The great thing about brands is that brands attract people who share that value. And our values are about creativity being a destination. The industry is full of people who are disenchanted or looking for new opportunities or looking for the nirvana. We may not represent it, but I think certainly, as a brand, we promise more of that and therefore they’ll come further to seek it out.
Saw Babel last night. It is a powerful film. It is textured and rich. Tragic, but also hopeful. It is a story of innocence and pain. It is about strength and survival. And as you might suspect from the title, it is about communication.
Babel is not the easiest film to watch, and it is probably not for everyone. That said, I expect it to win more than its fair share of awards. Whilst few of the individual performances will win, when you look across the entire film, it is a very impressive work.
One award that it could certainly win (in addition to screenplay, best pic, and direction) would be best soundtrack. Here's a good "official"quote:
Alejandro González Iñárritu's film revolves around the transcultural difficulties of human communication, but the linguistic dysfunction that drives the film's characters towards causal connection and inevitable tragedy has paradoxically inspired just the opposite on this adventurous musical mélange of a soundtrack.
The meditative, often hypnotic fretboard inventions of Iñárritu's previous soundtrack collaborator, Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla (a 2005 Oscar winner for Brokeback Mountain), serve as the restless soul of interlocking plots in the film, the final chapter of a fatalistic trilogy that also includes the Santaolalla-scored Amores Perros and 21 Grams.
And then there is Ryuichi Sakamoto's Bibo no Aozora - Endless Flight - one of my favourite single tracks of all time. The version used for Babel has a much slower tempo and is without vocals. It is a lovely "remix" and is not to be missed. Here's a live version:
Bibo no Aozora was originally released on his 1997 release called Smoochy. If you only want one Ryuichi Sakamoto album, this is the one to have.This live performance is much closer to the original:
a) pay for the 1.2 billion that parent company Google paid b) fend off competition from the likes of Metacafe, Revver and others c) generally create more advertising space d) all of the above
... YouTube founder Chad Hurley announced in Davos that 3-second pre-roll ads woudl soon be included on their videos. Jeff Jarvis filmed it, and guess what? His speech is posted on ...
Fred, Nick, Steve, the BBC and many others have a lot to say and ask pose good questions.
I think it is an idea whose time has come. It is a must-have if the service is to survive. But as Fred notes, even though one can easily imagine that people won't object too much to a 3-second pre-roll ad, how much will advertisers pay for that little time?
Is this an example of Continuous Partial Attention in action? One thing is for certain, Lord Saatchi will soon be able to put his money where his mouth is. If he believes so much in the ability of micro-format ads to be an effective means for advertising, he and his troops should be all over this.
I haven't written much about joining iris - or much else for that matter - mainly because I've been so busy. I've been consulting with the agency since July of last year, and we agreed on the position in December. I'll be growing and expanding the digital practice whilst talking to existing and prospective clients about the things I blog about here.
But, it is true. We're not so huge that we don't know what other groups are doing, but we're big enough to deliver real integrated solutions to brands like Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, Shell, Jack Daniel's and Coke. We have offices in London, Manchster, NYC, and Singapore, and we're opening in several other cities soon. We pride ourselves on our strategic capabilities and our integrated work.
Once I get settled in, I don't expect my work to hinder my blogging. On the contrary, I think it will give me more to write about.
BrandRepublic reports that "Teen social networking website Piczo has secured $11m (£5.8m) in funding from US Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners, as part of its plans to expand its global presence in the youth market."
I spoke to Chris Seth (UK MD) and he told me that they are very happy about this third round of funding. (It is the second round of VC for those scoring it at home.) The money will be used for site improvement and marketing. One thing that Chris was particularly happy abotu was the fact that the funding is from an international group of investors, adding to the understanding/appeal of Piczo as a global business.
Wow. Talk about perfect hype and PR. It has been quite some time since I remember a product announcement getting this much coverage and conversation in the blogosphere. Steve Jobs was right when he told Time Magazine, "Everybody hates their phone, and that's not a good thing. And there's an opportunity there."
In all fairness, the iPhone looks like an awesome piece of kit. Like all Apple products, it is a thing of beauty. Like some of their products, I wonder if it will only appeal to a limited number of people.
It is far from perfect: It doesn't support MS Exchange, so no threat to Blackberry (yet). It doesn't support MS Office attatchments yet, either. The battery is based on iPod tech and thus cannot be removed/swapped. It lacks 3G. It doesn't have expandable memory (only 8GB, currently). And apparently, it cannot sync via WiFi or Bluetooth, amongst other reasons.
To me, it is a pseudo-Smartphone, since it is indeed a platform and new applications can be installed, but only by Apple. Like iTunes and iPod, the iPhone is hardly an open model/platform, and that is contradictory to what many in the industry believe will drive growth and adoption of products and services. The exclusive US deal with Cingular (soon to be AT is another clear sign of Apple's reluctance to play in "open" spaces. Expect other exclusive deals in other countries and regions. Compared to the new range of Skype phones from Netgear and others, there is a massive philisophical difference.
Which one will win the battle? Cool GUIs on exlusive networks or open-source calls made on netowrked phones? That's a tough question. For now, if I were Nokia I'd be very nervous.
So, I know you're all asking, "You're coming down pretty hard on this thing. Should I send you one?"
Posting will be light for the next few days as I'll be in Tenerife chasing a small white ball around in the sun. For reference, that photo is from the Tecina Golf Course on Gomera Island. We're playing there on Sunday. Yummy. Abama and Las Americas are also on the menu. As was the case in Marbella, we used Golf Options to book parts of the trip, and they were very helpful.
Amen to that. He goes on to recommend a few steps to reduce the clutter in his life, several of which I go through on a regular basis. If you're overloaded (aren't we all?), it is worth distracting yourself for a few more moments to read his post.