11 trend predictions for 2012

Ben Phillips and I looked into the murky crystal ball and pulled out eleven amazing trends/headlines/things that you will see in 2012.

1. The 1% fight back #occupycenterlink
2011 was dominated by the #occupywallstreet movement, and the 99% protesting against the gross inequality of wealth distribution in the western world. In 2012, the 1% will strike back. Expect a similar format of protest to what we saw in 2011, with a couple of minor variations. Whilst the disgruntled masses occupied the bastions of capitalism, the idle aristocracy will occupy benefit centres, fighting against the unjust support of the less well-heeled. In the #occupycenterlink movement, bankers, lawyers and other associated gentry will erect Gucci tents and don Ralph Lauren ponchos. Through Bose megaphones they will rally, arguing for a termination of the welfare state and a restoration of true laissez-faire economic policy. Whether this movement will generate the same momentum as its poorer counterpart remains to be seen.

2. G-Stalker
In an attempt to leverage recent facial recognition patents, as well as digitally enabled voyeurism, Google will launch G-Stalker. The G-Stalker application enables a stalker to obtain every piece of information about someone that they are close enough to take a photo of. It works as such: the stalker sees an attractive woman sitting 15 yards away from him in a restaurant. He is old, recently divorced and sexually frustrated, so he pulls out his smart phone with a 10 megapixel camera and activates G-stalker. He holds the camera subtlety in the direction of the stalkee and waits for the patented facial recognition technology to do its magic. 5 seconds later, he has a name, phone number, address and a URL of every social networking site she belongs to. He leaves the restaurant, follows her on Twitter and mentally prepares himself to retweet even her most inane utterances in a feeble attempt to be noticed.

3. The demise of European fashion houses
High fashion has been criticised for many things over the years but none have managed to dent its allure to consumer hoards around the world. Times however, are changing. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that allowing the masses to create is always a better option than reserving it for those who have spent years honing their craft. Enter Etsy. Etsy has proven that a talented, experienced fashion designer has nothing on your best friend’s sister who is in fashion school and is crocheting beanies in her free time. In what truly is a modern day peasant uprising, expect these Etsy queens and their unfortunate boyfriends to topple 1000 year old fashion houses with ill-conceived dresses, blazers and scarfs. A Louis Vuitton designer, whom asked to remain anonymous, recently told me “This is the Youtube of the fashion world. Unfortunately for us, people just want to look like depressed, malnourished hippies”. Expect high street retailers to adjust their procurement policies accordingly.

4. Social media sentiment monitoring replace the election process in France
The French election is coming up in 2012. Given the relatively poor voter turnout in previous years, I forecast that the traditional, antiquated voting process will be cancelled completely. In its place, social media monitoring firms, with their highly accurate sentiment analysis, will survey opinions of French citizens across social networks, blogs and other online forums. Citizens will be encouraged to express their opinions of candidates, and these opinions will be monitored and evaluated by the powers that be. At the conclusion of this process, the firms will deliver the results of the election and the government will take its rightful place. This anticipated development is perfectly aligned with one of the most observable behavioural trends of an election year: an explosion of ill-informed political experts using their personal social networks to push an agenda.

5. “Goldfish syndrome”
There are too many screens in our lives. Laptops, second monitors, iPhones, Blackberries, iPads, screens in retail, screens outside, TVs at home, TVs in our bedroom. The effect of this is that our concentration is being pulled from flashing screen to flashing screen more frequently than ever before, undermining our ability to actually think and function. We now no longer have the ability to concentrate on anything for more than 10 seconds at a time and given the continued explosion of multi-screen culture, I expect Goldfish syndrome to finally hit critical mass in 2012. The effects of this will be varied and profound; GDPs will further plummet as we aren’t able to concentrate on a single task for more than 10 seconds. A new range of mobile phone tariffs around 10 second conversations will be introduced, ensuring we never forget who we’re speaking to. Books will finally be killed off for good as no reader can focus on anything more than tweet length, reducing the need for paper and enabling a healthy regeneration of the Amazon. The sophistication of cars will grow significantly; this new intelligent vehicle will remind their driver every 10 seconds where they’re going and what they have to do there. Dystopian futurists will label this “the broken record society”, but this author can see a range of benefits, most notably a decline in anger and frustration because we can’t remember the origin of our misery. (side note: this paragraph took 2 weeks to write)

6. First person uses a QR code
In what will be seen as a massive coup for the QR Code community, in 2012 the first normal person will use a QR Code. Steve Stuart will be caught at a bus stop taking a photo of a QR Code for access to the BHS of The Hangover 3. QR Code fan boys will make this into an exciting case study video which will be RTed for dayzzzzzzzz and used to slam down the throats of marketers why their billboard needs a code innit.

