Sunday, January 31, 2010

Things I Like...

I'm not sure where this came from, or who the original author is, but I absolutely love it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Wolfman Facebook App

As the launch of Joe Johnston's remake of The Wolfman, staring Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt, fast approaches, Universal Pictures have just launched a brand new element to their online campaign. The Wolfman Facebook App is a pretty cool game that allows you to choose the side of Humanity or that of the Wolves, and battle to become the most fearsome killer. In the style of a classic AD&D combat game, each battle sees your character grow and develop to become stronger and better equiped. In short..... addictive stuff.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New York Festival's International Advertising Awards

For over fifty years The New York Festival's International Advertising Awards has represented the pinnacle achievement that any advertiser or creative could receive. The awards honour the World's best advertising from over 70 different countries, across all media and platforms: television, cinema, print, outdoor, interactive, design, mixed media, collateral, radio and student advertising. The 2010 deadline for submissions has now passed and the countdown is on to the Oscar's of the advertising world.

There are two things that make the awards stand out from all others. First, the awards draw on the experience of over 250 jury members from 60 countries. Secondly, the awards are judged completely online with each entry assured it receives the proper amount of time and attention, free from outside distractions and unsolicited opinions. The system is specially designed to prevent any scam ads, with the judges encouraged to flag suspected scam ad and write confidential comments supporting their suspicions.

This year the awards have expanded to include the 'Boutique Agency of the Year' award that honours agencies that are not affiliated with a network and have less than 75 employees. A second addition sees the creation of the 'Best New Agency' award to recognise new agencies that have started up in the last 24 months. The new award allows "
agencies in business for less than two years to compete and be recognised for their creative achievements, their ability to garner international exposure and the impact their work has on the marketplace".

Details on the 2010 New York Festivals International Advertising Awards for Digital and Interactive can be found here. To get an idea of the calibre of entries that the awards pull in, just take a look at the judging panel!

Digital & Interactive Advertising GrandJury:
  • Mark Addy, Digital Creative Director, JWT, Auckland, NZ
  • Fernando Barbella, Interactive Creative Director, BBDO, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ana Caralt, Creative Director, TribalDDB, Barcelona, Spain
  • Orlando Cristofalo, Digital Planning & Creative Coordination, GLUE, Argentina
  • Christian Daul, Creative Director, Scholz & Volkmer, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Pal Dobloug, Creative Director, Mediafront, Oslo, Norway
  • Niklas Fransson, Creative Director, Rebenga, Sweden
  • Martin Garrocho, Interactive Creative Director, Grey, Santiago, Chile
  • Niklas Fransson, Creative Director, Rebenga, Sweden
  • Srdjan Gulic, Chief Creative Officer, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Kevin Lee, Executive Creative Director, OgilvyOne, Shanghai, China
  • Jungwon Lee, CEO/Strategic Director,, Seoul, Korea
  • Anto Noval, Director/Chief Creative Officer, Hungry & Foolish Creative Products Pvt. Ltd., India
  • Edu Pou, Creative Director, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Frédéric (Fredo) Sanz, Executive Creative Director, DoubleYou, Barcelona, Spain
  • Doug Schiff, Executive Creative Director, OgilvyOne, Beijing, China
  • Gabor Spielmann, Executive Creative Director, Grey, Budapest, Hungary
  • Raphael Vasconcellos, Executive Creative Director, AgenciaClick, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Greg Whitham, Interactive Creative Director, Ogilvy, NZ

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Google Xistence

Too busy to Tweet?

Feed up with Facebook?

Just not enough time in the day to record and upload a new video blog?

Or. perhaps all you want to do with the web is play computer games and send emails?

Well fear not, Google Xistence is here to help you out...

Ok, so Google Xistence isn't real, but this video does beg the question... what if it were real? Would you actually know whether it was your friend updating their various Social Media profiles? With the development of the Semantic Web (Web 3.0) and the ever increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence programs, could we one day find ourselves unsure as to whether we were talking to a real person or not?

