Friday, 15 June 2012

Why PowerPoint is a modern creative's tool

So the other week I got my arm twisted into talking to the creative department about why they should use PowerPoint. A tough brief you might say. Indeed.However, I do think it's really important that creatives don't think their job ends with a badly spelt script or a scrappily drawn scamp. Nowadays, as a creative, you have so many more dimensions to play in. And they cant always be explained  on foamboard. Anyway, take a look...A PowerPoint Presentation on Presenting with PowerPoint
View more presentations from Eloise Smith

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Advertising agencies on Facebook

So ad agencies always witter on about Facebook, but it's amazing how few have a Facebook presence. Especially ones in the UK. Come on, Brits.

For a big network, Ogilvy's Facebook page is pretty impressive with over 12,000 likes. It's themed around 'create or else'  - they've got a twitter account too, called 'sell or else'.  And YouTube channel. And a reason to go there. Thumbs up.

Holler, a digital agency in Sydney have put their whole site on Facebook for a while, showcasing all their work.

In the UK, probably the best example is AKQA, with 7286 likes, plus 9513 followers on Twitter.

Still though, UK ad agencies are very absent on Facebook - I couldn't see BBH, Fallon, AMV, CHI...

Great list of  digital and advertising agencies on Facebook from Between 0 and 1.
And another from Mojave. I've collated them below and added some more:

The most popular Facebook page for an ad agency goes to:
Sid Lee with 13700 likes

Then it's a bit thin on the ground for non-networked advertising agencies...
Wieden & Kennedy has a group with 1034 likes
Wieden+Kennedy London 538 likes
They Inspire:  246 likes - Canadian integrated agency

Networked ad agencies
Ogilvy  - 12,869 likes and a YouTube channel
Leo Burnett 6562 likes
TBWA –  8223 likes
McCann Erickson NY 818 likes
BBDO: 493 likes

Networked interactive/digital Agencies
AKQA 7286 likes
Digitas 2471 likes
GSD&M Idea City  2000 likes
Organic 857 likes 
iCrossing - 462 likes on Facebook 318 likes
Euro RSCG 4D 119 likes

Interactive/ digital agencies: 
Razorfish:  4121 likes  
R/GA - 2959 likes
Modernista – 2451 likes
PJA: 311 likes 
14Four - 195 likes
Juxt  183 likes
Work Club 134 likes

Digital Production / digital design companies:
Big Spaceship 2615 likes
The Barbarian Group 1065 likes
Odopod - 158 likes

Monday, 9 February 2009

Free trials that don't harm a brand

'Free trial' can be a dirty phrase, but here's some examples that don't feel like brands buying your love.

1. Burger King's 'Sacrifice a Friend' promotion manages to do advocacy in an elegant way. You simply sacrifice a 10 friends for a free whopper.

2. Ricola's Mystery Cougher promotion gives a brilliant reason for trial and advocacy to total strangers. You just have to give a Ricola cough sweet to a mystery cougher to win up to a million dollars. Of course, you don't know who the mystery cougher is.

3. Get a free iTunes track with every Coke. Totally simple way to launch iTunes.

4. Outdoor outfitter Northland Professional gives away its gear on billboards. Hats, gloves and scarves have been attached to 50 billboards around Graz in Austria. OK, so it really is just a big cash splash, but still, it's appropriate to give away warm gear when you're outside in chilly Austria.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The best GPS phone apps

1. On Google Android, Wikitude shows you geo-tagged WIkipedia articles which appear in your camera viewfinder as you scan the horizon.

2. iNap is an iphone app which allows you to have a snooze on the bus then wakes you up when you reach your destination.

3. Sit or Squat - tells you the nearest public loos or urinals. A saviour for the iphone enabled and weak-bladdered.

4. Trapster - see and share police cameras and hiding police cars. On your iphone.

5. GoSkyWatch Planetarium - point the back of your iphone to the night sky, and it'll pinpoint clusters of stars. Like a mini observatory in your hand.

6. Google Earth - includes satellite views of the streets and buildings.

7. Vicinity
- finds local services on your iphone.

8. Weatherbug - tells you the weather where you are (though you could just look out the window).

9. Milebug - Basically a mileometer, beginning wherever you like.

Where's the UK's location-based social network?

