Archive for July, 2011
20th July 11
Posted in Friendship
The launch of Google+ brings once again the opportunity/chore to categorise our real world and digital relationships into some sort of meaningful schema. It’s the social media equivalent of copying out names and numbers into a new address book (remember those?) and analysing the probability of ever needing that contact again.
Is the person I spent a night with drinking at a conference and discussing our children a friend, an acquaintance or a co-delegate? Where do colleagues fit in on my relationship map? And what about the person who I’ve never met in ‘meat-space’ but correspond with regularly in conversation on twitter/flickr/facebook? Do I need to worry about circling someone as a ‘Social Media Maven’ rather than a ‘person who does cool stuff? (Answer: Yes)
“Create around one at least a small circle where matters are arranged as one wants them to be.” – Anna Freud
It will always be hard to put people into broad categories because, well, we’re all special and unique flowers, man. But questioning the nature of online friendship is an exercise worth revisiting every now and again. As the lines between online and offline blur we’re going to need to find new ‘friendrank’ algorithms. So, while code can reveal to us who we communicate with most often, it can’t tell us who we care for. Right now I’m categorising ‘friends’ as people I am genuinely pleased for if something good happens to them and ‘acquaintances’ as those whose news I am merely interested in.
This is as far as I’ve got with my Circle Schema and is subject to change – I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments below.
20th July 11
Posted in interactive
Author: Priyanka Kanse, Strategist, BBH London
If you are under 11 you might be aware that Fruit Shoot launched something very cool last week. If you’re not, here is the story of Champion of the Playground:http://www.vimeo.com/26663730
The work we’ve been doing with skills for the last couple of years meant that the Fruit Shoot brand was in good health, but this wasn’t transferring to success at the checkout: our core target audience (8-10 year olds) were turned off by the younger kids coming into the brand and didn’t want to be seen drinking the product.
Our solution wasn’t a big ad campaign, but a branded gaming platform which merges the virtual world with the real world and recognises the importance of competition and challenge for 8-11 year olds.
One of the very first pieces of paper that the creative team wrote were the principles of Champion of the Playground (below). It’s really nice to sit down at the end of phase 1 and think that the site is still true those original principles.
What we’ve learnt
Much of the commentary about participation platforms seems like common sense, but how the hell do I implement it? We’re learning all the time and there is so much we could say about this project, but these are some of our most interesting findings:
Measure every decision you make against what your user will find compelling. I’m not always a massive fan of research for traditional advertising, but for Champion of the Playground it was essential. One, we’re not 9-year-olds and two, the project lives or dies by its ability to engage.
The first response by kids to the initial ideas was ‘but how do you stop other people from cheating?’, which meant without unique codes that encrypted the Skills Kit scores, the idea would be fundamentally undermined. We were told that we’d have to wait over a year to get kit with codes, which didn’t really fit with our delivery date, but our Creative Technology wizards worked directly with suppliers to program boards and test prototype equipment.
I also now have a favourite ever research moment: In user-testing with a site prototype one of the kids was asked if they would play the game. His response? “Yeah, but they have to advertise it on TV so I know about it” – so well trained!
Picking the right battles:
Not that we had lots of fights, but it’s really hard to pick what to invest development time, brainpower and cash into when all the features look so darn good. And sometimes the most important details are the ones that you can’t see. We bought a games designer in to fix the games and reward logic so that the game felt fair. Just writing that sentence makes it sound simple, but it’s such a delicate balance to achieve and so crucial to the playability.
For us, Champion of the Playground is a great example of how a brief doesn’t have to be answered by traditional advertising solutions. Why do we expect our audience to spend time with us if we’re not entertaining? By creating a game which is inextricably tied up with kids’ personal progress, we are giving them something that they genuinely want to participate in.
When you create an idea that isn’t a campaign, you naturally earn the right to exist for a longer time and in different formats. The initial response to Champion of the Playground from kids has been enthusiastic, which means that we get to keep creating and keep evolving. So keep an eye on FruitShoot.com, because we have some exciting things planned.