Probably. At least in my opinion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Augmented Reality: T-Shirt

Ever wanted to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with your t-shirt? Well, maybe not, but it's a pretty odd idea at the very least. Well guess what, the clever folk over at T-Post, the world's first wearable magazine, have brought their 51st issue with this augmented reality, 3-D interactive game...

For those asking themselves, what's T-Post? Here you go!

Cheers to Nick to this one :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Foursquare, in Your Newspaper?

The Metro News, Canada’s free daily newspaper, has unveiled a huge partnership with everyone's favourite geolocation-based, mobile, Social Media toy, Foursquare. Following in the footsteps of Harvard University and San Francisco's BART, the partnership with the Canadian newspaper will see Foursquare populated with an abundance of new content such as restaurant reviews, city tips and to-dos. Foursquare automatically offers up tips and to-dos for nearby locations when you 'check-in' somewhere. The programme will see Foursquare turned into one of, if not the largest, travel guide to Canada, with content constantly being added to and updated by the public itself.

Part of the deal has also seen the introduction of a new Foursquare badge especially for Metro. The badge is awarded to users who 'check-in' to locations that the paper is distributed from. To celebrate the launch of the new badge, the publication is giving away an iPhone 3GS to five lucky users who unlock the badge.

For me this is a major milestone and shows a new use for Foursquare that I've never heard anyone suggest. While there are many pubs and restaurants that have realised the potential of the service to draw in new customers, we (in Ireland at least) have yet to see anyone beyond this sphere of businesses even consider Foursquare.

Foursquare had been previously restricted to a set number of cities that it was steadily growing in short bursts, and essentially only users in these cities could use the service. However, following a recent fundamental change to the platforms backend engine, the service has seen a rapid growth as users have become able to 'check-in' and tag locations anywhere in the world. On the back of this, Foursquare has without doubt been looking for a way to fully capitalise on this new truly global audience.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Injustice: The Ballad of Sharon Ní Bheoláin

If you're not Irish you'll miss a few of the references, but I'm sure the humour won't be lost. This is perhaps one of my favourite YouTube videos of the last 6 to 12 months. A fantastically well written and well produced song, and video, celebrating one of Ireland's favourite RTÉ Newspeople, Sharon Ní Bheoláin.

The song was written by Katie Holly, and the video produced by Evelyn Quinlan. Major hat tips!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Great Advertising, Great Videos

Today I had the pleasure of attending Damien Mulley's Online PR Training Course. Expect a full blog on it tomorrow, for now however, there are three video that I wanted to share with you. These are great international examples of how top brands are approaching advertising in completely different ways.

First up is NikeFootball's latest tv ad from Italy. Nike's approach is a hi-tech combination of stunning graphics and straight out football skill.

The second video isn't actual an ad but is definitely brilliant (inho). Levi's sent these cool pop-up closets to six popular fashion magazines in the Netherlands and Belgium. The fold out drawers were filled with several items from the new Levi’s collection.

Finally, the third video I have for you comes from Diesel. Diesel have gone a completely different route, and while this is a proper video ad, it relies completely on copy. This is brilliant copywriting and shows that you don't necessarily need huge sums of money to make a great video.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"That's Advertising, Baby"

A startling insight into advertising and inspiration, Doug PrayArt&Copy is one of the best films that I've seen, not just last year but ever! Pray shows a true gift in being able to open up a world that many feel is inaccessible to those not part of our industry. This is a window into work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives ever - a glimpse into the genius of the people who have shaped the way we think about the world around us. These are the people behind campaigns such as "Just Do It", "I Love NY", "Where's the Beef?" and "Got Milk".

This is the trailer...

Ads of the World Ad Campaign

Everyone's favourite advertising archive and community, Ads of the World has just launched its own advertising campaign. Consisting of 4 stunningly detail, yet simple and elegant print ads, this is an adman's ad campaign. Ads of the World is owned by WebMediaBrands.

The Advertising Agency who created the campaign was 1789; with their Creative Directors Baptiste Clinet, Jo Dubruque and Nicolas Lautier all working on the job.

