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Posts Tagged ‘digital’

  • The making of Nike Hypervenom: House of Deadly

    14th October 13

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in digital, Events

    Author: Miguel Andres-Clavera, Creative Technology and Innovation Director, BBH Asia Pacific

    Nike HyperV1

    For some time now, artists, programmers and marketers have been seeking innovative ways to collaborate, to blur the line between art and technology, thereby creating complex systems that merge the real world with the digital world. As these new experiences transcend digital mediums and permeate our physical experience, we begin to witness the emergence of public performance as a spectacle.

    We had a great opportunity to explore some of these ideas when we were tasked to launch Nike’s new Hypervenom football boot collection in Southeast Asia. Our imagination ran wild at the thought of of creating an experience that combined real football with virtual challenges and got us really excited. In a way we wanted to allow fans to experience a whole new way of playing football, to make fans feel as if they were personally immersed in an epic video game.

    The challenge was to create an authentic experience that preserved the physical skills and attributes required when playing football in real life, then take the player through an intense emotional journey culminating in a ‘deadly’ twist, giving him or her a sense of empowerment from the game.

    The ‘house of deadly’ was born, a mixed-reality gameplay experience in a controlled environment where players were monitored and challenged to perform actual football skills but in a virtual context using an adaptive interface. Read full post

  • The future of display is native

    9th September 13

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in advertising, digital

    The final (for now) instalment in a series of cross-posts of some of the monthly tech columns we’ve written for Marketing magazine over the course of the year. This article on native advertising appeared in Marketing’s April issue.

    ***

    A wise agency head recently told me that, statistically, a person is more likely to die in an airplane crash than click on a banner ad. Not least because I’m writing this month’s column on a long haul flight to San Francisco (where I’ve been lucky enough to be invited by a client to spend the week immersed with them at Google’s Creative Academy), this is something I’m hoping not to be true.

     It is certainly the case that display ads are woefully ineffective, just witness the average CTR of a banner ad: at 0.2% in 2012 (from 9% in 2000, in case you’re wondering). Indeed, the death of display advertising has been declared so many times over the past decade or so, it’s astonishing it still has a pulse.

     And yet, it’s a sure-fire truth that when anyone declares the death of anything, it’s how often that thing shape-shifts and re-surfaces, alive and well, in a different form (check out one of my favourite articles of all time, ‘The Tragic Death of Practically Everything’ here).

     In the case of display, witness the inexorable rise of Native advertising.

    Most jargon makes my blood run cold, but this is a term I increasingly like for a couple of reasons:

    1.    The term evokes a sense of belonging and integrity; an opportunity for a brand to show an understanding of natural platform behaviours and a concern with user experience that isn’t associated with traditional display advertising nearly enough.

    2. It is one way publishers and media owners may manage to monetize their online platforms effectively, without sacrificing user experience.

    In short, the user, the brand and the media owner all stand to win. It’s that combination which makes Native advertising worth paying attention to.

     What native advertising is

    Relevant, paid-for content that appears within the editorial stream of a publisher’s site or social network. Current examples include: promoted tweets on Twitter, ads in search, sponsored stories on Facebook, Tumblr Spotlight, promoted videos on YouTube, paid-for editorial content. It’s where publishing, PR and creative content meet.

     What it isn’t

    ‘Understanding natural platform behaviours’ does not mean producing wallpaper. The very best Native advertising is thought-provoking, creative, even disruptive; witness BBH’s work for the domestic abuse charity, Refuge, featuring the YouTube star, Lauren Luke. Nor is it content that pretends to be genuine editorial. No user likes the brand that duped them by presenting commercial content in an editorial environment, with no demarcation from the publisher’s content or link to the brand involved.

    Some thoughts on briefing native advertising

    1.    Native advertising is a (paid-for) means to an end, not an end in its own right. Its role might to recruit new users or kick-start an offer or initiative. As such, it’s more a sign-post on a connected path or story, not pure branded content per se. Simple things like including a call to action or a useful link back to the brand can be overlooked, but are critical to progressing an interested user’s journey.

    2.    It’s equally important we make sure the team involved knows what constitutes natural behaviour on a given platform and respects it. Etiquette and UX, both crucial at the best of times, are disproportionately important here.

    3. Silo-ed organisations won’t fare well here. Look for the people who demonstrate they see the whole picture: they care deeply about user experience, have a strong grasp of your brand voice and the nuances of the different, constantly evolving platforms.