7. Groupon to get out of debt crisis
Greece will become the first Government to turn to Groupon to help solve its debt crisis. The Government will look to sell off one of their greatest assets the Parthenon. Offering bricks that will last a lifetime over the group buying site. The bricks will be at the ridiculous reduced 90% off price for only 2 days only. This will be seen as the first step of the Greek Government to take control of their problems.

8. Head of Mobile, we were wrong not ‘The year of the mobile’
On December 31st 2012, Phillip MacPherson, Global Head of Mobile Development Foundation will come out with a statement apologising for inaccurate statements provided to the media in 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 which have all alluded to it being ‘The year of the Mobile’. ‘Clearly we have got it wrong the last few years, we got a little excited when the Nokia3310, WAP iPhone, iAd, all coming out and thought it was our time.’ However MacPherson still has high expectations that mobile advertising will leap frog urinal advertising as the 13th highest revenue media environment in 2013

9. Amazon launches Kindle Phone
Off the success of the Amazon Kindle, Amazon make their first play into the crowded mobile telecommunications space. ‘We really tapped into something with the Kindle, people just wanted a device that just did one thing, people just wanted to read books on it’ stated Adam Right, lead UX for Kindle Labs. 'Amazon have taken this strong insight and have applied it to a mobile device that simply just receive calls and texts. Get ready for the game changer.'

10. 'I hit my internet peak 10 years ago' - Prolific emailer
On the 10 year anniversary of Jerrod Leon registering the email address hotmale@hotmail.com, he finally admits that he may have hit his Internet peak 10 years ago. I am your classic middle aged guy reminiscing on the time he was QB for his High School Football team, only I hit it on the internet. I am on the down hill slope afterwards, I thought I might be able to replicate the Internet Greatness with getting Facebook url '/MarkZuckerbergsMum' but none of my mates laugh anymore and they are getting tired of me pulling out my business cards at bars trying to impress girls.

11. Buzzfeed, Home of LOLCats, Memes and Celebrity Gossip becomes the most influential site in the 2012 US Election
Oh shit that is actually happening.

After industry blogging

Industry blogging (Op-ed blogging) is definitely on its last legs. I think there are now three routes that I can see people taking if they still want to be having a voice in the industry.

Content Syndicators (Brainpicker, Digital Buzz Blog) this is a hard role as you have to be trawling a lot of content and on top of everything, the only big example in Australia that I have seen for this is Digital Buzz Blog.

Content Creators - Creating small projects that will get you attention. Usually these take a long time to create. Re: Digital Creatives doing Awesome Things

Become a News Source (Mumbrella, Campaign Brief) breaking news stories about the industry.

What other routes can people take?

Reviewing the success of the Occupy Wall St Communication Strategy

It is amazing to reflect on how much the Occupy Wall St movement has achieved in just 2 months. You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard of the OWS movement. I think there is a number of interesting communication tactics that they have employed which have helped them gain a lot of coverage. Here are some of the stand outs to me.

Occupying physical space - Occupying actual parks has given people a place to congregate and learn more about the movement, it has also helped to give a visual representation of how many people there are.

Occupy replication - The easy format for replication of taking over a public space was easy to mimic across the world. Hence it helped to spread the idea globally through local activations.
99% - The '99%' as an overall idea is perfect,  it is an easy to understand concept which in nature is inclusive. It has been propelled through the tumblr of the same name.

Veterans on the front line - They have strategically put Veterans on the front line, this has made for amazing imagery as they are the first ones that the police confront.

They have also become some of the most vocal voices in this fight

Splintering the message - Similar to any campaign you need to give people new ways to talk about the message beyond the police brutality. This shows that they may be able to keep creating new ways to keep the message top of mind coming into the election year.

Capturing everything - For the last 2 months, one of the astounding things is that amount of documentation of the event. The media has really helped propel this and make it a priority for politicians.

I am looking to write a follow up piece to this, on the problems the OWS movement currently faces and how I see them moving forward.