In the US, there's Brightkite a location based social network so popular that its even launched an iphone app. So now smug iphoneites all over the States can let friends know their location at all times, post photos of themselves smugly drinking lattes in cool cafes, meet other iphoneites hanging out near cool cafes and explore more cool cafes.

However, there doesn't seem to be anything like this in the UK. Nokia's Friend Finder doesn't launch til later this year. Facebook has a couple of apps like InstaMapper, but it only has about 4,000 active users.

Meanwhile the Facebook app FriendGPS only has 1,000 users. Rather lonely friends then.
Nokia have also bought a location-based social networking service, Plazes, but dont seem to have done anything with it. Article here.

Maybe it's because the Brits value their privacy more, and recoil at the thought of that online acquaintance you vaguely know tracking you down when you pop out to buy milk. Maybe it's because they're not huge fans of stalkers. Or maybe they're just technologically slow.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The history of flash mob

The basic idea of the flash mob is this: Take a public situation. Stooges either break into song or dance, start pillow-fighting, freeze, finger gun-fight or walk like zombies. The public look suitably bemused and yet inspired by the spontaneous act of self-expression before realising everyone but them is in on the act. Everyone goes back to normal and the public's day is just ever so slightly improved.

It all started for me at a wedding a couple of years ago. Half way through the wedding breakfast, the waiting staff all broke into song. It turned out they were trained opera singers.

In 2006 a flash mob walked like zombies in San Francisco.

Followed by air guitar flash mobbing, where's waldo flash mobbing, silent dance flash mobbing. Even then advertisers were picking up on the craze, with a Singaporean phone company doing a clucking chicken flash mob.

2007 saw flash mobbing get even more imaginative, with finger gun fight flash mobbing, ninja flash mobbing and flash mob pillow-fighting.

The flash mob dance in particular has grown from kooky wedding act to novel way to control prisoners, to advertising fodder. Thriller seems to be the all time favourite dance to flash mob to.
Last week T-Mobile took over Liverpool St station with a flash mob which involved more actors than there were public in the station. It seemed like a case of throwing money at the problem, rather than creating a new twist to flash mobbing. The element of surprise in flash mobbing is key but sadly missing here.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Help! RFID tags stole my life.

RFID tags are becoming ubiquitous, creeping steadily into your passport, your credit card, your concert tickets, your car key, your oystercard, you supermarket loyalty card, your airport luggage tags, your toaster and maybe even your new-born baby. They're there timing your marathon, keeping check on who's nicking Mach 3 razorblades and in 'smart' fridges telling you when you've run out of peanut butter.

Here's my top ten particularly wierd uses:

1. On a leg of lamb to report on the last 24 hours of temperature readings, checking it's not been sitting out in the warm.
Surgically-implanted into a cat, meaning only your kitty comes in through your catflap. Found here.
3. Inside a golf ball, helping out rubbish golfers find their balls the world over.

4. On casino chips, helping casino owners analyse betting behaviour.
5. Implanted in your oesophegus to monitor reflux. Found here.
6. Implanted in your arm, as a bicep Oystercard which swipes you into VIP lounges and allows you to pay for your drinks. Happened at Barcelona club, Baja Beach Club.
7. On 'smart' loos, to turn off the water if they look like overflowing.
8. On corpses after Hurricane Katrina.
9. In pans, co-ordinating with a recipe card, so you don't burn your next fry-up.
10. On bee hives, to prevent honey lovers tea-leafing them.

Luckily you can get a personal RFID firewall to prevent some little tyke/ an MI5 agent from scanning your tags and discovering you're a secret Elton John fan, a heavy gambler with a propensity for stealing casino chips, still haven't returned that copy of Saramago's Blindness to Bow Road Ideas Store, are £2700 overdrawn, drive an Alfa 147, walked down aisle 14 three times before buying a packet of baked beans and a loaf of granary bread this afternoon, had 3 espresso martinis last night before taking the DLR back to Limehouse and you're in a wheelchair that's the property of Stepney Hospital.

So if you want to rid an RFID tag from your life, best way is to put it in the microwave for 5 seconds. Though it might also kill whatever it's attached to so best not do it to your kitty. Found