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  • Internet Trends 2010, by Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker

    9th June 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in data, interactive, mobile

    The thing we like most about Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends presentation is it’s just packed with data. The charts are sometimes *too* intense, in fact, carrying too much data. But it’s always revealing, and usually inspiring. Because it’s fact, not fiction.

    Slide 7 is especially impactful. I was born on the left hand side of the chart, probably around when there were 5 million computing-capable units globally. On the right, just ten years from today, the forecast is for 10 billion+ units. Extraordinary.

    View more presentations from CM Summit: Marketing in Real Time.
  • Lessons We’ve Learned About Engaging Crowds – The Betacup Project

    9th June 10

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in Uncategorized


    As many of you know, I’m involved with a mass collaboration effort (more on collaboration vs. crowd sourcing here) to rethink the portable / disposable coffee drinking experience. You see, the vast majority of to-go coffee cups aren’t recyclable, and it turns out we really like our coffee. Tens of billions of energy-inefficient cups end up in landfills every year. This post isn’t about the issue, but if you’re interested, please visit thebetacup.com (there’s still time to vote, rate, and improve upon on the ideas submitted, which is critical to identifying a solution).

    This post is about 3 key lessons I’ve learned regarding the engagement of crowds over the course of this process.

    1. Money is … well, money.

    Money is a wonderful incentive. We heard from a number of people solely motivated by cash. It broadened the audience beyond the group that would have turned up only for the purpose of environmental altruism. However, when money’s at stake, the group is broader, but less collaborative. Some people would accuse others of stealing their ideas; others would respond within minutes to a new idea posted claiming it was too similar to something they’d submitted. I’ve been a part of a number of efforts like this now and money has always been a core incentive. But tying it to a cause illustrated how it can actually work against collaboration on occasion. Specifically, it undermined the bucket brigade reward system we hoped would occur through our community management.

    I’m not saying money always has a negative impact, but understanding its limitations is critical in retrospect. It was great for the first part of the process (number of ideas, effort put into submissions, pass-along), but it was potentially detrimental to the second half (refining unpopular but high potential ideas, collaboration across related ideas, gaming of the system).

    2. Employ a boring governing body.

    Our friend @faris has regularly made the comment that crowds aren’t inherently wise regardless of book titles that have infiltrated innovations culture, which I couldn’t agree with more. In fact, as someone who has tried to wrangle a crowd on multiple occasions, I’ve always assumed there was a dangerous herd mentality I had to police against. In the case of Betacup, I was determined to not let the crowd’s opinion keep me from reading every single submission as a jury member. However, the crowd actually did an incredible job bubbling up the best / freshest / most effective ideas. Startlingly so, in fact. However, the few times I deviated in opinion from the crowd’s most influential members were on ideas that were, well, boring.

    Crowds tend to collectively take a “wow me” approach (explains the current state of news media, no?). That works really well at encouraging new types of thought on an ongoing issue like this one, but it actually does some ideas a disservice. Some simple, boring ideas were actually very madthumbs effective at solving parts of this complex issue (for example, a collection bin shaped like a tube to reduce the probability that other junk or recyclables would be placed in it). Yet these boring ideas were ignored, generating few views, comments, or ratings. My lesson here was of the importance of bringing in a governing group that has a bias of their own, in the other direction. People who value simplicity and boring effectiveness. That combination can yield powerful results to solve problems.

    3. Don’t prescribe formats.

    We made a bold choice when deciding what form Betacup submissions should take: any. It was why the highly flexible and open Jovoto platform worked beautifully for the type of problem-solving we needed. The coffee cup issue sounds like a design one on the surface: invent a design that’s recyclable but still fits in a cup holder, is cheap, can handle heat, and feels natural on the lips. But it’s actually quite layered. This problem is as much about human behavior and access to manufacturing and disposal resources as it is about engineering. By opening up the submission format, Betacup became accessible to people of all disciplines. When the problem is as ubiquitous yet unknown as disposable cups, it’s critical we have experts from diverse fields weigh in. Without it, we wouldn’t have had any intersectional innovation, and this problem demands it.

    What’s impressive about crowds when they’re given opportunities like this is that individuals don’t introduce themselves as engineers, or designers, or marketers. They just solve a problem. And when you look at what they accomplished, you know different disciplines had to be involved, but the lines are too blurry to see where or how.

