Man, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these “Drone Week” posts, but there’s been some good stuff lately.
First up is a comment that that was made by a TechDirt reader on the “Have Drone, Will Travel” post from this week:
Quadcopters are easy to make and cheap because they move the complicated aspects of proper helicopters out of the mechanics and into the elctronice. Usually this is a good strategy – but not here because the side effects of doing this mean that they are unflyable in anything but perfect weather because of the lack of control authority. Since a proper collective pitch micro-helicopter can be purchased for around $100 nowadays ther is no reason to use a quadcopter. For many applications a fixed wing aircraft will be better.
It puzzles me that calling a model aircraft a “drone” somehow makes it a new piece of technology. It isn’t – it’s just a model aircraft = and in the case of a quadcopter a pretty badly designed one at that!
The author makes a good point, in that the technology being used isn’t really that new or innovative. However, I think he misses out that the development of the flight stabilising electronics, as well as the decreased costs of some of the components, have made this hobby much more accessible to the greater public. This in turn has helped drive further innovation and interest in the field, which is never a bad thing.
Next up is the use of drones to track the health of killer whales.
The footage is beautiful, but more important is the reason why they’re doing it. Read more here.
Lastly, the Audi Car Drone.
I suppose that as a car, it’s not really a drone in the way we might normally think about them, but as a self-driving vehicle on a race track, it’s pretty neat. I’d like to see this entered into an actual competition at some point to see how it does against human drivers.
That’s it for Drone Week.
Last week, I had to good fortune to attend the Communications Agencies Association of New Zealand’s Effectiveness awards. The “Effies,” as their called, are Kiwi equivalent of the Canadian Cassie awards. It was a great way to be exposed to some of the awesome advertising happening here, and I’ve included some of my highlights below.
SKY TV/ Game of Thrones: Bring Down The King
I might be a bit biased because it was my DDB New Zealand colleagues* who came up with this idea, and because I love Game of Thrones, but it was great to see this spot that lets Kiwis bring down a statue of Joffrey by tweeting about him win a gold at the Effies.
Maritime New Zealand – Saving Lives Like They Did in the 80s
I heard somewhere that there is no where in New Zealand that is farther than 150km from the coast, and Auckland also apparently has the highest number of yachts per capita in the world so it makes sense that water safety is a big deal. The video below from Maritime New Zealand is a playful look at why you need to be wearing a life jacket for it to be effective.
Tui Beer: Catch a Million
I have no idea what cricket is about (and pretty much think of it as this) but I think everyone can still appreciate some of the great catches, even when they come from the crowd. Tui Beer capitalized on this by holding a promotion that promised a share of $1,000,000 to anyone in the crowd who caught a ball from the game with one hand. Check out the video below to see how this took off.
Bonus fact that I learned about cricket: They only change balls every 50 overs (which takes about 3 hours or so), so that the way the ball spins and bounces changes quite a bit throughout a game. Compare this to American Baseball, where I think they change up the ball almost every pitch to keep it consistent.
There were a lot of other great pieces of work at the awards, but those were my favourite. The full Effies results are here.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve left Toronto, and have made the move south to join the DDB New Zealand team as a Digital Strategist.
Saying goodbye to my colleagues at Tribal Worldwide Toronto/DDB Canada wasn’t easy, but staying within the DDB network and transferring down to DDB New Zealand was a great opportunity.
I’ve only been here for a week, but so far my early impressions of the DDB team here and the city of Auckland are that both are fantastic.
If you’re ever in New Zealand, look me up and say hello.
To everyone I worked with back in Canada, please keep in touch (LinkedIn or Twitter). I hope our paths cross again soon.
PS: They love coffee in New Zealand, and the DDB office is no exception:
They take their coffee seriously at DDB New Zealand.
A few months ago, I had the chance to visit Tokyo to work with the DDB office there. Similar to my trip to Australia last year, it was a chance to return to place I’d once lived, visit some old friends and meet some new colleagues. Below are a few pictures from my trip.
Even after all these years I’ve been in advertising, it’s still exciting to see an idea go from research, through to strategy and a finished execution. That’s why it’s great to see the creative that my colleagues at DDB developed to promote SONY’s line of High-Resolution audio products:
As part of the campaign, we’re working with music bloggers across Canada to share content and give reviews about these products. Check Ride the Tempo if you want to try and win a pair of these great SONY headphones now.
Otherwise, learn more about SONY’s High-Resolution audio products at store.sony.ca/sound-evolved
Last week, I talked about the fact that we might have reached “peak drone,” the idea that public interest in drones and quadcopters is waning. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a use for them. I feel like over the past few months, there’s actually been more “useful” articles about drones, rather than the fun and gimmicky ones like the burrito delivery drone. Anyways, time will tell. Here are this week’s round-up of drone-related news stories:
Apparently France is accusing rival soccer teams of using a drone to spy on them at their training camp in Brazil for the World Cup. However, it is still unclear if it’s actual spying that’s happening or, as the article says, an enthusiastic fan. The former is definitely a more interesting news story, but the latter much more likely.
