Oct 06

Flushed Away slugs

One of the emails from viral monitor today was about a nice little short animation of Dancing Slugs; it was forwarded to the list by a PR agency (That’s what the list is there for). On YouTube, the clip is there twice, the first from ‘flushedaway‘ a new member who joined yesterday. The clip is doing pretty well, getting over 200k views. (it’s also a featured video today). The clip is far better quality on the PR agencies website Way To Blue (this opens a .asx file which will open a media player instead of inbrowser experience).

The clip itself does not actually give clues about where it has come from, but the email does – it’s to promote the Aardman/Dreamworks film Flushed Away, which opens in the UK on Dec 1. It’s CGI instead of the the trademark clay stop-go animation and from the results of this clip, looks like the quality is there. they normally come up with a good story, we’ll just wait and see.

Oct 04

UN World Food Programme Contest

Running a contest to to make a video (stop calling them viral please…) is pretty common currently, for all sorts of reasons, anti-DRM, Coke and Mentos, Chevy taho etc etc. They are being used more and more froma commercial aspect as a way for brands to engage with their consumers.

But here’s one for a slightly different reason. The UN World Food Programme, in the guise of fighthunger.org are asking for contributions of “a short video (no longer than 120 seconds) that sends the message that child hunger should end by 2015” which is one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goal. There’s some serious reasons behind this and some serious backing:

Everyone who enters is a winner because by sharing your creativity you’re joining our global movement to end child hunger by 2015. The overall winner will have the chance to visit and film a WFP School Feeding Project. The winning video will be used by Fight Hunger: Walk the World in their media campaign to end child hunger by 2015.

Nice to see the site (and the contest rules) licenced under Creative Commons; they’ve also done the sensible thing and not built themselves out a video site but are just using exisiting sites such as YouTube. A far better reason to be out making your own content than the usual brand competition.

Oct 03

Galactica and Microsoft

I actually noticed an online ad yesterday. It’s not something I normally do, having developed my finely tuned sense of ignoring ads and having no recall. But this one for MS Visual Studio just stuck out because it was slightly incongrous. They are sponsoring the Battlestar Galactica webisodes, so just have a small, static logo, just above the viewing area. It’s not your usual entertainment sponsorship but I can see the potential match in demographics.


Oct 03

Lastminute Top Secret Hotels

Lastminute.com have a fairly decent new promotion for their Top Secret Hotels, where you can book 4 or 5 star hotels, but you don;t know what you are booking. It’s just a new spin on the ‘make your own magazine story’ but it is nicely put together, has a straightforward user flow, lets you load up your own photo and just works for me. I liked the disclaimer at the end – bet that took a lot of copywriting from the original legalese.

The promotion is not easily carried through the the main page however…on my POC at least the tiny text link is below the fold. Once on the hotel page, it’s very upfront with the incentive – send the link to a friend and receive a 10GBP voucher to use against your next booking.


Oct 02

Barcamp Roundup

The weeked ended, we threw all the rubbish out, the comfy couches got put away and the beanbags sent back with Red Bull. Post Mortem notes can be found on the wiki and the general feedback from this and from emails sent all seem to be positive – Barcamp NYC2 was seen as a success.

I was surprised at the number of people who did not turn up, it appears only about half the signees were there, but maybe there was a larger fluctuation than I was aware of. A hardcore bunch did stay overnight but I was not one of them in the end. Despite borrowing a sleeping bag (thanks dan) i ended up trekking back to the flat to sleep in my own bed.

A huge thankyou to Peter who was our contact at Microsoft and smoothed all the arrangements out. It was a wonderful space, plenty of room, wifi was wonderful and everything just worked well with the spatial logistics. He also pinned a target on himself by opening up sessions about Why Microsoft Sucks. After the first one focused on the OS only, he volunteered to go through it again. Interestingly, from my perspective some of the issues that were bought up I did not see as issues – because I know no difference having not worked on Macs but they were obviously painpoints for people who worked oer the 2 systems.

Another great session was from Dennis Crowley on Pervasive Games. Turning the world into a game is fun; one of the originals was Kit William’s Masquerade (just looking at this, it was probably published a few years before many in the audience were born). Technology adds an extra dimension to playing in the real world, with mobile phones, GPS, instant connectivity; the web adds the collaboration effort that allows quick solutioning (Masquerade would have probably taken a lot less than 3 years if redone now)

Looking forward to the next one – perhaps BarCamp SouthBeach
in the middle of january could be a good break.

Oct 01

Digital Ages of a Marketing Director

My second presentation within a week! After only ever doing this type of thing at work, I gave a presentation at barcamp today ‘the digital ages of the modern marketing directory’, a tongue-in-cheek look at the challenges in convincing corporates to market on the web. I gave a quick run through three stereotypes that I have come across:

  • the Luddite – those people who do not believe the web can be used to market goods but often hold the budget. Difficult to convince to spend money in this type of marketing
  • the Enthusiast – the ones who know they have to be on thw web but get stuck on a few things that they just know will work – lets make a viral is their rallying cry
  • the Realist – people who use the web everyday, who treat the web as just one channel in the marketing mix, who don’t need convincing on using the web, just need the right information to feed into the rest of their studies on RoI

It then opened up into a general discussion about different ways to market on line, targeting audiences and good practices for online spend. It went well enough, to a full house, that I need to actually turn this into a more formal presenation with slides and I can extend the time I think.