Friday 16 March 2012

St. Patrick's Day tomorrow! Ah, begorrah. Okay? I did the oirish twee bit. "D'Arby O'Gill and the little people".There. Happy? Okay so no more emails of drunks then. AAAhhhh. I got them all in 74.

I will blog again for Tuesday am about Content and Live Streaming. I can't wait, can you? Ha. 

Because this is St. Patrick's weekend so no work Monday and a big shout out to my Irish pals in Aus, NYC, Chicago, Moldova, Ukraine, UK who get this. Good luck boys! So I avoided all the stereotypical drunken Irish stuff - how many more emails do I have to get? I know already, we like our pints! Got it!

It's a big weekend because Ireland play England in rugby in Twickenham London on Saturday, Paddy's Day. I really hope England score, just to make it look fair.  

So here is another friend, Mr. Gerard Ryan presenting the still amazing Irish Eurovision Riverdance 1994 and yep, I was there (well, not exactly there, just in the Hotel bar beside it watching it....really was). Terribly, Gerry Ryan died in April 2010, god be good to him. I can assure you, he's up there smiling. Slainte Gerry! And if you haven't seen this, or haven't in a while, "'tis worth the watching" as we say, all the time, like "top of the mornin'"..

Google+. And why I'd say you need to know about it.

Oh okay, it's hard to make it the most interesting blog about Google+ but it is the talk of the town, like it or hate it. It's also going to be so big, brands need to know about it and use it. Get on it and try it. But don't give up because you'll have to get to know it. Sorry but you will.

"Google Plus, What the?"...."The world needs more Social Media?"....seems to be the reaction. "Not another place to advertise" aaaargghhhhh. Yep, but it's here to stay. 

Mind you, shocking name. I can't imagine the meeting but possibly it went....

"Hey you crazy guys, Let's brainstorm Googlers! what will we call this new service?"
"Hmmmm. Google Prime?" 
"Google Premium, Google Gold, Google Extra??!!"
"Sounds a bit like a new Bank Account from the 70's".
"I have it! Google Plus and we can put a + sign beside it!!"

I mean really. Should have got an Agency to do it - but that's the only downside. Because Ladies and Gentlemen, this is here and I think it's a brilliant twist on Social Media. Not that it matters what I think, it doesn't, but the point is that if you're into marketing, you'll have to get to know it.

The Beta launched on June 28th 2011 and ever since it's come in for a lot of criticism. Like Coke Versus Pepsi. It's Google+ Versus Facebook. Larry Page Versus Zuckerman.

Maybe call it the "Facebook backlash" and clearly it derives, they say, from  Larry's Google "obsession" with Facebook (remember Google Buzz? Orkut? Friends connect? they quickly point out). 

Or perhaps, might I venture, it's actually to compete with Fbook and intended not to let Facebook just get away. After all with a Fbook 100 billion valuation, so would I and Google needs to be in this space more..

It's not obsession, it's good business. All they have to do now, is make it better.

Forgive my heresy but I can't help thinking the more recent launch of Facebooks "timeline", was an attempt to tackle Google+. 

At the launch, Google CEO suggested that criticism was because "you weren't using it properly" which reminded all of the Steve Jobs Iphone antenna issue where he suggested "you weren't holding it properly". Snigger. 

But I know what he means because Google+ takes a bit of getting used to. Like the first Fax machine, you'll get over it.

A survey of Streamabout colleagues (yeah I know, not exactly scientific) suggested that they "don't like it" because "it's hard to use". 

Google+ features include Stream (a newsfeed), 
Sparks (a feed for recommendation but which dishes up content based directly on what you listed as being an 'interest'),
Hangouts (a, wait for it, streaming video chat. see? told you about streaming), 
Huddles then will let you video chat with your circles (anyone feel that between this, Skype and voice-over-IP/VOIP, telcos are stuggling?), 
crap Games
Photos (like your Fbook wall to upload your pics), 
Video (your favourite YouTube video which is also owned by Google as is this Blogger site in case you didn't know) and perhaps, best of all, Circles.

Circles are a way to define your people and message them differently. In other words you put different people in different groups and then talk to them differently. 

"Baby, can't wait to see ye later x" perhaps should not go to business connections/circles and maybe you don't want your fabulous business updates to go to friends. Hey, who wants your friends to see you crawl like a nerd. Of course, you can just post to "all". Watch the mistakes here though - it's going to keep YouTube going for years.

