Friday, 22 March 2013

Newspapers have a new confidence. Recent NNI Video tells the story and journalists tell theirs. Newspapers are the ONLY Media people pay for. That means they want it.

The power of Newspapers and their power online. Real Social Media as shown at the recent NNI Awards night.
The point is that Newspapers are a trusted source for news. And now with the online/social media dimension, they can provide that news with video, just as well as any broadcaster. But perhaps more importantly, is that people actively pay for Newspapers. So they value it, they read it, they trust it. 

And that has real value to advertisers because they don't pay for TV, Outdoor, Radio.

It's the tradition of newspapers to break news and set the news agenda as you'll see. Story after story after story.

But importantly, they can do that "as it happens" so before traditional TV broadcasters who hold back their news for advertising lucrative evening broadcasts.

Newspapers are not threatened by the Web but rather, it brings new opportunities (such as subscriptions) without the massive cost of printing. And, they can enter the TV advertising arena through providing pre-roll commercials in front of their video news. Who'd have thought you can see a 30 second TV commercial in a newspaper?

Well done to The National Newspapers of Ireland who are pushing out the message with new confidence. And rightly so.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

And along comes another, brilliant, simple, world class idea. Bluetooth Earphones.

Just when you thought everything was invented, along comes another great, simple idea.

Bluetooth earbuds.

Now I do know of wireless headphones like we all bought in the 90's for late night TV watching. And I do know of bluetooth earpieces for Iphones favoured by Taxi drivers. But bluetooth ear buds, as in the tiny earpieces we all have, I hadn't seen as wireless.

So no more chords to plug into your iphone, instead they're wireless over bluetooth. The ear buds just connect to a little device which links to your phone etc. So forget tangles, they're a thing of the past.

Elroy (I admit, a most peculiar brand name) is looking to raise funding on Kickstarter (crowd funding) and I think it's a real winner. Not only does it replace the mess of tangled chords but when you remove an earpiece (as in, someone says "hello" on the street), it pauses the music until you put it back in.

If you get a call, inserting the ear piece answers it and so on. Clever?


The mounts are also magnetic so when you're done, they simply stick to a box which you carry. 

Elroy were looking to raise 30k usd on Kickstarter and already they've past that mark. I'm not surprised.

This will be the way of headphones in the future (did I just say that?).
Well, I mean, it's a sure winner.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

New Ad Agency launches. Brief them on Twitter, response in 24 hours, 999 dollars on PayPal. Dear oh dear.

A network of Ad Agency creatives in New York have just launched the fastest creative turnaround ever. Using Twitter briefs (that is, 140 characters of a brief, refreshing in itself), they'll respond with ideas (tag lines, communication platforms, stunts etc).

Claiming to be "the fastest Agency in the world" they say clients can say goodbye to "powerpoint decks, long lunches, meetings, to-and-fro emails, inaudible conference calls - I'm with that 100%, consumer focus groups" and so on. only seek 999 usd paid by 'PayPal' which I assume, you pay in advance. So goodbye too to billing/invoice queries and I assume, goodbye to any problems with the ideas seeing as you'll have paid for them.....

Founded by a 'Floyd Hayes', they're claiming clients including brands such as Unilever, Mini, Levis, HSBC, Vodafone and other blue-chip corporates. Also claiming to be "in short, I develop ideas to sell your stuff" which really does cut to the chase....

And if you look at the Video above, you'll see Floyd is pretty proud of himself. 

Of course, what this all does is further commoditises the work of Ad Agencies - rightly or wrongly - but one lesson that's clear in my experience is that good ideas require one thing. Time.

The longer you have, the better the idea or ideas. And it really is as simple as that. Good ideas rarely, come quickly and certainly in 24 hours, you'll not have something outstanding. Because with any idea, you need time to kick it around.

I can deliver an advertising concept in a minute, but how good will it be? (yeah, yeah, most will say I didn't deliver a good one in 20 years so okay then).

However, being the "fastest" Agency is a positioning which Agency's in the main, lack (they all appear "samey"). Or being the 999 dollar Agency is another positioning. And it grabs the headlines on the likes of 'Mashable' and Advertising publications. 

Fundamentally though, it damages the business of the Ad Agency and demystifies what they do. Floyd would say I'm sure, no bad thing and you know what, he might be right....even if this is a stunt in itself, pure and simple.

What it does point to is the need for big Agencies to stand up for themselves and explain clearly how and what their contribution is in the digital age rather, as they're prone to do, dismissing it. Or they'll keep getting hammered and hammered into a positioning as well-dressed money men with nothing to add.

Or else, Floyd will be rubbing his hands.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Turning buildings green. A classic piece of marketing for St. Patricks Day.

Accuse me of being biased but I do think the concept behind turning international, iconic buildings green, for St. Patrick's day, is a classic. Just as an idea, forgetting is has anything to do with Ireland.

But green is the Irish colour and internationally recognised as such - so a building lit up in green, means Ireland.

Sydney Opera House, The Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, The Empire state Building (which I actually painted as a teenager, honest guv), The London Eye, Sphinx, Christ the Redeemer statute in Rio, Pyramids....all went green for Patrick's Day. A pretty impressive ad. And that great Irish city Chicago, where I once worked, as usual, turned The Chicago River green.

I have to say, I thought it was a stunning idea as well as all the Government Buildings turning green. At the launch of the idea, Streamabout interviewed Minister Varadkar who said the cost was 36,000 euro in total. That represents pretty good value then.

A lovely idea that actually happened. And yet again, simplistic thinking wins.