Let me preface this post, I meant to write this quite a while back. The idea came to me when I was setting up my annual fantasy football league. Here it is, why haven’t any fantasy football publishers/providers integrated twitter? I mean, think about it, what’s the highlight of your league? Trash talking with all your friends… at least for me and my friends it is. Imagine being able to send updates to your group/league via SMS text messages from your weekly spot/bar (unless you have the DirecTV NFL Package). It may just be a NY thing, but most of my friends spend Sunday’s at a local neighborhood pub watching the action. You don’t have your computer, so you can’t check the group's message board. You can send individual text messages, but that isn’t any fun. Imagine being able to communicate with your entire group/league instantly throughout the day from your mobile.
As many as 18 million American’s play fantasy football every year. I would estimate twice as many play fantasy fútbol. That is a huge audience. I think the publisher that recognizes this opportunity first and partners/buys twitter could dominate the market in the coming years.
Here is an interesting by the International Herald Tribune on Quick Response (QR) codes. They are everywhere in Japan, from posters on the subway to packaging in the supermarket. These codes allow consumers to link directly to a web site, saving the user the need to type an address on the tiny keypad of a mobile phone. While imitators are popping up in Europe and the United States, phone carriers will need to work together and use the same technology for this to take off.
"The power of QR is that it is easy to use and potentially turns anything into a direct connection between advertiser and client..."
Here is an interesting new company called Socialight. They have created software that enables you to create virtual Sticky Notes anywhere in the real world and share them with others.
Socialight is a community that lets you create, share, and discover virtual Sticky Notes placed anywhere in the real world. You can create local Stickies just for yourself or for everyone. You can create a personal map, complete with pictures, videos and sound clips, or you can share a group map with friends.
As you travel around the world, you can find Sticky notes that are tied to the places you go. Socialight can notify you on your mobile phone any time you're near a Sticky. As your phone buzzes, it will display the Sticky, and you can check out some background on the person who set it. From there, you can instantly respond, leave your own Sticky, or just move on.
It's still in beta, but you can check it out here.
Here is the Portable Film Festival, it is a international festival of short films just for portable devices.
Sony PSPs, iPod videos, 3G phones, laptop screens, you name it. Sixty films have been pre-selected from Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Canada, India, Papua New Guinea and South Africa. Submissions include video-clips, documentaries, experimental films, animations, regular short narratives and works of genius by people under 18. Films will compete through an open vote by punters who will review, argue and score the films online. And it’s all free. Sign up and get ready to download, sideload and catch the videocast.
Here is an interesting article about how word-of-mouth is affecting movies today like it did in the 70's. The only difference -- technology -- it's making it possible to instantly affect a movie. It can make a small budgeted movie spread from seven theaters to 691 theaters in four weeks (Little Miss Sunshine) or turn a heavily promoted film into a dud (Snakes on a Plane).
The life cycle of a word-of-mouth movie depends on its ability to ride a wave of critical success into more and more theaters, the inverse of the typical big summer movie that comes out instantly in thousands of theaters and often vanishes in a couple of weeks. Unlike special-effects-laden star vehicles, word-of-mouth releases often cost a fraction of the typical summer movie and have much smaller marketing budgets.
The wrong kind of word of mouth can be devastating. When Sony released "Monster House" earlier this summer, the animated movie collected some of the season's best reviews and opened to a respectable $22.2 million. But in its second weekend, the film slipped nearly 48%. Sony believes the sharp drop-off was largely attributable to parents' telling other parents that "Monster House" was too intense for small children. Thanks to that don't-dare-take-your-6-year-old advice, the film collapsed more than 40% the next three weekends, and was soon history.
"Instant communications technology has completely changed the role of word of mouth," says Nancy Utley, chief operating officer for "Little Miss Sunshine" distributor Fox Searchlight. "Word of mouth used to be confined to cities. Now, thanks to e-mail, it crosses continents. It's revolutionized what word of mouth means."
