Richard Jenkins + Donkey

Will it get indexed?

Yes – Google never ceases to amaze.  20 minutes after creation … 2nd after Digg in organic search.

Will it get traffic?

Yes – 19 views faster then anything else on this blog in … 20 minutes.

Will it get people engaged?

Nope – doubtfully here.  First movers win and this NYU Lawyer blogger was up first.  Put up when it showed in the US and number 2 on Google (still a day later, until I put up mine, apologies) and 22 comments and counting.  Including mine which proves I didn’t come up with the idea. And others after which proves the idea isn’t dead.  Amazing.

What am I talking about?

Jon Stewart talked about googling “Richard Jenkins + Donkey” on his show this evening.  And of course I did.  As did others.  But then again I live in the UK so I was a day late.   And I DVR’d it so I was 10 minutes behind the UK live broadcast.  But when I saw the lawyer’s blog I couldn’t resist the test.  And it is still fun.

What does it prove?

Nothing drives traffic like good tv.

And sorry I couldn’t come up with a more rewarding set of images.

Check out Six Feet Under – great show if you haven’t seen it.

Proximity Gets a US Office – and it's digital

After all of these years the “worldwide network” of Proximity will have a US office.  It will also give Proximity’s digital team a major boast which I’m sure the teams in London and elsewhere will look forward to as they try to develop more digital work in the DM-centric offices.

So two questions to watch —

1) will Atmosphere add DM skills to become more like the original Digitas (Simon Hall’s original vision)?

2) will Proximity follow Atmosphere’s approach of building digital around display advertising not websites and applications?

Being focused on display advertising as Atmosphere is makes it a lot easier to integrate with BBDO’s traditional approach and creative structure, but makes it harder to be do advanced digital marketing — the transformational kind that requires good consulting, technical and deep creative skills.

Then again this may be smart — just as the management consultancies have said ad agencies shouldn’t bother to try to get a seat next to the CEO, perhaps they shouldn’t try to do complex digital work like R/GA either. 

There is plenty of work out there doing advertising and campaigns.

Thursday, Feb 19

Breaking: Atmosphere BBDO To Be Absorbed by Proximity Worldwide

AgencySpy has learned that Atmosphere BBDO will be absorbed by Proximity Worldwide. Roy Elvove, EVP director of corporate communications confirmed the news moments ago.


Great Digital Outdoor Inspiration

This is a video — or rather an ad in fact — that shows off some great use of smart digital outdoor and use of video in car and on mobile. It is really great piece of digital outdoor inspiration.

What is more amazing is that as the number of digital outdoor sites grows — we aren't being more creative about how we use them. In most places (like the London tube) we've gone for video using the same 30 second ads formats that are being ignored or skipped on TV. Or as this Thompson video shows, we're using smart, internet-connected displays to cycle through static print!

Just a little bit of imagination and a motion sensor to make the signs at least a little bit interesting and — a key word that has been losing favour of late — interactive.

Taken to an extreme and by adding a touchscreen you have an kiosk or outdoor website or video wall as they are commonly called. Nice thing is — like using video assets in the Tube — you can repurpose web assets. And there are some great case studies of these being put in airports and trainstations where people have time and appreciate a brand giving them information or entertainment.

But in many of these examples we are still in brochureware. Where is the live feed of relevant data? The personalisation of information that is relevant to the viewer who has been identified by RFID or their mobile phone? The tying together of a set of signs into an application that is both useful for the customer and reinforces the brands point of view? Something to look forward to.

Video Walls & Experiential Marketing

Throughout agencyland everyone is talking about what replaces the 30-second spot and standard print advertising to build awareness for brands, and for many marketers it is events and "experiential installations."

While it is difficult to reach 2 million people with a festival, Innocent managed to get 120,000 people to attend its 2006 event in Regents Park, and if you consider only 10:1 people seeing press articles, interacting with online sites or simply hearing about it through friends you are quickly 1.2 million without counting any media used to promote the event.

Clearly the goal is to leverage the event and maximize the buzz or amount people talk about them.