4 Digital Creatives doing awesome things

For most Advertising Creatives creativity does not stop at 5:30PM Friday, most have some kind of creative outlet outside of work whether that be writing children's books, tshirt lines or even setting up charities.

Digitally a growing trend that I am starting to see is Digital Creatives using the internet as their canvas. The type of art that I am most interested in is when Creatives are creating cultural statements through their pieces and capturing the attention of the masses. Here are some of my favourite;

1. Jeff Greenspan (Creative Director at BBDO)

Urban Traps (Hipster Traps)
The Most Exclusive Website (Mike Lacher and Chris Baker)
LetterBombing (Chris Baker)

2. Mike Lacher - Creative Technical Manager - Google Creative Labs

Mikala Bierma Youtube Channel
Waiting for Bieber
Shady URL

3. Ji Li (Creative Director at Facebook)
The Bubble Project

4. Chris Baker (Writer at Google Creative Labs)

The Likeable Constitution (Jeff Greenspan)
The Call to Action Generator

As I start to learn Photoshop and Coding I am hoping to start making some of my ideas come to life. Watch this space!

Digital Strategists learn Photoshop in 8 hours

I am really trying to grow the creative side of my brain at the moment. As I discussed in my previous post on Strategy bullets, I have really been limiting the creative side for the last few years. One of the other main barriers to me being creative was I didn't have the skills to be able to execute an idea (e.g couldn't mock it up in Photoshop, couldn't code up the idea).

I was inspired by Pon Kattera, to change this the other day. He recently taught himself Photoshop via online tutorials on lynda.com. With his glowing endorsement I signed up.

I took the Photoshop CS5 Essential Training course and have taught myself the basics to Photoshop and completed my first mock ups for work on Friday. I was surprised with how good it actually was! It is cheap at a flat rate of $25 a month for all the courses you want. You have to give it a good 8 hours and it usually helps if you have someone with you who knows the basics of Photoshop.

On a side note if you haven't watched 'You suck at Photoshop' tutorials before you need to watch them!

The new data capture - Emotional DNA Data

Collecting and creating meaningful conclusions from personal data seems to be all the rage at the moment. One area that seems to have been overlooked but of interest is emotional data capturing. Emotional DNA is left on everything photos, places, people, foods. All these can elicit powerful emotions from people.

My work colleague Kendra Salvatore came up with an interesting concept of emotional geographic mapping. Basically what if we were able to visualise the emotions we tie to different places.

One of the exercises that she does is to manually map emotions from different places. I have had a stab at it for Melbourne and Sydney which was a pretty interesting task. However I think this would not need to be a manual thing, you could hook it up to Foursquare or Facebook Places and give a little emoti on what you are feeling at the time (think Nike Plus).

'Going to your happy place' could now become prompted by technology, with a mechanic that understood what places are that happy place. Fornino's and their White Truffle Oil Pizza

Putting down the Strategy Bullets

'Strategy bullets are the fastest way to kill an idea.' That guy, 2011

One of the biggest brain shifts I have had moving to BBH, is changing from a strategy mainframe to a creative led position. Strategy is a very left brain activity, coming up with creative problems is definitely a right brain activity.

A lot of Strategy revolves around looking for patterns and the inferring meanings from these patterns, whereas creative requires you to look forward and look for new patterns. This creates a lot of tension when the two parties meet.

I noticed in creative concept meetings, I was able to kill a number of thought starters and ideas as I was looking for all the holes of where it wasn't technically possible or the lack of insight of the idea.

After being made aware of this I have really started to train myself to try and find the good in an idea, virtually ever idea has at least a kernel of goodness that you can bounce off. This has also made me be more proactive in thinking about digital ideas outside of work too, so hopefully like Zac Martin I can start moving fast and breaking things.

Super Hero Clubhouse chat solving a number of fundamental problems to online chat

Super Hero Clubhouse is a new site/thing from the people from Texts From Last Night/Bnter it is a massive step forward in the online communication/relationship space. Anyone who has had to study online communications will most likely be surprised at how many fundamentals online problems they have solved with this product.

Please go have a look around and then come back. Here is the massive problems that I see that they are resolving.

Problem - Lack of conversation starters/passion points
Most online communication are usually formed around a passion point - (Forums - IntheMix - Dance Music, 4Chan - Anime, BigFooty - AFL). With ChatRoulette where they struggled was having a passion point (which wasn't wangs). SHC starts in a role play scenario - you can talk about superheroes but they compliment this with 'Ice Breakers' which are conversation starters which you can drop into the chat.

