Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ryanair and Lunatic Bloggers

I'm sure you've already caught this story, and to be honest I've decided to post about it mainly due to the numerous bad experiences I've had with Ryanair and the fact that I now refuse to fly with them under any circumstances whatsoever!

To say that a company has screwed up in a communication with the public would be a complete understatement in this case. Ryanair haven't just screwed up; they've loaded a gun, shot themselves in the foot and then asked one of their aircraft to roll over said foot. Now more then ever the concept of online PR and reputation management should be forfront to all business considerations. The net never forgets and as soon as we bloggers find an interesting story (especially one that involves blogging) we're going to talk about it.

The situation went as follows: Jason Roe, a web developer from Dublin, was booking tickets online with Ryanair when he discovered a glitch that allowed him to book Ryanair tickets for €0.00. The glitch was a session glitch to do with multiple instances being open. Of course, he blogged about it. Jason got a response from Ryanair...

A Ryanair staff member replied, “You’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is! (sic) you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it!”
What followed was a back and forth between Jason and the staff memeber, in which he explained that he didn't think he could get free flights, just that there was a sessions glitch in their system. Ryanair have confirmed that it was their staff that made contact.

“Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion,” said the airline’s spokesman Stephen McNamara. “It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again. Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy…”

In relation to my thoughts on Ryanair shooting themselves in the foot; Jason’s site now appears in 4th position on Google for the search term ‘Ryanair’. Idiots!

Friday, February 27, 2009

You should have seen this

There are certain things the internet has allowed the world to share. Technological advancement, breaking news stories, home and job searching and, not forgetting, instantaneous communication of data in all its forms.

Big deal though, you knew this.

But consider everything else the internet has given us. All the memes, the viral videos, the flash games, the wickedly cool microsites.... all of it. And that's where Greg steps in. This is perhaps one of the best lists I have ever come across. This is.....

"Greg Rutter's Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something (in no particular order)...."

Happy Friday folks :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Unseen Video

This may be the most unique video you will ever see, every time you see it. The Unseen Video is a constantly changing, geo-specific music video for Mike Milosh's - You Make Me Feel, which is driven and created every time you see it based on your location and the current weather.

Daniel Scheibel, one of the creators, explained, "we wanted to create new synergies between the music, the video and the surroundings of the viewer. Every little change in your environment ensures that you will never see the same video twice. The look of the video might slightly change within an hour, but will have a whole new character in a few months."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Celebrating The White Album

Last September (dunno how I missed it), Mojo did a really cool UGC style microsite celebrating the anniversary of The Beatles White Album. The site lets users place their own message into a "homemade" video recording of the Beatles and send it to friends. Basically it plays through as if it were a normal recording of the Fab Four, back in the day, but at the end you can catch a glimpse of John's notebook with your words in it. Really well done.

Sorry, no musicians

No doubt you've all seen the (extremely annoying) Iggy Pop ads for car insurance. Well funny thing, as it turns out, Swiftcover don't actually cover musicians. So looks like there might be a bit of bother for them. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, there have been 12 complaints from musicians who have been refused cover, while all their ads feature on of the most recognisable musicians in the world.

Someone somewhere screwed up. It does beg the question though - how often do your marketing people talk to your product or legal people? I'd hope all the time to be honest. I for one know that all the clients I deal with have strict policies on how, where, when and what can be used to advertise their products/services, and that's aside from the individual clauses, disclaimers and exceptions that any given product or service may have.

Anyway, like I said, someone somewhere screwed up. Now Swiftcover will have to live with a raft of these videos popping up (and remember, nothing dies on the net!)...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is this a sign of hard times...

I just saw a tv ad for Mindshare on 3e. I'm fairly sure I've never seen an ad on Irish tv for any high profile marketing or media agency. Actually, correction, for any marketing or media agency. Is this a signal of particular hard times for Mindshare? Or perhaps they're ahead of the game and next week Ogilvy will have a spot during Champions League half time? Doubtful.

Let everyone's eyebrows dance!

