Celebrity and Social. With a Vienna twist.

So what’s BBC Radio 1 DJ doing in Vienna? Checking it out in our latest project for the Vienna Tourist Board, who’d like to build appeal amongst a younger metropolitan audience. Vienna’s the place your parents visit, but it’s a lovely city, not far, not expensive, and not too bad all round. After a pretty intense whistle stop tour of Vienna’s sights, Reggie did a club set till the early hours at the Volksgarten club in downtown Wien. See the write ups here and the video blog  Reggie Does Vienna


Guitar Hero Tosser antidote: socially generated music video

Inside a Dead Skyscraper is a music video game for the song “The building” by Jesse Stiles. Produced by Molleindustria. It’s quite seductive, and you can participate in  playing it here.

creating music video through gaming

creating music video through gaming

The song is from the album “Target Museum” Specific Recordings – 2010. The game and the song are based on Jesse’s brief tenure as a videographer in the partially destroyed buildings surrounding the World Trade Center site. The idea is meant to be a critical answer to the proliferation of rhythm games like Guitar Hero. These karaoke-derived products simply capitalise on already successful music, generating royalties for a dying record industry and reinforcing the mythology of the rock star as super-human that common people should identify with.

An alternative approach to the musical game form links the independent music and independent games scenes. Indie music games could promote unknown bands to the multi-tasking, hyperactive, interaction-addicted new generation. They could enhance the listening experience whilst being autonomous works as the best music videos have in the last 30 years.

Is there a way to win or to lose?
Not really.

Note originally published under creative commons license July 2010 by molleindustria

Wired on the iPad.

Wired on the iPad. Is this just more stuff to read on a screen or ‘do stuff with’ on a screen? a) Just how many ipad magazine subscriptions will Wired need to sell to get close to print revenues?  b) The subject matter of the magazine makes no difference to the mindset of the magazine publisher – it’s print on the web innit. c) Declared interest: I read wired and rather like it as it is :-)

Introducing Freemail. Better than Freemium.

The twitterati, or twatterati as I heard them referred to recently, are noisily testing Buzz, Google’s latest spoiler in the war to dominate our internet attention spans. Charles Arthur in the Guardian describes the underwhelming response from a series of social media gurus, including Robert Scoble. The Telegraph’s Shane Richmond is equally lukewarm.

Looking at the big picture for a minute, the inflection point of culture and technology we are at now is fascinating. The browser wars have been overtaken by the behaviour wars, as the dominance of search as the monetisable business of the internet is being attacked every day by other businesses more interested in monetising the behaviours of connecting with friends. Gmail was originally Google’s response to the reason most people claimed they used the internet (as per Nielsen and Forrester reports as infinitum) – to connect with friends. Or in other words, use email. Facebook may disagree, given the amount of time we spend in social networks. these new tools are great, and make our communication instant, realtime, shareable, and accessible to our friendship communities. Yet email remains, much as we loathe it, the killer app of the internet. The idea of people paying for online newspapers, a current concern of so many media pundits, is quite like asking whether people will people pay for email. Whilst there are millions of ‘freemail’ users out there, the cost of it is subsidised by the monoliths of Google and Microsoft in order to keep eyeballs in their respective worlds. So ponder this. Is email really free? And for how long?

New crowdsourcing agencies are all the rage.

Recent events in the idea crowdsourcing world herald a new business model for agencies. As the person responsible for putting Peperami on the internet in the first place (peperami.com 1996 for the historians amongst you) I’m well placed to comment on the recent move to find ideas using the internet. And as Jon Winsor and other (about to be ex-Crispin Porter) colleagues have announced in the early hours of this morning, it’s time for a new model that takes crowdsourcing to the next level. And that involves asking you, the creatives out there working for other agencies, to contribute to their briefs. Transparently. And at your risk.

Are you up for it? Is it the end of the agency model as we know it? Everyone seems to agree that there is an enormous challenge in the agency group mentality of silo and sausage factory. We make our money in the wrong way, from downstream process transaction rather than from upstream advisory. We fight with each other constantly over budgets. We don’t have enough people to handle the workload when we’re busy. Or we have plenty of the wrong people who can’t handle the workload because the work has changed.

Is the problem about size? The bigger an agency gets, it moves from selling ideas to selling meetings. This seemed fine, as clients have diverse needs and there are a myriad of ways to find service levels for those needs. The creativity of agencies moved into describing cross selling. to build scale and business relationships. And the creativity that clients actually want from them, ideas for better ways to engage consumers to sell more of their products and services tended to be a delegated and downstream service. Ideas became lone wolves that had to be ‘fought for’ by the creative department, instead of exciting ‘cool’ product developments that galvanise everybody involved.

Now there’s an answer. A new model where brands owners can publicly describe their problem, and can garner public responses. There’s been a few start ups that endeavour to capture this trend – idea bounty and so on, about which the naysayers claim they can’t make money, they are estate agents for ideas, isn’t it just like freelancing and so on. Well it does reflect all those things, accusations very easily levelled at any agency by the way, but the difference is that the ability to share and re-share briefs and answers quickly though the internet brings agility where previously there was treacle.

As Stuart Elliot put in in the New York Times – agencies should stop worrying about selling the status quo and start being a force for change. A ‘catalyst of record’, not an ‘agency of record’ Love that. And believe that too. I worked on a pitch last year where the client invited five agencies to test drive their cars and pitch for their business. It was an expensive and overwrought process, on everybody’s part. As we were hanging around having coffee, I said to one or two of the opposition – you know what, this is silly. They should just hire you, me, her and him. Each from a different agency – a ‘dream team’ as they say, as between us we’d provide the best answers, the best work, and it would be a laugh. Everyone agreed that it would be, but went home to prepare for the pitch battle in their own P&Ls.

I wish Jon and crew luck with their new venture. Watch that space!

We are social animals.

Interesting talk on the impact of loneliness on society by Tessy Britton, as part of the RSA 2Gether series which I recommend highly. The need for people to participate in society fulfils a very basic human need
Oh marketers, advertisers, ignore this at your peril. There’s probably something to be said about making social currency from brand conversation too.