If you look carefully you will see the following ads referenced:
Cadbury 'Gorilla'
Advertising Agency: Fallon London, UK

Ikea 'Lamp'
Advertising Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, USA

Sony 'Bravia'
Advertising Agency: Y&R Asia, Singapore

Philips 'Caroussel'
Advertising Agency: Tribal DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Nova Radio 'Le grand Mix'
Advertising Agency: Young & Rubicam Paris, Boulogne Billancourt, France

Lego 'Imagine'
Advertising Agency: FCB, Johannesburg, South Africa

Greenpeece 'Boomerang'
Advertising Agency:DDB Paris, France

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Subaru Legacy 2010

Loving the new ad for Subaru Legacy from Tribal DDB...

Creative Director: Dre Labre
Art Director: Barry Lachapelle
Writer: David Horovitch
Director: Ron Gervais
Post-Production: The Electric Company
Flash: Wojtek Arciszewski

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Return Of The Wolfman

In 1941 Hollywood made what would become one of the all time quintessential monster movies, The Wolfman. Although this was Hollywood's second outing with a werewolf movie (the first having been 6 years earlier with Jack Pierce's Stuart Walker's Werewolf of London), it was by far the better movie and offered not only the writing talent of Curt Siodmak and direction of George Waggner, but it brought together a truly magnificent cast: Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Béla Lugosi, and Maria Ouspenskaya. Waggner's Wolfman really is brilliant cinema, even 68 years on.

The story follows Chaney as Larry Talbot, a man returning to his family home following a long absence. Talbot quickly becomes enamoured with a local girl, Gwen Conliffe, played by Ankers. In their first encounter, Talbot goes to Gwen's antique shop and ends up buying a silver-handled walking stick, decorated with a wolf's head and pentagram. Gwen explains that this is the sign of the werewolf, and recites a local poem:

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.
That evening while visiting a gypsy fortune teller, Talbot becomes involved in a wolf attack in which Gwen's friend is killed. The wolf turns out to be one of the gypsies who is a werewolf. Although he kills the animal, Talbot is bitten and so starts the misadventure that ultimately leads to his own death.

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to the Denzille Cinema by Universal Pictures for a private screening of The Wolfman. The evening was absolutely great, and if you haven't had the pleasure of visiting the Denzille Cinema I highly recommend it. Of course this wasn't just a random screening of a classic movie just for the fun of it. Universal Pictures are currently gearing up for the upcoming realease of their remake of The Wolfman.

The remake is directed by Joe Johnston and stars Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving. The movie largely sticks to the original plot but adds a number of extra dimensions to the tale through stunning visual effects and an extended overall storyline. As someone who isn't a die hard horror fan by any means, I will say that the remake looks brilliant. Not only is it a cast made up of some of my favourite Hollywood stars but it offers a production ensemble of equally exciting people such as Scott Stuber (production), Danny Elfman (music direction) and Shelly Johnson (cinematography). Filming was done between 3rd March and 23rd June 2008 at Pinewood Studios, to a budget of US$85 million.

I incorrectly attributed the direction of Werewolf of London to Jack Pierce, who was of course WoL's Makeup Artist (one of Hollywood's greatest infact, having created such legendary creatures as Dracula and Frankenstein). Cheers to Niall for pointing out my error :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

adidas Originals - Star Wars Collection

Back at Christmas I posted about adidas's new range of clothes and shoes inspired and featuring Star Wars. Taking the most iconic moments and favourite characters from the Star Wars story, adidas have translated them for the streets. To do this, the sports brand launched a virtual 3-D world that is accessed through the new line's men’s shoes through three Augmented Reality games. Basically, each shoe design gives the user access to the virtual world and acts as the controller for interacting with it. Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for adidas Originals, described the new initiative as, “[taking] a real world item and adding a fantastic virtual world on top of that." He added, "We are not trying to mimic a real-world look, we have a more stylized, pop-up book creative approach.”