Here is an article at Business Week about Flavorpill, an online publisher of a weekly email magazine covering a hand-picked selection of music, art, and cultural events. They currently publish weekly email magazines in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago and London. When they commissioned 10 artists to design ads for Budweiser Select to be placed on their own sites and weekly email magazines, they accidental became an agency according to Jon Fine. The ads have become liked so much, they will eventually become a multi-city outdoor campaign.
Thus a small media company started out selling its audience and cool quotient, which is old news, but ended up designing ads that will run more widely, which is new. Flavorpill's moves describe a fresh reality of marketing: The line between which entity creates media and which creates advertising is suddenly and strangely malleable.
Here is an interesting article about Electronic Arts COO David Gardner in which he outlines seven predictions for the future of gaming.
1. Female gaming: "We've been talking about this for a long time, but it's a market we need to crack."
2. In-game advertising: "The debate ends this year. It's here, let's get on with it. In-game advertising adds credibility depending on the product."
3. Multi-tasking: "All media are seeking ways to attract the multi-tasking media generation. The casual gamer is more of a free-roaming consumer, and in order to attract that consumer, game makers might have to be more flexible."
4. New talent: "New talent will fast-track on a much shorter learning curve. Writers and artists from other media will make a bigger impact. Students from universities who have grown up with games are creating great innovations."
5. Legislation: "More legislation attacking games will take place, despite recent victories against it. Game makers have an obligation to understand what we are building and explain that to consumers and to their parents."
6. User-created content: "Developers will encourage user-created content as a feature. Open environments like YouTube and MySpace have created a Wild West out there, but the game industry can provide controlled environments backed up by an economic universe where the content is either paid for or adds to the game experience."
7. Britain's role: "Britain can help lead the industry creatively. He joked that great games rarely come from a good climate, and pointed to standout British gaming contributions such as Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto."
Make sure you check out the Urban Forest Project in NYC's Times Square from September 1 through October 31. The project is bringing together some of the best designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to blanket Times Square with 185 banners.
Design Times Square: The Urban Forest Project brings 185 banners created by the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York’s Times Square. Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections. Following their display, (September 1–October 31, 2006) the banners will be recycled into tote bags and sold at auction, with proceeds going to scholarship and mentoring programs that benefit students of the visual arts. Some banners embody visceral responses to pressing environmental, political and social issues. Others use the evocative power of nature to develop rich patterns and abstract forms that delight the viewer. All contain passion, thought, and energy—qualities that only emerge when the world’s finest creative minds apply themselves to a brief they truly believe in.
This will be an amazing project.
It appears Starbucks is opening a temporary arts and performance coffee house in NYC. It will be called the Starbucks Salon and will feature up-and-coming and established artists. The Salon will be open from September 8-17th and will feature Ursula Rucker, Jose Gonzalez and Jim Carroll.
This sounds a lot like Illy's Galleria Illy in SOHO, which was open from September to December of '05. They as well showcased original works of art and music, hosted provocative coffee-centric discussions and events and even premiered an original theatrical production.
I don't know, but sounds awfully similar.
It appears YouTube wants to become the MTV of Web 2.0. They are trying to develop a business model with record labels to legally offer new music videos and past videos. YouTube already offers many copyrighted music videos. Apparently the labels realize they could eventually make some money of this.
"What we really want to do is in six to 12 months, maybe 18 months, to have every music video ever created up on YouTube," co-founder Steve Chen told Reuters. "We're trying to bring in as much of this content as we can on to the site."
Here is an interesting article on a new dance, "The Hyphy Movement" that is consuming teens in the Bay Area. They are dancing like they’re having a seizure, which is refereed to as “go dumb” or “shake them dreads".
So what exactly is this head-popping, knee-knocking, arm-flailing dance inspired by urban hip-hop beats of the Bay Area? It’s hyphy, originating from the word “hyperactive,” a dance, a style, an emotion and a way of life for some.
It’s hard to tell how long the hyphy hype will last, but many people believe that it’s just a fad that eventually will be replaced by another culture phenomenon. For now, however, the movement is at its peak, causing teens to go stupid, go dumb and get hyphy all around the Bay Area.
