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  • This is Violence: Archive
    While I agree there is reason to worry I m quite certain the underlying problem has nothing to do with nerds or MBA s strategists or numbers Rather I believe the core problem is rooted in a culture of complacency within the creative leadership of agencies themselves I can t talk about creative leadership without thinking about Bill Bernbach It s sadly ironic to me that many of the creative directors who came to advertising largely because of the thinking that came out of the creative revolution are the very same who now seem to not be able to see the forest for the trees in this new era It seems important to remember now that in the 1960 s and 70 s T V wasn t just a new technology for entertainment and advertising it fundamentally changed society Bernbach realized this and saw that ideas and methodologies that had worked for so long in advertising were no longer relevant I think the same thing is happening now though possibly in an even more profound way The fact of the matter is the web and network connected devices are new technology but they have also changed society in deep and permanent ways Ideas and methodologies that used to work simply don t anymore and any hope of remaining relevant will require a revolutionary new way of looking at things While it s easy to point the finger at the new comers for the lack of big thinking it s been my experience that most agencies and most CD s are so singularly focused on one notion of what big thinking can look like they ve painted themselves into a corner and have yet to produce a single piece of socially important work online As I did months ago I have to repeat Andrew Keller s question Why didn t Kodak s agency come up with Flickr I could add Why didn t Coors agency come up with Foursquare Why have agencies relegated themselves to reacting to the creative paradigm shifting thinking of others instead of producing it themselves Over the last 15 years brands have looked to agencies and their creative firepower to keep them relevant and with frighteningly few exceptions they ve uniformly failed In his AdAge article Tom Hinkes laments Marketing departments used to be the creative engines powering successful corporations His solution to get back to this is for us to Use the Force I m not comfortable leaving the future of this industry to something George Lucas made up Instead I submit that the solution is for us to actually be the creative engines again To push ourselves to ask bigger questions than the next campaign the next slogan the next commercial the next micro site We should be pushing ourselves to not just fill the medium but to define it To do this will require more than just one point of view Yes great CD s AD s and copywriters remain critical but the problems

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/3 (2016-05-02)
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    level Apple feels is on par with the overall device Fair enough But if UX is the central issue it s hard argue that in app advertising ads Apple will not be vetting produce any better UX than Flash After all iAd gives huge amounts of iPhone user experience control to ad agencies people with no track record of being able to produce anything other than bad UX and no motivation monetarily or otherwise to do anything other than throw away work Rather than spending their time and resources to update the App Store something thats been asked for from nearly day one iAd seems to be an investment by Apple in a race to the bottom Tying application developers livelihood to the same display ad system that has left huge parts of the content creation industry on the web in shambles Why not instead invest in making structural updates to the actual purchasing process to help elevate the developers doing the best work and then help them find a way to actually charge a living wage for their work Why not take the same revolutionary approach Apple always has and find a way to free developers from having to find ad real estate in their applications so they can focus on continuing to make their and Apple s products even better The only logical answer is clear To beat Google But given that a company whose name has always been tied to changing the game such an investment in playing someone else s game leaves me wondering does Apple have the cultural and organizational underpinnings to manage a system that is both open to outside development and the clear frontrunner in a category while maintaining their history of a clear focus on user experience If iAd is any indication the answer is no With Mac Apple has always been able to be the contrarian second place Making huge profits while catering to a smaller but vastly more loyal base of fans The iPod on the other hand is clearly the industry leading platform but it s closed Apple has always had top to bottom control of everything that goes it save for the music iPhone is something different though It s neither the plucky niche product of Mac nor the highly controlled iPod In Apple s seemingly desperate effort to control this rapidly expanding system the strains on the dictatorial system are becoming evident and it s not clear Apple has the systems in place to stay sane In fact it would seem this new found position has resulted in increased paranoia and a fixation on beating specific competitors in specific ways rather than making revolutionary advancements That they would try to lump iAd in with other user focused features is either completely disingenuous or evidence of increasing detachment from reality For whatever reason Jobs has decided his mission now is to beat Google first beat Adobe second everything else comes third including Apple user experience This isn t

