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These agency sites are speaking to me

Here's my take on the Ad Age article, "What Top Creative Minds Are Doing With Their New Websites: Five Shops Share Their Design and Content Imperatives".

I think the R/GA site is a bit rubbish. It isn't shit, but it ain't great. I can hear them saying, "We've got better things to do than work on our own site" To which I'd reply, "I doubt it took Modernista that much time to do something incredibly creative." Honest, I can hear them ...

Hal Riney & Partners site might be interesting, but it isn't very useful. The fact that everyone knows that they didn't build it (Clusta did) says a lot about how much they know. They're saying, "But we do know. We do. We do." ... We'll, I say they don't.

Almost missed Barbarian's web site. How did they get in there? I guess Ad Age wanted some old-school credibility. Their new site is plain, effective, and requires tons and tons of time to update and keep fresh. The site says, "We spend a lot of time to keep this cool." Yawn.

Grey's site is incredibly poor, in particular from a technical perspective. With the exception of the characters, this "redesigned" site feels so out of date. As in, "Hi, I'm your design from 2002, remember me?" Check out the floating balls in the "Capabilities" section. So embarassing. Forget it.

As most of you know, Modernista is a favourite of mine: They walk the talk. Simple, effective, and savvy. It says "We understand how this digital thing works." It does. It says it right on the tin.

What Top Creative Minds Are Doing With Their New Websites
Five Shops Share Their Design and Content Imperatives
By Teressa Iezzi

What do they say to you?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Internet Trends: March 2008

Here's the latest from Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker ...

Unlike previous editions, social media dominates this report, and there are a ton of interesting stats including mobile and international analysis. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington notes the following key takeaways:
  • YouTube + Facebook page views are greater than Google or Yahoo page views (and may be bigger than both combined)
  • 6/10 top internet sites are social (youtube,, facebook, hi5, wikipedia, orkut); none were on the list in 2005
  • YouTube has 258 million users, 50% visit weekly or more
  • 50% of Facebook users log in daily, 95% of Facebook users have used at least one third party application
  • Skype revenue is $1.67/user/year, up 9% Y/Y
  • 14 million photos uploaded daily on Facebook
  • Google + Yahoo = 61% of U.S. Online Ad Revenue
  • Google: $4.4b ad revenue in Q4, paid out $1.4 billion to partners
  • Yahoo: $1.6 billion in ad revenue in Q4, paid out $429 million to partners
You can download the PPT/PDF from Morgan Stanley here.

Thanks for sharing, Mike!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Dawn Kinnard

We saw Dawn open for DeVotchKa at Scala a couple weeks ago. Her voice is strong and luscious. Like Nora Jones if she had more fun. K spoke to her after her set and said she was very nice.

You can find her online here: Official site, MySpace,

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Saturday, April 26, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Will Second Life be a career killer?

Mark Kingdon, CEO of Omnicom Group digital agency Organic, is leaving to become CEO at Linden Lab, the company that owns Second Life.

From a distance, I liked Mark Kingdon. I never worked with him at Organic. He arrived after I had left. But from what I read on Organic's Three Minds blog, he seemed like a smart guy. So, this news really has me confused.

So, how about some multiple choice ...

Create polls and vote for free.

Very poor move. It has career disaster written all over it.

As Second Life continues to fail due to piss poor user experience, an unstable platform, a lack of true technical innovation, and competitive threats, Mark will struggle (and in my mind fail) to help them turn the corner. People are already abandoning the service in droves (the place is always empty) and nothing will help bring the buzz back once it is gone.

The comments below the announcement are priceless:

Grid Stability is the catch cry, but the “proof of the pudding is in the eating”, and the Grid is NOT stable, and not just the Havoc project, thats one side of the coin, the whole Grid is abysmal. Fix it. Everything else is just moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. (Alf Lednev)

So the head of a digital advertising agency will be the head of Linden Labs. Banner ads, targeted search, clickstream analysis, sl traffic analysis, are these coming to our sl world soon? (Cookies are already here unless you know to turn them off) Are my avatar’s behavior patterns going to be sold to Coke or Proctor and Gamble? Hmmmmmm……. Very interesting…. (Ishtar Writer)

You are walking into a huge mess, and there is a great deal of expectations residents have of their new CEO.. I just hope that your zest, fervor and commitment to success remain.. Its not hard to get sucked into the Linden Tao of “Really, who gives a sh!t” …(Suhana)

I worked for Organic Inc when Mark Kingdon became CEO there at the SF head office. Wasn’t long after that when most of the satellite offices got shut down…with our London Office (the one i worked in) being one of the last. (Rene Erlanger)


Good luck Mark. You're gonna need it ...