One great technique is to use technology and there are a host of great new tools being made available. Microsoft Surface has gotten a lot of attention but it is only the beginning. Microsoft Surfacei-bar interactive bar Consider what HP have done for the WSJ D5 conference or what the entrepreneurs at i-bar are proposing.

It doesn't take much extrapolation to see every festival, airport and trainstation having a line of interactive walls for people to play with — and in the process learn about a new product or service.

How will they work? Gesture computing and intuitive interfaces … we hope.


Take a look at Perceptive Pixels vision on YouTube below.

The End is Near (again)

Shops Stand to Lose in Digital Revolution

November 14, 2007 By Brian Morrissey

Agencies have the most to lose in the new digital order, even more than broadcasters, per industry leaders surveyed by Accenture.

NEW YORK Changing consumer habits, driven by the shift from analog to digital media, are revolutionizing the ad industry. But that could spell bad news for agencies, according to a new study by Accenture.According to 70 industry leaders surveyed by Accenture, agencies have the most to lose in the new order, even more than broadcasters. When asked who would fare worst in the transition to digital advertising, 43 percent said agencies, compared to 33 percent who answered broadcasters. Cable operators were third with 10 percent. No respondents chose search companies or digital ad specialists. IBM

The end of advertising as we know it

IBM Institute for Business Value study

Imagine an advertising world where… spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats surpasses traditional, one-to-many advertising vehicles, and a significant share of ad space is sold through auctions and exchanges. Advertisers know who viewed and acted on an ad, and pay based on real impact rather than estimated “impressions.” Consumers self-select which ads they watch and share preferred ads with peers. User-generated advertising is as prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots.Based on IBM global surveys of more than 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising experts, we see four change drivers shifting control within the industry.

Measurable Digital Outdoor

Richard Wheaton from Neo@Ogilvy here in London talks about heading to a world where “all media is served.” It is a great idea and really highlights why we all must get our technical skills up to take advantage of it. My analogy is thinking of managing marketing like a search campaign instead of a classic TV plan.

Digital Outdoor is the first of the big traditional formats to change. Currently it is mostly video, but the signs aren’t dumb players and the scope for technical creativity is great. Here in London, Viacom’s plan is to put 2,000 digital sites as part of “a single digital advertising network.”

Add what has just been reported in Newsweek about using eye tracking technology for outdoor measurement.  My comment was referencing outdoor ads that can be served by daypart or react to current sports events.   Where Jenna Crombie took it is even better and really Minority Report — outdoor poster sites that measure if you look at them.

Aside from making Outdoor a more measurable medium, it also immediately opens up the possibility of billboards — or really some form of digital 4 sheets to use the jargon — reacting to when someone stops in a ticketing hall and decides to pay attention.

How much fun would that be?  That would be amazing.

Watch out — Software developers are becoming admen, and admen are becoming engineers.

“All marketing will be digital sometime in the next 10 years”

–Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft, BusinessWeek, Oct 2007

Great quote for people in our industry and one that I think everyone fundementally believes.

It is interesting that in response to a threat to traditional software revenue, one of the smartest companies on the planet is focusing on advertising as its next source of revenue. Just when everyone thought advertising was dead.

What can we take away from this?

1) No one will pay for software anymore.

Microsoft believes people will not pay for applications. It is clear that Google also believes this and is putting into action from e-mail to word processing.

Stop and think of all of the applications you use to help you with your life –word processing, e-mail, financial planning tools, excersize trackers, vacation planners, home maintenance logs. Everyone of them can be provided by a brand in exchange for customers’ loyalty and not sold for £20 (or £200) at PC World.

2) Advertising isn’t dead, it simply has a new home

When a brand creates an application to help its customers, it still has to remind its customers why their product is relevant and let them know about new releases. This unobtrusive communication is the new advertising. Think of the VideoEgg and YouTube’s approach which recognises there are lots of times people want to watch an ad, not the current industry review in the UK to increase ad time from 7 minutes per hour to 12 on commercial TV.

3) Advertising will be driven by applications

Bob Garfield here talks about advertising being dead, or at least the 30 second spot. “Brands need to connect with customers.” We hear that a lot, but what does it mean? It means brands need to create applications that are useful and make a difference for their customers to pay attention and like them. That’s calculators, games, educational tools and billboards that notice your tire pressure is low and remind you take care of your car.

