Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Review (Briefly)

I had hoped to write a big post giving a full review of Digitology's 2009 but unfortunately I'm running late to drive up to Carlingford for New Year's Eve, so instead here is a quick review of all of you who visited me in the last year. A huge thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to read some of my ramblings :)


  • Visitors 39,348
  • Unique Visitors 27,150
  • Pageviews 55,792
  • Average Pageviews 1.42
  • Time on Site 2min 12secs
  • Total Time on Site 60days 2hrs 45mins 36secs

Visitor System Specifications
  • Browsers
  • Firefox 53.25%
  • Internet Explorer 26.60% (of which 6.7% using version 6.x or below)
  • Safari 12.96%
  • Chrome 5.20%
  • Other 1.99%

Operating Systems
  • Windows 67.00%
  • Macintosh 21.76%
  • Linux 9.47%
  • iPhone 0.96%
  • Other 0.81%

Screen Resolutions
  • 1280x800 20.07%
  • 1440x900 17.12%
  • 1680x1050 15.96%
  • 1280x1024 15.42%
  • 1024x768 15.14%
  • 1920x1200 3.17%
  • 1152x864 1.31%
  • 1600x1200 1.31%
  • 320x396 1.15%
  • Others: width less then 800px 1.57%
  • Others: width greater then 800px 6.78%

Flash Version
  • 10.x 84.98%
  • 9.x 14.76%
  • 8.x 0.09%
  • 7.x 0.09%
  • 6.x 0.07%
  • 5.x 0.01%

I hope, whatever you're doing tonight, you have a fantastic New Years Eve and a brilliant 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guinness 250: New Year's Eve

Two weeks ago I wrote about Guinness's plans for New Years Eve. To mark the end of their 250th Birthday year, Guinness are planning a spectacular live TV ad to be broadcast on RTÉ 1 at 17:59 on New Year’s Eve. Little is known about the ad except that the 60 second event will feature a visual recreation of Arthur’s famous signature in a 'dramatic way'.

Funny thing is, in the last fortnight I've heard so much speculation and talk as to what this will be. Some folk have said it will be trained toucans flying in synchronised formation, while others have suggested a giant artificial cloud in the shape of Arthur's signature. Personally I just don't know what to expect, but I'm definitely excited.

Regardless of what fantastic thing Guinness produce, it's worth remembering that the entire year of celebration hasn't just been about Guinness's 250th Birthday and the famous signing of the 9,000 year lease on the St James’s Gate Brewery. This year saw the establishment of the Arthur Guinness Fund. A fund established as a thank you to the people of Ireland, which will be used to create opportunities for communities throughout Ireland by supporting social entrepreneurs.

You have to admit, that that's pretty decent.

So........ To Arthur!


I spotted this on RTÉ and thought it was well worth sharing. This is Guinness's 200x200 island placement from it's New Year's Eve advertising campaign. Essentially it just a simple countdown, but how extremely appropriate. Great idea, great execution.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blue Moon Partial Eclipse

Every New Year's Eve I like to get out of Dublin, or at least out of the city centre. Usually it's just nice to be able to see the stars and the sky and be outside when you're ringing in the New Year. This year, however, there's an especially good reason to be outside looking up at the stars.

On December 31st 2009 there are a number of really cool things happening. Not only is it the end of the decade, not only is it New Year's Eve, but it will also be the night of a Blue Moon Partial Eclipse.

As the Lunar Calendar is shorter then the Gregorian Calendar (the standard calendar that we use), every 2.7 years there is an 'extra' full moon. There are 13 full moons during the year instead of 12. The exact timing of this changes and there is much debate as to which full moon during a year should be classed as the Blue Moon.

In this regard there may be those who would say that next week's full moon is not a Blue Moon but the romantic in me has made up his mind. Considering that it's such a rarity to get see a Blue Moon and a Partial Eclipse (it's happened just 4 times in 20th century), I will happily defend my position based on nothing other then my own ideas.

The Eclipse shadow will peak 7:22pm (Greenwich Mean Time) and will be visible in most of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia, as per the following rough guide:

  • North and South America: Blue moon, but no visible eclipse.
  • Europe, Africa and Middle East: Blue moon, visible eclipse
  • Asia and Australasia: Full moon (not blue), visible eclipse
On one final point, if this rare lunar event wasn't special enough as it is, you may find it a little weird to that December 31st will be the final day of the International Year of Astronomy.

Check out this video of the 2007 Blue Moon Eclipse...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Day In The Internet

This is a really cool visualisation by Søren over on, showing a day in the internet and exactly how much data we move and create (via the always excellent Nick Burcher).