In an exciting add-on to the already hugely successful 'Eyebrows' campaign, from Cadbury, users have been invited to participate in a communal event on the MSN Homepage called JiveBrow09. Using webcams, users can record their own 'Eyebrow Jive' and stream it straight onto the MSN Homepage. The main event, The JiveBrow Dance, will take place this Friday (27th February), alongside a host of other activity created by Hyper, Cadbury's Digital Agency. Users can also utilise a new 'Eyebrowser' application to put some dancing eveybrows on any page on the web.

All-in-all there is a major drive to capitalise and leaverage the initial success of the eyebrows video (which recieved over 4 million views in its first two weeks live) created by Fallon. Dairy Milk brand manager, Sandie Dilger, has said, "We really wanted our online activity to allow people to get involved with the ‘eyebrows' campaign themselves."

Monday, February 23, 2009

42 Below Vodka Numa Numa

Shocking viral video from 42 Below Vodka...

Not only must you question the age of the guys in the video (and it's an alcoholic beverage lets not forget) but for such a low budget production, it unfortunately looks, well very low production. Media Consultant Martin Thomas has said that the creative cost was a mere NZ$500. I question how it even cost that much. The New Zealand vodka brand usually do some really nice work, this is not some of it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Links

And the sites/ads that didn't make this week's Friday's Best of the Web are........

Electoral Commission: Getting Ready
Bus Slogan Generator
Hooky Interactive

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A great site - never disappoints!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A site to make you smile - UNIQLO Parka Style 1000

This is probably my favourite UNIQLO campaign and site to date. As soon as you get to the site you are bombarded with happiness and positivity. Fun, happy, dancing people and all in the name of fashion. If I owned a clothes store or brand, this is exactly how I would want my products positioned.

Fantastic work!

Oh, and check out the site intro - that is a brilliant way to keep you occupied while the site loads.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Diet Coke ad with Duffy

Check out the new Diet Coke ad featured during last nights Brit Award show.

Power to the Blogosphere!

The torrents of online chatter on Tuesday were huge. The Blogosphere rippled with the news that Facebook had changed to their Terms of Service.

Then yesterday in a complete aboutface, Facebook announced that it would return to the old Terms of Service!

The announcement on the Facebook homepage read:

“Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog."

I'm loving this so, so, so much. That is the power and potential of unrestricted speech. That's the power that people have to actually make a change when they care about something (or at least think they care about it).

Of course it does highlight the potential people have to create change if they just do something about how they feel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bill's 11 Rules

This is currently winging it's way around the net as an email forward. It'd have you believe that Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School and disclosed the following 11 things students need to realise about life. Unfortunately UrbanLegends have tagged it as a fake. Nonetheless I enjoyed it.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm loading, please wait...

I'm absolutely loving this t-shirt. great work from the guys over at Panic

Google lets users kill their ads!

I spotted this over on MarketingVox and was seriously surprised. It would appear that Google is testing a feature that allows users to hide unwanted ads in their search results. By using a standard X button in the upper righthand corner, users can kill unwanted sponsored ads. Currently only available as part of Google SearchWiki and only available to certain users, it lets users boost the organic listings up that are most relevant to their query.

Crazy. I'm not sure I get it, except that an interesting point is raised - it's a clear line to user governed Quality Score. Interesting times ahead.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Design a coin

Matthew Dent recently re-designed the UK’s coinage and in conjunction with this The Royal Mint has just launched a competition to design commemorative coins for the London 2012 Olympics. Entrants choose from 1 of 27 Olympic sports ( but not athletics or cycling, as these will be part of a Blue Peter competition), download a template and get designing. The competition is open until Friday 24th April and you can enter as many times as you like.

Winners will receive £1,000 and get to have their coin in circulation by 2010. The most interesting thing is that this is just a single example of a new growing trend of utilising the public to rebrand, redesign or innovate products and services. Walkers are probably the highest profile example, with the public not just suggesting but also choosing a new flavour of crisp for the brand.

I for one think it’s great. With the ever increasing adaptation of Social Media by all parts of society, this is just an example of businesses showing their willingness to listen to their customers. Long may it continue.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Valentine's Pepsi Video

Funny, funny stuff - I have to share...