For the next stage in the new Originals 'The Street where Originality Lives' ad campaign, adidas is kicking off 2010 with three fantastic developments in the campaign. Not only is the adidas Originals site packed with a whole heap of exciting (and exclusive) videos from Estelle, the Ting Tings and Method man & Redman (just to mention a few), not only will the Star Wars range of clothes and shoes be launching in the Irish market through Champion Sports, but there is also a new addition to the online campaign in the form of a seriously cool, Facebook Connect enabled, online app that lets you take control of the Death Star and blow up the homes of your closest friends.

For all the information you'll need, just go to the official adidas Originals Facebook Page and check out this video of the Imperial March remix; featuring Snoop Dogg, David Beckham, Calle 13, DJ Neil Armstrong and Daft Punk...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Social Media & SEO

Last August Adam Singer wrote this excellent post on how Social Media has become inextricably linked to SEO. Adam talks about the reinforcement that each gives the other, in a continuously, self-perpetuating cycle. In the last five months I've seen Adam's theory proven true time and time again, both on commercial endeavours and private websites and blogs. Very simply, the links between Social Media and SEO are undeniable.

The 10 key points that Adam laid out are:

  • Search Engines become more sophisticated and powerful
  • An active Social Media push of content builds ever stronger links
  • Regular, original content creates more opportunity to be found through search
  • Search Engines like very regularly updated sites
  • Social Media use drives increased successes
  • Social Media can be build on
  • Beyond links it's also about Digital PR
  • Social Media Communities help grow themselves
  • Content discovered through Social Media is more likely to be shared
  • Engaging, well thought out content is the best

Whether you have your own website or work on a website(s) as part of your job, I highly recommend going and reading Adam's full post.

The Rise Of Google

A great little video showing the story of Google...

"A (very) quick look back at the Google story over the last 11 years. From Stanford to Mountain View and around the world, featuring many different products, starting with BackRub (Search) up to Google Wave, StreetView and Chrome." - Google

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where Do You Go

Where Do You Go is a cool mash-up by Steven Lehrburger that creates a heat map of your Foursquare check-ins.

This is my 'Where Do You Go' map of Foursquare activity...

The app runs on the Google App Engine and was created for the Mashups: Remixing the Web
class on New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Besides his blog, Stephen can also be found on Twitter.

Google Toilet

They know what you search for, they know what you email, they know who you call. What's the next step for everyone's favourite global mega brand?

Google Toilet!

via Geeks Are Sexy - cheers guys :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nike True City iPhone App

Last week Nike launched a new iPhone App, True City. The App provides users with user-generated content on six European cities. Nike bill the app as "making the hidden visible through the knowledge and insight of Nike Insiders—local tastemakers". Basically local 'experts' provide the information on each city. Nike considers these individuals as being at the forefront of their cities.

I downloaded the app and had a play around with it, and it's definitely worth a look. My only negative would be that it's only six cities and there's no immediate indication that it will be expanded. On the plus side, however, the app does integrate very well from a social media point of view.

You can download it here.

For those that don't want to download the app to have a look, check out the following video...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guardian iPhone App

On the 14th December last year, The Guardian Newspaper launched an iPhone App offering users full access to all Guardian content through the convenience of their iPhone; including news, comments, features, photo galleries and audio. There was never a question that this was a smart move by The Guardian, what was a question for many people was the fact that The Guardian were not going to offer the App for free. It would be paid for. Admittedly this is not a unique situation for a news provider; BBC World News Live, BBC News Mobile, iCNN News Reader and even the Irish Independent and Irish Breaking News, all offer iPhone Apps that are paid for. However, it's also worth noting that Sky News, ITN News, Thomson Reuters News and The New York Times, all offer their Apps for free.

Was it the right move?

In short, yes it was very definitely the right move for The Guardian.

Since its launch, The Guardian iPhone App has been downloaded nearly 70,000 times. That's over 2,300 times a day, every day! That's extremely impressive for a paid App.

Emily Bell, Director of Digital Content, Guardian News & Media, said: "We are thrilled with our download figures for the first month of the app. The feedback we have received from users has been excellent, yet also extremely informative in terms of features and functionality that can be improved in the future. Over the Christmas break the app became available in many areas of mainland Europe, as well as in Canada and Australia for the first time, so we hope our global audiences will enjoy using the app as well."