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/4 (2016-05-02)
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    innovation is a matter of life and death This isn t capacitive touchscreens or 1000fps cameras its car batteries broken mirrors and old bikes each of which is having profound impacts on peoples lives Okay so that s only 4 things but it s my first try 5 next week for sure May 27 2010 advertising ethics apple iphone journalism society Twitter Conservation of Detail If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off If it s not going to be fired it shouldn t be hanging there Anton Chekhov Let me just get this out of the way As a devoted Lost fan even I realize that the last thing the world needs at this point is another word written about Lost But hear me out because this isn t a post about Lost rather it s a post about what Lost can teach us about design More specifically what it can teach us about the relationship between strategic intent and design I m going to mention a number of specific plot points and events from the beginning of the show through the finale so if you haven t seen the entire series and want to go in fresh you should stop now Let s say I asked you to design a camera what are the things you d need to know before you could get started Maybe format digital or film Maybe its intended audience professional or amateur What about price point There are likely dozens all of them important and it s the answers to these questions and the synthesis of these answers that define a successful design After all if you re designing a digital rangefinder adding a faux film advance lever or a film rewind handle would create a camera that if viewed as single aesthetic endeavor could be called beautiful would still be a failure of a design This I think is was a core failing of Lost as a designed narrative While each aspect of the show was nearly perfectly designed it ultimately failed to work as a cohesive whole Taken as individual design elements the numbers the hatches the others the haunted shacks and ring of ash DARMA the time traveling each part was design perfectly and even as a group when viewed as a single aesthetic endeavor it s beautiful The problem comes in when trying to actually use the product As it turns out each of those design elements was the narrative equivalent of a film advance on a digital camera beautiful perhaps but so pointless and distracting that it actually degrades the totality of the product The final stark example of this was the very last scene of the program As the closing credits went by the viewer is left with the image of plane wreckage on a beach Given the nature of the Lost it s not surprising that many

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/5 (2016-05-02)
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    complete system of inter related publications both on and off line This quote from the beginning of the article shows their efforts to understand what they mean in the larger news internet world Our approach is a composite of the learning economy we re serving people without a lot of time who are trying to understand complex issues quickly and contribute to a solution As one guy here says our mission is Help me get smarter faster Kites and Oil I continue to love seeing the way people use ever increasing access to ever shrinking technology to solve real world problems I wrote early on about CubeSats and Make and a couple weeks ago about the Afrigadget Blog Living a world of Tivo s and iPhone s it s consistently refreshing to see technology stripped down to it s basic elements and used to serve an individual s needs This week brought this article in the Times about Grassroots Mapping a project originally designed to help communities create maps now focusing on documenting the gulf oil spill With BP trying hard to exert control on information getting to people about the ongoing devastation in the gulf it s great to see ingenuity and simple technology outsmarting them and allowing everyone to see what s actually happening Finally I really want to do this to Marco Awesome Jun 10 2010 cubesat ethics Flickr journalism marco society strategy The Steak is so Cliche My friend and former Fight er Dave Allen just emailed me a link to this article and asked me what I thought about it Here is how I responded I think the author is well intentioned and in a lot of ways dead on about the issues of advertising online My issue is that I don t think fixing advertising is going to be what ultimately helps brands online My view is that advertising isn t just a tactical approach it s also a way of thinking It has fundamental notions of how the marketplace works and how brands relate to their customers Advertising is about punctuating one narrative stream with another something that doesn t exist online There is no stream online Agencies I think often underestimate the power of the hyperlink It defines the way people conceptualize the web and it s non linear The web has fundamentally changed this brand customer relationship though and presented brands with opportunity to not just talk about themselves but to actually provide a real and meaningful experience rather than just the promise of an experience at some later time If a brand wants to know what the future is or an agency for that matter it s not contained in the mindset of advertising rather it s in the world of product and service design There is a reason restaurants don t advertise their food IN THEIR OWN RESTAURANTS So much better to give them a great meal with great service once they re already there The web is a brands restaurant the people are there Give them something to love Jun 5 2010 advertising experience strategy Things I Liked 2 Virgin Air Apps I loved Virgins first app Flying Without Fear so much I used it as an example of a brand getting mobile app development right when I spoke at PSU s Internet Marketing Conference back in December They ve followed up with another one I like Jet Lag Fighter In both cases I like that Virgin is looking at the totality of a customers experience with them In the case of Flying Without Fear they re targeting people with a predisposition to not liking Virgins core product offering and trying to address it The interface is dead simple and because the application is mostly audio it means the user doesn t have to spend their time interfacing with the app to get what they need out of it Jet Lag Fighter is much the same It takes a key negative experience of traveling and attempts to remedy it Because Jet Lag Fighter is something you d use specifically when you re not interfacing with Virgin s main product makes it a great brand play too Overall two great examples of a brand understanding their ecosystem their customer their brand and their technology Media Diet It takes me about 45 minutes after I turn my computer on in the morning to catch up with all the sites I read everyday twitter and a list of RSS feeds that I work diligently to keep trim That said I can t help but wonder if I m spending my time reading the best things I can What I Read is The Atlantic Wire s regular series asking people of all stripes what they re reading While it s not just online reading it does slant heavily that way so it s pretty easy to sample the recommendations for your own use I love this site for two reasons First I like being able to see what smart people reading From the most recent entry Clay Shirky to Terry Gross to Ezra Klein it s pretty fun to see where there is reassuring overlap and where I might be able to pick up some new stuff Side note Shirly doesn t read tech blogs which makes me think I should t read tech blogs but if tech blogs are wrong The site also fills a non trivial need I have to know what famous smart people do in their free time Do with that what you will Put This On I had a chance a few years ago to move to New York permanently I had a great job offer with a great company in a city I ve loved my whole life In the end though as much as I love NYC I just couldn t leave Portland Portland is a easy city to live in maybe that makes me soft I don t know but I like it What

