Agencies will thrive in the future and survive the in-house plus commodity services migration path of marketers by developing capabilities allowing them to keep pace with consumers. They will apply these tools, skills and talents to generating superior insights, inspired manifestations and communications born from these insights and real-time responsiveness to the market reactions to them. We get there through Digital R&D and Experimentation. I think I can end the post here–that’s my belief, thesis and praxis. Looking forward to sharing how we live it over the coming posts. Credit to PepsiCo’s Bonin Bough for inspiring:
Category Archives: Innovation
On Friday 10/08/10 Dave McClure (follow) of 500 Hats (blog) & 500 Start-ups (angel) hosted the “Warm Gun” design conference. Original in many ways, this event emphasized design from a usability and technical perspective and still managed to be about design. You can pull down the slideware from Slideshare.net/warmgun and view the videos at Ustream.tv –Developer path is /warmgun and Designers are /warmgun2
Big takeaways for me: an enormous amount of design and marketing talent lies deep within the walls of every major digital media and service provider. They’re thinking broadly about the implications of their data and usability across channels, in different media and devices as well as within different contexts. The new breed may have more science than art in their make-up, or at least more than they may have had to express in previous generations. And, as with every walk of creative life, they’re generally open, curious, opinionated and a lot of fun to be around.
As marketers expand their skillsets and embrace their inner-publisher/media-mogul by necessity, they’ll find a well-trained workforce available in the Valley. That’s not to say there won’t be competition, simply that there’s a farm-league for this talent within hundreds of digital companies and agencies. And, they’re really smart, connected and resourceful. Tip of a hat to Dave McClure and Christen O’Brien for bringing us together.
The entire event’s tweetstream is available via new aggregating service, Curated.by—if you’re an event organizer be sure to check them out!
And, as the event had the heart, imagination and inspiration of John Lennon who would have turned 70 on conference date, here’s a tribute video in honor of the Man and the Idea:
In two unrelated acts I found myself reacting to the work of our business in very different ways. It’s really a story of where advertising has been and where marketing is headed. Our main characters are Delta Airlines and Red Bull. Maybe you already see where this is going…
I was compelled to comment on AdWeek’s column by Barbara Lippert reviewing Delta’s new “Climb” advertising as much because of the advertising content as for the product it’s trying to represent in a positive light. Unfortunately, Delta and many other old-line airlines have been re-framed by newer and more relevant airlines like Virgin America, my current favorite, through a series of continual micro-innovations including: in-seat USB & DC power supply; in-flight wifi; seatback ondemand entertainment systems; microbrews and beverages of this decade/year/month; and more surely to come. These should be easily replicated commodity benefits for the industry to defy attempts at re-framing, but instead they respond with extra baggage fees and these ads/cinematic masterpieces.
Lippert quotes the famous David Ogilvy line to which I subscribe, “the fastest way to kill a bad product is to give it good advertising.” Eric Ryan, at Method Products–another company defined more by innovation than an advertising artifice–like to say advertising is a tax for sucking. Real Branding should be the honest, multi-faceted, self-aware expression of the most dramatic truths about a brand. In these spots, we get only some commodity industry truths and very little about what makes Delta special–because it isn’t. Ultimately, Delta has no recourse but to create big, interruptive and, yes, beautiful distractions to carry their brand advertising, because their brand truths simply don’t stick or attract you. They have to interrupt you because you wouldn’t invest the time to hear their false case any other way.
I was just as compelled to post this video to my Facebook wall. Really, nothing to add here except this: Red Bull consistently creates engagements with super-influential categories and associations that inspire in all ways, from the Idea to execution. I was cheering for The Clutch at the end of this piece. I wanted to watch and share. I was drawn to the story and inspired by this piece of marketing. I look forward to how Red Bull will inspire us next and in what compelling form. I feel the power of their truth in their deeds, actions and expressions.
Red Bull gives wings to inspired marketing and represents the new marketing model in which “Above the Line” and “Below the Line” are all one line:
- where any act can inspire and add to your brand’s marketing fame
- where advertising draws you in and invites you to stick around versus interrupting like a loud, rude–albeit good looking–guest
- where a local-market tactic can project as large as a national spot
- where truths are core and essential and lies are exposed or simply ignored
- where digital and social aren’t just media or a channel, but core to connecting and discovery with new brand recruits
It’s an example of the dynamic of “Magnetism” which you’ll hear more about more frequently here. Welcome your thoughts and contributions.
In Philip K. Dick’s novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“–better known for its 1982 Blade Runner film adaptation–the title refers to the empathetic aspect of humans for animals that Androids lack. As our devices and the algorithm gets closer to replicating our brains and appearance the novel explores deep ethical questions arise about what is human and therefore how they should be treated. I won’t take the tangent, but it’s worth giving the nod to how this line of thinking relates to current debates around equality working its way through the courts today in California. Back to the post at hand, there’s a genius and an irony to Google’s novel reference through the Android name in their development for our most personal, connected devices–the mobile platform. Unlike our PCs and web browsers where we taught/teach the search algorithm mainly through intent (search) and behaviors (clicks) billions of times a day, on mobile we begin to expose more of us to the algorithm. In our voice inflections and dialects combined with our location, calendars and real-life friends, expressed in time on the phone and in person, we’re teaching the algorithm our more intimate aspects of those people, places and things we care about most. The mobile platform is a feeder system of millions of devices serving billions of transactions/interactions into a smarter and more intuitive cloud-based algorithm. So, perhaps in time Androids will dream and awake.
In the meantime enjoy snacking on this teaser video for the new Samsung Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet debuting in Europe next month:
We spoke with Michael Gaiss, Sr Vice President out of Boston for Highland Capital Partners, July 28 at Pepsico10 about HCP’s role in the event, some impressions and themes. We also did a quick follow-on interview to see how HCP qualifies investments for emerging technology companies and how that can align with how marketers make bets in new spaces. We’ll present the follow-up in a future post.
Here’s our video interview with summary notes below:
At Pepsico10 held at Pepsi’s Purchase Headquarters on July 27-28 we had a chance to connect with Ann Mooney, 18-year veteran from P&G, Former Pampers North America Brand Director and CEO of Rising Moon Consulting. In her keynote presentation to Pepsico marketers, Ann ran through a number of trends in technology materially changing the experience, expectations and relationship with consumers. Continue reading