Monday, April 26, 2010

Slow Down Now

Bangalore is increasingly becoming one more urban-corporate junkyard. Temperatures are rising. Tempers are rising. Incomes are rising. Values, alas, are fast vanishing.
The other day I saw a young corporate Turk in his fancy car berating an old couple trying to cross an impossibly chaotic road. All this rudeness for a nanosecond advantage before the next traffic pile-up just a few metres down the road. People are taking themselves way too seriously and always seem to be in a mad rush to nowhere.
People need to slow down. The International Institute of Not Doing Much I came across (courtesy Iain Tait) sometime back is just what the doctor ordered. An excerpt of the lessons follows:
  1. Drink a cup of tea, put your feet up and stare idly out of the window. (Warning: Do not attempt this while driving.) 
  2. Do one thing at a time. Remember multitasking is a moral weakness (except for women who have superior brain function.) 
  3. Do not be pushed into answering questions. A response is not the same as an answer. Ponder, take your time. 
  4. Learn our Slow Manifesto. 
  5. Yawn often. Medical studies have shown lots of things, and possibly that yawning may be good for you. 
  6. Spend more time in bed. You have a better chance of cultivating your dreams (not your aspirations.) 
  7. Read the slow stories. 
  8. Spend more time in the bathtub. (See letter from Major Smythe-Blunder) 
  9. Practice doing nothing. (Yes this is the difficult one.) 
  10. Avoid too much seriousness. Laugh, because you’re live on earth for a limited time only.

(Image courtesy: fatboyke)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Calling the bullshit on integrated marketing communication campaigns

(Video courtesy: Ben Kay)

Everyone in the agency business knows that come awards time, agencies will be busy 'creating' integrated campaigns to justify entering the holy grail of all awards - 'The Campaign of the year'. What a bloody waste of time. Instead, agencies are more likely to win an award by doing great work that works. Remember Honda Cog?

This advertiser, Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, brilliantly spoofs this practice while plugging a case for advertising in their magazine. The video documents how a Japanese car company promoted the launch of a new model … by building an entire zoo.(Source: Adfreak)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Top 10 I wish I had written this (Edition 8)

The posts are not in any order of priority. Hope you like them as much as I did. More importantly, I request you to continue to direct me to more such awesome posts.
What separates good content that is read from good content that is not is your ability to promote it. The author makes a good case for it in the online space. Holds true elsewhere in work too.
A provocative post that caused a raging debate in the blogging and twitter world. It is well thought ends with some useful directions for agencies that I am sure will be ignored!
The author, a musician, says not to make life complicated and to love what we do, and instil it in our actions and our goals. And that is what people actually want to hear from you.
“Try going to work one morning without pants. Then try paying your rent once you’ve been fired. That’s ROI”. Similarly one cannot ignore ROI of Social Media says the author
The author, a copywriter, has written a satirical piece oozing with irony at the state of creative review commenter’s. Made me smile.
Next time someone wants to sell you on a strategy, tell them to show you exactly how they plan to implement it says the author talking about social media. Also true in other aspects of the business.
This is a must-read for anyone from any kind of agency (traditional or digital or whatever) and clients. Inspiring.
This is a simple and practical piece for designers by a designer.
The author, a technologist with deep connection to human behaviour, is pained at the way internet and other gizmos have made us less caring for each other. Extremely insightful.
Today, if an enterprise wants to have access to talent, they have to change. That is because of a whole new generation that the author calls GenerationM (born post 1982) entering it.

(Image courtesy: e_walk)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Digital Mirage

Only 3% of traditional agencies excel in digital says this survey across 277 client executives in the US. I shudder to think of the results if a similar survey were to be conducted in India. Not only traditional shops in India do not get digital but also the so-called digital agencies. And I cringe when words like social media are uttered by these agencies (and guru’s alike). In all fairness, the results will be equally disastrous were one to check the level of understanding of the digital medium amongst clients.  
Digital is a mirage. It will continue to be so for traditional agencies as long as their idea of digital is creating another profit centre and adding few slides at the time of a business pitch. There is need for considerable investment (‘expense’ in traditional agency lingo) For example, hiring people unique to the discipline like interaction designer, creative technologists and many like them costs money. Since this is not so, almost anyone with an email and Facebook account passes of as a digital expert. I won’t be surprised if my ­college-going-nephew who is into gaming and downloading God-knows-what (bonus marks for porn) is considered a CD material.
Why is this so?
India being a traditional media market, the creative types and agencies do not see any glory beyond the 30 second commercial and print ads. The client too is looking for a solution that is tried and tested. This coupled with lack of understanding of the new media, creates an inertia that is hard to surmount.
More importantly this lack of understanding has resulted in ‘us vs them’ debate between traditional and digital (emerging media). This debate is completely wrong. Digital is not something alien. What is required is to understand how consumers actually interact with media, brands and one another. Thereafter, design a compelling experience (and communication) by extrapolating it to the real world.
The survey mentioned above says it very well.
"Simply doing social and digital, such as creating Facebook accounts and developing banner ads, isn't going to be enough as marketers get hungrier for better direction -- and results -- in the digital/social world. The agency that can help clients understand how to use social/digital and how to integrate these [media] effectively into more traditional initiatives will, in the end, win the day."
(Image courtesy:taivasalla)