Maybe you’ll be able to see video of that training footage on TravelByDrone, a site that aims to give you a drone-based view of the world in the same way Google StreetView gave you a car-based view. The site’s team is manually vetting and adding new drone videos to their site at a few hundred a day, according to TechCrunch.
Another week, and and drones continue to show up in the news and the blogs. What follows is another of my regular round-ups on the topic of drones.
Firstly, have we reached Peak Drone? I plugged the word “drone” into Google trends, and it spat out the following chart (along with a bit of a forecast). It’s not necessarily the best indicator in the topic, but it looks public interest in drones peaked a few months ago, in December 2013. Either that, or they’re becoming so commonplace that people don’t need to search for them anymore.
Next up is a cyberpunk-ish video by M.I.A. feature not only drones, but also 3D-printed guns and a glitchy vibe. The whole thing feels like a 90s dream of what the future should have been, but it’s still pretty cool. Watch it here.
If you want to terrify your dog and annoy your neighbours, then getting a drone to take your pets out to poo is probably the way to go.
And apparently the Lithuanian mob has gotten into the drone business, using a gigantic specimen of one to smuggle cigarettes into Russia, 22 pounds at a time.
And finally, a team is working on creating a type of aquatic drone that will gradually clean the world’s oceans of all that plastic. Good luck, guys.
That’s it for Drone Week on BlogCampaigning for now.
For the last few years, advertisers have known that those watching their ads are likely to have a second screen nearby, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
What’s interesting to me is that game developers are starting to take notice of this. The Wii-U was the first instance a “second screen” experience for gamers, but more interesting to me are the companion apps that are closely tied to a few of the big games that have come out recently or are hotly anticipated. Check out my round-up of these below:
Tom Clancy’s The Division – I’m pretty excited for this dystopian police game, but even more excited for what the companion app will do. According to IGN, your friends will be able to join you via their iPhone or iPad to control a drone in the game, pointing out snipers or laying down cover fire.
Destiny – As excited as I am for The Division, I’m probably more excited about Destiny. How can the former Halo developers go wrong? Unfortunately, their companion app (dubbed “Companion“) doesn’t sound nearly as interesting, and is nothing more than a tool for keeping track of your stats and maybe updating your loadout.
Watch Dogs – Despite a lukewarm reception, Watch Dogs still looks pretty interesting. Rather than supporting you or acting as another player, it pits you against other players in couple of different game modes.
Titanfall – The Titanfall companion app sits in the middle of a few of these, and offers you an interactive mini-map of the current game. It’s not groundbreaking, but an interesting add-on to what is supposed to be an amazing game.
Are there any other gaming companion apps I’m missing?
“Human beings are scary. We breathe a corrosive gas, drink one of the most potent solvents. Our preferred method of hunting was persistence hunting, where we chased animals until their body simply gave up and died. We can eat just about anything we find, which means that we don’t need to stop for food when chasing our prey. If we can’t find food, that’s fine. Our body will simply begin to eat itself so that we don’t have to stop chasing our prey. We walk upright, we sweat, we don’t have much body hair, which allows us to radiate away our body heat. This means that excessive time or extreme environment wont stop our hunts. If the animal fights back against us, we can take massive damage to our extremities and lose half our blood and still live. Our entire existence is owed to persistence, endurance, and determination. When we put ourselves to a task, it gets done, period. And this instinct is still affecting us today. 332BC: Alexander the Great hits a stalemate with the fortified island city of Tyre. Instead of going back defeated, he builds a kilometer long bridge in order to raze the city. 49BC: Cesar, after defeating the Gauls and invading Britain, turns a political fight into a civil war by invading Italy with only a single legion. He eventually becomes dictator starting a world superpower whose engineering feats are only recently being broken. 1804AD: A charismatic French general declares himself Emperor and sets off to conquer much of mainland Europe. He is captured, exiled, and then escapes. The soldiers sent to recapture him instead lay down their arms and join him. 1961AD: One man decides that we will go to the moon, despite much of the technology to do so not even existing yet. Just eight years later, two humans stand on the surface of the moon and look back upon the Earth. 200 years ago, we didn’t have railroads. 100 years ago, we didn’t have airplanes. 50 years ago, we didn’t have spaceflight. 25 years ago we didn’t have the Internet. We’ve already inherited the Earth and soon we WILL inherit the stars and anyone or anything that stands in our way will be eliminated one way or another.”