Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why sleeping in is good for you

Interesting snippet in Wired this month - 3 Smart Things About Sleeping in Late. Also the reason why an early start in the office should be 9:30! We all need more sleep than we think - so spending more time under the duvet is good (have a read of Guy Claxton's Hare Brain, Toirtoise Mind). You are more creative at night - so nobody should ever be made to do an 8am meeting. Rising early causes more stress (all to do with the production of the hormone cortisol).

So stay in bed. It's good for you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Can't quite believe it has taken this long to permeate our house because this organisation seem to have been trading for some time. This is Bloomsberry & Co who are purveyors of fine chocolate and who have a pack design sensibility that means you cannot resist buying some. Whether it is specific designs for milk or dark chocolate, holiday packaging or romance, they are all fantastic. Interesting and entertaining with an engaging personality. Just what you want in your slab.

Blog writing

Found this small utility (Typealyzer) that looks at the content of your blog and determines the parts of the brain that have been used in the creation of the writing.

Feel pretty good at being described as a doer. Not too shabby I guess.
The analysis though I am less happy about. Always thought of myself as being closer to the intutioin dimension. The order, habit, details dimension not something have ever thought of as a strength, and interesting that may come through the randomness I throw up here and keep.

Still, interesting little widget.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beer Sphere

So the plannerly thinker types of the world have launched a new regular gathering shin-dig - BeerSphere, modelled on coffee mornings and likemind type gatherings.

So this is either for:
- the lazy who can't get up for coffee
- the busy, who can't make it due to work/child/distance issues (like me)
- the caffeine intolerant

Or is a reflection that the growing global consumer depression is affecting us planners, and no longer in need of caffeine stimulants to keep us going, we need alcohol stimulants to blank it all out.

Or the realisation that it's just bloody good fun to go and have a pint with a group of like minded people.

Where do you sit?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

17 new marketing mantras

New book out from Tom Himpe, the author of "Advertising is dead: Long live advertising" called "Advertising Next".

Not read it yet, but it sets out a number of mantras for brands moving forward in terms of how they should behave.

The book supports these 17 new ways to operate with a myriad cases to make his point. I'm not so sure there is anything that new here for us planners, but in book form there may be more notice taken in a broader context. What it also shows is that these rules provide opportunities of brands big and small. That as a small organisation you can think and take on the big players. And that as big players, you're going to have to think small some of the time. The changing media landscape is going to make adopting these behaviours easier for everyone. So how many of these behaviours does your brand demonstrate?

In-Store Marketing Expo

New post on about the presentations from some of our offices at the In-Store Marketing expo.

If you are there, drop by and say hello.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Looking forward to Bond

I've really been drawn in to the Quantum of Solace, initially through facebook. Today's movie launches are fantastic, especially around a franchise like Bond. The level of engagement you can have with the product before it is even released really draws the audience in, and creates a group of advocates who talk about it with others. From the snippets of info. available during filming, through to the communities created, the games, the background info. and the bits to personalise your phone, desktop, IM avatar and all that. Films have never been so rich, engaging and exciting.

The level of cross merchandising and promotion is of course taken to new levels with Bond. A pioneer in product placement, the use of the property that is Bond has been carefully managed and used appriopriately to manage the equity of the entire franchise. Endorsements are a good fit (like Omega watches or Aston Martin) or the character is used in a creatie way to both showcase a particular product and enhance his own persona, as in this Sony HD spot.

He comes across as he should - tough as nails - and I bet this looks amazing in HD.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My mate, Marmite

I'm loving the newish Marmite work at the moment.

Nothing particularly new about the idea or anything on the site, but the combination of one of my all time favourite products with a classic bedtime story, Paddington Bear (and Paddington is both a classic for me and now for my 5 year old as we're reading the stories together), is proving that 1+1 = 3. Brilliant stuff for a brand to tap into such a nostalgic property. Also, the executions are a fabulous extension of the love it or hate it idea.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another White Paper

It really has been busy. We've been working on a new initiative at work that brings together the experience we have in the digital space with our experience in retail. We think it is a new space for us as an agency to play in that we've termed Digitail™ (yes, we've even trade marked that term!)