1. Do Something Better: Find a way or a better way for people to do something they want to do- in both these cases- it's sharing digital assets
2. Believe in What You Do: It's not about a money making/get rich quick scheme. You believe there's a better way and you are going to work it out. Success is a by-product of doing good.
3. Community is Everything: Listen to your community. This is not a one way conversation- there's on-going dialog relating to "policing", standards and ideas
4. Be Soulful: Even if you sell, like Flickr, don't sell your soul. The honest, no frills approach is right. Interestingly, while many thought the Yahoo purchase would lead to the the demise of Flickr, instead, they turned out to be much more of an influence on Yahoo than could have ever been predicted.
5. Be Authentic: These companies look like they have banned or never even heard of the phrases "brand strategy" and "marketing plan?. The lack of corporate polish adds to the feeling that there are real people behind the idea.
Here is an interesting article about the role of emotion in decision-making. It appears Benedetto De Martino of University College London has proved the brain's wiring emphatically relies on emotion in decision making.
"We found everyone showed emotional biases, more or less; no one was totally free of them," De Martino says. Even among the four participants who were aware they were inconsistent in decision-making, "they said, 'I know, I just couldn't help myself,' " he says.
Imagine you're at a conference and you fire up your Bluetooth device (with imity loaded) and now you can see who's in the room with you (if they also have a Bluetooth device). Not only that, imagine being able to keep track of the time, date, last contact and so on. This is the idea behind imity. I have signed up for the beta test...so stay tuned for a review.
According to Forrester's latest annual technology-adoption study (which surveyed 66,707 households in the United States and Canada), Generation Y young adults (18-26) are plugging into technology at a faster rate than any other generation.
It found that young adults spend 12.2 hours online, 28% longer than Generation X’s 27- to 40-year-olds and twice as long as baby boomers aged 51-61.
"All generations adopt devices and Internet technologies, but younger consumers are Net natives who spend more time online than watching television," said Forrester vice president and co-author of the report Ted Schadler. "Younger generations live online, reading blogs, downloading podcasts, checking prices before buying and trading recommendations."
The study also found that 41% of all North American households are linked to a broadband Internet connection, and of the 75% of all households that have mobile phones, almost one-half use them to make most of their long-distance calls.
Here is the first in a series by The Wall Street Journal exploring web video. It is becoming one most talked about media topics. With large television networks, cable networks, internet companies and some video sharing sites starting broadband channels, it is truly the beginning of a boom.
Using such Internet-video sites is like flipping through channels on a TV with a computer mouse instead of a remote. A menu of programs pop up for on-demand selection. The content ranges from complete shows to clips and extra footage that didn't make a show's original cut. The sites are largely free but carry ads.
"We're on the verge of an explosion of these kinds of ultra-focused broadband channels," says Jordan Levin, a former Warner Bros. executive who recently co-founded a production and management company called Generate LLC in part to develop video content for the Web. "Just as television evolved from the broadcast networks to cable channels, now we're seeing another splintering of the audience."
Stay tuned for the rest of the series.
With the entertainment landscape changing everyday by amateur directors, writers, producers, photographers and artists. You can look at these rising stars to see how entertainment success is going to be redefined. Here are a few examples of these new media stars.
This is just a short list of these new media stars. With further advancements in technologies, this will only continue.
Here is an article at Times Online about Karl Lagerfeld’s latest project 'The Eva Herzigova Room Service story'. He has created the woman’s perfect fantasy, for Dom Pérignon's latest branding campaign.
“I spend my whole life with women and I know quite well what goes on in their minds,” Lagerfeld says, his rapid, accented English mumbled through fascinatingly fleshy lips. Occasionally, he gives a delicate flutter of his hands, encased in grey fingerless driving gloves that match his signature Hedi Slimane gear. He laughs like Dracula. His eyes are hidden behind visor-like bespoke shades. He revels in political incorrectness, denouncing fat (or “volume”, as he now tactfully calls it) and appending highbrow answers to lowbrow questions with the coda, “But I don’t think you are well informed enough to make a discussion with me about this.” In short, he is a thoroughly evil genius, a piece of fabulous fashion gothic.