    As I look back on the submission and collaboration process, I think we got a lot of things right, and certainly some things wrong. The lessons above were the most valuable for me as someone interested in such things. They may apply to a very specific collaboration environment: problem solving & innovation (not necessarily design or creative services), but they’ve changed the way I think about crowds. Now I just hope the 300+ ideas change the way we collectively think about our coffee habits.

    thebetacup: 60 Seconds To Save The World from the betacup on Vimeo.


    To see, rate and comment on the submissions, visit the contest page. To follow our journey toward a solution, follow @thebetacup.

  • How the CIA define problems & plan solutions: The Phoenix Checklist

    1st June 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in awesomeness, process


    In a recent BBH Labs post (Wind Tunnel Marketing, The Sequel: On the Need for Divergent Insight) that talked about the need for divergent thinking and stimulus in approaching problem solving (& creative ideation), Chaz Wigley, the Chairman of BBH in Asia Pacific, mentioned how the CIA‘s (I’ve always wanted to link to the CIA) Problem Definition Checklist provoked precisely this kind of approach; rounded, many-faceted, flexible.

    These questions are known as “context-free questions” and are designed “to encourage agents to look at a challenge from many different angles. Using Phoenix grup sex is like holding your challenge in your hand. You can turn it, look at it from underneath, see it from one view, hold it up to another position, imagine solutions, and really be in control of it” (see the excellent, if chewy, paper on Exploring Exploratory Testing, for more here).

    We now have from Chaz not only the list of questions the CIA use to define problems, but also (thanks to Iqbal Mohammed) the follow-up list they use to develop the plan. Which seems kind of important too.

    My personal favourite question in the problem definition list is the somewhat open-ended: ‘what isn’t the problem?’.



    Why is it necessary to solve the problem?
    What benefits will you receive by solving the problem?
    What is the unknown?
    What is it you don’t yet understand?
    What is the information you have?
    What isn’t the problem?
    Is the information sufficient? Or is it insufficient? Or redundant? Or contradictory?
    Should you draw a diagram of the problem? A figure?
    Where are the boundaries of the problem?
    Can you separate the various parts of the problem? Can you write them down? What are the relationships of the parts of the problem? What are the constants of the problem?
    Have you seen this problem before?
    Have you seen this problem in a slightly different form? Do you know a related problem?
    Try to think of a familiar problem having the same or a similar unknown
    Suppose you find a problem related to yours that has already been solved. Can you use it? Can you use its method?
    Can you restate your problem? How many different ways can you restate it? More general? More specific? Can the rules be changed?
    What are the best, worst and most probable cases you can imagine?


    Can you solve the whole problem? Part of the problem?
    What would you like the resolution to be? Can you picture it?
    How much of the unknown can you determine?
    Can you derive something useful from the information you have?
    Have you used all the information?
    Have you taken into account all essential notions in the problem?
    Can you separate the steps in the problem-solving process? Can you determine the correctness of each step?
    What creative thinking techniques can you use to generate ideas? How many different techniques?
    Can you see the result? How many different kinds of results can you see?
    How many different ways have you tried to solve the problem?
    What have others done?
    Can you intuit the solution? Can you check the result?
    What should be done? How should it be done?
    Where should it be done?
    When should it be done?
    Who should do it?
    What do you need to do at this time?
    Who will be responsible for what?
    Can you use this problem to solve some other problem?
    What is the unique set of qualities that makes this problem what it is and none other?
    What milestones can best mark your progress?
    How will you know when you are successful?

  • BBH London are looking to hire an Interactive CD

    28th May 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in People

    Who we’re after

    An interactive Creative Director. We’re looking for someone who has proven experience leading radical change in communications. We don’t care where you come from – you might be in an ad agency in a digital role, working as an interactive CD at a digital agency, as an interactive design CD, or within a technology or innovation company as a creative director or project director. You might have nothing to do with agencies at all.

    What you’ll be like
    Very simply, we’re looking for someone with a proven appetite for radical change, big ambitions, tons of experience working with big ideas and vast amounts of energy. Someone happy to wear many hats; a proper hybrid.

    BIG IDEAS IN BREAKTHROUGH FORMATS: Most of all, we’re looking for someone who is happiest working, sleeping and playing with ideas. The bigger, the better. The more innovative the canvas, the better.

    INTO TECHNOLOGY IN A BIG WAY: We need someone who gets the enormous potential of what’s out there now – especially in deep interactive and immersive digital experiences – and how emerging technologies can & might work with the more traditional stuff. Your experience and willingness to experiment & go out of your comfort zone with technology is critical.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE DESIGN: We require someone who loves graphic design and visual communication and who has the ability to mentor and guide graphic and interaction designers. Someone who has mastery of project concept creation, site architecture, user-interface specification, functionality specification and interactive design porno AN INNOVATOR: Someone  with strong opinions on how bigger & more breakthrough ideas can be created & nurtured for brands. Someone comfortable working with others in new and different ways. Someone who can surprise (us, others, themselves) and who likes surprises.

