Mini Cooper Boxes in Amsterdam.

A rather wonderfully executed guerilla campaign by Mini Amsterdam featuring packing boxes in prominent locations around Amsterdam. They are promoting something that you probably wouldn’t know about or be interested in but this brings in to the forefront, a 99€ a month finance deal which is available on the Mini Cooper. Taking a fairly run of the mill offer, like a finance plan and making it part of something compelling. Lovely.

Here’s a few images and videos to illustrate.

(and here’s my fave..)

@rorysutherland at TED: Life lessons from an ad man

Now perhaps somewhat of a TED classic, this is definitely worthy of your time, the video that is. Rory is not only someone with a deeply ingrained wealth of knowledge and experience, but I think he’s truly emblematic of our time. Why? Well, along with all that, it would seem he maintains a curiosity for this new world we live in and an enthusiasm to try out all the new tools that have sprung up and become part of every day life. In this TED talk he mentions amongst other things, the skills and creativity involved in creating intangible value, and that’s an important one, especially with social media, creating value that you can’t touch. I like the musings that advertising isn’t getting people to buy stuff that they do not need as much as it is getting people to value what they already own. Fascinating stuff.

“We need to appreciate what we already have, rather than agonising over what we don’t.”

A point is also made that many of life’s problems could be solved by “tinkering with perception”. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do with all these creative, groundbreaking projects on behalf of bold / brave clients? Challenge perceptions, push the boundaries, reach new heights? The Diamond Shreddies are a perfect case study, where something so simple to everyone (in hindsight) as flipping shreddies on it’s side resulted in raising sales by 18%. Truly remarkable. We’re told that the traditional shreddies is old and boring (below) whilst being shaped as a diamond instantly makes them ‘better’, ‘more flavourful’ and ‘crunchier’. Astounding. It’s the same shreddies but the perception we are being sold is of these new experiences to be had with the Diamond Shreddies. And we believe them. Hence why sales rose.

Of course, I digress. There was some criticism of the points Rory made here and then furthermore in the comments.. but I got bored of the arguing and going round in circles in the comments but hey, it’s encouraging some debate and thought around the subject isn’t it.

Close to 100 comments here also, on TED, mostly wildly cynical and dismissive but isn’t it great when Rory himself pops in, says hello and silences a few critics. Truly brilliant.

After all that waffle, here it is.. Enjoy.

Another one of those social media ROI videos..

Feast your eyes. At least this one doesn’t have that Fatboy Slim backing track.

“You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…The old media paradigm was PAY to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to PLAY to play.”

– Alex Bogusky, Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky

A few key messages:

1. Over 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook and roughly a 1/3 of these are small businesses.

2. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media.

3. Lenovo was able to achieve cost savings by a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers go to community website for answers.

4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube.

5. Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter

6. Obama Social Media Marketing resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising.

7. 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40% because: a) Low Cost Marketing b) Getting Traction c) We Have To Do It

Via Socialnomics

The social network in your pocket by @mikearauz

Another great presentation deck by Mike Arauz

Top 50 Facebook Brand Pages in 2009

Interesting stuff. Mainly US brand pages, to be expected.

Top 5
#1 Coca Cola

#2 Starbucks

#3 Disney

#4 Victoria’s Secret

#5 iTunes

The Story (so far) of Twitter

Mother London rethink their holiday card..

Merry Christmas to you.

What a lovely idea this and told with an incredibly simple yet brilliant narrative. With a $10K budget for their holiday card, Mother London made the sensible decision to instead of giving out a load of smaller gifts to a lot of people, they would make this holiday truly special for just one person.

The ending is an unexpected one so worth watching for the duration. Another case in point that sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be the most powerful.

100 Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2010

I was asked to provide comment on the above article and only noticed that it had gone live after seeing traffic arrive from the post and subsequent PDF of the article (below). The PDF is something quite beautiful, i’m not just saying that. You should check out the recently released final version here..

‘There’s more time than the present’ by @bud_caddell

Here’s a great deck to get those thinking juices flowing, another cracker from @bud_caddell across the pond at Undercurrent. Do people say across the pond any more? Well, I just went there. PS Sharing the love Bud, happy birthday..

A few choice quotes:

“Ultimately, semantics fail us when trying to describe the present moment. When is now? Now? Or now? And while we’re on the topic, Morrissey would like to know, how soon is now?”

“Hope and despair are the emotional manifestations of future consciousness. We feel either one based on the predictions we make from passing events.”