    Who knows, perhaps display isn’t dead, it’s just gone native.

  • Internet Trends – Mary Meeker’s 2011 report

    21st October 11

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in data, digital

    Author: Adam Powers, Head of UX, BBH London

    KPCB Internet Trends (2011)

    This week ex-Morgan Stanley research analyst, now at KPCB, Mary Meeker delivered her latest Internet Trends presentation. As always, Mary’s distillation of trends is always good value and genuine insights are peppered throughout.

    For the time starved amongst you, here are some highlights:

    World view:

    • Though still with some ground to make up, it’s striking the number of Chinese and Russian internet companies popping into the global top 25.

    • What’s more, between 2007 and 2010 China accumulated 246million new internet users – that is more than exist within the USA.

    Mobilising the people:

    • Mary notes that even in recessionary times breakthrough technology and services can breakout. One need only look at the extraordinary first weekend sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S to confirm this.

    • 2010 QTR 4 saw more mobile devices (which includes Tablets) sold than PCs and signs that Smartphone sales outstripping feature phone sales in US/EU

    • That said. still enormous unconverted user base with 835 million Smartphone users against 5.6 billion mobile device subscribers.

    • Apple getting plenty of headlines right now, but it’s Android mobile devices with the remarkable quarter on quarter ramp up – jumping from 20million to 150million units shipped in between quarters 7 and 11 post-launch.

    • Global mobile success story continues with app/ad revenue up by a factor of 17 between 2008 and 2011 to a figure of $12billion.

    Touchy, feely:

    • Meeker calls out the latest trend in the evolution of human computer interaction being from text command lines to graphical user interfaces (GUI) to natural user interfaces. Yes, Steve gets a name check too.

    Cash is no longer king?:

    • E-commerce story continues to be one of growth through tough economic times but plenty of room to grow.

    • Again the big story is growth in mobile commerce with ebay and PayPal doubling or more their gross mobile sales/payments since 2010.

    • The uplift in mobile e-commerce activity has been of particularly benefit to local commerce through the plethora of location aware discount offer aggregators.

    Power to the people:

    • Meeker identifies overarching mega-trend as the empowerment of people via connected devices.

    • She references the Twitter traffic patterns post Japanese earthquake, the fact that 200million Indian farmers currently receive government subsidy payments via mobile devices and 85% of global population are now covered by commercial wireless signals versus 80% being on electricity grid.

  • Fuel for Little Gamers

    29th September 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in digital, Gaming

    Author: Pablo Marques (@pablo_marques), Creative Director, BBH London & BBH Labs

    YouTube Preview Image

    A few hours ago we introduced Weetakid to the world, together with his arch-enemy, Evil Eater. The game is a playful execution of Weetabix’s brand strategy and a great example of an idea as a direct solution to a clear business challenge.

    Weetabix’s boxes are making into families’ cupboards in great numbers, but they are just not making it out of there often enough.

    If we could increase the number of times the box makes it to the breakfast table we would be able to increase consumption and sales.

    So Weetakid was born to do just that. It is a game targeted at kids, especially those from 7 to 11 years old, as they are the gravitational centre of the household during the busy hours of our morning rituals.

    In the game, kids take control of Weetakid, a creature who has just seen his little world robbed of all its energy by Evil Eater, the galaxy’s villain. The game involves a quest to retrieve the items stolen by the Evil Eater which can be found through playing a number of engaging mini games.

    But Weetakid like any other kid, needs energy, especially if it is going to travel the galaxy to rebuild its world. So every morning kids will need to feed Weetakid to ensure that they both have a day full of fun and adventure.

    To feed Weetakid, players will need a box of Weetabix. And that is what makes the idea so special.

    To enable the interaction between the the product package and the game we’ve used a set of technologies more notoriously known as Augmented Reality.

    That link between box and game is a special and symbiotic one. It doesn’t get in the way of the experience, but actually enhances it. And it does it in a way that not only helps us solve our business problem but also enables us to start driving consumer behaviour to a place closer to our brand messaging, Weetabix is your fuel for big days.

    The pack has also become the place in which we are launching the game. With widespread distribution and wide readership (the back of pack is arguably one of the most read items in the household) it will be a perfect way to reach our audience and promote the game.

    A multi layered production challenge

    Weetakid, albeit a small game, was a big integrated production puzzle that involved many different disciplines. We had to create bespoke songs, write films, direct and record voice overs, create characters and animations, design a game and make a website, among other things. And we had two months to do everything.