    If this sounds like your kind of job, please send your cv/resume, details or link to interactivecdlondon@bbh.co.uk

    BBH is a global creative advertising agency founded in 1982. The agency now has creative hubs in 6 locations: London, New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and, most recently, Mumbai. For more information visit http://bartleboglehegarty.com

  • On The Art of Persuasion – BBH’s Sir John Hegarty at Google Zeitgeist Europe 2010

    24th May 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in Uncategorized

    Three undisputed masters in their field discuss how the art of ‘selling’ is evolving.

    Sir John Hegarty (Worldwide Creative Director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty)
    Alan Edwards (CEO, The Outside Organisation)
    Lord Philip Gould (Vice-Chairman, Freud Communications)

    YouTube Preview Image

    Moderated by: Matthew d’Ancona (Political Columnist, Sunday Telegraph & Evening Standard)

  • Wind Tunnel Marketing, The Sequel: On the Need for Divergent Insight

    21st May 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in Brands, creativity

    Post by Charles Wigley, Chairman, BBH Asia Pacific



    Jim Carroll’s excellent post on Wind Tunnel Politics reflects an idea he came up a couple of years ago – the notion of ‘wind tunnel marketing’ – an idea that Emma Cookson (Chairman, BBH New York), Jim (Chairman, BBH London) and I have been chatting about a lot again recently.

    Given the traffic, RTs and positive comments the first post got, we felt it was perhaps time for a more thorough analysis of its impact on what most of us reading this do for a living – the development of brand communications.

    We’d like to get the debate going and involve people from all sides – client, agency and research. So please let us know what you think.

    Here we’ll look at three things to start the conversation:

    I.                The origins of the problem;

    II.               The results; and

    III.              Some potential solutions

    Then we’d like your point of view.

    1. The Origins of the Problem

    Pretty obviously the world is now crammed with very good, largely parity products across most sectors.  With the consequent decline in any real, viable notion of product USP’s the industry has increasingly turned to understanding the consumer as the key source of competitive advantage.

    The Holy Grail is a breakthrough ‘consumer insight’.  Something that cracks open consumer motivations around a category in a new and fresh way and as a result allows a brand to more powerfully pitch its product or service.

    Indeed many companies now have entire departments focussed solely on consumer insight. Some of you reading this may have it in your job title.

    And, looked at one way, it makes a lot of sense.

    After all, isn’t the whole notion of marketing about  ‘satisfying the wants, needs and desires of consumers ‘ ?

    There is, however, one rather significant problem with it.

    Everyone is looking the same way and largely following the same path.

    Frequently doing the same research, with the same consumers via the same research companies on essentially the same products.

    The result won’t surprise anyone – they get to very similar places.

    So while marketers and their agency partners consistently (and rightly) talk up the critical importance of differentiation, most of our industry is wedded to a ‘best practice’ process that inherently takes them another way – to greater sameness.

    2. The Results

    Are self-evident and everywhere (ever noticed how hard it is to think of major brand examples of ‘great’ outside of the usual suspects?)

    From mid-range family salons that, when unbranded, even car fanatics fail to recognise ( and can you remember the make of the ‘reasonably priced car’ on Top Gear ?…….you’ve probably seen it about 30 times ) to entire categories where the work is just too interchangeable (looked at any skincare advertising recently?)  Even brands aimed at youth (where one would assume a greater leeway to pursue difference) seem to be merging into one – an event with a DJ and some free form skateboarders anyone?

    From a marketer’s point of view all this serves to do is to make it a game of scale of resources again.

    He or she with the biggest distribution network / media budget / sales team wins.  The cost efficiencies of genuine brand differentiation are notable largely by their absence.

    Yet, because large porno organisations inevitably (and understandably) need logical ‘handrails’ for staffers to follow, few are challenging the standard, solely consumer insight oriented process currently in place.

    3. Potential Solutions

    People need systems. Very few of us are individually brilliant enough to be able to operate day in day out in the trenches without them.  So an imploration to just ‘go free-form’ is unlikely to be of much use to most companies.

    It seems to us, however, that the handrails that need to be put in place need to actively force diversity of thinking.