“Attention is our scarcest natural resource. And attention is given based on a perception of time and a consciousness of the future”

Global news made beautiful by Newsmap

I found out about this rather swish site for displaying news called Newsmap.jp. It’s brilliant.

To help you get a better idea of what i’m talking about and in true Blue Peter style, here’s one I made earlier.. I’ve just selected UK as the region but encapsulating all topic areas.

Immediately and rather nicely you get a snapshot of what is going on, colour coded by region and interest. Amazing stuff. I can see this becoming quite handy.

Filtered to only include UK technology news this time..

… and here’s another one, just UK sport time.  You get the idea. It’s awesome. Go try it yourself now.

TrendsSpotting 2010 Social Media Trend Predictions

I’ve omitted the word ‘influencers’ from the original headline because it still bugs me a bit but nonetheless this is a brilliant compilation of so many varying predictions on 2010 in the one place from some of the biggest movers and shakers. I’m merely there to fill up the numbers obviously and being next to Seth Godin has provided many with much amusement. But I’m all for a bit of self-deprecation every now and then. Hat tip to @tim_whirledge for the original heads up.

Everyone that is featured in the presentation is listed below with their @names, making it easy for you to follow as many as you wish.

Major trends that came to the fore out of all the predictions were:

Mobile, Location, Transparency, Measurement, ROI and Privacy.

Not much new there then for 2010. Mobile, Location and Privacy would be my three to watch in 2010. Transparency shouldn’t even be there because it should happen without a second thought. But in 2009 we have seen and still in 2010 we’ll continue to see ideas, campaigns and executions which will pretend to be something they’re not / mislead consumers in some way or fake its roots and originality. Sometimes it is purely for the sake of controversy and to get people talking about it but other times you wonder who initially thought it would be a good idea and then how it ever made it in to the public spheres.

It was concluded that 2009 did not meet expectations. What should we expect in 2010?

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In this report,  the 2010 Social Media trends are foretasted by:

@petecashmore PETE CASHMORE Founder, CEO Mashable
@armano DAVID ARMANO Senior Partner, Dachis Group Author, Logic and Emotion
@chrisbrogan CHRIS BROGAN President, New Marketing Labs
@peterkim PETER KIM Managing Director, N.America Dachis Group
@seth SETH GODIN, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur & Agent of change
@litmanlive MICHAEL LITMAN Social Media Strategist Consolidated PR
@tamar TAMAR WEINBERG, Community & Marketing Manager, Mashable
@johnbattelle JOHN BATTELLE Founder & Chairman Federated Media
@mariansalzman MARIAN SALZMAN President, N.America Euro PR, Trend Spotter & Author
@mzkagan MARTA KAGAN Managing Director, US Espresso- Brand Infiltration
@danzarrella DAN ZARRELLA Social & Viral Marketing Scientist HubSpot
@emarketer eMARKETER Digital Intelligence
@drewmclellan DREW McLELLAN Founder and Author The Marketing Minute
@idc CAROLINE DANGSON Digital Marketplace Research Analyst IDC
@jasonfalls JASON FALLS Social Media Strategist Social Media Explorer
@charleneli CHARLENE LI Founder Altimeter Group
@gauravonomics GAURAV MISHRA CEO 2020 Social Online
@marc_meyer MARC MEYER Principal Digital Marketing Response Group
@emarketer JEFFREY GARU Senior Analyst eMarketer 2010
@jimmy_wales  JIMMY WALES Founder Wikipedia
@alecjross ALEC ROSS Sr Advisor -Innovation State Department
@CraigNewmark CRAIG NEWMARK Founder of Craiglist
@scobleizer ROBERT SCOBLE Technical Evangelist Rackspace
@dmscott DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT Marketing Strategist & Author World Wide Rave
@roncallari RON CALLARI Social Media
@ravit_ustrategy RAVIT LICHTENBERG Founder & Chief Strategist Ustrategy.com
@equalman ERIK QUALMAN Author Socialnomics
@pgillin PAUL GILLIN Writer, Author & Social Media Consultant Principal
@adambroitman ADAM BROITMAN Partner & Ringleader Circ.us
@cbensen CONNIE BENSEN Director of Social Media & Community Strategy Alterian
@mikearauz MIKE ARAUZ Strategist Undercurrent
@nenshad Nenshad Badoliwalla Co-author Driven to Performance
@adamcohen ADAM COHEN Partner Rosetta
@danielwaisberg DANIEL WAISBERG Head of Web Analytics Easynet
@communitygirl ANGELA CONNOR Journalist & Community Strategist
@trendsspotting TALY WEISS CEO and Head of Research TrendsSpotting.com

Your RSS reader isn’t a newspaper, it’s a magazine rack..