Problem - Creeper Stalker Pedo Stigma
Online chat has always struggled with the Creeper Stalker Pedo Stigma, SHC starts conversation in a state that is the furtherest place away from creeper single stalker male territory, role playing superheroes. We aren't going to get to A/S/L questions of the bat.

Problem - Sign Up processes suck
Signing up is slick, Facebook Connect - remembers you for the long term. Then finishing the sign up is a bit of a game in creating your own character, which is a nice easy process.

Problem- Actually connecting with people after the experience
You can reveal your mask at the end of it, such a nice simple fit with the whole superhero theme

They have a created a number of nice solutions/mechanics which I will be taking and using in future projects.

Q: What's after Social Media? A: Social Data Curating

You know when three of the biggest Digital agencies in America start putting out projects using the same technique that something is about to change. CP+B, R/GA and Zeus Jones have all created Social Data Curated projects for brands in the last 3 months and it feels like it might be a growing trend.

We have come to a point where we have so much data thanks to Social Media and there is a real opportunity to make this data meaningful. Enter Social Data Curating - the ability to take these numbers of present it back as a by product that adds value to consumers.

Social was always a difficult one for Digital Agencies to get their heads around, they needed to get new resource in, Community Managers etc, the metrics for success were quite different. However the current trend of Social Data Curated Projects in which Agencies are now creating products/applications/websites lets coders and developers get back front and centre and involved in Social. The following are three projects that are going down this road.

CP+B and Jello

Jello Pudding Face aggregates the number of :) and :( tweets and then in turn effects their Jello Pudding Face meter, which is also a billboard. When the global voice goes :( they start giving away pudding to the people who have tweeted :( to try and make them happy again. Great tie into sampling, CP+B were also great at doing this with Kraft Mac + Cheese which gave away the product when two people tweet Mac and Cheese at the same time.

R/GA and Nike Basketball

Nike Basketball have arranged their athletes in terms of the how many tweet per hour that player gets, so that the data visualisation captures who are the most popular players of the moment.

Zeus Jones and Cheerios

Cheerios have taken the data around what people were searching for on the internet around Cheerios and made their website to answer those questions

Design for Entrepreneurs and Hackers

I did a great course 'Design for Entrepreneurs and Hackers' at General Assembly when I first arrived in NYC. The course was run by Jack Cheng and David Cole from Disrupto and I have finally got around to doing a write up on it.

They have got a solid framework on what makes good design. The basis of their theory is that good design is making and breaking patterns to achieve desired outcomes. A large portion of the course was talking about patterns. Patterns are recurring solutions that solve common design problems. They are shortcuts that people understand, similar to schemas. They had a number of great resources on patterns for mobile and web;

Mobile UI Patterns

Pattern Tap
Welie (User need patterns)
Yahoo's Patterns

Here is a great site on Dark Patterns, they are patterns that deceive the user, if you have ever had that feeling that a design is being tricky, then there is probably a case study on this site of where it has hurt a company online.

When designing anything for online they suggested there were three layers that designers needed to think about - Product Strategy, Product User Interface and Visual Design, within these you want one of these objects to be remarkable and then the others to be patterns that people are familiar with.

On a side not, on a scale of 1 to mind blowing how good is the K-Swiss/Kenny Powers entertainment????

Digital Strategy Training Guide - Using Social for Insights Mining

This is the second chapter of my MacGyver Digital Strategy Handbook

One of the oldest forms of Marketing Research is Discourse Analysis, the study of the written word. With the advent of Social Media it has given marketers, the opportunity to capture real time conversations. Understanding how people will talk about your brand/product/category can be very insightful and help to uncover new territories for the brand.

Tools to be used
Keywords Discovery

List all the names for the product and the category, using Google Search Insights (Similar Search) you will also uncover other words that people use to search for you product. Create a list of these words.

Social Media Mining
Once you have worked out your keywords it is now time to mine Social Media sites to find out what people are saying around these topics. The important thing here is to look out for common themes, start transferring all the data to an excel spreadsheet, using common theme tags to highlight the theme.

There are a number of great tools that you can use to do this.

OpenFacebook - Allows you to see what people have been writing in their Facebook Status Updates, it is estimated that about 3% of the FB population have open accounts, this still gives a good idea of how people are speaking about the product.

