18th May 10
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.
14th May 10
During the eruption of the volcano that no one can pronounce (or barely even spell) Sean Stiegemeier took his Canon 5D Mark II out and produced this rather ace short film, set to music sung by Jónsi (lead singer of Icelandic band Sigur Rós).
We like the ethereal music mashed up with something that is, essentially, destructive. Violently elemental. Yet beautiful.
For best effect set to HD and then go full-screen. Turn it up.
He notes on his Vimeo page (full of other very cool projects – check it out):
“So I saw all of these mediocre pictures of that volcano in Iceland nobody can pronounce the name of, so I figured I should go and do better. But the flights to get over took forever as expected (somewhat). 4 days after leaving I finally made it, but the weather was terrible for another 4. Just before leaving it got pretty good for about a day and a half and this is what I managed to get.
Wish I had more time. I missed all the cool Lightning and the Lava of the first eruption. But I figure this will just be a trial run for another day.
I am of course accepting sponsors to send me back there for more please…!! haha
© Sean Stiegemeier
Many thanks to @finnbarrw for the heads-up.
12th May 10
Post by Jim Carroll, Chairman, BBH London
It was going to be the most important Election in a generation.
It was going to break the mould of British Politics.
It should have been so exciting.
So why did it all seem so unfulfilling? Why did our eager anticipation of the first debate turn to a stifled yawn by the third? Why did our ardour for the new kid turn so quickly to complacency? Why did we shrug at the glossy manifestos, put the recycled thinking straight into the recycling bins?
This was the Sunblest Election. The Election when all the mighty forces of Marketing created three soft, medium sliced, plastic packaged loaves. Designed to please, guaranteed not to let you down. Perfectly pleasant on their own terms, but curiously unsatisfactory.
You see, all three candidates and campaigns had been put through the same Marketing Wind Tunnel.
11th May 10
Posted in Uncategorized
Guest post by Patricia McDonald, Planning Partner, CHI
This is a rare event for us, a guest post from an ex-BBHer, Pats McDonald. Pats has written a fair amount on related topics in the past here and we’re delighted she agreed to do this follow-up.
Hotly anticipated at South by SouthWest but held back for the first ever Twitter developer’s conference in April, Twitter unveiled its long-anticipated advertising platform last month. While the announcement has been slightly overtaken in the hype stakes by the launch of the Facebook Open Graph, the iPhone OS4 and the Apple versus Adobe showdown (quite a month we’re having), there is nevertheless some serious food for thought in the nuances of the Promoted Tweets platform.
I’ve written before about some of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanies the very idea of sponsored tweets and more recently about the very real danger that by polluting the stream, over-advertising in social media may strip the medium of much of its value. So it was intriguing both to see Twitter’s home grown platform and to see reactions to that platform in the Twittersphere. Teeth gnashing was-perhaps surprisingly-at a minimum, although there was some inevitable concern about the proposed long term shift from advertising around keyword searches to advertising in the stream. Read full post
7th May 10
Author: Calle Sjoenell, Executive Creative Director, BBH New York
Over the last two weeks I have noticed an interesting phenomenon around people with iPads. Maybe it’s because I haven’t got one yet (I’m trying to refrain until my birthday) so I’m more aware of those who do have them already. Right now I can have more of an outsider’s view on this new device.
That said, it’s become apparent that I’m far from an outsider. Barely an opportunity goes by for someone with an ipad to share something with me. “Check this out”. “Look at this”. “Let me show you something”. Users seem to want to show off new apps, cool new vids (and of course the device itself). I am very often drawn into the experience others are having around the iPad. We literally gather round, pull up chairs.
Unlike a laptop, it’s super easy to ‘turn and share’. Unlike the iPhone, it’s genuinely shareable (the iPhone is unashamedly personal, even private). With the iPad you can gang around at least three, four people to see something together. It all feels very natural.
So I’ve been thinking, is this one of the true revolutions with the iPad? It’s the first truly communal computer. Almost like sharing stories around the campfire.
If that’s the case, how should that impact how we design content and applications for it?
An idealist who wants a realist form of government: the UK election candidate offering digital democracy
30th April 10
Author: Kirsty Saddler, Planning Director, BBH New York (@keava)
BBH is strictly non-partisan and typically avoids politics, but is intrigued by an independent candidate standing for Hackney South and Shoreditch this election who has taken mainstream digital behavior and applied it to politics, so offering a new model for voters.
Denny de la Haye is no career politician and has never had any party affiliation. He is instead motivated by a belief in a better political system. So he is standing with no policies and the promise of direct democracy; if voted in he will poll constituents before he votes on any issue or piece of legislation.
He believes that while there is apathy about political voting, people’s support for issues is rising – as digital has facilitated more activism and support for issue based organizations.
