Thursday, July 26, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
An Internet Travel site, Schmap, was kind enough to include a photo of mine in its World Travel Guide 2007 featuring Miami. The travel site uses consumer photos to plug restaurants, hotels, nightlife and excursions. It then allows consumers to download widgets customized to your continent, town or excursion type. Interesting marriage of Web 2.0 with UGC. I am a little unclear on who uses the site and who promotes it, but im all for social experiments. I myself was contacted about my photo being selected, with was pretty cool in my mind. Schmap allows people to download maps for towns, so you can have a custom itinerary, should you want one. I bet we will see more and more of these user-generated type sites, as consumers take on the producer powers that be. Case in point, i have two friends who recently bought very nice printers, strictly to be used for photographs, not even word documents. We are all producers today. Heck, i am in a travel guide..
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Innovation is coming front and center as noted in today's Wall Street Journal.
MDC Partners is expected to announce today that it has acquired a majority stake in Redscout, a consulting firm that works with clients such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo Inc. New York-based Redscout offers services such as trend watching, brand consulting and package design. It also develops new products -- something Madison Avenue has in vain tried to add to their arsenal. Jonah Disend, Founder and Chief Executive, talks about some of the problems today's advertisers are facing , the currency of ideas, and a few of the more intriguing trends influencing today's marketers.
The Wall Street Journal: Many ad agencies have flirted with trying to get into product or services development as a way to gain new revenue streams. But it's never really caught on. Why do you think they haven't been able to make that part of their business model?
Jonah Disend: "The discipline of making ads is often about being as different as possible from the competitors. This is not necessarily the goal with product development, and certainly not the starting point. So often with advertising you think, 'How do I add brand value through communications so that I make them want my brand versus your brand?' We think, 'How do I add value to the thing itself in order to drive desire?' Also, there is a totally different mindset when it comes to innovation versus marketing. Almost every time I interview someone from advertising and I ask them to come up with an innovation solution for a category, they immediately go to marketing and promotions solutions. They may get to targeting and distribution, but they rarely get to the foundational elements of the thing itself. These foundational elements include: the Achilles' heel of a competitor that can be exploited in our new product; recognizing categories which are desperate for a new approach, such as JetBlue to the airline industry; identifying a new behavior that is begging for a new service offering; or spotting technologies or capabilities in a client's stable which are being underleveraged. These are all critical to innovation."
Innovation is an emerging and greatly misunderstood field. Check out the article for more fascinating insights from one of the brightest and best-kept secrets in the world of brands.
Redscout Innovation in WSJ
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Wrong for so many reasons from the spelling to the gratuitous use of illegal narcotics. I won't even try to address the strategy. Sisley is typified for the poetic license it exercises to put women in compromising positions, and now has introduced this great spot. For previous Sisley stuff, check out this tasteful campaign. There is also some debate as to the authenticity of the white elephant on the card, which makes it all the more wrong. Fashion advertising has always been among the most controversial (it does get old looking at the models huh), and this seems to fit right in.
I don't really have a problem with objects being used like drugs or the inclusion of a drug-behavior(minus the drugs), but there are decency and moral issues when it involves actual drugs. This is something the public looks at, and it involves something that the public can't use. Looks like we have a new winner in most shocking ad category. Look out Benetton!
Monday, July 16, 2007
One of the best things about New York City is being able to walk everywhere. All you car-centric folk might cringe at this but in reality its one of the best things about this town. Walking does a number of things beyond benefiting your internal health from reducing greenhouse gases, to opening up transportation, to infusing capital in the local economy. Walk Score is a fantastic little tool that maps all the site-seeable things in your hood. This mapping hybrid puts everything from coffee shops to cleaners on the map, and lets you know exactly how far they are from your home. Instantly you acn judge how walkable your home is. This is a great tool for all you home-hunting folks who like to talk evening walks.
Eco is definitely a continuing global trend, but as larger trends of transparency and social responsibility that umbrella it continue to it grow, look for more ways to connect to your earth in a green and friendly manner.
Have been kicking around the idea of process versus result lately. It covered a subject completely unrelated to the post, but people are generally finished-results-go-getters or very into step by step in how they get there. The final deliverable could be eternally debatable.
Then this news of note popped across my screen. The president of Guyana is advocating "allowing the sale of credits by nations that prevent deforestation, seeing this as a way to fight the destruction of precious, uncompromised rainforests as well as a method of fighting climate change." Currently as it stands nations only earn credits should trees be removed and then they plant more, which actually rewards forest destruction. Coming from the Kyoto Protocol, this really doesn't make much sense here. Focusing on the end result has created an ideal end-result, but through exploitation and and improper technique only do we reach it. Sounds like someone is trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes. I really give credit to Guyana for standing up for the right thing here, being a relatively small and uninfluential nation in the grand scheme of things. Shouldn't we be more focused on the fundamental principles and not the end result?
I'm probably stretching this idea too thin, but I feel like their is too great an emphasis these days in terms of marketing on the end result, sales- growth - awareness -etc. The bigger ideas seem to come from the smallest connections. Simplicity and the value of honest good connections are most rewarding and powerful for a reason, they are righteous in the consumer's mind. Today's consumers are too savvy to be sold to, and are now crafting the conversations that build brands from the beginning. We might need to place a greater emphasis on not just having a conversation, but how it evolves and how we value the topics within the conversation.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Coming from the most unlikely of sources, is the NC Barbecue Society Trail map. It provides an interactive map to the historic pits creating some of the nation's best pork culinary delights. Historic barbecue is increasingly becoming a rarity as more locations switch to gas cooking. Charcoal or wood-burning sites are considered 'authentic' joints, which require typically 12 hour cooking cycles. When in NC should you need some Q, all you have to do is turn to the map and you should be fine. Traveling out in LA this past week, we hit an 'authentic' barbecue site, and let me tell you they really had no clue what they were doing. It's a southern thing folks.
*[Ed. Note - Our template is being a bitch and may need to be put to sleep. Thanks for minding the gap]
Monday, July 09, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
"They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. "
Independence is like electricity. We take it for granted unless something happens to it. Today is a day to take remembrance of those who died who our freedoms and those serving us across the globe. Not in the name of democracy, but in the name of mankind. We are allowed more freedoms than any place on earth, yet often disregard them until faced with adversity. May peace be the common bond to help create a more democratic world for all. Give thanks and let freedom ring!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Looks like what I hit. Finally back on track after a 3 week illness and complete concentration on all things other than this blog. Projects were the main culprits, but certainly a few adventures as well. Rested, healthy and putting a bit of time into this vehicle. Summers are hectic and full of beautiful life. Next week its off on a west coast business tour for work.