Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby needs a new pair of mukluks

A few weeks ago I was in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show - the world's largest tech trade show - and was utterly shocked to run into people from the ad agency where I used to work. What are the odds?

That run-in brought back some great memories, including what I think is one of the best all-time print ads. Ever. And it was done to promote ourselves.

In the body copy, it spoke about the importance of making your viewer - your consumer - think. That's the first step in getting them to take the action you want, whether it's to buy your product, to support a cause, to educate or to train.

In order to do that, first you have to engage them.  There are countless ways to do that, but often the most effective are the ones that surprise and intrigue.

Which brings me to the title of my post.

Because, you see, the ad featured this headline:

"C'mon seven!  Baby needs a new pair of mukluks."   

The concept was clever - crashing together two hackneyed American concepts.  The body copy went on to state: "You can sell ice cubes to Eskimos. Just etch dots on the sides and call them disposable dice."

I keep this ad on my wall in my office to remind me how important it is to capture your audience's attention - and there's no better way to do this than by delivering the unexpected. I love it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What can I say? It's cats.

I can't begin to imagine the cost of this production - forget herding cats, what about rounding up their owners to participate? Then there's the IR camera, plus the gazillion-member crew. But *sigh* it's SO worth it.

How to Visualize an Intangible

I'm currently working on preproduction for an IT communication. Talk about your intangibles. How do you communicate things like "end-to-end processes," "value realization" and - my personal fave - "PCI Compliance" through a visual medium not noted for delivering on the details?

You can probably guess the type of creative ideas I've been studying lately - how to express those more amorphous ideas through video/film.  Here's one ad campaign that has delivered a single intangible idea successfully: Allstate's Mayhem campaign.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What kind of film does Ebert think should be nominated for an Oscar?

You probably recall the blizzard that hit New York around the holidays. Well, someone with a Canon 5D filmed its progress, then edited and posted it to youtube - all within 24 hours.

Roger Ebert thinks it should be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short. What do you think?

Friday, January 7, 2011

CES, Day 2

What to share, out of all the mind-blowing sensory overload? Here's one thing for starters. Qualcomm is giving away $200k to any developer who can use its Augmented Reality Software Developer's Kit to create applications like this one:

As I'm employed by one of the companies that has been on the cutting edge of AR product development in communication and entertainment, I thought this worth posting. What's the future of AR? Will it become increasingly integrated into our lifestyles? Maybe we'd better add this technology to our Ideation Buckets when thinking of how to deliver the best multimedia solutions for our clients.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ideation of the Day

Want to see the top 5 commercials of 2010? These are the ones the folks in charge of handing out Emmys considered worth an Outstanding Commercial nomination. Great ideas are fodder for more great ideas.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project iRiS

And speaking of interactivity.... This was just TOO cool not to share.  Does it have practical uses in the world of multimedia as a communication tool? Um, possibly not, as shown here. But c'mon, ya gotta admit, this is WAY cool.

How do you integrate interactivity into your creative process?

Granted, not all projects will lend themselves to interactivity, but the world is becoming more interactive, not less. It’s worth adding that to your decision-making model as you approach each new project.

Here’s how one company did it: 

Thinking outside the box: A Cardboard Christmas Carol

Over the holidays I stumbled upon a clever and fun rendition of a classic tale.

Okay, so it’s in Dutch. Still, the creative concept transcends the language barrier. I love the lo-tech counterpoint way they tell how the story would unfold in the hi-tech world of social media. But I’ve always been a sucker for quirky counterpoint. Especially when it adds context to the tale, like it does here.

From theinspirationroom.com -

"Staff at Rhinofly, an interactive agency from The Netherlands, spent some time in the lead up to Christmas wondering how Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol character Scrooge would behave in social media. How would the story evolve if it was taking place in new media? They’ve retold the story (in Dutch) using new and social media, using old fashioned techniques."

Jump-start your next breakthrough idea

Mitch Ditkoff offers up 14 methods he recommends to jump-start your next breakthrough idea.

Here's what he has to say about it:

"There’s a lot of talk these days—especially in business circles—about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now. Innovation, they reason, is the competitive edge. What sparks innovation? People. What sparks people? Inspired ideas that meet a need—whether expressed or unexpressed—ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support.Is there anything a person can do—beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings—to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas? Yes, there is. And it begins with the awareness of where ideas come from in the first place." 

His manifesto is downloadable by following this link:

The Problem of Viewership

See? In the time it took you to click through to this blog and scan down just this far, I've already lost, what? 30% of my viewers? Grabbing - and then keeping - the attention of your viewers is The Holy Grail sought after by most people who make a living in multimedia.

TED's blog this week talked about how this crisis is affecting marketing and advertising. And while my professional world does not revolve around these two industries per se, what I saw felt pretty darn applicable to my industry too.  Click the link below to watch their video blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

TED's Ads Worth Spreading Challenge