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/6 (2016-05-02)
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  • This is Violence: Archive
    does Wikileaks I ve written a couple other times about the asymmetrical nature of the web but what I find interesting about this is that it show a possible direction for the relationship between traditional physical organizations and the more abstract digital ones How any organization bound by traditional rules of law and codes of conduct operates in a world where organizations not bound by these same rules become increasingly powerful is critical I think In this case it s journalism but the same could apply to any brand Jul 25 2010 Asymmetry brand journalism rosen society strategy And then what Remember a few weeks ago when Nike dropped their commercial for the World Cup and it was the best commercial ever And then remember when everyone was pointing to the survey showing that Nike and swooped in and stolen all the World Cup buzz from Adidas Well this came out today I m always hesitant to reference surveys where I don t know the methodology but it does seem to suggest that Adidas consistent multimodal approach is outpacing Nike s single event Half the game in buzz is fanning the flames The Adidas football facebook page for instance is now up to over a million fans and they are dropping new content several times a day all while the average post is generating upwards of 100 comments At the end of the day brands need to keep the buzz ball in the air as long as possible sponsored or otherwise Pete Blackshaw executive vice president of digital strategy at Nielsen Too often advertising gets confused with marketing and the result are efforts that focus on single spikes of awareness rather than long term affinity Making a commercial like Write the Future is incredibly expensive and while it generated a

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/7 (2016-05-02)
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    that if a brand wants to be successful within the context of the social web they ll need to act a lot more like people and a lot less like companies But looking at the Old Spice campaign I have to question some of that It s worth noting that the Old Spice account follows back less 1 of the people that followed them Also their rate of communication is about 8 tweets per day At the same they have about 1 daily increase in followers about 1 000 per day Basically oldspice was looking a lot like a celebrity account lots of followers very little following This had me wondering if people were following Old Spice the brand or Isaiah Mustafa the spokesman Further confusing the issue though is that unlike those accounts there isn t much human connection coming through the account It s mostly humorous non sequitors and even then there s not much of that being produced In fact nearly the entire catalog of bi directional communication supposedly the point of brands in the social space happened in a very short window right before the end of the campaign This was the time when Wieden was staged their famous video twitter responses And here is where I get to the confusing nature of this campaign For a campaign that s been regarded as the best social media campaign of the year and even the best web campaign of the year it doesn t look a lot like what we ve assumed social media and the web look like It s not interactive it s not communicative and the one technical boundary it pushed the video twitter responses was a boundary of traditional media not digital To the extent that there was engagement at all it was

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/8 (2016-05-02)
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    away what we re left with is Apple s moderation of the ads and the minimal novelty of an ad in an application on your phone But more succinctly from Edward Display doesn t work because the creative sucks and the options are limited No it s not And no they re not But lets lay that aside for the moment I think what ad agencies are really hoping for is something anything that will let them keep doing and thinking what they ve always done and thought And that s what Apple is selling them I ve written about this so many times even I m bored with it but the cultural underpinnings of contemporary advertising are so strongly tied to the concept of broadcast narrative story telling that I don t believe they can collectively imagine a world where this doesn t work This is laid bare in one of Edward s comments after his post Could iAds be the Super Bowl spots of the digital age And this isn t to pick on Edward but just to point out how fully contained within the world of the copy writer and the AD create a narrative the customer consumes that narrative advertising culture is Even the metaphors are about T V But the internet and the way people want to use it is showing us that it s a non narrative product based system People install applications or go to websites because it provides some value to them How many millions of web sites are there And there are already what 250 000 application just on the iPhone Yet all I have is 24 hours each day to split between everything have to do and everything I want to And every day there is another site and another