Anyway, the convergence of these two worlds is really interesting and some of the work and conversations have led us to the recognition of the space and obviously we want to stake a claim in it because we think we have the right to play.

So hence the White Paper. Download it from here and leave a comment on your thoughts.

Morgan and I also sat down in a dark room with a microphone and talked about it to create a podcast which basically gives you the background to the thinking. We're making some internal changes and restructuring a few things to ensure we really bring it to life so it should be interesting over the next 12 months.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New White Paper

It's been a busy month and somehow I've not had the chance to get to write anything. It was great to see Team GB come 4th in the medal tables in Beijing this year. It seems that John Major's investment in youth sport when he took of the top job at UK PLC is coming to fruition as it was the best result in the medal tally since 1908!

Anyway, lot's going on at work and plenty of new stuff coming down the pipe that should be really interesting.

We've just published another White Paper, this one is a point of view on retailer's Clean Store policies. If that's something of interest, download the paper and have a read.

Plenty of travel in September in the US and overseas so I hope to pick up some interesting things on the way that I can talk about.

Monday, July 28, 2008

DisruptionFest '08

OK, so this is a plug for an initiative that is going on within the Group I work for (TBWA\Worldwide).

This site is a place where anyone can nominate what they perceive to be any kind of Disruption that has recently occurred in the world - be it architecture, music, art, fashion, whatever.

It will be interesting to see how this grows as it is intended as a celebration of those who look at the world differently and are able to over turn conventions of the field they operate within. You can sign up as a Disruption agent and vote on those ideas you feel challenge the world around us the most.

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

Bit behind on this, as apparently it has been the 'buzz' in and around Harvard since June 5th. JK Rowling delivered the Commencement Address at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.

You can find it on YouTube, but if you visit the Harvard Magazine you can watch it and read the transcript. It's a brilliant piece delivered really well in a clearly nerve-racking context. I think she did a fantastic job, and the content is magnificent.

She discusses the importance of failure (interesting notion to a group of Harvard graduates!) in stripping away the inessential, and makes a wonderful point on the importance of imagination. I found this particularly interesting in the context of leadership. She says;
"Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared."
The ability to place ourselves in the shoes of others, be it as a planner in crafting your brief or as a leader in developing your team, is clearly a huge part of what we do; essential in fact. In both areas, the ability to empathise makes a big difference between growth and success, and merely getting by.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Consumer Electronics White Paper

Over at our work blog,, we've just put up a new white paper on a study our Dallas office undertook about shopping in the Consumer Electronics category. If that's your gig, worth a download.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More lists

Trend Candy have a bunch of top something lists on all sorts of things on their site. As a fan of a top X list, thought I would pop it up here and make up my own top 5 list of their top x lists from today's browsing. So here it is:

1) Top 30 hip hotels in 2008. Love the Istanbul underwater hotel
2) 11 kinetic energy innovations, free green energy. Go buy some.
3) Top 30 unique inventions in 2008. Some of these are great.
4) 13 innovations in Transportation and future transit - I will get my hover car that I was promised as a child one day!
5) Top 30 naughty trends, innovations and ads in 2008 - coz it's fun

Thing with this though is that I don't think a lot of their content actually constitutes a trend. It's interesting an' that, but trends?

Thinker types

As I have been lousy at writing anything of late (and 3 weeks in the UK hasn't helped that) thought I would post a link to Heather's findings of the planner study she recently undertook. I posted about it a while back.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Live ads

Thursday 29th May, 2008. Channel 4 in the UK showed what was the first ad created "live" in the ad break. The execution was a great manifestation of the "Difficult is worth doing" idea developed by W&K (although the actual executional idea was bought to the table by Starcom).

Many interesting things in this. It...

1) continues the line of innovative Honda work (Cog, Choir etc.)
2) has (and will continue) created a huge amount of column inches and PR coverage
3) was cheap to produce, as it was done in house by Channel 4 and took reletively little to create. No fancy CGI and all that.
4) was a creative executional idea bought by the media agency.

