W+K Amsterdam just got some sweet sweet footage for their latest spot. It's sick. No really. And as important as the piece is, in the age of social media, the gold is in the comment string.
The online experience brings to life sick ambient audio and switches up up the old "show game footage to sell" paradigm in a pretty compelling way - your cursor allows you to slow mo forward or back through key player moves.
Nokia's making big waves in the OpenSource, app dev and social networking front.
This Trolltech bit torn shamelessly from Engadget Mobile - (love that graphic)
"In a move meant to bolster its software development prowess, Nokia just announced the acquisition Trolltech. Who's Trolltech? Well, its software can be found in some 10 million devices. In fact, Trolltech's Qt is used by such familiar applications as Skype, Google Earth, and Photoshop Elements while their Qtopia was spotted on a hacked Archos 5 series earlier this month. By acquiring Trolltech's software development frameworks and application platforms, Nokia hopes to help developers create Internet applications that work on PCs and across Nokia devices. Specifically, Nokia claims that the move will "further increase the competitiveness of S60 and Series 40."
In other words, this helps Nokia connect you and your applications across PC's, mobile devices, etc. - and it gives a ray of hope to folks who've waited a long time for a Symbian overhaul/upgrade. But wait - there's more - beyond the acquisition of Jaiku and NavTeq, now there are the Facebook rumors. Finns rock.
Anything that creates a simplified cross platform mobile development landscape is interesting to marketers and will ultimately be for consumers.
Anything that makes mobile UI better is, well, better.
Late, I know, but still worth the pop. In last Sunday's 'The Medium', Virginia Heffernan, wrote a killer column entitled "Art in the Age of Franchising".
I'll quote briefly:
"An author’s work can no longer exist in a vacuum, independent of hardy online extensions...Artists must now embrace the cultural theorists’ beloved model of the rhizome and think of their work as a horizontal stem for numberless roots and shoots — as many entry and exit points as fans can devise.
This is an enormous social shift that coincides with the changeover from analog to digital modes of communication, the rise of the Internet and the new raucousness of fans. It’s a mistake to see this imperative to branch out as a simple coarsening of culture. In fact, rhizome art is both lower-brow (“American Idol,” Derek Waters’s “Drunk History”) and more avant-garde (“Battlestar Galactica,” Ryan Trecartin’s “I-Be Area”) than linear, author-controlled narrative, which takes its cues from the middle-class form of the novel."
So you aren't just retrograde if you aren't thinking interactively when it comes to storytelling - you are bourgeoise. I'm not saying - I'm just saying.
Lee Clow once said of the Apple 'Think Different' campaign:
"Brands aren't just a way of remembering what you want to buy any more. They've become part of the fabric of our society. Brands are a part of our system of ordering things - they even create context about who we are and how we live...They articulate who you are and what your values are." ("Twenty-five visions: the future of Brands", by Rita Clifton and Esther Maughn]
In that spirit, a W+K'er put together a timeline of their personal relationship with Apple. I took out the felonies.
I enter the world. The Heavens Open. My Mom and Dad buy a house. Steve Jobs drops out of Reed College.
I got my first Apple Computer.
Built an Appletalk network in my parent’s house.
Bought a Mac LC III. Spent my entire summer in our basement on various BBSs.
Called out of class multiple times to help fix my elementary school's Macs. Got in trouble for stealing [redacted] off a BBS.... And then using the [redacted] to [redacted]
Bought myself a Power Macintosh 5200. Kicked off AOL for Porn and started subscribing to Apple's e-World service. Fell asleep on e-World. Hated my 14.4k modem. Hated Life. Convinced 3 friends to buy Macs.
Bought myself a Power Macintosh 6400
Bought myself a Newton Message Pad 2000 and a Power Mac G3. Got in a fist fight during a Mac VS PC debate with the biggest dork in my High School.
I become the neighborhood Mac tech support guy.
Bought the first iMac for my sister. Convinced my High School to create a Mac Lab.
Realized I would give my life for Apple.
Got Grandma an iMac DV for Christmas. (Note to self: Never by Grandma anything electronic again.) I become a member of SpyMac.com. My college roommate and I convert our dorm bathroom into the “Mac” bathroom.
