Illustrator – David Jien
Every so often you get an illustrator that looks completely original, that in turn gives clients instant stand out. This guy’s work is a weird mix of mughal painting, weird sex, sci fi and the 80’s. That makes it quite hard to find a client it is right for! Nice work though.
Daniel Moorey – Head of Artbuying
Event – Digital Shoreditch Festival 2012
Back for its second year running, the 2 week digital festival happening from Clerkenwell to Stratford, Old Street to Bethnal Green and Dalston to the City and beyond, has aspirations to be as significant as the South by South West festival by 2014. Still in its infancy the festivals objective is to bring together outstanding creative, technical knowhow and entrepreneurial talent through a host of workshops, open houses, installations, interactive artworks and augmented realties. There’s also a chance to check out the new Google Campus at the networking events held in the evening.
Sally Grant – Art Buyer
A lot has happened in the world of Social recently, here are some of the more exciting bits.
- To much song and dance, Facebook finally went public last week, with prices opening at $38 a share. 28 year old Mr. Zuckerberg is now worth a cool $21 billion, whilst Facebook itself is now worth over $106 billion, making it even more valuable than stalwarts such as McDonalds, Amazon, Disney and Visa.
- If that wasn’t enough excitement for one week, Zuck also updated his relationship status – marrying his girlfriend Priscilla Chan. Aww.
One Street Tweeter
- If you were wondering what happened to the Nike Chalkbot, it seems to have found a new home sending political messages to the G8 summit. Fuelled by campaigners “One” users were invited to “send a 40 character message to the G8 encouraging them to break the cycle of hunger & poverty when they meet on 18th May & we’ll print as many as we can!” The account tweets back to users once their message has been written, giving people a real value exchange for their input, and the opportunity to share their message amongst their networks. https://twitter.com/#!/onestreettweet
Pakistan blocks Twitter briefly
On Sunday the 20th of May, Pakistani authorities banned access to Twitter citing “blasphemy”. Information on what exactly has happened is still coming to light, but it seems to the blasphemy in reference was the controversial Facebook campaign “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” started in 2010. The ban has now been lifted, but highlights that although social media has played a strong role in creating personal freedom and fighting oppression, they aren’t always infallible or as free as they may seem.
Not on Facebook because you don’t like being so traceable online? Well, you can still be found via your connections to your friends, in what have been termed “shadow connections”. When you sign up for a social network you give up a certain amount of data, particularly when you start adding connections – it is common practice to provide your email details so that the network can access your address book and find out which of your friends are also signed up.
By creating a model of how online and real world relationships tie together, they were able to learn who knows who, including those people who aren’t registered to social networks.
More information and this diagram on New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428654.300-online-friendships-light-up-shadow-social-networks.html
Microsoft launches So.cl
As the world continues talking about Facebook, Microsoft have rather quietly launched their own social network, having been in beta for the last year. So.cl’s own “about” section fully admits that people will continue to Facebook and Twitter, rather than attempting to replace either of the established services. Aimed primarily at students, the site aims to combine social networking and search, into a richer way for people to share relevant information for education and research http://www.so.cl/.
3rd May 2012 Artbuying
Photography – Captain Scott’s Last Photos
Many people will have seen the phenomenal photo of Scott and his men at the Pole. You may also have seen the recent exhibition of the work of Scott’s official photographer Herbert Ponting at Buckingham Palace, it’s fantastic.
Ponting’s big 10 x 8 equipment was too heavy for the final push to the pole so he trained Scott to use a smaller camera. That camera was found by a rescue team in Scott’s tent along with his body. Until recently, apart from the image taken at the Pole, the other images were forgotten about or overshadowed by Ponting’s carefully composed and dramatic work. Scott’s images are as dramatic but much more raw. When you know he took some of them with the knowledge that he was going to die but in the hope that someone would find them, it makes them all the more resonant.
Daniel Moorey – Head of Artbuying
Hello and welcome to the second instalment of the Friday Fruit Bowl!
We have taken your suggestions on board and this week you are receiving your nutritious and nourishing brain food in time for lunch! There are also some pictures…what excitement! So read on and sate your appetite for information, quench your thirst for knowledge, and enjoy whatever tasty morsel you have foraged from prêt this lunchtime.
1. Something to go see: David Shrigley’s ‘Brain Activity’, The Hayward Gallery
An artist who explicitly eschews, “any kind of craft” was always going to provoke a bit of controversy from the art world, but what got our attention was Shrigley’s belief in, “reducing communication to its bare essentials,” and attacking combinations of “object and text describing something that probably doesn’t need to be described, and perhaps begs the question, ‘Why, indeed, it is being described.?’” Arty? Yes. Profound? Potentially. Plannery? There’s definitely something in it…
The exhibition features 175 of Shrigley’s works, ranging from short films, to caustic cartoons, paintings and photographs, and a series of stuffed animals, and has led critics such as The Telegraph’s Richard Dorment to surmise that, “even when you are laughing in the jokes in Shrigley’s dry, understated drawings, you recognise some small and usually unpalatable truth about yourself.” Maybe there’s more in this than we thought.