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Perfect Christmas Story

This year for Christmas Vodafone have launched a huge online campaign centred around Facebook and three cool apps: the Pressie Picker, the Selection Box and the Perfect Christmas Story. Basically they're just fun little apps that work out who you are from your Facebook profile and come up with some quirky insights into you and your friends. They work around Facebook Connect.

The Pressie Picker pretty much does what it says on the tin, and will analyse who you are and suggest the best pressie for you or a friend. Of course you have to let it know if you’re naughty or nice. The Selection Box is a fun collection of gadgets to help you count in Christmas and prepare for whatever may be in store ;) Finally then, there’s the Perfect Christmas Story. If you’ve seen the Vodafone Christmas ad then you’ll get this – no point in spoiling it though, pop over and have a quick gander.

This is a Cybercom campaign so if you have the time I'd love to hear what you think.

Augmented Reality: Adidas

The next few months will see Adidas release a new range of shoes. What sets this range apart is that Adidas has created a virtual 3-D world that is accessed through the line of five men’s shoes. On top of this, Adidas will also introduce three Augmented Reality games as part of the new virtual world. Each pair of shoes will give the owner access to the virtual world and act as the controller for interacting with it. All you have to do is go to the Adidas website and hold up a code embedded on the shoes tongue to your webcam. The virtual world then pops up on your screen as part of the shoe.

“The foundation of augmented reality lies in adding a layer to the real world,” says Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for Adidas Originals. “That’s what we have done. We have taken a real world item and added a fantastic virtual world on top of that. We are not trying to mimic a real-world look, we have a more stylized, pop-up book creative approach,” says Barbour. “The neighborhood is displayed on a two dimensional computer screen, but you can use your shoe to control the angle and depth of view and zoom in and out, giving a 3-D sense of perspective.”

The campaign will offer a skateboard game, played around the virtual city’s alleys, a Star Wars-like game and a music-based game. The games have been developed for Adidas by xForm.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

LBi: Mobile Mobile

Mobile Mobile is described as "a joyous seasonal story of re-cycled phones, collaboration and derring do".

Basically, after LBi upgraded all the mobile phones in the agency, they decided something should be done with their old handsets. They came up with the idea to re-cycle, or “up-cycle” as they described it, the phones in the form of an interactive sculpture.

Each phone was assigned a tone and tied into a computer to each play a single note. The following video demonstrates their favourite but you can also create your own personalised version through the campaign microsite using your keyboard.

The Best Agency Christmas Card Ever?

Just watch this...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Smirnoff 'Be There': The Carnival Experience

During the last month I've been very excitedly covering Smirnoff's various activities around there new 'BE THERE' campaign. Not letting the momentum slow for even a moment, Smirnoff's next competition is already up and running, and this one is seriously cool.

How would you like the chance to take 3 friends and go to Carnival. You could be spending 5 nights in Rio de Janeiro with all your hotel and travel expenses covered, during the biggest party in the Brazilian calendar! Even if you're not the main winner there are runners up prizes, and every single person who enters get s a free download of the Layo & Bushwacka! track The Longest Day, from their Shake It Brazil compilation.

So what do you have to do? Just pop over to the Smirnoff Facebook page and enter your details. Done. Like that.

The closing date is the 9th January 2010 and you can find all the details about the competition and the prizes here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Meteor Ireland Music Awards: Most Promising New Artist 2010

December isn't over, the jolly fat man hasn't come down your chimney, and not a single chorus of Auld Lang Syne has passed a pair of lips, but even so there are many people already thinking about January. The music community will shortly be gearing up for Ireland's annual celebration of national and international musical artists. This year, however, there may be a slightly longer list of nail-biters when it comes to the big night.

Today, Meteor announced that there's a sunny January for one lucky unsigned artist in search of their big break. Next year's Meteor Ireland Music Awards are introducing a brand new category, the Most Promising New Artist 2010. The brand new category will celebrate the best original song from an individual or group, who is currently not signed to any record label (small independents excluded) or publishing house.

The winner will be determined by composition, lyrics, melody and originality, and will receive the prize a host of seriously, seriously cool prizes, including:

On top of all that, the lucky winner of the new category can also look forward to being presented with a gong, as the winners of The Most Promising New Artist for 2010 award at the award show in January.

Entry is simple and all hopefuls have to do is upload a video of themselves performing their song to From there it's all down to public vote for the top 10 shortlist, then on to an industry panel to select the top 5 acts to become the official nominees for the Most Promising New Artist 2010 award.