Example – Pens

Twiter Search - Check the search terms in twitter, the great thing about Twitter is that it shows the most tweeted tweets using those key terms. This will help uncover the common themes.

Example – Pens

Facebook Search - One of the great things about Facebook is that anyone can set up a Page/Group, what has happened is that a number of people have set up what is called 'Statement Pages' which are small everyday truths. Understanding what people agree on around a topic can be very insightful. Use the search bar and then narrow the search by looking at ‘Groups and Pages’ for those keywords.

Example – Pens

Disrupt Something And Do It Now - Guest Post from James Aviaz

James Aviaz is a Community Manager at Uber NYC

The new darlings of the tech world, and rightly so, are so-called 'disruptive' companies. Heck, New York just played host to a 3-day conference called Techcrunch Disrupt.

So, what makes a disruptive company? Essentially, these disruptors are taking old, broken industries and using innovative tech to fix their problems. Along the way, most of these companies come up against regulatory issues, requiring them to show serious cojones and nimble thinking.

These companies are also revered for their revenue models - they take real money for real services. Something most startups only dream of when asked: 'So, how are you going to monetise this thing?'

Here's a selection of disruptive companies to check out:

1. Square

Founded by Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Square turns any iPhone or iPad into a mobile credit card machine. With a card reader attachment plugged into your audio jack, you can literally take card payments anywhere / any time. Square takes 2.75% of each transaction. Yep, it's fucking genius.

2. Uber

Ever tried getting a yellow taxi in San Francisco? It's a nightmare. Two entrepreneurs Garrett Camp (StumbleUpon) and Travis Kalanick (Red Swoosh) took the challenge on-board and turned a dormant, disparate network of luxury cars into a fully-functioning yellow taxi alternative. Now in NYC, Uber has Seattle, DC, Boston and Chicago next in its sights.

(Disclosure: I'm the Community Manager for Uber in NYC).

3. Airbnb

Starting as a marketplace for finding air mattresses to crash on people's floor, Airbnb founded by Brian Chesky has in the last two years become a genuine hotel alternative. Apartment owners list their cribs online for short-term rentals, and then savvy travellers snap up the awesome rooms. Just raised $100m with a valuation of $1bn. NBD.

4. Skillshare

Americans pay a shitload to go to college with diminishing returns, so Mike Karnjanaprakorn decided to 'start an education revolution'. His contention is that college success does not equal long-term job success, so he's building a learning marketplace where students take take highly-targeted classes at competitive prices.

Now ask yourself: What makes you facepalm each day? What industries are broken? What can you fix?

At a time when the tech world is on the verge an IPO bender, disruptive companies are poised to make a lot of noise. Disrupt something and do it now.

List of Australians in NYC Ad Agencies

It feels like there is a lot of Australians over in NYC doing interesting things. I decided to give a little bit more visibility to who is over here and created a list of Australians who were working at Advertising Agencies over here.

George Gallate, Global Chairman at Euro RSCG
Nick Law, EVP and Chief Creative Officer at R/GA
David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman at Droga5
Julie Atherton, Global Digital Leader at WPP Team Colgate
Jane Barratt, President of Young and Rubicam
Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer at DDB
Mark Pollard, Director of Planning Innovation at Saatchi and Saatchi
Jonny Baeur, Head of Strategy at Droga5
Neil Heymann, Interactive Creative Director at Droga5
Matt Donovan, MP at McCann
Matt Turnbull, VP of Mobile at Tigerspike
Alexander Chung, Senior Strategist at Undercurrent
Aisea Laungaue , Planning Director at Anomaly
Kat Wong , Senior Strategic Planner, BBDO
Melanie Wiese, Senior Planner, Grey
Andrew Boal, Creative Director, Digitas
Sammi Needham, Creative Director R/GA
Paul Dery, Associate Creative Director, R/GA
Lauren Bugeja, Senior Interaction Designer at R/GA
Pon Kattera, Senior Interaction Designer and Digital Strategist at R/GA
Glenn Rogers, Interactive Senior Producer, Razorfish
Alex Bodman, Associate Creative Director, Razorfish
Kate Gwynne, Community Inspirer at McGarry Bowen
Coco Caspersz, Associate Director at Ogilvy Interactive
Andy Catchaturyan, Interactive Designer
Alex Trevor, Account Director at The Barbarian Group
Lexi Peters, Communication Specialist at The Barbarian Group
Ben Clare, Copywriter at Johannes Leonardo
Gemma Pollard, Global Communication Manager at JWT NYC
Karl Stanton, Senior Developer at HUGE
Tom Markham, Digital ECD at Lowe and Partners
Julian Cole, Strategy Director at BBH NYC
Michaella Solar-March, Splendid
Leo Premutico, Co-founder at Johannes Leonardo
Matt Jones, SVP Strategy and Creative at Jack Morton Worldwide
Michael Canning, Creative Director/SVP at Leo Burnett
Kieran Antill, Creative Director/SVP at Leo Burnett
Robertino Zambrano, Art Director at RGA
Anthony Moss, Group Creative Director, Managing Partner at Gotham Inc
Laura Agricola-Moss, VP Management Supervisor, USA at MRM Worldwide NYC
David Ahrom Hong, Sr. Art Director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Brad Cohen, Design Director at BBDO NY
Lara Abelsohn, Business Manager at Saatchi & Saatchi NY
Thorsten Hayer, Experience Design Director at AKQA
Hana Nguyen, Senior Producer at Rapp Collins Worldwide
Gully Flowers, Account Supervisor at Berlin Cameron
Mark Davies, Technical Lead at mcgarrybowen
Cameron Dunnet, Copywriter at Interbrand
Dani Simpson, Account Director at Berlin Cameron