Here’s a link to the exhibition trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f743Z4lGUek&feature=player_embedded#!
2. Something to mull over: Will the IPO change Facebook forever?
A really interesting article from the omniscient tech-source that is Mashable, on the potential ramifications of Facebook’s IPO. Facebook has always placed such a huge importance on its ‘social mission’ to connect people (bafflingly, the number of connections that Facebook has now fostered reaches 100 billion..!) These are clearly testing times for Facebook as a brand: Can Facebook still be the force for good that it has always believed it is, or will it’s new status as a public company – and the financial obligations entailed therein – lead it down a road increasingly driven by generating a return on the bottom line? What might happen to the way in which we experience Facebook 5 years down the line? And, finally, can Facebook fare any better than Google, whose ‘Don’t be Evil’ moniker seems to be increasingly tarnished nowadays, particularly due to the fuss over Search Plus Your World, which just felt like a blatant attempt to push Google+ search results above more relevant ones from elsewhere.
3. Research research research…do we do enough of it? Well we certainly don’t do as much as those crazy anthropologists wandering off to spend years living with people in order to understand their worlds(though I’m not sure if even anthropologists get to do as much of that as they used to). This is an essay by Clifford Geertz from 1973 called “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”. It’s an essay trying to understand the practice of cockfighting in Balinese society. It’s also an example of the technique of ‘thick description’, an anthropological method of explaining with as much detail as possible the reason behind human actions.
It’s only 10 pages long, very readable and littered with double entendre!
I don’t want to summarize it too much here because the entire point of the essay is to convey detail – so it seems a bit silly to try and tell you about it but without any detail. But a nice paragraph from the conclusion lets you know his argument: “What sets the cockfight apart from the ordinary course of life, lifts it from the realm of everyday practical affairs, and surrounds it with an aura of enlarged importance is not, as functionalist sociology would have it, that it reinforces status discriminations (such reinforcement is hardly necessary in a society where every act proclaims them), but that it provides a metasocial commentary upon the whole matter of assorting human beings into fixed hierarchical ranks and then organizing the major part of collective existence around that assortment. Its function, if you want to call it that, is interpretive: it is a Balinese reading of Balinese experience; a story they tell themselves about themselves.”
I like that idea – that cultural practices are stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and I wonder what stories is it that our society tells itself about itself?!
4. Finally the Friday Fruit Bowl brings you some Friday feminism (and an overdose of alliteration)! Last week Gloria Steinem spoke at the beginning of a programme of events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ms. Magazine which she co-founded in 1972 – this is a quick one, just an article and a few minutes of video, but with (what I think are) some lovely ideas.
She advised everyone (in the ongoing struggle for general equality for everyone everywhere) to try and do something subversive:””I’m hoping that when we leave here today, we will all have one new subversive thing that we’re going to do”… Steinem told her audience that if everyone in the room promised to do one outrageous thing in the cause for social justice, “by the weekend the world will be better.”And, she said, “you will have such a good time, you’ll never get up in the morning without saying, ‘What outrageous thing will I do today?’”
And she ended with this:
“If we choose every day to do the best we can, to act with kindness. There perhaps is no quality on earth more important than kindness. Nnot to say I’m more important than anyone else, but also not to say I’m less important either. To overcome these crazy categories based on the fictions of race or gender or what is normal sexuality or ethnicity and so on. And if we do it with joy and poetry and music and sex and humour then we will have joy and poetry and sex at the end of our revolution.”
That’s all for now folks – let’s all head off into the weekend aiming to do something subversive!
Hannah and I have been asked to write a very light-hearted, informal, yet-simultaneously-stimulating, invigorating, inspiring ‘newsletter’ each week, chock full of Planner Porn – and generally interesting things – for everyone to enjoy on that most productive period of the working week: the Friday afternoon. As a result, we’re pleased to bring you the very first edition EVER of “The Friday Fruit Bowl” – providing you with your 5-a-day* to keep your brain healthy and nourished.
Before I go any further, I should add that Hannah should take full credit for our ‘brand idea’ for this. So, if you’re stunned by the sheer creativity with which we’ve approached our task, the credit is entirely hers. Likewise, if you think to yourself, “gosh, what a clichéd idea that is. No wonder those two weren’t Creatives,” then likewise – the credit is still entirely Hannah’s.
So without further ado, here’s your weekly dose of brain food. We hope you find some of it interesting – dare I say it, maybe even enjoyable – and we’d be thrilled to hear what you think.
