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Posts Tagged ‘media’

  • A Public Service Announcement

    28th August 14

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in Rants

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    I am happy that I’m not going to indadvertedly click a link on twitter and find myself watching a video of the beheading of James Foley. But the removal of this video and other content from Google, Twitter and Facebook raises important questions about media, freedom of expression and control of information.

    In the digital age, we are nearing the point where an idea banished by Twitter, Facebook and Google all but vanishes from public discourse entirely, and that is only going to become more true as those companies grow even further.

    Should Twitter, Facebook and Google Executives be the Arbiters of what we See and Read – Glen Greenwald

    As is pointed out here, this is not a question of censorship. Rather it is an editorial decision, made on perfectly reasonable moral and taste grounds and at the request of the family of James Foley. And while we might completely agree with the decision in this instance, are we happy for Facebook to delete content created by Syrian dissidents? Or not remove videos of other gruesome actions that do not involve Western journalists. Or allow the publication of live tweets of IDF military actions against Hamas? These complex religious and geopolitical issues are throwing up new moral, social and editorial challenges for technology companies. But as these companies morph into not just media companies, but media itself, it is becoming important to ask what precedents are being set? What actual policies are at work?

    We have no rights beyond what the companies give us in their terms of service, where quaint ideas like the First Amendment have no application.

    The New Editors of the Internet – Dan Gillmor

    The huge centralized web services such as facebook and google, the Stacks as Bruce Sterling calls them, are making these editorial decisions because we’ve both asked and allowed them to. They are incredibly useful services and incredibly convenient services and incredibly free services to use. We might not pay with our wallets, but instead we pay with our views, our content, our shares, likes, retweets and our profiles. If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product being sold. We know this. Facebook and Google and Twitter ultimately can decide what goes through their pipes – if we don’t like their decisions we can take our cat photos elsewhere, however inconvenient that might be.

    So, if we’re the product, who are the customers? Brands, obviously, who love the convenience and the scale and the data and metrics they get from their paid-for relationships with The Stacks. And brands too, make sacrifices when they embark on these relationships. The world of brand microsites was one of variable quality, but vast variety. Today’s uniformity of branded voice and imagery, the identikit, out-of-the-box formatting solutions provided by tumblr and facebook and youtube can almost induce nostalgia for the visual assault of the World Wild Web. Again, google and twitter and facebook have the right to design their pipes their way – if brands don’t like the formats on offer they can take their content elsewhere, however inconvenient that might be.

    I am relieved that my kids can watch youtube without clicking on a thumbnail and seeing James Foley’s horrific murder. But I am also telling them that if they want a place on the internet where they are not the product, a place where they are the editor, where they set the precedents and make the policies, a place that is theirs, then they will have to own it and pay for it and make it. They’ll have to buy a domain and manage some hosting and create some content and establish their own digital identity. And they’ll have to deal with the inconvenience and freedom that comes with it.

     

    [note - this post was provoked by links on NextDraft, Dave Pell's excellent daily newsletter]

  • How The Guardian And The 3 Little Pigs Hope To Keep The Wolf From The Door

    2nd March 12

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in Brands, media

    Author: Jason Gonsalves, Head of Strategy, BBH London

    Our first ad for The Guardian broke on Wednesday night. It’s basically a product demo taken to epic proportions, re-telling and shedding new light on the classic story of the 3 Little Pigs. If you haven’t seen it already check it out and see what you think. Then below I’ve shared the thinking behind the work for anyone interested in hearing a little more.

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    Readers of this blog need little convincing of the merits of citizen journalism, crowd-sourcing and open platform collaboration. Nowadays eye witness accounts are shared instantly with the world through Twitter, whilst Google Alerts or new destinations like Gawker and Huffpo offer an alternative to traditional news brands. What’s more, we all know the broader Newspaper industry is struggling. Print circulations and revenues keep falling, and for most the business model simply isn’t working.  Add to that mass criminality and corruption, and the long-term diagnosis looks terminal.

    All this starts to beg the question, where does that leave a newspaper like The Guardian? It has to continue to be far more than simply an aggregator of opinion and comment. It’s an innovation business almost two centuries old, one looking to lead the global news agenda and set an example for how modern brands should behave.

    Our brief was to help cut through preconceptions, engage new readers by bringing to life The Guardian’s remarkable transformation over the last 10 years from a left-wing, British newspaper to a global digital news hub.

    This change has been driven by Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor and is built on a belief that in the modern world no single organisation can possibly claim to be sole arbiter of truth, with experts journalists working in isolation to pass down the day’s news to the masses. Instead, for The Guardian, modern news is a dynamic, participative and open dialogue in which the public and other news sources enrich and expand stories, inviting response and opinion. It’s open and mutual rather than closed and didactic. It’s iterative and alive rather than final and definitive. It’s multi-platform and digital first.

    • Whilst most newspapers jealously guard the stories they are planning to cover, The Guardian now publish their news lists online daily, encouraging both public and experts to get in touch with their journalists if they feel the have something to contribute, advise on or just to have their say.
    • When the MPs Expenses Scandal exploded, The Guardian swiftly built an app that enabled the public to get involved, sift through receipts and flag anything they decided was worthy of investigation.
    • During Arab Spring, in addition to providing content from its journalists in the field, The Guardian invited Arab commentators to share their views and blog, in Arabic, on the Guardian’s platform.
    • The Guardian’s open platform enables anyone to access data collected by the Guardian as well as providing a search tool so that users can search for government information from around the world. It also encourages readers to upload their own data visualisations or share their favourites.

