Thursday, 26 November 2009

Axe



Nice twist on the usual simplified equation of attraction through scent. 


Via Simon Law's blog who along with Famous Rob keep me on top of the nice ads worth paying attention to.

tumblr




It took me a long time to 'get' tumblr'. I pumped my twitter feed in, my disqus, my friendfeed, rooted around a bit and left it spewing out content all over the net for ages and then one day, it fell into place. The thing about tumblr I find most fun is there are no instructions, so there's no rule book, which kind of makes it the best place to learn the etiquette, ways of interacting with people and just generally enjoying the whole make your own coffee book while hitting the dopamine pellet release button in the brain for hours on end (I'm not alone being a serious junkie for tumblr). I do whole nights sometimes and suddenly feel like hitting the sack just around the time when I should be getting up. But that's OK. I value my beauty sleep ha ha.


You can add me if you wish, or check out some of the new kids on the block like 9GAG, vi.sualize.us or even, if you were paying attention to that digital social networks visual I posted earlier get into the original tumblr - Deviant art.





Buy Nothing



Do The Green Thing have been getting more and more creative recently on their blog and this latest attempt feels like they are getting close to both the attractive lure of senseless shopping with an idea of branded nothing. It's cute, it's fun, it's polished and I want one. They have a twitter presence here along with an online Doctor Will Powers in case the urge to consume for consumptions sake takes a hold there's immediate twitter advice like the Samaritans.


It's funny isn't it. I always think of Tuberculosis when I hear or read the word consumption. Like how it was described in Charles Dickens novels around the turn of the century. Incidentally a long time ago I used to live on Doughty Street in Bloomsbury where Dickens wrote a few of his books.


Working in advertising I can see how some readers would struggle to work out how I can reconcile marketing with my green credentials but it's something I've spent a lot of time working out if there is a role for marketing communications with sustainable living and there most certainly is. 


From 'more ideas less stuff', to changing perceptions and behaviour along with encouraging clients to take a longer term view of profitability than the immediacy and insanity of the quarterly report, this blog and my work as a communication strategist will always find creative ways of encouraging people to love brands through responsible selling. Each client is different and can approach the issue in a different way but a dig though the archives will reveal some of the ways that we (I've stolen all the good ideas) have approached this problem solving in a creative manner.


There's also always the comments if anybody feels there's an issue that needs clarification or a position that doesn't make sense. I welcome any challenges as they invariably end up improving my thinking.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Do The Right Thing




I don't want to link to the haters but if you've been following this story then you can see my position in the comments. It's one of those times when we don't need a rule book. We need the hate removed and Google does that exceedingly well all over the world with their advertisers and the content it's associated with, as well as full-on state-complicit censoring in China. 


I'm all for free speech; like Chomsky I think we don't believe in free speech at all if we don't allow it for people we despise. But it's risen to the top of the search engine rankings and unlike free speech it's lingering in the air forever. So take it down. No rule books, no editorial policy, no censorship. Just remove it.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Data Junky





Here's my podcast habit which I want to freshen up a bit. The more news oriented BBC podcasts can get a little bit obscure in terms of geography and relevancy. Have you got any suggestions for replacements? Anything under 20 minutes isn't really for me though.

Digital Social Networks




Via Uba Kontrovasie

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Digital Necrophilia - I Like To Fork Myself


Now I think about it there's a lot of outstanding posts percolating in my head and which I've made rushed notes to in various places, though this is one post I feel like writing and which was originally sparked by some of the excellent conversations I had with Teflon John, before his Goldman Sachs girlfriend discovered I'm a Metrosexual Marxist. 

Well... (dot dot dot) I'm sure he's got a different perspective but as he was in the rest room during the chilly silence that descended before his return, I can only say that I was admirably unfazed by the inappropriate but not unique assertion of bi/curious sexual preferences that the monologue drifted onto after a long soliloquy on Goldman culture. But I think my conversation switcher of  'let's talk about me' may have closed the deal.

Unlike Goldman Sachs of Hyenaville, money isn't my main driver. Though I hasten to add I don't know if I'd be any better a pack dog if fate had slipped me into that alpha male club instead of the ability to write about it with a mixture of candour, humour and disgust. But we don't really know that stuff until we're in the context itself though having lost all my possessions and money recently I'm pretty happy with what I don't have as well as what I do. Which is a reality tunnel topic I'm dwelling on since discovering Robert Anton Wilson over at the Media squat through the increasingly funny and brilliant Douglas Rushkoff.