It's this circle sharing, or control, that's the killer app.
It allows segmented messaging, differentiation or in plain english, sending relevant messages to the relevant people. 

With the power of Google search behind it, being on Google + will have a dramatic positive impact on your search as Google will force the spiders to seek out these pages first in order to promote them. Which is one brilliant strategy that the power of Google has. Keep dishing up Google+ pages early in search and you'll have to have one. This alone will own the world.

If you're a blogger for example, activate/click your 1+ button at the bottom of your blog - it helps always to improve your search. And lastly it will all translate in the cloud through auto updating.

Industry wide reports are an expected 400m users by end 2012 (versus Fbooks 800m). That's mad. It will way exceed all expectations.

And Facebook? Kinda rhymes with 'MySpace'?
(okay, okay, Facebook is magic. There.)

Thursday 15 March 2012

Google show Ad Agencies have a future. If they could forget the past. Volvo.

Amil Gargano was born in 1932.
In Detroit (Motor City ironically) in the middle of the depression.

In 1959 he began work in an agency called 'Campbell Ewald' where he met Carl Alley and went on to set up their own Agency with one client - the unknown Swedish car maker of all things, Volvo. It was the era of Madmen and Don Draper.

They also began to be recognised as a team creating great work and in 1963 produced one of the all time great American iconic campaigns "Drive it like you hate it".

In fact it launched Volvo in the US and sales went crazy.
This TV spot was aired too with a great endline 'cheaper than psychiatry' and became pretty famous.....and I've worked on cars (BMW/Mini/Suzuki) so I know the car is the star. And this campaign was using the classic marketing trick - demonstration...

So Google set about bringing this campaign into digital, into today and got Amil involved (looking good I have to say, for nearly 80).... In doing it they found, through Google Search, Irv Gordon a man with a 1966 1800S Volvo with, wait for it, nearly 3 million miles on the clock. So they thought that's interesting and went to meet Irv.

Here's how that all starts....

Now they have something magical. Great stories from 1962 and then they show how to apply it to online. I think they could have done better in some ways. Although the GPS tracker is great to follow IRV as is of course, the streaming video from his car (but they I would say that wouldn't I?).

Still, the idea is strong. Here is a further follow-up....


If you think about it, it's still great and the whole Project Brief is a smashing idea. I frankly prefer the Coke Hilltop idea which I blogged before (

But it's pretty good to try and demonstrate to Ad people that the web can be a terrific medium and engender goodwill. In other words, stop them bitching. 

Which of course, if you're watching posts and blogs, they haven't. They've used this to criticise Google for making a mess of a classic Ad campaign.

Interesting too that these beautiful films are on Google's YouTube which I blogged yesterday (

Ah well, you can take a horse to water. 

One last thing. Amil was inducted into Advertising's Hall of Fame in 1983 and well, here he was.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

YouTube is the new TV. Keep Calm people.

Yesterday I posted some comments about YouTube and the future of television ("YouTube, mashable, the death of TV and Henry Ford's horse") which prompted some discussion amongst my fellow Ad Agency colleagues. Serious stuff!

(And I should say thanks for them. Honestly I'm very grateful. And to you who read this. Thank you.)

Anyway, what I got was that YouTube could never be TV because it was a place where you only got "Candid camera videos" and "mad crazy stupid people" and that I should "know better". After all, they go on, "content is king" and other cliches. 

So I think that's wrong. Completely wrong. And I'd like to try to prove it if I could.

Here is a poster at the top of the page which you all know well. From a design perspective, beautiful typography and an enchanting message. Especially to those who really ranted against YouTube.

Here is a YouTube video. Actually forget I said that. Think of it as more a programme from the new TV channel in the "history" section. Yeah, Like 'Sky Discovery' (funny too, isn't Sky a collection of niche channels itself? Just sayin'). Imagine you're watching 'The Discovery Channel'. 

See? When did you last see something like this on TV?
YouTube can be interesting, magic, brilliant, amazing, and as it develops it will be. Content is king + content gets better. Might I say live streaming will add a lot to it. YouTube just announced they will allow not-for-profits to stream live for free. So they do some good too!


Tuesday 13 March 2012

200 million Pete Cashmore. Mashably Fab.