    Whilst The Guardian represents open news, it remains a brand with a point of view, with a role and purpose that is more, not less, important in today’s world.  Rather than benefiting shareholders or a proprietor, the Guardian is owned by the Scott Trust which ensures that  profits are reinvested to sustain journalism that is free from commercial or political interference. The trust, which was formed in 1936, and is named after CP Scott (Editor between 1872 and 1929) protects the Guardian’s commitment to a set of values that can be summarised as honesty, cleanness (today interpreted as integrity) courage, fairness and a sense of duty to reader and the community.  Scott’s famous words  “Comment is free, but facts are sacred” remind us of the importance of accuracy and truth in a world where information and opinion is ubiquitous. Relentless inquiry is the responsibility of organisations that want to set the news agenda, they must stop at nothing to get the bottom of the stories that matter. Nick Davies did just this – he was the Guardian journalist who spent 5 years finding and checking evidence and withstanding threats to uncover the truth behind the  ’phone hacking at the News of the World.

    If you couldn’t tell already, I’ll admit personally to being a huge fan. But I believe as digital innovators, creative pioneers, and champions of civil liberty and reform The Guardian is a rare and precious thing that deserves support. The story of the newspaper industry as we know is unlikely to conclude with a fairy-tale ending, but the Guardian is definitely painting an exciting vision of things to come.


    Client Credits – The Guardian

    David Pemsel, Marketing Consultant
    Richard Furness, Head of Sales and Marketing, The Guardian
    Anna Hayman, Marketing Manager, The Guardian

    Media Buying Agency – PHD

    Toby Nettle, Media Planner

    Creative Agency – BBH

    TV Credits
    BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
    BBH Creative Team: Matt Fitch & Mark Lewis
    BBH Producer: Davud Karbassioun
    BBH Production Assistant: Genevieve Sheppard
    BBH Head of Strategy: Jason Gonsalves
    BBH Team Director: Ngaio Pardon
    BBH Team Manager: Alex Monger
    BBH Team Assistant: Katie Burkes

    Print credits
    BBH Creative Team (Print): Carl Broadhurst and Peter Reid
    BBH Head of Art: Mark Reddy
    BBH Designer: James Townsend
    BBH Print Producer: Sally Green
    BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
    BBH Head of Strategy: Jason Gonsalves
    BBH Team Director: Ngaio Pardon
    BBH Team Manager: Alex Monger
    BBH Team Assistant: Katie Burkes

    Production credits
    Production Company – Rattling Stick
    Director: Ringan Ledwidge
    Producer: Chris Harrison
    DoP: Franz Lustig
    Editor/Editing House: Richard Orrick (Work post)
    Post Production (Graphics + CGI effects):  The Mill London
    Sound Design: Will Cohen & Sam Brock
    Music: Phil Kay (Woodwork Music)

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • “The advent of broadband ripped our squawking heads from the sand”

    22nd May 09

    Within about 5 minutes of arriving at the Telegraph Media Group offices last week, those unvarnished words – first uttered back in 2007 by TMG’s now editor-in-chief, Will Lewis – had been recounted to us, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon.  A bit of a surprise.  This after all was the home of the Daily Telegraph, the UK’s biggest broadsheet, famously the ‘paper of the shires’ and historically the bastion of the Conservative party, right?  Well yes and no.  Invited in by Nancy Cruickshank, TMG’s recently appointed Executive Director of Digital Development, a group of us from BBH and BBH Labs were about to hear how the paper had undergone a complete operational and cultural transformation over the past few years: moving from a print production-led organisation to one intent upon embracing an integrated, multi-format, audience-focused future.

    Before we go much further, it’s worth saying what this isn’t about: it’s not another essay on the accelerating declines in the newspaper industry’s circulation figures and ad revenues, as much as these may form the backdrop, even the driving need behind the changes at TMG. Instead, the starting point here is the premise that adland still needs media and media needs adland, no question.  And, equally importantly, all of us need to find forward-looking ways to accelerate our own response to the change going on around us. Listening to what they had to say, the relevance for any commercial creative business hit home hard. Here then is an unapologetically positive attempt to capture the implications of what we heard: what can we learn from one media brand’s story?

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  • Twitter – the Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

    14th April 09

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in social media

    The crescendo of noise around Twitter grows by the second. Yet while for many this delivers a symphony of Web 2.0 magnificence, crafted by millions of tweeting voices (Aaron Koblin managed only 2000, though it was far from symphonic), others hear nothing more than deafening silence. I’ve been trying to think through this paradox. Two events of the last week illustrate this tension well.

    I had a message from my brother Tim (@malbonster), co-Founder of social media agency Made By Many in London, when I woke up here in NY. Tim is ‘into Twitter’. His message was subject titled: ‘I hope it’s not, but the fun bit feels like it’s almost over’. He was lamenting a tweet he’d read this morning from a friend (@netgrrl) which read: ‘Ah… I’ve mentioned coffee too many times now, I’m being inundated with follows from coffee marketers.’ Yes, I found myself nodding subconsciously, it’s being ruined. The crazy experimental bit with no rules, where no one has any idea how to monetize, or even whether it will be successful, and where marketing has been wrong-footed; that’s all gone . . .

    (for full post click below)

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