The Eva Herzigova Room Service story, as he calls it, is his second project for Dom Pérignon. The first had a title — 7 Fantasmes of a Woman — so unequivocal as to suggest that Lagerfeld thinks he knows precisely what women want. Featuring a then 36-year-old Helena Christensen and a cast of other beauties, men and barely legal boys, Lagerfeld’s scenes depicted some pretty suggestive situations. “I don’t say that she did it,” he says, “but in her mind — why not? Perhaps she never went with another girl, perhaps she never had two boys at the same time, perhaps she had never tried any very young boys either.”
Now that it's all about the environment, organic food or 'good-for-you' living, marketers are having a hard time breaking through the clutter. With everyone jumping on the bandwagon and saying their green, consumer are becoming very skeptical and don't really know who is green. Not only that, according to a new study by branding firm Landor Associates, fifty-eight percent of the general population surveyed considers itself "Not Green Interested."
The study found that 64% of those who responded couldn't name a "green" brand; even 51% of those who considered themselves to be environmentally conscious were unable to name one. "As much as the term has been tossed around, many people . . . are unclear as to what it means," the study reported. "Eco-friendly, fuel efficient, biodegradable, natural and organic are used in different categories to emphasize green, but can confuse and cloud the mind of consumers."
The noise in the green marketing space has grown louder in recent months. Dow Chemical's "Human Element" campaign, via FCB, Chicago, addresses environmental concerns in the "global community." Shell Oil launched a $30 million marketing campaign in June, via JWT, Houston, that trumpets its higher quality fuel, which emits less pollution. General Electric continues to build on its "Ecomagination" effort, which it launched in 2005 with work done by BBDO, New York, "to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.
With new world wines grabbing market share, the French are being forced to start marketing their products.
“Wine increasingly is becoming a consumer good, not a cultural exception,” said Pierre Courbon, international marketing director at OVS, a French company that was created to sell a new wine brand, Chamarré, which it intends to go head to head with consumer favorites from Australia, California, Chile and elsewhere. “Beer, spirits, vegetables, dairy products and even bread is branded. Why not wine?”
Until recently, such words might have been considered heresy in France, where many winemakers have an almost religious attachment to the idea that wines must reflect the specific attributes of the land on which they are grown, not the global characteristics of a brand. French law requires quality wines to be labeled accordingly, listing details like the region, the vineyard and the producer. But many consumers in markets like Britain and the United States now prefer to choose their wines according to the grape variety, like cabernet sauvignon or Riesling, rather than the name of the region where they were grown, like Bordeaux.
Here is a post at Ad Age Small Diary by Noelle Weaver discussing the disturbing trend of free spec work. With the rise in VC backed Web 2.0 companies and boutique agencies, it appears this trend is back in vogue. I agree with Noelle 100 percent.
Although this is not an entirely new idea, it is a new spin. Several marketers in the UK are holding small, intimate events in London's hip neighborhoods. Marketers such as T-Mobile and Tiger Beer are holding "Street Gigs" throughout the city. These gigs typically have 50 to 500 people attending while the marketer provides the entertainment (band or boxing match), drinks and food.
"We're trying to put bands you wouldn't expect in really surprising venues," says Karen Harrison, brand and communication manager at the firm's UK arm, which has opted for low-key, intimate shows.
"Music has become a little bit too corporate," says Ms Harrison. "It's not about us ramming T-Mobile down people's throats because there's no need.
"Our branding at the events is very subtle. That you have to look for it means you have a better recall of the brand and makes it more effective."
But Tiger Beer is less of a niche drink than it used to be, which poses a quandary for the brewer.
It appears New York Magazine's term "grups" has crossed the pond. Here is a recent article in the International Herald Tribune highlighting this movement in London.
"The crucial difference these days is that the older generation aren't consuming to appear younger, they just aren't growing old like their parents," said Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ magazine. "We are already seeing 60- something men who buy the same clothes, listen to same records, see the same films and browse the Web in exactly the same way as 20-somethings."
Here is Marketallica's 11 forces that will change the Future of Entertainment.