Anyways (as the Jamaican bad boys say): 

Digital Necrophilia. 

Like so many subjects in accelerated culture (and it's so fast I'm in my element) the early thinking has been superseded by this podcast I listened to and then followed by Neil's post on learning to forget which is quicker to read though I recommend you check out The Forum on BBC radio to listen to Victor Mayer-Schoenberger if you didn't attend the talk Neil did.

But the reason for resurrecting this topic is twofold. A few years ago I was asked to write a presentation about beauty on the net for Unilever regionally in Asia, and despite having 300 slides chopped down to a very primitive 150 I did pick up on some of the themes in blogging and internet culture including discovering Daul Kim's blog which I predicted would be a taste of the intimacy of reading into the lives of people who inhabit the trillion dollar beauty business. 

This has come back to haunt me like an Ave Maria curling round a cathedral choir during a requiem mass. 

Depressing.

She was seventeen ish when I discovered her blog, and died in Paris on Friday, at the age of 20. Here's her last blog post where she says 'hi to forever' with Jim River's "I go deep". One thing we had in common was our love of British minimal tech. See you on the other side Daul.

Digital Social Networks (AKA Social Media)

300 Case Studies of Social Media Marketing

Just as much a reminder for me as for you.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

peopleagainstdirty.com



I saw the Method cleaning products guys present at PSFK in San Francisco last year before returning back to Beijing for the Olympics. I was really impressed with their *warning - overused but in this case appropriate word-alert* passion for their business. Nice guys doing nice to the environment products. I thought they might have been too small to get into great advertising but that's what they have done here with droga5. There's more information on people against dirty over here.

Via Simon

Friday, 20 November 2009

Nothing tastes better than skinny


Of course this blog post comes to you while I tuck into a bowl of new potatoes with butter liberally applied, but I do think there's something quite remarkable about the uproar over Kate Moss saying this because it has all the hallmarks of a highly spreadable meme. I mean it's probably the best strap line I've ever heard. It's a powerful way of saying don't do it.


Memorable, evocative and truly disruptive. 


Pity there's no money in it.


However in it its defense. First of all it's a point of view. Those are Kate Moss's taste buds and if she chooses to say not eating, tastes better than eating then isn't she entitled to say that?


But as a prominent person (albeit one who has enjoyed a fat line of coke quite publicly and needs to be skinny for her job while making no attempt to be a role model) you might argue that she has a responsibility to set a good example and deter the never ending parade of anorexics and bulimics that the media are somewhat biased about reporting. Simon Rothstein for Murdoch owned The Sun blasts aways.







But then isn't it in the interest of big agra, big media and big pharma to be profitable by attacking anorexia as a more pernicious problem than obesity? Isn't it in the interests of those corporations and their lobby groups and PR companies to demonize anorexia when the real problem lies in the other direction? I often hear dangerously overweight people say "I love my food", but I never hear dangerously underweight people say "I love my waistline".


I say this as someone who has packed a few pounds in the past. Usually when I'm enjoying the delights of cooked breakfasts and delicious bread in the UK. Most people are quite surprised when they see this picture.





What do you think? I'd really like to know?


Update: In a situation worthy of Voltaire's assertion that God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh I see that the word "fat" when Googled today provides its top story on Google News that is rich in comment on Western society. Peruvian gangs have been killing rural farmers for their fat sold to cosmetic companies in Europe. You couldn't make this up which is precisely why we need to think about it a bit harder than usual. Imagine being slaughtered for your fat like a beast? There was a time when I had a few pounds to share but not as well as my liver, and heart and kidneys *shakes head*.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Cultural Media Studies






I wrote most of this on paper and so you may detect a different tonality and flow to the text. I guess I need to start somewhere on the long road to another vast topic I want to connect with here, and that's culture, but I'll start with media, move on to books and then scratch the surface of culture: something I think I'm qualified to comment on. I pride myself on living with real people in different countries and have managed to achieve that with a bit of planning and a little bit of luck including what may have seemed like bad luck at the time but often yielded gems along the way. So here goes.


I've blathered on about the awe I have for Marshall McLuhan and particularly his 1964 classic "Understanding Media". It's a seminal tour de force that contributed greatly towards my  never ending discovery of communication theory and for that I'm very grateful. It's rare that I find the view reflected upside down in my retina as unintresting or unable to provide questions I need answers to. 