Sunday Links

Aside from Digitology I also write on the Cybercom Blog, and one of our regular features is Friday's Best of the Web. I love helping to put this together as it gives me a chance to have a good dig around the net to find what's new, innovative, excellently designed or just lots of fun. Unfortunately we only feature four items and I always mind that I have a load of extra sites/ads/virals etc. that don't get used. So I decided to share them with you. Every Sunday I'll stick up links to everything that didn't make it.

So without further delay........

Seed Magazine
Johnny Walker - The Striding Man Society
Casio - CA001

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cybercom wins Agency of the Year

Great news last night at the DMAs, with Cybercom winning Agency of the Year 2009. I'll update with a full list of winners tomorrow.

Valentine's Day from Hertz

A great viral video from Hertz for Saint Valentine's Day. Basically just a slide show of funnily named places in the UK.

Facebook goes after Nokia

It has been reported by The Wall Street Journal that Facebook has aggressively upped it's plans to forge a strategic relationship with a mobile phone manufacturer. Present talks are with Nokia, who are the worlds largest mobile phone maker. The goal would be to have Facebook allowed to embed degrees of Facebook functionality into a range of Nokia handsets.

It's believed that this could be anything from simple contact information merged with Nokia's address book, to more in-depth interactions such as the ability to scroll through a mobile interface to see if Facebook friends were logged in and then messages them or post to their Wall.

According to The Journal these talks have been pending for months but no financial terms have been disclosed. It is suspected that the delay in an agreement being reached is due to Nokia's uncertainty about whether to develop it's own Social Network or utilise Facebook's already developed network.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Google Maps Set To Pass MapQuest

Without doubt MapQuest is still the front runner in the online map world but it's future may not be so bright. Google Maps has been creeping up on MapQuest for some time now and it's poised to leap ahead. Over a year ago in January 2008, Google Maps had just over 20% of market share while MapQuest was some way ahead with a huge 50% share.

However a lot can happen in a year, and as of February 7 of 2009, Google has managed to nearly double it's market share to 36%, while at the same time MapQuest has dropped to 39%.

With the two services now basically side-by-side, what does the future hold? MapQuest seem to have adopted a strategy of adding "features" to the site that allow you to easily search for hotels, restaraunts and other aminities. At the same time Google have expanded the channels through which Google Maps can be accessed and have further developed the integration of Google Maps and Google Search. In truth I think the two approaches are exactly the same - introduce ad streams to increase revenue. Unfortunately it only seems to be working for Google.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Greenest Mobile Phone Ever!

Mobile phones just got a whole lot greener. Samsung's new Blue Earth may just be the greenest phone ever thought up. Made from PCM, recycled plastic, the phone also has an "eco" mode that adjusts screen brightness, backlight and Bluetooth to conserve power. On top of that a built in "eco walk" application (pedometer) will tell you how much CO2 emissions you've saved by walking. And finally, on top of all that....... I told you it may be the greenest phone ever...... it has a solar panel across the entire back of the phone that will charge it enough to make a phone call any time the sun is out. Nice.

The Aviva Stadium

It was reported back in January that the refurbished and rebuilt Lansdowne Road stadium would become known as the Aviva Stadium, following an estimated €40m sponsorship deal. The deal was hottly contested and is believed to cover a 10 year period.

Today sees another landmark in the story, with the launch of the Aviva Stadium website. Live today from 2.30pm, the site offers news of the stadiums development, press coverage, details of the new facilities available at the site and a competition with great 6 Nations, World Cup Qualifier and helicopter tour prizes.

The best selling MP3 album of 2008 was FREE

Trent Reznor is a God when it comes to doing what others don’t understand, pass-off as crazy, and then later praise to the heavens. Year Zero was without a doubt one of the most ambitious, cross-channel, engaging, interactive marketing concepts ever. User participation reached staggering levels and it’s difficult to see how it can ever be topped.

Well Reznor has done it again. Last year Nine Inch Nails’ released Ghosts I-IV, an album that they put out for free under a Creative Commons license. As it turns out, Ghosts I-IV went on to become the best-selling MP3 album on Amazon in 2008.

