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#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity

onthecouchwith_episodeone-001-jpeg-001-jpeg-001[This is taken from the research project, TheFuture:Exposed (aka #onthecouchwith) which was kicked off by interviewing thought leaders in Dubai. This research will continue, on stage, at Dubai Lynx, the festival of creativity, on Sunday 5th March, 2pm, with two inspiring thought leaders, PK Gulati and Philippe Blanchard. Hope to see you in the audience!]

EPISODE ONE

https://youtu.be/_bn4GmIQ9co

In today’s world we’re all having to learn how to cope with the pace of change and how to respond. The pace of change is something that – as consumers – we adopt without blinking but as businesses, we get stuck with the legacy of yesteryear.

This is why adaptation is key and one of the fastest ways to grow is to understand the psychology of people and trends across this distinct and exciting region.

The region is exciting but without a sense of purpose it’s easy to drift rather than drive. The only way to drive in the right direction is to find a meaning to what you do. And then to fight for a way forward, fight until you win; fight like a gladiator. Continue reading “#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity”

Should ad agencies advertise?

In 2006 I was on a project at Patts Y&R in Melbourne. The now-famous Russel Howcroft had just been appointed as MD. The receptionist asked me what project I was working on. I explained that I was working for Russel and, with a senior account director called Tobi, helping them articulate today’s stories for the agency and to find ways to package them up and disseminate them to prospective clients. The receptionist’s summary was succinct:

You’re advertising the advertising agency!

I use that line nowadays when people ask me what I am doing for a living. But in reality, we all know an advertising agency seldom advertises itself. Not in the traditional sense of paid advertising.

When it comes to the paid-owned-earned media debate, agencies just don’t pay for advertising space. Hell, we’re bad enough with our owned media (how many out-of-date websites are there and/or offices ‘soon to be renovated’). And few agencies are fabulous at sparking the conversation in earned media (what percentage of agencies goes beyond PR-ing breaking campaigns, updating a Linkedin profile and the occasional tweets?). But this piece isn’t about owned and earned media, not today.

Well, we’ve all thought about our own advertising and debated it. And this came up again recently:

I found out the other day that Encore magazine is about to be revamped and, on top of its usual readership, it’ll be distributed among the 4,500 senior marketers on the Australian Marketing Institute’s database. And I bet the All-New Encore Magazine will enjoy heavy promotion to an even wider marketing community via its sister title, mumbrella.

And so I spoke to the Encore publishing team and was duly sent the media pack with the rate card.

As it happens Innocean, the agency where I work, will feature since another now-famous adman, Sean Cummins, will scrutinise our latest TV ad for Kia, part of a multimedia campaign for an irreverent brand.

Here lies the debate. Should we also advertise in the publication? Well, it’s too late now, we’ve missed the deadline. So, should we have advertised? And what would should have been our message?

My immediate reaction was YES, let’s advertise. A resounding YES. What’s more, I had a brilliant idea for the ad. Creatives all cringe when ‘suits’ get ideas for advertising executions. Especially when the suit says it’s brilliant! And so they should – here’s what I created on my (t)rusty old mac:

My objection to running ads like this is Continue reading “Should ad agencies advertise?”

#datadriveseverything – but not at Qantas

In an earlier post I outlined the three steps to success in communications: Content, Targeting, Distribution. One conclusion was that in the world of targeting and beyond, #datadriveseverything. It seems that targeting is something that Qantas needs to spend more time analysing:

Over at the mumbrella news & opinion website, Tim Burrowes flags that Qantas is spamming it’s database with scary stories (my words not his. For his words click here.)

Qantas PR team lacks data management skills

My comment:

This looks like a good example of a company that is only just starting to understand the opportunity provided data-driven communications.

Open communications, great. Poor use of database though.

Continue reading “#datadriveseverything – but not at Qantas”

How Seth Godin thinks (how to launch a new product)


If only we all could think like Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the business consultant, author and chirpy chap who invented the term “Permission Marketing”. He’s also is a brilliant observer and commentator.

Regarding Apple’s launch of the iPad he calls the product a “permission asset”:

Over 25 years, Apple has earned the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to their tribe. Continue reading “How Seth Godin thinks (how to launch a new product)”

The Future of Communications – in three easy steps

I was listening to the stories being told at the Nokia Forum for developers recently.

If content is king, distribution is...

When Kenny Mathers stood up and announced “if content is king, distribution is king kong.” This quote he attributed to Mark Ollila, another Nokia guru. Of course, their reason for flogging this line is that if the developers create the content, Nokia says it can deliver the right distribution.

A wonderful aphorism. Worth repeating again and again.

If Content is King, Distribution is King Kong


However, this takes for granted a Continue reading “The Future of Communications – in three easy steps”

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