The closing date for applications is January 11th 2010 so if you're interested get cracking now!

Augmented Reality: Avatar iTag Toys

James Cameron's new film, Avatar, is without doubt one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Between Cameron's own goliath status and ability to make record-breaking movies, Twentieth Century Fox Film's global marketing activities, and the overall promise of new, never before seen, ground breaking fully immersive next generation special effects, this movie is going to be BIG. There has been more talk and speculation about this film then probably any other in the last 24 months. Special extended trailers were shown to select audiences around the world. Strategic partnerships were developed with leading technology providers. Basically if there was something that could be done to promote this, it was.

So with the film now in the cinema, what's next?

In my opinion the coolest thing coming next is the Avatar toy line. Mattel’s Avatar toy line is set to revolutionise toy play. The Avatar range of toys marks the industry’s first range of toys to incorporate i-TAG technology. This is essentially Augmented Reality enhanced toys. When held up to a webcam, each toy's unique i-TAGT creates a three dimensional, Augmented Reality image on your computer screen.

Here is a video of exactly how the system works...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Panic Attack!

Panic Attack! is a shortfilm Animated, Directed and Produced by Fede Alvarez. Basically it's stunning and is a must see video...

Oh, did I mention he did this on a total budget of $300!

Unsurprisingly, the amazing shortfilm and catapulted Fede to the attention of Hollywood, and he has reportedly now signed a deal with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures to develop and direct a full lenght feature project. The deal with Ghost House has been speculated to be worth a six to seven figures.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ballantine's Rock Bottle

When it comes to the spirits market, getting your brand, your bottle, placed in a position of prominence behind a bar is essential. This is especially true for whiskey's as the vast majority of drinkers will order by name, and it can be next to impossible for a brand to break a seasoned whiskey drinkers brand preference. So what do you do?

A simple solution is to grab the drinkers attention. Do something to make them want to give your brand a try. Ballantine's Scotch Whiskey have developed the "Listen to Your Beat" campaign, which, unlike other drinks campaigns, isn't based on point of sale creatives or engagements, it's based on a cutting edge new bottle design.

The new Ballantine's Scotch Whiskey bottle features a graphic equalizer that reacts to the ambient sound of its surrounding. Seriously.

Yeah, the Ballantine's seems to want to kill the competition by at least viral and word of mouth, as compared to consumers not think so.

Ballantine's decided that they don't want their customers to just dance with their drink when they drink their whiskey, they want their customers to dance to their drink. The gorgeous new black bottle with luminous blue bars that jump in time to the music is eye-catching and mesmerising. Designed by London-based design company, The Core, the bottle is being launched in bars across the UK as well as 35 other markets. In total there are 20,000 bottles in production.

This is
the bottle in question...

Augmented Reality: Shopping (Part 2)

A while back I wrote about Zugara's Augmented Reality Shopping experience. Pretty nifty. As suspected the technology has now been adapted and put into full use. This is the Fashionista Augmented Reality dressing room service developed by

Fashionista describes itself as a new social shopping tool combining the benefits of the fitting room with the convenience of online shopping and the power of the social web. Fashionista shoppers virtually model clothing via their own webcam, being able to instantly switch into recommended clothes and immediately share favourites via Facebook.


While this isn't an Augmented Reality application persay, this is a great example of online shopping striving to deliver a richer experience, and to offer shoppers a better way to see exactly what they are buying. have created a flash interactive that allows the shopper to choose between a range of different virtual models so that they can view their product range on someone of the same figure as themselves. This is a great idea and something I really think adds to the online shopping experience. Admittedly the service is limited at present but with the right retailer this could easily be done for a large range of clothing, for both men and women.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Make It Snow In Oxfordshire

It's that time of the year when agencies and businesses decide it'll be a great idea to do a Christmas viral. As someone who's seen most of them, I can safely say that it's usually not a good idea. In fact, far from it.

However, every now and again someone does something that just works. Something smart. Something funny. Something genuinely entertaining. Torchbox have done just that.

Torchbox, an Oxfordshire based digital agency, have just launched a Christmas website called 'Snowtime'. Basically it gives visitors the power to make it snow over the company's employees right there in their offices. The guys initially developed the idea as an interactive Christmas Card for their clients. Following brilliant feedback they decided it deserved a larger audience, and I for one am very glad.

So what do you have to do? To make it snow, just pop over to 'Snowtime' and hit the 'Make It Snow' button. Simple. The button is rigged to a snow machine that will blast a member of staff with a flurry of fake snow.