2009 has been the year I fell out of love with Google Reader. It is probably due to the quantity of unread feeds subscribed to becoming unmanageable within.. say a a day. It was as if I was hunting for my football in a field that hadn’t been tended to for a year. There’s been immense growth yet still difficult to find anything. Reader for me wasn’t the place any more that I could dip in to for a few minutes throughout the day to see what was going on at a glance. I felt guilty for not coming back regularly and lavishing it with the time it required. In the end it bothered me so much I changed one of the options for it to not show the unread count of items. But that was just me hiding from the problem. The problem was an inefficient organisational hierarchy.

I’m starting my new years resolutions early this year. None of this traditional signing up to the gym, quitting chocolate, smoking or alcohol business. (I don’t even smoke!) One of mine is going to be to get my Google Reader organised. Hey, it’s a non stop party time at my place. An easy job you say? Well, i’ve accumulated close to 800 subscriptions and i’m starting at square one with them all.

I’ve become inspired of late by doing something about this due to a few people. Namely Fernando Rizo, Mat Morrison and Marshall Kirkpatrick who have given me a fresh perspective and a renewed vigour for changing my perceptions of how I should use Reader and what my reading hierarchy should look like. So when categorising feeds or organising favourites on your computer, if you partake in such an activity to start with, you would traditionally put them in folders due to their interest eg Sports, Music, Marketing, Gaming etc etc.. This hasn’t worked for me and i’m going to try out a new system alluded to by the guys above. Something more akin to ‘Must reads’ ‘News’ ‘Skip ’em’. I love Fernando’s analogies and rhetorical questions when it comes to how we have adopted (perhaps wrongly) the newspaper model for RSS..

“Website taxonomy was a waste of time, perhaps, but I loved it. When I would describe the contextual system to people, I would often ask, rhetorically, ‘who sits down and says, it’s time to read about economics or sports?’ This was the newspaper model in practice: the RSS reader is a newspaper you edit yourself, populated with a huge variety of topics. The RSS reader isn’t a newspaper for me: it’s a magazine rack, filled with specialty niche magazines that I read one at a time.”

So how have I got around not using Reader this year? Firstly, I started using Posterous more and more as a place for me to reblog cool stuff I’ve seen throughout the day. As I got more up to speed with using it myself, I found out about the reader feature on Posterous itself. It is truly fascinating and not well documented enough that it even exists. It is simply found at posterous.com/reader when you’re logged in. This was purely and simply page after page of content by the people I’m subscribed to. This works much better for me than reams of text in Google Reader. How I’d describe it is a much more visual RSS reader. But it’s not RSS. For me it’s bite sized nuggets of inspiration. It’s generally not hugely long textual posts to read and digest, mostly being the odd thought provoking / interesting image or slideshare embed with a line of commentary at the end of the post saying what they think about it.

Obviously, the ever present issue of garbage in, garbage out is something to be mindful of. If you subscribe on Posterous to accounts that don’t inspire, inform and satiate that constant appetite for information then you’re not going to get anything out of that either. I feel ‘closer’ to the people I subscribe to on Posterous than I do in Reader, because of the bookmarklet. A simple widget type thing that sits in your web browser address bar that allows you to reblog anything you see on the page before you. Try it out yourself with this page if you like. Sign yourself up with Posterous, get the bookmarklet and see just how easy it is! This is how I mainly use Posterous so the cool stuff comes to me through the Posterous Reader and I am simply a filter, disseminating the information that I feel has value in one way or another. In turn I enjoy more of a community element than I do with Google Reader. But then that’s entirely a subjective point of view. I know Rizo shares stuff on Reader, much as I do on Posterous and friends comment on it so it’s different horses for different courses.

It was this article that got the ball rolling for me. Hope it helps you too. I implore you to read and digest it. It links also to this article and this one too. Read them both. You can read about elegant triage systems and everything!

I better get started with it all then..

Webwill: Your digital identity after death

Just what happens to all this endless ‘stuff’ that we produce online after we’re no longer around to enjoy it? It was one of the topics of conversation recently when @faris was over in London and held an impromptu Beersphere. Which got me thinking, what if there was a way to pre-emptively update our Facebook page, our Twitter page, our blog and all the other online destinations we produce content for with a message. What would that message be and would we use it?

A new service which caught my eye is Webwill which prefaces with asking the question “How do you want to live your life online after death?” In one sentence it describes what it sets out to do, I like that. It’s not an easy thing to do. Ironically, it’s in Beta at the moment and on an invite only basis.