Credits (names in bold might as well get COTP tattoos, such has been their dedication to the cause)
Clients: Nadia Moussa & Debbie Eddy
Creative team: Simon Pearse & Emmanuel Saint M’Leux
Creative directors: Rosie Bardales, Jeremy Ettinghausen
Digital producer: Susan Liu
Technical director: Jim Hunt
Head of Creative Technology: Jon Andrews
User Experience: Ricky Faria
Account team: Ngaio Pardon, Alex Monger, Anna Halliday
Strategist: Priyanka Kanse
Strategic Business Lead: Nina Rahmatallah
Production Company: Unit 9
Game consultant: James Sheahan, Metagames [http://metagames.co.uk/]
Below the line agency: The Marketing Store
5th July 11
An edited version of this post was originally published for Fast Company here.
I suspect 2011’s festival may be looked back upon as the year advertising and technology agreed to meet in Cannes and get married on the beach. Sure, previous years have seen tech co attendance (Yahoo! are regulars to the festival) but this year the commitment to one another was unprecedented, visible and visceral.
Unquestionably, the two industries have much still to work out about each other. Nonetheless, the re-branding of that bastion of old school ad cool, Cannes Lions, as a ‘festival of creativity’ this year signalled a broadening mindset. And Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson, took a big step towards agencies, speaking compellingly about Facebook as a “platform for creativity” and the company’s desire to “stay small and empower agencies.” On the very same day, Eric Schmidt was on stage declaring that “hell has frozen over..we would never have thought there was value [in a Super Bowl ad].. We strongly believe advertising has value.” Importantly, the brand also picked up a pride of Cannes Lions this year, thus proving again that the appreciation flows two ways.
This shared acceptance spilled out beyond the seminar speeches and awards. Having done some early reconnaissance at last year’s Cannes, Google’s Tom Uglow came to the conclusion that “people want decent wifi and fairy lights”. A year later, surveying an array of geeks and ad types happily mingling on the beach at Google’s Creative Sandbox, it’s hard not to agree. The generosity inherent in designing a space like this (masterminded with great care by Google’s Head of Events, Amy Brown) for all comers is laudable, but more than this, the approach said loud and clear that the company values its relationship with the creative community and has something to show them about giving back; about being open, versus closed.
The ubiquitous bottles of Rose lined up on tables along the Croisette may be delightful, but finding uniquely useful, entertaining ways to enhance each other’s experience is a lot more fun and well, different. As John Hegarty’s speech on Friday spelt out, as humans we’re hard-wired to respond to difference (technical term is dishabituation, apparently): in short, “difference wakes us up”.
At Cannes this year, advertising and technology finally woke up to one another, properly and in public. I’m looking forward to 2012.
Google are a client of BBH.
1st July 11
Last Friday in Cannes, BBH’s own Sir John Hegarty gave the following speech co-authored with co-founder Nigel Bogle (Nigel was unfortunately unable to join him due to illness).
The premise of their speech is powerfully simple: growth needs space. Space needs difference.
Of course we could simply have put the video of Sir John’s speech here on the blog, alongside the slideshare. However, as @jeremyet puts it: ‘given the opportunity to celebrate the power of difference, we wondered whether we could develop something fast that would give the viewer of the filmed speech a different and enhanced experience. Cue vidazzl, which brings to life relevant keyword searches from across the web as you watch the speech.
We’re planning on making this a platform where anyone can upload a speech and display it in a, well, vidazzled version, but for now you can view Sir John’s speech from the Cannes Festival here and, of course, let us know your thoughts on the talk, on the presentation and on the difference.’
Gabor (Creative Technologist) adds a note on the choice of technology and the time frame:
Jeremy Ettinghausen – Creative Director
Gabor Szalatnyai – Creative Technologist
Nick Fell – Strategist
Felipe Guimaraes – Art Director
Lambros Charalambous – Copywriter
Adam Oppenheimer – Art Director
Joe Oppenheimer – Copywriter
Eric Chia – Head of Digital Design, Addictive Pixel
Keith Bone – Digital Designer, Addictive Pixel
Romy Miller – Team Director