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Archive for January, 2010

What are the best songs to get you going when you need to think/be inspired/knock out a Powerpoint?

Here’s a collaborative Spotify playlist to accumulate the favourite tracks of Planners around the world (or at least where there’s Spotify).

It’s still in the early stages, so please add a few tracks, but as it’s all anonymous those guilty pleasures will hopefully soon start to mount up!

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Name the big social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc; for which there are hundreds of blog posts written about these channels by marketers every day.

Consequently the desire to mine the opportunities present on these major social media platforms has led us to miss clear opportunities elsewhere. Namely, the development of social experiences in gaming, with Xbox Live and Playstation Network both offering services that allow social interaction in the same environment that also accommodates marketing messages.

When these game consoles are connected to the internet, they allow for voice, text and video communications to occur between users (note that users are not always friends, they may have just met for the first time in a game lobby. Also communication can occur between more than 2 users, sometimes up to 12 users can be connected in the same conversation at the same time). immediately you have a situation where discussion about your marketing can take place between these users as they are interacting with it.

Marketing messages can be placed in-game, such as those used by Barack Obama while he was campaigning for the US Presidency:

Or in the way of clothing or accessories for an avatar, a character used to represent users in-game personas. Both H&M and Adidas have created in-game versions of their clothing lines:

Or just within the options menus when the console boots up. Up to now this has most commonly been used for advertising films recently released at the cinema.

The opportunities to place marketing messages within these environments, as always, must be accompanied by consideration for the environment where they are being placed. As this has been an underused channel for marketing up until now, the user of that channel is likely to be hostile towards marketing that detracts from their experience or saturates what was before a fairly desolate marketing space. However, if we accomodate for our messages to add to these experiences, even adding a feel of reality to games that try to give an experience that replicates the real world, we are likely to find that the development of marketing via this channel is generally well received.

The main problem that many marketers will find if they do suggest using channels such as Xbox Live for their marketing is the believe by many that it is a channel only used by children, and so offers very little in terms of potential customers for the majority of brands who are trying to reach an adult audience. If this is the case, then I suggest you point them in the direction of this Nielsen report that analysed console use in June 2009. It includes the graph below indicating the different age groups using games consoles:

Almost half of users are above 18, and this older demographic are more likely to have a console online with the necessary subscription to access online content and games.

With the games console market growing, especially as many look to develop their interest in gaming having been introduced to the hobby by Nintendo’s Wii and DS consoles, we are likely to see the marketing efforts in this arena grow eventually and the most successful will accomodate for the social nature of modern gaming. As always though, it’s better to be the case study than follow the trend.

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The case study video for the recent campaign by Fallon for SyFy’s Alice. Nice integrated campaign, but even nicer running rabbit projection. Very clever!

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I came across this slide deck on Slideshare yesterday about Facebook Connect by Nerdy Interactive Labs. It has given me greater insight into the opportunities the Facebook API can offer brands, especially in terms of data capture:

With the level of growth Facebook experienced in 2009 (approximately doubling its user base in the last 12 months), the opportunities for brands have significantly increased. However, many are still struggling to make the most of these opportunities.

I predict we will see Facebook Connect implemented in many clever ways this year. We saw some ideas developing in 2009, a good example being the campaign for the game Prototype that received acclaim for the way it made use of Facebook Connect. I expect this to be a base upon which brands will build during 2010, offering far greater levels of personalisation and interaction than we have seen before.

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Top Tweets of 2009

I posted the top 10 of my Tweets for October, something that I intend to maintain on a regular monthly basis in 2010. So, as 2009 comes to an end, here are the 10 Tweets from my @m_eye account that received the most clicks over the course of the year.

1. Here’s that The Sun iPhone parody ad http://ow.ly/1mIVv2

2. Reasons people click on banner ads [pie chart] http://ow.ly/tJvX

3. http://ow.ly/i2CY – 100 things your kids may never know about (via @wired)

4. The latest Samsung mobile phone viral. Not up to their usual standards as far as I’m concerned. Thoughts? http://ow.ly/y5df

5. Some interesting responses to the question ‘What makes a good planner? All in 140 characters please’ posted by @shib88 http://ow.ly/yXja

6. http://ow.ly/sTNJ – 5-year-old boys kills 800 pound ‘gator in Houston. Reminded me of this Onion feature – http://ow.ly/sU1X

7. Man sues after 7 years of trying to achieve the ‘Lynx effect’ but never getting a girlfriend. Brilliant! http://ow.ly/ylmj

8. Most Twitter users have less than 10 followers – http://ow.ly/u1Ql

9. Time list their 50 best inventions of 2009. Time #fail http://ow.ly/CiKL

10. My advice for those trying to get a job at an ad agency http://ow.ly/y5Py

A big thank you to all my followers on Twitter and all that read this blog, I hope you’ve had a fantastic 2009 and have an even better 2010!

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