"Surprise & Delight" videos are everywhere these days, but often the surprise isn't very interesting, isn't connected to the product or is so connected it feels forced.
That's why this spot from Land Rover New Zealand is so perfect. It's a truly spontaneous act of love from the brand that isn't just rewarding vocal influencers or creating a predictable vending machine stunt.
It's a beautiful little piece of film, and almost makes me want to buy an old Land Rover of my own to restore. Or at least a new one for new adventures.
I’m a big fan of Instagram these days (I post there more often than Facebook, and even used it to find a photographer for some family portraits) but haven’t been impressed with with way brands are using it (Nike and a few other sports brands aside).
However, Smirnoff New Zealand made excellent use of the photo-sharing service throughout December with their #PurePotential campaign.
The gist of the idea was that Smirnoff NZ asked users to take a picture of the ingredients in their fridge, tagging the photo @SmirnoffNZ and #PurePotential and that the brand would give them a recipe for a vodka-based drink they could make with the ingredients. These recipes came in the form of high-quality videos, perfectly sized and paced for Instagram.
It worked well by taking advantage of that fact that user’s are used to giving their followers an intimate look at their lives using photos on Instagram.
It wasn’t just a social campaign, either. They had out of home ads (billboards, bus shelters, wild postings) throughout Auckland (and, I presume, New Zealand) related to the campaign, driving to Instagram and pushing the "Pure Potential" message.
PS: I’ve been impressed with a lot of the advertising work I’ve seen from New Zealand since I moved to Auckland a few months ago, and I’ll try and share more of it when I can.
Since I've been in New Zealand, I've been working with my colleagues at DDB on a really neat campaign for Steinlager Pure: a sponsorship program for William Trubridge as he attempts to break his own world record by free-diving to 102m.
This is an incredible feat, as William attempts it without weights or oxygen, and has to hold his breath the entire time while also making it back to the surface. Check out Steinlager.com and scroll down to check out different information about what William's body goes through as he does this dive. There are also audio messages of support from Kiwis and fans around the world, added to the website via neat mobile integration.
The actual dive took place on December 3rd at 8am New Zealand time, and you can watch the recap video below (a video that was amazingly put together just a few hours after the dive):
If you like movies, you'll probably have fun with the new website that DDB Canada (the place I work) developed for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. To prove that you're already a fan of Jewish movies, DDB created a website that analyzes everyone who was involved with the movie (from writers to actors and producers) and gives it a score (or gentile percentile) for how Jewish it is.
A few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet asking users to submit questions they'd like to ask Kim Stanley Robinson in an upcoming interview. He's one of my favorite authors (he wrote the Mars trilogy, one of my favorite series of books), and he always has a lot of intelligent things to say about the future of humanity and the role science will play.
It's a great interview, and I've embedded it below. My question, "On which planet, asteroid or community from your novels would you most want to live?" is near the end. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that Kim Stanley Robinson's first reaction to the question is "Oh, my lord..." The rest of his answer actually surprised me, but I'll let you listen for yourself (around the 33min mark in the video).
You can also check out the interview on the Mendel's Pod website. Thanks to Theral Timpson for using my question!
I've been a a huge fan of Instagram for the past couple of months now. I know it's all about the people you follow, but Facebook is too full of brand posts for me, Twitter is just news and often I'm not interested in clicking through. Instagram is a quick-hit of beautiful images.
Anyways, here's a great shot of a Vancouver sunset on Instragram from my friend Natalie that she uploaded to Instagram:
Below, you can see the shot I took of Natalie taking her photo:
Are you on Instagram? Follow me. I'm Parker now there.
The following post appeared originally on the the DDB Canada blog as part of the Radar DDB 10am series of blog posts and emails I contribute to at work.
A few months ago, Pepsi launched a global campaign, “Live For Now,” by redoing Pepsi.com to feature a waterfall of branded content and fan comments about the beverage. It was a unique way to embrace social media while not relying too heavily on third-party networks. More recently, Pepsi also partnered with Twitter.
On Tuesday night, we started to see what that partnership was capable of as Pepsi delivered on that “Live For Now” promise by streaming a Nicki Minaj concert on any Tweet with #NickiMinajNow hashtag. As the go-to site for what’s happening now, we think Twitter was a perfect channel for Pepsi and this campaign. It’s also a great reminder that the world still loves a super-star endorsement deal.
If you're a regular reader of BlogCampaigning, you might have noticed that we often slow down our posts during the summer months. Normally it's because I'm outside enjoying the great weather, but this year it was because I was working on an amazing project for McDonald's Canada called "Our Food. Your Questions."
You might have seen this video that was part of the campaign:
Or you might have just seen some of the great answers that my team of writers wrote in response to the thousands and thousands of questions that Canadians asked about food at McDonald's Canada:
No matter how you saw it, I hope it gave you new appreciation for the food that McDonald's Canada serves. I also hope that all of the hard work by an incredibly talented Tribal DDB team was able to shine through.