Managing Director, Olly Willans said, "We always try and do something fun with technology for Christmas and we're really pleased with snowtime. Some of our team have been covered on a number of occasions and it is a bit like a blizzard in the office but we're happy with that as we know that the snow must go on."

'Snowtime' is available from 9am-5pm GMT on Thursday 17 December, Friday 18 December, Monday 21 December and Tuesday 22nd December.

About Torchbox
Established in 2000, Torchbox is an independently owned agency that offers digital design, development and marketing services. The agency's clients come primarily, but not exclusively from the charity, NGO and public sectors and include WWF UK, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Greenpeace UK, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the University of Oxford, The King's Fund and The Football Foundation.

Also check out Torchbox's Director of Digital Marketing, Rob Salmon, on Twitter

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carlsberg: The Making of 'The Secret'

In 1883 Carlsberg's Brewer, Emil Christian Hansen, made a remarkable discovery that would change brewing forever. Hansen isolated the first pure brewing yeast and provided the first ever way to brew consistent quality beer. This was a 'Secret' that most other brewers would go to any lengths to acquire. Carlsberg decided to give it away!

This is the 'making of' video of Carlsberg's newest ad, 'The Secret'.

The ad was developed by Peter Owens Advertising and directed by Johnny Green. It was produced by Knucklehead and post produced by Framestore. The music for the ad was specially composed by Paul Raeburn.

Guinness 250 & An Age Of Reciprocity

There aren't very many brands that turn 250 years old, and there are even fewer brands that have an entire nation is willing to stand up and applaud, both for their heritage and for their synonymy with their own culture. Guinness is in many ways the epitome of Irish-ness, the prime example of who we are as a nation - hard-working, everyday folk with a strength of character to see us through. As a brand, Guinness is surely one of the best. A globally recognised powerhouse of advertising, design and innovation. Guinness extends beyond a simple beverage and has developed itself into sport and the arts. Guinness has done what many brands not only fail at, but never even realise to try. Guinness gives back.

In a changing modern digital world where the consumer is savvy and they have realised that the power to effect corporations and businesses is their's, Guinness have embraced change and strived to promote what I call 'an age of reciprocity'. The question is not how do I make you buy my product, the question is what can I do for you so that you love my brand. In a market where consumers will travel, bargains will be hunted for, and there is always an alternative, it is more important then ever to understand that the educated consumer can be either your friend or foe.

Social Media has opened up the world, democratised data, and given every single one of us the power to speak our mind and broadcast our opinion. Those with their thinking caps firmly in place, however, have come to realise this is in fact a good thing. The modern consumer is not naïve, they understand the buyer/seller relationship and they are, in most instances, happy with it. So long as everyone keeps their word, what is paid for is received, and the status quo of the relationship remains even, happiness will prevail.

As a brand though, it is easy to take this equilibrium and subtle sway it in your favour. Not by any underhandedness but simply by going that bit further, providing the little bit extra, by doing more to ensure that the customer is more then just happy. Of course, being a savvy shopper, this is noticed, and as long as the motives are clear, this will be looked on very favourably by the consumer. We like to feel that our patronage is being rewarded. We like to feel that we are part of the process. We like to feel special.

The nature of Reciprocity is that while there is a clear understanding that the buyer buys and the seller sells, there is also a deeper understanding that both parties are appreciative of the other. This relationship is by its nature symbiotic. Without one the other can't exist. So with that knowledge in hand, the seller goes a little step further. The best example that I have seen to date was Arthur’s Day. To celebrate 250 years of business and to thank the public for 250 years of patronage, Guinness put on a huge event filled with music and entertainment to a scale that had simply never been done before in Ireland. While the gigs/events weren't free, they were very reasonably priced, and the money that was taken in in ticket sales went to charity. So the public get to have a great time, they get to donate money to charity, and Guinness get to give back to the community. And sure, there were thousands upon thousands of pints of Guinness drank that day, but that's nothing to complain about.

Reciprocity is more then a passing trend in my opinion. Reciprocity is the natural evolution of the consumer/supplier relationship. Reciprocity is what has happened to the market through the prevalence of Social Media, the explosion of mobile technologies and the expansion of always-on, super-fast broadband. Reciprocity is a cultural revolution of consumerism. Above all though, Reciprocity is a great thing.

In the case of Guinness, however, the question now becomes where to next?

Well it just so happened that earlier today, Guinness announced details of a spectacular live TV ad to be broadcast on RTÉ 1 at 17:59 on New Year’s Eve, marking the end of the 250th anniversary celebrations and the establishment of the Arthur Guinness Fund.