“If you allow people a forum and a say they will use it, but they are not motivated to vote politically as they are disillusioned by the system. The UK political system has people in positions of power who answer to a party, before their voters”.
De la Haye is aware that his system relies on people remaining consistently engaged, but this is where his experience as a web designer kicks in and he draws on participation models like Digg and Reddit.
For issues and legislation he will endeavor to get people reading around the issue to inform themselves. To do this he will post an objective synopsis of government’s texts online – inspired by Simplyunderstand.com ‘translation service’ – links can then be added to the synopsis by constituents, which can in turn be rated so the most valuable rise to the top.
It will be crowd-sourced information, without any party bias.
De la Haye’s model would become more valuable over time, as people realized the power of influence they could exert as exemplified by Obama’s election campaign and the model would build a representative picture of constituents views and how the constituency had changed over time, which can be tracked and learnt from.
If followed through it would also do away with the need for party politics, however it is still likely people would cluster around ideologies – but perhaps more their own, not those dictated by a small group of people.
So . . . back to BBH’s real interest here which is how could this work in the business and marketing world. What would happen if shareholders were done away with and there was a model based more on interest invested by people through contributions of time and/or ideas?
This suggests a world of crowd-controlled brands and an open dialogue where the brand does not assume a position of authority or expertise but is accountable to its public. It does not necessarily work for all sectors, but surely more brands could open themselves up in this way, know their place and just facilitate?
Where has this worked before and where has it failed? Could this ever really work? Love to know what you think.
22nd April 10
We recently announced our first iPad application, the Cool Hunting app initially presented by our client, Cadillac, and developed in partnership between Cool Hunting, BBH New York and Front Ended. If you missed our original post explaining the design challenges, take a look here.
For those who’ve not got their hands on an iPad yet, here’s a short film giving a taste of what it feels like to use. One thing we’ve noticed in using the iPad so far is that there’s quite a gulf in user experience between apps developed specifically for the iPad versus those developed for the iPhone.
This Coolhunting app is definitely in the latter category, and whilst we learned a huge amount about how we’d do things next time, we’re pleased with our first experiment on this newest of platforms.
Download the Cool Hunting app (here) and see what you think.
Thanks to @BBHNewYork’s @GriffinFarley for the prompting to post this.
21st April 10
Everyone at BBH New York is excited about the new work we’ve just launched for Google’s Chrome browser, follow-ups to the work we produced at the end of 2009.
The first film is for Chrome Extensions, and demonstrates how users can personalize their browser. The music used is Fats Waller’s (Do You Intend to Put an End to) A Sweet Beginning?
The second film is for Chrome Translate, the range of translation features that are built in to Chrome, and that enable users to seamlessly translate Internet pages from one language to another.
Both of these films are quite unlike most other tech product demos. They use lo-fi, hand-made elements and simple metaphors to show how the products work. There’s no hype. No extravagant claims. We instead try and keep everything simple.
As with our previous work for Chrome at the end of 2009, we worked with the extraordinary production team at 1st Avenue Machine in New York. The films were directed by 1st Avenue Machine’s Aaron Duffy & Tim Brown.
We hope you enjoy them. They look particularly great in HD on YouTube (click through the videos and then select the HD button).
And watch out for more new work for Google to come in the next few weeks.
Client: Google EMEA
Titles: Google Chrome Extensions/Translate the Internet with Google Chrome
Agency : Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York
CCO: Kevin Roddy
ECD: Calle Sjoenell, Pelle Sjoenell
AD/CW: Maja Fernqvist
AD/CW: Joakim Saul
Head of Broadcast: Lisa Setten
Senior Producer: Melissa Bemis
Business Director: Ben Malbon
Acct. Manager: Rossa Hsieh
Production Company: 1st Avenue Machine
Director: Tim Brown
Co-Director: Aaron Duffy
DP: Zak Mulligan
Exec. Producer: Sam Penfield
Line Producer: Keeley Gould
Editorial Company: Lost Planet
Editor: Charlie Johnston
Assistant Editor: Christopher Huth
Exec. Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
Producer: Meagen Carroll
Telecine: Company 3
Telecine Artist: Billy Gabor
Online Facility: Black Hole
Online Editor: Tim Farrell
VFX Company: Black Hole
Producer: Tim Vierling
Audio Facility: Plush
Audio Engineer: Rob Fielack
Music Supervisor: Sara Matarazzo, Anna Lasxurain & Stephanie Diaz-Matos
Title: (Do You Intend To Put An End To) A Sweet Beginning Like This
Artist: Fats Waller
Music Supervisor: Sara Matarazzo, Anna Lascurain & Stephanie Diaz-Matos
Title: Plastic Sunshine
Composed by: Steven Stern and Stuart Hart