Media Agencies, Client Side and start ups
Ed Sanders , Global Marketing Manager, Creative Lab at Google
Nat Ma, Director of Digital Marketing at Burberry
Emily Butler, Associate Director of Digital Marketing, Sony
Mitchell Holder, Insights and Planning at Sony Music's Global Insights Labs
Sarah Fitzgerald, Digital Account Manager at Sony Music US
Paull Young, Director of Digital at Charity Water
Gary Hardwick, CEO of Ikon3
James Aviaz, Community Manager at Uber NYC
Fiona McIndoe, Client Sales Manager at Specific Media
Sarah James, Associate Media Director at Mediacom
Richard Christiansen, Founder and Creative Director of Chandelier
Amelia Trumble, Executive Director at Mac Cosmetics
Ross McNab, Director of Global Business Development at MediaMind
Mick O'Brien, VP Sales & Client Service North America at MediaMind
Annabel Rawson, Global Smirnoff Experience Director at Diageo
Malcolm Carfrae - Head of Global Communications, Calvin Klein
Matt Sproul, Director of Marketing at Redken 5th Avenue

I have made it into a Twitter List which you can follow it is called the 'E3 Winners', 30+ Australians working in Digital/Strategy at NYC Ad Agencies.

Let me know if there is anyone I have left off the list and I will add them

MacGyvers Digital Strategy Training Guide

So this break between jobs has been really good, I have been able to really have a think about the processes that I use in my job and what the hell I actually do and how I articulate that.

One of the good things that I have started to do is map out the insights mining process that I go through for a brief. I am actually going to write an e-book on the process and I am also thinking about making it into a course, I presented some of this thinking at Strateday, but there is heaps of courses like Skillshare that I am thinking I could teach this through.

Anyway I am calling it the MacGyver's Digital Strategy Training Guide. The aim is to be able to come up with killer insights using only free tools that are at your disposal (including your brain). I have got three pillars – Discourse Analysis, Relationship Mapping and Capital Auditing.

Here is a small excerpt to the Relationship Mapping chapter, every chapter is going to be based on one of my favourite marketing/sociology academics and then have two to three exercises with how you can draw insights. This chapter is based on Susan Fournier.



Marketing academic Susan Fournier came up with an interesting discovery in 1998, she found that people have relationships with brands the same way that they have relationships with other people. She suggested that there were a number of different styles of relationships that people had with brands from seeing a brand similar to your best mate to being your father.

What you need – Target Market Profile

Tools to be used
Relationship Peaking

Think about the target markets life and the major life moments that they have, what role does the brand play in these interactions. Map from life to death what role does that product or service play with the target market.

Relationship Mapping for BIC pens
In this example I take the product of a pen. As you can see there are a number of massive times in a persons life that they share with a pen. From getting your pen license, to signing your first job contract. This should help give you some ideas going into a brainstorm of territories you might want to go down.

