Griffin Farley

Propagation Planning Director at BBH NY & Zag.

Global Internet Trends of 2012

Photo: Mary Meeker, KPCB

KPCB Internet Trends 2012

We at BBH Labs are big fans of Mary Meeker. Every year we like to republish her Internet Trends and this year is no exception. The report has changed throughout the years but the insight gets richer and more useful as time goes on. The report is just under 90 slides so for you slackers that don’t want to read the whole thing we have pulled out the information that we found most interesting for your data snacking pleasure:

  • USA has the highest internet penetration with 78%, but that still means 22% of the population is not online
  • In the US and UK, almost half of mobile subscribers are using smart phones at 48% and 45% respectively
  • An impressive 29% of US adults own a tablet or eReader, up from 2% three years ago
  • 48% of American kids want an iPad for Christmas this year, 36% want an iPad Mini

This year we wanted to highlight a few trends and view them through the lens of Advertising. Ask a few thought provoking questions and put our own spin on some. A few of these things are good for our industry and other things will be more challenging.

  • In India, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage. Mary Meeker’s team believes many countries will follow. As an industry we can acknowledge that desktop banner ads present a challenge to do great creative but when your space is limited to the size of mobile banner ads it becomes even more challenging.
  • They see a movement from asset-heavy to asset-light lifestyles in space, time and money. As an industry this means that less products are being purchased but it should increase the quality of products brought to market. When the product is good, the advertising is even better.
  • The average person spends 52 minutes per day in the car. As an industry we have relied on radio to reach this audience but as cars evolve in technology with touch screens, mobile and GPS navigation are we innovating to be be creative with this time and space? This medium seems ripe for innovation.
  • The average person spends 3 hours per day in front of the television. As an industry we know that second screen adoption is growing at a tremendous rate, ad skipping is at an all time high, how do we change trends in advertising to combat other distractions to the ads we spend a majority of our time on?

Internet Trends of 2012

Every year we like to cover the Internet Trends and Stats presentation that Mary Meeker & Liang Wu from KPCB compile. It’s always great and this is no exception. These were some of the stats that we found interesting:

  • The global internet had 8% growth mostly from emerging markets
  • 29% of USA adults have a tablet or eReader
  • The average eCPM for desktop internet is $3.50 and $0.75 for mobile
  • Mobile surpassed Land Lines in 2002
  • Internet advertising revenue surpassed newspaper advertising revenue in 2010

The report wraps up with a look at the U.S. Economic situation, which comes across as slightly more political than we have seen in the past.

KPCB Internet Trends 2012

The Planner / Creative relationship: how does it work for you?

Authors: Fran Hazeldine, Strategy Director and Pelle Sjoenell, Executive Creative Director at BBH LA

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In a couple of weeks time we’ll be speaking at the annual Planningness conference, which is coming to LA for the first time this year.

We were originally asked to talk about how we work as a planner / creative duo at BBH LA. But rather than share a single, narrow perspective, we thought it might be interesting to take a broader look at the planner / creative relationship today.

What do planners and creatives really value in one another? How can they best work together in a modern agency setup? Do similar or opposite styles attract? Does gender, nationality or experience make a difference? Has digital changed the relationship? Is it still a two-way dynamic or are planning and creative duties shared between more diverse teams?

We’re hoping to answer some of these questions by asking planners and creatives from a variety of agency backgrounds to fill out a short survey. If you work in either role at any level, we’d love to get your input. Results will be shared here on the Labs blog and in our Planningness talk on May 18th.

The aim is to gather some honest, practical learning about the planner / creative relationship, how it is changing and what we can do to improve it. Next up, the new business / finance relationship…

You can find the results of the survey and our follow up post here.

Brands + Gossip: What Could Go Wrong?

Brands like people talking about them in a positive way. Brands love when fans adore them and signify that their life is better because Brand X is in it. This is the Pleasantville of marketing. Reality isn’t so generous. Sometimes the product doesn’t live up to the brand and sometimes the brand doesn’t live up to the product.

Questions, speculations, myth and fan expectations can turn a product and/or brand into consumer gossip. Apple announced the launch of the iPhone 4S, still a kick-ass phone but not the iPhone 5 we were all hoping for. What does the ‘33’ stand for on the Rolling Rock bottle? Why are AT&T cell phone signals so bad in New York and San Francisco?