The 60 second spectacle will feature a visual recreation of Arthur’s famous signature in a dramatic way, which will not be revealed until the broadcast at exactly 17:59 on New Year’s Eve.

In this instance, Reciprocity is simply going beyond the standard advertising message. It is the innovativeness to be creative, the daring to not directly push a product, it is the doing what the other guy isn't because it's exciting.

John Kennedy, Managing Director, Diageo Ireland commented, “New Year’s Eve marks the end of a very special milestone for the Guinness brand, from 1759 when Arthur signed the 9,000 year lease on the St. James’s Gate brewery to today, where Guinness is a truly iconic brand, enjoyed in 150 countries around the world. It was remarkable to see so many people participating in Arthur’s Day, the peak of the 250 celebrations. Guinness & Co also want to thank all the people who went to their local pub to lend their support and more importantly, their signature to the Guinness “Signature” campaign, which helped to create a €2.5 million Arthur Guinness Fund.”

Kennedy continued, “The ‘Here’s To You’ campaign and the live TV ad will not only mark the end of a remarkable year for the brand, but it’s also a gesture to Irish people who helped to create the Arthur Guinness Fund, the next philanthropic step from Guinness & Co., which will help to create sustainable community projects around the country from 2010.”

And it is on that sentiment that I can happily raise a glass to a man and his legacy; to Arthur!

Don't forget to check out the following links for more Guinness information:
Guinness Facebook Page
The Arthur's Day on-line petition
The Arthur Guinness Fund

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guinness 250: A Final Cheers For Arthur

Last Friday I had the absolute pleasure of being invited along to Brady's Pub in Shankill. Admittedly Shankill isn't a place I spend much time, in fact I believe I've only been there 5 times previously, discounting driving through. So what exactly was I heading out to Brady's for? Well, as it turned out, a really great night!

As part of the Guinness 250 celebrations, back in November, Guinness held a “Guinness Unplugged” competition calling on bars from around the country to capture their Arthur’s Day celebrations. The prize would be an exclusive gig with a top act. As I'm sure you can guess, Brady’s of Shankhill were crowned the winners. There prize was a free gig by ‘Noah And The Whale’, which was held last Friday.

Speaking about Guinness Unplugged, Karen Murphy, Brand Manager, Guinness said,”On the 24th September pubs all around Ireland joined in the worldwide celebrations for Arthur’s Day. Many pubs went to great lengths to ensure their customers were fully immersed in the unique Guinness experience, to mark the signing of the 9000 year signed by Arthur Guinness in 1759. For us, Brady’s in Shankhill really stood out. The team really excelled in delivering a fantastic night with their 1759 theme. It was clear that a lot of hard work and thought had gone into their Arthur’s Day celebrations and all the staff came together to create an unforgettable night for their customers”.

The entire bar, including the bar staff, the furniture, the decor and even the food was transported back to the 1700’s, as tribute to Arthur Guinness and his enduring legacy. The Brady’s staff even donned 17th century costumes and owner, John Brady, arrived in a full Arthur Guinness style costume on horse and cart to mark the occasion. It didn't stop there though, that evening the entire bar and all its customers were treated to a “pig on a spit” feast.

Owner and publican, John Brady commented, “We are delighted to have won the Guinness Unplugged competition. We all had a really fantastic time on Arthur’s Day. Everyone is still talking about it, the atmosphere in here was electric and everyone made such a big effort to mark the occasion. We are delighted to be hosting such a big act as ‘Noah And The Whale’ in our pub as a thank you, and no doubt we will all raise another toast to Arthur at 17.59 on the night of the gig!”.

So....... to Arthur!

p.s. a huge thanks to Carol Ann for the photos :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Smirnoff - BE THERE

I wrote recently about the Smirnoff Masquerade Ball, which was the first Dublin event in Smirnoff's 'BE THERE' calender. 'BE THERE' is Smirnoff's mission to inspire, facilitate and enable people to create more one-of-a-kind experiences. To create those experiences that you just have to be there.

To kickstart the whole initiative, the Smirnoff have launched two really cool ways for you to become part of Smirnoff 'BE THERE'; the new
Smirnoff Creative Grants Initiative and the Smirnoff Consumer Competition. Both these activities are looking to engage the public, find out what we want and, ultimately, to ask for our advice on what Smirnoff should be doing next.