The App was designed by The Guardian's in-house team and then built by 2ergo. It is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It is available for £2.39 and can be accessed by users in the following countries:
Finland, Latvia, Romania, Austria, France, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Malta (Republic of), Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Australia & Canada, UK, Ireland, US.

The App is available for download here, and the following video demonstrates all the App's features...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guinness Storehouse: 10 Years & 1 Million Visitors

Today, Guinness Storehouse made the monumental announcement that it's 1 millionth visitor has crossed it's doorway. Not only does this go to re-enforce the Storehouse's position as Ireland’s No. 1 visitor attraction, but it also solidifies it as the 3rd biggest brand experience in the world (Source: Economic Research Agency 2008).

Speaking at today's announcement, Managing Director, Paul Carty said; “We are delighted that we had the opportunity to welcome over one million people through our doors in 2009. It was no mean feat with the year that was in it. The Irish tourism industry is under severe pressure, closing the year with a 12% fall in overseas arrivals. Within this context, it is reassuring for us at Guinness Storehouse to record a positive performance that still achieves and surpasses 1 million visitors.”

Mr. Carty continued, “ If we zoom in on our performance, up until October last year, Guinness Storehouse had actually increased visitor numbers exceeding the past year by 1,000. November and December delivered a weaker influx, hence generating an overall total of only –1% visitors in 2009 on 2008”.

Considering the current economic climate, and even more so the climate of the last year, this achievement is made even more noteworthy. Certainly one of Guinness Storehouse's strongest contributors to this success is its aggressive and highly coordinated PPC activity. By driving PPC advertising across a global platform, Guinness storehouse targets visitors who are in a "shopping" frame of mind, searching for things to do when they come to Ireland. In 2009 the Storehouse saw US visitors increase by 12% and European countries increase by 19% - within Europe, France, Italy and Spain showed the highest increases in visitor numbers with +26%, +21% and +23% respectively.

2010 will also see another huge milestone for Guinness Storehouse as it celebrates 10 years since first opening its doors in November 2000. To mark the anniversary, Guinness Storehouse has issued 1000's of ''Ambassador Cards, which allow fans to gain free access for the year. Furthermore, the Storehouse has also promised that 2010 will be jam-packed with even more photographic exhibitions, food demonstrations, live music and interactive tours then ever before!

A few interesting Guinness Storehouse facts:

  • Guinness Storehouse building was erected between 1902 and 1904 for use in the fermentation process
  • The building is 125 feet high, 170 feet long and 151 feet wide.
  • It would take 14.3 million pints of Guinness to fill the giant glass atrium in centre of the Guinness Storehouse building
  • Gravity Bar is the highest bar in Dublin located 46 metres off the ground

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Irish Blog Awards Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for the 2010 Irish Blog Awards. This year there will be a total of 21 different categories for you to submit nominations:

  • Best Popculture blog
  • Best Food/Drink Blog
  • Best Fashion Blog
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best Photo Blog
  • Best Technology Blog/Blogger
  • Best Sport & Recreation Blog
  • Best Blog of a Business
  • Best Arts and Culture Blog
  • Best Blog from a Journalist
  • Best News/Current Affairs Blog
  • Best Group Blog
  • Best Political Blog
  • Best Blog of a Politician
  • Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog
  • Best Specialist Blog
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Youth Blog
  • Best Personal Blog
  • Best Humour Blog
  • Best Blog Post
The event itself will be held on March 27th in Galway. Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

RBS 6 Nations In 3D!

I wrote back in December about Sony's announcement that they will be using next year's World Cup to showcase their new 3D television technology. The move by Sony will see 10 of the tournament's matches filmed and broadcast in 3D. This is just one example of 3D TV that is being talked about for 2010. Personally, I know what I'm especially looking forward to...