Was it effective? Given the number of people who viewed it (over 2 million) and the link above to Youtube which has over 50k views so far, it's certainly got a lot of attention. The product (the new Accord) is also likely to be top-notch and will sell well too.


Monday, May 19, 2008

It's been a while

Workload. Pitches.

My car has spent more time at the airport garage than at home.

My back is fed up with hotel beds.

And somehow, I've just not had the time to post - although there are some new things over at

In the haze though, I did have this thought at the weekend. Grown men in Crocs - is that right?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Visual treats

I cannot stop myself from hanging out on this site new site for Microsoft's Zune player. I love the visual impact it delivers, the navigation, and the variety of imagery. The play list also has some great tracks on it. It's so interesting and visually pleasing it just makes me smile. This is what brands should be all about - delivering people with interesting chances to play with their brand. I've been going on about it all week. How good is that, a non-user talking about your brand to anyone that will listen for week?

And I have asked around, and no, I still don't know anyone who owns one. Do you? Why? What's cool about it? I'd love to know.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is great. I was at a conference today and saw a brilliant presentation of a new study that has been done about the contents of America's handbags. Called In your Purse - Archaeology of the American Handbag, it's an enlightening look (especially for blokes) at the dark recesses of the handbag. Whats fascinating is the potential for innovation that the humble handbag presents.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Great insight

This is a new Visa execution that springs from a great insight. Watch and enjoy the absence of hard sell. Wonderful stuff.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


We've a project going on in the office on the notion of convenience. So this little blog has been set up by Paul to discuss the opposite - those things that inconvenience and bug the hell out of us. He's looking for comment and stories about things that get on your nerves and you see as inconvenient in your day-to-day life.

So please have a look and leave your own story somewhere on the blog. If you also find a way to pass it on to other people you know get riled up by life's little inconveniences, that would be fantastic.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Silence the stain

Some great spoofs of the silence the stain executions from Tide to go.

Too late to contribute, but not too late to vote.

Monday, March 31, 2008

More Cadbury Joy

And not just the large slabs that my sister sent over last week for my birthday. The follow up to the Gorilla - a series of airport vehicles drag racing down the runway to the strains of classic Freddie Mercury. The brand essence of cadbury is Joy - and this is yet another wonderful expression of it.

You find the truck work inside this website that is creating a home for all this joyfulness. I love the area of Gorilla echoes that are all on youtube.

Have a look, it's most excellent (much like the imported product).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thinker types - once again

This is the fourth year of a survey that Heather LeFevre (now of CP+B in Miami) has run her survey of plannery types and their world. I posted a link to last year's survey and this is a link to the 2008 edition. In 2007 450 of us completed the survey and already this year this link has been emailed to over 600 of us. Heather is also gaining some analytical support from Hall & Partners, so there may be some greater richness to the results.

So if you are of a plannery disposition, click through and take it. If you are not in a plannery type position (i.e you're a student) or if you are just interested in the results (which means you run an agency and you employ plannery types) then you use this link and they will be sent to you went complete. Go at it.

