Monthly Archives: February 2013

I hope your next pitch is a bad one

“Difficult to tell”.  Every senior agency executive is contractually obliged to utter these words, when emerging from a pitch.  And in truth, reading the runes of these affairs is about as easy as predicting the next Pope.  (NB: I lost interest in this when, as usual, Scotland was knocked out before the main tournament). Read more on I hope your next pitch is a bad one…

Live from #MWC2013

The new venue is the NEC of Barcelona, a soulless collection of large sheds. Last year, the venue at least had some outdoor space and majestic fountains. This is just grim -  Cannes and SXSW without a doubt win in the atmosphere and location categories.

However, I’m not here for sights. I’m here for innovation, insight and inspiration. And that is bountiful. Read more on Live from #MWC2013…

Making passes at Google’s Glasses

With our event on Nurturing Great Creative happening on Wednesday, I’ve been thinking a lot about creative and creativity.

Read more on Making passes at Google’s Glasses…

Blogging a dead horse?

As you may have noticed in my Super Bowl post the other week, I love a good joke. I love to laugh. I like it when brands can get into the spirit of something in the now and poke a little fun at it. After all, life isn’t all seriousness.

Read more on Blogging a dead horse?…

Big ideas for a digital world

There has been quite a lot of discussion following the release of the 21st edition of Advertising Works, which compiles the winners from the IPA’s 2012 Effectiveness Awards. One of the most interesting points comes from Marie Oldham, convenor of judges for the 2012 Awards. In an article  published last November, she discusses how the campaigns that transformed meaningful insights into purposeful communications were the ones that stood out as the most effective, proving that big, insightful ideas that tap into people’s emotions lie at the heart of effectiveness.

The importance of emotions in advertising is hardly news. We all know that ads that engage us emotionally work better than those that don’t. As analysis of the IPA Databank conducted by Pringle and Field in 2009 shows,  campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content, and those that were purely emotional did a little better than those that mixed emotional and rational content. However this does not mean that all ads with a meaningful message are good. We need to attract and engage people.  We need to be remembered.  Truly big ideas are the ones that resonate, connecting the brand and the “human” in our consumer. It is the connection that makes the idea BIG. Read more on Big ideas for a digital world…

MWC 2013: What to Expect

It’s that time again, where the entire mobile industry descends upon Barcelona for the four days of innovation that is Mobile World Congress.

Last year we came back buzzing about how mobile is now the first screen, developers drive the innovation and the over-the-tops could be taking over.

Read more on MWC 2013: What to Expect…

Seriously important stuff

I spent this morning talking about effectiveness to some new-ish industry recruits.  It was part of a training day put together by the excellent people at the London Strategy Unit and I was worried about being the dull numbers bit sandwiched between the cooler topics like “writing great briefs”, “finding killer insights” and “working with creatives”. Read more on Seriously important stuff…

Pump up the volume

Pump up the volume: Super Bowl Ads blogOnce again, I’ve had the opportunity to be mesmerised – in person – by the phenomenon that is the Super Bowl advertisements. The shushing when the ads come on; the volume turned up for the ads, not the game. Fascinating.

In my last post, I said just how much I was looking forward to this. And broadly, it delivered. I steered clear of nearly all of the previews, wanting instead to experience the first flush of excitement alongside my fellow viewers. And I had the pleasure of watching it all with my rather excitable family, who got even more in the spirit than usual, once they realised I was taking notes.

Read more on Pump up the volume…

Graphing Likes

With big data comes great responsibility. This is what Spider-Man* might have said if he was working for Facebook these days. Facebook has the personal information, photos and likes of over a billion people with more than a trillion connections. That’s a lot of data, so no wonder that privacy concerns are mounting since Facebook announced its new Graph Search a couple of weeks ago, which uses everything we have been sharing on Facebook to let us look up people, places or photos, packaging it into structured information we can actually use.

This is like Google but instead of giving you links to external sites, results are Facebook pages for the people, places or things that match your query, making the search more personal than a traditional search engine. For example, you could search ‘restaurants my friends who live in Dublin like’ to get a list of places to eat in Dublin your friends ‘liked’, look for ‘friends that work at my company who like karaoke’ if you’re looking for a singing partner in crime or ‘new movies my friends like’ if you don’t know what to watch. This all sounds very exciting, but it can also be a bit scary, as Tom Scott’s Tumblr Actual Facebook Graph Searches shows. Read more on Graphing Likes…

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