Smirnoff Creative Grants Initiative enables creatives and promoters to make there vision and idea of an original, one-of-a-kind experience become reality. Smirnoff will be awarding a grant of €10,000 to one lucky person for the most unique proposal for a one-of-a-kind experience/event. The grant is open to applications from Ireland, USA, Canada and Brazil, and is as simple as pie. Just submit a 100-word proposal to the Smirnoff Facebook page. The winner will be handpicked by the Smirnoff global panel of experts, also including Brazil’s Bonde do Rolê, Canada’s Ryan Kruger (DAMN! Management, founder Cutting Edge Music Festival), USA’s Damon DeGraff (dGi Management).

Don't sit around just thinking about it though - the closing date for entries is 18th December. Winners will then be announced on 20th January, with the event taking taking place in March.

This is a seriously cool promotion and definitely worth entering if you are in any way creative. Just think of an event. It's that easy.

The second 'BE THERE' activity that has launched, the
Smirnoff Consumer Competition, is equally as cool. Essentially, Smirnoff is challenging people across the world to get creative and answer the question “How would you create a New Year’s Eve revolution?” This is the first in a series of monthly competitions that will be run through the Smirnoff Brand Site and their Facebook Page. All you need to do is give a tweet-sized 140 characters describing how you would overturn New Year’s Eve convention to create a revolutionary end-of-the-year event. Smirnoff will be giving one lucky person US$1,000 and a Flip Mino HD video camcorder.

Again this is going to require some quick moving, but again it's well worth it. The closing date for the first competition is next Thursday 17th December, and it is open to Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Canada, US and Venezuela. The top five entries for a one-of-a-kind, New Year’s Eve experience will be selected by Smirnoff's esteemed global panel of entertainment industry experts, including Ireland’s very own Declan Forde (Pod Entertainment and The Electric Picnic) and Australia’s Brett Robinson (Future Promotions, Summadayze).

The best thing here is that even if you're not lucky enough to win the top prize, no one goes away empty handed. For everyone who enters there is a free download of the Simian Mobile Disco track “Turn up the Dial” featuring Young Fathers (Stankonia Mix). So remember to enter before the 17th December and then get yourself over to the Smirnoff Facebook Page between the 23rd and 29th December to vote on which of the top five entries should win.

About the Smirnoff BE THERE campaign
Most of us have been a part of experiences that are truly unforgettable and extraordinary. We talk about these experiences for years to come and revel in the fact that ‘we were there’. The word ‘there’ is often used to talk about amazing events or happenings. How many times have you heard someone say: I was there!? / Were you there? / I can’t believe you weren’t there! / Are you going there? / You’ve got to be there?!

Smirnoff’s global campaign is all about inspiring and enabling consumers to seek and create these unforgettable and extraordinary experiences – to BE THERE.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advertising In The Noughties

If you work in advertising or marketing, or simply have an interest in the industries, Brand Republic just covered a great article by Campaign, which should be essential reading!

Campaign put it that due to the massive leaps that technology has made in the last 10 years, in comparison to the 40 before them, the communication of marketing messages have also drastically changed at the same speed. With that in mind, Campaign have created a fantastic overview of 'Advertising in the Noughties'. So, without any needless stalling, here are the lists:

The big news here is obviously Mother's winning of the prestigious accolade of Campaign's Agency of the Decade. Serious congratulations to everyone in Mother.

Here are the reels for Mother and the two shortlisted agencies, BBH and Fallon London:
Watch the Mother London reel
Watch the Fallon London reel
Watch the Bartle Bogle Hegarty reel

Friday, December 11, 2009

Guinness Storehouse: Weather Cam

This week saw the launch of Guinness Storehouse's brand new 360 degree, online, live streaming weather cam. The newest addition to Ireland's number one visitor attraction, offer a stunning view from the highest viewpoint in Dublin City - The Gravity Bar. Now people from all over the world can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Dublin city in real time.

Speaking about the weather cam, Valentina Doorly, Guinness Storehouse Marketing and Sales Manager, said, “The Guinness Storehouse is known all around the world for the panoramic views available from the Gravity Bar. With the introduction of this new, innovative technology we are delighted to be able to bring this view to everyone in Ireland and throughout the world.”

Beyond just a simple view, as stunning as it is, the weather cam also provides a real time weather report. Fitted alongside the 360 degree cam is a host of weather instruments showing current weather conditions, temperature and wind speed. What makes the weather cam truly special, however, is the unique features that the weather cam is equipped with - such as an automated wiper that detects levels of rainfall and the 360 degree rotation that covers the entire city of Dublin.

