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December 4, 2008

Digital Will Save Us

by Guy Brighton in Ad Biz, Web & Technology

There’s an interesting piece on the Profero site on how companies that have chosen to take digital into their hearts could thrive in the recession:

2009/10 will see the toughest financial period for nearly quarter of a century, but managed correctly brands with an unambiguous, intelligent and coherent digital strategy, the ones that have had the foresight to utilise their digital presence over the last few years to generate a genuine consumer loyalty and create a lasting dialogue, could achieve some relative benefits in the slump and weather the storm better than their purely offline, or less savvy competitors. It’s a big “if”, and it is impossible to say just how things will pan out, but one suspects that the brands that come out of this with the least damage will be the ones who have understood and taken seriously the centrality of digital in twenty-first century life. Those that have chosen to ignore the influence of digital in modern society, whether by accident, an inability to adapt or by design, may just find these tough times just that little bit tougher.

Profero

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Microsoft’s Latest Upgrade: Softwear

by Christine Huang in Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Fashion, Influencer Targeting, Web & Technology, Youth Marketing

Last night, we attended Microsoft’s soft launch party for Softwear, the company’s new line of graphic tees designed by hip-hop artist Common and “inspired by the 1980s when both Microsoft and hip-hop really came of age.” The software giant’s foray into fashion is intended to conjure a sense of nostalgic hipness around the brand, while reacting to the “I’m a PC” stereotype made popular by Apple. The shirts, which will hit select stores in the US on Dec 15, incorporate old DOS iconography, geek vernacular, and a retro-futuristic aesthetic into some surprisingly stylish designs. Softwear’s two lines, Classic and Common’s designs, can be previewed at Microsoft’s Softwear site, where viewers can also learn about the impetus and story behind the concept, narrated by Common.

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December 3, 2008

Microsoft’s Future Visions

by Christine Huang in Creative Thinking, Electronics, Online Marketing, Web & Technology

In contrast to IBM’s unimaginative predictions, Microsoft’s Future Visions videos are actually a bit inspiring, pointing to innovations in technology we’d be excited to see and use. Their “future vision on manufacturing” concept video brings to life many advances that seem rather intuitive: ubiquitous touchscreen interfaces, holographic video conferencing, virtual paper, 3-D guided assembly processes, and a host of other efficiency boosting technologies. Watch the video below:

[via 360design]

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Recap: Good Ideas in 2009 in Digital: Shaping Our Online Identities

by Christine Huang in Brand Experience, Branding, Creative Thinking, Media Planning & Strategy, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing, Web & Technology, Youth Marketing

At our Good Ideas in 2009: Digital salon yesterday, much of the conversation surrounded how our online identities are created, both actively - through our own decisions of what we share about ourselves - and passively - through the actions and perceptions of others. Given that we only have control over half of that equation, how do we ensure that the best and brightest portrait of ourselves is seen by the wider community?

Piers posited his “Red Coat, Black Coat” theory back in 2006, which proved to be a harbinger of conversations to come about approaches to online privacy as the internet extends its reach further into our daily activities. At yesterday’s session, two methods became most evident: one centers around greater transparency. By choosing to let every detail out into the public sphere by our own hand, we’re able to send a clear message that says “this is who I am and I’m okay with that.” Of course, this is a bit of a risky proposition, but a more complex picture with all of its strengths and flaws, is certainly a truer one as well.

The other view that operates alongside the above idea of being “free and open,” is to take a more dynamic role participating in the feedback loop. Developing relationships with not only your friends, but your critics as well, promotes conversation and can lead to understanding.

These lessons don’t only apply to our individual profiles anymore either, but speak to the larger identities being developed at the level of corporations and brands too. Building on this platform, we’re witnessing a trend of businesses starting to raise the bar in terms of the amount and type information being provided to the public, while at the same engaging consumers on a more personal basis.

Online retailer Zappos was mentioned during yesterday’s session as one company that has been able to implement this model in a positive way through the context of their social media-styled employee blogs. Other examples that illustrate this new movement include user generated review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp that enable businesses to directly respond to their costumers and GM Facts and Fiction, an attempt by General Motors to dispel rumors about the current state of their company.

As we begin to see successes from the early adopters of this paradigm shift, we expect more companies will jump aboard and participate. This trend can only lead to a richer consumer experience for all involved.

Watch the video of yesterday’s inspiring session here, and read Fast Company’s review of it here.

[image via Michael Martin]

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November 26, 2008

Free Shipping On PSFK’s Good Ideas In 2009 Report

by Guy Brighton in Design, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Media & Publishing, Music, Web & Technology

The fine people at Blurb have offered free gorund shipping within the US for our book Good Ideas In 2009. All you have to do is add ‘freeshipping’ in to the promo-code box on the product page here before Dec 9 (and read the small print below*).

Want to know more about the book? Well, at this time of year we’re supposed to produce a trends report for 2009. When we all sat down and chatted about it, we thought such a report would be so gloomy and rather depressing. We didn’t want to write about things like ‘trading down’ or ‘discreet consumption’! We wanted to talk about all the inspirational ideas we read and write about every day, we wanted to spread the positivity, we wanted to encourage you to re-ignite the world. Honestly.