Further reading:
Announcing our New CEO! (official announcement)
Linden Installs Mark Kingdon as New CEO Gamasutra
Linden Lab selects Mark Kingdon as new CEO (c|net)
Organic's Mark Kingdon Flies to Linden Lab (ClickZ)
Second Life Parent Appoints Former Organic CEO as Its New CEO (Washington Post)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Google tops the BrandZ

For the second year running, Google tops the BrandZ list with new research estimating its value to be $86bn (£43bn), a 30% year-on-year increase in its value.

Millward Brown's annual BrandZ research takes into account the financial performance of a company combined with a measure of brand equity determined by a 100,000-strong global consumer survey.

MediaPost notes that "the BrandZ is dominated by technology oriented companies, and has only a few pure play media brands on the list. Among them are Disney, which rose 5% to a brand value of $23.7 billion (ranked No. 23), and Yahoo, which fell 13% to $11.5 billion (ranked No. 62)."

The official Millward Brown site states:
Strong brands have the power to create business value. They impact much more than revenues and profit margins. Strong brands create competitive advantages by commanding a price premium and decrease the cost of entry into new markets and categories. They reduce business risk and help attract and retain talented staff.

Millward Brown Optimor created the BrandZ Top 100, a ranking that identifies the world's most powerful brands measured by their dollar value. Our brand ranking provides key insights and actionable information for finance, marketing and business professionals on how to manage and grow their brand assets.
"Google's rank has been driven by fantastic financial performance and equity value," said Peter Walshe, the global account director at Millward Brown, continues the The Guardian continues in a nice summary:
Google beat General Electric to the top spot, with the NBC Universal owner's brand value estimated at $71.4.

The next most valuable brands are Microsoft at $70.89m, Coca-Cola at $58.2m and China Mobile at $57.2m, according to Millward Brown.

The top five remained unchanged year-on-year, with each company recording an increase in brand valuation by between 15% and 39% compared with 2007.

Apple was the biggest mover in the top 10, and a new entry, moving up nine places to rank seventh, with a massive 123% increase in brand value to $55.2m.

"Apple's 123% rise has proved to be from a mix of a slue of innovative products such as the iTouch, iPhone, Leopard and computers for which consumers have given the brand a lot of credit," said Walshe.

Mobile operator Vodafone was the top-ranked British brand, up 12 places on the back of a 75% increase in value to $36.9m (£18.5m).
BrandZ Top 100 2008 Report (PDF)
BrandZ Top 100 2008 Press Release (PDF)

See coverage in the Financial Times
View the supplement in the Financial Times (PDF)

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Monday, April 21, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Foam falls flat

For the record, I’ve been enjoying the Sony “Like No Other” campaign. Balls, Paint, Bunnies, and so on … Best group of spots I’ve seen for a while.

This time, however, the hype certainly does not live up to the end result. I find this spot a complete let down. And the tie-in to “images” is rubbish. To say nothing of the fact that I have begun to expect colorful things from Sony, and the white foam is just that. Just plain white foam.


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Friday, April 18, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     3  comments

Links for 2008-04-15 []

Wednesday, April 16, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Come get "Under the Influence"

At iris, we like to do things a bit differently, and Under The Influence is our take on the traditional industry speaker event.

Held in 5 pubs around Borough Market (next to London Bridge), it is a chance for members of the industry to come down, have a pint and soak up some of the inspiration on offer. The theme of this years event is “Where Next?”- i.e. What’s round the corner for us all.

I’m hosting ‘The Dip Inn’ (aka The Market Porter) which will focus on short-form content and "media snacking". We've got one helluva line-up for ya:

2pm: Philip Smith: Head of Digital Content, Haymarket Brand Media
3pm: Matt Smith: Co-founder, The Viral Factory
4pm: David McCandless:
5pm: Andrew Baron: Founder, Rocketboom

Speakers at the other pubs include John Grant, Fallon's Chairman Laurence Green, Contagious Magazine's Paul-Kemp Robertson, Poke's Iain Tate, and the legendary George Parker. Can you imagine George Parker speaking about advertising and marketing whilst having pints in a pub? He'll think he's died and gone to Heaven!

There’s plenty more on offer in addition to what is sure to be an excellent party after. The event is free, and the full line-up is over on the Under the Influence web site.

So, come have a few pints and learn something new.

Hope to see you there.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

Flickr video launches

"Video on Flickr!" is Heather Champ's follow-up post to that video on the Flickr blog. It is very informative.

Like a photo but it moves is the Yodel Anecdotal (Y! corp blog) post, and there's additional detail/FAQ on the Flickr site, too.

One of the key points being discussed all over the place is the restriction on the length of the videos that can be uploaded. They're limited to 90 seconds, at least for now. Arrington get's it and so do others, including NewTeeVee: Less crap to sift through, lower bandwidth costs and content that ends up being closely tied to the photos surrounding them. It would seem that, at least for now, the idea is to carve out a defined niche of the video market.