More about Susan Fournier

While Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School Susan wrote her seminal paper on Brand relationship. Prior to that Susan was a VP and Director at Young & Rubicam Advertising; she also held positions in marketing research at Yankelovich and marketing/advertising at Polaroid Corporation. She now is currently the Associate Professor of Marketing at Bsoton University.
Read Susan Fournier journal article 'Consumers and their brands - Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research'

Any thoughts? Ways that I could make it better or things I should think about?

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?

NYC bound, Miss u Sydney/Melbourne

In early May I am making a move over to NYC. I am super excited as in my eyes it is where a lot of the culture that I am influenced by comes from and in terms of work it really feels like I could get some amazing opportunities with a number of smart people in the city and the chance to work on global accounts.

It will be hard leaving Sydney, I have had a great 2 and half years here and really love the city. I am a sucker for the amazing weather and all the different beaches. Thanks to everyone who I have worked with over the last two years. It was not easy moving to here and it was all thanks to the people I met through Social Media Coffee, Gutter Club and around the traps that made it so easy.

If you have any tips or people that you think I should meet, shoot me an email julianwcole@gmail.com

What site does Google predict after one letter?

With Google now predicting as you type, I thought it would be interesting to see what comes up after one letter. This is for an Australian search, I am having a guess when I say that I think that it would be based on traffic to these websites as opposed to SEO (I looked at Google Insights on search traffic but that did not support the findings). It is interesting to see that Lasoo got up there for the letter 'L' it would suggest that you should probably look for a starting letter with not much competition if you were choosing a brand name which obviously would have low awareness.

B -BOM Bureau of Meteorology
C- Centrelink
J -Jetstar
M- Myer
N-Netbank (Commonwealth Bank)
O - Optus
R-RTA (Road and Traffic Authority)
U-UAC - University Admission Centre
V-Virgin Blue
W- Wotif
Z -Zmail - UNSW Email

Canv.as - The ultimate tool for young creatives (Part 2)

Another strength of Canvas for creatives is the way that it reflects the ideas process within agencies. Ideas are usually thrown around at agencies and are built on and changed a number of times. The backbone for Canvas is that you can consistently remix ideas.

The system of contributing is very easy too, working on a very similar system to MS Paint which means that most people can get involved with the system. Here is a great speech from Moot explaining Canvas at SXSWi.

TCO's Rhys Edwards has already had success with one of his images Hipster Libyan trending on canv.as and getting over 110,000 views on Reddit in 24 hours. I have two invites for Canv.as so let me know if you are looking for one

Canv.as - The ultimate tool for young Digital Creatives (Part 1)

Canvas is the new project from 4chan founder Moot, It is a SFW version of 4Chan and heaps more. The best thing about it is that they have a reward system where people can vote for their favourite pieces of content by giving them ‘stickers’.

This feedback system presents a great opportunity for future Digital Creatives. It helps to give feedback on their ideas/remixes. I believe this will help to sharpen the brains of Creatives to be more on point. Canvas has a specific audience – a conservative 4chan audience, so it is the job of the creative to work out what is going to trigger this audience.

7 killer examples of online to offline campaings

The other week IdeaWorks launched Improve your plant/life balance, this is a great exmple of offline to online action integration. I love when there is a clear role for both online and offline within a campaign and when one area can affect the other. One of the areas of interest for me is where we can have online actions that impact offline events. The following is a list of 7 such cases;

1. Selector3000
A lot of great ideas happen on company time here is a great one from DTDigital, every present you picked up and transported into the sack, $20 was donated to charity.

2. Vodafone Pinata
People got to choose what move they used to smash the piƱata, great execution that got people coming back to the Application waiting to see if the damn thing had burst.

3. Sydney Festival Your Names in Lights
People could sign in and ask for their name to be put up in lights. This seemed to have big traction with people posting photos to Facebook of their name in lights. A simple idea that worked well because the value of having your name in lights is quite high on the novelty factor.

4. Mentos Intern / Kit Kat Desk Jockey
Two very similar campaigns, where you could get a man to do anything for you, from making a restaurant booking to singing you a song.

5. David on Demand
Leo Burnetts sent Recruiter David along to Cannes. The only catch is that he would be completely controlled by the Internet. He would do absolutely anything that you wanted him to do, he even got a Fail Whale tattoo.

6. Nike Bot

7. Old Spice
Token entry

Selling clothes through Facebook

Vintage Marketplace is a Facebook Page of 24,000+ fans which is selling vintage clothes online. The admins post up photos of items they have for sale with punters being able to put a ‘sold’ in the comments under the item they want.