Ever since I took a class called "Cyberculture" while attending Griffith University* in Australia, I've been fascinated by internet lore and the stories of how the web was built.
One of these stories that I recently came across was about "Eternal September." It comes from the thinking that when the internet was mostly restricted to university students, websites were flooded every September with new users that hadn't yet learned netiquette. Over the course of this first month, their upperclassmen taught them how to behave online. The result was what were probably pretty well-run little communities.
In 1993 the web became more accessible to the masses with AOL and Compuserve, with new users not yet savvy in the rules of online behaviour arriving year-round. Thus, September 1993 was dubbed the "Eternal September."
I've never been a huge fan of email marketing and the fancy, HTML newsletters that are such a big part of it.
These are the emails you get that start off by saying "Having trouble viewing this email? View it on our website."
How many other advertising (or communications) formats start off this way?
Somehow, I don't think companies would be willing to invest in TV commercials if we said "This TV commercial is going to be great, but most people won't be able to view it right away - they'll have to push another button, or watch it on our website."
Yet these fancy HTML emails persist. They persist at the expense of wasted hours from talented designers and coders whose time could probably be spent creating something way more beautiful and useful.
For a time, my hosting provider (DreamHost) used to send out plain-text emails. They were very simply formatted. They could be read easily and quickly digested. One of these was even sent from an Apple store on one of the demo versions of the first iPhone.
And yes, I'm sure I could set up my email so that that it always displays images and I always see how great these emails are. But I don't. And I bet a lot of other people don't either.
What do you think about fancy, well-designed HTML emails? Worth it or not? Do you read them? Does your email tool display the images for you, or block them?
Almost every weekday, digital and social media teams at DDB Canada gather at 10am to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies. The half-hour meetings involve various team members discussing the merits of a particular site or video, and how it fits into greater online trends.
For me, the meetings are a great opportunity to get insight from my colleagues into what's happening online, and it definitely exposes me to things I might not have noticed or found otherwise. They are a highlight of my week and one of the cool things about working at DDB Canada.
To see what we've discussed, check out the DDB Canada blog or follow Radar DDB on Twitter. If you're interested in getting a daily email from us with the 10am One Thing (and a weekly wrap-up!), leave a comment her or send me an email.
Yesterday on Reddit, user NoFlag posted an obituary he wrote for himself as part of a project for his journalism class:
John X. Noflag was pronounced dead at the age of 225 this Thursday at the Mons Olympus Medical Combine, following complications with a voluntary nanotech experiment.
Observers say a procedure to fully immerse Noflag within a nanotech swarm ended abruptly as his body dissolved before their eyes. Due to the failure, most of the nanotech was collected and deactivated, although some escaped. The escaped sample is not believed to be self-replicating, but it could not be confirmed.
Born on Earth in Somecity, California, Noflag was one of the later immigrants to Mars after the Earth ban of age enhancement technologies and strict regulation of nanotechnology, being commonly heard to say “Earth will pay for its lack of vision.” He is survived by two fully mature clones and a youngling.
A public funeral and ceremonial burial is planned on the grounds of the Noflag Estate.
In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to send money or weapons to the Nanotech Defense Front.
He's seems like a pretty smart kid, and I'm sure he can probably see far enough into the future to know that he probably won't be a journalist when he graduates.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a RadioLab podcast about Games. In this episode, hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abamrod spoke to Brian Christian, an author who recounted the story of the checkers craze of the 60s that culminated in the World Checkers Championship in 1963. Apparently. this championship was a series of 40 games between the world's two top players.
All 40 games ended in a draw. 21 of those 40 games were the exact same.
"Checkers had gotten to the point where there was a perfect game of checkers," Brian said as he discussed how the top players memorized previous games and knew the ideal countermove for the other player's moves. "This was rock bottom for the checkers community."
The name for this knowing of all the games, all the moves, is The Book.
Brian continues on the podcast to say that the same thing happens in chess, and that there is an equivalent book (actually a computer program called "Fritz" these ays) of every chess game played by grandmasters for the past few hundred years. Although there are way, way more variations, there are occasions where two grandmasters will play the exact same game that has been played years before. Nowadays, the first 20 moves or so in major chess games are totally by The Book: the two players playing moves that they've memorized, just like their checkers predecessors.
To chess enthusiasts, the most exciting part (and true brilliance) is when players go off The Book: that moment when they make a move that hasn't been done before in the history of recorded chess.
When I first started my career 5 years ago, there were no best practices for social media. There were no case studies. Everything was new. Everything we did was off the book.
Now it seems that everyone is staying on the book. Facebook brand pages are almost cookie-cutter copies of each other. Pitch emails to bloggers feel about as personal and special as a Hallmark card.
I still think there is a ton of opportunity to go off the book. I just worry that we're too concerned with playing that perfect game.