Why the Facebook announcements are a big deal.

April 23, 2010

Today Indy Saha, Head of Strategy TBWA\London group and Agency.com (twitter: @indysaha) shares with us some interesting thoughts on the recent Facebook announcements:

From a social and cultural point of view,  THEY ARE THE BIG DEAL.  They will change the way you interact with social networks and how you surf the internet forever, how brands can target consumers and will challenge the dominance of Google as being the most powerful company online.  In fact in year from now any website which has not incorporated these changes, will look very archaic.


Social networking will no longer happen just in social networks  it will happen on every site of the internet.  Imagine being on any website and being able to “like” that site by simply clicking a button, whether that is an article, a band, a song.  You will be able to leave comments on that site, see what your friends have done on that site, what they think of the content on that site and you will even be able to see which of your friends are currently on that site, and connect with them on that site.

But then imagine going onto another site, and because your likes and activities have been remembered, the site becomes personalised to your tastes or to your friends tastes, or it even suggests stuff that people who liked similar things to you also like (this is the beginning of the “semantic web”), so if you have “liked” various artists/ bands across various sites – by the time you get to a music streaming site like Pandora, it will generate a playlist automatically of songs you might like.

When you do go onto Facebook itself, it will suggest communities you should join of people who also like the same things as you and let you connect with them and share ideas and interests.

Facebook have also introduced their own currency called “Facebook Credits” which allows one payment system across all app.  So you will not need to have separate accounts for payment across Farmville or 1-800 Flowers, but a seamless centralised payment system like ITunes, a seamlessness which will make commerce take off on Facebook in a big way. [I can see print publications developing Facebook editions which will be powered by these micro-payments.]


Facebook have made it piss easy for brands to integrate these social features into a website: http://developers.facebook.com/plugins

We will probably see a shift in branded experiences taking place on proprietary microsites and no longer having to be in social networks.

A brand will now know how popular parts of their site experience are, which bit of content are the most relevant.  Not only this they will know the demographics and maybe even the locations of audiences engaging with their site, as well as how they are engaging.   This will open up developing more attitude based advertising.  Wherever consumers go on the web, they will carry their preferences, behaviours and friends with them.


Google has a massive advertising and search platform based on keywords.  Facebook is creating an advertising and search platform which is based on behaviors, attitudes, preferences and social connections [what your friends like and do etc], this allows the creation of more powerfully targetted relevant advertising and experiences.

These for me were the big out takes as people who work in marketing.  For more information you can watch the keynote in full here.


AdAge: Jim Stengel Rewrites Marketing Textbook

March 15, 2010

Last week in during a public lecture in Moscow Jean-Marie Dru, Chairman of TBWA Worldwide, covered three critical areas for the future success of brands: (1) big brand ideas, (2) brand content and (3) brand initiatives. Now P&G’s former CMO Jim Stengel rewrites the marketing textbook, as Advertising Age puts it. Stengel is leading a revolution already well under way toward purpose-driven marketing.

Mr. Stengel is looking to reinvent marketing education along the way, scrapping most historical case studies for live ones presented by top creatives from BBDO and TBWA/Chiat/Day and executives from Dell, Procter & Gamble Co. and PepsiCo. He and Sanjay Sood, UCLA marketing professor and collaborator on the class, plan to pitch it as a model to the Harvard Business Review.

Part two in Mr. Stengel’s plan is his long-awaited book, set to be published by Crown Books next year, for which he’s enlisted a platoon of UCLA students, WPP’s Millward Brown and TBWA/Chiat/Day executives to help quantify and dissect the 50 brands that have added the most brand and financial value in the past decade and the purpose that drives them (hint: the top two are Google and Apple). The book’s working title is “Grow: How the World’s Best Businesses Use the Power of Ideals to Outshine the Competition.”

“When his book comes out, it’s going to be one of those touchstone books, and not just because we’re working on it,” said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director of TBWA. TBWA CMO Laurie Coots is the primary agency executive working on the book.

(Source: AdAge.com)

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Google, Olympics and Harry Potter combined

December 8, 2009

What do Google, the Olympics and Harry Potter have in common? Not much you think. Wrong, they are symbols for the world we live in today. They are actually an essential part of contemporary culture.

Maybe thats why the UK-born artist Ryan Gander combined them in “Why French people look out of windows” (2008) as shown at this years edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.

We are all allowed to discuss the title, but after checking any given statistics you might find out that countries like France maybe show an interest in “global cultural phenomena” which is below the average. That could be one of the explanations for the title of the piece.

Nevertheless, brands like Google, the Olympics and Harry Potter are given factors in todays culture, because they behave in ways that make them part of our lives. Some may appreciate them, others not. But you cannot ignore them.

Artists contact: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (USA)

If you have any comments please email Ulrich Proeschel.