So we created Good Ideas In 2009. The 80 page click-to-print book features nine Good Ideas and manifestations of them. We write about design, mobile, collaboration, digital, social media, the long term and much more. Click through to the Blurb site and you can get a sneak peek.

The books are $50 for the softback and $60 for the beautiful hardback. If you’re considering buying reports for your company or just books for your coffee table, we ask you to consider Good Ideas In 2009. We’re rather proud of it. We hope it inspires you yo make things better.

Good Ideas In 2009


* To qualify for free shipping (up to $10), you must enter the promotion code in the shopping cart at time of purchase and complete your purchase in USD. Offer is good for free shipping up to $10.00 in value. Offer expires 11:59 PM PST December 5, 2008. Limit one-time use per user and cannot be combined with other offers. Not valid towards purchase of gift cards.

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November 25, 2008

AT&T Text Jumbli: Many Screens, One Experience

by Allison Mooney in Ad Biz, Brand Experience, Creative Thinking, Outdoor Marketing, Sector, Web & Technology, Youth Marketing

Screens are everywhere—in bars, taxis, movie theaters, living rooms, city streets, in your hand, in front of you right now—and it’s making media increasingly fragmented. Yesterday we talked about how the ad business is being affected by this proliferation of media channels. “We have a story we want to tell, and we use different media channels and different touch points to tell it. We have to rely on the consumer to pull the story together,” said Robert Rasmussen.

However, the mark of a good campaign is not just narrative cohesion between these channels, but truly connecting them in an interactive, engaging way. A new campaign from AT&T taking a big step towards this.

To help promote new quick messaging phones, AT&T has launched AT&T Text Jumbli. Kind of like a digital version of Boggle, players text in words they can make out of letters floating around the screen. The massive multiplayer casual game can be played across multiple platforms–a Facebook app, TVs at thousands of bars and restaurants, movie screens during previews, and even on a billboard in Times Square—and everyone sees the same screen. They are giving away hundreds of Pantech Slate phones to top scorers.

As we (especially advertisers) lament the lack of our shared screen–the TV–perhaps we can look forward to more to collective, shared, engaging experiences like these. Experiences that can happen from anywhere, whether you’re in the middle of New York City or a basement in Duluth.

Check out the AT&T Text Jumbli Facebook page to play
(note: you need to become a fan in order to get yer prizes)

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November 21, 2008

Good Ideas In Collaboration & Digital

by Guy Brighton in Ad Biz, Design, Media & Publishing, Online Marketing, Web & Technology, Youth Marketing

The next two Good Ideas Salons to be held will be on the next two Tuesdays.

On Tuesday November 25th, Colin Nagy (PSFK / Attention) will lead a discussion on Good Ideas in Collaboration with Amit Gupta (Jelly / PhotoJojo), Andrew Hoppin (NASA), John Geraci (Outside In / DIY City) and Matt Stinchcomb (Etsy). The PSFK team will start the breakfast briefing with a thought starter from our new book entitled ‘Ask For Help’. Tickets are available here.

On Tuesday December 2nd, we will hold a discussion on Good Ideas in Digital with Chet Gulland (Anomaly, Johanna Beyenbach (Naked), Mike Arauz (Undercurrent), Noah Brier (Barbarian Group. The PSFK team will start the breakfast briefing with a thought starter from our new book entitled ‘Make Histories’. Tickets are available here.

Both events will be held at the Naked Communications offices on Greene Street in SoHo.

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November 18, 2008

Innocent Drinks Foster User Feedback

by Nicko Margolies in Brand Experience, Food & Drink, Media Planning & Strategy, Online & Web Services, Online Marketing, Public Relations, Web & Technology

The folks at innocent drinks, makers of tasty smoothies, have revamped their site to include a rating and review section. Hoping to foster a more robust brand culture and connection with their audience, innocent is trying out a consumer-centric website. The new feedback area provides simple ratings along with more detailed reviews. A built-in feature promises to randomly select comments to be highlighted on the homepage and further entices visitors by awarding funky prizes each month. The site layout was designed by Soup with a goal of pushing the playful nature of the company into the digital arena.

[via Ellie @ Soup]

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November 10, 2008

Dido embraces social media to market her latest album

by Anjali Ramachandran in Branding, Creative Thinking, Entertainment, Media & Publishing, Online Marketing, Web & Technology

Dido is back with her latest album, and this time she’s decided to make it, resounding with the title of the album (’Safe Trip Home’), a true journey for her fans. Over the last month, Londoners might have noticed a number of cryptic posters around tube stations. The posters end by asking the viewer to google terms like ‘Lady Landfill’ or ‘Mother lay-by’ - essentially a range of words linked to the songs on ‘Safe Trip Home’, the album. Visiting the website for the album takes you to a number of videos based on cities around the world - Rio, Mumbai, and London for starters. The videos are short films, each set to a different song from the album, made by film directors that Dido contacted. When you view a film and share your thoughts on it, it creates a mood palette that will influence the mood pools around each film on the globe at the center of the site’s menu. There is also a Facebook group for the album

It is interesting to see how more musicians, like brands, are embracing social media to market their work. Careful and innovative execution is key, and this one certainly has been executed in keeping with those guidelines. 

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