December 4, 2008
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.
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.
December 3, 2008
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:
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.
[image via Michael Martin]
November 26, 2008
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.
* 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.
November 25, 2008
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)
November 21, 2008
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.
November 18, 2008
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]
November 10, 2008
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.
Taking a page from their customer friendly food service model, Burger King recently took “Have It Your Way” into the realms of D.I.Y. fashion. A collaboration between 5 designers and artists tasked with reinterpreting elements… Continue reading| 1 Comment
MySpace and Viacom’s MTV Networks announced a deal that will partner them with Auditude, a technology firm that has developed a means of identifying whether uploaded video clips belong to a particular TV Network by… Continue reading| Comments
Starting Nov 18, PSFK will be running a series of breakfast discussions in New York City up until the holidays. We aim to host these Good Idea Salons twice a week about different topics that… Continue reading| Comments
It has a broad reaching name and this year Advertising Age and Creativity brought together an equally wide range of speakers for a day of dialog about creativity and innovation. This year’s conference was held… Continue reading| Comments
PSFK friend Ruby Pseudo recently published a nice collection of insights on marketing to teens: the Teen Commandments, a primer for brands trying to reach youth in the digital world. One of Ruby’s compelling… Continue reading| 3 Comments
There’s a new concept in the seemingly exhausted world of online advertising. Some Swedish advertising students designed a project for Doritos based around removing online banner ads. The group, known as Papercut, designed… Continue reading| Comments
LiveRail recently revealed their advertising platform for the iPhone, giving developers the option of adding short commercials to their applications, which would play whenever their app is launched. The positive spin: LiveRail gives developers the… Continue reading| Comments
Allstate insurance is testing out a new program, called InSight, that uses online video game tests to identify safe older drivers. Using simple games that measure brain fitness, the company is hoping that gaming proficiency… Continue reading| 4 Comments
Amazon.com has quietly released a beta version of a new web-browsing interface for its massive online shop. The site is aptly named “WindowShop” as it allows visitors to survey popular items that might have been… Continue reading| 1 Comment
The allure of the iPhone has unsurprisingly garnered the rapt attention of the advertising industry. With 100 million App Store downloads since it launched and 90% of those downloads being free applications, ad support is… Continue reading| 1 Comment
Carphone Warehouse in the UK has undertaken research with the London School of Economics on the impact of mobiles and the internet on our daily life, titled Mobile Life 2008. It was a foregone conclusion that… Continue reading| Comments
The PR industry as we once knew it is dead. We’ve written about this topic before, but recently we came across some advice on creating the best PR through the social aggregator, FriendFeed. SocialTNT explains… Continue reading| Comments
On his Long Tail blog, Chris Anderson brings our attention to an interesting subset from the recently released Forbes 400 list: the members of the Billionaires Club that have earned their spot through offering services… Continue reading| Comments
In our final installment of the NYC Innovators Series, PSFK spoke with with Michael Galpert of Aviary about how his company is enabling amateur artists to start flexing their creative muscles.
Michael explains how the high… Continue reading| Comments