4) Learn to love your techies

Jonathan Nelson, founder of Organic, has always said “the world will never get less technical. It not like people can’t find more places to put microchips.” If marketers need to create applications to get their customers attention, they better learn the language of software development. People love to talk about digital channels, but a video ad can be a pre-roll on a website. That is digital but it isn’t unobtrusive. A print piece can be sent over e-mail. For marketing to be interactive, it needs to be functional. For anything — website, banner, billboard, video ad — to be functional, it has an application behind it.

Go out and hug a software engineer, it could be the most important thing you do for your marketing.

Ogilvy London Verge Event

Ogilvy Verge This past week we ran our digital thought leadership conference, Verge, and I hosted the third section of the day, Engage.

It was a great full day and amazing how a little controversy and case studies go together well. Bob Garfield appropriately stressed the degree of change happening in the industry and credit to Ogilvy and particularly Ogilvy Advertising for asking him to speak.

We say all the time that if you want to get someone's attention, host a debate. It is good to see we are walking the talk.

At anyrate, here's my opening remarks which were slightly less inspired but fun to give.





Listen, Experiment and Engage.


As the anchor team of the day we're going to now shift our focus to Engage. How to take seriously engaging with our customers using digital channels. How to embrace the new world of Interactive Marketing. How to stop worrying about the potential impacts the Internet MAY have on our business, and instead talk about some companies that have made real decisions that change how they DO business.


It is interesting; having worked in interactive since 1995, there has been an expression that has been bandied around since the early days: "Do they get it?" I've never really liked the expression because it reminds me of a teenager talking about a complex social situation. "She just doesn't get it." Or it sounds as if understanding the impact of digital media were like understanding some of the more esoteric Turner Prize entries. It's a white room with a light turning on and off. "Don't you get it?"


"Getting digital" actually comes from the early days when the basics — using the Yahoo directory, buying a book online, having a digital camera — represented bizaar evangelical activity. The thought that someone would prefer to check their bank balance online or would prefer to learn about a new business application through e-mail was shocking. People would say "oh, those people. They're geeks."


Today we are all "geeks" — and it's a very real compliment. It is the reason we are here today. The question is no longer "if" digital channels will impact our business, it is "how" and what we should we do about it.





We are here because real businesses are making real profits through digital channels and real businesses are using interactive marketing to influence their customers.


In the US, retail web sales were $136 billion in 2006. What is interesting is that 41% of this is done by traditional retail chains. (Internet Retailer, Top 500 e-Retailers, 2007). Back in 1997 we did some work for the Gap and we had a big celebration when the ecommerce site did as much sales as one Manhatten store. Today The Gap does 5% of all its sales online – and that represents about 300 stores. Traditional retailers are engaged.


Here in the UK, Alliance & Lester has reported in its annual report that over 38% of their new sales on its 4 core retail banking products come over the Internet (2006, Annual report). It isn't a surprise that in 2004 they were spending over £10m on internet advertising and nearly half of all online advertising is for financial services. These are very direct marketing organisations. They measure and evaluate. They are working online because it works.


At Lego, they recognised the internet is a good way to reach its customers and has encouraged its best customers to participate in product development because they can do that cost effectively now. They run the LEGO Factory which allows customers to design, share and buy their own models. They've created product community sites where people can show off ideas and participate in promotions. They even have Lego Engineering, an online community dedicated solely to educators teaching engineering through Lego. Over 1.2 million people visit this site monthly and spend on average 18 minutes. Lego sees the benefits.


Without giving away what our speakers will be covering, I can say the simple theme that drives good interactive marketing is quite simple. It is commitment.


Having a digital agenda doesn't mean you personally understand the difference between java and .Net — it is simply that you recognise digital channels are important, and you don't let them drop off the agenda.








Our first speaker is from a company that has proven again and again how much they understand digital marketing. The BBC. Unless you've had the bad luck to have been living under a small rock in rural France, you've seen what the BBC has done leveraging their content on digital channels. They have embraced the web, mobile, iTV and Freeview, as well as YouTube, MySpace, MySpace News, MySpace TV, and the list goes on. Sam Smith is Head of Future Media Audiences and, amongst other things, has been nominated for an award from the Marketing Research Society for her paper on "Fragvergence."


