New job. New job. New job. Even managed to get my first speaking gig by day three! Amazing.
Great work, inspiring people. This is my mantra, remind me to revisit this one day and I’ll explain where it comes from. Or just ask me when you see me next. .
My ex-client friend!! Carla was over from Dubai this week and, alongside picking me up a bottle of one of my favourite whiskies, she also placed a bet with me on how long RIM will last in 2012. She thinks by June, I say September or later. The Blackberry makers aren’t going through very good times at the moment and well, as a keen observer said to me recently - ‘they’re not for this world’.
I love Twitter for this kind of stuff.
Good work, friends.
2. Troll Hunter! I arrived home yesterday to discover that someone had sent me both the newly-released Blu-Ray of Troll Hunter as well as a rather funky matching t-shirt. Which in turn meant that last night I finally got to watch a film that I’ve been busting to watch for AGES. You’ll be pleased to hear I was not disappointed and – freebies aside – I’d genuinely recommend seeking it out for its pure scandinavian bonkersness alone.
4. The Marketing Academy
opened up nominations for their third year of scholars this past week and – having been a part of the successful first year of entrants – I honestly cannot recommend this enough.
If you know of a high-potential, rising star in the field of advertising, communications or marketing, why not nominate them today?
Now in its fourth year, the festival is known for being the key event for the local communications industry and, with an expectation of 3000+ attendees, Nokia were onboard as sponsors; with both a device launch and a booth on site, part of the deal was that they were able to nominate their own speaker for the weekend.
The brief? An introduction to word of mouth marketing; a relatively unknown discipline in that part of the world. Case studies would be a necessity but, while I was permitted to talk a little about the work with Nokia, any heavy-handedness would not be welcome.
‘Perfect’, I thought. ‘It’ll be me, a room of 20 or so people, talking about (and probably kicking ideas around) the idea of word of mouth marketing and what it means to the modern-day brand’. Donezo.
Upon arrival [landing just after midnight, after leaving Beirut in the morning and making a short stopover in London for lunch - long story], I was asked to come down to the venue to meet the team and pick up my credentials.
‘But it’s really late and I doubt it’ll go on for long, I’ll do it tomorrow’, I said. ‘No’, they insisted ‘the party is only just starting. Come now.’
I did, and they were right: the party was only just getting started. However, that wasn’t the only surprise of the night. After meeting and greeting the rest of the people I was there to represent, I was asked if I’d like to see where I’d be speaking on the morrow – ‘Yes’ I replied, ‘that’d be great’, expecting to be shown to some corner/booth somewhere in the main hall.
Oh no. How wrong could I be?
Imagine my surprise as I was shown into the main conference hall and simply told ‘Yes, you’ll be in here’ ‘Sorry? How many people can fit in here?’ ‘Oh, about 900 sitting but probably closer to a full thousand when we fill up at the back’
The following day I rewrote the entire presentation (less Q&A and small numbers, more pretty images and big stories). I had potentially one thousand people to entertain. At 5:30pm. On a Friday. Plus, after once reading about Jyri Engestrom‘s tendency to wear bright red cardigans whenever he gives lectures to large groups of people (it helps the audience keep track of the presenter on stage apparently), I thought I should rock the red trousers too.
Following on from last week’s entry (and a little bit later than expected – I’m writing this on Tuesday, but back-dating it to last week – sue me), here’s the top five things I loved most from the past seven days -
Paul Clarke‘s photography exhibition at Adam Street member’s club on Wednesday was really, really good (personal fave was the stage shot of Jon Culshaw) and I’m glad I was able to make it along. No link available at the moment (Paul’s working on it) but in the meantime, why not check out his portfolio? .
We were talking about alternative [read: cheap] ways to build engagement recently. Something tangible, that you can see, feel or hold physically. Like stickers, for example, they’re easy and silly – but what kind? And also, what type of community would they address?
The English definition of ‘currency’ (outside of its obvious monetary connotations) is ‘The fact or quality of being generally accepted or in use‘. Keeping this in mind (and given the universal habit tagging of all things technologically vital and important), laptop stickers could therefore be construed as a currency of the blogging community
If that’s so, then why not make some of those? Good ones mind. Not just your logo on a white background.
Something that will spark a conversation.
This thought process is not new, we used to talk about this kind of community currency back in my SpinVox days: what was it about a certain place or a group of people that would always get them talking and, better yet, what wouldn’t.