Just in per my Blog yesterday....he sold Mashable to CNN 200 million dollars.

Good man Pete Cashmore 27, from Aberdeen.
Cool ironic name too 'cashmore'. 
Although I guess he'll be "spending more time in LA".
Top bloke. 

Youtube, Mashable, The death of TV and Henry Ford's horse

This is Pete Cashmore of which he founded in 2005 at 19, in Aberdeen. If the online rumours are true, he's likely to be selling to CNN for 200 million US dollars this week. If.

Mashable started as a blog, like this.
But the interesting bit is that it's CNN.

Because what we're seeing is the massive change in TV and potentially its death (as we know it) due to online and social media. What's happening is that the audience has shifted and terrestrial traditonal TV broadcasters have seen their audiences depart.

The growth of broadcasters iplayers signify the high level of viewers preferring to watch online and not, as they'll tell you, the popularity of their broadcasts.
That view that it's an example of popularity, is the fundamental mistake of the decade. I've seen data produced by traditional broadcasters that actually shows TV viewing is increasing. It's not, viewing through iplayers is because it's all we've got just for the minute.

The growth of Netflix (reported to have 229,000 Irish viewers after a 4 month launch) signifies that viewers are saying yes to a service that's ONLY available on Smartphones + Tablets. You can't get Netflix through traditional TV. Just think about that? a quarter of a million people think it's okay to buy a video service that they can't see on TV.

And you will never buy another TV again - you'll buy an internet ready TV - now think why?

Equally Jeff Bezo's Amazonian Love Film is doing the same. And live streaming brings events to you as they happen which a broadcaster can't do because of their scheduling.

So what are broadcasters doing about it?

Well not unlike Newspaper publishers, they're simply reposting their content online which is exactly the wrong thing to do - as Newspapers have discovered (see my other post here "difficult times"). Lessons have not been learnt.

UK Channel 4s launch this week of online service '4seven' is at least an attempt to do something different and more Social Media savy.

But they're all missing the point.
And forgive me, it's not that I'm against traditional broadcasters, having spent a life making TV commercials, it's just that I think they need to think to preserve themselves.

YouTube is the winner here and with 4 billion hits a day (as per The Sunday Times), its rollout of 100 pro-channels will be the winner. Originally started in 2005 as a sharing site for home videos, some still think it is. Dancing babies and office spoofs. Not any more.

Bought by Google in 2006 for 1.65 billion USD, it understands that the web is distribution. I remember that acquisition being ridiculed at the time....

Youtube uses niche interests overlooked by traditional TV.

One of the stations is a news channel from WSJ (print becoming TV?) and a music channel by Vice Magazine. Another is the legend Charlie McDonnell (Charlieissocoollike) set up in 2007 with some videos getting 200m dowloads and he's generated enough through advertising to buy himself a house.

Wifi at home enables us to view this kind of Television and not the stuff that broadcasters try to push to us at a time that suits them. It spells the end and a new era of broadcasting.

Broadcasters need to stop and think. Doing just what they've been doing but simply doing it online, will not be enough. Imagination and innovation by definition, requires you to think completely new.

When they asked Henry Ford should he not have researched the need for his invention he laughed. "No", he said, "they'd just have told me to build a better horse".

Monday 12 March 2012

AD Agencies have a future. Thanks to Google.

I know Ad Agencies don't yet get the power of online which is a pity.

Because instead of mourning the passing of advertising, they could use their talents in this new and far more exciting way. This is a time to get onboard.

Embrace it instead of rubbishing it.

So I was stunned to see this truly magnificent idea which frankly every Adman should see. You should read this here first. 

It's a project created by Google in conjunction with an Ad Agency and some advertising legends to see if they could take classic ad campaigns, add a dash of online and make them better. In other words, bring classic advertising into the digital space.

So they took the Coke commercial created by McCanns and a Director called Harvey Gabor "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" (or "hilltop" as it was called) which I remember as a kid being glued to in 1971. And so was the world. It became a huge hit in 1973 for The New Seekers.

Now they wanted to see if they could add anything to it that might make it better and more "today" using online. And boy did they. Sit back, watch this and understand. It's 11 minutes but I promise you, you'll be amazed....

So Advertising has changed. For the better.
All we need to do is to apply the great talent in Agencies to prove it.

If you liked this I've an update on a Volvo campaign