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Logic is Kryptonite, the stuff that killed superman

November 3, 2009

Before John Hunt presented his book “The Art of the Idea” during a presidents lecture at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership last night, he shared a couple of his observations at the Berlin office of TBWA. As an award-winning playwright, author, and Worldwide Creative Director of TBWA, John Hunt has witnessed again and again the power of original thinking to transform both companies and individuals. In The Art of the Idea, Hunt addresses everyone from the global boardroom to the man on the street, bridging the gap with ease. Few can argue with Hunt’s claim that it is ideas that move the world forward, and he refreshingly articulates that anyone can play: there is no hierarchy to original thinking.


Mad-Blog had a camera running so you can be part of the conversation between John Hunt and Stefan Schmidt (CCO TBWA\Germany) to get John’s opinion on how ideas relate to diversity, Google, apartheid, life or logic. Enjoy.

(Part One)

(Part Two)

Check out reviews of the book on adage.com and mad-blog.com.

More background, click here.

If you have any comments please email Ulrich Proeschel.

Categories : Great Stuff  Smart People
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“Bokodes” to replace barcode technology

August 3, 2009

The minute bokode (3mm wide) developed by MIT is capable of being read at distances of up to 5 metres. A camera can read multiple bokodes at once, and can record up to 1,000 times more information from a bokode than from the traditional striped barcode. On top of this, the bokode can give out different information depending on which angle the (standard mobile phone) camera is pointing. As Dr Ankit Mohan from MIT points out, this means that a product which is off at an angle from the one being observed by the consumer can say “Hey, look at me, I’m a dollar cheaper”.  The potential at retail for cheap and effective marketing is enormous, while the removal of the traditional barcode would create a blank canvas for packaging designers.

In terms of its wider use, the technology could radically enhance services like Google Street View: Placing a bokode on a restaurant front for example (invisible to passers-by) would mean that a Google truck could record what type of food the restaurant offers, its menu and its opening times. In practical terms this means that Google Street View becomes a much more content-rich consumer experience and another media platform for clever marketers.

Although the bokodes currently use light powered by a built in LED, and therefore cost $5 dollars each, a passive (power-free) bokode has been developed which should be available for around 5 cents. Will we soon see the end of the barcode?

Watch Dr Mokan present the technology himself. Click here.

If you have any comments or suggestions please email Daniel Scott.

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Indy’s insights: Nike Blurs the Virtual and Physical Worlds

July 7, 2009

Some of the most interest and creative work being done digitally right now is work which starts in digital but breaks out into the real world to create a seamless experience.  This is shown by the winners of this years Cannes Cyber Lions: The Best Job in the World, Fiat Eco-Drive and “Why So Serious”.

Nike are doing something at the moment Lance Armstrong for the Tour De France.  It is based on the current livestrong campaign “Its about …”, as well as inspirational 30” and 60” spots and web films, people also get the chance to send a message of support beginning with the words “Its about…” and a robot will write the message in chalk somewhere along the course of the Tour de France.  If your message is chosen, you are sent the google maps reference showing where on the course your message is.

A great way for consumers to engage with the brand in the real world and digital world.



If you have any comments or suggestions please email Indy Saha from TBWA\London.

Please also check out the Media Arts Monday on: Words beyond paper and pixel.

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A lucky combination of art, media and technology

May 28, 2009

Is digital drawing the next big thing in arts? Could be. Is it a PR stunt? Could be. Or is it an expression of brand behavior? Yes, it is.

Jorge Colombo drew this week’s cover of THE NEW YORKER using an iPhone application. And guess what? He did it while queuing to get into Madam Tussaud’s Way Museum in Times Square.

Some people send text messages with their iPhone, others play games or simply talk to friends. Jorge Colombo created a cover artwork. nyt.com reported that Colombo bought his iPhone in February, and the $4.99 Brushes application soon after, and said the portability and accessibility of the medium appealed to him.

In our extremely well-connected world this lucky combination of an artist, The New Yorker and technology delivered through the iPhone, great things become even greater and the PR value for all involved brands is tremendous. Check out the film and read the story in the website of THE NEW YORKER.

And, do one experiment: Google “New Yorker” +iPhone. Amazing. 

If you have any comments or suggestions please email Ulrich Proeschel

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The most powerful idea in business today

May 27, 2009

Especially in changing economic times, disruptive thinking creates sustainable and effective solutions for brands to navigate towards a better future. Jean-Marie Dru first described the phenomenon of disruption for a wider business audience, and has published three books on the topic. Tom Peters, the author of several bestselling books including “In Search for Excellence” and “Thriving on Chaos”, commented on Jean-Marie’s latest book: “Disrupt or be disrupted. Disrupt or die. This is the captivating story of implementing the most powerful idea in business today.” 

Venture capitalist and popular blogger Fred Wilson gave a speech at Google a couple of days ago. The topic: Disruption. Google has just posted the video of the talk on YouTube, find it below.

Check out: TechCrunch

If you have any comments or suggestions please email Ulrich Proeschel

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