A big hat tip to my colleagues in Cybercom who worked on the project. A great idea and a really nice addition to Dublin's best tourist spot. All that's left to do now is to pop over and check it out!

In related news, Guinness Storehouse has also introduced an “Interactive Dublin City Tour” on their website, which allows you to get even closer to the city and its treasured landmarks. The virtual tour features 24 city landmarks, viewable from the webcam including Christchurch Cathedral, Aviva Stadium, the Wellington Monument, Croke Park and the Spire. The City Tour also shows views of the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Wicklow Mountains, the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Howth Head.

Weather cam facts:
The Guinness Storehouse weather station can operate from -10 degrees C to +50 degrees C.
The weight of the weather cam is 7kg.
The weather cam is a Ganz C-AllView equipped with a low light level CCD sensor.
The weather cam has a 36x optical zoom facility

About Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse welcomed over 1 million visitors in 2008 from over 25 countries making it Ireland’s number one visitor attraction.
Guinness Storehouse spans across seven floors shaped around a giant pint, which, if filled would contain 14.3 million pints of Guinness.
The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar, symbolically the ‘Head of the Pint’, where visitors can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views
of Dublin city.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Specsavers: Christmas Viral

Following on from Specsavers highly popular Postman Pat viral, this is there Christmas offering for 2009.

Agency: Specsavers Creative
Advertiser: Specsavers

Project name: Xmas Viral 2009
Client: Richard Holmes, Marketing Director
Brief: Seasonal fun
Copywriter: Simon Bougourd / Neil Brush
Art director: Simon Bougourd / Neil Brush
Planner: In-House
Production company: In-House
Director: Chris Denton
Post-production company: In-House
Editor: Chris Denton
Audio post-production company: In-House

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Google's Real Time Search

There's been talk and speculation for quite some time now, and various blogs and news services have "leaked" information about Google's next 'big thing', Real Time Search. For those of you perched on the edges of your seat for the last year or so, good news, you can now sit back and relax. Not only is it solid news but it is coming straight from the horses mouth.

Google has launched Real Time Search integrated into its search results pages. Now you can use Google to see real-time updates of various things happening around the Web, including tweets, Yahoo Answers, news articles and Web pages. What's also pretty cool is that this will also work mobiles (well, iPhone and Android anyway).

For many, however, the real use of Real Time Search comes through in Social Media. Thankfully Google has confirmed that deals have been signed with Facebook and MySpace to allow Google to pull in live data. For Facebook this will be limited to public Facebook Pages (though that's still excellent news for businesses and brands using the platform). For MySpace it will cover any data stream that is publicly available.

All of this is of course on top of the partnership that Google went into in October with Twitter.

For an example of Google Real Time Search just click here. Alternatively Google have also created this video to show how it will all work.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sony to Show World Cup Matches in 3D

Sony has announced that they will be using next year's World Cup to showcase their new 3D television technology. To do this, Sony have agreed to film as many as 25 of the tournaments matches using 3D cameras. Sony will then screen these games in seven cities, including London, Paris and Berlin. These special showcases will be called Fan Fests and will be hosted by Fifa. Sony has also said it will be demonstrating the technology in its stores.

Fujio Nishida, president of Sony Europe, said: "3D will undoubtedly transform the way we enjoy content in the living room."

Following this news, announced their own plans for the launch of a 3D channel next year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Starbucks (RED) Love Project

Last Friday Brand Republic reported that Starbucks will be running the world's biggest Facebook ad campaign ever. The campaign is Starbucks (RED) Love Project

The campaign aimed to bring the world together to sing about the one thing we all have in common; love. People from all over the world were able to log on to the campaign microsite and sing-along to The Beatles, All You Need is Love, on 7th December 7. The global karaoke is part of Starbucks efforts to help fight AIDS in Africa. The campaign microsite also allows you to watch streaming videos of everyone who submitted a video of their contribution. There is also a gallery of drawings that people submitted to the Love Gallery. For each drawing or video added, up to one million, Starbucks and (RED) donated five cents to the Global Fund.

The is the campaign promotional video:

On Saturday over 16 countries saw Facebook ads go live for the advertising campaign to promote the microsite, including the US, UK, Canada, Turkey, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Brazil, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. For the two days, every user logging on to Facebook for the first five times would have seen the ad.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Planet Hollywood 'Phamous' Flash Mob

At the end of Novemeber over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Planet Hollywood marketing department and Shay Carl got together at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas to organise a flash mob. The flash mob was produced by Midi Mafia and based around a choreographed dance to their song "Phamous".