Making up our panel we have 3 additonal speakers that will take you through a quick 10 minute case study. To start we have Rufus Olins, Managing Director of Haymarket Brand Media. Haymarket is of course best known for its wonderful online site, Brand Republic, but also for a stable of top quality industry magazines such as Campaign, Revolution, Marketing and Marketing Direct. Rufus knows publishing — he has been at Haymarket for over 8 years, at one time he was a senior journalist at The Sunday Times and was voted best business magazine editor of the year by two of his industry's associations.

Our next speaker is Clive Peoples Head of Customer Communications for Clive has been a speaker at numerous industry events and recently was quoted for the correlation of the impact our mixed summer weather has had on airline sales. He will be speaking on the importance of user-generated content in his business.

Finally Aaron Coldiron the Senior Marketing Manager for Microsoft Vista is dedicated to managing Vista's early adopters — a critical segment for a software product. He has worked at Disney and studied in the UK as a University student. He will speak on a why Microsoft committed to an online / offline 360 campaign, Vanishing Point, as a central part of the launch of Windows Vista.




Sam —

–The BBC has clearly committed to delivering great content even if the distribution is fragmented. The same challenge exists for 360 advertising campaigns. Do your production meetings address the different channels up front, or do you find you are editing and reformationg existing content for different channels?

–Given all of the media choices, how do you decide where to focus?

Rufus —

–Shifting your business from one of primarily weekly publications to constant publishing and community management is a significant shift. What prompted you and Haymarket to make the investment and commit to digital channels?

Clive —

–Back in the early days of ecommerce, we used to talk about having as simple a shopping process as possible to keep down the customers time on site. Do you find you have to make a case for User Generated Content internally? How do you measure the business impact?

Aaron —

–I understand as part of the campaign you gave away Ferrari's to your top technology bloggers. Is this a good representation how seriously Microsoft takes its digital customers?

–As a complex, multi-channel project, Vanish Point could not have been measured on reach and frequency. How did you measure the impact of the campaign?

Dynamic Advertising

Great to see dynamic advertising getting more attention.

Scott Karp on Publishing 2.0 has a set of great posts including one that covers David Kenny’s profile in the New York Times.

What I question is the need for offshore adaption work when we are talking about a world where all media is digital and thus all media is served. As Digitas’ own GM example shows, the changes are generally a headline or product shot — not full production of a new ad.

The key point here is that you don’t need to do 4000 variants of an add if you have a 4000 types of people to talk to — that’s how variants are managed in the traditional DM world. Today if you make one ad and choose 4 backgrounds based on geography, create 10 headlines based on the customers intentions (say recent online behaviour), 10 product offers based on current producer ownership and 10 calls to action type of buyer, you have 4000 “different ads.” But it is really only one ad with a copy deck and image library. This logic has been used on websites for years built with dynamic content to get a more relevant experience and the cost isn’t in creating the sets of 10 copy lines, it is the strategy and tonality of the overall communication, and getting the systems to a place where we can do this.

Great piece of PR by Digitas and Publicis nonetheless.

Article – Microsite Mania


Published: August 06, 2007

Microsite Mania – Stop the Madness!

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It is official, all agencies are now digital agencies and brands are under siege… John Baker, Managing Partner at OgilvyOne, speaks out.

Advertising agencies are building brand experiences, sales promotions houses do games to drive in-store trial, PR agencies are building blogger outreach toolkits and DM agencies launch campaign microsites driving name acquisition and conversion to sales. The message has been heard — everyone realises digital marketing is important and everyone is proposing a microsite as part of their work.

The problem is that websites are persistent.

After the campaign has grown old and both the clients and the agencies moved on, the microsite remains. The flash animations play even if the promotion has long ago closed. The copy is served up even if the headline has nothing to do with the current campaign running. The webservers don’t know the online advertising impressions were all used up months ago and people aren’t clicking through as part of a “consistent campaign experience.” Someone asks them to display their message and they do.