*not strictly true
What with it being January and all that, a number of our fellow agencies have published work on ‘trends to watch out for in 2012.’ These ‘trends’ include beauties such as ‘crowdsourced learning,’ ‘P-to-P experiences,’ ‘socialpreneurs,’ and ‘consumer colonialism.’ We won’t lie, many of these absolutely baffled us. How someone – presumably planning minded – can argue that ‘gender sensitivity’ in advertising should be a trend for 2012 was completely beyond us. Maybe we’re just too cynical for our own good, or maybe it’s because we’ve both spent the last 3 or 4 years of our lives consumed by History and Sociology, in which the definition of a ‘trend’ seems to starkly contrast with the definition upon which many of these trends are based. Our view, however naive, is that the majority of the trends in the two reports included below represent events and not trends. We feel that ‘trends’ are the manifestation of wider scale, perceptible, cultural shifts, and not the arrival of the Lytro camera.
- “Human Nature and the Neurobiology of Conflict”
We’ve found this fascinating article on Wired.com which, even though it might not seem to be directly relevant, might actually have more ramifications than we initially thought. That and the fact that it’s actually just a really interesting read. Highlights include references to “understanding how social values affect thought processes,” the thought that, “individuals express diminished cognitive capacity in small groups,” and an intriguing section on, “the mystery of monogamous marriage” – definitely one to read if you’re planning a romantic weekend after work finishes.
- “When We Build” – Wilson Minder
Bit of an ask that any of us will have 40 minutes free, but worth having on in the background at the very least. A completely absorbing talk from one of the web designers for Apple.com, on the impact that technology has on our world. Watch if only for the stunning Planner-friendly quotes, including “at times of change, the Learners are the ones who will inherit the world, while the Knowers will be beautifully prepared for a world which no longer exists.” Highly recommended.
- Mashable’s most shared Superbowl ad teasers
Not particularly plannery – just a little slideshow that includes the most-hyped Superbowl ads. Featuring VW’s The Bark Side, and many more, it’s really just a nice collection of flashy TV spots. Definitely worth a watch if you’re planning on staying up for the big game next weekend.
- Nike+ Fuelband
Essentially a motion sensor with a brain, the wristband is meant to be worn 24-7, and every movement made contributes to the generation of “Nike Fuel” — essentially a score telling you how much energy has been burned that day. The clever part? When developing it, Nike measured athletes’ oxygen uptake while performing a range of activities — from parkour to stair-climbing to sitting at a computer. It then created an algorithm that not only calculates the calories burned, but that can distinguish between movements such as swinging a bat, swinging your arm when you run, or just sliding your mouse across the desk. Combining the two gives the Fuel metric, and it also tracks exercise duration and steps taken. The thinking is to make exercise something you do all the time, so any movement contributes to your Fuel score – a night on the dancefloor should be as productive as a jog around the park. Of course, its sensors won’t log the fact you also had eight pints of Stella, nor can it distinguish between bench-pressing your body weight and performing a gentle yoga stretch, but Nike claims that the focus is on encouraging the gamification of being more active, regardless of how you do it.
- Twitter Brand pages
A nice little article about Twitter’s plans to increase the functionality of its branded pages, which are gearing up to integrate iFrame environments and other snazzy features. Definitely worth a look – we’re sure this won’t be the last we hear of them!
We hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and that we’ve brought, at least, a spark of interest to your Friday afternoon!
Will and Hannah (Chief Fruitpickers.)
The wedding of BT’s Adam and Jane was unusual for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s not since the Gold blend couple that a series of ads has had such longevity and genuine national interest. What also marks them apart is that the TV ad culmination of “will they won’t they” was supported by other marketing channels. Intuitively it feels very strange to use marketing to guide people to consume other marketing but it is in effect what we sometimes do with online content or experiential events. How often in recent years have you been pulled, pushed nudged and harranged into visiting a micro site, becoming a facebook friend or following a twitter feed?
Sometimes this may be sensible, sometimes it may not be and there are two guiding concepts from economics that can help evaluate this decision, firstly marginal cost. In this context marginal cost means, if I have my 30” brand ad ready to go how much does it cost to put the website at the bottom or a friendly facebook icon? In effect the marginal cost is zero and if you have a website or other content on the web then displaying it in your ATL activity is a bit of a no brainer. However, as soon as the facebook page or whatever else becomes more prominent we need to worry about a different but related economic law, that of opportunity cost. Airtime that I use to support my microsite and the like is time I could be using to build my brand, form emotional bonds and boost my sales. I’d have to be pretty convinced that whatever I direct my audience to is so full of ad-land splendour that not only can it drive sales but it can make up for any I’ve lost from cutting my brand ad short or not having a brand ad at all!