A couple of the facts they give in the video is that 1 in every 3 women in Sweden has their own blog and 850m photos are uploaded to Facebook every month. Over 10billion photos a year. What will happen to those photos in 10 years? Will they be as relevant?

It seems to have all come to the fore recently with Facebook recommending you to people you know who have passed away. Then ask the question, how would Facebook have known? These kinda measures need to be put in to place and I think something like Webwill could help to moving in the right direction to do that. It must be harrowing for someone to be recommended to reconnect with a friend or loved one no longer around. Check these posts out, first from Mashable not so long ago documenting ‘How to eliminate “dead friend” suggestions’ and second from Consumerist where Facebook were embroiled in a lengthy battle for this very reason and performed a u-turn on their own policy which states that “it was their policy to keep dead members profile’s in a “memorialized” state.”

Back to this whole notion of why we even have a desire to keep all these different profiles updated. We’re living for the era of now, so consumed in what we’re doing this minute and maybe not taking the time to enjoy the here and now because we’re too busy documenting it. (For when and for who?) Putting up pictures on Flickr, tweeting about it, writing a Facebook status update, telling people we don’t know on a chat room or forum what we’re doing.  This is important but all those little artefacts you put up online, stay online, indefinitely. It’s always something people seem to forget about when they engage in sometimes hugely libellous slanging matches online where an apology has to be made public or when emails containing conversations which shouldn’t have happened in print are written. Once it’s down on the online notepad, it’s permanent.

So with that morbidly futuristic post in mind check out the video below, pretty fascinating stuff.

myWebwill – in english! from Lisa Granberg on Vimeo.

Update – Here’s a video explanation from the founders via Venturebeat

The Future of Work (Presentation)

An educational presentation by Jeff Brenman of Apollo Ideas who explores how technology is changing the way people work together.

What type of Moleskinner are you?

I think i’m part ‘Freeform’ and part ‘Self actualised’ – hey i like some schedule!

How about you?

Bit of a media cliche but I love a good Moleskine. I could get free notepads from work and save myself a fortune but there’s something intangible about writing on one of these beauties. I may have to confess even for the purpose of this post to ordering a few limited edition models (these ones) only available in Hong Kong to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Helvetica font. If that’s not overly needlessly geeky then I don’t know what is.

moleskine1

moleskine2

Via Lunchbreath

Pepsi changes to Pecsi in Argentina..

A typical case of overcoming a seemingly impossible problem with a brilliant solution here from BBDO Argentina.

The problem being that for argentines the ‘PS’ sound is hard to pronounce. The solution? Change it. Sounds simple enough right? Well, in doing so, they created the first democratic pronunciation for a brand (which in itself guaranteed coverage..)

The results were almost instant and people have been found to be asking for a Pecsi all over Argentina and beyond!

Pecsi Case from BBDO argentina on Vimeo.

10 Trends for 2010 by @stutts

Interesting to note that crowd sourcing is one of the top trends for 2010. It’s been fascinating reading at length the thoughts of Amelia, John and many others to name just two, with Peperami being the case in point in this instance. In some cases, I think it’s akin to authorised stealing but can see its merits.

I don’t know if the trends are in any order of importance but Augmented Reality comes in at #1. I’d agree with this for the most part, it’s a truly new, interactive and immersive experience when it’s done properly but there’s only a handful of solid examples to date so far.

Mobile payment is definitely en vogue for 2010 with the announcement by Jack probably most well known for being one of the guys behind Twitter. He recently announced his latest project, Square. This is a “new e-payment technology which he hopes will revolutionise the way consumers pay for goods and services.” with an iPhone or iPod Touch to begin accepting credit or debit card payments instantly.

Check it out in action here:

(NSFW) ‘Twitter Chick’ Music Video..

Watch with your hands over your eyes. As funny as it is wrong.

How will we manage? Global stats and facts.

Watch this. Amazing stuff. You’ll be fascinated by some of the facts.

Did you know?

  • Of the 6.1 billion people in the world, 3.1 billion of those are in work
  • 77% of the US workforce have a Facebook account and 26% speak a second langauge
  • Fortune 500 companies receive about 2000 CVs a day
  • In 2007, 1 out of every 3 hires was made online
  • There are more Blackberries and iPhones in the world than there are people in the UK
  • More than 1m people signed up to Google Latitude in the first week
  • US workers collectively take 917 million sick days per year
  • Employees who surf the web are said to be 9% more productive