News has broken that on 6th February O2 (UK) will celebrate 100 years of rugby at Twickenham by letting English and Welsh rugby fans enjoy one of the years first jaunts into this new 3D technology. Across England and Wales fans will be invited to enjoy the second game of the RBS 6 Nations tournament at over 40 Odeon and Cineworld cinemas for full 3D screening of the England vs Wales game. This will be Europe's first broadcast of its kind using the technology.

Sally Cowdry, Marketing Director at O2, said: “As England team sponsor we’re committed to enhancing the experience for rugby fans. With these screenings we’ll be using the latest technology to let thousands of fans across the country get closer to the action and join in the excitement of celebrating 100 years of England Rugby at Twickenham”.

O2 customers in the UK can book priority tickets to the event from 25th January by texting 3D to 2020. The general public will have access to tickets from 29th January from £12.50.

For those of us here in Ireland, it may interest you to know that the second 3D match that will be screened will be England vs Ireland on the 27th February. There are no details at all on this match but I assume it will follow a similar mechanic, with O2 Customers getting access two weeks before, and the general public four days later. I for one, if I can't get a ticket to the game, would definitely consider going over to experience this.

Paul Vaughan, RFU Business Operations Director said: “In Twickenham’s centenary year, this demonstrates that England Rugby has a rich history and an even richer future with exciting new developments such as O2’s 3D screenings. Rugby fans will be proud of England Rugby celebrating 100 memorable years, and I hope they will pack cinemas across the country to support the team and mark this milestone”.

For more details on cinema locations and how to purchase tickets visit

Monday, January 11, 2010

Facebook & YouTube - Instant Fads & Overnight Hits

In the last week there have been three Social Media phenomenon that have really grabbed my attention. Three "campaigns" that have, by all accounts, sprung up completely organically and engaged the public in a way that no one could have predicted.

Paul Cunningham's Winter Hat
The first is the Irish internet sensation that is Paul Cunningham's hat. For those who don't know who Paul is; Paul is RTÉ's Environment Correspondent. While doing a report as part of the Nine O'Clock News on RTE1 on 7th January, Paul wore a rather..... noticeable hat. What no one could have predicted was just how much the public would latch onto this little fashion misadventure.

The 'We love Paul Cunningham's winter hat' already has 3,420 fans. Just one of several YouTube videos of the news feature has 3,082 views. Admittedly these aren't huge figures but at the same time, it's a Christmas hat.

Man Falling on Ice
This is another Irish "campaign", and again has a winter connection. Unfortunately, for at least one poor bloke, this particular internet wonder looks a little bit more painful then an odd hat. Three days ago as part of a RTÉ's report on water shortages due to freezing pipes, a piece of video was used that showed a pedestrian slipping on the ice. The feature went viral almost immediately and a Facebook Page sprung up that currently has 26,827 fans!

That's an awful lot of fans of someone falling over. Could it really be that good? Unfortunately, and I say unfortunately as I think someone really got hurt here, this is completely compelling and there's something about it that you just can't help laughing at. This is clearly shown by the YouTube video that has driven 40,773 views to date.

Facebook Status My Bra Colour
Finally we have this, non-video related, entry to my little list of three stand-out internet phenomenons of the last week. You may have noticed female friends or acquaintances updating their Facebook statuses recently with colours or patterns. These updates usually carried no information or explanation, and there didn't seem to be anyone offering any, anywhere. The trend or meme, which I haven't actually been able to verify, was seemingly started by a group of women in Chicago to help raise awareness of Breast Cancer. The campaign had a small level of uptake but then a girl named Kimberley Griffiths created a Facebook Page for the campaign.

The Page was founded on the 7th January and has exploded in activity with 60,196 fans already joined up. I think the number speaks for itself. That's just 4 days!

So what's next? What video or tv moment or charity activity will grab us and capture our attention? Who knows! (That's not a question!) The truth is, there's a 'little something' about each of these "campaigns" that can't be planned and can't be predicted. They're also three examples from an otherwise very short list when you consider exactly how many Facebook Pages and YouTube videos get uploaded and created every week. So is there a point? There is, and it's fairly simple. While I believe it's not massively difficult to create real campaigns that engage with your audience and create a greater public resonance beyond simple awareness, planning them is another matter. Budgets aside, there are various techniques to drive engagement. Competitions, free samples/trials/products or any number of other ways to get the public to hand over personal details. However, while it's easy to engage, or to at least create an appearance of engagement, it's not easy to create that public resonance.