Convinced my dad he needed an iMac. Bought myself a PowerMac G4 and join Appleinsider.com
Purchased a PowerMac G5. Went on a road trip down Hwy 101. Stopped in Cupertino but was not allowed on the Apple Campus.
Purchased a PowerBook G4
Installed a Mac Mini in my parents house. Got it to control the entire sound system for the house. Convinced my dad that CDs were dead and that MP3 was the future of music. Bought myself a Mac Book Pro.
Waited seven hours in line for the iPhone. Bought an Apple TV.
When you stand for more than a single product release, and instead represent a cultural or lifestyle choice; when 'purchasing' is a component of participating, but participating is so much more...you got something. Gotta hand it to Lee and Apple.
Here there was once video (apparently pirated) from a Japanese news broadcaster showing the unbelievably cool outdoor digital projection of the 'water horse' creature onto a live fountain. Sick animation. Cool Japanese language supers. Breathless announcer. And now? Only this:
I am so sad. They say there can be only one water horse in the world at a time...perhaps the footage lives on somewhere else, a single file, undiscovered?
According to the Dayton Business Journal, "AT&T Inc. is making free wireless Internet available at more than 10,000 hotspots nationwide on behalf of the company's broadband customers."
Three thoughts pop to mind:
You may know agency star and local media phenom Shei'Meka Newmann as one of the coolest human beings alive. Now experience an agency moment with her as she brings the immersive cam tech to life.
Just hit 'play'. BUT DON'T JUST WATCH IT - put your mouse on the video as it plays, click and drag it any direction to change what you are looking at. And look for Jelly's cameo at :54 seconds. J-Lowe and Brianna show up at 1:54 or so.
The Immersive 'DoDeca' camera is a sick little piece of tech (pictured below) that looks like the Star Wars light sabre practice 'droid - at least that's the 'cleanest' reference I could make.
"Stretch out with your feelings, W+K".
The DoDeca camera gathers visual info spherically (via like 12 simultaneously recording lenses) + audially (via four directional mikes and remote booms). Net - you shoot a linear narrative, but viewers can change what they look at at any time. im360 studios is the Portland (!) crew that has the tech and the editing hardware and software to bring this to life. They call it "spherical storytelling".
No-one is EVER off camera. You can aim people down a path, but they can (by clicking on the screen and dragging in any direction) LOOK WHEREVER THE HELL THEY WANT. Or focus on the bits of dialog they like. Here's another look:
And when you are ready to really blow our mind, get this:
"[Immersive has] done a test with a professor at Emerson College, who has floating notes with QTVR still images. Our full motion video is now playing within one of the nodes. Basically, your Avatar steps inside the node; if you switch to MouseView, it’s full screen immersion; or, back out and your Avatar can hang with other Avatars and chat in a real-world video environment.
You can import the spherical worldviews into virtual environments.
That sounds technical. It's mind altering. If you have a Second Life character (Stop snickering) click this link. In the SL interface, click the 'play media' button, and prepare to have your mind blown.
So Dennis Hahn and I are speaking next week at the Portland Ad Federation on the subject of brand 'management in a fragmented environment', or something like that. You know - the "oh the internet seems like it's not going away, so now what" type things.
So we met to talk about what we were going to talk about. And we bounced around a couple of ideas that looked a little like this:
All very enlightening, as you can imagine. Certainly worth the price of admission.
Then we were trying to think of the takeaway. We'd just agreed that we'd want them (brands, agencies, the caterers) to be excited and energized about the opportunities of the space, rather than intimidated by them. And we asked ourselves, well, given the challenges, risks and potential downsides that easily leap to mind (I can think of a lot more brands and agencies screwing up in the space than using it well, for instance) "Why should they be excited?"
Why should you be excited about this change, mr/mrs/ms brand manager/agency person/caterer?
And here we got stuck.
Because in our business, the interactive business, you don't ask that much. You are often too busy evangelizing, proselytizing, getting people interested and psyched. You are paid to see possibility. Too often we see ourselves as coaches trying to fire up [insert agency, brand, vendor, here] for the big game. But for a lot of the folks we interact with, we risk coming off like the deranged lieutenant pushing them out of the landing craft into a hail of incoming fire with little more than "get to the top of that bluff". There is a very informative entry on Wikipedia dealing with exactly what happens when overzealous folks try to push change into a military system (just to keep the weak analogy going).