    We had two amazing integrated producers from BBH working on it and coordinating the whole joint effort.

    As Dani Michelon (@danimichelon) our lead integrated producer on the project puts best:

    “By the time we contacted our partners we had gone a long way into the game already, we had game flowcharts, schematics and storyboards. We had a good picture of it in our heads but there was still a lot to be done to make it reality and it was humbling to see how all the people involved collaborated so well. It was great fun to work on it and see it coming to life.”

    Firstly we contacted Yum Yum London (@yumyumlondon) and worked with them to develop the characters and animations to bring our universe to life and to design the back of the Weetabix boxes.

    Secondly came Radium audio (@radiumaudioltd) to create the amazing music that players will enjoy in the game and North Kingdom (@northkingdom) to actually put the game together and code all of that magic in.

    We also engaged society46 (@society46) who designed our Weetakid website.

    And finally The Mill (@millchannel) helped us produce our trailer.

    So after many long weeks and nights we pulled the game together; an effort of epic proportions. It was a clear labour of love and the amount of fun myself and the creative team (Felipe Guimarães @think_felipe and Lambros Charalambous @creativelamb) felt borderline illegal.

    We hope you and your kids can enjoy playing it as much we enjoyed making it. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

    Full project credits

    Creative Direction: Pablo Marques (@pablo_marques) / Dominic Goldman

    Art Direction: Felipe Guimarães / Pablo Marques / Yum Yum London

    Writer: Lambros Charalambous

    Game Design: Pablo Marques / Felipe Guimarães / Lambros Charalambous

    Lead Producers: Daniela Michelon, Jo Osborne

    Strategy Director: Nina Rahmatallah

    Business Director: Nick Stringer

    Team Manager: Luke Algar

    Legal: Henry Rowan-Robinson

    Character Design / Awesomeness: Yum Yum London

    Music / Sound: Radium Audio

    Sound Producer: Sam Brock

    Game and interface programming: North Kingdom

    Trailer edit: The Mill

    Website design/production: Society 46

  • Revenge of the Microsite

    9th September 11

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in digital, interactive

    Author: Calle Sjoenell, Deputy Chief Creative Officer, BBH NY

    These are probably words that will haunt me forever, but I must write a tribute to the microsite, currently going through a Phoenix-like transformation known as the web app.

    The microsite was originally created to capture a single minded idea in one destination. So sharp and elegant in its purpose, the concept spread and made everyone visit.

    For me, it started with IKEA’s Dream Kitchen, one click and hold and I spun in a whirlwind of kitchen options. Minimal input, maximum output, the product at the dead center of the idea. And it sold truckloads if kitchens.

    But as with all great ideas, there where thousands of bad executions, wasting clients’ money with little to show in scale or engagement as a result.

    Then, of course, marketers had to make a rule about it. We can only build things where the audience is already hanging out. “Fish where the fish are,” and all that. This is in fact a worse sin: creating a blanket rule that microsites don’t work. It’s like saying investing in Internet companies doesn’t work.

    This is why I’m musing over the next marketer and publisher obsession on the Internet: the web app. The functionality of HTML5 and its related technology brings us out of the tyranny of page to page style navigation on the web. We will probably laugh at our text and picture based catalogue websites in a few years, a world where each step took 10-15 seconds of mental processing to solve. The web app brings single minded functionality with new interactive capabilities. Just look at the web app versions of Tweetdeck, NY Times and Angry Birds and you see the potential. Eerily like a microsite.

    But we can never forget the cardinal rule of communication that now rules all media channels, even TV.

    If you make something great, they will come (or watch). Otherwise, they won’t.

    Damn, did I just make a blanket rule?

    Long live the microsite.

  • Introducing: BBH Asia-Pacific Data Snapshots

    26th April 11

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in data, digital

    Author: Simon Kemp (@eskimon), Engagement Planner, BBH Asia Pacific & BBH Labs



    The digital landscape across Asia-Pacific has seen significant change in recent months, with enthusiasm for social media driving the broader adoption of a wide range of connected services and tools.

    Although Internet penetration levels remain low in many Asian countries, the sheer size of those countries’ populations means that the numbers must be seen in context; for example, internet penetration in China stands at just 34%, but the number of social media users in that country exceeds the total population of Russia.

    It’s also critical to understand how people in the East access and use the web. Read full post

  • Digital, can we kill this word for good?