I recall a long time ago in a distant agency within the M25, that I was the first to request the retro-tech short message service from HR, who explained what it was or why our banana Nokia phones had the alphabet on the keypad. Fortunately and unlike fax machines I didn't have to wait for anyone else to subscribe and immediately had a lot of fun 'interrupting' the creative team with SMS messages sent from the de facto 'planners room' called the library a place where we tended to cluster.


It was not a service like today where all mobile providers automatically make revenue from service provision. Back in the day (1998) it was a service that so few used, it needed to be subscribed to seperately. This was around the cusp of when it was about to take off, big-time and globally. The rest is history and we now see it as a utility of life that cannot be substituted and is arguably the basis for status updates on messenger platforms and the increasingly ubiquitous Twitter.


Why am I once again resurrecting, McLuhan's 'medium is the message'? Well I've never stopped giving it consideration and I guess in some way it's finally losing (or at least occasionally feels like diminishing) its overwhelming philosophical momentum, despite the internet and it's mind bogglingly immense challenge to the twin notions of hot and cool media conjured up by Marshal's book nearly derailing me totally. Perhaps it has forever.


I've since reconciled most of the neurological dynamics that constitute media temperature, engagement and distraction (a critical and too seldom discussed dimension) with the content; you know, the bits we brief and that the creatives deliver on).


In any case my recent enforced seperation from the internet means I was once again consuming printed words from a creative underground's bookshelf in a manner that would shame a Hoover into mutating mechanically into a Dyson.


"Suck it". "Suck it and see" I was once told by someone who didn't want to answer all my questions. Well I'm sucking it now. Hoovering up printed works for the first time in a long time and I'm pleased to see that my early thoughts immersed in digital are confirmed. It's   possible I've concluded, to neurologically rewire my brain back to the state it used to be. 


One where I would devour long thick chunks of printed text for hours on end, day after day, week after week and well, you get the picture. That was before RSS snacking became the best god damm information buffet one could wish for. When the information highway suddenly cranked up a bit, resembling the 1993 Corvette I wrote about in this post over here.


Since writing this I've dined on Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers (over rated and dripping with inconsistency - the sort of book I imagine I'd be guilty of writing) as well as the insufferably over stretched "Wikinomics" which is not so bad when picking and  choosing the chapters that matter, but is nevertheless borderline sea sick boredom if compelled under orders or circumstances like myself to eat the entire spread.


Wikinomics is, compared to RSS, like enforced consumption of no-label crisps and curling  and dried salmon-spread sandwiches before say a cool dip on a hot summers day in an inflatable pool with the kids in a back garden over freshly sliced prosciutto wrapped around bread sticks, ace deli pickles, avocado and vinaigrette with bruschetta and black olive tapenade and hell, let's go for it, a yellow bell pepper coulis - just because I can.


It's a good book in parts, but fuck me (metaphorically) it has whole chapters that are more iterative and circular than Marble Arch roundabout playing Hotel California on a car stereo, looping endlessly on a scorching hot day with bumper to bumper traffic. Ah the Eighties - how I loved you.


So you don't believe me eh? Well feel free to read what I wrote a few months before Hong Kong Clown Investigation Department (CID) busted my intravenous digital drip compelling me to read all these books.


OK, I'm only into my third book while dipping sporadically into the Holy Quran before hitting the Talmud and the Torah while taking a never ending feast on Therevada Buddhism (which I interrupted recently with a book on Mormonism - The American Religion), and keeping an eye on The Tao 'n stuff. I can't take the Bible too seriously these days despite some awesome chapters, but that may be over familiarity breeding testimonial contempt. I do however like the observation I read recently over on Lee Maschmeyer's blog, that the Bible is an early example of open source collaboration which brings me (as only the Bible could) on to Tapscotts & Williams Wikinomics. There's an inverse proportionality to Wikipedia content and value itself. This highly padded (and thus time wasting) book Wikinomics is a 21st century publishing irony of the highest order?


There are however in this book, as I've mentioned, great parts. I loved learning about the LAMP stack. Linux, APACHE, MySQL (Database) and PHP (Perl Scripting). Frankly that is one sexy fucking combo and they should cut out the nonsense we often teach kids and introduce infants to that lot from Kindegarten age - I'm serious, it's a language isn't it? 