> “Virtual Self”
> “Need to be different”
> “Snack Size”
> “On demand”
> “Long Tail”
> “Peer 2 Peer”
> “Information Overload”
With almost 47 million domain names ending with .com, it was just a matter of time before someone analyzed it. Dennis Forbes turned a hobby into becoming the world's most pre-eminent "domainologist". By day, he is an analyst at Vastardis Capital Services, a New York mutual-fund service company. But, in his spare time he analyzes the see of domain names.
Most people trying to do business online will tell you that the good domain names are already taken. Mr. Forbes's research proves them out. For example, for every possible two-character and three-character combination -- including both letters and numbers -- all possible domains are taken. Virtually all English words with four letters are claimed; those that aren't are usually contractions, and Web rules don't allow apostrophes.
All of the 1,000 most common English words have been snatched up. The word "a" appears more than any other, though most of the time, of course, it's just a letter in a longer word. The least-used common word is "consonant," Mr. Forbes says, which is in just 42 domains, including "consonantpain.com," which isn't a misspelling but a word game.
Mr. Forbes checked the U.S. Census Bureau's 1,219 most-common male names, the 2,841 most-common female names and the 10,000 most-common surnames; all were booked. Not only that, but when you link the top 300 first names with the top 300 last names, 89% of the resulting combinations are taken for male names and 84% for female ones.
Check out The Brooklynites Project, by Anthony LaSala and Seth Kusher. Take a look at all the pictures, essay and behind the scenes footage.
This project, tentatively titled "The Brooklynites", is long-term endeavor, which we plan to turn into a book after it is completed. It will feature photographs taken by Seth Kushner and interviews and essays by writer Anthony LaSala. Our aim is to create a large body of work, which would consist of images of people of all walks of life, in order to create a portrait of the borough through the people who live and work there.
Since June of 2004, we have been photographing and interviewing every type of person from nearly every neighborhood in the borough (we plan to include all neighborhoods). We approach people in the street who are intriguing. People whose work and lives we admire. People who are known to be proud Brooklynites. We usually ask the subjects to choose a location in Brooklyn that has some meaning to them. Anthony conducts a brief interview, asking the subject what they think makes Brooklyn special and then Seth completes a photo shoot.
They say "sex sells", but does it work for real estate? Well, here is an interesting article from the New York Times taking a look at this years ads.
Some of the advertisements for new condominiums this year look more like ads for condoms, and that has caused more than a few eyes to linger on traditionally staid real estate listings. These provocative advertisements have also raised eyebrows among real estate and advertising professionals who say sex has never been germane to real estate marketing the way it is, say, to music and underwear.
Here is an interesting idea by CerconeBrownCurtis, they have set up a product placement house called, the Summer House. They are describing the house as an "experiential marketing opportunity". This is a place to position products in their natural settings where hard-to-reach editors can taste, touch, smell, test, and review products.
This isn't just any summer home on Martha's Vineyard. This is The Summer House, a marketing extravaganza where about 30 companies paid up to $15,000 to put their products before a rotating crew of top New York editors and stylists who are visiting over the next two months.
"I probably get 500 pitches a week and spend my day constantly deleting e-mail," said Joel Weber , an assistant editor at Men's Journal who reviews fashion and lifestyle products for the monthly magazine. "The Summer House is a chance for me to interact with the products outside the office without being surrounded by PR people. Their job is to be that bird that whispers in my ear, and my job is to basically swat the bird away."
If I was an editor, why not.
Here is an interesting article at New York Magazine about UrbanBaby, an anonymous discussion board for upscale New York mothers to dump their thoughts and feelings.
Everyone knows the scary archetype of the monster Manhattan mother: She’s all elbows and no bosom, like ritzy Mrs. X in The Nanny Diaries or careerist Kate Hudson in Raising Helen; she’s every East Side matron on Wife Swap braying about “me time.” Which is to say, a professional who treats her child like a résumé; a fashionista who wears her child as an accessory; a trophy wife who leverages her child as an excuse to quit work and go shopping. Or perhaps she’s turned motherhood itself into her career, driving her child insane with flash cards, like the Parker Posey character in Best of Show, except with a toddler instead of a purebred Weimaraner: obsessed with getting exactly the right plush toy, right now.
