Monthly Archives: June 2011

There’s a blog from Nick Burcher doing the rounds at the moment about how paid, owned and earned media are all interlinked.

In short, he talks about how broadcast TV can still be used to deliver a message, but how it also acts as a gateway to content (Owned) and drives participation and conversation (Earned.)

ZenithOptimedia have coined the phrase ‘the amplified present’ to broadly describe people twittering/talking/blogging about what’s happening – right now.

Twitter tends to go mad when Britain’s Got Talent is on or someone says something silly on The Apprentice…

It’s also often a more up-to-date news source than the news itself – only the other day, one of my friends started talking about a fire burning in Covent garden.

He’d read it on twitter hours before any of the online news websites picked up on it.

There’s obviously a wealth of data on this and lots of people sharing their opinions on what this means for agencies.

What’s the knock on for agencies?

What does this mean for how we operate?

There will be some huge changes in terms of data, analytics and evaluation with this evolving media landscape.

But actually our focus should still be where it’s always been. On creativity.

The fact people are now jumping from TV to computer more fluidly is a help to us, not a hindrance. But ultimately we need to make sure adverts have all the elements to be shareable.

If the new media landscape now involves the ‘amplified present’, then its guitar must be creativity.

So today is my 22nd birthday.
It’s rather an odd one as it feels like the start of my proper twenties – proper adulthood.
21 still felt young. 22 feels older.
Couple this with the fact I’ve now got friends that are engaged, friends with children and friends with houses and I’ve realised just how unattached I am…
I’ve got a blog. Does that count?

Anyway – in true marriage vs mixtape style, I’ve decided to commit to several (trivial) tasks to be completed during my 22nd year. Below.

1. Review 22 gigs.
2. Review 22 albums.
3. Talk about my 22 favourite brands.
4. Visit 22 London pubs (and take a photo).

I know – what a commitment.

In January we opened our graduate scheme applications. One of the things we asked the potential grads to do was attach a photo to their application form that excited them.
We had plenty of pictures from our applicants’ recent gap years, lots of images of lightbulbs and other creative symbols and all the other usual suspects you’d expect to see as an answer to this question.
However – one person attached the venn diagram below.
For some reason, it struck a chord with me. 
Not because it was particularly exciting, but simply because it’s a fact of life put across in an interesting way. 
You do HAVE to step out of your comfort zone if you’re going to do anything interesting or have any stories to tell.
You SHOULD try and use venn diagrams (and other charts) to express yourself.
It’s now stuck up on my wall at home. 
Aren’t venn diagrams cool?
Before I got into advertising, I played bass in a band and ran my own music nights in Cardiff. 

With a degree under my belt, I applied to a couple of ad agencies and I was lucky enough to get offered an account handling job.

It didn’t take me long to realise that organising and running gigs was actually quite similar to account handling at an ad agency. 
The venue owner? They’re a bit like your client. 

They want your night to go well, they’ll help you out if you need it but ultimately they just need to make sure that what’s happening turns a profit and is good for the venue.
The musicians? They’re your agency creatives. They’re often eccentric, sometimes diva-ish and frequently unpredictable.

 But all this boils down to the reason the night’s happening, they’re the ones inventive enough to draw an audience into the venue. 
The audience? An easy one. They’re obviously your ad’s audience. 

Book a band that no one likes and you don’t get an audience. Book one that lots of people like and you’ve got a queue out the door.
And event organising is very similar to account handling. You have to make sure every group is happy. 

You have to make sure the venue owners are happy, the night is a financial success and it’s the kind of night they want held in their venue. 

You have to pick the right bands to play each venue and then make sure that they’re happy – that they’re treated well and that they get to play what they want to, how they want to. It’s also your job to make sure they sound the best they can do.

And finally (and most importantly) you have to make sure the audience are happy. 

You have to make sure they enjoy themselves, they like the music, they like the venue and that they will come back again.
I recently read W&K’s Honda effectiveness paper from 2005. They raise a really interesting point regarding the hypocrisy of how we look at brands.
On the one hand we try our hardest to talk about brands as if they are a living person. We talk about their personality, their beliefs, their values and the conversations and interactions they have with consumers.
On the other, we try and describe brands in just a couple of words – ‘witty & irreverent’ ‘enthusiastic & informed’ ‘sophisticated & optimistic’.
They argue we wouldn’t talk about a real person in this way. If brands are like people, we need to embrace the fact there is more to them than a couple of words. 
In many ways I think they’re right. 
We do need to embrace the complexity of brands. Whilst a single ad execution may communicate a single message, it is still jam packed with nuances and subtleties that add up to a bigger picture. A more complex picture. And with lots of executions across lots of channels over many years, that’s one complex picture!
And I also agree – two or three words to describe a brands personality clearly isn’t enough. 
But a couple of sentences would probably do it wouldn’t it? I think all of us could describe a person we know reasonably well in a two or three hard working sentences. 
So why not a brand?
Then when we actually produce the ads, they’ll fill in all of the gaps.