Or is it the case that since English became the Lingua Franca we no longer entertain ideas of placing emphasis on learning languages. I can imagine George Orwell with his Spanish(or was that Catalan?), Urdu and several Burmese dialects would have recognised this as a national and systemic weakness brought on by globalization. Yet we feel this everytime as a Brit we sit in meetings where people are arguing their case more effectively in their second or third language than we can in our first. It's awe inspiring and only my own understanding of Thai, Burmerse, German and weak French provide succour against this overwhelming feeling of inferiority. You'll feel worse if you speak just the one. I'm just saying.


Despite the ace LAMP stack chapter in Wikinomics, there's waffle McCheesy summertime specials like the chapter on IDEAGORAS which  could be wrapped neatly into a couple of concise blog posts or bundled into an Harvard Business Review circular, for corporates who want to play with the new boys on the block - that's us isn't it? I mean, come on! That part about printing on cakes as one memorable example illuminates what the writers of Wikinomics perceive as the peak of  intra/extra corporate innovative collaboration? Do me a favour. Fucking cup cake printing. Don't believe me? Check it out. It's a weak book and riddled with stretched arguments though that doesn't mean a weak argument will never manifest itself as an argument that is proven robust through subsequent realization.


Yeah right.


So anyway, in pursuit of complexity, inconsistency, contradiction and general woolly thinking. I would like to now pull out of Gladwell's skinny and twitching ass (complete with walnut timbre voice) a real nugget of a find which he begins to tease out of his latest book Outliers. It runs beautifully consistently with what I imagine not too many of you are aware (though it's all in the archives here) are my own views on culture. That mile wide and inch deep tarmac of delusional self construct. Beautiful for pulling away at speed in our own directions but less suitable for landing a plane without buckling the surface up under the pressure like fresh linguini. You get the picture.


Because culture both matters and it doesn't. Or maybe it's just inconsequential if the spirit has the courage to overcome the cultural conditions imposed on us and then enforced by us in yet another myopic loop of recursive patriotism. In other words "You're as big or as small as your culture" but never bigger than the ultimate fighting club called humanity. United we stand so to speak.


Here's the evidence to support it, because me and Malc are at one on this.


In Gladwell's outliers, he tiptoes round an inch of culture that is easy to drill through and set up some cone induced traffic jams around, for as long as John Major's hotline is a telephone call away. You see Macolm introduces Geerte Hofsteder's cultural dimensions. Don't let that scare you off because I"ve stuck the boot into Hofsteder about four years ago while working on the Unilever business regionally and in this presentation I wrote over here. It is now dated somewhat, by a lot of new thinking and reading I've done. However Geert's work is pertinent as is Malcom's chapter on Korean Air's little accident streak which I'll talk about a little later 


Because It's Gladwell's ionospheric 10 000 hours - Practice makes Perfect (ubung macht den meister) mantra that beggars  belief. Rather than rip to shreds "Talcum Malc" equating the whole U.S. population into four outliers which is inconsistent with the books theme in so many ways, I'd prefer to hone in on that point about The Beatles who Malcom writes, riffed for a couple of thousand hours while in Germany but actually improvised from sheer boredom rather than a manic obsession with perfection that Malc implies (Beatles Anthology - 2000) in Hamburg's Star Club. And don't even get me started on why a few thousand hours isn't even close to 10000 hours. No. The Beatles were Spesh because they were spesh. I'll never forget that Mexican kitchen I talked about in LA (in The White Album Post) where the kitchen staff had only two words in their vocabulary for me when I turned up for work and explained in crap Spanish that I was English - The Beatles. Hooligan. They grinned. That's the Brits isn't it. Off the scale creative or out of order repugnant.


So instead I'll pick up on the interesting chapters or is it chapter because sport isn't interesting, sport is a media/social object for (generally speaking) allowing men of questionable masculinity, the self confidence to talk to each other (often passionately) unhindered by accusations of homosexuality permeating the air. One only needs to observe the silence on Australian Football and tight fitting shorts, America's obsession with Canadian Ice Hockey and anal sex (or is that just right wing nut US obsession? Probably) , steroids and poppers for American Soccer and/or well hung African American (strange fruit hangs differently) basketball players. Did I just write that? Yes. But nobody will question it. Nobody ever does.


I digress. Where was I?