    They need to be ‘hydra-like’ in that they need to regularly have the potential to lead to many different places – not always back to the same spot.

    The CIA ‘Problem Definition Checklist’ does this (if you want a copy let us know).  When properly followed, the Disruption model does it. Interestingly, in his latest thinking, Adam Morgan is suggesting a far more diverse range of different types of challenger brands (and no doubt different ways to develop them).

    For our part at BBH, we are re-committing to one of our oldest strategic tenets (and simplest of thoughts) – ‘insights from many sources, not just consumer’.  The product, the brand, the way category operates, the retail experience, the media landscape, etc, etc. – all are ripe for investigation – and all should be.

    We are also re-committing to the future.

    There’s something interesting here.  As per the famous Akio Morito quote - “we don’t ask consumers what they want ; they don’t know.  Instead we apply our brain power to what they need, and will want, and make sure we are there ready” -  the future is surely what we should be trying to work out the likely terrain of, rather than analysing that of the present or the past. Perhaps the most powerful model we are now trying to get grips is a fusion of brand insight with consumer foresight. Note – not consumer insight – but rather an understanding of where the market is likely to go rather than where it has been.

    As we said at the start, we’d like to hear what you think. If this rings true, what are your thoughts on potential solutions?

  • Behind The Scenes Of The ASHERROTHMUSIC.COM Project

    19th May 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in design, digital, music

    Authors: Brad Haugen, Hal Kirkland & Masa Kawamura (@BBHNewYork)


    Asher Roth is an artist who is uniquely in touch with his fans. After all, his brand was brilliantly built on the back of the web community Ning. This platform forged bonds and fostered conversations between Asher’s team and their fans. Since the end of his first tour, everyone was simply waiting for what he would do next.

    So while this project arrived at an extremely busy time at BBH New York, the opportunity to work directly with an artist who encouraged creative freedom, and to experiment both conceptually and with new technologies, was super exciting; a luxury not often afforded within every advertising brief.

    Luckily Asher, an incredibly web-savvy and prolific blogger knew what he wanted from the start.

    “I want my website to really show my fans who I am. I want them to realize that I am just like any of them, and that I’m human. It has to engage them on that level.”

    It didn’t take long before the idea for the site began to evolve. Of course, after some initial concepts were discussed, we had to make sure what we were suggesting was even possible, hence partnering with the geniuses at AID-DCC in Japan, a production company renown for pioneering the introduction of augmented reality into Flash.

    The way the site works is simple; an illustration of the website is printed on a card around the size of a credit card. Whenever a photo is taken of the card by Asher or one of his buddies and uploaded, that photo instantly becomes the top-page of asherrothmusic.com. Meaning Asher can literally carry his website in his wallet and fans can follow him wherever he goes.

    When fans visit the site, the first thing they see will be the latest updated picture, which could be anywhere from Asher holding the card on stage at a performance, to Asher watching TV with his buddies. Each image is dated and labeled, so fans can make a connection with the context in which the photos was taken.


    Using FLARToolKit, the program tracks the design and shape of the card and then literally launches the site’s interface from its surface. Each graphic element then matches the exact color of the card therefore enhancing this illusion and giving the site a visually organic quality that matches Asher’s style.




    The next step for the site is to connect with the fans even more and to get them to submit their own photos. The next album release will have the card featured on the cover. In this way, fans can become a part Asher’s site as well and help to build the already pretty crazy library of photos.

    The platform is also totally geared to maintain engagement. Several sponsorship and competition strategies will be implemented over the course of the year, each providing both fans and sponsors a reason to keep coming back.

    BBH-ers have worked on music projects before, not least for MySpace (see: http://j.mp/7nFiYF). But this project taught us many things about the music industry. While it’s a creative industry, for the most part, music labels tend to be a little old-fashioned and somewhat formulaic when it comes to promoting their artists. Even though an artist may be promoted via many channels and social networking platforms, sometimes the user experience can come across as a bit of a box-ticking exercise i.e. must have Facebook page, MySpace, blog, etc, instead of thinking an original way that the artist can legitimately connect with their fans.

    With Asher, we were lucky to have an artist who is also a creative thinker and is willing to take a leap of faith in order to keep his brand authentic, especially since the technicalities of the concept were difficult to articulate in the beginning. On complex projects like this it’s easy to get bogged down in the minutia, rather than merely concentrating on the bigger picture. Asher really gave us some breathing room, and the project benefited greatly as a result.

    Asher has really opened a window so that he could share his day-to-day life and experiences with his fans. It’s a direction that many others in the music industry could learn from. Of course, it helps a great deal if the sentiment is as sincere as his.