This is the first time I have seen this style of e-commerce through Facebook, I can imagine it probably contravenes some Facebook guidelines (probably the one about contacting people directly) however I think it is awesome what they have done here. It also makes for an interesting predicament because Facebook have been allowing Ads from Vintage Marketplace so they would probably be liable for the money they have invested.

With the idea of posting items up as photos and seeing all the items which have been commented on as ‘Sold’ it creates a feeling of scarcity with the items. Hence people feeling like they have to rush to get the purchases.

Check out Julian Lee’s succinct wrap up of the whole topic here.

Branded content without the brand

Rear View Girls is such a great idea. However what is the point of making a clip like this and getting 5 million views if you cannot even talk about the brand?

According to Colenso BBDO ‘Levi's tells us it's the fastest, most successful viral campaign Levi's has ever done, and it's only just started, so we're pretty chuffed.’

I cant see how this is the most successful campaign when there is no talk about the brand. The thing about Youtube is that no one uses the ‘subscribe’ functionality so that they will no longer come back to hear the full story when the brand is revealed.

A great way of integrating the brand into the clip is with the latest clip for Nike’s Black Mumba clip where they even suggest that product placement gives us a bigger budget. Bigger budget, bigger explosions (1:38). In the clip it seems to work with the style of narrative that they have chosen to tell the story with.

I dont think that people care if it is branded content as long as it is entertaining.

Five point Social Media idea checklist

A few questions to ask yourself before going ahead with that Digital/Social idea

1. The real pass on question
The usual question people ask themselves with online content is, will people pass this on? The question should really be what are the people going to write/say when they pass this on. What will it look like in a status update.

2. Working off schemas
Using Schema as shortcuts. Use things that people are familiar with.

3. Is it tapping into a tension points
Try to find something that will raise a debate/engage the audience. Will talk more about this in another blog post

4. 10 second rule
Everyone suffer from ADHD when it comes to online, you need to capture their attention in the first 10 seconds. If they don’t get the idea by then, you have probably lost them.

5. Insurance policy
As Social Media evolves the risk of having an idea that bombs is less and less likely or harder to detect as brands can now buy media to make sure that the idea get seen by the target audience. Make sure you have the insurance policy on the table when signing off the budget.

Cultural Touchstones and ImMrTeddy

Cultural touchstones are moments and objects that define a generation of people. Online is playing a large part in creating new cultural touchstones for Australian teens (here is a great post on memes as cultural touchstones).

The latest hype in the Australian Vlogger community is around the 17 year old boy Im Mr Teddy, he is on the observational humour train, doing rants. However what I like about his content is that he is has gone around talking about the cultural touchstones for teens in Australia e.g Facebook, Public Transport and High School. Whether he is funny or not is debatable but what he is good at is giving great insights into 13-17 year olds in Australia.

The theory of nostalgia and Australia's biggest Page

The biggest Australian Facebook Brand Page is Bubble O'Bill Ice Cream with over 850,000 fans, maybe a little surprising at first as they do not seem to have a strong brand or digital leaning. However one explanation for this is nostalgia.

According to the great blog Psychology of video games which looked at nostalgia in videos games,
‘Research suggests that we engage in nostalgia because it has psychological benefits. It makes us happy and improves our state of mind, especially when we need that kind of mental pick-me-up.’

We seem to engage in nostalgia specifically to make us feel better suggests that we may be unconsciously biased towards remembering things that make us happy and against remembering the things that don’t. We have a remarkable propensity towards that kind of thing.

An additional wrinkle in memory’s landscape is that the emotional footprints of positive memories tend to fade more slowly than those of negative ones.'

So it is good news for you if you have a nostalgic brand.

Soap Creative who look after the Bubble O Bill Page just came out with a great Dummies guide for Facebook Pages that is well worth a read.
Facebook Brand Pages For Dummies
View more presentations from Soap Creative.

The rise of the Digital Cypher

I love Youtube Highest Rated Comments.

One interesting side effect to this is the increase in “digital cyphers”. A digital cypher is when Youtubers freestyle rap in the comments section over the music video clip that is playing, usually these are over instrumental beat to a famous song (examples here here here). Highest rated comments motivates people to rap comments as the best ones will be ‘liked’ and go to the top of the page and showcased to everyone else who is viewing that video.