It's always easier to wrap your heads around the downside than the potential upside. We humans are very good at sticking with what we know, and fending off the new or the uncomfortable.
At Google's Zeitgeist conference, Jeff Cole from USC asked P+G's Jim Stengel and PepsiCo's Dawn Hudson "Don't you ever just wish this internet thing would go away"? And there was a pause. And the room cracked up. And then they both talked about the benefits and opportunities. Of course they would.
But really, deep down, are you excited by this stuff or scared?
Me, I'm excited. Dennis is too. Culture is changing. Society is changing. It's plate tectonics at warp speed. But as brands and agencies, you can't be blind to the downside and the challenges. You have to strike this balance of knowing and not knowing and being comfortable with not knowing but planning as well as possible for it. Knowing that your plans will change. Have to change. Reality has a way of screwing with you. Planning only gets you so far. As I always come back to: you can't plan love. And at the end of the day, when everything is commoditized, brand meaning gives you something to love. And how all these new tools give us new ways to tell stories, to connect, to engage, to find meaning, well damn. that's exciting. and terrifying.
Explorers are far outnumbered by the folks who stayed home. But don't we advance, as a culture and a civilization, through them and their acts?
I think lunch is included.
A couple of quick items on the impact of mobility on lives -
"[mobile phones] are transforming culture, even as they spawn new markets. In Nairobi, a student paper caters to kids from across the city's high schools; submissions are sent in by text message, with articles written in textesewords broken into their smallest possible lucid components. Every few months or so, rumors circulate, breaking some code or other and giving free airtime or texts. Some people have learned to communicate for free with their regular clients or family by coding their ringing: one ring, I am on my way; two rings, I have picked up the kids; three rings, I love you." [Binyavanga Wainaina, in Bidoun]
"It's time that we recognize that for the majority of the world's population, and for the foreseeable future, the cell phone is the computer, and it will be the portal to the internet, and the communications tool, and the schoolbook, and the vaccination record, and the family album, and many other things, just as soon as someone, somewhere, sits down and writes the software that allows these functions to be performed." The BBC reports. [textually]
Iran: Excerpts from a very interesting and thorough article published on Middle East Online on how in Iran, SMS has become a way for people to circumvent authority. "Young Iranians are texting each other with humorous, subversive or plain saucy messages while the religious conservatives who run their country are slumbering. [textually]
Japan: Last month in Japan, the year-end bestseller tally showed that mobile phone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it. The New York Times reports. "Of last year's 10 best-selling novels, five were originally mobile phone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time mobile phone novelists" [textually]
Kenya: According to a report in the New York Times on the continuing crisis in Kenya, "fuel, food and cellphone credit are in short supply". Who would have thought, even just a couple of short years ago, that in a time of humanitarian crisis cellphone credit would be uttered in the same sentence as 'essential' fuel and food items? [via Kiwanja.net]
and of course from FrontlineSMS [a W+K Client]:
"FrontlineSMS is being used in 41 different countries, and in some cases by more than one NGO in that country. From helping blood donor clinics and human rights workers to promoting government accountability, keeping medical students informed about education options, providing security alerts to field workers, the capture and exchange of vegetable (and coffee) price information, the distribution of weather forecasts, the co-ordination of healthcare workers, the organising of political demonstrations, the carrying out of surveys and the reporting and monitoring of disease outbreaks, and election monitoring."
can't wait to read the novels that recontextualize this beautiful mess as incredibly logical developments. Dirt is getting kicked up. Society is being reengineered. Usage scenarios are evolving like bacteria.
Forget the viral propagation of trends - we are looking at a receptive host getting hit by mobile vectors from every side. And in the midst of the cultural re-engineering, yes, there are profits to be made - from m-pesa and banking transactions all the way to gaming.
The mobile video games market is growing faster than the markets for consoles and handheld video games, according to Understanding & Solutions. Only online games are growing at a faster clip.