    Overall, the site is far better represented by exploring it for yourself, in which case we hope you do.

    It would be great to hear any feedback as it is in a constant state of development.

    But before we go we’d just like to put a big thanks out there to everyone that made it possible.


    Creative Directors: Masashi Kawamura, Hal Kirkland

    Art Directors: Masashi Kawamura, Hal Kirkland

    Technical Director: Tomohiko Koyama (Saqoosha)

    Designers: Yuri Morimoto, Masayuki Nishimura

    Business Director: Brad Haugen

    Account Director: Lindsay Kopec

    Content Director: David Wilsher

    Project Manager: Yoko Yamazaki

    Flash Developer: Tomohiko Koyama (Saqoosha), Kenji Mori

    Programmer: Masaru Kinoshita, Tomohiko Koyama (Saqoosha)

    Illustration: Yuri Morimoto, Yumi Yamada

    Music: Asher Roth

    Production: AID-DCC, Katamari

  • Get a Life: What’s Your 20% Project?

    19th May 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in 20% project, creativity, culture

    Image from Zach Hilder's blog: http://deathfrom.blogspot.com/

    Image from Zach Hilder's blog: http://deathfrom.blogspot.com/

    Author: Heidi Hackemer (@uberblond), Planning Director, BBH New York

    We just went through recruitment for our upcoming internship program, the BBH Barn, and since we announced our six interns from the 150+ applications we’ve received a lot of questions about our selection criteria.

    Whether literally or figuratively, the candidates that made the cut had a two-column resume. In column A, we saw an interest and understanding of advertising and/or consumer and brand interaction. It doesn’t mean that these interns are advertising experts by any stretch of the imagination, but it does mean that they have an appreciation for it and may know a bit of their way around our world. 98% of the applications checked off this column quite well.

    The second column is where things got interesting: we also looked for candidates that had a bit of “mess” in their resume, i.e. a curiosity, a drive to think about and do things beyond pursuing the perfect advertising career. As a result we have filmmakers, activists, dancers and a guy that has worked in third world development.

    We believe the mess is just as important as the “proper” education and inputs: advertising is one of those fields that should collaborate not only internally, but with culture at large – to be relevant and human we should inhale the world around us, circulate it in our lungs a bit and then exhale our response. The minute that we get too obsessed or spend too much time focusing on what happens within our walls or the minute the great love in our life becomes a widget or :30 second idea is the minute we lose the oxygen that we need to make great work.

    Let’s face it, the people that are purely obsessed with advertising (and we all know them and have phases in our own lives where we’re guilty of being one of them) aren’t the people that contribute much to a truly sparkling dinner party or a stupid fun night out or bring a perspective that really changes things.  So we wanted to make sure our Barn was filled with the dinner-party-rockers of the future. We think it will make for a more interesting summer and better work.

    So here’s where it gets cool:

    We were thinking of the above criteria, that we applied externally, and we thought we’d check internally how well we were doing. We asked BBHers in the NYC office to send along their personal, out of office, projects. We had a whole bunch of stuff submitted. Some highlights included:

    Calle Sjoenell @callesjonell wanders around new york and puts up basketball nets where there are none. http://www.flickr.com/photos/callesjonell/sets/72157621869375075/

    Harper Reitkopf @itsharper pretty much lives at the honey-space gallery to help artists do their thing http://honey-space.com/

    Dane Larsen @dlarsen is documenting the life and times of his Brooklyn backyard this summer http://bklynbkyard.com/

    Brad Haugen @hoogs throws his passion into being the Director of Marketing and Brand for Pencils of Promise, a non-profit that helps build schools in third world countries http://www.pencilsofpromise.org/blog/2010/04/bring-out-lead-forth/

    Zach Hilder keeps an awesome blog of his drawings and photographs http://deathfrom.blogspot.com

    Saneel Radia @saneel is working with a team to figure out the next big thing in coffee cups http://www.thebetacup.com/@thebetacup

    Kris Chu @kris_chu documents his struggle to banish cable from his life: http://suckitcable.blogspot.com/

    Colleen Leddy @colleddy blogs tips about being the impeccable bridesmaid http://holdthebouquet.squarespace.com/

    Kenji Summers @kenjisummers gives time to the Marcus Graham Project, a network of diverse advertising, marketing and media people @MGProject

    Kirsty Saddler @keava has taken her personal passion for corporate social responsibility and started a think tank/action group within BBH called the Hive @BBHhive

    Chris Araujo @cornfedchris is working on a soon to be unveiled project that’s all about making the world a better place and that’s all I can say about it right now upon fear of death.

