“The phonebook companies alleged in their complaint that the phonebook ordinance, ‘denies [their] rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.’(free speech and due process). If not for the legal concept of ‘corporate personhood’, the phonebook companies wouldn’t be able to sue Seattle to assert Constitutional rights originally written only for people.”—
“On Tuesday, NYTimes.com will be the canvas for the latest example of this effort: an ad for Wisk detergent [shown above] that displays what appears to be, at least on the surface, a clean shirt. But when a reader uses the cursor to move a digital black light over the shirt, they unearth hidden dirt spots beneath the surface. The Wisk ad will also be shown to some Times readers on the iPad, and will allow them to reveal the dirt stains by swiping their fingers over the ad.”—I bet this solves everything.
“Social innovators such as Whole Foods Market, Comcast and Jet Blue are imagining a future in which they not only thoughtfully respond to your tweets and posts in real-time, but their responses are also increasingly targeted and proactive. They want to know you, they want you to knowthat they know you, and they want you to know that they care.
For example, my casual tweet about poor cable service – addressed to no one in particular – might someday generate an immediate response from Comcast, because Comcast knows I’ve had previous issues with my cable box, they’re concerned and they’re keeping an eye on me. Isn’t that what friends do?”
In a different universe, companies would accomplish this by just providing good products and services in the first place.
As I look back on a life filled with regret and self-depreciation, the overwhelming burden of my daily tasks seem too much to bear. Thoughts of suicide bring relief; the relief that maybe one day I won’t wake up and immediately check Pinterest for new followers—the relief that there exists a world beyond Twitter; a world with people and flowers and sunlight and trees.
It’s one that fancies itself both serious and studious, but still fun and irreverent, while it’s actually none of these things. Instead it’s just as vapid and intolerant of change as any other, but wrapped in petty shows of meaningless flourish which it rewards in self-aggrandizing awards shows.
The thing is, if you’ve worked in advertising for any length of time, you’ve written something like the garbage on AW, or said something like it, you’ve probably even believed it for a while, and that’s fine. Every profession has its own embarrassment. But if you can’t eventually realize the situation for what it is and at least laugh about it, then you’re an asshole.
So I was bummed then when I went to the AW website to see why they hadn’t been updating and found this:
I’ve been blown away by the number of views and shares over the past week.
However not everyone has taken it so well and unfortunately I’ve had to go into hiding.
It appears I’ve been targeted by a very angry irishman.
Do not worry though, for one day I will return to clean the wank from our industry for good.
Until that day arrives, remember this…
As a man, I’m flesh & blood; I can be ignored, destroyed. But as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.
I guess we get the blogs we deserve.
But any way, this bums me out for two reasons: first is that this was a blog that was genuinely funny, and it was genuinely funny because it was true.
The second reason is that the link he mentions which points to an insecure, threatening post on the agency blog for The Escape Pod (which only reenforces all the reasons we needed Agency Wank in the first place).
The whole post is terrible, but I feel like the end stands out as particularly bad:
But we understand that the person who created this tumblr might be a bit junior. And might not have the best judgement.
So we’d like to invite the creators of this bloggity tumblr thing to come to The Escape Pod for a drink and a laugh.
Afterwards, I personally will kick the living s**t out of you. It’ll be a hoot!
So yeah, it’s both bad and poorly written, but you want to know the absolute worst part of this whole thing?
It’s not that The Escape Pod seems to think putting commercials on YouTube is revolutionary.
It’s not even that using the phrase “bloggity tumblr thing” completely undermines their argument that they’re “the agency of the present”.
It’s not the line “I personally kick the living s**t out of you.” which makes me wonder why you’d go through the effort of childishly asterisking out the word “shit” when you’ve just threatened someone with physical violence on your company’s blog?
It’s not even their cheap and unfunny shot that the author of Agency Wank is “a bit junior” - which, even if he is, only means that he’s understood more about this industry in his short few years that most of do in our careers.
It’s none of these things.
The very worst part of this whole thing is that when The Escape Pod centered their dumb slogan, they included the “TM”.
The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.
I get that people are bummed about this - but it can’t possibly come as a surprise, can it?
After all, this is how companies like Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook make their money - they sell you. That’s why a service like Instagram, that requires huge amounts of hardware and people to run can be offered for “free”.
If we want things to be different, we’re going to have to get used to paying for services. I hear Flickr is nice. App.net too if you’re looking for a Twitter alternative.
