Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mobile - The 7th of Mass Media

Read more such astounding facts from Tomi Ahonen – a best selling author, consultant on digital convergence and mobile telecoms. He has termed mobile as the 7th of Mass Media – the other six being print, recordings, cinema, radio, TV and the internet.

Any talk of mobile phones cannot be without mentioning the iconic iPhone. There is a team of hackers spread across the world – called iPhone Dev Team - whose single-minded mission is to rip the iPhone apart to identify potential problems (or even innovations) and make it work for everyone. And they do this for free. This is destruction for creation. Learn all about this awesome team in this interview. And for more Apple related stuff, you can always go to ‘the unofficial Apple weblog’.

Out here in India we have a body that is also into destruction, minus the creation. We call it the Government.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Top Ten I Wish I Had Written This

‘I like them and my gut says so’ is the only criteria for the selection of the posts mentioned below which I came across during my random browsing. They are not in any order of priority. Hope you like them as much as I did. I also invite suggestions and directions to more such posts – including yours - as I intend to make it a regular feature.

Great brands are built on the value they create for the consumer. This is achieved by ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking’. A fact brilliantly stated by Adrian Ho.

‘Insight’ is a revelation according to the author (Aditerate). Not only does it tell you what an insight is but also tells you where you are most likely to find it.

Paul Bennett feels that creativity is about collaboration - this is more than ever true now than ever before because of the troubled economic times. He urges businesses (and people) to share, to give - ‘doing good begets doing good’. He should know. He is a Chief Creative Officer at IDEO.

‘Ignore everybody’ is the first point in ‘How to be creative’ by Hugh Macleod (Gaping Void) and it rolls thereafter with one useful tip after another. This is a very old post and the best part is that it is getting published as a book sometime this year.

‘Try everything and see where it goes’ is the inspiring line in this outstanding post by Dave Trott. With enough examples from people who have dared, Dave Trott tells us that we have to explore to succeed.

Sean Howard (CrapHammer) writes about the need to be ‘messy’ in order to enable conversations. I think this is not only true of the social media space but also advertising.

By telling the story of how Rockefeller Center was created during the great depression and became successful in spite of the odds against it, Faris gives us all a message of hope in these unsure times.

Here’s a simple piece by J.P.Rangaswami, whom I discovered courtesy Chris Brogan, on why he likes Twitter. He uses the analogy of a submarine to make his point.

Seth Godin, explains the difference between doing things people love and between doing things people like (less annoying) and why one cannot try to do both. And great brands do things people love.

This is a farewell post as Editor by Gina Trapani who founded and created into the force it has become. It is an inspirational piece especially for struggling bloggers like me.

PS: When I ran the idea of this post past a good friend of mine, he said that the title should be “Top Ten I wish I had written this, but alas can’t!”

(Image courtesy: Johan Jonsson)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Creativity is in the details

We have heard or read about the painstaking efforts of geniuses like Bernbach and Ogilvy to create campaigns that are talked about even now. Their homework included getting into the details of the product or service and most of the time they did it themselves (There were no Account Planners then!) Bernbach, Ogilvy and people like them were in all probability the original Planners.

This approach to creativity is not confined to advertising or the expressive arts. It cuts across various fields from high-technology to teaching to gardening. If anything, this is mandatory in most other fields. Why should it not be so for advertising (wherever and whenever possible)?

As far as advertising is concerned, modern day legends like Lee Clow or Alex Bogusky seem to belong to the Ogilvy-Bernbach approach to creativity. And it shows.

However, there are two other schools of creative that seem to increasingly dominate the market-place. There is one that seems to depend heavily on style more than substance. And award juries seem to be their target audience. There is yet another which is driven by Marketers (the I-know-it-all kind) whose single-minded obsession is to perpetuate mediocrity. They justify this sort of work with mind-numbing research and uninspiring strategy.

The effort that goes into the development of either kind of work is no less strenuous but is unfortunately misdirected. I also feel the capability of the creative team is not fully utilized and a lot is left to chance. I call this the ‘shot in the dark’ approach. The success of the work largely depends on the ‘strike-rate’ of the creative person and the agency.

How can creative teams (and agencies) get out of this kind of trap and yet produce work that succeeds in the market-place as well as be personally rewarding?

Here’s a brilliant piece by creative legend, Dave Trott, on how his efforts to understand the client’s product (Tower Pans) led to a successful campaign. The fact that it got featured in D&AD should be proof enough for the awards-obsessed crowd that due diligence can be rewarding.

What I liked about Dave Trott’s example was his questioning of the brief, followed by the homework (details) he did which led to a successful campaign. In today’s environment, the homework is left to the Planning and Account teams who for all practical purpose spoon-feed the creative team. But something seems to be missing somewhere and the work falls short of being magical. Dave Trott also explains why Marketers (or clients) may not be of much help and shows how a determined creative person can surmount all obstacles.

Scamp has a different and interesting view from that of Dave Trott especially with respect to ‘homework’. The conversation that followed only reinforces my view which led to the topic under discussion.

I believe that creativity is in the details. This is not about stating facts or getting verbose in the creative. This is about hitting upon the right combination of facts and insight that leads to an inspiring piece of work. This way there is a greater probability of a winning creative emerging. If anyone doubts that, just ask Honda and Dove.

(Image Courtesy: Umesh Prasad)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Social CRM by Fabio

While trying to learn about a topic I knew very little - CRM - I stumbled upon Fabio. He was kind enough to share the above presentation which in simple and lucid terms explains CRM in a Social Media context. Even though his blog is in Portugese, I think there are lot of interesting ideas and thoughts there proving that language cannot be a barrier to ideas.

In this connection I also came across this very interesting post or shall we say strong view on CRM by Adliterate written way back in 2007. The post and the comments that followed make for a great and useful read.

All I can say is that CRM should ideally stand for Customer Ready Marketing.