Useful lists

I always find a list of help. Here is an interesting one I've just found from Step One Creative - top 100 campaigns of all time.
  1. Volkswagen, "Think Small", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1959
  2. Coca-Cola, "The pause that refreshes", D'Arcy Co., 1929
  3. Marlboro, The Marlboro Man, Leo Burnett Co., 1955
  4. Nike, "Just do it", Wieden & Kennedy, 1988
  5. McDonald's, "You deserve a break today", Needham, Harper & Steers, 1971
  6. DeBeers, "A diamond is forever", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1948
  7. Absolut Vodka, The Absolut Bottle, TBWA, 1981
  8. Miller Lite beer, "Tastes great, less filling", McCann-Erickson Worldwide, 1974
  9. Clairol, Does she...or doesn't she?", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1957
  10. Avis, "We try harder", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1963
  11. Federal Express, "Fast talker", Ally & Gargano, 1982
  12. Apple Computer, "1984", Chiat/Day, 1984
  13. Alka-Seltzer, Various ads, Jack Tinker & Partners; Doyle Dane Bernbach; Wells Rich, Greene, 1960s, 1970s
  14. Pepsi-Cola, "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot", Newell-Emmett Co., 1940s
  15. Maxwell House, "Good to the last drop", Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, 1959
  16. Ivory Soap, "99 and 44/100% Pure", Proctor & Gamble Co., 1882
  17. American Express, "Do you know me?", Ogilvy & Mather, 1975
  18. U.S. Army, "Be all that you can be", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1981
  19. Anacin, "Fast, fast, fast relief", Ted Bates & Co., 1952
  20. Rolling Stone, "Perception. Reality.", Fallon McElligott Rice, 1985
  21. Pepsi-Cola, "The Pepsi generation", Batton, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, 1964
  22. Hathaway Shirts, "The man in the Hathaway shirt", Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, 1951
  23. Burma-Shave, Roadside signs in verse, Allen Odell, 1925
  24. Burger King, "Have it your way", BBDO, 1973
  25. Campbell Soup, "Mmm mm good", BBDO, 1930s
  26. U.S. Forest Service, Smokey the Bear/"Only you can prevent forest fires", Advertising Council/Foote, Cone & Belding
  27. Budweiser, "This Bud's for you", D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, 1970s
  28. Maidenform, "I dreamed I went shopping in my Maidenform bra", Norman, Craig & Kunnel, 1949
  29. Victor Talking Machine Co., "His master's voice", Francis Barraud, 1901
  30. Jordan Motor Car Co., "Somewhere west of Laramie", Edward S. (Ned) Jordan, 1923
  31. Woodbury Soap, "The skin you love to touch", J. Walter Thompson Co., 1911
  32. Benson & Hedges 100s, "The disadvantages", Wells, Rich, Greene, 1960s
  33. National Biscuit Co., Uneeda Biscuits' Boy in Boots, N.W. Ayer & Son, 1899
  34. Energizer, The Energizer Bunny, Chiat/Day, 1989
  35. Morton Salt, "When it rains it pours", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1912
  36. Chanel, "Share the fantasy", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1979
  37. Saturn, "A different kind of company, A different kind of car.", Hal Riney & Partners, 1989
  38. Crest toothpaste, "Look, Ma! No cavities!", Benton & Bowles, 1958
  39. M&Ms, "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands", Ted Bates & Co., 1954
  40. Timex, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking", W.B. Doner & Co & predecessor agencies, 1950s
  41. Chevrolet, "See the USA in your Chevrolet", Campbell-Ewald, 1950s
  42. Calvin Klein, "Know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing!
  43. Reagan for President, "It's morning again in America" Tuesday Team, 1984
  44. Winston cigarettes, "Winston tastes good--like a cigarette should" 1954
  45. U.S. School of Music, "They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play!" Ruthrauff & Ryan, 1925
  46. Camel cigarettes, "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", N. W. Ayer & Son, 1921
  47. Wendy's, "Where's the beef?", Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, 1984
  48. Listerine, "Always a bridesmaid, but never a bride", Lambert & Feasley, 1923