A recent video from Heineken was what got me thinking about this again (and what prompted the tweet above, too). Have a look, we’ll regroup on the other side -
Right. Let’s deconstruct this for a second. First off, as I asked the team at 1000heads last week; is this cool?
The general consensus was no, it isn’t. It’s a good video, yes. But using technology for technology’s sake is never a sound strategy for success and alas, that’s exactly what’s going on here.
“Why is this Heineken? Where is their connection?” were other recurring questions. You could argue that the new brand message of ‘open your world’ underpins this whole activity somehow, but you have to look quite hard to see it. And anyway, that much at least is besides the point.
Could this have been done better by taking a closer look at the reality of a festival currency?
Festival currency: what it isn’t
Before we get into what and what does not work around QR codes, let’s first establish that I genuinely do buy the idea that they act as a conversation starter. That’s great in fact. Any excuse to start talking to a new person at large social events is welcome. Well done.
However, as anyone who’s ever been to a festival will tell you, the genuine currency of the modern day festival-goer is communication. To stay in touch, you need that most precious of camping-based premiums: mobile phone battery life.
There is a whole other blog post to come about how the success of the next generation mobile hardware manufacturer depends on this particular aspect of their devices (and breathe), but that’s not for today. Today is about realising that festival-goers aren’t going to spend precious battery life on QR code snapping, especially when it’s the only thing keeping them connected.
Back to those QR codes, hands up who’s got a phone that can scan a QR code out of the box? OK, next question: hands up who’s got a phone that can scan a QR code out of the box that you know about? See what I mean. Shocking.
QR codes are great, but there’s stillsuch a large education piece to be done before anything like this creates any real traction [note: the video proudly points out that 5000 'U-Codes' were printed, not how many were actually scanned].
Taking all of the above into account, it’s clear that the modern day festival goer needs to remain connected, visible and contactable.
Festival currency: what it could be
Flags. This isn’t my idea, first off. Scroggles planted this particular seed when we were working with MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation a few years back. At a festival, if the currency isn’t anything mobile-related (or at least, related to draining mobile power) what else is there?
Think about it.
Print your own message on a [Heineken-branded] flag and suddenly you have something that you can wave to find your friends, stand near or under as a meeting point and ultimately, personalise as much as you like within your own artistic boundaries.
No messing about with esoteric QR codes, no imposing your brand onto that super-valuable phone battery; just simple, visible and useful branding.
Flags, as currency for festival goers.
Laptop stickers, as currency for bloggers.
In which our hero dons his Agony Uncle hat and helps out a woman in need…
Cher Lloyd has a new single out called ‘Want U Back’. This is not news, nor is it something I would normally write about. However, one watch of the video below and you too may very well be compelled to put pen to paper to help the poor girl out.
First things first, Cher: you did the dumping lover, which means you can’t get all wanton and worthy now that your man has moved on. Harassing your ex-bf after you’ve done the deed is just not cool. Leave them be and move on – they’re just having fun! For realsies.
I know you’re sad and jealous [don't deny it, her jeans really don't come into it] but to be honest darling, the real issue here is that you’re addicted to social media!
Yes, there’s no branding on the photos that you’re browsing on that oh so conveniently placed iPad of yours, but there is no denying it – you’re actually Facebook stalking him, aren’t you?
Spending hours and hours moping around on your bed, hunting down photos of him and his new flower having fun is just not healthy dear (we’ve all done it), but why torture yourself in this way?
Gloating that you had him first is no fun for anyone (it’s just plain unattractive for a start) and look, of course he’s going to visit the same places you went to, you live in the same town!
Truth be told, you don’t want him back, you know you don’t. You just want what you can’t have. You let him free and you let him go and, sorry to say it (and as you quite rightly point out), the boy is flying! You can’t blame him for that.
Unfriend him on Facebook, unfollow him on Twitter and just have done with it. If he wants you, he’ll come a-runnin’ – but I doubt he will, not now you’ve all gone all helicopter anyway… Seriously, what is that about?!
I feel your pain. 10yrs ago this level of sophisticated monitoring required a private detective (or two) and several thousands of pounds worth of surveillance equipment. You’d probably need a lawyer too.
But Cher, honestly, in this day and age? People share stuff. And, while it isn’t easy to just not look. You really should stop give yourself a big hug, get out of the house and go and enjoy yourself.
Lots of love,
PS. That boy Astro [I recognise him, has he done any TV?], he looks a bit young for you lass. Just sayin’.