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Titbits #8

13 August, 2013
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Public messages as light and sound 


Titbits #7

31 July, 2013
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A series of superb web shorts: Le Chat Noir


How to create an instant art career
5 x as much social chat on Facebook than other social networks
Cheryl Sandberg: Every evening, 88-100million people are on Facebook during peak TV hours in the US
Google Chromecast; the future of second screening?
Where did the word ‘dongle’ come from anyway?
The truth won’t save Britain’s dumb public

Titbits #6

23 July, 2013
Online porn; the Daily Mail are beyond parody
London Underground. In the 80s.
Purpose driven branding
Heineken’s Departure Roulette sends passengers to unknown destinations
The rise of the ‘selfie’
Brilliant logo parodies
Play this game, get that job
Republican? The Guardian’s royal baby news blocker
Royal campaigns
Private Eye’s headline on the royal news

Titbits #5

21 July, 2013
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The 3-B Printing Project from Dewars

Ten Tips on Writing from Joyce Carol Oates

Why we talk about ourselves in Social Media
How experts think
Red Bull gives you a business strategy
Rory Sutherland on why he’s hiring graduates with thirds this year
Become Alan Partridge’s Assistant

Titbits #4

10 July, 2013

 Harkive; what music are you listening to and why?

Management consultancies continue to invade adland
The Evolution of Advertising
The End of Advertising
Yes clearly, with work like this; Kia’s “Woman of Now” ad.
No, just Advertising’s ‘Kodak’ moment
Why do hotels offer free soap but not free toothpaste?
The rise of the DIY Data Scientist

Planners versus Product Managers: From soap powder to software but audiences always first

28 June, 2013

Since working at Red Bee, I’ve come into contact far more with Product Managers than at any other time in my career. Whether with clients sat in road map briefings for BBC’s iplayer product or internally, getting to grips with the next bit of kit the Red Bee Play Out team are developing. In both instances, I’ve noticed that Product guys and Planners don’t just use similar language (and like decent chartage) but come from the same starting point; the end user/audience. John Wilshire over at Smithery talks a lot about this. He describes it as moving from

making people want things to making things people want.

Last night, I was having a potter through Quora. (I’d forgotten how good it was).

I stumbled across this question which highlighted an approach the guys at Amazon take to NPD:

What is Amazon’s approach to product development and product management?

And here was an answer from Ian McAllister, who leads New Traffic Initiatives at Amazon describing Amazon’s approach of ‘working backwards’ from the customer.

There is an approach called “working backwards” that is widely used at Amazon. We try to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it. While working backwards can be applied to any specific product decision, using this approach is especially important when developing new products or features.

For new initiatives a product manager typically starts by writing an internal press release announcing the finished product. The target audience for the press releaseis the new/updated product’s customers, which can be retail customers or internal users of a tool or technology. Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions.

If the benefits listed don’t sound very interesting or exciting to customers, then perhaps they’re not (and shouldn’t be built). Instead, the product manager should keep iterating on the press release until they’ve come up with benefits that actually sound like benefits. Iterating on a press release is a lot less expensive than iterating on the product itself (and quicker!).

Ian continues here.

So perhaps it’s not Planners, Product Managers mirror, it’s PRs?

Both Product Manager and Planner roles traditionally have different outputs – Ad Planners; ads, Product Managers; products, but fundamentally to generate the same outcome; demand for a product/service. And of course, there is an ever-growing blur… much of the ad industry dialogue in recent years has been centred on “the best advertising becoming products” with many agencies preferring to put their work in the bracket of products over campaigns and the increasing emphasis on agency product innovation.

So whilst the ad industry looks to Product Development for innovation, perhaps Product Managers can look to Planners for inspiration. Planners are often schooled in how carve out a strategy, a point of differentiation, a thing to hang a brand’s hat on for the creative teams to talk about. Often in highly commoditised markets, emotional benefits are cooked up rather than just a functional differentiator. Perhaps injecting a bit of emotion and ‘whim’ into the product development process could help create products that we are more inclined to spend time with satisfying an innate emotional need rather than a rational benefit. Or perhaps not (depending on whether or not you think inventing an emotional conceit for your product in order to shift it, is a bit morally bankrupt… Though I don’t think I’ll try and tackle the fundamental theories of demand generation today thanks).

In an age where the definition of ‘products’ shifts from physical to virtual to connected and economies seem to be organising themselves accordingly; from soap powder to software, I’m fascinated to see how Amazon’s approach to product creation will influence the next 50 years of thinking in value creation and what part the previous 50 years of brand theory can contribute.

Titbits from down the back of the internet #3

26 June, 2013
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How the top 25 YouTube channels earned 144B views, 520M comments, and 1B likes




Wi-Fi Cutting Board Lets Cooks Search For Recipe Tips As They Chop 
If you work in adland, you’re not normal: The evidence 
All staff emailers. All day.
Gary Lineker posts an unfinished TV script on Twitter…?!
Instagram video for brands: ‘The 15-second format is killer’ 
Consumers Don’t Want to Cook, But Want to Feel as If They’re Cooking

Sign up here if you fancy… 

Cannes 2013: From a world of digital to a digital world.

24 June, 2013

Earlier in the week, there was a good round up from Contagious here on some of the winners at last week’s Cannes Advertising festival.

For me, it was really interesting to look at the Cyber Lions as an indicator for wider themes in our world.

The Grand prix for the Cyber was taken by both Intel’s/tosiba’s multi-episodic content collaboration The Beauty Inside which achieved 70 million views and a 360% lift in sales and Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist work.

On the one hand, Intel’s work is almost a return to old school story telling through moving image (albeit through a new distribution platform). Big production values. Big budgets. Attempting to set the cultural agenda.

On the other, Oreo is a demonstration of a more nimble approach to advertising; short, sharp, low-fi “always on” bursts of activity enabling the brand to react to the cultural agenda.

A place for both approaches in 2013.

Furthermore, take a look at the number of winners which had a digital proposition at their core. Is it only a matter of time before Cannes drops the ‘Cyber’ award or as Faris Yakob pointed out to me on Twitter on Monday, perhaps the word ‘Cyber’ is simply anachronistic??

It feels very much like the influence of the ‘world of digital’ at global creative forums like Cannes, is waking people up to the fact we now simply operate in a ‘digital world’.

Titbits from down the back of the internet #2

19 June, 2013
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The Corporation is at Odds with the Future

Is ‘Transmedia’ in TV finally growing up?
29 of the world’s largest bike sharing programmes in one map 
5 Apps and Sites for While You were at Cannes 
Lean strategy in three blows
Do you want to be in the IT Crowd?
The opportunity for Slow Media 
How people read online and why you won’t finish this
When Digital Marketing Gets Too Creepy 
The new aesthetic

Titbits #1

18 June, 2013

from down the back of the internet

The Amazings. Learn from Elders

The Seasteading Institute | Opening humanity’s next frontier
Teens & Facebook Relationship Status: It’s Complicated
The small talk at Bilderberg t’other week
How The Human Face Might Look In 100,000 Years
The House of Genius: Leave your job title at the door 
The United Micro Kingdoms
The Evolution Of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, From 1920 To 2020
Jony Ive redesigns things
What Facebook hashtags means for social TV