Oh yeah. Gladwell's Outliers, but not in the hung, drawn and quartered black American populace (see how I revived the last paragraph's ending) there's a chapter where Malc writes about Korean Air going through a bit of a rough patch. It's important for the cultural question that keeps on cropping up all round the world in the planning game because Korean Air's history was beginning at one point to be littered like a Lockerbie bomb's cadaver sprawl with aviation accidents and so the Korean Aviation authorities compelled the airline to do the unthinkable and contact the Federal Aviation authority to see what was the cause of the unmistakable trend for ditching Jumbo Jets in awkward circumstances.


Could it be a cultural issue? Fuck no. Culture is only ever a good thing. It's what we wrap out inner pride and outer flags around. It's worth going to war for and is never flawed. In short Culture is King. It's magnificent where ever one travels which is why when in Rome one makes praise for Prada. Nobody inside an entire country could point out that Korean air needed outsiders to investigate the insider issue because the Feds can only be invited in an emergency and not imposed on a nation. Which is why the US needs to listen right now to criticism of foreign policy because Hillary and even Obama are already spoiled persimmons. Capiche?


Could one culture be less perfect than another? This is the sort of dangerous question that can lead to justifiable accusations of racial bigotry or prejudice. The answer is in all cases. Sometimes.


The issue that led to a series of aviation disasters (it's always a disaster isn't it when an Afghan wedding isn't involved) was the power distance ratio mentioned earlier and which draws on Geerte Hofsteder's principle that different cultures have different hierarchical language constructs  for engaging with senior (or subordinate) ranks.


For example, in this instance the senior air pilots were unable to be addressed by the second in command pilots in a direct manner that would avert impending doom. Much like my argument with Hong Kong CID as I tried to convey they should get off their asses and talk to the cab driver sat outside with my suitcases in his cab. I could say what I like in that instance but my urgency wasn't their urgency so everyone got even more overtime.


The power distance ratio which varies from country to country meant that immediate danger could not be averted through direct language. Formality is a cultural protocol in Korea (and across Asia). This is where culture needs to be examined more closely as ressponsible  for and contributing towards less than satisfactory solutions.


Korean culture is (or was) structured in such a way that safety could not be maintained.


It's so funny it's not funny for those in the research influenced business but even the research findings  were so sensitive a subject to broach that the presenter to Korean Air was unable to say directly "Look it's our  culture that is the problem". That's a self referential joke of the highest order isn't it?


Eventually the problem was defined and the Federal Aviation Authority was brought in to culturally 'retrain' the pilots and crew to address each other in a manner that once implemented, saved their own lives. It's like a scene from Black Adder isn't it. With the men in the trenches jumping through hoops to point out the bleeding obvious to the donkeys leading the lions.


But it took the US to make the emphatic point that some cultures (as Morrissey might have sung) are bigger than others. And it's true they are. Though context is everything, like those Afghan weddings bombed by war drones can testify.


The conclusion?


Like I've said many a time (though even the observation is culturally biased), culture is a mile wide and an inch deep. If Pilots to cabin crew can retrain, then so can all of us. It's not insurmountable and it's because of this that while I'm endlessly fascinated by culture (I like to live outside of my own), I'm also deeply unhappy with an all too frequent dependancy by different nationalities to pull the culture card out as either a mark of superiority. Or an excuse to do less than is internationally up to standard. The future is here, it's just unevenly distributed.


As a last example of counter cultural exceptionalism I suggest Windows by Microsoft. My answer to the "we're different card" is that if the world is so diverse, then why is it that with different scripts and reading directions. Left to right, right to left and top to bottom that there is only one position for Start in Windows and one for minimise. The drop down menu is global. But if you focused grouped it there'd be pandemonium.


So culture is great, and culture is important, but it's also not necessarily essential that things need to be different given the extent of our commonalities. So few actually get that. 






Plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose)


Friday, 13 November 2009

Espresso



A few days back I noticed Grant McCracken tweeting a bit more than usual and took notice of his observations which are always top notch given he's one of the most authoritative (and through his blog) accessible anthropologists (Chief Culture Officer) on the planet. In a subsequent recent post that taps into the his latest idea  of the Culturematic, he talked about the train journey from Chicago to Detroit where he was doing the tweeting. It resonated on so many levels and so here goes in trying to explain.


Sad to say but I was a train spotter as a youth and although I enjoyed the linear and meticulous checking off train numbers (especially the diesel locomotives) I think it was the freedom of running around the UK with a legitimate reason and a bunch of friends who were into it as well. Even Slough Train station is slightly exotic to a 12 year old. I remember well the first air skirmish for the Falklands war was announced by one friend who in admirable news-trainspotting manner, was carrying a pocket radio with him.