(Interesting side note: Remember when Pinterest went through a ton of shit about this exact same thing before finally capitulating and removing that language? I guess that means there’s hope here too. If people scream loud enough, this might get reversed. That said, don’t mistake this specific issue for the larger framework - there’s no such thing as a free social network.
… We wanted to spend our time building a service people wanted to use because it worked and saved them money and made their lives better in a small way. We knew that we could charge people directly if we could do all those things. We knew we could do what most people aim to do every day: avoid ads.
Remember when people things instead of ad serving platforms? It’s nice to see this still exists.
Traditional advertising campaigns can take a long time to produce, making it difficult to keep up with the lightning-fast pace of pop culture. But with “real time” brand content production, marketers can jump on timely trends in order to drive fan engagement.
Remember in 2009 when everyone was a “social media consultant”, and getting paid, and then after a little while everyone hated them because we all realized they had no idea what the hell they were doing?
Check back here in 2014 to see how much we hate these people.
Last week, Coca-Cola took an intriguing approach to the growing trend of “brands as publishers.”
Calling it Coca-Cola Journey, Coke married the staid, static philosophy of a corporate website with the dynamic, fluidity of a blog. While the Atlanta-based soft drink company has its footprints all over the digital world — it has a robust presence on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn — it also wanted to build its own online home, a welcoming place for its fans.
While it may be a great PR move, there’s also value for its 1.2 million monthly unique visitors. There’s a wide range of content topics — entertainment, brands, business, community, environment, health, history, innovation, sports — that Coke employees write about and curate from around the Web. The stories themselves either discuss the company or issues that the company cares about.
Coke is now firmly entrenched in the storytelling business, minus the whole ad selling aspect. And keep in mind that these are Coke-focused stories, and not journalism, which, some say, is exactly the point. One agency executive, who requested anonymity because his agency represents a competitor, told me that “this is content that is meant to be discoverable and shareable, optimized around topics that Coke feels shows their brand in the best light.”
Click through to read the rest.
How you do social media when your main product isn’t content: Build lots of content anyway.
I sorta already said I what I needed to say about this a couple days ago, but I’m going to say more because apparently I have no impulse control.
Last time I was focused on the customer aspect of things: why people genuinely will not give a shit about this: people buy Coke because they want delicious, delicious sugar water. If they want stories they’ll go to Tumblr, or Twitter, or CNN, or Reddit, or any of the other like million places for whom making stories is their reason for being.
This reminds me of the story of the Subaru SVX - which, if you’re on Tumblr, you’re too young to remember. The SVX was Subaru’s first entry into the sports car market, and was most notable for it’s weird windows. It was also notable for no one buying it. The problem wasn’t the car itself, which was fine for it’s era, it’s that people who wanted sports cars didn’t think of Subaru, and people who wanted a Subaru didn’t want a sports car. Same thing here.
But beyond that, there are some very practical, unsexy reasons this isn’t going to be the next thing.
The first is that Coke’s agency(ies) have no cultural support for running long-term projects like this. I say this with 13 years of agency experience. All agencies are designed to do one thing: get a brief from a client, make the project outlined in that brief, and then move on to the next project. This is why agencies make great commercials and great nothing else. It’s a weird thing to say, and to dive into the why’s of it could be a book, but it’s true, there is simply no cultural knowledge or support for agencies to create and manage long-term, iterative projects.
The second other reason this isn’t going to work is that Coke has basically the same problem that agencies do. Where as agencies only real culture is making commercials or things that look like commercials, Coke’s only culture is making and selling soda, and at the end of the day, anything can’t be tied to selling more soda is going to be cut. Unless someone in Coke or someone in the agency that made this, can show a line from this to sales, someone is going to start asking things like “why this instead of something cheaper?”
Although the content comes “with a point of view,” Mr. Brown acknowledged, “we want to be a credible source.”
For instance, plans call for accepting opinion columns that are at variance with the views of the company, with explanations at the top that “would say, ‘Coca-Cola has a different perspective’ and there’d be space for us to write a counterpoint,” he said.
Asked if the corporate Web site would accept an opinion column by, say, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, advocating restrictions on the sale of large sugary drinks, Mr. Brown replied: “Anything’s possible. If you want to mention that to Mayor Bloomberg, I would give you my e-mail. We have a belief here that not shying away from tough decisions is a good thing and gives us credibility.”