  49. Cadillac, "The penalty of leadership", MacManus, John & Adams, 1915
  50. Keep America Beautiful, "Crying Indian", Advertising Council/Marstellar Inc., 1971
  51. Charmin, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin", Benton & Bowles, 1964
  52. Wheaties, "Breakfast of champions", Blackett-Sample-Hummert, 1930s
  53. Coca-Cola, "It's the real thing", McCann-Erickson, 1970
  54. Greyhound, "It's such a comfort to take the bus and leave the driving to us", Grey Advertising, 1957
  55. Kellogg's Rice Krispies, "Snap! Crackle! and Pop!", Leo Burnett Co., 1940s
  56. Polaroid, "It's so simple", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1977
  57. Gillette, "Look sharp, feel sharp", BBDO, 1940s
  58. Levy's Rye Bread, "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Rye Bread", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1949
  59. Pepsodent, "You'll wonder where the yellow went", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1956
  60. Lucky Strike cigarettes, "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet", Lord & Thomas, 1920s
  61. 7 UP, "The Uncola", J. Walter Thompson, 1970s
  62. Wisk detergent, "Ring around the collar", BBDO, 1968
  63. Sunsweet Prunes, "Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles", Freberg Ltd., 1970s
  64. Life cereal, "Hey, Mikey", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1972
  65. Hertz, "Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat", Norman, Craig & Kummel, 1961
  66. Foster Grant, "Who's that behind those Foster Grants?", Geer, Dubois, 1965
  67. Perdue chicken, "It takes a tough man to make tender chicken" Scali, McCabe, Sloves, 1971
  68. Hallmark, "When you care enough to send the very best", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1930s
  69. Springmaid sheets, "A buck well spent", In-house, 1948
  70. Queensboro Corp., Jackson Heights Apartment Homes, WEAF, NYC, 1920s
  71. Steinway & Sons, "The instrument of the immortals", N.W. Ayer & Sons, 1919
  72. Levi's jeans, "501 Blues", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1984
  73. Blackglama-Great Lakes Mink, "What becomes a legend most?", Jane Trahey Associates, 1960s
  74. Blue Nun wine, Stiller & Meara campaign, Della Famina, Travisano & Partners, 1970s
  75. Hamm's beer, "From the Land of Sky Blue Waters", Campbell-Mithun, 1950s
  76. Quaker Puffed Wheat, "Shot from guns", Lord & Thomas, 1920s
  77. ESPN Sports, "This is SportsCenter", Wieden & Kennedy, 1995
  78. Molson Beer, Laughing Couple, Moving & Talking Picture Co., 1980s
  79. California Milk Processor Board, "Got Milk?", 1993
  80. AT&T, "Reach out and touch someone", N.W. Ayer, 1979
  81. Brylcreem, "A little dab'll do ya", Kenyon & Eckhardt, 1950s
  82. Carling Black Label beer, "Hey Mabel, Black Label!", Lang, Fisher & Stashower, 1940s
  83. Isuzu, "Lying Joe Isuzu", Della Famina, Travisano & Partners, 1980s
  84. BMW, "The ultimate driving machine", Ammirati & Puris, 1975
  85. Texaco, "You can trust your car to the men who wear the star", Benton & Bowles, 1940s
  86. Coca-Cola, "Always", Creative Artists Agency, 1993
  87. Xerox, "It's a miracle", Needham, Harper & Steers, 1975
  88. Bartles & Jaymes, "Frank and Ed", Hal Riney & Partners, 1985
  89. Dannon Yogurt, Old People in Russia, Marstellar Inc., 1970s
  90. Volvo, Average life of a car in Sweden, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, 1960s
  91. Motel 6, "We'll leave a light on for you", Richards Group, 1988
  92. Jell-O, Bill Cosby with kids, Young & Rubicam, 1975
  93. IBM, Chaplin's Little Tramp character, Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein, 1982
  94. American Tourister, The Gorilla, Doyle, Dane Bernbach, late 1960s
  95. Right Guard, "Medicine Cabinet", BBDO, 1960s
  96. Maypo, "I want my Maypo", Fletcher, Calkins & Holden, 1960s
  97. Bufferin, Pounding heartbeat, Young & Rubicam, 1960
  98. Arrow Shirts, "My friend, Joe Holmes, is now a horse", Young & Rubicam, 1938
  99. Young & Rubicam, "Impact", Young & Rubicam, 1930
  100. Lyndon Johnson for President, "Daisy", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1964