With sales of more than $1.6 million in its first week, a #1 slot on the Billboard charts, and becoming the 4th most listened to album of the year, Ghosts I-IV has done it all.

The Creative Commons blog notes:

    NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked.

    The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Zodiac Race

Onitsuka Tiger (or Asics as you may know them) are celebrating their 60th Anniversary and to do so have launched The Zodiac Race. Ok, so the Zodiac Race is really a ploy to promote their new Japanese Zodiac inspired range of shoes, but I still love it. Hand-in-hand with a nice addition to their site, they've also gotten Amsterdam Worldwide to created a short animated movie, which is brilliant!

check it out...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hard Disc goes to the Dark Side

Spotted this on [Geeks Are Sexy], enjoy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

2Tb SD Card

Great news for all mobile phones, cameras and portal digital devices, with the announcement of the latest development in SD technology, the SDXC Memory Card, we can look forward to up to 2Tb of storage capacity. The beauty of the SDXC cards is that they simultaneously jump memory card technology ahead in a huge bound, while maintaining the existing interface, and providing accelerated read/write speeds up to 104mb/per sec within the year, and a proposed 300mb/per sec by 2010.

Joseph Unsworth, research director, NAND Flash Semiconductors, said, “SDXC combines a higher capacity roadmap with faster transfer speeds as a means to exploit NAND flash memory technology as a compelling choice for portable memory storage and interoperability. With industry support, SDXC presents manufacturers with the opportunity to kindle consumer demand for more advanced handset features and functionality in consumer electronics behind the ubiquitous SD interface.”

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Tweet Flock

A great site to see what sort of people are following you on Twitter. Check it out.

Sunday Video - An Post

I saw this on TV and remembered just how good this ad is. I think it takes a lot to make the postal service look really special and trendy, and this does it perfectly. Love it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Change the way we think

Before I was a marketer, I studied Environmental Biology. What can I say, I'm a geek. Part of being a geek is that I like science, and in my particular geekiness, I'm particularly interested in the Natural Sciences and the environment.

With all that in mind, check out this great WWF presentation. And think about it!

Is that The Stig?

It's been all over the news in the last week about the true identity of BBC Top Gear's 'Stig'. After a local newspaper broke the story and released details of The Stig's real name, the interweb has been a flurry of chatter and excitement. But the story goes deeper.

For those who are not regular viewers I'll give a brief background. The Stig we know now is not the first Stig. He's at least the second. The first was supposedly killed in a Top Gear stunt "that went wrong".

However, during the week the BBC released the following video along with this press release:
“until now, the original Stig from BBC Top Gear was thought to have been killed back in 2003, when he drove a modified Jaguar XJS off the end of HMS Invincible aircraft carrier at 109mph. . . The nation was shocked that the Stig was dead. However, recent footage has been found on YouTube showing that he miraculously survived.”

So what's all this about. Who is The Stig? Well one things for certain and that's that the BBC are brilliant marketers. A video with over 26,000 views in 3 days, and an awful lot of online chatter. This is a great viral campaign that is fueled by simple mystery. Good Job!

There's also a microsite about The Stig's return.

Guitars and Lasers!

If cinema has taught me anything (and I think has) it's that music, especially rock and roll, can change the world for the better. Unfortunately, for everyone who hasn't had the patience to take lessons, guitar isn't something you pick up in an hour or two. It takes time and a lot of dedication.

However, designer Eugene Cheong may have a solution to avoiding too much time and dedication. His latest invention, the Maestro, is an attachment that can teach you what frets to play to become a halfway decent player. Now here is the good bit, the device can accept MP3 files via SD card, which it then displays on the guitar frets via lasers. Just strum away as you see the beams lighting up your fretboard and "learn" your favourite songs.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Walk-in Fridge Part 2

The recent Heineken Walk-in Fridge ad was absolutely hilarious, gaining over 5 million views in just a ferw weeks. You liked it, I liked it, and obviously over 5 million people liked it. But did you like it enough to think about making your own.....

Found on, this is a fantastic spoof viral.