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/9 (2016-05-02)
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    advertisers to encourage people to behave against their own interests if that s what serves the client As clients realize that their problems exist across multiple channels and platforms that should work together web mobile retail collateral it s common that they look to their ad agencies to help them deliver services across these channels However when you approach it from the viewpoint of marketing where the brand is the top priority you re designing from the inside out and the results is a superficial gloss where brand standards and visual identity are consistent but there s no appreciation for how users actually behave in these different contexts and there s no attempt to coordinate internal client teams to work in concert I could go through each of these and point how Fight isn t like that or how Peter s lack actual knowledge of how advertising works is apparent throughout but others have already done that And ultimately it s these response posts or more specifically the ease at which they flow that is really what pisses me off about his post In an effort to make a point Peter goes for cheap shots that are so histrionic and over the top that they ultimately undermine any actual argument Any agency can reply simply we re not like that and move on without needing to address the larger actually important and actually real problem that sits at the center of Peter s article Because they aren t like that Because no place is There is no agency where soulless creeps sit in dark offices strategizing about how they re going to screw over their employees clients and customers all at once There is no agency where they talk about customers as cattle that crap cash Sure there are assholes but there are assholes in every industry The Glengarry Glen Ross world Peter paints though is so facile and so easy to discount that it removes nearly any pretense of a seriousness from the post Which is a shame What could have been a meaningful outsiders observation on the state of advertising instead resorted to the type of hack ish hyperbolic rhetoric he s ostensibly fighting against And this is the real failing of the post because the industry is sick The culture is dysfunctional and it does need to change But the thing is there are so many of us out there trying every single day to make that change People who believe that there is a way help our clients put their products into the marketplace in different helpful and meaningful ways People who believe in not adding to the cultural pollution that affects so much of marketing but instead want to make the very products and services Peter is now claiming we cannot In doing so he s just added another front to our war myopic advertising d bags on one side and now myopic high horse design firms on the other Marketing and even advertising isn t going away As long as there is commerce companies will need ways to contextualize their products They will need to differentiate their products They will need to communicate with their customers Do things need to change Of course and many agencies won t make that change and they ll perish But some of them will change and more importantly new agencies and new thinking will come into being We could use a little support In the end Peter s post demonstrates with troubling efficiency the very lack of insight lack of critical thinking and lack of knowledge that he accuses ad agencies of pedaling All on a blog set up to advertise his companies core offering insight critical thinking and knowledge Worse it shows that what I believe to be one the core problem facing the agency world the dogmatic belief that good ideas have a certain form come only from certain places and that only certain people are capable of having them is present at Adaptive Path too And that s just sad Nov 19 2010 advertising adaptive path theory strategy agencies The Voltron of Laptops Fights E Waste good is Increasingly this seems like the definition of good design If you re a company like Apple who s brand is intrinsically tied to the concept of design I think this is the direction to go It makes current product look more like they were decorated than actually designed Nov 17 2010 apple design link Interesting Dilemma These two articles show an interesting dilemma within the ad industry Nicely they re from the same publication First this one from AdWeek stating that Folks are showing grudging acceptance of such interruptions Second this one also from AdWeek which shows how disruptive NetFlix a subscription service with no advertising has been to Hulu model Hulu execs were fuming over NBCU s decision to offer episodes of Saturday Night Live via the Netflix Web service the day after they air Obviously most advertisers broadcasters and agencies would really be happy if the future looked more like today Reality seems to be saying something different If I had to place a bet I d bet on Netflix Their goal appears to be providing a great experience for their customers while Hulu seems hamstrung trying to figure how to keep networks happy Nov 16 2010 advertising netflix hulu What Google Goggles Will Do For the Ad Industry Fast Company fastcompany com Any one remember when augmented reality was going to change advertising What about QR codes Goggles is that for 2011 No one wants to stop what they re doing take out their phone start up their camera and take a picture of your ad so that you can send them to more advertising Nov 16 2010 advertising Digital technology and social networking breathe new life into advertising Media The Guardian guardian co uk I feel like I need a pithy way of differentiating between the sort of by degree change digital technology

    Original URL path: http://thisisviolence.net/archive/2010/11 (2016-05-02)
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