“Global revenues from mobile gaming are pegged at $3.6 billion this year,” said David Rouse, analyst at Understanding & Solutions. "We predict this figure to rise to $6 billion by 2011."
The company also said that subscription-based and ad-funded mobile games were growing. Mr. Rouse said that an increasing number of games let players buy additional levels or virtual goods using microtransactions.
Pay per download is still the main money maker for mobile game publishers and distributors.
Get going or get left behind.
Get going or get left behind.
We just moved into a place in Northwest Portland Oregon. I'm with the kids and we hear glass shatter and a loud thump - yep, rock through the window. Sweeeeet.
Net, I'm talking with the guy replacing the window today (though don't get me wrong - the cardboard looked great) - he tells me the days of smash and grab are over - most of the time when he's replacing a window at a business, thieves have broken and entered not for merch or cash - they make a beeline for the offices in the back and steal files. Crooks now are looking for names, addresses credit card numbers, checks.
When most folks think of identity theft, they think hackers or stolen computers, not a rock through plate glass and a file cabinet disappearing into the night.
The W+K PDX gang has some of the hardest core bikers (non motorized, though you wouldn't guess by their average speeds) you'll find in a building. That gang worked with fellow members of the PDX bike community to create Teams of Portland.
Portland Bike CUlture doesn't screw around. PDX is home of the zoo bombers
and a host of other bike culture freaks and geniuses.
According to W+K Creative Joe Staples,
"This February, the countries best hand built bike builders will come to Portland for the North American Hand Built Bike Show [NAHBBS]. A few of us here, thought it would be a travesty if all of these interesting people came to Portland and only saw their crappy hotels, the crappy convention centre and crappy Red Lobsters. We wanted to try to help open up more of Portland to them at the same time, celebrating the rich local bike building and racing culture.
So W+K launched Teams of Portland.com.
Joe warns: "There are a few parts of the website that we are still working on, the maps will come soon, but it's pretty much all there."
Joe forgets the proofreaders, but he thanks (all spelling and text his):
Greg Deboer [photographer extraordinaire] Fritz Mesenbrink [photographer/editor] Matt Foster [Web Builder] Jordi Martinez [Web Builder] Marcelino [made the complicated seems simple] Christina Perry[gots shit DONE] Jose Cabaco [The inspiring Cabaco] Luker Jelly and Tom [they let us loose] John Jay [Championed this things from day ONE] and Dan Wieden [He shouldn't need an explanation]
For a while I've been thinking about virtual worlds and government subsidized migration to them (yeah, there's a story behind this - you know, overpopulation, resource burden, ruined environment) but I was wondering (aren't we all?) when we'd *finally* be able to go virtual. You know, dump our meat jalopy with its uncomfortable "real" feelings and icky physical interaction so I could go full body frontal nude virtua-sex with a purple velour android wookie in "Second World of Facebook-craft by Google".
Here's a preview from Orangina:
Creeped out? Or TOTALLY HOT? depends whether you are logging in or trapped in that nightmare, I suppose.
Turns out about two years ago, futurologist Ian Pearson called it: "by the middle of the 21st century it will be possible to download your brain to a supercomputer", which he mentions, could be your PS5. According to Pearson, "brain-downloading technology would initially be the preserve of the rich, but would become more available over subsequent decades. If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine."
Phew. I don't know about you, but I'm working on my dance steps.
OK - just got a ping from Chris Devore to try out there new 'Askablogr' widget. Since he's really smart, I'm humoring him. If you go over to the right hand column and scroll down, you could be dangerously close to asking me a direct question via this here blog. Go ahead. Give it a shot. I haven't gotten so big I've forgotten where I came from.
Chris Bosh of the Raptors busted it all out to drum All-Star votes. Show me the creative department that would have pitched this idea, and I'll show you a pissed off client with their account in review. And the NBA All-Star logo on the tail - did that usage go through the league's offices? If a broken link shows up below, you'll know they finally caught it. But seriously folks - put your hands together for a player with some serious gumption. Gosh darn it, kudos to Bosh for seriously rocking a solid piece.
WIll it win at Cannes? No, but I'd rather this than "apply directly to your head". or...Bam, below, which were intentionally and unironically inflicted on the American public.