    Miranda Kendrick @mirandakendrick has two culture grabbing blogs: http://workingitatwork.tumblr.com/ that shows off the beautiful people of BBH and http://nyink.blogspot.com/ that shows off the beautiful tattoos of the world.

    Hal & Masa have been busy working on the follow up to their Webby-winning music video for “Hibi no Neiro” (Tone of everyday) by “Sour” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfBlUQguvyw (watch this space)

    And me? I’ve started the Wilhelmine Project, a mini-gallery that is hosted in the display window of my converted storefront apartment in the East Village http://thewilhelmineproject.com@wilhelmineprjct

    The most striking thing about all these projects is that people just did it. Google have their awesome and rightly famous 20% policy; we don’t have that at BBH, at least not formalized. So what makes the above particularly cool is that people just went out, made time and did. No one told them to, no one asked for the time. No hard porno permission was sought, or given. We think this is emblematic of the kind of creative business we strive to be, that the energy, thinking and output from these personal projects explicitly and implicitly makes BBH a more interesting and smarter place professionally.

    So our question today is, what’s your 20% project?

    Are you busy waiting for permission?

    Or are you busy just getting on with it?

    Let us know what you’re up to. You never know, there might be some common ground; we could collaborate.

  • Screw Relationships, Let’s Have a Fling; On Brands & the Privacy Debate

    18th May 10

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in Uncategorized

    Author: Saneel Radia (@saneel), Director of Media Innovation, BBH New York


    I’ve written about social media flings before, but all the recent buzz about privacy issues got me thinking about this subject again. Brands are obsessed with friends and fans in social media environments when a much more relevant (and achievable) goal would be a less committed relationship: a fling. Why ask so much from a consumer when most brands fail to deliver on expectations anyway? The number of brands I’ve met with an editorial calendar and iterative community management strategy is so few, I can count them on one hand. Yet, the gathering of fans / followers / cults prods aimlessly on, justified via the value of earned media. The idea of talking to a million people whenever you want — that’s just too good to not pursue, right?

    I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m too demanding as a consumer, but I have a tough time with the “in or out” invitation posed by most brands. I was talking to @hashembajwa about this recently and he cited the following example: “I love and am loyal to Virgin Atlantic, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear from them at any point other then when I have London on my mind.”

    That comment really struck me. For him, it was about context. And that’s really what a fling is. It’s like a camp friend— that kid you were super close with at camp. You couldn’t imagine a scenario at camp he or she wasn’t a part of. But, once you got back home,  regardless of promises to call and write, it didn’t happen. It just wasn’t relevant to stay in touch back in your normal life. But hey, next time you were at camp, you two picked up right where you left off, no? That’s the perfect camp friend.

    So why aren’t brands OK with relationships like that? Context isn’t such a bad thing. It’s what good media planning is all about. And if the main arguments for these ludicrous fan numbers I hear brands chasing is rooted in earned media, it seems only rational they would evaluate said media based on quality, as they do with all media.

    And that’s the rub.

    You see, context of any kind is where brands face the privacy issue square in the face. They need to know as much about a person as possible to have these flings. Most brands on Twitter, for example, wait until you’ve called them out by name before @-replying because they fear otherwise their tweets will be viewed as spam. It’s the same expectation you’d have as a consumer in Facebook. What if a brand waited until your status was relevant to them to reach out to you? “@hashembajwa, I see you you’re excited about dinner in London, would you like some help planning your trip? – Love, Virgin.” Scary for many people. But enticing as a brand. And that’s why most brands are going to sit quietly while Facebook takes its lumps and sorts out privacy on their behalf. I guess they’ll depend on creating their own context via campaigns, but that’s pretty darn hard.

    So, if you’re a brand with something at stake here, would you step in? I can’t imagine brand managers want any part of that conversation, but I think it’s important they have one. Without some understanding of what the pros and cons of the privacy issue are, Facebook is left alone as big, bad brother. In reality, lots of brands would help consumers tremendously if given the opportunity via this type of context. Yet no brands are stepping up, even as sex izle a collective, to help consumers understand if there is another side to the privacy issue. How can we expect consumers to make an objective decision about something when they aren’t hearing any upside?

    Because, talking to a million fans about camp while they’re in school might feel like a relationship, but I’d argue making out with them while they’re at camp is a lot more social.

    Or at the very least, it’s more fun.


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