Gamer Speak

I'll admit that there was a time when I played quite a bit of multiplayer online gaming (LAN games of Age of Empires when I was in college) but I've never gotten into this whole MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) thing that has exploded in the last couple of years. Obviously the forefront of this has been World of Warcraft, which has 11.5 million monthly subscribers. I'll admit, it looks fun. What I didn't realise was the short code language that has developed around the game.

This NBC Bay Area report highlights the oddness (sorry gamers) of how conversation has developed around the game.

Admittedly this guy is clearly hamming it up, and exaggerating the whole thing, but I have no doubt when he doesn't have his girlfriend in the room he becomes incomprehensible.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Temperature Sensite Glass

Paper, plastic and textiles that have colour-changing dyes aren't a new idea, but this is the first time I've ever seen something similar in glass. Available in numerous colours and sensitivities, these new glass tiles change colour based on ambient temperature, body temperature or water temperature – basically whatever they’re touching.

Blizzard in Ringsend

Zumba Phone

The BBC recently reported on what it calls "the world's first fully accurate voice recognition system for mobile phones." Without doubt that should get anyone's attention. The device, known as the Zumba Phone, is currently in development by IA Technology, a 40-person strong ejector-seat technology company from Hereford England.

An odd story altogether, but the optimist in me (and technofile) hope it gets made.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Think - Road Safety Campaign

This is one intense ad, like some sort of cross between a Japanese horror movie and Eastenders. I think Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (the agency behind this) have done an incredible job for the British Department for Transport.

Jim Fitzpatrick, the British road safety minister said: "We now want motorists to consider the consequences of speeding for them: what is life like for the driver who kills because they are in a rush to get home and how does that split second decision affect the rest of their life?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Business Card

Even in an online world most of us still have business cards, and I thought this was definitely worth sharing.

New Google Earth Updates

Looks like there’s a whole plethora of new Google Earth features that have just been launched. First up is the Ocean. Seriously. Although Google Earth did display some texturing to indicate depth and undersea features, it has now been dramatically expanded. It will now feature a detailed bathymetric map that will allow you to actually drop below the surface and move around the various trenches and ridges of the 3D seafloor. There is also a large collection of video and image data points of ocean life and surf spots, and logs of real ocean expeditions.

Next up is the new Touring function. With this you can create your own fly-through tours to share with other people.

Google Earth has also expanded the extra-earth destinations it has available with Mars 3D. In collaboration with NASA, Google Earth now gives you the option to fly to the Red Planet and view stunning high-res 3D terrain and imagery. They’ve also included various info points regarding the landing spots that have seen earth explorers touchdown on.

Finally is Google Earth’s new Historical Imagery. Up to now it was only possible to view a single image from a given location. With this new function you can move backwards and forwards through time, viewing images from various decades. Watch as a city explodes with growth.

So if any of this tickles your fancy, get over to Google Earth 5.0 and download yourself a copy now.

Great Words from Seth Godin

I thought these particularly inspiring words in the face of our current economic climate, and Brian Cowen's 4pm speech.

Grave new world

Creativity loves a problem, but it hates a lousy audience.

If everyone around you is sure the economy is tanking, that the end is near, that time is up and the company is headed for the tubes, it's almost impossible to find a creative solution.

Creativity changes the game, whatever game is being played. "We're going to run out of cash by the end of the year," is accurate unless you count creativity into the equation. Then the accurate statement is, "Under the current rules and assumptions, we're going to run out of cash..." Big difference.

Creativity demands exposure to market needs, and insulation from market fears. Give it some time to work, some support, some breathing room. That's when creativity has a chance to change the game.

Cheers Seth.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Breaking News on Wiki

We're all familiar with the plane crash on the Hudson recently, and hopefully you're also familiar with the fact that the story and initial pictures all broke on Twitter. What's also especially interesting is how the story developed on Wiki, and thankfully someone recorded it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fill it up with water?

I was excited to learn that production is planned and approved for the Genepax car, which was originally unveiled last June by the Japanese car company of the same name. The car can travel approximately 80km/hr, for over an hour, using just 1l of water to fuel it's engine. By taking hydrogen electrons from water, the car produces electricity to power it's electric motor. Exciting stuff.