My conclusion: the "viral effect" (a horrible term and one I don't really use) of a campaign can certainly be manipulated or augmented, but at the heart of it all you need something that simply can't be thought up. I can't tell you exactly what it is, because no one can. It's that thing that will drive people to pass it on to their friends. That thing that will make people become a fan or friend for no logical reason whatsoever. Most importantly, it's not something you can buy. Not every product or brand is even capable of it. Sometimes it requires huge amounts of money, and other times it's achieved by someone with a camera phone for nothing. Either way, beware of anyone that says they can get it for you through a planned approach. It just happens for you or it doesn't.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

DJ Earworm - A Mashup of the Top 25 Hits of 2009

Absolutely lovin' this mashup by DJ Earworm, simply class!

In case you can't pick them all out, here's the list:
The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Lady Gaga Featuring Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Taylor Swift - Lover Story
Flo Rida - Right Round
Jason Mraz - I'm Your's
Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)
Kanye West - Heartless
The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell
Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me
T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead And Gone
The Fray - You Found Me
Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody
Keri Hilson Featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo - Knock You Down
Jamie Foxx Featuring T-Pain - Blame It
Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
T.I. Featuring Rihanna - Live Your Life
Soulja Boy Tell 'em Featuring Sammie - Kiss Me Thru The Phone
Jay Sean Featuring Lil Wayne - Down
Miley Cyrus - The Climb
Drake - Best I Ever Had
Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
Beyonce - Halo
Katy Perry - Hot 'n' Cold

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Meteor Irish Music Awards: Nominees Announced

Just before Christmas I wrote about the upcoming Meteor Music Awards and the announcement of a brand new, publicly voted, award category: 'Most Promising New Artist'. Today I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Awards in Dublin's Balzac Restaurant at the La Stampa Hotel on Dawson Street.

The big news today was the announcement of this year’s nominees and live performances. Hosted this year by Amanda Byram, the Awards promise a truely star-studded event to celebrate the tenth year of Meteors sponsorship of the Awards. Guest performers on the night will include; Westlife, Snow Patrol, The Script, Florence and the Machine, Paolo Nutini, The Coronas and Pixie Lott, to mention just a few. There will also be a host of additional performers announced during the coming weeks.

The nominees for the publicly voted categories are as follows:

Best National D.J.
Best Regional D.J.
Best Irish Band
Best Irish Male
Best Irish Female
Best Irish Pop Act
Best Irish Album
Best Irish Live Performance
And finally, The Most Promising New Artist for 2010. Of course I can't list the nominations here as it's up to you folk to make it happen. Some great news I can give you here, however, is that the entry deadline has been extended to the 15th January. So there's loads of extra time to get your videos up on the interweb! The remaining 9 awards will be decided by representatives of the Irish music industry.

All the category links above will bring you directly to the Meteor website, and as public voting went live from today, you should click over (as soon as you've finished reading) and get your votes in. Votes can also be cast directly from your mobile phone and all details on how to do this may be found on the Meteor website.

The event itself will air on RTE 2 on Sunday 21st February 2010 at 9pm.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nivea XOXO Chain

It's the start of January and everyone's good intentions should probably still be strong. Give up this this, stop doing so much of that, avoid unnecessary..... etc. etc. New Years roles around and it's up to each of us to decide what we're going to do less of, in an effort to make ourselves better people. Is this such a good thing? Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about making your life style more healthy, about stopping smoking or getting more exercise, but for many of us I reckon we could do a whole lot more for ourselves if we looked at what we could be doing more of.

It seems I'm not the only one thinking this way. With the aim of encouraging the public to "have more love, hugs and kisses in 2010", Nivea has launched its New Year's Resolution, XOXO Chain campaign.

