Archive for March, 2011
31st March 11
The promo for Dels’ “Trumpalump” looks at the space between fantasy and reality and very cleverly focuses on a line from the track, as the directors behind the promo explain it:
“Our process of generating ideas always starts with the lyrics. With Dels it helps massively that his lyrics create such vivid images, for example in Trumpalump we took inspiration from his line ‘do we dream in colour or black and white?’..” ….ooh, how very Inception.
It’s directed by us, AKA Christopher Barrett & Luke Taylor, double D&AD award winners, who also run their own multi-disciplinary graphic design and branding studio, alongside shooting promos and commercials with Academy Films.
You must watch the promo through to the end, as the more it goes on, the cleverer it gets. Shot on a shoestring, made possible by using mates (the twin girls are friends of Dels) and by doing everything in-camera…no possibility of an Inception-style post prod budget in the promo world these days! And that’s precisely what makes the piece so exciting and inventive. Out goes budget; in comes creativity.
If you like this, check out the Making Of too:
Mintsource is BBH’s internal initiative to provide BBH with an opportunity to seeing fresh, alternative and up and coming talent. A kind of director’s showcase for the ‘unusual suspects’ in the film directing and animation world.
30th March 11
Posted in Shorty awards
29th March 11
Author: Adam Arnold, Partner, BBH
Today sees the launch of The Black Sheep Fund – which we believe is the first venture capital fund of its kind. It is a venture between Zag (BBH’s brand invention business) and Spark Ventures – the London based VCs that backed start up phenomena including lastminute.com, Kobalt Music, notonthehighstreet.com and Moshi Monsters.
The background is increasingly obvious: There is a dearth of seed funds for start ups. If things feel tighter than they used to be in the States – then it is ten times harder to raise money in Europe right now. The banks demand personal guarantees for business loans (!), and institutions are incredibly risk averse. If you are proven entrepreneur with a string of successful exits under your belt, then you will get by. But if you are young, hungry and full of belief in your big idea – you might well get nowhere. The thing we spotted was that the next big digital business is just as likely to come from new entrepreneurs – and that is why we set up this fund.
The premise is simple: We offer a unique cocktail of business building and brand building in one investment package. All VC’s invest cash and sit on boards. Our fund will do this plus it will help to ensure the business captures the imaginations and loyalties of consumers too. We call it ‘creative capital’. We aim to invest this creative capital in businesses that intersect consumers, technology and content. Examples would include smart new social tools, disruptive e-retailing concepts or contagious GPS games. The portfolio will be broad so long as the role of the brand is business critical. The Fund was announced today in the Financial Times, and we already have our foundation funds in place. Over the next quarter we will be meeting prospective start ups and raising the rest of the fund – targeting £10m GBP.
The invitation is open: If you or anyone you know is currently sitting on a great start up idea that they plan to take to market – then do consider the Black Sheep Fund on your short list of VC’s. We are primarily a UK based fund, but we are idea led – and a good enough idea with the right management could be invested in overseas. And, if you are an angel, with a growing desire to re-enter or join in the start up scene, then do get in touch for more information. The fund will qualify as an Enterprise Incentive Scheme (EIS) – which the UK government made increasingly attractive in the Budget last week.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on the Black Sheep Fund, BBH and Spark Ventures:
19th March 11
Posted in Uncategorized
In Austin on Monday I was on a panel named in apt, Southwestern fashion “The Last of the Launch and Leave ‘Ems”, hosted by Made by Many’s Anjali Ramachandran, with Conrad Lisco from RGA New York and Peter Parkes from Skype.
Our task was to dig into “the ongoing shift in advertising and marketing from one-way campaigns to more valuable and meaningful communities and platforms.. and examine what that means for agencies and clients”. Check out Anjali’s post here or the #mxmlaunch stream on Twitter which rather excellently negates any need for a post-panel blog… such is the quality of the commentary.
With that in mind, this post is just to share, as promised, some super simple slides I talked around during the course of the panel.. And, much more importantly, to thank my co-panelists Peter, Conrad and Anjali and in particular everyone who came to see, question, support and generally contribute to a feisty debate. We had fun.
See y’all next year.
18th March 11
Posted in sxsw
I’ll admit to being a little bit cynical (or ungracious, depending on how you want to look at it) at the prospect of SXSWi 2011. I’d been a couple of times before and, at my age, things are never as good as they used to be. But despite the poor quality of many of the panel sessions (too much reading, not enough arguing!), the corporate branding of most of downtown Austin and the overcrowding (attendance up 36% since last year) I came back from Texas feeling refreshed, inspired and engaged, for one simple reason;
SXSW reminded me how much I enjoy the company of geeks. Simply, for five days in spring Austin is the gathering point for geeks of all kind – app geeks, marketing geeks, book geeks, geolocation geeks, social media geeks – they’re all there, all involved and all itching to share their latest project, idea or thinking. Because, while there might be four group messaging apps and another four check-in services competing for attention everyone goes to ‘SouthBy’ because they are enthusiastic and because they want to participate in the new. SXSW is a live, real-time collaboration and all the better for it.