“I’m sure we’re going to make mistakes,” he said, “and readers are going to tell us.”
Marginally related to the post below: Is this move “bold”? Maybe. Is it “innovative”? Perhaps. But I can’t help but wonder: Why in the hell would any one, at the end of 2012, with all that’s available to us online, go to coke.com to read stories?
"Brands as content publishers" is the "Brands as social networks" of 2012.
On Chief Digital Officers at big agencies: There isn’t a “single example of an innovation person or dept doing well”
File this under “Least Surprising Article of the Day” for any one who’s ever worked in an agency.
While there are tons of great quotes throughout, I thought this one:
If you are not 100 percent confident that you can deliver a piece of innovation…
set up the really deep, unspoken, core-level problem perfectly. For everyone involved - from clients, to agencies, to small digital shops, “innovation” in this industry seems to be a specific thing delivered rather than a fundamental approach.
Regardless though, the question I really wanted this article to ask is: the implication here is that agencies should be behaving like software companies, that they should be doing something other than T.V. spots, and I’m not sure there is any evidence for this at all.
Here’s the creepiest info graphic you will ever see about the agency business - illustrating the typical process that tweets, status updates and other brand things that work their way through the agency system - human centipede style.
Because tweets are better when they’ve passed through five other people.
You know how sometimes people say something like “I’m totally not racist, but…” and they proceed to say something incredibly racist?
I’m totally NOT an asshole, but…This is the second time today I’ve seen this article posted and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
The first part of the article seems to be the author realizing - for what appears to be the first time - that sometimes people talk to each other in ways other than social media(!). That people EMAIL links to each other. And that sometimes, sometimes, those emails are NOT campaign tagged for analytics. What!?
That’s right. It turns out that human beings actually communicated with each other before there was Facebook. And moreover, THEY STILL DO. And sometimes, actually like 60% of the time (he has data you guys), people do things that aren’t part of your “social media KPI tracking system”.
It’s really true.
This is exactly why I only use Google tagged bit.ly links in all my written correspondence - because if I didn’t…
…then literally nothing would be different at all.
Any way, if you end up reading this article and enjoying it, I’d like you direct you to my new book: The Dark Vocal Social Media Revolution: Did You Know People Talk To Each Other? Like With Their Mouths.
“All we want is an opportunity for consumers to make their own choice rather than have the choice made for them.”—Wendy Clark, senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca-Cola, saying the exact opposite of what’s true.
“We passionately believe that Windows 8 will change things,” explained Krishnan during a 45-minute chat last week. “What I mean by that is a couple of things. One is the definition of what we call a device, which in our standard jargon means a phone or a tablet in a specific form factor, will change. And how people use them will change. With that will come a redefinition of what we consider to be the addressable market when we discuss ‘applications and devices’. This creates the largest application marketplace opportunity to date in terms of addressable users, reach and monetization per application.”—Windows 8 and the App Ecosystem (via thenextweb)
"Even consumer advocacy groups oppose your decision."
That’s it. That’s the entire thought. They can’t/wont name the “customer advocacy groups” that seem to think automatic tracking is good for people. We’re just supposed to accept this assertion on its face. I looked at the end of the letter to see if maybe one of them had signed the letter. There were lots of multi-national corporations, but no “customer advocacy groups”. Maybe it’s one of those “companies are people” situations.
The ad industry keeps trying to play this out as a “customer choice issue”, but the fact is that, at its heart, it’s an issue about an industry that is seeing society move away from what it’s selling and is desperate to keep that from happening.
Any way, how desperate are they to make sure this change doesn’t happen? This desperate:
"Apache, a provider of software that supports nearly two-thirds of Internet web site offerings, has designed its software to ignore the ‘do-not-track’ setting if the browser reaching it is Internet Explorer 10, describing Microsoft’s actions as a ‘deliberate abuse of open standards’"
So basically, if IE 10 ships as is, the ad industries response will be to just ignore the setting and track any way.
The ANA really showed their true colors though when they opposed Microsoft’s offer to actually give their customers the choice of whether to be tracked by actively bringing up the setting the first time the browser is opened.
In the ANA’s world automatically opting people out of tracking is bad for people. Allowing them to chose whether they want to be tracked is bad for people. But silently opting them into tracking, even when they’ve opted out - that’s customer freedom.
