2010 will see massive growth and increasing importance of real-time. Not just as a buzzword - though it will mainstream as the latest buzzword bingo term very soon - but as a true way of thinking about data and the way people use, interpret and represent it.
Over on Mashable, Bernard Moon did a good job of grouping real-time into four categories: collaboration, analytics, search and commerce. I'm going to use those four categories to provide a few examples.
1) Collaboration: Given the launch of Google Wave and the skyrocketing importance of Twitter will have a profound impact on the way we share. Email discussions will become instant and collaborative, thanks to Wave. There are already signs of how Twitter is changing how we share information, as it fundementally reshapes how we send and receive news.
2) Analytics and measurement: Tools like Chartbeat, Brandwatch, Radian6 and others and will become more powerful and more widely used. The ability for marketers to make decisions in real-time will impact the speed at which their agencies are expected to react and place a premium on agility.
What does this mean for the advertising industry, specifically? The speed at which things happen is going to get even faster, and only those agencies who can keep pace will stay relevant. Agency models need to shift in order to allow them to monitor, understand, engage and create timely and relevant communications. Those who don’t will look old and out of touch to clients and their customers. The impact of real-time will be dramatic, and the numbers will speak for themselves as media consumption patterns will force marketers and agencies to adapt or fail.
Most of the time when I see projects made with Processing, they're very creative and very cool. Whatever it is, Processing seems to bring out the creative technologist in people. Here's a little of what Wikipedia says about it:
Processing is an open source "programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) built for the electronic arts and visual design communities" with the purpose of teaching the basics of computer programming in a visual context, and to serve as the foundation for electronic sketchbooks. One of the stated aims of Processing is to act as a tool to get non-programmers started with programming, through the instant gratification of visual feedback. The language builds on the graphical capabilities of the Java programming language, simplifying features and creating a few new ones.
Infractor is the latest Processing project I've found, and it is very cool:
Infractor is an interactive, artistic application that has been developed for a multitouch-table. It is based on the article database of the New York Times. The information can be searched, filtered and read by putting physical objects on the interactive surface.
The application has access to the API of the New York Times that provides all information from 1985 to the present. The project has been carried out entirely in processing. The reacTIVision-software was used for the tracking of the objects.
Finally, here's a short mash-up created for the Media140 Brands conference:
GoodMorning! is a Twitter visualization tool which shows about 11,000 tweets collected over a 24 hour period between August 20th and 21st. The tweets were harvested to find people saying 'good morning' in English as well as several other languages.
TED is a window on the world that we don’t see through often enough and offers a wake-up call for the brain. Here are seven things that the ad industry can take away from TEDGlobal, The Substance of Things Not Seen: 1. Creativity comes from everywhere: The diversity of the TEDGlobal speakers is striking. Inventors, theorists, scientists, economists, musicians, and yes, even an adman. Ask yourself who could join your team who would help discover unique solutions.
2. The importance of seeing the forest for the trees: One of my all-time favourite TEDsters is Stefan Sagmeister. (His 2004 “happiness” TED talk is legendary.) He’s a remarkable observer of life’s rich pageant, and his talks are emblematic of both his creative prowess and his ability to see the big picture. Adland needs more big picture thinking. We need more Sagmeisters.
3. The value of an active following: TED is more of a club than a conference. With different membership levels, members are passionate advocates whose involvement is encouraged. Check out TED curator Chris Anderson’s Twitter feed @TEDchris to see what I mean.
4. Doing digital right: From a shit-hot website, to subscription-based webcasts, to social media, TED understands that apart from being there, the best way to get people involved is through digital. There’s a premium on user experience and design, along with an understanding that drip-fed unique content and functionality (what I like to call a “lots of little” strategy) is often better than trying to do everything at once.
6. The power of amazement and wonder: Watching Lydia Kavina play the Theremin (a musical instrument that is played without touching it) showed that it is literally possible to make incredible things happen out of thin air. It was magical. We need to push for more briefs that ask for magic.
7. Do something: At the heart of inspiration is action, and TED is about people who do things. (Just look up Emmanuel Jal.). Let’s say less and do more: Stop telling people you have the best widget. Instead, create new ways for people to find out for themselves.
The full article is here on the Campaign web site, "Close-Up: What can the ad industry learn from TED?" and includes contributions from Richard Huntington director of strategy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Alex Franklin content and partnerships planner, Wieden & Kennedy, Andy Hobsbawm European chairman, Agency.com; co-founder of Green Thing (Dothegreenthing.com), Elspeth Lynn executive creative director, Profero, and the inimitable Rory Sutherland vice-chairman, Ogilvy Group UK.
Rory spoke at TED Global and gave an excellent and very entertaining talk called Life Lessons from an Ad Man:
When trying to think of a good description for the event, I think Thomas Dolby, TED's music director, may have put it best in his hit “She Blinded Me With Science”: It’s poetry in motion.
Marketing's Fiona Ramsay asked me for some thoughts on YouTube's Promoted Videos, the ad programme that combines Google AdWords with YouTube videos, allowing advertisers to create keyword-targeted campaign. Extending Promoted Videos to AdSense sites broadens the reach, while providing another way to earn from ad inventory. The article which includes a quote from me is here, and here are a few more thoughts:
Anything that creates more targeted opportunities for advertisers that delivers more relevant messages to consumers as a result is a good thing. One of the critical success factors will be how relevant the content is to the viewer. To achieve that, advertisers should be very prudent when bidding on keywords. It sounds obvious, but people will only click on related content if it is truly related, and on YouTube this is especially true given the number of choices people have.
This move will make it easier and more straight-forward for advertisers to generate revenue from their video content and gain control over how they use YouTube as a marketing platform. It will also cut out the “snake-oil” side of the content seeding business on YouTube, which both agencies and brands will welcome with open arms.
YouTube is bending over backward to accommodate content creators, and it just landed one it probably should have had a long time ago: Will Ferrell's Funnyordie.com.
That's not only funny, but it is a clear sign that the modifications of the advertising model YouTube is implementing has a strong possibility of succeeding with content creators. And where there is good content, advertisers are sure to follow.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The importance of the emergence of the Android operating system and Android-based handsets (12 of them from almost every major manufacturer in early 2010, reportedly) cannot be underestimated. Mobile manufacturers and operators have been struggling to find a true competitor for the iPhone, and 2010 will see the first hardware/software combinations that will offer consumers a real choice.
Aided by the increased demand for Android handsets, HTC will solidify its position as a white-label supplier and will increasingly market itself as a stand-alone brand. Sony Ericsson’s year could be made or lost (in reputation, then in sales) by how well its Android handset, Rachael, is received in the market. The same can be said of Motorola's Droid, the Samsung Spica, as well as yet-to-be-confirmed models from Kyocera, LG, and others.