Personal highlights of five days in Austin include; plenty of instagram action; meeting ‘Cyborg Anthropologist’ Amber Case and learning about geoloqi; Bruce Sterling‘s angry State of the Union address, discovering some interfaces for geotemporal visualization and meeting my neighbour from Second Life in ‘meatspace’ for the first time since we met ‘inworld’ in 2007.
Plenty of other fine people have written up their own SXSW experiences; for a planning perspective @patsmc‘s take is here while @malbonster is on typically enthusiastic form here. Ogilvy generously sponsored the creation of visual notes of many of the sessions which can be downloaded from here and for a more flavourful impression of the SXSWi scene there is the obligatory Overheard at SXSWi tumblr.
So, if you like hanging out with geeks, Austin in March is the place to be (and it was great to meet so many good folk there). See you there in 2012.
4th March 11
Author: Alice Bullimore (@alicebmore), Producer, BBH London
Poor 3D. It’s been around forever yet we still don’t seem to be able to make up our minds on whether it’s any good or not.
It’s exactly one year since we partnered with Burberry to stream their show live in 3D to 5 VIP locations. Everyone was excited about Avatar. We wanted to give the fashion elite from Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, Los Angeles and New York a real-time experience of the show that trumped watching a standard webstream at your desk. It was the first ever global live simulcast in 3D.
However I doubt Roger Ebert would have bothered.
He argued recently that our brains just can’t handle 3D visuals and it gives us all a headache. ”It doesn’t work with our brains and it never will” he categorically states. He quotes a letter from Walter Murch who argues a fundamental convergence/focus issue when watching 3D that “requires us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before.” As far as Mr Ebert is concerned, that’s it. “3D doesn’t work and never will. Case closed.”
Except with 508 comments on his post and counting, it seems the case is not completely closed for the rest of us.
Now, these guys are clearly dons. Ebert is a Pulitzer prize winning film critic who’s written for the Sun Times forever and Murch, an award winning editor and sound designer who won an Oscar for his sound editing on Apocalypse Now and the English Patient.
But is it that black and white?
Does it have to be 2D versus 3D?
The main points leveled against 3D in this debate are worth digging a little deeper on.
1. 3D doesn’t work with our brains and gives us headaches
Look, I feel sorry for the dudes who get headaches, but that’s clearly not the case for everyone. Personally, Avatar and Tron at the IMAX were extraordinary to watch. Full feature length viewing, completely headache free. Sure, these films won’t win Oscars for their plots, but for the pure visual epic-ness of it all, they were stunning.
2. 3D doesn’t enhance the emotional experience of watching a film
Sure, there are films which have no reason to be in 3D. But studios are hard wired to make money and making a film like Yogi in 3D might just make the difference between box office success and failure. When watching Tron at the IMAX, billed as a 3D film, a lot of the scenes were actually in 2D. The 3D was used where it could create most impact. Similarly, for the VIP guests watching the Burberry show, the format suited the content. A long catwalk with models striding out towards you and the shortness of a show made it an ideal 3D viewing experience. 3D can still work well, when used well. The detractors seem to be in denial that there is emotional impact in the sheer wow factor of a great 3D experience.
3. Is 3D here to stay or is it today’s betamax?
Dramatic falls in DVD sales will require Hollywood and TV manufacturers to push whatever the next difficult-to-pirate camera technique is. Other than Cameron, few of the top Hollywood directors have gone for it though. 3D’s real home might be end up in gaming. I can’t wait to see the Nintendo 3DS (which looks amazing – you can even turn it ‘up’ from 2D to 3D just like turning up the volume).
Bring on the future I say.
Bring on different types of visual and sonic exploration.
Why not explore all the ways we can use the senses to give a heightened viewing experience (what did happen to smell-o-vision?). There may be some betamaxes along the way, but going to see a 3D film is still a special shared experience.
For a start, we get to laugh at each other looking goofy in the glasses (for the time being at least)…
1st March 11
So in 10 days we’ll be relocating the BBH Labs experience to Austin, Tx for the annual geek jamboree that is the South by SouthWest Interactive festival. I last attended three years ago, when I was an earnest book publisher and before advertising folk had descended in force and totally harshed the vibe, man.
This year I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of likeminds and seeing where, if anywhere, the paradigm has shifted and intend to follow @katylindemann‘s guidance of not going to see anything I already know anything about already, which makes for a pretty packed itinerary.
Given that the web based scheduler is, imho, ‘not very fun to use’ it might be that twitter or sitby.us prove to be more useful discovery tools for the good stuff, providing of course that wifi and/or 3G are in operation. We’ve hacked together a rough list (with agile development and rapid iterations built in!) using the web interface, the recently launched official app, an old fashioned contacts book (yes, friends and family are represented at SXSW) and have uploaded it to sitby.us where you can find it here.
Ping us if we’ve missed anything vital, if you want to hang out and, most importantly, to let me know where I should go for breakfast tacos now that Las Manitas has closed down!
See you there.