At the Communication Council’s Circus, Tom Uglow, (@tomux, Creative Labs, Google Sydney) told a good story. It’s a self proclaimed non-linear story, so let’s jump to the middle:

A nice metaphor, as he points out. A bloke sitting near me said, “wish someone would show that to Gerry Harvey.” Harvey Norman, the TV, DVD and gadget retailer, still sees the internet as a crisis point. (As Al Crawford of Clemenger BBDO pointed out in his mumbrella article the other day, “The Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters, one that means danger, the other, opportunity.”)

The difference between then and now, is that right now, you cannot turn off. This is the point that all digital teams are driving home to their clients nowadays. While I’ve been caught saying (yeah, sorry!), Facebook is for life, not just for Christmas, Tom Uglow has a nicer way with words:

real-time is reality.
always-on is on.

Tom told a story. He sums up his story as this:

The future is data-driven, lean-forward, user-led, preference-tilted, crowd-funded, curated-content, real-time, always-on, multi-dimensional, non-linear stories about babies.

And his story (non-linear, like many a marketing story these days*) is under pinned with the fact that #datadriveseverything – or rather:

Data is the new “front of house”. Everything we do now has datapoints.

He then gives us a series of examples. I’ll cite three:

1) The where you can “explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.” It two years to create this so that anyone can visit three art galleries in three continents in thirty minutes, if so desired!

We should all be striving to create & monitor (or have someone else monitor!)

Clean and Structured Data

Tom finds these words sexy. Okay then… But the point is with clean and structured data we can create interesting, relevant stories. And maybe even those frequent, lightweight interactions that we spoke of in another post.

2) Gamification:

Chomaroma pools the travel data of each person on the London Underground via the Oyster Card system and turns your journey into fighting dragons. Transport for London keeps changing the data because they don’t approve of the system, apparently.

“The idea started with a preoccupation with what Barnes calls “data shadows”, part of the digital footprint we all leave behind. With the Oyster card, those of us in London leave a record of every journey, every date and every time, and mostly see those journeys as something to endured – as an obstacle to be cleared before the real day can begin.”

3) Buying stuff.

As per the pic to the right, we’re all geeks. The virtual shop where the phone scans the barcodes that Woolworths mounted in the CBD recently (echoing the QRcode Tesco shop in Seoul, of course) is his first case in point. Then a few other examples:

Invest in a business via kickstarter (“a way to fund & follow creativity”)

Give (rather, loan) charitably via kiva (“Loans Change Lives”)

Bargain hunt at The Outnet Store wehre frenzy sales with fluid pricing are the norm.

Finally, Tom is a personal presenter. What I mean by this is that he brings his family values into the work place. In a nice way. IE Tom is a proud dad. For example, he says wistfully:

Reality / Play / Magic
They’re all the same for little people.

It’s not till we get older do we start to rationalise the difference between reality, play and magic. What’s real and what isn’t.

By that stage we already knew about his Proud Dad / Happy Dad attitude – he’d shown us this film featuring him+kid:

Not only is it an ad for Android phones, but also it is an ad for his happy dadding. I identify with that.

Tom Uglow’s full presentation [yes, for example I missed bits about Charlie Sheen and Proactive (lean forward) vs Reactive (lean back) screens] can be found here:

*Everything is non-linear these days. See the piece about the non-linear path-to-purchase.