    16th December 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in creativity, digital

    The good people from the Cristal Festival (held in Crans, Switzerland.. not a bad place to be at this time of year) got in touch a few months ago, asking me to join a panel today with two very smart ladies, Fernanda Romano (Euro RSCG’s Global CD for Digital & Experiential Advertising) and Patou Nuytemans (Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy EMEA).

    We were each asked to come with an answer to the question that’s the title of this post. My response – a super short presentation and what was said to accompany it – below.



    When I first heard the question, the answer felt pretty obvious. An immediate YES. Let’s kill it stone dead, with fire, right here, right now. Both Fernanda and Patou argued with absolute certainty that this should be the case, letting a series of integrated award entries from a single telco in Bahrain (yes, that was the point…) do the talking.

    Personally, my response was driven by the fact the word feels both outmoded AND it suggests unnecessary complexity; a separation between “digital” and “analogue” that’s vaporising before our eyes. Even before analogue TV channels are switched off forever (in the UK in 2012), we all know audiences flow freely between on and offline and expect to see coherency from brands, wherever they find them. This blurring is only going to get more extreme, until we don’t even notice the difference. In fact, I’m fairly convinced we’re the last generation to even care.

    Continuing in this vein, I borrowed the oft-quoted Charlene Li’s statement at SXSW in 2009 that “[digital] social networks will be like air”. Businesses need to prepare themselves for a future where open, hyper-connected networks are the norm. Talking about “digital” vs everything else out there is arguably unhelpful, reminiscent of a past when digital was an after thought and treated as a channel (“okay, we’ve got our big idea, now let’s do some of that digital stuff!”). Now that digital underpins much of what we do, it becomes next to meaningless as a descriptor.

    Or does it? Before we draw the knife to kill the word, let’s just hold on a minute. If we stop using the word digital, what would replace it? How would we describe the creative canvas and media environment in which we operate? Note: ‘post-digital’ is not an option.

    Taking a step back, there’s nearly always an answer somewhere in history – as Russell Davies’ reference to post-war England in his Post Digital apology perfectly encapsulates – or better still, given I was asked to talk about killing something, let’s learn from Mother Nature.

    There’s a natural rhyme and reason to the flow of things in nature. Put incredibly simply, all living things experience at least two of the following during their lifetime: birth, sex, death.

    Where are we *really* in the cycle of digital’s life? Actually, I’d argue we’re somewhere just after birth.

    We’re certainly no-where near approaching maturity. Like virgins discussing sex, we’ve boasted about nearly doing it, thought we may have done it (not entirely sure) and excitedly talk about what it’ll be like when we’ve done it, you know, A LOT. There are people who are legitimately experienced, but most of us aren’t. Not in the “10,000 hours logged coding” sense of the word.

    Sure, we don’t all need to know how to code brilliantly in order to qualify. Although I’d like to suggest we might want to learn a little. Ad agency creatives ten years ago didn’t need to be directors, editors or lighting cameramen to write great TV scripts. However, they’d lived with telly and newspapers their whole lives and learned the craft of writing, design and art direction before they ever dared set foot inside an agency. Likewise the UK’s IPA has stacks of papers which prove the effectiveness of advertising, yet would be the first to admit the real ROI of digital activity is still in its infancy.

    Until the industry at large has a universal understanding of what it takes in terms of craft and intelligence to deliver *outstanding* digital work, suggesting we should ‘kill digital’ feels grossly premature.

    In writing this, I’m reminded of Iain Tait’s last column for NMA just last month, in which he protested with good reason:

    “Digital may be everyday, but it’s not effortless… It’s time to stop all the nonsense about trying to call this stuff this or that. Only thing that matters is whether it’s good or not. The only thing more stupid than all the word-monkeying is denying that technology, code and making things out of bits and bytes is important.”

    I’ve got a lot of sympathy with this for a bunch of reasons (as I’ve said before here, a favourite post of mine is The Tragic Death of Practically Everything), but in the main I’d like us to show digital some respect. Yes, it informs everything like air, but that doesn’t make it easy to breathe.

    In short, I’d like our industry to be allowed to reach its potential in terms of digital skill. Not recognising the particular craft skills and necessary time on the clock runs the risk of arresting our collective development. Let’s not let that happen.

  • The State of the Web 2010

    17th November 10

    Posted by Griffin Farley

    Posted in data, digital

    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?

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