Vlogger and comedian Shay Carl, took part in the flash mob and was joined by YouTube celebrities KassemG, Lisa Nova, MysteryGuitarMan, Denise Vlogs, Rawn and a variety of other dancers and performers. None of the employees on duty at the time had any knowledge of the stunt.

This is the video...

Directed by: Justin Purser (website & twitter)
Produced by: Christian Heuer (website & twitter)
Choreogrophy by: Kris Mohfanz (website & twitter)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Carlsberg: The Secret

Yesterday saw the launch of the latest Carlsberg ad for the Irish market, but this was no ordinary ad launch. Not only does the new ad, "The Secret", move away from the style of advertising that we'd all be used to with the premium larger brand, but the ad was premiered on Facebook.

The ad aims to highlight the secret of Carlsberg’s brewing success, celebraing the fact that Carlsberg are responsible for perfecting the secret of brewing consistently quality lager. As the ad tells us, back in 1883 Professor Emil Chr. Hansen discovered the method of isolating pure yeast culture. The resulting yeast was called saccharoymces carslbergensis - the secret of Carlsberg’s brewing success. First to isolate pure yeast, and with a discovery that would revolutionise the brewing industry, Carlsberg didn’t keep its findings to itself but rather shared its knowledge with other master brewers. It still forms the basis of all lager brewing today!

And why give it away? Because Carlsberg knew that the original could not be beaten.

The ad itself mirrors more of a Guinness style ad, with huge production value and stunning creative. The story follows a horseman’s epic journey as he races across 19th century Europe, delivering the newly discovered brewing yeast from Carlsbergs to a rival brewer. This epic quest is brought to life in something more akin to a Hollywood blockbuster then a tv ad. It is simply stunning.

The ad was developed by Peter Owens Advertising and directed by Johnny Green. It was produced by Knucklehead and post produced by Framestore. The music for the ad was specially composed by Paul Raeburn.

Speaking of the new advertisement, Justine Donohoe, Marketing Manager, Carlsberg said, “This is an epic dramatisation of a true story, which gives consumers another reason to believe why Carlsberg is probably the best lager in the world!”

Interesting Carlsberg facts you may not have known...

  • Carlsberg’s process to isolate a single pure yeast culture was verified in person by Louis Pasteur who visited the Carlsberg lab on a number of occasions. Pasteur had a history in this area having worked on a similar process with the wine industry & written a book on beer – ‘Etudes des biers’
  • Carlsberg developed the ph scale
  • Carlsberg developed the method for calculating the protein content of substances ranging from foodstuffs to fertiliser and fossil fuels. The Kjeldahl method, was developed in the Carlsberg labs by Johann Kjeldahl, head of Chemistry, and is still the standard method used worldwide today
  • Carlsberg pioneered steam brewing & refrigeration techniques
  • Carlsberg founder, JC Jacobsen (1811-1887) and his son Carl (1842-1914) made an immense contribution to the architecture and cultural life of Copenhagen, and inspired the construction of many monuments and buildings including; The Little Mermaid, the Danish Museum of Art and Design and the impressive Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which houses one of the largest collections of antique art in Northern Europe
  • Carlsberg is run by a Foundation - One of the first acts of the Carlsberg Foundation was to fund the rebuilding of Frederiksborg Castle and establish the Danish National History Museum
  • Each part of the Carlsberg logo, designed by Thorvald Bindesbøll in 1904 for the launch of Carlsberg pilsner, is constructed from the body part of an elephant!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Smirnoff Masquerade Ball - I Was There

When it comes to events that stand out, that make you wish you could do it all again, and that definitely were something that you had to be there, Smirnoff get full marks! The Smirnoff's 'Be There' Masquerade Ball last Thursday was absolutely brilliant. Aside from being a great excuse to dress up and go have a bit of fun, this was an evening that offered the unexpected at every corner.

From royal footmen at the front door to exotic stilt-walkers around the dance floor this was a veritable cornucopia of burlesque eye candy and creative adventure. The dress code may as well have read 'Desire' - everyone made an effort and the entire building was an array of fantastic gowns and stunning suits. Everyone was either masked or for those without a Venetian mask at hand, their were face painters at hand to create one-off works of art. Around the main ballroom there extraordinary performers moving and dancing to the sounds of DJ Alex Donald and Smash Hits. The drink of choice was obviously The Smirnoff Mule.

Richie and I in full masquerade garb

All-in-all, if you missed this all I can aptly say is, you needed to Be There!

Check out Smirnoff Ireland on Facebook to stay tuned to all their upcoming events.

Hat tip to DJ Spider for this video.