At the heart of this debate, in addition to my beloved economic theory, is the issue of target setting. Visiting a microsite or partaking in a piece of experiential marketing activity is not an end in itself and even though easy measurability might make it tempting we must resist the urge to evaluate the success of our campaigns solely on such things. Alongside tracking measures click through rates and such other joyous advertising metrics certainly have a place on any balanced scorecard but our long term Holy Grail is to improve our clients’ business performance and this tends to mean profit. So, when deciding how to use channels together we should have our focus clearly in mind and this will hopefully lead to the best decision about how ATL and other marketing interact with each other.
Nick Smith – Econometrician
Conference – In Progress
Where else can you hear talks by the director of Tate Modern, the International Editor for Channel Four News, a director at Hyper Island and the European CD of Google and YouTube. Essentially the day was a look back on 2011 and a look forward to what 2012 might bring. Nothing desperately original in that but it’s the breadth of experience the speakers brought that made this day so thought provoking. Most people focussed on the effect of digital technology in some way, from Facebook in Libya to the T Mobile ‘Dancing’ ads to some beautiful iPad apps using old Nursery Rhymes. The whole event was curated by It’s Nice That, essentially the creation of 2 people of a ridiculously young age to bring so many interesting speakers together, I only wish I had been so productive at their age.
Daniel Moorey – Head of Artbuying
Hello again, ready for your dose of internet goodness? Here you go, then.
4 degrees of Separation
Here at DDB we talk about the 6 Degrees effect, as shorthand for creating ideas that people want to share and pass on to their friends, family and extended networks. The idea of only being 6 degrees of separation away from any other person in the world has been around for a long time, but new research conducted in conjunction with Facebook has shown that on the social network, the number of degrees is much closer to 4, and that number is decreasing.
Receive a friend request from your unborn child
Somewhat controversial (mostly down to its total disregard for both good taste and Facebook rules) this is a very clever use of Facebook to create a stir, deliver a message, and get some PR coverage. Olla condoms created Facebook profiles for babies, and gave them the name of the intended recipients (e.g. “Dave Smith Jr.”) before sending friend requests to unsuspecting blokes.
Advent Calendar of the week
You’re going to get sick of seeing online advent calendars over the next few weeks, but this one is genuinely worth paying attention to. A dancing advent calendar by two guys called Lewis and Luke, http://www.theartofdancing.co.uk/ combines both the best and worst dancing you’ve ever seen, and is sure to put a festive smile on your face each morning.
Happy weekends to you all – your challenge is to dance like Lewis and Luke in public.
As Chris Davies has written in a previous blog post, music plays a crucial role in adverts and my MSc project sought to build on his and Lauri Dossman’s research. Their focus was on the link between brand image and particular soundtracks, and they devised a test which allowed them to determine which tracks best fitted the image of a famous orange juice brand. I followed on from this by using the tracks they had identified as both good and bad brand fits in my own research. The aim was to investigate how the effectiveness of an advert can depend upon the accompanying music.
My particular project used a tailored Implicit Associations Test. These tests are generally used within social psychology to detect the strength of a person’s automatic association between mental representations of concepts in memory. Reaction times to words associated with two different products were measured both before and after seeing an advert. One group of respondents did the test before and after watching adverts with music which was congruent with the orange juice brand, the music fitted the image of the brand. Whereas one group did the tests with adverts with incongruent music which didn’t fit the brand played in between. Then a final group did the tests and saw adverts with no music playing at all in between them.
Now, what we found with this test was a clear indication that congruent music had a positive effect on peoples’ perception of a product. It heightened the ability to react to the associated words in the test significantly faster than when exposed to incongruent music. The group who had watched adverts with music which fitted well with the brand had faster reaction times and were better at reacting to the words associated with the brand. The group who had watched adverts with ill fitting music reacted slower to the test.
Whilst the test is not perfect and can’t provide a conclusive answer as to whether a certain piece of music will be highly effective in real life, the results do indicate that the choice of music used for ads is important. It also shows that it plays a role in helping form or re-enforce implicit associations with brands.
Having completed my Masters project I have now left London and am currently in Norway completing my studies.
I have continued my research into the fascinating area of music and implicit associations. At the moment I am conducting a project which looks into what type of music clothing stores might play in order to strengthen customers’ implicit attitudes towards their products. Whilst in the same area this study differs as I am not merely testing the effectiveness of music in a situation where the track which fits the brand has already been identified. This project requires identification of the concepts they want to convey, the customers they want to reach and the style they would like to use. Then once all this information has been collated the challenge is to try and use techniques similar to those developed in my previous project to try and identify which music might fit best in the store.
The whole experience working with DDB was really interesting and enjoyable. At the start of the project we Goldsmiths students were introduced to the turbo world that is advertising and it didn’t disappoint!
Jon Ludvig Hansen