UrbanBaby began as a project, founded by former Esquire editor Susan Maloney for women who “couldn’t relate to pink and blue.” It has since gone national, but maintained it's original New York flavor.
Here is a list of newspaper slogans. Do these coincide with how you imagine them?
Latest slogan: We Love It
Latest slogan: Sparks and Mensa
Latest slogan: No FT, no comment
Latest slogan: Think...
Latest slogan: Join the debate
Latest slogan: Champagne for the brain
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Latest slogan: We've got the greatest writers
Latest slogan: The Sunday Times is the Sunday papers
Latest slogan: The quality compact
Here is a very interesting article about how David Galenson has reverse engineered ingenuity to reveal the source code of the creative mind.
What he has found is that genius – whether in art or architecture or even business – is not the sole province of 17-year-old Picassos and 22-year-old Andreessens. Instead, it comes in two very different forms, embodied by two very different types of people. “Conceptual innovators,” as Galenson calls them, make bold, dramatic leaps in their disciplines. They do their breakthrough work when they are young. Think Edvard Munch, Herman Melville, and Orson Welles. They make the rest of us feel like also-rans. Then there’s a second character type, someone who’s just as significant but trudging by comparison. Galenson calls this group “experimental innovators.” Geniuses like Auguste Rodin, Mark Twain, and Alfred Hitchcock proceed by a lifetime of trial and error and thus do their important work much later in their careers. Galenson maintains that this duality – conceptualists are from Mars, experimentalists are from Venus – is the core of the creative process. And it applies to virtually every field of intellectual endeavor, from painters and poets to economists.
Here is another interesting media buy by Philips. They have partnered with Gourmet magazine to be the only sponsor of a 98-page supplement that will be distributed with the August issue. The supplement will only have six pages of advertising.
The supplement will come with the August issue in a "poly bag," or plastic wrapper, making it what the magazine industry calls an outsert. The supplement is devoted to articles that are meant to "provoke you into thinking about the act of eating in a richer and more interesting way," Ruth Reichl, editor in chief, writes in a note to readers that opens the supplement.
"We want to make a concerted effort to help make the connection stronger by removing what is standing between the readers and simplicity," he added, referring to the decision to limit the ad pages in the supplement.
Still, "simplicity is not always the easiest thing," Mr. Plaskonos said, so readers will get a brief explanation of the project in an ad on the inside cover of the supplement as well as in short text printed on the bookmarks.
Here is a look at the History of Graffiti from New York Magazine.
Modern graffiti actually began in Philadelphia in the early sixties, when Cornbread and Cool Earl scrawled their names all over the city. By the late sixties, it was flourishing in Washington Heights, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The New York Times took notice in July 1971, with a small profile of a graffiti artist named TAKI 183. But Julio 204 was using a Magic Marker and spray paint on city walls as early as 1968, and in 1971, writers like JOE 182 began “bombing”—marking as many surfaces as possible.
Here is an interesting idea for Jaguar by Euro RSCG, Reality-Based Product Placement. They have selected jet-setters in 7 markets to use their high-end cars as living product placements. This underground idea compliments Jaguars Gorgeous campaign nicely.
It is reality-based product placement, the eerie place where real life blurs seamlessly into advertising. Other car makers have tried it on a smaller scale: General Motors Corp. chauffeured VIPs around the Super Bowl in Detroit earlier this year in Cadillac Escalade SUVs. Last year DaimlerChrysler AG lent out the new Mercedes-Benz R Class SUVs to selected consumers for a week. They drove the SUVs around and entertained their neighbors at R Class parties in their homes, where they talked about the vehicles.
The Jaguar campaign is more underground. It isn't obvious to passersby -- nor even to casual acquaintances -- that Mr. Bossi's XK is part of an elaborate marketing come-on. He isn't paid beyond the free use of the car, nor is he reimbursed for parking or restaurant bills. (Jaguar insures the car under the same kind of policy it has for the fleets it lends out to automotive reviewers and other media.)
You should also check-out Ryan Berger's interview at coBRANDiT.