Zagging NYC – My new job in NYC

So one part of the NYC puzzle has been solved. On Friday I signed on with BBH New York. My new role is Strategy Director and I will be leading the Digital Strategy for Sprite, Axe (Lynx), British Airways and Baileys. There were three things that attracted me to BBH, the people, the clients and the company.

I will be working under Saneel Radia who is the Chief Innovation Officer at BBH. He had the idea for the new role which will make me a mixture of both Strategy and Creative working very closely with the creative teams for the different brands.

There is a number of really smart Strategy people at BBH that I am really looking forward to learning from, a few that I have already met that are on the Twitters – Griffin Farley, Heidi Hackemer , Dating Brian, Colleen Leddy and definitely follow BBH Labs

I am really excited to be working on Axe, I think they have done some really great stuff in the past few years. The other massive positive is that Old Spice has brought a lot of digital creativity to the category and no doubt Axe will probably be looking to really hit back with something great this year.

The other big one for me is Sprite, I loved working with Coca-Cola at TCO and one of my favourite projects to date was at Naked, 'Sprite Truth Hunters'. Also I am a sucker for hip hop music, I was a massive fan of their work with Drake. So heres to hoping Mac Miller is the next face of Sprite!

They are also doing some really great work on Google Chrome at the moment.

I had always admired BBH for the innovation that they brought to the Advertising Agency model. One of the things that I was most influenced by was BBH Labs and their Internship program (BBH Barn). I took the idea of their labs and brought it to TCO with TCO Labs. They also have a great business called BBH Zag, which is a brand invention business. They create and launch brands that they think are awesome. Almost like a small venture capital company.

So as you can probably tell, I am stoked to start working at BBH.

Learning the Social Principles of an Idea

I am seeing a lot of Digital/Creative Agency structures now being set up so that graduates come into the business as Community Managers and then work on to being Social Media Strategist/Account Manager. I think that there is a ceiling for anyone who is going to work in Social Media at an Agency however I think that employees who have worked at the coalface in Social Media have a real edge when it comes to being a full service Strategist.

Whether they know it or not, working in Social Media helps you to have a greater understanding of the Social Principles to an idea. The Social Principles of an idea is the understanding of how people react to ideas, content and media not just consume it. Releasing small ideas everyday to the target market and gauging their reactions is an invaluable learning curve (E.g status updates and the reaction in comments and likes to that ideas). These learning then better inform the next idea you go with.

That response model from your consumer is something that is sometimes missing from traditional ideas where you can make a whole campaign and the only persons reaction you are after is your internal team and the client.

So when the next generation of Community Managers start flexing their strategic muscle over other forms of media, I believe we are going to see really strong social ideas that are taking into consideration the reaction from consumers not just the way they will consume the message.

Another phase of Social Networking

This is a guest post by Grace Gordon who is a Social Media Manager/Strategist at Soap Creative
Much is often speculated of ‘the next phase’ in social media: what comes after Facebook. We’ve watched previous social networks rise, experience a glory period and then a decline. I know everyone has their 2 cents on when and if this will happen to Facebook, but I thought I would throw my view out to the world and see what comes back.

In the last 6 months I have observed a radical shift amongst my peer group pulling back from social media. They still use it heavily, but there is a stronger emphasis on privacy. Many of my close friends have turned off their Facebook walls and opted to password protect their twitter accounts. The networks have become less of an exhibition and sharing space, and more of a necessity to stay in touch with people.

What is being picked up in lieu of the all-encompassing Facebook is a tighter-knit alternative to social networks: my creative friends interact via comments and ‘likes’ on Instagram. Other friends socialize via matches of Words With Friends and playful accompanying banter in the Chat box. Instead of texting, Facebook chat and messaging or otherwise, we’ll have private group chats on WhatsApp. It’s a return to a smaller, more engaged network rather than the beast that is Facebook.

What does this mean for brands? Probably not to rely simply on being involved in the space with the greatest reach, but to ensure you are active in smaller and more relevant networks to your niche.

Is anyone else noticing a shift away from the larger networks?

What do you see being picked up in your peer group?