Photo Source:

We spoke with our good friend Nick Denton, self-proclaimed Gossip Merchant at Gawker.  We asked Nick how can brands navigate the gossip about them and how Gawker can help them. He brought up three really good points that changed how we view things over here at BBH Labs:

1) Are we listening to the right crazies?
We let people with more time on their hands be more influential. Nick wants this to change. He doesn’t think time is a true metric of influence. He wants to emphasize those that are actually interesting in what they comment about. Why can’t brands do the same?

2) Create a safe space for conversations
Earlier this year BBH Labs wrote a post about Social Flings and this particular tactic falls into that camp. Brands need places where they can answer honestly and openly without general fear of attack. Perhaps AT&T invites an Engineer to explain the cell phone signal issues in New York and San Francisco? Lean into the controversy and squelch it. Gawker network wants to be that safe place for brands with a new offering launching sometime next year.

3) Brands need to be interesting as well
Brands (or brand hired celebrities) can join the conversation online and be a peer. Brands have a point of view on the world beyond their primary business. One example we like to use is, ‘If Red Bull the brand left a review on a skateboard that was being sold on Amazon we would find that review credible.’ If brands appeared in these spaces it could change consumer perception in a very interesting and unboring way.

What do you think of these points? Are we missing anything? Can we look at brand gossip in a new way?

Can a simple cotton t-shirt really be worth $300,000?

Short answer: you bet. In fact, $300,000 is a downright steal for a t-shirt when you consider we’re sending every cent of the purchase to some very needy kids (via the U.S. fund for UNICEF) in the Horn of Africa.

For our latest effort, in a proud history of humanitarian efforts, BBH New York and UNICEF have teamed up with Threadless and NYC artist collective Christine and Justin Gignac to launch Good Shirts: a clothing line priced to help.

Each Good Shirt is sold at the exact cost of the aid item depicted on the front of the shirt. So, in the case of the cargo plane, the shirt is the exact price of a cargo plane to transport aid – $300,000. Don’t worry: not every gesture need be this grand, we’ve got shirts for every budget, starting at $18.57- the cost of three insecticide treated mosquito nets.

Many thanks go out to our distribution partners at Threadless who went above and beyond to make this project a reality. They rallied behind the idea like most good partners tend to do; even going so far as to alter their website’s back-end code to allow for our unique pricing structure (which in code land is a seriously big deal).

The landing page: went live today. Please check it out and just maybe purchase a shirt to help the children in the Horn of Africa.

Oh, and for the art directors reading this, the pictures can be found here:

We are excited to launch this new product with the UNICEF U.S. Fund. This is one of many ideas that agencies around the world are doing (see the 50/50 project for other projects). Tell us which projects you are most excited about?

500 Startups NYC Demo Day

Photo taken by Griffin Farley

The BBH Labs team had a chance to attend Dave McClure’s 500 Startups NYC Demo at General Assembly this week. Dave is a Super Angel who has invested in startups like and Twilio. The room was packed with enthusiastic entrepreneurs, inventors, geeks, developers, cooks, fashion hounds, drunks, Bloggers and investors waiting to get a glimpse into the freshly born companies.

During the course of the evening we learned some new lingo that 500 Startups seems to use for all ventures:

Advisory Round – All the startups had an advisory round of funding. These rounds were typically under $150k

Double Down – This is a focus on a target audience, occasion or time of year when the startup will win

Angelist – The website that houses all startups and makes it easy for angel investors to get information on founders and concepts

Cobra High-Five – A celebratory hand gesture between two people simultaneously that mixes a normal high-five and moving your arm and hand in cobra-like motion

Every idea was impressive in its own right. At BBH Labs we tend to like ideas that fix fundamental human problems in innovate ways. Venture Beat did a great write up on all the ideas but here are a few that we would like to highlight:

DailyAisle: Reinvent the wedding planning process

The DailyAisle is the Kayak of wedding planning. You can search for venues, photographers, DJ’s for a wedding by budget, dates and the like. Daily Aisle takes a 10 percent reservation fee for each wedding venue booked through the site. They currently only serve the San Francisco area but we expect to see them in towns across the States soon.

