28 January 2010

The Internet Is A Playground

No, that's not just the name of David Thorne's new book that I just ordered.

I think it's also something brands need to realise before they come out to play. Because no matter how many "social media etiquette" rules you follow, at the end of the day there's always going to be a bully or a troll or a mob ready to push you off the monkey bars.

But I think it's important to note that this doesn’t just happen to brands in this space, but people too. It's almost inevitable, no matter who you are. So if it does happen, get back on your feet and give it another go. Although you can listen to advice from your parents (or the “social media experts”), at the end of the day sometimes it is going to happen anyway.

Probably best you don't listen to my Dad's advice though, which was when I got in a fight to always punch the bully back. Consumers may not like that.

25 January 2010

Wrong Tone

Are advertisers seriously still giving away ringtones as prizes?

I'm not even exaggerating when I say that every single mobile phone today has an option to make your own ringtone. From your own iTunes collection. For free.

Giving away codes to download them was lame five years ago. Move on peeps.

And even get me started on brands creating their own Crazy Frog style remixes.

21 January 2010

No News Is No News

One of the issues in not watching television, as my favourite co worker Stan points out, is that you miss ads. Which is fucking awesome for the most part except that people often talk about them. On more than one occasion I've been caught out where friends have turned to me as the one studying advertising and I've not had a clue as to what they're talking about.

Ads, it would seem, remain a popular conversation topic. Music is another, which despite the fact I don't listen to radio, strangely hasn't affected me. The biggest issue that I am suffering from, is news.

With the massive decrease in the consumption of traditional media, myself and many of my friends tend to be less informed about news and current affairs.

And the only real reason this has become an issue is because it's a popular conversation topic among peers that I can't always join in on. But other than that, is this a big deal?

For the most part, news programs have become commercial, vested interest vehicles of entertainment anyway. And as tragic as it was, is the death of four teenagers in a car accident really something that I should be concerned about?

Instead, democratically, the most important and the most interesting news finds its way to me. This means I receive a lot less unimportant news, yet the big stories, like an natural disaster leaving many in need of aid, are made aware to me through platforms like Twitter. The jet skiing squirrel does not (I use Digg for that).

Overlooking the fact I work (using the word lightly) in advertising, is it an issue that the next generation will be less informed about many of the ultimately pointless day to day news?

17 January 2010

Yeah, Let's Pay For A Sarcasm Emoticon

So someone, somewhere, somehow had a brilliant idea. That sentence, unlike the title of this post, was not sarcastic.

The idea was to introduce a mainstream emoticon for the emotion of sarcasm. It's call the SarcMark and it looks like this... .

I mean, overlooking the great choice of name that will surely be adopted into the masses (), a problem exists. You have to pay to use it. $1.99 will let you download software that lets you use it with a keyboard short cut as you would with any other emoticon.

A great idea was surely just killed. Yes they'll probably make a small bag of money but no it won't go mainstream if you have to pay for it. Not even the micro transaction concept can save it.

And if there's one thing you don't want from a new emoticon, it's people not knowing what it is or what it conveys.

Oh well, I wish the creators the best of luck.

15 January 2010

It's My First Week

So that finishes my first week at George Patterson Y&R. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I think the word "traditional" came to mind. Possibly in the way you'd look at an accounting firm.

Oh how wrong I was. I've already learnt so much, and it's only just the beginning.

11 January 2010

The Call Is Answered

A couple of months ago I put out the call that I wanted to do an internship. Well, George Patterson Y&R answered, and as of tomorrow I'll be there four days a week until I'm back at uni for my final year in March.

A young guy stepping into the oldest advertising agency in Australia... I think I'm going to learn a lot. I have no idea what I'm in for, but I'm pretty damn excited.

And perhaps the best part, I'll be going in on my first day with a Mohawk.

04 January 2010

Just Me

People often criticise myself and this blog because it's incredibly bias. "But you're just one person" or "You can't base anything off a sample size of one" are often comments that people like yourself leave.

Well... no shit. But that's all I've got. Every day I attempt to write about an industry I have very little experience in and certainly no money to fund some kind of research. So if you're expecting anything more than an arrogant young blogger's opinion, you're better off reading something else.

Don't get me wrong, I love comments that criticise, object, question and sometimes ground me. Often I change my opinion because of them. But just a heads up, there are plenty of more experienced bloggers out there, many of whom research a topic before they write about it. ;]

02 January 2010

Reducing That Half

John Wanamaker, who ever he was, supposedly said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half."

As much as I hate to play to the whole "social media is a revolution" idea, I think in 2010 and beyond we'll start to see this wasted half reduced dramatically. Although I don't know if you would class the spend under "advertising".

The reason we haven't seen any kind of revolution yet is because no one is using it in any kind of revolutionary way. When we move beyond Facebook Fan Pages as the core of strategy, combined with increased accountability on agencies, we're going to start seeing some pretty amazing stuff.

The Utopian in me can't wait for a time when I'm discussing a night out with my mates on Facebook and and my favourite beer brand joins the conversation with information on the nearest and cheapest location to buy a six pack. Or a theatre, knowing my favourite movie, checks my calendar to see if I'm free and then informs me they're showing a screening. And my favourite candy brand is in on it too. How about a retailer makes a recommendation on what to buy my Dad for Father's Day based on his Amazon browsing habits, or even his Twitter usage. The examples are endless.

Obviously, we're not gonna be at this stage for a long time. And I'm not even sure how to get there. But at some point we'll start using this abundance of information, deal with the privacy issues and eventually develop the right technology to start reducing that wasted half of advertising.

But in the mean time, the least I can hope for is that Coles will stop wasting their half on me.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
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