The campaign, which will run until Valentine's Day, was kicked off by actors Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo. Centered around the Nivea website, users are asked to upload a digital hug or kiss, fo which Nivea will donate $1 to Big Brothers Big Sisters for each one.

"Nivea values the importance of human connections, an inherent aspect of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, We felt this was the perfect fit for us as a brand", said Nicolas Maurer, vice president of marketing at Beiersdorf, Nivea's parent company.

The campaign was launched via the onsite Times Square activation, a digital advertising suite, a number of Public Relations activation and during NBC's live New Year's Eve programme hosted by Carson Daly. The NBC element included promo ads and online banners. The Times Square activation was similarly part of a larger marketing initiative. Nivea were also official sponsor of New Year's Eve in Times Square, and as such had a branded stage called the Nivea Kiss Platform. this featured musical performances by Taddy Porter and Delfina.

In relation to the campaign timing, Maurer commented, "2009 has been a tough year for a lot of people, and New Year's Eve is a great time to share love with friends and family and look forward to starting off 2010 with the best foot forward."

Nivea are also promoting the campaign via in-store at point of purchase displays, sampling and specialised photo booths. The XOXO Chain Booths allow consumers to get their photo taken while hugging and kissing. These images are then shared and uploaded to the store's electronic billboard. A number of these booths also tied into the many large screens that lined Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Specsavers: 'Spermsavers'

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Specsavers has created a comedy ad about a blind sperm. The ad, 'Spermsavers', is currently being shown on the Specsavers YouTube channel and will also run on the brands Facebook Page between 11th and 14th January.

'Spermsavers' tells the story of a sperm swimming to be the first sperm to get to an egg. Unfortunately it swims straight past the egg. The blind sperm then turns around to give it one more try but again swims past and this time ends up trying to impregnate the Specsavers logo that has appeared.

While it is primarily being driven online, the ad will also be adapted for cinema and TV.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Am A Geek - The Society for Geek Advancement

I blogged this about 6 months ago but in the spirit of the New Year I thought I'd share it again. This is a collaborative video project by The Society for Geek Advancement, all about embracing your geekiness. The funny thing is, this is exactly how every geek I know would describe themself.

Society For Geek Advancement
The Society for Geek Advancement (SGA) was founded upon the principles that we should all embrace our inner and outer geek and have fun while doing it. As individuals who love learning, innovating and believe in possibility as well as change, the second step of responsibility is to be the geek that keeps on giving. As a member of SGA, we work together as a global community to help others realize their true potential too!

You can also find the society on Twitter.

Royal Navy: Life Without Limits

The Royal Navy has been a strong adopter of digital channels in the last year, to drive both recruitment and awareness. Now in their latest campaign, Royal Navy Careers has unveiled a new tv/web ad and a host of online and mobile interactives. Perhaps there's nothing surprising about a military force using online channels, but what's especially interesting in my opinion is their use of social channels. While so many mainstream businesses and brands are scared about using Social Media, here we have an organisation that, under certain circumstances, is directed to kill people, and they're using Social Media. It makes you wonder why a confectionery brand or soft drink would have any reservations?

Questions aside, I really like the new Royal Navy ad. The ad is based around the tag line “Life without Limits” and uses a voiceover inspired by the opening of the 1996 film Trainspotting. The voiceover is provided by Royle Family actor Ralf Little and uses two-word phrases to describe the defining moments in a Royal Navy recruit’s life. The full length version, titled 'Heartbeat', will be supported by nine 10-second adverts that each highlight specific Royal Navy job options.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said, “Digital channels are a key component of the Navy’s communications strategy. In the next two years the Navy will be re-launching its corporate site and is committed to exploring its use of the semantic web, email, mobile and various social media channels that are key to their audiences.”

The ad is part of a new £1.5m recruitment drive; with media planning/buying by Carat, digital development by Glue and 26 London, and digital media planning/buying by i-Level.

The campaign has also seen the introduction of a cross-platform interactive 'Engineering Challenge'. The challenge is available on the Royal Navy site, its Facebook Page, and as a iPhone App.