Archive for the 'Out and about' Category

The things you agree to after one too many drinks!

Posted: October 11th, 2010 in News, Out and about, People

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Chris and Anthony, the two survivors

After months of exhaustive training (or is that just exhausted training?) myself and good friend Chris survived the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest 10K Challenge (although the Nottingham course was actually 12km!!!).

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Content is King

Posted: May 27th, 2009 in Out and about

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Many marketers are preaching about the death of advertising as we know it, and in particular the failure of interruption advertising. It’s fair to say that this is partly true. Indeed, you don’t need to be a genius to spot it. Just look at the statistics for tv, press and web. It’s abundantly clear that the only people who are currently making any money out of advertising are the media owners themselves.

I used to work with Joe McCambley, who wrote the copy for the first ever banner ad, an ad for AT&T, and it achieved a 60% click through rate. These days you’d be lucky to get 1%! Joe doesn’t create banners any more. He says they’ve lost their effectiveness. So what are the alternatives – and indeed, are there any alternatives? Or am I simply talking myself out of a job?

I have to admit there isn’t a definitive answer. However, it’s clear that in order to succeed in an environment over-saturated by ads and messaging (some experts estimate that the consumer is exposed to more than 3,000 advertising messages a day) we need to come up with something different, eyecatching, involving.

Marketers often say they want to “create a two-way dialogue with consumers”. Whilst this is a tired old cliché, it still holds true. We need to involve the consumer, give them a story, make them interact with your brand, entertain them for **** sake. It’s not rocket science – they’re bored and are looking for stimulation!

“Where are you going with this?” you may well ask. To be frank, I’m not sure, except to say that the best example of marketing and product placement I’ve seen recently was created by the IT geek in the agency, not the creatives (sorry creatives):

Why does it work? Simple. It’s believable, it tells a story, it has compelling content for the right audience, it’s user generated, it’s a video and it has succeeded by word of mouth to create brand ambassadors.

Isn’t this the Nirvana we’re all trying to reach?

So next time you have a marketing problem (or a creative block) why not phone IT support?

FOWA is all done!

Posted: October 11th, 2008 in Out and about

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Photo by Benjamin Ellis used under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial license.

The second and final day of the FOWA expo (or third and final day if you attended the workshops on the 8th) has now concluded with what was surely a riotous filming of diggnation with Kevin Rose and co. Starting much as the first day did with a stellar keynote, this time by Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems and XML fame, followed by Adam Gross of Salesforce giving a quick demo of his company’s online offering. Tim certainly started off the proceedings strongly with a frank and intelligent exploration of how web applications and more specifically, those developing them, can survive in hard times; while other attendees touched on the banking situation, none covered it quite so lucidly and with such brilliant advice attached. Adam’s talk was part marketing, part demo and, unfortunately, all forgettable.

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First day of FOWA wrap-up

Posted: October 9th, 2008 in Out and about

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Image by Pip, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike license

The first day of the Future of Web Apps conference has drawn to a close and an excellent day it has been so far. The day kicked off with a bang with a talk by Kevin Rose (of digg fame and as close to a web apps rock star as is possible) on the future of news, specifically social news and what can be done to make it more appealing to users. This was followed closely by a short talk by Edwin Aoki of AOL with possible prognostications on where web-apps are going and how they’ve evolved since his talk at the last FOWA in London.

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Iris is off to FOWA!

Posted: October 8th, 2008 in Out and about

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The Future of Web Applications conference is visiting London for the fourth time and I’ll be there for the second time, soaking up the talks and atmosphere of the cutting edge of online digital development. Last year’s event managed to fit in talks from industry luminaries such as Kevin Rose, Om Malik, Michael Arrington and Matt Mullenweg with company representation from Microsoft, Yahoo, Adobe, AOL, Facebook and many more. This year looks to expand on that line-up with Google, Sun Microsystems and Amazon Web Services joining the mix.

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