I guess since then I've learned that flying is not so glamorous as people might believe. The last time I was living in Hong Kong a few years back I spent so much time in the air, mostly between Chek Lap Kok and Shanghai that I was eating airline food most of the time and didn't even know that the Island I'm now living on existed. I thought Hong Kong was all about the bustling metropolis when in fact, a lot of this wonderful island is well preserved from insatiable property developers and has delightful sleepy fishing villages that I talked about in my Sok Kwu Wan post. Here's some more pics.





Sleepy Hung Shin Ye Beach





Feet firmly on the ground at Pak Kok





Time on my side.





Sand, rock and sky.





Horizon where it should be.





Kit on the beach.





City in the distance.




Trekking pony at the ready.


Whichever way we wish to 'cut the data', it's a leisurely life that proceeds slower (we can't save time, only spend it) and I've long felt that train travel is a more civilised affair than the cattle prod bullying that takes place in the air. Of course some trips aren't possible without air flight, but if there is an alternative, the train is more human and humane.


I don't know about you but I'm not in a rush to be a pensioner. I've got all the time in the world.Is it an illusion of our times, that we need to achieve more and more, faster and faster. The present is being created and destroyed at the same time isn't it?


So do we need to be smarter instead of faster? Going slower saves time is a counter intuitive truism that the Kingdom of Thailand taught me. In Siam, rushing is seen as vulgar. Though I'm still a novice at keeping a relaxed pace. Because it takes awareness and discipline.


So you can delineate for yourselves the tension between slower train travel and the fastest 'regular' train service in the world where I suspect I may well have broken the land speed record for tweets (which is awesome and ironic) but I'll just leave that thought hanging as obscurity and ambiguity challenge us to think just that bit harder than certainty. Or so the 48 Laws of Power once informed me.


And so I break another law starting a sentence with and. Warren Buffet the arch investor of our time (who has mastered the art of folksy image yet ruthless investor) just recently plowed an awful lot of bread into 'America's future'. If you're not paying attention, then don't say you weren't warned. Here's a clip of what I was trying to convey last year at 204.43112224608285 Miles per Hour


And so slower, is slowly getting better. 


Believe.




Thursday, 12 November 2009

Robots Wanted

I was struck by this post from a young Singaporean Woman I met in Bangkok earlier this year. It coincides with Rob's post earlier today, and makes it easier for people back home to understand why local Singaporean marketing agencies (and many Asian comms agencies) have a reputation for cadaverous creativity....Impetus Marketing Group in this instance.





Video Petitioning



I can imagine seeing more of this kind of 'signable' video petitioning emerging. This example is for the Copenhagen (COP15) Summit in Copenhagen during December. It brings to life the traditional petition format which looks a bit tired when adding a name to the email listings we've seen over the years. 


However Adam and I are having one of our most extensive comment threads over here on the subject of climate change on an earlier post and in some ways it's a personal exchange that we tried to Skype but which we've take into the open here and still has a bit to run as we untangle fact, fiction, evidence, logic and sentiment. Either way, if you're not thinking about this crucial subject you're probably avoiding it and one thing is sure. It's unavoidable in the final review.


Via Jessica

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Sir John Hegarty & Chinese Advertising




I've had a soundbite about China since I last worked in Beijing. One that I hope reconciles the extremes while allowing for a Springboard away from the dull, middle of the road and bland marketing that practically every Chinese 'brand' takes refuge in (often at the encouragement of very influential advertising agencies leadership just chasing the dollar with little conviction for the effort needed to persuade clients about how to be interesting).


I've been saying that that China is both a couple of years old and a few thousand years old. It's a way of saying "look at the diversity of your contemporary culture". It's a unique one that is brand new and ancient at the same time. This is more than just words as you can feel it as well as see it. 


It's visceral.


I'm really pleased to see Sir John Hegarty of BBH articulate a lot of what I've seen over the years in mainland Chinese advertising from his recent speech at the China International Advertising Festival in Nanning on October 29th last month.


It's worth a read if you've anything to do with China and advertising. Here are the highlights:










You can read the full speech over at the IPA website here if you have membership.


NOKIA N900 - (Speed Is King)



This works on so many levels. Via Joshua Spear who still calls them virals (duh)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Bert & Ernie Update



I'm adding this to this. Happy Birthday Sesame Street.