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A social media experiment

OK. So pick your excuse. I'm either ...

a) reasonably busy
b) working my way through a big stack of books
c) the slowest reader known to man

Either way, it has taken me too long to get to my promise of reading this book. My mistake, as if you have even a vague interest in how to ensure your brand is a success in the future then I recommend you give this a read.

I found Joseph's writing style to go on a bit and the humour often seems incongruent, but get past that and it is a light, easy read about the power of conversation. Peppered with anecdotes, graphs and other traditional 'I've got a really good paper, but let's turn it into a book' stuff, the fundamental point about the change in the landscape brands now play on and the need to re-think how we engage people is well made and an important contribution to modern marketing.

So what did I learn from the read? Well, this is a book about change, evolution, adaptation and experimentation.

- It reminded me of how we all change our mentality when we cross the threshold of our places of work. We have conversation outside the building - inside, we push out endless reams of (often) meaningless communication.

- That to partake in a conversation, you have to have something interesting to contribute - a challenge for many. How many brands in the world could hold an interesting conversation at a BBQ? And it's not about just opening your mouth, you have to have something to say.

- That many brands do not understand the notion of audience - otherwise the aggressive or de-humanising stance that some advertisers take would be less prevalent. Remember guys, we're all audience to something, we all talk.

- That whatever we do, brands are increasingly bouncing in the market (spoofing, generating echoes) - or they should be looking to do so. Joseph talks of the 'movement of parts of the conversation that alter and shift every time they hit the dirt'. (Although I felt the notion of a Chief Conversation Officer as a new role slightly sinister for some reason).

- The importance of listening in conversation. Something we've been doing bunch of work on in the office.

There are also some useful and very funny stories of brands slapping their customer's for using them. I'm sure they won't bring the organisations down, but they provide useful learning for others.

The conversation carries on in a number of places. First off there is the site that accompanies the book, there is Joseph's excellent blog (and his podcasts are also worth a listen) which Morgan is an advocate of, and you can also join the Facebook group.

And if you happen to be in close geographic proximity to me, I'd be happy to lend you my (slightly dog-eared) copy, but you can also get your own from

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Reduced sugar

These are just Cornflakes now, aren't they?

I grew up on Frosted Flakes (or Frosties as they are called in the UK) and Tony the Tiger was an early icon of my television viewing. His sugary delights, now deemed too much for today's generation of children, have been watered down.

And weren't wagon wheels bigger when we were kids?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sex sells

A truism in the industry for time immemorial - the use of sex to grab and keep our attention has been proven to work time and again. But audiences have become increasingly immune to the impact, so marketers have to keep pushing the boundaries of taste to keep selling. Trend Hunter has created a list of some of the most recent, infamous and innovative (at the time) work that uses sex as a selling technique.

Beer is one category that has, globally, always relied on the cheekier side of sex to shift their product. My favourites are still the Boddingtons ads that made Mel Sykes a household name in the early 90's.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

P.R.I.S.M. White Paper

Over at the Integer blog,, we've just posted a new white paper on the impact of the P.R.I.S.M initiative on in-store media. It's a point of view that draws parallels from the impact of metrics on the maturation of previous media vehicles and our point of view of the change coming in the in-store environment. Please feel free to download it here, and tell us what you think.


I've been using this for sometime and, on trying to find it just now, realised I have never posted it for safe keeping. So, here is Jeffre Jackson and a piece he did for the Interesting 2007 conference (that wot was set up by Russel Davies, for the cost attending TED) on the notion of interestingness. I used this in a talk I gave to some 'young' people a while back and few of them understood it. Dull bunch they were.

Anyway, hope you enjoy. I do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The story of stuff

Thanks to Andrew for this. The story of stuff.

It is really worth 20 minutes of your time. Grab a coffee and watch. This is a great look at the linear process of the production of stuff - and the view that it is not sustainable on a planet with finite resources. It ends by outlining lots of initiatives that can be, are being, adopted to improve our lot.

Is also interesting commentary on how we as people have changed our values over the last 100 years, and how Government moved us to become a world of consumers and the role that the planned and perceived obsolescence movement in design played in getting us to where the world is today.

It's a fast race through the materials economy. I found it depressing on so many levels. Yet inspiring and filled me with hope.

If you don't have 20 mins here are a couple of the trailers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cycle Paris

Sorry. It's been a month. Work, travel, family and all that.

Anyway, was in Europe last week and saw the new Velib cycle system. It's a new self-service "bicycle transit system". And it's very cool.

You buy a smart card, turn up at one of the Velib stations ...

put your smart card on one of these readers ...

and borrow a bike.

Once you are done, you deposit it back at a station and pick another bike up when you need to go somewhere else. It's a fantastic urban transportation solution. The bikes look cool, comfortable and have a practical basket for luggin stuff around.

