, and so default to doing the opposite.  

Kindly, the ARF have granted me permission to the post the research paper here. 


Download BINET & Field IPA DATABANK Empirical Generalizations about Advertising Campaign Success.