Ovia: Reinvent the interview process

Ovia is an online video interviewing service. Job candidates record un-rehearsed answers to questions using their webcam and then ship the video over to a human resources provider. The candidates are all asked the same questions in the same manner. Recruiters can then watch and evaluate candidate responses. OVIA Presentation

Skipola: Reinvent the restaurant phone order

Skipola is a service that calls a restaurant for you when you want to order something. Less than 10% of restaurants have online ordering. Restaurants can also use the iPad app to retrieve the orders in a “ticket” like manner. Skipola Presentation

StoryTree: Reinvent the family bible

StoryTree is an online site that keeps track of a family’s significant moments — like a baby’s first steps or the death of a loved one. You record videos and add photos to build out a “tree.” Social Networks are in the moment and StoryTree makes the moment last. Storytree Presentation

Which of these startups do you like most? What other startups are you following? We want to hear from you.

BDW Making Digital Work 4

Whenever Boulder Digital Works puts on an event they attract some of the best talent in the industry. The event is in Boulder, Colorado April 28-29 and you can click here to register.

Below are some notes from the last BDW Event in New York which should give you a taste of what you might see in Colorado.

The Education of Staff and Clients
Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen described how he got his agency and clients migrating over to social media platforms like Twitter. Before the “Trash Talk from Section Twitter” Mullen had around ten people on Twitter and a handful of clients using the platform. After inviting all their staff and clients to participate, Mullen surged to 350+ people on Twitter and half their clients using the platform. These clients now see Mullen as an expert in the space because they showed them how to use the platform.

The Importance of Partnerships
The trend in agency innovation is to increase dependence on partnerships. Agencies like Victors and Spoils and Co: depend on this model to survive but they also describe how one agency cannot be geographically everywhere to take advantage of all the available talent. This philosophy describes a completely different agency landscape where cooperation creates greatness.

Creative Technologists are the new Rock Stars
A number of speakers talked about Creative Technologists but Scott Pringle and Chloe Glottlieb really nailed the role in their presentations. Chloe talked about a book called ‘Program or be Programmed’ which seems to be the story of the day. Scott shared the importance of playing with technology, sharing that with creative teams and then combining that thinking to meet a client objective.

Speed of Thought
Tim Malbon of Made by Many shared the importance of agility and speed to get things to market and work with your users to refine. We love Tim’s approach to ideation through “sketch sessions” where people sit for an hour and sketch out ideas and then talk about the ideas with the team.

What do you think?

What’s the best way to educate clients on Social Media?

How important are partnerships in your agency?

Should Creative Technologists be the only people that know how to code?

The Wisdom in Community Management

Source: Scoobay on Flickr

“In recent years organizations have raced to connect with fans and customers in new ways via social media.

Yet, the results have been mixed. Many organizations are struggling to start up communities, while others that have a community aren’t sure what to say or do with them. Meanwhile, a few companies are racing ahead to very productive collaborations yielding new offerings, better service and more sales.


Can brands shift from co-presenting to co-viewing?

For those who don’t live in the UK or haven’t heard of it, Skins is a scripted show that promises a real depiction of Teen lives including the drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. This was a very popular show with Millenials 18-24 in the U.K. and appears to be just as popular here in the States. I’ve been fascinated by the advertisers who are scrambling to remove themselves from the MTV version of Skins due to the lack of ‘brand fit’ and backlash from Parent groups.

These Parent groups are calling the advertisers who are running ads in Skins sponsors, or co-presenters of ‘filth’. Let’s be honest, very few brands have values that would align with the values of the show. It’s easy for marketers to make a case not to place an ad in programming like this, even when the eyeballs are there.


The State of the Web 2010

Every year Mary Meeker from Morgan Stanley amazes us with her State of the Web presentation, and this year is no exception. The presentation is immensely valuable to our profession because it highlights shifts in internet culture and identifies opportunities for businesses and marketers alike.

The most provoking part of the presentation is the Disruptive Innovation slide. PSFK had a great blurb on describing the importance of this theory:

Disruptive Innovation is what’s to blame for the success of smaller, nimbler but sometimes cheaper products or services that manage to disrupt the success or complacency of larger, traditional brand players. Think of Amazon’s continued growth and eventual ‘breaking’ of Barnes & Noble, or Netflix’s killing of Blockbuster. Meeker’s presentation lays out two ways in which this disruptive innovation can happen

The two ways that Disruptive Innovation can happen. The first is a Low-End Segment Strategy by offering a product or service at a very low cost and then move up market. The second is called a Non-Consumption Strategy which basically means true innovation where consumption didn’t exist prior to the product being available.

We have the presentation embedded here for your enjoyment. Please tell us what you found interesting? What worries you about this data? What excites you about this data?