Digital at the IPA (Tim Malbon - Made By Many)

 photo firehydrant_zpsbee3e30a.gif


I watched this some months ago and have been trying to remember where I saw it. Anyway, I've found the source and all I can say is that if you're beginning to grasp the real time nature of adaptive marketing as outlined over here, this is simply the best video to explain clearly how digital is best seen as a Jazz ensemble rather than an Orchestra. It's precisely why the old war nomenclature of tactics, campaigns and targets are increasingly irrelevant in advertising. 

Think about loving your customers up if they're not glued to main stream media all day long.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

David Hayes Vs Nikolai Valuev


Somebody needs to update Nikolai Valuev's Wikipedia entry. That wont be me though. I hope this video isn't removed by the time you get to see it. It's very panto.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Twitterfall

It's a bit good isn't it?



You can read (or listen) all about the Moral Maze program on Radio 4 over here. It was a good way to discover another real time application that surpassed the quality of the content being observed. Quite a few laughs and apparently a few of you were keeping an eye on the #moralmaze hashtag taking my Twitter follower account over 1200 although no doubt I'll say something and lose a few of those. It's all good.



Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Client's A Wanker




Brilliant new fresh blog called I AM THE CLIENT over here. Go check it out.

Adscam

I've had the pleasure of getting hammered with George Parker of the notorious Adscam one or two times in London and San Francisco and I can confirm he is full of piss and vinegar, although those less familiar with the legend would be surprised to learn that he was once a running fanatic and actually uncannily accurate over a number of important industry prediction issues on his blog which is mandatory reading over here.


Anyway, earlier today (OK so I'm up at 4am these days but I nap at 9am so it's all good) I got this DM from George on Twitter





..and I laughed....because  in no particular order: Now he's definitely out.




But not before coming back in again...








Then he's off again





Then back in





One last time??





Fuck Twitter, I need a drink.



Maoxian

How rude:





Clearly a man of refined taste:





Via Maoxian

The Naughties




Andy has just posted the graph above revealing the relationship between new technologies and the lag that subsequently catches up to play a reinforcing role for truth and transparency. As it's the Noughties we're living in I think he's picked up on some very tasty irony for this. It's a post I'm envious I hadn't thought of before and is well worth checking out over here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

X - Rated



One of the defining moments of British cultural insight was the death of Princess Diana. I"ve never forgiven you for devouring every bit of grubby news about her love affairs via the tabloids, only to do an about face turn at her funeral when the crowds finished baying for one of our cultural gladiators' blood only to toss flowers in the way of her funeral train and weep openly before a sea of suburbia clapped their way, meme-like into Westminster cathedral during her brother, Charles Spencer's historic j'accuse speech pointing the finger at the Royal family for their meanness of spirit and narrow minded ostracizing of a wife they had pre-selected for their son, the Prince of Wales.

Of course there's a lot more complexity than just a binary view of good and bad but even with all Diana (Princess of Wales) faults it was evident that despite her fondness for playing up to the cameras, promiscuity (is Harry really a Windsor?) and possible manipulation of public sentiment, the good shone through, and her championing of AIDS, love of her children and campaign against British arm dealers selling UK made land mines (hated by the establishment) were proof of that. 

It's for this reason I still like the Prince of Wales for his principled stand on architecture (one that Ayn Rand's Fountainhead chimes nicely with), his proposal for a multi faith head of religion (as opposed to just Church of England) and dedication towards sustainability. He may be a bit wacky but this pales into insignificance when compared with the British publics attempt to whitewash their own hypocrisy on sentimentality and the cause and effect thereof.

So what is it with the X factor? I listen each season to a large number of UK tweets in what apparently is a mix of obsession and loathing much like our former tragic heroine and yet I can't help but feel like some sort of digital ethnographer on the tail end of observation, viewing a murky world of consumer designed TV, shaped by a rolling narrative of the unexpected mixed with the salaciously expected. 

Its easy to be sniffy about popular culture and while very aware that I've long lost the ability to be able to force interest over the medium term in that which is considered entertainment for the majority of Brits I'm still confounded by the gusto for garbage.

But really.....some of the most clever people I know are up to their hips in the banal viewing and low end wading of trash culture which reminds me of the bread and circuses to keep the end of empire crowds from recognising the depth of problem solving required to address the pressing issues that surround us all. 


I get it. I don't like it. Do we get what we deserve? Probably.

My thanks to Ruby Pseudo for her post and the essence of Ros Bifs culture marketing that inspired my own.