The only potential downside is that you might get to a station and find there are no available bikes. But they seem to be so frequent, you are never going to be more than a short walk away. You can also lock it up to keep it 'yours' but that then starts to cost you more.

I love that this encourages people out of their cars and enables people to enjoy the city around them. At night I should also think it is a great option for those who feel unsafe or insecure using the metro system.

All round brilliant.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A social media experiment

Have got myself involved in a small experiment to see if the power of the network and social marketing is all we believe it is going to be. (I have also mirrored a similar version of this at Integer's shopper culture blog.)

The experiment is being run by Joseph Jaffe who runs a blog that I tend to read on a fairly regular basis. Joseph has written a new book entitled "Join the Conversation" which was published by Wiley in October 2007.

Following success with his previous books at generating reviews in non-mainstream media (none of the usual suspects reviewed his previous work) and buzz in 'new' channels Joseph is, once again, trying to see if he can get his book on the best seller list by practicing what he preaches. (although I have to confess that I have not yet read Joseph's first book, "Life after the 30-second spot" and I know I should!)

So he is trying to use the power of conversation among networks to market a product. He has named this approach UNM2PNM (Using New Media to Prove New Media). As his blog says...

'The underlying thinking behind this effort was that I would use the very approaches in my book to help market it and in so doing, would turn the book into its own case study.'

Obviously that kind of thinking appeals to me.

So what do I get out of it? First off, a free copy of the new book to review as I see fit.

Secondly, I get in on the experiment to try and use the power of my network and the conversation generated here to influence the sale of a product. I thought this was interesting enough to warrant participation and the use of the social media outlets I participate in.

It will be interesting to see what happens given the amount of book clutter that exists (I only have to look at the unread pile next to my bed) and free IP that is generated in the blog sphere - will the supposed power of social media be able to move the needle and encourage greater purchase? Well that also depends upon whether the book is any good and if the reviews encourage people to buy it or avoid it. So when it arrives I am going to try and prioritise some time to reading and reviewing it.

If you want to grab a copy of the book for yourself in advance, you can do so at amazon, (and if you do, let me know) or if you want to take part and post a review, read the original UNM2PNM post for how to participate with Joseph.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sometimes, if only ...

Just stumbled upon this on the Russell Davies blog (which I've not read for eons).

Couple of things:

- Couldn't agree more with this particular Labour insider

- I really miss an actual physical edition of The Guardian. Reading Guardian Unlimited is tactually limited. - the feeling that the paper and news print give, and the delight of turning the pages and finding a gem such as this leap out at you from the page.

It's the little things ... and reinforces how important the little things are in everything we do in the marketing world - those behavioural things, those tangible things that bring delight to the brand experience.

While I do miss a morning broadsheet to peruse, I did go skiing yesterday. Just for a few hours - so it's not all bad!

(Picture courtesy of off-spring no. 2)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Have come across some interesting work and quotes on shopping from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Came about because of an architectural interest.

Firstly, Rem Koolhaas:
"Retail is the single most influential force on the shape of the modern city."

No arguments from me.

Secondly,Sze Tsung Leong:

"Not only is shopping melting into everything, but everything is melting into shopping."

The work we are doing at Integer is certainly leading to this thinking. The act of shopping is all pervasive in our work, our lives and in our society.

And finally, a quote from Paul Goldberger, New Yorker Architecture critic who has said:

"Shopping is arguably the last remaining form of public activity. Through a battery of increasingly predatory forms, shopping has infiltrated, colonized and even replaced, almost every aspect of urban life."

Not so sure about urban life, but having spent a year in American suburbia this certainly resonates. Outside of a small local library, the only place to interact with the rest of society is in a store environment. Which is of course driving the New Urbanism movement. The faux town centre which is I suppose at least an attempt to break the hold of the McMansion and cookie-cutter housing estates. Hoorah for that.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

Hope you all had a great break and saw 2008 in with style.

Plenty of people have done reviews of 2007, so I won't. But I do recommend you read Sean's as it is brilliant.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Desktop 365

A guy from TBWA\ in LA tracked his desktop 365 days last year - then made this movie.

Mine never looks that organised!