“On traditional desktop websites, Amplify will show up as a 300x600 ad unit, built with AOL’s Pictela technology, comprising one tile with an advertiser message and another with content from Time Inc. websites. Clicking on the top will take consumers directly to an advertiser website, but selecting the content piece will bring up an interstitial with a marketing message”—
So clicking on the top ad takes me to an ad. And clicking on the bottom ad also takes me to an ad?
All ads lead to other ads.
That really is the “‘next generation’ of ad products”.
I can’t wait to get started on this exciting new advertising campaign for your product/service. It is truly a great opportunity.
By entering into this freelance contract with me, I agree to provide you with the following materials for your new advertising campaign:
A mood board session, in which my team will provide you with 2-3 mood boards that, while appearing to be simple pictures clipped from magazines and then pasted onto black foam core, are, in actuality, THE FUTURE FOR YOURBRAND’S DIRECTION. These pictures will be edgy and artsy and will take your brand into a new edgy and artsy direction. There will be at least two photographs of Ashton Kutcher.
A dozen made up words related to your product that will “draw consumers in.” These shall include, but not be limited to, words with the following suffixes: “–tastic,” “-tacular,” and “–riffic.” Also, while you probably already know this, I was the one who came up with the word “crumbelievable” in 2007 to describe the Keebler company’s new line of coffee cake cookies. It goes without saying that following the institution of this new word as a product line tagline, sales proceeded to go through the roof.
A logo exploration that includes at least five unique logo designs. These will consist of differently sized circles and in one case the words will be rotated to a landscape rather than a portrait view. If you want your actual company name below the logo, that will be part of round two and will require additional dollars and conceptual exploration time.
Five conceptual print advertising ideas that don’t actually contain your logo or company name at all.
Three television storyboards for proposed television commercials. The explosions, large groups of people, and time of year you will see depicted in these storyboards will be occurrences that can only be shot in New Zealand, so these three ideas must be shot in New Zealand in order to be an effective advertisement for your product/service. This is non-negotiable.
At least one media-agnostic concept that involves a Rube Goldberg machine.
A direct mail concept that you won’t open or ever see. (It’s actually a piece of my son’s lined notebook paper with sketches of monsters on it, not that it matters.)
A web homepage layout, which will be a rough sketch with black pen on white paper, on which I will have taken the liberty to draw boxes to indicate where you should put your web content. If you’d like to see this concept “come to life,” it will require an additional estimate and 5 more weeks of conceptual exploration time.
A mobile device layout, which is a new offering. This will be a slightly smaller version of the web homepage layout. This, as a “new media” offering, is not part of the standard scope of work and will require additional funds and weeks of conceptual exploration time.
Fourteen unique PR stunts that include ways to build a “buzz” for your brand. Half of these will be ideas for celebrity endorsements or involvements that aren’t possible either because you can’t afford them, the celebrity actually hates your product/service, or because the celebrity is dead or fictional or trademarked (e.g., Aquaman). The remaining seven will all involve putting a large billboard somewhere in Times Square in various locations.
Two-to-Six “viral” ideas that involve a cat.
Please find enclosed my contract, which I request that you sign and return at your earliest convenience.
Again, my sincerest thanks for considering me for this project.
Sincerely, Andrew Gall Freelance Advertising Professional
“I think we’ve learned that it is super critical as a marketer to give up the desire but also the illusion that you are in control," she said. "Your brand is built in places you’re not. The question is how can we contribute and build real friendships?”—Optional other lessons include:
- “We’ve learned not to mistake ‘control of our brand' for 'ability to lie to our customers and get away with it.'”
- “We’ve learned that we don’t need to focus on meaningless platitudes like ‘build real friendships’ when we could instead focus on building a decent product and delivering it in a timely manner to our customers.”
- “We’ve learned that people don’t really expect companies to be their friends, that they have actual friends, and the notion of ‘brand as friend’ is something only people in agencies think is real. Instead, what people want is an company that makes and sells their products in something resembling an honest and ethical way.”
“…the ultimate goal was to build this kind of tech right into the operating system of your phone or tablet, which would change the second screen experience from an active one — you have to deliberately open an app — to a more passive one, where you get pushed updates without really asking.”—
Pretty great/awful piece from Buzzfeed (I know, right?) on how companies like Shazam and Gracenote can’t wait to make your iPhone and iPad a new platform for…ads!
That anyone thinks this is a reasonable idea should tell you a lot about how major media companies visualize the world.