Seems smart to me, and that's not a surprise given that it is coming from Flickr.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Washes Whiter

Iain posted this ad on his blog, and it reminded me of “Washes Whiter” which is re-running on BBC4 before Mad Men, which just keeps getting better and better by the way. … The entire episode of "Washes Whiter" called "She's Not a Moron - She's Your Wife" was full of this sh*t from JWT, Lintas, and a bunch of other shops … Fascinating to see that nothing has changed in 60+ years.

Agencies have been making spots like this since the 40’s, and it is really f*cking sad that people (women in particular) haven’t rejected it outright. FFS, are we really that stupid? Scary to think that the answer could be “yes”.

That’s to say nothing of the agencies that keep churning out this completely uninspired crap to clients who keep buying it.

Want more? Check out this 1946 spot from JWT called Persil Dazzle. The BFI database has a nice synopsis of the episode along with a full list of the spots shown in the show.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

I guess we can get his gun now ...

Charlton Heston, dead at 84:
In a speech at the N.R.A.'s annual convention in 2000, he brought the audience to its feet with a ringing attack on gun-control advocates. Paraphrasing an N.R.A. bumper sticker ("I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands") he waved a replica of a colonial musket above his head and shouted defiantly, "From my cold, dead hands!"
Here on i-boy, we try to be as politically agnostic as possible. Why? Well, I have no idea. But in this case, it is really difficult. Ben-Hur was a very cool film . One of the best. But being the President and lifelong supporter of the NRA is just shit, and we're glad that there is now one less gun on the streets.

Sorry Charlie.

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Monday, April 07, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Polar redesign

As part of being Polar's new AOR, we completed the redesign of their web site (concept, architecture, imagery, design, flash, and template production) in late 2007. The dev team in Finland has just finished the back-end, and it is great to see the work online.

Used to look something like this or this or this or this.

I think the new Polar site makes a bold, powerful statement while providing incredibly easy access to a ton of information. What do you think?

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Friday, April 04, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

Clown Travel Agency

Thanks Bill. This is cool.

The Clown Travel Agency website has been updated, and the contents of the envelope have been revealed: A new scavenger hunt when involves locations around the world with the message: “Ready to have a ball? A special bag of fun awaits the first to claim it, but you’d better strike fast, there’s no time to spare.”

That text is from here and the campaign has inspired similar posts like this and this and this and this and this and so on ...

This post by Frosty describes how things happened in Sao Paolo when he and a friend went to pick up Joker's bag ...

Buzzzzzzzzzz ...

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

iNsight on the iPhone

Here's a very good piece of (free) research from Rubicon Consulting on the iPhone based on a survey of 460 iPhone users in the USA. You can download the PDF here.

Here are some of the key findings:

iPhone users are very satisfied.

The iPhone users we surveyed report very high levels of satisfaction with the product. They are using its features extensively. (Page 12.)

E-mail is the #1 function.
The most heavily used data function on the iPhone is reading (but not writing) e-mail. (Page 13.)

The iPhone increases mobile browsing …
More than 75% of iPhone users say it has led them to do more mobile browsing. (Page 14.)

…but it has drawbacks.
About 40% of iPhone users say the iPhone has trouble displaying some websites they want to visit. (Page 25.)

The iPhone is expanding the smartphone market.

About 50% of iPhones replaced conventional mobile phones, 40% replaced smartphones, and 10% replaced nothing. Among conventional phones, Motorola Razr was the phone most often replaced. Among smartphones, Windows Mobile and RIM Blackberry were most often replaced. (Page 19.)

A third of iPhone users carry a second phone.
There have been anecdotal reports of iPhone users carrying a second mobile phone, either for basic voice calling, or for other functions like composing e-mail. The survey confirmed those reports. (Page 20.)

A quarter of iPhone users say it’s displacing a notebook computer.
28% of iPhone users surveyed said strongly that they often carry their iPhone instead of a notebook computer. (Page 22.)

Users are young.
About half of iPhone users are under age 30 (page 29) and about 15% are students (page 31).

Apple sells to its installed base.
At least 75% of US iPhone users are previous Apple customers — they used either iPods or Macintosh computers. (Page 28.)

The iPhone increases phone bills.
The iPhone has increased its users’ monthly mobile phone bills by an average of 24%, or $228 extra per year. (Page 17.)

The iPhone leads people to change carriers.
Almost half of iPhone users changed carriers when they got the iPhone. (Page 18.)

AT&T’s gamble pays off.

The iPhone has probably increased AT&T’s gross service revenue by about $2 billion per year. (Page 4.)

The Apple iPhone: Successes and Challenges for the Mobile Industry
Rubicon Consulting

The anatomy of an iPhone user
ZD Net

Survey: 33 percent of iPhone owners cheating on Steve Jobs with another handset maker

Today's iPhone Users are Young, Rich, and Technically Savvy

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Tuesday, April 01, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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