All this stuff about Data Portability this week. Pheeeeeewwwwww. Marshall Kirkpatrick's been burning up the boards at RWW. Google, Facebook, Linked In, Flickr, Twitter and Six Apart have all signed onto the Data Portability Working Group ostensibly to work toward giving folks the ability to control their data/profile across multiple sites, and for apps to be able to share info (at the users' discretion) - rather than having to work at maintaining multiple accounts/logins/etc. Between that and rumors that Google, Verisign and IBM are joining the Open ID Foundation, the virtual equivalent of the Berlin wall seems dangerously close to tumbling. Or maybe that's the Berlin Airlift. Or Ich Binne eine Jelly Donut. or maybe the band Berlin is getting back together...which would maybe be the worst of all those options.
What could a world look like where users control their own info, data and reputations? Where brands had to ask "pretty please" for access? DoubleClick/Google (bottom up) and NebuAd (top down) are working to provide an alternate to asking, but assume that you are in charge of your info and it has interesting implications for brands.
Rather than build a walled social network, Brand X should be working to minimize the difficulty for people to import the data brand X needs to build and maintain a positive relationship and move the needle on important metrics, and at the same time provide people with value for their "investment" - think of it as a "Return on Engagement" or "Return on Attention" model for brand and the folks that love them.
But here's the new part - brand X also needs to understand that happy person Y isn't trapped in their site/network/experience - and brand X needs to offer person(s) Y portability of the brand elements/experiences valuable to them. The question now becomes "What can I (brand X) make modular and portable about my brand that will be valuable enough to you that you'll take it with you when you leave and go back to where you were before I borrowed some of your valuable attention?"
Why is social media popular? Why do people spend all that time uploading/tagging photos, developing online presences in the form of flickr albums, facebook pages, second life avatars etc.?
“Some technologies and applications are age-specific, but narcissism is not one of them,” said Clay Shirky, a new-media professor at New York University and the author of a forthcoming book on social media called 'Here Comes Everybody' - “The pleasures of the self reaches all demographics.”
A widget developer (oh - ok - slide.com) jokingly suggested that they can predict an app's success through the lens of the seven deadly sins - that is, if the potential app didn't effectively leverage one (or more) of them, it wouldn't catch on.
Which one do you think makes the most effective marketing tool?
"Video messages of al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri can now be downloaded to cellphones, the terror network announced as part of its attempts to extend its influence, reports USA Today.
The announcement was posted late Friday by al-Qaeda's media wing, al-Sahab, on websites commonly used by Islamic militants. As of Saturday, eight previously recorded videos were made available including a recent tribute to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former al-Qaeda in Iraq leader killed by U.S. forces in Iraq in June 2006.
In a written message introducing the new cellphone videos, al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda's No. 2 figure, asked followers to spread the terror group's messages. "I asked God for the men of jihadi media to spread the message of Islam and monotheism to the world and spread real awareness to the people of the nations," al-Zawahri said.
Videos playable on cellphones are increasingly popular in the Middle East. The files are transferred from phone to phone using Bluetooth or infrared wireless technology."
from Emily @ textually.org
When does social media become ant-social? The Finnish prime minister ended a relationship via SMS, and according to the Washington Post, 11% of Americans say breaking up by text message is ok. In Muslim marriage, the union can be dissolved simply by saying "I divorce you", and the question currently being argued in courts from Malaysia to Egypt is whether SMS text messaging counts. The Malaysia Sun had this to say:
"Muslim authorities in Dubai, acknowledging the synergy of technology and tradition, Thursday confirmed that a Muslim divorce can be carried out via a mobile phone text message or SMS. The country's Grand Mufti, Ahmed al-Haddad, who issued a fatwa on the subject, noted: 'Islamic clerics disagreed over the way divorce can be written...divorce through this modern way is not different from using a pen and a paper...in Islam, if a husband seriously and verbally tells his wife 'you are divorced', they should be separated even without a formal certification of divorce'."
Standard messaging fees apply, one would assume.
A question for cultural anthropologists: where are we now on the spectrum of digitally enabled breakups? Perhaps this is one for the folks over at OK Cupid to answer. Sam?